Posted by: Elmer Brabante | September 1, 2009

Tanjanco vs. Court of Appels



December 17, 1966 



                Petitioner Apolonio Tanjanco courted respondent Araulli Santos—he expressed and professed his undying love and affection towards her which she eventually reciprocated.  For one year from Dec. 1953-Dec. 1954, petitioner succeeded in having carnal access to her, because of his protestation of love and promise of marriage.  She got pregnant, for which she resigned from her work as IBM secretary to avoid embarrassment.  He refused to marry her nor give support. 

                Thus, she filed for an action before the trial court to compel him to recognize the unborn child and provide support.  The complaint was dismissed for failure to state the cause of action.  Upon appeal, the CA ruled that cause of action existed for damages as premised on Art. 21. 


                Whether or not breach of a promise to marry is an actionable wrong. 


                The case under Art. 21, cited as an example by the Code Commission, refers to a tort upon a minor who has been seduced.  The essential feature is seduction, that in law is more than sexual intercourse, or a breach or promise of marriage;  it connotes essentially the idea of deceit, enticement, superior power or abuse of confidence on the part of the seducer, to which the woman has yielded.  Where for one whole year, a woman of adult age maintained intimate sexual intercourse, such conduct is incompatible with the idea of seduction.  Plainly, there is voluntariness and mutual passion.  Hence, no case is made under Art. 21, and no other cause of action being alleged, no error was committed by CFI in dismissing the complaint. 

                In US v. Bustamante, 27 Phil 121:  To constitute seduction, there must in all cases be some sufficient promise or inducement and the woman must yield because of the promise or other inducement.  If she consents merely from carnal lust and the intercourse is from mutual desire, there is no seduction. 

                Decision of CA reversed; that of CFI affirmed.



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