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[ GR No. L-13303, Dec 10, 1959 ]



106 Phil. 702

[ G. R. No. L-13303, December 10, 1959 ]




This is an appeal by  petitioner Ang Bun Phek,  alias Kun Pue Guan, an applicant  for naturalization, from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila,  denying his application.   After the hearing where the Solicitor General appeared on behalf of the  Republic of the  Philippines, the trial court  made the  following findings of fact to which the Solicitor General  in  his  brief agrees:
"Petitioner Ang Bun Phek was  born in Ang Chu, Amoy,  China, on  August 5, 1928.  He came to the Philippines  on  board the S/S TJISATANE in July, 1937, with his mother Tan Cho Kim alias Luy Ni,  as son of merchant, Ang  Chay  Hok, already dead;  and has resided continuously in the Philippines  already for at least ten years, and has never left the Philippines. In 1938, he began to use the alias name  of Kun Pue Guan. He is a salesman at Hua Hing Trading Co., Manila, with a salary  of P250.00 a month.   He is married to Constancia Lee, a .Chinese, born  in Manila  on  August 29, 1930 (Exh. D), with whom he has  three daughters, named Virginia Kun, born February 5, 1955, Manila; Vivian Lee Kun, born  February 4, 1956, Manila, and  Veronica L. Kun,  born February 9, 1957, (Exhs. K, K-1 and K-2).  Petitioner and his wife and  child ren are all  provided with corresponding alien certificates of registration (Exhs. M, Q, R, R-1 and  R-2.)  Besides the Chinese language, petitioner  can speak and  write  English and Tagalog (Exhs. S).  He filed income tax returns for 1954, 1955 and 1956 and has no outstanding internal revenue tax obligation (Exhs. E, E-l, E-2 and  G).  He is of good moral character, and has not  been  prosecuted or convicted of any offense (Exhs. H, H-1,  0, 0-1  and 0-13), except for violation of ordinance in 1947, for placing garbage can early  on sidewalk.  During the entire period of his residence  in the Philippines,  he has conducted himself in a  proper  and irreproachable  manner in his relation with the constituted  authorities as well as with the community wherein he  lives.  (Exhs. 0, 0-1, to 0-13).  He believes in the principles underlying the Philippine Constitution, and is not opposed to organized government, or affiliated with any organization  which upholds and teaches  doctrines opposing all organized governments, or which advocates or  defends the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or assassination for the success and  predominance  of men's ideas.  He is not a polygamist or a believer in  the practice  of polygamy. He is not suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious  disease (Exh. P). He has always mingled socially with  Filipinos, and  has shown a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions and ideals  of  the  Filipinos.  He is  a subject  of  Nationalist  China (Exhs. H and H-l) with which the Philippines is not at war, and the  laws of which grant Filipinos the  right to become naturalized citizens thereof."
The main reason of the trial  court  in denying  the application  is contained in the portion  of its  decision which we  reproduce below:
"Despite all  the facts  abovementioned,  the Court  does  not  feel free to act  favorably upon  the herein petition for the reason that the  petitioner has  not satisfactorily  established  lawful  entry for permanent residence in the Philippines, as  required by Section 6 of the Revised Naturalization Law (C.A.  No. 473). His bare testimony that upon  his  arrival in Manila  in  July, 1937,  he was issued  a Landing Certificate of  Residence in the name of  "Ang Bun Phek", and that said  document  was  lost in  1942  during  the  Japanese occupation  is  not only not  reliable  but  doubtful. Petitioner declared  that he came to the  Islands with the  mother Tan  Cho Kun alias Luy  Ni, in  July, 1937,  at the  age  of  9 years, but he did not present his  said mother to  corroborate his testimony notwithstanding the fact that he was given opportunity  to do so."
The record, however,  in  our opinion, sufficiently establishes  applicant's lawful entry  for  permanent  residence here.   In connection with said lawful  entry of petitioner for permanent residence in the Philippines  as  required in Section 6 of the Revised Naturalization Law, the  Solicitor General on page 5 of his brief, says  the following:
"* *  *.  To establish  his  lawful entry, petitioner  presented in evidence immigration Certificate of Residence No. 3104, dated March 23,  1946 (Exh. 'M-l', p. 21,  Folder of Exhibits), the  Certificate of Arrival, dated June 10, 1954  (Exh. 'L' p. 19, Folder  of Exhibits), the Alien  Certificate of  Registration  dated  July 14, 1950  (Exh. 'M', p.  20, Folder of Exhibits), and the Certificate of the Bureau of Immigration to the effect  that in the 1941 Master  List  of registered  aliens on  file in  said  office,  the name  of Ang Bun Phek appears
The above described documents satisfy the requirements of the law as to  entry and residence.   In the case of Maxwell Tong vs. Republic of the Philippines, G. R. No. L-9728, promulgated January 21, 1958, where the trial court denied the petition for naturalization, this Tribunal, through Mr. Justice Bengzon, said:
"We think the denial was erroneous.  The dubious certificate (Certificate of the  Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Immigration to the effect  that according to the records, the petitioner was lawfully admitted into the Philippines) was only one of the several certificates submitted by petitioner. The  Immigrant Certificate  of Residence  introduced  at the hearing as Exhibit  L-5  is quite conclusive.  Dated  March  11, 1956, and  signed  by Alfredo  Catolico, First Deputy Commissioner of Immigration, it certifies that herein applicant, then 27  years old, 'was admitted as an immigrant at the port of Manila  and is  lawfully entitled  to remain in the  Philippines.  Surely, no  better testimonial could have  been produced  on his right  to stay here."   (P.  2, Decision on  the Petition for Naturalization of  Maxwell Tong.)
Even the Solicitor General representing the Government apparently agrees to our opinion as to petitioner-appellant's having  established  his  lawful entry for permanent residence.   After  copying the same portion of  our  decision in the Maxwell  Tong case (supra), as  we  have  above-reproduced, said Solicitor General says on pp. 6-7  of his brief:
"* * *In view thereof the objection relied upon by the trial court  on this point  loses  weight especially when we consider that in the Maxwell Tong case  the  'records  referred  to is a so-called master list of aliens which was started to be prepared in 1941, and the entry  with respect  to petitioner was  made in 1946 and  the data were  taken from petitioner's application dated March 1, 1946 for the issuance of an immigrant certificate of residence', while in the case under consideration, petitioner's name and corresponding data appear in  the master list of 1941.  * **"
Again, in the case of Victoriano Yap Subieng vs. Republic of the Philippines, 102 Phil., 892 where petitioner Subieng presented in evidence  his Alien Certificate of Residence No. A 40086  and his  Native  Certificate of Residence No. 57370,  wherein it appears that he was born in Manila on  May 5, 1923, this Tribunal, referring to said documents, through Mr. Justice Bautista Angelo,  said:
"** * These are official documents which were issued in due course by the immigration  authorities and unless  their genuineness is assailed, which  was not, we have to give  them due probative value.  It is not therefore  correct to say that the evidence of petitioner on this point is not  supported by documentary  evidence."
In view of  the foregoing, the appealed decision is hereby reversed.   The application for naturalization should  be granted.   No costs.

Paras, C. J., Bengzon, Padilla, Bautista  Angelo, Labrador, Endencia, Barrera, and Gutierrez David, JJ., concur.