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LEGAL SEPARATION - RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF SPOUSES

GANDIONGCO VS PEÑARANDA

FACTS:

Private respondent, Teresita Gandionco, filed a complaint against herein petitioner, Froilan Gandionco
for legal separation on the ground of concubinage as a civil case. Teresita also filed a criminal complaint
of concubinage against her husband. She likewise filed an application for the provisional remedy of
support pendent elite which was approved and ordered by the respondent judge. Petitioner moved to
suspend the action for legal separation and the incidents consequent thereto such as the support for
pendent elite, in view of the criminal case for concubinage filed against him. He contends that the civil
action for legal separation is inextricably tied with the criminal action thus, all proceedings related to
legal separation will have to be suspended and await the conviction or acquittal of the criminal case.

ISSUE:

Whether or not a civil case for legal separation can proceed pending the resolution of the criminal case
for concubinage.

HELD:

Supreme Court ruled that the contentions of the petitioner were incorrect. A civil action for legal
separation on the ground of concubinage may proceed ahead of, or simultaneously with, a criminal
action for concubinage, because said civil action is not one to enforce the civil liability arising from the
offense, even if both the civil and criminal actions arise from or are related to the same offense. Such
civil action is one intended to obtain the right to live separately, with the legal consequences thereof
including the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains, custody of the children, support and
disqualifications from inheriting from the innocent spouse. Decree of legal separation may be issued
upon proof by preponderance of evidence, where no criminal proceeding or conviction is necessary.

Furthermore, the support pendente lite, as a remedy, can be availed of in an action for legal separation,
and granted at the discretion of the judge. If in case, the petitioner finds the amount of support
pendente lite ordered as too onerous, he can always file a motion to modify or reduce the same.
SABALONES VS CA
GR NO. 106169
FEB 14, 1994

FACTS:

As member of diplomatic service assigned to different countries, petitioner Samson Sabalones left to his
wife (respondent), the administration of some of their conjugal properties for 15 years.

He retired as ambassador in 1985 and came back to the Philippines, but not to his wife and children.

4 years later, he filed an action for judicial authorization to sell a building and lot in Greenhills, San Juan.
He claimed that he was 68 years old, sick and living alone without any income, and that his share of the
proceeds of the sale to defray the prohibitive cost of his hospitalization and medical treatment.

In her answer, wife opposed the authorization and filed a counterclaim for legal separation. She alleged
that the house in Greenhills was occupied by her and their 6 kids, and that they were depending for
their support on the rentals from another conjugal property (building and lot in Forbes Park). She also
informed the court that despite her husband’s retirement, he had not returned to his legitimate family
and was instead maintaining a separate residence with another woman and their 3 kids.

Wife asked the court to grant legal separation and order the liquidation of their conjugal properties,
with forfeiture of her husband’s share because of his adultery.

ISSUE:

W/N a preliminary injunction can be issued by the Court (despite joint administration of conjugal
properties)

RULING:

We agree with CA that pending the appointment of an administrator over the whole mass of conjugal
assets, the respondent court was justified in allowing the wife to continue with her administration. It
was also correct, taking into account the evidence adduced at the hearing, in enjoining the petitioner
from interfering with his wife’s administration pending resolution of the appeal.

The law does indeed grant joint administration over the conjugal properties, as clearly provided in Art
124. However, Art 61 states that after a petition for legal separation has been filed, the trial court shall,
in the absence of a written agreement, appoint either one of the spouse or a 3rd person to act as
administrator.

While no formal designation of administrator has been made, such designation was implicit in the
decision of the trial court denying the petitioner any share in the conjugal properties (and thus also
disqualifying him as administrator thereof). That designation was in effect approved by the Court of
Appeals when it issued in favor of the wife with the preliminary injunction.
The primary purpose of injunction is to preserve status quo. The Court notes that the wife has been
administering the subject properties for 19 years now, without complaint on the part of petitioner. He
has not alleged, much less shown, that her administration has caused prejudice to the conjugal
partnership. In her motion for issuance of preliminary injunction, the respondent wife alleged that the
petitioner’s harassment of their tenant in Forbes Park would jeopardize the lease and deprive her and
her children of the income therefrom. She also complained that petitioner executed a quitclaim over
their conjugal property in USA in favor of Thelma Cumareng (the other woman) to improve her lifestyle,
to the prejudice of his legitimate family. These allegations show that injunction is necessary to protect
the interests of wife and kids.

The twin requirements of a valid injunction are: existence of a right and its actual or threatened
violation. Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, it cannot be denied that as the petitioner’s
legitimate wife, she has a right to a share (if not the whole) of the conjugal estate. There is also enough
evidence to raise apprehension that entrusting said estate to petitioner may result in its disposition to
the detriment of the wife and kids.

Let it be stressed that the injunction has not permanently installed the respondent wife as the
administrator of the whole mass of conjugal assets. It has merely allowed her to continue administering
the properties in the meantime without interference from the petitioner, pending the express
designation of the administrator in accordance with Art 61.
SOMOSA-RAMOS VS VAMENTA

Facts:

Lucy filed a case for legal separation against Clemente on the ground of concubinage and an attempt by
him against her life. She likewise sought the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction for
the return to her of what she claimed to be her paraphernal and exclusive property, then under the
administration and management of Clemente. Clemente opposed the motion based on Article 103 of
the Civil Code which provides: "An action for legal separation shall in no case be tried before six months
shall have elapsed since the filing of the petition” (now Art 58, Family Code). He manifested that if the
motion were heard, the prospect of the reconciliation of the spouses would become even more dim.
Judge Vamenta granted the motion of Clemente and suspended the hearing of the petition for a writ of
mandatory preliminary injunction. Thus, Lucy filed a petition for certiorari.

ISSUE:

Does the rule prohibiting the hearing of an action for legal separation before the lapse of six months
from the filing of the petition preclude the court from acting on a motion for preliminary mandatory
injunction applied for as an ancillary remedy to such a suit?

Held:

No. Article 103 the Civil Code is not an absolute bar to the hearing motion for preliminary injunction
prior to the expiration of the six-month period.

The court where the action is pending according to Article 103 is to remain passive. It must let the
parties alone in the meanwhile. It is precluded from hearing the suit. That the law, however, remains
cognizant of the need in certain cases for judicial power to assert itself is discernible from what is set
forth in the following article. It reads thus: "After the filing of the petition for legal separation, the
spouse shall be entitled to live separately from each other and manage their respective property. The
husband shall continue to manage the conjugal partnership property but if the court deems it proper, it
may appoint another to manage said property, in which case the administrator shall have the same
rights and duties as a guardian and shall not be allowed to dispose of the income or of the capital except
in accordance with the orders of the court." (now Art. 61, Family Code)

There would appear to be then a recognition that the question of management of their respective
property need not be left unresolved even during such six-month period. An administrator may even be
appointed for the management of the property of the conjugal partnership. The absolute limitation from
which the court suffers under the preceding article is thereby eased. The parties may in the meanwhile
be heard. There is justification then for the petitioner's insistence that her motion for preliminary
mandatory injunction should not be ignored by the lower court. There is all the more reason for this
response from respondent Judge, considering that the husband whom she accused of concubinage and
an attempt against her life would in the meanwhile continue in the management of what she claimed to
be her paraphernal property, an assertion that was not specifically denied by him.
What was held by this Court in Araneta v. Concepcion, thus possesses relevance: It is conceded that the
period of six months fixed therein is evidently intended as a cooling off period to make possible a
reconciliation between the spouses. The recital of their grievances against each other in court may only
fan their already inflamed passions against one another, and the lawmaker has imposed the period to
give them opportunity for dispassionate reflection. But this practical expedient, necessary to carry out
legislative policy, does not have the effect of overriding other provisions such as the determination of
the custody of the children and alimony and support pendente lite according to the circumstances.
(Article 105, Civil Code, now Art. 49, Family Code.) The law expressly enjoins that these should be
determined by the court according to the circumstances. If these are ignored or the courts close their
eyes to actual facts, rank injustice may be caused. (Somosa-Ramos vs. Hon. Vamenta, G.R. No. L-34132,
July 29, 1972)
ONG ENG KIAM VS ONG

FACTS:

William Ong and Lucita Ong have been married for more than 20 years when Lucita filed a complaint for
Legal separation under Article 55 par. (1) of the Family Code. Lucita alleged that since their third year of
marriage, her husband William subjected her to physical violence like slapping, kicking and pulling her
hair and bang her head against the concrete wall.and been violent towards their three children. He
would scold them using his belt buckle to beat them. One day after a violent quarrel wherein William
hit Lucita on several different parts of her body, pointed a gun at her and asked her to leave the house
which she did. Lucita’s statements about William’s abusive behavior were corroborated by her sister
Linda Lim. Dr. Vicente Elinzan whom Lucita consulted the day after she left her conjugal home also
testified about her injuries. The trial court granted Lucitas petition for legal separation which the CA
affirmed

William then filed this petition for review on certiorari -On the decision denying all of Lucita’s allegations
and that he never inflicted physical harm on her or their children. -He also argued that the real motive of
Lucita and her family in filing the complaint is to deprive him of his control and ownership over his
conjugal properties with Lucita. -That the CA overlooked some facts of the case which warrant an
exception to the general rule that questions of fact cannot be the subject for review under Rule 45 of
the Rules of Court. -The CA erred in relying on the testimonies of Lucita her sister and their parents’
doctor Dr. ElinZano since their testimonies are tainted with relationship and fraud and since Lucita
abandoned the family home she has also given a ground for legal separation and therefore should NOT-
be granted one pursuant to Art. 56 par. 4 of The family code – Where both parties have given ground
for legal separation

ISSUE:

WON Lucita Ong should be granted a decree on legal separation

HELD:

The claim that the real motive of Lucita in filing the case is for her family to take control of the conjugal
properties is absurd. Lucita left because of her husband’s repeated physical violence and grossly abusive
conduct. That the physical violence and grossly abusive conduct were brought to bear upon Lucita have
been duly established. He can derive no personal gain from pushing for the financial interests of her
family at the expense of her marriage of 20 years and the companionship of her husband and children
The assessment of the trial court regarding the credibility of witnesses is given great respect.
Relationship alone is not enough to discredit and label a witness’ testimony as biased and unworthy of
credence. Witnesses Linda Lim and Dr. Elinzano gave detailed and straightforward testimonies the court
finds that their testimonies are not tainted with bias. The abandonment referred to by the Family Code
is abandonment without justifiable cause for more than one year. Lucita left William due to his abusive
conduct, such does not constitute abandonment contemplated in the said provision. PETITION DENIED:
Lucita should be granted a decree of legal separation.
Bugayong vs. Ginez
GR No. 10033, December 28, 1956

FACTS:

Benjamin Bugayong, a serviceman in the US Navy was married with Leonila Ginez on August 1949 at
Pangasinan while on furlough leave. Immediately after the marriage, they lived with the sisters of
Bugayong in said municipality before he went back to duty. The couple came to an agreement that
Ginez would stay with his sisters who later moved in Manila. On or about July 1951, she left the
dwelling of the sisters-in-law and informed her husband by letter that she had gone to Pangasinan to
reside with her mother and later on moved to Dagupan to study in a local college.

Petitioner then began receiving letters from Valeriana Polangco, (plaintiff’s sister-in-law) and some from
anonymous writers, which were not produced at the hearing, informing him of alleged acts of infidelity
of his wife. He admitted that his wife informed him by letter that a certain Eliong kissed her. All these
communications, prompted him in October 1951 to seek the advice of the Navy Chaplain who asked him
to consult with the navy legal department.

In August 1952, Bugayong went to Pangasinan and looked for his wife. They met in the house of the
defendant’s godmother. They proceeded to the house of Pedro, cousin of the plaintiff where they
stayed for 1 day and 1 night as husband and wife. The next day, they slept together in their own house.
He tried to verify with Leonila the truth on the information he received but instead of answering, she
merely packed up and left which he took as a confirmation of the acts of infidelity. He then filed a
complaint for legal separation.

ISSUE:

Whether there was condonation between Bugayong and Ginez that may serve as a ground for dismissal
of the action.

HELD:

Condonation is the forgiveness of a marital offense constituting a ground for legal separation. A single
voluntary act of marital intercourse between the parties ordinarily is sufficient to constitute
condonation and where the parties live in the same house, it is presumed that they live on terms of
matrimonial cohabitation.

Furthermore, Art. 100 of the Civil Code states that the legal separation may be claimed only by the
innocent spouse, provided there has been no condonation of or consent to the adultery or concubinage.
BUSUEGO VS OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

Facts:

Rosa Busuego filed a complaint for (1) Concubinage, (2) Violation of RA 9262 and (3) Grave Threats
before the Office of the Ombudsman against her husband Alfredo who is the Chief of Hospital in Davao
Regional Hospital. Alfredo insisted that Rosa’s complaint should be dismissed because she failed to
implead his alleged concubines as respondents. The Ombudsman scheduled a clarificatory hearing to
dispose theissues where the counsel of Rosa was directed to submit to the Ombudsman the addresses
of the allegedmistresses with an order directing them to file their counter-affidavits to which Rosa
complied with. Alfredo remained undaunted with his position that there should still be a dismissal for
failure to implead the two mistresses. The Ombudsman found probable cause to indict Alfredo and the
mistresses for concubinage.

Issue:

Whether the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion when it found probable cause

Ruling:

No. The Ombudsman has full discretionary authority in the determination of probable cause during
apreliminary investigation. This is the reason why judicial review of the resolution of the Ombudsman in
the
Lapuz-Sy vs. Eufemio
43 SCRA 177

FACTS:

Carmen Lapuz-Sy filed a petition for legal separation against Eufemio Eufemio on August 1953. They
were married civilly on September 21, 1934 and canonically after nine days. They had lived together as
husband and wife continuously without any children until 1943 when her husband abandoned her. They
acquired properties during their marriage. Petitioner then discovered that her husband cohabited with
a Chinese woman named Go Hiok on or about 1949. She prayed for the issuance of a decree of legal
separation, which among others, would order that the defendant Eufemio should be deprived of his
share of the conjugal partnership profits.

Eufemio counterclaimed for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with Lapuz-Sy on the ground of his
prior and subsisting marriage with Go Hiok. Trial proceeded and the parties adduced their respective
evidence. However, before the trial could be completed, respondent already scheduled to present
surrebuttal evidence, petitioner died in a vehicular accident on May 1969. Her counsel duly notified the
court of her death. Eufemio moved to dismiss the petition for legal separation on June 1969 on the
grounds that the said petition was filed beyond the one-year period provided in Article 102 of the Civil
Code and that the death of Carmen abated the action for legal separation. Petitioner’s counsel moved
to substitute the deceased Carmen by her father, Macario Lapuz.

ISSUE:

Whether the death of the plaintiff, before final decree in an action for legal separation, abate the action
and will it also apply if the action involved property rights.

HELD:

An action for legal separation is abated by the death of the plaintiff, even if property rights are involved.
These rights are mere effects of decree of separation, their source being the decree itself; without the
decree such rights do not come into existence, so that before the finality of a decree, these claims are
merely rights in expectation. If death supervenes during the pendency of the action, no decree can be
forthcoming, death producing a more radical and definitive separation; and the expected consequential
rights and claims would necessarily remain unborn.

The petition of Eufemio for declaration of nullity is moot and academic and there could be no further
interest in continuing the same after her demise, that automatically dissolved the questioned union.
Any property rights acquired by either party as a result of Article 144 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
6 could be resolved and determined in a proper action for partition by either the appellee or by the heirs
of the appellant.
SIOCHI vs GOZON,et al

FACTS:

Elvira Gozon filed a case of LEGAL SEPARATION (LSEP) against her husband Alfredo. Later, she filed a
notice of lis pendens (a public notice informing the community that a particular property is subject to
litigation and that will prospective purchasers of the property will be bound by any judgment affecting
it) over a 30, 000 sq.meters lot in Malaiizbon registered in the name of “Afredo Gozon married to Elvira
Gozon”. While the LSEP case was pending, Alfredo entered into an agreement to sell said lot to Mario
Siochi for 18M. Mario gave a DP of 5M with an agreement that Alfredo as the exclusive owner of the
property, will secure the exclusion of the property in the LSEP case and secure the removal of notice of
lis pendens. After giving the down payment, Mario took possession of the property.

Later, the LSEP case was granted, the CPG (Conjugal Partnership of Gains) was declared dissolved and
liquidated; the land declared conjugal. Alfredo being the offending spouse, the net profit of his share
shall be forfeited in favor of their daughter, Winifred. Alfredo later donated the land to Winifred.
Through SPA, Alfredo sold the land to Inter-Dimensional Realty for 18M wherein the latter obtained the
TCT in their name free from annotation of the notice of lis pendens. Mario Siochi then filed a case for
specific performance, damages and the annulment of the donation and sale.

The CA decided that sale between Mario and Alfredo is void. Share of Alfredo (offending spouse) was
forfeited in favor of his daughter Winifred. Alfredo must pay the 5m DP to Mario with damages.
Winifred has the option of either to dispose of the land or not.

ISSUE:

WON Alfredo’s (offending spouse) entire share of said conjugal property shall be deemed forfeited as
effect of the LSEP case.

HELD:

No. As provided under Art 63 (2) of Family Code— “The decree of legal separation shall have the ff
effects:

(2) the absolute community or the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved and liquidated but the
offending spouse shall have no right to any share of the NET PROFITS earned by the absolute community
or the conjugal partnership, which shall be forfeited in favor of common children , or if there are none,
to the children of the guilty spouse in previous marriage, if there are none, to the innocent spouse.
Pursuant to this Article, Alfredo’s share of the conjugal property is not entirely forfeited in favor of their
common child, but only his share of the NET PROFITS earned from said conjugal property.

Note: NET PROFITS refers to the increase in the market value of the property from the time of
celebration of the marriage until the time of its dissolution.
MAQUILAN VS MAQUILAN

FACTS:

Herein petitioner and herein private respondent are spouses who once had a blissful married life and
out of which were blessed to have a son. However, their once sugar coated romance turned bitter when
petitioner discovered that private respondent was having illicit sexual affair with her paramour, which
thus, prompted the petitioner to file a case of adultery against private respondent and the latter's
paramour. Consequently, both accused were convicted of the crime charged.

Thereafter, private respondent, through counsel, filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage,
Dissolution and Liquidation of Conjugal Partnership of Gains and Damages imputing psychological
incapacity on the part of the petitioner. During the pre-trial of the said case, petitioner and private
respondent entered into a COMPROMISE AGREEMENT.

Subsequently, petitioner filed a motion for the repudiation of the AGREEMENT. This motion was denied.
Petitioner then filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with the Court of Appeals on the ground
that the conviction of the respondent of the crime of adultery disqualify her from sharing in the conjugal
property. The Petition was dismissed.

ISSUE:

Is the conviction of the respondent of the crime of adultery a disqualification for her to share in the
conjugal property?

HELD:

No. The conviction of adultery does not carry the accessory of civil interdiction. Article 34 of the Revised
Penal Code provides for the consequences of civil interdiction:

Art. 34. Civil Interdiction. — Civil interdiction shall deprive the offender during the time of his sentence
of the rights of parental authority, or guardianship, either as to the person or property of any ward, of
marital authority, of the right to manage his property and of the right to dispose of such property by any
act or any conveyance inter vivos. Under Article 333 of the same Code, the penalty for adultery is
prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods. Article 333 should be read with Article 43 of
the same Code. The latter provides:

Art. 43. Prision correccional — Its accessory penalties. — The penalty of prision correccional shall carry
with it that of suspension from public office, from the right to follow a profession or calling, and that of
perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage, if the duration of said imprisonment shall
exceed eighteen months. The offender shall suffer the disqualification provided in this article although
pardoned as to the principal penalty, unless the same shall have been expressly remitted in the pardon.
It is clear, therefore, and as correctly held by the CA, that the crime of adultery does not carry the
accessory penalty of civil interdiction which deprives the person of the rights to manage her property
and to dispose of such property inter vivos.
GOITIA VS CAMPOS-RUEDE

FACTS:

Eloisa Goitia De La Camara and Jose Campos Rueda were legally married in the City of Manila on Jan. 7,
1915. They established their residence at 115 Calle San Marcelino, where they lived together for about a
month, when the plaintiff returned to the home of her parents. It was alleged that respondent
demanded her to perform unchaste and lascivious acts on his genital organs. The plaintiff spurned the
obscene demands of the defendant and refused to perform any act other than legal and valid
cohabitation. Since Goitia kept on refusing, defendant maltreated her by word and deed, inflicting
injuries upon her lips, face and different parts of her body; and that, as Goitia was unable by any means
to induce her husband to desist from his repugnant desires and cease from maltreating her, she was
obliged to leave the conjugal abode and take refuge in the home of her parents.

Goitia filed a complaint against defendant for support outside the conjugal home. The CFI ruled in favor
of defendant Rueda and held that the defendant cannot be compelled to support the plaintiff, except in
his own house, unless it be by virtue of a judicial decree granting her a divorce or separation from the
defendant. The plaintiff appealed.

ISSUE:

Whether Goitia can compel her husband to support her outside the conjugal home.

HELD:

YES. The obligation on the part of the husband to support his wife is created merely in the act of
marriage. Article 149 of the Civil Code provides that the person obliged to give support may, at his
option, satisfy it, either by paying the pension that may be fixed or by receiving and maintaining in his
own home the person having the right to the same. However, this option granted by law is not absolute.
The law does not permit the husband to evade or terminate his obligation to support his wife if the wife
is driven away from the conjugal home because of his wrongful acts.

In the case at bar, the wife was forced to leave the conjugal home abode because of the lewd designs
and physical assault of the husband. Therefore, it is only but right, to claim support from the husband
for separate maintenance albeit outside the conjugal home.
ARROYO v VASQUEZ (1921)

FACTS:

Plaintiff Mariano and defendant Dolores were married in 1910, and lived in Iloilo City. They lived
together with a few short intervals of separation. On July 4, 1920, defendant Dolores went away from
their common home and decided to live separately from plaintiff. She claimed that she was compelled
to leave on the basis of cruel treatment on the part of her husband. She in turn prayed for a decree of
separation, a liquidation of their conjugal partnership, and an allowance for counsel fees and permanent
separate maintenance.

CFI ruled in favor of the defendant and she was granted alimony amounting to P400, also other fees

Plaintiff then asked for a restitution of conjugal rights, and a permanent mandatory injunction requiring
the defendant to return to the conjugal home and live with him as his wife.

ISSUES:

1. WON defendant had sufficient cause for leaving the conjugal home

2. WON plaintiff may be granted the restitution of conjugal rights or absolute order or permanent
mandatory injunction

HELD:

1. The wife had sufficient cause for leaving the conjugal home. Cruelty done by plaintiff to defendant
was greatly exaggerated. The wife was inflicted with a disposition of jealousy towards her husband in an
aggravated degree. No sufficient cause was present.

Courts should move with caution in enforcing the duty to provide for the separate maintenance of the
wife since this recognizes the de facto separation of the two parties. Continued cohabitation of the pair
must be seen as impossible, and separation must be necessary, stemming from the fault of the husband.
She is under obligation to return to the domicile.

“When people understand that they must live together…they learn to soften by mutual accommodation
that yoke which they know they cannot shake off; they become good husbands and wives…necessity is
a powerful master in teaching the duties which it imposes…” (Evans v. Evans)

2. On granting the restitution of conjugal rights. It is not within the province of the courts to compel one
of the spouses to cohabit with, and render conjugal rights to, the other. In the case of property rights,
such an action may be maintained. Said order, at best, would have no other purpose than to compel the
spouses to live together. Other countries, such as England and Scotland have done this with much
criticism.

Plaintiff is entitled to a judicial declaration that the defendant absented herself without sufficient cause
and it is her duty to return. She is also not entitled to support.
Ilusorio vs. Bildner
GR No. 139789, May 12, 2000

FACTS:

Potenciano Ilusorio, a lawyer, 86 year old of age, possessed extensive property valued at millions of
pesos. For many year, he was the Chairman of the Board and President of Baguio Country Club. He was
married with Erlinda Ilusorio, herein petitioner, for 30 years and begotten 6 children namely Ramon, Lin
Illusorio-Bildner (defendant), Maximo, Sylvia, Marietta and Shereen. They separated from bed and
board in 1972. Potenciano lived at Makati every time he was in Manila and at Illusorio Penthouse,
Baguio Country Club when he was in Baguio City. On the other hand, the petitioner lived in Antipolo
City.

In 1997, upon Potenciano’s arrival from US, he stayed with her wife for about 5 months in Antipolo city.
The children, Sylvia and Lin, alleged that during this time their mother overdose Potenciano which
caused the latter’s health to deteriorate. In February 1998, Erlinda filed with RTC petition for
guardianship over the person and property of Potenciano due to the latter’s advanced age, frail health,
poor eyesight and impaired judgment. In May 1998, after attending a corporate meeting in Baguio,
Potenciano did not return to Antipolo instead lived at Cleveland Condominium in Makati. In March
1999, petitioner filed with CA petition for habeas corpus to have the custody of his husband alleging that
the respondents refused her demands to see and visit her husband and prohibited Potenciano from
returning to Antipolo.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the petitioned writ of habeas corpus should be issued.

HELD:

A writ of habeas corpus extends to all cases of illegal confinement or detention, or by which the rightful
custody of a person is withheld from the one entitled thereto. To justify the grant for such petition, the
restraint of liberty must an illegal and involuntary deprivation of freedom of action. The illegal restraint
of liberty must be actual and effective not merely nominal or moral.

Evidence showed that there was no actual and effective detention or deprivation of Potenciano’s liberty
that would justify issuance of the writ. The fact that the latter was 86 years of age and under
medication does not necessarily render him mentally incapacitated. He still has the capacity to discern
his actions. With his full mental capacity having the right of choice, he may not be the subject of
visitation rights against his free choice. Otherwise, he will be deprived of his right to privacy.

The case at bar does not involve the right of a parent to visit a minor child but the right of a wife to visit
a husband. In any event, that the husband refuses to see his wife for private reasons, he is at liberty to
do so without threat or any penalty attached to the exercise of his right. Coverture, is a matter beyond
judicial authority and cannot be enforced by compulsion of a writ of habeas corpus carried out by the
sheriffs or by any other process.
Tenchavez vs. Escano
15 SCRA 355

FACTS:

27 years old Vicenta Escano who belong to a prominent Filipino Family of Spanish ancestry got married
on Feburary 24, 1948 with Pastor Tenchavez, 32 years old engineer, and ex-army officer before Catholic
chaplain Lt. Moises Lavares. The marriage was a culmination of the love affair of the couple and was
duly registered in the local civil registry. A certain Pacita Noel came to be their match-maker and go-
between who had an amorous relationship with Tenchavez as written by a San Carlos college student
where she and Vicenta are studying. Vicenta and Pastor are supposed to renew their vows/ marriage in
a church as suggested by Vicenta’s parents. However after translating the said letter to Vicenta’s dad ,
he disagreed for a new marriage. Vicenta continued leaving with her parents in Cebu while Pastor went
back to work in Manila.

Vicenta applied for a passport indicating that she was single and when it was approved she left for the
United States and filed a complaint for divorce against Pastor which was later on approved and issued
by the Second Judicial Court of the State of Nevada. She then sought for the annulment of her marriage
to the Archbishop of Cebu. Vicenta married Russell Leo Moran, an American, in Nevada and has
begotten children. She acquired citizenship on August 8, 1958. Petitioner filed a complaint against
Vicenta and her parents whom he alleged to have dissuaded Vicenta from joining her husband.

ISSUE:

Whether the divorce sought by Vicenta Escano is valid and binding upon courts of the Philippines.

HELD:

Civil Code of the Philippines does not admit divorce. Philippine courts cannot give recognition on
foreign decrees of absolute divorce between Filipino citizens because it would be a violation of the Civil
Code. Such grant would arise to discrimination in favor of rich citizens who can afford divorce in foreign
countries. The adulterous relationship of Escano with her American husband is enough grounds for the
legal separation prayed by Tenchavez. In the eyes of Philippine laws, Tenchavez and Escano are still
married. A foreign divorce between Filipinos sought and decreed is not entitled to recognition neither is
the marriage of the divorcee entitled to validity in the Philippines. Thus, the desertion and securing of
an invalid divorce decree by one spouse entitled the other for damages.

WHEREFORE, the decision under appeal is hereby modified as follows; (1) Adjudging plaintiff-appellant
Pastor Tenchavez entitled to a decree of legal separation from defendant Vicenta F. Escaño;

(2) Sentencing defendant-appellee Vicenta Escaño to pay plaintiff-appellant Tenchavez the amount of
P25,000 for damages and attorneys' fees;

(3) Sentencing appellant Pastor Tenchavez to pay the appellee, Mamerto Escaño and the estate of his
wife, the deceased Mena Escaño, P5,000 by way of damages and attorneys' fees.