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ARTICLE XIV OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE LAZARO RAYRAY, plaintiff-appellant, versus CHAE KYUNG LEE, defendant-appellee G.R.

NO. 18176, October 26, 1966 A court has jurisdiction over the res, in an action for annulment of marriage, provided, at least, one of the parties is domiciled in, or a national of, the forum. PONENTE: FACTS: Lazaro Rayray married Chae Kyung Lee in 1952 in Pusan, Korea. Before the marriage, Lee was able to secure a marriage license which is a requirement in Korea prior to marrying. They lived together until 1955. Rayray however later found out that Lee had previously lived with 2 Americans and a Korean. Lee answered by saying that it is not unusual in Korea for a woman to have more than one partner and that it is legally permissive for them to do so and that there is no legal impediment to her marriage with Rayray. Eventually they pursued their separate way. Plaintiff Lazaro Rayray seeks the annulment of his marriage to defendant Chae Kyung Lee. Inasmuch as, the latter's whereabouts is unknown; summons was served by publication, as provided in the Rules of Court. Thereafter, plaintiff moved that defendant be declared in default, she not having filed an answer, and that a date be set for the reception of his evidence. In due course, thereafter, the lower court decision was rendered dismissing plaintiff's complaint, without costs, upon the ground: (1) that the court could not nullify a marriage contracted abroad; and (2) that the facts proven do not warrant the relief prayed for. A reconsideration of this decision having been denied, plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeals, which certified the case to the Supreme Court, the jurisdiction of the lower court being in issue in the appeal. The court a quo found that it had no jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of plaintiff's marriage to the defendant, it having been solemnized in Seoul, Korea. Said conclusion is erroneous. In order that a given case could be validly decided by a court of justice, it must have jurisdiction over (1) the subjectmatter of the litigation; (2) the person of the parties therein; and (3) in actions in rem or quasi-in-rem, the res. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject was subject to the jurisdiction before Philippine trial courts? HELD: The prevailing rule is, accordingly, that a court has jurisdiction over the res, in an action for annulment of marriage, provided, at least, one of the parties is domiciled in, or a national of, the forum. Since plaintiff is a Filipino, domiciled in the Philippines, it follows that the lower court had jurisdiction CONCEPCION, C.J.

over the res, in addition to its jurisdiction over the subject-matter and the parties. In other words, it could validly inquire into the legality of the marriage between the parties herein. The lower court is correct in ruling that Rayrays evidence is not sufficient to render his marriage with Lee null and void. Rayray said that the police clearance secured by Lee is meant to allow her to marry after her subsequent cohabitation/s with the other men which are considered bigamous in Philippine law. The SC ruled that the police clearance is wanting for it lacks the signature of the person who prepared it and there is no competent document to establish the identity of the same. Also, through Rayray himself, Lee averred that it is ok in Korea for a person who cohabited with other men before to marry another man. This is an indication that Lee herself is aware that if it were a previous marriage that is concerned then that could be a legal impediment to any subsequent marriage. Rayray cannot be given credence in claiming that his consent could have been otherwise altered had he known all these facts prior to the marriage because he would lie to every opportunity given him by the Court so as to suit his case. Thus, petition is DENIED with the cost against the plaintiff-appellant.