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Aquino v. Delizo | G.R. No.

L-15853 | July 27, 1960

Petitioner: Fernando Aquino


Respondent: Conchita Delizo
Ponente: Gutierrez David, J.

FACTS:
27 December 1954: Aquino and Delizo got married
 Delizo allegedly concealed from Aquino that she was pregnant with another man’s child
26 April 1955: Delizo gave birth to the child
 In her answer, Delizo claimed the child was Aquino’s before they got married
o That makes her 4-5 months pregnant when they got married

6 September 1955: Complaint was filed on the ground of fraud of respondent


 At the trial, only Aquino testified, and the only documentary evidence presented was the marriage
contract
 Delizo did not appear, nor presented any evidence

16 June 1956: Trial court dismissed the complaint


 No birth certificate was presented to show the child was born within 180 days after the marriage
between the parties
 Trial court held that concealment of pregnancy, as alleged by Aquino, does not constitute fraud which
can annul a marriage
 Aquino filed for a “petition to reopen for reception of additional evidence” to present the birth
certificate of the child, saying he failed to secure them earlier thru excusable negligence, but petition
was denied

Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the complaint


 Held that there has been excusable neglect in Aquino’s inability to present birth certificate; trial court
erred in denying the motion for reception of additional evidence
 CA found Aquino’s claim unbelievable that he did not notice or even suspect Delizo was pregnant
when he married her
o It was not impossible for the two of them to have sexual intercourse during their
engagement, so it is possible the child could be his

17 March 1959: Aquino filed a motion praying the decision be reconsidered, or that the case be remanded to
the lower court for a new trial
 Plaintiff attached the following documents
o Affidavit of Cesar Aquino (Plaintiff’s brother)
 Defendant was living with Cesar at the time she and plaintiff met
 Defendant had two more children with Cesar, aside from their firstborn, in common-
law relationship
 Cesar admitted he was the father of the defendant’s first born, Catherine
 Cesar admitted that he and respondent hid the pregnancy from the plaintiff at the
time of their marriage
o Affidavit of defendant Conchita Delizo
 Admitted her pregnancy by Cesar Aquino
 Admitted she hid her pregnancy from the petitioner when they got married
o Affidavit of Albert Powell
 Stating he knew Cesar and respondent Delizo lived together before 27 December
1954, when she married petitioner
o Birth certificate of defendant’s first born, Catherine Bess Aquino (born 26 April 1955)
o Birth certificate of Carolle Ann Aquino, second child of defendant with Cesar
o Birth certificate of Chris Charibel Aquino, third child of defendant with Cesar
o Pictures of defendant showing her natural plumpness as early as 1952 to late November
1954, which does not show defendant’s four-month pregnancy
Aquino v. Delizo | G.R. No. L-15853 | July 27, 1960

6 August 1959: Court of Appeals denied the motion after Delizo and the Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Rizal,
who was representing the government, failed to file an answer to the motion for reconsideration
- Stated it "does not believe the veracity of the contents of the motion and its annexes"

Plaintiff bought the case to the Supreme Court through a petition for certiorari

ISSUE: WON the respondent’s concealment of her pregnancy by another man can be a ground for annulment

HELD: Dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint cannot be sustained, case is remanded to lower court for another
trial

RATIO:
- Under the New Civil Code, concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she
was pregnant by a man other than her husband constitutes fraud and is ground for annulment of
marriage

NCC 85: A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:
(4) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts
constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as her husband or his wife, as the case may be

NCC 86: Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in number 4 of the preceding article:
(3) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband.

- In Buccat v. Buccat, another case which seeks annulment of marriage on the ground of fraud, the
defendant was already seven months pregnant when she married the plaintiff, hence cannot be
applied here
- Defendant Delizo was only more than four months pregnant when she married the plaintiff
- Court is not prepared to say her pregnancy was readily apparent, especially since she was "naturally
plump" or fat as alleged by plaintiff
- Plaintiff could hardly be expected to know, merely by looking, whether or not she was pregnant at
the time of their marriage more so because she must have attempted to conceal the true state of
affairs
- According to medical authorities:
o 5th month of pregnancy: enlargement of a woman’s abdomen is hardly noticeable, and if
noticeable, may be attributed to fat formation on the lower part of the abdomen
 Physicians can claim 33% positive diagnosis of pregnancy
o 6th month of pregnancy: enlargement of abdomen becomes more general and apparent
 Physicians can claim 50% positive diagnosis of pregnancy
- No support of the statement that plaintiff and defendant could have had sexual intercourse before
marriage, and therefore the child could be their own
- Evidence sought to be introduced at the new trial can be sufficient to sustain the fraud alleged by
plaintiff