Republic of the Philippines
Regional Trial Court
Branch 17
Davao City

Ms. Diana Lynn Balagtas, Plaintiff
Accompanied by her Attorney-in-Fact

Civil Case No. 6282014
for: Damages


Ms. M [redacted], Defendant


1. COMES NOW, the plaintiff together with the undersigned counsel to this most honorable court, MOST RESPECTFULLY STATING THAT:

2. The Plaintiff is of legal age, married, and a resident of [redacted], Davao City. The Defendant likewise is of legal age, single, and a resident of [redacted], Davao City. 

3. In filing this complaint for damages caused by breach of contract, the Plaintiff cites Article 1170 of the Civil Code of the Philippines: “Those who in the performance of their obligations are guilty of fraud, negligence, or delay, and those who in any manner contravene the tenor thereof, are liable for damages.”

4. The plaintiff and defendant have been living together in a de facto marriage as a monogamous same-sex couple in the address of plaintiff since August 2014. While no law allows the couple to legally enter into marriage, the couple has lived as if they were indeed married, sharing domicile and expenses, as well as parenting obligations to the two children of plaintiff. This domestic arrangement has given rise to reasonable expectations from each other of respect, honesty, and fidelity.

5. Defendant planned a group dive trip to the Maldives on 12-21 May 2017.  On 10 May 2017, defendant told plaintiff that she had just learned that her ex-girlfriend was going to be in the dive group. Plaintiff asked why defendant had told her this information only two days before the flight. Defendant said that she didn’t know; apparently ex-girlfriend suddenly joined the group because someone had backed out. Plaintiff did not believe that there were no email exchanges within the dive group of twenty individuals about who were in the group and the itinerary. Thus, plaintiff suspected fraud.

6. Defendant told plaintiff that if she preferred, defendant will not go on the dive trip anymore. This suggested that defendant knew that the presence of the ex-girlfriend in the dive trip to the Maldives will cause distress and anxiety on the part of the plaintiff. Yet plaintiff did not demand that defendant cancel her trip because she thought that would be unreasonable and impractical.

7. The only thing plaintiff asked was that defendant not share a room on the dive boat with ex-girlfriend for the six nights that they would be at sea. She also asked if this was possible, knowing that each room would have only two occupants. Defendant said yes, given that there were 20 divers in the group, plus five boat staff. Defendant thus made an oral promise that she would not share a room with her ex-girlfriend. 

8. On May 15, defendant boarded the dive boat and sent one message via Viber to plaintiff to say that she did not buy internet access on the boat because it was too expensive at USD6.00 per day. She said she was only using the wifi hotspot of one Taiwanese diver so she would not be able to go online anytime she wants or needs to. Plaintiff again suspected fraud because if defendant could afford a dive trip to the Maldives, she surely could afford USD6.00 to communicate with her domestic partner who is already in distress over the situation and to give her peace of mind.  

9. On the second night on the boat, defendant still had not told plaintiff who her roommate was. This indicated culpable negligence. Thus, plaintiff sent a message asking defendant for the information. Defendant admitted that she was sharing a room with her ex-girlfriend. This clearly constituted breach of oral contract. 

10. Plaintiff expressed her anger, disapproval, and anguish over the situation every day through Viber messages and calls. But defendant continued to share a room with her ex-girlfriend, saying that they are not doing anything that plaintiff should be angry about. Plaintiff reiterated that it does not matter to her whether the two were having sexual relations. Plaintiff felt betrayed by the breach of contract and the refusal of defendant to see what she did wrong.


Upon defendant’s return from the Maldives, she continued to deny that she had done anything wrong. This made plaintiff feel despair over the situation. She wrote defendant a letter, saying, 

“I give up on trying to make you understand why I am in pain, why I feel betrayed by your decisions. You will see one day. Or maybe not. Who cares at this point? We are at an impasse on this matter. I do recognize that despite all my nagging, you could have done anything and I would never find out about it. I recognize my helplessness and will not feed my fears. To be fair, I am not nagging you because of suspicions. I was nagging you for the decision to share the room, the thing itself. That’s why it doesn’t help me when you insist that you are not doing anything. But thank you for remaining faithful to me during this escapade. Yet even this paragraph is struggling in quicksand.” 

Defendant did not write a reply to the letter. Instead, she bought an iPhone 7 for the plaintiff as an “early birthday gift.” 

11. By refusing to apologize and acknowledge the wrong she had committed, the defendant willfully and maliciously violated the promise which they had mutually agreed upon as a couple.


WHEREFORE, premises considered, by reason of the above-mentioned breach of oral contract made by the defendant, it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court that judgment be rendered in favor of the plaintiff, and that after judgment, the defendant shall pay the following liquidated, exemplary, and moral damages:

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (Php100,000) plus legal interest as liquidated damages resulting from breach of contract;
FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS as exemplary damages;
FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS as moral damages;
as legal expenses;
Such other reliefs and remedies that the Honorable Court deems just and equitable. 

Davao City, this 25th day of June, 2017.


COMES NOW, the Defendant, through the undersigned counsel and unto this Honorable Court, most respectfully avers that:

1. She AFFIRMS the contents of Paragraph 3 insofar as her personal circumstances are concerned.

2. She ADMITS the narrative in Paragraph 4, but DENIES the allegation of fraud. She reiterates her lack of prior knowledge about the inclusion of her ex-girlfriend in the dive group and further asserts that she received no communication regarding the list of divers until two days before her flight. 

3. She DENIES the allegation of fraud in Paragraph 7. She asserts her right to decide what to spend her money on without the imputation of malice. 

4. She DENIES the allegation of breach of contract because she was only forced to share the room with her ex-girlfriend because defendant wanted to prevent her from having to share a room with a German male whom she did not know prior to the dive trip. Defendant asserts that this was a feminist choice and that plaintiff should appreciate it, being a feminist herself. 

5. Due to the actions of plaintiff described in Paragraph 9, defendant felt harassed, which led to her conclusion that plaintiff had ruined her dive trip. However, acting in good faith, she will not file a counterclaim. 

WHEREFORE, the defendant respectfully prays that the complaint be dismissed with costs against the plaintiff. 

Other reliefs and remedies as may be deemed just and equitable are likewise prayed for. 

Davao City, 13 July 2017. 

Case dismissed without prejudice.###


Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz
Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz
Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz is professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines Mindanao. Her recent book, Abi Nako, Or So I Thought (2020), published by the UP Press, is the first lesbian memoir in the Philippines. Among the anthologies she has edited is the Tingle Anthology of Pinay Lesbian Writing (2021).


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