No. 62 G.R. No. 119190 January 16, 1997 CHI MING TSOI

Who is to blame when marriage fails

Man has not invented a reliable compass by which to steer a marriage in its journey over troubled waters. Laws are seemingly inadequate. Over time, much reliance has been placed in the works of the unseen hand of Him who created all things.

CHI MING TSOI, petitioner,

Ms. GINA LAO-TSOI, the respondent and MR. CHI MING TSOI, Petitioner got married on mayb22, 1988 at the Manila Cathedral, Intramuros, Manila followed by a reception in South Villa, Makati. On their wedding night they went to their room with a single bed. Mr. Tsoi went to bed, turned his back on his wife and slept the whole night. The same thing happened on the 2nd to the 4th night and even a week passed the couple never consumated their marriage.
In an effort to have their honeymoon in a private place, they went to Baguio for four days, but Gina’s family was invited by Mr. TSOI. During this period no sexual intercourse happened, since the wife claims that Mr Tsoi avoided her by taking long walks during siesta time or opts to sleep on a rocking chair located at the living room.
Since May 22, 1988 until march 15, 1989 the couple slept together in one room, and no attempt of sexual intercourse happened between them.
On January 20 1989, the couole submitted themselves for medical examinations to Dr. Eufemio Macalalag, a urologist at the Chinese General Hospital.
The results of their physical examinations were that she is healthy, normal and still a virgin, while that of her husband’s examination was kept confidential up to this time. The doctor prescribed medications for her husband which was also kept confidential and he was asked by the doctor to return but he never did.

Allegations from Ms. GINA claimed that her husband is impotent and a closet homosexual and that the reason why Chi Ming Tsoi married her is to maintain his residency status in the country and his public appearance as a normal man.
Gina does not want to reconcile with Chi Ming Tsoi and want their marriage declared void on the ground of psychological incapacity.
On the other hand, the Mr. TSOI does not want to have their marriage annulled because he loves her very much, he has no defect on his part and is physically and psychologically capable and since their relationship is still young, they can still overcome their differences. He claims that if their marriage shall be annulled by reason of psychological incapacity, the fault lies with Gina.
Mr. Chi Ming Tsoi admitted that since marriage to Gina there was no sexual contact between them, according to him it was for the reason that everytime he attempts a sexual intercourse with his wife, she always avoided him.

Chi Ming Tsoi submitted himself to another physical examination and the result showed that there is no evidence of impotency and he is capable of erection.

ISSUE:Whether Chi Ming Tsoi’s refusal to have sexual intercourse with his wife constitutes psychological incapacity.


In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that refusal of one party to consummate the marriage is a sign of psychological incapacity and hence, a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage. Indeed, the Supreme Court declared the marriage between Chi Ming Tsoi and his wife as null and void. Since it was proven that Chi Ming Tsoi was not impotent, it was clear that he simply refused to have sex with his wife. Thus, according the Supreme Court:

If a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her essential marriage obligations, and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic marriage tribunals attribute the causes to psychological incapacity than to stubborn refusal. Senseless and protracted refusal is equivalent to psychological incapacity. Thus, the prolonged refusal of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his or her spouse is considered a sign of psychological incapacity.

Evidently, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is ‘to procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of children through sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage.’ Constant non- fulfillment of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage. In the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill the above marital obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.”

In its final statements, Justice Torres stated:

While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, the sanction therefor is actually the ‘spontaneous, mutual affection between husband and wife and not any legal mandate or court order’. Love is useless unless it is shared with another. Indeed, no man is an island, the cruelest act of a partner in marriage is to say ‘I could not have cared less.’ This is so because an ungiven self is an unfulfilled self. The egoist has nothing but himself. In the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a participation in the mystery of creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations.”


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