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PEOPLE v.

SENERIS the testimonies given in direct examination will be received on


99 SCRA 92 | August 6, 1980 record.
Petitioner: The People of the Philippines 3. Where the prosecution witness was partially cross-examined but
Respondent: Hon. Alberto Seneris, Judge and Pilar Pimentel prior to the next hearing, he dies, his testimony cannot be stricken
(Rule 132, Sec. 6 – Cross-examination) off the record.
4. However, where the right to cross-examine is lost wholly or in part
FACTS through the fault of the cross-examiner, then the testimony on direct
1. Assistant Provincial Fiscal Tamin filed with the CFI, an amended examination may be taken into account; but when cross-
information for parricide, charging Pilar Pimentel as principal by examination is not and cannot be done or completed due to causes
inducement, Mario Nemenio and Salim Doe as principals by direct attributable to the party offering the witness, the uncompleted
participation, and Moises Andaya as accomplice, in the fatal stabbing of testimony is thereby rendered incompetent.
Eduardo Pimentel y Orario, the spouse of Pilar. 5. The rigorous and searching cross- examination of witness Mario
2. Nemenio on arraignment a pleaded guilty. Judge Seneris rendered Nemenio, practically concluded already the cross-examination-in-
judgment convicting Nemenio of murder — qualified by the chief, or has already substantially accomplished the purpose of the
circumstance of prize and reward. cross-examination, and therefore, the failure to pursue the privilege
3. Nemenio offered to testify against his co-accused, Pilar, in her separate of further cross-examination, would not adversely affect the
trial earlier granted by the Judge Seneris in the same criminal case. admissibility of the direct testimony of said witness anymore.
Counsel for Pilar commenced his cross- examination of prosecution
witness Mario Nemenio y delos Santos, which cross-examination DISPOSITION
however was not completed on that session for lack of material time. WHEREFORE, THE AUGUST 4,1978 ORDER OF THE RESPONDENT
4. According to the petition, the uncompleted cross-examination had JUDGE IS HEREBY SET ASIDE; THE RESTRAINING ORDER OF
already touched on the conspiracy existing among Salim Doe, witness DECEMBER 4, 1978 ISSUED BY THIS COURT IS HEREBY LIFTED; AND
Nemenio and Pilar to kill Eduardo Pimentel, in the latter's residence in RESPONDENT JUDGE OR HIS SUCCESSOR IS ACCORDINGLY
Zamboanga City in the evening of September 6, 1977, and also on the ORDERED TO PROCEED WITH THE TRIAL OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. 750
actual stabbing by witness Nemenio of the victim Eduardo who was (1742) AND TO ADMIT AND CONSIDER IN DECIDING THE CASE THE
pointed out to the witness-killer by his wife, Pilar. This is not disputed by TESTIMONY OF THE DECEASED WITNESS MARIO NEMENIO y DELOS
private respondent. SANTOS EXCLUDING ONLY THE PORTION THEREOF CONCERNING
5. However, prosecution witness Nemenio was shot dead by the THE AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE OF PRICE OR REWARD WHICH
Integrated National Police patrols while allegedly escaping from prison. WAS NOT COVERED BY THE CROSS-EXAMINATION. NO COSTS.
Judge Sneris issued an order declaring as inadmissible the entire
testimony of the deceased-witness Mario Nemenio on the principal
ground that the defense was not able to complete its cross-examination
of said witness.

ISSUE/S
1. W/N Judge Seneris gravely abused his discretion when he ruled that the
testimony of Nemenio was inadmissible.

RULING & RATIO


YES.
1. While the right of confrontation and cross-examination are
fundamental rights, they can be waived expressly or impliedly by
conduct amounting to a renunciation of the right.
2. If the party was given the opportunity to confront or cross-examine
a witness but failed to take advantage of it, he forfeits the right and