Thursday, March 01, 2012

Figueroa vs. Barranco

Facts: Figueroa and Barranco were sweethearts since their teens. Their intimacy eventually resulted to a son born out of wedlock. At this point (1964) Barranco promised Figueroa that he would marry her when he passes the bar examinations. After four takes, he finally passed but did not hold true to his promise of marriage. In 1971, their relationship ended. Years later, he married another woman. When Barranco was about to take his oath to enter the legal profession, Figueroa filed a complaint relaying to the court what happened between her and Barranco. Until 1988, Barranco has filed three motions to dismiss because Figueroa still would not persecute and because for the past years, he has become elected in the Sangguniang Bayan, has actively participated in various civic organizations and has acquired a good standing within his community while the case was pending. The court sought the opinion of the IBP which recommended that Barranco be allowed to take his oath. Figueroa reappeared and intercepted the scheduled oath-taking of Barranco which led to its delay. 

Issue: Whether or not Barranco should be allowed to take his oath despite the accusations of Figueroa. 

Held: Yes. The maintenance of an intimate relationship between a man and a woman, both of whom had no impediment to marry and voluntarily carried on with the affair, does not amount to a grossly immoral conduct even if a child was born out of the relationship. His previous acts may be said to be a question to his moral character but none of these are “so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to a high degree.” Her allegations that she was forced to have sexual relations with him cannot lie as evidenced by her continued cohabitation with him even after their child was born in 1964. The ignobleness of his treatment of Figueroa is sufficiently punished by the 26 years that he has been prevented from entering the profession he has worked so hard for.

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