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Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 17, Roxas City, THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF
ROXAS CITY, petitioners,
APPEALS,* respondents.
[G.R. No. 128195. October 3, 2001]

The case under consideration is a petition for review on certiorari of the decisionof the Court of
Appeals nullifying that of the Regional Trial Court, Roxas City, in Reconstitution Case.

The Dinglasans sold to Lee Liong, a Chinese citizen, a land situated at the corner of Roxas Avenue and
Pavia Street, Roxas City. A certification that a transfer certificate of title over the property was issued in the
name of Lee Liong. However, the records of the Register of Deeds of Roxas City were burned during the
war. The petitioners then filed a petition for the reconstitution of title. The Dinglasans filed an action against
the heirs of Lee Liong for annulment of sale and recovery of land. They also assailed the validity of the sale
because of the constitutional prohibition against aliens acquiring ownership of private agricultural land,
including residential, commercial or industrial land. While, the Solicitor General filed a petition for the
annulment of judgment in Reconstitution Rebuffed in the trial court and the Court of Appeals, plaintiffs
appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled granting the sale and reconstitution due to the fire that broke out in the
Registry of Deeds to be null and void and therefore cannot give title to the vendee, it does not necessarily
follow therefrom that the title remained in the vendor, who had also violated the constitutional prohibition, or
that he (vendor) has the right to recover the title of which he has divested himself by his act in ignoring the
prohibition. In such contingency another principle of law sets in to bar the equally guilty vendor from
recovering the title which he had voluntarily conveyed for a consideration, that of pari delicto.

Whether Lee Liong was disqualified to acquire the land in question under the 1935 Constitution?

Yes. The sale of the land in question was consummated sometime in March 1936, during the
effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. Under the 1935 Constitution, aliens could not acquire private agricultural
lands, save in cases of hereditary succession. Thus, Lee Liong, a Chinese citizen, was disqualified to
acquire the land in question.
However, in this case, the land is now in the hands of Filipinos. The original vendee, Lee Liong, has
since died and the land has been inherited by his heirs and subsequently their heirs, petitioners herein.
Petitioners are Filipino citizens, a fact the Solicitor General does not dispute.
The constitutional proscription on alien ownership of lands of the public or private domain was
intended to protect lands from falling in the hands of non-Filipinos. In this case, however, there would be no
more public policy violated since the land is in the hands of Filipinos qualified to acquire and own such land.
If land is invalidly transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen, the
flaw in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid. Thus, the
subsequent transfer of the property to qualified Filipinos may no longer be impugned on the basis of the
invalidity of the initial transfer.\ The objective of the constitutional provision to keep our lands in Filipino
hands has been achieved.
WHEREFORE, the Court REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals. In lieu
thereof, the Court sets aside the order of reconstitution of title of the Regional Trial Court, Roxas City, and
dismisses the petition, without prejudice.


ALFREDO DE LEON, in his capacity as Commissioner of Customs, JOSE GALLOFIN, in his capacity
as Collector of Customs of the Port of Cebu, and VICENTE DE LA CRUZ, in his capacity as General
Manager of the Philippine Shipping Administration, respondents: PHILIPPINE SHIPOWNERS'
ASSOCIATION, intervenor.

G.R. No. L-2007 January 31, 1949

This is a petition seeking to permanently prohibit respondent Customs Officials from cancelling the
registration certificates of petitioner's vessels, and respondent Philippine Shipping Administration from
rescinding the sale of three vessels to petitioner.


In 1925, Victoriano Chiongbian, a Chinese citizen and father of the herein

petitioner William Chiongbian, was elected to and held the office of municipal councilor of the town of
Plaridel, Occidental Misamis. Victoriano Chiongbian, father of herein petitioner, having been elected to a
public office in the Philippines before the adoption of the Constitution, became a Filipino citizen by virtue of
Article IV, section 1, subsection 2 of the Constitution while William Chiongbian, the herein petitioner, who
was then a minor, also became a Filipino citizen by reason of subsection 3 (Article IV) of the Constitution,
his father having become a Filipino citizen upon the adoption of said Constitution. This is also in conformity
with the settled rule of our jurisprudence that a legitimate minor child follows the citizenship of his father.


Whether the petitioner is a Filipino Citizen.


Yes. It is argued by respondent that this privilege of citizenship granted by subsection 2 (Article IV,
Constitution) is strictly personal and does not extend to the children of the grantee. In support of this
contention they offer two principal arguments. It is argued that the original draft of said subsection 2
contained the phrase — "and their descendants," — which was deleted from the final draft, thus showing
that this privilege of citizenship was intended to be strictly personal to the one who had been elected to
public office and did not extend to his descendants.

However, in this case, William Chiongbian, the herein petitioner, who was then a minor, also
became a Filipino citizen by reason of subsection 3 (Article IV) of the Constitution, his father having
become a Filipino citizen upon the adoption of said Constitution. This is also in conformity with the settled
rule of our jurisprudence that a legitimate minor child follows the citizenship of his father .In view of all the
foregoing, the petition for the issuance of the writ of prohibition is hereby granted.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. CHULE Y. LIM, respondent.

[G.R. No. 153883. January 13, 2004]

This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court stemmed from a petition for
correction of entries under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court filed by respondent Chule Y. Lim with the
Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Norte.


In her petition, respondent claimed that she was born on October 29, 1954 in Buru-an, Iligan City. Her
birth was registered in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte but the Municipal Civil Registrar of Kauswagan
transferred her record of birth to Iligan City. She alleged that both her Kauswagan and Iligan City records of
birth have four erroneous entries, and prays that they be corrected. The trial court then issued an Order
setting a hearing for such case.
During the hearing, respondent testified that her nationality was entered as Chinese when it should
have been Filipino considering that her father and mother never got married. Only her deceased father was
Chinese, while her mother is Filipina. She claims that her being a registered voter attests to the fact that
she is a Filipino citizen.

Whether Lim complied with the legal requirement in electing her citizenship.

No. The Republic avers that respondent did not comply with the constitutional requirement of electing
Filipino citizenship when she reached the age of majority. It cites Article IV, Section 1(3) of the 1935
Constitution, which provides that the citizenship of a legitimate child born of a Filipino mother and an alien
father followed the citizenship of the father, unless, upon reaching the age of majority, the child elected
Philippine citizenship. However, the above constitutional and statutory requirements of electing Filipino
citizenship apply only to legitimate children. These do not apply in the case of respondent who was
concededly an illegitimate child, considering that her Chinese father and Filipino mother were never
married. In this case, the respondent was not required to comply with said constitutional and
statutory requirements to become a Filipino citizen. By being an illegitimate child of a Filipino mother,
respondent automatically became a Filipino upon birth. Stated differently, she is a Filipino since birth
without having to elect Filipino citizenship when she reached the age of majority.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition for review is DENIED.


NORA FE SAGUN, Respondent.

G.R. No. 187567 February 15, 2012

Before us is a petition for review on certiorari filed by the Solicitor General on behalf of the
Republic of the Philippines, seeking the reversal of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 3, of Baguio
City’s Decision.


Respondent is the legitimate child of Albert S. Chan, a Chinese national, and Marta Borromeo, a Filipino
citizen. She was born on in Baguio City and did not elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of
majority. At the age of 33 and after getting married to Alex Sagun, she executed an Oath of Allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines. Said document was notarized by Atty. Cristeta Leung but was not recorded
and registered with the Local Civil Registrar of Baguio City. When the respondent applied for a Philippine
passport, her application was denied due to the citizenship of her father and there being no annotation on
her birth certificate that she has elected Philippine citizenship. Consequently, she sought a judicial
declaration of her election of Philippine citizenship and prayed that the Local Civil Registrar of Baguio City
be ordered to annotate the same on her birth certificate.


(1) Whether respondents petition for declaration of election of Philippine citizenship is sanctioned by
the Rules of Court and jurisprudence;

(2) Whether respondent has effectively elected Philippine citizenship in accordance with the procedure
prescribed by law.


1.) Yes. But it should be emphasized that there is no proceeding established by law, or the Rules for
the judicial declaration of the citizenship of an individual. There is no specific legislation authorizing
the institution of a judicial proceeding to declare that a given person is part of our citizenry.
2.) No. Based on the foregoing circumstances, respondent clearly failed to comply with the procedural
requirements for a valid and effective election of Philippine citizenship. Respondent cannot assert
that the exercise of suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitutes a positive act of
election of Philippine citizenship since the law specifically lays down the requirements for
acquisition of citizenship by election. The mere exercise of suffrage, continuous and uninterrupted
stay in the Philippines, and other similar acts showing exercise of Philippine citizenship cannot
take the place of election of Philippine citizenship. Hence, respondent cannot now be allowed to
seek the intervention of the court to confer upon her Philippine citizenship when clearly she has
failed to validly elect Philippine citizenship.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court declaring Nora as
a Citizen of the Philippines is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.The petition for judicial declaration of
election of Philippine citizenship filed by respondent Nora Fe Sagun is hereby DISMISSED for lack of



VICENTE D. CHING, applicant.

BAR MATTER No. 914 October 1, 1999


Vicente D. Ching, the legitimate son of the spouses Tat Ching, a Chinese citizen, and Prescila A.
Dulay, a Filipino, was born in La Union on 1964 and has resided in the Philippines since then. On 1998,
Ching, after having completed a Bachelor of Laws course at the St. Louis University in Baguio City, he filed
an application to take the 1998 Bar Examinations. He was allowed to take the Bar Examinations, subject to
the condition that he must submit to the Court proof of his Philippine citizenship. He then presented proofs
of certifications that he is a public accountant, a registered voter of a La Union, and was once a public
servant of their place. When the results were released, Ching was one of the successful passers. However,
he was advised that he needs to show proof that he is a Filipino citizen before he be allowed to take his
oath. The Solicitor-General commented on the case by saying that as a legitimate child of a Chinese and a
Filipino, Ching should have elected Filipino citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; that under
prevailing jurisprudence, “upon reaching the age of majority” is construed as within 7 years after reaching
the age of majority. Ching did elect Filipino citizenship but he only did so when he was preparing for the bar
in 1998 or 14 years after reaching the age of majority.

Whether or not he has elected Philippine citizenship within "a reasonable time".

No. Ching, despite the special circumstances, failed to elect Philippine citizenship within a
reasonable time. The reasonable time means that the election should be made within 3 years from "upon
reaching the age of majority", which is 21 years old. Instead, he elected Philippine citizenship 14 years after
reaching the age of majority which the court considered not within the reasonable time. Ching offered no
reason why he delayed his election of Philippine citizenship, as procedure in electing Philippine citizenship
is not a tedious and painstaking process. All that is required is an affidavit of election of Philippine
citizenship and file the same with the nearest civil registry.


VICTORINO X. FORNIER, respondents.
[G.R. No. 161434. March 3, 2004]

On 31 December 2003, respondent Ronald Allan Kelly Poe, also known as Fernando Poe, Jr., filed his
certificate of candidacy for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines in the forthcoming
national elections. In his certificate of candidacy, FPJ, representing himself to be a natural-born citizen of
the Philippines, stated his name to be "Fernando Jr.," or "Ronald Allan" Poe, his date of birth to be 20
August 1939 and his place of birth to be Manila.
Victorino X. Fornier, petitioner, initiated a petition before the Commission on Elections ("COMELEC")
to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to cancel his certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ
made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino
citizen when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were foreigners; his mother, Bessie Kelley Poe, was
an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national, being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish
subject. Granting, petitioner asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have
transmitted his Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien mother. Fornier
based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of FPJ on two assertions: (1) Allan F. Poe contracted a prior
marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, (2) even if no such prior
marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of FPJ.
Whether FPJ was a natural born citizen, so as to be allowed to run for the office of the President of the

Yes. Section 2, Article VII, of the 1987 Constitution expresses:

"No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a
registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a
resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election."

The term "natural-born citizens," is defined to include "those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth
without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship."27
The date, month and year of birth of FPJ appeared to be 20 August 1939 during the regime of the 1935

Considering the reservations made by the parties on the veracity of some of the entries on the birth
certificate of FPJ and the marriage certificate of his parents, the only conclusions that could be drawn with
some degree of certainty from the documents would be that (1) The parents of FPJ were Allan F. Poe and
Bessie Kelley; (2) FPJ was born to them on 20 August 1939; (3) Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley were
married to each other on 16 September, 1940; (4) The father of Allan F. Poe was Lorenzo Poe; and (5) At
the time of his death on 11 September 1954, Lorenzo Poe was 84 years old. The marriage certificate of
Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley, the birth certificate of FPJ, and the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou are
documents of public record in the custody of a public officer. The documents have been submitted in
evidence by both contending parties during the proceedings before the COMELEC. But while the totality of
the evidence may not establish conclusively that FPJ is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, the
evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of
having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in
relation to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code. Fornier has utterly failed to substantiate his case
before the Court, notwithstanding the ample opportunity given to the parties to present their position and
evidence, and to prove whether or not there has been material misrepresentation, must not only be
material, but also deliberate and willful. The petitions were dismissed.


G.R. No. 221697 March 8, 2016


Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares, petitioner was found abandoned as a newborn infant in the
Parish Church of Jaro, Iloilo by a certain Edgardo Militar on 1968. When she was five (5) years old,
celebrity spouses Fenando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces filed a petition for her adoption which was then
granted by the trial court and ordered that petitioner's name be changed from "Mary Grace Natividad
Contreras Militar" to "Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe." However, it was only on 2006 where the OCR-
Iloilo issued a new Certificate of Live Birth in the name of Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe due to the
petitioner’s failure.

Petitioner registered as a voter in San Juan City at the age of 18. She also applied and was issued
Philippine Passport by the DFA and renewed the same in years 1993 and 1998. She left for the United
States (U.S.) in 1988 to continue her studies after enrolling and pursuing a degree in Development Studies
at the University of the Philippines. She graduated in 1991 from Boston College where she earned her
Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies. She married Teodoro Misael Daniel V. Llamanzares, a citizen
of both the Philippines and the U.S., in San Juan City and decided to fly back to the U.S. after their
wedding. She gave birth to her eldest child while in the U.S.; and her two daughters in the Philippines.
She became a naturalized American citizen in 2001. On 2004, she returned to the Philippines due to his
father’s deteriorating medical condition, who then eventually demice on 2005. She then quitted her job in
the US to be with her grieving mother and finally went home for good to the Philippines on MAY of 2005.

On 2006, the BI granted her petition declaring that she had reacquired her Filipino citizenship. She
registered as a voter and obtained a new Philippine Passport. In 2010, before assuming her post as
appointee Chairperson of the MTRC , she renounced her American citizenship to satisfy the requirements
as to Reacquistion of Filipino Citizenship. From then on, she stopped using her American passport.

Petitions were filed before the COMELEC to deny or cancel her candidacy on the ground particularly
among others, that she cannot be considered a natural born Filipino citizen since she was a FOUNDLING
and that her bioligical parents cannot be proved as Filipinos. The Comelec en banc cancelled her
candidacy on the ground that she is in want of citizenship and residence requirements and that she
committed misrepresentation in her COC. On CERTIORARI, the SUPREME COURT, reversed the ruling
and held a vote of 9-6 that POE is qualified as candidate for Presidency.

Whether or not Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

Yes. Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares may be considered a natural-born Filipino. It ruled that a
foundling is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines as there is no restrictive language which would
definitely exclude foundlings as they are already impliedly so recognized. There are also no provisions in
the Constitution with intent or language permitting discrimination against foundlings as the three
Constitutions guarantee the basic right to equal protection of the laws. Foundlings are citizens under
international law as this is supported by some treaties, adhering to the customary rule to presume
foundlings as having born of the country in which the foundling is found.

G.R. Nos. 92191-92 July 30, 1991

ANTONIO Y. CO, petitioner,



On May 11, 1987, the congressional election for the second district of Northern Samar was held. Among
the candidates who vied for the position of representative in the second legislative district of Northern
Samar are the petitioners, Sixto Balinquit and Antonio Co and the private respondent, Jose Ong, Jr.
Respondent Ong was proclaimed the duly elected representative of the second district of Northern
Samar.The petitioners filed election protests against the private respondent premised on the following
grounds that Ong is not a natural born citizen of the Philippines and is not a resident of the second district
of Northern Samar.

Whether respondent is a citizen of the Philippines.


Yes. The records show that in the year 1895, the private respondent's grandfather, Ong Te, arrived in the
Philippines from China. Ong Te established his residence in the municipality of Laoang, Samar. He was
able to obtain a certificate of residence from the then Spanish colonial administration. The father of the
private respondent, Jose Ong Chuan was born in China in 1905 and was brought by Ong Te to Samar in
the year 1915. Years after, Jose Ong Chuan met a natural born-Filipino, Agripina Lao. The two fell in love
and, thereafter, got married. The couple bore eight children, one of whom is the private respondent who
was born in 1948. Ong filed with thecourt an application for naturalization and was declared a Filipino
citizen.In 1984, the private respondentmarried a Filipina named Desiree Lim. For the elections of 1984
and1986, Jose Ong, Jr. registeredhimself as a voter of Laoang, Samar, and voted there during those
elections. Under the 1973Constitution, those born of Filipino fathers and those born of Filipino mothers with
an alien father wereplaced on equal footing. They were both considered as natural born citizens.
Besides,respondent did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. He has established his life here in
thePhilippines. On the issue of residence, it is not required that a person should have a house in order
toestablish his residence and domicile. It is enough that he should live in the municipality or in a
rentedhouse or in that of friend or relative. To require him to own property in order to be eligible to run
forCongress would be the same as to a property qualification. The Constitution only requires that the
candidate meet the age, citizenship, voting and residence requirements.

G.R. No. L-1663 March 31, 1948

FLORETINA VILLAHERMOSA, petitioner-appellant,



Sometime in 1947, a party of sixty-nine Chinese landed clandestinely on the shores of Sto. Domingo, Ilocos
Sur. Leading them was Delfin Co, a young man, 18 years old, born in Paniqui, Tarlac, of a Chinese father
named Co Sut and herein petitioner, Florentina Villahermosa his wife. Co Suy died in July 1940, and inn
February 1946, Delfin left the Philippines for China. However, due to financial difficulties in China, he took
steps to return. The voyage was undertaken; but unfortunately, the immigrants were discovered and
apprehended immediately after arrival. Delfin Co was examined by the Commissioner of Immigration. Days
later, Delfin Co was recommended to be deported to China as a Chinese citizen. The Commissioner of
Immigration agreed with the board, and acting on this recommendation, rendered a decision ordering the
deportation of Delfin Co. His mother, after knowing the apprehension of her son Delfin, filed in the civil
registry of Tarlac under Commonwealth Act No. 63 an oath of allegiance for the purpose of resuming her
Philippine citizenship which she had lost upon her marriage to Co Suy. On the strength of such
reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by Florentina, it was contended before the immigration authorities that
Delfin, being a minor, followed the citizenship of his mother, and was a national not subject to deportation..

Whether or not Delfin is a citizen of the Philippines.


No. Being a minor he has not had the opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship, and therefore he is as yet
an alien, his father being a Chinese. The Court have heretofore held1 that, after the Constitution, mere birth
in the Philippines of a Chinese father and Filipino mother does not ipso facto confer Philippine citizenship
and that jus sanguinis instead off jus soli is the predominating factor on questions of citizenship.
Nevertheless, it is contended that Florentina Villahermosa being a Filipina, Delfin Co, should likewise be a
Filipino. Commonwealth Act No. 63 does not provide that upon repatriation of a Filipina her children acquire
Philippine citizenship. It would be illogical to consider Delfin as repatriated like his mother, because he
never was a Filipino citizen and could not have reacquired such citizenship.

[G.R. No. 142840. May 7, 2001]

TEODORO C. CRUZ, respondents.

Facts: Respondent Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in San Clemente,
Tarlac, on April 27, 1960, of Filipino parents. The fundamental law then applicable was the 1935
Constitution. On 1985, however, respondent Cruz enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and, without
the consent of the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the United States. As a
consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under Commonwealth Act No. 63, Section 1(4), a Filipino
citizen may lose his citizenship by, among others, "rendering service to or accepting commission in the
armed forces of a foreign country."
On 1994, respondent Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under Republic
Act No. 2630. He ran for and was elected as the Representative of the Second District of Pangasinan in the
1998 elections. Subsequently, petitioner filed a case for Quo Warranto Ad Cautelam with respondent
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) claiming that respondent Cruz was not qualified to
become a member of the House of Representatives since he is not a natural-born citizen as required under
Article VI, Section 6 of the Constitution.
Whether Cruz is a natural born citizen of the Philippines.
Yes. Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may however reacquire the same in the manner
provided by law. Commonwealth Act. No. 63 (C.A. No. 63), enumerates the three modes by which
Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a former citizen: (1) by naturalization, (2) by repatriation, and
(3) by direct act of Congress. In the case before us, the respondent undergone repatriation. Repatriation
may be had under various statutes by those who lost their citizenship due to: (1) desertion of the armed
forces; (2) service in the armed forces of the allied forces in World War II; (3) service in the Armed Forces
of the United States at any other time; (4) marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien; and (5) political and
economic necessity. As distinguished from the lengthy process of naturalization, repatriation simply
consists of the taking of an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registering said oath in
the Local Civil Registry of the place where the person concerned resides or last resided.
Moreover, repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality. This means that a
naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino
citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship,
he will be restored to his former status as a natural-born Filipino.

In respondent Cruz's case, he lost his Filipino citizenship when he rendered service in the Armed Forces of
the United States. However, he subsequently reacquired Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 2630.

Having thus taken the required oath of allegiance to the Republic and having registered the same in the
Civil Registry of Magantarem, Pangasinan, Cruz is deemed to have recovered his original status as a
natural-born citizen, a status which he acquired at birth as the son of a Filipino father. It bears stressing that
the act of repatriation allows him to recover, or return to, his original status before he lost his Philippine

G.R. No. 104654 June 6, 1994


28, MANILA and JUAN G. FRIVALDO, respondents.


On 1991, Fivaldo filed a petition for naturalization under Commonwealth Act No. 63. In an Order,
respondent Judge set the petition for hearing and directed the publication of the said order and petition in
the Official Gazette and a newspaper of general circulation, for three consecutive weeks, the last
publication of which should be at least six months before the said date of hearing. On January 1992,
Frivaldo filed a "Motion to Set Hearing Ahead of Schedule," where he manifested his intention to run for
public office in the May 1992 elections. He alleged that the deadline for filing the certificate of candidacy
was March 15, one day before the scheduled hearing. He asked that the hearing set on March 16 be
cancelled and be moved to January 24. The motion was granted in an Order, wherein the hearing of the
petition was moved to February 21, 1992. The said order was not published nor a copy thereof posted. On
February 21, the hearing proceeded with Frivaldo as the sole witness. On February 27, respondent Judge
rendered the assailed Decision, granting the petition. Petitioner JUAN G. FRIVALDO, is re-admitted as a
citizen of the Republic of the Philippines by naturalization, thereby vesting upon him, all the rights and
privileges of a natural born Filipino citizen.
Subsequently, the Republic of the Philippines filed a petition for Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised
Rules of Court in relation to R.A. No. 5440 and Section 25 of the Interim Rules, to annul the decision made
on February 27, 1992.

Issue: Whether or not Frivaldo was duly re-admitted to his citizenship as a Filipino.

No. The Supreme Court ruled that Private respondent is declared NOT a citizen of the Philippines and
therefore disqualified from continuing to serve as governor of the Province of Sorsogon. He is ordered to
vacate his office and to surrender the same to the Vice-Governor of the Province of Sorsogon once this
decision becomes final and executory. The proceedings of the trial court was marred by the following
(1) the hearing of the petition was set ahead of the scheduled date of hearing, without a publication of the
order advancing the date of hearing, and the petition itself;
(2) the petition was heard within six months from the last publication of the petition;
(3) petitioner was allowed to take his oath of allegiance before the finality of the judgment; and
(4) petitioner took his oath of allegiance without observing the two-year waiting period.

G.R. No. L-35947 October 20, 1992


WILLIAM LI YAO, petitioner-appellant.


William Li Yao, a Chinese national, filed a petition for naturalization in 1949. After several hearings, the
Court granted the petition and declared Li Yao a naturalized Filipino citizen. Li Yao subsequently took his
oath of allegiance. About fifteen years later, the Republic of the Philippines, through the Solicitor General,
filed a motion to cancel William Li Yao's certificate of naturalization on the ground that it was fraudulently
and illegally obtained. The Court had laid several reasons why at the time of the filing of the said petition,
the applicant was not qualified to acquire Filipino citizenship by naturalization. One of it was on the ground
that William Li Yao evaded the payment of lawful taxes due the government by under-declaration of income
as reflected in his income tax returns for the years 1946-1951, the lower court granted the petition and
cancelled the Certificate of Naturalization of Li Yao. Li Yao appealed. After the parties had filed their
respective briefs, Li Yao died.


Whether or not the cancellation of Li Yao's naturalization is valid.


Section 18 (a) of Com. Act No. 473 provides that a naturalization certificate may be cancelled "if it is shown
that said naturalization certificate was obtained fraudulently and illegally." In ordering the cancellation of the
naturalization certificate previously issued to appellant, the lower court based its order of cancellation of
citizenship on the finding of evasion of payment of lawful taxes which is sufficient ground, under Sec. 2 of
the Revised Naturalization Law requiring, among others, that applicant conduct himself "in a proper and
irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines in his relation with
constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living," to strip him of his citizenship
without going into the other grounds for cancellation presented by the Solicitor General.

Finally, taking into account the fact that naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced in favor of the
Government and against the applicant, this Court has repeatedly maintained the view that where the
applicant failed to meet the qualifications required for naturalization, the latter is not entitled to Filipino
citizenship. More specifically, the Court has had occasion to state: "Admission to citizenship is one of the
highest privileges that the Republic of the Philippines can confer upon an alien. It is a privilege that should
not be conferred except upon persons fully qualified for it, and upon strict compliance with the law."

Philippine citizenship is a pearl of great price which should be cherished and not taken for granted. Once
acquired, its sheen must be burnished and not stained by any wrongdoing which could constitute ample
ground for divesting one of said citizenship. Hence, compliance with all the requirements of the law must be
proved to the satisfaction of the Court.