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Rule 128 Admissibility of Evidence Reyes v. Court of Appeals Doctrine: The Rules of Court shall not be applicable in agrarian cases even in a suppletory character. The quantum of evidence required in such cases is no more than substantial evidence. Facts: Mendoza owned 2 parcels of farm lots. The lots were tenanted by dela Cruz. When dela Cruz died, his wife claimed that she subrogated her husband to the tenancy rights of her husband. However, she was prevented by Reyes, Parayao and Mananghaya (petitioners) from entering the premises. These people were barangay officials. They were accused of interfering with the tenancy relationship. The Agrarian Court ordered that the Eufrocina be restored to the possession of the said farm lots and ordered Reyes, Parayao and Mananghaya to pay damages to Eufrocian solidarily.

Issue: The petitioners contend that the evidence presented by Eufrocina is insufficient to hold them accountable. According to them, the Affidavit of Eufrocina is not admissible because the affiant was not presented in court for cross-examination. Is their contention correct? Held: No. The rules on evidence are entirely not applicable to agrarian cases even in suppletory character. We rule that the trial court did not err when it favorably considered the affidavits of Eufrocina and Efren Tecson although the affiants were not presented and subjected to cross-examination. Section 16 of P.D. No. 946 provides that the 'Rules of Court shall not be applicable in agrarian cases even in a suppletory character.' The same provision states that 'In the bearing, investigation and determination of any question or controversy, affidavits and counter-affidavits may be allowed and are admissible in evidence.'

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People v. Turco Doctrine: Admissibility of evidence is different from the probative or weight of evidence. Rodegelio Turco, Jr. (Turco) was charged for allegedly raping his second cousin, 12 year-old Escelea Tabada (Tabada). He lured Tabada from her house, then covered her face with a towel and placed his right hand on her neck, and took her to a grassy area, where he forced himself on her. Afterwards, he threated to kill her if she told anyone. The trial court ruled against Turco and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay damages to Tabada. Turco argued that his conviction is not supported by proof beyond reasonable doubt considering that other than the written statement of Tabada before the Police Station and before the Clerk of Court of the trial court, and her testimony during direct examination, no other evidence was presented to conclusively prove that there was ever raped at all; that nothing in Tabadas testimony clearly and convincingly shows that she was able to identify Turco as her rapist, since her face had been covered with a towel; and that no actual prrof was presented that the rape actually happened since the medicolegal officer who prepared the medical certificate was not presented in court to explain the same.

Issue: Turco argued that since the medico-legal officer was not presented, the medical certificate issued by the latter cannot be admitted as evidence. Is his contention correct? Held: No. In People vs. Bernaldez (supra), the court a quo erred in giving weight to the medical certificate issued by the examining physician despite the failure of the latter to testify. While the certificate could be admitted as an exception to the hearsay rule since entries in official records (under Section 44, Rule 130, Rules of Court) constitute exceptions to the hearsay evidence rule, since it involved an opinion of one who must first be established as an expert witness, it could not be given weight or credit unless the doctor who issued, it could not be given weight or credit unless the doctor who issued it is presented in court to show his qualifications. We place emphasis on the distinction between admissibility by evidence and the probative value thereof. Evidence is admissible when it is relevant 2 |Page

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to the issue and is not excluded by the law or the law or the rules (Section 3, Rule 128, Rules of Court) or is competent. Since admissibility of evidence us determined by its by its relevance and competence, admissibility is, an affair of logic and law. On the other hand, the weight to be given to such evidence, once admitted, depends on judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided in Rule 133 and the jurisprudence laid down with the Court. thus, while evidence may be admissible, it may be entitled to or no weight at all. Conversely, evidence which may have evidentiary weight may be inadmissible because a special rule forbids its reception (Regalado, Remedial Law Compendium, Vol. II, 1998 ed., p. 550). Withal, although the medical certificate is an exception to the hearsay rule, hence admissible as evidence, it has very little probative value due to the absence of the examining physician. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that the prosecution relied solely on the medical certificate (stating that there was [h]ymen rupture, secondary to penile insertion as well as foul-smelling discharges. The diagnosis was [r]uptured hymen secondary to rape [p. 68, Record]). In fact, reliance was made on the testimony of the victim herself which, standing alone even without medical examination, is sufficient to convict (people vs. Topaguen, 369 SCRA 601 [1997]). It is well-settled that a medical examination is not indispensable in the prosecution of rape (People vs. Lacaba, G.R. No. 130591, November 17, 1999; People vs. Salazar, 258 SCRA 55 [1996]; People vs. Venerable, supra). It is enough that the evidence on hand convinces the court that conviction is proper (People vs. Auxtero, supra). In the instant case, the victims testimony alone is credible and sufficient to convict.

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Agustin v. Court of Appeals Doctrine: Ordering a person to undergo DNA testing is not against that persons right against self-incrimination. Facts: Respondents Fe Angela and her son Martin Prollamante sued Martins alleged biological father, petitioner Arnel L. Agustin, for support and support pendente lite before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 106.[5] In their complaint, respondents alleged that Arnel courted Fe in 1992, after which they entered into an intimate relationship. Arnel supposedly impregnated Fe on her 34th birthday on November 10, 1999. Despite Arnels insistence on abortion, Fe decided otherwise and gave birth to their child out of wedlock, Martin, on August 11, 2000 at the Capitol Medical Hospital in Quezon City. The babys birth certificate was purportedly signed by Arnel as the father. Arnel shouldered the pre-natal and hospital expenses but later refused Fes repeated requests for Martins support despite his adequate financial capacity and even suggested to have the child committed for adoption. Arnel also denied having fathered the child. On July 23, 2002, Fe and Martin moved for the issuance of an order directing all the parties to submit themselves to DNA paternity testing pursuant to Rule 28 of the Rules of Court. The Court granted such motion.

Issues: Is the said motion against Agustins right to privacy and right against self incrimination? Held: No. Significantly, we upheld the constitutionality of compulsory DNA testing and the admissibility of the results thereof as evidence. In that case, DNA samples from semen recovered from a rape victims vagina were used to positively identify the accused Joel Kawit Yatar as the rapist. Yatar claimed that the compulsory extraction of his blood sample for DNA testing, as well as the testing itself, violated 4 |Page

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his right against self-incrimination, as embodied in both Sections 12 and 17 of Article III of the Constitution. We addressed this as follows: The contention is untenable. The kernel of the right is not against all compulsion, but against testimonial compulsion. The right against self-incrimination is simply against the legal process of extracting from the lips of the accused an admission of guilt. It does not apply where the evidence sought to be excluded is not an incrimination but as part of object evidence. In the instant case, the petitioner has in no way shown any arbitrariness, passion, prejudice or personal hostility that would amount to grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Court of Appeals. The respondent court acted entirely within its jurisdiction in promulgating its decision and resolution, and any error made would have only been an error in judgment. As we have discussed, however, the decision of the respondent court, being firmly anchored in law and jurisprudence, was correct.

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Ganaan v. Intermediate Appellate Court Doctrine: Extension of telephones cannot be considered devices used for wiretaps. Therefore, any evidence obtained through such medium is admissible under RA 4200 provided that it is not otherwise excluded by other laws or the Rules of Court. Facts: Upon coming up with proposed conditions regarding the withdrawal of a complaint for direct assault filed against Leonardo Laconico by Manuel Montebon, Montebons lawyer, Atty. Tito Pintor, called up Laconico. Laconico requested his own lawyer, Atty. Gaanan, to secretly listen to the phone conversation through an extension so as to hear personally the proposed conditions for the settlement. Atty. Gaanan subsequently executed an affidavit stating that he heard Atty. Pintor demanding an amount for the withdrawal of the case. Such affidavit was attached to a complaint for robbery or extortion filed against Atty. Pintor. An entrapment operation was organized and Pintor was arrested through it. Another case was filed, this time, against Atty. Gaanan for violation of R.A. No. 4200. Atty. Gaanan was held guilty for violation of Section 1 of R.A. No. 4200, the Anti-Wiretapping Law.

Issues: Is the act of Atty. Gaanan of listening to a conversation through a telephone extension considered a violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law? Held: No. Extensions cannot be considered as one of the devices used in wiretapping. In the case of Empire Insurance Company v. Rufino (90 SCRA 437, 443-444), we ruled: "Likewise, Article 1372 of the Civil Code stipulates that `however general the terms of a contract may be, they shall not be understood to comprehend things that are distinct and cases that are different from those upon which the parties intended to agree.' Similarly, Article 1374 of the same Code provides that 'the various stipulations of a contract shall be interpreted together, attributing to the doubtful ones that sense which may result from all of them taken jointly.' xxx 6 |Page xxx xxx

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"Consequently, the phrase `all liabilities or obligations of the decedent' used in paragraph 5(c) and 7(d) should be then restricted only to those listed in the Inventory and should not be construed as to comprehend all other obligations of the decedent. The rule that `particularization followed by a general expression will ordinarily be restricted to the former' is based on the fact in human experience that usually the minds of parties are addressed specially to the particularization, and that the generalities, though broad enough to comprehend other fields if they stood alone, are used in contemplation of that upon which the minds of the parties are centered. (Hoffman v. Eastern Wisconsin R., etc., Co., 134 Wis. 603, 607; 115 NW 383, cited in Francisco, Revised Rules of Court (Evidence), 1973 ed., pp. 180-181." Hence, the phrase "device or arrangement" in Section 1 of RA No. 4200, although not exclusive to that enumerated therein, should be construed to comprehend instruments of the same or similar nature, that is, instruments the use of which would be tantamount to tapping the main line of a telephone. It refers to instruments whose installation or presence cannot be presumed by the party or parties being overheard because, by their very nature, they are not of common usage and their purpose is precisely for tapping, intercepting or recording a telephone conversation. An extension telephone is an instrument which is very common especially now when the extended unit does not have to be connected by wire to the main telephone but can be moved from place to place within a radius of a kilometer or more. A person should safely presume that the party he is calling at the other end of the line probably has an extension telephone and he runs the risk of a third party listening as in the case of a party line or a telephone unit which shares its line with another. "Common experience tells us that a call to a particular telephone number may cause the bell to ring in more than one ordinarily used instrument. Each party to a telephone conversation takes the risk that the other party may have an extension telephone and may allow another to overhear the conversation. When such takes place there has been no violation of any privacy of which the parties may complain. Consequently, one element of 605, interception, has not occurred." In the same case, the Court further ruled that the conduct of the party would differ in no way if instead of repeating the message he held out his hand-set so that another could hear out of it and that there is no distinction between that sort of action and permitting an outsider to use an extension telephone for the same purpose.

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Furthermore, it is a general rule that penal statutes must be construed strictly in favor of the accused. Thus, in case of doubt as in the case at bar, on whether or not an extension telephone is included in the phrase "device or arrangement", the penal statute must be construed as not including an extension telephone.

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Salcedo-Ortaez v. Court of Appeals Doctrine: Under R.A. 4200, it is unlawful for any person , not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape-recorder, or however otherwise described. The inadmissibility of such evidence obtained in violation of said Act is mandatory under the law. Facts: Rafael Ortanez filed with the Regional Trial Court a complaint for annulment of marriage with damages against Teresita Salcedo-Ortanez, on grounds of lack of marriage license and/or psychological incapacity of Teresita. Among the evidence orally formally offered by Ortanez were three cassette tapes of alleged telephone conversations between Teresita and unidentified persons.

Issues: Teresita filed an objection/comment to Rafaels oral offer of evidence, assailing the admissibility in evidence of the cassette tapes. Can her objection be sustained? Held: Yes. The evidence presented are inadmissible by virtue of RA 4200. Rep. Act No. 4200 entitled "An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of the Privacy of Communication, and for other purposes" expressly makes such tape recordings inadmissible in evidence. The relevant provisions of Rep. Act No. 4200 are as follows: "Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape-recorder, or however otherwise described. x x x" "Section 4. Any communication or spoken word, or the existence, contents, substance, purport, or meaning of the same or any par, thereof, or any information therein contained, obtained or secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation." 9 |Page

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Clearly, respondents trial court and Court of Appeals failed consider the aforequoted provisions of the law in admitting in the casette tapes in question. Absent a clear show that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed recording of the same, the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. Act No. 4200.

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Ramirez v. Court of Appeals Doctrine: The term private communication in RA 4200 includes private conversations. Facts: Ramirez and Garcia had a confrontation in the latters office. In the confrontation, Garcia allegedly vexed, insulted and humiliated Ramirez in a hostile and furious manner, and in a manner offensive to the person of Ramirez. Meanwhile, Ramirez intentionally used a tape recorder to record all what Garica said. Garcia then filed a criminal case for violation of RA 4200 against Ramirez. Issues: Ramirez contends that what was recorded was a private conversation and not a private communication. Therefore, RA 4200 is not applicable. Is his contention correct? Held: First legislative intent is determined principally from the language of a statute. Where the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous, the law is applied according to its express terms, and interpretation would be resorted to only where a literal interpretation would be either impossible11 or absurb or would lead to an injustice. 12 Section I of R.A, 4200 entitled, "An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of Private Communication and Other Purposes," provides : Section 1. It shall be unlawfull for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described. The aforestated provision clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any person, not authorized by all the parties to any private communication to secretly record such communication by means of a tape recorder. The law makes no distinction as 11 | P a g e

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to whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be a party other than or different from those involved in the private communication. The statute's intent to penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of the qualifier "any." Consequently, as respondent Court of Appeals correctly concluded, "even a (person) privy to a communication who records his private conversation with another without the knowledge of the latter (will) qualify as a violator" 13 under this provision of R.A. 4200. The unambiguity of the express words of the provision, taken together with the above-quoted deliberations from the Congressional Record, therefore plainly supports the view held by the respondent court that the provision seeks to penalize even those privy to the private communications. Where the law makes no distinctions, one does not distinguish. Second, the nature of the conversation is immaterial to a violation of the statute. The substance of the same need not be specifically alleged in the information. What R.A. 4200 penalizes are the acts of secretly overhearing, intercepting or recording private communications by means of the devices enumerated therein. The mere allegation that an individual made a secret recording of a private communication by means of a tape recorder would suffice to constitute an offense under Section I of R.A. 4200. As the Solicitor General pointed out in his COMMENT before the respondent court: "Nowhere (in the said law) is it required that before one can be regarded as a violator, the nature of the conversation, as well as its communication to a third person should be professed." Finally, petitioner's contention that the phrase "private communication" in Section I of R. A. 4200 does not include private conversations" narrows the ordinary meaning of the word "communication" to a point of absurdity. The word communicate comes from the latin word communicare, meaning "to share or to Impart." In its ordinary signification, communication connotes the act of sharing or imparting, as in a conversation,15 or signifies the "process by which meanings or thoughts are shared between individuals through a common system of symbols (as language signs or gestures)."16 These definitions are broad enough to include verbal or non-verbal, written or expressive communications of "meanings or thoughts" which are likely to include the emotionally-charged exchange, on February 22,1988, between petitioner and private respondent, in the privacy of the latter's office. Any doubts about the legislative body's meaning of the phrase "private communication" are, furthermore, put to rest by the fact that the terms "conversation" and commurucation" were interchangeably used by Senator Taada in his Explanatory Note to the bill quoted below: At has been said that innocent people have nothing to fear from their conversations being overheard. But this statement ignores the usual nature of conversations as well as the undeniable fact that most, if not all. civilized people have some aspects 12 | P a g e

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of their lives they do not wish to expose. Free conversations are often characterized by exaggerations, obscenity, agreeable falsehoods, and the expression of anti-social desires of views not intended to be taken seriously. The right to the privacy of Communication, among others, has expressly been assured by our Constitution, Needless to state here, the framers of our Constitution must have recognized the nature of conversations between individuals and the significance of man's spiritual nature. of his feelings and of his intellect. They must have known that part of the pleasures and satisfactions of life are to be found in the unaudited, and free exchange of communication between individuals----- free from every justifiable intrusion by whatever means."

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Rule 129 What Need Not Be Proved City of Manila v. Garcia Doctrine: The Charter of the City of Manila states that all courts sitting therein are required to take judicial notice of ordinances passed therein. Facts: The City of Manila is the owner of parcels of land in Malate, Manila. Sometime between 1945 and 1947, the defendants entered upon these premises without the Citys knowledge and consent. They built houses of second-class materials, again without the Citys knowledge and consent, and without building permits. In November, 1947, upon discovery of the presence of defendants, they were given by Mayor Valeriano Fugoso written permits labeled lease contract to occupy specific areas in the property upon conditions set forth therein. They were charged nominal rental. Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School, which was close, though not contiguous, to the property had a pressing need to expand. The City Engineer gave the defendands 30 days each to vacate the premises and to remove the constructions therein. This was followed by the City Treasurers demand on each defendant for the payment of the amount due by reason of the occupancy. The defendants refused, alleging that they have acquired the legal status of tenants by reason of the written permits issued them. Issue: If the certificates showing the need to expand Epifanio de los Santos Elementary school is held inadmissible, will this fact help Garcia in this case? Held: No. The courts in Manila are required to take judicial notice of ordinances by the City of Manila. We are called upon to rule on the forefront question of whether the trial court properly found that the city needs the premises for school purposes. The city's evidence on this point is Exhibit E, the certification of the Chairman, Committee on Appropriations of the Municipal Board. That document recites that 14 | P a g e

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the amount of P100,000.00, had been set aside in Ordinance 4566, the 1962-1963 Manila City Budget, for the construction of an additional building of the Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School. It is indeed correct to say that the court below, at the hearing, ruled out the admissibility of said document. But then, in the decision under review, the trial judge obviously revised his views. He there declared that there was need for defendants to vacate the premises for school expansion; he cited the very document, Exhibit E, aforesaid. It is beyond debate that a court of justice may alter its ruling while the case is within its power, to make it formable to law and justice. Such was done here. Defendants' remedy was to bring to the attention of the court its contradictory stance. Not having done so, this Court will not reopen the case solely for this purpose. Anyway, elimination of the certification, Exhibit E, as evidence, would not profit defendants. For, in reversing his stand, the trial judge could well have takenbecause he was duty bound to take-judicial notice of Ordinance 4566. The reason being that the city charter of Manila requires all courts sitting therein to take judicial notice of all ordinances passed by the municipal board of Manila. And, Ordinance 4566 itself confirms the certification aforesaid that an appropriation of P100,000.00 was set aside for the "construction of additional building" of the Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School. Furthermore, defendants' position is vulnerable to assault from a third direction. Defendants have absolutely no right to remain in the premises. The excuse that they have permits from the mayor is at best flimsy. The permits to occupy are revocable on thirty day's notice. They have been asked to leave; they refused to heed. It is in this factual background that we say that the city's need for the premises is unimportant. The city's right to throw defendants out of the area cannot be gainsaid. The city's dominical right to possession is paramount. If error there was in the finding that the city needs the land, such error is harmless and will not justify reversal of the judgment below.

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Baguio v. Vda. De Jalagat Doctrine: A court may take judicial cognizance of the finality of judgment rendered by the same court in a different case. Facts: The case started with a complaint for the quieting of title to real property filed by Gabriel Baguio. Teofila Jalagat, et al. filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the cause of action is barred by prior judgment, being identical to a civil case filed by Baguio against Melecio Malagat, now deceased and whose legal heirs and successors in interest are the very defendants in the instant complaint. Baguio alleged that for prior judgment or res judicata to suffice as a basis for dismissal it must be apparent on the fact of the complaint. There was nothing in the complaint from which such a conclusion may be inferred.

Issues: In ruling that there is res judicata in this case, the court took judicial cognizance of the fact that its judgment in another case involving the same parties, issues, and causes of action has become final and executory. Is the court correct in taking judicial cognizance? Held: Yes. A court may take judicial cognizance of the finality of judgment rendered by the same court in a different case. It ought to be clear even to appellant that under the circumstances, the lower court certainly could take judicial notice of the finality of a judgment in a case that was previously pending and thereafter decided by it. That was all that was done by the lower court in decreeing the dismissal. Certainly such an order is not contrary to law. A citation from the comments of former Chief Justice Moran is relevant. Thus: "Courts have also taken judicial notice of previous cases to determine whether or not the case pending is a moot one or whether or not a previous ruling is applicable in the case under consideration." There is another equally compelling consideration. Appellant undoubtedly had recourse to a remedy which under the law then in force could be availed of. It would have served the cause of justice better, not to mention the avoidance of needless expense on his part and the vexation to which appellees were subjected if he did reflect a little more on the matter. Then the valuable time of this Tribunal would not have been frittered away on a useless and hopeless appeal. It has ever been the 16 | P a g e

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guiding principle from Alonso v. Villamor, a 1910 decision, that a litigant should not be allowed to worship at the altar of technicality.

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Prieto v. Arroyo Doctrine: As a general rule, courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the cases pending before them, or the contents of other cases, even when such cases have been tried or are pending in the same court, and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been tried or are actually pending before the same judge. Facts: Arroyo Sr. Filed a petition for registration of several parcels of land in 1948. As a result, OCT no. 39 was issued in his name. That same year, Prieto filed a petition for registration of an adjoining parcel of land. When Arroyos Sr. died, OCT 39 was cancelled and a TCT was issued in the name of his heirs. Thereafter, the heirs filed a case to correct the technical descriptions of the land covered by the TCT. The court granted the said petition. Prieto then sought to annul the aforesaid decision, however this was dismissed by the court on the ground of res judicata.

Issue: Prieto contends that the court should not have dismissed his first case for annulment because no parole evidence need be taken to support it, the matters therein alleged being part of the records of the cases, which are well within the judicial notice and cognizance of the court. He also contends that there is no res judicata in this case. Is his contention correct? Held: No. In the first place, as a general rule courts are not authorized to take judicial notice, in the adjudication of cases pending before them, of the contents of other cases, even when such cases have been tried or are pending in the same court, and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been tried or are actually pending before the same judge (Municipal Council of San Pedro, Laguna, et al., vs. Colegio de San Jose, et al., 65 Phil., 318). Secondly, if appellant had really wanted the court to take judicial notice of such records he should have presented the proper request or manifestation to that effect instead of sending, by counsel, a telegraphic motion for postponement of hearing, which the court correctly denied. Finally, the point raised by counsel is now academic, as no appeal was taken from the order dismissing his first petition, and said order had long become final when the complaint in the present action was filed. 18 | P a g e

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The contention that the causes of action in the two suits are different is untenable. Both are based on the alleged nullity of Special Proceedings No. 900; in both appellant seeks that the order of correction of the title of appellees be set aside. Of no material significance is the fact that in the complaint in the instant case there is an express prayer for reconveyance of some 157 square meters of land, taken from appellant as a result of such correction of title. For that area would necessarily have reverted to appellant had his first petition prospered, the relief asked for by him being that "the Register of Deeds of Camarines Sur be ordered to amend Certificate of Title No. 332 by incorporating therein only and solely the description of Lot No. 2, Plan Psu-106730 as appearing in the Decree No. 5165 and maintaining consequently the description limits and area of the adjoining land of the herein petitioner, Lot No. 3, Plan Psu-117522, in accordance with Decree No. 2301 of Land Registration No. 173." The claim for damages as well as for other additional and alternative reliefs in the present case are not materially different from his prayer for "such other remedies, just and equitable in the premises" contained in the former one. There being identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action between the two cases, the order of dismissal issued in the first constitutes a bar to the institution of the second.

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Yao Kee v. Sy-Gonzales Doctrine: To establish a valid foreign law, its existence as a question of fact and the alleged foreign marriage by convincing evidence must be proven. In the absence of such proof, the foreign law is presumed to be the same as Philippine Law. Facts: Sy Kiat died and left properties. He was allegedly married to Yao Kee in China through a customary Chinese wedding ceremony - they had children. He also had illegitimate children with Ascuncion Gillego. Gillegos children filed a petition for the grant of letters of administration of Sy Kiats properties. The Court of First Instance of Rizal declared all children from both Gillego and Yao Kee as natural children of Sy Kiat. The court did not recognize Sy Kiats alleged marriage to Yao Kee. Issue: Whether or not the court should acknowledge the marriage of Sy Kiat and Yao Kee. Held : No, the court should not recognize the said marriage. It was told that Sy Kiat and Yao Kee married in China. According to Article 12 of the Civil Code, customs must be proven in order for it to be admissible as evidence. However, Yao Kees party failed to establish such customs binding between the relationship of Sy Kiat and Yao Kee. Therefore, the marriage of Sy Kiat and Yao Kee cannot be recognized for there is no proof of its existence. In the absence of such proof, the foreign law is presumed to be the same as Philippine law. Therefore, applying Philippine law, Yao Kees marriage is void because of non-compliance the essential and formal requisites of marriage.

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Tabuena v. Court of Appeals Doctrine: There are exceptions to the rule that the court cannot take judicial notice of contents of other cases pending before it. Facts: In 1973, an action for recovery of ownership of a parcel of residential land in Makato, Aklan, was filed in the RTC of Aklan by the estate of Alfredo Tabernilla against Jose Tabuena. The trial court found that the lot was sold by Juan Peralta, Jr. to Tabernilla while they were in the United States. Peraltas mother conveyed the land to Tabernilla upon the latters return. At the same time, she asked to be allowed to stay thereon as she had been living there all her life. Tabernilla agreed provided she paid the realty taxes on the property, which she did. Upon her death, Tabuena, the half-brother of Peralta, took possession of the property. He refused demands made Tabernilla to surrender the property, claiming it as his won. The trial court ruled for the estate and ordered Tabuena to vacate the property. Tabuena protested that the trial court erred in taking cognizance of documents which had never been formally submitted in evidence and in considering the proceedings in another case involving the same parties but a different parcel of land in resolving the ownership of the subject lot.

Issues: Whether or not the trial court erred in taking judicial notice of Tabuenas testimony in Civil Case No. 1327? Held: Yes. The respondent court also held that the trial court committed no reversible error in taking judicial notice of Tabuena's testimony in a case it had previously heard which was closely connected with the case before it. It conceded that as a general rule "courts are not authorized to take judicial notice, in the adjudication of cases pending before them, of the contents of the records of other cases, even when such cases have been tried or are pending in the same court, and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been heard or are actually pending before the same judge." Nevertheless, it applied the exception that: 21 | P a g e

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. . . in the absence of objection, and as a matter of convenience to all parties, a court may properly treat all or any part of the original record of a case filed in its archives as read into the record of a case pending before it, when, with the knowledge of the opposing party, reference is made to it for that purpose, by name and number or in some other manner by which it is sufficiently designated; or when the original record of the former case or any part of it, is actually withdrawn from the archives by the court's direction, at the request or with the consent of the parties, and admitted as a part of the record of the case then pending. It is clear, though, that this exception is applicable only when, "in the absence of objection," "with the knowledge of the opposing party," or "at the request or with the consent of the parties," the case is clearly referred to or "the original or part of the records of the case are actually withdrawn from the archives" and "admitted as part of the record of the case then pending." These conditions have not been established here. On the contrary, the petitioner was completely unaware that his testimony in Civil Case No. 1327 was being considered by the trial court in the case then pending before it. As the petitioner puts it, the matter was never taken up at the trial and was "unfairly sprung upon him, leaving him no opportunity to counteract.

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People v. Godoy Doctrine: The Court takes judicial cognizance of the fact that in rural areas in the Philippines, young ladies are strictly required to act with circumspection and prudence. Great caution is observed so that their reputations shall remain untainted. Any breath of scandal which brings dishonor to their character humiliates their entire families. Facts: Godoy was charged with rape and kidnapping with serious illegal detention. His defense was that they were lovers, as evidenced by the letters wrote by the complainant to the accused.

Issue: Can Godoy be convicted of rape? Held: No. They were in fact lovers. It is basic that for kidnapping to exist, there must be indubitable proof that the actual intent of the malefactor was to deprive the offended party of her liberty. In the present charge for that crime, such intent has not at all been established by the prosecution. Prescinding from the fact that the Taha spouses desisted from pursuing this charge which they themselves instituted, several grave and irreconcilable inconsistencies bedevil the prosecution's evidence thereon and cast serious doubts on the guilt of appellant. The Court takes judicial cognizance of the fact that in rural areas in the Philippines, young ladies are strictly required to act with circumspection and prudence. Great caution is observed so that their reputations shall remain untainted. Any breath of scandal which brings dishonor to their character humiliates their entire families.80 It could precisely be that complainant's mother wanted to save face in the community where everybody knows everybody else, and in an effort to conceal her daughter's indiscretion and escape the wagging tongues of their small rural community, she had to weave the scenario of this rape drama.

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Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Court of Tax Appeals Doctrine: There are exceptions to the rule that the court cannot take judicial notice of contents of other cases pending before it. Facts: BPI filed a written claim for refund in the amount of P112,000 with the CIR alleging that it did not apply the 1989 refundable amoun to fP279,000 to its 1990 Annual income Tax Return or other tax liabilities due to the alleged business losses it incurred for the same year.

Issue: Is BPI entitled to the claimed refund? Held: Yes. Petitioner also calls the attention of this Court, as it had done before the CTA, to a Decision rendered by the Tax Court in CTA Case No. 4897, involving its claim for refund for the year 1990. In that case, the Tax Court held that "petitioner suffered a net loss for the taxable year 1990 x x x."18 [Decision in CTA Case No. 4897, p. 7; rollo, p. 59.] Respondent, however, urges this Court not to take judicial notice of the said case.19 [Respondents Memorandum, pp. 9-10.] As a rule, "courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the contents of the records of other cases, even when such cases have been tried or are pending in the same court, and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been heard or are actually pending before the same judge. Be that as it may, Section 2, Rule 129 provides that courts may take judicial notice of matters ought to be known to judges because of their judicial functions. In this case, the Court notes that a copy of the Decision in CTA Case No. 4897 was attached to the Petition for Review filed before this Court. Significantly, respondents do not claim at all that the said Decision was fraudulent or nonexistent. Indeed, they do not even dispute the contents of the said Decision, claiming merely that the Court cannot take judicial notice thereof. To our mind, respondents reasoning underscores the weakness of their case. For if they had really believed that petitioner is not entitled to a tax refund, they could have easily proved that it did not suffer any loss in 1990. Indeed, it is noteworthy that respondents opted not to assail the fact appearing therein -- that petitioner 24 | P a g e

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suffered a net loss in 1990 - in the same way that it refused to controvert the same fact established by petitioners other documentary exhibits. In any event, the Decision in CTA Case No. 4897 is not the sole basis of petitioners case. It is merely one more bit of information showing the stark truth: petitioner did not use its 1989 refund to pay its taxes for 1990.

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Calamba Steel v. CIR Doctrine: Facts:

Petitioner filed an Amended Corporate Annual Income Tax Return on June 4, 1996 declaring a net taxable income of P9,461,597.00, tax credits of P6,471,246.00 and tax due in the amount of P3,311,559.00. Petitioner also reported quarterly payments for the second and third quarters of 1995 in the amounts of P2,328,747.26 and P1,082,108.00, respectively. It is the proposition of the [p]etitioner that for the year 1995, several of its clients withheld taxes from their income payments to [p]etitioner and remitted the same to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the sum of P3,159,687.00. Petitioner further alleged that due to its income/loss positions for the three quarters of 1996, it was unable to use the excess tax paid for and in its behalf by the withholding agents. Thus, an administrative claim was filed by the [p]etitioner on April 10, 1997 for the refund of P3,159,687.00 representing excess or unused creditable withholding taxes for the year 1995. The instant petition was subsequently filed on April 18, 1997.

Issue: The sole issue submitted for [o]ur determination is whether or not [p]etitioner is entitled to the refund of P3,159,687.00 representing excess or overpaid income tax for the taxable year 1995. Held: Fifth, the CA and CTA could have taken judicial notice of the 1996 final adjustment return which had been attached in CTA Case No. 5799. Judicial notice takes the place of proof and is of equal force. As a general rule, courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the contents of records in other cases tried or pending in the same court, even when those cases were heard or are actually pending before the same judge. However, this rule admits of exceptions, as when reference to such records is sufficiently made without objection from the opposing parties: . . . [I]n the absence of objection, and as a matter of convenience to all parties, a court may properly treat all or any part of the original record of a case filed in its archives as read into the record of a case pending before it, when, with the knowledge of the opposing party, reference is made to it for that purpose, by name and number or in some other manner by which it is sufficiently designated; or when 26 | P a g e

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the original record of the former case or any part of it, is actually withdrawn from the archives by the court's direction, at the request or with the consent of the parties, and admitted as a part of the record of the case then pending. Prior to rendering its Decision on January 12, 2000, the CTA was already well-aware of the existence of another case pending before it, involving the same subject matter, parties and causes of action. Because of the close connection of that case with the matter in controversy, the CTA could have easily taken judicial notice of the contested document attached in that other case. Furthermore, there was no objection raised to the inclusion of the said 1996 final adjustment return in petitioners Reply to Comment before the CA. Despite clear reference to that return, a reference made with the knowledge of respondent, the latter still failed to controvert petitioners claim. The appellate court should have cast aside strict technicalities and decided the case on the basis of such uncontested return. Verily, it had the authority to take judicial notice of its records and of the facts [that] the record establishes. Section 2 of Rule 129 provides that courts may take judicial notice of matters x x x ought to be known to judges because of their judicial functions. If the lower courts really believed that petitioner was not entitled to a tax refund, they could have easily required respondent to ascertain its veracity and accuracy and to prove that petitioner did not suffer any net loss in 1996. Contrary to the contention of petitioner, BPI-Family Savings Bank v. CA (on which it rests its entire arguments) is not on all fours with the facts of this case. While the petitioner in that case also filed a written claim for a tax refund, and likewise failed to present its 1990 corporate annual income tax return, it nonetheless offered in evidence its top-ranking officials testimony and certification pertaining to only two taxable years (1989 and 1990). The said return was attached only to its Motion for Reconsideration before the CTA. Petitioner in this case offered documentary and testimonial evidence that extended beyond two taxable years, because the excess credits in the first (1995) taxable year had not been used up during the second (1996) taxable year, and because the claim for the refund of those credits had been filed during the third (1997) taxable year. Its final adjustment return was instead attached to its Reply to Comment filed before the CA. Moreover, in BPI-Family Savings Bank, petitioner was able to show the undisputed fact: that petitioner had suffered a net loss in 1990 x x x. In the instant case, there is no such undisputed fact as yet. The mere admission into the records of petitioners 1996 final adjustment return is not a sufficient proof of the truth of the contents of or entries in that return. 27 | P a g e

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In addition, the BIR in BPI-Family Savings Bank did not controvert the veracity of the return or file an opposition to the Motion and the return. Despite the fact that the return was ignored by both the CA and the CTA, the latter even declared in another case (CTA Case No. 4897) that petitioner had suffered a net loss for taxable year 1990. When attached to the Petition for Review filed before this Court, that Decision was not at all claimed by the BIR to be fraudulent or nonexistent. The Bureau merely contended that this Court should not take judicial notice of the said Decision. In this case, however, the BIR has not been given the chance to challenge the veracity of petitioners final adjustment return. Neither has the CTA decided any other case categorically declaring a net loss for petitioner in taxable year 1996. After this return was attached to petitioners Reply to Comment before the CA, the appellate court should have required the filing of other responsive pleadings from respondent, as was necessary and proper for it to rule upon the return.

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Lucido v. Calupitan Doctrine: The whole modern tendency is to treat pleadings as statements of the real issues in the cause and hence as admissions of the parties, having weight according to the circumstances in each case. Facts: Some chattels and real estate belonging to Leonardo Lucido were regularly sold at an execution sale on February 10, 1903, to one Rosales, who the next day transferred a interest in the property to Zolaivar. On March 30, 1903, all the parties and Gelasio Calupitan executed and signed a public document wherein Rosales and Zolaiver, with Lucidos consent, sold all their rights and obligations over the property to Caluptan for the amount of the purchase price with 1% interest per month up to the time of redemption. On the same day, Lucido and Calupitan executed a document whereby Calupitan certified that he had ceded to Lucido all the irrigated lands until such time as he may repurchase said lands from Calupitan, as well as some of the chattels. Their agreement is to permit three whole years to elapse from the date of the instrument before Lucido may repurchase the land. The trial court held that the document consituted a sale with the right to conventional redemption, and that the redemption period had not expired. It further found that Lucido had prior to the institution of the action offered the redemption price to Calupitan, who refused it, and that this offer was a sufficient compliance with Article 1513 of the Civil Code. Calupitan claims that the transaction involved a sale to him of the rights of the execution purchasers to the property. Therefore, the redemption period should only be within one year from the date of the sale. However, in his original answer, he expressly stated that the transaction was one of sale with the right to repurchase.

Issues: Whether the answer of Calupitan can be considered as an admission? Held: Yes. Considerable doubt might arise as to the correctness of the ruling of the lower court upon the first question, if the document executed by the execution purchasers and the parties to this action stood alone. In that document it appears that 29 | P a g e

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Calupitan acquired the rights and obligations of the execution purchasers pertaining to the property in question. These rights and obligations are defined in the Code of Civil Procedure to be the ownership of the property sold, subject only to the right of redemption on the part of the judgment debtor or a redemptioner, within one year from the date of the sale. (Secs. 463-465, Code Civ. Proc.) Were this the nature of the transaction between the parties, however, the intervention of Lucido in the transfer would be wholly unnecessary. Hence, the fact that he intervened as an interested party is at least some indication that the parties intended something more or different by the document in question than a simple assignment of the rights and obligations of the execution purchasers to a third person. Any doubt, however, as to the character of this transaction is removed by the agreement entered into between Lucido and Calupitan on the same day. In this document it is distinctly stipulated that the right to redeem the property is preserved to Lucido, to be exercised after the expiration of three years. The right to repurchase must necessarily imply a former ownership of the property. Further indication that Calupitan himself considered this transaction as a sale with the right to conventional redemption is to be found in his original answer to the complaint. This original answer was introduced in evidence by the plaintiff over the objection of the defendant. Its admission was proper, especially in view of the fact that it was signed by Calupitan himself, who was at the time acting as his own attorney. Jones on Evidence (secs. 272, 273), after remarking that the earlier cases were not in harmony on the point, says: "Many of the cases holding that pleadings were inadmissible as admissions were based on the theory that most of the allegations were merely pleader's matterfiction stated by counsel and sanctioned by the courts. The whole modern tendency is to reject this view and to treat pleadings as statements of the real issues in the cause and hence as admissions of the parties, having weight according to the circumstances of each case. But some of the authorities still hold that if the pleading is not signed by the party there should be some proof that he has authorized it. "On the same principle where amended pleadings have been filed, allegations in the original pleadings are held admissible, but in such case the original pleadings can have no effect, unless formally offered in evidence." In this original answer it was expressly stated that the transaction was one of sale with the right to repurchase governed by the provisions of articles 1507 et seq. of the Civil Code. 30 | P a g e

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It further appears from the uncontradicted testimony of the plaintiff that he furnished $120 Mexican of the amount necessary to redeem the property from the execution purchasers. It therefore appears beyond dispute that the redemption of the property from the execution purchasers was made by the plaintiff himself by means of a loan furnished by the defendant Calupitan, who took possesion of the major portion of the land as his security for its redemption. The ruling of the lower court that the transaction between Lucido and Calupitan was one of purchase and sale with the right to redeem was therefore correct.

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Torres v. Court of Appeals Doctrine: The amended complaint takes place of the original. Therefore, the admissions made in the original pleading, superseded by the amended complaint will be considered extrajudicial admission that must be alleged and proven in court. Facts: Margarita Torres was married to Claro Santillan, and they had two children: Vicente and Antonina. Antonina married and had six children. After the death of her husband, Margarita cohabited with Leon Arvisu Arbole without the benefit of marriage, and they had a child, Macaria Torres. Subsequently, Arbole and Margarita were married, and Macaria lived with and was reared by her parents. Lot 551 had been leased temporarily by the Government to Margarita who was the actual occupant of the lot. On December 13, 1910, the Director of Lands issued to Margarita a Sale Certificate over said lot, payable in 20 annual installments. 20 years before his death, Arbole sold and transferred in a notarial deed his rights and interest to the portion of the lot in favor of Macaria. On June 6, 1953, about 22 years after the death of Margarita and 20 years after the death of Arbole, Vicente Santillan executed an Affidavit claiming possession of Lot 551 and asking for the issuance of title in his name. A Transfer Certificate of Title was issued in the name of the legal heirs of Margarita. Santillan and the children of Antonina filed a case of forcible entry against Macaria, alleging that the latter had entered a portion of the lot without their consent, constructed a house thereon and refused to vacate upon demand. Macaria claimed to be a co-owner of the lot, being one of Margaritas daughters. She instituted an action for partition of the lot, alleging that said lot was the conjugal property of Margarita and Arbole, and that she is their legitimated child. The trial court ruled that the lot was Margaritas paraphernal property and adjudicated 2/3 to her heirs by Claro Santillan and 1/3 to Macaria. Macarias share was later increased to 4/6, then reduced by the Court of Appeals to . The CA declared that she is not a legitimated child.

Issues:

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Whether or not the contention of the petitioner is correct such that the respondent court has overlooked to include in its findings of facts the admissions made by Vicente Santilan and the heirs of Antonina Santillan? Held: No. To warrant review, petitioner has summarized her submission based on two assignments of error. The first was expressed as follows: Although the Court of Appeals is correct in declaring that Macaria A. Torres is not the legitimated child of the spouses Leon Arbole and Margarita Torres, it has overlooked to include in its findings of facts the admission nude by Vicente Santillan and the heirs of Antonina Santillan (herein respondents) that Macaria A Torres and Vicente Santillan and Antonina Santillan are brother and sisters with a common mother Margarita Torres and they are the legal heirs and nearest of relatives of Margarita Torres, and as a consequence thereof, the Court of Appeals had drawn an incorrect conclusion in adjudicating the entire share of Margarita Torres in the conjugal property solely to Vicente Santillan and the heirs of Antonina Santillan." (Italics ours) As we understand it petitioner has conceded, with which we concur, that, without taking account of the sworn statement of March 5, 1930, she cannot be considered a legitimated child of her parents. Continuous possession of the status of a. natural child, fact of delivery by the mother, etc. will not amount to automatic recognition, but an action for compulsory recognition is still necessary, which action may be commenced only during the lifetime of the putative parents, subject to certain exceptions. The admission adverted to appears in paragraph 3 of private respondents' original complaint in the Ejectment Case reading: "the plaintiffs and the defendant Macaria A. Bautista are the legal heirs and nearest of kins of Margarita Torres, who died in Tanza, Cavite on December 20, 1931." The statement, according to petitioner, is an admission of her legitimation and is controlling in the determination of her participation in the disputed property. We are not persuaded. In the Amended Complaint filed by private respondents in the same Ejectment Case, the underlined portion was deleted so that the statement simply read: "That the plaintiffs are the legal heirs and nearest of kin of Margarita Torres, who died at Tanza Cavite, on December 20, 1931"; 33 | P a g e

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In virtue thereof, the Amended Complaint takes the place of the original. The latter is retarded as abandoned and ceases to perform any further function as a pleading, The original complaint no longer forms part of the record.13 If petitioner had desired to utilize the original complaint she should have offered it in evidence. Having been amended, the original complaint lost its character as a judicial admission, which would have required no proof, and became merely an extrajudicial admission, the admissibility of which, as evidence, required its formal offer. Contrary to petitioner's submission, therefore, there can be no estoppel by extrajudicial admission made in the original complaint, for failure to offer it in evidence.14 It should also be noted that in the Partition Case private respondents, in their Answer (par. 4), denied the legitimacy of petitioner.

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