Tenchavez v Escaño Case Digest – L-19671, November 29, 1965

Tenchavez v Escaño Case Digest 15 SCRA 355 GR NO. L-19671

REYES, J.B.L., J.:


Vicenta Escaño, 27, exchanged marriage vows with Pastor Tenchavez, 32, on February 24, 1948, before a Catholic priest. The local civil registrar registered the marriage. However, they were unable to live together. Then they became estranged.

On October 22, 1950, Vicenta left for the United States.

Escaño filed for divorce against Tenchaves in the State of Nevada on the ground of “Extreme cruelty, entirely mental in character.” A decree of divorce was issued in open court by the said tribunal.

She married an American, lived with him in California, had several children with him and, on 1958, acquired American Citizenship.

On 30 July 1955, Tenchavez filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Cebu, and amended on 31 May 1956, against Vicenta F. Escaño and her parents. Also, they were charged of having dissuaded and discouraged Vicenta from joining her husband. Moreover, alienating her affections, and against the Roman Catholic Church, for having, through its Diocesan Tribunal, decreed the annulment of the marriage, and asked for legal separation and one million pesos in damages.

However, Vicenta’s parents denied that they had in any way influenced their daughter’s acts, and counterclaimed for moral damages.



Whether or not the divorce sought by Vicenta Escaño is valid and binding upon courts of the Philippines.


No. Vicenta Escaño and Pastor Tenchavez’ marriage remain existent and undissolved under the Philippine Law.

Pursuant to Article 15 of the Civil Code, laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.

The divorce and second marriage of Escaño are invalid under the Philippine law. The decree issued was invalid, since Escaño and Tenchavez were both Filipino citizens.

The acts of the wife in not complying with her wifely duties, deserting her husband without any justifiable cause and leaving for the United States in order to secure a decree of absolute divorce.

Moreover, getting married again are acts which constitute a willful infliction of injury upon the husband’s feelings in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy, thus entitling Tenchavez to a decree of legal separation under our law on the basis of adultery.

Tenchavez v Escaño Case Digest 15 SCRA 355 GR NO. L-19671

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