Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1912 > December 1912 Decisions > G.R. No. 7096 December 12, 1912 - ANG ENG CHONG v. INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS

023 Phil 614:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 7096. December 12, 1912. ]

ANG ENG CHONG, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. THE INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, Defendant-Appellant.

Solicitor-General Harvey for Appellant.

Hartford Beaumont for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. JURISDICTION OF COURTS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION LAWS; ABUSE OF AUTHORITY. — In the administration of Chinese immigration laws relating to the admission or exclusion of Chinamen, the courts have no jurisdiction to review, revise, or reverse the decisions of the executive department of the Government, until it is shown that there has been an abuse of the authority conferred upon said department. An abuse of authority will exist:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

(a) When a person has been denied admission into territory of the United States who does not belong to any of the excluded classes;

(b) When a person seeking admission into territory of the United States has not been given a full, fair, and free hearing and is denied his right to enter; and

(c) When there is no proof at all presented against the right of the appellant seeking admission.


D E C I S I O N


JOHNSON, J. :


The record shows that upon the 6th day of January, 1911, two Chinese boys, Ang Eng Chong and Ang Tiao Chuan, of the respective ages of 17 and 19, who claimed to be brothers and sons of Ang Co, arrived at the port of Manila on the steamship Yingchow and asked to be admitted into the Philippine Islands.

The facts is not denied that Ang Co, the alleged father, was a merchant engaged in the dry-goods business in the city of Manila.

After hearing the evidence, the board of special inquiry found that Ang Tiao Chuan was a minor and the legitimate son of Ang Co and admitted him into the Philippine Islands. The said board however found from the evidence that Ang Eng Chong was not the legitimate son of Ang Co and refused him admission. From that decision of the board of special inquiry Ang Eng Chong appealed to the Collector of Customs who affirmed the decision of said board. Later he presented a petition for the writ of habeas corpus to the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila.

After an examination of the record and the testimony adduced, the Honorable A. S. Crossfield, judge, found that there was an abuse of discretion on the part of the board of special inquiry in denying the petitioner the right to land in the Philippine Islands and directed that Ang Eng Chong be discharged from the custody of the law and be admitted into the Philippine Islands. From that order the Attorney-General appealed to this court.

The principal assignment of error made by the Attorney-General is that the Court of First Instance erred in reviewing, revising and reversing the decision of the customs authorities, and in holding that there was an abuse of authority on the part of such officers in denying the petitioner’s right to land.

The Supreme Court of the United States, the district and circuit courts, as well as this court, have decided in numerous cases that the decision of the proper immigration officers in denying a Chinese person the right to land in territory of the United States is final, unless there has been an abuse of authority. (Ngo-Ti v. Shuster, 7 Phil. Rep., 355; U. S. v. Ju Toy, 198 U. S., 253; Lo Po v. McCoy, 8 Phil. Rep., 343.)

The question presented by the appeal in the present case is, therefore, whether or not there was an abuse of authority on the part of the board of special inquiry. The law has conferred upon the executive branch of the Government the right to determine, of the excluded classes of aliens, who are entitled to enter the territory of the United States. The law makes the conclusions of that department of the Government final, subject to certain exceptions which will be noted later. The judicial department of the Government, however, has the right, in a proper proceeding, to determine whether or not in the exercise of that authority there has been an abuse of the authority conferred by law. If there has been no abuse of the authority conferred by law, then the decision of the executive department of the Government is final and the courts are without jurisdiction to consider the question. Abuse of authority, on the part of the officers of the executive department of the Government, is the only basis upon which the courts will assume jurisdiction to review, revise, or reverse the decisions of that department. The courts must, therefore, at the outset determine whether there has been an abuse of authority on the part of the officials of the executive department of the Government. If the courts find that there has been no abuse of authority. We think that a careful review of the numerous decisions upon this question justifies the following conclusions upon that point. An abuse of authority certainly exists:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

(a) When a person has been denied admission into the territory of the United States who does not belong to any of the excluded classes. For example: A citizen of the United States or any other person who has acquired a right to be in and to remain in territory of the United States. (U. S. v. Go-Siaco, 12 Phil. Rep., 490; Muñoz v. Collector of Customs, 20 Phil. Rep., 494; U. S. v. Yu Kiao, 20 Phil. Rep., 307; U. S. Gue Lim, 176 U. S., 459; 83 Fed. Rep., 136.)

(b) When a person seeking admission has not been given a full, fair, and free hearing. For example, when he has not been given an opportunity to present all the material proof which he desires to present. (Ngo-Ti v. Shuster, 7 Phil. Rep., 355; U. S. v. Ju Toy, 198 U. S., 253; Lo Po v. McCoy, 8 Phil. Rep., 343.)

(c) When there is no proof at all presented against the right of the applicant seeking admission. (U. S. v. Williams, 189 Fed. Rep., 915.)

An examination of the evidence presented before said board shows that there were many contradictory statements made by the two alleged brothers concerning particular facts, with reference to which they were questioned. The two boys claimed that they were brothers and had lived in the same house in China. Notwithstanding this claim, they told different stories with reference to the kind of house in which they had lived. Neither did they agree as to what had been the occupation of each. They each told different stories. Boys of the ages of 17 and 19, who have lived together in the same house, children of the same parties, ought to be able to agree with reference to the kind of house in which they had lived, as well as to the occupation of each, in a general way. Neither did the declarations of Ang Eng Chong agree with the declarations of his alleged father, in many important facts. These conflicting statements upon facts with which both of these boys, if they were in fact brothers, should have been perfectly familiar, caused the board of special inquiry to doubt the truthfulness of the statements of Ang Eng Chong and accordingly held that he was not the legitimate minor son of Ang Co and was therefore not entitled to enter the Philippine Islands. The board of special inquiry, under the law, had a right to examine the applicant upon the question of his right to enter the Philippine Islands. Their right to examine into that question involves their right to pass upon the sufficiency of the evidence. If the applicant belonged to the class which was excluded under the law, and if there was some evidence to support the finding of the board, and if he was given an full, fair, and free hearing, then the courts will not take jurisdiction for the purpose of revising and reversing the conclusions of said board, unless there has been some abuse of authority.

In the present case it clearly appears that the defendant was among the class of persons excluded under the law. The record also discloses the fact that the defendant was given an opportunity to present all the proof he had upon the question of his right to enter. There was some proof supporting the conclusions of the board of special inquiry.

Taking into consideration the conflicting statements of the applicant, together with the fact that the board of special inquiry had an opportunity to see him and hear his declarations and to weigh his testimony, together with that of the witnesses presented by him, we are of the opinion that there was no abuse of authority on the part of the board of special inquiry and that the judgment of the Collector of Customs should be affirmed.

Therefore the judgment of the Court of First Instance reversing the judgment of the board of special inquiry and admitting the applicant to the Philippine Islands should be and is hereby reversed, and, without any finding as to costs, it is so ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres and Mapa, JJ., concur.

Carson, Moreland, and Trent, JJ., concur in the result.




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