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Case Digest: Mo Ya Lim Yao v. Commissioner of Immigration

Mo Ya Lim Yao v. Commissioner of Immigration

TOPIC: Elements of the State: Citizens: Citizenship: Modes of Acquisition


In the instant case, petitioners seek the issuance of a writ of injunction against the Commissioner of Immigration, “restraining the latter and/or his authorized representative from ordering plaintiff Lau Yuen Yeung to leave the Philippines and causing her arrest and deportation and the confiscation of her bond, upon her failure to do so.”

On February 8, 1961, Lau Yuen Yeung applied for a passport visa to enter the Philippines as a non-immigrant. In the interrogation made in connection with her application for a temporary visitor’s visa to enter the Philippines, she stated that she was a Chinese residing at Kowloon, Hongkong, and that she desired to take a pleasure trip to the Philippines to visit her great (grand) uncle Lau Ching Ping for a period of one month (Exhibits “l,” “1-a,” and “2”). She was permitted to come into the Philippines on March 13, 1961, and was permitted to stay for a period of one month which would expire on April 13, 1961. On the date of her arrival, Asher Y, Cheng filed a bond in the amount of P1,000.00 to undertake, among others that said Lau Yuen Yeung would actually depart from the Philippines on or before the expiration of her authorized period of stay in this country or within the period as in his discretion the Commissioner of Immigration or his authorized representative might properly allow. After repeated extensions, petitioner Lau Yuen Yeung was allowed to stay in the Philippines up to February 13, 1962 (Exhibit “4”). On January 25, 1962, she contracted marriage with Moy Ya Lim Yao alias Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim an alleged Filipino citizen. Because of the contemplated action of respondent to confiscate her bond and order her arrest and immediate deportation, after the expiration of her authorized stay, she brought this action for injunction with preliminary injunction. At the hearing which took place one and a half years after her arrival, it was admitted that petitioner Lau Yuen Yeung could not write either English or Tagalog. Except for a few words, she could not speak either English or Tagalog. She could not name any Filipino neighbor, with a Filipino name except one, Rosa. She did not know the names of her brothers-in-law, or sisters-in-law.


WON Lau Yuen Yeung became naturalized Filipino through her marraige.



It is obvious that the main subject-matter and purpose of the statute, the Revised Naturalization Law or Commonwealth Act 473, as a whole, is to establish a complete procedure for the judicial conferment of the status of citizenship upon qualified aliens. After laying out such a procedure, remarkable for its elaborate and careful inclusion of all safeguards against the possibility of any undesirable persons becoming a part of our citizenry, it carefully but categorically states the consequence of the naturalization of an alien undergoing such procedure it prescribes upon the members of his immediate family, his wife and children, 25 and, to that end, in no uncertain terms it ordains that: (a) all his minor children who have been born in the Philippines shall be “considered citizens” also; (b) all such minor children, if born outside the Philippines but dwelling here at the time of such naturalization “shall automatically become” Filipinos also, but those not born in the Philippines and not in the Philippines at the time of such naturalization, are also redeemed citizens of this country provided that they shall lose said status if they transfer their permanent residence to a foreign country before becoming of age; (c) all such minor children, if born outside of the Philippines after such naturalization, shall also be “considered” Filipino citizens, unless they expatriate themselves by failing to register as Filipinos at the Philippine (American) Consulate of the country where they reside and take the necessary oath of allegiance; and (d) as to the wife, she “shall be deemed a citizen of the Philippines” if she is one “who might herself be lawfully naturalized”.



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