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Case Digest on De Jesus v. Syquia (Whether Breach of Promise to Marry is Actionable)

November 11, 2010


Facts: This is an action by Antonia Loanco de Jesus, as mother of two infants, for the purpose of recovering from the defendant, Cesar Syquia damages arising from (1) breach of promise to marry, (2) to compel the defendant to recognize Ismael and Pacita as natural children and pay maintenance for them.  Cesar met Antonia at the barbership where she works as a cashier.  Soon, she became pregnant.  Cesar was a constant visitor at her home, and wrote a letter to the priest saying that if the child was a boy, it will be christened in his name.  On his trip to China, he was writing letters to Antonia cautioning her to keep in good condition so that “junior” will be strong.  When she gave birth, Syquia took her and the child to live in a house where they lived together for 1 year as a family, with expenses being shouldered by Syquia.  She became pregnant again, but soon Syquia left her to marry another woman.

Issue: (1)  Whether or not breach of promise to marry is actionable.  (2) Whether the letters written by the defendant to the appellant proves paternity.

Held: The SC upheld the decision of the trail court in refusing to give damages to Antonia for breach of promise to marry.  The action for breach of promise to marry has no standing in civil law, apart from the right to recover money or property advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such promise.  As for the recognition of the child, the acknowledgment of paternity is satisfied by the production of more than 1 document of indubitable authenticity, containing, all together, the admission of the father recognizing a particular child as of his paternity, the admission of one writing being supplemented by those of another.

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