My husband was born in the Philippines but his parents were both Chinese. He was given Filipino citizenship through administrative naturalization in 2012. He had a misunderstanding with one of our neighbors and the latter threatened us that he will have my husband’s naturalization revoked. Is this possible?
Naturalization is a means by which a foreigner is given a new citizenship upon his compliance with naturalization laws and procedures of the country in which he wants to become a national. Nevertheless, the opportunity to be a naturalized citizen of a country is not a right which a foreigner may claim but only a matter of grace or privilege extended to him by a state (Ronaldo P. Ledesma, An Outline of Philippine Immigration and Citizenship Laws, Vol. 1 (2006 Ed.), page 537).
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9139 of the Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000 grants Philippine citizenship through administrative proceedings to foreigners who were born in the Philippines and have been residing therein since birth. Applicants who have all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided under this law shall be issued a certificate of naturalization by the Special Committee on Naturalization as proof that they already acquired Philippine citizenship. Nevertheless, there are instances when a certificate of naturalization, even if already issued to a successful applicant, may be revoked or cancelled. The instances when a certificate of naturalization may be revoked or cancelled are provided under Section 13 of RA No. 9139, to wit:
“Section 13. CANCELLATION OF THE CERTIFICATE OF NATURALIZATION – The Special Committee may cancel certificates of naturalization issued under this Act in the following case:
a. If it finds that the naturalized person or his duly authorized representative made any false statement or misrepresentation or committed any violation of law, rules and regulations in connection with the petition for naturalization. Or if he otherwise obtains Philippine citizenship, fraudulently or illegally, the certificate of naturalization shall be cancelled;
b. If the naturalized person or his wife, or any of his minor children who acquire Filipino citizenship by virtue of his naturalization shall, within (5) years following the grant of Philippine citizenship, establish permanent residence in a foreign country, that individual’s certificate of naturalization or acquired citizenship shall be cancelled or revoked: Provided, that the fact that such person’s remaining for more than one (1) year in his country of origin, or two (2) years in any foreign country, shall be considered prima facie evidence of intent to permanently reside therein;
c. If the naturalized person or his wife or child with acquired citizenship allows himself or herself to be used as a dummy in violation of any constitutional or legal provision requiring Philippine citizenship as a condition for the exercise , use or enjoyment of a right, franchise or privilege, the certificate of naturalization or acquired citizenship shall be cancelled or revoked; and
d. If the naturalized person or his wife or child with acquired citizenship commits any act inimical to national security, the certificate of naturalization or acquired citizenship shall be cancelled or revoked.”
If any of the foregoing instances are present, your husband’s certificate of naturalization may be revoked or cancelled after due notice and hearing, at the instance of the Special Committee on Naturalization or upon complaint by any person (Section 19, Rules and Regulations Implementing RA No. 9139).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.