Chel Diokno lists ‘favorite’ Supreme Court rulings involving matters of the heart

February 15, 2023 - 4:36 PM
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Who said Supreme Court rulings are boring?

While decisions of the High Court are usually sober in tone, there are some paragraphs that convey what would be considered interesting in the eyes of the public.

The devil is in the details, they say.

For veteran rights lawyer Chel Diokno, here are some of the interesting passages from the High Court rulings that pertain to matters of the heart.

“Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a thread of my favorite Supreme Court rulings on [LOVE],” he tweeted on Valentine’s Day.

Chua-Qua vs Clave 

In 1990, the SC tackled a case of a female teacher who married one of her students.

This case is also known as G.R. No. 49549 August 30, 1990.

On Feb. 4, 1976, the school filed with the sub-regional office of the then-Department of Labor in Bacolod City an application for clearance to be allowed to terminate Evelyn Chua-Qua.

The school said that her relationship with the student was “immoral” and allegedly violated the Code of Ethics for Teachers.

In the end, the educational institution failed to prove that both parties had engaged in supposedly immoral conduct.

Diokno quoted part of the High Court’s decision, which reads:

“The heart has reasons of its own which reason does not know.” 

It came from the following paragraph:

“Private respondent utterly failed to show that petitioner took advantage of her position to court her student. 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.”

Padilla-Rumbaua vs Rumbaua

In 2009, the SC settled a case of a woman who wanted to nullify her marriage to her husband after finding out he has having an affair.

The case is known as G.R. No. 166738 August 14, 2009.

The SC said that Padilla-Rumbaua failed to establish Rumbaua’s psychological incapacity in connection to making the marriage null.

Part of its ruling which Diokno liked was the following:

“Individuals who are in love had the power to let love grow or let love die — it is a choice one had to face when love is not the love he/she expected.” 

It is part of the particular paragraph:

“People love in order to be secure that one will share his/her life with another and that he/she will not die alone. Individuals who are in love had the power to let love grow or let love die — it is a choice one had to face when love is not the love he/she expected.”

People vs Rivera 

In 1999, the SC reviewed a case of a man guilty of qualified rape of his 10-year-old daughter.

It is known as G.R. No. 130607 November 17, 1999.

The man argued whether or not his constitutional presumption of innocence “has been overcome” by the State “in the case at bar enough to sustain the judgment of the trial court finding the indictee guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified rape and thereby imposing upon him the death penalty.”

In the end, the SC declared that the Regional Trial Court “has correctly imposed the death penalty” on Rivera.

Diokno said he found the following passage striking:

“There can be no love where respect is gone.” 

It was part of the RTC’s description of Rivera’s daughters. Part of it reads:

“Even Nina Joy, whose testimony provided strong corroboration to the account of Alphamia, was crushed. She said she stopped loving her father for the repulsive thing that he did to her sister. She only has contempt for her father. It is not difficult to believe her as, undeniably, there can be no love where respect is gone.”