2018 SC decision upholds DIVORCE obtained abroad by Filipino wife vs. foreigner husband


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The Supreme Court (SC) en banc issued a landmark ruling on Tuesday, April 24, recognizing divorce in marriages with foreigners. Voting 10-3-1, the SC en banc 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." The particular case was that of Marelyn Tanedo Manalo who was married to Japanese national Minoru Yoshino. Manalo filed for and was granted divorce in Japan in 2011. NEWS SOURCE: SC recognizes divorce in marriage with foreigners; Lian Buan @lianbuan Published 3:45 PM, April 24, 2018 Updated 6:03 PM, April 24, 2018; https://www.rappler.com/nation/200950-supreme-court-landmark-ruling-divorce-foreign-marriages
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that divorce obtained by a Filipino outside of the country against a foreign spouse is considered valid in the Philippines. SC voted 10-3-1 on G.R. No. 221029 (Republic of the Philippines v. Marelyn Tanedo Manalo) to rule "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." Prior to the ruling, a divorce abroad is only considered valid in the Philippines when it is initiated by the foreign spouse, according to SC spokesperson Theodore Te. NEWS SOURCE: SC says divorce acquired abroad valid in PHL Published April 24, 2018 6:34pm By RIE TAKUMI, GMA News; www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/651145/sc-says-divorce-acquired-abroad-valid-in-phl/story/

The law is clear. "Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly OBTAINED BY THE ALIEN spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have the capacity to remarry under Philippine law." The divorce decree must have been obtained by the alien spouse.

However, the argument is that this provision violates EQUAL PROTECTION OF LAW because the Filipino spouse is at the mercy of the foreigner.

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