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G.R. No. 167109 February 6, 2007 FELICITAS AMOR-CATALAN, Petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, MANILA, ORLANDO B.

CATALAN and MEROPE E. BRAGANZA, Respondents. FACTS: Petitioner Felicitas Amor-Catalan married respondent Orlando on June 4, 1950 in Mabini, Pangasinan. Thereafter, they migrated to the United States of America and allegedly became naturalized citizens thereof. After 38 years of marriage, Felicitas and Orlando divorced in April 1988. On June 16, 1988, Orlando married respondent Merope in Calasiao, Pangasinan. Petitioner contends that said marriage was bigamous since Merope had a prior subsisting marriage with Eusebio Bristol. She filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage with damages in the RTC of Dagupan City against Orlando and Merope. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner has the personality to file a petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage of the respondents on the ground of bigamy? RULING: A petition to declare the nullity of marriage, like any other actions, must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest and must be based on a cause of action. A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the wife. Petitioners personality to file the petition to declare the nullity of marriage cannot be ascertained because of the absence of the divorce decree and the foreign law allowing it. After all, she may have the personality to file the petition if the divorce decree obtained was a limited divorce or a mensa et thoro; or the foreign law may restrict remarriage even after the divorce decree becomes absolute. We note that it was the petitioner who alleged in her complaint that they acquired American citizenship and that respondent Orlando obtained a judicial divorce decree. It is settled rule that one who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and mere allegation is not evidence Hence, a remand of the case to the trial court for reception of additional evidence is necessary to determine whether respondent Orlando was granted a divorce decree and whether the foreign law which granted the same allows or restricts remarriage. If it is proved that a valid divorce decree was obtained and the same did not allow respondent Orlandos remarriage, then the trial court should declare respondents marriage as bigamous and void ab initio.

G.R. No. 79284 November 27, 1987 FROILAN C. GANDIONCO, petitioner,

vs. HON. SENEN C. PEARANDA, as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental, Branch 18, Cagayan de Oro City, and TERESITA S. GANDIONCO, respondents.
FACTS: On 29 May 1986, private respondent, the legal wife of the petitioner filed civil case against petitioner for legal separation, on the ground of concubinage, with a petition for support and payment of damages. On 13 October 1986, private respondent also filed criminal case against petitioner for concubinage. On 14 November 1986, application for the provisional remedy of support pendente lite, pending a decision in the action for legal separation, was filed by private respondent in the civil case for legal separation. The respondent judge, as already stated, on 10 December 1986, ordered The payment of support pendente lite.

ISSUES: 1. Does conviction for concubinage will have to be first secured before the action for legal separation can prosper or succeed? 2. Did the respondent judge gravely abuse his discretion on the alleged partiality in ordering the payment of support to his wife pendente lite. ? RULING: 1. A decree of legal separation, on the ground of concubinage, may be issued upon proof by preponderance of evidence in the action for legal separation. No criminal proceeding or conviction is necessary. In view of the amendment under the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, a civil action for legal separation, based on concubinage, may proceed ahead of, or simultaneously with, a criminal action for concubinage, because said civil action is not one "to enforce the civil liability arising from the offense" even if both the civil and criminal actions arise from or are related to the same offense. 2. Divergence of opinions between a judge hearing a case and a party's counsel, as to applicable laws and jurisprudence, is not a sufficient ground to disqualify the judge from hearing the case, on the ground of bias and manifest partiality. No proof of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent Judge in ordering the same. Support pendente lite, as a remedy, can be availed of in an action for legal separation, and granted at the discretion of the judge. If petitioner finds the amount of support pendente lite ordered as too onerous, he can always file a motion to modify or reduce the same.

G.R. No. 162580 January 27, 2006 ELMAR O. PEREZ, Petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, Fifth Division, TRISTAN A. CATINDIG and LILY GOMEZCATINDIG, Respondents. FACTS:

Private respondent Tristan A. Catindig married Lily Gomez Catindig twice on May 16, 1968. The marriage produced four children. Several years later, the couple encountered marital problems that they decided to obtain a divorce from the Dominican Republic. Thus, on April 27, 1984, Tristan and Lily executed a Special Power of Attorney addressed to the Judge of the First Civil Court of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, appointing an attorney-in-fact to institute a divorce action under its laws. On July 14, 1984, Tristan married petitioner Elmar O. Perez in the State of Virginia in the United States and both lived as husband and wife until October 2001. Their union produced one offspring. During their cohabitation, petitioner learned that the divorce decree issued by the court in the Dominican Republic which "dissolved" the marriage between Tristan and Lily was not recognized in the Philippines and that her marriage to Tristan was deemed void under Philippine law. On August 13, 2001, Tristan filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to Lily with the RTC of Quezon City. ISSUE: Whether or not Perez has a legal interest in the matter of litigation required of a would-be intervenor in Tristans petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage with his wife? RULING: No, Perez has no legal interest. When petitioner and Tristan married on July 14, 1984, Tristan was still lawfully married to Lily. The divorce decree that Tristan and Lily obtained from the Dominican Republic never dissolved the marriage bond between them. It is basic that laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad. Regardless of where a citizen of the Philippines might be, he or she will be governed by Philippine laws with respect to his or her family rights and duties, or to his or her status, condition and legal capacity. Hence, if a Filipino regardless of whether he or she was married here or abroad initiates a petition abroad to obtain an absolute divorce from spouse and eventually becomes successful in getting an absolute divorce decree, the Philippines will not recognize such absolute divorce. Petitioners claim that she is the wife of Tristan even if their marriage was celebrated abroad lacks merit. Thus, petitioner never acquired the legal interest as a wife upon which her motion for intervention is based.

G.R. No. 149498 May 20, 2004 REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. LOLITA QUINTERO-HAMANO, respondent. FACTS:

October 1986, respondent Lolita Quintero-Hamano and Toshio Hamano started a common-law relationship in Japan. They later lived in the Philippines for a month. Thereafter, Toshio went back to Japan and stayed there for half of 1987. On November 16, 1987, she gave birth to their child. On January 14, 1988, she and Toshio were married in Bacoor, Cavite. One month after their marriage, Toshio returned to Japan and promised to return by Christmas to celebrate the holidays with his family. After sending money to respondent for two months, Toshio stopped giving financial support. She wrote him several times but he never responded. Sometime in 1991, respondent learned from her friends that Toshio visited the Philippines but he did not bother to see her and their child. ISSUE: 1. Whether or not mere abandonment by the husband of his family and his insensitivity to them automatically constitute psychological incapacity? 2. Whether or not requirements of psychological incapacity apply to mixed marriages? RULING: 1. No. the policy of the 1987 Constitution to protect and strengthen the family as the basic autonomous social institution and marriage as the foundation of the family. Thus, any doubt should be resolved in favor of the validity of the marriage. The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and nullity. Toshios act of abandonment was doubtlessly irresponsible but it was never alleged nor proven to be due to some kind of psychological illness. We cannot presume psychological defect from the mere fact that Toshio abandoned his family immediately after the celebration of the marriage. In Molina, it is not enough to prove that a spouse failed to meet his responsibility and duty as a married person; it is essential that he must be shown to be incapable of doing so due to some psychological, not physical, illness. The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be: (a) medically or clinically identified, (b) alleged in the complaint, (c) sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly explained in the decision. 2. The husband being a Japanese national is immaterial in proving psychological incapacity, no distinction between an alien spouse and a Filipino spouse. Hence, the norms used for determining psychological incapacity should apply to any person regardless of nationality.

G.R. No. L-41427 June 10, 1988 CONSTANCIA C. TOLENTINO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and CONSUELO DAVID, respondents.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: FACTS: The petitioner Constancia C. Tolentino is the present legal wife of Arturo Tolentino, their marriage having been celebrated on April 21, 1945 in Manila. The union produced three children. Respondent Consuelo David was legally married to Arturo Tolentino on February 8, 1931. Their marriage likewise produced children. The marriage was dissolved and terminated pursuant to the law during the Japanese occupation on September 15, 1943 by a decree of absolute divorce on the ground of desertion and abandonment by the wife. The trial court granted the divorce on its finding that Arturo Tolentino was abandoned by Consuelo David for at least three (3) continuous years. Thereafter, Arturo Tolentino married a certain Pilar Adorable, who however, died soon after their marriage. Tolentino subsequently married Constancia on April 21, 1945. Consuelo David, on the other hand, continued using the surname Tolentino after the divorce and up to the time of the filing of this complaint. ISSUE: 1. Whether or not the petitioner's cause of action has already prescribed, and 2. Whether or not the petitioner can exclude by injunction Consuelo David from using the surname of her former husband from whom she was divorced. RULING: 1. The petitioner should have brought legal action immediately against the private respondent after she gained knowledge of the use by the private respondent of the surname of her former husband. As it is, action was brought only on November 23, 1971 with only verbal demands in between and an action to reconstitute the divorce case. The petitioner should have filed her complaint at once when it became evident that the private respondent would not accede to her demands instead of waiting for twenty (20) years As aptly stated by the Court of Appeals, "where the plaintiff fails to go to the Court within the prescriptive period, he loses his cause, but not because the defendant had acquired ownership by adverse possession over his name but because the plaintiffs cause of action had lapsed thru the statute of limitations." 2. Philippine law is understandably silent. We have no provisions for divorce in our laws and consequently, the use of surnames by a divorced wife is not provided for. It is significant to note that Senator Tolentino himself in his commentary on Art. 370 of the Civil Code states that "the wife cannot claim an exclusive right to use the husband's surname. She cannot be prevented from using it; but neither can she restrain others from using it."

The petitioner, on the other hand, has failed to show that she would suffer any legal injury or deprivation of legal rights inasmuch as she can use her husband's surname and be fully protected in case the respondent uses the surname Tolentino for illegal purposes. In Silva, et al. v. Peralta (110 Phil. 57) cited by the petitioner, it was not the mere use of the surname that was enjoined but the defendant's representation that she was the wife of Saturnino Silva. There was, therefore, a usurpation of the wife's status which is absent in the case at bar.