Actress Amy Perez’s and singer Brix Ferraris’ marriage cannot be annulled on the ground of psychological incapacity.
Thus said the Supreme Court as it denied with finality Perez’s motion for reconsideration of the Court’s June 9, 2004 resolution denying the petition for certiorari she had filed assailing the rulings of the Court of Appeals and the Pasig City Regional Trial Court, Branch 151. The CA had affirmed in toto the trial court’s judgment denying Perez’s petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage with Ferraris’ for the latter’s alleged psychological incapacity.
In an eight-page decision penned by Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, the Court’s First Division said that Perez (Ma. Armida Perez-Ferraris in real life) failed to sufficiently show that the CA committed any reversible error in arriving at the questioned rulings.
The Court found that respondent’s alleged mixed personality disorder, the ‘leaving-the-house’ attitude whenever they quarreled, the violent tendencies during epileptic attacks, the sexual infidelity, the abandonment and lack of support, and his preference to spend more time with his band mates than his family were not rooted on some debilitating psychological condition but a mere refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage.
“While petitioner’s marriage with the respondent failed and appears to be without hope of reconciliation, the remedy however is not always to have it declared void ab initio on the ground of psychological incapacity. An unsatisfactory marriage, however, is not a null and void marriage,” the Court said.
In 2001, the RTC denied Perez’s petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage. It noted, among others, that suffering from epilepsy does not amount to psychological incapacity under Art. 36 of the Civil Code and that the evidence on record were insufficient to prove infidelity. Subsequently, the RTC denied Perez’s motion for reconsideration as it reiterated that there was no evidence that respondent Ferraris is mentally or physically ill.
On appeal, the CA held that the evidence on record did not convincingly establish that Brix was suffering from psychological incapacity or that his ‘defects’ were incurable and already present at the inception of the marriage.
Concurring were Division Chairman Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban and Justices Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez, Romeo J. Callejo, Sr., and Minita V. Chico-Nazario. (GR No. 162368, Perez-Ferraris v. Ferraris
, July 17, 2006)