Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ty vs. CA [GR No. 127406, November 27, 2000]

Facts: Private respondent, Edgardo Reyes, was married with Anna Villanueva in a civil ceremony in March 1977 in Manila and subsequently had a church wedding in August 1977. Both weddings were declared null and void ab initio for lack of marriage license and consent of the parties. Even before the decree nullifying the marriage was issued, Reyes wed Ofelia Ty herein petitioner on April 1979 and had their church wedding in Makati on April 1982. The decree was only issued in August 1980. In January 1991, Reyes filed with RTC a complaint to have his marriage with petitioner be declared null and void. AC ruled that a judicial declaration of nullity of the prior marriage with Anna must first be secured before a subsequent marriage could be validly contracted. However, SC found that the provisions of the Family Code cannot be retroactively applied to the present case for doing so would prejudice the vested rights of the petitioner and of her children. 

Issue: Whether or not damages should be awarded to Ofelia Ty. 

Held: SC is in the opinion of the lower courts that no damages should be awarded to the wife who sought damages against the husband for filing a baseless complaint causing her mental anguish, anxiety, besmirched reputation, social humiliation and alienation from her parents. Aside from the fact, that petitioner wants her marriage to private respondent held valid and subsisting. She is likewise suing to maintain her status as legitimate wife. To grant her petition for damages would result to a situation where the husband pays the wife damages from conjugal or common funds. To do so, would make the application of the law absurd. Moreover, Philippine laws do not comprehend an action for damages between husband and wife merely because of breach of a marital obligation. 

Hence, the petition was granted. Marriage between Ty and Reyes is declared valid and subsisting and the award of the amount of P15,000 is ratified and maintained as monthly support to their 2 children for as long as they are of minor age or otherwise legally entitled thereto.

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