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Case Digest - Civil Law

PILAPIL vs. IBAY SOMERA
FACTS:
On September 7, 1979, Imelda Manalaysay Pilapil, a Filipina and Erich Geiling were married at Friedenweiler in the Federal Republic of Germany. After about three and a half years of marriage, Geiling initiated a divorce proceeding against Pilapil in Germany in January 1983.
Pilapil, petitioner, on the other hand, filed an action for legal separation, support and separation of property before RTC of Manila on January 23, 1983 where it is still pending as a civil case. On January 15, 1986, the local Court of Germany promulgated a divorce decree on the ground of failure of marriage of the spouses. The custody of the child was granted to petitioner.
On June 27, 1986, private respondent filed two complaints for adultery alleging that, while still married to respondent, petitioner “had an affair with a certain William Chua as early as 1982 and with yet another man named Jesus Chua sometime in 1983. The respondent city fiscal approved a resolution directing the filing of two complaints for adultery against petitioner. Thereafter, petitioner filed a motion in both criminal cases to defer her arraignment and to suspend further proceedings thereon. Respondent judge merely reset the date of the arraignment but before such scheduled date, petitioner moved for the suspension of proceedings. On September 8, 1987, respondent judge denied the motion to quash and also directed the arraignment of both accused. Petitioner refused to be arraigned and thus charged with direct contempt and fined.”
ISSUE:
Whether or not the case for adultery should prosper.
RULING:
The petition entered dismissing the complaint in criminal case was upheld for lack of jurisdiction. The temporary restraining order issued in this case was made permanent. The law provides that in prosecutions for adultery and concubinage the person who can legally file the complaint should be the offended spouse. The fact that private respondent obtained a valid divorce in his country, is admitted. Private respondent, being no longer married to petitioner has no legal standing to commence the adultery case under the posture that he was the offended spouse at the time he filed suit.

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