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CASE DIGESTS Escaño’s divorce and second marriage cannot be deemed valid under the Philippine

Law to which Escaño was bound since in the time the divorce decree was issued,
Escaño, like her husband, was still a Filipino citizen. The acts of the wife in not
complying with her wifely duties, deserting her husband without any justifiable cause,
1) Tenchavez vs Escano, 15 SCRA 355 (1965)
leaving for the United States in order to secure a decree of absolute divorce, and
finally getting married again are acts which constitute a willful infliction of injury upon
the husband’s feelings in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy,
thus entitling Tenchavez to a decree of legal separation under our law on the basis of
Vicenta Escaño, 27, exchanged marriage vows with Pastor Tenchavez, 32, on adultery.
February 24, 1948, before a Catholic chaplain. The marriage was duly registered with
the local civil registrar. However, the two were unable to live together after the
2. No. There is no evidence that the parents of Vicenta, out of improper motives,
marriage and as of June 1948, they were already estranged. Vicenta left for the
aided and abetted her original suit for annulment, or her subsequent divorce.
United Stated in 1950. On the same year she filed a verified complaint for divorce
against Tenchavez in the State of Nevada on the ground of “Extreme cruelty, entirely
mental in character.” A decree of divorce, “final and absolute” was issued in open A portion of Section 529 reads: The law distinguishes between the right of a parent to
court by the said tribunal. She married an American, lived with him in California, had interest himself in the marital affairs of his child and the absence of rights in a tranger
several children with him and, on 1958, acquired American Citizenship. to intermeddle in such affairs. …A parent is liable for alienation of affections resulting
from his own malicious conduct, as where he wrongfully entices his son or daughter to
leave his or her spouse, but he is not liable unless he acts maliciously, without
On 30 July 1955, Tenchavez filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Cebu,
justification and from unworthy motives.
and amended on 31 May 1956, against Vicenta F. Escaño, her parents, Mamerto and
Mena Escaño whom he charged with having dissuaded and discouraged Vicenta from
joining her husband, and alienating her affections, and against the Roman Catholic Therefore, her parents, in respecting Vicenta’s independent decisions, certainly
Church, for having, through its Diocesan Tribunal, decreed the annulment of the cannot be charged with alienation of affections in the absence of malice or unworthy
marriage, and asked for legal separation and one million pesos in damages. Vicenta’s motives.
parents denied that they had in any way influenced their daughter’s acts, and
counterclaimed for moral damages. 2) Van Dorn vs Romillo, GR Np. 68470, 8 Oct 1985

ISSUE: Facts:

1. Whether or not the divorce sought by Vicenta Escaño is valid and binding upon Petitioner Alicia Reyes Van is citizen of the Philippines while private respondent Richard
courts of the Philippines. Upton is a citizen of the United States, were married on 1972 at Hongkong. On 1982,
they got divorced in Nevada, United States; and the petitioner remarried to Theodore
2. Whether or not the parents of Vicenta alienated the affections of their daughter and Van Dorn.
influenced her conduct toward her husband.
On July 8, 1983, private respondent filed suit against petitioner, asking that the
petitioner be ordered to render an accounting of her business in Ermita, Manila, and be
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 judgement in the
1. No. Vicenta Escaño and Pastor Tenchavez’ marriage remain existent and divorce proceeding before Nevada Court where respondent acknowledged that they
undissolved under the Philippine Law. had no community property. The lower court denied the motion to dismiss on the ground
that the property involved is located in the Philippines, that the Divorce Decree has no
Pursuant to Article 15 of the Civil Code, laws relating to family rights and duties, or to bearing in the case. Respondent avers that Divorce Decree abroad cannot prevail over
the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the the prohibitive laws of the Philippines.
Philippines, even though living abroad.
Issue: On the other hand, petitioner filed an action for legal separation before a trial court in
(1) Whether or not the foreign divorce between the petitioner and private
respondent in Nevada is binding in the Philippines where petitioner is a Filipino After the issuance of the divorce decree, private respondent filed the complaint for
citizen adultery before the prosecutor of Manila alleging that the petitioner had an affair
(2) Whether or not Richard Upton may assert his right on conjugal properties. William Chia and Jesus Chua while they were still married.

Held: Petitioner filed a petition with the Justice Secretary asking to set aside the cases filed
against her and be dismissed. Thereafter, petitioner moved to defer
her arraignment and to suspend further proceedings. Justice Secretary Ordoñez issued
As to Richard Upton, the divorce is binding on him as an American Citizen. Owing to
a resolution directing to move for the dismissal of the complaints against petitioner.
the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine
nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being
considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. However, aliens may ISSUE:
obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are
valid according to their national law. The divorce is likewise valid as to the petitioner.
WON a criminal case for adultery, which took place after a divorce, is barred by the
previously acquired decree of divorce.
As such, pursuant to his national law, private respondent Richard Upton is no longer
the husband of petitioner. He would have no standing to sue Alice Van Dorn to exercise
control over conjugal assets. He was bound by the Decision of his own country’s Court, HELD:
which validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he did not repudiate,
he is estopped by his own representation before said Court from asserting his right over The Court ruled on the affirmative side. This was based on two concepts. First, that
the alleged conjugal property. the Civil Code of the Philippines recognized a divorce acquired by an alien spouse in
another country provided that it is valid based on his national law. The second
“”Alicia Reyes under our National law is still considered married to private respondent. concept is that adultery requires an offended spouse, which means that marital status
However, petitioner should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect and is relevant. In the case at bar, Geiling’s divorce decree acquired in Germany is
fidelity, and render support to private respondent. The latter should not continue to be recognized in the Philippines freeing him and Pilapil from their marital bond and
one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She should not be responsibility. Since they are validly divorced, Geiling cannot be considered an
discriminated against her own country if the ends of justice are to be served.”” offended spouse to file an adultery case against Pilapil who had then the right and
Commented [WU1]: Di ko gets? Why still considered
freedom to enter into another relationships.
married? When binding man kaha ang divorce nila
Commented [WU2]: Meaning private respondent Geiling
3) Pilapil vs Ibay-Somera, G.R. No. 80116, 30 June 1989 4) Quita vs Dandan, 300 SCRA 406 (1998) cannot prosecute petitioner Imelda on the ground of
adultery since they are no longer husband and wife when he
Facts: FACTS: filed a suit.

On September 7, 1979, petitioner Imelda Manalaysay Pilapil (Filipino citizen) and Fe D. Quita and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, were married in the Philippines on 18
respondent and respondent Erich Ekkehard Geiling, German national, were married at May 1941. They were not however blessed with children. Somewhere along the way
Federal Republic of Germany. They lived together in Malate, Manila and had a child, their relationship soured. Eventually Fe sued Arturo for divorce in San Francisco,
Isabella Pilapil Geiling. California, U.S.A. On 23 July 1954 she obtained a final judgment of divorce. Three (3)
weeks thereafter she married a certain Felix Tupaz in the same locality but their
The private respondent initiated divorce proceeding against petitioner in Germany. The relationship also ended in a divorce. Still in the U.S.A., she married for the third time,
local court in Germany promulgated a decree of divorce on the ground of failure of to a certain Wernimont.
marriage of the spouse.
On 16 April 1972 Arturo died. He left no will. On 31 August 1972 Lino Javier Inciong
filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for issuance of letters of
administration concerning the estate of Arturo in favor of the Philippine Trust heirs is AFFIRMED. The Court however emphasizes that the reception of evidence by
Company. Respondent Blandina Dandan (also referred to as Blandina Padlan), the trial court should be limited to the hereditary rights of petitioner as the surviving
claiming to be the surviving spouse of Arturo Padlan, and Claro, Alexis, Ricardo, spouse of Arturo Padlan.
Emmanuel, Zenaida and Yolanda, all surnamed Padlan, named in the petition as
surviving children of Arturo Padlan, opposed the petition. The RTC expressed that the 5) Llorente vs CA, 345 SCRA 592 (2000)
marriage between Antonio and petitioner subsisted until the death of Arturo in 1972,
that the marriage existed between private respondent and Arturo was clearly void
since it was celebrated during the existence of his previous marriage to petitioner. The
Court of Appeals remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.
Lorenzo and petitioner Paula Llorente (hereinafter referred to as “Paula”) were married
before a parish priest, Roman Catholic Church, in Nabua, Camarines Sur. Before the
outbreak of the Pacific War, Lorenzo departed for the United States and Paula stayed
in the conjugal home in barrio Antipolo, Nabua, Camarines Sur.[5]
Who between the petitioner and private respondent is the proper heir of the
decedent? On November 30, 1943, Lorenzo was admitted to United States citizenship
and Certificate of Naturalization No. 5579816 was issued in his favor by the United
RULING: States District Court, Southern District of New York. Paula gave birth to a boy registered
in the Office of the Registrar of Nabua as “Crisologo Llorente,” with the certificate stating
If there is a controversy before the court as to who are the lawful heirs of the that the child was not legitimate and the line for the father’s name was left blank.
deceased person or as to the distributive shares to which each person is entitled
under the law, the controversy shall be heard and decided as in ordinary cases. No Lorenzo returned to the United States and on November 16, 1951 filed for divorce with
dispute exists either as to the right of the six (6) Padlan children to inherit from the the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Diego. Paula
decedent because there are proofs that they have been duly acknowledged by him was represented by counsel, John Riley, and actively participated in the proceedings.
and petitioner herself even recognizes them as heirs of Arturo Padlan; nor as to their On November 27, 1951, the Superior Court of the State of California, for the County of
respective hereditary shares. Arturo was a Filipino and as such remained legally San Diego found all factual allegations to be true and issued an interlocutory judgment
married to her in spite of the divorce they obtained. The implication is that petitioner of divorce.[11]
was no longer a Filipino citizen at the time of her divorce from Arturo. This should
have prompted the trial court to conduct a hearing to establish her citizenship. The Lorenzo refused to forgive Paula and live with her. On December 4, 1952, the divorce
purpose of a hearing is to ascertain the truth of the matters in issue with the aid of decree became final. In the meantime, Lorenzo returned to the Philippines. Lorenzo
documentary and testimonial evidence as well as the arguments of the parties either married Alicia F. Llorente in Manila.[13] Apparently, Alicia had no knowledge of the first
supporting or opposing the evidence. marriage even if they resided in the same town as Paula, who did not oppose the
marriage or cohabitation.
The trial court did not grant private respondent’s prayer for a hearing but proceeded to
resolve her motion with the finding that both petitioner and Arturo were “Filipino Lorenzo executed a Last Will and Testament. The will was notarized by Notary Public
citizens and were married in the Philippines.” It maintained that their divorce obtained Salvador M. Occiano, duly signed by Lorenzo with attesting witnesses Francisco Hugo,
in 1954 in San Francisco, California, U.S.A., was not valid in Philippine jurisdiction. Francisco Neibres and Tito Trajano. In the will, Lorenzo bequeathed all his property to
The question to be determined by the trial court should be limited only to the right of Alicia and their three children.
petitioner to inherit from Arturo as his surviving spouse. Private respondent’s claim to
heirship was already resolved by the trial court. She and Arturo were married on 22 Lorenzo filed with the Regional Trial Court, Iriga, Camarines Sur, a petition for the
April 1947 while the prior marriage of petitioner and Arturo was subsisting thereby probate and allowance of his last will and testament wherein Lorenzo moved that Alicia
resulting in a bigamous marriage considered void from the beginning under Arts. 80 be appointed Special Administratrix of his estate.
and 83 of the Civil Code. Consequently, she is not a surviving spouse that can inherit
from him as this status presupposes a legitimate relationship.
Paula filed with the same court a petition*22+ for letters of administration over
Lorenzo’s estate in her favor.
The petition is DENIED. The decision of respondent Court of Appeals ordering the
remand of the case to the court of origin for further proceedings and declaring null and
void its decision holding petitioner Fe D. Quita and Ruperto T. Padlan as intestate
RTC: considering that this court has so found that the divorce decree granted to the late the RTC declare her marriage to respondent Crasus null and void; and that respondent
Lorenzo Llorente is void and inapplicable in the Philippines, therefore the marriage he Crasus be ordered to pay to Fely the P90,000.00 she advanced to him, with interest,
contracted with Alicia Fortunato on January 16, 1958 at Manila is likewise void. CA plus, moral and exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, and litigation expenses.
The Regional Trial Court declared the marriage of Crasus and Fely null and void ab
ISSUE: ignition on the ground of psychological incapacity. One factor considered by the RTC is
that Fely obtained a divorce decree in the United States of America and married another
Who are entitled to inherit? man and has established another family of her own. Plaintiff is in
an anomalous situation, wherein he is married to a wife who is already married to
RULING: another man in another country. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision.

However, intestate and testamentary succession, both with respect to the order of
succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of
testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose 1. Whether or not abandonment and sexual infidelity constitute psychological
succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and incapacity.
regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.”
2. Whether or not the divorce instituted by Fely abroad was valid.
For failing to apply these doctrines, the decision of the Court of Appeals must be
reversed.[43] We hold that the divorce obtained by Lorenzo H. Llorente from his first RULING:
wife Paula was valid and recognized in this jurisdiction as a matter of comity. Now, the
effects of this divorce (as to the succession to the estate of the decedent) are matters 1st issue:
best left to the determination of the trial court. “Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of
contracts, wills, and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the
The totality of evidence presented during the trial is insufficient to support the finding of
country in which they are executed. Will is valid. SC reversed the decision.
psychological incapacity of Fely. Using the guidelines established by the cases of
Santos, Molina and Marcos, this Court found that the totality of evidence presented by
respondent Crasus failed miserably to establish the alleged psychological incapacity of
6) Republic v Iyoy, GR No. 152577, 21 Sep 2005 his wife Fely; therefore, there is no basis for declaring their marriage null and void under
Article 36 of the Family Code of the Philippines. Irreconcilable differences, conflicting
FACTS: personalities, emotional immaturity and irresponsibility, physical abuse, habitual
alcoholism, sexual infidelity or perversion, and abandonment, by themselves, also do
Crasus Iyoy married Fely on December 16, 1961 in Cebu City. They begot five children. not warrant a finding of psychological incapacity under the said Article.
After the celebration of their marriage, respondent Crasus discovered that Fely was
“hot-tempered, a nagger and extravagant.” In 1984, Fely left the Philippines for the 2nd issue:
United States of America (U.S.A.), leaving all of their five children to the care of
respondent Crasus. Sometime in 1985, respondent Crasus learned, through the letters As it is worded, Article 26, paragraph 2, refers to a special situation wherein one of the
sent by Fely to their children, that Fely got married to an American, with whom she couple getting married is a Filipino citizen and the other a foreigner at the time the
eventually had a child. Fely had five visits in Cebu City but never met Crasus. Also, she marriage was celebrated. By its plain and literal interpretation, the said provision cannot
had been openly using the surname of her American husband in the Philippines and in be applied to the case of respondent Crasus and his wife Fely because at the time Fely
the USA. Crasus filed a declaration of nullity of marriage on March 25, 1997. obtained her divorce, she was still a Filipino citizen. Although the exact date was not
established, Fely herself admitted in her Answer filed before the RTC that she obtained
On her Answer, Fely alleged that while she did file for divorce from respondent Crasus, a divorce from respondent Crasus sometime after she left for the United States in 1984,
she denied having herself sent a letter to respondent Crasus requesting him to sign the after which she married her American husband in 1985. In the same Answer, she
enclosed divorce papers. After securing a divorce from respondent Crasus, Fely alleged that she had been an American citizen since 1988. At the time she filed for
married her American husband and acquired American citizenship. She argued that her divorce, Fely was still a Filipino citizen, and pursuant to the nationality principle
marriage to her American husband was legal because now being an American citizen, embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, she was still bound by
her status shall be governed by the law of her present nationality. Fely also prayed that Philippine laws on family rights and duties, status, condition, and legal capacity, even
when she was already living abroad. Philippine laws, then and even until now, do not The instant case was one where at the time the marriage was solemnized, the parties
allow and recognize divorce between Filipino spouses. Thus, Fely could not have validly were two Filipino citizens, but later on, the wife was naturalized as an American citizen
obtained a divorce from respondent Crasus. and subsequently obtained a divorce granting her capacity to remarry, and indeed, she
remarried an American citizen while residing in the US.
The Supreme Court held that the marriage of respondent Crasus L. Iyoy and Fely Ada
Rosal-Iyoy remains valid and subsisting.
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
to sanction absurdity and injustice. The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the
7) Republic vs Orbecido III, GR No. 154380, 5 Oct 2005 parties at the time of the celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the time a
valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.
Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M. Villanueva at the United Church of Christ
in the Philippines in Lam-an, Ozamis City, on May 24, 1981. They were blessed with a However, considering that in the present petition there is no sufficient evidence
with a son and a daughter, Kristoffer Simbortriz V. Orbecido and Lady Kimberly V. submitted by Orbecido to prove as fact his wife’s naturalization as an American citizen
Orbecido. and obtained a divorce decree to remarry an American, the Court is unable to declare
Lady Myros left for the United States bringing along their son Kristoffer in 1986. After that respondent is now capacitated to remarry. Such declaration could only be made
few years, Cipriano discovered that his wife had been naturalized as an American properly upon respondent’s submission of the aforecited evidence in his favor.

8) San Luis vs San Luis, GR No. 133743, 6 Feb 2007

Cipriano learned from his son that his wife had obtained a divorce decree sometime in
2000 and then married a certain Innocent Stanley and lived in California.

He then filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 The instant case involves the settlement of the estate of Felicisimo T. San Luis
of Article 26 of the Family Code. No opposition was filed. Finding merit in the petition, (Felicisimo), who was the former governor of the Province of Laguna. During his
the court granted the same. The Republic, herein petitioner, through the Office of the lifetime, Felicisimo contracted three marriages. The first marriage was with Virginia Sulit
Solicitor General (OSG), sought reconsideration but it was denied. Orbecido filed a on March 17, 1942 out of which were born six children, namely: Rodolfo, Mila, Edgar,
petition for review of certiorari on the Decision of the RTC. Linda, Emilita and Manuel. On August 11, 1963, Virginia predeceased Felicisimo. The
second was Merry Lee Corwin, with whom he had a son, Tobias; and Felicidad San
Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos, with whom he had no children with respondent but
Issue: lived with her for 18 years from the time of their marriage up to his death.
Whether or not respondent Orbecido can remarry under Article 26 of the Family Code.
Respondent sought the dissolution of their conjugal partnership assets and the
Held: settlement of Felicisimo’s estate. On December 17, 1993, she filed a petition for letters
Yes. The Court’s unanimous decision in holding Article 26, paragraph 2 of the Family of administration before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 146.
Code be interpreted as allowing a Filipino citizen who has been divorced by a spouse
who had acquired a foreign citizenship and remarried, also to remarry under Philippine Thereater, the heirs of Virginia Sulit filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of improper
law. venue and failure to state a cause of action. But the trial court issued an order denying
the two motions to dismiss. On September 12, 1995, the trial court dismissed the
petition for letters of administration. It held that, at the time of his death, Felicisimo was
The article should be interpreted to include cases involving parties who, at the time of the duly elected governor and a resident of the Province of Laguna. Hence, the petition
the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them became should have been filed in Sta. Cruz, Laguna and not in Makati City. It also ruled that
naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtained a divorce decree. respondent was without legal capacity to file the petition for letters
of administration because her marriage with Felicisimo was bigamous, thus, void ab
initio. The Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the orders of the trial court, and,
hence, the case before the Supreme Court.
Issue: compliance to rule 103 is necessary if the petition is to be granted, as it would result in
the resumption of the use of petitioner’s maiden name and surname.
Whether respondent has legal capacity to file the subject petition for letters
of administration ISSUE:
Whether or not in the case of annulment of marriage, or divorce under the Code of
Held: Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines, and the husband is married again to another
woman and the former desires to resume her maiden name or surname, is she
required to file a petition for change of name and comply with the formal requirements
Respondent would qualify as an interested person who has a direct interest in the estate of Rule 103 of the Rules of Court.
of Felicisimo by virtue of their cohabitation, the existence of which was not denied by
petitioners. If she proves the validity of the divorce and Felicisimo’s capacity to remarry, RULING:
but fails to prove that her marriage with him was validly performed under the laws of the NO. When a woman marries a man, she need not apply and/or seek judicial authority
U.S.A., then she may be considered as a co-owner under Article 144 of the Civil Code. to use her husband's name by prefixing the word "Mrs." before her husband's full
This provision governs the property relations between parties who live together as name or by adding her husband's surname to her maiden first name. The law grants
husband and wife without the benefit of marriage, or their marriage is void from the her such right (Art. 370, Civil Code). Similarly, when the marriage ties or vinculum no
beginning. It provides that the property acquired by either or both of them through their longer exists as in the case of death of the husband or divorce as authorized by the
work or industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules on co- Muslim Code, the widow or divorcee need not seek judicial confirmation of the change
ownership. In a co- ownership, it is not necessary that the property be acquired through in her civil status in order to revert to her maiden name as the use of her former
their joint labor, efforts and industry. Any property acquired during the union is prima husband's name is optional and not obligatory for her. When petitioner married her
facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. Hence, the portions husband, she did not change her name but only her civil status. Neither was she
belonging to the co-owners shall be presumed equal, unless the contrary is proven. required to secure judicial authority to use the surname of her husband after the
marriage, as no law requires it. The use of the husband's surname during the
Morover, the Supreme Court founnd that respondent’s legal capacity to file the subject marriage, after annulment of the marriage and after the death of the husband is
petition for letters of administration may arise from her status as the surviving wife of permissive and not obligatory except in case of legal separation.
Felicisimo or as his co- owner under Article 144 of the Civil Code or Article 148 of the
Family Code. The court finds the petition to resume the use of maiden name filed by petitioner
before the respondent court a superfluity and unnecessary proceeding since the law
The order of the Regional Trial Court which denied petitioners’ motion to dismiss and requires her to do so as her former husband is already married to another woman
its October 24, 1994 Order which dismissed petitioners’ motion for reconsideration is after obtaining a decree of divorce from her in accordance with Muslim laws.
affirmed. It was also REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings.
10) Garcia vs Recio, 366 SCRA 437 (2001)
9) Yasin vs Sharia District Court, 241 SCRA 606 (1995)
Respondent Rederick Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian
On 5 May 1990, Hatima C. Yasin filed in the Shari'a District Court in Zamboanga City citizen, in Malabon, Rizal, on March 1, 1987. They lived together as husband and wife
a "Petition to resume the use of maiden name.” The respondent court ordered in Australia. On May 18, 1989, a decree of divorce, purportedly dissolving the marriage,
amendments to the petition as it was not sufficient in form and substance in was issued by an Australian family court. On June 26, 1992, respondent became an
accordance Rule 103, Rules of Court, regarding the residence of petitioner and the Australian citizen and was married again to petitioner Grace Garcia-Recio, a Filipina on
name sought to be adopted is not properly indicated in the title thereof which should January 12, 1994 in Cabanatuan City. In their application for a marriage license,
include all the names by which the petitioner has been known. Hatima filed a motion respondent was declared as “single” and “Filipino.”
for reconsideration of the aforesaid order alleging that the petition filed is not covered
by Rule 103 of the Rules of Court but is merely a petition to resume the use of her Starting October 22, 1995, petitioner and respondent lived separately without prior
maiden name and surname after the dissolution of her marriage by divorce under the judicial dissolution of their marriage.
Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines, and after marriage of her former
husband to another woman. The respondent court denied the motion since
On March 3, 1998, petitioner filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on
the ground of bigamy. Respondent allegedly had a prior subsisting marriage at the time
he married her. On his Answer, Rederick contended that his first marriage was
validly dissolved; thus, he was legally capacitated to marry Grace. 11) Roehr vs Rodriguez, GR No. 142820, 20 Jun 2003

On July 7, 1998 or about five years after the couple’s wedding and while the suit for the FACTS:
declaration of nullity was pending , respondent was able to secure a divorce decree Petitioner Wolfgang O. Roehr, a German citizen, married private respondent Carmen
from a family court in Sydney, Australia because the “marriage had irretrievably broken Rodriguez, a Filipina, on December 11, 1980 in Germany. Their marriage was
down.” subsequently ratified on February 14, 1981 in Tayasan, Negros Oriental. Out of their
union were born Carolynne and Alexandra Kristine.
The Regional Trial Court declared the marriage of Rederick and Grace
Carmen filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage before the Makati Regional
Recio dissolved on the ground that the Australian divorce had ended the marriage of
Trial Court (RTC). Wolfgang filed a motion to dismiss, but it was denied.
the couple thus there was no more marital union to nullify or annul.
Meanwhile, Wolfgang obtained a decree of divorce from the Court of First Instance of
ISSUE: Hamburg-Blankenese. Said decree also provides that the parental custody of the
children should be vested to Wolfgang.
1.) Whether or not the divorce between respondent and Editha Samson was proven.
Wolfgang filed another motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction as a divorce decree
2.) Whether or not respondent was proven to be legally capacitated to marry petitioner had already been promulgated, and said motion was granted by Public Respondent
RTC Judge Salonga.
Carmen filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, with a prayer that the case proceed
for the purpose of determining the issues of custody of children and the distribution of
1st issue:
the properties between her and Wolfgang. Judge Salonga partially set aside her
previous order for the purpose of tackling the issues of support and custody of their
The Supreme Court ruled that the mere presentation of the divorce decree of children.
respondent’s marriage to Samson is insufficient. Before a foreign divorce decree can
be recognized by our courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and 1st Issue: W/N Judge Salonga was correct in granting a partial motion for
demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it. Furthermore, the divorce reconsideration.
decree between respondent and Editha Samson appears to be an authentic one issued
by an Australian family court. However, appearance is not sufficient; compliance with Ruling: Yes.
the aforementioned rules on evidence must be demonstrated.
A judge can order a partial reconsideration of a case that has not yet attained finality,
2nd issue: as in the case at bar.

Australian divorce decree contains a restriction that reads: The Supreme Court goes further to say that the court can modify or alter a judgment
“1. A party to a marriage who marries again before this decree becomes absolute even after the same has become executory whenever circumstances transpire
(unless the other party has died) commits the offence of bigamy.” rendering its decision unjust and inequitable, as where certain facts and
This quotation bolsters our contention that the divorrecce obtained by respondent may circumstances justifying or requiring such modification or alteration transpired after the
have been restricted. It did not absolutely establish his legal capacity to remarry judgment has become final and executory and when it becomes imperative in the
according to his national law. Hence, the Court find no basis for the ruling of the trial higher interest of justice or when supervening events warrant it.
court, which erroneously assumed that the Australian divorce ipso facto restored
respondent’s capacity to remarry despite the paucity of evidence on this matter. 2nd issue: W/N Judge Salonga's act was valid when she assumed and retained
jurisdiction as regards child custody and support.
The Supreme Court remanded the case to the court a quo for the purpose of receiving
evidence. The Court mentioned that they cannot grant petitioner’s prayer to declare her Ruling: Yes.
marriage to respondent null and void because of the question on latter’s
legal capacity to marry. As a general rule, divorce decrees obtained by foreigners in other countries are
recognizable in our jurisdiction. But the legal effects thereof, e.g. on custody, care and
support of the children, must still be determined by our courts. alleged psychological incapacity, seeking for distribution of conjugal properties with
application for support pendente lite for her and Alix.
Before our courts can give the effect of res judicata to a foreign judgment, such as the
award of custody to Wolfgang by the German court, it must be shown that the parties On June 8, 2001, Vicente filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds of lack of cause of
opposed to the judgment had been given ample opportunity to do so on grounds action and that the petition is barred by the prior judgment of divorce. To the motion to
allowed under Rule 39, Section 50 of the Rules of Court (now Rule 39, Section 48, dismiss, Rebecca interposed an opposition, insisting on her Filipino citizenship, as
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure). affirmed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), and that, therefore, there is no valid
divorce to speak of.
In the present case, it cannot be said that private respondent was given the
opportunity to challenge the judgment of the German court so that there is basis for
declaring that judgment as res judicata with regard to the rights of Wolfgang to have RTC denied Vicente’s motion to dismiss but CA reversed lower court’s decision.
parental custody of their two children. The proceedings in the German court were According to the CA, RTC ought to have granted Vicente’s motion to dismiss, since
summary. As to what was the extent of Carmen’s participation in the proceedings in the marriage between the spouses is already dissolved when the divorce decree was
the German court, the records remain unclear. granted since Rebecca was an American citizen when she applied for the decree.

Absent any finding that private respondent is unfit to obtain custody of the children, ISSUE:
the trial court was correct in setting the issue for hearing to determine the issue of
parental custody, care, support and education mindful of the best interests of the Whether or not the divorce decree obtained by Rebecca in Dominican Republic is
children. valid.

12) Bayot vs CA, GR No. 155635, 7 Nov 2008

FACTS: Yes, the divorce is valid. PETITION DENIED.

On April 20, 1979, Vicente, a Filipino, and Rebecca, an American, were married in “”””Three legal premises need to be underscored at the outset. First, a divorce
Muntinlupa. On its face, the Marriage Certificate identified Rebecca, then 26 years obtained abroad by an alien married to a Philippine national may be recognized in the
old, to be an American citizen born in Agaña, Guam, USA to Cesar Tanchiong Philippines, provided the decree of divorce is valid according to the national law of the
Makapugay, American, and Helen Corn Makapugay, American. They had a child foreigner.
name Alix, born in November 27, 1982 in California. Second, the reckoning point is not the citizenship of the divorcing parties at
birth or at the time of marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained
In February 22, 1996, Rebecca initiated divorce proceedings in Dominican Republic,
And third, an absolute divorce secured by a Filipino married to another Filipino
which resulted to judgment ordering the dissolution of the marriage and the
is contrary to our concept of public policy and morality and shall not be recognized in
distribution of conjugal properties pursuant to an agreement they executed.
this jurisdiction.””””

Meanwhile, Rebecca filed with the Makati City RTC a petition dated January 26, 1996,
with attachments, for declaration of nullity of marriage. Rebecca, however, later
Article 26 (2) of the Civil Code states that: “Where a marriage between a Filipino
moved and secured approval of the motion to withdraw the petition.
citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter obtained
abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse
On May 29, 1996, Rebecca executed an Affidavit of Acknowledgment stating under shall likewise have the capacity to remarry under Philippine law.”
oath that she is an American citizen; that, since 1993, she and Vicente have been
living separately; and that she is carrying a child not of Vicente.
Rebecca at that time she applied and obtained her divorce was an American citizen
and remains to be one, being born to American parents in Guam, an American
On March 21, 2001, Rebecca filed another petition, this time before the Muntinlupa territory which follows the principle of jus soli granting American citizenship to those
City RTC, for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage on the ground of Vicente's who are born there. She was, and still may be, a holder of American passport. She
had consistently professed, asserted and represented herself as an American citizen,
as shown in her marriage certificate, in Alix’s birth certificate, when she secured The Supreme Court qualifies the above conclusion – i.e., that the second paragraph of
divorce in Dominican Republic. Article 26 of the Family Code bestows no rights in favor of aliens -with the
complementary statement that this conclusion is not sufficient basis to dismiss
Being an American citizen, Rebecca was bound by the national laws of the United Gerbert’s petition before the RTC. In other words, the unavailability of the
States of America, a country which allows divorce. The fact that Rebecca may have second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code to aliens does not necessarily
been duly recognized as a Filipino citizen by affirmation of the DOJ Secretary does strip Gerbert of legal interest to petition the RTC for the recognition of his
not invalidate the foreign divorce secured by Rebecca as an American citizen in 1996. foreign divorce decree.
In determining whether or not a divorce is secured abroad would come within the
jurisdiction of the country’s policy against absolute divorce, the reckoning point is the The foreign divorce decree itself, after its authenticity and conformity with the alien’s
citizenship of the parties at the time a valid divorce is obtained. national law have been duly proven according to our rules of evidence, serves as a
presumptive evidence of right in favor of Gerbert, pursuant to Section 48, Rule 39 of the
Rules of Court which provides for the effect of foreign judgments. A remand, at the
13) Corpuz vs Sto. Tomas, GR No. 186571, 11 Aug 2010 same time, will allow other interested parties to oppose the foreign judgment and
overcome a petitioner’s presumptive evidence of aright by proving want of jurisdiction,
want of notice to a party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. Needless to
FACTS: state, every precaution must be taken to ensure conformity with our laws before a
recognition is made, as the foreign judgment, once recognized, shall have the effect of
Petitioner Gerbert R. Corpuz is a naturalized Canadian citizen who married respondent res judicata between the parties, as provided in Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of
Daisylyn Tirol Sto. Tomas but subsequently left for Canada due to work and other Court.
professional commitments. When he returned to the Philippines, he discovered that Sto.
Tomas was already romantically involved with another man. This brought about the
filing of a petition for divorce by Corpuz in Canada which was eventually granted by the 14) Vda. De Catalan vs Catalan-Lee, GR No. 183622, 8 Feb 2012
Court Justice of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. A month later, the divorce decree
took effect. Two years later, Corpuz has fallen in love with another Filipina and wished
to marry her. He went to Civil Registry Office of Pasig City to register the Canadian DOCTRINE:
divorce decree on his marriage certificate with Sto. Tomas. However, despite
the registration, an official of National Statistics Office informed Corpuz that the former Aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which maybe recognized in the Philippines,
marriage still subsists under the Philippine law until there has been a judicial recognition provided they are valid ac-cording to their national law.
of the Canadian divorce decree by a competent judicial court in view of
NSO Circular No. 4, series of 1982. Consequently, he filed a petition for judicial FACTS:
recognition of foreign divorce and/or declaration of dissolution of marriage with the RTC.
However, the RTC denied the petition reasoning out that Corpuz cannot institute Orlando B. Catalan, a naturalized American citizen,allegedly obtained a divorce in the
the action for judicial recognition of the foreign divorce decree because he is a United States from his first wife, Felicitas Amor. He then contracted a second marriage
naturalized Canadian citizen. It was provided further that Sto. Tomas was the proper with petitioner.
party who can institute an action under the principle of Article 26 of the Family Code
which capacitates a Filipino citizen to remarry in case the alien spouse obtains a foreign
When Orlando died intestate in the Philippines, petitioner filed with the RTC a Petition
divorce decree. Hence, this petition.
for the issuance of letters of administration for her appointment as administratrix of the
intestate estate. While the case was pending, respondent Louella A. Catalan-Lee, one
ISSUE: of the children of Orlando from his first marriage, filed a similar petition with the RTC.
The two cases were consolidated.
Whether the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code grants aliens like
Corpuz the right to institute a petition for judicial recognition of a foreign divorce decree? Petitioner prayed for the dismissal of the petition filed by the respondent on the ground
of litis pendentia. Respondent alleged that petitioner was not considered an interested
HELD: person qualified to file the petition. Respondent further alleged that a criminal case for
bigamy was filed against petitioner by Felicitas Amor contending that petitioner
Petition GRANTED. RTC Decision REVERSED. contracted a second marriage to Orlando despite having been married to one
Eusebio Bristol.
However, the RTC acquitted petitioner of bigamy and ruled that since the deceased Moreover, the burden of proof lies with the “party who alleges the existence of a fact or
was a divorced American citizen, and that divorce was not recognized under Philippine thing necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action.” In civil cases, plaintiffs have
jurisdiction, the marriage between him and petitioner was not valid. The RTC took note the burden of proving the material allegations of the complaint when those are denied
of the action for declaration of nullity then pending filed by Felicitas Amor against the by the answer; and defendants have the burden of proving the material allegations in
deceased and petitioner. It considered the pending action to be a prejudicial question their answer when they introduce new matters. It is well-settled in our jurisdiction that
in determining the guilt of petition-er for the crime of bigamy. The RTC also found that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. Like any other facts, they must be
petitioner had never been married to Bristol. alleged and proved.

The RTC subsequently dismissed the Petition for the issuance of letters It appears that the trial court no longer required petitioner to prove the validity of
of administration filed by petitioner and granted that of private respondent. Contrary to Orlando’s divorce under the laws of the United States and the marriage between
its findings in Crim. Case No. 2699-A, the RTC held that the marriage between petitioner and the deceased. Thus, there is a need to remand the proceedings to the
petitioner and Eusebio Bristol was valid and subsisting when she married Orlando. The trial court for further reception of evidence to establish the fact of divorce.
RTC held that petitioner was not an interested party who may file said petition. The CA
affirmed the decision of the lower court.
15) Fujiki v Marinay, G.R. No. 196049, 26 Jun 2013
1. Whether the acquittal of petitioner in the crim. case for bigamy meant that the Petitioner Minoru Fujiki (Fujiki) is a Japanese national who married respondent Maria
marriage with Bristol was still valid. Paz Galela Marinay (Marinay) in the Philippines on 23 January 2004. The marriage did
not sit well with petitioner’s parents. Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to Japan where
he resides. Eventually, they lost contact with each other.
2. Whether the divorce obtained abroad by Orlando may be recognized under
Philippine jurisdiction.
In 2008, Marinay met another Japanese, Shinichi Maekara (Maekara). Without the first
marriage being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara were married on 15 May 2008 in
HELD: Quezon City, Philippines. Maekara brought Marinay to Japan. However, Marinay
allegedly suffered physical abuse from Maekara. She left Maekara and started to
It is imperative for the trial court to first determine the validity of the divorce to ascertain contact Fujiki.
the rightful party to be issued the letters of administration over the estate of Orlando. Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were able to reestablish their relationship. In
Petition is partially granted. Case is remanded to RTC. 2010, Fujiki helped Marinay obtain a judgment from a family court in Japan which
declared the marriage between Marinay and Maekara void on the ground of bigamy. On
1. No. The RTC in the special proceedings failed to appreciate the finding of the RTC 14 January 2011, Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC entitled: “Judicial Recognition of
in Crim. Case that petitioner was never married to Eusebio Bristol. It concluded Foreign Judgment (or Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage).”
that, because petitioner was acquitted of bigamy, it follows that the first marriage
with Bristol still existed and was valid. The decision of the lower courts (RTC): dismissed the petition for "Judicial Recognition
of Foreign Judgment ·(or Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage)" based on improper
2. Yes. Under the principles of comity, Philippine jurisdiction recognizes a valid divorce venue and the lack of personality of petitioner, Minoru Fujiki, to file the petition.
obtained by a spouse of for-eign nationality. Aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which
may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national
law. Nonetheless, the fact of divorce must still first be proven by the divorce decree
itself. The best evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself. Under Sections 24 and 25 Issues:
of Rule 132, a writing or document may be proven as a public or official record of a 1. Whether the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment
foreign country by either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by the of Voidable Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) is applicable.
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 2. Whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a petition to recognize a
the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office. foreign judgment nullifying the subsequent marriage between his or her spouse
and a foreign citizen on the ground of bigamy.
foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage involving a citizen of a foreign
country, Philippine courts only decide whether to extend its effect to the Filipino party,
3. Whether the Regional Trial Court can recognize the foreign judgment in a proceeding under the rule of lex nationalii expressed in Article 15 of the Civil Code.
for cancellation or correction of entries in the Civil Registry under Rule 108 of the Rules For this purpose, Philippine courts will only determine (1) whether the foreign judgment
of Court. is inconsistent with an overriding public policy in the Philippines; and (2) whether any
alleging party is able to prove an extrinsic ground to repel the foreign judgment, i.e. want
of jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or
Held: fact. If there is neither inconsistency with public policy nor adequate proof to repel the
judgment, Philippine courts should, by default, recognize the foreign judgment as part
1. No. Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of of the comity of nations.
Voidable Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) does not apply in a petition to recognize a
foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage where one of the parties is a citizen
of a foreign country. Moreover, in Juliano-Llave v. Republic, this Court held that the rule 16) Republic v. Manalo, G.R. No. 221029, 24 April 2018
in A.M. No. 02- 11-10-SC that only the husband or wife can file a declaration of nullity
or annulment of marriage “does not apply if the reason behind the petition is Facts:
bigamy.” While the Philippines has no divorce law, the Japanese Family Court judgment Marelyn Tanedo Manalo was married to a Japanese national, Yoshino Minoro. Manalo
is fully consistent with Philippine public policy, as bigamous marriages are declared void filed a case for divorce in Japan and after due proceedings, a divorce decree dated
from the beginning under Article 35(4) of the Family Code. Bigamy is a crime under December 6, 2011, was granted. Manalo now wants to cancel the entry of marriage
Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, Fujiki can prove the existence of the between her and Minoro from the Civil Registry and to be allowed to reuse her maiden
Japanese Family Court judgment in accordance with Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in surname, Manalo.
relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court.

According to Article 26, paragraph 2 of the Family Code,

2. Yes, the recognition of the foreign divorce decree may be made in a Rule 108 Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a
proceeding itself, as the object of special proceedings (such as that in Rule 108 divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse incapacitating him or
of the Rules of Court) is precisely to establish the status or right of a party or a her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under
particular fact.”
 Rule 108, Section 1 of the Rules of Court states: Philippine law
Sec. 1. Who may file petition. — Any person interested in any act, event, order or
decree concerning the civil status of persons which has been recorded in the
civil register, may file a verified petition for the cancellation or correction of any
1. Under Article 26, paragraph 2 of the Family Code, can the Filipino spouse initiate the
entry relating thereto, with the Regional Trial Court of the province where the
divorce instead of the foreign spouse?
corresponding civil registry is located. (Emphasis supplied)
There is no doubt that the prior spouse has a personal and material interest in
maintaining the integrity of the marriage he contracted and the property relations 2. Was the divorce obtained by Marelyn Manalo from Japan valid here in the
arising from it. Philippines?

3. Yes, there is neither circumvention of the substantive and procedural safeguards of Ruling:
marriage under Philippine law, nor of the jurisdiction of Family Courts under R.A. No. 1. Yes. The Court ruled that in interpreting the law, the intent should be taken into
8369. A recognition of a foreign judgment is not an action to nullify a marriage. It is an consideration. According to Justice Alicia Sempio-Dy, a member of the Civil Code
action for Philippine courts to recognize the effectivity of a foreign judgment, which Revision Committee, the aim of the amendment is to avoid the absurd situation of
presupposes a case which was already tried and decided under foreign law. having the Filipino deemed still married to a foreign spouse even though the latter is no
In the recognition of foreign judgments, Philippine courts are incompetent to substitute longer married to the former. According to the Supreme Court, the wording of Article
their judgment on how a case was decided under foreign law. They cannot decide on 26, paragraph 2 of the Family Code requires only that there be a valid divorce obtained
the “family rights and duties, or on the status, condition and legal capacity” of the foreign abroad and does not discriminate as to who should file the divorce, i.e., whether it is the
citizen who is a party to the foreign judgment. Thus, Philippine courts are limited to the Filipino spouse or the foreign spouse. Also, even if assuming arguendo that the
question of whether to extend the effect of a foreign judgment in the Philippines. In a provision should be interpreted that the divorce proceeding should be initiated by the
foreign spouse, the Court will not follow such interpretation since doing so would be
contrary to the legislative intent of the law.

In the issue of the application of Article 15 of the Civil Code in this case, the Court ruled
that even if Manalo should be bound by the nationality principle, blind adherence to it
should not be allowed if it will cause unjust discrimination and oppression to certain
classes of individuals whose rights are equally protected by the law.

The Court also ruled that Article 26 of the Family Code is in violation of the equal
protection clause. They said that the limitation provided by Article 26 is based on a
superficial, arbitrary, and whimsical classification. The violation of the equal protection
clause in this case is shown by the discrimination against Filipino spouses who initiated
a foreign divorce proceeding and Filipinos who obtained a divorce decree because the
foreign spouse had initiated the divorce proceedings. Their circumstances are alike,
and making a distinction between them as regards to the validity of the divorce decree
obtained would give one undue favor and unjustly discriminate against the other.

The Court also said that it is the State’s duty not only to strengthen the solidarity of the
Filipino family but also to defend, among others, the right of children to special
protection from all forms of neglect abuse, cruelty, and other conditions prejudicial to
their development. The State cannot do this if the application of paragraph 2 of Article
26 of the Family Code is limited to only those foreign divorces initiated by the foreign

2. The Court cannot determine due to insufficient evidence.

It has been ruled that foreign laws must be proven. There are two basic types of
divorces: (1) absolute divorce or a vinculo matrimonii, which terminates the marriage,
and (2) limited divorce or a mensa et thoro, which suspends it and leaves the bond in
full force.

The presentation solely of the divorce decree will not suffice to lead the Court to believe
that the decree is valid or constitutes absolute divorce. The fact of divorce must still be
proven. Therefore, the Japanese law on divorce must still be proved.

In this case, the Court remanded the case to the court of origin for further proceedings
and reception of evidence as to the relevant Japanese law on divorce.