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CHAPTER IV

OBJECT AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

A. Object Evidence
(Rule 130)
INTRODUCTION:
*While Rule 128 declared the two (2) general requirements for admissibility of evidence, Rule 130
spells out the particular requirements in order that certain kinds of materials are admitted as
evidence.

Sources of Knowledge or Evidence:


1. Those derived from the testimony of people whether oral or written;
2. Those obtained from circumstances; and
3. Those obtained through the use of the senses.

Nature of object evidence:


Object or real evidence, as defined by the Rules of Court, refers to evidence that is addressed to
the senses of the court.

SECTION 1. Object as evidence- Objects as evidence are those addressed to the senses of
the court. When an object is relevant to the fact in issue, it may be exhibited to, examined or
viewed by the court.

*The definition covers any material that may be seen, heard, smelled, felt, or touched which is
germane and related to the event that appeals directly to the senses of the court. To be relevant,
the evidence must have a relationship to the fact in issue.

*Those exhibited to the Court or observed by it during trial, for example:


1. The weapon used, the articles recovered or seized as subjects of an offense, the effects of
the crimes, and the clothing/apparels.
2. The wound scars in the body, in physical injury cases
3. The inspection of the body of the accused and his personal appearance to determine his
body built, physique, height, racial characteristics, and similarities with another, in paternity
suits
4. The observations as to the demeanor of witnesses
5. The re-enactment or the demonstration of actions

*For purposes of authentication of an object or for laying the foundation for the exhibit, the object
evidence may be classified into the following:
1. Objects that have readily identifiable marks (unique objects);
2. Objects that are made readily identifiable (objects made unique); and
3. Objects with no identifying marks and cannot be marked (non-unique objects)

*Courts have recognized that there are times when a party cannot bring an object to the court for
viewing in the courtroom. In such a situation, the court may take a view of an object. The court may
make an ocular inspection.

*View is expressly authorized by Sec. 1 of Rule 130 but even without this express provision, it is
well-recognized that the court has an inherent power to order a view when there is a need to do so
(Sec. 5, Rule 135, Rules of Court).

*A view disrupts the usual trial process and is time-consuming. Hence, in almost all jurisdictions,
the trial judge is granted discretion to grant or refuse a request for a view (Hodge vs. United
States, 75 U.S. App. D.C. 132, 126 F 2d 849, 1942).
*The inspection may be made inside or outside the courtroom. An inspection or view outside the
courtroom should be made in the presence of the parties or at least with previous notice to
them. It is error for the judge, for example to go alone to the place where the crime was committed
and take a view without the previous knowledge of the parties. Such inspection or view is part of
the trial since evidence is thereby being received (Moran Comments in the Rules of Court, Vol.
5, pp. 78-79, 1980).

*Those which consists of the results of inspections of things or places conducted by the
court (ocular inspection) outside the court, for example:
1. The observations made by the parties are duly recorded; pictures and other representation
may be made such as sketches and measurements.
2. The inspection of the crime scene; disputed boundaries, objects which cannot be brought to
court.

*Ocular inspection rests within the sound discretion of the court. (People vs. Bauriel, 275 SCRA
601)

Other names for real evidence:


1. Object evidence;
2. Demonstrative evidence; and
3. Autoptic proference

*Physical evidence is a mute but eloquent manifestation of truth and rates highly in the
hierarchy of trustworthy evidence. (Rabanal vs. People, 483 SCRA 601)

*When a document is presented to prove its existence or condition (not its contents), it is
offered not as documentary but as a real evidence. (Citibank, N.A vs. Sabeniano, 504 SCRA 378)

Examples of object evidence:


a. Photographs
- Photographs are admissible in evidence in motor vehicle accident cases, when they
appear to have been accurately taken and one proved to faithful and clear representation of
the subject. (Macalinao vs. Ong, 477 SCRA 740)
b. Motion pictures;
c. Videotapes;
d. Charts and graphs;
e. Maps;
f. Forensic Evidence, like:
- Ballistic Test; Blood test; Thumbmarks or fingerprints; Paraffin Test; Polygraph Test (Lie
Detector Test); and DNA Test.
- Thumb marks or fingerprints never lie. (People vs. Abatayo, 87 Phil 794)
- DNA tests, Sec. 3 (c), Rule on DNA evidence, constitutes the totality of the DNA profiles,
results and other genetic information directly generated from DNA testing of biological
samples.
g. Results of other chemical tests.
- Those which consists of the results of experiments, tests or demonstration, which may be
scientific tests/experiment, or practical tests/demonstration provided the conduct of
experiments/tests is subject to the discretion of the court.