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1. Ninal vs. Bayadog [G.R. No. 133778] March 14, 2000

by Quolete
Pepito married his second wife Norma a year and eight months after his first
wife Teodulfas death. Pepito and Norma got married without any marriage
license because they lived together for 5 years and thus exempt from
marriage license. Some years after, Pepito died in a car accident.
The heirs as petitioners, fearing problems in successional rights (succession
only occurs after the death of an ascendant) due to the second marriage, filed
a petition for declaration for nullity of marriage (a.k.a. declaration of nullity
of void marriages) between Pepito (deceased) and Norma using the absence
of a marriage license as a legal basis.
The lower court dismissed the petition because:
(1) The Family Code is silent whether the petition has a cause of action.
Can there be such a petition when the heirs parent is deceased?
(2) Are the heirs a proper party?
(3) Determination whether the second marriage is void ab initio (from the
beginning) is a must but is a different matter. Void marriages cannot be
attacked collaterally.
(4) Whether the petition for declaration for nullity of marriage has

(1) The applicable law, for the determination of marriage, is the Civil Code
and not the Family Code. (In determining the validity of marriage, it is to be
tested by the law in force at the time the marriage was contracted.)
(2) There is no second marriage. The absence of a marriage license renders
marriage void ab initio. The exemption for a marriage license, the
cohabitation, was not the one described by the Civil Code. It is not the one
described by the Civil Code because the cohabitation, after the first marriage,
was only twenty months whereas the law requires five years. If the
respondent took into consideration the other years and months before the
second marriage, then the cohabitation would include the period of the first
marriage. This is in violation of the law.
(3) Separation in fact (not the legal separation) by the first marriage does not
count cohabitation.
This 5-year period should be the years immediately before the day of the
marriage and it should be a period of cohabitation characterized by
exclusivity meaning no third party was involved at any time within the 5
years and continuity that is unbroken.
(4) The judges ruling (lower court), where void and voidable marriages are
made identical is erroneous. Void and voidable marriages are not identical.
A marriage that is annulable is valid until otherwise declared by the court;
whereas a marriage that is void ab initio is considered as having never to
have taken place.
A voidable can be generally ratified or confirmed by free cohabitation or
prescription while a void marriage can never be ratified.
A voidable marriage cannot be assailed collaterally except in a direct
proceeding while a void marriage can be attacked collaterally.

The lower court ruled:

(1) Petitioners should have filed an action to declare null and void their
fathers marriage before the latters death.

Void marriages can be questioned even after the death of either party but
voidable marriages can be assailed only during the lifetime of the parties
and not after death of either, in which case the parties and their offspring
will be left as if the marriage had been perfectly valid.

(2) The prescription period and the proper party in an annulment proceeding
were used as a basis to dismiss petitioners case.
Petitioners disagree with the decision and petitions for a review.

The action or defense for nullity is imprescriptible, unlike voidable

marriages where the action prescribes.

The Supreme Court ruled that:

Only the parties to a voidable marriage can assail it but any proper
interested party may attack a void marriage.

Void marriages have no legal effects except those declared by law

concerning the properties of the alleged spouses, regarding co-ownership or
ownership through actual joint contribution, and its effect on the children
born to such void marriages as provided in Article 50 in relation to Article
43 and 44 as well as Article 51, 53 and 54 of the Family Code. On the
contrary, the property regime governing voidable marriages is generally
conjugal partnership and the children conceived before its annulment are
(5) The Supreme Court requires a judicial decree of nullity of second
marriage before determining succession rights.
Jurisprudence under the Civil Code states that no judicial decree is
necessary in order to establish the nullity of a marriage. But Article 40 of the
Family Code expressly provides that there must be a judicial declaration of
the nullity of a previous marriage, though void, before a party can enter into
a second marriage.
However, other than for purposes of remarriage, no judicial action is
necessary to declare a marriage an absolute nullity. For other purposes,
such as but not limited to determination of heirship, legitimacy or
illegitimacy of a child, settlement of estate, dissolution of property regime, or
a criminal case for that matter, the court may pass upon the validity of
marriage even in a suit not directly instituted to question the same so long as
it is essential to the determination of the case. This is without prejudice to
any issue that may arise in the case. When such need arises, a final judgment
of declaration of nullity is necessary even if the purpose is other than to
remarry. The clause on the basis of a final judgment declaring such
previous marriage void in Article 40 of the Family Code connotes that such
final judgment need not be obtained only for purpose of remarriage.
This is a petition for review on certiorari on the decision of the Court
of Appeals.
Pepito Ninal was married to Teodulfa Bellones in 1974. Said
marriage gave birth to 5 children. Teodulfa was killed after being shot by
Pepito and less than 2 years after, Peptio and Norma Bayadog was married
without a marriage license. This was because they claimed to have been
living together for five years meaning they did not need to acquire a marriage
license. Pepito eventually died and the children from the marriage to
Teodulfa filed for the declaration of nullity of marriage of their father to

Norma. Norma responded by saying that they have no cause of action

because they were not parties recognized by the Civil code pursuant to
Article 47. The lower court decided that the death extinguished the marriage
of Pepito to Norma.
Whether or not the marriage between the two should be considered
null and void by reason of lack of marriage license
The court ruled in the affirmative. One of the marriages permitted to
be solemnized without a valid marriage license is that when the parties have
cohabited as husband and wife for 5 years and have lived together as such
only without a marriage contract. Basing from the facts, the parties have
merely cohabited as husband and wife for less than 2 years. The time from
which Norma and Pepito started counting was from the time they started to
live together without noting that a marriage between Pepito and Teodulfa was
still subsisting. This cannot be considered as cohabitation as husband and
wife because they cannot be considered one then, Pepito being a husband of
somebody else. Said cohabitation must be unbroken and disturbed by a thirdparty. In this case a third-party existed because Pepito was still married.
2. GARCIA vs. RECIO G.R. No. 138322. October 2, 2001
GRACE J. GARCIA, a.k.a. GRACE J. GARCIA-RECIO, petitioner, VS.
The respondent, a Filipino was married to Editha Samson, an Australian
citizen, in Rizal in 1987. They lived together as husband and wife in
Australia. In 1989, the Australian family court issued a decree of divorce
supposedly dissolving the marriage. In 1992, respondent acquired Australian
citizenship. In 1994, he married Grace Garcia, a Filipina, herein petitioner, in
Cabanatuan City. In their application for marriage license, respondent was
declared as single and Filipino. Since October 1995, they lived
separately; and in 1996 while in Autralia, their conjugal assets were divided.
In 1998, petitioner filed Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on
the ground of bigamy, claiming that she learned of the respondents former
marriage only in November. On the other hand, respondent claims that he
told petitioner of his prior marriage in 1993, before they were married.
Respondent also contended that his first marriage was dissolved by a divorce

decree obtained in Australia in 1989 and hence, he was legally capacitated to

marry petitioner in 1994. The trial court declared that the first marriage was
dissolved on the ground of the divorce issued in Australia as valid and
recognized in the Philippines. Hence, this petition was forwarded before the
1. Whether or not the divorce between respondent and Editha Samson was

sufficient evidence showing the foreign law governing his status. Together
with other evidences submitted, they dont absolutely establish his legal
capacity to remarry according to the alleged foreign law.
Case remanded to the court a quo. The marriage between the petitioner and
respondent can not be declared null and void based on lack of evidence
conclusively showing the respondents legal capacity to marry petitioner.
With the lack of such evidence, the court a quo may declare nullity of the
parties marriage based on two existing marriage certificates.

2. Whether or not respondent has legal capacity to marry Grace Garcia.

The Philippine law does not provide for absolute divorce; hence, our courts
cannot grant it. In mixed marriages involving a Filipino and a foreigner,
Article 26 of the Family Code allows the former to contract a subsequent
marriage in case the divorce is validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse
capacitating him or her to remarry. A divorce obtained abroad by two aliens,
may be recognized in the Philippines, provided it is consistent with their
respective laws. Therefore, before our courts can recognize a foreign divorce,
the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its
conformity to the foreign law allowing it.
In this case, the divorce decree between the respondent and Samson appears
to be authentic, issued by an Australian family court. Although, appearance is
not sufficient; and compliance with the rules on evidence regarding alleged
foreign laws must be demonstrated, the decree was admitted on account of
petitioners failure to object properly because he objected to the fact that it
was not registered in the Local Civil Registry of Cabanatuan City, not to its
Respondent claims that the Australian divorce decree, which was validly
admitted as evidence, adequately established his legal capacity to marry
under Australian law. However, there are two types of divorce, absolute
divorce terminating the marriage and limited divorce merely suspending the
marriage. In this case, it is not known which type of divorce the respondent
Even after the divorce becomes absolute, the court may under some foreign
statutes, still restrict remarriage. Under the Australian divorce decree a party
to a marriage who marries again before this decree becomes absolute
commits the offense of bigamy. This shows that the divorce obtained by the
respondent might have been restricted. Respondent also failed to produce


ORBECIDO III, G. R. No. 154380 October 5, 2005
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision and resolution of the
Regional Trial Court of Molave, Zamboaga del Sur, Branch 23, granting
respondents petition for authority to remarry invoking par. 2 of Article 26 of
On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III and Lady Myros Villanueva were
married in Lam-an, Ozamis City and were blessed with a son and a daughter.
In 1986, Lady Myros left for the U. S. bringing along their son and after a
few years she was naturalized as an American citizen.
Sometime in 2000, respondent Orbecido learned from his son who was
living with his wife in the States that his wife had remarried after obtaining
her divorce decree. Thereafter, he filed a petition for authority to remarry
with the trial court invoking par. 2 of Art. 26 of the Family Code.
Having no opposition, on May 15, 2002, the Regional Trial Court of
Zamboanga del Sur granted the petition of the respondent and allowed him to
The Solicitor Generals motion for reconsideration was denied. In view of
that, petitioner filed this petition for review on certiorari of the Decision of
the Regional Trial Court. Herein petitioner raised the issue of the
applicability of Art. 26 par. 2 to the instant case.


Respondent Orbecido who has the burden of proof, failed to submit
competent evidence showing his allegations that his naturalized American
wife had obtained a divorce decree and had remarried. Therefore, the Petition
of the Republic of the Philippines is GRANTED. The Decision and
Resolution of the RTC Br. 32 of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur is hereby SET
Art. 26 (2) Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is
validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the
alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall
have capacity to remarry under the Philippine laws.
Article 26 par. 2 of the Family Code only applies to case where at the time of
the celebration of the marriage, the parties are a Filipino citizen and a
foreigner. The instant case is one where at the time the marriage was
solemnized, the parties were two Filipino citizens, but later on, the wife was
naturalized as an American citizen and subsequently obtained a divorce
granting her capacity to remarry, and indeed she remarried an American
citizen while residing in the U. S. A. Therefore, the 2nd par. of Art. 26 does
not apply to the instant case.
However, the legislative intent must be taken into consideration and rule of
reason must be applied. The Supreme Court ruled that par. 2 of Art. 26 should
be construed and interpreted to include cases involving parties who, at the
time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on,
one of then becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce
decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the
other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the marriage.
To rule otherwise would be sanction absurdity and injustice. Were the
interpretation of a statute according to its exact and literal import would lead
to mischievous results or contravene the clear purpose of the legislature, it
should be construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as
necessary the letter of the law. A stature may therefore be extended to case
not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long as they come within its
spirits or intent.

This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the

Regional Trial Court.
Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros Villanueva in Ozamis
City in the year 1941. This relationship gave birth two a son and daughter.
Said son was with Lady when she left for the States in 1986. Cipriano knew
eventually that his wife has become a naturalized citizen of the States and
learned that she has married another man after acquiring a divorce decree.
Cipriano asked the declaration of the court permitting him to remarry. The
Solicitor General as representative for the State contends that he cannot be
granted permission to remarry because Lady was not a foreign citizen
specifically when he married her and the law only recognizes divorce
acquired by the alien spouse. Petition was denied.
Whether or not the Civil Code permits Cipriano to remarry after a
divorce was acquired by Lady
The court ruled in the affirmative, however, it denied Cipriano
permission to remarry.
The court in answering in the affirmative on the issue based their
decision on paragraph 2 of Section 26 of the Family Code which provides for
the recognition of a divorce decree validly acquired by the alien spouse in
another country. This is to permit the Filipino spouse to remarry as a matter
of fairness because the foreign spouse ceased to be attached to the Filipino.
What is relevant here is that Lady was no longer a citizen of the Philippines
when she acquired the divorce bringing her within the purview of Section 26.
She is considered an alien who obtained a divorce decree. This then
capacitates Cipriano to remarry. Unfortunately, for his petition to be granted,
he has to prove to the court that a divorce decree has been validly acquired
by his wife. However, he failed to do so, hence, the court cannot permit him
to remarry.
This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition to review the orders of
the RTC.
Petitioner is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent is a
citizen of the USA. They were married in Hongkong and established

residence in the Philippines and produced two children. They divorced in

Nevada and it is also where petitioner remarried Theodore Van Dorn. Private
respondent filed a case against petitioner with regard to a business in Ermita,
which respondent claims as Conjugal property and he asks to be declared
with right to manage. Petitioner claims that said act is barred by his
confirmation in their Nevada divorce that they had no community property.
The court denied dismissal because said property is in the Philippines and so
the divorce has no bearing in the case. Hence, the certiorari proceeding.
Whether the Nevada divorce is to be given merit in the Philippines
The private respondent contends that the divorce cannot be held valid
in the Philippines because it is against our laws. However, the Philippines
recognizes divorce by an alien in another country. The divorce that took place
between private respondent and petitioner received no contention from
private respondent. In fact he sent his lawyers on his behalf, stating that they
wish to get a divorce by reason of incompatibility and that there is no
community property to be adjudicated. With this, the court cannot rule in
favor of private respondent because being a citizen of the United States it
was his own laws that made the divorce valid.
Article 15 of the Civil Code talks about laws on family rights binding
upon citizens of the Philippines even though living abroad. However, private
respondent is a citizen of the USA and pursuant to his national law, he is no
longer the husband of petitioner, and it being a valid divorce, is recognized
here in the Philippines.
VAN DORN vs. ROMILLO, G.R. No. L-68470 October 8, 1985
Alice Reyes, the petitioner is a citizen of the Philippines while private
respondent Richard Upton is a citizen of the United States. They were
married in Hong Kong in 1972 and they established residence in the
Philippines. They had two children and they were divorced in Nevada, USA
in 1982. The petitioner remarried in Nevada to Theodore Van Dorn. The
private responded filed against petitioner stating that the petitioners business
is a conjugal property of the parties and that respondent is declared with right
to manage the conjugal property. Petitioner moved to dismiss the case on the
ground that the cause of action is barred by previous judgment in the divorce

proceedings before the Nevada Court, where respondent acknowledged that

they had no community property as of June 11, 1982.
Whether or not the private respondent as petitioners husband is entitled to
The policy against absolute divorce cover only Philippine nationals.
However, aliens may obtain divorce abroad, which may be recognized in the
Philippines provided they are valid according to their national law.
From the standards of American law, under which divorce dissolves
marriage, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the
marriage between them with the petitioner. Thus, pursuant to his national
law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He would have
no standing to sue in the case as petitioners husband entitled to exercise
control over conjugal assets. He is estopped by his own representation before
said court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property.
This is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition to review
the decision of the Regional Trial Court.
Imelda Pilapil was married to Erich Geiling in Germany and their
relationship gave birth to one child. Geiling eventually filed for divorce in
Germany stating as causes failure of the marriage. Said divorce was granted
by the Local Court of Germany. After said divorce, Geiling filed two
consecutive complaints of adultery against Pilapil for having relationships
with Chia and Chua. She asked the court to have her arraignment deferred
but to no avail, as well as the motion to quash due to lack of jurisdiction. A
temporary restraining order was eventually issued to prevent him from
implementing said order.
Whether or not a criminal case for adultery which took place after a
divorce is barred by the previously acquired decree of divorce

The court ruled in the affirmative and did not lift the temporary
restraining order issued against the prosecution of Pilapil. This was decided
based on two concepts. First is that the Civil Code of the Philippines
recognizes divorce acquired by an alien spouse in another country provided
that they are valid based on their national law. The second concept is that
adultery requires an offended spouse.

In the first instance, Geilings divorce decree which he acquired in

Germany is recognized by the Philippines pursuant to the Code. This means
that when Pilapil had relationships, she was already considered divorced and
can validly enter relationships. She was no longer tied to the marriage. In the
second concept, a case for adultery is instituted by a written complaint of an
offended spouse. This means that the marital status is relevant. It must occur
at the time of the subsistence of the marriage. This is where the present facts
fail. The two were already validly divorced. Hence, no adultery can take
place 5 months after.

FACTS: Petitioner Imelda Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, and private respondent

Erich Geiling, a German national, were married in Germany. After about
three and a half years of marriage, such connubial disharmony eventuated in
Geiling initiating a divorce proceeding against Pilapil in Germany. The Local
Court, Federal Republic of Germany, promulgated a decree of divorce on the
ground of failure of marriage of the spouses.

More than five months after the issuance of the divorce decree, Geiling filed
two complaints for adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging in one
that, while still married to said Geiling, Pilapil had an affair with a certain
William Chia. The Assistant Fiscal, after the corresponding investigation,
recommended the dismissal of the cases on the ground of insufficiency of
evidence. However, upon review, the respondent city fiscal Victor approved a
resolution directing the filing of 2 complaint for adultery against the
petitioner. The case entitled PP Philippines vs. Pilapil and Chia was
assigned to the court presided by the respondent judge Ibay-Somera.

A motion to quash was filed in the same case which was denied by the
respondent. Pilapil filed this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition,
with a prayer for a TRO, seeking the annulment of the order of the lower
court denying her motion to quash.

As cogently argued by Pilapil, Article 344 of the RPC thus presupposes that
the marital relationship is still subsisting at the time of the institution of the
criminal action for adultery.

ISSUE: Did Geiling have legal capacity at the time of the filing of the
complaint for adultery, considering that it was done after obtaining a divorce

HELD: WHEREFORE, the questioned order denying petitioners MTQ is

SET ASIDE and another one entered DISMISSING the complaint for lack
of jurisdiction. The TRO issued in this case is hereby made permanent.
Under Article 344 of the RPC, the crime of adultery cannot be prosecuted
except upon a sworn written complaint filed by the offended spouse. It has
long since been established, with unwavering consistency, that compliance
with this rule is a jurisdictional, and not merely a formal, requirement.

Corollary to such exclusive grant of power to the offended spouse to institute

the action, it necessarily follows that such initiator must have the status,
capacity or legal representation to do so at the time of the filing of the
criminal action. This is a logical consequence since the raison detre of said
provision of law would be absent where the supposed offended party had

ceased to be the spouse of the alleged offender at the time of the filing of the
criminal case.

Stated differently, the inquiry would be whether it is necessary in the

commencement of a criminal action for adultery that the marital bonds
between the complainant and the accused be unsevered and existing at the
time of the institution of the action by the former against the latter.
In the present case, the fact that private respondent obtained a valid divorce
in his country, the Federal Republic of Germany, is admitted. Said divorce
and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as private
respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law
on the matter of status of persons Under the same considerations and
rationale, private respondent, being no longer the husband of petitioner, had
no legal standing to commence the adultery case under the imposture that he
was the offended spouse at the time he filed suit.


Retroactive Effect of Article 26 of the Family Code
During his lifetime, Felicisimo San Luis (Rodolfo San Luiss dad) contracted
three marriages. His first marriage was with Virginia Sulit on March 17, 1942
out of which were born six children. On August 11, 1963, Virginia
predeceased Felicisimo.
Five years later, on May 1, 1968, Felicisimo married Merry Lee Corwin, with
whom he had a son, Tobias. However, on October 15, 1971, Merry Lee, an
American citizen, filed a Complaint for Divorce before the Family Court of
the First Circuit, State of Hawaii, which issued a Decree Granting Absolute
Divorce and Awarding Child Custody on December 14, 1973. On June 20,
1974, Felicisimo married Felicidad San Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos. He
had no children with Felicidad but lived with her for 18 years from the time
of their marriage up to his death on December 18, 1992. Upon death of his
dad, Rodolfo sought the dissolution of their Felicisimos conjugal partnership
assets and the settlement of Felicisimos estate. On December 17, 1993,

Felicidad filed a petition for letters of administration before the Regional

Trial Court of Makati City. Rodolfo claimed that Felicidad has no legal
personality to file the petition because she was only a mistress of Felicisimo
since the latter, at the time of his death, was still legally married to Merry
Lee. Felicidad presented the decree of absolute divorce issued by the Family
Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii to prove that the marriage of
Felicisimo to Merry Lee had already been dissolved. Thus, she claimed that
Felicisimo had the legal capacity to marry her by virtue of paragraph 2
Article 26 of the Family Code.
Rodolfo asserted that paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Family Code cannot be
given retroactive effect to validate Felicidads bigamous marriage with
Felicisimo because this would impair vested rights in derogation of Article
ISSUE: Whether or not Felicidad may file for letters of administration over
Felicisimos estate.
HELD: The divorce decree allegedly obtained by Merry Lee which
absolutely allowed Felicisimo to remarry, would have vested Felicidad with
the legal personality to file the present petition as Felicisimos surviving
spouse. However, the records show that there is insufficient evidence to
prove the validity of the divorce obtained by Merry Lee as well as the
marriage of Felicidad and Felicisimo under the laws of the U.S.A. InGarcia
v. Recio, the Court laid down the specific guidelines for pleading and proving
foreign law and divorce judgments. It held that presentation solely of the
divorce decree is insufficient and that proof of its authenticity and due
execution must be presented. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, a
writing or document may be proven as a public or official record of a foreign
country by either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by
the officer having legal custody of the document. If the record is not kept in
the Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued by
the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service
stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b)
authenticated by the seal of his office.
With regard to Felicidads marriage to Felicisimo allegedly solemnized in
California, U.S.A., she submitted photocopies of the Marriage Certificate and
the annotated text of the Family Law Act of California which purportedly
show that their marriage was done in accordance with the said law. As stated

in Garcia, however, the Court cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws as
they must be alleged and proved.
The case should be remanded to the trial court for further reception of
evidence on the divorce decree obtained by Merry Lee and the marriage of
respondent and Felicisimo.


to keep the person attached while the alien spouse is free to marry and is
considered single.
7. Republic vs Iyoy (G.R. No. 152577)


This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court
of Appeals.
Felicisimo San Luis was married to Vriginia Sulit. This relationship
bore six children. Virginia Sulit died in 1963. With this Felicisimo was able
to marry Merry Lee Crown which marriage bore a son. Five years into the
marriage, Merry filed for divorce in Hawaii which was granted by the court.
Felicisimo eventually married herein repsondent Felicidad San Luis with
whom he had no children. When Felicisimo died in 1992, Felicidad filed for
the dissolution of their conjugal assets and estate settlement stating the legal
heirs of Felicisimo was her as the legal wife, the six children from the first
marriage and the son from the second marriage. The son of Merry contested
this saying that she was not the legal wife hence not a legal heir because
Felicisimo was still married to Merry. He justified this by saying that the
divorce decree acquired in Hawaii is not recognized in the Philippines of
whom Felicisimo was a citizen. The court sided with the son and declared
Felicidads marriage to Felicisimo as null and void ab intio. The Court of
Appeal however, reversed this decision.
Whether or not the divorce decree granted to Merry Lee Crown is
recognized in the Philippines
The court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. Article 15 of
the Civil Code provides that the Philippines recognizes divorce decrees
acquired by the alien spouse in another country provided that it is valid
according to their national law. In the present case, Merry Lee Crowns
divorce decree is considered valid. This provision permits the Filipino form a
mixed marriage to enter into another marriage because the law does not wish

The case is a petition for review by the RP represented by the Office of the
Solicitor General on certiorari praying for thereversal of the decision of the
CA dated July 30, 2001 affirming the judgment of the RTC declaring the
marriage of Crasus L. Iyoy(respondent) and Ada Rosal-Iyoy null and void
based on Article 36.

On December 16, 1961 Crasus Iyoy and Ada Rosal-Iyoy married each other,
they had 5 children. In 1984, Fely went to the US, inthe same year she sent
letters to Crasus asking him to sign divorce papers. In 1985, Crasus learned
that Fely married an Americanand had a child. Fely went back to the
Philippines on several occasions, during one she attended the marriage of one
of her children inwhich she used her husbands last name as hers in the

March 25, 1997, Crasus filed a complaint for declaration of nullity alleging
that Felys acts brought danger and dishonor to the family and were
manifestations of her psychological incapacity. Crasus submitted his
testimony, the certification of the recording of their marriage contract, and
the invitation where Fely used her newhusbands last name as evidences.

Fely denied the claims and asserted that Crasus was a drunkard, womanizer,
had no job, and thatsince 1988 she was already an American citizen and not
covered by our laws. The RTC found the evidences sufficient and granted
thedecree; it was affirmed in the CA.

Does abandonment and sexual infidelity per se constitute psychological

The evidences presented by the respondent fail to establish psychological

This is a petition for review on certiorari the decision of the Court of

Crasus Iyoy was married to Fely Iyoy in 1961 and this marriage gave
birth to five children. Fely Iyoy eventually left for the States to provide for
their family in 1984 and in less than a year sent Crasus documents to sign
with regard to a divorce that she applied for. Crasus eventually found out that
Fely married Stephen Micklus in 1985 and their relationship has conceived
of a child. Crasus eventually questioned the validity of Felys subsequent
marriage. The Court of Appeals in deciding this case sided with Fely.

Furthermore, Article 36 contemplates downright incapacity or inability to
take cognizance of and to assume the basic marital obligations; not a mere
refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less, ill will, on the part of the errant
spouse. Irreconcilable differences, conflicting personalities, emotional
immaturity and irresponsibility, physical abuse, habitual alcoholism, sexual
infidelity or perversion, and abandonment, by themselves, also do not
warrant a finding of psychological incapacity under the said Article.

Finally, Article 36 is not to be confused with a divorce law that cuts the
marital bond at the time the causes therefore manifest themselves. It refers to
a serious psychological illness afflicting aparty even before the celebration of
marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one of
awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is
about to assume.

Whether or not a divorce decree acquired by a Filipino from the

United States is valid and recognized in the Philippines

The court decided in the negative and reversed the Appellate Courts
decision. Basing from the facts, Fely only became a citizen in 1988 and
acquired the divorce in 1984, marrying Micklus a year after. This means that
paragraph two of Article 26 cannot be applied in such a way that, Fely is not
yet considered an alien at the time the divorce was acquired and therefore she
does not have the capacity to remarry and the marriage is still considered as
subsisting. The Civil Code also provides that Filipino Citizen, with regard to
family laws and status are governed by Philippine laws regardless of where
they are. Fely, being a Filipino Citizen then, is not permitted by our laws to
acquire a divorce decree since such is not recognized in the Philippines.
8. LLORENTE vs. CA, G.R. No. 124371. November 23, 2000
F. LLORENTE, respondents
November 23, 2000


Lorenzo Llorente and petitioner Paula Llorente were married in 1937 in the
Philippines. Lorenzo was an enlisted serviceman of the US Navy. Soon after,

he left for the US where through naturalization, he became a US Citizen.

Upon his visitation of his wife, he discovered that she was living with his
brother and a child was born. The child was registered as legitimate but the
name of the father was left blank. Llorente filed a divorce in California,
which later on became final. He married Alicia and they lived together for 25
years bringing 3 children. He made his last will and testament stating that all
his properties will be given to his second marriage. He filed a petition of
probate that made or appointed Alicia his special administrator of his estate.
proceeding could be terminated, Lorenzo died. Paula filed a letter of
administration over Llorentes estate. The trial granted the letter and denied
the motion for reconsideration. An appeal was made to the Court of Appeals,
which affirmed and modified the judgment of the Trial Court that she be
declared co-owner of whatever properties, she and the deceased, may have
Whether or not the National Law shall apply.
Lorenzo Llorente was already an American citizen when he divorced Paula.
Such was also the situation when he married Alicia and executed his will. As
stated in Article 15 of the civil code, aliens may obtain divorces abroad,
provided that they are validly required in their National Law. Thus the
divorce obtained by Llorente is valid because the law that governs him is not
Philippine Law but his National Law since the divorce was contracted after
he became an American citizen. Furthermore, his National Law allowed
The case was remanded to the court of origin for determination of the
intrinsic validity of Lorenzo Llorentes will and determination of the parties
successional rights allowing proof of foreign law.

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