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 speculation, surmises or conjectures; 2) when the inference made is manifestly
mistaken, absurd or impossible; 3) where there is a grave abuse of discretion; 4)
    c  when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; and 5) &   


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As provided for in Section 4 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court, the general 

  

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rule that a judicial admission is conclusive upon the party making it and
.  (m (   - The petitioner, however, has not demonstrated the
does not require proof admits of two exceptions: 1) when it is shown that
the admission was made through palpable mistake, and 2) when it is applicability of any of the foregoing exceptions to the case at bar.
shown that no such admission was in fact made. The latter exception
allows one to contradict an admission by denying that he made such an  /0
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admission.
REMEDIAL LAW; RULES ON EVIDENCE; ADMISSIONS; DESCRIPTION OF LAND IN
RESPONDENTS' COMPLAINT BINDS THEM WHERE NO PALPABLE MISTAKE HAS BEEN
For instance, if a party invokes an "admission" by an adverse
party, but cites the admission "out of context," then the one SHOWN. Ͷ "A parcel of residential land with a superficial area of 1120 square
making the admission may show that he made no "such" meters, more or less. Bounded on the North by Saturnino Fernandez; on the East by
admission, or that his admission was taken out of context. Joaquin Mararac; on the South by Camino Vecinal; and on the West by Ciriaco
Manlincon. Its visible limits are earth dikes and bamboo fences on all sides.
This may be interpreted as to mean "not in the sense in which the Declared in the name of Leonardo Mararac under Tax Declaration No. 17620 with
admission is made to appear." That is the reason for the modifier an assessment value of P2,020.00 for the current year. Not registered under Act
"such."21
496 or under the Spanish Mortgage Law." We, therefore, apply Section 2, Rule 129
of the Rules of Court which provides: "Admissions made by the parties in the
In this case, the letter, although part of Estrada͛s Complaint, is not, ipso facto, an
admission of the statements contained therein, especially since the bone of pleadings, or in the course of the trial or proceedings do not require proof and
contention relates to Estrada͛s entitlement to commissions for the sale of health cannot be contradicted unless previously shown to have been made through
plans she claims to have brokered. It is more than obvious from the entirety of the palpable mistake." No such palpable mistake has been shown. Evidence militates
records that Estrada has unequivocally and consistently declared that her against the respondents' contention that the above description does not bind them.
involvement as broker is the proximate cause which consummated the sale The description was merely copied from the deed of sale between the property
between Meralco and Maxicare. original owners and the petitioners when the self-same document was presented
22 by the respondents as their own evidence, marked as Exhibit B, of the petitioner's
Moreover, Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court requires the purpose for
Declaration of Property for Tax Purposes which contains the assessor's official
which the evidence is offered to be specified. Undeniably, the letter was attached
to the Complaint, and offered in evidence, to demonstrate Maxicare͛s bad faith and finding and classification that the land covered by the declaration is residential.
23
ill will towards Estrada.
2    0.' !33
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EVIDENCE; FACTS ALLEGED IN A PARTY'S PLEADING DEEMED ADMISSIONS; HOW
Stated elsewise, the petitioner, in essence and more precisely, wants this Court to PROBATIVE VALUE OF ADMISSIONS DETERMINED. Ͷ The rule that facts alleged in a
overturn the rule that the #  $ 
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#  party's pleading are deemed admissions of that party and binding upon it is not

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 (Uy vs. J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc., 31 absolute and inflexible. Every admission is to be taken as an entirety of the fact
SCRA 121 [1970]; Roque vs. Buan, 21 SCRA 642 [1967]). It is true that the foregoing which makes for the one side with the qualifications which limit, modify or destroy
rule admits of certain defined exceptions: "the findings of fact made by the Court of its effect on the other side. The reason is that where part of a statement of a party
Appeals may be set aside: 1) when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on is used against him as an admission, the court should consider and weigh any other
portion connected with the statement which tends to neutralize or explain the cannot subsequently take a position contradictory of, or inconsistent with, his
portion which is against interest. In other words, while the admission is admissible pleadings.
in evidence, its probative value is to be determined from the whole statement and
others intimately related or connected therewith as an integrated unit, for although c
+
 
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acts or facts admitted do not require proof and cannot be contradicted, evidence
PLEADING AND PRACTICE; ADMISSION MADE IN PLEADINGS CONCLUSIVE. Ͷ It is a
aliunde can be presented to show that the admission was made through palpable
familiar doctrine that an admission made in the pleadings cannot be controverted
mistake. (Irlandia vs. Pitargue, 22 Phil., 383.)
by the party making such admission and are conclusive as to him, and that all proofs
2. PLEADING AND PRACTICE; AMENDMENT OF COMPLAINT UPON submitted by him contrary thereto or inconsistent with, the same should be
PLAINTIFF'S MISTAKEN BELIEF; LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE RULES. Ͷ From the ignored, whether objection is interposed or not (Cunanan vs. Amparo, 80 Phil., 227;
pleadings filed by the parties it clearly appears that the cause of action stated in the Ramirez vs. Orientalist, 38 Phil., 634; McDaniel vs. Apacible, 44 Phil., 248; see also
original complaint was against the defendants therein for payment of the loans section 7, Rule 123, Rules of Court; Francisco, Rules of Court Anno., Vol. VI, p. 195;
which they obtained in their individual and personal capacity, as evidenced by the Comments on the Rules of Court, Moran, Vol. 2, 57 Ed., p. 66-67).
promissory notes, and not as representatives of their parents, as later alleged in the
5.  . )  ! "
amended complaint. In filing the amended complaint the plaintiff had acted
through a mistaken belief that the allegation therein, to the effect that the
A general admission of the truth of the allegations set forth in a pleading is not an
defendants named in the original complaint were being sued as representatives of admission of the truth of an impossible conclusion of fact drawn from other facts
their parents, did not constitute an amendment of its cause of action, and this set out in the pleading, nor of a wrong conclusion of law based on the allegations of
matter was made known to the court and the defendants when in its reply to the fact well pleaded, nor of the truth of a general averment of facts contradicted by
motion to dismiss it stated that it "has no document or evidence in its possession to more specific averments. Thus, if a pleader alleges that two pesos were borrowed
hold the spouses Matias and Cristeta Granada liable to the payment of the on one day and two more borrowed on another making five Pin all, a stipulation of
the truth of the allegations in the pleading does not amount to an admission by the
accounts." The plaintiff honestly relied on the belief that the original defendants
opposing party that twice two make five. Again if a pleader alleges that one
had the necessary evidence to establish the fact. Guided by the provisions of the
hundred pesos were loaned without interest for one year and had not been paid,
Rules of Court to the effect that the rules shall be liberally construed to promote and that the borrower is indebted to the lender in the sum of one hundred and ten
their object and to assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy and inexpensive pesos, that being the amount of the capital together with interest for the year for
determination of every action and proceeding, the amended complaint may be which the money was loaned, a stipulation as to the truth of the allegation set forth
treated as stating two or more statements of a claim in a single cause of action, in the pleadings is not an admission of the truth of the conclusion of law as to the
which is permitted under Section 9, Rule 15, or it may be considered as including interest due by the borrower. These elementary principles have been quite fully
developed in a great variety of cases arising on demurrers, and sufficiently dispose
several defendants in the alternative against any of which the plaintiff may be
of the attempt of counsel to fix the attention of the court upon this single averment
entitled to seek relief, a course of action sanctioned by Section 13, Rule 3. of the answer, apart from the context and to the exclusion of the specific
allegations of fact, the truth of which, as stipulated by the parties, cannot be
    
  !1 questioned. (Cf. 144 U.S., 751; 97 Ala., 491 2; 31 Cyc., 333-337; 6 Encyc. Pl. & Pr.,
334-338.)
PLEADING AND PRACTICE; PARTY CONCLUDED BY ALLEGATIONS AND ADMISSIONS
IN HIS PLEADING. Ͷ S is bound by his own petition and by the court's adjudication
One other contention of counsel for the appellant remains to be considered. It is
of his claim made in consonance with his prayer. A party can not trifle with a court's that on which his fourth assignment of error is based. Counsel insist that "assuming
decision or order which he himself sought with full awareness of his rights under that article 1865 is applicable to the transaction in question, the court erred in
the premises, by taking it or leaving it at pleasure. The allegations, statements, or holding that the plaintiff did not waive any defect in the private instrument of
admissions contained in a pleading are conclusive as against the pleader. A party
pledge by expressly admitting its genuineness and the correctness of its date by on a proper showing and under an order of the trial court, an ocular inspection of
stipulation, and by failure to object to its introduction in evidence." the body of the accused is permissible. The proviso is that torture or force shall be
avoided. Whether facts fall within or without the rule with its corollary and proviso
This contention rests on a misconception of the real purpose and object of the must, of course, be decided as cases arise.
provisions of article 1865 of the code. This article is not a mere rule of adjective law,
prescribing the mode whereby proof may be made of the date of a contract of It is a reasonable presumption that in an examination by reputable and
pledge. It is a rule of substantive law, prescribing a condition without which the
disinterested physicians due care will be taken not to use violence and not to
execution of a pledge contract cannot affect third person adversely.
embarrass the patient any more than is absolutely necessary. Indeed, no objection
to the physical examination being made by the family doctor of the accused or by
+  6'
 
doctor of the same sex can be seen.
7%  

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 5
The strongest evidence against Felicisimo Jara are the extra-judicial confessions of
For one, although there was an absence of external injuries on the body of the his two co-accused. Bernadas and Vergara point to Jara as the one who bludgeoned
the two victims with a hammer and then used a pair of scissors in inflicting the stab
complainant, the clothes worn by her at the time of the offense speak well of the
wounds. He was also alleged to have offered them P1,000.00 each if they would
use of force and the presence of a struggle. As the trial court noted:
help him in the killing of his wife.
"Her T-shirt was torn which corroborates her testimony that it was forcibly
However, since the confessions of Bernadas and Vergara are inadmissible against
removed. It also proves that she offered resistance to the criminal advances of the
them, with more reason can they not be used against Jarahanr
accused. Her shorts, like her panty, had blood stains. Her panty was detached from
her shorts. Her bra was torn, also denoting that it was forcibly removed. These Apart from the above extra-judicial confessions, other circumstantial evidence was
    . . . are consistent only with the force and compulsion applied on presented to support a verdict of conviction. Would such evidence in the absence of
her; they prove she offered resistance and her defloration was against her will." the extrajudicial confessions be sufficient to overturn the presumption of innocence
(Rollo, p. 27) in favor of the accused Jara? chanrobles virtual law l

The hammer used in the killing is an instrument with which appellant Jara is
familiar. It was proven during the trial of the case that the hammer with the letter
8#
 '  ' ! "A" on its handle which was one of the instruments used in the perpetration of the
crime belonged to Luisa Jara who had kept it at Aileen's Canteen where her
Torture force shall be avoided. On a proper showing and under an order of the trial husband, appellant Jara helped as cook.
court, an ocular inspection of the body of the accused is permissible.
Rule 133, Section 5 of the Rules of Court provides:
Fully conscious that we are resolving a most extreme case in a sense, which on first
impression is a shock to one's sensibilities, we must nevertheless enforce the uircumstantial evidence, when sufficient. - Circumstantial
constitutional provision in this jurisdiction in accord with the policy and reason evidence is sufficient for conviction if: chanrobles
thereof, undeterred by merely sentimental influences. Once' again we lay down the
rule that the constitutional guaranty, that no person shall be compelled in any (a) There is more than one circumstance; chanrobles
criminal case to be a witness against himself, is limited to a prohibition against
compulsory testimonial self-incrimination. The corollary to the proposition is that,
(b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; 
 + 9
and chanrobles
Jurisprudence is to the effect that, for rape to be consummated, rupture of the
(c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce hymen is not necessary, nor is it necessary that the vagina sustained a laceration
a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. (See People v. Duero, (People vs. Lazaro, 249 SCRA 234, 238-239). Besides, vaginal bleeding was never an
136 SCRA 515). element of the crime of rape People vs. Lazaro, supra, p. 241).

Circumstantial evidence, as a basis for conviction of crime, should be acted on and "Although the NBI medico-legal officer did admit that the trauma found on the
weighed with great caution, particularly where the crime is heinous and the penalty victim may have been caused by masturbation, the same officer initially said that it
is death, as in the instant cases. In determining the sufficiency of circumstantial could be caused by sexual intercourse (TSN, January 25, 1995, p. 12). The victim's
evidence to support a conviction, each case is to be determined on its own peculiar
testimony coupled with the above-mentioned medical findings plus the
circumstances and all of the facts and circumstances are to be considered together
as a whole, and, when so considered, may be sufficient to support a conviction, corroborative testimony of Mr. Benigno Dela Cruz who saw the victim running away
although one or more of the facts taken separately would not be sufficient for this from appellant (TSN, November 25, 1994, pp. 25-37 and 39) render such testimony
purpose. (23 CJS p. 555). No general rule has been formulated as to the quantity of very credible.
circumstantial evidence which wig suffice for any case, but that matters not. For all
that is required is that the circumstances proved must be consistent with each The absence of any external injuries on the victim, therefore, cannot erode her
other, and at the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that he is innocent credibility nor will it weaken her testimony that appellant threatened her with a
and with every other rational hypothesis except that of guilt. (People v. Contante, screw driver and a gun.
12 SCRA 653).
+  6( 
:
   
The requirements for circumstantial evidence to sustain a conviction are present in
this case. The aforementioned circumstances constitute an unbroken chain leading +  6('
6(.  + 
to one fair and reasonable conclusion which points to the guilt of the accused
qqqjara beyond reasonable doubt (See US v. Villos, 6 Phil. 510; People v. Subano, 73 ;5   +
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Phil. 692). Mere denials of the accused as to his participation in the crime are only
self-serving negative evidence which cannot outweigh circumstantial evidence 15. 2 ometime in the month of November, 1967, defendants, Antonio Lim Tanhu, by
clearly establishing his active participation in the crime. means of fraud deceit and misrepresentations did then and there, induce and
convince the plaintiff to execute a quitclaim of all her rights and interests, in the
The defense of alibi given by the accused Jara is weak. Aside from himself, the only assets of the partnership of Glory uommercial uompany, which is null and void,
person who vouched for his presence at some place away from the scene of the
executed through fraud and without any legal effect. The original of said quitclaim is
crime was his stepdaughter from whom he had sought abode. Hence, the alibi is
made more dubious considering that no other credible persons were presented in the possession of the adverse party defendant Antonio Lim Tanhu.
who would, in the natural order of things be best situated to support the tendered
efendants maintain in their counterclaim that plaintiff knew of the falsity of said
alibi (People v. Cabanit, 139 SCRA 94, citing People v. Brioso, 37 SCRA 336; People v.
Bagasala, 39 SCRA 236; People v. Carino, 55 SCRA 516). More importantly, the allegations even before she filed her complaint, for she had in fact admitted her
defense of alibi cannot prosper because it is not enough to prove that defendant common-law relationship with said deceased in a document she had jointly
was somewhere else when the crime was committed. He must, likewise, executed with him by way of agreement to terminate their illegitimate relationship,
demonstrate that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of for which she received P40,000 from the deceased, and with respect to her
the crime at that time (People v. Alcantara, 33 SCRA 812). Such proof is wanting in pretended share in the capital and profits in the partnership, it is also defendants'
this case. virtu
posture that she had already quitclaimed, with the assistance of able counsel,
whatever rights if any she had thereto in November, 1967, for the sum of P25,000

duly receipted by her, which quitclaim was, however, executed, according to effect of such dismissal was the removal of the two non-defaulted defendants as
respondent herself in her amended complaint, through fraud. And having filed her parties, and inasmuch as they are both indispensable parties in the case, the court
complaint knowing, according to defendants, as she ought to have known, that the consequently lost the" sine qua non of the exercise of judicial power", per Borlasa
vs. Polistico, supra. This is not to mention anymore the irregular delegation to the
material allegations thereof are false and baseless, she has caused them to suffer
clerk of court of the function of receiving plaintiff's evidence. And as regards the ex-
damages. Undoubtedly, with such allegations, defendants' counterclaim is parte reception of plaintiff's evidence and subsequent rendition of the judgment by
compulsory, not only because the same evidence to sustain it will also refute the default based thereon, We have seen that it was violative of the right of the
cause or causes of action alleged in plaintiff's complaint, (Moran, supra p. 352) but petitioners, under the applicable rules and principles on default, to a common and
also because from its very nature, it is obvious that the same cannot "remain single fate with their non-defaulted co-defendants. And We are not yet referring, as
pending for independent adjudication by the court." (Section 2, Rule 17.) ch We shall do this anon to the numerous reversible errors in the decision
itself.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
henever it appears to the court in the course of a proceeding that an indispensable
party has not been joined, it is the duty of the court to stop the trial and to order It is to be noted, however, that the above-indicated two fundamental flaws in
the inclusion of such party. (The Revised Rules of Court, Annotated & Commented respondent court's actuations do not call for a common corrective remedy. We
cannot simply rule that all the impugned proceedings are null and void and should
by Senator Vicente J. Francisco, Vol. 1, p. 271, 1973 ed. See also Cortez vs. Avila,
be set aside, without being faced with the insurmountable obstacle that by so doing
101 Phil. 705.) Such an order is unavoidable, for the "general rule with reference to We would be reviewing the case as against the two non-defaulted defendants who
the making of parties in a civil action requires the joinder of all necessary parties are not before Us not being parties hereto. Upon the other hand, for Us to hold that
wherever possible, and the joinder of all indispensable parties under any and all the order of dismissal should be allowed to stand, as contended by respondents
conditions, the presence of those latter being a sine qua non of the exercise of themselves who insist that the same is already final, not only because the period for
judicial power." (Borlasa vs. Polistico, 47 Phil. 345, at p. 347.) It is precisely " when its finality has long passed but also because allegedly, albeit not very accurately,
an indispensable party is not before the court (that) the action should be said 'non-defaulted defendants unsuccessfully tried to have it set aside by the Court
of Appeals whose decision on their petition is also already final, We would have to
dismissed." (People v. Rodriguez, 106 Phil. 325, at p. 327.) The absence of an
disregard whatever evidence had been presented by the plaintiff against them and,
indispensable party renders all subsequent actuations of the court null and void, for of course, the findings of respondent court based thereon which, as the assailed
want of authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as to those decision shows, are adverse to them. In other words, whichever of the two
present. In short, what respondent court did here was exactly the reverse of what apparent remedies the Court chooses, it would necessarily entail some kind of
the law ordains - it eliminated those who by law should precisely be joined. possible juridical imperfection. Speaking of their respective practical or pragmatic
effects, to annul the dismissal would inevitably prejudice the rights of the non-
defaulted defendants whom We have not heard and who even respondents would
The sum and total of all the foregoing disquisitions is that the decision here in
not wish to have anything anymore to do with the case. On the other hand, to
question is legally anomalous. It is predicated on two fatal malactuations of
include petitioners in the dismissal would naturally set at naught every effort
respondent court namely (1) the dismissal of the complaint against the non-
private respondent has made to establish or prove her case thru means sanctioned
defaulted defendants Lim and Leonardo and (2) the ex-parte reception of the
by respondent court. In short, We are confronted with a legal para-dilemma. But
evidence of the plaintiff by the clerk of court, the subsequent using of the same as
one thing is certain - this difficult situations has been brought about by none other
basis for its judgment and the rendition of such
than private respondent who has quite cynically resorted to procedural maneuvers
judgment.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
without realizing that the technicalities of the adjective law, even when apparently
accurate from the literal point of view, cannot prevail over the imperatives of the
For at least three reasons which We have already fully discussed above, the order of
substantive law and of equity that always underlie them and which have to be
dismissal of October 21, 1974 is unworthy of Our sanction: (1) there was no timely
inevitably considered in the construction of the pertinent procedural
notice of the motion therefor to the non-defaulted defendants, aside from there
rules.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
being no notice at all to herein petitioners; (2) the common answer of the
defendants, including the non-defaulted, contained a compulsory counterclaim
incapable of being determined in an independent action; and (3) the immediate
All things considered, after careful and mature deliberation, the Court has arrived at As regards the testimony of plaintiff herself on the same point and that of her
the conclusion that as between the two possible alternatives just stated, it would witness Antonio Nuñez, there can be no question that they are both self-serving
only be fair, equitable and proper to uphold the position of petitioners. In other and of very little evidentiary value, it having been disclosed at the trial that plaintiff
words, We rule that the order of dismissal of October 21, 1974 is in law a dismissal has already assigned all her rights in this case to said Nuñez, thereby making him
of the whole case of the plaintiff, including as to petitioners herein. Consequently, the real party in interest here and, therefore, naturally as biased as herself. Besides,
all proceedings held by respondent court subsequent thereto including and in the portion of the testimony of Nuñez copied in Annex C of petitioner's
principally its decision of December 20, 1974 are illegal and should be set aside. memorandum, it appears admitted that he was born only on March 25, 1942, which
means that he was less than eight years old at the supposed time of the alleged
The fundamental purpose of pre-trial, aside from affording the parties every marriage. If for this reason alone, it is extremely doubtful if he could have been
opportunity to compromise or settle their differences, is for the court to be sufficiently aware of such event as to be competent to testify about
it.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
apprised of the unsettled issues between the parties and of their respective
evidence relative thereto, to the end that it may take corresponding measures that
Incidentally, another Annex C of the same memorandum purports to be the
would abbreviate the trial as much as possible and the judge may be able to certificate of birth of one Antonio T. Uy supposed to have been born on March 23,
ascertain the facts with the least observance of technical rules. In other words 1937 at Centro Misamis, Misamis Occidental, the son of one Uy Bien, father, and
whatever is said or done by the parties or their counsel at the pre- trial serves to Tan Put, mother. Significantly, respondents have not made any adverse comment
put the judge on notice of their respective basic positions, in order that in on this document. It is more likely, therefore, that the witness is really the son of
appropriate cases he may, if necessary in the interest of justice and a more accurate plaintiff by her husband Uy Kim Beng. But she testified she was childless. So which
determination of the facts, make inquiries about or require clarifications of matters is which? In any event, if on the strength of this document, Nuñez is actually the
legitimate son of Tan Put and not her adopted son, he would have been but 13
taken up at the pre-trial, before finally resolving any issue of fact or of law. In brief,
years old in 1949, the year of her alleged marriage to Po Chuan, and even then,
the pre-trial constitutes part and parcel of the proceedings, and hence, matters considering such age, his testimony in regard thereto would still be
dealt with therein may not be disregarded in the process of decision making. suspect.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
Otherwise, the real essence of compulsory pre-trial would be insignificant and
worthless. Now, as against such flimsy evidence of plaintiff, the court had before it, two
documents of great weight belying the pretended marriage. We refer to (1) Exhibit
Under Article 55 of the Civil Code, the declaration of the contracting parties that LL, the income tax return of the deceased Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan indicating that
they take each other as husband and wife "shall be set forth in an instrument" the name of his wife was Ang Sick Tin and (2) the quitclaim, Annex A of the answer,
signed by the parties as well as by their witnesses and the person solemnizing the wherein plaintiff Tan Put stated that she had been living with the deceased without
marriage. Accordingly, the primary evidence of a marriage must be an authentic benefit of marriage and that she was his "common-law wife". Surely, these two
copy of the marriage contract. While a marriage may also be proved by other documents are far more reliable than all the evidence of the plaintiff put
competent evidence, the absence of the contract must first be satisfactorily together.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
explained. Surely, the certification of the person who allegedly solemnized a
marriage is not admissible evidence of such marriage unless proof of loss of the Of course, Exhibit LL is what might be termed as pre-trial evidence. But it is
contract or of any other satisfactory reason for its non-production is first presented evidence offered to the judge himself, not to the clerk of court, and should have at
to the court. In the case at bar, the purported certification issued by a Mons. Jose least moved him to ask plaintiff to explain if not rebut it before jumping to the
M. Recoleto, Bishop, Philippine Independent Church, Cebu City, is not, therefore, conclusion regarding her alleged marriage to the deceased, Po Chuan. And in regard
competent evidence, there being absolutely no showing as to unavailability of the to the quitclaim containing the admission of a common-law relationship only, it is to
marriage contract and, indeed, as to the authenticity of the signature of said be observed that His Honor found that "defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua had the
certifier, the jurat allegedly signed by a second assistant provincial fiscal not being plaintiff execute a quitclaim on November 29, 1967 (Annex "A", Answer) where
authorized by law, since it is not part of the functions of his office. Besides, they gave plaintiff the amount of P25,000 as her share in the capital and profits of
inasmuch as the bishop did not testify, the same is the business of Glory Commercial Co. which was engaged in the hardware
hearsay.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library business", without making mention of any evidence of fraud and misrepresentation
in its execution, thereby indicating either that no evidence to prove that allegation Signed on the 10 day of the 7th month of the 54th year of the
of the plaintiff had been presented by her or that whatever evidence was actually Republic of China (corresponding to the year
offered did not produce persuasion upon the court. Stated differently, since the 1965).chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
existence of the quitclaim has been duly established without any circumstance to
detract from its legal import, the court should have held that plaintiff was bound by (SGD) TAN KI ENG chanrobles virtual law library
her admission therein that she was the common-law wife only of Po Chuan and
what is more, that she had already renounced for valuable consideration whatever Verified from the records. JORGE TABAR (Pp. 283-284, Record.)
claim she might have relative to the partnership Glory Commercial
Co.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
Indeed, not only does this document prove that plaintiff's relation to the deceased
was that of a common-law wife but that they had settled their property interests
And when it is borne in mind that in addition to all these considerations, there are with the payment to her of P40,000.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual
mentioned and discussed in the memorandum of petitioners (1) the certification of law library
the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City and (2) a similar certification of the Apostolic
Prefect of the Philippine Independent Church, Parish of Sto. Niño, Cebu City, that
In the light of all these circumstances, We find no alternative but to hold that
their respective official records corresponding to December 1949 to December
plaintiff Tan Put's allegation that she is the widow of Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan has
1950 do not show any marriage between Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan and Tan Put,
not been satisfactorily established and that, on the contrary, the evidence on
neither of which certifications have been impugned by respondent until now, it
record convincingly shows that her relation with said deceased was that of a
stands to reason that plaintiff's claim of marriage is really unfounded. Withal, there
common-law wife and furthermore, that all her claims against the company and its
is still another document, also mentioned and discussed in the same memorandum
surviving partners as well as those against the estate of the deceased have already
and unimpugned by respondents, a written agreement executed in Chinese, but
been settled and paid. We take judicial notice of the fact that the respective
purportedly translated into English by the Chinese Consul of Cebu, between Tan Put
counsel who assisted the parties in the quitclaim, Attys. H. Hermosisima and Natalio
and Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan to the following effect: Castillo, are members in good standing of the Philippine Bar, with the particularity
that the latter has been a member of the Cabinet and of the House of
CONSULATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA Cebu City, Philippines Representatives of the Philippines, hence, absent any credible proof that they had
chanrobles virtual law library allowed themselves to be parties to a fraudulent document His Honor did right in
recognizing its existence, albeit erring in not giving due legal significance to its
T R A N S L A T I O N chanrobles virtual law library contents.chanroblesvirtu

This is to certify that 1, Miss Tan Ki Eng Alias Tan Put, have lived 

#7$ :
  +  6( 
1
with Mr. Lim Po Chuan alias TeeHoon since 1949 but it recently
occurs that we are incompatible with each other and are not in 
  ;
 ( !3
the position to keep living together permanently. With the mutual
concurrence, we decided to terminate the existing relationship of Now, turning to defendant's sole assignment of error, namely, that the Trial Court
common law-marriage and promised not to interfere each other's erred in declaring defendant liable in the amount of P166,867.20 representing the
affairs from now on. The Forty Thousand Pesos (P40,000.00) has amount covered by bills of lading where the originals had been presented.
been given to me by Mr. Lim Po Chuan for my
subsistence.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law With respect to defendant's sole assignment of errors, namely, that Court a quo
library
erred in declaring defendant liable in the amount of P166,867.28 which represents
charges for freight where the originals of the bills of lading were not submitted, We
Witnesses: chanrobles virtual law library
find merit in the contention of plaintiff that the respondent Court correctly held
Mr. Lim Beng Guan Mr. Huang Sing Se chanrobles virtual law defendant liable for said amount because the same actually represented freight
library charges based on the carbon originals of the ship's copy of the bills of lading where
Limson appeared as consignee in the amount of P84,529.42 and those based on the defendant 235,007.85
ship's cargo manifests, where defendant appeared as consignee in the amount of
P81,874.10. Respondent Court admitted in evidence said copies of the bills of lading (3) Freight adjustment 1,138.45
which were not considered by the Commissioner because they are not actually the
(4) Cost of foodstuffs purchased
original copy of the bill of lading. The Commissioner accepted only the originals of
the bills of lading because he did not consider even duplicate originals duly signed from defendant 411,982.35
as originals. The ship's copies of the bills of lading and the cargo manifests were
substantiated by other supporting documents which were found after the report of ͶͶͶͶͶͶ
the Commissioner from among the records salvaged from the San Nicolas bodega
Total P759,419.83
fire or which were found among the records kept on plaintiff's terminal office. Said
documents were presented in lieu of corresponding original of the consignee's copy ==========
of bill of lading which could not be submitted to the Commissioner nor presented as
plaintiff's evidence to the Court because they were lost or destroyed during the would show a balance in favor of defendant of P61,260.69.
remodelling of plaintiff's office building or during the fire at plaintiff's bodega at San
Nicolas where they were brought for safekeeping. All said documents were Presented otherwise, the total freight charges due plaintiff after deducting the
presented as evidence to prove that all the freight charges for the shipments rebate to which defendant is entitled to is P586,867.96. (.698,159.14 minus
evidence thereby were duly earned by plaintiff and were properly debited in P111,291.18).
defendant's charge account. Apparently, the Commissioner rejected plaintiff's
Against said freight charges of P586,867.96 defendant should be credited:
claims which were not actually supported by the original of the bills of lading
notwithstanding the fact that duplicate original of the said documents and other (1) Cash payment P235,007.85
secondary evidence such as the ship cargo manifests have been presented as
evidence. As stated above, witnesses Cabling and Ilagan testified that the practice (2) Freight adjustment 1,138.45
was that when the originals of the bills of lading could not be surrendered because
(3) Cost of foodstuffs P411,982.35
they have not yet been received by the consignee, the delivery of the cargo was
nevertheless authorized and a delivery receipt was prepared on the basis of the ͶͶͶͶͶͶ
ship's cargo manifests or the ship's copy of the bills of lading. This only shows that
the ship's cargo manifests or the ship's copy of the bills of lading can be accepted as Total P648,128.65
evidence of shipments made by defendant since he was allowed to accept delivery
of said shipments even without presenting his copy of the bill of lading. ==========

By way of recapitulation, the total of freight charges due plaintiff based on the giving a balance in favor of defendant of P61,260.69.
freight charges appearing on the face of the bills of lading supporting the statement
 
#  $ +  $  !6 
of account attached to the complaint is P698,159.14. Deduct from said amount the
following: The petitioner contends that the exhibits in question are the best evidence of the
libel, the subject matter of the information, and should therefore be admitted;
(1) Rebate P111,291.18
while the respondents maintain that, inasmuch as the libelous articles were not
(2) Cash payments made by quoted in the information, said evidence cannot be admitted without amending the
information. The prosecution asked for an amendment to the information, but the
court denied the petition on the ground that it would impair the rights of the amounts to an abuse of that discretion, which may be controlled by this court by
defendant, holding that the omission of the libelous article in the original was fatal means of mandamus proceedings. In so far as the jurisdiction of this court is
to the prosecution. concerned, we believe the doctrine is applicable which was held in Orient Insurance
Co. vs. Revilla and Teal Motor Co. (54 Phil., 919), namely, that the Supreme Court
The first question raised here is whether an information charging a libel published has jurisdiction to entertain an application for a writ of mandamus to compel a
in an unofficial language, without including a copy of the libelous article, but only a Court of First Instance to permit the attorney of a litigant to examine the entire
translation into Spanish, is valid or not. It is true that in United States vs. Eguia and written communication, when part of the same has been introduced in evidence by
Lozano (38 Phil., 857), it was stated: "The general rule is that the complaint or the other party.
information for libel must set out the particular defamatory words as published,
and a statement of their substance and effect is usually considered insufficient." But 
 5 c  !4!
this general rule does not exclude certain exceptions, such as, cases where the libel
is published in a non-official language. "When the defamation has been published in EVIDENCE; ADMISSIBILITY OF DUPLICATE ORIGINAL WITHOUT THE PRODUCTION OF
a foreign tongue, it is proper, and in general, necessary, to set out the ORIGINAL. Ͷ If the documents or papers to be introduced in evidence were
communication as it was originally made, with an exact translation into English; and produced by the use of carbon sheets, and which thereby produced a facsimile of
if from the translation no cause of action appears, it is immaterial that the foreign the originals including the figures and the signatures on the originals, they are
words were actionable. In some jurisdictions, however, under the influence of the regarded as duplicate originals and may be introduced as such, even without
liberality of laws on practice, it is held unnecessary to set out the communication in accounting for the non-production of the other originals.
the foreign language in which it is alleged to have been published, so long as the
In Criminal Case No. 36885 of the Court of First Instance of Manila, respondents
foreign publication is alleged, with an English translation attached." (37 C. J., 27,
Pacita Madrigal-Gonzales and others are charged with the crime of falsification of
sec. 336.)
public documents, in their capacities as public officials and employees, by having
If the libelous article had been published in one of our official languages, English or made it appear that certain relief supplies and/or merchandise were purchased by
Spanish, it would have been necessary to follow the general rule; but since the Pacita Madrigal-Gonzales for distribution to calamity indigents or sufferers, in such
article in question was published in the Pampango dialect, it is sufficient to insert a quantities and at such prices and from such business establishments or persons as
Spanish translation in the information. The justice of this exception to the general are made to appear in the said public documents, when in fact and in truth, no such
rule becomes more evident if we consider a libelous article published, for instance, distributions of such relief and supplies as valued and supposedly purchased by said
in Moro or Chinese, who use characters different from our own. Pacita Madrigal Gonzalez in the public and official documents had ever been made.

The second question refers to the admissibility of the aforesaid exhibits. The The admissibility of duplicates or triplicates has long been a settled question and we
general rules regarding the admissibility of evidence are applicable to cases of libel need not elaborate on the reasons for the rule. This matter has received
or slander. The evidence must be relevant, and not hearsay. (37 C.J., 151, sec. 688.) consideration from the foremost commentator on the Rules of Court thus:
This being so, the rule of procedure which requires the production of the best
"When carbon sheets are inserted between two or more sheets of writing paper so
evidence, is applicable to the present case. And certainly the copies of the weekly
that the writing of a contract upon the outside sheet, including the signature of the
where the libelous article was published, and its translation, constitute the best
party to be charged thereby, produces facsimile upon the sheets beneath, such
evidence of the libel charged. The newspaper itself is the best evidence of an article
signature being thus reproduced by the same stroke of the pen which made the
published in it. (Bond vs. Central Bank of Georgia, 2 Ga., 92.)
surface or exposed impression, all of the sheets so written on are regarded as
The respondent judge undoubtedly has discretion to admit or reject the evidence duplicate originals and either of them may be introduced in evidence as such
offered by the fiscal; but in the instant case his refusal to admit such evidence without accounting for the nonproduction of the others.' (Moran, 1952 ed., p. 444.)
It has also been decided in favor of the petitioner by Us in the case of People vs. ." The certification of the Local Civil Registrar of Manila "(T)hat our pre-war records
Quinones, 44 Off. Gaz., No. 5, 1520, 1525, thus: relative to decisions of the Court of First Instance were either destroyed or burned
during the Liberation of the City of Manila," does not furnish any legal basis for a
"It is argued in the second assignment of error that the confession Exhibit B is not presumption of adoption in favor of petitioner. This is because there was no proof
admissible because it is merely a carbon copy. The said confession Exhibit B, being that petitioner was really adopted in Manila or that an adoption petition was filed
carbon copy of the original and bearing as it does the signature of the appellant, is in the Court of First Instance of Manila by the deceased spouses, where, after
admissible in evidence and possess all the probative value of the original, and the hearing, a judgment of approval was rendered by said court. Moreover, if there was
same does not require an accounting for the non-production of the original. (Sec. really such adoption, petitioner could have conveniently secured a copy of the
47, Rule 123, Rules of Court)". newspaper publication of the adoption as required under Section 4, Rule 99 of the
Rules of Court (formerly Section 4 Rule 100) or a certification of the publishing
Two principal authors on the law on evidence have sustained the theory of th
house to that effect. Petitioner's failure on this point is another strong indication of
admissibility of duplicate originals, as follows:
the non-existence of the adoption paper. We also observed that the identity of the
"SEC. 386. . . . the best evidence rule is that rule which requires the highest one who gave the written consent to the adoption (Section 3, Rule 99. Rules of
grade of evidence obtainable to prove a disputed fact p. 616. A "duplicate sales slip' Court), whether the parents or orphanage, does not appear in the trend of
(People vs. Stone, 349 Ill. 52, 181 N. E. 648) has been held to be primary evidence, petitioner's evidence. The collation of proof on this point is not so difficult and such
p. 616. proof must be presented if only to prove the real existence of the adoption. And of
course, if the adoption records were indeed destroyed or burned during the war,
"SEC. 420. Duplicate originals. Ͷ Where letters are produced by mechanical the clear right and duty of petitioner was to duly reconstitute the records as
means and, concurrently with the original, duplicate are produced, as by placing provided by law.
carbon paper between sheets of writing on the exposed surface at the same time,
all are duplicate originals, and any one of them may be introduced in evidence 3. The absence of proof of such order of adoption by the court, as provided
without accounting for the nonproduction of the other. by the statute, cannot be substituted by parol evidence that a child has lived with a
person, not his parent, and has been treated as a child to establish such adoption. 9
"SEC. 100. Carbon copies, however, when made at the same time and on the Even evidence of declaration of the deceased, made in his lifetime, that he intended
same machine as the original, are duplicate originals, and these have been held to to adopt a child as his heir, and that he had adopted him, and of the fact that the
be as much primary evidence as the originals. child resided with the deceased, as a member of his family, from infancy until he
attained his majority, is not sufficient to establish the fact of adoption. 10 Nor does
We find that the ruling of the court below to the effect that the triplicates formed
the fact that the deceased spouses fed, clothed, educated, recognized and referred
by the used of carbon papers are not admissible in evidence, without accounting
to one like petitioner as an adopted child, necessarily establish adoption of the
first for the loss of the originals is incorrect and must be reversed. The court below
child. 11 Withal, the attempts of petitioner to prove his adoption by acts and
is hereby ordered to proceed in the trial of the case in accordance with this ruling.
declarations of the deceased do not discharge the mandatory presentation of the
   
 c 6( !33 judicial decree of adoption. The thrust of petitioner's evidence is rather to establish
his status as an admitted illegitimate child, not an adopted child Ͷ which status of
'
 (+ 4(3(" an admitted illegitimate child was the very basis of his petition for intervention in
the estate proceedings of the late Dr. Lazatin, as above stated.
'
+  6('
1 4
We do not discount though that declarations in regard to pedigree, although
;9  
c  !"! hearsay, are admitted on the principle that they are natural expressions of persons
who must know the truth. 12 Pedigree testimony is admitted because it is the best
that the nature of the case admits and because greater evil might arise from the For one to intervene in an estate proceeding, it is a requisite that he has an interest
rejection of such proof than from its admission. 13 But, in proving an adoption, in the estate, either as one who would be benefited as an heir or one who has a
there is a better proof available and it should be produced. The whereabouts of the claim against the estate like a creditor. 20 A child by adoption cannot inherit from
child's family and circulation of the jurisdiction in which they resided and the parent by adoption unless the act of adoption has been done in strict accord
investigation in those courts where adoption are usually granted would surely with the statute. Until this is done, no rights are acquired by the child and neither
produce an adoption order, if indeed there was an order. 14 Besides, since the the supposed adopting parent or adopted child could be bound thereby. 21 The
point in favor of receiving hearsay evidence upon matters of family history or burden of proof in establishing adoption is upon the person claiming such
pedigree is its reliability, it has been set forth as a condition upon which such relationship. He must prove compliance with the statutes relating to adoption in
evidence is received that it emanate from a source within the family. Pursuant to the jurisdiction where the adoption occurred. 22 A fortiori, if no hereditary interest
this view, before a declaration of a deceased person can be admitted to prove in the estate can be gained by a claimant who failed to submit proof thereof,
pedigree, or ancestry, the relationship of the declarant, by either of blood or affinity whether the will is probated or not, intervention should be denied as it would
to the family in question, or a branch thereof, must ordinarily be established by merely result in unnecessary complication. 23 To succeed, a child must be
competent evidence. 15 Section 33 of Rule 130 states: "The act or declaration of a legitimate, legitimated, adopted, acknowledged illegitimate natural child or natural
person deceased, or outside of the Philippines, or unable to testify, in respect to the child by legal fiction or recognized spurious child. 24
pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage, may be received in
evidence where it occurred before the controversy, and the relationship between 7 $  $ 

# : !!1
the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration . . .."
Petitioner Ong Ching Po was a Chinese citizen; therefore, he was disqualified from
4. Secondary evidence is nonetheless admissible where the records of acquiring and owning real property. Assuming that the genuineness and due
adoption proceedings were actually lost or destroyed. But, prior to the introduction execution of Exhibit "B" has been established, the same is null and void, it being
of such secondary evidence, the proponent must establish the former existence of contrary to law.
the instrument. The correct order of proof is as follows: Existence; execution; loss;
On the other end of the legal spectrum, the deed of sale executed by Ong Joi Jong
contents; although this order may be changed if necessary in the discretion of the
in favor of private respondent (Exh. "A") is notarized document.
court. 16 The sufficiency of the proof offered as a predicate for the admission of an
alleged lost deed lies within the judicial discretion of the trial court under all the There is no document showing the establishment of an express trust by petitioner
circumstances of the particular case. 17 "As earlier pointed out, petitioner failed to Ong Ching Po as trustor and private respondent as trustee. Not even Exhibit "B" can
establish the former existence of the adoption paper and its subsequent loss or be considered as such a document because private respondent, the registered
destruction. Secondary proof may only be introduced if it has first been established owner of the property subject of said "deed of sale," was not a party thereto. The
that such adoption paper really existed and was lost. This is indispensable. 18 oral testimony to prove the existence of the express trust will not suffice. Under
Petitioner's supposed adoption was only testified to by him and is allegedly to be Article 1443 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, "No express trust concerning an
testified to by a brother of the deceased Mariano M. Lazatin or others who have immovable or any interest therein may be proved by parol evidence."
witnessed that the deceased spouses treated petitioner as their child. If adoption
was really made, the records thereof should have existed and the same presented Undaunted, petitioners argue that if they cannot prove an express trust in writing,
at the hearing or subsequent thereto or a reasonable explanation of loss or they can prove an implied trust orally. While an implied trust may be proved orally
destruction thereof, if that be the case, adduced. 19 Assuming the mere fact that (Civil Code of the Philippines, Art. 1457), the evidence must be trustworthy and
the deceased spouses treated petitioner as their child does not justify the received by the courts with extreme caution, because such kind of evidence may be
conclusion that petitioner had been in fact judicially adopted by the spouses nor easily fabricated (Salao v. Salao, 70 SCRA 65 [1976]). It cannot be made to rest on
does it constitute admissible proof of adoption. vague and uncertain evidence or on loose, equivocal or indefinite declarations (Cf.
De Leon v. Molo-Peckson, et al., 116 Phil. 1267 [1962]). Petitioners do not claim
that Ong Yee was not in a financial position to acquire the land and to introduce the possession, private respondent explained that she and her husband entrusted said
improvements thereon. On the other hand, Yu Siok Lian, the wife of petitioner Ong lot and building to petitioners when they moved to Iloilo.
Ching Po, admitted in her testimony in court that Ong Yee was a stockholder of Lam
Sing Corporation and was engaged in business. As observed by the Court of Appeals:

The Court of Appeals did not give any credence to Exhibit "B" and its translation, "We find, however, that these acts, even if true, are not necessarily reflective of
Exhibit "C", because these documents had not been properly authenticated. dominion, as even a mere administrator or manager may lawfully perform them
pursuant to his appointment or employment" (Rollo, p. 10).
Under Section 4, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court:
It is markworthy that all the tax receipts were in the name of private respondent
"Secondary Evidence when Original is lost or destroyed. When the original writing and her husband. The rental receipts were also in the name of her husband.
has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, upon proof of its
execution and lost or destruction, or unavailability, its contents may be proved by a   
  , 9: ! 4
copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authentic document, or by the
This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Cebu dismissing
recollection of the witnesses."
the action after trial on the ground that the plaintiff did not prove facts sufficient to
Secondary evidence is admissible when the original documents were actually lost or constitute a cause of action.
destroyed. But prior to the introduction of such secondary evidence, the proponent
We are of the opinion that the judgment must be reversed and a new trial ordered.
must establish the former existence of the document. The correct order of proof is
as follows: existence; execution; loss; contents. This order may be changed if The action is based on a sale with a right to repurchase made by Adriano Enriquez
necessary in the discretion of the court (De Vera v. Aguilar, 218 SCRA 602 [1993]). in favor of E. Michael and E. Michael & Co., socieded en comandita, of which
appellant claims to be the successor, by reason of an instrument, duly executed and
Petitioners failed to adduce evidence as to the genuineness and due execution of
delivered by said reason of an instrument, duly executed and delivered by said
the deed of sale, "Exhibit "B".
companies to appellant, transferring property, business and assets of every kind,
The due execution of the document may be established by the person or persons including the land which is the subject of this litigation. It is alleged in the complaint
who executed it; by the person before whom its execution was acknowledged; or that the time to repurchase having expired, the title to the property became
by any person who was present and saw it executed or who after its execution, saw absolute in appellant and that it is accordingly the owner of the land described in
it and recognized the signatures; or by a person to whom the parties to the said instrument.
instrument had previously confessed the execution thereof (De Vera v. Aguilar,
The trial court prevented appellant from proving the fact. Appellant also attempted
supra).
to prove the fact that the instrument so executed and delivered was lost, it being
Petitioner Yu Siok Lian testified that she was present when said document was his purpose to lay the basis for the introduction of secondary evidence as to its
executed, but the trial court rejected her claim and held: contents. the trial court also prevented appellant from proving that fact.

"If it is true that she was present, why did she not sign said document, even merely Trial courts do well in refusing at all times to permit the introduction of
as a witness? Her oral testimony is easy to concoct or fabricate. incompetent evidence and particularly secondary evidence of the contents of
written instruments unless the facts required by the Code of Civil Procedure as the
As to the contention of petitioner that all the tax receipts, tax declaration, rental conditions precedent for such evidence are clearly shown to exist. Section 321 of
receipts, deed of sale (Exh. "B") and transfer certificate of title were in their the Code provides: "An original writing must be produced and proved, except as
otherwise provided in this Act. If it has been lost, proof of the loss must first be
made before evidence can be given of its contents. Upon such proof being made, E. Michael & Co., sociedad en comandita, instead of asking him if he knew of the
together with proof of the due execution of the writing, its contents may be proved execution of a document between appellant and his predecessors in interest
by a copy or a recital of its contents in some authentic document, or by the transferring the lands in questions, or the property and business of E. Michael &
recollection of a witness." Co., sociedad en comandita, to appellant. Having obtained an affirmative answer to
the questions indicated counsel could then have shown how the witness came to
As will be seen from this section, the writing itself must be produced unless it has know of the execution or existence of the document, and, if such circumstances
been lost or destroyed, in which case, before its contents may be proved by other disclosed that the witness was sufficiently acquainted with the facts, he would have
evidence, it must be shown by the person offering the secondary evidence (1) that been allowed to testify to its execution and delivery. After this had been done the
the document was duly executed and delivered , where delivery is necessary, and document might then have been presented for identification and, when identified,
(2) that it has been lost or destroyed. The execution and delivery of the document offered in evidence. If its contents showed that it referred to the lands described in
may be established by the person or persons who executed it, by the person before the complaint, its admissibility would have been instantly evident.
whom its execution was acknowledge, or by any person who was present and saw it
executed and delivered or who, after its execution and delivery, saw it and 
 ; !3!
recognized the signatures; or by a person to whom the parties to the instrument
had previously confessed the execution thereof. The destruction of the instrument REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE; AUTHENTICATION AND
may be proved by any person knowing the fact. The loss may be shown by any PROOF; HANDWRITING, HOW PROVED. Ͷ The handwriting of a person may be
person who knew the fact of its loss, or by anyone who has made, in the judgment proved by any witness who believes it to be the handwriting of such person, and
of the court, a sufficient examination in the place or places where the document or has seen the person write. Evidence respecting the handwriting may also be given
papers of similar character are usually kept by the person in whose custody the by comparison, made by the witness or the court, with writings admitted or treated
document lost was, and has been unable to find it; or who has make any other as genuine by the party against whom the evidence is offered, or proved to be
investigation which is sufficient to satisfy the court that the instrument is indeed genuine to the satisfaction of the judge.
lost. If it appears, on an attempt to prove the loss, that the document is in fact in
COURTS; RECONSTITUTION OF COURT RECORDS; EFFECT OF DOCUMENTS AND
existence, then the proof of the loss or destruction fails and secondary evidence is
EXHIBITS RECONSTITUTED PURSUANT TO THE LAW. Ͷ Where the reconstitution of
inadmissible unless section 322 of the Code of Civil Procedure should be applicable.
destroyed exhibits was made in accordance with the provisions of Act 3110, which
After proper proof of the due execution and delivery of the instrument and its loss
provides for the procedure in the reconstitution of court records, the reconstituted
or destruction, oral evidence may be given of its contents by any person who signed
exhibits constitute a competent evidence to be considered in arriving at a decision
the document, or who read it, or who heard it read knowing, or it being proved
of the case.
from the other sources, that the document so read was the one in question. Such
evidence may also be given by any person who was present when the contents of Some of the documents thus seized, and which were presented as evidence, were
the document were talked over between the parties thereto to such an extent as to in appellant Lava's handwriting, or were signed by him using his alias names. This is
give him reasonably full information as to its contents; or the contents may be clearly established by the testimony of a handwriting expert that was presented by
proved by any person to whom the parties to the instrument have confessed or the prosecution. The conclusion of the handwriting expert was based on the
stated the contents thereof; or by a copy thereof; or by a recital of its contents in specimens of Lava's handwriting which were used as standards in comparing with
some authentic document. the handwriting and/or signature (in alias) of the appellant that appear in the
documents that were presented as evidence against him. It is contended by
Counsel, if he had desired to identify the instrument to which the question referred,
appellant's counsel that no genuine specimen of Lava's handwriting was presented
might have done better, perhaps, if he had asked the witness if he knew of the
as standard for comparison. We do not see merit in this contention. We find that
execution of an instrument between appellant and its predecessor in interest
the standards for comparison that were used were the documents marked Exhibits
relating to the lands described in the complaint or to the property and business of
FF-1 and FF-2. 11 Exhibit FF-1 is an application for employment signed by Jose Lava. photostatic copies were duly identified during the hearings on the reconstitution.
The signature thereon was testified to by witness Eduardo Romualdez (now Over the objection of counsels for the defendants-appellants, this Court approved
Secretary of Finance) as looking "like the signature of Jose Lava". Eduardo the report of the Commissioner.
Romualdez was acquainted with the handwriting of Jose Lava, having received
reports (Exh. FF), parts of which were in the handwriting of Jose Lava "not less than The appellants assail the reconstitution of the exhibits that were destroyed, and
three or four times" while Jose Lava was a bank examiner. 12 Exhibit FF-2 is a claim that the reconstituted exhibits should not be considered in this appeal. We
cardboard containing a list of books requested by Jose Lava while the latter was have stated at the earlier part of this opinion that the exhibits (documentary and
detained in Bilibid Prison. Buenaventura Villanueva, to whom the list was given, other articles) were placed in the custody of the Philippine Constabulary because
testified that he saw Lava writing the list on the cardboard. What appears on Exhibit they had to be presented as evidenced in the trial of rebellion cases pending in
FF-2 is certainly a genuine specimen of Lava's handwriting. other courts. Most of the originals of the documentary evidence were burned
during the fire that gutted the headquarters of the Philippine Constabulary on
The handwriting of a person may be proved by any witness who believes it to be September 10, 1958. The Solicitor General filed a petition for the reconstitution of
the handwriting of such person, and has seen the person write. Evidence respecting the burned exhibits. The petition was given due course by this Court, and the
the handwriting may also be given by comparison, made by the witness or the Deputy Clerk of this Court was commissioned to receive the evidence on the
court, with writings admitted or treated as genuine by the party against whom the reconstitution of the burned documents. The list of reconstituted exhibits is Exhibit
evidence is offered, or proved to be genuine to the satisfaction of the judge. 13 The C-Reconstitution. In his report, dated October 6, 1959, the Commissioner
handwriting expert who made the comparison in this case positively identified the recommended the admission of all the reconstituted exhibits.
handwriting of Jose Lava on the documents presented as evidence against said
appellant, specially the handwritten names of Gregorio Santayana, Gaston, Gaston We find that the reconstitution was made in accordance with the provisions of Act
Silayan, Gavino and Greg. 3110, which provides for the procedure in the reconstitution of court records.
Section 59 of said acts provides that destroyed documentary evidence shall be
Upon petition by the Deputy Chief, Military Intelligence Service (MIS) of the Armed reconstituted by means of secondary evidence which maybe presented to any
Forces of the Philippines, this Court, by order of March 7, 1952, appointed the MIS Justice of the Supreme Court or any other officer commissioned by the Court.
the custodian of the exhibits and documents that were presented as evidence in Section 14 of the act provides that the destroyed or lost documentary evidence
these five criminal cases before the trial court. This step was taken because those shall be replaced by secondary evidence. A photostatic copy of an original
documents and exhibits were needed also as evidence in other courts in the document is admissible as a secondary evidence of the contents of the original.
prosecution of other members of the HMB (Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan). Photostatic copies are faithful reproductions of the contents of the originals and
Later, by order of April 14, 1955, this Court appointed the Staff Judge, Advocate of they constitute evidence of a satisfactory nature. 7 The record shows that the
the Philippine Constabulary the custodian of the same documents and exhibits. photostatic copies of the destroyed exhibits, which were presented before the
Those documents and exhibits were kept at the headquarters of the Philippine Commissioner during the reconstitution proceedings, were taken before the
Constabulary at Camp Crame, Quezon City. On September 10, 1958 the originals were destroyed by fire. The photostatic copies had been compared with
headquarters of the PC was destroyed by fire, and all those documents and exhibits the originals, properly checked and recorded, by the officer who was the custodian
were burned. Upon a petition for the reconstitution of the said documents and of the exhibits.
exhibits, this Court appointed Deputy Clerk of Court Bienvenido Ejercito as
Commissioner to receive evidence for the reconstitution of those documents and The certified typewritten copies made from the original documents that were hand-
exhibits. The Commissioner after due hearing, submitted his report, dated October written in ink are also secondary evidence of the contents of the latter. Sgt. Aquilino
6, 1959, recommending that the documents and exhibits that were burned be Tingco, assigned as assistant to the document officer in charge of the court exhibits
declared reconstituted by the photostatic copies of the originals of those in the rebellion cases, testified that he was the one who furnished the typists the
documents and exhibits. The Commissioner stated in his report that those original documents, and after those originals were copied on the typewriter he
compared the typewritten copies with the originals, proof-read them, stamped Exhibits 6 to 19 and Exh. 22, which are photostatic copies of ledger entries and
them and had them certified as true copies. This witness further testified that vouchers showing that Villarama had co-mingled his personal funds and
before the certified copies were presented in court as evidence said copies were transactions with those made in the name of the Corporation, are very illuminating
compared with their originals. 8 evidence. Villarama has assailed the admissibility of these exhibits, contending that
no evidentiary value whatsoever should be given to them since "they were merely
During the reconstitution proceedings, counsel for appellants objected to the photostatic copies of the originals, the best evidence being the originals
admission of some of the reconstituted documents upon the ground that they were themselves." According to him, at the time Pantranco offered the said exhibits, it
not sufficiently identified. The Commissioner, however, admitted all the was the most likely possessor of the originals thereof because they were stolen
reconstituted documents, and We find that the Commissioner rightly did so. We from the files of the Corporation and only Pantranco was able to produce the
find that Exhibits R- X-6 to R-P-73-79, the admission of which was objected to, were alleged photostat copies thereof.
properly identified. Captain Enrique L. Reyes of the PC, who was entrusted with the
custody of the documents, had the list of all the exhibits that were burned, which Section 5 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides for the requisites for the
were inventoried and verified; as well as a list of those exhibits that were presented admissibility of secondary evidence when the original is in the custody of the
in these cases, of which photostatic copies had been taken; and when asked where adverse party, thus: (1) opponent's possession of the original; (2) reasonable notice
the photostatic copies were, Capt. Reyes said that he had the photostatic copies, to opponent to produce the original; (3) satisfactory proof of its existence; and (4)
and pointed to a bundle of folders containing them. These exhibits were checked failure or refusal of opponent to produce the original in court. 11 Villarama has
and counter-checked with the record of the present cases in the Supreme Court. 9 practically admitted the second and fourth requisites. 12 As to the third, he
Sgt. Aquilino Tingco, who brought the exhibits to the different courts where they admitted their previous existence in the files of the Corporation and also that he
were presented as evidence, and who personally supervised the taking of the had seen some of them. 13 Regarding the first element, Villarama's theory is that
microfilm and the photostatic copies that were presented in the courts in lieu of the since even at the time of the issuance of the subpoena duces tecum, the originals
originals, when asked to show to the Commissioner the photostats made of the were already missing, therefore, the Corporation was no longer in possession of the
documents which were used in the Politburo cases, extracted from a folder a same. However, it is not necessary for a party seeking to introduce secondary
bundle of papers and presented the list of Exhibits (Exh. C-Reconstitution) along evidence to show that the original is in the actual possession of his adversary. It is
with photostatic copies of those listed exhibits, and he testified on them. The enough that the circumstances are such as to indicate that the writing is in his
witness was asked to consult the list of exhibits (Exhibit C-Reconstitution) and he possession or under his control. Neither is it required that the party entitled to the
pointed to the Commissioner the exhibits to be marked according to the list, which custody of the instrument should, on being notified to produce it, admit having it in
the Commissioner himself marked. The witness testified that the contents of the his possession. 14 Hence, secondary evidence is admissible where he denies having
documents thus marked were the same as those of the originals. The Commissioner it in his possession. The party calling for such evidence may introduce a copy
considered the documents properly identified and he admitted the documents over thereof as in the case of loss. For, among the exception to the best evidence rule is
the objection of counsel for the appellants, and he recommended to this Court the "when the original has been lost, destroyed, or cannot be produced in court. 15 The
admission of all of them. This Court approved the report of the Commissioner. originals of the vouchers in question must be deemed to have been lost, as even
the Corporation admits such loss. Viewed upon this light, there can be no doubt as
We have carefully examined and analyzed these reconstituted exhibits and We to the admissibility in evidence of Exhibits 6 to 19 and 22.
believe that they constitute a competent evidence to be considered in arriving at a
decision in these cases. 
  <
) Ñ 
 !""

8+5  7 !3 We have already stressed that, on the basis of the reports of the two accountants,
the damages claimed by the company, as a matter of simple addition, does not
reach the sum of P450,000 fixed by the trial court. The damages shown in the
accountants' reports and in the statement made by the company's chief clerk (who records of the company should have been produced in court. The purser and
did not testify) amount to P349,245.37, or much less than P450,000. steward did not testify.

The company argues that the accountants' reports are admissible in evidence The rule is that the auditor's summary should not include his conclusions or
because of the rule that "when the original consists of numerous accounts or other inferences (29 Am Jur 2d 519). His opinion is not evidence.
documents which cannot be examined in court without great loss of time and the
fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole", the Jayme allegedly based his computations on the records of the company which were
original writings need not be produced (Sec. 2[e], Rule 130, Rules of Court). not produced in court. The union objected to Jayme's report as inadmissible under
the hearsay rule or as not being the best evidence.
That rule cannot be applied in this case because the voluminous character of the
records, on which the accountants' reports were based, was not duly established Even if the presentation of the records themselves as exhibits should have been
(U. S. vs. Razon and Tayag, 37 Phil. 856, 861; 29 Am Jur 2nd 529). dispensed with, yet the company, to show good faith and fair dealing, could have
brought the records in court (manifests, bills of lading, receipts for the freights, if
It is also a requisite for the application of the rule that the records and accounts any, etc.) and enabled the court and the union's counsel and its expert accountant
should be made accessible to the adverse party so that the correctness of the to verify the accuracy of Jayme's summaries.
summary may be tested on cross-examination (29 Am Jur 2nd 517-8; 32A C.J.S.
111). Photostatic copies of some manifests and bills of lading proving that the company
was not able to collect the stipulated freight on the alleged shutout cargoes should
What applies to this case is the general rule "that an audit made by, or the have been presented in evidence as supporting papers for Jayme's report. No such
testimony of, a private auditor, is inadmissible in evidence as proof of the original exhibits were presented.
records, books of accounts, reports or the like" (Anno: 52 ALR 1266).
The flaw or error in relying merely on Jayme's summaries is that, as pointed out by
That general rule cannot be relaxed in this case because the company failed to witness Mariano LL. Badelles, cargoes might be shutout due to causes other than
make a preliminary showing as to the difficulty or impossibility attending the the supposed inefficiency of the union.
production of the records in court and their examination and analysis as evidence
by the court (29 Am Jur 2nd 529). The said damages were computed in the reports of Miguel J. Siojo, an accountant
who, for two days and nights, March 8 to 10, 1960, or shortly before and during the
A close scrutiny of the accountants' reports reveals their lack of probative value. trial, allegedly examined the company's record at Iligan City, such as its cash book,
The propriety of allowing the different items of damages is discussed below. cash vouchers, reports to the head office, shipping manifests, and liquidation
reports. Those records were not produced in court. Their non-production was not
Unrealized freight and passenger revenue for 1954 ascertained by Accountant explained. If the accountant was able to summarize the contents of those records in
Demetrio S. Jayme. Ͷ In his report (Exh. A, pp. 134 to 147, Record on Appeal), two days, they could not have been very voluminous. They should have been
Jayme used the pronouns "we" and "our" and made reference to the examination offered in evidence.
made by the "auditors" and his accounting office. He did not disclose the names of
other "auditors" who assisted him in making the examination of the company's
records.
The alleged expenses in the operation of the forklifts consisted of (a) the wates of
It would not be proper to allow Jayme's estimates as recoverable damages. They the operators hired by the company and (b) the cost of gasoline and oil and
are not supported by reliable evidence. They can hardly be sanctioned by the expenses for repair.
"generally accepted auditing standards" alluded to in Jayme's report. The pertinent
The union contends that Siojo's reports (Exh. E to I) were inadmissible evidence the private respondent and petitioner is one of contract of loan and not a contract
because they were hearsay, meaning that the original documents, on which the of lease.
reports were based, were not presented in evidence and, therefore, appellants'
counsel and the court itself were not able to gauge the correctness of the figures or 2. Assuming for the sake of argument that exhibits "D" and "I" evidence
data contained in the said reports. The person who had personal knowledge of the separate transactions, the latter document should be disregarded, the same not
operating expenses was not examined in court. having been pleaded as a cause of action.

We are of the opinion that, to avoid fraud or fabrication, the documents evidencing 3. Whether or not the Stipulation of Facts entered into by the parties herein
the alleged expenses should have been presented in evidence. Siojo's reports were relative to their executed transactions during the hearing of their case a quo, are
not the best evidence on the said operating expenses. The explanation of Badelles binding upon them and as well as, upon the public respondent?
with respect to shutout cargoes and our observations on Jayme's summaries are
Rule 130, Sec. 7, of the Revised Rules of Court provides: 1
applicable to accountant Siojo's reports.
Sec. 7. Evidence of Written Agreements. Ͷ When the terms of an agreement
##
# $#

  (+  6( 

have been reduced to writing, it is to be considered as containing all such terms,

 + (+  6('
! and therefore, there can be, between the parties and their successors in interest,
no evidence of the terms of the agreement other than the contents of the writing,
; 
 9 : !! except in the following cases:

The trial court erred when it relied on the self-serving testimonies of the defendant a) When a mistake or imperfection of the writing or its failure to express the
and his witness as against the receipts both parties presented and adopted as their true intent and agreement of the parties, or the validity of the agreement is put in
own exhibits. As said before, Exhibit "I" is very clear in its tenor. And if it is really the issue by the pleadings;
intention of Exhibit "I" to explain the contents of Exhibit "D", such manifestation or
intention is not found in the four corners of the former document. b) When there is an intrinsic ambiguity in the writing. The term "agreement"
includes wills.
The respondent court also found that the amounts of P35,000.00, P8,000.00,
P500.00, P3,000.00, P3,750.00 and P4,000.00 were not payments for the "pakyaw" The reason for the rule is the presumption that when the parties have reduced their
and sublease agreement but for loans extended by Salonga to Cruz. It also accepted agreement to writing they have made such writing the only repository and
Salonga's claim that the amount of P28,000.00 was delivered to the petitioner on memorial of the truth, and whatever is not found in the writing must be understood
May 14, 1982, as payment on the "pakyaw" agreement apart from the P35,000.00 to have been waived or abandoned. 2
(Exh. D) that was paid on May 4, 1982. However, it agreed that the amount of
The rule, however, is not applicable in the case at bar, Section 7, Rule 130 is
P6,000.00 received by the private respondent from the petitioner should be
predicated on the existence of a document embodying the terms of an agreement,
credited in favor of the latter.
but Exhibit D does not contain such an agreement. It is only a receipt attesting to
The petitioner is now before this Court, raising the following issues: the fact that on May 4, 1982, the petitioner received from the private respondent
the amount of P35,000. It is not and could have not been intended by the parties to
1. The public respondent Court of Appeals gravely erred in (1) disregarding be the sole memorial of their agreement. As a matter of fact, Exhibit D does not
parol evidence to Exhibits "D" and "I" despite the fact that these documents fall even mention the transaction that gave rise to its issuance. At most, Exhibit D can
under the exceptions provided for in Sec. 7, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court and only be considered a casual memorandum of a transaction between the parties and
thereby in (2) making a sweeping conclusion that the transaction effected between an acknowledgment of the receipt of money executed by the petitioner for the
private respondent's satisfaction. A writing of this nature, as Wigmore observed is the Court rule in favor of admissibility of parol evidence, a hearing on the merits will
not covered by the parol evidence rule. be scheduled for the admission of the evidence of both parties.

A receipt Ͷ i.e. a written acknowledgment, handed by one party to the other, of Under the foregoing circumstances, the Court believes that any evidence tending to
the manual custody of money or other personality Ͷ will in general fall without the establish the plaintiff's cause of action would be inadmissible under the parol
line of the rule; i.e. it is not intended to be an exclusive memorial, and the facts may evidence rule and the provisions of the Statute of Frauds. In the light of the facts
be shown irrespective of the terms of the receipt. This is because usually a receipt is not controverted in the pleading submitted by the parties, the Court finds that the
merely a written admission of a transaction independently existing, and, like other plaintiff has no cause of action against the defendant." (Record on Appeal, pp. 25-
admissions, is not conclusive. 3 26.)

The "pakyaw" was mentioned only in Exhibit I, which also declared the petitioner's From this decision, the plaintiff-appellant appealed.
receipt of the amount of P28,000.00 as consideration for the agreement. The
petitioner and his witnesses testified to show when and under what circumstances The only issue crucial to this appeal is whether or not the alleged verbal agreement
the amount of P28,000.00 was received. Their testimonies do not in any way vary or of the parties concerning plaintiff's reservation of his right to the balance of the war
contradict the terms of Exhibit I. While Exhibit I is dated May 14, 1982, it does not damage claim at the time of the sale of his shares to the defendant, can be proven
make any categorical declaration that the amount of P28,000.00 stated therein was by parol evidence under the Parol Evidence Rule and the Statute of Frauds.
received by the petitioner on that same date. That date may not therefore be
considered conclusive as to when the amount of P28,000.00 was actually received. There is merit in appellee's contention that the alleged oral reservation and the sale
of the shares of stock were made simultaneously and contemporaneously, so that
A deed is not conclusive evidence of everything it may contain. For instance, it is to allow De la Rama to prove the same would run counter to the Parol Evidence
not the only evidence of the date of its execution, nor its omission of a Rule.
consideration conclusive evidence that none passed, nor is its acknowledgment of a
particular consideration an objection to other proof of other and consistent In his brief, appellant alleged that "at the time he sold his shares of stock to the
considerations; and, by analogy, the acknowledgment in a deed is not conclusive of defendant in 1958 he has reserved to himself the said benefits and to which
the fact. 4 defendant agreed." (Brief for Appellant, p. 3). Again, in his third assignment of error
he claims that the lower court erred in holding that the disputed oral reservation,
A distinction should be made between a statement of fact expressed in the cannot be proved under the Statute of Frauds and the Parol Evidence." (Ibid., p. ii.)
instrument and the terms of the contractual act. The former may be varied by parol
evidence but not the latter. 5 Section 7 of Rule 130 clearly refers to the terms of an It is a well accepted principle of law that evidence of a prior or contemporaneous
agreement and provides that "there can be, between the parties and their verbal agreement is generally not admissible to vary, contradict or defeat the
successors in interest, no evidence of the terms of the agreement other than the operation of a valid instrument. (American Factors (Phil.) Inc. vs. Murphy Tire
contents of the writing." Corporation, et al. (C.A.) 49 O.G. 189.)

:+ ; c  !3 While parol evidence is admissible in a variety of ways to explain the meaning of
written contracts, it cannot serve the purpose of incorporating into the contract
At the pre-trial of this case, the parties, through counsel, agreed to submit for the additional contemporaneous conditions which are not mentioned at all in the
resolution of the Court the question as to whether or not De la Rama is allowed to writing, unless there has been fraud or mistake. (Yu Tek & Co. v. Gonzales, 29 Phil.
present parol evidence to prove his alleged reservation to the war damage benefits 384.) Indeed, the exceptions to the rule do not apply in the instant case, there being
in question. The parties further agreed that should the ruling of the Court be in the no intrinsic ambiguity or fraud, mistake, or failure to express the true agreement of
negative, then the Court may render judgment on the pleadings. However, should
the parties. If indeed the alleged reservation had been intended, businessmen like on the alleged condition is inadmissible upon seasonable objection interposed
the parties would have placed in writing such an important reservation. during the trial by donee's counsel.

In the case at bar, nowhere in the complaint were the exceptions to the rule alleged 4. ACTION; PARTIES, CAPACITY TO BRING ACTION TO BE SPECIFICALLY
or put in issue. (See Infante v. Cunanan, et al., 93 Phil. 691). PLEADED. Ͷ Where an action for annulment of a donation was brought by the
alleged collateral relatives of the deceased donor, their capacity to bring the action
The alleged reservation not being admissible under the Parol Evidence Rule, WE do must be specifically pleaded.
not find it necessary to discuss the applicability or non-applicability to the present
case of the Statute of Frauds. 5. ID.; RULINGS ON ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE, REVIEWABLE ON APPEAL;
EXCEPTION. Ͷ While the rulings of a trial judge on the admission of evidence are
0+ /c  !" generally reviewable on appeal and cannot be appealed by means of certiorari, yet
where the petitioner's contention is clearly tenable and the lower court, in
In their complaint for annulment of donation, plaintiffs alleged that the donation
overruling the objection to the evidence, committed a patent mistake amounting to
was subject to conditions, which they claim were not complied with by defendant.
a grave abuse of discretion, the error may be corrected by means of certiorari.
Plaintiffs, however, did not expressly plead that the donation was incomplete or
that the execution was vitiated by mistake or that it did not reflect the intention of Section 7 requires that in order that parol or extrinsic evidence may be admitted to
the donor and the donee. Neither did they attach a copy of the deed of donation to vary the terms of the writing, the mistake or imperfection thereof or its failure to
the complaint. During the trial, defendant objected to plaintiffs' parol evidence to express the true intent and agreement of the parties should be put in issue by the
prove the alleged conditions, but the trial court overruled the objection. pleadings. In the instant case, the plaintiffs did not expressly plead that the deed of
donation was incomplete or that its execution was vitiated by mistake or that it did
The Supreme Court held that the trial court committed a grave abuse of discretion
not reflect the intention of the donor and the donee.
correctable by certiorari, in overruling the objection to the evidence.
The plaintiffs in paragraph four of their complaint merely alleged that the donation
Questioned order reversed and set aside.
was subject to five conditions. Then, they prayed that the donation should be
1. EVIDENCE; WRITTEN AGREEMENTS GENERAL RULE. Ͷ When the terms of annulled or rescinded for non-compliance with those conditions.
an agreement have been reduced to writing, it is to be considered as containing all
At the trial, they tried to prove those conditions by parol evidence. Obviously, they
such terms, and, therefore, there can be, between the parties and their successors
could not introduce parol evidence to vary the terms of the agreement because
in interest, no evidence of the terms of the agreement other than the contents of
they did not plead any of the exceptions mentioned in the parol evidence rule.
the writing.
Their case is covered by the general rule that the contents of the writing constitute
2. ID.; ID.; VARIANCE OF TERMS; PAROL EVIDENCE ADMISSIBLE IF EXPRESSLY the sole repository of the terms of the agreement between the parties.
PLEADED. Ͷ Section 7, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court requires that in order that
Thus, it was held that where there is no allegation in the complaint that there was
parol or extrinsic evidence may be admitted to vary the terms of the writing, the
any mistake or imperfection in the written agreement or that it failed to express the
mistake or imperfections thereof or its failure to express the true intent and
true intent of the parties, parol evidence is inadmissible to vary the terms of the
agreement of the parties should be put in issue by the pleadings either by the
agreement (Villanueva vs. Yulo, 106 Phil. 1170).
plaintiff in his complaint or in the affirmative defense set up by the defendant.
On the other hand, if the defendant set up the affirmative defense that the contract
3. ID.; DEED OF DONATION; FAILURE TO PLEAD TRUE INTENT, EFFECT. Ͷ
mentioned in the complaint does not express the true agreement of the parties,
Where the plaintiff claiming that the donation was conditional failed to plead that
then parol evidence is admissible to prove the true agreement of the parties.
the Deed of Donation did not express the true intent of the parties, parol evidence
But whether the action is for revocation or reformation, it was necessary for the the application of the party interested, be amended in order to bring
plaintiffs, in order to prove that the donation was conditional, to plead that the them into conformity with the facts proved.
deed of donation did not express the true intent of the parties. Not having done so, 4.p 4. ID.; ID.; SPECIAL DEFENSE Ͷ The rule above stated applies equally
their parol evidence on the alleged conditions is inadmissible upon seasonable to a special defense stated in the answer as to the plaintiff's cause of
objection interposed during the trial by the donee's counsel. action.
5.p 7. CONTRACTS; SURETY, PAROL EVIDENCE TO SHOW CHARACTER IN
The private respondents contend that the rulings of a trial judge on the admission WHICH PARTY IS BOUND. Ͷ The written contract which was the
of evidence are reviewable on appeal and cannot be assailed by means of certiorari subject of this action contained the corporate name signed at the
(Philippine Air Lines, Inc. vs. Teodoro, 97 Phil. 461). lower right-hand corner of the contract, in the manner usual with a
party signing in the character of principal obligor. The name of another
That is the general rule. Where, as in this case, petitioner's contention is clearly
individual was signed somewhat below and to the left of the corporate
tenable and the lower court, in overruling the objection to the evidence, committed
signature, after the customary manner of those who sign in a
a patent mistake amounting to a grave abuse of discretion, the error may be
subsidiary capacity; but no words were written to indicate clearly
corrected by means of certiorari (De Laureano vs. Adil, L-43345, July 29, 1976, 72
whether this individual signed as a principal obligor or as surety. Held:
SCRA 148, 161).
That parol evidence was admissible to show that the intention was
 that he should be bound as surety and not jointly with the other party.

+9 7  


   9' !  It was therefore incumbent upon the corporation, if it desired to
question the authority of Fernandez to bind it, to deny the due

execution of said contracts under oath, as prescribed in section 103 of
1.p PLEADING; DUE EXECUTION OF CONTRACT; AUTHORITY OF OFFICER the Code of Civil Procedure. Said section, in the part pertinent to the
TO BIND CORPORATION. Ͷ Where the name of a corporation is signed situation now under consideration, reads as follows:
to the document which is the basis of an action. the failure of the
defendant corporation to put in issue, by denial under oath the due 6.p "When an action is brought upon a written instrument and the
execution of the instrument, as required in section 103 of the Code of complaint contains or has annexed a copy of such instrument, the
Civil Procedure, operates as an admission of the authority of the genuineness and due execution of the instrument shall be deemed
officer to execute the contract, since the authority of the officer to admitted, unless specifically denied under oath in the answer."
bind the company is essential to the due execution of its contract.
2.p 2. ID CORPORATIONS; WANT OF AUTHORITY IN AGENT AS SPECIAL 7.p No sworn answer denying the genuineness and due execution of the
DEFENSE. Ͷ Where a corporation seeks to evade liability on a contract contracts in question or questioning the authority of Ramon J.
on the ground of lack of authority on the part of the person who Fernandez to bind the Orientalist Company was filed in this case; but
assumed to act for it, such defense should be specially pleaded. evidence was admitted without objection from the plaintiff, tending to
3.p 3. ID., AMENDMENTS Ͷ While immaterial variances between show that Ramon J. Fernandez had no such authority. This evidence
allegations in the pleadings and the proof adduced at the hearing may consisted of extracts from the minutes of the proceedings of the
be disregarded, it is, nevertheless, still true that relief can be granted company's board of directors and also of extracts from the minutes of
only upon matter which is put in issue by the pleadings; and if the the proceedings of the company's stockholders, showing that the
proof varies materially from the allegations, the pleadings may, upon making of this contract had been under consideration in both bodies
and that the authority to make the same had been withheld by the
stockholders. It therefore becomes necessary for us to consider 14.p We are of the opinion that the failure of the defendant corporation to
whether the admission resulting from the failure of the defendant make any issue in its answer with regard to the authority of Ramon J.
company to deny the execution of the contracts under oath is binding Fernandez to bind it, and particularly its failure to deny specifically
upon it for all purposes of this lawsuit, or whether such failure should under oath the genuineness and due execution of the contracts sued
be considered a mere irregularity of procedure which was waived upon, have the effect of eliminating the question of his authority from
when the evidence referred to was admitted without objection from the case, considered as a matter of mere pleading The statute (sec.
the plaintiff. The proper solution of this problem makes it necessary to 103) plainly says that if a written instrument, the foundation of the
consider carefully the principle underlying the provision above quoted. suit, is not denied upon oath, it shall be deemed to be admitted. It is
familiar doctrine that an admission made in a pleading can not be
8.p If the name of the obligor, in a bond, is subscribed by one in his controverted by the party making such admission; and all proof
presence, and by his direction, the effect is the same as if his name submitted by him contrary thereto or inconsistent therewith should
should be signed with his own hand, and under such circumstances we simply be ignored by the court, whether objection is interposed by the
do not doubt that the obligor must deny his signature under oath, in opposite party or not. We can see no reason why a constructive
order to put the obligee to proof of the fact. Quit facit per aliam facit admission, created by the express words of the statute, should be
per se, and when the name is signed by one thereunto authorized, it is considered to have less effect than any other admission.
as much the signature of the principal as if written with his own hand. 15.p As appears upon the face of the contracts, the signature of Fernandez,
Therefore, if the principal would deny the authority of the agent, as in his individual capacity, is not in line with the signature of the
the validity of the signature is thereby directly attacked, the denial Orientalist Company, but is set off to the left of the company's
must be under oath. signature and somewhat below. Observation teaches that it is
9.p "Under the Judiciary Act of 1799, requiring the defendant to deny on customary for persons who sign contracts in some capacity other than
oath an instrument of writing, upon which he is sued, the plea in this that of principal obligor to place their signatures to one side; but we
case should have been verified. hardly think that this circumstance alone would justify a court in
10.p If the person who signed this note for the company, and upon which holding that Fernandez here took upon himself the responsibility of a
they are sued, was not authorized to make it, let them say so upon guarantor rather than that of a principal obligor. We do, however,
oath, and the onus is then on the plaintiff to overcome the plea." think that the form in which the contract is signed raises a doubt as to
11.p "If an action is brought against a corporation upon a contract alleged what the real intention was; and we feel justified, in looking to the
to be its contract, if it desires to set up the defense that the contract evidence to discover that intention. In this connection it is entirely
was executed by one not authorized as its agent, it must plead non est clear, from the testimony of both Ramirez and Ramon J. Fernandez,
factum." (Thompson on Corporations, 1st ed., vol. 6, sec. 7631.) that the responsibility of the latter was intended to be that of a
12.p Again, says the same author: guarantor. There is, to be sure, a certain difference between these
13.p "A corporation can not avail itself of the defense that it had no power witnesses as to the nature of this guaranty, inasmuch as Fernandez
to enter into the obligation to enforce which the suit is brought, unless would have us believe that his name was signed as a guaranty that the
it pleads that defense. This principle applies equally where the contract would be approved by the corporation, while Ramirez says
defendant intends to challenge the power of its officer or agent to that the name was put on the contract for the purpose of
execute in its behalf the contract upon which the action is brought and guaranteeing, not the approval of the contract but its performance.
where it intends to defend on the ground of a total want of power in We are convinced that the latter was the real intention of the
the corporation to make such a contract." contracting parties.
16.p We are not unmindful of the force of that rule of law which declares 385; Centenera vs. Garcia Palicio [1915], 29 Phil., 470, Mendezona vs. Philippine
that oral evidence is inadmissible to vary the effect of a written Sugar Estates Development Company and De Garay [1921], 41 Phil., 475.)
contract. But it must be remembered that ambiguities with respect to
the meaning of the language used by the parties may be explained by 4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ADMISSIONS. Ͷ Admissions or declarations to be competent
parol evidence and we see no reason why an ambiguity arising, as in must have been expressed in definite, certain, and unequivocal language.
this case, from the form in which the contract was signed may not be
5. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. Ͷ On April 26, 1920, the Laguna Coconut Oil Co.
explained in the same way. It is certainly the duty of a court to seek
executed a promissory note for P50,000 in favor of the Philippine Vegetable Oil
the means of giving effect to the intention of the contracting parties
Company, Inc. On May 3, 1920, the Fidelity and Surety Company of the Philippine
rather than to seek pretexts for defeating it.
Islands made a notation on the note reading as follows:
17.p We are of the opinion that where a name is signed ambiguously, parol
evidence is admissible to show the character in which the signature "MANILA, May 3, 1920
was affixed. This conclusion is perhaps supported by the language of
the second paragraph of article 1281 of the Civil Code, which declares "For value received, we hereby obligate ourselves to hold the Laguna Coconut Oil
that if the words of a contract should appear contrary to the evident Co. harmless against loss for having discounted the foregoing note at the value
intention of the parties, the intention shall prevail. But the conclusion stated therein.
reached is, we think, deducible from the general principle that in case
of ambiguity parol evidence is admissible to show the intention of the
contracting parties. "FIDELITY AND SURETY CO. OF THE

. /  ' 7 !" PHILIPPINE ISLANDS

1. CONTRACTS; REFORMATION OF WRITTEN AGREEMENTS; SECTION 285 OF


THE CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE CONSTRUED, GENERAL RULE. Ͷ The courts will
reform a written agreement where, owing to mutual mistake, the language used "By (Sgd.) J. ELMER DELANEY
therein does not fully or accurately express the agreement and intent of the parties.
"Vice-President
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; WHAT NECESSARY TO PROVE. Ͷ To justify the reformation of a
written instrument upon the ground of mistake, the concurrence of three things are "Cedula F-3443, Jan. 2, 1920,
necessary: First, that the mistake should be of a fact; second, that the mistake
Manila, P. I.
should be proved by clear and convincing evidence; and, third, that the mistake
should be common to both parties to the instrument.

3. ID.; ID.; ID.; AMOUNT OF PROOF. Ͷ Relief by way of reformation of a "Attest:


written agreement will not be granted unless the proof of mutual mistake be of the
clearest and most satisfactory character. The amount of evidence necessary to (Sgd.) "A. D. TANNER
sustain a prayer for relief where it is sought to impugn a fact in a document is
"Secretary-Treasurer
always more than a mere preponderance of the evidence. (Philippine Sugar Estates
Development Company vs. Government of the Philippine Islands [1917], 247 U. S., "Cedula F-3447, Jan. 2, 1920
Manila, P. I." would alter the terms of the written agreement. Whatever is not found in the
writing must be understood to have been waived and abandoned.
On May 4, 1920, the Philippine Vegetable Oil Co. endorsed the note in blank and
delivered it to the Bank of the Philippine Islands. It was contended that a mutual 2. ID.; OFFER OF COMPROMISE; RULE ON ITS ADMISSIBILITY. Ͷ An offer of
mistake was made in the redaction of the note of guaranty by substituting the compromise is admissible in evidence, but where the amount named in the offer to
words "Laguna Coconut Oil Co." for "Bank of the Philippine Islands." Held: That the accept a certain sum in settlement appears to have been arrived at as a fair
plaintiff bank has not established a mutual mistake by proof of the clearest and estimate of value it is relevant. (El Varadero de Manila vs. Insular Lumber Company,
most satisfactory character constituting more than a preponderance of the 46 Phil., 176, 178.)
evidence.
However, as a corollary to this particular assignment of error, defendant argues
According to section 285 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a written agreement is that although the crop loan agreement expressly authorized it to sell plaintiff's
presumed to contain all the terms of the agreement. The Civil Code has articles to sugar without the latter's consent, it had, nevertheless, not availed of such
the same effect. However, the Code of Civil Procedure permits evidence of the authority because of its policy to first secure the prior authority or instruction of the
terms of the agreement other than the contents of the writing in the following case: planters before it could sell the sugar.
Where a mistake or imperfection of the writing, or its failure to express the true
intent and agreement of the parties, is put in issue by the pleadings. This provision This contention is untenable. Although defendant presented evidence to show its
of our local law was construed by the United States Supreme Court in the well- alleged practice of first securing its client's permission to sell sugar, the evidence is
known case of the Philippine Sugar Estates Development Company vs. Government inadmissible. The agreement between the parties had been reduced to writing, and
of the Philippine Islands ([1917], 247 U. S., 385). It was there announced that the under its terms defendant could sell and was so authorized to sell plaintiff's sugar in
courts of equity will reform a written contract where, owing to mutual mistake, the any manner it deemed convenient, provided that the proceeds thereof be credited
language used therein did not fully or accurately express the agreement and intent to plaintiff's account. Defendant now cannot be permitted to adduce evidence to
of the parties. It was also stated that the relief by way of reformation will not be prove its alleged practice, which to all purposes, would alter the terms of the
granted unless the proof of mutual mistake be "of the clearest and most written agreement. Section 22, Rule 123 of the Rules of Court provides: "When the
satisfactory character." The court finally said that the evidence introduced by the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, it is to be considered as
appellant met these stringent requirements. containing all those terms, and therefore, there can be, between the parties and
their successors in interest, no evidence of the terms of the agreement other than
Our local decisions have applied the rule that the amount of evidence necessary to the contents of the writing, except in the following cases: . . ." Whatever therefore
sustain a prayer for relief where it is sought to impugn a fact in a document is is not found in the writing must be understood to have been waived and
always more than a mere preponderance of the evidence. (Centenera vs. Garcia abandoned (3 MORAN 189). Inasmuch as the case at bar does not fall under any of
Palicio [1915], 29 Phil., 470; Mendezona vs. Philippine Sugar Estates Development the exceptions mentioned in the Rule cited, defendant may not adduce evidence to
Co. and De Garay [1921], 41 Phil., 475.) Has the plaintiff carried the burden of proof show a practice other than that permitted by the terms of the agreement. The
in this manner and to this extent? That is the question. lower court therefore correctly ruled against the admissibility of such evidence.

c
'  2 5

: !33 c 
 :  7 !3"

SYLLABUS 1. CIVIL LAW; CONTRACTS, INTERPRETATION OF; INTENTION OF THE PARTIES


ASCERTAINED FROM DOCUMENT AS A WHOLE. Ͷ In ascertaining the intention of
1. EVIDENCE; RULE WHERE AN AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REDUCE TO WRITING. the parties to a contract, the contents thereof should not be interpreted piecemeal,
Ͷ When an agreement has been reduced to writing, the parties cannot be but from an overall view of the document itself; all parts, provisions or terms are to
permitted to adduce evidence to prove alleged practices which to all purposes
be considered, not read in isolation; doubtful ones should be given that sense which 5. ID.; ID.; EFFECTIVE IN FAVOR OF BENEFICIARY WHO ACCEPTED IT. Ͷ Trust
may result from all of them, considered as a whole. is effective against the trustees and in favor of the beneficiary thereof, who
accepted it in the document itself. Article 1446, Civil Code.
2. ID.; ID.; CONVEYANCE OF OWNERSHIP OF REAL PROPERTY. Ͷ Where a
party held himself liable to another for the foreclosure of real property he 6. ID.; ID.; EVIDENCE; IDENTITY OF LAND DETERMINED FROM SETTING OF
borrowed from the other, and which he used as security for an obligation of his WRITINGS; PAROL EVIDENCE ADMISSIBLE TO MAKE CLEAR TERMS OF WRITTEN
which he failed to fulfill, and he declared in an affidavit, the truth of which was TRUST. Ͷ Insofar as the identity of land involved in a trust is concerned, the
attested to be true by the other in the same document, that he promised that he writings, in being considered for the purpose of satisfying the statute of frauds, are
would replace the foreclosed land with another piece of land planted to four to be considered in their setting, and parol evidence is admissible to make clear the
cavanes of seedlings, provided that his children may not be forced to give up the terms of a trust the existence of which is established by a writing.
harvest thereof and that neither may the land which was exchanged be demanded
immediately, the idea is conveyed that naked ownership of the land in substitution 7. ID.; ID.; MOTION TO DISMISS; STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS NOT A BAR. Ͷ
was transferred from him to the other; else, there would be no sense in the proviso Given the fiduciary relation which, according to the complaint, is recognized by
that the fruits and physical possession of the land, rights to which are attributes of defendants who are the trustees they may not invoke the statute of limitations in a
ownership, could not immediately be demanded from his children. motion to dismiss, as a bar to beneficiary's action for delivery of real property.

3. ID.; TRUSTS; USUFRUCT; NEMO DAT NON QUOD HABET; EVIDENCE; 8. ID.; PRESCRIPTION; REAL ACTIONS OVER IMMOVABLES PRESCRIBE AFTER
DECLARATION AGAINST INTEREST. Ͷ When the transferor divested himself of the THIRTY YEARS. Ͷ When the action by an alleged owner of real property is aimed at
ownership of the land, qualified solely by withholding enjoyment of the fruits and recover of possession thereof, a mere consequence of ownership, conditioned upon
physical possession which may not be demanded immediately from his children, the the fixing of the period therefor, the suit, brought after ten years from the
children are usufructuaries for an undetermined length of time, and hold the execution of the document transferring ownership, is not barred by the statute of
property as trustees of the transferee. The transferor cannot transmit ownership to limitations, because Article 1141 of the Civil Code provides that real actions over
his children. Nemo dat quod non habet. The declaration of the transferor, now immovables prescribe after thirty years, the defense of prescription being against
deceased, in the affidavit is against his own proprietary interests, and is binding plaintiffs action, not acquisitive prescription.
upon his heirs.
9. REMEDIAL LAW; MOTION TO DISMISS; PENDENCY OF LAND REGISTRATION
4. ID.; ID.; EVIDENCE; NO PARTICULAR WORDS REQUIRED TO CREATE PROCEEDINGS NOT A BAR TO A SUIT FOR DELIVERY; FAILURE TO OBJECT TO
EXPRESS TRUSTS. Ͷ While the deed did not in definitive words institute the REGISTRATION NOT A RELEASE OR ABANDONMENT. Ͷ A complaint which alleges
transferor's children as trustees, a duty is therein imposed upon them, when the an agreement to defer delivery by defendants of real property to plaintiff as owner
proper time comes, to turn over both the fruits and the possession of the property thereof, and refusal of defendants to fix the period for such delivery, is not barred
to the transferee. By Article 1444 of the Civil Code no particular words are required by the pendency of land registration proceedings commenced by defendants.
for the creation of an express trust, it being sufficient that a trust is clearly Plaintiffs failure to object to defendant's regisor abandonment but simply means
intended, Technical or particular forms of words or phrases such as "trust" or that there is no case between the parties in reference thereto. In the event plaintiff
"trustee", or the absence thereof, are not essential to a determination of the prospers with her complaint, she can require defendants, if they obtain title to the
intention to create a trust, nor whether the trustor knows that the relationship he property in the land registration proceeding, to execute a conveyance thereof in her
intends to create is called a trust, or whether he knows the precise characteristics favor.
of trusts.
;   ;  7 !"
The contract executed in 1927 by respondents' predecessors stated that they being an equitable mortgage, where it appears that the reason behind the execution of
in "urgent necessity for money," they "thought of selling" for P225.00 in favor of the contract was that the supposed vendor was in "urgent necessity for money";
petitioners' predecessors, an irrigated riceland, redeemable within ten years for the that the price of the land was grossly inadequate; that the supposed vendor
"same amount of money"; that during the period of the vendee's "ownership" of remained in possession of the land, took charge of its cultivation and all tenancy
the land, the vendor will be "responsible for all tenancy matters"; and that "this matters; that the supposed vendee never declared the property in his name for
receipt is made as security." The riceland had an area of 1,269 square meters and taxation purposes nor did he pay the taxes thereon since the execution of the
was valued at P1,000.00. In 1948, respondent sought the reconveyance of the land document ; and that he failed to take any steps for 32 years since the contract was
after petitioners refused to accept their tender of payment. The trial court declared executed to consolidate his alleged ownership over the land.
that the document executed by respondents predecessors was a pacto de retro sale
and held that the respondents lost their right to redeem the land for not having 4. ID.; ID.; INTERPRETATION OF; DOUBTS IN ONEROUS CONTRACTS
taken any step within the agreed period of ten years. RESOLVED IN FAVOR OF GREATEST RECIPROCITY OF INTEREST. Ͷ In case of any
doubt concerning the surrounding circumstances in the execution of a contract, the
The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, declared the contract an equitable least transmission of rights and interests shall prevail if the contract is gratuitous,
mortgage, and ordered the petitioners to return the land to the respondents and, if onerous the doubt is to be settled in favor of the greatest reciprocity of
without paying the loan of P225.00 inasmuch as the same was deemed paid from interests. Thus, in an action to recover a parcel of land where the plaintiff alleged
the fruits of the property which the former had been receiving for the past thirty- that he merely mortgaged the land to secure payment of P175.00, and which land
two years. the defendant refused to return to the ground that the latter allegedly bought the
property, the transaction over the property was considered a loan because "such a
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals. contract involves a smaller transmission of rights and interests, and the debtor does
not surrender all rights to his property but simply confers upon the creditor the
SYLLABUS
right to collect what is owing from the value as security, there existing between the
1. CIVIL LAW; CONTRACTS; INTERPRETATION OF; AMBIGUITY. Ͷ It is a basic parties a greater reciprocity of rights and obligations." (Olina vs. Medina, 13, Phil.
fundamental rule in the interpretation of a contract that if the terms thereof are 379)
clear and leave no doubt upon intention of the contracting parties the literal

 .

#7 ! 
meaning of the stipulation shall control, but when the words appear to be contrary
to the evident intention of the parties, the latter shall prevail over the former. SYLLABUS
2. ID.; ID.; INTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES PREVAIL OVER LITERAL 1. CONTRACT; GUARANTY; MUTUAL AGREEMENT TO SIGN CONTRACT OF
SIGNIFICATIONS OF THE CONTRACT. Ͷ Where an ambiguity is caused by the GUARANTY. Ͷ Where several persons agree to join as guarantors in the execution
conflicting terminologies in the document, inquiry into the reasons behind the of a contract of guaranty, and the obligee is aware that the promise of each to sign
transaction and other circumstances accompanying it becomes necessary so as to is made in consideration of the agreement of the others also to sign, the guaranty
determine the true intent of the parties. Once the intent becomes clear then it shall does not become effective until all have joined in the execution of the instrument.
be made to prevail over what on its face the document appears to be. Such case is
to be resolved on the basis of the circumstances attending the transaction. 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. Ͷ The plaintiff company, acting as purchasing
agent in the United States for a mercantile company doing business in Manila,
3. ID.; ID.; CIRCUMSTANCE SHOWING THAT TRANSACTION IS ONE OF THE desired security against loss by reason of purchases made for the latter. Thereupon
EQUITABLE MORTGAGE AND NOT PACTO DE RETRO SALE. Ͷ Although the contract three directors of the Manila company and one Scott, the Manila agent of the
between the parties upon its face is one of the sale with right to repurchase, plaintiff company, and who was also a director in the Manila company, agreed
nevertheless, the transaction shall be considered not a sale but a loan secured by together that these four should sign a contract personally guaranteeing the plaintiff
company against loss. A contract to this effect was signed by the three and was by 3. PLEADINGS AND PRACTICE; FILING OF ACTION NOT PREMATURE WHERE
them transmitted to Scott without reservation. The latter kept the document SUPPOSED AGREEMENT OF EXTENSION COULD HAVE BEEN PROVEN INEFFECTIVE IF
without signing it himself; and later this action was brought to enforce the THE TRIAL COURT HAD ADMITTED PAROLE EVIDENCE OF CONDITION PRECEDENT
obligation against two of the signatory parties Held: That notwithstanding the NOT COMPLIED WITH. Ͷ Had the trial court permitted, as it should, the plaintiff to
document was complete on its face and the delivery thereof to Scott was prove the condition precedent to the extension of the payment, the said plaintiff
unqualified, the instrument nevertheless failed to express the agreement which had would have been able to show that because the defendants had failed to pay a
been made; and as the plaintiff company, by its agent, had notice of the terms of substantial down payment, the agreement was breached and the contract
the original agreement, the action could not be maintained. The failure of said contained in Exhibit "L", never became effective and the extension should be
agent to complete the contract by fixing his own name thereto prevented the considered as not having been given at all. So that, although the complaint was filed
agreement from taking effect. on February 20, 1957, three months before the deadline of the extension on May
31, 1957, there would be no premature institution of the case.
3. ID.; WRITTEN DOCUMENT; EXTRINSIC EVIDENCE OF STIPULATIONS
PREREQUISITE TO LIABILITY. Ͷ The rule that extrinsic evidence is not admissible to ):
  /' !!
vary the terms of a written agreement has reference to the terms or obligations
expressed in a contract the existence of which is proved or admitted. This rule does SYLLABUS
not prevent the introduction of extrinsic evidence to show that a supposed contract
1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; FINDINGS OF FACT OF THE APPELLATE COURT
never became effective be reason of the failure of some collateral condition or
GENERALLY UPHELD; CASE AT BAR, AN EXCEPTION. Ͷ It was erroneous for the
stipulation prerequisite to liability.
respondent courts to affirm that the original contract concluded on June 20, 1978,
; '  :
 2  
 !36 continued to regulate the relations of the parties. What it should have held instead
was that the first written contract had been cancelled and replaced by the second
SYLLABUS verbal contract because of the change in the destination of the cargo. To hold that
the old agreement was still valid and subsisting notwithstanding this substantial
1. EVIDENCE; PAROLE EVIDENCE RULE; EXCEPTIONS; WHEN OPERATION OF change was to impose upon the petitioner a condition he had not, and would not
CONTRACT DEPENDS ON OCCURRENCE OF AN EVENT WHICH IS A CONDITION have, accepted under the new agreement.
PRECEDENT, SUCH MAY BE ESTABLISHED BY PAROLE EVIDENCE. Ͷ The lower court
should have admitted the parol evidence sought to be introduced to prove the 2. CIVIL LAW; OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; A CONTRACT MAY BE
failure of the document in question to express the true intent and agreement of the ENTERED INTO IN WHATEVER FORM. Ͷ "A contract may be entered into in
parties. It should not have improvidently and hastily excluded said parol evidence, whatever form except where the law requires a document or other special form as
knowing that the subject- matter treated therein, was one of the exceptions to the in the contracts enumerated in Article 1388 of the Civil Code. The general rule,
parol evidence rule. When the operation of the contract is made to depend upon therefore, is that a contract may be oral or written." (Tong v. Intermediate
the occurrence of an event, which, for that reason is a condition precedent, such Appellate Court, 156 SCRA 726)
may be established by parol evidence.
3. MERCANTILE LAW; CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA ACT; CONTRACT OF
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. Ͷ Where the agreement extending time for AFFREIGHTMENT, DEFINED. Ͷ A contract of affreightment. As defined, a contract
payment of the defendants' accounts to a date subsequent to the filing of the of affreightment is a contract with the shipowner to hire his ship or part of it, for
action to recover the said indebtedness, made reference to a previous agreement, the carriage of goods, and generally takes the form either of a charter party or a bill
the trial court should have admitted evidence of surrounding circumstances to of lading.
show that the supposed agreement to extend never became effective by reason of
failure of some collateral condition.
4. ID.; ID.; CHARTER PARTY; TERMS GOVERNED BY THE BILL OF LADING WHEN carefully and thoroughly by this Court, in the light of the issues and arguments
ENTERED INTO VERBALLY. Ͷ Charter party may be oral, in which case the terms raised by the parties before it, and may be modified or even reversed whenever
thereof, not having been reduced to writing, shall be those embodied in the bill of warranted to give the deserving suitor the appropriate relief. As in this case.
lading. (Articles 652 and 653, Code of Commerce; Compañia Maritima v. Insurance
Company of North America, 12 SCRA 213)   /  

 

5. REMEDIAL LAW; PAROL EVIDENCE; INAPPLICABLE WHERE THE FIRST SYLLABUS


AGREEMENT WAS NOT MERELY MODIFIED BUT ACTUALLY REPLACED. Ͷ The parol
1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; PAROL EVIDENCE RULE; CONSTRUED. Ͷ Under
evidence rule is clearly inapplicable because that involves the verbal modification Ͷ
the parol evidence rule, when the terms of an agreement have been reduced into
usually not allowed Ͷ of a written agreement admittedly still valid and subsisting.
writing, it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon, and there can be,
In the case at bar, the first written agreement had not merely been modified but
between the parties and their successors-in-interest, no evidence of such terms
actually replaced by the second verbal agreement, which is perfectly valid even if
other than the contents of the written agreement. However, a party may present
not in writing like the first.
evidence to modify, explain or add to the terms of the written agreement if he puts
6. MERCANTILE LAW; CODE OF COMMERCE; DEMURRAGE; NOT CARRIED in issue in his pleading, the failure of the written agreement to express the true
OVER THE SECOND CONTRACT WHERE THERE IS NO STIPULATION THEREON IN THE intent of the parties thereto. HAECID
FIRST CONTRACT. Ͷ Regarding the bill of lading, an examination thereof will reveal
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ADMISSIBLE WHERE THE RIGHT TO REPURCHASE WAS THE
that there is no condition or requirement therein for the payment of demurrage
MOVING CAUSE OR FORMS PART OF THE DEED OF SALE; CASE AT BAR. Ͷ In the
charges. Under the afore-quoted Article 653 of the Code of Commerce, therefore,
case at bench, the fact which private respondents seek to establish by parol
there was no reason to read any stipulation for demurrage into the second
evidence consists of the agreement or representation made by the NAC that
contract.
induced Inez Ouano to execute the deed of sale; that the vendors and their heirs
7. ID.; ID.; ID.; ABSENCE OF DELAY IN UNLOADING CARGO, NEGATES are given the right of repurchase should the government no longer need the
LIABILITY. Ͷ Even assuming that the original agreement for demurrage had been property. Where a parol contemporaneous agreement was the moving cause of the
carried over in the second contract, there is no acceptable evidence of the delay written contract, or where the parol agreement forms part of the consideration of
allegedly incurred by the petitioner in the unloading of its cargo in Roxas City. Uy's the written contract, and it appears that the written contract was executed on the
testimony on this matter is self-serving, let alone the fact that he admittedly was faith of the parol contract or representation, such evidence is admissible. It is
not present at the unloading. His corroboration is hearsay. This consisted merely of recognized that proof is admissible of any collateral parol agreement that is not
Exhibits B and C, the so-called statement of facts regarding the unloading of the inconsistent with the terms of the written contract though it may relate to the same
cargo from the barge, prepared by the barge patron, a certain Ding Julian. This subject matter. The rule excluding parol evidence to vary or contradict a writing
person was not presented at the trial to testify on his report and could therefore does not extend so far as to preclude the admission of existing evidence to show
not be subjected to cross examination. prior or contemporaneous collateral parol agreements between the parties, but
such evidence may be received, regardless of whether or not the written
8. REMEDIAL LAW; SUPREME COURT; IT SHOULD NEVER BE ASSUMED THAT agreement contains any reference to such collateral agreement, and whether the
DECISIONS UNDER REVIEW WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY AFFIRMED. Ͷ It should never action is at law or in equity.
be assumed that when this Court sits to review the decisions of the lower courts, it
will merely and automatically affirm them without further inquiry on the 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; FAILURE TO OBJECT ADMISSION THEREOF, DEEMED WAIVED.
convenient assumption that they are correct. That may be a presumption, and it is Ͷ More importantly, no objection was made by petitioner when private
often valid, but it is never conclusive upon us. Such decisions are always examined respondents introduced evidence to show the right of repurchase granted by the
NAC to Inez Ouano. It has been repeatedly laid down as a rule of evidence that a
protest or objection against the admission of any evidence must be made at the 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; EFFECT OF FAILURE TO OBJECT. Ͷ When no timely objection
proper time, and if not so made, it will be understood to have been waived. or protest was made against the admission of parol evidence on respect to a
contract relative to real estate, and when the motion to strike out said evidence
4. CIVIL LAW; STATUTE OF FRAUDS; REQUIREMENT SUFFICIENTLY COMPLIED came too late; and if, on the other hand, the party against whom such evidence was
WHERE RIGHT TO REPURCHASE LOT FORMS PART OF THE DEED OF SALE. Ͷ Under presented cross-questioned the witnesses who testified in respect to the contract,
Art. 1403 of the Civil Code, a contract for the sale of real property shall be the said party will be understood to have waived the benefits of the law, and such
unenforceable unless the same or some note or memorandum thereof be in writing parol evidence is competent and admissible.
and subscribed by the party charged or his agent. Evidence of the agreement
cannot be received without the writing, or a secondary evidence of its contents. In 5 
 = #
 
 (+  6('

the case at bench, the deed of sale and the verbal agreement allowing the right of
repurchase should be considered as an integral whole. The deed of sale relied upon : , #

by petitioner is in itself the note or memorandum evidencing the contract. Thus, the
 /  / (+  6('
 
requirement of the Statute of Frauds has been sufficiently complied with.
+ 
 

# <  
5. ID.; ID.; DOES NOT APPLY TO CONTRACTS PARTIALLY PERFORMED. Ͷ The
principle of the Statute of Frauds only applies to executory contracts and not to : , #

contracts either partially or totally performed, as in this case, where the sale has
been consummated; hence, the same is taken out of the scope of the Statute of +/ 
  
Frauds. As the deed of sale has been consummated, by virtue of which, petitioner
: >   (+  6( 
6
accepted some benefits thereunder, it cannot now deny the existence of the
agreement. The Statute of Frauds was enacted for the purpose of preventing fraud. $
 
(+  6( 
1
It should not be made the instrument to further them.
0 '  
  2
 $  ! 3

 ': 
 0 -' 

SYLLABUS
April 3, 2008 in CuRReNT IsSues
1. TRIAL; RECEPTION OF EVIDENCE; OBJECTIONS AND EXCEPTIONS; TIME FOR 
 ' 
: 
 
OBJECTION. Ͷ It has been repeatedly laid down as a rule of evidence that a protest 0 -' 
  /

or objection against the admission of any evidence must be made at the proper
time, and that if not so made it will be understood to have been waived. The proper ŒN GENERAL:
time to make a protest or objection is when, from the question addressed to the
witness, or from the answer thereto, or from the presentation of the proof the What is the case of Neri vs. Senate Committee?
inadmissibility of the evidence is, or may be, inferred.
This case is about the Senate investigation of anomalies concerning
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; TIME TO MAKE MOTION TO STRIKE OUT. Ͷ A motion to strike the NBN-ZTE project. During the hearings, former NEDA head Romulo
out parol or documentary evidence from the record is useless and ineffective if Neri refused to answer certain questions involving his conversations
made without timely protest, objection, or opposition on the part of the party with President Arroyo on the ground they are covered by executive
against whom it was presented. privilege. When the Senate cited him in contempt and ordered his
arrest, Neri filed a case against the Senate with the Supreme Court.
On March 25, 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Neri and US$329,481,290.00 (around PhP 16B). The project sought to provide
upheld the claim of executive privilege. landline, cellular and internet services in government offices
nationwide and was to be financed through a loan by China to the
ühat is ͞executive privilege͟? Philippines. President Arroyo witnessed the contract signing in
China.
It is the right of the President and high-level executive branch
officials to withhold information from Congress, the courts and the After its signing, reports of anomalies concerning the project (e.g.,
public. It is a privilege of confidentiality which applies to bribery, ͞overpricing͟ by US$ 130M, ͞kickback commissions͟ involving
certain types of information of a sensitive character that would be top government officials, and loss of the contract) prompted the
against the public interest to disclose. Executive privilege is Senate, through the Committees on Accountability of Public Officers
based on the constitution because it relates to the President͛s and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), Trade and Commerce, and National
effective discharge of executive powers. Its ultimate end is to Defense and Security, to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation.
promote public interest and no other. The inquiry was based on a number of Senate resolutions and in
connection with pending bills concerning funding in the procurement
Œs executive privilege absolute? of government projects, contracting of loans as development
assistance, and Senate concurrence to executive agreements.
No. Any claim of executive privilege must be weighed against other
interests recognized by the constitution, like the state policy of In one of the hearings held on Sept. 26, 2007, former NEDA Director
full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest, General Romulo Neri testified that President Arroyo initially gave
the right of the people to information on matters of public concern, instructions for the project to be undertaken on a Build-Operate-
the accountability of public officers, the power of legislative Transfer (BOT) arrangement so the government would not spend money
inquiry, and the judicial power to secure evidence in deciding cases. for it, but eventually the project was awarded to ZTE with a
government-to-government loan from China. He also said that then
Did the revocation by the President of E.O. 464 on March 6, 2008 COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos, the alleged broker in the project,
diminish the concept of executive privilege? offered him PhP 200M in exchange for NEDA͛s approval of the project.
Neri testified that when he told President Arroyo of the bribe offer,
No. Executive privilege may still be invoked despite the President͛s she told him not to accept it. But Neri refused to answer questions
revocation of E.O. 464 because it is based on the constitution. about what he and the President discussed after that, invoking
executive privilege since they concerned his conversations with the
President. The Senate required him to appear again and testify on
ON THE uONTENT OF THE PREME uORT DEuŒ ŒON: November 20, 2007. On November 15, 2007, Executive Secretary Eduardo
Ermita wrote the Senate Committees and asked that Neri͛s testimony on
What events led to the filing of the case before the Supreme Court? November 20, 2007 be dispensed with because he was invoking executive
privilege ͞by Order of the President͟ specifically on the following
On April 21, 2007, the DOTC and Zhing Xing Telecommunications questions:
Equipment (ZTE), a corporation owned by the People͛s Republic of
China, executed a ͞Contract for the Supply of Equipment and Services a. Whether the President followed up on the NBN project?
for the National Broadband Network Project͟ (NBN-ZTE Contract) worth b. Were you dictated to prioritize the ZTE?
c. Whether the President said to go ahead and approve the questions covered by executive privilege?
project after being told about the alleged bribe? b. Did the Senate Committees commit grave abuse of discretion in
citing Neri in contempt and ordering his arrest?
When Neri failed to appear on November 20, 2007, the Senate required
him to show cause why he should not be cited in contempt. Neri How did the Supreme Court resolve these issues?
explained that he thought the only remaining questions were those he
claimed to be covered by executive privilege and that should there be The Supreme Court first recognized the power of Congress to conduct
new matters to be taken up, he asked that he be informed in advance inquiries in aid of legislation. The Court said that the power
of what else he needs to clarify so he could prepare himself. extends even to executive officials and the only way for them to be
exempted is through a valid claim of executive privilege.
On Dec. 7, 2007, Neri questioned the validity of the Senate͛s show
cause order before the Supreme Court. On January 30, 2008, the On the first question, the Supreme Court said that the communications
Senate cited Neri in contempt and ordered his arrest for his failure sought to be elicited by the three questions are covered by the
to appear in the Senate hearings. On February 1, 2008, Neri asked the presidential communications privilege, which is one type of executive
Supreme Court to stop the Senate from implementing its contempt privilege. Hence, the Senate cannot compel Neri to answer the three
order, which the Court granted on Feb. 5, 2008. The Supreme Court questions.
also required the parties to observe the status quo prevailing before
the issuance of the contempt order. On the second question, the Supreme Court said that the Senate
Committees committed grave abuse of discretion in citing Neri in
What reasons were given for the claim of executive privilege? contempt. Hence, the Senate order citing Neri in contempt and
ordering his arrest was not valid.
Executive Secretary Ermita said that ͞the context in which executive
privilege is being invoked is that the information sought to be What are the types of executive privilege?
disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations
with the People͛s Republic of China.͟ Neri further added that a. state secrets (regarding military, diplomatic and other
his ͞conversations with the President dealt with delicate and security matters)
sensitive national security and diplomatic matters relating to the b. identity of government informers
impact of the bribery scandal involving high government officials and c. information related to pending investigations
the possible loss of confidence of foreign investors and lenders in d. presidential communications
the Philippines.͟ e. deliberative process

ühat issues were considered by the upreme uourt in resolving the In what cases is the claim of executive privilege highly recognized?
case?
The claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where
The Supreme Court said there were two crucial questions at the core the subject of inquiry relates to a power textually committed by the
of the controversy: constitution to the President, such as the commander-in-chief,
appointing, pardoning, and diplomatic powers of the President.
a. Are the communications sought to be elicited by the three Information relating to these powers may enjoy greater
confidentiality than others. Yes. Presidential communications are ͞presumptively privileged͟.
The presumption is based on the President͛s generalized interest in
ühat specifically are the executive privileges relating to confidentiality. The privilege is necessary to guarantee the candor
deliberations or communications of the President and other government of presidential advisors and to provide the President and those who
officials? assist him with freedom to explore alternatives in the process of
shaping policies and making decisions and to do so in a way many
These are the presidential communications privilege and the would be unwilling to express except privately.
deliberative process privilege.
The presumption can be overcome only by mere showing of public need
How are the presidential communications privilege and the by the branch seeking access to presidential communications.
deliberative process privilege distinguished?
Who are covered by the presidential communications privilege?
The presidential communications privilege applies to decision-making
of the President. It pertains to ͞communications, documents or other Aside from the President, the presidential communications privilege
materials that reflect presidential decision-making and deliberations covers senior presidential advisors or Malacanang staff who
and that the President believes should remain confidential͟. have ͞operational proximity͟ to direct presidential decision-making.

The deliberative process privilege applies to decision-making of ühat are the elements of the presidential communications privilege?
executive officials. It includes ͞advisory opinions, recommendations
and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental The following are the elements of the presidential communications
decisions and policies are formulated.͟ privilege:

Unlike the deliberative process privilege, the presidential a. The protected communication must relate to a ͞quintessential
communications privilege applies to documents in their entirety, and and non-delegable presidential power͟.
covers final and post-decisional materials as well as pre- b. The communication must be authored or ͞solicited and
deliberative ones. received͟ by a close advisor of the President or the President
himself. The advisor must be in ͞operational proximity͟ with the
Moreover, congressional or judicial negation of the presidential President.
communications privilege is always subject to greater scrutiny than c. The privilege is a qualified privilege that may be overcome
denial of the deliberative process privilege. by a showing of adequate or compelling need that would justify the
limitation of the privilege and that the information sought is
ühat is the type of executive privilege claimed in this case? unavailable elsewhere by an appropriate investigating agency.

The type of executive privilege claimed in this case is the ühat are examples of ͞quintessential and non-delegable presidential
presidential communications privilege. powers͟ which are covered by the presidential communications
privilege?
Is there a presumption in favor of presidential communications?
The privilege covers only those functions which form the core of
presidential authority. These are functions which
involve ͞quintessential and non-delegable presidential powers͟ such üas the claim of executive privilege properly invoked by the
as the powers of the president as commander-in-chief (i.e., to call President in this case?
out the armed forces to suppress violence, to declare martial law, or
to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus), the power to Yes. For the claim to be properly invoked, there must be a formal
appoint officials and remove them, the power to grant pardons and claim by the President stating the ͞precise and certain reason͟ for
reprieves, the power to receive ambassadors, and the power to preserving confidentiality. The grounds relied upon by Executive
negotiate treaties and to enter into execute agreements. Secretary Ermita are specific enough, since what is required is only
that an allegation be made ͞whether the information demanded involves
Are the elements of the presidential communications privilege present military or diplomatic secrets, closed-door Cabinet meetings, etc.͟
in this case? The particular ground must only be specified, and the following
statement of grounds by Executive Secretary Ermita satisfies the
Yes. The communications elicited by the three questions are covered requirement: ͞The context in which executive privilege is being
by the presidential communications privilege because: invoked is that the information sought to be disclosed might impair
our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the People͛s
a. First, the communications relate to the power of the Republic of China.͟
President to enter into an executive agreement with other countries.
b. Second, the communications are received by Neri, who as a ühat reasons were given by the upreme uourt in holding that it was
Cabinet member can be considered a close advisor of the President. wrong for the enate to cite Neri in contempt and order his arrest?
c. Third, the Senate Committees have not adequately shown a
compelling need for the answers to the three questions in the a. There was a legitimate claim of executive privilege.
enactment of a law and of the unavailability of the information b. The Senate͛s invitations to Neri did not include the possible
elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. needed statute which prompted the inquiry, the subject of inquiry,
and the questions to be asked.
Does the grant of the claim of executive privilege violate the right c. The contempt order lacked the required number of votes.
of the people to information on matters of public concern? d. The Senate͛s rules of procedure on inquiries in aid of
legislation were not duly published.
No, for the following reasons: e. The contempt order is arbitrary and precipitate because the
Senate did not first rule on the claim of executive privilege and
a. Neri appeared before the Senate on Sept. 26, 2007 and was instead dismissed Neri͛s explanation as unsatisfactory.
questioned for 11 hours. He also expressed his willingness to answer
more questions from the Senators, except the three questions. Œ ŒŒ 
      ŒŒ
b. The right to information is subject to limitation, such as
executive privilege. ü  m      m            

c. The right of Congress to obtain information in aid of 
 m

legislation cannot be equated with the people͛s right to
information. Congress cannot claim that every legislative inquiry is Executive privilege is in derogation of the search for truth.
an exercise of the people͛s right to information. However, the decision recognized Presidential communications as
presumptively privileged. Hence, the party seeking disclosure of the The decision makes it easy for the President to invoke executive
information has the burden of overcoming the presumption in favor of privilege, since what is required is only that an allegation be
the confidentiality of Presidential communications. made ͞whether the information demanded involves military or
diplomatic secrets, closed-door Cabinet meetings, etc.͟ This in
This presumption is inconsistent with the Court͛s earlier statement effect will enable the use of executive privilege to hide misconduct
in Senate vs. Ermita (April 20, 2006) that ͞the presumption inclines or crime. According to Fr. Bernas, S.J., the implication of the
heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure͟. It ruling is that once the ͞presidential communications privilege͟ is
is also inconsistent with constitutional provisions on transparency invoked, no evidence is needed to support it even if there are valid
in governance and accountability of public officers, and the right of reasons for disclosing the information sought. ͞This would
the people to information on matters of public concern. revolutionize the doctrine in a manner that can affect all other
investigations. This can, for instance, hamper effective use of the
m   m     
    
 
 ͙ writ of amparo and writ of habeas data. It can also cripple
efforts to battle official corruption ͙.͟
Yes, the decision expands the coverage of executive privilege in at
least two ways: In particular, what is the effect of the decision on the Senate͛s
power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation?
a. The decision explained that the presidential communications
privilege covers communications authored or ͞solicited and received͟ The decision severely limits the Senate͛s power of legislative
by a close advisor of the President or the President himself. This inquiry and its ability to investigate government anomalies in aid of
means that the privilege applies not only to communications that legislation. The decision encroaches upon matters internal to the
directly involve the President, but also to communications involving Senate as an institution separate from and co-equal to other branches
the President͛s close advisors, i.e., those in ͞operational of government.
proximity͟ with the President. There is no definition
of ͞operational proximity͟, so it is not clear how far down the chain The decision, for instance, requires the Senate to give its questions
of command the privilege extends. This expansion of the coverage of in advance of its hearings. But this is a requirement applicable
the privilege means that information in many areas of the executive only to the question hour and not to inquiries in aid of
branch will become ͞sequestered͟ from public view. legislation. Moreover, it is impractical, since follow-up questions
of Senators will be difficult to anticipate.
b. The decision also stated that the presidential communications
privilege applies to documents in their entirety, and covers final The decision also requires the Senate to publish its rules of
and post-decisional materials as well as pre-deliberative ones. This procedure on legislative inquiries every three years. But the
means that the privilege protects not only the deliberative or advice Senate traditionally considered as a continuing body. Senate
portions of documents, i.e., communications made in the process of committees continue to work even during senatorial elections. By
arriving at presidential decisions, but also factual material or tradition and practice, the Senate does not re-publish its rules. To
information concerning decisions already reached by the President. require publication of its rules every three years is unnecessary and
inconsistent with its tradition and practice.
How will the decision affect other investigations?
         mm      


 On January 22, 1986, said Regional Trial Court, after considering the petitioner's
motion of November 4, 1985, the respondents' opposition thereto dated January
No. Although the vote is 9 ʹ 6 in favor of upholding the claim of 15, 1986; the petitioner's Reply dated January 16, 1986, and the respondents'
executive privilege, two of the nine Justices concurred merely in the Rejoinder dated January 20, 1986, issued an order directing the respondents herein
result, while one Justice argued not on the basis of executive "to pay all officers and employees of petitioner their back salaries and wages
privilege. Hence, only six out of the nine Justices explained their corresponding to the period from February to August 29, 1985."
votes in favor of the claim of executive privilege. Six out of a
total of 15 Justices do not establish a doctrine. On February 4, 1986, respondents herein filed with this Court an "Appeal from, or
Petition to Set Aside, order to Pay Back Salaries dated 22 January 1986" praying for
       m 
mm m     the reversal and setting aside of the aforestated trial court's Order dated January
    22, 1986. This was formally opposed by Petitioner when it filed its "Answer to
Appeal (re: back salaries)" on February 26, 1986. A month later, on March 26, 1986,
The decision does not stop the Senate from continuing with its respondents filed their "Reply to the Answer" which petitioner traversed in a
investigations and from undertaking other inquiries, although the "Rejoinder to the Reply" dated April 2, 1986.
government has already declared that officials will not appear unless
In a normal situation, no controversy would be expected in the matter of the
the Senate rules are first published. Should Neri (and other
payment of said back salaries because in the instant case, the party praying for the
officials) appear, the Senate can ask him questions other than the
same is the employer Bank. The attendant circumstances here present have,
three questions. But Neri may again invoke executive privilege on
however, created a peculiar situation. There is resistance to the claim because the
other questions, which could result in another case before the
management of the assets of the Bank has been transferred to the Respondents'
Supreme Court, and the cycle may be repeated again and again. Such a
Receiver who perceived that the directive to pay back salaries after closure of the
situation, particularly where there appears to be a pattern of
Bank would be dissipation of the bank's assets to the prejudice of its various
concealment in government activities, will ultimately be harmful to
creditors.
public interest.
 There is, however, in this case a significant matter that deserves consideration of
this Court and which must be viewed from the stand-point of equity. What stands
. 

 
.
(c  !3
out is that, regardless of whether the employees of Banco Filipino worked or not
RESOLUTION after January 25, 1985, there is the uncontested manifestation found in BF's Answer
to the Appeal, dated February 26, 1986 (Vol. IV of Case Records) that:
On November 4, 1985, Petitioner Bank filed in the instant case, a "Motion to Pay
Back Salaries to All BF Officers and Employees from February to August 29, 1985" in "2. In the fact the receiver/liquidator Carlota Valenzuela had paid Union
connection with its "Opposition to Respondents' Motion for Reconsideration or for employees of petitioner BF back salaries for no work from January 25, 1985 up to
Clarification of the Resolution of the Court En Banc of October 8, 1985." On June, 1985. . ." (Emphasis Supplied)
November 7, 1985, this Court referred said motion to pay back salaries to Branch
All employees, therefore, of petitioner Banco Filipino who have not yet received
136 (Judge Ricardo Francisco, presiding) of the Makati Regional Trial Court, which
their back salaries corresponding to the period from January 25, 1985 up to June,
this Court had earlier directed under our Resolution of October 8, 1985 issued in
1985 manifestly deserve and ought to be similarly paid by the respondent Monetary
G.R. No. 70054, to conduct hearings on the matter of the closure of petitioner Bank
Board. It is but fair that the issue whether or not the employees of petitioner Bank
and its alleged pre-planned liquidation.
had actually worked during said period should now be discounted considering this
voluntary act of respondent Monetary Board which would remove by estoppel any
impediment to the receipt by all bank employees of their back salaries from January SYLLABUS
25, 1985 up to June, 1985, assuming that some of them have not yet received the
same. 1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED; CONFESSION; EXTRA-
JUDICIAL CONFESSION MADE WITHOUT ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL, INADMISSIBLE.
As the remaining period from June, 1985 to August, 1985, involves but a minimal Ͷ The records are clear to the effect that the extrajudicial confession of Capulong
period only of two (2) months, and considering the unfortunate plight of the was made without the assistance of counsel. Therefore, applying our
numerous employees who now invoke the sympathetic concern of this Court, and pronouncements in the case of People v. Benigno Pineda y Dimatulac, (G.R. No.
inasmuch as the appealed Order for the payment of back salaries is only for a 72400, January 15, 1988), this issue has become academic. We said: "A discussion
limited period or up to August, 1985, the appealed order of November 7, 1985 may of the alleged coercion and intimidation in the first assigned error has become
be sustained. academic with the change in the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution regarding
the rights of the accused. Article 3, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution specifically
Petitioner BF and its stockholders have long put on record their consent to this provides that the rights of the accused, among them the right to counsel, cannot be
payment of back salaries of its separated officers and employees. It is also averred waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. Thus, even if the
that BF intends to reopen its bank and branches, and the payment of back salaries confession of the accused is gospel truth, since it was made without assistance of
to its employees, no less would help in the preservation of its personnel which is counsel, it becomes inadmissible in evidence regardless of the absence of coercion
the bank's most important asset, apart from doing justice to those aggrieved or even if it had been voluntarily given."
employees. It is mentioned that the Central Bank Liquidator has now more than a
billion pesos in cash of Banco Filipino since it continued to receive payments from 2. CRIMINAL LAW; EVIDENCE; FACTUAL FINDINGS OF THE TRIAL COURT
BF borrowers some P1.5 million a day. It is also said that with the deposits of GENERALLY ACCORDED HIGHEST RESPECT. Ͷ On the credibility of the witnesses,
petitioner BF with the Bank of PI, there is money sufficient to allow the withdrawal the well-settled rule is that the trial court's findings are accorded the highest degree
of the sums needed to pay the salaries of the employees who have been now out of of respect, it being in the position to observe the demeanor and manner of
work for over a year. Apparently, no substantial prejudice will be incurred by the testifying of the witnesses (People v. de Jesus, 145 SCRA 521).
parties to this case by providing for the payment of the distressed employees of the
bank for only a specified limited period until the other issues in the consolidated 3. ID.; ID.; CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES; BURDEN OF PROOFS AND
cases are fully resolved. PRESUMPTIONS; LAW ENFORCERS' TESTIMONIES GIVEN CREDENCE; PRESUMPTION
THAT THEY HAVE REGULARLY PERFORMED THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES ABSENT PROOF
On the other hand, the said plight of these employees of the Banco Filipino can be TO THE CONTRARY. Ͷ We give credence to the narration of the incident by the
readily realized and indeed, should deserve utmost liberal consideration. three officers of the team because they are law enforcers and are, therefore,
presumed to have regularly performed their duty in the absence of proof to the
WHEREFORE, ruling that the Order of November 7, 1985 of Judge Ricardo Francisco, contrary (People v. Gamayon, 121 SCRA 642; and other cases cited.)
granting salary to the officers and employees of Banco Filipino for the period from
February, 1985 to August 29, 1985, may now be deemed moot and academic 4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ABSENCE OF IMPROPER MOTIVE. Ͷ The testimony of the
insofar as it relates to the period from January 25, 1985 to June, 1985 and as the CANU officers are given credence because the record does not show that these
remaining period, which is from June, 1985 up to August, 1985, covers but a officers who were responsible for the appellant's entrapment were motivated by
minimal span of two (2) months, the Court RESOLVES, for reasons of equity, to any improper motives other than to accomplish their mission (See People v. de
allow the aforestated Order to remain undisturbed and to DISMISS the appeal Jesus, supra.).
therefrom. This Order is immediately held executory. (Gutierrez, Jr., J., took no
part.) 5. ID.; ID.; NUMBER OF WITNESSES TO BE PRESENTED, DISCRETIONARY
FUNCTION OF THE PROSECUTION. Ͷ The number of witnesses to be presented and

  
$ the nature of the facts to be established during the examination of those witnesses
is a discretionary function of the prosecution. The non-presentation of Estacio as The procedure in criminal cases in the Philippine islands provides that a defendant
witness is not fatal to the prosecution's case. His testimony would be merely in a criminal proceeding may be a witness in his own behalf. When he avails himself
corroborative and cumulative (See People v. Cerelegia, 147 SCRA 538). of this right, he is subject to a rigid cross-examination and is bound by his
admissions, voluntarily given, in such examination. His admissions are presumed to
 
$    (+  6 
3 be given voluntarily and when thus given on a previous trial, they may be used
against him in a subsequent cause. (State vs. Glass, 50 Wis., 218; People vs. Kelley,


#+  47 Cal., 125; People vs. Gibbons, 43 Cal., 557.).chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
chanrobles virtual law library
Ñ'   $

The rule is well established that a voluntary, unsworn statement of a person
With reference to the second assignment of error, to wit, that the trial court erred charged with a crime, may be proved against him as a confession. If his voluntary
in receiving the testimony of the defendant, given in a former cause, as evidence extrajudicial admissions are admissible against him, there seems to be no good
against him in this cause and basing his conviction thereon, it may be said, again reason why his admissions made in open court, underoath, should not be accepted
adopting the statement of the facts of the appellant in his brief, that "it appears against him.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
from the record herein (evidence, pp. 20 and 21) that the undersigned attorney (the
attorney for the defendant in both cases) advised the defendant, prior to the trial of In the case of People vs. Kelley (47 Cal., 125) the court said:
cause no. 7949, that he should testify in said cause that he was the lessee of the
house No. 26 Calle Chica, and that he lived there, and that the opium found on the If his voluntary, unsworn statements may be proved against him as a
upper floor of said house belonged to him and was in his possession and custody; confession, his voluntary testimony, underoath, given in a proceeding in
that such evidence, so far from prejudicing him, should have the effect of freeing which he elects and is authorized to testify, ought to stand upon at least as
him from the charge therein made against him. We have, therefore, the express favorable a footing.
admission of the defendant in cause No. 7949, given in open court, that he was the
owner of the opium with which he is charged of having in his possession in the The justice of the foregoing rule seems to be fairly well illustrated in the following
present case. The fact that this admission was made by the defendant was clearly example: Suppose the defendant in the present action making the confession
proved during the trial of the present case by witnesses who heard it. No attempt referred to above, upon some ground or other had secured, on appeal, a new trial,
was made to show that the fact was not exactly as confessed by the and on that new trial should give testimony materially different from that which he
defendant.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library gave on the first trial. Could there be any doubt that in case his testimony on the
first trial might be given in evidence on the second, for the purpose of affecting his
With reference to the admissibility of the admissions and declarations of a credibility and for the purpose of influencing the court with reference to his guilt?
defendant charged with a crime, the rule seems to be that the declarations made We have been unable to find any authority in jurisdictions where a defendant may
by a defendant or by a third party, by his authority, if relevant, are admissible declare in his own behalf jurisprudence supporting the contention of the appellant.
against him. If the defendant has made the statements constituting an admission of
the facts charged in the complaint they are admissible against him. (Commonwealth c  ?  
  
vs. Sanborn, 116 Mass., 61; People vs. Bosworth, 64 Hun (N. Y.), 72; People vs.
Cassidy, 133 N. Y., 612; State vs. Behrman, 114 N. C., The third assignment of error cannot be sustained. In offering in evidence the
797.).chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library testimony given by Mr. Hemady and the Hashims in the earlier case, the defendant-
appellant did not claim that said testimony contained admissions against interest by
The foregoing rule is based upon the presumption that no man would declare the parties to the action or their agents; if such had been the case, the testimony
anything against himself, unless such declarations were true. A man's acts, conduct, would have been admissible without the laying of a foundation and without the
and declarations, whereever made, provided they be voluntary, a readmissible witnesses having testified in the case at bar. But the purpose of the offer of the
against him, for the reason that it is fair to presume that they correspond with the testimony was evidently to impeach the testimony of the same witnesses in the
truth, and it is his fault if they do not. (Truby vs. Seybert, 12 Pa. St., present case and if so, a foundation should have been laid by calling the attention
101,104.).chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library of the witnesses to the former statements so as to give them opportunity to explain
before the statements were offered in evidence.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary We do not, however, agree with the trial court's characterization of the appellant's
chanrobles virtual law library declaration that she killed her husband as an extrajudicial confession. It is only an
admission. It is clear from Sections 26 and 33, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court that
In discussing their first assignment of error, counsel for the defendant-appellant there is a distinction between an admission and a confession. These sections reads
insist that, taking into consideration the facts of the case and the circumstances as follows:
preceeding the same, it is obvious that the case is "fraudulent and that even if the
indebtedness claimed were over a true indebtedness, either the same had been Sec. 26. Admission of a party. - The act, declaration or admission
paid or payment thereof waived." This contention is not entirely without of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against
foundation and though we cannot fully agree with counsel, we do think that, in him.
view of the very apparent unreliability of some of the oral evidence presented, the
plaintiff's recovery on its first cause of action should be limited to the amount xxx xxx xxx chanrobles virtual law library
shown by its books of account.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
library Sec. 33. uonfession. - The declaration of an accused
acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or of any offense
On December 31, 1924, the plaintiff's ledger showed a balance of P12,238.02 necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence against
against the defendant Hashim, and it does not appear that he has incurred any him.
further indebtedness to the plaintiff since that date. The plaintiff explains that the
amount claimed in excess of the sum shown by the ledger represents interest at the In a confession. there is an acknowledgment of guilt. Admission is usually applied in
rate of 8 per centper annum, but under the circumstances of the case, we cannot criminal cases to statements of fact by the accused which do not directly involve an
give much weight to this explanation. It clearly appears that the chattel mortgage acknowledgment of guilt of the accused or of the criminal intent to commit the
debt, upon which the plaintiff's first cause of action is based, is included in the offense with which he is charged. 1 Wharton 4 defines confession as follows:
ledger account and it may properly beconsidered as merged therein. It also appears
that the account was balanced at the end of the years 1920, 1922 and 1924, and
A confession is an acknowledgment in express terms, by a party in
considering the fact that the plaintiff corporation is a well conducted business
a criminal case, of his guilt of the crime charged, while an
organization, it seems rather improbable that, in striking its book balances, it would
admission is a statement by the accused, direct or implied, of
have overlooked the important item of interest if any interest on the book account
facts pertinent to the issue, and tending, in connection with proof
in question had been agreed upon.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual
of other facts, to prove his guilt. In other words, an admission is
law library
something less than a confession, and is but an acknowledgment
of some fact or circumstance which in itself is insufficient to
The judgment appealed from is, therefore, modified by reducing the plaintiff's authorize a conviction, and which tends only to establish the
recovery to the sum of P12,238.02, with interest at the rate of 6 per cent per ultimate fact of guilt.
annum from January 13, 1925, the date of the filing of the complaint. In all other
respects said judgment is affirmed without costs in this instance. So ordered.
Underhill3 distinguishes a confession from an admission as follows:

 
 
# 
## -
A confession is defined as an acknowledgment of guilt of the
crime charged or of the facts which constitute the crime; but it is
'+  6 
3 66
an admission and not a confession if the facts acknowledged raise
an inference of guilt only when considered with other facts.
'
 

"

 ;
 9
 While Wigmore says:
A confession is an acknowledgment in express can not be considered admissions that Shinko received the questioned
words, by the accused in a criminal case, of the commissions since neither statements declared categorically that Shinko
truth of the guilty fact charged or of some did in fact receive the commissions and that these arose from the sale of

essential part of it. CMS's logs.

Nevertheless, whether it was a confession or an admission, it was admissible As correctly stated by the appellate court:
against the appellant and, having been duly proved, together with the other facts
and circumstances, the burden of the evidence was shifted to the appellant to It is a rule that "a statement is not competent as an admission
disprove, by strong evidence, that she made the admission or, admitting it, to prove where it does not, under a reasonable construction, appear to
that she was not guilty of killing her husband. As earlier shown, the trial court admit or acknowledge the fact which is sought to be proved by it".
characterized her story as "palpably a put-up scenario An admission or declaration to be competent must have been
. . . . [A] story which runs against the grain of ordinary reality, controverts logic and expressed in definite, certain and unequivocal language (Bank of
assails common sense." The five reasons enumerated by it to support this the Philippine Islands vs. Fidelity & Surety Co., 51 Phil. 57, 64).
conclusion are founded on or are inferred from facts duly established by the
prosecution or are otherwise solidly based on common experience, logic, and 
 

common sense.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
At the core of the controversy is Section 20, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution, to
The trial court had stated that if indeed the appellant never confessed to Eclipse
which respondent Judge has given a construction that is disputed by the People.
that she killed her husband, she should have protested when Eclipse reported to
The section reads as follows:
the desk officer that she had confessed to the killing of her husband or she should
have attempted to correct the entry in the police blotter containing this inculpatory
report. The appellant demonstrated her penchant for falsehood when, in order to SEC. 20. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against
refute this statement, she asserted in her brief that nothing in the record clearly himself Any person under investigation for the commission of an
shows that she heard Eclipse making the report and that she read the entry in the offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to
police blotter. She conveniently forgot that on cross-examination she admitted be informed of such right. No force, violence, threat, intimidation,
having heard Eclipse making the report but claiming that she did not protest or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used
against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this section
because she was not in her right senses and was in a state of shock at the time.
shall be inadmissible in evidence.
';
$$ $ 

# 
It should at once be apparent that there are two (2) rights, or sets of rights, dealt
with in the section, namely:
and that of Atty. V. E. Del Rosario,
1) the right against self-incrimination - i.e., the right of a person
. . . It does not seem proper, therefore, for CMS Logging, Inc., as not to be compelled to be a witness against himself - set out in
principal, to concern itself with, much less question, the right of the first sentence, which is a verbatim reproduction of Section 18,
Shinko Trading Co., Ltd. with which our client debt directly, to Article III of the 1935 Constitution, and is similar to that accorded
whatever benefits it might have derived form the ultimate by the Fifth Amendment of the American Constitution, and


consumer/buyer of these logs, Toyo Menka Kaisha, Ltd. There chanrobles virtual law library
appears to be no justification for your client's contention that
these benefits, whether they can be considered as commissions
2) the rights of a person in custodial interrogation, i.e., the rights
paid by Toyo Menka Kaisha to Shinko Trading, are to be regarded
of every suspect "under investigation for the commission of an
part of the gross sales.
offense."

Parenthetically, the 1987 Constitution indicates much more clearly the individuality expressly, or impliedly, as by a failure to claim it at the appropriate time.
and disparateness of these rights. It has placed the rights in separate sections. The chanrobles virtual law library
right against self- incrimination, "No person shall be compelled to be a witness
against himself," is now embodied in Section 17, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Rights in Custodial Interrogation chanrobles virtual law library
The lights of a person in custodial interrogation, which have been made more
explicit, are now contained in Section 12 of the same Article III. 6 chanrobles virtual Section 20, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution also treats of a second right, or better
law library said, group of rights. These rights apply to persons "under investigation for the
commission of an offense," i.e., "suspects" under investigation by police authorities;
Right Against Self-Incrimination chanrobles virtual law library and this is what makes these rights different from that embodied in the first
sentence, that against self-incrimination which, as aforestated, indiscriminately
The first right, against self-incrimination, mentioned in Section 20, Article IV of the applies to any person testifying in any proceeding, civil, criminal, or
1973 Constitution, is accorded to every person who gives evidence, whether administrative.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
voluntarily or under compulsion of subpoena, in any civil, criminal, or administrative
proceeding. 1The right is NOT to "be compelled to be a witness against himself" This provision granting explicit rights to persons under investigation for an offense
chanrobles virtual law library was not in the 1935 Constitution. It is avowedly derived from the decision of the
U.S. Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona, ! a decision described as an "earthquake
The precept set out in that first sentence has a settled meaning. 4It prescribes an 
in the world of law enforcement." chanrobles virtual law library
"option of refusal to answer incriminating questions and not a prohibition of
inquiry." 3It simply secures to a witness, whether he be a party or not, the right to Section 20 states that whenever any person is "under investigation for the
refue to answer any particular incriminatory question, i.e., one the answer to which commission of an offense"--
has a tendency to incriminate him for some crime. However, the right can be
claimed only when the specific question, incriminatory in character, is actually put 1) he shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to
to the witness. It cannot be claimed at any other time. It does not give a witness the be informed of such right,  
right to disregard a subpoena, to decline to appear before the court at the time
appointed, or to refuse to testify altogether. The witness receiving a subpoena must
2) nor force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means
obey it, appear as required, take the stand, be sworn and answer questions. It is 
which vitiates the free will shall be used against him; and
only when a particular question is addressed to him, the answer to which may
chanrobles virtual law library
incriminate him for some offense, that he may refuse to answer on the strength of
the constitutional guaranty.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law
3) any confession obtained in violation of x x (these rights shall be
library 6
inadmissible in evidence. chanrobles virtual law library
That first sentence of Section 20, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution does not
In Miranda, Chief Justice Warren summarized the procedural safeguards laid down
impose on the judge, or other officer presiding over a trial, hearing or investigation,
for a person in police custody, "in-custody interrogation" being regarded as the
any affirmative obligation to advise a witness of his right against self-incrimination.
commencement of an adversary proceeding against the suspect. 1 chanrobles
It is a right that a witness knows or should know, in accordance with the well known
axiom that every one is presumed to know the law, that ignorance of the law virtual law library
excuses no one. Furthermore, in the very nature of things, neither the judge nor the
witness can be expected to know in advance the character or effect of a question to He must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent,
be put to the latter. " chanrobles virtual law library that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right
to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be
appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires. Opportunity to exercise
The right against self-incrimination is not self- executing or automatically
those rights must be afforded to him throughout the interrogation. After such
operational. It must be claimed. If not claimed by or in behalf of the witness, the
warnings have been given, such opportunity afforded him, the individual may
protection does not come into play. It follows that the right may be waived,
knowingly and intelligently waive these rights and agree to answer or make a Rights of Defendant in Criminal Case chanrobles virtual law library
statement. But unless and until such warnings and waivers are demonstrated by the
prosecution at the trial, no evidence obtained as a result of interrogation can be As Regards Giving of Testimony chanrobles virtual law library
used against him.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
It is pertinent at this point to inquire whether the rights just discussed, i.e., (1) that
The objective is to prohibit "incommunicado interrogation of individuals in a police- against self-incrimination and (2) those during custodial interrogation apply to
dominated atmosphere, resulting in self-incriminating statement without full persons under preliminary investigation or already charged in court for a
warnings of constitutional rights." 4 chanrobles virtual law library crime.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

The rights above specified, to repeat, exist only in "custodial interrogations," or "in- It seems quite evident that a defendant on trial or under preliminary investigation is
3
custody interrogation of accused persons." And, as this Court has already stated, not under custodial interrogation. His interrogation by the police, if any there had
by custodial interrogation is meant "questioning initiated by law enforcement been would already have been ended at the time of the filing of the criminal case in
officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his court (or the public prosecutors' office). Hence, with respect to a defendant in a
freedom of action in any significant way." " The situation contemplated has also criminal case already pending in court (or the public prosecutor's office), there is no
been more precisely described by this Court."  occasion to speak of his right while under "custodial interrogation" laid down by the
second and subsequent sentences of Section 20, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution,
.. . After a person is arrested and his custodial investigation begins for the obvious reason that he is no longer under "custodial interrogation."
a confrontation arises which at best may be tanned unequal. The chanrobles virtual law library
detainee is brought to an army camp or police headquarters and
there questioned and "cross-examined" not only by one but as But unquestionably, the accused in court (or undergoing preliminary investigation
many investigators as may be necessary to break down his before the public prosecutor), in common with all other persons, possesses the
morale. He finds himself in strange and unfamiliar surroundings, right against self- incrimination set out in the first sentence of Section 20 Article IV
and every person he meets he considers hostile to him. The of the 1973 Constitution, i.e., the right to refuse to answer a specific incriminatory
investigators are well-trained and seasoned in their work. They question at the time that it is put to him. 6 chanrobles virtual law library
employ all the methods and means that experience and study
have taught them to extract the truth, or what may pass for it, out Additionally, the accused in a criminal case in court has other rights in the matter of
of the detainee. Most detainees are unlettered and are not aware giving testimony or refusing to do so. An accused "occupies a different tier of
of their constitutional rights. And even if they were, the protection from an ordinary witness." Under the Rules of Court, in all criminal
intimidating and coercive presence of the officers of the law in prosecutions the defendant is entitled among others- chanrobles virtual law library
such an atmosphere overwhelms them into silence. Section 20 of
the Bill of Rights seeks to remedy this imbalance. 1) to be exempt from being a witness against himself, 6 and 2) to testify as witness
in his own behalf; but if he offers himself as a witness he may be cross-examined as
Not every statement made to the police by a person involved in some crime is any other witness; however, his neglect or refusal to be a witness shall not in any
within the scope of the constitutional protection. If not made "under custodial 6
manner prejudice or be used against him. chanrobles virtual law library
interrogation," or "under investigation for the commission of an offense," the
!
statement is not protected. Thus, in one case, where a person went to a police
The right of the defendant in a criminal case "to be exempt from being a witness
precinct and before any sort of investigation could be initiated, declared that he
against himself' signifies that he cannot be compelled to testify or produce evidence
was giving himself up for the killing of an old woman because she was threatening
in the criminal case in which he is the accused, or one of the accused. He cannot be
to kill him by barang, or witchcraft, this Court ruled that such a statement was
compelled to do so even by subpoena or other process or order of the Court. He
admissible, compliance with the constitutional procedure on custodial interrogation
cannot be required to be a witness either for the prosecution, or for a co-accused,
not being exigible under the circumstances.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles 66
or even for himself. In other words - unlike an ordinary witness (or a party in a
virtual law library civil action) who may be compelled to testify by subpoena, having only the right to
refuse to answer a particular incriminatory question at the time it is put to him-the
defendant in a criminal action can refuse to testify altogether. He can refuse to take b) not to have any prejudice whatsoever result
the witness stand, be sworn, answer any question. 61 And, as the law categorically to him by such refusal; chanrobles virtual law
states, "his neglect or refusal to be a witness shall not in any manner prejudice or library
64
be used against him." chanrobles virtual law library
c) to testify in his own behalf, subject to cross-
If he should wish to testify in his own behalf, however, he may do so. This is his examination by the prosecution; chanrobles
right. But if he does testify, then he "may be cross- examined as any other witness." virtual law library
He may be cross-examined as to any matters stated in his direct examination, or
connected therewith . 63He may not on cross-examination refuse to answer any d) WHILE TESTIFYING, to refuse to answer a
question on the ground that the answer that he will give, or the evidence he will specific question which tends to incriminate him
produce, would have a tendency to incriminate him for the crime with which he is for some crime other than that for which he is
charged.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library then prosecuted.

It must however be made clear that if the defendant in a criminal action be asked a It suffices to draw attention to the specific and peremptory requirement of the law
question which might incriminate him, not for the crime with which he is charged, that disciplinary sanctions may not be imposed on any employee by his employer
but for some other crime, distinct from that of which he is accused, he may decline
until and unless the employee has been accorded due process, by which is meant
to answer that specific question, on the strength of the right against self-
that the latter must be informed of the offenses ascribed to him and afforded
incrimination granted by the first sentence of Section 20, Article IV of the 1973
Constitution (now Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution). Thus, assuming that in a adequate time and opportunity to explain his side. The requirement entails the
prosecution for murder, the accused should testify in his behalf, he may not on making of statements, oral or written, by the employee under such administrative
cross-examination refuse to answer any question on the ground that he might be investigation in his defense, with opportunity to solicit the assistance of counsel, or
implicated in that crime of murder; but he may decline to answer any particular his colleagues and friends. The employee may, of course, refuse to submit any
question which might implicate him for a different and distinct offense, say, statement at the investigation, that is his privilege. But if he should opt to do so, in
estafa.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
his defense to the accusation against him, it would be absurd to reject his
statements, whether at the administrative investigation, or at a subsequent
In fine, a person suspected of having committed a crime and subsequently charged
with its commission in court, has the following rights in the matter of his testifying criminal action brought against him, because he had not been accorded, prior to his
or producing evidence, to wit: making and presenting them, his "Miranda rights" (to silence and to counsel and to
be informed thereof, etc.) which, to repeat, are relevant only in custodial
1) BEFORE THE CASE IS FILED IN COURT (or with the public investigations. Indeed, it is self-evident that the employee's statements, whether
prosecutor, for preliminary investigation), but after having been called "position paper," "answer," etc., are submitted by him precisely so that they
taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his liberty in some may be admitted and duly considered by the investigating officer or committee, in
significant way, and on being interrogated by the police: the negation or mitigation of his liability.
continuing right to remain silent and to counsel, and to be
informed thereof, not to be subjected to force, violence, threat, Of course the possibility cannot be discounted that in certain instances the judge's
intimidation or any other means which vitiates the free will; and
expressed apprehensions may be realized, that violence or intimidation, undue
to have evidence obtained in violation of these rights rejected;
and chanrobles virtual law library pressure or influence be brought to bear on an employee under investigation - or
for that matter, on a person being interrogated by another whom he has
2) AFTER THE CASE IS FILED IN COURT -
6" supposedly offended. In such an event, any admission or confession wrung from the
person under interrogation would be inadmissible in evidence, on proof of the vice
a) to refuse to be a witness; chanrobles virtual or defect vitiating consent, not because of a violation of Section 20, Article IV of the
law library 1973 Constitution, but simply on the general, incontestable proposition that
involuntary or coerced statements may not in justice be received against the Indeed, enactments of the type of section 49 were precisely aimed at the
makers thereof, and really should not be accorded any evidentiary value at all.c hearsay rule, for the rejection of hearsay evidence, often of strong
probative value, was one of the grievances of working people against the
:  $  #

$   ( +  6'
6 procedure of the old employer's liability law.! Not that hearsay evidence is

adequate to support an award for compensation, but that as aptly


# #@  $  observed: chanrobles virtual law library

0: <
) > 
 
 [A] compensation board which wants to avoid reversal on admissibility-of-
evidence grounds can beat do so by admitting everything and excluding
The right of a party to be present and give evidence as provided in section 49 would nothing. It can be presumed to apply the appropriate discount to various
be meaningless if it did not include the right to testify in his own behalf. Indeed, the kinds of hearsay, but it cannot be presumed to have reached a right result
Rules of Court enjoins that "neither parties nor other, persons interested in the if some important piece of evidence which have swayed the result has
outcome of a case shall be excluded."1 For while a party's interest may to some been erroneously excluded on technical grounds.
extent affect his credibility,4 his interest alone is not a ground for disregarding his
3 Here, aside from the evidence objected to, there is some other substantial evidence
testimony. The argument that the testimony of an interested party is self-serving
supporting the award. Aside from respondent's testimony, there is in the record the
and therefore is inadmissible in evidence misses the essential nature of self-serving testimony of Bienvenido Dizon, a former co-employee of Luis Raymundo. There is
evidence and the ground for its exclusion. Self-serving evidence is evidence made likewise evidence of the payment of gratuity to Raymundo on account of his
by a party out of court at one time; it does not include a party's testimony as a illness.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
witness in court. It is excluded on the same ground as any hearsay evidence, that is
the lack of opportunity for cross-examination by the adverse party, and on the In addition, there is a presumption created by section 44 that Raymundo's illness
consideration that its admission would open the door to fraud and to fabrication of was aggravated by the nature of his employment and that Dr. Vito Cruz' affidavit
testimony." On the other hand, a party's testimony in court is sworn and affords the that he treated Raymundo for tuberculosis is correct. This presumption is intended
to reverse the burden of proof and make it the duty of petitioner, as employer, to
other party the opportunity for cross-examination.
establish by substantial evidence, that the illness was not in fact aggravated by the
nature of the job. 12 Petitioner has failed to overcome the evidence and
Nor is there merit in the claim that Exhibits "E", "F" and "G" were erroneously presumptions in favor of respondent. It has chosen merely to rest its case on the
admitted in evidence. While they may be hearsay by common law rules of evidence, statement of its medical officer that the deceased employee never met an accident
they are nevertheless admissible under section 49 of the Act. Section 49 is while in its employment.
patterned after similar legislation in the United States, especially New York, where
the widespread adoption of Workmen's Compensation statutes was accompanied 

by a demand for a more simple and summary method of procedure and proof than
those given by the common law. As noted in a leading article. 5 
+ 


Legislatures needed the deep sense of injustice felt by workers that the   
burden of proof rested always on them and that probative evidence was
often kept out because it was hearsay. A growing distrust of our court  

 
system had thus grown up among working men and it was essential to the
successful operation of the acts that workmen feel they were treated fairly 
 '
  9
while at the same time duly protecting the interests of industry and the
community's interest in economy.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles admission of guilt of said conspirator and the two accused and appellants in this
virtual law library case. (United States vs. Torres, 34 Phil., 994.) chanrobles virtual law library
The accused, by pretending that they were officers of the law and by employing have denounced them to the authorities because, generally, those who bribe do
threats and intimidation to obtain, as they did, from the offended party the amount not denounce such act for the reason that they do not want to object thereto, in
of P200, are guilty of the crime of robbery. ( ee United States vs. Smith, 3 Phil., 20; this case the alleged contraband, to be further disclosed to or discovered by others.
United States vs. Dedulo, 31 Phil., 298-301.) chanrobles virtual law library Such is not the case here, because it was the offended party herself who
denounced the commission of the offenses to the authorities.
It is not well founded to consider that the offense committed by the accused
appears to be bribery. It seems true that the offended witness was imputed to be 
 7

carrying a bundle which might have contained contraband, and for fear of discovery
of that contraband the husband of the offended party run away from the scene and Judging from her age at the time she witnessed the crime on February 8, 1987 until
did not come back. There exists, however, no evidence regarding said contraband she sat on the witness stand three months thereafter, Mary Jane's timidity to relay
other than the testimony of the accused themselves, which is not positive and what she saw is thus understandable for a fifteen-year old teenager who could not
convincing. Moreover, it should not escape our attention that said testimony, be expected to act like a matured woman. Withal, her inability to speak out her
coming as it does from the accused who naturally want to exculpate themselves, mind then was sufficiently clarified and her delay in informing others of what she
cannot be regarded as a free from a bias and a desire to so intensify the details knew about a criminal offense will not impair her credibility (People vs. Martinada,
thereof as to suit their case. Regarding the disappearance of the husband of the 194 SCRA 36 [1991]). Verily, Mary Jane's procrastination was brought about by the
offended party, we believe that nothing unfavorable to the case of the prosecution natural reticence and abhorrence of most individuals to get involved in a criminal
can be attributed thereby. For all we know, he might have gone to look for a case (People vs. Punzalan, 153 SCRA 1 [1987]).chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
policeman or any other agent of the law to report or make a complaint of what had chanrobles virtual law library
happened; and, as if to lend support to this view, it has been established in this case
that the offended party reported the occurrence to the police and was
At any rate, it is a longstanding rule consistently adhered to by this Court that
subsequently investigated by the prosecuting attorney's office which was the one
findings of fact of the judge who tried the case and heard the witnesses are not to
that filed the robbery charges against the accused. It was not the offended party
be disturbed on appeal unless there are substantial facts and circumstances which,
who determined what charges to be filed; neither did she have control of the case.
if properly considered, might affect the result of the case (People vs. Brioso, 37
What is clear and uncontradicted by the facts of this case is that it was the
SCRA 336 [1971]). Where the issues raised on appeal hinge on the credibility of
prosecuting attorney's office that took charge of the investigation and filing of the
witnesses, as in the case at bar, the appellate tribunals will accord due respect to
charges for robbery, and nothing like having so framed her accusation as to make
the assessment of facts made by the trial court, said court having had the
the crime committed by the accused appear to the robbery instead of bribery could
opportunity, not only of receiving the evidence, but also of observing the conduct
be attributed to the offended party. It is very logical that the prosecuting attorney,
and demeanor of the witnesses while testifying (People vs. Sales, 44 SCRA 489
being the one charged with the prosecution of offenses, should be determine the
[1972]).chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
information to be filed and cannot be controlled by the offended
party.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
A sedulous examination of the record fails to disclose the presence of facts or
circumstances of sufficient weight which would justify setting aside the findings of
After considering all the facts and circumstances in this case, we are of the opinion
fact of the trial court. The inconsistencies in the testimony of the prosecution
that the prosecuting attorney's office was right in filing the charge for robbery, it
witnesses pointed out by accused-appellant are so minor and trivial and thus do not
having been clearly proven that the one of the accused threatened the offended
impair the probative value of said testimony.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles
party with a revolver while another was sticking something hard, possibly a revolver
virtual law library
also, against her back at that because of the intimidation employed by the accused
since the beginning she was prevailed upon to give them
To the query of whether or not the identity of accused-appellant was adequately
P200.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
established, there seems to be a variance between Mary Jane's declaration vis-a-vis
Jerry Lorenzo's own statement on which accused-appellant rests his plea for
Another circumstance with should not escape our attention is that, if true that
exculpation. While the sister of the victim was categorical enough to utter that
there was a bundle in the rig and that the offended party gave said sum to the
Evelyn was killed by Fernando Ocampo (TSN, May 14, 1987, p. 14), the cousin, who
accused as a bribe in view of the supposed contraband that she had, she would not
was then accidentally present, testified that he heard Mary Jane shouting that her
sister was dead without anything said about the identity of the culprit (TSN, May 1. PRIVATE DOCUMENT; LEGAL RECOGNITION. Ͷ The expression "legally
20, 1987, p. 19; p. 22; p. 27; p. 31; p. 33). Notwithstanding such discrepancy, it has recognized," as used of a private document in article 1225 of the Civil Code, has
been stressed that when the testimony of two witnesses contradict each other, the reference to the recognition of the validity of the instrument by the parties to its
court is not precluded from adopting the testimony which it believes to be true, as
execution when it is signed and delivered.
in this case where the trial court relied on the positive testimony of the victim's
sister in support of its finding of accused-appellant's culpability (U. S. vs. Lasada, 18
2. ID.; PRIVIES OF PARTIES SIGNING. Ͷ The word "privies," as used in article
Phil. 90 [1910];
1225 of the Civil Code, denotes not only the idea of succession in right of heirship or
2 Regalado, Remedial Law Compendium, Fifth Rev. Ed., 1988, p.553; ibal and
alazar, Jr., Compendium on Evidence, Second Ed., 1988, p. 393). In practical terms, testamentary legacy, but also succession by virtue of acts inter vivos, as by
accused-appellant is engaged in a subtle experiment to impeach, nay, assail Mary assignment, subrogation, or purchase Ͷ in fact any act whereby the successor is
Jane's credibility - which issue, to repeat, should not now be reviewed in the light of substituted in the place of the predecessor in interest. The purchaser at an
the well entrenched axiom in law that the faculty of assigning values to declarations execution sale is, therefore, a privy of the execution debtor.
at the witness stand is primarily and almost exclusively conferred upon a trial judge
who, unlike appellate magistrates, is distinctly and advantageously positioned to 3. ID.; THIRD PARTIES. Ͷ The expression "third parties," as used in article
properly evaluate such testimony (People vs. Magallanes, et al., 650. G. 19216; 2 1227 of the Civil Code, means, simply, persons who have not intervened in the
Regalado, supra, at p. 552)
execution of the instrument either as principals or witnesses

 

 4. ID., DATE OF EXECUTION OF INSTRUMENT. Ͷ Article 1227 of the Civil Code
does not operate to prohibit the introduction of evidence to show that an
'
 
instrument was executed as a private document on the date shown on its face. On
 
' = 
8 +  6( 
6 the contrary, such evidence is admissible; and the instrument will be given effect
from the true and proven date of its execution, as against those who signed it and


  (+  6( 
" their privies, with all the force of a public instrument The effect of article 1227 is to
create a presumption when no evidence other than the recitals of the document
+ / 



itself is adduced to show the true date of its execution. In other words, the recital of
.
  (+  6('
 a private document as to the date of its execution is not accepted as legal proof;
and if the date is not proved by other competent evidence, the instrument can have


  
 effect only from the date of the acts specified in article 1227.

8
 
 5. FRAUD; CONVEYANCE IN FRAUD OF CREDITORS; BADGES OF FRAUD. Ͷ
The coexistence of numerous badges of fraud in a conveyance of property, made by
$       a person against whom an action to recover a large sum of money was pending, is
held in this case to create a presumption of fraud sufficiently strong to justify

@

 
declaring the sale void, the court not being impressed with the proof submitted by
 
  (+  6 
6  the purchaser tending to show that the sale was made in good faith.

 
  9 6. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. Ͷ A creditor who, after long litigation, had
recovered judgment for a considerable sum of money against his debtor, levied
SYLLABUS execution upon certain parcels of property as property of the latter. A son-in-law of
the latter then intervened and claimed the land by purchase made by contract of
sale with pacto de retro while the litigation was pending but before final judgment
in either instance. The land in question included substantially all of the debtor's to universal reputation. The testimony of this witness is not sufficient to establish
property; and the consideration alleged to have been given was less than half its the presumption referred to.
value. This sale is held to be void, as the suspicious circumstances attending the
alleged transaction raised a presumption of fraud, even apart from the presumption Furthermore, this witness stated that the land in Calle Azcarraga had been
expressed in article 1297 of the Civil Code, and the purchaser did not satisfactorily partitioned between the municipality and the Central Government, share and share
prove that he was a purchaser in good faith. The secrecy of the purported sale and alike, and that the Central Government (not the city) retained Calles Gabriel de
the relation of kinship existing between the parties are noted as circumstances Rivera and Barcelona, which are precisely the streets on which the property abuts
indicative of collusion. (bill of exceptions, pp. 15 and 16).


#  :+

 Again, Lorenzo del Rosario signed the first document before he acquired from
Cipriano Roco y Vera the ownership of the land referred to therein, the second
SYLLABUS document being signed after he had transferred the land to the defendant Jacinto
del Rosario, who took possession of the same and had it registered, as the plaintiff
1. ACTION; DISMISSAL; ERROR. Ͷ The defendant is entitled to have the case admits (par. 2 of the complaint), on the 23d of February, 1893. If this is so,
dismissed where the plaintiff fails to establish the allegations in the complaint; and whatever statements Lorenzo del Rosario might have made in the documents
an order overruling such motion is erroneous. mentioned, they are not binding upon the defendant, because, under section 278 of
the Code of Civil Procedure, "where one derives title to real property from another,
2. REALTY; POSSESSION; EVIDENCE. Ͷ Where one derives title to real estate
the declaration, act, or omission of the latter, in relation to the property, is
from another, the declaration act, or omission of the latter to the property is
evidence against the former only when made while the latter holds the title."
evidence against the former only when made while the latter holds the title. (Sec.
278, Code of Civil Procedure.) The plaintiff also introduced in evidence a map of the city of Manila. This map is not
before us. It is sufficient to say, in order to show that it has no value as evidence,
3. ID.; ID.; ID.; REGISTRATION; PRESUMPTION OF OWNERSHIP. Ͷ A
that the reliability of the map was not proven at the trial. The only witness
possessory information recorded in the property register is prima facie evidence of
examined with regard to it was the city attorney. He was unable to say who made it
the fact that the person who instituted the proceedings holds the property as
or who caused it to be made, or when it was made. He said only that he believed
owner; and the presumption, under article 448 of the Civil Code, is that his title is
the map had been drawn in the month of July, 1880, or prior to May, 1893. Neither
good unless the contrary is shown.
this nor his statement that the map was found among the archives of the city of
The third witness, Juan Villegas, testified that the land in question was formerly Manila is of itself sufficient to show that the map is authentic. No one appears to
included in the Gran Divisoria, and that all the land included in it belonged to the certify as to its correctness.
city. In this particular his testimony is at variance with that of the precediing
. ' 
+  6( 
61( 64
witness, who testified that the land belonged to the Central Government. Villega's
testimony was merely hearsay. It consisted of what he had learned from some of '
  + (+  6( 
 1
the oldest residents in that section of the city. His testimony was introduced by the
plaintiff apparently for the purpose of proving that the city was generally 

considered the owner of the land, drawing from this fact the presumption of actual
ownership under paragraph 11, section 334, of the Code of Civil Procedure. Such $ ' $  
testimony, however, does not constitute the "common reputation" referred to in
SYLLABUS
the section mentioned. "common reputation," as used in that section, is equivalent
1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; INTENT OR HABIT ESTABLISHED, IN CASE AT "We have carefully examined in detail the evidence adduced by both parties in the
BAR. Ͷ While it may be that pursuant to Section 48, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court trial of the case under consideration, but WE failed to uncover any valid and cogent
"evidence that one did or omitted to do a certain thing at one time is not admissible reason to suspect that the institution of this case has been improperly motivated.
to prove that he did or omitted to do the same or similar thing at another time," the While it is true that the accused endeavored to question the sincerity and honesty
same Rule also provides that "it may be received to prove a specific intent or of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, the reason ventured by the
knowledge, identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or usage and the like." accused in an effort to cast serious doubts on the credibility of said witnesses, is
Emiliana Gerona's credible testimony regarding the amounts petitioners received insufficient to overcome the probable value or weight of their testimonies which
from the Matictic project sufficiently establishes petitioners "intent" and/or "habit" are properly confirmed by the documentary and circumstantial evidence adduced
of demanding and receiving money from the contractor-complainant, such that the by the prosecution in this case. It is hard to believe that the complainant who is a
latter, in exasperation, felt that enough was enough, to the prejudice of his future contractor would jeopardize and prejudice his business interests and risk being
contracts. blacklisted in government infrastructure projects, knowing that with the institution
of the case, he may find it no longer advisable nor profitable to continue in his
2. ID.; FINDINGS OF FACT OF THE TRIAL COURT GENERALLY UPHELD ON construction ventures. It is hardly probable that the complainant would weave out
APPEAL. Ͷ Appellate Courts will generally not disturb the findings of the Trial Court, of the blue a serious accusation just to retaliate and take revenge on the accused.
considering that it is in a better position to decide the question, having heard the
witnesses themselves and observed their deportment and manner of testifying xxx xxx xxx
during the trial, unless it has plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and
value, that if considered, might affect the result of the case (People vs. Garcia, 89 "It can be gainsaid, therefore, that a proper appreciation and reasonable
SCRA 440). consideration of the aforesaid testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, properly
confirmed and sustained by documentary and circumstantial evidence flatly reject a
While it may be that pursuant to Section 48, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court favorable consideration of the claim of accused that the evidence presented against
"evidence that one did or omitted to do a certain thing at one time is not admissible them were fabricated."
to prove that he did or omitted to do the same or similar thing at another time," the
same Rule also provides that "it may be received to prove a specific intent or All told, the testimonial, documentary and circumstantial evidence point to the guilt
knowledge, identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or usage and the like." of petitioners-accused beyond reasonable doubt.
Emiliana Gerona's credible testimony regarding the amounts petitioners received

from the Matictic project sufficiently establishes petitioners "intent" and/or "habit"
of demanding and receiving money from the contractor-complainant, such that the + 46
latter, in exasperation, felt that enough was enough, to the prejudice of his future
contracts. LLphil AN ACT TO EXEMPT THE PUBLISHER, EDITOR OR REPORTER OF ANY PUBLICATION
FROM REVEALING THE SOURCE OF PUBLISHED NEWS OR INFORMATION OBTAINED
In the final analysis, the errors assigned center on the issue of credibility of IN CONFIDENCE
witnesses in respect of which we have consistently held that Appellate Courts will
generally not disturb the findings of the Trial Court, considering that it is in a better Section 1. The publisher, editor or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper,
position to decide the question, having heard the witnesses themselves and magazine or periodical of general circulation cannot be compelled to reveal the
source of any news-report or information appearing in said publication which was
observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial, unless it has
related in confidence to such publisher, editor or reporter, unless the court or a
plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value, that if considered, might House or committee of Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by the
affect the result of the case (People vs. Garcia, 89 SCRA 440). As the Sandiganbayan interest of the State.
had concluded: chan robles virtual law library
correccional in its minimum period, temporary special disqualification and a fine
Sec. 2. All provisions of law or rules of court inconsistent with this Act are hereby not exceeding 50 pesos shall be imposed.
repealed or modified accordingly.
chan robles virtual law library Art. 230. Public officer revealing secrets of private individual. Ͷ Any public officer to
whom the secrets of any private individual shall become known by reason of his
Sec. 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval. office who shall reveal such secrets, shall suffer the penalties of arresto mayor and
a fine not exceeding 1,000 pesos. chan robles virtual law library
chan robles virtual law library
Approved: October 5, 1946 5 
 $(+  6('
4
+  1""
5 
)
&$
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1477 - AN ACT AMENDING SECTION ONE OF REPUBLIC ACT 
NUMBERED FIFTY-THREE, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO EXEMPT THE PUBLISHER, EDITOR, / $ (  6 
63
COLUMNIST OR REPORTER OF ANY PUBLICATION FROM REVEALING THE SOURCE 
OF PUBLISHED NEWS OR INFORMATION OBTAINED IN CONFIDENCE"  
2(2-+-0
-"134- "( !!( "'+31!

Section 1. Section one of Republic Act Numbered Fifty- three is amended to read
That the testimony of Guzman on appellant's oral confession is competent evidence
as follows:
finds support in People v. Tawat [G.R. No. L-62871, May 25, 1984, 129 SCRA 4311
which upheld the trial court's reliance on an extrajudicial confession given, not to a
"Section 1. Without prejudice to his liability under the civil and criminal laws, the
police officer during custodial interrogation, but to an ordinary farmer as the basis
publisher, editor, columnist or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper,
for conviction. The Court's pronouncements in the aforesaid case find relevance in
magazine or periodical of general circulation cannot be compelled to reveal the
the instant case:
source of any news-report or information appearing in said publication which was
related in confidence to such publisher, editor or reporter unless the court or a
House or committee of Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by the The declaration of an accused expressly acknowledging his guilt of
security of the State." the offense charged, may be given in evidence against him' (Sec.
29 Rule 130, Rules of Court). What Felicito told Ogalesco may in a
sense be also regarded as part of the res gestae.
Section 2. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
The Rule is that "any person, otherwise competent as a witness,
Approved: June 15, 1956 who heard the confession, is competent to testify as to the
substance of what he heard if he heard and understood all of it.
+   
 An oral confession need not be repeated verbatim, but in such
case it must be given in its substance." (23 C.J.S. 196.)
Section Three. Ͷ Revelation of secrets
Proof of the contents of an oral extrajudicial confession may be
Art. 229. Revelation of secrets by an officer. Ͷ Any public officer who shall reveal
made by the testimony of a person who testifies that he was
any secret known to him by reason of his official capacity, or shall wrongfully deliver
present, heard, understood, and remembers the substance of the
papers or copies of papers of which he may have charge and which should not be
conversation or statement made by the accused [citing Underhill's
published, shall suffer the penalties of prision correccional in its medium and
Criminal Evidence, 4th Ed., Niblack, Sec. 278, p. 551.) [at pp. 436-
maximum periods, perpetual special disqualification and a fine not exceeding 2,000
437; Emphasis supplied.]
pesos if the revelation of such secrets or the delivery of such papers shall have
caused serious damage to the public interest; otherwise, the penalties of prision
As heretofore stated, not a single eyewitness to the stabbing
incident had been presented by the prosecution. Thus, the record
is totally bereft of any evidence as to the means or method rule against appellant as the evidence on record is ample to sustain the judgment of
resorted to by appellant in attacking the victim. It is needless to
conviction independent from his plea of guilty.
add that treachery cannot be deduced from mere presumption,
much less from sheer speculation. The same degree of proof to
dispel reasonable doubt is required before any conclusion may be Based on this rule, when a plea of guilty to a capital offense is entered, there
reached respecting the attendance of alevosia [People v. Duero,
G.R No. 65555, May 22, 1985, 136 SCRA 515, 519-520; Emphasis are three (3) conditions that the trial court must observe to obviate an improvident
supplied. ] plea of guilty by the accused: (1) it must conduct a searching inquiry into the
voluntariness and full comprehension by the accused of the consequences of his

 $. (2-+- 1346( 6(3
plea; (2) it must require the prosecution to present evidence to prove the guilt of
Thus, while it is true that the testimony of a witness regarding a statement made by the accused and the precise degree of his culpability; and (3) it must ask the
another person, if intended to establish the truth of the fact asserted in the
statement, is clearly hearsay evidence, it is otherwise if the purpose of placing the accused whether he desires to present evidence on his behalf, and allow him to do
statement in the record is merely to establish the fact that the statement was made so if he so desires.
or the tenor of such statement. Regardless of the truth or falsity of a statement,
when the fact that it has been made is relevant, the hearsay rule does not apply and
the statement may be shown. As a matter of fact, evidence as to the making of the Such procedure falls short of the exacting guidelines in the conduct of a ͞searching
statement is not secondary but primary, for the statement itself may constitute a
16 inquiry,͟ as follows:
fact in issue, or be circumstantially relevant as to the existence of such a fact. For
this reason, the statement attributed to Dominga regarding the source of the funds
used to purchase the subject property related to the court by Margarita is
admissible if only to establish the fact that such statement was made and the tenor
thereof.
(1) Ascertain from the accused himself (a) how he was
Besides, the testimony of Margarita is not the main basis for the RTC͛s decision. In brought into the custody of the law; (b) whether he had the
fact, her testimony is not indispensable. It merely serves to corroborate the assistance of a competent counsel during the custodial and
testimonies of the respondents on the source of the funds used in purchasing the preliminary investigations; and (c) under what conditions he was
subject property. The testimonies of all three witnesses for the plaintiffs were detained and interrogated during the investigations. This is
found to be convincing and credible by the RTC. This Court will not alter the findings intended to rule out the possibility that the accused has been
of the RTC on the credibility of witnesses, principally because trial courts have vastly coerced or placed under a state of duress either by actual threats
superior advantages in ascertaining the truth and in detecting falsehood as they of physical harm coming from malevolent quarters or simply
have the opportunity to observe the manner and demeanor of witnesses while because of the judge͛s intimidating robes.
testifying.
 (2) Ask the defense counsel a series of questions as to
 
2 (2-+- "143("(" whether he had conferred with, and completely explained to, the
accused the meaning and consequences of a plea of guilty.
It must be conceded at the outset that the trial court failed in its duty to conduct
(3) Elicit information about the personality profile of the
the prescribed ͞searching inquiry͟ into the voluntariness of appellant͛s plea of accused, such as his age, socio-economic status, and educational
background, which may serve as a trustworthy index of his
guilty and full comprehension thereof. Consequently, appellant͛s plea of guilty was
capacity to give a free and informed plea of guilty.
made improvidently and it is rendered inefficacious. Nevertheless, the Court must
(4) Inform the accused of the exact length of imprisonment the judge to ensure that the accused does not labor under these
or nature of the penalty under the law and the certainty that he mistaken impressions because a plea of guilty carries with it not
will serve such sentence. For not infrequently, an accused pleads only the admission of authorship of the crime proper but also of
guilty in the hope of a lenient treatment or upon bad advice or the aggravating circumstances attending it, that increase
because of promises of the authorities or parties of a lighter punishment.
penalty should he admit guilt or express remorse. It is the duty of
the judge to ensure that the accused does not labor under these
mistaken impressions because a plea of guilty carries with it not
only the admission of authorship of the crime proper but also of
the aggravating circumstances attending it, that increase
punishment.

Such procedure falls short of the exacting guidelines in the conduct of a ͞searching
inquiry,͟ as follows:

(1) Ascertain from the accused himself (a) how he was


brought into the custody of the law; (b) whether he had the
assistance of a competent counsel during the custodial and
preliminary investigations; and (c) under what conditions he was
detained and interrogated during the investigations. This is
intended to rule out the possibility that the accused has been
coerced or placed under a state of duress either by actual threats
of physical harm coming from malevolent quarters or simply
because of the judge͛s intimidating robes.

(2) Ask the defense counsel a series of questions as to


whether he had conferred with, and completely explained to, the
accused the meaning and consequences of a plea of guilty.

(3) Elicit information about the personality profile of the


accused, such as his age, socio-economic status, and educational
background, which may serve as a trustworthy index of his
capacity to give a free and informed plea of guilty.

(4) Inform the accused of the exact length of imprisonment


or nature of the penalty under the law and the certainty that he
will serve such sentence. For not infrequently, an accused pleads
guilty in the hope of a lenient treatment or upon bad advice or
because of promises of the authorities or parties of a lighter
penalty should he admit guilt or express remorse. It is the duty of
Moreover, where, as in the case at bar, there is no evidence to show any
(5) Inquire if the accused knows the crime with which he is
dubious reason or improper motive for a prosecution witness to bear false
charged and to fully explain to him the elements of the crime
which is the basis of his indictment. Failure of the court to do so testimony against the accused or falsely implicate him in a crime, his or her
would constitute a violation of his fundamental right to be
testimony should be given full faith and credit.
informed of the precise nature of the accusation against him and
a denial of his right to due process.


   
(6) All questions posed to the accused should be in a 
language known and understood by the latter.   $
(  6 6"

(7) The trial judge must satisfy himself that the accused, in   Ñ'2(2-+-0
-1"1(3( !!( 6 41!
pleading guilty, is truly guilty. The accused must be required to
narrate the tragedy or reenact the crime or furnish its missing The American authors of the Philippine Bill and of General Orders, No. 58, must be
details. presumed to have borrowed the provisions of the Constitution of the United States
securing to accused persons the right of confrontation and cross-examination of the
Appellant challenges the testimonies of the witnesses Magallano and Arañas witnesses against them, subject to the well-established exceptions which have
on what appellant had confessed to or told them for being hearsay. The challenge always been recognized under the rule as laid down by the Constitution of the
United States, and it is clear that these provisions were not intended to render
fails. The testimonies, it should be conceded, cannot serve as a proof of inadmissible dying declarations in criminal cases touching the circumstances leading
extrajudicial confession for an extrajudicial confession has to be in writing, among up to the death for which the prosecution is instituted, for such declarations have
always been regarded as an exception to the general rule rejecting hearsay
others, to be admissible in evidence. That is why the testimonies are of use in the evidence, on the general principle, as laid down by Lord Baron Eyre, "That they are
case as corroborative evidence only. Such utility, however, cannot be defeated by declarations made in extremity, when the party is at that point of death, and when
every hope of this world is gone; when every motive to falsehood is silenced and
the hearsay rule. The testimonies covered are independently relevant statements the mind is induced by the most powerful considerations to speak the truth. A
which are not barred by the hearsay rule. situation so solemn and so awful as to be considered by the law as creating an
obligation equal to that which is imposed by a positive oath in a court of justice."
The rule is the same as the rule of the Roman Civil Law, "Morti proximum, sive
moribundum, non praesumendum est mentiri, nec esse immemorem saluties
aeternae; licet non praesumatur semper dicere verum." (Mascard, De Probat.
Under the doctrine of independently relevant statements, only the fact that Concl., 1080; U. S. vs. Montes, 6 Phil. Rep., 443.)
such statements were made is relevant, and the truth or falsity thereof is
It has been suggested, however, that since a specific exception is found in General
immaterial. The hearsay rule does not apply. The statements are admissible as Orders, No. 58, to the rule touching the confrontation of witnesses, as therein laid
down, the expression of this exception should be taken to exclude all other
evidence. Evidence as to the making of such statement is not secondary but
exceptions. The exception relied upon is as follows:
primary, for the statement itself may constitute a fact in issue or be circumstantially
relevant as to the existence of such a fact. Where the testimony of a witness for the prosecution has previously been
taken down by question and answer, in the presence of the accused or his
counsel, the defense having had an opportunity to cross-examine the
witness, the deposition of the latter may be read, upon satisfactory proof
to the court that he is dead or insane, or can not with due diligence be their knowledge and to their capacity to answer every question propounded to
found in the Islands. them by opposing counsel:

It is very clear, however, that this express provision for an exception to the general It follows that there are no fixed classes of expert persons, in one of which
rule, which has not been universally recognized in those jurisdictions where it has a witness finds himself and remains permanently. A person may be
not been provided for by express legislation, can by no means be regarded as sufficiently skilled for one question, and totally unqualified for the next. He
intended to exclude the various general exceptions to the hearsay rule which have may be competent to say whether the deceased had gray hair, and
always been recognized despite the existence of the constitutional provisions incompetent to say what killed him; competent to say whether the
securing the rights of accused persons to be confronted by, and to cross-examine deceased was asphyxiated by gas, and incompetent to distinguish between
the witnesses for the prosecution. coal gas and water gas; competent to say whether a hatchet was sharp,
and incompetent to tell whether a stain upon it was of human blood. The
That the declarant was conscious of his impending death, and that he spoke with witness may from question to question enter or leave the class of persons
the prospect of "almost immediate dissolution" confronting him; that he fitted to answer. It is desirable to appreciate that expert capacity is a
understood the meaning and effect of his statement; and that he knew he was matter wholly relative to the subject of the particular question; that
addressing the law officers of the town and province wherein he lived, and therefore the existence of the capacity arises in theory as a new inquiry
informing them as to the circumstances which led up to his death, are facts which from question to question; and that a particular person is not to be
we think are sufficiently established by the evidence of record: and the admissibility thought of as objectively or absolutely an expert, in the sense that he is
of the dying declaration, resting, as it does, exclusively on the ground that the absolutely a german or a negro or six feet high. (Greenleaf on Evidence, 1st
declarant was "in extremis" at the time it was made, is in nowise affected by the vol., 16th ed., par. 430 (a), p. 523.)
failure of the law officers to secure no more formal and detailed statement
contemplated in the above-cited provision of General Orders, No. 58, which they But whatever may be the value which should be given to the expert opinions
might perhaps have been able to obtain had they not been misled by the opinion of expressed by these witnesses, and even were we to disregard these opinions
the attending surgeons that the wounded man would probably recover. altogether, the trajectory of the bullet to which they testified must be taken to have
been established to the satisfaction of the trial judge and to ours (so far as it was
An expert has been defined to be one possessing, in regard to a particular subject proper for him to rely upon his own opinion of expert witnesses) by the ocular
or department of human activity, knowledge not usually acquired by other persons examination of the scene of the tragedy made by him at the request of the counsel
(12 Am. & Eng. Enc. Law, 2d Ed., 424); and under this definition we think that for defense, the facts upon which the experts based their opinions having been
Captain Gearhardt and perhaps Captain Lewis may fairly be classed as experts, as to submitted to him on that occasion in such manner as to afford him full opportunity
questions touching the course and effect of bullets shot from small arms at to draw his own conclusions without regard to the opinion of the witnesses.
moderate ranges, their long experience in the use of such arms, with the
professional obligation imposed upon them to study and familiarize themselves   
'
(2-+-0
-;@3 !6(c "( ! ( '+ 
with their use and manipulation as the tools of their trade, having, presumably, The admission of dying declarations has always been strictly limited to criminal
4
given to them a knowledge in such matters not usually acquired by civilians. It is prosecutions for homicide or murder as evidence of the cause and surrounding
true that the frank admissions by these witnesses of their inability to solve a circumstances of death.
number of hypothetical problems of a technical nature in the science of ballistics 
(problems which in the present status of human knowledge on that subject may of   
'
(2-+-0
-;@ 43!(( !!3
may not be capable of satisfactory solution) would indicate that, unlike many more
pretentious expert witnesses, there are limitations to the extent of the knowledge Appellant likewise argues that the declaration made by the victim before the purok
they claim to posses; but we think that, under the principles laid down in the leader can not be considered as a dying declaration because it was not made by the
following extract from Greenleaf, their capacity as expert witnesses to answer the deceased "under the consciousness of an impending death." As earlier narrated, at
questions propounded to them as to the probable trajectory of the bullet found in the time the deceased made the declaration he was in great pain. He expressed a
the wall of the office was not affected by such confessed limitations to the extent of belief on his imminent death and the hope that his declaration could be used as
evidence regarding the circumstances thereof. A person would not say so if he
believes he would recover and be able to testify against his assailants. At all events,      
(2-+-0
- 36 "( (3
assuming that declaration is not admissible as a dying declaration, it is still To be sure, ex parte affidavits are usually incomplete, as these are frequently
27
admissible as part of the res gestae, since it was made shortly after the startling prepared by administering officers and cast in their language and understanding of
incident and, under the circumstances, the victim had no opportunity to contrive. what affiants have said.31 Almost always, the latter would simply sign the
documents after being read to them. Basic is the rule that, taken ex parte, affidavits
 are considered incomplete and often inaccurate. They are products sometimes of
  
.  (2--0
- "34(c  ( !!! partial suggestions and at other times of want of suggestions and inquiries, without
the aid of which witnesses may be unable to recall t
In fact, in her sworn statement, she admitted having seen appellant shoot her the connected circumstances necessary for accurate recollection.
husband. Thus:

06. T Ͷ Papaano ninyo nalaman na si Poldo Statements Uttered Contemporaneous with the Crime
Bautista ang pumatay sa inyong asawa?
Ernita positively testified that immediately after the shooting, she had heard her
S Ͷ Nakita (sic) ko po nang barilin ni Poldo husband say, "Help me p͛re, I was shot by the captain." This statement was
Bautista ang aking asawa, sir.
1 corroborated by another witness, Lito Santos, who testified on the events
immediately preceding and subsequent to the shooting.
While her statement that she saw Poldo Bautista shoot her husband may be
interpreted loosely as that she was present when her husband was shot but not It should be clear that Santos never testified that petitioner was the one who had
necessarily that she saw the actual shooting incident nevertheless, the seeming actually shot the victim. Still, the testimony of this witness is valuable, because it
inconsistency cannot but engender doubt in our minds as to what actually validates the statements made by Ernita. He confirms that after hearing the
transpired during that fateful evening. At the very least, Leticia Bandarlipe's gunshot, he saw the victim and heard the latter cry out those same words.
testimony does not inspire belief that she was telling the truth as to the identity of
appellant as the felon. Rule 130, Section 37 of the Rules of Court, provides:

It is also worthy to note that whereas Leticia initially denied having talked to the "The declaration of a dying person, made under the consciousness of impending
local officials who accompanied her to the hospital she subsequently admitted that death, may be received in any case wherein his death is the subject of inquiry, as
Barangay Captain Solis, et al. went to her house the day after the incident and evidence of the cause and surrounding circumstances of such death."
talked to her about filing a case in connection with her husband's murder, which
she refused to do. Generally, witnesses can testify only to those facts derived from their own
perception. A recognized exception, though, is a report in open court of a dying
If it is true that Leticia Bandarlipe actually saw her husband being shot by appellant, person͛s declaration made under the consciousness of an impending death that is
or that her dying husband told her that it was appellant who shot him, why did she the subject of inquiry in the case.37
not report what she saw and heard to the two barangay tanods, Gagaza and de
Leon, who responded to her shouts for help; and, why was she reluctant to file a Statements identifying the assailant, if uttered by a victim on the verge of death,
complaint against the gunman whom she allegedly saw shoot her husband. Her acts are entitled to the highest degree of credence and respect.38 Persons aware of an
are contrary to the natural tendency of a witness closely related to the victim, to impending death have been known to be genuinely truthful in their words and
report a crime and describe the malefactor at the earliest possible opportunity.
1
extremely scrupulous in their accusations.39 The dying declaration is given credence,
on the premise that no one who knows of one͛s impending death will make a
In fact, it was not until about ten (10) months later that Leticia executed a sworn careless and false accusation.40 Hence, not infrequently, pronouncements of guilt
statement pointing to appellant as the assailant of her husband Cipriano. have been allowed to rest solely on the dying declaration of the deceased victim.41
To be admissible, a dying declaration must 1) refer to the cause and circumstances "Part of the res gestae. -- Statements made by a person while a startling occurrence
surrounding the declarant͛s death; 2) be made under the consciousness of an is taking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the
impending death; 3) be made freely and voluntarily without coercion or suggestions circumstances thereof, may be given in evidence as part of the res gestae. So, also,
of improper influence; 4) be offered in a criminal case, in which the death of the statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue, and giving it a
declarant is the subject of inquiry; and 5) have been made by a declarant legal significance, may be received as part of the res gestae."
competent to testify as a witness, had that person been called upon to testify.42
Res gestae refers to statements made by the participants or the victims of, or the
49
The statement of the deceased certainly concerned the cause and circumstances spectators to, a crime immediately before, during, or after its commission. These
surrounding his death. He pointed to the person who had shot him. As established statements are a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of
by the prosecution, petitioner was the only person referred to as kapitan in their the occasion, without any opportunity for the declarant to fabricate a false
place.43 It was also established that the declarant, at the time he had given the statement.50 An important consideration is whether there intervened, between the
dying declaration, was under a consciousness of his impending death. occurrence and the statement, any circumstance calculated to divert the mind and
thus restore the mental balance of the declarant; and afford an opportunity for
True, he made no express statement showing that he was conscious of his deliberation.51
impending death. The law, however, does not require the declarant to state
explicitly a perception of the inevitability of death.44 The perception may be A declaration is deemed part of the res gestae and admissible in evidence as an
established from surrounding circumstances, such as the nature of the declarant͛s exception to the hearsay rule, when the following requisites concur: 1) the principal
injury and conduct that would justify a conclusion that there was a consciousness of act, the res gestae, is a startling occurrence; 2) the statements were made before
impending death.45 Even if the declarant did not make an explicit statement of that the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and 3) the statements concerned the
realization, the degree and seriousness of the words and the fact that death occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances.52
occurred shortly afterwards may be considered as sufficient evidence that the
declaration was made by the victim with full consciousness of being in a dying All these requisites are present in this case. The principal act, the shooting, was a
condition.46 startling occurrence. Immediately after, while he was still under the exciting
influence of the startling occurrence, the victim made the declaration without any
Also, the statement was made freely and voluntarily, without coercion or prior opportunity to contrive a story implicating petitioner. Also, the declaration
suggestion, and was offered as evidence in a criminal case for homicide. In this case, concerned the one who shot the victim. Thus, the latter͛s statement was correctly
the declarant was the victim who, at the time he uttered the dying declaration, was appreciated as part of the res gestae.
competent as a witness.
The totality of the evidence presented by the prosecution is sufficient to sustain the
As found by the CA, the dying declaration of the victim was complete, as it was "a conviction of petitioner. The dying declaration made by the victim immediately
full expression of all that he intended to say as conveying his meaning. It [was] prior to his death constitutes evidence of the highest order as to the cause of his
47 53
complete and [was] not merely fragmentary." Testified to by his wife and death and of the identity of the assailant. This damning evidence, coupled with
neighbor, his dying declaration was not only admissible in evidence as an exception the proven facts presented by the prosecution, leads to the logical conclusion that
to the hearsay rule, but was also a weighty and telling piece of evidence. petitioner is guilty of the crime charged.

Res Gestae The following circumstances proven by the prosecution produce a conviction
beyond reasonable doubt:
The fact that the victim͛s statement constituted a dying declaration does not
preclude it from being admitted as part of the res gestae, if the elements of both First. Santos testified that he had heard a gunshot; and seen smoke coming
48
are present. from the muzzle of a gun, as well as the victim staggering backwards while
shouting, "Help me p͛re, I was shot by the captain." This statement was
Section 42 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides: duly established, and the testimony of Santos confirmed the events that
had occurred. It should be understandable that "p͛re" referred to Santos,
considering that he and the victim were conversing just before the 
shooting took place. It was also established that the two called each other   
5

(2-+-0
-344( $ 3( !(4  -4
"p͛re," because Santos was the godfather of the victim͛s child.54
Hearsay evidence, with a few well recognized exceptions, it has been said on high
Second. Ernita testified that she had heard a gunshot and her husband͛s authority, is excluded by courts in the United States that adhere to the principles of
utterance, "Help me p͛re, I was shot by the captain," then saw petitioner in the common law. One universally recognized exception concerns the admission of
a black jacket and camouflage pants running away from the crime scene dying declarations. Another exception permits the reception, under certain
while carrying a firearm. circumstances, of declarations of third parties made contrary to their own
pecuniary or proprietary interest. But the general rule is stated to be that the
Third. Ernita͛s statement, "Captain, why did you shoot my husband?" was declarations of a person other than accused confessing or tending to show that he
established as part of the res gestae. committed the crime are not competent for accused on account of the hearsay
doctrine.
Fourth. The version of the events given by petitioner is simply implausible.
As the incumbent barangay captain, it should have been his responsibility Professor Wigmore, one of the greatest living authorities on the law of evidence,
to go immediately to the crime scene and investigate the shooting. has attempted to demonstrate the false premises on which the arbitrary limitation
Instead, he avers that when he went to the situs of the crime, the wife of to the hearsay rule rests. He shows that the limitation is inconsistent with the
the victim was already shouting and accusing him of being the assailant, so language originally employed in stating the principle and is unjustified on grounds
he just left. This reaction was very unlikely of an innocent barangay of policy. Professor Wigmore in turn has been answered by no less a body than the
captain, who would simply want to investigate a crime. Often have we Supreme Court of Mississippi in the case of Brown vs. State of Mississippi ([1910],
ruled that the first impulse of innocent persons when accused of 37 L. R. A., New Series, 345). The editor of the Mississippi case in L. R. A., however,
wrongdoing is to express their innocence at the first opportune time.55 comes to the support of Professor Wigmore saying the unanimity of the decisions
"is as complete as the shock which they give the general sense of justice." The
Fifth. The prosecution was able to establish motive on the part of question has likewise in recent years gained attention by the Supreme Court of the
petitioner. The victim͛s wife positively testified that prior to the shooting, United States in the case of Donnelly vs. United States ([1913], 228 U. S., 243).
her husband was trying to close a real estate transaction which petitioner There it was held that the court below properly excluded hearsay evidence relating
tried to block. This showed petitioner͛s antagonism towards the victim.56 to the confession of a third party, then deceased, of guilt of the crime with which
defendant was charged. Mr. Justice Pitney, delivering the opinion of the court, said:
"In this country there is a great and practically unanimous weight of authority in the
These pieces of evidence indubitably lead to the conclusion that it was petitioner
estate courts against admitting evidence of confessions of third parties, made out
who shot and killed the victim. This Court has consistently held that, where an
of court, and tending to exonerate the accused." Mr. Justice Van Devanter
eyewitness saw the accused with a gun seconds after the gunshot and the victim͛s
concurred in the result while Mr. Justice Holmes, with whom concurred Mr. Justice
fall, the reasonable conclusion is that the accused had killed the victim.57 Further
Lurton and Mr. Justice Hughes, dissented. Mr. Justice Holmes said:
establishing petitioner͛s guilt was the definitive statement of the victim that he had
been shot by the barangay captain.
. . . The rues of evidence in the main are based on experience, logic, and
common sense, less hampered by history than some parts of the
"[Corpus delicti] is the fact of the commission of the crime that may be proved by
substantive law. There is no decision by this court against the admissibility
the testimony of eyewitnesses. In its legal sense, corpus delicti does not necessarily
of such a confession; the English cases since the separation of the two
refer to the body of the person murdered, to the firearms in the crime of homicide
countries do not bind us; the exception to the hearsay rule in the case of
with the use of unlicensed firearms, to the ransom money in the crime of
declarations against interest is well known; no other statement is so much
kidnapping for ransom, or x x x to the seized contraband cigarettes."65
against interest as a confession of murder; it is far more calculated to
convince than dying declarations, which would be let in to hang a man
(Mattox vs. United States, 146 U. S., 140; 36 Law. ed., 917; 13 Sup. Ct. Rep.,
50); and when we surround the accused with so many safeguards, some of
 
$   (  6( 
6
which seem to me excessive; I think we ought to give him the benefit of a such statements, in that they concerned matters prejudicial to the
fact that, if proved, commonly would have such weight. The history of the declarant's self-interest, were fairly trustworthy and might therefore (if he
law and the arguments against the English doctrine are so well and fully were deceased) be treated as forming an exception to the hearsay rule.
stated by Mr. Wigmore that there is no need to set them forth at greater
length. (2 Wigmore, Evidence, pars. 1476, 1477.) This broad principle made its way slowly. There was some uncertainty
about its scope; but it was an uncertainty in the direction of breadth; for it
In the Philippine jurisdiction, we have never felt bound to follow blindly the was sometimes put in the broad form that any statement by a person
principles of the common law. A reexamination of some of those principles "having no interest to deceive" would be admissible. This broad form
discloses anomalies. never came to prevail (post, par. 1576). But acceptance was gained, after
two decades, for the principle that all declarations of facts against interest
A dying declaration is admitted of necessity in order, as the Supreme Court of (by deceased persons) were to be received. What is to be noted, then, is
Mississippi states, "to reach those man slayers who perpetrate their crimes when that from 1800 to about 1830 this was fully understood as the broad scope
there are no other eyewitnesses." But the person accused of a crime, under the of the principle. It was thus stated without other qualifications; and
same principle of necessity, is not permitted to free himself by offering in evidence frequent passages show the development of the principle to this point.
the admission of another under oath that this other committed the crime. Again
admissions are receivable against either a pecuniary or a proprietary interest, but The rulings already in our books cannot be thought to involve a settled and
not against a penal interest. We fail to see why it can be believed that a man will be universal acceptance of this limitation. In the first place, in almost all of the
presumed to tell the truth in the one instance but will not be presumed to tell the rulings the declarant was not shown to be deceased or otherwise
truth in the other instance. Again the exhibit would have been admitted against its unavailable as a witness, and therefore the declaration would have been
maker at his trial, if he had not died. But the document is held inadmissible to inadmissible in any view of the present exception (ante, par. 1456).
exonerate another. Yet the truth of the exhibit is not different in the first case that Secondly, in some of the rulings (for example, in North Carolina) the
in the second. independent doctrine (ante, pars. 139-141) was applicable that, in order to
prove the accused's non-commission of the offense by showing
We cannot bring this decision to a conclusion without quoting the well considered commission by another person, not merely one casual piece of evidence
language of Professor Wigmore on the subject, the pertinent part of a decision suffices but a "prima facie" case resting on several concurring pieces of
coming from a court which has gained respect particularly in criminal cases, and an evidence must be made out. Finally, most of the early rulings had in view,
editorial note. Professor Wigmore has said: not the present exception to the hearsay rule, but the doctrine of
admissions (ante, pars. 1076, 1079) that the admissions of one who is not a
PAR. 1476. History of the Exception; tatement of Fact against Penal co-conspirator cannot affect others jointly charged.
Œnterest, excluded; uonfessions of urime by a Third Person. Ͷ It is today
commonly said, and has been expressly laid down by many judges, that the It is therefore not too late to retrace our steps, and to discard this
interest prejudiced by the facts stated must be either a pecuniary or a barbarous doctrine, which would refuse to let an innocent accused
proprietary interest, and not a penal interest. What ground in authority vindicate himself even by producing to the tribunal a perfectly
there is for this limitation may be found by examining the history of the authenticated written confession, made on the very gallows, by the rule
execution at large. culprit now beyond the reach of justice. Those who watched (in 1899) with
self-righteous indignation the course of proceedings in Captain Dreyfus'
The exception appears to have taken its rise chiefly in two separate rivulets trial should remember that, if that trial had occurred in our own courts, the
of rulings, starting independently as a matter of practice, but afterwards spectacle would have been no less shameful if we, following our own
united as parts of a general principle. . . . supposed precedents, had refused to admit what the French court never
for a moment hesitated to admit, Ͷ the authenticated confession of the
escaped Major Esterhazy, avowing himself the guilty author of the treason
These lines of precedent proceeded independently till about the beginning
there charged. (3 Wigmore on Evidence, 2d ed., secs. 1476, 1477.)
of the 1800s, when a unity of principle for some of them came gradually to
be perceived and argued for. This unity lay in the circumstance that all
 Lest we be misunderstood, the Court is always for the admission of evidence that
     (2-+-0
- 3!( !( !!3(46'+16 would let an innocent declaration of guilt by the real culprit. But this can be open to
 !!3 abuse, as when the extrajudicial statement is not even authenticated thus
increasing the probability of its fabrication; it is made to persons who have every
One of the recognized exceptions to the hearsay rule is that pertaining to reason to lie and falsify; and it is not altogether clear that the declarant himself is
declarations made against interest. Sec. 38 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court unable to testify. Thus, for this case at least, exclusion is the prudent recourse as
provides that "(t)he declaration made by a person deceased, or unable to testify, explained in Toledo -
against the interest of the declarant, if the fact asserted in the declaration was at
the time it was made so far contrary to declarant's own interest, that a reasonable The purpose of all evidence is to get at the truth. The reason for the
man in his position would not have made the declaration unless he believed it to be hearsay rule is that the extrajudicial and unsworn statement of another is
true, may be received in evidence against himself or his successors in interest and not the best method of serving this purpose. In other words, the great
against third persons." The admissibility in evidence of such declaration is grounded possibility of the fabrication of falsehoods, and the inability to prove their
11 15
on necessity and trustworthiness. untruth, requires that the doors be closed to such evidence.

There are three (3) essential requisites for the admissibility of a declaration against 
interest: (a) the declarant must not be available to testify; (b) the declaration must   
. (2-+-0
- 634(c  !( !!"("1'+ !"
concern a fact cognizable by the declarant; and (c) the circumstances must render it
improbable that a motive to falsify existed. Motive is generally irrelevant, unless it is utilized in establishing the identity of the
perpetrator. Coupled with enough circumstantial evidence of facts from which it
For all its attempt to demonstrate the arbitrariness behind the rejection in certain may be reasonably inferred that the accused was the malefactor, motive may be
cases of declarations against penal interest, the Toledo case cannot be applied in sufficient to support a conviction.  Openda, Jr.'s revelation to Enriquez regarding
the instant case which is remarkably different. Consider this factual scenario: the his illicit relationship with Bernal's wife is admissible in evidence, pursuant to
alleged declarant Zoilo Fuentes Jr., a cousin of accused-appellant, verbally admitted Section 38, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence, viz.:
to the latter, and later to their common uncle Felicisimo Fuentes, that he (Zoilo)
killed the victim because of a grudge, after which he disappeared. One striking Sec. 38. Declaration against interest. Ͷ The declaration made by a person
feature that militates against the acceptance of such a statement is its patent deceased, or unable to testify, against the interest of the declarant, if the
untrustworthiness. Zoilo who is related to accused-appellant had every motive to fact asserted in the declaration was at the time it was made so far contrary
prevaricate. The same can be said of accused-appellant and his uncle Felicisimo. to declarant's own interest, that a reasonable man in his position would
Secondly, we need not resort to legal rhetorics to find that the admission of such a not have made the declaration unless he believed it to be true, may be
statement may likewise be, according to Wigmore, "shocking to the sense of received in evidence against himself or his successors-in-interest and
13
justice." Let us assume that the trial court did admit the statement of Zoilo and against third persons.
on that basis acquitted accused-appellant. Let us assume further that Zoilo was
subsequently captured and upon being confronted with his admission of guilt With the deletion of the phrase "pecuniary or moral interest" from the present
readily repudiated the same. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can bind provision, it is safe to assume that "declaration against interest" has been expanded
Zoilo legally to that statement. to include all kinds of interest, that is, pecuniary, proprietary, moral or even penal.


But more importantly, the far weightier reason why the admission against penal
interest cannot be accepted in the instant case is that the declarant is not "unable A statement may be admissible when it complies with the following requisites, to
to testify." There is no showing that Zoilo is either dead, mentally incapacitated or wit: "(1) that the declarant is dead or unable to testify; (2) that it relates to a fact
physically incompetent which Sec. 38 obviously contemplates. His mere absence against the interest of the declarant; (3) that at the time he made said declaration
from the jurisdiction does not make him ipso facto unavailable under this rule the declarant was aware that the same was contrary to his aforesaid interest; and
(4) that the declarant had no motive to falsify and believed such declaration to be
 
true."
 However, in assessing the probative value of Gen. Menzi͛s supposed
     (2-+-0
- 631( !(3
declaration against interest, i.e., that he was acting for the late President Marcos
Jurisprudence instructs that evidence of statement made or a testimony is when he purportedly coerced Mr. Locsin, Sr. to sell the Free Press property, we are
hearsay if offered against a party who has no opportunity to cross-examine the loathed to give it the evidentiary weight petitioner endeavors to impress upon us.
witness. Hearsay evidence is excluded precisely because the party against whom it For, the Locsins can hardly be considered as disinterested witnesses. They are likely
is presented is deprived of or is bereft of opportunity to cross-examine the persons to gain the most from the annulment of the subject contracts. Moreover,
to whom the statements or writings are attributed.[15] And there can be no allegations of duress or coercion should, like fraud, be viewed with utmost caution.
quibbling that because death has supervened, the late Gen Menzi, like the other They should not be laid lightly at the door of men whose lips had been sealed by

purported Marcos subalterns, Messrs. Baizas and De Vega, cannot cross-examine death.  Francisco explains why:
the Locsins for the threatening statements allegedly made by them for the late
President.
[I]t has been said that ͞of all evidence, the narration of a witness
of his conversation with a dead person is esteemed in justice the
weakest.͛͟ One reason for its unreliability is that the alleged
Like the Court of Appeals, we are not unmindful of the exception to the declarant can not recall to the witness the circumstances under
which his statement were made. The temptation and opportunity
hearsay rule provided in Section 38, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, which reads: for fraud in such cases also operate against the testimony.
Testimony to statements of a deceased person, at least where
proof of them will prejudice his estate, is regarded as an unsafe
foundation for judicial action except in so far as such evidence is
borne out by what is natural and probable under the
SEC. 38. Declaration against interest. ʹ The declaration circumstances taken in connection with actual known facts. And a
made by a person deceased or unable to testify, against the court should be very slow to act upon the statement of one of the
interest of the declarant, if the fact asserted in the declaration parties to a supposed agreement after the death of the other
party; such corroborative evidence should be adduced as to
was at the time it was made so far contrary to the declarant's own
satisfy the court of the truth of the story which is to benefit
interest, that a reasonable man in his position would not have
made the declaration unless he believed it to be true, may be materially the person telling it. [17]
received in evidence against himself or his successors-in-interest 
and against third persons.      
(2-+-0
- 13443( !(3

Section 38 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides:

SEC. 38. Declaration against interest. ʹ The declaration made by a person deceased,
or unable to testify, against the interest of the declarant, if the fact asserted in the
declaration was at the time it was made so far contrary to the declarant's own
interest, that a reasonable man in his position would not have made the declaration Section 34. Offer of evidence. ʹ The court shall consider no evidence which has not
unless he believed it to be true, may be received in evidence against himself or his been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be
successors-in-interest and against third persons. specified.

The theory under which declarations against interest are received in evidence A formal offer is necessary because it is the duty of a judge to rest his findings of
notwithstanding they are hearsay is that the necessity of the occasion renders the facts and his judgment only and strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties to
reception of such evidence advisable and, further that the reliability of such the suit.21 It is a settled rule that the mere fact that a particular document is
declaration asserts facts which are against his own pecuniary or moral interest.9 identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean that it has thereby already been
offered as part of the evidence of a party.22
The affiant, Florentino, who died in 1989 was petitioner͛s father and had adequate
knowledge with respect to the subject covered by his statement. In said affidavit, Petitioner insists that although his documentary evidence were not formally
Florentino categorically declared that while he is the occupant of the residential offered, the same were marked during the presentation of the testimonial
23
building, he is not the owner of the same as it is owned by respondent who is evidence, thus it can properly be taken cognizance of relying in Bravo, Jr. v. Borja.
residing in Quezon City. It is safe to presume that he would not have made such
declaration unless he believed it to be true, as it is prejudicial to himself as well as Such reliance is misplaced. In Bravo Jr., we allowed evidence on minority by
to his children͛s interests as his heirs.10 A declaration against interest is the best admitting the certified true copy of the birth certificate attached to a motion for
11
evidence which affords the greatest certainty of the facts in dispute. Notably, bail even if it was not formally offered in evidence. This was due to the fact that the
during Florentino͛s lifetime, from 1973, the year he executed said affidavit until birth certificate was properly filed in support of a motion for bail to prove
1989, the year of his death, there is no showing that he had revoked such affidavit petitioner͛s minority which was never challenged by the prosecution and it already
even when a criminal complaint for trespass to dwelling had been filed by formed part of the records of the case. The rule referred to in the Bravo case was
respondent against him (Florentino) and petitioner in 1988 regarding the subject Section 7 of Rule 133 of the Rules of Court which provides:
house which the trial court dismissed due to the absence of evidence showing that
petitioner entered the house against the latter͛s will and held that the remedy of Section 7. Evidence on motion.- When a motion is based on facts not appearing of
respondent was to file an action for ejectment;12 and even when a complaint for record, the court may hear the matter on affidavits or depositions presented by the
unlawful detainer was filed against petitioner and his wife also in 1988 which was respective parties, but the court may direct that the matter be heard wholly or
subsequently dismissed on the ground that respondent͛s action should be an accion partly on oral testimony or depositions.
13
publiciana which is beyond the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court.
and not Section 34 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court which is the one applicable to
We agree with the CA that while tax receipts and declarations are not the present case.
incontrovertible evidence of ownership, they constitute at least proof that the
17
holder has a claim of title over the property. The house which petitioner claims to
Even assuming arguendo that the documentary evidence of petitioner should be
be co-owned by his late father had been consistently declared for taxation purposes
considered in his favor, the evidence showing that respondent had filed civil and
in the name of respondent, and this fact, taken with the other circumstances
criminal cases against petitioner which were dismissed as well as the alleged Special
above-mentioned, inexorably lead to the conclusion that respondent is the sole
Power of Attorney of petitioner͛s parents whereby they authorized petitioner to
owner of the house subject matter of the litigation. stay in the ground floor of the house, did not establish co-ownership of Florentino
and respondent of the subject house.
In this case, the records show that although petitioner͛s counsel asked that he be
allowed to offer his documentary evidence in writing, he, however, did not file the
 $(  6 
6!
same.20 Thus, the CA did not consider the documentary evidence presented by

petitioner. Section 34 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court provides:   2
$
('+"1 !3"

It is our considered view that the lower court correctly relied upon the post-war
records, for three cogent reasons.
In the first place, as Moran states, although a person can have no personal There are two points for consideration before us: first is the issue on petitioner's
knowledge of the date of his birth, he may testify as to his age as he had learned it legitimacy, and second is the question regarding their filiation with Teodora
from his parents and relatives and his testimony in such case is an assertion of a Dezoller Guerrero.
family tradition.9 Indeed, even in is application for back pay which he filed with the
Department of Finance, through the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, on I. It is not debatable that the documentary evidence adduced by petitioners, taken
October 7, 1948, the petitioner stated that the date of his birth is December 11, separately and independently of each other, are not per se sufficient proof of
1901. He repeated the same assertion in 1956 and again in 1960 when he asked the legitimacy nor even of pedigree. It is important to note, however, that the rulings of
Government Service Insurance System and the Civil Service Commission to correct both lower courts in the case are basically premised on the erroneous assumption
the date of his birth to December 11, 1901. that, in the first place, the issue of legitimacy may be validly controverted in an
action for reconveyance, and, in the second place, that herein petitioners have the
In the second place, the import of the declaration of the petitioner's brother, onus probandi to prove their legitimacy and, corollarily, their filiation. We disagree
contained in a verified pleading in a cadastral case way back in 1924, to the effect on both counts.
that the petitioner was then 23 years old, can not be ignored. Made ante litem
motam by a deceased relative, this statement is at once a declaration regarding It seems that both the court a quo and respondent appellate court have regrettably
pedigree within the intendment and meaning of section 33 of Rule 130 of the Rules overlooked the universally recognized presumption on legitimacy. There is no
of Court. presumption of the law more firmly established and founded on sounder morality
and more convincing reason than the presumption that children born in wedlock
Thus, December 11, 1901 is established as the date of birth of the petitioner not are legitimate. And well settled is the rule that the issue of legitimacy cannot be
only by evidence of family tradition but also by the declaration ante litem motam of attacked collaterally.
a deceased relative.1äwphï1.ñët
The rationale for these rules has been explained in this wise:
Finally, the patties are agreed that the petitioner has a brother, Constantino, who
was born on June 10, 1898 and who retired on June 10, 1963 with full retirement The presumption of legitimacy in the Family Code . . . actually
pay. The petitioner then could not have been born earlier than Constantino, say in fixes a civil status for the child born in wedlock, and that civil
1897 as pre-war records indicate, because Constantino is admittedly older than status cannot be attacked collaterally. The legitimacy of the child
he.10 can be impugned only in a direct action brought for that purpose,
by the proper parties, and within the period limited by law.
Still it is argued that the petitioner's action was prematurely brought because he
had not availed of all administrative remedies. This argument is without merit. Suit The legitimacy of the child cannot be contested by way of defense
for quo warranto to recover a public office must be brought within one year.11 or as a collateral issue in another action for a different purpose.
Before filing this case the petitioner waited for eight months for the school officials The necessity of an independent action directly impugning the
to act on his protest. To require him to tarry a little more would obviously be unfair legitimacy is more clearly expressed in the Mexican Code (Article
to him since on April 13, 1965, when this case was filed, he had only four months 335) which provides: "The contest of the legitimacy of a child by
left within which to bring the case to court. There was neither manner nor form of the husband or his heirs must be made by proper complaint
assurance that the decision of the Director of Public Schools would be forthcoming. before the competent court; any contest made in any other way is
The rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies does not apply where insistence void." This principle applies under our Family Code. Articles 170
12
on its observance would result in the nullification of the claim being asserted. and 171 of the code confirm this view, because they refer to "the
action to impugn the legitimacy." This action can be brought only
 by the husband or his heirs and within the periods fixed in the
  5
("3'+4 !!" present articles.

Upon the expiration of the periods provided in Article 170, the


action to impugn the legitimacy of a child can no longer be
brought. The status conferred by the presumption, therefore, Where there is an entire lack of competent evidence to the contrary, 6 and unless
becomes fixed, and can no longer be questioned. The obvious or until it is rebutted, it has been held that a presumption may stand in lieu of
1
intention of the law is to prevent the status of a child born in evidence and support a finding or decision. Perforce, a presumption must be
wedlock from being in a state of uncertainty for a long time. It followed if it is uncontroverted. This is based on the theory that a presumption is
also aims to force early action to settle any doubt as to the prima facie proof of the fact presumed, and unless the fact thus established prima
paternity of such child, so that the evidence material to the facie by the legal presumption of its truth is disproved, it must stand as proved. 4
matter, which must necessarily be facts occurring during the
period of the conception of the child, may still be easily available. Indubitably, when private respondent opted not to present countervailing evidence
to overcome the presumption, by merely filing a demurrer to evidence instead, she
xxx xxx xxx in effect impliedly admitted the truth of such fact. Indeed, she overlooked or
disregarded the evidential rule that presumptions like judicial notice and
Only the husband can contest the legitimacy of a child born to his admissions, relieve the proponent from presenting evidence on the facts he alleged
wife. He is the one directly confronted with the scandal and and such facts are thereby considered as duly proved.
ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produces; and he should
decide whether to conceal that infidelity or expose it, in view of The primary proof to be considered in ascertaining the relationship between the
the moral and economic interest involved. It is only in exceptional parties concerned is the testimony of Corazon Dezoller Tison to the effect that
cases that his heir are allowed to contest such legitimacy. Outside Teodora Dezoller Guerrero in her lifetime, or sometime in 1946, categorically
of these cases, none Ͷ even his heirs Ͷ can impugn legitimacy; declared that the former is Teodora's niece. 3 Such a statement is considered a
!
that would amount to an insult to his memory. declaration about pedigree which is admissible, as an exception to the hearsay rule,
under Section 39, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, subject to the following
The issue, therefore, as to whether petitioners are the legitimate children of conditions: (1) that the declarant is dead or unable to testify; (2) that the declarant
Hermogenes Dezoller cannot be properly controverted in the present action for be related to the person whose pedigree is the subject of inquiry; (3) that such
reconveyance. This is aside, of course, from the further consideration that private relationship be shown by evidence other than the declaration; and (4) that the
respondent is not the proper party to impugn the legitimacy of herein petitioners. declaration was made ante litem motam, that is, not only before the
The presumption consequently continues to operate in favor of petitioners unless commencement of the suit involving the subject matter of the declaration, but
and until it is rebutted. before any controversy has arisen thereon.

Even assuming that the issue is allowed to be resolved in this case, the burden of There is no dispute with respect to the first, second and fourth elements. What
proof rests not on herein petitioners who have the benefit of the presumption in remains for analysis is the third element, that is, whether or not the other
their favor, but on private respondent who is disputing the same. This fact alone documents offered in evidence sufficiently corroborated the declaration made by
should have been sufficient cause for the trial court to exercise appropriate caution Teodora Dezoller Guerrero in her lifetime regarding the pedigree of petitioner
before acting, as it did, on the demurrer to evidence. It would have delimited the Corazon Dezoller Tison or, if at all, it is necessary to present evidence other than
issues for resolution, as well as the time and effort necessitated thereby. such declaration.

Ordinarily, when a fact is presumed, it implies that the party in whose favor the American jurisdiction has it that a distinction must be made as to when the
presumption exists does not have to introduce evidence to establish that fact, and relationship of the declarant may be proved by the very declaration itself, or by
in any litigation where that fact is put in issue, the party denying it must bear the other declarations of said declarant, and when it must be supported by evidence

burden of proof to overthrow the presumption. The presumption of legitimacy is aliunde. The rule is stated thus:
so strong that it is clear that its effect is to shift the burden of persuasion to the
party claiming illegitimacy. And in order to destroy the presumption, the party One situation to be noted is that where one seeks to set up a
against whom it operates must adduce substantial and credible evidence to the claim through, but not from, the declarant and to establish the
contrary.  admissibility of a declaration regarding claimant's pedigree, he
may not do by declarant's own statements as to declarant's
relationship to the particular family. The reason is that declarant's   '
 ;
  (2-+-0
- 13"6"(: ( 
declaration of his own relationship is of a self-serving nature. 
Accordingly there must be precedent proof from other sources
that declarant is what he claimed to be, namely, a member of the "The filiation of illegitimate children, like legitimate children, is established
particular family; otherwise the requirement to admissibility that by (1) the record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment;
declarant's relationship to the common family must appear is not or (2) an admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private
met. But when the party claiming seeks to establish relationship in handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. In the
order to claim directly from the declarant or the declarant's absence thereof, filiation shall be proved by (1) the open and continuous
estate, the situation and the policy of the law applicable are quite possession of the status of a legitimate child; or (2) any other means
different. Œn such case the declaration of the decedent, whose allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. The due recognition of an
estate is in controversy, that he was related to the one who claims illegitimate child in a record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of
his estate, is admissible without other proof of the fact of record, or in any authentic writing is, in itself, a consummated act of
relationship. While the nature of the declaration is then acknowledgment of the child, and no further court action is required. In
disserving, that is not the real ground for its admission. Such fact, any authentic writing is treated not just a ground for compulsory
declarations do not derive their evidential value from that recognition; it is in itself a voluntary recognition that does not require a
consideration, although it is a useful, if not an artificial, aid in separate action for judicial approval. Where, instead, a claim for
determining the class to which the declarations belong. The recognition is predicated on other evidence merely tending to prove
distinction we have note is sufficiently apparent; in the one case paternity, i.e., outside of a record of birth, a will, a statement before a
the declarations are self-serving, in the other they are competent court of record or an authentic writing, judicial action within the applicable
from reasons of necessity. " (Emphasis ours.) statute of limitations is essential in order to establish the child's
acknowledgment."12 (Emphasis ours)
The general rule, therefore, is that where the party claiming seeks recovery against
a relative common to both claimant and declarant, but not from the declarant In this connection, we echo this Court's pronouncement in Roces vs. Local uivil
himself or the declarant's estate, the relationship of the declarant to the common Registrar16 that:
relative may not be proved by the declaration itself. There must be some

independent proof of this fact. As an exception, the requirement that there be "Section 5 of Act No. 3753 and Article 280 of the Civil Code of the
other proof than the declarations of the declarant as to the relationship, does not Philippines . . . explicitly prohibit, not only the naming of the father of the
apply where it is sought to reach the estate of the declarant himself and not merely child born out of wedlock, when the birth certificate, or the recognition, is
to establish a right through his declarations to the property of some other member not filed or made by him, but also, the statement of any information or
!
of the family. circumstances by which he could be identified. Accordingly, the Local Civil
Registrar had no authority to make or record the paternity of an
We are sufficiently convinced, and so hold, that the present case is one instance illegitimate child upon the information of a third person and the certificate
where the general requirement on evidence aliunde may be relaxed. Petitioners are of birth of an illegitimate child, when signed only by the mother of the
claiming a right to part of the estate of the declarant herself. Conformably, the latter, is incompetent evidence of fathership of said child." (Emphasis ours)
declaration made by Teodora Dezoller Guerrero that petitioner Corazon is her
niece, is admissible and constitutes sufficient proof of such relationship, The Roces ruling regarding illegitimate filiation is further elucidated in Fernandez vs.
notwithstanding the fact that there was no other preliminary evidence thereof, the uourt of Appeals17 where this Court said that "a birth certificate not signed by the
reason being such declaration is rendered competent by virtue of the necessity of alleged father (who had no hand in its preparation) is not competent evidence of
receiving such evidence to avoid a failure of justice.  More importantly, there is in paternity."
the present case an absolute failure by all and sundry to refute that declaration
made by the decedent.
A birth certificate is a formidable piece of evidence prescribed by both the Civil
Code and Article 172 of the Family Code for purposes of recognition and filiation.
 However, birth certificate offers only prima facie evidence of filiation and may be
refuted by contrary evidence.18 Its evidentiary worth cannot be sustained where prima facie proof of their contents. Section 44, Rule 130, of the Rules of Court
there exists strong, complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity. In this provides:
case, respondent's Certificate of Live Birth No. 477 entered in the records of the
Local Civil Registry (from which Exhibit "D" was machine copied) has all the badges "Entries in official records. Entries in official records made in the
of nullity. Without doubt, the authentic copy on file in that office was removed and performance of his duty by a public officer of the Philippines, or by a
substituted with a falsified Certificate of Live Birth. person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law, are prima
facie evidence of the facts therein stated."
At this point, it bears stressing the provision of Section 23, Rule 132 of the Revised
Rules of Court that "(d)ocuments consisting of entries in public records made in the The trustworthiness of public documents and the value given to the entries made
performance of a duty by a public officer are prima facie evidence of the facts therein could be grounded on 1) the sense of official duty in the preparation of the
therein stated." In this case, the glaring discrepancies between the two Certificates statement made, 2) the penalty which is usually affixed to a breach of that duty, 3)
of Live Birth (Exhibits "D" and "8") have overturned the genuineness of Exhibit "D" the routine and disinterested origin of most such statements, and 4) the publicity of
entered in the Local Civil Registry. What is authentic is Exhibit "8" recorded in the record which makes more likely the prior exposure of such errors as might have
31
Civil Registry General. occurred.

 The death certificate of Lorenzo Pou would indicate that he died on 11 September
  5
7;(2-+- 3 161( 6(1 1954, at the age of 84 years, in San Carlos, Pangasinan. It could thus be assumed
 that Lorenzo Pou was born sometime in the year 1870 when the Philippines was
still a colony of Spain. Petitioner would argue that Lorenzo Pou was not in the
The birth certificate of FPJ was marked Exhibit "A" for petitioner and Exhibit "3" for Philippines during the crucial period of from 1898 to 1902 considering that there
respondent. The marriage certificate of Allan F. Poe to Bessie Kelley was submitted was no existing record about such fact in the Records Management and Archives
as Exhibit "21" for respondent. The death certificate of Lorenzo Pou was submitted Office. Petitioner, however, likewise failed to show that Lorenzo Pou was at any
by respondent as his Exhibit "5." While the last two documents were submitted in other place during the same period. In his death certificate, the residence of
evidence for respondent, the admissibility thereof, particularly in reference to the Lorenzo Pou was stated to be San Carlos, Pangasinan. In the absence of any
facts which they purported to show, i.e., the marriage certificate in relation to the evidence to the contrary, it should be sound to conclude, or at least to presume,
date of marriage of Allan F. Poe to Bessie Kelley and the death certificate relative to that the place of residence of a person at the time of his death was also his
the death of Lorenzo Pou on 11 September 1954 in San Carlos, Pangasinan, were all residence before death. It would be extremely doubtful if the Records Management
admitted by petitioner, who had utilized those material statements in his argument. and Archives Office would have had complete records of all residents of the
All three documents were certified true copies of the originals. Philippines from 1898 to 1902.

Section 3, Rule 130, Rules of Court states that - 

#
#   

"Original document must be produced; exceptions. - When the subject of Ñ ;&-


inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible
other than the original document itself, except in the following cases: Petitioner submits, in any case, that in establishing filiation (relationship or civil
status of the child to the father [or mother]) or paternity (relationship or civil status
"x x x xxx xxx of the father to the child) of an illegitimate child, FPJ evidently being an illegitimate
son according to petitioner, the mandatory rules under civil law must be used.
"(d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a public office or
is recorded in a public office." Under the Civil Code of Spain, which was in force in the Philippines from 08
December 1889 up until the day prior to 30 August 1950 when the Civil Code of the
Being public documents, the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou, the marriage Philippines took effect, acknowledgment was required to establish filiation or
certificate of Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelly, and the birth certificate of FPJ, constitute paternity. Acknowledgment was either judicial (compulsory) or voluntary. Judicial
or compulsory acknowledgment was possible only if done during the lifetime of the office. The public document pointed out in Article 131 as one of the means
putative parent; voluntary acknowledgment could only be had in a record of birth, a by which recognition may be made belongs to the first class."
32
will, or a public document. Complementary to the new code was Act No. 3753 or
the Civil Registry Law expressing in Section 5 thereof, that - Let us leave it at that for the moment.

"In case of an illegitimate child, the birth certificate shall be signed and The 1950 Civil Code categorized the acknowledgment or recognition of illegitimate
sworn to jointly by the parents of the infant or only by the mother if the children into voluntary, legal or compulsory. Voluntary recognition was required to
father refuses. In the latter case, it shall not be permissible to state or be expressedly made in a record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of
reveal in the document the name of the father who refuses to record or in any authentic writing. Legal acknowledgment took place in favor of full
acknowledge the child, or to give therein any information by which such blood brothers and sisters of an illegitimate child who was recognized or judicially
father could be identified." declared as natural. Compulsory acknowledgment could be demanded generally in
cases when the child had in his favor any evidence to prove filiation. Unlike an
In order that the birth certificate could then be utilized to prove voluntary action to claim legitimacy which would last during the lifetime of the child, and
acknowledgment of filiation or paternity, the certificate was required to be signed might pass exceptionally to the heirs of the child, an action to claim
or sworn to by the father. The failure of such requirement rendered the same acknowledgment, however, could only be brought during the lifetime of the
useless as being an authoritative document of recognition.33 In Mendoza vs. presumed parent.
Mella,34 the Court ruled -
Amicus Curiae Ruben F. Balane defined, during the oral argument, "authentic
"Since Rodolfo was born in 1935, after the registry law was enacted, the writing," so as to be an authentic writing for purposes of voluntary recognition,
question here really is whether or not his birth certificate (Exhibit 1), which simply as being a genuine or indubitable writing of the father. The term would
is merely a certified copy of the registry record, may be relied upon as include a public instrument (one duly acknowledged before a notary public or other
sufficient proof of his having been voluntarily recognized. No such reliance, competent official) or a private writing admitted by the father to be his.
in our judgment, may be placed upon it. While it contains the names of
both parents, there is no showing that they signed the original, let alone The Family Code has further liberalized the rules; Article 172, Article 173, and
swore to its contents as required in Section 5 of Act No. 3753. For all that Article 175 provide:
might have happened, it was not even they or either of them who
furnished the data to be entered in the civil register. Petitioners say that in "Art. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the
any event the birth certificate is in the nature of a public document following:
wherein voluntary recognition of a natural child may also be made,
according to the same Article 131. True enough, but in such a case, there
"(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment;
must be a clear statement in the document that the parent recognizes the
or
child as his or her own."
"(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private
In the birth certificate of respondent FPJ, presented by both parties, nowhere in the
handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.
document was the signature of Allan F. Poe found. There being no will apparently
executed, or at least shown to have been executed, by decedent Allan F. Poe, the
"In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be
only other proof of voluntary recognition remained to be "some other public
35
document." In Pareja vs. Pareja, this Court defined what could constitute such a proved by:
document as proof of voluntary acknowledgment:
"(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child;
"Under the Spanish Civil Code there are two classes of public documents, or
those executed by private individuals which must be authenticated by
notaries, and those issued by competent public officials by reason of their "(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.
"Art. 173. The action to claim legitimacy may be brought by the child such provisions must be taken in the context of private relations, the domain of civil
during his or her lifetime and shall be transmitted to the heirs should the law; particularly -
child die during minority or in a state of insanity. In these cases, the heirs
shall have a period of five years within which to institute the action. "Civil Law is that branch of law which has for its double purpose the
organization of the family and the regulation of property. It has thus [been]
"The action already commenced by the child shall survive notwithstanding defined as the mass of precepts which determine and regulate the
the death of either or both of the parties. relations of assistance, authority and obedience among members of a
family, and those which exist among members of a society for the
"x x x xxx x x x. protection of private interests."37

"Art. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in In Ëañez de Barnuevo vs. Fuster,38 the Court has held:
the same way and on the same, evidence as legitimate children.
"In accordance with Article 9 of the Civil Code of Spain, x x x the laws
"The action must be brought within the same period specified in Article relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal
173, except when the action is based on the second paragraph of Article capacity of persons, govern Spaniards although they reside in a foreign
172, in which case the action may be brought during the lifetime of the country; that, in consequence, 'all questions of a civil nature, such as those
alleged parent." dealing with the validity or nullity of the matrimonial bond, the domicile of
the husband and wife, their support, as between them, the separation of
The provisions of the Family Code are retroactively applied; Article 256 of the code their properties, the rules governing property, marital authority, division of
reads: conjugal property, the classification of their property, legal causes for
divorce, the extent of the latter, the authority to decree it, and, in general,
the civil effects of marriage and divorce upon the persons and properties
"Art. 256. This Code shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does not
of the spouses, are questions that are governed exclusively by the national
prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil
law of the husband and wife."
Code or other laws."

The proof of filiation or paternity for purposes of determining his citizenship status
Thus, in Vda. de Sy-Quia vs. Court of Appeals,36 the Court has ruled:
should thus be deemed independent from and not inextricably tied up with that
prescribed for civil law purposes. The Civil Code or Family Code provisions on proof
"We hold that whether Jose was a voluntarily recognized natural child of filiation or paternity, although good law, do not have preclusive effects on
should be decided under Article 278 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. matters alien to personal and family relations. The ordinary rules on evidence could
Article 2260 of that Code provides that 'the voluntary recognition of a well and should govern. For instance, the matter about pedigree is not necessarily
natural child shall take place according to this Code, even if the child was
precluded from being applicable by the Civil Code or Family Code provisions.
born before the effectivity of this body of laws' or before August 30, 1950.
Hence, Article 278 may be given retroactive effect."
Section 39, Rule 130, of the Rules of Court provides -
It should be apparent that the growing trend to liberalize the acknowledgment or
"Act or Declaration about pedigree. The act or declaration of a person
recognition of illegitimate children is an attempt to break away from the traditional
deceased, or unable to testify, in respect to the pedigree of another person
idea of keeping well apart legitimate and non-legitimate relationships within the
related to him by birth or marriage, may be received in evidence where it
family in favor of the greater interest and welfare of the child. The provisions are
occurred before the controversy, and the relationship between the two
intended to merely govern the private and personal affairs of the family. There is
persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The word
little, if any, to indicate that the legitimate or illegitimate civil status of the
`pedigree͛ includes relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death,
individual would also affect his political rights or, in general, his relationship to the
the dates when and the places where these facts occurred, and the names
State. While, indeed, provisions on "citizenship" could be found in the Civil Code,
of the relatives. It embraces also facts of family history intimately recognition of his right to the inheritance claimed by him and the delivery to him of
connected with pedigree." his share as fixed by law.

For the above rule to apply, it would be necessary that (a) the declarant is already 6. ID.; ID.; PRESCRIPTION. Ͷ Both actions are different from each other and
dead or unable to testify, (b) the pedigree of a person must be at issue, (c) the have already prescribed in accordance with the old legislation as well as with the
declarant must be a relative of the person whose pedigree is in question, (d) provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure.
declaration must be made before the controversy has occurred, and (e) the
relationship between the declarant and the person whose pedigree is in question 
must be shown by evidence other than such act or declaration.   / (4!'+14


 #
(  6( 
1 In the basic case uhannie Tan vs. Republic, ante, this Court ruled as
 follows:1äwphï1.ñët
  ?   (6 -!4 ! 
1. NATURAL CHILDREN; LEGITIMATE FILIATION; PRESUMPTION. Ͷ The Under our laws, there can be no action or proceeding for the judicial
legitimate filiation of a person presupposes the existence of a marriage contracted declaration of the citizenship of an individual. Courts of justice exist for the
by the presumed parents in accordance with law and, consequently, a child can not settlement of justiciable controversies, which imply a given right, legally
be declared a legitimate daughter of her mother without at the same time demandable and enforceable, an act or omission violative of said right, and
presuming that said child was born during the marriage of her supposed parents. a remedy granted or sanctioned by law, for said breach of right. As an
incident only of the adjudication of the rights of the parties to a
2. ID.; ID.; BIRTH OF A CHILD FIFTEEN YEARS AFTER DEATH OF ALLEGED controversy, the court may pass upon, and make a pronouncement
FATHER. Ͷ A child born 15 years after the death of the alleged father can not relative to, their status. Otherwise, such a pronouncement is beyond
judicial power. Thus, for instance, no action or proceeding may be
physically and legally be a legitimate daughter of such alleged father.
instituted for a declaration to the effect that plaintiff or petitioner is
married, or single, or a legitimate child, although a finding thereon may be
3. ID.; RIGHTS TO INHERIT FROM THEIR NATURAL MOTHER PRIOR TO
made as a necessary premise to justify a given relief available only to one
PROMULGATION OF CIVIL CODE. Ͷ Rights arising under the legislation prior to the enjoying said status. At times, the law permits the acquisition of a given
Civil Code shall only be recognized and given effect in accordance with the new status, such as naturalization, by judicial decree. But, there is no similar
legislation, provided they do not prejudice other acquired rights having the same legislation authorizing the institution of a judicial proceeding to declare
origin, and according to this principle, natural children have no right to inherit from that a given person is part of our citizenry. (Tan vs. Republic, G.R. No. L-
their natural mother who has subsequently married and who, on her death, left 14159, April 18, 1960, reiterated in G.R. No. L-15775, April 29, 1961).
some legitimate children whose rights can not be prejudiced. 3
The said judicial declaration was merely an incident to the adjudication of the
4. PARTITION; ACTION; PRESUMPTION. Ͷ He who brings an action for the rights of the parties to the controversy over land ownership. Their citizenship was
partition of an hereditary estate or property in common is presumed to be a coheir not the thing adjudicated in the judgment and the declaration that they are
Filipinos was but a necessary premise for the court to arrive at a conclusion that the
and to have an undisputed right to the property claimed or to be a coowner of the
sale of the realty was valid as between the parties. Not being the thing directly
same property possessed in common. adjudicated, their declared citizenship is not res judicata, and cannot become
conclusive.
5. ID.; ID.; OBJECT. Ͷ He who claims a right to a part of the inheritance of a
deceased person and who alleges that he is a relative of the latter and that he has a 
right of testate or intestate succession thereto, has for his principal object the  

 
(  6( 
1 

  
# :+

(4 -" !4@  The extrajudicial confession of Tolentino cannot be used against appellant under
 the principle of res inter alios acta unless accused is discharge from the information
  $ (  6 
1 and made a state witness.
 
  
  (2-+-0
-;@661!(0
!( !"3("1'+   
5 $ (2-+-0
-;@33(c ( !3
66 
  :. +
  
0&
)(2-+-0
- 1"6!(c "(
We hold that the trial court did not err in characterizing Panimdim's statement as a 3
part of the res gestae and as proving beyond reasonable doubt that Putian inflicted 
upon him the stab wound that caused his death five days later in the hospital.
A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge,
19
The res gestae rule embraces (a) spontaneous exclamations and (b) verbal acts (5 which means those facts which are derived from his perception. A witness may
Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court, 1970 Ed., p. 362). The trial court not testify as to what he merely learned from others either because he was told or
admitted Panimdim's statement as a spontaneous statement made after the read or heard the same. Such testimony is considered hearsay and may not be
commission of a felony (People vs. Talledo and Timbreza, 85 Phil. 533). received as proof of the truth of what he has learned. The hearsay rule is based
upon serious concerns about the trustworthiness and reliability of hearsay evidence
  
; $ (2-+-0
-31443-c  ( !( 3'+  inasmuch as such evidence are not given under oath or solemn affirmation and,
more importantly, have not been subjected to cross-examination by opposing
counsel to test the perception, memory, veracity and articulateness of the out-of-
Complainant was a widow, 52 years of age. She had been married three times. She
court declarant or actor upon whose reliability on which the worth of the out-of-
was not that innocent about the world. When appellant invited her at 10:00 P.M. to
court statement depends.20
step out of her house, she should have declined. Going out alone with a man late in
the evening is not in good taste nor safe even if the one who invited her was the
barrio captain. Instead, she should have suggested that the appellant invite some Res gestae, as an exception to the hearsay rule, refers to those exclamations and
other person for the purpose. statements made by either the participants, victims, or spectators to a crime
immediately before, during, or after the commission of the crime, when the
circumstances are such that the statements were made as a spontaneous reaction

or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion and there was no
  
5
 
(2-+-0
-"4- ( !!6( '+
opportunity for the declarant to deliberate and to fabricate a false statement. The
66"
rule in res gestae applies when the declarant himself did not testify and provided
that the testimony of the witness who heard the declarant complies with the
following requisites: (1) that the principal act, the res gestae, be a startling
The trial court had correctly applied the principle of res gestae, namely: (1) that the occurrence; (2) the statements were made before the declarant had the time to
principal act, the res gestae, be a startling occurrence; (2) that the statements were contrive or devise a falsehood; and (3) that the statements must concern the
made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and (3) that the 21
occurrence in question and its immediate attending circumstances.
statements made must concern the occurrence in question and its immediately
attending circumstances which are all present in the case at bar as Geraldine had
The Court is not convinced to accept the declarations as part of res gestae. While it
named accused-appellant as one of the perpetrators in the commission of the crime
may concede that these statements were made by the bystanders during a startling
immediately after the occurrence of the stabbing incident.
occurrence, it cannot be said however, that these utterances were made

 
 by the bystanders and #
   



Accused-appellant Carlito Tala also contends that the trial court erred in considering  # 

. Both SFO III Rochar and Lt. Col. Torres received the bystanders͛
the extrajudicial confession of accused Manolito Tolentino implicating him in the statements while they were making their investigations during and after the fire. It
crime charged in the face of the subsequent admission by Manolito Tolentino that is reasonable to assume that when these statements were noted down, the
he was alone when he committed said crime. bystanders already had enough time and opportunity to mill around, talk to one
another and exchange information, not to mention theories and speculations, as is (b) by evidence that other appropriate security procedures or devices as
the usual experience in disquieting situations where hysteria is likely to take place. may be authorized by the Supreme Court or by law for authentication of
It cannot therefore be ascertained whether these utterances were the products of electronic documents were applied to the document; or
truth. That the utterances may be mere idle talk is not remote.
(c) by other evidence showing its integrity and reliability to the satisfaction
 of the judge.
     
 
#   (  6( 
1
 Aznar next invokes Section 43 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, which pertains to
  9  )(2-+-0
- 31"6( " entries in the course of business, to support Exh. "G". Said provision reads:

Sec. 43. Entries in the course of business. ʹ Entries made at, or near the time of the
Aznar puts much weight on the ON-LINE AUTHORIZATION FOREIGN ACCOUNT transactions to which they refer, by a person deceased or unable to testify, who
ACTIVITY REPORT, a computer print-out handed to Aznar by Ingtan Agency, marked was in a position to know the facts therein stated, may be received as prima facie
as Exh. "G", to prove that his Mastercard was dishonored for being blacklisted. On evidence, if such person made the entries in his professional capacity or in the
said print-out appears the words "DECL OVERLIMIT" opposite Account No. 5423- performance of duty and in the ordinary or regular course of business or duty.
3920-0786-7012.
Under this rule, however, the following conditions are required:
As correctly pointed out by the RTC and the CA, however, such exhibit cannot be
considered admissible as its authenticity and due execution were not sufficiently 1. the person who made the entry must be dead, or unable to testify;
established by petitioner.
2. the entries were made at or near the time of the transactions to which
The prevailing rule at the time of the promulgation of the RTC Decision is Section 20 they refer;
of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. It provides that whenever any private document
offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must
3. the entrant was in a position to know the facts stated in the entries;
be proved either by (a) anyone who saw the document executed or written; or (b)
by evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker.
4. the entries were made in his professional capacity or in the performance
of a duty, whether legal, contractual, moral or religious; and
Aznar, who testified on the authenticity of Exh. "G," did not actually see the
document executed or written, neither was he able to provide evidence on the
genuineness of the signature or handwriting of Nubi, who handed to him said 5. the entries were made in the ordinary or regular course of business or
47
computer print-out. Indeed, all he was able to allege in his testimony are the duty.
following:
As correctly pointed out by the RTC in its May 29, 1998 Decision, there appears on
Section 1. Burden of proving authenticity. ʹ The person seeking to introduce an the computer print-out the name of a certain "Victrina Elnado Nubi" and a signature
electronic document in any legal proceeding has the burden of proving its purportedly belonging to her, and at the left dorsal side were handwritten the
words " orry for the delay since the records had to be retrieved. Regards. Darryl
authenticity in the manner provided in this Rule.
Mario." It is not clear therefore if it was Nubi who encoded the information stated
in the print-out and was the one who printed the same. The handwritten
Section 2. Manner of authentication. ʹ Before any private electronic document
annotation signed by a certain Darryl Mario even suggests that it was Mario who
offered as authentic is received in evidence, its authenticity must be proved by any
printed the same and only handed the print-out to Nubi. The identity of the
of the following means:
entrant, required by the provision above mentioned, was therefore not established.
Neither did petitioner establish in what professional capacity did Mario or Nubi
(a) by evidence that it had been digitally signed by the person purported to
have signed the same;
make the entries, or whether the entries were made in the performance of their 
duty in the ordinary or regular course of business or duty.   0    ?'
(2-+-0
- 4"(4(3

And even if Exh. "G" is admitted as evidence, it only shows that the use of the credit Entries in the course of business. Ͷ Entries made at, or near the time of the
card of petitioner was denied because it was already over the limit. There is no transactions to which they refer, by a person deceased, or unable to testify, who
allegation in the Complaint or evidence to show that there was gross negligence on was in a position to know the facts therein stated, may be received as prima facie
the part of Citibank in declaring that the credit card has been used over the limit. evidence, if such person made the entries in his professional capacity or in the
performance of duty and in the ordinary or regular course of business or
The Court is also perplexed that stated on Exh. "G" is the amount of "6,289,195.10" duty.1avvphil.net
opposite petitioner's account number, which data, petitioner did not clarify.48 As
plaintiff in this case, it was incumbent on him to prove that he did not actually incur Petitioner͛s contention has no merit.
the said amount which is above his credit limit. As it is, the Court cannot see how
Exh. "G" could help petitioner's claim for damages. The provision does not apply to this case because it does not involve entries made
in the course of business. Rayos testified on a statement of account she prepared



A on the basis of invoices and delivery orders which she, however, knew nothing
about. She had no personal knowledge of the facts on which the accounts were
26 based since, admittedly, she was not involved in the delivery of goods and was
Section 2. Manner of authentication. - Before any private electronic
document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its authenticity merely in charge of the records and documents of all accounts receivable as part of
must be proved by any of the following means: her duties as credit and collection manager.15 She thus knew nothing of the truth or
falsity of the facts stated in the invoices and delivery orders, i.e., whether such
(a) by evidence that it had been digitally signed by the person deliveries were in fact made in the amounts and on the dates stated, or whether
purported to have signed the same; they were actually received by respondent. She was not even the credit and
16
collection manager during the period the agreement was in effect. This can only
mean that she merely obtained these documents from another without any
(b) by evidence that other appropriate security procedures or
personal knowledge of their contents.
devices as may be authorized by the Supreme Court or by law for
authentication of electronic documents were applied to the
document; or The foregoing shows that Rayos was incompetent to testify on whether or not the
invoices and delivery orders turned over to her correctly reflected the details of the
deliveries made. Thus, the CA correctly disregarded her testimony.
(c) by other evidence showing its integrity and reliability to the
satisfaction of the judge.
Furthermore, the invoices and delivery orders presented by petitioner were self-
27 serving. Having generated these documents, petitioner could have easily fabricated
Sec. 20. Proof of private document. - Before any private document
them. Petitioner͛s failure to present any competent witness to identify the
offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and
signatures and other information in those invoices and delivery orders cast doubt
authenticity must be proved either:
on their veracity.
(a) By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or

  ' . ) 5 
2 (2-+-0
- 4131(c "(3
(b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or
handwriting of the maker.

Any other private document need only be identified as that which


it is claimed to be.
Neither can we accept petitioner͛s argument that the entries made by 5. the entries were made in the ordinary or regular course of business

Mercado in the ledger were competent evidence to prove how and when the or duty.

negative balance was incurred. Petitioner invokes Section 43 of Rule 130:

The ledger entries did not meet the first and third requisites.

The plaintiff submits that the ledger cards constituted


Entries in the course of business. ʹ Entries made at, or the best evidence of the transactions made by the defendant with
near the time of the transactions to which they refer, by a the bank relative to his account, pursuant to Section 43 of Rule
person deceased, or unable to testify, who was in a position to 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence. There is no question that
know the facts therein stated, may be received as prima facie the entries in the ledgers were made by one whose duty it was to
evidence, if such person made the entries in his professional record transactions in the ordinary or regular course of the
capacity or in the performance of duty and in the ordinary or business. But for the entries to be prima facie evidence of the
regular course of business or duty. facts recorded, the Rule interpose[s] a very important condition,
one which we think is truly indispensable to the probative worth
of the entries as an exception to the hearsay rule, and that is that
the entrant must be ͞in a position to know the facts therein
Under this exception to the hearsay rule, the admission in evidence of
stated.͟ Undeniably, Mr. Mercado was in a position to know the
entries in corporate books required the satisfaction of the following conditions: facts of the check deposits and withdrawals. But the transfers of
funds through the debit memos in question?

1. the person who made the entry must be dead, or unable to testify; 
There is good reason why evidence of this nature is incorrigibly

2. the entries were made at or near the time of the transactions to which hearsay. Entries in business records which spring from the duty of

other employees to communicate facts occurring in the ordinary


they refer;
course of business are prima facie admissible, the duty to
3. the entrant was in a position to know the facts stated in the entries;
communicate being itself a badge of trustworthiness of the

entries, but not when they purport to record what were


4. the entries were made in his professional capacity or in the
independent agreements arrived at by some bank officials and a
performance of a duty, whether legal, contractual, moral or
client. In this case, the entries become mere casual or voluntary
religious; and
reports of the official concerned. To permit the ledgers, prepared recollection of all that pertain to the subject. It is understandable that the
testimony during the trial would be more lengthy and detailed than the matters
7
by the bank at its own instance, to substitute the contract as stated in the police blotter Significantly, the Advance Œnformation heet was never
formally offered by the defense during the proceedings in the court below. Hence
proof of the agreements with third parties, is to set a dangerous any reliance by the accused on the document must fail since the court cannot
consider any evidence which has not been formally offered.8
precedent. Business entries are allowed as an exception to the
Parenthetically, the Advance Œnformation heet was prepared by the police officer
hearsay rule only under certain conditions specified in Section 43, only after interviewing Camba, an alleged eyewitness. The accused then could have
compelled the attendance of Camba as a witness. The failure to exert the slightest
which must be scrupulously observed to prevent them from being effort to present Camba on the part of the accused should militate against his
cause.
used as a source of undue advantage for the party preparing
Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by a public officer or
them. (citations omitted) by a person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law are prima facie
evidence of the facts therein stated.9 But to be admissible in evidence three (3)
 requisites must concur: (a) The entry was made by a police officer or by another

##
 (  6( 
11 person specially enjoined by law to do so; (b) It was made by the public officer in
 the performance of his duties or by such other person in the performance of a duty
  
;
 (2-+-0
-;@1""-'6( !( " specially enjoined by law; and, (c) The public officer or other person had sufficient
'+6 knowledge of the facts by him stated, which must have been acquired by him
The written entries in the clinical case record, Exh. "2", showing the date of her personally or through official information.
10

admission in the hospital on April 22, 1973, her complaint of vaginal bleeding and
the diagnosis of "Healing lacerated wide at 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock hymen" are
5 
 Π 
 

  

   
prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated, the said entries having been made
 (  (  . 5  
##&
 
   

in official records by a public officer of the Philippines in the performance of his
##  
)
&$
#   $  .   #


duty especially enjoined by law, which is that of a physician in a government

  & , #
&   #



hospital. (Rule 130, See. 38, Rules of Court). In the case at bar, Dr. Antonino Estioco
$
9 
## #

  

 #    
was the admitting physician but unfortunately, he was not presented as a witness

&
    

  
)
&$
# 
for the government.
#       
$     #
 
- / 
  
#( & 
$

$
$     -
  
2(2-+-0
-;@ ""64( ( !!3


  <0;+(2-+- 166(36'+ "1(
The accused leans heavily on the Advance Œnformation heet6 prepared by Pat.

Steve Casimiro which did not mention him at all and named only "Ramon Doe" as
the principal suspect. Unfortunately this cannot defeat the positive and candid
We agree with petitioners that the ship captain's logbook is a vital
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. Entries in official records, as in the case of
a police blotter, are only prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. They are evidence as Article 612 of the Code of Commerce requires him to keep a
not conclusive. The entry in the police blotter is not necessarily entitled to full credit record of the decisions he had adopted as the vessel's head. Thus, in
Haverton hipping Ltd. v. NLRu,  the Court held that a copy of an official
for it could be incomplete and inaccurate, sometimes from either partial
suggestions or for want of suggestions or inquiries, without the aid of which the entry in the logbook is legally binding and serves as an exception to the
witness may be unable to recall the connected collateral circumstances necessary hearsay rule.
for the correction of the first suggestion of his memory and for his accurate
However, the Haverton hipping ruling does not find unqualified Supreme Court in Gonzalo P. Nava vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 13 SCRA
application in the case at bar. In said case, an investigation of the incident 104, January 30, 1965:
which led to the seaman's dismissal was conducted before he was
dismissed. Consequently, the facts appearing in the logbook were "The facts to be proved to raise this presumption are (a) that the letter was
supported by the facts gathered at the investigation. In this case, because properly addressed with postage prepaid, and (b) that it was mailed. Once these
no investigation was conducted by the ship captain before repatriating facts are proved, the presumption is that the letter was received by the addressee
private respondent, the contents of the logbook have to be duly identified as soon as it could have been transmitted to him in the ordinary course of the mail.
and authenticated lest an injustice result from a blind adoption of such But if one of the said facts fails to appear, the presumption does not lie. (VI, Moran,
contents which merely serve as prima facie evidence of the incident in Comments on the Rules of Court, 1963 ed, 56-57 citing Enriquez vs. Sunlife
 
question. Assurance of Canada, 41 Phil 269)."

Moreover, what was presented in the Haverton hipping case was a copy In the present case, petitioner denies receiving the assessment notice, and the
of the official entry from the logbook itself. In this case, petitioners did not respondent was unable to present substantial evidence that such notice was,
submit as evidence to the POEA the logbook itself, or even authenticated indeed, mailed or sent by the respondent before the BIR͛s right to assess had
copies of pertinent pages thereof, which could have been easily xeroxed or prescribed and that said notice was received by the petitioner. The respondent
photocopied considering the present technology on reproduction of presented the BIR record book where the name of the taxpayer, the kind of tax
 6
documents. What was offered in evidence was merely a typewritten assessed, the registry receipt number and the date of mailing were noted. The BIR
 1
collation of excerpts from what could be the logbook because by their records custodian, Ingrid Versola, also testified that she made the entries therein.
format, they could have been lifted from other records kept in the vessel in Respondent offered the entry in the BIR record book and the testimony of its record
accordance with Article 612 of the Code of Commerce. 4 custodian as entries in official records in accordance with Section 44, Rule 130 of
the Rules of Court, 24 which states that:
H ence, as the typewritten excerpts from the "logbook" were the only
pieces of evidence presented by petitioners to support the dismissal of Section 44. Entries in official records. - Entries in official records made in the
private respondent, have no probative value at all, petitioners' cause must performance of his duty by a public officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the
fail. Their failure to discharge the onus probandi properly may have no performance of a duty specially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the
other result than a finding that the dismissal of private respondent is facts therein stated.

unjustified.
The foregoing rule on evidence, however, must be read in accordance with this
25
 Court͛s pronouncement in Africa v. Caltex (Phil.), Inc., where it has been held that
  .

 

#/  + (2-+- 4"3 ( an entrant must have personal knowledge of the facts stated by him or such facts
 $ "(3 were acquired by him from reports made by persons under a legal duty to submit
the same.
Jurisprudence is replete with cases holding that if the taxpayer denies ever having
received an assessment from the BIR, it is incumbent upon the latter to prove by There are three requisites for admissibility under the rule just mentioned: (a) that
competent evidence that such notice was indeed received by the addressee. The the entry was made by a public officer, or by another person specially enjoined by
onus probandi was shifted to respondent to prove by contrary evidence that the law to do so; (b) that it was made by the public officer in the performance of his
Petitioner received the assessment in the due course of mail. The Supreme Court duties, or by such other person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by
has consistently held that while a mailed letter is deemed received by the law; and (c) that the public officer or other person had sufficient knowledge of the
addressee in the course of mail, this is merely a disputable presumption subject to facts by him stated, which must have been acquired by him personally or through
controversion and a direct denial thereof shifts the burden to the party favored by official information x x x.
the presumption to prove that the mailed letter was indeed received by the
addressee (Republic vs. Court of Appeals, 149 SCRA 351). Thus as held by the In this case, the entries made by Ingrid Versola were not based on her personal
knowledge as she did not attest to the fact that she personally prepared and mailed
the assessment notice. Nor was it stated in the transcript of stenographic notes 26 Notwithstanding the fact that petitioner PRBLI was not a party in said criminal case,
how and from whom she obtained the pertinent information. Moreover, she did the testimonies of the three witnesses are still admissible on the ground that
not attest to the fact that she acquired the reports from persons under a legal duty petitioner PRBLI failed to object on their admissibility.
to submit the same. Hence, Rule 130, Section 44 finds no application in the present
case. Thus, the evidence offered by respondent does not qualify as an exception to It is elementary that an objection shall be made at the time when an alleged
the rule against hearsay evidence. inadmissible document is offered in evidence; otherwise, the objection shall be
treated as waived, since the right to object is merely a privilege which the party
Furthermore, independent evidence, such as the registry receipt of the assessment may waive. Thus, a failure to except to the evidence because it does not conform to
notice, or a certification from the Bureau of Posts, could have easily been obtained. the statute is a waiver of the provisions of the law. Even assuming ex gratia
Yet respondent failed to present such evidence. argumenti that these documents are inadmissible for being hearsay, but on account
of failure to object thereto, the same may be admitted and considered as sufficient
24
   to prove the facts therein asserted. Hearsay evidence alone may be insufficient to
 
  (  6( 
14 establish a fact in a suit but, when no objection is made thereto, it is, like any other
 evidence, to be considered and given the importance it deserves.25
    (  6 
13
 In the case at bar, petitioner PRBLI did not object to the TSNs containing the
 
 
(  6( 
1" testimonies of respondent Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the
 criminal case when the same were offered in evidence in the trial court. In fact, the
  5 ('+41 !3" TSNs of the testimonies of Calaunan and Mendoza were admitted by both
26
     (2-+-0
- 4 4"(4(" petitioners. Moreover, petitioner PRBLI even offered in evidence the TSN
containing the testimony of Donato Ganiban in the criminal case. If petitioner PRBLI
On the first assigned error, petitioners argue that the TSNs containing the argues that the TSNs of the testimonies of plaintiff͛s witnesses in the criminal case
18 19 20 should not be admitted in the instant case, why then did it offer the TSN of the
testimonies of respondent Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos
should not be admitted in evidence for failure of respondent to comply with the testimony of Ganiban which was given in the criminal case? It appears that
requisites of Section 47, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. petitioner PRBLI wants to have its cake and eat it too. It cannot argue that the TSNs
of the testimonies of the witnesses of the adverse party in the criminal case should
For Section 47, Rule 13021 to apply, the following requisites must be satisfied: (a) not be admitted and at the same time insist that the TSN of the testimony of the
the witness is dead or unable to testify; (b) his testimony or deposition was given in witness for the accused be admitted in its favor. To disallow admission in evidence
a former case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, between the same parties or of the TSNs of the testimonies of Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos
those representing the same interests; (c) the former case involved the same in the criminal case and to admit the TSN of the testimony of Ganiban would be
subject as that in the present case, although on different causes of action; (d) the unfair.
issue testified to by the witness in the former trial is the same issue involved in the
present case; and (e) the adverse party had an opportunity to cross-examine the We do not subscribe to petitioner PRBLI͛s argument that it will be denied due
22 process when the TSNs of the testimonies of Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and
witness in the former case.
Fernando Ramos in the criminal case are to be admitted in the civil case. It is too
Admittedly, respondent failed to show the concurrence of all the requisites set late for petitioner PRBLI to raise denial of due process in relation to Section 47, Rule
forth by the Rules for a testimony given in a former case or proceeding to be 130 of the Rules of Court, as a ground for objecting to the admissibility of the TSNs.
admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule. Petitioner PRBLI, not being a party in For failure to object at the proper time, it waived its right to object that the TSNs
Criminal Case No. 684-M-89, had no opportunity to cross-examine the three did not comply with Section 47.
witnesses in said case. The criminal case was filed exclusively against petitioner
27
Manliclic, petitioner PRBLI͛s employee. The cases dealing with the subsidiary In Mangio v. uourt of Appeals, this Court, through Associate Justice Reynato S.
liability of employers uniformly declare that, strictly speaking, they are not parties Puno,28 admitted in evidence a TSN of the testimony of a witness in another case
23 despite therein petitioner͛s assertion that he would be denied due process. In
to the criminal cases instituted against their employees.
admitting the TSN, the Court ruled that the raising of denial of due process in blindness can be determined through common knowledge and by anyone with
relation to Section 47, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, as a ground for objecting to sufficient familiarity of such fact. In this case, Avelina, then alive during the trial of
the admissibility of the TSN was belatedly done. In so doing, therein petitioner the case, categorically testified and attested to her own blindness, a fact which
waived his right to object based on said ground. even the trial court noted
 : :
&   ( 6'--"3 !!6
 

7 
+ (  6 
1
4 The District Court granted respondent's motion for summary judgment. The court
 stated that scientific evidence is admissible only if the principle upon which it is
 


(2-+-0
- 3 !3@!"(c 6( !!!(6!'+  based is " `sufficiently established to have general acceptance in the field to which it
belongs.' " 727 F. Supp. 570, 572 (SD Cal. 1989), quoting nited tates v. Kilgus, 571
The failure of a witness to reveal at once the identity of the accused as one of the F. 2d 508, 510 (CA9 1978). The court concluded that petitioners' evidence did not
perpetrators of the crime does not affect, much less, impair his credibility as a meet this standard. Given the vast body of epidemiological data concerning

witness. The general or common rule is that witnesses react to a crime in Bendectin, the court held, expert opinion which is not based on epidemiological
different ways. 6There is no standard form of human behavioral response to a evidence is not admissible to establish causation. 727 F. Supp., at 575. Thus, the
strange, startling and frightful event, and there is no standard rule by which animal cell studies, live animal studies, and chemical structure analyses on which
1
witnesses to a crime must react. petitioners had relied could not raise by themselves a reasonably disputable jury

issue regarding causation. Œbid. Petitioners' epidemiological analyses, based as they
were on recalculations of data in previously published studies that had found no
A polygraph is an electromechanical instrument that simultaneously measures and causal link between the drug and birth defects, were ruled to be inadmissible
records certain physiological changes in the human body that are believed to be because they had not been published or subjected to peer review. Œbid.
involuntarily caused by an examinee's conscious attempt to deceive the questioner.
6
The theory behind a polygraph or lie detector test is that a person who lie The District Court granted respondent's motion for summary judgment. The court
deliberately will have rising blood pressure and a subconscious block in breathing, stated that scientific evidence is admissible only if the principle upon which it is
which will be recorded on the graph. 6 However, American courts almost uniformly based is " `sufficiently established to have general acceptance in the field to which it
reject the results of polygraphs tests when offered in evidence for the purposes of belongs.' " 727 F. Supp. 570, 572 (SD Cal. 1989), quoting nited tates v. Kilgus, 571
establishing the guilt or innocence of one accused of a crime, whether the accused F. 2d 508, 510 (CA9 1978). The court concluded that petitioners' evidence did not
or the prosecution seeks its introduction, for the reason that polygraph has not as meet this standard. Given the vast body of epidemiological data concerning
yet attained scientific acceptance as a reliable and ascertaining truth or deception. Bendectin, the court held, expert opinion which is not based on epidemiological
6
The rule is no different in this jurisdiction. Thus, in People v. Daniel, 66 stating that evidence is not admissible to establish causation. 727 F. Supp., at 575. Thus, the
much faith and credit should not be vested upon a lie detector test as it is not animal cell studies, live animal studies, and chemical structure analyses on which
conclusive. Appellant, in this case, has not advanced any reason why this rule petitioners had relied could not raise by themselves a reasonably disputable jury
should not apply to him. issue regarding causation. Œbid. Petitioners' epidemiological analyses, based as they
were on recalculations of data in previously published studies that had found no
 causal link between the drug and birth defects, were ruled to be inadmissible
   . ) $

# (2-+-07- 44!!(c 1(" because they had not been published or subjected to peer review. Œbid.

The rule of evidence requiring the opinion of expert witnesses applies only to such The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. 951 F.2d 1128
matters clearly within the domain of medical science, and not to matters that are (1991). Citing Frye v. nited tates, 54 App. D.C. 46, 47, 293 F. 1013, 1014 (1923),
within the common knowledge of mankind which may be testified to by anyone the court stated that expert opinion based on a scientific technique is inadmissible
familiar with the facts. Thus, to prove whether one is blind, it is not necessary to unless the technique is "generally accepted" as reliable in the relevant scientific
submit a medical certificate attesting to the blindness or to require an expert community. 951 F. 2d, at 1129-1130. The court declared that expert opinion based
witness, such as an ophthalmologist, to testify to such fact, since the fact of on a methodology that diverges "significantly from the procedures accepted by
recognized authorities in the field . . . cannot be shown to be `generally accepted as It Should Not Be Amended, 138 F.R.D. 631, 631 (1991) ("The Rules were designed to
a reliable technique.' " Œd., at 1130, quoting nited tates v. olomon, 753 F. 2d depend primarily upon lawyer adversaries and sensible triers of fact to evaluate
1522, 1526 (CA9 1985). conflicts"). Given the Rules' permissive backdrop and their inclusion of a specific
rule on expert testimony that does not mention "general acceptance," the assertion
In the 70 years since its formulation in the Frye case, the "general acceptance" test that the Rules somehow assimilated Frye is unconvincing. Frye made `general
has been the dominant standard for determining the admissibility of novel scientific acceptance' the exclusive test for admitting expert scientific testimony. That
evidence at trial. See E. Green & C. Nesson, Problems, Cases, and Materials on austere standard, absent from and incompatible with the Federal Rules of Evidence,
Evidence 649 (1983). Although under increasing attack of late, the rule continues to should not be applied in federal trials. [n.6]
be followed by a majority of courts, including the Ninth Circuit. [n.3]
That the Frye test was displaced by the Rules of Evidence does not mean, however,
The merits of the Frye test have been much debated, and scholarship on its proper that the Rules themselves place no limits on the admissibility of purportedly
scope and application is legion.
[n.4]
Petitioners' primary attack, however, is not scientific evidence. [n.7] Nor is the trial judge disabled from screening such evidence.
onthe content but on the continuing authority of the rule. They contend that the To the contrary, under the Rules the trial judge must ensure that any and all
Frye test was superseded by the adoption of the Federal Rules of Evidence. [n.5] We scientific testimony or evidence admitted is not only relevant, but reliable.
agree.
The primary locus of this obligation is Rule 702, which clearly contemplates some
Frye, of course, predated the Rules by half a century. In nited tates v. Abel, 469 degree of regulation of the subjects and theories about which an expert may testify.
U.S. 45 (1984), we considered the pertinence of background common law in "Œf scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to
interpreting the Rules of Evidence. We noted that the Rules occupy the field, id., at understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue" an expert "may testify
49, but, quoting Professor Cleary, the Reporter, explained that the common law thereto." The subject of an expert's testimony must be "scientific . . . knowledge."
[n.8]
nevertheless could serve as an aid to their application: The adjective "scientific" implies a grounding in the methods and procedures of
science. Similarly, the word "knowledge" connotes more than subjective belief or
"In principle, under the Federal Rules no common law of evidence remains. `All unsupported speculation. The term "applies to any body of known facts or to any
relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided . . . .' In reality, of body of ideas inferred from such facts or accepted as truths on good grounds."
course, the body of common law knowledge continues to exist, though in the Webster's Third New International Dictionary 1252 (1986). Of course, it would be
somewhat altered form of a source of guidance in the exercise of delegated unreasonable to conclude that the subject of scientific testimony must be "known"
powers." Œd., at 51-52. to a certainty; arguably, there are no certainties in science.

Rule 702 further requires that the evidence or testimony "assist the trier of fact to
testimony,provides:
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue." This condition goes
primarilyto relevance. "Expert testimony which does not relate to any issue in the
"If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to case is not relevant and, ergo, non helpful."
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an
expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in
the form of an opinion or otherwise."
That these requirements are embodied in Rule 702 is not surprising. Unlike an
ordinary witness, see Rule 701, an expert is permitted wide latitude to offer
Nothing in the text of this Rule establishes "general acceptance" as an absolute opinions, including those that are not based on first hand knowledge or
prerequisite to admissibility. Nor does respondent present any clear indication that
observation. See Rules 702 and 703. Presumably, this relaxation of the usual
Rule 702 or the Rules as a whole were intended to incorporate a "general
requirement of first hand knowledge--a rule which represents "a `most pervasive
acceptance" standard. The drafting history makes no mention of Frye, and a rigid manifestation' of the common law insistence upon `the most reliable sources of
"general acceptance" requirement would be at odds with the "liberal thrust" of the
information,' " Advisory Committee's Notes on Fed. Rule Evid. 602 (citation
Federal Rules and their "general approach of relaxing the traditional barriers to omitted)--is premised on an assumption that the expert'sopinion will have a reliable
`opinion' testimony." Beech Aircraft uorp. v. Rainey, 488 U. S., at 169 (citing Rules
basis in the knowledge and experience of his discipline.
701 to 705). See also Weinstein, Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence is Sound;
Faced with a proffer of expert scientific testimony, then, the trial judge must To summarize: "general acceptance" is not a necessary precondition to the
determine at the outset, pursuant to Rule 104(a), [n.10] whether the expert is admissibility of scientific evidence under the Federal Rules of Evidence, but the
proposing to testify to (1) scientific knowledge that (2) will assist the trier of fact to Rules of Evidence--especially Rule 702--do assign to the trial judge the task of
understand or determine a fact in issue. [n.11] This entails a preliminary assessment ensuring that an expert's testimony both rests on a reliable foundation and is
of whether the reasoning or methodology underlying the testimony is scientifically relevant to the task at hand. Pertinent evidence based on scientifically valid
valid and of whether that reasoning or methodology properly can be applied to the principles will satisfy those demands.
facts in issue. We are confident that federal judges possess the capacity to
undertake this review. Many factors will bear on the inquiry, and we do not   
presume to set out a definitive checklist or test. But some general observations are 
appropriate. / $ (  6( 
4 

Another pertinent consideration is whether the theory or technique has been
subjected to peer review and publication. Publication (which is but one element of What the appellant is here relying on is the maxim res inter alios acta. As a general
peer review) is not a sine qua non of admissibility; it does not necessarily correlate rule, the evidence of other offenses committed by a defendant is inadmissible. But
with reliability, see S. Jasanoff, The Fifth Branch: Science Advisors as Policymakers appellant has confused this maxim and this rule with certain exceptions thereto.
61-76 (1990), and in some instances well grounded but innovative theories will not The effort is not to convict the accused of a second offense. Nor is there an attempt
have been published, see Horrobin, The Philosophical Basis of Peer Review and the to draw the mind away from the point at issue and thus to prejudice defendant's
Suppression of Innovation, 263 J. Am. Med. Assn. 1438 (1990). Some propositions, case. The purpose is to ascertain defendant's knowledge and intent, and to fix his
moreover, are too particular, too new, or of too limited interest to be published. negligence. If the defendant has on more than one occasion performed similar acts,
But submission to the scrutiny of the scientific community is a component of "good accident in good faith is possibly excluded, negligence is intensified, and fraudulent
science," in part because it increases the likelihood that substantive flaws in intent may even be established. It has been said that there is no better evidence of
methodology will be detected. See J. Ziman, Reliable Knowledge: An Exploration of negligence than the frequency of accidents. (See 10 R. C. L., pp. 938, 940.) The
the Grounds for Belief in Science 130-133 (1978); Relman and Angell, How Good Is United States Supreme Court has held that:
Peer Review?, 321 New Eng. J. Med. 827 (1989). The fact of publication (or lack
thereof) in a peer reviewed journal thus will be a relevant, though not dispositive, On the trial of a criminal case the question relates to the tendency of
consideration in assessing the scientific validity of a particular technique or certain testimony to throw light upon a particular fact, or to explain the
methodology on which an opinion is premised. conduct of a particular person, there is a certain discretion on the part of
the trial judge which a court of errors will not interfere with, unless it
proffer of expert scientific testimony under Rule 702 should also be mindful of manifestly appear that the testimony has no legitimate bearing upon the
other applicable rules. Rule 703 provides that expert opinions based on otherwise question at issue, and is calculated to prejudice the accused.
inadmissible hearsay are to be admitted only if the facts or data are "of a type
reasonably relied upon by experts in the particular field in forming opinions or Whenever the necessity arises for a resort to circumstantial evidence,
inferences upon the subject." Rule 706 allows the court at its discretion to procure either from the nature of the inquiry or the failure of direct proof,
the assistance of an expert of its own choosing. Finally, Rule 403 permits the objections to the testimony on the ground of irrelevancy are not favored.
exclusion of relevant evidence "if its probative value is substantially outweighed by
the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury . . . ."
Evidence is admissible in a criminal action which tends to show motive,
Judge Weinstein has explained: "Expert evidence can be both powerful and quite
although it tends to prove the commission of another offense by the
misleading because of the difficulty in evaluating it. Because of this risk, the judge in
defendant. (Moore vs. U. S. [1893], 150 U. S., 57.)
weighing possible prejudice against probative force under Rule 403 of the present
rules exercises more control over experts than over lay witnesses." Weinstein, 138

F.R.D., at 632.

  6( 
 1

 Ñ'  (2-+-0
-;@ 4(c ( ! (6" -14"
 delivery of her money and jewelry, having recognized him later to be the herein
accused-appellant. While evidence of another crime is, as a rule, not admissible in a
Four assignments of error are made. The first is that the lower court erred in prosecution for robbery, it is admissible when it is otherwise relevant, as where it
admitting the testimony of the chemist Pena and Darjuan as to their purchase of tends to identify defendant as the perpetrator of the robbery charged, or tends to
potassium chlorate at the drug store of the accused, which substance proved on show his presence at the scene or in the vicinity of the crime at the time charged, or
analysis to be barium chlorate. What the appellant is here relying on is the maxim when it is evidence of a circumstance connected with the crime (16, C. J., 610, 611,
res inter alios acta. As a general rule, the evidence of other offenses committed by a sec. 1196).
defendant is inadmissible. But appellant has confused this maxim and this rule with
certain exceptions thereto. The effort is not to convict the accused of a second
offense. Nor is there an attempt to draw the mind away from the point at issue and 
thus to prejudice defendant's case. The purpose is to ascertain defendant's
knowledge and intent, and to fix his negligence. If the defendant has on more than 
one occasion performed similar acts, accident in good faith is possibly excluded,
negligence is intensified, and fraudulent intent may even be established. It has been
said that there is no better evidence of negligence than the frequency of accidents.
(See 10 R. C. L., pp. 938, 940.) The United States Supreme Court has held that:

On the trial of a criminal case the question relates to the tendency of


certain testimony to throw light upon a particular fact, or to explain the
conduct of a particular person, there is a certain discretion on the part of
the trial judge which a court of errors will not interfere with, unless it
manifestly appear that the testimony has no legitimate bearing upon the
question at issue, and is calculated to prejudice the accused.

Whenever the necessity arises for a resort to circumstantial evidence,


either from the nature of the inquiry or the failure of direct proof,
objections to the testimony on the ground of irrelevancy are not favored.

Evidence is admissible in a criminal action which tends to show motive,


although it tends to prove the commission of another offense by the
defendant. (Moore vs. U. S. [1893], 150 U. S., 57.)


 
/ $(2-+-0
-14 "!( 6( !6"(31 -4

The testimony of Juana de la Cruz to the effect that her house, situated only about
one hundred meters from that of Perfecto Melocotones, was assaulted that same
night by some malefactors with white stripes upon their faces, and that one of
them, with pockmarks on his face and a scar on his left eyelid and dressed in a
maong-colored suit, who later turned out to be the herein accused-appellant,
opened her box, indirectly corroborates Maximiniana Vicente's testimony that the
man of the same description was the open who went to her house and demanded