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CIVIL LAW REVIEW CASES Dorn v. Romillo, Jr., 139 SCRA 139 (1985), and Pilapil v.

Ibay-
Jann Claudine M. Amago 4 – B Somera, 174 SCRA 653 (1989). In both cases, the Court refused to
acknowledge the alien spouse’s assertion of marital rights after a
1. Corpus vs. Tirol Sto. Tomas foreign court’s divorce decree between the alien and the Filipino.
The Court, thus, recognized that the foreign divorce had already
Facts: severed the marital bond between the spouses.
Petitioner Corpuz, a naturalized Canadian citizen married
respondent Sto. Tomas but subsequently filed for divorce in Canada Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Essentially, the
which was granted by the Court Justice of Windsor, Ontario, second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code provided
Canada. Two years later, Corpuz fell in love with another Filipina. the Filipino spouse a substantive right to have his or her
He went to Civil Registry Office of Pasig City to register the Canadian marriage to the alien spouse considered as dissolved,
divorce decree on his marriage certificate with Sto. Tomas. capacitating him or her to remarry.—As the RTC correctly
However, despite the registration, an official of National Statistics stated, the provision was included in the law “to avoid the absurd
Office informed Corpuz that the former marriage still subsists under situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien
the Philippine law until there has been a judicial recognition of the spouse who, after obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the
Canadian divorce decree by a competent judicial court in view of Filipino spouse.” The legislative intent is for the benefit of the
NSO Circular No. 4, series of 1982. Filipino spouse, by clarifying his or her marital status, settling the
Consequently, he filed a petition for judicial recognition of doubts created by the divorce decree. Essentially, the second
foreign divorce and/or declaration of dissolution of marriage with paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code provided the Filipino
the RTC. However, the RTC denied the petition reasoning out that spouse a substantive right to have his or her marriage to the alien
Corpuz cannot institute the action for judicial recognition of the spouse considered as dissolved, capacitating him or her to remarry.
foreign divorce decree because he is a naturalized Canadian citizen. Without the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, the
It was provided further that Sto. Tomas was the proper party who judicial recognition of the foreign decree of divorce, whether in a
can institute an action under the principle of Article 26 of the Family proceeding instituted precisely for that purpose or as a related issue
Code which capacitates a Filipino citizen to remarry in case the alien in another proceeding, would be of no significance to the Filipino
spouse obtains a foreign divorce decree. Hence, this petition. spouse since our laws do not recognize divorce as a mode of
severing the marital bond; Article 17 of the Civil Code provides that
Issue: Whether the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family the policy against absolute divorces cannot be subverted by
Code grant aliens the right to institute a petition for judicial judgments promulgated in a foreign country. The inclusion of the
recognition of a foreign divorce decree. second paragraph in Article 26 of the Family Code provides the
direct exception to this rule and serves a basis for recognizing the
Ruling: NO. dissolution of the marriage between the Filipino spouse and his or
Marriages; Family Code; Husband and Wife; Declaration of her alien spouse.
Nullity; Divorce; The Family Code recognizes only two types
of defective marriages—void and voidable marriages—and Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; An action based on
in both cases, the basis for the judicial declaration of the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code is not
absolute nullity or annulment of the marriage exists before limited to the recognition of the foreign divorce decree—if
or at the time of the marriage; Divorce contemplates the the court finds that the decree capacitated the alien spouse
dissolution of the lawful union for cause arising after the to remarry, the courts can declare that the Filipino spouse
marriage.—The Family Code recognizes only two types of is likewise capacitated to contract another marriage.—An
defective marriages—void and voidable marriages. In both cases, action based on the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family
the basis for the judicial declaration of absolute nullity or annulment Code is not limited to the recognition of the foreign divorce decree.
of the marriage exists before or at the time of the marriage. Divorce, If the court finds that the decree capacitated the alien spouse to
on the other hand, contemplates the dissolution of the lawful union remarry, the courts can declare that the Filipino spouse is likewise
for cause arising after the marriage. Our family laws do not capacitated to contract another marriage. No court in this
recognize absolute divorce between Filipino citizens. jurisdiction, however, can make a similar declaration for the alien
spouse (other than that already established by the decree), whose
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Legal Research; Through status and legal capacity are generally governed by his national law.
the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code,
Executive Order No. (EO) 227 effectively incorporated into Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Parties; Only the Filipino
the law this Court’s holding in Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr., 139 spouse can invoke the second paragraph of Article 26 of the
SCRA 139 (1985), and Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera, 174 SCRA 653 Family Code—the alien spouse can claim no right under this
(1989).—Recognizing the reality that divorce is a possibility in provision.—Given the rationale and intent behind the enactment,
marriages between a Filipino and an alien, President Corazon C. and the purpose of the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family
Aquino, in the exercise of her legislative powers under the Freedom Code, the RTC was correct in limiting the applicability of the
Constitution, enacted Executive Order No. (EO) 227, amending provision for the benefit of the Filipino spouse. In other words, only
Article 26 of the Family Code to its presentwording, as follows: “Art. the Filipino spouse can invoke the second paragraph of Article 26 of
26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance the Family Code; the alien spouse can claim no right under this
with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, provision.
and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except
those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Conflict of Laws;
38. Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is Recognition of Foreign Judgments; The unavailability of the
validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code to aliens
by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino does not necessarily strip such aliens of legal interest to
spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.” petition the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for the recognition
Through the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, EO of his foreign divorce decree—direct involvement or being
227 effectively incorporated into the law this Court’s holding in Van the subject of the foreign judgment is sufficient to clothe a

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party with the requisite interest to institute an action the petition for insufficiency of supporting evidence, unless we
before our courts for the recognition of the foreign deem it more appropriate to remand the case to the Regional Trial
judgment.—We qualify our above conclusion—i.e., that the Court (RTC) to determine whether the divorce decree is consistent
second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code bestows no rights with the Canadian divorce law. We deem it more appropriate to take
in favor of aliens—with the complementary statement that this this latter course of action, given the Article 26 interests that will be
conclusion is not sufficient basis to dismiss Gerbert’s petition before served and the Filipina wife’s (Daisylyn’s) obvious conformity with
the Regional Trial Court (RTC). In other words, the unavailability of the petition. A remand, at the same time, will allow other interested
the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code to aliens does parties to oppose the foreign judgment and overcome a petitioner’s
not necessarily strip Gerbert of legal interest to petition the RTC for presumptive evidence of a right by proving want of jurisdiction,
the recognition of his foreign divorce decree. The foreign divorce want of notice to a party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law
decree itself, after its authenticity and conformity with the alien’s or fact. Needless to state, every precaution must be taken to ensure
national law have been duly proven according to our rules of conformity with our laws before a recognition is made, as the
evidence, serves as a presumptive evidence of right in favor of foreign judgment, once recognized, shall have the effect of res
Gerbert, pursuant to Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which judicata between the parties, as provided in Section 48, Rule 39 of
provides for the effect of foreign judgments. * * * To our mind, the Rules of Court.
direct involvement or being the subject of the foreign judgment is
sufficient to clothe a party with the requisite interest to institute an Same; Same; More than the principle of comity that is
action before our courts for the recognition of the foreign judgment. served by the practice of reciprocal recognition of foreign
In a divorce situation, we have declared, no less, that the divorce judgments between nations, the res judicata effect of the
obtained by an alien abroad may be recognized in the Philippines, foreign judgments of divorce serves as the deeper basis for
provided the divorce is valid according to his or her national law. extending judicial recognition and for considering the alien
spouse bound by its terms.—More than the principle of comity
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; The that is served by the practice of reciprocal recognition of foreign
starting point in any recognition of a foreign divorce judgments between nations, the res judicata effect of the foreign
judgment is the acknowledgment that our courts do not judgments of divorce serves as the deeper basis for extending
take judicial notice of foreign judgments and laws—the judicial recognition and for considering the alien spouse bound by
foreign judgment and its authenticity must be proven as its terms. This same effect, as discussed above, will not obtain for
facts under our rules on evidence, together with the alien’s the Filipino spouse were it not for the substantive rule that the
applicable national law to show the effect of the judgment second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code provides.
on the alien himself or herself.—The starting point in any
recognition of a foreign divorce judgment is the acknowledgment Same; Same; Civil Registry; While the law requires the
that our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign judgments and entry of the divorce decree in the civil registry, the law and
laws. Justice Herrera explained that, as a rule, “no sovereign is the submission of the decree by themselves do not ipso
bound to give effect within its dominion to a judgment rendered by facto authorize the decree’s registration—there must first
a tribunal of another country.” This means that the foreign be a judicial recognition of the foreign judgment before it
judgment and its authenticity must be proven as facts under our can be given res judicata effect; The registration of the
rules on evidence, together with the alien’s applicable national law foreign divorce decree without the requisite judicial
to show the effect of the judgment on the alien himself or herself. recognition is patently void and cannot produce any legal
The recognition may be made in an action instituted specifically for effect.—But while the law requires the entry of the divorce decree
the purpose or in another action where a party invokes the foreign in the civil registry, the law and the submission of the decree by
decree as an integral aspect of his claim or defense. themselves do not ipso facto authorize the decree’s registration. The
law should be read in relation with the requirement of a judicial
Conflict of Laws; Recognition of Foreign Judgments; In the recognition of the foreign judgment before it can be given res
instant case where the foreigner seeking recognition of the judicata effect. In the context of the present case, no judicial order
foreign divorce decree attached to his petition a copy of the as yet exists recognizing the foreign divorce decree. Thus, the Pasig
divorce decree, as well as the required certificates proving City Civil Registry Office acted totally out of turn and without
its authenticity, but failed to include a copy of the foreign authority of law when it annotated the Canadian divorce decree on
law on divorce, the Court deems it more appropriate to Gerbert and Daisylyn’s marriage certificate, on the strength alone of
remand the case to the trial court to determine whether the the foreign decree presented by Gerbert. Evidently, the Pasig City
divorce decree is consistent with the foreign divorce law, Civil Registry Office was aware of the requirement of a court
given the Article 26 interests that will be served and the recognition, as it cited National Statistics Office (NSO) Circular No.
Filipina wife’s obvious 4, series of 1982, and Department of Justice Opinion No. 181, series
conformity with the petition.—In Gerbert’s case, since both the of 1982—both of which required a final order from a competent
foreign divorce decree and the national law of the alien, recognizing Philippine court before a foreign judgment, dissolving a marriage,
his or her capacity to obtain a divorce, purport to be official acts of can be registered in the civil registry, but it, nonetheless, allowed
a sovereign authority, Section 24, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court the registration of the decree. For being contrary to law, the
comes into play. This Section requires proof, either by (1) official registration of the foreign divorce decree without the requisite
publications or (2) copies attested by the officer having legal judicial recognition is patently void and cannot produce any legal
custody of the documents. If the copies of official records are not effect.
kept in the Philippines, these must be (a) accompanied by a
certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Same; Same; Same; Cancellation of Entries; The recognition
Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in which that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) may extend to a foreign
the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office. divorce decree does not, by itself, authorize the
The records show that Gerbert attached to his petition a copy of the cancellation of the entry in the civil registry—a petition for
divorce decree, as well as the required certificates proving its recognition of a foreign judgment is not the proper
authenticity, but failed to include a copy of the Canadian law on proceeding, contemplated under the Rules of Court, for the
divorce. Under this situation, we can, at this point, simply dismiss cancellation of entries in the civil registry; The Rules of

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Court supplements Article 412 of the Civil Code by community because they did not execute a marriage settlement
specifically providing for a special remedial proceeding by before their marriage ceremony. Then, the trial court ruled that in
which entries in the civil registry may be judicially cancelled accordance with the doctrine of processual presumption, Philippine
or corrected—Rule 108 of the Rules of Court sets in detail law should apply because the court cannot take judicial notice of the
the jurisdictional and procedural requirements that must be US law since the parties did not submit any proof of their national
complied with before a judgment, authorizing the law. The court awarded the properties in the Philippines to David,
cancellation or correction, may be annotated in the civil subject to the payment of the children’s presumptive
registry.—Another point we wish to draw attention to is that the legitimes. Upon Leticia’s appeal to the CA, the CA ruled that the
recognition that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) may extend to the Philippine properties be divided equally between the spouses and
Canadian divorce decree does not, by itself, authorize the that both should pay their children P520k. David argues that the
cancellation of the entry in the civil registry. A petition for Court should have recognized the California judgment that
recognition of a foreign judgment is not the proper proceeding, awarded him the Philippine properties and that allowing Leticia to
contemplated under the Rules of Court, for the cancellation of share in the PH properties is tantamount to unjust enrichment
entries in the civil registry. Article 412 of the Civil Code declares that considering she already owns all the US properties.
“no entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without
judicial order.” The Rules of Court supplements Article 412 of the Issues:
Civil Code by specifically providing for a special remedial proceeding a. Whether the marriage between David and Leticia has been
by which entries in the civil registry may be judicially cancelled or dissolved
corrected. Rule 108 of the Rules of Court sets in detail the b. Whether the filing of the judicial separation of property is
jurisdictional and procedural requirements that must be complied proper
with before a judgment, authorizing the cancellation or correction,
may be annotated in the civil registry. It also requires, among Ruling:
others, that the verified petition must be filed with the RTC of the Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Judgments; Foreign
province where the corresponding civil registry is located; that the Judgments; Marriages; For Philippine courts to recognize a
civil registrar and all persons who have or claim any interest must foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage, a
be made parties to the proceedings; and that the time and place for copy of the foreign judgment may be admitted in evidence
hearing must be published in a newspaper of general circulation. As and proven as a fact under Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in
these basic jurisdictional requirements have not been met in the relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court.—
present case, we cannot consider the petition Gerbert filed with the The requirements of presenting the foreign divorce decree and the
RTC as one filed under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. national law of the foreigner must comply with our Rules of
Evidence. Specifically, for Philippine courts to recognize a foreign
Same; Same; Same; Same; The recognition of the foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage, a copy of the foreign
divorce decree may be made in a Rule 108 proceeding itself, judgment may be admitted in evidence and proven as a fact under
as the object of special proceedings (such as that in Rule Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b)
108 of the Rules of Court) is precisely to establish the status of the Rules of Court. Under Section 24 of Rule 132, the record of
or right of a party or a particular fact.—We hasten to point out, public documents of a sovereign authority or tribunal may be proved
however, that this ruling should not be construed as requiring two by: (1) an official publication thereof or (2) a copy attested by the
separate proceedings for the registration of a foreign divorce decree officer having the legal custody thereof. Such official publication or
in the civil registry—one for recognition of the foreign decree and copy must be accompanied, if the record is not kept in the
another specifically for cancellation of the entry under Rule 108 of Philippines, with a certificate that the attesting officer has the legal
the Rules of Court. The recognition of the foreign divorce decree custody thereof. The certificate may be issued by any of the
may be made in a Rule 108 proceeding itself, as the object of special authorized Philippine embassy or consular officials stationed in the
proceedings (such as that in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court) is foreign country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by
precisely to establish the status or right of a party or a particular the seal of his office. The attestation must state, in substance, that
fact. Moreover, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court can serve as the the copy is a correct copy of the original, or a specific part thereof,
appropriate adversarial proceeding by which the applicability of the as the case may be, and must be under the official seal of the
foreign judgment can be measured and tested in terms of attesting officer. Section 25 of the same Rule states that whenever
jurisdictional infirmities, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, a copy of a document or record is attested for the purpose of
or clear mistake of law or fact. evidence, the attestation must state, in substance, that the copy is
a correct copy of the original, or a specific part thereof, as the case
may be. The attestation must be under the official seal of the
2. David Noveras vs. Leticia Noveras attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court
Facts: having a seal, under the seal of such court.
Noveras are US citizens who own properties in the USA
and in the Philippines. They have 2 children, Jerome and Jena. Civil Law; Family Law; Divorce; Absent a valid recognition
Leticia states that sometime in 2003, David abandoned his family to of the divorce decree, it follows that the parties are still
live with his mistress. Further, she states that David executed an legally married in the Philippines.—Even if we apply the
affidavit where he renounced all his rights and interest in the doctrine of processual presumption as the lower courts did with
conjugal and real properties in the Philippines. After learning of the respect to the property regime of the parties, the recognition of
extra-marital affair, Leticia filed a petition for divorce before the divorce is entirely a different matter because, to begin with, divorce
Superior Court of California. Upon issuance of the judicial decree is not recognized between Filipino citizens in the Philippines. Absent
of divorce in June 2005, the US properties were awarded to Leticia. a valid recognition of the divorce decree, it follows that the parties
Leticia then filed a petition for judicial separation of conjugal are still legally married in the Philippines. The trial court thus erred
property before the RTC of Baler, Aurora. The RTC regarded in proceeding directly to liquidation.
the petition for judicial separation of conjugal property as a petition
for liquidation of property since the spouses’ marriage has already Same; Same; Marriage Settlements; As a general rule, any
been dissolved. It classified their property relation as absolute modification in the marriage settlements must be made

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before the celebration of marriage.—As a general rule, any affirm the modification made by the Court of Appeals with respect
modification in the marriage settlements must be made before the to the share of the spouses in the absolute community properties in
celebration of marriage. An exception to this rule is allowed provided the Philippines, as well as the payment of their children’s
that the modification is judicially approved and refers only to the presumptive legitimes.
instances provided in Articles 66, 67, 128, 135 and 136 of the Family
Code.

Same; Same; Absolute Community Property; Judicial 3. Vda. De Catalan vs. Catalan
Separation of Properties; The grant of the judicial Doctrine:
separation of the absolute community property Aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which maybe recognized in the
automatically dissolves the absolute community regime, as Philippines, provided they are valid ac-cording to their national law.
stated in the 4th paragraph of Article 99 of the Family
Code.—Having established that Leticia and David had actually Facts:
separated for at least one year, the petition for judicial separation Orlando B. Catalan, a naturalized American citizen
of absolute community of property should be granted. The grant of allegedly obtained a divorce in the United States from his first wife,
the judicial separation of the absolute community property Felicitas Amor. He then contracted a second marriage with
automatically dissolves the absolute community regime, as stated petitioner.
in the 4th paragraph of Article 99 of the Family Code, thus: Art. 99. When Orlando died intestate in the Philippines, petitioner
The absolute community terminates: (1) Upon the death of either filed with the RTC a Petition for the issuance of letters of
spouse; (2) When there is a decree of legal separation; (3) When administration for her appointment as administratrix of the intestate
the marriage is annulled or declared void; or (4) In case of judicial estate. While the case was pending, respondent Louella A. Catalan-
separation of property during the marriage under Articles 134 to Lee, one of the children of Orlando from his first marriage, filed a
138. similar petition with the RTC. The two cases were consolidated.
Petitioner prayed for the dismissal of the petition filed by
Same; Same; Same; Procedure Observed in the Liquidation the respondent on the ground of litis pendentia. Respondent alleged
of Absolute Community Regime.—Under Article 102 of the that petitioner was not considered an interested person qualified
same Code, liquidation follows the dissolution of the absolute to file the petition. Respondent further alleged that a criminal
community regime and the following procedure should apply: Art. case for bigamy was filed against petitioner by Felicitas Amor
102. Upon dissolution of the absolute community regime, the contending that petitioner contracted a second marriage to Orlando
following procedure shall apply: (1) An inventory shall be prepared, despite having been married to one Eusebio Bristol.
listing separately all the properties of the absolute community and However, the RTC acquitted petitioner of bigamy and
the exclusive properties of each spouse. (2) The debts and ruled that since the deceased was a divorced American citizen, and
obligations of the absolute community shall be paid out of its assets. that divorce was not recognized under Philippine jurisdiction, the
In case of insufficiency of said assets, the spouses shall be solidarily marriage between him and petitioner was not valid. The RTC took
liable for the unpaid balance with their separate properties in note of the action for declaration of nullity then pending filed by
accordance with the provisions of the second paragraph of Article Felicitas Amor against the deceased and petitioner. It considered
94. (3) Whatever remains of the exclusive properties of the spouses the pending action to be a prejudicial question in determining the
shall thereafter be delivered to each of them. (4) The net remainder guilt of petition-er for the crime of bigamy. The RTC also found that
of the properties of the absolute community shall constitute its net petitioner had never been married to Bristol.
assets, which shall be divided equally between husband and wife, The RTC subsequently dismissed the Petition for the
unless a different proportion or division was agreed upon in the issuance of letters of administration filed by petitioner and granted
marriage settlements, or unless there has been a voluntary waiver that of private respondent. Contrary to its findings in Crim. Case No.
of such share provided in this Code. For purposes of computing the 2699-A, the RTC held that the marriage between petitioner and
net profits subject to forfeiture in accordance with Articles 43, No. Eusebio Bristol was valid and subsisting when she married Orlando.
(2) and 63, No. (2), the said profits shall be the increase in value The RTC held that petitioner was not an interested party who
between the market value of the community property at the time of may file said petition. The CA affirmed the decision of the lower
the celebration of the marriage and the market value at the time of court.
its dissolution. (5) The presumptive legitimes of the common
children shall be delivered upon partition, in accordance with Article Issues:
51. (6) Unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties, in the partition a. Whether the acquittal of petitioner in the crim. case for
of the properties, the conjugal dwelling and the lot on which it is bigamy meant that the marriage with Bristol was still
situated shall be adjudicated to the spouse with whom the majority valid.
of the common children choose to remain. Children below the age b. Whether the divorce obtained abroad by Orlando may be
of seven years are deemed to have chosen the mother, unless the recognized under Philippine jurisdiction.
court has decided otherwise. In case there is no such majority, the Ruling:
court shall decide, taking into consideration the best interests of Civil Law; Conflict of Laws; Principle of Comity; National
said children. Law; Marriages; Divorce; Under the principles of comity,
our jurisdiction recognizes a valid divorce obtained by a
Same; Same; Conflict of Laws; Lex Situs; Article 16 of the spouse of foreign nationality provided it is valid according
Civil Code clearly states that real property as well as to his/her national law.—It is imperative to note that at the time
personal property is subject to the law of the country where the bigamy case in Crim. Case No. 2699-A was dismissed, we had
it is situated.—We agree with the appellate court that the already ruled that under the principles of comity, our jurisdiction
Philippine courts did not acquire jurisdiction over the California recognizes a valid divorce obtained by a spouse of foreign
properties of David and Leticia. Indeed, Article 16 of the Civil Code nationality. This doctrine was established as early as 1985 in Van
clearly states that real property as well as personal property is Dorn v. Romillo, Jr., 139 SCRA 139 (1985), wherein we said: It is
subject to the law of the country where it is situated. Thus, true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of
liquidation shall only be limited to the Philippine properties. We the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy

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against absolute divorces[,] the same being considered contrary to According to petitioner, respondent made a promise to
our concept of public policy and morality. However, aliens may provide monthly support to their son in the amount of Two Hundred
obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, Fifty (250) Guildene
provided they are valid according to their national law. In this case, However, since the arrival of petitioner and her son in the
the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the Philippines, respondent never gave support to the son, Roderigo.
marriage from the standards of American law, under which divorce Not long thereafter, respondent came to the Philippines and
dissolves the marriage. xxx remarried in Pinamungahan, Cebu, and since then, have been
residing thereat.
Remedial Law; Evidence; Divorce; Documentary Evidence; To date, all the parties, including their son, Roderigo, are
A divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce decree presently living in Cebu City. On August 28, 2009, petitioner,
itself. Indeed the best evidence of a judgment is the through her counsel, sent a letter demanding for support from
judgment itself. The decree purports to be a written act or respondent. However, respondent refused to receive the letter.
record of an act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign Because of the foregoing circumstances, petitioner filed a
country.—The fact of divorce must still first be proven as we have complaint-affidavit with the Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu City
enunciated in Garcia v. Recio, 366 SCRA 437 (2001), to wit: Respondent submitted his counter-affidavit.
Respondent is getting ahead of himself. Before a foreign judgment Upon motion and after notice and hearing, the RTC-Cebu
is given presumptive evidentiary value, the document must first be issued a Hold Departure Order against respondent. Consequently,
presented and admitted in evidence. A divorce obtained abroad is respondent was arrested and, subsequently, posted bail.
proven by the divorce decree itself. Indeed the best evidence of a Petitioner also filed a Motion/Application of Permanent
judgment is the judgment itself. The decree purports to be a written Protection Order.
act or record of an act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign Subsequently, respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss
country. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, on the other hand, On February 19, 2010, the RTC-Cebu issued the herein assailed
a writing or document may be proven as a public or official record Order dismissing the instant criminal case against respondent.
of a foreign country by either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy Thereafter, petitioner filed her Motion for Reconsideration
thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the document. On September 1, 2010, the lower court issued an Order denying
If the record is not kept in the Philippines, such copy must be (a) petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration.
accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or
consular officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the Issues: Whether or not a foreign national has an obligation to
foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by support his minor child under Philippine law
the seal of his office. The divorce decree between respondent and
Editha Samson appears to be an authentic one issued by an Ruling:
Australian family court. However, appearance is not sufficient; Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Appeals; Hierarchy of
compliance with the aforementioned rules on evidence must be Courts; Republic v. Sunvar Realty Development
demonstrated. Fortunately for respondent’s cause, when the Corporation, 674 SCRA 320 (2012), lays down the
divorce decree of May 18, 1989 was submitted in evidence, counsel instances when a ruling of the trial court may be brought
for petitioner objected, not to its admissibility, but only to the fact on appeal directly to the Supreme Court (SC) without
that it had not been registered in the Local Civil Registry of violating the doctrine of hierarchy of courts.—At the outset,
Cabanatuan City. The trial court ruled that it was admissible, subject let it be emphasized that We are taking cognizance of the instant
to petitioner’s qualification. Hence, it was admitted in evidence and petition despite the fact that the same was directly lodged with the
accorded weight by the judge. Indeed, petitioner’s failure to object Supreme Court, consistent with the ruling in Republic v. Sunvar
properly rendered the divorce decree admissible as a written act of Realty Development Corporation, 674 SCRA 320 (2012), which lays
the Family Court of Sydney, Australia. Compliance with the quoted down the instances when a ruling of the trial court may be
articles (11, 13 and 52) of the Family Code is not necessary; brought on appeal directly to the Supreme Court without violating
respondent was no longer bound by Philippine personal laws after the doctrine of hierarchy of courts.
he acquired Australian citizenship in 1992. Naturalization is the legal
act of adopting an alien and clothing him with the political and civil Civil Law; Conflict of Law; Nationality Theory; Support;
rights belonging to a citizen. Naturalized citizens, freed from the Since the respondent is a citizen of Holland or the
protective cloak of their former states, don the attires of their Netherlands, the Supreme Court (SC) agrees with the
adoptive countries. By becoming an Australian, respondent severed Regional Trial Court (RTC)-Cebu that he is subject to the
his allegiance to the Philippines and the vinculum juris that had tied laws of his country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he
him to Philippine personal laws. is obliged to give support to his child, as well as the
consequences of his failure to do so.—We agree with
4. Norma A. Del Socorro, For And In Behalf Of Her Minor respondent that petitioner cannot rely on Article 195 of the New
Child Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem vs. Civil Code in demanding support from respondent, who is a foreign
Ernst Johan Brinkman Van Wilsem citizen, since Article 15 of the New Civil Code stresses the principle
Facts: of nationality. In other words, insofar as Philippine laws are
Petitioner Norma A. Del Socorro and respondent Ernst concerned, specifically the provisions of the Family Code on support,
Johan Brinkman Van Wilsem contracted marriage in Holland on the same only applies to Filipino citizens. By analogy, the same
September 25, 1990.[2] On January 19, 1994, they were blessed principle applies to foreigners such that they are governed by their
with a son named Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem, who at the time of national law with respect to family rights and duties. The obligation
the filing of the... instant petition was sixteen (16) years of age. to give support to a child is a matter that falls under family rights
Unfortunately, their marriage bond ended on July 19, 1995 and duties. Since the respondent is a citizen of Holland or the
by virtue of a Divorce Decree issued by the appropriate Court of Netherlands, we agree with the RTC-Cebu that he is subject to the
Holland.[4] At that time, their son was only eighteen (18) months laws of his country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he is obliged
old. Thereafter, petitioner and her son... came home to the to give support to his child, as well as the consequences of his failure
Philippines. to do so.

5|Article 26
Conflict of Laws; Evidence; Burden of Proof; Foreign Laws; the determination of this issue to the RTC-Cebu which has
International Law; In international law, the party who jurisdiction over the case.
wants to have a foreign law applied to a dispute or case has
the burden of proving the foreign law.—In international law, 5. Fujiki vs. Marinay
the party who wants to have a foreign law applied to a dispute or Facts:
case has the burden of proving the foreign law. In the present case, Petitioner Minoru Fujiki (Fujiki) is a Japanese national who
respondent hastily concludes that being a national of the married respondent Maria Paz Galela Marinay (Marinay) in the
Netherlands, he is governed by such laws on the matter of provision Philippines on 23 January 2004. The marriage did not sit well with
of and capacity to support. While respondent pleaded the laws of petitioner’s parents. Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to Japan
the Netherlands in advancing his position that he is not obliged to where he resides. Eventually, they lost contact with each other.
support his son, he never proved the same. It is incumbent upon In 2008, Marinay met another Japanese, Shinichi Maekara
respondent to plead and prove that the national law of the (Maekara). Without the first marriage being dissolved, Marinay and
Netherlands does not impose upon the parents the obligation to Maekara were married on 15 May 2008 in Quezon City, Philippines.
support their child (either before, during or after the issuance of a Maekara brought Marinay to Japan. However, Marinay allegedly
divorce decree), because Llorente v. Court of Appeals, 345 SCRA suffered physical abuse from Maekara. She left Maekara and started
592 (2000), has already enunciated that: True, foreign laws do not to contact Fujiki.
prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were able to
authorized to take judicial notice of them. Like any other fact, they reestablish their relationship. In 2010, Fujiki helped Marinay obtain
must be alleged and proved. a judgment from a family court in Japan which declared the
marriage between Marinay and Maekara void on the ground of
bigamy. On 14 January 2011, Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC
Same; Doctrine of Processual Presumption; Foreign Laws; entitled: “Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or Decree of
If the foreign law involved is not properly pleaded and Absolute Nullity of Marriage).
proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is the DECISION OF LOWER COURTS:
same as our local or domestic or internal law.—In view of (1) RTC: dismissed the petition for "Judicial Recognition of Foreign
respondent’s failure to prove the national law of the Netherlands in Judgment ·(or Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage)" based on
his favor, the doctrine of processual presumption shall govern. improper venue and the lack of personality of petitioner, Minoru
Under this doctrine, if the foreign law involved is not properly Fujiki, to file the petition.
pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is
the same as our local or domestic or internal law. Thus, since the Issue:
law of the Netherlands as regards the obligation to support has not a. Whether the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of
been properly pleaded and proved in the instant case, it is presumed Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages
to be the same with Philippine law, which enforces the obligation of (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) is applicable.
parents to support their children and penalizing the noncompliance b. Whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a
therewith. petition to recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the
subsequent marriage between his or her spouse and a
Criminal Law; Violence Against Women and Their Children; foreign citizen on the ground of bigamy.
The deprivation or denial of financial support to the child is c. Whether the Regional Trial Court can recognize the
considered an act of violence aga inst women and foreign judgment in a proceeding for cancellation or
children.—The deprivation or denial of financial support to the correction of entries in the Civil Registry under Rule 108
child is considered an act of violence against women and children. of the Rules of Court.
In addition, considering that respondent is currently living in the
Philippines, we find strength in petitioner’s claim that the Ruling:
Territoriality Principle in criminal law, in relation to Article 14 of the Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Foreign Judgments; Conflict
New Civil Code, applies to the instant case, which provides that: of Law; For Philippine courts to recognize a foreign
“[p]enal laws and those of public security and safety shall be judgment relating to the status of a marriage where one of
obligatory upon all who live and sojourn in Philippine territory, the parties is a citizen of a foreign country, the petitioner
subject to the principle of public international law and to treaty only needs to prove the foreign judgment as a fact under
stipulations.” On this score, it is indisputable that the alleged the Rules of Court.—For Philippine courts to recognize a foreign
continuing acts of respondent in refusing to support his child with judgment relating to the status of a marriage where one of the
petitioner is committed here in the Philippines as all of the parties parties is a citizen of a foreign country, the petitioner only needs to
herein are residents of the Province of Cebu City. As such, our courts prove the foreign judgment as a fact under the Rules of Court. To
have territorial jurisdiction over the offense charged against be more specific, a copy of the foreign judgment may be admitted
respondent. It is likewise irrefutable that jurisdiction over the in evidence and proven as a fact under Rule 132, Sections 24 and
respondent was acquired upon his arrest. 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court.
Petitioner may prove the Japanese Family Court judgment through
Same; Same; Continuing Offenses; The act of denying (1) an official publication or (2) a certification or copy attested by
support to a child under Section 5(e)(2) and (i) of Republic the officer who has custody of the judgment. If the office which has
Act (RA) No. 9262 is a continuing offense, which started in custody is in a foreign country such as Japan, the certification may
1995 but is still ongoing at present.—The act of denying be made by the proper diplomatic or consular officer of the
support to a child under Section 5(e)(2) and (i) of R.A. No. 9262 is Philippine foreign service in Japan and authenticated by the seal of
a continuing offense, which started in 1995 but is still ongoing at office.
present. Accordingly, the crime charged in the instant case has
clearly not prescribed. Given, however, that the issue on whether Same; Same; Same; Same; A foreign judgment relating to
respondent has provided support to petitioner’s child calls for an the status of a marriage affects the civil status, condition
examination of the probative value of the evidence presented, and and legal capacity of its parties. However, the effect of a
the truth and falsehood of facts being admitted, we hereby remand foreign judgment is not automatic. To extend the effect of

6|Article 26
a foreign judgment in the Philippines, Philippine courts under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, to
must determine if the foreign judgment is consistent with capacitate a Filipino citizen to remarry when his or her foreign
domestic public policy and other mandatory laws.—A foreign spouse obtained a divorce decree abroad.
judgment relating to the status of a marriage affects the civil status,
condition and legal capacity of its parties. However, the effect of a Same; Same; Same; Same; Since the recognition of a
foreign judgment is not automatic. To extend the effect of a foreign foreign judgment only requires proof of fact of the
judgment in the Philippines, Philippine courts must determine if the judgment, it may be made in a special proceeding for
foreign judgment is consistent with domestic public policy and other cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry
mandatory laws. Article 15 of the Civil Code provides that “[l]aws under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Rule 1, Section 3 of
relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and the Rules of Court provides that “[a] special proceeding is
legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a
even though living abroad.” This is the rule of lex nationalii in private right, or a particular fact.”—Since the recognition of a foreign
international law. Thus, the Philippine State may require, for judgment only requires proof of fact of the judgment, it may be
effectivity in the Philippines, recognition by Philippine courts of a made in a special proceeding for cancellation or correction of entries
foreign judgment affecting its citizen, over whom it exercises in the civil registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Rule 1,
personal jurisdiction relating to the status, condition and legal Section 3 of the Rules of Court provides that “[a] special proceeding
capacity of such citizen. is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or
a particular fact.” Rule 108 creates a remedy to rectify facts of a
Same; Same; Same; Same; A petition to recognize a foreign person’s life which are recorded by the State pursuant to the Civil
judgment declaring a marriage void does not require Register Law or Act No. 3753. These are facts of public consequence
relitigation under a Philippine court of the case as if it were such as birth, death or marriage, which the State has an interest in
a new petition for declaration of nullity of marriage.—A recording. As noted by the Solicitor General, in Corpuz v. Sto.
petition to recognize a foreign judgment declaring a marriage void Tomas, 628 SCRA 266 (2010), this Court declared that “[t]he
does not require relitigation under a Philippine court of the case as recognition of the foreign divorce decree may be made in a Rule
if it were a new petition for declaration of nullity of marriage. 108 proceeding itself, as the object of special proceedings (such as
Philippine courts cannot presume to know the foreign laws under that in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court) is precisely to establish the
which the foreign judgment was rendered. They cannot substitute status or right of a party or a particular fact.”
their judgment on the status, condition and legal capacity of the
foreign citizen who is under the jurisdiction of another state. Thus, Civil Law; Marriages; Parties; When Section 2(a) states that “[a]
Philippine courts can only recognize the foreign judgment as a fact petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be
according to the rules of evidence. filed solely by the husband or the wife” — it refers to the husband
or the wife of the subsisting marriage; The husband or the wife of
Same; Same; Same; Same; Once a foreign judgment is the prior subsisting marriage is the one who has the personality to
admitted and proven in a Philippine court, it can only be file a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage
repelled on grounds external to its merits, i.e., “want of under Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC.—Section 2(a) of A.M.
jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or No. 02-11-10-SC does not preclude a spouse of a subsisting
clear mistake of law or fact.”—Section 48(b), Rule 39 of the marriage to question the validity of a subsequent marriage on the
Rules of Court provides that a foreign judgment or final order ground of bigamy. On the contrary, when Section 2(a) states that
against a person creates a “presumptive evidence of a right as “[a] petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may
between the parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent be filed solely by the husband or the wife” — it refers to the husband
title.” Moreover, Section 48 of the Rules of Court states that “the or the wife of the subsisting marriage. Under Article 35(4) of the
judgment or final order may be repelled by evidence of a want of Family Code, bigamous marriages are void from the beginning.
jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear Thus, the parties in a bigamous marriage are neither the husband
mistake of law or fact.” Thus, Philippine courts exercise limited nor the wife under the law. The husband or the wife of the prior
review on foreign judgments. Courts are not allowed to delve into subsisting marriage is the one who has the personality to file a
the merits of a foreign judgment. Once a foreign judgment is petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage under
admitted and proven in a Philippine court, it can only be repelled on Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC.
grounds external to its merits, i.e., “want of jurisdiction, want of
notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.” Criminal Law; Bigamy; Parties; Bigamy is a public crime.
The rule on limited review embodies the policy of efficiency and the Thus, anyone can initiate prosecution for bigamy because
protection of party expectations, as well as respecting the any citizen has an interest in the prosecution and
jurisdiction of other states. prevention of crimes. If anyone can file a criminal action
which leads to the declaration of nullity of a bigamous
Same; Same; Same; Same; Civil Law; Divorce; While the marriage, there is more reason to confer personality to sue
Philippines does not have a divorce law, Philippine courts on the husband or the wife of a subsisting marriage.—Article
may, however, recognize a foreign divorce decree under the 35(4) of the Family Code, which declares bigamous marriages void
second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, to from the beginning, is the civil aspect of Article 349 of the Revised
capacitate a Filipino citizen to remarry when his or her Penal Code, which penalizes bigamy. Bigamy is a public crime. Thus,
foreign spouse obtained a divorce decree abroad.—Since anyone can initiate prosecution for bigamy because any citizen has
1922 in Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee, 43 Phil. 43 (1922), Philippine an interest in the prosecution and prevention of crimes. If anyone
courts have recognized foreign divorce decrees between a Filipino can file a criminal action which leads to the declaration of nullity of
and a foreign citizen if they are successfully proven under the rules a bigamous marriage, there is more reason to confer personality to
of evidence. Divorce involves the dissolution of a marriage, but the sue on the husband or the wife of a subsisting marriage. The prior
recognition of a foreign divorce decree does not involve the spouse does not only share in the public interest of prosecuting and
extended procedure under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC or the rules of preventing crimes, he is also personally interested in the purely civil
ordinary trial. While the Philippines does not have a divorce law, aspect of protecting his marriage.
Philippine courts may, however, recognize a foreign divorce decree

7|Article 26
Remedial Law; Special Proceedings; Correction of Entries; citizen who obtains a foreign judgment nullifying the
A petition for correction or cancellation of an entry in the marriage on the ground of bigamy; If the foreign judgment
civil registry cannot substitute for an action to invalidate a is not recognized in the Philippines, the Filipino spouse will
marriage. A direct action is necessary to prevent be discriminated — the foreign spouse can remarry while the
circumvention of the substantive and procedural Filipino spouse cannot remarry.—The principle in Article 26 of the
safeguards of marriage under the Family Code, A.M. No. 02- Family Code applies in a marriage between a Filipino and a foreign
11-10-SC and other related laws.—To be sure, a petition for citizen who obtains a foreign judgment nullifying the marriage on
correction or cancellation of an entry in the civil registry cannot the ground of bigamy. The Filipino spouse may file a petition abroad
substitute for an action to invalidate a marriage. A direct action is to declare the marriage void on the ground of bigamy. The principle
necessary to prevent circumvention of the substantive and in the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code applies
procedural safeguards of marriage under the Family Code, A.M. No. because the foreign spouse, after the foreign judgment nullifying
02-11-10-SC and other related laws. Among these safeguards are the marriage, is capacitated to remarry under the laws of his or her
the requirement of proving the limited grounds for the dissolution country. If the foreign judgment is not recognized in the Philippines,
of marriage, support pendente lite of the spouses and children, the the Filipino spouse will be discriminated — the foreign spouse can
liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the remarry while the Filipino spouse cannot remarry.
spouses, and the investigation of the public prosecutor to determine
collusion. A direct action for declaration of nullity or annulment of Same; Same; Same; Bigamy, as a ground for the nullity of
marriage is also necessary to prevent circumvention of the marriage, is fully consistent with Philippine public policy as
jurisdiction of the Family Courts under the Family Courts Act of 1997 expressed in Article 35(4) of the Family Code and Article
(Republic Act No. 8369), as a petition for cancellation or correction 349 of the Revised Penal Code.—Under the second paragraph
of entries in the civil registry may be filed in the Regional Trial Court of Article 26 of the Family Code, Philippine courts are empowered
“where the corresponding civil registry is located.” In other words, to correct a situation where the Filipino spouse is still tied to the
a Filipino citizen cannot dissolve his marriage by the mere expedient marriage while the foreign spouse is free to marry. Moreover,
of changing his entry of marriage in the civil registry. However, this notwithstanding Article 26 of the Family Code, Philippine courts
does not apply in a petition for correction or cancellation of a civil already have jurisdiction to extend the effect of a foreign judgment
registry entry based on the recognition of a foreign judgment in the Philippines to the extent that the foreign judgment does not
annulling a marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of the contravene domestic public policy. A critical difference between the
foreign country. There is neither circumvention of the substantive case of a foreign divorce decree and a foreign judgment nullifying a
and procedural safeguards of marriage under Philippine law, nor of bigamous marriage is that bigamy, as a ground for the nullity of
the jurisdiction of Family Courts under R.A. No. 8369. A recognition marriage, is fully consistent with Philippine public policy as
of a foreign judgment is not an action to nullify a marriage. It is an expressed in Article 35(4) of the Family Code and Article 349 of the
action for Philippine courts to recognize the effectivity of a foreign Revised Penal Code. The Filipino spouse has the option to undergo
judgment, which presupposes a case which was already tried and full trial by filing a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage
decided under foreign law. The procedure in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, but this is not the only remedy
does not apply in a petition to recognize a foreign judgment available to him or her. Philippine courts have jurisdiction to
annulling a bigamous marriage where one of the parties is a citizen recognize a foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage,
of the foreign country. Neither can R.A. No. 8369 define the without prejudice to a criminal prosecution for bigamy.
jurisdiction of the foreign court.
Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Courts; Conflict of Law;
Civil Law; Conflict of Law; Marriages; Annulment of Philippine courts will only determine (1) whether the
Marriage; Foreign Judgments; Divorce; Article 26 of the foreign judgment is inconsistent with an overriding public
Family Code confers jurisdiction on Philippine courts to policy in the Philippines; and (2) whether any alleging party
extend the effect of a foreign divorce decree to a Filipino is able to prove an extrinsic ground to repel the foreign
spouse without undergoing trial to determine the validity judgment, i.e. want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the
of the dissolution of the marriage.—Article 26 of the Family party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.—
Code confers jurisdiction on Philippine courts to extend the effect of Philippine courts will only determine (1) whether the foreign
a foreign divorce decree to a Filipino spouse without undergoing judgment is inconsistent with an overriding public policy in the
trial to determine the validity of the dissolution of the marriage. The Philippines; and (2) whether any alleging party is able to prove an
second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code provides that extrinsic ground to repel the foreign judgment, i.e. want of
“[w]here a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear
validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad mistake of law or fact. If there is neither inconsistency with public
by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino policy nor adequate proof to repel the judgment, Philippine courts
spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.” In should, by default, recognize the foreign judgment as part of the
Republic v. Orbecido, 472 SCRA 114 (2005), this Court recognized comity of nations. Section 48(b), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court states
the legislative intent of the second paragraph of Article 26 which is that the foreign judgment is already “presumptive evidence of a
“to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains right between the parties.” Upon recognition of the foreign
married to the alien spouse who, after obtaining a divorce, is no judgment, this right becomes conclusive and the judgment serves
longer married to the Filipino spouse” under the laws of his or her as the basis for the correction or cancellation of entry in the civil
country. The second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code only registry. The recognition of the foreign judgment nullifying a
authorizes Philippine courts to adopt the effects of a foreign divorce bigamous marriage is a subsequent event that establishes a new
decree precisely because the Philippines does not allow divorce. status, right and fact that needs to be reflected in the civil registry.
Philippine courts cannot try the case on the merits because it is Otherwise, there will be an inconsistency between the recognition
tantamount to trying a case for divorce. of the effectivity of the foreign judgment and the public records in
the Philippines.
Same; Same; Marriages; Annulment of Marriage; Divorce;
Foreign Judgments; The principle in Article 26 of the Family Criminal Law; Bigamy; Foreign Judgments; Conflict of Law;
Code applies in a marriage between a Filipino and a foreign The recognition of a foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous

8|Article 26
marriage is not a ground for extinction of criminal liability
under Articles 89 and 94 of the Revised Penal Code.—The
recognition of a foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage is
without prejudice to prosecution for bigamy under Article 349 of the
Revised Penal Code. The recognition of a foreign judgment nullifying
a bigamous marriage is not a ground for extinction of criminal
liability under Articles 89 and 94 of the Revised Penal Code.
Moreover, under Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code, “[t]he term
of prescription [of the crime of bigamy] shall not run when the
offender is absent from the Philippine archipelago.”

9|Article 26