Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1913 > December 1913 Decisions > G.R. No. 8120 December 12, 1913 - FERMIN DE LA CRUZ v. INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS

026 Phil 270:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 8120. December 12, 1913. ]

FERMIN DE LA CRUZ, Petitioner-Appellant, v. THE INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, Respondent-Appellee.

Beaumont & Tenney, for Appellant.

Solicitor-General Harvey, for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. IMMIGRATION LAWS; RIGHT OF BOARD OF SPECIAL INQUIRY TO DETERMINE NATIONALITY. — The board of special inquiry, in determining the right of an alien to enter the Philippine Islands, may take into consideration his personal appearance, characteristics, language, customs, dress, and the fact that he came direct from a Chinese port as evidence tending to show that he was born in China and is a Chinese alien; and such evidence is not necessarily overcome by the testimony of witnesses that he was born in the Philippine Islands where, on subsequent hearings, some of the witnesses who so testified at the first hearing returned and admitted that such testimony was false, and where it appears from the evidence and circumstances that there was probably an attempt to obtain the entry of the applicant into the Philippine Islands by fraudulent methods and by the manufacturing of false testimony.


D E C I S I O N


MORELAND, J. :


This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance dismissing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus prayed for by one Fermin de la Cruz, who claimed to be unlawfully detained by the customs authorities.

Said petitioner came to the Philippine Islands in December, 1911, from China. He was taken before the board of special inquiry for the purpose of determining his right to land. Much evidence was adduced before that board relative to the petitioner having been born in the Philippine Islands. Some of the witnesses who, at the first hearing, testified to having been present at the birth of the petitioner in the city of Manila, at subsequent hearings returned and declared that the testimony given in the first hearing was absolutely false and had been given at the request of the Chinaman who was seeking to obtain the entry of the petitioner into the Philippine Islands.

The board of special inquiry refused to believe the testimony of the witnesses for the petitioner and held that the presumption that the petitioner was a Chinese alien induced by the fact of his coming direct from a Chinese port, together with his personal appearance, characteristics and language, was not overcome by the testimony of witnesses who declared concerning his birth in the Philippine Islands. The customs officials were of the opinion that upon the whole case and from all of the circumstances surrounding it, there was an attempt to obtain the entry of the petitioner into the Philippine Islands by fraudulent methods and by the manufacturing of false testimony.

We are satisfied that the board in making the decision in this case was guilty of no abuse of authority or discretion but that it, instead, exercised its powers within the law.

The judgment is affirmed, with costs against the Appellant.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Johnson, Carson, and Trent, JJ., concur.




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