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G.R. No. 214064, February 06, 2017


As their parents were good friends and business partners, Mirasol and Felipe started as friends then, eventually, became sweethearts. During their courtship, Mirasol discovered that Felipe sustained his affair with his former girlfriend. The couple's relationship turned tumultuous after the revelation. With the intervention of their parents, they reconciled. They got marriedand were blessed with two (2) children.
On June 6, 2011, Mirasol filed a Complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage before the RTC.
Alleged that at the beginning , their union was harmonious prompting her to believe that the same was made in heaven. However, after thirteen (13) years of marriage, Felipe resumed philandering. Their relatives and friends saw him with different women. One time, she has just arrived from a trip and returned home to surprise her family. But to her consternation, she caught him in a compromising act with another woman. He did not bother to explain or apologize. Tired of her husband's infidelity, she left the conjugal dwelling and stopped any communication with him.Felipe's irresponsible acts like cohabiting with another woman, not communicating with her, and not supporting their children for a period of not less than ten (10) years without any reason, constitute a severe psychological disorder.

In support of her case, Mirasol presented clinical psychologist Sheila Marie Montefalconwho, in her Psychological Evaluation Report,concluded that Felipe is psychologically incapacitated to fulfill the essential marital obligations.
the RTC declared the marriage between Mirasol and Felipe null and void.
(OSG), filed a motion for reconsideration, which the RTC denied in an Order.
On appeal, the CA reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC.

Whether or not Sexual infidelity, per se, is sufficient proof that petitioner is suffering from psychological incapacity.


The Court rules in the negative.
it was held that "psychological incapacity" has been intended by law to be confined to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.[16]Psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravityi.e., it must be grave and serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in a marriage, (b) juridical antecedencei.e., it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage, and (c) incurabilityi.e., it must be incurable, or even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved.
Irreconcilable differences, sexual infidelity or perversion, emotional immaturity and irresponsibility and the like, do not by themselves warrant a finding of psychological incapacity under Article 36, as the same may only be due to a person's refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage.[33] In order for sexual infidelity to constitute as psychological incapacity, the respondent's unfaithfulness must be established as a manifestation of a disordered personality, completely preventing the respondent from discharging the essential obligations of the marital state; there must be proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor that effectively incapacitated him from complying with the obligation to be faithful to his spouse.It is indispensable that the evidence must show a link, medical or the like, between the acts that manifest psychological incapacity and the psychological disorder itself.

As discussed, the findings on Felipe's personality profile did not emanate from a personal interview with the subject himself. Apart from the psychologist's opinion and petitioner's allegations, no other reliable evidence was cited to prove that Felipe's sexual infidelity was a manifestation of his alleged personality disorder, which is grave, deeply rooted, and incurable. We are not persuaded that the natal or supervening disabling factor which effectively incapacitated him from complying with his obligation to be faithful to his wife was medically or clinically established.

Basic is the rule that bare allegations, unsubstantiated by evidence, are not equivalent to proof, i.e., mere allegations are not evidence.Based on the records, this Court finds that there exists insufficient factual or legal basis to conclude that Felipe's sexual infidelity and irresponsibility can be equated with psychological incapacity as contemplated by law. We reiterate that there was no other evidence adduced. Aside from the psychologist, petitioner did not present other witnesses to substantiate her allegations on Felipe's infidelity notwithstanding the fact that she claimed that their relatives saw him with other women. Her testimony, therefore, is considered self-serving and had no serious evidentiary value.

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