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People Vs Tandoy

G.R. No. 80505, December 04, 1990

Facts:

Makati Police Station conducted a buy bust operation at barangay Singkamas, Makati City.
The team arrested Tandoy. A body search was made on Tandoy, and the marked money, as
well as eight rolls/foils of marijuana and crushed leaves were confiscated. Tandoy was
convicted beyond reasonable doubt for violation of RA 6425 or the Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act. Tandoy questioned his conviction on the ground that the court erred
in admitting in evidence against the accused the xerox copy of the P10 bill used as buy bust
money.

Issue:

Whether or not the the best evidence rule is applicable.

Ruling:

Yes. The best evidence rule applies only when the contents of the document are the subject
of inquiry. Where the issue is only as to whether or not such document was actually
executed, or exists, or in the circumstances relevant to or surrounding its execution, the best
evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible.

Since the aforesaid marked money was presented by the prosecution solely for the purpose
of establishing its existence and not its contents, other substitutionary evidence, like a xerox
copy thereof, is therefore admissible without the need of accounting for the original.