[G.R. No. 143376. November 26, 2002]
LENI O. CHOA, petitioner, vs. ALFONSO C. CHOA, respondent.
Facts of the case:
Petitioner and respondent were married on March 15, 1981. Out of this union, two children were born, Cheryl Lynne and Albryan. On October 27, 1993, respondent filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Negros Occidental, Branch 51, a Complaint for the annulment of his marriage to petitioner. Afterwards he filed an Amended Complaint dated November 8, 1993 for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to petitioner based on her alleged psychological incapacity.
Alfonso claimed that Leni charged him with perjury, concubinage and deportation which shows latter’s psychological incapacity because according to him it clearly showed that his wife not only wanted him behind bars but also to banish outside the country. He contends that this is very abnormal for a wife who, instead of protecting the name and integrity of her husband as the father of her children, had acted to the contrary
The case went to trial with respondent presenting his evidence in chief and submitted his Formal Offer of Exhibits. Instead of offering any objection to it, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss (Demurrer to Evidence). The lower court then allowed a number of pleadings to be filed thereafter.
Finally, the RTC issued its December 2, 1998 Order denying petitioners Demurrer to Evidence. It held that Mr. Choa established a quantum of evidence that Ms. Choa must only controvert. Her Motion for Reconsideration was denied and so the petitioner elevated the case to the CA by way of a Petition for Certiorari.
1. Whether or not Alfonso Choa presented quantum evidence for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with Leni on the ground of psychological incapacity
1. The court held that documents presented by Alfonso during the trial of the case do not in any way show the alleged psychological incapacity of his wife. The evidence was insufficient and shows grave abuse of discretion bordering on absurdity. Alfonso testified and complained about three aspects of Leni’s personality namely lack of attention to children, immaturity, and lack of an intention of procreative sexuality and none of these three, individually or collectively constitutes psychological incapacity.
In Santos v. CA, it clearly explained that psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence and (c) incurability.
Also in Republic v. Molina, the court ruled that the psychological incapacity must be more than just a difficulty, a refusal or a neglect in the performance of some marital obligations. A mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise constitutes psychological incapacity.
In this case the evidence presented by the respondent only shows that he and his wife could not get along with each other. There was absolutely no showing of the gravity or juridical antecedence or incurability of the problems besetting their marital union.
The court inn re affirming Molina, states that Psychological incapacity must be shown as downright incapacity or inability, not a refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less ill will. In other words, there should be a natal or supervening disabling factor in the person, an adverse integral element in the personality structure that effectively incapacitates the person from really accepting and thereby complying with the obligations essential to marriage
And in the respondents claim that the petitioner lack the intention of procreative sexuality since their union produced two children.
Furthermore, the testimony of the supposed expert failed to identify and prove the root cause of the alleged psychological incapacity. It just established that the spouses are incompatible and that it can be alleviated through psychotherapy. The totality of evidence presented was completely insufficient to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity.