G.R. No. 221029 : April 24 2018

Related Provision: Article 26, Par. 2, FC


  • Manalo married Minoro (Japanese) in the Philippines.
  • 2011, Manalo filed a case for divorce in Japan. It was approved.
  • 2012, Manalo filed a petition for cancellation of Entry of marriage in the Civil Registry by virtue of a judgment of divorce Japanese court.
  • RTC denied Manalo’s petition for lack of merit. It ruled that that the divorce obtained by Manalo in Japan should not be recognized, based on Article 15 of the New Civil Code.
    • It said that the Philippine law “does not afford Filipinos the right to file for a divorce whether they are in the country or living abroad, if they are married to Filipinos or to foreigners, or if they celebrated their marriage in the Philippines or in another country” and that unless Filipinos “are naturalized as citizens of another country, Philippine laws shall have control over issues related to Filipinos’ family rights and duties, together with the determination of their condition and legal capacity to enter into contracts and civil relations, including marriages.”
  • CA overturned the RTC decision. It held that Article 26 of the FC is applicable even if it was Manalo who filed for divorce against her Japanese husband because the decree may obtained makes the latter no longer married to the former, capacitating him to remarry.
    • meaning of the law should be based on the intent of the lawmakers and in view of the legislative intent behind Article 26, it would be height of injustice to consider Manalo as still married to the Japanese national, who, in turn, is no longer married to her. For the appellate court, the fact that it was Manalo who filed the divorce case is inconsequential. Cited as similar to this case was Van Dorn v. Judge Romilo, Jr. where the mariage between a foreigner an a Filipino was dissolved filed abroad by the latter.
  • SG filed a motion for reconsideration, but it was denied; hence, this petition.

ISSUE: WON CA erred in ruling that Manalo’s petition should be granted by virtue of Art. 26 (Par 2), FC?

HELD: NO. CA did not err in ruling that Manalo’s petition should be granted by virtue of Art. 26 (Par 2), FC?

  • Manalo’s petition is granted.
  • CA ruling partially affirm.
  1. A Filipino citizen has the capacity to remarry under Philippine law after initiating a divorce proceeding abroad and obtaining a favorable judgment against his or her alien spouse who is capacitated to remarry.
    1. Dacasin v. Dacasin and Van Dorn
  2. When this Court recognized a foreign divorce decree that was initiated and obtained by the Filipino spouse and extended its legal effects on the issues of child custody and property relation, it should not stop short in a likewise acknowledging that one of the usual and necessary consequences of absolute divorce is the right to remarry. Indeed, there is no longer a mutual obligation to live together and observe fidelity. When the marriage tie is severed and ceased to exist, the civil status and the domestic relation of the former spouses change as both of them are freed from the marital bond.