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Ong Chia vs. Republic of the Philippines (G.R. No. 127240.

March, 27, 2000)

Facts:
Ong Chia was born on January 1, 1923 in Amoy, China. In 1932, as a nine-year old boy, he
arrived at the port of Manila on board the vessel "Angking." Since then, he has stayed in the
Philippines where he found employment and eventually started his own business, married a
Filipina, with whom he had four children. On July 4, 1989, at the age of 66, he filed a verified
petition to be admitted as a Filipino citizen under C.A. No. 473, otherwise known as the Revised
Naturalization Law, as amended.
On August 25, 1999, the trial court granted the petition and admitted Ong Chia to Philippine
citizenship. The State, however, through the Office of the Solicitor General, appealed
contending that petitioner: (1) failed to state all the names by which he is or had been known;
(2) failed to state all his former places of residence in violation of C.A. No. 473, 7; (3) failed to
conduct himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during his entire stay in the Philippines,
in violation of 2; (4) has no known lucrative trade or occupation and his previous incomes have
been insufficient or misdeclared, also in contravention of 2; and (5) failed to support his petition
with the appropriate documentary evidence.
Annexed to the State's appellant's brief was a copy of a 1977 petition for naturalization filed by
petitioner with the Special Committee on Naturalization in SCN Case No. 031767, in which
petitioner stated that in addition to his name of "Ong Chia," he had likewise been known since
childhood as "Loreto Chia Ong." As petitioner, however, failed to state this other name in his
1989 petition for naturalization, it was contended that his petition must fail. The state also
annexed income tax returns allegedly filed by petitioner from 1973 to 1977 to show that his net
income could hardly support himself and his family. To prove that petitioner failed to conduct
himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during his stay in the Philippines, the State
contended that, although petitioner claimed that he and Ramona Villaruel had been married
twice, once before a judge in 1953, and then again in church in 1977, petitioner actually lived
with his wife without the benefit of marriage from 1953 until they were married in 1977. It was
alleged that petitioner failed to present his 1953 marriage contract, if there be any. The State
also annexed a copy of petitioner's 1977 marriage contract and a Joint-Affidavit executed by
petitioner and his wife. These documents show that when petitioner married Ramona Villaruel
on February 23, 1977, no marriage license had been required in accordance with Art.76 of the
Civil Code because petitioner and Ramona Villaruel had been living together as husband and
wife since 1953 without the benefit of marriage. This, according to the State, belies his claim
that when he started living with his wife in 1953, they had already been married.
The State also argued that, as shown by petitioner's Immigrant Certificate of Residence,
petitioner resided at "J.M. Basa Street, Iloilo," but he did not include said address in his petition.
On November 15, 1996, the Court of Appeals rendered its decision which, as already noted,
reversed the trial court and denied petitioner's application for naturalization. It ruled 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.
Ong Chia's principal contention is that the appellate court erred in considering the documents
which had merely been annexed by the State to its appellant's brief and, on the basis of which,
justified the reversal of the trial court's decision. Not having been presented and formally offered
as evidence, they are mere "scrap(s) of paper devoid of any evidentiary value," so it was
argued, because under Rule 132, 34 of the Revised Rules on Evidence, the court shall
consider no evidence which has not been formally offered.
Ong Chia admits that he failed to mention said address in his petition, but argues that since the
Immigrant Certificate of Residence containing it had been fully published, with the petition and
the other annexes, such publication constitutes substantial compliance with 7.
ISSUE:
Whether the documents annexed by the State to its appelants brief without having been
presented and formally offered as evidence under Rule 132, Section 34 of the Revised Rules on
Evidence justified the reversal of of the Trial Courts decision

HELD:
YES. Decision of the Court of Appeals was affirmed. Petition was denied.
Petitioner failed to note Rule 143 of the Rules of Court which provides that -
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. (Emphasis added)
Prescinding from the above, the rule on formal offer of evidence (Rule 132, 34) now 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." That is not the case here, since reliance
upon the documents presented by the State for the first time on appeal, in fact, appears to be
the more practical and convenient course of action considering that decision in naturalization
proceedings are not covered by the rule on res judicata. Consequently, a final favorable
judgment does not preclude the State from later on moving for a revocation of the grant of
naturalization on the basis of the same documents.

It is settled that naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced and strictly construed in favor of
the government and against the applicant. [T]he rule of strict application of the law in
naturalization cases defeat petitioners argument of substantial compliance with the
requirement under the Revised Naturalization Law.
[T]he reason for the rule prohibiting the admission of evidence which has not been formally
offered is to afford the opposite party the chance to object to their admissibility. Ong Chia
cannot claim that he was deprived of the right to object to the authenticity of the documents
submitted to the appellate court by the State. He could have included his objections, as he, in
fact, did, in the brief he filed with the Court of Appeals, thus:
The authenticity of the alleged petition for naturalization (SCN Case No. 031767) which was
supposedly filed by Ong Chia under LOI 270 has not been established. In fact, the case number
of the alleged petition for naturalization is 031767 while the case number of the petition
actually filed by the appellee is 031776. Thus, said document is totally unreliable and should not
be considered by the Honorable Court in resolving the instant appeal.
SASAN SR. et al vs. NLRC GR NO. 176240

FACTS:

Respondent Equitable-PCI Bank (E-PCIBank) entered into a Contract for Services with
HI. Pursuant to their contract, HI shall hire and assign workers to E-PCIBank to perform
janitorial/messengerial and maintenance services. Petitioners were among those employed and
assigned to E-PCIBank.

Petitioners filed with the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC separate complaints against E-
PCIBank and HI for illegal dismissal. Several conciliation hearings were scheduled by the Labor
Arbiter but the parties still failed to arrive at a mutually beneficial settlement; hence, the Labor
Arbiter ordered that they submit their respective position papers. On the basis of the parties
position papers and documentary evidence, Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision finding that HI
was not a legitimate job contractor and is only a labor-only contractor and that he real employer
of petitioners is E-PCIBank which is held liable to petitioners.

Aggrieved by the decision of Labor Arbiter Gutierrez, respondents E-PCIBank and HI


appealed the same to the NLRC. In support of its allegation that it was a legitimate job
contractor, HI submitted before the NLRC several documents which it did not present
before Labor Arbiter Gutierrez. The NLRC took into consideration the documentary evidence
presented by HI for the first time on appeal and, on the basis thereof, declared HI as a highly
capitalized venture with sufficient capitalization, which cannot be considered engaged in labor-
only contracting.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the findings of the NLRC that HI was a legitimate job
contractor and that it did not illegally dismiss petitioners. Petitioners object to the acceptance
and consideration by the NLRC of the evidence presented by HI for the first time on
appeal. Hence, this case.

ISSUE: WON submission of additional evidence for the first on appeal is allowed in labor cases

RULING: YES.
This is not a novel procedural issue and our jurisprudence is already replete with cases
allowing the NLRC to admit evidence, not presented before the Labor Arbiter, and submitted to
the NLRC for the first time on appeal. Technical rules of evidence are not binding in labor
cases. Labor officials should use every reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case
speedily and objectively, without regard to technicalities of law or procedure, all in the interest of
due process.

The submission of additional evidence before the NLRC is not prohibited by its New
Rules of Procedure. After all, rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity are not
controlling in labor cases. The NLRC and labor arbiters are directed to use every and all
reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively, without regard to
technicalities of law and procedure all in the interest of substantial justice. In keeping with this
directive, it has been held that the NLRC may consider evidence, such as documents and
affidavits, submitted by the parties for the first time on appeal. The submission of additional
evidence on appeal does not prejudice the other party for the latter could submit counter-
evidence.

Therefore, the petition was DENIED.


Quiambao vs CA

Facts:
Catolico filed a complaint of robbery-holdup and mauling committed on 22 December 1990 and
an administrative case on the ground of grave misconduct against herein petitioner. The Acting
PNP Chief approved the dismissal of petitioner as recommended by the Summary Dismissal
Hearing Officer (SDHO). Petitioner appealed to the National Appellate Board (NAB) of the
NAPOLCOM but it affirmed the resolution. The motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner was
denied in a Resolution dated 27 December 1993. But it was only on 23 September 1996 when
petitioner received a certified xerox copy of the Resolution of the NAB denying his petition for
reconsideration.
Upon appeal to CA, it dismissed the petition for review for lack of merit. The appellate court
found that a perusal of the annexes to the comment of Catolico would readily show that NAB
resolved petitioners case based on substantial evidence appearing on the record before it.
Petitioner argues that the appellate court had been passive to Catolicos surreptitious
introduction into the records of the case evidentiary documents of which petitioner was not
furnished and to the latters prejudice.

Issue:
Whether or not the Acting PNP Chief and NAB decided without substantial evidence.

Held:
No. Well-entrenched is the rule that courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to
the sound discretion of the government agency entrusted with the regulation of activities coming
under the special and technical training and knowledge of such agency. Submission of position
papers may be sufficient for as long as the parties thereto are given the opportunity to be heard.
In administrative proceedings, only substantial evidence or that amount of relevant evidence
that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion is required. Thus,
findings of fact of quasi-judicial agencies are generally accorded respect and even finality by the
Supreme Court, if supported by substantial evidence, in recognition of their expertise on the
specific matters under their consideration.
Tabuena vs CA

Facts:
In 1973, an action for recovery of ownership with regards to a parcel of residential land was filed
in the Regional Trial Court of Aklan by the estate of Alfredo Tabernilla against Jose Tabuena,
the herein petitioner. After trial, judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff and the defendant
was required to vacate the disputed lot, which was sold by Juan Peralta, Jr. sometime in 1926
to Alfredo Tabernilla while the two were in the United States.
Tabuena appealed to the respondent court, complaining that, in arriving at its factual findings,
the trial court motu proprio took cognizance of Exhibits "A", "B" and "C", which had been marked
by the plaintiff but never formally submitted in evidence.
Petitioner argued that the lower courts should not have taken into account evidence not
submitted by the private respondent in accordance with the Rules of Court.

Issue:
Whether or not the evidences not formally submitted should be taken in consideration

Held:
No. Rule 132 of the Rules of Court provides in Section 35 thereof as follows:
Sec. 35. 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 is necessary because it is the duty of a judge to rest his findings of facts and his
judgment only and strictly upon the evidence offered by the patties at the trial. The conclusions
of the trial court were based mainly on Exhibits "A", "B" and "C", which had not been formally
offered as evidence and therefore should have been totally disregarded, conformably to the
Rules of Court.
BARCENAS, et al. vs Sps. TOMAS, G.R. No. 150321, March 31, 2005

FACTS:

Respondent Spouses Tomas filed a case for recovery of ownership and possession of real
property with damages against the heirs of Veronica Tolentino. The Complaint stated that after
the death of Benedicto Guerzon, Veronicas husband, the latter sold a 1-ha portion of her
undivided share in a 14.6-ha property in Nueva Ecija. Respondents took possession of the
property immediately after the sale.

In 1989, the Spouses however migrated to the United States leaving the lot in possession of
Victoriano Tomas. On April 13, 1989, the heirs of Veronica executed an Extrajudicial Partition of
the entire Nueva Ecija property. Thus, a new title was issued in the name of Maximo Guerzon,
one of the heirs.

The respondent Spouses presented a Deed of Sale evidencing the sale of the 1-ha lot and also
showed through an Affidavit that Veronicas children subsequently confirmed the sale. The
Petitioner heirs however denied knowledge of the two documents.

The MTC of Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija held that the Respondent Spouses had the better right of
possession over the property. The RTC-Branch 33 of Guimba, Nueva Ecija affirmed this ruling.

In the Court of Appeals, the court dismissed the Petition for Review on several grounds,
including the fact that the pleadings filed with the lower court had not been appended to the
Petition in contrary to Section 2(d) of Rule 42.

ISSUE: Whether or not both the lower courts committed a grave and serious error in
giving evidentiary weight to the purported Deed of Sale and Affidavit as proof of the
alleged sale even if said documentary exhibits have not been properly identified by a
competent witness.

HELD: NO

The argument that this Court should reverse the factual findings because certain facts or
circumstances of import have allegedly been overlooked or misinterpreted by the lower courts is
unavailing. That kind of review is done only with regard to factual findings of the CA -- and there
are none here -- not of the RTC or the MTC.

To satisfy the incessant call of petitioners for a factual review, the Court -- despite the foregoing
invocations -- nonetheless looked over the records. It found no adequate basis for their claims.

First, the evidence did not show that petitioners had presented strong, complete, and conclusive
proof that the notarized Deed of Sale was false. Without that sort of evidence, the presumption
of regularity, the evidentiary weight conferred upon such public document with respect to its
execution, as well as the statements and the authenticity of the signatures thereon, stand.
Second, no evidence was presented to establish the fact that the Affidavit confirming the sale
had been forged. Forgery cannot be presumed. Whoever alleges it must prove it by clear and
convincing evidence.
SCC Chemicals Corp. VS CA
353 SCRA 70 (2001)

Facts:

On December 13, 1983 petitioner SCC Chemical Corporation (SCC) obtained a loan
through its chairman private respondent Danilo Arrieta and vice president, Pablo Bermundo
from State Investment House Inc. (SIHI) in the amount of Php 129,824.48. Private respondents
executed a Comprehensive Surety Agreement binding themselves jointly and severally to pay
the obligation on maturity date. SCC failed to pay the loan and despite demands, no payment
was made.

SIHI filed a case of sum of money against SCC with a prayer for preliminary attachment
against private respondents. SCC contends that SIHI has no cause of action because the
promissory note was null, void and no binding effect. During the pre-trial stage, no settlement
was reached however, stipulation of facts was agreed upon, thus, the case proceeded to trial.
SIHI presented one witness to prove its claim. The cross- examination of the said witness was
postponed despite being calendared many times. SCC or its counsel failed to appear several
times, thus, the RTC declared SCC to have waived its right to cross-examine the witness of
SIHI and the case was deemed submitted for decision.

SCC elevated the case to CA and contended that SIHI had failed to show, by a
preponderance of evidence, that the latter had a case against it; and that the witness presented
to prove its claim was incompetent because he had no personal knowledge of the transaction.
SCC also contended that no proof was shown of the genuineness of the signatures in the
documentary exhibits presented as evidence and that these signatures were neither marked nor
offered in evidence by SIHI. The appellate court affirmed the RTCs decision. Hence, this
petition.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not judicial admission requires proof.


2. Whether the testimony of the witness is a hearsay evidence and thus
inadmissible.

RULING:

1. No. A judicial admission requires no proof. Petitioners admission as to the


execution of the promissory notes by it through private respondents Arrieta and
Bermundo at pre-trial sufficed to settle the question of the genuineness of the
signatures. The admission having been made in stipulation of facts at pre-trial
by the parties, it must be treated as a judicial admission. Under Sec. 4, Rule 129
of the ROC.
2. 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.
PEOPLE VS VALDES

Facts:

- This is a case of a violation of RA 9165 where accused, who was allegedly caught plant,
cultivate and culture seven (7) fully grown marijuana plants.

After receiving a tip from an unnamed informer about the presence of a marijuana
plantation, allegedly owned by the accused, the following day, without a warrant, said police
team, accompanied by their informer, left for the site where the marijuana plants were allegedly
being grown.

They, then, proceeded to look around the area where appellant had hiskaingin and saw
seven (7) five-foot high, flowering marijuana plants in two rows.

The accused that He was asked to go with an unknown person to "see something." This
unknown person then brought appellant to the place where the marijuana plants were found,
approximately 100 meters away from his nipa hut. Five armed policemen were present and they
made him stand in front of the hemp plants. The accused then alleged that he was forced to
admit to the owning of the marijuana.

Issue: WHETHER OR NOT THE EVIDENCE SHOULD BE ADMITTED DESPITE BEING


PRODUCTS OF AN ILLEGAL SEARCH

Ruling: NO

First, the records show that the law enforcers had more than ample time to secure a search
warrant. Second, that the marijuana plants were found in an unfenced lot does not remove
appellant from the mantle of protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

1. In the instant case, there was no search warrant issued by a judge after personal
determination of the existence of probable cause. From the declarations of the police officers
themselves, it is clear that they had at least one (1) day to obtain a warrant to search appellant's
farm. Their informant had revealed his name to them. The place where the cannabis plants
were planted was pinpointed. From the information in their possession, they could have
convinced a judge that there was probable cause to justify the issuance of a warrant. But they
did not. Instead, they uprooted the plants and apprehended the accused on the excuse that the
trip was a good six hours and inconvenient to them. The mantle of protection extended by the
Bill of Rights covers both innocent and guilty alike against any form of high-handedness of law
enforcers, regardless of the praiseworthiness of their intentions.

The Constitution lays down the general rule that a search and seizure must be carried on the
strength of a judicial warrant. Otherwise, the search and seizure is deemed "unreasonable."
Evidence procured on the occasion of an unreasonable search and seizure is deemed tainted
for being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree and should be excluded. Such evidence shall
be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding.
Zulueta vs Court of Appeals
Cecilia Zulueta vs Court of Appeals and Alfredo Martin

Facts:
Cecilia Zulueta is the Petitioner who offset the private papers of his husband Dr. Alfredo Martin.
Dr. Martin is a doctor of medicine while he is not in his house His wife took the 157 documents
consisting of diaries, cancelled check, greeting cards, passport and photograph, private
respondents between her Wife and his alleged paramours, by means of forcibly opened the
drawers and cabinet. Cecilia Zulueta filed the papers for the evidence of her case of legal
separation and for disqualification from the practice of medicine against her husband.
Dr. Martin brought the action for recovery of the documents and papers and for damages
against Zulueta, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch X. the trial court rendered
judgment for Martin, declaring him the capital/exclusive owner of the properties described in
paragraph 3 of Martins Complaint or those further described in the Motion to Return and
Suppress and ordering Zulueta and any person acting in her behalf to a immediately return the
properties to Dr. Martin and to pay him P5,000.00, as nominal damages; P5,000.00, as moral
damages and attorneys fees; and to pay the costs of the suit. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court. Zulueta filed the petition for review with the
Supreme Court.

Issue:
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.

Ruling/Held:
The documents and papers are inadmissible in evidence. The constitutional injunction 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 husbands 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 a court
or when public safety or order requires 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 any one 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 his/her integrity or his right to privacy as an
individual and the constitutional protection is ever available to him or to her. 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 OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ADOR

G.R. No. 140538-39

June 14, 2004

FACTS:

The quiescence of the fading day was shattered by bursts of gunfire, statrtling the otherwise
tranquil but sanguine folks of Pacol, Naga City.

In its effort to secure the conviction of the accused for the murder of Abe Cuya and Ompong
Chavez, the prosecution presented a total of sixteen (16) witnesses.

Mercy Beria testified that she ran straight to Chavez after she heard gunshots. She then
found him catching his last breath. Beria asked Chavez what happened and replied saying
tinambangan kami na Ador. About eight (8) meters from where Chavez was, in a dark spot, lay
Abe Cuya, dead.

The following morning, Barangay Captain Perez accompanied the police to the Adors,
namely, Diosdado Sr., Diosdado III, Godofredo, Rosalino, Allan and Reynaldo, and were
brought by SPO1 Barbosa to the PNP Central Police Headquarters. The Adors were informed of
their constitutional rights to remain silent and to choose their own counsel. They were then
brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory and were subjected to paraffin tests. On the way to the
crime laboratory, Godofredo told his police escort that he had been entrusted with a handgun
which he kept in his residence.

Upon reaching the Ador residence, Godofredo, together with PO3 Nepomuceno, went to
their backyard, retrieved the gun from under a fallen coconut trunk and turned it in to the latter.
Godofredo allegedly told the police that he fired the said gun outside their house on the night of
March 10 after he heard several gunshots. PO3 Nepomuceno identified the gun as a caliber .38
paltik handgun. PO3 Nepomuceno then turned over the handgun to Major Idian who likewise
identified it as a .38 caliber revolver. Major Idian returned the handgun to PO3 Nepomuceno for
ballistic and paraffin examination.

Also, on the same day, Dr. Joel S. Jurado conducted an autopsy on the bodies of
Chavez and Cuya. Dr. Jurado further testified that he recovered a slug from Cuyas head.

Police Inspector Reynaldo Fulgar testified that based on the ballistic examination he
conducted on the bullets, the .38 caliber slug recovered from Cuyas head matched the three (3)
.38 caliber test bullets which were test-fired from the suspected firearm surrendered by
Godofredo. The paraffin casts taken from the Adors were also transmitted to the PNP Crime
Laboratory Services for examination and yielded the presence of gunpowder nitrates.

The prosecution also presented Pablo Calsis as a witness. Calsis testified that on the
night of the incident, while about to urinate outside the house of one Lola Kissing, he heard
several gunshots. He ducked by a sineguelas tree. As he was about to stand up, he saw
Disodado Jr., Diosdado III, Godofredo and another unidentified man run away.
Based on the foregoing, accused Godofredo and Diosdado III Ador were found guilty of
the crime of murder.

ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court erred in convicting them of murder based on circumstantial
evidence.

HELD: YES. For circumstantial evidence to suffice,

(1) There should be more than one circumstance;

(2) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and

(3) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt.

The test to determine whether or not the circumstantial evidence on record are sufficient to
convict the accused is that the series of the circumstances proved must be consistent with the
guilt of the accused and inconsistent with his innocence.

Accordingly, we have set guidelines in appreciating circumstantial evidence:

(1) It should be acted upon with caution;

(2) All the essential facts must be consistent with the hypothesis of guilt;

(3) The facts must exclude every theory but that of guilt; and

(4) The facts must establish such a certainty of guilt of the accused as to convince the judgment
beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is the one who committed the offense.

Measured against the guidelines set, we cannot uphold the conviction of the accused based on
the circumstantial evidence presented.

The first circumstance which the prosecution sought to prove is that the accused were
supposedly seen fleeing from the locus criminis, armed with their respective weapons. The
testimony of Calsis, if at all, could hardly be used against Diosdado III whom he miserably failed
to positively identify during trial. Absent such clear and positive identification, the doctrine that
the defense of denial cannot prevail over positive identification of the accused must yield to the
constitutional presumption of innocence.

The second circumstance is the handgun turned in by Godofredo. However, Insp.


Fulgar, testified that the indorsement coming from the City Prosecutors Office alleged that the
.38 caliber live bullet was fired from a .38 caliber revolver. But our office found out that the
firearm was not a .38 caliber revolver but a .357 caliber revolver. Thus, even the third
circumstance, the .38 caliber slug supposedly recovered from the head of the victim loses
evidentiary value as its source is now highly questionable.

Neither can this Court rely on the dying declaration of Chavez nor on the results of the
paraffin tests to convict either Diosdado III or Godofredo or both. Sad to say, no specific name
was ever mentioned by Mercy Beria. Neither was she able to tell how many (persons) Adors
were involved. Thus, while a dying declaration may be admissible in evidence, it must identify
with certainty the assailant. Otherwise, it loses its significance. Also, the fact that the accused-
appellants tested positive of gunpowder nitrates does not conclusively show that they fired the
murder weapon, for such forensic evidence should be taken only as an indication of possibility
or even of probability, but not of infallibility, since nitrates are also admittedly found in
substances other than gunpowder.

The admissions made by Godofredo to Major Idian and PO3 Nepomuceno including the
gun in question cannot be considered in evidence against him without violating his constitutional
right to counsel. Godofredo was already under custodial investigation when he made his
admissions and surrendered the gun to the police authorities. Consequently, the rights of a
person under custodial investigation, including the right to counsel, have already attached to the
Adors, and pursuant to Art. III, Sec. 12(1) and (3), 1987 Constitution, any waiver of these rights
should be in writing and undertaken with the assistance of counsel. Admissions under custodial
investigation made without the assistance of counsel are barred as evidence.

The case of the prosecution has been reduced to nothing but mere suspicions and
speculations. It is hornbook doctrine that suspicions and speculations can never be the basis of
conviction in a criminal case. Courts must ensure that the conviction of the accused rests firmly
on sufficient and competent evidence, and not the results of passion and prejudice.

Wherefore, accused Godofredo Ador and Diosdado Ador III are acquitted.
SALCEDO-ORTANEZ V CA G.R. No. 110662 | August 4, 1994 | J. Padilla

Facts:

Private respondent Rafael Ortanez filed with the Quezon City RTC a complaint for annulment of
marriage with damages against petitioner Teresita Salcedo-Ortanez, on grounds of lack of
marriage license and/or psychological incapacity of the petitioner.

Among the exhibits offered by private respondent were three (3) cassette tapes of alleged
telephone conversations between petitioner and unidentified persons.

Teresita submitted her Objection/Comment to Rafaels oral offer of evidence. However, the trial
court admitted all of private respondents offered evidence and later on denied her motion for
reconsideration, prompting petitioner to file a petition for certiorari with the CA to assail the
admission in evidence of the aforementioned cassette tapes.

These tape recordings were made and obtained when private respondent allowed his friends
from the military to wire tap his home telephone.

CA denied the petition because (1) Tape recordings are not inadmissible per se. They and any
other variant thereof can be admitted in evidence for certain purposes, depending on how they
are presented and offered and on how the trial judge utilizes them in the interest of truth and
fairness and the even handed administration of justice; and (2) A petition for certiorari is
notoriously inappropriate to rectify a supposed error in admitting evidence adduced during trial.
The ruling on admissibility is interlocutory; neither does it impinge on jurisdiction. If it is
erroneous, the ruling should be questioned in the appeal from the judgment on the merits and
not through the special civil action of certiorari. The error, assuming gratuitously that it exists,
cannot be anymore than an error of law, properly correctible by appeal and not by certiorari.

Petitioner then filed the present petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Issue:

W/N the recordings of the telephone conversations are admissible in evidence

W/N the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court was properly availed of by the
petitioner in the Court of Appeals

Held:

1. No. Rep. Act No. 4200 entitled An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other
Related Violations of the Privacy of Communication, and for other purposes expressly makes
such tape recordings inadmissible in evidence thus:
Sec. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private
communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or
arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by
using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie
or tape-recorder, or however otherwise described. . . .

Sec. 4. Any communication or spoken word, or the existence, contents, substance, purport, or
meaning of the same or any part thereof, or any information therein contained, obtained or
secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible
in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation.

Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording
of the same, the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. Act No. 4200.

2. Yes and no. The extraordinary writ of certiorari is generally not available to challenge an
interlocutory order of a trial court. The proper remedy in such cases is an ordinary appeal from
an adverse judgment, incorporating in said appeal the grounds for assailing the interlocutory
order.

However, where the assailed interlocutory order is patently erroneous and the remedy of appeal
would not afford adequate and expeditious relief, the Court may allow certiorari as a mode of
redress.
Rule 128, Sec. 3. Admissibility of Evidence

G.R. No. 174141 June 26, 2009

PENTAGON STEEL CORPORATION, Petitioner,


vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and PERFECTO
BALOGO, Respondents.

FACTS:

The petitioner, a corporation engaged in the manufacture of G.I. wire and nails, employed
respondent Perfecto Balogo (the respondent) since September 1, 1979 in its wire drawing
department.

The petitioner alleged that the respondent absented himself from work on August 7, 2002
without giving prior notice of his absence. After several days of being not in attendance, multiple
letters were sent to the respondent by registered mail, all pointing out his absences; however,
the respondent failed to respond. Thus, the petitioner considered him on AWOL from August 7,
2002.

On September 13, 2002, the respondent filed a complaint with the Arbitration Branch of the
NLRC for underpayment/non-payment of salaries and wages. The respondent alleged that on
August 6, 2002, he contracted flu associated with diarrhea and suffered loose bowel movement
due to the infection. The respondent maintained that his illness had prevented him from
reporting for work for ten (10) days. When the respondent finally reported for work on August
17, 2002, the petitioner refused to take him back despite the medical certificate he submitted.

During conciliation proceedings, the parties negotiated and entered into agreements. However,
the petitioner refused respondents demand for separation pay for lack of basis.

On January 20, 2003, the respondents formally amended his complaint to include his claim of
illegal dismissal.

Labor Arbiter Ruling: The LA dismissed the illegal dismissal complaint and approved the
Separation incentive leave and 13th month pay.

NLRC Ruling: The NLRC approved the LA decision.

CA Ruling: The CA approved the NLRC ruling but modified the same by ordering the
reinstatement and payment of backwages to respondent.

On appeal before the SC, the petitioner alleges that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion
by basing its decision on the proceedings that transpired when the parties were negotiating for a
compromise agreement during the preliminary conference of the case.
Petitioner contends that the CA cannot use the parties actions and/or agreements during the
negotiation for a compromise agreement as basis for the conclusion that the respondent was
illegally dismissed because an offer of compromise is not admissible in evidence under Section
27, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE: WoN statements and/or agreements made at concilliation proceedings are privileged.

HELD:

Yes. Statements and/or agreements made at conciliation proceedings are privileged and cannot
be used as evidence.

We agree with the petitioner, but for a different reason. The correct reason for the CAs error in
considering the actions and agreements during the conciliation proceedings before the labor
arbiter is Article 233 of the Labor Code which states that "[i]nformation and statements made at
conciliation proceedings shall be treated as privileged communication and shall not be used as
evidence in the Commission. Conciliators and similar officials shall not testify in any court or
body regarding any matters taken up at conciliation proceedings conducted by them." This was
the provision we cited in Nissan Motors Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor when we
pointedly disallowed the award made by the public respondent Secretary; the award was based
on the information NCMB Administrator Olalia secured from the confidential position given him
by the company during conciliation.

In the present case, we find that the CA did indeed consider the statements the parties made
during conciliation; thus, the CA erred by considering excluded materials in arriving at its
conclusion. The reasons behind the exclusion are two-fold.

First, since the law favors the settlement of controversies out of court, a person is entitled to
"buy his or her peace" without danger of being prejudiced in case his or her efforts fail; hence,
any communication made toward that end will be regarded as privileged. Indeed, if every offer
to buy peace could be used as evidence against a person who presents it, many settlements
would be prevented and unnecessary litigation would result, since no prudent person would
dare offer or entertain a compromise if his or her compromise position could be exploited as a
confession of weakness.

Second, offers for compromise are irrelevant because they are not intended as admissions by
the parties making them. A true offer of compromise does not, in legal contemplation, involve an
admission on the part of a defendant that he or she is legally liable, or on the part of a plaintiff,
that his or her claim is groundless or even doubtful, since it is made with a view to avoid
controversy and save the expense of litigation. It is the distinguishing mark of an offer of
compromise that it is made tentatively, hypothetically, and in contemplation of mutual
concessions.
11 UNIWIDE SALES VS TITAN IKEDA

G.R. No. 126619 December 20, 2006

FACTS: This case involved Titan-Ikeda who entered into 3 construction agreement/ contract
/project with Uniwide. Later Titan-Ikeda filed an action for sum of money against Uniwide with
the RTC because Uniwide allegedly failed to pay certain claims billed by Titan after the
completion of the 3 projects. Uniwide moved for the dismissal/suspension of the proceeding for
them to first undergo arbitration. The Arbitrators issued terms of reference which was signed by
the parties, (Uniwide did not attempt to modify the TOR to accommodate its belated
counterclaim on deadlines for liquidated damages.)Titan then refiled the case with CIAC. CIAC
Decision: Project 1: Uniwide is absolved of any liability.Project 2: Uniwide is absolved of any
liability for VAT payment and for the account of Titan, and Titan is absolved from liability for
defective construction.Project 3: Uniwide id held liable for unpaid balance (5,158,364.63) plus
12% interest/annum and to pay the full VAT for the additional work where no written
authorization was presented. CIAC likewise rejected the claim on liquidated damages. After
Uniwides motion for reconsideration was denied by CIAC, it filed a petition for review with
CA but same was denied, thus, Uniwide filed a petition for review under rule 45 to seek partial
reversal of the decision of CA which modified the decision of CIAC. Uniwide claims that CIAC
should have applied procedural rules such as section 5, Rule 10 with more liberality because it
was an administrative tribubal free from all rigid technicalities of regular courts because CA held
that the issue on liquidated damages should be left for determination in future proceedings.
ISSUE:Whether or not CIAC should have applied the Rules of Court in the arbitration
proceeding.

RULING: Rule of Procedure Governing Construction Arbitration promulgated by the CIAC


contains no provision on the application of the Rules of Court to arbitration proceedings, even in
a suppletory capacity.Such importation of the Rules of Court provision on amendment to
conform to evidence would contravene the spirit, if not the letter of the CIAC rules. This is for the
reason that the formulation of the Terms of Reference is done with the active participation of the
parties and their counsel themselves. The TOR is further required to be signed by all the
parties, their respective counsel and all the members of the Arbitral Tribunal. Unless the issues
thus carefully formulated in the Terms of Reference were expressly showed to be amended,
issues outside thereof may not be resolved. As already noted in the Decision, "no attempt was
ever made by the [Uniwide] to modify the TOR in order to accommodate the issues related to its
belated counterclaim" on this issue. Arbitration has been defined as "an arrangement for taking
and abiding by the judgment of selected persons in some disputed matter, instead of carrying it
to established tribunals of justice, and is intended to avoid the formalities, the delay, the
expense and vexation of ordinary litigation.
Pp vs. JOEL YATAR alias "KAWIT"

FACTS

In the case at bar, accused-appellant was sentenced to death for the special complex crime of
rape with homicide and ordering him to pay the heirs of the victim. Appellant was charged to
have had carnal knowledge of a certain Kathylyn Uba against her will and with the use of a
bladed weapon stabbed the latter inflicting upon her fatal injuries resulting in her.

Appellant raises the issue of credibility of witnesses specifically assigning as error on the part of
the trial court the latters giving of much weight to the evidence presented by the prosecution
notwithstanding their doubtfulness.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not the appellants contentions as regards the witnesss credibility are
meritorious.
2. Whether or not there was Sufficiency of Circumstantial Evidence

HELD:

1.

NO. The issue regarding the credibility of the prosecution witnesses should be resolved against
appellant. This Court will not interfere with the judgment of the trial court in determining the
credibility of witnesses unless there appears in the record some fact or circumstance of weight
and influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misinterpreted.

2.

Circumstantial evidences to be sufficient to warrant a conviction must form an unbroken chain


which leads to a fair and reasonable conclusion that the accused to the exclusion of others is
the perpetrator of the crime. To determine whether there is sufficient circumstantial evidence
three requisites must concur, 1) There is more than one circumstance, 2) facts on which the
inferences are derived are proven and 3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to
produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
SIENA REALTY CORPORATION vs. GAL-LANG G.R. No. 145169

FACTS:

Petitioners (Siena) filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals on June 7, 2000
or allegedly on the 60th day from their receipt of the March 23, 2000 Order of the RTC-Manila
denying their motion for Reconsideration of said courts Order dismissing, on motion of private
respondent, their complaint.
The Court of Appeals, by Resolution on June 20, 2000, dismissed petitioners petition
for certiorari for being filed out of time. Upon CAs dismissal of the petition, Siena filed a Motion
for Reconsideration. Pending resolution of the motion, the Supreme Court issued a resolution
approving the amendment to Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The said
resolution provided that in case of the timely filing of a motion for reconsideration, the 60-day
period shall be counted from the denial of the said motion. The Court of Appeals denied
Sienas motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: WON the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion for not taking judicial
notice of Supreme Court A.M. NO. 00-2 - 03 SC
RULING: YES.
Section 1, Rule 129 of the Rules on Evidence reads:

SECTION 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory. A court shall take judicial notice, without
the introduction of evidence, of the existence and territorial extent of states, their political
history, forms of government and symbols of nationality, the law of nations, the admiralty and
maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political constitution and history of the
Philippines, the official acts of the legislative, executive and judicial departments of the
Philippines, the laws of nature, the measure of time, and the geographical divisions. (Emphasis
and underscoring supplied)

Even if petitioner did not raise or allege the amendment in their motion for reconsideration
before it, the Court of Appeals should have taken mandatory judicial notice of this Courts
resolution in A.M. Matter No. 00-02-03 SC. The resolution did not have to specify that it had
retroactive effect as it pertains to a procedural matter. Contrary to private respondents allegation
that the matter was no longer pending and undetermined, the issue of whether the petition
for certiorari was timely filed was still pending reconsideration when the amendment took effect
on September 1, 2000, hence, covered by the its retroactive application.
The petition however was still denied. The order of the trial court granting private
respondents Motion to Dismiss the complaint was a final, not interlocutory, order and as such, it
was subject to appeal not a petition for certiorari. At the time petitioners filed before the
appellate court their petition for certiorari on the 60th day following their receipt of the October
20, 1999 Order of the trial court denying their Motion for Reconsideration of its dismissal order,
the said October 20, 1999 Order had become final and executory after the 15th day following
petitioners receipt thereof.
DENR vs DENR Region 12 Employees G.R. No. 149724 August 19, 2003

RULE 129 SECTION 1: MANDATORY JUDICIAL NOTICE

FACTS:

Petition for review assailing CA decision dismissing the petition for certiorari and denial
of motion for consideration.
On November 15, 1999, Regional Executive Director of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources for Region XII, Israel C. Gaddi, issued a Memorandum pursuant
to DENR Administrative Order No. 99-14, issued by then DENR Secretary Antonio H.
Cerilles:
o directing the immediate transfer of the DENR XII Regional Offices from Cotabato
City to Koronadal (formerly Marbel), South Cotabato
o Providing for the Redefinition of Functions and Realignment of Administrative
Units in the Regional and Field Offices
Sec 1. Realignment of Administrative Units.
The supervision of the Provinces of South Cotabato and
Sarangani shall be transferred from Region XI to XII
Respondents filed a petition for nullity of orders with prayer for preliminary injunction
RTC of Cotabato issued TRO against DENR Sec and Regional Executive Director from
transferring the offices
DENR then filed a Motion for Reconsideration, asserting that
o The power to transfer the Regional Office of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR) is executive in nature.
o The decision to transfer the Regional Office is based on Executive Order No.
429, which reorganized Region XII.
o The validity of EO 429 has been affirmed by the Honorable Supreme Court in the
Case of Chiongbian vs. Orbos (1995) 245 SCRA 255.
o Since the power to reorganize the Administrative Regions is Executive in Nature
citing Chiongbian, the Honorable Court has no jurisdiction to entertain this
petition.
RTC then decided, ordering the DENR to cease and desist from enforcing their
Memorandum Order xxx for being bereft of legal basis and issued with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on their part, and they are further
ordered to return back the seat of the DENR Regional Offices 12 to Cotabato City.
Petition for certiorari with the CA was dismissed for procedural errors: (1) failure to
submit a written explanation why personal service was not done on the adverse party;
(2) failure to attach affidavit of service; (3) failure to indicate the material dates when
copies of the orders of the lower court were received; (4) failure to attach certified true
copy of the order denying petitioners motion for reconsideration; (5) for improper
verification, the same being based on petitioners knowledge and belief, and (6) wrong
remedy of certiorari under Rule 65 to substitute a lost appeal.
Motion for Reconsideration denied. Hence this petition.
ISSUE: WON the trial court should have taken judicial notice of Republic Act No. 6734, and its
implementing Executive Order 429 as the legal bases for the issuance of the assailed DAO-99-
14.

HELD:

The trial court should have taken judicial notice of R.A. No. 6734, as implemented by E.O.
No. 429, as legal basis of the Presidents power to reorganize the executive department,
specifically those administrative regions which did not vote for their inclusion in the ARMM. It is
axiomatic that a court has the mandate to apply relevant statutes and jurisprudence in
determining whether the allegations in a complaint establish a cause of action. While it focuses
on the complaint, a court clearly cannot disregard decisions material to the proper appreciation
of the questions before it.[22] In resolving the motion to dismiss, the trial court should have taken
cognizance of the official acts of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments because
they are proper subjects of mandatory judicial notice as provided by Section 1 of Rule 129 of the
Rules of Court, to wit:

A court shall take judicial notice, without the introduction of evidence, of the existence and
territorial extent of states, their political history, forms of government and symbols of nationality,
the law of nations, the admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political
constitution and history of the Philippines, the official acts of the legislative, executive and
judicial departments of the Philippines, the laws of nature, the measure of time, and the
geographical divisions.

The petition for review is GRANTED. The resolutions of the Court of Appeals, as well as the
decision of the Regional Trial Court are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The permanent
injunction, which enjoined the petitioner from enforcing the Memorandum Order of the DENR XII
Regional Executive Director, is LIFTED.
MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY (MCIAA) v HEIRS OF
MARCELINA L. SERO

G.R. No. 174672

On July 6, 1999, respondents filed a complaint against several defendants for recovery of
ownership and declaration of nullity of several Transfer Certificates of Title four of which are
registered in the names of the petitioner Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA)
and the Republic.

They alleged that the subject properties were owned by their predecessor Ysabel Limbaga, but
the Original Certificates of Title were lost during the Second World War. Respondents alleged
that the mother of therein defendants pretended to be Isabel Limbaga and fraudulently
succeeded in reconstituting the titles over the subject properties to her name and in selling
some of them to the other defendants.

It will be recalled that the subject properties were acquired by the Civil Aeronautics
Administration (CAA) through expropriation proceedings for the expansion and improvement of
the Lahug Airport. Subsequently, however, Lahug airport was ordered closed, and all its
functions and operations were transferred to petitioner MCIAA.

In its Answer, petitioner denied the allegations in the complaint and by way of special and
affirmative defenses moved for the dismissal of the complaint. Likewise, defendants Ricardo
Inocian, Haide Sun and spouses Victor Arcinas and Marilyn Dueas filed their separate motions
to dismiss.

On June 14, 2001, the RTC dismissed the complaint on the grounds that the respondents had
no cause of action, and that the action was barred by prescription and laches. Respondents
filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied; hence, they filed an appeal with the Court
of Appeals which reversed the Orders of the RTC.

Petitioner moved for reconsideration, however, it was denied. Hence, this petition for review.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not the court of appeals gravely erred in holding that respondents have a
cause of action against petitioner.

2. Whether or not the court of appeals gravely erred in not affirming the lower courts finding
that respondents are guilty of laches and that their cause of action, if any, has prescribed.

HELD:
1. YES.
The appellate court held that the complaint alleged ultimate facts constituting respondents
cause of action; that the respondents cannot be faulted for not including therein evidentiary
facts, thus causing confusion or doubt as to the existence of a cause of action; and assuming
the complaint lacked some definitive statements, the proper remedy for the petitioner and other
defendants should have been a motion for bill of particulars, not a motion to dismiss.

However, while a trial court focuses on the factual allegations in a complaint, it cannot
disregard statutes and decisions material and relevant to the proper appreciation of the
questions before it. In resolving a motion to dismiss, every court must take judicial notice of
decisions this Court has rendered as provided by Section 1 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court,
to wit:

SECTION 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory. A court shall take judicial notice,
without the introduction of evidence, of the existence and territorial extent of states, their
political history, forms of government and symbols of nationality, the law of nations, the
admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political constitution and
history of the Philippines, the official acts of the legislative, executive and judicial
departments of the Philippines, laws of nature, the measure of time, and the geographical
divisions.

Further, when land has been acquired for public use in fee simple, unconditionally, either by
the exercise of eminent domain or by purchase, the former owner retains no rights in the land,
and the public use may be abandoned, or the land may be devoted to a different use, without
any impairment of the estate or title acquired, or any reversion to the former owner.

A cause of action is an act or omission of one party in violation of the legal right of the
other. The existence of a cause of action is determined by the allegations in the
complaint. Thus, in the resolution of a motion to dismiss based on failure to state a cause of
action, only the facts alleged in the complaint must be considered. Hence, it has been held that
a motion to dismiss generally partakes of the nature of a demurrer which hypothetically admits
the truth of the factual allegations made in a complaint.

2. YES.

Even assuming that respondents have a right to the subject properties being the heirs of the
alleged real owner Ysabel Limbaga, they still do not have a cause of action against the
petitioner because such right has been foreclosed by prescription, if not by laches. Respondents
failed to take the necessary steps within a reasonable period to recover the properties from the
parties who caused the alleged fraudulent reconstitution of titles.

Respondents action in the court below is one for reconveyance based on fraud committed
by Isabel Limbaga in reconstituting the titles to her name. It was filed on July 6, 1999,
or 38 years after the trial court in Civil Case No. R-1881 granted the expropriation, or even
longer if we reckon from the time of the fraudulent reconstitution of titles, which date is not
stated in the complaint but presumably before the complaint for expropriation was filed by CAA
on April 16, 1952.

An action for reconveyance is a legal remedy granted to a landowner whose property has
been wrongfully or erroneously registered in anothers name. However, such action must be
filed within 10 years from the issuance of the title since the issuance operates as a constructive
notice. Thus, the cause of action which respondents may have against the petitioner is
definitely barred by prescription.

Rule 9, Section 1 of the Rules of Court provides that when it appears from the pleadings or
the evidence on record that the action is already barred by statute of limitations, the court shall
dismiss the claim. Further, contrary to respondents claim that a complaint may not be dismissed
based on prescription without trial, an allegation of prescription can effectively be used in a
motion to dismiss when the complaint on its face shows that indeed the action has prescribed at
the time it was filed.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition for review is GRANTED.


SUPLICO vs NEDA

G.R. No. 178830; July 14, 2008

FACTS:

Triple petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, with application for the issuance of a
TRO and/or preliminary injunction were filed and consolidated in the SC. The prayers of the said
petitions, among others, sought the annulment of the award of the contract for the national
broadband network to respondent ZTE Corporation and to enjoin any activity in connection with
the said deal.

On October 2, 2007, during a meeting, Pres. GMA, acting in her official capacity informed Pres.
Hu Jintao of China that the Philippine Government had decided not to continue with the ZTE-
NBN project. Later, the Solicitor General made a manifestation and motion stating that in an
Indorsement by the Legal Division of the DOTC, it has been informed that the Philippine
Government has decided not to continue with the ZTE-NBN Project. That said, there is no more
justiciable controversy for the Court to resolve. The public respondents then prayed that the
present petitions be dismissed.

The petitioners, in their respective replies, argued that the Indorsement is self-serving and not a
sufficient basis that the deal has been permanently scrapped. Assuming arguendo that the
petition has become moot, the Court may still take cognizance thereof to educate the bench and
the bar. Further, because of the transcendental importance of the issues raised, the Court
should take cognizance of this case despite its apparent mootness.

The petitioners ultimately contended the declarations made by officials belonging to the
executive branch on the Philippine Governments decision not to continue with the ZTE-NBN
Project are self-serving, hence, inadmissible.

ISSUE:

WON the Court may take judicial notice of the acts of President GMA?

HELD:
The SC dismissed the petition. It held that It has no alternative but to take judicial notice of the
official act of the President.

Under the Section 1 Rule 129, it is mandatory and the Court has no alternative but to take
judicial notice of the official acts of the President of the Philippines, who heads the executive
branch of our government. It is further provided in the said rule that the court shall take judicial
notice of the foregoing facts without introduction of evidence. Since we consider the act of
cancellation by President Macapagal-Arroyo of the proposed ZTE-NBN Project during the
meeting of October 2, 2007 with the Chinese President in China as an official act of the
executive department, the Court must take judicial notice of such official act without need of
evidence.

Moreover, under Section 2, paragraph (m) of Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, the official duty of
the executive officials of informing this Court of the governments decision not to continue with
the ZTE-NBN Project is also presumed to have been regularly performed, absent proof to the
contrary. The Court finds no factual or legal basis to disregard this disputable presumption in the
present instance.

JONATHAN PAGADUAN
CANDIDO vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SOFRONIO DABU. [G.R. No. 107493. February 1,
1996]

FACTS:

Petitioners Natividad Candido and Victoria Rumbaua are co-owners of a first-class irrigated
riceland located in Orion, Bataan. Respondent Sofronio Dabu served as their agricultural
tenant. On 21 July 1986 petitioners lodged a complaint against respondent Dabu for termination
of tenancy relationship and recovery of unpaid rentals from crop-year 1983 plus attorneys fees
and litigation expenses.
Petitioners averred in their complaint below that a team from the Ministry of Agrarian
Reform had fixed a provisional rental of 26 and 29 sacks of palay for the rainy and dry seasons,
respectively, which respondent failed to pay beginning the crop-year 1983 dry season up to the
filing of the complaint.
Dabu denied the material allegations. He denied any provisional rental allegedly fixed by
the Ministry of Agrarian Reform and at the same time maintained that only a proposal for 13
cavans for the rainy season crop and 25% of the net harvest during the dry season was put
forward. He claimed that he paid his rentals by depositing 13 cavans of palay for the 1984 rainy
season crop, 13 cavans for 1985 and 8 cavans representing 25% of the dry season harvest.
On motion of respondent upon issues being joined, the case was referred to the DAR for a
preliminary determination of the existing relationship between the parties and for certification as
to its propriety for trial. DAR certified that the case was proper for trial but only on the issue of
non-payment of rentals and not on the ejectment of respondent Dabu. Accordingly trial
proceeded on the issue of non-payment of rentals.
After finding that no evidence was adduced by petitioners to prove the provisional rental
alleged to have been fixed by the Ministry of Agrarian Reform, the lower court dismissed the
complaint. The Court of Appeals confirmed the findings of the court a quo and affirmed its
judgment by stating that they have carefully examined the testimonial and documentary
evidence on record and found nothing therein about the so-called provisional rates supposedly
fixed by the DAR and allegedly breached by appellee. Indeed neither appellant herself Natividad
C. Candido nor appellants other witness Benjamin Santos ever mentioned in the course of their
respective testimonies the alleged provisional rates fixed by the DAR. For sure, going by
appellants evidence it would appear that no such rates were in fact fixed by the DAR.
ISSUE: WON the verified complaint and the affidavit are proofs of the provisional rentals.
RULING: No. The documents were not formally offered as evidence.
It is settled that courts will only consider as evidence that which has been formally
offered. The affidavit of petitioner Candido mentioning the provisional rate of rentals was never
formally offered; neither the alleged certification by the Ministry of Agrarian Reform. Not having
been formally offered, the affidavit and certification cannot be considered as evidence. Thus the
trial court as well as the appellate court correctly disregarded them. If they neglected to offer
those documents in evidence, however vital they may be, petitioners only have themselves to
blame, not respondent who was not even given a chance to object as the documents were
never offered in evidence.
A document, or any article for that matter, is not evidence when it is simply marked for
identification; it must be formally offered, and the opposing counsel given an opportunity to
object to it or cross-examine the witness called upon to prove or identify it. Petitioners would
insist that we take judicial notice of the affidavit of petitioner Natividad C. Candido despite
absence of any formal offer during the proceedings in the trial court. This is futile since this is
not among the matters which the law mandatorily requires to be taken judicial notice of; neither
can we consider it of public knowledge, or capable of unquestionable demonstration, or ought to
be known to judges because of their judicial functions.
Petitioners definitely failed to establish their cause of action. They never proved that
respondent Dabu failed to pay his rentals starting 1982. Neither were they able to competently
confirm the provisional rate of rentals allegedly
EXPERTRAVEL & TOURS, INC., petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and KOREAN AIRLINES, respondent.
G.R. No. 152392 May 26, 2005

FACTS:
Korean Airlines (KAL), through its appointed counsel, Atty. Aguinaldo, filed a Complaint in RTC
for the collection of the principal amount etc. against Expertravel and Tours, Inc. (ETI). The
verification and certification against forum shopping was signed by Atty. Aguinaldo.

The ETI sought for the dismissal of the case; disputing the authority of Atty. Aguinaldo to
execute the requisite verification and certificate of non-forum shopping as the resident agent
and counsel of the respondent.

In an attempt to show proof of such authority or representation, KAL through its general
manager, executed and submitted an Affidavit alleging: that the board of directors conducted a
special teleconference; that in that same teleconference, the board of directors approved a
resolution authorizing Atty. Aguinaldo to execute the certificate of non-forum shopping and to file
the complaint; and that the corporation had no written copy of the aforesaid resolution.
However, such attempt casted veritable doubt not only on its claim that such a teleconference
was held, but also on the approval by the Board of Directors of the said resolution.

Finally, the petitioner pointed out that teleconferencing is not recognized as a legitimate means
of gathering a quorum of board of directors for purposes of passing a resolution; hence, the trial
court cannot take judicial notice of the said teleconference without prior hearing, nor any motion
therefor.

The RTC and CA dismiss the petition. In its April 12, 2000 Order, the RTC took judicial notice
because of the onset of modern technology. The CA, likewise, gave credence to the
respondents claim that such a teleconference took place, as contained in the affidavit of Suk
Kyoo Kim, as well as Atty. Aguinaldos certification.

ISSUE: Whether or not the court may take judicial notice of the said teleconference without prior
hearing.

HELD:
Generally speaking, matters of judicial notice have three material requisites: (1) the matter must
be one of common and general knowledge; (2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not
doubtful or uncertain; and (3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the
court.

The principal guide in determining what facts may be assumed to be judicially known is that of
notoriety. Hence, it can be said that judicial notice is limited to facts evidenced by public records
and facts of general notoriety. But a court cannot take judicial notice of any fact which, in part, is
dependent on the existence or non-existence of a fact of which the court has no constructive
knowledge.

Although the courts may take judicial notice that business transactions may be made by
individuals through teleconferencing. The Court agrees that persons in the Philippines may have
a teleconference with a group of persons in South Korea relating to business transactions or
corporate governance.

In this case, however, the Court is not convinced that one was conducted. And even if there had
been one, the Court is not inclined to believe that a board resolution was duly passed
specifically authorizing Atty. Aguinaldo to file the complaint and execute the required
certification against forum shopping. The respondents allegation that its board of directors
conducted a teleconference and approved the said resolution is not credible, given the
additional fact that no such allegation was made in the complaint.

The Court is, thus, more inclined to believe that the alleged teleconference never took place,
and that the resolution allegedly approved by the respondents Board of Directors during the said
teleconference was a mere concoction for the purpose of creating an impression on the RTC,
the CA and this Court, to avert the dismissal of its complaint against the petitioner.

In view of the foregoing, the assailed decision of the lower courts were set aside and the
complaint filed by the respondent was dismissed.
19 PEOPLE VS TUNDAG

People vs. Tundag, G.R. Nos. 135695-96. October 12, 2000In this case, judicial notice of the
age of the victim is improper, despite the defense counselsadmission. As required by Section 3
of Rule 129, as to any other matters such as age, a hearing isrequired before courts can take
judicial notice of such fact.

Facts: Mary Ann Tundag, alleged that her father, Tomas Tundag, raped her twice. First was
on September 5, 1997 and the other on November 18, 1997. 2 separate criminal cases were
filed against her father. Mary Ann Tundag also alleged that she was 13 years old when she
was raped by her father. (However, the prosecution in the case at bar was not able to show any
documents pertaining to Mary Anns age at the time of the commission of the rape. The
prosecution then asked the Court to take judicial notice that Mary Ann was under 18 years of
age which was subsequently granted without conducting a hearing.) She narrated that her
father used a knife to threaten her not to shout while he was raping her on both occasions.
While raping her, he was even asking her if it felt good. He was even laughing. After the
commission of the second rape, Mary Ann went to her neighbor (by the name of Bebie
Cabahug) and told her what happened to her. They reported this to the police and was later
examined by a doctor who concluded that she was not a virgin anymore. The Trial Court
convicted Tomas Tundag on both counts of rape and was sentenced to the penalty of death.
On appeal to the CA, Tomas flatly denied that the incidents complained of ever took place. He
contends that on September 5, 1997, he was working as a watch repairman near Gals Bakery in
Mandaue City Market and went home tired and sleepy at around 11:00 oclock that
evening. On November 7, 1997, he claims he was at work. In his brief, he argues that it was
impossible for him to have raped his daughter because when the incidents allegedly transpired,
he went to work and naturally, being exhausted and tired, it is impossible for him to do such
wrongdoings.

Issue: WON Tomas Tundag is guilty of the crime of rape

Held: Yes! Tomas Tundags defense of alibi and denial is negative and self-serving. It
hardly counts as a worthy and weighty ground for exculpation in a trial involving his freedom and
his life. Against the testimony of private complainant who testified on affirmative matters, such
defense is not only trite but pathetic. Denial is an inherently weak defense, which becomes even
weaker in the face of the positive identification by the victim of the appellant as the violator of
her honor. The victims account of the rapes complained of was straightforward, detailed,
and consistent. Her testimony never wavered even after it had been explained to her that her
father could be meted out the death penalty if found guilty by the court. Dr. Acebes testified that
her findings of healed hymenal lacerations in the complainants private parts meant a
history of sexual congress on her part. According to her, the lacerations may have been caused
by the entry of an erect male organ into complainants genitals. But this does not conclusively
and absolutely mean that there was sexual intercourse or contact because it can be caused by
masturbation of fingers or other things, nonetheless, the presence of the hymenal lacerations
tends to support private complainants claim that she was raped by appellant. Appellant next
contends that his daughter pressed the rape charges against him because she had quarreled
with him after he had castigated her for misbehavior. But such allegation of a family feud,
however, does not explain the charges away. Filing a case for incestuous rape is of such a
nature that a daughters accusation must be taken seriously. It goes against human
experience that a girl would fabricate a story which would drag herself as well as her family to a
lifetime of dishonor, unless that is the truth, for it is her natural instinct to protect her honor.
Appellant likewise points out that it was very unlikely for him to have committed the crimes
imputed to him considering that he and his wife had ten children to attend to and care for. This
argument, however, is impertinent and immaterial since he was estranged from his wife, and
private complainant was the only child who lived with him. Nor does appellants assertion that
private complainant has some psychological problems and a low IQ of 76 in any way favor his
defense. These matters did not affect the credibility of her testimony that appellant raped her
twice. We note that the victim understood the consequences of prosecuting the rape charges
against her own father her fathers death. Issue 2: WON the penalty of death imposed
on him is correct. WON it was correct for the Court to take judicial notice of Mary Anns age
without a hearing. Held: No. Death penalty should not have been imposed. It was incorrect for
the Court to take judicial notice of Mary Anns age without a proper hearing. Section 335 of
the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 11 of R.A. No. 7659 penalizes rape of a minor
daughter by her father as qualified rape and a heinous crime. The elements are as follows: (1)
sexual congress; (2) with woman; (3) by force or without her consent; and in order to warrant
the imposition of capital punishment, the additional elements that: (4) the victim is under 18
years old at the time of the rape and (5) the offender is a parent of the victim. In this case, Mary
Anns age was not properly and sufficiently proven beyond reasonable doubt. She testified
that she was 13 years old at the time of the rapes. However, she admitted that she did not know
exactly when she was born because her mother did not tell her. Judicial notice is the
cognizance of certain facts which judges may properly take and act on without proof because
they already know them. Under the Rules of Court, judicial notice may either be mandatory or
discretionary. Section 1 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court provides when court shall take
mandatory judicial notice of facts - SECTION 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory. - A court shall
take judicial notice without the introduction of evidence, of the existence and territorial extent of
states, their political history, forms of government and symbols of nationality, the law of nations,
the admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political constitution and
history of the Philippines, the official acts of the legislative, executive and judicial departments of
the Philippines, the laws of nature, the measure of time, and the geographical divisions. Section
2 of Rule 129 enumerates the instances when courts may take discretionary judicial notice of
facts - SEC. 2. Judicial notice, when discretionary. - A court may take judicial notice of matters
which are of public knowledge, or are capable of unquestionable demonstration or ought to be
known to judges because of their judicial functions.
State Prosecutors vs Judge Manuel Muro (A.M. No. RTJ-92-876 September 19, 1994)

Facts: The petitioners in this case are state prosecutors who are members of the DOJ Panel of
Prosecution filed a complaint against respondent Judge Muro on the ground of ignorance of the
law, grave misconduct and violation of the provisions in the Code of Judicial Conduct.

The case at bar involves the prosecution of the 11 charges against Imelda Marcos in violation
of the Central Bank Foreign Exchange Restriction in the Central Bank Circular 960. The
respondent judge dismissed all 11 cases solely on the basis of the report published from the 2
newspapers, which the judge believes to be reputable and of national circulation, that the
President of the Philippines lifted all foreign exchange restrictions.

The respondents decision was founded on his belief that the reported announcement of the
Executive Department in the newspaper in effect repealed the CB 960 and thereby divested the
court of its jurisdiction to further hear the pending case thus motu propio dismissed the case. He
further contends that the announcement of the President as published in the newspaper has
made such fact a public knowledge that is sufficient for the judge to take judicial notice which is
discretionary on his part.

The complainants contend that the respondent judge erred in taking judicial notice on matters
he purported to be a public knowledge based merely on the account of the newspaper
publication that the Pres. has lifted the foreign exchange restriction.

Issue: Whether or not the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in taking
judicial notice on the statement of the president lifting the foreign exchange restriction published
in the newspaper as basis for dismissing the case? (YES)

Ruling: The Supreme Court held the respondent judge guilty for gross ignorance of the law. It
cannot comprehend his assertion that there is no need to wait for the publication of the Circular
No. 1353 which is the basis of the Presidents announcement in the newspaper, believing that
the public announcement is absolute and without qualification and is immediately effective and
such matter becomes a public knowledge which he can take a judicial notice upon in his
discretion. It is a mandatory requirement that a new law should be published for 15 days in a
newspaper of general circulation before its effectivity.

When the Presidents statement was published in the newspaper, the respondent admitted of
not having seen the official text of CB circular 1353 thus it was premature for him to take judicial
notice on this matter which is merely based on his personal knowledge and is not based on the
public knowledge that the law requires for the court to take judicial notice of.

For the court to take judicial notice, three material requisites should be present:

(1) the matter must be one of common and general knowledge;


(2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain;
(3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court.
The fact that should be assumed as judicially known must be on such notoriety that such fact
cannot be disputed. Judicial notice is not judicial knowledge where the personal knowledge of
the judge does not amount to the judicial notice of the court. The common knowledge
contemplated by the law where the court can take judicial notice must come from the knowledge
of men generally in the course of ordinary experiences that are accepted as true and one that
involves unquestioned demonstration. The court ruled that the information he obtained from the
newspaper is one of hearsay evidence. The judge erred in taking cognizant of a law that was
not yet in force and ordered the dismissal of the case without giving the prosecution the right to
be heard and of due process.
Sec. 2. Discretionary Judicial Notice

Landbank vs. Wycoco

Facts:

Feliciano F. Wycoco is the registered owner of a 94.1690 hectare unirrigated and untenanted
rice land, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. NT-206422 and situated in the Barrio of
San Juan, Licab, Nueva Ecija. Pursuant to the CARP, Wycoco voluntarily offered to sell his land
to the DAR for P14.9 million. The evidence presented by Wycoco in support of his claim were
the following: (1) Transfer Certificate of Title No. NT-206422; (2) Notice of Land Valuation; and
(3) letter dated July 10, 1992 rejecting the counter-offer of LBP and DAR. However, the offered
price of the DAR is only P2,280,159.82, thus, he rejected the offer. He then filed a case before
the RTC for the determination of just compensation. The RTC ruled in his favor. It ruled that
there is no need to present evidence in support of the land valuation inasmuch as it is of public
knowledge that the prevailing market value of agricultural lands sold in Licab, Nueva Ecija is
from P135,000.00 to 150,000.00 per hectare. The court thus took judicial notice thereof and
fixed the compensation for the entire 94.1690 hectare land at P142,500.00 per hectare or a total
of P13,428,082.00.

Issue:
WON the just compensation determined by the RTC was valid and within its jurisdiction.
Ruling:
The Supreme Court ruled in the negative.

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 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.
Inasmuch as the valuation of the property of Wycoco is the very issue in the case at bar,
the trial court should have allowed the parties to present evidence thereon instead of practically
assuming a valuation without basis. While market value may be one of the bases of determining
just compensation, the same cannot be arbitrarily arrived at without considering the factors to be
appreciated in arriving at the fair market value of the property e.g., the cost of acquisition, the
current value of like properties, its size, shape, location, as well as the tax declarations thereon.
Since these factors were not considered, a remand of the case for determination of just
compensation is necessary. The power to take judicial notice is to be exercised by courts with
caution especially where the case involves a vast tract of land. Care must be taken that the
requisite notoriety exists; and every reasonable doubt on the subject should be promptly
resolved in the negative. To say that a court will take judicial notice of a fact is merely another
way of saying that the usual form of evidence will be dispensed with if knowledge of the fact can
be otherwise acquired. This is because the court assumes that the matter is so notorious that it
will not be disputed. But judicial notice is not judicial knowledge. The mere personal knowledge
of the judge is not the judicial knowledge of the court, and he is not authorized to make his
individual knowledge of a fact, not generally or professionally known, the basis of his action.
Grace Garcia-Recio vs Rederick Recio

(G.R. No. 138322; October 2, 2001)

Facts: Rederick Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson an Australian citizen, on
March 1, 1987. On May 18, 1989 a decree of divorce dissolving the marriage was issued by the
Australian Family Court. On June 26, 1992, respondent became an Australian citizen.
Subsequently, respondent entered into marriage with petitioner a Filipina on January 12, 1994.
Starting October 22, 1995, petitioner and respondent lived separately without prior judicial
dissolution of their marriage.

On March 3, 1998, petitioner filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage in the court
a quo, on the ground of bigamy. Respondent allegedly had a prior subsisting marriage at the
time he married her on January 12, 1994. She claimed that she learned of respondents
marriage to Editha Samson only in November, 1997.

In his Answer, respondent averred that, as far back as 1993, he had revealed to petitioner his
prior marriage and its subsequent dissolution. He contended that his first marriage to an
Australian citizen had been validly dissolved by a divorce decree obtained in Australia in 1989;
thus, he was legally capacitated to marry petitioner in 1994.

On July 7, 1998, years after the couples wedding and while the suit for the declaration of nullity
was pending, respondent was able to secure a divorce decree from a family court in Sydney,
Australia because the marriage had irretrievably broken down. Respondent prayed in his
Answer that the Complaint be dismissed on the ground that it stated no cause of action.

In his Answer, respondent averred that, as far back as 1993, he had revealed to petitioner his
prior marriage and its subsequent dissolution. He contended that his first marriage to an
Australian citizen had been validly dissolved by a divorce decree obtained in Australia in 1989;
thus, he was legally capacitated to marry petitioner in 1994.

The trial court declared the marriage dissolved on the ground that the divorce issued in Australia
was valid and recognized in the Philippines. It deemed the marriage ended, but not on the basis
of any defect in an essential element of the marriage; that is, respondents alleged lack of legal
capacity to remarry. Rather, it based its Decision on the divorce decree obtained by respondent.
The Australian divorce had ended the marriage; thus, there was no more marital union to nullify
or annul.

Issue: WON the RTC erred in declaring the marriage dissolved based on the Australian
divorce decree.
Held: YES. Respondent argues that the Australian divorce decree is a public documenta
written official act of an Australian family court. Therefore, it requires no further proof of its
authenticity and due execution. Respondent is getting ahead of himself. Before a foreign
judgment is given presumptive evidentiary value, the document must first be presented and
admitted in evidence. A divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce decree itself. Indeed
the best evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself. The decree purports to be a written act or
record of an act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign country.

Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, on the other hand, a writing or document may be proven
as a public or official record of a foreign country by either (1) an official publication, or (2) a copy
thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the document. If the record is not kept in
the Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper
diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in
which the record is kept, and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office. The divorce decree
between respondent and Editha Samson appears to be an authentic one issued by an
Australian family court. However, appearance is not sufficient; compliance with the
aforementioned rules on evidence must be demonstrated.

Fortunately for respondents cause, when the divorce decree of May 18, 1989 was submitted in
evidence, counsel for petitioner objected, not to its admissibility, but only to the fact that it had
not been registered in the Local Civil Registry of Cabanatuan City. The trial court ruled that it
was admissible, subject to petitioners qualification. Hence, it was admitted in evidence and
accorded weight by the judge. Indeed, petitioners failure to object properly rendered the divorce
decree admissible as a written act of the Family Court of Sydney, Australia.
Northwest Orient Airlines, Inc. v. CA (1995) G.R. No. 112573 February 9, 1995

FACTS:

Northwest Airlines (Northwest) and C.F. Sharp & Company (C.F.), through its Japan branch,
entered into an International Passenger Sales Agency Agreement, whereby the Northwest
authorized the C.F. to sell its air transportation tickets

March 25, 1980: Unable to remit the proceeds of the ticket sales, Northwest sued C.F. in Tokyo,
Japan, for collection of the unremitted proceeds of the ticket sales, with claim for damages

April 11, 1980: writ of summons was issued by the 36th Civil Department, Tokyo District Court
of Japan

The attempt to serve the summons was unsuccessful because Mr. Dinozo was in Manila and
would be back on April 24, 1980

April 24, 1980: Mr. Dinozo returned to C.F. Office to serve the summons but he refused to
receive claiming that he no longer an employee

After the 2 attempts of service were unsuccessful, Supreme Court of Japan sent the summons
together with the other legal documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan> Japanese
Embassy in Manila>Ministry (now Department) of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines>Executive
Judge of the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Manila who ordered Deputy
Sheriff Rolando Balingit>C.F. Main Office

August 28, 1980: C.F. received from Deputy Sheriff Rolando Balingit the writ of summons but
failed to appear at the scheduled hearing.

January 29, 1981: Tokyo Court rendered judgment ordering the C.F. to pay 83,158,195 Yen and
damages for delay at the rate of 6% per annum from August 28, 1980 up to and until payment is
completed

March 24, 1981: C.F. received from Deputy Sheriff Balingit copy of the judgment. C.F. did not
appeal so it became final and executory

May 20, 1983: Northwest filed a suit for enforcement of the judgment a RTC

July 16, 1983: C.F. averred that the Japanese Court sought to be enforced is null and void and
unenforceable in this jurisdiction having been rendered without due and proper notice and/or
with collusion or fraud and/or upon a clear mistake of law and fact. The foreign judgment in the
Japanese Court sought in this action is null and void for want of jurisdiction over the person of
the defendant considering that this is an action in personam. The process of the Court in Japan
sent to the Philippines which is outside Japanese jurisdiction cannot confer jurisdiction over the
defendant in the case before the Japanese Court of the case at bar
CA sustained RTC: Court agrees that if the C.F. in a foreign court is a resident in the court of
that foreign court such court could acquire jurisdiction over the person of C.F. but it must be
served in the territorial jurisdiction of the foreign court

ISSUE: W/N the Japanese Court has jurisdiction over C.F.

HELD: YES. instant petition is partly GRANTED, and the challenged decision is AFFIRMED
insofar as it denied NORTHWEST's claims for attorneys fees, litigation expenses, and
exemplary damages

Consequently, the party attacking (C.F.) a foreign judgment has the burden of overcoming the
presumption of its validity

Accordingly, the presumption of validity and regularity of the service of summons and the
decision thereafter rendered by the Japanese court must stand.

Applying it, the Japanese law on the matter is presumed to be similar with the Philippine law on
service of summons on a private foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines. Section
14, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court provides that if the defendant is a foreign corporation doing
business in the Philippines, service may be made:

(1) on its resident agent designated in accordance with law for that purpose, or,

(2) if there is no such resident agent, on the government official designated by law to that effect;
or

(3) on any of its officers or agents within the Philippines.

If the foreign corporation has designated an agent to receive summons, the designation is
exclusive, and service of summons is without force and gives the court no jurisdiction unless
made upon him.

Where the corporation has no such agent, service shall be made on the government official
designated by law, to wit:

(a) the Insurance Commissioner in the case of a foreign insurance company

(b) the Superintendent of Banks, in the case of a foreign banking corporation

(c) the Securities and Exchange Commission, in the case of other foreign corporations duly
licensed to do business in the Philippines. Whenever service of process is so made, the
government office or official served shall transmit by mail a copy of the summons or other legal
proccess to the corporation at its home or principal office. The sending of such copy is a
necessary part of the service.

The service on the proper government official under Section 14, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court,
in relation to Section 128 of the Corporation Code

Our laws and jurisprudence indicate a purpose to assimilate


Laureano vs. CA
Rule 129: What need not be Proved
Section 2: Discretionary Judicial Notice

In 1978, Menandro Laureano was hired as a pilot by the Singapore Airlines Limited (SAL). In
1982 however, SAL was hit by recession and so it had to lay off some employees. Laureano
was one of them. Laureano asked for reconsideration but it was not granted. Aggrieved,
Laureano filed a labor case for illegal dismissal against SAL. But in 1987, he withdrew the labor
case and instead filed a civil case for damages due to illegal termination of contract against
SAL. Laureano filed the case here in the Philippines. SAL moved for the dismissal of the case
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. The motion was denied. On trial, SAL alleged that the
termination of Laureano is valid pursuant to Singaporean law.
The trial court ruled in favor of Laureano. SAL appealed the case raising the issue of lack of
jurisdiction, non applicability of Philippine laws, and estoppel, among others. The Court of
Appeals reversed the trial court.
ISSUE: Whether or not Singaporean Law is applicable to this case.
HELD: No. The specific Singaporean Law which holds valid the dismissal of Laureano is not
proved in court. As such, the trial court cannot make a determination if the termination is indeed
valid under Singaporean Law. Philippine courts do not take judicial notice of the laws of
Singapore. SAL has the burden of proof. SAL failed to prove such law hence Philippine law shall
apply. However, the case must be dismissed on the ground of estoppel. Under our laws, all
money claims arising from employer-employee relationships must be filed within three years
from the time the cause of action accrued. Laureanos cause of action accrued in 1982 when he
was terminated but he only filed the money claim in 1987 or more than three years from 1982.
Hence he is already barred by prescription.
PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK (PCIB) V. ESCOLIN

Facts:

-Charles and Linnie Jane Hodges (husband and wife) provided mutually in their respective will a
provision wherein they would give all their estate to the surviving spouse, and upon the death of
the surviving spouse, the remainder of what has been inherited by the surviving spouse from the
earlier deceased spouse would be bequeathed to the brothers and sisters of the later deceased.

-Mrs. Hodges died first. Mr. Hodges was appointed special administrator and later executor of
the will. No liquidation was made.

-Upon death of Mr. Hodges, Magno was appointed Administratix of Mrs. Hodges estate and was
initially also Mr. Hodges' estate but PCIB took over. Probate proceedings for both estate
initiated, the two administrators (PCIB and Magno) differed in the alleged share of Mrs. Hodges
in their conjugal partnership property that she could have bequeathed to her heirs.

PCIB Magno

The estate left by Mrs. Hodges < 1/2 of her share in the Texas law applicable,
conjugal estate (Apply Philippine law), notwithstanding wherein no system of
Art16 of our Civil code which mandates the application of legitime provided so
Texas law, Mr.Hodges being a citizen of Texas estate of Mrs. Hodges
could not be less than
her share or (?) >1/2

-there was also an allegation on the part of Magno (for the brothers and sisters of Mrs. Hodges)
that Mr. Hodges made a renunciation of the inheritance in a manifestation to the US inheritance
tax authorities (probably to escape inheritance tax liabilities), which was allegedly ratified by the
heirs in the Philippines.

(court, though, did not rule on alleged renunciation. For purposes of the discussion, Court
assumed that renunciation was not upheld)

WON Philippine Law, as alleged by PCIB, should be applied and not Texas law?

Texas law applies, but because of estoppel (?) and it is yet to be proven

*note: in Succession, it was held in this case that there was no fideicommissary substitution so
the 1st heir instituted (Mr. Magno) had no obligation to preserve the properties inherited from his
wife for the benefit of the latter's other heirs (the siblings)

*no proof yet of what Texas law is, but PCIB allegedly averred that under the laws of Texas
(although it was arguing that RP laws apply), there is such legitime of 1/4 of the said conjgal
estate
>>>so PCIB would be estopped to claim that the estate of Mrs. Hodges should be less than as
contended by it (which is initially at least 1/2 of the estate), for admissions by a party related
to the effects of foreign laws, which have to be proven in our courts like any other
controverted fact, create estoppel.

ISSUES THAT CAN BE DECIDED BY THE COURT:

1. Regardless what law is applicable and WON Mr. Hodges did renounce his share, it is
clear from the inventory submitted by Mr. Hodges himself as executor of his wife's estate
that there are properties which constitute the estate of Mrs. Hodges which should be
distributed among her heirs pursuant to her will

2. It is now beyond controversy that whatever be the provisions of Texas Law applicable,
the estate of Mrs. Hodges is AT LEAST 1/4 OF THE CONJUGAL ESTATE OF THE
SPOUSES

-Existence and effects of foreign laws being questions of fact, and it being the position now of
PCIB that the estate of Mrs. Hodges, pursuant to the law of Texas, should only be 1/3 of the
conjugal estate, such contention constitutes and admission of fact, and consequently, it would
be in estoppel in any further proceedings in these cases to claim that said estate could be less,
irrespective of what might be proven later to be the actual provisions of Texas law...

3. Special Proceeding for the settlement of testate estate of Mrs. Hodges cannot be closed,
should proceed, there having no proper and legal adjudication or distribution yet of the
estate

4. Magno remains to be the Administratrix of Mrs. Hodges's estate

WHAT CANNOT BE DECIDED:

1. WON Mr. Hodges renounced his share

2. WON estate of Mrs. Hodges is more than 1/4 of the conjugal property

>>>case is remanded to trial court to allow the parties to present evidence in relation to these
issues

RULING THAT MRS. HODGES'S ESTATE CANNOT BE LESS THAN 1/4 OF THE CPP VS.
FINDING THAT NO EVIDENCE YET OF TEXAS LAWS? Court said that evidence should still
be presented re: what Texas law contains but PCIB now cannot allege that the estate is less
than 1/4

*Elementary is the rule that foreign laws may not be taken judicial notice of and have to be
proven like any other fact in dispute between the parties in any proceeding, with the rare
exceptional n instances when the said laws are already within the actual knowledge of the court,
such as when they are well and generally known, or they have been actually ruled upon in other
cases before it and none of the parties concerned claim otherwise.
26 CITY OF MANILA VS GARCIA

FACTS:

1.Plaintiff is the owner of certain parcels of land. Without the knowledge and consent of plaintiff,
defendants occupied the property and built their houses.2.Having discovered, plaintiff through
its mayor gave each defendant written permits, each labeled as lease contract to occupy
specific areas. For their occupancy, defendants were charged nominal rentals.3.After sometime,
plaintiff, through its treasurer, demanded payment of their rentals and vacate the premises for
the Epifanio de los Santos Elementary Schools expansion.4.Despite the demand, defendants
refused to vacate the said property. Hence, this case was filed for recovery of possession.5.The
trial court ruled in favor of plaintiff taking judicial notice of Ordinance 4566 appropriating P100k
for the construction of additional building of Epifanio De Los Santos Elementary
School.6.Defendants appealed.

ISSUE: WoN the trial court properly found that the city needs the premises for school purposes

HELD: YES The trial court ruled out the admissibility of the documentary evidence presented by
plaintiff

Certification of the Chairman, Committee on Appropriations of the Municipal Board which


recites the amount of P100k had been set aside in Ordinance 4566 for the construction of
additional building of the said school.

But then the decision under review, the trial court revised his views. He then declared that there
was a need for defendants to vacate the premises for school expansion; he cited the very
document. Because of the courts contradictory stance, defendants brought this case on appeal.
However, the elimination of the certification as evidence would not profit defendants. For, in
reversing his stand, the trial judge could well have taken because he was duty bound to take
judicial notice of Ordinance 4566 . The reason being that the city charter of Manila requires
all courts sitting therein to take judicial notice of all ordinances passed by the municipal board of
Manila.

And, Ordinance4566 itself confirms the certification aforesaid that an appropriation


of P100,000.00 was set aside for the construction of additional building of the Epifanio de los
Santos Elementary School.

Further defendants entry to the said property is illegal. Their constructions are as illegal, without
permits. The city mayor doesnt have the authority to issue permits. The permits issued are null
and void.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 119288

FACTS:

The Regional Trial Court adjudicated Lot No. 5367 in Cadastral Case No. 13, GLRO
Cadastral Record No. 1133, to herein private respondent, now deceased Josefa Gacot, the
claimant in the cadastral case. The Republic, through the Solicitor General, elevated the case to
the Court of Appeals contending that Lot 5367 was earlier declared to be the property of the
Republic in a decision rendered by Judge Lorenzo Garlitos following an order of general default.
The Solicitor General thus filed a motion with the appellate court to have the case reopened and
remanded to the court a quo to allow the Republic of the Philippines to present the decision of
Judge Garlitos. The Court of Appeals granted the motion and ordered the records of the case
remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings. During the rehearing, however, the
Government failed to present the said order of Judge Garlitos in evidence. Thus, the Court of
Appeals held in favour of Gacot. Hence, this case filed by the Republic.

ISSUE: WON the Court should take judicial notice of the Order of Judge Lorenzo Garlitos

RULING: YES.

Firstly, that the rules of procedure and jurisprudence, do not sanction the grant of
evidentiary value, in ordinary trials, of evidence which is not formally offered, and secondly, that
adjective law is not to be taken lightly for, without it, the enforcement of substantive law may not
remain assured. The Court must add, nevertheless, that technical rules of procedure are not
ends in themselves but primarily devised and designed to help in the proper and expedient
dispensation of justice. In appropriate cases, therefore, the rules may have to be so
construed 1liberally as to meet and advance the cause of substantial justice.

Furthermore, Section 1, Rule 129, of the Rules of Court provides:

Sec. 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory. A court shall take judicial notice, without the
introduction of evidence, of the existence and territorial extent of states, their political
history, forms of government and symbols of nationality, the law of nations, the admiralty
and maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political constitution and history of
the Philippines, the official acts of the legislative, executive
and judicial departments of the Philippines, the laws of nature, the measure of time,
and the geographical divisions.

Mr. Justice Edgardo L. Paras opined:

A court will take judicial notice of its own acts and records in the same case, of facts
established in prior proceedings in the same case, of the authenticity of its own records of
another case between the same parties, of the files of related cases in the same court, and of
public records on file in the same court. In addition judicial notice will be taken of the record,
pleadings or judgment of a case in another court between the same parties or involving one of
the same parties, as well as of the record of another case between different
28 TABUENA VS CA

G.R. No. 85423 May 6, 1991

JOSE TABUENA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS an EM!L!ANO TABERN!LLA, JR.,


respondents.

Facts: The subject of the dispute is a parcel of residential land consisting of about 440 square
meters and situated in Poblacion, Maato, !lan. "n #$%&, an action for recover' of o(nership
thereof (as filed in the )egionalTrial*ourt of !lan b' the estate of !lfredo Tabernilla against +ose
Tabuena, the herein petitioner. !fter trial, judgment (as rendered in favor of the plaintiff and the
defendant (as required to vacate the disputed lot. Tabuena appealed to the respondent court,
complaining that, in arriving at its factualfindings, the trial court motu proprio too cogni,ance of -
.hibits /!/, /0/ and /*/, (hich had been mared b' the plaintiff butnever formall' submitted in
evidence.The trialcourtalso erred (hen, to resolve the o(nershipof thesubject lot, it
consideredtheproceedingsinanother caseinvolvingthesame parties but a different parcel of land.

"ssue: 1hether or not the evidence presented is alread' offered evidence2

3eld: 4o. )ule #&5 of the )ules of *ourt provides in 6ection &7 thereof as follo(s: 6ec. &7. Offer of
evidence.8The court shall consider no evidence (hich has not been formall' offered. The
purpose for (hich the evidence is offered must be specified. The mere fact that a particular
document is mared as an e.hibit does not mean it has thereb' alread' been offered as part of the
evidence of a part'. "t is true that -.hibits /!,/ /0/ and /*/ (ere mared at the pre9trial of the case
belo(, but this (as onl' for the purpose of identif'ing them at that time. The' (ere not b' such
maring formall' offered as e.hibits. !s (e said in Interpacific Transit, Inc. vs. Aviles, 3 /!t the trial
on the merits, the part' ma' decide to formall' offer :the e.hibits; if it believes the' (ill advance its
cause, and then again it ma' decide not to do so at all. "n the latter event, such documents
cannot be considered evidence, nor can the' be given an' evidentiar' value./ The respondent
court also held that the trial court committed no reversible error in taing judicial notice of
Tabuena
JUMAMIL vs CAF et al, G.R. No. 144570, September 21, 2005

FACTS:

In 1989, Petitioner Jumamil filed before the RTC OF Panabo a petition for declaratory relief with
prayer for preliminary injunction and writ of restraining order against public respondents Mayor
Jose J. Cafe and the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Panabo, Davao del Norte. He
questioned the constitutionality of Municipal Resolution No. 7, Series of 1989. This Resolution
was for enacting Appropriation Ordinance No. 111, provided for an initial appropriation
of P765,000 for the construction of stalls around a proposed terminal fronting the Panabo Public
Market. Subsequently, Resolution No. 49 was passed appropriating a further amount of
P1,515,000 for the construction of additional stalls.

Prior to the passage of these resolutions, Mayor Caf had already entered into contracts with
several parties who were close friends and/or relatives of the public respondents. Thus the
petitioner assails that the Resolutions were unconstitutional.

It appears that on May 21, 1990, both parties agreed14 to await the decision in CA G.R. SP No.
20424, which involved similar facts, issues and parties. The RTC, consequently, deferred the
resolution of the pending petition. The appellate court eventually rendered its decision in that
case finding that the petitioners were not entitled to the declaratory relief prayed for as they had
no legal interest in the controversy. Upon elevation to the Supreme Court as UDK Case No.
9948, the petition for review on certiorari was denied for being insufficient in form and
substance.

ISSUE: Whether the parties were bound by the outcome in C.A. G.R. SP. No. 20424.

HELD: YES

Adverting to the first issue, we observe that petitioner was the one who wanted the parties to
await the decision of the Supreme Court in UDK Case No. 9948 since the facts and issues in
that case were similar to this. Petitioner, having expressly agreed to be bound by our decision in
the aforementioned case, should be reined in by the dismissal order we issued, now final and
executory. In addition to the fact that nothing prohibits parties from committing to be bound by
the results of another case, courts may take judicial notice of a judgment in another case as
long as the parties give their consent or do not object.

As opined by Justice Edgardo L. Paras:

A court will take judicial notice of its own acts and records in the same case, of facts established
in prior proceedings in the same case, of the authenticity of its own records of another case
between the same parties, of the files of related cases in the same court, and of public records
on file in the same court. In addition, judicial notice will be taken of the record, pleadings or
judgment of a case in another court between the same parties or involving one of the same
parties, as well as of the record of another case between different parties in the same court.
Republic VS Court of Appeals
107 SCRA 504 Sept. 10, 1981

FACTS:

On May 17, 1979, petitioner asked the CFI Bulacan for a fifth motion for extension of
time to file notice of appeal from May 18, 1979 to June 17, 1979. Petitioner filed its notice of
appeal on June 7, 1979 although the lower court has not yet acted on its fifth motion for
extension of time. The private respondents filed an opposition in the notice of appeal on the
ground that the same was filed beyond the reglementary period because petitioners motion
dated May 17, 1979 was filed on May 21, 1979.

Petitioner filed its opposition to the objection of the private respondents, contending that
the said May 17, 1979 motion for extension of time was actually mailed on May 18, 1979, which
was the last day of the extended period allowed by the lower courts order on his fourth motion
for extension of time.

The lower court dismissed the appeal of petitioner on the ground that the fifth motion for
extension of time and the record on appeal were filed out of time; and found the said fifth motion
was actually mailed on May 21, 1979 and not on May 18, 1979 as the latter relied on the date
stamped on the envelope by Manila Post Office.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration contending that the said motion was filed on
time and attached therein the letter of the postmaster stating that the mail was received by their
office on May 18, 1979; however, it was not included in the May 19 dispatch to Bulacan and was
actually dispatched on May 21, 1979. The said motion for reconsideration was also denied.

Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals, however, their appeal was also denied.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the practice of the post office of stamping immediately on the envelope
the date on which a letter was posted is one that cannot be a proper subject of judicial notice.

RULING:

YES. The post office practice of which the lower court took judicial notice is not covered
by any of the instances provided by the Rules. Neither can it be classified under matters which
are of public knowledge, or are capable of unquestionable demonstration, or ought to be known
to judges because of their judicial functions. For a matter to be taken judicial notice of by the
courts of law, it must be a subject of common and general knowledge. In other words, judicial
notice of facts is measured by general knowledge of the same facts.

Indeed, the doctrine of judicial notice rests on the wisdom and discretion of the courts.
The power to take judicial notice is to be exercised by the courts with caution; care must be
taken that the requisite notoriety exists; and every reasonable doubts upon the subject should
be promptly resolved in the negative.
SOLIDBANK CORPORATION V. MINDANAO FERROALLOY CORPORATION
32 LA BUGAL-BLAAN VS RAMOS

La Bugal-Blaan Tribal Association, Inc. Vs Ramos

Natural Resources and Environmental Laws

G.R. No. 127882; January 27, 2004

FACTS:
This petition for prohibition and mandamus challenges the constitutionality of Republic Act No.
7942 (The Philippine Mining Act of 1995), its implementing rules and regulations and the
Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) dated March 30, 1995 by the
government with Western Mining Corporation(Philippines) Inc. (WMCP).
Accordingly, the FTAA violated the 1987 Constitution in that it is a service contract and is
antithetical to the principle of sovereignty over our natural resources, because they allowed
foreign control over the exploitation of our natural resources, to the prejudice of the Filipino
nation.

ISSUE:
What is the proper interpretation of the phrase Agreements involving Either Technical or
Financial Assistance contained in paragraph 4, Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution.

HELD:
The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Philippine Mining Law, its implementing
rules and regulations insofar as they relate to financial and technical agreements as well as
the subject Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement.
Full control is not anathematic to day-to-day management by the contractor, provided that the
State retains the power to direct overall strategy; and to set aside, reverse or modify plans and
actions of the contractor. The idea of full control is similar to that which is exercised by the board
of directors of a private corporation, the performance of managerial, operational, financial,
marketing and other functions may be delegated to subordinate officers or given to contractual
entities, but the board retains full residual control of the business.
G.R. No. 143276. July 20, 2004

LANDBANK OF THE PHILIPPINES


vs.
SPOUSES VICENTE BANAL and LEONIDAS ARENAS-BANAL
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 planted to coconut and palay was compulsorily acquired by the DAR pursuant to
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988. In accordance with the formula prescribed in
DAR Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 1992,[2] as amended, the Land Bank valuated the
property at P173,918.55. Respondents rejected the valuation, thus, a summary administrative
proceeding was conducted before the PARAD to determine the valuation of the
land. Eventually, the PARAD rendered its Decision affirming the Landbanks valuation.
Dissatisfied with the Decision, respondents filed with the RTC a petition for determination of
just compensation. The trial court computed the just compensation for the coconut land
at P657,137.00 and for the rice land at P46,000.00, or a total of P703,137.00,
Landbank filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review. Appellate Court affirmed in
toto the judgment of the trial court.
Issue:
Whether the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the trial courts valuation of the land.

Ruling: Yes.

Firstly, it dispensed with the hearing and merely ordered the parties to submit their
respective memoranda. Such action is grossly erroneous.

Secondly, the RTC, in concluding that the valuation of respondents property


is P703,137.00, merely took judicial notice of the average production figures in
the Rodriguez case pending before it and applied the same to this case without conducting a
hearing and worse, without the knowledge or consent of the parties.

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,[25] which are not obtaining here.
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.


Lastly, the RTC erred in applying the formula prescribed under Executive Order (EO)
No. 228[26] and R.A. No. 3844,[27] as amended, in determining the valuation of the property.
34 ALFELOR VS HALASAN

March 31, 2006 | J. Callejo Sr. | Judicial Admission

The children and heirs of late spouses Telesforo and Cecilia Alfelor filed a Complaint for
Partition. One of their children is Jose Alfelor. Among those who filed said complaint were
Teresita Sorongon and her two children Joshua and Maria Katrina, who claims to be the spouse
and children of Jose Alfelor, respectively. Later, Josefina Halasan filed a Complaint-in-
Intervention claiming she has a legal interest in the matter because she is the surviving spouse
and primary compulsory heir of Jose Alfelor. Petitioners opposed the motion and the motion was
set for hearing. Josefina did not appear but presented the Reply-in-Intervention where Teresita
declared that she knew "of the previous marriage of the late Jose K. Alfelor with that of the
herein intervenor" on February 1, 1956. Moreover, Teresita in her testimony said she knew that
her husband had been previously married to Josefina and that the two did not live together as
husband and wife. RTC dismissed the Complaint-in-Intervention stating that e intervenor failed
to appear to testify in court to substantiate her claim. CA, through a Rule 65 petition filed by
Josefina set aside the decision of RTC ruling that Teresita had already admitted (both verbally
and in writing) that Josefina had been married to the deceased, and under Section 4, Rule 129
of the Revised Rules of Evidence, a judicial admission no longer requires proof.

DOCTRINE:

SC agreed with CA and ruled that Josefina Halasan has a right to intervene in the case
because as admitted by plaintiff Teresita Alfelor in her Reply in-Intervention and in her
testimony, there exist a previous marriage between Josefina Halasan and Jose K. Alfelor. Thus,
Josefina Halasan being a surviving spouse of Jose Alfelor is a legal heir and has interest in the
case. A party who judicially admits a fact cannot later challenge that fact as judicial admissions
are a waiver of proof; production of evidence is dispensed with. A judicial admission also
removes an admitted fact from the field of controversy. Consequently, an admission made in the
pleadings cannot be controverted by the party making such admission and are conclusive as to
such party, and all proofs to the contrary or inconsistent therewith should be ignored, whether
objection is interposed by the party or not. 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.
Rule 129, Sec. 4. Judicial Admission

G.R. No. 147012 January 29, 2004

CRISTINO O. ARROYO, JR. and SANDRA R. ARROYO, Petitioners,


vs.
EDUARDO A. TADURAN, Respondent.

FACTS:

Respondent Eduardo Taduran and petitioner Cristino Arroyo, Jr. were cousins. In 1988,
respondent Taduran and petitioner Arroyo, Jr. entered into a verbal agreement to form a
corporation and to acquire a suitable office for this purpose.

Pursuant to the agreement, petitioner Arroyo, Jr. was able to purchase from Cityland
Development Corporation a condominium unit. The money used to purchase the condominium
unit was borrowed by petitioner Arroyo, Jr. from the Commercial Bank of Manila (now Bank of
Commerce) and was guaranteed by the time deposit of respondent Taduran in the same bank.
When the loan matured, the proceeds of the time deposit amounting to P500,000 was applied
by respondent Taduran in payment of the loan. Title to the condominium unit in the name of
petitioner Cristino Arroyo, Jr., married to Sandra Arroyo (his co-petitioner in the present case),
was subsequently released by Cityland to said spouses.

Meanwhile Taduran discovered that petitioners had already been enjoying the use of the subject
property. Respondent thereafter, demanded from them the delivery of the title and other
documents, and cause the transfer of title to his name pursuant to their verbal agreement.

When petitioners Arroyo refused, respondent Taduran filed a complaint with the RTC, praying
that petitioners be compelled to deliver and reconvey the title to the subject property to him and
that petitioners be adjudged to pay for damages. Respondent claimed that petitioner Cristino
Arroyo, Jr. was a mere agent tasked to look for a condominium unit to purchase.

Petitioners Arroyo denied the existence of agency and claimed ownership over the subject
property.

RTC: The Court does not find the evidence presented by respondent sufficient to establish
agency. However, respondent is entitled to indemnification from petitioner Arroyo because the
former's time deposit was applied to the loan obligation of the latter.

CA: The appellate court affirmed the lower court's decision.

The CA noted that petitioners have admitted the fact that there is an obligation on
their part to pay for the time deposit proceeds of respondent which was applied to the
payment of the bank loan earlier obtained by petitioner Cristino Arroyo, Jr. in his name.
Hence this petition. Petitioners contend that neither the lower court nor the appellate court
could, under the law, order that respondent be indemnified as it was not prayed for as an
alternative remedy in the complaint.

ISSUEl: WoN petitioner Arroyo is liable to indemnify respondent Taduran.

HELD:

Yes. Respondent Taduran is entitled to recover the amount of P500,000 from petitioners Arroyo
even in the absence of any prayer therefor.

Petitioners admission of their indebtedness to respondent during the trial and in their petition
before us is conclusive. Such admission is binding on them and no amount of contradictory
evidence can offset it.

Judicial admissions, verbal or written, made by the parties in the pleadings or in the course of
the trial or other proceedings in the same case, are conclusive on them. No evidence is needed
to prove the same and it cannot be contradicted unless it is shown to have been made through
palpable mistake or that no such admission was made.

In this case, however, the records does not show any attempt on the part of petitioners to
contradict their judicial admission, either on the ground of palpable mistake or by denying that
they had ever made such admission. Instead, petitioners specifically restated in their petition
that they were indeed indebted to respondent in the amount of P500,000. They categorically
declared,:

"pursuant to the dictum that no one should be unjustly benefitted or be enriched at the expense
of another, Arroyo, Jr. admitted having an obligation to pay Taduran. The latter can recover
whatever Arroyo, Jr. may owe him, pursuant to Art. 1236 (2nd par.) of the Civil Code, but the
recovery should certainly be done in the proper manner, in the proper case, and in another
forum."

Such admission required no further proof and to require respondent to file a separate case to
recover the P500,000 in a different court and in another proceeding will only result in a
protracted litigation.
Camitan vs Fidelity Insurance Corp

Facts:
Camitan and Damaso filed a Petition for the issuance of another duplicate copy of Certificate of Title before
RTC Calamba the owners duplicate copy was lost and cannot be found
This was GRANTED Register of Deeds was ordered to issue a second owner's duplicate copy of the
TCT, and declared void the first owner's duplicate copy.
Fidelity filed a Petition for annulment of judgment and cancellation of title before the CA.
It contends that it purchased the property which is the subject of the TCT.
Fidelity argues that the RTC decision is null and void and it had no jurisdiction to issue the owner's
duplicate copy of the TCT was in their possession.
It claimed that the petitioners perjured themselves before the RTC when they stated that the
duplicate copy of the TCT was lost and that they gave notice to all who had interest in the property,
because they failed to notify Fidelity despite knowledge of the latter's possession of the property.
CA gave due course to the petition for annulment of judgment. A preliminary conference was set and directed
Fidelity to bring the owner's duplicate copy of the TCT.
Fidelitys counsel presented what was claimed to be the owner's duplicate copy of the TCT.
Camitan and Damasos counsel examined the copy and admitted that it was the genuine copy.
Fidelity manifested that they were no longer presenting evidence.
In their memorandum, Camitan and Damaso retracted their counsel's admission on the genuineness of the
owner's duplicate copy of the TCT presented by Fidelity, citing honest mistake and negligence owing to his
excitement and nervousness in appearing before the CA. They pointed to some allegedly irreconcilable
discrepancies between the copy annexed to the petition and the exhibit presented by Fidelity during the
preliminary conference.

CA ruled in favor of Fidelity - It declared that the RTC was without jurisdiction to issue a second owner's
duplicate copy of the title in light of the existence of the genuine owner's duplicate copy in the possession of
Fidelity, as admitted by Camitan and Lopez through counsel.

According to the CA, a judicial admission is conclusive upon the party making it and cannot be
contradicted unless previously shown to have been made through palpable mistake or that no such
admission was made.

It said that honest mistake and negligence, as raised by Camitan and Lopez in retracting their
counsel's admission, are not sufficient grounds to invalidate the admission.

ISSUE: W/N CA erred when it did not consider the counsels judicial admission as palpable mistake

HELD: NO Petition DENIED, in favor of Fidelity

RATIO:

Camitan and Lopez argues that despite the existence of a judicial admission, there is still some leeway for the
court to consider other evidence presented.

The case provides a transcript of the preliminary conference in which it was indubitably shown that counsel
for petitioners made a judicial admission and failed to refute that admission during the said proceedings
despite the opportunity to do so.

A judicial admission is an admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of the proceedings in
the same case, which dispenses with the need for proof with respect to the matter or fact admitted. It may
be contradicted only by a showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission
was made.

CA correctly ruled that such an admission may only be refuted upon a proper showing of palpable mistake or
that no such admission was made. Thus, the claim of "honest mistake and negligence" on the part of the
counsel due to his excitement and nervousness in appearing before the CA did not suffice.
Sps. Binarao v. Plus Builders

FACTS:

Herein, petitioner spouses Binarao, purchased a house and lot in Bahayang Pag-asa
Subdivision through Plus Builders Inc. An affidavit of undertaking whereby they agreed to pay P
96, 791.95.00 in the following manner was executed:

P 5000.00 upon signing of contract

And the remaining P 91, 791.95 within 15 days after.

Petitioners paid P 20,000.00 leaving a balance of P 65, 571.22 payable in three installments.

However, spouses failed to comply prompting Plus Builders to file a complaint for Sum of
Money.

RTC- ordered to spouses to pay balance

CA- Affirms RTC

SC- Petition for certiorari denied

ISSUE:

Whether or not allegations, statements, or admission contained in the pleadings is judicial


admission.

HELD:

Rule 8, Rules of Court, provides:

Section 11. Allegations not specifically denied deemed admitted. Material averment in the
complaint, other than those as to the amount of unliquidated damages, shall be deemed
admitted when not specifically denied. Allegations of usury in a complaint to recover usurious
interest are deemed admitted if not denied under oath.

Under Section 10, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court

A specific denial of an allegation of the complaint may be made in any of three ways, namely:
(a) a defendant specifies each material allegation of fact the truth of which he does not admit
and, whenever practicable, sets forth the substance of the matters upon which he relies to
support his denial; (b) a defendant who desires to deny only a part of an averment specifies so
much of it as is true and material and denies only the remainder; and (c) a defendant who is
without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of a material averment
made in the complaint states so, which has the effect of a denial.
JESUS CUENCO vs. TALISAY TOURIST SPORTS COMPLEX, INC. G.R. No. 174154

FACTS:

Petitioner leased from respondent a property to be operated as a cockpit. Upon expiration of the
contract, respondent company conducted a public bidding for the lease of the property.
Petitioner participated in the bidding. The lease was eventually awarded to another bidder.
Thereafter, petitioner formally demanded, through several demand letters, for the return of his
deposit in the sum of PHP 500, 000.00. It, however, all remained unheeded.

Thus, petitioner filed a Complaint for sum of money maintaining that respondents acted in bad
faith in withholding the amount of the deposit without any justifiable reason. In their Answer,
respondents countered that petitioner caused physical damage to the leased premises and the
cost of repair and replacement of materials amounted to more than Php 500,000.00.

The RTC issued a Pre-trial Order in which respondent admitted that there is no inventory of
damages. However, the respondents later offered an inventory which was admitted by the said
trial court. The RTC ruled favorably for the petitioner. The lower court gave credence to the
testimony of respondents witness, Ateniso Coronado (Coronado), the property custodian of the
respondents, that the sports complex was repaired and renovated by the new lessee. The court
also considered the admission of respondents counsel during the pre-trial that no inventory of
the property was conducted on the leased premises. The RTC debunked the inventory
presented by the respondents during trial as a mere afterthought to bolster their claim against
petitioner.

The CA reversed said decision. Hence, this case.

ISSUES:
1. WON a judicial admission is conclusive and binding upon a party making the admission;
and
2. WON such judicial admission was properly rejected by the CA.

RULING: 1. YES. 2. NO

Obviously, it was on Coronado's testimony, as well as on the documentary evidence of an


alleged property inventory conducted on June 4, 1998, that the CA based its conclusion that the
amount of damage sustained by the leased premises while in the possession of petitioner
exceeded the amount of petitioner's deposit. This contradicts the judicial admission made by
respondents' counsel which should have been binding on the respondents.

Section 4, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court provides:


SEC. 4. Judicial admissions. - An admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of
the proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The admission may be contradicted
only by a showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was
made.

A party may make judicial admissions in (1) the pleadings, (2) during the trial, by verbal or
written manifestations or stipulations, or (3) in other stages of the judicial proceeding. The
stipulation of facts at the pre-trial of a case constitutes judicial admissions. The veracity of
judicial admissions require no further proof and may be controverted only upon a clear showing
that the admissions were made through palpable mistake or that no admissions were made.
Thus, the admissions of parties during the pre-trial, as embodied in the pre-trial order, are
binding and conclusive upon them.

Respondents did not deny the admission made by their counsel, neither did they claim that the
same was made through palpable mistake. As such, the stipulation of facts is incontrovertible
and may be relied upon by the courts. The pre-trial forms part of the proceedings and matters
dealt therein may not be brushed aside in the process of decision-making. Otherwise, the real
essence of compulsory pre-trial would be rendered inconsequential and worthless. Furthermore,
an act performed by counsel within the scope of a "general or implied authority" is regarded as
an act of the client which renders respondents in estoppel. By estoppel is meant that an
admission or representation is conclusive upon the person making it and cannot be denied or
disproved as against the person relying thereon.

Thus, respondents are bound by the admissions made by their counsel at the pre-trial.
Accordingly, the CA committed an error when it gave ample evidentiary weight to respondents'
evidence contradictory to the judicial admission.
Spouses Santos vs Spouses Lumbao G.R. No. 169129 March 28, 2007

RULE 129 SECTION 4: JUDICIAL ADMISSION REQUISITES

Facts:

1. Respondent spouses Lumbao filed an action for reconveyance with damages against
petitioners. Petitioners are survivors and legitimate heirs of Rita Santos who allegedly sold 2
parcels of land to respondents when she was alive by virtue of a document called bilihan ng
lupa, The repsondents even claimed that the execution of the document was signed and
witnessed by petitioners Virgilio and Tadeo.
2. After having acquired the subject property, respondents Spouses Lumbao took actual
possession and built a house which they occupied as exclusive owners up to the present. The
respondents Spouses Lumbao made several verbal demands upon Rita, during her lifetime, and
thereafter upon herein petitioners, to execute the necessary documents to effect the issuance of
a separate title in their favor.
3. Respondents Spouses Lumbao alleged that prior to her death, Rita informed respondent
Proserfina Lumbao she could not deliver the title to the subject property because the entire
property inherited by her and her co-heirs from Maria had not yet been partitioned.
4. Finally, the respondents Lumbao claimed that petitioners, acting fraudulently and in
conspiracy with one another, executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement, adjudicating and
partitioning among themselves and the other heirs, the estate left by Maria, which included the
lot already sold to them. Due to refusal of petitioners to convey the said propert, the spouses
filed the action.
5. The lower court (RTC) dismissed the complaint of ground of lack of cause of action as the
spouses allegedly did not comply with the required barangay conciliation. The CA granted and
ordered the petititoners to convey the land to the spouses, hence this petition.

Issue: Whether or not the admissions made are admissible and binding

Held: YES.

Upon examination of the aforesaid documents, the Court found that in the "Bilihan ng Lupa,"
dated 17 August 1979, the signatures of petitioners Virgilio and Tadeo appeared thereon.
Moreover, in petitioners Answer and Amended Answer to the Complaint for Reconveyance with
Damages, both petitioners Virgilio and Tadeo made an admission that indeed they acted as
witnesses in the execution of the "Bilihan ng Lupa," dated 17 August 1979. However, in order to
avoid their obligations in the said "Bilihan ng Lupa," petitioner Virgilio, in his cross-examination,
denied having knowledge of the sale transaction and claimed that he could not remember the
same as well as his appearance before the notary public due to the length of time that had
passed.

As a general rule, facts alleged in a partys pleading are deemed admissions of that party and
are binding upon him, but this is not an absolute and inflexible rule. An answer is a mere
statement of fact which the party filing it expects to prove, but it is not evidence. And in spite of
the presence of judicial admissions in a partys pleading, the trial court is still given leeway to
consider other evidence presented. However, in the case at bar, petitioners had not adduced
any other evidence to override the admission made in their answer that Virgilio and Tadeo
actually signed the Bilihan ng Lupa. Hence, the general rule that the admissions made by a
party in a pleading are binding and conclusive upon him applies in this case.
REPUBLIC of the PHILIPPINES v. SARABIA

G.R. No. 157847; 25 August 2005.

Sometime in 1956, the petitioner took possession and control of the substantial portion of the lot
owned by the private respondents. The occupied portion was used as an airport parking area
and in time, several structures were erected on it.

In 1998, petitioner filed an action for the expropriation of the entire lot. However,
expropriation and writ of possession was granted only as to the actual portion occupied and not
on its entirety. Through the court-appointed commissioners reports, the trial court fixed the just
compensation for the occupied portion at its current market value in 1999. The trial court fixed
the just compensation based on the current market value not at the time of the taking which was
in 1956, but at the time of the issuance of the writ of possession in 1999. To the trial court, the
date of the issuance of the writ has to be considered in fixing the just compensation because the
same signified petitioners proper acquisition and taking of the property which involves not only
physical possession but also the legal right to possess and own the same. CA affirmed the trial
courts order.

ISSUE:

The precise time at which just compensation should be fixed: whether as of the time of
actual taking of possession by the expropriating entity, as insisted by petitioner, or at the
issuance of the writ of possession pursuant to the expropriation proceedings, as maintained by
the respondents and sustained by both the trial court and the Court of Appeals.

HELD:

Compensation for property expropriated must be determined as of the time the


expropriating authority takes possession thereof and not as of the institution of the proceedings.

Evidence is wanting on the fact of petitioners taking possession of the disputed 4,901
square-meter portion in 1956.

Private respondents admissions in their Answer and Pre-Trial Brief are judicial
admissions which render the taking of the lot in 1956 conclusive or even immutable. And well-
settled is the rule that an admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of the
proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. A judicial admission is an admission
made by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, for purposes of the truth of
some alleged fact, which said party cannot thereafter disprove. Indeed, an admission made in
the pleading cannot be controverted by the party making such admission and are conclusive as
to him, and that all proofs submitted by him contrary thereto or inconsistent therewith should be
ignored whether objection is interposed by a party or not.
This Court is thus convinced that the taking of the occupied 4,901 square-meter portion
of Lot 6068 occurred in 1956.

The value of the property should be fixed as of the date when it was taken and not the
date of the filing of the proceedings. For where property is taken ahead of the filing of the
condemnation proceedings, the value thereof may be enhanced by the public purpose for which
it is taken; the entry by the plaintiff upon the property may have depreciated its value thereby;
or, there may have been a natural increase in the value of the property from the time it is taken
to the time the complaint is filed, due to general economic conditions. The owner of private
property should be compensated only for what he actually loses; it is not intended that his
compensation shall extend beyond his loss or injury. And what he loses is only the actual value
of his property at the time it is taken. This is the only way the compensation to be paid can be
truly just; i.e., "just" not only to the individual whose property is taken, "but to the public, which is
to pay for it.
St. Marys Farm, Inc. v. Prima Real Properties

560 SCRA 704

Facts:

St. Marys was the registered owner of an originally 25,598 sqm of land in Las Pinas
under TCT S-1648.

In compliance with a final court decision in another civil case, St. Marys passed and
approved in 1988 a board resolution authorizing defendant Rodolfo Agana to cede to
T.S. Cruz Subdivision 4,000 sqm of the abovementioned land.

Agana did not return to plaintiff the said title. Instead, allegedly forged a board
resolution of St. Marys authorizing Agana to sell the remaining 21,598 sqm of land.
This board resolution was duly notarized. Agana was also with a Special Power of
Attorney when it dealt with T.S. Cruz and Prima Real Properties.

Eventually, a deed of absolute sale was signed by Agana and Prima Real Properties
transferring ownership of the land from St. Marys to Prima.

Prima effected the cancellation of TCT S-1648 in the name of St. Marys and another
TCT T-6175 in its name was issued by the Registry of deeds, Villanueva.

Prima purchased from T.S. Cruz Subdivision the 4,000 sqm portion of the land.

St. Marys filed an action for rescission of the sale and the reconveyance of the property.

According to St. Marys:

1. Sale of the realty entered into between Agana and Prima is null and void for lack of
authority on the part of Agana to sell the property.

2. The board resolution allegedly granting Agana the authority to sell in behalf of the
company, as certified by Corp. Secretary Agcaoili is a forgery as no board meeting was
held on June 27, 1988; the said document was merely presented to the notary public for
notarization without Atty. Agcaoili appearing before him.

3. Consequently, the deed of absolute sale was void for being a result of a fraudulent
transaction.

Prima contends:
1. It acted in good faith when it relied solely on the face of the authorization of Agana and
paid in full the purchase price of P2,567,760.00 making it a buyer in good faitgh and for
value.

2. Even assuming that the authorization of Agana was forged, St. Marys, through its
president, accepted and received part of the purchase price knowing fully well the same
to be the proceeds of the sale of the property, St. Marys is now estopped from asking
for rescission.

FIRST ISSUE:

1. Whether or not Prima was a buyer in bad faith

HELD:

No, Prima was a buyer in good faith and for value.

On the basis of the board resolution, Prima had every reason to rely on Aganas authority to sell
the land.

A buyer for value and in good faith is one who buys property of another, without
notice that some other person has a right or interest in such property and pays
full and fair price for the same, at the same time of such purchase, or before he
has notice of the said claim or interest. To prove good faith, a buyer of registered
and titled land need only show that he relied on the face of the title of the
property. Sufficient that the following conditions concur:

a. The seller is the registered owner of the land

b. Owner has possession of the land

c. At the time of the sale, the buyer was not aware of any claim or interest of
some other person in the property, or of any defect or restriction in the
title of the seller or in his capacity to convey title to the property

All the three conditions are present in the case.

1. Prima exerted efforts to verify the true background of the subject land

2. Agana presented to Prima the notarized board resolution, separate Certification by St.
Marys president authorizing Agana to sell the land, and a TCT of the property

SECOND ISSUE: Whether or not Agana was authorized to sell the subject property

HELD:
Yes, Agana had the authority to sell the subject property by virtue of the notarized board
resolution and the Special Power of Attorney.

RATIO:

The document under scrutiny is a special power of attorney that is duly notarized. It is a public
document where the notarial acknowledgement is prima facie evidence of the fact of its due
execution. A buyer presented with such a document would have no choice between knowing
and finding out whether a forger lurks beneath the signature on it. The notarial acknowledgment
has removed that choice from him replacing it with a presumption sanctioned by law that the
affiant appeared before the notary public and acknowledged that he executed the document,
understood its import and signed it. The buyer is given the luxury to rely on the presumption of
regularity of a duly notarized SPA.

Prima also relied on the confirmation and certification of the Register of Deeds of Las Pinas and
Mr. T.S. Cruz. When Agana first sold the 4,000 sqm portion to T.S. Cruz, he showed a similar
authorization by the petitioner which was also signed by the corporate secretary, Atty. Agcaoili.
Agana acted as St. Marys authorized agent and had full authority to bind the company in
that first transaction with Cruz.

The board resolution also negates the assertion by St. Marys that Aganas authority was only
limited to negotiate and not to sell. The resolution further averred that Agana was
authorized and empowered to sign any and all documents, instruments, papers or
writings which may be required and necessary for this purpose to bind the corporation in
this undertaking. The certification of St. Marys president also attests to this fact. With this,
Agana, undeniably had the authority to cede the subject property, carrying with it all the
concomitant powers necessary to implement said transaction.
People vs Villanueva

People of the Philippines, Appellee vs. Saturnino Villanueva, Appellant

GR no. 181829September 1, 2010

FACTS:Appellant was convicted with 3 counts of qualified rape both in the trial court and
the Court of Appeals and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and pay
damages worth P 75,000.00as civil indemnity, P 75,000.00 as moral damages and P
25,000.00 as exemplary damages for each count. The victim, AAA is appellants daughter
and is allegedly is a minor. The crime was committed in three separate occasions. During
the trial, the prosecution presented their witness who identified the appellant as her
rapist.

AAAs birth certificate proving she was under the age of 12 years old and the medical
certificate were marked as Exhibit during the pre-trial but was not formally offer as
evidence. The appellant contested that the documentary evidence used to convict him
should not be subjected for the appreciation of the court.

ISSUE: Whether or not appellants contention that the documentary evidence should not
be admitted in court for the failure to formally offer it in court.

RULING: The appeal is partly meritorious. The Supreme Court agree with the appellant
that both the medical certificate and birth certificate of AAA though marked as exhibits
during the pre-trial should not have been considered by the trial court and the Court of
Appeals because they are not formally offered in evidence. Rule 132 Section 34 of the
Rules of Court explicitly provide that

: The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. The
purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified.

The mere fact that a particular document is identified and marked as an exhibit does not
mean that it has already been offered as part of evidence. It must be emphasized that any
evidence which a party desires to submit for the consideration of the court must formally
be offered by the party; otherwise, it is excluded and rejected. However it must also be
considered that appellant can still be convicted without a medical certificate. In rape
cases, the accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the victim provided that
the testimony is credible, natural, convincing and consistent with human nature and the
normal course of things. The trial court is bound to consider only the testimonial
evidence presented and exclude the documents not offered
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. HERACLEO ABELLO Y FORTADA
G.R. No. 151952

FACTS:
Appellant Heracleo Abello y Fortada (Abello) stands convicted of 1 count of violation of
paragraph 2, Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended; and 2 counts of
violation of sexual abuse under Republic Act RA No. 7610 (Child Abuse Law).

The victim in these cases is 21 year old AAA. She contracted polio when she was 7
months old. On June 30, 1998 at around 4:00 oclock in the early morning, AAA was sleeping in
their house when she was suddenly awakened when Abello mashed her breast. Come July 2,
1999 at around 3:00 a.m. Abello again mashed the breast of AAA practically under the same
previous situation while the latter was sleeping. In these two occasions AAA was able to
recognize Abello because of the light coming from outside which illuminated the house. Then
on July 8, 1998, at around 2:00 a.m., Abello this time placed his soft penis inside the mouth of
AAA. The latter got awaken when Abello accidentally kneeled on her right hand. AAA exclaimed
Aray forcing the accused to hurriedly enter his room. He was nevertheless seen by AAA. The
victim on the same date reported the incident to her sister-in-law and mother. Amidst the
accusation of raping and twice sexually abusing AAA, Abello interposed the defense of denial. In
all of the instances, Abello claimed that he merely stepped on the victim at the sala on his way to
his room after retiring home.

The RTC found Abello guilty under the three Informations. The CA affirmed Abellos
conviction on appeal but modified the penalties imposed.

ISSUE:
1) WON the appellant shall be acquitted due to the difference between the modes of
commission provided for in the Information for Rape and that proven at the trial.
2) WON the appellant is guilty of sexual abuse under the Child Abuse Law or if he can
be liable for an offense other than that stated in the Information.
RULING:

As to the first issue, no, the appellant cannot be acquitted. The victims testimony that
she was roused from sleep with Abellos male organ inserted in her mouth, goes into the third
element of the crime. In this respect, we observe that both the RTC and the CA failed to notice
the variance between the allegations in the Information for rape and that proven at the trial on
the mode of committing the offense. The Information alleges force and intimidation as the mode
of commission, while AAA testified during the trial that she was asleep at the time it happened
and only awoke to find Abellos male organ inside her mouth.

This variance is not fatal to Abellos conviction for rape by sexual assault. In People v.
Corpuz, we ruled that a variance in the mode of commission of the offense is binding
upon the accused if he fails to object to evidence showing that the crime was committed
in a different manner than what was alleged. In the present case, Abello did not object to
the presentation of evidence showing that the crime charged was committed in a different
manner than what was stated in the Information. Thus, the variance is not a bar to Abellos
conviction of the crime charged in the Information.

Anent the second issue, no, appellant cannot be held guilty under the Child Abuse Law
but he can be held for Acts of Lasciviousness. AAA cannot be considered a child under Section
3(a) of R.A. No. 7610. Though Abello cannot be held liable under RA 7610, he is still liable for
acts of lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC. The character of the crime is not
determined by the caption or preamble of the information or from the specification of the
provision of law alleged to have been violated; the crime committed is determined by the recital
of the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information. In the present case,
although the two Informations wrongly designated R.A. No. 7610 as the law violated; the
allegations therein sufficiently constitute acts punishable under Article 336 of the RPC whose
elements are: a. That the offender commits any act of lasciviousness; b. That the offended party
is another person of either sex; and c. That it is done under any of the following circumstances:
i. By using force or intimidation; or ii. When the offended party is deprived of reason or
otherwise unconscious; or iii. When the offended party is under 12 years of age or is demented.
VIDAR, et. al. , vs. PEOPLE. G.R. No. 177361 February 1, 2010

FACTS:
Petitioners Armando Vidar, Norberto Butalon, Sonny Marbella, and several Does was criminally charge
for Robbery with Homicide filed under an Information. They were accused of the brutal murder army
officer, Sgt. Julio D. Dioneda on the early evening of April 30, 2001, as well as the taking of his valuables
from his house located at a sitio in Sorsogon City.

The antecedent facts of this case was recounted by the prosecution witnesses: Florecita, the
victimss wife, and Nia, his sister, both of them were present in the victims house during the
unfortunate event.

Petitioners vehemently denied the accusations against them; raising the twin defenses of denial
and alibi.

The trial court relied on the credible and positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and
rejected the defense interposed by the petitioners; thereby convicting the petitioners. The
appellate court affirmed the conviction but modified the imposed penalty.

The petitioners argued against the conviction stating among others that the delay of almost a
year in filing formal charges against them casts serious doubt on the motive of the complaint
and that their identification by the prosecution witnesses was attended with irregularity.

HELD:
As regards the first argument, the Court ruled that the same is bereft of merit. The delay did not
greatly weaken the credibility of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. The fact of delay
attributed to the prosecution witnesses cannot be taken against them. What is important is that
their testimonies regarding the incident bear the earmarks of truth and dependability. The Court
maintains the credibility of the prosecution witnesses testimonies as well as the vital points
substantiating the circumstances of time and place of the offense charged against petitioners.

On the matter of the irregularity on the manner of identification of the petitioners by the
witnesses, they posit that their mug shot identification was unduly suggestive.

The Court disagreed that the same is an incredible suggestive procedure.

It was noted that the witnesses had an unobstructed view of the petitioners appearance since
they were not donning mask when the incident took place early in the evening and that there
was frontal confrontation between them when they were held at gunpoint. Moreover, the
identification of petitioners was effectively admitted when petitioners failed to dispute the same
before the lower courts. Therefore, the Court fails to see any flaw that would invalidate the
eyewitnesses identification.
PNB and Asset Privatization Trust (APT) vs Refrigeration Industries Inc. (G.R. 156178
January 20, 2006)

Facts: Petitioners are the Philippine National Bank (PNB), a private banking corporation, and
the Asset Privatization Trust (APT). Respondent Refrigeration Industries Inc. (RII) is a
manufacturer of refrigerators and compressors.

Respondent RII occupied a portion of the assembly plant of Delta Motor Corporation (DMC).
PNB foreclosed several parcels of real estate and chattels of DMC located at the DMC
Compound. In an auction of the foreclosed properties, PNB was the highest bidder. Thus, it took
possession of all chattels inside the DMC compound. Subsequently certain properties of RII
inside DMCs compound, with some other acquired assets of PNB covered by the Circular, were
transferred to the Asset Privatization Trust (APT), thus APT was made a party defendant.

When PNB took possession of the DMC compound, RII demanded the release of its properties
still inside the compound. PNB allowed RII to remove some of its personal properties from the
DMC compound, upon the latters showing of proof of ownership. However, respondent failed to
produce any proof of ownership. PNBs refusal to release the subject properties led to the filing
of a complaint by RII for Recovery of Possession with Damages, and subsequently, it filed a
motion for summary judgment.

RII alleged that during the pre-trial conference, PNB manifested to APT, in a letter that the
machineries and equipments of RII listed in Annex "C" of the complaint were erroneously
transferred to APT, and that in a subsequent letter, APT acknowledged the mistakes and
agreed to release the properties to the authorized representative of RII.

Issue: W/N the failure of PNB and APT to deny the genuineness and due execution of the said
documents amounts to a judicial admission pursuant to Section 8, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court?
(YES)

Ruling:

Contrary to petitioners claim that there was no admission on their part that respondent owned
the chattels, our review of the records shows that petitioners failed to either specifically deny or
directly assail and raise as an issue, the validity of the letter dated May 11, 1989 and the letter
dated May 29, 1989. Their failure to deny the genuineness and due execution of the said
documents amounts to a judicial admission pursuant to Section 8, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court.
Judicial admissions do not require proof and may not be contradicted in the absence of a prior
showing that the admissions had been made through palpable mistake. These letters are
deemed admitted as evidence, and they likewise supersede the defenses interposed by
petitioners in their respective answers.

It may lastly be recalled that from the very start, PNB consistently manifested its willingness to
release the said properties upon respondents proof of ownership over them. The
correspondence between the parties shows that PNB actually admitted that the subject chattels
belonged to RII but were erroneously transferred to petitioner APT.
Rule 129, Section 4. Judicial Admission
Ramos vs. Spouses Dizon

Facts:

Petitioner alleged that respondents are the owners of an undivided one-half portion of a parcel
of land with an area of about 89.35 square meters located in Tondo, Manila. Respondent
Domingo executed an SPA authorizing Elpidio Domingo to sell one-half portion of said parcel of
land. Elpidio, acting pursuant to the provisions of the SPA sold, with a right to repurchase within
five months, one-half of the land of petitioner. Respondent Domingo failed to redeem or
repurchase the disputed land within the five-month period. Thus, ownership over the subject
land was consolidated in petitioner.

Respondent Domingo filed an opposition to the Petition alleging that the SPA was executed for
the purpose of enabling Elpidio to secure a loan of P150,000.00. The proceeds of the loan was
supposed to be used for the construction of a duplex residential house to be supervised
by Elpidio. However, Elpidio obtained a loan of P350,000.00 and used a substantial portion
thereof for his personal advantage and benefit.

During the trial of the case, on August 10, 1988 petitioner herself took the witness stand and
testified that, Elpidio sold to her, with a right to repurchase, one-half of a parcel of land which
was owned by respondent Domingo.

In the same hearing, Elpidio was subjected to cross-examination during which he declared that
he owns the two-door residential apartment built on respondent Domingos share. The
apartment building, however, encroaches upon the other half portion of the said land which is
owned by Elpidios brother, Ricardo Dizon.

It was only on 31 January 1995 when respondent Domingo filed his Formal Offer of Exhibits.

Petitioner argues that it is axiomatic that the court shall not consider evidence which has
not been formally offered.

Issue:

WON the CA erred in the admission and consideration of evidence not formally offered.

Ruling:
Petitioner argues that the court shall not consider evidence which has not been formally
offered. In this regard, they argue that Exhibits 1 to 7, inclusive of sub-markings, should not
have been considered by the trial court in its Decision considering that the same were not
formally offered in evidence.
The SC is not convinced.
The SC said that the applicable provision of the Rules of Court on this matter is Sec. 34, Rule
132. It reads:
SEC. 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.

From the foregoing provision, it is clear that for evidence to be considered, the same
must be formally offered. Corollarily, the mere fact that a particular document to be
identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean that is has already been offered as
part of the evidence of a party. The SC in the case of Interpacific Transit, Inc. v.
Aviles [186 SCRA 385], it had the occasion to make a distinction between identification
of documentary evidence and its formal offer as an exhibit. It said that the first is done in
the course of the trial and is accompanied by the marking of the evidence as an exhibit
while the second is done only when the party rests its case and not before. A party,
therefore, may opt to formally offer his evidence if he believes that it will advance his
cause or not to do so at all. In the event he chooses to do the latter, the trial court is not
authorized by the Rules to consider the same.

However, in the case of People v. Napat-a [179 SCRA 403] citing People v. Mate [103
SCRA 404], the SC relaxed the foregoing rule and allowed evidence not formally offered
to be admitted and considered by the trial court provided the following requirements are
present: first, the same must have been duly identified by testimony duly recorded and,
second, the same must have been incorporated in the records of the case.

In this case, the SC finds and so rule that these requirements have been satisfied. The exhibits
in question were presented and marked during the pre-trial of the case thus, they have been
incorporated into the records. Further, Elpidio himself explained the contents of these exhibits
when he was interrogated by respondents counsel.

But what further defeats petitioners cause on this issue is that respondents exhibits were
marked and admitted during the pre-trial stage as shown by the Pre-Trial Order.
People vs Cristina Hernandez
(G.R. No. 108028; July 30, 1996)

Facts: Respondent was charged with the crime of Illegal Recruitment in Large Scale. The
accused allegedly represented herself to have the capacity to contract, enlist and transport
Filipino workers for employment abroad, did then and there willfully and unlawfully for a fee,
recruit and promise employment/job placement abroad to the private complainants, without first
having secured the required license or authority from the POEA.

Upon arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty and trial on the merits ensued. Of the fourteen
(14) private complainants, four (4) were presented as witnesses for the prosecution. They
testifed that respondent introduced herself as the general manager of Philippine Thai
Association, Inc and asked them if they wanted to work as factory workers in Taipei for $800 a
month.

Respondent allegedly required private complainants to pay placement and passport fees in the
total amount of P22,500.00 per applicant, to be paid in three installments. After having received
the entire amount from the witnesses, appellant assured them that they would be able to leave
for Taipeh sometime before the end of December, 1988. But contrary to appellant's promise,
complainants-witnesses were unable to leave for abroad. They demanded for the return of their
money but to no avail. Appellant's unfulfilled promise of employment and her refusal to return
the money that had been paid by way of placement and passport fees, triggered the filing of the
complaint.

Respondent claimed that she never met any of the complainants nor did she ever recruit any of
them. She likewise denied having received money from anyone and asserted that she did not
know any Liza Mendoza who is the alleged treasurer of Philippine-Thai. Appellant maintained
that although she had an office in Ermita Building located at Arquiza Street, Ermita, Manila, the
said office belonged to B.C. Island Wood Products Corporation which was engaged in the
logging business. However, when questioned further, appellant admitted being the president of
Philippine-Thai but only in a nominal capacity, and claimed that as nominee-president, she did
not participate in any of its transactions. Appellant likewise insisted that Philippine-Thai was
engaged solely in the barong tagalog business.

The court a quo rendered a decision holding that the defense of "denial" interposed by the
accused could not prevail over the positive and clear testimonies of the prosecution witnesses
which had established the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt

Issue: WON the trial court erred in not giving credence to the defense of the accused.

Held: NO. It is true that as a general rule, courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the
contents of the records of other cases, even when such cases have been tried or are pending in
the same court, and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been tried or are
actually pending before the same judge. However, this rule is subject to the exception that: x x
x in the absence of objection and as a matter of convenience to all parties, a court may properly
treat all or any part of the original record of the case filed in its archives as read into the records
of a case pending before it, when with the knowledge of the opposing party, reference is made
to it, by name and number or in some other manner by which it is sufficiently designated.

Assuming that the lower court improperly took judicial notice of the pendency of another illegal
recruitment case against the appellant, the error would not be fatal to the prosecution's cause.
The judgment of conviction was not based on the existence of another illegal recruitment case
filed against appellant by a different group of complainants, but on the overwhelming evidence
against her in the instant case.

Anent the last assignment of error, suffice it to say that we do not find any compelling reason to
reverse the findings of the lower court that appellant's bare denials cannot overthrow the
positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses against her.

Well established is the rule that denials if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence are
negative, self-serving evidence which deserve no weight in law and cannot be given greater
evidentiary weight over the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters.
That she did not merely deny, but likewise raised as an affirmative defense her appointment as
mere nominee-president of Philippine-Thai is a futile attempt at exculpating herself and is of no
consequence whatsoever when weighed against the positive declarations of witnesses that it
was the appellant who executed the acts of illegal recruitment as complained of.
Silot vs. Dela Rosa

Rule 129 sec 8: judicial admission

Facts:

On January 19, 1996, petitioner Gregorio Silot, Jr. and respondent Estrella de la Rosa entered
into a contract for the construction of a dormitory-apartment building on Lot 1-A-9-D,
Bagumbayan Sur, Naga City. They expressly agreed that Silot shall supply the labor and de la
Rosa shall pay 33% of the total value of the materials purchased for the project. Upon turnover
in February 1997 of the completed structure, the total cost of materials actually purchased
was P2,504,469.65, 33% of which is P826,474.98. Silot required de la Rosa to pay a total
of P1,018,000.00, or P191,525.02 more than the amount due. Through her son-in-law, de la
Rosa confronted Silot about the overpayment but the latter refused to return the overpayment.
After her repeated demands fell on deaf ears, de la Rosa filed a suit against Silot.

During trial, however, Atty. San Jose, counsel for Silot, dispensed with the testimony of Ariel
Goingo, a witness for de la Rosa. Atty. San Jose admitted Goingo's proposed testimony to the
effect that in consideration of the 33% as mentioned in the contract, all the material supplies
during the making of the additional works mentioned were already accounted for; that Silot was
paid for all works that were performed as well as all materials supplied; that the total sum
was P2,504,469.65, so that 33% of which is only P826,474.98; that de la Rosa paid the amount
of P1,018,000.00; hence, there was an excess payment of P191,525.02; and that de la Rosa
never received any demand from nor was she confronted by Silot regarding an alleged balance.

Issue: whether the admission by Atty. San Jose, counsel of petitioner Silot, constituted judicial
admission of respondent's evidence.

Ruling:

Silot's counsel clearly made admissions of the content of the testimony of witness Goingo,
whose presentation was dispensed with.

A stipulation of facts entered into by the prosecution and defense counsel during trial in
open court is automatically reduced into writing and contained in the official transcript of
the proceedings had in court. The conformity of the accused in the form of his signature
affixed thereto is unnecessary in view of the fact that: "an attorney who is employed to
manage a party's conduct of a lawsuit has prima facie authority to make relevant
admissions by pleadings, by oral or written stipulation, which unless allowed to be
withdrawn are conclusive." In fact, "judicial admissions are frequently those of
counsel or of the attorney of record, who is, for the purpose of the trial, the agent
of his client. When such admissions are made for the purpose of dispensing with
proof of some fact, they bind the client, whether made during, or even after, the
trial.

Worth stressing, in this connection, judicial admissions do not require proof and may not be
contradicted in the absence of a prior showing that the admissions had been made through
palpable mistake.