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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
May-1958 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-11219 May 7, 1958 - PACITA SALABARIA VDA. DE SUATARON v. HAWAIIAN-PHILIPPINE COMPANY

    103 Phil 647

  • G.R. No. L-11580 May 9, 1958 - MARCELINO GABRIEL v. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM

    103 Phil 651

  • G.R. No. L-11231 May 12, 1958 - ROSARIO CARBONNEL v. JOSE PONCIO

    103 Phil 655

  • G.R. No. L-9531 May 14, 1958 - WARNER BARNES & CO. v. GUILLERMO C. REYES

    103 Phil 662

  • G.R. No. L-11578 May 14, 1958 - GERONIMO AVECILLA v. HON. NICASIO YATCO

    103 Phil 666

  • G.R. No. L-11629 May 14, 1958 - CELEDONIO E. ESCUDERO v. ANTONIO G. LUCERO

    103 Phil 672

  • G.R. No. L-10559 May 16, 1958 - IN RE: YU NEAM v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    103 Phil 677

  • G.R. No. L-10657 May 16, 1958 - NUMERIANO L. VALERIANO, ET AL. v. CONCEPCION KERR, ET AL.

    103 Phil 681

  • G.R. No. L-11285 May 16, 1958 - VICENTE SAPTO v. APOLONIA FABIANA

    103 Phil 683

  • G.R. No. L-11924 May 16, 1958 - ISIDORO CEBRERO v. JOSE TALAMAN

    103 Phil 687

  • G.R. No. L-8776 May 19, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO CRUZ

    103 Phil 693

  • G.R. No. L-11539 May 19, 1958 - ARING BAGOBA v. ENRIQUE A. FERNANDEZ

    103 Phil 706

  • G.R. No. L-11305 May 21, 1958 - DOMINADOR P. CANLAS, ET AL. v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    103 Phil 712

  • G.R. No. L-12375 May 21, 1958 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. ALTO SURETY & INSURANCE CO.

    103 Phil 717

  • G.R. No. L-8317 May 23, 1958 - GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JUAN ABAD, ET AL.

    103 Phil 725

  • G.R. No. L-10286 May 23, 1958 - LUIS E. ARRIOLA v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    103 Phil 730

  • G.R. No. L-10704 May 23, 1958 - SIMEON TAN LIM v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    103 Phil 736

  • G.R. No. L-11036 May 23, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO TOLENTINO

    103 Phil 741

  • G.R. No. L-11060 May 23, 1958 - A. U. VALENCIA & Co. v. HERMINIA C. LAYUG, ET AL.

    103 Phil 747

  • G.R. No. L-11152 May 23, 1958 - BENITO CO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    103 Phil 750

  • G.R. No. L-11442 May 23, 1958 - MANUELA T. VDA. DE SALVATIERRA v. LORENZO C. GARLITOS

    103 Phil 757

  • G.R. No. L-11504 May 23, 1958 - ELISEO SAULOG v. N. BAENS DEL ROSARIO

    103 Phil 765

  • G.R. No. L-7451 May 26, 1958 - HACIENDA LUISITA v. BOARD OF TAX APPEALS

    103 Phil 770

  • G.R. No. L-10610 May 26, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO SILVELA

    103 Phil 773

  • G.R. No. L-11361 May 26, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX SEMAÑADA

    103 Phil 790

  • G.R. No. L-8190 May 28, 1958 - GONZALO GARCIA v. CONSOLACION MANZANO

    103 Phil 798

  • G.R. No. L-9328 May 28, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMBROSIO PAUNIL, ET AL.

    103 Phil 804

  • G.R. No. L-10322 May 28, 1958 - GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JACINTA ALVAREZ

    103 Phil 816

  • G.R. No. L-10574 May 28, 1958 - PANAY ELECTRIC CO. v. COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL.

    103 Phil 819

  • G.R. No. L-10931 May 28, 1958 - FLORENClA R. SORIANO v. ONG HOO

    103 Phil 829

  • G.R. No. L-10972 May 28, 1958 - IN RE: PERFECTO GOTAUCO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    103 Phil 834

  • G.R. No. L-10989 May 28, 1958 - PONCIANO GACHO v. SERGIO OSMEÑA

    103 Phil 837

  • G.R. No. L-11112 May 28, 1958 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. LUZON SURETY COMPANY

    103 Phil 853

  • G.R. No. L-11271 May 28, 1958 - PAZ TY SIN TEI v. JOSE LEE DY PIAO

    103 Phil 858

  • G.R. No. L-11311 May 28, 1958 - MARTA C. ORTEGA v. DANIEL LEONARDO

    103 Phil 870

  • G.R. No. L-11412 May 28, 1958 - MAURICIA VDA. DE VILLANUEVA v. MONTANO A. ORTIZ

    103 Phil 875

  • G.R. No. L-11427 May 28, 1958 - DIMAS REYES v. FIDEL D. DONES

    103 Phil 884

  • G.R. No. L-11491 May 28, 1958 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. BIENVENIDA JOCSON LAGNITON

    103 Phil 889

  • G.R. No. L-11538 May 28, 1958 - COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, ET AL. v. JEA COMMERCIAL, ET AL.

    103 Phil 894

  • G.R. No. L-11640 May 28, 1958 - CLAUDIO DEGOLLACION v. LI CHUI

    103 Phil 904

  • G.R. No. L-11744 May 28, 1958 - PILAR GIL VDA. DE MURCIANO v. AUDITOR GENERAL

    103 Phil 907

  • G.R. No. L-12196 May 28, 1958 - ASSISTANT PROVINCIAL FISCAL OF BATAAN v. AMBROSIO T. DOLLETE

    103 Phil 914

  • G.R. Nos. L-12214-17 May 28, 1958 - MALIGAYA SHIP WATCHMEN AGENCY v. ASSOCIATED WATCHMEN AND SECURITY UNION (PTWO)

    103 Phil 920

  • G.R. No. L-12222 May 28, 1958 - UNIVERSITY OF SAN AGUSTIN v. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

    103 Phil 926

  • G.R. No. L-12289 May 28, 1958 - LIM SIOK HUEY v. ALFREDO LAPIZ

    103 Phil 930

  • G.R. No. L-12348 May 28, 1958 - MARIANO CORDOVA v. GREGORIO NARVASA

    103 Phil 935

  • G.R. No. L-13069 May 28, 1958 - JOVENCIO A. REYES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

    103 Phil 940

  • G.R. No. L-12287 May 29, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FORTUNATO ORTIZ, ET AL.

    103 Phil 944

  • G.R. No. L-7955 May 30, 1958 - JOAQUIN LOPEZ v. ENRIQUE P. OCHOA

    103 Phil 950

  • G.R. No. L-8439 May 30, 1958 - CO CHO CHIT v. HANSON, ORTH & STEVENSON, INC., ET AL.

    103 Phil 956

  • G.R. No. L-10642 May 30, 1958 - IN RE: ALFREDO ONG v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    103 Phil 964

  • G.R. Nos. L-10837-38 May 30, 1958 - ASSOCIATED INSURANCE & SURETY COMPANY v. ISABEL IYA

    103 Phil 972

  • G.R. No. L-10952 May 30, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENIGNO V. LINGAD

    103 Phil 980

  • G.R. No. L-11073 May 30, 1958 - MELECIO ARCEO v. ANDRES E. VARELA

    103 Phil 990

  • G.R. No. L-11374 May 30, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIOSCORO PINUILA

    103 Phil 992

  • G.R. No. L-11444 May 30, 1958 - VICENTE ROULLO v. MARGARITO LUMAYNO

    103 Phil 1004

  • G.R. No. L-11498 May 30, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN J. RODRIGUEZ

    103 Phil 1008

  • G.R. Nos. L-11531-33 May 30, 1958 - MARIA CONCEPCION v. PAYATAS ESTATE IMPROVEMENT CP. INC.

    103 Phil 1016

  • G.R. No. L-12053 May 30, 1958 - ROBERTA C. DIAZ v. JESUS Y. PEREZ

    103 Phil 1023

  • G.R. No. L-12081 May 30, 1958 - LORENZO LERMA v. VICTORIANO L. REYES, ET AL.

    103 Phil 1027

  • G.R. No. L-12530 May 30, 1958 - CONSOLIDATED LABOR ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HERMOGENES CALUAG

    103 Phil 1032

  • G.R. No. L-12567 May 30, 1958 - TAN GIN SAN v. ROSALIA A. TAN CARPIZO

    103 Phil 1042

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. L-10642   May 30, 1958 - IN RE: ALFREDO ONG v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. <br /><br />103 Phil 964

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. L-10642. May 30, 1958.]

    In the matter of the petition of ALFREDO ONG to be admitted as a citizen of the Philippines. ALFREDO ONG, Petitioner-Appellee, v. THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Oppositor-Appellant.

    Borromeo, Yap & Borromeo for Appellee.

    First Assistant Solicitor General Guillermo E. Torres and Assistant Solicitor General Antonio A. Torres for Appellant.


    SYLLABUS


    1. CITIZENSHIP; AFFIDAVIT OF CHARACTER WITNESSES, NOT LIVING UP TO THE REQUIREMENTS. — Where the affidavits of the two character witness do not state (1) that the affiant personally know the petitioner to be a resident of the Philippines for the period of time required by the Naturalization Law; (2) that petitioner appellee is morally irreproachable; (3) that he has all the qualifications necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines; (4) that he is not in any way disqualified under the provisions of our Naturalization Law; and (5) that said witness personally know petitioner to be a person of good repute, said affidavits fail to live up to the requirements of section 7 of Commonwealth Act 473.

    2. ID.; PETITION MUST BE AFFIRMATIVE BACKED UP AND INDORSED BY TWO CREDIBLE FILIPINO CITIZENS. — Our Naturalization Law demands, not only a showing, in the petition, that the applicant has all the necessary qualifications and none of the disqualifications but, also, that the petition and its allegations be backed up by two (2) "credible" citizens of the Philippines, who affirmatively indorse said petition and warrant the truth of its allegations, as well the worthiness of the applicant to be an integral part of our body politic. Such indorsement and warranty are a condition precedent to the consideration of the petition.

    3. ID.; CHARACTER WITNESSES MUST TESTIFY IN COURT. — The legal provision requiring that the sworn statements of at least two (2) credible persons be attached to the petition, necessarily implies that those two (2) person must also confirm on the witness stand, the contents of their aforementioned affidavits. Accordingly, in the absence of good reasons therefor — such as death or unexpected absence of the affiants — we have held that they must testify for the petitioner, and cannot be substituted by other witnesses.

    4. ID.; EVIDENCE; WHAT PETITIONER MUST PROVE BY TESTIMONY OF THE TWO CHARACTER WITNESS. — When the law ordains that certain specified statements be made in the affidavits of the two character witness, it follows, as an inevitable corrollary, that those statements must be established, on the witness stand, by the testimony of the affiants themselves. In other words, petitioner must prove by the testimony of, at least, two (2) credible persons, whose affidavits are attached to the petition; (1) That they are citizens of the Philippines; (2) That they are "credible persons" (3) That they personally know the petitioner; (4) That they personally know him to be a resident of the Philippines for the period of time required by law; (5) That they personally know him to be morally irreproachable; (7) That he has in their opinion, all the qualifications necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines; and (8) That he "is not in any way disqualified under the provisions" of the Naturalization Law.

    5. ID.; MEANING OF "CREDIBLE PERSONS." — The character witnesses must be "credible persons." Within the purview of the Naturalization Law, a "credible" person is, not merely an individual who has not been previously convicted of a crime; who is not a police character and has no police record; who has not perjured in the past; or whose "Affidavit" or testimony is not incredible. What must be "credible" is, not the declaration made, but the person making it. This implies that such person must have a good standing in the community; that he is known to be honest and upright; that he is reputed to be trustworthy and reliable; and that his word may be taken on its face value, as a good warranty of the worthiness of the petitioner. Indeed, by their affidavits the character witnesses do not merely make the statements therein contained. They also vouch for the applicant, attest to the merits of his petition and sort of underwrite the name.


    D E C I S I O N


    CONCEPCION, J.:


    This is an appeal, taken by the Office of the Solicitor General from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, granting the petition for naturalization of appellee Alfredo Ong.

    The only questions raised in this appeal are: (a) the sufficiency of the affidavits attached to appellee’s petition; and (b) whether the alleged deficiencies therein have been cured by the evidence introduced in the lower court.

    Said affidavits were signed by Primo Alvez and Miguel Relampagos. The former said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. That I am a citizen of the Philippines;

    "2. That I had been a member of the Police Force of the City of Cebu before the war and at present, an attorney at law;

    "3. That I have known Alfredo Ong since he first came to live in this province; and during the entire period that I have known him, I always know him to be a hardworking, law-abiding and highly respected person, who can be considered a credit of the community in which he lives."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Relampagos stated:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. That I am a citizen of the Philippines, residing in the above mentioned address.

    "2. That I am an Accountant by profession.

    "3. That I personally know Alfredo Ong for many years. He is a man of good moral character, honest, and law-abiding person."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Section 7, of Commonwealth Act No. 473 provides that every petition for naturalization: (a) "must be . . . supported by the affidavit of at least two (2) credible persons", (b) "stating that they are citizens of the Philippines" and (c) "personally know the petitioner to be a resident of the Philippines for the period of time required by this Act" and (d) "a person of good repute" and (e) "morally irreproachable", and (f) "that said petitioner has in their opinion all the qualifications necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines" and (g) "is not in any way disqualified under the provisions of this Act."cralaw virtua1aw library

    A perusal of the above-quoted affidavits readily reveals that the same fail to live up to the requirements of said section 7, in that the affidavits do not state: (1) that the affiants personally know the petitioner to be a resident of the Philippines for the period of time required by the Naturalization Law; (2) that petitioner and appellee is morally irreproachable; (3) that he has all the qualifications necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines; (4) that he is not in any way disqualified under the provisions of our Naturalization Law; and (5) that Relampagos personally knows petitioner to be a person of good repute.

    Petitioner alleges that said section 7 has been substantially complied with, because Relampagos stated in his affidavit that he had known petitioner for "many years," and Alvez asserted in his sworn statement that he had known petitioner since "he first came to live in this province" of Cebu; because the statement of Alvez to the effect that he had always known petitioner "to be a hardworking, law abiding and highly respected person, who can be considered a credit to the community in which he lives", and the, averment of Relampagos to the effect that petitioner "is a man of good moral character, honest and law abiding" imply that he possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications to become a citizen of the Philippines; because said affidavits do not show that petitioner is disqualified; because, "at any rate . . . it is the court that determines whether or not an applicant for Filipino citizenship is duly qualified" ; and because the affidavits "contain sufficient facts to show that petitioner is a person of good moral character."cralaw virtua1aw library

    There is no merit in this pretense. Knowing a person for "many years" or "since he first came to live in this province" is not the same as knowing him to be a resident of the Philippines" for the requisite period of time. So too, while the assertion of Alvez that petitioner is a "highly respected person", might amount to saying that he is "a person of good repute", the affidavit of Relampagos is absolutely silent on the opinion of the community about petitioner. Similarly, the affiants must attest that petitioner is "morally irreproachable," not merely good. Moreover, the affidavits must show affirmatively that petitioner has all the requisite qualifications and is "not in anyway disqualified" to become a naturalized citizen. Failure to disclose the existence of any disqualification is not enough. If it were, then the affidavits could be totally dispensed with. Our Naturalization law demands, not only a showing, in the petition, that the applicant has all the necessary qualifications and none of the aforesaid disqualifications, but, also, that the petition and its aforementioned allegations be backed up by two (2) "credible" citizens of the Philippines, who affirmatively indorse said petition and warrant the truth of its allegations, as well as the worthiness of the applicant to be an integral part of our body politic. Such indorsement and warranty are a condition precedent to the consideration of the petition. They are entirely distinct and different, and, in a way, independent, from the question whether, after due notice and hearing, the court should render judgment granting the petition, in the light of the evidence of record. Said condition refers to the pleadings or procedure. The judgment deals with the merits of the case, and affects the substantive rights of the petitioner.

    It is urged, however, that the deficiencies in the affidavits of Primo B. Alvez and Miguel Relampagos have been "cured" by the evidence on record. Without passing upon the question whether said deficiencies affect the petition to the extent of invalidating the same or, at least, of rendering the petition unworthy of consideration, it is proper to reflect upon the purpose of the law in requiring that the affidavits of at least two (2) "credible persons" be attached to the petition.

    As already adverted to, the petitioner must be sponsored by "credible" citizens, who are willing to warrant his fitness. Indeed, one who can not find two (2) such persons to back him up, must be "unwelcome" to our citizenry, and should not be admitted as a regular or full member of our democratic society, governed as it is by the majority rule.

    Then, also, it is necessary that the names of those who will testify for the petitioner be known. Why? So that the Government could, before the hearing, investigate them or find out what they know about the petitioner, and, also, in order that those who are acquainted with said witnesses could tip the Government about matters relevant to them and/or the petitioner. Hence, a petition for naturalization cannot be heard until after six (6) months from the last publication of the notice of said hearing, which notice shall state among other things, "the names of the witnesses whom petitioner proposes to introduce in support of his petition." (Commonwealth Act No. 473, section 9, as amended by R. A. No. 530.)

    Needless to say, the legal provision requiring that the sworn statements of at least two (2) credible persons be attached to the petition, necessarily implies that those two (2) persons must, also, confirm, on the witness stand, the contents of their aforementioned affidavits. Accordingly, in the absence of good reasons therefor — such as death or unexpected absence of the affiants we have held that they must testify for the petitioner, and cannot be substituted by other witnesses (Cu v. Republic, 89 Phil., 473; Yu Chiong Tian v. Republic, 94 Phil., 742; Awad v. Republic, 97 Phil., 569; Karam Singh v. Republic, 1 51 Off. Gaz., 5172; Cabrales Cu v. Republic, 2 51 Off. Gaz., 6525; Raymundo Pe, Et. Al. v. Republic, 52 Off. Gaz., 5855, 3 Lui v. Republic, 53 Off. Gaz., 379 4; Chan Pong v. Republic, G. R. No. L- 9153, May 17, 1957; and Dy Suat Hong v. Republic, 101 Phil., 635.)

    Similarly, when the law ordains that certain specified statements be made in said affidavits, it follows, as an inevitable corrollary, that those statements must be established, on the witness stand, by the testimony of the affiants themselves. In other words, petitioner must prove by the testimony of, at least, two (2) credible persons, whose affidavits are attached to the petition:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. That they are citizens of the Philippines;

    2. That they are "credible persons" ;

    3. That they personally know the petitioner;

    4. That they personally know him to be a resident of the Philippines for the period of time required by law;

    5. That they personally know him to be a person of good repute;

    6. That they personally know him to be morally irreproachable;

    7. That he has, in their opinion, all the qualifications necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines; and

    8. That he "is not in ,any way disqualified under the provisions" of the Naturalization Law.

    In effect, therefore, the latter establishes a two-witness-rule, analogous to that obtaining in treason cases, with the particularity that, in naturalization cases, the two (2) witnesses must be those whose affidavits are attached to the petition, and do not include the petitioner. As a consequence, with respect to the question whether the deficiencies in the affidavits of Primo B. Alvez and Miguel Relampagos have been cured, our task is to ascertain whether the eight (8) points referred to in the preceding paragraph have been established by their testimony.

    It is not disputed that Alvez and Relampagos are Filipinos. However, we are not prepared to say — without the slightest intent to cast any aspersion upon them — that they have been proven to be "credible persons." Within the purview of the Naturalization Law, a "credible person is, to our mind, not only an individual who has not been previously convicted of a crime, who is not a police character and has no police record; who has not perjured in the past; or whose "affidavit" or testimony is not incredible. What must be "credible" is not the declaration made, but the person making it. This implies that such person must have a good standing in the community; that he is known to be honest and upright; that he is reputed to be trustworthy and reliable; and that his word may be taken on its face value, as a good warranty of the worthiness of the petitioner. Thus, in Cu v. Republic, 89 Phil., 473 (decided on July 18, 1951), we declared that said affiants "are in a way insurers of the character of the candidate concerned." Indeed, by their affidavits, they do not merely make the statements therein contained. They also vouch for the applicant, attest to the merits of his petition and sort of underwrite the same.

    Assuming, without granting that, as a former member of the police force of Cebu and a present member of the Bar, Alvez may be regarded as a "credible" person, we are not satisfied that Relampagos belongs to such class, according to the evidence of record. Besides, being a P40-a-month employee of petitioner, Relampagos is his subordinate and was not free, either economically or morally, to act as he pleased in relation to the case at bar. This accounts, at least, partly, for the hard time he had trying to explain why his testimony on the length of time he had allegedly known petitioner herein does not tally with a previous declaration, on the same object, made by him to the local police.

    Independently, of the foregoing, none of them has testified, expressly or by implication, that petitioner is "morally irreproachable." They did not go beyond stating, in reply to leading questions, that he is a person of "good" moral character — which is not enough. The law requires a moral character of the highest order — an excellent character. Under similarly leading questions, they testified, also, that he has some of the qualifications to become a citizen of the Philippines — such as evincing a sincere desire to become a Filipino, mingling with Filipinos, and adopting our customs and traditions — and that he does not have some of the disqualifications provided in the naturalization law — such as the practice of polygamy, mental alienation and incurable contagious disease. As above pointed out, the character witnesses are required to attest that "petitioner has in their opinion all the qualifications necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines and is not in any way disqualified," under the law. Alvez expressed the belief that petitioner "has none of the disqualifications of becoming a Filipino citizen", but he did not give the facts upon which this conclusion was predicated. He did not know where petitioner was born or how many children he had. He (Alvez) was not sure whether they are enrolled in public schools. Neither was he sure about the name of his (petitioner’s) wife. In short, it would seem that he is not sufficiently acquainted with the petitioner to be in a position to vouch for him and be his "insurer."

    Wherefore, the decision appealed from is hereby reversed, and another one shall be entered dismissing the petition, with costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.

    Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Reyes, J. B. L., Endencia and Felix, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. 97 Phil., 622.

    2. 97 Phil., 746.

    3. 99 Phil., 586.

    4. 100 Phil., 258

    G.R. No. L-10642   May 30, 1958 - IN RE: ALFREDO ONG v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. <br /><br />103 Phil 964


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