It may seem improper to talk about love in a legal forum, particularly considering that among the most popular articles relate to annulment, legal separation and divorce. Still, Valentines, February 14, is just around the corner and there could be no serious objections why we could not talk about this “gentle and universal emotion.” Besides, even the Supreme Court had occasions to talk about love —
“Private respondent [the school] utterly failed to show that petitioner [30-year old lady teacher] took advantage of her position to court her student [16-year old]. 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. But, definitely, yielding to this gentle and universal emotion is not to be so casually equated with immorality. The deviation of the circumstances of their marriage from the usual societal pattern cannot be considered as a defiance of contemporary social mores.” (Chua-Qua vs. Clave, G.R. No. L-49549, 30 August 1990)
“We cannot castigate a man for seeking out the partner of his dreams, for marriage is a sacred and perpetual bond which should be entered into because of love, not for any other reason.” (Patricia Figueroa vs. Simeon Barranco, Jr., GR No. 97369, 31 July 1997)
“The nuptial vows which solemnly intone the matrimonial promise of love ‘(f)or better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part,’ are sometimes easier said than done, for many a marital union figuratively ends on the reefs of matrimonial shoals. In the case now before us for appellate review, the marriage literally ended under circumstances which the criminal law, disdainful of romanticism, bluntly calls the felony of parricide.” (People of the Philippines vs. Ruben Takbobo, GR No. 102984, 30 June 1993)
“The Court, like all well-meaning persons, has no desire to dash romantic fancies, yet in the exercise of its duty, is all too willing when necessary to raise the wall that tears Pyramus and Thisbe asunder.” (Concerned Employee vs. Glenda Espiritu Mayor, AM No. P-02-1564, 23 November 2004)
“Marital union is a two-way process. An expressive interest in each other’s feelings at a time it is needed by the other can go a long way in deepening the marital relationship. Marriage is definitely not for children but for two consenting adults who view the relationship with love amor gignit amorem, respect, sacrifice and a continuing commitment to compromise, conscious of its value as a sublime social institution.” (Chi Ming Tsoi vs. Court of Appeals and Gina Lao- Tsoi, GR No. 119190, 16 January 1997)
* Everyone is most welcome to point to, or, better yet, quote a Supreme Court decision that has something to say about love. Please use the comment feature below.