G.R. No. 130087, 24 September 2003


Respondent Tadeo and petitioner Diana were legally married union begot five children. On 29 March 1995, private respondent Tadeo R. Bengzon filed a Petition for Annulment of Marriage against petitioner Diana M. Barcelona. Petition further alleged that petitioner Diana was psychologically incapacitated at the time of the celebration of their marriage to comply with the essential obligations of marriage and such incapacity subsists up to the present time. The petition allegedthe non-complied marital obligations. During their marriage, they had frequent quarrels due to their varied upbringing. Respondent, coming from a rich family, wasa disorganized housekeeper and was frequently out of the house. She would go to her sister‘s house or would play tennis the whole day. When the family had crisis due to several miscarriages suffered by respondent and the sickness of a child, respondent withdrew to herself and eventually refused to speak to her husband.

On November 1977, the respondent, who was five months pregnant with Cristina Maria and on the pretext of re-evaluatingher feelings with petitioner, requested the latter to temporarily leave their conjugal dwelling. In his desire to keep peace in the family and to safeguard the respondent‘s pregnancy, the petitioner was compelled to leave their conjugal dwelling. The respondent at the time of the celebration of their marriage was psychologically incapacitated to comply with theessential obligation of marriage and such incapacity subsisted up to and until the present time. Such incapacity wasconclusively found in the psychological examination conducted on the relationship between the petitioner and therespondent Diana claims that petitioner falls short of the guidelines stated in Molina case and there is no cause for action.


Whether of not petitioner stated a cause of action against Diana.


YES, since petition stated legal right of Tadeo, correlative obligation of Diana, and her act or omission as seen infacts FAILURE TO STATE ROOT CAUSE AND GRAVE NATURE OF ILLNESS. Sec 2 of rules of declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage – petition does not need to show root cause sinceonly experts can determine it b the physical manifestations of physical incapacity.PETITION IS DENIED, THERE IS CAUSE OF ACTION.

ART. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.

The Supreme Court held that psychological incapacity should refer to a mental incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants such as those enumerated in Article 68 of the Family Code and must be characterized by gravity, juridical antecedence and incurability.

The elements of Psychological incapacity are:

(a) Grave – It must be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in a marriage;

(b) Juridical Antecedence – It must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage; and

(c) Incurable and Permanent – It must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved.

* Case digest by Lady Rubyge A. Denura, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018