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1. Direct v. Circumstantial

A direct evidence is an evidence that proves a fact in issue without need of inference
from other established facts. So by itself, a fact in issue is established. A typical example of a
direct evidence is a testimony of an eye witness. Example: Mr. Ceasar is an eyewitness who
testifies to court that he personlaly saw Ramon in the act of raping Ms. Abrenica. The
testimony that he saw Ramon performing the act constitutive of the crime of rape does not
need other established evidence to establish the fact of rape and the fact that Ramon is the
one responsible. It directly proves the fact in issue.

To the contrary, a circumstantial evidence is the one that does not directly establish
or prove a fact in issue but only indirectly. Indirectly in the sense that it needs other
established facts to be inferred. In other words, it needs other facts to derive the inference.
So it is the inference that indirectly establish the fact in issue. A classic example of a
circumstantial evidence is flight.

 There are three (3) types of circumstantial evidence (these classifications are based on
whether the circumstances exitst or are available before, during or after the incident that
gives rise of the controversy):

Example in the crime of rape, the rape there is the controversy. It’s the act or omission
subject of the controversy. A circumstantial evidence can be a circumstance that existed
before the actual rape or it existed during the actual rape or it existed or took place after the
crime of rape. Either way these circumstances could indirectly establish the crime of rape
and the fact that accused is the one responsible for the act.

a. Antecedent

Motive, for example before the crime of murder, a heated altercation insued between
Ramon and Ceasar and during that altercation, Ceasar threatened to kill Ramon. This
incident took place before the actual killing. The actual killing took place a day after the
heated altercation. So if Ceasar now is accused of murdering Ramon, the prosecution will
establish motive on the part of Ceasar to prove that indeed Ceasar was the one responsible
for the killing. Motive there which arouse from that heated altercation that insued between
the two is an antecedent circumstance that may indirectly establish the fact in issue, the fact
in issue being the killing of Ramon by Ceasar. Because the motive there, the incident there
that gave rise to the motive took place before the actual killing that’s why it’s called
antecedent circumstantial evidence.
What else? Moral character of the accused. For example in series of rape that is
committed and Ramon is now being prosecuted in that recent incident of rape. The
prosecution may establish the bad moral character of Ramon being a person of lascivious,
lustful character. So his moral character can be an antecedent circumstantial evidence that
may indirectly the fact that Ramon can be the person responsible for the recent incident of
rape. That moral character is a circumstance that existed or is available before the actual
occurance of the crime charged.

Habit - if a person is in the habit of doing something, that habit designed or planned.
This can be introduced in evidence as an antecedent circumstantial evidence to prove that
probably he is the one responsible for the recent act, similar act, because the accused is in
the habit of doing the same act. It does not directly prove that the accused is really the one
who committed the recent act, but circumstantially if tandemned with another evidence it
would establish the fact that because it’s his habit to do similar or the same act, he could
also be responsible in the commission of the said crime.

B. Concomitant

A circumstance which is available or existed at the time of the commission of the act
complained of. For example RAPE, a classic example of a concomitant circumstancial
evidence is opportunity - one’s presence in the crime scene. Let’s say the time of the murder,
there is only one person available during the time of the murder, Ceasar. No one saw Ceasar
actually committing the crime of murder, the only witness presented is a person who
claimed that at the time of the killing, he saw Ceasar at the time of the vicinity at the crime
scene. It does not directly prove that Ceasar is the killer because no one saw him killing the
victim but his presence in the crime scene provided Ceasar the opportunity to perform the
act of killing. So this could be a circumstantial evidence that Ceasar could be the party
responsible and this can be considered as concomitant circumstantial evidence, because he’s
available on the commission of the crime.

On the contrary, if you are the accused and you want to prove that you could not have
been the perpetrator of the crime, you can also establish your absence from the crime scene
as your concomitant circumstantial evidence of innocense. That is why, the defense of alibi
is a concomitant circumstantial evidence that the person charged is not the person
responsible. Alibi, it’s a concomitant circumstantial evidence, because if the accused can
sufficiently established that he is a hundred miles away from the crime scene at the time of
the alleged incident. It could be impossible for him to be responsible. There is a principle in
science known as the doctrine or the principle of impenetrability that a person cannot be at
the different place at the same time. Actually, concomitant circumstantial evidence is a
common defense in some cases.
a. Subsequent

Circusmtances that occur or are present after the occurence of the fact in issue. What
are your typical example? We have flight, when a person are unjustifiably got lost after the
incident, that could be an evidence of guilt. This is a circumstantial evidence of guilt. We
have a saying in law to the effect htat the guilty flee even if no one pursues him, but the
innocent is as bold as a lion.

Another, when a personla item identified with the accuse is left in the crime scene. Let’s
say in the crime of murder and the underwear of Ceasar is left in the crime scene or in the
crime of murder, a handgun registered in the name of Ceasar is left in the crime scene that
underwear and that handgun which is treasurable to Ceasar are subsequent circumstantila
evidence that Ceasar could be responsible for the crime of rape and/or murder.

Nervousness, when a person is nervous. After the commission of the crime, he

exhibited unusual behavior. That could be taken as manifestation of guilt and can very well
be adduced in evidence as subsequent circumstantial evidence to prove guilt.

2. Relevant, Material, Competent


An evidence is relevant when it has a logical connection to the fact in issue as to establish a
probability or improbability. Logic, common sense and human experience define this relevancy.

Material evidence. Do not confuse materiality with relevancy. Material evidence is not actually
synonymous with relevant evidence. Strictly, a material evidence is an evidence that is presented
to prove a fact in issue meaning if the evidence is offered to prove an evidence not a fact in issue,
that evidence is immaterial. How do you illustrate material and immaterial evidence in a concrete
situation? We have this principle in the civil procedure which requires specific denial of the
authenticity or genuineness of an actionable document. There is a specific rule on denial, it
should be specific and under oath. What is the effect if the denial is not specific, or specific but not
under oath? There is a wide admission of the authenticity and genuineness of the actionable
document. What is the effect if there is already an implied admission of the genuineness and
due execution? The party who made the implied admission can no longer introduce evidence to
establish that the document is forged. So in the case for collection of sum of money, the
actionable document there is the promisory note. In the answer, the defendant failed to deny
underoath or deny specifically but not under oath, meaning not verified. What is the effect? An
implied admission on the authenticity and genuineness of the promisory note. In practical terms,
during the trial as a result of the implied admission, the defendant may no longer establish or
aduce evidence like the testimony of the NBI handwriting expert to prove that the signature
appearing in the promisory note is a forgery. That testimony of the NBI expert as well as the
report of the nbi expert purporting to show that the signature appearing in the promisory note is
an immaterial evidence, because with the failure to deny under oath the genuineness and due
execution of the promisory note, the genuineness and due exectution of the promisory note is
deemed admitted and therefore if the fact is already admitted it is no longer an issue to the case.
So any evidence tending to prove a fact which is no longer an issue is deemed immaterial and
therefore inadmissible.

Similar rule applies in a prosecution for rape (statutory rape when the victim is below 12). In a
normal rape when the victim is above 12, the defense of consensual sex is available to the
accused, but in a prosecution for statutory rape, any evidence presented by the accused to prove
that the sex was consensual is inadmissible and it can be objected to on the ground of it being
immaterial because consent in a statutory rape is not an issue, even if consent was given it is not
an issue in the prosecution for statutory rape. Because the law provides that even if the victim
below 12 has given its consent, the crime of rape is still committed. The evidence of consent,
consensual sex is immaterial, because it is offered to prove a fact which is not an issue in the case.


Competent evidence is an evidence which is not excluded by the Constitution, the Rules of Court
or by some special laws. Hearsay evidence is incompetent because it is excluded by the Rules of
Court. Coerced confession is incompetent because it is excluded in the Constitution. Wire-tapped
conversation is incompetent, it is inadmissible in evidence because it is excluded by the special
rule on RA 1400 or the Anti-Wiretapping Act.

3. Negative, Positive

Positive evidence is an evidence that proves that a particular fact exists or a particuala event
occured. So it is in the positive sense, affirmative sense. So let’s say, when a witness testifies that
Ceasar raped Ms. Abrenica, the witness there is in effect affirming the existence of the fact or the
commission or the occurence of an event. That’s positive evidence.

On the other hand, we have the negative. Negative is just the opposite. It is an evidence that
proves that a fact or a certain set of facts do not exist or a certain event did not take place. Your
typical example of negative evidence is denial. For example, Ceasar is prosecuted for rape, he
simply interpose the defense of denial, “I did not rape Ms. Abrenica.” that’s anegative defense,
because Ceasar affirms the non-occurence of the event.

If there is a conflict between a positive and negative evidence, in the hierarchy of evidence,
positiev evidecne prevails over negative evidenec when everything is in eqaul footing, the court
is most likely to give credence to positive testimony or positive evidence over negative. Why? It is
more difficult for a witness to testify in the affirmative. And it is more convenient for the witness
to testify in the negative. It is easier to say that I did not do it or he did not do it rather than
testifying on the affirmateive sense that he particularly did it or one particularly did it. Because if
one testifies in the affirmative that a certain set of facts exist or a certain event did occur, he is by
law required to provide the details of the event. If one claims that he witnessed the killing, he
should provide the details that he saw, the circumstances of the killing and it would be difficult to
make up details of the story. It takes one to be a good liar, to come up, to make up with a
fabricated story. That’s why a good witness must have good memory. You will be cross examined
in court to provide the details, the distance, the color, the time, the condition of the place and all
the specific circumstances surrounding the incident that the witness claims to have witnessed.
That is difficult especially when you are subjected to cross examination and especially when you
are just making it up. Compare it to the negative testimony where the witness will just say that it
did not happen he cannot be compelled to produce the details of something that he claims that
did not happen, except by saying that it did not happen.

That is why, when everything is in the equal footing, the court is likely to give credence on the
one testifying in the affirmative.

4. Corroborative, Cumulative

Corroborative and cumulative are both additional evidence, these type of evidence presuppose
the existence of other evidence. These are evidence in addition to evidence already offered and
presented. Their difference lies in the fact that Corroborative evidence is an additional evidence
which is a different nature and character but tending to prove the same point as the other. In
contrast, cumulative evidence is an additional evidence which is of the same nature and character
as the other and tending to prove the same point.

Let’s say, in the case of murder and there are five witnesses who actually saw the killing. All of
them claimed to be eyewitnesses to the crime, all these pieces of evidence consisting of the
testimonies of these five witnesses are of the same character and nature. All of them are
eyewitness testimonies, so the same character and the same nature. So the testimony of the first
witness if already presented and the prosecution will not present the second witness who will
now testify the same fact already covered by the previous witness, the testimony of the second
witness is cumulative because it’s of the same nature and character as the first.

On the other hand, corroborative is different from the other. Let’s say in the crime of rape, the
testimony of the rape victim testified the circumstances and the details of the rape. A
corroborative evidence would be fairly the testimony of a doctor. The testimony of the rape
victim is an eyewitness account, the testimony of the doctor is different, the testimony of the
doctor is of a different kind and character, because the doctor is not an eyewitness. The doctor
happens to be the one examining the victim after the incident. The testimony of the doctor would
not dwell on the circumstances of rape but she would only dwell on the fact that based on the
physical evidence, there is evidence of forcible sexual intercourse which is an element to the
crime of rape. Both testimonies would tend to prove the same point, the same point being the
commission of the rape but they are not of the same character. So in legal parliance, the
testimony of the doctor corroborates the testimony of the rape victim.

5. Object, Documentary, Testimonial