In Re: Petition for Recognition of Foreign Judgment of Divorce with Prayer to Change Civil Status of Janevic Orteza Ordaneza from Married to Single

G.R. No. 254484 – Remedial Law – Special Proceedings – Rule 108 – Correction of Entries; Change of Civil Status – Venue – A judicially recognized foreign divorce must still be petitioned via Rule 108 to correct a civil status

In 2006, Janevic Ordaneza married a Japanese in Pasay City. In 2009, Janevic and her Japanese husband divorced in Japan. In 2016, Janevic caused the filing this petition in Kidapawan City.

The trial court granted the petition. It recognized the foreign divorce and at the same time directed the local civil registrar of Pasay City to cancel Janevic’s marriage certificate.

The Solicitor General appealed arguing, among others, that the trial court cannot order the cancellation of the marriage certificate because Janevic failed to comply with the venue requirements of Rule 108 which provides that petitions for correction or cancellation of entries in the civil register must be filed before a court which has jurisdiction over it – the Kidapawan RTC has no jurisdiction over the LCR of Pasay City.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Solicitor General is correct.

HELD: Yes. This case clarified the ruling in Fujiki vs Marinay and Corpuz vs Sto. Tomas.

There is more than one remedy to judicially recognize a foreign divorce decree in the Philippines and availing one remedy does not automatically preclude the institution of another remedy.

The cancellation or correction of her civil status cannot be done through a petition for recognition under Article 26 (2) without complying with the requirements of Rule 108. An individual seeking the change of his or her civil status must adhere to the requirements governing a petition for cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry under Rule 108.

While the change in Janevic’s civil status is an expected consequence of the judicial recognition of her foreign divorce, it does not automatically follow that the Petition she filed is the petition contemplated under Rule 108.

Since Rule 108 pertains to a special proceeding, its particular provisions on venue and the parties to implead must be observed to vest the Court with jurisdiction. Janevic must file a separate petition under Rule 108 in Pasay City and implead the LCR of Pasay City

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