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EN BANC [G.R. No. L-21076. March 31, 1965.] WONG WOO YIU alias NG YAO, Petitioner-Appellee, v. HON.

MARTINIANO P. VIVO, ETC., ET AL., RespondentsAppellants. SYLLABUS 1. ALIENS; ALIEN WOMAN PROPERLY DENIED ADMISSION TO PHILIPPINES IN ABSENCE OF PROOF OF MARRIAGE TO FILIPINO. An alien woman is properly denied admission to the Philippines where the only basis in support of her claim that she is the wife of a Philippine citizen is a mass of oral and documentary evidence bereft of substantial proof of husbandwife relationship. 2. ID.; ID.; PROOF OF FOREIGN LAW ON MARRIAGE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO GIVE VALIDITY THERETO. No validity can be given to the contention that a marriage contracted outside of the Philippines which is valid under the law of the country in which it was celebrated is also valid in the Philippines, where no proof was presented relative to the law of marriage in such foreign country. 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; PRESUMPTION AS TO LAW OF MARRIAGE IN ABSENCE OF PROOF OF FOREIGN LAW. In the absence of proof of the law of a foreign country on a marriage celebrated therein, it should be presumed that It is the same as our own. 4. ID.; ID.; ID.; MARRIAGE BEFORE VILLAGE LEADER NOT VALID IN THE PHILIPPINES. Since our law only recognizes a marriage celebrated before any of the officers mentioned therein, and a village leader is not one of them, a marriage so celebrated in a foreign country cannot be recognized in this jurisdiction, in the absence of proof of the foreign law on such marriages.

6. ID.; ID.; "DENOMINATION," DEFINED. A "denomination" is a religious sect having a particular name. 7. ID.; ID. A Mohammedan Iman is a "priest or minister of the Gospel," and Mohammedanism is a "denomination," within the meaning of the Marriage Law. 8. ID.; ID.; SECTION VI OF THE MARRIAGE LAW, CONSTRUED. Section VI of the Marriage Law provides that "No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required, but the parties must declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage, that they take each other as husband and wife." No precise ceremonial is indispensably for the creation of the marriage contract. 9. ID.; ID.; ID. The two essentials of a valid marriage are capacity and consent. The latter element may be inferred from the ceremony performed, the acts of the parties, and habit or repute. 10. ID.; ID.; SECTION IX OF THE MARRIAGE LAW, CONSTRUED. Section IX of the Marriage Law provides that "No marriage heretofore solemnized before any person professing to have authority therefor shall be invalid for what of such authority or on account of any informality, irregularity, or omission, if it was celebrated with the belief of the parties, or either of them, that he had authority and that they have been lawfully married." There is nothing in the curative provisions of section IX of the Marriage law which would restrict it to Christian marriages. There is nothing in the curative provisions of section IX of the Marriage Law which would restrict it to marriages performed under the Spanish law before the revolutionary authorities. Section IX of the Marriage Law, analyzed and found to validate marriages performed according to the rites of the Mohammedan religion. 11. ID.; ID.; GOVERNMENTAL POLICY. The purpose of the government toward the Mohammedan population in the Philippines has been announced by treaty, organic law, statutory law, and executive proclamation. The purpose of the government is not to interfere with the customs of the Moros, especially their religious customs. 12. ID.; ID.; "MARRIAGE," DEFINED. Marriage in this jurisdiction is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested. 13. ID.; ID.; PRESUMPTION AS TO MARRIAGE. Every internment of the law leans toward legalizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any counter-presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in fact married. The reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the parties were not what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in the constant violation of decency and of law. 14. ID.; ID.; RETROSPECTIVE FORCE. Section IX of the Marriage Law is in the nature of a curative provision intended to safeguard society by legalizing prior marriages. Public policy should aid acts intended to validate marriages. Public policy should aid acts intended to validate marriages and should retard acts intended to invalidate marriages. 15. ID.; ID.; STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; PUBLIC POLICY. The courts can properly incline the scales of their decisions in favor of that solution which will most effectively promote the public policy. That is the true construction which will best carry legislative intention into effect. 16. ID.; ID.; INSTANT CASE. Held: That a marriage performed according to the rites of the Mohammedan religion is valid.

EN BANC [G.R. No. L-18081. March 3, 1922. ] IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF CHEONG BOO, deceased. MORA ADONG, Petitioner-Appellant, v. CHEONG SENG GEE, opponent-appellant. SYLLABUS 1. MARRIAGE; PHILIPPINE MARRIAGE LAW; SECTION IV OF MARRIAGE LAW, CONSTRUED. Section IV of the Marriage Law (General Order No. 68), provides that "All marriages contracted without these Islands, which would be valid by the laws of the country in which the same were contracted, are valid in these Islands." To establish a valid foreign marriage pursuant to this comity provision, it is first necessary to prove before the courts of the Islands the existence of the foreign law as a question of fact, and it is then necessary to prove the alleged foreign marriage by convincing evidence. 2. ID.; ID. A Philippine marriage followed by twenty-three years of uninterrupted martial life, should not be impugned and discredited, after the death of the husband through an alleged prior Chinese marriage, "save upon proof so clear, strong, and unequivocal as to produce a moral conviction of the existence of such impediment." (SyJocLieng v. Encarnacion [1910], 16 Phil., 137 [1913], 228 U. S., 335, applied and followed.) 3. ID.; ID. A marriage alleged to have been contracted in China and proven mainly by a so-called matrimonial letter, held not to be valid in the Philippines. 4. ID.; ID.; SECTION V OF THE MARRIAGE LAW, CONSTRUED; "PRIEST." DEFINED. Section V of the marriage Law provides that "Marriage may be solemnized by either a judge of any court inferior to the Supreme Court, justice of the peace, or priest or minister of the Gospel of any denomination . . . ." "Priest," according to the lexicographers, means one especially consecrated to the service of a divinity and considered as the medium through whom worship, prayer, sacrifice, or other service is to be offered to the being worshipped, and pardon, blessing, deliverance, etc., obtained by the worshipper, as a priest of Baal or of Jehovah; a Buddhist priest. 5. ID., ID.; "MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL," DEFINED. "Minister of the Gospel" means all clergymen of denomination and faith.

In re estate of JOSE YAP SIONG, deceased. MARIA LAO and JOSE LAO, Petitioners-Appellees, v. DEE TIM, YAP KIM TING, YAP KIM SENG, and YAP HU CHO, Respondents-Appellants. SYLLABUS 1. MARRIAGES BY CHINESE PERSONS IN CHINA. A marriage ceremony performed in China will be sustained in this jurisdiction when it is proved that the ceremony took place in accordance with the laws and customs of China. When the marriage has been thus celebrated, it will be held to be legal and valid. The proof, however, must be clear and convincing.

2. MARRIAGE; MARRIAGE OF ONE MAN TO TWO WOMEN. When two women innocently and in good faith are legally united in holy matrimony to the same man, they and their children, born of said wedlock, will be regarded as legitimate children, and each family will be entitled to one-half of the estate of the husband upon distribution of his estate. That provision of the Leyes de Partidas is a very humane and wise law. It justly protects those who innocently have entered into the solemn relation of marriage and their descendants. The good faith of all parties will be presumed until the contrary is positively proved. A woman who is deceived by a man, who represents himself as a single man, and who marries him, she and her children are entitled to all the rights of legitimate wife and children. G.R. No. L-42581 October 2, 1935 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, PlaintiffAppellee, vs. MORA DUMPO, Defendant-Appellant Nature of the Case: Appeal from the judgment of CFI of Zamboanga Facts: Moro Hassan &Mora Dupo were legally married according to the rites and practice of the Mohammedan religion. Without this marriage being dissolved, it is alleged that Dumpo contracted another marriage with Moro Sabdapal after which the two lived together as husband and wife. Dumpo was prosecuted for and convicted of the crime of bigamy in the CFI Zamboanga and sentenced to prison. The accused interposed an appeal. Defenseestablished that the 2nd marriage is null and void accdg to Mohammedan rites on the ground that her father had not given his consent. The prosecution did not present any objection nor evidence to the contrary. Issue: WON the 2nd marriage is valid or not HELD: No.We formulate no general statement regarding the requisites necessary for the validity of a marriage between Moros according to Mohammedan rites. This is a fact of which no judicial notice may be taken and must be subject to proof in every particular case. In this case, there is anuncontradicted testimony of Tahari, an Iman or Mohammedan priest who said that the consent of the bride's father or in the absence thereof, that of the chief of the tribe to which she belongs in an indispensable requisite for the validity of marriage. It is contended that, granting the absolute necessity of the requisite in question, tacit compliance therewith may be presumed because it does not appear that Dumpo's father has signified his opposition to this alleged marriage after he had been informed of its celebration. But this presumption should not be established over the categorical affirmation of Moro Jalmani, Dumpo's father, that he did not give his consent to his daughter's alleged second marriage for the reason that he was not informed thereof and that, at all events, he would not have given it, knowing that Dumpo's first marriage was not dissolved. It is an essential element of the crime of bigamy that the alleged second marriage, having all the essential requisites, would be valid were it not for the subsistence of the first marriage. Wherefore, reversing the appealed judgment, the accused is acquitted of the charges and if she should be in detention her immediate release is ordered, with the costs of both instances de oficio. So ordered. THIRD DIVISION [G.R. No. L-55960. November 24, 1988.] YAO KEE, SZE SOOK WAH, SZE LAI CHO, and SY CHUN YEN, Petitioners, v. AIDA SY-GONZALES, MANUEL SY, TERESITA SY-BERNABE, RODOLFO SY, and HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS,Respondents. SYLLABUS

1. CIVIL LAW; CUSTOM, DEFINED. Custom is defined as "a rule of conduct formed by repetition of acts, uniformly observed (practiced) as a social rule, legally binding and obligatory" [In the Matter of the Petition for Authority to Continue Use of the Firm Name "Ozaeta, Romulo, de Leon, Mabanta and Reyes", July 30, 1979, 92 SCRA 3, 12]. 2. ID.; ID.; MUST BE PROVED ACCORDING TO THE RULES ON EVIDENCE. The law requires that "a custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence" [Article 12, Civil Code.] On this score the Court had occasion to state that "a local custom as a source of right can not be considered by a court of justice unless such custom is properly established by competent evidence like any other fact" [Patriarca v. Orate, 7 Phil. 390, 395 (1907).] The same evidence, if not one of a higher degree, should be required of a foreign custom. 3. ID.; FOREIGN MARRIAGE; HOW PROVED. To establish a valid foreign marriage two things must be proven, namely: (1) the existence of the foreign law as a question of fact; and (2) the alleged foreign marriage by convincing evidence [Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee, 43 Phil. 43, 49 (1922)]. 4. REMEDIAL LAE; EVIDENCE; PROOF OF WRITTEN FOREIGN LAW; TESTIMONY OF COMPETENT WITNESS, INCLUDED. In proving a foreign law the procedure is provided in the Rules of Court. Proof of a written foreign law, on the other hand, is provided for under Rule 132 Section 25. The Court has interpreted section 25 to include competent evidence like the testimony of a witness to prove the existence of a written foreign law [Collector of Internal Revenue v. Fisher 110 Phil. 686, 700-701 (1961) citing Willamette Iron and Steel Works v. Muzzal, 61 Phil. 471 (1935).] 5. ID.; ID.; ID.; MARRIAGE CONTRACTED PURSUANT TO A FOREIGN LAW MUST BE PROVED TO BE RECOGNIZED; CASE AT BAR. Accordingly, in the absence of proof of the Chinese law on marriage, it should be presumed that it is the same as ours . . . [Wong Woo Yiu v. Vivo, G.R. No. L-21076, March 31, 1965, 13 SCRA 552, 555.] Since Yao Kee admitted in her testimony that there was no solemnizing officer as is known here in the Philippines [See Article 56, Civil Code] when her alleged marriage to SyKiat was celebrated it therefore follows that her marriage to SyKiat, even if true, cannot be recognized in this jurisdiction [Wong Woo Yiu v. Vivo, supra., pp. 555556.] 6. ID.; PHILIPPINE COURTS CANNOT TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF FOREIGN LAWS. Philippine courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. They must be alleged and proved as any other fact [Yam Ka Lim v. Collector of Customs, 30 Phil. 46, 48 (1915); Fluemer v. Hix, 54 Phil. 610 (1930).] 7. ID.; EVIDENCE; PROOF OF WRITTEN FOREIGN LAW; RULING IN MEMORACION CASE, NOT APPLICABLE TOP CASE AT BAR. The Memoracion case however is not applicable to the case at bar as said case did not concern a foreign marriage and the issue posed was whether or not the oral testimony of a spouse is competent evidence to prove the fact of marriage in a complaint for adultery. 8. CIVIL LAW; PERSONS; PATERNITY AND FILIATION; FAILURE TO ESTABLISH CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE ACCORDING TO THE LAWS OF CHINA; EFFECT ON STATUS OF CHILDREN. Failure to establish the marriage of Yao Kee with SyKiat according to the laws of China, they cannot be accorded the status of legitimate children but only that of acknowledged natural children. Petitioners are natural children, it appearing that at the time of their conception Yao Kee and SyKiat were not disqualified by any impediment to marry one another [See Art. 269, Civil Code.] And they are acknowledged children of the deceased because of SyKiats recognition of SzeSookWah. 9. ID.; ID.; ID.; RECOGNITION OF NATURAL CHILDREN; ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ONE NATURAL CHILD BENEFITS HER SISTERS AND BROTHERS OF THE FULL BLOOD. The acknowledgment of SzeSookWah extends to Sze Lai Cho and Sy Chun yen who are her sisters of the full blood [See Art. 271, Civil Code]. 10. ID.; ID.; ID.; COMPROMISE AGREEMENT ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR NATURAL CHILDREN AND PROVIDING FOR THEIR SUPPORT CONSTITUTES A STATEMENT BEFORE A COURT OF RECORD. Compromise agreement entered into by their parents acknowledging their five (5) natural children and providing for their support approved by the by the Court of First Instance constitutes a statement before a court of record by which a child may be voluntarily acknowledged [See Art. 278,

Civil Code]. 11. REMEDIAL LAW; BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 129; FUNCTIONS AND JURISDICTION OF THE JUVENILE AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS COURTS, VESTED NOW WITH THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. With the enactment of Batas PambansaBlg. 129, otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts were abolished. Their functions and jurisdiction are now vested with the Regional Trial Courts [See Section 19 (7), B.P. Blg. 129 and Divinagracia v. Belosillo, G.R. No. L-47407, August 12, 1986, 143 SCRA 356, 360] 12. ID.; ACTIONS; ISSUE ON PATERNITY AND FILIATION MAY BE PASSED UPON IN A TESTATE OF INTESTATE PROCEEDING; REASON. A case involving paternity and acknowledgment may be ventilated as an incident in the intestate or testate proceeding (See Baluyot v. Ines Luciano, L-42215, July 13, 1976). But that legal provision presupposes that such an administration proceeding is pending or existing and has not been terminated. The reason for this rule is not only "to obviate the rendition of conflicting rulings on the same issue by the Court of First Instance and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court" [Vda. de Baluyut v. Luciano, G.R. No. L-42215, July 13, 1976, 72 SCRA 52, 63] but more importantly to prevent multiplicity of suits. DECISION SyKiat, a Chinese national, died on January 17, 1977 in Caloocan City where he was then residing, leaving behind real and personal properties here in the Philippines worth P300,000.00 more or less. Thereafter, Aida Sy-Gonzales, Manuel Sy, TeresitaSy-Bernabe and Rodolfo Sy filed a petition for the grant of letters of administration docketed as Special Proceedings Case No. C-699 of the then Court of First Instance of Rizal Branch XXXIII, Caloocan City. In said petition they alleged among others that (a) they are the children of the deceased with Asuncion Gillego; (b) to their knowledge SyKiat died intestate; (c) they do not recognize SyKiats marriage to Yao Kee nor the filiation of her children to him; and, (d) they nominate Aida Sy-Gonzales for appointment as administratrix of the intestate estate of the deceased [Record on Appeal, pp. 4-9; Rollo, p. 107.] The petition was opposed by Yao Kee, SzeSookWah, Sze Lai Cho and Sy Yun Chen who alleged that: (a) Yao Kee is the lawful wife of SyKiat whom he married on January 19, 1931 in China; (b) the other oppositors are the legitimate children of the deceased with Yao Kee; and, (c) SzeSookWah is the eldest among them and is competent, willing and desirous to become the administratrix of the estate of SyKiat [Record on Appeal, pp. 12-13; Rollo, p. 107.] After hearing, the probate court, finding among others that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library (1) SyKiat was legally married to Yao Kee [CFI decision, pp. 1227; Rollo, pp. 49-64;] (2) SzeSookWah, Sze Lai Cho and Sze Chum Yen are the legitimate children of Yao Kee with SyKiat [CFI decision, pp. 28-31; Rollo. pp. 65-68;] and, (3) Aida Sy-Gonzales, Manuel Sy, TeresitaSy-Bernabe and Rodolfo Sy are the acknowledged illegitimate offsprings of SyKiat with Asuncion Gillego [CFI decision, pp. 27-28; Rollo, pp. 64-65.] held if favor of the oppositors (petitioners herein) and appointed SzeSookWah as the administratrix of the intestate estate of the deceased [CFI decision, pp. 68-69; Rollo, pp. 106.] On appeal the Court of Appeals rendered a decision modifying that of the probate court, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision of the lower Court is hereby MODIFIED and SET ASIDE and a new judgment rendered as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library (1) Declaring petitioners Aida Sy-Gonzales, Manuel Sy, TeresitaSy-Bernabe and Rodolfo Sy acknowledged natural children of the deceased SyKiat with Asuncion Gillego, an unmarried woman with whom he lived as husband and wife without benefit of marriage for many years:chanrob1es virtual

1aw library (2) Declaring oppositorsSzeSookWah, Sze Lai Chu and Sze Chun Yen, the acknowledged natural children of the deceased SyKiat with his Chinese wife Yao Kee, also known as Yui Yip, since the legality of the alleged marriage of SyKiat to Yao Kee in China had not been proven to be valid to the laws of the Chinese Peoples Republic of China (sic); (3) Declaring the deed of sale executed by SyKiat on December 7, 1976 in favor of Tomas Sy (Exhibit "G-1", English translation of Exhibit "G") of the Avenue Tractor and Diesel Parts Supply to be valid and accordingly, said property should be excluded from the estate of the deceased SyKiat; and (4) Affirming the appointment by the lower court of SzeSookWah as judicial administratrix of the estate of the deceased. [CA decision, pp. 11-12; Rollo, pp. 36-37.] From said decision both parties moved for partial reconsideration, which was however denied by respondent court. They thus interposed their respective appeals to this Court. Private respondents filed a petition with this Court docketed as G.R. No. 56045 entitled "Aida Sy-Gonzales, Manuel Sy, TeresitaSy-Bernabe and Rodolfo Sy v. Court of Appeals, Yao Kee, SzeSookWah, Sze Lai Cho and Sy Chun Yen" questioning paragraphs (3) and (4) of the dispositive portion of the Court of Appeals decision. The Supreme Court however resolved to deny the petition and the motion for reconsideration. Thus on March 8, 1982 entry of judgment was made in G.R. No. 56045. ** The instant petition, on the other hand, questions paragraphs (1) and (2) of the dispositive portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals. This petition was initially denied by the Supreme Court on June 22, 1981. Upon motion of the petitioners the Court in a resolution dated September 16, 1981 reconsidered the denial and decided to give due course to this petition. Herein petitioners assign the following as errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library I. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN DECLARING THE MARRIAGE OF SY KIAT TO YAO YEE AS NOT HAVE (sic) BEEN PROVEN VALID IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAWS OF THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA. II. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN DECLARING AIDA SY-GONZALES, MANUEL SY, TERESITA SYBERNABE AND RODOLFO SY AS NATURAL CHILDREN OF SY KIAT WITH ASUNCION GILLEGO. [Petition, p. 2; Rollo, p. 6.] I. Petitioners argue that the marriage of SyKiat to Yao Kee in accordance with Chinese law and custom was conclusively proven. To buttress this argument they rely on the following testimonial and documentary evidence. First, the testimony of Yao Kee summarized by the trial court as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Yao Kee testified that she was married to SyKiat on January 19, 1931 in Fookien, China; that she does not have a marriage certificate because the practice during that time was for elders to agree upon the betrothal of their children, and in her case, her elder brother was the one who contracted or entered into [an] agreement with the parents of her husband; that the agreement was that she and SyKiat would be married, the wedding date was set, and invitations were sent out; that the said agreement was complied with; that she has five children with SyKiat, but two of them died; that those who are alive are SzeSookWah, Sze Lai Cho, and Sze Chun Yen, the eldest being SzeSookWah who is already 38 years old; that SzeSookWah was born on November 7, 1939; that she and her husband, SyKiat, have been living in Fookien, China before he went to the Philippines on several occasions; that the practice during the time of her marriage was a written document [is exchanged] just between the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom, or any elder for that matter; that in China, the custom is that there is a go-between, a sort of marriage broker who is known to both parties who would talk to the parents of the bride-to-be; that if the parents of the brideto-be agree to have the groom-to-be their son-in-law, then they agree on a date as an engagement day;

that on engagement day, the parents of the groom would bring some pieces of jewelry to the parents of the bride-to-be, and then one month after that, a date would be set for the wedding, which in her case, the wedding date to SyKiat was set on January 19, 1931; that during the wedding the bridegroom brings with him a couch (sic) where the bride would ride and on that same day, the parents of the bride would give the dowry for her daughter and then the document would be signed by the parties but there is no solemnizing officer as is known in the Philippines; that during the wedding day, the document is signed only by the parents of the bridegroom as well as by the parents of the bride; that the parties themselves do not sign the document; that the bride would then be placed in a carriage where she would be brought to the town of the bridegroom and before departure the bride would be covered with a sort of a veil; that upon reaching the town of the bridegroom, the bridegroom takes away the veil; that during her wedding to SyKiat (according to said Chinese custom), there were many persons present; that after SyKiat opened the door of the carriage, two old ladies helped her go down the carriage and brought her inside the house of SyKiat; that during her wedding, SyChiok, the eldest brother of SyKiat, signed the document with her mother; that as to the whereabouts of that document, she and SyKiat were married for 46 years already and the document was left in China and she doubt if that document can still be found now; that it was left in the possession of SyKiats family; that right now, she does not know the whereabouts of that document because of the lapse of many years and because they left it in a certain place and it was already eaten by the termites; that after her wedding with SyKiat, they lived immediately together as husband and wife, and from then on, they lived together; that SyKiat went to the Philippines sometime in March or April in the same year they were married; that she went to the Philippines in 1970, and then came back to China; that again she went back to the Philippines and lived with SyKiat as husband and wife; that she begot her children with SyKiat during the several trips by SyKiat made back to China. [CFI decision, pp. 13-15; Rollo, pp. 50-52.]

Authority to Continue Use of the Firm Name "Ozaeta, Romulo, de Leon, Mabanta and Reyes", July 30, 1979, SCRA 3, 12 citing JBL Reyes & RC Puno, Outline of Phil. Civil Law, Fourth Ed. Vol. 1, p. 7.] The law requires that "a custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence" [Article 12, Civil Code.] On this score the Court had occasion to state that "a local custom as a source of right can not be considered by a court of justice unless such custom is properly established by competent evidence like any other fact" [Patriarca v. Orate, 7 Phil. 390, 395 (1907).] The same evidence, if not one of a higher degree, should be required of a foreign custom. The law on foreign marriages is provided by Article 71 of the Civil Code which states that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Art. 71. All marriages performed outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were performed, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous marriages, as determined by Philippine law. (Emphasis supplied.) *** Construing this provision of law the Court has held that to establish a valid foreign marriage two things must be proven, namely: (1) the existence of the foreign law as a question of fact; and (2) the alleged foreign marriage by convincing evidence [Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee, 43 Phil. 43, 49 (1922).] In proving a foreign law the procedure is provided in the Rules of Court. With respect to an unwritten foreign law, Rule 130 section 45 states that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library SEC. 45. Unwritten law. The oral testimony of witnesses, skilled therein, is admissible as evidence of the unwritten law of a foreign country, as are also printed and published books of reports of decisions of the courts of the foreign country, if proved to be commonly admitted in such courts. Proof of a written foreign law, on the other hand, is provided for under Rule 132 section 25, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library SEC. 25. Proof of public or official record. An official record or an entry therein, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and authenticated by the seal of his office. The Court has interpreted section 25 to include competent evidence like the testimony of a witness to prove the existence of a written foreign law [Collector of Internal Revenue v. Fisher 110 Phil. 686, 700-701 (1961) citing Willamette Iron and Steel Works v. Muzzal, 61 Phil. 471 (1935).] In the case at bar petitioners did not present any competent evidence relative to the law and custom of China on marriage. The testimonies of Yao and GanChing cannot be considered as proof of Chinas law or custom on marriage not only because they are self-serving evidence, but more importantly, there is no showing that they are competent to testify on the subject matter. For failure to prove the foreign law or custom, and consequently, the validity of the marriage in accordance with said law or custom, the marriage between Yao Kee and SyKiat cannot be recognized in this jurisdiction. Petitioners contend that contrary to the Court of Appeals ruling they are not duty bound to prove the Chinese law on marriage as judicial notice thereof had been taken by this Court in the case of SyJocLieng v. SyQuia [16 Phil. 137 (1910).] This contention is erroneous. Well-established in this jurisdiction is the principle that Philippine courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. They must be alleged and proved as any other fact [Yam Ka Lim v. Collector of Customs, 30 Phil. 46, 48 (1915); Fluemer v. Hix, 54 Phil. 610 (1930).] Moreover a reading of said case would show that the party alleging the foreign marriage presented a witness, one Li UngBieng, to prove that matrimonial letters mutually exchanged by the contracting parties constitute the essential requisite for a marriage to be considered duly solemnized in China. Based on his testimony, which as found by the Court is

Second, the testimony of GanChing, a younger brother of Yao Kee who stated that he was among the many people who attended the wedding of his sister with SyKiat and that no marriage certificate is issued by the Chinese government, a document signed by the parents or elders of the parties being sufficient [CFI decision, pp. 15-16; Rollo, pp. 52-53.] Third, the statements made by Asuncion Gillego when she testified before the trial court to the effect that (a) SyKiat was married to Yao Kee according to Chinese custom; and, (b) SyKiats admission to her that he has a Chinese wife whom he married according to Chinese custom [CFI decision, p. 17; Rollo, p. 54.] Fourth, SyKiats Master Card of Registered Alien issued in Caloocan City on October 3, 1972 where the following entries are found: "Marital status Married" ; "If married give name of spouse Yao Kee" ; "Address China" ; "Date of marriage 1931" ; and "Place of marriage China" [Exhibit "SS-1." ] Fifth, SyKiats Alien Certificate of Registration issued in Manila on January 12, 1968 where the following entries are likewise found: "Civil status Married" ; and, "If married, state name and address of spouse Yao KeeChingkang, China" [Exhibit "4." ] And lastly, the certification issued in Manila on October 28, 1977 by the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China to the effect that "according to the information available at the Embassy Mr. SyKiat a Chinese national and Mrs. Yao Kee alias Yui Yip also Chinese were married on January 19, 1931 in Fukien, the Peoples Republic of China" [Exhibit "5." ] These evidence may very well prove the fact of marriage between Yao Kee and SyKiat. However, the same do not suffice to establish the validity of said marriage in accordance with Chinese law or custom. Custom is defined as "a rule of conduct formed by repetition of acts, uniformly observed (practiced) as a social rule, legally binding and obligatory" [In the Matter of the Petition for

uniformly corroborated by authors on the subject of Chinese marriage, what was left to be decided was the issue of whether or not the fact of marriage in accordance with Chinese law was duly proven [SyJocLieng v. SyQuia, supra., at p. 160.] Further, even assuming for the sake of argument that the Court has indeed taken judicial notice of the law of China on marriage in the aforecited case, petitioners however have not shown any proof that the Chinese law or custom obtaining at the time the SyJocLieng marriage was celebrated in 1847 was still the law when the alleged marriage of SyKiat to Yao Kee took place in 1931 or eighty-four (84) years later. Petitioners moreover cite the case of U.S. v. Memoracion [34 Phil. 633 (1916)] as being applicable to the instant case. They aver that the judicial pronouncement in the Memoracion case, that the testimony of one of the contracting parties is competent evidence to show the fact of marriage, holds true in this case. The Memoracion case however is not applicable to the case at bar as said case did not concern a foreign marriage and the issue posed was whether or not the oral testimony of a spouse is competent evidence to prove the fact of marriage in a complaint for adultery. Accordingly, in the absence of proof of the Chinese law on marriage, it should be presumed that it is the same as ours **** [Wong Woo Yiu v. Vivo, G.R. No. L-21076, March 31, 1965, 13 SCRA 552, 555.] Since Yao Kee admitted in her testimony that there was no solemnizing officer as i6 known here in the Philippines [See Article 56, Civil Code] when her alleged marriage to SyKiat was celebrated [CFI decision, p. 14; Rollo, p. 51], it therefore follows that her marriage to SyKiat, even if true, cannot be recognized in this jurisdiction [Wong Woo Yiu v. Vivo, supra., pp. 555-556.] II. The second issue raised by petitioners concerns the status of private respondents. Respondent court found the following evidence of petitioners filiation:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library (1) SyKiats Master Card of Registered Alien where the following are entered: "Children if any: give number of children Four" ; and, "Name All living in China" [Exhibit "SS-1" ;] (2) the testimony of their mother Yao Kee who stated that she had five children with SyKiat, only three of whom are alive namely, SzeSookWahSze Lai Chu and Sze Chin Yan [TSN, December 12, 1977, pp. 9-11;] and, (3) an affidavit executed on March 22, 1961 by SyKiat for presentation to the Local Civil Registrar of Manila to support SzeSookWahs application for a marriage license, wherein SyKiat expressly stated that she is his daughter [Exhibit "3." ] Likewise on the record is the testimony of Asuncion Gillego that SyKiat told her he has three daughters with his Chinese wife, two of whom SookWah and Sze Kai Cho she knows, and one adopted son [TSN, December 6, 1977, pp. 87-88.] However, as petitioners failed to establish the marriage of Yao Kee with SyKiat according to the laws of China, they cannot be accorded the status of legitimate children but only that of acknowledged natural children. Petitioners are natural children, it appearing that at the time of their conception Yao Kee and SyKiat were not disqualified by any impediment to marry one another [See Art. 269, Civil Code.] And they are acknowledged children of the deceased because of SyKiats recognition of SzeSookWah [Exhibit "3" ] and its extension to Sze Lai Cho and Sy Chun Yen who are her sisters of the full blood [See Art. 271, Civil Code.] Private respondents on the other hand are also the deceaseds acknowledged natural children with Asuncion Gillego, a Filipina with whom he lived for twenty-five (25) years with out the benefit of marriage. They have in their favor their fathers acknowledgment, evidenced by a compromise agreement entered into by and between their parents and approved by the Court of First Instance on February 12, 1974 wherein SyKiat not only acknowledged them as his children by Asuncion Gillego but likewise made provisions for their support and future inheritance, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library x x x 2. The parties also acknowledge that they are common-law husband and wife and that out of such relationship, which they

have likewise decided to definitely and finally terminate effective immediately, they begot five children, namely: Aida Sy, born on May 30, 1950; Manuel Sy, born on July 1, 1953; TeresitaSy, born on January 28, 1955; Ricardo Sy now deceased, born on December 14, 1956; and Rodolfo Sy, born on May 7, 1958. 3. With respect to the AVENUE TRACTOR AND DIESEL PARTS SUPPLY . . ., the parties mutually agree and convenant that (a) The stocks and merchandise and the furniture and equipments . . ., shall be divided into two equal shares between, and distributed to, SyKiat who shall own one-half of the total and the other half to Asuncion Gillego who shall transfer the same to their children, namely, Aida Sy, Manuel Sy, TeresitaSy, and Rodolfo Sy. (b) the business name and premises . . . shall be retained by SyKiat. However, it shall be his obligation to give to the aforenamed children an amount of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000;00) monthly out of the rental of the two doors of the same building now occupied by Everett Construction. x x x (5) With respect to the acquisition, during the existence of the common-law husband-and-wife relationship between the parties, of the real estates and properties registered and/or appearing in the name of Asuncion Gillego . . ., the parties mutually agree and convenant that the said real estates and properties shall be transferred in equal shares to their children, namely, Aida Sy, Manuel Sy, TeresitaSy, and Rodolfo Sy, but to be administered by Asuncion Gillego during her lifetime. . . . [Exhibit "D." ] (Emphasis supplied.) x x x This compromise agreement constitutes a statement before a court of record by which a child may be voluntarily acknowledged [See Art. 278, Civil Code.] Petitioners further argue that the questions on the validity of SyKiats marriage to Yao Kee and the paternity and filiation of the parties should have been ventilated in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Specifically, petitioners rely on the following provision of Republic Act No. 5502, entitled "An Act Revising Rep. Act No. 3278, otherwise known as the Charter of the City of Caloocan" ; with regard to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library SEC. 91-A. Creation and Jurisdiction of the Court. x x x The provisions of the Judiciary Act to the contrary notwithstanding, the court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases; x x x (2) Cases involving custody, guardianship, adoption, revocation of adoption, paternity and acknowledgment; (3) Annulment of marriages, relief from marital obligations legal separation of spouses, and actions for support; (4) Proceedings brought under the provisions of title six and title seven, chapters one to three of the civil code; x x x and the ruling in the case of Bartolome v. Bartolome [G.R. No. L-23661, 21 SCRA 1324] reiterated in Divinagracia v. Rovira [G.R. No. L-42615, 72 SCRA 307.] With the enactment of Batas PambansaBlg. 129, otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts were abolished. Their functions and jurisdiction are now vested with the Regional Trial Courts [See Section 19 (7), B.P. Blg. 129 and Divinagracia v. Belosillo, G.R. No. L-47407, August 12, 1986, 143 SCRA 356, 360] hence it is no longer necessary to pass upon the issue of jurisdiction raised by petitioners. Moreover, even without the enactment of Batas PambansaBlg. 129 we find in Rep. Act No. 5502 sec. 91-A last paragraph that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library x x x

If any question involving any of the above matters should arise as an incident in any case pending in the ordinary court, said incident shall be determined in the main case. x x x As held in the case of Divinagracia v. Rovira [G.R. No. L-42615. August 10, 1976, 72 SCRA 307]:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library x x x It is true that under the aforequoted section 1 of Republic Act No. 4834 ***** a case involving paternity and acknowledgment may be ventilated as an incident in the intestate or testate proceeding (See Baluyot v. Ines Luciano, L42215, July 13, 1976). But that legal provision presupposes that such an administration proceeding is pending or existing and has not been terminated. [at pp. 313-314.] (Emphasis supplied.) x x x The reason for this rule is not only "to obviate the rendition of conflicting rulings on the same issue by the Court of First Instance and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court" [Vda. de Baluyut v. Luciano, G.R. No. L-42215, July 13, 1976, 72 SCRA 52, 63] but more importantly to prevent multiplicity of suits. Accordingly, this Court finds no reversible error committed by respondent court. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED.

whose interests are adverse; (3) that the party seeking the relief has a legal interest in the controversy; and (4) that the issue is ripe for judicial determination. This case satisfies all the requisites for the grant of a petition for declaratory relief. Article 26 does not appear to govern the situation presented by the case at hand. It seems to apply only to cases where at the time of the celebration of the marriage, the parties are a Filipino citizen and a foreigner. The instant case is one where at the time the marriage was solemnized, the parties were two Filipino citizens, but later on, the wife was naturalized as an American citizen and subsequently obtained a divorce granting her capacity to remarry, and indeed she remarried an American citizen while residing in the USA. EN BANC [G.R. No. L-19671. November 29, 1965.] PASTOR B. TENCHAVEZ, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. VICENTA F. ESCAO, ET AL., Defendants-Appellees. SYLLABUS 1. HUSBAND AND WIFE; FOREIGN DIVORCE BETWEEN FILIPINO CITIZENS DECREED AFTER THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE; REMARRIAGE OF DIVORCED CONSORT. A foreign divorce between Filipino citizens, sought and decreed after the effectivity of the new Civil Code (Republic Act No. 386), is not entitled to recognition as valid in the Philippines; and neither is the marriage contracted with another party by the divorced consort, subsequently to the foreign decree of divorce entitled to validity in this country. 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; INNOCENT CONSORT ENTITLED TO LEGAL SEPARATION. The remarriage of the divorced wife and her cohabitation with a person other than the lawful husband entitles the latter to a decree of legal separation conformably to Philippine law. 3. ID.; ID,; ID.; INVALID DIVORCE ENTITLES INNOCENT CONSORT TO RECOVER DAMAGES. The desertion and securing of an invalid divorce decree by one consort entitles the other to recover damages. 4. ID.; ACTION FOR ALIENATION OF AFFECTIONS AGAINST PARENTS OF ONE CONSORT; ABSENCE OF PROOF OF MALICE. An action for alienation of affection against the parents of one consort does not lie in the absence of proof of malice or unworthy motives on their part. Nature of the Case: Direct appeal, from the judgment of the CFI of Cebu FACTS: VicentaEscao, (27 yrs old, "sheltered colegiala"), exchanged marriage vows with Pastor Tenchavez (32 yo), an engineer, exarmy officer , without the knowledge of her parents, before a Catholic chaplain, and that marriage was duly registered with the local civil register. However, the two were unable to live together after the marriage and as of June 1948, they were already estranged. Vicenta left for the United Stated in 1950. On the same year she filed a verified complaint for divorce against Tenchavez in the State of Nevada on the ground of Extreme cruelty, entirely mental in character. A decree of divorce, final and absolute was issued in open court by the said tribunal. She married an American, lived with him in California, had several children with him and, on 1958, acquired American Citizenship. On 30 July 1955, Tenchavez filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Cebu, and amended on 31 May 1956, against Vicenta F. Escao, her parents, Mamerto and Mena Escao whom he charged with having dissuaded and discouraged Vicenta from joining her husband, and alienating her affections, and against the Roman Catholic Church, for having, through its Diocesan Tribunal, decreed the annulment of the marriage, and asked for legal separation and one million pesos in damages. Vicenta claimed a valid divorce from plaintiff and an equally valid marriage to her present husband, Russell Leo Moran; while her parents denied that they had in any way influenced their daughter's acts, and counterclaimed for moral damages. ISSUE: 1. Whether or not the divorce sought by VicentaEscao is valid and binding upon courts of the Philippines. 2. Whether or not the charges against VicentaEscaos parents were sufficient in form. RULING: 1. No. VicentaEscao and Pastor Tenchavez marriage remain existent and undissolved under the Philippine Law. They were validly married to each other, from the standpoint of our

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. CIPRIANO ORBECIDO III GR. No. 154380, 5 October 2005, First Division (Quisumbing, J.) Given a valid marriage between two Filipino citizens, where one party is later naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a valid divorce decree capacitating him or her to remarry, can the Filipino spouse likewise remarry under Philippine law? FACTS: On 24 May 1981, CiprianoOrbecido III married LadyMyros M. Villanueva and their marriage was blessed with a son and a daughter, KristofferSimbortriz V. Orbecido and Lady Kimberly V. Orbecido. In 1986, his wife left for the United States bringing along their son Kristoffer. A few years later, Cipriano discovered that his wife had been naturalized as an American citizen and sometime in 2000, learned from his son that his wife had obtained a divorce decree. His wife then married Innocent Stanley and is now currently living in San Gabriel, California with her child by him. Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code (FC). No opposition was filed. Finding merit in the petition, the court granted the same. The Republic, herein petitioner, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), sought reconsideration but it was denied. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent can remarry under Art. 26 of the Family Code HELD: The petition is granted. The OSG contends that par. 2 Art. 26 of FC 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. Furthermore, the OSG argues there is no law that governs the respondents situation. The OSG posits that this is a matter of legislation and not of judicial determination. The respondent admits that Art. 26 is not directly applicable to his case, but insists that since his naturalized alien wife obtained a divorce decree which capacitated her to remarry, he is likewise capacitated by operation of law pursuant to Section 12, Article II of the Constitution. The Court noted that the petition for authority to remarry filed before the trial court actually constituted a petition for declaratory relief. The requisites of a petition for declaratory relief are: (1) there must be a justiciable controversy; (2) the controversy must be between persons

civil law, in whuich both parties were then above the age of majority, and qualified; and both consented to the marriage, which was performed by a Catholic priest (army chaplain Lavares) in the presence of competent witnesses. Escaos divorce and second marriage cannot be deemed valid under the Philippine Law to which Escao was bound since in the time the divorce decree was issued, Escao, like her husband, was still a Filipino citizen.Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines (Rep. Act No. 386), already in force at the time, expressly provided: Laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon the citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad. The Civil Code of the Phil does not admit absolute divorce, quo ad vinculomatrimonii. The present Code only provides for legal separation, and that "the marriage bonds shall not be severed". For our courts to recognize foreign decree of absolute divorce between Filipino citizens could be a patent violation of the declared public policy of the state, specially in view of the third paragraph of Article 17 of the Civil Code that prescribes the following: Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their object public order, policy and good customs, shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. The grant of effectivity in this jurisdiction to foreign divorce decrees would give rise to an irritating and scandalous discrimination in favor of wealthy citizens, to the detriment of those members of our polity whose means do not permit them to sojourn abroad and obtain absolute divorces outside the Philippines. It is irrelevant that appellant Pastor Tenchavez should have appeared in the Nevada divorce court because the policy of our law cannot be nullified by acts of private parties; and mere appearance of a non-resident consort cannot confer jurisdiction where the court originally had none. The acts of the wife in not complying with her wifely duties, deserting her husband without any justifiable cause, leaving for the United States in order to secure a decree of absolute divorce, and finally getting married again are acts which constitute a willful infliction of injury upon the husbands feelings in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy, thus entitling Tenchavez to a decree of legal separation under our law on the basis of adultery. The ruling gives rise to anomalous situations where the status of a person (whether divorced or not) would depend on the territory where the question arises. Anomalies of this kind are not new in the Philippines, and the answer to them was given in Barretto vs. Gonzales, 58 Phil. 667: The hardship of the existing divorce laws in the Philippine Islands are well known to the members of the Legislature. It is the duty of the Courts to enforce the laws of divorce as written by Legislature if they are constitutional. Courts have no right to say that such laws are too strict or too liberal. 2. No. Tenchavez charge against Vicentas parents are not supported by credible evidence. The testimony of Tenchavez about the Escaos animosity toward him strikes the court to be merely conjecture and exaggeration, and were belied by Tenchavez own letters written before the suit had begun. An action for alienation of affections against the parents of one consort does not lie in the absence of proof of malice or unworthy motives on their part. Plaintiff Tenchavez, in falsely charging Vicenta's aged parents with racial or social discrimination and with having exerted efforts and pressured her to seek annulment and divorce, unquestionably caused them unrest and anxiety, entitling them to recover damages. EN BANC [G.R. No. 45152. April 10, 1939.] HILARIA SIKAT, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. JOHN CANSON, Defendant-Appellee. SYLLABUS 1. DIVORCE AND SEPARATION; JURISDICTION; CITIZENSHIP AND LEGAL RESIDENCE OF PLAINTIFF. Counsel for plaintiffappellant contends that twelve days prior to the issuance of the decree of divorce, defendant-appellee became a naturalized American citizen and argues that the Nevada court had thereby acquired jurisdiction over him to issue a divorce decree. It is not, however, the citizenship of the plaintiff for divorce which confers jurisdiction upon a court, but his legal residence within the state. 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; VALIDITY OF DECREE OF NEVADA COURT IN

THIS JURISDICTION. Assuming that J. C. acquired legal residence in the State of Nevada through the approval of his citizenship papers, this did not confer jurisdiction on the Nevada court to grant a divorce that would be valid in this jurisdiction nor jurisdiction that could determine their matrimonial status, because the wife was still domiciled in the Philippines. The Nevada court never acquired jurisdiction over her person. This was not a proceeding in rem to justify a court in entering a decree as to the res or marriage relation entitled to be enforced outside of the territorial jurisdiction of the court. 3. ID.; ID.; DIVORCE IN THE PHILIPPINES. The courts in the Philippines can grant a divorce only on the ground of "adultery on the part of the wife or concubinage on the part of the husband" as provided for under section 1 of Act No. 2710. The divorce decree in question was granted on the ground of desertion, clearly not a cause for divorce under our laws. That our divorce law, Act No. 2710, is too strict or too liberal i8 not for this court to decide. 4. ID.; ID.; LEGISLATIVE POLICY ON THE MATTER OF DIVORCE IN THIS JURISDICTION. The allotment of powers between the different governmental agencies restricts the judiciary within the confines of interpretation, not of legislation. The legislative policy in the matter of divorce in this jurisdiction is clearly set forth in Act No. 2710 and has been upheld by this court. 5. ID.; ID.; CHOICE OF TWO INCONSISTENT REMEDIES BY PLAINTIFF. Plaintiff-appellant had made her choice of two inconsistent remedies afforded her by law: (1) to impugn the divorce and file an action for support, or (2) uphold the validity of the divorce and sue for a liquidation of conjugal partnership. She chose the first remedy when she filed her action for support. She lost the case and should take the consequences.

EN BANCG.R. No. L-6768 July 31, 1954 SALUD R. ARCA and ALFREDO JAVIER JR., PlaintiffsAppellees, v. ALFREDO JAVIER,Defendant-Appellant. Dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of First Instance of Cavite ordering him to give a monthly allowance of P60 to plaintiffs beginning March 31, 1953, and to pay them attorney's fees in the amount of P150 defendant took the case directly to this Court attributing five errors to the court below. This implies that the facts are not disputed. The important facts which need to be considered in relation to the errors assigned appear well narrated in the decision of the court below which, for purposes of this appeal, are quoted hereunder: On November 19, 1937, plaintiff Salud R. Arca and defendant Alfredo Javier had their marriage solemnized by Judge Mariano Nable of the Municipal Court of Manila.At the time of their marriage, they had already begotten a son named Alfredo Javier, Junior who was born on December 2, 1931. Sometime in 1938, defendant Alfredo Javier left for the United States on board a ship of the United States Navy, for it appears that he had joined the United States Navy since 1927, such that at time of his marriage with plaintiff Salud R. Arca, defendant Alfredo Javier was already an enlisted man in the United States Navy. Because of defendant Alfredo Javier's departure for the United States in 1938, his wife, Salud R. Arca, who is from (Maragondon), Cavite, chose to live with defendant's parents at Naic, Cavite. But for certain incompatibility of character (frictions having occurred between plaintiff Salud R. Arca's and defendant's folks) plaintiff Salud R. Arca had found it necessary to leave defendant's parents' abode and transfer her residence to (Maragondon), Cavite - her native place. Since then the relation between plaintiff Salud R. Arca and defendant Alfredo Javier became strained such that on August 13, 1940 defendant Alfredo Javier brought an action for divorce against Salud R. Arca before the Circuit Court of Mobile County,

State of Alabama, USA, docketed as civil case No. 14313 of that court and marked as Exhibit 2(c) in this case. Having received a copy of the complaint for divorce on September 23, 1940, plaintiff Salud R. Arca - answering the complaint - alleged in her answer that she received copy of the complaint on September 23, 1940 although she was directed to file her answer thereto on or before September 13, 1940. In that answer she filed, plaintiff Salud R. Arca averred among other things that defendant Alfredo Javier was not a resident of Mobile County, State of Alabama, for the period of twelve months preceding the institution of the complaint, but that he was a resident of Naic, Cavite, Philippines. Another averment of interest, which is essential to relate here, is that under paragraph 5 of her answer to the complaint for divorce, Salud R. Arca alleged that it was not true that the cause of their separation was desertion on her part but that if defendant Alfredo Javier was in the United States at that time and she was not with him then it was because he was in active duty as an enlisted man of the United States Navy, as a consequence of which he had to leave for the United States without her. She further alleged that since his departure from the Philippines for the United States, he had always supported her and her coplaintiff Alfredo Javier Junior through allotments made by the Navy Department of the United States Government. She denied, furthermore, the allegation that she had abandoned defendant's home at Naic, Cavite, and their separation was due to physical impossibility for they were separated by about 10,000 miles from each other. At this juncture, under the old Civil Code the wife is not bound to live with her husband if the latter has gone to ultra-marine colonies. Plaintiff Salud R. Arca, in her answer to the complaint for divorce by defendant Alfredo Javier, prayed that the complaint for divorce be dismissed. However, notwithstanding Salud R. Arca's averments in her answer, contesting the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court of Mobile County, State of Alabama, to take cognizance of the divorce proceeding filed by defendant Alfredo Javier, as shown by her answer marked Exhibit 2(d), nevertheless the Circuit Court of Mobile County rendered judgment decreeing dissolution of the marriage of Salud R. Arca and Alfredo Javier, and granting the latter a decree of divorce dated April 9, 1941, a certified copy of which is marked Exhibit 2(f). Thereupon, the evidence discloses that some time in 1946 defendant Alfredo Javier returned to the Philippines but went back to the United States. In July, 1941 - that is after securing a divorce from plaintiff Salud R. Arca on April 9, 1941 - defendant Alfredo Javier married Thelma Francis, an American citizen, and bought a house and lot at 248 Brooklyn, New York City. In 1949, Thelma Francis, defendant's American wife, obtained a divorce from him for reasons not disclosed by the evidence, and, later on, having retired from the United States Navy, defendant Alfredo Javier returned to the Philippines, arriving here on February 13, 1950. After his arrival in the Philippines, armed with two decrees of divorce - one against his first wife Salud R. Arca and the other against him by his second wife Thelma Francis issued by the Circuit Court of Mobile County, State of Alabama, USA, defendant Alfredo Javier married Maria Odvina before Judge NatividadAlmeda-Lopez of the Municipal Court of Manila on April 19, 1950, marked Exhibit 2(b). At the instance of plaintiff Salud R. Arcaan information for bigamy was filed by the City Fiscal of Manila on July 25, 1950 against defendant Alfredo Javier with the Court of First Instance of Manila, docketed as Criminal Case No. 13310 and marked Exhibit 2(a). However, defendant Alfredo Javier was acquitted of the charge of Bigamy in a decision rendered by the Court of First Instance of Manila through Judge Alejandro J. Panlilio, dated August 10, 1951, predicated on the proposition that the marriage of defendant Alfredo Javier with Maria Odvina was made in all good faith and in the honest belief that his marriage with plaintiff Salud R. Arca had been legally dissolved by the decree of divorce obtained by him from the Circuit Court of Mobile County, State of Alabama, USA which had the legal effect of dissolving the marital ties between defendant Alfredo Javier and plaintiff Salud R. Arca. At this juncture, again, it is this court's opinion that defendant Alfredo Javier's acquittal in that Criminal Case No. 13310 of the Court of First Instance of Manila by Judge Panlilio was due to the fact that the accused had no criminal intent in contracting a second or subsequent marriage while his first marriage was still subsisting. Appellant was a native born citizen of the Philippines who, in 1937, married Salud R. Arca, another Filipino citizen. Before

their marriage they had already a child, Alfredo Javier, Jr., who thereby became legitimated. In 1927 appellant enlisted in the U.S. Navy and in 1938 sailed for the United States aboard a navy ship in connection with his service leaving behind his wife and child, and on August 13, 1940, he filed an action for divorce in the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama, U.S.A., alleging as ground abandonment by his wife. Having received a copy of the complaint, Salud R. Arca filed an answer alleging, among other things, that appellant was not a resident of Mobile County, but of Naic, Cavite, Philippines, and that it was not true that the cause of their separation was abandonment on her part but that appellant was in the United States, without her, because he was then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Nevertheless, the Circuit Court of Mobile County rendered judgment granting appellant a decree of divorce on April 9, 1941. The issue now to be determined is: Does this decree have a valid effect in this jurisdiction? The issue is not new. This court has had already occasion to pass upon questions of similar nature in a number of cases and its ruling has invariably been to deny validity to the decree. In essence, it was held that one of the essential conditions for the validity of a decree of divorce is that the court must have jurisdiction over the subject matter and in order that this may be acquired, plaintiff must be domiciled in good faith in the State in which it is granted (Cousins Hix vs. Fluemer, 55 Phil., 851, 856). Most recent of such cases is Sikat vs. Canson, 67 Phil., 207, which involves a case of divorce also based on the ground of desertion. In that case, John Canson claimed not only that he had legal residence in the State of Nevada, where the action was brought, but he was an American citizen, although it was proven that his wife never accompanied him there but has always remained in the Philippines, and so it has been held that "it is not ... the citizenship of the plaintiff for divorce which confers jurisdiction upon a court, but his legal residence within the State." The court further said: "And assuming that John Canson acquired legal residence in the State of Nevada through the approval of his citizenship papers, this would not confer jurisdiction on the Nevada court to grant divorce that would be valid in this jurisdiction, nor jurisdiction that could determine their matrimonial status, because the wife was still domiciled in the Philippines. The Nevada court never acquired jurisdiction over her person." It is true that Salud R. Arca filed an answer in the divorce case instituted at the Mobile County in view of the summons served upon her in this jurisdiction, but this action cannot be interpreted as placing her under the jurisdiction of the court because its only purpose was to impugn the claim of appellant that his domicile or legal residence at that time was Mobile County, and to show that the ground of desertion imputed to her was baseless and false. Such answer should be considered as a special appearance the purpose of which is to impugn the jurisdiction of the court over the case. In deciding the Canson case, this court did not overlook the other cases previously decided on the matter, but precisely took good note of them. Among the cases invoked are Ramirez vs. Gmur, 42 Phil. 855; Cousins Hix vs. Fluemer, 55 Phil., 851, and Barretto Gonzales vs. Gonzales, 58 Phil., 67. In the cases just mentioned, this court laid down the following doctrines: It is established by the great weight of authority that the court of a country in which neither of the spouses is domiciled and to which one or both of them may resort merely for the purpose of obtaining a divorce has no jurisdiction to determine their matrimonial status; and a divorce granted by such a court is not entitled to recognition elsewhere. (See Note to Succession of Benton, 59 L. R. A., 143) The voluntary appearance of the defendant before such a tribunal does not invest the court with jurisdiction. (Andrews vs. Andrews, 188 U. S., 14; 47 L. ed., 366.) It follows that, to give a court jurisdiction on the ground of the plaintiff's residence in the State or country of the judicial forum, his residence must bebona fide. If a spouse leaves the family domicile and goes to another State for the sole purpose of obtaining a divorce, and with no intention of remaining, his residence there is not sufficient to confer jurisdiction on the courts of the State. This is especially true where the cause of divorce is one not recognized by the laws of the State of his own domicile. (14 Cyc. 817, 181.)" (Ramirez vs. Gmur, 82 Phil., 855.)

But even if his residence had been taken up is good faith, and the court had acquired jurisdiction to take cognizance of the divorce suit, the decree issued in his favor is not binding upon the appellant; for the matrimonial domicile of the spouses being the City of Manila, and no new domicile having been acquired in West Virginia, the summons made by publication, she not having entered an appearance in the case, either personally or by counsel, did not confer jurisdiction upon said court over her person. (Cousins Hix vs. Fluemer, 55 Phil., 851.) At all times the matrimonial domicile of this couple has been within the Philippine Islands and the residence acquired in the State of Nevada by the husband for the purpose of securing a divorce was not a bona fide residence and did not confer jurisdiction upon the court of the State to dissolve the bonds of matrimony in which he had entered in 1919. (Barretto Gonzales vs. Gonzales, 58 Phil., 67.) In the light of the foregoing authorities, it cannot therefore be said that the Mobile County Court of Alabama had acquired jurisdiction over the case for the simple reason that at the time it was filed appellant's legal residence was then in the Philippines. He could not have acquired legal residence or domicile at Mobile County when he moved to that place in 1938 because at that time he was still in the service of the U.S. Navy and merely rented a room where he used to stay during his occasional shore leave for shift duty. That he never intended to live there permanently is shown by the fact that after his marriage to Thelma Francis in 1941, he moved to New York where he bought a house and a lot, and after his divorce from Thelma in 1949 and his retirement from the U.S. Navy, he returned to the Philippines and married Maria Odvina of Naic, Cavite, where he lived ever since. It may therefore be said that appellant went to Mobile County, not with the intention of permanently residing there, or of considering that place as his permanent abode, but for the sole purpose of obtaining divorce from his wife. Such residence is not sufficient to confer jurisdiction on the court. It is claimed that the Canson case cannot be invoked as authority or precedent in the present case for the reason that the Haddeck case which was cited by the court in the course of the decision was reversed by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Williams vs. North Carolina, 317 U.S. 287. This claim is not quite correct, for the Haddeck case was merely cited as authority for the statement that a divorce case is not a proceeding in rem, and the reversal did not necessarily overrule the ruling laid down therein that before a court may acquire jurisdiction over a divorce case, it is necessary that plaintiff be domiciled in the State in which it is filed. (Cousins Hix vs. Fluemer,supra.) At any rate, the applicability of the ruling in the Canson case may be justified on another ground: The courts in the Philippines can grant divorce only on the ground of adultery on the part of the wife or concubinage on the part of the husband, and if the decree is predicated on another ground, that decree cannot be enforced in this jurisdiction. Said the Court in the Canson case: . . . In Barretto Gonzales vs. Gonzales (55 Phil., 67), we observed: . . . While the decisions of this court heretofore in refusing to recognize the validity of foreign divorce has usually been expressed in the negative and have been based upon lack of matrimonial domicile or fraud or collusion, we have not overlooked the provisions of the Civil Code now enforced in these Islands. Article 9 thereof reads as follows: "The laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition, and legal capacity of persons, are binding upon Spaniards even though they reside in a foreign country." "And Article 11, the last part of which reads ". . . prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts and their property, and those intended to promote public order and good morals shall not be rendered without effect by any foreign laws or judgments or by anything done or any agreements entered into a foreign country.""It is therefore a serious question whether any foreign divorce, relating to citizens of the Philippine Islands, will be recognized in this jurisdiction, except it be for a cause, and under conditions for which the courts of the Philippine Islands would grant a divorce."

The courts in the Philippines can grant a divorce only on the ground of "adultery on the part of the wife or concubinage on the part of the husband" as provided for under section 1 of Act No. 2710. The divorce decree in question was granted on the ground of desertion, clearly not a cause for divorce under our laws. That our divorce law, Act No. 2710, is too strict or too liberal is not for this court decide. (Barretto Gonzales vs. Gonzales, supra). The allotment of powers between the different governmental agencies restricts the judiciary within the confines of interpretation, not of legislation. The legislative policy on the matter of divorce in this jurisdiction is clearly set forth in Act No. 2710 and has been upheld by this court (Goitia vs. Campos Rueda, 35 Phil., 252; Garcia Valdez vs. SoteranaTuazon, 40 Phil., 943-952; Ramirez vs. Gmur, 42 Phil., 855; Chereau vs. Fuentebella, 43 Phil., 216; Fernandez vs. De Castro, 48 Phil., 123; Gorayeb vs. Hashim, supra; Francisco vs. Tayao, 50 Phil., 42; Alkuino Lim Pang vs. UyPian Ng Shun and Lim Tingco, 52 Phil., 571; Cousins Hix vs. Fluemer, supra; and Barretto Gonzales vs. Gonzales, supra). The above pronouncement is sound as it is in keeping with the well known principle of Private International Law which prohibits the extension of a foreign judgment, or the law affecting the same, if it is contrary to the law or fundamental policy of the State of theforum. (Minor, Conflict of Laws, pp. 814). It is also in keeping with our concept or moral values which has always looked upon marriage as an institution. And such concept has actually crystallized in a more tangible manner when in the new Civil Code our people, through Congress, decided to eliminate altogether our law relative to divorce. Because of such concept we cannot but react adversely to any attempt to extend here the effect of a decree which is not in consonance with our customs, morals, and traditions. (Article 11, old Civil Code; Articles 15 and 17, new Civil Code; Gonzales vs. Gonzales, 58 Phil., 67.) law library With regard to the plea of appellant that Salud R. Arca had accused him of the crime of bigamy and consequently she forfeited her right to support, and that her child Alfredo Javier, Jr. is not also entitled to support because he has already reached his age of majority, we do not need to consider it here, it appearing that these questions have already been passed upon in G. R. No. L-6706. 1 These questions were resolved against the pretense of appellant. Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with costs. FIRST DIVISION [G.R. No. 11796. August 5, 1918. ] In the matter of the estate of Samuel Bischoff Werthmuller. ANA M. RAMIREZ, executrix-appellant, v. OTTO GMUR, as guardian of the minors Esther Renate Mory, Carmen Maria Mory, and Leontina Elizabeth, claimant-appellant. SYLLABUS 1. PARENT AND CHILD; ILLEGITIMACY; PRESUMPTION AS TO CAPACITY OF PARENTS TO MARRY. Where an illegitimate child is in fact recognized by the father, the presumption is that the parents had the capacity to marry at the time the child was born or begotten, and that the child is a natural child and therefore capable of recognition. The burden of proof to show the contrary is upon the party impugning the legality of the act of recognition. 2. SUCCESSIONS; RECOGNIZED CHILD AS FORCED HER. Where a person dies testate but without legitimate descendants or ascendants a recognized natural child for whom no provision is made in the will is a forced heir and as such entitled to onethird of the estate. (Art. 842, Civil Code.) 3. DIVORCE; DOMICILE OF PARTIES; JURISDICTION OF FOREIGN COURT The court of a country in which neither of the spouses is domiciled and to which one or both of them may resort merely for the purpose of obtaining a divorce has no jurisdiction to determine their matrimonial status; and a divorce granted by such a court is not entitled to recognition elsewhere. The voluntary appearance of the defendant before such a tribunal does not invest the court with jurisdiction. 4. SUCCESSIONS; ADULTEROUS CHILDREN INCAPABLE OF INHERITING. The right to inherit is limited to legitimate, legitimated, and acknowledged natural children, the offspring of adulterous relations being excluded. The word "descendants," as used in article 941 of the Civil Code, cannot be interpreted to include illegitimates born of adulterous relations.

5. WILLS AND ADMINISTRATION; LEGITIME OF FORCED HEIR; EFFECT OF DECREE OF PROBATE. The right of a forced heir to his legitime is not divested b~ a decree admitting a will to probate in which no provision is made for him. The decree of probate is conclusive only as regards the due execution of the will. The question of the intrinsic validity of its provisions is in no wise determined thereby. 6. EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS; DISTRIBUTION OF ESTATE RIGHT OF HEIR TO PARTICIPATE IN FINAL DIVISION. An heir who is not a party to the proceedings for the probate of a will and the distribution of the testators estate may intervene at any time while the court yet retains jurisdiction over the estate and establish his right to participate in the final division thereof. EN BANC [G.R. No. L-20530. June 29, 1967.] MANILA SURETY & FIDELITY COMPANY, INC., Petitioner, v. TRINIDAD TEODORO and THE COURT OF APPEALS, Respondents. SYLLABUS 1. EXECUTION; EXCLUSIVE PROPERTIES OF ONE OF THE PARTNERS IN A VOID MARRIAGE NOT ANSWERABLE FOR JUDGMENT DEBT OF THE OTHER PARTNER. The properties that can be the subject of co-ownership under Article 144 of the Civil Code are those acquired by either or both of the partners in the void marriage through their work or industry or their wages and salaries. Where the funds used in acquiring the properties were fruits of one of the partners paraphernal investments which accrued before the "marriage the said properties remain exclusively those of that partner, and, as such are beyond the reach of execution to satisfy the judgment debt of the other partner. 2. ID.; THIRD-PARTY CLAIM NOT AN EXCLUSIVE REMEDY. A third-party claim is not an exclusive remedy. Section 16, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court provides that nothing therein contained "shall prevent such third person from vindicating his claim to the property by any proper action."cralaw virtua1aw library 3. INJUNCTION; ELEVATION OF APPEAL TO THE COURT OF APPEALS WHEN AN INDEPENDENT PETITION FOR INJUNCTION IS JUSTIFIED. An independent petition for injunction is not unjustified if under the circumstances it is impracticable to first wait for the appeal to be elevated to and docketed in the Court of Appeals and then secure the ancillary remedy of injunction therein. SECOND DIVISION [G.R. No. 80116. June 30, 1989.] IMELDA MANALAYSAY PILAPIL, Petitioner, v. HON. CORONA IBAY-SOMERA, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XXVI; HON. LUIS C. VICTOR, in his capacity as the City Fiscal of Manila; and ERICH EKKEHARD GEILING,Respondents. SYLLABUS 1. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; PROSECUTION OF OFFENSES; ADULTERY AND CONCUBINAGE; SWORN WRITTEN COMPLAINT OF OFFENDED SPOUSE, JURISDICTIONAL. Under Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of adultery, as well as four other crimes against chastity, cannot be prosecuted except upon a sworn written complaint filed by the offended spouse. It has long since been established, with unwavering consistency, that compliance with this rule is a jurisdictional, and not merely a formal, requirement. While in point of strict law the jurisdiction of the court over the offense is vested in it by the Judiciary Law, the requirement for a sworn written complaint is just as jurisdictional a mandate since it is that complaint which starts the prosecutory proceeding and without which the court cannot exercise its jurisdiction to try the case. 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; EXCLUSIVE AND SUCCESSIVE RULE IN THE PROSECUTION OF SEDUCTION, ABDUCTION, RAPE AND ACTS OF LASCIVIOUSNESS, NOT APPLICABLE TO CONCUBINAGE AND ADULTERY. Now, the law specifically provides that in prosecutions for adultery and concubinage the person who can legally file the complaint should be the offended spouse, and

nobody else. Unlike the offenses of seduction, abduction, rape and acts of lasciviousness, no provision is made for the prosecution of the crimes of adultery and concubinage by the parents, grandparents or guardian of the offended party. The so-called exclusive and successive rule in the prosecution of the first four offenses above mentioned do not apply to adultery and concubinage. It is significant that while the State, as parens partriae, was added and vested by the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure with the power to initiate the criminal action for a deceased or incapacitated victim in the aforesaid offenses of seduction, abduction, rape and acts of lasciviousness, in default of her parents, grandparents or guardian, such amendment did not include the crimes of adultery and concubinage. In other words, only the offended spouse, and no other, is authorized by law to initiate the action therefor. 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; LEGAL CAPACITY TO SUE IN CIVIL CASES, DETERMINED AS OF THE FILING OF THE COMPLAINT, APPLIED TO PROSECUTION OF CRIMINAL CASES. Corollary to such exclusive grant of power to the offended spouse to institute the action, it necessarily follows that such initiator must have the status, capacity or legal representation to do so at the time of the filing of the criminal action. This is a familiar and express rule in civil actions; in fact, lack of legal capacity to sue, as a ground for a motion to dismiss in civil cases, is determined as of the filing of the complaint or petition. The absence of an equivalent explicit rule in the prosecution of criminal cases does not mean that the same requirement and rationale would not apply. Understandably, it may not have been found necessary since criminal actions are generally and fundamentally commenced by the State, through the People of the Philippines, the offended party being merely the complaining witness therein. However, in the so-called "private crimes", or those which cannot be prosecuted de oficio, and the present prosecution for adultery is of such genre, the offended spouse assumes a more predominant role since the right to commence the action, or to refrain therefrom, is a matter exclusively within his power and option. 4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; RATIONALE. This policy was adopted out of consideration for the aggrieved party who might prefer to suffer the outrage in silence rather than go through the scandal of a public trial. Hence, as cogently argued by petitioner, Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code thus presupposes that the marital relationship is still subsisting at the time of the institution of the criminal action for adultery. This is a logical consequence since the raison detre of said provision of law would be absent where the supposed offended party had ceased to be the spouse of the alleged offender at the time of the filing of the criminal case. 5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ADULTERY AND CONCUBINAGE; AFTER A DIVORCE HAS BEEN DECREED, THE INNOCENT SPOUSE NO LONGER HAS THE RIGHT TO INSTITUTE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE OFFENDERS. American jurisprudence, on cases involving statutes in that jurisdiction which are in pari materia with ours, yields the rule that after a divorce has been decreed, the innocent spouse no longer has the right to institute proceedings against the offenders where the statute provides that the innocent spouse shall have the exclusive right to institute a prosecution for adultery. Where, however, proceedings have been properly commenced, a divorce subsequently granted can have no legal effect on the prosecution of the criminal proceedings to a conclusion. 6. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; U.S. RULE APPLIED IN THIS JURISDICTION. We see no reason why the same doctrinal rule should not apply in this case and in our jurisdiction, considering our statutory law and jural policy on the matter. We are convinced that in cases of such nature, the status of the complainant vis-a-vis the accused must be determined as of the time the complaint was filed. Thus, the person who initiates the adultery case must be an offended spouse, and by this is meant that he is still married to the accused spouse, at the time of the filing of the complaint. 7. CIVIL LAW; PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS; MARRIAGE IN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY BETWEEN A FILIPINA AND A GERMAN, RECOGNIZED IN THE PHILIPPINES. In the present case, the fact that private respondent obtained a valid divorce in his country, the Federal Republic of 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. 8. ID.; ID.; ID.; SEVERANCE OF MATERIAL BOND HAD THE EFFECT OF DISSOCIATING THE FORMER SPOUSES FROM EACH

OTHER. The allegation of private respondent that he could not have brought this case before the decree of divorce for lack of knowledge, even if true, is of no legal significance or consequence in this case. When said respondent initiated the divorce proceeding, he obviously knew that there would no longer be a family nor marriage vows to protect once a dissolution of the marriage is decreed. Neither would there be a danger of introducing spurious heirs into the family, which is said to be one of the reasons for the particular formulation of our law on adultery, since there would thenceforth be no spousal relationship to speak of. The severance of the marital bond had the effect of dissociating the former spouses from each other, hence the actuations of one would not affect or cast obloquy on the other. 9. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; PROSECUTION OF OFFENSES; RULE IN MATA CASE (18 PHIL. 4 90), NOT APPLICABLE TO CASE AT BAR. The aforecited case of United States v. Mata cannot be successfully relied upon by private Respondent. In applying Article 433 of the old Penal Code, substantially the same as Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code, which punished adultery "although the marriage be afterwards declared void", the Court merely stated that "the lawmakers intended to declare adulterous the infidelity of a married woman to her marital vows, even though it should be made to appear that she is entitled to have her marriage contract declared null and void, until and unless she actually secures a formal judicial declaration to that effect." Definitely, it cannot be logically inferred therefrom that the complaint can still be filed after the declaration of nullity because such declaration that the marriage is void ab initio is equivalent to stating that it never existed. There being no marriage from the beginning, any complaint for adultery filed after said declaration of nullity would no longer have a leg to stand on. Moreover, what was consequently contemplated and within the purview of the decision in said case is the situation where the criminal action for adultery was filed before the termination of the marriage by a judicial declaration of its nullity ab initio. The same rule and requisite would necessarily apply where the termination of the marriage was effected, as in this case, by a valid foreign divorce.