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1. Samalio v.

Court of Appeals
SCRA 462
Topic: Applicability of Rules of Evidence

454

Facts: Weng Sai Qin, a Chinese with Uruguayan passport, was taken to Augusto R. Samalio, Intelligence Officer of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID), because her passport was suspected to be fake. Qin paid Samalio $500 in exchange of her passport but Samalio returned Qins passport without an immigration arrival stamp. Thereafter, a criminal case for robbery and violation of the Immigration Law was filed against Samalio in the Sandiganbayan, as well as an administrative case for dishonesty, oppression and misconduct. Samalio was found guilty of the charges in both proceedings and was ordered dismissed from service by the BID Commissioner, and such decision was affirmed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Secretary of Justice and the Court of Appeals. The CSC and the Secretary of Justice took cognizance of the testimony of Weng Sai Qin in the Sandiganbayan case, applying Section 47, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Issue: Whether or not the Rules on Evidence applies in the administrative case. Ruling: Yes. The CSC and the Secretary of Justice did not err in applying Section 47, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, otherwise known as the rule on former testimony, in deciding petitioners administrative case. The provisions of the Rules of Court may be applied suppletorily to the rules of procedure of administrative bodies exercising quasi-judicial powers, unless otherwise provided by law or the rules of procedure of the administrative agency concerned. The Rules of Court, which are meant to secure to every litigant the adjective phase of due process of law, may be applied to proceedings before an administrative body with quasi-judicial powers in the absence of different and valid statutory or administrative provisions prescribing the ground rules for the investigation, hearing and adjudication of cases before it. For Section 47, Rule 130 to apply, the following requisites must be satisfied: (a) the witness is dead or unable to testify; (b) his testimony or deposition was given in a former case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, between the same parties or those representing the same interests; (c) the former case involved the same subject as that in the present case, although on different causes of action; (d) the issue testified to by the witness in the former trial is the same issue involved in the present case and (e) the adverse party had an opportunity to cross-examine the witness in the former case. In this case, Weng Sai Qin was unable to testify in the administrative proceedings before the BID because she left the country even before the administrative complaint against petitioner was instituted. Petitioner does not deny that the testimony of Weng Sai Qin was given in Sandiganbayan case, the very basis for filing the administrative complaint. Hence, the issue testified to by Weng Sai Qin in such case was the same issue in the administrative case, that is, whether petitioner extorted money from Weng Sai Qin. Petitioner also had the opportunity to face and crossexamine his accuser Weng Sai Qin, and to defend and vindicate his cause before the Sandiganbayan. Clearly, all the requisites for the proper application of the rule on former testimony were satisfied. Furthermore, the proper foundation was laid because in the early stages of the proceedings before the Board of Discipline of the BID, Weng Sai Qins departure from the

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country and consequent inability to testify in the proceedings had already been disclosed to the parties.

2. Ong Chia v. Republic


SCRA 749

328

Topic: Applicability of Rules of Evidence Facts: Ong Chia was born in China but he came to the country when he was a boy and stayed here since then. When he was 66 years old, he filed a petition to be admitted as a Filipino citizen. He testified as to his qualifications and presented witnesses to corroborate the facts which will admit him Filipino citizenship and the trial court granted such petition. However, the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the trial courts decision when the State appealed to it, annexing in its appellant's brief the pertinent documents for naturalization which contends that petitioner failed to support his petition with the appropriate documentary evidence. Ong Chia now contends that the appellate court erred in considering the documents which had merely been annexed by the State to its appellant's brief and that such documents, not having been presented and formally offered as evidence, are mere scraps of paper. Issue: Whether or not the documents annexed to the States appellant briefs should be considered as evidence even if they were not formally introduced as evidence. Ruling: Yes. The documents should be considered as evidence. In this case, the Supreme Court held that the rule on formal offer of evidence (Rule 132, Section 34 of the Rules of Court) now being invoked by petitioner is clearly not applicable to the present case involving a petition for naturalization. Rule 143 of the Rules of Court states, These rules shall not apply to land registration, cadastral and election cases, naturalization and insolvency proceedings, and other cases not therein provided for, except by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient . The only instance when said rules may be applied by analogy or suppletorily in such cases is when it is "practicable and convenient." In the case at bar, petitioner claims that as a result of the failure of the State to present and formally offer its documentary evidence before the trial court, he was denied the right to object against their authenticity, effectively depriving him of his fundamental right to procedural due process. However, the Supreme Court is not persuaded, ruling that the reason for the rule prohibiting the admission of evidence which has not been formally offered is to afford the opposite party the chance to object to their admissibility. Petitioner cannot claim that he was deprived of the right to object to the authenticity of the documents submitted to the appellate court by the State. He could have included his objections, as he, in fact, did, in the brief he filed with the Court of Appeals.

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3. Bantolino v. Coca Cola Bottlers, Inc.


SCRA 699
Topic: Applicability of Rules of Evidence

403

Facts: Prudencio Bantolino, Nestor Romero et al., who are former employees of Coca Cola, filed a case against the latter for illegal dismissal. The Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of the employees, and ordered their reinstatement and the payment of backwages. The Labor Arbiter also ruled that despite the negative declarations of Coca Cola as to its relationship with the complainants, the complainants testimonies are more credible to prove the existence of employer-employee relationship. The NLRC affirmed such decision but the Court of Appeals modified such ruling because the complainants affidavits should not be given probative value since they were not subjected to cross- examination, they were not affirmed and therefore, they are hearsay evidence. Issue: Whether or not administrative bodies like the NLRC should be strictly bound by the rules of evidence. Ruling: No. The argument that the affidavit is hearsay because the affiants were not presented for cross examination is not persuasive because the rules of evidence are not strictly observed in proceedings before administrative bodies like the NLRC, where decisions may be reached on the basis of position papers only. It is not necessary for the affiants to appear and testify and be cross-examined by counsel of the adverse party. To require otherwise would be to negate the rationale and purpose of the summary nature of the proceedings in the NLRC. The rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law do not control proceedings before the labor arbiter and the NLRC. They are authorized to adopt reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively without regard to technicalities of law and procedure all in the interest of due process.

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4. People v. Galleno
SCRA 761
Topic: Expert Testimony as Evidence; Evidence in Criminal Cases

291

Facts: Joeral Galleno was charged with statutory rape committed against Evelyn Obligar, a five year old girl. The prosecution presented three expert witnesses namely, Dr. Alfonso Orosco, Dr. Ma. Lourdes Laada, and Dr. Machael Toledo, whose testimonies convinced the trial court that rape was committed against Obligar. Galleno contended that he should be acquitted since the expert testimonies were not impeccable considering that the doctors found that there was no presence of spermatozoa, and that they were not sure as to what caused the laceration in the victim's vagina. Issue: Whether or not the lacking testimonies of the expert witnesses as to the occurrence of carnal knowledge should result to the acquittal of the accused. Ruling: As a general rule, witnesses must state facts and not draw conclusions or give opinions. It is the court's duty to draw conclusions from the evidence and form opinions upon the facts proved. However, conclusions and opinions of witnesses are received in many cases, and are not confined to expert testimony, based on the principle that either because of the special skill or expert knowledge of the witness, or because of the nature of the subject matter under observation, or for other reasons, the testimony will aid the court in reaching a judgment. In the case at bar, the trial court arrived at its conclusions not only with the aid of the expert testimony of doctors who gave their opinions as to the possible cause of the victim's laceration, but also the testimony of the other prosecution witness, especially the victim herself. In other words, the trial court did not rely solely on the testimony of the expert witnesses. Such expert testimony merely aided the trial court in the exercise of its judgment on the facts. Hence, the fact that the experts enumerated various possible causes of the victim's laceration does not mean the trial court's interference is wrong. The absence of spermatozoa in the victim's vagina does not negate the conclusion that it was his penis which was inserted in the victim's vagina. In rape, the important consideration is not the emission of semen but the penetration of the female genitalia by the male organ.

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5. People v. Calumpang
454 SCRA 719
Topic: Alibi Facts: Rico Calumpang and Jovenal Omatang were charged with two counts of murder, committed against the spouses Alicia Catipay and Santiago Catipay. The trial court dismissed the defense of alibi interposed by the defendants because it was weak and then convicted the defendants, relying on the testimony of Magno Gomez who allegedly eye witnessed the killing of the two victims. The defendants appealed, contending that the testimony of Magno is unreliable and inconsistent, and that the trial court erred in dismissing their defense of alibi. Issue: Whether or not the defense of alibi is sufficient to cast doubt as to the guilt of the accused. Ruling: Yes. Appellants defense of alibi was indeed weak, since their alibis were corroborated only by their relatives and friends, and it was not shown that it was impossible for them to be at the place of the incident. However, the rule that an accused must satisfactorily prove his alibi was never intended to change or shift the burden of proof in criminal cases. It is basic that the prosecution evidence must stand or fall on its own weight and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the defense. Unless the prosecution overturns the constitutional presumption of innocence of an accused by competent and credible evidence proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the presumption remains. There being no sufficient evidence beyond reasonable doubt pointing to appellants as the perpetrators of the crime, appellants presumed innocence stands. The Supreme Court found that the testimony of the lone witness Magno is full of inconsistencies. While Magno claimed to have witnessed the gruesome killings, the records show that serious discrepancies attended Magnos testimony in court and his sworn statement executed during the preliminary examination. Well settled is the rule that evidence to be believed must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness, but must be credible in itselfsuch as the common experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances stand. Magnos testimony failed to satisfy such rule, hence, the presumed innocence of the accused must be upheld.

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6. Heirs of Sabanpan v. Comorposa


G.R. No. 152807
Topic: Admissibility of Evidence Facts: The heirs of Lourdes Sabanpan filed a complaint for unlawful detainer with damages against respondents Alberto Comorposa, et al. The MTC ruled in favor of the heirs, but the RTC reversed such decision. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC judgment, ruling that respondents had the better right to possess the subject land; and it disregarded the affidavits of the petitioners witnesses for being self-serving. Hence, the heirs filed a petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court, contending that the Rules on Summary Procedure authorizes the use of affidavits and that the failure of respondents to file their position papers and counter-affidavits before the MTC amounts to an admission by silence. Issue: Whether or not the affidavits in issue should have been considered by the Court of Appeals. Ruling: No. The admissibility of evidence should not be confused with its probative value. Admissibility refers to the question of whether certain pieces of evidence are to be considered at all, while probative value refers to the question of whether the admitted evidence proves an issue. Thus, a particular item of evidence may be admissible, but its evidentiary weight depends on judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided by the rules of evidence. While in summary proceedings affidavits are admissible as the witnesses' respective testimonies, the failure of the adverse party to reply does not ipso facto render the facts, set forth therein, duly proven. Petitioners still bear the burden of proving their cause of action, because they are the ones asserting an affirmative relief.

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7. People v. Negosa
142856-57
Topic: Testimonial Evidence

G.R. No.

Facts: Roberto Negosa was charged with two counts of rape, committed against Gretchen Castao. As to the second count of rape, Gretchen testified on direct examination that the penis of the appellant was able to penetrate her vagina. However, on cross examination, she testified that she and the appellant were wearing short pants and underwear, hence, it was physically impossible for his penis to penetrate her vagina. The RTC convicted Negosa for statutory rape and for acts of lasciviousness in lieu of the second count for rape. Negosa appealed, contending that the trial court should have not believed the inconsistent testimony of the victim. Issue: Whether or not the inconsistent testimony of the victim is sufficient to acquit the accused. Ruling: No. The trial court disbelieved Gretchens testimony on the second count of rape that the appellant managed to insert a small portion of his penis through the side of his short pants and the side of the victims loose short pants and convicted the appellant only of acts of lasciviousness. This, however, does not impair Gretchens credibility and the probative weight of her testimony that she was raped by the appellant. In People vs. Lucena, we ruled that the testimony of a witness may be partly believed or disbelieved, depending on the corroborative evidence and intent on the part of the witness to pervert the truth. The principle falsus in uno falsus in omnibus is not strictly applied in this jurisdiction. The maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus deals only with the weight of evidence and is not a positive rule of law; the rule is not an inflexible one of universal application. Modern trend in jurisprudence favors more flexibility when the testimony of a witness may be partly believed and partly disbelieved depending on the corroborative evidence presented at the trial. Thus, where the challenged testimony is sufficiently corroborated in its material points, or where the mistakes arise from innocent lapses and not from an apparent desire to pervert the truth, the rule may be relaxed. It is a rule that is neither absolute nor mandatory and binding upon the court, which may accept or reject portions of the witness testimony based on its inherent credibility or on the corroborative evidence in the case.

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8. People v. Matito
144405
Topic: Circumstantial Evidence

G.R. No.

Facts: Ferdinand Matito was charged with murder, committed against Mariano Raymundo, Jr. The prosecution presented the following during the trial: (1) testimony of the widow that her husband, prior to his death, declared that it was appellant who had gunned him down; (2) the presence of nitrate powder on the cast taken from the right hand of appellant; (3) the bitter quarrel that ensued between Matito and the victim after the latter had cut off the formers water supply; (4) the denial by Matito of the request of his neighbors (including the victim) to widen the right of way along the premises of his house; and (5) hours before the victim was killed, the threatening remarks of appellant to the formers daughter. The Regional Trial Court convicted Matito. Issue: Whether or not the evidence of the prosecution is sufficient to convict the accused. Ruling: Yes. Circumstantial evidence, when demonstrated with clarity and forcefulness, may be the sole basis of a criminal conviction. It cannot be overturned by bare denials or hackneyed alibis. Circumstantial evidence is defined as that evidence that "indirectly proves a fact in issue through an inference which the fact-finder draws from the evidence established. Resort thereto is essential when the lack of direct testimony would result in setting a felon free." It is not a weaker form of evidence vis--vis direct evidence. Cases have recognized that in its effect upon the courts, the former may surpass the latter in weight and probative force. To warrant a conviction based on circumstantial evidence, the following requisites must concur: (1) there is more than one circumstance; (2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and (3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce conviction beyond reasonable doubt. The totality of the evidence must constitute an unbroken chain showing the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. On the strength of the circumstantial evidence proven in the current case, we hold that the court a quo did not err in convicting appellant of the crime charged. The combination of the circumstances comprising such evidence forms an unbroken chain that points to appellant, to the exclusion of all others, as the perpetrator of the crime.

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9. People v. Sevilleno
152954
Topic: Circumstantial Evidence

G.R. No.

Facts: Appellant Paulino Sevilleno was charged for rape with homicide, committed against Virginia Bakia. The RTC convicted appellant based on the following circumstances presented by the prosecution: (1) appellant invited the victim to watch a "beta-show"; (2) victim and the appellant proceed to a sugarcane field in Hacienda San Antonio, the place where the corpse of the victim was found; (3) the appellant emerge from the sugarcane field alone and without the victim, with fresh scratches on his face, neck and both arms; (4) the multiple scratches suffered by the appellant on the right side of his face and ears were all caused by human fingernails; and (5) the victim suffered hymenal laceration, contusions, abrasions and hematoma on different parts of her body and was strangled resulting to her death which indicated that there was a struggle and the victim vigorously put up a fight against her attacker. Sevilleno appealed, contending that the scratches on his face do not prove that they were inflicted by Virginia, much less that he committed the crime. Issue: Whether or not the prosecution evidence is sufficient to convict the accused. Ruling: Yes. The rules on evidence and precedents to sustain the conviction of an accused through circumstantial evidence require the presence of the following requisites: (1) there are more than one circumstance; (2) the inference must be based on proven facts; and (3) the combination of all circumstances produces a conviction beyond reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused. To justify a conviction upon circumstantial evidence, the combination of circumstances must be such as to leave no reasonable doubt in the mind as to the criminal liability of the appellant. Jurisprudence requires that the circumstances must be established to form an unbroken chain of events leading to one fair reasonable conclusion pointing to the appellant, to the exclusion of all others, as the author of the crime. The prosecution were able to establish all of these. While it is established that nothing less than proof beyond reasonable doubt is required for a conviction, this exacting standard does not preclude resort to circumstantial evidence when direct evidence is not available. Direct evidence is not a condition sine qua non to prove the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt. For in the absence of direct evidence, the prosecution may resort to adducing circumstantial evidence to discharge its burden. Crimes are usually committed in secret and under conditions where concealment is highly probable. If direct evidence is insisted on under all circumstances, the prosecution of vicious felons who commit heinous crimes in secret or secluded places will be hard, if not impossible, to prove.

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10. People v. Darilay


SCRA 45
Topic: Direct Evidence, Circumstantial Evidence

421

Facts: Appellant Noel Darilay, who was then 15 years old, was found guilty for the rape and murder of minor Marilyn Arganda, and the attempted murder of Ailyn Arganda. Ailyn testified that she and Marilyn were on their way home when they met appellant who suddenly struck them with a piece of wood which left them unconscious. Appellant left Ailyn under such state but he carried Marilyn to a grassy place where he repeatedly raped and eventually killed her. The appellant contends that the prosecution failed to prove that he raped and killed the victim because only Ailyns testimony was relied upon and there was no direct evidence presented. Issue: Whether or not the absence of direct evidence to prove the guilt of the accused warrants his acquittal thereof. Ruling: No. The Court agrees with the appellant that the prosecution failed to adduce direct evidence to prove that he raped and killed Marilyn on the occasion or by reason of the said crime. However, direct evidence is not indispensable to prove the guilt of the accused for the crime charged; it may be proved by circumstantial evidence. Based on the evidence on record and as declared by the trial court in its decision, the prosecution adduced circumstantial evidence to prove beyond cavil that it was the appellant who raped and killed Marilyn on the occasion or by reason of the rape. Hence, he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape with homicide, a special complex crime. First. The appellant alone waylaid Ailyn and Marilyn while the two were walking home after buying tinapa. The appellant hit Ailyn twice with a piece of wood on her back and boxed the left side of her face, rendering her unconscious. The appellant also struck Marilyn with a piece of wood on the back. After dragging Ailyn to a grassy area, he left her there. Second. When Ailyn regained consciousness, Marilyn and the appellant were nowhere to be found. Third. The torn dress, the pair of panties, and a slipper were found about 15 meters away from where the two young girls were waylaid by the appellant. Fourth. The appellant testified that he himself accompanied the policemen and pointed to the place where Marilyns body was dumped, completely naked, with blood oozing from her nose and vagina. Considering all of these, the court is convinced that the appellant raped Marilyn about 15 meters from where he had earlier waylaid Ailyn. He then carried Marilyn across the river where he killed her to prevent her from revealing to the authorities that she was raped. The appellant hid her body under the bushes and trees to prevent police authorities from discovering that he killed Marilyn.

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11. Ayala de Roxas v. Case


Phil. 197
Topic: Vested Right in a Rule of Evidence

Facts: Appellant Edwin Case filed a petition claiming a right of way through a passage along the westerly side of the property of Carmen Ayala de Roxas. Case owns the two adjoining properties lying in the rear of appellees premises, and being the dominant tenement, he claims the benefit of easement. Appellant claims that the right of way exists not by necessity but simply that it arises by prescription, founded not on any written instrument but on immemorial use alone. The appellant makes the additional point that since the passage of the Code of Civil Procedure, an immemorial prescription does not call for the same proof as under the Spanish procedure. The third Partida says that discontinuous servitudes have no fixed periods, but must be proved by usage or a term so long that men cannot remember its commencement. Issue: Whether or not immemorial use or vested right over a servitude can be established by mere evidence like the testimony of witnesses over 60 years of age who were acquainted with the servitude during their lives and who also had heard it spoken of in the same way by their elders, as required under the Spanish Code. Ruling: No. The Court held that there is no vested right in a mere rule of evidence. (Aldeguer vs. Hoskyn, 2 Phil. Rep., 500) But the point would be whether this requirement of the Spanish law is not substantive rather than evidential in its nature, so as to survive the repeal. If substantive, then the appellant has failed to comply with it; if not substantive, but merely a matter of procedure, then it must be taken to be replaced by the corresponding provisions of our new code. We find therein no equivalent provision, other than subsection 11 of section 334, establishing as a disputable presumption that a person is the owner of property from exercising acts of ownership over it or from common reputation of his ownership. The use of the passage proved in this case cannot be held to constitute acts of ownership for the reason that it is quite consistent with a mere license to pass, informal in its origin and revocable in its nature. It seems, however, that under the clause quoted, common reputation of ownership of the right of way was open to proof and on this theory of the case such testimony, if available, should have been offered. The Court is of the opinion that in order to establish a right or prescription something more is required than the memory of living witnesses. Whether this something should be the declaration of persons long dead, repeated by those who testify, as executed by the Spanish law, or should be the common reputation of ownership recognized by the Code of Procedure, it is unnecessary for the court to decide.

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12. Homeowners Savings & Loan Bank v. Dailo


453 SCRA 283
Topic: Burden of Proof Facts: Marcelino Dailo, Jr. obtained a loan from petitioner Homeowners Savings and executed a mortgage as security. Marcelino eventually died and was survived by his wife Miguela. Upon maturity, the loan remained outstanding and as a result, petitioner foreclosed the mortgage and a certificate of sale was issued in its favor as the highest bidder in the extrajudicial sale. After the lapse of one year without the property being redeemed, petitioner consolidated the ownership thereof by executing an affidavit and a Deed of Absolute Sale. Miguela claimed that she had no knowledge of the mortgage constituted on the subject property, which was conjugal in nature, so she instituted a case to nullify the real estate mortgage and the certificate of sale. Petitioner claims however that the property mortgaged is Marcelinos exclusive property. Issue: Who has the burden of proving that the property mortgaged is conjugal property? Ruling: The burden of proof that the debt was contracted for the benefit of the conjugal partnership of gains lies with the creditor-party litigant claiming as such. He who asserts, not he who denies, must prove. Petitioners sweeping conclusion that the loan obtained by the late Marcelino Dailo, Jr. to finance the construction of housing units without a doubt redounded to the benefit of his family, without adducing adequate proof, does not persuade the Court. Other than petitioners bare allegation, there is nothing from the records of the case to compel a finding that, indeed, the loan obtained by the late Marcelino Dailo, Jr. redounded to the benefit of his family. Consequently, the conjugal partnership cannot be held liable for the payment of the principal obligation. In addition, a perusal of the records of the case reveals that during the trial, petitioner vigorously asserted that the subject property was the exclusive property of the late Marcelino Dailo, Jr. Nowhere in the answer filed with the trial court was it alleged that the proceeds of the loan redounded to the benefit of the family. Even on appeal, petitioner never claimed that the family benefited from the proceeds of the loan. When a party adopts a certain theory in the court below, he will not be permitted to change his theory on appeal, for to permit him to do so would not only be unfair to the other party but it would also be offensive to the basic rules of fair play, justice and due process. A party may change his legal theory on appeal only when the factual bases thereof would not require presentation of any further evidence by the adverse party in order to enable it to properly meet the issue raised in the new theory.

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13. Aznar Brothers Realty Co. v. Aying


144773
Topic: Burden of Proof

G.R. No.

Facts: Crisanta Maloloy-on petitioned for the issuance of a cadastral decree in her favor over said parcel of land. After her death in 1930, the Cadastral Court issued a Decision directing the issuance of a decree in the name of Crisanta Maloloy-ons eight children. The certificate of title was, however, lost during the war. All the heirs of the Aying siblings executed an ExtraJudicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale conveying the subject parcel of land to herein petitioner Aznar Brothers Realty Company. Aznar, claiming to be the rightful owner of the subject property, sent out notices to vacate, addressed to persons occupying the property. Unheeded, petitioner then filed a complaint for ejectment against the occupants before the Metropolitan Trial Court. Issue: Who has the burden of proof? Ruling: The only evidence on record as to when such prescriptive period commenced as to each of the respondents are Wenceslao Sumalinogs (heir of Roberta Aying) testimony that about three years after 1964, they already learned of the existence of the Extra-Judicial Partition of Real Estate with Deed of Absolute Sale; and Laurencio Ayings (heir of Emiliano Aying) admission that he found out about the sale of the land in dispute a long time ago and can only estimate that it must be after martial law. Paulino Aying (heir of Simeon Aying) gave no testimony whatsoever as to when the children of Simeon Aying actually learned of the existence of the document of sale. On the other hand, petitioner did not present any other evidence to prove the date when respondents were notified of the execution of the subject document. In view of the lack of unambiguous evidence of when the heirs of Emiliano Aying and Simeon Aying discovered the existence of the document of sale, it must be determined which party had the burden of proof to establish such fact. The test for determining where the burden of proof lies is to ask which party to an action or suit will fail if he offers no evidence competent to show the facts averred as the basis for the relief he seeks to obtain. Moreover, one alleging a fact that is denied has the burden of proving it and unless the party asserting the affirmative of an issue sustains the burden of proof of that issue by a preponderance of the evidence, his cause will not succeed. Thus, the defendant bears the burden of proof as to all affirmative defenses which he sets up in answer to the plaintiffs claim or cause of action; he being the party who asserts the truth of the matter he has alleged, the burden is upon him to establish the facts on which that matter is predicated and if he fails to do so, the plaintiff is entitled to a verdict or decision in his favor.

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14. Bautista v. Sarmiento


SCRA 587
Topic: Quantum of Proof in Criminal Cases

138

Facts: Complainant Dr. Leticia C. Yap filed a case of estafa against Dr. Fe Bautista, Milagros Corpus and Teresita Vergere. The case was heard before the sala of Judge Malcolm G. Sarmiento. The accused filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of insufficiency of evidence against them but it was denied. They were later found guilty for said crime. Issue: Whether or not conviction can be had in a criminal case only upon proof beyond reasonable doubt and not on a mere prima facie case. Ruling: There is no denying that in a criminal case, unless the guilt of the accused is established by proof beyond reasonable doubt, he is entitled to an acquittal. But when the trial court denied petitioners' motion to dismiss by way of demurrer to evidence on the ground that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against them, they assumed a definite burden. It became incumbent upon petitioners to adduce evidence to meet and nullify, if not overthrow, the prima facie case against them. This is due to the shift in the burden of evidence, and not of the burden of proof as petitioners would seem to believe. When a prima facie case is established by the prosecution in a criminal case, as in the case at bar, the burden of proof does not shift to the defense. It remains throughout the trial with the party upon whom it is imposedthe prosecution. It is the burden of evidence which shifts from party to party depending upon the exigencies of the case in the course of the trial. This burden of going forward with the evidence is met by evidence which balances that introduced by the prosecution. Then the burden shifts back. A prima facie case need not be countered by a preponderance of evidence or by evidence of greater weight. Defendant's evidence which equalizes the weight of plaintiff's evidence or puts the case in equipoise is sufficient. As a result, plaintiff will have to go forward with the proof. Should it happen that at the trial the weight of evidence is equally balanced or at equilibrium and presumptions operate against plaintiff who has the burden of proof, he cannot prevail.

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15. Rivera v. Court of Appeals


SCRA 673
Topic: Burden of Proof

284

Facts: Esmundo Rivera filed an ejectment case against Peregrino and Merlinda Mirambel alleging that they constructed their house in his land as indicated by a private survey. He presented the following evidence: private survey commissioned by Rivera which was not properly authenticated by the Bureau of Lands, a letter of the district land officer to Rivera informing him that his application cannot be given due course because of a prior application. MTC ruled in favor of Rivera because he was able to establish his cause of action through preponderance of evidence. The RTC reversed MTCs decision because the houses of the Mirambels were built outside the land of Rivera and located in a public land. Rivera appealed to the CA saying that RTC's findings lack evidentiary support. The CA found that both decisions are not supported by substantial evidence. According to the CA, there should be a field survey directed by the court or ocular inspection of the subject premises, and not just the sole survey conducted by Rivera which is selfserving if without thorough verification. Issue: Whether or not Rivera was able to prove the fact that Mirambels are within his property. Ruling: No. Basic is the rule in civil cases that the party having the burden of proof must establish his case by a preponderance of evidence. Preponderance of evidence simply means evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing than that which is offered in opposition to it. In the present ejectment case, petitioner (as plaintiff) has the burden of proving that the houses of private respondents were located within his titled land. To justify a judgment in his favor, petitioner must therefore establish a preponderance of evidence on this essential fact. The extant records of this case support the finding of the Court of Appeals that the aggregate of evidence submitted by both parties was insufficient to determine with certainty whether the private respondents houses were inside the petitioners titled property. As noted by Respondent Court, private respondents claim that their houses were built on public land is not convincing because petitioner has a transfer certificate of title over the same parcel of land. Likewise unconvincing is the private survey commissioned by the petitioner himself to prove that the houses of private respondents encroached on his property. The reliability of the survey would have been indubitable had it been properly authenticated by the Bureau of Lands or by officials thereof. Where the evidence on an issue of fact is in equipoise or there is doubt on which side the evidence preponderates, the party having the burden of proof fails upon that issue. Therefore, as neither party was able to make out a case, neither side could establish its cause of action and prevail with the evidence it had. They are thus no better off than before they proceeded to litigate, and, as a consequence thereof, the courts can only leave them as

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they are. In such cases, courts have no choice but to dismiss the complaints/petitions.

16. Benares v. Pancho


SCRA 652
Topic: Quantum of Proof/Evidence, Probative Value

457

Facts: Complainants Jaime Pancho, Rodolfo Pancho Jr., et al. worked at Hacienda Maasin II, a sugar cane plantation owned and managed by Josefina Benares. Complainants alleged to have been terminated without being paid termination benefits by Benares in retaliation to what they have done in reporting to the Department of Labor and Employment their working conditions. The complainants filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with money claims before the labor arbiter. The labor arbiter dismissed the case for failure of the complainants to discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding their dismissal and to prove their entitlement of monetary awards. The NLRC reversed such decision, ruling that complainants were illegally dismissed for failure of Benares to prove that there was just or authorized cause in their dismissal. On appeal, Benares questioned NLRC's general statement to the effect that the payroll she submitted is not convincing, she asserts that she submitted 235 sets of payroll, not just one, and that the NLRC did not even bother to explain why it found the payroll unconvincing. She also said that NLRC should have remanded the case to the labor arbiter since there are gray areas in the facts. Issue: Whether or not the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in not considering the petitioners evidence. Ruling: No. The probative value of petitioners evidence has been passed upon by the labor arbiter, the NLRC and the Court of Appeals. Although the labor arbiter dismissed respondents complaint because their position paper is completely devoid of any discussion about their alleged dismissal, much less of the probative facts thereof, the ground for the dismissal of the complaint implies a finding that respondents are regular employees. According to petitioner, however, the NLRCs conclusion is highly suspect considering its own admission that there are gray areas which require clarification. She alleges that despite these gray areas, the NLRC chose not to remand the case to the Labor Arbiter as this would unduly prolong the agony of the complainants in particular. Petitioner perhaps wittingly omitted mention that the NLRC opted to appreciate the merits of the instant case based on available documents/pleadings. That the NLRC chose not to remand the case to the labor arbiter for clarificatory proceedings and instead decided the case on the basis of the evidence then available to it is a judgment call this Court shall not interfere with in the absence of any showing that the NLRC abused its discretion in so doing. It is well to note at this point that in quasi-judicial proceedings, the quantum of evidence required to support the findings of the NLRC is only substantial evidence or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.

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17. Duduaco v. Laquindanum


05-1601
Topic: Quantum of Proof

A.M. MTJ-

Facts: Mercedes Duduaco charged Judge Lily Laquindanum with grave misconduct, abuse of discretion, and gross ignorance of the law. Mercedes is the manager of Toyota Service Center where respondent brought her vehicle for repairs and replacement of parts due to a vehicular mishap. The service advisor told respondent that her vehicle will be released upon payment of deductible franchise, respondent refused saying that it should be paid by the insurance company. She asked to speak with the manager Mercedes but the latter was in a meeting. It was explained to respondent that the payment of the deductible franchise was upon instruction of the insurance company but the respondent got angry. Upon being told that Mercedes was in a meeting, respondent said that she was a judge and she should have a preferential treatment. She was referred to Saragoza and Yez but when no agreement was reached, she suggested that they put in writing the demand for the deductible franchise before she would pay. Upon presentation, she paid the amount under protest but refused to sign a blank form which is release of claim with subrogation. They told her that she cannot get the car unless she signs the form. She did not sign it so she left without her car. She filed a case for replevin, damages, and atty. fees against the service center. The Investigating Justice of CA recommended the dismissal of the complaint for lack of merit insufficiency of evidence and reasonable doubt. OCA adopted such decision. Issue: Whether or not the petitioner must prove beyond reasonable doubt her case against defendant. Ruling: No. In administrative proceedings, complainants have the burden of proving by substantial evidence the allegations in their complaints. Administrative proceedings against judges are by nature, highly penal in character and are to be governed by the rules applicable to criminal cases. The quantum of proof required to support the administrative charges should thus be more substantial and they must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. However, petitioner also failed to present substantial evidence. To constitute gross ignorance of the law, the acts complained of must not only be contrary to existing law and jurisprudence but were motivated by bad faith, fraud, dishonesty and corruption. On the other hand, misconduct is any unlawful conduct on the part of a person concerned in the administration of justice prejudicial to the rights of parties or to the right determination of the cause. In this case, respondents refusal to pay the deductible franchise was justified. Her insistence that the demand to pay be in writing, together with her refusal to affix her signature in the blank form, did not amount to grave misconduct, abuse of judicial office or gross ignorance of the law. She was only exercising her legal right. Had respondent signed the blank form, she would be deemed to have waived her earlier protest and would have lost the right to claim for refund.

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18. State Prosecutors v. Muro


SCRA 505
Topic: Judicial Notice

236

Facts: The case at bar involves the prosecution of the 11 charges against Imelda Marcos in violation of the Central Bank Foreign Exchange Restriction in the Central Bank Circular 960. Judge Manuel Muro dismissed all 11 cases solely on the basis of the report published on 2 newspapers, which the judge believes to be reputable and of national circulation, that the Pres. of the Philippines lifted all foreign exchange restrictions. The respondents decision was founded on his belief that the reported announcement of the Executive Department in the newspaper in effect repealed the CB 960 and thereby divested the court of its jurisdiction to further hear the pending case. He further contends that the announcement of the President as published in the newspaper has made such fact a public knowledge that is sufficient for the judge to take judicial notice which is discretionary on his part. Issue: Whether or not the judge may take judicial notice of a statute before it becomes effective. Ruling: No. Matters of judicial notice have three material requisites: (1) the matter must be one of common and general knowledge; (2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain; and (3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court. Judicial notice is not equivalent to judicial knowledge. The mere personal knowledge of the judge is not the judicial knowledge of the court, and he is not authorized to make his individual knowledge of a fact, not generally or professionally known, the basis of his action. Judicial notice cannot be taken of a statute before it becomes effective. A law not yet in force and hence still inexistent, cannot be of common knowledge capable of unquestionable demonstration.

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19. Fule v. Court of Appeals


162 SCRA 446
Topic: Stipulation of Facts as Evidence Facts: Petitioner Manolo Fule was convicted of violation of B.P. 22, the Bouncing Checks Law, on the basis of a stipulation of facts entered into between the prosecution and the defense during pre-trial which was not signed by the petitioner or by his counsel. On appeal, the respondent appellate court upheld the stipulation of facts and affirmed the judgment of conviction. Issue: Whether the conviction, based solely on a stipulation of facts which was not signed by either the petitioner or his counsel, was proper. Ruling: No. The omission of the signature of the accused and his counsel, as mandatorily required by the Rules, renders the stipulation of facts inadmissible in evidence. The fact that the lawyer of the accused, in his memorandum, confirmed the stipulation of facts does not cure the defect because Rule 118 requires the signature of both the accused and his counsel. What the prosecution should have done, upon discovering the lack of the required signatures, was to submit evidence to establish the elements of the crime, instead of relying solely on the supposed admission of the accused. Without said evidence independent of the admission, the guilt of the accused cannot be deemed established beyond reasonable doubt.

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20. Service Wide Specialists, Inc. v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 117728 Topic: Admission of Liability Facts: Servicewide filed a complaint for replevin and/or sum of money with damages against spouses Eduardo and Felisa Tolosa, alleging that the spouses failed to pay the installments due on the purchase price of a jeepney despite several demands. Later on, Servicewide amended its complaint and included Eduardo Garcia as defendant alleging that the Tolosa spouses, without Servicewide's knowledge and consent, executed and delivered to Garcia a "Deed of Sale with Assumption of Mortgage" over the jeepney sought to be recovered. Lourdes Bartina filed a complaint-inintervention claiming that the vehicle subject of the complaint was sold to her by Binan Motors owned by Garcia and that the vehicle was in her possession when it was seized by the sheriff and thereafter turned over to Servicewide. Later, Bartina and Garcia and Binan Motors, with the assistance of their respective counsels, moved to dismiss the complaint-in-intervention. They alleged that they had arrived at an amicable settlement of their claims. The decision was rendered by the trial court and included Garcia in the payment of liability to Servicewide. Issue: Whether or not an offer to compromise is considered an admission of liability in civil cases. Ruling: No. The compromise between Bartina and Garcia and Binan Motors cannot be taken as an admission of Garcia's liability. In civil cases, an offer of compromise is not an admission of any liability. With more reason, a compromise agreement should not be treated as an admission of liability on the part of the parties vis-a-vis a third person. The compromise settlement of a claim or cause of action is not an admission that the claim is valid, but merely admits that there is a dispute, and that an amount is paid to be rid of the controversy, nor is a compromise with one person an admission of any liability to someone else. The policy of the law should be, and is, to encourage compromises. When they are made, the rights of third parties are not in any way affected thereby.

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21. Dalandan v. Julio


SCRA 400
Topic: Admission

10

Facts: Clemente Dalandan filed a civil case against Victoria Julio alleging in their complaint that what transpired between the former and Victorina Dalandan is not a facto de retro sale but an equitable sale. Victoria Julio filed a motion to dismiss which was granted by the court. Clemente Dalandan went to the SC saying that upon filing of the motion to dismiss of the other party it is deemed that they admitted that the transaction was really an equitable sale. Issue: Whether or not the filing of motion to dismiss was in effect admitting the allegation that it was an equitable sale. Ruling: No. As the trial court correctly pointed out, "such allegation of 'equitable mortgage' in the complaint is a mere conclusion of plaintiffs (appellants) and not a material allegation, so that the same cannot be deemed admitted by defendants (appellees) who filed the motion to dismiss". As a rule, the complaint should contain allegation of ultimate facts constituting the plaintiff's cause of action. Neither is it proper to allege in a pleading inferences of fact from facts not stated, or incorrect inferences from facts stated, for they are not the ultimate facts required by law to be pleaded. Legal conclusions need not be pleaded, because so far as they are correct they are useless, and when erroneous, worse than useless. And to determine the sufficiency of the cause of action, only the facts alleged in the complaint and no other should be considered. The allegation of nullity of a judgment in a complaint, being a conclusion and not a material allegation, is not deemed admitted by the party who files a motion to dismiss.

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22. Northwest Orient Airlines v. Court of Appeals


241 SCRA 192
Topic: Foreign Judgment as Evidence Facts: Plaintiff Northwest Orient Airlines authorized defendant C.F. Sharp & Co. through its Japan branch, to sell the former's airlines tickets. Sharp failed to remit the proceeds of the ticket sales it made on behalf of Northwest which led the latter to sue in Tokyo for collection of the unremitted amount with claim for damages. The Tokyo District Court of Japan rendered judgment ordering Sharp to pay Northwest and Sharp failed to appeal making the judgment final. However, Northwest failed to execute the decision in Japan, hence, it filed a suit for enforcement of the judgment before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Sharp filed its answer averring that the judgment of the Japanese court is null and void and unenforceable in this jurisdiction having been rendered without due and proper notice to Sharp. The trial court granted the demurrer to evidence motion of Sharp, holding that the foreign judgment in the Japanese court sought to be enforced is null and void for want of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. Issue: Whether or not foreign judgment in the Japanese court need to be proved as evidence in the Philippine courts. Ruling: A foreign judgment is presumed to be valid and binding in the country from which it comes, until the contrary is shown. It is also proper to presume the regularity of the proceedings and the giving of due notice therein. Under Section 50, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, a judgment in an action in personam of a tribunal of a foreign country having jurisdiction to pronounce the same is presumptive evidence of a right as between the parties and their successors-in-interest by a subsequent title. The judgment may, however, be assailed by evidence of want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. Also, under Section 3 of Rule 131, a court, whether of the Philippines or elsewhere, enjoys the presumption that it was acting in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction and has regularly performed its official duty. Consequently, the party attacking a foreign judgment has the burden of overcoming the presumption of its validity. Being the party challenging the judgment rendered by the Japanese court, Sharp had the duty to demonstrate the invalidity of such judgment. In an attempt to discharge that burden, it contends that the extraterritorial service of summons effected as its home office in the Philippines was not only ineffectual but also void, and the Japanese Court did not, therefore, acquire jurisdiction over it. It is settled that matters of remedy and procedure such as those relating to the service of process upon a defendant are governed by the lex fori or the

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internal law of the forum. In this case, it is the procedural law of Japan where the judgment was rendered that determines the validity of the extraterritorial service of process on Sharp. As to what this law is a question of fact, not of law. It may not be taken judicial notice of and must be pleaded and proved like any other fact. It was then incumbent upon Sharp to present evidence as to what that Japanese procedural law is and to show that under it, the assailed extraterritorial service is invalid. It did not. Accordingly, the presumption of validity and regularity of the service of summons and the decision thereafter rendered by the Japanese court must stand.

23. City of Manila v. Garcia


SCRA 413
Topic: Judicial Notice

19

Facts: The City of Manila owns parcels of land occupied by illegal settlers, who were later ordered to vacate the area for the expansion of the Epifanio delos Santos Elementary School. The defendants Gerardo Garcia et al., however, refused; hence the suit for recovery of possession. At the trial, the City presented the certification of the Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations of the Municipal Board, stating that the amount of Php 100,000.00 had been set aside in an Ordinance for the construction of an additional building of the said school. The court ruled out the admissibility of said document. But then, the trial judge reversed his views, and ruled in favor of the City by citing such evidence. Issue: Whether or not the trial court may alter its ruling as to evidence presented in a case. Ruling: Yes. A court of justice may alter its ruling while the case is within its power, to make it conformable to law and justice. Defendants' remedy was to bring to the attention of the court its contradictory stance. Not having done so, this Court will not reopen the case solely for this purpose. Elimination of the certification as evidence would not profit defendants. For, in reversing his stand, the trial judge could well have taken, because he was duty bound to take, judicial notice of the Ordinance appropriating an amount for the school. This is because the city charter of Manila requires all courts sitting therein to take judicial notice of all ordinances passed by the municipal board of Manila. And the ordinance itself confirms the certification aforesaid that an appropriation of Php 100,000.00 was set aside for the "construction of additional building" of the Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School.

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24. Gallego v. People


SCRA 813
Topic: Judicial Notice

Facts: Florentino Gallego, in view of holding a religious meeting at the public market without the required permit, was convicted of slight disobedience of an agent of a person in authority. He however assailed the decision of the court by contending that there is no proof of the existence of an ordinance in force requiring a permit for the holding of a meeting; and claims that it is error for the Court of Appeals to take judicial notice of Ordinance No. 2, series of 1957 of Lambunao, Iloilo when the trial court itself allegedly did not take cognizance of the ordinance. Issue: Whether or not the Court may be prohibited in taking judicial notice of an ordinance. Ruling: No. There is nothing in the law that prohibits a court from taking cognizance of a municipal ordinance. On the contrary, Section 5 of Rule 123 of the Rules of Court enjoins courts to take judicial notice of matters which are capable of unquestionable demonstration. This is exactly what the Court of Appeals did in this case in holding that "contrary to petitioner's contention, there was an existing municipal ordinance at the time (Ordinance No. 2, Series of 1957) providing for a previous permit for the holding of religious meeting in public places." Besides, it is not true, that the trial court did not take notice of the ordinance in question. For the lower court mentioned petitioner's "failure to secure the necessary permit" with obvious reference to Ordinance No. 2, Series of 1957. In People vs. Gebune, 87 Phil. 727, it was held that courts of first instance should take judicial notice of municipal ordinances within their respective jurisdictions. It must be in compliance with this ruling that the trial court took notice of said Ordinance.c

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25. Republic v. Court of Appeals


277 SCRA 633
Topic: Judicial Notice Facts: The Regional Trial Court, after hearing, adjudicated a parcel of land in favor of Josefa Gacot. The Solicitor General appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA), contending that the land was previously declared to be the property of the Republic in a decision rendered by Judge Lorenzo Garlitos following an order of general default. A rehearing of the case was conducted. However, the Government failed to present the said order of Judge Garlitos in evidence. Thus, the CA ruled in favor of Gacot because the order of Judge Garlitos not having been offered as evidence, it cannot take judicial notice of such. Issue: Whether or not the CA should take judicial notice of the order of Judge Garlitos. Ruling: Yes. Firstly, that the rules of procedure and jurisprudence do not sanction the grant of evidentiary value in ordinary trials of evidence which is not formally offered, and secondly, that adjective law is not to be taken lightly for without it, the enforcement of substantive law may not remain assured. The Court must add, nevertheless, that technical rules of procedure are not ends in themselves but primarily devised and designed to help in the proper and expedient dispensation of justice. In appropriate cases, therefore, the rules may have to be so construed liberally as to meet and advance the cause of substantial justice. A court will take judicial notice of its own acts and records in the same case facts established in prior proceedings in the same case of the authenticity of its own records of another case between the same parties, of the files of related cases in the same court, and of public records on file in the same court. In addition judicial notice will be taken of the record, pleadings or judgment of a case in another court between the same parties or involving one of the same parties, as well as of the record of another case between different parties in the same court. Judicial notice will also be taken of court personnel.

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26. Tabuena v. Court of Appeals


196 SCRA 650
Topic: Formal Offer of Evidence Facts: Juan Peralta Jr., the half-brother of petitioner Jose Tabuena, sold a parcel of land to Alfredo Tabernilla while the two were in the United States. Tabernilla returned to the Philippines and upon his request, the subject land was conveyed to him by Damasa, Peraltas mother. The latter, however, requested that she be allowed to stay in said property to which Tabernilla agreed on the condition that she will pay all realty taxes. Damasa remained on the said land until her death, following which the petitioner, her son, took possession thereof. The complaint was filed upon Tabuena to surrender the property and the trial court ruled against petitioner. The petitioner faults the decision of the trial court, as affirmed by the respondent court, for lack of basis because the lower courts should not have taken into account evidence not submitted by the private respondent in accordance with the Rules of Court. Petitioner claimed that the court, in arriving at its factual findings, took cognizance of pieces of evidence which had been marked by the plaintiff but never formally submitted in evidence. Issue: Whether or not decisions/factual findings may be drawn from evidences which are not formally offered. Ruling: No. It is the policy of this Court to accord proper deference to the factual findings of the courts below and even to regard them as conclusive where there is no showing that they have been reached arbitrarily. The exception is where such findings do not conform to the evidence on record and appear indeed to have no valid basis to sustain their correctness, as in this case. The conclusions of the trial court were based mainly on exhibits of evidence, which had not been formally offered as evidence and therefore should have been totally disregarded, conformably to the Rules of Court. The trial court also erred when it relied on the evidence submitted in another civil case and took judicial notice thereof without the consent or knowledge of the petitioner, in violation of existing doctrine. Thus vitiated, the factual findings here challenged are as an edifice built upon shifting sands and should not have been sustained by the respondent court. The Supreme Court found that the private respondent, as plaintiff in the lower court, failed to prove his claim of ownership over the disputed property with evidence properly cognizable under our adjudicative laws. By contrast,

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there is substantial evidence supporting the petitioner's contrary contentions that should have persuaded the trial judge to rule in his favor and dismiss the complaint.

27. Estrada v. Desierto


SCRA 108
Topic: Hearsay Evidence

356

Facts: Petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada denies he resigned as President or that he suffered from a permanent disability and contends that the Office of the President was not vacant when respondent Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took her oath as president. To overturn his claim, the prosecution presented the Angara Diary which contains direct statements of petitioner: his proposal for a snap presidential election where he would not be a candidate; his statement that he only wanted the five-day period promised by Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes; his statements that he would leave by Monday if the second envelope would be opened by Monday; and his statement that he is very tired and he just wants to clear his name then he will go. Issue: Whether or not the Angara diary relied upon is violative of the hearsay evidence rule. Ruling: No. The Angara Diary is not an out of court statement. It is part of the pleadings in the case at bar. Petitioner cannot complain that he was not furnished a copy of the diary since the same was frequently referred to by the parties and three parts thereof were published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. In fact, petitioner even cited in his Supplemental Reply Memorandum both the 2nd and 3rd parts of the diary. Thus, petitioner had all the opportunity to contest the use of the diary but unfortunately failed to do so. Even assuming that it was an out of court statement, still its use is not covered by the Hearsay Rule. Evidence is called hearsay when its probative face depends, in whole or in part, on the competency and credibility of some persons other than the witness by whom it is sought to produce it. There are three reasons for excluding it: (1) absence of cross-examination; (2) absence of demeanor evidence, and (3) absence of the oath. Not all hearsay evidence, however, is inadmissible as evidence. Section 26 of Rule 130 provides that "the act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him." It has long been settled that these admissions are admissible even if they are hearsay. In the case at bar, the

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diary contains direct statements of petitioner which can be categorized as admissions of a party.

28. Ortiz v. De Guzman


P-03-1708
Topic: Implied Admission

A.M. No.

Facts: Atty. Jose Ortiz's initial investigation revealed that on various dates, respondent Larry de Guzman demanded and received cash bond deposits in violation of standing regulations of this Court. After issuing either fake receipts or unauthorized provisional receipts, he then ordered jail officers to release the accused in different cases. According to Atty. Ortiz, the falsifications committed were apparent after comparing the fake receipts with the original receipts duly issued by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). De Guzman was also caught extorting money from a winning party litigant for the implementation of a certain court decision in an entrapment operation of the National Bureau of Investigation. De Guzman was ordered to make a comment on the allegations against him but none was heard nor received from him during the formal investigation. Issue: Whether or not respondent's silence may be considered as an implied admission of guilt. Ruling: Yes. Throughout the entire process, and despite the many opportunities given to respondent, he refused to comment and present his side. The gravity of the charges and the weight of the evidence against him would have prompted an innocent man to come out and clear his name. However, he opted to maintain his silence. The respondent's refusal to face the charges against him head-on is contrary to the principle in criminal law that the first impulse of an innocent man, when accused of wrongdoing, is to express his innocence at the first opportune time, for his silence and inaction can easily be misinterpreted as a defiance to the directives issued, or worse, an admission of guilt. Therefore, the Supreme Court was inclined to believe that the respondent is guilty of all the charges against him.

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29. People v. Serrano


L-17937
Topic: Testimony of Co-conspirators

G.R. No.

Facts: Eulogio Serrano, Cenon Serrano, Anastacio Reyes et al. were charged for killing Pablo Navarro in conspiracy with each other. The accused denied all allegations and presented different alibis. During the trial of the case before the lower courts, Anastacio Reyes was discharged to testify as a witness for the prosecution. Reyes narrated before the court the events that took place from the time he and his co-conspirators plotted the killing up until the body of the victim was hid. Issue: Whether or not the lone testimony of Anastacio Reyes is sufficient to prove the conspiracy between the parties. Ruling: Yes. The appellants contend that in order that the testimony of a conspirator may be admissible in evidence against his co-conspirator, it must appear and be shown by evidence other than the admission itself that the conspiracy actually existed and that the person who is to be bound by the admission was a privy to the conspiracy; and as there is nothing but the lone testimony of prosecution witness Anastacio Reyes, a co-conspirator, the trial court erred in finding that conspiracy has been established and in convicting the appellants based upon the lone testimony of their co-conspirator. The contention does not merit serious consideration because the rule that "The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its existence, may be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration," applies only to extra-judicial acts or declaration, but not to testimony given on the stand at the trial, where the defendant has the opportunity to cross-examine the declarant. And while the testimony of accomplices or confederates in crime is always subject to grave suspicion, "coming as it does from a polluted source," and should be received with great caution and doubtingly examined, it is nevertheless admissible and competent.

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30. People v. Bulos


123542
Topic: Admission

G.R. No.

Facts: Both Nancy Cordero and Rogelio Bulos are stay-in-workers for spouses Mario and Delia Fariolan. Nancy was the cook and general househelp while Rogelio worked as a truck helper for the business of Mario. One day when the spouses were away, Rogelio raped Nancy. During his trial, Rogelio and the combined testimonies of Mario and Conrado Perido, sought to establish that Rogelio was not at the Fariolans' house on the afternoon in question but was vacationing in Cotabato where he stayed at Perido's house. On rebuttal, Merson Cordero, Nancys brother who also worked as helper at the rice mill of the Fariolans, testified that Rogelio in fact left the Fariolans house after he had already raped his sister. Cordero also said that the accused in fact offered marriage to Nancy, that the Fariolan spouses actively persuaded Nancy to accept the offer of marriage, and that Nancy refused. Issue: Whether or not the offer of marriage in rape cases is an admission of guilt. Ruling: Yes. The Court takes into consideration the flight of Rogelio the day after the rape, and his offer of marriage to the victim after the incident had been reported to the authorities. As a rule in rape cases, an offer of marriage to the offended party is an admission of guilt. In this case, it was proved that Rogelio did indeed offer marriage to the victim. Thus, he is found guilty of the crime of rape.

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31. Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Hantex Trading Co., Inc.


454 SCRA 301
Topic: Best Evidence Rule Facts: Hantex Trading Co. is a corporation engaged in the sale of plastic products. Lt. Vicente Amoto, Acting Chief of Counter-Intelligence Division of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), received confidential information that Hantex had imported synthetic resin amounting to P115,599,018.00 but only declared P45,538,694.57. An investigation was conducted and the following were presented against Hantex: certified copies of Hantexs Profit and Loss Statement on file with the SEC; machine copies of the Consumption Entries submitted by the informer; and excerpts from the entries certified by the investigators. Administrative hearings and Hantex wrote the BIR Commissioner, questioning the assessment because of the failure to present the original, or authenticated, or duly certified copies of the Consumption and Import Entry Accounts, or excerpts thereof if the original copies were not readily available. Issue: Whether or not the final assessment of the petitioner against the respondent is based on competent evidence. Ruling: Yes. The best evidence envisaged in Section 16 of the 1977 NIRC, as amended, includes the corporate and accounting records of the taxpayer who is the subject of the assessment process, the accounting records of other taxpayers engaged in the same line of business, including their gross profit and net profit sales. Such evidence also includes data, record, paper, document or any evidence gathered by internal revenue officers from other taxpayers who had personal transactions or from whom the subject taxpayer received any income; and record, data, document and information secured from government offices or agencies, such as the SEC, the Central Bank of the Philippines, the Bureau of Customs, and the Tariff and Customs Commission. The law allows the BIR access to all relevant or material records and data in the person of the taxpayer. It places no limit or condition on the type or form of the medium by which the record subject to the order of the BIR is kept.

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The purpose of the law is to enable the BIR to get at the taxpayer's records in whatever form they may be kept. Such records include computer tapes of the said records prepared by the taxpayer in the course of business. In this era of developing information-storage technology, there is no valid reason to immunize companies with computer-based, record-keeping capabilities from BIR scrutiny. The standard is not the form of the record but where it might shed light on the accuracy of the taxpayer's return.

32. Sy v. Court of Appeals


SCRA 550
Topic: Original Document

330

Facts: Filipina Sy and Fernando Sy are married and blessed with 2 children. Fernando left his family later and never returned. Filipina filed a petition for legal separation but later amended it to a petition for separation of property, which was granted by the court. She then later filed a petition for legal separation on the grounds of abandonment and physical violence against her husband, which was granted by the Court. Filipina then filed a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of her marriage to Fernando on the ground of psychological incapacity citing habitual alcoholism, refusal to live with her without just cause, and refusal to have sex with her. The trial court denied her petition since her grounds do not constitute psychological incapacity. This was uphold by the appellate court. On appeal to the Supreme Court, she alleged lack of marriage license as her new ground, attaching therein mere photocopies of a marriage license and marriage certificate. Issue: Whether or not a mere photocopy of a document is admissible in evidence. Ruling: A marriage license is a formal requirement and its absence renders the marriage void ab initio. It is clear on the evidence presented that the issuance of marriage license and marriage certificate was on September 17, 1974 but the celebration of their marriage was on November 15, 1973 which also what was written on the birth certificates of their 2 children. Since the documents presented were just photocopies of the original, the Court ruled that although the marriage certificate and other pieces of documentary evidence were only photocopies, the fact that these have been examined and admitted by the trial court, with no objections having been made as to their authenticity and due execution, means that these documents are deemed sufficient proof of the facts contained therein. Likewise, no objection was interposed to petitioners testimony in open court when she affirmed that the date of the actual celebration of their marriage was on November 15, 1973. Therefore, having been admitted in evidence, with the adverse party failing to timely object thereto, these documents are deemed sufficient proof of the facts contained therein.

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33. Heirs of Dela Cruz v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 117384
Topic: Original Document Facts: Felomino and Gregorio Madrid allegedly sold 3 parcels of land to Teodoro dela and allegedly executed a Deed of Sale in favor of the latter. Dela Cruz and his heirs took possession of the land but they found out that a Torrens Title in the name of the Madrid brothers were issued on the subject lands, so they filed a petition for reconveyance. The Madrid brothers denied having executed the Deed of Sale and alleged it to be falsified. The original copy of the Deed of Sale was said to be lost, thus only a photocopy was presented during trial. To prove due execution of the Deed of Sale, the Notary Publics testimony that his signature in the Deed of Sale was genuine was offered. The Madrids did not object to the admissibility of the photocopy. Despite this, the trial court ruled that the photocopy was inadmissible because no proof was presented as to the loss or destruction of the retained copy by the Notary public or the duplicate copy held by the Madrids. It was then held that there was no valid sale and the case was dismissed. On appeal to the CA, the photocopy was held admissible but has no probative value, so still the trial courts decision was upheld. The CA held that despite the Notary Publics testimony, the Deed of Sale is not trustworthy since the alleged surviving witness was not presented to corroborate the Notary Publics testimony. Issue: Whether or not the photocopy of the Deed of Sale is inadmissible as evidence and if it has probative value. Ruling: Yes. The photocopy of the Deed of Sale is admissible as evidence but has no probative value. Nonetheless, the petitioners appeal was granted because their possession was never questioned by the Madrids. Not even a written demand to vacate was issued. Despite being owners of land covered by TCTs the Madrids were adjudged guilty of laches. All original copies must be accounted for before secondary evidence may be introduced. The Notary Public who signed in the Deed of Sale testified that there were five copies made. None among the five were presented. Although the Dela Cruzs claim that the National Archives does not have among its copies these documents, this claim was not supported by any certification from the same office. However, despite the original not having been presented, the respondents failed to object as to its admissibility. The Notary Public was not even cross-

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examined. Thus, the photocopy has become primary evidence. However, despite its admissibility, it holds no probative value regarding the sale it was intended to prove. The photocopy which was alleged to be have been copied from one of the Deeds carbon copies, was unsigned by the parties and was not even dated. The Notary Public failed to verify the Deed from his own records. Taken together, these casts serious doubt on the due execution of the Deed of Sale.

34. Dela Rama v. Ledesma


No. 28608
Topic: Parol Evidence Rule

G.R.

Facts: Salvador Dela Rama is one of Inocentes Dela Rama Inc.s incorporators and Rafael Ledesma is his nephew. The corporation claimed from the Philippine War Commission war damages and it was paid in two installments. After the first installment was paid, Dela Rama sold 140 shares that he owns to Ledesma. There was an alleged understanding that De la Rama reserved to himself his proportionate equity in the war damage benefits due on his 140 shares which Ledesma promised to deliver to him upon payment by the Foreign Claim Settlement Commission of the United States. Subsequently, new certificates of stocks were issued in Ledesmas name. When the 2nd installment was paid to the corporation, Dela Rama demanded the return of his shares. Ledesma refused so Dela Rama filed a collection case against the former. On his answer, Ledesma denied the existence of the agreement accompanying the sale of shares of stocks. Ledesma raised as defenses that the indorsement by De la Rama of the Stock Certificate in question without qualification or condition constituted the sole and exclusive contract between the parties and to allow De la Rama to prove any alleged simultaneous oral agreement would run counter to the Parol Evidence Rule and the Statute of Frauds. In reply, Dela Rama alleged that the agreement does not express the true intent of the parties, does the Parol Evidence Rule does not apply. The trial court did not allow Dela Rama to introduce parol evidence to prove the existence of the agreement upon which, the sale of his shares of stocks was conditioned upon. Issue: Whether Parol Evidence is admissible to prove the existence of an alleged agreement that accompanies a sale but not put into writing. Ruling: No. Dela Rama is not allowed to introduce Parol Evidence to prove the alleged agreement accompanying the sale of his shares of stocks to Ledesma. It is a well-accepted principle of law that evidence of a prior or contemporaneous verbal agreement is generally not admissible to vary, contradict or defeat the operation of a valid instrument. While parol evidence is admissible in a variety of ways to explain the meaning of written contracts, it cannot serve the purpose of incorporating

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into the contract additional contemporaneous conditions which are not mentioned at all in the writing, unless there has been fraud or mistake. Indeed, the exceptions to the rule do not apply in the instant case, there being no intrinsic ambiguity or fraud, mistake, or failure to express the true agreement of the parties. If indeed the alleged reservation had been intended, businessmen like the parties would have placed in writing such an important reservation.

35. Canuto v. Mariano


Phil. 840
Topic: Parol Evidence Rule

37

Facts: Espiridiona Canuto executed a Deed of Sale of land in favor of Juan Mariano reserving the right to repurchase within one year from the date of sale. One year lapsed and Canuto failed to exercise the right to repurchase. When Mariano claimed absolute ownership over the land subject of the sale, Canuto alleged that she be given an extension to repurchase. Canuto claims that Mariano agreed but the latter failed to appear at the place and time agreed upon to receive the money for the repurchase and for executing the necessary Deed of Repurchase. Canuto then filed a case to compel Mariano to receive the purchase money and execute the necessary documents. To prove the alleged oral extension of the period to repurchase, one witness who was alleged to be present when Mariano agreed to extend the time was presented. The trial court ruled that Canuto may exercise her right to repurchase. Mariano appealed asking that parol evidence may not be introduced to prove the alleged extension of time. Issue: Whether parol evidence may be introduced to prove the alleged extension of time. Ruling: Yes, considering the circumstances. Refusal by the vendee of a valid tender or offer of purchase price in the exercise of the vendors right to repurchase preserves the vendors right to repurchase. The defendant having extended the time within which the plaintiff could repurchase the land on condition that she would find the money and make repurchase within the extended period, it is clear that he cannot be permitted to repudiate his promise, it appearing that the plaintiff stood ready to make the payment within the extended period, and was only prevented from doing so by the conduct of the defendant himself. The SC citing the cases of Rosales vs. Reyes and Ordoveza (25 Phil. Rep., 495), ruled that that a bona fide offer or tender of the price agreed upon for the repurchase is sufficient to preserve the rights of the party making it, without the necessity of making judicial deposit, if the offer or tender is refused. The case of and in the case of Fructo vs. Fuentes (15 Phil. Rep., 362)

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was further cited holding that in such cases when diligent effort is made by the vendor of the land to exercise the right to repurchase reserved by him in his deed of sale "and fails by reason of circumstances over which he has no control, we are of the opinion and so hold that he does not lose his right to repurchase on the day of maturity."

36. Lechugas v. Court of Appeals


SCRA 335
Topic: Parol Evidence Rule

143

Facts: Petitioner Victoria Lechugas filed an unlawful entry case against private respondents Marina Loza, Salvador Loza et al. Another case was filed for recovery and possession of the same property and both cases was tried jointly. Petitioner testified that she bought the land from Leoncia Lasangue in 1950. Private respondents contended that the same land in question was bought by their father from the father of petitioner in 1941. Lasangue testified for the Lozas stating that she sold the south part of the land which is lot 5522 not lot 5456 which plaintiff claims. Issue: Whether the court of appeals erred in considering parol evidence over the objection of petitioner. Ruling: The appellate court acted correctly in upholding the trial courts action in admitting the testimony of Leoncia. Petitioner alleges that lot 5522 was sold to her by Leonora, not Leoncia, who was never presented as witness in any proceeding in the lower court. The parol evidence rule does not apply and may not properly be involved by either party to litigation against the other, where at least one of the parties to the suit is not a party or a privy of a party to a written instrument in the question and does not base a claim on the instrument or assert a right originating in the instrument or the relation established thereby. The rule is not applicable where the controversy is between one of the parties to the document and third persons. Through the testimony of Leoncia, it was shown that what she really intended to sell is lot 5522 but not being able to read and write and fully relying on the good faith of her cousin, petitioner, she just placed her thumb mark on a piece of paper.

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37. People v. Francisco


Phil. 694
Topic: Marital Disqualification Rule

78

Facts: Juan Francisco, who had been previously arrested on charges of robbery, was being held as detention prisoner. He was charged with the crime of parricide. On a visit to his family, Francisco allegedly wounded his wife and caused the death of their child. Franciscos wife testified against him, which he later questioned. Issue: Whether or not testimony of the wife is admissible. Ruling: Yes. The law states that neither a husband nor wife shall in any case be a witness against the other except in a criminal prosecution for a crime committed by one against the other have been. However, as all other general rules, this one has its own exceptions, both in civil actions between the spouses and in criminal cases for offenses committed by one against the other. Like the rule itself, the exceptions are backed by sound reasons which, in the excepted cases, outweigh those in support of the general rule. For instance, where the marital and domestic relations are so strained that there is no more harmony to be preserved nor peace and tranquility of interests disappears and the consequent danger of perjury based on that identity is non-existent. Likewise, in such a situation, the security and confidences of private life which the law aims at protecting will be nothing but ideals which, through their absence, merely leave a void in the unhappy home. As well-settled as this rule of marital incompetency itself is the other that it may be waived. Objections to the competency of a husband or wife to testify in a criminal prosecution against the other may be waived as in the case of the other witnesses generally. Thus, the accused waives his or her privilege by calling the other spouse as a witness for him or her, thereby making the spouse subject to cross-examination in the usual manner. It is wellestablished that where an accused introduces his wife as a witness in his behalf, the state is entitled to question her as to all matters germane and pertinent to her testimony on direct examination. It is also true that objection to the spouses competency must be made when he or she is first offered as

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witness, and that the incompetency may be waived by the failure of the accused to make timely objection to the admission of the spouses testimony, although knowing of such incompetency, and the testimony admitted, especially if the accused has assented to the admission, either expressly or impliedly. Other courts have held that the witnesss testimony is not admissible even with the other spouses consent. Clearly, if the statute provides that a spouse shall in no case testify against the other except in a prosecution for an offense against the other, the failure of the accused to object does not enable the state to use the spouse as a witness.

38. Ordono v. Daquigan


SCRA 270
Topic: Marital Disqualification Rule

Facts: Avelino Ordoo was charged with rape having raped his daughter, Leonora. In support of that complaint, Catalina Balanon Ordoo, the mother of Leonora, executed a sworn statement wherein she disclosed that on that same date, Leonora had apprised her of the outrage but no denunciation was filed because Avelino Ordoo threatened to kill Leonora and Catalina if they reported the crime to the police. Catalina Ordoo in her sworn statement further revealed that her husband had also raped their other daughter, Rosa. Avelino Ordoo, invoked the marital disqualification rule found in Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Counsel claimed that Avelino Ordoo had not consented expressly or impliedly to his wife's testifying against him. The trial court overruled the objection. Issue: Whether or not the marital disqualification applies. Ruling: No. Should the phrase "in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other" be restricted to crimes committed by one spouse against the other, such as physical injuries, bigamy, adultery or concubinage, or should it be given a latitudinarian interpretation as referring to any offense causing marital discord? There is a dictum that "where the marital and domestic relations are so strained that there is no more harmony to be preserved nor peace and tranquility which may be disturbed, the reason based upon such harmony and tranquility fails. In such a case identity of interests disappears and the consequent danger of perjury based on that identity is non-existent. Likewise, in such a situation, the security and confidences of private life which the law aims at protecting will be nothing but ideals which, through their absence, merely leave a void in the unhappy home. That the rape of the daughter by the father, an undeniably abominable and revolting crime with incestuous implications, positively undermines the connubial relationship, is a proposition too obvious to require much elucidation.

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39. Tan v. Court of Appeals


125861
Topic: Parol Evidence Rule

G.R. No.

Facts: Tan Kiat averred that he bought a parcel of land from Mr. Tan Keh where he built his house, but was unable to effect immediate transfer of title in his favor in view of his foreign nationality at the time of the sale. Nonetheless, as an assurance in good faith of the sales agreement, Mr. Tan Keh turned over to Tan Kiat the owners duplicate copy of the TCT and executed a lease contract in favor of private respondent for 40 years. However, Mr. Tan Keh sold the subject properties to Remigio Tan, his brother and father of petitioners, with the understanding that the subject properties are to be held in trust by Remigio for the benefit of Tan Kiat and that Remigio would execute the proper documents of transfer in favor of Tan Kiat should the latter at anytime demand recovery of the subject properties. Another contract of lease was executed by Mr. Tan Keh and Remigio in favor of private respondent to further safeguard the latters interest on the subject properties, but private respondent never paid any rental and no demand whatsoever for the payment thereof had been made on him. Remigio was killed. At his wake, petitioners were reminded of Tan Kiats ownership of the subject properties and they promised to transfer the subject properties to Tan Kiat who by then had already acquired Filipino citizenship by naturalization. Petitioners, however, never made good their promise to convey the subject properties despite repeated demands by Tan Kiat. In fact, petitioners had the subject properties fraudulently transferred to their names. Issue: Whether evidence is admissible. Ruling: Inadmissible. Petitioners are in possession of a TCT which evidences their ownership of the subject properties. On the other hand, Tan Kiat relies simply on the allegation that he is entitled to the properties by virtue of a sale between him and Alejandro Tan Keh who is now dead. Obviously, private respondent will rely on parol evidence which, under the

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circumstances obtaining, cannot be allowed without violating the Dead Mans Statute found in Section 23, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. The object and purpose of the rule is to guard against the temptation to give false testimony in regard of the transaction in question on the part of the surviving party, and further to put the two parties to a suit upon terms of equality in regard to the opportunity to giving testimony. If one party to the alleged transaction is precluded from testifying by death, insanity, or other mental disabilities, the other party is not entitled to the undue advantage of giving his own uncontradicted and unexplained account of the transaction.

40. Gonzales v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 17740
Topic: Best Evidence Rule Facts: Petitioners Carolina, Dolores and Cesar Gonzales sought the settlement of the intestate estate of their brother Ricardo Abad. They claimed that they were the only heirs of the deceased as the latter allegedly died a bachelor, leaving no legitimate o illegitimate descendants or ascendants. As such, Cesar was then appointed as the administrator of the estate. Sometime later, private respondents Honoraria, Cecilia and Marian Empaynado filed a motion to set aside the special proceeding. In their motion, they alleged that Honoraria, the widow of Jose Libunao, had been the common-law wife of Ricardo for 27 years and that during the said period their union had produced 2 children: Cecilia and Marian. Petitioners, in contesting Cecilia and Marians filiation, presented the joint affidavit of Juan Quiambao and Alejandro Ramos stating that to their knowledge Libunao had died in 1971 and had been interred at the Loyola Memorial Park. With this, petitioners claimed that Cecilia and Marian Abad, who were born in 1948 and 1954 respectively, are not then the illegitimate children of Ricardo, but rather the legitimate children of the spouses Libunao and Empaynado. They likewise submitted the affidavit of Dr. Pedro Arenas, Ricardo's physician, declaring that in 1935, he had examined Ricardo and found him to be infected with gonorrhea, and that the latter had become sterile as a consequence thereof thereby rendering him to incapable of fathering a child. Issue: Whether or not the pieces of evidence presented and submitted by the petitioners are admissible. Ruling: No. The Court ruled that the joint affidavit as to the supposed death of Libunao was not competent evidence to prove the latter's death at that time, being merely secondary evidence thereof. Libunao's death certificate would have been the best evidence as to when the latter died. The Court ruled further that as to Dr. Arenas' affidavit, the same was inadmissible and

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the same remains inadmissible in evidence, notwithstanding the death of Ricardo Abad as being privileged communication under Section 24 (c), Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. The rule on confidential communications between physician and patient requires that: a) the action in which the advice or treatment given or any information is to be used is a civil case; b) the relation of physician and patient existed between the person claiming the privilege or his legal representative and the physician; c) the advice or treatment given by him or any information was acquired by the physician while professionally attending the patient; d) the information was necessary for the performance of his professional duty; and e) the disclosure of the information would tend to blacken the reputation of the patient. On the fifth requisite, Ricardo Abad's "sterility" arose when the latter contracted gonorrhea, a fact which most assuredly blackens his reputation. In fact, given that society holds virility at a premium, sterility alone, without the attendant embarrassment of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease, would be sufficient to blacken the reputation of any patient.

41. People v. Brioso


SCRA 336

37

Topic: Contradicting Evidence Facts: Juan Brioso and Mariano Taeza were found guilty for the murder Silvino Daria. The motive for the killing appears to have been the disapproval by the spouses Silvino and Susana Daria of Mariano Taeza's courtship of their daughter, Angelita. Angelita was even sent to Manila for her to avoid Mariano Taeza. The courtship is admitted by Mariano Taeza. The two accused appealed the conviction alledging that the lower court erred in relying on the uncorroborated and contradictory testimony and statement of the prosecution witness Cecilia Bernal on the physical identity of the accused. Issue: Whether or not the evidence is admissible. Ruling: Yes. There is no discrepancy in the testimony of Cecilia Bernal on the material points. She stated that she did not see Mariano Taeza carry a gun when both the accused passed by. But this brief observation does not necessarily mean that he was not actually armed or carrying a gun on his person. The fact that he did was proved when both the said accused were seen pointing their respective gun at the victim and each subsequently fired once at him, Taeza using a short weapon that could have been carried concealed in his person. Cecilia Bernal had no motive to impute falsely this heinous charge of murder against the above-said accused, considering that Mariano Taeza is a nephew of the deceased by a first degree cousin. Even Juan Brioso specifically said that he knew of no reason why she should testify against him. Hence, her statement that she came to court only to tell the truth should be believed. The witness also stated that she was hard of hearing and could not understand some of the questions; thus, the alleged inconsistencies in her testimony do not detract from the "positive and straightforward" identification of the accused as the ones who were seen at the scene of the crime and who actually shot Silvino Daria. Moreover, the testimony of Cecilia Bernal finds corroboration in the declaration of the victim, who told his wife that it was Juan Brioso and Mariano Taeza who shot him. This statement does satisfy the requirements of an ante mortem statement. Judged by the nature and extent of his wounds, Silvino Daria must have realized the seriousness of his condition, and it can be safely

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inferred that he made the same under the consciousness of impending death, considering that he died only one hour after being shot.

42. People v. De Gracia


18 SCRA 197
Topic: Dying Declarations Facts: The Provincial Fiscal of Lanao del Norte charged Alfredo Salva, Narciso de Gracia, and Raymundo Sorima with the crime of murder for the killing of Ernesto Flores. After being stabbed by respondents, Flores rushed away in the direction of his father's house, shouting for help. Kauswagan Vice-Mayor Nemesio Agawin, who was then reading a newspaper in his house, was attracted by these shouts. He immediately got his rifle, went down and followed Flores, finally overtaking him in the back stairs of his father's house, sitting by the stairs but supported by his two brothers, and with his intestines protruding out of his abdomen. Upon Agawin's inquiry as to what happened, Flores spontaneously declared that Alfredo Salva stabbed him while "Naring" (de Gracia) and "Mundo" Sorima were holding his arms. Flores died afterwards. Agawin testified in court. Issue: Whether or not the evidence is admissible. Ruling: Yes. Accused contends that the testimony of Vice-Mayor Nemesio Agawin regarding Ernesto Flores' dying declaration had not satisfied the requirements of an ante mortem statement since the declarant had not made it under the consciousness of an impending death, nor had the statement fulfilled the requirements of res gestae, because said declaration was neither natural nor spontaneous, or unreflective and instinctive, but rather it was made in reply to a question asked from the declarant; and the prosecution not having specified the purpose for which Agawin's testimony was offered, the same is inadmissible in evidence for being hearsay. The trial court in admitting the testimony of Vice-Mayor Agawin regarding Flores' dying declaration, wherein he identified accused as his assailants. It is believed that the circumstances under which the victim made such identification have fulfilled the requirements of either an ante mortem statement or as part of the res gestae. Judged by the nature and extent of the injury inflicted (deep stab wound on the abdomen, causing his intestines

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to protrude), Flores could not ignore the seriousness of his condition, and it is safe to infer that the deceased made the declaration under the consciousness of impending death. The same identification may also be considered as part of the res gestae, since it was made immediately after the stabbing incident and appears to be natural and spontaneous, and made before the deceased, who had no enmity toward appellants, could contrive or devise a plan to incriminate them. There was no necessity for the prosecution to specify the purpose for which it offered Agawin's testimony, for said purpose was self-evident. Besides, the defense failed to object on time to its presentation in the trial court. Hence, the trial court correctly admitted said testimony.

43. People v. Lara


Phil. 96
Topic: Dying Declarations

54

Facts: The deceased, Juan Advincula, was a resident of the barrio of Salitran, in the municipality of Dasmarias, Province of Cavite. Crispo Lara was charged with his murder. Lara shot Advincula, who sought help in the house of a neighbor, Felix Ramirez. Advincula found the family of Ramirez sitting at the table eating their evening meal; and he told them that he had been shot by the Lara at the same time exhibiting the bloody stain on his left side. Ramirez at once called the barrio lieutenant, one Ciriaco Reyes; and upon the arrival of the latter, Advincula repeated his account of the occurrence, adding that he was weak from the pain resulting from his wound and that he would not survive. The next day the justice of the peace of the municipality, one Restituto Paman, took Advincula's affidavit, in which the declarant reiterated what he had told the lieutenant, but upon this occasion he said he felt better and he indicated to the justice of the peace that he thought he would not die of the wound. On the next day Advincula was taken to the Philippine General Hospital in the City of Manila where he remained for three weeks, at the end of which time he was discharged. In a few days, however, the bullet, which had never been extracted from the shoulder, begun to make trouble again, and Advincula was taken back to the hospital, where blood poisoning from the internal wound soon developed and later on, Advincula died. Issue: Whether or not the statements of Advincula regarding Lara as the one who shot him can be admitted as dying declarations. Ruling: The statement made to Ciriaco Reyes in the house of Felix Ramirez, was in our opinion admissible as a dying declaration because when this declaration was made the deceased was weak, complained of the pain which he was suffering from the wound and stated that he would not survive. It is true that the deceased lived for nearly six weeks after that statement was

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made, and in this interval recovered, to external appearances, almost completely from the wound. Nevertheless it appears that in the end the deceased died from the same wound; and the admissibility of the first declaration depends upon the state of mind of the deceased when the declaration was made, and not upon the length of time that elapsed between the infliction of the wound and the declarant's death. This statement supplies ample proof that the accused was the author of Advincula's death. It was not a dying declaration with regard to the affidavit given to the justice of the peace by the deceased on the day after the fatal injury was inflicted, for the reason that when that declaration was made the deceased indicated that he was under the impression that the injury would not be fatal.

44. U.S. v. Dela Cruz


Phil. 87
Topic: Dying Declarations

12

Facts: Timoteo Dizon, together with a band, had just committed robbery in two houses when they were surprised by Constabulary forces which attacked them, resulting to the wounding of a member and in the death of Dizon. The accused appellants were convicted of the crime of robbery in an armed band. The accused appellants were convicted based on the ante-mortem statements of Dizon, for the purpose of identifying the appellants as members of the band. The ante-mortem statements admitted by the trial court were an alleged extrajudicial declaration made by Dizon a few hours before his death, wherein he confessed his guilt of the robbery and stated that the appellants were members of the band. The evidence further discloses that this confession was made to the provincial fiscal and an officer of the Constabulary, and that, although the appellants were there present, under arrest, charged with the commission of the crime, and heard the dying man charge them with being members of the band, they kept silent and did not attempt to deny the charge. Issue: Whether or not the dying declarations of Dizon is admissible to prove membership of the accused in the band which committed the robberies. Ruling: No. The grounds for the admission of evidence of co-conspirators clearly require that such acts or declarations must have been made during the progress of the conspiracy and in pursuance of the ends for which it had been formed, and not after the transaction had ended; and further, before such evidence can be admitted it must appear by competent evidence that the conspiracy actually existed and that the accused were members of the conspiracy. The declaration under consideration was made after the transaction to which it referred was at an end, was not made in pursuance of the conspiracy, and was clearly inadmissible for the purpose of proving that the defendants were co-conspirators with the defendant. It is suggested, however, that while the statements in question were inadmissible as proof of the truth of their contents, they might have been received for the purpose of showing that,

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when they were made in the presence of the defendants, they made no attempt to deny them, and by their silence admitted their truth. Though silence may sometimes mean admission of guilt, there must be a proper opportunity to reply and the surroundings were not such as to render a denial expedient and proper; and the right of a defendant in all criminal prosecutions "to be exempt from testifying against himself" clearly prohibits any inference of guilt from the silence of an accused person who has been arrested and charged with crime. The statements in question were made after defendants had been arrested, and in the course of an official investigation which was being conducted by the provincial fiscal, and under these circumstances, proof of the fact that the statements were made in the presence and hearing of the defendants, and that they kept silence and failed there and then to deny their truth, could in no event support the inference that by thus keeping silence they implicity admitted the truth of the facts alleged by the declarant.

45. U.S. v. Antipolo


37 Phil. 726
Topic: Dying Declarations, Marital Disqualification Rule Facts: Dalmaceo Antipolo was charged with the murder of Fortunato Dinal. The trial court convicted him of homicide and from that decision he has appealed. One of the errors assigned is based upon the refusal of the trial judge to permit Susana Ezpeleta, the widow of Dinal, to testify as a witness on behalf of the defense concerning certain alleged dying declarations. The witness was called to the stand and having stated that she is the widow of Fortunato Dinal was asked: "On what occasion did your husband die?" To this question the fiscal objected upon the following ground that she is not competent to testify under the rules of procedure in either civil or criminal cases, unless it be with the consent of her husband, and as he is dead and cannot grant that permission, it follows that this witness is disqualified from testifying in this case in which her husband is the injured party. Counsel for defendant insisted that the witness was competent, arguing that the disqualification which the fiscal evidently had in mind relates only to cases in which a husband or wife of one of the parties to a proceeding is called to testify; that the parties to the prosecution of a criminal case are the Government and the accused; that, furthermore, the marriage of Dinal to the witness having been dissolved by the death of her husband, she is no longer his wife, and therefore not subject to any disqualification arising from the status of marriage. Issue: Whether or not the marital disqualification applies to a dying declarations made by either spouse. HELD: No. On grounds of public policy the wife cannot testify against her husband as to what came to her from him confidentially or by reason of the marriage relation, but this rule does not apply to a dying communication made by the husband to the wife on the trial of the one who killed him. The declaration of the deceased made in extremes in such cases is a thing to be proven, and this proof may be made by any competent witness who heard

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the statement. The wife may testify for the state in cases of this character as to any other fact known to her. It cannot be contended that the dying declaration testified to by the witness was a confidential communication made to her; on the contrary, it was evidently made in the furtherance of justice for the express purpose that it should be testified to in the prosecution of the defendant. The Supreme Court found that the trial court erred in excluding the testimony of the witness Susana Ezpeleta, and that by reason of such exclusion, the accused was deprived of one of his essential rights. That being the case, a new trial must be granted.

46. Macasiray v. People


SCRA 154
Topic: Waiver to Admissibility of Evidence

291

Facts: Petitioners Melecio Macasiray, Virgilio Gonzales and Benedicto Gonzales were charged with murder for the death of Johnny Villanueve. In the course of the trial, the prosecution introduced in evidence the extrajudicial confession executed by appellant Benedicto Gonzales and the transcript of stenographic notes taken during the preliminary investigation wherein he affirmed the contents of his confession. The defense objected thereto on the ground of inadmissibility for having been executed without assistance of counsel. The trial court sustained the objection of the defense which, nonetheless, presented appellant Gonzales for the sole purpose of denying the contents of the confession and the transcript of stenographic notes. It did not mark the confession as one of its exhibits. Aggrieved by the ruling of the trial court, the prosecution elevated the issue to the Court of Appeals which reversed the trial court. It ruled that failure of the defense to move for the exclusion of the documents constitutes a waiver of their objection. Issue: Whether or not the failure of the defense to move for the exclusion of the documents constitutes a waiver of their objection. Ruling: There is no waiver to admissibility of the documents where objections were made during the stage of formal offer; that objection to the document during their identification and marking is not equivalent to objection during their formal offer; and that there is no need to impeach appellant where his extrajudicial confession and the transcript of stenographic notes wherein he admitted liability had been excluded in evidence.

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47. Lopez v. Valdez


32 Phil. 644
Topic: Objection to Admissibility of Evidence Facts: This is an action begun by Benito Lopez, the administrator of the estate of Marcela Emradura, deceased, against Tomas Valdez for the recovery of possession of the land. The Court of First Instance ruled in favor of the plaintiff. Defendant went to the Supreme Court assigning as error the procedure adopted by the court when objections were interposed by counsel for defendant to questions designed to adduce evidence of the contents of written documents when the destruction or the loss of the documents had not been properly established. It appears from the record that Lopez relied on certain written contracts entered into between Valdez and Marcela Emradura during her lifetime to prove the cause of action set out in the complaint. The documents themselves were not produced and when counsel for appellee sought to prove by certain witnesses the contents of these documents, without presenting facts justifying secondary evidence with reference thereto, counsel for appellant made the objection that the evidence was incompetent and improper as the documents themselves were the best evidence. A decision on these objections was thus left in abeyance and the trial terminated without a resolution of the questions presented. In spite of that the trial court in its final decision took into consideration the secondary evidence thus introduced and based its decision thereon. ISSUE: Was the procedure valid?

RULING: No. A party who offers an objection to a question propounded to a witness testifying on the trial of a civil action is entitled to a ruling at the time the objection is made, or as soon thereafter as may be possible; in any

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event during the trial and as such time as will afford the party against whom the ruling is made a reasonable opportunity to meet the situation created by the ruling. It is error for a court to reserve decision on such a question until after the trial is closed and the case submitted; and if such error is prejudicial, the judgment will be vacated and the cause returned for a new trial.

48. People v. Singh


676
Topic: Confession

45 Phil.

Facts: Santa Singh, an East Indian, was found dead on the sidewalk in front of his tienda in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. There were three knife wounds on the body, one of them necessarily mortal. Sometime the accused Buda Singh confessed to a friend of his, Ram Singh that he had killed Santa Singh and related the details of the crime, implicating five other East Indians in its commission. On a subsequent occasion Ram Singh thought that Buda Singh looked at him with malos ojos. Suspecting that Buda Singh regretted having made the confession and contemplated killing him, Ram Singh reported the matter to the authorities and the present action was instituted against Buda Singh and his five alleged companions. On motion of the fiscal the case was dismissed against all of the defendants except Buda Singh. Upon trial, the court below found Buda Singh guilty of homicide. The counsel of Buda moved that the confession made by Ram Singh be stricken from the record on the ground that it had not been shown affirmatively by direct evidence that the confession had been made freely and voluntarily. Issue: Whether or not the confession made by Buda Singh to Ram Singh is admissible. Ruling: Yes. There is no merit in this contention. The evidence was clearly admissible. Act No. 619, upon which the argument of counsel is evidently based, has been repealed by the Administrative Code and evidence of a confession may now be received without direct affirmative evidence that the confession was freely and voluntarily made. (U.S. vs. Zara, 42 Phil. 308.)

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The fact that the court, in its decision, takes the confession into consideration must be regarded as a denial of the motion to strike it from the record and if the defendant desired to introduce further evidence in rebuttal, the matter should have been brought to the attention of that court through the appropriate motion.

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