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NATIONALITY AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

FROM THE PHILIPPINE PERSPECTIVE.

Irene R Cortes··
and
Raphael Perpetuo M. Lotilla···

1. Constitutional and international factors with relevance on the law on


nationality of the Philippines

To comprehend the breadth and particularity of the law on nationality


of the Philippines, an acquaintance with its constitutional schema is imperative.
Attention should be focused not only on constitutional provisions directly
governing nationality, but also on those dealing with the structure and powers of
government as they affect the law on nationality.
The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines itself dermes who are
Filipino nationals.l Treaties and the generally accepted principles of internation-
allaw concerning citizenship or nationality, while they are considered as part of
the law of the land,2 can not prevail over the provisions of the Constitution on
nationality in cases of conflict with the latter. This is to be inferred from the
power conferred on the Supreme Court of the Philippines to

Review, and revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the


law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior
courts in -
(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty,
executive agreement, law ... is in question.3

'The Constitution establishes a unitary state, and the creation in accord-


ance with the Tripoli Agreement of an autonomous region in the Southern

*This is the original version of a paper which is being prepared for and which will
appear as the Philippine chapter in a volume entitled Nationality and International Law in
Asian Perspective, edited by Ko Swan Sik, Interuniversity Institute for International Law
(T.M.C. Asser Institute), The Hague, The Netherlands, to be published in 1987."The local
publication of this original version is taking place on urgent request from several quarters
in view of the government's intention to review the present nationality law, and with the
consent of the project's editor.
The citation style follows the format of ,the original version and differs from the
standard Philippine Law Journal system of citation.
** Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law University of the
Philippines; Holder, Albino Z. Sycip Professorial Chair. '
*** Assistant Professor of Law, University of the Philippines
1Art. III (1) Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines of 1973 [hereafter
referred to as the 1973 Constitution].
2Art. II (3) 1973 Constitution.
3Art. X (5) (2) 1973 Constitution.
1
Philippines "within the realm of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the
Republic of the Philippines,,,4 has not affected the nationality laws of the
country.s

The powers of government are vested in the executive, legislative and


judicial branches of government, as well as in constitutional commissions
independent of the political branches. Executive power rests with the president
who has control over all members of the cabinet,6 including the ministers of
justice who renders legal opinions on questions raised by specified government
officials.6-A These opinions, while entitled to great respect, are not binding on
the courts.

The legislative power is vested in the Batasang Pambansa.7 But the presi-
dent, during the period when Martial Law was affective and the legislative body
was not in existence, exercised pleqary legislative powers.8 After the conditional
lifting of Martial Law in 1981, the president has continued to exercise extra-
ordinary legislative powers under Amendment Number 6 to the Constitution
introduced in 1976,9 although the Batasang Pambansa has existed since 1978.10

Treaties, in order to be valid and effective, require the concurrence of a


majority of all the members of the Batasang Pambansa.11 However, during the

4Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the
Moro National Liberation Front with the Participation of the Quadripartite Ministerial
Commission Members of the Islamic Conference and the Secretary-General of the Organiza-
tion of Islamic Conference of 23 December 1976 in Foreign Service Institute, Philippine
Diplomacy: Chronology and Documents (Manila: 1981) pp. 447-452.
5The nature of the autonomy granted by the national government is dermed in
Pres. Decree No. 1618 (1979). See also Pres. Decrees Nos. 1092, 1104, and 1111 (1977),
Letter of Instruction 539 (1977), Proc. Nos. 1628 and 1628-A (1977) and Batas Pambansa
Big. 20 (1979).
6Art. VII (10) 1973 Constitution.
6-ACom. Act 63, Sec. 2 (2), Sec. 4.
7Art. VlII (1) 1973 Constitution.
8Aquino v. Commission on Elections, L-40004, 31 January 1975, 62 SCRA 275.
Martial law was declared on 21 Sept. 1972.and was conditionally lifted on 17 Jan. 1981.
9Amendment No.6 of 1976 to .the 1973 Constitution provides: "Whenever in the
judgment of the President (Prime Minister), there exists a grave emergency or a threat or
imminence thereof, or whenever the interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular National
Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his
judgment requires immediate action, he may, in order to meet the exigency, issue the
necessary decrees, orders, or letters of instructions, which shall form part of the law of the
land."
10The interim Batasang Pambansa, which under Amendment No.2 of 1976 to the
Constitution did not have the power to ratify treaties, came into being in 1978. However,
this is to be distinguished from the regular Batasang Pambansa which was inaugurated in
1984 and possesses plenary legislative powers.
11Art. VlII (14) (1) 1973 Constitution except in relation to Article XIV, sec. 16.
period of Martial Law, the president passed upon the ratification of treaties. 12
Treaties automatically become part of the law of the land unless further action
by the legislature is required in order to effect their provisions. Treaties are to be
differentiated from executive agreements which the president can enter into
without the concurrence of the Batasang Pambansa. Executive agreements are
limited to "adjustments of detail carrying out well-established national policies
and traditions and those involving arrangements of a more or less temporary
nature." 13
Judicial power is vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts
as may be established by law.14 Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the
laws or the Constitution form part of the legal system of the Philippines.15 Thus,
they have the same legal effects as laws, treaties and generally accepted
principles of international law. The Philippine Supreme Court has described its
role in the development of international law in the following manner:

Although courts are not organs of the state for expressing in a binding manner
its view on foreign affairs, they are nevertheless organs of the state giving, as
a rule, impartial expression to what is believed to be International Law. For this
reason, judgments of municipal tribunals are of considerable practical impor-
tance for determining what is the right rule of International Law.16

There are also a number of international factors which have influenced


the Philippine law on nationality. Foremost among these are Chinese immigra-
tion into the country and the colonial experiences of the Philippines under Spain
and the United States.
Due to its geographical location, the Philippines is easily accessible to the
inhabitants of the Asiatic mainland, a number of whom immigrated early to ·the
Philippines. Thus, when the Spaniards first came to the Philippines, they
encountered Chinese residents well-established in the area. Here, they engaged in
trade and played an active part in the economy. 17 They increased greatly in
numbers during the height of the China-Manila-Acapulco trade, outnumbering
the Spaniards twenty to one in 1603.18

12See, for example, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination


Against Women (ratified 5 Aug. 1981), International Convention on the Suppression and
Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (ratified 20 Dec. 1977), Convention on the Status
of Refugees (acceded 26 June 1981), Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (acceded
26 June 1981).
13"The Constitutionality of the Trade Agreenlents Act," 39 Col. LR, p. 755 quoted
in Commissioner of Customs v. Eastern Sea Trading, G.R. No. L-14279, 31 Oct. 1961, 3
SCRA 351.
14Art. X (1) 1973 Constitution.
15Art. 8 Civil Code.
16Gibbs v, Rodriguez, 84 Phil. 230, 239 (1949).
17J. Amyot, The Manila Chinese (Quezon City: 1973) p. 9.
18E. Casillo, The Filipino Nation (U.S.A.: 1982) p. 98.
For more than three hundred years under the Spaniards, all Christianized
natives under the effective dominion of the colonial government were considered
subjects of Spain. But the Chinese and other foreign nationals retained their
alien nationalities.19 It was during this period that discriminatory attitudes
toward the Chinese began to take form.
As a consequence of its defeat in the Spanish-American War, Spain trans-
ferred at the close of the 19th century its sovereign rights over the area occupied
by the Philippine Archipelago to the United States under the terms of the Treaty
of Peace Between the United States and Spain. 20
From that time up to July 4, 1946, the Philippines was a colony of the
United States. American concepts with respect to nationality were introduced
in the Philippines, and American laws and constitutional principles were
adopted, along with their biases against Asiatics.21 These biases, also cultivated
during the Spanish period of colonization, are still evident in the incorporation
of nationalistic provisions in the Constitution which regulate the activities that
can be lawfully engaged in by aliens22 and, to a lesser extent, by naturalized
nationals. 23
In preparation for, and even after the actual grant in 1946 of independ-
ence to the Philippines by the United States, arrangements were made for
American nationals to enjoy certain rights reserved to Philippine nationals only.
The exceptional treatment accorded to the United States and its nationals is a
recurring theme in the Philippine law on nationality.24

2. The impact of other factors on the contents of the law on nationality of


the Philippines

The impact of colonization on Philippine nationality law becomes more


apparent when viewed in the light of the ethnic heterogeneity of the Philippine
population. In 1985, there were an estimated 54,377,9931 Filipinos settled
among a little more than 1,000 of the approximately 7,100 islands composing
the Philippine Archipelago. 2

19See Part Ten, infra, at p. 54.


2010 Dec., 1898 in 30 U.S. Stat: 1754, II Malloy 1690, 11 Bevans 615 [Hereafter
referred to as the treaty of ParisI.
21 See Part Three, infra, at p. 6.
22See Part Nine, infra, at pp. 41-44.
23See Part Nine, infra, at pp. 46-48.
24See, for instance, Part Nine, infra, at pp. p.44.
INational Census and Statistics Office, 1983 Philippine Yt?QTbook (Manila: 1983)
p.113.
2Fund for Assistance to Private Education, The Philippine Atlas, vol. 1 (Manila:
1975) p. 3.
But while the term "Filipinos" and the unitary character of the Philippine
state seem to indicate that the population of the Philippines is homogeneous,
reality fails to conform with this image. The diversity in the Philippine popula-
tion has been traditionally viewed by scholars from the ethnic standpoint
rather than on the basis of racial differences. This approach is perhaps justified
by the predominance of the Malay racial stock which cuts across ethnic lines,
and the close affmity between the Malay and proto-Malay racial stocks. The
racial affmity among the different Fili~ino ethnic groups is demonstrated in the'
demonstrated in the common origin of their languages and dialects. While there
are some eighty-seven languages and dialects throughout the Archipelago, all of
them belong to the Indonesian family of languages. The leading dialects are
spoken in 89.54% of private househo1ds.3 Tagalog, the dialect on which the
national language - Filipino - is based, is spoken by 29.66% of the total
number of households; Cebuano by 24.20%; nocano by 10.30%; Hiligaynon by
9.16%; Bico1 by 5.57%; Lineyte-Samamon by 3.98%; Pampango by 2.77%;
Pangasinan by 1.84%; Maranao by 1.06%; and Maguindanao by 1.00%.4
Ethnic differentiation, however, is well-pronounced. The main ethnic
groups are the Christian Malays, the Moslem Malays, and the proto-Malays.
Culturally, they are distinct from one another. The cultural divergence is essen-
tially a result of foreign colonization. The Christian Malays bear the heavy
imprint of acculturation with Spanish and American cultures, an inevitable
product of centuries of alien subjugation.
On the other hand, the Moslem Malays are distinctively characterized by
Islamic influence, strengthened by their successful resistance to Spanish inroads.
The proto-Malay groups, though many have been converted to Christianity, retain
discrete bodies of culture easily distinguishable from the Christian main-stream
in areas where they are numerically significant enough and possessed with a
sufficiently cohesive culture.s Like the Moslem Malays, the proto-Malays were
not effectively subjugated by the Spaniards. However, both groups were success-
fully colonized by the Americans at the tum of the century and incorporated
into one political system with the Christianized groups. In 1979, there were an
estimated 4,500,050 people belonging to more than thirty-five Non-Muslim
Hilltribes, as the proto-Malay groups are known.6
Christians today are divided among different groups, with the Catholics
accounting for 85% of the national population; Aglipayans for 3.9%; and Iglesia
ni Kristo for 1.3%. Other Protestant ,groups account for 3.1%. The Moslems
composed 4.3% of the total population. Buddhists constitute .09% of the
population, while other religions combined account for 1.7%.7

3National Census and Statistics Office, 1980 Census of Population and Housing,
vol. 2 (Manila: 1980) p. xxx and p. 78.
4 Ibid.
SF. Wernstedt and J. Spencer, The Philippine Island World, (U.S.A.: 1967) p. 151.
60p. cit., p. 149 at n. L
7National Census and Statistics Office; 1970 Census of Population and Housing,
vol. 2 (Manila: 1970) p. 476. Religion was last included as an item in the national census
in 1970. "
Out of a total population of 36,684,486 in 1970,36,465,048 were Filipi-
no nationals, while 219,438 were aliens with 86,855 declaring themselves as
Chinese nationals, or .6% and .2% of the entire population, respectively.8 In
1980, out of a population of 48,098,460, there were 56,857 registered aliens,
of whom 46,419 were Chinese nationals.9 This decreased further in 1983 to
32,383 total registered aliens, 24,509 of whom were Chinese nationals.10
Compared to the alien populations in neighboring Southeast Asian states, the
Philippines has a small alien community.l1 However, their small numbers have
not prevented them from occupying a highly significant role in the Philippine
economy. 12

Before the colonization of the Philippine Archipelago by the Spaniards,


there was no concept of nationality in the Philippmes.1 But with the consoli-
dation of Spanish pow:erin the islands, it became clear at least in practice that
the so-called indios or native inhabitants of the Philippines who accepted the
authority of the Spanish King were subjects of Spain.2 However, there was some
confusion as to what particular laws governed the nationality of the inhabitants
of the Archipelago since the legal force of many Spanish laws was never
extended to the Philippines. 3
The Orden de La Regencia of 14 August 1841 was the first law which took
effect in the Philippines concerning the acquisition of Spanish nationality by
foreigners.3-A Acquisition of nationality by naturalization was effected by

8National Economic and Development Authority, 1984 Philippine Statistical Year-


book (Manila: 1984) p. 96.
9Ibid.
10Ibid.
llG. William Skinner cited in J. Amyot, loco cit., p. 2 at Part One n. 17; also cited in
P. Valera-Quisumbing, Beijing-Manila Detente (Quezon City, 1983) p. 113 at n. 10.
12E. Palanca, "The Economic Position of the Chinese in the Philippines," Philippine
Studies (1977) pp. 8Q.94.

1The Philippines was then composed of distinct self-governing units called barangays
which, compared to the degree of political cohesiveness attained by recognized members of
the international community of that period, had relatively low levels of political develop-
ment.

2See M. Hooker, A Concise Legal History of. South-East Asia (Oxford, 1978)
pp.217-219.
3In re-Application of Max Shoop for Admission to Practice Law, 41 Phil. 213, 225
(1920).
3-AEnglish Translation in Flournoy and Hudson. Collection of Nationality Laws
(New York, 1929) p. 529.
means of ail application with the Governor-General who was empowered to act
on it.4 On August 23, 1868, a royal decree was issued, defming the nationality
of children born of alien parents in the Philippines.s
The Ley Extranjeria de Ultramar was extended to the Philippines by virtue
of the Royal Decree of 13 July 1870 and published in the Manila Official
Gazette on 18 September 1870.6 In addition to the original provisions of the
Royal Decree of 23 August 1868, this law provided that foreigners who under
the laws of Spain obtained naturalization papers or acquired domicile in any
town of the Spanish provinces of the Ultramar (Overseas Provinces) were
considered Spaniards.7
Upon the effectivity of the Spanish Civil Code in the Philippines on 8
December 1889, the doctrines of jus soli and jus sanguinis were adopted as the
principles of attribution of nationality at birth.8 However, those born of alien
parents in Spanish territory had to make a declaration opting Spanish nationality
upon reaching the age of majority.9 In addition, it provided that foreigners who
had obtained naturalization papers and those who, without such papers, had
acquired domicile in any town in the Monarchy were Spaniards, provided they
renounced their former nationality, swore to support the Spanish constitution,
and recorded themselves as Spaniards in the civil registry. 10 The law establishing
the civil registry, however, was never extended to the Philippines; hence the
applicability of that provision of the Civil Code is questionable.ll
After the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution against Spain, independ-
ence was proclaimed by the Filipino revolutionary forces on 12 June 1898, and
a Philippine Republic was established. The Philippine Constitution of 1899,
popularly known as the Malolos Constitution, declared that the follOWingwere
Filipinos:
1. All persons born in Philippine territory. A vessel of Philippine
registry is considered, for this purpose, as part of Philippine
territory.
Children of a Filipino father or mother, although born outside
of the Philippines.
Foreigners who have obtained a certificate of naturalization.
Those who, without such certificate, have acquired domicile
in any town within Philippine territory. 12
----
4Caram v. Montinola, Election Protest No. 24, 26 Aug. 1936 in IV The Lawyers'
Journal (1936) p. 850 at p. 851.
5Caram v. Montinola at p. 853:
6Caram v. Montinola at p. 853.
7Art. 2.0 Ley de Extranjeria of 4 July 1870.
8Art. 17 (1 and 2) Span. Civil Code.
9Art. 19 Span. Civil Code.
10Art. 25 Span. Civil Code.
llCaram v. Montinola at p. 854 quoting Williard, Anotaciones al Codigo Civil, p. 36
and Benedicto v. de la RaIna, 3 Phil. 34 (1903).
12Title IV Art. 6 Political Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines [hereafter
referred to as the Malolos Constitution}.
Domicile was acquired byta foreigner who had stayed two years without inter-
ruption in any locality of the Philippine territory, with an open abode, a known
occupation, and who had been paying all the taXes imposed by the govern-
ment.13 The loss of Philippine nationality was left to the determination of the
legislative authority.14 The provisions of this Constitution, however, did not
attain widespread implementation due to the limited period of effective rule
by the fust Philippine Republic.
The invasion of the Philippines by the United States and its establishment
of a colonial government in the islands, put an end to the hopes of the Philippine
Republic to obtain the recognition of other states.
By virtue of the Treaty of Paris, Spain transferred the sovereignty it
exercised over the area occupied by the Philippine Archipelago to the United
States on 11 April 1899. However, United States citizenship was"not extended
to the inhabitants of the Philippines due mainly to intense opposition from the
American public. 15
Instead, the Act of the Congress of the United States of July 1, 1902
[hereafter referred to as the Philippine Bill of 1902] was passed which granted
Philippine citizenship to all inhabitants of the Philippine Islands continuing to
reside therein who were Spanish subjects on 11 April 1899, except those who
elected to preserve their allegiance to Spain in accordance with the Treaty of
Paris.16
Under this law, citizens of the Philippines were acknowledged nationals
of the United States who were entitled to American diplomatic protection, but
they were not citizens of the United States and, therefore, unqualified to
exercise the political rights appertaining to the latter.17
The citizenship-nationality dichotomy which was introduced by the
United States in 1902 was abandoned only on 4 July 1946 when the political
independence of' the Philippines was proclaimed and Philippine citizenship
attained the equivalence of Philippine nationality under international law.
Thus, unless otherwise indicated in this paper, Philippine citizenship is exclusive-
ly used to denote a political status under the laws of the Philippines as a colony
of the United States. The term "nationalfty," on the other hand, is employed
when the usage intended conforms with the international law concept.17-A
The Act of Congress of23 March 1912 amended the section on citizenship
of the Philippine Bill of 1902 by authorizing the Philippine Legislature - a legis-
lative body for the Philippines exercising limited powers determined by the

Ilritle IV Art. 6 Malolos Constitution. Translation by S. GtJevara in The Laws of


the First Philippine Republic (Manila: 1972) p. 104.
14Title VI Art. 6 Malolos Constitution.
15R. Constantino, The Philippines: A Past Revisited (Quezon City: 1975) p. 299.
16Sec. 4, 32 U.S. Stat 691.
17Gonzales v. Williams, 192 U.S. 1 (1903); Toyota v. U.S., 268 U.S. 402 (1925).
17-ARules and Regulations promulgated by the Department of Justice pursuant to
Sec. 5 of Com. Act 63.
United States Congress - to enact a law for the acquisition of Philippine citizen-
ship by specified classes of persons.18 This delegated authority was reenacted as
part of the Act of the United States Congress of 29 August 1916.19 The latter
law, however, no longer incorporated the requirement contained in the previous
laws that the persons deemed to be citizens of the Philippines must have
continued to reside in the Philippines at the time of the enactment of those
laws.20 It also excluded from Philippine citizenship such persons as may, in the
meantime, have become nationals of some other country.21 The latter provision
was interpreted to cover only those who acquired the nationality of some state
other than the United States.22 In accordance with the authority granted to it
by the United States Congress, the Philippine Legislature enacted on 26 March
1920 the Philippine Naturalization Law, Act No. 2927,23 which was subsequent-
ly amended by Act No. 3448.24 The Philippine Naturalization Law did not
specifically disallow Asiatics from applying for naturalization. However, its
provisions were subject to the limitation imposed by the American Congress on
the Philippine Legislature's powers as follows:

xxx provide by law for the acquisition of Philippine citizen-


ship by those natives of the Philippine Islands who do not come
within the foregoing provisions, the natives of the insular possessions
of the United States, and such other persons residing in the Philip-
pine Islands who are citizens of the United States, or who could
become citizens of the United States under the laws of the United
States if residing therein. 2S (emphasis added)

Since the laws of the United States during this period prohibited Asiatics from
acquiring American citizenship,26 the disqualification was deemed incorporated
into the Philippine Naturalization Law.
In 1934, the 73rd Congress of the United States approved Public Act No.
127 [hereafter referred to as the Tydings-McDuffie Act] which authorized the
establishment of a commonwealth government for the Philippines in preparation
for its eventual independence, and the adoption of a constitution for that

1837 U.S. Stat. 77.


19Hereafter called Phil. Autonomy Act; also popularly known as the Jones Law,
39 U.S. Stat. 545.
2°See Sec. 2 of Phil. Autonomy Act.
21 See Sec. 2 of Phil. Autonomy Act.
220pinion of the Sec. of Justice No. 45, s. 1951.
2326 March 1920, 15 Pub. Laws 67.
2430 Nov. 1928,24 Pub. Laws 26.
25Sec. 2 of Phil. Autonomy Act.
26These included the Act of 29 Apri11902, 32 U.S. Stat. 176 and Act of 27 April
1904,33 U.S. Stat. 428.
commonwealth and the independent republic to be established at a future
date.27 In accordance with that Act, a constitutional convention was organized
in 1934, and the constitution it proposed for adoption was ratified by tile Philip-
pine electorate after its approval by the president of the United States.28 Under
this constitution, which took effect in 1935, the following were considered
citizens of the Philippines:

(I) Those who were citizens of the Philippines at the time of the
adoption of the Constitution;
(2) Those born in the Philippines of foreign parents, who, before
the adoption of the Constitution, had been elected to public
office in the Philippines;
(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines;
(4) Those who~e mothers are citizens of the Philippines, who,
upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizen-
ship; and
(5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.29

The first classification extends recognition to those who were considered


citizens of the Philippines by virtue of the Treaty of Paris, the subsequent laws
passed by the United States Congress concerning Philippine citizenship, and the
laws promulgated by the legislative body of the Philippine Islands under the
authority of the United States Congress.
The coverage of the first classification was determined only by a reference
to the law on nationality prevailing in the Philippines as far back as the period
of Spanish colonization.30 The second classification, on the other hand, was of
a very limited application and was inserted in the Constitution primarily in order
to preclude any question as to the nationality of one of the members of the 1935
Constitutional Convention.31 Under the third classification, citizenship was
automatically acquired only by those born of Filipino fathers. As provided for
in the fourth classification, those born of Filipino mothers validly married to
aliens were only granted an inchoate right to Philippine citizenship with the
obligation to make an option upon reaching the age of majority. The fourth
classification has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to include children
born of women who were originally Philippine citizens but who, by virtue of
their marriage to aliens, lost their Philippine citizenship. 32

27 Sec. 1 Tydings-McDuffie Act. But the decision to adopt the constitution of the
commonwealth as the constitution of the republic was taken on its own by the 1934 Consti-
tutional Convention.
28 As provided for in Sees. 1, 3 and 4 of the Tydings-McDuffie Act.
29 Art. IV (1) 1935 Constitution.
30 Supra, pp. 7-8.

31v. G. Sinco, Philippine Political Law (Manila: 1962) pp. 500-50l.


32 See Cu v. Republic, 89 Phil. 473, 476 (1951); also Villahermosa v. Commissioner
of Immigration, 80 Phil. 541 (1948).
The original provisions of the 1935 Constitution also created the National
Assembly, a unicameral legislative body for the Philippine Commonwealth with
broad powers subject only to specific limitations imposed by the United
States Congress which were effective during the period prior to independence. 33
This was the legislative body which repealed Act Number 2927, the original
Philippine Naturalization Law, with the approval of Commonwealth Act
Number 473 on 17 June 1939.34 The said law did away with the disqualification
of Asiatics from applying for naturalization in the Philippines.3S In turn,
Commonwealth Act Number 473 was amended by Commonwealth Act
Number 535,36 and Republic Act 530.37 The latter introduced additional
requirements for naturalization. Commonwealth Act Number 535, as thus
amended, remains in force.
On 21 October 1936, the National Assembly of the Philippines enacted
Commonwealth Act Number 63 which provided for the ways by which
Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired.38 This was modified with the
passage of Republic Act Number 106 on 2 June 1947,39 although the latter
retained the provision contained in Commonwealth Act Number 63 that Filipino
women married to nationals of a foreign country lost their Filipino citizenship
upon marriage if under the national laws of the husband, the wife acquires his
nationality. A special law was passed on 18 June 1960 providing for the reacqui-
sition of Philippine nationality by persons who lost such nationality by
rendering service to, or accepting commission in, the Armed Forces of the
United States.40
In view of the 1935 Constitution's origin as a document prepared for a
colony of the United States, views were advanced toward the end of the sixties
on the necessity of drafting a new Philippine constitution which, not only would
be untainted by the American colonial influence but also, would be responsive
to the needs of the times.41 Among the proposals were changes in the
constitutional provision on nationality that would grant equal standing to male
and female Filipino nationals.42 Before the 1971 Constitutional Convention

33Art. VI (1) 1935 Constitution.


34m Pub. Laws 349.
35The disqualification of Asiatics was not mentioned nor was there any reference
to the exclusion of aliens as provided for in United States laws; hence, the disqualification
of Asiatics provided for in the previous laws was deemed abrogated.
36m Pub. Laws 514.
37V Laws and Res. 430.
381 Pub. Laws 307. While the possibility of the loss of nationality was recognized by
the Constitution of 1935 the rules providing for grounds for actual loss were left to the
legislature.
40
Rep. Act 2630, XV Laws and Res. 86.
411. Cortes, "The Framing of the 1973 Constitution," in Perspectives on the New
Constitution (Quezon City: 1974) p. 7 at p. 12.
42University of the Philippines Law Center, Constitutional Revision Project (Quezon
City: 1970) p. 204.
could submit a final draft to the people, however, Martial Law supervened.
Notwithstanding this, the proposed change in the provision on nationality was
incorporated in the constitution proclaimed on 17 January 1973 while Martial
Law remained in force. In several cases brought before the Supreme Court to
question the validity of said constitution, the Court found that the 1973
Constitution was not ratified in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the
1935 Constitution; however, the Supreme Court ruled that, despite this
infirmity, there was "no further judicial obstacle to the new [1973]
Constitution being considered in force and effect.,,43
There was not much change in the nationality laws of the Philippines after
the 1973 Constitution went into effect, until the promulgation of Letter of
Instructions Number 270 in 1975 which introduced a special form of naturaliza-
tion by decree effective only for a limited period.44 This step was taken in
anticipation of Philippine recognition of the People's Republic of China as the
sole legitimate government of China, and its severance of diplomatic relations
with the Republic of China based in Taiwan.45 The integration of the large
Chinese community in the Philippines was deemed advisable in view of the
insurgency problem in the Philippines and the illegal status of the Communist
Party under Philippine laws.<16Although the 1973 Constitution was subse-
quently amended in 1976, 1981, and 1984, the amendements did not affect
the provisions on citizenship and nationality directly. However, in the 1976
amendments, a form of legislative power was granted to the executive depart.
ment,47 and this has been invoked by the president in granting nationality
through direct legislative action.48

The present law concerning nationality is principally governed by the 1973


Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, which provides that the
following are citizens of the Philippines:
(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of
this Constitution. .

43Javellana v. The Executive Secretary, L-36142, 31 March 1973,50 SCRA 30, 141.
44Promulgated 11 April 1975, cf. nI, Pub. Laws 514. It was later amended by Sec. 5
of Pres. Decree No. 1379 of 15 May 1978. As to the status of presiden tial Letters of Instruc-
tion, see supra, p. 2 and (Part One) n. 9.
45The Philippines recognized the People's Republic of China government on 5 June
1975, and accordingly diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level were established between
the two countries effective 9 June 1975.
46Rep. Act 1700 outlawed the Communist Pa~ty of the Philippines. This was subse-
quently amended by Pres. Decrees 885,1835, and 1975.
47 Amendment No.6.
48Martial Law was lifted on 17 Jan. 1981 by virtue of Proclamation No. 2045 but the
president continued to issue direct grants of Philippine nationality after that date. See
Pres. Decrees 1864, 1880, 1881, 1882 all issued in 1983.
(2) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines
(3) Those who elect Philippine citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the
Constitution of nineteen hundred and thirty-five.
(4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law. I

The concept of citizenship in the 1973 Constitution is equivalent to the


concept of nationality in international law. Hence, as the supreme law of the
land, the Constitution's provisions governing citizenship, as interpreted by the
courts, constitute the ultimate law on nationality. A new feature affecting
nationality found in the 1973 Constitution is the conferment of Philippine
nationality on children of Filipino mothers. Necessarily related with that consti-
tutional provision is the right granted to female Philippine nationals to retain
their Philippine nationality despite their marriage to aliens.2 In contrast, the
1935 Constitution granted Philippine nationality to those born of Filipino
fathers only, and children born of Filipino mothers and women who lost their
Filipino nationality through marriage to aliens only possessed a right to elect
Philippine nationality upon reaching the age of twenty-one. The procedure for
electing Philippine nationality in accordance with the 1935 Constitution is
governed by Commonwealth Act Number 625.3 However, at the time that the
1973 Constitution went into effect, there were a number of such persons who
were entitled to elect Philippine nationality but had not yet done so because
they had not reached the age of majority. Hence, it was necessary to provide
in the 1973 Constitution that those who elect Philippine nationality even after
the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution, provided that the election is in
accordance with the 1935 Constitution, are Filipino nationals.4 The right to
elect Philippine nationality is granted only to two groups of children born
before 17 January 1973.s The first group covers those born to women who were
married to aliens but who were nationals of the Philippines at the time of the
child's birth. The first group excludes those children born to Filipino women
who were not validly married to the respective alien fathers of the children. The
second group covers those children born to women who lost their Filipino
nationality after their marriage to aliens prior to the child's birth.

1Art. III (1) 1973 Constitution.


2Art. III (2) 1973 Constitution.
3 IV Pub. Laws •.138.

4Art. III (1) (3) 1973 Constitution.


5Art. IV (4) 1935 Constitution considers as Filipino nationals "Those whose
mothers are citizens [nationals] of the Philippines, and upon reaching the age of majority,
elect Philippine citizenship [nationality]." By judicial interpretation, this has been
construed to include those born of women who lost their Filipino nationality upon marriage
to aliens.See Cu v. Republic, 89 Phil. 473 (1951). But see Villahermosa v. Commissioner of
Immigration, 80 Phil. 541 (1948) where the court, by way of obiter dictum, implied that
the child may elect Philippine nationality only if the mother is a Filipino national at the
time of the child's election.
Children born after 17 ·January 1973 to women who lost their Philippine
citizenship by their marriage to aliens prior to the effectivity of the 1973
Constitution are not Filipino nationals and no longer possess the right to elect
Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. But those born after
the date to Filipino mothers are considered nationals of the Philippines from
birth without need of electing Philippine nationality. The 1973 Constitution
also defmes who are natural-born nationals for the purpose of identifying those
persons qualified to exercise rights which the Constitution reserves to natural-
born nationals.6

The Civil Code of the Philippines, the general law which governs private
relationships among persons, merely repeats the provisions of the Constitution
on who are nationals of the Philippines.7 However, since it was promulgated
while the 1935 Constitution was still in effect, it had to reflect the provisions
of the 1935 Constitution. The Civil Code provisions on Philippine nationality,
therefore, are deemed superseded by the 1973 Constitution. The other
provisions of the Civil Code affecting nationality, such as the conflict of law
rules and those regulating changes in civil status and family relations, remain in
force. The Muslim Code of Personal Laws establishes certain rules in derogation
of the Civil Code which are applicable only to those who are adherents of
Islam.8 To that limited extent, the laws of the Philippines with respect to the
private relations of persons are composite. But this development has not in any
way altered the constitutional provision on who are citizens of the Philippines.

The 1973 Constitution, like that of 1935, leaves to the legislature the
decision to provide for acquisition of Philippine nationality by naturalization.9
And when the legislature opted to provide for naturalization and the loss and
reacquisition of Philippine nationality, these were contained in laws of general
application. Loss and acquisition of Philippine nationality is governed by
Commonwealth Act Number 63, as amended by Republic Acts Numbers 106,11
2639;2 and 3834,13 Additionally, Republic Act Number 2630 is a law on the

6Art. III (4) 1973 Constitution states. "A natural-born citizen [national] is one who
is a citizen [national] of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to
acquire or perfect his Philippine citizenship [nationality]."
7Art. 48 Civil Code of the Philippines.
8Pres. Decree 1083, A Decree to Ordain and Promulgate a Code Recognizing the
System of Filipino Muslim Laws, Codifying Muslim Personal Laws, and Providing for its
Administration and for Other Purposes, 4 February 1977.
9Art. III (1) (4) 1973 Constitution considers as Filipino nationals "Those who are
naturalized in accordance with law."
10Art. 49 Civil Code of the Philippines provides: "Naturalization and the loss and
reacquisition of citizenship [nationality] of the Philippines are governed by special laws."
11nLaws and Res. 28.
12XV Laws and Res. 92.
13XVIII Laws and Res. 719.
reacquiSition of Philippine nationality by those who became members of the
United States Armed Forces.14 A special form of naturalization was provided for
through Letter of Instruction 27015 which introduced more realistic require-
ments although this special form was available only for a short period of time.
On the other hand, the general naturalization law is contained in Commonwealth
Act Number 473.16
Because of the peculiar historical development of Philippine nationality, 17
the current sources of its governing law also include acts of an international
character which were made well before the Philippines became a recognized
member of the international community.18 The earliest treaty which continues
to determine Philippine nationality is the Treaty of Paris. That document
contains provisions regarding the nationality of the inhabitants of the territories
ceded by Spain to the United States.19 Also among these international sources
are purely municipal acts of other states which, from the present view of the
Philippines, are foreign elements necessarily impinging on the Philippine law on
nationality .
Falling within the above class are the Act of Congress of the United States
of 1 July 1902 which established Philippine citizenship for the fIrst tirne,20 and
Public Act Number 127 of the 73rd Congress of the United States21 which
provided for the grant of political independence to the Philippines. Pursuant to
the fIrst law, Philippine citizenship was granted22 to certain inhabitants of the
Philippine territory as ceded by Spain to the Umted States under the terms of
the Treaty of Paris, and the subsequent Treaty signed at Washington D.C.23
between the United States and Spain on the cession of certain outlying islands
to the former.24 Because Philippine citizenship was ascribed to certain classes
of persons living within a particular territory, the delimitation of the territory
of the Philippines assumes a determinant role in the acquisition of such citizen-
ship. The Treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States defIning
the Boundaries between the Philippines and North Borneo2S also assumes
relevance in this respect.
14XY Laws and Res. 86.
15m Pub. Laws 514.
16y Laws and Res. 430.
17see Part Three, supra, at pp.. 6-12; Parts Five and Ten, infra, at pp. 16-18 and
pp. 54-64, respectively.
18The Philippines attained independence from the United States on 4 July 1946.
1930 U.S. Stat. 1754; II Malloy 1690; 11 Bevans 615.
2032 U.S. Stat. 691.
2148 U.S. Stat. 459.
2231 U.s. Stat. 1942; II Malloy 1696; 11 Bevans 623.
2347 U.S. Stat. 2198, 2207; m Redmond 2605; IV Trenwith 4261; 12 Bevans 287,
473.
24Art. II (3) 1973 Constitution.
2547 U.S. Stat. 2198; III Redmond 2605; IV Trenwith 4261; 12 Bevans 287.
International treaties directly affecting nationality also constitute a source
of the Philippine law on nationality, but only insofar as these embody generally
accepted principles of international law on nationality since the Philippines is
not a signatory to the various international conventions regulating nationality.26
However, a number of bilateral agreements entered into by the Philippines have
provisions which affect the exercise of certain rights by nationals of the party-
states.27

Philippine citizenship was initially provided for by the Act of Congress of


the United States of 1 July 1902,1 in the following words:

xxx all inhabitants of the Philippine Islands continuing to reside therein, who
were Spanish subjects on the eleventh day of April, 1899, and then resided in
said Islands, and their children born subsequent thereto, shall be deemed and
held to be citizens of the Philippine Islands and as such entitled to the protec-
tion of the United States, except such as shall have elected to preserve their
allegiance to the crown of Spain in accordance with the provisions of the
Treaty of Peace between the United States and Spain, signed at Paris Decem-
bu tenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight. (emphasis added)

Philippine citizenship under this law was not equivalent to the concept of
nationality under international law, but instead was a narrow identifying term
for a class of persons excluded from the exercise of a set of political rights under
the municipal laws of the United States. To this class of persons also pertained
those rights which arose from the jurisdiction exercised over them by the govern-
ment of the Philippine territory operating undl.'r the authority of the United
States. For purposes of international law, however, Philippine citizens were
nationals of the United States, and entitled to the protection of the latter?

26lncluding the Hague Conventions and Protocols of 1930, the Convention on the
Nationality of Married Women, and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
Although the Philippines has signed the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Per-
sons, it has failed to ratify the same.
27 See Part Nine, infra, at p. 54, n. 105.

1Hereafter referred to as the Philippine Bill of 1902, 32 U.S. Stat. 691.


2The Philippine Bill of 1902 has this relevant portion: " ... citizens of the Philippine
Islands... (are) entitled to the protection of the United States." See Gonzales v. Williams,
192 U.S. 1,9 and 10 (1925) where in speaking of Puerto Rico, a territory acquired from
Spain in the same manner as the Philippines, the Court said: "By the cession their allegiance
became due to the United States, which was in possession and had assumed the government,
and they became entitled to its protection. The nationality of th, islands became American
instead of Spanish." See also Toyota v. Williams, 268 U.S. 402, 411 (1925).
In making the initial determination of Philippine citizenship, the Philip-
pine Bill of 1902 employed the criteria of nationality and residence. It made a
distinction between inhabitants of the Philippine Islands who were subjects of
Spain on 11 Apri11899 and those who were not. The latter group was excluded
from the acquisition of Philippine citizenship. Of the former, those who were
residing in the Islands were deemed citizens of the Philippines except those who
had chosen to preserve their Spanish citizenship in accordance with the Treaty
of Paris.3 Philippine citizenship was also extended to children of those declared
to be citizens of the Philippines under the above criteria. Permanent territorial
links with the Philippine Islands was not among the criteria used in the law to
determine Philippine citizenship; instead, all inhabitants of the Philippines
whether they were natives of the islands or not were extended Philippine citizen-
ship provided they met the criteria of Spanish nationality, continued residence
in the islands, and - exclusively for natives of the Spanish peninsula - non-
election of Spanish nationality.4 Had any of these inhabitants of the Philippines
not desired to acquire Philippine citizenship, they could hav.ephysically removed
their persons from the Philippines thereby disqualifying themselves from
acquiring Philippine citizenship for failure to meet the criterion of continued
residence in the islands. On the other hand, natives of the Philippines who were
not residing therein could have acquir~d Philippine citizenship by returning to
the Philippines.
This initial determination (for limited purposes) of the body of Philippine
citizens was, in effect, the initial determination of the body of Philippine
nationals because, upon the attainment of political independence by the
Philippine:;, the concept of Philippine citizenship was transformed into the
international concept of nationality.
The validity of this determination of Philippine citizens was recognized in
the 1935 Constitution of the Philippine Commonwealth - which also became
the Constitution of the Philippines upon attainment of independence - when it
provided that among those considered as citizens of the Philippines were those
who at the time of the adoption of the 1935 Constitution were citizens of the
Philippines.s.
As in the 1935 Constitution, the 1973 Constitution recognizes the validity
of Philippine nationality obtained prior to its own effectivity. 6 Accordingly, the
determination of who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption
of the 1973 Constitution involves a determination of who were citizens under

3The Treaty of Paris provides: '~... In case they [Spanish subjects, natives of the
Peninsula] remain in. the territory [ceded], they may preserve their allegiance to the Crown
of Spain by making before a court of record. .. a declaration of their decision to preserve
such allegiance."
4The period for electing Spanish nationality for peninsuliJres was for eighteen
months from 11 April 1899 as provided in the Treaty of Paris and the Protocol of Agree-
ment of 28 April 1900 Between the United States and Spain.
5 Art. IV (1) (1) 1935 Constitution.
6Art. III (1) (1) 1973 Constitution.
the laws promulgated by the United States Congress, in relation to the Treaty
of Paris, and the laws passed by the legislative bodies in the Philippines during
the different periods in its political history prior to 17 January 1973.
The full extent of the determination made by the United States Congress
and its effects on state succession with respect to the law in nationality is
discussed in Part Ten of this paper.

6. Main principles of attnDution of nationality at birth, and acqu~ition and


loss of nationality through or by virtue of changes in family status

The accepted principle of attribution of Philippine nationality at birth is


jus sanguinis. 1 An individual acquires Filipino nationality solely by virtue of
descent from a Filipino father or mother. There was a period though when the
Supreme Court was uncertain regarding the application of jus soli as a principle
of acquisition of Philippine citizenship at birth.2 The Court fmally made up its
rnind,3 and jus sanguinis has been exclusively adhered to since then.4
Family status or a change therein is not among the recognized grounds for
the loss of Philippine nationality although either may result, in certain instances,
in the acquisition of Philippine nationality. These principles also hold true with
res?ect to the Filipino nationality of married women and minor children.
The Philippine law on the nationality of women has undergone a number
of changes, the latest being in keeping with the advancement in their status.
Under the 1973 Constitution, Filipino women are given equa,l standing
with their male countrymen with respect to the right to transmit Filipino
nationality to their children5 and to retain their FiUpino nationality upon
marriage to an alien.6 Both Filipino men and women lose their nationality upon

1Art. III (1) (2) 1973 Constitution classifies as nationals of the Philippines "Those
whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines." See Part Four, supra, pp. 12-13
for complete text of. Art. III.
2Supreme Court rulings upholding jus soli'principle include: Miiioz v. Collector of
Customs, 20 Phil. 494 (1911); Roa v. Collector of Customs, 23 Phil. 315 (1912); Vaiio Uy
Tat Tong v. Collector of Customs, 23 Phil. 480 (1912); U.S. v. Ong Tianse, 29 Phil. 332
(1915); U.S. v. Ang, 36 Phil. 858 (1917); U.S. v. Urn Bin, 36 Phil. 924 (1917); Go Julian
v. The Government of the Philippine Islands, 45 Phil. 289 (1923); Haw v. Collector of
Customs, 59 Phil. 612 (1934). The same principle was rejected in Chua v. Secretary of
Labor, 68 Phil. 649 (1939), but reupheld in the case of Torres v. Tan Chim, 69 Phil. 518
(1940).
3Tan Chong v. Secretary of Labor, 79 Phil. 249 (1947).
4people v. Marcaida, 79 Phil. 283 (1947); Tio Tiam v. Republic, 101 Phil. 195
(1957). Actually, the principle of jus soli was previously rejected by the 1934 Constitutional
Convention which framed the 1935 Constitution.
5 Art. III (1) (2) 1973 Constitution.
6 Art. III (2) 1973 Constitution.
marriage to aliens only if they are deemed by their act or omission to have lost
their nationality under the express provisions on loss of nationality of the
applicable statute.' However, this was not always the case prior to the
effectivity of the 1973 Constitution. During the period of American occupation
of the Philippines the laws of the US were applicable to the Philippines, such as
the US law on the effect of marriage of a US woman with an alien upon her
nationality. From 11 April 1899 to 1 March 1907, a Filipino woman lost her
Filipino citizenship if by the law of her husband's state she acquired his
nationality and took up residence abroad before 22 September 1922. If a
Filipino woman married an alien on or after 2 March 19079 but prior to 22
September 1922,10 she automatically lost her Philippine citizenship upon
marriage to an alien. If a Filipino woman married an alien on or after 22
September 1922 but prior to 3 March 1931,11 she lost her citizenship only if
the husband was ineligible for citizenship under Philippine law or unless she
made a formal renunciation of her citizenship.12 But if the same woman married
an alien on or after 3 March 1931 but prior to 21 October 1936,13 she did not
lose her Philippine citizenship unless she had formerly renounced it. From 21
October 1936 to 3 July 1946, she lost her Philippine citizenship if, by the law of
her husband's state, she acquired his nationality upon marriage. 14The same rule
applied to a married woman's loss or retention of Philippine nationality from 4
July 1946 to 16 January 1973.15
Women who lost their Filipino nationality prior to 21 October 193616
under any of the instances outlined above reacquire ipso facto their Philippine
nationality upon the demise of their respective husbands. I' After that date,
women who lost their Philippine nationality by reason of marriage to aliens may

7The applicable statute is Commonwealth Act No. 63, I Pub. Laws 307.
80ate of effectivity of the Treaty of Paris. The official position taken by the Oepart-
ment of State when the Philippines was still an American colony regarding the effects of
U.S. laws on the nationali!y of Filipino women who were married to aliens is discussed in
G. Hackworth, Digest of International Law, vol. III (Washington: 1942) pp. 137-138.
9The laws of the United States were applicable to Filipinos during the period of
American occupation of the Philippines.
100ate of effectivity of Sec. 3 of Act of U.S. Congress of 2 March 1907,34 u.s. Stat.
1228.
110ate of effectivity of Sec. 3 of Act of U.S. Congress of 22 September 1922, 42
U.S. Stat. 1021.
120ate of effectivity of Act of U.S. Congress of 3 March 1931,46 U.S. Stat. 1511.
130ate of effectivity of Com. Act No. 63.
14The independence of the Philippines was recognized by the United States on 4
July 1946.
15The 1973 Constitution entered into force on 17 January 1973.
160ate of effectivity of Com. Act. No. 63.
17Talaroc v. Uy, 92 Phil. 52 (1952).
only reacquire it by taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines and registration in the proper registry. IS
The Naturalization Law makes it easier for the wife of an alien who is
naturalized as a Filipino national to acquire that nationality herself, provided
she does not suffer from any disqualifications under that law.19 However, the
acquisition of Philippine nationality by the wife does not take place automatical·
ly; she has to perform certain acts before she can acquire it.20 The same rules
are applicable to an alien ';omen who marries a Filipino national.21
It still remains undecided, however, whether an alien woman married to an
allien can apply independently of her husband for naturalization under the
Naturalization Law. Prior to the adoption of the 1973 Constitution, there was a
ruling of the Supreme Court that the alien wife can not do so although the Court
admitted that the Naturalization Law does not " ... say that only male alien
persons may seek citizenship [nationality] by naturalization ... ,,22 But the
reasoning advanced by the court in that case23 may no longer be binding under
18Villahermosa v. Commissioner of Immigration, 80 Phil. 541 (1948).
19The Supreme Court construed the phrase "provided she herself might be lawfully
naturalized" in Sec. 15 Commonwealth Act No. 473 to mean "provided she does not suffer
from any disqualifications (Moy Ya Lim Yao v. Commissioner of Immigration, G.R. No.
L-21289, Cct. 4, 1971,41 SCRA 292).
The provision of the Civil Code which obliges the wife to live with her husband
governs the relations between husband and wife inter se, but this does not effect the nation-
ality of the wife which is basically a political matter (Lo Beng Ha Ong v. Republic, G.R. No.
L-24503, 28 Sept. 1968,25 SCRA 247, 252).
20In Moy Ya Lim 'Yao v. Commissioner of Immigration, G.R. No. L-21289, Oct. 4,
1971,41 SCRA 292, the Supreme Court endorsed the following procedure observed by the
Bureau of Immigration as laid down by the Secretary of Justice in Opinion No. 38, series of
1958:
The alien woman must me a petition for the cancellation of her alien certificate of
registration, alleging among other things, that she·is married to a Filipino citizen, and
that she is not disqualified from acquiring her husband's citizenship pursuant to Sec.
4 of Commonwealth Act No. 473, as amended. Upon riling of said petition, which
should be accompanied by the joint affidavit of the petitioner and her Filipino
husband to the effect that the petitioner does not belong to any of the /;loups dis-
qualified by the cited section, the Bureau of ]mmigration conducts an investigation
and thereafter promulgates its order or decision granting or denying the petition.
21 Sec. 15 Com. Act. No. 473, III Pub. Laws 349. There are no parallel provisions
regarding the acquisition of Philippine nationality by aliens who marry Filipino women.
22In the Matter <;>fthe Petititon of Betty Po v. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No.
30669, July 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 242.
23The Court said:
... we must necessarily take into account other legal provisions on the subject of citi-
zenship, one of them being the one mentioned heretofore, according to which a
Filipino female citizen who marries an allen acquires the latter's citizenship by the
mere fact of her marriage. The grant of citizenship by naturalization to a female alien
applicant while her marriage to another alien is subsisting would, therefore, be
inoperative for the reason that, such grant notwithstanding, she would still be
deem«1 to be a citizen of the country of her husband. The result would be dual
ci~nship which, it is believed, is not contemplated by our laws.
The 1973 Constitution, however, now allows a Filipino female national to retain her nation-
ality despite her marriage to an alien, thus removing the basis for this ruling.
the 1973 Constitution, and it would be more consistent with the 19~:-
Constitution's non-discriminatory attitude toward women if alien wives were
allowed to apply for naturalization independently of their alien husbands.
The apparent discrimination against alien women under the ruling
previously cited is traceable to the Naturalization Law whose provisions
regarding the effect of marriage to a Filipino husband upon an alien woman were
conceived long before the provisions on nationality of the 1973 Constitution
were promulgated.24 More in keeping with the new policy under the 1973
Constitution was the provision of LOI 270 which allowed an alien woman
married to an alien to apply for naturalization as a Philippine national by decree,
whether or not her husband joined her in the application.25
Minor children are generally deemed to follow the nationality of their
parents, although this does not take place automatically in all cases. Minor
children of persons naturalized under the Naturalization Law are considered
Filipino nationals provided that they are born in the Philippines,26 .•or, though
born outside of the Philippines, are dwelling in the Philippines at the time of the
naturalization of the parent.27 Foreign-born minor children of naturalized
persons who are not in the Philippines at the time of the naturalization of the
parent are deemed Filipino nationals only during their minority, unless they
begin to reside permanently in the Philippines when still minors, in which case,
they continue to be Filipino nationals even after reaching tlle age of majority.28
A child born outside of the Philippines' after the naturalization of his parent is
considered a Filipino, unless within one year after reaching the age of majority,
he fails to register himself as a Filipino national at the Philippine Consulate of
the country where he resides, and to take the necessary oath of allegiance. 29
But a minor son of an alien woman married to a Filipino, not the child of the
latter, who relies merely on the acquisition of his mother of Filipino nationality
by said marriage, remains an alien where the mother does not acquire Philippine
nationality for failure to meet the requirements of the Naturalization Law. 30
However, should alien wives be allowed to apply for naturalization as
Philippine nationals while their husbands retain their alien nationalities, there
would be no provision in the Naturalization Law that would indicate what
effects such naturalization would have on the minor children of the couple.
Under LOI 270 which allows the alien wife to apply for naturalization on her
own, the minor children of the naturalized wife do not automatically acquire the

24Com. Act No. 473 became effective on 17 June 1939.


25 Infra, Part Seven.
26Sec. 15 (2) Com. Act No.4 73. However, this does not apply to children adopted by
the applicant prior to his naturalization, Ching Leng v. Galang, G.R. No. 11931, October 27,
1958, 104 Phil. 1058 (unreported). According to the Court, the framers of the Civil Code
"had no intention whatsoever to regulate therein political questions. Hence, apart from re-
producing the provisions of the Constitution on citizenship, the Code contains no precept
thereon except that which refers all matter of naturalization, as well as those related to the
'loss and reacquisition of citizenship' to ·speciallaws'."
27 Sec. 15 (3) Com. Act No. 473.
28Sec. 15 (3) Com. Act No. 473.
29Sec. 15 (4) Com. Act No. 473.
30De Austria v. Conchu, G.R. No. L·20716, 22 June 1965, 14 SCRA 336.
Filipino nationality of the mother; instead, the minor children are granted the
right to elect Philippine nationality upon reaching the age of majority. 31
Minor children of women who lost their Philippine nationality upon
marriage to aliens but who reacquire that nationality ipso facto upon the death
of their respective husbands also automatically acquire the Filipino nationality
of their mothers.32 But minor children of women who were married to aliens
after 21 October 1936 and reacquire their Philippine nationality upon repatria-
tion in accordance with Commonwealth Act No. 63 do not acquire their respect-
ive mother's nationality since the said law "does not provide that upon repatria-
tion of a Filipino woman her children acquire Philippine nationality. ,,33
The effects on nationality of the well-established distinctions in Philippine
civil law between a legitimate ()r illegitimate family status have been largely
reduced in significance with the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution which
grants Philippine nationality to children born of, not only Filipino fathers, but
Filipino mothers as well.34 Before the adoption of that rule, an illegitimate
status was a key to the acquisition of Filipino nationality provided the only
known parent - the mother - possessed Filipino nationality.35
Adoption creates a juridical tie personal to the adopter and the adopted
which has no effect on the political relation established between an individual
and his state; hence, the adopted child does not acquire the nationality of the
adopting parent by virtue of adoption,36 nor vice versa.

31Letter of Instruction No.2 70, II April 1975, as amended by Sec. 5 of Presidential


Decree No. 1379, 17 May 1978.
32Talaroc v. Uy, 92 Phil 52 (1952).
33Villahermosa v. Commissioner of Immigration, 89 Phil. 541 (1948).
34Art. III (1) (2) 1973 Constitution.
35'Prior to the 1935 Constitution, the illegitimate status of a child, born of a Fili-
pino mother, entitled the child to follow the nationality of his only known parent, the
mother. See U.S. v. Ong Tianse,'9 Phil. 332, 335-336 (1915); Santos Co v. Government
of the Philippines, 52 Phil. 543,544 (1928); Serra v. Republic, G.R. No. L-4223, 12 May
1952; Quimsuan v. Republic,-9 Phil. 675 (1953). A textual analysis of the provision of the
1935 Constitution which grants Philippine nationality only to those born of Filipino fathers
may lead to a conclusion that the old rule was changed so that an illegitimate child of a
Filipino woman only acquires the right to elect Philippine nationality upon reaching the age
of majority. But the proceedings of the 1934 Constitutional Convention reveal that the
framers of the 1935 Constitution intended to retain the old rule on the nationality of
illegitimate children. They did not expressly incorporate that rule because they were under
the impression that the old rule was a rule of international law and therefore need not be
provided for in the Constitution. (According to Delegate Roxas, " ... estos son casos muy
insignificantes y contados, para que la Constitucion necesite referirse a ellos. Por las leyes
internacionales se reconoce el principio de que los hijos 0 las personas nacidas en un pais
y de padres descononocidos son ciudadanos de esa nacion, y no es necesario incluir en la
Constitucion una disposicion taxativa sobre el particular." Constitutional Record, vol. 6,
p. 439 (1934». These fmer points, however, were not emphasized by the Supreme Court
in its decision on the case ot the Board of Immigration Commissioners v. Beato Go Callano,
G.R. No. L-24530, 31 Oct. 1963,25 SCRA 890.

36Ching Leng v. Galang, G.R. No. 11931, October 27, 1958, 104 Phil. 1058
(unreported); See also Therkelsen v. Republic, G.R. No. L-21951, Nov. 27, 1964, 12 SCRA
400.
However, the Philippines has entered into arrangements3? on adoption
with other countries which are illustrative of instances wherein the native state
of the adopted child exercises its authority as parens patriae to authorize and
facilitate the acquisition by its nationals, who generall~ are minors and incapa-
citated to carry out acts with legal effects, of a foreign nationality.38 In execu-
tive agreements on inter-country adoption between the Philippines and
Norway,39 Netherlands,4O Sweden,41 and Denmark42 respectively, provisions
have been made for granting immigration status to the Filipino child proposed
for adoption in the other country. These agreements also provide that when
adopti9n has been completed and the child becomes naturalized in the state of
the adopting parents, a copy of the adoption decree and naturalization papers
will be submitted to the Philippine Ministry of Social Services and Development
which proceeds to have the proper notations made in the Philippine Civil
Registry record on the adopted child. The registration in the Philippines of the
child's acquisition of an alien nationality by naturalization in the state of the
adopting parents appears to be a recognition on the part of the Philippines of
the validity of the minor adopted child's acquisition of that foreign nationality.
However, whether the Philippines recognizes the child's naturalization in a
foreign country as having the effect of loss of Philippine nationality as provided
in Commonwealth Act No. 63 is still an unsettled question.

The 1973 Constitution, like the 1935 Constitution, leaves to the determi-
nation of the legislature the acquisition of nationality by way of-naturalization. 1
In accordance with this authority, the legislature promulgated- Commonwealth
Act 473 which, as amended, has served as the general law for naturalization.2
Any person who desires to be naturalized in accordance with the Naturali-
zation Law must possess certain qualifications and be free of specific disqualifi-
cations. The reqUired qualifications are:3 (1) The applicant must be not less than
twenty-one years of age on the day of the hearing of the petition; (2) The appli-

37The Philippines has inter-country adoption agreements with Australia, Canada, Den-
mark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden_ All are still unpublished.
38The age of majority recognized in the Philippines is twenty-one years (Art. 402 Civil
Code of the Philippines).
39 Administrative Agreement Between the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Social Affairs
and the Ministry of Social Services and Development of the Philippines. Took effect on 4
February 1982. Unpublished.
40Memorandum of Agreement Between the Philippines and the Netherlands on Inter-
country Adoption Program. Took effect on 26 June 1975. Unpublished.
41 Agreement Between the Philippines and Sweden on Inter-country Adoption Pro-
gram. Took effect 16 May 1975. Unpublished.
42Memorandum of Agreement Between the Philippines and Denmark on Inter-country
Adoption Program. Took effect on 12 June 1975. Unpublished.

1Art. III (1) (4) 1973 Constitution; Art. IV (1) (5) 1935 Constitution.
2m Pub. Laws 349 as amended by Com. Act 535, m Pub. Law~ 514.
3Sec. 2 Com. Act 473.
cant must have resided in the Philippines for a continuous period of not less than
ten years;4 (3) The applicant must be of good moral character and believe in the
principles underlying the Philippine Constitution, and must have conducted
himself in a proper and irreproachable manner d\lring 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;'(4) The applicant must own
real estate in the Philippines worth not less than five thousand pesos, Philippine
currency, or must have som~ known lucrative trade, profession or lawful occupa-
tion;5 (5) The applicant must be able to speak and write English or Spanish and
anyone of the principal Philippine languages; and (6) The applicant must have
enrolled his minor children of school age in any of the public schools or private
schools recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports where
Philippine history, government and civics are taught as part of the school
curriculum, during the entire period of the residence in the Philippine required
of him prior to the hearing of the petition for naturalization as a Philippine
national.
The following are disqualified from acquiring Philippine nationality:6
(1) Persons opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association
or group of persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposing all organized
governments; (2) Persons defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of
violence, personal assaUlt, or assassination for the success and predominance of
their ideas; (3) Polygamists or believers in the practice of polygamy;' (4) Persons
convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude; (5) Persons suffering from mental
alienation or incurable contagious diseases; (6) Persons who, during the period
of their residence in the Philippines, have not mingled socially with the Filipinos,
or who have not evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs,
traditions and ideals of the Filipinos; (7) Nationals or subjects of nations with
whom the Philippines is at war, during the period of such war; (8) Nationals or
subjects of a foreign country whose laws do not grant Filipinos the right to
become naturalized nationals or subjects thereof.8
Aliens applying for Philippine nationality. who bear any hereditary title or
have been members of any of the orders of nobility in the state of which they
are nationals at the time of application are required to make an express

4Reduced to five years in specified' cases, infra, p. 29.


5Note, however, that ownership of real estate by aliens is not allowed under the
Constitution except if acquired by hereditary succession, Art. XIV (14); the income from
a trade, profession or occupation need not be lucrative.
6Sec. 5 Com. Act 473.
7There is some doubt, however, as to the continuing applicability of the disqualifica-
tion on polygamists and believers of polygamy since the Muslim Code of Personal Laws
recognizes the validity of polygamous marriages. Pres. Decree 1379 (1978) in amending
Letter of Instruction No. 270, nevertheless reiterated this disqualification although the
Muslim Code of Personal Laws, Pres. Decree 1083 was then already in effect.
8This requirement, however, is not applicable to stateless persons. See Kookoo-
ritchkin v. The Solicitor-General, 81 Phil. 435 (1948).
renunciation of the title or order of nobility before the Philippine court to
which the applications for naturalization were made.9
A judicial procedure is required in naturalization cases under the Naturali-
zation Law. 10 However, one year prior to the filing of his petition for admission
to Philippine nationality, the applicant has to ftle with the Office of the
Solicitor-General a declaration under oath that it is his bona fide intention to
become a national of the Philippines.!1 The declaration shall state12 his name,
age, occupation, personal description, place of birth, last foreign residence and
allegiance, the date of arrival, the name of the vessel or aircraft in which he came
to the Philippines (if applicable), and his place of residence in the Philippines at
the time of making the declaration. No declaration shall be valid until lawful
entry for permanent residence has been established and a certificate showing the
date, place, and manner of his arrival has been issued. 13 The declarant must also
state14 that he has enrolled his minor children, if any, in a public school or
private school recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of
the Philippines, where Philippine history, government and civics are taught or
prescribed as part of the school curriculum, during the ten-year period of
residence in the Philippine required of him prior to the hearing of his petition
for naturalization. The declarant must also furnish two photographs of him-
self.1S
After the lapse of the required one-year period from the filing of his
declaration of intention, a person desiring to acquire Philippine nationality is
required to ftle a petition for naturalization with the regional trial court of the
province in which he has resided for at least one year immediately preceding the
filing of the petition.16 The petition shall be ftled in triplicate, accompanie ' by
two photographs of the petitioner, and shall set forth: 17 (1) his name and
surname; (2) his present and former places of residence; (3) his occupation;
(4) the place and date of his birth; (5) whether single or married, and if the
latter, the name, age, birthplace and residence of the wife and of each of the
children, if any; (6) the approximate date of his arrival in the Philippines, the
name of the port of debarkation, and if he remembers it, the name of the ship
on which he came; (7) a declaration that he has the qualifications required by
the Naturalization Law, specifying the same, and that he is not disqualified for
naturalization under the provisions of that law; (8) that he has complied with

9
Sec.17 Com. Act 473.
10
Sec. 8 Com. Act 473.
11
Sec. 5 Com. Act 473.
12
<Sec. 5 Com. Act 473.
13
Sec. 5 Com. Act 473.
14Sec.5 Com. Act 473.
15Sec.5 Com. Act 473.
16Sec. 7 Com. Act 473.
17 Sec. 7 Com. Act 473.
the requirements on the filing of a declaration of intention; and (9) that he will
reside continuously in the Philippines from the date of the filing of the petition
up to the time of his admission to Philippine nationality.
In addition, it is required that 18 the petition be signed by the applicant
in his own handwriting and supported by the affidavit of at least two credible
persons, stating that they are nationals of the Philippines and personally know
the petitioner to be a resident of the Philippines for the period of time required
by the Naturalization Law, and that he is'a person of good repute and morally
irreproachable, and that said petitioner has, in their opinion, all the qualifica-
tions necessary to become a national of the Philippines and is not in any way
disqualified under the provisions of the Naturalization Law. The petition shall
also set forth the names and post-office addresses of such witnesses as the
petitioner may desire to introduce at the hearing of the case.19 The certificate
of arrival and the declaration of intention are required to be made part of the
petition.20
Immediately upon the filing of a petition, it is the duty of the clerk of
court to publish the same at petitioner's expense, once a week for three
consecutive weeks, in the Official Gazette, and in one of the newspapers of
general circulation in the province where the petitioner resides, and to have
copies of said petition and a general notice of the hearing posted in a public
and conspicuous place in his office or in the building where said office is located,
setting forth in such notice the name, birthplace and residence of the petitioner,
the date and place of his arrival in the Philippines, the names of the witnesses
whom the petitioner proposes to introduce in support of his petition, and the
date of the hearing of the petition.21 No petition can be heard by the courts
until after six months from the publication of the application as required under
the Naturalization Law,22 and no petition shall be heard within the thirty days
preceding any election.23
The hearing of the petition shall be public, and the Solicitor-General,
either himself or through his delegate or the provincial fiscal concerned, shall
appear on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines at all the proceedings and at
the hearing.24 If, after the hearing, the court believes, in view of the evidence
taken, that the petitioner has all the qualifications required by and none of the
disqualifications specified in the Naturalization law and has complied with all
requisites under that law, it shall order the proper naturalization certificate to
be issued and the registration of the naturalization certificate in the proper civil
registry.2S The fmal sentence may, at the instance of either of the parties, be

18sec. 7 Com. Aet 473.


19See.7 Com. Act 473.
20See. 7 Com. Act 473.
21See. 9 Com. Aet 473.
22
see. 1 Rep. Act 530, V Laws and Res. 430.
23See. 10 Com. Act 473.
24see. 10 Com. Act 473.
25 See. 10 Com. Act 473.
appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court or the" Supreme Court in
accordance with the general rules governming appeals from decisions of regional
trial courtS.26
If, after the lapse of thirty days from and after the date on which the
parties were notified of the decision of the court, no appeal has been fIled, or if,
upon appeal, the decision has been confirmed, said decision shall become final.
However, in addition, Republic Act 530 prescribes that no decision granting the
application for Philippine naturalization shall become executory until after two
years from its promulgation and upon a finding by the court after hearing that
the applicant, during that period, has:27 (1) not left the Philippines; (2) dedicated
himself continuously to a lawful calling or profession; (3) not been convicted
of any offense or violation of government-promulgated rules; or (4) committed
any act prejudicial to the interest of the nation or contrary to any government-
announced policies. The presence of the Solicitor-General or his representative
is required during the hearing.28
Before the naturalization certificate is issued, the petitioner shall, in open
court, take the following oath:29

"I, , solemly swear that I renounce


absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign
prince, potentate, state or sovereign, and particularly to the
of which at this time I am a subject or citizen; that I will
support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and that I
will obey the laws, legal orders and decrees promulgated by the duly
constituted authorities of the Republic of the Philippines, and that r
impose this obligation upon myself voluntarjly without mental
reservation or purpose of evasion.

It is upon taking the oath, and not before, that the applicant for naturali-
zation is entitled to exercise the rights of a Filipino national. 30
Once these requisities are met, the clerk of the regional trial court which
heard the petition shall issue to the petitioner a naturalization certificate. 31 Such
certificate shall, among other things, state the following: 32 the fIle number of
the petition, the number of the naturalization certificate,'the signature of the
person naturalized affIxed in the presence of the clerk of court, the personal

26Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, Batas Parnbansa Big. 129, 14 Aug. 1981.
27Sec. 1 Rep. Act 530.
28Sec. 1 Rep. Act 530.
29Sec. 12 Com. Act 473.
30Sec. 2 Rep. Act 530.
31Sec. 12 Com. Act 473.
32 Sec. 12 Com. Act 473.
circumstances of the person naturalized, the dates on which his declaration of
intention and petition were fJIed, the date of the decision granting the petition,
and the name of the judge who rendered the decision. A photograph of the
petitioner with the dry seal affIxed thereto of the court which granted the
petition, must be affIxed to the certifIcate. ~
The fulfillment of each of the above substantive and procedural require-
ments is jurisdictional, and failure to observe any of them may result in the
invalidation of a person's naturalization as a Philippine national. 34
For purposes of monitoring compliance with these requirements, the clerk
of the regional trial court is required to keep a book35 in which the petitions and
declarations of intention shall be recorded in chronological order, noting all
proceedings thereof from the fJIing of the petition to the fmal issuance of the
naturalization certifIcates each page of which shall have a duplicate which shall
be duly attested by the clerk of the court and delivered to the petitioner.
The clerk shall, as soon as possible, forward copies of the petition, the
sentences, the naturalization certificate, and other pertinent data to the OffIce of
the President, the OffIce of the Solicitor-General, and the Provincial Commander
of. the Philippine Constabulary of the province and the municipal judge of the
municipality wherein the petitioner resides.36
The Minister of Justice is authorized to issue the necessary regulations for
the enforcement of the Naturalization Law, and naturalization certifIcate and
other forms required for carrying out the provisions of the Naturalization Law
are prepared by the Solicitor-General, subject to the approval of the Minister of
Justice. 37
This procedure under the Naturalization Law is so exacting and cumber-
some that few aliens have been able to take advantage of it.38 This has been
made doubly diffIcult by the requirement that no declaration of intention shall
be valid unless lawful entry for permane.nt residence has been established. 39
Under the Philippine Immigration Act, aliens are admitted into the Pllilippines
either as immigrants or non-immigrants. Non-immigrants are not entitled to
permanent residence in the Philippines; to be so entitled, they must fIrst leave
the Philippines and obtain immigrant visas from a Philippine consul.40 Immi-

33Sec. 12 Com. Act 473.


34Cuaki Tan Si v. Rep. of the Phils., G.R. No. 18006, 31 Oct. 1962, 6 SCRA 545.
35Sec. 13 Com. Act 473.
36Sec. 9 Com. Act 473.
37Sec. 21 Com. Act 473.
38McCarthy, "The Chinese in the Philippines" in Philippine-Chinese Profile: ESSllyS
and Studies (Quezon City: 1973) p. 6, at pp. 22-23.
39As a requisite for filing a declaration of intention, Sec. 5 Com. Act 473.
40Rule 6 (C) (38) Adm. Order No.1 (1941) issued to implement Com. Act 613 or the
Phil. Immigration Act of 1940.
grants are either non-quota or quota immigrants. There is no limit imposed on
the number of non-quota immigrants which are any of the following: 41 (1) wives
.or husbands or unmarried children under 21 years of age of Filipino nationals,
if accompanying or following to join such nationals; (2) Children of alien parents
born during the temporary visit abroad of the mother, the mother having been
previously lawfully admitted into the philippines for permanent residence, if
these children are accompanying or coming to join a parent and applies for
admission within five years from their dates of birth; (3) Children born subse-
quent to the issuance of the immigration visa of the accompanying parent, the
visa not having expired; (4) Women who were nationals of the Philippines
and who lost their nationality because of marriage to aliens or by reason of the
loss of Philippine nationality by their husbands, and their unmarried children
under 21 years of age, if accompanying or following to join them; and (5)
Persons previously lawfully admitted into the Philippines for permanent resi-
dence who are returning from temporary visits abroad to an unrelinquished
residence in the Philippines.
Quota immigrants are allowed entry into the Philippines not to exceed
50 in number of anyone nationality or those without nationality for a calendar
year.42 The quota system has been employed as a means for carrying out the
thrusts of Philippine foreign policy. Thus, the quota for Chinese nationals was
suspended in 1949 "for reasons of public security because of the fall of the
mainland to the communists;,,43 this was lifted only in 1973, two years prior
to the opening of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.44
A facilitated form of naturalization, consisting of the reduction of the
ten-year residence requirement to five years, is granted to applicants who have
any of the following qualifications:45 (1) Having honorably held office under the
Government of the Philippines or under that of any of the provinces, cities,
municipalities or political subdivisions thereof; (2) Having established a new
industry or introduced a useful invention in the Philippines; (3) Being married
to a Filipino woman; (4) Having been engaged as a teacher in the Philippines
in a public or recognized private school not established for the exclusive in-
struction of children of persons of a particular nationality or race, in any of the
branches of education or industry for a period of not less than two years. Ano-
ther facilitated form of naturalization, in the form of an exemption from the
requirement to make a declaration of intention,45 -A is granted to persons in
the Philippines who have recejved their primary and secondary education in
public schools or those recognized by the Government and not limited to any
race or nationality, and those who have resided continously in the Philippines
for a period of thirty years or more before filing their application for naturali-

41Sec. 9 Com. Act 613. .


42Sec. 13 Com. Act 613 as amended by Rep. Act 503.
43Pres. Decree 298, 19 Sept. 1973.
44Pres. Decree 298.
45Sec. 3 Com. Act 473.
45-ASec. 6 Com. Act 473.
zation. The exemption is granted upon compliance with the other requirements
of Commonwealth Act 473.46 The same privilege is granted to the wife and
minor children of an alien who, after having declared his intention to become
a national of the Philippines, dies before he is actually naturalized.46-A

Related to the naturalization process is the acquisition of the nationality


of the naturalized husband by his minor children and his wife.47 Other faci-
litated forms may be availed of by Filipino women married to aliens who desire
repatriation upon the death of their alien husbands,48 Filipino nationals who
became members of the United States military service and other former Filipino
nationals desiring repatriation.49

Another facilitated form of naturalization is that granted directly by the


legislative authority. Under the present governmental set-up, the President has
exercised the power to extend Philippine nationality to aliens by decree,5o al-
though the Batasang Pambansa has so far refrained from exercising such power.
The Congress of the Philippines used to exercise the same power under the 1935
Constitution. The absence of criteria to be observed by the legislature in the
exercise of such power accounts for the variance in the terms and conditions of
direct grants of Philippine nationality. Generally, the grants were made after the
grantees expressed their desire to obtain Philippine nationality.51 In at least
several instances, the legislature did not indicate in the grant itself that such
desire was expressed by the grantees, 52 although it was explained in the explan-
atory notes that naturalization was sought by them. In the case of one minor

46However, an additional requirement has to be established: that the applicant has


given primary and secondary education to all his children in the public schools or in private
schools recognized by the Government and not limited to any race or nationality. Sec. 6
Com. Act 473.
46-ASec. 6 Com. Act 473.
47 Sec. 15 Com. Act 473.
48Sec. 2 Com. Act 63.
49Sec. 1 Rep. Act 2630, XV Laws and Res. 86.
50 Amendment No.2, 1976; states: "The interim Batasang Pambansa shall have the
same powers and its members shall have the same functions, responsibilities, rights, privile-
ges, and disqualifications as the interim' National Assembly and the regular National Assem-
bly and the Members thereof. However, it shall not exercise the powers provided in Articles
VIII, Section 14 (1) of the Constitution." Sec. 14. (1) provides: "Except as otherwise pro-
vided in this Constitution, no treaty shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by a
maority of all the members of the National Assembly."
51See Com. Act 79 (1936), Rep. Act 2231 (1959), Rep. Act 3454 (1962), Rep. Act
3455 (1962), Rep. Act 6131 (1970), Rep. Act 6392 (1971), Rep. Act 6628 (1972), Pres.
Decree 192 (1973), Pres. Decree 300 (1973), Pres. Decree 573 (1977), Pres. Dec. 574
(1977), Pres. Decree 987 (1974), Pres. Decree 616 (1974), Pres. Decree 682 (1975), Pres.
Decree 740 (1975), Pres. Decree 1477 (1978), Pres. Decree 1686 (1980), Pres. Decree
1686-A (1980), Pres. Decree 1781 (1981), Pres. Decree 1831 (1981) Pres. Decrees 1880,
1881, 1882, 1864 (1983).
52Rep. Act 3057 (1961), Rep. Act 3i81 (1963), Rep. Act 5437 (1968).
who was granted Philippine nationality by direct legislation, the grant was
sought by the adopting parents who were Filipino nationals, 53 while in the case
of another, the consent of the parent was first obtained. 54
In several other cases, there was no indication that the acquisition of
Philippine nationality was sought by the grantees at all; however, in these cases,
strictly speaking there was no grant of Philippine nationality in its entirety in-
volved, but only of the rights, privileges and prerogatives which go with Philip-
pine nationality. 55 GrantsS6 of a similar nature were extended to a group of
foreign doctors including Dr. Christian Barnard of South Africa which gave them
"the right to exercise certain privileges appertaining to Philippine citizenship
[nationality], such as the practice of their profession and those related to or
necessary for the exercise thereof in and outside of the Philippines.,,57 As yet,
there has been no occasion for raising the issue of whether these rights, privileges
and prerogatives include the right to be extended diplomatic and consular
protection by the Philippines.
Only in a few cases of direct legislative grants was it indicated that the
grant of nationality carries with it the duties, responsibilities or obligations in-
cident to Philippine nationality. 58 In all other cases, the grant of nationality
specifically stated that it carried with it all "rights, privileges and prerogatives
appertunant" to Philippine nationality, without any mention of duties and
responsibilities.59 And in none of the <.;asesinvolving the direct grant of Philip-
pine nationality is it ever mentioned that the grant had any effects on the spouse
and children of the grantee or whether it was transmissible or intransmissible to
their descendants.
These grants are also to be distinguished from the conferment of honorary
Philippine nationality which were effected not by means of statutes but through
joint resolutions of the defunct Philippine Senate and House of Representa-
tives.60 These grants of honorary Filipino nationality did not confer any rights,
privileges, or prerogatives of Philippine nationality. Actual grants of Philippine

53Rep. Act 5437 (1968).


54pres. Decree 1864 (1983).
55See Rep. Acts 1384 (19.55) and 1836 (1955) which "adopted" the grantees as
"sons(s) ofihe Philippines."
56Pres. Decree 952 (1956) and Pres. Decree 658 (1977).
57pres. Decree 658 (1977).
58Rep. Act 3454 (1962), Rep. Act 3455 (1962), Rep. Act 6392 (1971), Pres. Decree
No. 1686-A (1980).
59See, for example, Com. Act 79 (1936), Rep. Act 2231 (1959), Rep. Act 6131
(1970), Rep. Act 6628 (1972), Pres. Decree 192 (1973), Pres. Decree 300 (1973), Pres.
Decree 573 (1977), Pres. Dec. 574 (1977), Pres. Decree 987 (1974), Pres. Decree 616
(1974), Pres. Decree 682 (1975), Pres. Decree 740 (1975), Pres. Decree 1477 (1978), Pres.
Decree 1686 (1980), Pres. Decree 1781 (1981), Pres. Decree 1831 (1981), Pres. Decree
1880,1881, 1882, 1864 (1983).
60See Concurrent Resolution No. 27 dated 7 May 1951, VI Laws and Res. 449,450.
Two were conferred honorary Philippine citizenship posthumously.
nationality or of rights, privileges, or prerogatives pert~ing to Philippine na-
tionality, however, have been made exclusively in the form of statutes.
Only one of the direct grants specified that the grantees may be deprived
of their Philippine nationality. 61 However, the general laws on loss of national-
ity may be applied as these do not distinguish from among the different forms of
acquisition of naturalized nationality.62 No oath is required to be taken, nor
is it necessary to acquire a certificate of naturalization. However, in at least four
cases, the law prescribed the particular oath to be taken, the contents of which
oath were lifted from the one prescribed under the Naturalization Law.62
Many of those who were conferred Philippine nationality directly were
individuals who would not have qualified under the naturalization law for failure
to meet certain requirements such as, in the case of Catholic missionaries, the
possession of a lucrative trade. However, direct grants were resorted to even if
the grantees would have qualified under the Naturalization Law and the reasons
advanced for the direct grants have varied to include, among others, "service in
the field of journalism,"63 "invaluable service in the cause against communism
and subversive elements,,,64 contribution to the "development of Filipino ama-
teur basketball athletes,"6S "significant contribution to the country's efforts to
improve the sugar industry,"66 "wholehearted assistance and support ... [in the
development] ... of casino operations as a new source of revenue.,,67
In 1975, a special form of naturalization effective for a limited period
only was authorized under Letter of Instruction Number 270 [hereinafter
referred to as LOI 270].68 This special form did not supplant the regular na-
turalization process laid down in Commonwealth Act Number 473, and, was
resorted to as a speedy short-term measure to facilitate the assimilation of Chi-
nese nationals in the Philippines prior to the opening of diplomatic relations
with the People's Republic of China.69 The liberalization of naturalization
requirements under LOI 270 was made possible by the express abandonment of
the policy of dual nationality (pursued by the so-called Republic of China which
the Philippines, previous to 1975, recognized as the legitimate government of
China) by the People's Republic of China. 70
A Committee was created71 with the Solicitor-General as Chairman and
61Pres. Decree 1686-A (1980).
62Rep. Acts 3454,3455,6131,6392.
63Pres. Decree 192.
64Pres. Decree 573.
65Pres. Decree 1868-A.
66Pres. Decree 1831.
67Pres. Decree 1881.
6811 April 1975.
69The Philippines recognized the People's Republic of China on 5 June 197~.
70Joint Communique of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the
Government of the People's Republic of China in Philippine Diplomacy: Chronology and
Documents (Manila: 1981) pp. 335-336.
71LOI 270 (1).
the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and the Director-General of the National
Intelligence and Security Agency as members, to determine who are eligible for
naturalization by decree pursuant to LOI 270, and to recommend to the presi-
dent the issuance of a decree of naturalization for those found qualified. The
repatriation of Filipino women who lost their nationality through marriage to
aliens, as well as of other natural-born Filipinos who lost their Filipino nation-
ality, was also placed under the jurisdiction of the Committee.72
To be eligible for naturalization by decree, an alien must. 73 (1) not be less
than 1874 years of age on the date of the filing of his petition; (2) if born in
a foreign country, must have been legally admitted into the Philippines either as
an immigrant or non-immigrant; (3) have had a continuous residence in the
Philippines of ten years; (4) be of good moral character and believe in the prin-
ciples underlying the Philippine Constitution, and have 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; (5) have a known trade, business, profes-
sion, assets or lawful occupation, from which he derives income sufficient for
his support and, if he is married or has dependents, also that of his family; pro-
vided that this requirement may be waived with respect to bona fide students
at least 18 years of age who, on the basis of their qualifications and potentials,
can become useful nationals of the Philippines;75 (6) be able to speak and write
Pilipino, or any of the principal Philippine dialects, provided that where the
applicant is, in the opinion of the Committee, otherwise clearly qualified for
naturalization by decree, this requirement may be waived or dispensed with;76
(7) have enrolled his minor children of school age in any of the public or private
schools recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, during
the period of residence in the Philippines required of him prior to the filing of
his petition;77 and (8) during the period of his residence in the Philippines, have
mingled socially with the Filipinos and evinced a sincere desire to learn and
embrace the customs, traditions and ideals of the Filipino people.
The residence requirement was reduced from ten to five years if the
applicant had any of the following special qualifications: 78 (1) Having honor-
ably held office under the Government of the Philippines or under that of any
of the provinces, cities, municipalities or political subdivisions thereof; (2) Hav-
ing established a new industry or introduced a useful invention in the Philip-
pines; (3) Being married to a Filipino; (4) Having been engaged as a teacher in
the Philippines in a public or recognized private school, not established for the

72Pres. Decree 725 (1975).


73LOI 270 (1).
74LOI 270 as amended by Sec. 1 (a) LOI 491 of 29 Dec. 1976.
75LOI 270 as amended by Sec. 1 (e) LOI 491.
76LOI 270 as amended by Sec. 1 (1) LOI 491.
77LOI 270 as amended by Sec. 1 (g) LOI 491.
78LOI 270 as amended by Sec. 1 (c) LOI 491.
exclusive instruction of children of persons of a particular nationality or race,
in any of the branches of education or industry for a period of not less than two.
years; and (5) Having been born in the Philippines.
In addition to the required qualifications, the applicant must have been
free of the following disqualifications: 79 (1) He must not be opposed to organ-
ized government or affiliated with any association or group of persons who up-
hold and teach doctrines opposing all organized government; (2) He must not
defend or teach the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or
assassination for the success and predominance of his ideas; (3) He must not be
a polygamist or a believer in the practice of polygamy; (4) He must not have
been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude; and (5) He is not suffer-
ing from mental alienation or any incurable contagious disease.
An applicant who was born of a Filipino mother before 17 January 1973
and had resided continuously in the Philippines since birth was considered quali-
fied for naturalization by decree without any need of any further qualification
provided he was at least 18 years of age and did not suffer from any of the dis-
qualifications prescribed in LOI 270 as amended. so
As compared to the provisions of the Naturalization Law, the require-
ments under LOI 270 are much less stringent. The age requirement has been
reduced from 21 to 18 years; the income requirement may be waived in the case
of students at lea!!t 18 years of age; and the language requirement has been
changed from ability to speak and write English or Spanish and anyone of the
principal Philippine languages, to ability to speak and write Pilipino or any of
the principal Philippine dialects. Furthermore, under LOI 270, the language
requirement may altogether be waived if the Committee fmds that the applicant
is otherwise clearly qualified for naturalization. However, under LOI 270,
having mingled socially with Filipinos and evinced a desire to learn and embrace
the customs, traditions and ideals of the Filipino people was transformed from a
ground for disqualification required for naturalization. The integration of these
applicants for naturalization into Philippine society was further stressed when
they were allowed to change their given or first names from foreign to Filipino
upon the verification of the Committee that the change in name was not intend-
ed for illegal, fraudulent or capricious reasons, nor to avoid criminal, civil, tax
or other property liability, and that the State or any individual was not unduly
prejudiced thereby. 81
The application for naturalization by decree was required to be flIed with
the secretary of the Committee who received all papers flIed with and recorded
all the proceedings of the Committee. The application,82 with the accompany-

79LOI 270.
80LOI 270 as amended by LOI 491.
81 Sec. 4-a LOI 292 of 9 July 1975.
82Rule 11 Rules and Regulations Promulgated by the Committee Established Pursuant
to Letter of Instructions No. 270 of 21 April 1975.
ing83 and supporting84 documents, was flled in five copies, and supported by
the separate affidavits of two credible witnesses attesting to the applicant's
having met the various requirements for naturalization.
Under the original provisions of LOI 270, the Committee submitted re-
commendations to the president as to who, among the applicants, were eligible
and qualified for naturalization by decree.8S The Committee's function was to
conduct summary,administrative, and fact-rmding inquiries to assist the pres-
ident in the exercise of an essentially legislative act. However, this was amended
by Presidential Decree to vest quasi-judicial functions in the Committee by
granting Philippine nationality to all applicants subsequently found by the
Committee to have met all the requirements for naturalization under
LOI 270.86 Thus, an applicant can take his oath and be issued his certificate
of naturalization upon determination by the Committee that he has met all
requirements for naturalization.
The facilitated process under LOI 270 applies only to applications submit-
ted during the period from 11 April 197587 to 31 March 1977.88 By 29 March

83The accompanying papers required were: a. Certified or xeroxed copies of the


applicant's Alien Certificate of Registration, Immigrant or Native-born Certificate of Resi-
dence, and Certificate of Arrival, if any; and (b) The separate affidavits of two credible
witnesses stating that they have personally known the applicant for the period of time
required under Sec. 1 (c) of Letter of Instructions No. 270, that the applicants is a person
of good repute and morally irreprocable, and that said applicant has, in their opinion, all
the qualifications necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines and is not in any way
disqualified under the provisions of said Letter of Instructions. Each of such affidavits shall
also include a brief biographical data of the witness himself; a detailed statement of the date
he first came to know the applicant, the circumstances of their initial acquaintance, and the
reasons and extent of their continuing familiarity; and the number of times the witness had
already acted as character witness in other applications for naturalization. Rule II (2) Rules
and Regulations Promulgated by the Committee Established Pursuant to LOI No. 270.
84The supporting documents required were: (1) Certified or xerox copy of the birth
certificate of the applicant if nativeborn; (2) Certified or xerox copy of the birth certificate
of the wife of the applicant, if native-born, and of all his minor children and of his mother,
if she is a Filipino citizen; (3) Certified or xerox copies of the applicant's Income Tax
Returns for the last three (3) years and receipts of payment of income tax for said years;
(4) Xerox copy of applicant's certificate of membership in the Social Security System;
(5) Certificate of enrollment of applicant's minor children of school age; and (6) Other
documents that the applicant may desire to attach to his application in support of the same.
Rule II (2) (c) Rules and Regs. Promulgated by the Committee Established Pursuant to LOI
270.
85Sec. 4 LOI 270.
86Pres. Dec. 1379.
87Date of effectivity of LOI 270.
88Last day for application under LOI 491.
1985, a total of 50,564 individuals had been issued naturalization papers, broken
down as follows:89 direct applicants, 29,618; wives, 3,285; minor children,
16,963; and repafriates, 698. As of the same date, however, there were still
9,235 applications unacted upon by the Committee.90
Another facilitated form of naturalization is that granted to former na·
tionals of the Philippines who may reacquire their Philippine nationality through
naturalization, without having to meet all the qualifications under the Natural·
ization Law provided that the applicant possesses none of the disqualifications
prescribed under the same law,91 and provided further that 92 (1) the applicant
be at least twenty-one years of age and shall have resided in the Philippines at
least six months before he applies for naturalization; (2) he shall have conducted
himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his
residence in the Philippines, in his relations with the constituted government
as well as with the community in which he is living; and (3) he subscribes to
an oath declaring his intention to renounce absolutely and perpetually all faith
and allegiance to the foreign authority, state or sovereignty of which he is a
citizen or subject at the time of application for reacquisition of Filipino nation-
ality through naturalization. Deserters of the Philippine armed forces93 may
also reacquire Philippine nationality by merely taking the necessary oath of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registering in the proper civil
registry.94 Filipino nationality may also be reacquired through the direct act of
the legislature.95
89 Address of Pres. F. E. Marcos at the 15th Biennial Convention of the Federation of
Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce, 29 March 1985.
Wives and minor children of persons naturalized by decree became Filipino nationals
provided that: "a. The alien wife shall, in all cases, not suffer from any of the disqualifica-
tion for naturalization under Letter of Instructions No. 270; (b) The alien wife and minoT
children of persons naturalized under this Decree reside permanently in the Philippines at
the time of the Philippines at the time of the naturalization of her husband, she shall come
to the Philippines and reside in this country in good faith within one year from the naturali-
zation of her husband; and (d) If the minor children do not re3ide in the Philippines at the
time of the naturalization of their father, they shall, within one (1) year from the naturaliza-
tion of their father, in good faith reside in this country and, if of school age, emoll in
Philippine schools. The fact that any such minor child of school age fails to graduate from a
Philippine school, except for valid reasons shown, shall be .considered prima facie evidence
of failure to bona fide emoll in Philippine schools." (Sec. 3 Pres. Decree 836 of 3 Dec.
1975; incorporated by reference in Pres. Decrees 923, 1055, H20, 122Q-A and 1379; re-
enacted in Sec. 4 of Pres. Decree 1379.)
90 Address of Pres. F. E. Marcos at the 15th Biennial Convention of the Federation of
Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce, 29 March 1985.
91Sec. 2 (1) Com. Act No. 63.
92Sec. 3 Com. Act No. 63.
93Sec. 2 (2) Com. Act No. 63.
94Sec. 4 Com. Act No. 63.
95Sec. 2 (3) Com. Act No. 63. The naturalization of Mariano B. Gorospe, a Filipino
who lost that nationality upon naturalization as a national of the United States, is a case in
point. He would have been disqualified from reacquiring Filipino nationality under the
Naturalization Law because he had contributed, as an American national, to the election
campaign of Ramon Magsaysay for the presidency in violation of a law prohibiting such
contributions by aliens. Thus, he was instead naturalized by the direct act of the legislature
through Rep. Act 3057 in 1961.
Loss of nationality is recognized in the 1973 Constitution; however, the
determination of the manner by which Philippine nationality may be lost is left
to the discretion of the legislating power. 1 Philippine nationality, once acquired,
can not be lost except on grounds provided by law or those which the generally
accepted principles of international law recognize as additional grounds for loss
of nationality. 2 The general law which governs the loss of Philippine nationality
is Commonwealth Act Number 63, although special laws have been passed
providing for denationalization and denaturalization.3 Commonwealth Act
Number 63 is equally applicable to natural-born and naturalized Filipinos as well
as Filipinos by election since the law does not make any distinctions from
among them.
An laws on the loss of nationality are subject to limitations imposed by
international Law.4 Another limitation is found in Commonwealth Act Number
63 which provides that a Filipino can not divest himself of his nationality in any
manner while the Republic of the Philippines is at war with any country. 5
Family status, or a change therein, is not among the grounds recognized by
law for the loss of Philippine nationality. Hence, marriage to an alien does not
give rise to the loss of Philippine nationality by either spouse, nor does the
acquisition of a foreign nationality by the parents or one of them result in the
minor child's loss cfhis Philippine nationality. The other effects of family status
on loss or acquisition of nationality are discussed in Part Six.6
One of the grounds for losing Philippine nationality under Commonwealth
Act Number 63 is by naturalization in a foreign country.' But it is doubtful
if the Philippines will recognize the acquisition of a foreign nationality by Fili-
pino nationals who are minors as an act which would result in the loss of the
minor's Filipino nationality.8 Note that under the Philippine Naturalization
Law, a minor can not acquire Philippine nationality. 9 By analogy, the Philip-
pines can not recognize that a minor can deprive himself voluntarily of Philip-
pine nationality. Thus, subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the cons-

1Art. III (4) 1973 Constitution.


2Art. II (3) 1973 Constitution.
3See Pres. Decree 1379, 17 May 1978.
4 Art. II (3) 1973 Constitution.
5see. 1 (4) Com. Act 63.
6Supra.

7 Sec. 1 (1) Com. Act 63.


8See Part Six, supra, at pp. 22-23 regarding the effects of inter-country adoption
agreements.
9Sec. 2 (1) Com. Act 473.
titution or laws of a foreign country is deemed ineffective and does not result in
the loss 'of Philippine nationality if made by a Filipino national under twenty-
one years of age,10 and renunciation is also ineffective unless made after reach-
ing the age of majority. 11
Commonwealth Act Number 63 also provides that the acquisition by a
natural-born Filipino national of the nationality of one of the Iberian and any
friendly democratic Ibero-American countries, or the United Kingdom shall not
produce loss or forfeiture of Philippine nationality provided that the law of the
other country grants the same privilege to its nationals, and such had been
agreed upon by treaty between the Philippines and the foreign country from
which nationality is acquired.12 However, this law has not yet found application
since no treaty providing for that type of an arrangement has been entered into
by the Philippine with any country.
Rendering services to, or accepting commission in, the armed forces of a
foreign country also results in the loss of Philippine nationality. 13However, this
rule is not applied in cases14 where the Philippines has a defensive or offensive
pact or alliance with the foreign country whose nationality is obtained; or the
said foreign country maintains armed forces on Philippine territory with the
consent of the Philippine government, provided that the Filipino national con-
cerned states - at the time 'Jf rendering said service or accepting said commis-
sion and taking the oath of allegiance to the foreign country - that he does so
only in connection with his services to the foreign country. However, during the
period of his service under any of the above instances, the Filipino national con-
cerned is not permitted to participate nor vote in any election of the Philip-
pines.1S Upon his discharge from the service of the foreign country, he is auto-
matically entitled to the full enjoyment of his civil and political rights as a
Filipino national.16 Military service to a foreign country, however, must be vo-
luntary in order to result in the loss of Philippine nationality. Forced military
service in the armed forces of a foreign country was held not to have deprived
an individual of his Filipino nationality. I?
Other forms of alien attachment will also lead to the loss of Philippine
nationality if it involves subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the
constitution or laws of a foreign country upon ~ttaining twenty-one years of
age or more. 18

10Sec. 1 (3) Com. Act 63; Haw v. Collector of Customs, 59 Phil. 612 (1934).
HOp. of the Sec. of Justice No. 174, s. 1953.
12Sec. 1 Com. Act 63.
13 See. 1 (4) Com. Act 63.
14Sec. 1 (4) (a and b) Com. Act 63.
15Sec. 1 (4) (b) Com. Act 63.
16Sec. 1 (4) (b) Com. Act 63.
170p. of the Sec. of Justice, s. 1940.
18Sec. 1 (3) Com. Act 63.
Renunciation on the part of a Filipino national may also result in the loss
of Philippine nationality if the renunciation is done in an express manner, 19 and
made upon reaching the age of majority. 20 Renunciation is express if it is

. . . made known distinctly and explicitly and not left to inference


or implication; a renunciation manifested by direct and appropriate
language as distinguished from that which is inferred from conduct.21

Thus, the execution of an affidavit of renunciation is deemed an express renun-


ciation of Philippine nationality.22
Under the Philippine law, the state may discharge its nationals, resulting
in their loss of Philippine nationality. Discharge results upon a declaration by
competent authority that the Philippine national concerned is a deserter of the
Philippine armed forces in times of war, unless he is subsequently granted a
plenary pardon or amnesty.23Denationalization as a punishment for conviction
of a crime is not recognized under Philippine law, although there used to be a
law which imposed the penalty of "forfeiture of his rights as a citizen [national]
of the Philippines" upon any national of the Philippines who is

... found guilty of subversion, rebellion or insurrection, or sedition,


or conspiracy to commit rebellion, or insurrection or sedition, whe-
ther committed within or outside the territorial jurisdiction of the
nt.'1'·
CllWppmes... 24

From the literal r.1eaningof the words employed in that law, it appears that it
did not authorize the deprivation of an individual's Filipino nationality nor
of the obligations and duties appertaining thereto, but the deprivation only of
the rights enjoyed by a Filipino national.24 -A

19Sec. 1 (2) Com. Act 63.


200p. of the Sec. of Justice No. 174, s. 1953. See also Haw v. Collector of Customs,
59 Phil. 612 (1934) wherein the court stated that a person mustbe oflegal age in order to
effectively renounce his nationality.
210p. of the Sec. of Justice Nos. 69 and 323, s. 19-t0; No. I, s. 1951; No. 36, s. 1961.
220p. No. 323, s. 1940. In this case, the affidavit was executed by a Filipino citizen
residing in Spain who had applied for naturalization in that country, but who, pending the
approval" of his application, sought to renew his Philippine·passport. Other cases which were
held not to have amounted to an express renunciation of Philippine nationality include:
residence abroad for five years (Op. of the Sec. of Justice 87, s. 1940) or twenty-live years
(Op. of the Sec. of Justice 143, s. 1940); description of the individual as a Spanish national
in her passport (Op. of the Sec. of Justice Nos. 58, 94, 140, 145, s. 1948; No. 216, s. 1951).
23Sec. 1 (6) Com. Act 63.
24This was originally provided for in Pres. Dec. 1735 dated 12 Sept. 1980. The same
provision was incorporated into Pres. Dec. 1835 signed on 16 January 1981 whose constitu-
tionality was challenged before the Supreme Court. On 2 May 1985, Pres. Dec. 1975
repealed Pres. Dec. 1835 by, among others, doing away with the provision regarding forefei-
ture of the convicted person's rights as a Philippine national.
24-ARep. Act 965.
Discharge through the cancellation of the certificates of naturalization is
authorized under Commonwealth Act Number 6325 in relation to Common-
wealth Act Number 473.26 The latter provides that, upon motion in court by
the Solicitor-General or his representative, or by the proper provincial fiscal,
the competent judge may cancel the naturalization certificate issued and its
registration in the Civil Registry in the following cases:27 (1) If it is shown that
said naturalization certificate was obtained fraudulently or illegally; (2) If the
person naturalized shall, within the five years next following the issuance of said
naturalization certificate, return to his native country or go to some foreign
country and establish his permanent residence there (provided, that the fact
of the person naturalized remaining for more than one year in his native country
or the country of his former nationality, or two years in any other foreign
country, shall be considered as prima facie evidence of his intention of taking up
his permanent residence in the same); (3) If the petition was made on an invalid
declaration of intention; (4) If it is shown that the minor children of the person
naturalized failed to graduate from a public or private high school recognized by
the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports where Philippine history, govern-
ment and civics are taught as part of the school curriculum, through the fault
of their parents either by neglecting to support them or by transferring them
to another school; and (5) If it is shown that the naturalized national has
allowed himself to be used as a dummy in violation of the Constitution or any
law requiring Philippine nationality as a requisite for the exercise, use or enjoy-
ment of a right, franchise or privilege.
An individual who has availed of the facilitated process of naturalization
WIder LOI 270 may lose his Philippine nationality upon cancellation of his
acquired nationality.27-A Discharge may take place in the following instances:
(1) If the naturalized person or his duly authorized representative made any
false statement or misrepresentation or committed any violation of law, rules
and regulations in connection with the petition for naturalization, or if he other-
wise obtains Philippine nationality fraudulently or illegally, the certificate of
naturalization shall be cancelled;28 (2) If the natUlalized person or his wife, or

25Sec. 1 (5).
26Sec. 18.
27An additional ground under Sec. 19 of the Naturalization Law is: "Any person who
shall fraudulent make, falsify, forge, change, alter, or cause or aid any person to do the
same, or who shall purposely aid and assist in falsely making, forging, falsifying, changing or
altering a naturalization certificate for the purpose of making use thereof, or in order that
the same may be used by another person or persons, and any person who shall purposely
aid and assist another in obtaining a naturalization certificate in violation of the provisions
of this Act, shall be punished by a rme of not more than five thousand pesos or by impri-
sonment for not more than five years, or both, and in the case that the person convicted is a
naturalized citizen (national), his certificate of naturalization and the registration of the
same in th~ proper civil registry shall be ordered cancelled. "
28Sec. 5 (a) Pres. Dec. 836, 76 a.G. 2702, no. 19 (9 May 1983). This has been incor-
porated by reference in Pres. Decrees 923 (1976), 1055 (1976), 1220 (1977), and 122D-A
(1977) all granting naturalization by decree pursuant to LOI 270.
any of his minor children who acquires Filipino nationality by virtue of his
naturalization shall, within five years next following the grant of Philippine
nationality, establish permanent residence in a foreign country, that individual's
certificate of naturalization or acquired nationality shall be cancelled or revoked,
provided that the fact of such person's remaining for more than one year in his
country of origin, or two years in any other foreign country shall be considered
prima facie evidence of intent to permanently reside therein;29 (3) If the natural-
ized person or his wife or child with acquired nationality allows himself or her-
self to be used as a dummy in violation of any constitutional or legal provision
requiring Philippine nationality as a condition for the exercise, use, or enjoy-
ment of a right, franchise or privilege, the certificate of naturalization or ac-
quired nationality shall be cancelled or revoked;30 (4) If the naturalized person
or his wife or child with acquired nationality commits any act inimical to na-
tional security, the certificate of naturalization or acquired nationality shall be
cancelled or revoked;31 and (5) If the naturalized person is convicted of having
fraudulently made, falsified, forged, changed, altered, or caused or aided any
person to do the same, or who purposely aided and assisted in falsely making,
forging, falsifying, changing or altering a naturalization certificate issued pur-
suant to Letter of Instructions 270 for the purpose of making use thereof, or
in order that the same may be used by another person or persons; or if the
naturalized person purposely aided and assisted another in obtaining a natural-
ization certificate in violation of the decree granting Philippine nationality
issued pursuant to LOI 2io, his certificate of naturalization shall be cancelled. 32
The same provisions are reenacted in Presidential Decree Number 137933
which gr:mts quasi-judicial powers to the Committee created to recommend the
naturalization of aliens by decree under LOI 270.

The 1973 Constitution distinguished between natural-born and naturalized


nationals of the Philippines, 1 and defmes a natural-born national as "one who is

29Sec. 5 (b) Pres. Dec. 836. This has been'incorporated by reference in Pres. Decrees
923, 1055, 1220, and 122o-A all granting naturalization by decree pursuant to LOI 270.
30Sec. 5 (c) Pres. Dec. 836. This has been incorporated by reference in Pres. Decrees
923, 1055, 1220, and 122o-A all granting naturalization by decree pursuant to LOI 270.
31Sec. 5 (d) Pres. Dec. 836. This has been incorporated by reference in Pres. Decrees
923, 1055, 1220, and 122o-A all granting naturalization by decree pursuant to LOI 270.
32Sec. 8 Pres. Dec. 836. This has been incorporated by reference in Pres. Decrees 923,
1055,1220, and 1220-A all granting naturalization by decree pursuant to LOI 270.
3317 May 1978.

1Art. III (4) 1973 Constitution.


a citizen [national] of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any
act to acquire or perfect his Philippine nationality.,,2 Naturalized nationals are
those who acquire Philippine nationality through the naturalization process,
a derivative mode of acquiring nationality recognized under Philippine law. 3
However, there appears to be a class of persons who are neither naturalized not
natural-born. This is composed of children born before 17 January 1973 to Fili-
pino women.4 Under the 1935 Constitutition in force prior to that date, such
children possessed an inchoate right to Philippine nationality subject to their
making an election of that nationality upon reaching the age of majority. Their
election of Philippine nationality is open to construction as falling within the
phrase "any act to acquire or perfect" an individual's Philippine nationality,
thus effectively excluding them from the classification of natural-born na-
tionals.5 But neither do they acquire their Philippine nationality through natur-
alization; thus, at least from one point of view they can not be considered as
naturalized Philippine nationals.5 - A
The 1973 Constitution reserves to Philippine nationals the exercise of
certain rights or privileges. Thus, no franchise, certificate, or any other form of
authorization for the operation of a public utility can be granted except to
nationals of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under
the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is
owned by such nationals.6 The disposition, exploration, development, exploit-
ation, or utilization of any of the natural resources of the Philippines is also
limited to Philippine nationals, or to corporations or associations at least sixty
per centum of the capital of which is owned by such nationals.7 Only nationals
of the Philippines may acquire by purchase or homestead alienable lands of the
public domain.8 And save in cases of hereditary succession, no private land can
be transferred or conveyed except to Philippine nationals, or to corporations
or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by
such nationals.9 Notwithstanding any of the previous limitations, however, the
president is empowerd under the constitution to enter into international treaties
or agreements as the national welfare and interest may require}O
The ownership and management of mass media is limited to nationals of

2This provision was only introduced in the 1973 Constitution; there was no parallel
provision in the 1935 Constitution.
3Com. Act 473.
4 Art. N (1) (4) 1935 Constitution.
5The Supreme Court has had no opportunity yet to say the last word on this subject.
5-ARep. Act 2630.
6 Art. XIV (5) 1973 Constitution.
7Art. XIV (9) 1973 Constitution.
8 Art. XN (11) 1973 Constitution.
9 Art. XN (14) 1973 Constitution.
10Art. XIV (16) 1973 Constitution as amended.
the Philippines or to corporations or associations wholly owned and managed by
such nationals,l1 whereas the governing body of every entity engaged in com-
mercial telecommunications must in all cases be controlled by Philippine natio-
nals. 12 Educational institutions, other than those established by religious orders,
mission boards, and charitable organizations, shall be owned solely by nationals
of the Philippines, or corporations or associations sixty per centum of the capital
of which is owned by such nationals. 13 However, the control and administration
of educational institutions shall at all times be vested in nationals of the Philip-
pines.14 No educational institution exclusively for aliens can be established, and
no group of aliens can comprise more than one-third of the enrollment in any
school; but these and the preceding requirements are not applicable to .schools
established for foreign diplomatic personnel and their dependents and, unless
otherwise provided by law, for other foreign temporary residents. IS
The Batasang Pambansa is authorized, upon recommendation of the
National Economic and Development Authority, to reserve to nationals of the
Philippines or to corporations or associations wholly owned by such nationals,
certain traditional areas of investments when the national interest so dictates.16
Under the 1935 Constitution, there was no similar provision, but the Supreme
Court found that the distinction in status between aliens and PMippine nationals
was a reasonable basis for classification. 17 The legislative authority has also passed
laws which prescribe Philippine nationality for the exercise of certain rights, inclu-
engaging in particular lines of business;18 the practice of certain professions;19

11Art. XV (7) (1) 1973 Constitution.


12Art. XV (7) (2) 1973 Constitution.
13Art. XV (8) (7) 1973 Constitution.
14Art. XV (8) (7) 1973 Constitution.
15Art. XV (8) (7) 1973 Constitution.
16Art. XIV (3) 1973 Constitution.
17Ichong v. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155 (1957).
18For example, Rep. Act 5207 limiting the acquisition, ownership and operation of
atomic energy facilities to Filipino nationals; Rep. Act 1407 on the operation of overseas
shipping; Rep. Act. 1937 on customs brokerage; Rep. Act 1180 on retail trade; Rep. Act
3470 on the cottage industry.
19For example, for the practice of the following: mechanical engineering (Com. Act
294); electrical engineering (Rep. Act 184); chemical engineering (Rep. Act 318); veterinary
medicine (Rep. Act 337); civil engineering (Rep. Act 544); architecture, Rep. Act 544;
chemistry (Rep. Act 754); dental hygiene (Rep. Act 768); nursing (Rep. Act 877); sanitary
engineering (Rep. Act 1364); master pltlmbing (Rep. Act 1378); medicine (Rep. Act 2382);
midwifery (Rep. Act 2644); dietetics (Rep. Act 2674); agricultural engineering (Rep. Act
3927); geology (Rep. Act 4209); mining engineering (Rep. Act 4272); social work (Rep. Act
4374); geodetic engineering (Rep. Act 4374); dentistry (Rep. Act 4419); naval architecture
and engineering (Rep. Act 4565); certified public accountants (Rep. Act 5166); sugar tech-
nology (Rep. Act 5197); law (Rule 138, sec. 2 of the Rules of Court). Some of these laws,
however, allow aliens to practice if Filipinos are granted reciprocal rights by the alien's
home state.
and the acquisition, development and exploitation of resources.'20
Under the parity rights amendment to the 1935 Constitution, nationals
of the United States exercised the same rights as Philippine nationals in the dis-
position, exploitation, development and utilization of the natural resources of
the Philippine~. 21 Additionally, the operation of public utilities were, if open to
any person, opened to nationals of the United States and to all forms of business
enterprise

... owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by citizens of the


United States in the same manner as to, and under the same condi-
tions imposed upon, citizens of the Philippines or corporations or
associations owned or controlled by citizens of the Philippines.22

The Supreme Court ruled, however, that these rights were effective only up
to 3 July 1974.23 Under the 1973 Constitution, the termination of such rights
was reaffirmed; but titles to private lands acquired by Americans before 3 July
1974, though not valid against the government, are deemed valid as against
private persons.24
The Constitution also authorizes the Batasang Pambansa to provide for the
acquisition as a transferee of private land for use as residence by a natural-born
na~ional of the Philippines who had lost his Philippine nationality. 2S Other aliens
are also granted the right to reside in the Philippines and be issued "special
investors resident visas" provided they meet certain requirements including the
investment of at least two million United States dollars in the Philippines. 26
The Constitution generally grants equal treatment to nationals and aliens
alike in the enjoyment of civil rights as indicated by the use of the word "per-
son" in its generic sense in the bill of rights.27 This is also provided for in various
bilateral agreements.28 The Supreme Court has also ruled that the rights an-

20For example, Sec. 1838 of Act 2711 prescribing qualifications for lease of forest
lands; sec. 2 of Act 2719 prescribing qualifications for development and exploitation of
coal lands; Act 3672 for the exploitation of forest products; Act 3983 for the gathering of
wild flowers and plants; Act 4003 for the exploitation and development of fisheries; Rep.
Act 5092 for the development and exploitation of geothermal energy.
210rdinance Appended to the 1935 Constitution Pursuant to Resolution of 18 Sept.
1946 of the First Philippine Congress.
220rdinance Appended to the 1935 Constitution Pursuant to Resolution of 18 Sept.
1946 of the First Philippine Congress.
23Quasha v. Republic, G.R. No. 30299, 17 Aug. 1972,46 SCRA 160.
24Art. XVII (11) 1973 Constitution.
25Art. XIV (15) 1973 Constitution as amended.
26Pres. Decree 1623 (1979) as amended by Pres. Decree 1851 of 1982.
27 Art. IV 1973 Constitution.
28For example, the Treaty of Friendship and General Relations Between the Philip-
pines and Italy, 9 July 1947; Treaty on Civil Rights and Consular Prerogatives Between the
Philippines and Spain, 20 May 1948; Treaty of Friendship Between the Philippines and
Turkey, 13 July 1949~ Treaty of Friendship Between the Philippines and Thailand, 14 Juny
1949.
nounced in the Universal Declaration of Human Right!!is available to all.29 How-
ever, an alien may obtain employment in the Philippines with entities where
such employment is allowed by law only after securing an employment permit
from the ministry of labor, provided that a non-resident alien may be issued an
employment permit after a determination of the non-availability of a person
in the Philippines who is competent, able and willing at the time of application
to perform the services for which the alien is to be employed.29-A Aliens are
subject to deportation on any of the grounds provided in the Immigration Act
and special laws.30
The exercise of certain political rights like suffrage is limited to Filipinos
who possess the prescribed qualifications. 31 Foreigners, whether juridical or
natural persons, are prohibited from extending aid to any candidate or political
group directly or indirectly, or take part in or influence in any manner any

29Mejoff v. The Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 70 (1951); Borovsky v. Commissioner of


Immigration and the Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 107 (1951); Chirskoff v. Commissioner of
Immigration and Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 256 (1951).
29-A·Art. 40 Labor Code, Pres. Decree 442 (1974).
30Sec. 37 of Com. Act 613 (Immigration Act) as amended by Rep. Acts 144 and 503.
Deportation proceedings, wherein the respondents have the right to be heard, may be initia-
ted against the following: (1) Any alien who enters the Philippines by means of false and
misleading statements or without inspection and admission by the immigration authorities;
(2) Any alien who enters the Philippines who was not lawfully admissible at the time of
entry; (3) Any alien who is convicted in the Philippines and sentenced for a term of one year
or more for a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years after his entry to
the Philippines, or who, at any time after such entry, is so convicted and sentenced more
than once; (4) Any alien who is convicted and sentenced for a violation of the law governing
prohibited drugs; (5) Any alien who practices prostitution or is an inmate of a house of
prostitution or is connected with the management of a house of prostitution or is a procu-
rer; (6) Any alien who becomes a public charge within five years after entry from causes not
affumatively shown to have arisen subsequent to entry; (7) Any alein who remains in the
Philippines in violation of any limitation or condition under which he was admitted as a
nonimmigrant; (8) Any alien who helieves in, advises, advocates or teaches the overthrow by
force and violence of the Government of the Philippines, or of constituted law and
authority, or who disbelieves in or is opposed to organized government or who advises,
advocates, or teaches the assault o,r assassination of public officials because of their office,
or who advises, advocates or teaches the unlawful destruction of property, or who is a mem-
ber of or affiliated with any organization entertaining, advocating or teaching such
doctrines, or who in any manner whatsoever lends assistance, financial or otherwise, to the
dissemination of such doctrines; (9) Any alien who violates the Immigration Act, (10) Any
alien who, at any time within five years after entry, shall have been convicted of violating
the Philippine Alien Registration Act of 1941, or who, at any time after entry, shall have
been convicted more than once of violating the provisions of the same Act; (11) Any alien
who engages in profiteering, hoarding, or blackmarketing, independent of any criminal
action which may be brought against him; (12) Any alien who is convicted of any offense
punished under the Naturalization Law, or any law relating to the acquisition of Philippine
nationality; and (13) Any alien who defrauds his creditor by absconding or alienating pro-
perties to prevent them from being attached or executed. Sec. 69 of the Revised Adminis-
trative Code of 1917 further empowers the president to deport, expel or exclude an alien
after investigation to be conducted by him or his authorized agent.
31Art. VI (1) 1973 Constitution.
election, or to contribute or make any expenditure in connection with any
election campaign or partisan political activity.32 Aliens and alien organizations,
whether public or private, and their agents or representatives are also prohibited
from engaging directly or indirectly in any form of trade union activity, 33
without prejudice to "normal contacts between Philippine trade unions and
recognized international labor centers.,,34 However, with the prior permission
of the minister of labor, foreign individuals or groups may extend various forms
of assistance to labor organizations.3S
Certain nationals of the Philippines may also be restricted in the exercise
of their political rights. Thus, Filipinos who are immigrants to a foreign country
or who are permanent residents thereof are not qualified to run for local govern-
ment positions.3S Immigrants, however, enjoy exemption from the forced remit-
tance of wages earned abroad. 37
Aside from distinctions between aliens and nationals, there are also dis-
tinctions between natural-born and naturalized nationals in terms of their rights
and privileges. Thus, the 1973 Constitution limits to natural-born nationals the
right to occupy specified governmental positions including that of the pres-
ident;38 the vice-president;39 a member of the Batasang Pambansa who is a
provincial, city or district representative;40 a member of the Supreme Court;41 a
judge of any of the inferior courts;42 and the chairmen and commissioners of
the constitutional commissions.43
The Minister of Justice has expressed the opinion that, except in the above
instances specified in the constitution, the legislative power can not discriminate
against naturalized nationals without violating the equal protection clause of the
constitution. According to him, nationality,
whether acquired by naturalization or otherwise implies reciprocal obligations
of allegiance on the part of the citizen [national] and of protection on the
part of the ~overnment ... 44

32Art. VII (36) 1978 Election Code, Pres. Decree 1296 (1978).
33Art. 270 Labor Code, Pres. Decree 442.
34Art. 270 Labor Code.
35Art. 271 Labor Code.
36Sec. 4 Batas Pambansa Big. 52 (1979).
37Exec. Order 857.
38Art. VII (4) 1973 Constitution.
39Art. VII (2 and 4) 1973 Constitution.
40 Art. VIII (4) 1973 Constitution.
41 Art. X (3) (1) 1973 Constitution.
42 Art. X (3) (2) 1973 Constitution.
43 Art. XII (B) (1) (1) 1973 Constitution on the civil service commission; Art. XII (C)
(1) on the commission on elections; and Art. XII (D) (1) (1) on the commission on audit.
440p. of the Min. of Justice No. 74, s. 1979.
He referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Chon Teck
Lao v. Republic where the court ruled that a naturalized national is entitled to
similar treatment as a natural-born nationa1.45 Thus, he advised against the
adoption of Parliamentary Bill Number 224 which sought to limit the retail
trade of rice or corn to natural-born Filipino nationals, stating that

... the Philippine Constitution does not provide basis for holding
that it contemplates two classes of citizenship [nationality], except
for the specified instances wherein only natural-born citizens [na-
tionals] are considered qualified for certain offices. 'Citizenship
obtained through naturalization is not a second-class citizenship.'46

The amendment of the Pharmacy Law has also been proposed in order to do
away with the provision that only natural-born Filipinos can apply for the phar-
macy board examination or open a retail drugstore as these "discriminate
unjustly against Philippine citizens [nationals] who acquired Philippine citizen-
ship [nationality] by election or by naturalization ... ,,48
There remain in the statute books, however, laws which, in addition to
those prescribed in the Constitution, limit the exercise of certain rights to
natural-born Philippine nationals.49 Until these are declared unconstitutional,
they remain binding and effective.
The 1973 Constitution lays down the duties and obligations of Philippine
nationals. so All nationals have the duty to be loyal to the Republic of the
Philippines and to honor the Philippine flag, to defend the Philippine state and
contribute to its development and welfare, to uphold the Philippine Constitution
and obey the laws, and to cooperate with the duly constituted authorities in
the attainment and preservation of a just and orderly society. 51 A Philippine
national also has the duty to exercise his rights responsibly and with due regard
for the rights of others, 52 and to engage in gainful work to assure himself and his
family a life worthy of human dignity. 53 Nationality is also the sole criterion
fixed by the Constitution for determining who are obligated to render personal
military or civil service whenever required by law. 54 All able-bodied Philippine
45
G.R. No. L-25300, 4 Jan. 1974,55 SCRA l.
460p. of the Min. of Justice No. 74, s. 1979.
470p. of the Min. of Justice No. 74, s. 1979.
480p. of the Min. of Justice No. 74, s. 1979.
49 Among others, Pres. Decree No. 1206 (1977) on membership in the Board of Energy;
Pres. Decree No. 694 (1975) 'on membership in the board of directors of the Philippine
National Bank; membership in the Board of Review for Motion Pictures and TeleVision.
50 Art. V of the 1973 Constitution bears the heading "Duties and obligations of
citizens [nationals]."
51Art. V (1) 1973 Constitution.
52 Art. V (2) 1973 Constitution.
53 Art. V (3) 1973 Constitution.

54 Art. II (2) 1973 Constitution.


nationals are required to undergo military training '(as may be provide by law)
as members of the citizen army of the armed forces of the Philippines.55 The
Military Service Law, promulgated to implement these Constitutional provisions,
requires every Philippine national to render military service, and makes no dis-
tinction as between resident and non-resident nationals. S6 On the other hand,
for income taxation purposes, non-residents are treated separately from resident
nationals, with the latter entitled to the same rights and subject to the same
obligations as resident aliens.57 This is also tru,e for purposes of imposing the
travel tax,58 with Philippine nationals who are permanent residents of foreign
countries enjoying an exemption together with aliens.59 Nationality is only a
secondary consideration for purposes of determining income tax obligations.
While Philippine nationals are taxed on all their income earned in the Philippines
and abroad, non-resident aliens are taxed only on the basis of their income
earned within the Philippines.60 Resident aliens are taxed also based on their
entire income regardless of the place where it was earned. The Philippines, how-
ever, has entered into various agreements with other states to minimize double
taxation.61
The Constitution also imposes as obligations of every national qualified
to vote to register and cast his vote.62 While there are requirements other than
possession of Philippine nationality which have to be met in order to qualify as
a voter, the latter is the primary requirement.63
Nationality is used as a primary criterion in several conflict of law rules.
The Civil Code provides that laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the
status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon nationals of the
Philippines, even though they are living abroad.64 The capacity of Philippine
nationals to contract marriage or obtain divorce abroad is therefore governed by
Philippine law. The capacity of aliens to contract marriage in the Philippines,
however, is governed by their national law. This may be inferred from the re-
quirement that aliens must first obtain a certificate of legal capacity to contract
marriage from their respective diplomatic or consular officials.65 Mixed mar-

55 Art. XV (13) (1) 1973 Constitution.


56Pres. Decree 1706 (1980) amending Com. Act No. 1.
57 Sec. 21 National Internal Revenue Code of 1977.
58Pres. Decree 1183.
59Sec. 2 Pres. Decree 1183 as amended by Batas Pambansa Big. 38.
60Sec. 22 National Internal Revenue Code of 1977.
61For example, tax agreements with Australia (1980); Austria (1982); Belgium
(1980); Canada (1979); Denmark (1974); Finland (1981); France (1978).
62 Art. VI (1) 1973 Constitution.
63To be qualified to vote, a Filipino must be eighteen years of age or over and have
resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where he proposes to vote for
at least six months preceding the election.
64 Art. 15 Civil Code.
65 Art. 66 Civil Code.
riages involving a Philippine national and an alien, whether celebrated in the
Philippines or abroad is governed by the following rules:66 (1) If the husband
is a national of the Philippines while the wife is a foreigner, the provisions of the
Philippine Civil Code govern their property relations; and (2) If the husband is
a foreigner and the wife is a national of the Philippines, the laws of the hus-
band's country is followed, except with regard to immovable property located in
the Philippines which is subject to Philippine laws.
Testate and intestate successions, are regulated by the national law of the
person whose succession is under consideration with respect to:67 the order of
succession and amount of successional rights, the intrinsic validity of testament-
ary provisions, and capacity to succeed. When a Filipino is in a foreign country,
he is authorized to make a will in any of the forms established by the law of the
country in which he may be.68 Such will may be probated in the Philippines,69
but joint and reciprocal wills executed by Filipinos abroad are not valid in the
Philippines even though authorized by the laws of the country where they may
have been executed.70 On the other hand, a will made in the Philippines by an
alien, which is executed in accordance with his national law, and which might be
proved and, allowed under that law, shall have the same effect as if executed
according to the laws of the Philippines.71
The right to return to one's country is guaranteed by the 1973 Constitu-
tion in the same provision that recognizes the right to travel.n This treatment
is significant because one right is necessary to the exercise of the other; one can
not invoke his right to return if he has no right to leave in the first place. Both
can not be impaired "except upon lawful order of the court, or when necessary
in the intere!>tof national security, public safety, or public health. ,,73 During
the period when Martial Law was in full force, travel abroad was restricted for
"reasons of security and to conserve ... dollar eamings.,,74 No opportunity
arose, however, for the Suprme Court to resolve the validity of such restric-
tions.7S
The practice of issuing passports as a requisite for travel out of or into

66 Art. 124 Civil Code.


67 Art. 16 (2) Civil Code.
68 Art. 815 Civil Code.
69 Art. 815 Civil Code.
70 Arts. 818 and 819 Civil Code.
n Art. 817 Civil Code.
72 Art. IV (5) 1973 Constitution states: "The liberty of abode and of travelshallnot be
impaired except upon lawful order of the court, or when necessary in the interest of national
security, public safety or public health."
73 Art. IV (5) 1973 Constitution quoted above.
74Letter of Instruction 227-A (1974).
75The case of Salonga v. Hermollo (G.R. No. L-53622, 25 April 1980) was rendered
moot and academic by the subsequent release of a certificate of travel.
one's country, while widely practised, may have the effect of restricting both or
either rights. In the case of the Philippines, the minister of foreign affairs as well
as any diplomatic or consular officer duly authorized by the former, has dis-
cretion even in periods when Martial Law is not in effect to refuse to issue a
passport, to restrict a passport for use only in certain countries, to restrict it'
against use in certain countries, to withdraw or cancel a passport already issued,
and to withdraw a passport for the purpose of restricting its validity or use.76
Violation of the conditions or restrictions contained in the passport or of the
rules and regulations regarding their use may lead to the withdrawal of Philip-
pine protection to the individual concerned while he continues to reside or travel
abroad.77 The duty of passenger ships and planes under international conven-
tions to refuse travel to individuals with improper or without any documenta-
tion may also have the effect of restricting the right to abode and travel. These
were illustrated in the case of the late Senator Benigno Aquino, J r. whose pass-
port expired while he was in the United States. The Philippine government
refused to issue him a new passport and actually sought to prevent Aquino's
retum on the ground that there was danger, not against national security, public
safety, or public health, but against the personal safety of the person sought to
be prevented from returning to his country.78 The right of abode may also be
effectively hindered by threats of political persecution in the guise of criminal
prosecution. Sen. Aquino, for example, was convicted by a military commission
and sentenced to death.79 The possibility of the sentence being carried out was
a constant source of threat to his safe return. In the Salonga case, the threat was
his arrest upon arrival in the Philippines.80 An equally significant hindrance to
the full exercise of the rights to abode and travel is the limit imposed on the
amount that could be carried by a person with him in entering or leaving the
Philippines.8t This restricts the right of the person to provide for his economic
security and may deter him from leaving or entering the country.
However, the Philippines has also asserted that other states should not
refuse to receive their nationals in case the Philippines asks them to accept their
"overstaying nationals." 81-A
A naturalized national is, in addition to the previous restrictions, liable to

76Sec. 25 Exec. Order No.1 (1946).


77 Sec. 26 Exec. Order No. 1 (1946).
78Separate Report of the Chairman of the Fact-Finding Board Created to Investigate
the Killing of Former Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., pp. 35-37.
79The decision of the military commission was still being reviewed by the president as
commander-in-chief of the armed forces upon Aquino's return.
8°Salonga v. Pafto, G.R. No. 59524, 18 Feb. 1985. Salonga was accused of violating
Rep. Act 1700 as amended by Pres. Decree 885; Batas Pambansa BIg. 31; and P.O. 1736.
81Central Bank Circular No. 397, s. of 1974 as amended.
81-Arhe Philippines suspended the entry of Chinese immigrants upon the refusal of
the Republic of China to take back a number of its nationals who had "overstayed" in the
Philippines in 1949.
lose his Philippine nationality should he establish permanent residence in a fo-
reign country within five years next following his acquisition of that national-
ity.81-B The same rule applies to his wife or any of his minor children who ac-
quires Filipino nationality by virtue of his naturalization. A naturalized national
who remains for more than one year in his country of origin, or two years in
any other foreign country is prima facie considered to have the intent to perma-
nently reside therein.81oC Thus, if stripped of his naturalized nationality, he
may end up a stateless person.
The Philippines adheres to the position that criminal laws have a territorial
application, and persons may be prosecuted for violation of these laws regardless
of their nationality except when otherwise provided in treaties. Under the
military bases agreement between the Philippines and the United States as
amended, the Philippines has waived its jurisdiction over certain criminal cases
involving U.S. military personnel assigned in military bases in the Philippines.82
But alien refugees in the Bataan refugee processing zone are still subject to Phil-
ippine criminal laws. 83
There are particular crimes responsibility for which attaches only to per-
sons owing permanent allegiance to the Philippines. Thus, to be liable for the
crime of treason, one must either be a Filipino national or a permanent resident
of the Philippines;84 and for misprision of treason and flight to enemy's country,
one must be a Filipino national.8S
The Philippines adheres to the principle that no person can be extradited
from its territory in the absence of an extradition treaty with the requesting
state. Even if there is such a treaty, the Philippines has consistently reserved its
right to re.-.•se extradition of its nationals. This provision is incorporated in the
Extradition Treaty Between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic
of Indonesia86 - the sole effective extradition treaty contracted by the Philip-
pines with another country. However, the Philippines has bound itself, if it does
not extradite its nationals, to submit the case upon request of the other state to
competent Philippine authorities for prosecution if those authorities have
no j~risdiction. 88 Essentially the same principles are recognized in the extradi-

81-BSec.18 (b) Com. Act 473.


81oCSec.18 (b) Com. Act 473.
82Agreement Between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of
America Concerning Military Basesof 14 March 1947. 43 UNfS 271.
830p. of the Min. of Justice No. 79, s. 1980.
84Art. 114 RevisedPenal Code, Act No. 3815 as amended.
85Arts. 116 and 121 RevisedPenal Code.
86Extradition Treaty Between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of
Indonesia, V PhiL Yearbook of Int'L Law. (Quezon City: 1976) p. 177.
87Art. VI (2) of Extradition Treaty with Indonesia.
88Art. VI (3) of Extradition Treaty with Indonesia.
tion treaties negotiated by the Philippines with Thailand89 and the United
States,90 although these have remained unratified by the states concerned. The
draft treaty with the United States contains the additional provision that the
state requested to extradite shall undertake all available legal measures to sus-
pend naturalization proceedings in respect of the person sought until a decision
on the request for his extradition and, if that request is granted, until his sur-
render.91 Furthermore, it provides that with respect to an offense committed
outside the territory of the requesting state, the requested state shall grant
extradition, subject to the provisions of the treaty, if, among others, the person
sought is a national of the requesting state, and that state has jurisdiction to try
that person. ~
The Philippines extends consular and diplomatic protection to its nationals
in accordance with international conventions and the accepted principles of
international law. The Philippines, however, has refrained from invoking its right
to extend diplomatic protection to its nationals in the form of protests regarding
the treatment of Philippine nationals in other countries, especially of Filipino
overseas workers. While the Philippine government makes representations in be-
half of its nationals, it is careful not to antagonize in the process foreign govern-
ments who employ Filipino workers. It has created regional labor offices in areas
of the world where Filipino migrant workers are found,93 and has organized a
welfare and training fund for overseas workers which is used for providing social
and welfare services to Filipino overseas workers including insurance coverage,
legal assistance, placement assistance and remittance services.94 The Philippine
government has also facilitated the return of stranded Filipino workers abroad.
Under the ministry of labor, an office called the Philippine Overseas Em-
ployment Administration has been created which is authorized to negotiate
employment contracts, recruit and place Filipino workers for overseas employ-
ment on a government-to-government basis.95 One such arrangement is that con-
cluded by the Philippines with the Government of Iraq for the mobilization of
manpower which provides that Philippine workers shall

... enjoy the rights, duties and privileges accorded the national workers of the
receiving country; in the same respect, they shall adhere to respect the laws
and regulations of the receiving co~ntry during the period of employment.96

89Art. VI of Proposed Treaty Between the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand


and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines Relating to Extradition.
90 Art. VIII of Proposed Extradition Treaty Between the Republic of the Philippines
and the United States of America.
91Art. VIII (2) of Proposed Extradition Treaty with the U.S.
92 Art. I (2) (b) of Proposed Extradition Treaty with the U.S.
93Exec. Order No. 787 (1982) and Letter of Instruction No. 1215 (1982).
94Letter of Instruction No. 537 (1977).
95Exec. Order No. 797 (1982).
96Signed on 25 Nov. 1982 (Unpublished).
The economic status and rights of foreigners in the Philippines are essen-
tially governed by the 1973 Constitution. From the previous discussion,97 it is
evident that the constitutional provisions limiting the exercise of certain activ-
ities to nationals of the Philippines are primarily directed toward conserving
the economic patrimony of the nation and developing it for the betterment of
the Filipinos themselves. In addition, there are laws which restrict the economic
activity of aliens in the Philippines.96
But the prohibitions on alien activity in selected sectors of the economy
are not hard and fast rules. Unlike in the 1935 Constitution, the 1973 Consti-
tution provides for greater flexibility in the observance of these rules. Thus, not-
withstanding any provision to the contrary found in Article XN of the 1973
Constitution on the "National Economy and the Patrimony of the Nation", the
president may still "enter into international treaties or agreements as the nation-
al welfare and interest may require." 98-A And despite the confmement of the
disposition, exploration, development, exploitation or utilization of natural
resources to Philippine nationals or corporations sixty per centum of whose
capital is owned by such nationals, the Batasang Pambansa nevertheless can
authorize such persons to enter into service contracts for fmancial, technical,
management or other forms of assistance with any foreign person or entity in
relation to the above-mentioned activities.99 A number of laws imposing res-
trictions on alien participation in the economy have also been modified in recent
years. Thus, the rice and corn industry which was previously nationalized in all
its aspects was denationalized in 1973 except for the retailing aspect. 100
Under the Omnibus Investments Code of 1981, foreign nationals or corp-
orations may invest in selected areas of the economy subject to a number of
limitations including those imposed by the Constitution.101 Among the rights
enjoyed under this law by foreign investors are the right to repatriate the entire
proceeds of the liquidation of and remit earnings from their investment in the
currency in which it was originally made and at the exchange rate prevailing at
the time of repatriation,l02 the right to rt':mit sums necessary to meet the pay-

97 Supra, at pp. 41-42.


98Supra, Part Nine n. 18.
98.AArt. XlV (16) 1973 Constitution as amended.
99 Art XlV (9) 1973 Constitution.
10°Pres. Decree 194 (1973).
101 Art. XlV 1973 Constitution.
102Subject to restrictions, under sec. 74 Rep. Act 265 imposed during emergencies,
including temporary suspension or restriction of sales of foreign exchange, licensing of the
same, or requiring that any foreign exchange thereafter obtained be delivered to the Central
Bank or its designated agent.
ment of interest md principal on foreign loms md obligations arising from
particular contracts, 103 and freedom from expropriation and requisition of
property. 104
However, the Philippines has also entered into treaties with other countries
which provide most-favoured-nation treatment to particular states or their
nationalslOS although these treaty provisions can not run against the Constitu-
tion because the former only have the status of law.lQ6 Trade agreements gene-
rally stipulate reciprocal rights for the states concerned. However, since the
Philippines in most cases is the party which is in need of capital infusion, the
prerogatives provided for by treaty to investors usually can be taken advantage
of only by nationals of the other party.

Philippine practice is not too clear on whether or not recognition by the


Philippines of the entities involved in state succession is necessary in order to
bind the Philippines to the effects of that succession.. But there is no doubt that
once it extends recognition to the successor state, the Philippines is bound to
recognize the effects of succession. The object of recognition is the transfer of
sovereignty from one state to another. With that transfer, the successor state
assumes the rights and obligations of its predecessor state arising from the exer-
cise of sovereignty over the territory which was the subject of succession only
to the extent that these rights and obligations are assumed by the successor-state
in a treaty or other form whereby the consent of the latter is expressed.
Succession may either be partial or universal. In the latter case, the pre-
decessor state is extinguished; in the former, the predecessor does not go out of
existence but is merely dispossessed of the sovereign power it exercises over a
part of its original territory.
Succession with respect to governments does not affect the rights and
obligations of the parties involved. .
Philippine succession to the United States was of the partial type where
the Philippine state succeeded to the rights of sovereignty exercised by the
United States over that territory occ1,1piedby the Philippine Archipelago, and
both entities coexisted as separate states after partial succession had taken

103Except for public use and upon just compensation with right to remit sums received
as compensation in the currency in which the investment was originally made and at the
exchange rate at the time of remittance. Also subject to restrictions under sec. 74 Rep. Act
265.
104Requisition of property may be done only in the event of war or national emergen-

105The most important of these are the ones entered into with Japan, the United
States, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Federal
Republic of Germany.
106Art. 11(3) 1973 Constitution.
place.
The exercise by the United States of sovereign powers over the Philippine
Islands was recognized by the rest of the international community. Hence, no
serious questions have been raised regarding the competence of the United States
to transfer its right of sovereignty over the Philippine territory and its inhabi-
tants to an independent Philippine state. The grant of independence is provided
for in Public Act Number 127 of the 73rd Congress of the United States, 1
approved in 1934, as amended by Public Act Number 300 of the 76th Congress
of the United States.2 The pertinent provision reads in part:

On the 4th day of July immediately following the expiration of a


period of ten years from the date of the inauguration of the new
government under the constitution provided for in this Act, the
President of the United States shall by proclamation withdraw and
surrender all right of possession, supervision, jurisdiction, control, or
sovereignty then existing and exercised by the United States in and
over the territory and people of the Philippine islands... and, on
behalf of the United States, shall recognize the independence of the
Philippine Islands as a separate and self-governing nation and ac-
knowledge the authority and control over the same of the govern-
ment instituted by the people thereof, under the constitution then
in force?

... all the territory ceded to the United States by the treaty of peace
concluded between the United States and Spain on the 10th day of
December 1898, the boundaries of which are set forth in Article
ill of said treaty, together with those islands embraced in a treaty
between Spain and the United States concluded at Washington
on the 7th day of November, 1900.4

The reference to the Treaty of Paris was merely descriptive of the exact
location and extent of the territory granted independence by the United States,
rather than a statement of the le~ basis of the power of the United States to
make such a grant.
The independence of the Philippines was recognized by the United States
in the Provi.s:ionalAgreement Between the United States and the Republic of
the Philippines Concerning Friendly Relations and Diplomatic and Consular
Relations, which provided thus:

The Government of the United States of America recognizes the

124 March 1934,48 u.s. Stat. 456.


2 .
7 Aug. 1939, 53 U.S. Stat. 226.
3Sec. 10 of Tydings-McDuffie Act.
4Sec. 1 of Tydings-McDuffie Act.
Republic of the Philippines as a separate, independent and self-
governing nation and acknowledges the authority and control of
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines over the territory
of the Philippine Islands. 5

This was simultaneously incorporated in the Treaty of General Relations


Between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America,6
signed on 4 July 1946, which provided:

The United States of America agrees to withdraw and surrender, and


does hereby withdraw and surrender, all right of possession, super-
vision, jurisdiction, control or sovereignty existing and exercised by
the United States of America in and over the territory and the
people of the Philippine Islands, except the use of such bases, neces-
sary appurtenances to such bases, and the rights incident thereto,
as the United States of America, by agreement with the Republic of
the Philippines, may deem necessary to retain for the mutual protec-
tion of the United States of America and the Republic of the Philip-
pines. The United States of America further agrees to recognize, and
does hereby recognize, the independence of the Republic of the
Philippines as a separate self-governing nation, and to acknowledge,
and does hereby acknowledge, the authority and control over the
same of the Government instituted by the people thereof, under the
Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.

Insofar as state succession is concerned, any doubts as to the acquisition


of sovereign powers by the Philippines over the entire Philippine Archipelago
and its inhabitants are laid to rest by the grant of independence by the United
States. Cession by the latter became the operative act which conferred effective
authority upon the Philippine state.
It is of note that in the two treaties above, the Philippines and the United
States no longer found it necessary to stipulate on the nationality of the inhabi-
tants of the territory granted independence since Philippine citizenship was
clearly delimited under the municipal laws of the United States prior to the
declaration of Philippine independence.
Because Philippine citizens were American nationals, the effect of the
grant of independence on 4 July 1946 was to terminate the national links of
Philippine citizens with the United States, and elevate the municipal concept
of Philippine citizenship into the international concept of Philippine nationality.
The exact rrature of the link between Philippine citizenship to United
States nationality, and the effect of the transition from Philippine citizenship-
U.S. nationality to Philippine nationality was taken up in the case of Hugo
Villavert.7 Villavert was a Filipino citizen who resided in the United States in

51946,6 UNTS 335.


67 UNTS 3.
70p. of the Sec. of Justice No. 45, s. 1951.
1938 and became a naturalized national of California in 1943. He returned to
the Philippines on 27 October 1948, and deportation proceedings were initiated
against him as an alien who obtained employment as a public school teacher.
The Secretary of Justice, however, ruled that Villavert's naturalization as an
American citizen did not divest him of Philippine citizenship.

. . . the reason being that as a Filipino, his allegiance was due to the
United States, and when he became naturalized as an American
citizen, he merely reaffIrmed such allegiance.8

Upon the transfer of sovereign powers to an independent Philippine state,


however, he had to make a choice of which nationality to adopt: Filipino
or American. His return to the Philippines was considered an election of Filipino
nationality.
The Philippine case, however, did not only involve a single case of succes-
sion. Earlier, at the turn of the century, the United States succeeded Spain with
respect to whatever sovereign powers it exercised in the area occupied by the
Philippine Archipelago. The exact extent to which this series of state successions
operated on the nationality of the inhabitants of the Philippines may be deter-
mined through an examination of the circumstances leading to the initial deter-
mination of Philippine citizenship.
At the time of the assumption of sovereign power over the Philippines
by the Americans, there were fIve classes of people liiving in the Philippines.
They were: (1) aliens (nationals of states other than Spain); (2) Spanish sub-
jects who were natives oithe Spanish Peninsula; (3) Spanish subjects who were
natives of the Philippines; (4) Spanish subjects who were neither natives of the
Philippines nor natives of the Spanish Peninsula;and (5) natives of the Philippines
who were not subjects of Spain.
The Treaty of Paris, employing the criteria of nationality, permanence of
territorial links and residence, regulated the nationality of one group of inhabi-
tants of these islands in the following terms:

Spanish subjects, natives of the Peniftsula, residing in the territory


over which Spain by the present treaty relinquishes or cedes her
sovereignty, may remain in such territory or may remove therefrom,
retaining in either event all their right's of property, including the
right to sell or dispose of such property or of its proceeds; and they
shall also have the right to.,parry on their industry, commerce, and
professions, being subject in -respect thereof to such laws as are
applicable to other foreigners. In case they remain in the territory
they may preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain by making,
before a court of record, within a year from the date of the ex-
change of ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their decision
to preserve such allegiance; in default of which declaraction they
shall be held to have renounced it and to have adopted the national-
ity of the territory in which they may reside.9

For another group of inhabitants, the Treaty of Paris mentioned only


the criterion of permanence of territorial links, without referring to the criteria
of nationality and residence, thus:
The civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories
hereby ceded to the United States shall be determined by the Congress.lO

But although the criterion of nationality was not mentioned, it is clear that
Spain could have. transferred to the United States the allegiance only of those
persons over whom the former exercised the power of sovereignty.
It was unnecessary to provide for the nationality of persons who owed
allegiance to a sovereign other than Spain, though they were found in the Phil-
ippines at the time of its cession, because they were considered to have retained
their respective alien nationalities. They owed Spain only temporary allegiance
by reason of their residence in the islands and only for so long as Spain exercised
sovereign powers over the territory.
However, the allegiance of Spanish subjects who were natives of the Phil-
ippines, and thus presumed to possess permanent attachment to Philippine terri-
tory was deemed to follow the ceded territory. On the other hand, the allegiance
of Spanish subjects who were natives of the Spanish Peninsula could not have
been deemed automatically transferred with the Philippine territory because it
was possible that they were there only as transients. Thus, they were afforded a
right to preserve their allegiance to Spain.
Spanish subjects, however, who were neither natives of the Philippines nor
natives of the Spanish Peninsula were not given the right to elect preservation
of their Spanish nationality. The Philippine Bill of 1902, in providing that Phil-
ippine citizenship was acquired by "all inhabitants of the Philippines continuing
to reside therein who were Spanish subjects on the eleventh day of April, 1899,
and then resided in said Island... ,,11 permitted the acquisition of Philippine
citizenship by those classes of persons whose nationality was not regulated in
the Treaty of Paris.
This provision of the Philippine Bill of 1902 also provided a solution to
the dilemma of naturalized Spanish subjects who were not natives of the Philip-
pines. According to the Philippine Supreme Court, the portion of the Treaty of
Paris which stipulated that

The civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories
hereby ceded to the United States shall be determined by the Congress.12

9Art. IX (1) Treaty of Paris, 30 U.S. Stat. 1754; II Malloy 1690; 11 Bevans 615.
10Art. IX (2) Treaty Of Paris, 30 U.S. Stat. 1754; II Malloy 1690; 11 Bevans 615.

11 Sec. 4 Philippine Bill of 1902.


12Art. IX (2) Treaty of Paris, 30 U.S. Stat. 1754; II Malloy 1690; 11 Bevans 615.
was a surplusage because the "power and authority to determine the polio
tical status was inherently vested in the United States", and that there could be
no limitation upon such power.13 The Court rejected the idea that by the
above·quoted portion of the Treaty of Paris, the United States had bound itself
to limit its power to the determination of the status solely of the native inhabi·
tants of the territories. A dissenting opinion, however, pointed out that the
allegiance of a naturalized national is one that strictly exists between himself and
the sovereign which admitted him to naturalized nationality.14 Thus, upon the
cession of the territory in which the naturalized national resides, that national is
thereby released from his voluntary allegiance to the ceding power and remitted
to his original status. IS
The last group of natural persons in the Philippines at the time of transfer
of Spanish sovereignty to the United States was made up of those native inhabi-
tants who were not subjects of the King of Spain. Their existence was recognized
in the Act of Congress of 23 March 1912 which authorized the Philippine
Legislature to enact a law for the acquisition of Philippine citizenship by, among
others, natives of the Philippine Islands who did not come within the provisions
of the Philippine Bill of 1902. 16 Since the Philippine Bill of 1902 employed the
criteria of nationality and residence, failure to come within its provisions could
have been due to failure to meet either or both requirements. But there is no
ambiguity arising from the residence' requirement because failure to meet it
would have clearly disqualified one from obtaining Philippine citizenship under
the Philippine Bill of 1902, although a person may have possessed Spanish
nationality. 17
Problems arise, however, when we consider the status of those who were
not subjects of Spain but were natives of the Philippines since it has never been
made clear how and when Philippine nationality was acquired by those native
inhabitants of the Philippines who were excluded from the coverage of the

13Palanca v. Republic, 80 Phil. 578, 582-583 (1948).


14Palanca v. Republic, 80 Phil. 578, 597-604 (1948).
15In his dissent in the Palanca case, Justice Hilado stated:
"As stated above, Carlos Palanca was, in my opinion, a naturalized Spanish citizen at
the time the Treaty of Paris went into effect. He became such citizen purely by voluntary
choice, unlike his natural citizenship and allegiance to the former Empire of China, which
attached to him upon his birth and wholly independently of his will. It was exclusively by
an act of his will that he applied for naturalization as a Spanish citizen. He became one
because he chose Spain as the country to which he wished to render allegiance thereafter,
with or without a mental reservation of his right to expatriation.
"It seems to me naturally to follow from this that it was altogether beyond the
power of Spain to transfer his allegiance and citizenship to the United States, or to subject
them to the power of the United States Congress to determine, quite apart from the admit-
ted power of the new sovereign to exclude him from the ceded territory under any circums-
tances determined by the new sovereign... (B)ecause he was not a natural but merely a
naturalized citizen of the former sovereign, he was remitted to his native citizenship upon
the cession of the territory to the acquiring state."
1637 u.s. Stat. 77.
17Y.G.Sinco, lococit., p. 496.
Philippine Bill of 1902 due to their lack of possession of Spanish nationality on
11 April 1899.
The practice, though, of the Republic of the Philippines has been to recog-
nize the Philippine nationality of all native inhabitants of the Philippines with-
out inquiring into their original acquisition of Philippine nationality provided
there is no allegation that they possess, directly or through descent from an
alien, another nationality. Proof of this is that there have been no cases involving
the denial of the Philippine nationality of a native of the Philippines on the
ground that the person or his ascendants were not subjects of Spain except
where a question as to his possession of another nationality is involved. Further-
more, Philippine inhabitants who are in a position to claim that they were not
subjects of Spain on 11 April 1899 have, since 1934, been exercising their right
to vote in nationwide elections - and suffrage is a right exclusively pertaining
to Philippine citizens.
There are two possible classes of persons - natives of the Philippines and
residing therein - who were excluded from Philippine citizenship in 1902: (1)
natives of the Philippines who were never subjugated by Spain and refused to
recognize Spain's sovereignty; and (2) natives of Philippine territory acquired
after 1902.
With respect to the first class, the behaviour of the United States was
fairly consistent in denying their existence. For although the Americans pro-
vided for the naturalization of natives who did not fall under the provisions
of the Philippine Bill of 1902, there is no record of the natives of the Philippines
who did not recognize Spanish sovereignty having Deen required to apply for
naturalization. It seems safe to infer from the behaviour of the Americans that
they considered the matter of exacting recognition of Spanish sovereignty a
matter of police action, and did not effect in any way the possession by Spain
of the power of sovereignty over these people.
Historians, however, have established that Spain never really acquired
effective sovereign rights over all parts of the Philippine Archipelago and all
its inhabitants.19 In the light of the arbitrator's decision in the Pa/mas case20
where Spanish claims of sovereignty over the island were denied due to Spain's
failure to follow up its claim with an effective presence, it can be argued that
Spain never possessed sovereign'powers over certain parts of the Philippines and
their inhabitants. As consequence, Spain's cession to the United States of such
territories which were not under·its sovereignty was also ineffective. The Pa/mas
decision rejects the constructive sovereignty ar~ment. although in that case
18The inhabitants of Mindanao and Sulu and the Mountain Province participated for
the lust time in Philippine general elections in 1934 upon the passage of the Tyding!t-McDuffie
Act although before this they were represented in the Philippine Legislature by appointive
members (see Rev. Administrative Code of 1917). They were considered separately not
because they were not deemed Filipinos but as ~ consequence of the paternalistic and patro-
nizing attitude of American colonial officials toward Filipinos whom they perceived as belo-
nging to inferior cultures.
19C.A. Majul, Muslims in the Philippines (Quezon City: 1973).
2°1 IRAA 829 (1928).
another claimant was involved - the Dutch. That Spain could have enforced its
sovereignty, had it wanted to gave her no authority to cede such portions of the
Philippine Archipelago over which she did not actually exercise sovereign po-
wers.
But if they were not subjects of Spain on 11 April 1899, when and how
did these native inhabitants of the Philippines acquire, first, Philippine citizen-
ship and American nationality, and second, Philippine nationality?
Since these native inhabitants were excluded from the Philippine Bill of
1902, and WiC'renever naturalized, their acquisition of American nationality and
Philippine citizenship could have only been effected by international law inde-
pendent of the municipal law. This appears to be one instance wherein inter-
national law, "without an applicable provision in the municipal law of a state,
declares that ·a person has the nationality of the state.,,21 Collective naturaliza-
tion which takes place by virtue of conquest

is believed to be a rule of international law which is generally recog-


nized, although there might be differences of opinion with regard to
its application under particular conditions ... It might be said that
international law assumes that the successor state confers its nation-
ality upon the nationals of the predecessor state residing in the an-
nexed territory at the time of annexation.22

American nationality, therefore, was acquired by native inhabitants of


the Philippines who were not subjects of Spain upon their subjugation by the
government of the Philippines operating under the laws of the United States.
Since, however, under the municipal law of the United States, United States
citizenship was not acquired by the inhabitants of conquered territories unless
and until they are incorporated by the United States Congress, these persons did
not acquire the citizenship of the United States. Instead, it could be suggested
that their subjugation resulted in their acquisition not only of American nation-
ality but also of Philippine citizenship because they were subjugated by the
Government of the Territory of the Philippines which, although it was subject
to American sovereignty, was a government complete in itself and treated as
such under American municipal-Iaw.23
On the other hand, if international law did not operate to confer Philip-
pine citizenship upon these native iimabitants of the Philippines at the time of
their subjugation, they should be deemed to have acquired Philippine nationality
upon the grant of independence by the United States to the Philippines involving
as it did the transfer of the right of sovereignty over the entire Philippine Archi-
pelago and its inhabitants.
In either case their acquisition of nationality could have been made
possible only by operation of international law, and not of municipal law.

2l..The Law on Nationality," Supplement to the AJIL, vol. 23, Apri11929, p. 61.
22Ibid.

23Chuoco Tiaco v. Forbes, 40 Phil. 1122,40 JF 1177, 228 U.S. 549, 57- L. Ed. 960.
Similar to, but in a number of ways distinct from, the above case is the
issue presented by the nationality of the native inhabitants of those territories
excluded from the treaties of cession between the United States and Spain.
The acquisition by the Philippines of the Turtle and Mangseeislands is an
illustrative case.
These islands groups were delineated as part of the Philippines in a treaty
entered into in 1907 by the United Kingdom and the United States where the
boundaries of the Philippines and North Borneo were delimited.24 However,
they did not formally become a part of the Philippines until 1946 when the
administration of the islands and their inhabitants were turned over to the
Philippines as the successor of the United States in the exercise of sovereign
power over the said islands.2S
There is no record of the inhabitants of these islands having been required
to apply for naturalization, nor has a case been brought questioning their posses-
\
sion of Philippine nationality. Since the administration of these islands by the
Philippines, their inhabitants have voted in Philippine elections thus raising the
presumption that they are Philippjne nationals because Philippine nationality is a
requirement for the exercise of suffrage.26
The question arises whether the inhabitants of those islands were citizens
of the Philippines by virtue of partial succession effected through cession in
1946, or whether they were citizens of the Philippines from the establishment
of Philippine citizenship in 1902. Although the treaty between Great Britain
and the United States was entered into after Philippine citizenship was esta-
blished, it can be argued that what the treaty did was only to clearly establish the
boundaries of the territories ceded by Spain. This interpretation does fmd
significant support in the language of the treaty which does not include the word
cession, but limits itself to the delimitation of the boundary between the Philip-
pines and North Borneo.27
However, it is still to be established that the Turtle and Mangsee island

24Convention Between the United States of America and Great Britain Delimiting the
Boundary Between the Philippine Archipelago and the State of North Borneo of 3 July
1907,47 U.S. Stat. 2198; III Redmond 2605; IV Trenwith4261; 12 Bevans 287.
25Exchange of Notes Constitut~g an Agreement Between the Republic of the Philip-
pines and the United Kingdom of Great Britain "and Northern Ireland on the Transfer of
Turtle and Mangsee Islands of 24 Sept. 1946, I PTS 705, in which the British Charge d'
affaires said: "Since, as a result of the Act of Independence, the Government of the Repub-
lic of the Philippines has succeeded to the rights and obligations of the United States under
the Notes of 1932, it will be for the Government of the Republic ofjhe Philippines to give
the required notice (to take over the administration of the islands) provided for in them."
The actual transfer took place on 16 Oct. 1947. See The Journal of History, vol. 5 (1957)
pp. 325-327.
26Art. V (1) 1935 Constitution; Art. VI (1) 1973 Constitution.
27Convention. Between the United States of America and Great Britain Delimiting
the Boundary Between the Philippine Archipelago and the State of North Borneo of 3 July
1907,47 U.S. Stat. 2198; III Redmond 2605; IV Trenwith 4261; 12 Bevans 287.
groups were within the boundaries of the territory ceded by Spain to the United
States.28 It is clear, however, that these islands were previously owned by the
Sultanate of Sulu, of which the United States was a successor, and leased by it
to the North Borneo British Company.29 If these islands were not among those
legally ceded by Spain to the United States, then their inhabitants could not
have qualified under the Philippine Bill of 1902 as Philippine citizens because
their inhabitants could not have been subjects of Spain at that time. Nor were
they living within the territory of the Philippines, as defmed in the Treaty of
Paris and the subsequent Treaty of Washington, which was the territorial
boundary for purposes of the application of the Philippine Bill of 1902. Philip-
pine nationality of the inhabitants of these islands, therefore, could be claimed
exclusively through their acquisition of that nationality upon cession to the
Philippines.
Although the Philippine Supreme Court has ruled that the power to deter-
mine the political status of the inhabitants of a territory is inherent in the legis-
lative power of the state to which the territory has been ceded,3o in this case
there has been no formal act of determination of the nationality of the
inhabitants of the ceded territory by the legislature of the state to which it was
ceded. Hence, the answer to questions regarding the exact time when Philippine
citizneship adhered to the inhabitants of these islands, by virtue of mass natural-
ization under international law, would depend on whether the change in
nationality takes effect upon the ratification of the treaty of cession even
without the formal turnover of the territory ceded, or only upon the actual
transfer of sovereignty.31 The latter view appears to have prevailed in this case
because the inhabitants of said islands exercised the rights appertaining to
Filipino nationals only after the transfer to the Philippines of the physical
possession of the islands was made.
The view that the inhabitants of conquered territories automatically
acquire the nationality of the conquering state is reflected in the attitude of the
Philippines in a case involving Austrian nationals. In an opinion rendered by the
Secretary of Justice, the official position of the Philippine government was
stated thus:

28The Turtle and Mangsee island groups lie outside the territory ceded by Spain as
demarcated in Art. III of the Treaty of Paris. They were neither specifically mentioned in
the Treaty of Cession of Outlying Philippine Islands Between the United States and Spain
of 7 Nov. 1900, 31 u.s. sta. 1942; II Malloy 1696; II Bevans 623, although the United
States claimed that the islands were included in the territory ceded to it citing " ... historical
facts and repeated acts of submission of the Sulu chiefs to the Crown of Spain, and the
territorial limits of Spanish jurisdiction in that quarter are stated in general terms in the
protocols signed between Great Britain, Germany and Spain 1877, 1885, and 1897 ... "
Letter of the Secretary of State oto the British Ambassador, 10 Dec. 1904, Foreign Rela-
tion of the United States p. 542 (1907).
29The Journal of History. vol. 5, 1957. pp. 325-327 at 325.
30Palanca v. Republic, 80 Phil. 578, 582-583 (948).
3lWhile the treaty of delimination of the boundary between the Philippines and North
Borneo was entered into in 1907, the actual transfer was made in 1947. During the interve-
ning period, the islands were on lease to the British government as provided for in the Ex-
change of Notes Regarding Certain Islands Off the Coast of Borneo of 3 and 10 July 1907,
47 U.S. Stat. 2207; 12 Bevans 473.
The nationality of the inhabitants of a territory acquired by
conquest or cession becomes that of a government under whose
dominion they pass.32

Hence, an Austrian national in 1940 was deemed to have acquired German na-
tionality upon the annexation of Austria by the German Reich.

The right to determine whether an individual is a national or not of


another state belongs to that state. As the Supreme Court has pointed out,

The settled rule of internationallaw, affirmedby the HagueConven-


tion on Conflict of Nationality Laws of April 12, 1930 and by the
International Court of Justice, is that any question as to whether a
person possessesthe nationality of a particular state should be deter-
mined in accordancewith the lawsof that state.'

Thus, the competence of Philippine authorities extends only over cases involving
the determination of whether or not an individual possesses Philippine nationali-
ty. While in a number of cases Philippine authorities acted to determine whether
or not a Filipino women has acquired the nationality of her alien husband, these
actions have been criticized as misapplications of the law.2
The Philippines, therefore, recognizes the exclusive power of another state
to determine, under its own laws, who are its nationals. However, the exercise of
this power must be in accordance with international law. Thus, the Philippines
has consistently supported the United Nations General Assembly's condem-
nation of the denationalization of African Tribesmen in South Africa, and their
acquisition of the nationality of the bantustans on the ground that the mass
denationalizations were in furtherance of the policy of apartheid. 3 "

But the Philippine Supreme Comt, in at least two cases involving petitions
for naturalization,4 sidestepped the issue of the validity of the act of the
Government of the"Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in depriving thousands of

320p. of the Sec. of Justice No. 111, s. 1940.

IBoard of Immigration Commissioners v. Beato Go Callano, G.R. No. L-24530, Oct<r


ber 31, 1968,25 SCRA 890.
2J. Salonga, Private International Law (Quezon City: 1979) pp. 134-135.
3G.A. Res. 3411 D, 30 U.N. G.A.O.R. Supp. 34 at 36, U.N. Doc. A/11034 (1975), .
U.N. Doc. A/Res./31/6 (1976).
4Kookooritchkin v. The Solicitor-General, 81 Phil. 435 (1948); Bermont v, Republic
of the Philippines, 89 Phil. 479 (1951).
its nationals who were supporters of the Czar of their nationality.s Had the
Court recognized the validity of the mass denationalization of Soviet nationals,
the petitioners in the said cases need not have proved, as required under the
Philippine Naturalizat!on Law, certain facts about Soviet law.6 Nevertheless, the
Court arrived at the same result and considered petitioners as stateless persons
without taking cognizance of the mass denaturalization.7
With res~ct to the nationality of non-recognized entities, the Philippines
has maintained a pragmatic attitude. This pragmatism is reflected in the treat-
ment accorded by the Philippines to Chinese nationals. The Philippines recog-
nizes only one China and the People's Republic of China as its sole legitimate
government.8 Consistent with that commitment, the Philippine government
considers all Chinese nationals as nationals of the People's Republic of China.
Insofar as the Republic of the Philippines is concerned, the so-called Republic
of China based in Taiwan does not exist. This position may be gleaned from an
opinion of the Ministry of Justice regarding the means of compliance, with the
requirement that. foreign nationals must provide themselves with a certificate
of legal capacity to contract marriage to be issued by their diplomatic officials
prior to the issuance of a marriage license, by Chinese nationals who "by reason
of allegiance do not wish to secure" the requisite certificate from the Embassy
of the People's Republic of China.9 According to the Minister of Justice,

all Chinese nationals wishing to obtain a marriage license and to


contract marriage in the Philippines are to be treated alike as citizens
of the People's Republic of China by requiring them to secure a
certificate of legal capacity to marry from its embassy in the Philip-
pines.tO

The Philippines, however, maintains unofficial ties with the Taiwan


government, and Chinese nationals who are holders of Taipei passports are
granted the same privileges as Chinese nationals carrying People's Republic of
China passports for purposes of obtaining tourist visa for entry into and stay
in the Philippines for a period of not more than twenty-one daYS.ll Foreigners

5This point was not mentioned at all by the court. However, the denationalizations
were effected by the Decree of 15 Dec. 1921, No. 11; the Ordinance Regarding Union
Citizenship of 29 Oct. 1924, No. 202; and Union Citizenship Law of 13 Nov. 1925, No.
581, cited in P. Weis Nationality and Statelessness in International Law (London: 1956)
p. 124 at notes 22 and 23.

6Com. Act 473.


7Infra, P~t Thirteen.
8Joint Communique of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the
Government of the People's Republic of China in Philippine Diplomacy; Chronology and
Documents (Manila: 1981) pp. 335-336.
9Required under Art. 66 Civil Code of the Philippines.
100pinion of the Sec. of Justice No. 113, s. 1976; Op. of the Sec. of Justice No. 226,
s.1976.
11Exec. Order Nos. 808 and 809,11 June 1982.
who claim to be nationals of unrecognized entities are generally allowed entry
into the Philippines provided they possess Certificates of Identity, 12but Chinese
nationals from Taiwan are allowed to carry "Taipei passports.,,13 Diplomatic
ties between the Philippines and Taiwan were terminated on 9 June 1975, but
the Far East Trade Promotion Center, described as a "non-governrnental entity"
was established in Taiwan to oversee Philippine interests, and a Taiwanese office
carrying out the same functions was opened in Manila.14

The attitude of the Philippines toward dual or plural nationality has been
ambivalent, shifting with changes in the foreign policy of the government.
In dealing with questions of plural or dual nationality involving Chinese
nationals, the Supreme Court of the Philippines has consistently asserted the
undesirability of plural or dual nationality. In rejecting the applicability of the
doctrine of jus soli in the Philippines, the Supreme. Court invoked the unde-
sirable effects of dual nationality which the doctrine would have given rise to.
Nationality, according to the court,

the main integrate element of which is allegiance must not be taken


lightly. Dual allegiance must be discouraged and prevented ... [since 1
dual allegiance ... in the long run would be detrimental to both
countries of which such persons might claim to be citizens [nationals l!

The court also stated in another case that the undesirability of dual nationality
was the underlying reason for requiring an applicant for naturaliZation to
solemnly swear that he renounces "absolutely and forever all allegiance and
fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty,,2 and particularly
to the state of which he is a national at the time of application for naturaliza-
tion. The "obvious purpose" of that requirement is to divest him of his former
nationality "because, otherwise, he would have two nationalities and owe alle-
giance to two distinct sovereigns which our laws do not permit.,,3 The ruling of
the Supreme Court that, prior to the 1973 Constitution's effectiVity, a married
alien woman could not apply for naturalization independent of her alien
12Letter of Instructions (LOI) No. 1106 amending LOI No. 911 as amended by LOI
No. 1067,27 Jan. 1981.
13Exec. Order No. 808, 11 June 1982.
14New York Times, 14 Oct. 1975, p. 2.
--- ITan Chiong v. Sec. of Labor, 79 Phil. 249 (1947).
2Sec. 12 Com. Act 473.
30h Hek How v. Republic, G.R. No. L-27429, Aug. 27,1969,29 SCRA 94.
4po v. Republic, G.R. No. L-30669, July 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 242.
husband was also premised on the contention that recognition of the opposite
rule would result in dual nationality "which, it is believed, is not contemplated
by our laws.,,4
The Philippine policy of disfavoring dual or multiple nationality was
reiterated in the 1975 joint communique of the Republic of the Philippines and
the People's Republic of China which stated that both states:

consider any citizen [national] of either country who acquires


citizenship [nationality] in the other country as automatically
forfeiting his original citizenship [nationality].s

The above approach taken by the two countries provided a satisfactory solution
to the problems that could have arisen from the dual allegiance of Filipino-
Chinese nationals. Prior to the issuance of this communique, the Philippines
maintained diplomatic relations with the Republic of China based in Taiwan
which insisted on treating overseas Chinese, including those in the Philippines, as
Chinese nationals although they have acquired the nationality of their host state
through naturalization. This accounted for the extreme disfavor with which
Philippine authorities looked down on dual nationals, the other nationality of
which was Chinese.
However, in Ci\ses of Filipino nationals who, at the same time were
nationals of the United States or other Western countries, the attitude of the
Philippines has been different. Thus, the Minister of Justice explained in one
c~se that:

If a resident is a Filipino-French national, or what is common-


ly referred to as a dual citizen, and he is granted the privilegeto vote
by the French Government, that is no concern of the Philippine
Government.6

He went on to note that he was not aware of any provision of Philippine law
that in effect prevents a Filipino national from voting, on the ground that he is
at the same time a national of another country or privileged to vote therein, nor
of any Philippine law that could be violated by the exercise of such privilege. A
similar opinion was rendered by the Minister of Justice on the question of
whether dual nationals are eligibl~ for appointment to public office. The case
involved a national of the Philippines who was also a national of the United
States. According to the Minister, he was unaware of any provision of Philippine
law requiring that a Filipino national, otherwise eligible for public office, should
be disqualified therefrom by the fact of his being a national of another country,
or of a law disqualifying from public office a Filipino who is at the same time a

5}oint Communique of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the
Government of the People's Republic of China in Philippine Diplomacy: Chronology and
Documents (Manila: 1981) pp. 335-336.
60p. of the Sec. of Justice No. 226, s. 1976.
national of another country. "Therefore, the question of whether a Filipino
appointee holds another nationality is not material .. .',7
But even with respect to Philippine nationals who are also nationals of
Western states, the policy of indifference adopted by the Philippines seems to
be pursued exclusively in cases where plural nationality is acquired from birth,
and not through a subsequent act, e.g., naturalization in a foreign country, of a
Filipino national. Plural nationality at birth may be acquired either by the
simultaneous application of jus sanguinis (recognized by the Philippines) and
jus soli (where this principle is recognized by the state in which a child, one of whose
parents is a Filipino national, is born), or where a parent of the child is a Filipino
national and the other is an alien whose state also confers its nationality upon a
child descended from a par~t who is its national.
There are other indications, however, which show that dual or plural
nationality is encouraged by the Philippines. Thus, it is explicitly provided for
in Republic Acts Numbers 26398 and 38349 that the acquisition by a natural-
born Filipino national of tlle nationality of one of the Iberian and any friendly
democratic Ibera-American countries, or the United Kingdom shall not produce
loss or forfeiture of Philippine nationality provided that the law of the other
country grants the same privileges to its nationals, and such has been agreed
upon by the treaty between the Philippines and the foreign country from which
nationality is acquired.10 According to its sponsor, this law:
..
does not seek to enlarge the scope of naturalization, but rather, it
seeks to enlarge the scope of Filipino citizens who may seek naturali-
zation in other countries, and it is because of certain ties cultural
and religious, aside from the fact that these countries have shown to '
the Filipino people their special affection as judged from their
actuation in international conferences, and it is deemed fitting and
.10t inlproper that Filipinos who may seeks citizenship in those
countries be allowed to retain their Filipino citizenship while they
acquire citizenship in those countries. II

Southeast Asian countries were excluded from the coverage of the law, because,
according to its authors, "the danger to communist infIltration from among the
countries in the Far East is quite serious for the present.,,12 This law, however, is
not self-executory, but requires a treaty to implement it. It is notable that since
its passage in 1960, no treaty that would implement this law has been entered
into by the Philippirles with any of the countries mentioned in the law. Thus, it

70p. of the Sec. of Justice No. 179, 2, 1976.


8xv lAws and Res. 92 (1960).
9XVIII Laws and Res. 719 (1963).
10
Sec. 1 (7) Com. Act No. 63 as amended by Rep. Act 2639 and Rep. Act 3834.
11Congressional Record, 15 May 1958, p. 2874.
12Congressional Record, 15 May 1958, p. 2875.
can not b~ fully claimed that the Philippines as a matter of national policy
encourages its nationals to acquire dual or plural nationality.
During the deliberations of the Congress, however, it was stressed that
problems that are likely to arise from dual nationality such as conflict of alle-
giance during times of war should be considered in drafting the treaties which
would implement Republic Acts 2639 and 2983, in order to prevent these
problems from arising.
The provision of the 1973 Constitution which allows a Filipino woman to
retain her nationality, despite her marriage to an alien and regardless of the
provisions of the law of her husband's state on the acquisition by the wife of the
husband's nationality, 13 does not appear to have been intended to encourage
dual nationality; but the overriding reason for the provision was to grant Filipino
women the same rights as Filipino male nationals. The 1973 Constitution
precisely provides against the acquisition of plural nationality by Filipino
women married to aliens by stipulating that such a woman may lose her
Philippine nationality if, by her act or omission, she is deemed to have lost it
under the applicable law.14 However, this provision does give rise to more
instances of dual nationality than the previous policy maintained by the Philip-
pines because children born of a Filipino mother and an alient father may also
be considered by the state of the father as its nationals from birth.
When an alien possesses multiple nationality, and he applies for immigra-
tion to the Philippines, he is treated as a national of that country where he fIled
his application for immigration to the Philippines.1S If he, however, f1les his
application with the Philippine consulate in a country of which he is not a
n:ttional, then the Philippines may treat him as a national of either of the states
whose nationality he possesses.16

The Philippines has no defmed policy toward statelessness. In a case


involving White Russians applying for naturalization in the Philippines, however,
the Supreme Court preferred to recognize the individuals concerned as stateless
rather than consider them as nationais of the Soviet Union. 1 The approach

13Art III (2) 1973 Constitution states: "A female citizen (national) of the Philip-
pines who marries an alien shall retain her Philippine citizenship (nationality), unless by her
act or omission she is deemed, under the law to have renounced her citizenship (nationali-
ty)."
14Com. Act No. 63 governs the loss of Philippine nationality.
15Sec. 14 Immigration Act of 1940.
16Sec. 14 Immigration Act of 1940.

1Kookooritchkin v. The Solicitor-General, 81 Phil. 435 (1948); Bermont v. Republic


of the Philippines, 89 Phil 479 (1951).
adopted by the Supreme Court may have been influenced by the absence at that
time of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Soviet Union, and
the resulting difficulty that the applicants would have encountered in proving
that they were allowed under the laws of the Soviet Union to acquire foreign
nationality by naturalization, and that the laws of the Soviet Union in turn
allowed Filipinos to acquire its nationality. 2
Although the Philippines has not ratified the various international conven-
tions on statelessness, a foundling whose parents were unknown but who
appeared to be of alien parentage was nevertheless considered a national of the
Philippines. 3
Stateless individuals allowed to acquire Philippine nationality by natural-
ization need not meet those requirements of the Naturalization Law which has
references to the state or current nationality of the applicants.4 Like other aliens
staying in the Philippines, however, they have no right of asylumS but they do
enjoy, on the same footing with nationals of states other than those at war with
the Philippines, the right to protection against deprivation of liberty without due
process of law.6 Thus, a person who claimed to be a stateless person was freed
from detention after his stay in prison exceeded what the Supreme Court
believed was a reasonable period of time within which to effect his deportation. 7
It was in the same case that the Court declared that the right to life, liberty and
all other fundamental rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights were applicable to all.8

2The Court said:


"We do not believe that the lower court, erred in pronouncing appellee stateless.
Appellee's testimony, besides being uncontradicted, is supported by the well-known fact that
the ruthlessness of modern dictatorships has scattered throughout the world a large number
of stateless refugees or displaced persons without country and without flag... (I)t is only
natural that the not-so-fortunate ones who were able to escape to foreign countries should
feel the loss of all bonds of attachment to the hells which were formerly their fatherland's.
Petitioner belongs to that group of stateless refugees.
"Knowing, as all cultured persons all over the world ought to know, the history,
nature and character of the Soviet dictatorship, presently the greatest menace to humanity
and civilization, it would be technically fastitidous to require further evidence of petitio-
ner's claim that he is stateless than his testimony that he owes no allegiance to the Russian
Communist government, and because he has been at war with it, he fled from Russia to per-
manently reside in the Philippines." Kookooritchkin v. The Solicitor-General, 81 Phil. 435,
444 (1948).
30p. of the Sec. ofJustice No. 277, s. 1940.
4Kookooritchkin v. The Solicitor-General, 81 Phil. 435 (1948).
5Borovsky v. Commissioner of Immigration and the Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 107
(1951).
6Mejoff v. The Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 70 (1951); Borovsky v. Commissioner of
Immigration and the Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 107, 110 (1951); Chirskoff v. Commis-
sioner of Immigration and Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 256 (1951).
7Borovsky v. Commissioner of Immigration and the Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 107
(1951).
8Borovsky v. Commissioner of Immigration and the Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 107,
111 (1951); see also Mejoffv. Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 70 (1951), and ChirSkoffv. Com-
missioner of Immigration and Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 256 (1951) .•
Since the Philippines is a party to the Convention Relating to the Status
of Refugees9 and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 10it is bound
to accord within Philippine territory to a stateless person who qualifies as a
refugee under the above conventions treatment at least as favourable as that
accorded to Philippine nationals with respect to the freedom to practise their
religion and as regards the religious education of their children,l1 rationing, 12
public elementary education,13 public relief,14 and certain matters affecting
labour legislation and social security. IS
Although the Philippines has failed to rafity the Convention Relating to
the Status of Stateless Persons,16 it signed the same subject to the registration
of its non-conformity as regards particular provisions. The Philippine delegate
stated: 17

a. As regards Article 17, paragraph I [of the Convention j


granting stateless persons the right to engaged in wage-earning
employment, my Government finds that this provision conflicts with
the Phi1ippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended, which
classifies as excludable aliens under Section 29 those coming to the
Phi1ippinesto perform unskilled labor, and permits the admission of
pre-arranged employees under Section 9 (g) only when there are no
persons in the Philippines willing and competent to perform the
labor of service for which the admission of aliens is desired.
b. As regards Article 31, paragraph I, to the effect that the
Contracting States shall not expel a stateless person lawfully in their
territory, save on grounds of national security or public order, this
provision would unduly restrict the power of the Phi1ippineGovern-
ment to deport undesirable aliens under Section 37 of the same
Immigration Act which states the various grounds upon which aliens
may be deported.

The Philippines also restricts the entrance of immigrants who are stateless
persons to fifty persons annually, 18 the same annual limit iniposed on
immigrants of one nationality.19

9Acceded, 22 July 1981.


10Acceded, 22 July 1981.
11Art. 4 Convention Relating .to the Status of Refugees 1951, 189 liNTS p. 137.
12Art. 20 Conventjon Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951, 189 liNTS p. 137.
13Art. 22 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951,189 liNTS p. 137.
14Art. 23 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951, 189 VNTS p. 137.
15Art. 24 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951, 189 VNTS p. 137.
161954,360 liNTS p. 117.
17Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (New York: 1982)
pp. 162-163.
18Sec. 13 Com. Act No. 613 (referred to as the Immigration Act of 1940) as amen-
ded by Rep. Act No. 503, IV Pub. Laws 37.
19Sec. 13 Immigration Act of 1940.