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Digest 5

Digest 5

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Published by: Sui on Mar 22, 2009
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* bok * cj * tiff * gem * tin * public international lawUPLAW 2009 B
To be read in connection with the Asylum case (Haya dela Torre):
Eremes Kookooritchkin V. The Solicitor General
G.R. No. L-1812 August 27, 1948En Banc; PERFECTO,
: First Asst. Solicitor General Roberto A. Gianzon & Solicitor Florencio Villamor for appellant.L. D. Lockwood and Manuel O. Chan for appellee. 
In August, 1941, Kookooritchkin filed with the lower court a petition for naturalization, accompanied with supporting affidavits of 2 citizens, copy of adeclaration of intention sworn in July, 1940, and proper notice of the hearing. Thepetition was finally set for hearing on Dec. 18, 1941, but it was held on that datebecause the province was invaded by the Japanese forces on Dec. 14, & the caseremained pending until the records were destroyed during the military operationsfor liberation in March, 1945. The case was declared reconstituted on May 10,1947, and the evidence was presented on Aug. 28 and Sept. 30, 1947. On thesame day resolution was issued granting the petition. Although appellant was represented at the hearing & cross-examined thewitnesses for the petitioner, he did not file an opposition or presented anyevidence. The lower court made the findings of fact in its resolution:
. Eremes Kookooritchkin applies for Philippine citizenship naturalizationunder the provisions of Commonwealth Act 473, as amended by Act 535. In Aug.1941, he filed his petition for naturalization supported by the affidavits of ex-JudgeJaime M. Reyes & Dr. Salvador Mariano, both residents of Camarines Sur. In July,1940, he filed his declaration of intention to become a citizen of this country.Notice of the hearing was published as required by law. 
The hearing divulged that he isa native-born Russian, born on Nov. 4, 1897 in the old City of St. Petersburg,Russia. He grew up as a citizen of the defunct Imperial Russian Governmentunder the Czars. World War I found him in the military service of this Government.In 1915, he volunteered for the Imperial Russian navy & was sent to the NavyAviation School. He fought with the Allies in the Baltic Sea, was later transferred tothe eastern front in Poland, & much later was sent as a navy flier to Asia Minor.Later, but before the Russian capitulation, he was transferred to the British Air Force, serving for 14 months. When the revolution broke out in Russia in 1917, he joined the White Russian Army at Vladivostok & fought against the Bolsheviksuntil 1922 when the White Russian Army was overwhelmed by the Bolsheviks. Ashe refused to join the Bolshevik regime, he fled by sea from Vladivostok toShanghai & from this Chinese port he found his way to Manila, arriving at this portas a member of a group of White Russians under Admiral Stark in March, 1923.He stayed in Manila for about 7 months, then moved to Olongapo, Zambales,where he resided for about a year, & from this place he went to Iriga, CamarinesSur, where he established his permanent residence since May, 1925. He hasremained a resident of this municipality, except for a brief period from 1942 toJuly, 1945, when by reason of his underground activities he roamed mountains of Caramoan as a guerrilla officer. After liberation, he returned to Iriga where againhe resides up to the present time. 
. He is married to a Filipina, Concepcion Segovia, with whom he has ason, Ronald. He is at present studying in Saint Agnes Academy, at Legaspi, Albay,a school duly recognized by the Government. 
. He is shop superintendent of A. L. Ammen Transportation Company, withabout 80 Filipino employees working under him. He receives an annual salary of P13,200 with free quarters & house allowance. He also owns stocks & bonds of this & other companies. 
. He speaks & writes English & the Bicol dialect. Socially, heintermingles with the Filipinos, attending parties, dances & other social functionswith his wife. He has a good moral character & believes in the principlesunderlying the Philippine Constitution. He has never been accused of any crime.He has always conducted himself in a proper & irreproachable manner during hisentire period of residence in Camarines Sur, in his relations with the constitutedauthorities & the community. 
. Although he could have lived in ease by maintaining good relationswith the enemy by reason of his being Russian-born during the years before thedeclaration of war by Russia against Japan, he chose to cast his lot with theguerrilla movement & fought the enemy in several encounters in Camarines Sur.He belonged to the guerrilla outfit of Colonel Padua with rank of major. Upon thearrival of the forces of liberation he was attached to the American Army from Aprilto June, 1945. 
. Although a Russian by birth he is not a citizen of SovietRussia. He disclaims allegiance to the present Communist Government of Russia.He is, therefore, a stateless refugee in this country, belonging to no State, muchless to the present Government of the land of his birth to which he isuncompromisingly opposed. He is not against organized government or affiliatedwith any association which upholds and teaches doctrine opposing all organizedgovernments. He does not believe in the necessity or propriety of violence,personal assault or assassination for the success or predominance of his ideas.Neither is he a polygamist or a believer in the practice of polygamy. He is notsuffering from any mental alienation or incurable contagious disease. There were 4 assignments of error but the last was merely a rehash of the first 3.
: Whether the lower court erred in not finding that the declaration of intention to become a Filipino citizen filed by appellee is invalid and insufficient asa basis for the petition of naturalization? No.
Always will B
* bok * cj * tiff * gem * tin * 2
 The question calls for the application of Sec. 5 of the Revised Naturalization Law:
No declaration shall be valid until entry for permanent residence has beenestablished and a certificate showing the date, place and manner of his arrival has been issued.
that no documentary or testimonial evidence was introducedto establish the fact that appellee had lawfully been admitted into the Philippinesfor permanent residence. In the
the following can be read:I arrived at the Port of Manila on or about the first day of March, 1923, as shownby the attached certificate of arrival or landing certificate of residence. 
. The records of the Bureau of Justice, where the declarations of intention to become a Filipino citizen were filed,had been lost or destroyed during the battle for the liberation of Manila, & thecertificate alluded to has not been reconstituted. Appellant's contention thatattachment of the certificate of arrival is essential to the validity of a declarationfinds no support in the wordings of the law, as Sec. 5 of Commonwealth Act no.473 uses the words "has been issued. 
. He argues that the appellant failed to raise it inlower court & points out that (1) there is testimonial evidence showing his arrivalMarch, 1923, (2) that he was lawfully admitted for permanent residence, & (3) histestimony has not been refuted. Appellee alleges that the office of the Presidenthas certified that it is a matter of record that he was 1 of the Russian refugeeswho entered the Philippines under the command of Admiral Stark, the factsregarding arrival of the latter fleet being a matter of common knowledge, widelypublicized in the newspapers at the time, of which this Court may properly take judicial notice under Sec. 5 of Rule 123. When the fleet entered the Philippinewaters, it was met by a Gov. Gen. Wood who, later, took the matter up with theauthorities in Washington in lengthy correspondence, & the 1,200 personsmanning the fleet were allowed to land & to remain in the Philippines or proceedto other countries, except about 800 who were allowed to go to the US & givenfree transportation on the naval transport "Merritt." The ships of the fleet were soldin the Philippines. 
. The undisputed fact that the petitioner hasbeen continuously residing in the Philippines for about 25 years, without havingbeen molested by the authorities, who are presumed to have been regularlyperforming their duties & would have arrested petitioner if his residence is illegal,as rightly contended by appellee, can be taken as evidence that he is enjoyingpermanent residence legally. That a certificate of arrival has been issued is a factthat should be accepted upon the petitioner's undisputed statement in hisdeclaration of July, 1940, that the certificate cannot be supposed that thereceiving official would have accepted the declaration without the certificatementioned therein as attached thereto. 
. We conclude that petitioner's declaration is valid under Sec. 5 of the Naturalization Law, failure to reconstitute the certificate of arrivalnotwithstanding. What an unreconstituted document intended to prove may beshown by other competent evidence. 
: Whether the lower court erred (1) in not finding that appellee has notestablished a legal residence in the Philippines, & (2) in not finding that he cannotspeak and write any of the principal Philippine languages? No. 
. The 1
question has been disposed of in theabove discussion. Perusal of the testimonies on record leads to the conclusionthat petitioner has shown legal residence in the Philippines for a continuousperiod of not less than 10 years as required by Sec. 2 of CAct No. 473. 
. SolGen alleges that in the oral test at the hearing, it was shownthat petitioner has only a smattering of Bicol, the Filipino language that he allegesto know, & he cannot speak it as he was not able to translate from English to Bicolquestions asked by the court & the provincial fiscal, although, in the continuationof the hearing on Sept. 30, 1947, "surprisingly enough, he succeeded answeringcorrectly in Bicol the questions propounded by his counsel, however, he fumbled& failed to give the translation of such a common word as 'love' which the fiscalasked of him. 
. The lower court made the finding of factthat applicant speaks & writes English & Bicol & there seems to be no questionabout the competency of the judge who made the pronouncement, because hehas shown by the appealed resolution & by his questions propounded to appellee,that he has command of both English & Bicol. 
. The law has not set a specificstandard of the principal Philippine languages. A great number of standards canbe set. There are experts in English who say that Shakespeare has used in hisworks 15,000 different English words, & the King's Bible about 10,000, whileabout 5,000 are used by the better educated persons & about 3,000 by theaverage individual. While there may be persons ambitious enough to have acommand of the about 600,000 words recorded in the Webster's InternationalDictionary, there are authorities who would reduce basic English to a few hundredwords. Perhaps less than 100 well selected words will be enough for the ordinarypurposes of daily life. 
. After he was liberated in 1942 from the Japanesein the Naga prison, petitioner joined the guerrilla in the Bicol region, took part inencounters against the Japanese, & remained with the guerrilla until theAmericans liberated the Bicol provinces. If appellee with his smattering of Bicolwas able to get along with his Bicol comrades in the hazardous life of theresistance movement, we believe that his knowledge of the language satisfies therequirement of the law. 
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