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Marieta C. Azcueta vs.

Republic of the Philippines and Court of


Appeals
G.R. 180668
May 26, 2009
Ponente: LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J

FACTS: Petitioner Marietta Azcueta and Rodolfo Azcueta met in 1993. Less than two
months after their first meeting, they got married. After four years of marriage,
Marietta decided to leave Rodolfo. Marietta complained that despite her
encouragement, Rodolfo never bothered to look for a job and always depended on
his mother for financial assistance and for his decisions. In fact it was Rodolfos
mother who found them a room near the Azcueta home and paid the monthly
rental. She also averred that Rodolfo also pretended to have found work and gave
Marietta money which actually came from Rodolfos mother. When Marietta
confronted him, Rodolfo cried like a child and told her his parents could support
their needs. They had sex only once a month which Marietta never enjoyed. When
they discussed this, Rodolfo told Marietta that sex was sacred and should not be
enjoyed or abused. Rodolfo also told her he was not ready for a child. In 2002,
Marietta filed a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of her marriage to Rodolfo.
Marietta averred that Rodolfo was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the
essential obligations of marriage. Marieta presented as expert witness Dr. Cecilia
Villegas. Villegas did not personally evaluate Rodolfo but based on her interview
with Marieta, she concluded that Rodolfo is inflicted with Dependent Personality
Disorder (mamas boy) as he was too dependent on his mother so much so that he
cannot decide for himself. The RTC ruled in favor of Marietta but on appeal, the
Court of Appeals reversed the RTCs decision.
ISSUE: Whether or not the totality of the evidence presented is adequate to sustain
a finding that Rodolfo is psychologically incapacitated to comply with his essential
marital obligations.

HELD: After a thorough review of the records of the case, the SC held that there
was sufficient compliance with Molina to warrant the annulment of the parties
marriage under Article 36.

First, petitioner successfully discharged her burden to prove the psychological


incapacity of her husband.
In Marcos v. Marcos, it was held that there is no requirement that the
defendant/respondent spouse should be personally examined by a physician or
psychologist as a condition sine qua non for the declaration of nullity of marriage
based on psychological incapacity. What matters is whether the totality of evidence
presented is adequate to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity.
Second, the root cause of Rodolfos psychological incapacity has been medically or
clinically identified, alleged in the petition, sufficiently proven by expert testimony,
and clearly explained in the trial courts decision.
Third, Rodolfos psychological incapacity was established to have clearly existed at
the time of and even before the celebration of marriage. Contrary to the CAs
finding that the parties lived harmoniously and independently in the first few years
of marriage, witnesses were united in testifying that from inception of the marriage,
Rodolfos irresponsibility, overdependence on his mother and abnormal sexual
reticence were already evident
Fourth, Rodolfos psychological incapacity has been shown to be sufficiently grave,
so as to render him unable to assume the essential obligations of marriage.
Fifth, Rodolfo is evidently unable to comply with the essential marital obligations
embodied in Articles 68 to 71 of the Family Code. As noted by the trial court, as a
result of Rodolfos dependent personality disorder, he cannot make his own
decisions and cannot fulfill his responsibilities as a husband. Rodolfo plainly failed to
fulfill the marital obligations to live together, observe mutual love, respect, support
under Article 68. Indeed, one who is unable to support himself, much less a wife;
one who cannot independently make decisions regarding even the most basic and
ordinary matters that spouses face everyday; one who cannot contribute to the
material, physical and emotional well-being of his spouse is psychologically
incapacitated to comply with the marital obligations within the meaning of Article
36.
Sixth, the incurability of Rodolfos condition which has been deeply ingrained in his
system since his early years was supported by evidence and duly explained by the
expert witness.
In all, the SC agrees with the trial court that the declaration of nullity of the parties
marriage pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Code is proper under the premises.