Republic of the Philippines


G.R. No. L-10472             February 26, 1958

In the matter of the petition of Dionisio Sy to be admitted a citizen of the Philippines. DIONISIO SY, petitioner-appellee,
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, oppositor-appellant.

Office of the Solicitor General Ambrosio Padilla and Solicitor Juan T. Alano for appellant.
Luis V. Diores for appellee.


This is a petition filed by Dionisio Sy in the proper court of first instance praying that he be declared Filipino citizen. The government did not present any opposition to the petition and after hearing the court granted the same subject to the condition prescribed in Republic Act No. 530. From this decision, the provincial fiscal has appealed.

Petitioner was born of Chinese parents in Cebu City on September 19, 1929. He has continuously resided therein for 26 years. He is provided with Alien Certificate of Registration No. A-75365 and an Immigrant Certificateof Residence No. 46694 duly issued by the immigration authorities. He finished his elementary education on April 18, 1947 and his secondary education on April 19, 1950 at the Colegio de San Carlos established in Cebu City, and obtained his degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce on March 27, 1953 from the University of San Carlos. He had been employed by Lam Shan Trading Company established in Cebu City from April 1, 1954 to March 31, 1955 with a monthly salary of P150 and at present he is employed as supervising agent at Chong Ban Yek & Co., Inc., also established in saidcity with a monthly salary of P500, including allowances and traveling expenses. And he has always paid his taxes regularly.

Petitioner never left the Philippines since birth and he has never been charged with, nor convicted of, any crime. He has also observed good behavior in his relations with the community in which he lives, and he has always evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions and ideals of the Filipino people. He has mingled socially with the Filipinos. He does not practice polygamy nor is he opposed to organized government oraffiliated with any association or group of persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposed to organized government. He does not defend or teach the necessity of violence, personal assault or assassination for the success and predominance of his ideas. lf declared Filipino citizen, he will renounce forever his allegiance to any foreign state of sovereignty, especially Nationalist China of which he is at present a subject. He can speak and write English and the Cebu dialect and believes in the principles underlying ourConstitution. In view of these qualifications, the lower court declared him entitled to Filipino citizenship.

The government however believes that petitioner has failed to establish bycompetent evidence that he has all the qualifications required by law tobecome a Filipino citizen for the reason that his two character witnessesJose Batiquin and Maximo S. Ylaya have not shown to have intimate knowledgeof his life as to qualify them to testify that he possesses good moral character or had conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his stay in the Philippines. With this opinionwe disagree.

Analyzing the testimony of Batiquin, we found that he came to know petitionerwhen he was studying in the City Central School of Cebu and they oftentimesmet in the Cebu Christian Center where they used to play pingpong and othergames before the outbreak of the war. During the Japanese occupation he knewthat petitioner evacuated to Bogo and he used to go in his house. He met himin 1945 or 1946 somewhere in Cebu City because he was residing in the storeof his uncle Quezon Tan and he used to frequent said store. Considering theyears of his acquaintance with petitioner, he can say that he never left thePhilippines and he has always mingled with Filipinos.

Ylaya, on the other hands, testified that he first met petitioner in 1941 when he he was a student in the Colegio de San Carlos in Cebu City. He usedto meet him in the store of one Pablo Cadigan where he used to eat and playwith him tha local game called "takyan." They used to see each other twicein the afternoon after classes. After liberation in 1947, he and petitionercontinued their studies in the Colegio de San Carlos where they used to meeteach other. He was then an instructor of the ROTC and of the PMT in saidcollege where he used to see petitioner either in the vicinity of the schoolor in the room where they used to hold their classes. He knows that atpresent petitioner is working with Chong Ban Yek & Co., Inc., and on certainoccasions he would go with him to attend tha fiesta in the town or in the barrio. Cross-examined by the court, the petitioner testified that petitionermingled socially with Filipinos and has adopted their customs curing hisassociation with them.

A cursory examination of the declarations of these two witnesses will showthat they have evinced actual and personal knowledge of the behavior andconduct of petitioner during the many years of their acquaintance from whichone can infer that he is a person of good refute and character as to qualifyhim to become a Filipino citizen. And considering that petitioner hascomplied with all other requirements of the law especially with regard to hiseducational and social qualifications, we are of the opinion taht the abovedeclarations substantially comply with the requirement as to his conduct andbehavior more so when to contrary evidence was presented by the government todispute them. There is therefore no reason to disturb the findings of thelower court on this matter.

Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed, without pronouncement asto costs.

Bengzon, Paras, C.J., Padilla, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Labrador, Endencia and Felix, JJ., concur.

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