Chua-Qua vs. Clave

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Love versus justice.

The facts in the case of Chua-Qua vs. Clave, G.R. No. L-49549 August 30, 1990, occurred in 1976, 20 years before Mary Kay Letourneau made headlines in the United States. Unlike in Mary Kay's case, however, the Supreme Court of the Philippines acknowledged the power of love.

Contents

Facts

A 30-year-old elementary-school teacher had an affair with, and married, her 16-year-old student.

Evelyn Chua was a teacher in Tay Tung High School in Bacolod City, more specifically the Grade Six class adviser. One of her pupils was Bobby Qua, who apparently needed remedial instructions which she extended to him in school after their classroom lessons. In the course of this, the two fell in love, and with the consent of Bobby's mother, got married in a civil ceremony in Iloilo City on December 24, 1975, and in a church wedding in Bacolod City on January 10, 1976. Because of this, Evelyn Chua was fired by the school for immoral conduct.

Issue

Was her dismissal for immoral conduct valid?

Ruling

No. The Supreme Court declared the dismissal illegal, saying:

Significance

This case is remembered most for Justice Regalado's quote from Blaise Pascal. However, its significance lies in the fact that the Supreme Court did not consider immoral Evelyn Chua-Qua's act of falling in love with, and later marrying, a boy who was fourteen years her junior, scandalous though it may have been.

It is to be noted that the facts of this case were covered by the old Civil Code of the Philippines, which allowed persons not yet eighteen years old to get married with the consent of their parents. With the passing of the Family Code of the Philippines on July 6, 1987, a person below eighteen years of age cannot marry, even with the consent of his or her parents.

External Links

Citation

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