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JIMENEZ V. REPUBLIC presumption is in favor of potency.

presumption is in favor of potency.” The lone testimony of the husband that Philippines and are impliedly sanctioned by our Cannons (No. 13) of
109 PHIL 273 his wife is physically incapable of sexual intercourse is insufficient to tear Professional Ethics. (see, also, Ulanday vs. Manila Railroad Co., 45 Phil., 540,
asunder the ties that have bound them together as husband and wife. 554.) Such is, likewise, the rule in the United States (Legal Ethics by Henry S.
FACTS: Drinker, p. 176).
Recto v. Harden
100 Phil 427
1. Plaintiff Joel Jimenez filed a complaint praying of a decree annulling “in the United States, the great weight of authority recognizes the validity of
his marriage with Remedios Canizares. Facts: contracts for contingent fees, provided such contracts are not in contravention
2. He claimed that the orifice of her genitals was too small to allow the of public policy, and it is only when the attorney has taken an unfair or
penetration of a male organ or penis for copulation. Recto and Harden entered into a contract for professional services wherein unreasonable advantage of his client that such a claim is condemned.”
3. He also claimed that the condition of her genitals existed at the time of the latter engaged the services of the former as her counsel against her husband (See 5 Am. Jur. 359 et seq; Ballentine, Law Dictionary, 2nd ed., p. 276.)
marriage and continues to exist. for a claim in their conjugal property. Mr. Harden previously filed for divorce
4. The wife was summoned and served with a copy of the complaint but against the Mrs. The Court awarded Mrs. Harden an amount totaling to almost
she did not file an answer. 4 million pesos plus litis expensae. The third objection is not borne out, either by the language of the contract
5. The court entered an order requiring defendant to submit to a physical between them, or by the intent of the parties thereto. Its purpose was not to
examination by a competent lady physician to determine her physical Subsequently however, Mrs. Harden ordered her counsel to vacate all secure a divorce, or to facilitate or promote the procurement of a divorce.
capacity for copulation. orders and judgments rendered therein, and abandon and nullify all her claims It merely sought to protect the interest of Mrs. Harden in the conjugal
6. Defendant did not submit herself to the examination and the court to the conjugal partnership existing between her and Mr. Harden. Later, she partnership, during the pendency of a divorce suit she intended to file in the
entered a decree annulling the marriage. entered into an amicable settlement with Mr. Harden agreeing to a share of a United States. What is more, inasmuch as Mr. and Mrs. Harden are
7. The City Attorney filed a Motion for Reconsideration, among the lesser amount. admittedly citizens of the United States, their status and the dissolution
grounds that the defendant’s impotency has not been satisfactorily thereof are governed — pursuant to Article 9 of the Civil Code of Spain
established as required by law; that she had not been physically Appellee counsel for Mrs. Harden alleged that the purpose of the said (which was in force in the Philippines at the time of the execution of the
examined because she refused to be examined. instruments, executed by Mr. and Mrs. Harden, was to defeat the claim of the contract in question) and Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines —
former for attorney’s fees, for which reason, he prayed that the court grant him by the laws of the United States, which sanction divorce. In short, the
ISSUE: the necessary fees. contract of services, between Mrs. Harden and herein Appellee, is not contrary
to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy.
Whether or not the marriage may be annulled on the strength only of the lone Appellants assail the contract for professional services as void, mainly, upon It is a basic principle that status, once established by the personal law of
testimony of the husband who claimed and testified that his wife is impotent. the grounds that: the party, is given universal recognition. Therefore, aliens can sue and be
sued in our courts subject to Philippine procedural law even on matters
HELD: 1. that Mrs. Harden cannot bind the conjugal partnership relating to their status and capacity. However, the law to be applied by
without her husband’s consent; c Philippine courts in determining their capacity and status is their personal
2. that Article 1491 of the Civil Code of the Philippines in law.
The law specifically enumerates the legal grounds that must be proved to exist effect prohibits contingent fees; c
by indubitable evidence to annul a marriage. In the case at bar, the annulment The last objection is based upon principles of equity, but, pursuant thereto, one
of the marriage in question was decreed upon the sole testimony of the 3. that the contract in question has for its purpose to secure who seeks equity must come with clean hands (Bastida, et al., vs. Dy Buncio &
husband who was expected to give testimony tending or aiming at securing the a decree of divorce, allegedly in violation of Articles 1305, 1352 and Co., 93 Phil., 195; 30 C.J. S. 475), and Appellants have not done so, for the
annulment of his marriage he sought and seeks. Whether the wife is really 1409 of the Civil Code of the Philippines; circumstances surrounding the case show, to our satisfaction, that their
impotent cannot be deemed to have been satisfactorily established because 4. that the terms of said contract are harsh, inequitable and aforementioned agreements, ostensibly for the settlement of the differences
from the commencement of the proceedings until the entry of the decree she oppressive. between husband and wife, were made for the purpose of circumventing or
had abstained from taking part therein. defeating the rights of herein Appellee, under his above-quoted contract of
Held: services with Mrs. Harden.
Although her refusal to be examined or failure to appear in court show
indifference on her part, yet from such attitude the presumption arising out of The first objection has no foundation in fact, for the contract in dispute
the suppression of evidence could not arise or be inferred because women of does not seek to bind the conjugal partnership. By virtue of said contract, BARNUEVO V. FUSTER
this country are by nature coy, bashful and shy and would not submit to a Mrs. Harden merely bound herself — or assumed the personal obligation — to 29 PHIL 606
physical examination unless compelled to by competent authority. pay, by way of contingent fees, 20% of her share in said partnership. The
contract neither gives, nor purports to give, to the Appellee any right whatsoever, FACTS:
A physical examination in this case is not self-incriminating. She is not charged personal or real, in and to her aforesaid share. The amount thereof is simply a
with any offense . She is not being compelled to be a witness against herself. basis for the computation of said fees. Gabriel and Constanza were married in Spain. Thereafter, Gabriel went to the
Philippines, settled, and acquired real and personal properties. Constanza later
“Impotency being an abnormal condition should not be presumed. The For the same reason, the second objection is, likewise, untenable. Moreover, it followed. A few years however, both parties executed a contract for their
has already been held that contingent fees are not prohibited in the separation wherein the wife returned to Spain and has agreed to be supported
by the husband to be paid in Madrid, Spain. Eventually, the wife instituted a The Courts of First Instance of the Philippine Islands have the power and
petition for divorce here in the Philippines against the husband. The husband As held by the Husband: jurisdiction to try actions for divorce. That of the city of Manila did not lack
opposed the petition on the grounds that: jurisdiction by reason of the subject matter of the litigation.
That by the express provision of article 80 of the Civil Code of Spain,
a. neither the trial court nor any other court in the Philippine "jurisdiction in actions for divorce and nullification of canonical marriages With respect to their property regime, the Foral Law presented by the
Islands has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint, lies with ecclesiastical courts," while that of civil tribunals is limited to civil husband in an affidavit, with which conjugal partnership is known to be
because, as to the allowance for support, since neither the plaintiff marriages; that this being so, the action for divorce brought by the plaintiff in inexistent, cannot apply since this affidavit was never presented in proof,
nor the defendant are residents of Manila, or of any other place in the the cause does not fall within the jurisdiction of the civil courts, according was never received by the trial judge, and cannot seriously be considered
Philippine Islands, the agreement upon the subject was neither to his own law of persons, because these courts ought to apply the Spanish law as an effort to establish the law of a foreign jurisdiction. Sections 300, 301
celebrated, nor was it to be fulfilled, in the Philippine Islands; in accordance with the said article 9 of the Civil Cod of Spain, and this Spanish and 302 of the Code of Civil Procedure, now in force in these islands, indicate
b. and as to the divorce, because the action therefore ought law grants the jurisdiction over the present cause to the ecclesiastical courts, in the method by which the law of a foreign country may be proved. The Court
to be tried by the ecclesiastical courts. the place of which no tribunal of these Islands con subrogate itself. maintains that the affidavit of a person not versed in the law, which was
never submitted as proof, never received by the trial court, and which has
In deciding the case, the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila held itself However, husband was unable to prove by any law or legal doctrine whatever never been subjected to any cross-examination, is not a means of proving
to have jurisdiction, decreed the suspension of life in common between the that the personal statute of a foreigner carries with it, to whether he transfers his a foreign law on which the defendant relies. Thus, since no proof has been
plaintiff and defendant; domicile, the authority established by the law of his nation to decree his divorce, submitted to this effect, all the property of the marriage, says article 1407 of the
which was what he had to demonstrate. Civil Code, shall be considered as conjugal property until it is proven that it
Issue: belongs exclusively to the husband or to the wife.
As the Court upheld:
Do Philippine Courts have jurisdiction over the petition for divorce? ON PLAINTIFF’S APPEAL
What law should apply in construing the term pesetas? "The jurisdiction of courts and other questions relating to procedure are
considered to be of a public nature and consequently are generally submitted to The court did not commit it in applying the rule contained in article 1287 of the
Held: the territorial principle. . . . All persons that have to demand justice in a case in Civil Code. "The usages or customs of the country shall be taken into
which foreigners intervene, since they can gain nothing by a simple declaration, consideration in interpreting ambiguity in contracts. . . ." If in the contract
The lower court did not commit this error attributed to him. The defendant had should endeavor to apply to the tribunales of the state which have coercive the word " pesetas," not being specific, was ambiguous, then it was in harmony
not proved that he had elsewhere a legal domicile other than that which he means (property situated in the territory) to enforce any decision they may with this precept to interpret it as being the peseta then in use or current when
manifestly had in the Philippines during the seventeen years preceding render. Otherwise, one would expose himself in the suit to making useless and where the agreement was made, Mexican being then the usual and
the date of the complaint. On the contrary, it plainly appears, without proof to expenditures which, although he won his case, would not contribute to secure current money in the Philippines.
the contrary, that during this not inconsiderable period, extending from the year his rights because of the court's lack of means to enforce them." (Torres
1892 until a month prior to the arrival of his wife in the Philippines in March, Campos, "Elementos de Derecho International Privado," p. 108.) QUITA V. PADLAN
1909, he had constantly resided in the said Islands, had kept open house, and GR NO. 124371, DECEMBER 22, 1998
had acquired in the city of Manila quite a little real property which is now the The provisions of article 80 of the Civil Law of Spain is only binding within
object of the division of the conjugal society. the dominions of Spain. It does not accompany the persons of the Spanish
subject wherever he may go. He could not successfully invoke it if he resided
It has been established that defendant is domiciled in the Philippines. in Japan, in China, in Hongkong or in any other territory not subject to the FE D. QUITA and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, were married in the
Defendant, although a Spanish subject, was a resident of these Islands. Article dominion of Spain. Foreign Catholics domiciled in Spain, subject to the Philippines on 18 May 1941. They were not however blessed with children.
26 of the Civil Code that he cites itself provides that "Spaniards who change ecclesiastical courts in actions for divorce according to the said article 80 of the Somewhere along the way their relationship soured. Eventually Fe sued Arturo
their domicile to a foreign country, where they may be considered as Civil Code, could not allege lack of jurisdiction by invoking, as the law of for divorce in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. and obtained a final judgment
natives without other conditions than that of residents therein, shall be their personal statute, a law of their nation which gives jurisdiction in such of divorce. She married thrice thereafter.
required, in order to preserve the Spanish nationality, to state that such is a case to territorial courts, or to a certain court within or without the
their wish before the Spanish diplomatic or consular agent, who must territory of their nation. On 1972 Arturo died. He left no will. Respondent Blandina Padlan claiming to
record them in the registry of Spanish residents, as well as their spouses, be the surviving spouse of Arturo Padlan, and Claro, Alexis, Ricardo,
should they be married, and any children they may have." From this Emmanuel, Zenaida and Yolanda, all surnamed Padlan, named in the children
provision, which is the exclusive and irrefutable law governing the defendant, (Benedicto vs. De la Rama, 3 Phil. Rep., 34, and Ibañez vs. Ortiz, 5 Phil. Rep., of Arturo Padlan opposed the petition. Ruperto T. Padlan, claiming to be the sole
we are to conclude that the domicile of the defendant and the plaintiff is fully 325). surviving brother of the deceased Arturo, also intervened.
proven, irrespective of the Treaty of Paris.
In the present action for divorce the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila The court held that no dispute exists as to the right of the six (6) Padlan children
Section 377 of the Code of Civil Procedure leaves to the election of the to inherit from the decedent because there are proofs that they have been duly
plaintiff the bringing of a personal action like the one at bar either in the did not lack jurisdiction over the persons of the litigants, for, although Spanish
Catholic subjects, they were residents of this city and had their domicile herein. acknowledged by him and petitioner herself even recognizes them as heirs of
place where the defendant may reside or be found, or in that where the Arturo Padlan;
plaintiff resides.
Issue: be declared co-owner of whatever properties, she and the deceased, may have
acquired in their 25 years of cohabitation. The following are the requisites of res judicata:
Whether or not petitioner could inherit as the surviving spouse of Arturo? 1. the former judgment must be final;
ISSUE: 2. the court that rendered it had jurisdiction over the subject
matter and the parties;
Held: 3. it is a judgment on the merits; and
4. there is — between the first and the second actions — an
Case remanded subject to determination of petitioner’s citizenship. However, Whether or not national law shall apply? identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action.
Private respondent's claim to heirship was already resolved by the trial court.
She and Arturo were married on 22 April 1947 while the prior marriage of RULING: It has been held that in order that a judgment in one action can be
petitioner and Arturo was subsisting thereby resulting in a bigamous conclusive as to a particular matter in another action between the same
marriage considered void from the beginning under Arts. 80 and 83 of the “Art. 15. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and parties or their privies, it is essential that:
Civil Code. Consequently, she is not a surviving spouse that can inherit from legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even
him as this status presupposes a legitimate relationship. though living abroad. 1. the issue be identical;
2. If a particular point or question is in issue in the second
Case remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings since the trial court action,
“Art. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the 3. and the judgment will depend on the determination of that
was not able to completely ascertain petitioner’s citizenship. The trial court must country where it is situated.
have overlooked the materiality of this aspect. Once proved that she was no particular point or question,
longer a Filipino citizen at the time of their divorce, Van Dorn would 4. a former judgment between the same parties or their
become applicable and petitioner could very well lose her right to inherit First, there is no such thing as one American law. The "national law" indicated privies will be final and conclusive in the second if that same point or
from Arturo. in Article 16 of the Civil Code cannot possibly apply to general American question was in issue and adjudicated in the first suit (Nabus v. Court
law. There is no such law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in of Appeals, 193 SCRA 732 [1991]).
the United States. Each State of the union has its own law applicable to its 5. Identity of cause of action is not required but merely
Nota bene: citizens and in force only within the State. It can therefore refer to no other than identity of issue.
the law of the State of which the decedent was a resident. Second, there is no
Van dorn: ang bana ga laot sa wife since under Philippine law, they’re still showing that the application of the renvoi doctrine is called for or required Art. 15. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to
married. by New York State law. the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are
binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though
living abroad.
LLORENTE V. COURT OF APPEALS “However, intestate and testamentary succession, both with respect to the order
(FRDSCL)
GR No. 124371, November 23, 2000 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
Personal status – legal position of an individual in a
FACTS: the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the
society
nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may
Capacity – power to acquire and
be found.” (emphasis ours)
exercise rights
Lorenzo Llorente and petitioner Paula Llorente were married in 1937 in the Incidental to personal status
Philippines. Lorenzo was an enlisted serviceman of the US Navy. Soon
after, he left for the US where through naturalization, he became a US Likewise, Lorenzo Llorente was already an American citizen when he Foreign laws regulating the person’s status and capacity are to be disregarded
Citizen. Upon his visit to his wife, he discovered that she was living with his divorced Paula. Such was also the situation when he married Alicia and where they are political or penal in character;
brother and a child was born. The child was registered as illegitimate but the executed his will. As stated in Article 15 of the civil code, aliens may obtain
name of the father was left blank. Llorente filed a divorce in California in which divorces abroad, provided that they are valid in their National Law. Thus Legislative jurisdiction – authority of the state of his nationality or domicile or
Paula was represented by counsel, John Riley, and actively participated in the the divorce obtained by Llorente is valid because the law that governs him is not where he may be physically present to promulgate laws affecting his status;
proceedings, which later on became final. He married Alicia and they lived Philippine Law but his National Law since the divorce was contracted after he Judicial jurisdiction – the authority of the court to hear and determine the cause
together for 25 years bringing 3 children. He made his last will and testament became an American citizen. Furthermore, his National Law allowed divorce. of action
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 Beginning of personality – conception provided subsequent birth
estate. Before the proceeding could be terminated, Lorenzo died. Paula filed a The case was remanded to the court of origin for determination of the intrinsic End – death
letter of administration over Llorente’s estate. The trial granted the letter and validity of Lorenzo Llorente’s will and determination of the parties’ successional
denied the motion for reconsideration. An appeal was made to the Court of rights allowing proof of foreign law. Other questions of status
Appeals, which affirmed and modified the judgment of the Trial Court that she
Nota bene:
1. Absence – a special legal status, if one is not in his MARRIAGE polygamous, or incestuous marriages as determined by
domicile and his whereabouts is unknown; Philippine law. (19a)
When can be declared: under civil code – Art. II Section 12, 1987 Constitution
a. Lapse of 2 years without news or since the receipt of last Art. 75. Marriages between Filipino citizens abroad
news The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and may be solemnized by consuls and vice-consuls of the
b. Lapse of 5 years if absentee has left someone in charge strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall Republic of the Philippines. The duties of the local civil
of the administration of his properties equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. registrar and of a judge or justice of the peace or mayor
The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for with regard to the celebration of marriage shall be
Who may declare: civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support performed by such consuls and vice-consuls. (n)
a. Spouse of the Government.
b. Heirs
c. Relatives who will benefit in intestacy Art. XV, Sec. 2, 1987 Constitution FC Article 1. Marriage is a special contract of
d. Those who have rights over the properties permanent union between a man and a woman entered
Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and into in accordance with law for the establishment of
2. Conflicts problems respecting an individual’s name shall be protected by the State. conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family
and extent of protection against abuse of his name and an inviolable social institution whose nature,
NCC Art. 15. Laws relating to family rights and consequences, and incidents are governed by law and
Right to use a title of nobility is determined in accordance with his duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of not subject to stipulation, except that marriage
national law persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even settlements may fix the property relations during the
though living abroad. (9a) marriage within the limits provided by this Code. (52a)
3. Minority
Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, Art. 7. Marriage may be solemnized by:
CAPACITY and other public instruments shall be governed by the
laws of the country in which they are executed.
1. Any incumbent member of the judiciary within
1. Juridical capacity – the fitness to be the subject of legal the court's jurisdiction;
relations; considered inherent in every natural person and is lost only When the acts referred to are executed before the 2. Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any
through death; diplomatic or consular officials of the Republic of the church or religious sect duly authorized by his
2. Capacity to act – the power to do acts with legal effects; it Philippines in a foreign country, the solemnities church or religious sect and registered with the civil
is acquired and may be lost; established by Philippine laws shall be observed in their registrar general, acting within the limits of the
execution. written authority granted by his church or religious
Nota bene: sect and provided that at least one of the contracting
Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or parties belongs to the solemnizing officer's church
Under Philippine law, the capacity to dispose of real property is governed by the or religious sect;
property, and those which have, for their object, public
lex situs while the capacity to succeed is governed by the national law of the 3. Any ship captain or airplane chief only in the
order, public policy and good customs shall not be
deceased. case mentioned in Article 31;
rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated,
or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a 4. Any military commander of a unit to which a
Question: chaplain is assigned, in the absence of the latter,
foreign country. (11a)
during a military operation, likewise only in the cases
A 16-year old Cambodian inherited real properties from the Philippines; he died mentioned in Article 32;
and left a will which disposes of his properties in the Philippines; supposing, Art. 66. When either or both of the contracting parties
5. Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul in
Cambodian law provides that age of majority is 16, is the will now if probated in are citizens or subjects of a foreign country, it shall be
the case provided in Article 10. (56a)
the Philippines valid? necessary, before a marriage license can be obtained, to
provide themselves with a certificate of legal capacity
If an 18-year old foreigner, where in his country, the age of majority is 21 goes to contract marriage, to be issued by their respective Article. 8. The marriage shall be solemnized publicly in
to the Philippines and gets married, is such marriage valid? diplomatic or consular officials. (13a) the chambers of the judge or in open court, in the church,
chapel or temple, or in the office the consul-general,
Family rights, duties, status, condition and legal capacity of persons consul or vice-consul, as the case may be, and not
Art. 71. All marriages performed outside the
accompany a person even when he moves to a foreign country; elsewhere, except in cases of marriages contracted on
Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the
the point of death or in remote places in accordance with
country where they were performed, and valid there as
Article 29 of this Code, or where both of the parties
such, shall also be valid in this country, except bigamous,
request the solemnizing officer in writing in which case the
marriage may be solemnized at a house or place
designated by them in a sworn statement to that effect. Art. 37. Marriages between the following are (3) Subject to the provisions of the
(57a) incestuous and void from the beginning, whether preceding paragraphs, the essential
relationship between the parties be legitimate or requisites and legal impediments to
FC Art. 10. Marriages between Filipino citizens illegitimate: marriage, divorce, paternity and filiation,
abroad may be solemnized by a consul-general, consul guardianship and custody of minors,
or vice-consul of the Republic of the Philippines. The 1. Between ascendants and descendants of any support and maintenance, claims for
issuance of the marriage license and the duties of the degree; and customary dower (mahr), betrothal,
local civil registrar and of the solemnizing officer with 2. Between brothers and sisters, whether of the breach of contract to marry,
regard to the celebration of marriage shall be performed full or half blood. (81a) solemnization and registration of
by said consular official. (75a) marriage and divorce, rights and
obligations between husband and wife
Art. 38. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning parental authority, and the properly
for reasons of public policy: relations between husband and wife
Art. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the
Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the shall be governed by this Code and other
1. Between collateral blood relatives applicable Muslim laws.
country where they were solemnized, and valid there as whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the
such, shall also be valid in this country, except those fourth civil degree;
prohibited under Articles 35 (1), (4), (5) and (6), 3637 and 2. Between step-parents and step- Art. 14. Nature. — Marriage is not only a civil contract
38. (17a) children; but a social institution. Its nature, consequences and
3. Between parents-in-law and incidents are governed by this Code and the Shari'a and
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a children-in-law; not subject to stipulation, except that the marriage
foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is 4. Between the adopting parent and settlements may to a certain extent fix the property
thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse the adopted child; relations of the spouses.
capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino 5. Between the surviving spouse of
spouse shall have capacity to remarry under the adopting parent and the adopted child; Art. 180. Law applicable. — The provisions of the
Philippine law. (As amended by Executive Order 227) 6. Between the surviving spouse of Revised Penal Code relative to the crime of bigamy
the adopted child and the adopter; shall not apply to a person married in accordance with
FC Art. 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning: 7. Between an adopted child and a the provisions of this Code or, before its effectivity, under
1. Those contracted by any party below eighteen legitimate child of the adopter; Muslim law.
years of age even with the consent of parents or 8. Between adopted children of the
guardians; same adopter; and
2. Those solemnized by any person not legally 9. Between parties where one, with Essential and Formal Requisites
authorized to perform marriages unless such the intention to marry the other, killed that
marriages were contracted with either or both other person's spouse, or his or her own
spouse. (82) FC Art. 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are
parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing present:
officer had the legal authority to do so;
3. Those solemnized without license, except Muslim Code PD 1083, Art. 13. Application. —
those covered the preceding Chapter; 1. Legal capacity of the contracting
4. Those bigamous or polygamous marriages not (1) The provisions of this Title shall parties who must be a male and a female; and
failing under Article 41; apply to marriage and divorce wherein 2. Consent freely given in the
5. Those contracted through mistake of one both parties are Muslims, or wherein only presence of the solemnizing officer. (53a)
contracting party as to the identity of the other; and the male party is a Muslim and the
6. Those subsequent marriages that are void marriage is solemnized in accordance Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:
under Article 53. with Muslim law or this Code in any part
of the Philippines. 1. Authority of the solemnizing officer;
Art. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the (2) In case of marriage between a 2. A valid marriage license except in
time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated Muslim and a non-Muslim, solemnized the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this
to comply with the essential marital obligations of not in accordance with Muslim law or this Title; and
marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity Code, the Civil Code of the Philippines 3. A marriage ceremony which takes
becomes manifest only after its solemnization. (As shall apply. .chan robles virtual law place with the appearance of the contracting
amended by Executive Order 227) library parties before the solemnizing officer and their
personal declaration that they take each other a. Legal capacity of the contracting parties;
as husband and wife in the presence of not b. Mutual consent of the parties freely given; The mere act of marriage creates an obligation on the part of the husband
less than two witnesses of legal age. (53a, c. Offer (ijab) and acceptance (qabul) duly to support his wife. This obligation is founded not so much on the express
55a) witnessed by at least two competent persons after the or implied terms of the contract of marriage as on the natural and legal
proper guardian in marriage (wali) has given his consent; duty of the husband; an obligation, the enforcement of which is of such vital
Art. 5. Any male or female of the age of eighteen and concern to the state itself that the laws will not permit him to terminate it by his
years or upwards not under any of the impediments d. Stipulation of customary dower (mahr) duly own wrongful acts in driving his wife to seek protection in the parental home. A
mentioned in Articles 37 and 38, may contract marriage. witnessed by two competent persons. judgment for separate maintenance is not due and payable either as damages
(54a) or as a penalty; nor is it a debt in the strict legal sense of the term, but rather a
judgment calling for the performance of a duty made specific by the mandate of
GOITIA VS. CAMPOS RUEDA the sovereign. This is done from necessity and with a view to preserve the public
Art. 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning: peace and the purity of the wife; as where the husband makes so base demands
Facts: upon his wife and indulges in the habit of assaulting her. The pro tanto
1. Those contracted by any party below eighteen separation resulting from a decree for separate support is not an impeachment
years of age even with the consent of parents or of that public policy by which marriage is regarded as so sacred and inviolable
guardians; The parties were legally married in the city of Manila on January 7, 1915, and
immediately thereafter established their residence at 115 Calle San Marcelino, in its nature; it is merely a stronger policy overruling a weaker one; and except
2. Those solemnized by any person not in so far only as such separation is tolerated as a means of preserving the public
legally authorized to perform marriages unless where they lived together for about a month, when the plaintiff returned to the
home of her parents. peace and morals may be considered, it does not in any respect whatever impair
such marriages were contracted with either or the marriage contract or for any purpose place the wife in the situation of a feme
both parties believing in good faith that the sole.
solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do That the defendant, one month after he had contracted marriage with the
so; plaintiff, demanded of her that she perform unchaste and lascivious acts on his
genital organs; that the plaintiff spurned the obscene demands of the defendant Where the wife, who is forced to leave the conjugal abode by her husband
3. Those solemnized without license, except without fault on her part, may maintain an action against the husband for
those covered the preceding Chapter; and refused to perform any act other than legal and valid cohabitation; that the
defendant, since that date had continually on other successive dates, made separate maintenance when she has no other remedy, notwithstanding the
4. Those bigamous or polygamous marriages not provisions of article 149 of the Civil Code giving the person who is obliged
failing under Article 41; similar lewd and indecorous demands on his wife, the plaintiff, who always
spurned them, which just refusals of the plaintiff exasperated the defendant and to furnish support the option to satisfy it either by paying a fixed pension
5. Those contracted through mistake of one or by receiving and maintaining in his own home the one having the right
contracting party as to the identity of the other; and induce him to maltreat her by word and deed and inflict injuries upon her lips,
her face and different parts of her body; and that, as the plaintiff was unable by to the same.
6. Those subsequent marriages that are void
under Article 53. any means to induce the defendant to desist from his repugnant desires and
cease from maltreating her, she was obliged to leave the conjugal abode and
take refuge in the home of her parents.
Art. 4. The absence of any of the essential or formal WONG WOO YIU VS. VIVO
requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except Issue: whether or not that the wife may claim for support against her
as stated in Article 35 (2). husband outside of their conjugal abode? Facts:

A defect in any of the essential requisites shall not affect Ruling: marriage partakes of the nature of an ordinary contract. But it is The Board of Special Inquiry No. 3 rendered a decision finding petitioner to
the validity of the marriage but the party or parties something more than a mere contract. It is a new relation, the rights, duties, and be legally married to Perfecto Blas and admitting her into the country as a
responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally obligations of which rest not upon the agreement of the parties but upon non-quota immigrant. This decision was affirmed by the Board of
and administratively liable. (n) the general law which defines and prescribes those rights, duties, and Commissioners of which petitioner was duly informed in a letter sent on the
obligations. Marriage is an institution, in the maintenance of which in its purity same date by the Secretary of the Board. However, the same Board of
the public is deeply interested. It is a relation for life and the parties cannot Commissioners, but composed entirely of a new set of members, rendered
terminate it at any shorter period by virtue of any contract they may make .The a new decision reversing that of the Board of Special Inquiry No. 3 and
reciprocal rights arising from this relation, so long as it continues, are such as ordering petitioner to be excluded from the country. Petitioner filed a motion
Art. 35 (2) supra the law determines from time to time, and none other. When the legal existence for new trial requesting an opportunity to clarify certain points taken in the
of the parties is merged into one by marriage, the new relation is regulated and decision, but the same was denied for lack of merit. Whereupon, petitioner
controlled by the state or government upon principles of public policy for the initiated the instant petition for mandamus with preliminary injunction before the
Muslim Code, Art. 15. Essential requisites. —
benefit of society as well as the parties. And when the object of a marriage is Court of First Instance of Manila which incidentally was considered by it as a
defeated by rendering its continuance intolerable to one of the parties and petition for certiorari.
No marriage contract shall be perfected unless the following essential
productive of no possible good to the community, relief in some way should be
requisites are compiled with:
obtainable. With these principles to guide us, we will inquire into the status of Petitioner declared that she came to the Philippines in 1961 for the first
the law touching and governing the question under consideration. time to join her husband Perfecto Blas to whom she was married in
Chingkang, China ;that they had several children all of whom are not in the A marriage contracted outside of the Philippines which is valid under the of which the public is deeply interested. The presumption as to marriage is that
Philippines; that their marriage was celebrated by one Chua Tio, a village law of the country in which it was celebrated is also valid in the every intendment of the law leans toward legalizing matrimony. Persons
leader; that on June 28, 1961 the Board of Special Inquiry No. 3 rendered a Philippines. But no validity can be given to this contention because no dwelling together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of
decision finding, among others, that petitioner is legally married to Perfecto Blas, proof was presented relative to the law of marriage in China. Such being counter-presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in fact married. The
a Filipino Citizen, and admitted her into the country as a non-quota immigrant; the case, we should apply the general rule that in the absence of proof of the reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the parties were not
that this decision was affirmed by the Board of Commissioners of which law of a foreign country it should be presumed that it is the same as our own. what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in the constant
petitioner was duly notified by the Secretary of said Board in a letter dated July violation of decency of the law. As to retroactive force, marriage laws is in the
12, 1961; that in a motu proprio decision rendered by the Board of Since our law only recognizes a marriage celebrated before any of the officers nature of a curative provision intended to safeguard society by legalizing prior
Commissioners composed of a new set of members the latter found that mentioned therein, and a village leader is not one of them, it is clear that marriages. Public policy should aid acts intended to validate marriages and
petitioner's claim that she is the lawful wife of Perfecto Blas was without basis in petitioner's marriage, even if true, cannot be recognized in this jurisdiction. should retard acts intended to invalidate marriages. This as for public policy,
evidence as it was "bereft of substantial proof of husband-wife relationship"; that the courts can properly incline the scales of their decision in favor of that solution
said Board further held that, it appearing that in the entry proceedings of Perfecto which will most effectively promote the public policy. That is the true construction
Blas had on January 23, 1947 he declared that he first visited China in 1935 and ADONG VS. CHAONG SENG GEE which will best carry legislative intention into effect.
married petitioner in 1936, it could not possibly sustain her claim that she (FOR PERSONS) Sec. IV of the Marriage law provides that “all marriages
married Perfecto Blas in 1929; that in an affidavit dated August 9, 1962 Perfecto Facts: contracted outside the islands, which would be valid by the laws of the country
Blas claimed that he went to China in 1929, 1935 and 1941, although in his re- in which the same were contracted, are valid in these islands. To establish a
entry declaration he admitted that he first went to China in 1935, then in 1937, Cheong Boo, a native of China died in Zamboanga, Philippine Islands on valid foreign marriage pursuant to this comity provision, it is first
then in 1939, and lastly in 1941; and that Perfecto Blas in the same affidavit August 5, 1919 and left property worth nearly P100,000 which is now being necessary to prove before the courts ofthe Islands the existence of the
likewise claimed that he first went to China when he was merely four years old claimed by two parties - (1) Cheong Seng Gee who alleged that he was a foreign law as a question of fact, and it is then necessary to prove the
so that computed from his date of birth in 1908 it must have been in 1912. alleged foreign marriage by convincing evidence. A Philippine marriage
legitimate child by marriage contracted by Cheong Boo with Tan Bit in
China in 1985, and (2) Mora Adong who alleged that she had been lawfully followed by 23 years of uninterrupted marital life, should not be impugned and
In view of the discrepancies found in the statements made by petitioner and her married to Cheong Boo in 1896 in Basilan, Philippine Islands and had two discredited, after the death of the husband through an alleged prior Chinese
alleged husband Perfecto Blas in the several investigations conducted by the daughters with the deceased namely Payang and Rosalia. The conflicting claims marriage, “save upon proof so clear, strong and unequivocal as to produce a
immigration authorities concerning their alleged marriage before a village leader to Cheong Boo’s estate were ventilated in the lower court that ruled that moral conviction of the existence of such impediment.” A marriage alleged to
in China in 1929, coupled with the fact that the only basis in support of Cheong Seng Gee failed to sufficiently establish the Chinese marriage have been contracted in China and proven mainly by a so-called matrimonial
petitioner's claim that she is the lawful wife of Perfecto Blas is "a mass of oral through a mere letter testifying that Cheong Boo and Tan Bit married each letter held not to be valid in the Philippines.
and documentary evidence bereft of substantial proof of husband-wife other but that because Cheong Seng Gee had been admitted to the
relationship," the Board of Commissioners motu proprio reviewed the record Philippine Islands as the son of the deceased, he should share in the
concerning the admission of petitioner into the country resulting in its finding that estate as a natural child. With reference to the allegations of Mora Adong and
she was improperly admitted. her daughters, the trial court reached the conclusion that the marriage between CHING HUAT VS. CO HEONG
Adong and Cheong Boo had been adequately proved but that under the laws of
Issue: whether or not that the marriage is valid? the Philippine Islands it could not be held to be a lawful marriage and thus the
daughter Payang and Rosalia would inherit as natural children. The lower court Facts:
believes that Mohammedan marriages are not valid under the Philippine Island’s
Ruling: there is no documentary evidence to support the alleged marriage of laws this as an Imam as a solemnizing officer and under Quaranic laws. It is alleged in the petition, that the said minor is his legitimate daughter;
petitioner to Perfecto Blas but the record is punctured with so many that up to June 21, 1946, said minor had been living with and had under the
inconsistencies which cannot but lead one to doubt their veracity concerning the custody of petitioner; that respondent, taking advantage of his confidential
pretended marriage in China in 1929. This claim cannot also be entertained ISSUES: Whether or not the Chinese marriage between Cheong Boo and Tan
Dit is valid ? and spiritual relation with Maria Ching as her godfather, persuaded and
under our law on family relations. Thus, Article 15 of our new Civil Code induced her by means of trick, promises and cajolery, to leave the parental home
provides that laws relating to family rights or to the status of persons are and to elope with him in the night of June 21, 1946, to Plaridel, Bulacan, where
binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad, and it Whether or not the Mohammedan marriage between Cheong Boo and Mora they were married on the following day before the Justice of the Peace of said
is well-known that in 1929 in order that a marriage celebrated in the Adong is valid? municipality, said Maria Ching being at the time 15 years old; and that ever since
Philippines may be valid it must be solemnized either by a judge of any respondent has had the minor Maria Ching under his custody in Malolos,
court inferior to the Supreme Court, a justice of the peace, or a priest or RULING: The Supreme Court found the (1) Chinese marriage not proved and Bulacan, and has restrained her at her liberty.
minister of the gospel of any denomination duly registered in the Chinaman Cheong Seng Gee has only the rights of a natural child while (2)
Philippine Library and Museum (Public Act 3412, Section 2). Even if we it found the Mohammedan marriage to be proved and to be valid, thus giving
assume, therefore, that the marriage of petitioner to Perfecto Blas before a It is further alleged that respondent had been previously married in China
to the widow Mora Adong and the legitimate children Payang and Rosalia the to Gue Min, said marriage being said to be subsisting at the time respondent
village leader is valid in China, the same is not one of those authorized in our rights accruing to them under the law.
country. married Maria Ching. Petitioner further avers that Gue Min has never been
declared an absentee nor generally considered as dead and believed to be so
(FOR STATCON) The Supreme Court held that marriage in this jurisdiction is by respondent at the time he married Maria Ching.
not only a civil contract but it is a new relation, an instruction in the maintenance
Respondent, in his answer, among other things, asserts that on June 21, 1946, Sabdapal after which the two lived together as husband and wife. Dumpo was of proving that a marriage ceremony had been performed. Mr. Ty Cong Ting
he and Maria Ching alias Avelina Ching were legally married before the Justice prosecuted for and convicted of the crime of bigamy. was, at the time he testified as a witness, the legal attorney of the Chinese
of the Peace of Plaridel, Bulacan, and alleges that the essential requisites for Consul General in the City of Manila.
such marriage were complied with. The accused interposed an appeal. It has been established by the defense,
without the prosecution having presented any objection nor evidence to the Issue:
Issue: whether or not petitioner still retains his right to the custody of his minor contrary, that the alleged second marriage of the accused is null and void
daughter Maria Ching alias Avelina Ching? according to Mohammedan rites on the ground that her father had not given his
consent thereto. Who is the legal wife?

Ruling: the Philippine marriage between said respondent and Maria Ching Held: Held:
before the Justice of the Peace of Plaridel, Bulacan, is undisputed. It is also
beyond question that marriage was contracted by a man much over 16 years Marriage among Moslems is a fact of which no judicial notice may be taken
old with a girl 15 years old (Act No. 3613, section 2), neither of whom was It is perhaps true that Yap Siong did on various occasions, depending upon his
and must be subject to proof in every particular case. In the case at bar we interest and convenience at the particular time, state that Maria Lao was his
included in any of the exceptions mentioned in section 28 of the same Act; nor have the uncontradicted testimony of Tahari, an Imam or Mohammedan priest
in those stated in section 29 thereof for the reason that the alleged prior Chinese querida and not his wife. It is also perhaps true, for the same reason, that he
authorized to solemnize marriages between Mohammedans, to the effect that stated that Dee Tim was not his wife but his querida. Evidently he was
marriage has not been established. the consent of the bride's father or in the absence thereof, that of the chief of the attempting to keep the information, which he was quite able to do, until he
tribe to which she belongs is an indispensable requisite for the validity of such had passed to that bourn from which none returns, and until a distribution
If the supposed prior Chinese marriage had been sufficiently proven, then in contracts. of his large accumulated earnings among his heirs became necessary.
order that the subsequent Philippine marriage could be valid, it would
have been necessary either (a) that the Chinese marriage should have It is an essential element of the crime of bigamy that the alleged second
been previously annulled or dissolved: or (b) that the first wife of marriage, having all the essential requisites, would be valid were it not for Based on a preponderance of the evidence the Court was convinced that
respondent should have been absent for 7 consecutive years at the time the subsistence of the first marriage. However, accused’s subsequent marriage both Dee Tim and Maria Lao were legally married to Yap Siong in good
of the second marriage without the respondent having news of the was void for lack of requisites necessary under Moslem law, she must be faith, believing that each was his sole and separate wife, living in absolute
absentee being alive; or (c) that the absentee should have been generally acquitted. ignorance of the fact of his double marriage. They were each married in good
considered as dead and believed to be so by respondent at the time of faith and in ignorance of the existence of the other marriage. Yap Siong up
contracting the subsequent marriage, in either of which last two cases the to the time of his death seems to have been successful in keeping each of his
subsequent marriage will be valid until declared null and void by a two wives ignorant of the fact that he was married to the other.
competent court, while in the first it will be valid without this limitation. LAO AND LAO V. DEE TIM
(Act No. 3613, section 29 [a] and [b]; section 30 [b].) But as already adverted to, 45 Phil 739 (1924) Under the Leyes de Partidas (Law 1, title 13, partida 4), where two women
the complete absence of proof of the supposed former Chinese marriage makes innocently and in good faith are legally united in holy matrimony to the
sections 29 and 30 of the Marriage Law inapplicable. Facts: same man, their children born will be regarded as legitimate children and
each family will be entitled to one-half of the estate of the husband upon
Maria Ching having been validly married on June 21, 1946, she became Yap Siong died intestate. During the distribution of his estate, Maria Lao and distribution of his estate. That provision of the Leyes de Partidas is a very
emancipated on that same date (arts. 314 [1] and 315, Civil Code). This Jose Lao appeared claiming to be the legitimate spouse and son of the humane and wise law. It justly protects those who innocently have entered into
emancipation brought about the loss by the father of the parental authority that deceased. Maria claims that they had been married in the Philippines on June the solemn relation of marriage and their descendants. The good faith of all
he claims. On the other hand, by article 48 of Chapter V of the Spanish Marriage 24, 1903. On the other hand, Dee Tim claims to be the legitimate widow of Yap the parties will be presumed until the contrary is positively proved. (Article
Law of 1870, whose articles 44 to 78 were, and are now partly, in force in the Siong; that she and Yap Siong were joined in holy matrimony on the 14th day of 69, Civil Code; Las Leyes de Matrimonio, section 96; Gaines vs. Hennen, 65
Philippines (Benedicto vs. De la Rama, 3 Phil., 34), the wife has the duty, among September, 1893, in accordance with the laws of China. U.S., 553.)c
others, of living in her husband's company and of following him to wherever he
transfer his domicile or residence. (Yañez de Barbuevo vs. Fuster, 29 Phil., 606, YAO KEE V. GONZALES
612.) Maria Lao presented marriage certificates as proof. Dee Tim likewise presented 167 SCRA 736
a certificate of marriage and that it was positive proof of her marriage and that it
PEOPLE V. DUMPO complied with the custom and practice in China with reference to marriage FACTS:
62 Phil 247 ceremonies. To support her contention she presented a number of witnesses.
Jan Peng, a Chinaman of 52 years of age, swore that he knew the forms of
Facts: ceremonies of marriage in China, Dee Tim also presented a witness, Ty Cong 1. Sy Kiat, a Chinese national, died in Calooocan City where
Ting, a Chinaman, 32 years of age and a lawyer, who testified concerning the he was then residing leaving behind real and personal properties
Moro Hassan and Mora Dupo have been legally married according to the laws and customs in China with reference to the forms of marriage ceremony. here in the Philippines.
rites and practice of the Mohammedan religion. Without this marriage being He testified that he knew and was well acquainted with the customs and 2. Private respondents (Aida Sy-Gonzales et al.,) filed a
dissolved, it is alleged that Dumpo contracted another marriage with Moro practices of Chinamen in China with reference to marriages and the manner and petition for the grant of letters or administration alleging that they
form in which they were celebrated, and the form of proof issued for the purpose were the children of the deceased with Asuncion Gillego.
3. Petition was opposed by herein petitioners (Yao Kee et of Sze Sook Wah and its extension to Sze Lai Cho and Sy Chun Yen who citizen and obtains a divorce decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be
al.,) alleging that they were the legitimate family. are her sisters of the full blood. allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the
4. The probate court found that Sy Kiat was legally married  Private respondents on the other hand are also the deceased’s solemnization of the marriage. To rule otherwise would be to sanction
to Yao Kee and that their 3 offsprings were the legitimate children. acknowledged natural children with Asuncion Gillego , a Filipina with whom absurdity and injustice. Where the interpretation of a statute according to its
5. The court likewise ruled that respondents are the he lived for 25 years without the benefit of marriage. They have in their exact and literal import would lead to mischievous results or contravene the clear
acknowledged illegitimate offspring of Sy Kiat with Asuncion Gillego. favor their father’s acknowledgment, evidence by a compromise purpose of the legislature, it should be construed according to its spirit and
6. On appeal, the lower court’s decision was set aside agreement entered into by and between their parents and approved by the reason, disregarding as far as necessary the letter of the law. A statute may
declaring petitioners as the acknowledge natural children of Sy Kiat CFI wherein Sy Kiat not only acknowledged them as his children by therefore be extended to cases not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long
and Asuncion Gillego. Asuncion Gillego but likewise made provisions for their support and future as they come within its spirit or intent.
7. Oppostiors were declared the acknowelged natural inheritance.
children of the deceased since the legality of the alleged marriage of In view of the foregoing, we state the twin elements for the application of
Sy Kiat and Yao Kee in China had not been proven to be valid to the REPUBLIC V. ORBECIDO Paragraph 2 of Article 26 as follows:
laws of China. GR NO. 154380, October 5, 2005

ISSUE: 1. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated


between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner; and
Facts: 2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien
 Was the fact of marriage of Sy Kiat and Yao Kee in China proven as
a custom? spouse capacitating him or her to remarry.
On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M. Villanueva
HELD: in the Philippines in Lam-an, Ozamis City. Their marriage was blessed with a The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the
son and a daughter. celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce
 Custom is defined as “a rule of conduct formed by repetition of is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.
acts, uniformly observed (practiced) as a social rule, legally binding In 1986, Cipriano’s wife left for the United States bringing along their son
and obligatory.” The law requires that “a custom must be proved as a Kristoffer. A few years later, Cipriano discovered that his wife had been
fact, according to the rules of evidence. [Article 12, Civil Code] On this naturalized as an American citizen.
score the Court had occasion to state that “a local custom as a source of
right cannot be considered by a court of justice unless such custom is Sometime in 2000, Cipriano learned from his son that his wife had obtained
properly established by competent evidence like any other fact. The same a divorce decree and then married a certain Innocent Stanley. She, Stanley
evidence, if not one of a higher degree, should be required of a foreign and her child by him currently live in San Gabriel, California.
custom.
 Construing this provision of law the Court has held that to establish
a valid foreign marriage two things must be proven, namely 1) the Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to
existence of the foreign law as a question of fact; and 2) the alleged remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code. No
foreign marriage by convincing evidence. opposition was filed. Finding merit in the petition, the court granted the
 In the case at bar petitioners did not present any competent same. The Republic, herein petitioner, through the Office of the Solicitor
evidence relative to the law and custom of China on marriage. The General (OSG), sought reconsideration but it was denied.
testimonies of Yao and Gan Ching (brother) cannot be considered as proof
of China’s law or custom on marriage not only because they are self The OSG contends that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code is not
serving evidence, but more importantly, there is no showing that they applicable to the instant case because it only applies to a valid mixed
are competent to testify on the subject matter. For failure to prove the marriage; that is, a marriage celebrated between a Filipino citizen and an alien.
foreign law or custom, and consequently, the validity of the marriage in Furthermore, the OSG argues there is no law that governs respondent’s
accordance with said law or custom, the marriage between Yao Kee and situation. The OSG posits that this is a matter of legislation and not of judicial
Sy Kiat cannot be recognized in this jurisdiction. determination.
 However, as petitioners failed to establish the marriage of Yao Kee
with Sy Kiat according to the laws of China, they cannot be accorded the Held:
status of legitimate children but only that of acknowledged natural children.
Petitioners are natural children, it appearing that at the time of their
conception Yao Kee and Sy Kiat were not disqualified by any impediment Taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of reason,
to marry one another. [See Art. 269, Civil Code] And they are we hold that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 should be interpreted to include cases
acknowledged children of the deceased because of Sy Kiat’s recognition 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