Add TAGS to your cases to easily locate them or to build your SYLLABUS.
Please SIGN IN to use this feature.
https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/ca359?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09
[FRANCISCO L. GONZALES v. ERMINDA F. GONZALES](https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/ca359?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
{case:ca359}
Highlight text as FACTS, ISSUES, RULING, PRINCIPLES to generate case DIGESTS and REVIEWERS.
Please LOGIN use this feature.
Show opinions
Show printable version with highlights
514 Phil. 517

THIRD DIVISION

[ G.R. NO. 159521, December 16, 2005 ]

FRANCISCO L. GONZALES, PETITIONER, VS. ERMINDA F. GONZALES, RESPONDENTS.

D E C I S I O N

SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:

This petition for review on certiorari seeks the reversal of the Decision dated April 2, 2003 and Resolution dated August 8, 2003, both issued by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 66041, entitled, "Erminda F. Gonzales, plaintiff-appellee versus Francisco L. Gonzales, defendant-appellant."

In March 1977, Francisco Gonzales, petitioner, and Erminda Gonzales, respondent, started living as husband and wife. After two (2) years, or on February 4, 1979, they got married. From this union, four (4) children were born, namely: Carlo Manuel, Maria Andres, Maria Angelica and Marco Manuel.

On October 29, 1992, respondent filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 143, Makati City, for annulment of marriage with prayer for support pendente lite, docketed as Civil Case No. 32-31111. The complaint alleges that petitioner is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the obligations of marriage. He beats her for no justifiable reason, humiliates and embarrasses her, and denies her love, sexual comfort and loyalty. During the time they lived together, they acquired properties. She managed their pizza business and worked hard for its development. She prays for the declaration of the nullity of their marriage and for the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains.

In his answer to the complaint, petitioner averred that it is respondent who is psychologically incapacitated. He denied that she was the one who managed the pizza business and claimed that he exclusively owns the properties "existing during their marriage."

In her reply, respondent alleged that "she controlled the entire generation of Fiesta Pizza representing 80% of the total management of the same and that all income from said business are conjugal in nature."

The public prosecutor, in compliance with the directive of the trial court, and pursuant Section 48 of the Family Code,[1] certified that no collusion exists between the parties in asking for the declaration of the nullity of their marriage and that he would appear for the state to see to it that the evidence is not fabricated or suppressed.

Each party submitted a list of the properties with their valuation, acquired during their union, thus:

   Valuation of
respondent
(Record, p. 110)
 Valuation of
petitioner
(Record, p. 111)
1. Acropolis property  None  P 6,000,000
2. Baguio City property  P 10,000,000  10,000,000
3. Nasugbu, Batangas property  5,000,000  5,000,000
4. Corinthian house and lot  18,000,000  23,000,000
5. Sagitarius condominium  2,500,000  2,000,000
6. Office  30,000,000  24,000,000
7. Greenmeadows lot  10,000,000  15,000,000
8. White Plains  7,000,000  10,000,000
9. Corinthian lot  12,000,000 None

Personal Property (Vehicles)

 1. Galant '83 model  None  P 120,000
 2. Toyota Corona '79 model  -  80,000
 3. Coaster '77 model  -  150,000
 4. Pajero '89 model  -  500,000
 5. Corolla '92 model    180,000
 6. L-300 '90 model    350,000
 7. Mercedes Sedan '79 model    220,000
 8. Pick-up '89 model    100,000
 9. Mercedes wagon '80 model  -  300,000
 10. Nissan Sentra '89 model    200,000
 11. 8'Tamaraws    -

Evidence adduced during the trial show that petitioner used to beat respondent without justifiable reasons, humiliating and embarrassing her in the presence of people and even in front of their children. He has been afflicted with satyriasis, a personality disorder characterized by excessive and promiscuous sex hunger manifested by his indiscriminate womanizing. The trial court found that:
"The evidence adduced by plaintiff was overwhelming to prove that the defendant by his infliction of injuries on the plaintiff, his wife, and excessive and promiscuous hunger for sex, a personality disorder called satyriasis, was, at the time of the celebration of marriage, psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage although such incapacity became manifest only after its solemnization. The defendant's evidence, on the other hand, on the psychological incapacity of plaintiff did not have any evidentiary weight, the same being doubtful, unreliable, unclear and unconvincing."
On February 12, 1997, the trial court rendered its Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
"WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is rendered:

1) Declaring the marriage contracted by and between FRANCISCO L. GONZALEZ and ERMINDA F. FLORENTINO solemnized by Rev. Fr. Alberto Ampil, S.J. on February 4, 1979, at the Manila Hilton Chapel, Nuestra de Guia Parish, Ermita, Manila, NULL and VOID ab initio with all legal effects as provided for under applicable laws;

2) Awarding the custody of minors Maria Andrea and Marco Manuel to the plaintiff, and Carlo Manuel and Maria Angela with rights of visitation given to both parties under an arrangement mutually acceptable to both of them;

3) Ordering the parties to deliver the children's legitimes pursuant to Article 50, in relation to Article 51 of the Family Code;

4) Ordering the defendant to give monthly support to Maria Andrea and Marco Manuel in the amount of Forty Thousand (P40,000.00) Pesos within five (5) days of each corresponding month delivered at the residence of the plaintiff staring January 1997 and thereafter;

5) Ordering the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains and dividing the conjugal properties between the plaintiff and the defendant as follows:
  1. 1) Plaintiff's share of real properties:

      1. Corinthian lot --------------------
    P 12,000,000
     
      2.
    Acropolis property --------------  
    6,000,000
     
      3.
    Baguio property -----------------
    10,000,000
     
      4. Nasugbu property --------------  
    5,000,000
     
      5. Greenmeadows property -------  
    12,500,000
     
      6. Sagitarius condominium --------
      2,250,000
     
         
    P 47,750,000
     

    2) Personal:

      1. Pajero '89 model ---------------
    P 500,000
     
      2.
    L-300 '90 model ----------------
    350,000
     
      3.
    Nissan Sentra '89 model -----   
       200,000
     
         
    P 1,050,000
     

  2. 1) Defendant's share of real properties:

      1. Corinthian house and lot
    P 20,500,000
     
      2.
    Office
      27,000,000
     
         
    P 47,500,000
     
    2) Personal:

      1. Galant '83 model ---------------
    P 120,000
     
      2.
    Toyota Corona '79 model ------
    80,000
     
      3. Coaster '77 model --------------  
    150,000

      4. Corolla '92 model --------------
    180,000
     
      5. Mercedes Sedan '79 model ----
    220,000
     
      6. Pick-up '89 model --------------
    100,000
     
      7. Mercedes wagon '80 model   
       300,000
     
         
    P 1,150,000
     
      8. Four (4) Tamaraws -------------    

6) Ordering the plaintiff to pay the defendant in cash the amount of P2,196,125.

7) Ordering the defendant who has actual possession of the conjugal properties to deliver to plaintiff her share of the real and personal properties, including four (4) Tamaraws, above-described, and execute the necessary documents valid in law conveying the title and ownership of said properties in favor of the plaintiff."
Not satisfied with the manner their properties were divided, petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. He did not contest that part of the decision which declared his marriage to respondent void ab initio.

In its Decision dated April 2, 2003, the Appellate Court affirmed the assailed Decision of the trial court.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied in an Order dated July 23, 1997.

Hence, the instant petition for review on certiorari.

The sole issue for our resolution is whether the court of Appeals erred in ruling that the properties should be divided equally between the parties.

Let it be stressed that petitioner does not challenge the Appellate Court's Decision declaring his marriage with respondent void. Consequently, their property relation shall be governed by the provisions of Article 147 of the Family Code quoted as follows:
"ART. 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.

In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the former's efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family and of the household."
These provisions enumerate the two instances when the property relations between spouses shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. These are: (1) when a man and woman capacitated to marry each other live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage; and (2) when a man and woman live together under a void marriage. Under this property regime of co-ownership, properties acquired by both parties during their union, in the absence of proof to the contrary, are presumed to have been obtained through the joint efforts of the parties and will be owned by them in equal shares.

Article 147 creates a presumption that properties acquired during the cohabitation of the parties have been acquired through their joint efforts, work or industry and shall be owned by them in equal shares. It further provides that a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the former's efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family and of the household.

While it is true that all the properties were bought from the proceeds of the pizza business, petitioner himself testified that respondent was not a plain housewife and that she helped him in managing the business. In his handwritten letter to her dated September 6, 1989, he admitted that "You've helped me for what we are now and I won't let it be destroyed."

It appeared that before they started living together, petitioner offered respondent to be his partner in his pizza business and to take over its operations. Respondent started managing the business in 1976. Her job was to: (1) take care of the daily operations of the business; (2) manage the personnel; and (3) meet people during inspection and supervision of outlets. She reported for work everyday, even on Saturdays and Sundays, without receiving any salary or allowance.

In petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the general rule is that only questions of law may be raised by the parties and passed upon by this Court.[2] Factual findings of the Appellate Court are generally binding on, especially this Court, when in complete accord with the findings of the trial court,[3] as in this case. This is because it is not our function to analyze or weigh the evidence all over again.[4]

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DENIED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals, in CA-G.R. CV No. 66041, are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

Panganiban, (Chairman), Corona, Carpio-Morales, and Garcia, JJ., concur.



[1] Sec. 48. In all cases of annulment or declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, the Court shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to appear on behalf of the state to take steps to prevent collusion between the parties and take care that evidence is not fabricated or suppressed.

[2] Vicente vs. Planters Development Bank, January 28, 2003, 396 SCRA 282; Almira vs. Court of Appeals, March 20, 2003, 399 SCRA 351; Philippine Airlines, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, December 8, 2003, 417 SCRA 1960.

[3] Lantin vs. Court of Appeals, April 30, 2003, 402 SCRA 202; Sevilla vs. Sevilla, April 30, 2003, 402 SCRA 501; Philippine Airlines, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals,  supra.

[4] Potenciano vs. Reynoso, April 22, 2003, 401 SCRA 391; Philippine Airlines, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, id.
tags