Posted: April 12, 2017 in case digests, civil law, torts, Uncategorized


G.R. No. L-18630 Dec. 17, 1966


From December, 1957, petitioner APOLONIO TANJANCO courted the respondent, ARACELI SANTOS, both being of legal age. Tanjanco expressed and professed his undying love and affection for Santos who eventually reciprocated such feelings. With Tanjanco’s promise of marriage in mind, Santos acceded to his pleas for carnal knowledge sometime in July, 1958. For one year, Tanjanco had carnal access to Santos which eventually led to Santos getting pregnant. As a result of her pregnancy, Santos had to resign from her job as secretary in IBM Philippines, Inc. In her state of unemployment Santos became unable to support herself and her baby, and because Tanjanco did not fulfill his promise of marriage she suffered mental anguish, a besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation. Santos prayed to the court that Tanjanco be compelled to recognize the unborn child she was bearing, and pay her for support and damages.

Tanjanco filed a motion to dismiss which the court granted for failure to state cause of action. Santos appealed the case to the Court of Appeals and the latter decided the case, stating that no cause of action was shown to compel recognition of the unborn child nor for its support, but a cause of action was present for damages, under Article 21 of the Civil Code. Tanjanco appealed such decision pleading that actions for breach of a promise to marry are not permissible in this jurisdiction.


WON Tanjanco is compelled to pay for damages to Santos for breach of his promise to marry her.



No case can be made since the plaintiff Araceli was a woman of adult age, maintained intimate sexual relations with appellant with repeated acts of intercourse. Such is not compatible to the idea of seduction. Plainly, there is voluntariness and mutual passion; for had the appellant been deceived she would not have again yielded to his embraces much less for one year without exacting fulfillment of the alleged promises of marriage and she would have cut all relationship upon finding that the defendant did not intend to fulfill his promises. One cannot be held liable for a breach of promise to marry.


In its decision, Court of Appeals relied upon the memorandum submitted by the Code Commission to the Legislature in 1949 to support the original draft of the Civil Code. In the example set forth by the memorandum, Court of Appeals failed to recognize that it refers to a tort upon a minor who has been seduced. Seduction connotes the idea of deceit, enticement, superior power or abuse of confidence on the part of the seducer to which the woman has yielded. That definition of seduction is not consistent with the position of Santos, who was of legal age, and granted carnal access to Tanjanco and had sexual relations with him for one whole year. Rather than being deceived, Santos exhibited mutual passion to Tanjanco which is incompatible with the premise behind the idea of seduction.


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