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Mo Ya Lim Yao vs.

Commissioner of Immigration (GR L-21289, 4 October 1971) En Banc, Barredo (J): 4 concur, 1 reserves right to file separate concurring opinion, 1 concurs except as theinterpretation accorded some American decisions as to which he is not fully persuaded, 1 dissents in separateopinion Facts: On 8 February 1961, Lau Yuen Yeung applied for a passport visa to enter the Philippines as a non-immigrant. In the interrogation made in connection with her application for a temporary visitor's visa to enter thePhilippines, she stated that she was a Chinese residing at Kowloon, Hongkong, and that she desired to take apleasure trip to the Philippines to visit her greatgranduncle Lau Ching Ping for a period of one month. She waspermitted to come into the Philippines on 13 March 1961, and was permitted to stay for a period of one monthwhich would expire on 13 April 1961. On the date of her arrival, Asher Y, Cheng filed a bond in the amount of P1,000.00 to undertake, among others, that said Lau Yuen Yeung would actually depart from the Philippines on orbefore the expiration of her authorized period of stay in this country or within the period as in his discretion theCommissioner of Immigration or his authorized representative might properly allow. After repeated extensions,Lau Yuen Yeung was allowed to stay in the Philippines up to 13 February 1962. On 25 January 1962, shecontracted marriage with Moy Ya Lim Yao alias Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim an alleged Filipino citizen. Because of thecontemplated action of the Commissioner of Immigration to confiscate her bond and order her arrest andimmediate deportation, after the expiration of her authorized stay, she brought an action for injunction withpreliminary injunction. At the hearing which took place one and a half years after her arrival, it was admitted thatLau Yuen Yeung could not write either English or Tagalog. Except for a few words, she could not speak eitherEnglish or Tagalog. She could not name any Filipino neighbor, with a Filipino name except one, Rosa. She did notknow the names of her brothers-in-law, or sisters-in-law. The Court of First Instance of Manila (Civil Case 49705)denied the prayer for preliminary injunction. Moya Lim Yao and Lau Yuen Yeung appealed. Issue: Whether Lau Yuen Yeung ipso facto became a Filipino citizen upon her marriage to a Filipino citizen. Held: Under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, an alien woman marrying a Filipino, native born ornaturalized, becomes ipso facto a Filipina provided she is not disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines underSection 4 of the same law. Likewise, an alien woman married to an alien who is subsequently naturalized herefollows the Philippine citizenship of her husband the moment he takes his oath as Filipino citizen, provided thatshe does not suffer from any of the disqualifications under said Section 4. Whether the alien woman requires toundergo the naturalization proceedings, Section 15 is a parallel provision to Section 16. Thus, if the widow of anapplicant for naturalization as Filipino, who dies during the proceedings, is not required to go through anaturalization proceedings, in order to be considered as a Filipino citizen hereof, it should follow that the wife of aliving Filipino cannot be denied the same privilege. This is plain common sense and there is absolutely noevidence that the Legislature intended to treat them differently. As the laws of our country, both substantive andprocedural, stand today, there is no such procedure (a substitute for naturalization proceeding to enable the alienwife of a Philippine citizen to have the matter of her own citizenship settled and established so that she may nothave to be called upon to prove it everytime she has to perform an act or enter into a transaction or business orexercise a right reserved only to Filipinos), but such is no proof that the citizenship is not vested as of the date of marriage or the husband's acquisition of citizenship, as the case may be, for the truth is that the situation obtainseven as to nativeborn Filipinos. Everytime the citizenship of a person is material or indispensible in a judicial oradministrative case, Whatever the corresponding court or administrative authority decides therein as to suchcitizenship is generally not considered as res adjudicata, hence it has to be threshed out again and again as theoccasion may demand. Lau Yuen Yeung, was declared to

have become a Filipino citizen from and by virtue of hermarriage to Moy Ya Lim Yao al as Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim, a Filipino citizen of 25 January 1962.