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The Applicant, whose father is a Chinese citizen and mother who is a Filipino, lived all

his life in the Philippines. After having completed a Bachelor of Laws course, he filed an
application to take the Bar exams in 1998. The court, in a Resolution, allowed him to take
it, subject to the condition that he must proved his Filipino Citizenship. The Applicant
complied therewith.
The Applicant, in 1999, hurdled the Bar and was scheduled to take the oath in that same
year. However, he was barred to do so, since his Filipino citizenship is still in question.
He was asked to submit further proof of his citizenship. In the same resolution, SC asked
for OSGs comment on the Applicants petition for admission and on the documents he
had presented.
OSG filed its comment, stating that under the 1935 Constitution the Applicant still was a
Chinese citizen, unless he had elected Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of
majority; as it turned out, the Applicant had not yet done so.
OSG clarified the clause upon reaching the age of majority" to mean a reasonable time
after reaching the age of majority which had been interpreted by the Secretary of Justice
to be three (3) years. The aforesaid period may be extended under certain special
circumstances, held by SC in Cuenco vs. Secretary of Justice. Thereafter, the Applicant
filed a Manifestation, attaching therewith his Election of Philippine Citizenship and his
Oath of Allegiance.
Now that the Applicant had already elected Philippine citizenship, the question raised
was whether he had elected Philippine citizenship within a "reasonable time."
Although the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625, both controlling over the issue at bar,
prescribed that the Applicant was a Chinese citizen, still, they did not prescribe a time
period within which the election of Philippine citizenship should be made. The 1935
Charter only provides that the election should be made "upon reaching the age of
The Applicant, thereafter, invoked that his so-called special circumstances warranted
informal election of citizenship, citing In re: Florencio Mallare. Court found this citation
to be "misplaced" since the facts and circumstances obtaining therein are very different
from those in the present case, thus, negating its applicability
In conclusion, the Court regrettably denied the application, lamenting that even under
special circumstances, as invoked by the Applicant; they held that it was not alone
sufficient, that the Applicant failed to validly elect Philippine citizenship within the
reasonable period. The Applicant also failed to state the reason he delayed his election of
Philippine citizenship. As parting words, the Court sagely pointed that "Philippine
citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and
suppressed when convenient.