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US v.

Concepcion Policarpio would file a sworn complaint that his current husband Nicolas Macleod
contracted a second marriage with Sotera Agustin on March 30, 1903. Seeing as the first
marriage of the accused with the complainant was still subsisting, his subsequent marriage to
Sotera Agustin constituted bigamy on his part.
Further evidence will show that the complainant and the accused were married in 1900 and their
ceremony was solemnized by Nicolas Zamora. Meanwhile Sotera Agustin acting as a
complaining witness testifies that the accused used the name Nicolas Hernandez instead of his
real name and that he presented himself to be a single man. As for the pastor who solemnized, he
testifies that indeed Nicolas Macleod or Hernandez was married twice under him, although he
could not tell that it was him for the second time he was married for he conducts a lot of
marriages and that there was a lot of people during the respective marriages.
As for the family of Sotera Agustin, the family explains that they wanted Sotera to marry the
accused to salvage her reputation, given that she was abducted.
With the foregoing the trial court charges the accused with Bigamy and should be liable for the
penalties as stated in 471 of the Penal Code.
WoN Nicolas Macleod is guilty of Bigamy?

Yes, the Court affirms the decision of the trial court. They opine that the defense put up by the
accused is not enough to overturn the fact that he committed bigamy. The accused states that he
married Sotera Agustin because he was forced and intimidated by her family and that even his
family and his neighbors would corroborate this. However the Court remains firm in its stand
that this is not enough to establish his innocence and that he indeed committed bigamy since he
contracted a second marriage, which was solemnized by a legitimate priest, despite the fact that
he was still married to another woman is enough to deem him liable for the penalties of Article
471 of the Penal Code.


WONG WOO YIN is a Chinese national who claims to be married to a Filipino
named PERFECTO BLAS in 1929. She alleges that they were married in China by a
village leader in 1929.
By virtue of the Decision of Board of Special Inquiry No. 3, WONG WOO YIN was
admitted in the country as a non-quota-immigrant, after giving credence to her claim
that she is legally married to a Filipino. The said Decision as later affirmed by the
Board of Commissioners. However, the Board of Commissioners, this time, through a
new set of members, reviewed the files of Wong Woo Yin, and thereafter,
reconsidered the previous ruling of the Board, and ordered her to be deported for her
failure to prove that she is indeed legally married to Perfecto Blas.
She later filed a petition for Mandamus with the RTC seeking judgment that will order
the Board of Special Inquiry to allow her to stay in the Philippines.
Wong presented documentary and oral evidence to prove that she and Blas were
married in China in 1929 by a village leader and that they have children living in
China. However, she failed to present proof that a village leader is authorized to
solemnize marriage in China.
Whether or not Philippine laws may be applied to determine the validity of WONG
WOO YINs marriage to a Filipino national?
SC rules against Wong Woo Yin. Her failure to present proof that the laws of China authorize a
village leader to solemnize marriage was found fatal to her cause. The SC ruled that The
statutes of other countries or states must be pleaded and proved the same as any other fact.
Courts cannot take judicial notice of what such laws are. In the absence of pleading and proof the
laws of a foreign country or state will be presumed to be the same as our own. In the absence of
anything to the contrary as to the character of a foreign law, it will be presumed to be the same as
the domestic law on the same subject. (Lim and Lim vs. Collector of Customs, 36 Phil. 472).
In the absence of evidence to the contrary foreign laws on a particular subject are presumed to be
the same as those of the Philippines. (Miciano v. Brimo, 50 Phil. 867).
Since our law only recognizes a marriage celebrated by a judge inferior to the Supreme Court,
justice of the piece, priest or minister of the gospel or any denomination, and a village leader is
not one of them, it is clear that petitioners marriage, even if true, cannot be recognized in this

Ching Huat v. Co Heong
Petitioner prays that the respondent produce minor Maria Ching, and for the respondent to prove
his custody over said minor and for the court to award custody to the petitioner. Petitioner opines
that the 15 year old Maria Ching is is daughter and that due to her strong connections with the
respondent, she was conviced to elope with him and marry in Plaridel Bulacan. He further
alleges that the respondent has been married to Gue Min, a marriage that was contracted in China
and is still subsisting.
Respondent however argues that he and Maria Ching validly contracted a marriage which was
solemnized before the justice of peace in Plaridel, Bulacan and that they complied with all the
essential requisites.
Whether or not the marriage between the respondent and Maria Ching was valid?
If so, whether or not the petitioner retains custody over Maria Ching?
Yes the marriage between the respondent and Maria Ching was valid. The fact of the civil
marriage between the respondent and Maria Ching, and that they complied with all the requisites
goes to show the validity of the marriage. With respect to the alleged marriage of the respondent
with Gue Min in China, the court cites Adeong v Cheng See in explaining that to prove a foreign
marriage there has to be clear and substantial evidence of not only the foreign law that governs
such marriages and but also the marriage contracted. In this case the petitioner shows evidence to
prove neither. In light of this it is in the opinion of the court that there was no marriage between
the respondent and Gue Min and that his marriage with Maria Ching was valid.
Anent the second issue, with the marriage between the respondent and Maria Ching proven to be
valid, it is a logical consequence that Maria Ching has been emancipated from the parental
authority of her father.

Yao-Kee v. Gonzales

Sy Kiat, is a Chinese national who died in the Philippines, and thus left behind his real and
personal properties in the Philippines. His property amounting to around P300,000, Aida
Gonzales and others filed a petition claiming said property, as they allege to be the children of
the deceased with Asuncion Gillega who was a Filipina. Yao Kee on the other hand opposes said
allegations, and instead she claims to be the lawful wife of the deceased whom he married in
China and that her child Sze Sook Wah, should be the administrator of the deceased. The CFI
decided in favor of Yao Kees petition but was modified and set aside by the court of appeals.

Whether or not Sy Kiats marriage to Yao Kee in accordance with Chinese Law and Custom

No, the Supreme Court ruled that the evidence presented may prove the validity of the marriage
between Yao Kee and Sy Kiat, but it was not enough to prove that it was contracted in
accordance with Chinese Law and Custom. For the court explains that a custom must be proved
as a fact according to the rules of evidence and that it should be established by competent
evidence. In this case the petitioners failed to present evidence in relation to Chinese Law on
marriage, in the absence of proof the marriage is not to be recognized in Philippine Courts.

Enriquez v. Enriquez


The plaintiffs petition that the deed made by Antonio Enriquez to Dona Carmen de la Cavada of
certain real estate property in Manila be annulled and set aside. In this case it is alleged that
Antonio Enriquez was married to Ciriaca Villanueva prior to 1860, it is only in 1865 that they
contracted a marriage ceremony only in 1865. The property in question meanwhile was acquired
on 1861, and the plaintiffs allege that it was deemed part of their conjugal property. When
Ciriaca died in 1882, it was assumed that half of the property belonged to her, thus should be
rightfully passed to her heirs, which in this case are the plaintiffs. It is therefore argued by the
plaintiffs that in conveying the questioned property, Antonio Enriquez only conveyed half of it,
or his share only to Carmen de la Cavada.


WoN the Antonio Enriquez and Ciriaca Villanueva were validly married in 1861?


No, while Antonio Enriquez and Ciriaca Villanueva lived together as husband and wife, and
even had children prior to 1861, the court deems them to be married only in 1865 or the year
they celebrated a marriage ceremony with an ecclesiastical functionary. It is held by the Court
that common law marriages, or those without any celebration in an ecclesiastical function are not
duly recognized in the Philippines, as Spanish law, which was present in the Philippines at that
time also did not recognize such.

Seeing as the marriage of Antonio Enrique to Ciriaca Villanueva prior to the acquisition of
property in 1861 was not a valid one, the property in question was not deemed part of the
conjugal property, therefore the petitioners motion cannot be sustained.

Board of Commissioners v Dela Rosa

On July 20, 1960, Santiago Gatchalian, is grandfather of the respondent William Gatchalian,
based on Santiagos mother Mariana electing to become a Filipino Citizen, was then also
recognized as a Filipino citizen by the Bureau of Immigration who in this case is the petitioner.
The respondent Gatchalian then applied to become a Filipino citizen, with Certificates of
Registration and Identity. On July 6, 1961, the Board of Special Inquiry No. 1 analyzed and
found him to be a Filipino citizen.

However, the Secretary of Justice at the time gave an order saying that there shall be a new
Board of Special Inquiry that shall review all cases of citizenship. A decision which the new
board subsequently reversed the decision. However said decision was again reversed in 1973,
reverting back to the 1961 decision, allowing respondent to stay in the Philippines. On June 7,
1990, the acting director of the National Bureau of Investigation wrote the Secretary of Justice
recommending that respondent Gatchalian be charged with violation of Sec. 37 (a), pars. 1 and 2,
in relation to Secs. 45 (c), and (d) and (e) of Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended, also
known as the Immigration Act of 1940.

Therefore this issue
WoN William Gatchalian is a Filipino Citizen, and if not, whether the order of his deportation be
barred for such issuance 28 years thereafter?
YES, respondent is a Filipino Citizen, under Sec. 39 of the Immigration Act, it is stated that
deportation proceedings should be instituted within five (5) years. In the case at bar, it took
petitioners a whole 28 years since the BOC decision was rendered on July 6, 1962 before they
commenced deportation or exclusion proceedings against respondent William Gatchalian in
1990. Furthermore William Gatchalian has spent a good portion of his life not only living in the
Philippines but also being a solid citizen.

Petitioners then argue that respondent is not a Filipino citizen because Santiagos and Williams
marriage was in China and that it lacked substantial evidence. However the Court brings up the
case of Minciano v Brimo where it held that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, foreign
laws on a particular subject are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines. In the case
at bar, there being no proof of Chinese law relating to marriage, it is not recognized in the

Lim and Lim v Collector of Customs (1917)
Two children aged 8 and 14 years, respectively, arrived at the Port of Manila accompanied by
their Filipino mother who had custody over them. These children were born out of wedlock to a
Chinese man. On the strength of Chinese immigration laws, the respondent denied their entry.
Petitioners argue that regardless of the provisions of the Chinese immigration laws, since it can
be shown that they are citizens of the Philippines and that their mother, who has custody and is
charged with their maintenance and education, is clearly entitled to take up her residence in the
Philippine Islands and should not be required, to that end, to abandon her minor children.

Respondents basis of exclusion was due to the Chinese Immigration Law every Chinese person,
except for laborers are required to have a certificate to be granted entry.
WoN the children may enter the Philippines without Certifications?
Yes, the court cites US v. Gue holding that, and noting that such ruling should also apply to the
children in this case:

To hold that a certificate is required in this case is to decide that the woman cannot come into
this country at all, for it is not possible for her to comply with the act, because she cannot in any
event procure the certificate even by returning to China. She must come in as the wife of her
domiciled husband or not at all. The act was never meant to accomplish the result of
permanently excluding the wife under the circumstances of this case.

Yam Ka Lim v The Insular Collector of Customs (1915)
Petitioner seeked admission to the Port of Manila, he argues that he is the legitimate minor son of
Yam Long Sai, a resident Chinese merchant. Respondent however denied the petitioner. The
lower court then sided with the petitioner even without deciding if the Bureau of Customs
abused his authority.

Respondent then appealed with the following issues:
1. WoN The Court had jurisdiction to review the decision of the immigration authorities?

2. WoN The court erred in taking judicial notice of the laws of China relative to marriage and
child legitimacy, which differ from those in force in the Philippine Islands.

3. WoN The court erred in ordering the petitioner discharged from the custody of the Insular
Collector of Custom

Anent the first issue, no the court does not have jurisdiction as the right to determine whether or
not Chinese aliens may enter the territory of the United States is conferred exclusively upon a
branch of the execution department of the Government.

Furthermore it has been frequently decided that until an alien has exhausted his remedy in the
executive department of the Government, he is without right to appeal to the judicial department
in a case like the present. The appellee not having exhausted his remedy in the executive
department of the Government, the courts are without jurisdiction to consider his claim.

With regards to the second issue, the statutes of other countries must be pleaded and proved the
same as any other fact. In the absence of such pleading and proof the laws of a foreign state will
be presumed to be the same as our own.

Lastly yes, other than what is stated above, there was ample proof in the record to show, or at
least to convince the board of special inquiry, that said Yam Ka Lim was not the legitimate
minor son of the said Yam Long Sai.

Garcia VS. Recio
Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, married Editha Samson, an Australian Citizen, in Malabon, Rizal
on March 1, 1987. After barely 2 years, an Australian family court issued purportedly a decree
of divorce, dissolving the marriage of Rederick and Editha on May 18, 1989.

On January 12, 1994, Rederick contracted a second marriage to Grace J. Garcia in Cabanatuan
City. In October 22, 1995, the couple stated living separately without prior judicial dissolution
of their marriage.

On March 3, 1998, Grace filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of her Marriage to RECIO
On the ground of bigamy on March 3, 1998. Grace alleged that she only learned about her
husbands previous marriage to EDITHA SAMSON in in November 1997, Redericks marriage
with Editha Samson.

Respondent RECIO filed his Answer alleging therein that he was capacitated to marry GARCIA
because his first marriage had been dissolved by virtue of the divorce decree issued in Australia.
While the case is pending, RECIO obtained a divorce of his marriage to GARCIA from an
Australian Court.
Thereafter he moved to dismiss the petition, arguing that the Petition ahs no cause of action
because their marriage had been dissolved. OSG agreed with respondent. After presentation of
both parties evidence, the case was submitted.
RTC decided in favour of RECIO declaring that the marriage between the aprties ahd been
dissolved by the Australian Divorce, which is valid and recognized in teh Philippines. It declared
the marriage ended not because of RECIOs lack of legal capacity, but because of the divorce
decree. Thus there is nothing left to nullify.
Garcia appealed, arguing that the lower court erred in declaring the marriage void by reason of
the divorce decree obtained in Australia. She insists that the marriage should have been annulled
or declared void because RECIO lacked legal capacity to marry at the time he married her. She
also argues taht the evidence presented by RECIO is insufficient because he was not able to
present proof of the divorce law in Australia.
Whether the decree of divorce submitted by Rederick Recio is admissible as evidence to prove
his legal capacity to marry petitioner and absolved him of bigamy?


The nullity of Redericks marriage with Editha as shown by the divorce decree issued was valid
and recognized in the Philippines since the respondent is a naturalized Australian. However,
there is absolutely no evidence that proves respondents legal capacity to marry petitioner though
the former presented a divorce decree. The said decree, being a foreign document was
inadmissible to court as evidence primarily because it was not authenticated by the consul/
embassy of the country where it will be used.

Van Dorn vs. Romillo
Petitioner and Private Respondent got married in Hong Kong in 1972 and established their
residence in the Philippines and they had two children. Meanwhile they divorced later divorced
in Nevada, USA After which the petitioner was able to remarry Theodore Van Dorn. Private
respondent then sued the petitioner stating that the petitioners business, the Galleon Shop, in
Ermita, Manila was part conjugal property.

Petitioner moved to dismiss the case because the divorce in the Nevada court also provided that
there would be no community property. The lower court however opined that such divorce
procured in Nevada had no effect on the property as it was located in the Philippines.
Hence this case
WoN the divorce in Nevada affects the Conjugal property of the parties in the Philippines?
No, Upton cannot claim the conjugal ownership of the Galleon Shop as the Divorce Decree in
Nevada is binding on Upton only as an American citizen. As a result of the nationality principle
in the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are not allowed to procure divorce as it is against
public policy. However, aliens who obtain divorces abroad, may be recognized in the
Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. In this case, the divorce in
Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from the standards of American law,
under which divorce dissolves the marriage.

Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He
would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioners husband entitled to exercise
control over conjugal assets. To maintain, as private respondent does, that under our laws,
petitioner has to be considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a wifes
obligations cannot be just.

Cang vs. Court of Appeals
Herbert Cang and Anna Clavano married in 1973. In early years of their marriage, their
relationship was going smoothly. However their marriage would take a hit when Anna Marie
would learn of Herberts extra marital affair with Wilma Soco who a family friend of the
Clavanos. In the aftermath Anna Marie filed for petition for legal separation which was approved
by the court, while Herbert went to the USA where he sought divorce from Anna Marie. It was
granted by the Nevada CourtHerbert took an American wife which resulted in his naturalization
as an American citizen but he likewise obtained divorce from that marriage and never remarried.
While still in the US the petitioner still strived to work hard to provide for his children. Despite
this however, adoption proceedings were initiated by Ronald Clavano who was the brother of
Anna Marie and Maria Clara Clavano who was her sister in law, and Anna Marie filed affidavit
of consent but without Herberts consent.

Upon learning of the petition for adoption proceedings, Petitioner Herbert went home to the
Philippines to file his opposition. The RTC granted the adoption for the private respondents were
well off and childless and the petitioner was seen to be unfit to be a father for his extramarital
affair. The decision was upheld by the CA.

Hence this issue


WoN Petitioner Cang had abandoned his children?

No, the petitioner did not abandon his children as records disclose that petitioners conduct did
not manifest a settled purpose to forego all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims over
his children as to constitute abandonment. Physical estrangement alone, without financial and
moral desertion, is not tantamount to abandonment. While admittedly, petitioner was physically
absent as he was then in the United States, he did not abandon his duty of caring for and loving
his children. He continued his communication with his wife and children and he even sent
different packages to them.

Recto vs. Harden
Mrs. Harden, a US Citizen, engaged services of Claro M. Recto, for a suit against his husband,
Fred Harden . She wanted to get the services of Claro Recto was for the purpose of securing an
increase in the amount of support being received by me from the conjugal partnership of
Esperanza Harden and Fred M. Harden as well as protecting and preserving my rights in the
properties of the said conjugal partnership, in contemplation of the divorce suit which Esperanza
intents to file against Fred Harden in the competent Court of California and of the liquidation of
the conjugal partnership between them

Esperanza agreed to pay Recto twenty (20%) per cent of the value of the share of conjugal
partnership after liquidation.
Eventually trial court sided with Mrs. Harden . On appeal, spouses Harden mutually released and
forever discharged each other from all actions, debts, duties, and claims to the conjugal
partnership. Recto filed motion contesting agreement. In their defense, Harden said that the
contract of services was invalid since to secure a divorce decree constitutes a violation of our

W/N Recto can enforce his contract of agreement?
Yes, the contract of services is not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public
policy, as it had a lawful object in protecting the interests of Mrs. Harden in the conjugal
partnership during the divorce suit and it was not a contract to secure divorce nor facilitate it.
Divorce can be granted to the Spouses Harden, they being nationals of country whose laws allow

Republic vs. Orbecido III
Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M. Villanueva at the United Church of Christ in the
Philippines in Lam-an, Ozamis City. They had a son and a daughter, Kristoffer Simbortriz V.
Orbecido and Lady Kimberly V. Orbecido. In 1986, Ciprianos wife left for the United States
bringing along their son Kristoffer and was later discovered by Cipriano she had been naturalized
as an American Citizen. He also learned through his son that his wife had obtained a divorce
decree and married another man.
Cipriano thereafter filed a petition for authority to remarry invoking Article 26 of the Family
Code. However, the OSG makes the argument that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code
is not applicable to the instant case because it only applies to a valid mixed marriage; that is, a
marriage celebrated between a Filipino citizen and an alien, and that it would be advisable to just
file an annulment or for legal separation.
WoN respondent can remarry under Art. 26 of the Family Code?
Yes, as opined in the intent of Judge Sempio Dy who was a member of the Civil Code
Commission, Article 26 of the Family Code, should be interpreted to include cases involving the
parties, who at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on, one
of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree.
Judge Sempio-Dy explained that Art. 26, Par. 2 of the Family Code is to avoid the absurd
situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse, who, after obtaining a
divorce, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse.

Pilapil v. Ibay Somera

On September 7, 1979, petitioner Imelda Pilapil, a Filipina, and private respondent Erich
Geiling, a German, were married in Germany. The couple lived together for some time in
Malate, Manila. Thereafter, problems arose which was followed by separation de facto. After
about three and a half years of marriage, private respondent filed for divorce proceedings against
petitioner in Germany. He claimed that their marriage was a failure and that they had lived apart
for some time. On January 15, 1986, Schoneberg Local Court promulgated a decree of divorce
on the ground of failure of marriage of the spouses. The custody of the child was granted to
petitioner. Petitioner, on the other hand, filed an action for legal separation, support and
separation of property before the Regional Trial Court of Manila on January 23, 1983.

More than five months after the issuance of the divorce decree, private respondent filed two
complaints for adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging that, while still married to said
respondent, petitioner had affairs with William Chia and James Chua. On October 27, 1987,
petitioner filed this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for a
temporary restraining order, seeking the annulment of the order of the lower court denying her
motion to quash.

WoN the criminal cases filed by the German ex-spouse may prosper?


Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code presupposes that the marital relationship is still subsisting
at the time of the institution of the criminal action for adultery. In the case at hand, the fact that
private respondent obtained a valid divorce in his country, Germany, is admitted. Said divorce
and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as private respondent is
concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the matter of status of persons.
Private respondent, being no longer the husband of petitioner, had no legal standing to
commence the adultery case under the imposture that he was the offended spouse at the time he
filed suit.

San Luis vs. San Luis
Felicismo San Luis contracted three marriages during his lifetime.His first marriage was with
Virginia Sulit with whom he had six children. However, Virginia died. His second marriage
happened five years later where he married Merry Lee Corwin, an American Citizen with whom
he had a son, Tobias. However, on Merry Lee, filed for Divorce in Hawaii, USA, which was
granted. His third marriage happened after three years, this time with Respondent Felicidad San
Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos, in California USA. He had no children with the respondent but
lived with her for 18 years from the time of their marriage up to his death.
Thereafter, respondent prayed that the conjugal partnership assets be liquidated and that letters of
administration be issued to her. Meanwhile, petitioner claimed that respondent has no legal
personality to file the petition because she was only a mistress of Felicisimo since the latter, at
the time of his death, was still married to Merry Lee. Respondent presented the decree of
absolute divorce between Merry Lee and Felicisimo. Thus, she claimed that Felicisimo had the
legal capacity to marry her by virtue of the Family Code.
Petitioners asserted that paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Family Code cannot be given retroactive
effect to because this would impair vested rights in derogation of Article 256 of the Family
WoN Felicisimo who is divorced by his alien spouse, Merry Lee, abroad may validly remarry
under the Civil Code, even if Felicidads marriage to Felicisimo was solemnized on June 20,
1974, or before the Family Code took effect on August 3, 1988?
Yes, the provisions of the Family Code need no retroactive application considering that there is
sufficient jurisprudential basis allowing the court to rule in the affirmative. Such as the case of
Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. involving a marriage between a foreigner and a Filipino, which
marriage was subsequently dissolved through a divorce obtained abroad by the latter. The Court
recognized the validity of the divorce. Consequently, if the foreigner obtains a valid foreign
divorce, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. Furthermore
with the enactment of the Family Code our lawmakers codified the law already established
through judicial precedent. Marriage, being a mutual and shared commitment between two
parties, cannot possibly be productive of any good to the society where on is considered released
from the marital bond while the other remains bound to it.
Republic v. Iyoy
On December 16, 1961 Crasus Iyoy and Ada Rosal-Iyoy married each other, they had
5 children. In 1984, Fely went to the US, later she had asked Crasus to sign the
divorce paper she presented. In 1985, Crasus learned that Fely married an American
and had a child. Fely went back to the Philippines on several occasions, during one
she attended the marriage of one of her children in which she used her husbands last
name as hers in the invitation.
March 25, 1997, Crasus filed a complaint for declaration of nullity alleging that Felys
acts brought danger and dishonor to the family and were manifestations of her
psychological incapacity. Crasus submitted his testimony, the certification of the
recording of their marriage contract, and the invitation where Fely used her
newhusbands last name as evidences.
Fely however made the counter argument that Crasus was a drunkard, womanizer, had
no job, and that since 1988 she was already an American citizen and not covered by
Philippine laws. The RTC found the evidences sufficient and granted the decree
which was affirmed in the CA.

WoN the Court of Appeals committed serious errors of law in ruling that Article 26, paragraph 2
of the Family Code is inapplicable to the case at bar?
Yes, the Court of Appeals committed serious errors of law in ruling that Article 26, paragraph 2
of the Family Code is inapplicable to the case at bar. Fely herself admitted in her Answer filed
before the RTC that she obtained a divorce from respondent Crasus sometime after she left for
the United States in 1984, after which she married her American husband in 1985. However at
the time she filed for divorce, Fely was still a Filipino citizen, and pursuant to the nationality
principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, she was still bound by
Philippine laws on family rights and duties, status, condition, and legal capacity, even when she
was already living abroad. Thus the divorce she obtained could not have been valid.

Roehr v. Rodriguez
Petitioner, Wolfgang Roehr is a German Citizen and a resident of Germany, who married the
respondent a Filipina by the name of Carmen. The marriage was ratified in Negros Occidental
and had two daughters in Carolyne and Alexandria. However the respondent would file for a
declaration of nullity of the marriage before the RTC. The petitioner moved to dismiss but such
motion was denied by the trial court. Years later the petitioner would obtain a divorce decree in
Germany which also gave him custody of their two children. The RTC would later grant the
petitioners motion to dismiss, which was set aside partially in Septermer 1999 to handle the
property relations as well as child support. The petitioner questioned the jurisdiction of such
courts, hence this case.
WoN the Philippine Courts can determine the legal effects of a divorce decree obtained in a
foreign country?
Yes, when it comes to subjects concerning the support and custody of children the courts can
take cognizance of divorce decrees obtained in foreign countries. In this case, the divorce never
touched on who was at fault. Before our courts can give the effect of res judicata to a foreign
judgment, such as the award of custody to petitioner by the German court, it must be shown that
the parties opposed to the judgment had been given ample opportunity to do so on grounds
allowed under Rule 39, Section 50 of the Rules of Court. 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
petitioner to have parental custody of their two children.
In conclusion, respondent judge may proceed to determine the issue regarding the custody of the
two children born of the union between petitioner and private respondent. Private respondent
erred, however, in claiming cognizance to settle the matter of property relations of the parties,
which is not at issue.

Bayot v. Court of Appeals

Vicente and Rebecca were married on April 20, 1979 in Greenhills, Mandaluyong City. On
November 27, 1982 in San Francisco, California, Rebecca gave birth to Marie Josephine
Alexandra. However from then on their marriage seemed to have hit rock bottom with Rebecca
wanting to file for a divorce, which she eventually did sometime in 1996 in the Dominican

On February 22, 1996, the Dominican court issued Civil Decree No. 362/96. On March 21, 2001,
Rebecca filed another petition, this time before the Muntinlupa City RTC, for declaration of
absolute nullity of marriage citing Vicente's psychological incapacity.

On June 8, 2001, Vicente filed a Motion to Dismiss, which Rebecca opposed, insisting on her
Filipino citizenship, as affirmed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), and that, therefore, there is
no valid divorce to speak of. RTC ruled against Vicente. CA ruled in favor of Rebecca stating
that the marriage between the spouses was already dissolved upon the grant of divorce since
Rebecca was an American citizen when she applied for such decree.

1. WoN petitioner Rebecca was a Filipino citizen at the time the divorce judgment was
rendered in the Dominican Republic on February 22, 1996?

2. WoN the judgment of divorce is valid?

Anent the first issue, no Rebecca was not a Filipino Citizen at the time the divorce was granted
in the Dominican Republic, as it cannot be disputed that she was an American Citizen during that
time. Her American Citizenship can be proven by evidence like the fact that she was born in the
US, and with them applying the principle of jus soli, she is therefore a citizen of the US,
furthermore she has continually represented herself as an American in all her dealings.
With regards to the second issue, the divorce is deemed valid as she was governed by the laws of
the United States being an American Citizen.