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CONFLICTS OF LAW

(Case Digests)

By:
KAYSEE LOU M. DOMINGO

Submitted to:

Atty. Cecilio D. Duka , Ed.D


FORUM NON CONVENIENS

Saudi Arabian Airlines (saudia) and Brenda j. Betia v. Ma. Jopette M. Rebesencio,
Montassah B. Sacar-Adiong, Rouen Ruth A. Cristobal and Loraine S. Schneider-
Cruz

(G.R. No. 198587, January 14, 2015)

FACTS:

Petitioner Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) is a foreign corporation established


and existing under the laws of Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Respondents
(complainants before the Labor Arbiter) were recruited and hired by Saudia as
Temporary Flight Attendants with the accreditation and approval of the Philippine
Overseas Employment Administration.5 After undergoing seminars required by the
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration for deployment overseas, as well as
training modules offered by Saudia (e.g., initial flight attendant/training course and
transition training), and after working as Temporary Flight Attendants, respondents
became Permanent Flight Attendants. Respondents continued their employment with
Saudia until they were separated from service on various dates in 2006.

Respondents contended that the termination of their employment was illegal.


They alleged that the termination was made solely because they were pregnant.
As respondents alleged, they had informed Saudia of their respective pregnancies and
had gone through the necessary procedures to process their maternity leaves. Initially,
Saudia had given its approval but later on informed respondents that its management in
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia had disapproved their maternity leaves. In addition, it required
respondents to file their resignation letters.

Respondents were told that if they did not resign, Saudia would terminate them
all the same. The threat of termination entailed the loss of benefits, such as separation
pay and ticket discount entitlements. Faced with the dilemma of resigning or totally
losing their benefits, respondents executed handwritten resignation letters. In
Montassah's and Rouen Ruth's cases, their resignations were executed on Saudia's
blank letterheads that Saudia had provided. These letterheads already had the word
"RESIGNATION" typed on the subject portions of their headings when these were
handed to respondents.

Saudia asserts that Philippine courts and/or tribunals are not in a position to
make an intelligent decision as to the law and the facts. This is because respondents'
Cabin Attendant contracts require the application of the laws of Saudi Arabia, rather
than those of the Philippines. 50 It claims that the difficulty of ascertaining foreign law
calls into operation the principle of forum non conveniens, thereby rendering improper
the exercise of jurisdiction by Philippine tribunals.
A choice of law governing the validity of contracts or the interpretation of its provisions
dees not necessarily imply forum non conveniens. Choice of law and forum non
conveniens are entirely different matters. Philippine law is definite as to what governs
the formal or extrinsic validity of contracts. The first paragraph of Article 17 of the Civil
Code provides that "[t]he forms and solemnities of contracts . . . shall be governed by
the laws of the country in which they are executed.
In contrast, there is no statutorily established mode of settling conflict of laws situations
on matters pertaining to substantive content of contracts. It has been noted that three
(3) modes have emerged: (1) lex loci contractus or the law of the place of the making;
(2) lex loci solutionis or the law of the place of performance; and (3) lex loci
intentionis or the law intended by the parties.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the principle of forum non conveniens operates in this case thereby
rendering improper the exercise of jurisdiction by Philippine tribunals.

HELD:

NO. Forum non conveniens finds no application and does not operate to divest
Philippine tribunals of jurisdiction and to require the application of foreign law.
Saudia invokes forum non conveniens to supposedly effectuate the stipulations of the
Cabin Attendant contracts that require the application of the laws of Saudi Arabia.
Forum non conveniens relates to forum, not to the choice of governing law. Thai forum
non conveniens may ultimately result in the application of foreign law is merely an
incident of its application. In this strict sense, forum non conveniens is not applicable. It
is not the primarily pivotal consideration in this case.
In any case, even a further consideration of the applicability of forum non
conveniens on the incidental matter of the law governing respondents' relation with
Saudia leads to the conclusion that it is improper for Philippine tribunals to divest
themselves of jurisdiction.

As the present dispute relates to (what the respondents allege to be) the illegal
termination of respondents' employment, this case is immutably a matter of public
interest and public policy. Consistent with clear pronouncements in law and
jurisprudence, Philippine laws properly find application in and govern this case.
'Moreover, as this premise for Saudia's insistence on the application forum non
conveniens has been shattered, it follows that Philippine tribunals may properly assume
jurisdiction over the present controversy. Philippine jurisprudence provides ample
illustrations of when a court's renunciation of jurisdiction on account of forum non
conveniens is proper or improper.

All told, the considerations for assumption of jurisdiction by Philippine tribunals as


outlined in Bank of America, NT&SA100 have been satisfied. First, all the parties are
based in the Philippines and all the material incidents transpired in this jurisdiction.
Thus, the parties may conveniently seek relief from Philippine tribunals. Second,
Philippine tribunals are in a position to make an intelligent decision as to the law and the
facts. Third, Philippine tribunals are in a position to enforce their decisions. There is no
compelling basis for ceding jurisdiction to a foreign tribunal. Quite the contrary, the
immense public policy considerations attendant to this case behoove Philippine
tribunals to not shy away from their duty to rule on the case.

Raytheon International, Inc., v.


Stockton W. Rouzie, Jr.,

(G.R. No. 162894, February 26, 2008)


FACTS:

Sometime in 1990, Brand Marine Services, Inc., a corporation duly organized


and existing under the laws of the State of Connecticut, United States of America, and
respondent Stockton W. Rouzie, Jr., an American citizen, entered into a contract
whereby BMSI hired respondent as its representative to negotiate the sale of services in
several government projects in the Philippines for an agreed remuneration of 10% of the
gross receipts. On 11 March 1992, respondent secured a service contract with the
Republic of the Philippines on behalf of BMSI for the dredging of rivers affected by the
Mt. Pinatubo eruption and mudflows.

On 16 July 1994, respondent filed before the Arbitration Branch of the National
Labor Relations Commission, a suit against BMSI and Rust International, Inc., Rodney
C. Gilbert and Walter G. Browning for alleged nonpayment of commissions, illegal
termination and breach of employment contract.
On 8 January 1999, respondent, then a resident of La Union, instituted an action
for damages before the Regional Trial Court of Bauang, La Union. The Complaint
named as defendants herein petitioner Raytheon International, Inc. as well as BMSI and
RUST, the two corporations impleaded in the earlier labor case.
Petitioner also referred to the NLRC decision which disclosed that per the written
agreement between respondent and BMSI and RUST, denominated as “Special Sales
Representative Agreement,” the rights and obligations of the parties shall be governed
by the laws of the State of Connecticut. Petitioner sought the dismissal of the complaint
on grounds of failure to state a cause of action and forum non conveniens and prayed
for damages by way of compulsory counterclaim.
Petitioner asserts that the written contract between respondent and BMSI
included a valid choice of law clause, that is, that the contract shall be governed by
the laws of the State of Connecticut. It also mentions the presence of foreign elements
in the dispute – namely, the parties and witnesses involved are American corporations
and citizens and the evidence to be presented is located outside the Philippines – that
renders our local courts inconvenient forums.

ISSUE:

Whether Or Not The Complaint Be Dismissed On The Ground Of Forum Non


Conveniens?

HELD:

On the matter of jurisdiction over a conflicts-of-laws problem where the case is


filed in a Philippine court and where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter,
the parties and the reS it may or can proceed to try the case even if the rules of conflict-
of-laws or the convenience of the parties point to a foreign forum. This is an exercise of
sovereign prerogative of the country where the case is filed.

As regards jurisdiction over the parties, the trial court acquired jurisdiction over
herein respondent (as party plaintiff) upon the filing of the complaint. On the other hand,
jurisdiction over the person of petitioner (as party defendant) was acquired by its
voluntary appearance in court.
That the subject contract included a stipulation that the same shall be governed
by the lawsof the State of Connecticut does not suggest that the Philippine courts, or
any other foreign tribunal for that matter, are precluded from hearing the civil action.
Jurisdiction and choice of law are two distinct concepts. Jurisdiction considers whether it
is fair to cause a defendant to travel to this state; choice of law asks the further question
whether the application of a substantive law which will determine the merits of the case
is fair to both parties.The choice of law stipulation will become relevant only when the
substantive issues of the instant case develop, that is, after hearing on the merits
proceeds before the trial court.

Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, a court, in conflicts-of-laws cases,


may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not the most “convenient” or
available forum and the parties are not precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere.
Petitioner’s averments of the foreign elements in the instant case are not sufficient to
oust the trial court of its jurisdiction over Civil Case No. No. 1192-BG and the parties
involved.

Moreover, the propriety of dismissing a case based on the principle of forum non
conveniens requires a factual determination; hence, it is more properly considered as a
matter of defense. While it is within the discretion of the trial court to abstain from
assuming jurisdiction on this ground, it should do so only after vital facts are
established, to determine whether special circumstances require the court’s
desistance.
THEORIES WHY WE SHOULD APPLY FOREIGN LAWS

Priscilla C. Mijares, Loretta Ann P. Rosales v. Hon. Santiago Javier Ranada

(G.R. No. 139325 April 12, 2005)

FACTS:

The petitioners in this case are prominent victims of human rights violations who,
deprived of the opportunity to directly confront the man who once held absolute rule
over this country, have chosen to do battle instead with the earthly representative, his
estate. The clash has been for now interrupted by a trial court ruling, seemingly
comported to legal logic, that required the petitioners to pay a whopping filing fee of
over Four Hundred Seventy-Two Million Pesos (P472,000,000.00) in order that they be
able to enforce a judgment awarded them by a foreign court. There is an
understandable temptation to cast the struggle within the simplistic confines of a
morality tale, and to employ short-cuts to arrive at what might seem the desirable
solution. But easy, reflexive resort to the equity principle all too often leads to a result
that may be morally correct, but legally wrong.
Nonetheless, the application of the legal principles involved in this case will comfort
those who maintain that our substantive and procedural laws, for all their perceived
ambiguity and susceptibility to myriad interpretations, are inherently fair and just. The
relief sought by the petitioners is expressly mandated by our laws and conforms to
established legal principles. The granting of this petition for certiorari is warranted in
order to correct the legally infirm and unabashedly unjust ruling of the respondent judge.
On May 9 1991: a complaint was filed by ten Filipino citizens representing a class of
10,000 members who each alleged having suffered human rights abuses such as
arbitrary detention, torture and rape in the hands of police or military forces during the
Marcos regime with the United States District Court (US District Court), District of
Hawaii, against the Estate of former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos (Marcos
Estate) US District Court and Affirmed by US CA: awarded them $1,964,005,859.90
Petitioners filed Complaint with Makati RTC for the enforcement of the Final Judgment
Marcos Estate filed a motion to dismiss, raising, among others, the non-payment of the
correct filing fees paying only P410 Petitioners claimed that an action for the
enforcement of a foreign judgment is not capable of pecuniary estimation

ISSUE:

Whether Or Not It Is Necessary For An Action To Be Filed In Order To Enforce A


Foreign Judgment

HELD:

YES. The rules of comity, utility and convenience of nations have established a
usage among civilized states by which final judgments of foreign courts of competent
jurisdiction are reciprocally respected and rendered efficacious under certain conditions
that may vary in different countries. This principle was prominently affirmed in the
leading American case of Hilton v. Guyot and expressly recognized in our jurisprudence
beginning with Ingenholl v. Walter E. Olsen & Co. The conditions required by the
Philippines for recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment were originally
contained in Section 311 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which was taken from the
California Code of Civil Procedure which, in turn, was derived from the California Act of
March 11, 1872.

There is an evident distinction between a foreign judgment in an action in rem


and one in personam. For an action in rem, the foreign judgment is deemed conclusive
upon the title to the thing, while in an action in personam, the foreign judgment is
presumptive, and not conclusive, of a right as between the parties and their successors
in interest by a subsequent title. However, in both cases, the foreign judgment is
susceptible to impeachment in our local courts on the grounds of want of jurisdiction or
notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. Thus, the party
aggrieved by the foreign judgment is entitled to defend against the enforcement of such
decision in the local forum. It is essential that there should be an opportunity to
challenge the foreign judgment, in order for the court in this jurisdiction to properly
determine its efficacy.
NATURE AND PROOF OF FOREIGN JUDGMENT

Minoru Fujiki V. Maria Paz Galela Marinay

(G.R. No. 196049 June 26, 2013)

FACTS:

Petitioner Minoru Fujiki (Fujiki) is a Japanese national who married respondent


Maria Paz Galela Marinay (Marinay) in the Philippines on 23 January 2004. The
marriage did not sit well with petitioner’s parents. Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to
Japan where he resides. Eventually, they lost contact with each other.

In 2008, Marinay met another Japanese, Shinichi Maekara (Maekara). Without


the first marriage being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara were married on 15 May 2008
in Quezon City, Philippines. Maekara brought Marinay to Japan. However, Marinay
allegedly suffered physical abuse from Maekara. She left Maekara and started to
contact Fujiki.

Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were able to reestablish their
relationship. In 2010, Fujiki helped Marinay obtain a judgment from a family court in
Japan which declared the marriage between Marinay and Maekara void on the ground
of bigamy. On 14 January 2011, Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC entitled: “Judicial
Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage).”

ISSUE:

Whether the Regional Trial Court can recognize the foreign judgment in a
proceeding for cancellation or correction of entries in the Civil Registry under Rule 108
of the Rules of Court.

HELD:
YES. There is neither circumvention of the substantive and procedural
safeguards of marriage under Philippine law, nor of the jurisdiction of Family Courts
under R.A. No. 8369. A recognition of a foreign judgment is not an action to nullify a
marriage. It is an action for Philippine courts to recognize the effectivity of a foreign
judgment, which presupposes a case which was already tried and decided under
foreign law.
In the recognition of foreign judgments, Philippine courts are incompetent to substitute
their judgment on how a case was decided under foreign law. They cannot decide on
the “family rights and duties, or on the status, condition and legal capacity” of the foreign
citizen who is a party to the foreign judgment. Thus, Philippine courts are limited to the
question of whether to extend the effect of a foreign judgment in the Philippines. In a
foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage involving a citizen of a foreign
country, Philippine courts only decide whether to extend its effect to the Filipino party,
under the rule of lex nationalii expressed in Article 15 of the Civil Code.

For this purpose, Philippine courts will only determine (1) whether the foreign
judgment is inconsistent with an overriding public policy in the Philippines; and (2)
whether any alleging party is able to prove an extrinsic ground to repel the foreign
judgment, i.e. want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear
mistake of law or fact. If there is neither inconsistency with public policy nor adequate
proof to repel the judgment, Philippine courts should, by default, recognize the foreign
judgment as part of the comity of nations.
CONDITIONS FOR RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN JUDGMENT

David A. Noveras V. Leticia T. Noveras

(G.R. No. 188289 August 20, 2014)

FACTS:

David and Leticia Noveras are US citizens who own properties in the USA and in
the Philippines. They have 2 children, Jerome and Jena. Leticia states that sometime in
2003, David abandoned his family to live with his mistress. Further, she states that
David executed an affidavit where he renounced all his rights and interest in the
conjugal and real properties in the Philippines. After learning of the extra-marital affair,
Leticia filed a petition for divorce before the Superior Court of California. Upon issuance
of the judicial decree of divorce in June 2005, the US properties were awarded to
Leticia. Leticia then filed a petition for judicial separation of conjugal property before the
RTC of Baler, Aurora. The RTC regarded the petition for judicial separation of conjugal
property as a petition for liquidation of property since the spouses marriage has already
dissolved.

It classified their property relation as absolute community because they did not
execute a marriage settlement before their marriage ceremony. Then, the trial court
ruled that in accordance with the doctrine of processual presumption, Philippine law
should apply because the court cannot take judicial notice of the US law since the
parties did not submit any proof of their national law. The court awarded the properties
in the Philippines to David, subject to the payment of the children’s legitimes.

Upon Leticia’s appeal to the CA, the CA ruled that the Philippine properties be
divided equally between the spouses and that both should pay their children P520k.
David argues that the Court should have recognized the California judgment that
awarded him the Philippine properties and that allowing Leticia to share in the PH
properties is tantamount to unjust enrichment considering she already owns all the US
properties.
ISSUE:

Whether or not the trial court can proceed directly to liquidation without valid
recognition of the divorce decree

HELD:

The requirements of presenting the foreign divorce decree and the national law
of the foreigner must comply with our Rules of Evidence. Specifically, for Philippine
courts to recognize a foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage, a copy of the
foreign judgment may be admitted in evidence and proven as a fact under Rule 132,
Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court. ibrary

Under Section 24 of Rule 132, the record of public documents of a sovereign


authority or tribunal may be proved by: (1) an official publication thereof or (2) a copy
attested by the officer having the legal custody thereof. Such official publication or copy
must be accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that
the attesting officer has the legal custody thereof. The certificate may be issued by any
of the authorized Philippine embassy or consular officials stationed in the foreign
country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office. The
attestation must state, in substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the original, or a
specific part thereof, as the case may be, and must be under the official seal of the
attesting officer.

Section 25 of the same Rule states that whenever a copy of a document or record is
attested for the purpose of evidence, the attestation must state, in substance, that the
copy is a correct copy of the original, or a specific part thereof, as the case may be. The
attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting officer, if there be any, or if he
be the clerk of a court having a seal, under the seal of such court.

Based on the records, only the divorce decree was presented in evidence. The
required certificates to prove its authenticity, as well as the pertinent California law on
divorce were not presented.

It may be noted that in Bayot v. Court of Appeals, we relaxed the requirement on


certification where we held that “[petitioner therein] was clearly an American citizen
when she secured the divorce and that divorce is recognized and allowed in any of the
States of the Union, the presentation of a copy of foreign divorce decree duly
authenticated by the foreign court issuing said decree is, as here, sufficient.” In this
case however, it appears that there is no seal from the office where the divorce decree
was obtained.

Even if we apply the doctrine of processual presumption as the lower courts did
with respect to the property regime of the parties, the recognition of divorce is entirely a
different matter because, to begin with, divorce is not recognized between Filipino
citizens in the Philippines.

Absent a valid recognition of the divorce decree, it follows that the parties are still
legally married in the Philippines. The trial court thus erred in proceeding directly to
liquidation.

G.R. No. 138322 October 2, 2001

GRACE J. GARCIA, a.k.a. GRACE J. GARCIA-RECIO, petitioner,


vs.
REDERICK A. RECIO, respondents.

FACTS:

Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian citizen, in


Malabon, Rizal, on March 1, 1987. They lived together as husband and wife in Australia.
On May 18, 1989, a decree of divorce, purportedly dissolving the marriage, was issued
by an Australian family court.

On June 26, 1992, respondent became an Australian citizen, as shown by a "Certificate


of Australian Citizenship" issued by the Australian government. Petitioner – a Filipina –
and respondent were married on January 12, 1994 in Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Church in Cabanatuan City. In their application for a marriage license, respondent was
declared as "single" and "Filipino."

Starting October 22, 1995, petitioner and respondent lived separately without prior
judicial dissolution of their marriage. While the two were still in Australia, their conjugal
assets were divided on May 16, 1996, in accordance with their Statutory Declarations
secured in Australia.

On March 3, 1998, petitioner filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage in


the court a quo, on the ground of bigamy – respondent allegedly had a prior subsisting
marriage at the time he married her on January 12, 1994. She claimed that she learned
of respondent's marriage to Editha Samson only in November, 1997.

In his Answer, respondent averred that, as far back as 1993, he had revealed to
petitioner his prior marriage and its subsequent dissolution. He contended that his first
marriage to an Australian citizen had been validly dissolved by a divorce decree
obtained in Australian in 1989; thus, he was legally capacitated to marry petitioner in
1994.1âwphi1.nêt

On July 7, 1998 – or about five years after the couple's wedding and while the suit for
the declaration of nullity was pending – respondent was able to secure a divorce decree
from a family court in Sydney, Australia because the "marriage ha[d] irretrievably broken
down."

Respondent prayed in his Answer that the Complained be dismissed on the ground that
it stated no cause of action. The Office of the Solicitor General agreed with respondent.
The court marked and admitted the documentary evidence of both parties. After they
submitted their respective memoranda, the case was submitted for resolution.

Respondent contends that the burden to prove Australian divorce law falls upon
petitioner, because she is the party challenging the validity of a foreign judgment. He
contends that petitioner was satisfied with the original of the divorce decree and was
cognizant of the marital laws of Australia, because she had lived and worked in that
country for quite a long time. Besides, the Australian divorce law is allegedly known by
Philippine courts: thus, judges may take judicial notice of foreign laws in the exercise of
sound discretion.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the burden to prove Australian divorce law falls upon petitioner, because
she is the party challenging the validity of a foreign judgment

HELD:

NO. The burden of proof lies with "the party who alleges the existence of a fact or thing
necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action." In civil cases, plaintiffs have the
burden of proving the material allegations of the complaint when those are denied by
the answer; and defendants have the burden of proving the material allegations in their
answer when they introduce new matters. Since the divorce was a defense raised by
respondent, the burden of proving the pertinent Australian law validating it falls squarely
upon him.

It is well-settled in our jurisdiction that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign
laws. Like any other facts, they must be alleged and proved. Australian marital laws are
not among those matters that judges are supposed to know by reason of their judicial
function. The power of judicial notice must be exercised with caution, and every
reasonable doubt upon the subject should be resolved in the negative.

NORMA A. DEL SOCORRO for and in behalf of her Minor Child RODERIGO NORJO
VAN WILSEM vs. ERNST JOHAN BRINKMAN VAN WILSEM, G.R. No. 193707,
December 10, 2014, J. Peralta

FACTS:

Petitioner Norma A. Del Socorro and respondent Ernst Johan Brinkman Van Wilsem
contracted marriage in Holland on September 25, 1990. 2 On January 19, 1994, they
were blessed with a son named Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem, who at the time of the
filing of the instant petition was sixteen (16) years of age. 3

Unfortunately, their marriage bond ended on July 19, 1995 by virtue of a Divorce Decree
issued by the appropriate Court of Holland. 4 At that time, their son was only eighteen
(18) months old.5 Thereafter, petitioner and her son came home to the Philippines. 6

According to petitioner, respondent made a promise to provide monthly support to their


son in the amount of Two Hundred Fifty (250) Guildene (which is equivalent to
Php17,500.00 more or less).7 However, since the arrival of petitioner and her son in the
Philippines, respondent never gave support to the son, Roderigo. 8
Not long thereafter, respondent came to the Philippines and remarried in
Pinamungahan, Cebu, and since then, have been residing thereat. 9 Respondent and his
new wife established a business known as Paree Catering, located at Barangay Tajao,
Municipality of Pinamungahan, Cebu City. 10 To date, all the parties, including their son,
Roderigo, are presently living in Cebu City.11

n August 28, 2009, petitioner, through her counsel, sent a letter demanding for support
from respondent. However, respondent refused to receive the letter. 12

Because of the foregoing circumstances, petitioner filed a complaint affidavit with the
Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu City against respondent for violation of Section 5,
paragraph E(2) of R.A. No. 9262 for the latter’s unjust refusal to support his minor child
with petitioner.

Thereafter, petitioner filed her Motion for Reconsideration thereto reiterating


respondent’s obligation to support their child under Article 195 23 of the Family Code,
thus, failure to do so makes him liable under R.A. No. 9262 which "equally applies to all
persons in the Philippines who are obliged to support their minor children regardless of
the obligor’s nationality."24

There is a question of law when the issue does not call for an examination of the
probative value of the evidence presented or of the truth or falsehood of the facts being
admitted, and the doubt concerns the correct application of law and jurisprudence on
the matter. The resolution of the issue must rest solely on what the law provides on the
given set of circumstances.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the foreign law should apply even without proving the same

HELD:

NO. Under the doctrine of processual presumption, if the foreign law involved is not
properly pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is the same
as our local or domestic or internal law. Hence, pleading a foreign law without proving
the same will bar its application in the Philippines.
TEODORA SOBEJANA-CONDON, Petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,
LUIS M. BAUTISTA, ROBELITO V. PICAR and WILMA P. PAGADUAN,Respondents.

Facts:
The petitioner is a natural-born Filipino citizen having been born of Filipino parents on
August 8, 1944. On December 13, 1984, she became a naturalized Australian citizen
owing to her marriage to a certain Kevin Thomas Condon.
On December 2, 2005, she filed an application to re-acquire Philippine citizenship
before the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, Australia pursuant to Section 3 of R.A. No.
9225 otherwise known as the "Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of
2003."5 The application was approved and the petitioner took her oath of allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines on December 5, 2005.
On September 18, 2006, the petitioner filed an unsworn Declaration of Renunciation of
Australian Citizenship before the Department of Immigration and Indigenous Affairs,
Canberra, Australia, which in turn issued the Order dated September 27, 2006 certifying
that she has ceased to be an Australian citizen. 6
The petitioner ran for Mayor in her hometown of Caba, La Union in the 2007 elections.
She lost in her bid. She again sought elective office during the May 10, 2010 elections
this time for the position of Vice-Mayor. She obtained the highest numbers of votes and
was proclaimed as the winning candidate. She took her oath of office on May 13, 2010.
Soon thereafter, private respondents Robelito V. Picar, Wilma P. Pagaduan 7 and Luis M.
Bautista,8 (private respondents) all registered voters of Caba, La Union, filed separate
petitions for quo warranto questioning the petitioner’s eligibility before the RTC. The
petitions similarly sought the petitioner’s disqualification from holding her elective post
on the ground that she is a dual citizen and that she failed to execute a "personal and
sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized
to administer an oath" as imposed by Section 5(2) of R.A. No. 9225.
The petitioner denied being a dual citizen and averred that since September 27, 2006,
she ceased to be an Australian citizen. She claimed that the Declaration of
Renunciation of Australian Citizenship she executed in Australia sufficiently complied
with Section 5(2), R.A. No. 9225 and that her act of running for public office is a clear
abandonment of her Australian citizenship.
The trial decision ordered by the trial court declaring Condon disqualified and ineligible
to hold office of vice mayor of Caba La union and nullified her proclamation as the
winning candidate.
After that the decision was appealed to the comelec, but the appeal was dismissed y
the second division and affirmed the decision of the trial court.
The petitioner contends that since she ceased to be an Australian citizen on September
27, 2006, she no longer held dual citizenship and was only a Filipino citizen when she
filed her certificate of candidacy as early as the 2007 elections. Hence, the "personal
and sworn renunciation of foreign citizenship" imposed by Section 5(2) of R.A. No. 9225
to dual citizens seeking elective office does not apply to her.

Issue: W/N petitioner disqualified from running for elective office due to failure to
renounce her Australian Citizenship in accordance with Sec. 5 (2) of R.A 9225

Ruling:
R.A. No. 9225 allows the retention and re-acquisition of Filipino citizenship for natural-
born citizens who have lost their Philippine citizenship 18 by taking an oath of allegiance
to the Republic.
Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, become
citizens of a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the
aforesaid oath.
The oath is an abbreviated repatriation process that restores one’s Filipino citizenship
and all civil and political rights and obligations concomitant therewith, subject to certain
conditions imposed in Section 5.
Section 5, paragraph 2 provides:
(2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualification for
holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at the
time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn renunciation
of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an
oath.
On September 18, 2006, or a year before she initially sought elective public office, she
filed a renunciation of Australian citizenship in Canberra, Australia. Admittedly, however,
the same was not under oath contrary to the exact mandate of Section 5(2) that the
renunciation of foreign citizenship must be sworn before an officer authorized to
administer oath.
The supreme court said that, the renunciation of her Australian citizenship was invalid
due to it was not oath before any public officer authorized to administer it rendering the
act of Condon void.
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the petition is hereby DISMISSED. The
Resolution dated September 6, 2011 of the Commission on Elections en bane in EAC
(AE).
Antonio Bengson III vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and Teodoro Cruz
G.R. No. 142840 May 7, 2001

FACTS: Respondent Teodoro Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was
born in San Clemente, Tarlac, on April 27, 1960, of Filipino parents. The fundamental
law then applicable was the 1935 Constitution. On November 5, 1985, however,
respondent Cruz enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and without the consent of
the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the United States. As a
Consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under Commonwealth Act No. 63,
section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship by, among other, "rendering
service to or accepting commission in the armed forces of a foreign country.” He was
naturalized in US in 1990. On March 17, 1994, respondent Cruz reacquired his
Philippine citizenship through repatriation under Republic Act No. 2630. He ran for and
was elected as the Representative of the Second District of Pangasinan in the May 11,
1998 elections. He won over petitioner Antonio Bengson III, who was then running for
reelection.

ISSUE: W/N respondent Cruz is a natural born citizen of the Philippines in view of the
constitutional requirement that "no person shall be a Member of the House of
Representative unless he is a natural-born citizen.”

HELD:

(1) NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN. Respondent is a natural born citizen of the


Philippines. As distinguished from the lengthy process of naturalization,
repatriation simply consists of the taking of an oath of allegiance to the Republic
of the Philippine and registering said oath in the Local Civil Registry of the place
where the person concerned resides or last resided. This means that a
naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a
naturalized Filipino citizen. If he was originally a natural-born citizen before he
lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former status as a natural-
born Filipino.
G.R. No. 210412, July 29, 2015

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. KAMRAN F. KARBASI, Respondent.

FACTS:

On June 25, 2002, Kamran F. Karbasi (Karbasi) filed a petition for naturalization with the
RTC, where he alleged the following:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

1. His full name is Kamran F. Karbasi;

2. He is recognized as a Person of Concern by the United Nations High


Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as shown in a certification duly issued by
the UNHCR;
3. He is presently residing with his family at 341 Burgos Street, Dipolog City, since
early part of June 2000 and more so has resided continuously in the Philippines
for not less than 11 years immediately preceding the date of this petition; to wit,
since 11 July 1990 and in Dipolog City for more than one (1) year;
4. His last place of foreign residence was Pakistan and his other places of
residence, prior to his present residence, were as follows (i) Panay Ave., Quezon
City; (ii) Sta. Filomena, Dipolog City; (iii) Capitol Area, Dumaguete City; (iv)
Dohinob, Roxas, Zamboanga del Norte;
5. He was born on 4 September 1966 in Tehran, Iran, as shown in his identity card
which also serves as his birth certificate;
6. He is married and is the father of one (1) child;
7. His wife Cliji G. Lim Karbasi is a Filipino citizen, 22 years old and born on 10
August 1979 in Cebu City, whom he married on 12 October 2000 in Dipolog City,
as shown in their certificate of marriage;
8. His child, Keenyji L. Karbasi, l-year old , was born on 9 June 2001 in Dipolog City
and presently residing with him and his wife at 341 Burgos Street, Dipolog City;
9. He arrived in Manila, Philippines, under an assumed name (Syed Gul Agha) from
Pakistan on 11 July 1990 specifically at the Manila International Airport on board
Philippine Airlines Flight No. 731, per UNHCR certification containing reference
to his Pakistani passport issued under said assumed name;
10. Due to his marriage, he is entitled to the benefit of Section 3 of Commonwealth
Act No. 473, which reduced to five years the ten year requirement of continuous
residence;
11. He speaks and writes English and Visayan;
12. His trade or occupation is as a repair technician in which he has been engaged
since 1998 and, as such, he derives an average annual income of Php 80,000.00
more or less;
13. He has all the qualifications required under Section 2 and none of the
disqualifications under Section 4, of the Commonwealth Act No. 473;
14. He has complied with the requirements of the Naturalization Law
(Commonwealth Act No. 473) regarding the filing with the Office of the Solicitor
General of his bona fide intention to become a citizen of the Philippines, as
shown in his Declaration of Intention duly filed on 25 May 2001;
15. It is his intention in good faith to become a citizen of the Philippines and to
renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince,
potentate, state or sovereignty, and particularly to Iran of which, at this time, he is
a citizen or subject; that he will reside continuously in the Philippines from the
date of filing of this petition up to the time of his admission to Philippine
citizenship;
16. Dominador Natividad Tagulo, of legal age, Filipino, married and residing at ABC
Compound, Quezon Ave., Miputak, Dipolog City and Alton C. Ratificar, of legal
age, Filipino, married and residing at 047 Burgos Street, Dipolog City, who are
Filipino citizens, whose affidavits are attached to his petition, will appear and
testify as witnesses at the hearing thereof.

On January 17, 2007, the RTC found Karbasi's evidence sufficient to support his
petition. Finding Karbasi as possessing all the qualifications and none of the
disqualifications to become a Filipino citizen, the lower court affirmed such application.

Not in conformity, the Republic of the Philippines, through the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG), interposed an appeal to the CA, based mainly on the ground that the
RTC erred in granting Karbasi's petition as he failed to comply with the provisions of
Commonwealth Act No. 473 (Naturalization Law) on character, income and reciprocity.
Specifically, the OSG pointed out that Karbasi failed to establish that: 1] Iran grants
reciprocal rights of naturalization to Filipino citizens; 2] he has a lucrative income as
required under the law; and 3] he is of good moral character as shown by his disregard
of Philippine tax laws when he had underdeclared his income in his income tax returns
(ITRs) and overstated the same in his petition for naturalization.

ISSUE: whether or not the CA had correctly affirmed the RTC decision granting
Karbasi's application for naturalization despite the opposition posed by the OSG.
HELD:

YES.
Citizenship is personal and, more or less a permanent membership in a political
community. It denotes possession within that particular political community of full civil
and political rights subject to special disqualifications. Reciprocally, it imposes the duty
of allegiance to the political community. 11The core of citizenship is the capacity to enjoy
political rights, that is, the right to participate in government principally through the right
to vote, the right to hold public office and the right to petition the government for redress
of grievance.12chanrobleslaw

No less than the 1987 Constitution enumerates who are Filipino citizens. 13 Among those
listed are citizens by naturalization. Naturalization refers to the legal act of adopting an
alien and clothing him with the privilege of a native-born citizen. Under the present laws,
the process of naturalization can be judicial or administrative. Judicially, the
Naturalization Law provides that after hearing the petition for citizenship and the receipt
of evidence showing that the petitioner has all the qualifications and none of the
disqualifications required by law, the competent court may order the issuance of the
proper naturalization certificate and its registration in the proper civil registry. On the
other hand, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9139 provides that aliens born and residing in the
Philippines may be granted Philippine citizenship by administrative proceeding by filing
a petition for citizenship with the Special Committee, which, in view of the facts before it,
may approve the petition and issue a certificate of naturalization. 14 In both cases, the
petitioner shall take an oath of allegiance to the Philippines as a sovereign nation.

While it is true that a naturalization case is not an ordinary judicial contest to be decided
in favor of the party whose claim is supported by the preponderance of the evidence,
this does not accord infallibility on any and all of the OSG's assertions. If this were the
case, the rules of evidence might as well be brushed aside in order to accord
conclusiveness to every opposition by the Republic. Needless to state, the Court still
has the final authority and duty to evaluate the records of proceedings a quo and decide
on the issues with fair and sound judgment.

At this point, it is worthy to note the Court's ruling in Republic v. Court of Appeals and
Chua25(Chua), where the Court assessed the prevailing circumstances of an applicant
for naturalization who was a medical student at the time of the filing of her petition.
In Chua, the Court rejected the Republic's argument that the applicant's status as a
subsequent passer of the Board Examinations of 1985 for Doctors of Medicine could not
by itself be equated with "gainful employment or tangible receipts." The Court held that
this interpretation of the income requirement in the law is "too literal and restrictive.

In the case of Chua, the Court had even disregarded the OSG's argument that the
applicant's failure to execute her ITR "reflects adversely on her conduct." Her
explanation of non-filing as an "honest mistake" was accepted by the Court with due
regard to the other circumstances of her case. Like the CA, the Court also finds the
same degree of sincerity in Karbasi's case, for he was candid enough to elicit this
conclusion. Besides, there was no suggestion in the records that Karbasi habitually
excluded particular income in his ITRs. Echoing the findings in Chua, the Court does not
believe that this one lapse should be regarded as having so blackened Karbasi's
character as to disqualify him from naturalization as a Philippine citizen.

G.R. No. 175430 : June 18, 2012


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. KERRY LAO ONG, Respondent.

FACTS:

ACTS:

Respondent Ong, then 38 years old, filed a Petition for Naturalization. Ong alleged in
his petition that he has been a "businessman/business manager" since 1989, earning
an average annual income of P150,000.00. When he testified, however, he said that he
has been a businessman since he graduated from college in 1978. Moreover, Ong did
not specify or describe the nature of his business.

As proof of his income, Ong presented four tax returns for the years 1994 to 1997.
Based on these returns, Ongs gross annual income was P60,000.00 for 1994;
P118,000.00 for 1995; P118,000.00 for 1996; and P128,000.00 for 1997. On November
23, 2001, the trial court granted Ongs petition.

The Republic, through the Solicitor General, appealed to the CA. The Republic faulted
the trial court for granting Ong's petition despite his failure to prove that he possesses a
known lucrative trade, profession or lawful occupation as required under Section 2,
fourth paragraph of the Revised Naturalization Law.

The Republic posited that, contrary to the trial courts finding, respondent Ong did not
prove his allegation that he is a businessman/business manager earning an average
income of P150,000.00 since 1989. His income tax returns belie the value of his
income. Moreover, he failed to present evidence on the nature of his profession or
trade, which is the source of his income. Considering that he has four minor children (all
attending exclusive private schools), he has declared no other property and/or bank
deposits, and he has not declared owning a family home, his alleged income cannot be
considered lucrative. Under the circumstances, the Republic maintained that
respondent Ong is not qualified as he does not possess a definite and existing business
or trade.

The appellate court dismissed the Republic's appeal. The appellate court denied the
Republic's motion for reconsideration.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Ong has proved that he has some known lucrative
trade, profession or lawful occupation in accordance with Section 2, fourth paragraph of
the Revised Naturalization Law?
HELD: Court of Appeals decision is reversed and set aside.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: naturalization

The courts must always be mindful that naturalization proceedings are imbued with the
highest public interest.Naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced and strictly
construed in favor of the government and against the applicant. The burden of proof
rests upon the applicant to show full and complete compliance with the requirements of
law.

Based on jurisprudence, the qualification of "some known lucrative trade, profession, or


lawful occupation" means "not only that the person having the employment gets enough
for his ordinary necessities in life. It must be shown that the employment gives one an
income such that there is an appreciable margin of his income over his expenses as to
be able to provide for an adequate support in the event of unemployment, sickness, or
disability to work and thus avoid ones becoming the object of charity or a public charge."
His income should permit "him and the members of his family to live with reasonable
comfort, in accordance with the prevailing standard of living, and consistently with the
demands of human dignity, at this stage of our civilization."

It has been held that in determining the existence of a lucrative income, the courts
should consider only the applicant's income; his or her spouses income should not be
included in the assessment. The spouses additional income is immaterial "for under the
law the petitioner should be the one to possess some known lucrative trade, profession
or lawful occupation to qualify him to become a Filipino citizen." Lastly, the Court has
consistently held that the applicant's qualifications must be determined as of the time of
the filing of his petition.

A review of the decisions involving petitions for naturalization shows that the Court is not
precluded from reviewing the factual existence of the applicant's qualifications. In fact,
jurisprudence holds that the entire records of the naturalization case are open for
consideration in an appeal to this Court. Indeed, "[a] naturalization proceeding is so
infused with public interest that it has been differently categorized and given special
treatment. x x x [U]nlike in ordinary judicial contest, the granting of a petition for
naturalization does not preclude the reopening of that case and giving the government
another opportunity to present new evidence. A decision or order granting citizenship
will not even constitute res judicata to any matter or reason supporting a subsequent
judgment cancelling the certification of naturalization already granted, on the ground
that it had been illegally or fraudulently procured. For the same reason, issues even if
not raised in the lower court may be entertained on appeal. As the matters brought to
the attention of this Court x x x involve facts contained in the disputed decision of the
lower court and admitted by the parties in their pleadings, the present proceeding may
be considered adequate for the purpose of determining the correctness or incorrectness
of said decision, in the light of the law and extant jurisprudence." In the case at bar,
there is even no need to present new evidence. A careful review of the extant records
suffices to hold that respondent Ong has not proven his possession of a "known
lucrative trade, profession or lawful occupation" to qualify for naturalization.

G.R. No. 183110 October 7, 2013

Republic of the Philippines v. Azucena Saavedra Batugas

FACTS

On December 2, 2002, Azucena filed a Petition for Naturalization before the RTC of
Zamboanga del Sur. The case was docketed as Naturalization Case No. 03-001 and
raffled to Branch 29 of said court.

Azucena alleged in her Petition that she believes in the principles underlying the
Philippine Constitution; that she has conducted herself in a proper and irreproachable
manner during the period of her stay in the Philippines, as well as in her relations with
the constituted Government and with the community in which she is living; that she has
mingled socially with the Filipinos and has evinced a sincere desire to learn and
embrace their customs, traditions, and ideals; that she has all the qualifications required
under Section 2 and none of the disqualifications enumerated in Section 4 of
Commonwealth Act No. 473 (CA473);6 that she is not opposed to organized government
nor is affiliated with any association or group of persons that uphold and teach doctrines
opposing all organized governments; that she is not defending or teaching the necessity
or propriety of violence, personal assault, or assassination for the success and
predominance of men’s ideas; that she is neither a polygamist nor believes in polygamy;
that the nation of which she is a subject is not at war with the Philippines; that she
intends in good faith to become a citizen of the Philippines and to renounce absolutely
and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or
sovereignty, and particularly to China; and that she will reside continuously in the
Philippines from the time of the filing of her Petition up to the time of her naturalization.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the petition involved in this case is a judicial declaration of Philippine
citizenship or a Petition for judicial naturalization under CA 473.

HELD:

This case however is not a Petition for judicial declaration of Philippine citizenship but
rather a Petition for judicial naturalization under CA 473. In the first, the petitioner
believes he is a Filipino citizen and asks a court to declare or confirm his status as a
Philippine citizen. In the second, the petitioner acknowledges he is an alien, and seeks
judicial approval to acquire the privilege of be coming a Philippine citizen based on
requirements required under CA 473.Azucena has clearly proven, under strict judicial
scrutiny, that she is qualified for the grant of that privilege, and this Court will not stand
in the way of making her a part of a truly Filipino family.
G.R. No. 170603
EDISON SO, Petitioner, v. Republic of the Philippines

FACTS:

On February 28, 2002, petitioner Edison So filed before the RTC a Petition for

Naturalization[3] under Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 473, otherwise known as the

Revised Naturalization Law, as amended. He alleged the following in his petition:

He was born on February 17, 1982, in Manila; he is a Chinese citizen who has

lived in No. 528 Lavezares St., Binondo, Manila, since birth; as an employee, he derives
an average annual income of around P100,000.00 with free board and lodging and

other benefits; he is single, able to speak and write English, Chinese and Tagalog; he is

exempt from the filing of Declaration of Intention to become a citizen of the Philippines

pursuant to Section 6 of Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 473, as amended, because he

was born in the Philippines, and studied in a school recognized by the Government

where Philippine history, government and culture are taught; he is a person of good

moral character; he believes in the principles underlying the Philippine constitution; he

has conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of

his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the constituted government as well as
with the community in which he is living; he has mingled socially with the Filipinos and

has evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions and ideals of

the Filipino people; he has all the qualifications provided under Section 2 and none of

the disqualifications under Section 4 of C.A. No. 473, as amended; he is not opposed to

organized government or affiliated with any association or group of persons who uphold

and teach doctrines opposing all organized governments; he is not defending or

teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault or assassination for the

success or predominance of mens ideas; he is not a polygamist or a believer in the

practice of polygamy; he has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude;

he is not suffering from any incurable contagious diseases or from mental alienation; the

nation of which he is a citizen is not at war with the Philippines; it is his intention in good

faith to become a citizen of the Philippines and to renounce absolutely and forever all

allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, and

particularly to China; and he will reside continuously in the Philippines from the time of

the filing of the petition up to the time of his admission as citizen of the Philippines. The

petition was docketed as Naturalization Case No. 02-102984.

Respondent in this case contended that based on the evidence on record, appellee
failed to prove that he possesses all the qualifications under Section 2 and none of the
disqualifications under Section 4 of C.A. No. 473. It insisted that his two (2) character
witnesses did not know him well enough to vouch for his fitness to become a Filipino
citizen; they merely made general statements without giving specific details about his
character and moral conduct.[28] The witnesses did not even reside in the same place as
petitioner.[29] Respondent likewise argued that petitioner himself failed to prove that he is
qualified to become a Filipino citizen because he did not give any explanation or specific
answers to the questions propounded by his lawyer. He merely answered yes or no or
gave general statements in answer to his counsels questions. Thus, petitioner was
unable to prove that he had all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications
required by law to be a naturalized Filipino citizen.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the qualifications set forth in R.A. No. 9139 pply even to applications for
naturalization by judicial act.
HELD:
NO

In determining whether or not an applicant for naturalization is entitled to become a

Filipino citizen, it is necessary to resolve the following issues: (1) whether or not R.A.

No. 9139 applies to petitions for naturalization by judicial act; and (2) whether or not the

witnesses presented by petitioner are credible in accordance with the jurisprudence and

the definition and guidelines set forth in C.A. No. 473.

Naturalization signifies the act of formally adopting a foreigner into the political body of a
nation by clothing him or her with the privileges of a citizen. [44] Under current and
existing laws, there are three ways by which an alien may become a citizen by
naturalization: (a) administrative naturalization pursuant to R.A. No. 9139; (b) judicial
naturalization pursuant to C.A. No. 473, as amended; and (c) legislative naturalization in
the form of a law enacted by Congress bestowing Philippine citizenship to an alien.
Indeed, R.A. No. 9139 was enacted as a remedial measure intended to make the
process of acquiring Philippine citizenship less tedious, less technical and more
encouraging.[50] It likewise addresses the concerns of degree holders who, by reason of
lack of citizenship requirement, cannot practice their profession, thus promoting brain
gain for the Philippines.[51] These however, do not justify petitioners contention that the
qualifications set forth in said law apply even to applications for naturalization by judicial
act.

First. C.A. No. 473 and R.A. No. 9139 are separate and distinct laws the former covers
all aliens regardless of class while the latter covers native-born aliens who lived here in
the Philippines all their lives, who never saw any other country and all along thought
that they were Filipinos; who have demonstrated love and loyalty to the Philippines and
affinity to the customs and traditions. [52] To reiterate, the intention of the legislature in
enacting R.A. No. 9139 was to make the process of acquiring Philippine citizenship less
tedious, less technical and more encouraging which is administrative rather than judicial
in nature. Thus, although the legislature believes that there is a need to liberalize the
naturalization law of the Philippines, there is nothing from which it can be inferred that
C.A. No. 473 was intended to be amended or repealed by R.A. No. 9139. What the
legislature had in mind was merely to prescribe another mode of acquiring Philippine
citizenship which may be availed of bynative born aliens. The only implication is that, a
native born alien has the choice to apply for judicial or administrative naturalization,
subject to the prescribed qualifications and disqualifications.
In the instant case, petitioner applied for naturalization by judicial act, though at the time
of the filing of his petition, administrative naturalization under R.A. No. 9139 was already
available. Consequently, his application should be governed by C.A. No. 473.

Grace Poe vs COMELEC


GR 221697, GR 221698-700 March 8, 2016
FACTS:

Grace Poe in her certificate of candidacy for presidency declared that she is a natural-
born citizen and that her residence in the Philippines up to the day before 9 May 2016
would be 10 years and 11 months counted from 24 May 2005.

May 24, 2005 was the day she came to the Philippines after deciding to stay in the PH
for good. Before that however, and even afterwards, she has been going to and fro
between US and Philippines. She was born in 1968, found as newborn infant in Iloilo,
and was legally adopted. She immigrated to the US in 1991 and was naturalized as
American citizen in 2001. On July 18, 2006, the BI granted her petition declaring that
she had reacquired her Filipino citizenship under RA 9225. She registered as a voter
and obtained a new Philippine passport. In 2010, before assuming her post as an
appointed chairperson of the MTRCB, she renounced her American citizenship to
satisfy the RA 9225 requirement . From then on, she stopped using her American
passport.

Petitions were filed before the COMELEC to deny or cancel her candidacy on the
ground particularly, among others, that she cannot be considered a natural-born Filipino
citizen since she cannot prove that her biological parents or either of them were
Filipinos. The COMELEC en banc cancelled her candidacy on the ground that she is in
want of citizenship and residence requirements, and that she committed material
misrepresentations in her COC.

On certiorari, the SC reversed the ruling and held (9-6 votes) that Poe is qualified as a
candidate for Presidency. Three justices, however, abstained to vote on the natural-
born citizenship issue.

ISSUE:

(1) Whether or not Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen

(2) Whether or not Poe Satisfies the 10yr residency requirement

HELD:

Yes, Grace Poe might be and is considerably a natural-born Filipino. For that, she
satisfies one of the constitutional requirements that only natural-born Filipinos may run
for presidency.

First, there is a high probability that Grace Poe’s parents are Filipinos. Her physical
features are typical of Filipinos. The fact that she was abandoned as an infant in a
municipality where the population of the Philippines is overwhelmingly Filipinos such
that there would be more than 99% chance that a child born in such province is a
Filipino is also a circumstantial evidence of her parents’ nationality. That probability and
the evidence on which it is based are admissible under Rule 128, Section 4 of the
Revised Rules on Evidence. To assume otherwise is to accept the absurd, if not the
virtually impossible, as the norm.

Second, by votes of 7-5, the SC pronounced that foundlings are as a class, natural-born
citizens. This is based on the finding that the deliberations of the 1934 Constitutional
Convention show that the framers intended foundlings to be covered by the
enumeration. While the 1935 Constitution’s enumeration is silent as to foundlings, there
is no restrictive language which would definitely exclude foundlings either. Because of
silence and ambiguity in the enumeration with respect to foundlings, the SC felt the
need to examine the intent of the framers.
Third, that foundlings are automatically conferred with natural-born citizenship is
supported by treaties and the general principles of international law. Although the
Philippines is not a signatory to some of these treaties, it adheres to the customary rule
to presume foundlings as having born of the country in which the foundling is found.

(2)

Yes. Grace Poe satisfied the requirements of animus manendi coupled with animus
revertendi in acquiring a new domicile.

Grace Poe’s domicile had been timely changed as of May 24, 2005, and not on July 18,
2006 when her application under RA 9225 was approved by the BI. COMELEC’s
reliance on cases which decree that an alien’s stay in the country cannot be counted
unless she acquires a permanent resident visa or reacquires her Filipino citizenship is
without merit. Such cases are different from the circumstances in this case, in which
Grace Poe presented an overwhelming evidence of her actual stay and intent to
abandon permanently her domicile in the US. Coupled with her eventual application to
reacquire Philippine citizenship and her family’s actual continuous stay in the
Philippines over the years, it is clear that when Grace Poe returned on May 24, 2005, it
was for good.

Llorente vs. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 124371


November 23, 2000

FACTS

Petitioner Paula Llorente was married to a US Navy enlisted serviceman Lorenzo


Llorente, in Nabua, Camarines Sur, on February 22, 1937. Before the outbreak of war,
Lorenzo departed for the US and Paula stayed in the conjugal home in Nabua. Lorenzo
became an American citizen on November 30, 1943. Upon the liberation of the
Philippines (1945), Lorenzo was granted by the US Navy to visit his wife in the
Philippines and found out that Paula was living in with Lorenzo’s brother Ceferino. In
December 1945, Paula gave birth to Crisologo with the birth certificate saying that the
child was illegitimate, and the father’s name was left blank.

On February 2, 1946, Paula and Lorenzo had a written agreement, dissolving their
marital union, suspending his support upon her, and waiving his authority to file a case
of adultery against her. Lorenzo returned to the US and filed for a divorce in 1951 which
was granted in 1952.On January 16, 1958, Lorenzo married Alicia Fortuno, in the
Philippines; after which, they bore three children: Raul, Luz, and Beverly. In 1981,
Lorenzo executed a will, bequeathing all his property to Alicia and three children. Before
the proceeding could be terminated, Lorenzo died in 1985.

On Sept. 4, 1985, Paula filed with the RTC of Iriga a petition for letters of administration
over Lorenzo’s estate, contending that she was Lorenzo’s surviving spouse.In 1987, the
RTC granted her petition, stating that Lorenzo’s divorce decree was void and
inapplicable in the Philippines and therefore his marriage to Alicia was void. The RTC
entitled Paula to one-half of their conjugal properties, and one-third of the estate – the
two-thirds would be divided equally among the illegitimate children. Paula was
appointed as legal administrator of the estate.

ISSUE

Whether or not Paula Llorente was entitled to inherit from the estate of Lorenzo
Llorente.

RULING

Since Lorenzo was an American citizen, issues arising from the case are governed by
foreign law. The CA and RTC called to the for the renvoi doctrine, where the case was
referred back to the law of the decedent’s domicile, in this case, the Philippine law. Most
US laws follow the domiciliary theory. Thus, the Philippine law applies when determining
the validity of Lorenzo’s will. The case was remanded to the RTC for the ruling on the
intrinsic validity of the will of the deceased.
Diwata Ramos Landingin vs. Republic, G.R. No. 164948

FACTS: Diwata Ramos Landingin, a citizen of the United States of America (USA), of
Filipino parentage and a resident of Guam, USA, filed a petition for the adoption of
minors Elaine Dizon Ramos, Elma Dizon Ramos and Eugene Dizon Ramos who was
born on. The minors are the natural children of Manuel Ramos, petitioner’s brother
(deceased), and Amelia Ramos- who went to Italy, re-married there and now has two
children by her second marriage and no longer communicated with her children .

ISSUE: Whether or not the petition for adoption is invalid for lack of consent of the
biological mother?

HELD:

No. The general requirement of consent and notice to the natural parents is intended to
protect the natural parental relationship from unwarranted interference by interlopers,
and to insure the opportunity to safeguard the best interests of the child in the manner
of the proposed adoption. When she filed her petition with the trial court, Rep. Act No.
8552 was already in effect. Section 9 thereof provides that if the written consent of the
biological parents cannot be obtained, the written consent of the legal guardian of the
minors will suffice. If, as claimed by petitioner, that the biological mother of the minors
had indeed abandoned them, she should, thus have adduced the written consent of
their legal guardian.
G.R. No. 94147 June 8, 1994

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,


vs.
HONORABLE RODOLFO TOLEDANO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the
Regional Trial Court, Third Judicial Region, Branch 69, Iba, Zambales and SPOUSES
ALVIN A. CLOUSE and EVELYN A. CLOUSE,respondents.

Spouses Alvin A. Clouse and Evelyn A. Clouse whoare aliens filed a petition to adopt
the minor, Solomon JosephAlcala. They are physically, mentally, morally, and
financiallycapable of adopting Solomon, a twelve (12) year old minor.Since 1981 to
1984, then from November 2, 1989 upto the present, Solomon Joseph Alcala was and
has beenunder the care and custody of private respondents. Solomongave his consent
to the adoption. His mother, Nery Alcala, awidow, likewise consented to the adoption
due to poverty andinability to support and educate her son. The RTC granted
thepetition.

Issue:

Can the spouses adopt Solomon?

Held:

Under Articles 184 and 185 of Executive Order (E.O.)No. 209, otherwise known as "The
Family Code of thePhilippines", private respondents spouses Clouse are clearlybarred
from adopting Solomon Joseph Alcala.Article 184, paragraph (3) of Executive Order No.
209expressly enumerates the persons who are not qualified toadopt,

viz

.: (3) An alien, except: (a) A former Filipino citizenwho seeks to adopt a relative by
consanguinity; (b) One whoseeks to adopt the legitimate child of his or her Filipino
spouse;or (c) One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks toadopt jointly with his
or her spouse a relative by consanguinityof the latter. Aliens not included in the
foregoing exceptionsmay adopt Filipino children in accordance with the rules oninter-
country adoption as may be provided by law.Private respondent Evelyn A. Clouse, on
the other hand, may appear to qualify pursuant to paragraph 3(a) of Article 184 of E.O.
209. She was a former Filipino citizen. Shesought to adopt her younger brother.
Unfortunately, the petitionfor adoption cannot be granted in her favor alone
withoutviolating Article 185 which mandates a joint adoption by thehusband and wife. It
reads: Article 185. Husband and wife must jointly adopt, except in the following cases:
(1) When onespouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child; or (2) Whenone spouse
seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other.Article 185 requires a joint adoption by
the husband and wife, acondition that must be read along together with Article 184.