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CASE IN POINT | Duty to support and nationality principle



Insofar as Philippine laws are concerned, specifically the provisions of the Family Code on support, the same only applies to Filipino citizens.

By analogy, the same principle applies to foreigners such that they are governed by their national law with respect to family rights and duties which provides that 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. (Art. 15, NCC).

The obligation to give support to a child is a matter that falls under family rights and duties.  Since the respondent is a citizen of Holland or the Netherlands, the lower court was correct that he is subject to the laws of his country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he is obliged to give support to his child, as well as the consequences of his failure to do so.

In Vivo v. Cloribel, G.R. No. L-25441, October 26, 1968, 25 SCRA 616, it was said that being still aliens, they are not in position to invoke the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines, for that Code cleaves to the principle that family rights and duties are governed by their personal law, i.e., the laws of the nation to which they belong even when staying in a foreign country (Civil Code, Article 15; Norma A. Del Socorro v. Ernest Johan Brinkman Van Wilsen, G.R. No. 193707, December 10, 2014, Peralta, J).
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Dean Albano is the proprietor & Bar Review Director of Albano Bar Review Center.

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