In re: Mallare (A.M. No. 533 April 29, 1968)

In re: Mallare
A.M. No. 533 April 29, 1968

Facts: The respondent, Florencio Mallare, was admitted to the practice of law on 5 March 1962. In his verified petition to take the bar examinations in 1961, he alleged that he is a citizen of the Philippines and that “his father is Esteban Mallare and his mother is Te Na, both Filipino citizens”. (Personal Record, No. 17450, Bar Division) On 16 July 1962, the then Acting Commissioner of Immigration Martiniano P. Vivo denounced the respondent to this Court as a Chinaman masquerading as a Filipino citizen and requested that the matter be investigated thoroughly and if the respondent fails to show that he has legally become a Filipino, steps be taken for striking his name from the roll of persons authorized to practice law. Acting upon the request, this Court, on 9 August 1962, referred the matter to its Legal Officer-Investigator for investigation and report. An investigation was thus held wherein the relator or complainant and the respondent appeared and adduced their respective evidence. The position of the respondent-lawyer is that he is a Filipino citizen based on the supposed citizenship of his father, Esteban Mallare, alleged to be a Filipino citizen by choice, because he was the illegitimate son of a Chinese father and a Filipina mother, Ana Mallare and that the respondent’s mother, Te Na, a Chinese, followed the citizenship of her husband upon their marriage.

Issue: Whether or not Mallare is a Filipino citizen able to practice law in the Philippines.

Held: No. The entire family, consisting of the father, mother and their four (4) children (Raymundo was not yet born) were registered as aliens in 1942 in the then Division of Alien Statistics, pursuant to the proclamation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines and Executive Order No. 25 of the then Executive Commission. (See letter of Jan. 18, 1963 from the Bureau of Immigration to the Legal Officer-Investigator, see also pp. 171 and 180-181, Vol. I, No. 4, Official Gazette, published during Japanese occupation.) .

In addition, the respondent himself was again registered as an alien in 1950, his application thereto bearing his thumbprints and stating therein that he is a Chinese; that he belongs to the yellow race and that he had used these other names: “Tan Jua Gae”, “Enciong” and “Jua Gac” (Exh. “N”). He had been a teacher in the Candon Chinese School (t.s.n., p. 17, Oct. 3, 1962). His explanation that it was his mother who registered him as an alien is flimsy; and, as stated hereinbefore, he did not present his mother as a witness.

The evidence is thus clearly preponderant, if not overwhelming that the respondent’s father, Esteban Mallare or “Mallari”, also known as “Esteban Dy”, “Esteban Dy Mallare” and “Esteban Tan”, was and remained a Chinese until he died; consequently, the respondent’s mother, admittedly a Chinese, retained her original citizenship and their offspring, respondent, Florencio Mallare, together with his brothers and sisters, are likewise Chinese nationals, through and through.

On the basis of the foregoing declaration by the Court of First Instance of Quezon Province, the respondent and his brothers and sisters filed Special Proceeding No. 3925, in the same court, but in a different branch, for the “correction” of their birth records. The local fiscal, representing the Solicitor General, appeared but did not oppose the petition; wherefore, after hearing, the court granted the petition. Based on the same judicial declaration, the then Commissioner of Immigration De la Rosa (not the complainant) cancelled on June 8, 1960, the alien registration of the herein respondent and that of his brothers and sisters, and issued to them identification certificates recognizing them as Filipino citizens. Then Solicitor General Alafriz took the same position.

Civil Case No. 329-G and Special Proceeding No. 3925 are not modes of acquiring Philippine citizenship; neither is the Chinese citizenship of the respondent converted to Filipino because certain government agencies recognized him as such. He remains, by jus sanguinis, a Chinese until he is naturalized.

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