Você está na página 1de 3

of a Filipina mother and a Chinese father,

56. Ortua vs. Encarnacion, G.R. No. 39919, educated in China, who returned to the
January 30, 1934 Philippines when he was twenty-one years of
PHILIPPINE LAND LAW; DECISION OF DIRECTOR age, is presumptively a Philippine citizen; has
OF LANDS APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF not by his own acts expressly or impliedly
AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE, repudiated his Philippine citizenship and chosen
AUTHORITATIVENESS. Chinese citizenship, but has always considered
The Director of Lands has been made by law a himself to be a Filipino and has elected to
quasi-judicial officer. As such officer he makes remain as a Philippine citizen, Held: That a clear
findings of fact, even passes upon questions of error of law resulted in not considering O a
mixed fact and law, and considers and decides Philippine citizen and so qualified under the
the qualifications of applicants for the purchase Public Land Law to purchase public agricultural
of public lands. The decisions of the Director of lands.
Lands on the construction of the Public Land
Law are entitled to great respect by the courts. January, 1920
The petitioner Fortunato Ortua filed an
ON QUESTION OF FACT. application with the Bureau of Lands for the
A decision rendered by the Director of Lands purchase of a tract of public land situated in the
and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture municipality of San Jose, Province of Camarines
and Commerce, upon a question of fact is Sur.
conclusive and not subject to be reviewed by
the courts, in the absence of a showing that Following an investigation conducted by the
such decision was rendered in consequence of Bureau of Lands, Ortua's application was
fraud, imposition, or mistake, other than error rejected, allowing him, however, to file a sale or
of judgment in estimating the value or effect of lease application for the portion of the land
evidences regardless of whether or not it is classified to be suitable for commercial
consistent with the preponderance of the purposes, within a period of 60 days from the
evidence, so long as there is some evidence date of the decision and upon payment of
upon which the finding in question could be P3,000 for accrued rents.
made.
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources
ON QUESTION OF LAW. (Agriculture and Commerce)
The decision of the Director of Lands -Upon the appeal to the then Secretary, the
approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and decision was affirmed, except that the sum of
Commerce on a question of law, is in no sense P3, 000 was reduced to P400.
conclusive upon the courts, but is subject to
review. Any action of the Director of Lands One condition for the purchase of a tract of
which is based upon a misconstruction of the public agricultural land, provided by the Public
law can be corrected by the courts, Land Law, Act No. 2874, in its sections 23 and
88, is that
QUALIFICATIONS OF APPLICANTS TO PURCHASE the purchaser shall be a citizen of lawful
PUBLIC AGRICULTURAL LANDS; CITIZENSHIP. age of the Philippine Islands or of the
One condition for the purchase of a tract of United States.
public agricultural land provided by the Public
Land Law, Act No. 2874, in its sections 23 and Fortunato Ortua in his application stated that
88, is that the purchaser shall be a citizen of he was a Filipino citizen, but the Director of
lawful age of the Philippine Islands or of the Lands held that on the contrary, Ortua was a
United States. One, O, born in the Philippines, Chinese citizen.
The Director of Lands found established the entitled to great respect by the courts, any
following facts: action of the Director of Lands which is based
Fortunato Ortua was born in 1885 in upon a misconstruction of the law can be
Lagonoy, Camarines Sur, Philippine corrected by the courts.
Islands, being the natural son of Irene
Demesa, a Filipina, and Joaquin Ortua, a Fortunato Ortua should be considered to be a
Chinese. Philippine citizen or a Chinese citizen.
Presumptively it is admitted that he is a
In 1896 Fortunato was sent to China to Philippine citizen. More correctly stated,
study. While he was in China his father Fortunato Ortua had a sort of a dual citizenship,
and mother were legally married. and had it within his power either to elect to
become a Philippine citizen or a Chinese citizen
Fortunato returned to the Philippines in
1906, that is, when he was twenty-one The Director of Lands gave too much
years of age. prominence, we think, to two minor facts,
susceptible of explanation.
It was conceded by the Director of Lands that
presumptively Fortunato Ortua was a Philippine When Ortua returned from China at the age of
citizen, but certain acts of Ortua were pointed twenty-one
to as demonstrating that he had forfeited his it was the most natural thing in the
Philippine citizenship such as the ff: world for him to land as a Chinese, for
this would facilitate entry and obviate
Ortua voluntarily applied for a landing complications.
certificate of residence which was
issued by the Insular Collector of When Ortua applied for the registration of a
Customs and which is only given to boat,
Chinese persons. there may have been any number of
reasons why he did not care to appeal
Ortua applied for the registration of a from the decision of the Insular
boat, and it was denied by the Insular Collector of Customs.
Collector of Customs on the ground that
the appellant was a Chinese citizen, On the other hand, some consideration should
Ortua submitted to the ruling be given to the intention of the petitioner, and
he vigorously insists that it is his desire to be
Issue: considered a Philippine citizen.
Whether or not the petitioner is qualified under He has taken a Filipino name.
the Public Land Law to purchase public He has gone into business and has
agricultural lands. improved the property here in question
to a great extent.
Held: There has been no implied renunciation
Yes. The petitioner is qualified under the Public of citizenship, because the petitioner
Land Law to purchase public agricultural lands. has been domiciled in these Islands
The Court held that a clear error of law resulted except for a short period during his
in not considering the petitioner a Philippine infancy when he temporarily sojourned
citizen in China for study.
he states that he has always considered
Although, the decisions of the Director of Lands himself to be a Filipino, and that he has
on the construction of the Public Land Law are
elected to remain as a Philippine
citizen.