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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 9571. March 20, 1915. ]

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. YEE CHUNG, Defendant-Appellee.

Solicitor-General Corpus for Appellant.

Jose Agoncillo for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. ALIENS; CHINESE EXCLUSION; CERTIFICATE OF RESIDENCE ISSUED IN THE UNITED STATES. — A certificate of residence issued to a Chinese alien by the proper authority of the United States Government, is sufficient to permit him to enter and to remain within the territory of the Philippine Islands, without the necessity of having the certificate required under Act No. 702.


D E C I S I O N


JOHNSON, J.:


The record shows that on or about the 15th day of January, 1913, a warrant of arrest was issued for the defendant, upon which he was duly arrested and brought before the court, for the purpose of investigating the question of his right to remain in the Philippine Islands. Upon investigation the defendant admitted that he was a Chinaman and that he came to the Philippine Islands on an American boat five or six years before and because of sickness was discharged by the captain and sent to the marine hospital at Cavite, where he was later cured and after leaving the hospital remained in the Philippine Islands. The defendant further showed that on the 11th day of April, 1894, he had been issued "a certificate of residence" by O. M. Welburn, collector of internal revenue of the first district of California. Said certificate is, in part, as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"This is to certify that Yee Chung, a Chinese laborer, now residing at Santa Barbara, California, has made application No. 891, to me for a certificate of residence, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved May 5th, 1892, and I certify that it appears from the affidavits of witnesses submitted with said application, that the said Yee Chung was within the limits of the United States at the time of the passage of said Act and was then residing at Santa Barbara, and that he was at that time lawfully entitled to remain in the United States, etc., etc."cralaw virtua1aw library

No proof was presented except the declaration of the defendant and said certificate. Upon these facts the case was submitted to the Honorable Simplicio del Rosario, judge, who found that the defendant had a right to remain in the Philippine Islands, by virtue of said certificate and refused to order him deported. From that decision the plaintiff appealed to this court. The Solicitor-General in his brief presented to this court says:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The only issue raised by this appeal would appear to be whether a certificate of residence issued to a Chinese laborer in the United States, under the provisions of the Act of Congress of May 5, 1892, can take the place of the certificate of residence required by Act No. 702 of the Philippine Commission."cralaw virtua1aw library

With reference to said certificate of residence, it may be said that it was sufficient to permit the defendant not only to remain within the territory of the United States but to travel into any part of said territory. The precise question presented here seems never to have been presented to the courts before, at least, no decisions have been called to our attention and we have been unable to find any. The question, therefore, is one of first impression. After a careful consideration of the same, we are led to the conclusion that said certificate being sufficient to permit the defendant to remain and reside within the territory of the United States and to pass from one part of the same to another without let or hindrance, it is also sufficient to permit him to enter and remain within the territory of the Philippine Islands, which is territory of the United States, without the necessity of having the certificate required under Act No. 702. With this conclusion, we are of the opinion and so hold that the judgment of the lower court must be and is hereby affirmed, with costs. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Carson, Moreland, Trent and Araullo, JJ., concur.

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