Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1966 > January 1966 Decisions > G.R. No. L-20622 January 31, 1966 IN RE: LIM GUAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-20622. January 31, 1966.]

In the matter of the petition for Philippine citizenship. LIM GUAN, Petitioner-Appellee, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Oppositor-Appellant.

Solicitor General for the oppositor and Appellant.

V.G. Quipino for the petitioner and appellee.


SYLLABUS


1. NATURALIZATION; REQUIREMENT OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AND IRREPROACHABLE CONDUCT, ILLEGITIMATE RELATIONSHIP. — The certificates of birth of some of petitioner’s children show that they are illegitimate. It is only after petitioner’s marriage that his other children’s birth certifications indicate them to be legitimate and their parents to be married. Petitioner cannot argue that the facts appearing in the said certificates of birth were not furnished by him, for he should have corrected them earlier if false, and his act of presenting them as part of his exhibits before the court stop him from denying their correctness, for he has in effect acquiesced to the facts contained by such presentation. His illegitimate relationship with his wife before marriage defeats his petition for naturalization (Lao v. Republic, L-17053, Oct. 30, 1962; Deetuanka v. Republic, L-12981, Jan. 29, 1960; Tak Ng v. Republic, L-13017, Dec. 23, 1959).

2. ID.; ID.; FAILURE TO REGISTER CHILDREN WITH BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION WITHIN THE REGLEMENTARY PERIOD. — The failure of the petitioner to register his children with the Bureau of Immigration within the first sixty days of every calendar year constitutes a clear violation of Section 10 of the Alien Registration Act that renders his conduct far from being proper and irreproachable (Lu Beng Ga v. Republic, L-18005, Nov. 29, 1963).

3. ID.; RESPECT FOR PRINCIPLES UNDERLYING THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION; PURCHASE OF RESIDENTIAL LOT. — Petitioner’s purchase of a residential lot in 1959 constitutes a violation of Section 5, Article XIII of the Philippine Constitution (Krivenko v. Register of Deeds, 79 Phil. 461; Tan Tiam v. Republic, L-14802, May 30, 1961). Such palpable defiance of the fundamental law is, inconsistent with respect for and belief in the principles underlying the same.


D E C I S I O N


BENGZON, J. P., J.:


The Court of First Instance of Romblon granted on June 15, 1962, Lim Guan’s amended petition for naturalization filed on July 21, 1960. It found among other things that petitioner has resided continuously for 24 years in the Philippines since his arrival in 1935; married Anastacia Tan on April 4, 1944; married her again on April 15, 1957 upon advice by BIR agents because the records of the previous marriage were lost during the war; has nine children, all enrolled in schools as required by law; has an average annual net income of P10,000 and owns real property by purchase worth P6,000. From this judgment the Republic has appealed.

Appellant contends that the petition should have been denied because petitioner had lived with Anastacia Tan without benefit of marriage and violated the Constitution by acquiring real property as well as the Alien Registration Act (Act No. 562), particularly Section 10 thereof, by the undue delay in the registration of his children with the Bureau of Immigration.

Petitioner explained that, as stated, he first married Anastacia Tan on April 4,1944 and married her again on April 15, 1957. The record, specifically the certificates of birth of petitioner’s children, the date of which — it may be presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary — were furnished by the parents themselves, sustains the Solicitor General’s averments to the contrary. The certificates of birth of Anne Lim (Exhibit H), dated June 15, 1945, Glady Lim (Exhibit H-3), dated August 31,1947, Edith Lim (Exhibit H- 3), dated September 22, 1949, indicate said children as not legitimate; Anne’s and Edith’s certificates do not indicate the status of their parents while Glady’s indicates the parents to be single; Robert Lim’s birth certificate (Exhibit H-4) dated December 13, 1950 does not indicate his legitimacy nor his parents’ status. While that of Romeo Lim dated December 27, 1952 (Exhibit 5) shows him to be legitimate and his parents married, Judy Lim’s birth certificate dated October 13, 1955 shows her as illegitimate and her parents single. It is only after the marriage on April 15, 1957, particularly since July, 1957, that applicant’s children’s birth certificates — that of Rodolfo Lim (Exhibit H-7), dated July 25, 1957; Susan Lim (Exhibit H-8), dated January 12, 1959, and Richard Lim (Exhibit H-9), dated June 2, 1961 — indicate the children to be legitimate and the parents as married.

Petitioner cannot argue that the facts appearing in the certificates of birth of his children were not furnished by him, for he should have corrected these earlier if false and his act of presenting them as part of his exhibits before the lower court estops him from denying their correctness for he has in effect acquiesced to the facts contained by such presentation. Needless to state, the aforesaid illegitimate relationship defeats the instant petition for naturalization (Lao v. Republic, L-17053, Oct. 30, 1962; Deetuanka v. Republic, L-12981, Jan. 29, 1960; Tak Ng v. Republic, L-13017, Dec. 23, 1959). Assuming even that petitioner was really married as early as 1944, he would still not merit naturalization, for he would then be guilty of falsity in regard to the status of his children.

Petitioner furthermore purchased a residential lot on December 31, 1959 (Exhibits O, O-1) thereby violating Section 5, Article XIII of the Philippine Constitution (Krivenko v. Register of Deeds, 79 Phil. 461; Tan Tiam v. Republic, L-14802, May 30, 1961). Such palpable defiance of our fundamental law is, to say the least, inconsistent with respect for and belief in the principles underlying the same.

The record further shows that petitioner began registering his children with the Bureau of Immigration only after the thought of naturalization dawned upon him. Anne Lim, although born in 1945, was registered as an alien only in January of 1960 (Exhibit H-1) five years after birth; Glady Lim, born in 1947, Edith Lim, born in 1949, Robert Lim, born in 1950, Romeo Lim, born in 1952, Judy Lim, born in 1955 and Rodolfo Lim, born in 1957, were all registered on the same day, October 8, 1957 (Exhibits H-2A, H-3A, H-4A, H-6A, H-7A). Susan Lim, born on January 1, 1958 and Richard Lim born on May 29, 1961 were registered on March 4, 1959 and July 24, 1961 respectively. Section 10 of the Alien Registration Act provides that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Every alien subject of the provisions of this Act, shall, within the first sixty days of every calendar year, report in person to the Bureau of Immigration, if residing in the City of Manila, or to the office of the respective city or municipal treasurer, if residing in another locality. The officer-in-charge shall thereupon make a proper notation to that effect on the registration certificate, to which notation a fifty-centavo documentary stamp furnished by the alien shall be affixed. The parent or legal guardian of an alien who is less than fourteen years of age, shall have the duty of reporting such alien . . ." (Italics supplied.)

Such failure of the petitioner to register his children with the Bureau of Immigration within the first sixty days of every calendar year constitutes a clear violation of the section above-quoted that renders the applicant’s conduct far from being proper and irreproachable (Lu Beng Ga v. Republic, L-18005, Nov. 29, 1965).

Wherefore, the decision appealed from is reversed and the petition for naturalization is hereby denied, with costs against the petitioner. So ordered.

Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Zaldivar and Sanchez, JJ., concur.

Barrera, J., took no part.




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