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Ong Chia vs. Republic of the Philippines (G.R. No. 127240. March, 27, 2000)

02 May

ONG CHIA, petitioner,
vs.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES and THE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.

Ponente: MENDOZA

FACTS:

The trial court granted the petition and admitted petitioner to Philippine citizenship. The State, however, through the Office of the Solicitor General, among others for having failed to state all his former placer of residence in violation of C.A. No. 473, §7 and to support his petition with the appropriate documentary evidence. Petitioner admits that he failed to mention said address in his petition, but argues that since the Immigrant Certificate of Residence containing it had been fully published, with the petition and the other annexes, such publication constitutes substantial compliance with §7.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the documents annexed by the State to its appelant’s brief without having been presented and formally offered as evidence under Rule 132, Section 34 of the Revised Rules on Evidence justified the reversal of of the Trial Court’s decision.

HELD:

YES. Decision of the Court of Appeals was affirmed. Petition was denied.

RATIO:

It is settled that naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced and strictly construed in favor of the government and against the applicant. [T]he rule of strict application of the law in naturalization cases defeat petitioner’s argument of “substantial compliance” with the requirement under the Revised Naturalization Law.

[T]he reason for the rule prohibiting the admission of evidence which has not been formally offered is to afford the opposite party the chance to object to their admissibility. Petitioner cannot claim that he was deprived of the right to object to the authenticity of the documents submitted to the appellate court by the State.

 

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