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116 Phil. 406

[ G.R. No. L-15819, September 29, 1962 ]




This is an appeal taken by a Chinese named Wang I Fu, from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila, in Civil Case No. 32003, denying his petition for naturalization. 

It appears that petitioner was born on February 15, 1918 in Chingkang, China. On May 14, 1934, he came to the Philippines where he has continuously resided since then. He is married to Maria Sun, also a Chinese, and out of said marriage were born five children, namely: Maria Teresita, George, Eduardo, Gladys and Maria Nancy. Petitioner is engaged in the glassware business from which he derives an average annual income of P8,000.00. He speaks and writes English and Tagalog. He has enrolled his minor children of school age in private schools in Manila his two sons at the Huang Chi School and his three daughters at the Immaculate Conception Anglo-Chinese Academy.

The lower court has found that petitioner is not opposed to organized government and that there is no evidence that he is associated with any group of persons who uphold the doctrines opposed to organized government; neither is he in favor of using violence for the success of one's ideals; he is not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice thereof; he has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude; neither is he suffering from any mental alienation or incurable contagious disease.

Despite petitioner's possession of the above qualifications, the court, however, denied his petition on the following grounds: (1) Petitioner has been using aliases and two of his children have different surnames from those of the other three; (2) he was educated in the Anglo-Chinese School where he had no Filipino classmates and he has always been residing in neighborhoods inhabited by Chinese; (3) He has no love for his mother in China as shown by the fact that he never sent her money and that he did not know whether or not she is still alive; (4) He is a member of the Philippine-Chinese Glassware Merchants Association which is composed entirely of Chinese. Said association has passed a resolution against the Filipino First Policy, to which resolution he did not object; (5) Among the seven employees of petitioner only two are Filipinos; and (6) It has not been sufficiently shown that his witnesses have such a close contact with petitioner as to be able to testify to become a citizen.

The petitioner has appealed.

A review of the Record convinces Us that petitioner does not deserve to be admitted to Philippine citizenship.

The evidence really, shows that petitioner has been using some aliases. In his landing certificate, immigrant certificate of residence and alien certificate of registration, petitioner's name appear as Wang I Fu. However, in his marriage contract, he gave his name as George Wang I Fu, while in the birth certificates of his children he used the alias George Ong. Aside from George Wang and George Ong, petitioner also uses the alias Ong Hay Kuan. The use of said aliases is not explained and there is no showing that it has been authorized as required by the Alias Law (Commonwealth Act No. 142). Being violative of the law, we think this act of petitioner is not beyond reproach and is, therefore, a ground for denying his application for naturalization. (See Koa Gui vs. Republic, G. R. No. L-17317, July 31, 1962; Lim Bun vs. Republic 111 Phil., 677; and Ng Liam Keng vs. Republic, 111 Phil., 854.)

It also appears from petitioner's evidence that in the birth certificates and certificates of registration of his daughters Maria Teresita and Maria Nancy, their surname is Ong, but in petitioner's testimony he mentions Wang as the surname of these two children. As correctly observed by the trial court, this using of different names is not in accordance with customs and traditions of the Filipino people.

As to petitioner's not having serious concern over his mother's whereabouts or existence, the lower court made the following observation:

"Petitioner also testified that he went to Hongkong in 1954, but he did not see his mother because she was residing in Chingkang, China, which was under the communist regime then and up to the present; but admitted that there was a regular postal system between the Philippines and Red China and he was writing to his mother since 1947 and 1948. He further claimed that although he went to Hongkong in 1954 he did not send his mother any money in spite of his claim that he owns a business in the Philippines worth P150,000.00. When pressed for an explanation for his seemingly strange attitude toward his mother, petitioner explained that he did not send money to his mother because he believes that his brother will take care of his mother.

"During the latter part of his testimony, petitioner sought to give an additional explanation for his failure to send money to his mother by stating that he did not know whether she is still alive or not. This statement was contradicted by his earlier testimony when he testified that one week before he went to Hongkong he wrote a letter to his mother notifying her that he was going to Hongkong. The foregoing, in the mind of the Court, shows that petitioner has no love for his mother."

Apparently, petitioner had not seen his mother since 1934 when he came to live in this country, yet he made no efforts to inquire about her. If he should have the concern that a Filipino has for his mother, he should have, at least, corresponded with his brothers in China about their mother's well-being. Again, petitioner's attitude in this regard does not speak well of his claim to have embraced the customs, traditions, and ideals of the Filipino people.

Petitioner's membership in the Philippine Chinese Glassware Merchants Association, and his acquiescence to the resolution against the Filipino First Policy, indicate that he prefers to associate with his co-Chinese and his sympathy is with them and not with the Filipinos.

Even in the selection of his employees, petitioner has shown himself to be partial in favor of Chinese citizens, because, as pointed out above, one of the seven employees in his business, only the driver and cargador are Filipinos, and the responsible positions are held by Chinese.

Another observation that bespeaks of petitioner's indifference to the Filipinos is that all of his children are studying in Chinese schools, namely, the Immaculate Conception Anglo-Chinese Academy and the Huang Chi School. The names of these schools convey the impression that they are not for Filipinos and where there is no mingling among Chinese with Filipino children. We have already observed in previous cases (Garchitorena vs. Republic, 111 Phil., 607; Hao Su Siong alias Ramon Cuenco vs. Republic, G. R. No. L-13045, July 30, 1962) that this circumstance affects the sincerity of petitioner's intention to become a Filipino citizen. As properly stated in a previous case:

"* * *. One of the essential requisites for naturalization is the actual desire and overt acts on the part of the applicant for naturalization to mingle and associate with Filipinos. The purpose of this policy is to permit gradual assimilation of naturalized citizens. It would be violative of this policy to admit aliens who evince a desire to preserve their identity as aliens. (Ong Ching Guan vs. Republic 111 Phil., 433.)

Lastly, We feel that the evidence adduced is not sufficient to show that petitioner is morally irreproachable. The law requires proper and irreproachable conduct during the applicant's entire period of residence in the Philippines. Since the only witnesses presented by petitioner Alfredo Peñalosa and Jose Bernabe came to know the petitioner only in 1943 and 1945, respectively, they are not in a position to testify as to applicant's conduct from the time he arrived in the Philippines in May 1934. It should take more than uncorroborated assertions of petitioner himself to establish this vital fact. (Chua Pun vs. Republic, 113 Phil., 628.)

In view of the foregoing, the decision dismissing Wang I Fu's petition for naturalization is hereby affirmed. Costs against the petitioner-appellant.

Bengzon, C. J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Reyes, J. B. L., Paredes, Dizon, and Makalintal, JJ., concur.