Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Djumantan vs. Domingo

Facts: Bernard Banez, the husband of Marina Cabael, went to Indonesia as a contract worker.

On April 3, 1974, he embraced and was converted to Islam. On May 17, 1974, he married petitioner in accordance with Islamic rites. He returned to the Philippines in January 1979. On January 13, 1979, petitioner and her two children with Banez, arrived in Manila as the "guests" of Banez. The latter made it appear that he was just a friend of the family of petitioner and was merely repaying the hospitability extended to him during his stay in Indonesia. When petitioner and her two children arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on January 13, 1979, Banez, together with Marina Cabael, met them.As "guests," petitioner and her two children lived in the house of Banez. Petitioner and her children were admitted to the Philippines as temporary visitors under Section 9(a) of the Immigration Act of 1940.

In 1981, Marina Cabael discovered the true relationship of her husband and petitioner. On March 25, 1982, the immigration status of petitioner was changed from temporary visitor to that of permanent resident under Section 13(a) of the same law. On April 14, 1982, petitioner was issued an alien certificate of registration.

Not accepting the set-back, Banez' eldest son, Leonardo, filed a letter complaint with the Ombudsman, who subsequently referred the letter to the CID. On the basis of the said letter, petitioner was detained at the CID detention cell.

The CID issued an order revoking the status of permanent resident given to petitioner, the Board found the 2nd marriage irregular and not in accordance with the laws of the Phils. There was thus no basis for giving her the status of permanent residence, since she was an Indonesian citizen and her marriage with a Filipino Citizen was not valid.

Thus this petition for certiorari

Issue: Whether or not the courts may review deportation proceedings

Held : Yes. Section 1 of Article 8 says Judicial Power includes 1) settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable 2) determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.

We need not resolve the validity of petitioner's marriage to Banez, if under the law the CID can validly deport petitioner as an "undesirable alien" regardless of her marriage to a Filipino citizen. Generally, the right of the President to expel or deport aliens whose presence is deemed inimical to the public interest is as absolute and unqualified as the right to prohibit and prevent their entry into the country.

However, under clause 1 of Section 37(a) of the Immigration Act of 1940 an "alien who enters the Philippines after the effective date of this Act by means of false and misleading statements or without inspection and admission by the immigration authorities at a designated port of entry or at any place other than at a designated port of entry" is subject to deportation.

The deportation of an alien under said clause of Section 37(a) has a prescriptive period and "shall not be effected ... unless the arrest in the deportation proceedings is made within five years after the cause for deportation arises". Tolling the prescriptive period from November 19, 1980, when Leonardo C. Banez informed the CID of the illegal entry of petitioner into the country, more than five years had elapsed before the issuance of the order of her deportation on September 27, 1990.

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