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The elements of perjury under Article 183 are:

(a) That the accused made a statement under oath or

executed an affidavit upon a material matter.

(b) That the statement or affidavit was made before a

competent officer, authorized to receive and administer oath.

(c) That in the statement or affidavit, the accused made

a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood.

(d) That the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity

is required by law or made for a legal purpose.1 (emphasis

What is an affidavit?

An affidavit is a sworn statement in writing; a declaration in writing made

upon oath before an authorized magistrate or officer.

The test of materiality is whether a false statement can influence the tribunal, not
whether it does, or could probably influence the result of the trial.2

Policy of the law on perjury.

Every interest of public policy demands that perjury be not shielded by

artificial refinements and narrow technicalities. For perjury strikes at the very
administration of the laws. It is the policy of the law that judicial proceedings and
judgment shall be fair and free from fraud, and that litigants and parties be
encouraged to tell the truth and that they be punished if they do not. (People v.
Cainglet, G.R. Nos. L-21493-94, April 29, 1966)

Material Matter in perjury

The term material matter is the main fact subject of the inquiry, or any
circumstances which tends to prove that fact, or any fact or circumstances which
tends to corroborate or strengthen the testimony related to the subject of the
inquiry, or which legitimately affects the credence of any witness who testified.

1 Monfort III v. Salvatierra, G.R. No. 168301, March 5, 2007, 517 SCRA 447, 461.
2 People v. Banzil (CA-G.R. No. 22964-R, 56 O.G. 4929)
Two (2) essential elements of proof of perjury

(1) The statement made by the defendants must be proven false

(2) It must be proven that the defendant did not believe those statements to be

Knowledge by the accused of the falsity of his statement is an internal act. It may
be proved by his admissions or by circumstantial evidence. The state of mind of the
accused may be determined by the things he says and does, from proof of a motive
to lie and of the objective falsity itself, and from other facts tending to show that
the accused really knew the things he claimed not to know.