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Citizens of the Phils



Lau Yuen Yeung applied for a passport visa to enter the
Philippines as a non-immigrant on 8 February 1961. In the
interrogation made in connection with her application for a
temporary visitor's visa to enter the Philippines, she stated that
she was a Chinese residing at Kowloon, Hongkong, and that she
desired to take a pleasure trip to the Philippines to visit her
great grand uncle, Lau Ching Ping. She was permitted to come
into the Philippines on 13 March 1961 for a period of one

On the date of her arrival, Asher Y. Cheng filed a bond in the
amount of P1,000.00 to undertake, among others, that said Lau
Yuen Yeung would actually depart from the Philippines on or
before the expiration of her authorized period of stay in this
country or within the period as in his discretion the
Commissioner of Immigration or his authorized representative
might properly allow.

After repeated extensions, Lau Yuen Yeung was allowed to stay
in the Philippines up to 13 February 1962. On 25 January
1962, she contracted marriage with Moy Ya Lim Yao alias
Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim an alleged Filipino citizen. Because of
the contemplated action of the Commissioner of Immigration
to confiscate her bond and order her arrest and immediate
deportation, after the expiration of her authorized stay, she
brought an action for injunction. At the hearing which took
place one and a half years after her arrival, it was admitted that
Lau Yuen Yeung could not write and speak either English or
Tagalog, except for a few words. She could not name any
Filipino neighbor, with a Filipino name except one, Rosa. She
did not know the names of her brothers-in-law, or sisters-in-
law. As a result, the Court of First Instance of Manila denied
the prayer for preliminary injunction. Moya Lim Yao and Lau
Yuen Yeung appealed.

Whether or not Lau Yuen Yeung ipso facto became a Filipino
citizen upon her marriage to a Filipino citizen.

Under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, an alien woman
marrying a Filipino, native born or naturalized, becomes ipso
facto a Filipina provided she is not disqualified to be a citizen
of the Philippines under Section 4 of the same law. Likewise, an
alien woman married to an alien who is subsequently naturalized
here follows the Philippine citizenship of her husband the
moment he takes his oath as Filipino citizen, provided that she
does not suffer from any of the disqualifications under said
Section 4. Whether the alien woman requires to undergo the
naturalization proceedings, Section 15 is a parallel provision to
Section 16. Thus, if the widow of an applicant for
naturalization as Filipino, who dies during the proceedings, is
not required to go through a naturalization proceedings, in
order to be considered as a Filipino citizen hereof, it should
follow that the wife of a living Filipino cannot be denied the
same privilege.

This is plain common sense and there is absolutely no evidence
that the Legislature intended to treat them differently. As the
laws of our country, both substantive and procedural, stand
today, there is no such procedure (a substitute for naturalization
proceeding to enable the alien wife of a Philippine citizen to
have the matter of her own citizenship settled and established so
that she may not have to be called upon to prove it everytime
she has to perform an act or enter into a transaction or business
or exercise a right reserved only to Filipinos), but such is no
proof that the citizenship is not vested as of the date of
marriage or the husband's acquisition of citizenship, as the case
may be, for the truth is that the situation obtains even as to
native-born Filipinos. Everytime the citizenship of a person is
material or indispensible in a judicial or administrative case.
Whatever the corresponding court or administrative authority
decides therein as to such citizenship is generally not considered
as res adjudicata, hence it has to be threshed out again and again
as the occasion may demand. Lau Yuen Yeung, was declared to
have become a Filipino citizen from and by virtue of her
marriage to Moy Ya Lim Yao al as Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim, a
Filipino citizen of 25 January 1962.

Election of Philippine Citizenship
Bar Matter No. 914, October 1, 1999
Re: Application for Admission to the Philippine Bar
vs. Vicente D. Ching, petitioner

Vicente D. Ching, a legitimate child of a Filipino mother and an
alien Chinese father, was born on April 11, 1964 in Tubao La
Union, under the 1935 Constitution. He has resided in the

He completed his Bachelor of Laws at SLU in Baguio on July
1998, filed an application to take the 1998 Bar Examination.
The Resolution in this Court, he was allowed to take the bar if
he submit to the Court the following documents as proof of his
Philippine Citizenship:
1. Certification issued by the PRC Board of
Accountancy that Ching is a certified accountant;

2. Voter Certification issued COMELEC in Tubao La
Union showing that Ching is a registered voter of his
place; and

3. 3. Certification showing that Ching was elected as
member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Tubao, La

On April 5, 1999, Ching was one of the bar passers. The oath
taking ceremony was scheduled on May 5, 1999.
Because of his questionable status of Ching's citizenship, he was
not allowed to take oath.
He was required to submit further proof of his citizenship.
The Office of the Solicitor General was required to file a
comment on Ching's petition for admission to the Philippine
In his report:
1. Ching, under the 1935 Constitution, was a Chinese
citizen and continue to be so, unless upon reaching
the age of majority he elected Philippine citizenship,
under the compliance with the provisions of
Commonwealth Act No. 265 "an act providing for
the manner in which the option to elect Philippine
citizenship shall be declared by a person whose
mother is a Filipino citizen"
2. He pointed out the Ching has not formally elected
Philippine citizenship, and if ever he does, it would
already be beyond the "reasonable time" allowed by
the present jurisprudence.

Whether or not he has elected Philippine citizenship within "a
reasonable time".

1. No. Ching, despite the special circumstances, failed to
elect Philippine citizenship within a reasonable time.
The reasonable time means that the election should be
made within 3 years from "upon reaching the age of
majority", which is 21 years old. Instead, he elected
Philippine citizenship 14 years after reaching the age
of majority which the court considered not within the
reasonable time. Ching offered no reason why he
delayed his election of Philippine citizenship, as
procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is not a
tedious and painstaking process. All that is required is
an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and
file the same with the nearest civil registry.

Doctrine of Implied Elections

Co vs. Electoral Tribunal
G.R. Nos. 92191-92, July 30, 1991
On May 11, 1987, the congressional election of
Northern Samar was held.Among the candidate is
herein respondent Jose Ong, Jr. Respondent Ong was
proclaimed the duly elected representative of the
second district of Northern Samar. Petitioners
questioned the citizenship of respondent Ong since
Ongs father was only a naturalized Filipino citizen and
questioned Ongs residence qualificationsince Ong
does not own any property in Samar.


1.) Whether the decision of HRET is appealable;
2.) Whether respondent is a citizen of the Philippines;
3.) WhetherOng is a resident of Samar.


1.) Yes. The Constitution explicitly provides that the
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET)
and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) shall be the
sole judges of all contests relating to the election,
returns, and qualifications of their respective members.
In the case at bar, the Court finds no improvident use of
power, no denial of due process on the part of the
HRET which will necessitate the exercise of the power
of judicial review by the Supreme Court.
2.) Yes. On April 28, 1955, Jose OngChuan,
respondents father, an immigrant from China was
declared a Filipino citizen by the CFI of Samar. At the
time Jose OngChuan took his oath, the private
respondent then is a minor of nine years, was finishing
his elementary education in the province of Samar.
Hence, there is no ground to deny the Filipino
citizenship of respondent Ong. Respondent Ong was
also born of a natural-born Filipino mother, thus the
issue of citizenship is immaterial.
3.) Yes. The framers of the Constitution adhered to
the earlier definition given to the word residence which
regarded it as having the same meaning as domicile.
The domicile of origin of the private respondent, which
was the domicile of his parents, is fixed at Laoang,
Samar. Contrary to the petitioners' imputation, Jose
Ong, Jr. never abandoned said domicile; it remained
fixed therein even up to the present. Hence, the
residency of respondent Ong has sufficiently proved.

WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby DISMISSED.

Natural Born Citizens
G.R. No. 161434 March 3, 2004

Petitioners sought for respondent Poes disqualification in the
presidential elections for having allegedly misrepresented
material facts in his (Poes) certificate of candidacy by claiming
that he is a natural Filipino citizen despite his parents both
being foreigners. Comelec dismissed the petition, holding that
Poe was a Filipino Citizen. Petitioners assail the jurisdiction of
the Comelec, contending that only the Supreme Court may
resolve the basic issue on the case under Article VII, Section 4,
paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution.
Whether or not it is the Supreme Court which had jurisdiction.
Whether or not Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion
in holding that Poe was a Filipino citizen.
1.) The Supreme Court had no jurisdiction on questions
regarding qualification of a candidate for the presidency or
vice-presidency before the elections are held.
"Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal" in connection
with Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution, refers to
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of
the "President" or "Vice-President", of the Philippines which
the Supreme Court may take cognizance, and not of
"candidates" for President or Vice-President before the
2.) Comelec committed no grave abuse of discretion in
holding Poe as a Filipino Citizen.

The 1935 Constitution on Citizenship, the prevailing
fundamental law on respondents birth, provided that among
the citizens of the Philippines are "those whose fathers are
citizens of the Philippines."

Tracing respondents paternal lineage, his grandfather Lorenzo,
as evidenced by the latters death certificate was identified as a
Filipino Citizen. His citizenship was also drawn from the
presumption that having died in 1954 at the age of 84, Lorenzo
would have been born in 1980. In the absence of any other
evidence, Lorenzos place of residence upon his death in 1954
was presumed to be the place of residence prior his death, such
that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the "en masse
Filipinization" that the Philippine Bill had effected in 1902.
Being so, Lorenzos citizenship would have extended to his son,
Allan---respondents father.

Respondent, having been acknowledged as Allans son to Bessie,
though an American citizen, was a Filipino citizen by virtue of
paternal filiation as evidenced by the respondents birth
certificate. The 1935 Constitution on citizenship did not make
a distinction on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the child, thus,
the allegation of bigamous marriage and the allegation that
respondent was born only before the assailed marriage had no
bearing on respondents citizenship in view of the established
paternal filiation evidenced by the public documents presented.

But while the totality of the evidence may not establish
conclusively that respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen of the
Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in
his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of having
made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy
in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74 of the
Omnibus Election Code.

Dual Citizenship and Allegiances
G.R. No. 135083, 26 May 1999
Petition for disqualification was filed against Edu
Manzano to hold elective office on the ground that
he is both an American citizen and a Filipino citizen,
having been born in the United States of Filipino
parents. COMELEC granted the petition and
disqualified Manzano for being a dual citizen
pursuant to the Local Government Code RA 7160,
that those with dual citizenship are disqualified
from running any public position.

Whether or not dual citizenship is a ground for
disqualification to hold or run office in the local

No. Dual citizenship is different from dual
allegiance. What is inimical is not dual citizenship
per se, but with naturalized citizens who maintain
their allegiance to their countries of origin even
after their naturalization. Hence, the phrase dual
citizenship in RA 7160 must be understood as
referring to dual allegiance. Consequently,
persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under
this disqualification.

Loss of Citizenship
176 SCRA 1 Law on Public Officers Election Laws
Citizenship of a Public Officer Dual Citizenship Labo

In 1988, Ramon Labo, Jr. was elected as mayor of Baguio City.
His rival, Luis Lardizabal filed a petition for quo warranto
against Labo as Lardizabal asserts that Labo is an Australian
citizen hence disqualified; that he was naturalized as an
Australian after he married an Australian. Labo avers that his
marriage with an Australian did not make him an Australian;
that at best he has dual citizenship, Australian and Filipino; that
even if he indeed became an Australian when he married an
Australian citizen, such citizenship was lost when his marriage
with the Australian was later declared void for being bigamous.
Labo further asserts that even if hes considered as an
Australian, his lack of citizenship is just a mere technicality
which should not frustrate the will of the electorate of Baguio
who voted for him by a vast majority.


1. Whether or not Labo can retain his public office.

2. Whether or not Lardizabal, who obtained the second highest
vote in the mayoralty race, can replace Labo in the event Labo is

HELD: 1. No. Labo did not question the authenticity of
evidence presented against him. He was naturalized as an
Australian in 1976. It was not his marriage to an Australian that
made him an Australian. It was his act of subsequently swearing
by taking an oath of allegiance to the government of Australia.
He did not dispute that he needed an Australian passport to
return to the Philippines in 1980; and that he was listed as an
immigrant here. It cannot be said also that he is a dual citizen.
Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest
and shall be dealt with by law. He lost his Filipino citizenship
when he swore allegiance to Australia. He cannot also claim that
when he lost his Australian citizenship, he became solely a
Filipino. To restore his Filipino citizenship, he must be
naturalized or repatriated or be declared as a Filipino through
an act of Congress none of this happened.

Labo, being a foreigner, cannot serve public office. His claim
that his lack of citizenship should not overcome the will of the
electorate is not tenable. The people of Baguio could not have,
even unanimously, changed the requirements of the Local
Government Code and the Constitution simply by electing a
foreigner (curiously, would Baguio have voted for Labo had
they known he is Australian). The electorate had no power to
permit a foreigner owing his total allegiance to the Queen of
Australia, or at least a stateless individual owing no allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines, to preside over them as mayor
of their city. Only citizens of the Philippines have that privilege
over their countrymen.

2. Lardizabal on the other hand cannot assert, through
the quo warranto proceeding, that he should be
declared the mayor by reason of Labos
disqualification because Lardizabal obtained the
second highest number of vote. It would be extremely
repugnant to the basic concept of the constitutionally
guaranteed right to suffrage if a candidate who has not
acquired the majority or plurality of votes is
proclaimed a winner and imposed as the representative
of a constituency, the majority of which have
positively declared through their ballots that they do
not choose him. Sound policy dictates that public
elective offices are filled by those who have received
the highest number of votes cast in the election for
that office, and it is a fundamental idea in all
republican forms of government that no one can be
declared elected and no measure can be declared
carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality
of the legal votes cast in the election.



G.R. No. 120295, June 28 1996, 257 SCRA 727

Juan G. Frivaldo ran for Governor of Sorsogon again and
won. Raul R. Lee questioned his citizenship. He then
petitioned for repatriation under Presidential Decree No.
725 and was able to take his oath of allegiance as a
Philippine citizen.

However, on the day that he got his citizenship, the Court
had already ruled based on his previous attempts to run as
governor and acquire citizenship, and had proclaimed Lee,
who got the second highest number of votes, as the newly
elect Governor of Sorsogon.

Whether or not Frivaldos repatriation was valid.

The Court ruled his repatriation was valid and legal and
because of the curative nature of Presidential Decree No.
725, his repatriation retroacted to the date of the filing of
his application to run for governor. The steps to reacquire
Philippine Citizenship by repatriation under Presidential
Decree No. 725 are: (1) filing the application; (2) action
by the committee; and (3) taking of the oath of allegiance
if the application is approved. It is only upon taking the
oath of allegiance that the applicant is deemed ipso jure to
have reacquired Philippine citizenship. If the decree had
intended the oath taking to retroact to the date of the filing
of the application, then it should not have explicitly
provided otherwise. He is therefore qualified to be
proclaimed governor of Sorsogon.

Romulo Macalintal, as a lawyer and a taxpayer, questions
the validity of the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003
(R.A. 9189). He questions the validity of the said act on
the following grounds, among others:

That the provision that a Filipino already considered an
immigrant abroad can be allowed to participate in absentee
voting provided he executes an affidavit stating his intent
to return to the Philippines is void because it dispenses of
the requirement that a voter must be a resident of the
Philippines for at least one year and in the place where he
intends to vote for at least 6 months immediately
preceding the election;
That the provision allowing the Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) to proclaim winning candidates
insofar as it affects the canvass of votes and proclamation
of winning candidates for president and vice-president, is
unconstitutional because it violates the Constitution for it
is Congress which is empowered to do so.

ISSUE: Whether or not Macalintals arguments are correct.


There can be no absentee voting if the absentee voters
are required to physically reside in the Philippines within
the period required for non-absentee voters. Further, as
understood in election laws, domicile and resident are
interchangeably used. Hence, one is a resident of his
domicile (insofar as election laws is concerned). The
domicile is the place where one has the intention to return
to. Thus, an immigrant who executes an affidavit stating
his intent to return to the Philippines is considered a
resident of the Philippines for purposes of being qualified
as a voter (absentee voter to be exact). If the immigrant
does not execute the affidavit then he is not qualified as an
absentee voter.
The said provision should be harmonized. It could not
be the intention of Congress to allow COMELEC to
include the proclamation of the winners in the vice-
presidential and presidential race. To interpret it that way
would mean that Congress allowed COMELEC to usurp
its power. The canvassing and proclamation of the
presidential and vice presidential elections is still lodged in
Congress and was in no way transferred to the COMELEC
by virtue of RA 9189.


Government vs Monte de Piedad
On June 3, 1863 a devastating earthquake occurred in the
Philippines. The Spanish Dominions then provided
$400,000.00 as aid for the victims and it was received by the
Philippine Treasury. Out of the aid, $80,000.00 was left
untouched; it was then invested in the Monte de Piedad Bank
which in turn invested the amount in jewelries. But when the
Philippine government later tried to withdraw the said amount,
the bank cannot provide for the amount. The bank argued that
the Philippine government is not an affected party hence has no
right to institute a complaint. Bank argues that the government
was not the intended beneficiary of the said amount.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Philippine government is
competent to file a complaint against the respondent bank?

HELD: The Philippine government is competent to institute
action against Monte de Piedad, this is in accordance with the
doctrine of Parens Patriae. The government being the protector
of the rights of the people has the inherent supreme power to
enforce such laws that will promote the public interest. No
other party has been entrusted with such right hence as
parents of the people the government has the right to take
back the money intended for the people.


On February 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued
Proclamation No. 1 announcing that she and Vice President
Laurel were taking power.
On March 25, 1986, proclamation No.3 was issued
providing the basis of the Aquino government assumption
of power by stating that the "new government was installed
through a direct exercise of the power of the Filipino
people assisted by units of the New Armed Forces of the

Whether or not the government of Corazon Aquino is

Yes. The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a
justiciable matter but belongs to the realm of politics where
only the people are the judge.

The Court further held that:
The people have accepted the Aquino government which
is in effective control of the entire country;
It is not merely a de facto government but in fact and
law a de jure government; and
The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy
of the new government.

On 6 Aug 1968, Macariola filed a complaint against Judge
Asuncion with acts unbecoming a judge. The judge
apparently bought a property (formerly owned by Macariola)
which was involved in a civil case decided by him; and on 31
Aug 1966, the Asuncion couples conveyed their share and
interest in the said property to The Traders Manufacturing and
Fishing Industries Inc. The act of Asuncion engaging in
commerce is said to be a violation of pars 1 & 5, Art 14 of the
Code of Commerce which prohibits judges in active service
(among others) to do so within the limits of the place where
they discharge their duties.

HELD: Art 14 (Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,
effective Aug 1888) of the Code of Commerce, prohibiting
judges from engaging in commerce was political in nature and
so was automatically abrogated with the end of Spanish rule in
the country (Change of Sovereignty to the US by virtue of
cession, 1898).