Jurisprudence Civil Law

Can a teacher be terminated from employment for marrying her student?


An exceptional landmark case wherein the Supreme Court ruled in favor of love.

A 30-year-old teacher married her 16-year-old student when marriage between minors was still legal. As a result, the teacher was terminated from employment “for abusive and unethical conduct unbecoming of a dignified school teacher.” 

While it is true that a having an extra-marital affair with another married person is a serious misconduct, it doesn’t follow that a teacher falling in love with and marrying her student is an immoral act. 

“If the two eventually fell in love, despite the disparity in their ages and academic levels, this only lends substance to the truism that the heart has reasons of its own which reason does not know. ” – Justice Florenz Regalado

Private respondent Tay Tung High School, Inc. was ordered to pay teacher-petitioner backwages equivalent to three (3) years, without any deduction or qualification, and separation pay in the amount of one (1) month for every year of service.

G.R. No. 49549 August 30, 1990

Jurisprudence Civil Law

Whether or not abandonment leads to nullity of marriage

This case is whether or not abandonment by a spouse, by itself, warrants a finding of psychological incapacity within the contemplation of the Family Code, that leads to nullity of marriage. 

The court ruled in the negative. “It must be shown that such abandonment is a manifestation of a disordered personality which makes the spouse concerned completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of the marital state.” – Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, in his dissenting opinion, ruled in contrast stating that for thirty-one years, petitioner has been alone without a spouse. “Parties should not be forced to stay in unhappy or otherwise broken marriages in the guise of protecting the family. This avoids the reality that people fall out of love. There is always the possibility that human love is not forever.”

GR No. 203284 November 14, 2016

Civil Law Jurisprudence

Psychological Incapacity as a Ground for Void Marriage

This case was originally commenced by a distraught wife against her uncaring husband, which decreed the annulment of the marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity.

Refusal of husband to have sex was interpreted to be psychological incapacity. A man who can but won’t is psychologically incapacitated. 

“Love is useless unless it is shared with another… In the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a participation in the mystery of creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations.” – Justice Justo Torres Jr. 

Article 36 of the Family Code states: A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization

GR No. 119190 January 16, 1997