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People v Esugon

G.R. No. 195244, June 22, 2015

Facts:
Carl or Muymoy, 5-year old son of the victim, testified that on the night of the incident, he, his younger
sister Cheche, and his mother and father, were sleeping on the ground floor of their house. He saw
appellant, whom he calls "Nonoy," enter their house and stab her mother with a knife, while he (Carl)
peeped through a chair. Although there was no light at the ground floor, there was light upstairs. After
his mother got stabbed, his father chased the appellant. Carl saw blood come out of his mother’s lower
chest. His father then brought her to the hospital. Carl positively identified the appellant, a neighbor
who often goes to their house, as the one who stabbed his mother.

Issue:
Whether or not Carl’s testimony is competent and credible?

Held:
Yes, his testimony is competent and credible. As the rules show, anyone who is sensible and aware of a
relevant event or incident, and can communicate such awareness, experience, or observation to others
can be a witness. Age, religion, ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, or social status are not
necessary to qualify a person to be a witness, so long as he does not possess any of the disqualifications
as listed the rules. The generosity with which the Rules of Court allows people to testify is apparent, for
religious beliefs, interest in the outcome of a case, and conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided
by law are not grounds for disqualification.

Carl positively identified the appellant as the culprit during the investigation and during the trial. Worthy
to note is that the child could not have been mistaken about his identification of him in view of his
obvious familiarity with the appellant as a daily presence in the billiard room maintained by the child’s
family. Verily, the evidence on record overwhelmingly showed that the appellant, and no other, had
robbed and stabbed the victim.
Sunga-Chan v Chua
G.R. No. 143340, August 15, 2001

Facts:
For the death of Pastor Papauran (victim) on April 15, 1993, Norman Maramara (Maramara) was indicted for
murder. After pleading not guilty but before his trial, Maramara moved and was allowed by the trial court to
enter into a plea bargaining with the prosecution and the victim's next of kin. Accordingly, Maramara, upon
re-arraignment, pleaded guilty to a lesser offense of homicide, a crime necessarily included in the charge of
murder. It would appear, however, that before he was indicted or thereabout, Maramara executed an
extrajudicial confession wherein he admitted shooting the victim to death and implicated as his co-
conspirators herein petitioners Manatad, Virgilio Bug-atan and Labandero.

Issue:
Whether or not Maramara is a credible witness

Held:
Yes, he is a credible witness. The inconsistencies alleged by the prosecution provide no persuasive reason for
us to distrust the credibility of Maramara. They refer to minor details and not to the central fact of the
crime. They are too trivial to affect his straightforward account of the killing of the victim and the complicity
of the petitioners. It is settled that inconsistencies relating to minor details do not affect the creditworthiness
of the witness testifying and that minor inconsistencies tend to show that the witnesses were not coached or
rehearsed. This is a well- settled doctrine which need not require much documentation. The testimony of a
witness must be considered in its entirety instead of in truncated parts. The technique in deciphering a
testimony is not to consider only its isolated parts and anchor a conclusion on the basis of said parts. At any
rate, Maramara had adequately explained and properly corrected himself regarding these alleged
inconsistencies during his examination in court.

Maramara's previous conviction neither detracts his competency as a witness nor necessarily renders his
testimony totally untrustworthy and inadmissible. While Maramara admitted to having been previously
convicted in a criminal case, this circumstance does not necessarily make him or his testimony ipso
facto incredible. The determination of the character of a witness is not a prerequisite to belief in his
testimony. His alleged bad reputation, even if true, should not sway the court in the evaluation of the
veracity of his testimony. Other important factors should be considered in determining the inherent
probability of his statements for a convicted person is not necessarily a liar. After all, conviction of a crime,
unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be a ground for disqualification of witnesses.
Senate vs. Ermita
GR 169777, April 20, 2006

This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition proffer that the President has abused power by issuing
E.O. 464 “Ensuring Observance of the Principles of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule on
Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid
of Legislation Under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes”. Petitioners pray for its declaration as
null and void for being unconstitutional.

In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate
Committees, conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the
attendance of officials and employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices including those
employed in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The Committee of the Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department for
them to appear as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project, others on the issues of
massive election fraud in the Philippine elections, wiretapping, and the role of military in the so-called
“Gloriagate Scandal”.

Said officials were not able to attend due to lack of consent from the President as provided by E.O. 464,
Section 3 which requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the
President prior to appearing before either house of Congress.

ISSUE:
Whether or not EO 464 is valid and constitutional

RULING:
No. The enumeration in Section 2 (b) of E.O. 464 is broad and is covered by the executive privilege. The
doctrine of executive privilege is premised on the fact that certain information must, as a matter of
necessity, be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest. The privilege being, by definition, an
exemption from the obligation to disclose information, in this case to Congress, the necessity must be of
such high degree as to outweigh the public interest in enforcing that obligation in a particular case.
Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid
of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it
must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.

The infirm provisions of E.O. 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade congressional requests
for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or proffering its reasons therefor.
By the mere expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of
legislation is frustrated.
San Vicente v People
G.R. No. 132081. November 26, 2002

Facts:
San Vicente was charged for killing Chua who was withdrawing money from an ATM at Fareast Bank,
Katipunan. San Vicente admitted through a letter from his lawyer that he did shot Chua but first having
had fired 2 warning shots to defend his person against Chua who according to Sanvicente was trying to
steal his money from him. Petitioner’s counsel surrendered to the police the gun used by his client plus a
letter that detailed the accident and served as voluntary surrender without admission of guilt.

San Vicente moved for Demurrer to evidence which was granted by the RTC and the CA. Prosecution
moved to dismiss the demurrer arguing that his admission through his lawyer was a confession of his guilt.

Issue:
May the counsel testify against San Vicente

Held:
No, as a general rule, he may not. It can not be denied that the contents of the letter (Exhibit LL)
particularly with regard to the details of the shooting communicated by petitioner to Atty. Valmonte, is
privileged because it is connected with the business for which petitioner retained the services of the latter.
More specifically, said communication was relayed by petitioner to Atty. Valmonte in order to seek his
professional advice or assistance in relation to the subject matter of the employment, or to explain
something in connection with it, so as to enable him to better advice his client or manage the litigation.[40]
Pertinent to this is Section 24 (b) of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, to wit:

SEC. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. The following persons cannot testify as
to matters learned in confidence in the following cases:

(b) An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication made by
the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course of, or with a view to, professional employment
nor can an attorneys secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of the client and
his employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in such capacity; x x x.

It is worthy to note that the prosecution did not summon petitioner himself to testify although he too was
a signatory of Exhibit LL. Apparently, it was aware that petitioner could well invoke his right against self-
incrimination and refuse to answer its questions. The prosecution then attempted to draw out what it
could not constitutionally extract from his lawyer. Yet, and as stated previously, said Exhibit LL had earlier
been admitted in evidence by the trial court in its Order dated August 27, 1996. What was objectionable
was the prosecutions sole reliance on the document without proof of other facts to establish its case
against petitioner because of its mistaken assumption that the same was a confession.