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Milagros Morada was working as a stewardess for Saudia Arabian Airlines. In 1990,
while she and some co-workers were in a lay-over in Jakarta, Indonesia, an Arab coworker tried to rape her in a hotel room. Fortunately, a roomboy heard her cry for
help and two of her Arab co-workers were arrested and detained in Indonesia. Later,
Saudia Airlines re-assigned her to work in their Manila office. While working in
Manila, Saudia Airlines advised her to meet with a Saudia Airlines officer in Saudi.
She did but to her surprise, she was brought to a Saudi court where she was
interrogated and eventually sentenced to 5 months imprisonment and 289 lashes;
she allegedly violated Muslim customs by partying with males. The Prince of Makkah
got wind of her conviction and the Prince determined that she was wrongfully
convicted hence the Prince absolved her and sent her back to the Philippines.
Saudia Airlines later on dismissed Morada. Morada then sued Saudia Airlines for
damages under Article 19 and 21 of the Civil Code. Saudia Airlines filed a motion to
dismiss on the ground that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the case because the
applicable law should be the law of Saudi Arabia. Saudia Airlines also prayed for
other reliefs under the premises.
RULING: No. Firstly, the RTC has acquired jurisdiction over Saudia Airlines when the
latter filed a motion to dismiss with petition for other reliefs. The asking for other
reliefs effectively asked the court to make a determination of Saudia Airliness rights
hence a submission to the courts jurisdiction.
Secondly, the RTC has acquired jurisdiction over the case because as alleged in the
complaint of Morada, she is bringing the suit for damages under the provisions of
our Civil Law and not of the Arabian Law. Morada then has the right to file it in the
QC RTC because under the Rules of Court, a plaintiff may elect whether to file an
action in personam (case at bar) in the place where she resides or where the
defendant resides. Obviously, it is well within her right to file the case here because
if shell file it in Saudi Arabia, it will be very disadvantageous for her (and of course,
again, Philippine Civil Law is the law invoked).
Thirdly, one important test factor to determine where to file a case, if there is a
foreign element involved, is the so called locus actus or where an act has been
done. In the case at bar, Morada was already working in Manila when she was
summoned by her superior to go to Saudi Arabia to meet with a Saudia Airlines
officer. She was not informed that she was going to appear in a court trial. Clearly,
she was defrauded into appearing before a court trial which led to her wrongful
conviction. The act of defrauding, which is tortuous, was committed in Manila and
this led to her humiliation, misery, and suffering. And applying the torts principle in
a conflicts case, the SC finds that the Philippines could be said as a situs of the tort
(the place where the alleged tortious conduct took place).



Edward E. Christensen, though born in New York, migrated to California, where he

resided and consequently was considered a California citizen. In 1913, he came to
the Philippines where he became a domiciliary until his death. However, during the
entire period of his residence in this country he had always considered himself a
citizen of California. In his will executed on March 5, 1951, he instituted an
acknowledged natural daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen as his only heir, but left a
legacy of sum of money in favor of Helen Christensen Garcia who was rendered to
have been declared acknowledged natural daughter. Counsel for appellant claims
that California law should be applied; that under California law, the matter is
referred back to the law of the domicile; that therefore Philippine law is ultimately
applicable; that finally, the share of Helen must be increased in view of the
successional rights of illegitimate children under Philippine law. On the other hand,
counsel for the heir of Christensen contends that inasmuch as it is clear that under
Article 16 of our Civil Code, the national law of the deceased must apply, our courts
must immediately apply the internal law of California on the matter; that under
California law there are no compulsory heirs and consequently a testator could
dispose of any property possessed by him in absolute dominion and that finally,
illegitimate children not being entitled to anything and his will remain undisturbed.
The court in deciding to grant more successional rights to Helen said in effect that
there are two rules in California on the matter: the internal law which should apply
to Californians domiciled in California; and the conflict rule which should apply to
Californians domiciled outside of California. The California conflict rule says: If
there is no law to the contrary in the place where personal property is situated, is
deemed to follow the person of its owner and is governed by the law of his
domicile. Christensen being domiciled outside California, the law of his domicile,
the Philippines, ought to be followed. Where it is referred back to California, it will
form a circular pattern referring to both country back and forth.
Petitioner Alice Van Dorn is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent
Richard Upton is a citizen of the USA. They were married in Hongkong in 1972 and
begot two children. The parties were divorced in Nevada, USA in 1982. Alice has
then re-married also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn.
In 1983, Richard filed suit against Alice in the RTC-Pasay, stating that Alices
business in Ermita, Manila is conjugal property of the parties, and asking that Alice
be ordered to render an accounting of that business, and that Richard be declared
with right to manage the conjugal property.
Alice 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: Judge Romillo) denied the MTD 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?
HELD: Petition is granted, and respondent Judge is hereby ordered to dismiss the
For the resolution of this case, it is not necessary to determine whether the property
relations between Alice and Richard, 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 to agree to the divorce on the ground of incompatibility in the
understanding that there were neither community property nor community
As explicitly stated in the Power of Attorney he executed in favor of the law firm of
KARP & GRAD LTD. to represent him in the divorce proceedings:
xxx xxx xxx
You are hereby authorized to accept service of Summons, to file an Answer, appear
on my behalf and do all things necessary and proper to represent me, without
further contesting, subject to the following:
1. That my spouse seeks a divorce on the ground of incompatibility.
2. That there is no community of property to be adjudicated by the Court.
3. That there are no community obligations to be adjudicated by the court.
xxx xxx xxx
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. 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

It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil
Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces
the same being considered contrary to our concept of public police and morality.
However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the
Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. In this case, the
divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from the
standards of American law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage.
Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of
petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioners
husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is bound by the
Decision of his own countrys 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.
Pilapil vs. Ibay-Somera
FACTS: Petitioner Imelda Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, and private respondent Erich
Geiling, a German national, were married in Germany. After about three and a half
years of marriage, such connubial disharmony eventuated in Geiling initiating a
divorce proceeding against Pilapil in Germany. The Local Court, Federal Republic of
Germany, 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, Geiling filed two
complaints for adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging in one that, while
still married to said Geiling, Pilapil had an affair with a certain William Chia. The
Assistant Fiscal, after the corresponding investigation, recommended the dismissal
of the cases on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. However, upon review, the
respondent city fiscal Victor approved a resolution directing the filing of 2 complaint
for adultery against the petitioner. The case entitled PP Philippines vs. Pilapil and
Chia was assigned to the court presided by the respondent judge Ibay-Somera.
A motion to quash was filed in the same case which was denied by the respondent.
Pilapil filed this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for a
TRO, seeking the annulment of the order of the lower court denying her motion to
As cogently argued by Pilapil, Article 344 of the RPC thus presupposes that the
marital relationship is still subsisting at the time of the institution of the criminal
action for adultery.
ISSUE: Did Geiling have legal capacity at the time of the filing of the complaint for
adultery, considering that it was done after obtaining a divorce decree?

HELD: WHEREFORE, the questioned order denying petitioners MTQ is SET ASIDE
and another one entered DISMISSING the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The
TRO issued in this case is hereby made permanent.
NO. Under Article 344 of the RPC, the crime of adultery cannot be prosecuted
except upon a sworn written complaint filed by the offended spouse. It has long
since been established, with unwavering consistency, that compliance with this rule
is a jurisdictional, and not merely a formal, requirement.

Corollary to such exclusive grant of power to the offended spouse to institute the
action, it necessarily follows that such initiator must have the status, capacity or
legal representation to do so at the time of the filing of the criminal action. This is a
logical consequence since the raison detre of said provision of law would be absent
where the supposed offended party had ceased to be the spouse of the alleged
offender at the time of the filing of the criminal case.
Stated differently, the inquiry would be whether it is necessary in the
commencement of a criminal action for adultery that the marital bonds between the
complainant and the accused be unsevered and existing at the time of the
institution of the action by the former against the latter.
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 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.
Llorente vs. CA
Lorenzo Llorente and petitioner Paula Llorente were married in 1937 in the
Philippines. Lorenzo was an enlisted serviceman of the US Navy. Soon after, he left
for the US where through naturalization, he became a US Citizen. Upon his visitation
of his wife, he discovered that she was living with his brother and a child was born.
The child was registered as legitimate but the name of the father was left blank.
Llorente filed a divorce in California, which later on became final. He married Alicia
and they lived together for 25 years bringing 3 children. He made his last will and
testament stating that all his properties will be given to his second marriage. He
filed a petition of probate that made or appointed Alicia his special administrator of
his estate. Before the proceeding could be terminated, Lorenzo died. Paula filed a
letter of administration over Llorentes estate. The trial granted the letter and
denied the motion for reconsideration. An appeal was made to the Court of Appeals,
which affirmed and modified the judgment of the Trial Court that she be declared

co-owner of whatever properties, she and the deceased, may have acquired during
their 25 years of cohabitation.
ISSUE: Whether or not the National Law shall apply.
RULING: Lorenzo Llorente was already an American citizen when he divorced Paula.
Such was also the situation when he married Alicia and executed his will. As stated
in Article 15 of the civil code, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, provided that they
are validly required in their National Law. Thus the divorce obtained by Llorente is
valid because the law that governs him is not Philippine Law but his National Law
since the divorce was contracted after he became an American citizen. Furthermore,
his National Law allowed divorce.
The case was remanded to the court of origin for determination of the intrinsic
validity of Lorenzo Llorentes will and determination of the parties successional
rights allowing proof of foreign law.


Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian Citizen, in
Malabon, Rizal on March 1, 1987. They lived as husband and wife in Australia.
However, an Australian family court issued purportedly a decree of divorce,
dissolving the marriage of Rederick and Editha on May 18, 1989.
On January 12, 1994, Rederick married Grace J. Garcia where it was solemnized at
Our lady of Perpetual Help Church, Cabanatuan City. Since October 22, 1995, the
couple lived separately without prior judicial dissolution of their marriage. As a
matter of fact, while they were still in Australia, their conjugal assets were divided
on May 16, 1996, in accordance with their Statutory Declarations secured in
Grace filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of
bigamy on March 3, 1998, claiming that she learned only in November 1997,
Redericks marriage with Editha Samson.
ISSUE: Whether the decree of divorce submitted by Rederick Recio is admissible as
evidence to prove his legal capacity to marry petitioner and absolved him of
The nullity of Redericks marriage with Editha as shown by the divorce decree
issued was valid and recognized in the Philippines since the respondent is a

naturalized Australian. However, there is absolutely no evidence that proves

respondents legal capacity to marry petitioner though the former presented a
divorce decree. The said decree, being a foreign document was inadmissible to
court as evidence primarily because it was not authenticated by the consul/
embassy of the country where it will be used.
Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, a writing or document may be proven as a
public or official record of a foreign country by either:
(1) an official publication or
(2) a copy thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the document. If
the record is not kept in the Philippines, such copy must be:
(a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer
in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in which the record
is kept and
(b) authenticated by the seal of his office.
Thus, the Supreme Court remands the case to the Regional Trial Court of
Cabanatuan City to receive or trial evidence that will conclusively prove
respondents legal capacity to marry petitioner and thus free him on the ground of
Respondent claims that the Australian divorce decree, which was validly admitted
as evidence, adequately established his legal capacity to marry under Australian
law. However, there are two types of divorce, absolute divorce terminating the
marriage and limited divorce merely suspending the marriage. In this case, it is not
known which type of divorce the respondent procured.
Case remanded to the court a quo. The marriage between the petitioner and
respondent can not be declared null and void based on lack of evidence
conclusively showing the respondents legal capacity to marry petitioner. With the
lack of such evidence, the court a quo may declare nullity of the parties marriage
based on two existing marriage certificates.
Cipriano Orbecido III was married with Lady Myros Villanueva on May 24, 1981 at
the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Ozamis City. They had a son and a
daughter named Kristoffer and Kimberly, respectively. In 1986, the wife left for US
bringing along their son Kristoffer. A few years later, Orbecido discovered that his
wife had been naturalized as an American citizen and learned from his son that his
wife sometime in 2000 had obtained a divorce decree and married a certain Stanley.

He thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking
Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code.
ISSUE: Whether or not Orbecido can remarry under Article 26 of the Family Code.
HELD: The court ruled that taking into consideration the legislative intent and
applying the rule of reason, Article 26 Par.2 should be interpreted to include cases
involving parties who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino
citizens, but later on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and
obtains a divorce decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry
as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the
Hence, the courts unanimous decision in holding Article 26 Par 2 be interpreted as
allowing a Filipino citizen who has been divorced by a spouse who had acquired a
citizenship and remarried, also to remarry under Philippine law.