Divorce obtained vs. foreign spouse abroad also valid in PH

MANILA The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday upheld the validity of a divorce case filed by a Filipina in another country against her foreign husband.

SC spokesman Theodore Te announced the decision during magistrates' summer session in Baguio City on Tuesday.

The Court, voting 10-3-1, ruled that a foreign divorce secured by a Filipino against a foreign spouse is also considered valid in the Philippines, even if it is the Filipino spouse who files for divorce abroad, Te said.

Dissenting in the decision are Associate Justices Mariano Del Castillo, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa while Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited from the case.

On Dec. 6, 2011, a Japanese court granted the divorce case filed by Marelyn Tanedo Manalo against her husband Minoru Yoshino.

Manalo took her case to a court in Dagupan City so that the judgment in the foreign court can be recognized in the Philippines.

The lower court, however, denied her petition prompting her to bring the case to the Court of Appeals (CA).

The CA reversed the lower court's decision in 2014.

The provision interpreted by the Court is Article 26 (2) of the Family Code, which provides: Art. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they are solemnized, 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 38.

Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law, Te said as he read the high court's decision.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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