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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila

SECOND DIVISION


MARIA REBECCA MAKAPUGAY
BAYOT,
Petitioner,
- ersus -

THE HONORABLE COURT OF
APPEALS and VICENTE
MADRIGAL BAYOT,
Respon!ents"
#-------------------------------------------#
MARIA REBECCA MAKAPUGAY
BAYOT,
Petitioner,
- ersus -

VICENTE MADRIGAL BAYOT,
Respon!ent"
G.R. No. 15565

Present$

%UISUM&IN', J", Chairperson,
C(RPIO MOR()ES,
TIN'(,
VE)(SCO, *R", an!
&RION, JJ"


G.R. No. 16!"!



Pro+ul,ate!$

Noe+ber -, .//0
#-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------#

D E C I S I O N

VELASCO, #R., J.$

T%& Ca'&

&efore us are these t1o petitions interpose! b2 petitioner Maria Rebecca
Ma3apu,a2 &a2ot i+pu,nin, certain issuances han!e! out b2 the Court of (ppeals
4C(5 in C(-'"R" SP No" 6070-"

In the first, a petition for certiorari
879
un!er Rule 6: an! !oc3ete! as G.R.
No. 15565, Rebecca assails an! see3s to nullif2 the (pril ;/, .//. Resolution
8.9
of
the C(, as reiterate! in another Resolution of Septe+ber ., .//.,
8;9
,rantin, a 1rit
of preli+inar2 in<unction in faor of priate respon!ent Vicente Ma!ri,al &a2ot
stain, off the trial court=s ,rant of support pendente lite to Rebecca"

The secon!, a petition for reie1 un!er Rule >:,
8>9
!oc3ete! G.R. No.
16!"!, assails the March .:, .//> Decision
8:9
of the C(, 475 !is+issin, Ciil
Case No" /7-/?>, a suit for !eclaration of absolute nullit2 of +arria,e 1ith
application for support co++ence! b2 Rebecca a,ainst Vicente before the
Re,ional Trial Court 4RTC5 in Muntinlupa Cit2@ an! 4.5 settin, asi!e certain or!ers
an! a resolution issue! b2 the RTC in the sai! case"

Per its Resolution of (u,ust 77, .//>, the Court or!ere! the consoli!ation of
both cases"

T%& Fa()'

Vicente an! Rebecca 1ere +arrie! on (pril ./, 7?-? in Sanctuario !e San
*ose, 'reenhills, Man!alu2on, Cit2" On its face, the Marria,e
Certificate
869
i!entifie! Rebecca, then .6 2ears ol!, to be an (+erican
citiAen
8-9
born in (,aBa, 'ua+, US( to Cesar Tanchion, Ma3apu,a2, (+erican,
an! Celen Corn Ma3apu,a2, (+erican"

On Noe+ber .-, 7?0. in San Drancisco, California, Rebecca ,ae birth to
Marie *osephine (le#an!ra or (li#" Dro+ then on, Vicente an! Rebecca=s +arital
relationship see+e! to hae soure! as the latter, so+eti+e in 7??6, initiate!
!iorce procee!in,s in theDo+inican Republic" &efore the Court of the Dirst
Instance of the *u!icial District of Santo Do+in,o, Rebecca personall2 appeare!,
1hile Vicente 1as !ul2 represente! b2 counsel" On Debruar2 .., 7??6, the
Do+inican court issue! C*+*, D&(-&& No. 6./!6,
809
or!erin, the !issolution of the
couple=s +arria,e an! Eleain, the+ to re+arr2 after co+pletin, the le,al
reFuire+ents,G but ,iin, the+ <oint custo!2 an! ,uar!ianship oer (li#" Oer a
2ear later, the sa+e court 1oul! issue C*+*, D&(-&& No. 016/!",
8?9
settlin, the
couple=s propert2 relations pursuant to an (,ree+ent
87/9
the2 e#ecute!
on Dece+ber 7>, 7??6" Sai! a,ree+ent specificall2 state! that the Econ<u,al
propert2 1hich the2 acFuire! !urin, their +arria,e consist8s9 onl2 of the real
propert2 an! all the i+proe+ents an! personal properties therein containe! at :/.
(cacia (enue, (laban,, Muntinlupa"G
8779

Mean1hile, on March 7>, 7??6, or less than a +onth fro+ the issuance of
Ciil Decree No" ;6.H?6, Rebecca file! 1ith the Ma3ati Cit2 RTC a
petition
87.9
!ate! *anuar2 .6, 7??6, 1ith attach+ents, for !eclaration of nullit2 of
+arria,e, !oc3ete! as Ciil Case No" ?6-;-0" Rebecca, ho1eer, later
+oe!
87;9
an! secure! approal
87>9
of the +otion to 1ith!ra1 the petition"

On Ma2 .?, 7??6, Rebecca e#ecute! an (ffi!ait of
(c3no1le!,+ent
87:9
statin, un!er oath that she is an (+erican citiAen@ that, since
7??;, she an! Vicente hae been liin, separatel2@ an! that she is carr2in, a chil!
not of Vicente"

On March .7, .//7, Rebecca file! another petition, this ti+e before the
Muntinlupa Cit2 RTC, for !eclaration of absolute nullit2 of +arria,e
8769
on the
,roun! of Vicente=s alle,e! ps2cholo,ical incapacit2" Doc3ete! as Ciil Case No"
/7-/?> an! entitle! as Maria Rebecca Makapugay Bayot v. Vicente Madrigal
Bayot, the petition 1as eentuall2 raffle! to &ranch .:6 of the court" In it, Rebecca
also sou,ht the !issolution of the con<u,al partnership of ,ains 1ith application for
support pendente lite for her an! (li#" Rebecca also pra2e! that Vicente be or!ere!
to pa2 a per+anent +onthl2 support for their !au,hter (li# in the a+ount of PhP
../,///"

On *une 0, .//7, Vicente file! a Motion to Dis+iss
87-9
on, inter alia, the
,roun!s of lac3 of cause of action an! that the petition is barre! b2 the prior
<u!,+ent of !iorce" Earlier, on *une :, .//7, Rebecca file! an! +oe! for the
allo1ance of her application for support pendente lite"

To the +otion to !is+iss, Rebecca interpose! an opposition, insistin, on her
Dilipino citiAenship, as affir+e! b2 the Depart+ent of *ustice 4DO*5, an! that,
therefore, there is no ali! !iorce to spea3 of"

Mean1hile, Vicente, 1ho ha! in the interi+ contracte! another +arria,e,
an! Rebecca co++ence! seeral cri+inal co+plaints a,ainst each
other" Specificall2, Vicente file! a!ulter2 an! per<ur2 co+plaints a,ainst Rebecca"
Rebecca, on the other han!, char,e! Vicente 1ith bi,a+2 an! concubina,e"

R2,*n3 o4 )%& RTC on )%& Mo)*on )o D*'5*''
and Mo)*on 4o- S266o-) Pendente Lite

On (u,ust 0, .//7, the RTC issue! an Or!er
8709
!en2in, Vicente=s +otion to
!is+iss Ciil Case No" /7-/?> an! ,rantin, Rebecca=s application for
support pendente lite, !isposin, as follo1s$

Iherefore, pre+ises consi!ere!, the Motion to Dis+iss file! b2
the respon!ent is DENIED" Petitioner=s (pplication in Support of the
Motion for Support Pen!ente )ite is hereb2 'R(NTED" Respon!ent is
hereb2 or!ere! to re+it the a+ount of TIO CUNDRED (ND
TIENTJ TCOUS(ND PESOS 4Php ../,///"//5 a +onth to Petitioner
as support for the !uration of the procee!in,s relatie to the instant
Petition"

SO ORDERED"
87?9




The RTC !eclare!, a+on, other thin,s, that the !iorce <u!,+ent ino3e!
b2 Vicente as bar to the petition for !eclaration of absolute nullit2 of +arria,e is a
+atter of !efense best ta3en up !urin, actual trial" (s to the ,rant of
support pendente lite, the trial court hel! that a +ere alle,ation of a!ulter2 a,ainst
Rebecca !oes not operate to preclu!e her fro+ receiin, le,al support"

Dollo1in, the !enial
8./9
of his +otion for reconsi!eration of the
aboe (u,ust 0, .//7 RTC or!er, Vicente 1ent to the C( on a petition for
certiorari, 1ith a pra2er for the issuance of a te+porar2 restrainin, or!er 4TRO5
an!Hor 1rit of preli+inar2 in<unction"
8.79
Cis petition 1as !oc3ete! as C(-'"R" SP
No" 6070-"

G-an) o4 7-*) o4 P-&,*5*na-8 In92n()*on :8 )%& CA

On *anuar2 ?, .//., the C( issue! the !esire! TRO"
8..9
On (pril ;/, .//.,
the appellate court ,rante!, ia a Resolution, the issuance of a 1rit of preli+inar2
in<unction, the !ecretal portion of 1hich rea!s$

IN VIEI OD ()) TCE DORE'OIN', pen!in, final resolution
of the petition at bar, let the Irit of Preli+inar2 In<unction be ISSUED
in this case, en<oinin, the respon!ent court fro+ i+ple+entin, the
assaile! O+nibus Or!er !ate! (u,ust 0, .//7 an! the Or!er !ate!
Noe+ber ./, .//7, an! fro+ con!uctin, further procee!in,s in Ciil
Case No" /7-/?>, upon the postin, of an in<unction bon! in the a+ount
of P.:/,///"//"

SO ORDERED"
8.;9


Rebecca +oe!
8.>9
but 1as !enie! reconsi!eration of the
afore+entione! (pril ;/, .//. resolution" In the +eanti+e, onMa2 ./, .//., the
preli+inar2 in<unctie 1rit
8.:9
1as issue!" Rebecca also +oe! for reconsi!eration
of this issuance, but the C(, b2 Resolution !ate! Septe+ber ., .//., !enie! her
+otion"

The a!erte! C( resolutions of (pril ;/, .//. an! Septe+ber ., .//. are
presentl2 bein, assaile! in Rebecca=s petition for certiorari, !oc3ete! un!er G.R.
No. 15565"

R2,*n3 o4 )%& CA

Pen!in, resolution of G.R. No. 15565, the C(, b2 a Decision !ate! March
.:, .//>, effectiel2 !is+isse! Ciil Case No" /7-/?>, an! set asi!e inci!ental
or!ers the RTC issue! in relation to the case" The fallo of the presentl2 assaile! C(
Decision rea!s$

IN VIEI OD TCE DORE'OIN', the petition
is 'R(NTED" The O+nibus Or!er !ate! (u,ust 0, .//7 an! the Or!er
!ate! Noe+ber ./, .//7 are REVERSED an! SET (SIDE an! a ne1
one entere! DISMISSIN' Ciil Case No" /7-/?>, for failure to state a
cause of action" No pronounce+ent as to costs"

SO ORDERED"
8.69


To the C(, the RTC ou,ht to hae ,rante! Vicente=s +otion to !is+iss on
the basis of the follo1in, pre+ises$

475 (s hel! in China Road and Bridge Corporation v. Court of Appeals, the
h2pothetical-a!+ission rule applies in !eter+inin, 1hether a co+plaint or petition
states a cause of action"
8.-9
(ppl2in, sai! rule in the li,ht of the essential ele+ents
of a cause of action,
8.09
Rebecca ha! no cause of action a,ainst Vicente for
!eclaration of nullit2 of +arria,e"

4.5 Rebecca no lon,er ha! a le,al ri,ht in this <uris!iction to hae her
+arria,e 1ith Vicente !eclare! oi!, the union hain, preiousl2 been !issole!
on Debruar2 .., 7??6 b2 the forei,n !iorce !ecree she personall2 secure! as an
(+erican citiAen" Pursuant to the secon! para,raph of (rticle .6 of the Da+il2
Co!e, such !iorce restore! Vicente=s capacit2 to contract another +arria,e"

4;5 Rebecca=s contention about the nullit2 of a !iorce, she bein, a Dilipino
citiAen at the ti+e the forei,n !iorce !ecree 1as ren!ere!, 1as !ubious" Cer
alle,ation as to her alle,e! Dilipino citiAenship 1as also !oubtful as it 1as not
sho1n that her father, at the ti+e of her birth, 1as still a Dilipino citiAen" The
Certification of &irth of Rebecca issue! b2 the 'oern+ent of 'ua+ also !i! not
in!icate the nationalit2 of her father"

4>5 Rebecca 1as estoppe! fro+ !en2in, her (+erican citiAenship, hain,
professe! to hae that nationalit2 status an! hain, +a!e representations to that
effect !urin, +o+entous eents of her life, such as$ 4a5 !urin, her +arria,e@ 4b5
1hen she applie! for !iorce@ an! 4c5 1hen she applie! for an! eentuall2 secure!
an (+erican passport on *anuar2 70, 7??:, or a little oer a 2ear before she
initiate! the first but later 1ith!ra1n petition for nullit2 of her +arria,e 4Ciil
Case No" ?6-;-05 on March 7>, 7??6"

4:5 (ssu+in, that she ha! !ual citiAenship, bein, born of a purporte!l2
Dilipino father in 'ua+, US( 1hich follo1s the jus soli principle, Rebecca=s
representation an! assertion about bein, an (+erican citiAen 1hen she secure! her
forei,n !iorce preclu!e! her fro+ !en2in, her citiAenship an! i+pu,nin, the
ali!it2 of the !iorce"

Rebecca seasonabl2 file! a +otion for reconsi!eration of the aboe
Decision, but this recourse 1as !enie! in the eFuall2 assaile! *une >,
.//> Resolution"
8.?9
Cence, Rebecca=s Petition for Reie1 on Certiorari un!er
Rule >:, !oc3ete! un!er G.R. No. 16!"!"

T%& I''2&'

In G.R. No. 15565, Rebecca raises four 4>5 assi,n+ents of errors as
,roun!s for the allo1ance of her petition, all of 1hich coner,e! on the
proposition that the C( erre! in en<oinin, the i+ple+entation of the RTC=s or!ers
1hich 1oul! hae entitle! her to support pen!in, final resolution of Ciil Case
No" /7-/?>"

In G.R. No. 16!"!, Rebecca ur,es the reersal of the assaile! C( !ecision
sub+ittin, as follo1s$
I

TCE COURT OD (PPE()S 'R(VE)J ERRED IN NOT
MENTIONIN' (ND NOT T(KIN' INTO CONSIDER(TION IN ITS
(PPRECI(TION OD TCE D(CTS TCE D(CT OD PETITIONER=S
DI)IPINO CITILENSCIP (S C(TE'ORIC())J ST(TED (ND
())E'ED IN CER PETITION &EDORE TCE COURT ( %UO"

II

TCE COURT OD (PPE()S 'R(VE)J ERRED IN RE)JIN' ON)J
ON (NNEMES TO TCE PETITION IN RESO)VIN' TCE M(TTERS
&ROU'CT &EDORE IT"

III

TCE COURT OD (PPE()S 'R(VE)J ERRED IN D(I)IN' TO
CONSIDER TC(T RESPONDENT IS ESTOPPED DROM C)(IMIN'
TC(T CIS M(RRI('E TO PETITIONER C(D ()RE(DJ &EEN
DISSO)VED &J VIRTUE OD CIS SU&SE%UENT (ND
CONCURRENT (CTS"

IV

TCE COURT OD (PPE()S 'R(VE)J ERRED IN RU)IN' TC(T
TCERE I(S (&USE OD DISCRETION ON TCE P(RT OD TCE
TRI() COURT, MUCC )ESS ( 'R(VE (&USE"
8;/9

Ie shall first a!!ress the petition in '"R" No" 76;?-?, its outco+e bein,
!eter+inatie of the success or failure of the petition in '"R" No" 7::6;:"

Three le,al pre+ises nee! to be un!erscore! at the outset" irst, a !iorce
obtaine! abroa! b2 an alien +arrie! to a Philippine national +a2 be reco,niAe! in
the Philippines, proi!e! the !ecree of !iorce is ali! accor!in, to the national
la1 of the forei,ner"
8;79
!econd, the rec3onin, point is not the citiAenship of the
!iorcin, parties at birth or at the ti+e of +arria,e, but their citiAenship at the ti+e
a ali! !iorce is obtaine! abroa!" (n! third, an absolute !iorce secure! b2 a
Dilipino +arrie! to another Dilipino is contrar2 to our concept of public polic2 an!
+oralit2 an! shall not be reco,niAe! in this <uris!iction"
8;.9

'ien the fore,oin, perspectie, the !eter+inatie issue ten!ere! in '"R"
No" 7::6;:, i"e", the propriet2 of the ,rantin, of the +otion to !is+iss b2 the
appellate court, resoles itself into the Fuestions of$ first, 1hether petitioner
Rebecca 1as a Dilipino citiAen at the ti+e the !iorce <u!,+ent 1as ren!ere! in
the Do+inican Republic on Debruar2 .., 7??6@ an! second, 1hether the <u!,+ent
of !iorce is ali! an!, if so, 1hat are its conseFuent le,al effectsN

T%& Co2-);' R2,*n3

The petition is bereft of +erit"

R&:&((a an A5&-*(an C*)*<&n *n )%& P2-+*&= o4 T%*' Ca'&

There can be no serious !ispute that Rebecca, at the ti+e she applie! for an!
obtaine! her !iorce fro+ Vicente, 1as an (+erican citiAen an! re+ains to be one,
absent proof of an effectie repu!iation of such citiAenship" The follo1in, are
co+pellin, circu+stances in!icatie of her (+erican citiAenship$ 475 she 1as born
in (,aBa, 'ua+, US(@ 4.5 the principle of jus soli is follo1e! in this (+erican
territor2 ,rantin, (+erican citiAenship to those 1ho are born there@ an! 4;5 she
1as, an! +a2 still be, a hol!er of an (+erican passport"
8;;9

(n! as aptl2 foun! b2 the C(, Rebecca ha! consistentl2 professe!, asserte!,
an! represente! herself as an (+erican citiAen, particularl2$ 475 !urin, her
+arria,e as sho1n in the +arria,e certificate@ 4.5 in the birth certificate of (li#@
an! 4;5 1hen she secure! the !iorce fro+ the Do+inican Republic" Mention +a2
be +a!e of the (ffi!ait of (c3no1le!,+ent
8;>9
in 1hich she state! bein, an
(+erican citiAen"

It is true that Rebecca ha! been issue! b2 the &ureau of I++i,ration
4&ureau5 of I!entification 4ID5 Certificate No" RC ?--0 an! a Philippine Passport"
On its face, ID Certificate No" RC ?--0 1oul! ten! to sho1 that she has in!ee!
been reco,niAe! as a Dilipino citiAen" It cannot be oer-e+phasiAe!, ho1eer, that
such reco,nition 1as ,ien onl2 on *une 0, ./// upon the affir+ation b2 the
Secretar2 of *ustice of Rebecca=s reco,nition pursuant to the Or!er of Reco,nition
issue! b2 &ureau (ssociate Co++issioner E!,ar )" Men!oAa"

Dor clarit2, 1e repro!uce in full the contents of ID Certificate No" RC ?--0$

To Iho+ It Ma2 Concern$

This is to certif2 that OM(RI( RE&ECC( M(K(PU'(J
&(JOTO 1hose photo,raph an! thu+bprints are affi#e! hereto an!
partiall2 coere! b2 the seal of this Office, an! 1hose other particulars
are as follo1s$

Place of &irth$ 'ua+, US( Date of &irth$ March :, 7?:;
Se#$ fe+ale Ciil Status$ +arrie! Color of Cair$ bro1n
Color of E2es$ bro1n Distin,uishin, +ar3s on face$ none

1as P r e c o , n i A e ! P as a citiAen of the Philippines as per pursuant to
(rticle IV, Section 7, Para,raph ; of the 7?;: Constitution per or!er of
Reco,nition *&) ?:-.7; si,ne! b2 (ssociate Co++issioner *ose &"
)opeA !ate! October 6, 7??:, an! !ul2 affir+e! b2 Secretar2 of *ustice
(rte+io '" TuFuero in his 7
st
In!orse+ent !ate! *une 0, .///"

Issue! for i!entification purposes onl2" NOT V()ID for trael
purposes"

'ien un!er +2 han! an! seal this 77
th
!a2 of October, 7??:

4S'D5 ED'(R )" MENDOL(
(SSO" COMMISSIONER

Official Receipt No" :?;??00
issue! at Manila
!ate! Oct" 7/, 7??: for P .,///


Dro+ the te#t of ID Certificate No" RC ?--0, the follo1in, +aterial facts
an! !ates +a2 be !e!uce!$ 475 &ureau (ssociate Co++issioner *ose &" )opeA
issue! the Or!er of Reco,nition on O()o:&- 6, 1!!5@ 4.5 the 7
st
In!orse+ent of
Secretar2 of *ustice (rte+io '" TuFuero affir+in, Rebecca=s reco,nition as a
Dilipino citiAen 1as issue! on #2n& >, .111 or al+ost fie 2ears fro+ the !ate of
the or!er of reco,nition@ an! 4;5 ID Certificate No" RC ?--0 1as purporte!l2
issue! on O()o:&- 11, 1!!5 after the pa2+ent of the PhP .,/// fee on October 7/,
7??: per OR No" :?;??00"

Ihat be,s the Fuestion is, ho1eer, ho1 the aboe certificate coul! hae
been issue! b2 the &ureau on October 77, 7??:1hen the Secretar2 of *ustice issue!
the reFuire! affir+ation onl2 on *une 0, .///" No e#planation 1as ,ien for this
patent aberration" There see+s to be no error 1ith the !ate of the issuance of the
7
st
In!orse+ent b2 Secretar2 of *ustice TuFuero as this Court ta3es <u!icial notice
that he 1as the Secretar2 of *ustice fro+ Debruar2 76, ./// to *anuar2 ..,
.//7" There is, thus, a stron, ali! reason to conclu!e that the certificate in
Fuestion +ust be spurious"

Un!er e#tant i++i,ration rules, applications for reco,nition of Dilipino
citiAenship reFuire the affir+ation b2 the DO* of the Or!er of Reco,nition issue!
b2 the &ureau" Un!er E#ecutie Or!er No" .?., also 3no1n as the "#$%
Ad&inistrative Code, specificall2 in its Title III, Chapter 7, Sec" ;465, it is the DO*
1hich is tas3e! to Eproi!e i++i,ration an! naturaliAation re,ulator2 serices
an! *56,&5&n) )%& ,a=' 3o+&-n*n3 (*)*<&n'%*6 an! the a!+ission an! sta2 of
aliens"G Thus, the confir+ation b2 the DO* of an2 Or!er of Reco,nition for
Dilipino citiAenship issue! b2 the &ureau is reFuire!"

Pertinentl2, &ureau )a1 Instruction No" R&R-??-//.
8;:9
on Reco,nition as a
Dilipino CitiAen clearl2 proi!es$

The &ureau 8of I++i,ration9 throu,h its Recor!s Section shall
auto+aticall2 furnish the Depart+ent of *ustice an official cop2 of its
Or!er of Reco,nition 1ithin -. !a2s fro+ its !ate of approal b2 the
1a2 of in!orse+ent for confir+ation of the Or!er b2 the Secretar2 of
*ustice pursuant to E#ecutie Or!er No" .?." No Id&n)*4*(a)*on
C&-)*4*(a)& '%a,, :& *''2&d :&4o-& )%& da)& o4 (on4*-5a)*on :8 )%&
S&(-&)a-8 o4 #2')*(& an! an2 I!entification Certificate issue! b2 the
&ureau pursuant to an Or!er of Reco,nition shall pro+inentl2 in!icate
thereon the !ate of confir+ation b2 the Secretar2 of *ustice" 4E+phasis
ours"5


Not lost on the Court is the acFuisition b2 Rebecca of her Philippine
passport onl2 on *une 7;, .///, or fie !a2s after then Secretar2 of *ustice TuFuero
issue! the 7
st
In!orse+ent confir+in, the or!er of reco,nition" It +a2 be too
+uch to attribute to coinci!ence this unusual seFuence of close eents 1hich, to us,
clearl2 su,,ests that prior to sai! affir+ation or confir+ation, Rebecca 1as not 2et
reco,niAe! as a Dilipino citiAen" The sa+e seFuence 1oul! also i+pl2 that ID
Certificate No" RC ?--0 coul! not hae been issue! in 7??:, as &ureau )a1
Instruction No" R&R-??-//. +an!ates that no i!entification certificate shall be
issue! before the !ate of confir+ation b2 the Secretar2 of *ustice" )o,icall2,
therefore, the affir+ation or confir+ation of Rebecca=s reco,nition as a Dilipino
citiAen throu,h the 7
st
In!orse+ent issue! onl2 on *une 0, ./// b2 Secretar2 of
*ustice TuFuero correspon!s to the eentual issuance of Rebecca=s passport a fe1
!a2s later, or on *une 7;, ./// to be e#act"



7%&n D*+o-(& 7a' G-an)&d R&:&((a, S%& 7a' no) a
F*,*6*no C*)*<&n and 7a' no) Y&) R&(o3n*<&d a' On&

The Court can assu+e h2potheticall2 that Rebecca is no1 a Dilipino
citiAen" &ut fro+ the fore,oin, !isFuisition, it is in!ubitable that Rebecca !i! not
hae that status of, or at least 1as not 2et reco,niAe! as, a Dilipino citiAen 1hen
she secure! theDebruar2 .., 7??6 <u!,+ent of !iorce fro+ the Do+inican
Republic"

The Court notes an! at this <uncture 1ishes to point out that Rebecca
oluntaril2 1ith!re1 her ori,inal petition for !eclaration of nullit2 4Ciil Case No"
?6-;-0 of the Ma3ati Cit2 RTC5 obiousl2 because she coul! not sho1 proof of
her alle,e! Dilipino citiAenship then" In fact, a perusal of that petition sho1s that,
1hile bearin, the !ate *anuar2 .6, 7??6, it 1as onl2 file! 1ith the RTC on March
7>, 7??6 or less than a +onth after Rebecca secure!, on Debruar2 .., 7??6, the
forei,n !iorce !ecree in Fuestion" ConseFuentl2, there 1as no +ention about sai!
!iorce in the petition" Si,nificantl2, the onl2 !ocu+ents appen!e! as anne#es to
sai! ori,inal petition 1ere$ the Vicente-Rebecca Marria,e Contract 4(nne# E(G5
an! &irth Certificate of (li# 4(nne# E&G5" If in!ee! ID Certificate No" RC ?--0
fro+ the &ureau 1as trul2 issue! on October 77, 7??:, is it not but lo,ical to
e#pect that this piece of !ocu+ent be appen!e! to for+ part of the petition, the
Fuestion of her citiAenship bein, crucial to her caseN

(s +a2 be note!, the petition for !eclaration of absolute nullit2 of +arria,e
un!er Ciil Case No" /7-/?>, li3e the 1ith!ra1n first petition, also !i! not hae
the ID Certificate fro+ the &ureau as attach+ent" Ihat 1ere attache! consiste! of
the follo1in, +aterial !ocu+ents$ Marria,e Contract 4(nne# E(G5 an! Diorce
Decree" It 1as onl2 throu,h her Opposition 4To Respon!ent=s Motion to Dis+iss
!ate! ;7 Ma2 .//75
8;69
!i! Rebecca attach as (nne# ECG ID Certificate No" RC
?--0"

(t an2 rate, the C( 1as correct in hol!in, that the RTC ha! sufficient basis
to !is+iss the petition for !eclaration of absolute nullit2 of +arria,e as sai!
petition, ta3en to,ether 1ith Vicente=s +otion to !is+iss an! Rebecca=s opposition
to +otion, 1ith their respectie attach+ents, clearl2 +a!e out a case of lac3 of
cause of action, 1hich 1e 1ill e#poun! later"

Va,*d*)8 o4 D*+o-(& D&(-&&

'oin, to the secon! core issue, 1e fin! Ciil Decree Nos" ;6.H?6 an!
>/6H?- ali!"

irst, at the ti+e of the !iorce, as aboe eluci!ate!, Rebecca 1as still to be
reco,niAe!, assu+in, for ar,u+ent that she 1as in fact later reco,niAe!, as a
Dilipino citiAen, but represente! herself in public !ocu+ents as an (+erican
citiAen" (t the er2 least, she chose, before, !urin,, an! shortl2 after her !iorce,
her (+erican citiAenship to ,oern her +arital relationship" !econd, she secure!
personall2 sai! !iorce as an (+erican citiAen, as is ei!ent in the te#t of the Ciil
Decrees, 1hich pertinentl2 !eclare!$

IN TCIS (CTION DOR DIVORCE in 1hich the parties e#pressl2
sub+it to the <uris!iction of this court, b2 reason of the e#istin,
inco+patibilit2 of te+pera+ents # # #" The parties M(RI( RE&ECC(
M" &(JOT, o4 Un*)&d S)a)&' na)*ona,*)8, >. 2ears of a,e, +arrie!,
!o+icile! an! resi!in, at :/. (cacia (e", (2ala (laban,, Muntin )upa,
Philippines, # # #, 1ho 6&-'ona,,8 a66&a-&d :&4o-& )%*' (o2-),
acco+panie! b2 DR" *U(N ESTE&(N O)IVERO, attorne2, # # # an!
VICENTE M(DRI'() &(JOT, of Philippine nationalit2, of >; 2ears
of a,e, +arrie! an! !o+icile! an! resi!in, at :/. (cacia (e", (2ala
(laban,, Muntin )upa, Dilipino, appeare! before this court represente!
b2 DR" ()E*(NDRO TORRENS, attorne2, # # #, reali!ate! b2 special
po1er of attorne2 ,ien the 7?
th
of Debruar2 of 7??6, si,ne! before the
Notar2 Public Enrico )" Espanol of the Cit2 of Manila, !ul2 le,aliAe!
an! authoriAin, hi+ to subscribe all the acts concernin, this case"
8;-9
4E+phasis ours"5



'hird, bein, an (+erican citiAen, Rebecca 1as boun! b2 the national la1s
of the Unite! States of (+erica, a countr2 1hich allo1s !iorce" ourth, the
propert2 relations of Vicente an! Rebecca 1ere properl2 a!<u!icate! throu,h their
(,ree+ent
8;09
e#ecute! on Dece+ber 7>, 7??6 after Ciil Decree No" ;6.H?6 1as
ren!ere! on Debruar2 .., 7??6, an! !ul2 affir+e! b2 Ciil Decree No" >/6H?-
issue! on March >, 7??-" Veritabl2, the forei,n !iorce secure! b2 Rebecca 1as
ali!"

To be sure, the Court has ta3en stoc3 of the hol!in, in (arcia v. Recio that a
forei,n !iorce can be reco,niAe! here, proi!e! the !iorce !ecree is proen as a
fact an! as ali! un!er the national la1 of the alien spouse"
8;?9
&e this as it +a2, the
fact that Rebecca 1as clearl2 an (+erican citiAen 1hen she secure! the !iorce
an! that !iorce is reco,niAe! an! allo1e! in an2 of the States of the Union,
8>/9
the
presentation of a cop2 of forei,n !iorce !ecree d2,8 a2)%&n)*(a)&d b2 the forei,n
court issuin, sai! !ecree is, as here, sufficient"

It bears to stress that the e#istence of the !iorce !ecree has not been !enie!,
but in fact a!+itte! b2 both parties" (n! neither !i! the2 i+peach the <uris!iction
of the !iorce court nor challen,e the ali!it2 of its procee!in,s on the ,roun! of
collusion, frau!, or clear +ista3e of fact or la1, albeit both appeare! to hae the
opportunit2 to !o so" The sa+e hol!s true 1ith respect to the !ecree of partition of
their con<u,al propert2" (s this Court e#plaine! in Roehr v. Rodrigue)$

&efore our courts can ,ie the effect of res judicata to a forei,n <u!,+ent 8of
!iorce9 # # #, it +ust be sho1n that the parties oppose! to the <u!,+ent ha! been
,ien a+ple opportunit2 to !o so on ,roun!s allo1e! un!er Rule ;?, Section :/
of the Rules of Court 4no1 Rule ;?, Section >0, 7??- Rules of Ciil Proce!ure5,
to 1it$

SEC" :/" *ffect of foreign judg&ents"PPThe effect of a <u!,+ent of a
tribunal of a forei,n countr2, hain, <uris!iction to pronounce the
<u!,+ent is as follo1s$


4a5 In case of a <u!,+ent upon a specific thin,, the <u!,+ent is
conclusie upon the title to the thin,@

4b5 In case of a <u!,+ent a,ainst a person, the <u!,+ent is
presu+ptie ei!ence of a ri,ht as bet1een the parties an! their successors
in interest b2 a subseFuent title@ but the <u!,+ent +a2 be repelle! b2
ei!ence of a 1ant of <uris!iction, 1ant of notice to the part2, collusion,
frau!, or clear +ista3e of la1 or fact"

It is essential that there shoul! be an opportunit2 to challen,e the forei,n
<u!,+ent, in or!er for the court in this <uris!iction to properl2 !eter+ine its
efficac2" In this <uris!iction, our Rules of Court clearl2 proi!e that 1ith respect
to actions in persona&, as !istin,uishe! fro+ actionsin re&, a forei,n <u!,+ent
+erel2 constitutes pri&a facie ei!ence of the <ustness of the clai+ of a part2 an!,
as such, is sub<ect to proof to the contrar2"
8>79

(s the recor!s sho1, Rebecca, assiste! b2 counsel, personall2 secure! the
forei,n !iorce 1hile Vicente 1as !ul2 represente! b2 his counsel, a certain Dr"
(le<an!ro Torrens, in sai! procee!in,s" (s thin,s stan!, the forei,n !iorce
!ecrees ren!ere! an! issue! b2 the Do+inican Republic court are ali! an!,
conseFuentl2, bin! both Rebecca an! Vicente"

Dinall2, the fact that Rebecca +a2 hae been !ul2 reco,niAe! as a Dilipino
citiAen b2 force of the *une 0, ./// affir+ation b2 Secretar2 of *ustice TuFuero of
the October 6, 7??: &ureau Or!er of Reco,nition 1ill not, stan!in, alone, 1or3 to
nullif2 or inali!ate the forei,n !iorce secure! b2 Rebecca as an (+erican citiAen
on Debruar2 .., 7??6" Dor as 1e stresse! at the outset, in !eter+inin, 1hether or
not a !iorce secure! abroa! 1oul! co+e 1ithin the pale of the countr2=s polic2
a,ainst absolute !iorce, the rec3onin, point is the citiAenship of the parties at the
ti+e a ali! !iorce is obtaine!"
8>.9

L&3a, E44&()' o4 )%& Va,*d D*+o-(&

'ien the ali!it2 an! efficac2 of !iorce secure! b2 Rebecca, the sa+e
shall be ,ien a res judicata effect in this <uris!iction" (s an obious result of the
!iorce !ecree obtaine!, the +arital vinculu& bet1een Rebecca an! Vicente is
consi!ere! seere!@ the2 are both free! fro+ the bon! of +atri+on2" In plain
lan,ua,e, Vicente an! Rebecca are no lon,er husban! an! 1ife to each other" (s
the !iorce court for+all2 pronounce!$ EThat the +arria,e bet1een M(RI(
RE&ECC( M" &(JOT an! VICENTE M(DRI'() &(JOT is hereb2 d*''o,+&d
? ? ? ,&a+*n3 )%&5 4-&& )o -&5a--8 a4)&- (o56,&)*n3 )%& ,&3a, -&@2*-&5&n)'"G

ConseFuent to the !issolution of the +arria,e, Vicente coul! no lon,er be
sub<ect to a husban!=s obli,ation un!er the Ciil Co!e" Ce cannot, for instance, be
obli,e! to lie 1ith, obsere respect an! fi!elit2, an! ren!er support to Rebecca"

The !iorce !ecree in Fuestion also brin,s into pla2 the secon! para,raph of
(rt" .6 of the Da+il2 Co!e, proi!in, as follo1s$

(rt" .6" # # # #

Ihere a +arria,e bet1een a Dilipino citiAen an! a forei,ner is
ali!l2 celebrate! an! a !iorce is thereafter ali!l2 obtaine! abroa! b2
the alien spouse capacitatin, hi+ or her to re+arr2, the Dilipino spouse
shall li3e1ise hae capacit2 to re+arr2 un!er Philippine la1" 4 As
a&ended by *.+. ,,% 5

In Republic v. +rbecido ---, 1e spelle! out the t1in ele+ents for the
applicabilit2 of the secon! para,raph of (rt" .6, thus$
# # # 8I9e state the t1in ele+ents for the application of Para,raph
. of (rticle .6 as follo1s$
7" There is a ali! +arria,e that has been celebrate! bet1een a Dilipino
citiAen an! a forei,ner@ an!
." ( ali! !iorce is obtaine! abroa! b2 the alien spouse capacitatin,
hi+ or her to re+arr2"
The rec3onin, point is not the citiAenship of the parties at the ti+e
of the celebration of the +arria,e, but their citiAenship at the ti&e a
valid divorce is obtained abroad b2 the alien spouse capacitatin, the
latter to re+arr2"

&oth ele+ents obtain in the instant case" Ie nee! not belabor further the fact
of +arria,e of Vicente an! Rebecca, their citiAenship 1hen the2 1e!, an! their
professe! citiAenship !urin, the ali! !iorce procee!in,s"

Not to be oerloo3e! of course is the fact that Ciil Decree No" >/6H?- an!
the (,ree+ent e#ecute! on Dece+ber 7>, 7??6bin! both Rebecca an! Vicente as
re,ar!s their propert2 relations" The (,ree+ent proi!e! that the e#-couple=s
con<u,al propert2 consiste! onl2 their fa+il2 ho+e, thus$

?" That the parties stipulate that the (on923a, 6-o6&-)8 =%*(%
)%&8 a(@2*-&d d2-*n3 )%&*- 5a--*a3& (on'*')' on,8 o4 )%& -&a,
6-o6&-)8 an! all the i+proe+ents an! personal properties therein
containe! at :/. (cacia (enue, (2ala (laban,, Muntinlupa, coere! b2
TCT No" 760;/7 !ate! Deb" -, 7??/ issue! b2 the Re,ister of Dee!s of
Ma3ati, Metro Manila re,istere! in the na+e of Vicente M" &a2ot,
+arrie! to Rebecca M" &a2ot, # # #" 4E+phasis ours"5


This propert2 settle+ent e+bo!ie! in the (,ree+ent 1as affir+e! b2 the
!iorce court 1hich, per its secon! !iorce !ecree, Ciil Decree No" >/6H?- !ate!
March >, 7??-, or!ere! that, ETCIRD$ That the a,ree+ent entere! into bet1een
the parties !ate! 7>
th
!a2 of Dece+ber 7??6 in Ma3ati Cit2, Philippines shall
surie in this *u!,+ent of !iorce b2 reference but not +er,e! an! that the
parties are hereb2 or!ere! an! !irecte! to (o56,8 =*)% &a(% and &+&-8 6-o+*'*on
o4 'a*d a3-&&5&n)"G

Rebecca has not repu!iate! the propert2 settle+ent containe! in the
(,ree+ent" She is thus estoppe! b2 her representation before the !iorce court
fro+ assertin, that her an! Vicente=s con<u,al propert2 1as not li+ite! to their
fa+il2 ho+e in (2ala (laban,"

No Ca2'& o4 A()*on *n )%& P&)*)*on 4o- N2,,*)8 o4 Ma--*a3&

Upon the fore,oin, !isFuisitions, it is abun!antl2 clear to the Court that
Rebecca lac3s, un!er the pre+ises, cause of action" .hilippine Bank of
Co&&unications v. 'ra)o e#plains the concept an! ele+ents of a cause of action,
thus$

( cause of action is an act or o+ission of one part2 in iolation of
the le,al ri,ht of the other" ( +otion to !is+iss base! on lac3
of cause of action h2potheticall2 a!+its the truth of the alle,ations in the
co+plaint" The alle,ations in a co+plaint are sufficient to constitute
a cause of action a,ainst the !efen!ants if, h2potheticall2 a!+ittin, the
facts alle,e!, the court can ren!er a ali! <u!,+ent upon the sa+e in
accor!ance 1ith the pra2er therein" ( cause of action e#ists if the
follo1in, &,&5&n)' are present, na+el2$ 475 a ri,ht in faor of the
plaintiff b2 1hateer +eans an! un!er 1hateer la1 it arises or is
create!@ 4.5 an obli,ation on the part of the na+e! !efen!ant to respect
or not to iolate such ri,ht@ an! 4;5 an act or o+ission on the part of such
!efen!ant iolatie of the ri,ht of the plaintiff or constitutin, a breach of
the obli,ation of the !efen!ant to the plaintiff for 1hich the latter +a2
+aintain an action for recoer2 of !a+a,es"
8>?9


One thin, is clear fro+ a perusal of Rebecca=s un!erl2in, petition before the
RTC, Vicente=s +otion to !is+iss an! Rebecca=s opposition thereof, 1ith the
!ocu+entar2 ei!ence attache! therein$ The petitioner lac3s a cause of action for
!eclaration of nullit2 of +arria,e, a suit 1hich presupposes the e#istence of a
+arria,e"

To sustain a +otion to !is+iss for lac3 of cause of action, the +oant +ust
sho1 that the clai+ for relief !oes not e#ist rather than that a clai+ has been
!efectiel2 state! or is a+bi,uous, in!efinite, or uncertain" Iith the ali! forei,n
!iorce secure! b2 Rebecca, there is no +ore +arital tie bin!in, her to
Vicente" There is in fine no +ore +arria,e to be !issole! or nullifie!"

The Court to be sure !oes not lose si,ht of the le,al obli,ation of Vicente
an! Rebecca to support the nee!s of their !au,hter, (li#" The recor!s !o not
clearl2 sho1 ho1 he ha! !ischar,e! his !ut2, albeit Rebecca alle,e! that the
support ,ien ha! been insufficient" (t an2 rate, 1e !o note that (li#, hain, been
born on Noe+ber .-, 7?0., reache! the +a<orit2 a,e on Noe+ber .-, .///, or
four +onths before her +other initiate! her petition for !eclaration of nullit2" She
1oul! no1 be .6 2ears ol!" Cence, the issue of bac3 support, 1hich alle,e!l2 ha!
been partl2 shoul!ere! b2 Rebecca, is best liti,ate! in a separate ciil action for
rei+burse+ent" In this 1a2, the actual fi,ure for the support of (li# can be proe!
as 1ell as the earnin, capacit2 of both Vicente an! Rebecca" The trial court can
thus !eter+ine 1hat Vicente o1es, if an2, consi!erin, that support inclu!es
proisions until the chil! concerne! shall hae finishe! her e!ucation"
Upon the fore,oin, consi!erations, the Court no lon,er nee! to !ele into
the issue ten!ere! in '"R" No" 7::6;:, that is, Rebecca=s ri,ht to support pendente
lite. (s it 1ere, her entitle+ent to that 3in! of support hin,es on the tenabilit2 of
her petition un!er Ciil Case No" /7-/?> for !eclaration of nullit2 of +arria,e" The
!is+issal of Ciil Case No" /7-/?> b2 the C( eritabl2 re+oe! an2 le,al
anchora,e for, an! effectiel2 +oote!, the clai+ for support pendente lite"

7HEREFORE, the petition for certiorari in G.R. No. 15565 is
hereb2 DISMISSED on the ,roun! of +ootness, 1hile the petition for reie1
in G.R. No. 16!"! is hereb2 DENIED for lac3 of +erit" (ccor!in,l2, the March
.:, .//> Decision an! *une >, .//> Resolution of the C( in C(-'"R" SP No"
6070- are hereb2 AFFIRMED" Costs a,ainst petitioner"

SO ORDERED.