Civil Law, Constitutional Law

Laxamana vs Laxamana GR 144763, September 3,2002Art. XV of the 1987 Constitution, The Family



Everything went well for the family until petitioner bacame drug dependent. He was confined and he undergone psychological treatments. However, respondent claimed petitioner was not fully rehabilitated. His drug dependence worsened and it became difficult for respondent and her children to live with him being violent and irritable.

Respondent and her 3 children abandoned petitioner and transferred to the house of her relatives.

The petitioner filed the instant petition for habeas corpus praying for custody of his three children. Respondent opposed the petition, citing the drug dependence of petitioner.



Does estoppel operate in cases resolving disputes which involved the family and youth?



No. In the case at bar, the petitioner is not estopped from questioning the absence of a trial considering that said psychiatric report, which was the court’s primary basis in awarding custody to respondent, is insufficient to justify the decision. The fundamental policy of the State to promote and protect the welfare of children shall not be disregarded by mere technicality in resolving disputes which involve the family and the youth. While petitioner may have a history of drug dependence, the records are inadequate as to his moral, financial and social well-being. The results of the psychiatric evaluation showing that he is not yet “completely cured” may render him unfit to take custody of the children, but there is no evidence to show that respondent is unfit to provide the children with adequate support, education, as well as moral and intellectual training and development.

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