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) Republic vs Miller
G.R. No. 125932, 21 April 1999
Facts: Spouse Claude and Jumrus Miller, American citizens, filed a verified
petition to adopt the minor Micahel Madayag on July 29, 1988. On May 12,
1989 the trial court granted the petition. Solicitor General interposed an appeal
before the CA raising the issue whether the court may allow aliens to adopt a
Filipino child despite the prohibition under the Family Code, which became
effective only on August 3, 1988. As it involved a question of law, CA certified
the case before the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the prohibition in the Family Code should be applied in a
petition which was filed earlier than the Family Codes effectivity.
Held: No. The enactment of Family Code will not affect spouses right because
the right has become vested at the time of the filing of the petition. A vested
right is one whose existence effectivity and extent does not depend upon events
foreign to the will of the holder. A vested right could not be affected by the
subsequent enactment of a new law disqualifying aliens from adopting.

9.) Atienza vs Brillantes

AM MTJ 92-706/ 29 March 1995
Facts: Complainant Lupo Atienza filed a complaint (administrative) for Gross
Immorality and Appearance of Impropriety aganst Judge Francisco Brillante Jr,
Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Tial Court, Branch 20, Manila. Complainant
alleged that he had two children with Yolanda de Castro. They lived in a house
in Makati. Atienza stayed there whenever he was in Manila. One day, he saw
Brillantes sleeping on his bed in the said house. He learned that Brillantes and
De Catsro were cohabiting. Complaint also alleged that Brillantes was married
to Ongkiko with whom he had five children. Respondent denied that he was
married to Ongkiko.
He admitted that while he and Ongkiko went through marriage ceremony twice
(both in 1965), the marriage was not valid because neither party applied for
marriage license. He claimed that when he married De Castro in civil rites in
1991, he believed, in all good faith, that he was single because his first marriage
was solemnized without license.
He further argued that Article 40 of the Family Code does not apply since when
his first marriage was governed by Civil Code while his second marriage was
governed by Family Code.
Issue: Whether Article 40 may be given retroactive effect.
Held: Article 40 is applicable to remarriages entered into after the effectivity of
the Family Code on August 3, 1988 regardless of the date of the first marriage.
Besides, under 256 of the FC, said Article is given retroactive effect insofar as
it does not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the
Civil Code or other laws. This is particularly true with Article 40 which is a rule
of procedure. The fact that procedural statutes may somehow affect the
litigants rights my not preclude their retroactive application to pending actions.
The retroactive application of procedural laws is not violative of any right of a
person who may feel that he is adversely affect. The reason is that as a rule no
vested right may attach to, arise from, procedural laws.

C. Article 8. Stare Decisis; Case Law; See also Article 36, FC

1.) Tala Realty Services Corp. vs. Banco Filipino Savings

G.R. No. 181369, 22 June 2016
Facts: On September 5, 1995, Banco Filipino filed a complaint with RTC Manila
against petitioner Tala Realty Services Corporation (Tala) and the individual
petitioners. The complaint is one of the complaints filed by Banco Filipino
against Tala stemming from their trust agreement.
Banco Filipino alleged that the properties were covered by trust agreement
between Banco Filipino, as trustor-beneficiary, and Tala Realty, as trustee. In
essence, the agreement was a sale and lease-back arrangement wherein
Banco Filipino sold various properties to Tala while the latter consequently
leased to Banco Filipino the same property for a period of 20 years, renewable
for another 20 at the option of Banco Filipino. However, sometime in 1992, Tala
claimed the property for itself and threatened to eject Banco Filipino.
Petitioners moved to dismiss the complaint based on the following grounds:
forum shopping, lack of cause of action, and pari delicto. The motion was
denied. However, the trial court reversed itself. It ordered the dismissal of the
complaint against petitioners except Rala and ordered the suspension of
proceedings in view of SCs decision in G.R. No. 137533 which declared
the trust agreement void.
Consequently, Banco Filipino elevated the case to the Court of Appeals via
Rule 65. The CA granted the petition finding that the RTC should have
hypothetically admitted the truth of the factual allegations in the complaint-
including the validity of the trust agreement. The CA also said that the
proceedings should not have been suspended because the matter resolved in
the aforecited case is distinct and separate from the subject matter of the case
for reconveyance.
Hence, this appeal under Rule 45 where petitioners claim that Banco Filipinos
action for reconveyance is already barred by stare decisis and conclusiveness
of judgment.
In previous cases (G.R. No. 188302, G.R. Nos. 130088, 131469, 155171, and
1666608), the Court has applied the ruling in G.R. No. 13753331 wherein the
Court adjudged that the trust agreement between BAnco and Tala is void and
cannot be enforced.
Held: In the previous cases cited, the Supreme Court has applied the time-
honored principle of stare decisis, which literally means to adhere to
precedents, and not to unsettle things which are established to settle the issue
of whether Banco Filipino can recover the properties. The rule of stare decisis
is a bar to any attempt to relitigate the same issue where the same
questioning relation to the same event have been put forward by the parties
similarly situated as in previous case litigated and decided by a competent
court. Thus, the Courts ruling in G.R. No. 137533 regarding the nullity of the
trust agreement-the very same agreement which Banco Filipino seeks to
enforce in the proceedings a quo applies with full force in the present case.

2.) Ting vs Velez-Ting

G.R. No. 166562, 31 March 2009
Facts: Carmen Velez-Ting (Carmen) filed a petition for declaration of nullity of
marriage against her husband Benjamin Ting (Benjamin) based on Art. 36 of
the Family Code (psychological incapacity). During trial, Carmen presented a
psychiatrist who did not examine Benjamin but based his assessment on
Benjamins transcript of stenographic notes of his deposition. She also
presented their nanny who corroborated Carmens claim about Benjamins
drinking and gambling habits, and also about his violent behavior. The trial court
granted the petition. On appeal, the CA reversed the trial court stating that no
proof was adduced to support the conclusion that Benjamin was psychologically
incapacitated at the time he married Carmen since the psychiatrists conclusion
as based on theories and not on established fact contrary to the guidelines set
forth in Santos vs Court of Appeals, and in Rep. of the Philippines vs Court of
Appeals and Molina (Molina case). Carmen argued that Molina ruling could not
be applied retroactively as it would run contrary to the principle of stare decisis.
Molina was only promulgated more than five years after she had filed her
Issue: Whether the application of Molina Doctrine was contrary to the principle
of stare decisis.
Held: No. Interpretation or construction of a law by courts constitutes a part of
the law as of the date of the statute is enacted. It is only when a prior ruling of
this Court is overruled, and a different view is adopted, that the new doctrine
may have to be applied prospectively in favor of parties who have relied on the
old doctrine and have acted in good faith, in accordance therewith under the
familiar rule of lex prospicit, no respicit.
The principle of stare decisis enjoins adherence by lower courts to doctrinal
rules established by the Court in its final decisions It is based on the principle
that once a question of law has been examined and decided, it should be
deemed settled and closed to further argument.
(The Court also distinguished a vertical stare decisis from horizontal stare
decisis. Vertical stare decisis deals with the duty of lower courts to apply the
decisions of the higher courts to cases involving the same facts, while horizontal
stare decisis require the court to follow its precedents.
The two kinds of horizontal decisis are as follows: constitutional stare decisis
(involves judicial interpretations of the Constitution) and statutory stare decisis
(involves judicial interpretations of statutes. Courts enjoy more flexibility in
refusing to apply stare decisis in constitutional stare decisis. On contrast, the
application of stare decisi on judicial interpretation of statutes is more inflexible)

D. Arts 15, 16, 17, 50, 51 (NCC); Art 26 FC; Rules 103/108; Civil Register
(407-413 NCC) Divorce, Art. 71, 119, 175, 144, Doctrine of Processual
Presumption; Sections 24, 25, Rule 132 RRC; RA 9225

1.) CMI vs Basso

G.R. Nos. 178382-83, 15 September 2015
Facts: Petitioner Continental Micronesia, Inc. (CMI) is a foreign coporation
organized and existing under the laws of and domiciled in the United States. It
is licensed to do business in the Philippines. Basso, on the other hand, was a
US citizen who resided in the Philippines prior to his death. Basso was the
general manager of the Philippine branch of Continental Airlines.
In November 1992, CMI took over the Philippine operations of
Continental. In December 1995, Basso received a letter from the VP of
Marketing and Sales of CMI informing Basso that he has agreed to work in
CMI as consultant on as needed basis. Basso wrote a counter-proposal
regarding his employment status.
When Basso wrote to the HR Department of CMI, its personnel replied
that Basso could be terminated at will upon a thirty-day notice. It also said that
his counter proposal was rejected and, thus, terminated his employment
effective 31 June 1996.
Basso filed a Complaint for Illegal Dismissal against CMI. Labor Arbiter
ruled that applying lex loci celebrationis, US laws should apply. Also, it ruled
that applying lex loci contractus, the parties evidently did not intend to apply
Philippine laws. NLRC ruled that Basso was dismissed for just and valid
vauses on the ground of breach of trust and loss of confidence. However,
NLRC found that CMI denied Basso the required due process notice in his
dismissal. On appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled that NLRC and LA had
jurisdiction over the case. On merits, it said that the loss of trust and
confidence was not established.
Before the Supreme Court, CMI insisted that US law is the applicable
choice-of-law under the principle of lex loci celebrationis and lex loci
contractus. CMI said that reference to US laws in the contract showed the
parties intention to apply US laws, and not ours. CMI asserted that the US
law on labr relations sanctions termination-at-will provisions in employment
Issue: Whether US laws should apply.
Held: No. The Court noted that the case involves conflict-in-law case. First, it
resolved that Philippine court had jurisdiction over the case and the person of
the parties. Then, it applied the test factors, points of contract or
connecting fators. Court concluded that Philippine law is the applicable law.
Basso was a resident here. CMI had a license to do business in the Philippine
and maintains a branch here where Basso was hired to work. Contract of
employment was negotiated here. It was also perfected here. Also, the place
of performance relative to Bassos contractual duties was in the Philippines.
The alleged prohibited acts of Basso that warranted his dismissal were
committed here. Clearly, the Philippines is the state with the most significant
relationship to the problem. Termination-at-will is anathema to the public
policies on labor protection espoused by our laws and Constition. Hence, the
US Railway Labor Act, which sanctions termination-at-will, should not be
applied in this case. Additionally, the rule is that there is no judicial notice
of any foreign law. As any other fact, it must be alleged and proved. IF
the foreign law is not properly pleaded or proved, the presumption of
identity or similarity of the foreign law to our own laws, otherwise known
as processual presumption, applies.

2.) Del Soccoro vs Van Wilsem

G.R. No. 193707, 10 December 2014
Facts: Norma Del Socorro (Norma) and Ernst Johan Brinkman Van Wilmsen
(Johan) married in Holland on 25 September 1990. Their son was born on 19
January 1994. He was 16 years old at the time of the filing of petition. Their
marriage ended on 19 July 1995 by virtue of a divorce decree issued by a court
in Holland. Then, Norma and her son came home to the Philippines. According
to Norma, Johan promised to provide for monthly support to their son. However,
since their arrival, Johan never provided support. Not long thereafter, Johan
went to the Philippines and married another Filipino woman. Together, they
established a business known as Paree Catering located in Cebu City. Norma,
through counsel, sent a letter demanding for support from Johan. But, the latter
refused to receive the letter. Norma then filed a complaint against Johan for
violation of Section 5, par E(2)of R.A. 9262 for latters unjust refusal to support
his minor child. Thereafter, an information was filed. On 19 February 2010, the
RTC-Cebu dismiss the case against respondent on the ground that the facts
charged in the information do not constitute an offense with respect to
respondent who is an alien. The Motion for Reconsideration was denied. Before
the Court, Norma grounds here argument on Article 195 of the Family Code in
demanding support from respondent.
1.) Whether a foreign national has an obligation to support his minor child
under Philippine law.
2.) Whether a foreign national can be held criminally liable under R.A. 9262
for his unjustified failure to give support.
1.) Yes. Firstly, in the case at bar, while it true that the matter of giving
support falls under family rights and duties, hence, governed by the
national laws of Holland pursuant to the nationality rule (Art. 15 of the
Civil Code), Johan, however, failed to prove the laws of Netherland.
Under the doctrine of processual presumption, if the foreign law involved
is not properly pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the
foreign law is the same as our local or domestic or internal law. It may
be noted also that the divorce covenant presented by Johan ford not
completely show that he is not liable to give support to his child.
Secondly, notwithstanding that the national law of Johan states that
that parents have no obligation to support their children or that
such obligation is not punishable by law, said law would still not
find applicability. When foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to
sound and established public policy of the forum, the said foreign law,
judgment or order shall not be applied Moreover, foreign law should
not be applied when its application would work undeniable injustice to
the citizens or residents of the forum. The duty to give support is still duly
enforceable in the Philippine because it would be of great injustice to the
child to be denied of financial support when the latter is entitled thereto.
2.) Yes. Article 14 of the New Civil Code states Penal laws and those of
public security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who live and
sojourn in Philippine territory, subject to the principle of public
international law and treaty stipulation. On this score, it is indisputable
that the alleged continuing acts of Johan in refusing to support his child
with Norma is committed here as all of the parties herein are residents
of the Province of Cebu City. (Court also pronounced that act of denying
support to a child under Section 5 (e)(2) and (i) of R.A. 9262 is a
continuing offense.
3.) OSB vs. Suzuki
G.R. No. 205487, 12 November 2014
Facts: Shigekane Suzuki (Suzuki), a Japanese national inquire about a
condominium unit and a parking slot at Cityland Pioneer, Mandaluyong City,
allegedly owned by Yung Sam Kang (Kang), a Korean national and a Special
Resident Retiree's Visa (SRRV) holder. Suzuki and Kang then executed a Deed
of Absolute Sale dated August 26, 2003 covering Unit No. 536 (covered by CCT
No. 18186) and Parking Slot No. 42 (CCT No. 9118). Soon after, Suzuki took
possession of the condominium unit and parking lot.
Kang thereafter represented Suzuki to deliver the titles to the properties, which
were then allegedly in possession of Alexander Perez for safekeeping. Despite
demands, Kang failed to deliver the documents. Suzuki later on learned that
Kang had left the country, prompting Suzuki to verify the status of the properties
with the Mandaluyong City Registry of Deeds. Suzuki learned that CCT No.
9118 contained no annotations although it remained under the name of Cityland
Pioneer. But Cityland told him that the purchase price was fully paid. CCT No.
18186 had no existing encumbrance, except for anannotation under Entry No.
73321/C-10186 which provided that any conveyance or encumbrance of CCT
No. 18186 shall be subject to approval by the Philippine Retirement Authority
(PRA). CCT No. 18186 contained Entry No. 66432/C-10186 dated February 2,
1999 representing a mortgage in favor of Orion for a 1,000,000.00 loan, that
annotation was subsequently cancelled on June 16, 2000 by Entry No.
73232/T. No. 10186. Despite the cancellation of the mortgage to Orion, the titles
to the properties remained in possession of Perez.
Suzuki then executed an Affidavit of Adverse Claim dated September 8, 2003,
with the Registry of Deeds of Mandaluyong City. Orion, (through Perez),
however, refused to surrender the titles, and cited the need to consult Orions
legal counsel as its reason.
On October 14, 2003, Suzuki received a letter from Orions counsel dated
October 9, 2003, stating that Kang obtained another loan in the amount of
1,800,000.00. When Kang failed to pay, he executed a Dacion en Pagodated
February 2, 2003, in favorof Orion covering Unit No. 536. Orion, however, did
not register the Dacion en Pago, until October 15, 2003. RTC ruled in favor of
Suzuki. RTC said Suzuki was innocent purchaser for value. CA affirmed the
decision. Before the Court, Orion argued that the Deed of Sale executed by
Kang in favor of Suzuki is null and void. Under Korean law, any conveyance of
a conjugal property should be made with the consent of both spouses.
Issue: Whether Korean law governed the transfer of said real properties.
Held: No. Philippine Law governs the transfer of real property
It is a universal principle that real or immovable property is exclusively subject
to the laws of the country or state where it is located. Thus, all matters
concerning the title and disposition of real property are determined by what is
known as the lex loci rei sitae, which can alone prescribe the mode by which a
title can pass from one person to another, or by which an interest therein can
be gained or lost. This general principle includes all rules governing the
descent, alienation and transfer of immovable property and the validity, effect
and construction of wills and other conveyances. This principle even governs
the capacity of the person making a deed relating to immovable property, no
matter what its nature may be. Thus, an instrument will be ineffective to transfer
title to land if the person making it is incapacitated by the lex loci rei sitae, even
though under the law of his domicile and by the law of the place where the
instrument is actually made, his capacity is undoubted.
On the other hand, property relations between spouses are governed principally
by the national law of the spouses. To prove a foreign law, the party invoking it
must present it. (Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25).
Accordingly, matters concerning the title and disposition of real property shall
be governed by Philippine law while issues pertaining to the conjugal nature of
the property shall be governed by South Korean law, provided it is proven as a
In the present case, Orion, unfortunately failed to prove the South Korean law
on the conjugal ownership of property. It merely attached a "Certification from
the Embassy of the Republic of Korea" to prove the existence of Korean Law.
This certification, does not qualify as sufficient proof of the conjugal nature of
the property for there is no showing that it was properly authenticated by the
seal of his office, as required under Section 24 of Rule 132.
4.) Ando vs DFA
G.R. No. 195432, 27 August 2014
Facts: On 16 September 2001, petitioner Edelina Ando (Edelina) married
Yuichiro Kobayashi (Kobayashi), a Japanese National, in a civil wedding
solemnized at Pampanga. On 16 September 2004, Kobayashi sought in Japan,
and was granted under Japanese laws, a divorce in respect of his marriage with
Edelina. The Divorce Certificate duly issued by Consulate-General of Japan
and duly authenticated by DFA Manila. The divorce certificate wras dully
registered with the Office of Civil Registry of Manila. Believing in good faith that
the divorce capacitated her to remarry, Edelina married Masatomi Y. Ando
(Ando) on 13 September 2005. On 27 November 2005, Koayashi married Ryo
Miken. When Edelina applied for the renewal of her Philippine passport to
indicate her surname with Ando, she was told that the same cannot be issued
until she can prove by competent court decision that her marriage with Ando is
Therefore, on 29 October 2010, Edelina filed with the RTC a Petition for
Declaratory Relief. She impleaded the DFA and prayed for: (a) declaration of
validity of marriage between Edelina and Ando; (b) declaration of Edelinas
entitlement to issuance of passport; (c) directin the DFA to honor petitioners
marriage to her husband Ando.
Issue: Whether Edelinas second marriage may be recognized.
Held: No. Petitioner should have filed a petition for the judicial recognition of
her foreign divorce from her first husband. In Garcia vs Recio, the Court has
ruled that a divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognize in Philippine
jurisdiction provided the decree is valid according to the national law of the
foreigner. Both the divorce decree and governing personal law of the alien
spouse who obtained the divorce must be proven since our courts do not take
judicial notice of foreign laws and judgment. While it has also been ruled in
Republic vs Orbecido III that a petition for the authority to remarry filed before
a trial court actually constitutes a petition for declaratory relief, the Court is still
unable to grant the prayer since there appeared to be insufficient proof or
evidence presented on record of the validity of divorce decree under that
national law. Any declaration as to the validity of the decree can only be made
upon her complete submission of evidence proving the divorce decree and the
national law of her alien spouse, in an action instituted in the proper forum.

With respect to her prayer to compel the DFA to issue her passport,
Petitioner should have first appeals before the Secretary of Foreign Affairs
under Section 9 of R.A. 8239.

5.) Noveras vs Noveras
G.R. No. 188289, 20 August 2014
Facts: David Noveras (David) and Leticia Noveras (Leticia) were married on 3
December 1988 in Quezon City. They resided in California, USA where they
acquire American citizenship. They then begot two children. During their
marriage, they acquired properties in the Philippines and in the USA. David was
engaged in courier service business while Leticia worked as a nurse. Due to
business reverses, David left the USA and returned to the Philippines in 2001.
In December 2002, Leticia executed a Special Power of Attorney authorizing
David to sell the Sampaloc property for P2.2M.
Upon learning that David had an extra-marital affair, Leticia filed a petition for
divorce with the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo, USA. The
court granted the petition. It granted to Leticia the custody of her two children
as well as the couples properties in USA.Upon issuance of the decree, Leticia
filed a petition for judicial separation of conjugal property before RTC of Baler,
The trial court regarded the petition as petition for liquidation of property since
the marriage was already dissolved. It classified their property relation as
absolute community due to absence of marriage settlement before the
marriage. Then, the trial court ruled that in accordance with the doctrine of
processual presumption, Philippine law should apply becase the court cannot
take judicial notice of US law since the parties did not submit any proof of their
national law. The court awarded the properties in the Philippines to David,
subject to the payment of childrens legitimes.
1.) Whether their marriage was dissolved.
2.) Whether the Philippine courts acquired jurisdiction over the California
1.) No. The Court quoted its decision in Corpuz vs Sto Tonas, where it
ruled: The starting point in any recognition of a foreign divorce
judgment is the acknowledgment that our courts do not take judicial
notice of foreign judgments and laws. Justice Herrera explained that,
as a rule, no sovereign is bound to give effect within its dominion to a
judgment rendered by a tribunal of another country. This means that
the foreign judgment and its authenticity must be proven as facts under
our rules on evidence, together with the aliens applicable national law
to show the effect of the judgment on the alien himself or herselfThe
requirements of presenting the foreign decree and the national law of
the foreigner must comply with our Rules of Evidence (Rule 132,
Sections 24-25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48 b). Under Section 24
of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, the record of public documents of a
foreign sovereign authority or tribunal may be proved by: (1) an official
publication thereof or (2) a copy attested by the officer having the legal
custody thereof. Based on the records only, divorce decree was
presented in evidence. The required certificates to prove its
authenticity, as well as pertinent California law on divorce was not
presented. In this case, it appears that there is no seal from the office
where the divorce decree was obtained. Even if we apply the doctrine
of processual presumption, the recognition of divorce is entirely a
different matter because divorce is not recognized between Filipino
citizens in the Philippines. Absent a valid recognition of the divorce
decree, it follows that the parties are still legally married in the

The Court then ruled that the petition for judicial separation of absolute
community of property should be granted, which in effect, dissolved the
absolute community regime. [See: Article 135 (5) and (6), Article 99 (4),
Family Code].

2.) No. Article 16 of the Civil Code states that the real property as well as
personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is
situated. Thus, in this case, liquidation shall only be limited to the
Philippine properties. (Under Article 102, liquidation follows the
dissolution of absolute community regime).


6.) Lavadia vs. Heirs of Luna

G.R. No. 171914, 23 July 2014
Facts: Atty. Juan Luces Luna (Atty. Luna) married Eugenia Zaballera-Luna
(Eugenia) on September 10, 1947. They had seven children. In February 1966,
they agreed to live apart and to separation of property, to which end, they
entered into a written agreement dated November 12, 1975. On January 12,
1976, Atty. Luna obtained a divorce decree from a court in the Dominican
Republic. Then, he married Soledad Lavadia (Soledad) in the said country.
Thereafter, they returned to the Philippines and lived as husband and wife until
Sometime in 1992, the law firm (Luna, Puruganan, Sison and Ongkiko)
to which Atty. Luna was a partner was dissolved. The partnership owned a
517.52 sqm condominium unit in Makati City. The partners agreed that Atty.
Lunas share over the condominium unit would be 25/100. Thereafter, Atty.
Luna established and headed another law firm with Atty. Renato Dela Cruz and
used a portion of the condominium unit as their office until the death of Atty.
Luna in July 1997.
After such death, Atty. Lunas condominium, office furniture and
equipment found in the condominium were taken over by Gregorio Luna (son
of Atty. Luna with Eugenia). He then leased out the said portion of the unit
belonging to his father to Atty. Dela Cruz, who established another law firm.
These properties became the subject of complaint filed by Soledad
against heirs of Atty. Luna with the RTC Makati on September 10, 1999.
Complaint alleged that these properties were acquired during the existence of
their marriage through their joint efforts. Since they had no children, Soledad
became co-owner of the said properties upon death of Att. Luna to the extent
of 3/4 pro-indiviso share consisting of here share in the property plus her
share in the net estate of Atty. Luna which was bequeathed to her in Atty. Lunas
last will and testament. She alleged that Gregorio Luna excluded her from her
share in the estate.
She prayed that she be declared owner of the portion of said
properties; that the same be partitioned; that an accounting of rentals on the
unit pertaining to Soledads share be conducted; that a receiver be appointed
to preserve and administer the said properties; and that the heirs of Atty. Luna
be ordered to pay attorneys fees and costs of the suit to Soledad.
The trial court adjudged that share in the condominium unit was acquired
by Juan Luna through sole industry. It found that plaintiff gad no right as owner
or under any concept over the unit, hence the entry in Condominium Certificate
of Title No. 21761 of the Registry if Deeds of Makati with repect to the civil
status of Juan Luces Luna should be changed from JUAN LUCES LUNA
married to Soledad L. Luna to JUAN LUCES LUNA married to Eugenia
Zaballero Luna. However, plaintiff was declared the owner of the books Corpus
Juris, Fletcher on Corporation, and Federal Supreme Court Reports found in
the unit.
On appeal, the Court Appeal ruled that the 25/100 pro-indiviso share in
the condominium unit was acquired from the sole funds and sole industry of
Atty. Luna while of marriage of Atty. Luna and Eugenia was subsisting,
therefore, Soledad had no right as owner or under any other concept over the
condominium unit. The heirs of Atty. Luna and Eugenia were also declared
owner of the books.
Issue: Whether the divorce of the second marriage had validly dissolved the
first marriage.
Held: The first marriage was solemnized at the time when the Spanish Civil
Code was in effect. The Spanish Civil Code adopted the nationality rule, which
states that the Philippine laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the
status, condition, and legal capacity of persons were binding upon citizens of
the Philippines, although living abroad. The Civil Code continued to follow this
rule. Pursuant to this rule, the Philippine laws governed this case because both
Atty. Luna and Eugenia remained Philippine citizens until the death of Atty.
Luna. From the time of the celebration on September 10, 1947 until the present,
absolute divorce between Filipino spouses has not been recognized in the
Philippines. Therefore, the divorce decree obtained in the Dominican Republic
did not dissolve the first marriage.