Tuesday 23 October, 2018
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SC recognizes divorce decree obtained by a Filipina in Japan

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday recognized the foreign divorce decree obtained by a Filipina against her foreign spouse.

“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,” SC spokesman Theodore Te said during Court’s summer session in Baguio City.

Those who dissented in the ruling were Associate Justices Mariano Del Castillo, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa while Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited from the case.

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

Manalo took her case to the Dagupan court so that the judgment in the foreign court can be recognized in the Philippines. However, the lower court denied her petition prompting her to go to the Court of Appeals.

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

Te noted the Court affirmed in part the September 18, 2014 Decision and the October 12, 2015 Resolution and remanded the case to the trial court for further reception of evidence.

The provision interpreted by the SC 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.

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