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[G.R. No. L-20148. April 30, 1965.]


Manuel Trinidad, Jr. for Petitioner-Appellee.

Solicitor General for Oppositor-Appellant.


1. CITIZENSHIP; NATURALIZATION; DISQUALIFICATIONS; UNAUTHORIZED USE OF ALIAS. — In naturalization cases, the unauthorized use of aliases has been held to be disqualifying conduct.

2. ID.; ID.; QUALIFICATIONS; STIPEND OF P250 WITH FREE BOARD AND LODGING NOT LUCRATIVE TRADE; DUBIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES. — Despite an applicant’s claim that he has a lucrative occupation, being a graduate engineer employed by a lumber company at a stipend of P250.00 with free board and lodging, the following circumstances render dubious applicant’s claim: he owns no real property; the lumber company is owned by a partnership in which applicant’s father has an interest; applicant, who is single, lives with his parents; the company certifying that he is employed therein, mentions no specific salary; and the income tax returns submitted by applicant cover a period later than the filing of his application.

3. ID.; ID.; ABSENCE OF OPPOSITION DOES NOT PREVENT SCANNING BY COURT OF WHOLE RECORD. — Absence of opposition does not preclude the scanning of the whole record by the appellate court, with a view to preventing the conferment of citizenship to persons not fully qualified therefor.


REYES, J. B. L., J.:

The Solicitor General has appealed from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Cebu (in its naturalization case No. 606) declaring petitioner Pablo Lee alias Eng Jio entitled to naturalization as a Filipino citizen.

It is the burden of the State’s appeal that the trial court failed to give due weight to the petitioner’s use of an alias, without proper authority to do so, and in erroneously holding as duly proved that the petitioner held a lucrative trade, profession or occupation.

We find merit in the appeal.

The exhibits (F, I, J, K, L, M, N, O and P) reveal that the applicant-appellee has been using the names of Pablo Lee and Eng Jio, the latter as an alias; and this is also shown in his application. No showing is made that the use of the alias has been authorized, as required by Commonwealth Act No. 142. The unauthorized use of aliases has been repeatedly held by this Court to be disqualifying (not irreproachable) conduct.

In Wang I. Fu v. Republic, G. R. No. L-15819, promulgated on 29 September 1962, this Court ruled:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

". . . The use of said aliases is not explained and there is no showing that it has been authorized as required by the Alias Law (Commonwealth Act No. 142). Being violative of the law, We think this act of petitioner is not beyond reproach and is, therefore, a ground for denying his application for naturalization. (See Koa Gui v. Republic, G.R. No. L-17317, July 31, 1962; Lim Bun v. Republic, G.R. No. L-12822, April 26, 1961; and Ng Liam Keng v. Republic, G.R. No. L-14146, April 29, 1961.)"

On the issue of the applicant’s having a lucrative trade, profession or occupation, applicant only testified that he is a graduate engineer, employed by the Lu Tai Lumber Co., at a stipend of P250.00 with free board and lodging. Admittedly, applicant owns no real property. It was shown, however, that the Lumber Company is owned by a partnership in which applicant’s father has an interest and that the petitioner, who is single, in fact lives with his parents. Moreover, while in Exhibit X the Lu Tai Lumber Company certified, as of 17 July 1961, that the petitioner "is an employee here with this office," no specific salary is mentioned; and the income tax returns (Exhs. Y and B) submitted by the applicant cover the year 1961, which is later than the filing of his application in November of 1960.

All the foregoing circumstances render dubious the applicant’s claim to a lucrative occupation. It hardly needs emphasizing that the qualifications of an applicant must be possessed by him at the time he applies for naturalization, and not subsequently.

In the case of Que Choc Gui v. Republic, G.R. L-16184, this court ruled:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Lastly, petitioner’s only income is a monthly salary of P150 he claims to receive as salesman in the aforementioned store since June 1, 1958. We have repeatedly declared that such income, allegedly derived from employment in a business enterprise of petitioner’s father, is insufficient to establish compliance with the statutory requirement of lucrative occupation or calling (Sy Ang Hoc v. Republic, L-12400, March 29, 1961; Richard Velasco v. Republic, L-12214, May 25, 1960; Tan v. Republic, L-14861, March 17; 1961; Zacarias v. Republic, L-14860, May 30, 1960, May 30; 1961)."cralaw virtua1aw library

It is urged for the applicant that no opposition has been registered against his petition on the issues above-discussed. Absence of opposition, does not preclude the scanning of the whole record by the appellate court, with a view to preventing the conferment of citizenship to persons not fully qualified therefor (Lee Ng Len v. Republic, G.R. No. L-20151, March 31, 1965). The applicant’s complaint of unfairness could have some weight if the objections on appeal had been on points not previously passed upon. But the deficiencies here in question are not new but well-known, having been ruled upon repeatedly by this Court, and we see no excuse for failing to take them into account.

We agree with the counsel for the government that the evidence for the applicant does not fully satisfy that he possesses all the qualifications required by the law.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is reversed, and the application for naturalization is ordered dismissed. Costs against applicant-appellee.

Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P. and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.

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