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Merope Enriquez Vda. de Catalan, petitioner v. Louella A. Catalan-Lee, respondent G.R. No.

183622, February 8, 2012 Nature: Petition for Review assailing the ! "e#ision regar$ing the issuan#e of letters of a$%inistration of the intestate estate of &rlan$o '. atalan. Topic: "ivor#e, (arriages Facts: &rlan$ atalan was a naturali)e$ !%eri#an #iti)en who $ie$ intestate in the Phili**ines on Nove%ber 18, 200+. ,e was for%erly %arrie$ to Feli#itas !%or, but allege$ly obtaine$ a $ivor#e in the -nite$ .tates. !fterwhi#h, he #ontra#te$ a se#on$ %arriage with (ero*e /nri0ue), the *etitioner in this #ase. (ero*e file$ with R1 "agu*an a Petition for the issuan#e of letters of a$%inistration for her a**oint%ent as a$%inistratri2 of the intestate estate of &rlan$o. Res*on$ent 3ouella atalan43ee, one of the #hil$ren of &lran$o fro% his first %arriage, file$ a si%ilar *etition. Petitioner *raye$ for the $is%issal of the *etition of 3ouella on the groun$ of litis *en$entia, while res*on$ent allege$ that *etitioner was not #onsi$ere$ an intereste$ *erson 0ualifie$ to file the *etition. Issue: 5as the $ivor#e obtaine$ in the -. vali$ in the Phili**ines6 5as the se#on$ %arriage vali$6 5ho then has the *referential right to be issue$ the letters of a$%inistration over the estate6 ulin!: 7t a**ears that the trial #ourt no longer re0uire$ *etitioner to *rove the vali$ity of &rlan$o8s $ivor#e un$er the laws of the -nite$ .tates an$ the %arriage between *etitioner an$ the $e#ease$. 1hus, there is a nee$ to re%an$ the *ro#ee$ings to the trial #ourt for further re#e*tion of evi$en#e to establish the fa#t of $ivor#e. .houl$ *etitioner *rove the vali$ity of the $ivor#e an$ the subse0uent %arriage, she has the *referential right to be issue$ the letters of a$%inistration over the estate. &therwise, letters of a$%inistration %ay be issue$ to res*on$ent, who is un$is*ute$ly the $aughter or ne2t of 9in of the $e#ease$, in a##or$an#e with .e#. 6 of Rule :8 of the Revise$ Rules of ourt. 1hus, it is i%*erative for the trial #ourt to first $eter%ine the vali$ity of the $ivor#e to as#ertain the rightful *arty to be issue$ the letters of a$%inistration over the estate of &rlan$o '. atalan. "#E EF$ E, *re%ises #onsi$ere$, the Petition is hereby %A TIALL& ' ANTE(. 1he "e#ision $ate$ 18 &#tober 200: an$ the Resolution $ate$ 20 ;une 2008 of the ourt of !**eals are hereby EVE )E( an$ )ET A)I(E. 3et this #ase be EMAN(E( to 'ran#h :0 of the Regional 1rial ourt of 'urgos, Pangasinan for further *ro#ee$ings in a##or$an#e with this "e#ision.

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