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ARTICLE IV (1987) "(2) Those born in the Philippines Islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of this

Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippine Islands.


CITIZENSHIP
"(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines.
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
"(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and upon reaching the age of
[1] Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution; majority, elect Philippine citizenship.

[2] Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines; "(5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law."

[3] Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship ARTICLE III (1973)
upon reaching the age of majority; and
Citizenship
[4] Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
Section 2. Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without
having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect (1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution.
Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed
natural-born citizens. (2) Those whose fathers and mothers are citizens of the Philippines.

Section 3. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law. (3) Those who elect Philippine citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of
nineteen hundred and thirty-five.
Section 4. Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their citizenship, unless by
their act or omission, they are deemed, under the law, to have renounced it. (4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

Section 5. Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with COMMONWEALTH ACT No. 625
by law.
AN ACT PROVIDING THE MANNER IN WHICH THE OPTION TO ELECT PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP
The Philippine Bill of 1902, or the Cooper Act of July 1, 1902, provided for the retention of SHALL BE DECLARED BY A PERSON WHOSE MOTHER IS A FILIPINO CITIZEN
executive powers of the Philippine Commission and the establishment of a bicameral Philippine
Legislature. It provided for the creation of the Philippine Assembly, a body that would share Be it enacted by the National Assembly of the Philippines:
legislative powers with the Philippine Commission and would function as the lower chamber of
Section 1. The option to elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with subsection (4), section
the proposed Philippine Legislature. It also provided for a bill of rights for the Filipinos, and the
1, Article IV, of the Constitution1 shall be expressed in a statement to be signed and sworn to
appointment of two Filipino resident commissioners to represent the Philippines in the United
by the party concerned before any officer authorized to administer oaths, and shall be filed
States Congress but without voting rights. On October 16, 1907, the first session of the
with the nearest civil registry. The said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the
Philippine assembly opened, with an elected lower house and the Philippine Commission,
oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Government of the Philippines.
previously established, as the upper house.
Section 2. If the party concerned is absent from the Philippines, he may make the statement
"Section 1, Article III, 1935 Constitution. The following are citizens of the Philippines -
herein authorized before any officer of the Government of the United States2 authorized to
"(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this administer oaths, and he shall forward such statement together with his oath of allegiance, to
Constitution the Civil Registry of Manila.
Section 3. The civil registrar shall collect as filing fees of the statement, the amount of ten Sixth. He must have enrolled his minor children of school age, in any of the public schools or
pesos. private schools recognized by the Office of Private Education1 of the Philippines, where the
Philippine history, government and civics are taught or prescribed as part of the school
Section 4. The penalty of prision correccional, or a fine not exceeding ten thousand pesos, or curriculum, during the entire period of the residence in the Philippines required of him prior to
both, shall be imposed on anyone found guilty of fraud or falsehood in making the statement the hearing of his petition for naturalization as Philippine citizen.
herein prescribed.
Section 3. Special qualifications. The ten years of continuous residence required under the
Section 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval. second condition of the last preceding section shall be understood as reduced to five years for
any petitioner having any of the following qualifications:
Approved, June 7, 1941.
Having honorably held office under the Government of the Philippines or under that of any of
COMMONWEALTH ACT No. 473 the provinces, cities, municipalities, or political subdivisions thereof;

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALIZATION, Having established a new industry or introduced a useful invention in the Philippines;
AND TO REPEAL ACTS NUMBERED TWENTY-NINE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN AND THIRTY-
FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY-EIGHT. Being married to a Filipino woman;

Be it enacted by the National Assembly of the Philippines: Having been engaged as a teacher in the Philippines in a public or recognized private school
not established for the exclusive instruction of children of persons of a particular nationality or
Section 1. Title of Act. – This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Revised race, in any of the branches of education or industry for a period of not less than two years;
Naturalization Law."
Having been born in the Philippines.
Section 2. Qualifications. – Subject to section four of this Act, any person having the following
qualifications may become a citizen of the Philippines by naturalization: Section 4. Who are disqualified. - The following cannot be naturalized as Philippine citizens:

First. He must be not less than twenty-one years of age on the day of the hearing of the Persons opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association or group of
petition; persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposing all organized governments;

Second. He must have resided in the Philippines for a continuous period of not less than ten Persons defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or
years; assassination for the success and predominance of their ideas;

Third. He must be of good moral character and believes in the principles underlying the Polygamists or believers in the practice of polygamy;
Philippine Constitution, and must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable
manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the Persons convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude;
constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living.
Persons suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious diseases;
Fourth. He must own real estate in the Philippines worth not less than five thousand pesos,
Philippine currency, or must have some known lucrative trade, profession, or lawful Persons who, during the period of their residence in the Philippines, have not mingled socially
occupation; with the Filipinos, or who have not evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs,
traditions, and ideals of the Filipinos;
Fifth. He must be able to speak and write English or Spanish and any one of the principal
Philippine languages; and Citizens or subjects of nations with whom the United States 2and the Philippines are at war,
during the period of such war;
Citizens or subjects of a foreign country other than the United States 3whose laws do not grant Section 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as "The Administrative Naturalization Law of
Filipinos the right to become naturalized citizens or subjects thereof. 2000."

Republic Act 530 Section 2. Declaration of Policy. - The State shall control and regulate the admission and
integration of aliens into its territory and body politic including the grant of citizenship to
June 16, 1950 aliens. Towards this end, aliens born and residing in the Philippines may be granted Philippine
citizenship by administrative proceedings subject to certain requirements dictated by national
REPUBLIC ACT No. 530 security and interest.
AN ACT MAKING ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS FOR NATURALIZATION Section 3. Qualifications. - Subject to the provisions of the succeeding section, any person
desiring to avail of the benefits of this Act must meet the following qualifications:
Section 1. The provisions of existing laws notwithstanding, no petition for Philippine citizenship
shall be heard by the courts until after six months from the publication of the application (a) The applicant must be born in the Philippines and residing therein since birth;
required by law, nor shall any decision granting the application become executory until after
two years from its promulgation and after the court, on proper hearing, with the attendance of (b) The applicant must not be less than eighteen (18) years of age, at the time of filing of
the Solicitor General or his representative, is satisfied, and so finds, that during the intervening his/her petition;
time the applicant has (1) not left the Philippines, (2) has dedicated himself continuously to a
lawful calling or profession, (3) has not been convicted of any offense or violation of (c) The applicant must be of good moral character and believes in the underlying principles of
Government promulgated rules, (4) or committed any act prejudicial to the interest of the the Constitution, and must have conducted himself/herself in a proper and irreproachable
nation or contrary to any Government announced policies. manner during his/her entire period of residence in the Philippines in his relation with the duly
constituted government as well as with the community in which he/she is living;
Section 2. After the finding mentioned in section one, the order of the court granting
citizenship shall be registered and the oath provided by existing laws shall be taken by the (d) The applicant must have received his/her primary and secondary education in any public
applicant, whereupon, and not before, he will be entitled to all the privileges of a Filipino school or private educational institution dully recognized by the Department of Education,
citizen. Culture and Sports, where Philippine history, government and civics are taught and prescribed
as part of the school curriculum and where enrollment is not limited to any race or nationality:
Section 3. Such parts of Act Numbered Four hundred seventy-three as are inconsistent with Provided, That should he/she have minor children of school age, he/she must have enrolled
the provisions of the present Act are hereby repealed. them in similar schools;

Section 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval, and shall apply to cases pending in court (e) The applicant must have a known trade, business, profession or lawful occupation, from
and to those where the applicant has not yet taken the oath of citizenship: Provided, however, which he/she derives income sufficient for his/her support and if he/she is married and/or has
That in pending cases where the requisite of publication under the old law and already been dependents, also that of his/her family: Provided, however, That this shall not apply to
complied with, the publication herein required shall not apply. applicants who are college degree holders but are unable to practice their profession because
they are disqualified to do so by reason of their citizenship;
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9139 June 08, 2001
(f) The applicant must be able to read, write and speak Filipino or any of the dialects of the
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP FOR CERTAIN ALIENS BY Philippines; and
ADMINISTRATIVE NATURALIZATION AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
(g) The applicant must have mingled with the Filipinos and evinced a sincere desire to learn
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress and embrace the customs, traditions and ideals of the Filipino people.
assembled:
Section 4. Disqualifications, - The following are not qualified to be naturalized as Filipino
citizens under this Act:
(a) Those opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association of group of newspaper of general circulation, for three consecutive weeks, the last publication of which
persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposing all organized governments; should be at least six months before the said date of hearing. The order further required the
posting of a copy thereof and the petition in a conspicuous place in the Office of the Clerk of
(b) Those defending or teaching the necessity of or propriety of violence, personal assault or Court of the Regional Trial Court, Manila (Rollo, pp. 24-26).
assassination for the success or predominance of their ideas;
On January 14, 1992, private respondent filed a "Motion to Set Hearing Ahead of Schedule,"
(c) Polygamists or believers in the practice of polygamy; where he manifested his intention to run for public office in the May 1992 elections. He alleged
that the deadline for filing the certificate of candidacy was March 15, one day before the
(d) Those convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude; scheduled hearing. He asked that the hearing set on March 16 be cancelled and be moved to
January 24 (Rollo, pp. 27-28).
(e) Those suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious diseases;
The motion was granted in an Order dated January 24, 1992, wherein the hearing of the
(f) Those who, during the period of their residence in the Philippines, have not mingled socially
petition was moved to February 21, 1992. The said order was not published nor a copy thereof
with Filipinos, or who have not evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs,
posted.
traditions and ideals of the Filipinos;
On February 21, the hearing proceeded with private respondent as the sole witness. He
(g) Citizens or subjects with whom the Philippines is at war, during the period of such war; and
submitted the following documentary evidence: (1) Affidavit of Publication of the Order dated
(h) Citizens or subjects of a foreign country whose laws do not grant Filipinos the right to be October 7, 1991 issued by the publisher of The Philippine Star (Exh. "A"); (2) Certificate of
naturalized citizens or subjects thereof. Publication of the order issued

by the National Printing Office (Exh. "B"); (3) Notice of Hearing of Petition (Exh. "B-1"); (4)
Photocopy of a Citation issued by the National Press Club with private respondent’s picture
(Exhs. "C" and "C-2"); (5) Certificate of Appreciation issued by the Rotary Club of Davao (Exh.
"D"); (6) Photocopy

of a Plaque of Appreciation issued by the Republican College, Quezon City (Exh. "E"); (7)
Photocopy of a Plaque of Appreciation issued by the Davao-Bicol Association (Exh. "F"); (8)
Certification issued by the Records Management and Archives Office that the record of birth of
G.R. No. 104654 private respondent was not on file (Exh. "G"); and (8) Certificate of Naturalization issued by the
United States District Court (Exh. "H").
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court in relation to R.A.
No. 5440 and Section 25 of the Interim Rules, filed by the Republic of the Philippines: (1) to Six days later, on February 27, respondent Judge rendered the assailed Decision, disposing as
annul the Decision dated February 27, 1992 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 28, Manila, in follows:
SP Proc. No. 91-58645, which re-admitted private respondent as a Filipino citizen under the
Revised Naturalization Law (C.A. No. 63 as amended by C.A. No. 473); and (2) to nullify the WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Petitioner JUAN G. FRIVALDO, is re-admitted as a citizen
oath of allegiance taken by private respondent on February 27, 1992. of the Republic of the Philippines by naturalization, thereby vesting upon him, all the rights and
privileges of a natural born Filipino citizen (Rollo, p. 33).
On September 20, 1991, petitioner filed a petition for naturalization captioned: "In the Matter
of Petition of Juan G. Frivaldo to be Re-admitted as a Citizen of the Philippines under On the same day, private respondent was allowed to take his oath of allegiance before
Commonwealth Act No. 63" (Rollo, pp. 17-23). respondent Judge (Rollo, p. 34).

In an Order dated October 7, 1991 respondent Judge set the petition for hearing on March 16, On March 16, a "Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and to Admit Motion for
1992, and directed the publication of the said order and petition in the Official Gazette and a Reconsideration" was filed by Quiterio H. Hermo. He alleged that the proceedings were tainted
with jurisdictional defects, and prayed for a new trial to conform with the requirements of the Private respondent, having opted to reacquire Philippine citizenship thru naturalization under
Naturalization Law. the Revised Naturalization Law, is duty bound to follow the procedure prescribed by the said
law. It is not for an applicant to decide for himself and to select the requirements which he
After receiving a copy of the Decision on March 18, 1992, the Solicitor General interposed a believes, even sincerely, are applicable to his case and discard those which be believes are
timely appeal directly with the Supreme Court. inconvenient or merely of nuisance value. The law does not distinguish between an applicant
who was formerly a Filipino citizen and one who was never such a citizen. It does not provide a
G.R. No. 104654 special procedure for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by former Filipino citizens akin
to the repatriation of a woman who had lost her Philippine citizenship by reason of her
We shall first resolve the issue concerning private respondent’s citizenship.
marriage to an alien.
In his comment to the State’s appeal of the decision granting him Philippine citizenship in G.R.
The trial court never acquired jurisdiction to hear the petition for naturalization of private
No. 104654, private respondent alleges that the precarious political atmosphere in the country
respondent. The proceedings conducted, the decision rendered and the oath of allegiance
during Martial Law compelled him to seek political asylum in the United States, and eventually
taken therein, are null and void for failure to comply with the publication and posting
to renounce his Philippine citizenship.
requirements under the Revised Naturalization Law.
He claims that his petition for naturalization was his only available remedy for his reacquisition
Under Section 9 of the said law, both the petition for naturalization and the order setting it for
of Philippine citizenship. He tried to reacquire his Philippine citizenship through repatriation
hearing must be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in the Official Gazette and
and direct act of Congress. However, he was later informed that repatriation proceedings were
a newspaper of general circulation respondent cites his achievements as a freedom fighter and
limited to army deserters or Filipino women who had lost their citizenship by reason of their
a former Governor of the Province of Sorsogon for six terms.
marriage to foreigners (Rollo, pp. 49-50). His request to Congress for sponsorship of a bill
allowing him to reacquire his Philippine citizenship failed to materialize, notwithstanding the The appeal of the Solicitor General in behalf of the Republic of
endorsement of several members of the House of Representatives in his favor (Rollo, p. 51).
He attributed this to the maneuvers of his political rivals. the Philippines is meritorious. The naturalization proceedings in SP Proc.

He also claims that the re-scheduling of the hearing of the petition to an earlier date, without No. 91-58645 was full of procedural flaws, rendering the decision an anomaly.
publication, was made without objection from the Office of the Solicitor General. He makes
mention that on the date of the hearing, the court was jam-packed. Private respondent, having opted to reacquire Philippine citizenship thru naturalization under
the Revised Naturalization Law, is duty bound to follow the procedure prescribed by the said
It is private respondent’s posture that there was substantial compliance with the law and that law. It is not for an applicant to decide for himself and to select the requirements which he
the public was well-informed of his petition for naturalization due to the publicity given by the believes, even sincerely, are applicable to his case and discard those which he believes are
media. inconvenient or merely of nuisance value. The law does not distinguish between an applicant
who was formerly a Filipino citizen and one who was never such a citizen. It does not provide a
Anent the issue of the mandatory two-year waiting period prior to the taking of the oath of special procedure for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by former Filipino citizens akin
allegiance, private respondent theorizes that the rationale of the law imposing the waiting to the repatriation of a woman who had lost her Philippine citizenship by reason of her
period is to grant the public an opportunity to investigate the background of the applicant and marriage to an alien.
to oppose the grant of Philippine citizenship if there is basis to do so. In his case, private
respondent alleges that such requirement may be dispensed with, claiming that his life, both The trial court never acquired jurisdiction to hear the petition for naturalization of private
private and public, was well-known. Private respondent cites his achievement as a freedom respondent. The proceedings conducted, the decision rendered and the oath of allegiance
fighter and a former Governor of the Province of Sorsogon for six terms. taken therein, are null and void for failure to comply with the publication and posting
requirements under the Revised Naturalization Law.
The appeal of the Solicitor General in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines is meritorious.
The naturalization proceedings in SP Proc. No. 91-58645 was full of procedural flaws, rendering
the decision an anomaly.
Under Section 9 of the said law, both the petition for naturalization and the order setting it for
hearing must be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in the Official Gazette and
a newspaper of general circulation. Compliance therewith is jurisdictional (Po Yi Bo v. Republic,
205 SCRA 400 [1992]). Moreover, the publication and posting of the petition and the order
must be in its full test for the court to acquire jurisdiction (Sy v. Republic, 55 SCRA 724 [1974]). .R. No. 138496 February 23, 2004

The petition for naturalization lacks several allegations required by Sections 2 and 6 of the HUBERT TAN CO and ARLENE TAN CO, petitioners, vs. THE CIVIL REGISTER OF MANILA and any
Revised Naturalization Law, particularly: (1) that the petitioner is of good moral character; (2) person having or claiming an interest under the entry whose cancellation or correction is
that he resided continuously in the Philippines for at least ten years; (3) that he is able to sought, respondent.
speak and write English and any one of the principal dialects; (4) that he will reside
DECISION
continuously in the Philippines from the date of the filing of the petition until his admission to
Philippine citizenship; and (5) that he has filed a declaration of intention or if he is excused CALLEJO, SR., J.:
from said filing, the justification therefor.
Before the Court is the petition for review on certiorari filed by Hubert Tan Co and Arlene Tan
The absence of such allegations is fatal to the petition (Po Yi Bi v. Republic, 205 SCRA 400 Co seeking to reverse and set aside the Order1 dated September 23, 1998 of the Regional Trial
[1992]). Court of Manila, Branch 26, dismissing their petition for correction of entries in the Civil
Register. Likewise sought to be reversed and set aside is the Order dated April 27, 1999 of the
Likewise, the petition is not supported by the affidavit of at least two credible persons who
court a quo denying the petitioners’ motion for reconsideration of the said order.
vouched for the good moral character of private respondent as required by Section 7 of the
Revised Naturalization Law. Private respondent also failed to attach a copy of his certificate of The factual antecedents are as follows:
arrival to the petition as required by Section 7 of the said law.
Hubert Tan Co was born on March 23, 1974. His sister, Arlene Tan Co, was born on May 19,
The proceedings of the trial court was marred by the following irregularities: (1) the hearing of 1975. In their respective certificates of birth, it is stated that their parents Co Boon Peng and
the petition was set ahead of the scheduled date of hearing, without a publication of the order Lourdes Vihong K. Tan are Chinese citizens.
advancing the date of hearing, and the petition itself; (2) the petition was heard within six
months from the last publication of the petition; (3) petitioner was allowed to take his oath of Thereafter, Co Boon Peng filed an application for his naturalization as a citizen of the
allegiance before the finality of the judgment; and (4) petitioner took his oath of allegiance Philippines with the Special Committee on Naturalization under Letter of Instruction (LOI) No.
without observing the two-year waiting period. 270. His application was granted and he was conferred Philippine citizenship under Presidential
Decree (P.D.) No. 1055. The Chairman of the Committee issued on February 15, 1977
A decision in a petition for naturalization becomes final only after 30 days from its Certificate of Naturalization No. 020778 in his favor. Thus, on February 15, 1977, Co Boon Peng
promulgation and, insofar as the Solicitor General is concerned, that period is counted from the took his oath as a Philippine citizen. In the meantime, Hubert and Arlene Co finished college
date of his receipt of the copy of the decision (Republic v. Court of First Instance of Albay, 60 and earned their respective degrees in architecture and accountancy in Philippine schools.
SCRA 195 [1974]).
On August 27, 1998, they filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila a petition under Rule 108
Section 1 of R.A. No. 530 provides that no decision granting citizenship in naturalization of the Rules of Court for correction of entries in their certificates of birth. The case was
proceedings shall be executory until after two years from its promulgation in order to be able docketed as Sp. Proc. Case No. 98-90470. They alleged, inter alia, in their petition that:
to observe if: (1) the applicant has left the country; (2) the applicant has dedicated himself
continuously to a lawful calling or profession; (3) the applicant has not been convicted of any (3) They were born in the Philippines and the legitimate children of CO BOON PENG;
offense or violation of government promulgated rules; and (4) the applicant has committed
any act prejudicial to the interest of the country or contrary to government announced policies. (4) Co Boon Peng, who is formerly a citizen of China, was conferred Philippine citizenship by
naturalization under Presidential Decree No. 1055 and had taken his oath of allegiance to the
Even discounting the provisions of R.A. No. 530, the courts cannot implement any decision Republic of the Philippines on 15th February, 1977 in the City of Manila;
granting the petition for naturalization before its finality.
(5) At the time of birth of [the] petitioners, their father CO BOON PENG was still a Chinese be deemed and incorporated in and applied to LOI No. 270; and, (d) the application of the so-
citizen that is why entry in their respective birth certificates as to their father’s citizenship was called "pari materia" rule of construction made by the petitioners is misplaced, as what should
Chinese; be applied in the instant case is the rule on strict construction of legislative grants or franchise.
The court a quo stressed that legislative grants, whether they be of property, rights or
(6) Upon granting of Philippine citizenship by naturalization to Co Boon Peng in 1977, [the] privileges, whether granted to corporations or individuals, must be strictly construed against
petitioners who were born in the Philippines and still minors at that time became Filipino the grantee and in favor of the grantor.
citizens through the derivative mode of naturalization. Our Naturalization Law, specifically
Section 15 of Commonwealth Act No. 473, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 535 which Aggrieved, the petitioners now come to this Court assailing the court a quo’s Order dismissing
provides: their petition outright and its Order denying their motion for the reconsideration of the same.

"Minor children of persons naturalized under this law who have been born in the Philippines The petitioners contend that the trial court erred in holding that their petition was insufficient.
shall be considered citizens thereof;" They assert that contrary to the ruling of the trial court, they are qualified to claim the benefit
of Section 15 of CA No. 473, which provides that minor children of persons naturalized
(7) The naturalization of petitioners’ father in 1977 was an act or event affecting and thereunder who were born in the Philippines shall likewise be considered citizens thereof. They
concerning their civil status that must be recorded in the Civil Register, Article 407 of the New contend that although LOI No. 270, under which the petitioners’ father was naturalized does
Civil Code of the Philippines which provides: not contain a provision similar to Section 15 of CA No. 473, the latter provision should be
deemed incorporated therein. They point out that both laws have the same purpose and
"Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status of persons shall be recorded in objective, i.e., to grant Philippine citizenship to qualified aliens permanently residing in the
the Civil Register."2 Philippines. The petitioners invoke the rule that statutes in pari materia are to be read
together.5 They posit that CA No. 473 and LOI No. 270 should be harmonized and reconciled
The petitioners prayed that, after due proceedings, the trial court render judgment correcting
since "all statutes relating to the same subject, or having the same general purpose, should be
and changing the entries in their respective birth certificates as to the citizenship of their
read in connection with it, and should be construed together as they constitute one law."6
father Co Boon Peng, from "Chinese" to "Filipino."3
The petitioners maintain that the letter and spirit of LOI No. 270 was to grant the privilege of
On September 23, 1998, the court a quo issued an order dismissing the petition outright on the
Philippine citizenship not only to qualified aliens but also to their minor children who were born
ground that the petition was insufficient, solely because the petitioners’ father Co Boon Peng
in the country. They assert that this is apparent from paragraph 4-A thereof, which extends the
applied for naturalization under LOI No. 270 and was conferred Philippine citizenship by
option to adopt Filipino names not only to qualified applicants for naturalization but also to
naturalization under PD No. 1055 and not under Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 473. 4
their wives and minor children. They submit that when then President Ferdinand E. Marcos
The petitioners sought the reconsideration of the assailed order arguing that LOI No. 270 and enacted LOI No. 270, he must be presumed to have been acquainted with the provisions of CA
CA No. 473 were designed to grant citizenship to deserving aliens; hence, should be construed No. 473 and did not intend to abrogate and discontinue the beneficial effects of Section 15
together. They averred that the benefit of Section 15 of CA No. 473 should also be granted to thereof; otherwise, Pres. Marcos would have expressly repealed Section 15 of CA No. 473 in
the petitioners whose father was granted naturalization under LOI No. 270. However, the RTC relation to LOI No. 270. Thus, according to the petitioners, the naturalization of their father
issued an Order on April 27, 1999, denying their motion for reconsideration for the following during their minority is an act or event affecting their civil status that must be recorded in the
reasons: (a) although Commonwealth Act No. 473 and Letter of Instructions No. 270 are Civil Register pursuant to Article 407 of the Civil Code.
statutes relating to the same subject matter, they do not provide the same beneficial effects
In his Comment, the Solicitor General contends that the court a quo did not err in issuing the
with respect to the minor children of the applicant. Section 15 of CA No. 473 expressly
assailed orders. Contrary to the petitioners’ theory, LOI No. 270 and CA No. 473 are separate
provides for the effect of the naturalization on the wife and children of the applicant while LOI
and distinct laws; therefore, are not in pari materia. He points out that although LOI No. 270
No. 270 does not have any proviso to that effect; (b) LOI No. 270 clearly refers to qualified
and CA No. 473 both govern the naturalization of aliens, CA No. 473 deals with the
individuals only. The rules and regulations promulgated by the Committee established
requirements and procedure for naturalization by judicial decree; LOI No. 270, on the other
pursuant to LOI No. 270 and the amendments issued by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos
hand, deals with the requirements and procedure for naturalization by presidential decree.
(LOI Nos. 292 and 491) clearly speak of qualified individuals only; no proviso therein referred
to its effect on the wife and children of the individual; (c) Section 15 of CA No. 473 should not
The Solicitor General further asserts that the petitioners’ contention that the naturalization of citizenship by naturalization is more expeditious, less cumbersome and less expensive. The
their father is an event affecting and concerning their civil status envisaged in Article 407 of sooner qualified aliens are naturalized, the faster they are able to integrate themselves into
the Civil Code has no legal basis. The correction sought and allowed under Rule 108 of the the national fabric, and are thus able to contribute to the cultural, social and political well-
Rules of Court must be one that reflects a fact existing before or at the time of birth. In the being of the country and its people.
petitioners’ case, the naturalization of their father in 1977 took place long after they were
born. Moreover, according to the Solicitor General, under LOI No. 270 and its amendatory laws, Clearly, LOI No. 270 and CA No. 473 are, as the petitioners correctly posit, statutes in pari
the naturalization of a father did not ipso facto render his children also naturalized. The materia. Absent any express repeal of Section 15 of CA No. 473 in LOI No. 270, the said
petitioners thus cannot invoke Article 407 of the Civil Code and Rule 108 of the Rules of Court provision should be read into the latter law as an integral part thereof, not being inconsistent
to avoid strict compliance with the naturalization laws. with its purpose. Thus, Section 15 of CA No. 473,9 which extends the grant of Philippine
citizenship to the minor children of those naturalized thereunder, should be similarly applied to
The petition is meritorious. the minor children of those naturalized under LOI No. 270, like the petitioners in this case.

The rule on statutory construction provides that: It is not enough that the petitioners adduce in evidence the certificate of naturalization of their
father, Co Boon Peng, and of his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, to entitle
Statutes in pari materia should be read and construed together because enactments of the them to Philippine citizenship. They are likewise mandated to prove the following material
same legislature on the same subject are supposed to form part of one uniform system; later allegations in their petition: (a) that they are the legitimate children of Co Boon Peng; (b) that
statutes are supplementary or complimentary (sic) to the earlier enactments and in the they were born in the Philippines; and, (c) that they were still minors when Co Boon Peng was
passage of its acts the legislature is supposed to have in mind the existing legislations on the naturalized as a Filipino citizen;
subject and to have enacted its new act with reference thereto.7
The petitioners’ recourse to Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, as amended, is appropriate. Under
Statutes in pari materia should be construed together to attain the purpose of an expressed Article 412 of the New Civil Code, no entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected
national policy, thus: without a judicial order. The law does not provide for a specific procedure of law to be
followed. But the Court approved Rule 108 of the Rules of Court to provide for a procedure to
On the presumption that whenever the legislature enacts a provision it has in mind the implement the law.10 The entries envisaged in Article 412 of the New Civil Code are those
previous statutes relating to the same subject matter, it is held that in the absence of any provided in Articles 407 and 408 of the New Civil Code which reads:
express repeal or amendment therein, the new provision was enacted in accord with the
legislative policy embodied in those prior statutes, and they all should be construed together. Art. 407. Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status of persons shall be
Provisions in an act which are omitted in another act relating to the same subject matter will recorded in the civil register.
be applied in a proceeding under the other act, when not inconsistent with its purpose. Prior
statutes relating to the same subject matter are to be compared with the new provisions; and Art. 408. The following shall be entered in the civil register:
if possible by reasonable construction, both are to be construed that effect is given to every
provision of each. Statutes in pari materia, although in apparent conflict, are so far as (1) Births; (2) Marriages; (3) deaths; (4) legal separations; (5) annulments of marriage; (6)
reasonably possible construed to be in harmony with each other.8 judgments declaring marriages void from the beginning; (7) legitimations; (8) adoptions; (9)
acknowledgments of natural children; (10) naturalization; (11) loss, or (12) recovery of
LOI No. 270 and CA No. 473 are laws governing the naturalization of qualified aliens residing in citizenship; (13) civil interdiction; (14) judicial determination of filiation; (15) voluntary
the Philippines. While they provide for different procedures, CA No. 473 governs naturalization emancipation of a minor; and (16) changes of name.
by judicial decree while LOI No. 270 governs naturalization by presidential decree; both
statutes have the same purpose and objective: to enable aliens permanently residing in the Specific matters covered by the said provision include not only status but also nationality.11
Philippines, who, having demonstrated and developed love for and loyalty to the Philippines, as The acts, events or factual errors envisaged in Article 407 of the New Civil Code include even
well as affinity to the culture, tradition and ideals of the Filipino people, and contributed to the those that occur after the birth of the petitioner. However, in such cases, the entries in the
economic, social and cultural development of our country, to be integrated into the national certificates of birth will not be corrected or changed. The decision of the court granting the
fabric by being granted Filipino citizenship. Under the LOI, the procedure for the acquisition of petition shall be annotated in the certificates of birth and shall form part of the civil register in
the Office of the Local Civil Registrar.12
To correct simply means "to make or set aright; to remove the faults or error from." To change In this case, the trial court dismissed the petition outright in violation of Rule 108 of the Rules
means "to replace something with something else of the same kind or with something that of Court. Patently, then, the trial court erred in so doing.
serves as a substitute. Article 412 of the New Civil Code does not qualify as to the kind of entry
to be changed or corrected or distinguished on the basis of the effect that the correction or IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Orders of the
change may be.13 Such entries include not only those clerical in nature but also substantial Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 26, are SET ASIDE and REVERSED. The trial court is
errors. After all, the role of the Court under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court is to ascertain the DIRECTED to reinstate the petition in Special Proceedings NO. 98-90470 in the court docket,
truths about the facts recorded therein.14 and ORDERED to continue with the proceedings in the said case under Rule 108 of the Rules of
Court, as amended.
The proceedings in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court are summary if the entries in the civil
register sought to be corrected are clerical or innocuous in nature. However, where such SO ORDERED.
entries sought to be corrected or changed are substantial: i.e., the status and nationality of the
petitioners or the citizenship of their parents,15 the proceedings are adversarial in nature as
defined by this Court in Republic v. Valencia, thus:

One having opposing parties; contested, as distinguished from an ex parte application, one of
which the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party, and afforded the
latter an opportunity to contest it. Excludes an adoption proceeding.16

In such a proceeding, the parties to be impleaded as respective defendants are (a) the local
civil registrar; and, (b) all persons who have claims any interest which would be affected
thereby.17

In this case, the petitioners alleged in their petition that they are the legitimate children of Co
Boon Peng, who was naturalized as a Filipino citizen, but that their certificates of birth still
indicate that he is a Chinese national. In view of their father’s naturalization, they pray that the
entries in their certificates of birth relating to the citizenship of their father be changed from
"Chinese" to "Filipino."

The petitioners’ recourse to the procedure in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, as amended,
being appropriate, it behooved the trial court to do its duty under Section 4, Rule 108 of the
Rules of Court, namely:

Sec. 4. Notice and Publication. – Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall, by an order, fix
the time and place for the hearing of the same, and cause reasonable notice thereof to be
given to the person named in the petition. The court shall also cause the order to be published
once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the
province.

After hearing, the court shall issue an order either dismissing the petition or issue an order
granting the same. In either case, a certified copy of the judgment shall be served upon the
civil registrar concerned who shall annotate the same in the certificates of birth of the
petitioners. The judgment of the court shall form part of the records of the local civil
register.18