Posted by: Elmer Brabante | September 1, 2009

Baksh vs. Court of Appeals


BAKSH vs. COURT OF APPEALS

GR No. 97336

February 19, 1993 

 

FACTS:

                Petitioner Gashem Shookat Baksh was an Iranian citizen, exchange student taking a medical course in Dagupan City, who courted private respondent Marilou Gonzales, and promised to marry her.  On the condition that they would get married, she reciprocated his love.  They then set the marriage after the end of the school semester.  He visited Marilou’s parents to secure their approval of marriage.  In August 1987, he forced her to live with him, which she did.  However, his attitude toward her changed after a while; he would maltreat and even threatened to kill her, from which she sustained injuries.  Upon confrontation with the barangay captain, he repudiated their marriage agreement, saying that he was already married to someone living in Bacolod. 

                Marilou then filed for damages before the RTC.  Baksh denied the accusations but asserted that he told her not to go to his place since he discovered her stealing his money and passport.  The RTC ruled in favor of Gonzales. The CA affirmed the RTC decision. 

ISSUES:

  1. Whether or not breach of promise to marry is an actionable wrong.
  2. Whether or not Art. 21 of the Civil Code applies to this case.
  3. Whether or not pari delicto applies in t his case. 

HELD:

                The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry per se is not an actionable wrong.

                This, notwithstanding, Art. 21 is designed to expand the concept of torts or quasi-delict in this jurisdictions by granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the statute books.               

                Art. 21 defines quasi-delict:

                Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called quasi-delict and is governed by the (Civil Code). 

                It is clear that petitioner harbors a condescending if not sarcastic regard for the private respondent on account of the latter’s ignoble birth, inferior educational background, poverty and, as perceived by him, dishonorable employment.  From the beginning, obviously, he was not at all moved by good faith and an honest motive.  Thus, his profession of love and promise to marry were empty words directly intended to fool, dupe, entice, beguile and deceive the poor woman into believing that indeed, he loved her and would want her to be his life partner.  His was nothing but pure lust which he wanted satisfied by a Filipina who honestly believed that by accepting his proffer of love and proposal of marriage, she would be able to enjoy a life of ease and security.  Petitioner clearly violated the Filipino concept of morality and so brazenly defied the traditional respect Filipinos have for their women.  It can even be said that the petitioner committed such deplorable acts in blatant disregard of Article 19 of the Civil Code which directs every person to act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith in the exercise of his right and in the performance of his obligations. 

                No foreigner must be allowed to make a mockery of our laws, customs and traditions. 

                She is not in pari delicto with the petitioner.  Pari delicto means in equal fault.  At most, it could be conceded that she is merely in delicto. 

                Equity often interfered for the relief of the less guilty of the parties, where his transgression has been brought about by the imposition of undue influence of the party on whom the burden of the original wrong principally rests, or where his consent to the transaction was itself procured by fraud.

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