G.R. No. 119190, 16 January 1997


Chi Ming Tsoi and Gina Lao Tsoiwas married in 1988. After the celebration of their wedding, they proceed to the house of defendant’s mother. There was no sexual intercourse between them during their first night and same thing happened until their fourth night. In an effort to have their honeymoon in a private place, they went to Baguio but Gina’s relatives went with them. Again, there was no sexual intercourse since the defendant avoided by taking a long walk during siesta or sleeping on a rocking chair at the living room. Since May 1988 until March 1989 they slept together in the same bed but no attempt of sexual intercourse between them. Because of this, they submitted themselves for medical examination to an urologist in Chinese General Hospital in 1989.

The result of the physical examination of Gina was disclosed, while that of the husband was kept confidential even the medicine prescribed. There were allegations that the reason why Chi Ming Tsoi married her is to maintain his residency status here in the country.

Gina does not want to reconcile with Chi Ming Tsoi and want their marriage declared void on the ground of psychological incapacity. On the other hand, the latter does not want to have their marriage annulled because he loves her very much, he has no defect on his part and is physically and psychologically capable and since their relationship is still young, they can still overcome their differences. Chi Ming Tsoi submitted himself to another physical examination and the result was there is no evidence of impotency and he is capable of erection.


Whether or not Chi Ming Tsoi’s refusal to have sexual intercourse with his wife constitute psychological incapacity.


The Supreme Court had laid down some of the instances that proved the existence of psychological incapacity. The incapacity of the spouse must such that, it prevents him from complying with the essential marital obligations as state in the Family Code, like:

(a) To procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of children though sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage;

(b) To live together under one roof for togetherness spells the unity in marriage;

(c) To observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, for love, sexual comfort and loyalty to one another are the basic postulates of marriage;

(d) To render mutual help and support for assistance in necessities, both temporal and spiritual, is essential to sustain the marriage;

(e) To jointly support the family for the spouses are joint administrators in the partnership;

(f) Not to commit acts which will bring danger, dishonor or injury to each other or to the family for the safety and security of the family at all times is a primordial duty of the spouses;

The abnormal reluctance or unwillingness to consummate his marriage is strongly indicative of a serious personality disorder which to the mind of the Supreme Court clearly demonstrates an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage within the meaning of Article 36 of the Family Code.

If a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her essential marital obligations and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic marriage tribunals attribute the causes to psychological incapacity than to stubborn refusal. Furthermore, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is to procreate children thus constant non-fulfillment of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity and wholeness of the marriage.

* Case digest by Lea A. Caipang, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018