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People Vs Rodolfo Manalo (Object Evidence) banggerahan of the accused’s house, revealed that both

sustained gunshot wounds caused by a .45 caliber gun.

G.R. No. 9613-24 March 8, 1993
 The Accused maintains that he was not responsible for
Facts: the said act but rather he was a unwilling witness to the
 Two separate complaint for Murder were filed against horrible event perpetuated by persons unknown to him.
Respondent Rodolfo Manalo for the death or Warlito  RTC finds the Accused Rodolfo Manalo guilty of two
Bonilla and Carlito Dimampo. separate counts of murder.
 When the victims Warlito Bonilla and Carlito Issue: W/N Accused Rodolfo Manalo should be found guilty of
Dimampo were parking their motorcycle upon the crime of two counts of murder despite the absence of
accompanying Carlos Lacbay to the latter’s home, they physical evidence that accused fired a gun?
were invited by the accused Manalo for a drink of wine,
Ruling: Yes
which they acceded.
 When the victims were about to enter the house of the  Even if he subjected himself to paraffin test and the
accused, The accused suddenly and without any same yields a negative, it cannot definitely conclude
warning shot Diomampo on the head and then Bonilla that he had not fired a gun as it is possible for one to
once the template of the distance was 3 meters from fire a gun and yet be negative for the presence of
behind with a .45 caliber pistol. nitrates as when the hands are washed before the test.
 Lacbay who was standing a meter behind the accused The court even considered the possibility that that there
was shocked that he was unable to move. The accused will be no paraffin traces on his hands.
told Lacbay that he shot Diamampo and Bonilla  Lacbay who was the witness of the crime had
because the former had impregnated his daughter(Dina emphatically and positively identified the accused as
Manalo). Then after the accused asked Lacbay to dig the gunman from which deserves full merit and weight.
but the latter refused, from which the accused warned His identification of the accused as the gunman was
him not to leave the place for he would look someone positive and unshakeable. He had vividly testified in
to do the digging but Lacbay left immediately after the court on the time, the place and the manner how the
accused had left him. said killings were perpetrated by the accused.
 The Medico Legal examination conducted by Dr. Perez,  There was also an extrajudicial statement made by the
who was the city health officer, after the bodies of the accused wherein he had admitted the killings but sought
victims were dugged up from a shallow pit under the
to justify his acts by alleging that one of the victims
tried to abuse his daughter.
 There were also several letters sent by the accused to
Marcelo Bonilla begging to agree to the amount 14,000
as a settlement for the death of the two victims. He even
asked for forgiveness for the offense he had committed
which was an admission that he had committed
something wrong.
 He also sent a letter to the fiscal requesting not to
charge him for murder but only for homicide for he did
not have the intention to kill the victims but was only
prompted to do so due to circumstances beyond his
 RTC decision affirmed. Accused is Guilty
People v. Mapan Le (G.R. No. 188976, prom. June 29, 2010) elements were established by the prosecution. Le received
Php200 from poseur-buyer PO2 Noble in exchange for a plastic
sachet handed to him by Del Castillo. PO2 Noble wrote his
initials on the seized item. The plastic sachet‘s contents were
Facts: then subjected to a laboratory examination and tested positive
An Information charged accused-appellants as follows: for shabu. The alleged inconsistencies cited by the defense do
On or about July 27, 2004, in Pasig City and within the not materially affect the credibility of the prosecution‘s
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused, conspiring and witnesses. As the OSG correctly pointed out, the inconsistencies
confederating together, and both of them mutually helping and were too trivial to merit consideration. What is important is that
aiding one another, not being lawfully authorized by law, did the elements of the crime were established by both the oral and
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell, deliver object evidence presented in court. During their arraignment,
and give away to PO1 Richard N. Noble, a police poseur-buyer, accused-appellants both gave a negative plea. At the trial, the
one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet, containing two (2) prosecution presented the following witnesses: PO2 Richard
grams of white crystalline substance, which were found positive Noble (PO2 Noble) and PO1 Melvin Mendoza (PO1 Mendoza).
to the test for methamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous The defense offered the testimonies of accused-appellants and
drug, in violation of the said law.[1] Transportation of Norhaya Mapan Le, Mapan Le‘s daughter.
Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential
Chemicals. - The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a
fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00)
to Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon Issue: WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN
any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, trade, FINDING ACCUSED-APPELLANTS GUILTY BEYOND
administer, dispense, deliver, give away to another, distribute REASONABLE DOUBT?
dispatch in transit or transport any dangerous drug, including
any and all species of opium poppy regardless of the quantity
and purity involved, or shall act as a broker in any of such
transactions. The essential elements that must be established in Ruling:
prosecuting a case of illegal sale of shabu are: (1) the identity of Accused-appellants are charged with violating Section 5 of RA
the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale and the 9165, which reads: Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation,
consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs
payment therefor.[13] What is material is proof that the and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. - The
transaction actually took place, along with the presentation in penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from
court of the illegal substance which constitutes the corpus delicti Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten million
of the crime.[14] In the instant case, the aforementioned pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who,
unless authorized by law, shall sell, trade, administer, dispense,
deliver, give away to another, distribute dispatch in transit or Presumption of Regularity Likewise undeserving of credence is
transport any dangerous drug, including any and all species of the allegation of frame-up. Accused-appellants did not present
opium poppy regardless of the quantity and purity involved, or any evidence of extortion on the part of the buy-bust team.
shall act as a broker in any of such transactions. The essential Neither were they able to show any effort in correcting a wrong
elements that must be established in prosecuting a case of illegal supposedly committed against them by filing the appropriate
sale of shabu are: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the administrative and criminal charges against the police officers
object of the sale and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of who arrested them. Unless there is clear and convincing
the thing sold and the payment therefor.[13] What is material is evidence that the members of the buy-bust team were inspired
proof that the transaction actually took place, along with the by any improper motive or were not properly performing their
presentation in court of the illegal substance which constitutes duty, their testimonies on the buy-bust operation deserve full
the corpus delicti of the crime.[14] In the instant case, the faith and credit.[19] We therefore uphold the presumption that
aforementioned elements were established by the prosecution. the members of the buy bust team performed their duties in a
Le received Php200 from poseur-buyer PO2 Noble in exchange regular manner. Their testimonies as prosecution witnesses are
for a plastic sachet handed to him by Del Castillo. PO2 Noble entitled to full faith and credit.
wrote his initials on the seized item. The plastic sachet‘s
contents were then subjected to a laboratory examination and
tested positive for shabu. The alleged inconsistencies cited by
the defense do not materially affect the credibility of the
prosecution‘s witnesses. As the OSG correctly pointed out, the
inconsistencies were too trivial to merit consideration. What is
important is that the elements of the crime were established by
both the oral and object evidence presented in court.

Accused-appellants‘ argument on the failure to present the

marked money in court is not only without merit but baseless.
Two (2) One hundred peso (Php100) bills were presented as
evidence as the buy-bust money used and marked as Exhibits
―E‖ and ―F.‖ Moreover, the presentation of buy-bust money is
not required by law or jurisprudence. Its non-presentation is not
fatal to the case for the prosecution. The marked money used in
the buy-bust operation is not indispensable but merely
corroborative in nature.
People v. Solar handed this to the poseur-buyers. The accused-
GR 181494 appellant and her companions were later arrested
17 March 2009 and brought to and booked at Camp Vicente Lim.
J. Velasco The black plastic bag containing the six
small self-sealing bags of white crystalline
FACTS: Accused-appellant and three others were charged with substance was likewise taken to Camp Vicente
violation the Dangerous Drugs Act for selling or distributing a Lim where PO3 Ramos prepared the booking
regulated drug. Accused-appellant and her co-accused pleaded sheets and arrest reports and the request for a
not guilty to the charge. The prosecution presented in evidence qualitative analysis of the seized items. Regional
the oral testimonies of William Todavia, PO3 Reynaldo Ramos Crime Laboratory Office IV Chief Inspector
of the PNP, and P/Sr. Inspector Lorna Tria, a forensic chemical (C/I) Mary Jean Geronimo then conducted the
officer of the same regional office. The people’s version of the standard physical and chemical examinations on
incident are as follows: the specimen referred to her. On April 6, 2000,
On April 5, 2000, the Regional Special C/I Geronimo prepared and completed
Operations, based at Camp Vicente Lim in Chemistry Report on the crystalline substance.
Calamba, Laguna, received a tip from a deep Per her report, the substance tested positive for
penetration agent (DPA) about a group of drug methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.
traffickers led by Isidro Arguson operating in
Cavite. The Team led by SPO2 Pastrana, PO3 RTC rendered judgment acquitting Del Monte and
Ramos, and PO2 Balosbos arranged a buy-bust Requiz but finding accused-appellant guilty. Arguson died
operation to be conducted at Arguson’s rest during the course of the trial resulting in the dismissal of his
house in Barangay Lambingan, Tanza, Cavite. case.
The police officers acted as poseur-buyers and Before the CA, accused-appellant urged her acquittal
were introduced by the DPA to Arguson. At on the ground of insufficiency of evidence, particularly
about 3:00 PM, in McDonald’s Pasay, Arguson stating that the forensic chemist who actually conducted the
instructed the would-be-buyers to wait for laboratory examination on the specimens allegedly
someone who will come out from the nearby recovered from the accused was not presented in court and
Estrella St. Later, accused-appellant emerged hence, there was no clear identification of the contents of the
from Estrella St. and approached PO3 Ramos to confiscated sachets. The CA rejected and stressed that C/I
check if he still had the money. After being Geronimos forensic report carries the presumption of regularity
shown the money bundle, Arguson took from Del in the performance of official functions and the entries thereon
Monte a black plastic bag containing shabu are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. The CA
packed in self-sealing transparent bags. He added the observation that absent any evidence overturning the
presumption of regularity in the performance of official As between the two acts performed, carrying the bag
functions, the probative value and admissibility of the forensic would relatively have the more serious implication being in
report prepared by C/I Geronimo, who had resigned from the itself a punishable act of possession of regulated drugs. Both
service, must be upheld even if she did not personally testify offered the defenses of denial and instigation, each testifying
in court. that they just happened to be near or passing by McDonalds at
about 4:30 in the afternoon of April 4, 2000 when they were
ISSUES: Whether accused is guilty despite insufficiency of apprehended. But the trial court, in its observation that it could
evidence for prosecution have been possible that [Del Monte] was merely asked by
Arguson to carry the bag, extended to Del Monte the benefit of
HELD: NOT GUILTY. PO3 Ramos categorically stated that the doubt, a benevolence denied to accused-appellant without so
Del Monte was among the four who emerged with Arguson from much of an acceptable explanation.
a street. Without hesitation, PO3 Ramos pointed to Del Monte Furthermore, we refer to the postulate that the
as the one holding the plastic bag allegedly containing the prosecution, having failed to positively and convincingly prove
prohibited substance until Arguson took it from him and handed the identity of the seized regulated substance, is deemed to have
it over to PO2 Balosbalos. There is no suggestion that accused- also failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt accused-appellants
appellant, while at the crime scene, ever handled the guilt. In every prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drug,
merchandise or its container. Yet, the trial court acquitted what is crucial is the identity of the buyer and seller, the object
Requiz and Del Monte, but convicted accused-appellant, stating: and its consideration, the delivery of the thing sold, and the
Clearly, accused Monalyn Cervantes complicity with accused payment for it. Implicit in these cases is first and foremost the
Isidro Arguson in the sale of shabu has been established by the identity and existence, coupled with the presentation to the court
testimony of PO3 Ramos. of the traded prohibited substance, this object evidence being
Before us then is a situation where two persons: an integral part of the corpus delicti of the crime of
accused-appellant, a laundry woman; and Del Monte, a car possession or selling of regulated/prohibited drug.
park boy, in the company of the ostensible pusher, Arguson, There can be no such crime when nagging doubts persist
during the actual buy bustare being indicted, on the basis alone on whether the specimen submitted for examination and
of the testimony of a witness, with confederating with each and presented in court was what was recovered from, or sold by, the
several others to sell shabu. The overt acts performed by accused. Essential in appropriate cases is that the identity of the
accused-appellant, as indicia of conspiracy, consisted of prohibited drug be established with moral certainty. This means
allegedly verifying whether the poseur-buyer still had the that on top of the key elements of possession or sale, the fact that
purchase money, disappearing from the scene and then coming the substance illegally possessed and sold in the first place is the
back with the principal player. On the other hand, Del Monte same substance offered in court as exhibit must likewise be
came accompanying Arguson carrying the drug-containing established with the same degree of certitude as that needed to
plastic bag no less. sustain a guilty verdict. And as we stressed in Malillin v. People,
the chain of custody requirement performs this function in desk officer at Camp Vicente Lim to whom he specifically
that it ensures that unnecessary doubts concerning the turned over the confiscated bag and sachets at least for
identity of the evidence are removed. So it is that in a slew of recording. Needless to stress, the unnamed person who delivered
cases the Court has considered the prosecutions failure to the suspected shabu and the recipient of it at the laboratory were
adequately prove that the specimen submitted for laboratory no-show in court to testify on the circumstances under which
examination was the same one supposedly seized from the they handled the specimen or whether other persons had access
offending seller or possessor as ground for acquittal. to the specimen before actual testing. C/I Geronimo, the
As a mode of authenticating evidence, the chain of analyzing forensic chemist, was not also presented. Then, too,
custody rule requires that the admission of an exhibit be no one testified on how the specimen was cared after following
preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the the chemical analysis. These questions should be answered
matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. In satisfactorily to determine whether the integrity of the evidence
context, this would ideally include testimony about every link in was compromised in any way. Otherwise, the prosecution
the chain, from the seizure of the prohibited drug up to the time cannot maintain that it was able to prove the guilt of appellants
it is offered into evidence, in such a way that everyone who beyond reasonable doubt.
touched the exhibit would describe how and from whom it was In this case, no physical inventory was made and no
received, where it was and what happened to it while in the photograph taken nor markings made on the seized articles at the
witness possession, the condition in which it was received, and crime scene. PO3 Ramos admitted as much. Adding a negative
the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the dimension to the prosecution’s case is the non-presentation of
chain. An unbroken chain of custody becomes indispensable C/I Geronimo and the presentation in her stead of Inspector Tria
and essential when the item of real evidence is not distinctive to testify on the chemical report C/I Geronimo prepared. While
and is not really identifiable, Inspector Tria can plausibly testify on the fact that C/I Geronimo
The same standard obtains in case the evidence is prepared the chemical report in the regular course of her duties,
susceptible to alteration, tampering, contamination and even she, Inspector Tria, was incompetent to state that the specimen
substitution and exchange. The exhibits level of susceptibility to her former colleague analyzed was in fact shabu and was the
fungibility, alteration or tampering without regard to whether the same specimen delivered to the laboratory for chemical analysis.
same is advertent or otherwise not dictates the level of strictness C/I Geronimo’s resignation is not a justifying factor for the
in the application of the chain of custody rule. prosecution to dispense with her testimony. Accused-appellant
Of the individuals who came into direct contact with or objected to Inspector Tria’s competency to testify on the
had physical custody of the seized regulated items, only PO3 Geronimo chemical report. Had there been no objection, Tria’s
Ramos testified for the specific purpose of identifying the testimony would have sufficed.
evidence. In the witness box, however, he did not indicate how At any rate, Inspector Tria’s testimony on, and the
he and his companions, right after the buy bust, handled the presentation of, the chemistry report in question only
seized plastic bag and its contents. He did not name the duty established, at best, the existence, due execution, and
authenticity of the results of the chemistry analysis. It does not
prove compliance with the requisite chain of custody over the
confiscated substance from the time of seizure of the evidence.
Unless the state can show by records or testimony that the
integrity of the evidence has not been compromised by
accounting for the continuous whereabouts of the object
evidence at least between the time it came into the possession of
the police officers until it was tested in the laboratory, then the
prosecution cannot maintain that it was able to prove the guilt of
the accused beyond reasonable doubt. In establishing the corpus
delicti, proof beyond reasonable doubt demands that unwavering
exactitude be observed, a demand which may be addressed by
hewing to the chain-of-custody rule.
Evidently, the prosecution has not proved that the
substance seized in front of the McDonalds was the same
substance adduced in evidence as an indispensable element of
corpus delicti of the crime, which failure produces a serious
doubt as to accused-appellants guilt.
20th Century Fox Film v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos.
76649-51, August 19, 1988 [The Court DISMISSED the petition and AFFIRMED
the questioned decision and resolution of the CA.]

I. THE FACTS YES, the judge properly lifted the search warrants he
issued earlier.
Petitioner 20th Century Fox Film Corporation sought the
assistance of the NBI in conducting searches and seizures in The lower court lifted the three (3) questioned search
connection with the NBI’s anti-film piracy campaign. Petitioner warrants in the absence of probable cause that the private
alleged that certain videotape outlets in Metro Manila are respondents violated P.D. 49. NBI agents who acted as
engaged in the unauthorized sale and renting out of copyrighted witnesses during the application for search warrant did not have
films in violation of PD No. 49 (the old Intellectual Property personal knowledge of the subject matter of their testimony,
Law). which was the alleged commission of the offense of piracy by
the private respondents. Only the petitioner’s counsel who was
The NBI conducted surveillance and investigation of the also a witness during the application stated that he had personal
outlets pinpointed by the petitioner and subsequently filed three knowledge that the confiscated tapes owned by the private
(3) applications for search warrants against the video outlets respondents were pirated tapes taken from master tapes
owned by the private respondents. The lower court issued the belonging to the petitioner. The lower court lifted the warrants,
desired search warrants. The NBI, accompanied by the declaring that the testimony of petitioner’s counsel did not have
petitioner's agents, raided the video outlets and seized the items much credence because the master tapes of the allegedly pirated
described in the three warrants. tapes were not shown to the court during the application.

Private respondents later filed a motion to lift the search The presentation of the master tapes of the
warrants and release the seized properties, which was granted by copyrighted films, from which the pirated films were
the lower court. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was allegedly copied, was necessary for the validity of search
denied by the lower court. The CA affirmed the trial court. warrants against those who have in their possession the
pirated films. The petitioner's argument to the effect that the
II. THE ISSUE presentation of the master tapes at the time of application
may not be necessary as these would be merely evidentiary
Did the judge properly lift the search warrants he issued in nature and not determinative of whether or not a probable
earlier? cause exists to justify the issuance of the search warrants is
not meritorious. The court cannot presume that duplicate or
copied tapes were necessarily reproduced from master tapes
that it owns.

The essence of a copyright infringement is the

similarity or at least substantial similarity of the purported
pirated works to the copyrighted work. Hence, the applicant
must present to the court the copyrighted films to compare
them with the purchased evidence of the video tapes
allegedly pirated to determine whether the latter is an
unauthorized reproduction of the former. This linkage of the
copyrighted films to the pirated films must be established to
satisfy the requirements of probable cause. Mere allegations
as to the existence of the copyrighted films cannot serve as
basis for the issuance of a search warrant.
G.R. No. 111267. September 20, 1996.  Private respondent filed a Motion to Quash Search
Warrant No. 23 on the grounds that the Search Warrant
COLUMBIA PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT, INC., did not state a specific offense and that, even assuming
MGM ENTERTAINMENTS CO., ORION PICTURES it stated a specific offense, it covered more than one
 TC denied the Motion to Quash finding that the Search
Warrant was issued for one specific offense.
14TH DIVISION and JOSE B. JINGCO of SHOWTIME  Private respondent then filed an Urgent Motion To Lift
ENTERPRISES, INC., Respondents. the Search Warrant and For the Return of the Seized
Articles alleging that Search Warrant No. 23 is a
Facts: general warrant, and that it was issued without probable
 Alfredo G. Ramos, intelligence officer of the Videogram cause.
Regulatory Board (VRB), received information that  Assailed order was issued by Judge Benjamin V.
private respondent Jose B. Jinco had in his possession Pelayo, now presiding over Branch 168 of the Pasig
pirated videotapes, posters, advertising materials and RTC, granting the Motion to Quash. The Court justified
other items used or intended to be used for the purpose the fact that, as the master copies were not presented to
of sale, lease, distribution, circulation or public the court in its hearing of July 28, 1986, there was no
exhibition of the said pirated videotapes. Ramos probable cause to issue the said warrant, based on the
ascertained the information to be true and filed a verified pronouncements in 20th Century Fox.
Application for Search Warrant.  Petitioners appealed to CA, which affirmed the said
 A hearing was conducted by Judge Florentino A. Flor of Order.
the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Branch 168, wherein
Issue: Is the presentation of the master copies in such cases an
Ramos and his two witnesses, Analie Jimenez and
absolute requirement for a search warrant to issue?
Rebecca Benitez-Cruz testified on the need for the
issuance of search warrant. Held: No.
 The prayer for the issuance of the search warrant was  Trial Court: relied on the ruling in 20th Century Fox
granted and, on the same date, Search Warrant No. 23 Film Corporation v. Court of Appeals, Et. Al where
was issued on July 28, 1986. search warrants were later lifted by the same court on the
ground of lack of probable cause because the master object evidence would result in delay, inconvenience or
tapes of the alleged pirated tapes were never shown to expenses out of proportion to its evidentiary value.
the lower court. The Court affirmed the lifting of the
The instant case also differs from 20th Century Fox in
search warrants holding that the presentation of the that what herein private respondent put in issue was the
master tapes was necessary for the validity of the search application of the ruling in that case, not the conduct of Judge
warrants against those who have pirated films in their Flor in the issuance of Search Warrant No. 23.
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision and resolution of
 Petitioners: questions the retroactive application of the
respondent Court of Appeals, and necessarily inclusive of the
20th Century Fox decision which had not yet been
order of the trial court dated May 22, 1989, are hereby
promulgated in 1986 when the search warrant was
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The order of the trial court dated
issued. July 28, 1986 upholding the validity of Search Warrant No. 23
Ratio: is hereby REINSTATED.

The Court ruled that it is evidently incorrect to suggest,

as the ruling in 20th Century fox may appear to do, that in
copyright infringement cases, the presentation of master tapes
of the copyrighted films is always necessary to meet the
requirement of probable cause and that, in the absence thereof,
there can be no finding of probable cause for the issuance of a
search warrant.
It is true that such master tapes are object evidence,
with the merit that in this class of evidence the ascertainment
of the controverted fact is made through demonstrations
involving the direct use of the senses of the presiding
The auxiliary procedure, however, does not rule out the
use of testimonial or documentary evidence, depositions,
admissions or other classes of evidence tending to prove the
factum probandum, especially where the production in court of
People v. Choi 4. Search was conducted on the same day of issuance
G.R. No. 152950 | August 3, 2006 of the warrant
Corona, J.: 5. Choi filed a motion to quash search warrant and a
supplemental motion to quash
Nature: a. But were denied
Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the CA 6. Choi filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition
before the CA
Facts: a. Alleged that the judge committed grave
1. Mario P. Nieto, Intelligence Operative of the abuse of discretion in refusing the motions
Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau, b. Probable cause was not sufficiently
Department of Finance, applied for a search warrant established as the examination conducted
against Christopher Choi for violation of Sec. 168, was not probing and exhaustive and the
par. 2 and 3 (a) and (c), in relation to Sec. 169 of warrant did not particularly describe the
RA 8293 (IPC) place to be searched
2. After examination of the applicant and his c. Prayed that Atty. Bennie Nicdao be
witnesses, namely, Max Cavalera and David Lee prohibited from using as evidence the
Sealey, the Judge issued a search warrant articles seized by virtue of the search
3. Search warrant in part: warrant
a. “… there are good and sufficient reasons to 7. CA grants
believe that Christopher Choi of No. 2513 a. In determining whether there was probable
Columbia Street, Carmenville Subd., cause to believe that the cigarettes purchased
Angeles City has in his possession, control by Nieto were fake and in violation of RA
and custody [r]eams and packs of fake 8293, Judge Gatbalite failed to ask searching
Marlboro Red Cigarettes, as well as and probing questions of witness David Lee
cardboard cases of fake Marlboro Red Sealey
Cigarettes (each cardboard case contains b. The judge committed grave abuse of
two (2) [m]aster [c]ases of Marlboro and discretion when the judge relied on the
each [m]aster case contains fifty (50) conclusion of Sealey that the cigarettes he
reams) being distributed, kept and sold received from Nieto were fake
thereat in violation of Section 168, par. 2
and 3 (a) and (c) in relation to Section 169 Issue:
of R.A. 8293…” WON Atty. Benny Nicdao can use evidence articles
of searching questions before issuing a search warrant,
Held: grave abuse of discretion is committed.
Yes. The Supreme Court grants the petition and 3. The determination of probable cause does not call for
reversed the CA judgment, and declared the Search Warrant the application of rules and standards of proof that a
valid. judgment of conviction requires after trial on the merits.
As the term implies, probable cause is concerned with
1. A search warrant can be issued only upon a finding of probability, not absolute or even moral certainty. The
probable cause. Probable cause means such facts and standards of judgment are those of a reasonably prudent
circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet man, not the exacting calibrations of a judge after a full
and prudent man to believe that an offense has been blown trial. No law or rule states that probable cause
committed and that the objects sought in connection requires a specific kind of evidence. No formula or
with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. fixed rule for its determination exists. Probable cause is
The determination of the existence of probable cause determined in the light of conditions obtaining in a
requires the following: (1) the judge must examine the given situation. The entirety of the questions
complainant and his witnesses personally; (2) the propounded by the court and the answers thereto must
examination must be under oath and (3) the be considered by the judge.
examination must be reduced in writing in the form of 4. Since probable cause is dependent largely on the
searching questions and answers. opinion and findings of the judge who conducted the
2. The searching questions propounded to the applicant examination and who had the opportunity to question
and the witnesses depend largely on the discretion of the applicant and his witnesses, the findings of the
the judge. Although there is no hard and fast rule judge deserve great weight. The reviewing court can
governing how a judge should conduct his examination, overturn such findings only upon proof that the judge
it is axiomatic that the examination must be probing disregarded the facts before him or ignored the clear
and exhaustive, not merely routinary, general, dictates of reason. We thus find no reason to disturb
peripheral, perfunctory or pro forma. The judge must Judge Gatbalite’s findings.
not simply rehash the contents of the affidavit but must 5. It is obvious that 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
make his own inquiry on the intent and justification of should not be applied to the present case since this
the application. The questions should not merely be involves the offense of unfair competition and not
repetitious of the averments stated in the affidavits or copyright infringement. More importantly, as
depositions of the applicant and the witnesses. If the pronounced by the Court in Columbia Pictures, Inc.,
judge fails to determine probable cause by personally the judge’s exercise of discretion should not be unduly
examining the applicant and his witnesses in the form restricted by adding a requirement that is not sanctioned
by law.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Issue:
accused-appellant. Whether the wallet and its content were inadmissible as
G.R. No. 109775. November 14, 1996 evidence?

FRANCISCO, J.: Ruling:

Facts: Yes. The wallet and its contents are admissible.

On April 15, 1991, around 8:00 in the evening, Batin the Ratio:
household boy, went to the store of his employer to inform him The right against self-incrimination guaranteed under our
that the dinner is ready. Upon entering the store Batin saw the fundamental law finds no application in this case. This right, as
appellant with a bolo fleeing the store while his employer his put by Mr. Justice Holmes in Holt vs. United States x x x is a
laying in the floor bathing in his own blood. prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion, to
Rondon on the other hand was on his way to store to buy extort communications from him x x x.
fertilizer on his field when he saw the appellant rushing out of It is simply a prohibition against legal process to extract from
the store with a blood-stained bolo. the [accused]s own lips, against his will, admission of his guilt.
Batin immediately went out of the store to seek help. Outside It does not apply to the instant case where the evidence
the store, he met Rondon. Wherein they went to residence of sought to be excluded is not an incriminating statement but
the victim to inform them of the tragic incident. When they an object evidence
went back to the store they noticed that the store’s drawer was Infractions thereof render inadmissible only the extrajudicial
opened and the victim’s wallet was stolen from his Pocket. confession or admission made during custodial investigation.
When the appellant was place under custody, it was discovered The admissibility of other evidence, provided they are
that he possesses the wallet of the victim together with its relevant to the issue and is not otherwise excluded by law
content such as Malakis residence certificate, his identification or rules, is not affected even if obtained or taken in the
card and a bunch of keys course of custodial investigation. Concededly, appellant was
not informed of his right to remain silent and to have his own
As a defense, the appellant argued that such it was a violation counsel by the investigating policemen during the custodial
of his constitutional right against self-incrimination hence, the investigation. Neither did he execute a written waiver of these
wallet and its contents were in admissible. rights in accordance with the constitutional prescriptions.
The Trial Court found the appellant guilty hence, the appeal. Nevertheless, these constitutional short-cuts do not affect the
admissibility of Malakis wallet, identification card, residence
certificate and keys for the purpose of establishing other facts
relevant to the crime. Thus, the wallet is admissible to
establish the fact that it was the very wallet taken from
Malaki on the night of the robbery. The identification card,
residence certificate and keys found inside the wallet, on
the other hand, are admissible to prove that the wallet
really belongs to Malaki.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. April 1987, Jumamoy avers that he took a boat, the M/V
LUCIANO JUMAMOY Y AÑORA, alias "JUNIOR", Sweet Roro, for Manila.
accused-appellant. 5. The accused did not, however, present Feliciano Cenita as a
G.R. No. 101584. April 7, 1993. witness despite his (accused's) repeated manifestation of his
DAVIDE, JR., J intention to do so and the court's liberality in granting his
request for postponement for the said purpose. Instead, "out
FACTS: of the blue, the accused . . . presented one Ramon Micutuan
. . . to corroborate his claim that in the evening of April 1,
1. Two (2) separate informations for "Murder" and "Qualified 1987, he was in Cebu City.
Illegal Possession of Firearm and Ammunitions (sic)" were 6. After trial, the court a quo promulgated its judgment finding
filed against accused Luciano Jumamoy. the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes
2. Appellant Luciano Jumamoy and the victim Rolando Miel charged.
were once friends and belonged to the same 'barkada' until 7. One of the assigned errors is: “(T)he firearm alleged to have
sometime in 1970 when the former was stabbed by the latter been used by the accused in killing the victim was not
on his left forearm. presented in court during the trial. Its caliber and make was
3. In the evening of April 1, 1987, the victim and his younger (sic) never established by sufficient evidence, so that there is
brother Edgar, together with three other companions, went no basis to convict the accused for illegal (sic) possession of
to the Cultural Center of Inabanga, Bohol, where a 'disco' firearm."
dance was being held. Upon reaching the Center, the victim
and his companions joined three other members of their ISSUE:
'barkada' watching the disco outside. All of a sudden Whether or not it was indispensable for the prosecution to
appellant appeared in front obliquely to the right of the introduce and offer in evidence the firearm which was used in
victim and fired three (3) successive shots at the latter. the killing of the victim.
However, on his way to escape, appellant passed by the
victim's brother Edgardo and a companion. When appellant HELD:
got near the two, the former poked his gun at the victim's
brother, and uttered, 'Unsa, laban ka?' ('What now, are you No.
taking sides?').
4. The trial court disregarded the accused's defense of alibi. The Nor can We agree with the accused that it was indispensable for
latter testified that he had left Inabanga, Bohol for Cebu City the prosecution to introduce and offer in evidence the firearm
on 29 March 1987 to look for employment. He recounts that which was used in the killing of the victim. There is no law or
he stayed in the house of a friend, Feliciano Cenita, in Pasil, rule of evidence which requires the prosecution to do so; there
Cebu City from 1 April to 4 April 1987. In the evening of 4 is also no law which prescribes that a ballistics examination be
conducted to determine the source and trajectory of the bullets.
For conviction to lie it is enough that the prosecution establishes
by proof beyond reasonable doubt that a crime was committed
and that the accused is the author thereof. The production of the
weapon used in the commission of the crime is not a condition
sine qua non for the discharge of such a burden for the weapon
may not have been recovered at all from the assailant. If the rule
were to be as proposed by the accused, many criminals would
go scot-free and much injustice would be caused to the victims
of crimes, their families and society. In the instant case, it was
established with moral certainty that the accused attacked,
assaulted and shot the victim Rolando Miel with an unlicensed
firearm, thereby inflicting upon the latter multiple gunshot
wounds which caused his death. Such proof was all that was
needed for the conviction of the accused.


WHEREFORE, the Decision of Branch 3 of the Regional Trial

Court of Tagbilaran City in Criminal Case No. 5064 and
Criminal Case No. 5065 finding the accused LUCIANO
JUMAMOY y AÑORA, alias "JUNIOR," guilty of the crimes
charged therein, is hereby AFFIRMED subject to the
modification as to the indemnity which is increased from
P30,000.00 to P50,000.00 and the deletion of the words "life
imprisonment" from the dispositive portion thereof.
Costs against the accused.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. heard the shot. Thereafter, he saw accused-appellant holding a
ROSALINO FLORES, accused-appellant. gun and running away from the place of the incident.
[G.R. No. 129284. March 17, 2000.]
Accused-appellant denied killing the victim and
proffered an alibi that on the date and time of the alleged
Facts: shooting, he was at the house of one PO3 Ernesto Martin
In an information filed before the Regional Trial Court attending the birthday party of the latter's daughter.
of Malolos, Bulacan, herein appellant was charged with the Issue:
crime of murder for unlawfully and feloniously attacking and
shooting with a handgun one Antonio Garcia, thereby inflicting 1. WON the court erred in admitting the dying declaration
serious injuries which directly caused the death of the victim. of the victim. Yes.
Upon arraignment, appellant entered a plea of not guilty and 2. WON trial court erred in convicting the accused-
thereafter, trial ensued. appellant on the basis of circumstantial evidence. No.

Witness for the prosecution Myla Garcia, daughter of the Ruling:

victim, testified in a plain and straightforward manner that she Ratio:
saw accused-appellant standing 3 arms' length away from the
place where her father Antonio Garcia and his companions were 1. Accused-appellant argues that the dying declaration of the
drinking; that she approached him at a distance of about one victim is inadmissible because he was an incompetent
arm's length; that she saw him pointing a gun at her father; that witness and it was not made with knowledge of an impending
as she rushed towards her father she heard a shot that hit her death. The elements for the admissibility of a dying
father who leaned and then fell on her side; that she embraced declaration are: (1) the declaration must concern the crime
him and walked him towards their house; that before they and surrounding circumstances of the declarant's death; (2) it
entered the house, she saw accused-appellant still there but when was made at a time when the declarant was under the
she shouted, "si Jianggo, si Jianggo," he ran away. consciousness of an impending death; (3) the declarant would
be competent to testify; and (4) the declaration is offered in
The other witness for the prosecution, Roberto Santiago, any case in which the decedent is the victim.
testified that as he was about to enter the gate of the victim's
residence to attend the latter's birthday celebration, he heard a We agree with accused-appellant that the dying declaration is
shot and someone shouted, "si Jianggo, si Jianggo." He passed inadmissible for the sole reason that the declarant was not
through the front door and went out the back door to where he competent to testify had he survived. Garcia was not a
competent witness because he could not have seen who shot
him. According to Myla's testimony, the assailant was towards her father she heard a shot that hit her father who
positioned behind her father. Upon being shot, Antonio leaned and then fell on her side; that she embraced him and
Garcia stumbled and fell on his daughter. There is no showing walked him towards their house; that before they entered the
that Garcia had the opportunity to see his assailant. house, she saw accused-appellant still there but when she
Apparently, Garcia heard his daughter shout "Si Jianggo, si shouted, "si Jianggo, si Jianggo," he ran away. The other
Jianggo" and relying thereon, uttered, "Hoy, may tama ako, witness for the prosecution, Roberto Santiago, testified that
binaril ako ni Jianggo," before he expired. A dying as he was about to enter the gate of the victim's residence to
declaration of the victim identifying his assailant will not be attend the latter's birthday celebration, he heard a shot and
given probative value if the victim was not in a position to someone shouted, "si Jianggo, si Jianggo." He passed through
identify his assailant as he was shot from behind. the front door and went out the back door to where he heard
the shot. Thereafter, he saw accused-appellant holding a gun
2. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient to convict provided the
and running away from the place of the incident. At the time
following requisites are present, namely: (1) there is more
Myla and Roberto saw accused-appellant they were at a
than one circumstance; (2) the facts from which the
distance reasonable to make an accurate identification. Myla
inferences are derived from are proven; and (3) the
was only an arm's length away, while Roberto was 10 to 11
combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a
meters away from accused-appellant. Further, Myla and
conviction beyond reasonable doubt. The circumstantial
Roberto are familiar with the accused-appellant as they live
evidence must constitute an unbroken chain of events so as to
in the same place and accused-appellant is Myla's uncle. All
lead to a fair and reasonable conclusion that points to the guilt
these circumstances put together constitute an unbroken
of the accused. Although Myla and Roberto may not have
chain, consistent with each other and the theory that accused-
seen the accused-appellant in the actual act of shooting the
appellant authored the crime charged.
victim, the unrebutted testimony of the witnesses for the
prosecution point to him as the only person who may have
been responsible for the commission of the crime to the
exclusion of any other person. Witness for the prosecution
Myla Garcia, daughter of the victim, testified in a plain and
straightforward manner that she saw accused-appellant
standing 3 arms' length away from the place where her father
Antonio Garcia and his companions were drinking; that she
approached him at a distance of about one arm's length; that
she saw him pointing a gun at her father; that as she rushed
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Following the preliminary investigation on April 25, 1990, the
GONZALO PENASO @ "LULU", accused-appellant. municipal circuit court issued an order for the arrest of the
accused who, by then, had left Bohol for Misamis Oriental.
Meanwhile, on July 10, 1990, appellant was arrested in
That on November 16, 1989 at 9:00am at the house of the Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental, for illegal possession of firearms.
accused Gonzalo Penaso, the complainant Basilisa Lacar who Notwithstanding the warrant of arrest for rape against him, he
was then fifteen years old knocked at the door of the house of posted bail for the case for which he was arrested, and then he
the accused Gonzalo Penaso who opened the door and upon disappeared.
inquiry whether his daughter, who was a classmate of
complainant, was present which the latter told the complainant On July 16, 1990, private complainant gave birth to a baby boy.
that her (sic) daughter was in the kitchen when in fact and in
truth his daughter was out; Appellant raised the defenses of denial and alibi. The defense
That the accused Gonzalo Penaso forcibly pulled the witnesses and the accused Gonzalo Penaso vehemently denied
complainant Basilisa Lacar and pushed her into the bamboo bed the rape charges and interposed the defense that four men
and boxed the abdomen of the complainant Basilisa Lacar and impregnated the complainant Basilisa Lacar;
subsequently took off her panty and inserted his penis into the
vagina of the complainant Basilisa Lacar causing it to bleed; On April 17, 1991, appellant was arrested in Magallanes,
Agusan del Norte.
That the accused Gonzalo Penaso warned the complainant
Basilisa Lacar not to report to her parents otherwise he would On May 5, 1991, appellant escaped from his police escort in
kill her; Cebu City while being transported from Agusan del Norte to
That the complainant reported the incident to her parents after Bohol.
the accused Gonzalo Penaso escaped to avoid being arrested;
In March 1993, police operatives in Cagayan de Oro City finally
That the second, third and fourth rape incidents were committed apprehended appellant.
in the same place in the vicinity of Cogtong Elementary School;
The trial court convicted appellant in Criminal Case No. 6775
On April 16, 1990, private complainant, assisted by her mother and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua.
Rosalina Lacar, filed a complaint for multiple rape
Whether or not Penaso is guilty
Held: (1) The reviewing court will not disturb the findings of the lower
court unless there is a showing that it had overlooked,
Yes. Penaso is guilty. misunderstood, or misapplied some fact or circumstance of
weight and substance that could affect the results of the case;
Appellant argues that he could not have raped complainant on
November 16, 1989 at about 9:00am in the morning, since the (2) The findings of the trial court respecting the credibility of
latter was attending classes at the Bohol School of Fisheries in witnesses are entitled to great respect and even finality as it had
Cogtong, Candijay, Bohol, while he was in Sun-oc, Ubay, Bohol the opportunity to examine their demeanor when they testified
making banana chips. Inasmuch as they were in separate places, on the witness stand; and
the rape could not have taken place. His wife and another
defense witness corroborated his testimony. The latters (3) A witness who testified in clear, positive, and convincing
testimony, was given scant consideration by the trial court, as manner and remained consistent on cross-examination, is a
said witness admitted receiving one hundred pesos (P100.00) credible witness.
from appellants wife before testifying. Appellant further points
to the testimony of his daughter, Jonalou Penaso, who was the Applying these guidelines, we find no reason to disturb the trial
victims classmate, to the effect that the victim was attending courts assessment of private complainants credibility. Appellant
classes with her at the Bohol Fisheries School at the time and has shown no reason whatsoever for us to doubt her testimony.
date the rape took place, so it was impossible for the victim to The records show that private complainant testified as to her
have been at his house at that time. ravishment in a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous, and
frank manner. She positively identified appellant as her rapist.
In rape cases the issue, more often than not, is the credibility of She was consistent in her narration of how she was dragged
the victim. Rape is generally unwitnessed and very often the inside appellants house, boxed into submission, and ravished.
victim is left to testify for herself. Her testimony is most vital Private complainant did not waiver in her account of her
and must be received with the utmost caution. When a rape harrowing experience under intense and grueling cross-
victim’s testimony is straightforward, unflawed by any material examination
or significant inconsistency, then it deserves full faith and credit
and cannot be discarded. Once found credible, her lone We also note the finding of the trial court that:
testimony is sufficient to sustain a conviction. "...in the course of the first trial of the above-
entitled Criminal Cases Nos. 6775, 6787, 6788
In assessing the credibility of witnesses, the court is guided by and 6789 the accused Gonzalo Penaso was
the following doctrinal principles: smiling while the complainant Basilisa Lacar
cried and was seriously and emotionally
disturbed (as) characterized by anger as shown Furthermore, the question of who sired the victims child has no
on her facial expression." bearing here, for in rape cases, the identity of the father of the
victims child is not an issue, pregnancy not being an element of
We find complainants testimony credible, while appellants the crime.
defenses of alibi and denial are lacking in truth and candor.
Nothing is more settled in criminal law jurisprudence than that Moreover, the records show that appellant escaped from his
alibi and denial cannot prevail over the positive and categorical police escort while being transported to face charges, and then
testimony of the complainant. remained at large for two years. Flight is an implied admission
of guilt, and appellants escape betrays both his guilt and his
Alibi is an inherently weak defense, which is viewed with desire to evade responsibility.
suspicion and received with caution because it can easily be

Denial is an intrinsically weak defense which must be buttressed

with strong evidence of non-culpability to merit credibility.

Appellant failed to present any disinterested witness to support

his claim. For alibi to prosper, it is not enough that accused show
he was elsewhere at the time the crime was committed, but there
must also be clear and convincing proof that it was impossible
for him to be at the locus criminis at the time of its commission.

With respect to the appellants claim that the victim was

attending her classes at the time she was raped, we note that
complainants explanation that it was their vacant period was not
rebutted by the defense. All told, we see no reason to depart from
the rule that positive identification of the malefactor prevails
over the defenses of alibi and denial.

Appellant insists that he did not get private complainant

pregnant. He cites the testimony of defense witness Rafael
Libres, a classmate of the victim, to the effect that complainant
admitted to him that appellant had not caused her pregnancy.
People v. Adoviso when offered in evidence for the purpose of establishing the
Pablo Adoviso, and four John Does, were tried for the guilt or innocence of one accused of a crime, whether the
MURDER of Rufino Agunos and Emeterio Vazquez. Pablo accused or the prosecution seeks its introduction, for the reason
Adoviso was positively identified by Bonifacio Agunos, the son that polygraph has not as yet attained scientific acceptance as a
of one of the victims, because the former did not wear a mask in reliable and accurate means of ascertaining truth or
the perpetration of the crime. deception. The rule is no different in this jurisdiction. Thus,
Aside from denial and alibi, the defense also offered in evidence in People v. Daniel, stating that much faith and credit should not
the testimony of Ernesto A. Lucena, Polygraph Examiner II of be vested upon a lie detector test as it is not
the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila, who conclusive. Appellant, in this case, has not advanced any reason
conducted a polygraph test on Adoviso. In Polygraph Report why this rule should not apply to him.
No. 900175, Lucena opined that Adoviso’s “polygrams revealed
that there were no specific reactions indicative of deception to Appellant was therefore correctly adjudged guilty of two counts
pertinent questions relevant” to the investigation of the crimes. of Murder. Treachery qualified the killings to murder. There is
treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against
The trial court found Adoviso guilty. the person, employing means, methods or forms in the execution
thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution,
On the premise that the trial court rendered the judgment of without risk to himself arising from the defense which the
conviction on the basis of “mere conjectures and offended party might make. In other words, there is treachery
speculations,” appellant argues that the negative result of the when the attack on an unarmed victim who has not given the
polygraph test should be given weight to tilt the scales of justice slightest provocation is sudden, unexpected and without
in his favor. warning. The victims in this case were totally unaware of an
impending assault – Rufino was sleeping and Emeterio was
Issue: WON polygraph tests results may be used as evidence going down the stairs when they were shot.

A polygraph is an electromechanical instrument that

simultaneously measures and records certain physiological
changes in the human body that are believed to be
involuntarily caused by an examinee’s conscious attempt to
deceive the questioner. The theory behind a polygraph or lie
detector test is that a person who lies deliberately will have a
rising blood pressure and a subconscious block in breathing,
which will be recorded on the graph. However, American
courts almost uniformly reject the results of polygraph tests
Diosdado Mallari vs. Court of Appeals, December 9, 1996 after the arrest, if the person arrested so requires, the warrant
shall be shown to him as soon as practicable.”
The above quoted rule clearly allows a police officer to effect
There was a standing warrant of arrest against Mallari for
arrest without the warrant in his possession at the time of the
homicide. The police officers received information that Mallari
arrest. Thus, appellant’s arrest being lawful, the search and
was seen at Sitio 14, Sta. Rita, Capas, Tarlac. The police officers
seizure made incidental thereto is likewise valid, albeit
went to the said address, surrounded Mallari’s house and
conducted without a warrant. [10] In the case of People v Acol,
arrested him. The police searched Mallari and found a home-
[11] where the unlicensed firearms were found when the police
made gun (paltik) with live ammunition. Mallari was charged
team apprehended the accused for robbery and not for illegal
and was found guilty of the crime of Illegal Possession of
possession of firearms and ammunition, this Court held that the
Firearms and Ammunition. Mallari questioned the factual
unlicensed firearms may be seized without the necessity of
finding that there was a standing warrant of arrest against him.
obtaining a search warrant. Expounding thereon, it stated that:
He further contended that the absence of the requisite warrant is
fatal and renders the search and seizure unlawful. Corollarily, “` x x x The illegality of the search is independent from
the handgun and ammunition seized from him are inadmissible the illegal possession of prohibited arms. The illegality of the
in evidence. search did not make legal an illegal possession of firearms.
When, in pursuing an illegal action or in the commission of a
Issue: Was there a valid arrest?
criminal offense, the offending police officers should happen to
Held: discover a criminal offense being committed by any person, they
are not precluded from performing their duties as police officers
Yes. This is not a case of a warrantless arrest but merely an for the apprehension of the guilty and the taking of the corpus
instance of an arrest effected by the police authorities without delicti.”’
having the warrant in their possession at that precise moment.
Under Section 8, Rule 113: “When making an arrest by virtue of But in crimes involving illegal possession of firearm, the
a warrant the officer shall inform the person to be arrested of the prosecution has the burden of proving the elements thereof, viz:
cause of the arrest and the fact that a warrant has been issued for (a) the existence of the subject firearm and (b) the fact that the
his arrest, except when he flees or forcibly resists before the accused who owned or possessed it does not have the
officer has opportunity so to inform him or when the giving of corresponding license or permit to possess the same.i The latter
such information will imperil the arrest. The officer need not is a negative fact which constitutes an essential ingredient of the
have the warrant in his possession at the time of the arrest but offense of illegal possession, and it is the duty of the prosecution
not only to allege it but also to prove it beyond reasonable
doubt.ii In the case at bench, the testimony of a representative
of, a certification from the PNP (FEU) that petitioner was not a
licensee of the said firearm would have sufficed for the
prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the second
element of the crime of illegal possession.iii The absence of the
foregoing is fatal to the prosecutions case and renders petitioners
conviction erroneous.
In view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby GRANTED and
the assailed decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner
Diosdado Mallari is hereby ACQUITTED for insufficiency of
evidence and ordered immediately released unless there are
other legal grounds for his continued detention.
PEOPLE vs RICOLITO RUGAY allegedly appeared therefrom and shot at
GR 113026-27 | 2 July 1998 Mendoza, hitting him in the chest. Afterwards,
Villalon stabbed Mendoza at the chest.
Nature of the Case: Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing o Madrid followed his friend to the Mami house,
the RTC’s conviction of Rugay. and saw Mendoza bloodied and called for help.
With this, Villalon and Rugay allegedly ran away
FACTS: from the scene.
 Rugay and Villalon were charged before the RTC o The prosecution tried to present the certification
Palawan with the killing of Mendoza. In connection from the PNP which states that “no available
therewith, Rugay was also charged with carrying of a information” was had regarding Rugay’s license
firearm without license. to possess a firearm. No other evidence was
 The PROSECUTION’S version is as follows: presented to support the illegal possession case.
o Madrid was utilized as an asset of PNP  The prosecution only presented one witness, Madrid, to
NARCOM officer Guba to give information on prove the story.
the drug trade. He was detained in the City Jail of  The defense meanwhile interposed denials and alibi, and
Puerto Prinsesa for dealing in marijuana. It presented a witness each to prove their respective alibis,
appears he was detained since 15 August 1991. and two witnesses to prove other matters.
o He claims that Guba apparently talked with the o They admitted knowing each other but claimed
Jail warden to give him temporary liberty on 28 they were not together during the said day.
August 1991 for an operation. o Allegedly, Rugay was drinking at the house of
o On August 28, 1991, 11:30pm, witness Madrid his father-in-law with Rugay’s farmworkers until
and Joy Cortez were in front of a motorcycle 11pm of that day in a nearby barrio, and slept
shop waiting for a tricycle. right after.
o It appears a drunk Villalon was walking by. After o VIllalon claimed he was staying in with his friend
passing them by, Villalon suddenly turned and never left the house, which was also situated
around, kicked Madrid, and took out a fly knife in a nearby barrio.
and attempted to stab Madrid. Madrid allegedly o They further presented testimonial evidence of
sustained injuries in his wrist from the attack. PNP NARCOM officer Guba to the effect that
o Mendoza, a friend of witness Madrid, saw the witness Madrid was indeed an asset of the unit.
altercation and tried to intervene. But Guba avers that the arrangement ended when
o After seeing Mendoza, Villalon bolted and ran Madrid was detained on 15 August 1991. He
towards a Mami house down the street. When categorically denies the assertion of Madrid that
Mendoza reached the Mami house, Rugay Guba requested his temporary release, must less
that he was given temporary liberty on the day in who testified that after August 15, 1991, he no longer utilized
question. Madrid as an asset since Madrid was already in detention and
o The witness from the NBI, a Forensic Chemist, he (Guba) had no authority to place Madrid under his custody.
conducted a paraffin test and the test yielded
negative results for nitrates. Despite the assertion that it happened just outside a Mami house,
 The RTC convicted the two for murder, and further no other witness was presented to at least corroborate the events
convicted Rugay for illegal possession of firearms. ON that took place, much less the presence there of Madrid.
appeal to the SC, Villalon withdrew his appeal, while
Rugay continued the same. On the charge of illegal possession, Rugay is likewise entitled to
an acquittal.
WON Rugay is guilty beyond reasonable doubt for illegal The prosecution failed to establish the first element. No firearm
possession. was presented in evidence. Moreover, Madrid testified that
appellant used a short gun. According to Ms. Aida Viloria-
HELD: Magsipoc, the NBI Forensic Chemist, a short barreled firearm,
NO. There are serious doubts and holes in the prosecution’s as approved to one with a long barrel, would deposit more
evidence. gunpowder nitrates on the subject. Logically, the use of a short-
barreled gun increases the probability that the paraffin tests
Appellants conviction was based mainly upon the testimony of would yield positive results. Yet, the paraffin tests yielded
Jesus Madrid. The latter however admitted that he had been in exactly the opposite. While a negative result on a paraffin test is
detention at the Puerto Princesa City Jail from August 15, not conclusive proof that appellant did not fire a gun, such fact,
1991 up to and including the date of the commission of the if considered with the other circumstances of this case, may be
crime on August 28, 1991 for violation of the Dangerous Drugs taken as an indication of his innocence. In criminal cases, every
Law, having been arrested for possession of marijuana. circumstance favoring the innocence of the accused must be
duly taken into account.
The Court, therefore, entertains serious doubts regarding the
opportunity by which this supposed witness came to know of the
facts to which he testified. In the ordinary course of nature,
Madrid could not have possibly witnessed the events that
transpired on the night of August 28, 1991 as he was in detention
at the Puerto Princesa City Jail. His assertion that in the evening
of August 28, 1991 he was taken out of the jail and used for
surveillance purposes by SPO4 Guba was belied by the latter
Heirs of Gabatan v. C.A (G.R No. 150206 Petitioners maintained that Juan Gabatan died single in 1934
and without any issue and that Juan was survived by one
Nature of the case: Petition for Review brother and two sisters, namely: Teofilo
(petitioners’predecessor-in-interest), Macaria and Justa. These
Facts: siblings and/or their heirs, inherited the subject land from Juan
Gabatan and have been in actual, physical, open,
A 1.1062 hectare parcel of land situated at Calinugan, public,adverse, continuous and uninterrupted possession
Balulang, Cagayan de Oro Citywas declared for taxation in the thereof in the concept of owners for more than fifty (50) years
name of Juan Gabatan. In the complaint before the RTC, and enjoyed the fruits of the improvements thereon, to the
Pacana alleged that she is the sole owner of it, having inherited exclusion of the whole world including respondent.
the same from her deceased mother, Hermogena Gabatan
Evero (Hermogena). Petitioners filed an amended answer, additionally alleging that
the disputed land was already covered by OCT No. P-3316 in
PACANA further claimed that her mother, Hermogena, is the the name of the heirs of Juan Gabatan represented by petitioner
only child of Juan Gabatan and his wife, Laureana Clarito. Riorita Gabatan (Teofilo’s daughter).
Respondent alleged that upon the death of Juan Gabatan, Lot
3095 C-5 was entrusted to his brother, Teofilo Gabatan RTC held in favor of PACANA, CA AFFIRMED. The
(Teofilo), and Teofilo’s wife, Rita Gabatan, for administration. CA gave weight to the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by
It was also claimed that prior to her death Hermogena Macaria Gabatan de Abrogar, Teofilo, Hermogena and heirs of
demanded for the return of the land but to no avail. Justa Gabatan, wherein Hermogena was identified as an heir of
Juan Gabatan.
After Hermogena’s death, respondent also did the same but
petitioners refused to heed the numerous demands to surrender Thus, this appeal. The respondent’s main cause of action in the
the subject property. According to respondent, when Teofilo court a quo is the recovery of ownership and possession of
and his wife died, petitioners Jesus Jabin is and Catalino property.
Acantilado took possession of the disputed land despite
respondent’s demands for them to vacate the same.
GABATAN denied that respondent’s mother Hermogena was
the daughter of Juan Gabatan with Laureana Clarito and that Whether the lower court erred in failing to appreciate by
Hermogena or respondent is the rightful heir of Juan Gabatan. preponderance of evidence in favor of the defendants-appellants
(petitioners) claim that they and the heirs of Justa and Macaria
both surnamed Gabatan are the sole and surviving heirs of Juan
Gabatan and, therefore, entitled to inherit the land subject matter
admissible under the Rules of Court of her mother’s relationship
RULING: Petition granted. to Juan Gabatan.

We find insufficient and questionable the basis of the RTC in

conferring upon respondent the status of sole heir of Juan
Respondent, in asserting to be entitled to possession and
ownership of the property, pinned her claim entirely on her
alleged status as sole heir of Juan Gabatan. It was incumbent
upon her to present preponderant evidence in support of her

Here, two conflicting birth certificates of respondent were

presented at the RTC. Respondent, during her direct testimony,
presented and identified a purported certified true copy of her
typewritten birth certificate which indicated that her mother’s
maiden name was "Hermogena Clarito Gabatan”.


Under the best evidence rule, when the subject of inquiry is the
contents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other
than the original document itself.

To reiterate, to prove the relationship of respondent’s mother to

Juan Gabatan, our laws dictate that the best evidence of such
familial tie was the record of birth appearing in the Civil
Registrar, or an authentic document or a final judgment. In the
absence of these, respondent should have presented proof that
her mother enjoyed the continuous possession of the status of a
legitimate child. Only in the absence of these two classes of
evidence is the respondent allowed to present other prof
Manila Mining Corporation VS. Miguel Tan Issue: W/N there was probative value of the evidence presented
by the Petitioner in relation to the unauthenticated photocopies
G.R. No. 171702 February 12, 2009
of Invoice and Purchase Order is a violation of the best
Facts evidence rule?

 Respondent Miguel Tan was doing business under the Ruling: Yes
name and style of Manila Mandarin Marketing and is  Under the civil code the manner of which a contract of
engaged in the business of selling electrical materials. sale is perfected is when there is a meeting of the mind
 Petitioner MMC ordered various electrical materials upon the thing which is the object of the contract and
from Respondent, from which the former agreed to pay upon the price.
within 30 days from delivery with interest.  The purchase order constitute accepted offer when
 MMC made partial payment but defaulted eventually. respondent supplied the electrical materials to the
 Respondent filed a collections suit against the petitioner petitioner. Petitioner cannot evade its obligation by
with the RTC claiming for lack of consent to the perfected contract of
 MMC offered as its sole witness its accountant Rainier sale. The invoices furnished the detail of the
Ibarrola, that absence of stamp marks on the invoices transaction.
and purchase order negated receipt of the said  The best evidence rules only applies if the contents of
document by MMC’s representatives. the writing are directly in issue but where the existence
 Respondent presented his sales representative to testify of the writing or its general purport is all that is the
that he delivered the originals of the invoices and issue, secondary evidence may be introduced as proof.
purchase order to MMC’s accounting department and  Petitioner did not deny the contents of the invoice and
showed the customer’s acknowledgement receipts. purchase order, its lone contention was that respondent
 As Alleged by the Petitioner that the Unauthenticated did not submit the original copies to facilitate the
Photocopies of Invoice and Purchase order did not payment.
satisfy the Best Evidence Rule, which requires the  Photocopies of the documents were admissible in
production of the original writing in court. evidence to prove the contract between the parties.
 RTC ruled in favor of the Respondent.  Petition is Denied, Ruling of the RTC is affirmed.
 CA Affirmed
Edsa Shangri-la Hotel v. BF Corp. (G.R. No. 145842, prom. Respondent BF, on the other hand, avers having complied with
June 27, 2008) the laying- the-basis requirement. Defending the action of the
courts below in admitting into evidence the photocopies of the
documents aforementioned, BF explained that it could not
Facts: present the original of the documents since they were in the
This is a collection case for a sum of money owed by Edsa possession of ESHRI which refused to hand them over to BF
Shangri-la to BF Corp. for the construction of its building despite requests.
roject. From May 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992, BF submitted a
total of 19 progress billings following the procedure agreed
upon. Based on Progress Billing Nos. 1 to 13, ESHRI paid BF
PhP 86,501,834.05.7 According to BF, however, ESHRI, for Issue:
Progress Billing Nos. 14 to 19, did not re-measure the work Whether the admission of secondary evidence (the photocopies
done, did not prepare the Progress Payment Certificates, let of progress billings) was proper.
alone remit payment for the inclusive periods covered. In this
regard, BF claimed having been misled into working
continuously on the project by ESHRI which gave the
assurance about the Progress Payment Certificates already Held:
being processed. After several futile attempts to collect the Yes. We agree with BF. The only actual rule that the term "best
unpaid billings, BF filed, on July 26, 1993, before the RTC a evidence" denotes is the rule requiring that the original of
suit for a sum of money and damages. In its defense, ESHRI writing must, as a general proposition, be produced and
claimed having overpaid BF for Progress Billing Nos. 1 to 13 secondary evidence of its contents is not admissible except
and, by way of counterclaim with damages, asked that BF be where the original cannot be had. Rule 130, Section 3 of the
ordered to refund the excess payments. ESHRI also charged BF Rules of Court enunciates the best evidence rule: SEC. 3.
with incurring delay and turning up with inferior work Original document must be produced; exceptions. - When the
accomplishment. Petitioners fault the CA, and necessarily the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence
trial court, on the matter of the admission in evidence of the shall be admissible other than the original document itself,
photocopies of Progress Billing Nos. 14 to 19 and the except in the following cases: (a) When the original has been
complementing PMIs and the WVOs. According to petitioners, lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, without bad
BF, before being allowed to adduce in evidence the faith on the part of the offeror; (b) When the original is in the
photocopies adverted to, ought to have laid the basis for the custody or under the control of the party against whom the
presentation of the photocopies as secondary evidence, evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it after
conformably to the best evidence rule. reasonable notice; (Emphasis added.) Complementing the
above provision is Sec. 6 of Rule 130, which reads: SEC. 6.
When original document is in adverse party's custody or know if they have brought the originals and whether they will
control. - If the document is in the custody or under control of present the originals in court, Your Honor. (Emphasis added.)
the adverse party, he must have reasonable notice to produce it. ATTY. AUTEA: We have already informed our client about
If after such notice and after satisfactory proof of its existence, the situation, your Honor, that it has been claimed by plaintiff
he fails to produce the document, secondary evidence may be that some of the originals are in their possession and our client
presented as in the case of loss. Secondary evidence of the assured that, they will try to check. Unfortunately, we have not
contents of a written instrument or document refers to evidence heard from our client, Your Honor. Four factual premises are
other than the original instrument or document itself. A party readily deducible from the above exchanges, to wit: (1) the
may present secondary evidence of the contents of a writing existence of the original documents which ESHRI had
not only when the original is lost or destroyed, but also when it possession of; (2) a request was made on ESHRI to produce the
is in the custody or under the control of the adverse party. In documents; (3) ESHRI was afforded sufficient time to produce
either instance, however, certain explanations must be given them; and (4) ESHRI was not inclined to produce them.
before a party can resort to secondary evidence. In our view, Clearly, the circumstances obtaining in this case fall under the
the trial court correctly allowed the presentation of the exception under Sec. 3(b) of Rule 130. In other words, the
photocopied documents in question as secondary evidence. conditions sine qua non for the presentation and reception of
Any suggestion that BF failed to lay the required basis for the photocopies of the original document as secondary
presenting the photocopies of Progress Billing Nos. 14 to 19 evidence have been met. These are: (1) there is proof of the
instead of their originals has to be dismissed. original document's execution or existence; (2) there is proof of
The stenographic notes of the following exchanges between the cause of the original document's unavailability; and (3) the
Atty. Andres and Atty. Autea, counsel for BF and ESHRI, offeror is in good faith.
respectively, reveal that BF had complied with the
requirements: While perhaps not on all fours because it involved a check,
what the Court said in Magdayao v. People, is very much apt,
ATTY. ANDRES: During the previous hearing of this case, thus: To warrant the admissibility of secondary evidence when
your Honor, likewise, the witness testified that certain exhibits the original of a writing is in the custody or control of the
namely, the Progress Payment Certificates and the Progress adverse party, Section 6 of Rule 130 provides that the adverse
Billings the originals of these documents were transmitted to party must be given reasonable notice, that he fails or refuses to
ESHRI, all the originals are in the possession of ESHRI since produce the same in court and that the offeror offers
these are internal documents and I am referring specifically to satisfactory proof of its existence.
the Progress Payment Certificates. We requested your Honor, The mere fact that the original of the writing is in the custody
that in order that plaintiff [BF] be allowed to present secondary or control of the party against whom it is offered does not
original, that opposing counsel first be given opportunity to warrant the admission of secondary evidence. The offeror must
present the originals which are in their possession. May we prove that he has done all in his power to secure the best
evidence by giving notice to the said party to produce the
document. The notice may be in the form of a motion for the
production of the original or made in open court in the
presence of the adverse party or via a subpoena duces tecum,
provided that the party in custody of the original has sufficient
time to produce the same. When such party has the original of
the writing and does not voluntarily offer to produce it or
refuses to produce it, secondary evidence may be admitted.
Borje v. Sandiganbayan
GR L-55436 In fairness to the accused, We are constrained to include
25 Nov 1983 hereunder the more detailed statement of facts submitted by him
J. Guerrero in his Brief:

FACTS: NICASIO BORJE was charged with the crime of The Province of La Union undertook as one of its
FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENT. The accused- projects the program known as the Gulayan sa
appellant pleaded not guilty. Since there is no direct proof Kalusugan and Masagana '99 Program, the
showing that accused-appellant, being then the Provincial Plant implementation of which became a joint program
Industry Officer with many subordinate employees and of its Bureau of Plant Industry and its Bureau of
personnel under him engaged in agricultural field work and Agricultural Extension. Government employees
assigned in the rural areas like the complainant Rodrigo detailed as production technicians in the Gulayan
Ducusin, had personally and actually falsified the public Program received incentive allowances from the
documents in question which under normal office procedures NFAC during the covered period. Their detail as
pass through numerous hands at several government offices for production technicians of the said program was
typing, attestations, funding, accounting, and payment of the effected only by a special order emanating from
check for P225.00, the legal issue thus raised merits Our careful the Bureau of Plant Industry Door; and before the
consideration and resolution. employee received his incentive pay, he was
required to prepare his Daffy Time Record for the
The decision appealed from recites the evidence for the particular month and submit a Certification
government as follows: attesting to the fact that he was detailed to the
The gist of the evidence of the prosecution, program.
which consist of the testimonies of Ducusin,
Edgardo Olivares, 43 years old, married, In the case-at-bar, complainant Rodrigo Ducusin,
agronomist and Provincial Plant Officer, Manuel an employee of the Bureau of Plant Industry, was
Varquez, 45 years old, married and Regional detailed to the program from February 2,1975 up
Director and Remedios Lorenzo, 47 years old, to December 1977, his assignment of work being
married and Cashier, all of the Bureau of Plant contained in the NFAC Order captioned 'Detail
Industry in San Fernando, La Union, shows that and Designation of Personnel to NFAC, in
Ducusin was employed as Plant Pest Officer with connection with the Gulayan Program where his
the Bureau of Plant Industry stationed in San name appeared.
Fernando, La Union from February 2, 1975 up to
his resignation on April 30, 1978.
Making it appear that he was surprised to learn complainant admitted in cross-examination that he believes that
that he was supposed to receive his NFAC Borje instigated said two criminal cases against him.
incentive pay for the months of January,
February and March 1977 because he was not The Sandiganbayan in its decision formulated two issues
entitled thereto as he was not anymore connected determinative of the innocence or guilt of the accused, to wit: (1)
with the Gulayan Program; and falsely making it Whether or not the a) Time Book and Payroll, b) the
appear that some person other than himself certification, and c) the Daily Time Records in support of said
received his incentive pay by allegedly forging payroll were falsified; and (2) If they were, the liability of the
his signature on the Daily Time Records, the accused, if any. The accused- appellant was found guilty by
Payroll and the Certification required and respondent court.
submitted — complainant Rodrigo Ducusin
caused to be filled a complaint against the ISSUES: Whether the accused is guilty of falsification of public
petitioner, Nicasio Borje, supervising agronomist document
of the Bureau of Plant Industry, before the
Tanodbayan. HELD: NO. On the face of the above documentary evidence,
the liability of petitioner as head of the office who had signed
Accused-appellant contends that complainant Ducusin was paid the certification and verification printed thereon must be limited
his incentive pay for the months of January to March, 1977 in to the contents of said verification and certification for which he
the total sum of P225.00 as Ducusin was included in the payroll does not necessarily incur criminal responsibility if the entries,
since he has worked with the Program as shown by the Special data or statements certified and verified turn out not to be true in
Order. He confirms substantially the official procedure in the which case the employee or personnel making the entries, data
preparation of the payroll and subsequent payment of the or statements as to his services and attendance is solely and
incentive pay to the production technicians as described by separately responsible therefor. In the instant case, since there is
witness Remedios Lorenzo, disbursing officer and cashier for the Special Order No. 172 of Executive Director Domingo
the BPI office in San Fernando, La Union. However, he Panganiban, concurrently BPI Director, marked Exh. 6, "Detail
vigorously denies having received the payroll and the and Designation of BPI personnel to NFAC in connection with
corresponding checks from witness Lorenzo as his participation the Masagana-99 Program effective January to December,
in the preparation of the said payroll ended with his signing 1977" listing complainant for the assignment and detail, the
thereof after which the payroll goes to the disbursing officer for inclusion of Ducusin's name in the payroll was not irregular.
the preparation and issuance of the checks to the payees. Besides, the payroll is prepared by the Budget Office based on
the Special Order and not by the petitioner's office.
Accused-appellant contends that the instant case against him
was initiated by Ducusin to get even with the petitioner as the
According to complainant Ducusin, he was no longer connected We also reject respondent court's reliance on the presumption
with the Masagana Program during the period of January to that as possessor of the document, the accused is presumed to be
March 1977 because his assignment thereto had been the author of the falsification. In the first place, the factual basis
terminated. But he was asked this question by the which is the Lorenzo testimony which We have reviewed as
Sandiganbayan, thus: doubtful and variable, cannot be credited. Petitioner has denied
Q — What evidence do you have that you were removed vigorously the testimony of Lorenzo that he received the payroll
in 1977 and you were no longer performing your duties as and the checks from her. He said that his participation in the
technician? preparation of the payroll ended with his signing thereof after
A — It is only verbal. which the payroll goes to the Disbursing Officer for the
preparation and issuance of the checks to the payees at which
The alleged verbal order is doubtful for under normal and usual time the payee affix their signatures on the payroll, which is
official procedure, a written special order issued by a substantially corroborated by the original testimony of the
government office is cancelled, amended or modified only by witness Lorenzo during the reinvestigation of the case before the
another written special order, not only for purposes of record on Tanodbayan.
file but also to prevent conflict and confusion in government
operations. Moreover, under the best evidence rule, Section 2, In the second place, Exhibit "A" appears to be also signed by ten
Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, the supposed verbal order cannot (10) other production technicians fisted in the payroll, besides
prevail over the written Special Order. complainant Ducusin. It is initialled by three (3) personnel in the
Respondent Sandiganbayan, however, justified the conviction of Accounting Services Unit and further signed by the Regional
the accused on the basis of the testimony of witness Remedios Accountant and for the Regional Director. All of these persons
Lorenzo, Regional Disbursing Officer and Cashier, to the effect were at one time or another in possession of the document, all of
that she delivered the payroll and checks to petitioner accused- them had the same opportunity impliedly imputed to the
appellant, relying further on the presumption that as possessor accused, The payroll must have been carried and passed by
of the document, accused-appellant is presumed to have falsified messengers and other employees from one office to another,
it. from one desk to another for purposes of typing, funding,
initialling, verification, certification, accounting, recording,
But reviewing the testimony of witness Lorenzo, the records drawing of the check and finally, issuing of the check. In Our
disclose that her original testimony at the reinvestigation of the view, the respondent court's reliance on the presumption which
case before the Tanodbayan was favorable to the accused, saying is only presumptive, is misplaced and unwarranted, there being
that she delivered the payroll and the checks to the complainant no sufficient reason to apply the same.
Ducusin, even Identifying the genuine signature of Ducusin on
the payroll. The defense contends that the prosecution, having presented
xerox copies only of the falsified documents, Exhs. "D" and "C",
fatted to prove the corpus delicti of the crime charged, citing the
case of U.S. vs. Gregorio:

In a criminal case for the falsification of a

document, it is indispensable that the judges and
the courts have before them the document alleged
to have been simulated, counterfeited or falsified,
in order that they may find, pursuant to the
evidence produced at the trial, whether or not the
crime of falsification was actually committed; in
the absence of the original document, it is
improper to conclude, with only a copy of the
said original in view, that there has been a
falsification of a document which was neither
found nor exhibited, because, in such a case, even
the existence of such original document may be

The ill motives of the complainant in falsely accusing the

accused-appellant is easily discernible herein. The rule is
established that the absence of evidence as to an improper
motive actuating the offended party and the principal
prosecution witness tends to sustain the conclusion that no such
improper motive existed and that their testimonies are worthy of
full faith and credit. Conversely, where there is showing as to
improper motives, as in the case at bar, the testimony of
complainant Ducusin is unworthy of faith and credit and,
therefore, deserves scant consideration. And since the
prosecution theory is built or based on such testimony, the cause
of the prosecution collapses or falls with it.

G.R. No. 91797 August 7, 1992

WIDOWS & ORPHANS ASSOCIATION, ("TCT") No. 77652 and of Lot 8 of TCT No. 77653, both of
INC., petitioner, which were issued and standing in the name of Ortigas.
In an order dated 20 April 1979, the trial court set the case for
hearing to enable Widora to prove its assertion that TCT Nos.
77652 and 77653 were not derived from the Original
FACTS: Certificates of Title ("OCT") referred to on their faces (i.e.,
OCT Nos. 19, 336, 337 and 344) and to give Ortigas an
opportunity to show the contrary.
On 27 August 1974, petitioner Widows' and Orphans
For nine (9) years, from 1979 until 1988, hearings were held
Association, Inc. ("Widora") instituted Land Registration Case
where the parties adduced evidence in support of their
("LRC") No. Q-336 before Branch 4 of the Court of First
respective contentions. 7
Instance of Quezon City (now Branch 83 of the Regional Trial
Court, same city). In an order dated 30 March 1988, the trial court denied Ortigas'
motion to dismiss, holding that its TCT's were apparently not
Widora applied for original registration of title over a parcel of
derived from the OCT's mentioned on their faces and did not
land described in Plan LRC (SWO)-15352, alleging that said
appear to have been based on an existing original decree of
property is covered by Titulo Propiedad No. 4136 dated 25
April 1984, supposedly issued in the name of one, deceased,
Mariano San Pedro y Esteban. The said land applied for was Ortigas' motion for reconsideration having been denied, and the
situated at Malitlit-Ugong, Quezon City, with an area of 156 trial court having set the case for hearing on the merits, Ortigas
hectares. filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for a writ of
preliminary injunction with the public respondent Court of
On 13 October 1978, private respondent Ortigas & Co. Limited
Appeals on 10 July 1989.
Partnership, Inc. ("Ortigas") filed an opposition to the
application. This pleading was followed by a motion to dismiss In a decision dated 27 November 1989, the Court of Appeals
dated 23 October 1978. gave due course to the petition and nullified the trial court's
order of 30 March 1988. It held that TCT Nos. 77652 and
In a supplementary report dated 14 November 1978, the
77653 were derived from OCT No. 351, which in turn was
Commissioner of Land Registration informed the trial court
based on Decree of Registration No. 1425 issued in favor of
that the land sought to be registered was "identically the same"
Ortigas' predecessor-in-interest in 1905, in G.L.R.O.
as that covered by Lot 7 of Transfer Certificate of Title
Record No. 917 which had been tried by the Land
Registration Court of Manila. The Court of Appeals lack of merit. The court is hereby ORDERED to dismiss
dismissed LRC No. Q-336 because the land subject thereof immediately LRC Case No. Q-336.
was already registered in favor of Ortigas, with the result
The decision of the Court of Appeals is reinstated.
that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the subject
matter of the action. The CA, in arriving at its conclusion that TCT Nos. 77652 and
77653 are proper derivatives of OCT No. 351, which in turn
Its motion for reconsideration having been denied, Widora
had been issued pursuant to Decree No. 1425, the Court of
filed the present petition for review with the Court on 22
Appeals had relied on:
March 1990. In a decision dated 28 August 1991, the Court's
Third Division set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals (a) a certified true copy of OCT No. 351;
and reinstated the order of the trial court dated 30 March 1988.
(b) survey plans prepared by Ortigas' Geodetic Engineer, Mr.
The Court's Third Division held that the Court of Appeals erred Carlos Angeles, which were based on plottings of the
in making factual findings determinative of Widora's boundaries of parcels of land appearing in the Notice of Initial
application on the basis of "secondary evidence" offered by Hearing in G.L.R.O. Record No. 917 and in the technical
Ortigas, in unilaterally correcting entries in the Ortigas Torrens description found in the body of OCT No. 351, and in TCT
titles and held that the controversy regarding the authenticity of Nos. 77652 and 77653; and
said titles should be resolved in "full-blown" hearings before
the trial Court. (c) the testimony of Engineer Angeles that these plottings
showed that the land covered by the TCTs was inside the larger
Issue: parcel of land covered by the OCT, which in turn was inside
the much larger parcel of land (The Hacienda de Mandaloyon)
Whether or not the SC-Third Division is correct in holding that
adjudicated to Ortigas' predecessor-in-interest by Decree No.
that the controversy regarding the authenticity of said titles
1425 issued in G.L.R.O. Record No. 917.
should be resolved in "full-blown" hearings before the trial
Court The Court described the above evidence as "secondary" in
nature and noted that Ortigas did not establish the due
execution and subsequent loss of the original documents, as
No. required by the Rule on Secondary Evidence.
Decision dated 28 August 1991 is SET ASIDE; Widora's After careful re-examination of the evidence of record and
Petition for Review in the instant case is hereby DENIED for applicable rules of evidence, the Court considers that the
word "secondary evidence" was inaccurate. The copy of
OCT No. 351 offered by Ortigas was a certified true copy of
the original thereof found in the Registration Book of the
Register of Deeds of Rizal. The admissibility of such a copy
in court proceedings is an exception to the ordinary rule on
secondary evidence; such admissibility is in fact mandated by
Section 47 of Act No. 496 (The Land Registration Act). Under
the Land Registration Act which was in force at the time OCT
No. 351 was issued, the original thereof found in the
Registration Book of the Register of Deeds of Rizal was
an official transcript of Decree No. 1425, with respect to the
land covered by such decree situated in the Province of Rizal.
Thus, OCT No. 351 constitutes direct proof of the existence
of Decree No. 1425 upon which the Ortigas TCTs (Nos.
77652 and 77653) are based.
Further, the Court of Appeals was justified in relying upon the
plotting prepared by Engineer Carlos Angeles and his
testimony explaining the significance thereof, notwithstanding
the secondary nature of that plotting and testimony. The
authenticity and correctness of this survey plans and of
Engineer Angeles's explanation thereof had already been
judicially sustained in previously decided cases.
GR No. 80505 December 4, 1990  RTC convicted Mario Tandoy of the crime of violation
People vs Mario Tandoy of Art. II, Sec. 4 of Rep. Act No. 6425 known as the
Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972,
Facts:  The accused-appellant raises the following assignment
 On May 27, 1986, at about 3:30 p.m. Lt. Salido, Jr. of of errors in this appeal:
the Makati Police Station dispatched Pfc. Herino de la 1. The Court a quo erred in finding accused guilty
Cruz, and Detectives Pablo R. Singayan, Nicanor beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged despite
Candolesas, Luisito de la Cruz, Estanislao Dalumpines, lack of evidence to prove that he sold marijuana to the
Antonio Manalastas and Virgilio Padua to conduct a poseur-buyer.
buy-bust operation at Solchuaga St., Barangay 2. The Court a quo erred in admitting in evidence against
Singkamas, Makati. the accused Exh. "E-2-A" which is merely a xerox copy
 Detective Singayan was to pose as the buyer while the of the P10.00 bill allegedly used as buy-bust money.
other members of the team strategically positioned Issue: Will the best evidence rule apply and testimonial evidence
themselves. Soon, three men approached Singayan. admissible where the document actually executed, or exists, or
 One of them was the accused-appellant, who said in the circumstances relevant to or surrounding its execution?
without preamble: "Pare, gusto mo bang umiskor?"
Held: No.
Singayan said yes. The exchange was made then and
there — two rolls/pieces of marijuana for one P10.00 and  Accused: invokes the best evidence rule and questions
two P5.00 bills marked ANU (meaning Anti-Narcotics the admission by the trial court of the xerox copy only of
Unit). the marked P10.00 bill.
 The team then moved in and arrested Tandoy.  OSG: correctly refuted the contention; appellant
Manalastas and Candolesas made a body search of the erroneously thinks that said marked money is an ordinary
accused-appellant and took from him the marked money, document falling under Sec. 2, Rule 130 of the Revised
as well as eight more rolls/foils of marijuana and crushed Rules of Court which excludes the introduction of
secondary evidence except in the five (5) instances:
 Mario Tandoy was accused to have feloniously sold 8
pcs of dried marijuana flowering tops, 2 pcs dried Ratio:
marijuana flowering tops and crushed dried marijuana
flowering tops which are prohibited drug, for and in Best evidence rule applies only when the contents of the
consideration of Php20.00. document are the subject of inquiry. Where the issue is only as
to whether or not such document was actually executed, or
exists, or in the circumstances relevant to or surrounding its
execution, the best evidence rule does not apply and testimonial
evidence is admissible.
The marked money was presented by the prosecution
solely for the purpose of establishing its existence and not its
contents, other substitutionary evidence, like a xerox copy
thereof, is therefore admissible without the need of accounting
for the original.
The presentation at the trial of the "buy-bust money" was
not indispensable to the conviction of the accused-appellant
because the sale of the marijuana had been adequately proved by
the testimony of the police officers. So long as the marijuana
actually sold by the accused-appellant had been submitted as an
exhibit, the failure to produce the marked money itself would
not constitute a fatal omission.
The Appeal is Dismissed and the challenged decision is
Security Bank v. Triumph Lumber 5. Defendant bank claims that when the plaintiff
G.R. No. 126696 | January 21, 1999 corporation opened savings account and current
Davide, Jr., C.J. account, the plaintiff provided the bank with the
requisite specimen signature cards which in effect
Nature: authorized defendant bank to honor withdrawals on
Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the CA the basis of any 2 of 3 signatures affixed thereon,
specifically those of Mr. Dee Kong, Mr. Co Yok
Facts: Teng and Mr. Chun Yun Kit, the president,
1. Plaintiff is a depositor in good standing of treasurer and general manager of the corporation
defendant bank under a current checking account. a. Plaintiff executed an automatic transfer
2. Plaintiff claims that 3 checks all payable to cash and agreement authorizing the bank to transfer
all drawn against plaintiff’s aforementioned current cleared funds from plaintiff’s savings
account were presented for encashment account to its current account at any time
a. Also claims that due to defendant bank’s whenever funds in the current account are
gross negligence and inexcusable negligence insufficient to meet withdrawals therefrom
in exercising ordinary diligence in verifying or are below the stipulated minimum
from plaintiff the encashment of plaintiff’s balance
checks exceed a certain amounted in b. Also claims that the savings account pass
determining the forgery of drawer’s book and the check booklets were kept by
signatures, the aforesaid 3 checks were the plaintiff in its filing cabinet but on one
encashed by unauthorized persons to the day, the plaintiff discovered that the door of
damage and prejudice of the plaintiff his office was forced open including that of
corporation the filing cabinet where the check booklets
3. Plaintiff then requested the defendant to credit back and other bank documents were being kept
and restore to its account the value of the checks by plaintiff
which were wrongfully encashed i. Such incident was not reported to the
a. But despite due demand the defendant failed police nor was there any advise
to pay its liability given to defendant bank
4. Plaintiff claims that per findings of the PC Crime ii. That on the same day of the
Laboratory, the signatures of Co Yok Teng and Yu discovery by plaintiff of the
Chun Kit, the authorized signatories of plaintiff burglary, said plaintiff nevertheless
were forged made three separate deposits; and
later 3 checks were presented, all
payable to cash, for encashment – the signatures on the checks
such was given due course mentioned in the complaint.
a. Found no preponderance of evidence to ii. 15. The alleged forged signatures on
support respondent’s complaint the checks were sufficiently adroit as
b. Respondent failed to show that the to escape detection even under the
signatures on the subject checks were forged officer’s scrutiny.
c. It did not present in court the originals of the
checks iii. 20.3 Anna P. Naval and Roberto N.
d. Signatures on the checks were not compared Gabutao verbally admitted that the
with the specimen signatures appearing on checks were forged.
the specimen signature cards
e. Respondent failed to present Mr. Co Yok iv. 21. Anna Naval and Roberto
Teng, one of the signatories of the checks in Gabutao are now facing charges for
question, to deny the genuineness of the estafa thru Falsification of
signatures Commercial Documents under
f. Thus, the bank had exercised due care and Criminal Case No. 30004 pending
diligence in determining the authenticity of with the Regional Trial Court,
the checks in question before they were National Capital Judicial Region,
encashed sitting at Makati, Metro Manila.
i. It was respondent that had been
negligent in the care and custody of c. Expert witness was able to examine the
the corporate checks signatures on the orginal checks and
7. COURT OF APPEALS compared them with the standard signatures
a. Reversed TC on the original checks and compared them
b. It was not necessary for respondent to prove with the standard signatures of the
that the signatures on the 3 checks in signatories
question were forged because of the i. The photographic enlargements of
admissions of the petitioner: the questioned checks were in fact
i. 14. Plaintiff was guilty of negligence taken from the original checks
substantially contributing to the d. Petitioner must be the one to bear the
unauthorized signatures or forgery of consequences of its failure to detect the
i. Petitioner was less that prudent in the 2. In this case, the originals of the alleged forged checks
treatment of respondent’s account had to be produced, since it was never shown that any
of these exceptions was present. What the private
Issue: respondent offered were mere photocopies of the
1. WON forgery was duly established. NO checks in question marked as Exhibits “A,” “B,” and
2. WON there was proper identification of the “C.” It never explained the reason why it could not
handwriting of the authorized signatories. NO produce the originals of the checks.
3. It is true that the photocopies of the questioned checks
Held: were all identified by private respondent’s witness Yu
The Supreme Court granted the petition and reversed Chun Kit during his direct testimony without objection
the decision of the CA (reinstated TC). on the part of petitioner’s counsel. The latter even
cross-examined Yu Chun Kit, and, at the formal offer
1. The Court of Appeals also erred in holding that forgery of said exhibits, he objected to their admission solely on
was duly established. First, Section 3, Rule 130 of the the grounds that they were “irrelevant, immaterial and
Rules of Court was not complied with by private self-serving.” The photocopies of the checks may
respondent. The Section explicitly provides that when therefore be admitted for failure of petitioner to tender
the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no an appropriate objection to their admission.
evidence shall be admissible other than the original Nevertheless, their probative value is nil.
document itself. This is what is known as the “best 4. Then, too, the proper procedure in the investigation of a
evidence” rule. The exceptions are as follows: 1. When disputed handwriting was not observed. The initial step
the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be in such investigation is the introduction of the genuine
produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the handwriting of the party sought to be charged with the
offeror; 2. When the original is in the custody or under disputed writing, which is to serve as a standard of
the control of the party against whom the evidence is comparison. The standard or the exemplar must
offered, and the latter fails to produce it after reasonable therefore be proved to be genuine.
notice; 3. When the original consists of numerous 5. In BA Finance v. Court of Appeals, we had the occasion
accounts or other documents which cannot be examined to rule that the genuineness of a standard writing may
in court without great loss of time, and the fact sought be established by any of the following: (1) by the
to be established from them is only the general result of admission of the person sought to be charged with the
the whole; and 4. When the original is a public record disputed writing made at or for the purposes of the trial,
in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a or by his testimony; (2) by witnesses who saw the
public office. standards written or to whom or in whose hearing the
person sought to be charged acknowledged the writing
thereof; (3) by evidence showing that the reputed writer under the first and the second. She tried to be under the
of the standard has acquiesced in or recognized the third. But under the third, it is essential that (a) certain
same, or that it has been adopted and acted upon by him specimens of handwriting were seen and considered by
in his business transactions or other concerns her and (b) they were genuinely written by the person in
6. Our review of the testimony of private respondent’s question. Now, as stated above, Tabo had no adequate
expert witness, Crispina V. Tabo, fails to convince us basis for concluding that the alleged specimen
that she was a credible document examiner, despite signatures in the long bond paper were indeed the
petitioner’s admission that she was. She was candid signatures of the parties whose signatures in the checks
enough to admit to the court that although she had were claimed to have been forged. Moreover, we do not
testified more or less three hundred times as an expert, think that the alleged specimens before her were
her findings were sustained by the courts in more or sufficient in number.
less ten cases only. 8. Given the fact that Mrs. Tabo’s testimony cannot
7. Besides, under the circumstances obtaining in this case, inspire a conclusion that she was an expert, it was error
Tabo could by no yardstick be considered to have to rely on her representation. It is settled that the
adequate knowledge of the genuine signatures of the relative weight of the opinions of experts by and large
parties whose signatures on the questioned checks were depends on the value of assistance and guidance they
claimed to be forged. That knowledge could be furnish the court in the determination of the issue
obtained either by (a) seeing the person write some involved.
other documents or signatures (ex visu scriptionis); (b) 9. At any rate, since the questioned checks, which were
seeing documents otherwise known to him to have been payable to “cash,” appeared regular on their face and
written by the person in question (ex scriptis olim visis); the bank found nothing unusual in the transaction, as
or (c) examining, in or out of court, for the express the respondent usually issued checks in big amounts
purpose of obtaining such knowledge, the documents made payable to cash or to a particular person or to a
said to have been written by the person in question (ex company, the petitioner cannot be faulted in paying the
comparatione scriptorum). Tabo could not be a witness value of the disputed checks.