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Case Digest 17 Pilapil vs Ibay-Somera

TITLE: Imelda Manalaysay Pilapil v Hon. Corona IbaySomera

CITATION: GR No. 80116, June 30, 1989| 174 SCRA 653
Imelda M. Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, was married with private
respondent, Erich Ekkehard Geiling, a German national before the
Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths at Friedensweiler,
Federal Republic of Germany. They have a child who was born on
April 20, 1980 and named Isabella Pilapil Geiling. Conjugal
disharmony eventuated in private respondent and he initiated a
divorce proceeding against petitioner in Germany before the
Schoneberg Local Court in January 1983. The petitioner then filed
an action for legal separation, support and separation of property
before the RTC Manila on January 23, 1983.
The decree of divorce was promulgated on January 15, 1986 on
the ground of failure of marriage of the spouses. The custody of
the child was granted to the petitioner.
On June 27, 1986, private respondent filed 2 complaints for
adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging that while still
married to Imelda, latter had an affair with William Chia as early
as 1982 and another man named Jesus Chua sometime in 1983.

ISSUE: Whether private respondent can prosecute petitioner on

the ground of adultery even though they are no longer husband
and wife as decree of divorce was already issued.

The law specifically provided that in prosecution for adultery and
concubinage, the person who can legally file the complaint should
be the offended spouse and nobody else. Though in this case, it

appeared that private respondent is the offended spouse, the

latter obtained a valid divorce in his country, the Federal Republic
of Germany, and said divorce and its legal effects may be
recognized in the Philippines in so far as he is concerned. Thus,
under the same consideration and rationale, private respondent is
no longer the husband of petitioner and has no legal standing to
commence the adultery case under the imposture that he was the
offended spouse at the time he filed suit.