GR No. 119190
16 January 1997
On 22 May 1988, Chi Ming Tsoi and Gina Lao got married. Although they slept in the same bed since May 22, 1988 until March 15, 1989, no sexual intercourse took place. They submitted themselves for medical examinations due to this matter where she was found healthy, normal and still a virgin. Her husband’s examination was kept confidential but he was given medication.
The Gina claims, that the defendant is impotent, a closet homosexual, and that 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.
Chi Ming Tsoi on the other hand claims that should the marriage be annulled, it is his wife’s fault. But he does not want the marriage to be annulled because:
(1) that he loves her very much;
(2) that he has no defect on his part and he is physically and psychologically capable; and,
(3) since the relationship is still very young and if there is any differences between the two of them, it can still be reconciled.
He submitted himself to a physical examination where his penis was examined for the purpose of finding out whether he is impotent. The doctor (Dr. Sergio Alteza, Jr.) submitted his report where it stated that there is no evidence of impotency, and he is capable of erection.
The doctor said, that he asked the defendant to masturbate to find out whether or not he has an erection and he found out that from the original size of 2 inches, or 5 centimeters, the penis of the defendant lengthened by 1 inch and 1 centimeter. The doctor said, that the defendant had only a soft erection which is why his penis is not in its full length. But, still is capable of further erection, in that with his soft erection, the defendant is capable of having sexual intercourse with a woman.
He admitted that they have not had intercourse since their marriage until their separation because his wife avoided him. He added that his wife filed this case against him because she is afraid that she will be forced to return the pieces of jewelry of his mother, and, that the husband, will consummate their marriage.
The trial court declared the marriage void. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision.
Whether petitioner is psychologically incapacitated?
Yes. Senseless and protracted refusal to consummate the marriage is equivalent to psychological incapacity.
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 the 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.
While petitioner contends that the court erred in holding that the alleged refusal of spouses to have sex with each other constitutes psychological incapacity of both, neither the trial court nor the respondent court made a finding on who between petitioner and private respondent refuses to have sexual contact with the other. But the fact remains that there has never been coitus between them. At any rate, since the action to declare the marriage void may be filed by either party, the question of who refuses to have sex with the other becomes immaterial.
One of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is “to procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of children through sexual cooperation is the basic end of 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.