You are on page 1of 19

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1

The Civil Code of the Philippines


-The Civil Code in force in the
Philippines is the Civil code of Spain of
1889, extended to this country by Royal
decree of July 31, 1889.
- It was to take effect 20 days after
publication in the official newspaper in
the islands.
-published in the Gaceta de Manila on
November 17, 1889 and took effect on
December 7, 1889.
Sources of the Civil Code
1. 1987 Constitutional provisions
2. Statutes- Republic acts, executive
orders, commonwealth acts, etc.
3. Implementing rules as long as
not contrary to law
4. Jurisprudence / Supreme court
decisions
5. Filipino Customs and traditions
6. Foreign decisions

I.

Preliminary title

Article 1. This Act shall be known as the


"Civil Code of the Philippines."
This article refers to the official name of
the law.
Article 2. Laws shall take effect after
fifteen days following the completion of
their publication in the Official
Gazette, unless it is otherwise
Provided, this Code shall take effect one
year after such publication
Revised Administrative Code (sec.18-24)
SECTION
18. When
Laws
Take
Effect.Laws shall take effect after
fifteen (15) days following the completion
of their publication in the Official Gazette or
in a newspaper of general circulation, unless
it is otherwise provided.
SECTION
19. Prospectivity.Laws
shall have prospective effect unless the
contrary is expressly provided.

TEOXON

SECTION 20. Interpretation of Laws


and Administrative Issuances.In the
interpretation of a law or administrative
issuance promulgated in all the official
languages, the English text shall control,
unless otherwise specifically provided.
In case of ambiguity, omission or
mistake, the other texts may be
consulted.
SECTION 21. No Implied Revival of
Repealed Law.When a law which
expressly repeals a prior law is itself
repealed, the law first repealed shall not
be thereby revived unless expressly so
provided.
SECTION 22. Revival of Law Impliedly
Repealed.When
a
law
which
impliedly repeals a prior law is itself
repealed, the prior law shall thereby be
revived, unless the repealing law
provides otherwise.
SECTION 23. Ignorance of the Law.
Ignorance of the law excuses no one
from compliance therewith.
SECTION 24. Contents.There shall be
published in the Official Gazette all
legislative acts and resolutions of a
public nature; all executive and
administrative issuances of general
application; decisions or abstracts of
decisions of the Supreme Court and the
Court of Appeals, or other courts of
similar rank, as may be deemed by the
said courts of sufficient importance to be
so published; such documents or classes
of documents as may be required so to
be published by law; and such
documents or classes of documents as
the President shall determine from time
to time to have general application or
which he may authorize so to be
published.
The publication of any law, resolution
or other official documents in the
Official Gazette shall be prima facie
evidence of its authority.

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


Executive Order 200 (sec.1 & 2)
Sec. 1. Laws shall take effect after fifteen
days following the completion of their
publication either in the Official Gazette
or in a newspaper of general circulation
in the Philippines, unless it is otherwise
provided.
Sec. 2. Article 2 of Republic Act No. 386,
otherwise known as the "Civil Code of
the Philippines," and all other laws
inconsistent with this Executive Order
are hereby repealed or modified
accordingly
Case: Pesigan vs. Angeles
Facts:
Anselmo L. Pesigan and Marcelo L.
Pesigan, carabao dealers, transported in
an Isuzu ten-wheeler truck in the
evening of April 2, 1982 twenty-six
carabaos and a calf from Sipocot,
Camarines Sur with Padre Garcia,
Batangas, as the destination. They have
with them permit to transport said
carabaos, however despite the permit
and certificates issued to them to
transport the carabaos the same have
been confiscated. The confiscation was
basis on the aforementioned Executive
Order No. 626-A which provides "that
henceforth, no carabao, regardless of
age, sex, physical condition or purpose
and no carabeef shall be transported from
one province to another. The carabaos or
carabeef transported in violation of this
Executive Order as amended shall be
subject to confiscation and forfeiture by the
government to be distributed ... to
deserving farmers through dispersal as
the Director of Animal Industry may see
fit, in the case of carabaos".
Herein petitioners then filed against
Doctor Miranda an action for replevin
for the recovery of the carabaos. The
replevin could not be served by the
sheriff and the complaint later on was
dismissed for lack of cause of action.

TEOXON

The Pesigans appealed to this Court


under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court and
section 25 of the Interim Rules and
pursuant to Republic Act No. 5440, a
1968 law which superseded Rule 42 of
the Rules of Court.
Issue:
Whether or not the executive order be
enforced before its publication in the
official gazette
Ruling:
We hold that the said executive order
should not be enforced against the
Pesigans on April 2, 1982 because, as
already
noted,
it is
a
penal
regulation published more than two
months later in the Official Gazette
dated June 14, 1982. It became effective
only fifteen days thereafter as provided
in article 2 of the Civil Code and section
11 of the Revised Administrative Code.
In the instant case, the livestock
inspector
and
the
provincial
veterinarian of Camarines Norte and the
head of the Public Affairs Office of the
Ministry of Agriculture were unaware
of Executive Order No. 626-A. The
Pesigans could not have been expected
to be cognizant of such an executive
order.
It results that they have a cause of action
for the recovery of the carabaos. The
summary confiscation was not in order.
The recipients of the carabaos should
return them to the Pesigans. However,
they cannot transport the carabaos to
Batangas because they are now bound
by the said executive order. Neither can
they recover damages. Doctor Miranda
and Zenarosa acted in good faith in
ordering the forfeiture and dispersal of
the carabaos.

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


Case: People vs Veridiano
Facts:
Benito Go Bio, Jr. was charged with
violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang
22 presided by Judge Veridiano. Before
he could be arraigned, Go Bio filed a
motion to quash the information on the
ground that the information did not
charge an offense, which was about the
second week of May 1979, Batas
Pambansa Bilang 22 has not yet taken
effect.
The prosecution opposed the motion
contending, among others, that the date
of the dishonor of the check, which is on
September 26, 1979, is the date of the
commission of the offense; and that
assuming that the effectivity of the law
Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 is on
June 29, 1979, considering that the
offense was committed on September
26, 1979, the said law is applicable.
Issue:

TEOXON

The effectivity clause of Batas Pambansa


Bilang 22 specifically states that "This
Act shall take effect fifteen days after
publication in the Official Gazette." The
term "publication" in such clause should
be given the ordinary accepted
meaning, that is, to make known to the
people in general. If the Batasang
Pambansa had intended to make the
printed date of issue of the Gazette as
the point of reference in determining the
effectivity of the statute in question,
then it could have so stated in the
special effectivity provision of Batas
Pambansa Bilang 22.
When private respondent Go Bio, Jr.
committed the act, complained of in the
Information as criminal, in May 1979,
there was then no law penalizing such
act. Following the special provision of
Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, it became
effective only on June 29, 1979. As a
matter of fact, in May 1979, there was no
law to be violated and, consequently,
respondent Go Bio, Jr. did not commit
any violation thereof.

Whether or not at the time of the


issuance of the check BP 22 was already
in effect

Case: Tanada vs Tuvera

Ruling:

Petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to


compel respondent public officials to
publish, and/or cause the publication in
the Official Gazette of various
presidential
decrees,
letters
of
instructions,
general
orders,
proclamations, executive orders, letter
of implementation and administrative
orders.

No. BP 22 is not yet in effect.


The penal statute in question was made
public only on June 14, 1979 and not on
the printed date April 9, 1979.
Differently stated, June 14, 1979 was the
date of publication of Batas Pambansa
Bilang 22. Before the public may be
bound by its contents especially its
penal provisions, the law must be
published and the people officially
informed of its contents and/or its
penalties. For, if a statute had not been
published before its violation, then in
the eyes of the law there was no such
law to be violated and, consequently,
the accused could not have committed
the alleged crime.

Facts:

Respondents contend that publication in


the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non
requirement for the effectivity of laws
where the laws themselves provide for
their own effectivity dates. It is thus
submitted that since the presidential
issuances in question contain special
provisions as to the date they are to take
effect; publication in the Official Gazette
is not indispensable for their effectivity.

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1

TEOXON

Issue:

Case: MRCA vs Court of Appeals

Whether or not publication of a law may


be dispensed with when the law itself
provides for its own effectivity date

Facts:

Ruling:
Article 2 does not preclude the
requirement of publication in the
Official Gazette, even if the law itself
provides for the date of its effectivity.
Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 638
provides as follows:
Section 1. There shall be
published in the Official Gazette
[1] all important legisiative acts
and resolutions of a public nature
of
the,
Congress
of
the
Philippines; [2] all executive and
administrative
orders
and
proclamations, except such as
have no general applicability;
xxx..
The clear object of the above-quoted
provision is to give the general public
adequate notice of the various laws
which are to regulate their actions and
conduct as citizens. Without such notice
and publication, there would be no basis
for the application of the maxim
"ignorantia legis non excusat." It would
be the height of injustice to punish or
otherwise burden a citizen for the
transgression of a law of which he had
no notice whatsoever, not even a
constructive one.
xxx Thus, without publication, the
people have no means of knowing what
presidential decrees have actually been
promulgated, much less a definite way
of informing themselves of the specific
contents and texts of such decrees.

The Petitioner MRCA Inc., filed a


complaint against private respondents
spouses (who were defendants in said
civil case). Said case was dismissed by
the trial court due to the non-payment
of proper filing fees when petitioner
failed to include include in the complain
the amount of moral damages,
exemplary damages, attorney's fees and
litigation expenses sought to be
recovered.
The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed
said ruling, hence the petitioner comes
to SC by petition for review. Petitioner
contends that the Manchester ruling
does not apply to the case since said
court decision was not published in the
Official Gazette. It should be noted that
petitioner filed said complaint ten
months after the promulgation of the
Manchester ruling
Issue:
Whether or not publication of a court
ruling is a prerequisite for its effectivity
Ruling:
xxx Publication in the Official Gazette is
not a prerequisite for the effectivity of a
court ruling even if it lays down a new
rule of procedure, for "it is a doctrine
well established that the procedure of
the court may be changed at any time
and become effective at once, so long as
it does not affect or change vested
rights."
Case: Yaokasin vs Commissioner
Facts:
The Philippine Coast Guard seized 9000
sacks of refined sugar owned by
petitioner Yaokasin, which were then
being unloaded from the M/V
Tacloban, and turned them over to the

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


custody of the Bureau of Customs. On
June 7, 1988, the District Collector of
Customs ordered the release of the
cargo to the petitioner but this order
was subsequently reversed on June 15,
1988. The reversal was by virtue of
Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 2087 in implementation of the Integrated
Reorganization Plan under P.D. 1,
which provides that in protest and
seizure cases where the decision is
adverse to the government, the
Commissioner of Customs has the
power of automatic review.
Petitioner objected to the enforcement of
Sec. 12 of the Plan and CMO 20-87
contending that these were not
published in the Official Gazette. The
Plan which was part of P.D. 1 was
however published in the Official
Gazette.
Issue:
Whether or not Circular orders such as
CMO 20-87 need to be published in
order to take effect
Ruling:
No. Article 2 of the Civil Code, which
requires laws to be published in the
Official Gazette, does not apply to CMO
No.
20-87
which
is
only
an
administrative
order
of
the
Commissioner of Customs addressed to
his subordinates. the customs collectors.
CMO No. 20-87 requiring collectors of
customs to comply strictly with Section
12 of the Plan, is an issuance which is
addressed only to particular persons or a
class of persons (the customs collectors).
"It need not be published, on the
assumption that it has been circularized
to all concerned"
Article 3. Ignorance of the law excuses
no one from compliance therewith.

TEOXON

prejudices himself and the injury cannot


be
remedied
without
impairing
anothers rights, the mistake cannot be
corrected to the prejudice of the latter.
Ignorance of a fact may excuse a party
from the legal consequences of his
conduct but not ignorance of the law.
A lawyer cannot be disbarred for an
honest mistake or error of law.
Case: Kasilag vs Rodrigues
Issue:
Whether the petitioner should be
deemed a possessor in good faith
because he was unaware of any flaw in
his title or in the manner of its
acquisition by which it is invalidated.
Ruling:
Yes.
xxx gross and inexcusable ignorance of
law may not be the basis of good faith,
but possible, excusable ignorance may
be such basis.
It is a fact that the petitioner is not
conversant with the laws because he is
not a lawyer. In accepting the mortgage
of the improvements he proceeded on
the well-grounded belief that he was not
violating the prohibition regarding the
alienation of the land. In taking
possession thereof and in consenting to
receive its fruits, he did not know, as
clearly as a jurist does, that the
possession and enjoyment of the fruits
are attributes of the contract of
antichresis and that the latter, as a lien,
was prohibited by section 116. These
considerations again bring us to the
conclusion that, as to the petitioner, his
ignorance of the provisions of section
116 is excusable and may, therefore, be
the basis of his good faithxxx

If, through mistake or ignorance of the


law, a person does an act which

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


We, therefore, hold that the petitioner
acted in good faith in taking possession
of the land and enjoying its fruits.
Article 4. Laws shall have no
retroactive effect, unless the contrary is
provided.
A retroactive law is one intended to
affect transactions which occurred, or
right which accrued, before it became
operative and which ascribes to them
effects not inherent in their nature, in
view of the law in force at the time of
their occurrence.
All statutes are to be construed as
having only a prospective operation,
unless the purpose and intention of the
legislature to give them a retrospective
effect is expressly declared or is
necessarily implied from the language
used.
Exceptions:
1. When the law itself so expressly
provides.
Exceptions:
a. When the retroactivity of a
penal statute will make it
an ex post facto law
b. When the retroactive effect
of
the
statute
will
constitute an impairment
of the obligation of
contract.
2. In case of remedial statutes
Well settled doctrine that the
procedure of the court may be
changed at any time by law to
become effective at once so long
as it does not change or affect
vested rights.
3. In case of curative statutes
Curative statutes are those which
undertake to cure errors and
irregularities.

TEOXON

Limitations:
They cannot violate constitutional
provisions nor destroy vested rights
of third persons. They cannot affect a
judgment that has become final.
4. In case of laws interpreting others
5. In case of laws creating new
rights
New law shall not have retroactive
effect only governs rights arising from
acts done under the rule of the former
law; if a right be declared for the first
time by a new law it shall take effect
from the time of such declaration, even
though it has arisen from acts subject to
the former laws, provided it does not
prejudice another acquired right of the
same origin.
Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect
in so far as they favor the accused who
is not a habitual criminal, even though
at the time of the enactment of such law,
a final sentence has already been
rendered.
Article 5. Acts executed against the
provisions of mandatory or prohibitory
laws shall be void, except when the law
itself authorizes their validity.
Case: Puzon vs Abellera
Facts
The oppositor appellee Alejandra
Abellera (substituted upon her death by
Domondon) was the owner of the
subject 2-hectare parcel of land situated
in Baguio City, a land which was
previously part of the public domain
but was titled pursuant to RA 931. In
another case Republic v Pio Marcos, the
Supreme Court declared that all titles
issued under RA 931 are null and void
since the said Act was applicable only to
places
covered
by
cadastral
proceedings, and not to the City of
Baguio which was covered by a
townsite reservation.

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


This same ruling was subsequently
incorporated into a law, P.D. 1271 with
the title "An act nullifying decrees of
registration and certificates of title
covering lands within the Baguio
Townsite Reservation pursuant to RA
931 which took effect on December 22,
1977. PD 1271 considered as valid
certain titles of lands that are alienable
and disposable under certain conditions
and for other purposes. Hence, the lot in
question was reverted to the public
domain.
The subject lots were sold in an auction
sale due to the non-payment of
taxes.\Petitioner took interest and
subsequently won the bid. A year after,
a certificate of sale was issued. In this
connection, the petitioner filed a case to
consolidate his ownership of the lots.
Meanwhile, Domondon found out about
the auction sale and filed an opposition
to the petition for consolidation filed by
petitioner. The trial court ruled that said
auction sale is null and void and that the
assessments were illegally made. This
was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Hence this petition with petitioner
contending that the tax assessments
were valid and that PD 1271 has a
curative effect.
Issue:
Whether or not PD 1271 may be applied
retroactively
Ruling:
xxx the intent of the law is to recognize
the effects of certain acts of ownership
done in good faith by persons with
torrens titles issued in their favor before
the cut-off date stated, honestly
believing that they had validly acquired
the lands. And such would be possible
only by validating all the said titles
issued before 31 July 1973, effective on
their respective dates of issue. However,
the validity of these titles would not
become operative unless and after the

TEOXON

conditions stated in PD 1271 are met.


Hence, the phrase "upon a showing, and
compliance
with,
the
following
conditions," (Sec. 1, PD 1271)
While it may be argued that Article 4 of
the New Civil Code prohibits the
retroactive application of laws unless
expressly provided therein, such rule
allows some exceptions xxx As pointed
out above, PD 1271 falls under one of
the exceptions.
Case: Acosta vs Plan
Facts:
petitioners filed an accion publiciana in
the Court of First Instance of Isabela
against
the
private
respondent
Bernardino Magday
After the parties had submitted a
stipulation of facts, the court, upon
plaintiffs' motion for judgment on the
pleadings and/or summary judgment,
which the defendant did not oppose,
rendered
judgment dismissing
the
complaint with costs against the
plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs filed a motion for
reconsideration which was denied so
they filed a motion for leave to appeal as
paupers which was granted.
Believing that as pauper litigants they
did not have to submit a record on
appeal, they waited for the trial court to
elevate the entire records of the case to
the Court of Appeals, respondent Judge
dismissed the appeal for failure to file a
record on appeal. A motion for
reconsideration was filed but it was
denied.
Hence, this petition for certiorari
Issue
Whether for the perfection of an appeal
by a pauper litigant, the timely

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


submission of a record on appeal is
required.
Ruling:
Under the Rules of Court then in force, a
record on appeal was indeed required to
be filed by a pauper appellant although
it did not have to be printed.
However, under B.P. Blg. 129, which has
overtaken this case before it could be
decided, a record on appeal is no longer
required for the perfection of an appeal.
This new rule was given retroactive
effect xxx
Case: BPI vs IAC
Facts:
Rizaldy Zshornack and his wife, Shirley
Gorospe, maintained in COMTRUST,
Quezon City Branch, a dollar savings
account and a peso current account.
An application for a dollar draft was
accomplished by Virgilio V. Garcia,
Assistant
Branch
Manager
of
COMTRUST Quezon City, payable to a
certain Leovigilda D. Dizon in the
amount of $1,000.00. In the application,
Garcia indicated that the amount was to
be charged to Dollar Savings of
Zshornack, no indication of the name of
the purchaser.
A check was issued in the name of
Dizon. When Zshornack noticed the
withdrawal of US$1,000.00 from his
account, he demanded an explanation
from the bank. In its answer,
COMTRUST claimed that the peso value
of the withdrawal was given to Atty.
Ernesto Zshornack, Jr., brother of
Rizaldy
Ruling:
The object of the contract between
Zshornack and COMTRUST was foreign
exchange. Hence, the transaction was
covered by Central Bank Circular No.
20, Restrictions on Gold and Foreign
Exchange Transactions, promulgated on

TEOXON

December 9, 1949, which was in force at


the time the parties entered into the
transaction involved in this case.
Since the mere safekeeping of the
greenbacks, without selling them to the
Central Bank within one business day
from receipt, is a transaction which is
not authorized by CB Circular No. 20, it
must be considered as one which falls
under the general class of prohibited
transactions. Hence, pursuant to Article
5 of the Civil Code, it is void, having
been executed against the provisions of
a mandatory/prohibitory law. More
importantly, it affords neither of the
parties a cause of action against the
other. "When the nullity proceeds from
the illegality of the cause or object of the
contract, and the act constitutes a
criminal offense, both parties being in
pari delicto, they shall have no cause of
action against each other. . ." [Art. 1411,
New Civil Code.] The only remedy is
one on behalf of the State to prosecute
the parties for violating the law.
Article 6. Rights may be waived, unless
the waiver is contrary to law, public
order, public policy, morals, or good
customs, or prejudicial to a third person
with a right recognized by law.
3 elements of a right:
1. Subjects
a. Persons
2 kinds of subjects
i. Active- entitle to
demand the
enforcement of the
right
ii. Passive- duty bound to
suffer it enforcement of the
right
2. The object
3. The efficient cause
- The facts that gives rise to the
legal relation.

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


Kinds of rights
1. The rights of personality
- Human rights and arise from
the fact of being a man.
- Include all rights intended to
protect the human personality
in its existence, integrity, and
development, in its physical,
intellectual and moral aspects.
2. Family rights
- Includes all the rights of a
person as a member of a
family
3. Patrimonial rights
- Property as their object. They
tend
to
the
economic
satisfaction of me and are
measurable pecuniarily
- i.e right of indemnity
Waiver- the relinquishment of a known
right with both knowledge of its
existence and an intention to relinquish
it.
-The right, benefit, advantage must exist
at the time of waiver, there must be
actual or constructive knowledge of
such existence; an intention to
relinquish it
-It may be express or implied. In
implied waiver, there must be a clear,
unequivocal and decisive act of a party
showing such purpose.
Requirements of waiver
1. he must actually have the right
which he renounces
2. he must have the capacity to
make the renunciation
3. the renunciation must be made in
a clear and unequivocal manner
Scope of waiver
The doctrine is generally applicable to
all rights and privileges to which a
person is legally entitled.
Prohibited waiver

TEOXON

Laws cannot be renounced, although the


rights arising therefrom may be
renounced. The right itself cannot be
waived, if such waiver is contrary to
public interest or public order to morals
good customs to the right of third
persons.
There can be no waiver of rights if it will
prejudice the rights of third persons,
prejudice which will result in injury to a
right which such person may have
Art. 7. Laws are repealed only by
subsequent ones, and their violation or
non-observance shall not be excused by
disuse, or custom or practice to the
contrary.
When the courts declared a law to be
inconsistent with the Constitution, the
former shall be void and the latter shall
govern.
Administrative or executive acts, orders
and regulations shall be valid only
when they are not contrary to the laws
or the Constitution.
Laws are promulgated by the competent
authority and they can only cease to
have effect only through the will of the
State.
As long as the statute remains in the
books its legal force and effect subsists,
notwithstanding any practice or usage
to the contrary.
A law may expressly provide by their
own terms as to when it will lapse.
Two kinds of repeal of laws:
1. express or declared repeal
- it is contained in a special
provision of a subsequent law
2. Implied or tacit repeal
- Takes
place
when
the
provisions of the subsequent
law are incompatible or
inconsistent with those of an
earlier law.

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


If there is a conflict between the old and
new law, the conflict must be resolved
in favor of the later law.
Implied repeals are not to be favored,
because they rest only in the
presumption that because of the
incompatibility of the old and new law,
there is an intention to repeal the old
law.
2 requisite of implied repeal:
1. The laws cover the same subject
matter
2. The latter is repugnant to the
earlier
Where they merely apply to the same
subject matter but there is no
incompatibility between them, they can
both stand together, one does not
impliedly repeal the other.
In all cases where two statutes cover, in
whole or part, the same matter, but they
are not absolutely irreconcilable, the
duty of the court- no purpose to repeal
being clearly indicated or expressed, if
possible to give effect to both.
When there are two acts or provisions,
one of which is special and particular
and includes the matter in question, and
the other general, which if standing
alone, would also include the same
matter and thus conflicts with the
special act or provisions, the special
must be taken as intended to constitute
an exception to the general act or
provision.
The repeal of a statute cannot affect or
impair any vested right, act done,
penalty accrued or judgment already
final before the repeal.
In criminal cases, the repeal of a penal
law during the pendency of a criminal
prosecution under it has the effect of
depriving the court jurisdiction to
further proceed with the case, which
must be dismissed.

10

TEOXON

1987 Constitution Art. XVIII Section


3. All existing laws, decrees, executive
orders,
proclamations,
letters
of
instructions, and other executive
issuances not inconsistent with this
Constitution shall remain operative
until amended, repealed, or revoked.
Case: Guingona vs Carague
Facts:
The petitioner seeks the declaration of
the unconstitutionality of P.D. No. 81,
Sections 31 of P.D. 1177, and P.D. No.
1967. The petition also seeks to restrain
the disbursement for debt service under
the 1990 budget pursuant to said
decrees.
Respondents contend that the petition
involves a pure political question which
is the repeal or amendment of said laws
addressed to the judgment, wisdom and
patriotism of the legislative body and
not this Court.
Petitioners argue that the said
automatic appropriations under PD
81, PD 1177 and PD 1967 of then
President
Marcos
became functus
oficio when he was ousted in February,
1986; that upon the expiration of the
one-man legislature in the person of
President Marcos, the legislative power
was restored to Congress on February 2,
1987 when the Constitution was ratified
by the people; that there is a need for a
new legislation by Congress providing
for automatic appropriation, but
Congress, up to the present, has not
approved any such law; and thus the
said
P86.8
Billion
automatic
appropriation in the 1990 budget is an
administrative act that rests on no law,
and thus, it cannot be enforced.
Moreover, petitioners contend that
assuming arguendo that P.D. No. 81, P.D.
No. 1177 and P.D. No. 1967 did not
expire with the ouster of President
Marcos, after the adoption of the 1987

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


Constitution, the said decrees are
inoperative under Section 3, Article XVII
Issue:
Whether or not said decrees have been
inoperative, revoked and repealed upon
the ouster of then President Marcos
Ruling:
No.
The argument of petitioners that the
said presidential decrees did not meet
the requirement and are therefore
inconsistent with Sections 24 and 27 of
Article VI of the Constitution which
requires, among others, that "all
appropriations, . . . bills authorizing
increase of public debt" must be passed
by Congress and approved by the
President is untenable.
Certainly,
the
framers
of
the
Constitution did not contemplate that
existing laws in the statute books
including existing presidential decrees
appropriating
public
money
are
reduced to mere "bills" that must again
go through the legislative million The
only reasonable interpretation of said
provisions of the Constitution which
refer to "bills" is that they mean
appropriation measures still to be
passed by Congress. If the intention of
the framers thereof were otherwise they
should have expressed their decision in
a more direct or express manner.
Well-known is the rule that repeal or
amendment by implication is frowned
upon. Equally fundamental is the
principle that construction of the
Constitution and law is generally
applied
prospectively
and
not
retrospectively unless it is so clearly
stated.
Art. 8. Judicial decisions applying or
interpreting
the
laws
or
the
Constitution shall form a part of the
legal system of the Philippines.

11

TEOXON

Art. 9. No judge or court shall decline to


render judgment by reason of the
silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the
laws.
Customs
-the juridical rule which results from a
constant and continued uniform practice
by the members of a social community,
with respect to a particular state of facts,
and observed with a conviction that is
juridically obligatory.
Requisites of custom:
1. Plurality of acts, or various
resolutions of a juridical question
raised repeatedly in life;
2. Uniformity or identity of the acts
or various solutions to the
juridical question;
3. General practice by the great
mass of the social group;
4. Continued performance of these
acts for a long period of time;
5. General conviction that the
practice corresponds to a juridical
necessity or that it is obligatory
and;
6. The practice must not be contrary
to law, morals, or public order.
Art. 10. In case of doubt in the
interpretation or application of laws, it
is presumed that the lawmaking body
intended right and justice to prevail.
The rule is to be applied only in case of
doubt, and when all other interpretation
fails. When the law is clear, and there is
n doubt as to its meaning, the judge
cannot go above the law but must apply
it, even if it does not conform to his
concept of right and justice.
Art. 11. Customs which are contrary to
law, public order or public policy shall
not be countenanced.
Art. 12. A custom must be proved as a
fact, according to the rules of evidence.

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1

TEOXON

Case: Martinez vs Van Buskirk

Ruling:

Facts:

No.

On the 11th day of September, 1908,


Carmen Ong de Martinez, was riding
a carromata in Ermita, Manila when a
delivery wagon owned by the defendant
(used for the transportation of fodder
and to which two horses are attached),
came from the opposite direction, while
their carromata went close to the
sidewalk in order to let the delivery
wagon pass by. However, instead of
merely passing by, the horses ran into
thecarromata occupied by the plaintiff
with her child and overturned it,
causing a serious cut upon the plaintiffs
head.

The cochero of the defendant was not


negligent in leaving the horses in the
manner described by the evidence in
this case. It is believed that acts or
performances which, in a long time,
have not been destructive and which are
approved by the society are considered
as custom. Hence, they cannot be
considered
as
unreasonable
or
imprudent.

The defendant contends that the


cochero, who was driving his delivery
wagon at the time of the accident, was
actually a good servant and was
considered a safe and reliable cochero.
He also claims that the cochero was
tasked to deliver some forage at Calle
Herran, and for that purpose the
defendants employee tied the driving
lines of the horses to the front end of the
delivery wagon for the purpose of
unloading the forage to be delivered.
However, a vehicle passed by the driver
and made noises that frightened the
horses causing them to run. The
employee failed to stop the horses since
he was thrown upon the ground.
From the stated facts, the court ruled
that the defendant was guilty of
negligence. The court specifically cited a
paragraph of Article 1903 of the Civil
Code. Hence, this is appeal to reverse
such decision.
Issue:
Whether or not an employer who has
furnished a gentle and tractable team
and a trusty and capable driver is, liable
for the negligence of such driver in
handling the team

12

The reason why they have been


permitted by the society is that they are
beneficial rather that prejudicial. One
could not easily hold someone negligent
because of some act that led to an injury
or accident. It would be unfair therefore
to render the cochero negligent because
of such circumstances.
The court further held that it is a
universal practice of merchants during
that time to deliver products through
horse-drawn vehicles; and it is also
considered universal practice to leave
the horses in the manner in which they
were left during the accident. It has been
practiced for a long time and generally
has not been the cause of accidents or
injuries the judgment is therefore
reversed.
Art. 13. When the laws speak of years,
months, days or nights, it shall be
understood that years are of three
hundred sixty-five days each; months, of
thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours;
and nights from sunset to sunrise.
If months are designated by their name,
they shall be computed by the number of
days which they respectively have.
In computing a period, the first day
shall be excluded, and the last day
included.

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


Week
-when computed according to the
calendar, means a period of seven days,
beginning on Sunday and ending on
Saturday
- where the word is used simply as a
measure of duration of time and
without reference to the calendar, it
means a period of seven consecutive
days without regard to the day of the
week in which it begins.
Month
-A period composed of thirty days.
Rule 28 of Rules of Court
-

In computing any period of


time prescribed or allowed by
the Rules of Court, by order of
a court or by any applicable
statute, the day of the act,
event or default after which
the designated period of time
begins to run is not to be
included, unless it is a
Sunday or a legal holiday in
which event the time shall
run until the end of the next
day which is neither a
Sunday or a holiday.

When the act or period are contractual,


not required by law, court order or rule
of court, the exception referring to
Sundays and holidays does not apply,
and the act must be done on the last day
even if the latter is a Sunday or holiday.
This is without prejudice to special laws
on the particular contract involved, such
as negotiable instruments.
Case: Armigos vs Court of Appeals
Facts:
Cristito Mata, filed a complaint against
the herein petitioner with the Municipal
Court of Digos, Davao del Sur, docketed
as Civil Case No. 971, for the collection
of damages and attorney's fees. After
trial, judgment was rendered in favor of

13

TEOXON

the private respondent and against the


herein petitioner. A copy of the decision
was received by the petitioner on 8 June
1977, and the following day, 9 June
1977, he filed a notice of appeal with the
said municipal court, and on 24 June
1977,
he
completed
the
other
requirements for the perfection of an
appeal, including the filing of an appeal
bond and the payment of the appellate
court docket fee. However, when the
case was elevated to the Court of First
Instance of Davao del Sur (Branch V) for
the consideration of the appeal, the
presiding judge thereof ruled that the
appeal
was
filed
beyond
the
reglementary period; consequently, he
dismissed the appeal.
The petitioner filed a petition for
certiorari, mandamus with preliminary
injunction to the Court of Appeals and
contended that the computation of the
period to appeal should commence on
the hour he received copy of the
decision, so that the first of the 1 5-day
period comprising 24 hours is from 4:00
o'clock p.m. of 9 June 1977 to 4:00
o'clock p.m. of 10 June 1977 and the last
day, from 4:00 o'clock p.m. of 23 June
1977 to 4:00 o'clock p.m. of 24 June 1977.
The Court of Appeals, however, rejected
the novel interpretation suggested as it
would result in many confusing
situations
and
many
unreliable
testimonies as to the time a copy of a
decision, order or pleading is received
Issue:
Whether or not Armigos was correct in
his interpretation of the date of his
receipt of the decision on the lower
court and the same is within the
reglementary period to file for an appeal
Ruling:
No.
We find no merit in the petition. The
rule stated in Article 13 of the Civil
Code to the effect that "In computing a

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


period, the first day shall be excluded,
and the last day included" is similar, but
not Identical to Section 4 of the Code of
Civil Procedure which provided that
"Unless otherwise specially provided,
the time within which an act is required
by law to be done shall be computed by
excluding the first day and including
the last; and if the last be Sunday or a
legal holiday it shall be excluded", as
well as the old Rule 28 of the Rules of
Court which stated that "In computing
any period of time prescribed or
allowed by the Rules of Court, by order
of a court, or by any other applicable
statute, the day of the act, event or
default after which the designated
period of time begins to run is not to be
included. The last day of the period so
computed is to be included, unless it is a
Sunday or a legal holiday, in which
event the time shall run until the end of
the next day which is neither a Sunday
or a legal holiday." In applying this rule,
the Court considered the day as
synonymous with the date and we find
no cogent reason to adopt a different
view.
Case: Namarco vs Teczon
Facts:
On November 14, 1955, the Court of
First Instance of Manila rendered
judgment entitled "Price Stabilization
Corporation vs. Miguel D. Tecson and
Alto Surety and Insurance Co., Inc.,"
Copy of this decision was, on November
21, 1955, served upon the defendants in
said case. On December 21, 1965, the
National Marketing Corporation, as
successor to all the properties, assets,
rights, and choses in action of the Price
Stabilization Corporation, as plaintiff in
that case and judgment creditor therein,
filed, with the same court, a
complaint, against the same defendants,
for the revival of the judgment
rendered.

14

TEOXON

Defendant Miguel D. Tecson moved to


dismiss said complaint, and it was
dismissed due to prescription.
The National Marketing Corporation
appealed from such order to the Court
of Appeals
Issue:
Whether or not the present action for
the revival of a judgment is barred by
the statute of limitations.
Ruling:
The very conclusion thus reached by
appellant shows that its theory
contravenes the explicit provision of
Art. 13 limiting the connotation of each
"year"-- as the term is used in our laws-to
365
days.
[The action to enforce a judgment which
became final on December 21, 1955
prescribes in 10 years. Since the Civil
Code computes "years" in terms of 365
days each, the action has prescribed on
December 19, 1955, since the two
intervening leap years added two more
days to the computation. It is not the
calendar year that is considered.
Art. 14. Penal laws and those of public
security and safety shall be obligatory
upon all who live or sojourn in the
Philippine territory, subject to the
principles of public international law
and to treaty stipulations.
Art. 15. Laws relating to family rights
and duties, or to the status, condition
and legal capacity of persons are
binding upon citizens of the Philippines,
even though living abroad.
Two theories for determining what
personal laws will apply:
1. Domiciliary theory
a. The personal laws of a
person are determined by
his domicile.
2. Nationality theory
a. The
citizenship
or
nationality
of
the

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


individual determines his
personal law
b. The individuals private
right
should
be
determined not by his
physical location but by
his political allegiance,
owes its origin to the
awareness of national
identity
Case: Barreto vs Gonzales
Facts:
Plaintiff and defendant, both Filipino
citizens, were married in the Philippines
and had their domicile in the City of
Manila. After some years of married life,
they agreed to separate, the husband
binding himself to pay a monthly
allowance and transfer some properties
to the wife. The husband then went to
Reno, Nevada, USA and secured a
divorce on the ground of desertion.
After the divorce, he married another
woman, also a Filipino citizen and
returned to the Philippines. After his
return to the Philippines, his wife filed
an action asking the court to confirm
and enforce the divorce decree of Reno
court and to order the husband to
deliver to her her share of their conjugal
property.

Capacity to contract
If under the law of the State which a
party to a contract is a citizen, he is
already of age at the time he enters into
the contract, he cannot set such contract
aside on the ground of minority even if
under the laws of the Philippines he is
still a minor.
Art. 16. Real property as well as
personal property is subject to the law
of the country where it is stipulated.
However, intestate and testamentary
successions, 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.
Real property
-

15

Every question affecting title


to land must be governed by
the law of the space where the
land is situated.

Personal property
-

Ruling:
The entire conduct of the parties clearly
indicates a purpose to circumvent the
laws of the Philippines regarding
divorce, and to secure for themselves a
change of status for reasons and under
conditions not authorized by the
divorce law in the Philippines. By
reason of the provisions of articles 15
and 17 of the Civil code, it is a serious
question whether any foreign divorce,
relating to citizens of the Philippines,
will be recognized in this jurisdiction,
except it be for a cause and under
conditions for which the courts of the
Philippines would grant a divorce.

TEOXON

The law of the place where


the subject property is
situated

Law on Succession
The execution of the will:
-

Generally governed by the


law of the place of execution

Distribution of estate
-

Governed by the law of the


nation of the deceased

The ff: are governed by the law of the


nation of the decedent irrespective of
the nature and location of the properties
left by him at the time of his death:

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


1. the order of succession in case of
intestacy
2. the intrinsic validity of the
testamentary succession in cases
of testate succession
3. The extent or amount of
property which each heir is
entitled to inherit.
When a foreign law is involved it must
be alleged and proved.

Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of


contracts, wills, and other public
instruments shall be governed by the
laws of the country in which they are
executed.
When the acts referred to are executed
before the diplomatic or consular
officials of the Republic of the
Philippines in a foreign country, the
solemnities established by Philippine
laws shall be observed in their
execution.
Prohibitive laws concerning persons,
their acts or property, and those which
have, for their object, public order,
public 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.
Matters
commenced
with
the
performance of contracts are regulated
by the law prevailing at the place of
performance.
Validity and effects of obligations:
First, the law designated by the parties
shall be applied;
If there is no stipulation on the matter,
and the parties are of the same
nationality, their national law shall be
applied;
If otherwise, the law of the place of
perfection of the obligation shall govern

16

TEOXON

its essence and nature and the law of its


performance shall govern its fulfillment
If the places are not specified and cannot
be deduced from the nature and
circumstances of the obligation, then the
law of the domicile of the passive
subject shall apply.
Case: Tenchavez vs Escano
Facts:
On 24 February 1948 Vicenta Escao, 27
years of age exchanged marriage vows
with Pastor Tenchavez, 32 years of age
before a Catholic chaplain, Lt. Moises
Lavares, in the house of one Juan
Alburo in the said city. The marriage
was the culmination of a previous love
affair and was duly registered with the
local civil register.
The parents of Vicenta learned about the
marriage and asked the advice of a
certain Fr. Reynes for advice who then
suggested a revalidation of the marriage
as the chaplain was not authorized to
officiate. Due to certain circumstances,
the wedding did not push thru and As
of June, 1948 he newlyweds were
already estranged. Vicenta had gone to
Jimenez, Misamis Occidental, to escape
from the scandal that her marriage
stirred in Cebu society. There, a lawyer
filed for her a petition, drafted by then
Senator Emmanuel Pelaez, to annul her
marriage. She did not sign the petition.
Vicenta applied for a passport
indicating herself as single and with no
consent from his husband in order to
study abroad.
On 22 August 1950, she filed a verified
complaint for divorce against the herein
plaintiff in Nevada and On 21 October
1950, a decree of divorce, "final and
absolute", was issued in open court by
the said tribunal.
Mamerto and Mena Escao filed a
petition with the Archbishop of Cebu to
annul their daughter's marriage to
Pastor and she married an American,

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


Russell Leo Moran, in Nevada and now
lives with him in California.She
acquired American citizenship on 8
August 1958.

absolute divorce, quo ad vinculo


matrimonii; and in fact does not
even use that term, to further
emphasize its restrictive policy
on the matter, in contrast to the
preceding
legislation
that
admitted absolute divorce on
grounds of adultery of the wife
or concubinage of the husband
(Act 2710). Instead of divorce, the
present Civil Code only provides
for legal separation (Title IV, Book
1, Arts. 97 to 108), and, even in
that case, it expressly prescribes
that "the marriage bonds shall not
be severed" (Art. 106, subpar. 1).

on 30 July 1955, Tenchavez had initiated


the proceedings at bar by a complaint in
the Court of First Instance of Cebu
against Vicenta F. Escao, her parents,
Mamerto and Mena Escao. He asked
for legal separation and damages. The
appealed judgment did not decree a
legal separation, but freed the plaintiff
from supporting his wife and to acquire
property to the exclusion of his wife.
Issue:

For the Philippine courts to


recognize and give recognition or
effect to a foreign decree of
absolute
divorce
betiveen
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:

1. Whether or not the marriage


between Pastor and Vicenta were
still valid and subsisting despite
the absolute divorce decree she
obtained in Nevada
2. Whether or not the absolute
divorce decree could be given
force and effect under Philippine
laws
Ruling:
1. It is equally clear from the record
that the valid marriage between
Pastor Tenchavez and Vicenta
Escao remained subsisting and
undissolved under Philippine
law, notwithstanding the decree
of absolute divorce that the wife
sought and obtained on 21
October 1950 from the Second
Judicial District Court of Washoe
County, State of Nevada, on
grounds of "extreme cruelty,
entirely mental in character." At
the time the divorce decree was
issued, Vicenta Escao, like her
husband, was still a Filipino
citizen.4 She was then subject to
Philippine law, and Article 15 of
the Civil Code of the Philippines
(Rep. Act No. 386), already in
force at the time
2. The Civil Code of the Philippines,
now in force, does not admit

17

TEOXON

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.
Case: Van Dorn vs Romillo
Facts:
Petitioner Van Dorn is a citizen of the
Philippines while respondent Upton is a
citizen of the United States; that they
were married in Hongkong in 1972; that,
after the marriage, they established their
residence in the Philippines; that they
begot two children; that the parties were
divorced in Nevada, United States, in
1982; and that petitioner has re-married
also in Nevada, this time to Theodore
Van Dorn.

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


Private respondent filed suit against
petitioner stating that petitioner's
business in Ermita, Manila is conjugal
property of the parties, and asking that
petitioner be ordered to render an
accounting of that business, and that
private respondent be declared with
right to manage the conjugal property
Petitioner moved to dismiss the case on
the ground that the cause of action is
barred by previous judgment in the
divorce proceedings before the Nevada
Court
wherein
respondent
had
acknowledged that he and petitioner
had "no community property" The
Court below (presiding judge: Hon.
Romillo) denied the Motion to Dismiss
in the mentioned case on the ground
that the property involved is located in
the Philippines so that the Divorce
Decree has no bearing in the case. The
denial is now the subject of this
certiorari proceeding.
Issue:
What is the effect of the foreign divorce
on the parties and their alleged conjugal
property in the Philippines?
Ruling:
For the resolution of this case, it is not
necessary to determine whether the
property relations between petitioner
and private respondent, after their
marriage, were upon absolute or
relative community property, upon
complete separation of property, or
upon any other regime. The pivotal fact
in this case is the Nevada divorce of the
parties.
The Nevada District Court, which
decreed the divorce, had obtained
jurisdiction
over
petitioner
who
appeared in person before the Court
during the trial of the case. It also
obtained jurisdiction over private
respondent
who
authorized
his
attorneys in the divorce case, Karp &
Gradt Ltd., to agree to the divorce on
the ground of incompatibility in the

18

TEOXON

understanding that there were neither


community property nor community
obligations.
There can be no question as to the
validity of that Nevada divorce in any
of the States of the United States. The
decree is binding on private respondent
as an American citizen. For instance,
private
respondent
cannot
sue
petitioner, as her husband, in any State of
the Union. What he is contending in this
case is that the divorce is not valid and
binding in this jurisdiction, the same
being contrary to local law and public
policy.
Thus, pursuant to his national law,
private respondent is no longer the
husband of 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
estopped by his own representation
before said Court from asserting his
right over the alleged conjugal property.
Case: Pilapil vs Ibay-Somera
On September 7, 1979, petitioner
Imelda Manalaysay Pilapil, a Filipino
citizen, and private respondent Erich
Ekkehard Geiling, a German national,
were married before the Registrar of
Births, Marriages and Deaths at
Friedensweiler in the Federal Republic
of Germany. The marriage started
auspiciously enough, and the couple
lived together for some time in Malate,
Manila where their only child, Isabella
Pilapil Geiling, was born on April 20,
1980.
Thereafter, marital discord set in, with
mutual recriminations between the
spouses, followed by a separation de
facto between them and private
respondent
initiated
a
divorce

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW

CIVIL LAW REVIEW 1


proceeding
against
petitioner
in
Germany before the Schoneberg Local
Court in January, 1983. He claimed that
there was failure of their marriage and
that they had been living apart since
April, 1982.
Petitioner, on the other hand, filed an
action for legal separation, support and
separation of property before the
Regional Trial Court of Manila. On
January 15, 1986 Schoneberg Local
Court promulgated a decree of divorce
on the ground of failure of marriage of
the spouses.
More than five months after the
issuance of the divorce decree, private
respondent filed two complaints for
adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila
alleging that, while still married to said
respondent, petitioner "had an affair
with a certain William Chia as early as
1982 and with yet another man named
Jesus Chua sometime in 1983 which was
later on dismissed due to lack of
evidence.
Issue:
Whether the private respondent has the
legal standing to file a complaint for
adultery against petitioner after a
divorce decree has been obtained
Ruling:
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.

19

TEOXON

xxx 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.
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
23
respondent is concerned in view of
the nationality principle in our civil law
on the matter of status of persons.
Under the same considerations and
rationale, private respondent, being no
longer the husband of petitioner, had no
legal standing to commence the adultery
case under the imposture that he was
the offended spouse at the time he filed
suit.
Art. 18. In matters which are governed
by the Code of Commerce and special
laws, their deficiency shall be supplied
by the provisions of this Code.
On specific matter, a special law shall
prevail over a general law, which shall
be resorted to only to supply
deficiencies in the former.
Exceptions:
1. In the contract of transportation
by common carriers
2. Contract of loan, when usurious
3. In the title on preference of
credits when the properties of the
debtor are not sufficient for his
debt

CRISELDA B. TEOXON SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE RECOLETOS-MANILA COLLEGE OF LAW