Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1965 > June 1965 Decisions > G.R. No. L-19897 June 24, 1965 - JOAQUIN TAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-19897. June 24, 1965.]

PETITION FOR ADMISSION AS A CITIZEN OF THE PHILIPPINES JOAQUIN TAN alias TAN YAM LAI, Petitioner-Appellant, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Oppositor-Appellant.

De Mesa & De Mesa for Petitioner-Appellee.

Solicitor General for Oppositor-Appellant.


SYLLABUS


1. CITIZENSHIP; NATURALIZATION; PETITION MUST STATE FILING OF OR EXEMPTION FROM DECLARATION OF INTENTION. — Failure of petitioner to state in the original petition his having filed or his being exempt from filing a declaration of intention constitutes a fatal defect.

2. ID.; ID.; FAILURE TO PUBLISH AMENDATORY PETITION FATAL. — Where the original petition for naturalization is void for lack of some essential particulars, the failure to publish anew the amendatory petition is a fatal defect.


D E C I S I O N


REGALA, J.:


Appeal taken by the Government from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Quezon granting the petition of Joaquin Tan alias Tan Yam Lai to be admitted a citizen of the Philippines.

On February 16, 1960, the petitioner applied for naturalization Nothing was mentioned in the application about petitioner having filed his declaration of intention to become a citizen or that he has the qualifications to exempt from the filing of such a declaration. As directed by the Court, the petition was published in the Official Gazette as well as in the Manila Chronicle.

On May 12, 1960, petitioner filed an amendatory petition to add the allegation that he finished his elementary and secondary education and that he reached the sophomore year of the Engineering course, all in schools recognized by the Government. Such amendatory petition, however, was not published.

On August 4, 1960, the provincial fiscal of Quezon opposed the petition on the ground that the record failed to show that petitioner had filed the requisite declaration of intention as required by section 5 of the Revised Naturalization Law. Despite this opposition, the petitioner was allowed to adduce evidence in his favor, and on November 21, 1961, after hearing, the trial court granted the petition. Hence this appeal.

For a resolution of the question of whether the application for naturalization should be granted or not, We need only to discuss the first assigned error of the Solicitor General averring that the amendatory petition of May 8, 1961 is void for lack of publication as required by section 9 of the Revised Naturalization Law.

The circumstances in the case of Ong Khan v. Republic of the Philippines, 109 Phil., 855, promulgated on October 28, 1960, are similar to our case at bar and it was therein held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Section 7 of the Revised Naturalization Law (Com. Act 473), enumerates what should be set forth in a petition for naturalization. Among others, it requires that the petition must contain a statement that the applicant has complied with the requirements of section 5 of the Act which enjoins the said applicant to file with the office of the Solicitor-General, one year prior to the filing of his petition for naturalization, a declaration under oath that it is his bona fide intention to become a citizen of the Philippines; it also requires that the declaration be made part of the petition. The filing of such declaration of intention is mandatory and an absolute requisite to naturalization. Failure to file the same, unless exempted under section 6, is fatal to the application for naturalization (Yu Yap v. Republic, G. R. No. L-4270, May 8, 1952; Yu v. Republic, 92 Phil. 804; and Tan v. Republic, 94 Phil. 882. Under the said section 6, in order that an applicant may be entitled to exemption from filing a declaration of intention, either of the following two conditions must exist: (1) that the applicant was born in the Philippines and has received his primary and secondary education in public schools or those recognized by the Government and not limited to any race or nationality; or (2) that he has resided continuously in the Philippines for a period of thirty years or more before filing his application. To such requirements shall be added that which establishes that the applicant has given primary and secondary education all his children in the public schools or in private schools recognized by the Government and not limited to any race or nationality (See CA 535); that is, if the applicant’s children, if any, are already of school age (Chan Tiao v. Republic, G.R. No. L-6430, August, 31, 1954)."cralaw virtua1aw library

As in the Ong Khan case, supra, the petitioner here did not make any allegation in his original petition that he had complied with section 5 of the Revised Naturalization law. No declaration of intention was attached to the petition. But there was no claim from exemption from filing such declaration, and neither was there allegation of facts that would entitle petitioner to exemption.

It has been repeatedly held that in cases where the petitioner for naturalization is exempt from filing a declaration of intention, a statement as to his exemption therefrom and the reasons therefor should appear in the petition in order to apprise the public, especially those officers charged with notice of the application, of the reasons advanced in support of the claim for exemption, so that they may be prepared, if legally proper and necessary to contest or object to any evidence adduced on that regard. The failure, therefore, of the petitioner to make a statement in his original petition about his having filed, or his being exempt from that requirement constitutes a fatal defect in his petition and rendered the same void for non-compliance with the law.(See In re Rubertoc Cu, G.R. No. L-3018, July 18, 1951; Ridelo v. Republic, G.R. No. L-7796, September 29, 1955; cited in Ong Khan v. Republic, supra.)

In the amendatory petition, the applicant made some additional allegations, but for whatever those additions may be worth, the said amendatory petition was not published. The original petition being void in that it lacked some essential particular, the amendatory petition should have been published anew in accordance with section 9 of the Revised Naturalization Law.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the order granting Philippine citizenship to Joaquin Tan alias Tan Yam Lai is hereby reversed. The petition is dismissed. So ordered, with costs against the Petitioner-Appellee.

Bengzon, C.J., Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.

Bautista Angelo, J., took no part.




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