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Ong v.

Petitioner is the husband, wife is the respondent. The case stems from a complai
nt for legal separation filed by the respondent Lucita Ong.
According to said complaint, Petitioner William Ong maltreated and abused her an
d their children verbally and physically for little to no reason on an almost da
ily basis. This would include him smashing her head against a concrete wall and
boxing her or him boxing or using a a metal buckled belt against their children.
It came to a head when she protested his decision to allow their eldest son to
go to Bacolod. At which point, he boxed her repetitively and eventually threaten
ed her with a gun to the head and told her that the matter was none of her busin
Petitioner denies the allegations and instead proposes that the entire case was
borne out of a desire to take properties from their conjugal partnership, many o
f which was the fruit of his sole labor. He further proposes that he was violent
against her because he was attempting to discipline their children but she woul
d not let him. Lastly, he alleges that his wife abandoned her wifely duties.
Issue: W/N the complaint for legal separation may be granted.
Held: Yes. The SC is a trier of law and not of facts. All of the allegations ren
dered by the petitioner are assailing findings of fact and may not be reviewed b
y the supreme court barring GADLEJ.
All petitioner ever raised against the allegations were general denials and down
playings of severity.
The witnesses are all credible. The laundrywoman and employees are dependent on
petitioners. They have nothing to gain from testifying against him. His own chil
dren have nothing to gain from their testimonies against him either for the same
In other words, there can be no other reason for them to raise a hand against hi
m apart from severe misconduct against or maltreatment of his wife and children.
Also without merit is the argument of William that since Lucita has abandoned th
e family, a decree of legal separation should not be granted, following Art. 56,
par. (4) of the Family Code which provides that legal separation shall be denie
d when both parties have given ground for legal separation. The abandonment refe
rred to by the Family Code is abandonment without justifiable cause for more tha
n one year. As it was established that Lucita left William due to his abusive co
nduct, such does not constitute abandonment contemplated by the said provision.