The Court of Appeals (CA) threw out the decision of the Parañaque City regional trial court declaring null and void the marriage between actress Jodi Sta. Maria and Panfilo “Pampi” Lacson Jr., son of Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.
In a 19-page decision, the CA’s Eighth Division junked the ruling of the Regional Trial Court Branch 194 of Paranaque City that Sta. Maria and Lacson’s marriage was void from the start. The decision was penned by Associate Justice Carmelita Salandanan Manahan and concurred in by Associate Justices Japar Dimaampao and Franchito Diamante.
Sta. Maria and Lacson met at the set of the television series “Tabing Ilog” in 2000. They became sweethearts after several month of courtship.
In March 2005, they were married in Nevada and in June of the same year, they also got married before a court in Parañaque. On December 23, 2005, their only son, Panfilo Sta. Maria Lacson 3rd, was born.
However, their union turned sour and Sta. Maria file an amended petition for declaration of nullity of their marriage before the court on grounds of psychological incapacity.
The court granted her petition but the Office of the Solicitor General elevated the case before the CA.
In its September 28, 2016 ruling, the appellate court thumbed down the verdict.
“While we do not dispute the finding of the RTC, we cannot subscribe to its conclusion that the acts and behavior of Sta. Maria indicate psychological incapacity which rendered her incapable of complying with the essential marital obligations,” the appeals court said.
The CA also held that Lacson’s psychological incapacity was not sufficiently proved.
“A psychological report prepared by [Clinical Psychologist Dr. Visitacion Revita), which found Lacson to be suffering from a dependent type personality disorder, was offered in evidence,” the CA said.
“We note, however, that Lacson was not subjected to an actual evaluation by Dr. Revita, and the conclusions of Dr. Revita were exclusively derived from the information given by Sta. Maria and Abigail del Mundo who claims to be a common friend of Sta. Maria and Lacson,” the court said.