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LAZARO RAYRAY, plaintiff-appellant, versus CHAE KYUNG LEE, defendantappellee

G.R. NO. 18176, October 26, 1966
A court has jurisdiction over the res, in an action for annulment of
marriage, provided, at least, one of the parties is domiciled in, or a
national of, the forum.

Both were married in Pusan, Korea. Before themarriage,Lee was able to secure a
marriage license which is a requirement in Korea prior to marrying. They lived
together until 1955. Rayray however later found out that Lee had previously lived
with 2 Americans and a Korean. Lee answered by saying that it is not unusual in
Korea for a woman to have more than one partner and that it is legally permissive
for them to do so and that there is no legal impediment to her marriage with Rayray.
Eventually they pursued their separate way. Plaintiff Lazaro Rayray seeks the
annulment of his marriage to defendant Chae Kyung Lee. Inasmuch as, the latter's
whereabouts is unknown; summons was served by publication, as provided in the
Rules of Court. Thereafter, plaintiff moved that defendant be declared in default,
she not having filed an answer, and that a date be set for the reception of his
evidence. In due course, thereafter, the lower court decision was rendered
dismissing plaintiff's complaint, without costs, upon the ground: (1) that the court
could not nullify a marriage contracted abroad; and(2) that the facts proven do not
warrant the relief prayed for. A reconsideration of this decision havingbeen denied,
plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeals, which certified the case to the Supreme
Court,the jurisdiction of the lower court being in issue in the appeal.The court
a quo
found that it had no jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of plaintiff's marriageto the
defendant, it having been solemnized in Seoul, Korea. Said conclusion is erroneous.
In order thata given case could be validly decided by a court of justice, it must have
jurisdiction over (1) the subject-matter of the litigation; (2) the person of the parties
therein; and (3) in actions in rem or
,the res.
Whether or not the subject was subject to the jurisdiction before Philippine trial

The prevailing rule is, accordingly, that a court has jurisdiction over the res, in an
action forannulment of marriage, provided, at least, one of the parties is domiciled
in, or a national of, the forum.Since plaintiff is a Filipino, domiciled in the Philippines,
it follows that the lower court had jurisdiction
over the res, in addition to its jurisdiction over the subject-matter and the parties. In
other words, itcould validly inquire into the legality of the marriage between the
parties herein.The lower court is
correct in ruling that Rayrays evidence is
not sufficient to renderhis marriage with Lee null and void. Rayray said that the
police clearance secured by Lee is meant toallow her tomarryafter her subsequent
cohabitation/s with the other men

which are consideredbigamous in Philippine law. The SC ruled that the police
clearance is wanting for it lacks the signature of the person who prepared it and
there is no competent document to establish the identity of the same.Also, through
Rayray himself, Lee averred that it is ok in Korea for a person who
with othermen before to marry another man. This is an indication that Lee herself is
aware that if it were aprevious marriage that is concerned then that could be a legal
impediment to any subsequent marriage.Rayray cannot be given credence in
claiming that his consent could have been otherwise altered had heknown all these
facts prior to the marriage because he would lie to every opportunity given him by
theCourt so as to suit his case.Thus, petition is DENIED with the cost against the