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plaintiff thereupon filed a motion to declare the defendants in default, which the courtforthwith granted. The plaintiff was then directed to present her evidence.The courtruled in favor of the plaintiff, ordering the issuance of a Decree of Legal Separation,and declared the properties as conjugal properties of the plaintiff and defendant half-and-half. The subsequent marriage between Pacete and Conception was alsodeclared void ab initio. Defendants filed a special civil action of certiorari.Issue: WON defendants were improperly placed in default –YES!Ruling:Art. 101 of the Civil Codeprovides: No decree of legal separation shall bepromulgated upon a stipulation of facts or by confession of judgment. In case of non-Page 34of51
CIVREV DIGESTS – MIDTERMS (DEAN DEL CASTILLO)appearance of the defendant, the court shall order the prosecuting attorney to inquirewhether or not a collusion between the parties exists. If there is no collusion, theprosecuting attorney shall intervene for the State in order to take care that theevidence for the plaintiff is not fabricated.The policy of Article 101 of the new Civil Code, calling for the intervention of the stateattorneys in case of uncontested proceedings for legal separation, is to emphasizethat marriage is more than a mere contract; that it is a social institution in which thestate is vitally interested, so that its continuation or interruption cannot be made todepend upon the parties themselves. (Brown v. Yambao)Article 103 of the Civil Code, now Article 58 of the Family Code, further mandatesthat an action for legal separation must in no case be tried before six months shallhave elapsed since the filing of the petition, obviously in order to provide the parties a"cooling-off" period. In this interim, the court should take steps toward getting theparties to reconcile.Also, Sec.6 of Rule 18 of the Rules of Courtprovides that if the defendant in anaction for annulment of marriage or for legal separation fails to answer, the court shallorder the prosecuting attorney to investigate whether or not a collusion between theparties exists, and if there is no collusion, to intervene for the State in order to see toit that the evidence submitted is not fabricated.It is clear that the petitioner did, in fact, specifically pray for legal separation. Thatother remedies, whether principal or incidental, have likewise been sought in thesame action cannot dispense, nor excuse compliance, with any of the statutoryrequirements.Liquidation: Effect of Death of One of the PartiesCarmen Lapuz Sy (represented by Macario Lapuz) vs Eufemio S. Eufemio (aliasEufemio Sy Uy)Facts: Carmen Lapuz filed a petition for legal separation against Eufemio S. Eufemio.It was alleged that they were married, they had no child and that they acquiredproperties during their marriage. She discovered that Eufemio was cohabiting with aChinese woman named Go Hiok.