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EVIDENCE (2018-2019) Atty.

Señga 1

Qualification of Witness (Part Two)

Section 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication definition also extends to a secret formula or process not patented, but known only to certain
individuals using it in compounding some article of trade having a commercial value.
Eagleridge Development Corp. v. Cameron Granville 3 Asset Management, Inc.
In the case of Cocoland v. NLRC, the court held that the parameters in the
[G.R. No. 204700 (Resolution), November 24, 2014]
determination of trade secrets were set to be such substantial factual basis that can withstand
See Digest under Parol Evidence judicial scrutiny.
Section 24 of Rule 130 draws the types of disqualification by reason of privileged communication,
Air Philippines Corp. v. Pennswell, Inc. to wit:
[G.R. No. 172835, December 13, 2007]
(a) communication between husband and wife;
DOCTRINE: Trade secrets should receive greater protection from discovery, because they derive
(b) communication between attorney and client;
economic value from being generally unknown and not readily ascertainable by the public.
Indeed, the privilege is not absolute; the trial court may compel disclosure where it is indispensable (c) communication between physician and patient;
for doing justice. (d) communication between priest and penitent; and
(e) public officers and public interest.
FACTS: There are, however, other privileged matters that are not mentioned by Rule
Petitioner Air Philippines Corporation is a domestic corporation engaged in the business 130. Among them are the following: (a) editors may not be compelled to disclose the
of air transportation services. On the other hand, respondent Pennswell, Inc. was organized to source of published news; (b) voters may not be compelled to disclose for whom they
engage in the business of manufacturing and selling industrial chemicals, solvents, and special voted; (c) trade secrets; (d) information contained in tax census returns; and (d) bank
lubricants. On various dates, respondent delivered and sold to petitioner sundry goods in trade but deposits.
petitioner failed to comply with its obligation under the contract to pay its outstanding obligation, Indeed, the privilege is not absolute; the trial court may compel disclosure where it is
thus Pennswell brought an action for sum of money against petitioner before the RTC. Petitioner
indispensable for doing justice. The Court, however, find no reason to except
argued that its refusal to pay was not without valid and justifiable reasons. Petitioner alleged that
it was defrauded by respondent for its previous sale of four items, covered by Purchase Order No. respondents trade secrets from the application of the rule on privilege. The revelation
6626. Said items were misrepresented by respondent as belonging to a new line, but were in truth of respondents trade secrets serves no better purpose to the disposition of the main
and in fact, identical with products petitioner had previously purchased from respondent. case pending with the RTC, which is on the collection of a sum of money. As can be
According to petitioner, respondents products, namely Excellent Rust Corrosion, Connector gleaned from the facts, petitioner received respondents goods in trade in the normal
Grease, Electric Strength Protective Coating, and Anti-Seize Compound, are identical with its Anti- course of business. To be sure, there are defenses under the laws of contracts and sales
Friction Fluid, Contact Grease, Thixohtropic Grease, and Dry Lubricant, respectively. Petitioner
available to petitioner. On the other hand, the greater interest of justice ought to favor
asseverated that had respondent been forthright about the identical character of the products, it
respondent as the holder of trade secrets. If it were to weigh the conflicting interests
would not have purchased the items complained of. petitioner filed a Motion to
Compel respondent to give a detailed list of the ingredients and chemical components of between the parties, they rule in favor of the greater interest of respondent. Trade
the abovementioned products. RTC granted petitioner’s motion directing Pennswell to give the secrets should receive greater protection from discovery, because they derive
detailed ingredients of the products mentioned but later on reversed its order due to ground of economic value from being generally unknown and not readily ascertainable by the
trade secrets and upon appeal of the petitioner, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC that the public.
lists of ingredients are covered by the trade secrets. That trade secrets are of a privileged nature is beyond quibble. The protection that this
jurisdiction affords to trade secrets is evident in our laws.
Arguments:
Respondent contended that it cannot be compelled to disclose the chemical components sought
because the matter is confidential. It argued that what petitioner endeavored to inquire upon ADDITIONAL NOTES/DETAILS:
constituted a trade secret which respondent cannot be forced to divulge. Respondent Moreover, the Securities Regulation Code is explicit that the Securities and Exchange Commission
maintained that its products are specialized lubricants, and if their components were revealed, its is not required or authorized to require the revelation of trade secrets or processes in any
business competitors may easily imitate and market the same types of products, in violation of its application, report or document filed with the Commission This confidentiality is made paramount
proprietary rights and to its serious damage and prejudice. as a limitation to the right of any member of the general public, upon request, to have access to
all information filed with the Commission.
Petitioner relied on Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of Court, and argued that the use of modes of
discovery operates with desirable flexibility under the discretionary control of the trial court. Republic Act No. 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of
1990 also contains a provision that limits the right of the public to have access to records, reports
ISSUE: Whether or not the chemical components or ingredients of Pennswell’s product are trade or information concerning chemical substances and mixtures including safety data submitted and
secrets and not subject to compulsory disclosure data on emission or discharge into the environment, if the matter is confidential such that it would
divulge trade secrets, production or sales figures; or methods, production or processes unique to
RULING: such manufacturer, processor or distributor; or would otherwise tend to affect adversely the
YES. A trade secret is defined as a plan or process, tool, mechanism or compound competitive position of such manufacturer, processor or distributor.
known only to its owner and those of his employees to whom it is necessary to confide it. The

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EVIDENCE (2018-2019) Atty. Señga 2

American jurisprudence has utilized the following factors to determine if an information is a trade RTC rendered judgment in favor of respondent. It declared respondent “the
secret: capital/exclusive owner of the properties described in paragraph 3 of plaintiff’s Complaint or those
(1) the extent to which the information is known outside of the employer's business; further described in the Motion to Return and Suppress” and ordering Cecilia Zulueta and any
(2) the extent to which the information is known by employees and others involved in the business; person acting in her behalf to immediately return the properties to Dr. Martin and to pay him
(3) the extent of measures taken by the employer to guard the secrecy of the information; damages. The writ of preliminary injunction earlier issued was made final and petitioner Cecilia
(4) the value of the information to the employer and to competitors; Zulueta and her attorneys and representatives were enjoined from “using or submitting/admitting
(5) the amount of effort or money expended by the company in developing the information; and as evidence” the documents and papers in question.
(6) the extent to which the information could be easily or readily obtained through an independent
source. CA affirmed RTC, hence this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the documents and papers seized by petitioner are admissible in evidence
Rule 27, Sec 1 would show that the production or inspection of documents or things as a mode of
– NO.
discovery sanctioned by the Rules of Court may be availed of by any party upon a showing of
good cause therefor before the court in which an action is pending. The court may order any
RULING:
party:
The documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence. The constitutional
a) to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing of any designated
injunction declaring “the privacy of communication and correspondence [to be] inviolable” is no
documents, papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects or tangible things, which
less applicable simply because it is the wife (who thinks herself aggrieved by her husband’s
are not privileged; which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the
infidelity) who is the party against whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced. The only
action; and which are in his possession, custody or control; or
exception to the prohibition in the Constitution is if there is a “lawful order [from a] court or when
b) to permit entry upon designated land or other property in his possession or control for the
public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.” Any violation of this provision
purpose of inspecting, measuring, surveying, or photographing the property or any designated
renders the evidence obtained inadmissible “for any purpose in any proceeding.”
relevant object or operation thereon. Rule 27 sets an unequivocal proviso that the documents,
papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects or tangible things that may be produced
and inspected should not be privileged. The documents must not be privileged against disclosure.
The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of them in breaking
Section 77 of Republic Act 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, petitioner cannot rely on the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital
this law in order to compel respondent to reveal the chemical components of its products. While infidelity. A person, by contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his right to privacy
it is true that all consumer products domestically sold, whether manufactured locally or imported, as an individual and the constitutional protection is ever available to him or to her.
shall indicate their general make or active ingredients in their respective labels of packaging, the
law does not apply to respondent as its products are not consumer products.
The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by making
a. Husband and Wife it privileged. Neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of
the affected spouse while the marriage subsists. Neither may be examined without the consent of
the other as to any communication received in confidence by one from the other during the
Zulueta v. Court of Appeals marriage, save for specified exceptions. But one thing is freedom of communication; quite another
[G.R. No. 107383, February 20, 1996] is a compulsion for each one to share what one knows with the other. And this has nothing to do
DOCTRINE: The constitutional injunction declaring “the privacy of communication and with the duty of fidelity that each owes to the other.
correspondence [to be] inviolable” is no less applicable simply because it is the wife (who thinks
herself aggrieved by her husband’s infidelity) who is the party against whom the constitutional
provision is to be enforced. The only exception to the prohibition in the Constitution is if there is a PETITION DENIED FOR LACK OF MERIT.
“lawful order [from a] court or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by
law.” Any violation of this provision renders the evidence obtained inadmissible “for any purpose ADDITIONAL NOTES/DETAILS:
in any proceeding.” Another issue in this case is whether or not the Court's ruling in Alfredo Martin v Alfonso Felix, Jr.
applies to this case, making the said documents and papers admissible in evidence. Alfonso Felix
FACTS: Jr. was petitioner’s counsel. He used the documents in question in the cases filed by petitioner.
Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of respondent Alfredo Martin. On March 26, 1982,
petitioner entered the clinic of respondent, a doctor of medicine, and in the presence of her Court’s ruling: Not applicable. The case against Atty. Felix, Jr (Martin v Felix, Jr) was for disbarment.
mother, a driver and respondent’s secretary, forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet in her Among other things, respondent, as complainant in that case, charged that in using the
husband’s clinic and took 157 documents consisting of private correspondence between documents in evidence (in the legal separation and disqualification from the practice of medicine
respondent and his alleged paramours, greetings cards, cancelled checks, diaries, respondent’s cases), Atty. Felix Jr committed malpractice or gross misconduct because of the injunctive order
passport, and photographs. The documents and papers were seized for use in evidence in a case of the TC. The acquittal of Atty. Felix, Jr. in the administrative case amounts to no more than a
for legal separation and for disqualification from the practice of medicine which petitioner had declaration that his use of the documents and papers for the purpose of securing Dr. Martin’s
filed against her respondent admission as to their genuiness and authenticity did not constitute a violation of the injunctive order
of the trial court. By no means does the decision in that case establish the admissibility of the
Respondent brought an action for the recovery of the documents and papers, and for documents and papers in question.
damages against petitioner with the RTC of Manila.

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EVIDENCE (2018-2019) Atty. Señga 3

If Atty. Felix, Jr. was acquitted of the charge of violating the writ of preliminary injunction issued by Apparently, this practice of signing each other's pleadings is a long-standing arrangement
the trial court, it was only because, at the time he used the documents and papers, enforcement between the spouses. According to Velasco-Jacoba, "[s]o implicit is [their] trust for each other that
of the order of the trial court was temporarily restrained by this Court (SC). The TRO issued by the this happens all the time. Through the years, [she] already lost count of the number of pleadings
SC was eventually lifted as the petition for certiorari filed by petitioner against the trial court’s order prepared by one that is signed by the other." By Velasco-Jacoba's own admission, therefore, she
was dismissed and, therefore, the prohibition against the further use of the documents and papers violated Section 3 of Rule 7. This violation is an act of falsehood before the courts, which in itself is
became effective again. a ground for subjecting her to disciplinary action, independent of any other ground arising from
the contents of the 30 July 2001 motion.
Lacurom v. Jacoba
[A.C. No. 5921, March 10, 2006] We now consider the evidence as regards Jacoba. His name does not appear in the 30 July 2001
DOCTRINE: The marital privilege rule, being a rule of evidence, may be waived by failure of the motion. He asserts the inadmissibility of Velasco-Jacoba's statement pointing to him as the author
claimant to object timely to its presentation or by any conduct that may be construed as implied of the motion.
consent.
The Court cannot easily let Jacoba off the hook. Firstly, his Answer with Second Motion for Inhibition
FACTS: did not contain a denial of his wife's account. Instead, Jacoba impliedly admitted authorship of
Jacoba-Velasco-Jacoba Law Firm is counsel for plaintiff Alejandro R. Veneracion the motion by stating that he "trained his guns and fired at the errors which he perceived and
("Veneracion") in a civil case for unlawful detainer against defendant Federico Barrientos believed to be gigantic and monumental."
("Barrientos"). MTC of Cabanatuan rendered judgment in favor of Veneracion but Barrientos
appealed to the Regional Trial Court. The case was raffled to Branch 30 where Judge Lacurom Secondly, we find Velasco-Jacoba's version of the facts more plausible, for two reasons: (1) her
was sitting as pairing judge. Judge Lacurom issued a Resolution ("Resolution") reversing the earlier reaction to the events was immediate and spontaneous, unlike Jacoba's defense which was raised
judgments rendered in favor of Veneracion. Veneracion's counsel filed a Motion for only after a considerable time had elapsed from the eruption of the controversy; and (2) Jacoba
Reconsideration (with Request for Inhibition). Pertinent portions of which read: This RESOLUTION of had been counsel of record for Veneracion in Civil Case No. 2836, supporting Velasco-Jacoba's
REVERSAL is an ABHORRENT NULLITY as it is entirely DEVOID of factual and legal basis. It is a Legal assertion that she had not "actually participate[d]" in the prosecution of the case.
MONSTROSITY in the sense that the Honorable REGIONAL TRIAL COURT acted as if it were the
DARAB (Dept. of Agrarian Reform ADJUDICATION BOARD)! . . . HOW HORRIBLE and TERRIBLE! The
mistakes are very patent and glaring! . . . The marital privilege rule, being a rule of evidence, may be waived by failure of the claimant to
object timely to its presentation or by any conduct that may be construed as implied consent. This
waiver applies to Jacoba who impliedly admitted authorship of the 30 July 2001 motion.
Judge Lacurom ordered Velasco-Jacoba to appear before his sala and explain why
she should not be held in contempt of court for the "very disrespectful, insulting and humiliating"
contents of the 30 July 2001 motion. In her Explanation, Comments and Answer, Velasco-Jacoba No doubt, the language contained in the 30 July 2001 motion greatly exceeded the vigor required
claimed that "His Honor knows beforehand who actually prepared the subject Motion; records will of Jacoba to defend ably his client's cause. We recall his use of the following words and phrases:
show that the undersigned counsel did not actually or actively participate in this case." Velasco- abhorrent nullity, legal monstrosity, horrendous mistake, horrible error, boner, and an insult to the
Jacoba disavowed any "conscious or deliberate intent to degrade the honor and integrity of the judiciary and an anachronism in the judicial process. Even Velasco-Jacoba acknowledged that
Honorable Court or to detract in any form from the respect that is rightfully due all courts of justice." the words created "a cacophonic picture of total and utter disrespect."
Velasco-Jacoba expressed willingness to apologize "for whatever mistake [they] may have
committed in a moment of unguarded discretion when [they] may have 'stepped on the line and
gone out of bounds'. She recounted that on her way out of the house for an afternoon hearing, United States v. Antipolo
Atty. Ellis Jacoba, her husband, stopped her and said "O, pirmahan mo na ito kasi last day na, [G.R. No. L-13109, March 6, 1918]
baka mahuli ." (Sign this as it is due today, or it might not be filed on time.) She signed the pleading DOCTRINE: When a person at the point of death as a result of injuries he has suffered, makes a
handed to her without reading it, in "trusting blind faith" on her husband of 35 years with whom she statement regarding the manner in which he received those injuries, the communication so made
"entrusted her whole life and future." This pleading turned out to be the 30 July 2001 motion which is in no sense confidential. On the contrary, such a communication is made for the express purpose
Jacoba drafted but could not sign because of his then suspension from the practice of law. that it may be communicated after the death of the declarant to the authorities concerned in
inquiring into the cause of his death.
Judge Lacurom found Velasco-Jacoba guilty of contempt and penalized her with
imprisonment for five days and a fine of P1,000. FACTS:
The appellant was prosecuted in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Batangas,
ISSUE: Whether or not by signing the motion she had certified the contents written by her husband charged with the murder of one Fortunato Dinal. The trial court convicted him of homicide and
Jacoba from that decision he was appealed. One of the errors assigned is based upon the refusal of the
trial judge to permit Susana Ezpeleta, the widow of the man whom the appellant is accused of
RULING: having murdered, to testify as a witness on behalf of the defense concerning certain alleged dying
By signing the 30 July 2001 motion, Velasco-Jacoba in effect certified that she had read it, she declarations. The witness was called to the stand and having stated that she is the widow of
knew it to be meritorious, and it was not for the purpose of delaying the case. Her signature Fortunato Dinal was asked: "On what occasion did your husband die?" To this question the fiscal
supplied the motion with legal effect and elevated its status from a mere scrap of paper to that of objected upon the following ground: “I object to the testimony of this witness. She has just testified
a court document. that she is the widow of the deceased, Fortunato Dinal, and that being so I believe that she is not
competent to testify under the rules and procedure in either civil or criminal cases, unless it be with
the consent of her husband, and as he is dead and cannot grant that permission, it follows that
Velasco-Jacoba insists, however, that she signed the 30 July 2001 motion only because of her
this witness is disqualified from testifying in this case in which her husband is the injured party.”
husband's request but she did not know its contents beforehand.
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EVIDENCE (2018-2019) Atty. Señga 4

DOCTRINE: Where a privileged communication from one spouse to another comes into the hands
Counsel for defendant insisted that the witness was competent, arguing that the disqualification of a third part, whether legally or not, without collusion and voluntary disclosure on the part of
which the fiscal evidently had in mind relates only to cases in which a husband or wife of one of either of the spouses, the privilege is thereby extinguished and the communication, if otherwise
the parties to a proceeding is called to testify; that the parties to the prosecution of a criminal case competent, becomes admissible;
are the Government and the accused; that, furthermore the marriage of Dinal to the witness A letter written by a wife to her husband is incompetent as evidence in a criminal case against the
having been dissolved by the death of her husband, she is no longer his wife, and therefore not latter where there is no indication of assent his part to the statements contained in the letter. The
subject to any disqualification arising from the status of marriage. letter may, however, be admissible to impeach the testimony of the wife if she goes upon the
witness-stand in the trial of the case.
These propositions were rejected by the trial judge, and excluded Susana Ezpeleta . To
this objection counsel took exception and made an offer to prove by the excluded witness the FACTS:
facts which he expected to establish by her testimony. Concerning these facts it is sufficient at this It appears from the evidence that the victim of the alleged murder, Dr. Pablo G. Sityear,
time to say that some of them would be both material and relevant, to such a degree that if proven on March 3, 1924, in Mary Chiles Hospital, performed a surgical operation upon the defendant's
to the satisfaction of the court, they might have lead to the acquittal of the accused, as they wife for appendicitis and certain other ailments. She remained in the hospital until the 18th of the
purported to relate to the dying declarations of the deceased, concerning the cause of his death, same month, but after her release therefrom she was required to go several times to the clinic of
the general purport being that his injuries were due to fall and not to the acts imputed to the Doctor Sityar at No. 40 Escolta, for the purpose of dressing the wounds caused by the operation.
accused. On these occasions she was accompanied by her husband, the defendant. The defendant states
that on one of the visits, that of March 20, 1924, Doctor Sityar sent him out on an errand to buy
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial judge erred in excluding the testimony of Susana Ezpeleta (widow)- some medicine, and that while the defendant was absent on this errand Doctor Sityar outraged
YES the wife. The defendant further states that his wife informed him of the outrage shortly after leaving
the clinic. Notwithstanding this it nevertheless appears that he again went there on March 28th to
RULING: consult the deceased about some lung trouble from which the defendant, was suffering. He was
Section 58 of General Orders No. 58 (1900) reads as follows: “Except with the consent given some medical treatment and appears to have made at least one more visit to the clinic
of both, or except in cases of crime committed by one against the other, neither husband nor wife without revealing any special resentment.
shall be a competent witness for or against the other in a criminal action or proceeding to which
one or both shall be parties.” On May 12, 1924, the defendant, suffering from some stomach trouble, entered the
PGH where he remained until May 18, 1924. He received a letter from Dr. Sityar asking for the
This case does not fall with the text of the statute or the reason upon which it is based. immediate settlement of the account for the professional services rendered his wife. Shortly after
The purpose of section 58 is to protect accused persons against statements made in the his release from the hospital the defendant sought an interview with Dr. Sityar and went to the
confidence engendered by the marital relation, and to relieve the husband or wife to whom such latter's office several times without finding him in. In the afternoon of May 26th the defendant again
confidential communications might have been made from the obligation of revealing them to the went to the office of the deceased and found him there alone. According to the evidence of the
prejudice of the other spouse. prosecution, the defendant then, without any preliminary quarrel between the two, attacked the
deceased with a fan-knife and stabbed him twice. The deceased made an effort to escape but
The same theory as that upon which section 58 of General Orders No. 58 is based, the defendant pursued him and overtaking him in the hall outside the office, inflicted another
underlies section 383, paragraph 3 of Act No. 190, which reads as follows: “A husband cannot be wound upon him and as a consequence of the three wounds he died within a few minutes. The
examined for or against his wife without her consent; nor a wife for or against her husband without defendant made his escape but surrendered himself to the Constabulary at Malolos, Bulacan, in
his consent; nor can either, during the marriage or afterwards, be, without the consent of the other, the evening of the following day.
examined as to any communication made by one to the other during the marriage; but this
exception does not apply to a civil action or proceeding by one against the other, or to a criminal The defendant admits that he killed the deceased but maintains that he did so in self-
action or proceeding for a crime committed by one against the other.” defense. He explains that he went to Doctor Sityar's office to protest against the amount of the fee
charged by the doctor and, in any event, to ask for an extension of the time of payment; that
The only doubt which can arise from a reading of this provision relates to the meaning during the conversation upon the subject the deceased insulted him by telling him that inasmuch
of the words "during the marriage or afterwards," and this doubt can arise only by a consideration as he could not pay the amount demanded he could send his wife the office as she was the one
of this phrase separately from the rest of the paragraph. Construed as a whole it is evident that it treated, and that she could then talk the matter over with the deceased; that this statement was
relates only to cases in which the testimony of a spouse is offered for or against the other in a made in such insolent and contemptuous manner that the defendant became greatly incensed
proceeding to which the other is a party. The use of the word "afterwards" in the phrase "during the and remembering the outrage committed upon his wife, he assumed a threatening attitude and
marriage or afterwards" was intended to cover cases in which a marriage has been dissolved challenged the deceased to go downstairs with him and there settle the matter.
otherwise than by death of one of the spouses — as, for instance, by decree of annulment or The court below found that the crime was committed with premeditation and therefore
divorce. constituted murder. This finding can only be sustained by taking into consideration Exhibit L, a letter
The declarations of a deceased person while in anticipation of certain impending death, written to the defendant by his wife and seized by the police in searching his effects on the day of
concerning the circumstances leading up to the death, are admissible in a prosecution of the his arrest. It is dated May 25, 1924, two days before the commission of the crime and shows that
person charged with killing the declarant. Such dying declarations are admissible in favor of the the writer feared that the defendant contemplated resorting to physical violence in dealing with
defendant as well as against him. the deceased.

People v. Carlos Counsel for the defendant argues vigorously that the letter was a privileged
[G.R. No. 22948, March 17, 1925] communication and therefore not admissible in evidence. The numerical weight of authority is,
however, to the effect that where a privileged communication from one spouse to another comes
into the hands of a third part, whether legally or not, without collusion and voluntary disclosure on
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EVIDENCE (2018-2019) Atty. Señga 5

the part of either of the spouses, the privilege is thereby extinguished and the communication, if imposes upon an attorney the duty "to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to
otherwise competent, becomes admissible. Such is the view of the majority of this court. himself, to preserve the secrets of his client.”

ISSUE: Whether or not the letter was a privileged communication and therefore not admissible in There is no law or provision in the Rules of Court prohibiting attorneys in express terms from acting
evidence. on behalf of both parties to a controversy whose interests are opposed to each other, but such
prohibition is necessarily implied in the injunctions above quoted. Information so received is sacred
RULING: to the employment to which it pertains, and to permit it to be used in the interest of another, or,
YES. worse still, in the interest of the adverse party, is to strike at the element of confidence which lies at
the basis of, and affords the essential security in, the relation of attorney and client.
The letter Exhibit L must, however, be excluded for reasons not because in the briefs.
The letter was written by the wife of the defendant and if she had testified at the trial the letter FACTS:
might have been admissible to impeach her testimony, but she was not put on the witness-stand On April 23, 1945, Blandina brought an action against Selim to annul the sale of several
and the letter was therefore not offered for the purpose. If the defendant either by answer or houses and lot executed during the Japanese occupation by her deceased husband. On May 14,
otherwise had indicated his assent to the statements contained in the letter it might also have Attys Ohnick, Velilla and Balonkita fled an answer on behalf of Selim; and on June 15, Attys
been admissible, but such is not the case here; the fact that he had the letter in his possession is Delgado, Dizon, Flores and Rodrigo registered their appearance as counsel for Blandina.
no indication of acquiescence or assent on his part. The letter is therefore nothing but pure hearsay
and its admission in evidence violates the constitutional right of the defendant in a criminal case On October 5, these attorneys filed an amended complaint by including Jacob Assad
to be confronted with the witnesses for the prosecution and have the opportunity to cross-examine as defendant.
them. In this respect there can be no difference between an ordinary communication and one On January 28, 1946, Atty Francisco entered his appearance as attorney of record for the
originally privileged. defendant in substitution for Attys Ohnick, Velilla and Balonkita who had withdrawn from the case.
The question is radically different from that of the admissibility of testimony of a third
party as to a conversation between a husband and wife overheard by the witness. Testimony of On May 29, Atty Dizon wrote Atty Francisco urging him to discontinue representing the
that character is admissible on the ground that it relates to a conversation in which both spouses defendants claiming their client had consulted with him about her case and it was alleged that
took part and on the further ground that where the defendant has the opportunity to answer a "she turned over the papers" to Atty Francisco, and the latter sent her a written opinion.
statement made to him by his spouse and fails to do so, his silence implies assent. That cannot
apply where the statement is contained in an unanswered letter. On the letter, Atty Francisco mentioned that Blandina will have great difficulty in
proving that the real purchaser was other than Mr. Assad, considering that death has already
As we have already intimated, if Exhibit L is excluded, there is in our opinion not sufficient sealed your husband's lips and he cannot now testify as to the circumstances of the sale; hence,
evidence in the record to show that the crime was premeditated. The prosecution maintains that he cannot appear on her behalf.
the crime was committed with alevosia. This contention is based principally on the fact that one
of the wounds received by the deceased showed a downward direction indicating that the Not receiving any answer to this suggestion, Attys Delgado, Dizon, Flores and Rodrigo
deceased was sitting down when the wound was inflicted. We do not think this fact is sufficient filed a formal motion to disqualify Atty Francisco.
proof. The direction of the wound would depend largely upon the manner in which the knife was
held. For the reasons stated we find the defendant guilty of simple homicide, without aggravating The judge trying the case, Hon. David, later promoted to the CA, dismissed the
or extenuating circumstances. The sentence appealed from is therefore modified by reducing the complaint by believing that no information other than that already alleged in plaintiff's complaint
penalty to fourteen years, eight months and one day of reclusion temporal, with the corresponding in the main cause was conveyed to Francisco and no atty-client relation between them ensued.
accessory penalties and with the costs against the appellant. So ordered.
Hence, this petition. The Plaintiff’s Attys. believed that atty-client relation ensued
ADDITIONAL NOTES/DETAILS: between them.
DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY ILLEGAL SEARCHES
ISSUE: WON Hon. David is correct in dismissing the motion to disqualify Atty. Francisco.
BOYD CASE - documents obtained by illegal searches of the defendant's effects are
not admissible in evidence in a criminal case; the illegality of the search and seizures should first RULING:
have been directly litigated and established by a motion, made before trial, for the return of the NO. Atty-Client Relation ensued between them. Hence, Francisco must be disqualified.
things seized; so that, after such a motion, and then only, the illegality would be noticed in the
main trial and the evidence thus obtained would be excluded. . . ." In order to constitute the relation (of attorney and client) a professional one and not
In this case, the illegality of the search and seizure was not "directly litigated and established by a merely one of principal and agent, the attorneys must be employed either to give advice upon a
motion, made before trial, for the return of the things seized." legal point, to prosecute or defend an action in court of Justice, or to prepare and draft, in legal
form such papers as deeds, bills, contracts and the like. To constitute professional employment, it
b. Attorney and Client is not essential that the client should have employed the attorney professionally on any previous
occasion . . . It is not necessary that any retainer should have been paid, promised, or charged for;
Hilado v. David neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward undertake the case about which
[G.R. No. L-961, September 21, 1949] the consultation was had. If a person, in respect to his business affairs or troubles of any kind,
DOCTRINE: Section 26 (e), Rule 123 of the Rules of Court provides that "an attorney cannot, without consults with his attorney in his professional capacity with the view to obtaining professional advice
the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him, or his or assistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces in such consultation, then the
advice given thereon in the course of professional employment;" and Section 19 (e) of Rule 127 professional employment must be regarded as established. Formality is not an essential element
of the employment of an attorney. The contract may be express or implied and it is enough that
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the advice and assistance of the attorney is sought and received, in matters pertinent to his services contemplated; its payment has no relation to the obligation of the client to pay his
profession. attorney for the services which he has retained him to perform."

Section 26 (e), Rule 123 of the Rules of Court provides that "an attorney cannot, without Regala v. Sandiganbayan
the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him, or his [G.R. No. 105938, 108113, September 20, 1996]
advice given thereon in the course of professional employment;" and Section 19 (e) of Rule 127 DOCTRINE: Passed on into various provisions of the Rules of Court, the attorney-client privilege, as
imposes upon an attorney the duty "to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to currently worded provides:
himself, to preserve the secrets of his client.” Sec. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. - The following persons cannot
testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases:
There is no law or provision in the Rules of Court prohibiting attorneys in express terms xxx
from acting on behalf of both parties to a controversy whose interests are opposed to each other, An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication
but such prohibition is necessarily implied in the injunctions above quoted. Information so received made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course of, or with a view to,
is sacred to the employment to which it pertains, and to permit it to be used in the interest of professional employment, can an attorneys secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined,
another, or, worse still, in the interest of the adverse party, is to strike at the element of confidence without the consent of the client and his employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which
which lies at the basis of, and affords the essential security in, the relation of attorney and client. has been acquired in such capacity.[29]

Further, The principle which forbids an attorney who has been engaged to represent a Further, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states:
client from thereafter appearing on behalf of the client's opponent applies equally even though
during the continuance of the employment nothing of a confidential nature was revealed to the
attorney by the client. Sec. 20. It is the duty of an attorney:

ADDITIONAL NOTES/DETAILS:
Attorney Francisco's letter to Blandina: (e) to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of
From the papers you submitted to me in connection with civil case No. 70075 …,' I Fnd that the his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his clients business except from him
basic facts which brought about the controversy… therein are as follows: or with his knowledge and approval.
(a) That you were the equitable owner of the property …, the houses and lot pertained to your
paraphernal
This duty is explicitly mandated in Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which
estate;
provides that:
(b) That on May 3, 1943, the legal title to the property was with your husband; and
(c) That the property was sold by Mr. Hilado without your knowledge on the aforesaid date of May
Canon 17. A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the
3, 1943.
trust and confidence reposed in him.
Upon the foregoing facts, I am of the opinion that your action against Mr. Assad will not ordinarily
prosper. Mr. Assad had the right to presume that your husband had the legal right to dispose of Information relating to the identity of a client may fall within the ambit of the privilege when the
the property as the TCT was in his name. Moreover, the price of P110,000 in Japanese military notes, client’s name itself has an independent significance, such that disclosure would then reveal client
as of May 3, 1943, does not quite strike me as so grossly inadequate as to warrant the annulment confidences.
of the sale. I believe, lastly, that the transaction cannot be avoided merely because it was made
during the Japanese occupation, nor on the simple allegation that the real purchaser was not a FACTS:
citizen of the Philippines. On this last point, furthermore, I expect that you will have great difficulty The case stemmed out from a Complaint through PCGG against Eduardo Cojuangco
in proving that the real purchaser was other than Mr. Assad, considering that death has already and other for the recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth, including shares of stock from various
sealed your husband's lips and he cannot now testify as to the circumstances of the sale. For the corporations. Among the defendants were partners of the ACCRA Law Firm, who admit that they
foregoing reasons, I regret to advice you that I cannot appear in the proceedings in your behalf. assisted in the organization and acquisition of the companies included in Civil Case No. 0033, and
The records of the case you loaned to me are herewith returned. in keeping with the office practice, ACCRA lawyers acted as nominees-stockholders of the said
corporations involved in sequestration proceedings.
Other Doctrine:
There is in legal practice what is called "retaining fee," the purpose of which stems from the ACCRA lawyers were included as defendants in the Third Amended Complaint, as it
realization that the attorney is disabled from acting as counsel for the other side after he has given was alleged that plotted, devised, schemed, conspired and confederated with each other in
professional advice to the opposite party, even if he should decline to perform the contemplated setting up, through the use of the coconut levy funds, the financial and corporate framework and
services on behalf of the latter. It is to prevent undue hardship on the attorney resulting from the structures that led to the establishment of UCPB and other companies, including the acquisition of
rigid observance of the rule that a separate and independent fee for consultation and advice was San Miguel Corporation shares and its institutionalization. That through ACCRA Investments
conceived and authorized. "A retaining fee is a preliminary fee given to an attorney or counsel to Corporation, became the holder of approximately fifteen million shares representing roughly 3.3%
insure of the total outstanding capital stock of UCPB, being number 44 out of the 100 biggest
and secure his future services, and induce him to act for the client. It is intended to remunerate stockholders,
counsel for being deprived, by being retained by one party, of the opportunity of rendering
services to the other and of receiving pay from him, and the payment of such fee, in the absence In its Answer, ACCRA stated that the acts they did was in furtherance of lawyering and
of an express understanding to the contrary, is neither made nor received in payment of the that they only became holders of stock but they do not claim any proprietary interest over it. They

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subsequently filed their “COMMENT AND/OR OPPOSITION” with Counter-Motion that respondent the chain of testimony necessary to convict an individual of a crime, the clients name
PCGG similarly grant the same treatment to them (exclusion as parties-defendants) as accorded is privileged.
private respondent ROCO.

In its Comment, PCGG set conditions precedent for their exclusion, including the
disclosure of the identity of its clients, the submission of documents substantiating the lawyer-client Apart from these principal exceptions, there exist other situations which could qualify
relationship; and the submission of the deeds of assignments ACCRA LAWYERS executed in favor as exceptions to the general rule. For example, the content of any client communication to a
of its clients covering their respective shareholdings. PCGG presented supposed proof to lawyer lies within the privilege if it is relevant to the subject matter of the legal problem on which
substantiate compliance by ROCO. the client seeks legal assistance. Moreover, where the nature of the attorney-client relationship has
been previously disclosed and it is the identity which is intended to be confidential, the identity of
Sandiganbayan promulgated the Resolution, herein questioned, denying the exclusion the client has been held to be privileged, since such revelation would otherwise result in disclosure
of ACCRA LAWYERS in PCGG Case No. 33, for their refusal to comply with the conditions required of the entire transaction.
by respondent PCGG.
The circumstances involving the engagement of lawyers in the case at bench,
therefore, clearly reveal that the instant case falls under at least two exceptions to the general
ISSUE: Whether the attorney-client privilege prohibits petitioners from revealing the identity of their rule. First, disclosure of the alleged client's name would lead to establish said client's connection
clients and the other information requested by the PCGG. with the very fact in issue of the case, which is privileged information, because the privilege, as
stated earlier, protects the subject matter or the substance.
RULING:
YES. It would seem that petitioners are merely standing in for their clients as defendants An important distinction must be made between a case where a client takes on the
in the complaint. Petitioners are being prosecuted solely on the basis of activities and services services of an attorney for illicit purposes, seeking advice about how to go around the law for the
performed in the course of their duties as lawyers. Petitioners’ inclusion as co-defendants in the purpose of committing illegal activities and a case where a client thinks he might have previously
complaint is merely being used as leverage to compel them to name their clients and committed something illegal and consults his attorney about it. The first case clearly does not fall
consequently to enable the PCGG to nail these clients. Such being the case, respondent PCGG within the privilege because the same cannot be invoked for purposes illegal. The second case
has no valid cause of action as against petitioners and should exclude them from the Third falls within the exception because whether or not the act for which the advice turns out to be
Amended Complaint. illegal, his name cannot be used or disclosed if the disclosure leads to evidence, not yet in the
hands of the prosecution, which might lead to possible action against him.
In the creation of lawyer-client relationship, there are rules, ethical conduct and duties
There are alternative sources of information available to the prosecutor which do not
that breathe life into it, among those, the fiduciary duty to his client which is of a very delicate,
depend on utilizing a defendant's counsel as a convenient and readily available source of
exacting and confidential character, requiring a very high degree of fidelity and good faith, that
information in the building of a case against the latter.
is required by reason of necessity and public interest based on the hypothesis that abstinence from
seeking legal advice in a good cause is an evil which is fatal to the administration of justice.

An effective lawyer-client relationship is largely dependent upon the degree of The uberrimei fidei relationship between a lawyer and his client therefore imposes a
confidence which exists between lawyer and client which in turn requires a situation which strict liability for negligence on the former. The ethical duties owing to the client, including
encourages a dynamic and fruitful exchange and flow of information. It necessarily follows that in confidentiality, loyalty, competence, diligence as well as the responsibility to keep clients informed
order to attain effective representation, the lawyer must invoke the privilege not as a matter of and protect their rights to make decisions have been zealously sustained.
option but as a matter of duty and professional responsibility.
The utmost zeal given by Courts to the protection of the lawyer-client confidentiality
As a matter of public policy, a clients identity should not be shrouded in mystery. Under privilege and lawyer's loyalty to his client is evident in the duration of the protection, which exists
this premise, the general rule in our jurisdiction as well as in the United States is that a lawyer may not only during the relationship, but extends even after the termination of the relationship.
not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or identity of his client. Notwithstanding
these considerations, the general rule is however qualified by some important exceptions:

 Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the clients We have no choice but to uphold petitioners' right not to reveal the identity of their
name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the lawyers clients under pain of the breach of fiduciary duty owing to their clients, because the facts of the
advice. instant case clearly fall within recognized exceptions to the rule that the clients name is not
privileged information. By compelling petitioners to submit said documents, the PCGG would exact
 Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability, his identity is privileged.For from petitioners a link that would inevitably form the chain of testimony necessary to convict the
instance, the peculiar facts and circumstances of Neugass v. Terminal Cab (client) of a crime.
Corporation,[37] prompted the New York Supreme Court to allow
a lawyers claimto the effect that he could not reveal the name of his client because
this would expose the latter to civil litigation.
Saura, Jr. v. Agdeppa
[A.C. No. 4426, 4429 (Resolution), February 17, 2000]
 Where the governments lawyers have no case against an attorneys client unless, by
revealing the clients name, the said name would furnish the only link that would form DOCTRINE: Request for information regarding the sale of the property and to account for the
proceeds is not a violation of the attorney-client privilege.

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DOCTRINE: The [accused’s wife’s] testimony must be disregarded having been timely objected
FACTS: thereto under the marital disqualification rule.
Two administrative complaints were filed by complainants Ramon Saura, Jr. and Helen
S. Baldoria, before the Court charging herein Atty. Lalaine Lilibeth Agdeppa for violation of her FACTS:
lawyer's oath and disregard of Sections 15, 22, 25, 31, and 32 of the Canons of Professional Ethics. Petitioner fatally shot Dennis Wong y Chua outside the Far East Bank along Katipunan
Avenue, Loyola Heights, QC after the latter allegedly attempted to rob his cash which he had just
The two complaints stemmed from the handling by the respondent of a settlement withdrawn from the ATM. Recovered at the scene were 5 empty caliber .45 shells two live caliber
case involving a piece of property owned in common by the petitioners with their other siblings, .45 bullets and an ATM card in the name of Violeta Sanvicente.
Macrina, Romeo and Amelita, all surnamed Saura, who were then the administrators of the said
property of the late Ramon E. Saura who died intestate on 15 May 1992. Petitioner's counsel, Atty. Leonardo A. Valmonte, turned over to Police Station 9
petitioner's .45 caliber Mark IV pistol bearing Serial No. 5504095. He also wrote a letter addressed
On 27 April 1995, petitioners learned that the administrators of the property, Macrina, to P/Major Antonio Diaz, Station Commander of PNP Station 9, CPDC, Anonas Road, Quezon City;
Romeo and Amelita, had, with the assistance of the respondent as their counsel, who in fact a portion reads:
notarized the Deed of Sale, sold the property to Sandalwood Real Estate and Development “According to my client, Joel Sanvicente, on said date, place and hour above he just withdrew
Corporation without the knowledge and participation of petitioners. To compound matters, from the Far East Bank and Trust Co., Katipunan branch a large amount of cash. On his way out of
petitioners alleged that despite repeated demands, the vendors or their counsel, Atty. Agdeppa, the bank, said victim immediately attacked him to grab the money he has just withdrew (sic). My
have refused to disclose the amount of the sale or account for the proceeds. The petitioners have said client pulled out his gun (duly licensed with Permit to Carry) and red a warning shot upwards.
thus been constrained to institute criminal and civil actions to enforce and protect their rights. Still the deceased continued his attack and grabbed his gun. After a brief struggle, my client was
forced to shoot the deceased in the defense of his person and money. My client will submit a
In the report, the National Grievance Investigation Office of the Integrated Bar of the formal statement during the proper preliminary investigation, if needed.”
Philippines recommended that for continued defiance to answer the administrative charges
against her, respondent was recommended to be penalized with a fine of P10,000.00 and Petitioner led a demurrer to evidence for (1) lack of positive identification of the
suspension from practice for one year in each of the two cases pending against her. accused is a fatal omission warranting dismissal; and (2) prosecution's evidence are totally
hearsay/incompetent, after the prosecution adduced its evidence and rested its case. The trial
Respondent contended that she was not accorded due process and she could not court subsequently dismissed the case after finding that the evidence of the prosecution was
answer the administrative charges against her without divulging certain pieces of information in insufficient to support the charge against petitioner. HAEDCT
violation of the attorney-client privilege.
As basis for charging the petitioner, the prosecution relied primarily on Exhibit "LL",
ISSUE: Whether or not the request to provide information regarding the sale of the property and to which is a letter of respondent's counsel to the police stating that according to his client; he was
account for the proceeds a violation of the attorney-client privilege? forced to shoot the deceased in defense of his person because the deceased attacked him on his
way out of the bank to grab the money he had just withdrawn.
RULING:
NO. The request for the information regarding the sale of the property and to account The prosecution assailed the dismissal of the case and claimed that it was prevented
for the proceeds is not a violation of the attorney-client privilege. Rule 130, Section 24 (b) of the from further identifying the genuineness and due execution of Exhibit "LL", in the manner that it
Rules of Court provides: wanted.

"SECTION 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication . — The following persons The CA reversed and set aside the trial court's dismissal order.
cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases:
ISSUE: Whether the trial court was correct when it rejected the prosecution’s motion to have Exhibit
xxx xxx xxx LL further identified “in the manner that it wanted,” through the testimony of Atty. Valmonte

(b) An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication RULING:
made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course of, or with a view to, YES. Aside from covering a subject which squarely falls within the scope of "privileged
professional employment, nor can an attorney's secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined, communication," it would, more importantly, be tantamount to converting the admission into a
without the consent of the client and his employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which confession.
has been acquired in such capacity."
It can not be denied that the contents of Exhibit LL, particularly with regard to the
The information requested by petitioners is not privileged. The petitioners are only asking details of the shooting communicated by petitioner to Atty. Valmonte, is privileged because it is
for the disclosure of the amount of the sale or account for the proceeds. Petitioners certainly have connected with the business for which petitioner retained the services of the latter. More
the right to ask for such information since they own the property as co-heirs of the late Ramon E. specifically, said communication was relayed by petitioner to Atty. Valmonte in order to seek his
Saura and as co-administrators of the property. Hence, respondent cannot refuse to divulge such professional advice or assistance in relation to the subject matter of the employment, or to explain
information to them and hide behind the cloak of the attorney-client relationship. something in connection with it, so as to enable him to better advice his client or manage the
litigation.
Sanvicente v. People
[G.R. No. 132081, November 26, 2002] 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
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attempted to draw out what it could not constitutionally extract from his lawyer. Yet, and as stated with deliberately concealing the existence of said 3 children in order to deprive the latter of their
previously, said Exhibit LL had earlier been admitted in evidence by the trial court in its Order dated rights.
August 27, 1996. What was objectionable was the prosecution's sole reliance on the document
without proof of other facts to establish its case against petitioner because of its mistaken On July 24, Private Respondents filed a motion to withdraw their first motion and filed a
assumption that the same was a confession. motion for reconsideration praying that Cecilia be appointed administrator.

ADDITIONAL NOTES/DETAILS: TRIAL COURT: Denied Private Respondent’s motion but allowed them to appear in the
Significantly, the prosecution was neither barred nor prevented by the trial court from establishing proceedings.
the genuineness and due execution of the document through other means. Thus, the due
execution of a document can be proved through the testimony of: (1) the person/s who executed Private respondents later discovered the extrajudicial partition made by petitioners and the
it; (2) the person before whom its execution was acknowledged; or (3) any person who was present cancellation of Ricardo’s title over the real properties. Accordingly, on October 4, 1973, private
and saw it executed and delivered or who, after its execution and delivery, saw it and recognized respondents filed a motion to annul the same.
the signatures therein or by a person to whom the parties to the instrument previously confirmed
the execution thereof. TRIAL COURT: Decided in favor of Private Respondents.
COURT OF APPEALS: Appeal made by Petitioners were all DENIED for lack of merit.
c. Person Authorized to Practice Medicine and Patient
Hence, this petition.
Gonzales v. Court of Appeals
[G.R. No. 117740, October 30, 1998] Petitioners, in contesting Cecilia, Marian and Rosemarie’s filiation, submits the startling
DOCTRINE: Under Section 24 (c), Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, confidential communications theory that the husband of Honoria, Jose Libunao, was still alive when Cecilia and Marian Abad
between physician and patient requires that: a) the action in which the advice or treatment given were born in 1948 and 1954, respectively. Hence, Ceciclia and Marian were Jose’s children and
or any information is to be used is a civil case; b) the relation of physician and patient existed not Ricardo’s. To bolster their theory, petitioners presented in evidence the application for
between the person claiming the privilege or his legal representative and the physician; c) the enrolment at Mapua of Angelita Libunao, accomplished in 1956 as well as Cesar Libunao’s in 1958,
advice or treatment given by him or any information was acquired by the physician while which states Jose Libunao as their Father. They claim that had Jose Libunao been dead during the
professionally attending the patient; d) the information was necessary for the performance of his time when said applications were accomplished, the enrolment forms of his children would have
professional duty; and e) the disclosure of the information would tend to blacken the reputation stated so. Also, they presented the joint affidavit of Juan Quiambao and Alejandro Ramos stating
of the patient. that to their knowledge Jose Libunao had died in 1971. Lastly, petitioners presented the affidavit of
Dr. Pedro Arenas, Ricardo Abad’s physician, declaring that in 1935, he had examined Ricardo
The privilege of secrecy is not abolished or terminated because of death as stated in established Abad and found him to be infected with gonorrhea, and that the latter had become sterile as a
precedents. It is an established rule that the purpose of the law would be thwarted and the policy consequence thereof.
intended to be promoted thereby would be defeated, if death removed the seal of secrecy, from
the communications and disclosures which a patient should make to his physician. After one has As to Dr. Arenas affidavit, Private Respondents objected the same being a privileged
gone to his grave, the living are not permitted to impair his name and disgrace his memory by communication.
dragging to light communications and disclosures made under the seal of the statute.
ISSUES:
FACTS: 1. WON lower courts erred in holding private respondents as natural children of Ricardo
On April 18, 1972, Petitioners sought the settlement of the intestate estate of their brother, (hence, surviving heirs); and
Ricardo de Mesa Abad. In their petition, they claimed that they were the only heirs, as the latter 2. WON lower courts erred in holding that the real properties were owned by Ricardo (not
allegedly died a bachelor. their Mother Lucila).

On May 9, they amended their petition by alleging that the real properties listed therein
were only administered by Ricardo and the true owner was their late mother, Lucila de Mesa. Then, RULING:
Cesar was appointed as administrator of the intestate estate. 1. NO. Lower courts were correct.

Meanwhile, on May 2, petitioners executed an extrajudicial settlement of the estate of Evidence presented by petitioners to prove that Jose died in 1971 are, to say the least,
their late mother Lucila de Mesa, including the (3) real properties administered by Ricardo. By virtue far from conclusive. Failure to indicate on an enrolment form that one’s parent is
thereof, the Register of Deeds cancelled the TCTs in the name of Ricardo and issued new TCTs in deceased is not necessarily proof that said parent was still living during the time said
the name of Dolores, Cesar and Carolina. The three promptly executed real estate mortgages form was accomplished. Also, the joint affidavit as to the supposed death of Jose in
over the real properties in favor of Mrs. Josefina Viola, the wife of their counsel, Escolastico Viola. 1971 is not competent evidence to prove the death at that time, being merely
secondary evidence thereof. Jose’s death certificate would have been the best
On July 7, Private Respondents filed a motion to set aside proceedings and for leave to evidence as to when the latter died but petitioners failed to present the same. Also,
file opposition in the intestate proceeding of Ricardo. They alleged that Honoria had been the while the records of Loyola Memorial Park show that a certain Jose Bautista Libunao
common-law wife of Ricardo for 27 years before his death, and that their union had produced 2 was buried in 1971, this person appears to be different, the latter’s name being Jose
children, Cecilia and Marian. They also disclosed the existence of Rosemarie, a child allegedly Santos Libunao. Even the name of the wife is different.
fathered by Ricardo with another woman, Dolores. As the law awards the entire estate to the
surviving children to the exclusion of collateral relatives, private respondents charged petitioners

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As to Dr. Arenas affidavit, SC held the same to be INADMISSIBLE as evidence. Under Private respondent’s counsel contended that Dr. Acampado would be presented as
Section 24 (c), Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, confidential communications between an expert witness and would not testify on any information acquired while attending to the
physician and patient requires that: a) the action in which the advice or treatment petitioner in a professional capacity.
given or any information is to be used is a civil case; b) the relation of physician and
patient existed between the person claiming the privilege or his legal representative Petitioner’s counsel filed an urgent omnibus motion to quash the subpoena and suspend the
and the physician; c) the advice or treatment given by him or any information was proceedings pending resolution of the motion.
acquired by the physician while professionally attending the patient; d) the information
was necessary for the performance of his professional duty; and e) the disclosure of the RTC Decision: Denied the omnibus motion.
information would tend to blacken the reputation of the patient. In this case, given that
society holds virility at a premium, sterility alone, without the attendant embarrassment Dr. Acampado testified but she neither revealed the illness she examined and treated the
of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease, would be sufficient to blacken the petitioner for nor disclosed the results of her examination and the medicines she had prescribed.
reputation of any patient, however, said affidavit even stated that Ricardo had
gonorrhea. Petitioner filed with the CA a petition for certiorari and prohibition to annul the order of the RTC on
the ground that the same was issued with Grave Abuse of Discretion, and to prohibit him from
Also, SC held that the privilege of secrecy is not abolished or terminated because of proceeding with the reception of Acampado’s testimony.
death as stated in established precedents. It is an established rule that the purpose of
the law would be thwarted and the policy intended to be promoted thereby would be CA Decision: Denied on the ground that the petitioner failed to establish the confidential nature
defeated, if death removed the seal of secrecy. of the testimony. Hence, there was no grave abuse of discretion. MR Denied.
2. As to petitioners claim that the properties in the name of Ricardo Abad actually belong
to their mother Lucila de Mesa, both the trial court and the appellate court ruled that ISSUE: Whether Dr. Acampado is barred by the privilege communication rule from testifying as an
the evidence presented by private respondents proved that said properties in truth expert witness? -- NO.
belong to Ricardo Abad. As stated earlier, the findings of fact by the trial court are
entitled to great weight and should not be disturbed on appeal, it being in a better RULING:
position to examine the real evidence, as well as to observe the demeanor of the Refer to Paragraph (c), Section 24 of the Revised Rules on Evidence.
witnesses while testifying in the case.
This rule on the physician-patient privilege is intended to facilitate and make safe full
and confidential disclosure by the patient to the physician of all facts, circumstances and
Lim v. Court of Appeals
symptoms, untrammeled by apprehension of their subsequent and enforced disclosure and
[G.R. No. 91114, September 25, 1992]
publication on the witness stand, to the end that the physician may form a correct opinion, and
DOCTRINE: Requisites to claim the privilege: be enabled safely and efficaciously to treat his patient. Since the object of the privilege is to
1. the privilege is claimed in a civil case; protect the patient, it may be waived if no timely objection is made to the physician’s testimony.

2. the person against whom the privilege is claimed is one duly authorized to practice medicine, Requisites to claim the privilege:
surgery or obstetrics; 1. the privilege is claimed in a civil case;
3. such person acquired the information while he was attending to the patient in his professional 2. the person against whom the privilege is claimed is one duly authorized to practice medicine,
capacity; surgery or obstetrics;
4. the information was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity; and 3. such person acquired the information while he was attending to the patient in his professional
capacity;
5. the information was confidential, and, if disclosed, would blacken the reputation (formerly
character) of the patient. 4. the information was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity; and
FACTS: 5. the information was confidential, and, if disclosed, would blacken the reputation (formerly
Private respondent Juan Sim filed with the RTC of Pangasinan a petition for annulment character) of the patient.
of marriage on the ground of the alleged mental illness (schizophrenia) of petitioner Nelly Lim. He
presented 3 witnesses. Conditions to establish the privilege against disclosure of certain communications:
Private respondent's counsel announced that he would present as his next witness the Chief of the 1. The communications must originate in a confidence that they will not be disclosed.
Female Services of the National Mental Hospital, Dr. Lydia Acampado, a Doctor of Medicine who
specializes in Psychiatry. Said counsel forthwith orally applied for the issuance of a subpoena ad 2. This element of confidentiality must be essential to the full and satisfactory maintenance of the
testificandum requiring Dr. Acampado to testify. relation between the parties.
Petitioner's counsel opposed the motion on the ground that the testimony sought to be 3. The relation must be one which in the opinion of the community ought to be sedulously fostered
elicited from the witness is privileged since the latter had examined the petitioner in a professional
capacity and had diagnosed her to be suffering from schizophrenia. 4. The injury that would inure to the relation by the disclosure of the communications must be
greater than the benefit thereby gained for the correct disposal of litigation.

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The physician may be considered to be acting in his professional capacity when he attends to the request was accompanied by a motion to "be allowed to submit in evidence" the records sought
patient for curative, preventive, or palliative treatment. Thus, only disclosures which would have by subpoena duces tecum.
been made to the physician to enable him "safely and efficaciously to treat his patient" are
covered by the privilege. The mere fact of making a communication, as well as the date of a Johnny opposed the motion, arguing that the same were covered by the physician-
consultation and the number of consultations, are therefore not privileged from disclosure, so long patient privilege.
as the subject communicated is not stated.
RTC Decision: Denied.
Petitioner failed to discharge the burden. CA Decision: Denied, ruling that if courts were to allow the production of medical records, then
patients would be left with no assurance that whatever relevant disclosures they may have made
1. In the first place, Dr. Acampado was presented and qualified as an expert witness. As correctly to their physicians would be kept confidential. The prohibition covers not only testimonies, but also
held by the Court of Appeals, she did not disclose anything obtained in the course of her affidavits, certificates, and pertinent hospital records. Furthermore, although Johnny can waive the
examination, interview and treatment of the petitioner; moreover, the facts and conditions alleged privilege, he did not do so in this case. He attached the Philhealth form to his answer for the limited
in the hypothetical problem did not refer to and had no bearing on whatever information or purpose of showing his alleged forcible confinement.
findings the doctor obtained while attending to the patient. There is, as well, no showing that Dr.
Acampado’s answers to the questions propounded to her relating to the hypothetical problem ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in ruling that the trial court correctly denied the issuance of a
were influenced by the information obtained from the petitioner. Otherwise stated, her expert subpoena duces tecum covering Johnny’s hospital records on the ground that these are covered
opinion excluded whatever information or knowledge she had about the petitioner which was by the privileged character of the physician-patient communication. -- NO.
acquired by reason of the physician-patient relationship existing between them. As an expert
witness, her testimony before the trial court cannot then be excluded. RULING:
It is of course possible to treat Josielene’s motion for the issuance of a subpoena duces
2. It is quite clear from Dr. Acampado’s testimony that the petitioner was never interviewed alone. tecum covering the hospital records as a motion for production of documents, a discovery
Said interviews were always conducted in the presence of a third party. procedure available to a litigant prior to trial, as per Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of Civil Procedure
This information elicited during consultation with a physician in the presence of third parties (See notes).
removes such information from the mantle of the privilege.
3. Except for the petitioner’s sweeping claim that the information given by Dr. Acampado brings But the right to compel the production of documents has a limitation: the documents
disgrace and invite reproach to petitioner which is based on a wrong premise, nothing specific or to be disclosed are "not privileged." Josielene claims that the hospital records subject of this case
concrete was offered to show that indeed, the information obtained from Dr. Acampado would are not privileged since it is the "testimonial" evidence of the physician that may be regarded as
blacken the petitioner’s character. privileged.

Chan v. Chan Section 24(c) of Rule 130 states that the physician "cannot in a civil case, without the consent of
[G.R. No. 179786, July 24, 2013] the patient, be examined" regarding their professional conversation.
DOCTRINE: To allow, however, the disclosure during discovery procedure of the hospital records—
the results of tests that the physician ordered, the diagnosis of the patient’s illness, and the advice The privilege, says Josielene, does not cover the hospital records, but only the
or treatment he gave him—would be to allow access to evidence that is inadmissible without the examination of the physician at the trial. To allow, however, the disclosure during discovery
patient’s consent. Physician memorializes all these information in the patient’s records. Disclosing procedure of the hospital records—the results of tests that the physician ordered, the diagnosis of
them would be the equivalent of compelling the physician to testify on privileged matters he the patient’s illness, and the advice or treatment he gave him—would be to allow access to
gained while dealing with the patient, without the latter’s prior consent. evidence that is inadmissible without the patient’s consent. Physician memorializes all these
information in the patient’s records. Disclosing them would be the equivalent of compelling the
FACTS: physician to testify on privileged matters he gained while dealing with the patient, without the
Petitioner Josielene Chan filed with the RTC a petition for the declaration of nullity of latter’s prior consent.
her marriage to Johnny Chan (respondent), for dissolution of the conjugal partnership, and the
award of the custody of their children to her. She claimed that a psychiatrist diagnosed Johnny as ADDITIONAL NOTES/DETAILS:
mentally deficient due to incessant drinking and excessive use of drugs. Section 1, Rule 27 of the Rules of Civil Procedure provides:
SEC. 1. Motion for production or inspection; order.— Upon motion of any party showing good cause
Johnny resisted and claimed that it was Josielene who failed in her duties. To save their therefor, the court in which an action is pending may (a) order any party to produce and permit
marriage, he agreed to marriage counseling but when he and Josielene got to the hospital, two the inspection and copying or photographing, by or on behalf of the moving party, of any
men forcibly held him by both arms while another gave him an injection. The marriage relations designated documents, papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects or tangible things,
got worse when the police temporarily detained Josielene for an unrelated crime and released not privileged, which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action
her only after the case against her ended. and which are in his possession, custody or control; or (b) order any party to permit entry upon
designated land or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting,
During the pre-trial conference, Josielene pre-marked the Philhealth Claim Form that measuring, surveying, or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or
Johnny attached to his answer as proof that he was forcibly confined at the rehabilitation unit of operation thereon. The order shall specify the time, place and manner of making the inspection
a hospital. and taking copies and photographs, and may prescribe such terms and conditions as are just.

Josielene filed with the RTC a request for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum Krohn v. Court of Appeals
addressed to Medical City, covering Johnny’s medical records when he was there confined. The [G.R. No. 108854, June 14, 1994]

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DOCTRINE: The testimony of a husband does not fall within the legal prohibition set forth under Sec. 
24(c), Rule 130.
Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, G.R. No. 180643,
FACTS: March 25, 2008
In 1964, Edgar Krohn, Jr. and Ma. Paz Fernandez married and eventually had 3 children. DOCTRINE: Presidential communications privilege are presumptively privileged and that the
Later on, their relationship soured and Ma. Paz underwent psychological testing purportedly in an presumption can be overcome only by mere showing of public need by the branch seeking
effort to ease the marital strain. However, they eventually separated. access to conversations. The courts are enjoined to resolve the competing interests of the political
branches of the government "in the manner that preserves the essential functions of each Branch."
Edgar was able to secure a copy of the confidential psychiatric report on Ma. Paz,
which he used in order to obtain a decree from the Tribunal Metropolitanum Matrimoniale in FACTS:
Manila, nullifying his church marriage with Ma. Paz on the ground of “incapacitas assumendi onera The case originated from the contract entered into by DOTC with Zhing Xing
conjugalia due to lack of due discretion existent at the time of the wedding and thereafter.” The Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE) fir the supply of equipment and services for the National
decree was confirmed and pronounced “Final and Definite.” Broadbank Network (NBN). The project was to be financed by the People’s Republic of China.
Respondent Committees initiated the investigation by sending invitations to certain
In 1982, CFI-Pasig granted the voluntary dissolution of the conjugal partnership. In 1990, personalities and cabinet officials involved in the NBN Project. Neri was among those invited. He
Edgar filed a petition for annulment of his marriage before the trial court, citing the Confidential was summoned to appear and testify on September 18, 20, and 26 and October 25, 2007.
Psychiatric Evaluation Report, which Ma. Paz merely denied in her Answer as “either unfounded or However, he attended only the September 26 hearing, claiming he was "out of town" during the
irrelevant.” other dates.
In the September 18, 2007 hearing, businessman Jose de Venecia III testified that
At the hearing, Edgar took the witness stand and tried to testify on the contents of the several high executive officials and power brokers were using their influence to push the approval
Confidential Psychiatric Evaluation Report. This was objected to on the ground that It violated the of the NBN Project by the NEDA. It appeared that the Project was initially approved as a Build-
rule on privileged communication between physician and patient. Edgar opposed the motion to Operate-Transfer (BOT) project but, on March 29, 2007, the NEDA acquiesced to convert it into a
disallow the introduction of the confidential psychiatric report as evidence. government-to-government project, to be financed through a loan from the Chinese
Government.
Trial court issued an Order admitting the Confidential Psychiatric Evaluation Report and On September 26, 2007, petitioner testified before respondent Committees for eleven
ruled that the psychiatric report is very material in the interest of justice and for the purpose of (11) hours. He disclosed that then Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Benjamin Abalos
determining whether [Ma. Paz] was indeed suffering from psychological incapacity. offered him P200 Million in exchange for his approval of the NBN Project. He further narrated that
he informed President Arroyo about the bribery attempt and that she instructed him not to accept
CA dismissed the petition for certiorari. the bribe. However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project, petitioner
refused to answer, invoking "executive privilege". In particular, he refused to answer the questions
In her Petition for Review, petitioner argues that since Sec. 24 (c), Rule 130 of the Rules on (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project, (b) whether or not she directed
of Court prohibits a physician from testifying on matters which he may have acquired in attending him to prioritize it, and (c) whether or not she directed him to approve.
to a patient in a professional capacity,”with more reason” should a third person—like respondent- The three questions which Neri refused to answer are the following:
husband—be prohibited from testifying on privileged matters between a physician and patient. (1) Whether the President followed up the NBN Project?
(2) Were you dictated to prioritize ZTE?
Private respondent however, contends that the rules are very explicit: that the prohibition applies (3) Whether the President said to go ahead and approve the project after being told
only to a physician, thus, the legal prohibition to testify is not applicable to the case. about the alleged bribe?

ISSUE: WON the person against whom the physician-patient privilege is claimed may be a person Neri was held in contempt by the respondent Committees. Thus, the present petition for certiorari
other than a physician. NO. before the Supreme Court.

RULING: ISSUE: Whether or not the communications elicited by the subject three questions covered by
Petitioner's discourse while exhaustive is however misplaced. Lim v. Court of Appeals executive privilege?
clearly lays down the requisites in order that the privilege may be successfully invoked: (a) the
privilege is claimed in a civil cases; (b) the person against whom the privilege is claimed is one RULING:
duly authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics; (c) such person acquired the YES. THE COMMUNICATIONS ELICITED BY THE SUBJECT THREE QUESTIONS ARE COVERED BY EXECUTIVE
information while he was attending to the patient in his professional capacity; (d) the information PRIVILEGE.
was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity; and, (e) the information was confidential and, In the case of Nixon, In Re Sealed Case and Judicial Watch, somehow provide the
if disclosed, would blacken the reputation (formerly character) of the patient." elements of presidential communications privilege, to wit:
1) The protected communication must relate to a "quintessential and non- delegable presidential
In the instant case, the person against whom the privilege is claimed is not one duly power."
authorized to practice medicine, surgery obstetrics. He is simply the patient's husband who wishes 2) The communication must be authored or "solicited and received" by a close advisor of the
to testify on a document executed by medical practitioners. Plainly and clearly, this does not fall President or the President himself. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in "operational
within the claimed prohibition. Neither can his testimony be considered a circumvention of the proximity" with the President.
prohibition because his testimony cannot have the force and effect of the testimony of the 3) T h e presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be overcome
physician who examined the patient and executed the report. by a showing of adequate need, such that the information sought "likely contains important
evidence" and by the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating

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authority. constrained to invoke the settled doctrine of executive privilege as refined in Senate v. Ermita, and
In the case at bar, Executive Secretary Ermita premised his claim of executive privilege has advised Secretary Neri accordingly." Obviously, he is referring to the Office of the President.
on the ground that the communications elicited by the three (3) questions "fall under conversation That is more than enough compliance. In Senate v. Ermita, a less categorical letter was even
and correspondence between the President and public officials" necessary in "her executive and adjudged to be sufficient.
policy decision-making process" and, that "the information sought to be disclosed might impair our
diplomatic as well as economic relations with the People's Republic of China." Simply put, the bases With regard to the existence of "precise and certain reason", we find the grounds relied
are presidential communications privilege and executive privilege on matters relating to upon by Executive Secretary Ermita specific enough so as not "to leave respondent Committees in
diplomacy or foreign relations. the dark on how the requested information could be classified as privileged." The case of Senate
Using the above elements, we are convinced that, indeed, the communications elicited by the v. Ermita only requires that an allegation be made "whether the information demanded involves
three (3) questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege. First, the military or diplomatic secrets, closed-door Cabinet meetings, etc." The particular ground must only
communications relate to a "quintessential and non-delegable power" of the President, i.e. the be specified. The enumeration is not even intended to be comprehensive."
power to enter into an executive agreement with other countries. This authority of the President to At any rate, as held further in Senate v. Ermita, the Congress must not require the executive to state
enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been the reasons for the claim with such particularity as to compel disclosure of the information which
recognized in Philippine jurisprudence. Second, the communications are "received" by a close the privilege is meant to protect. This is a matter of respect to a coordinate and co-equal
advisor of the President. Under the "operational proximity" test, petitioner can be considered a department.
close advisor, being a member of President Arroyo's cabinet. And third, there is no adequate
showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the
unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. RA 1405, An Act Prohibiting Disclosure Of Or Inquiry Into, Deposits With Any Banking Institution
The foregoing is consistent with the earlier case of Nixon vs. Sirica, where it was held And Providing Penalty Therefor
that presidential communications privilege are presumptively privileged and that the presumption
can be overcome only by mere showing of public need by the branch seeking access to
Philippine National Bank v. Gancayco
conversations. The courts are enjoined to resolve the competing interests of the political branches
[G.R. No. L-18343, September 30, 1965]
of the government "in the manner that preserves the essential functions of each Branch." Here, the
record is bereft of any categorical explanation from respondent Committees to show a compelling DOCTRINE: Sec. 8 of the Anti-Graft Law is intended to amend Sec. 2 of Republic Act No. 1405 by
or critical need for the answers to the three (3) questions in the enactment of a law. Instead, the providing an additional exception to the rule against the disclosure of bank deposits.
questions veer more towards the exercise of the legislative oversight function under Section 22 of
Article VI rather than Section 21 of the same Article. Senate v. Ermita ruled that the "the oversight FACTS:
function of Congress may be facilitated by compulsory process only to the extent that it is Defendants Emilio Gancayco and Florentino Flor were al prosecutors of the DOJ. In
performed in pursuit of legislation." It is conceded that it is di cult to draw the line between an connection with the investigation of unexplained wealth of Ernesto Jimenez, the former
inquiry in aid of legislation and an inquiry in the exercise of oversight function of Congress. In this administrator of the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Administration, they required plaintiff PNB
regard, much will depend on the content of the questions and the manner the inquiry is to produce the records of bank deposits of Jimenez.
conducted.
Respondent Committees argue that a claim of executive privilege does not guard PNB invoked Secs. 2 and 5 of RA 1405 and declined to reveal its records.
against a possible disclosure of a crime or wrongdoing. We see no dispute on this. It is settled in
United States v. Nixon that "demonstrated, specific need for evidence in pending criminal trial" On the other hand, defendants cited Sec. 8, RA 3019 in support of their claim of authority.
outweighs the President's "generalized interest in confidentiality." However, the present case's
Thereafter, PNB filed an action for declaratory judgment in CFI-Manila. The court
distinction with the Nixon case is very evident. In Nixon, there is a pending criminal proceeding
sustained defendants’ power to compel disclosure of bank accounts.
where the information is requested and it is the demands of due process of law and the fair
administration of criminal justice that the information be disclosed. This is the reason why the U.S.
ISSUES:
Court was quick to "limit the scope of its decision." It stressed that it is "not concerned here with the
WON a bank can be compelled to disclose the records of accounts of a depositor who us under
balance between the President's generalized interest in confidentiality . . . and congressional
investigation for unexplained wealth. YES.
demands for information. " Unlike in Nixon, the information here is elicited, not in a criminal
proceeding, but in a legislative inquiry. In this regard, Senate v. Ermita stressed that the validity of
WON such disclosure is contrary to the policy making bank deposits confidential. NO.
the claim of executive privilege depends not only on the ground invoked but, also, the procedural
setting or the context in which the claim is made. Furthermore, in Nixon, the President did not
RULING:
interpose any claim of need to protect military, diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets. In
While RA 1405 provides that bank deposits are absolutely confidential, and therefore
the present case, Executive Secretary Ermita categorically claims executive privilege on the
may not be examined, inquired or looked into except in those cases enumerated therein, RA 3019
grounds of presidential communications privilege in relation to her executive and policy decision-
directs in mandatory terms that bank deposits “shall be taken into consideration in the
making process and diplomatic secrets.
enforcement of this section, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary.”
The respondent Committees should cautiously tread into the investigation of matters
which may present a conflict of interest that may provide a ground to inhibit the Senators
The only conclusion possible is that Sec. 8 of the Anti-Graft Law is intended to amend
participating in the inquiry if later on an impeachment proceeding is initiated on the same subject
Sec. 2 of Republic Act No. 1405 by providing an additional exception to the rule against the
matter of the present Senate inquiry.
disclosure of bank deposits.
A formal and proper claim of executive privilege requires a "precise and certain
reason" for preserving their confidentiality.
With regard to the claim that disclosure would be contrary to the policy making bank
The Letter dated November 17, 2007 of Executive Secretary Ermita satisfies the
deposits conFIdential, it is enough to point out that while Sec. 2, RA 1405 declares bank deposits
requirement. It serves as the formal claim of privilege. There he expressly states that "this Office is
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to be "absolutely confidential" it nevertheless allows such disclosure in the following instances: (1) Tanodbayan not only denied the motion but issued another subpoena duces tecum, requiring BF
Upon written permission of the depositor; (2) In cases of impeachment; (2) Upon order of a Bank produce records in all its branches and extension offices in the names of Caturla and his wife
competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials; (4) In cases where the and children. Two other subpoena in the same tenor as the second one were also issued
money deposited is the subject of the litigation. thereafter.

Cases of unexplained wealth are similar to cases of bribery or dereliction of duty and BF Bank then filed a complaint for declaratory relief with CFI-Manila, praying for judicial
no reason is seen why these two classes of cases cannot be excepted from the rule making bank declaration as to whether its compliance with the subpoenae duces tecum would constitute an
deposits confidential. The policy as to one cannot be different from the policy as to the other. This infringement of the provisions of Secs. 2-3, RA 1405 in relation to Sec. 8, RA 3019. Respondent Judge
policy expresses the notion that a public office is a public trust and any person who enters upon its Purisima denied BF Bank’s application for preliminary injunction and restraining order.
discharge does so with the full knowledge that his life, so far as relevant to his duty, is open to public
scrutiny. In the certiorari action before the SC, BF Bank argues, among others, that the
subpoenae in question are in the nature of "fishing expeditions" or "general warrants" since
ADDITIONAL NOTES/DETAILS: they authorize indiscriminate inquiry into bank records; and that, assuming that such an
RA 1405 inquiry is allowed as regards public officials under investigation for a violation of the Anti-
Sec. 2. All deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions in the Philippines including Graft & Corrupt Practices Act, it is constitutionally impermissible with respect to private
investments in bonds issued by the Government of the Philippines, its political subdivisions and its individuals or public officials not under investigation on a charge of violating said Act
instrumentalities, are hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be
examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office, except ISSUE: WON RA 1405 would be violated in relation to inquiries conducted pursuant to RA 3019. NO.
upon written permission of the depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of a
competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials, or in cases where the RULING:
money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation. The inquiry into illegally acquired property — or property NOT "legitimately
acquired" — extends to cases where such property is concealed by being held by or
Sec. 5. Any violation of this law will subject the offender upon conviction, to an imprisonment of recorded in the name of other persons. This proposition is made clear by R.A. No. 3019 which
not more than five years or a fine of not more than twenty thousand pesos or both, in the discretion quite categorically states that the term, "legitimately acquired property of a public officer
of the court. or employee shall not include . . . property unlawfully acquired by the respondent, but its
ownership is concealed by its being recorded in the name of, or held by, respondent's
RA 3019 spouse, ascendants, descendants, relatives or any other persons."
Sec. 8. Dismissal due to unexplained wealth. — If in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act
Numbered One thousand three hundred seventy- nine, a public official has been found to have To sustain the petitioner's theory, and restrict the inquiry only to property held by
acquired during his incumbency, whether in his name or in the name of other persons, an amount or in the name of the government official or employee, or his spouse and unmarried children
of property and/or money manifestly, out of proportion to his salary and to his other lawful income, is unwarranted in the light of the provisions of the statutes in question, and would make
that fact shall be a ground for dismissal or removal. Properties in the name of the spouse and available to persons in government who illegally acquire property an easy and fool-proof
unmarried children of such public official, may be taken into consideration, when their acquisition means of evading investigation and prosecution; all they would have to do would be to
through legitimate means cannot be satisfactorily shown. Bank deposits shall be taken into simply place the property in the possession or name of persons other than their spouse and
consideration in the enforcement of this section, notwithstanding any provision of law to the unmarried children. This is an absurdity that we will not ascribe to the lawmakers.
contrary.
People v. Estrada
Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank v. Purisima [G.R. Nos. 164368-69, April 2, 2009]
[G.R. No. 56429, May 28, 1988] DOCTRINE: The phrase "of whatever nature" proscribes any restrictive interpretation of "deposits".
DOCTRINE: The inquiry into illegally acquired property — or property NOT "legitimately Moreover, it is clear from the immediately quoted provision that, generally, the law applies not only
acquired" — extends to cases where such property is concealed by being held by or to money which is deposited but also to those which are invested. This further shows that the law
recorded in the name of other persons. was not intended to apply only to "deposits" in the strict sense of the word. Otherwise, there would
have been no need to add the phrase "or invested. Clearly, therefore, R.A. 1405 is broad enough
FACTS: to cover Trust Account No. 858.
Manuel Caturla is a Customs Special Agent who was accused before the Tanodbayan
of having allegedly acquired property manifestly out of proportion to his salary and other lawful FACTS:
income in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. An information for plunder was filed with the Sandiganbayan against Joseph Estrada.
A separate information for illegal use of alias was also filed. The two criminal cases were
In the course of the investigation, the Tanodbayan issued a subpoena duces tecum to subsequently consolidated for joint trial.
the Banco Filipino Savings & Mortgage Bank (BF Bank), commanding its representative to present The People presented testimonial and documentary evidence to prove the
the duly certified copies of the records in all its branches and extension offices, of the loans, savings allegations. The evidence consists of:
and time deposits and other banking transactions appearing in the names of Caturla, his wife and 1. Testimonies of PCIB officers Clarissa Ocampo and Atty. Curato
their children. who declared that on February 4, 2000, Estrada opened a numbered trust
account with PCIB and signed as "Jose Velarde" in the account opening
Caturla moved to quash the subpoena duces tecum, arguing that compliance documents;
therewith would result in a violation of Secs. 2-3 of the Law on Secrecy of Bank Deposits.

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2. Testimony of PCIB-Greenhills Branch Manager Teresa Barcelan, account — a transaction that R.A. No. 1405 considers absolutely confidential in nature. We
A. , who declared that a certain Ortaliza transacted several times with her; that previously rejected, in Ejercito v. Sandiganbayan, the People's nitpicking argument on the alleged
Ortaliza deposited several checks in PCIB Savings Account under the name "Jose dichotomy between bank deposits and trust transactions, when we said:
Velarde" (There were deposit receipts presented as evidence also.) The contention that trust accounts are not covered by the term "deposits", as used in
3. Documents duly identified by witnesses showing that Lucena R.A. 1405, by the mere fact that they do not entail a creditor-debtor relationship between the
Ortaliza was employed in the Office of the Vice President and, later on, in the trustor and the bank, does not lie. An examination of the law shows that the term "deposits" used
Office of the President when Estrada occupied these positions and when deposits therein is to be understood broadly and not limited only to accounts which give rise to a creditor-
were made to the Jose Velarde Savings Account No. 0160-62502-5. debtor relationship between the depositor and the bank.
After the People rested in all three cases, the defense moved to be allowed to file a The policy behind the law is laid down in Section 1:
demurrer to evidence. In his motion, he said that (1) Of the 35 witnesses, only 2 testified that on 1 SEC. 1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Government to give
occasion (4 February 2000), they saw movant use the name "Jose Velarde"; (2) use of numbered encouragement to the people to deposit their money in banking institutions and to discourage
accounts was legal and was prohibited only in late 2001 as can be gleaned from BSP Circular No. private hoarding so that the same may be properly utilized by banks in authorized loans to assist in
302, s. of 2001, dated 11 October 2001; and (3) there is no proof of public and habitual use of alias the economic development of the country.
as the documents offered by the prosecution are banking documents which are confidential and If the money deposited under an account may be used by bank for authorized loans
cannot be revealed without following proper procedures. to third persons, then such account, regardless of whether it creates a creditor-debtor relationship
The Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution granted the said demurrer. One of the salient points of the between the depositor and the bank, falls under the category of accounts which the law precisely
Resolution include the People’s failure to present evidence that proved Estrada’s commission of seeks to protect for the purpose of boosting the economic development of the country.
the offense. They found that the People failed to present evidence that Estrada committed the Trust Account No. 858 is, without doubt, one such account. The Trust Agreement
crime punished under Commonwealth Act No. 142, as amended by Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6085 between petitioner and Urban Bank provides that the trust account covers "deposit, placement or
(CA 142), as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Ursua v. Court of Appeals. It ruled that there is an investment of funds" by Urban Bank for and in behalf of petitioner. The money deposited under
illegal use of alias within the context of CA 142 only if the use of the alias is public and habitual. In Trust Account No. 858, was, therefore, intended not merely to remain with the bank but to be
Estrada's case, the Sandiganbayan noted, the application of the principles was not as simple invested by it elsewhere. To hold that this type of account is not protected by R.A. 1405 would
because of the complications resulting from the nature of the transaction involved — the alias was encourage private hoarding of funds that could otherwise be invested by bank in other ventures,
used in connection with the opening of a numbered trust account made during the effectivity of contrary to the policy behind the law.
R.A. No. 1405, as amended, and prior to the enactment of Republic R.A. No. 9160. Estrada’s use of
alias in front of Ocampo and Curato is one of such privileged communication under R.A. No. 1405, Section 2 of the same law in fact even more clearly shows that the term "deposits" was
as amended. intended to be understood broadly:
SEC. 2. All deposits of whatever nature with bank or banking institutions in the Philippines
ISSUE: Whether or not the court a quo gravely erred and abused its discretion in dismissing Criminal including investments in bonds issued by the Government of the Philippines, its political subdivisions
Case No. 26565 and in applying R.A. No. 1405 as an exception to the illegal use of alias punishable and its instrumentalities, are hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may
under C.A. No. 142? not be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office,
except upon written permission of the depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of a
RULING: competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials, or in cases where the
NO. THE COURT A QUO DID NOT GRAVELY ERRED ABUSED ITS DISCRETION. money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation.
The Court agrees, albeit for a different reason, with the Sandiganbayan position that The phrase "of whatever nature" proscribes any restrictive interpretation of "deposits".
the rule in the law of libel — that mere communication to a third person is publicity — does not Moreover, it is clear from the immediately quoted provision that, generally, the law applies not only
apply to violations of CA No. 142. Our close reading of Ursua — particularly, the requirement that to money which is deposited but also to those which are invested. This further shows that the law
there be intention by the user to be culpable and the historical reasons we cited above — tells us was not intended to apply only to "deposits" in the strict sense of the word. Otherwise, there would
that the required publicity in the use of alias is more than mere communication to a third person; have been no need to add the phrase "or invested.
the use of the alias, to be considered public, must be made openly, or in an open manner or Clearly, therefore, R.A. 1405 is broad enough to cover Trust Account No. 858.
place, or to cause it to become generally known. In order to be held liable for a violation of CA
No. 142, the user of the alias must have held himself out as a person who shall publicly be known We have consistently ruled that bank deposits under R.A. No. 1405 (the Secrecy of Bank
under that other name. In other words, the intent to publicly use the alias must be manifest. Deposits Law) are statutorily protected or recognized zones of privacy. Given the private nature of
To our mind, the presence of Lacquian and Chua when Estrada signed as Jose Velarde Estrada's act of signing the documents as "Jose Velarde" related to the opening of the trust
and opened Trust Account No. C-163 does not necessarily indicate his intention to be publicly account, the People cannot claim that there was already a public use of alias when Ocampo
known henceforth as Jose Velarde. In relation to Estrada, Lacquian and Chua were not part of the and Curato witnessed the signing. We need not even consider here the impact of the obligations
public who had no access to Estrada's privacy and to the con dential matters that transpired in imposed by R.A. No. 1405 on the bank officers; what is essentially significant is the privacy situation
Malacañan where he sat as President; Lacquian was the Chief of Staff with whom he shared that is necessarily implied in these kinds of transactions. This statutorily guaranteed privacy and
matters of the highest and strictest confidence, while Chua was a lawyer-friend bound by his oath secrecy effectively negate a conclusion that the transaction was done publicly or with the intent
of office and ties of friendship to keep and maintain the privacy and secrecy of his affairs. Thus, to use the alias publicly.
Estrada could not be said to have intended his signing as Jose Velarde to be for public
consumption by the fact alone that Lacquian and Chua were also inside the room at that time.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we DENY the petition for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.
The same holds true for Estrada's alleged representations with Ortaliza and Dichavez, assuming the
evidence for these representations to be admissible. All of Estrada's representations to these
ADDITIONAL NOTES/DETAILS:
people were made in privacy and in secrecy, with no iota of intention of publicity.
The enactment of R.A. No. 9160, on the other hand, is a significant development only because it
The nature, too, of the transaction on which the indictment rests, affords Estrada a
clearly manifests that prior to its enactment, numbered accounts or anonymous accounts were
reasonable expectation of privacy, as the alleged criminal act related to the opening of a trust
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EVIDENCE (2018-2019) Atty. Señga 16

permitted banking transactions, whether they be allowed by law or by a mere banking regulation. The reasons behind such exclusion are two-fold: First, since the law favors the settlement
To be sure, an indictment against Estrada using this relatively recent law cannot be maintained of controversies out of court, a person is entitled to "buy his or her peace" without danger of being
without violating the constitutional prohibition on the enactment and use of ex post facto laws. prejudiced in case his or her efforts fail; hence, any communication made toward that end will be
regarded as privileged.
RA 10365, An Act Further Strengthening The Anti-Money Laundering Law, Amending For The
Purpose Republic Act No. 9160, Otherwise Known As The “Anti-Money Laundering Act Of 2001”, Indeed, if every offer to buy peace could be used as evidence against a person who
As Amended presents it, many settlements would be prevented and unnecessary litigation would result, since
no prudent person would dare offer or entertain a compromise if his or her compromise position
could be exploited as a confession of weakness.
Pentagon Steel Corp. v. Court of Appeals
[G.R. No. 174141, June 26, 2009]
Second, offers for compromise are irrelevant because they are not intended as admissions by the
DOCTRINE: Information and statements made at conciliation proceedings shall be treated as parties making them. A true offer of compromise does not, in legal contemplation, involve an
privileged communication and shall not be used as evidence. admission on the part of a defendant that he or she is legally liable, or on the part of a plaintiff,
that his or her claim is groundless or even doubtful, since it is made with a view to avoid controversy
FACTS: and save the expense of litigation. It is the distinguishing mark of an offer of compromise that it is
Petitioner is a corporation engaged in the manufacture of G.I. wire and nails. made tentatively, hypothetically, and in contemplation of mutual concessions
Respondent Perfecto Balogo is an employee of the corporation, assigned in the wire drawing
department. Petitioner alleged that respondent absented himself from work without giving prior
Section 25. Parental and filial privilege
notice so the former sent several letters informing the latter that he had been AWOL. Respondent
Art. 215, Family Code
however, failed to respond to the letters.

Thereafter, respondent filed a complaint with the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC for Lee v. Court of Appeals
underpayment of salaries and wages, overtime pay, holiday pay, 13th month pay, separation pay [G.R. No. 177861, July 13, 2010]
and COLA. He alleged that he contracted flu associated with diarrhea, which prevented him from
reporting to work for 10 days; and that when he finally reported to work, petitioner did not allow
him to do so. DOCTRINE: SECTION 25. Parental and filial privilege.- No person may be compelled to testify against
his parents, other direct ascendants, children or other direct descendants.
During the conciliation proceedings, respondent presented the medical certificate covering his
period of absence, and agreed to submit himself to the company physician to determine whether
he was fit to return to work in accordance with company policy. Later on however, petitioner Tiu, in claiming that she is the stepmother of petitioner Emma Lee, the privilege cannot apply to
claimed that respondent refused to work and insisted that he be paid his separation pay instead. them. The rule applies only to "direct" ascendants and descendants, a family tie connected by a
common ancestry. A stepdaughter has no common ancestry by her stepmother.
Thereafter, respondent amended his complaint to include illegal dismissal.
FACTS:
LA dismissed the complaint.
NLRC set aside LA’s decision.
Spouses Lee Tek Sheng (Lee) and Keh Shiok Cheng (Keh) entered the Philippines in the
CA affirmed; ruled that petitioner failed to prove a clear and deliberate intent on the respondent’s
1930s as immigrants from China. They had 11 children, namely, Rita K. Lee, Leoncio K. Lee, Lucia K.
part to discontinue working with no intention of returning.
Lee-Ong, Julian K. Lee, Martin K. Lee, Rosa Lee-Vanderlek, Melody Lee-Chin, Henry K. Lee,
Natividad Lee-Miguel, Victoriano K. Lee, and Thomas K. Lee (collectively, the LEE-KEH CHILDREN).
Petitioner, before the Court, contends that CA cannot use the parties’ actions and/or
agreements during the negotiation for a compromise agreement as basis for the conclusion that
respondent was illegally dismissed because an offer of compromise is not admissible in evidence In 1948, Lee brought from China a young woman named Tiu Chuan (Tiu), supposedly
under Sec. 27, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. to serve as housemaid. The respondent LEE-KEH CHILDREN believe that Tiu left the Lee-Keh
household, moved into another property of Lee nearby, and had a relation with him.
ISSUE: WON the CA erred in considering the actions and agreements of the parties during the
conciliation proceedings before the LA as admissible evidence. YES.
Shortly after Keh died in 1989, the LEE-KEH CHILDREN learned that Tiu’s children with Lee
RULING: (collectively, the LEE’S OTHER CHILDREN) claimed that they, too, were children of Lee and Keh. This
Art. 233 of the Labor Code states that “information and statements made at prompted the Lee-Keh children to request the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate
conciliation proceedings shall be treated as privileged communication and shall not be used as the matter.
evidence in the Commission. Conciliators and similar officials shall not testify in any court or body
regarding any matters taken up at conciliation proceedings conducted by them. In considering
the statements made during conciliation” NBI’s report: The mother of these 8 children is certainly not KEH SHIOK CHENG, but a much younger
woman, most probably TIU CHUAN. Upon further evaluation and analysis by these Agents, LEE TEK
The CA thus erred by considering excluded materials in arriving at its conclusion. SHENG is in a quandary in fixing the age of KEH SHIOK CHENG possibly to conform with his grand
design of making his 8 children as their own legitimate children; In the hospital records, the eldest
of the Lee’s other children, Marcelo Lee (who was recorded as the 12th child of Lee and Keh), was

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born of a 17-year-old mother, when Keh was already 38 years old at the time. By the hospital Consequently, Tiu can be compelled to testify against petitioner Emma Lee.
records of the Lee’s other children, Keh’s declared age did not coincide with her actual age when
she supposedly gave birth to such other children, numbering eight. People v. Invencion y Soriano
[G.R. No. 131636, March 5, 2003]
LEE-KEH CHILDREN filed two separate petitions: one of them before the (RTC) of DOCTRINE: Filial privilege. This rule is not strictly a rule on disqualification because a descendant is
Caloocan City in Special Proceeding for the deletion from the certificate of live birth of the not incompetent or disqualified to testify against an ascendant. The rule refers to a privilege not to
petitioner Emma Lee, one of Lee’s other children, the name Keh and replace the same with the testify, which can be invoked or waived like other privileges.
name Tiu to indicate her true mother’s name.
FACTS:
Artemio Invencion was charged before the RTC of Tarlac with 13 counts of rape
In April 2005 the LEE-KEH CHILDREN filed with the RTC an ex parte request for the committed against his 16 yr old daughter Cynthia in 2 separate complaints. The cases were
issuance of a subpoena ad testificandum to compel Tiu, Emma Lee’s presumed mother, to testify consolidated and jointly tried. At his arraignment Artemio entered a plea of not guilty in each case.
in the case. RTC: granted the motion The prosecution presented its witnesses:

Elven Invencion, an 8-year-old grade two pupil, testified that he is a half-brother of


Tiu moved to quash the subpoena – ground: oppressive and violated Section 25, Rule Cynthia and son of Artemio with his second common-law wife. Sometime in 1996, while he was
130 of the Rules of Court, the rule on parental privilege, she being Emma Lee’s stepmother. sleeping in one room with his father Artemio, Cynthia, and two other younger brothers, he was
awakened by Cynthia’s loud cries. Looking towards her, he saw his father on top of Cynthia, doing
a pumping motion. After about two minutes, his father put on his short pants.
RTC: quashed the subpoena it issued for being unreasonable and oppressive
considering that Tiu was already very old and that the obvious object of the subpoena was to Eddie Sicat, neighbor of Artemio, testified that he saw Cynthia lying on her back and
badger her into admitting that she was Emma Lee’s mother; MR denied. crying, while her father was on top of her, doing a pumping motion when he peeped through a
small opening in the destroyed portion of the sawali wall of Artemios house.
LEE-KEH CHILDREN filed a SCA of certiorari before the CA
Gloria Pagala, the mother of Cynthia and former common-law wife of Artemio (she
was living in Pura, Tarlac with her 6 children including Cynthia but when the mother of Artemio
CA: set aside the RTC’s Order ruling that only a subpoena duces tecum, not a subpoena ad died, Cynthia lived with her father in Brgy. Sapang Tagalog, Tarlac). On 30 August 1996, her son
testificandum, may be quashed for being oppressive or unreasonable under Section 4, Rule 21 of Novelito told her that Cynthia was pregnant.
the Rules of Civil Procedure; Tiu’s advanced age alone does not render her incapable of testifying.
Dr. Rosario Fider of Tarlac Provincial Hospital testified that she examined Cynthia and
ISSUE: W/N Tiu may be compelled to testify in the correction of entry case that respondent Lee- she found Cynthia to be five to six months pregnant. Atty. Florencio Canlas, an NBI agent, testified
Keh children filed for the correction of the certificate of birth of petitioner Emma Lee to show that that on 18 September 1996, Cynthia, accompanied by her mother, complained before him that
she is not Keh’s daughter? she was raped by her father Artemio.

RULING: Atty. Isabelo Salamida (counsel de parte of Artemio), took the witness stand and
testified for the defense. -testified that he and his secretary went to the house of Artemio in
Yes. Section 25, Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence, which reads: Barangay Sapang Tagalog. When he went around the house and tried to peep through the old
sawali walls on the front and left and right sides of the hut, he could not see anything. He
concluded that prosecution witness Eddie Sicat was not telling the truth when he declared having
SECTION 25. Parental and filial privilege.- No person may be compelled to testify against his
seen what Artemio did to Cynthia when he peeped through a small opening in the sawali wall of
parents, other direct ascendants, children or other direct descendants.
the house.

The above is an adaptation from a similar provision in Art. 315 of the Civil Code (Art. ISSUE: Whether or not the testimony of Elven (son of Artemio) is admissible. - YES
215 of the Family Code) that applies only in criminal cases. But those who revised the Rules of Civil
Procedure chose to extend the prohibition to all kinds of actions, whether civil, criminal, or RULING:
administrative, filed against parents and other direct ascendants or descendants. Artemio attacks the competency and credibility of Elven as a witness. He argues that
Elven, as his son, should have been disqualified as a witness against him under Section 20(c), Rule
130 of the Rules of Court. Besides, Elvens testimony appears not to be his but what the prosecution
But here Tiu, who invokes the filial privilege, claims that she is the stepmother of wanted him to say, as the questions asked were mostly leading questions. Moreover, Elven had ill-
petitioner Emma Lee. The privilege cannot apply to them because the rule applies only to "direct" motive in testifying against him, as he (Artemio) was cruel to him.
ascendants and descendants, a family tie connected by a common ancestry.1avvphi1 A
stepdaughter has no common ancestry by her stepmother. Article 965 thus provides: It is doctrinally settled that the factual findings of the trial court, especially on the
credibility of the witnesses, are accorded great weight and respect and will not be disturbed on
appeal.
Art. 965. The direct line is either descending or ascending. The former unites the head
of the family with those who descend from him. The latter binds a person with those from whom he
descends.
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EVIDENCE (2018-2019) Atty. Señga 18

As to the competency of Elven to testify, we rule that such is not affected by Section
25, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, otherwise known as the rule on filial privilege. This rule is not strictly
a rule on disqualification because a descendant is not incompetent or disqualified to testify
against an ascendant. The rule refers to a privilege not to testify, which can be invoked or waived
like other privileges. As correctly observed by the lower court, Elven was not compelled to testify
against his father; he chose to waive that filial privilege when he voluntarily testified against
Artemio. Elven declared that he was testifying as a witness against his father of his own accord
and only to tell the truth.

ADDITIONAL NOTES/DETAILS:
We have held in a number of cases that inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses that refer to
minor and insignificant details do not destroy the witnesses credibility.

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