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LEGAL

SEPARATION
What is LEGAL SEPARATION?
The term that applies to a court sanctioned agreement for a husband and
wife that details their obligations while living apart.
Legal Separation vs. Annulment vs. Declaration of Nullity
Legal Separation Annulment
Declaration of
Nullity
Marital Status
No dissolution of marriage,
only separation of bed-
and-board; entitled to live
separately
Valid until annulled or
terminated
Previous marriage,
void ab initio
Status of Children Born/Conceived Before Termination
Legitimate Legitimate
Illegitimate except those as
provided in Art. 36 and 53
RULE ON
LEGAL SEPARATION
Section 1. Scope
Governs petitions for legal separation under the Family Code of the
Philippines.
The Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily.
Section 2. Petition
Who may file?
ONLY by the husband or the wife
When to file?
within 5 years from the time of the occurrence of any of the
following:
a) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed
against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner;
b) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to
change religious or political affiliations;
c) Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a
common child, or a child of the petitioner to engage in
prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement;
d) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of
more than 6 years, even if pardoned;
e) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
f) Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;
g) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent marriage,
whether in or outside the Philippines
h) Sexual infidelity or perversion of the respondent;
i) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable
cause for more than 1 year.

1. The complete facts constituting the cause of action;
2. The names and the ages of the common children;
3. The regime concerning their property relations as well as the property
included.
If there is no adequate provision in a written agreement between
the parties, the petitioner MAY APPLY for a provisional order for:
a. Spousal support;
b. The Custody and support of common children;
c. Administration of community or conjugal property;
d. Visitation rights; and/or
e. Other matters similarly requiring urgent action.
Contents of the Petition
Form of petition:
1. It must be verified; and
2. It must be accompanied by a certification against forum shopping.
signed personally by the petitioner.
NO petition may be filed solely by counsel or through an attorney-in-
fact.
Exception: When in foreign country = verified and signed by the duly
authorized officer of the Philippine embassy or legation, consul
general, consul or vice-consul or consular agent in said country.



Family Court of the province or city = residing for at least six months
Non-resident respondent = where he may be found in the Philippines,
at the election of the petitioner.
Venue
3. Filed in six (6) copies.

copy OSG and the Office of the City or Provincial Prosecutor, within
five days from the date of its filing,
Proof of service court within the same period

Failure to comply with any of the preceding requirements may be a
ground for IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL of the petition.
Section 3. Summons
Governed by Rule 14 of the Rules of Court and the following:
(a) Cannot be located or whereabouts are unknown and cannot be
ascertained by diligent inquiry, by leave of court, by publication once a
week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.

A copy shall be served on respondent at his last known address by
registered mail or by any other means.

(b) Contents of publication:
(1) title of the case;
(2) docket number;
(3) nature of the petition;
(4) principal grounds of the petition and the reliefs prayed for, and
(5) a directive for respondent to answer within thirty days from the
last issue of publication


Section 4. Motion to Dismiss
General Rule: No motion to dismiss shall be allowed.

Exception: On the ground of lack of jurisdiction on the subject matter or
over the parties.

Any other ground that might warrant a dismissal of the case may be raised
as an affirmative defense in an answer.
Section 5. Answer
Must be filed within 15 days from service of summons, or within 30 days
from the last issue of publication in case of service of summons by
publication.

Must be VERIFIED by the respondent himself and not by counsel or
attorney-in-fact.

If the respondent fails to file an answer, the court SHALL NOT DECLARE
him or her in default.

No answer filed or does not tender an issue = the court shall order the
public prosecutor to investigate whether collusion exists between the
parties.
Collusion
Matrimonial Cases
Act of married persons in procuring a legal separation or
annulment of marriage by consent, whether by pre-concerted commission
by one of a matrimonial offense, or by failure, in pursuance of agreement, to
defend legal separation or annulment proceedings.

In Legal Separation or Annulment of Marriage
An agreement between husband and wife for one of them to
commit, or to be represented in court as having committed a matrimonial
offense, or to suppress evidence of a valid defense, for the purpose of
enabling the other to obtain a legal separation or annulment of marriage,
which may be express or implied from the acts of the parties.

Ground for denial of action
Section 6. Investigation Report of Public
Prosecutor
Public prosecutor shall submit a report to the court and serve copies
on the parties and their respective counsels, if any= within one month
upon receipt of court order

Finding of collusion = state basis in his report.
The parties shall file their respective comments on the finding
of collusion within ten days from receipt of copy of the report. The court
shall set the report for hearing and if convinced that parties are in
collusion, it shall dismiss the petition.

No collusion exists = set the case for pre-trial.
It shall be the duty of the public prosecutor to appear for the
State at the pre-trial.


Section 7. Social Worker
The court may require a social worker to conduct a case study and to
submit the corresponding report at least three days before the pre-trial. The
court may also require a case study at any stage of the case whenever
necessary.
Section 8. Pre-Trial
Mandatory
On motion or motu proprio
Pre-trial after the last pleading has been served and filed, or upon receipt
of the report of the public prosecutor that no collusion exists between the
parties on a date not earlier than six months from date of the filing of the
petition.
Notice of Pre-Trial
The notice of pre-trial shall contain:
(a) the date of pre-trial conference; and
(b) an order directing the parties to file and serve their respective
pre-trial briefs to adverse parties at least three days before the
date of pre-trial.

The notice shall be served separately on the parties and their respective
counsels as well as on the public prosecutor. It shall be their duty to appear
personally at the pre-trial.

Notice to the respondent even if he fails to file an answer.
Summons by publication and the respondent failed to file his answer =
notice sent to respondent at his last known address.

Set by the court on a date not earlier than six (6) months from the date of
the filing of the petition (Cooling Off Period).


Section 9. Contents of Pre-Trial Brief
1) A statement of the willingness of the parties to enter into agreements as
may be allowed by law, indicating the desired terms thereof;
2) A concise statement of their respective claims together with the
applicable laws and authorities;
3) Admitted facts and proposed stipulations of facts, as well as the disputed
factual and legal issues;
4) All the evidence to be presented, including expert opinion, if any, briefly
stating or describing the nature and purpose thereof;
5) The number and names of the witnesses and their respective affidavits;
and
6) Such other matters as the court may require.

Failure to file or to comply with its required contents shall have the same
effect as failure to appear at the pre-trial.



Section 10. Effect of Failure to Appear
at the Pre-Trial
PETITIONER fails to appear personally = dismissed unless his counsel
or a duly authorized representative appears in court and proves a valid
excuse for the non-appearance of the petitioner.

RESPONDENT has filed his answer but fails to appear = proceed with
the pre-trial and require the public prosecutor to investigate the non-
appearance of the respondent and submit within 15 days thereafter a
report to the court stating whether his non-appearance is due to any
collusion between the parties.

No = REQUIRE the public prosecutor to intervene for the State
during the trial on the merits to prevent the suppression or fabrication
of evidence.
Section 11. Pre-Trial Conference
At the PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE, the court:

May refer the issues to a mediator who shall render a report within one
(1) month from referral which, for good reasons, the court may extend for a
period not exceeding one month;

Mediation is not availed of or where it fails = proceed with the pre-trial
conference, on which occasion it shall consider the advisability of receiving
expert testimony and such other matters as may aid in the prompt
disposition of the petition.
Section 12. Pre-trial order
Proceedings in pre-trail order shall be recorded
Upon termination, the court shall issue a pre-trial order

Pre-trial order
shall recite in detail the matters taken up in the conference
the action taken thereon
the amendments allowed on the pleadings
the agreements or admissions made by the parties on any of the matters
considered, provisional order that may be necessary or agreed upon by the
parties
except as to the ground of legal separation
Should the action proceed to trial, the order shall contain
a recital of the following:
Facts undisputed, admitted, and those which need not be proved subject
to Section 13 of this Rule;
Factual and legal issues to be litigated;
Evidence, including objects and documents, that have been marked and
will be presented;
Names of witnesses who will be presented and their testimonies in the
form of affidavits; and
Schedule of the presentation of evidence.

to appear for the State
take steps to prevent collusion between the parties at any stage of the
proceedings
fabrication or suppression of evidence during the trial on the merits.

Only issues, witnesses and evidence mentioned in the pre-trial order may
be raised by the parties.
The parties shall have five days from receipt of the pre-trial order to
propose corrections or modifications.
Directive to the Public Prosecutor
Section 13. Prohibited compromise
The civil status of persons;
The validity of a marriage or of a legal separation;
Any ground for legal separation;
Future support;
The jurisdiction of courts; and
Future legitime
Section 14. Trial
The presiding judge shall personally conduct the trial of the case.
Delegation of the reception of evidence to a commissioner is not
allowed exception: matters relating to property relations of the
spouses.

The grounds for legal separation must be proved.
No judgment on the pleadings, summary judgment, or confession
of judgment shall be allowed.

Exclusion from the courtroom of all persons

Necessary to enhance the ascertainment of truth
would cause to the party psychological harm
inability to effectively communicate due to embarrassment, fear,
or timidity
would violate the party's right to privacy
or would be offensive to decency
All copy taken or any examination or perusal of the records of the
case or parts thereof be must be made by party or counsel of a party.
Exception: by order of the court.
Section 15. Memoranda
parties and the public prosecutor may be required to file
in support of their claims
within fifteen (15) days from the date the trial is terminated
submitted without leave of court.
After the lapse of the period, the case will be considered submitted for
decision, with or without the memoranda.
Section 16. Decision
GRANT or DENY the petition.
The aggrieved party has condoned the offense or act complained of or has
consented to the commission of the offense or act complained of;
There is connivance in the commission of the offense - or act constituting
the ground for legal separation;
Both parties have given ground for legal separation;
There is collusion between the parties to obtain the decree of legal
separation; or
The action is barred by prescription.
Grounds for denial
If the court renders a decision granting the petition

the Decree of Legal Separation shall be issued by the court only after full
compliance with liquidation under the Family Code.

in the absence of any property of the parties
a Decree of Legal Separation is issued
The Decree shall be registered in the Civil Registry where the marriage
was recorded
and Civil Registry where the Family Court granting the legal separation is
located.
The decision shall likewise declare that:
The spouses are entitled to live separately from each other but the
marriage bond is not severed;
The obligation of mutual support between the spouses ceases; and
The offending spouse is disqualified from inheriting from the innocent
spouse by intestate succession, and provisions in favor of the offending
spouse made in the will of the innocent spouse are revoked by operation of
law.
Notice of Judgment
The parties,
The Solicitor General
The public prosecutor,
personally or by registered
mail.
When Publication Needed
If the respondent summoned by publication failed to appear in the
action, the dispositive part of the decision shall also be published once in
a newspaper of general circulation.
Section 17. Appeal.
Pre-Condition
A motion for reconsideration or new trial filed by the
appellant within fifteen (15) days from notice of judgment.
Notice of Appeal
Filed by the aggrieved party or the Solicitor General
within fifteen (15) days from notice of denial of the motion for
reconsideration or new trial.
The appellant shall serve a copy of the notice of appeal upon the adverse
parties.
Section 18. Liquidation, Partition and Distribution,
Custody, and Support of Minor Children.
When
Upon entry of the judgment granting the petition, or, upon receipt of the
entry of judgment of the appellate court granting the petition:

How
On motion of either party
The Family Court, , shall proceed with the
liquidation,
partition and
distribution of the properties of the spouses,
custody and support of common children,
Section 19. Issuance of Decree of Legal
Separation.
The court shall issue the Decree of Legal Separation after:
registration of the entry of judgment granting the petition for legal
separation in the Civil Registry where the marriage was celebrated and in
the Civil Registry where the Family Court is located; and
registration of the approved partition and distribution of the properties of
the spouses, in the proper Register of Deeds where the real properties are
located.
the court shall quote in the Decree the dispositive portion of the judgment
entered and attach to the Decree the approved deed of partition
Section 20. Registration and Publication of the Decree of
Legal Separation; Decree as Best Evidence.
Registration of decree
The prevailing party shall cause the:
registration of the Decree in the Civil Registry where the marriage was
registered
in the Civil Registry of the place where the Family Court is situated
and in the National Census and Statistics Office.

Report of compliance
The prevailing party shall report to the court compliance with this
requirement within thirty (30) days from the receipt of the copy of the
Decree.
Publication of decree
summons was made by publication
the parties shall cause the publication of the Decree
once in a newspaper of general circulation.

Registered Decree Best evidence
The Registered Decree shall be the best evidence to prove the legal
separation of the parties and shall serve as notice to third persons
concerning the properties of petitioner and respondent.
Section 21. Effect of Death of a Party; Duty of
the Family Court or Appellate Court.
Party dies before the entry of judgment
the court shall order the case closed and terminated
without prejudice to the settlement of estate in a proper proceedings

Party dies after the entry of judgment
the courts decision shall be binding upon the parties and their
successors in interest in the settlement of the estate in the regular courts
Section 22. Petition for Revocation
of Donations
When filed
Within five (5) years from the date the decision granting the petition
for legal separation has become final

Who may file
the innocent spouse may file a petition under oath in the same
proceeding for legal separation to revoke the donations in favor of the
offending spouse.
Must be Recorded
revocation of the donations shall be recorded in the Register of Deeds of
Deeds in the places where the properties are located.

Prior alienations, liens and encumbrances
Alienations, liens, and encumbrances registered in good faith before the
recording of the petition for revocation in the registries of property shall be
respected.

Revocation of designation as beneficiary
After the issuance of the Decree of Legal Separation, the innocent spouse
may revoke the designation of the offending spouse as a beneficiary in any
insurance policy even if such designation be stipulated as irrevocable. The
revocation or change shall take effect upon written notification thereof to the
insurer.
Section 23. Decree of Reconciliation
If the spouses had reconciled
joint manifestation under oath
duly signed by the spouses,
filed in the same proceeding for legal separation.

If the reconciliation occurred during the pendency of the
proceeding
the court shall immediately issue an order terminating the proceeding
If the reconciliation occurred after the rendition of the judgment
granting the petition for legal separation but before the issuance
of the Decree
the spouses shall express in their manifestation whether or not they
agree to revive the former regime of their property relations or choose a
new regime
if the reconciled spouses choose to adopt a regime of property
relations different from that which they had prior to the filing of the
petition for legal separation, the spouses shall comply with Section 24
If the spouses reconciled after the issuance of the Decree
the court shall issue a decree of reconciliation upon proper motion
declaring therein that the Decree is set aside
but the separation of property and any forfeiture of the share of the
guilty spouse already effected subsists
unless the spouses have agreed to revive their former regime of
property relations or adopt a new regime.
if the reconciled spouses choose to adopt a regime of property
relations different from that which they had prior to the filing of the
petition for legal separation, the spouses shall comply with Section 24
Decree of Reconciliation
shall immediately be issued by the court
legal separation proceeding is set aside
specifying the regime of property relations under which the spouses
shall be covered.
shall be recorded in the Civil Registries where the marriage and the
Decree had been registered
Section 24. Revival of Property Regime
or Adoption of Another.
the parties shall file:
a verified motion for revival of regime of property relations or the
adoption of another regime of property relations in the same proceeding
for legal separation
attaching to said motion their agreement for the approval of the
court.
Agreement
shall be verified and shall specify the following:
The properties to be contributed to the restored or new regime;
Those to be retained as separate properties of each spouse;
The names of all their known creditors, their addresses, and the
amounts owing to each.
The creditors
shall be furnished with copies of the motion and the agreement.

Publication requirement
The court shall require the spouses to cause the publication of their
verified motion for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general
circulation.

After due hearing, and the court decides to grant the motion, it
shall:
issue an order directing the parties to record the order in the proper
registries of property
within thirty days from receipt of a copy of the order
submit proof of compliance within the same period
Section 25. Effectivity
March 15,2003 following its publication in a
newspaper of general circulation not later than
March 7, 2003
Relevant Provisions of the Family Code on
Legal Separation
Art. 55. Exclusive Grounds:
1. Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a
common child, or a child of the petitioner
2. Physical violence or moral pressure to compel petitioner to change religious or political
affiliation
3. Attempt of the respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of
the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement
Refers to prostitution only and irrespective of the age of the child
4. Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than 6 years even if
pardoned
5. Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of respondent
6. Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent
7. Contracting by respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage;
8. Sexual infidelity or perversion.
9. Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner
10. Abandonment of the petitioner by the respondent without justifiable cause for more than 1
year
There must be absolute cessation of marital relations, duties, and rights, with the
intention of perpetual separation . Abandonment implies total renunciation of duties.

For purposes of this Article, the term child shall include a child by nature or by adoption.
Art. 56. Grounds for Denial of Petition
1. Condonation of the offense or act complained of. But failure of the husband to look for his
adulterous wife is NOT condonation to wife's adultery
The act of the husband in having sexual intercourse with his wife in spite of his knowledge
of the latters infidelity is an act of implied condonation.
2. Consent to commission of offense or act complained of
3. Connivance between parties of commission of offense or act constituting ground
Connivance is corrupt consenting
4. Collusion between parties
Collusion is corrupt agreement between the spouses to procure divorce or legal
separation
5. Mutual Guilt or where both parties have given ground for legal separation
6. Prescription
An action for legal separation shall be filed within 5 years from time of occurrence of the
cause (Art. 57)
7. Death of either party during the pendency of the case
8. Reconciliation of the spouses during the pendency of the case
By filing in the same proceeding a joint manifestation under oath, duly signed by the
spouses (Art. 65)


Sec. 57. Action for legal separation should be filed within 5 years from the time of the occurrence
of the cause.
Art. 58. Action shall not be tried within six months from filing of petition
CoolingOff Period 6-month period from the filing of the petition designed to give the parties
enough time to further contemplate their positions with the end in view of attaining reconciliation
between them. No action for Legal Separation shall be tried during such period (Art. 58). It is a
mandatory requirement and its non-compliance makes the decision infirm.
Art. 59. No legal separation may be decreed unless the Court has taken steps toward the
reconciliation of the spouses and is fully satisfied, despite such efforts, that reconciliation is
highly improbable.

Art. 60. No decree of legal separation shall be based upon a stipulation of facts or a confession of
judgment.
In any case, the Court shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to
take steps to prevent collusion between the parties and to take care that the evidence is not
fabricated or suppressed.

Art. 61. After the filing of the petition for legal separation, the spouses shall be entitled to live
separately from each other.
The court, in the absence of a written agreement between the spouses, shall
designate either of them or a third person to administer the absolute community or conjugal
partnership property. The administrator appointed by the court shall have the same powers and
duties as those of a guardian under the Rules of Court.
Art. 62. During the pendency of the action for legal separation, the provisions of Article 49 shall
likewise apply to the support of the spouses and the custody and support of the common children.

Art. 63. The decree of legal separation shall have the following effects:
(1) The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, but the marriage bonds shall
not be severed;
(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 accordance with the provisions
of Article 43(2);
(3) The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse, subject to the
provisions of Article 213 of this Code; and
(4) The offending spouse shall be disqualified from inheriting from the innocent spouse by
intestate succession. Moreover, provisions in favor of the offending spouse made in the will of the
innocent spouse shall be revoked by operation of law. (106a)

Art. 64. After the finality of the decree of legal separation, the innocent spouse may revoke the
donations made by him or by her in favor of the offending spouse, as well as the designation of
the latter as beneficiary in any insurance policy, even if such designation be stipulated as
irrevocable. The revocation of the donations shall be recorded in the registries of property in the
places where the properties are located. Alienations, liens and encumbrances registered in good
faith before the recording of the complaint for revocation in the registries of property shall be
respected. The revocation of or change in the designation of the insurance beneficiary shall take
effect upon written notification thereof to the insured.

The action to revoke the donation under this Article must be brought within five years from the
time the decree of legal separation become final. (107a)

Art. 65. If the spouses should reconcile, a corresponding joint manifestation under oath duly
signed by them shall be filed with the court in the same proceeding for legal separation. (n)

Art. 66. The reconciliation referred to in the preceding Articles shall have the following
consequences:
(1) The legal separation proceedings, if still pending, shall thereby be terminated at whatever
stage; and
(2) The final decree of legal separation shall be set aside, but the separation of property and any
forfeiture of the share of the guilty spouse already effected shall subsist, unless the spouses agree
to revive their former property regime.
The court's order containing the foregoing shall be recorded in the proper civil registries. (108a)

Art. 67. The agreement to revive the former property regime referred to in the preceding Article
shall be executed under oath and shall specify:
(1) The properties to be contributed anew to the restored regime;
(2) Those to be retained as separated properties of each spouse; and
(3) The names of all their known creditors, their addresses and the amounts owing to each.


The agreement of revival and the motion for its approval shall be filed
with the court in the same proceeding for legal separation, with copies of both
furnished to the creditors named therein. After due hearing, the court shall, in its
order, take measure to protect the interest of creditors and such order shall be
recorded in the proper registries of properties.
The recording of the ordering in the registries of property shall not
prejudice any creditor not listed or not notified, unless the debtor-spouse has
sufficient separate properties to satisfy the creditor's claim. (195a, 108a)
JURISPRUDENCE
G.R. No. L-13553 February 23, 1960
JOSE DE OCAMPO, petitioner,
vs.
SERAFINA FLORENCIANO, respondent.

Facts: Action for legal separation by Jose de Ocampo against his wife Serafina, on the
ground of adultery. The record shows that a complaint for legal separation was filed. As
amended, it described their marriage performed in 1938, and the commission of
adultery by Serafina in March 1951 with Jose Arcalas, and in June 1955 with Nelson
Orzame.. Because the defendant made no answer, the court defaulted her, and
pursuant to Art. 101 (Old Civil Code), directed the provincial fiscal to investigate
whether or not collusion existed between the parties. The fiscal examined the
defendant under oath, and then reported to the Court that there was no collusion.
When questioned by the Fiscal upon orders of the court, she reiterated her
conformity to the legal separation even as she admitted having had sexual
relations with Nelson Orzame. The plaintiff presented his evidence consisting of the
testimony of witnesses.
Appellate Court declared that under Art. 101, legal separation could not be decreed.
ART. 101.No decree of legal separation shall be promulgated upon a stipulation of facts or by
confession of judgment.xxx

Issue: Whether filing of petition for legal separation has already prescribed; and
Whether legal separation could not be decreed by reason of Art. 101.




Ruling: 1) Sc affirmed CAs decision which held that the husband's right to legal
separation on account of the defendant's adultery with Jose Arcalas had prescribed,
because his action was not filed within one year from March 1951 when plaintiff
discovered her infidelity.

2) The article 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 plaintiff's demand.
Yet, even supposing that the above statement of defendant constituted
practically a confession of judgment, inasmuch as there is evidence of the
adultery independently 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
defendant's confession. If a confession defeats the actionipso facto, any defendant
who opposes the separation will immediately confess judgment, purposely to prevent
it.
G.R. No. L-10033 December 28, 1956
BENJAMIN BUGAYONG, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
LEONILA GINEZ, defendant-appellee.

Facts: Benjamin Bugayong was married to Leonila Ginez. Immediately after
their marriage, the couple lived with their sisters. After sometime, Leonila
left the dwelling of her sister-in-law and informed her husband by letter that she had
gone to reside with her mother in Pangasinan, from which place she later moved to
Dagupan City to study in a local college there. Bugayong then received letters from
his sister-in-law and other persons informing him of infidelity of his wife. He went to
Pangasinan and sought for his wife. They lived as husband and wife for 2 nights and
1 day at a relatives house. Then they repaired to the plaintiff's house and again
passed the night therein as husband and wife. On the second day, Benjamin
Bugayong tried to verify from his wife the truth of the information he received that
she had committed adultery but Leonila, instead of answering his query, merely
packed up and left, which he took as a confirmation of the acts of infidelity imputed
on her. After that and despite such belief, plaintiff exerted efforts to locate her and
failing to find her.
He filed in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan a complaint for legal
separation against his wife, Leonila Ginez, who timely filed an answer vehemently
denying the averments of the complaint and setting up affirmative defenses.
The lower court dismissed the petition on the ground of condonation.

Issue: Whether there was condonation to warrant dismissal of the petition.

Ruling: Condonation is the forgiveness of a marital offense constituting a ground for
legal separation or, as stated in I Bouver's Law Dictionary, p. 585, condonation is the
"conditional forgiveness or remission, by a husband or wife of a matrimonial
offense which the latter has committed".
A detailed examination of the testimony of the plaintiff-husband clearly shows that
there was a condonation on the part of the husband for the supposed "acts of rank
infidelity amounting to adultery" committed by defendant-wife. Admitting for the sake
of argument that the infidelities amounting to adultery were committed by the
defendant, a reconciliation was effected between her and the plaintiff. The act of the
latter in persuading her to come along with him, and the fact that she went with him
and consented to be brought to the house of his cousin Pedro Bugayong and together
they slept there as husband and wife for one day and one night, and the further fact
that in the second night they again slept together in their house likewise as husband
and wife all these facts have no other meaning in the opinion of this court than that
a reconciliation between them was effected and that there was a condonation of the
wife by the husband. The reconciliation occurred almost ten months after he came to
know of the acts of infidelity amounting to adultery.