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Van Dorn vs Romillo (G.R. No.

L-68470)
Nationality Principle – Divorce
FACTS:
Petitioner Alice Reyes is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent is a citizen of the
United States; they were married in Hongkong. Thereafter, they established their residence in
the Philippines and begot two children. Subsequently, they were divorced in Nevada, United
States, and that petitioner has re-married also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn.
Private respondent filed suit against petitioner, stating that petitioner’s business in Manila is
their conjugal property; that petitioner he ordered to render accounting of the business and
that private respondent be declared to manage the conjugal property. Petitioner moved to
dismiss the case contending that the cause of action is barred by the judgment in the divorce
proceedings before the Nevada Court. The denial now is the subject of the certiorari proceeding.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the divorce obtained by the parties is binding only to the alien spouse.
HELD:
Is it true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only
Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being
considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain
divorces abroad, which 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 petitioner. He
would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner’s husband entitled to exercise
control over conjugal assets. As he is bound by the decision of his own country’s court, which
validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is stopped
by his own representation before said court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal
property.

Pilapil vs Ibay-Somera
TITLE: Imelda Manalaysay Pilapil v Hon. Corona Ibay-Somera
CITATION: GR No. 80116, June 30, 1989| 174 SCRA 653
FACTS:

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.

HELD:
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.


Llorente vs. Court of Appeals, G. R. No. 124371, November 23, 2000
Facts: On February 22, 1937, Lorenzo and petitioner Paula were married before a parish priest
in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

On November 30, 1943, Lorenzo was admitted to United States citizenship and Certificate of
Naturalization No. 5579816 was issued in his favor by the United States District Court, Southern
District of New York.

Upon the liberation of the Philippines by the American Forces in 1945, Lorenzo was granted an
accrued leave by the U. S. Navy, to visit his wife and he visited the Philippines. He discovered
that his wife Paula was pregnant and was “living in” and having an adulterous relationship with
his brother, Ceferino Llorente.

Lorenzo refused to forgive Paula and live with her . He then returned to the United States and
on November 16, 1951 filed for divorce with the Superior Court of the State of California in and
for the County of San Diego. Paula was represented by counsel, John Riley, and actively
participated in the proceedings. On November 27, 1951, the Superior Court of the State of
California, for the County of San Diego found all factual allegations to be true and issued an
interlocutory judgment of divorce.

On December 4, 1952, the divorce decree became final.

Lorenzo went back to the Philippines and on January 16, 1958 married Alicia F. Llorente in
Manila.

From 1958 to 1985, Lorenzo and Alicia lived together as husband and wife.Their twenty-five
(25) year union produced three children, Raul, Luz and Beverly, all surnamed Llorente.

On March 13, 1981, Lorenzo executed a Last Will and Testament. The will was notarized by
Notary Public Salvador M. Occiano, duly signed by Lorenzo with attesting witnesses Francisco
Hugo, Francisco Neibres and Tito Trajano. In the will, Lorenzo bequeathed all his property to
Alicia and their three children.

On December 14, 1983, Lorenzo filed with the Regional Trial Court, Iriga, Camarines Sur, a
petition for the probate and allowance of his last will and testament wherein Lorenzo moved
that Alicia be appointed Special Administratrix of his estate.

On January 24, 1984, finding that the will was duly executed, the trial court admitted the will to
probate but before the proceedings could be terminated , Lorenzo died.

Paula filed with the same court a petition for letters of administration over Lorenzo’s estate in
her favor contending that she was Lorenzo’s surviving spouse, that such properties were
acquired during their marriage and that Lorenzo’s will would encroach her legitime.

Alicia filed in the testate proceeding , a petition for the issuance of letters testamentary.

On October 14, 1985, without terminating the testate proceedings, the trial court gave due
course to Paula’s petition.

The Regional Trial Court found that the divorce decree granted to the late Lorenzo Llorente is
void and inapplicable in the Philippines, therefore the marriage he contracted with Alicia
Fortunato on January 16, 1958 at Manila is likewise void. This being so the petition of Alicia F.
Llorente for the issuance of letters testamentary is denied. Likewise, she is not entitled to
receive any share from the estate even if the will especially said so her relationship with
Lorenzo having gained the status of paramour which is under Art. 739 (1).

“Petitioner, Paula Llorente is appointed legal administrator of the estate of the deceased,
Lorenzo Llorente.
Issue: Who are entitled to inherit from the late Lorenzo N. Llorente?

Held: The trial court held that the will was intrinsically invalid since it contained dispositions in
favor of Alice, who in the trial court’s opinion was a mere paramour. The trial court threw the
will out, leaving Alice, and her two children, Raul and Luz, with nothing.

The Court of Appeals also disregarded the will. It declared Alice entitled to one half (1/2) of
whatever property she and Lorenzo acquired during their cohabitation, applying Article 144 of
the Civil Code of the Philippines.

The hasty application of Philippine law and the complete disregard of the will, already probated
as duly executed in accordance with the formalities of Philippine law, is fatal, especially in light
of the factual and legal circumstances here obtaining.

Lorenzo N. Llorente became an American citizen long before and at the time of: (1) his divorce
from Paula; (2) marriage to Alicia; (3) execution of his will; and (4) death, is duly established,
admitted and undisputed.

Thus, as a rule, issues arising from these incidents are necessarily governed by foreign law. “

Art. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it
is situated.

“However, intestate and testamentary succession, both with respect to the order of succession
and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions,
shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration,
whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said
property may be found.”

But the hasty disregard of both the RTC and CA of Lorenzo’s Will by calling to the fore the
RENVOI doctrine, claiming that American law follows domiciliary rule is unjustified. There is no
such thing as American law for the whole nation of the US, for the country comprises of a group
of States, each State having its own applicable law, enforceable only within that state.

As to the validity of the foreign divorce , jurisprudence reiterates that once it is proven that an
individual is no longer a Filipino, thus an alien, when he obtains a divorce abroad, its effects
shall be recognized in the Philippines.

The Supreme Court held that the divorce obtained by Lorenzo H. Llorente from his first wife
Paula was valid and recognized in this jurisdiction as a matter of comity.

Now, the effects of this divorce (as to the succession to the estate of the decedent) are matters
best left to the determination of the trial court.


Quita vs Court of Appeals
December 22, 1998


Fact of the Case:

Fe D. Quita, the petitioner, and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, were married in the Philippines
on May 18, 1941. They got divorce in San Francisco on July 23, 1954. Both of them remarried another
person. Arturo remarried Bladina Dandan, the respondent herewith. They were blessed with six children.
On April 16, 1972, when Arturo died, the trial court was set to declared as to who will be the
intestate heirs. The trial court invoking Tenchavez vs Escano case held that the divorce acquired by the
petitioner is not recognized in our country. Private respondent stressed that the citizenship of petitioner
was relevant in the light of the ruling in Van Dorn v. Rommillo Jr that aliens who obtain divorce abroad
are recognized in the Philippnes provided they are valid according to their national law. The petitioner
herself answered that she was an American citizen since 1954. Through the hearing she also stated that
Arturo was a Filipino at the time she obtained the divorce. Implying the she was no longer a Filipino
citizen.
The Trial court disregarded the respondent’s statement. The net hereditary estate was ordered
in favor the Fe D. Quita and Ruperto, the brother of Arturo. Blandina and the Padlan children moved for
reconsideration. On February 15, 1988 partial reconsideration was granted declaring the Padlan children,
with the exception of Alexis, entitled to one-half of the estate to the exclusion of Ruperto Padlan, and
the other half to Fe Quita. Private respondent was not declared an heir for her marriage to Arturo was
declared void since it was celebrated during the existence of his previous marriage to petitioner.
Blandina and her children appeal to the Court of Appeals that the case was decided without a hearing in
violation of the Rules of Court.

Issue:
(1) Whether or not Blandina’s marriage to Arturo void ab initio.
(2) Whether or not Fe D. Quita be declared the primary beneficiary as surviving spouse
of Arturo.

Held:
No. The marriage of Blandina and Arturo is not void. The citizenship of Fe D. Quita at the time of
their divorce is relevant to this case. The divorce is valid here since she was already an alien at the time
she obtained divorce, and such is valid in their country’s national law.
Thus, Fe D. Quita is no longer recognized as a wife of Arturo. She cannot be the primary
beneficiary or will be recognized as surviving spouse of Arturo.


Garcia-Recio vs. Recio
TITLE: Grace J. Garcia-Recio v Rederick A. Recio
CITATION: GR NO. 138322, Oct. 2, 2002 | 366 SCRA 437

FACTS:

Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian Citizen, in Malabon, Rizal on
March 1, 1987. They lived as husband and wife in Australia. However, 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 married Grace J. Garcia where it was solemnized at Our lady of Perpetual
Help Church, Cabanatuan City. Since October 22, 1995, the couple lived separately without prior judicial
dissolution of their marriage. As a matter of fact, while they were still in Australia, their conjugal assets
were divided on May 16, 1996, in accordance with their Statutory Declarations secured in Australia.

Grace filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of bigamy on March 3, 1998,
claiming that she learned only in November 1997, Rederick’s marriage with Editha Samson.


ISSUE: 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.


HELD:

The nullity of Rederick’s 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 respondent’s 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.

Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, a writing or document may be proven as a public or official record
of a foreign country by either:
(1) an official publication or
(2) a copy thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the document. If the record is not kept
in the Philippines, such copy must be:
(a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the
Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and
(b) authenticated by the seal of his office.
Thus, the Supreme Court remands the case to the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City to receive or
trial evidence that will conclusively prove respondent’s legal capacity to marry petitioner and thus free
him on the ground of bigamy.


Republic vs Orbecido
Republic vs. Orbecido
GR NO. 154380, October 5, 2005

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 court’s 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.


Republic vs Iyoy (G.R. No. 152577)
Posted: August 8, 2011 in Civil Law
Tags: Divorce, Marriage
0
Facts:
The case is a petition for review by the RP represented by the Office of the Solicitor General on
certiorari praying for thereversal of the decision of the CA dated July 30, 2001 affirming the
judgment of the RTC declaring the marriage of Crasus L. Iyoy(respondent) and Ada Rosal-Iyoy
null and void based on Article 36.
On December 16, 1961 Crasus Iyoy and Ada Rosal-Iyoy married each other, they had 5 children.
In 1984, Fely went to the US, inthe same year she sent letters to Crasus asking him to sign
divorce papers. In 1985, Crasus learned that Fely married an Americanand had a child. Fely went
back to the Philippines on several occasions, during one she attended the marriage of one of her
children inwhich she used her husband’s last name as hers in the invitation.
March 25, 1997, Crasus filed a complaint for declaration of nullity alleging that Fely’s 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 newhusband’s last name as evidences.
Fely denied the claims and asserted that Crasus was a drunkard, womanizer, had no job, and
thatsince 1988 she was already an American citizen and not covered by our laws. The RTC
found the evidences sufficient and granted thedecree; it was affirmed in the CA.
Issue:
Does abandonment and sexual infidelity per se constitute psychological incapacity?
Held:
The evidences presented by the respondent fail to establish psychological incapacity.
Furthermore, Article 36 “contemplates downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of
and to assume the basic marital obligations; not a mere refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less,
ill will, on the part of the errant spouse. Irreconcilable differences, conflicting personalities,
emotional immaturity and irresponsibility, physical abuse, habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity
or perversion, and abandonment, by themselves, also do not warrant a finding of psychological
incapacity under the said Article.”
Finally, Article 36 “is not to be confused with a divorce law thatcuts the marital bond at the time
the causes therefore manifest themselves. It refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting
aparty even before the celebration of marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to
deprive one of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about
to assume.”



Rodolfo San Luis vs Felicidad Sagalongos-San Luis
Bigamy – Void Marriage

During his lifetime, Felicisimo (Rodolfo’s dad) contracted three marriages. His first marriage was with Virginia Sulit
on March 17, 1942 out of which were born six children. On August 11, 1963, Virginia predeceased Felicisimo.
Five years later, on May 1, 1968, Felicisimo married Merry Lee Corwin, with whom he had a son, Tobias. However,
on October 15, 1971, Merry Lee, an American citizen, filed a Complaint for Divorce before the Family Court of the
First Circuit, State of Hawaii, which issued a Decree Granting Absolute Divorce and Awarding Child Custody on
December 14, 1973. On June 20, 1974, Felicisimo married Felicidad San Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos. He had no
children with respondent but lived with her for 18 years from the time of their marriage up to his death on
December 18, 1992. Upon death of his dad Rodolfo sought the dissolution of their conjugal partnership assets and
the settlement of Felicisimo’s estate. On December 17, 1993, she filed a petition for letters of administration
before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. Rodolfo 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 legally
married to Merry Lee. Felicidad presented the decree of absolute divorce issued by the Family Court of the First
Circuit, State of Hawaii to prove that the marriage of Felicisimo to Merry Lee had already been dissolved. Thus, she
claimed that Felicisimo had the legal capacity to marry her by virtue of paragraph 2 Article 26 of the Family Code.
Rodolfo asserted that paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Family Code cannot be given retroactive effect to validate
respondent’s bigamous marriage with Felicisimo because this would impair vested rights in derogation of Article
256.

ISSUE: Whether or not Felicidad’s marriage to Felicisimo is bigamous.

HELD: The divorce decree allegedly obtained by Merry Lee which absolutely allowed Felicisimo to remarry, would
have vested Felicidad with the legal personality to file the present petition as Felicisimo’s surviving spouse.
However, the records show that there is insufficient evidence to prove the validity of the divorce obtained by
Merry Lee as well as the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo under the laws of the U.S.A. In Garcia v. Recio, the
Court laid down the specific guidelines for pleading and proving foreign law and divorce judgments. It held that
presentation solely of the divorce decree is insufficient and that proof of its authenticity and due execution must
be presented. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, a writing or document may be proven as a public or official
record of a foreign country by either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by the officer having
legal custody of the document. If the record is not kept in the Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied by a
certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the
foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office.
With regard to respondent’s marriage to Felicisimo allegedly solemnized in California, U.S.A., she submitted
photocopies of the Marriage Certificate and the annotated text of the Family Law Act of California which
purportedly show that their marriage was done in accordance with the said law. As stated in Garcia, however, the
Court cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws as they must be alleged and proved.
The case should be remanded to the trial court for further reception of evidence on the divorce decree obtained by
Merry Lee and the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo.



TONGOL vs. TONGOL
G.R. NO. 157610
Facts:
On August 19, 1996, Orlando filed before the RTC of Makati City a verified petition for the
declaration of nullity of his marriage with Filipinas on the ground that the latter is
psychologically incapacitated to comply with her essential marital obligations. Orlando Tongol
alleged that Filipinas was unable to perform her duty as a wife because of Filipinas’ unbearable
attitude that will lead to their constant quarrel. Inhere Answer with Counter-Petition, Filipinas
admitted that efforts at reconciliation have been fruitless and that their marriage is a failure.
However, she claims that their marriage failed because it is Orlando’s insufficiency to fulfill his
obligation as married man. Both parties underwent a psychological exam which proved that the
respondent Filipinas Tongol has a psychological insufficiency.
Issue:
Does the psychological problem of Mrs. Filipina Tongol enough to compel the court to nullify
their marriage?
Held:
No, as elucidated in Molina the psychological incapacity must exist during the ceremony of the
marriage, the psychological incapacity must be apparent as to the extent that the other party is
incapable the significance of their marriage and lastly, the malady must be incurable. The
definition or manifestation of marriage must within the scope of article 36of the Family Code.
As in the present case, the psychological sufficiency of Mrs. Tongol is not severe that would
render her incapable of recognize the sanctity of her marital contract with her husband, second,
Dr. Vellegas failed to prove that the ailment is incurable. As to the facts of the psychological
examination report says: the emotional malady discussed merely by rejection of Mrs. Tongol by
her mother when she was young. Further, the facts of the case did not show that Mrs. Tongol
did not care about the welfare of their children and the financial issue as being cited in the facts,
the court deemed that such phenomena is natural in every marriage and can be settled easily.
Hence the court dismissed the petition of the nullity of marriage.

Whether the will is intrinsically valid and who shall inherit from Lorenzo are issues best proved
by foreign law which must be pleaded and proved. Whether the will was executed in
accordance with the formalities required is answered by referring to Philippine law. In fact, the
will was duly probated.

The decision of the CA is set aside and that of the RTC is reversed. Court REMANDS the cases to
the court of origin for determination of the intrinsic validity of Lorenzo N. Llorente’s will and
determination of the parties’ successional rights allowing proof of foreign law with instructions
that the trial court shall proceed with all deliberate dispatch to settle the estate of the
deceased within the framework of the Rules of Court.


CORPUZ V. STO. TOMAS
G.R. NO. 186571, 11 AUGUST 2010
FACTS: Gerbert Corpuz (“Gerbert”) was a former Filipino citizen who acquired Canadian citizenship
through naturalization. He later married a Filipina, Daisylyn Sto. Tomas (“Daisy”). Gerbert left for Canada
soon after the wedding because of his work. He returned after 4 months to surprise Daisy, but
discovered that she was having an affair with another man. Hurt and disappointed, Gerbert returned to
Canada and filed a petition for divorce. The Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, Canada granted his
petition for divorce.
2 years after the divorce, Gerbert found another Filipina to love. Gerbert went to the Civil Registry Office
and registered the Canadian divorce decree on his and Daisy’s marriage certificate. Despite the
registration of the divorce decree, an official of the National Statistics Office (“NSO”) informed him that
the marriage between him and Daisy still subsists under Philippine law. To be enforceable, the foreign
divorce decree must first be judicially recognized by a competent Philippine court, pursuant to a NSO
Circular.
Gerbert filed a petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce and/or declaration of marriage as
dissolved with the RTC. Daisy did not file any responsive pleading and offered no opposition to the
petition. In fact, Daisy alleged her desire to file a similar case but was prevented by financial constrains.
She, thus, requested that she be considered as a party-in-interest with a similar prayer to Gerbert’s.
The RTC denied Gerbert’s petition. The RTC concluded that Gerbert was NOT THE PROPER PARTY to
institute the action for judicial recognition of the foreign divorce decree as he is a NATURALIZED
CANADIAN CITIZEN. It ruled that ONLY THE FILIPINO spouse can avail of the remedy, under Art. 26, ¶2 of
the Family Code.1
1 Art. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except
those prohibited under Articles 35 (1), (4), (5) and (6), 3637 and 38. (17a)
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by
the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. (As
amended by Executive Order 227)
ISSUE: WON Art. 26, ¶2 extends to aliens the right to petition a court of this jurisdiction for the
recognition of a foreign divorce decree.
HELD: NO. The alien spouse can claim no right under Art. 26, ¶2 of the Family Code as the substantive
right it establishes is in favor of the FILIPINO SPOUSE.
Art. 26, ¶2 was included in the law 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.
The legislative intent is for the benefit of the Filipino spouse, by clarifying his or her marital status,
settling the doubts created by the divorce decree. Essentially, Art. 26, ¶2 provided the Filipino spouse a
substantive right to have his or her marriage to the alien spouse considered as dissolved, capacitating
him or her to remarry. Without Art. 26, ¶2, the judicial recognition of the foreign decree of divorce,
whether in a proceeding instituted precisely for that purpose or as a related issue in another proceeding,
would be of no significance to the Filipino spouse since our laws do not recognize divorce as a mode of
severing the marital bond.
An action based on Art. 26, ¶2 is not limited to the recognition of the foreign divorce decree. If the court
finds that the decree capacitated the alien spouse to remarry, the courts can declare that the Filipino
spouse is likewise capacitated to contract another marriage. However, no Philippine court can make a
similar declaration for the alien spouse, whose status and legal capacity are generally governed by his
national law.