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Overview: This is an action for legal separation which Jose de Ocampo filed against his wife Serafina on the ground of adultery. The case was dismissed by the Court of first Instance which was affirmed by the Court Appeals holding that there was confession of judgment , plus condonation or consent to the adultery and prescription. Facts: Jose de Ocampo (Petitioner) and Serafina Florenciano (Respondent) got married on April 5, 1938 and as a result of such union, they begot several children. Sometime in March 1951, Ocampo discovered that his wife was maintaining illicit relations with Jose Arcalas. He sent his wife to Manila to study beauty culture. Again, Ocampo discovered that aside from Jose Arcalas, Serafina was going out with several other men. Serafina left Ocampo after she finished her study and since then the two lived separately. After Ocampo caught his wife in the act of having illicit relations with Nelsom Orzame on June 18, 1955, he signified his intention of filing a petition for legal separation. Serafina conformed to his intention provided that she will not be charged with adultery in a criminal action. Ocampo filed a petition for legal separation but the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija dismissed it holding there was confession of judgment, plus condonation or consent to the adultery and prescription which was AFFIRMED by the Court of Appeals. CAs decision: With regard to the defendants adultery with Jose Arcalas, the husbands right to legal separation had prescribed because his action was not filed within one year from March 1951 when plaintiff discovered her infidelity (art.102,NCC). As to the adultery with Nelson Orzame, after discovery of such, the husband expressed his wish to file a petition for legal separation which the defendant had readily agreed to. Before the fiscal, the defendant even reiterated her conformity to the legal separation and admitted having sexual relations with Nelson Orzame. The Appellate Court had interpreted such facts as a confession of judgment under Art.101 and thus, legal separation could not be decreed. Issue: Whether or not a decree for legal separation be granted. Ruling: Yes. As the Court understand the article, it does not exclude, as evidence, any admission or confession made by the defendant outside of the court. It merely prohibits a decree of separation upon a confession of judgment. Confession of judgment usually happens when the defendant appears in court and confesses the right of plaintiff to judgment or files a pleading expressly agreeing to the plaintiffs demand. Supposing the statement of defendant constitutes a confession of judgment, inasmuch as there is evidence of the adultery independent of such statement, the decree may and should be granted, since it would not be based on her confession, but upon evidence presented by the plaintiff. What the law prohibits is a judgment based exclusively or mainly on defendants confession. If a confession defeats the action ipso facto, any defendant who opposes the

separation will immediately confess judgment for the purpose of preventing it. The fact that the defendant like also to be legally separated from her husband, is not an obstacle to the successful prosecution of the action. When the court is informed that defendant equally desires the separation and admitted the commission of the offense, it should be doubly careful lest a collusion exists. However, the Court of Appeals did not find collusion. There would be collusion if the parties had arranged by making it appear that a matrimonial offense had been committed although it was not, or if the parties had connived to bring about a legal separation even in the absence of grounds therefor. According to the evidence presented in the instant case, the offense of adultery had really took place. The defendant could not have falsely told the adulterous acts to the Fiscal, because her story might send her to jail the moment her husband request the Fiscal to prosecute. She could not have practiced deception at such a personal risk. In connection to this, collusion may not be inferred from the mere fact that the guilty party confesses to the offense and thus enables the other party to procure evidence necessary to prove it (Williams vs. Williams, Rosenweig vs. Rosenweig). And proof that defendant desires the divorce and makes no defense, it not by itself collusion (Pohlman vs. Pohlman). The plaintiffs failure to actively search for the defendant and take her home (after the latter left him in 1952) does not constitute condonation or consent to her adulterous relations with Orzame. It was not his duty to search for her to bring her home. Hers was the obligation to return. Finding no obstacles to the aggrieved husbands petition, the Supreme Court hereby REVERSED the decision being appealed and decree a legal separation between the spouses. Cost against Serafina Florenciano.