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CAGANDAHAN, Respondent.
G.R. No. 166676( September 12, 2008)
Jennifer Cagandahan was registered as a female in her Certificate of Live Birth who
suffered from clitoral hypertrophy during her childhood years and was diagnosed that her
ovarian structures had minimized. Likewise, she has no breast nor menstruation.
Subsequently, she was diagnosed of having Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), a condition
where those afflicted possess secondary male characteristics because of too much secretion of
male hormones, androgen. According to her, for all interests and appearances as well as in
mind and emotion, she has become a male person. And according to her doctor (Dr. Sionzon),
respondent’s condition is permanent and recommended the change of gender because
respondent has made up her mind, adjusted to her chosen role as male, and the gender change
would be advantageous to her.
She filed a petition at RTC Laguna for Correction of Entries in her Birth Certificate such
that her gender or sex be changed to male and her first name be changed to Jeff.
The OSG contends that the petition below is fatally defective for non-compliance with
Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules of Court because while the local civil registrar is an
indispensable party in a petition for cancellation or correction of entries under Section 3, Rule
108 of the Rules of Court, respondent’s petition before the court a quo did not implead the local
civil registrar
whether the trial court erred in ordering the correction of entries in the birth certificate of
respondent to change her sex or gender, from female to male, on the ground of her medical
condition known as CAH, and her name from “Jennifer” to “Jeff,” under Rules 103 and 108 of
the Rules of Court.
HELD No. This Court has held that a change of name is not a matter of right but of judicial
discretion, to be exercised in the light of the reasons adduced and the consequences that will
follow.[28] The trial court’s grant of respondent’s change of name from Jennifer to Jeff implies a
change of a feminine; that “compassionate calls for recognition of the various degrees of
intersex as variations which should not be subject to outright denial. SC is of the view that
where the person is biologically or naturally intersex the determining factor in his gender
classification would be what the individual, having reached the age of majority, with good reason
thinks of his/her sex. As in this case, respondent, thinks of himself as a male and considering
that his body produces high levels of male hormones, there is preponderant biological support
for considering him as being a male. Sexual development in cases of intersex persons makes
the gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons,
like respondent, is fixed”; and that in so ruling we do no more than give respect to (1) the
diversity of nature; and (2) how an individual deals with what nature has handed out. In other
words, we respect respondent’s congenital condition and his mature decision to be a male. Life
is already difficult for the ordinary person. We cannot but respect how respondent deals with

his unordinary state and thus help make his life easier, considering the unique circumstances in
this case.
G.R. No. 174689

October 22, 2007

Petitioner Rommel alleged that he was born and registered as male in the City of Manila.
He admitted that he is a male transsexual, that is, “anatomically male but feels, thinks and acts
as a “female” and that he had always identified himself with girls since childhood. He underwent
psychological examination, hormone treatment, breast augmentation and sex reassignment
surgery. From then on, petitioner lived as female and was in fact engaged to be married. He
then sought to have his name in his birth certificate changed from Rommel Jacinto to Mely, and
his sex from male to female. The trial court rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner. The
RTC ruled that it should be granted based on equity; that no harm, injury or prejudice will be
caused to anybody or the community in granting the petition; hat there was no opposition to his
petition (even the OSG did not make any basis for opposition at this point); and granting the
petition would bring the much-awaited happiness on the part of Silverio and [her] fiancé and the
realization of their dream
Republic of the Philippines thru the OSG filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of
Appeals. CA rendered a decision in favor of the Republic.
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to change his first name and sex in his birth certificate.

No. The Supreme Court ruled that the change of such entries finds no support in existing
legislation. A change of name is a privilege and not a right. It may be allowed in cases where the
name is ridiculous, tainted with dishonor, or difficult to pronounce or write; a nickname is
habitually used; or if the change will avoid confusion. The petitioner’s basis of the change of his
name is that he intends his first name compatible with the sex he thought he transformed
himself into thru surgery. The Court says that his true name does not prejudice him at all, and
no law allows the change of entry in the birth certificate as to sex on the ground of sex
reassignment. The Court denied the petition.

&LORNAESTRELLA,Respondents G.R. No. 164774
April 12, 2006
Respondents were hired after they were found fit for the job, but were asked to resign
when they married a co-employee. Petitioners failed to show how the marriage of Simbol, then a
Sheeting Machine Operator, to AlmaDayrit, then an employee of the Repacking Section, could
be detrimental to its business operations. Neither did petitioners explain how this detriment will
happen in the case of Wilfreda Comia, then a Production Helper in the Selecting Department,
who married Howard Comia, then a helper in the cutter-machine. The policy is premised on the
mere fear that employees married to each other will be less efficient.
Petitioners contend that their policy will apply only when one employee marries a co-employee,
but they are free to marry persons other than co-employees.
whether the policy of the employer banning spouses from working in the same company violates
the rights of the employee under the Constitution and the Labor Code or is a valid exercise of
management prerogative.
YES. The Court held that The questioned policy may not facially violate Article 136 of the
Labor Code but it creates a disproportionate effect and under the disparate impact theory, the
only way it could pass judicial scrutiny is a showing that it is reasonable despite the
discriminatory, albeit disproportionate, effect. The failure of petitioners to prove a legitimate
business concern in imposing the questioned policy cannot prejudice the employee’s right to be
free from arbitrary discrimination based upon stereotypes of married persons working together
in one company
These courts find the no-spouse employment policy invalid for failure of the employer to
present any evidence of business necessity other than the general perception that spouses in
the same workplace might adversely affect the business. They hold that the absence of such
a bona fide occupational qualification invalidates a rule denying employment to one spouse
due to the current employment of the other spouse in the same office.
Thus, they rule that unless the employer can prove that the reasonable demands of the
business require a distinction based on marital status and there is no better available or
acceptable policy which would better accomplish the business purpose, an employer may not

discriminate against an employee based on the identity of the employee’s spouse. This is
known as the bona fide occupational qualification exception.

G.R. No. 162994

September 17, 2004

Glaxo gave Tecson several chances to eliminate the conflict of interest brought about by his
relationship with Bettsy. When their relationship was still in its initial stage, Tecson’s supervisors
at Glaxo constantly reminded him about its effects on his employment with the company and on
the company’s interests. After Tecson married Bettsy, Glaxo gave him time to resolve the conflict
by either resigning from the company or asking his wife to resign from Astra. Glaxo even
expressed its desire to retain Tecson in its employ because of his satisfactory performance and
suggested that he ask Bettsy to resign from her company instead. Glaxo likewise acceded to his
repeated requests for more time to resolve the conflict of interest. When the problem could not
be resolved after several years of waiting, Glaxo was constrained to reassign Tecson to a sales
area different from that handled by his wife for Astra. Notably, the Court did not terminate
Tecson from employment but only reassigned him to another area where his home province,
Agusan del Sur, was included. In effecting Tecson’s transfer, Glaxo even considered the welfare
of Tecson’s family
Whether or not the policy of a pharmaceutical company prohibiting its employees from marrying
employees of any competitor company is valid
(1) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that Glaxo’s policy against its employees
marrying employees from competitor companies is valid, and in not holding that said policy
violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution; (2) Whether Tecson was constructively

Yes. The Court held that The prohibition against personal or marital relationships with
employees of competitor companies upon Glaxo’s employees is reasonable under the
circumstances because relationships of that nature might compromise the interests of the
company. In laying down the assailed company policy, Glaxo only aims to protect its interests
against the possibility that a competitor company will gain access to its secrets and procedures.

Indeed, while our laws endeavor to give life to the constitutional policy on social justice and the
protection of labor, it does not mean that every labor dispute will be decided in favor of the
workers. The law also recognizes that management has rights which are also entitled to respect
and enforcement in the interest of fair play.21

THE HONORABLE ALICIA V. SEMPIO-DIY (as presiding judge of the Juvenile and
Domestic Relations Court of Caloocan City) and KARL HEINZ WIEGEL, respondents
G.R. No. L-53703 August 19, 1986

Lilia Olivia Wiegel got married to Karl Heinz Wiegel on July 1978 at the Holy Catholic Apostolic
Christian Church in Makati. Karl, upon learning that Lilia had a subsisting marriage, filed for a
declaration of nullity of their marriage. Lilia contracted her first marriage with Eduardo Maxion on
June 25, 1972. She claims that the first marriage is not valid because they were forced to enter
the union and Maxion was married to someone else at that time.

WON Lilia’s first marriage is void
No. The Court held that it is voidable. There is no need for petitioner to prove that her
first marriage was vitiated by force committed against both parties because assuming this to be
so, the marriage will not be void but merely viodable (Art. 85, Civil Code), and therefore valid
until annulled. Since no annulment has yet been made, it is clear that when she married
respondent she was still validly married to her first husband, consequently, her marriage to
respondent is VOID (Art. 80, Civil Code).

There is likewise no need of introducing evidence about the existing prior marriage of
her first husband at the time they married each other, for then such a marriage though void still
needs according to this Court a judicial declaration of such fact and for all legal intents and
purposes she would still be regarded as a married woman at the time she contracted her

marriage with respondent Karl Heinz Wiegel; accordingly, the marriage of petitioner and
respondent would be regarded VOID under the law.

VILLAMORA, complainants,
Clerk of Court II, both of the Municipal Trial Court of Tinambac, Camarines
Sur, respondents.
Complainants alleged that respondent Judge solemnized 6 marriages even without the
requisite marriage license. As a consequence, their marriage contracts did not reflect any
marriage license number. The respondent Judge did not sign their marriage contracts and did
not indicate the date of solemnization, the reason being that he allegedly had to wait for the
marriage license to be submitted by the parties which was usually several days after the
ceremony.Indubitably, the marriage contracts were not filed with the local civil registrar.Thus,
complainants filed an administrative complaint to the Office of the Court Administrator
against Judge Palaypayon and Nelia Baroy, respondents,includes also the following
1.Illegal solemnization of marriage
2.Falsification of the monthly reports of cases
3.Bribery in consideration of an appointment in court
4.Non-issuance of receipt for cash bond received5.Infidelity in the custody of
detained prisoners, and6.Requiring payment of filing fees from exempted entitie
Whether or not respondent judge is liable of illegal solemnization of marriage

Yes. The Court held that By solemnizing alone a marriage without a marriage license
he as the solemnizing officer is the one responsible for the irregularity in not complying (with)
the formal requ(i)sites of marriage and under Article 4(3) of the Family Code of the Philippines,
he shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable.
On the charge regarding illegal marriages the Family Code pertinently provides that the
formal requisites of marriage are, inter alia, a valid marriage license except in the cases
provided for therein. 7 Complementarily, it declares that the absence of any of the essential or
formal requisites shall generally render the marriage void ab initio and that, while an irregularity
in the formal requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage, the party or parties
responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable
The civil aspect is addressed to the contracting parties and those affected by the illegal
marriages, and what we are providing for herein pertains to the administrative liability of
respondents, all without prejudice to their criminal responsibility. The Revised Penal Code
provides that "(p)riests or ministers of any religious denomination or sect, or civil authorities who
shall perform or authorize any illegal marriage ceremony shall be punished in accordance with
the provisions of the Marriage Law." 9 This is of course, within the province of the prosecutorial
agencies of the Government
IRENEO G. GERONIMO, petitioner,
G.R. No. 105540 July 5, 1993
Graciana Geronimo died without a will leaving neither descendants nor ascendants.
Ireneo Geronimo, the brother of the decedent, filed a petition for letter of administration of the
estate of Graciana Geronimo-Esman. A petition was filed be Ireneo Geronimo (petitioner)
naming as one of the heirs oppositor Antonio Esman and describing the latter as “husband of
the deceased. However, petitioner contends that the marriage between her (sic) deceased
sister and oppositor Antonio A. Esman was null and void since there was no marriage license
issued to the parties at the time the marriage was celebrated as there was no marriage license
obtained by the spouses Esman because the copies of the marriage contract he presented did
not state the marriage license number. But this was refuted by the respondent when he
presented a copy of the marriage contract on file with the National Archives and Records
Sectionwhere the marriage license numbe does appear Petitioner tried to assail this piece of
evidence by presenting ," a certification of the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Pasay City
that Marriage License No. 5038770 was issued on 1 October 1976 in favor of Edwin G.
Tolentino and Evangelina Guadiz.

Whether or not the marriage between Graciana Geronimo and Antonio A. Esman was
Yes. The Court held that serial numbers printed or used in a particular year are the
same numbers used in the succeeding years when the same forms are again printed for
distribution. However, the distribution of the serially-numbered forms do not follow the same
pattern and that the evidence adduced by the petitioner could only serve to prove the nonrecording of the marriage license number but certainly not the non-issuance of the license itself.
Thus, there was a valid marriage license issued, error in the recording of the serial number of
the license does not tantamount to an invalid marriage.

G.R. No. 167746 August 28, 2007
Petitioner filed for an annulment of marriage against respondent Rosita A. Alcantara
alleging that on 8 December 1982 he and respondent, without securing the required marriage
license, went to the Manila City Hall for the purpose of looking for a person who could arrange a
marriage for them. They met a person who, for a fee, arranged their wedding before a certain
priest. They got married on the same day. They went through another marriage ceremony in a
church in Tondo, Manila, on 26 March 1983. The marriage was likewise celebrated without the
parties securing a marriage license. The alleged marriage license, procured in Carmona, Cavite,
appearing on the marriage contract, is a sham, as neither party was a resident of Carmona, and
they never went to Carmona to apply for a license. In 1988, they parted ways and lived separate
lives. Petitioner prayed that after due hearing, judgment be issued declaring their marriage void
and ordering the Civil Registrar to cancel the corresponding marriage contract and its entry on
Rosita asserted the validity of their marriage and maintained that there was a marriage
license issued as evidenced by a certification from the Office of the Civil Registry of Carmona,
Cavite. Petitioner has a mistress with whom he has three children. Petitioner only filed the
annulment of their marriage to evade prosecution for concubinage.
After hearing, the trial court dismissed the petition for lack of merit. The CA affirmed the

Whether or not the marriage license issued in Carmona Cavite was valid.
Yes. The Court held that to be considered void on the ground of absence of a marriage
license, the law requires that the absence of such marriage license must be apparent on the
marriage contract, or at the very least, supported by a certification from the local civil registrar
that no such marriage license was issued to the parties; that in this case, the marriage contract
between the petitioner and respondent reflects a marriage license number. A certification to this
effect was also issued by the local civil registrar of Carmona, Cavite.[25] The certification
moreover is precise in that it specifically identified the parties to whom the marriage license was
issued, namely Restituto Alcantara and Rosita Almario, further validating the fact that a license
was in fact issued to the parties herein; that an irregularity in any of the formal requisites of
marriage does not affect its validity but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity are
civilly, criminally and administratively liable; and that “Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio - The
presumption is always in favor of the validity of the marriage. Every intendment of the law or fact
leans toward the validity of the marriage bonds. The Courts look upon this presumption with
great favor. It is not to be lightly repelled; on the contrary, the presumption is of great weight.

CORAZON NEGRE, complainant,
FELIX A. RIVERA, Municipal Judge of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, respondent.
A.M. No. 343-MJ June 22, 1976
Corazon Negre of Magsingal, Ilocos Sur and Amado Orpilla, a married man and a teacher at a
vocational school located at Allacapan, Cagayan,had allegedly raped Miss Negre in a hotel at
Laoag City. Negre reported the case to the NBI Regional Office at Laoag City.
Marriage was allegedly solemnized when Negre and Orpilla had filed applications for a
marriage license with the local civil registrar of Bacarra. However, no license was issued
because it turned out that Orpilla is a married man. Orpilla had misrepresented to Judge Rivera
that he was single. The marriage contract was already signed by the parties when it was
presented to Judge Rivera.
Director Jolly R. Bugarin of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recommended to
Secretary of Justice Vicente Abad Santos that Felix A. Rivera, the municipal judge of Bacarra,
Ilocos Norte, be administratively charged for having performed an illegal marriage ceremony
(there was no marriage license).

Whether or not Judge Rivera who performed an illegal marriage ceremony be held liable.

The Court held that respondent's explanation and the dismissal of the criminal case
against him do not totally absolve him from the charge that he acted irregularly in signing a
marriage contract although no marriage license had been issued; that He acted imprudently in
signing the marriage contract. It seems that in doing so he acted without malice. At the time he
signed the contract the parties had pending applications for a marriage license in the office of
the local civil registrar. The respondent assumed that a marriage license would be issued in due
course after the expiration of ten days or on September 15, 1972. Lack of malice mitigates
respondent's negligence or indiscretion.

MORA BITDU, defendant-appellant.
G.R. No. L-38230
November 21, 1933
The 17 years old defendant was married to Moro Halid before an Imam in Zamboanga in
accordance with Mohammedan rites more than 12 years ago. About 7 months, she was also
married to Moro Hajirol before a Hadji, in accordance to Mohammedan tradition. She claims
thatshe contracted her second marriage only after her divorce with her first husband, this
havingtaken place before Datu Gaviao. She was charged with bigamy, though the Solicitor
Generalagreed with the appellant’s lawyer in recognizing that she did not possess the criminal
intent to be considered guilty of the crime. Nevertheless, her divorce was not recognized, and
the courtheld the opinion of having Bitdu sent to the Philippine Training School in Mandaluyong,
untilshe reaches the age of majority
1. Whether or not the alleged divorce took place in accordance with Mohammedan

2. Assuming that the divorce took place in accordance with such customs, is such divorce
1. 1. Yes. The court however is of the opinion that even if the divorce alleged by the defense
was secured in conformity with Mohammedan doctrines, such divorce cannot prevail against
the Divorce Law of the Philippine Islands prescribing the causes and conditions under which
divorce may be obtained. In this case, as above demonstrated, the divorce in question has
not been obtained in accordance with the law;;
2. No. The Court held that a valid divorce can be granted only by the courts and for the
reasons specified in Act No. 2710. It is not claimed that the appellant was divorced from
her first husband in accordance with said Act; that Section 25 of the Marriage Law (Act
No. 3613) provides that marriages between Mohammedans may be performed in
accordance with the rites or practice of their religion, but there is no provision of law
which authorizes the granting of divorces in accordance with the rites or practices of
their religion.
The Court carefully distinguished between a mistake of fact from a mistake of law. A mistake of
fact could be a basis for the defense of good faith in a bigamy case. On the other hand, a
mistake of law does not excuse a person, even a lay person, from liability. In this case, the
accused had obtained a divorce under Mohammedan custom. The Court held that even if the
accused honestly believed she was not committing any violation of the law in contracting her
second marriage, and that she had no criminal intent, these did not justify her act.
The Court also ruled that everyone is presumed to know the law. The lack of knowledge that the
act constitutes a violation of the law does not exempt a person from the consequences.

ENGRACE NIÑAL for Herself and as Guardian ad Litem of the minors BABYLINE NIÑAL,
BAYADOG, respondent.
[G.R. No. 133778. March 14, 2000]

Pepito married his second wife Norma a year and eight months after his first wife
Teodulfa’s death as Pepito shot her. Pepito and Norma got married without any marriage license
because they lived together for 5 years and thus exempt from marriage license. Some years
after, Pepito died in a car accident.

The heirs as petitioners, fearing problems in successional rights (succession only occurs
after the death of an ascendant) due to the second marriage, filed a ‘petition for declaration for
nullity of marriage’ (a.k.a. declaration of nullity of void marriages) between Pepito (deceased)
and Norma using the absence of a marriage license as a legal basis.
The trial court ruled in favor of the respondent on the ground that indeed theFamily Code
is silent as to situation. The Petition should have been filed before the deathof Pepito and not
after his death. Thus, the petitioner appealed to the Supreme Court
1. Whether or not the respondent is right to contend that no need of marriage license was
necessary for Pepito and her have cohabited for at least five years.
2. Whether or not the second marriage of Pepito was void.

The Court held that having determined that the second marriage involved in this case is not
covered by the exception to the requirement of a marriage license, it is void ab initio because
of the absence of such element (marriage license).

2. The marriage of Pepito and Norma is void for absence of the marriage license. They cannot
be exempted even though they instituted an affidavit and claimed that they cohabit for at
least 5 years because from the time of Pepito’s first marriage was dissolved to the time of his
marriage with Norma, only about 20 months had elapsed. Albeit, Pepito and his first wife had
separated in fact, and thereafter both Pepito and Norma had started living with each other
that has already lasted for five years, the fact remains that their five-year period cohabitation
was not the cohabitation contemplated by law. Hence, his marriage to Norma is still void.

LUCIO MORIGO y CACHO, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
[G.R. No. 145226. February 06, 2004]

In Bohol, Morigo and Lucia Barrete were boardmates for 4 years. They became
sweethearts when they lost contacts for a while but then fell in love with each other after
receiving a card from Barrete and by various exchanges of letters. In 1990, they got married at
the Iglesia de Filipina Nacional at Catagdaan, Pilar, Bohol. Barrete went back to Canada for

work and in 1991 she filed petition for divorce in Ontario Canada, which was granted. In 1992,
Morigo married Maria Lumbago at the Virgen sa Barangay Parish, Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
. He subsequently filed a complaint for judicial declaration of nullity on the ground that there
was no marriage ceremony. Morigo was then charged with bigamy and moved for a suspension
of arraignment since the civil case pending posed a prejudicial question in the bigamy case.
Morigo pleaded not guilty claiming that his marriage with Barrete was void ab initio. Petitioner
contented he contracted second marriage in good faith.

Whether or not the first marriage of Morigo with Barrete was void ab initio.
Yes. The Court held that
the exception to the general rule
(even if the first marriage is judicially declared void only after contracting the second
marriage, the second marriage is still bigamous) was applied in the instant case, that is,
no marriage ceremony at all was performed by a duly authorized solemnizing officer; that
Morigo and Barrete merely signed a marriage contract on their own; that the mere private act of
signing a marriage contract bears no semblance to a valid marriage and thus, needs no judicial
declaration of nullity; that such act alone, without more, cannot be deemed to constitute an
ostensibly valid marriage for which petitioner might be held liable for bigamy unless he first
secures a judicial declaration of nullity before he contracts a subsequent marriage.

Respondents. G.R. No. 189998
(August 29, 2012)

Norwegian Christian Harper (30 years old)came to Manila on a business trip. He stayed
at Makati Shangri-la Hotel at Room 1428 and was murdered by a Caucasian male. The latter
was able to trespass into the hotel room of the victim and was then able to murder and rob the
victim. The heirs of the victim blame the hotel's gross negligence in providing the most basic
security system of its guests. Respondents Ellen Johanne Harper and Jonathan Christopher
Harper are the widow and son of Christian Harper, while respondent Rigoberto Gillera is their
authorized representative in the Philippines.
The RTC held in favor of the heirs and ordered Shangri-la to pay damages. CA affirmed
but modified its decision. Accordingly, defendant-appellant is ordered to pay plaintiffs-appellees
the amounts of P52,078,702.50, as actual and compensatory damages; P25,000.00, as
temperate damages; P250,000.00, as attorney’s fees; and to pay the costs of the suit.
Yes. The Court held that the documents involved in this case are all kept in Norway as
these documents have been authenticated by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
they bear the official seal of the Ministry and signature of one, Tanja Sorlie; that the documents
are accompanied by an Authentication by the Consul, Embassy of the Republic of the
Philippines in Stockholm, Sweden to the effect that, Tanja Sorlie is duly authorized to legalize
official documents for the Ministry.
Register of births of both Jonathan Christopher Harper and the late Christian Fredrik
Harper, respectively, wherein the former explicitly declares that Jonathan Christopher is the son
of Christian Fredrik and Ellen Johanne Harper. Said documents bear the signature of the
keeper, Y.
Ayse B. Nordal with the official seal of the Office of the Registrar of Oslo, and the authentication
of Tanja Sorlie of the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo, which were further authenticated by
Consul Marian Jocelyn R. Tirol. In addition, the latter states that said documents are the birth
certificates of Jonathan Christopher Harper and Christian Fredrik Harper issued by the Registrar
Office of Oslo, Norway on March 23, 2004.
Marriage Certificate of Christian Fredrik Harper and Ellen Johanne Harper issued by the
vicar of the Parish of Ullern while Exhibit “R-1” is the Probate Court Certificate from the Oslo
Probate Court, naming Ellen Johanne Harper and Jonathan Christopher Harper as the heirs of
the deceased
Christian Fredrik Harper. The documents are certified true translations into English of the
transcript of the said marriage certificate and the probate court certificate. They were likewise
signed by the authorized government translator of Oslo with the seal of his office; attested by
Tanja Sorlie and further certified by our own Consul.

Conclude that plaintiffs-appellees had substantially complied with the requirements set forth
under the
rules. WE would also like to stress that plaintiffs-appellees herein are residing overseas and are
litigating locally through their representative. While they are not excused from complying with
rules, WE must take into account the attendant reality that these overseas litigants
communicate with their representative and counsel via long distance communication. Add to this
is the fact that
compliance with the requirements on attestation and authentication or certification is no easy
process and completion thereof may vary depending on different factors such as the location of
the requesting
party from the consulate and the office of the record custodian, the volume of transactions in
said offices and even the mode of sending these documents to the Philippines. With these
circumstances under consideration, to OUR minds, there is every reason for an equitable

G.R. No. 99357 January 27, 1992

In the instant case, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal on the ground that it was
filed out of time and that private respondent did not duly file a copy of its notice of appeal with
respondent Court as mandated by Republic Act No. 5434.
Villanueva was admitted to a hospital where she was diagnosed and operated on for
cholecystitis. Subsequently, the latter paid the hospital and doctor's bills in the aggregate sum of
P48,934.05, the same being the actual hospital and professional fees charged to her; and that
private respondent wrongfully refused to pay petitioner the said amount which she is entitled to
recover under the policy.
Villanueva filed a complaint with the Insurance Commission alleging, inter alia, that, in
consideration of the annual payment of P7,535.00, private respondent executed a policy of
sickness and accident insurance;The Insurance Commission, after a review of the evidence
presented, concluded that petitioner's illness, contrary to private respondent's defenses, was not
a pre-existing disease and therefore, is fully compensablePrivate respondent filed a notice of
appeal with the Insurance Commission.
Whether or not the respondent court committed an error in reinstating the appeal when it
has no jurisdiction to do so, no notice of appeal having been filed with it.
Whether or notThe manner of appeal from quasi-judicial bodies has been fixed with the
solemnity of a statute; the Court of Appeals erred in ignoring it. 6
Yes. The Court held that to perfect an appeal, notice must be filed both with the Court of
Appeals and with the board, commission or agency that made or rendered the ruling, award,
order, decision or judgment appealed from. In the instant case, even assuming that a notice of
appeal was seasonably filed with the Insurance Commission, no such notice of appeal was filed
with the Court of Appeals. The said failure of petitioner to comply with the requirements of law
for the perfection of its appeal is fatal to its present remedial attempt. It renders the decision of
the Insurance Commission final and executory and the same can no longer be a subject of
review. 9The Court held that perfection of an appeal in the manner and within the period laid
down by law is not only mandatory but also jurisdictional. 10 The failure to perfect an appeal as
required by the rules has the effect of defeating the right of appeal of a party and precluding the
appellate court from acquiring jurisdiction over the case. The right to appeal is not a natural right
nor a part of due process; it is merely a statutory privilege, and may be exercised only in the
manner and in accordance with the provisions of the law. 12 The party who seeks to avail of the
same must comply with the requirements of the rules. Failing to do so, the right to appeal is
lost. 13
G.R. No. 174451 (October 13, 2009)

Veronica Alcazar in her Complaint for the annulment of her marriage that she was
married (by Rev. Augusto Pabustan) to respondent Rey Alcazar. When they went back to Manila
after the wedding the respondent did not live with petitioner at the latter’s abode. In October 2000,
respondent leftfor Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to work. The couple did not communicate
the whole time he was abroad despite numerous attempts by petitioner to call him. She even
had to find out her husband was coming home to the Philippines from a co-teacher about a
year and a half after respondent leftfor Riyadh. Veronica further averred in her Complaint that
when respondent arrived in the Philippines,the latter did not go home to her in Manila; instead,
respondent proceeded to his parents’ house in Occidental Mindoro. She asserted that from the
time respondent arrived in the Philippines, he never contacted her. Thus, petitioner concluded
that respondent was physically incapable of consummating his marriage with her, providing
sufficient cause for annulment of their marriage pursuant to paragraph5, Article 45 of the Family
Code of the Philippines (Family Code). There was also no more possibility ofreconciliation
between petitioner and respondent. RTC of Malolos City dismissed the Complaint. CA affirmed.

No. The Court held that there is no evidence was presented in the case at bar
to establish that respondent was in any way physically incapable to consummate his marriage
with petitioner; that the Petitioner even admitted during her cross-examination that she and
respondent had sexual intercourse after their wedding and before respondent left for abroad;
that there obviously being no physical incapacity on respondent’s part, then, there is no ground
for annulling petitioner’s marriage to respondent; that Tayag, in evaluating respondent’s
psychological state, had to rely on information provided by petitioner; and that Tayag did not
particularly describe the “pattern of behavior” that showed that respondent indeed had a
Narcissistic Personality Disorder; and that we perceive a simple case of a married couple being
apart too long, becoming strangers to each other, with the husband falling out of love and
distancing or detaching himself as much as possible from his wife.
Thus, the Court denied the petition.

respondent. G.R. No. 160172
February 13, 2008

In 1991, Reinel and Annabelle met became a couple. In September 1994, they applied for a
marriage license but when the couple went back to the Office of the Civil Registrar, the marriage
license had already expired. Thus, in order to push through with the wedding despite of
absence of marriage license, they executed an affidavit dated 13 March 1995 stating that they
had been living together as husband and wife for at least five years. They got married on the
same day. However, they did not live together as husband and wife. In November 1995,
Annabelle gave birth to a daughter, and supported the child on her own. Annabelle then filed a
complaint for support against petitioner before the RTC Pasig. In her complaint, respondent
alleged that she is married to petitioner and that the latter has a responsibility or obligation to
financially support her as his wife and their child. Reinel denied that they are married and
claimed that the marriage is void ab initio because the affidavit they jointly executed is a fake.
And that he was only forced by Annabelle to marry her to avoid the humiliation that the
pregnancy without marriage may bring her.
The trial court ruled that the marriage is not valid because it was solemnized without a
marriage license. However, it declared petitioner as the natural father of the child, and thus
obliged to give her support.
Whether or not the trial court had the jurisdiction to determine the validity of the marriage between
petitioner and respondent in an action for support.
Whether or not the child is the daughter of petitioner.

Yes. The Court held that it is clear from the evidence presented that petitioner and respondent did not have
a marriage license when they contracted their marriage. Instead, they presented an affidavit stating that
they had been living together for more than five years. The falsity of the affidavit cannot be considered as
a mere irregularity in the formal requisites of marriage it is a mere scrap of paper. They were not exempt
from the marriage license requirement. Their failure to obtain and present a marriage license renders their
marriage void ab initio.
Yes. The Court ruled that he Certificate of Live Birth of the child lists petitioner as the father; and that,
petitioner, in an affidavit waiving additional tax exemption in favor of respondent, admitted that he is the
father of the child.


G.R. No. 183896

January 30, 2013

In 1991, Pakistani citizen Syed and Filipino citizen Gloria met in Taiwan. He arrived in
the Philippines an when he was at his mother-in-law’s residence he was told that he was going
to undergo some ceremony, one of the requirements for his stay in the Philippines, but was not
told of the nature of said ceremony where he and Gloria signed a document. He claimed that he
only found out that it was a marriage contract when Gloria told him. He further testified that he
did not go to Carmona, Cavite to apply for a marriage license, and that he had never resided in
that area. In 2003, he went to the Office of the Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite, to check on
their marriage license. The Municipal Civil Registrar, issued a certification stating that the
marriage license number appearing in the marriage contract he submitted was the number of
another marriage license issued to another couple. He also alleged that Gloria had filed bigamy
cases against him in 2001 and 2002.
On the other hand, Gloria presented her own side. Rev. Mario Dauz, a minister of the
Gospel and a brgy captain stated that he is authorized to solemnize marriage and that he was
doing it since 1982 and he is familiar with the requirements. There were two witnesses, one of
them was Atty Sanchez who handed him the marriage license on the day of the wedding. Gloria
testified that a certain Qualin went to their house and said that he will get the marriage license
for them, and after several days returned with an application for marriage license for them to
sign, which she and Syed did. After Qualin returned with the marriage license, they gave the
license to Atty. Sanchez who gave it to Rev. Dauz, the solemnizing officer. Gloria also alleged
that she has a daughter with Syed. She filed a bigamy case because Syed married a certain
Maria Corazon Buenaventura.
The RTC held that no valid marriage license had been issued and neither of the parties
was a resident of Carmona, Cavite. The CA held that there was a valid marriage license.
whether or not a valid marriage license had been issued for the couple.
No. The Court find the RTC to be correct in this instance. Respondent Gloria failed to
present the actual marriage license, or a copy thereof, and relied on the marriage contract as
well as the testimonies of her witnesses to prove the existence of said license. To prove that no
such license was issued, Syed turned to the office of the Municipal Civil Registrar of Carmona,
Cavite which had allegedly issued said license. It was there that he requested certification that
no such license was issued
Thus, as the marriage license, a formal requisite, is clearly absent, the marriage of Gloria and
Syed is void ab initio.

Respondent. G.R. No. 175581 March 28, 2008

On November 24, 1986, Jose and Felisa Dayot were married at the Pasay City
Hall. In lieu of a marriage license, they executed a sworn affidavit that they had
lived together for at least 5years. On August 1990, Jose contracted marriage with a
certain Rufina Pascual. They were both employees of the National Statistics and
Coordinating Board. Felisa then filed on June 1993 an action for bigamy against Jose
and an administrative complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman. On the other
hand, Jose filed a complaint on July 1993 for annulment and/or declaration of nullity
of marriage where he contended that his marriage with Felisa was a sham and his
consent was secured through fraud.
Jose appealed to the Courtof Appeals which rendered a decision declaring
their marriage void ab initio for absence of marriage license. Felisa sought a petition
for review praying that the Court of Appeal’sAmended decision be reversed and set

Whether or not the falsity of an affidavit of marital cohabitation, where the
parties have in truth fallen short of the minimum five-year requirement, effectively
renders the marriage void ab initio for lack of a marriage license.
Yes. The Court held that marriage of Jose and Felisa was entered into
without the requisite marriage license or compliance with the stringent
requirements of a marriage under exceptional circumstance, there is no marriage
license at all; that further, the falsity of the allegation in the sworn affidavit relating
to the period of Jose and Felisa’s cohabitation, which would have qualified their
marriage as an exception to the requirement for a marriage license, cannot be a
mere irregularity, for it refers to a quintessential fact that the law precisely required
to be deposed and attested to by the parties under oath. If the essential matter in
the sworn affidavit is a lie, then it is but a mere scrap of paper, without force and
effect. Hence, it is as if there was no affidavit at all.
As a result, the Court DENIED the petition, declaring the marriage of Jose
Dayot to Felisa Tecson-Dayot void ab initio, without prejudice to their criminal

liability The court also ruled that an action for nullity of marriage is imprescriptible.
The right to impugn marriage does not prescribe and may be raised any time.

A.M. No. MTJ-02-1390

April 11, 2002

Aranes charged respondent Judge Occiano with gross ignorance of the law. The
latter is the presiding judge in Court of Balatan, Camarines Sur. However, he
solemnized the marriage of Aranes and Dominador Orobia on February 17, 2000 at the
couple’s residence in Nabua, Camarines Sur which is outside his territorial jurisdiction
and without the requisite of marriage license.
They lived together as husband and wife on the strength of this marriage until her husband
passed away. However, since the marriage was a nullity, petitioner's right to inherit the "vast
properties" left by Orobia was not recognized. She was likewise deprived of receiving the pensions
of Orobia, a retired Commodore of the Philippine Navy.

In January 5, 2000, it appeared in the records that petitioner and Orobia filed
their application of marriage license on and was stamped that it will be issued on
January 17, 2000 but neither of them claimed it. Also, no record also appeared with the
Office of the Civil Registrar General for the alleged marriage.
Before Judge Occiano started the ceremony, he carefully examined the
documents and first refused to conduct the marriage and advised them to reset the
date considering the absence of the marriage license. However, due to the earnest
pleas of the parties, the influx of visitors and fear that the postponement of the wedding
might aggravate the physical condition of Orobia who just suffered from stroke, he
solemnized the marriage on the assurance of the couple that they will provide the
license that same afternoon. Occiano denies that he told the couple that their marriage
is valid.

Whether or not respondent judge was guilty of solemnizing a marriage without a duly
issued marriage license and for doing so outside his territorial jurisdiction

Yes. The Court held that the territorial jurisdiction of respondent judge is limited to the
municipality of Balatan, Camarines Sur. His act of solemnizing the marriage of petitioner and Orobia
in Nabua, Camarines Sur therefore is contrary to law and subjects him to administrative liability. His
act may not amount to gross ignorance of the law for he allegedly solemnized the marriage out of
human compassion but nonetheless, he cannot avoid liability for violating the law on marriage.
Respondent judge should also be faulted for solemnizing a marriage without the requisite marriage
license. Respondent judge cannot be exculpated despite the Affidavit of Desistance filed by
petitionerDisciplinary actions of this nature do not involve purely private or personal matters. They
can not be made to depend upon the will of every complainant who may, for one reason or another,
condone a detestable act

DOMAGTOY, respondent. [A.M. No. MTJ-96-1088. July 19, 1996]

Municipal Mayor Navarro of Dapa, Surigao del Norte has submitted evidence in relation to two specific
acts committed by Municipal Circuit Trial Court Judge Hernando Domagtoy, which, he contends, exhibits
gross misconduct as well as inefficiency in office and ignorance of the law.
First, on September 27, 1994, respondent judge solemnized the wedding between Gaspar
Tagadan and Arlyn Borga, despite the knowledge that the groom is merely separated from his first wife.
Domagtoy claimed that he merely relied on an affidavit acknowledged before him attesting that Tagadan’s
wife has been absent for seven years. The said affidavit was alleged to have been sworn to before
another judge.
Second, it is alleged that he performed a marriage ceremony between Floriano Dador Sumaylo
and Gemma G. del Rosario outside his court’s jurisdiction on October 27, 1994. Domagtoy counters that
he solemnized the marriage outside of his jurisdiction upon the request of the parties.

Whether or not Domagtoy acted without jurisdiction.


Yes. The Court held that Gaspar Tagadan did not institute a summary
proceeding for the declaration of his first wife's presumptive death; that with
the absence of this judicial declaration, he remains married to Ida Peñaranda.;
that it was manifest error on the part of respondent judge to have accepted

the joint affidavit submitted by the groom; that such neglect or ignorance of
the law has resulted in a bigamous, and therefore void, marriage. Thu
Respondent judge was ordered by the Court of a six-month suspension.

[G.R. No. 127263. April 12, 2000]

On November 15, 1973 Filipina and Fernando Sy (both 22 years old) contracted
marriage in Quezon City. They had two children: Frederick and Farrah Sheryll. On September
15, 1983, Fernando left the conjugal dwelling. Since then, they lived separately with the children
in the custody of their mother. On February 11, 1987, Filipina filed a petition for legal separation
before the RTC of San Fernando, Pampanga which was later amended to a petition for
separation of property. In 1988, she filed a case of attempted parricide against Fernando.
However, the case was lowered to slight physical injuries as Filipina suffered from hematoma
and contusions on different parts of her body as a result of the blows inflicted by her husband,
evidenced by a Medical Certificate issued by a certain Dr. James Ferraren. She said it was not
the first time Fernando maltreated her. Petitioner filed for a declaration of absolute nullity of
marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity. It was denied. On appeal, she raised the
issue of their marriage being void ab initio for the lack of marriage license. Their marriage
license was obtained on September 17, 1972 while their marriage was celebrated on November
15, 1973. Hence, the marriage license was expired already.

1. Whether or not the marriage between petitioner and private respondent is void from the
beginning for lack of a marriage license at the time of the ceremony; and
2. Whether or not private respondent is psychologically incapacitated at the time of said
marriage celebration to warrant a declaration of its absolute nullity.


Yes. The Court held that on the day of the marriage ceremony, there was no marriage
license; that from the documents she presented, the marriage license was issued on September
17,1974, almost one year after the ceremony took place on November 15, 1973.
Yes. The Court held that it is suggested by their conclusion that the marriage of
petitioner to respondent is void ab initio for lack of a marriage license at the time their marriage
was solemnized.

ORBECIDO III, Respondent. G.R. No. 154380 (October 5, 2005)

In the case at bar, where at the time the marriage was solemnized, the parties were two
Filipino citizens, but later on, the wife was naturalized as an American citizen and subsequently
obtained a divorce granting her capacity to remarry, and indeed she remarried an American
citizen while residing in the U.S.A.

On May 24, 1981Cipriano Orbecido III was married with Lady Myros
Villanueva 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.



Yes. The Court held that taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of
reason, we hold that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 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. To rule otherwise would be to sanction absurdity and
In this case, when Cipriano’s wife was naturalized as an American citizen,
there was still a valid marriage that has been celebrated between her and Cipriano.
As fate would have it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently obtained a valid
divorce capacitating her to remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the application
of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are both present in this case. Thus Cipriano, the
“divorced” Filipino spouse, should be allowed to remarry.
However, since Cipriano was not able to prove as fact his wife’s naturalization he is still barred
from remarrying.

G. R. No. L- 68470 October 8, 1985
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.
After a divorce was granted by a United States court between petitioner Alice Reyes Van
Dorn, a Filipina and her American husband, the latter filed a civil case in a trial court here in the
Philippines alleging that the her business was conjugal property and praying that she be
ordered to render an accounting and that the plaintiff be granted the right to manage the


Whether or not the divorce is valid

Yes. The Court held that divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the
marriage from the standards of American law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage; that
pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner; that 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.

DANDAN,* respondents. [G.R. No. 124862. December 22, 1998]

On 18 May 1941, Fe Quita FE D. QUITA and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, were
married in the Philippine with no children. Quita divorced Padlan in California, USA then Quita
remarried twice (Felix Tupaz and Wernimont). When Padlan (who also remarried and had kids)
died and left a will, she now claims a share from his estate, claiming that the divorce decree
she obtained is not valid as she is a Filipino national. However, respondent Blandina Dandan
(also referred to as Blandina Padlan), claiming to be the surviving spouse of Arturo Padlan, and
Claro, Alexis, Ricardo, Emmanuel, Zenaida and Yolanda, all surnamed Padlan, named in the
petition as surviving children of Arturo Padlan, opposed the petition.
Whether or not petitioner was still entitled to inherit from the decedent considering that she had
secured a divorce in the U.S.A. and in fact had twice remarried.

No. The Court held that once proven that respondent was no longer a Filipino citizen when
he obtained the divorce from petitioner, the ruling in Van Dorn (aliens may obtain divorces
abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their
national law) would become applicable and petitioner could very well lose her right to inherit
from him; that marriage between Blandina and Arturo was contracted when the 1st marriage
between Arturo and Fe was still subsisting, it is considered bigamous and thus void. Blandina is
clearly not the surviving spouse. but as the children of Blandina were all recognized by Arturo as
his children, these children are assured of shares in the intestate estate

HON. CORONA IBAY-SOMERA, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court
of Manila, Branch XXVI; HON. LUIS C. VICTOR, in his capacity as the City Fiscal of Manila;
and ERICH EKKEHARD GEILING, respondents.
G.R. No. 80116 June 30, 1989

On September 7, 1979 ,Filipina Petitioner Pilapil, and private respondent Geiling, a
German national, got married before the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths at
Friedensweiler in the Federal Republic of Germany. They lived together for some time in
Malate, Manila––where their only child Isabella Pilapil Geiling was born on April 20, 1980.
However, on January 15, 1986, Division 20 of the Schoneberg Local Court, Federal Republic of
Germany, promulgated a decree of divorce on the marriage of Pilapil and Geiling on the
ground of failure of their marriage.

On June 27, 1986, Geiling 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”. Several motions for dismissal were filed by Pilapil. She also filed a motion to quash
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
Whether or not private respondent has the legal capacity to initiate an action for
adultery against the petitioner.=[\0987641 `

No. The Court held that as a consequence of the divorce decree, private respondent, being
no longer the husband of the petitioner, had no legal standing to commence the action for
adultery under the imposture that he was the offended spouse at the time he filed the suit.
the severance of the marital bond had the effect of dissociating the former spouses from each
other; hence the actuations of one would not affect or cast disgrace on the other taking into
consideration that said divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines
insofar as respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the
status of persons.

F. LLORENTE, respondents.
[G.R. No. 124371. November 23, 2000]
Nationality Principle: Conflicts Rules
Lorenzo and Paula were married in Camarines Sur before a parish priest. Before the outbreak
of the Pacific War, Lorenzo left for the US Navy while Paula stayed in their conjugal home in
Camarines Sur. Lorenzo was admitted to US citizenship and Certificate of Naturalization was
issued in his favor. When Lorenzo was allowed to visit his wife in the Philippines, he discovered
his wife was pregnant and was “living in” and having an adulterous relationship with his brother,

Ceferino Llorente. Lorenzo refused to forgive Paula and the two drew a written agreement which
essentially shows that Paula admitted her adulterous acts and that the couple agreed to
Lorenzo returned to the US and filed for divorce which was granted. Lorenzo returned to the
Philippines and married Alicia Llorente. Alicia had no knowledge of the first marriage even if they
resided in the same town as Paula, who did not oppose the marriage or cohabitation. Lorenzo
and Alicia lived together for 25 years and produced 3 children.
Before Lorenzo died, he executed a will, which was pending before the probate court,
bequeathing all his property to Alicia and their 3 children. After Lorenzo died, Paula filed with the
same court a petition for letters of administration over his estate in his favor. Alicia filed as well.
RTC found that the divorce decree granted to Lorenzo is void and inapplicable in the Philippines
therefore the marriage he contracted with Alicia is void. CA affirmed.
ISSUE: Whether or not the divorce decree in California is valid.
Yes. The Court held that 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.

In Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr., the court held that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of
the CC, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces, the same being
considered contrary to the concept of public policy and morality. In the same case, the court ruled that
aliens may obtain divorces abroad, provided they are valid according to their national law.
Furthermore, in the case of Quita v. CA, that once proven that respondent was no longer a Filipino citizen
when he obtained the divorce from petitioner, the ruling in Van Dorn would become applicable and
petitioner could very well lose her right to inherit from him.
For failing to apply these doctrines, the decision of the CA must be reversed. The divorce obtained by
Lorenzo from his first wife Paula was valid and recognized in this jurisdiction as a matter of comity. (The
SC remand the case to the TC for ruling on the intrinsic validity of the will is left to the TC.)

WOLFGANG O. ROEHR, petitioner,
Judge of Makati RTC, Branch 149, respondents.
G.R. No. 142820


June 20, 2003

German Citizen Roehr and Filipino Rodriguez, were married in Germany. Such marriage
was subsequently ratified in Negros Occidental. They had 2 children( Carolynne and Alexandra
Kristine). Thereafter, Rodriguez filed a petition for decree of nullity of marriage at the RTC-Makati.
However, Roehr, obtained a decree of divorce from the CFI of Hamburg, Germany. Roehr thus filed
a motion to dismiss the petition for declation of nullity of marriage on the ground that the RTC had
no jurisdiction over the same as a divorce decree had already been promulgated. Judge GuevarraSalonga recognized the divorce decree, however, ordered that its court shall determine still the issue
regarding the custody of the 2 children and the settlement of property relations of the parties.

WON the RTC/Phil. Courts has/have jurisdiction to pass upon matters that spring from a
divorce decree obtained abroad.
Yes. The Court held that the divorce decree issued by the German court dated December
16, 1997 has not been challenged by either of the parties. In fact, save for the issue of parental
custody, even the trial court recognized said decree to be valid and binding, thereby endowing
private respondent the capacity to remarry. Thus, the present controversy mainly relates to the
award of the custody of their two children, Carolynne and Alexandra Kristine, to petitioner.
As a general rule, divorce decrees obtained by foreigners in other countries are recognizable
in our jurisdiction, but the legal effects thereof, e.g. on custody, care and support of the children,
must still be determined by our courts.23 Before our courts can give the effect of res judicata to a
foreign judgment, such as the award of custody to petitioner by the German court, it must be shown
that the parties opposed to the judgment had been given ample opportunity to do so

RECIO, respondent. [G.R. No. 138322. October 2, 2001]
On March 1, 1987Filipino Recio married Australian Samson in Malabon, Rizal, Philippines. They lived as husband and
wife in Australia. A few years later, a decree of divorce, purportedly dissolving the marriage, was issued by an
Australian family court.

After a few years, Recio became an Australian citizen. He married a Garcia in Cabanatuan. However, they
separated without prior judicial dissolution of their marriage. Garcia filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of
marriage on the ground of bigamy. She contends that Recio’s marriage with Samson was still subsisting when they
got married.
Respondent argued that based on the first paragraph of Article 26 of the FC, marriages solemnized abroad
are governed by the law of the place where they were celebrated (the lex loci celebrationis). In effect, the Code
requires the presentation of the foreign law to show the conformity of the marriage in question to the legal
requirements of the place where the marriage was performed.
W/N the Australian divorce decree between Recio and Samson was valid and proven.
No. It was valid but not proven. The Court held that the case be REMANDED in the interest of orderly
procedure and substantial justice, so that respondent can present evidence that he had the legal capacity to marry

Before a foreign judgment is given preseumptive evidentiary value, the document must be 1 st presented and
admitted in evidence. A divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce decree itself. In this case, the
divorce decree between respondent and Editha Samson appears to be an authentic one issued by an
Australian family court. However, appearance is not sufficient; compliance with the pertinent rules on
evidence must be demonstrated1. But since Garcia’s counsel did not object to its admissibility, then the LC
was correct in admitting the evidence of the divorce decree issued by the Australian court.


Burden of Proving Australian Law: The burden of proof lies with “the party who alleges the existence of a
fact or thing necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action.”
The legal capacity to contract marriage is determined by the national law of the party concerned. The
certificate mentioned in Article 21 of the Family Code would have been sufficient to establish the legal
capacity of respondent, had he duly presented it in court. A duly authenticated and admitted certificate is
prima facie evidence of legal capacity to marry on the part of the alien applicant for a marriage license. But
here, Recio has not presented any evidence to prove his legal capacity to marry Garcia.
court a quo may declare a nullity of the parties’ marriage on the ground of bigamy, there being already in evidence two
existing marriage certificates, which were both obtained in the Philippines, one in Malabon, Metro Manila dated March
1, 1987 and the other, in Cabanatuan City dated January 12, 1994.



The divorce decree did not ipso facto clothed respondent with the legal capacity to remarry without requiring
him to adduce sufficient evidence to show the Australian personal law governing his status; or at the very
least, to prove his legal capacity to contract the second marriage.

Foreign Divorce
On April 20, 1979

Vicente and Rebecca were married in Greenhills, Mandaluyong City.

Philippines. The marriage certificate stated that Rebecca was a 26 years old American citizen. Later
on, Rebecca initiated divorce proceedings against her husband in the Dominican Republic. The

1 Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, on the other hand, 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.

Dominican Court issued a decree ordering the dissolution of their marriage and joint custody and
guardianship over their child. Over a year later, the court issued another decree settling the couple’s
property relations.
Less than a month from the issuance of said decrees, Rebecca filed with the Makati RTC a petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage. She later on withdrew said petition and filed another for declaration
of absolute nullity of marriage on the ground of Vicente’s psychological incapacity. She also sought the
dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains with application for support pendente lite for her and
Alix (child).
Vicente filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of lack of cause of action and that the petition
is barred the prior judgment of divorce. Rebecca insists on her Filipino citizenship, as affirmed by the
DOJ and that therefore, there is no valid divorce to speak of.
RTC denied the motion to dismiss and granted Rebecca’s application for support pendente lite.

Whether or not petitioner Rebecca was a Filipino citizen at the time the divorce judgment was
rendered in the Dominican Republic on February 22, 1996; and whether the judgment of divorce is
valid and, if so, what are its consequent legal effects.
There can be no serious dispute that Rebecca, at the time she applied for and obtained her
divorce from Vicente, was an American citizen and remains to be one, absent proof of an effective
repudiation of such citizenship. At the time of the divorce, Rebecca was still to be recognized,
assuming for argument that she was in fact later recognized, as a Filipino citizen, but represented
herself in public documents as an American citizen. At the very least, she chose, before, during, and
shortly after her divorce, her American citizenship to govern her marital relationship.
The petitioner lacks a cause of action for declaration of nullity of marriage, a suit which
presupposes the existence of a marriage. With the valid foreign divorce secured by Rebecca, there is
no more marital tie binding her to Vicente. There is in fine no more marriage to be dissolved or
Given the validity and efficacy of divorce secured by Rebecca, the same shall be given a res
judicata effect in this jurisdiction. As an obvious result of the divorce decree obtained, the
marital vinculum between Rebecca and Vicente is considered severed; they are both freed from the
bond of matrimony. In plain language, Vicente and Rebecca are no longer husband and wife to each
other. As the divorce court formally pronounced
Consequent to the dissolution of the marriage, Vicente could no longer be subject to a
husband’s obligation under the Civil Code. He cannot, for instance, be obliged to live with, observe
respect and fidelity, and render support to Rebecca


Pangasinan, Respondent.
[A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329. March 8, 2001.]


On May 21, 1966, Borja-Mariano was married to the late Manzano. They had four children. On March 22,
1993, however, Manzano contracted another marriage with Luzviminda Payao before Infanta, Pangasinan MTC
Judge Roque Sanchez. During that time, Payao was also married to Domingo Relos. Payao and Manzano issued an
affidavit stating that they were both married however due to incessant quarrels, they both left their families and they
no longer communicated with them. They have lived together as husband and wife for 7 years. As a result,
respondent Judge agreed to solemnize the marriage. On the other hand, Herminia filed charges of gross ignorance of
the law against Sanchez.


Whether or not respondent Judge demonstrated gross ignorance of the law when he solemnized a
void and bigamous marriage

Yes. The Court held that respondent judge ought to know that a subsisting previous marriage (regardless of
the couple being separated) is a diriment impediment which would make the subsequent marriage null and void. And
besides, free and voluntary cohabitation with another for at least five years does not severe the tie of a subsisting
previous marriage.

550 SCRA 435 (March 28, 2008)