Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1966 > January 1966 Decisions > G.R. No. L-20804 January 22, 1966 IN RE: FELIX LIM v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-20804. January 22, 1966.]

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO BE ADMITTED A CITIZEN OF THE PHILIPPINES. FELIX LIM alias LIM ENG PHO, Petitioner-Appellee, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Oppositor-Appellant.

Solicitor General for the oppositor and Appellant.

J. R. Gaboya for the petitioner and appellee.


SYLLABUS


1. NATURALIZATION; FILING OF DECLARATION OF INTENTION TO BECOME A FILIPINO CITIZEN, MANDATORY. — One year prior to the filing of the petition for admission to Philippine citizenship, an applicant for Philippine citizenship must file with the Department of Justice a declaration under oath that it is his bona fide intention to become a citizen of the Philippines. (Sec. 2, Com. Act 473, as amended.) This requirement is mandatory and failure to comply with the same, unless applicant is exempted under Section 6 of the Revised Naturalization Law, as amended by Commonwealth Act 535, is fatal to the application for naturalization. (Yap v. Republic, L-12938, July 31, 1961.)

2. ID.; ID.; PERSONS EXEMPT FROM FILING DECLARATION OF INTENTION; REQUISITES; BURDEN OF PROOF. — Commonwealth Act 535 provides that a person born in the Philippines who has received his primary and secondary education in public schools or those recognized by the Government and not limited to any race or nationality may be naturalized without having to make a declaration of intention. In the case at bar, no evidence, aside from applicant’s own testimony, was presented to show that the school where he completed his primary education is not limited to a particular race or nationality. His testimony, unsupported by other competent evidence, is inadequate. The burden is on the applicant to present such competent evidence, he being the claimant of the exemption, and since he failed to do so, he cannot be entitled to the exemption sought. And inasmuch as he filed no declaration of intention, his petition for naturalization must be denied.


D E C I S I O N


BENGZON, J.:


Felix Lim also known as Lim Eng Pho, a bachelor and a citizen of Nationalist China, was born in Cebu City on June 24, 1939. He completed his primary education at the Cebu Chinese High School (now Cebu Eastern College), and his secondary course at the University of Southern Philippines. On December 21, 1950 he filed with the Court of First Instance of Cebu a petition for naturalization without previously filing a declaration of intention required in Section 5 of the Revised Naturalization Law.

The petition for naturalization having been granted, the City Fiscal of Cebu appealed on two grounds, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

(1) The applicant is not exempt from filing a declaration of intention inasmuch as he failed to prove that he completed his primary education in a school not limited to any race or nationality; and

(2) The applicant has not conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines for he used an alias in violation of Commonwealth Act 142.

One year prior to the filing of the petition for admission to Philippine citizenship, an applicant for Philippine citizenship must file with the Department of Justice a declaration under oath that it is his bona fide intention to become a citizen of the Philippines. 1 This requirement is mandatory and failure to comply with the same, unless applicant is exempted under Section 6 of the Revised Naturalization Law, as amended by Commonwealth Act 535, is fatal to the application for naturalization. 2 Commonwealth Act 535 provides that a person born in the Philippines who has received his primary and secondary education in public schools or those recognized by the Government and not limited to any race or nationality may be naturalized without having to make a declaration of intention.

As stated, the Cebu Chinese High School where applicant Felix Lim completed his primary education is recognized by the Government. No evidence however, aside from applicant’s own testimony, was presented to show that said school is not limited to a particular race or nationality. To our mind, his testimony, unsupported by other competent evidence, is inadequate. The burden is on him to present such competent evidence, he being the claimant of the exemption, and since he failed to do so, he cannot be entitled to the exemption sought. And inasmuch as he filed no declaration of intention, his petition for naturalization must be denied.

We deem it unnecessary to resolve the second issue raised by Appellant.

Wherefore, the petition for naturalization is denied, thereby reversing the decision appealed from, with costs. So ordered.

Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Regala and Zaldivar, concur.

Bengzon, C.J., Dizon and Makalintal, JJ., took no part.

Endnotes:



1. Sec. 5, Com. Act 473, as amended.

2. Yap v. Republic, L-12938, July 31, 1961.




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