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EDGAR SAN LUIS, Petitioner, paragraph 2, 13 Article 26 of the Family Code Therefore, under Article 130 of the Family

ly Code Therefore, under Article 130 of the Family Code, the law. When the law provides, in the nature of a
vs. FELICIDAD SAN LUIS, Respondent. and the doctrine laid down in Van Dorn v. petitioner as the surviving spouse can institute the judicial penalty, that the guilty party shall not marry
G.R. No. 133743 February 6, 2007 Romillo. proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the deceased. again, that party, as well as the other, is still
xxx absolutely freed from the bond of the former
FACTS: The instant case involves the settlement of the The children asserted that paragraph 2, Article 26 of the marriage."
estate of Felicisimo T. San Luis (Felicisimo). During his Family Code cannot be given retroactive effect to ISSUES:
lifetime, Felicisimo contracted three marriages. validate respondent’s bigamous marriage with (1) WON FELICIDAD has legal capacity to file the Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is
1. March 17, 1942 with Virginia Sulit; Felicisimo because this would impair vested rights in subject petition for letters of no longer the husband of petitioner. He would have no
[6 children: Rodolfo, Mila, Edgar, Linda, derogation of Article 256 of the Family Code. administration. standing to sue in the case below as petitioner’s
Emilita & Manuel] Yes, FELICIDAD’S legal capacity to file the subject husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal
On August 11, 1963, Virginia died. RTC: DISMISSED the petition for letters of administration. It petition for letters of administration may arise from her assets. As he is bound by the Decision of his own
held that, at the time of his death, Felicisimo was the duly status as the surviving wife of Felicisimo or as his co- country’s Court, which validly exercised jurisdiction over
elected governor and a resident of the Province of Laguna. owner under Article 144 of the Civil Code or Article 148
2. May 1, 1968, Merry Lee Corwin [1 son, Tobias] him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is
Hence, the petition should have been filed in Sta. Cruz, of the Family Code.
On October 15, 1971, Merry Lee, an American citizen, Laguna and not in Makati City. It also ruled that FELICIDAD estopped by his own representation before said Court
filed a Complaint for Divorce in Hawaii, (U.S.A.), which was without legal capacity to file the petition for letters of from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal
issued a Decree Granting Absolute Divorce and * WON a Filipino who is divorced by his alien spouse property.
administration because her marriage with Felicisimo was
Awarding Child Custody on December 14, 1973. abroad may validly remarry under the Civil Code,
bigamous, thus, void ab initio. It found that the decree of
absolute divorce dissolving Felicisimo’s marriage to Merry considering that Felicidad’s marriage to Felicisimo was As to the effect of the divorce on the Filipino wife, the
3. June 20, 1974, Felicidad San Luis, (no children) Lee was not valid in the Philippines and did not bind solemnized on June 20, 1974, or before the Family Court ruled that she should no longer be considered
Married at LA California, U.S.A. Felicisimo who was a Filipino citizen. It also ruled that Code took effect on August 3, 1988. married to the alien spouse. Further, she should not be
Felicisimo lived with Felicidad for 18 years from the time paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Family Code cannot be required to perform her marital duties and obligations. It
of their marriage up to his death on December 18, 1992. retroactively applied because it would impair the vested (2) WON venue was properly laid. held:
rights of Felicisimo’s legitimate children.
Thereafter, FELICIDAD sought the dissolution of their HELD: The petition lacks merit. To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our
CA: reversed; ruled that:
conjugal partnership assets and the settlement of laws, petitioner has to be considered still married to
1. under Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the * WON a Filipino who is divorced by his alien spouse
Felicisimo’s estate. term "place of residence" of the decedent, for private respondent and still subject to a wife's
abroad may validly remarry under the Civil Code, obligations under Article 109, et. seq. of the Civil Code
purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement
On December 17, 1993, she filed a petition for letters of considering that Felicidad’s marriage to Felicisimo was cannot be just. Petitioner should not be obliged to live
of his estate, refers to the personal, actual or
administration alleging that: solemnized on June 20, 1974, or before the Family together with, observe respect and fidelity, and render
physical habitation, or actual residence or place
1. she is the widow of Felicisimo; that, at the time of his of abode of a person as distinguished from Code took effect on August 3, 1988. support to private respondent. The latter should not
death, the decedent was residing at 100 San Juanico legal residence or domicile. It noted that continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to
Street, New Alabang Village, Alabang, Metro Manila; although Felicisimo discharged his functions as In resolving this issue, we need not retroactively apply conjugal property. She should not be discriminated
2. that the decedent’s surviving heirs are governor in Laguna, he actually resided in the provisions of the Family Code, particularly Art. 26, against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be
respondent as legal spouse, his six children Alabang, Muntinlupa. Thus, the petition for par. (2) considering that there is sufficient served. 54 (Emphasis added)
by his first marriage, and son by his second letters of administration was properly filed in jurisprudential basis allowing us to rule in the
Makati City. affirmative.
marriage; that the decedent left real This principle was thereafter applied in Pilapil v. Ibay-
properties, both conjugal and exclusive, Somera where the Court recognized the validity of a
2. Felicisimo had legal capacity to marry FELICIDAD by The case of Van Dorn v. Romillo, involved a marriage
valued at ₱30,304,178.00 more or less; that virtue of paragraph 2, Article 26 of the FC and the rulings in divorce obtained abroad. In the said case, it was held
the decedent does not have any unpaid between a foreigner and his Filipino wife, which marriage that the alien spouse is not a proper party in filing the
Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. and Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera. It found
debts. was subsequently dissolved through a divorce obtained adultery suit against his Filipino wife. The Court stated
that the marriage between Felicisimo and Merry Lee was
abroad by the latter. Claiming that the divorce was not that "the severance of the marital bond had the effect of
validly dissolved by virtue of the decree of absolute divorce
On February 4, 1994, Rodolfo San Luis, one of the issued by the Family Court of the First Circuit, State of valid under Philippine law, the alien spouse alleged that dissociating the former spouses from each other, hence
children of Felicisimo by his first marriage, filed a MTD Hawaii. As a result, under paragraph 2, Article 26, Felicisimo his interest in the properties from their conjugal the actuations of one would not affect or cast obloquy
on the grounds of improper venue and failure to state a was capacitated to contract a subsequent marriage with partnership should be protected. The Court, however, on the other." 56
cause of action, claiming that: Felicidad. Thus – recognized the validity of the divorce and held that the
1. the petition for letters of administration should have been alien spouse had no interest in the properties acquired Likewise, in Quita v. Court of Appeals, the Court stated
filed in the Province of Laguna because this was Felicisimo’s With the well-known rule – express mandate of by the Filipino wife after the divorce. Thus: that where a Filipino is divorced by his naturalized
place of residence prior to his death. paragraph 2, Article 26, of the Family Code of the Philippines, foreign spouse, the ruling in Van Dorn applies. 58
3. Felicidad has no legal personality to file the petition the doctrines in Van Dorn, Pilapil, and the reason and In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private Although decided on December 22, 1998, the divorce in
because she was only a mistress of Felicisimo since the philosophy behind the enactment of E.O. No. 227, — there is respondent from the marriage from the standards of the said case was obtained in 1954 when the Civil Code
latter, at the time of his death, was still legally married to no justiciable reason to sustain the individual view — American law, under which divorce dissolves the
sweeping statement — of Judge Arc[h]angel, that "Article 26,
provisions were still in effect.
Merry Lee. marriage. As stated by the Federal Supreme Court of the
par. 2 of the Family Code, contravenes the basic policy of our
United States in Atherton vs. Atherton, 45 L. Ed. 794, The significance of the Van Dorn case to the
FELICIDAD submitted documentary evidence: state against divorce in any form whatsoever." Indeed, courts
799: development of limited recognition of divorce in the
1. showing that while Felicisimo exercised the powers cannot deny what the law grants. All that the courts should
of his public office in Laguna, he regularly went do is to give force and effect to the express mandate of the Philippines cannot be denied. The ruling has long been
law. The foreign divorce having been obtained by the "The purpose and effect of a decree of interpreted as severing marital ties between parties in a
home to their house in New Alabang Village,
Foreigner on December 14, 1992, 32 the Filipino divorcee, divorce from the bond of matrimony by a mixed marriage and capacitating the Filipino spouse to
Alabang, Metro Manila which they bought
"shall x x x have capacity to remarry under Philippine laws". competent jurisdiction are to change the existing remarry as a necessary consequence of upholding the
sometime in 1982.
For this reason, the marriage between the deceased and status or domestic relation of husband and wife, validity of a divorce obtained abroad by the alien spouse.
2. the decree of absolute divorce issued by the family
court Hawaii to prove that the marriage of petitioner should not be denominated as "a bigamous and to free them both from the bond. The In his treatise, Dr. Arturo M. Tolentino cited Van Dorn
marriage. marriage tie, when thus severed as to one party,
Felicisimo to Merry Lee had already been stating that "if the foreigner obtains a valid foreign
dissolved. Thus, she claimed that Felicisimo ceases to bind either. A husband without a wife, divorce, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to
had the legal capacity to marry her by virtue of or a wife without a husband, is unknown to the
remarry under Philippine law." 59 In Garcia v. Recio, 60 Indeed, when the object of a marriage is defeated by lawmaker, to begin with, that the law be dispensed with
the Court likewise cited the aforementioned case in rendering its continuance intolerable to one of the justice. Section 6, 74 Rule 78 of the Rules of Court states that
relation to Article 26. 61 parties and productive of no possible good to the letters of administration may be granted to the surviving
community, relief in some way should be obtainable. 64 Applying the above doctrine in the instant case, the spouse of the decedent. However, Section 2, Rule 79
In the recent case of Republic v. Orbecido III, the Marriage, being a mutual and shared commitment divorce decree allegedly obtained by Merry Lee which thereof also provides in part:
historical background and legislative intent behind between two parties, cannot possibly be productive of absolutely allowed Felicisimo to remarry, would have
paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Family Code were any good to the society where one is considered vested Felicidad with the legal personality to file the SEC. 2. Contents of petition for letters of
discussed, to wit: released from the marital bond while the other remains present petition as Felicisimo’s surviving spouse. administration. – A petition for letters of
bound to it. Such is the state of affairs where the alien However, the records show that there is insufficient administration must be filed by an interested
Brief Historical Background spouse obtains a valid divorce abroad against the evidence to prove the validity of the divorce obtained by person and must show, as far as known to the
Filipino spouse, as in this case. Merry Lee as well as the marriage of respondent and petitioner: x x x.
On July 6, 1987, then President Corazon Aquino signed
Felicisimo under the laws of the U.S.A.
into law Executive Order No. 209, otherwise known as the
"Family Code," which took effect on August 3, 1988. Article Petitioners cite Articles 15 and 17 of the Civil Code in An "interested person" has been defined
26 thereof states: stating that the divorce is void under Philippine law In Garcia v. Recio, the Court laid down the specific as one who would be benefited by the estate,
insofar as Filipinos are concerned. However, in light of GUIDELINES FOR PLEADING AND PROVING FOREIGN such as an heir, or one who has a claim against
All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in this Court’s rulings in the cases discussed above, the LAW AND DIVORCE JUDGMENTS. the estate, such as a creditor. The interest must
accordance with the laws in force in the country where
Filipino spouse should not be discriminated against in be material and direct, and not merely indirect or
they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also
be valid in this country, except those prohibited under
his own country if the ends of justice are to be served. It held that presentation solely of the divorce decree is contingent.
Articles 35, 37, and 38. In Alonzo v. Intermediate Appellate Court, the Court insufficient and that proof of its authenticity and due
stated: execution must be presented. In the instant case, FELICIDAD would qualify as an
On July 17, 1987, shortly after the signing of the original interested person who has a direct interest in the estate
Family Code, Executive Order No. 227 was likewise signed But as has also been aptly observed, we test a law by its Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, a writing or of Felicisimo by virtue of their cohabitation, the
into law, amending Articles 26, 36, and 39 of the Family
results; and likewise, we may add, by its purposes. It is a document may be proven as a public or official record of existence of which was not denied by petitioners.
Code. A second paragraph was added to Article 26. As so
amended, it now provides: cardinal rule that, in seeking the meaning of the law, the a foreign country by either (1) an official publication or
first concern of the judge should be to discover in its (2) a copy thereof attested by the officer having legal If she proves the validity of the divorce and Felicisimo’s
ART. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines provisions the intent of the lawmaker. Unquestionably, custody of the document. If the record is not kept in the capacity to remarry, but fails to prove that her marriage
in accordance with the laws in force in the country where the law should never be interpreted in such a way as to Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied by a with him was validly performed under the laws of the
they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also cause injustice as this is never within the legislative certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular U.S.A., then she may be considered as a co-owner
be valid in this country, except those prohibited under
intent. An indispensable part of that intent, in fact, for we officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the under Article 144 of the Civil Code.
Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.
presume the good motives of the legislature, is to render foreign country in which the record is kept and (b)
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a justice. authenticated by the seal of his office. This provision governs the property relations between
foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter parties who live together as husband and wife without
validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating Thus, we interpret and apply the law not independently With regard to FELICIDAD’s marriage to Felicisimo the benefit of marriage, or their marriage is void from
him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have
of but in consonance with justice. Law and justice are allegedly solemnized in California, U.S.A., she submitted: the beginning. It provides that the property acquired by
capacity to remarry under Philippine law. (Emphasis
supplied) inseparable, and we must keep them so. To be sure, 1. photocopies of the Marriage Certificate and either or both of them through their work or industry or
xxxx there are some laws that, while generally valid, may 2. the annotated text 72 of the Family Law Act their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules
Legislative Intent seem arbitrary when applied in a particular case because of California which purportedly show that on co-ownership. In a co-ownership, it is not necessary
of its peculiar circumstances. In such a situation, we are their marriage was done in accordance with that the property be acquired through their joint labor,
Records of the proceedings of the Family Code not bound, because only of our nature and functions, to the said law. efforts and industry. Any property acquired during the
deliberations showed that the intent of Paragraph 2 apply them just the same, in slavish obedience to their union is prima facie presumed to have been obtained
of Article 26, according to Judge Alicia Sempio-Diy, a language. What we do instead is find a balance between As stated in Garcia, however, the Court cannot take through their joint efforts. Hence, the portions
member of the Civil Code Revision Committee, is to the word and the will, that justice may be done even as judicial notice of foreign laws as they must be alleged belonging to the co-owners shall be presumed equal,
avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse the law is obeyed. and proved. unless the contrary is proven.
remains married to the alien spouse who, after
obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the
As judges, we are not automatons. We do not and must Therefore, this case should be REMANDED to the trial Meanwhile, if respondent fails to prove the validity of
Filipino spouse.
not unfeelingly apply the law as it is worded, yielding like court for further reception of evidence on the divorce both the divorce and the marriage, the applicable
robots to the literal command without regard to its cause decree obtained by Merry Lee and the marriage of provision would be Article 148 of the Family Code which
Interestingly, Paragraph 2 of Article 26 traces its
origin to the 1985 case of Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. The and consequence. "Courts are apt to err by sticking too respondent and Felicisimo. has filled the hiatus in Article 144 of the Civil Code by
Van Dorn case involved a marriage between a Filipino closely to the words of a law," so we are warned, by expressly regulating the property relations of couples
citizen and a foreigner. The Court held therein that a Justice Holmes again, "where these words import a living together as husband and wife but are
divorce decree validly obtained by the alien spouse is policy that goes beyond them." FELICAD STILL HAS THE LEGAL PERSONALITY TO FILE incapacitated to marry. In Saguid v. Court of Appeals,
valid in the Philippines, and consequently, the Filipino THE PETITION AS A CO-OWNER. we held that even if the cohabitation or the acquisition
spouse is capacitated to remarry under Philippine xxxx of property occurred before the Family Code took
law. 63 (Emphasis added) ART. 144 CC or ART.148 FC APPLIES. effect, Article 148 governs. The Court described the
More than twenty centuries ago, Justinian defined property regime under this provision as follows:
As such, the Van Dorn case is sufficient basis in justice "as the constant and perpetual wish to render Even assuming that Felicisimo was not capacitated to
resolving a situation where a divorce is validly obtained every one his due." That wish continues to motivate this marry respondent in 1974, nevertheless, we find that The regime of limited co-ownership of property
abroad by the alien spouse. With the enactment of the Court when it assesses the facts and the law in every the FELICIDAD has the legal personality to file the governing the union of parties who are not legally
Family Code and paragraph 2, Article 26 thereof, our case brought to it for decision. Justice is always an subject petition for letters of administration, as she may capacitated to marry each other, but who nonetheless
lawmakers codified the law already established through essential ingredient of its decisions. Thus when the facts be considered the co-owner of Felicisimo as regards live together as husband and wife, applies to properties
judicial precedent. warrants, we interpret the law in a way that will render the properties that were acquired through their joint acquired during said cohabitation in proportion to their
justice, presuming that it was the intention of the efforts during their cohabitation. respective contributions. Co-ownership will only be up to
the extent of the proven actual contribution of money,
property or industry. Absent proof of the extent thereof,
their contributions and corresponding shares shall be
presumed to be equal.

xxxx

In the cases of Agapay v. Palang, and Tumlos v.


Fernandez, which involved the issue of co-ownership of
properties acquired by the parties to a bigamous
marriage and an adulterous relationship, respectively, we
ruled that proof of actual contribution in the acquisition
of the property is essential. x x x

As in other civil cases, the burden of proof rests upon


the party who, as determined by the pleadings or the
nature of the case, asserts an affirmative issue.
Contentions must be proved by competent evidence and
reliance must be had on the strength of the party’s own
evidence and not upon the weakness of the opponent’s
defense. x x x

In view of the foregoing, we find that FELICIDAD’S legal


capacity to file the subject petition for letters of
administration may arise from her status as the
surviving wife of Felicisimo or as his co-owner under
Article 144 of the Civil Code or Article 148 of the Family
Code.
from the Philippine Heart Center and Chinese General
VENUE WAS VALIDLY FILED IN THE RTC MUNTINLUPA. Hospital for the period August to December 1992 indicating
Under Section 1, 39 Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the petition the address of Felicisimo at "100 San Juanico, Ayala Alabang,
for letters of administration of the estate of Felicisimo should Muntinlupa." Respondent also presented proof of
be filed in the Regional Trial Court of the province "in which membership of the deceased in the Ayala Alabang Village
he resides at the time of his death." In the case of Garcia Fule Association and Ayala Country Club, Inc., letter-envelopes
v. Court of Appeals, 40 we laid down the doctrinal rule for from 1988 to 1990 sent by the deceased’s children to him at
determining the residence – as contradistinguished from his Alabang address, and the deceased’s calling cards stating
domicile – of the decedent for purposes of fixing the venue that his home/city address is at "100 San Juanico, Ayala
of the settlement of his estate: Alabang Village, Muntinlupa" while his office/provincial
address is in "Provincial Capitol, Sta. Cruz, Laguna."
[T]he term "resides" connotes ex vi termini
"actual residence" as distinguished from "legal From the foregoing, we find that Felicisimo was a resident of
residence or domicile." This term "resides," like the Alabang, Muntinlupa for purposes of fixing the venue of the
terms "residing" and "residence," is elastic and should settlement of his estate. Consequently, the subject petition
be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of for letters of administration was validly filed in the RTC
the statute or rule in which it is employed. In the which has territorial jurisdiction over Alabang, Muntinlupa.
application of venue statutes and rules – Section 1, The subject petition was filed on December 17, 1993. At that
Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such time, Muntinlupa was still a municipality and the branches of
nature – residence rather than domicile is the the Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Judicial
significant factor. Even where the statute uses the Region which had territorial jurisdiction over Muntinlupa were
word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning then seated in Makati City as per Supreme Court
residence and not domicile in the technical sense. Administrative Order No. 3. Thus, the subject petition was
Some cases make a distinction between the terms validly filed before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City.
"residence" and "domicile" but as generally used in
statutes fixing venue, the terms are synonymous, and
convey the same meaning as the term "inhabitant." In
other words, "resides" should be viewed or
understood in its popular sense, meaning, the
personal, actual or physical habitation of a person,
actual residence or place of abode. It signifies
physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat.
In this popular sense, the term means merely
residence, that is, personal residence, not legal
residence or domicile. Residence simply requires
bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place,
while domicile requires bodily presence in that place
and also an intention to make it one’s domicile. No
particular length of time of residence is required
though; however, the residence must be more than
temporary. 41 (Emphasis supplied)

It is incorrect for petitioners to argue that "residence," for


purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of the estate
of Felicisimo, is synonymous with "domicile." The rulings in
Nuval and Romualdez are inapplicable to the instant case
because they involve election cases. Needless to say, there is
a distinction between "residence" for purposes of election
laws and "residence" for purposes of fixing the venue of
actions. In election cases, "residence" and "domicile" are
treated as synonymous terms, that is, the fixed permanent
residence to which when absent, one has the intention of
returning. 42 However, for purposes of fixing venue under the
Rules of Court, the "residence" of a person is his personal,
actual or physical habitation, or actual residence or place of
abode, which may not necessarily be his legal residence or
domicile provided he resides therein with continuity and
consistency. Hence, it is possible that a person may have his
residence in one place and domicile in another.

In the instant case, while petitioners established that


Felicisimo was domiciled in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, respondent
proved that he also maintained a residence in Alabang,
Muntinlupa from 1982 up to the time of his death.
Respondent submitted in evidence the Deed of Absolute Sale
dated January 5, 1983 showing that the deceased purchased
the aforesaid property. She also presented billing statements
Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), words, only the Filipino spouse can invoke the second
GERBERT R. CORPUZ, Petitioner, Philippine law. (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38. paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code; the alien spouse
vs. DAISYLYN TIROL STO. TOMAS and The SOLGEN can claim no right under this provision.
G.R. No. 186571 August 11, 2010 This conclusion, the RTC stated, is consistent with the legislative Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is
intent behind the enactment of the second paragraph of Article 26
validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained The foreign divorce decree is presumptive evidence of a right
of the Family Code, as determined by the Court in Republic v.
FACTS: abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to that clothes the party with legal interest to petition for its
Orbecido III; the provision was enacted to "avoid the absurd
situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien
remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to recognition in this jurisdiction
2000- Corpuz was naturalized as a Canadian Citizen spouse who, after obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the remarry under Philippine law.
Filipino spouse." We qualify our above conclusion – i.e., that the second
Corpuz was a former Filipino citizen who acquired Canadian Through the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code bestows no rights
citizenship through naturalization on November 29, 2000. CONTENTION: Code, EO 227 effectively incorporated into the law this Court’s in favor of aliens – with the complementary statement that
Gerbert asserts that his petition before the RTC is essentially holding in Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr.20 and Pilapil v. Ibay- this conclusion is not sufficient basis to dismiss Gerbert’s
2005- Corpuz married Sto Tomas for declaratory relief, similar to that filed in Orbecido; he, thus, Somera.21 In both cases, the Court refused to acknowledge petition before the RTC. In other words, the unavailability of
similarly asks for a determination of his rights under the the alien spouse’s assertion of marital rights after a foreign the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code to
On January 18, 2005, Gerbert married Sto. Tomas, a Filipina, second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code. Taking court’s divorce decree between the alien and the Filipino. The aliens does not necessarily strip Gerbert of legal interest to
in Pasig City. Due to work and other professional into account the rationale behind the second paragraph of Court, thus, recognized that the foreign divorce had already petition the RTC for the recognition of his foreign divorce
commitments, Gerbert left for Canada soon after the Article 26 of the Family Code, he contends that the provision severed the marital bond between the spouses. The Court decree. The foreign divorce decree itself, after its
wedding. He returned to the Philippines sometime in April applies as well to the benefit of the alien spouse. He claims reasoned in Van Dorn v. Romillo that: authenticity and conformity with the alien’s national law have
2005 to surprise Daisylyn, but was shocked to discover that that the RTC ruling unduly stretched the doctrine in Orbecido been duly proven according to our rules of evidence, serves
his wife was having an affair with another man. by limiting the standing to file the petition only to the Filipino To maintain x x x that, under our laws, [the Filipino spouse] as a presumptive evidence of right in favor of Gerbert,
spouse – an interpretation he claims to be contrary to the has to be considered still married to [the alien spouse] and pursuant to Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which
2006- Corpuz filed a petition for divorce in Canada essence of the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family still subject to a wife's obligations x x x cannot be just. [The provides for the effect of foreign judgments. This Section
Code. He considers himself as a proper party, vested with Filipino spouse] should not be obliged to live together with, states:
Hurt and disappointed, Gerbert returned to Canada and filed a sufficient legal interest, to institute the case, as there is a observe respect and fidelity, and render support to [the alien
petition for divorce. The Superior Court of Justice, Windsor, possibility that he might be prosecuted for bigamy if he spouse]. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs SEC. 48. Effect of foreign judgments or final orders.—The
Ontario, Canada granted Gerbert’s petition for divorce on marries his Filipina fiancée in the Philippines since two with possible rights to conjugal property. She should not be effect of a judgment or final order of a tribunal of a foreign
December 8, 2005. The divorce decree took effect a month marriage certificates, involving him, would be on file with the discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice country, having jurisdiction to render the judgment or final
later, on January 8, 2006. Civil Registry Office. The Office of the Solicitor General and are to be served.22 order is as follows:
Daisylyn, in their respective Comments,14 both support
2008- Desirous of marrying his new Filipina fiancée in the Gerbert’s position. As the RTC correctly stated, the provision was included in the (a) In case of a judgment or final order upon a specific thing,
Philippines, Gerbert went to the Pasig City Civil Registry law "to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse the judgment or final order is conclusive upon the title of the
Office and registered the Canadian divorce decree on his ISSUE: remains married to the alien spouse who, after obtaining a thing; and
and Daisylyn’s marriage certificate. Despite the registration WON the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code divorce, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse."23 The
of the divorce decree, an official of the (NSO) informed extends to aliens the right to petition a court of this legislative intent is for the benefit of the Filipino spouse, by (b) In case of a judgment or final order against a person, the
Gerbert that the marriage between him and Daisylyn still jurisdiction for the recognition of a foreign divorce decree. clarifying his or her marital status, settling the doubts created judgment or final order is presumptive evidence of a right as
subsists under Philippine law; to be enforceable, the foreign by the divorce decree. Essentially, the second paragraph of between the parties and their successors in interest by a
divorce decree must first be judicially recognized by a HELD: Article 26 of the Family Code provided the Filipino spouse a subsequent title.
competent Philippine court, pursuant to NSO Circular No. 4, substantive right to have his or her marriage to the alien
series of 1982. The alien spouse can claim no right under the second spouse considered as dissolved, capacitating him or her to In either case, the judgment or final order may be repelled by
paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code as the remarry.24 Without the second paragraph of Article 26 of the evidence of a want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the
CORPUZ filed a petition for judicial recognition of foreign substantive right it establishes is in favor of the Filipino Family Code, the judicial recognition of the foreign decree of party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.
divorce and/or declaration of marriage as dissolved spouse divorce, whether in a proceeding instituted precisely for that
(petition) with the RTC. Although summoned, Daisylyn did purpose or as a related issue in another proceeding, would be To our mind, direct involvement or being the subject of the
not file any responsive pleading but submitted instead a The resolution of the issue requires a review of the legislative of no significance to the Filipino spouse since our laws do foreign judgment is sufficient to clothe a party with the
notarized letter/manifestation to the trial court. She offered history and intent behind the second paragraph of Article 26 not recognize divorce as a mode of severing the marital requisite interest to institute an action before our courts for
no opposition to Gerbert’s petition and, in fact, alleged her of the Family Code. bond;25 Article 17 of the Civil Code provides that the policy the recognition of the foreign judgment. In a divorce situation,
desire to file a similar case herself but was prevented by against absolute divorces cannot be subverted by judgments we have declared, no less, that the divorce obtained by an
financial and personal circumstances. She, thus, requested The Family Code recognizes only two types of defective promulgated in a foreign country. The inclusion of the second alien abroad may be recognized in the Philippines, provided
that she be considered as a party-in-interest with a similar marriages – void15 and voidable16 marriages. In both cases, paragraph in Article 26 of the Family Code provides the direct the divorce is valid according to his or her national law.
prayer to Gerbert’s. the basis for the judicial declaration of absolute nullity or exception to this rule and serves as basis for recognizing the
annulment of the marriage exists before or at the time of the dissolution of the marriage between the Filipino spouse and The starting point in any recognition of a foreign divorce
RTC: denied the petition; held that Gerbert was not the marriage. Divorce, on the other hand, contemplates the his or her alien spouse. judgment is the acknowledgment that our courts do not take
proper party to institute the action for judicial recognition of dissolution of the lawful union for cause arising after the judicial notice of foreign judgments and laws. Justice Herrera
the foreign divorce decree as he is a naturalized Canadian marriage.17 Our family laws do not recognize absolute Additionally, an action based on the second paragraph of explained that, as a rule, "no sovereign is bound to give effect
citizen. It ruled that only the Filipino spouse can avail of the divorce between Filipino citizens.18 Article 26 of the Family Code is not limited to the within its dominion to a judgment rendered by a tribunal of
remedy, under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the recognition of the foreign divorce decree. If the court finds another country."28 This means that the foreign judgment
Family Code, in order for him or her to be able to remarry Recognizing the reality that divorce is a possibility in that the decree capacitated the alien spouse to remarry, the and its authenticity must be proven as facts under our rules
under Philippine law. Article 26 of the Family Code reads: marriages between a Filipino and an alien, President Corazon courts can declare that the Filipino spouse is likewise on evidence, together with the alien’s applicable national law
C. Aquino, in the exercise of her legislative powers under the capacitated to contract another marriage. No court in this to show the effect of the judgment on the alien himself or
Art. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in Freedom Constitution,19 enacted Executive Order No. (EO) jurisdiction, however, can make a similar declaration for the herself.29 The recognition may be made in an action
accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were 227, amending Article 26 of the Family Code to its present alien spouse (other than that already established by the instituted specifically for the purpose or in another action
solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this decree), whose status and legal capacity are generally where a party invokes the foreign decree as an integral
wording, as follows:
country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and governed by his national law. aspect of his claim or defense.
(6), 36, 37 and 38.
Art. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in
accordance with the laws in force in the country where they Given the rationale and intent behind the enactment, and the In Gerbert’s case, since both the foreign divorce decree and
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is
validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid purpose of the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family the national law of the alien, recognizing his or her capacity
abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Code, the RTC was correct in limiting the applicability of the to obtain a divorce, purport to be official acts of a sovereign
provision for the benefit of the Filipino spouse. In other authority, Section 24, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court comes
into play. This Section requires proof, either by (1) official Civil Status specifically requires the registration of divorce Another point we wish to draw attention to is that the
publications or (2) copies attested by the officer having legal decrees in the civil registry: recognition that the RTC may extend to the Canadian divorce
custody of the documents. If the copies of official records are decree does not, by itself, authorize the cancellation of the
not kept in the Philippines, these must be (a) accompanied by Sec. 1. Civil Register. – A civil register is established for entry in the civil registry. A petition for recognition of a
a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular recording the civil status of persons, in which shall be foreign judgment is not the proper proceeding,
officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the entered: contemplated under the Rules of Court, for the cancellation
foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) of entries in the civil registry.
authenticated by the seal of his office. (a) births;
Article 412 of the Civil Code declares that "no entry in a civil
The records show that Gerbert attached to his petition a (b) deaths; register shall be changed or corrected, without judicial order."
copy of the divorce decree, as well as the required The Rules of Court supplements Article 412 of the Civil Code
certificates proving its authenticity, but failed to include a (c) marriages; by specifically providing for a special remedial proceeding by
copy of the Canadian law on divorce. Under this situation, we which entries in the civil registry may be judicially cancelled
can, at this point, simply dismiss the petition for (d) annulments of marriages; or corrected. Rule 108 of the Rules of Court sets in detail the
insufficiency of supporting evidence, unless we deem it jurisdictional and procedural requirements that must be
more appropriate to remand the case to the RTC to (e) divorces; complied with before a judgment, authorizing the
determine whether the divorce decree is consistent with the cancellation or correction, may be annotated in the civil
Canadian divorce law. (f) legitimations; registry. It also requires, among others, that the verified
petition must be filed with the RTC of the province where the
We deem it more appropriate to take this latter course of (g) adoptions; corresponding civil registry is located;38 that the civil
action, given the Article 26 interests that will be served and registrar and all persons who have or claim any interest must
the Filipina wife’s (Daisylyn’s) obvious conformity with the (h) acknowledgment of natural children; be made parties to the proceedings;39 and that the time and
petition. A remand, at the same time, will allow other place for hearing must be published in a newspaper of
interested parties to oppose the foreign judgment and (i) naturalization; and general circulation.40 As these basic jurisdictional
overcome a petitioner’s presumptive evidence of a right by requirements have not been met in the present case, we
proving want of jurisdiction, want of notice to a party, (j) changes of name. cannot consider the petition Gerbert filed with the RTC as one
collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. Needless to filed under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.
state, every precaution must be taken to ensure conformity xxxx
with our laws before a recognition is made, as the foreign We hasten to point out, however, that this ruling should not be
judgment, once recognized, shall have the effect of res Sec. 4. Civil Register Books. — The local registrars shall keep construed as requiring two separate proceedings for the
judicata32 between the parties, as provided in Section 48, and preserve in their offices the following books, in which registration of a foreign divorce decree in the civil registry –
Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.33 they shall, respectively make the proper entries concerning one for recognition of the foreign decree and another
the civil status of persons: specifically for cancellation of the entry under Rule 108 of the
In fact, more than the principle of comity that is served by the Rules of Court. The recognition of the foreign divorce decree
practice of reciprocal recognition of foreign judgments (1) Birth and death register; may be made in a Rule 108 proceeding itself, as the object of
between nations, the res judicata effect of the foreign special proceedings (such as that in Rule 108 of the Rules of
judgments of divorce serves as the deeper basis for (2) Marriage register, in which shall be entered not only the Court) is precisely to establish the status or right of a party or
extending judicial recognition and for considering the alien marriages solemnized but also divorces and dissolved a particular fact. Moreover, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court can
spouse bound by its terms. This same effect, as discussed marriages. serve as the appropriate adversarial proceeding41 by which
above, will not obtain for the Filipino spouse were it not for the applicability of the foreign judgment can be measured
the substantive rule that the second paragraph of Article 26 (3) Legitimation, acknowledgment, adoption, change of name and tested in terms of jurisdictional infirmities, want of notice
of the Family Code provides. and naturalization register. to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.

Considerations beyond the recognition of the foreign divorce But while the law requires the entry of the divorce decree in WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition for review on certiorari,
decree the civil registry, the law and the submission of the decree and REVERSE the October 30, 2008 decision of the Regional
by themselves do not ipso facto authorize the decree’s Trial Court of Laoag City, Branch 11, as well as its February
As a matter of "housekeeping" concern, we note that the registration. The law should be read in relation with the 17, 2009 order. We order the REMAND of the case to the trial
Pasig City Civil Registry Office has already recorded the requirement of a judicial recognition of the foreign judgment court for further proceedings in accordance with our ruling
divorce decree on Gerbert and Daisylyn’s marriage certificate before it can be given res judicata effect. In the context of the above. Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Civil
based on the mere presentation of the decree.34 We present case, no judicial order as yet exists recognizing the Registrar General. No costs. SO ORDERED.
consider the recording to be legally improper; hence, the need foreign divorce decree. Thus, the Pasig City Civil Registry
to draw attention of the bench and the bar to what had been Office acted totally out of turn and without authority of law
done. when it annotated the Canadian divorce decree on Gerbert
and Daisylyn’s marriage certificate, on the strength alone of
Article 407 of the Civil Code states that "[a]cts, events and the foreign decree presented by Gerbert.
judicial decrees concerning the civil status of persons shall
be recorded in the civil register." The law requires the entry in Evidently, the Pasig City Civil Registry Office was aware of the
the civil registry of judicial decrees that produce legal requirement of a court recognition, as it cited NSO Circular
consequences touching upon a person’s legal capacity and No. 4, series of 1982,36 and Department of Justice Opinion
status, i.e., those affecting "all his personal qualities and No. 181, series of 198237 – both of which required a final
relations, more or less permanent in nature, not ordinarily order from a competent Philippine court before a foreign
terminable at his own will, such as his being legitimate or judgment, dissolving a marriage, can be registered in the civil
illegitimate, or his being married or not."35 registry, but it, nonetheless, allowed the registration of the
decree. For being contrary to law, the registration of the
A judgment of divorce is a judicial decree, although a foreign foreign divorce decree without the requisite judicial
one, affecting a person’s legal capacity and status that must recognition is patently void and cannot produce any legal
be recorded. In fact, Act No. 3753 or the Law on Registry of effect.1avvphi1
G.R. No. 196049 June 26, 2013 foreign divorce decree may be made in a Rule 108 proceeding not involve the extended procedure under A.M. No. 02-11-10-
itself, as the object of special proceedings (such as that in Rule To hold that A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC applies to a petition for SC or the rules of ordinary trial. While the Philippines does
MINORU FUJIKI, PETITIONER, 108 of the Rules of Court) is precisely to establish the status or recognition of foreign judgment would mean that the trial not have a divorce law, Philippine courts may, however,
vs. MARIA PAZ GALELA MARINAY, SHINICHI MAEKARA, right of a party or a particular fact."37 While Corpuz concerned a court and the parties should follow its provisions, including recognize a foreign divorce decree under the second
foreign divorce decree, in the present case the Japanese Family
LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF QUEZON CITY, AND THE the form and contents of the petition,51 the service of paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, to capacitate a
Court judgment also affected the civil status of the parties,
ADMINISTRATOR AND CIVIL REGISTRAR GENERAL OF THE summons,52 the investigation of the public prosecutor,53 the Filipino citizen to remarry when his or her foreign spouse
especially Marinay, who is a Filipino citizen.
NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE, RESPONDENTS. setting of pre-trial,54 the trial55 and the judgment of the trial obtained a divorce decree abroad.65
court.56 This is absurd because it will litigate the case anew.
4. Rule 108 of the Rules of Court is the procedure to record
FACTS: It will defeat the purpose of recognizing foreign judgments, There is therefore no reason to disallow Fujiki to simply
"[a]cts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status
which is "to limit repetitive litigation on claims and issues."57 prove as a fact the Japanese Family Court judgment
of persons" in the civil registry as required by Article 407 of
1 Marriage- Fijiki and Marinay (Philippines, January 2004)
st
The interpretation of the RTC is tantamount to relitigating the nullifying the marriage between Marinay and Maekara on the
the Civil Code. In other words, "[t]he law requires the entry in
2nd Marriage- Maekara and Marinay (Philippines, May 2008) case on the merits. In Mijares v. Rañada,58 this Court ground of bigamy. While the Philippines has no divorce law,
the civil registry of judicial decrees that produce legal
explained that "[i]f every judgment of a foreign court were the Japanese Family Court judgment is fully consistent with
consequences upon a person’s legal capacity and status x x
Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were able to reviewable on the merits, the plaintiff would be forced back Philippine public policy, as bigamous marriages are declared
x." The Japanese Family Court judgment directly bears on the
reestablish their relationship. on his/her original cause of action, rendering immaterial the void from the beginning under Article 35(4) of the Family
civil status of a Filipino citizen and should therefore be
previously concluded litigation."59 Code. Bigamy is a crime under Article 349 of the Revised
proven as a fact in a Rule 108 proceeding.
In 2010, Fujiki helped Marinay obtain a judgment from a Penal Code. Thus, Fujiki can prove the existence of the
family court in Japan which declared the marriage between A foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage Japanese Family Court judgment in accordance with Rule
5. there is no jurisdictional infirmity in assailing a void
Marinay and Maekara void on the ground of bigamy. affects the civil status, condition and legal capacity of its 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b)
marriage under Rule 108, citing De Castro v. De Castro39 and
parties. However, the effect of a foreign judgment is not of the Rules of Court.
Niñal v. Bayadog40 which declared that "[t]he validity of a
Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC entitled: "Judicial Recognition automatic. To extend the effect of a foreign judgment in the
void marriage may be collaterally attacked."41
of Foreign Judgment (or Decree of Absolute Nullity of Philippines, Philippine courts must determine if the foreign
Marriage)." praying that judgment is consistent with domestic public policy and other
ISSUES:
(1) the Japanese Family Court judgment be mandatory laws.60 Article 15 of the Civil Code provides that II.
(1) Whether the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of
recognized; "[l]aws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status,
Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages (A.M.
(2) that the bigamous marriage between Marinay and condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon Since the recognition of a foreign judgment only requires
No. 02-11-10-SC) is applicable. (NO)
Maekara be declared void ab initio under citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad." This is proof of fact of the judgment, it may be made in a special
Articles 35(4) and 41 of the Family Code of the the rule of lex nationalii in private international law. Thus, the proceeding for cancellation or correction of entries in the
(2) Whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a
Philippines;5 and (3) for the RTC to direct the Philippine State may require, for effectivity in the Philippines, civil registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Rule 1,
petition to recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the
Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City to annotate recognition by Philippine courts of a foreign judgment Section 3 of the Rules of Court provides that "[a] special
subsequent marriage between his or her spouse and a
the Japanese Family Court judgment on the affecting its citizen, over whom it exercises personal proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a
foreign citizen on the ground of bigamy.
Certificate of Marriage between Marinay and jurisdiction relating to the status, condition and legal capacity status, a right, or a particular fact." Rule 108 creates a
Maekara and to endorse such annotation to the of such citizen. remedy to rectify facts of a person’s life which are recorded
(3) Whether the Regional Trial Court can recognize the
Office of the Administrator and Civil Registrar by the State pursuant to the Civil Register Law or Act No.
foreign judgment in a proceeding for cancellation or
General in the National Statistics Office (NSO). A petition to recognize a foreign judgment declaring a 3753. These are facts of public consequence such as birth,
correction of entries in the Civil Registry under Rule 108 of
The Ruling of the Regional Trial Court marriage void does not require relitigation under a Philippine death or marriage,66 which the State has an interest in
the Rules of Court.
court of the case as if it were a new petition for declaration of recording. As noted by the Solicitor General, in Corpuz v. Sto.
RTC: dismissed based on (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC), took the nullity of marriage. Philippine courts cannot presume to know Tomas this Court declared that "[t]he recognition of the
HELD:
view that only "the husband or the wife," in this case either the foreign laws under which the foreign judgment was foreign divorce decree may be made in a Rule 108 proceeding
Maekara or Marinay, can file the petition to declare their rendered. They cannot substitute their judgment on the itself, as the object of special proceedings (such as that in
We grant the petition.
marriage void, and not Fujiki. status, condition and legal capacity of the foreign citizen who Rule 108 of the Rules of Court) is precisely to establish the
is under the jurisdiction of another state. Thus, Philippine status or right of a party or a particular fact."
The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void
SOLGEN: in favor of Fujiki; argued that: courts can only recognize the foreign judgment as a fact
Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages (A.M. No.
1. Fujiki, as the spouse of the first marriage, is an according to the rules of evidence. Rule 108, Section 1 of the Rules of Court states:
02-11-10-SC) does not apply in a petition to recognize a
injured party who can sue to declare the
foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage where
bigamous marriage between Marinay and Section 48(b), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court provides that a Sec. 1. Who may file petition. — Any person interested
one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country. Moreover,
Maekara void. foreign judgment or final order against a person creates a in any act, event, order or decree concerning the civil
in Juliano-Llave v. Republic, this Court held that the rule in
2. that Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not "presumptive evidence of a right as between the parties and status of persons which has been recorded in the
A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC that only the husband or wife can file
apply in cases of bigamy. In Juliano-Llave, this their successors in interest by a subsequent title." Moreover, civil register, may file a verified petition for the
a declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage "does not
Court explained: Section 48 of the Rules of Court states that "the judgment or cancellation or correction of any entry relating
apply if the reason behind the petition is bigamy."
final order may be repelled by evidence of a want of thereto, with the Regional Trial Court of the province
[t]he subsequent spouse may only be expected to take action if he jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or where the corresponding civil registry is located.
I.
or she had only discovered during the connubial period that the clear mistake of law or fact." Thus, Philippine courts exercise (Emphasis supplied)
marriage was bigamous, and especially if the conjugal bliss had limited review on foreign judgments. Courts are not allowed
already vanished. Should parties in a subsequent marriage benefit For Philippine courts to recognize a foreign judgment relating
to delve into the merits of a foreign judgment. Once a foreign Fujiki has the personality to file a petition to recognize the
from the bigamous marriage, it would not be expected that they to the status of a marriage where one of the parties is a
judgment is admitted and proven in a Philippine court, it can Japanese Family Court judgment nullifying the marriage
would file an action to declare the marriage void and thus, in such citizen of a foreign country, the petitioner only needs to prove
only be repelled on grounds external to its merits, i.e. , "want between Marinay and Maekara on the ground of bigamy
circumstance, the "injured spouse" who should be given a legal the foreign judgment as a fact under the Rules of Court. To be
remedy is the one in a subsisting previous marriage. The latter is
of jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or because the judgment concerns his civil status as married to
more specific, a copy of the foreign judgment may be
clearly the aggrieved party as the bigamous marriage not only clear mistake of law or fact." The rule on limited review Marinay. For the same reason he has the personality to file a
admitted in evidence and proven as a fact under Rule 132,
threatens the financial and the property ownership aspect of the embodies the policy of efficiency and the protection of party petition under Rule 108 to cancel the entry of marriage
Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the
prior marriage but most of all, it causes an emotional burden to the expectations,61 as well as respecting the jurisdiction of other between Marinay and Maekara in the civil registry on the
Rules of Court.49 Petitioner may prove the Japanese Family
prior spouse. The subsequent marriage will always be a reminder states.62 basis of the decree of the Japanese Family Court.
Court judgment through (1) an official publication or (2) a
of the infidelity of the spouse and the disregard of the prior
certification or copy attested by the officer who has custody
marriage which sanctity is protected by the Constitution. Since 1922 in Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee,63 Philippine courts There is no doubt that the prior spouse has a personal and
of the judgment. If the office which has custody is in a foreign
have recognized foreign divorce decrees between a Filipino material interest in maintaining the integrity of the marriage
country such as Japan, the certification may be made by the
3. the petition to recognize the Japanese Family Court and a foreign citizen if they are successfully proven under the he contracted and the property relations arising from it. There
proper diplomatic or consular officer of the Philippine foreign
judgment may be made in a Rule 108 proceeding. In Corpuz v. rules of evidence.64 Divorce involves the dissolution of a is also no doubt that he is interested in the cancellation of an
Santo Tomas,36 this Court held that "[t]he recognition of the
service in Japan and authenticated by the seal of office.50
marriage, but the recognition of a foreign divorce decree does entry of a bigamous marriage in the civil registry, which
compromises the public record of his marriage. The interest In Braza v. The City Civil Registrar of Himamaylan City, the Filipino spouse"89 under the laws of his or her country. For this purpose, Philippine courts will only determine (1)
derives from the substantive right of the spouse not only to Negros Occidental, this Court held that a "trial court has no The second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code only whether the foreign judgment is inconsistent with an
preserve (or dissolve, in limited instances68) his most jurisdiction to nullify marriages" in a special proceeding for authorizes Philippine courts to adopt the effects of a foreign overriding public policy in the Philippines; and (2) whether any
intimate human relation, but also to protect his property cancellation or correction of entry under Rule 108 of the divorce decree precisely because the Philippines does not alleging party is able to prove an extrinsic ground to repel the
interests that arise by operation of law the moment he Rules of Court.81 Thus, the "validity of marriage[] x x x can be allow divorce. Philippine courts cannot try the case on the foreign judgment, i.e. want of jurisdiction, want of notice to
contracts marriage.69 These property interests in marriage questioned only in a direct action" to nullify the marriage.82 merits because it is tantamount to trying a case for divorce. the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. If
include the right to be supported "in keeping with the financial The RTC relied on Braza in dismissing the petition for there is neither inconsistency with public policy nor adequate
capacity of the family"70 and preserving the property regime recognition of foreign judgment as a collateral attack on the The second paragraph of Article 26 is only a corrective proof to repel the judgment, Philippine courts should, by
of the marriage.71 marriage between Marinay and Maekara. measure to address the anomaly that results from a marriage default, recognize the foreign judgment as part of the comity
between a Filipino, whose laws do not allow divorce, and a of nations. Section 48(b), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court states
Property rights are already substantive rights protected by Braza is not applicable because Braza does not involve a foreign citizen, whose laws allow divorce. The anomaly that the foreign judgment is already "presumptive evidence of
the Constitution,72 but a spouse’s right in a marriage extends recognition of a foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous consists in the Filipino spouse being tied to the marriage a right between the parties." Upon recognition of the foreign
further to relational rights recognized under Title III ("Rights marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of the foreign while the foreign spouse is free to marry under the laws of his judgment, this right becomes conclusive and the judgment
and Obligations between Husband and Wife") of the Family country. or her country. The correction is made by extending in the serves as the basis for the correction or cancellation of entry
Code.73 A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC cannot "diminish, increase, or Philippines the effect of the foreign divorce decree, which is in the civil registry. The recognition of the foreign judgment
modify" the substantive right of the spouse to maintain the To be sure, a petition for correction or cancellation of an already effective in the country where it was rendered. The nullifying a bigamous marriage is a subsequent event that
integrity of his marriage.74 In any case, Section 2(a) of A.M. entry in the civil registry cannot substitute for an action to second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code is based establishes a new status, right and fact92 that needs to be
No. 02-11-10-SC preserves this substantive right by limiting invalidate a marriage. A direct action is necessary to prevent on this Court’s decision in Van Dorn v. Romillo90 which reflected in the civil registry. Otherwise, there will be an
the personality to sue to the husband or the wife of the union circumvention of the substantive and procedural safeguards declared that the Filipino spouse "should not be inconsistency between the recognition of the effectivity of
recognized by law. of marriage under the Family Code, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice the foreign judgment and the public records in the
and other related laws. Among these safeguards are the are to be served."91 Philippines.1âwphi1
Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not preclude a requirement of proving the limited grounds for the
spouse of a subsisting marriage to question the validity of a dissolution of marriage,83 support pendente lite of the The principle in Article 26 of the Family Code applies in a However, the recognition of a foreign judgment nullifying a
subsequent marriage on the ground of bigamy. On the spouses and children,84 the liquidation, partition and marriage between a Filipino and a foreign citizen who obtains bigamous marriage is without prejudice to prosecution for
contrary, when Section 2(a) states that "[a] petition for distribution of the properties of the spouses,85 and the a foreign judgment nullifying the marriage on the ground of bigamy under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code.93 The
declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed investigation of the public prosecutor to determine bigamy. The Filipino spouse may file a petition abroad to recognition of a foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous
solely by the husband or the wife"75—it refers to the husband collusion.86 A direct action for declaration of nullity or declare the marriage void on the ground of bigamy. The marriage is not a ground for extinction of criminal liability
or the wife of the subsisting marriage. Under Article 35(4) of annulment of marriage is also necessary to prevent principle in the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family under Articles 89 and 94 of the Revised Penal Code.
the Family Code, bigamous marriages are void from the circumvention of the jurisdiction of the Family Courts under Code applies because the foreign spouse, after the foreign Moreover, under Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code, "[t]he
beginning. Thus, the parties in a bigamous marriage are the Family Courts Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8369), as a judgment nullifying the marriage, is capacitated to remarry term of prescription [of the crime of bigamy] shall not run
neither the husband nor the wife under the law. The husband petition for cancellation or correction of entries in the civil under the laws of his or her country. If the foreign judgment is when the offender is absent from the Philippine archipelago."
or the wife of the prior subsisting marriage is the one who registry may be filed in the Regional Trial Court "where the not recognized in the Philippines, the Filipino spouse will be
has the personality to file a petition for declaration of corresponding civil registry is located."87 In other words, a discriminated—the foreign spouse can remarry while the Since A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC is inapplicable, the Court no
absolute nullity of void marriage under Section 2(a) of A.M. Filipino citizen cannot dissolve his marriage by the mere Filipino spouse cannot remarry. longer sees the need to address the questions on venue and
No. 02-11-10-SC. expedient of changing his entry of marriage in the civil the contents and form of the petition under Sections 4 and 5,
registry. Under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, respectively, of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC.
Article 35(4) of the Family Code, which declares bigamous Philippine courts are empowered to correct a situation where
marriages void from the beginning, is the civil aspect of However, this does not apply in a petition for correction or the Filipino spouse is still tied to the marriage while the WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. The Order dated 31
Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code,76 which penalizes cancellation of a civil registry entry based on the recognition foreign spouse is free to marry. Moreover, notwithstanding January 2011 and the Resolution dated 2 March 2011 of the
bigamy. Bigamy is a public crime. Thus, anyone can initiate of a foreign judgment annulling a marriage where one of the Article 26 of the Family Code, Philippine courts already have Regional Trial Court, Branch 107, Quezon City, in Civil Case
prosecution for bigamy because any citizen has an interest in parties is a citizen of the foreign country. There is neither jurisdiction to extend the effect of a foreign judgment in the No. Q-11-68582 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Regional
the prosecution and prevention of crimes.77 If anyone can circumvention of the substantive and procedural safeguards Philippines to the extent that the foreign judgment does not Trial Court is ORDERED to REINSTATE the petition for further
file a criminal action which leads to the declaration of nullity of marriage under Philippine law, nor of the jurisdiction of contravene domestic public policy. A critical difference proceedings in accordance with this Decision.
of a bigamous marriage,78 there is more reason to confer Family Courts under R.A. No. 8369. A recognition of a between the case of a foreign divorce decree and a foreign
personality to sue on the husband or the wife of a subsisting foreign judgment is not an action to nullify a marriage. It is judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage is that bigamy, as a SO ORDERED.
marriage. The prior spouse does not only share in the public an action for Philippine courts to recognize the effectivity of ground for the nullity of marriage, is fully consistent with
interest of prosecuting and preventing crimes, he is also a foreign judgment, which presupposes a case which was Philippine public policy as expressed in Article 35(4) of the
personally interested in the purely civil aspect of protecting already tried and decided under foreign law. The procedure Family Code and Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code. The
his marriage. in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not apply in a petition to Filipino spouse has the option to undergo full trial by filing a
recognize a foreign judgment annulling a bigamous petition for declaration of nullity of marriage under A.M. No.
When the right of the spouse to protect his marriage is marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of the foreign 02-11-10-SC, but this is not the only remedy available to him
violated, the spouse is clearly an injured party and is country. Neither can R.A. No. 8369 define the jurisdiction of or her. Philippine courts have jurisdiction to recognize a
therefore interested in the judgment of the suit.79 Juliano- the foreign court. foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage, without
Llave ruled that the prior spouse "is clearly the aggrieved prejudice to a criminal prosecution for bigamy.
party as the bigamous marriage not only threatens the Article 26 of the Family Code confers jurisdiction on
financial and the property ownership aspect of the prior Philippine courts to extend the effect of a foreign divorce In the recognition of foreign judgments, Philippine courts are
marriage but most of all, it causes an emotional burden to the decree to a Filipino spouse without undergoing trial to incompetent to substitute their judgment on how a case was
prior spouse."80 Being a real party in interest, the prior determine the validity of the dissolution of the marriage. The decided under foreign law. They cannot decide on the "family
spouse is entitled to sue in order to declare a bigamous second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code provides rights and duties, or on the status, condition and legal
marriage void. For this purpose, he can petition a court to that "[w]here a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a capacity" of the foreign citizen who is a party to the foreign
recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the bigamous foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter judgment. Thus, Philippine courts are limited to the question
marriage and judicially declare as a fact that such judgment validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him of whether to extend the effect of a foreign judgment in the
is effective in the Philippines. Once established, there or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to Philippines. In a foreign judgment relating to the status of a
should be no more impediment to cancel the entry of the remarry under Philippine law." In Republic v. Orbecido,88 this marriage involving a citizen of a foreign country, Philippine
bigamous marriage in the civil registry. Court recognized the legislative intent of the second courts only decide whether to extend its effect to the Filipino
paragraph of Article 26 which is "to avoid the absurd situation party, under the rule of lex nationalii expressed in Article 15
III. where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien of the Civil Code.
spouse who, after obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to