In REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. MARELYN TANEDO MANALO, Respondent, G.R. No. 221029, April 24, 2018. The Supreme Court detailed the necessity as well as the requirements in filing a Petition for the Judicial Recognition of the Foreign Divorce. Supreme Court said that jurisprudence has set guidelines before the Philippine courts on how to recognize a foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country. Presentation solely of the divorce decree will not suffice. The fact of divorce must still first be proven. Before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it.

In essence, the Supreme Court in the case highlighted two (2) important matters to be proven:

1. The DIVORCE DECREE itself. A divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce decree itself. Indeed the best evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself. The decree purports to be a written act or record of an act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign country.

2. The EXISTENCE OF THE LAW ON DIVORCE. It is well-settled in our jurisdiction that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. Like any other facts, they must be alleged and proved. x x x The power of judicial notice must be exercised with caution, and every reasonable doubt upon the subject should be resolved in the negative.

How are these proven?

Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, a writing or document may be proven as a public or official record of a foreign country by either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the document. If the record is not kept in the Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office.