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CREDIBILITY OF WITNESS

In the law of evidence, a credible witness is a person making testimony in a court


or other tribunal, or acting otherwise as a witness, whose credibility is unimpeachable.
A witness may have more or less credibility, or no credibility at all.
Jurisprudence is consistent that for testimonial evidence to be believed, it must
not only come from a credible witness but must be credible in itself tested by human
experience, observation, common knowledge and accepted conduct that has evolved
through the years as stated in the case of People of the Philippines v. Felipe Mirandilla
Jr.
Daggers v. Van Dyck, illuminates Evidence to be believed, must not only proceed
from the mouth of a credible witness, but it must be credible in itself such as the
common experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the
circumstances. We have no test of the truth of human testimony, except its conformity
to our knowledge, observation, and experience. Whatever is repugnant to these
belongs to the miraculous and is outside of judicial cognizance.

Competency and Credibility


Competence is a matter of law or, in this jurisdiction also a matter of rule while
credibility of a witness has nothing to do with law or rules it refers to the weight and
trustworthiness or reliability of the testimony in deciding the competence of the witness,
the court will not inquire into the trustworthiness of a witness.
When it comes to evaluating the credibility of the testimonies of witnesses, Great
respect is accorded to the findings of the trial judge who is in better position to observe
the demeanor, facial expression and manner testifying of witnesses and to decide who
among them is telling the truth People vs. Mateo G.r. No. 200531, December 5, 2012

Testimony of Child Victims


Testimonies of child victims are normally given full weight and credit, since when
a girl, particularly if she is minor, says that she has been raped, she says in effect all
that is necessary to show that rape has in fact been committed. When the offended
party is of tender age and immature courts are inclined to give credit to her account of
what transpired considering not only her relative vulnerability but also the shame to
which she would be exposed if the matter to which she testified is not true.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. CALISO


G.R. No. 183830 (2011)
FACTS:
AAA died on June 5, 1997 at around 11:00 am in the river located
in Barangay Tiacongan, Kapatagan, Lanao Del Norte; that the immediate cause of her
death was asphyxia, secondary to drowning due to smothering; that the lone
eyewitness, 34-year old Soledad Amegable (Amegable), had been clearing her farm
when she heard the anguished cries of a girl pleading for mercy: Please stop noy, it is
painful noy! that the cries came from an area with lush bamboo growth that made it
difficult for Amegable to see what was going on; that Amegable subsequently heard
sounds of beating and mauling that soon ended the girls cries; that Amegable then
proceeded to get a better glimpse of what was happening, hiding behind a cluster of
banana trees in order not to be seen, and from there she saw a man wearing gray short
pants bearing the number 11 mark, who dragged a girls limp body into the river, where
he submerged the girl into the knee-high muddy water and stood over her body; that he
later lifted the limp body and tossed it to deeper water; that he next jumped into the
other side of the river; that in that whole time, Amegable could not have a look at his
face because he always had his back turned towards her; that she nonetheless insisted
that the man was Caliso, whose physical features she was familiar with due to having
seen him pass by their barangay several times prior to the incident; that after the man
fled the crime scene, Amegable went straight to her house and told her husband what
she had witnessed; and that her husband instantly reported the incident to
the barangay chairman.
ISSUE:
Whether Amegables identification of Caliso as the man who killed AAA at noon
of July 5, 1997 was positive and reliable.
HELD:
No. the Court considers the identification not reliable and beyond doubt as to
meet the requirement of moral certainty. The identification of a malefactor, to be positive
and sufficient for conviction, does not always require direct evidence from an
eyewitness; otherwise, no conviction will be possible in crimes where there are no
eyewitnesses. Indeed, trustworthy circumstantial evidence can equally confirm the
identification and overcome the constitutionally presumed innocence of the
accused. Thus, the Court has distinguished two types of positive identification in People
v. Gallarde, to wit: (a) that by direct evidence, through an eyewitness to the very
commission of the act; and (b) that by circumstantial evidence, such as where the
accused is last seen with the victim immediately before or after the crime.
Amegable asserted that she was familiar with Caliso because she had seen him
pass by in her barangay several times prior to the killing. Such assertion indicates that

she was obviously assuming that the killer was no other than Caliso. As matters stand,
therefore, Calisos conviction hangs by a single thread of evidence, the direct evidence
of Amegables identification of him as the perpetrator of the killing. But that single thread
was thin, and cannot stand sincere scrutiny. In every criminal prosecution, no less than
moral certainty is required in establishing the identity of the accused as the perpetrator
of the crime. Her identification of Caliso as the perpetrator did not have unassailable
reliability, the only means by which it might be said to be positive and sufficient. The
test to determine the moral certainty of an identification is its imperviousness to
skepticism on account of its distinctiveness. To achieve such distinctiveness, the
identification evidence should encompass unique physical features or characteristics,
like the face, the voice, the dentures, the distinguishing marks or tattoos on the body,
fingerprints, DNA, or any other physical facts that set the individual apart from the rest
of humanity.
In the absence of proof beyond reasonable doubt as to the identity of the culprit,
the accuseds constitutional right to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved is
not overcome, and he is entitled to an acquittal, though his innocence may be doubted.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. FABITO


GR. No. 179933 (2009)
FACTS:
The prosecution charged three individuals the appellant, Froilan Paraan
(Froilan) and Tony Bauzon (Tony) before the RTC with the crime of rape under an
Information that states:
That on or about December 8, 1999 at around 4:00 oclock in the afternoon, at
Barangay Ventinilla, Municipality of Sta. Barbara, Province of Pangasinan, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, JOSEPH
FABITO, in conspiracy with his co-accused FROILAN PARAAN and TONY BAUZON,
with the use of force and intimidation, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously have sexual intercourse with one [AAA],3 minor, aged 14 years old, against
her will and without her consent, to her damage and prejudice.
According to AAA, she went to the house of Tony on December 8, 1999 after
classes to look for her boyfriend, Froilan. At Tonys house, she saw the appellant,
Froilan and Tony under a mango tree drinking Tanduay. She approached them and
Froilan offered him a glass of coke and some crackers. She drank the coke and after
five (5) minutes felt dizzy and afterwards fell asleep. When she woke up, she was lying
on a bed in a room at the second floor of Tonys house. She also noticed that her skirt
had been lifted up and her panty had been removed. Tony was then two (2) steps away
on her left side, Froilan was two (2) steps away on her right side, while the appellant
was on top of her "doing up and down position." When asked to explain what she meant
by "doing up and down position," she explained that the appellant inserted his penis into
her vagina which caused her pain. She asked the appellant why he was sexually
abusing her but the appellant did not reply; instead, he held her hand tightly and
continued abusing her. She turned her body from left to right causing the withdrawal of
the appellants penis from her private part. The appellant tried to insert his penis again
but was unsuccessful because of her continued movements. Thereafter, Froilan pulled
the appellant downstairs. AAA picked up her panty, wore it, and left. 7 During the rape,
Froilan and Tony simply watched and did nothing.
Dr. De Luna, Medical Officer IV of the Region I Medical Center in Dagupan City,
narrated that at around 5:15 p.m. of December 10, 1999, AAA arrived at the hospital to
undergo medical examination She explained that "old, healed laceration" means that
the lacerations were not fresh and that there was no bleeding. According to her, these
lacerations could have been caused by previous sexual intercourse or by anything
placed on the vagina.

ISSUE:

WON AAAs testimony is credible and such testimony may be the sole basis of
conviction?
HELD:
NO. AAAs is not credible, Accused should be acquitted. An examination of the
appealed decision shows that the appellants conviction was based largely on the
uncorroborated testimony of the victim, AAA. This is not at all unusual in rape cases, as
the participants are usually the only parties at the rape scene and only they can testify
on what happened. But as we stated above, the testimony of a sole witness to the
alleged rape must be closely examined when it is the pivotal point on which conviction
or acquittal will turn. We should be ready to accept it if the victims sincerity is above
reproach, and at the same time reject it if indicators point to her doubtful credibility. In
the present case, we opt for the latter option as various circumstances show that we
cannot wholly believe the victims testimony.
While rape victims are not required or expected to remember all the details of
their harrowing experience, the inconsistencies drawn from AAAs sworn statement and
her declarations during trial cannot be considered as minor inconsistencies that do not
affect her credibility. These discrepancies are not isolated nor are they on minor details
of her tale of rape. Her contradictory statements are on important details and cannot but
seriously impair the probative value and cast serious doubt on the integrity of her
testimony. We also find it unlikely that when AAA returned home after the rape incident,
BBB did not observe anything unusual about her that could have immediately aroused
her suspicion that something untoward had happened to her. Surprisingly, AAA even
told BBB that she came from a Bible study.
Taking AAAs testimony in its totality, we find ourselves unable to accord it the
same credibility extended to it by the lower courts. For evidence to be believed, it must
not only come from the mouth of a credible witness, but must be credible in itself; it
must be one that reason and the common experience and observation of mankind can
approve as probable under the circumstances. These are the same standards to
determine its value in weighing it in the scale of judicial acceptance.

PEOPLE V. FERNANDEZ
GR. No. 139341-45 (2002)
FACTS:
Private complainant Yolanda Fernandez is the illegitimate daughter of appellant
Ernesto Fernandez and Percilita Garcia. since birth, Yolanda lived with her father,
appellant and her grandmother Espirita Costales, appellants common-law wife, she
was in Grade V when she was serially raped by [her] father appellant Ernesto
Fernandez, inside their house starting October 2, 1995, which forced her to quit
schooling. At the time, Yolanda was twelve (12) going [on] thirteen (13) years old, and
was living in the house of appellant together with appellant, her grandmother Espirita
Costales and her 5-year old sister Catherine Fernan[d]ez who is also appellant and
Percilitas daughter. Previous to these rape incidents, appellant had started abusing
Yolanda as early as when she was five (5) years old by touching her breasts and other
parts of the body. Private complainant was continuously abuse by appellant After
October 15, 1995, Yolanda was raped again and again, the dates and the number of
times she could no longer remember nor recall. Even after she was already pregnant
with appellants child, appellant still kept on raping her. On July 3, 1996, she gave birth
in their house to appellants child, a baby girl whom they named Marimar Fernandez.15
(Citations omitted)
The RTC gave full credence to the testimony of complainant, noting that she
narrated the circumstances before, during and after the alleged rape in a positive and
straightforward manner.18 On her part, no ill motive for accusing her own father of the
crime of rape was found by the trial court. It sentenced him to death, one each for the
five (5) counts of rape he had been charged with.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the lower court correctly gave credence to the testimony of the
complainant?
HELD:
NO. The prosecutions evidence does not pass the test of moral certainty. Hence,
appellant must be acquitted.
We are not unmindful of the general rule that the findings of the trial court
regarding the credibility of witnesses are generally accorded great respect and even
finality on appeal.30 However, this principle does not preclude a reevaluation of the
evidence to determine whether material facts or circumstances have been overlooked
or misinterpreted by the trial court.31 In the past, we have not hesitated to reverse
judgments of conviction, where there were strong indications pointing to the possibility
that the rape charge was false.

After a judicious examination of complainants testimony, which is the main


evidence for the allegation of rape, we cannot subscribe to the RTCs assessment of it
as straightforward and unwavering. Quite the contrary, we believe that no conviction can
arise from it on the following grounds:
1. Unreliability
Complainant testified that the first incident of rape happened on October 2, 1995,
at 6:00 p.m. But on cross-examination, she testified that on the afternoon of that day,
she went out to fetch her Inang. It would have been a simple matter to reconcile these
two events, if complainant simply clarified that one happened after the other.
Surprisingly, during her direct examination, she did not even remember that she had
gone out to pick up her Inang that afternoon.
2. Inconsistency
A careful analysis of the testimony of complainant will reveal that she kept on
giving statements that were inconsistent or contradictory.
3. Inadequacy
Showing lack of substance in her testimony, complainant could not even relate
details of the final rape allegedly committed sometime in April 1996. Besides giving no
details, she gave the impression that the occurrence itself was doubtful.
4. Complainants Perfunctory Manner of Testifying
Although it is settled that the accused may be convicted of rape simply on the
basis of the complainants testimony, this principle holds true only if such testimony
meets the test of credibility. This requires that the testimony be straightforward, clear,
positive and convincing.
Owing to the character of the crime of rape, the testimony of the victim is the
focal point around which the charges naturally revolve. Therefore, the degree of
reliability, consistency and adequacy of her testimony on material points -- as well as
the very manner in which she gives such testimony -- can either sustain or negate
conviction.

PEOPLE V. BENITO
GR. No. 128072
FACTS:
It was then about 7:20 p.m. on February 4, 1988. Inside the hut were husband
and wife Dionisio and Imelda Albarida.About this time, appellant came walking hurriedly
towards the hut. At the frontage of the hut, he called for his wife, Thelma Catab,
daughter of the spouses Albarida. Imelda Albarida opened a window at the frontage of
the hut and told appellant that his wife was not there. Angered by the reply, appellant
began hitting the wall of the hut with his fist. This went on for around two
minutes. Appellant then left.
About a meter from the hut, appellant met victim Alberto de la Cruz. The latter
was muttering who is this person making trouble? Without a word, as the two were
already side-by-side, appellant pulled a knife from his waist and stabbed Alberto de la
Cruz on his chest. As Alberto de la Cruz tottered, falling to the ground, bloodied and
lying prostrate, appellant hurried away from the place.
Imelda Albarida witnessed the stabbing incident from the window through which
she was looking. To better observe the incident, she took the lamp and focused it on
the surroundings downstairs. Fear then gripped her. She hugged her husband and
stopped him from going downstairs to the fallen Alberto de la Cruz.A crowd began
milling around the body of Alberto de la Cruz. His parents, Luis and Virginia de la Cruz,
were there, and so was Pedro Almazan, and also, a member of the barangays
kagawad, Manuel Suarez. The victim was brought to a hospital on a tricycle but died en
route, and he was brought to the morgue instead.
ISSUE:
Wherher the trial court erred in giving full credence in the testimony of
prosecution witness Imelda Albarida.
HELD:
NO. Trial court is correct. The trial court gave full faith and credence to the
testimony of witness Imelda Albarida, observing with amplitude of details that her
testimony was clear unequivocal and rang with truth. The reference to the statement of
Pedro Almazan in the decision of the trial court was done only to explain the failure of
the prosecution to present him as a witness. As often stressed by us on the point of
credibility of witnesses, appellate courts accord the highest respect to the assessment
made by the trial court. A finding of the trial court on the credibility of witness deserves
great weight, given the clear advantage of a trial judge in the appreciation of testimonial
evidence. We have recognized that the trial court is in the best position to assess the

credibility of witnesses and their testimonies because of their unique opportunity to


observe the witnesses first-hand and to note their demeanor, conduct and attitude under
grueling examination. These are significant factors in evaluating the sincerity of
witnesses, in the process of unearthing the truth. Thus, except for compelling reasons,
we are doctrinally bound by the trial courts assessment of the credibility of witnesses.
In this case, even if the incident happened at nighttime, the trial court found that
witness Imelda Albarida was in a position to clearly see the face of the assailant. Her
house was just one (1) meter away from the scene of the crime, and was directly
looking out of the window at the time assailant stabbed victim. Further, the yard of the
house was illuminated by a kerosene lamp, giving her a good look at the physical
features of appellant without any obstruction. Given these circumstances, witness
Imelda Albarida was then able to give a clear, detailed description of the assailant and
narrate what actually transpired that fateful evening. Thus, we find no reason to doubt
the identification by her of appellant as the perpetrator of the crime.

PEOPLE V. AUSA
GR. No. 174194 (2007)
FACTS:
On September 19, 1996 Teresita Libao and the victim Rosendo Pascual, Jr.
were conversing at the carinderia located at the corner of J.P. Rizal Street, Maypajo,
Caloocan City when appellant suddenly appeared and stabbed Pascual at the
back. Thereafter, appellant fled from the crime scene. Pascual attempted to walk but
fell down on the street. Libao rushed Pascual to the nearest hospital but the latter was
pronounced dead on arrival.
Two days later, Libao met appellant who explained to her, Tol, pasensiya ka na
kung naganoon ko ang bata[,] napagkamalan ko lang kasi[.] Trip ko, nag-aaway kaming
mag-asawa. He also warned her not to testify against him.[7]
On September 23, 1996, upon being summoned by a barangay official, Libao
disclosed that appellant was the culprit; however, she requested not to inform the family
of the victim because she was afraid of appellant and his brother.
On October 23, 1996 at 7:30 p.m., Libao was walking with appellant along J.P.
Rizal Street, Maypajo, Caloocan City when they passed a group
of pedicab drivers. Appellant approached the group and extorted money from one Cerio
David who refused. Appellant slapped David who retaliated by pushing the
appellant. The latter then stabbed David with a double-bladed instrument hitting him on
the back, breast, neck, and arm. David ran towards the highway, asking for help; but he
fell and died on the spot. The autopsy report indicated the cause of death of Pascual as
a stab wound at the back which penetrated the lower lobe of the right lung. On the
witness stand, Dr. Vargas opined that the wound could have been caused by a singlebladed pointed instrument.
The two cases were jointly heard and tried. The trial court rendered its Decision,
finds accused Edwin Ausa Guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder and
Homicide. Appellate court affirmed with modification the Decision of the trial court.
ISSUE:
WON testimony of Libao and the medico legal officers were credible? Inspite the
inconsistent as to the type of weapon he allegedly used in killing Pascual and David.
The former claimed he used a double-bladed knife, while the latter declared that the
victims wounds were caused by a single-bladed instrument.

HELD:
Yes, testimonies are credible
It is doctrinal that the trial courts evaluation of the credibility of a witness and
his/her testimony is accorded the highest respect because of the latters untrammeled
opportunity to observe directly the demeanor of a witness and thus, to determine
whether he/she is telling the truth. It is also settled that when the trial courts findings
have been affirmed by the appellate court, said findings are generally conclusive and
binding upon this Court.
Moreover, even granting that Libao erred in identifying the weapon used by the
appellant as double-bladed knife, vis--vis the medical findings that the said victims died
of wounds possibly caused by a single-bladed instrument, it is a settled rule that
witnesses are not expected to remember every single detail of an incident with perfect
or total recall. Even if a witness may have erred in some aspects of his/her testimony,
the same does not necessarily impair his/her testimony nor corrode his/her credibility.
Where a part of the testimony of a witness runs counter to the medical evidence
submitted, it is within the sound discretion of the court to determine which portions of
the testimony to reject as false and which to consider worthy of belief.

PEOPLE VS. ORIO


GR. No. 128821
FACTS:
Appellants Rodolfo Orio and Romeo Orio are brothers and the victim, Domingo
Francisco was their neighbor at Cruz, Guiguinto, Bulacan.
Around 8:30 in the evening of June 28, 1992 while Domingo and his wife Donata
were about to enter their house, Rodolfo suddenly blocked their way and pointed a bolo
at Domingo. Amancia Marcial was watching television when she heard somebody
shout "Huwag pare, hindi tayo magkatalo!" Upon rushing to the window, she saw a man
with a bolo menacingly approaching Domingo Francisco. A man armed with a fan knife,
who must have heard the commotion, rushed out of his house and pounced on
Domingo. After pinning Domingo to the wall, the two armed men stabbed and hacked
him as he screamed, "Patay na ako! Hindi na ako lalaban!"Then suddenly, Romeo
appeared, held Domingos shoulder and stabbed him in the chest. Rodolfo, in turn,
hacked Domingo several times on different parts of his body. Domingo fell to the ground
but Rodolfo continued to hack him causing his intestines to come out. Thereafter, the
duo fled.
Domingo died of massive external hemorrhage due to multiple wounds on the
chest and abdomen and extremity, penetrating the right lung, large and small intestines.
The Orio brothers fled to their home province in Palapag, Samar, where they were
arrested on September 4, 1992.
On the other hand, both accused denied having anything to do with the killing of
the victim.
ISSUE:
WON testimony of the eye witness Amancia Marcial, particularly the positive
identification of appellants as the malefactors who perpetrated the gruesome crime as
against their defenses of denial and alibi is credible enough to sustain conviction
HELD:
YES, the testimony is credible.
Accused-appellants attempt to make capital of inconsistencies in the testimony
of the prosecution witnesses particularly Amancia Marcial hardly persuades. Assuming
that Amancia did not accurately portray the manner in which the accused-appellants
attached the victim, there is no doubt at all in her statements before the court that she
saw the accused-appellants stabbing and hacking the victim even when he was already
sprawled on the ground. Errorless testimonies cannot be expected especially when a
witness is recounting details of a harrowing experience and as long as the mass of
testimony jibes on material points, the slight clashing of statements dilutes neither the
witness credibility nor the veracity of the testimony.

This Court has said time and again that any minor lapses in the testimony of a witness
tend to buttress, rather than weaken, his or her credibility, since they show that he or
she was neither coached nor were his or her answers contrived. Witnesses are not
expected to remember every single detail of an incident with perfect or total recall.
Furthermore, even assuming ex gratia argumenti that Amancia Marcial may have
falsified some material particulars in her testimonial declarations, this per se provides no
reason to disregard her testimony altogether. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is not a
strict legal maxim in our jurisprudence. It is neither a test of credibility nor a positive rule
of universal application. Therefore, it should not be applied to portions of the testimony
corroborated by other pieces of evidence.

PEOPLE V. ASILAN
GR. No. 188322 (2012)
FACTS:
Asilan was charged with the complex crime of Direct Assault with Murder upon
the person of PO1 RANDY ADOVAS y PE-CAAT, a member of the Philippine National
Police assigned at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig, MM, duly qualified, appointed,
and acting as such, and therefore an agent of a person in authority, which fact was
known to the said accused, while PO1 RANDY ADOVAS y PE-CAAT was in the
performance of his official duty, that is, while handcuffing the at-large co-conspirator for
illegal possession of deadly weapon, herein accused suddenly appeared and with intent
to kill, treachery and evident premeditation, attack, assault, and use personal violence
upon said police officer by then and there repeatedly stabbing the latter with a fan knife
then grabbing his service firearm and shooting him, thereby inflicting upon the said PO1
RANDY ADOVAS y PE-CAAT mortal stab and gunshot wounds which were the direct
and immediate cause of his death thereafter.
Asilan was convicted based on eyewitness testimony of Joselito Binosa a
jeepney barker and a carwash boy who saw the illegal acts of Asilan. he saw a
uniformed policeman, who seemed to be arresting someone and ordering the latter to
lay on the ground. The police officer pushed the man to the wall, poked the gun on him
and was about to handcuff the latter when another man, herein appellant Asilan arrived,
drew something from his back and stabbed the police officer on his back several times
until the latter fell to the ground.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Joselito Binosa is a credible witness.
HELD:
YES, Joselito Binosa is credible witness. It is a well-settled rule that the
assessment of the trial court regarding the credibility of witnesses will generally not be
disturbed on appeal. The rationale for this doctrine is that the trial court is in a better
position to decide the issue, as it heard the witnesses themselves and observed their
deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. The only exceptions to this rule are
the following:
1. When patent inconsistencies in the statements of witnesses are ignored by the trial
court; or
2. When the conclusions arrived at are clearly unsupported by the evidence.
This Court sees no reason to apply the above exceptions and disturb the findings
of the RTC, which were affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Our perusal of the records showed that the RTC was vigilant in its duty to
ascertain the truth. The RTC itself propounded clarificatory questions to Binosa and San
Diego while they were testifying. At the end of the trial, the RTC found these witnesses
credible, and believed their eyewitness accounts because they were categorical in their
identification of Asilan as one of Adovass assailants. The RTC also pointed out that it
could not find any dubious reason for Binosa and San Diego to falsely implicate Asilan
in a heinous crime. The alleged inconsistency in Binosas testimony does not render his
testimony fictitious. The fact that he was able to provide more details of the events only
during cross-examination is not unusual, and on the contrary tends to buttress, rather
than weaken, his credibility, since it shows that he was neither coached nor were his
answers contrived. After all, witnesses are not expected to remember every single
detail of an incident with perfect or total recall.

RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE


Under A.M. No. 01-7-01-SC.- Re: Rules on Electronic Evidence (REE), any
electronic data or electronic evidence may be used as evidence. However, the REE only
applies only on all civil actions and proceedings, as well as quasi-judicial and
administrative cases. Thus, as stated in the earlier case of Ang vs. Court of Appeals, the
REE does not apply to criminal actions.
As defined in the REE, Electronic data message refers to information
generated, sent, received or stored by electronic, optical or similar means [R2, Sec.
1(g)].
Electronic document refers to information or the representation of information,
data, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression, described or however
represented, by which a right is established or an obligation extinguished, or by which a
fact may be proved and affirmed, which is received, recorded, transmitted, stored,
processed, retrieved or produced electronically [R2, Sec. 1(h)].
In assessing evidentiary weight of electronic evidence, Rule 7, Sec. 1 of the REE
focuses on six (6) factors:
1. The reliability of the manner of its generation
2. The reliability of its identification by the originator
3. The integrity of its information and communication system recorder or storage
4. The familiarity of the witness or person who made the particular entry
5. The nature and quality of the information based on electronic data or document
6. Other factors affecting its accuracy or integrity
RULES ON DNA EVIDENCE
DNA evidence refers to paternal testing data that determines the filiations of a
child. The Supreme Court in A.M. No. 06-11-5-SC qualifies the procedures in the
handling and processing of DNA samples, as well as its evidentiary values.
Sec. 7 of the rule enumerates the following circumstances which determine the
probable value of the DNA:
1. The chain of custody in the collection and handling of the samples, including the
possibility of contamination
2. The methodology used in analyzing the samples, considering the advantages
and disadvantages of the procedure, and compliance with scientific standards
3. The reliability of the testing result.
Sec. 8 expands the second circumstance of Sec. 7 regarding the reliability of the
methodology used. The rules consider the following in the evaluation:
1. Whether the theory or technique can be or has been tested

2. Whether the principles or methods have been subject to review and publication
3. Whether there is general acceptance of the principles or methods in the relevant
scientific community
4. Whether there exists maintained standards and controls to ensure correctness of
data
5. Whether there is existing appropriate reference population database; and
6. Whether there is a general degree of confidence attributable to mathematical
calculations used in comparing DNA profiles and the significance and limitation of
statistical calculations used in comparing DNA profiles.
Sec. 9 of the rules states the evaluation of the DNA results by the court in considering
the following:
1. The weight of the matching of DNA or the relevance of the mismatch
2. The results of the DNA testing in considering all the other evidence presented;
and
3. If the value of the probability of paternity is less than 99.9%, the results are
considered as corroborative evidence. If the values are lesser, there will be a
disputable presumption of paternity.

TERMINATION OF PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE


Under the Rule 133 Section 6 of the Rules of Court the court may stop the
introduction of further testimony upon any particular point when the evidence upon it is
already so full that more witnesses to the same point cannot be reasonably expected to
be additionally persuasive. But this power should be exercised with caution.
The discretion of the court in stopping the introduction of further evidence is
embodied in Rule 133, Sec. 6. The rule simply means that the court may stop the
introduction of further evidence that merely is cumulative and does not provide any
further significance than that already presented by the parties. In People vs. Reyes (GR
No. L-41569, 1984), it is explained that when the evidence already presented on one
point is sufficient and the party merely seeks to present cumulative evidence which
cannot produce additional persuasive effect or that he is not sure of what the other
witnesses would testify, the court may in its sound discretion stop the introduction of
such further evidence.

PEOPLE VS. SUBIDA


GR. No. 145945
FACTS:
On September 8, 1995, Victor C. Subida was charged with illegal possession of
ammunitions and two counts of frustrated homicide.
Upon arraignment, the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges the Court set
the continuation of the trial of the accused to adduce his evidence on March 25, 1999.
However, despite the presence of the accused, it did not proceed anew because the
counsel of the accused was purportedly sick. Trial was again reset subject to the latters
presentation of a verified medical certificate. The accused testified on April 22, 1999,
and his testimony was terminated also that day.
Trial was set on May 5 and 12, 1999 for the accused to present his other witness,
Jobel Mantes, who, however, failed to appear. On motion of the accused, the trial was
cancelled and reset, for the last time, on May 12, 1999. Because the public prosecutor
was indisposed, trial was once again reset to May 27 and June 3, 1999, as additional
setting. The trial on May 27, 1999 had to be canceled because the counsel of the
accused failed to appear again, and there was no proof that said counsel was sick.
On June 16, 1999, the law firm of Tan Acut & Madrid entered its appearance as
new counsel, and likewise filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the May 27, 1999 Order
on the ground that such court unduly deprived the accused of his right to be heard and
to present evidence in his defense
They pointed out that his previous lawyer was absent only twice and that the first
instance was justified by illness. He averred that the absence of his counsel on May 27,
1999, although without any supporting medical certificate, did not amount to a waiver of
his right to adduce additional evidence. However, on July 15, 1999, the trial court issued
an Order denying the motion. The accused then filed a Petition for Certiorari and
Prohibition with the CA assailing the May 27, 1999 and July 15, 1999 ordered of the
RTC contending that since the accused have religiously attended all the hearings set for
the presentation of evidence, he never waived his constitutional right to present his
evidence.
On October 31, 2000, the CA rendered judgment granting the petition and set aside the
assailed Orders, which prompted the filing by herein petitioner to file the present petition
for review on certiorari.
ISSUE:

Whether or not the CA gravely erred in law, when it set aside the order of the
RTC which terminated the presentation of evidence by the accused and considered the
case submitted for decision.
HELD:
NO. As gleaned from the decision of the CA, it granted the plea of petitioner
therein for a writ of certiorari with the following ratiocination:
Respondent courts conduct is tainted with grave abuse of discretion considering
that petitioners counsel was absent only twice during the trial of the case and
petitioners presentation of evidence was relatively unhampered by delays, covering as
it did only a period of two (2) months.
The Office of the Solicitor Generals contention that petitioner was not deprived of
his right to be heard because he had actually finished his testimony and the witnesses
he had intended to present would merely provide corroborating evidence, is erroneous.
Even the courts power to stop further evidence must be exercised with caution and it
prohibits cumulative evidence, or evidence of the same kind to the same state of facts
and not corroborative evidence or additional evidence of a different character to the
same point. Regardless of the character or nature of the evidence to be presented by
petitioner, the focal issue here is whether he was deemed to have waived its
presentation. From the circumstances of the case, we hold that he did not since he was
present during the scheduled hearing and the fault lay entirely with his counsel.
Counsels negligence
Without any participatory negligence by the accused concerned, justifies the
courts in making a more liberal interpretation of the rules in favor of the accused.
In this case, the RTC issued its May 27, 1999 Order declaring that respondent was
considered to have rested his case and that the charges against him was deemed
submitted for decision because his counsel, Atty. Iguidez, was absent and did not file a
motion for the postponement of the trial set on said date nor submitted any medical
certificate attesting to his illness. However, the records show that respondent was
present during the trial and presumably was ready to continue with the presentation of
his evidence and the testimony of his witnesses. He had no inkling why his counsel did
not appear for trial. That the absence of counsel for respondent could not have been
deliberate is evidenced by the fact that it was only he who was absent. The trial court
did not inquire from such counsel why he failed to appear for the trial much less
admonish him for failing to appear before it; respondent was likewise not advised to
secure the services of a new counsel. Respondent eventually terminated the services of
said counsel and proceeded to engage the services of another, the Tan Acut Madrid
Law Office, which immediately filed a motion for the reconsideration of the trial courts
May 27, 1999 Order.
It must be borne in mind that respondent was charged with three serious crimes for
which if convicted he would be meted long prison terms. There is no showing in the
records that respondent ever waived his right to present witnesses to corroborate his
testimony.

Furthermore, the testimony of the two witnesses whom respondent wanted to present
cannot be belittled for such are substantial and thus, in the interest of justice, should be
received by the trial court.

EVIDENCE ON MOTION
Under the Rule 133 Section 7 of the Rules of Court When a motion is based on
facts not appearing of record the court may hear the matter on affidavits or depositions
presented by the respective parties, but the court may direct that the matter be heard
wholly or partly on oral testimony or depositions.
In Sapida v. De Villanueva, it was held that "while the court may rule upon
motions solely on the basis of affidavits and counter-affidavits, if the affidavits contradict
each other on matters of fact, the court can have no basis to make its findings of facts
and the prudent course is to subject the affiants to cross-examination so that the court
can decide whom to believe."
In the earlier case of Capiral vs. Robles (GR No. 173628, 2011), the Supreme
Court stated the effect of Rule 133, Sec. 7. The rule directs any motion dependent on
facts to be heard wholly or partially through affidavits or depositions by the parties upon
the discretion of the court if there is no evidence to support the motion in the records. As
stated by the Court:
Indeed, unlike a motion to dismiss based on the failure of the complaint to state
a cause of action, which may be resolved solely on the basis of the allegations of the
complaint, the Motion to Dismiss filed by petitioner raised an affirmative defense that he
has long been in possession of the disputed property as an owner and that he has
repudiated his co-ownership of the subject property with private respondents and the
other co-heirs. The motion thus posed a question of fact that should be resolved after
due hearing.

BRAVO, Jr. V. BORJA


GR. No. L-65228
FACTS:
Petitioner Jojo Pastor Bravo, Jr., is charged with murder for the killing of one
Ramon Abiog he was detained in the city jail of Naga after his arrest, petitioner filed a
motion for bail based on two reasons: (a) that the evidence against him is not strong in
view of the retraction by Ferdinand del Rosario, one of the prosecution witnesses, of his
previous statement naming petitioner as the assailant; and (b) that he is a minor of 16
years, entitled as such to a privileged mitigating circumstance under Article 68 of the
Revised Penal Code which would make the murder charge against him non-capital.
Respondent Judge Melecio B. Borja denied the motion for bail on the finding that the
evidence of petitioners guilt is strong and his minority was not proved.
Petitioner then filed a motion for reconsideration stating that his minority had
been proved by his birth certificate which was attached to the memorandum in support
of his motion for bail, showing that he was born on February 26, 1967, that his minority
had never been challenged by the fiscal, and that the offense charged, as regards
petitioner, is not capital because even if convicted, he could not be sentenced to death
because of his minority. Again, attached to the motion for reconsideration was a duly
certified copy of petitioners birth certificate. The Fiscal opposed the motion on the
ground that the evidence of guilt is strong, but did not contest the minority of petitioner.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the respondent judge is correct in disregarding the minority of the
petitioner?
HELD:
NO. Respondent judge is incorrect. But respondent judge claims that petitioner
has not proved his minority. This is inaccurate. In his motion for bail, petitioner alleged
that he was a minor of 16 and this averment was never challenged by the prosecution.
Subsequently, in his memorandum in support of the motion for bail, petitioner attached a
copy of his birth certificate. And finally, after respondent Judge had denied the motion
for bail, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, attaching thereto a certified true
copy of his birth certificate. Respondents Judge however refused to take cognizance of
petitioners unchallenged minority allegedly because the certificate of birth was not
offered in evidence. This was error because evidence of petitioners minority was
already a part of the record of the case. It was properly filed in support of a motion. It
would be a needless formality to offer it in evidence. Respondent Judge therefore acted
with grave abuse of discretion in disregarding it. Evidence on motion. When a motion
is based on facts not appearing of record the court may hear the matter on affidavits or
depositions presented by the respective parties, but the court may direct that the matter

be heard wholly or partly on oral testimony or depositions. (Rules of Court, Rule 133,
Section 7.)

PEOPLE V. MONTEIRO
GR. No. 49454

FACTS:
That on or about the period from January 1964 to May 31, 1974 at Liliw, Laguna
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being the
operator and owner of "Monteiro's Footwear," an establishment engaged in the
manufacture of footwear, failed to register and/or report to the Social Security System,
Elizabeth Collantes as member thereof who was employed in said firm or establishment
from January 1964 to May 1974 in violation of the Social Security Laws; and despite
demands failed to register aforesaid employee to the damage and prejudice of the
offended party.
Collantes filed a complaint against Monteiro on the other hand he filed a motion
to quash the information which was granted by the Court of First Instance of Laguna on
the ground of prescription.The law applied was Section 1(b) of Act 3326, as amended,
providing that offenses punishable with imprisonment for more than one month but less
than two years prescribe after four years.
The trial court reckoned the 4-year prescriptive period from January 1964,
holding that the crime was deemed committed from the time the private respondent
failed to register the employee. As the information against Monteiro was filed only on
November 10, 1975, it was clear that it was already time-barred under the cited
provision.
The appellant contends otherwise. According to the Solicitor General, the 4-year
period should commence, not in January 1964, when the violation started, but in May
1974, when it was discovered. He cites in support of his view Elizabeth Collantes's
statements 4 at the preliminary investigation of the case and Section 2 of the same Act,
providing as follows:
SEC. 2. Prescription shall commence to run on the day of the commission of the
violation of the law and if the same be not known at that time, from the discovery thereof
and the institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and punishment.:-cralaw
For his part, the appellee argues that the appellant cannot change its theory on
appeal from its original position that the offense was a continuing one. He insists that
the prescriptive period should be counted from the date of the alleged violation as this
was not concealed and did not have to be discovered. The statements of Collantes
were not admissible evidence because they had not been formally offered; hence, no
proof of discovery had been presented by the appellant. He also suggests that the
subsequent registration of Collantes with the SSS had the effect of extinguishing the
offense and that in any case the appeal would place him in double jeopardy.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the statement of Collantes were admissible in evidence.
HELD:
Yes, we affirm the conclusion that the period of prescription for the offense of
failure to register with the SSS shall begin from the day of the discovery of the violation
if this was not shown at the time of its commission. A contrary view would be dangerous
as the successful concealment of an offense during the period fixed for its prescription
would be the very means by which the offender may escape punishment.
The Solicitor General was, indeed, not changing his theory on appeal but merely shifting
his emphasis. Even in the lower court, he had consistently opposed the contention that
the offense had prescribed.
We cannot accept the appellee's argument that the appeal should be dismissed
because the appellant had failed to show that it was only in 1974 that the offense was
discovered. That was not his responsibility.
The trial court should have applied Section 7 of Rule 133 of the Rules of Court,
providing as follows:
Sec. 7. Evidence on Motion. When a motion is based on facts not appearing of
record, the court may hear the matter on affidavits or depositions presented by the
respective parties, but the court may direct that the matter be heard wholly or partly on
oral testimony or depositions.
In holding that the prescriptive period should begin in January 1964, the trial
judge was merely presuming that the appellant was already aware on that date of the
commission of the crime. There is no proof of this, nor is such knowledge deducible
from a reading of the information.
In the case at bar, it does not appear that Collantes knew at the outset, that is,
from January 1964, that she had not been registered by the appellee with the SSS. In
fact, she said she learned she was not a member only much later, when she wanted to
avail herself of SSS benefits because of the hospitalization of her husband.
This case is remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Laguna for determination,
after hearing, of the date when the alleged offense was discovered and the prescriptive
period commenced to run.