Civil Law

Joel Jimenez vs Remedios Cañizares

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G.R. No. L-12790 – 109 Phil 273 – Civil Law – Persons and Family Relations – Grounds for Annulment of Marriage – Impotency

Joel Jimenez and Remedios Cañizares are husband and wife. Joel later filed for annulment on grounds that Remedios is impotent because her genitals were too small for copulation and such was already existing at the time of the marriage. Remedios was summoned to answer the complaint of Joel but she refused to do so. It was found that there was no collusion between the parties notwithstanding the non-cooperation of Remedios in the case. Remedios was ordered to have herself be submitted to an expert to determine if her genitals are indeed too small for copulation. Remedios again refused to do as ordered. The trial was heard solely on Joel’s complaint. The marriage was later annulled.

ISSUE: Whether or not Remedios’ impotency has been established.

HELD: No. In the case at bar, the annulment of the marriage in question was decreed upon the sole testimony of Joel who was expected to give testimony tending or aiming at securing the annulment of his marriage he sought and seeks. Whether Remedios is really impotent cannot be deemed to have been satisfactorily established, because from the commencement of the proceedings until the entry of the decree she had abstained from taking part therein. Although her refusal to be examined or failure to appear in court show indifference on her part, yet from such attitude the presumption arising out of the suppression of evidence could not arise or be inferred, because women of this country are by nature coy, bashful, and shy and would not submit to a physical examination unless compelled to by competent authority. Impotency being an abnormal condition should not be presumed. The presumption is in favor of potency. The lone testimony of Joel that his wife is physically incapable of sexual intercourse is insufficient to tear asunder the ties that have bound them together as husband and wife.

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