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Case Digest and Case Analysis

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Case Digest and Case Analysis
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  FACTS: Chi MinTsoi and Gina Lao-Tsoi were married for 10 months. But still their marriage was not consummated because the husband refuses to have sexual intercourse with his spouse. Even if she already made efforts, they still failed to consummate their marriage by performing coitus. The spouses decided to undergo a medical check up to see if there was something wrong with them. The Doctor found out that there was nothing wrong with their organs and that the man was not impotent. ISSUE: Whether or not the refusal of private respondent to have sexual communion with petitioner is psychological incapacity, which may be a ground for annulment, in the light of Article 36 of the Family Code. HELD: The issue of whether or not the appellant is psychologically incapacitated to discharge a basic marital obligation was resolved upon a review of both the documentary and testimonial evidence on record. Appellant admitted that he did not have sexual relations with his wife after almost ten months of cohabitation, and it appears that he is not suffering from any physical disability. Such abnormal reluctance or unwillingness to consummate his marriage is strongly indicative of a serious personality disorder which to the mind of this Court clearly demonstrates an „utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage‟ within the meaning of Article 36 of the Family Code (See Santos vs. Court of Appeals) REASONING: 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.  There are two companion cases to be discussed, both dealing with annulment albeit with different outcomes. Considering the nature of the subject matter, one gets to wonder again how these cases reached the Supreme Court, to be part of the public record for all to see.   Chi Ming Tsoi vs. CA    In Chi Ming Tsoi vs. CA, et al.(G.R. No. 119190, January 16, 1997), “a distraught wife” filed for annulment o f marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity “against her uncaring husband.” The Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals ruled in her favor.   The parties were married in the Manila Cathedral. From the results of the case, the venue of a marriage, no matter how grand, does not necessarily augur well for a long union. After the reception, they proceeded to the house of the husband’s mother. She alleged that during their first night, “the defendant just went to bed, slept on one side thereof, then turned his back and went to sleep. There was no sexual intercourse between them during the first night. The same thing happened on the second, third and fourth nights.”   Even during their honeymoon in Baguio, “there was no sexual intercourse between them, since the defendant avoided her by taking a long walk during siesta time or by just sleeping on a rocking chair located at the living room. They slept together in the same room and on the same bed since May 22, 1988 until March 15, 1989. But during this period, there was no attempt of sexual intercourse between them. *S+he claims, that she did not: even see her husband's private parts nor did he see hers.”   This even led t o them to get medical examinations from a urologist. She was found to “healthy, normal and still a virgin, while that of her husband's examination was kept confidential up to this time. While no medicine was prescribed for her, the doctor prescribed medications for her husband which was also kept confidential. No treatment was given to her. For her husband, he was asked by the doctor to return but he never did.”   In her suit, the wife claims “that the defendant is impotent, a closet homosexual as he did not  show his penis. She said, that she had observed the defendant using an eyebrow pencil and sometimes the cleansing cream of his mother. And that, according to her, the defendant married her, a Filipino citizen,  to acquire or maintain his residency status here in the country and to publicly maintain the appearance of a normal man.”   Defendant pointed to his wife as the one psychologically incapacitated. But he opposed the annulment since he still loves her, that he is capable and that they could still reconcile. Any defect can still be cured. He did admit that there has been no sexual contact between them but this was because of her refusal. He alleges that the case was filed because “she is afraid that she will be forced to return the pieces of  jewelry of his mother and because of her fear of consummation. This certainly is a novel defense which was presented by the defendant.   However, a physical examination to determine whether he is impotent revealed the following: (i) “from the srcinal size of two (2) inches, or five (5) centimeters, the penis of the defendant lengthened by one (1) inch and one centimeter and (ii) “defendant had only a soft erection which is why his penis is not in its full length xxx, still is capable of further erection, in that with his soft erection, the defendant is capable of having sexual intercourse with a woman.”   Defendant went to the Supreme Court. He contended that his spouse had the “burden of proving the allegations in her complaint.” And that since there is no independent evidence of the “alleged non - coitus between the parties,” there was no other basis other than his admission for the court’s conclusions. The Court held that the judgment made was not merely based on the pleadings. When the plaintiff testified under oath and was subjected to cross-examination, she presented evidence in the form of testimony. It was now incumbent on the defendant to present his side. He admitted that they did not have intercourse since their marriage until their separation.   In affirming the de cision of the Court of Appeals, the court quoted with favor the former’s findings, to wit:   “The judgment of the trial court which was affirmed by this Court is not based on a stipulation of facts. The issue of whether or not the appellant is psychologically incapacitated to discharge a basic marital obligation was resolved upon a review of both the documentary and testimonial evidence on record. Appellant admitted that he did not have sexual relations with his wife after almost ten months of cohabitation, and it appears that he is not suffering from any physical disability. Such abnormal reluctance or unwillingness to consummate his marriage is strongly indicative of a serious personality  disorder which to the mind of this Court clearly demonstrates an 'utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage' within the meaning of Article 36 of the Family Code (See Santos vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 112019, January 4, 1995).   Defendant further argued that “alleged refusal of both  the petitioner and the private respondent to have sex with each other constitutes psychological incapacity of both”  and that there may be other reasons such as “i.e., physical disorders, such as aches, pains or other discomforts” on why the marriage was not consummated. The trial court did not make a finding on who refused contact. But the fact remains that here has been no coitus. And since an annulment can be filed by either party, even the one “psychologically incapacitated, the question of who refus es to have sex with the other becomes immaterial.”   There is nothing on record to show whether defendant “tried to find out or discover what the problem with his wife could be.” All he showed was supposed medical proof there is “no evidence of his impotenc y and he is capable of erection.”   His claim that the “reason is not psychological but perhaps physical disorder on the part of private respondent” was his to prove. As held by the Court:   “If a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to per form 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.”   One of the ““essential marital obligations under the Family Code is *t+o procreate children based o n 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.”  It is interesting to note how the Court cited with approval a finding of the trial court that a husband should assert his right to consummate:   “An examination of the evidence convinces Us that the husband's plea that the wife did not want carnal intercourse with him does not inspire belief. Since he was not physically impotent, but he refrained from sexual intercourse during the entire time (from May 22, 1988 to March 15, 1989) that he occupied the
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