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Republic v.

Orbecido III, Art 26 of Family Code

G.R. No. 154380, October 5, 2005, 472 SCRA 114 p175

FACTS: Cipriano Orbecido III was married with Lady Myros Villanueva on May 24, 1981 at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Ozamis City. They had a son and a daughter named Kristoffer and Kimberly, respectively. In 1986, the wife left for US bringing along their son Kristoffer. A few years later, Orbecido discovered that his wife had been naturalized as an American citizen and learned from his son that his wife sometime in 2000 had obtained a divorce decree and married a certain Stanley. He thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code.
ISSUE: Whether or not Orbecido can remarry under Article 26 of the Family Code.

HELD: The court ruled that taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of reason, Article 26 Par.2 should be interpreted to include cases involving 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. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the marriage.
Hence, the courts unanimous decision in holding Article 26 Par 2 be interpreted as allowing a Filipino citizen who has been divorced by a spouse who had acquired a citizenship and remarried, also to remarry under Philippine law.