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EVIDENCE

PRLEIMINARY CONSIDERATION
ONG CHIA V. REPUBLIC, G.R. NO. 127240 March 27, 2000 , 328 SCRA 749 (2000)
FACTS: Petitioner Ong Chia was born on January 1, 1923 in Amoy, Chia. He moved
to the Philippines when he was 9 years old and has stayed in the country since
then. In July 1989, (at age 66) Ong Chia filed a petition to be admitted as a Filipino
citizen under the Revised Naturalization Law. In his petitioner, he stated that he
previously submitted a petition for citizenship under LOI 270 with the Committee
on Naturalization (under OSG) but the same was not acted upon (halted due to
1986 revolution). During the hearing, petitioner presented 3 witnesses to
corroborate his testimony. The prosecutor was impressed with his testimony that
he did not adduce any evidence to prove the contrary and mentioned that
petitioner does indeed deserves to be a Filipino citizen. The trial court granted
the petition and admitted Ong Chia to Philippine citizenship. However, the State,
through OSG appealed the same contending that:
a. He failed to state all the names by which he is or had been known
b. He failed to state all his former place/s of residence as required by law
c. He failed to conduct himself in a property and irreproachable manner during
his entire stay in the Philippines
d. He has no known lucrative trade or occupation and his previous incomes have
been insufficient or misdeclared. OSG also annexed to the appellants brief a
copy of petitioners 1977 petition for naturalization in which he stated in addition
to his name Ong Chia, he was also known as Loreto Chia Ong; IRT copies
petitioner allegedly filed from 1973 to 1977 which shows that his income can
barely support himself. CA reversed the trial court decision and denied petitioners
application for naturalization, citing that due to the importance of naturalization
cases, the State is not precluded from raising questions not presented in the lower
court and brought up for the first time on appeal
ISSUE: WON CA erred in considering the documents which had merely been
annexed by the State to its appellants brief and on the basis of which, justified
the reversal of the trial courts decision
HELD: No. Ong Chia failed to note that under Rule 4 ROC: These rules shall not
apply to land registration, cadastral and election cases, naturalization and
insolvency proceedings, and other cases not herein provided for, except by
analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient.
Based on the above, the rule on formal offer of evidence (Rule 132 Sec 34) being
invoked by petitioner is clearly not applicable to the present case involving a
petition for naturalization. The only instance when said rules may be applied by
analogy or suppletorily in such cases is when it is practicable and convenient. This
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is not the case here, since reliance upon the documents provided by the State
appears to be more practical and convenient course of action considering that
decisions in naturalization proceedings are not covered by the rule on res
judicata. Consequently, a final favorable judgment does not preclude the State
from later moving for a revocation of the grant of naturalization on the basis of
the same documents. The reason for the rule prohibiting admission of evidence
which has not been formally offered is to afford the opposite party the chance to
object to their admissibility. Petitioner cannot claim that he was deprived of the
right to object to the authenticity of the documents submitted by the State.
ZULUETA vs CA G.R. NO. 107383 February 20, 1996, 253 SCRA 699 (1996)
The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable, except
upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise
as prescrbied by law. Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceeding
section, shall inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
FACTS: Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Alfredo Martin.
On March 26, 1962, petitioner entered the clinic of her husband, a doctor of
medicine, and in the presence of her mother, a driver and private respondent's
secretary, forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet of her husband's clinic and
took 157 documents consisting of private respondents between Dr. Martin and his
alleged paramours, greeting cards, cancelled check, diaries, Dr. Martin's passport,
and photographs. The documents and papers were seized for use in evidence in a
case for legal separation and for disqualification from the practice of medicine
which petitioner had filed against her husband.
ISSUE: Whether or not the papers and other materials obtained from forcible
entrusion and from unlawful means are admissible as evidence in court regarding
marital separation and disqualification from medical practice.
HELD: The documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence. The
constitutional injuction declaring "the privacy of communication and
correspondence to be inviolable" is no less applicable simply because it is the wife
(who thinks herself aggrieved by her husband's infidelity) who is the party against
whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced. The only exception to the
prohibition in the constitution is if there is a "lawful order from the court or which
public safety or order require otherwise, as prescribed by law." Any violation of
this provision renders the evidence obtained inadmissible "for any purpose in any
proceeding."
The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify anyone of them in
breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any
telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A person, by contracting marriage, does not
shed her/his integrity or her/his right to privacy as an individual and the
constitutional protection is ever available to him or to her.
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The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by


making it privileged. Neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the other
without the consent of the affected spouse while the marriage subsists. Neither
may be examined without the consent of the other as to any communication
received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage, save for
specified exceptions. But one thing is freedom of communication; quite another is
a compulsion for each one to share what one knows with the other. And this has
nothing to do with the duty of fidelity that each owes to the other.
PEOPLE vs YATAR , G.R. NO. 150224 May 19, 2004
FACTS: On June 30, 1998, Kathylyn Uba stayed in her grandmothers (Isabel
Dawangs) house, despite her intention to go forth Tuguegarao City, as her other
formers housemate-relatives left in the morning. At 10:00 am, accused-appellant
Joel Yatar was seen at the back of the same house where Kathylyn stayed during
said date. At 12:30 pm, Judilyn, Kathylyns first cousin saw Yatar, who was then
wearing a white shirt with collar and black pants, descended from the second floor
and was pacing back and forth at the back of Isabel Dawangs house, Judilyn
didnt find this unusual since Yatar and his wife used to live therein. At 1:30 PM,
Yatar called upon Judilyn, telling the latter that he would not be getting the lumber
he had been gathering. This time, Judilyn noticed that Yatar is now wearing a
black shirt (without collar) and blue pants; and noticed that the latters eyes were
reddish and sharp. Accused-appellant asked about the whereabouts of Judilyns
husband, as the former purports to talk with the latter. Then, Yatar immediately
left when Judilyns husband arrived. In the evening, when Isabel Dawang arrived
home, she found the lights of her house turned off, the door of the ground floor
opened, and the containers, which she asked Kathylyn to fill up, were still empty.
Upon ascending the second floor to check whether the teenage girl is upstairs,
Isabel found that the door therein was tied with rope. When Isabel succeeded
opening the tied door with a knife, and as she groped in the darkness of the
second level of her house, she felt Kathylyns lifeless and naked body, with some
intestines protruding out from it. Soon after, police came to the scene of the crime
to provide assistance. Therein, they found Kathylyns clothes and undergarments
beside her body. Amongst others, a white collared shirt splattered with blood was
also found 50-meters away from Isabels house. Meanwhile, semen has also been
found upon examination of Kathylyns cadaver. When subjected under DNA
testing, results showed that the DNA comprising the sperm specimen is identical
to Yatars genotype. Yatar was accused of the special complex crime of Rape with
Homicide and was convicted for the same by the Regional Trial Court of Tabuk,
Kalinga. Thereafter, he made an appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court in order
to assail the court a quos decision. On appeal, Yatar avers that: (1) the trial court
erred in giving much weight to the evidence DNA testing or analysis done on him,
in lieu of the seminal fluid found inside the victims (cadaver) vaginal canal; (2)
the blood sample taken from is violative of his constitutional right against selfincrimination; and the conduct of DNA testing is also in violation on prohibition
against ex-post facto laws.
Page 3 of 189

ISSUE: Whether or not the result of the DNA testing done on the sperm specimen
may be used as evidence for Yatars conviction?
HELD: Noteworthy is the fact this case was decided on 2004, which was three (3)
years before the Rules on DNA evidence took effect.
The Supreme Court in this case ruled based on the US case of Daubert vs. Merrell
Dow as a precedent. In the said US jurisprudence, it was ruled that pertinent
evidence based on scientifically valid principles could be used, so long as the
same is RELEVANT and RELIABLE. Hence, it was called then as the DAUBERT TEST.
At present, SECTION 7, RULES ON DNA EVIDENCE may be used as the legal basis.
Sec. 7 of the Rules on DNA evidence, which took effect on 2007, provides for the
factors to be considered in assessing the probative weight or value to be given on
evidence derived or generated from DNA testing. Such factors, are, to wit:
(a) The chain of custody, including how the biological samples were collected, how
they were handled, and the possibility of contamination of the samples; (b) The
DNA testing methodology, including the procedure followed in analyzing the
samples, the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure, and compliance
with the scientifically valid standards in conducting the tests; (c) The forensic DNA
laboratory, including accreditation by any reputable standards-setting institution
and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. If the laboratory is
not accredited, the relevant experience of the laboratory in forensic casework and
credibility shall be properly established; and (d) The reliability of the testing
result, as hereinafter provided.
DAUBERT TEST: The Honorable Supreme Court in this case upheld the probative
value of the DNA test result yielded from the analysis of Yatars blood sample from
that of the semen specimen obtained from the cadavers vaginal canal.
Accordingly, it held that the DNA evidence is both reliable and relevant.
In ascertaining the relevance of the evidence in a case, it must be determined
whether or not the same directly relates to a fact in issue, as to induce belief in its
existence or non-existence. In this case, the evidence is relevant in determining
the perpetrator of the crime; In giving probative value on the DNA testing result,
yielded from the analysis of Yatars blood sample from that of the biological
sample (semen) obtained from the victims vaginal canal, the trial court
considered the qualification of the DNA analyst, the facility or laboratory in which
the DNA testing had been performed, and the methodology used in performing
the DNA test. In the said case, the DNA test was done at the
UP National Science Research Institute (NSRI). The method used was Polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) amplification method by Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis,
which enables a tiny amount of DNA sequence to be replicated exponentially in a
span of few hours. Hence, sufficient DNA analysis may be made easier even with
small DNA samples at hand. The analyst who performed the procedure was Dr.
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Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria, who is a duly qualified expert witness on DNA
print or identification techniques.
Hence, apart from the other sets of circumstantial evidence correctly appreciated
by the trial court, the said DNA evidence is sufficient to be admitted as evidence
to warrant the accused-appellants conviction of the crime of Rape with Homicide.

PEOPLE vs YATAR , G.R. NO. 150224 May 19, 2004


FACTS: On June 30, 1998, Kathylyn Uba stayed in her grandmothers (Isabel
Dawangs) house, despite her intention to go forth Tuguegarao City, as her other
formers housemate-relatives left in the morning. At 10:00 am, accused-appellant
Joel Yatar was seen at the back of the same house where Kathylyn stayed during
said date. At 12:30 pm, Judilyn, Kathylyns first cousin saw Yatar, who was then
wearing a white shirt with collar and black pants, descended from the second floor
and was pacing back and forth at the back of Isabel Dawangs house, Judilyn
didnt find this unusual since Yatar and his wife used to live therein. At 1:30 PM,
Yatar called upon Judilyn, telling the latter that he would not be getting the lumber
he had been gathering. This time, Judilyn noticed that Yatar is now wearing a
black shirt (without collar) and blue pants; and noticed that the latters eyes were
reddish and sharp. Accused-appellant asked about the whereabouts of Judilyns
husband, as the former purports to talk with the latter. Then, Yatar immediately
left when Judilyns husband arrived. In the evening, when Isabel Dawang arrived
home, she found the lights of her house turned off, the door of the ground floor
opened, and the containers, which she asked Kathylyn to fill up, were still empty.
Upon ascending the second floor to check whether the teenage girl is upstairs,
Isabel found that the door therein was tied with rope. When Isabel succeeded
opening the tied door with a knife, and as she groped in the darkness of the
second level of her house, she felt Kathylyns lifeless and naked body, with some
intestines protruding out from it. Soon after, police came to the scene of the crime
to provide assistance. Therein, they found Kathylyns clothes and undergarments
beside her body. Amongst others, a white collared shirt splattered with blood was
also found 50-meters away from Isabels house. Meanwhile, semen has also been
found upon examination of Kathylyns cadaver. When subjected under DNA
testing, results showed that the DNA comprising the sperm specimen is identical
to Yatars genotype. Yatar was accused of the special complex crime of Rape with
Homicide and was convicted for the same by the Regional Trial Court of Tabuk,
Kalinga. Thereafter, he made an appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court in order
to assail the court a quos decision. On appeal, Yatar avers that: (1) the trial court
erred in giving much weight to the evidence DNA testing or analysis done on him,
in lieu of the seminal fluid found inside the victims (cadaver) vaginal canal; (2)
the blood sample taken from is violative of his constitutional right against selfincrimination; and the conduct of DNA testing is also in violation on prohibition
against ex-post facto laws.
Page 5 of 189

ISSUE: Whether or not the result of the DNA testing done on the sperm specimen
may be used as evidence for Yatars conviction?
HELD: Noteworthy is the fact this case was decided on 2004, which was three (3)
years before the Rules on DNA evidence took effect.
The Supreme Court in this case ruled based on the US case of Daubert vs. Merrell
Dow as a precedent. In the said US jurisprudence, it was ruled that pertinent
evidence based on scientifically valid principles could be used, so long as the
same is RELEVANT and RELIABLE. Hence, it was called then as the DAUBERT TEST.
At present, SECTION 7, RULES ON DNA EVIDENCE may be used as the legal basis.
Sec. 7 of the Rules on DNA evidence, which took effect on 2007, provides for the
factors to be considered in assessing the probative weight or value to be given on
evidence derived or generated from DNA testing. Such factors, are, to wit:
(a) The chain of custody, including how the biological samples were collected, how
they were handled, and the possibility of contamination of the samples; (b) The
DNA testing methodology, including the procedure followed in analyzing the
samples, the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure, and compliance
with the scientifically valid standards in conducting the tests; (c) The forensic DNA
laboratory, including accreditation by any reputable standards-setting institution
and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. If the laboratory is
not accredited, the relevant experience of the laboratory in forensic casework and
credibility shall be properly established; and (d) The reliability of the testing
result, as hereinafter provided.
DAUBERT TEST: The Honorable Supreme Court in this case upheld the probative
value of the DNA test result yielded from the analysis of Yatars blood sample from
that of the semen specimen obtained from the cadavers vaginal canal.
Accordingly, it held that the DNA evidence is both reliable and relevant.
In ascertaining the relevance of the evidence in a case, it must be determined
whether or not the same directly relates to a fact in issue, as to induce belief in its
existence or non-existence. In this case, the evidence is relevant in determining
the perpetrator of the crime; In giving probative value on the DNA testing result,
yielded from the analysis of Yatars blood sample from that of the biological
sample (semen) obtained from the victims vaginal canal, the trial court
considered the qualification of the DNA analyst, the facility or laboratory in which
the DNA testing had been performed, and the methodology used in performing
the DNA test. In the said case, the DNA test was done at the
UP National Science Research Institute (NSRI). The method used was Polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) amplification method by Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis,
which enables a tiny amount of DNA sequence to be replicated exponentially in a
span of few hours. Hence, sufficient DNA analysis may be made easier even with
small DNA samples at hand. The analyst who performed the procedure was Dr.
Page 6 of 189

Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria, who is a duly qualified expert witness on DNA
print or identification techniques.
Hence, apart from the other sets of circumstantial evidence correctly appreciated
by the trial court, the said DNA evidence is sufficient to be admitted as evidence
to warrant the accused-appellants conviction of the crime of Rape with Homicide.
TATING vs. MARCELLA, G.R. No. 155208 March 27, 2007 519 SCRA
FACTS: On October 14, 1969, Daniela sold the subject property to her
granddaughter, herein petitioner Nena Lazalita Tating. The contract of sale was
embodied in a duly notarized Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Daniela in favor
of Nena. Subsequently, title over the subject property was transferred in the name
of Nena. She declared the property in her name for tax purposes and paid the real
estate taxes due thereon for the years 1972, 1973 , 1975 to 1986 and 1988.
However, the land remained in possession Daniela.
On December 28, 1977, Daniela executed a sworn statement claiming that she
actually no intention of selling the property; the true agreement between her and
Nena was simply to transfer the title over the subject property in favour of the
latter to enable her to obtain a loan by mortgaging the subject property for the
purpose of helping her defray her business expenses; she later discovered that
Nena did not secure any loan nor mortgage the property; she wants the title in
the name of Nena cancelled and the subject property reconveyed to her.
Daniela died on July 29, 1988 leaving her children as her heirs . In a letter dated
March 1, 1989, Carlos informed Nena that when Daniela died they discovered the
sworn statement she executed on December 28, 1977 and as a consequence ,
they are demanding from Nena the return of their rightful shares over the subject
property as heirs of Daniela. Nena did not reply . Efforts to settle the case
amicably proved the futile.
Hence, her son filed a complaint with the RTC praying for the nullification of the
Deed of Absolute Sale. RTC decided in favor of the plaintiff and was affirmed by
the CA.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Sworn Statement should have been rejected outright
by the lower courts.
RULING: The court finds that both the trial court and the CA committed error in
giving the sworn statement probative weight. Since Daniela is no longer available
to take the witness stand as she is already dead, the RTC and the CA should not
have given probative value on Danielas sworn statement for purposes of proving
that the contract of sale between her and petitioner was simulated and that, as a
consequence, a trust relationship was created between them.
Considering that the Court finds the subject contract of sale between petitioner
and Daniela to be valid and not fictitious or simulated, there is no more necessity
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to discuss the issue as to whether or not a trust relationship was created between
them.
PEOPLE vs. SALAFRANCA, G.R. No. 173476 February 22, 2012 666 SCRA
FACTS: The established facts show that past midnight on July 31, 1993 Bolanon
was stabbed near the Del Pan Sports Complex in Binondo, Manila; that after
stabbing Bolanon, his assailant ran away; that Bolanon was still able to walk to
the house of his uncle Rodolfo B. Estao in order to seek help; that his uncle
rushed him to the Philippine General Hospital by taxicab; that on their way to the
hospital Bolanon told Estao that it was Salafranca who had stabbed him; that
Bolanon eventually succumbed at the hospital at 2:30 am despite receiving
medical attention; and that the stabbing of Bolanon was personally witnessed by
Augusto Mendoza, then still a minor of 13 years, who was in the complex at the
time.
RTC found him guilty of the crime of Murder defined and punished under Article
248 as amended by Republic Act No. 7659.On appeal, the CA affirmed the findings
and conclusions of the RTC, citing the dying declaration made to his uncle pointing
to Salafranca as his assailant, and Salafrancas positive identification as the
culprit by Mendoza.
ISSUE: Whether the utterance of Bolanonis qualified as a dying declaration or part
of the res gestae.
RULING: The appeal lacks merit. It appears from the foregoing testimony that
Bolanon had gone to the residence of Estao, his uncle, to seek help right after
being stabbed by Salafranca; that Estao had hurriedly dressed up to bring his
nephew to the Philippine General Hospital by taxicab; that on the way to the
hospital, Estao had asked Bolanon who had stabbed him, and the latter had told
Estao that his assailant had been Salafranca; that at the time of the utterance
Bolanon had seemed to be having a hard time breathing, causing Estao to advise
him not to talk anymore; and that about ten minutes after his admission at the
emergency ward of the hospital, Bolanon had expired and had been pronounced
dead. Such circumstances qualified the utterance of Bolanon as both a dying
declaration and as part of the res gestae, considering that the Court has
recognized that the statement of the victim an hour before his death and right
after the hacking incident bore all the earmarks either of a dying declaration or
part of the res gestae either of which was an exception to the hearsay rule.

A dying declaration, although generally inadmissible as evidence due to its


hearsay character, may nonetheless be admitted when the following requisites
concur, namely: (a) that the declaration must concern the cause and surrounding
circumstances of the declarants death; (b) that at the time the declaration is
made, the declarant is under a consciousness of an impending death; (c) that the
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declarant is competent as a witness; and (d) that the declaration is offered in a


criminal case for homicide, murder, or parricide, in which the declarant is a victim.

All the requisites were met herein. Bolanon communicated his ante-mortem
statement to Estao, identifying Salafranca as the person who had stabbed him.
At the time of his statement, Bolanon was conscious of his impending death,
having sustained a stab wound in the chest and, according to Estao, was then
experiencing great difficulty in breathing. Bolanon succumbed in the hospital
emergency room a few minutes from admission, which occurred under three
hours after the stabbing. There is ample authority for the view that the declarants
belief in the imminence of his death can be shown by the declarants own
statements or from circumstantial evidence, such as the nature of his wounds,
statements made in his presence, or by the opinion of his physician. Bolanon
would have been competent to testify on the subject of the declaration had he
survived. Lastly, the dying declaration was offered in this criminal prosecution for
murder in which Bolanon was the victim.
A declaration or an utterance is deemed as part of the res gestae and thus
admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule when the following
requisites concur, to wit: (a) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling
occurrence; (b) the statements are made before the declarant had time to
contrive or devise; and (c) the statements must concern the occurrence in
question and its immediately attending circumstances.

The term res gestae has been defined as those circumstances which are the
undesigned incidents of a particular litigated act and which are admissible when
illustrative of such act. In a general way, res gestae refers to the circumstances,
facts, and declarations that grow out of the main fact and serve to illustrate its
character and are so spontaneous and contemporaneous with the main fact as to
exclude the idea of deliberation and fabrication. The rule
on res gestae encompasses the exclamations and statements made by either the
participants, victims, or spectators to a crime immediately before, during, or
immediately after the commission of the crime when the circumstances are such
that the statements were made as a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired
by the excitement of the occasion and there was no opportunity for the declarant
to deliberate and to fabricate a false statement. The test of admissibility of
evidence as a part of the res gestae is, therefore, whether the act, declaration, or
exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the principal fact or
event that it characterizes as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself,
and also whether it clearly negatives any premeditation or purpose to
manufacture testimony.

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SCC CHEMICALS CORPORATION vs. CA

G.R. No. 128538

February 28, 2001

FACTS: SCC Chemicals Corporation through its chairman, private respondent


DaniloArrieta and vice president, Pablo (Pablito) Bermundo, obtained a loan from
State Investment House Inc (hereinafter SIHI) in the amount of P129,824.48. The
loan carried an annual interest rate of 30% plus penalty charges of 2% per month
on the remaining balance of the principal upon non-payment on the due dateJanuary 12, 1984. To secure the payment of the loan, DaniloArrieta and private
respondent LeopoldoHalili executed a Comprehensive Surety Agreement binding
themselves jointly and severally to pay the obligation on the maturity date.
SCC failed to pay the loan when it matured. SIHI then sent demand letters
to SCC, Arrieta and Halili, but notwithstanding receipt thereof, no payment was
made.
SIHI filed Civil Case for a sum of money with a prayer for preliminary
attachment against SCC, Arrieta, and Halili with the Regional Trial Court of Manila.
In its answer, SCC asserted SIHI's lack of cause of action. Petitioner
contended that the promissory note upon which SIHI anchored its cause of action
was null, void, and of no binding effect for lack or failure of consideration.
The case was then set for pre-trial. The parties were allowed to meet outof-court in an effort to settle the dispute amicably. No settlement was reached, but
the following stipulation of facts was agreed upon:
1. Parties agree that this Court has jurisdiction over the plaintiff and the
defendant and that it has jurisdiction to try and decide this case on its merits and
that plaintiff and the defendant have each the capacity to sue and to be sued in
this present action;
2. Parties agree that plaintiff sent a demand letter to the defendant SCC
Chemical Corporation dated April 4, 1984 together with a statement of account of
even date which were both received by the herein defendant; and
3. Parties finally agree that the plaintiff and the defendant SCC Chemical
Corporation the latter acting through defendants Danilo E. Arrieta and Pablito
Bermundo executed a promissory note last December 13, 1983 for the amount of
P129,824.48 with maturity date on January 12, 1984.
The case then proceeded to trial on the sole issue of whether or not the
defendants were liable to the plaintiff and to what extent was the liability.
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SIHI presented one witness to prove its claim. The cross-examination of


said witness was postponed several times due to one reason or another at the
instance of either party. The case was calendared several times for hearing but
each time, SCC or its counsel failed to appear despite notice. SCC was finally
declared by the trial court to have waived its right to cross-examine the witness of
SIHI and the case was deemed submitted for decision.
On March 22, 1993, the lower court promulgated its decision in favor of
SIHI.
ISSUES:
1. Whether the testimony of private respondents witness is hearsay.
2. Whether the promissory note was genuine and genuinely executed as
required
by law.
3. Whether the best evidence rule should be applied.
HELD:
1. The Court of Appeals correctly found that the witness of SIHI was a
competent witness as he testified to facts, which he knew of his personal
knowledge. Thus, the requirements of Section 36, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court
as to the admissibility of his testimony were satisfied.
Rule 130, Section 36 reads:
SEC. 36. Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge; hearsay
excluded. A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his
personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception, except
as otherwise provided in these rules.
Petitioner's reliance on Section 36, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court is misplaced. As
a rule, hearsay evidence is excluded and carries no probative value. However, the
rule does admit of an exception. Where a party failed to object to hearsay
evidence, then the same is admissible.The rationale for this exception is to be
found in the right of a litigant to cross-examine. It is settled that it is the
opportunity to cross-examine which negates the claim that the matters testified to
by a witness are hearsay.However, the right to cross-examine may be waived. The
repeated failure of a party to cross-examine the witness is an implied waiver of
such right. Petitioner was afforded several opportunities by the trial court to crossexamine the other party's witness. Petitioner repeatedly failed to take advantage
of these opportunities. No error was thus committed by the respondent court
when it sustained the trial court's finding that petitioner had waived its right to
cross-examine the opposing party's witness. It is now too late for petitioner to be
raising this matter of hearsay evidence.
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2. Petitioner's admission as to the execution of the promissory note by it


through private respondent Arrieta and Bermundo at pre-trial sufficed to settle the
question of the genuineness of signatures. The admission having been made in a
stipulation of facts at pre-trial by the parties, it must be treated as a judicial
admission. Under Section, 4 Rule 129 of the Rules of Court, a judicial admission
requires no proof.
3. Respondent SIHI had no need to present the original of the documents
as there was already a judicial admission by petitioner at pre-trial of the execution
of the promissory note and receipt of the demand letter. It is now too late for
petitioner to be questioning their authenticity. Its admission of the existence of
these documents was sufficient to establish its obligation. Petitioner failed to
submit any evidence to the contrary or proof of payment or other forms of
extinguishment of said obligation. No reversible error was thus committed by the
appellate court when it held petitioner liable on its obligation

WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED


LANDBANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. SPOUSES VICENTE BANAL and
LEONIDAS ARENAS-BANAL, respondents.
G.R. No. 143276. July 20, 2004

FACTS: Spouses Vicente and Leonidas Banal, respondents, are the registered
owners of 19.3422 hectares of agricultural land situated in San Felipe, Basud,
Camarines Norte. A portion of the land consisting of 6.2330 hectares (5.4730 of
which is planted to coconut and 0.7600 planted to palay) was compulsorily
acquired by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) pursuant to Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 6657 as amended, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law of 1988.
In accordance with the formula prescribed in DAR Administrative Order No. 6,
Series of 1992, as amended by DAR Administrative Order No. 11, Series of 1994,
the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), petitioner, made a valuation.
Respondents rejected the valuation. Thus, pursuant to Section 16(d) of R.A.
6657, as amended, a summary administrative proceeding was conducted before
the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) to determine the valuation of
the land. Eventually, the PARAD rendered its Decision affirming the Landbanks
valuation.
Dissatisfied with the Decision of the PARAD, respondents filed with the Regional
Trial Court (RTC), Branch 40, Daet, Camarines Norte, designated as a Special
Agrarian Court, a petition for determination of just compensation. Impleaded as
respondents were the DAR and the Landbank. Petitioners therein prayed for a
Page 12 of 189

compensation of P100,000.00 per hectare for both coconut land and riceland, or
an aggregate amount of P623,000.00. The trial court computed the just
compensation for the coconut land at P657,137.00 and for the riceland at
P46,000.00, or a total of P703,137.00, which is beyond respondents valuation of
P623,000.00. The court further awarded compounded interest at P79,732.00 in
cash. In determining the valuation of the land, the trial court based the same on
the facts established in another case pending before it (Civil Case No. 6679, Luz
Rodriguez vs. DAR, et al.)
The Appellate Court rendered a Decision affirming in toto the judgment of the trial
court. The Landbanks motion for reconsideration was likewise denied. Hence,
this petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether or not the court is authorized to take judicial notice of the
contents of the records of other cases?
HELD: NO. Well-settled is the rule that courts are not authorized to take judicial
notice of the contents of the records of other cases even when said cases have
been tried or are pending in the same court or before the same judge.[24] They
may only do so in the absence of objection and with the knowledge of the
opposing party, which are not obtaining here.
Furthermore, as earlier stated, the Rules of Court shall apply to all proceedings
before the Special Agrarian Courts. In this regard, Section 3, Rule 129 of the
Revised Rules on Evidence is explicit on the necessity of a hearing before a court
takes judicial notice of a certain matter, thus:
SEC. 3. Judicial notice, when hearing necessary. During the trial, the court, on
its own initiative, or on request of a party, may announce its intention to take
judicial notice of any matter and allow the parties to be heard thereon.
After the trial, and before judgment or on appeal, the proper court, on its own
initiative or on request of a party, may take judicial notice of any matter and allow
the parties to be heard thereon if such matter is decisive of a material issue in the
case.
The RTC failed to observe the above provisions.

PEOPLE vs KULAIS
G.R. NO. 100901, July 16, 1998
Page 13 of 189

FACTS: On August 22, 1990, five Informations for kidnapping for ransom and
threeinformations for kidnapping were filed before the RTC of Zamboanga City
againstCarlos Falcasantos, Jailon Kulais, Jumatiya Amlani, Norma Sahiddan de
Kulais, JalinaHassan de Kamming, Salvador Mamaril, Hadjirul Plasin, Jaimuddin
Hassan, ImamTaruk Alah, Freddie Manuel and several John and Jane Does. The
informations for kidnapping for ransom, which set forth identical allegations save
for the names of thevictims. The three informations for kidnapping, also under
Article 267 of the RevisedPenal Code, likewise alleged identical facts and
circumstances, except the names of thevictims. Of the twelve accused, only nine
were apprehended.The trial court found Appellant Kulais guilty of five counts of
kidnapping for ransom andone count of kidnapping a woman and public officer,
for which offenses it imposed uponhim six terms of life imprisonment. It also
found him guilty of two counts of slight illegaldetention for the kidnapping of
Monico Saavedra and Calixto Francisco.On May 7, 1991, Jailon Kulais, Jumatiya
Amlani de Falcasantos, Norma Sahiddan deKulais and Jaliha Hussin filed their Joint
Notice of Appeal. In a letter dated February 6,1997, the same appellants, except
Jailon Kulais, withdrew their appeal because of their application for amnesty. In a
Resolution dated March 19, 1997, it granted the motion.Hence, only the appeal of
Kulais remains for the consideration of this Court.
ISSUES: Whether or not the trial court is faulted with the following errors:
a. In taking judicial notice of a material testimony given in another case by
Lt.Melquiades Feliciano
b. On the assumption that Lt. Felicianos testimony could be validly taken judicial
notice of
HELD: The conviction of appellant Kulais as principal in five counts of kidnapping
for ransom and in three counts of kidnapping is affirmed, but the penalty imposed
is modified.
As a general rule, courts should not take judicial notice of the evidence presented
in other proceedings, even if these have been tried or are pending in the same
court, or have been heard and are actually pending before the same judge. This is
especially true in criminal cases, where the accused has the constitutional right to
confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him. Having said that,we note,
however, that even if the court a quo did take judicial notice of the testimony of
Lieutenant Feliciano, it did not use such testimony in deciding the cases against
the appellant. Hence, appellant Kulais was not denied due process. His conviction
was based mainly on the positive identification made by some of the kidnap
victims. The elements of kidnapping for ransom, as embodied in Article 267 of the
Revised Penal Code, having been sufficiently proven, and the appellant, a private
individual, having been clearly identified by the kidnap victims, this Court thus
affirms the trial courts finding of appellants guilt on five counts of kidnapping for
ransom.
Page 14 of 189

MENANDRO B. LAUREANO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND SINGAPORE


AIRLINES LIMITED, respondents.
G.R. No. 114776. February 2, 2000
324 SCRA 414
FACTS: Sometime in 1978 plaintiff Laureano was employed on a contract basis for
twoyears as an expatriate B-707 captain by defendant company Singapore
Airlines. His first term was then extended for another 2 years. However, defendant
was hit by are cession and initiated a cost cutting measure. Plaintiff was advised
to take advance leave. Realizing that the recession would not be for a short time,
Singapore Airlines decided to terminate its excess personnel including plaintiff.
Subsequently, Laureano instituted a case and a claim for damages due to illegal
termination of contract of services before the court a quo. Singapore Airlines filed
a motion to dismiss alleging inter alia that the court has no jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the case and that Philippine courts have no jurisdiction over the
case. The defendant postulated that Singapore should apply.
ISSUE: Whether or not Philippine laws should be applied and Philippine courts
should have jurisdiction over the instant case
HELD: The Supreme Court concurred in the assumption of jurisdiction by the RTC
which rightly ruled on the application of Philippine laws. The SC further stated that
neither can the court determine whether the termination of Laureano is legal and
under Singapore laws because of the Airlines failure to show which proves the
applicability of the foreign law. It is a well settled rule that the party who claims
the applicability of a foreign law has the burden of proof and where said party has
failed to discharge the burden, Philippine laws apply. The defendant has failed to
do so. Therefore, Philippine law should be applied.

MAQUILING vs. COMELEC


G.R. NO.195649 April 16, 2013
Page 15 of 189

700 SCRA

FACTS: Rommel Arnado y Cagoco is a natural born Filipino citizen. He underwent


naturalization as a US citizen. Arnado applied for repatriation under Republic Act
No. 9225 before the Consulate General of the Philippines in San Franciso, USA and
on July 10, 2008, he took his Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines
and was granted an Order of Approval of his Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition. On April 3, 2009, Arnado again took his Oath of Allegiance to the
Republic and executed an Affidavit of Renunciation of his foreign citizenship

On November 30, 2009, Arnado filed his Certificate of Candidacy for Mayor of
Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, where he declared that he is a Filipino citizen and
that he is not a permanent resident of, or immigrant to, a foreign country. Linog C.
Balua (Balua), another mayoralty candidate, filed a petition to disqualify Arnado
and/or to cancel his certificate of candidacy contending that Arnado is not a
resident of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte and that he is a foreigner, attaching
thereto a certification issued by the Bureau of Immigration dated 23 April 2010
indicating the nationality of Arnado as USA-American. Balua also showed travel
records showing that Arnado has been using his US Passport in his trips in and out
of the country in 2009. While the case was pending, the 2010 elections were held
and Arnado garnered the highest number of votes and was proclaimed as the
winning candidate for Mayor of Kauswagan.

The Comelec First Division held that Arnados continued use of his US passport
after renouncing his US citizenship effectively negated his Affidavit of
Renunciation. It treated the petition of Balua as one for disqualification, annulled
the proclamation of Arnado and applied the order of succession under Section 44
of the Local Government Code of 1991.

Petitioner CasanMacodeMaquiling who garnered the second highest number of


votes in the 2010 mayoral elections, intervened in the case. He contests the
application of Section 44 of the LGC and argued that, as the second placer, he
should be proclaimed as the winner. The ComelecEn Banc reversed the Division
and held that the use of a US passport did not undo Arnados earlier renunciation
of his US citizenship.

ISSUE: Can our local court take judicial notice of Foreign Laws by mere
publication.

Page 16 of 189

RULING: The Court cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws, which must be
presented as public documents of a foreign country and must be "evidenced by
an official publication thereof." Mere reference to a foreign law in a pleading does
not suffice for it to be considered in deciding a case.
Respondent likewise contends that this Court failed to cite any law of the United
States "providing that a person who is divested of American citizenship thru an
Affidavit of Renunciation will re-acquire such American citizenship by using a US
Passport issued prior to expatriation."
American law does not govern in this jurisdiction. Instead, Section 40(d) of the
Local Government Code calls for application in the case before us, given the fact
that at the time Arnado filed his certificate of candidacy, he was not only a Filipino
citizen but, by his own declaration, also an American citizen. It is the application
of this law and not of any foreign law that serves as the basis for Arnados
disqualification to run for any local elective position.

PEOPLE VS BAHARAN
G.R. No. 188314 January 10, 2011 639 SCRA

FACTS: On 14 February 2005, an RRCG bus was plying its usual southbound route
along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). Around 6:30 to 7:30 in the evening,
two men aboard the bus. Andales, the bus conductor immediately became wary of
the two men, because of their unusual behaviour. The two men insisted on getting
off the bus at Ayala Avenue. Later, Andales felt an explosion.

The prosecution presented documents furnished by the Department of Justice,


confirming that shortly before the explosion, the spokesperson of the Abu Sayyaf
Group announced over radio that the group had a Valentines Day gift for
former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. As stipulated during pretrial, accused
Trinidad and Baharan gave ABS-CBN News Network an exclusive interview and
confessed their participation. Asali, which later became a state witness, gave a
television interview, confessing that he had supplied the explosive devices for the
14 February 2005 bombing. The bus conductor identified the accused Baharan
and Trinidad, and confirmed that they were the two men who had entered the
RRCG bus on the evening.

Members of the Abu Sayyaf Group namely Khaddafy Janjalani, Gamal B.


Baharan, Angelo Trinidad, Gappal Bannah Asali, Jainal Asali, Rohmat Abdurrohim
a.k.a. Abu Jackie or Zaky, and other John and Jane Does were then charged
Page 17 of 189

with multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder. Only Baharan, Trinidad,
Asali, and Rohmat were arrested, while the other accused remain at-large.

On their arraignment for the multiple murder charge, Baharan, Trinidad, and Asali
all entered a plea of guilty. On the other hand, upon arraignment for themultiple
frustrated murder charge, accused Asali pled guilty. Accused Trinidad and Baharan
pled not guilty. Rohmat pled not guilty to both charges.

In the light of the pretrial stipulations, the trial court asked whether accused
Baharan and Trinidad were amenable to changing their not guilty pleas to the
charge of multiple frustrated murder, considering that they pled guilty to the
heavier charge of multiple murder, creating an apparent inconsistency in their
pleas. Defense counsel conferred with accused Baharan and Trinidad and
explained to them the consequences of the pleas. The two accused acknowledged
the inconsistencies and manifested their readiness for re-arraignment. After the
Information was read to them, Baharan and Trinidad pled guilty to the charge
of multiple frustrated murder.

ISSUES:
1.Whether the accused should be acquitted because of the error of the judge in
not conducting searching inquiry. (No, they made judicial and extrajudicial
confession)
2. The testimony of Asali is inadmissible pursuant to Sec. 30, Rule 130 of the
Rules of Court. No

RULING: Denied. We have reiterated in a long line of cases that the conduct of a
searching inquiry remains the duty of judges, as they are mandated by the rules
to satisfy themselves that the accused had not been under coercion or duress;
mistaken impressions; or a misunderstanding of the significance, effects, and
consequences of their guilty plea. This requirement is stringent and mandatory.

In People v. Oden, the Court declared that even if the requirement of conducting a
searching inquiry was not complied with, [t]he manner by which the plea of guilt
is made loses much of great significance where the conviction can be based on
independent evidence proving the commission by the person accused of the
offense charged. The guilt of the accused Baharan and Trinidad was sufficiently
established by these corroborating testimonies, coupled with their respective
judicial admissions (pretrial stipulations) and extrajudicial confessions (exclusive
Page 18 of 189

television interviews, as they both stipulated during pretrial) that they were
indeed the perpetrators of the Valentines Day bombing. Accordingly, the Court
upholds the findings of guilt made by the trial court as affirmed by the Court of
Appeals.

Second Assignment of Error

Accused contend that the testimony of Asali is inadmissible pursuant to Sec. 30,
Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. It is true that under the rule, statements made by
a conspirator against a co-conspirator are admissible only when made during the
existence of the conspiracy. However, as the Court ruled in People v. Buntag, if the
declarant repeats the statement in court, his extrajudicial confession becomes a
judicial admission, making the testimony admissible as to both conspirators. Thus,
in People v. Palijon, the Court held the following:

[W]e must make a distinction between extrajudicial and judicial confessions. An


extrajudicial confession may be given in evidence against the confessant but not
against his co-accused as they are deprived of the opportunity to cross-examine
him. A judicial confession is admissible against the declarants co-accused since
the latter are afforded opportunity to cross-examine the former. Section 30, Rule
130 of the Rules of Court applies only to extrajudicial acts or admissions and not
to testimony at trial where the party adversely affected has the opportunity to
cross-examine the declarant. Mercenes admission implicating his co-accused was
given on the witness stand. It is admissible in evidence against appellant Palijon.
Moreover, where several accused are tried together for the same offense, the
testimony of a co-accused implicating his co-accused is competent evidence
against the latter.

REPUBLIC vs. SANDIGANBAYAN


G.R. No. 155832

December 7, 2010

662 SCRA

FACTS: Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Commissioner Daza


gave written authority to two lawyers to sequester any property, documents,
money, and other assets in Leyte belonging to Imelda Marcos. A sequestration
order was issued against the Olot Resthouse in Tolosa, Leyte. Imelda Marcos filed
Page 19 of 189

a motion to quash claiming that such order was void for failing to observe Sec. 3
of the PCGG Rules and Regulations. The Rules required the signatures of at least 2
PCGG Commissioners.

The Republic opposed claiming that Imelda is estopped from questioning the
sequestration since by her acts ( such as seeking permission from the PCGG to
repair the resthouse and entertain guests), she had conceded to the validity of
the sequestration. The Republic also claims that Imelda failed to exhaust
administrative remedies by first seeking its lifting as provided in the Rules; that
the rule requiring the two signatures did not yet exist when the Olot Rest house
was sequestered; and that she intended to delay proceedings by filing the motion
to quash.

Sandiganbayan granted the motion to quash and ruled that the sequestration
order was void because it was signed not by the 2 commissioners but by 2 agents.
Hence the certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether or not the sequestration order is valid.

RULING: No. The Order is not valid. Under Sec. 26, Art 18 of the Constitution, a
sequestration order may be issued upon a showing of a prima facie case that the
properties are ill-gotten wealth. When the court nullifies an Order, the court does
not substitute its judgment for that of the PCGG.

In the case, the PCGG did not make a prior determination of the existence of the
prima facie case. The Republic presented no evidence to the Sandiganbayan. Nor
did the Republic demonstrate that the the 2 PCGG representatives were given the
quasi-judicial authority to receive and consider evidence that would warrant a
prima facie finding. The Republic's evidence does not show how the Marcoses'
acquired the property, what makes it ill-gotten wealth,and how Ferdinand
Marcos intervened in its acquisition.

As regards the issue on estoppel, a void order produces no effect and cannot be
validated under the doctine of estoppel. The Court cannot accept the view that
Imelda should have first sought the lifiting of the sequestration order. Being void,
the Sandiganbayan has the power to strike it down on sight.

Page 20 of 189

*Decision of Sandiganbayan affirmed and orders the annotation of lis pendens on


the title of the Olot Resthouse with respect to the claim of the Republic in another
civil case.

RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY
OBJECT/ REAL EVIDENCE
PEOPLE vs. MALLILIN
G.R. NO. 172953 APRIL 30, 2008 553 SCRA

FACTS: On the strength of a warrant of search and seizure issued by the RTC of
Sorsogon City, a team of five police officers raided the residence of petitioner in
Barangay Tugos, Sorsogon City on 4 February 2003. The team was headed by
P/Insp. Catalino Bolanos (Bolanos), with PO3 Roberto Esternon (Esternon), SPO1
Pedro Docot, SPO1 Danilo Lasala and SPO2 Romeo Gallinera (Gallinera) as
members. The searchconducted in the presence of barangay kagawad Delfin
Licup as well as petitioner himself, his wife Sheila and his mother, Norma
allegedly yielded two (2) plastic sachets of shabu and five (5) empty plastic
sachets containing residual morsels of the said substance.

Petitioner entered a negative plea. At the ensuing trial, the prosecution presented
Bolanos, Arroyo and Esternon as witnesses.

On 20 June 2004 the trial court rendered its Decision declaring petitioner guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged. The trial court reasoned that the
fact that shabu was found in the house of petitioner was prima facie evidence of
petitioner's animus possidendi sufficient to convict him of the charge inasmuch as
things which a person possesses or over which he exercises acts of ownership are
presumptively owned by him. It also noted petitioner's failure to ascribe ill
motives to the police officers to fabricate charges against him.

Aggrieved, petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal. In his Appeal Brief filed with the
Court of Appeals, petitioner called the attention of the court to certain
irregularities in the manner by which the search of his house was conducted. For
its part, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) advanced that on the contrary,
the prosecution evidence sufficed for petitioner's conviction and that the defense
never advanced any proof to show that the members of the raiding team was
Page 21 of 189

improperly motivated to hurl false charges against him and hence the
presumption that they had regularly performed their duties should prevail.

On 27 January 2006, the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed decision affirming
the judgment of the trial court but modifying the prison sentence to an
indeterminate term of twelve (12) years as minimum to seventeen (17) years as
maximum. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied by the
appellate court. Hence, the instant petition which raises substantially the same
issues.

ISSUE: Whether or not the sachets of shabu allegedly seized from petitioner the
very same objects laboratory tested and offered in court as evidence.

RULING: NO. A unique characteristic of narcotic substances is that they are not
readily identifiable as in fact they are subject to scientific analysis to determine
their composition and nature. The Court cannot reluctantly close its eyes to the
likelihood, or at least the possibility, that at any of the links in the chain of custody
over the same there could have been tampering, alteration or substitution of
substances from other casesby accident or otherwisein which similar evidence
was seized or in which similar evidence was submitted for laboratory testing.
Hence, in authenticating the same, a standard more stringent than that applied to
cases involving objects which are readily identifiable must be applied, a more
exacting standard that entails a chain of custody of the item with sufficient
completeness if only to render it improbable that the original item has either been
exchanged with another or been contaminated or tampered with.

A mere fleeting glance at the records readily raises significant doubts as to the
identity of the sachets of shabu allegedly seized from petitioner. Of the people
who came into direct contact with the seized objects, only Esternon and Arroyo
testified for the specific purpose of establishing the identity of the evidence.
Gallinera, to whom Esternon supposedly handed over the confiscated sachets for
recording and marking, as well as Garcia, the person to whom Esternon directly
handed over the seized items for chemical analysis at the crime laboratory, were
not presented in court to establish the circumstances under which they handled
the subject items. Any reasonable mind might then ask the question: Are the
sachets of shabu allegedly seized from petitioner the very same objects
laboratory tested and offered in court as evidence?

Page 22 of 189

The prosecution's evidence is incomplete to provide an affirmative answer.


Considering that it was Gallinera who recorded and marked the seized items, his
testimony in court is crucial to affirm whether the exhibits were the same items
handed over to him by Esternon at the place of seizure and acknowledge the
initials marked thereon as his own. The same is true of Garcia who could have, but
nevertheless failed, to testify on the circumstances under which she received the
items from Esternon, what she did with them during the time they were in her
possession until before she delivered the same to Arroyo for analysis.

The prosecution was thus unsuccessful in discharging its burden of establishing


the identity of the seized items because it failed to offer not only the testimony of
Gallinera and Garcia but also any sufficient explanation for such failure. In effect,
there is no reasonable guaranty as to the integrity of the exhibits inasmuch as it
failed to rule out the possibility of substitution of the exhibits, which cannot but
inure to its own detriment. This holds true not only with respect to the two filled
sachets but also to the five sachets allegedly containing morsels of shabu.

PEOPLE vs. PAGADUAN


G.R. No. 179029 August 12, 2010 627 SCRA

FACTS: In an buy-bust operatin leaded by PO3 Almarez, the appellant was arrested
for the sale of shabu to PO3 Peter C. Almarez, a member of the Philippine Drug
Enforcement Agency (PDEA) who posed as a buyer of shabu in the amount of
P200.00.

At the police station, Captain de Vera prepared a request for laboratory


examination (Exh. "C").The appellant was transferred to the Diadi Municipal Jail
where he was detained. Two days later, or on December 29, 2003, PO3 Almarez
transmitted the letter-request, for laboratory examination, and the seized plastic
sachet to the PNP Crime Laboratory, where they were received by PO2 Fernando
Dulnuan. Police Senior Inspector (PSI) Alfredo Quintero, the Forensic Chemist of
the PNP Crime Laboratory, conducted an examination on the specimen submitted,
and found it to be positive for the presence of shabu (Exh. "B").

Page 23 of 189

The defense claimed that the appellant was apprehended as a result of an


illegitimate entrapment operation.

The RTC, in its decision of August 16, 2005, convicted the appellant of the crime
charged.

The appellant appealed to the CA, the CA affirmed the RTC decision.

ISSUE: Whether or not the court erred in convicting the appellant despite the
prosecutions failure to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Specifically, the
prosecution failed to show that the police complied with paragraph 1, Section 21,
Article II of R.A. No. 9165, and with the chain of custody requirement of this Act.

RULING: After due consideration, the court resolve to acquit the appellant for the
prosecutions failure to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Specifically, the
prosecution failed to show that the police complied with paragraph 1, Section 21,
Article II of R.A. No. 9165, and with the chain of custody requirement of this Act.
Requirement under Section 2.
The required procedure on the seizure and custody of drugs is embodied in
Section 21, paragraph 1, Article II of R.A. No. 9165, which states:
The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall,
immediately after seizure and confiscation,physically inventoryand photograph
the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items
were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a
representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any
elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and
be given a copy thereof[.]
Strict compliance with the prescribed procedure is required because of the illegal
drug's unique characteristic rendering it indistinct, not readily identifiable, and
easily open to tampering, alteration or substitution either by accident or
otherwise.The records of the present case are bereft of evidence showing that the
buy-bust team followed the outlined procedure despite its mandatory terms.

From the foregoing exchanges during trial,No physical inventory and photograph
of the seized items were taken in the presence of the accused or his counsel, a
representative from the media and the Department of Justice, and an elective
official. PO3 Almarez, on cross-examination, was unsure and could not give a
Page 24 of 189

categorical answer when asked whether he issued a receipt for the shabu
confiscated from the appellant.At any rate, no such receipt or certificate of
inventory appears in the records.

EFFECT OF NON-COMPLIANCE
Noncompliance with the strict directive of Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165 is not
necessarily fatal to the prosecutions case; police procedures in the handling of
confiscated evidence may still have some lapses, as in the present case. These
lapses, however, must be recognized and explained in terms of their justifiable
grounds, and the integrity and evidentiary value of the evidence seized must be
shown to have been preserved.

In the present case, the prosecution did not bother to offer any explanation to
justify the failure of the police to conduct the required physical inventory and
photograph of the seized drugs.

The "Chain of Custody" Requirement

Proof beyond reasonable doubt demands that unwavering exactitude be observed


in establishing the corpus delicti - the body of the crime whose core is the
confiscated illicit drug. Thus, every fact necessary to constitute the crime must be
established. The chain of custody requirement performs this function in buy-bust
operations as it ensures that doubts concerning the identity of the evidence are
removed.

The procedural lapses mentioned above show the glaring gaps in the chain of
custody, creating a reasonable doubt whether the drugs confiscated from the
appellant were the same drugs that were brought to the crime laboratory for
chemical analysis, and eventually offered in court as evidence. In the absence of
concrete evidence on the illegal drugs bought and sold, the body of the crime
the corpus delicti has not been adequately proven.In effect, the prosecution
failed to fully prove the elements of the crime charged, creating reasonable doubt
on the appellants criminal liability.

Presumption of Regularity in the Performance of Official Duties

Page 25 of 189

In sustaining the appellants conviction, the CA relied on the evidentiary


presumption that official duties have been regularly performed. This presumption,
it must be emphasized, is not conclusive. It cannot, by itself, overcome the
constitutional presumption of innocence. Any taint of irregularity affects the whole
performance and should make the presumption unavailable. In the present case,
the failure of the apprehending team to comply with paragraph 1, Section 21,
Article II of R.A. No. 9165, and with the chain of custody requirement of this Act
effectively negates this presumption.

SALAS vs. MATUSALEM


G.R. No. 180284

September 11, 2013

705 SCRA

FACTS: Annabelle Matusalem (respondent) filed a complaint for Support/Damages


against Narciso Salas (petitioner) in the RTC of Cabanatuan City. She claimed that
Petitioner is the father of her child, Christian Paulo Salas.
Petitioner, already 56 years old at the time, enticed her as she was then only 24
years old, making her believe that he is a widower. Petitioner rented an apartment
where respondent stayed and shouldered all expenses in the delivery of their
child, including the cost of caesarian operation and hospital confinement.
However, when respondent refused the offer of petitioners family to take the
child from her, petitioner abandoned respondent and her child and left them to
the mercy of relatives and friends.

Petitioner denied the allegations. RTC and CA ruled infavor of Respondent

Page 26 of 189

ISSUE: whether the trial and appellate courts erred in ruling that respondents
evidence sufficiently proved that her son Christian Paulo is the illegitimate child of
petitioner.

RULING: GRANTED. In relation to Article 175 and 172 of the Family Code

We have held that a certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative
father is not competent evidence of paternity when there is no showing that the
putative father had a hand in the preparation of the certificate. Thus, if the father
did not sign in the birth certificate, the placing of his name by the mother, doctor,
registrar, or other person is incompetent evidence of paternity. 26Neither can such
birth certificate be taken as a recognition in a public instrument 27 and it has no
probative value to establish filiation to the alleged father.

As to the Baptismal Certificate of Christian Paulo Salas also indicating petitioner as


the father, we have ruled that while baptismal certificates may be considered
public documents, they can only serve as evidence of the administration of the
sacraments on the dates so specified. They are not necessarily competent
evidence of the veracity of entries therein with respect to the childs paternity.

The rest of respondents documentary evidence consists of handwritten notes and


letters, hospital bill and photographs taken of petitioner and respondent inside
their rented apartment unit.

Pictures taken of the mother and her child together with the alleged father are
inconclusive evidence to prove paternity.31 Exhibits E and F32 showing
petitioner and respondent inside the rented apartment unit thus have scant
evidentiary value. The Statement of Account33 (Exhibit C) from the Good
Samaritan General Hospital where respondent herself was indicated as the payee
is likewise incompetent to prove that petitioner is the father of her child
notwithstanding petitioners admission in his answer that he shouldered the
expenses in the delivery of respondents child as an act of charity.

As to the handwritten notes of petitioner and respondent showing their exchange


of affectionate words and romantic trysts, these, too, are not sufficient to
establish Christian Paulos filiation to petitioner as they were not signed by
petitioner and contained no statement of admission by petitioner that he is the
father of said child. Thus, even if these notes were authentic, they do not qualify
Page 27 of 189

under Article 172 (2) vis-- vis Article 175 of the Family Code which admits as
competent evidence of illegitimate filiation an admission of filiation in a private
handwritten instrument signed by the parent concerned.

An illegitimate child is now also allowed to establish his claimed filiation by any
other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws, like his baptismal
certificate, a judicial admission, a family Bible in which his name has been
entered, common reputation respecting his pedigree, admission by silence, the
testimonies of witnesses, and other kinds of proof admissible under Rule 130 of
the Rules of Court.38 Reviewing the records, we find the totality of respondents
evidence insufficient to establish that petitioner is the father of Christian Paulo.

Time and again, this Court has ruled that a high standard of proof is required to
establish paternity and filiation. An order for recognition and support may create
an unwholesome situation or may be an irritant to the family or the lives of the
parties so that it must be issued only if paternity or filiation is established by clear
and convincing evidence.

PEOPLE vs. POSING


G.R. No. 196973

July 31, 2013 703 SCRA

FACTS: Accused-appellant RUPER POSING y ALAYON was charged with the crime of
illegal sale and illegal possession of dangerous drugs in violation of Sections 5 and
11 respectively, Article II of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9165 or the Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Upon arraignment, Posing entered a plea of not
guilty on both charges.

The trial court found Posing GUILTY of violation of both Sections 5 and 11, Article
II, of R.A. 9165. On appeal, the accused-appellant, contended that the trial court
gravely erred when it failed to consider the police officers failure to comply with
the proper procedure in the handling and custody of the seized drugs, as provided
Page 28 of 189

under Section 21 of R. A. No. 9165, which ultimately affected the chain of custody
of the confiscated drugs.

The People, through the Office of the Solicitor General, countered that although
the requirements under Section 21 of R. A. No. 9165 has been held to be
mandatory, non-compliance with the same, does not necessarily warrant an
acquittal. In addition, it was averred that the police officers are entitled to the
presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties. Finally, the
accused-appellant did not interpose any evidence in support of his defense aside
from his bare denial.

The CA affirmed the ruling of the trial court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused-appellant is guilty of illegal sale and possession of


dangerous drugs.
Whether the integrity of the evidence was preserved in the course of the
investigation and trial.

RULING:

YES. Both the trial and the appellate court agree that the illegal sale of shabu was
proven beyond reasonable doubt. For the successful prosecution of offenses
involving the illegal sale of drugs under Section 5, Article II of R.A. No. 9165, the
following elements must be proven: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller, object
and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.
What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof
that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in
court of evidence of corpus delicti.

YES. In Malillin v. People, we laid down the chain of custody requirements that
must be met in proving that the seized drugs are the same ones presented in
court: (1) testimony about every link in the chain, from the moment the item was
picked up to the time it is offered into evidence; and (2) witnesses should describe
the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of
Page 29 of 189

the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of
the item.

In this case, the prosecution was able to prove, through the testimonies of its
witnesses that the integrity of the seized item was preserved every step of the
process.
Further, jurisprudence is consistent in stating that less than strict compliance with
the procedural aspect of the chain of custody rule does not necessarily render the
seized drug items inadmissible.

As held in People v. Llanita40 as cited in People v. Ara:

RA 9165 and its subsequent Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) do not
require strict compliance as to the chain of custody rule. x x x We have
emphasized that what is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the
evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the
determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused." Briefly stated, noncompliance with the procedural requirements under RA 9165 and its IRR relative
to the custody, photographing, and drug-testing of the apprehended persons, is
not a serious flaw that can render void the seizures and custody of drugs in a buybust operation.

PEOPLE vs. GANI


G.R. NO. 198318 NOVEMBER 27, 2013 711 SCRA

FACTS: SI Saul received information from a confidential informant that accusedappellant Normina , alias Rohaima, was looking for a buyer of shabu. SI Saul
agreed to meet the informant and accused-appellant Normina for negotiation at
the Pearl Hotel in Manila, just in front of the NBI Headquarters. They eventually
met at Jollibee restaurant beside the Pearl Hotel. SI Saul was introduced by the
informant to accused-appellant Normina as an interested buyer of shabu.
Accused-appellant Normina initially offered to sell 500 grams of shabu to SI Saul,
but the two later on agreed on the sale of 100 grams of shabu for One Hundred
Fifty Thousand Pesos (P150,000.00) to be consummated in the afternoon of the
following day, May 6, 2004, at FTI Complex corner Vishay Street, Taguig City.
Page 30 of 189

After the exchange of money and shabu , SI Saul lighted a cigarette, which was
the pre-arranged signal to the rest of the buy-bust team that the transaction had
been consummated. When SI Saul already saw the buy-bust team members
approaching, he grabbed accused-appellant Asirs hands and introduced himself
as an NBI agent. Accused-appellants were arrested and duly advised of their
constitutional rights, during the search incidental to accused-appellants arrest,
the buy-bust team seized from accused-appellants possession two other sachets
of shabu, the marked money, accused-appellant Asirs .45 caliber pistol, and the
motorcycle. The buy- bust team and accused-appellants then proceeded to the FTI
Barangay Hall.

At the FTI Barangay Hall, SI Saul conducted an inventory of the items recovered
from accused-appellants, including the two plastic sachets of shabu subject of the
sale, which SI Saul marked "ES-1 05-06-04" and "ES-2 05-06-04," representing SI
Sauls initials and the date of the buy-bust. All these were done in the presence of
accused-appellants and two barangay officials. SI Sauls inventory report,
however, did not include the two other sachets of shabu seized from accusedappellants possession. Thereafter, the buy-bust team brought accused-appellants
to the NBI Headquarters in Manila.
RTC found accised-appellants of the crime charged. CA affirmed the decision of
the lower court.

ISSUE: Whether or not the object evidence of the prosecution produced a detailed
account of the buy-bust operation against accused-appellants and proved all the
essential elements of the crime charged against them?

HELD: YES. In the prosecution for the crime of illegal sale of prohibited drugs, the
following elements must concur: (1) the identities of the buyer and seller, object,
and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment thereof.
What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof
that the transaction or sale actually occurred, coupled with the presentation in
court of the substance seized as evidence.

It has been clearly established herein that a buy-bust operation took place on May
6, 2004 conducted by a team of NBI agents. SI Saul, as the poseur-buyer, and
accused-appellants, as the sellers, agreed on the price of One Hundred Fifty
Thousand Pesos (P150,000.00) for One Hundred (100) grams of shabu. After SI
Saul handed over the buy-bust money to accused-appellants, the latter gave him,
Page 31 of 189

in exchange, two plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance.


Thereafter, accused-appellants were immediately arrested by the buy-bust team.
During the search incidental to accused-appellants arrest, a .45 caliber handgun,
the buy-bust money, and two more sachets of suspected shabu were recovered
from their possession. Chemical examination confirmed that the contents of the
two plastic sachets sold to SI Saul were indeed shabu. These two sachets of
shabu, marked "ES-1 05-06-04" and "ES-2 05-06-04" and with a total weight of
98.7249 grams, together with two other sachets, were duly presented as evidence
by the prosecution before the RTC.

The Court further finds that the arresting officers had substantially complied with
the rule on the chain of custody of the dangerous drugs as provided under Section
21 of Republic Act No. 9165. Jurisprudence has decreed that, in dangerous drugs
cases, the failure of the police officers to make a physical inventory and to
photograph the sachets of shabu, as well as to mark the sachets at the place of
arrest, do not render the seized drugs inadmissible in evidence or automatically
impair the integrity of the chain of custody of the said drugs. What is of utmost
importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the
seized items, as these would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or
innocence of the accused.

In this case, testimonial and documentary evidence for the prosecution proved
that immediately after accused-appellants arrest, they were brought to the FTI
Barangay Hall. It was there, in the presence of two barangay officials, that SI Saul
conducted an inventory of the two plastic sachets of shabu subject of the buybust operation, plus the other items seized from accused-appellants possession
during the search conducted incidental to accused-appellants arrest. It was also
at the barangay hall where SI Saul marked the two plastic sachets of shabu sold to
him by accused-appellants as "ES-1 05-06-04" and "ES-2 05-06-04," representing
SI Sauls initials and the date of the buy-bust operation. Thereafter, the buy-bust
team, with accused-appellants, proceeded to the NBI Headquarters. At the NBI
Headquarters, SI Saul made a request for examination of the two plastic sachets
of shabu, marked "ES-1 05-06-04" and "ES-2 05-06-04," and personally handed
the same to NBI Forensic Chemist II Patingo. NBI Forensic Chemist II Patingo,
together with NBI Forensic Chemist III Viloria-Magsipoc, conducted the laboratory
examination of the contents of the two sachets marked "ES-1 05-06-04" and "ES-2
05-06-04" and kept said sachets in his custody until the same were submitted to
the RTC as evidence during trial.

Thus, the Court of Appeals was correct in its observation that the failure of the
buy-bust team to take pictures of the seized drugs immediately upon seizure and
at the site of accused-appellants apprehension, and to mark and make an
Page 32 of 189

inventory of the same in the presence of all the persons named in Section 21 of
Republic Act No. 9165, are not fatal and did not render the seized drugs
inadmissible in evidence given that the prosecution was able to trace and
establish each and every link in the chain of custody of the seized drugs and,
hence, the identity and integrity of the said drugs had been duly preserved. For
the same reasons, it was not imperative for the prosecution to present as
witnesses before the RTC the two barangay officials who witnessed the conduct of
the inventory. At best, the testimonies of these two barangay officials will only be
corroborative, and would have no significant impact on the identity and integrity
of the seized drugs.

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

CITIBANK, N.A. MASTERCARD, petitioner, vs. EFREN S. TEODORO, respondent.


G.R. No. 150905. September 23, 2003
FACTS: Petitioner operates a credit card system through which it extends credit
accommodations to its cardholders for the purchase of goods and services from
its member establishments. The purchases are later on paid for by cardholders
upon receipt of the billings or statements of account from the company.
Respondent Efren S. Teodoro was one such cardholder. On December 14, 1990,
he applied for membership with petitioner. After his application was approved, he
was issued Citibank, N.A. Mastercard No. 5423-3920-4457-7009.
Under the terms and conditions governing the use of the Citibank credit card, the
cardholder undertakes to pay all the purchases made using the card within the
period indicated on the statement of account or within thirty (30) days from the
date or dates of its use. Charges that remain unpaid within the period fixed in the
monthly statement of account shall earn interest at the rate of 3.5 percent per
month plus a penalty fee equivalent to 5 percent of the amount due for every
month or even a fraction of a months delay.
Respondent made various purchases through his credit card. Accordingly, he was
billed by petitioner for those purchases, for which he tendered various payments.
Petitioner claims that as of January 20, 1995, the obligations of respondent stood
at P191,693.25, inclusive of interest and service charges. Several times it
demanded payment from him, but he refused to pay, claiming that the amount
demanded did not correspond to his actual obligations. His refusal prompted
petitioner to file a Complaint for collection before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Makati City. The RTC, in an Order dated April 23, 1996, dismissed the Complaint
for lack of jurisdiction over the amount involved. The case was then transferred
Page 33 of 189

to the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) of Makati City. During the trial, petitioner
presented several sales invoices or charge slips, which added up to only
P24,388.36. Although mere photocopies of the originals, the invoices were
marked in evidence as Exhibits F to F-4. Because all these copies appeared to
bear the signatures of respondent, the trial court deemed them sufficient proof of
his purchases with the use of the credit card. Accordingly, the MTC in its July 25,
2000 Decision ordered him to pay petitioner the amount of P24,388.36 plus
interest and penalty fee.
The focal issue of the case according to the CA was whether the photocopies of
the sales invoices or charge slips, marked as Exhibits F to F-4, were
competent proofs of the obligations of respondent. These were the only evidence
presented by petitioner that could prove the actual amount of obligation he had
incurred in favor of the former. In reversing the trial courts, the CA ruled that this
evidence was insufficient to prove any liability on respondents part.
ISSUE: Whether or not the photocopies of the sales invoices or charge slips
marked during trial as Exhibits F to F-4 are admissible in evidence.
HELD: Petitioner contends that the testimony[10] of its principal witness - Mark
Hernando, assistant manager of Citibank, N.A. Mastercard -- proves the following:

a) the existence or due execution of the original sales invoices which sufficiently
proved respondents liability of P24,388.36;
b) the loss or unavailability of the original sales invoices; and
c) petitioners reasonable diligence and good faith in the search for or attempt to
produce the originals.
It further argues that Hernando competently identified the signatures of
respondent on the sales invoices, having recognized them as identical to the
signature on the latters credit card application form.
On the other hand, respondent maintains that petitioner failed to prove the due
execution of the sales invoices. According to him, Hernando was not privy to such
execution and could not have properly or competently declared that the
signatures on the invoices and on the application form belonged to the former.
The latter was not the person before whom the application form was signed,
executed or acknowledged; he was not even present then. As to the sales
invoices and respondents alleged signatures thereon, he saw them only after the
Complaint had been filed in court or long after those invoices had been executed.
He was therefore not competent to identify the signatures.
Because Hernandez had not actually witnessed the execution of the sales invoices
and the application form, respondent concludes that petitioner failed to observe
Page 34 of 189

Section 5 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, which provides that the contents of
the original may be proven by the testimony of witnesses.
Finally, respondent contends that the alleged loss or unavailability of the original
sales invoices was not sufficiently established. Allegedly, Hernandez had
requested the originals from Equitable Credit Card Network, Inc., but failed to
show in court that he had followed up his request as advised by another witness,
Zen Hipolito. Therefore, the requirement of reasonable diligence and good faith in
the search for or attempt to produce the originals was not satisfied, because he
had shown no proof of having followed up the request.
The burden of proof rests upon petitioner, as plaintiff, to establish its case based
on a preponderance of evidence. It is well-settled that in civil cases, the party that
alleges a fact has the burden of proving it. Petitioner failed to prove that
respondent had an obligation in the principal amount of P24,388.36, because the
photocopies of the original sales invoices it had presented in court were
inadmissible in evidence. Moreover, had they been admissible, they would still
have had little probative value.
The original copies of the sales invoices are the best evidence to prove the
alleged obligation. Photocopies thereof are mere secondary evidence. As such,
they are inadmissible because petitioner, as the offeror, failed to prove any of the
exceptions provided under Section 3 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, as well s
the conditions of their admissibility. Because of the inadmissibility of the
photocopies in the absence of the originals, respondents obligation was not
established.
LOON vs. POWER MASTER, INC.
G.R. NO. 189404 DECEMBER 11, 2013 712 SCRA

FACTS: Respondents Power Master, Inc. and Tri-C General Services employed and
assigned the petitioners as janitors and leadsmen in various Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) offices in Metro Manila area. Subsequently,
the petitioners filed a complaint for money claims against Power Master, Inc., Tri-C
General Services and their officers, the spouses Homer and Carina Alumisin
(collectively, the respondents). The petitioners alleged in their complaint that they
were not paid minimum wages, overtime, holiday, premium, service incentive
leave, and thirteenth month pays. They further averred that the respondents
made them sign blank payroll sheets. On June 11, 2001, the petitioners amended
their complaint and included illegal dismissal as their cause of action. They
claimed that the respondents relieved them from service in retaliation for the
filing of their original complaint.

Page 35 of 189

Notably, the respondents did not participate in the proceedings before the Labor
Arbiter except on April 19, 2001 and May 21, 2001 when Mr. Romulo Pacia, Jr.
appeared on the respondents behalf.5 The respondents counsel also appeared in
a preliminary mandatory conference on July 5, 2001.6 However, the respondents
neither filed any position paper nor proffered pieces of evidence in their defense
despite their knowledge of the pendency of the case. Labor Arbiter ruled in favor
of the petitioners.
Both parties appealed the LAs ruling with the National Labor Relations
Commission. The petitioners disputed the LAs denial of their claim for
backwages, overtime, holiday and premium pays. Meanwhile, the respondents
questioned the LAs ruling on the ground that the LA did not acquire jurisdiction
over their persons.

The respondents insisted that they were not personally served with summons and
other processes. They also claimed that they paid the petitioners minimum
wages, service incentive leave and thirteenth month pays. As proofs, they
attached photocopied and computerized copies of payroll sheets to their
memorandum on appeal. They further maintained that the petitioners were validly
dismissed. They argued that the petitioners repeated defiance to their transfer to
different workplaces and their violations of the company rules and regulations
constituted serious misconduct and willful disobedience.

On January 3, 2003, the respondents filed an unverified supplemental appeal.


They attached photocopied and computerized copies of list of employees with
automated teller machine (ATM) cards to the supplemental appeal. This list also
showed the amounts allegedly deposited in the employees ATM cards.11 They
also attached documentary evidence showing that the petitioners were dismissed
for cause and had been accorded due process.

ISSUE: Whether or not photocopied documents have probative value in


administrative proceedings.

HELD: The respondents failed to sufficiently prove the allegations sought to be


proven. Why the respondents photocopied and computerized copies of
documentary evidence were not presented at the earliest opportunity is a serious
question that lends credence to the petitioners claim that the respondents
fabricated the evidence for purposes of appeal. While we generally admit in
evidence and give probative value to photocopied documents in administrative
proceedings, allegations of forgery and fabrication should prompt the adverse
party to present the original documents for inspection. It was incumbent upon the
Page 36 of 189

respondents to present the originals, especially in this case where the petitioners
had submitted their specimen signatures. Instead, the respondents effectively
deprived the petitioners of the opportunity to examine and controvert the alleged
spurious evidence by not adducing the originals. This Court is thus left with no
option but to rule that the respondents failure to present the originals raises the
presumption that evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced.

It was also gross error for the CA to affirm the NLRCs proposition that "[i]t is of
common knowledge that there are many people who use at least two or more
different signatures." The NLRC cannot take judicial notice that many people use
at least two signatures, especially in this case where the petitioners themselves
disown the signatures in the respondents assailed documentary evidence. The
NLRCs position is unwarranted and is patently unsupported by the law and
jurisprudence.

Viewed in these lights, the scales of justice must tilt in favor of the employees.
This conclusion is consistent with the rule that the employers cause can only
succeed on the strength of its own evidence and not on the weakness of the
employees evidence.

DIMAGUILA vs. SPOUSES MONTEIRO


G.R. No. 201011

January 27, 2014

714 SCRA

FACTS: Respondent spouses Monteiro along with Jose, Gerasmo, Elisa, and Clarita
Nobleza, filed their Complaint for Partition and Damages before the RTC, against
the petitioners alleging co-ownership. Spouses Monteiro anchored their claim on a
deed of sale executed in their favor by the heirs of Pedro Dimaguila (Pedro).
In their Answer, the Dimaguilas and the other defendants countered that there
was no co-ownership to speak of in the first place. They alleged that the subject
property had long been partitioned equally between her two sons, Perfecto and
Vitaliano Dimaguila, through a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, with its southernhalf portion assigned to Perfecto and the northern-half portion to Vitaliano.

Spouses Monteiro filed their Motion for Leave to Amend and/or Admit Amended
Complaint.4 The RTC granted their motion. The amended complaint abandoned
the original claim for partition and instead sought the recovery of possession of a
Page 37 of 189

portion of the subject property since the Dimaguilas admitted in their original
answer that the subject propetiy had already been partitioned between Perfecto
and Vitaliano, through a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition.
During the trial, several documents were presented like a certified true copy of
cadastral map presented by an employee from the Office of the Municipal
Assessor. A DENR officer also testified that as part of her duties, she certifies and
safekeeps the records of surveyed land, including cadastral maps from the region.
RTC and CA ruled in favour of the respondents.

ISSUE: Whether the evidence aliunde should not have considered by the Court
due to timely objection and pursuant to the best evidence rule.

Note: Considering that an admission does not require proof, the admission of the
petitioners would actually be sufficient to prove the partition even without the
documents presented by the respondent spouses. If anything, the additional
evidence they presented only served to corroborate the petitioners' admission.

RULING: The petitioners argue that they timely objected to the cadastral map and
the list of claimants presented by the respondent spouses, on the ground that
they violated the rule on hearsay and the best evidence rule.

Anent the best evidence rule, Section 3( d) of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court
provides that when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no
evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except when
the original is a public record in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a
public office. Section 7 of the same Rule provides that when the original of a
document is in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office, its
contents may be proved by a certified copy issued by the public officer in custody
thereof. Section 24 of Rule 132 provides that the record of public documents may
be evidenced by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody or the
record.

Certified true copies of the cadastral map of Liliw and the corresponding list of
claimants of the area covered by the map were presented by two public officers.
The first was Crisostomo Arves, Clerk III of the Municipal Assessor's Office, a
repository of such documents. The second was Dominga Tolentino, a DENR
employee, who, as a record officer, certifies and safekeeps records of surveyed
land involving cadastral maps. The cadastral maps and the list of claimants, as
Page 38 of 189

certifieed true copies of original public records, fall under the exception to the
best evidence rule.

Additional: As to the hearsay rule, Section 44 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court
similarly provides that entries in official records are an exception to the rule. The
rule provides that entries in official records made in the performance of the duty
of a public officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty
specially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. The
necessity of this rule consists in the inconvenience and difficulty of requiring the
official's attendance as a witness to testify to the innumerable transactions in the
course of his duty. The document's trustworthiness consists in the presumption of
regularity of performance of official duty.

PAROLE EVIDENCE

RAFAEL S. ORTAEZ, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, OSCAR INOCENTES,


AND ASUNCION LLANES INOCENTES, respondents.
G.R. No. 107372. January 23, 1997
FACTS: On September 30, 1982, private respondents sold to petitioner two (2)
parcels of registered land in Quezon City for a consideration of P35,000.00 and
P20,000.00, respectively. The first deed of absolute sale covering Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 258628 while the second deed of absolute sale
covering TCT No. 243273. Private respondents received the payments for the
above-mentioned lots, but failed to deliver the titles to petitioner. On April 9, 1990
the latter demanded from the former the delivery of said titles.[3] Private
respondents, however, refused on the ground that the title of the first lot is in the
possession of another person, and petitioner's acquisition of the title of the other
lot is subject to certain conditions.
Offshoot, petitioner sued private respondents for specific performance before the
RTC. In their answer with counterclaim private respondents merely alleged the
existence of the following oral conditions which were never reflected in the deeds
of sale:
"3.3.2 Title to the other property (TCT No. 243273) remains with the defendants
(private respondents) until plaintiff (petitioner) shows proof that all the following
requirements have been met:
(i) Plaintiff will cause the segregation of his right of way amounting to 398 sq. m.;
(ii) Plaintiff will submit to the defendants the approved plan for the segregation;
Page 39 of 189

(iii) Plaintiff will put up a strong wall between his property and that of defendants'
lot to segregate his right of way;
(iv) Plaintiff will pay the capital gains tax and all other expenses that may be
incurred by reason of sale. x x x."
During trial, private respondent Oscar Inocentes, a former judge, orally testified
that the sale was subject to the above conditions, although such conditions were
not incorporated in the deeds of sale. Despite petitioner's timely objections on the
ground that the introduction of said oral conditions was barred by the parol
evidence rule, the lower court nonetheless, admitted them and eventually
dismissed the complaint as well as the counterclaim. On appeal CA affirmed the
court a quo. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the parole evidence introduced are admissible?
HELD: The parol evidence herein introduced is inadmissible. First, private
respondents' oral testimony on the alleged conditions, coming from a party who
has an interest in the outcome of the case, depending exclusively on human
memory, is not as reliable as written or documentary evidence. Spoken words
could be notoriously unreliable unlike a written contract which speaks of a uniform
language. Thus, under the general rule in Section 9 of Rule 130 of the Rules of
Court, when the terms of an agreement were reduced to writing, as in this case, it
is deemed to contain all the terms agreed upon and no evidence of such terms
can be admitted other than the contents thereof. Considering that the written
deeds of sale were the only repository of the truth, whatever is not found in said
instruments must have been waived and abandoned by the parties. Examining
the deeds of sale, we cannot even make an inference that the sale was subject to
any condition. As a contract, it is the law between the parties.
Secondly, to buttress their argument, private respondents rely on the case of Land
Settlement Development, Co. vs. Garcia Plantation where the Court ruled that a
condition precedent to a contract may be established by parol evidence. However,
the material facts of that case are different from this case. In the former, the
contract sought to be enforced expressly stated that it is subject to an agreement
containing the conditions-precedent which were proven through parol evidence.
Whereas, the deeds of sale in this case, made no reference to any pre- conditions
or other agreement. In fact, the sale is denominated as absolute in its own terms.
Third, the parol evidence herein sought to be introduced would vary, contradict or
defeat the operation of a valid instrument, hence, contrary to the rule that:
The parol evidence rule forbids any addition to x x x the terms of a written
instrument by testimony purporting to show that, at or before the signing of the
document, other or different terms were orally agreed upon by the parties.
Although parol evidence is admissible to explain the meaning of a contract, "it
cannot serve the purpose of incorporating into the contract additional
Page 40 of 189

contemporaneous conditions which are not mentioned at all in the writing unless
there has been fraud or mistake." No such fraud or mistake exists in this case.
Fourth, we disagree with private respondents' argument that their parol evidence
is admissible under the exceptions provided by the Rules, specifically, the alleged
failure of the agreement to express the true intent of the parties. Such exception
obtains only in the following instance:
"[W]here the written contract is so ambiguous or obscure in terms that the
contractual intention of the parties cannot be understood from a mere reading of
the instrument. In such a case, extrinsic evidence of the subject matter of the
contract, of the relations of the parties to each other, and of the facts and
circumstances surrounding them when they entered into the contract may be
received to enable the court to make a proper interpretation of the instrument."
In this case, the deeds of sale are clear, without any ambiguity, mistake or
imperfection, much less obscurity or doubt in the terms thereof.
Fifth, we are not persuaded by private respondents contention that they "put in
issue by the pleadings" the failure of the written agreement to express the true
intent of the parties. Record shows that private respondents did not expressly
plead that the deeds of sale were incomplete or that it did not reflect the intention
of the buyer (petitioner) and the seller (private respondents). Such issue must be
"squarely presented." Private respondents merely alleged that the sale was
subject to four (4) conditions which they tried to prove during trial by parol
evidence. Obviously, this cannot be done, because they did not plead any of the
exceptions mentioned in the parol evidence rule. Their case is covered by the
general rule that the contents of the writing are the only repository of the terms of
the agreement. Considering that private respondent Oscar Inocentes is a lawyer
(and former judge) he was "supposed to be steeped in legal knowledge and
practices" and was "expected to know the consequences" of his signing a deed of
absolute sale. Had he given an iota's attention to scrutinize the deeds, he would
have incorporated important stipulations that the transfer of title to said lots were
conditional.
One last thing, assuming arguendo that the parol evidence is admissible, it should
nonetheless be disbelieved as no other evidence appears from the record to
sustain the existence of the alleged conditions. Not even the other seller,
Asuncion Inocentes, was presented to testify on such conditions

Page 41 of 189

LAPULAPU FOUNDATION, INC. and ELIAS Q. TAN, Petitioners, vs.


COURT OF APPEALS (Seventeenth Division) and ALLIED BANKING CORP.,
Respondents.
G.R. No. 126006 January 29, 2004
FACTS: Elias Q. Tan, then President Lapulapu Foundation, Inc., obtained four loans
from Allied Banking Corporation covered by four promissory notes in the amounts
of P100, 000 each. When the entire obligation became due, it was not paid
despite demands by the bank. The Bank filed with the RTC a complaint seeking
payment by Lapulapu Foundation and Elias Tan, jointly and solidarily, of the sum
representing their loan obligation, exclusive of interests, penalty charges,
attorneys fees and costs.
The Foundation denied incurring indebtedness from the Bank alleging that Tan
obtained the loans in his personal capacity, for his own use and benefit and on the
strength of the personal information he furnished the Bank. The Foundation
maintained that it never authorized petitioner Tan to co-sign in his capacity as its
President any promissory note and that the Bank fully knew that the loans
contracted were made in Tans personal capacity and for his own use and that the
Foundation never benefited, directly or indirectly, there from.
For his part, Tan admitted that he contracted the loans from the Bank in his
personal capacity. The parties, however, agreed that the loans were to be paid
from the proceeds of Tans shares of common stocks in the Lapulapu Industries
Corporation, a real estate firm. The loans were covered by promissory notes which
were automatically renewable (rolled-over) every year at an amount including
unpaid interests, until such time as petitioner Tan was able to pay the same from
the proceeds of his aforesaid shares. According to petitioner Tan, the respondent
Banks employee required him to affix two signatures on every promissory note,
assuring him that the loan documents would be filled out in accordance with their
agreement. However, after he signed and delivered the loan documents to the
respondent Bank, these were filled out in a manner not in accord with their
agreement, such that the petitioner Foundation was included as party thereto
further, prior to its filing of the complaint, the respondent Bank made no demand
on him. The trial court rendered a decision in favor of the plaintiff. On appeal, the
CA affirmed with modification the judgment of the court a quo by deleting the
award of attorneys fees in favor of the respondent Bank for being without basis.
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in applying the parole evidence rule?
HELD: The Court particularly finds as incredulous petitioner Tans allegation that
he was made to sign blank loan documents and that the phrase "IN MY
OFFICIAL/PERSONAL CAPACITY" was superimposed by the respondent Banks
employee despite petitioner Tans protestation. The Court is hard pressed to
Page 42 of 189

believe that a businessman of petitioner Tans stature could have been so careless
as to sign blank loan documents.
In contrast, as found by the CA, the promissory notes clearly showed upon their
faces that they are the obligation of the petitioner Foundation, as contracted by
petitioner Tan "in his official and personal capacity." Moreover, the application for
credit accommodation, the signature cards of the two accounts in the name of
petitioner Foundation, as well as New Current Account Record, all accompanying
the promissory notes, were signed by petitioner Tan for and in the name of the
petitioner Foundation. These documentary evidence unequivocally and
categorically establish that the loans were solidarily contracted by the petitioner
Foundation and petitioner Tan.
As a corollary, the parol evidence rule likewise constrains this Court to reject
petitioner Tans claim regarding the purported unwritten agreement between him
and the respondent Bank on the payment of the obligation. Section 9, Rule 130 of
the of the Revised Rules of Court provides that "[w]hen the terms of an agreement
have been reduced to writing, it is to be considered as containing all the terms
agreed upon and there can be, between the parties and their successors-ininterest, no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the written
agreement."
In this case, the promissory notes are the law between the petitioners and the
respondent Bank. These promissory notes contained maturity dates as follows:
February 5, 1978, March 28, 1978, April 11, 1978 and May 5, 1978, respectively.
That these notes were to be paid on these dates is clear and explicit. Nowhere
was it stated therein that they would be renewed on a year-to-year basis or
"rolled-over" annually until paid from the proceeds of petitioner Tans shares in
the Lapulapu Industries Corp. Accordingly, this purported unwritten agreement
could not be made to vary or contradict the terms and conditions in the
promissory notes.
Evidence of a prior or contemporaneous verbal agreement is generally not
admissible to vary, contradict or defeat the operation of a valid contract. While
parol evidence is admissible to explain the meaning of written contracts, it cannot
serve the purpose of incorporating into the contract additional contemporaneous
conditions which are not mentioned at all in writing, unless there has been fraud
or mistake. No such allegation had been made by the petitioners in this case.
Finally, the appellate court did not err in holding the petitioners jointly and
solidarily liable as it applied the doctrine of piercing the veil of corporate entity.
The petitioner Foundation asserts that it has a personality separate and distinct
from that of its President, petitioner Tan, and that it cannot be held solidarily liable
for the loans of the latter.

Page 43 of 189

LEOVERAS vs. VALDEZ


G.R. No. 169985 June 15, 2011 652 SCRA

FACTS: Maria Sta. Maria and Dominga Manangan were the registered owners three-fourths () and one-fourth () pro-indiviso, respectively - of a parcel of
land. Sta. Maria sold her three-fourths () share to Benigna Llamas. The sale was
duly annotated at the back of OCT No. 24695. When Benigna died in 1944,she
willed her three-fourths () share equally to her sisters Alejandra Llamas and
Josefa Llamas. Thus, Alejandra and Josefa each owned of Benignas shares.
Alejandras heirs sold their predecessors one-half () share (roughly equivalent
to 10,564 square meters) to the respondent, as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute
Sale. Also, Josefa sold her own share (subject property) to the respondent and
the petitioner, as evidenced by another Deed of Absolute Sale. The respondent
and the petitioner executed an Agreement, allotting their portions of the subject
property. The petitioner and the respondent executed an Affidavit of Adverse
Claim over the subject property. The parties took possession of their respective
portions of the subject property and declared it in their name for taxation
purposes.

The respondent asked the Register of Deeds of Lingayen, Pangasinan on the


requirements for the transfer of title over the portion allotted to him on the
subject property. To his surprise, the respondent learned that the petitioner had
already obtained in his name two transfer certificates of title.

The respondent filed a complaint for Annulment of Title, Reconveyance and


Damages against the petitioner, seeking the reconveyance of the 1,004-square
meter portion (disputed property) covered by TCT No. 195813, on the ground that
the petitioner is entitled only to the 3,020 square meters identified in the parties
Agreement.

The respondent sought the nullification of the petitioners titles by contesting the
authenticity of the petitioners documents. Particularly, the respondent assailed
the Benigna Deed by presenting Benignas death certificate. The respondent
argued that Benigna could not have executed a deed, which purports to convey
Page 44 of 189

4,024 square meters to the petitioner, in 1969 because Benigna already died in
1944. The respondent added that neither could Sta. Maria have sold to the parties
her three-fourths () share in 1969 because she had already sold her share to
Benigna in 1932.

The petitioner asked for the dismissal of the complaint and for a declaration that
he is the lawful owner of the parcels of land covered by his titles.

The RTC dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the CA reversed the RTC by ruling
against the authenticity of the Benigna Deed and the Affidavit. As the totality of
the evidence presented sufficiently sustains [the respondents] claim that the
titles issued to [the petitioner] were based on forged and spurious documents, it
behooves this Court to annul these certificates of title. Hence, this petition for
review.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in ordering the reconveyance of the parcel of
land covered by the TCT No. 195813 to the Respondent.

RULING:NO. We rule that the respondent adequately proved his ownership of the
disputed property by virtue of the (i) Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Josefa in
favor of the parties; (ii) the parties Affidavit of Adverse Claim; and (iii) the parties
Agreement, which cover the subject property.

The petitioner does not dispute the due execution and the authenticity of these
documents, particularly the Agreement. However, he claims that since the
Agreement does not reflect the true intention of the parties, the Affidavit was
subsequently executed in order to reflect the parties true intention.

The petitioners argument calls to fore the application of the parol evidence
rule] i.e., when the terms of an agreement are reduced to writing, the written
agreement is deemed to contain all the terms agreed upon and no evidence of
these terms can be admitted other than what is contained in the written
agreement. Whatever is not found in the writing is understood to have been
waived and abandoned.

To avoid the operation of the parol evidence rule, the Rules of Court allows a party
to present evidence modifying, explaining or adding to the terms of the written
Page 45 of 189

agreement if he puts in issue in his pleading, as in this case, the failure of the
written agreement to express the true intent and agreement of the parties. The
failure of the written agreement to express the true intention of the parties is
either by reason of mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct or accident, which
nevertheless did not prevent a meeting of the minds of the parties.

By fraudulently causing the transfer of the registration of title over the disputed
property in his name, the petitioner holds the title to this disputed property in
trust for the benefit of the respondent as the true owner; registration does not
vest title but merely confirms or records title already existing and vested.
The Torrens system of registration cannot be used to protect a usurper from the
true owner, nor can it be used as a shield for the commission of fraud, or to
permit one to enrich oneself at the expense of others. Hence, the CA correctly
ordered the reconveyance of the disputed property, covered by TCT No. 195813,
to the respondent.

ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE

HEIRS OF SABANPAN vs COMORPOSA


G.R. No. 152807. August 12, 2003
FACTS: A complaint for unlawful detainer with damages was filed by against
respondents before the Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur Municipal Trial Court.
The Complaint alleged that Marcos Saez was the lawful and actual possessor of
LotNo. 845, Land 275 located at Darong, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur with an area of
1.2hectares. In 1960, he died leaving all his heirs, his children and grandchildren.
In 1965, Francisco Comorposa who was working in the land of Oboza was
terminated from his job. The termination of his employment caused a problem in
relocating his house. Being a close family friend of [Marcos] Saez, Francisco
Comorposa approached the late Marcos Saezs son, [Adolfo] Saez, the husband of
Gloria Leano Saez, about his problem. Out of pity and for humanitarian
consideration, Adolfo allowed Francisco Comorposa to occupy the land of Marcos
Saez. Hence, his nipa hut was carried by his neighbors and transferred to a
portion of the land subject matter of this case. Such transfer was witnessed by
several people, among them, Gloria Leano and Noel Oboza. Francisco Comorposa
occupied a portion of Marcos Saez property without paying any rental.

Page 46 of 189

Francisco Comorposa left for Hawaii, U.S.A. He was succeeded in his possession
by the respondents who likewise did not pay any rental and are occupying the
premises through petitioners tolerance.
On 7 May 1998, a formal demand was made upon the respondents to vacate the
premises but the latter refused to vacate the same and claimed that they [were]
the legitimate claimants and the actual and lawful possessor[s] of the premises. A
complaint was filed with the barangay office of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, but the
parties failed to arrive at an amicable settlement. Thus, the corresponding
Certificate to File Action was issued by the said barangay and an action for
unlawful detainer was filed by petitioners against respondents.
Respondents, in their Answer, denied the material allegations of the complaint
and alleged that they entered and occupied the premises in their own right as
true, valid and lawful claimants, possessors and owners of the said lot way back in
1960 and upto the present time; that they have acquired just and valid ownership
and possession of the premises by ordinary or extraordinary prescription, and that
the Regional Director of the DENR, Region XI has already upheld their possession
over the land in question when it ruled that they were the rightful claimants and
possessors and therefore, entitled to the issuance of a title.
The Municipal Trial Court of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur rendered judgment in favor
of petitioners but the Regional Trial Court of Digos, Davao del Sur, on appeal,
reversed and set aside the said decision. The CA affirmed the RTCs decision.
ISSUE: Whether or not Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and err in
sustaining the Regional Trial Courts ruling giving weight to the CENR Officers
Certification, which only bears the facsimile of the alleged signature of a certain
Jose F. Tagorda
HELD: Petitioners contend that the CENR Certification dated July 22, 1997 is a
sham document, because the signature of the CENR officer is a mere facsimile. In
support of their argument, they cite Garvida v. Sales Jr .and argue that the
Certification is a new matter being raised by respondents for the first time on
appeal. We are not persuaded.
In Garvida , the Court held: A facsimile or fax transmission is a process involving
the transmission and reproduction of printed and graphic matter by scanning an
original copy, one elemental area at a time, and representing the shade or tone of
each area by a specified amount of electric current.
Pleadings filed via fax machines are not considered originals and are at best exact
copies. As such, they are not admissible in evidence, as there is no way of
determining whether they are genuine or authentic.
The Certification, on the other hand, is being contested for bearing a facsimile of
the signature of CENR Officer Jose F. Tagorda. The facsimile referred to is not the
same as that which is alluded to in Garvida . The one mentioned here refers to a
Page 47 of 189

facsimile signature, which is defined as a signature produced by mechanical


means but recognized as valid in banking, financial, and business transactions.
If the Certification were a sham as petitioner claims, then the regional director
would not have used it as reference in his Order. Instead, he would have either
verified it or directed the CENR officer to take the appropriate action, as the latter
was under the formers direct control and supervision. Petitioners claim that the
Certification was raised for the first time on appeal is incorrect. As early as the
pretrial conference at the Municipal Trial Court (MTC), the CENR Certification had
already been marked as evidence for respondents as stated in the Pre-trial
Order .The Certification was not formally offered, however, because respondents
had not been able to file their position paper. Neither the rules of procedure nor
jurisprudence would sanction the admission of evidence that has not been
formally offered during the trial. But this evidentiary rule is applicable only to
ordinary trials, not to cases covered by the rule on summary procedure -- cases in
which no full-blown trial is held.

TORRES vs. PAGCOR


G.R. NO. 193531 DECEMBER 14, 2011 661 SCRA

FACTS: Petitioner was a Slot Machine Operations Supervisor (SMOS) of respondent


Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). On the basis of an
alleged intelligence report of padding of the Credit Meter Readings (CMR) of the
slot machines at PAGCOR-Hyatt Manila, then Casino Filipino-Hyatt (CF Hyatt),
which involved the slot machine and internal security personnel of respondent
PAGCOR, and in connivance with slot machine customers, respondent PAGCOR's
Corporate Investigation Unit (CIU) allegedly conducted an investigation to verify
the veracity of such report. The CIU discovered the scheme of CMR padding which
was committed by adding zero after the first digit of the actual CMR of a slot
machine or adding a digit before the first digit of the actual CMR, e.g., a slot
machine with an actual CMR of P5,000.00 will be issued a CMR receipt with the
amount of eitherP50,000.00 or P35,000.00. Based on the CIU's investigation of all
the CMR receipts and slot machine jackpot slips issued by CF Hyatt for the months
of February and March 2007, the CIU identified the members of the syndicate who
were responsible for such CMR padding, which included herein petitioner.

Page 48 of 189

On the same day, another Memorandum of Charges signed by Rogelio Y. Bangsil,


Jr., Senior Branch Manager, CF Hyatt Manila, was issued to petitioner informing
him of the charge of dishonesty (padding of anomalous SM jackpot receipts).
Petitioner was then required to explain in writing within seventy-two (72) hours
from receipt thereof why he should not be sanctioned or dismissed. Petitioner was
placed under preventive suspension effective immediately until further orders.

On May 7, 2007, petitioner wrote Manager Bangsil a letter explanation/refutation


of the charges against him. He denied any involvement or participation in any
fraudulent manipulation of the CMR or padding of the slot machine receipts, and
he asked for a formal investigation of the accusations against him.

On August 4, 2007, petitioner received a letter dated August 2, 2007 from Atty.
Lizette F. Mortel, Managing Head of PAGCOR's Human Resource and Development
Department, dismissing him from the service.

On September 14, 2007, petitioner filed with the CSC a Complaint against
PAGCOR and its Chairman Efraim Genuino for illegal dismissal, non-payment of
backwages and other benefits. The complaint alleged among other things, that he
tried to persuade respondent PAGCOR to review and reverse its decision in a letter
of reconsideration dated August 13, 2007 addressed to the Chairman, the
members of the Board of Directors and the Merit Systems Protection Board and
that no resolution was issued on his letter reconsideration.

Thereafter, the CSC dismissed the complaint on the ground that the same has
already prescribed.

The CA dismissed the case on the same ground.

ISSUE: Whether or not the sending of his letter of reconsideration by means of a


fax machine is a valid mode of filing of a motion for reconsideration.

RULING: A motion for reconsideration may either be filed by mail or personal


delivery. When a motion for reconsideration was sent by mail, the same shall be
deemed filed on the date shown by the postmark on the envelope which shall be
attached to the records of the case. On the other hand, in case of personal
delivery, the motion is deemed filed on the date stamped thereon by the proper
Page 49 of 189

office. And the movant has 15 days from receipt of the decision within which to
file a motion for reconsideration or an appeal therefrom.

Petitioner received a copy of the letter/notice of dismissal on August 4, 2007;


thus, the motion for reconsideration should have been submitted either by mail or
by personal delivery on or before August 19, 2007. However, records do not show
that petitioner had filed his motion for reconsideration. In fact, the CSC found that
the non-receipt of petitioner's letter reconsideration was duly supported by
certifications issued by PAGCOR employees.

Even assuming arguendo that petitioner indeed submitted a letter reconsideration


which he claims was sent through a facsimile transmission, such letter
reconsideration did not toll the period to appeal. The mode used by petitioner in
filing his reconsideration is not sanctioned by the Uniform Rules on Administrative
Cases in the Civil Service. As we stated earlier, the motion for reconsideration
may be filed only in two ways, either by mail or personal delivery.

In Garvida v. Sales, Jr., we found inadmissible in evidence the filing of pleadings


through fax machines and ruled that:

A facsimile or fax transmission is a process involving the transmission and


reproduction of printed and graphic matter by scanning an original copy, one
elemental area at a time, and representing the shade or tone of each area by a
specified amount of electric current. The current is transmitted as a signal over
regular telephone lines or via microwave relay and is used by the receiver to
reproduce an image of the elemental area in the proper position and the correct
shade. The receiver is equipped with a stylus or other device that produces a
printed record on paper referred to as a facsimile.

xxx A facsimile is not a genuine and authentic pleading. It is, at best, an exact
copy preserving all the marks of an original. Without the original, there is no way
of determining on its face whether the facsimile pleading is genuine and authentic
and was originally signed by the party and his counsel. It may, in fact, be a sham
pleading.xxx

Moreover, a facsimile transmission is not considered as an electronic evidence


under the Electronic Commerce Act. In MCC Industrial Sales Corporation v.
Ssangyong Corporation, We determined the question of whether the original
Page 50 of 189

facsimile transmissions are "electronic data messages" or "electronic documents"


within the context of the Electronic Commerce Act.

We, therefore, conclude that the terms "electronic data message" and "electronic
document," as defined under the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, do not include
a facsimile transmission. Accordingly, a facsimile transmission cannot be
considered as electronic evidence. It is not the functional equivalent of an original
under the Best Evidence Rule and is not admissible as electronic evidence.

ANG vs. REPUBLIC


G.R. No. 182835 April 20, 2010 618 SCRA

FACTS: Complainant Irish Sagud and accused Rustan Ang were sweethearts.
However, Irish broke up with him when she learned he had taken a live-in partner
whom he had gotten pregnant. Rustan convinced her to elope with him for he did
not love the woman whom he was about to marry, but Irish rejected the proposal.
She changed her cellphone number but Rustan managed to get hold of it and
send her text messages.

Irish received through multimedia message a picture of a naked woman with


spread legs and with her face superimposed on the figure. The senders cellphone
number, stated in the message, was one of the numbers used by Rustan. After
she got the obscene picture, she received text messages from Rustan threatening
her that he will spread the picture he sent through the Internet.

Under police supervision, Irish contacted Rustan through the cellphone number he
used in sending the picture and text message. She asked him to meet her at a
resort and he did. Upon parking his motorcycle and walking towards Irish, the
police intercepted and arrested him. The police seized his cellphone and several
SIM cards.
Page 51 of 189

ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC properly admitted in evidence the obscene picture
presented in the case.

RULING: Rustan claims that the obscene picture sent to Irish through a text
message constitutes an electronic document. Thus, it should be authenticated by
means of an electronic signature, as provided under Section 1, Rule 5 of the Rules
on Electronic Evidence (A.M. 01-7-01-SC).

But, firstly, Rustan is raising this objection to the admissibility of the obscene
picture, Exhibit A, for the first time before this Court. The objection is too late
since he should have objected to the admission of the picture on such ground at
the time it was offered in evidence. He should be deemed to have already waived
such ground for objection.

Besides, the rules he cites do not apply to the present criminal action. The Rules
on Electronic Evidence applies only to civil actions, quasi-judicial proceedings, and
administrative proceedings.

TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE
DISQUALIFICATION

MARCOS vs. HEIRS OF ANDRES NAVARRO


G.R. No. 198240 July 03, 2013 700 SCRA

FACTS:Spouses Navarro died in 1958 and 1993, respectively. They left behind
several parcels of land including a 108.3997-hectare lot located in Cayabon,
Milagros, Masbate. The spouses were survived by their daughters Luisa Navarro
Marcos, herein petitioner, and Lydia Navarro Grageda, and the heirs of their only
son Andres Navarro, Jr. The heirs of Andres, Jr. are the respondents herein.

Petitioner and her sister Lydia discovered that respondents are claiming exclusive
ownership of the subject lot. Respondents based their claim on the Affidavit of
Transfer of Real Property dated May 19, 1954 where Andres, Sr. donated the
Page 52 of 189

subject lot to Andres, Jr. Believing that the affidavit is a forgery, the sisters,
through Assistant Fiscal Andres Marcos, requested a handwriting examination of
the affidavit. The PNP handwriting expert PO2 Mary Grace Alvarez found that
Andres, Sr.s signature on the affidavit and the submitted standard signatures of
Andres, Sr. were not written by one and the same person. Thus, the sisters sued
the respondents for annulment of the deed of donation before the RTC of Masbate.

Respondents moved to disqualify PO2 Alvarez as a witness. The RTC granted


respondents motion and disqualified PO2 Alvarez as a witness. The RTC ruled
that PO2 Alvarezs supposed testimony would be hearsay as she has no personal
knowledge of the alleged handwriting of Andres, Sr.

The sisters sought reconsideration of the order but the RTC denied their motion.
Aggrieved, the sisters filed a petition for certiorari before the CA, which however,
dismissed their petition. The CA likewise denied their motion for reconsideration.

ISSUE: Whether or not PO2 Alvarez should be disqualified as a witness.

RULING: No. In Armed Forces of the Philippines Retirement and Separation


Benefits System v. Republic of the Philippines, we said that a witness must only
possess all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided in
the Rules of Court. Section 20, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence provides:

SEC. 20. Witnesses; their qualifications.Except as provided in the next


succeeding section, all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make
known their perception to others, may be witnesses.

Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, or conviction of a


crime unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be a ground for disqualification.

Specific rules of witness disqualification are provided under Sections 21 to 24,


Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence. Section 21 disqualifies a witness by reason of
mental incapacity or immaturity. Section 22 disqualifies a witness by reason of
marriage. Section 23 disqualifies a witness by reason of death or insanity of the
adverse party. Section 24 disqualifies a witness by reason of privileged
communication.
Page 53 of 189

As a handwriting expert of the PNP, PO2 Alvarez can surely perceive and make
known her perception to others. We have no doubt that she is qualified as a
witness. She cannot be disqualified as a witness since she possesses none of the
disqualifications specified under the Rules. Respondents motion to disqualify her
should have been denied by the RTC for it was not based on any of these grounds
for disqualification. The RTC rather confused the qualification of the witness with
the credibility and weight of her testimony.

Moreover, Section 49, Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence is clear that the opinion
of an expert witness may be received in evidence, to wit:

SEC. 49. Opinion of expert witness.The opinion of a witness on a matter


requiring special knowledge, skill, experience or training which he is shown to
possess, may be received in evidence.

For instance, in Tamani v. Salvador, we were inclined to believe that Tamanis


signature was forged after considering the testimony of the PNP document
examiner that the case involved simulated or copied forgery, such that the
similarities will be superficial. We said that the value of the opinion of a
handwriting expert depends not upon his mere statements of whether a writing is
genuine or false, but upon the assistance he may afford in pointing out
distinguishing marks, characteristics and discrepancies in and between genuine
and false specimens of writing which would ordinarily escape notice or detection
from an unpracticed observer.

Thus, we disagree with the RTC that PO2 Alvarezs testimony would be hearsay.
Under Section 49, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence, PO2 Alvarez is allowed to
render an expert opinion, as the PNP document examiner was allowed in Tamani.
But the RTC already ruled at the outset that PO2 Alvarezs testimony is hearsay
even before her testimony is offered and she is called to the witness stand. Under
the circumstances, the CA should have issued a corrective writ of certiorari and
annulled the RTC ruling.

MENTAL INCAPACITY OR IMMATURITY

Page 54 of 189

. MENTAL INCAPACITY

PEOPLE vs. GOLIMLIM


G.R. No. 145225
April 2, 2004
CARPIO MORALES, J.

NOTE:A mental retardate or a feebleminded person is not, per se, disqualified


from being a witness, her mental condition not being a vitiation of her credibility.
It is now universally accepted that intellectual weakness, no matter what form it
assumes, is not a valid objection to the competency of a witness so long as the
latter can still give a fairly intelligent and reasonable narrative of the matter
testified to (Citing People v. Trelles).

However, It can not be gainsaid that a mental retardate can be a witness,


depending on his or her ability to relate what he or she knows, If his or her
testimony is coherent, the same is admissible in court.

FACTS: Private complainant Evelyn G. Canchela (Evelyn), is a mental retardate.


When her mother, Amparo Hachero, left for Singapore on May 2, 1996 to work as
a domestic helper, she entrusted Evelyn to the care and custody of her
(Amparos) sister Jovita Guban and her husband Salvador Golimlim, herein
appellant, at Barangay Bical, Bulan, Sorsogon.

Sometime in August 1996, Jovita left the conjugal residence to meet a certain
Rosing,leaving Evelyn with appellant. Taking advantage of the situation, appellant
instructed private complainant to sleep, and soon after she had laid down, he
kissed her and took off her clothes.7 As he poked at her an object which to Evelyn
felt like a knife, he proceeded to insert his penis into her vagina.9 His lust
satisfied, appellant fell asleep.

When Jovita arrived, Evelyn told her about what appellant did to her. Jovita,
however, did not believe her and in fact she scolded her.

Page 55 of 189

Sometime in December of the same year, Lorna Hachero, Evelyns half-sister,


received a letter from their mother Amparo instructing her to fetch Evelyn from
Sorsogon and allow her to stay in Novaliches, Quezon City where she (Lorna)
resided. Dutifully, Lorna immediately repaired to appellants home in Bical, and
brought Evelyn with her to Manila.

A week after she brought Evelyn to stay with her, Lorna suspected that her sister
was pregnant as she noticed her growing belly. She thereupon brought her to a
doctor at the Pascual General Hospital at Baeza, Novaliches, Quezon City for
check-up and ultrasound examination.

Lornas suspicions were confirmed as the examinations revealed that Evelyn was
indeed pregnant. She thus asked her sister how she became pregnant, to which
Evelyn replied that appellant had sexual intercourse with her while holding a
knife.

On February 27, 1997, Evelyn, assisted by Lorna, filed a criminal complaint for
rape against appellant before the Municipal Trial Court of Bulan, Sorsogon,

Finding for the prosecution, the trial court, by the present appealed Decision,
convicted appellant as charged. Hence, the accused appealed, he argues that the
mind of the victim is not normal. He further alleged that Evelyns testimony is not
categorical and is replete with contradictions, thus engendering grave doubts as
to his criminal culpability. He further

ISSUE: whether Evelyn, a mental retardate is disqualify as a witness.

DECISION: No. Sections 20 and 21 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court
provide:
SEC. 20. Witnesses; their qualifications. Except as provided in the next
succeeding section, all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make
known their perception to others, may be witnesses.
xxx
SEC. 21. Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity. The
following persons cannot be witnesses:
Page 56 of 189

(a) Those whose mental condition, at the time of their production for examination,
is such that they are incapable of intelligently making known their perception to
others;
(b) Children whose mental maturity is such as to render them incapable of
perceiving the facts respecting which they are examined and of relating them
truthfully.
In People v. Trelles, where the trial court relied heavily on the therein mentally
retarded private complainants testimony irregardless of her "monosyllabic
responses and vacillations between lucidity and ambiguity," this Court held:
A mental retardate or a feebleminded person is not, per se, disqualified from
being a witness, her mental condition not being a vitiation of her credibility. It is
now universally accepted that intellectual weakness, no matter what form it
assumes, is not a valid objection to the competency of a witness so long as the
latter can still give a fairly intelligent and reasonable narrative of the matter
testified to.
It can not then be gainsaid that a mental retardate can be a witness, depending
on his or her ability to relate what he or she knows. If his or her testimony is
coherent, the same is admissible in court.
To be sure, modern rules on evidence have downgraded mental incapacity as a
ground to disqualify a witness. As observed by McCormick, the remedy of
excluding such a witness who may be the only person available who knows the
facts, seems inept and primitive. Our rules follow the modern trend of evidence.
Thus, in a long line of cases, this Court has upheld the conviction of the accused
based mainly on statements given in court by the victim who was a mental
retardate

MARITAL DISQUALIFICATION

ALVAREZ vs RAMIREZ
G.R. NO. 143439 October 14, 2005
FACTS: Maximo Alvarez is accused of Arson for setting on fire the house of his
sister-in-law Susan Ramirez. Susan Ramirez, the Respondent, called on Esperanza
the estranged wife of Maximo who has been separated de facto from him for 6
months, to testify against him. Petitioner Alvarez initially did not raise an
objection. In the course of Esperanzas direct testimony against petitioner, the
latter showed uncontrolled emotions, prompting the trial judge to suspend the
proceedings. Then, petitioner, through counsel, filed a motion to disqualify
Page 57 of 189

Esperanza from testifying against him pursuant to the rule on marital


disqualification. Respondent filed an opposition to the motion. Pending resolution
of the motion, the trial court directed the prosecution to proceed with the
presentation of the other witnesses.RTC rule in favor of Alvarez. Aggrieved,
Ramirez sought nullification of the RTC ruling via Certiorari. CA granted certiorari.
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether Esperanza Alvarez can testify against her husband in said
Criminal Case.
HELD: YES.
Section 22, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: Sec.
22. Disqualification by reason of marriage.
During their marriage, neither the husband nor the wife may testify for oragainst
the other without the consent of the affected spouse ,except in a civil case by one
against the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the
other or the latters direct descendants or ascendants.
The reasons given for the rule are:
1. There is identity of interests between husband and wife;
2. If one were to testify for or against the other, there is consequent danger of
perjury;
3. The policy of the law is to guard the security and confidences of private life,
even at the risk of an occasional failure of justice, and to prevent domestic
disunion and unhappiness; and
4. Where there is want of domestic tranquility there is danger of punishing one
spouse through the hostile testimony of the other.
But like all other general rules, the marital disqualification rule has its own
exceptions, both in civil actions between the spouses and in criminal cases for
offenses committed by one against the other. Where the marital and domestic
relations are so strained that there is no more harmony to be preserved nor peace
and tranquility which may be disturbed, the reason based upon such harmony and
tranquility fails. In such a case, identity of interests disappears and the
consequent danger of perjury based on that identity is non-existent. Likewise, in
such a situation, the security and confidences of private life, which the law aims
at protecting, will be nothing but ideals, which through their absence, merely
leave avoid in the unhappy home. Obviously, the offense of arson attributed to
petitioner, directly impairs the conjugal relation between him and his wife
Esperanza. His act, as embodied in the Information for arson filed against him
,eradicates all the major aspects of marital life such as trust, confidence, respect
and love by which virtues the conjugal relationship survives and flourishes
Page 58 of 189

People v Castaneda
Facts: Benjamin Manaloto was charged with the crime of Falsification of Public
Document. The complaint was filed by his wife, Victoria Manaloto.

That on or about the 19th day of May, 1975, in the Municipality of San Fernando,
province of Pampanga, Philippines, Benjamin falsified in a deed of sale the house
and lot belonging to the conjugal partnership in favor of Ponciano Lacsamana,
making it appear that his spouse gave her marital consent to said sale.

At the trial, the prosecution called the wife to the witness stand but the defense
moved to disqualify her as a witness, invoking Sec. 20, Rule 130. The prosecution
stated that it is a "criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other."
Notwithstanding such opposition, respondent Judge granted the motion,
disqualifying Victoria.

Issue: Whether or not the criminal case for Falsification of Public Document may
be considered as a criminal case for a crime committed by a husband against his
wife and, therefore, an exception to the rule on marital disqualification.

Held: No. The case is an exception to the marital disqualification rule. WHEN AN
OFFENSE DIRECTLY ATTACKS, OR DIRECTLY AND VITALLY IMPAIRS, THE CONJUGAL
RELATION, IT COMES WITHIN THE EXCEPTION to the statute that one shall not be a
witness against the other except in a criminal prosecution for a crime committed
(by) one against the other. In the case, it must be noted that had the sale of the
said house and lot, and the signing of the wife's name by her husband in the deed
of sale, been made with the consent of the wife, no crime could have been
charged against said husband. It is the husband's breach of his wife's confidence
which gave rise to the offense charged. And it is this same breach of trust which
prompted the wife to make the necessary complaint. With more reason must the
exception apply to the instant case where the victim of the crime and the person
who stands to be directly prejudiced by the falsification is not a third person but
the wife herself. And it is undeniable that the act had the effect of directly and
vitally impairing the conjugal relation. This is apparent not only in the act of the
wife in personally lodging her complaint with the Office of the Provincial Fiscal, but
also in her insistent efforts in connection with the instant petition, which seeks to
set aside the order disqualifying her from testifying against her husband. Taken
collectively, the actuations of the witness-wife underscore the fact that the martial
and domestic relations between her and the accused-husband have become so
strained that there is no more harmony to be preserved said nor peace and
tranquility which may be disturbed. In such a case, identity of interests disappears
Page 59 of 189

and the consequent danger of perjury based on that identity is nonexistent.


Likewise, in such a situation, the security and confidence of private life which the
law aims at protecting will be nothing but ideals which, through their absence,
merely leave a void in the unhappy home.
DEATH OR INSANITY (DEAD MAN'S STATUTE)

LILIBETH SUNGA-CHAN and CECILIA SUNGA, petitioners, vs.


LAMBERTO T. CHUA, respondent.
G.R. No. 143340

August 15, 2001

FACTS:
Respondent alleged that, he verbally entered into a business partnership with
Jacinto. Respondent and Jacinto allegedly agreed to register the business name of
their partnership, under the name of Jacinto as a sole proprietorship. The
partnership allegedly had Jacinto as manager, assisted by Josephine Sy, a sister of
the wife respondent, Erlinda Sy.
Upon Jacinto's death, his surviving wife, petitioner Cecilia and particularly his
daughter, petitioner Lilibeth, took over the operations, control, custody,
disposition and management of Shellite without respondent's consent. Despite
respondent's repeated demands upon petitioners for accounting, inventory,
appraisal, winding up and restitution of his net shares in the partnership,
petitioners failed to comply.
Petitioners filed their Answer with Compulsory Counter-claims, contending that
they are not liable for partnership shares, unreceived income/profits, interests,
damages and attorney's fees, that respondent does not have a cause of action
against them, and that the trial court has no jurisdiction over the nature of the
action, the SEC being the agency that has original and exclusive jurisdiction over
the case. As counterclaim, petitioner sought attorney's fees and expenses of
litigation.
The trial court rendered its Decision ruling for respondent. Petitioners filed a
Notice of Appeal with the trial court, the CA dismissed the appeal. Hence, this
petition.
Petitioners question the correctness of the finding of the trial court and the Court
of Appeals that a partnership existed between respondent and Jacinto from 1977
until Jacinto's death. In the absence of any written document to show such
partnership between respondent and Jacinto, petitioners argues that these courts
were proscribes from hearing the testimonies of respondent and his witness,
Page 60 of 189

Josephine, to prove the alleged partnership three years after Jacinto's death. To
support this argument, petitioners invoke the "Dead Man's Statute' or
"Survivorship Rule" under Section 23, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.
Petitioners thus implore this Court to rule that the testimonies of respondent and
his alter ego, Josephine, should not have been admitted to prove certain claims
against a deceased person (Jacinto), now represented by petitioners.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the "Dead Man's Statute" applies to this case so as to render
respondent's testimony and that of Josephine inadmissible.
RULING:
The "Dead Man's Statute" provides that if one party to the alleged transaction is
precluded from testifying by death, insanity, or other mental disabilities, the
surviving party is not entitled to the undue advantage of giving his own
uncontradicted and unexplained account of the transaction. But before this rule
can be successfully invoked to bar the introduction of testimonial evidence, it is
necessary that:
"1. The witness is a party or assignor of a party to case or persons in whose behalf
a case in prosecuted.
2. The action is against an executor or administrator or other representative of a
deceased person or a person of unsound mind;
3. The subject-matter of the action is a claim or demand against the estate of
such deceased person or against person of unsound mind;
4. His testimony refers to any matter of fact of which occurred before the death of
such deceased person or before such person became of unsound mind."
Two reasons forestall the application of the "Dead Man's Statute" to this case.
First, petitioners filed a compulsory counterclaim against respondents in their
answer before the trial court, and with the filing of their counterclaim, petitioners
themselves effectively removed this case from the ambit of the "Dead Man's
Statute". Well entrenched is the rule that when it is the executor or administrator
or representatives of the estates that sets up the counterclaim, the plaintiff,
herein respondent, may testify to occurrences before the death of the deceased to
defeat the counterclaim. Moreover, as defendant in the counterclaim, respondent
is not disqualified from testifying as to matters of facts occurring before the death
of the deceased, said action not having been brought against but by the estate or
representatives of the deceased.
Second, the testimony of Josephine is not covered by the "Dead Man's Statute" for
the simple reason that she is not "a party or assignor of a party to a case or
Page 61 of 189

persons in whose behalf a case is prosecuted." Records show that respondent


offered the testimony of Josephine to establish the existence of the partnership
between respondent and Jacinto. Petitioners' insistence that Josephine is the alter
ego of respondent does not make her an assignor because the term "assignor" of
a party means "assignor of a cause of action which has arisen, and not the
assignor of a right assigned before any cause of action has arisen." Plainly then,
Josephine is merely a witness of respondent, the latter being the party plaintiff.

Bordalba v. CA (G.R. No. 112443. January 25, 2002)

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J:

Facts:
In 1980, herein petitioner was granted a Free Patent and was issued an Original
Certificate of Title over the herein subject lot. Shecaused the subdivision and
titling of the said lot into 6 parcels, as well as the conveyance of the two parcels
thereof. Private respondents,however, claimed ownership over the same lot
by virtue of an extrajudicial partition made as early as 1947. Hence, they filed a
complaint todeclare void the Free Patent as well as the cancellation of the titles
issued. The trial court, finding that fraud was employed by petitioner inobtaining
the Free Patent, declared said free patent and title void and ordered its
cancellation. However, the purchaser and mortgagee ofthe two parcels
conveyed were declared in good faith, hence, upheld their rights over the
property. Both petitioner and private respondentsappealed to the Court of
Appeals, which affirmed with modification the decision of the trial court. It ruled
that private respondents areentitled only to 1/3 portion of the lot and petitioner
should be ordered to reconvey only 1/3 of the lot to the private respondents.
Petitionercontends that the testimonies given by the witnesses for private
respondents which touched on matters occurring prior to the death of hermother
should not have been admitted by the trial court, as the same violated the dead
man's statute. Likewise, petitioner questions theright of private respondents to
inherit from the late Nicanor Jayme and Asuncion Jayme-Baclay, as well as the
Page 62 of 189

identity between thedisputed lot and the parcel of land adjudicated in the Deed of
Extra-judicial Partition.

Issue:
Whether or not there is a violation of dead mans statute?

Held:
No. The dead man's statute does not operate to close the mouth of a witness as
to any matter of fact coming to his knowledge in anyother way than through
personal dealings with the deceased person, or communication made by the
deceased to the witness.

Since the claim of private respondents and the testimony of their witnesses in the
present case is based, inter alia, on the 1947 Deed ofExtra-judicial Partition and
other documents, and not on dealings and communications with the deceased,
the questioned testimonies wereproperly admitted by the trial court.

Likewise untenable is the claim of petitioner that private respondents are not legal
heirs of Nicanor Jayme and Asuncion Jayme-Baclay.Other than their bare
allegations to dispute their heirship, no hard evidence was presented by them to
substantiate their allegations.Besides, in order that an heir may assert his right to
the property of a deceased, no previous judicial declaration of heirship is
necessary.

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION

CHAN vs. CHAN


G.R. No. 179786 July 24, 2013 702 SCRA

FACTS: On February 6, 2006 petitioner Josielene Lara filed before the RTC of
Makati City, Branch 144 a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage to
respondent Johnny Chan, the dissolution of their conjugal partnership of gains,
and the award of custody of their children to her. Josielene claimed that Johnny
failed to care for and support his family and that a psychiatrist diagnosed him as
Page 63 of 189

mentally deficient due to incessant drinking and excessive use of prohibited


drugs. Indeed, she had convinced him to undergo hospital confinement for
detoxification and rehabilitation.

Johnny resisted the action, claiming that it was Josielene who failed in her wifely
duties. To save their marriage, he agreed to marriage counseling but when he and
Josielene got to the hospital, two men forcibly held him by both arms while
another gave him an injection. The marriage relations got worse when the police
temporarily detained Josielene for an unrelated crime and released her only after
the case against her ended. By then, their marriage relationship could no longer
be repaired.

During the pre-trial conference, Josielene pre-marked the Philhealth Claim


Form that Johnny attached to his answer as proof that he was forcibly confined at
the rehabilitation unit of a hospital. The form carried a physicians handwritten
note that Johnny suffered from "methamphetamine and alcohol abuse." Following
up on this point, Josielene filed with the RTC a request for the issuance of a
subpoena duces tecum addressed to Medical City, covering Johnnys medical
records when he was there confined. The request was accompanied by a motion
to "be allowed to submit in evidence" the records sought by subpoena duces
tecum.

Johnny opposed the motion, arguing that the medical records were covered by
physician-patient privilege.The RTC sustained the opposition and denied
Josielenes motion. It also denied her motion for reconsideration, prompting her to
file a special civil action of certiorari before the CA. The CA denied Josielenes
petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in ruling that the trial court correctly denied
the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum covering Johnnys hospital records on
the ground that these are covered by the privileged character of the physicianpatient communication.

RULING: NO.

SEC. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. The following


persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases:
Page 64 of 189

xxxx

(c) A person authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics cannot in a


civil case, without the consent of the patient, be examined as to any advice or
treatment given by him or any information which he may have acquired in
attending such patient in a professional capacity, which information was
necessary to enable him to act in that capacity, and which would blacken the
reputation of the patient.

The physician-patient privileged communication rule essentially means that a


physician who gets information while professionally attending a patient cannot in
a civil case be examined without the patients consent as to any facts which
would blacken the latters reputation. This rule is intended to encourage the
patient to open up to the physician, relate to him the history of his ailment, and
give him access to his body, enabling the physician to make a correct diagnosis of
that ailment and provide the appropriate cure. Any fear that a physician could be
compelled in the future to come to court and narrate all that had transpired
between him and the patient might prompt the latter to clam up, thus putting his
own health at great risk.

The right to compel the production of documents has a limitation: the documents
to be disclosed are "not privileged."

Josielene of course claims that the hospital records subject of this case are not
privileged since it is the "testimonial" evidence of the physician that may be
regarded as privileged. Section 24(c) of Rule 130 states that the physician "cannot
in a civil case, without the consent of the patient, be examined" regarding their
professional conversation. The privilege, says Josielene, does not cover the
hospital records, but only the examination of the physician at the trial.

To allow, however, the disclosure during discovery procedure of the hospital


recordsthe results of tests that the physician ordered, the diagnosis of the
patients illness, and the advice or treatment he gave himwould be to allow
access to evidence that is inadmissible without the patients consent. Physician
memorializes all these information in the patients records. Disclosing them would
be the equivalent of compelling the physician to testify on privileged matters he
gained while dealing with the patient, without the latters prior consent.

Page 65 of 189

JUDGE UBALDINO A. LACUROM, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Cabanatuan


City, Branch 29 and Pairing Judge, Branch 30, Complainant,
vs.
ATTY. ELLIS F. JACOBA and ATTY. OLIVIA VELASCO-JACOBA, Respondents.
A.C. No. 5921

March 10, 2006

FACTS: The Jacoba-Velasco-Jacoba Law Firm is counsel for plaintiff Alejandro R.


Veneracion in a civil case for unlawful detainer against defendant Federico
Barrientos. The Municipal Trial Court of Cabanatuan City rendered judgment in
favor of Veneracion but Barrientos appealed to the Regional Trial Court. The case
was raffled to Branch 30 where Judge Lacurom was sitting as pairing judge. On 29
June 2001, Judge Lacurom issued a Resolution reversing the earlier judgments
rendered in favor of Veneracion. Veneracions counsel filed a Motion for
Reconsideration (with Request for Inhibition). The resolution was signed by Atty.
Olivia Velasco-Jacoba ("Velasco-Jacoba") signed the motion on behalf of the
Jacoba-Velasco-Jacoba Law Firm. pertinent portions of which read: (NOTE: Read
this as this is central to the case)
II. PREFATORY STATEMENT
This RESOLUTION of REVERSAL is an ABHORRENT NULLITY as it is entirely DEVOID
of factual and legal basis. It is a Legal MONSTROSITY in the sense that the
Honorable REGIONAL TRIAL COURT acted as if it were the DARAB (Dept. of
Agrarian Reform ADJUDICATION BOARD)! x x xHOW HORRIBLE and TERRIBLE! The
mistakes are very patent and glaring! x x x
xxxx
III. GROUNDS FOR RECONSIDERATION
1. The Honorable Pairing Court Presiding Judge ERRED in Peremptorily and
Suddenly Reversing the Findings of the Lower Court Judge and the Regular RTC
Presiding Judge:1awph!l.net
x x x The defendant filed a Motion for Reconsideration, and after a very
questionable SHORT period of time, came this STUNNING and SUDDEN REVERSAL.
Without any legal or factual basis, the Hon. Pairing Judge simply and peremptorily
REVERSED two (2) decisions in favor of the plaintiff. This is highly questionable, if
not suspicious, hence, this Motion for Reconsideration.
xxxx
[The Resolution] assumes FACTS that have not been established and presumes
FACTS not part of the records of the case, all "loaded" in favor of the alleged
"TENANT." Clearly, the RESOLUTION is an INSULT to the Judiciary and an
ANACHRONISM in the Judicial Process. Need we say more?
Page 66 of 189

xxxx
4. The Honorable Pairing Court Presiding Judge ERRED in Holding That the
Defendant is Entitled to a Homelot, and That the Residential LOT in Question is
That Homelot:
THIS ERROR IS STUPENDOUS and a real BONER. Where did the Honorable PAIRING
JUDGE base this conclusion? x x x This HORRENDOUS MISTAKE must be corrected
here and now!
xxxx
6. The Honorable Pairing Court Presiding Judge ERRED Grievously in Holding and
Declaring that The [court] A QUO Erroneously Took Cognizance of the Case and
That It Had No Jurisdiction over the Subject-Matter:
Another HORRIBLE ERROR! Even an average Law Student knows that
JURISDICTION is determined by the averments of the COMPLAINT and not by the
averments in the answer! This is backed up by a Litany of Cases!
xxxx
7. FINALLY, the Honorable Pairing Court Presiding Judge Ridiculously ERRED in
Ordering the Defendant To Pay P10,000.00 to the Plaintiff As Payment for
Plaintiffs HOUSE:
THIS IS the Last STRAW, but it is also the Best ILLUSTRATION of the Manifold
GLARING ERRORS committed by the Hon. Pairing Court Judge.
xxxx
This Order of the Court for the plaintiff to sell his RESIDENTIAL HOUSE to the
defendant for the ridiculously LOW price of P10,000.00 best illustrates the Long
Line of Faulty reasonings and ERRONEOUS conclusions of the Hon. Pairing Court
Presiding Judge. Like the proverbial MONSTER, the Monstrous Resolution should be
slain on sight!

Judge Lacurom ordered Velasco-Jacoba to appear before his sala and explain why
she should not be held in contempt of court for the "very disrespectful, insulting
and humiliating" contents of the 30 July 2001 motion. In her Explanation, VelascoJacoba claimed that "His Honor knows beforehand who actually prepared the
subject Motion; records will show that the undersigned counsel did not actually or
actively participate in this case." Velasco-Jacoba disavowed any "conscious or
deliberate intent to degrade the honor and integrity of the Honorable Court or to
detract in any form from the respect that is rightfully due all courts of justice." She
rationalized as follows:
Page 67 of 189

x x x at first blush, [the motion] really appears to contain some sardonic, strident
and hard-striking adjectives. And, if we are to pick such stringent words at random
and bunch them together, side-by-side x x x then collectively and certainly they
present a cacophonic picture of total and utter disrespect. x x x
xxxx
We most respectfully submit that plaintiff & counsel did not just fire a staccato of
incisive and hard-hitting remarks, machine-gun style as to be called contumacious
and contemptuous. They were just articulating their feelings of shock,
bewilderment and disbelief at the sudden reversal of their good fortune, not
driven by any desire to just cast aspersions at the Honorable Pairing judge. They
must believe that big monumental errors deserve equally big adjectives, no more
no less. x x x The matters involved were [neither] peripheral nor marginalized,
and they had to call a spade a spade. x x x14
Nevertheless, Velasco-Jacoba expressed willingness to apologize "for whatever
mistake [they] may have committed in a moment of unguarded discretion when
[they] may have stepped on the line and gone out of bounds." She also agreed
to have the allegedly contemptuous phrases stricken off the record.
On 13 September 2001, Judge Lacurom found Velasco-Jacoba guilty of contempt
and penalized her with imprisonment for five days and a fine of P1,000. VelascoJacoba moved for reconsideration. She recounted that on her way out of the house
for an afternoon hearing, Atty. Ellis Jacoba ("Jacoba") stopped her and said "O,
pirmahan mo na ito kasi last day na, baka mahuli." (Sign this as it is due today, or
it might not be filed on time.) She signed the pleading handed to her without
reading it, in "trusting blind faith" on her husband of 35 years with whom she
"entrusted her whole life and future." This pleading turned out to be the 30 July
2001 motion which Jacoba drafted but could not sign because of his then
suspension from the practice of law. Velasco-Jacoba lamented that Judge Lacurom
had found her guilty of contempt without conducting any hearing.
Judge Lacurom issued another order, this time directing Jacoba to explain why he
should not be held in contempt. Jacoba complied, wherein he denied that he typed
or prepared the motion. Against Velasco-Jacobas statements implicating him,
Jacoba invoked the marital privilege rule in evidence. Judge Lacurom later
rendered a decision finding Jacoba guilty of contempt of court and sentencing him
to pay a fine of P500. Judge Lacurom filed the present complaint against
respondents before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). Respondents did
not file an answer and neither did they appear at the hearing set by IBP
Commissioner Atty. Lydia A. Navarro. IBP Commissioner Navarro, in her Report and
Recommendation of 10 October 2002, recommended the suspension of
respondents from the practice of law for six months. Several days later, VelascoJacoba sought reconsideration of the IBP Board decision.

Page 68 of 189

ISSUE: Whether Jacoba may invoke the marital privilege rule in evidence
HELD: The Marital Privilege Rule was waived.
a By signing the 30 July 2001 motion, Velasco-Jacoba in effect certified that she
had read it, she knew it to be meritorious, and it was not for the purpose of
delaying the case. Her signature supplied the motion with legal effect and
elevated its status from a mere scrap of paper to that of a court document.
Velasco-Jacoba insists, however, that she signed the 30 July 2001 motion only
because of her husbands request but she did not know its contents beforehand.
Apparently, this practice of signing each others pleadings is a long-standing
arrangement between the spouses. According to Velasco-Jacoba, "[s]o implicit is
[their] trust for each other that this happens all the time. Through the years, [she]
already lost count of the number of pleadings prepared by one that is signed by
the other." By Velasco-Jacobas own admission, therefore, she violated Section 3
of Rule 7. This violation is an act of falsehood before the courts, which in itself is a
ground for subjecting her to disciplinary action, independent of any other ground
arising from the contents of the 30 July 2001 motion.
We now consider the evidence as regards Jacoba. His name does not appear in
the 30 July 2001 motion. He asserts the inadmissibility of Velasco-Jacobas
statement pointing to him as the author of the motion. The Court cannot easily let
Jacoba off the hook. Firstly, his Answer with Second Motion for Inhibition did not
contain a denial of his wifes account. Instead, Jacoba impliedly admitted
authorship of the motion by stating that he "trained his guns and fired at the
errors which he perceived and believed to be gigantic and monumental."
Secondly, we find Velasco-Jacobas version of the facts more plausible, for two
reasons: (1) her reaction to the events was immediate and spontaneous, unlike
Jacobas defense which was raised only after a considerable time had elapsed
from the eruption of the controversy; and (2) Jacoba had been counsel of record
for Veneracion in Civil Case No. 2836, supporting Velasco-Jacobas assertion that
she had not "actually participate[d]" in the prosecution of the case.
Moreover, Jacoba filed a Manifestation in Civil Case No. 2836, praying that Judge
Lacurom await the outcome of the petition for certiorari before deciding the
contempt charge against him. This petition for certiorari anchors some of its
arguments on the premise that the motion was, in fact, Jacobas handiwork.
The marital privilege rule, being a rule of evidence, may be waived by failure of
the claimant to object timely to its presentation or by any conduct that may be
construed as implied consent. This waiver applies to Jacoba who impliedly
admitted authorship of the 30 July 2001 motion.

SAMALA vs. VALENCIA


Page 69 of 189

A.C. No. 5439 January 22, 2007 512 SCRA

FACTS: This is a complaint filed by Clarita J. Samala against Atty. Luciano D.


Valencia for Disbarment on the following grounds: (a) serving on two separate
occasions as counsel for contending parties; (b) knowingly misleading the court
by submitting false documentary evidence; (c) initiating numerous cases in
exchange for nonpayment of rental fees; and (d) having a reputation of being
immoral by siring illegitimate children.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent violated his Code of Professional Responsibility.

RULING: Yes.

a. On serving as counsel for contending parties Canon 21

The fact that respondent filed a case entitled "Valdez and Alba v. Bustamante and
her husband," is a clear indication that respondent is protecting the interests of
both Valdez and Alba in the said case. Respondent cannot just claim that the
lawyer-client relationship between him and Alba has long been severed without
observing Section 26, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court wherein the written consent
of his client is required. Respondent's representation of Valdez and Alba against
Bustamante and her husband, in one case, and Valdez against Alba, in another
case, is a clear case of conflict of interests which merits a corresponding sanction
from this Court.

An attorney owes loyalty to his client not only in the case in which he has
represented him but also after the relation of attorney and client has
terminated. The bare attorney-client relationship with a client precludes an
attorney from accepting professional employment from the client's adversary
either in the same case or in a different but related action. A lawyer is forbidden
from representing a subsequent client against a former client when the subject
matter of the present controversy is related, directly or indirectly, to the subject
matter of the previous litigation in which he appeared for the former client.

Respondent is bound to comply with Canon 21 of the Code of Professional


Responsibility which states that "a lawyer shall preserve the confidences and
secrets of his client even after the attorney-client relation is terminated."
Page 70 of 189

The reason for the prohibition is found in the relation of attorney and client, which
is one of trust and confidence of the highest degree. A lawyer becomes familiar
with all the facts connected with his client's case. He learns from his client the
weak points of the action as well as the strong ones. Such knowledge must be
considered sacred and guarded with care.

From the foregoing, it is evident that respondent's representation of Valdez and


Alba against Bustamante and her husband, in one case, and Valdez against Alba,
in another case, is a clear case of conflict of interests which merits a
corresponding sanction from this Court. Respondent may have withdrawn his
representation in Civil Case No. 95-105-MK upon being warned by the court, but
the same will not exculpate him from the charge of representing conflicting
interests in his representation in Civil Case No. 2000-657-MK.

b. On knowingly misleading the court by submitting false documentary evidence


Canon 10

Respondent cannot feign ignorance of the fact that the title he submitted was
already cancelled in lieu of a new title issued in the name of Alba in 1995 yet, as
proof of the latter's ownership. What is decisive in this case is respondent's intent
in trying to mislead the court by presenting TCT No. 273020 despite the fact that
said title was already cancelled and a new one, TCT No. 275500, was already
issued in the name of Alba.

Respondent failed to comply with Canon 10 of the Code of Professional


Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor
consent to the doing of any in court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the Court to be
mislead by any artifice. It matters not that the trial court was not misled by
respondent's submission of TCT No. 273020 in the name of Valdez, as shown by
its decision dated January 8, 2002 dismissing the complaint for ejectment. What
is decisive in this case is respondent's intent in trying to mislead the court by
presenting TCT No. 273020 despite the fact that said title was already cancelled
and a new one, TCT No. 275500, was already issued in the name of Alba.

c. On initiating numerous cases in exchange for nonpayment of rental fees


Dismissed for lack of sufficient basis

Page 71 of 189

The act of respondent of filing the aforecited cases to protect the interest of his
client, on one hand, and his own interest, on the other, cannot be made the basis
of an administrative charge unless it can be clearly shown that the same was
being done to abuse judicial processes to commit injustice.

The filing of an administrative case against respondent for protecting the interest
of his client and his own right would be putting a burden on a practicing lawyer
who is obligated to defend and prosecute the right of his client.

d. On having a reputation for being immoral by siring illegitimate children Canon


1, Rule 1.01

The Court found respondent liable for being immoral by siring illegitimate
children. During the hearing, respondent admitted that he sired three children by
TeresitaLagmay who are all over 20 years of age, while his first wife was still alive.
In this case, the admissions made by respondent are more than enough to hold
him liable on the charge of immorality.

Under Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall
not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. It may be difficult
to specify the degree of moral delinquency that may qualify an act as immoral,
yet, for purposes of disciplining a lawyer, immoral conduct has been defined as
that "conduct which is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and which shows a moral
indifference to the opinion of respectable members of the community. Thus, in
several cases, the Court did not hesitate to discipline a lawyer for keeping a
mistress in defiance of the mores and sense of morality of the community. That
respondent subsequently married Lagmay in 1998 after the death of his wife and
that this is his first infraction as regards immorality serve to mitigate his liability.

In sum, the Court found respondent Atty. Luciano D. Valencia guilty of misconduct
and violation of Canons 21, 10 and 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
and suspended him from the practice of law for three years.

Almonte v. Vasquez
G.R. No. 95367
May 23, 1995
Page 72 of 189

Mendoza

FACTS: This is a case wherein respondent Ombudsman, requires petitioners Nerio


Rogado and Elisa Rivera, as chief accountant and record custodian, respectively,
of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB) to produce "all
documents relating to Personal Services Funds for the year 1988" and all evidence
such as vouchers from enforcing his orders.
Petitioner Almonte was formerly Commissioner of the EIIB, while Perez is Chief of
the EIIB's Budget and Fiscal Management Division. The subpoena duces tecum
was issued by the Ombudsman in connection with his investigation of an
anonymous letter alleging that funds representing savings from unfilled positions
in the EIIB had been illegally disbursed. The letter, purporting to have been
written by an employee of the EIIB and a concerned citizen, was addressed to the
Secretary of Finance, with copies furnished several government offices, including
the Office of the Ombudsman.

May be erased: [The letter reads in pertinent parts: that the EIIB has a syndicate
headed by the Chief of Budget Division who is manipulating funds and also the
brain of the so called "ghost agents" or the "Emergency Intelligence Agents" (EIA);
that when the agency had salary differential last Oct '88 all money for the whole
plantilla were released and from that alone, Millions were saved and converted to
ghost agents of EIA; Almost all EIIB agents collects payroll from the big time
smuggler syndicate monthly and brokers every week for them not to be
apprehended.]

In his comment on the letter-complaint, petitioner Almonte denied all the


allegations written on the anonymous letter. Petitioners move to quash the
subpoena and the subpoena duces tecum but was denied.

Disclosure of the documents in question is resisted with the claim of privilege of


an agency of the government on the ground that "knowledge of EIIB's documents
relative to its Personal Services Funds and its plantilla . . . will necessarily [lead to]
knowledge of its operations, movements, targets, strategies, and tactics and the
whole of its being" and this could "destroy the EIIB."

Page 73 of 189

ISSUE: Whether petitioners can be ordered to produce documents relating to


personal services and salary vouchers of EIIB employees on the plea that such
documents are classified without violating their equal protection of laws.

DECISION: YES. At common law a governmental privilege against disclosure is


recognized with respect to state secrets bearing on military, diplomatic and
similar matters and in addition, privilege to withhold the identity of persons who
furnish information of violation of laws. In the case at bar, there is no claim that
military or diplomatic secrets will be disclosed by the production of records
pertaining to the personnel of the EIIB. Indeed, EIIB's function is the gathering and
evaluation of intelligence reports and information regarding "illegal activities
affecting the national economy, such as, but not limited to, economic sabotage,
smuggling, tax evasion, dollar salting." Consequently, while in cases which involve
state secrets it may be sufficient to determine from the circumstances of the case
that there is reasonable danger that compulsion of the evidence will expose
military matters without compelling production, no similar excuse can be made for
a privilege resting on other considerations.

The Ombudsman is investigating a complaint that several items in the EIIB were
filled by fictitious persons and that the allotments for these items in 1988 were
used for illegal purposes. The plantilla and other personnel records are relevant to
his investigation as the designated protectors of the people of the Constitution.

Nor is there violation of petitioners' right to the equal protection of the laws.
Petitioners complain that "in all forum and tribunals . . . the aggrieved parties . . .
can only hale respondents via their verified complaints or sworn statements with
their identities fully disclosed," while in proceedings before the Office of the
Ombudsman anonymous letters suffice to start an investigation. In the first place,
there can be no objection to this procedure because it is provided in the
Constitution itself. In the second place, it is apparent that in permitting the filing
of complaints "in any form and in a manner," the framers of the Constitution took
into account the well-known reticence of the people which keep them from
complaining against official wrongdoings. As this Court had occasion to point out,
the Office of the Ombudsman is different from the other investigatory and
prosecutory agencies of the government because those subject to its jurisdiction
are public officials who, through official pressure and influence, can quash, delay
or dismiss investigations held against them. On the other hand complainants are
more often than not poor and simple folk who cannot afford to hire lawyers.

Page 74 of 189

Finally, it is contended that the issuance of the subpoena duces tecum would
violate petitioners' right against self-incrimination. It is enough to state that the
documents required to be produced in this case are public records and those to
whom the subpoena duces tecum is directed are government officials in whose
possession or custody the documents are. Moreover, if, as petitioners claim the
disbursement by the EII of funds for personal service has already been cleared by
the COA, there is no reason why they should object to the examination of the
documents by respondent Ombudsman.

ADMISSIONS
CONSTANTINO vs. HEIRS OF PEDRO CONSTANTINO, JR.
G.R. No. 181508

October 2, 2013

706 SCRA

FACTS: Pedro Constantino, Sr., (Pedro Sr.) ancestors of the petitioners and
respondents, owned several parcels of land, one of which is the subject lang.
Upon his death, he was survived by 6 children. Of of those is Pedro Constantino, Jr
(grandfather of respondents) and Santiago Constantino, who was survived by his
5 children (one of those is petitioner Oscar Tolentino)

Respondents filed a complaint against petitioner for nullification of a document


denominated as "Pagmamana sa Labas ng Hukuman" and tax declarations issued
on the basis of such document. Petitioners claimed that the document was valid,
as it was a product of mutual and voluntary agreement between and among the
descendants of the deceased Pedro Sr. Also, that Respondents through a Deed of
Extrajudicial Settlement with Waiver, hence they already has their share. Pre-trial
conferencewas conducted wherein the parties entered into stipulations and
admissions as well as identification of the issues to be litigated.

RTC rendered a Decision in favor of the respondents finding both the parties in
pari delicto. CA ruled in favor of the respondents, declaring that the "Extrajudicial
Settlement with Waiver" since the lot actually belongs to Pedro Jr., hence, not part
of the estate of Pedro Sr.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in disregarding the CA stipulations and


admissions during the pre-trial conference.
Page 75 of 189

RULING: Weak as the reasoning is, the CA actually contradicted the admissions
made no less by the respondents during the pre-trial conference where they
stipulated that the land covered by Tax Declaration No. 9534 belongs to Pedro Sr.

Judicial admissions are legally binding on the party making the admissions. Pretrial admission in civil cases is one of the instances of judicial admissions explicitly
provided for under Section 7, Rule 18 of the Rules of Court, which mandates that
the contents of the pre-trial order shall control the subsequent course of the
action, thereby, defining and limiting the issues to be tried. In Bayas, et. al. v.
Sandiganbayan, et. al., this Court emphasized that:Once the stipulations are
reduced into writing and signed by the parties and their counsels, they become
binding on the parties who made them. They become judicial admissions of the
fact or facts stipulated. Even if placed at a disadvantageous position, a party may
not be allowed to rescind them unilaterally, it must assume the consequences of
the disadvantage. (Highlighting ours)

Moreover, in Alfelor v. Halasan, this Court declared that: A party who judicially
admits a fact cannot later challenge the fact as judicial admissions are a waiver of
proof; production of evidence is dispensed with. The allegations, statements or
admissions contained in a pleading are conclusive as against the pleader. A party
cannot subsequently take a position contrary of or inconsistent with what was
pleaded.4

We are aware that the last paragraph of Section 7, Rule 18 of the Rules of Court
serves as a caveat for the rule of conclusiveness of judicial admissions for, in the
interest of justice, issues that may arise in the course of the proceedings but
which may not have been taken up in the pre-trial can still be taken up.

As contemplated in the aforementioned provision of the Rules of Court, the


general rule regarding conclusiveness of judicial admission upon the party making
it and the dispensation of proof admits of two exceptions: 1) when it is shown that
the admission was made through palpable mistake, and 2) when it is shown that
no such admission was in fact made. The latter exception allows one to contradict
an admission by denying that he made such an admission.
However, respondents failed to refute the earlier admission/stipulation before and
during the trial.

Page 76 of 189

DOLDOL vs PEOPLE
G.R. No. 164481
September 20, 2005
CALLEJO, SR., J.:

Conformably to the Memorandum[1] dated April 6, 1995 of the Provincial


Auditor, a team of State Auditors conducted an audit of the cash and cash
account of Conrado C. Doldol, the Municipal Treasurer of Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.
The audit covered the General Fund, Special Education Fund and Trust Fund in his
custody for the period of November 30, 1994 to June 8, 1995. Doldol and the
Municipal Accountant were present during the audit. On two occasion that the
The State Auditors conducted an audit, they discovered that Doldol had a
shortage of P801,933.26 and P149,905.92, respectively. He was directed directed
him to submit within 72 hours a written explanation why he incurred such
shortage. Ob both instances, he failed to respond.

On the same day, Doldol wrote the Provincial Treasurer requesting that a reaudit be conducted on his cash and cash account, taking exception to the findings
of the State Auditors. Instead of pursuing his request for a re-audit, Doldol opted
to refund the missing funds. On September 15, 1995, he remitted P200,000.00 to
the Acting Municipal Treasurer for which he was issued Official Receipt No.
436756. Doldol promised to pay the balance of his shortage, as
follows: P200,000.00 on October 31, 1995, and P884,139.66 on or before
November 30, 1995. However, he reneged on his promise.

Provincial Auditor requested that Doldol be charged for malversation of public


funds. Two informations for malversation of public funds were then filed against
Doldol in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Carlos City. RTC AND CA ruled
against Doldol.

ISSUE: Whether CA erred In convicting the accused-petitioner on the basis of an


erroneous and incomplete audit and that it was not proven that the funds were
used for personal benefit

Except for his bare testimony, the petitioner offered no competent and credible
evidence to prove that the missing funds were actually cash advances of
Page 77 of 189

employees in the municipality. The petitioner could have offered in evidence the
documents evidencing the names of the recipients and amounts of the cash
advances, but failed to do so. Moreover, the petitioner wrote the Provincial
Auditor and offered to refund the missing funds as follows: P200,000.00 on
September 15, 1995,P200,000.00 on or before October 31, 1995,
and P884,139.66 on November 30, 1995. He was able to pay only P200,000.00
on September 15, 1995, and failed to remit the balance of his shortage. Such
partial restitution of the petitioners of the cash shortage is an implied admission
of misappropriation of the missing funds. The ruling of the CA on this matter is
correct:
We hold that said payment, particularly when taken in conjunction with
appellants commitment to gradually pay the remainder of the missing funds, is a
clear offer of compromise which must be treated as an implied admission of
appellants guilt that he embezzled or converted the missing funds to his personal
use.[15]

CONFESSIONS
People vs. Sayaboc
GR No. 147201
January 15, 2004

FACTS: On December 2, 1994, accused, committed murder. On March 8, 1995,


witnesses identified Sayaboc at the PNP Headquarters as the gunman who shot
victim to death. On the afternoon of that day, SPO4 Cagungao was called to take
the statement of Sayaboc. Before taking the statement of Sayaboc, he advised
the latter of his constitutional rights. Then Sayaboc told him that he wanted to
have a counsel of his own choice. But since Sayaboc could not name one,
Cagungao asked the police officers to get a lawyer wherein they brought Atty.
Rodolfo Cornejo of the PAO, who then conferred with Sayaboc for a while. After
Cagungao heard Sayaboc say, okay, he continued the investigation, during
which Atty. Cornejo remained silent the entire time. However, Cagungao would
stop questioning Sayaboc whenever Atty. Cornejo would leave to go to the
comfort room. That night Sayaboc executed an extrajudicial confession in Ilocano
dialect. He therein confessed to killing Joseph Galam at the behest of Marlon
Buenviaje for the sum of P100,000. He likewise implicated Miguel Buenviaje and
Patricio Escorpiso. The confession was also signed by Atty. Cornejo and attested to
by one Fiscal Melvin Tiongson.
Page 78 of 189

ISSUE: Did accused validly waive his right to counsel? Did the police afford the
accused the right to be inflormed?

DECISION: The SC ruled that Sayaboc was not afforded his constitutional right to
counsel. The facts show through the testimonies of Sayaboc and SPO4 Cagungao
that Atty. Cornejo remained silent throughout the duration of the custodial
investigation. The right to a competent and independent counsel means that the
counsel should satisfy himself, during the conduct of the investigation, that the
suspect understands the import and consequences of answering the questions
propounded. In People v. Deniega, the SC said that the desired role of counsel in
the process of custodial investigation is rendered meaningless if the lawyer
merely gives perfunctory advice as opposed to a meaningful advocacy of the
rights of the person undergoing questioning. If the advice given is so cursory as to
be useless, voluntariness is impaired. The SC likewise ruled that the police did
not afford the accused the right to be informed. The right to be informed requires
the transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and
perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle. It should allow the
suspect to consider the effects and consequences of any waiver he might make of
these rights. The police failed in this regard.

TANENGGEE VS PEOPLE
G.R. No. 179448 June 26, 2013 699 SCRA

FACTS: Carlos Tanenngee was a manager of a branch of Metropolitan Bank and


was charged with five counts of estafa for forging the promissory notes which he
caused to appear to be executed by a long time client of the bank. After the
discovery of the irregular loans, an internal audit was conducted and an
administrative investigation was held in the Head Office of Metrobank, during
which appellant signed a written statement in the form of questions and answers.
In said interview, Tanenggee admitted having committed the allegations in the
Informations, specifically forging the promissory notes; that the proceeds of the
loan were secured or personally received by him although it should be the client
of the bank who should receive the same. All the answers of the appellant were
contained in a typewritten document voluntarily executed, thumbmarked, and
signed by him. Among others, Tanengge alleged that said written statement was
taken in violation of his rights under the Constitution, particularly of his right to
remain silent, right to counsel, and right to be informed of the first two rights.
Hence, the same should not have been admitted in evidence against him.
Page 79 of 189

The Regional Trial Court and Court of Appeals admitted the written statement of
Tanenggee and found him guilty of Estafa.

ISSUE:Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTCs admission in evidence of


the petitioners written statement based on its finding that he was not in police
custody or under custodial interrogation when the same was taken.

RULING:No. The constitutional proscription against the admissibility of admission


or confession of guilt obtained in violation of Section 12, Article III of the
Constitution, as correctly observed by the CA and the OSG, is applicable only in
custodial interrogation. Custodial interrogation means any questioning initiated by
law enforcement authorities after a person is taken into custody or otherwise
deprived of his freedom of action in any significant manner. While it is undisputed
that petitioner gave an uncounselled written statement regarding an anomaly
discovered in the branch he managed, the following are clear: (1) the questioning
was not initiated by a law enforcement authority but merely by an internal affairs
manager of the bank; and, (2) petitioner was neither arrested nor restrained of his
liberty in any significant manner during the questioning. Clearly, petitioner cannot
be said to be under custodial investigation and to have been deprived of the
constitutional prerogative during the taking of his written statement. The right to
counsel "applies only to admissions made in a criminal investigation but not to
those made in an administrative investigation."

It is settled that a confession or admission is presumed voluntary until the


contrary is proved and the confessant bears the burden of proving the contrary.
Petitioner failed to overcome this presumption. On the contrary, his written
statement was found to have been executed freely and consciously. The pertinent
details he narrated in his statement were of such nature and quality that only a
perpetrator of the crime could furnish.

CONDUCT AND CHARACTER


PEOPLE VS NARDO
G.R. No. 133888
March 1, 2001
Per Curiam
Page 80 of 189

FACTS: The victim, Lorielyn Nardo, is the eldest daughter of accused- appellant.
She was born on September 11, 1981 and, at the time of the incident, was
fourteen (14) years old. During the trial, the defense endeavored to portray the
victim as an incorrigible liar. Occasions were cited wherein the victim supposedly
lied in order to obtain money or her parents' permission to leave the house. The
defense also presented Atty. Gonzales (employer of the accused) as a witness
which describes the victim as the one capable of concocting lies.

ISSUE: Whether or not the crime of rape was established.

DECISION: While lying may constitute a habit, the court believes that the
falsehoods committed by the victim assuming them for the moment to be true,
are petty and inconsequential. They are not as serious as charging one's own
father of the sordid crime of rape, with all of its serious repercussions. Rule 130,
Section 34, of the Rules of Court provides that: "Evidence that one did or did not
do a certain thing at one time is not admissible to prove that he did nor did not do
the same or a similar thing at another time; but it may be received to prove a
specific intent or knowledge, identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or
usage, and the like."

On the argument of the accused-appellant that the trial court should have given
credence to the witness, Atty. Santer G. Gonzales, because he is a member of the
bar, the court reasoned out that the witness took the witness stand not as a
lawyer but as an ordinary person. He testified in his capacity as accusedappellant's employer. As such, no special privilege should be accorded him by the
trial court by reason of his being a member of the bar. He did not appear in that
case as an officer of the court but as a mere witness, and hence should be treated
as one.

Sifting through the entire body of evidence presented in this case, the court find
nothing which would destroy the moral certainty of accused- appellant's guilt.
While there may be some inconsistencies in the testimony of the victim, these are
considered as minor inconsistencies which serve to strengthen her credibility as
they are badges of truth rather than indicia of falsehood. Minor inconsistencies do
not affect the credibility of witnesses, as they may even tend to strengthen rather
than weaken their credibility. Inconsistencies in the testimony of prosecution
witnesses with respect to minor details and collateral matters do not affect either
the substance of their declaration, their veracity, or the weight of their testimony.
Such minor flaws may even enhance the worth of a testimony, for they guard
Page 81 of 189

against memorized falsities. Besides, a rape victim cannot be expected to recall


vividly all the sordid details of the violation committed against her virtue.

REPUBLIC OF THE PH VS. HEIRS OF FELIPE ALEJAGA G.R. No. 146030. December
3, 2002]
We reiterate the familiar doctrine that a free patent obtained through fraud or
misrepresentation is void. Furthermore, the one-year prescriptive period provided
in the Public Land Act does not bar the State from asking for the reversion of
property acquired through such means.
Facts:
-Felipe Alejaga filed Patent application on Dec. 28, 1978.
-But Dec. 27, 1978, Efren Recio, land inspector, already submitted report of his
investigation and verification to District Land office.
-He was approved of his application and was issued OCT.
-2 years after, Felipe mortgaged the property to PNB for a security of a loan.
-Ignacio Arrobang filed through counsel in a letter-complaint requested the
Director of Lands, Manila, for an investigation of the District Land Officer, Roxas
City, and the Regional Office, Region VI, Iloilo City, for irregularities in the issuance
of the title of a foreshore land in favor of [respondent].

-Isagani Cartagena, Supervising Special Investigator, Legal Division, Land


Management Bureau (formerly Bureau of Lands) submitted his Report dated April
17, 1989. The Chief, Legal Division, Land Management Bureau, Manila,
recommended to the Director of Lands appropriate civil proceeding for the
cancellation of Free Patent Title No. (VI-2) 3358 and the corresponding Original
Certificate of Title No. P-15 in the name of [respondent].
-Solicitor General instituted an action for Annulment/Cancellation of Patent and
Title and Reversion against [respondent], the PNB of Roxas City and defendant
Register of Deeds of Roxas City covering Free Patent Application (VI-2) 8442 of the
parcel of land with an area of .3899 hectares more or less located at Dumolog,
Roxas City.
RTC: declared that the approval of patent application was null and void and
cancelled the patent and title
CA: reversed decision; petitioner failed to prove that respondents obtained the
patent through fraud or mistake
Page 82 of 189

Issue:
1) whether or not the grant was valid
SC:
-free patent obtained through fraud or misrepresentation is void. Furthermore, the
one-year prescriptive period provided in the Public Land Act does not bar the
State from asking for the reversion of property acquired through such means
This Court agrees with the RTC that in obtaining a free patent over the lot under
scrutiny, petitioner had resorted to misrepresentation or fraud, signs of which
were20 ignored by the Court of Appeals.

First, the issuance of the free patent was not made in accordance with the
procedure laid down by Commonwealth Act No. 141, otherwise known as the
Public Land Act.22 Under Section 91 thereof, an investigation should be
conducted for the purpose of ascertaining whether the material facts set out in
the application are true.

Further, after the filing of the application, the law requires sufficient notice to the
municipality and the barrio where the land is located, in order to give adverse
claimants the opportunity to present their claims.24 Note that this notice and the
verification and investigation of the parcel of land are to be conducted after an
application for free patent has been filed with the Bureau of Lands.

As correctly pointed out by the trial court, investigation and verification should
have been done only after the filing of the application.

the claim of the Alejagas that an actual investigation was conducted is not
sustained by the Verification & Investigation Report itself, which bears no
signature.

>>the report of Special Investigator Isagani P. Cartagena has not been


successfully rebutted. In that report, Recio supposedly admitted that he had not
actually conducted an investigation and ocular inspection of the parcel of land.
Cartagenas statement on Recios alleged admission may be considered as
"independently relevant." A witness may testify as to the state of mind of another
person -- the latters knowledge, belief, or good or bad faith -- and the formers
statements may then be regarded as independently relevant without violating the
hearsay rule.
Page 83 of 189

Thus, because Cartagena took the witness stand and opened himself to crossexamination, the Investigation Report33 he had submitted to the director of the
Bureau of Lands constitutes part of his testimony. Those portions of the report
that consisted of his personal knowledge, perceptions and conclusions are not
hearsay.34 On the other hand, the part referring to the statement made by Recio
may be considered as independently relevant.35

>>The doctrine on independently relevant statements holds that conversations


communicated to a witness by a third person may be admitted as proof that,
regardless of their truth or falsity, they were actually made. Evidence as to the
making of such statements is not secondary but primary, for in itself it (a)
constitutes a fact in issue36 or (b) is circumstantially relevant to the existence of
such fact.

Since Cartagenas testimony was based on the report of the investigation he had
conducted, his testimony was not hearsay and was, hence, properly admitted by
the trial court

HEARSAY EVIDENCE RULE


PATULA VS PEOPLE
G.R. No. 164457 April 11, 2012 699 SCRA 135

FACTS: Patula was a saleswoman of Footluckers Chain of Stores, Inc. and was
accused of Estafa for allegedly failing to turn over the collected sum of
P131,286.97 from several customers of said company under the express
obligation to account for the proceeds of the sales and deliver the collection to the
said company. The prosecution presented two witnesses, the manager of the store
who testified on the duties and responsibilities of Patula and auditor Guivencan of
the company who testified on her findings. Guivencan testified that she
conducted her audit by going to the customers in places from Mabinay to
Zamboanga and Negros Oriental, and then in Siquijor; that she discovered in the
course of her audit that the amounts appearing on the original copies of receipts
in the possession of around 50 customers varied from the amounts written on the
duplicate copies of the receipts petitioner submitted to the office. The difference
was stipulated in her written report to the manager. The prosecution offered
various documents consisting of: (a) the receipts allegedly issued by petitioner to
Page 84 of 189

each of her customers upon their payment, (b) the ledgers listing the accounts
pertaining to each customer with the corresponding notations of the receipt
numbers for each of the payments, and (c) the confirmation sheets accomplished
by Guivencan herself. The ledgers and receipts were marked and formally offered
as Exhibits B to YY, and their derivatives.

In the course of Guivencans direct-examination, Patulas counsel interposed a


continuing objection on the ground that the figures entered in the exhibit and
their derivatives, were hearsay because the persons who had made the entries
were not themselves presented in court. RTC, stating that inasmuch as Patula had
opted not to present evidence for her defense the Prosecutions evidence
remained unrefuted and uncontroverted, found Patula guilty of estafa. Patula
went straight to the Supreme Court via Petition for review on Certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court erred in ruling that the list of customers
covered by Patula with difference in record is not hearsay.

RULING: Yes, the trial court erred in not finding the list hearsay hence
inadmissible. Guivencan conceded having no personal knowledge of the amounts
actually received by petitioner from the customersor remitted by petitioner to
Footluckers. This means that persons other than Guivencan prepared Exhibits B
to YY and their derivatives, and that Guivencan based her testimony on the
entries found in the receipts supposedly issued by petitioner and in the ledgers
held by Footluckers corresponding to each customer, as well as on the unsworn
statements of some of the customers. Accordingly, her being the only witness who
testified on the entries effectively deprived the RTC of the reasonable opportunity
to validate and test the veracity and reliability of the entries as evidence of
petitioners misappropriation or conversion through cross-examination by
petitioner. The denial of that opportunity rendered the entire proof of
misappropriation or conversion hearsay, and thus unreliable and untrustworthy for
purposes of determining the guilt or innocence of the accused.

To elucidate why the Prosecutions hearsay evidence was unreliable and


untrustworthy, and thus devoid of probative value, reference is made to Section
36 of Rule 130, Rules of Court, a rule that states that a witness can testify only to
those facts that she knows of her personal knowledge; that is, which are derived
from her own perception, except as otherwise provided in the Rules of Court. The
personal knowledge of a witness is a substantive prerequisite for accepting
testimonial evidence that establishes the truth of a disputed fact. A witness bereft
of personal knowledge of the disputed fact cannot be called upon for that purpose
Page 85 of 189

because her testimony derives its value not from the credit accorded to her as a
witness presently testifying but from the veracity and competency of the
extrajudicial source of her information.

In case a witness is permitted to testify based on what she has heard another
person say about the facts in dispute, the person from whom the witness derived
the information on the facts in dispute is not in court and under oath to be
examined and cross-examined. The weight of such testimony then depends not
upon the veracity of the witness but upon the veracity of the other person giving
the information to the witness without oath. The information cannot be tested
because the declarant is not standing in court as a witness and cannot, therefore,
be cross-examined.

DYING DECLARATION
PEOPLE vs MONTAEZ
G.R. No. 148257
March 17, 2004

NOTES:Even if the declarant did not make a statement that he was at the brink of
death, the degree and seriousness of the words and the fact that death
superseded shortly afterwards may be considered as substantial evidence that
the declaration was made by the victim with full realization that he was in a dying
condition.

FACTS:This case was certified to this Court by the Court of Appeals under Section
14, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court, as amended. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
Decision of the trial court dated September 19, 1995 convicting the appellant of
murder, as principal by direct participation, and set aside the Order of the trial
court dated November 17, 1995 modifying its decision and convicting the
appellant of murder, but only as accomplice.

On August 11, 1993, an Information was filed in the Regional Trial Court of
Tangub City charging the appellant of murder.

Edmundo Ollanes testified that in the evening of July 20, 1993, he was
fishing along the seashore at Pangabuan, Toledo City with Joven Hintogaya and his
Page 86 of 189

younger brother, Perlito Ollanes. They stopped fishing by 11:00 a.m., sold their
catch, and went home. Edmundo took a shortcut, while Joven and Perlito walked
home together. He and Perlito had a flashlight with them, while Joven carried a
kerosene lamp. Perlitos house was only about forty meters from his, and Joven
lived only about eighteen meters away.
As Edmundo was climbing the stairs to his house, he heard gunshot coming
from the direction of the house of Perlito. He rushed to the scene and passed by
Jovens house. He then saw his brother lying prostrate nearby. As he was facing
towards the ground, the left side of his face tilted towards his left shoulder, he
saw the appellant, who was armed with a long firearm.
Edmundo carried his brother in his arms and noticed the gunshot wounds on
the latters chest. He was still alive, but barely breathing. Perlito told him that he
was on the verge of death. When Edmundo asked Perlito who shot him, the latter
declared that it was the appellant. Perlito mentioned the appellants name three
times. Edmundo carried Perlito to the hospital, but the latter died on the way.

ISSUE: Whether or not the testimony of Edmundo regarding the statement of


Perlito that it was Cesario Montanez who shot him is admissible.

HELD: YES.

Perlitos statement that it was the appellant who shot him was a dying
declaration. The statement is highly reliable, having been made in extremity when
the declarant is at the point of death and when any hope of survival is gone, when
every motive to falsehood is silenced, and when the mind is induced by the most
powerful considerations to speak the truth. Even if the declarant did not make a
statement that he was at the brink of death, the degree and seriousness of the
words and the fact that death superseded shortly afterwards may be considered
as substantial evidence that the declaration was made by the victim with full
realization that he was in a dying condition.

DECLARATION AGAINST INTEREST


G.R. No. 113685 June 19, 1997
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Page 87 of 189

vs.
THEODORE BERNAL

NOTES: "Declaration against interest" has been expanded to include all kinds of
interest, that is, pecuniary, proprietary, moral or even penal.
A statement may be admissible when it complies with the following
requisites, to wit: "(1) that the declarant is dead or unable to testify; (2) that it
relates to a fact against the interest of the declarant; (3) that at the time he made
said declaration the declarant was aware that the same was contrary to his
aforesaid interest; and (4) that the declarant had no motive to falsify and believed
such declaration to be true.

FACTS: Accused-appellant Theodore Bernal, together with two other persons


whose identities and whereabouts are still unknown, were charged with the crime
of kidnapping in Criminal Case No. 26658-92 of the Regional Trial Court of Davao
City, Branch 10, under an information dated July 13, 1992.A plea of not guilty
having been entered by Bernal during his arraignment, trial ensued. The
prosecution presented four witnesses.

It appears that on August 5, 1991, around 11:30 in the morning, while Roberto
Racasa and Openda, Jr. were engaged in a drinking spree, they invited Bernal,
who was passing by, to join them. After a few minutes, Bernal decided to leave
both men, apparently because he was going to fetch his child. Thereafter, two
men arrived, approached Openda, Jr., and asked the latter if he was
"Payat." When he said yes, one of them suddenly pulled out a handgun while the
other handcuffed him and told him "not to run because they were policemen" and
because he had an "atraso" or a score to settle with them. They then hastily took
him away. Racasa immediately went to the house of Openda, Jr. and informed the
latter's mother of the abduction.

The theory of the prosecution, as culled from the testimony of a certain Salito
Enriquez, tends to establish that Openda, Jr. had an illicit affair with Bernal's wife
Naty and this was the motive behind the former's kidnapping. Until now, Openda,
Jr. is still missing.

A certain Salito Enriquez, a tailor and a friend of Openda, Jr., testified that
sometime in January 1991, Openda, Jr. confided to him that he and Bernal's wife
Naty were having an affair. One time, Naty even gave Openda, Jr. money which
Page 88 of 189

they used to pay for a motel room. He advised Naty "not to do it again because
she (was) a married woman. Undoubtedly, his wife's infidelity was ample reason
for Bernal to contemplate revenge.

On the other hand, the defense asserts that Openda Jr. was a drug-pusher
arrested by the police on August 5, 1991, and hence, was never kidnapped.

On December 10, 1993, the court a quo rendered judgment finding Bernal "guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of kidnapping for the abduction and
disappearance of Bienvenido Openda Jr. under Article 267 of the Revised Penal
Code and hereby sentences him to reclusion perpetua and to indemnify his
mother Teresita Openda in the amount of P50,000.00 for her mental anguish and
moral suffering."

Bernal assails the lower court for giving weight and credence to the prosecution
witnesses' allegedly illusory testimonies and for convicting him when his guilt was
not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

ISSUE: Whether or not the testimony of Enriquez is admissible.

HELD: YES

Openda, Jr.'s revelation to Enriquez regarding his illicit relationship with Bernal's
wife is admissible in evidence, pursuant to Section 38, Rule 130 of the Revised
Rules on Evidence, viz.:

Sec. 38. Declaration against interest. The declaration made by a person


deceased, or unable to testify, against the interest of the declarant, if the fact
asserted in the declaration was at the time it was made so far contrary to
declarant's own interest, that a reasonable man in his position would not have
made the declaration unless he believed it to be true, may be received in
evidence against himself or his successors-in-interest and against third persons.

With the deletion of the phrase "pecuniary or moral interest" from the present
provision, it is safe to assume that "declaration against interest" has been
Page 89 of 189

expanded to include all kinds of interest, that is, pecuniary, proprietary, moral or
even penal.

A statement may be admissible when it complies with the following requisites, to


wit: "(1) that the declarant is dead or unable to testify; (2) that it relates to a fact
against the interest of the declarant; (3) that at the time he made said declaration
the declarant was aware that the same was contrary to his aforesaid interest; and
(4) that the declarant had no motive to falsify and believed such declaration to be
true."

Openda, Jr., having been missing since his abduction, cannot be called upon to
testify. His confession to Enriquez, definitely a declaration against his own
interest, since his affair with Naty Bernal was a crime, is admissible in
evidence because no sane person will be presumed to tell a falsehood to his own
detriment.

DECLARATION ABOUT PEDIGREE


Tison vs CA
Facts:
This is a case of an action for reconveyance of a parcel of land and an apartment.
Teodora Guerrero died and left a parcel of land and an apartment. Her husband
Martin Guerrero adjudicates the said land to him and consequently sold to Teodora
Domingo. The nephews and nieces Tison et al seek to inherit by right of
representation from the property disputed property presenting documentary
evidence to prove filial relation. The respondent contended that the
documents/evidence presented is inadmissible for being hearsay since the
affiants were never presented for cross-examination.

ISSUE: Whether or not the evidence presented is hearsay evidence and is


inadmissible.

DECISION: The evidence submitted does not conform to the rules on their
admissibility; however the same may be admitted by reason of private
respondent's failure to interpose any timely objection thereto at the time they
were being offered in evidence. It is elementary that an objection shall be made at
the time when an alleged inadmissible document is offered in evidence;
Page 90 of 189

otherwise, the objection shall be treated as waived, since the right to object is
merely a privilege which the party may waive.
The primary proof that was considered in ascertaining the relationship between
the parties concerned is the testimony of Corazon Dezoller Tison to the effect that
Teodora Dezoller Guerrero in her lifetime, or sometime in 1946, categorically
declared that the former is Teodora's niece. Such a statement is considered a
declaration about pedigree which is admissible, as an exception to the hearsay
rule, under Section 39, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, subject to the following
conditions: (1) that the declarant is dead or unable to testify; (2) that the
declarant be related to the person whose pedigree is the subject of inquiry; (3)
that such relationship be shown by evidence other than the declaration; and (4)
that the declaration was made ante litem motam, that is, not only before the
commencement of the suit involving the subject matter of the declaration, but
before any controversy has arisen thereon.

FAMILY REPUTATION
Jison vs. CA
GR No. 124853, February 24, 1998

FACTS:

Private respondent, Monina Jison, instituted a complaint against petitioner,


Francisco Jison, for recognition as illegitimate child of the latter. The case was
filed 20 years after her mothers death and when she was already 39 years of
age.

Petitioner was married to Lilia Lopez Jison since 1940 and sometime in 1945, he
impregnated Esperanza Amolar, Moninas mother. Monina alleged that since
childhood, she had enjoyed the continuous, implied recognition as the illegitimate
child of petitioner by his acts and that of his family. It was likewise alleged that
petitioner supported her and spent for her education such that she became a CPA
and eventually a Central Bank Examiner. Monina was able to present total of 11
witnesses.

ISSUE: WON Monina should be declared as illegitimate child of Francisco Jison.

Page 91 of 189

DECSION: Under Article 175 of the Family Code, illegitimate filiation may be
established in the same way and on the same evidence as that of legitimate
children. Article 172 thereof provides the various forms of evidence by which
legitimate filiation is established.

To prove open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child,


there must be evidence of the manifestation of the permanent intention of the
supposed father to consider the child as his, by continuous and clear
manifestations of parental affection and care, which cannot be attributed to pure
charity. Such acts must be of such a nature that they reveal not only the
conviction of paternity, but also the apparent desire to have and treat the child as
such in all relations in society and in life, not accidentally, but continuously.

The following facts was established based on the testimonial evidences offered by
Monina:
1.
That Francisco was her father and she was conceived at the time when her
mother was employed by the former;
2.
That Francisco recognized Monina as his child through his overt acts and
conduct.

SC ruled that a certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative father
is not competence evidence as to the issue of paternity. Franciscos lack of
participation in the preparation of baptismal certificates and school records render
the documents showed as incompetent to prove paternity. With regard to the
affidavit signed by Monina when she was 25 years of age attesting that Francisco
was not her father, SC was in the position that if Monina were truly not Franciscos
illegitimate child, it would be unnecessary for him to have gone to such great
lengths in order that Monina denounce her filiation. Moninas evidence hurdles
the high standard of proof required for the success of an action to establish ones
illegitimate filiation in relying upon the provision on open and continuous
possession. Hence, Monina proved her filiation by more than mere
preponderance of evidence.

Since the instant case involves paternity and filiation, even if illegitimate, Monina
filed her action well within the period granted her by a positive provision of law. A
Page 92 of 189

denial then of her action on ground of laches would clearly be inequitable and
unjust. Petition was denied.

RES GESTAE
PEOPLE vs. LOBRIGAS
G.R. No. 147649
December 17, 2002

NOTE: Under the doctrine of independently relevant statements, only the fact that
such statements were made is relevant, and the truth or falsity thereof is
immaterial. The hearsay rule does not apply, hence, the statements are
admissible as evidence.
FACTS; This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bohol,
Branch 3, in Criminal Case No. 9694, convicting accused-appellant Frank Lobrigas
of the crime of Murder, sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua
and ordering him to indemnify the heirs of the victim the amount of P50,000.00 as
actual, exemplary and moral damages.
The victim Felix Taylaran was a regular farmhand of Castor Guden. On February
19, 1996, he asked for permission not to work for it was raining and he had to go
to the store of Teodorico Mante. At 4:00 p.m., Felix returned to Castor Gudens
house with bruises on his face and injuries all over his body. He told Castor that he
was mauled by accused-appellant Frank Lobrigas, accused Marlito Lobrigas and
Teodorico Mante at the store. Felix spent the night in Castors house and left the
following morning to go to the seaside house of Lorie Aguilar, his cousin, to heal
his wounds in the saltwater. However, the next day, Felix Taylaran died.
Rosa Taylaran Solarte, daughter of the victim, testified that a day after the
mauling, her father came to her house and told her that he was beaten up by
Frank Lobrigas, Marlito Lobrigas and Teodorico Mante. He told her that he was in
pain and felt weak. He then went to the house of Lorie Aguilar apparently to
recuperate.
Dr. Tito Miranda of the Municipal Health unit of Loon, Bohol conducted an autopsy
on the body of the victim and concluded that the immediate cause of death was
internal hemorrhage caused by the severe beating and mauling on the chest
portion of the victims body.

Page 93 of 189

An information for murder was filed. After trial, the court a quo rendered
judgment, finding herein accused Frank Lobrigas GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt
of the crime of MURDER
Accused-appellant contends that there was no direct evidence linking him as one
of the assailants. He claims that while there were ante-mortem declarations made
by the victim to the two prosecution witnesses pointing to him as one of the
maulers, the trial court, nevertheless, dismissed them as invalid dying declaration
since they were uttered by the victim not under a consciousness of an impending
death. Neither should such declarations be considered as part of res gestae since
the victim was drunk and very mad at Teodorico Mante for confiscating his knife
while he was being attacked by his assailants.

ISSUE: whether the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses are admissible

DECSION: YES
The trial court held that although the foregoing declarations cannot be deemed a
dying declaration since they do not appear to have been made by the declarant
under the expectation of a sure and impending death, the same are nonetheless
part of the res gestae. However, only the declaration made to Castor Guden are
admissible in evidence as such.

A declaration is deemed part of the res gestae and admissible in evidence as an


exception to the
hearsay rule when the following requisites concur: (1) the principal act, the res
gestae, is a startling occurrence; (2) the statements were made before the
declarant had time to contrive or devise; and (3) the statements must concern the
occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. All these
requisites concur in the case at bar. The principal act, the mauling of the victim,
was a startling occurrence. The declarations were made shortly after the mauling
incident while the victim was still under the exciting influence of the startling
occurrence, without any prior opportunity to contrive a story implicating accusedappellant. The declaration concerns the circumstances surrounding the mauling of
Felix Taylaran. However, the declaration made by the victim to his daughter does
not satisfy the second requirement of spontaneity because they were made a day
after the incident and the exciting influence of the startling occurrence was no
longer present. Nevertheless, we hold that Rosa Solartes testimony on what her
father told her constitutes independent relevant statements distinct from hearsay,
and are thus admissible not as to the veracity thereof, but as proof of the fact that
they had been uttered.
Page 94 of 189

Under the doctrine of independently relevant statements, only the fact that such
statements were made is relevant, and the truth or falsity thereof is immaterial.
The hearsay rule does not apply, hence, the statements are admissible as
evidence. Evidence as to the making of such statement is not secondary but
primary, for the statement itself may constitute a fact in issue or be
circumstantially relevant as to the existence of such a fact.

PEOPLE vs. VILLARICO


G.R. No. 158362 April 4, 2011 647 SCRA 43

FACTS: Villarico et al. were charged and convicted for the Murder of a certain
Haide Cagatan. During trial, the prosecution was able to present the sister-in law
and the father of the victim, both of whom positively identified Villarico et al, as
the perpetrators of the crime. In their testimony, they actually saw the defendants
at the time of the shooting because it took place in their house (in the kitchen).
Both of them testified that by their position near the kitchen, they were able to
see clearly all of the accused outside their nipa hut. In addition, the mother of the
victim who was in the sala at that time testified that right after she heard
gunshots, Haide called out for help and exclaimed that it was Berting who had
shot him. Shortly after he was rushed to the hospital, the victim died. All of the
accused pleaded not guilty and offered an alibi. The RTC found all of them guilty
of homicide but this was modified by the Court of Appeals and ruled that they
committed Murder. Upon appeal, the accused contends that the prosecution has
failed to prove the identity of the assailant as the testimony of the mother of the
accused did not actually saw Berting shoot Haide.

ISSUE: Whether or not court erred in giving credence to the testimony of the
mother of Haide who did not see the actual shooting.

RULING: No. The court was correct admitting the testimony of the mother of
Haide. The statement of Haide to his mother that he had just been shot by the
group of Berting uttered in the immediate aftermath of the shooting where he
was the victim was a true part of the res gestae.

The term res gestae refers to "those circumstances which are the undesigned
incidents of a particular litigated act and which are admissible when illustrative of
Page 95 of 189

such act." In a general way, res gestae includes the circumstances, facts, and
declarations that grow out of the main fact and serve to illustrate its character
and which are so spontaneous and contemporaneous with the main fact as to
exclude the idea of deliberation and fabrication. The rule on res gestae
encompasses the exclamations and statements made by either the participants,
victims, or spectators to a crime immediately before, during, or immediately after
the commission of the crime when the circumstances are such that the
statements were made as a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the
excitement of the occasion and there was no opportunity for the declarant to
deliberate and to fabricate a false statement.

The test of admissibility of evidence as a part of the res gestae is whether the act,
declaration, or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the
principal fact or event that it characterizes as to be regarded a part of the
principal fact or event itself, and also whether it clearly negatives any
premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony. A declaration or an utterance
is thus deemed as part of the res gestae that is admissible in evidence as an
exception to the hearsay rule when the following requisites concur: (a) the
principal act, the res gestae, is a startling occurrence; (b) the statements were
made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and (c) the statements
must concern the occurrence in question and its immediately attending
circumstances.

The requisites concurred herein. Firstly, the principal act the shooting of Haide
was a startling occurrence. Secondly, his statement to his mother about being
shot by the group of Berting was made before Haide had time to contrive or to
devise considering that it was uttered immediately after the shooting. And,
thirdly, the statement directly concerned the startling occurrence itself and its
attending circumstance (that is, the identities of the assailants). Verily, the
statement was reliable as part of the res gestae for being uttered in spontaneity
and only in reaction to the startling occurrence.
ENTRIES IN THE COURSE OF BUSINESS
G.R. No. 92740 March 23, 1992
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC., petitioner,
vs.
JAIME M. RAMOS, NILDA RAMOS, ERLINDA ILANO, MILAGROS ILANO, DANIEL ILANO
AND FELIPA JAVALERA, respondents.
FACTS: Plaintiffs Jaime Ramos, Nilda Ramos, Erlinda Ilano, Milagros Ilano, Daniel
Ilano and Felipe Javalera, are officers of the Negros Telephone Company who held
Page 96 of 189

confirmed tickets for PAL Flight No. 264 from Naga City to Manila on September
24, 1985, scheduled to depart for Manila at 4:25 p.m. The tickets were brought
sometime in August 1985. Among the conditions included in plaintiffs tickets is
the following:
1. CHECK-IN TIME Please check in at the Airport Passenger check-in counter at
least one hour before PUBLISHED departure time of your flight. We will consider
your accommodation forfeited in favor of waitlisted passenger if you fail to checkin at least 30 minutes before PUBLISHED departure time. (Exhs. (1-A-A, 2-A-1, S-A,
O-A-1, tsn. Nov 23, 1987, p. 8).
Plaintiffs claim in their Complaint that they went tot he check-in counter of the
defendant's Naga branch at least one (1) hour before the published departure
time but no one was at the counter until 30 minutes before departure, but upon
checking -in and presentation of their tickets to the employee/clerk who showed
up, their tickets were cancelled and the seats awarded to chance passengers;
plaintiffs had to go to Manila by bus, and seek actual, moral and exemplary
damages, and attorney's fees for breach of contract of carriage.
The trial court rendered judgment finding defendant guilty of breach of contract of
carriage. CA affirmed.

ISSUE: Can the Honorable Court of Appeals validity promulgate the questioned
decision by the simple expedient of adopting in toto the trial court's finding that
defendant-appellant is liable for damages on the sole issue of credibility of
witnesses without considering the material admissions made by the plaintiffs and
other evidence on record that substantiate the defense of defendant-appellant.

HELD: It is significant to note that there were no other passenger who checked-in
late after the private respondents (TSN, November 23, 1987, p. 13). In the
absence of any controverting evidence, the documentary evidence presented to
corroborate the testimonies of PAL's witnesses are prima facie evidence of the
truth of their allegations. The plane tickets of the private respondents, exhs. "1,"
"2," "3," "4," (with emphasis on the printed condition of the contract of carriage
regarding check-in time as well as on the notation "late 4:02" stamped on the
flight coupon by the check-in clerk immediately upon the check-in of private
respondents) and the passenger Manifest of Flight PR 264, exh. "5," (which
showed the non-accommodation of Capati and Go an the private respondents)are
entries made in the regular course of business which the private respondents
failed to overcome with substantial and convincing evidence other than their
testimonies. Consequently, they carry more weight and credence. A writing or
document made contemporaneously with a transaction in which are evidenced
facts pertinent to an issue, when admitted as proof of those facts, is ordinarily
regarded as more reliable proof and of greater probative force than the oral
Page 97 of 189

testimony of a witness as to such facts based upon memory and recollection (20
Am Jur S 1179, 1029 cited in Francisco, Revised Rules of Court in the Philippines
Annotated, 1973 Edition, Volume VII, Part II, p. 654). Spoken words could be
notoriously unreliable as against a written document that speaks a uniform
language (Spouses Vicente and Salome de Leon v. CA., et al., G.R. No. 95511,
January 30, 1992). This dictum is amply demonstrated by the diverse allegations
of the private respondents in their complaint (where they claimed that no one was
at the counter until thirty (30) minutes before the published departure time and
that the employee who finally attended to them marked them late, Records, p. 2)
and in their testimonies (where they contended that there were two different PAL
personnel who attended to them at the check-in counter. TSNs of November 17,
1986, pp. 41-45 and of May 18, 1987, pp. 5-6). Private respondents' only objection
to these documents is that they are self-serving cannot be sustained. The hearsay
rule will not apply in this case as statements, acts or conduct accompanying or so
nearly connected with the main transaction as to form a part of it, and which
illustrate, elucidate, qualify or characterize the act, are admissible as apart of
the res gestae (32 C.J.S., S. 411, 30-31). Based on these circumstances, We are
inclined to believe the version of PAL. When the private respondents purchased
their tickets, they were instantaneously bound by the conditions of the contract of
carriage particularly the check-in time requirement. The terms of the contract are
clear. Their failure to come on time for check-in should not militate against PAL.
Their non-accommodation on that flight was the result of their own action or
inaction and the ensuing cancellation of their tickets by PAL is only proper.
ENTRIES IN THE OFFICIAL RECORD
RUDY LAO, petitioner, vs. STANDARD INSURANCE CO., INC., respondent.

FACTS: Petitioner Rudy Lao is the owner of a Fuso truck which was insured with
respondent Standard Insurance Co. While the policy was in effect, an accident
occurred. At around 8:00 p.m. of April 24, 1985, in Barangay Buhang, Jaro, Iloilo
City, the insured truck bumped another truck, , also owned by petitioner Lao. The
latter truck was running ahead of the insured truck and was bumped from the
rear. The insured truck sustained damages.
Petitioner filed a claim with the insurance company for the proceeds from his
policy. However, the claim was denied by the insurance company on the ground
that when its adjuster went to investigate the matter, it was found that the driver
of the insured truck, Leonardo Anit, did not possess a proper drivers license at
the time of the accident. The restriction in Leonardo Anits drivers license
provided that he can only drive four-wheeled vehicles weighing not more than
4,500 kgs. Since the insured truck he was driving weighed more than 4,500 kgs.,
he therefore violated the authorized driver clause of the insurance policy. In
addition, respondent cited the following excerpts from the police blotter of the
Iloilo INP, to wit:
Page 98 of 189

C-UN-85

DAMAGE TO PROPERTY W/ PHY INJURIES R/ IMPRUDENCE

11:30 PM Sgt. A. Bernas informed this office that a collision took place at Brgy.
Buhang, Jaro, IC. Investigation conducted by Pat. Villahermosa, assisted by Lt. P.
Baclaron (OD), disclosed that at about 8:00 PM this date at the aforementioned
place, a collision took place between a truck (Hino) with Plate Nr FB[S] 917 owned
by Rudy Lao and driven by BOY GIDDIE Y COYEL, 38 yrs, a res. of Balasan, Iloilo,
with License Nr DLR 1108142 and another truck with Plate Nr. FCG-538 owned by
Rudy Lao and driver (sic) by LEONARDO ANIT Y PANES, 33 yrs, a res. of Brgy Laya,
Balasan, Iloilo with License Nr 1836482.
Petitioner claims that at the time of the accident, it was in fact another driver
named Giddie Boy Y Coyel who was driving the insured truck. Giddie Boy
possessed a drivers license authorizing him to drive vehicles such as the truck
which weighed more than 4,500 kgs. As evidence, petitioner presented the Motor
Vehicle Accident Report[7] wherein the Investigating Officer, Pat. Felipe D.
Villahermosa, stated that it was Giddie Boy driving the insured truck and not
Leonardo Anit. The said report was made three days after the accident or on April
27, 1985. However, respondent insurance company was firm in its denial of the
claim.
Hence, petitioner filed the civil case before the RTC. RTC dismissed the case for
plaintiff lacks sufficient cause of action against the defendant. CA affirmed

ISSUE: WON THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE LOWER COURT
RELIED MAINLY ON SECTION 44, RULE 130 OF THE RULES OF COURT IN
UPHOLDING THE ENTRY IN THE POLICE BLOTTER WHICH STATED THAT THE DRIVER
OF THE INSURED VEHICLE WAS LEONARDO ANIT Y PANES, WHO WAS NOT AN
AUTHORIZED DRIVER. UNDER THE SAID SECTION 44, RULE 130 ITSELF HOWEVER,
THE POLICE BLOTTER IS MERELY A PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF THE FACTS STATED
THEREIN WHICH MAY BE NULLIFIED BY OTHER EVIDENCE/ The admissibility and
probative value of the police blotter as evidence

HELD: Petitioner assails the admissibility and evidentiary weight given to the
police blotter, as a basis for the factual finding of the RTC and the CA. He
contends that the same entry was belied by the Motor Vehicle Accident Report
and testimony of the investigating policeman himself, attesting that it was Giddie
Boy Coyel, not Leonardo Anit, who was driving the insured vehicle. [16]
Respondent avers that the same police report and testimony were of dubious
nature. Both trial and appellate courts noted that the report was made three days
after the accident and did not form part of the official police records. [17]

Page 99 of 189

The police blotter was admitted under Rule 130, Section 44 of the Rules of Court.
[18]
Under the said rule, the following are the requisites for its admissibility:
(a)
that the entry was made by a public officer, or by another person, specially
enjoined by law to do so;
(b)
that it was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties, or by
such other person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law;
(c)
that the public officer or other person had sufficient knowledge of the facts
by him stated, which must have been acquired by him personally or through
official information.[19]
We agree with the trial and appellate courts in finding that the police blotter was
properly admitted as they form part of official records.[20] Entries in police records
made by a police officer in the performance of the duty especially enjoined by law
are prima facie evidence of the fact therein stated, and their probative value may
be either substantiated or nullified by other competent evidence. [21] Although
police blotters are of little probative value, they are nevertheless admitted and
considered in the absence of competent evidence to refute the facts stated
therein.
In this case, the entries in the police blotter reflected the information subject of
the controversy. Stated therein was the fact that Leonardo Anit was driving the
insured truck with plate number FCG-538. This is unlike People v. Mejia,[22] where
we said that entries in the police blotters should not be given undue significance
or probative value, since the Court there found that the entries in question are
sadly wanting in material particulars.
Furthermore, in this case the police blotter was identified and formally offered as
evidence. The person who made the entries was likewise presented in court; he
identified and certified as correct the entries he made on the blotter. The
information was supplied to the entrant by the investigating officer who did not
protest about any inaccuracy when the blotter was presented to him. No
explanation was likewise given by the investigating officer for the alleged
interchange of names.
SABILI vs. COMELEC
G. R. No. 193261 APRIL 24, 2012 670 SCRA 664

FACTS: When Sabili filed his Certificate of Candicay for mayor of Lipa City for the
2010 elections, he stated therein that he had been a resident of the city for two
(2) years and eight (8) months. Prior to the 2010 elections, he had been twice
elected as Provincial Board Member representing the 4th District of Batangas.
During the 2007 elections, petitioner ran for the position of Representative of the
4th District of Batangas, but lost. The 4th District of Batangas includes Lipa City.
Page 100 of 189

However, it is undisputed that when petitioner filed his COC during the 2007
elections, he and his family were then staying at his ancestral home in Barangay
(Brgy.) Sico, San Juan, Batangas.

Florencio Librea filed a Petition to Deny Due Course and to Cancel Certificate of
Candidacy and to Disqualify a Candidate for Possessing Some Grounds for
Disqualification against him before the COMELEC. He alleged that petitioner
made material misrepresentations of fact in the latters COC and likewise failed to
comply with the one-year residency requirement under Section 39 of the Local
Government Code. Petitioner falsely declared under oath in his COC that he had
already been a resident of Lipa City for two years and eight months prior to the
scheduled 10 May 2010 local elections. Sabili, to prove his residence in Lipa,
presented among others the Certificate of Residency issued by Pinagtong-ulan
Barangay Captain, Dominador Honrade.

Despite garnering the highest number of votes in the Mayoralty elections, Sabili
was ruled to be disqualified by the COMELEC. The COMELEC did not take into
consideration the certificate of residency executed by the baranggay captain on
the ground that it was not notarized. Hence, upon the petition for review with the
Supreme Court, another certificate was submitted which has been duly notarized.

ISSUE: Whether or not the COMELEC erred in not considering the certificate of
Residency executed by the baranggay captain

RULING: Yes. We disagree with the COMELECs treatment of the Barangay


Captains Certification and find the same tainted with grave abuse of discretion.
Even without being sworn to before a notary public, Honrades Certification would
not only be admissible in evidence, but would also be entitled to due
consideration. Rule 130, Section 44 of the Rules of Court provides:

SEC. 44. Entries in official records.Entries in official records made in the


performance of his duty by a public officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the
performance of a duty specially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the
facts therein stated.

In Country Bankers Insurance Corporation v. Lianga Bay and Community Multipurpose Cooperative, Inc. The Supreme Court explained that the following three
Page 101 of 189

(3) requisites must concur for entries in official records to be admissible in


evidence:

The entry was made by a public officer, or by another person specially enjoined by
law to do so;
It was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties, or by such
other person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law; and
The public officer or other person had sufficient knowledge of the facts stated by
him, which facts must have been acquired by him personally or through official
information.

As to the first requisite, the Barangay Secretary is required by the Local


Government Code to keep an updated record of all inhabitants of the barangay.
Regarding the second requisite, it is recognized that it is the business of a
punong barangay to know who the residents are in his own barangay. Anent the
third requisite, the Barangay Captains exercise of powers and duties concomitant
to his position requires him to be privy to these records kept by the Barangay
Secretary. Accordingly, there is basis in faulting the COMELEC for its failure to
consider Honrades Certification on the sole ground that it was initially not
notarized.

COMMERCIAL LISTS
QUISUMBING vs MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY
G.R. No. 142943
April 3, 2002

FACTS:Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court,


assailing the February 1, 2000 Decision and the April 10, 2000 Resolution2 of the
Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR SP No. 49022
.
Defendant-appellant Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) is a private corporation,
authorized by law to charge all persons, including the government, for the
consumption of electric power at rates duly authorized and approved by the Board
of Energy (now the Energy Regulatory Board).
Page 102 of 189

"Plaintiffs-appellees Spouses Antonio and Lorna Quisumbing are owners of a


house and lot located at No. 94 Greenmeadows Avenue, Quezon City, which they
bought on April 7, 1994 from Ms. Carmina Serapio Santos. They alleged to be
business entrepreneurs engaged in the export of furnitures under the business
name 'Loran Industries' and recipient of the 1993 Agora Award and 1994 Golden
Shell Award. Mrs. Quisumbing is a member of the Innerwheel Club while Mr.
Quisumbing is a member of the Rotary Club, Chairman of Cebu Chamber of
Commerce, and Director of Chamber of Furniture.

"On March 3, 1995 at around 9:00 a.m., defendant-appellant's inspectors headed


by Emmanuel C. Orlino were assigned to conduct a routine-on-the-spot inspection
of all single phase meters at Greenmeadows Avenue. House no. 94 of Block 8, Lot
19 Greenmeadows Avenue owned by plaintiffs-appellees was inspected after
observing a standard operating procedure of asking permission from plaintiffsappellees, through their secretary which was granted.

After an hour, defendant-appellant's head inspector, E. Orlina returned to the


residence of plaintiffs-appellees and informed them that the meter had been
tampered and unless they pay the amount ofP178,875.01 representing the
differential billing, their electric supply would be disconnected. Orlina informed
plaintiffs-appellees that they were just following their standard operating
procedure. Plaintiffs-appellees were further advised that questions relative to the
results of the inspection as well as the disconnection of her electrical services for
Violation of Contract (VOC) may be settled with Mr. M. Manuson of the Special
Accounts, Legal Service Department. However, on the same day at around 2:00
o'clock in the afternoon defendant-appellant's officer through a two-way radio
instructed its service inspector headed by Mr. Orlino to reconnect plaintiffsappellees' electric service which the latter faithfully complied.

"On March 6, 1995, plaintiffs-appellees filed a complaint for damages with prayer
for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction, despite the
immediate reconnection, to order defendant-appellant to furnish electricity to the
plaintiffs-appellees alleging that defendant-appellant acted with wanton,
capricious, malicious and malevolent manner in disconnecting their power supply
which was done without due process, and without due regard for their rights,
feelings, peace of mind, social and business reputation.

ISSUE: whether petitioners are liable for the billing differential computed by
respondent.
Page 103 of 189

HELD: YES
Not only did respondent show how the meter examination had been conducted by
its experts, but it also established the amount of P193,332.96 that petitioners
owed respondent. The procedure through which this amount was arrived at was
testified to by Meralco's Senior Billing Computer Enrique Katipunan. His testimony
was corroborated by documentary evidence showing the account's billing history
and the corresponding computations. Neither do we doubt the documents of
inspections and examinations presented by respondent to prove that, indeed
there had been meter tampering that resulted in unrecorded and unpaid electrical
consumption.

TESTIMONY OR DEPOSITION AT A FORMER PROCEEDING

G.R. Nos. 115338-39. September 16, 1997] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiffappellee, vs. LANIE ORTIZ-MIYAKE accused-appellant.

FACTS:
Accused-appellant Lanie Ortiz-Miyake was charged with illegal recruitment in large
scale in the Regional Trial Court of Makati on a complaint initiated by Elenita
Marasigan, Imelda Generillo and Rosamar del Rosario. In addition, she was
indicted for estafa by means of false pretenses in the same court, the offended
party being Elenita Marasigan alone.
A judgment was rendered by said court convicting appellant of both crimes as
charged. In convicting appellant of illegal recruitment in large scale, the lower
court adopted a previous decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Paraaque as
a basis for the judgment. Said previous decision was a conviction for estafa
involving the same circumstances in the instant case, wherein complainants
Generillo and Del Rosario charged appellant with two counts of estafa. In thus
convicting appellant in the illegal recruitment case, the court adopted the facts
and conclusions established in the estafa decision as its own findings of facts and
as its rationale for the conviction in the case before it.

ISSUE:
WHETHER OR NOT THE ADOPTION OF THE TRIAL COURT OF THE FACTS STATED IN
THE DECISION OF THE PARAAQUE TRIAL COURT FALLS UNDER THE EXCEPTION
TO THE RIGHT OF CONFRONTATION AS THE EXCEPTION CONTEMPLATED BY LAW
PURSUANT TO SEC. 47 OF RULE 130 OF THE RULES OF COURT
Page 104 of 189

RULING:
NO. Under the law, the accused in a criminal case is guaranteed the right of
confrontation. This right, however, is not absolute as it is recognized that it is
sometimes impossible to recall or produce a witness who has already testified in a
previous proceeding, in which event his previous testimony is made admissible as
a distinct piece of evidence, by way of exception to the hearsay rule previous
testimony is made admissible because it makes the administration of justice
orderly and expeditious (section 47 of Rule 130). Under these rules, the adoption
by the Makati trial court of the facts stated in the decision of the Paraaque trial
court does not fall under the exception to the right of confrontation as the
exception contemplated by law covers only the utilization of testimonies of absent
witnesses made in previous proceedings, and does not include utilization of
previous decisions or judgments. In the instant case, the prosecution did not offer
the testimonies made by complainants Generillo and Del Rosario in the previous
estafa case. Instead, what was offered, admitted in evidence, and utilized as a
basis for the conviction in the case for illegal recruitment in large scale was the
previous decision in the estafa case. A previous decision or judgment, while
admissible in evidence, may only prove that an accused was previously convicted
of a crime. [30] It may not be used to prove that the accused is guilty of a crime
charged in a subsequent case, in lieu of the requisite evidence proving the
commission of the crime, as said previous decision is hearsay. To sanction its
being used as a basis for conviction in a subsequent case would constitute a
violation of the right of the accused to confront the witnesses against him.

GO VS PEOPLE
G.R. No. 185527 July 18, 2012 677 SCRA 213

FACTS: Go et al were criminally charged with Other Deceits under the RPC for
mortgaging a chattel with Highdone Ltd. et al misrepresenting the same to be the
first mortgage where the truth is it already had a prior mortgage. Consequently,
damages were sustained by the company.

The prosecution's complaining witness, Li Luen Ping, a frail old businessman from
Laos, Cambodia, traveled from his home country back to the Philippines in order
to attend the hearing held on September 9, 2004. However, trial dates were
subsequently postponed due to his unavailability.
Page 105 of 189

Subsequently, the private prosecutor filed with the MeTC a Motion to Take Oral
Deposition of Li Luen Ping, alleging that he was being treated for lung infection at
the Cambodia Charity Hospital in Laos, Cambodia and that, upon doctor's advice,
he could not make the long travel to the Philippines by reason of ill health. MeTC
granted the motion but this was nullified by the RTC on the ground the rule on
taking of depositions of witnesses in civil cases cannot apply suppletorily to the
case since there is a specific provision in the Rules of Court with respect to the
taking of depositions of prosecution witnesses in criminal cases, which is primarily
intended to safeguard the constitutional rights of the accused to meet the witness
against him face to face. On the contrary, the Court of Appeals held because no
rule of procedure expressly disallows the taking of depositions in criminal cases
and that, in any case, petitioners would still have every opportunity to crossexamine the complaining witness and make timely objections during the taking of
the oral deposition either through counsel or through the consular officer who
would be taking the deposition of the witness.

ISSUE: Whether or not the rules on deposition may be applied suppletorily in the
criminal case

RULING: No. The Procedure for Testimonial Examination of an Unavailable


Prosecution Witness is Covered Under Section 15, Rule 119. The examination of
witnesses must be done orally before a judge in open court. This is true especially
in criminal cases where the Constitution secures to the accused his right to a
public trial and to meet the witnesses against him face to face. The requirement is
the "safest and most satisfactory method of investigating facts" as it enables the
judge to test the witness' credibility through his manner and deportment while
testifying. It is not without exceptions, however, as the Rules of Court recognizes
the conditional examination of witnesses and the use of their depositions as
testimonial evidence in lieu of direct court testimony.

The procedure under Rule 23 to 28 of the Rules of Court allows the taking of
depositions in civil cases, either upon oral examination or written interrogatories,
before any judge, notary public or person authorized to administer oaths at any
time or place within the Philippines; or before any
Philippine consular official, commissioned officer or person authorized to
administer oaths in a foreign state or country, with no additional requirement
except reasonable notice in writing to the other party.

But for purposes of taking the deposition in criminal cases, more particularly of a
prosecution witness who would foreseeably be unavailable for trial, the
Page 106 of 189

testimonial examination should be made before the court, or at least before the
judge, where the case is pending as required by the clear mandate of Section 15,
Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Since the conditional examination of a prosecution witness must take place at no


other place than the court where the case is pending, the RTC properly nullified
the MeTC's orders granting the motion to take the deposition of Li Luen Ping
before the Philippine consular official in Laos, Cambodia.

The condition of the private complainant being sick and of advanced age falls
within the provision of Section 15 Rule 119 of the Rules of Court. However, said
rule substantially provides that he should be conditionally examined before the
court where the case is pending. Thus, this Court concludes that the language of
Section 15 Rule 119 must be interpreted to require the parties to present
testimony at the hearing through live witnesses, whose demeanor and credibility
can be evaluated by the judge presiding at the hearing, rather than by means of
deposition. No where in the said rule permits the taking of deposition outside the
Philippines whether the deponent is sick or not

It is argued that since the Rules of Civil Procedure is made explicitly applicable in
all cases, both civil and criminal as well as special proceedings, the depositiontaking before a Philippine consular official under Rule 23 should be deemed
allowable also under the circumstances.

However, the suggested suppletory application of Rule 23 in the testimonial


examination of an unavailable prosecution witness has been categorically ruled
out by the Court in the same case of Vda. de Manguerra, as follows:

It is true that Section 3, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court provides that the rules of civil
procedure apply to all actions, civil or criminal, and special proceedings. In effect,
it says that the rules of civil procedure have suppletory application to criminal
cases. However, it is likewise true that criminal proceedings are primarily
governed by the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.Considering that Rule 119
adequately and squarely covers the situation in the instant case, we find no
cogent reason to apply Rule 23 suppletorily or otherwise.

CHILD WITNESS RULE


Page 107 of 189

PEOPLE vs. IBANEZ


GR 197813 September 25,2013 706 SCRA 358

FACTS: On 29 Aug 2004, Wilfredo Atendido y Dohenog (Wilfredo) was invited by


Alfredo to a drinking session with Jesus and Edwin making them a party of four.
Rachel, Wilfredos daughter, an adolescent at the time, was underneath the house
(silong in the vernacular) of a neighbor, three (3) meters away from the place
where Wilfredo and his companions were ostensibly in merrymaking.

Rachel saw her father step away from the group to urinate. While Wilfredo
relieved himself, Edwin snatched a t-shirt from a nearby clothesline, and hooded
the t-shirt over the head and face of Wilfredo. Robbed of vision as his head was
fully covered, Wilfredo was wrestled and pinned down by Edwin, while Alfredo
boxed the left side of Wilfredos chest. Jesus, armed with a long iron bar, swung at
and hit Wilfredo in the head. Terrified, Rachel stood immobilized as she watched
the attack on father. Thereafter, she saw her mother, Rowena, running out of their
house and crying for help.

Rowena asked for help to bring Wilfredo to the hospital. However, Wilfredo did not
reach the hospital alive and was pronounced dead on arrival.

The three accused were charged with murder before the RTC. Edwin and Alfredo
pleaded not guilty. Jesus, on the other hand, remained at large. Thereafter, trial
ensued

The defense mainly of Edwin and Alfredo, proffered an altogether different version
of the events. The two accused-appellants pointed to Jesus as the sole culprit,
proclaimed their innocence and professed to being at the scene of the crime only
because of their curiosity for what had occurred.

RTC held that the accused were guilty which was affirmed by CA.

ISSUE: Whether or not Rachel was a competent witness considering that she is a
mere child.

Page 108 of 189

RULING: Yes, the SC ruled that Rachels testimony cannot be taken lightly simply
because she was a mere child when she witnessed the incident and when she
gave her testimony in court. There is no showing that her mental maturity
rendered her incapable of testifying and of relating the incident truthfully.

With exceptions provided in the Rules of Court, all persons who can perceive, and
perceiving, can make known their perception to others, may be witnesses. That is
even buttressed by the Rule on Examination of a Child Witness which specifies
that every child is presumed qualified to be a witness. To rebut this presumption,
the burden of proof lies on the party challenging the child's competence. Only
when substantial doubt exists regarding the ability of the child to perceive,
remember, communicate, distinguish truth from falsehood, or appreciate the duty
to tell the truth in court will the court, motu proprio or on motion of a party,
conduct a competency examination of a child.12 Thus, petitioners flimsy
objections on Rachels lack of education and inability to read and tell time carry
no weight and cannot overcome the clear and convincing testimony of Rachel as
to who killed her father.

OPINION RULE

EXPERT WITNESS

PEOPLE vs PO2 ALBERT ABRIOL


G.R. No. 123137
October 17, 2001

NOTE: There is no definite standard of determining the degree of skill or


knowledge that a witness must possess in order to testify as an expert. It is
sufficient that the following factors be present: (1) training and education; (2)
particular, first-hand familiarity with the facts of the case; and (3) presentation of
authorities or standards upon which his opinion is based.

FACTS: On appeal is the decision dated May 17, 1995, of the Regional Trial Court
of Cebu City, Branch 10, in Criminal Cases Nos. CBU-30350 for murder and CBUPage 109 of 189

33664 for illegal possession of firearms, finding appellants Albert Abriol, Macario
Astellero, and Januario Dosdos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder and
violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866 on Illegal Possession of Firearms.
The facts of the case are as follows:
At around 11:50 P.M., June 5, 1993, Romeo Sta. Cruz, Jr., a radio news reporter
then aboard his jeep, had just reached the ABS-CBN compound in P. del Rosario
Street, Cebu City, when he heard a couple of gunshots. He looked around and saw
a man running unsteadily towards the intersection of P. del Rosario Street and
Jones Avenue (Osmea Boulevard). The man was shouting "Tabang, tabang!"
("Help! Help!"). Sta. Cruz, Jr., saw a red "Jiffy" make a U-turn near the gate of the
city central school that nearly ran over the man shouting for help. The man turned
back and staggered towards the direction of Bacalso Avenue and Urgello Private
Road, but after a few meters on wobbly legs, he stopped and collapsed.
Meanwhile, the "Jiffy" followed. It stopped beside the fallen figure and a tall, thin
man alighted. The man fired several shots at the prostrate figure. He boarded the
"Jiffy" which sped away towards Leon Kilat Street. Romeo Sta. Cruz, Jr., moved his
jeep and focused its headlights on the victim.
While the patrol cars were chasing the "Jiffy," another police team proceeded to
the crime scene in response to the alarm. This team from Police Station No. 3 in
San Nicolas, Cebu City rushed the victim to the Cebu City Medical Center, where
he was pronounced dead on arrival. Meanwhile, PO3 Celso Seville, Jr., a homicide
investigator of Police Station No. 3 found four (4) .45 caliber shells some four (4)
feet away from the victim's body, and two (2) deformed slugs where the victim
had lain, and submitted them to the Region 7 PNP Crime Laboratory for ballistics
testing.
An information for murder and illegal possession of firearms were file against
Abriol. When arraigned, all the accused pleaded not guilty to both charges. Abriol
was convicted.
Appellants allege that the testimony of P/Inspector Lemuel Caser, the
prosecution's ballistics expert, clearly shows that: (1) He is ignorant about such
ballistics instruments such as the micrometer, goniometer, and pressure barrel.
(2) He is not conversant with "the required references concerning ballistics,"
particularly books on the subject by foreign authorities. (3) He could not
"scientifically determine the caliber of a bullet." Since P/Inspector Caser lacked
adequate training and expertise in ballistics, they claim that his opinion that the
test bullets and cartridges matched the slugs and cartridges recovered from the
scene of the crime was not reliable. Appellants also assail Caser's failure to take
the necessary photographs to support his findings.

Page 110 of 189

ISSUE: whether the testimony of P/Inspector Lemuel Caser, the prosecution's


ballistics is credible.

HELD: YES. An expert witness is "one who belongs to the profession or calling to
which the subject matter of the inquiry relates and who possesses special
knowledge on questions on which he proposes to express an opinion." There is no
definite standard of determining the degree of skill or knowledge that a witness
must possess in order to testify as an expert. It is sufficient that the following
factors be present: (1) training and education; (2) particular, first-hand familiarity
with the facts of the case; and (3) presentation of authorities or standards upon
which his opinion is based. The question of whether a witness is properly qualified
to give an expert opinion on ballistics rests with the discretion of the trial court.
In giving credence to Caser's expert testimony, the trial court explained:
The defense downgraded the capability of Caser in forensics ballistics and
identifying firearms. Much stress is given to the absence of photographs of his
examination. Nonetheless, the Court is satisfied (with) Caser's examination,
findings and conclusions with the use of a microscope. Caser's conclusion based
on his examination deserves credit. He found the impressions on the primer of the
fired cartridges that were test-fired to have the same characteristics with those
recovered at the scene of the crime. Whenever a triggerman pumps a bullet (into)
the body of his victim, he releases a chunk of concrete evidence that binds him
inseparably to his act. Every gun barrel deeply imprints on every bullet its
characteristic marking peculiar to that gun and that gun alone. These marking
might be microscopic but they are terribly vocal in announcing their origin. And
they are as infallible for purposes of identification, as the print left by the human
finger.
We agree with the trial court that P/Inspector Caser qualifies as a ballistics expert.
He is a licensed criminologist, trained at the Ballistics Command and Laboratory
Center in Fort Bonifacio, in the PNP Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame, and in the
National Bureau of Investigation. He had previously testified as an expert witness
in at least twenty-seven (27) murder and homicide cases all over the country. An
expert witness need not present comparative microphotographs of test bullets
and cartridges to support his findings. Examination under a comparison
microscope showing that the test bullet and the evidence bullet both came from
the same gun is sufficient. Moreover, the ballistician conclusively found similar
characteristic markings in the evidence, test cartridges and slugs.

BAUTISTA vs. CA
G.R. No. 158015
Page 111 of 189

August 11, 2004

NOTE: A finding of forgery does not depend entirely on the testimony of


handwriting experts. Although such testimony may be useful, the judge still
exercises independent judgment on the issue of authenticity of the signatures
under scrutiny; he cannot rely on the mere testimony of the handwriting expert.

FACTS: On appeal by Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997
Rules on Civil Procedure is a Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
45549,1 reversing and setting aside the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of
Manila, Branch VII in Civil Case No. 83-179002 and entering a new one declaring
the April 5, 1982 Deed of Absolute Sale between the late Cesar Morelos and Laura
Bautista null and void.
The dispute involves a parcel of land situated along Maceda (formerly
Washington) Street, Sampaloc, Manila, containing an area of approximately 105
square meters. This parcel of land was previously owned and registered in the
name of the late Cesar Morelos under Transfer Certificate of Title No. 27604. Cesar
is the uncle of petitioner Laura Morelos Bautista, being the brother of her mother,
Rosario Morelos.

Cesar, who was married to Rosario Duran, did not have any children. Rosario died
in 1972. Cesar died of cardiac arrest on April 15, 1982. During his lifetime, Cesar
sold and conveyed the above-mentioned parcel of land in favor of petitioner Laura
Morelos Bautista, as evidenced by a "Deed of Absolute Sale" notarized by Luis M.
de Guzman. Accordingly, Transfer Certificate of Title No. 254843 was issued in the
name of petitioner Laura Bautista.
Respondent Fernando Morelos, claiming to be the illegitimate child of Cesar
Morelos with Angelina Lim-Gue, instituted a complaint for the declaration of nullity
of sale and title with damages, docketed as Civil Case No. 83-17900, before the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch VII. At the trial, he presented testimonies of
expert witnesses who claimed that the signature of Cesar Morelos on the Deed of
Absolute Sale and the fingerprint appearing on his Residence Certificate were not
his.
Petitioners countered that the Deed of Absolute Sale was valid. The witness to the
Deed, Carmelita Marcelino, testified that she saw Cesar Morelos and petitioner
Laura Bautista sign the same.

Page 112 of 189

After hearing, the court a quo rendered judgment declaring the Deed of Sale
dated April 5, 1982 executed between the late Cesar Morelos in favor of Laura
Bautista valid, and dismissed for insufficient evidence the claims and
counterclaims for damages of the parties.
Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals, which reversed and set aside the
judgment of the trial court.

ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE TESTIMONIES OF EXPERT WITNESSES ARE


CONCLUSIVE TO BE A STRONG BASIS TO NULLIFY A DULY EXECUTED AND
NOTARIZED DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE.

HELD: NO. A finding of forgery does not depend entirely on the testimony of
handwriting experts. Although such testimony may be useful, the judge still
exercises independent judgment on the issue of authenticity of the signatures
under scrutiny; he cannot rely on the mere testimony of the handwriting expert.
The authenticity of signatures is not a highly technical issue in the same sense
that questions concerning, e.g., quantum physics or topology or molecular
biology, would constitute matters of a highly technical nature. The opinion of a
handwriting expert on the genuineness of a questioned signature is certainly
much less compelling upon a judge than an opinion rendered by a specialist on a
highly technical issue.
In the case at bar, the presumption of validity and regularity prevails over
allegations of forgery and fraud. As against direct evidence consisting of the
testimony of a witness who was physically present at the signing of the contract
and who had personal knowledge thereof, the testimony of an expert witness
constitutes indirect or circumstantial evidence at best. Carmelita Marcelino, the
witness to the Deed of Absolute Sale, confirmed the genuineness, authenticity
and due execution thereof. Having been physically present to see the decedent
Cesar Morelos and petitioner Laura Bautista affix their signatures on the
document, the weight of evidence preponderates in favor of petitioners.

AVELINO VS PEOPLE
GR 181444 July 17, 2013 701 SCRA 477

FACTS: On October 5, 2000, Chairman Hispano was shot by three men while
driving his owner type jeep at Tondo Manila. The incident was witnessed by
Page 113 of 189

Alfredo Manlangsang. According to the witness he was not able to identify the two
assailant but was able to recognized the third assailant as Bobby Avelino when
the latter pulled his bonnet down to his chin.

The accused denied the accusation and presented as evidence the testimonies of
PO2 Galang, Adonis Bantiling and SOCO PSI Cabamongan. Moreover, the accused
advance the defense of denial and alibi.

RTC held the accused guilty which was upheld by the CA.

ISSUE: Whether or not CA erred in not giving credence to the testimony of SOCO
PSI Cabamongan as regard the position of the gun men.

RULING: No, the CA was correct in not giving credence to the opinion of SOCO PSI
Cabamongan as regards the position of the gunman when the latter shot Hispano.
Cabamongan asserted that the gunman was on board the owner-type jeep when
Hispano was shot, which is opposed to Manalangsangs testimony. However, case
records reveal that Cabamongan was presented as an ordinary witness. Hence,
his opinion regarding the location of the gunman in relation to the place where the
empty shells were found is immaterial.

Expert evidence is admissible only if: (a) the matter to be testified to is one that
requires expertise, and (b) the witness has been qualified as an expert.27 In this
case, counsel for the petitioner failed to make the necessary qualification upon
presenting Cabamongan during trial.

ORDINARY WITNESS

PEOPLE vs. DURANAN


GR Nos. 134074-75

January 16, 2001

FACTS: This criminal case for the rape of Mania Lozada was filed against "kalbo".
The prosecution presented, among others the mothers of the victim, Virginia de
Page 114 of 189

Lara Lozada to establish the mental condition of the victim. This was opposed by
the accused on the ground that the mother is not an expert witness.

ISSUE: Whether the evidence is admissible.

RULING: Yes, the mother of an offended party in case of rape, though not a
psychiatrist if she knows the physical and mental condition of the party how she
was born what she was suffering from, and what her attainments are is competent
to testify on the matter. It is competent for the ordinary witness to give opinion as
to the sanity and mental condition of a person, provided the witness has had
sufficient opportunity to observe speed, manner, habits and conduct of the
person in question. Generally, it is required that the witness details, the factors
and reasons upon which he bases opinion before he can testify as to what it is. As
the Supreme Court of verneout said: A non-expert witness may give his opinion as
to the sanity or insanity of another when based upon the conversations or
dealings which he has had with such person or upon any fact learning upon his
mental condition with the witness own knowledge and observation he having first
testified of such conversations, dealings, appearance or another observed facts as
the basis for his opinion.

CHARACTER EVIDENCE
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RAFAEL DEOPITA y GUZMAN
GR NO 130601 DECEMBER 4, 2000

FACTS: At about 9:00 PM in the evening of April 16 1995 complaining witness


Dominga Pikit-pikit was walking on her way home from work, when a man
suddenly appeared from behind, lopped his arm around her neck and warned her
not to shout or else she would die. The man dragged her through the banana
plantation towards the cornfields. When Dominga shouted for help, the man
pushed her on the ground and punched her on the stomach. Dominga got a good
look at the man, who turned out to be accussed-appellant Rafael Deopita y
Guzman, as he sat on her thighs and proceeded to divest her belongings- ladies
watch, bracelet, ring with russian diamonds, wedding ring and P1000.00 cash.
With the full moon shining on his face, the victim clearly saw Deopita place the
items on the right pocket of his shorts. Thereafter, accused-appellant Deopita
announced his desire to have carnal knowledge of Dominga. As he was sexually
assaulting her, Dominga made desperate struggles and frantic calls for help but
her efforts proved futile until he finally satisfied his lust. During the investigation,
Dominga positively identified the accused-appellant and pointed at him from the 4
Page 115 of 189

men in police line-up. Thus, Deopita was detained while the others were released.
The defense denied the charge and invoked alibi. Accuses-appellant claimed that
between 8:30 to 12:00 in the evening of April 16, 1995 he was with his wife Flora,
sin Ryan and fellow Jehovah's Witnesses Roger Custorio and Ruben Suarez at the
house of Eulalio Nisnisan for an informal bible session upon the invitation of Juan
Nisnisan. Accuses-appellant also claimed that during those hours, he never left
the place, Flora, Roger, Ruben, Eulalio and Juan corroborated his alibi and testified
on his good moral character as a ministerial servant of their faith. The trial court
formally rejected his defense of alibi and convicted him of the crime charged.
Consequently, the accused-appellant is now before us on appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not accussed-appellant is guilty of the crime charge.

RULING: We now deal with the more substantial arguments raised by accusedappellant in his brief. He tenaciously maintains that it was impossible for him to
have committed the crime charged since he is a person of good moral character,
holding as he does the position of "Ministerial Servant" in the congregation of
Jehovahs Witnesses, and that he is a godly man, a righteous person, a responsible
family man and a good Christian who preaches the word of God.
We are not impressed. The fact that accused-appellant is endowed with such
"sterling" qualities hardly justifies the conclusion that he is innocent of the crime
charged. Similarly, his having attained the position of "Ministerial Servant" in his
faith is no guarantee against any sexual perversion and plunderous proclivity on
his part. Indeed, religiosity is not always an emblem of good conduct, and it is not
the unreligious alone who succumbs to the impulse to rob and rape. An accused is
not entitled to an acquittal simply because of his previous good moral character
and exemplary conduct. The affirmance or reversal of his conviction must be
resolved on the basic issue of whether the prosecution had discharged its duty of
proving his guilt beyond any peradventure of doubt. Since the evidence of the
crime in the instant case is more than sufficient to convict, the evidence of good
moral character of accused-appellant is unavailing.
Accused-appellant likewise bewails and assigns as reversible error the failure of
the trial court to give credence to the testimonies of the defense witnesses. He
argues that these are Jehovahs Witnesses, and as such, they are God-fearing
people who would never lie as to his whereabouts at the time in question. This
argument is as puerile as the first. We quote once more, and with approval, the
pertinent portion of the trial courts ruling on this point x x x x it is so easy for witnesses to get confused as to dates and time. The
precision with which the witnesses for the defense, who are his co-members in the
Jehovahs Witnesses, quoted the respective hours when the participants in the
Bible sharing session supposedly arrived is, at best, self-serving and deserves
Page 116 of 189

scant consideration because of the facility with which it may be concocted and
fabricated (underscoring supplied).
The matter of assigning values to the declarations of witnesses is best and most
competently performed by the trial court who had the unmatched opportunity to
observe the demeanor of witnesses while testifying, and to assess their credibility
using various indicia available but not reflected in the records. Hence, the court a
quo's appraisal on the matter is entitled to the highest respect, and will not be
disturbed on appeal unless there is a clear showing that it overlooked,
misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and
substance that would affect the result of the case. There is no compelling reason
in the present case to depart from this rule.

BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTIONS


BURDEN OF PROOF VS. BURDEN OF PROOF

FEBTC VS CHANTE
GR 170598 October 9, 2013 707 SCRA 149

FACTS: Robert Mar Chante (Chan), was a depositor of FEBTC. FEBTC issued him an
ATM Card. The card, known as a "Do-It-All" card to handle credit card and ATM
transactions, was tagged in his current account.

As a security feature, a PIN, known only to the depositor, was required in order to
gain access to the account. With the use of the PIN, Chan could then deposit and
withdraw funds from his current account from any FEBTC ATM facility, including
the MEGALINK facilities of other member banks that included the Philippine
National Bank (PNB).

FEBTC alleged that on May 4 and 5, 1992, Chan had used his card to withdraw
funds totaling P967k from the PNB-MEGALINK ATM at the Manila Pavilion Hotel in
Manila. Such amount withdrawn was more than the outstanding balance of Chans
current account. FEBTC added that at the time of the ATM withdrawal
transactions, there was an error in its computer system known as "system bug"
Page 117 of 189

whose nature had allowed Chan to successfully withdraw funds in excess of his
current credit balance of P198k; and that Chan had taken advantage of the
system bug to do the withdrawal transactions.

FEBTC filed a complaint to recover the over withdrawn amount (P770k). It alleged
that the ATM transactions in question would not be processed unless the PIN,
which was known only to Chan as the cardholder, had been correctly entered, an
indication both that it was his ATM card that had been used, and that all the
transactions had been processed successfully by the PNB-MEGALINK ATM facility
at the Manila Pavilion Hotel with the use of the correct PIN.

Chan denied the liability and claims that he did not make such withdrawals and
further claims that it could possibly an inside job.

RTC ruled in favor of FEBTC and held Chan liable for P770k based on the acts of
the latter of issuing a check amounting to his available balance in the current
account. On appeal, CA reversed the decision.

ISSUE: Whether or not FEBTC was able to discharge the burden of proof.

RULING: No, the fact that Chans account number and ATM card number were the
ones used for the withdrawals, by itself, is not sufficient to support the conclusion
that he should be deemed to have made the withdrawals.

Burden of proof is a term that refers to two separate and quite different concepts,
namely: (a) the risk of non-persuasion; and (b) the duty of producing evidence, In
its first concept, it is the duty to establish the truth of a given proposition or issue
by such a quantum of evidence as the law demands in the case at which the issue
arises. In its other concept, it is the duty of producing evidence at the beginning
or at any subsequent stage of trial in order to make or meet a prima facie case.
Generally speaking, burden of proof in its second concept passes from party to
party as the case progresses, while in its first concept it rests throughout upon the
party asserting the affirmative of the issue.

The party who alleges an affirmative fact has the burden of proving it because
mere allegation of the fact is not evidence of it.13 Verily, the party who asserts,
not he who denies, must prove.
Page 118 of 189

PRESUMPTIONS
CONCLUSIVE PRESUMPTIONS
IBAAN RURAL BANK INC vs CA
G.R. No. 123817
December 17, 1999
NOTE:Estoppel in pais arises when one, by his acts, representations or
admissions, or by his own silence when he ought to speak out, intentionally or
through culpable negligence, induces another to believe certain facts to exist and
such other rightfully relies and acts on such belief, so that he will be prejudiced if
the former is permitted to deny the existence of such facts.

FACTS:Spouses Cesar and Leonila Reyes were the owners of three (3) lots covered
by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) Nos. 33206, 33207 and 33208 of the Register
of Deeds of Lipa City. On March 21, 1976, the spouses mortgaged these lots to
Ibaan Rural Bank, Inc. [herein
petitioner]. On June 11, 1976, with the knowledge and consent of the petitioner,
the spouses as sellers, and Mr. and Mrs. Ramon Tarnate [herein private
respondents] as buyers, entered into a Deed of Absolute Sale with Assumption of
Mortgage of the lots in question. Private respondents failed to pay the loan and
the bank extra-judicially foreclosed on the mortgaged lots. The Provincial Sheriff
conducted a public auction of the lots and awarded the lots to the bank, the sole
bidder. On December 13, 1978, the Provincial Sheriff issued a Certificate of Sale
which was registered on October 16, 1979. The certificate stated that the
redemption period expires two (2) years from the registration of the sale. No
notice of the extrajudicial foreclosure was given to the private respondents. On
September 23, 1981, private respondents offered to redeem the foreclosed lots
and tendered the redemption amount of P77,737.45. However, petitioner Bank
refused the redemption on the ground that it had consolidated its titles over the
lots. The Provincial Sheriff also denied the redemption on the ground that private
respondents did not appear on the title to be the owners of the lots.

Private respondents filed a complaint to compel the bank to allow their


redemption of the foreclosed lots. They alleged that the extra-judicial foreclosure
was null and void for lack of valid notice and demand upon them. They further
argued that they were entitled to redeem the foreclosed lots because they offered
to redeem and tendered the redemption price before October 16, 1981, the
deadline of the 2-year redemption period.
Page 119 of 189

The bank opposed the redemption, contending that the private respondents had
no right to redeem the lots because they were not the real parties in interest; that
at the time they offered to redeem on September 23, 1981, the right to redeem
had prescribed, as more than one year had elapsed from the registration of the
Certificate of Sale on October 16, 1979; that there was no need of personal notice
to them because under Section 3 of Act 3135, only the posting of notice of sale at
three public places of the municipality where the properties are located was
required.
After trial on the merits, the lower court ruled in favor of herein private
respondents and against the petitioner. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed
with modification the decision of the lower court. A timely Motion for
Reconsideration was filed by the petitioner but the same was denied in a
Resolution dated February 14, 1996. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: WHETHER THE CA ERRED WHEN IT SUSTAINED AVAILABILITY OF


REDEMPTION DESPITE THE LAPSE OF ONE YEAR FROM DATE OF REGISTRATION OF
THE CERTIFICATE OF SALE.

DECISION: NO.
When petitioner received a copy of the Certificate of Sale registered in the Office
of the Register of Deeds of Lipa City, it had actual and constructive knowledge of
the certificate and its contents. For two years, it did not object to the two-year
redemption period provided in the certificate. Thus, it could be said that petitioner
consented to the two-year redemption period specially since it had time to object
and did not. When circumstances imply a duty to speak on the part of the person
for whom an obligation is proposed, his silence can be construed as consent. By
its silence and inaction, petitioner misled private respondents to believe that they
had two years within which to redeem the mortgage. After the lapse of two years,
petitioner is estopped from asserting that the period for redemption was only one
year and that the period had already lapsed. Estoppel in pais arises when one, by
his acts, representations or admissions, or by his own silence when he ought to
speak out, intentionally or through culpable negligence, induces another to
believe certain facts to exist and such other rightfully relies and acts on such
belief, so that he will be prejudiced if the former is permitted to deny the
existence of such facts.

Lastly, petitioner is a banking institution on whom the public expects diligence,


meticulousness and mastery of its transactions. Had petitioner diligently reviewed
the Certificate of Sale it could have easily discovered that the period was
Page 120 of 189

extended one year beyond the usual period for redemption. Banks, being greatly
affected with public interest, are expected to exercise a degree of diligence in the
handling of its affairs higher than that expected of an ordinary business firm.

SPOUSES ALCARAZ vs. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN


G.R. No. 128568

April 9, 2003

NOTE:After recognizing the validity of the lease contract for two years, the
petitioner spouses are barred from alleging the automatic cancellation of the
contract on the ground that the respondents lost ownership of the house after
Virgilio acquired title over the lot.

FACTS:On October 4, 1994, respondents Pedro Tangga-an, Menas Tangga-an,


Virginia III Yvette Tangga-an, Cecil Villaflor, Hermes Tangga-an, Venus Tangga-an,
Jupiter Tangga-an, Yvonne Fri and Vivien Tangga-an filed a complaint for unlawful
detainer, with damages, docketed as Civil Case No. R-33928, against petitioner
spouses Reynaldo Alcaraz and Esmeralda Alcaraz.

The complaint alleged that the late Virginia Tangga-an (the spouse of respondent
Pedro Tangaa-an and mother of the rest of the respondents) leased a residential
building (house) located at Premier Street, Hipodromo, Cebu City to the petitioner
spouses. The lease contract was limited to the use and occupancy of the said
residential building and did not include the lot on which it was constructed
because the said lot was then owned by the National Housing Authority (NHA).
Under the contract, the petitioner spouses bound themselves for five years to pay
Virginia a monthly rental of P4,000 beginning November 22, 1991. However, since
November 1993, they failed to pay rent. Thus, as of October, 1994, they were in
arrears in the amount of P48,000. Despite repeated demands by respondents to
pay the rentals in arrears and to surrender the possession of the residential
building, the petitioner spouses refused to vacate the same. Respondents sought
to repossess the property for their own use and benefit.

On the other hand, the petitioner spouses alleged that, on July 23, 1993, the
ownership of the lot on which the house stood was transferred by the NHA to
Virgilio and Angelita D. Tangga-an. Virgilio Tangga-an is the son of the late Virgilia
Tangga-an and respondent Pedro Tangga-an, and the brother of the other
respondents. Transfer Certificate of Title No. 125657 was consequently issued in
Page 121 of 189

the name of Virgilio Tangga-an. According to the petitioner spouses, the


subsequent change in ownership of the lot and the house resulted in the
cancellation of the contract of lease between respondents and petitioner spouses.
Thereafter, they paid the rent to the new owners of the lot (Virgilio and Angelita)
and not to respondents since the latter supposedly no longer had the legal right to
collect rentals.

On January 5, 1995, the MTC rendered a decision in favor of plaintiffs and against
the defendants.

MTC held that the petitioner spouses clearly violated the contract of lease due to
non-payment of rent. They failed to show that the subject house belonged to
Virgilio alone. On the other hand, the respondents proved that, after the death of
Virgilia, they registered said house in the name of their trustees, co-respondents
Hermes Tangga-an and his wife. Furthermore, considering that Virgilios claim of
ownership over the lot was the subject of a pending litigation for annulment of
deed of sale and reconveyance of property involving the Tangga-ans, the MTC
ruled that it "cannot usurp to pass judgment on the issues, as well as the
conflicting claims of the parties therein."
On appeal, the RTC affirmed the decision of the MTC. Hence, a petition for review
of the decision dated January 10, 1997 of the Court of Appeals affirming the
decision dated June 26, 1995 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu City, Branch
17, which in turn upheld the decision dated January 5, 1995 of the Municipal Trial
Court (MTC) of Cebu City, Branch 2, ordering the ejectment of the petitioner
spouses from the house they were renting from respondents.

ISSUE:Whether the lease contract ceased to be effective because Virgilios


assumption of ownership of the land stripped the respondents of ownership of the
building.

DECISION: NO.

Section 2, Rule 131 of the Rules of Court provides as a conclusive presumption


that:
Sec. 2. Conclusive presumptions. The following are instances of conclusive
presumptions:

Page 122 of 189

(a) Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally
and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing true, and to act upon
such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act or
omission, be permitted to falsify it;
xxx

xxx

xxx

After recognizing the validity of the lease contract for two years, the petitioner
spouses are barred from alleging the automatic cancellation of the contract on the
ground that the respondents lost ownership of the house after Virgilio acquired
title over the lot.

We also note that the petitioner spouses rescinded the contract of lease without
judicial approval. Due to the change in ownership of the land, the petitioner
spouses decided to unilaterally cancel the contract because Virgilio supposedly
became the new owner of the house after acquiring title to the lot. They alleged
that there was no reason anymore to perform their obligations as lessees because
the lessor had ceased to be the owner of the house. But there is nothing in their
lease contract that allows the parties to extrajudicially rescind the same in case of
violation of the terms thereof. Extrajudicial rescission of a contract is not possible
without an express stipulation to that effect. What the petitioner spouses should
have done was to file a special civil action for interpleader for the claimants to
litigate their claims and to deposit the rentals in court.

DISPUTABLE PRESUMPTION
ROSARIO vs. SORIA
GR194846

June 19, 2013

699 SCRA 232

FACTS: Spouses Luis Rosaroso (Luis) and Honorata Duazo (Honorata) acquired
several real properties in Cebu City. The couple had nine (9) children namely:
Hospicio, Arturo, Florita, Lucila, Eduardo, Manuel, Cleofe, Antonio, and Angelica.
On April 25, 1952, Honorata died. Later on, Luis married Lourdes Pastor Rosaroso
(Lourdes).

Hospicio, Antonio , Angelica and Cleofe (Petitioners) alleged the Luis, with full
consent of his second wife, Lourdes, executed a Deed of Absolute Sale (First Sale)
over six (6) parcel of land (Lot 8, 19, 22, 23, 5665 and 7967) in Cebu on 04 Nov
1991.

Page 123 of 189

Petitioners further alleged that on 23 Aug 1994, Lucilla and Laila, daughter of
Lucilla, executed a Deed of Absolute Sale (Second Sale), by virtue of SPA from
Luis, over three (3) parcel of Lot in favor of Meridian Realty Corporation (Meridian)
despite the first sale. Such SPA was accomplished by affixing Luis thumbmark
and despite the latter being sick, infirm, blind, and of unsound mind.

On January 16, 1995, a complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Documents with


Damages was filed by Luis, as one of the plaintiffs, against his daughter, Lucila,
Laila and Meridian.

Lucilla and Laila submitted that the petitioners were estopped from questioning
the validity of the second sale because of their failure to effect the registration
and annotation of the first sale.

Meridian claimed that they were buyers in good faith.

RTC ruled in favor of the petitioners because it held that when Luis executed the
second deed of sale he was no longer the owner of the properties.

On appeal, CA reversed and held that the first sale was void due to lack of
consideration.

ISSUE: Whether or not the first sale was valid.

RULING: Yes, the first sale was valid.

Under Section 3, Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, the following are disputable
presumptions: (1) private transactions have been fair and regular; (2) the ordinary
course of business has been followed; and (3) there was sufficient consideration
for a contract. These presumptions operate against an adversary who has not
introduced proof to rebut them. They create the necessity of presenting evidence
to rebut the prima facie case they created, and which, if no proof to the contrary
is presented and offered, will prevail. The burden of proof remains where it is but,
by the presumption, the one who has that burden is relieved for the time being
from introducing evidence in support of the averment, because the presumption
stands in the place of evidence unless rebutted.
Page 124 of 189

In this case, the respondents failed to trounce the said presumption. Aside from
their bare allegation that the sale was made without a consideration, they failed
to supply clear and convincing evidence to back up this claim. It is elementary in
procedural law that bare allegations, unsubstantiated by evidence, are not
equivalent to proof under the Rules of Court.

The CA decision ran counter to this established rule regarding disputable


presumption. It relied heavily on the account of Lourdes who testified that the
children of Luis approached him and convinced him to sign the deed of sale,
explaining that it was necessary for a loan application, but they did not pay the
purchase price for the subject properties. This testimony, however, is self-serving
and would not amount to a clear and convincing evidence required by law to
dispute the said presumption. As such, the presumption that there was sufficient
consideration will not be disturbed

HEIRS OF TRAZONA vs. HEIRS OF CANADA


G.R. No. 175874

December 11, 2013

712 SCRA

FACTS: Cipriano Trazona owned an untitled parcel of land in Minglanilla Cebu


referred to as Lot 5053-H.

In 1949, Dionisio Canada bought the adjacent lot from Pilar Diaz. It was later
found that Dionisio had encroached on a small portion of Lot 5053-H but no
ejectment was filed by Cipriano during his lifetime. Cipriano died on 1982, since
then his son Hermogenes cultivated the lot 5053-H. On March 1992, Hermogenes
died.

The controversy arose when the Heirs of Cipriano Trazona (Petitioners) found out
that the tax declaration was cancelled and another one was issued in favor of
Dionisio on June 1996 by virtue of a Deed of Sale dated 27 June 1956 supposedly
executed by Cipriano in favor of Dionisio.

Page 125 of 189

Petitioner filed a Complaint against Heirs of Dionisio (Respondents) for quieting of


title, annulment of deed of sale, recovery of possession and ownership among
others. Petitioner alleged that the Deed of Sale was a forgery. Respondent in their
Answer alleged that that assailed deed was genuine document.

Petitioner presented a document examiner of the PNP Crime Laboratory, Region


VII as their witness. He testified that according to his comparative analysis of
Ciprianos signature on the assailed deed and standard signatures on other
documents, Ciprianos signature on the deed in question was a forgery.

Respondents presented Dionisios son Gorgonio, who testified that he was present
when the assailed deed was executed.

RTC ruled in in favor of the petitioner and held that the deed was a forgery based
on the discrepancies of Ciprianos signature on other document presented.

On appeal, the CA reversed and held that petitioners had failed to prove by
requisite evidence their allegation that the assailed deed was a forgery.31 The
deed, being a notarized document, enjoyed the presumption of authenticity and
due execution.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners were not able to overturn the presumption of
regularity of the assailed deed.
RULING: Petitioners presented clear and convincing evidence that the assailed
deed is a forgery.
The Supreme Court sustain the findings of the RTC.
It is true that notarized documents are accorded evidentiary weight as regards
their due execution. Nevertheless, while notarized documents enjoy the
presumption of regularity, this presumption is disputable. They can be
contradicted by evidence that is clear, convincing, and more than merely
preponderant.39 Here, contrary to the conclusion of the CA, we find clear and
convincing evidence that is enough to overturn the presumption of regularity of
the assailed deed.
First, the document examiner determined that the signature of Cipriano in the
assailed deed had been forged. In concluding that the signature of Cipriano in the
assailed deed was a forgery, the document examiner found that there were
"significant differences in letter formation, construction and other individual
handwriting characteristics" between the assailed and the standard signatures of
Page 126 of 189

Cipriano The fact that the document examiner himself admitted that even the
standard signatures of Cipriano showed variations among themselves does not
make the formers determination any less convincing. He explained that while
every signature of the same person varies, the individual handwriting
characteristics of the person remain the same.
Second, the RTC did not just rely on expert testimony in ruling that the signature
was forged. It likewise supported its finding that the signature was forged through
independent observation:
Finally, a scrutiny of the signature on the questioned deed of sale compared to the
eleven (11) signatures on the ten (10) standard documents there exists a glaring
difference in the letter formation of capital letters "C" in Cipriano and "T" in
Trazona. The capital C in questioned signature, the initial stroke stopped at the
upper curve of the letter C while in the standard signatures, it overlaps from the
upper curve. In the word Trazona, the capital T in the questioned signature is
disconnected from the T bar to the body of the questioned signature whereas, in
the standard signatures, the capital T is connected. These discrepancies can
easily be noticed by mere physical appearance that the letters C and T were
written.
Third, the existence of the Deed of Absolute Sale dated 11 April 1953 brings into
question the regularity of the assailed deed. This deed was never disputed by
respondents at any stage of the proceedings, and was in fact admitted by them in
their Comments to Plaintiffs Additional Formal Offer of Exhibits.
Fourth, Cipriano had cultivated the property and paid taxes thereon since the
time he acquired it from the government, and even after its purported sale to
Dionisio, until his death.
Fifth, as admitted by Gorgonio himself, petitioners were the ones enjoying the
fruits of the property from 1960 until the present controversy. Again, it is
incongruous for petitioners to enjoy the fruits if respondents owned the property.
Sixth, as the RTC noted, there was an irregularity regarding the place of issuance
of Ciprianos residence certificate indicated in the assailed deed, as compared
with the residence certificates of the other persons indicated on the same page of
the notarial register.

SUPPRESSION OF TESTIMONY

PEOPLE vs ROBERTO PADRIGONE


G.R. No. 137664
Page 127 of 189

May 9, 2002

NOTE:Under Rule 131, Section 3(e) of the Rules of Court, the rule that "evidence
willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced" does not apply if (a) the
evidence is at the disposal of both parties; (b) the suppression was not willful; (c)
it is merely corroborative or cumulative; and (d) the suppression is an exercise of
a privilege.

FACTS: It appears that at 3:00 in the morning of January 3, 1995, appellant


Roberto Padrigone and the other accused broke into the house of Rowena
Contridas, then 16 years old, situated in San Benito, Salvacion, Buhi, Camarines
Sur. Appellant Roberto Padrigone and accused Jocel Ibaneta poked a knife at
Rowena and her fourteen year-old sister, Nimfa,2 and threatened to kill them if
they reported the incident to others. They gagged Rowena with a handkerchief
and Nimfa with a handtowel. Then, appellant undressed Rowena, forced her to lie
down and sexually violated her while his co-accused watched with glee. Accused
Jocel Ibanita tried to rape Nimfa but failed because she was able to elude him.
After appellant satisfied his lust on Rowena, the other accused took their turns.
Every one of the accused raped Rowena. Before they left, they warned the sisters
not to report the incident or else they will kill them.
Despite the threats, Rowena and Nimfa reported the incident to the police and
identified appellant and his co-accused as the perpetrators. However, based on
the police blotter, Rowena stated that it was only appellant who raped her.
Dr. Chona C. Belmonte, a psychiatrist of Cadlan Mental Hospital in Pili, Camarines
Sur, testified that while she interviewed Rowena, the latter was crying, incoherent
and had shouting episodes. She was confined at the Cadlan Mental Hospital for
further treatment. Upon further medical consultation, Dr. Belmonte observed thus:
Rowena was in a depressed mood and at the same time overactive. She was
combative, violent, and was experiencing auditory hallucination, meaning, she
heard things that only she could hear. She was also grandiously deluded, falsely
believing that she could do things others could not do. By that time, according to
Dr. Belmonte, Rowena had already lost touch with reality.4
Dr. Belmonte diagnosed her illness as "Acute Psychotic Depressive
Condition."5 She found that her mental disorder was not hereditary because
before the incident took place, she did not exhibit any unusual behavior. She
concluded that her mental illness was strongly related to a traumatic experience.
She noted that at one point in the treatment, Rowena confided to her that "she
was raped."
Roberto Padrigone a.k.a. Roberto San Miguel, Michael San Antonio, Jocel Ibaneta
and Abelardo Triumpante were charged with rape in an amended information.

Page 128 of 189

All the accused pleaded "not guilty." Trial on the merits thereafter ensued.
All the accused, including appellant Roberto Padrigone, interposed the defense of
denial and alibi. Appellant claimed that in the evening of January 2, 1995, he and
his companions, Jocel Ibanita and Michael San Antonio, visited Rowena at her
house. According to him, Rowena was crying when they arrived. When appellant
asked her what was wrong, she told him that she wanted to elope with him. He
replied that he was not ready as he was still studying. Rowena snapped, "it's up to
him but he might regret it."7 While appellant and Rowena were talking, Jocel
Ibanita and Michael San Antonio were in the kitchen cooking noodles. Later, a
certain Ismeraldo Quirante, in the presence of several barangay watchmen
patrolling the area, passed by the Contridas' house and advised the accused to go
home because it was getting late. They heeded the advice and left the Contridas'
house at around 11:30 p.m.
The trial court gave credence to the prosecution evidence and rendered a decision
convicting the accused.
Appellant interposed the instant appeal. Appellant argues that according to the
prosecution witness, Nimfa, he and his co-accused Michael San Antonio, Abelardo
Triumpante and Jocel Ibanita, took turns in raping Rowena while Jocel Ibanita also
attempted to rape her. However, after preliminary investigation, the Municipal
Trial Court of Buhi, Camarines Sur, dismissed Nimfa's complaint for attempted
rape against Jocel Ibanita because of its findings that the latter committed only
acts of lasciviousness, considering his voluntary and spontaneous desistance from
continuing to perform the acts leading to carnal knowledge. Furthermore, the
investigating Judge entertained doubts about the truth of her story, which was
uncorroborated.
Appellant assails the procedural irregularities committed by the prosecution and
by the trial court. He claims that the As a consequence, the trial court deprived
appellant of the opportunity to cross-examine her when she allegedly declared
before the Chief of Police of Buhi that it was only appellant who raped her which
declaration became the basis for the latter's conviction.

ISSUE: Whether the prosecution suppressed evidence by not presenting Rowena,


the victim, when the latter should have had her sane moments.

DECISION: NO.The non-presentation of Rowena on the witness stand cannot be


considered as suppression of evidence. Under Rule 131, Section 3(e) of the Rules
of Court, the rule that "evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if
produced" does not apply if (a) the evidence is at the disposal of both parties; (b)
the suppression was not willful; (c) it is merely corroborative or cumulative; and
(d) the suppression is an exercise of a privilege.
Page 129 of 189

Plainly, there was no suppression of evidence in this case. First, the defense had
the opportunity to subpoena Rowena even if the prosecution did not present her
as a witness. Instead, the defense failed to call her to the witness stand. Second,
Rowena was certified to be suffering from "Acute Psychotic Depressive Condition"
and thus "cannot stand judicial proceedings yet." The non-presentation, therefore,
of Rowena was not willful. Third, in any case, while Rowena was the victim, Nimfa
was also present and in fact witnessed the violation committed on her sister.

2. METROBANK VS CA
G.R. No. 122899
June 8, 2000
NOTE:It is a well-settled rule that when the evidence tends to prove a material
fact which imposes a liability on a party, and he has it in his power to produce
evidence which from its very nature must overthrow the case made against him if
it is not founded on fact, and he refuses to produce such evidence, the
presumption arises that the evidence, if produced would operate to his prejudice,
and support the case of his adversary (citing Manila Bay Club Corporation
vs. Court of Appeals)

FACTS:The subject property is a parcel of land in Diliman, Quezon City consisting


of six hundred ninety (690) square meters originally owned by businessman
Tomas Chia under Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-16753 (106901) of the
Registry of Deeds for Quezon City. Saddled with debts and business reverses, Mr.
Chia offered the subject property for sale to private respondent G.T.P.
Development Corporation (hereafter, GTP), with assumption of the mortgage
indebtedness in favor of petitioner METROBANK secured by the subject property.

Pending negotiations for the proposed sale, Atty. Bernardo Atienza, acting in
behalf of respondent GTP, went to the METROBANK branch in Quiapo, Manila
sometime in the last week of August 1980 to inquire on Mr. Chia's remaining
balance on the real estate mortgage. METROBANK obliged with a statement of
account of Mr. Chia amounting to about P115,000.00 as of August, 1980.

The deed of sale 2 and the memorandum of agreement 3 between Mr. Chia and
respondent GTP were eventually executed and signed on 04 September 1980 in
the office of Atty. Atienza. Twelve (12) days later, or on 16 September 1980, Atty.
Atienza went to METROBANK Quiapo Branch and paid one hundred sixteen
Page 130 of 189

thousand four hundred sixteen pesos and seventy-one centavos


(P116,416.71), for which METROBANK issued an official receipt acknowledging
payment.
This notwithstanding, petitioner METROBANK refused to release the real estate
mortgage on the subject property despite repeated requests from Atty. Atienza,
thus prompting respondent GTP to file on October 17, 1980 an action for specific
performance against petitioner METROBANK and Mr. Chia.

In answer to the complaint, Mr. Chia denied having executed any deed of sale in
favor of respondent GTP involving the subject property. Petitioner for its part
justified its non-release of the real estate mortgage (1) upon the advise of Mr.
Chia that he never executed any sales agreement with respondent GTP, and (2)
by the fact that there are other loans incurred by Mr. Chia which are also secured
by the subject property.
After trial, judgment was rendered by the regional trial court on 11 December
1990 granting the reliefs prayed for by respondent GTP as plaintiff.

On appeal, respondent Court of Appeals rendered a Decision dated 24 October


1994 reversing the trial court's 11 December 1990 judgment, ruling in the main
that the one hundred sixteen thousand four hundred sixteen pesos and seventyone centavos (P116,416.71) paid by respondent GTP to petitioner METROBANK did
not extinguish the real estate mortgage inasmuch as there are other unliquidated
past due loans secured by the subject property.
With this unfavorable turn of events, respondent GTP, on 07 November 1994 filed
before respondent Court of Appeals a "motion for reconsideration with alternative
prayer to require METROBANK to furnish appellee (GTP) of the alleged unpaid
balance of Mr. Chia.

On 03 July 1995, the now assailed amended decision was rendered reconsidering
the original 24 October 1994 Decision and thus affirming the 11 December 1990
judgment of the regional trial court. Respondent Court of Appeals took a second
hard look at the evidence on hand and seriously considered METROBANK's refusal
to specify any unpaid debt secured by the subject property, in concluding anew
that "the present case for specific performance is well-grounded, absent
indubitable showing that the aforesaid amount of P116,416.71 paid by appellee
on September 16, 1980 did not suffice to pay in full the mortgage debt assumed
under the Deed of Absolute Sale, with assumption of mortgage, it inked with the
late Tomas Chia. There is therefore merit in its motion for reconsideration at
bench.
Page 131 of 189

Hence, a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
assailing the amended decision of public respondent Court of Appeals was filed by
Metrobank.

ISSUE: Whether CA erred in affirming the ruling of the RTC.

DECISION: NO
Petitioner METROBANK's failure to bring before respondent Court of Appeals the
current statement evidencing what it claims as "other unliquidated past due
loans" at the scheduled hearing of 8 March 1995. It was a golden opportunity, so
to speak, lost for petitioner METROBANK to defend its non-release of the real
estate mortgage. Thus, the following pronouncements of this Court in Manila Bay
Club Corporation vs. Court of Appeals et. al, speaking thru Mr. Justice Ricardo
Francisco, find rightful application, viz.
It is a well-settled rule that when the evidence tends to prove a material fact
which imposes a liability on a party, and he has it in his power to produce
evidence which from its very nature must overthrow the case made against him if
it is not founded on fact, and he refuses to produce such evidence, the
presumption arises that the evidence, if produced would operate to his prejudice,
and support the case of his adversary. . . .

No rule of law is better settled than that a party having it in his power to prove a
fact, if it exists, which, if proved, would benefit him, his failure to prove it must be
taken as conclusive that the fact does not exist.
xxx

xxx

xxx

Where facts are in evidence affording legitimate inferences going to establish the
ultimate fact that the evidence is designed to prove, and the party to be affected
by the proof, with an opportunity to do so, fails to deny or explain them, they may
well be taken as admitted with all the effect of the inferences afforded. . . .
The ordinary rule is that one who has knowledge peculiarly within his own control,
and refuses to divulge it, cannot complain if the court puts the most unfavorable
construction upon his silence, and infers that a disclosure would have shown the
fact to be as claimed by the opposing party.
Verily, petitioner METROBANK's omission to present its evidence only created an
adverse inference against its cause. Therefore, it cannot now be heard to
complain since respondent Court extended a reasonable opportunity to petitioner
METROBANK that it did not avail.
Page 132 of 189

OFFICIAL DUTY
DE LOS SANTOS vs. COA
G.R. No. 198457 August 13, 2013 703 SCRA

FACTS: Sometime in October 2001, then Congressman Cuenco of Cebu City


entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Vicente Sotto Memorial
Medical Center (VSMMC or hospital), represented by Dr. Alquizalas, Medical Center
Chief, appropriating to the hospital the amount of P1,500,000.00 from his PDAF to
cover the medical assistance of indigent patients under the Tony N' Tommy (TNT)
Health Program (TNT Program). It was agreed,inter alia, that: (a) Cuenco shall
identify and recommend the indigent patients who may avail of the benefits of the
TNT Program for an amount not exceeding P5,000.00 per patient, except those
with major illnesses for whom a separate limit may be specified; (b) an indigent
patient who has been a beneficiary will be subsequently disqualified from seeking
further medical assistance; and (c) the hospital shall purchase medicines intended
for the indigent patients from outside sources if the same are not available in its
pharmacy, subject to reimbursement when such expenses are supported by
official receipts and other documents In line with this, Ma. Isabel Cuenco, Project
Director of the TNT Program, wrote petitioner Antoni, Pharmacist V of VSMMC,
requesting the latter to purchase needed medicines not available at the hospital
pharmacy from Sacred Heart Pharmacy or Dell Pharmacy which were supposedly
accredited suppliers of the Department of Health. The said request was approved.

The Audit Proceedings

Several years after the enforcement of the MOA, allegations of forgery and
falsification of prescriptions and referrals for the availment of medicines under the
TNT Program surfaced. On December 14, 2004, petitioner Delos Santos, who
succeeded Dr. Alquizalas, created, through Hospital Order No. 1112, a fact-finding
committee to investigate the matter.

Within the same month, Booc, State Auditor IV, who was assigned to audit the
hospital, came up with her own review of the account for drugs and medicines
charged to the PDAF of Cuenco. She furnished Delos Santos the results of her
review as contained in Audit Observation Memoranda recommending the
investigation of the following irregularities:
Page 133 of 189

a. AOM No. 2004-21 x x x involving fictitious patients and falsified prescriptions


for anti-rabies and drugs costing P3,290,083.29;
b. AOM No. 2004-21B x x x involving issuance of vitamins worth P138,964.80
mostly to the staff of VSMMC and TNT Office covering the period January to
April 2004; and
c. AOM No. 2004-21C x x x covering fictitious patients and falsified
prescriptions for other drugs and medicines worth P552,853.85 and unpaid
falsified prescriptions and referral letters for drugs and medicines costing
P602,063.50.15cralaw virtualaw library
Meanwhile, the fact-finding committee created by Delos Santos submitted its
Report essentially affirming the unseen and unnoticeable irregularities
attendant to the availment of the TNT Program.

In the initial investigation conducted by the CoA, the results of which were
reflected in AOM No. 2005-001 dated October 26, 2005, it was found that: (a) 133
prescriptions for vaccines, drugs and medicines for anti-rabies allegedly
dispensed by Dell Pharmacy costing P3,407,108.40, and already paid by VSMMC
from the PDAF of Cuenco appeared to be falsified; (b) 46 prescriptions for other
drugs and medicines allegedly dispensed by Dell Pharmacy costing P705,750.50,
and already paid by VSMMC from the PDAF of Cuenco likewise appeared to be
falsified and (c) 25 prescriptions for drugs and medicines allegedly issued by Dell
Pharmacy costing P602,063.50 were also ascertained to be falsified and have not
been paid by VSMMC.

Examination by the Special Audit Team (SAT) of the records and interviews with
the personnel involved showed that the purported patients-beneficiaries of the
TNT Program were mostly non-existent and there was no actual procedure
followed except for the mere preparation of payment documents which were
found to be falsified.

Aggrieved, petitioners filed their respective appeals before the CoA which were
denied maintaining their solidary liability.

ISSUE: Whether or not VSMMC was merely a passive entity in the disbursement of
funds under the TNT Program and, thus, invoke good faith in the performance of
their respective duties, capitalizing on the failure of the assailed Decisions of the
Page 134 of 189

CoA to show that their lapses in the implementation of the TNT Program were
attended by malice or bad faith.

RULING: Jurisprudence holds that, absent any showing of bad faith and malice,
there is a presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties. However,
this presumption must fail in the presence of an explicit rule that was violated.For
instance, in Reyna v. CoA (Reyna), the Court affirmed the liability of the public
officers therein, notwithstanding their proffered claims of good faith, since their
actions violated an explicit rule in the Landbank of the Philippines Manual on
Lending Operations. In similar regard, the Court, in Casal v. CoA (Casal), sustained
the liability of certain officers of the National Museum who again, notwithstanding
their good faith participated in approving and authorizing the incentive award
granted to its officials and employees in violation of Administrative Order Nos. 268
and 29 which prohibit the grant of productivity incentive benefits or other
allowances of similar nature unless authorized by the Office of the
President. In Casal, it was held that, even if the grant of the incentive award was
not for a dishonest purpose, the patent disregard of the issuances of the President
and the directives of the CoA amounts to gross negligence, making the
[approving officers] liable for the refund [of the disallowed incentive award].

Just as the foregoing public officers in Reyna and Casal were not able to dispute
their respective violations of the applicable rules in those cases, the Court finds
that the petitioners herein have equally failed to make a case justifying their nonobservance of existing auditing rules and regulations, and of their duties under
the MOA. Evidently, petitioners neglect to properly monitor the disbursement of
Cuenco's PDAF facilitated the validation and eventual payment of 133 falsified
prescriptions and fictitious claims for anti-rabies vaccines supplied by both the
VSMMC and Dell Pharmacy, despite the patent irregularities borne out by the
referral slips and prescriptions related thereto. Had there been an internal control
system installed by petitioners, the irregularities would have been exposed, and
the hospital would have been prevented from processing falsified claims and
unlawfully disbursing funds from the said PDAF. Verily, petitioners cannot escape
liability for failing to monitor the procedures implemented by the TNT Office on
the ground that Cuenco always reminded them that it was his money. Neither may
deviations, from the usual procedure at the hospital, such as the admitted
bypassing of the VSMMC social worker in the qualification of the indigentbeneficiaries, be justified as a welcome relief to the already overworked and
undermanned section of the hospital.

Page 135 of 189

PEOPLE vs. CANDIDIA


G.R. No. 191263

October 16, 2013 707 SCRA

FACTS: On 31 July 2002, Hadji Socor Cadidia while at MIA on her way Butuan City
undergone frisking procedure upon arrival at the departure area. The said
procedure was conducted by Marilyn Trayvilla, a Non-Uniform Personel of the PNP.
The latter noticed something unusual and thick at the buttocks of Cadidia. Upon
inquiry of Trayvilla the accused respond that it was her sanitary napkin. Not
convinced, Trayvilla and co-employee Leilani Bagsican brought the accused to the
comfort room to check. Upon checking they found two sachets of shabu. The
sachets were turned over to SPO3 Musali Appang.

Due to the incident Cadidia was charged for violation of Sec. 5 of RA 9165 or the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The prosecution presented the testimony of Trayvilla corroborated by Bagsican
and SPO3 Appang. Moreover, the two sachets confiscated were identified as
shabu by Forensic Chemist Reyes.

On defense, the accused claimed that upon arrival she was brought by Trayvilla
and Bagsican to the comfort room. The two frisked her but failed to recover
anything. Thereafter, the two women asked for money as they allegedly found two
sachets of shabu. Hence, the accused called her relative and asked to bring P200k
but her relative were only able to raise P6k which the two policemen found
unacceptable.

Further, the accused contended that the prosecution witnesses have contradicting
statements as to who asked the accused to bring out the contents of the
underwear and that Bagsican claims that the sachets of shabu was placed inside
her blazer contrary to Appangs statement that Bagsican and Trayvilla handed the
sachets to him immediately after recovering such from the accused.

The RTC found the accused guilty which was affirmed by the CA.
ISSUE: Whether or not the self-serving testimonies of Trayvilla and Bagsican failed
to overcome her presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Constitution.

Page 136 of 189

RULING: In cases involving violations of Dangerous Drugs Act, credence should be


given to the narration of the incident by the prosecution witnesses especially
when they are police officers who are presumed to have performed their duties in
a regular manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary. Further, the evaluation
of the credibility of witnesses is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial
judge, whose conclusion thereon deserves much weight and respect because the
judge has the direct opportunity to observe said witnesses on the stand and
ascertain if they are telling the truth or not. Applying the foregoing, we affirm the
findings of the lower court in the appreciation of facts and credibility of the
witnesses.
Upon review of the records, we find no conflict in the narration of events of the
prosecution witnesses. In her direct testimony, Trayvilla testified that both of them
asked Cadidia to remove what was inside her underwear when she and Bagsican
brought the accused to the comfort room to check what was hidden
inside. However, in her re-direct, she clarified that it was really Bagsican who
particularly made the request but she was then also inside the cubicle with the
accused. This clarification is sufficient for the Court to conclude that the two of
them were inside the cubicle when the request to bring out the contents of the
underwear was made and the concealed illegal drug was discovered.
The other inconsistency alleged by the accused pertains to what happened during
the confiscation of the illegal drug at the cubicle. The accused alleges that
Bagsican and SPO3 Appang differed in their statements. Upon review, We find no
such inconsistency. Bagsican testified that after confiscation, she put the two
plastic sachets of shabu in her blazer for safekeeping. She further narrated that
afterwards, she turned over the accused and the plastic sachets to SPO3 Appang.
SPO3 Appang, in turn, testified that when the two female friskers went out of the
comfort room, they handed to him what was taken from the accused. The
statements can be harmonized as a continuous and unbroken recollection of
events.
Even assuming that the said set of facts provided conflicting statements, We have
consistently held time and again that minor inconsistencies do not negate the
eyewitnesses positive identification of the appellant as the perpetrator of the
crime. As long as the testimonies as a whole presented a coherent and believable
recollection, the credibility would still be upheld. What is essential is that the
witnesses testimonies corroborate one another on material details surrounding
the commission of the crime.
In this case, the prosecution witnesses were unable to show ill-motive for the
police to impute the crime against Cadidia. Trayvilla was doing her regular duty as
an airport frisker when she handled the accused who entered the x-ray machine
of the departure area. There was no pre-determined notice to particularly search
the accused especially in her private area. The unusual thickness of the buttocks
of the accused upon frisking prompted Trayvilla to notify her supervisor SPO3
Page 137 of 189

Appang of the incident. The subsequent search of the accused would only show
that the two female friskers were just doing their usual task when they found the
illegal drugs inside accuseds underwear. This is bolstered by the fact that the
accused on the one hand and the two friskers on the other were unfamiliar to
each other. Neither could they harbour any ill-will against each other. The
allegation of frame-up and denial of the accused cannot prevail over the positive
testimonies of three prosecution witnesses who corroborated on circumstances
surrounding the apprehension.

COHABITATION

G.R. No. 119072 April 11, 1997


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
vs.
JESUS EDUALINO

NOTE: Moral character of a rape victim is immaterial in the prosecution and


conviction of the accused. The Court has ruled that prostitutes can be the victims
of rape.

FACTS: The case for the prosecution, as told by complainant Rowena Nantiza, is as
follows:
On 12 May 1994, the complainant and her mother Leonora Caabay were in
Mambalot, Brooke's Point, Palawan to attend a dance. At about ten (10) o'clock in
the evening of that day Rowena saw her cousin Antero Bacosa at the dance and
she asked him to drink beer with her.

Antero got drunk and fell asleep. It was at this time that accused Jesus Edualino
approached her and offered her a glass of beer. Rowena noticed that Edualino was
drunk so she accepted the glass. She then felt dizzy after drinking the beer.

Edualino then dragged her toward a grassy area where no people were present.
The accused then forced himself on top of her and succeeded in raping her while
she was in a semi-unconscious state.
Page 138 of 189

Rowena further stated that she was continuously resisting the assault upon her
but Edualino was stronger and he even boxed her in the stomach. She stated that
she passed out after the rape was consummated.

Prosecution witness Aileen Yayen testified that she saw the accused in the act of
raping Rowena in the grassy area near the store of a certain Sgt. Edep and the
house of a certain Mrs. Adier.
Aileen stated that she was looking for her cousin Rowena Nantiza in the early
morning of 12 May 1994 at Brooke's Point where a dance was being held. She saw
Rowena with the accused on top of her in a dark grassy area near the site of the
dance. Both the accused and Rowena were naked. She was able to identify the
accused by pointing her flashlight from a distance of less than two (2) meters
away.

She then called her aunt Erlinda de la Cruz, the victim's mother, but when they
returned, the accused immediately left when he noticed their presence.

The defense had a different version of the incident.

Accused Jesus Edualino, while admitting that he was at the dance at Brook's Point
on 11 May 1994, denied that he raped complainant Rowena Nantiza.
Edualino testified that after leaving the dance, he and a certain Calixto Flora went
to the store or Sgt Edep to drink beer. After he and Flora had finished a big bottle
of beer, complainant Nantiza and a certain Antero Bacosa arrived. They noticed
that Nantiza and Bacosa were already drunk. Accused Edualino testified that
complainant Nantiza then began teasing him to kiss her. He (Edualino) stood up to
get away from her but the latter followed him Flora then held on to Nantiza's arm
to prevent the latter from following him Edualino testified that he and Flora then
went to his house where the they stayed until the morning of 12 May 1994.

Edualino also testified that Bacosa and Nantiza may have been under the
influence of marijuana since he heard the two (2) talking about having taken
drugs.

Calixto Flora corroborated the accused-appellant's version of the incident.


Page 139 of 189

Felix Alberto, a resident of Brooke's Point, testified that in the evening of 11 May
1994 while they were walking towards the place where the dance was being held,
he and his sister Rose saw complainant Rowena Nantiza sitting by the roadside
with her hands cupped covering her mouth. Upon seeing them, Nantiza allegedly
called out "Rose, halika, tikman mo, masarap ito." (Rose, come and try this. It's
tasty). When they approached Nantiza, Alberto testified that he saw her holding
what appeared to be dried marijuana leaves Alberto then testified that he even
scolded Nantiza saying. "Why are you doing that? You have already two children
and you know that is bad" Alberto then took his sister and left.

Rodolfo Caabay, then barangay captain of Mambalot, Brooke's Point, Palawan


testified that in the early morning of 12 May 1994, an unusual incident was
reported to him Leonora Caabay complained that her daughter Rowena Caabay
Nantiza was found lying on the ground about eight (8) meters from the store
owned by a certain Sgt. Edep. He found Rowena was very hysterical and he
observed that she had too much to drink. He turned over Rowena to the police. He
later learned that accused-appellant was picked up for questioning regarding his
alleged rape of Rowena Nantiza.

Epifania Caabay, Rodolfo's wife, testified that she accompanied Rowena and her
mother on board the police vehicle which took them to Brooke's Point District
Hospital. She stated that Rowena was hysterical and kept on shouting in the
vernacular, "I want water!" Epifania further stated that Rowena's mother slapped
her and hit her on different parts of the body to quiet her down. Epifania agreed
with the other defense witnesses that Rowena was quite drunk at the time.
On 23 December 1994, the trial court rendered a decision guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of RAPE with penalty of death.

The conviction of accused-appellant is now before this Court on automatic review.


Accused-appellant contends that the testimony of the complainant tends to show
"that there was foreplay before the alleged rape whereby the accused allegedly
kissed her, caressed her breast and bit her nipple; that the accused was on top of
her and inserted his penis in her vagina and did the push and pull movement, that
she cannot remember how long it lasted but she knew [accused] had an orgasm
after which the accused stood up and left, all this bear the earmarks of a
voluntary and mutual coition, a consensual intercourse. There was no rape."

Finally, accused-appellant raises the issue of the character of complainant Rowena


Nantiza. It is argued that a responsible and decent married woman, who was then
Page 140 of 189

three (3) months pregnant, would not be out at two (2) o'clock in the morning
getting drunk much less would a decent Filipina ask a man to accompany her to
drink beer. It is contended that complainant merely concocted the charge of rape
to save her marriage since her husband had found out that she was using drugs
and drinking alcohol and even made a spectacle of herself when she tried to
seduce accused-appellant on 11 May 1994 while she was under the influence of
drug and alcohol.

ISSUE: Whether the conviction was proper.

DECISION: YES. In the present case, even if accused-appellant's allegations that


the victim was drunk and under the influence of drugs and that she (the victim)
cannot be considered a decent and responsible married woman, were true, said
circumstances will not per se preclude a finding that she was raped. it should be
pointed out that the moral character of a rape victim is immaterial in the
prosecution and conviction of the accused. The Court has ruled that prostitutes
can be the victims of rape.

Accused-appellant in a final attempt to absolve himself argues that the charge of


rape was concocted by the victim to save her marriage.
The Court cannot believe that a married woman would invent a story that she was
raped in an attempt to conceal addiction to drugs or alcohol, in order to save her
marriage. We fail to understand how a false rape story can save a marriage under
the circumstances averred by accused-appellant.

The other arguments adduced by accused-appellant pertaining to credibility of the


two (2) prosecution witnesses are basically issues that cannot be reviewed by the
Court absent attendant circumstances that do not exist in this case.
The alleged inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses
pertain to minor matters and are even badges that the witnesses were
unrehearsed and honest.
After a careful and thorough study of the records of the case, the Court is
convinced that the constitutional presumption of accused-appellant's innocence
has been overcome by proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE
PEOPLE vs FABRE
Page 141 of 189

G.R. No. 146697


July 23, 2002
NOTE: The trial court is not bound to give full weight to the testimony of a witness
on direct examination merely because he is not cross-examined by the other
party.
FACTS: Fabre was indicted in an Information for rape of a 13 year old. Accused
pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. At the trial, the prosecution presented
the testimony of Marilou, that of Adela Fabre, her mother and the wife of the
accused, and that of Dr. Reinerio Jalalon, the doctor who examined Marilou, along
with the medico-legal certificate issued by Dr. Jalalon, the sworn statement of
Adela, and the criminal complaint signed by both Marilou and Adela. The defense,
during its turn in the presentation of evidence, countered with the testimony of
the accused himself. It also called Adela Fabre back to the witness stand.

The trial court gave credence to the evidence given by the prosecution,
particularly to the narration of the young complainant, expressing a quote from an
observation once made by this Tribunal in one of its decision that "even when
consumed with revenge, it (would) take a certain amount of psychological
depravity for a young woman to concoct a story which (could) put her own father
for the rest of his remaining life in jail and drag herself and the rest of her family
to a lifetime of shame." Hence automatic review by the SC.
The defense argues, rather desperately, that the testimony of appellant should
acquire added strength for the failure of the prosecution to conduct crossexamination on him and to present any rebuttal evidence.

ISSUE: Whether the testimony of appellant should acquire added strength for the
failure of the prosecution to conduct cross-examination on him and to present any
rebuttal evidence.

DECISION: NO. The cross-examination of a witness is a prerogative of the party


against whom the witness is called. The purpose of cross-examination is to test
the truth or accuracy of the statements of a witness made on direct
examination. The party against whom the witness testifies may deem any further
examination unnecessary and instead rely on any other evidence theretofore
adduced or thereafter to be adduced or on what would be believed is the
perception of the court thereon. Certainly, the trial court is not bound to give full
weight to the testimony of a witness on direct examination merely because he is
not cross-examined by the other party.
Page 142 of 189

LEADING AND MISLEADING QUESTIONS


PEOPLE vs PEREZ
G.R. No. 142556
February 5, 2003
NOTE:As a rule, leading questions are not allowed. However, the rules provide for
exceptions when the witness is a child of tender years as it is usually difficult for
such child to state facts without prompting or suggestion. Leading questions are
necessary to coax the truth out of their reluctant lips.

FACTS:On January 22, 1997, the Second Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of


Zambales filed an Information charging appellant with the crime of rape
"penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 5 (b),
Article III of Republic Act No. 7610.
Upon arraignment, appellant, assisted by counsel de officio Atty. Genaro N.
Montefalcon, pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. Subsequently, the trial
court allowed the withdrawal of Atty. Montefalcon as counsel for health reasons.
The trial court appointed Atty. Roberto Blanco as appellants counsel de oficio.
Thereafter, trial ensued. The prosecution presented the following witnesses: the
victim, Mayia Ponseca; the victims mother, Hermie Ponseca; the victims father,
Osias Ponseca; Virginia Espejo Giron; and Dr. Editha dela Cruz Divino. On the other
hand, the defense presented appellant and his employer, Bartolome Tolentino.
The Office of the Solicitor General ("OSG" for brevity) summarized the
prosecutions version of the incident in the appellees brief, to wit:
"On January 17, 1997, about noontime, in Sitio Baco, Barangay Macarang, Palauig,
Zambales, six-year old Mayia Ponseca was walking along Sulok on her way to her
house in Sitio Camiling when appellant Jesus Sebunga Perez approached her (pp.
7-8, TSN, December 15, 1998). Appellant introduced himself as "Johnny" and
immediately afterwards, strangled her neck and boxed her abdomen (p. 10, TSN,
December 15, 1998). Still in shock, Mayia fell down (id.). At that point, a dog
arrived and barked at them.
Appellant then proceeded to lower his black denim pants while simultaneously
removing Mayias panty. He then inserted his penis inside Mayias vagina (p. 11,
id.). Mayia felt excruciating pain in her private parts (sic) but was not able to repel
her aggressor whose strength and weight totally engulfed her. Her only recourse
was to cry while her young body was being ravished (p. 13, id.).
After satisfying his beastly desires, appellant raised his pants and ran away.
Page 143 of 189

When her parents asked Mayia if she knew her assailant, the latter answered the
name "Johnny." (id.) The couple brought their daughter to the President Ramon
Magsaysay Memorial Hospital for medical examination.
Appellant denied raping Mayia. Appellant testified that on the date of the alleged
rape incident, he was working at a fishpond at Macarang, Zambales. He heard of
the rape of a young girl from his manager, Bartolome Tolentino ("Tolentino" for
brevity). Appellant further testified that on January 25, 1997, policemen went to
the fishpond where he worked. The policemen arrested appellant and brought him
to the police station at Palauig. Later, the policemen took him to the municipal jail
of Palauig.
On cross-examination, appellant testified that his nickname is not "Johnny" but
"Jessie." He testified that on January 17, 1997, at around 12 oclock noon, he left
the fishpond and walked home to Barangay Alwa which was about thirty meters
from the fishpond.
The defense formally offered the testimony of witness Tolentino to prove that
appellant was employed as caretaker of Tolentinos fishpond for almost two years
before the alleged rape incident. Appellant was purportedly of good moral
character while employed as a fishpond caretaker. The prosecution admitted the
offer of testimony. Hence, the trial court dispensed with the testimony of Tolentino
in open court.
After trial, the court a quo rendered judgment on October 26, 1999, founding the
accused guilty GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Statutore Rape,
defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code with the
qualifying circumstance that the victim was only 6 years old at the time of the
commission of the offense, in relation to Section 5 (b), Article III, Republic Act
7610, and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of DEATH.
Hence, this automatic review.
Appellant contends that his identification in open court by Mayia was highly
irregular.l^vvphi1.net Appellant points out that the prosecutor had already
identified him as the man wearing an orange t-shirt when the prosecutor asked
Mayia to identify her alleged rapist. Appellant stresses that when Mayia identified
him in open court, she referred to him as a man named "Johnny" and did not give
any description or any identifying mark. Moreover, appellant claims he was alone
in the cell when Mayia identified him after the police arrested him. Appellant
bewails that the identification was not done with the usual police line-up.

ISSUE: Whether allowance of leading questions in the direct examination of Mayia


is justified.

Page 144 of 189

DECISION: YES. As a rule, leading questions are not allowed. However, the rules
provide for exceptions when the witness is a child of tender years as it is usually
difficult for such child to state facts without prompting or suggestion. Leading
questions are necessary to coax the truth out of their reluctant lips. In the case at
bar, the trial court was justified in allowing leading questions to Mayia as she was
evidently young and unlettered, making the recall of events difficult, if not
uncertain. As explained in People v. Rodito Dagamos:

"The trend in procedural law is to give wide latitude to the courts in exercising
control over the questioning of a child witness. The reasons are spelled out in our
Rule on Examination of a Child Witness, which took effect on December 15, 2000,
namely, (1) to facilitate the ascertainment of the truth, (2) to ensure that
questions are stated in a form appropriate to the developmental level of the child,
(3) to protect children from harassment or undue embarrassment, and (4) avoid
waste of time. Leading questions in all stages of examination of a child are
allowed if the same will further the interests of justice."
The Court has repeatedly stated that it is highly inconceivable for a child of tender
age, inexperienced in the ways of the world, to fabricate a charge of defloration,
undergo a medical examination of her private part, subject herself to public trial,
and tarnish her familys honor and reputation, unless she was motivated by a
strong desire to seek justice for the wrong committed against her.
Appellants claim that the police improperly suggested to Mayia to identify
appellant is without basis. True, Mayia did not identify appellant in a police line-up
when Mayia identified appellant in his cell. However, appellant, in his testimony
admitted that he had two other companions in his cell. Moreover, the Court has
held that there is no law requiring a police line-up as essential to a proper
identification. Even without a police line-up, there could still be a proper
identification as long as the police did not suggest such identification to the
witnesses. The records are bereft of any indication that the police suggested to
Mayia to identify appellant as the rapist.
Mayias identification in open court of appellant as her rapist dispels any doubt as
to the proper identification of appellant. Mayia positively identified and pointed to
appellant as her rapist. We are satisfied that her testimony, by itself, is sufficient
identification of her rapist.

IMPEACHMENT
REFERENCE TO MEMORANDUM
G.R. No. 90198
November 7, 1995
Page 145 of 189

NOTE:The use of memory aids during an examination of a witness is not


altogether proscribed. Allowing a witness to refer to her notes rests on the sound
discretion of the trial court.

FACTS: At around ten o'clock in the morning of 29 November 1984, Herminio


Mansueto, wearing a blue and white striped t-shirt, maong pants, Seiko 5 stop
watch and a pandan hat, left on his bicycle for Barangay Patao, Bantayan, Cebu.
He had with him P10,000.00 cash which he would use to purchase hogs from a
certain "Ruby."
In Patao, Francisca Espina, also known in the locality as Pansing and whose house
was just across the street from the respective residences of the three accused,
saw at the roadside Herminio Mansueto and Roberto Descartinalias "Ruby"
engaged in conversation. Pansing approached them and asked Mansueto if he
would be interested in buying two of her pigs for P1,400.00. Mansueto said "yes"
and promised that he would be right back.
Mansueto and Ruby meantime proceeded to the latter's piggery. Joelito Descartin
and his brother-in-law Rene were also seen going to the place. After some time,
Pansing noticed Joelito take Mansueto's bicycle. Believing that Mansueto was
already preparing to leave and in her desire to catch up with him, Pansing
promptly walked towards the piggery which was around 100 meters away from
her house. She could see Mansueto leaning on the pigsty with Ruby on his right
side and Antonio Plasencia alias "Tonying" on his left; behind was Joelito. Midway,
she was halted on her tracks; she suddenly saw Antonio stab Mansueto. The latter
staggered towards Ruby who himself then delivered another stab blow. Mansueto
fell on his back. Joelito started hitting Mansueto on the forehead while Rene held
Mansueto's legs. Except for a coconut tree and some ipil-ipil trees around the
area, nothing obstructed Pansing's line of vision. Pansing rushed back home. The
image of Antonio waving the weapon and the thought that she might herself be
killed kept her from revealing to anyone what she saw.
Antonio Plasencia, Roberto Descartin and Joelito (Julito) Descartin were charged of
robbery with homicide. When arraigned, all the accused entered a plea of "not
guilty" to the charge; whereupon, trial commenced.
The main defense interposed is one of alibi. Appellant Roberto Descartin,
challenge Francisca Espina's credibility because of her alleged inconsistencies,
faults the trial court for allowing the witness to glance at the notes written on her
palm while testifying.

ISSUE:Whether testimony of Francisca Espina should not be given worth since,


while testifying, she would at times be seen reading some notes written on her
left palm.
Page 146 of 189

HELD: NO, the contention of the appellant is not correct.


The use of memory aids during an examination of a witness is not altogether
proscribed. Section 16, Rule 132, of the Rules of Court states:
Sec. 16. When witness may refer to memorandum. A witness may be allowed to
refresh his memory respecting a fact, by anything written or recorded by
himself or under his direction at the time when the fact occurred, or immediately
thereafter, or at any other time when the fact was fresh in his memory and he
knew that the same was correctly written or recorded; but in such case the writing
or record must be produced and may be inspected by the adverse party, who
may, if he chooses, cross-examine the witness upon it and may read it in
evidence. So, also, a witness may testify from such a writing or record, though he
retain no recollection of the particular facts, if he is able to swear that the writing
or record correctly stated the transaction when made; but such evidence must be
received with caution. (Emphasis supplied.)
Allowing a witness to refer to her notes rests on the sound discretion of the trial
court. In this case, the exercise of that discretion has not been abused; the
witness herself has explained that she merely wanted to be accurate on dates and
like details.
Appellants see inadvertency on Francisca's appearing to be "jittery" on the
witness stand. Nervousness and anxiety of a witness is a natural reaction
particularly in the case of those who are called to testify for the first time. The real
concern, in fact, should be when they show no such emotions.

PAST RECOLLECTION RECORDED


CANQUE vs.CA
G.R. No. 96202
April 13, 1999

FACTS:Petitioner Rosella D. Canque is a contractor doing business under the name


and style RDC Construction. At the time material to this case, she had contracts
with the government for (a) the restoration of Cebu-Toledo wharf road; (b) the
asphalting of Lutopan access road; and (c) the asphalting of Babag road in
Lapulapu City. In connection with these projects, petitioner entered into two
contracts with private respondent Socor Construction Corporation.
Page 147 of 189

On May 28, 1986, private respondent sent petitioner a bill (Exh. C), containing a
revised computation, for P299,717.75, plus interest at rate of 3% a month,
representing the balance of petitioner's total account of P2,098,400.25 for
materials delivered and services rendered by private respondent under the two
contracts. However, petitioner refused to pay the amount, claiming that private
respondent failed to submit the delivery receipts showing the actual weight in
metric tons of the items delivered and the acceptance thereof by the
government.
Hence, on September 22, 1986, private respondent brought suit in the Regional
Trial Court of Cebu to recover from petitioner the sum of P299,717.75, plus
interest at the rate of 3% a month.
In her answer, petitioner admitted the existence of the contracts with private
respondent as well as receipt of the billing (Exh. C), dated May 28, 1986.
However, she disputed the correctness of the bill
. . . considering that the deliveries of [private respondent] were not signed and
acknowledged by the checkers of [petitioner], the bituminous tack coat it
delivered to [petitioner] consisted of 60% water, and [petitioner] has already paid
[private respondent] about P1,400,000.00 but [private respondent] has not issued
any receipt to [petitioner] for said payments and there is no agreement that
[private respondent] will charge 3% per month interest.
Petitioner subsequently amended her answer denying she had entered into subcontracts with private respondent.
During the trial, private respondent, as plaintiff, presented its vice-president, Sofia
O. Sanchez, and Dolores Aday, its bookkeeper.
Petitioner's evidence consisted of her lone testimony.
On June 22, 1988, the trial court rendered its decision ordering petitioner to pay
private respondent the sum of P299,717.75 plus interest at 12% per annum, and
costs.
The trial court further ruled that in spite of the fact that the contracts did not have
any stipulation on interest, interest may be awarded in the form of damages
under Article 2209 of the Civil Code.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed. It upheld the trial court's' reliance on
private respondent's Book of Collectible Accounts (Exh. K) on the basis of Rule
130, of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE: WHETHER THE RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING IN EVIDENCE AS


ENTRIES IN THE COURSE OF BUSINESS THE ENTRIES IN PRIVATE RESPONDENT'S
BOOK OF COLLECTIBLE ACCOUNTS CONSIDERING THAT THE PERSON WHO MADE
Page 148 of 189

SAID ENTRIES ACTUALLY TESTIFIED IN THIS CASE BUT UNFORTUNATELY HAD NO


PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF SAID ENTRIES.

DECISION: NO
It is argued by private respondent that although the entries cannot be considered
an exception to the hearsay rule, they may be admitted under Rule 132, 10 of the
Rules of Court which provides:
Sec. 10. When witness may refer to memorandum. A witness may be allowed to
refresh his memory respecting a fact, by anything written by himself or under his
direction at the time when the fact occurred, or immediately thereafter, or at any
other time when the fact was fresh in his memory and he knew that the same was
correctly stated in the writing; but in such case the writing must be produced and
may be inspected by the adverse party, who may, if he chooses, cross-examine
the witness upon it, and may read it in evidence. So, also, a witness may testify
from such a writing, though he retain no recollection of the particular facts, if he is
able to swear that the writing correctly stated the transaction when made; but
such evidence must be received with caution.
On the other hand, petitioner contends that evidence which is inadmissible for the
purpose for which it was offered cannot be admitted for another purpose. She
cites the following from Chief Justice Moran's commentaries:
The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified. Where the offer
is general, and the evidence is admissible for one purpose and inadmissible for
another, the evidence should be rejected. Likewise, where the offer is made for
two or more purposes and the evidence is incompetent for one of them, the
evidence should be excluded. The reason for the rule is that "it is the duty of a
party to select the competent from the incompetent in offering testimony, and he
cannot impose this duty upon the trial court." Where the evidence is inadmissible
for the purpose stated in the offer, it must be rejected, though the same may be
admissible for another purpose. The rule is stated thus: "If a party . . . opens the
particular view with which he offers any part of his evidence, or states the object
to be attained by it, he precludes himself from insisting on its operation in any
other direction, or for any other object; and the reason is, that the opposite party
is prevented from objecting to its competency in any view different from the one
proposed.
It should be noted, however, that Exh. K is not really being presented for another
purpose. Private respondent's counsel offered it for the purpose of showing the
amount of petitioner's indebtedness. He said:
Exhibit "K," your Honor faithful reproduction of page (17) of the book on
Collectible Accounts of the plaintiff, reflecting the principal indebtedness of
defendant in the amount of Two hundred ninety-nine thousand seven hundred
Page 149 of 189

seventeen pesos and seventy-five centavos (P299,717.75) and reflecting as well


the accumulated interest of three percent (3%) monthly compounded such that as
of December 11, 1987, the amount collectible from the defendant by the plaintiff
is Six hundred sixteen thousand four hundred thirty-five pesos and seventy-two
centavos (P616,435.72);
This is also the purpose for which its admission is sought as a memorandum to
refresh the memory of Dolores Aday as a witness. In other words, it is the nature
of the evidence that is changed, not the purpose for which it is offered.
Be that as it may, considered as a memorandum, Exh. K does not itself constitute
evidence. As explained inBorromeo v. Court of Appeals:
Under the above provision (Rule 132, 10), the memorandum used to refresh the
memory of the witness does not constitute evidence, and may not be admitted as
such, for the simple reason that the witness has just the same to testify on the
basis of refreshed memory. In other words, where the witness has testified
independently of or after his testimony has been refreshed by a memorandum of
the events in dispute, such memorandum is not admissible as corroborative
evidence. It is self-evident that a witness may not be corroborated by any written
statement prepared wholly by him. He cannot be more credible just because he
supports his open-court declaration with written statements of the same facts
even if he did prepare them during the occasion in dispute, unless the proper
predicate of his failing memory is priorly laid down. What is more, even where this
requirement has been satisfied, the express injunction of the rule itself is that
such evidence must be received with caution, if only because it is not very difficult
to conceive and fabricate evidence of this nature. This is doubly true when the
witness stands to gain materially or otherwise from the admission of such
evidence . . . .
As the entries in question (Exh. K) were not made based on personal knowledge,
they could only corroborate Dolores Aday's testimony that she made the entries
as she received the bills.

IWASAWA vs. GANGAN


G.R. No. 204169

September 11, 2013

FACTS: Petitioner, a Japanese national, met private respondent sometime in 2002


in one of his visits to the Philippines. Private respondent introduced herself as
"single" and "has never married before." Since then, the two became close to
Page 150 of 189

each other. Later that year, petitioner came back to the Philippines and married
private respondent on November 28, 2002 in Pasay City. After the wedding, the
couple resided in Japan.
In July 2009, petitioner noticed his wife become depressed. Suspecting that
something might have happened in the Philippines, he confronted his wife about
it. To his shock, private respondent confessed to him that she received news that
her previous husband passed away.
Petitioner sought to confirm the truth of his wifes confession and discovered that
indeed, she was married to one Raymond Maglonzo Arambulo and that their
marriage took place on June 20, 1994. This prompted petitioner to file a
petition for the declaration of his marriage to private respondent as null and void
on the ground that their marriage is a bigamous one, based on Article 35(4) in
relation to Article 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines.
During trial, aside from his testimony, petitioner also offered the following pieces
of documentary evidence issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO):
(1) Certificate of Marriage between petitioner and private respondent marked as
Exhibit "A" to prove the fact of marriage between the parties on November 28,
2002;
(2) Certificate of Marriage between private respondent and Raymond Maglonzo
Arambulo marked as Exhibit "B" to prove the fact of marriage between the parties
on June 20, 1994;
(3) Certificate of Death of Raymond Maglonzo Arambulo marked as Exhibits "C"
and "C-1" to prove the fact of the latters death on July 14, 2009; and
(4) Certification from the NSO to the effect that there are two entries of marriage
recorded by the office pertaining to private respondent marked as Exhibit "D" to
prove that private respondent in fact contracted two marriages, the first one was
to a Raymond Maglonzo Arambulo on June 20, 1994, and second, to petitioner on
November 28, 2002.
The prosecutor appearing on behalf of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)
admitted the authenticity and due execution of the above documentary exhibits
during pre-trial.
The RTC rendered the assailed decision. It ruled that there was insufficient
evidence to prove private respondents prior existing valid marriage to another
man. It held that while petitioner offered the certificate of marriage of private
respondent to Arambulo, it was only petitioner who testified about said marriage.
The RTC ruled that petitioners testimony is unreliable because he has no personal
knowledge of private respondents prior marriage nor of Arambulos death which
makes him a complete stranger to the marriage certificate between private
respondent and Arambulo and the latters death certificate. It further ruled that
Page 151 of 189

petitioners testimony about the NSO certification is likewise unreliable since he is


a stranger to the preparation of said document.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but the same was denied by the RTC.
ISSUE: Whether or not the testimony of the NSO records custodian certifying the
authenticity and due execution of the public documents issued by said office was
necessary before they could be accorded evidentiary weight.
RULING: There is no question that the documentary evidence submitted by
petitioner are all public documents As provided in the Civil Code:
ART. 410. The books making up the civil register and all documents relating
thereto shall be considered public documents and shall be prima facie evidence of
the facts therein contained.
As public documents, they are admissible in evidence even without further proof
of their due execution and genuineness. Thus, the RTC erred when it disregarded
said documents on the sole ground that the petitioner did not present the records
custodian of the NSO who issued them to testify on their authenticity and due
execution since proof of authenticity and due execution was not anymore
necessary. Moreover, not only are said documents admissible, they deserve to be
given evidentiary weight because they constitute prima facie evidence of the
facts stated therein. And in the instant case, the facts stated therein remain
unrebutted since neither the private respondent nor the public prosecutor
presented evidence to the contrary.
This Court has consistently held that a judicial declaration of nullity is required
before a valid subsequent marriage can be contracted; or else, what transpires is
a bigamous marriage,16 which is void from the beginning as provided in Article
35(4) of the Family Code of the Philippines. And this is what transpired in the
instant case.
As correctly pointed out by the OSG, the documentary exhibits taken together
concretely establish the nullity of the marriage of petitioner to private respondent
on the ground that their marriage is bigamous. The exhibits directly prove the
following facts: (1) that private respondent married Arambulo on June 20, 1994 in
the City of Manila; (2) that private respondent contracted a second marriage this
time with petitioner on November 28, 2002 in Pasay City; (3) that there was no
judicial declaration of nullity of the marriage of private respondent with Arambulo
at the time she married petitioner; (3) that Arambulo died on July 14, 2009 and
that it was only on said date that private respondents marriage with Arambulo
was deemed to have been dissolved; and (4) that the second marriage of private
respondent to petitioner is bigamous, hence null and void, since the first marriage
was still valid and subsisting when the second marriage was contracted.

Page 152 of 189

ASIAN TERMINALS vs. PHILAM INSURANCE


G.R. No. 181163

July 24, 2013

702 SCRA

FACTS: Nichimen Corporation shipped to Universal Motors 219 packages


containing 120 units of brand new Nissan Pickup Truck Double Cab 4x2 model,
without engine, tires and batteries, on board the vessel S/S "Calayan Iris" from
Japan to Manila. The shipment was insured with Philam against all risks.
The carrying vessel arrived at the port of Manila, and when the shipment was
unloaded by the staff of ATI, it was found that the package marked as 03-24542K/1 was in bad order. The Turn Over Survey of Bad Order Cargoes identified two
packages, as being dented and broken. Thereafter, the cargoes were stored for
temporary safekeeping inside CFS Warehouse in Pier No. 5
The shipment was withdrawn by R.F. Revilla Customs Brokerage,
Inc., the authorized broker of Universal Motors, and delivered to the latters
warehouse in Mandaluyong City. Upon the request of Universal Motors, a bad
order survey was conducted on the cargoes and it was found that one Frame Axle
Sub without LWR was deeply dented on the buffle plate while six Frame Assembly
with Bush were deformed and misaligned. Owing to the extent of the damage to
said cargoes, Universal Motors declared them a total loss.
Universal Motors filed a formal claim for damages in the amount against
Westwind, ATI and R.F. Revilla Customs Brokerage, Inc. When Universal Motors
demands remained unheeded, it sought reparation from and was compensated by
Philam. Accordingly, Universal Motors issued a Subrogation Receipt in favor of
Philam.
Philam, as subrogee of Universal Motors, filed a Complaint for damages against
Westwind, ATI and R.F. Revilla Customs Brokerage, Inc. before the RTC of Makati
City.
The RTC rendered judgment in favor of Philam and ordered Westwind and ATI to
pay Philam, jointly and severally, with interest at the rate of 12% per annum by
way of attorneys fees and expenses of litigation.
The court a quo ruled that there was sufficient evidence to establish the
respective participation of Westwind and ATI in the discharge of and consequent
damage to the shipment. It found that the subject cargoes were compressed while
being hoisted using a cable that was too short and taut.
The trial court acknowledged the subrogation between Philam and Universal
Motors on the strength of the Subrogation Receipt. It likewise upheld Philams
claim for the value of the alleged damaged vehicle parts for "7 pieces of Frame
Axle Sub Without Lower and Frame Assembly with Bush."
Page 153 of 189

Westwind filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was, however, denied in an


Order.
On appeal, the CA affirmed with modification the ruling of the RTC. The appellate
court directed Westwind and ATI to pay Philam, jointly and severally with interest
at the rate of 12% per annum until fully paid, attorneys fees and litigation
expenses.
All the parties moved for reconsideration, but their motions were denied.
ISSUE: Whether or not the subrogation receipt is inadmissible for being hearsay
for not being authenticated by the persons who executed them.
RULING: The nature of documents as either public or private determines how the
documents may be presented as evidence in court. Public documents, as
enumerated under Section 19,33 Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, are selfauthenticating and require no further authentication in order to be presented as
evidence in court.
In contrast, a private document is any other writing, deed or instrument executed
by a private person without the intervention of a notary or other person legally
authorized by which some disposition or agreement is proved or set forth. Lacking
the official or sovereign character of a public document, or the solemnities
prescribed by law, a private document requires authentication in the manner
prescribed under Section 20, Rule 132 of the Rules:
SEC. 20. Proof of private document. Before any private document offered as
authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be
proved either:
(a) By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or
(b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker.
Any other private document need only be identified as that which it is claimed to
be.
The requirement of authentication of a private document is excused only in four
instances, specifically: (a) when the document is an ancient one within the
context of Section 21, Rule 132 of the Rules; (b) when the genuineness and
authenticity of the actionable document have not been specifically denied under
oath by the adverse party; (c) when the genuineness and authenticity of the
document have been admitted; or (d) when the document is not being offered as
genuine.
Indubitably, Marine Certificate No. 708-8006717-4 and the Subrogation Receipt
are private documents which Philam and the consignee, respectively, issue in the
pursuit of their business. Since none of the exceptions to the requirement of
Page 154 of 189

authentication of a private document obtains in these cases, said documents may


not be admitted in evidence for Philam without being properly authenticated.

ALUDOS vs. SUERTE


G.R. No. 165285

June 18, 2012

673 SCRA

FACTS:Sometime in January 1969, Lomises acquired from the Baguio City


Government the right to occupy two stalls in the Hangar Market in Baguio City, as
evidenced by a permit issued by the City Treasurer.
On September 8, 1984, Lomises entered into an agreement with respondent
Johnny M. Suerte for the transfer of all improvements and rights over the two
market stalls (Stall Nos. 9 and 10) for the amount of P260,000.00. Johnny gave a
down payment of P45,000.00 to Lomises, who acknowledged receipt of the
amount in a document executed on the same date as the agreement:
Johnny made a subsequent payment of P23,000.00; hence, a total of P68,000.00
of the P260,000.00 purchase price had been made as of 1984. Before full
payment could be made, however, Lomises backed out of the agreement and
returned the P68,000.00 to Domes and Jaime Suerte, the mother and the father of
Johnny, respectively. The return of the P68,000.00 down payment was embodied
in a handwritten receipt.
Page 155 of 189

Through a letter Johnny protested the return of his money, and insisted on the
continuation and enforcement of his agreement with Lomises. When Lomises
refused Johnnys protest, Johnny filed a complaint against Lomises before the RTC
for specific performance with damages.
The RTC nullified the agreement between Johnny and Lomises for failure to secure
the consent of the Baguio City Government to the agreement. The RTC found that
Lomises was a mere lessee of the market stalls, and the Baguio City Government
was the owner-lessor of the stalls.
Lomises appealed the RTC decision to the CA, arguing that the real agreement
between the parties was merely one of loan, and not of sale; he further claimed
that the loan had been extinguished upon the return of theP68,000.00 to Johnnys
mother, Domes.
T he CA rejected Lomises claim that the true agreement was one of loan. The CA
found that there were two agreements entered into between Johnny and Lomises:
one was for the assignment of leasehold rights and the other was for the sale of
the improvements on the market stalls. The CA agreed with the RTC that the
assignment of the leasehold rights was void for lack of consent of the lessor, the
Baguio City Government. The sale of the improvements, however, was valid
because these were Lomises private properties. For this reason, the CA remanded
the case to the RTC to determine the value of the improvements on the two
market stalls, existing at the time of the execution of the agreement.
Lomises moved for the reconsideration of the CA ruling, contending that no valid
sale of the improvements could be made because the lease contract, dated May
1, 1985, between Lomises and the Baguio City Government, supposedly marked
as Exh. "A," provided that "[a]ll improvements [introduced shall] ipso facto
become properties of the City of Baguio."
T he CA denied the motion after finding that Lomises lawyer, Atty. Rodolfo Lockey,
misrepresented Exh. "A" as the governing lease contract between Lomises and
the Baguio City Government; the records reveal that Exh. "A" was merely a permit
issued by the City Treasurer in favor of Lomises.
ISSUE: Whether or not the contract of lease dated May 1, 1985 was never formally
offered in evidence before the RTC and could thus not be considered pursuant to
the rules of evidence.
RULING: The CA has already rejected the evidentiary value of the May 1, 1985
lease contract between the Baguio City Government and Lomises, as it was not
formally offered in evidence before the RTC; in fact, the CA admonished Lomises
lawyer, Atty. Lockey, for making it appear that it was part of the records of the
case. Under Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, the court shall consider no
evidence which has not been formally offered. "The offer of evidence is necessary
because it is the duty of the court to rest its findings of fact and its judgment only
Page 156 of 189

and strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties. Unless and until admitted by
the court in evidence for the purpose or purposes for which such document is
offered, the same is merely a scrap of paper barren of probative weight." Although
the contract was referred to in Lomises answer to Johnnys complaint and marked
as Exhibit "2" in his pre-trial brief, a copy of it was never attached. In fact, a copy
of the May 1, 1985 lease contract "surfaced" only after Lomises filed a motion for
reconsideration of the CA decision. What was formally offered was the 1969
permit, which only stated that Lomises was permitted to occupy a stall in the
Baguio City market and nothing else. In other words, no evidence was presented
and formally offered showing that any and all improvements in the market stalls
shall be owned by the Baguio City Government.

WESTMONT INVESTMENT CORPORATION vs. FRANCIA JR.


G.R. No. 194128
Page 157 of 189

December 7, 2011

FACTS: In 1999, Amos Francia Jr was enticed by the manager of Westmont bank to
invest with WestCorp as it offers 3% to 5% higher interest rate than the regular
bank rate. Due to the promise, Amos Francia Jr together with her sibling Benjamin
Francia (respondents) invested P1.4M and P2.4M respectively.

When the investments matured, Wincorp wasnt able to return the investment and
its corresponding interest due to lack of funds and instead the latter rolled-over
the fund for another 34days and indicated in the confirmation advices that the
fund were borrowed by Pearl Bank.

Despite lapse of the 34days Wincorp wasnt able to return the funds and interest.
Hence, the respondents field a collection case against Wincorp and Pearlbank
before the RTC.

After the testimony of Amos Francia, Jr., the respondents filed their Formal Offer of
Evidence. Pearlbank filed its Comment/Objection, while Wincorp did not file any
comment or objection. After all the exhibits of the Francias were admitted for the
purposes they were offered, the Francias rested their case.

RTC ruled in favor of respondents. Wincorp attached documents when it filed an


MR with the RTC but such was denied.

On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC with modification as to the rate of interest

ISSUE: Whether or not Wincorp the CA should have based its decision on the
express terms, stipulations, and agreements provided for in the documents
offered by the Francias as the legal relationship of the parties was clearly spelled
out in the very documents introduced by them which indicated that it merely
brokered the loan transaction between the Francias and Pearlbank.

RULING: In this case, the principal-agent relationship between the Francias and
Wincorp was not duly established by evidence. The records are bereft of any
showing that Wincorp merely brokered the loan transactions between the Francias
and Pearlbank and the latter was the actual recipient of the money invested by
the former. Pearlbank did not authorize Wincorp to borrow money for it. Neither
Page 158 of 189

was there a ratification, expressly or impliedly, that it had authorized or


consented to said transaction.

As to Pearlbank, records bear out that the Francias anchor their cause of action
against it merely on the strength of the subject Confirmation Advices bearing the
name "PearlBank" as the supposed borrower of their investments. Apparently, the
Francias ran after Pearlbank only after learning that Wincorp was reportedly
bankrupt. The Francias were consistent in saying that they only dealt with Wincorp
and not with Pearlbank. It bears noting that even in their Complaint and during
the pre-trial conference, the Francias alleged that they did not have any personal
knowledge if Pearlbank was indeed the recipient/beneficiary of their investments.

Although the subject Confirmation Advices indicate the name of Pearlbank as the
purported borrower of the said investments, said documents do not bear the
signature or acknowledgment of Pearlbank or any of its officers. This cannot prove
the position of Wincorp that it was Pearlbank which received and benefited from
the investments made by the Francias. There was not even a promissory note
validly and duly executed by Pearlbank which would in any way serve as evidence
of the said borrowing.

Another significant point which would support the stand of Pearlbank that it was
not the borrower of whatever funds supposedly invested by the Francias was the
fact that it initiated, filed and pursued several cases against Wincorp, questioning,
among others, the latters acts of naming it as borrower of funds from investors.

It bears stressing too that all the documents attached by Wincorp to its pleadings
before the CA cannot be given any weight or evidentiary value for the sole reason
that, as correctly observed by the CA, these documents werenot formally offered
as evidence in the trial court. To consider them now would deny the other parties
the right to examine and rebut them. Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court
provides:

Section 34. Offer of evidence The court shall consider no evidence which has
not been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be
specified.
"The offer of evidence is necessary because it is the duty of the court to rest its
findings of fact and its judgment only and strictly upon the evidence offered by
the parties. Unless and until admitted by the court in evidence for the purpose or
Page 159 of 189

purposes for which such document is offered, the same is merely a scrap of paper
barren of probative weight."

The Court cannot, likewise, disturb the findings of the RTC and the CA as to the
evidence presented by the Francias. It is elementary that objection to evidence
must be made after evidence is formally offered. It appears that Wincorp was
given ample opportunity to file its Comment/Objection to the formal offer of
evidence of the Francias but it chose not to file any.

WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE

PEOPLE vs. CALISO


G.R. No. 183830 October 19, 2011 659 SCRA 666

FACTS: The records show that the deceased victim died on June 5, 1997 at
around 11:00 am in the river. The immediate cause of her death was asphyxia,
secondary to drowning due to smothering.

Soledad Amegable, the lone eyewitness, had been clearing her farm when she
heard the anguished cries of a girl pleading for mercy. The lush bamboo growth
in the area made it difficult for Amegable to see what was going on. She also
testified that she subsequently heard sounds of beating and mauling that soon
ended the girls cries. She 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 the man
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 Delfin Caliso, whose physical
features she was familiar with due to having seen him pass by their barangay
several times prior to the incident. She also narrated that after the man fled
the crime scene, she 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.
Page 160 of 189

The Regional Trial Court held Caliso guilty of murder instead of the crime
charged. The Court of Appeals affirmed Calisos conviction. The CA ruled that
Amegable made a positive identification of Caliso as the perpetrator of the
killing, observing that the incident happened at noon when the sun had been
at its brightest, coupled with the fact that Amegables view had not been
obstructed by any object at the time that AAAs body had been submerged in
the water.
ISSUE: Whether or not Amegables identification of Caliso as the man who
killed AAA at noon of July 5, 1997 was positive and reliable.
RULING: No. In the absence of proof beyond reasonable doubt as to the identity
of the culprit, the accused's 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.
The decision promulgated by the CA on October 26, 2007 is REVERSED and SET
ASIDE for insufficiency of evidence, and accused-appellant Delfin Caliso is
ACQUITTED of the crime of murder.
A witness' familiarity with the accused, although accepted as basis for a positive
identification, does not always pass the test of moral certainty due to the
possibility of mistake.
No matter how honest Amegable's testimony might have been, her identification
of Caliso by a sheer look at his back for a few minutes could not be regarded as
positive enough to generate that moral certainty about Caliso being the
perpetrator of the killing, absent other reliable circumstances showing him to be
AAA's killer.
Her identification of him in that manner lacked the qualities of exclusivity and
uniqueness, even as it did not rule out her being mistaken. Amegable's
recollection of the perpetrator wearing short pants bearing the number "11" did
not enhance the reliability of her identification of Caliso. For one, such pants
were not one-of-a-kind apparel, but generic. Also, they were not offered in
evidence.
DOCTRINE:
In every criminal prosecution, the identity of the offender, like the crime itself,
must be established by proof beyond reasonable doubt.
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.
Page 161 of 189

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. FELIMON PATENTES


G.R. No. 190178, February 12, 2014, 716 SCRA

FACTS: The present case involves eight sets of information for Forcible Abduction
with rape filed by private complainant AAA against appellant Felimon Patentes.

The prosecution alleged that on Dec 5, 1998, at about 11:00am, AAA boarded a
bus for Bansalan, Davao City. While seated at the rear portion of the bus,
appellant suddenly sat next to her. Subsequently, appellant was able to force AAA
to go with him in his residence in Hacienda Heights in Davao City. She was
allegedly dragged upstairs, tied to a sewing machine, and was forced to smoke
something, causing AAA to feel light and dizzy. This prevented AAA from fighting
back when appellant removed her clothes, and mounted her to insert his penis
into her vagina. For 8 days, AAA remained in appellants house. On the 8 th day, to
free her from her predicament, AAA convinced appellant that she will marry him.
They went back to AAAs house to discuss marital plans with AAAs family. AAA
confessed and recounted her ordeal to her mother. The mother accompanied AAA
to the police, where AAA was also examined by a doctor, Dr Cruz. In his
testimony, Dr Cruz noted the vaginal canal was negative for spermatozoa.
In his defense, appellant contended AAA agreed that he accompanied her to
Bansalan on Dec 5, 1998. After going around Davao City, AAA allegedly refused to
return home because she was fed up with her mother, who often called her
buntog or prostitute. AAA stayed in appellants house for 7 days, together with
appellants parents, siblings and other relatives. Appellant and AAA slept in the
same room and had consented sexual intercourse. Throughout, AAAs stay, she
was free to roam around the house and even helped in the chores. They agreed to
set the wedding date on May 27, 1999. When they went to AAAs house to discuss
the marital plans on Dec 14, 1998, AAAs mother rejected the proposal because of
the appellants social standing.

Two witnesses, appellants neighbor,Leonora Gerodio, and a common friend,


testified that they saw AAA in appellants house at least twice during the period
Dec 5-12, 1998. Both witnesses also declared that the couple discussed their
marital plans to them on separate occasions.
Page 162 of 189

After the trial, the lower court found the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of (1) count of forcible abduction, with Rape, and (7) counts of Rape. Appellant
elevated the case to the CA. The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court with
modification with regard to damages. Hence this appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not AAAs testimony, side by side with the prosecutions
evidence, can stand the test of credibility to sustain the conviction of the accused

RULING: No. The numerous inconsistencies in the testimony of private


complainant have created reasonable doubt. In view of the foregoing
considerations, the presumption of innocence in favor of appellant must be upheld
considering that the evidence brought forth in trial falls short of the quantum of
proof to support a conviction

The prosecution failed to discharge its burden of establishing with moral certainty
the truthfulness of the charge that appellant had carnal knowledge of AAA against
her will using threats, force or intimidation.

Contrary to the prosecutions claim that AAA was dragged, tied, mauled, slapped
and boxed, the medical certificate revealed no telltale sign of the prosecutions
allegations. It has to be noted that the medical examination was conducted the
day after AAAs supposed escape from appellant. As shown by the medical
certificate, AAA had no external signs of physical injuries, save for a kiss mark
The actuations of AAA after the alleged rape is totally uncharacteristic of one who
has been raped. It is contrary to normal human behavior for AAA to willingly go
with her abusers mother, and worse, live with her abusers entire family for 8
days sans any attempt to escape. Instead of escaping, AAA visited appellants
neighbor. Instead of sharing her ordeal to be rescued by her friend Wilma, AAA
inexplicably failed and instead described the details of her marital plans.

The CA decision is reversed and set aside. Apellant Felimon Patentes is acquitted
on the ground of reasonable doubt.

DOCTRINE

Page 163 of 189

A conviction in criminal case must be supported by proof beyond reasonable


doubt, which means moral certainty that the accused is guilty.

SUPREME COURT vs. DELGADO


A.M. No. 2011-07-SC

October 4, 2011

FACTS: On 2 June 2011, Supreme Court Associate Justice and Second Division
Chairperson Antonio T. Carpio caused the transmittal of two (2) sealed Agenda to
the Office of Clerk of Court Second Division (OCC-SD).1 Contained in the Agenda
are the itemized lists of cases taken up by the Courts Second Division during the
sessions held on 30 May and 1 June 2011, as well as the handwritten marginal
notes of Justice Carpio showing the specific actions adopted by the division on
each case item. The transmittal of the Agenda was made for the purpose of
allowing the Second Division Clerk of Court to prepare the draft minutes of the 30
May and 1 June 2011 sessions.
After the Agenda was photocopied it was found out that one of the duplicate
copies had missing pages. Later on. an initial investigation was conducted.
In the presence of Atty. Laurea, Atty. Tuazon and Ms. Puno, respondent Delgado
candidly admitted during the initial investigation that he took pages 58, 59 and 70
from one of the copies of the 30 May 2011 Agenda. However, respondent
Delgado also disclosed that he removed the pages from the subject Agenda only
as a favor to herein respondents Madeja and Florendo
For their part, respondents Madeja and Florendo admitted during the initial
investigation that they asked for and, in fact, obtained the missing pages in the
30 May 2011 Agenda. Respondent Madeja even admitted giving his copy of the
missing pages to a certain "Dading." Dading was later identified to be Mr. Briones
a Clerk III in the Office of the Clerk of Court En Banc. Both respondents Madeja
and Florendo attested that court employees from other Divisions had been
requesting for copies of the Agenda, to which they were inclined to accede in
exchange for tokens like "pang-merienda" or "pamasahe."
The OAS submitted to the Supreme Court a Memorandum embodying its findings
and evaluation. In sum, it considered respondent Delgado guilty of Grave
Misconduct for his unauthorized removal of pages 58, 59 and 70 in a copy of the
30 May 2011 Agenda. The OAS also found respondents Madeja and Florendo guilty
Page 164 of 189

of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, for their participation in
the unauthorized removal of the said pages.
ISSUE: Whether or not the unsubstantiated denial of respondents is not supported
by clear and convincing evidence cannot prevail over the direct and positive
statements of respondent Delgado.
RULING: We begin with the obvious and from the admissions during the initial
investigation when there was yet not enough time for device and advice.
Respondents Madeja and Florendo asked respondent Delgado for a copy of
several items included in the 30 May 2011 Agenda. Acceding to the request,
respondent Delgado removed pages 58, 59 and 70 from a copy of the Agenda
entrusted to him for stitching and gave them to respondents Madeja and Delgado.
Veritably, the acts of respondents complement each other; they are but
completions of a common Grave Misconduct.
Respondents Complicity
It must be stressed that insofar as the involvement of respondent Delgado is
concerned, there is no longer any issue to be resolved. Respondent Delgado has
been consistent with his admission of involvement during both the initial
investigation in the OCC-SD and the formal investigation of the OAS. It is,
therefore, already settled fact that respondent Delgado was the person who
actually removed the pages 58, 59 and 70 from the subject Agenda.
What remains in dispute is the participation of respondents Madeja and Florendo
in the removal of the pages in the subject Agenda. As stated earlier, both
respondents Madeja and Florendo vehemently denied having been involved in the
taking of the missing Agenda pages during the formal investigation of the
OAS. This sharply contradicts their reported admission of complicity during the
initial investigation conducted by the OCC-SD.
The evidence at hand, however, point out that respondents Madeja and Florendo,
indeed, connived with respondent Delgado in removing the three (3) pages from a
copy of the 30 May 2011 Agenda. The denial of respondents Madeja and Florendo,
in a complete turnaround from an earlier admission, is unavailing as against the
positive, straightforward and consistent statements of respondent Delgado.
First. Respondent Delgados statements, not only in the initial investigation but
also in the formal investigation, were unwavering in their implication of
respondents Madeja and Florendo. Respondent Delgado categorically identified
respondents Madeja and Florendo as the persons who induced him to remove
several pages from a copy of the 30 May 2011 Agenda and thereafter obtained
them.
Second. It was never shown that respondent Delgado was motivated by any ill will
in implicating respondents Madeja and Florendo. As a witness, the credibility of
respondent Delgado remained unsullied. We find his statements worthy of belief.
Page 165 of 189

Third. The unsubstantiated denial of respondents, therefore, falters in light of the


direct and positive statements of respondent Delgado. The basic principle in
Evidence is that denials, unless supported by clear and convincing evidence,
cannot prevail over the affirmative testimony of truthful witnesses.

GOVERNMENT OF HONGKONG SPECIAL ADM. REGION vs. OLALIA JR.


G.R. No. 153675

April 19, 2007

521 SCRA

FACTS: Juan Antonio Munoz, who was charged before the Hongkong Court with
three (3) counts of the offense of accepting an advantage as an agent,
conspiracy to defraud, was penalized by a common law of Hongkong. A warrant of
arrest was issued and if convicted, he may face jail terms.

On September 23, 1999, He was arrested and detained. On November 22, 1999,
Hongkong Special Administrative Region filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for
his extradition. Juan Antonio Munoz filed a petition for bail, which Judge Felixberto
Olalia granted.

Petitioner (Hongkong Administrative), filed a petition to vacate such order, but it


was denied by the same judge.

ISSUE: Whether or not the private respondent may be granted bail on the basis of
clear and convincing evidence.

Page 166 of 189

RULING: An extradition proceeding being sui generis, the standard of proof


required in granting or denying bail can neither be the proof beyond reasonable
doubt in criminal cases nor the standard of proof of preponderance of evidence in
civil cases. While administrative in character, the standard of substantial evidence
used in administrative cases cannot likewise apply given the object of extradition
law which is to prevent the prospective extraditee from fleeing our jurisdiction. In
his Separate Opinion in Purganan, then Associate Justice, now Chief Justice
Reynato S. Puno, proposed that a new standard which he termed "clear and
convincing evidence" should be used in granting bail in extradition
cases. According to him, this standard should be lower than proof beyond
reasonable doubt but higher than preponderance of evidence. The potential
extraditee must prove by "clear and convincing evidence" that he is not a flight
risk and will abide with all the orders and processes of the extradition court.

In this case, there is no showing that private respondent presented evidence to


show that he is not a flight risk. Consequently, this case should be remanded to
the trial court to determine whether private respondent may be granted bail on
the basis of "clear and convincing evidence."

PEOPLE vs. FONTANILLA


G.R. 177743 January 25, 2012 664 SCRA
FACTS: On October 29, 1996, Jose Olais was walking along the provincial road in
ButubutOeste, Balaoan, La Union when Alfonso Fontanilla suddenly struck him in
the head with a piece of wood called bellang. Olais fell facedown to the ground,
but Fontanilla hit him again in the head with a piece of stone. Fontanilla desisted
from hitting Olais a third time only because Joel Marquez and TirsoAbunan, the
sons-in-law of Olais, shouted at him, causing him to run away. Marquez and
Abunan rushed their father-in-law to a medical clinic, where Olais was pronounced
dead on arrival. On April 25, 1997, the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of La
Union filed an information for murder against Fontanilla in the RTC. The accused
pleaded not guilty. At the trial, Fontanilla claimed self-defense. He said that on the
night of the incident, he had been standing on the road near his house when
Olais, wielding a nightstick and appearing to be drunk, had boxed him in the
stomach; that although he had then talked to Olais nicely, the latter had
continued hitting him with his fists, striking him with straight blows; that Olais, a
karate expert, had also kicked him with both his legs; that he had thus been
forced to defend himself by picking up a stone with which he had hit the right side
Page 167 of 189

of the victims head, causing the latter to fall face down to the ground; and that
he had then left the scene for his house upon seeing that Olais was no longer
moving. The RTC rejected Fontanillas plea of self-defense by observing that he
had "no necessity to employ a big stone, inflicting upon the victim a mortal wound
causing his death" due to the victim attacking him only with bare hands. It noted
that Fontanilla did not suffer any injury despite his claim that the victim had
mauled him; that Fontanilla did not receive any treatment, and no medical
certificate attested to any injury he might have suffered, having been
immediately released from the hospital; that Fontanillas failure to give any
statement at the time he surrendered to the police was inconsistent with his plea
of self-defense;and that the manner of attack against Olais established the
attendance of treachery. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC.
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in ignoring the accuseds claim of self-defense
RULING: Fontanilla pleaded self-defense. In order for self-defense to be
appreciated, he had to prove by clear and convincing evidence the following
elements: (a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (b) reasonable
necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (c) lack of sufficient
provocation on the part of the person defending himself. By invoking self-defense,
however, Fontanilla admitted inflicting the fatal injuries that caused the death of
Olais. It is basic that once an accused in a prosecution for murder or homicide
admitted his infliction of the fatal injuries on the deceased, he assumed the
burden to prove by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence the justifying
circumstance that would avoid his criminal liability. Having thus admitted being
the author of the death of the victim, Fontanilla came to bear the burden of
proving the justifying circumstance to the satisfaction of the court,and he would
be held criminally liable unless he established self-defense by sufficient and
satisfactory proof.He should discharge the burden by relying on the strength of his
own evidence, because the Prosecutions evidence, even if weak, would not be
disbelieved in view of his admission of the killing. Nonetheless, the burden to
prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt remained with the State until the end of the
proceedings.
Fontanilla did not discharge his burden. A review of the records reveals that, one,
Olais did not commit unlawful aggression against Fontanilla, and, two, Fontanillas
act of hitting the victims head with a stone, causing the mortal injury, was not
proportional to, and constituted an unreasonable response to the victims fistic
attack and kicks.
Indeed, had Olais really attacked Fontanilla, the latter would have sustained some
injury from the aggression. It remains, however, that no injury of any kind or
gravity was found on the person of Fontanilla when he presented himself to the
hospital; hence, the attending physician of the hospital did not issue any medical
certificate to him. Nor was any medication applied to him. In contrast, the
physician who examined the cadaver of Olais testified that Olais had been hit on
Page 168 of 189

the head more than once. The plea of self-defense was thus belied, for the
weapons used by Fontanilla and the location and number of wounds he inflicted
on Olais revealed his intent to kill, not merely an effort to prevent or repel an
attack from Olais. The Court considersto be significant that the gravity of the
wounds manifested the determined effort of the accused to kill his victim, not just
to defend himself

PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK vs. BALMACEDA AND RAMOS


G.R. No. 158143 September 21, 2011 658 SCRA 33

FACTS: PCIB filed an action for recovery of sum of money with damages against
Antonio Balmaceda, the Branch Manager of its Sta. Cruz, Manila branch. PCIB
alleged that Balmaceda, by taking advantage of his position, fraudulently
obtained and encashed (31) Managers checks.

PCIB impleaded Rolando Ramos as one of the recipients of a portion of the


proceeds from Balmacedas alleged fraud. PCIB also increased the number of
fraudulently obtained and encashed Managers checks to 34.

Balmaceda was declared in default. In defense, Ramos denied any knowledge of


Balmacedas scheme. He argued that he is a reputable businessman engaged in
the business of buying and selling fighting cocks, and Balmaceda was one of his
clients. He admitted receiving money from Balmaceda as payment for the
fighting cocks that he sold to Balmaceda, but maintained that he had no
knowledge of the source of Balmacedas money.

The RTC ruled in favor of PCIB. The Court of Appeals dismissed the complaint
against Ramos, holding that no sufficient evidence existed to prove that Ramos
colluded with Balmaceda in the latters fraudulent manipulations
ISSUE: Whether or not PCIB had sufficient evidence to prove that Ramos
conspired with Balmaceda in perpetrating the scheme to defraud PCIB
RULING: No. PCIB, as plaintiff, had to prove, by preponderance of evidence, its
positive assertion that Ramos conspired with Balmaceda in perpetrating the
Page 169 of 189

latters scheme to defraud the Bank. However, PCIBs pieces of evidence are not
sufficient to satisfy the burden of proof that it carries as plaintiff.
On its face, all that PCIBs evidence proves is that Balmaceda used Ramos name
as a payee when he filled up the application forms for the Managers checks. But,
the mere fact that Balmaceda made Ramos the payee on some of the Managers
checks is not enough basis to conclude that Ramos was complicit in Balmacedas
fraud.
A number of other people were made payees on the other Managers checks yet
PCIB never alleged them to be liable, nor did the Bank adduce any other evidence
pointing to Ramos participation that would justify his separate treatment from
the others.

The evidence on record clearly shows that Balmaceda acted on his own when he
applied for the Managers checks against the bank account of one of PCIBs
clients, as well as when he encashed the fraudulently acquired Managers checks.

Mrs. Elizabeth Costes, the Area Manager of PCIB at the time of the relevant
events, testified that Balmaceda committed all the acts necessary to obtain the
unauthorized Managers checks from filling up the application form by forging
the signature of the clients representative, to forging the signatures of the
payees in order to encash the checks.

Mrs. Nilda Laforteza, the Commercial Account Officer stated that it was
Balmaceda who forged Ramos signature on the Managers checks where Ramos
was the payee, so as to encash the amounts indicated on the checks. These
testimonies clearly dispute PCIBs theory that Ramos was instrumental in the
encashment of the Managers checks.
Preponderance of evidence" is the weight, credit, and value of the aggregate
evidence on either side and is usually considered to be synonymous with the
term "greater weight of the evidence" or "greater weight of the credible
evidence." Preponderance of evidence is a phrase which, in the last analysis,
means probability of the truth. It is evidence which is more convincing to the
court as worthy of belief than that which is offered in opposition thereto. (See
Encinas v. National Bookstore)

The party, whether the plaintiff or the defendant, who asserts the affirmative of
an issue has the onus to prove his assertion in order to obtain a favorable
judgment, subject to the overriding rule that the burden to prove his cause of
Page 170 of 189

action never leaves the plaintiff. For the defendant, an affirmative defense is one
that is not merely a denial of an essential ingredient in the plaintiff's cause of
action, but one which, if established, will constitute an "avoidance" of the claim.

DE LA LLANA vs. BIONG


G.R. 182356 December 13, 2014 711 SCRA
FACTS: Petitioner was seated at the passenger side of her brothers car while they
were driving along North Avenue, Quezon City on March 30, 2000. When the
signal light turned red across the Veterans Memorial Hospital, the driver turned to
a complete stop. Unfortunately, a dump truck containing gravel and sand
suddenly rammed the cars rear end, violently pushing the car forward. Due to the
impact, the cars rear end collapsed and its rear windshield was shattered. Glass
splinters flew, puncturing Dra. delaLlana. Apart from these minor wounds,
Dra.delaLlana did not appear to have suffered from any other visible physical
injuries. The traffic investigation report dated March 30, 2000 identified the truck
driver as Joel Primero. In the first week of May 2000, Dra.delaLlana began to feel
mild to moderate pain on the left side of her neck and shoulder. The pain became
more intense as days passed by. Her injury became more severe. Her health
deteriorated to the extent that she could no longer move her left arm. On June 9,
2000, she consulted with Dr. Rosalinda Milla, a rehabilitation medicine specialist,
to examine her condition. Dr.Milla told her that she suffered from a whiplash
injury, an injury caused by the compression of the nerve running to her left arm
and hand. Dr.Milla required her to undergo physical therapy to alleviate her
condition. Dra.delaLlanas condition did not improve despite three months of
extensive physical therapy. Dr Flores, a nuero-surgeon operated on her spine and
neck, between the C5 and C6 vertebrae to release the compression of her nerve.
The operation released the impingement, but incapacitated Dra. DelaLlana from
the practice of her profession since June 2000 despite the surgery.Dra.DelaLlana
demanded form Rebecca compensation for her injuries, but Rebecca refused to
pay. Thus, DradelaLlana sued Rebecca for damages before the RTC. In defense,
Rebecca maintained that Dra. delaLlana had no cause of action against her as no
reasonable relation existed between the vehicular accident and Dra. delaLlanas
injury. She pointed out that Dra. delaLlanas illness became manifest one month
and one week from the date of the vehicular accident. She further claims that Dra.
delaLlana was physically fit and strong when they met several days after the
vehicular accident. The RTC ruled in favour of Dra. DelaLlana. It found that a
whiplash injury is an injury caused by the sudden jerking of the spine in the neck
area. It pointed out that the massive damage the car suffered only meant that the
truck was over-speeding. It maintained that Joel should have driven at a slower
pace because road visibility diminishes at night. On appeal, the CA reversed the
Page 171 of 189

ruling of the RTC. It held that Dra. delaLlana failed to establish a reasonable
connection between the vehicular accident and her whiplash injury by
preponderance of evidence.
ISSUE: Whether Joels reckless driving is the proximate cause of Dra. delaLlanas
whiplash injury.
RULING: Dra.delaLlana failed to establish her case by preponderance of evidence.
Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that "[w]hoever by act or omission causes
damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties, is a quasi-delict." Under this provision, the elements
necessary to establish a quasi-delict case are: (1) damages to the plaintiff; (2)
negligence, by act or omission, of the defendant or by some person for whose
acts the defendant must respond, was guilty; and (3) the connection of cause and
effect between such negligence and the damages. These elements show that the
source of obligation in a quasi-delict case is the breach or omission of mutual
duties that civilized society imposes upon its members, or which arise from noncontractual relations of certain members of society to others. Based on these
requisites, Dra.delaLlana must first establish by preponderance of evidence the
three elements of quasi-delict before we determine Rebeccas liability as Joels
employer. Only after she has laid this foundation can the presumption - that
Rebecca did not exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection
and supervision of Joel arise. In the present case, the burden of proving the
proximate causation between Joels negligence and Dra.delaLlanas whiplash
injury rests on Dra. delaLlana. She must establish by preponderance of evidence
that Joels negligence, in its natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produced her whiplash injury, and without which her
whiplash injury would not have occurred. Dra.delaLlana, during trial, did not
adduce the factum probans or the evidentiary facts by which the factum
probandum or the ultimate fact can be established. She presented three pieces of
evidences, however, none of these show the causal relation between the vehicular
accident and the whiplash injury. In sum, Dra.delaLlana miserably failed to
establish her cause by preponderance of evidence. While we commiserate with
her, our solemn duty to independently and impartially assess the merits of the
case binds us to rule against Dra. delaLlanasfavor. Her claim, unsupported by
preponderance of evidence, is merely a bare assertion and has no leg to stand on.

CANDAO vs. PEOPLE


G.R. Nos. 186659-710 October 19, 2011 659 SCRA
Page 172 of 189

FACTS: On August 5, 1993, Chairman Pascasio S. Banariaof COA constituted a


team of auditors from the central office to conduct an Expanded Special Audit of
the Office of the Regional Governor, Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao
(ORG-ARMM). State Auditors Heidi L. Mendoza andJaime Roxas were directed to
conduct the said audit under the supervision of Jaime P. Naranjo. From August 24
to September 1, 1993, the expanded audit was thus conducted on the financial
transactions and operations of ORG-ARMM for the period July 1992 to March
1993.As stated in Special Audit Office Report submitted by the audit team, it was
found that illegal withdrawals were made from the depository accounts of the
agency through the issuance of checks payable to the order of petitioner Israel B.
Haron (Disbursing Officer II) without the required disbursement vouchers. There
were 52 checks issued and encashed without proper supporting documents. In a
letter dated September 10, 1993, Chairman Banaria demanded from petitioner
Haron to produce and restitute to the ARMM-Regional Treasurer immediately the
full amount of P21,045,570.64 and submit his explanation within seventy-two (72)
hours together with the official receipt issued by the ARMM Regional Treasurer in
acknowledgment of such restitution.On April 17, 1998, the Office of the Special
Prosecutor, Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao, filed in the Sandiganbayan
criminal cases for malversation of public funds against the following ORG-ARMM
officials/employees: Zacaria A. Candao (Regional Governor), Israel B. Haron
(Disbursing Officer II), Abas A. Candao (Executive Secretary) and Pandical M.
Santiago (Cashier). They were charged with violation of Article 217 of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended. At their arraignment, all accused pleaded not guilty to
the charge of malversation. By Decision dated October 29, 2008, the
Sandiganbayan found petitioner Haron guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
malversation of public funds under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended, committed in conspiracy with petitioners Zacaria A. Candao and Abas
A. Candao who were likewise sentenced to imprisonment and ordered to pay a
fine equivalent to the amount of the check in each case. The Sandiganbayan
noted that petitioners presented no proof that the cash advances intended for
"peace and order campaign" were spent for public purposes, as in fact the alleged
disbursement vouchers did not indicate any detail as to the nature of the
expense/s such as purchase of equipment, services, meals, travel, etc. and there
were no supporting documents such as the Request for Issuance of Voucher,
Purchase Request and Inspection Report of the items supposedly purchased. More
importantly, the vouchers were not accomplished in accordance with existing COA
circulars because they are unnumbered and undated. Hence, the belatedly
submitted vouchers are of doubtful veracity or origin, nay, a fabricated evidence
or, as pointed out by the prosecution, "self-serving or an afterthought, belatedly
prepared to give the illegal disbursements amounting to the aggregate amount of
more than P21M, a semblance of regularity."
ISSUE: Whether the Sandiganbayan erred in not applying the Equipoise Rule
Page 173 of 189

HELD: All elements of malversation were satisfactorily established by the


prosecution in this case. Petitioners have not rebutted the legal presumption that
with the Disbursing Officers (Haron) failure to account for the illegally withdrawn
amounts covered by the subject checks when demanded by the COA, they
misappropriated and used the said funds for their personal benefit. In fine, the
Sandiganbayan committed no reversible error in holding that the testimonial and
documentary evidence presented by the petitioners failed to overcome the prima
facie evidence of misappropriation arising from Harons failure to give a
satisfactory explanation for the illegal withdrawals from the ARMM funds under his
custody and control. Petitioners likewise did not accomplish the proper liquidation
of the entire amount withdrawn, during the expanded audit or any time thereafter.
There is therefore no merit in petitioners argument that the Sandiganbayan erred
in not applying the equipoise rule. Under the equipoise rule, where the evidence
on an issue of fact is in equipoise or there is doubt on which side the evidence
preponderates, the party having the burden of proof loses. The equipoise rule
finds application if the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or
more explanations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused
and the other consistent with his guilt, for then the evidence does not fulfill the
test of moral certainty, and does not suffice to produce a conviction. Such is not
the situation in this case because the prosecution was able to prove by adequate
evidence that Disbursing Officer Haron failed to account for funds under his
custody and control upon demand, specifically for the P21,045,570.64 illegally
withdrawn from the said funds. In the crime of malversation, all that is necessary
for conviction is sufficient proof that the accountable officer had received public
funds, that he did not have them in his possession when demand therefor was
made, and that he could not satisfactorily explain his failure to do so. Direct
evidence of personal misappropriation by the accused is hardly necessary in
malversation cases.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN VS. ANTONIO REYES


G.R. No. 170512 October 5 2011 658 SCRA

FACTS: On January 10, 2001, Jaime B. Acero went to the LTO Office at Mambajao,
Camiguin to apply for a drivers license. He was made to take an examination for
drivers license applicants by a certain Tata Penaloza whose real name is Angelito,
a clerk in the said office. After the examination, Penaloza informed him that he
failed in the examination, however, if he will be willing to pay additional
assessment of P680.00 then Penaloza and Reyes will consider his application.
Acero agreed, and handed P1000.00 to Penaloza who in turn handed the same to
the cashier. Penaloza, in turn handed him a change of P320.00, and a little later
he was given the LTO Official receipt, but only for P180.00, which OR served as his
Page 174 of 189

temporary license for 60 days, and the balance of P500.00 was without OR and
retained by Penaloza. He then issued an Affidavit to file charges against the guilty
parties. The affidavit was apparently filed with the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor in Camiguin, but was later referred to the Office of the OmbudsmanMindanao, who ordered the respondents to submit their counter-affidavits.
Penalozadenied telling Acero that if the latter were willing to pay additional costs,
Reyes and Pealoza would reconsider his application. Pealoza stated that he did
administer the examination to Acero but since he was very busy, he requested
their security guard, DominadorDaypuyat, to check the answers of Acero using
their answer guide. After Daypuyat checked Aceros paper, Pealoza noted the
score of 22/40. Pealoza informed Acero of the failing grade and told him that it
was up to Reyes to decide on the matter. Acero then went to the office of Reyes
and after a few minutes, he came back and returned his application documents to
Pealoza.The Office of the Ombudsman called for the parties for a prelimary
conference, but such was waived by Acero. Both parties failed to appear in the
preliminary conference, so the case was then submitted for decision. The counsel
for Pealoza informed the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao that his client was
waiving his right to a formal investigation and was willing to submit the case for
resolution on the basis of the evidence on record. The Office of the OmbudsmanMindanao rendered a Decision adjudging Reyes guilty of grave misconduct and
finding Pealoza guilty of simple misconduct.Reyes elevated the case to the Court
of Appeals via a Petition for Review. The Court of Appeals granted the petition of
Reyes and reversed the judgment of the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao. The
Office of the Ombudsman, through the Office of the Solicitor General, filed a
Motion for Reconsideration, but was denied.
ISSUE: Whether the charge of grave misconduct against Reyes was sufficiently
proven by substantial evidence.
RULING: Misconduct means intentional wrongdoing or deliberate violation of a rule
of law or standard of behavior. To constitute an administrative offense, misconduct
should relate to or be connected with the performance of official functions and
duties of a public officer.
In grave misconduct, as distinguished from simple misconduct, the elements of
corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rule
must be manifest. Corruption as an element of grave misconduct consists in the
act of an official who unlawfully or wrongfully uses his station or character to
procure some benefit for himself, contrary to the rights of others.Here, petitioner
adjudged Reyes guilty of grave misconduct after finding that Reyes, being then
the Head of Office of the LTO in Mambajao, Camiguin, illegally exacted money
from Acero in exchange for the issuance of a drivers license to the latter,
notwithstanding that Acero did not pass the requisite written examination
therefor.The findings of fact by the Office of the Ombudsman are conclusive when
supported by substantial evidence.In administrative and quasi-judicial
proceedings, only substantial evidence is necessary to establish the case for or
Page 175 of 189

against a party. Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla of evidence. It


is that amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion, even if other minds, equally reasonable, might
conceivably opine otherwise. In reviewing administrative decisions, it is beyond
the province of the Court to weigh the conflicting evidence, determine the
credibility of witnesses, or otherwise substitute its judgment for that of the
administrative agency with respect to the sufficiency of evidence. However, while
it is not the function of the Court to analyze and weigh the parties' evidence all
over again, an exception thereto lies as when there is serious ground to believe
that a possible miscarriage of justice would thereby result.The exception applies
herein. Otherwise stated, the Court deems it proper that a review of the case
should be made in order to arrive at a just resolution.Reyes faults petitioner for
placing too much reliance on the counter-affidavit of Pealoza, as well as the
affidavits of Amper and Valdehueza. Reyes claims that he was not furnished a
copy of the said documents before petitioner rendered its Decision dated
September 24, 2001. Reyes, thus, argues that his right to due process was
violated. Petitioner, on the other hand, counters that Reyes was afforded due
process since he was given all the opportunities to be heard, as well as the
opportunity to file a motion for reconsideration of petitioners adverse
decision.Due process, as a constitutional precept, does not always and in all
situations require a trial-type proceeding. Due process is satisfied when a person
is notified of the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend
himself. In administrative proceedings, the filing of charges and giving reasonable
opportunity for the person so charged to answer the accusations against him
constitute the minimum requirements of due process. The essence of due process
is simply to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity
to explain ones side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or
ruling complained of. Due process in administrative proceedings requires
compliance with the following cardinal principles: (1) the respondents right to a
hearing, which includes the right to present ones case and submit supporting
evidence, must be observed; (2) the tribunal must consider the evidence
presented; (3) the decision must have some basis to support itself; (4) there must
be substantial evidence; (5) the decision must be rendered on the evidence
presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the
parties affected; (6) in arriving at a decision, the tribunal must have acted on its
own consideration of the law and the facts of the controversy and must not have
simply accepted the views of a subordinate; and (7) the decision must be
rendered in such manner that respondents would know the reasons for it and the
various issues involved.In the present case, the fifth requirement stated above
was not complied with.Reyes was not properly apprised of the evidence offered
against him, which were eventually made the bases of petitioners decision that
found him guilty of grave misconduct.

Page 176 of 189

RAMOS VS. BPI FAMILY SAVINGS BANK


G.R. NO. 203186 December 4, 2013 711 SCRA
FACTS: Ramos was employed by BPI Family in 1995 and eventually became its
Vice-President for Dealer Network Marketing/Auto Loans Division. During his
tenure, a client named TrezitaB. Acosta (Acosta) entered into and obtained several
auto and real estate loans from BPI Family which were duly approved and
promptly paid.On December 15, 2004, Acosta purportedly secured another auto
loan from BPI Family in the amount ofP3,097,392.00 for the purchase of a Toyota
Prado vehicle (subject loan) which had remained unpaid. As it turned out, Acosta
did not authorize nor personally apply for the subject loan, rendering the
transaction fraudulent.After investigation, BPI Family discovered that a person
misrepresented herself as Acosta and succeeded in obtaining the delivery of a
Toyota Prado from the Toyota-Pasong Tamo Branch, pursuant to the Purchase
Order (PO) and Authority to Deliver (ATD) issued by Ramos and that Ramos
released these documents without the prior approval of BPI Familys credit
committee. BPI further found that Ramos was grossly remiss in his duties since his
subordinates did not follow the banks safety protocols, particularly those
regarding the establishment of the loan applicants identity, and that the
promissory note was not even signed by the applicant in the presence of any of
the marketing officers.As a consequence, BPI Family lost P2,294,080.00, which
amount was divided between Ramos and his three (3) other subordinates, with
Ramos shouldering the proportionate amount of P546,000.00. The foregoing
amount was subsequently deducted from Ramoss benefits which accrued upon
his retirement on May 1, 2006.In relation thereto, he executed a Release, Waiver
and Quitclaim dated June 21, 2006, agreeing to release the bank from any claim
or liability with respect to, inter alia, his separation pay or retirement
benefits.Claiming that the deductions made by BPI Family were illegal, Ramos
filed a complaint for underpayment of retirement benefits and non- payment of
overtime and holiday pay and premium pay against BPI Family and/or its President
at that time, Alfonso L. Salcedo, Jr., before the Regional Arbitration Branch of the
NLRC. The Labor Arbiter dismissed Ramos complaint ruling that the deduction
made on his retirement benefits was "legal and even reasonable" since Ramos
was negligent in running his department. In particular, the LA found that Ramos
failed to ensure that his subordinates complied with the banks Know Your
Customer (KYC) safety protocols, and that he issued the PO and ATD without the
prior approval of the credit committee.On appeal, the NLRC reversed the LA in a
Decisionholding that the deduction complained of was "illegal and unreasonable"
in that the alleged negligence committed by Ramos was not substantially proven
as he was not expected to personally examine all loan documents that pass
through his hands or to require the client to personally appear before him because
he has subordinates to do those details for him. The issuance of the PO and ATD
prior to the loans approval is not an irregular procedure, but an ordinary
occurrence in BPI Family. Furthermore, the deduction does not fall under the
exceptions prescribed under Article 113 of the Labor Code on allowable
Page 177 of 189

deductions. BPI Family moved for reconsideration which was, however, denied by
the NLRC, hence, it filed a petition for certiorari before the CA. The CA affirmed
the finding of negligence on the part of Ramos, holding that Ramos was remiss in
his duty as head of Dealer Network Marketing/Auto Loans Division in failing to
determine the true identity of the person who availed of the auto loan under the
name "Trezita Acosta".
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in attributing grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the NLRC when it found the deduction made from Ramoss retirement
benefits to be illegal and unreasonable.
RULING: The petition is meritorious. To justify the grant of the extraordinary
remedy of certiorari, the petitioner must satisfactorily show that the court or
quasi-judicial authority gravely abused the discretion conferred upon them. Grave
abuse of discretion connotes judgment exercised in a capricious and whimsical
manner that is tantamount to lack of jurisdiction.In labor disputes, the NLRCs
findings are said to be tainted with grave abuse of discretion when its conclusions
are not supported by substantial evidence.The CA only examines the factual
findings of the NLRC to determine whether or not the conclusions are supported
by substantial evidence whose absence points to grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.As a general rule, in certiorari
proceedings under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, the appellate court does not
assess and weigh the sufficiency of evidence upon which the Labor Arbiter and
the NLRC based their conclusion. The query in this proceeding is limited to the
determination of whether or not the NLRC acted without or in excess of its
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in rendering its decision. However, as
an exception, the appellate court may examine and measure the factual findings
of the NLRC if the same are not supported by substantial evidence. The
requirement that the NLRCs findings should be supported by substantial evidence
is clearly expressed in Section 5, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court which provides
that "[i]n cases filed before administrative or quasi- judicial bodies, a fact may be
deemed established if it is supported by substantial evidence, or that amount of
relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a
conclusion."Applying the foregoing considerations, the Court finds the CA to have
erred in attributing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC in finding
that the deduction made from Ramoss retirement benefits was improper.It would
seem unthinkable that respondent bank has had no knowledge thereof when its
credit evaluation committee could have easily relayed the variations to the
management for expedient solution. Any conscientious, well-meaning banking
institution (such as respondent bank, We imagine) would have raised the red flag
the moment the violation is first discovered. However, in this case, respondent
bank did not sound alarm until the discovery of the first defraudation. Without
doubt, its uncharacteristically relaxed supervision over its divisions contributed to
a large extent to the unfortunate attainment of fraud. x xx (Emphasis supplied).
Based on the foregoing, it is readily apparent that Ramoss action of issuing the
PO and ATD ahead of the approval of the credit committee was actually
Page 178 of 189

conformant to regular company practice which BPI Family itself sanctioned. As


such, Ramos cannot be said to have been negligent ion his duties. To this end, it is
well to note that in loan transactions, banks are mandated to ensure that their
client wholly comply with all the documentary requirements in relation to the
approval and release of loan applications.As BPI Family "uncharacteristically
relaxed supervision over its divisions," yielding as it did to the demands of
industry competition, it is but reasonable that solely bears the loss of its own
shortcomings

LUCAS vs. LUCAS


G.R. No. 190710 June 6, 20011 650 SCRA
FACTS: On July 26, 2007, petitioner, Jesse U. Lucas, filed a Petition to Establish
Illegitimate Filiation before RTC Valenzuela. Petitioner narrated that, sometime in
1967, his mother, Elsie Uy (Elsie), migrated to Manila from Davao and stayed with
a certain "Ate Belen (Belen)" who worked in a prominent nightspot in Manila. Elsie
would oftentimes accompany Belen to work. On one occasion, Elsie got
acquainted with respondent, Jesus S. Lucas, at Belens workplace, and an intimate
relationship developed between the two. Elsie eventually got pregnant and, on
March 11, 1969, she gave birth to petitioner, Jesse U. Lucas. The name of
petitioners father was not stated in petitioners certificate of live birth. However,
Elsie later on told petitioner that his father is respondent. On August 1, 1969,
petitioner was baptized at San Isidro Parish, Taft Avenue, Pasay City. Respondent
allegedly extended financial support to Elsie and petitioner for a period of about
two years. When the relationship of Elsie and respondent ended, Elsie refused to
accept respondents offer of support and decided to raise petitioner on her own.
While petitioner was growing up, Elsie made several attempts to introduce
petitioner to respondent, but all attempts were in vain.Attached to the petition
were the following: (a) petitioners certificate of live birth; (b) petitioners
baptismal certificate; (c) petitioners college diploma, showing that he graduated
from Saint Louis University in Baguio City with a degree in Psychology; (d) his
Certificate of Graduation from the same school; (e) Certificate of Recognition from
the University of the Philippines, College of Music; and (f) clippings of several
articles from different newspapers about petitioner, as a musical
prodigy.Respondent was not served with a copy of the petition. Nonetheless,
respondent learned of the petition to establish filiation. His counsel therefore went
to the trial court on August 29, 2007 and obtained a copy of the petition.The case
was dismissed by RTC. The court remarked that, based on the case of Herrera v.
Alba, there are four significant procedural aspects of a traditional paternity action
which the parties have to face: a prima facie case, affirmative defenses,
presumption of legitimacy, and physical resemblance between the putative father
and the child. The court opined that petitioner must first establish these four
Page 179 of 189

procedural aspects before he can present evidence of paternity and filiation,


which may include incriminating acts or scientific evidence like blood group test
and DNA test results. The court observed that the petition did not show that these
procedural aspects were present. Petitioner failed to establish a prima facie case
considering that (a) his mother did not personally declare that she had sexual
relations with respondent, and petitioners statement as to what his mother told
him about his father was clearly hearsay; (b) the certificate of live birth was not
signed by respondent; and (c) although petitioner used the surname of
respondent, there was no allegation that he was treated as the child of
respondent by the latter or his family. The court opined that, having failed to
establish a prima facie case, respondent had no obligation to present any
affirmative defenses. CA denied the appeal. The CA remarked that petitioner filed
the petition to establish illegitimate filiation, specifically seeking a DNA testing
order to abbreviate the proceedings. It noted that petitioner failed to show that
the four significant procedural aspects of a traditional paternity action had been
met. The CA further held that a DNA testing should not be allowed when the
petitioner has failed to establish a prima facie case
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred when it essentially ruled that DNA testing can
only be ordered after the petitioners establishes a prima facie proof of filiation.
RULING: The statement in Herrera v. Alba that there are four significant
procedural aspects in a traditional paternity case which parties have to face has
been widely misunderstood and misapplied in this case. A party is confronted by
these so-called procedural aspects during trial, when the parties have presented
their respective evidence. They are matters of evidence that cannot be
determined at this initial stage of the proceedings, when only the petition to
establish filiation has been filed. The CAs observation that petitioner failed to
establish a prima facie casethe first procedural aspect in a paternity caseis
therefore misplaced. A prima facie case is built by a partys evidence and not by
mere allegations in the initiatory pleading.Clearly then, it was also not the
opportune time to discuss the lack of a prima facie case vis--vis the motion for
DNA testing since no evidence has, as yet, been presented by petitioner. More
essentially, it is premature to discuss whether, under the circumstances, a DNA
testing order is warranted considering that no such order has yet been issued by
the trial court. In fact, the latter has just set the said case for hearing.At any rate,
the CAs view that it would be dangerous to allow a DNA testing without
corroborative proof is well taken and deserves the Courts attention. In light of this
observation, we find that there is a need to supplement the Rule on DNA Evidence
to aid the courts in resolving motions for DNA testing order, particularly in
paternity and other filiation cases. We, thus, address the question of whether a
prima facie showing is necessary before a court can issue a DNA testing order.The
Rule on DNA Evidence was enacted to guide the Bench and the Bar for the
introduction and use of DNA evidence in the judicial system. It provides the
"prescribed parameters on the requisite elements for reliability and validity (i.e.,
the proper procedures, protocols, necessary laboratory reports, etc.), the possible
Page 180 of 189

sources of error, the available objections to the admission of DNA test results as
evidence as well as the probative value of DNA evidence." It seeks "to ensure that
the evidence gathered, using various methods of DNA analysis, is utilized
effectively and properly, [and] shall not be misused and/or abused and, more
importantly, shall continue to ensure that DNA analysis serves justice and
protects, rather than prejudice the public."Although a paternity action is civil, not
criminal, the constitutional prohibition against unreasonable searches and
seizures is still applicable, and a proper showing of sufficient justification under
the particular factual circumstances of the case must be made before a court may
order a compulsory blood test. Courts in various jurisdictions have differed
regarding the kind of procedures which are required, but those jurisdictions have
almost universally found that a preliminary showing must be made before a court
can constitutionally order compulsory blood testing in paternity cases. We agree,
and find that, as a preliminary matter, before the court may issue an order for
compulsory blood testing, the moving party must show that there is a reasonable
possibility of paternity. As explained hereafter, in cases in which paternity is
contested and a party to the action refuses to voluntarily undergo a blood test, a
show cause hearing must be held in which the court can determine whether there
is sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case which warrants issuance of a
court order for blood testing.The same condition precedent should be applied in
our jurisdiction to protect the putative father from mere harassment suits. Thus,
during the hearing on the motion for DNA testing, the petitioner must present
prima facie evidence or establish a reasonable possibility of paternity

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK VS AMELIO TRIO AND JOHN DOE


G.R. No. 193250 April 25, 2012 671 SCRA

FACTS: Respondent Amelio C. Tria (Tria) was a former Branch Manager of


petitioner PNB, assigned at PNBs Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System
Branch (PNB-MWSS). MWSS opened Current Account (C/A) No. 244-850099-6 with
PNB-MWSS and made an initial deposit of PhP 6,714,621.13. The account was
intended as a depository for a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to
fund a contract. To withdraw from the account, PNB checks must be issued and
three signatures securedone signatory each from MWSS, Maynilad Water
Services, Inc. (MWSI), and the contractor, China-Geo Engineering Corporation
(China-Geo). Thereafter PNB-MWSS received a letter-request from MWSS
instructing the deduction of PhP 5,200,000 (plus charges) from C/A 244-850099-6
and the issuance of the corresponding managers check in the same amount
Page 181 of 189

payable to a certain Atty. Rodrigo A. Reyes. The letter-request was purportedly


signed and approved by the duly authorized signatories. Hence, C/A 244-8500996 was re-activated in light of the letter-request. Managers Check No. 1165848
was, thus, prepared and issued in the name of Atty. Rodrigo A. Reyes (Atty. Reyes)
for the amount of PhP 5,200,000. Respondent Tria with Atty. Reyes successfully
encashed said check in (PNB-Circle).

The MWSS employee in charge of C/A No. 244-850099-6, inquired about the
accounts outstanding balance. While she was trying to reconcile the records of
MWSS and PNB, she inquired about a debit entry in the amount of PhP 5,200,000.
She then notified Veniegas that MWSS did not apply for the issuance of the
managers check payable to Atty. Reyes. Upon verification with the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines, it was discovered that there was no Rodrigo A. Reyes included
in its membership roster. Further, upon inspection of the PNB-MWSS microfilm
copy of Managers Check No. 1165848, it was shown that the check was
negotiated and encashed at the PNB-Circle and was annotated with ok for
payment per confirmation and approval of PNB MWSS by Tria on the dorsal
portion of the check.

PNB conducted its own investigation and, at its conclusion, sought to hold Tria
liable for qualified theft. Following a preliminary investigation, the Assistant City
Prosecutor issued a Resolution stating that Trias identification of the payee did
not consummate the payment of the Managers Check. Rather, it was held, the
consummation of the payment occurred during Flandez approval of the
encashment. Undaunted, PNB filed a petition for review with the DOJ and prayed
for the reversal of the Resolutions issued by the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Quezon City (OCP). Then Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzales issued a Resolution
dismissing PNBs petition for review. PNBs motion for reconsideration was also
denied.

ISSUE: Whether or not the DOJ committed grave abuse of discretion in failing to
consider the existence of probable cause in the instant case and affirming the
OCPs findings that there is no probable cause to hold Tria and Atty. Reyes/John
Doe for trial in the crime of qualified theft.
RULING: According to the CA, it was the approval of the request for the issuance
and for the encashment of the managers check by the employees of PNB that
resulted in the withdrawal of the amount encashed by Atty. Reyes/John
Doe. Hence, according to the appellate court, the OCP was correct in not pursuing
the criminal case against Tria.

Page 182 of 189

Clearly, the CA in the instant case erroneously overlooked vital factual


circumstances that call for a reversal of its ruling.
While discretionary authority to determine probable cause in a preliminary
investigation to ascertain sufficient ground for the filing of an information rests
with the executive branch, such authority is far from absolute. It may be subject
to review when it has been clearly used with grave abuse of discretion. And
indeed, grave abuse of discretion attended the decision to drop the charges
against Tria as there was more than probable cause to proceed against him for
qualified theft.
It must be emphasized at the outset that what is necessary for the filing of a
criminal information is not proof beyond reasonable doubt that the person
accused is guilty of the acts imputed on him, but only that there is probable cause
to believe that he is guilty of the crime charged. A finding of probable cause
needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely than not, a crime has
been committed and that it was committed by the accused.
The acts of Tria and the relevant circumstances that led to the encashment of the
check provide more than sufficient basis for the finding of probable cause to file
an information against him and John Doe/Atty. Reyes for qualified theft. In fact, it
is easy to infer from the factual milieu of the instant case the existence of all the
elements necessary for the prosecution of the crime of qualified theft.
While it is truly imperative to relieve a person from the pain of going through the
rigors of trial, it is more imperative to proceed with the prosecution of a criminal
case to ensure that the truth is revealed and justice served when there is a prima
facie case against him.

DEL CASTILLO vs. PEOPLE


G.R. No. 185128, January 30, 2012. 664 SCRA

FACTS: Police Officers headed by SPO3 Bienvenido Masnayon went to serve a


search warrant from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) to Petitioner Ruben Del Castillo
in search of illegal drugs. Upon arrival, somebody shouted raid which prompted
the police officers to immediately disembark from the jeep they were riding and
go directly to Del Castillos house and cordoned it off. Police men found nothing
incriminating in Del Castillos residence, but one of the barangay tanods was able
to confiscate from the hut several articles including four (4) plastic packs of
methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu.

Page 183 of 189

An Information was filed before RTC against Del Castillo, charging him with
violation of Section 16, Article III of R.A. 6425 (The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972).
During the arraignment, Del Castillo pleaded not guilty. The RTC found Del Castillo
guilty beyond reasonable of the charge against him in the information. The Court
of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision.
Petitioner insists that there was no probable cause to issue the search warrant,
considering that SPO1 Reynaldo Matillano, the police officer who applied for it,
had no personal knowledge of the alleged illegal sale of drugs during a test-buy
operation conducted prior to the application of the same search warrant. The
OSG, however, maintains that the petitioner, aside from failing to file the
necessary motion to quash the search warrant pursuant to Section 14, Rule 127 of
the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, did not introduce clear and convincing
evidence to show that Masnayon (who served the search warrant) was conscious
of the falsity of his assertion or representation.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was no probable cause to issue the subject search
warrant in this case.
RULING:

This Court finds no merit on the argument of petitioner.

The requisites for the issuance of a search warrant are: (1) probable cause is
present; (2) such probable cause must be determined personally by the judge; (3)
the judge must examine, in writing and under oath or affirmation, the complainant
and the witnesses he or she may produce; (4) the applicant and the witnesses
testify on the facts personally known to them; and (5) the warrant specifically
describes the place to be searched and the things to be seized. According to
petitioner, there was no probable cause. Probable cause for a search warrant is
defined as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet
and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the
objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be
searched. A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing
that, more likely than not, a crime has been committed and that it was committed
by the accused. Probable cause demands more than bare suspicion; it requires
less than evidence which would justify conviction. The judge, in determining
probable cause, is to consider the totality of the circumstances made known to
him and not by a fixed and rigid formula, and must employ a flexible, totality of
the circumstances standard. The existence depends to a large degree upon the
finding or opinion of the judge conducting the examination. This Court, therefore,
is in no position to disturb the factual findings of the judge which led to the
issuance of the search warrant. A magistrate's determination of probable cause
for the issuance of a search warrant is paid great deference by a reviewing court,
as long as there was substantial basis for that determination. Substantial basis
means that the questions of the examining judge brought out such facts and
circumstances as would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe
that an offense has been committed, and the objects in connection with the
Page 184 of 189

offense sought to be seized are in the place sought to be searched. A review of


the records shows that in the present case, a substantial basis exists.

PEOPLE vs. ANTICAMARA


G.R. NO. 178771 June 18, 2011 651 SCRA

FACTS: About 3:00am, May 7, 2002, househelper AAA and driver Abad Sulpacio
were sleeping in their employers house located in Rosales, Pangasinan. Their
employer, Conrado Estrella and his wife, were out of the house at that time. At
that time, AAA was jolted from sleep and observed about (6) persons enter the
house, who she identified later as accused Dick Taedo, Marvin Lim, Bert Taedo,
a certain Fred and appellants Alberto Anticamara alias Al Camara, and Fernando
Fernandez alias Lando Calaguas.
The group later took AAA and Abad to the fishpond owned by the Estrellas.
Eventually, Sulpacio was shot and buried in a secluded place. AAA was held
captive and raped for (27) days.
On June 4, 2002, AAA managed to escape and report the incident to the police.
Subsequently, Lando, Al, Dick Tado (at large), Robert Tado (at large), Marvin Lim
(at large), Necitas Ordeza-Tado and Fred Doe (at large) are charged with the
crimes of Murder and of kidnapping, in two separate informations
The Rosales Pangasinan RTC acquitted Necitas for insufficiency of evidence.Lando
and Al, as principal were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
Murder in Criminal Case No. 4498-R and of the crime of Kidnapping and Serious
Illegal Detention in Criminal Case No. 4481-R. On appeal, the CA affirmed the
decision of the RTC. Hence, this appeal.
ISSUE: Whether or not the prosecution was able to adduce sufficient
circumstantial evidence to establish with moral certainty the identities and guilt of
the perpetrators of the crime.

RULING: Circumstantial evidence consists of proof of collateral facts and


circumstances from which the existence of the main fact may be inferred
according to reason and common experience. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient
to sustain conviction if: (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from
which the inferences are derived are proven; (c) the combination of all
Page 185 of 189

circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. A


judgment of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be sustained when
the circumstances proved form an unbroken chain that results in a fair and
reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as
the perpetrator.

In this case, the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution, when


analyzed and taken together, lead to the inescapable conclusion that the
appellants are responsible for the death of Sulpacio. The Court quotes with
approval the lower court's enumeration of those circumstantial evidence:

The testimony of AAA had clearly established the following facts:

1. At about 3:00 in the early morning of May 7, 2002, while she and the victim
Abad Sulpacio were sleeping inside the house of the Estrella family in Barangay
Carmen, Rosales, Pangasinan several persons entered to rob the place;
2. Inside the house, she saw and recognized the accused Lando Calaguas and
Dick Taedo, and heard the latter uttering somebody will die;
3. Bringing her outside the house, Lando pushed her into the Revo where she saw
inside Abad Sulpacio who was blindfolded and with his hands tied;
4. Inside the Revo, she recognized the accused Dick Taedo, Lando Calaguas,
Marvin Lim, Roberto Taedo, Alberto Anticamara and Fred;
5. The Revo then proceeded towards the fishpond owned by the Estrellas in Sitio
Rosalia, Brgy. San Bartolome, Rosales, Pangasinan;
6. The last time that she saw Abad Sulpacio was when he was dragged out from
the vehicle by Lando, Fred, Marvin and Al upon reaching Sitio Rosalia. At that,
time Dick Taedo stayed with her in the vehicle;
7. Thereafter, when Fred returned to the vehicle, she heard him uttered: Make a
decision now. Abad has already four (4) bullets in his body, and the one left is for
this girl.

In addition to these circumstances, the trial court further found that AAA heard
Fred utter Usapan natin pare, kung sino ang masagasaan, sagasaan. (Our
agreement is that whoever comes our way should be eliminated). Moreover, NBI
Agent Gerald V. Geralde testified that on June 23, 2002, appellant Al admitted his
participation as lookout and naming his companions Dick, Lando, Fred, Marvin and
Page 186 of 189

Bet as the ones who took AAA and Sulpacio from the house of the Estrellas and
brought them to the fishpond. Al also pointed and led the authorities to a shallow
grave in Sitio Rosalia, Barangay San Bartolome, Rosales, Pangasinan, where the
remains of Sulpacio were buried. The autopsy conducted on the body, prepared
by the Medico Legal Officer Dr. Bandonil, shows that several holes were found on
various parts of the body of the victim and Dr. Bandonil concluded that the cause
of the victim's death was the gunshot wounds. The report also indicates that a
piece of cloth was found wrapped around the eye sockets and tied at the back of
the skull, and another cloth was also found tied at the remnants of the left wrist.

In the case at bar, although no one directly saw the actual killing of Sulpacio, the
prosecution was able to paint a clear picture that the appellants took Sulpacio
away from the house of the Estrellas, tied and blindfolded him, and brought him to
another place where he was repeatedly shot and buried.

PEOPLE VS. DEOCAMPO


G.R. No. 185212

February 15, 2012

666 SCRA

FACTS: This case is about when circumstantial evidence may be considered


sufficient to support a finding of guilt in a murder case.
The Provincial Prosecutor of Sultan Kudarat charged the accused Maritess Alolod
(the adopted child of the victims), Efren Deocampo, Edwin Deocampo, and Elmer
Deocampo with double murder before the (RTC) of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. The RTC
found the four accused guilty of murder of Lucena and Melanio Alolod, with Efren
and Edwin as principals and Maritess and Elmer as accessories. While the case
was on appeal, the (CA) granted the request of Maritess and Elmer to withdraw
their appeals, leaving only those of Efren and Edwin for its considerationThe CA
rendered judgment, affirming with modification the RTC decision. The CA reduced
the penalty imposed by the RTC.
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTCs finding that accused
Efren was responsible for the murder of the Alolod couple based on circumstantial
evidence.
RULING: No, the CA is correct.
The rule of evidence that applies when no witness saw the commission of the
crime provides:
Page 187 of 189

SEC. 4. Circumstantial evidence, when sufficient. Circumstantial


evidence is sufficient for conviction if:
(a)

There is more than one circumstance;

(b)

The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and

(c)
The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a
conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

The circumstances must constitute an unbroken chain that inexorably leads to one
fair conclusion: the accused committed the crime to the exclusion of all others.
Here, those circumstances abound.
1.
Efren had always been banned from the old couples (Alolod couple) house
because they strongly disapproved his relationship with Maritess, their adopted
daughter so he had no business being around that house.
2.
The old couple were enjoying good health before the evening of May 27,
1998.
3.
On May 28 they were suddenly gone from the house, meaning that they
were killed on the night of May 27 or early morning of May 28.
4.
On the night of May 27 the security guard at Salaman Institute saw Efren
and Edwin standing on the school side of the fence next to the old couples
house. They even tried to conceal themselves in th school toilet. The next day,
the guard discovered that the fence wire had been cut.
5.
At about 2:00 a.m. of May 28 a neighbor heard the sound of a woman
sobbing and what seemed like the butchering of a pig.
6.

At break of dawn, a witness saw Efren in the Alolod kitchen.

7.
From then on Efren and his brothers frequented the old couples house,
with Efren wearing the old mans watch.
8.
Maritess definitely lied about her adoptive parents going to Cotabato City
and subsequently to Davao City for medical treatment when people started
looking for them. They were of course buried in the garden.
9.
A witness heard Efren instructing Maritess to plant more camote on a pile
of red soil beside the house.
10.

The bodies of the old couple were found underneath those plants.

The alibi of Efren that he was in Maguindanao at about the time the old couple
was killed does not encourage belief. The security guard saw him with his brother
Page 188 of 189

at 8:30 p.m. of May 27 near the couples house where they had no business being
there. A neighbor saw Efren at the kitchen of that house on the morning following
the slaying of the couple. And it was not physically impossible for the accused to
be at the crime scene when it happened. Sitio Gila-gila, South Upi, Maguindao
was merely 15 kilometers from Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.

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