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ILUSORIO v.

BILDNER (GR No 139789)


12 MAY 2000 | PARDO, J.
Obligation to live with the other spouse

DOCTRINE: No court is empowered as a judicial authority to compel a husband to live with his wife for private reasons, he
is at liberty to do so without threat of any penalty attached to the exercise of right.
CASE SUMMARY: Atty. Potenciano Ilusorio refused to live with his wife, Erlinda Ilusorio for personal reasons. One day,
after a meeting, he did not come to their home in Antipolo City and instead lived in a condominium in Makati. The petitioner
was barred from visiting her husband so she files a petition for habeas corpus.

FACTS:
1. 11 JUL 1942, ERLINDA KALAW, petitioner, and Atty. Potenciano Ilusorio, contracted marriage. They had 6 children,
namely, Ramon Ilusorio, ERLINDA ILUSORIO-BILDNER, Maximo Ilusorio, Sylvia Ilusorio, Marietta Ilusorio, &
Shereen Ilusorio. The spouses lived together for 30 years.
2. 1972, the spouses separated from bed and board (separated legally) for undisclosed reasons. Potenciano then
lived in a condominium in Urdaneta, Makati, when he is in Manila and at Ilusorio Penthouse, Baguio Country Club,
when he’s in Baguio City. On the other hand, ERLINDA lived in a house in Antipolo City.
3. 30 DEC 1997, upon Potenciano’s return from the US, he stayed with ERLINDA for 5 months in Antipolo City.
 Their daughters, Sylvia and Erlinda(Lin), alleged that during this time, their mother gave Potenciano an
overdose of 200 mg instead of 100 mg Zoloft an anti-depressant drug prescribed by his doctor in New York, US.,
which in turn effected his health deterioration.
4. 25 FEB 1998, ERLINDA filed with the RTC-Antipolo, a petition for guardianship over the person and property of
Potenciano due to his old age, frail health, poor eye-sight, and impaired judgment.
5. 31 MAY 1998, after attending a meeting in Baguio, Potenciano did not return to Antipolo and instead lived at
Cleveland Condominium, Makati.
6. 11 MAR 1999, ERLINDA filed a petition before the CA for writ of habeas corpus to have the custody of Potenciano
alleging that the respondents refused petitioner’s demands to see and visit her husband and barred Potenciano from
returning to Antipolo.
7. 5 APR 1999, after due hearing, DENIED the petition for writ of habeas corpus for lack of unlawful restraint or
detention but GRANTED visitation rights to ERLINDA.
8. 11 OCT 1999, filed an appeal via certiorari, asserting that he never refused to see her.

ISSUE: W/N the wife, ERLINDA ILUSORIO, may secure a writ of habeas corpus to compel Potenciano to live with her, NO

HELD:
1. The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus caters only to involuntary and or illegal restraint.
2. According to the evidence, there was no actual and effective detention or deprivation of Potenciano’s liberty that would
justify the issuance of the writ.
a. The fact that Potenciano is about 86 years of age or under medication does not necessarily render him mentally
incapacitated – soundness of mind does not hinge on age or medical condition but on the capacity of the individual
to discern his actions. Potenciano was of sound and alert mind having answered all relevant questions
asked by the court hence, he posses the capacity to make choices. He also made it clear that he was
not prevented from leaving his house or seeing people.
3. The CA,
a. Exceeded its authority when it awarded visitation rights in a petition for habeas corpus where ERLINDA never
even prayed for such right. The ruling is not consistent with the finding of subject’s insanity.
b. Missed the fact that the case did not involve the right of a parent to visit a minor child but the right of a wife to
visit a husband. In case the husband refuses to see his wife for private reasons, he is at liberty to do
so without the threat of any penalty attached to the exercise of his right.
4. With his full mental capacity coupled with the right of choice, Potentciano may not be the subject of visitation rights
against his free choice because such shall deprive him of his right to privacy.

DISPOSITION: Petition for writ of Habeas Corpus DISMISSED for lack of merit.