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BENGSON vs.

HRET and CRUZ


G.R. No. 142840
May 7, 2001
FACTS:
Respondent Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, born in Tarlac in 1960 of Filipino parents.
In 1985, however, Cruz enlisted in the US Marine Corps and without the consent of the Republic of the
Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the USA. Consequently, he lost his Filipino citizenship under CA
No. 63 An Act Providing for the Ways in Which Philippine Citizenship May Be Lost or Reacquired (1936)
section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship by, among other, rendering service to or accepting
commission in the armed forces of a foreign country. Whatever doubt remained regarding his loss of
Philippine citizenship was erased by his naturalization as a U.S. citizen in 1990, in connection with his
service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

In 1994, Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under RA 2630 An Act Providing
for Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship by Persons Who Lost Such Citizenship by Rendering Service To,
or Accepting Commission In, the Armed Forces of the United States (1960). He ran for and was elected
as the Representative of the 2nd District of Pangasinan in the 1998 elections. He won over petitioner
Bengson who was then running for reelection.

Subsequently, petitioner filed a case for Quo Warranto Ad Cautelam with respondent HRET claiming that
Cruz was not qualified to become a member of the HOR since he is not a natural-born citizen as required
under Article VI, section 6 of the Constitution. HRET rendered its decision dismissing the petition for quo
warranto and declaring Cruz the duly elected Representative in the said election.

ISSUE:
WON Cruz, a natural-born Filipino who became an American citizen, can still be considered a natural-born
Filipino upon his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.

HELD:
YES. Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may however reacquire the same in the manner
provided by law. C.A. No. 63 enumerates the 3 modes by which Philippine citizenship may be reacquired
by a former citizen:
1. by naturalization,
2. by repatriation, and
3. by direct act of Congress.

Repatriation may be had under various statutes by those who lost their citizenship due to:
1. desertion of the armed forces;
2. services in the armed forces of the allied forces in World War II;
3. service in the Armed Forces of the United States at any other time,
4. marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien; and
5. political economic necessity

Repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality that means that a naturalized Filipino who
lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand,
if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to
his former status as a natural-born Filipino.
RA 2630 provides:
Sec. 1. Any person who had lost his Philippine citizenship by rendering service to, or accepting commission
in, the Armed Forces of the United States, or after separation from the Armed Forces of the United States,
acquired United States citizenship, may reacquire Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines and registering the same with Local Civil Registry in the place where he
resides or last resided in the Philippines. The said oath of allegiance shall contain a renunciation of any
other citizenship.

Thus, having taken the required oath of allegiance to the Republic and having registered the same in the
Civil Registry of Magantarem, Pangasinan in accordance with the aforecited provision, Cruz is deemed to
have recovered his original status as a natural-born citizen, a status which he acquired at birth as the son
of a Filipino father. It bears stressing that the act of repatriation allows him to recover, or return to, his
original status before he lost his Philippine citizenship.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS HON. ROSALIO G. DE LA ROSA


G.R. No. 104654
June 6, 1994

FACTS:
On September 20, 1991, Juan G. Frivaldo filed a petition for naturalization under the Commonwealth Act
No. 63 before the RTC Manila.

On October 7, 1991, Judge De La Rosa set the petition for hearing on March 16, 1992, and directed the
publication of the said order and petition in the Official Gazette and a newspaper of general circulation,
for 3 consecutive weeks, the last publication of which should be at least 6 months before the date of the
said hearing.

On January 14, 1992, Frivaldo asked the Judge to cancel the March 16, 1992 hearing and move it to January
24, 1992, citing his intention to run for public office in the May 1992 elections. Judge granted the motion
and the hearing was moved to February 21. No publication or copy was issued about the order.
Subsequently, the hearing proceeded on February 21, 1992.

On February 27, 1992, Judge De La Rosa rendered the assailed Decision and held that Frivaldo is
readmitted as a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines by naturalization.

A petition filed by the Republic of the Philippines 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, to annul the decision made on February
27, 1992 and to nullify the oath of allegiance taken by Frivaldo on the same date.

ISSUE:
WON Frivaldo was duly re-admitted to his citizenship as a Filipino.

RULING:
No. The Supreme Court ruled that private respondent is declared NOT a citizen of the Philippines and
therefore disqualified from continuing to serve as governor of the Province of Sorsogon. He is ordered to
vacate his office and to surrender the same to the Vice-Governor of the Province of Sorsogon once this
decision becomes final and executory. The proceedings of the trial court was marred by the following
irregularities:
(1) The hearing of the petition was set ahead of the scheduled date of hearing, without a publication
of the order 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 allegiance before the finality of the judgment; and
(4) Petitioner took his oath of allegiance without observing the two-year waiting period.

REPUBLIC VS. LIAO


G.R. No. L-35947
October 20, 1992

FACTS:
On June 3, 1994, William Li Yao, a Chinese national, filed for a petition for naturalization. It was held, in
the decision of the court, that he possesses all the qualifications necessary to become a naturalized
Filipino but the decision shall not become executory until after 2 years from its promulgation when the
court is satisfied that during the intervening period, the applicant has (1) not left the Philippines; (2) has
dedicated himself to a lawful calling or profession; (3) has 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.

On November 20, 1952, Li Yao prayed for the execution of the decision of the court and the court allowed
him to take his oath of allegiance as Filipino.

On January 5, 1968, the Solicitor General filed a motion to cancel the certificate of naturalization of Li Yao
on the ground that it was obtained fraudulently and illegally. The lower court cancelled his certificate of
naturalization on the basis that he evaded payment of taxes due to the government by under declaration
of his income. Li Yao filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied.

On January 7, 1972, Li Yao filed a notice of appeal to the SC. After both parties filed their briefs, Li Yao
died but the case is not moot because its disposition would have grave implications for the late petitioner-
appellant's wife and children.

ISSUE:
WON the cancellation of the certificate of naturalization of the deceased petitioner-appellant William Li
Yao made by the government through the Office of the Solicitor General is valid.

HELD:
Yes. Based on section 18(a) of Com. Act no. 473 known as the Revised Naturalization Act, which provides
that a naturalization certificate may be cancelled if it is shown that said naturalization certificate was
obtained fraudulently or illegally.

A naturalization proceeding is not a judicial adversary proceeding, the decision rendered therein, not
constituting res judicata as to any matter that would support a judgment cancelling a certificate of
naturalization on the ground of illegal or fraudulent procurement thereof.
In the case of Lim Eng Yu vs. Republic, the concealment of applicants income to evade payment of lawful
taxes shows that his moral character is not irreproachable, thus disqualifying him for naturalization. Thus,
even if Li Yao paid his tax liability via the tax amnesty program its legal effect would merely remove any
civil, criminal or administrative liability on the part of the taxpayer, only insofar as his tax case is
concerned. Tax amnesty does not have the effect of obliterating his lack of good moral character and
irreproachable conduct, which are grounds for denaturalization.

Naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced in favor of the government and against the applicant. When
the applicant failed to meet the qualifications required for naturalization, the latter is not entitled to
Filipino citizens.