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Llorente vs CA
345 scra 592
Lorenzo and petitioner Paula Llorente was married before a parish priest. Before the outbreak of war, Lorenzo departed for the United States and Paula was left at the conjugal home. Lorenzo was naturalized by the United State. After the liberation of the Philippines he went home and visited his wife to which he discovered that his wife was pregnant and was having an adulterous relationship. Lorenzo returned to the US and filed for divorce. Lorenzo married Alicia LLorente; they lived together for 25 years and begot 3 children. Lorenzo on his last will and testament bequeathed all his property to Alicia and their 3 children. Paula filed a petition for letters administration over Lorenzo’s estate. The RTC ruled in favor of Paula. On appeal, the decision was modified declaring Alicia as co-owner of whatever properties they have acquired. Hence, this petition to the Supreme Court.
ISSUES: Whether or not the divorce obtained by Lorenzo capacitated him to remarry. Who are entitled to inherit from the late Lorenzo Llorente?
HELD: In Van Dorn vs Ramillo Jr. the Supreme Court held that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorce. In the same case, the Court ruled that aliens may obtain divorce abroad provided that they are valid according to their national law. The Supreme Court held that divorce obtained by Lorenzo from his first wife Paula was valid and recognized in this jurisdiction as a matter of comity.
The Supreme Court remanded the case to the court of origin for the determination of the intrinsic validity of Lorenzo’s will and determine the successional rights allowing proof of foreign law. The deceased is not covered by our laws on “family rights and duties, status, condition and legal capacity” since he was a foreigner.
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