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FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 124371. November 23, 2000]

PAULA T. LLORENTE, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and ALICIA F.


LLORENTE, respondents.
DECISION
PARDO, J.:

FACTS:
Lorenzo and petitioner Paula Llorente was married before a parish priest.
Before the outbreak of war, Lorenzo departed for the United States and Paula
was left at the conjugal home. Lorenzo was naturalized by the United State.
After the liberation of the Philippines he went home and visited his wife to
which he discovered that his wife was pregnant and was having an adulterous
relationship. Lorenzo returned to the US and filed for divorce. Lorenzo married
Alicia LLorente; they lived together for 25 years and begot 3 children. Lorenzo
on his last will and testament bequeathed all his property to Alicia and their 3
children. Paula filed a petition for letters administration over Lorenzos estate.
The RTC ruled in favor of Paula. On appeal, the decision was modified
declaring Alicia as co-owner of whatever properties they have acquired.
Hence, this petition to the Supreme Court.
ISSUES: Whether or not the divorce obtained by Lorenzo capacitated him to
remarry. Who are entitled to inherit from the late Lorenzo Llorente?
HELD: In Van Dorn vs Ramillo Jr. the Supreme Court held that owing to the
nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine
nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorce. In the same
case, the Court ruled that aliens may obtain divorce abroad provided that
they are valid according to their national law. The Supreme Court held that
divorce obtained by Lorenzo from his first wife Paula was valid and recognized
in this jurisdiction as a matter of comity.
The Supreme Court remanded the case to the court of origin for the
determination of the intrinsic validity of Lorenzos will and determine the
successional rights allowing proof of foreign law. The deceased is not covered
by our laws on family rights and duties, status, condition and legal capacity
since he was a foreigner.