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Preliminary Considerations


Preliminary Considerations • Materiality of evidence is determined by

WON the fact it tends to prove is in issue
c. Competent – one that is not excluded by the
Rules, law or Consti
Rule 128 – General Provisions
2. Direct and Circumstantial Evidence
a. Direct – that which proves the fact in dispute
Section 1 – EVIDENCE DEFINED without the aid of any inference or
Evidence is the means, sanctioned by these rules, of presumption
ascertaining in a judicial proceeding the truth b. Circumstantial – proof of the fact or facts from
respecting a matter of fact which, taken either singly or collectively, the
existence of a particular fact in dispute may be
Section 2 - SCOPE inferred as a necessary or probable
The rules of evidence shall be the same in all courts and consequence
in all trials and hearings, except as otherwise provided 3. Cumulative and Corroborative Evidence
by law or these rules. a. Cumulative – evidence of the same kind and to
the same state of facts
• Evidence - mode and manner of proving competent facts b. Corroborative – additional evidence of a
in judicial proceedings different character to the same point
• Proof - result or effect of evidence 4. Prima facie and Conclusive Evidence
» When the requisite quantum of evidence of a a. Prima facie – that which, standing alone,
particular fact has been duly admitted and given unexplained or uncontradicted, is sufficient to
weight maintain the proposition affirmed
• Factum probandum – ultimate fact or fact sought to be b. Conclusive – that class of evidence which the
established law does not allow to be contradicted
» proposition 5. Primary and Secondary Evidence
• Factum probans – evidentiary fact or the fact by which a. Primary – or best evidence, that which the law
the factum probandum is to be established regards as affording the greatest certainty of
» Materials which establishes the proposition the fact in question
• Law on evidence – procedural law b. Secondary evidence – substitutionary
» Shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive evidence, that which is inferior to the primary
rights (Sec 5 (5), Art VIII, Consti) evidence and is permitted by law only when
» New rules may be held applicable to cases pending the best evidence is not available
at the time of the change in rules as parties have no 6. Positive and Negative Evidence
vested right in the rules of evidence a. Positive – when a witness affirms that a fact
▪ Except in criminal cases when the new rule did or did not occur
would permit reception of lesser quantum of • Entitled to greater weight since witness
evidence to convict -> unconstitutional, ex represents of his personal knowledge
post facto b. Negative – witness states that he did not see
» Principally found in ROC or know of the occurrence of a fact
▪ Special laws: RA 4200, Code of Commerce Art • Total disclaimer of personal knowledge
448, Civil Code, RPC Art 217
» Bill of Rights Sec 2 and 3 Section 3 – ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE
▪ See notes under Sec 33, Rule 130 Evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue
▪ Right against self-incrimination cannot be and is not excluded by the law or these rules
invoked in situations covered by immunity
• RA 1379 – immunity to witnesses in Evidence must have such a relation to the fact in issue
proceedings for forfeiture of unlawfully as to induce belief in its existence or non-existence.
acquired property Evidence on collateral matters shall not be allowed,
• PD 749 – immunity in bribery and graft except when it tends in any reasonable degree to
cases establish the probability of the facts in issue
» Specifically applicable only in judicial proceedings
▪ Quasi-judicial: suppletory character whenever • Two requisites for admissibility:
practicable and convenient, except when the 1. Relevance – determinable by rules of logic and
governing law specifically adopts ROC human experience
• Classification of evidence based on ROC: ▪ None but facts having rational probative value
1. Object – that which is directly addressed to the are admissible (Wigmore)
senses of the court and consists of tangible things 2. Competence – determined by prevailing
exhibited or demonstrated in open court, in an exclusionary rules of evidence
ocular inspection or at a place designated by the ▪ All facts having rational probative value are
court for its view or observation of an exhibition, admissible unless some specific rule forbids
experiment or demonstration their admission
▪ Autoptic proference – presenting in open court » Therefore, admissibility is an affair of logic and law
the evidentiary articles for the observation or • Admissibility – determined at the time it is offered to the
inspection of the tribunal court
2. Documentary evidence – evidence supplied by » Object evidence – offered when presented for the
written instruments or derived from conventional court’s view or evaluation
symbols, such as letters, by which ideas are » Testimonial – offered by the calling of the witness to
represented on material substances the stand
3. Testimonial – submitted to the court through the » Documentary – formally offered by the proponent
testimony or deposition of a witness immediately before he rests his case
• Other classifications • Objection to the admissibility – made at the time such
1. Relevant, Material, and Competent Evidence evidence is offered or as soon as the objection to the
a. Relevant – evidence having any value in admissibility shall have become apparent
reason as tending to prove any matter » Otherwise, waived
provable in an action • Conditional admissibility – where the evidence at the
• Test of relevancy – logical relation of the time it is offered appears to be immaterial or irrelevant
evidentiary fact to the fact in issue, unless it is connected with the other facts to be
whether it tends to prove the probability subsequently proved, such evidence may be received on
or improbability of the fact in issue condition that the other facts will be proved thereafter,
b. Material – evidence directed to prove a fact in otherwise the evidence will be stricken out
issue as determined by the rules of substantive » Qualification: no bad faith on the part of the
law and pleadings proponent

page 1
Preliminary Considerations
▪ Necessary to avoid unfair surprises to the
other party
• Multiple admissibility – where evidence is relevant and
competent for two or more purposes, such evidence
should be admitted for any and all the purposes for
which it is offered provided it satisfies all the
requirements of law for its admissibility
• Curative admissibility – treats upon the right of a party
to introduce incompetent evidence in his behalf where
the court has admitted the same kind of evidence of the
adverse party
» Theories:
1. American rule – admission of such incompetent
evidence, without objection by the opponent
does not justify such opponent in rebutting it
by similar incompetent evidence
2. English rule – if a party has presented
inadmissible evidence. The adverse party may
resort to similar incompetent evidence
3. Massachusetts rule – adverse party may be
permitted to introduce similar incompetent
evidence in order to avoid a plain and unfair
prejudice caused by the admission of the other
» To determine application:
1. WON incompetent evidence was reasonably
objected to, and
2. WON, regardless of the objection vel non, the
admission will cause a plain and unfair
prejudice to the party against whom it is
▪ Conversely, where admissible evidence has
been improperly excluded, the other party
should not be permitted to introduce similar
evidence (Martin)
• Former rule: illegally obtained evidence still admissible
unless specifically forbidden
» Abandoned in Stonehill vs. Diokno -> documentary
evidence, illegally obtained, is inadmissible on a
timely motion or action to suppress
• Collateral matters – matters other than the facts in issue
and which are offered as a basis for inference as to the
existence or non-existence of the facts in issue
» Irrelevant collateral matters inadmissible
» Circumstantial evidence – evidence of relevant
collateral facts
• Weight to evidence, once admitted, depends on judicial
evaluation (Rule 133 and jurisprudence)

page 2
What Need Not Be Proved

What Need Not Be Proved An admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the
course of the proceedings in the same case, does not
require proof. The admission may be contradicted only
by showing that it was made through palpable mistake
Rule 129 – What Need Not Be Proved or that no such admission was made.

Section 1 – JUDICIAL NOTICE, WHEN MANDATORY • Judicial admissions may be made in

A court shall take judicial notice, without the 1. Pleadings filed by the parties
introduction of evidence, of the existence and territorial 2. The course of the trial, either by verbal or written
extent of states, their political history, forms of manifestations or stipulations
government and symbols of nationality, the law of 3. Other stages of the judicial proceeding
nations, the admiralty and maritime courts of the world • Must be made in the same case in which it is offered
and their seals, the political constitution and history of » If made in another case or in another court – must
the Philippines, the official acts of legislative, executive be proved as in any other fact, but entitled greater
and judicial departments of the Philippines, the laws of weight
nature, the measure of time, and the geographical ▪ Admissible unless:
divisions. 1. Made only for purposes of the first case
2. Withdrawn with the permission of the
A court may take judicial notice of matters which are of 3. Court deems it proper to relieve the party
public knowledge, or are capable to unquestionable • Admissions in a pleading which have been withdrawn or
demonstration, or ought to be known to judges because supersede by an amended pleading
of their judicial functions. » Considered as extrajudicial admissions
» However, the rule seems now to include superseded
Section 3 – JUDICIAL NOTICE, WHEN HEARING pleadings as judicial admissions
During the trial, the court, on its own initiative, or on Lim vs. Jabalde (1989)
request of a party, may announce its intention to take Facts subject of a stipulation or agreement entered into
judicial notice of any matter and allow the parties to be by the parties at the pre-trial of a case constitute judicial
heard thereon. admission by them which, under this section, do not require
After the trial, and before judgment or on appeal, the proof and cannot be contradicted unless previously shown to
proper court, on its own initiative or on request of a have been made through palpable mistake.
party, may take judicial notice of any matter and allow
the parties to be heard thereon if such matter is PCIB vs. Escolin (1974)
decisive of a material issue in the case. When the parties in a case agree on what the foreign
law provides, these are admissions of fact which the other
• Judicial notice – cognizance of certain facts which judges parties and the court are made to rely and act upon; hence
may properly take and act on without proof because they they are in estoppel to subsequently take a contrary position
already know them
» Based on considerations of expediency and
» May be taken by court on its own motion or when it
is requested by either parties
▪ Court will allow the parties to be heard on the
matter in question
» Must be exercised with caution and every
reasonable doubt on the subject must be resolved in
the negative
• Courts are required to take judicial notice of laws
» Different with ordinances:
▪ MTC – required to take judicial notice of
ordinances of the municipality or city wherein
they sit
▪ RTC – must take judicial notice only:
1. When required to do so by statute
2. In a case of appeal before them wherein
the inferior court took judicial notice of an
ordinance involved in said case
» Or when capable of unquestionable
demonstration (also applies with
administrative regulations)
• Courts are required to take judicial notice of the
decisions of appellate courts but not of the decisions of
coordinate courts
» Not even the decision or the facts involved in
another case tried by the same court itself
▪ Unless the parties introduce the same in
evidence or doing so is convenient
• Foreign laws – question of fact
» May not be taken judicial notice and have to be
▪ Except: said laws are within the actual
knowledge of the court
» To prove written foreign law: follow requirements in
Sec 24-25, Rule 132
» May be subject of judicial admission
» Processual presumption - no proof nor admission,
foreign law presumed to be the same as that in the
» To prove unwritten foreign law – Sec 46, Rule 130


page 3
Admissibility of Evidence

Admissibility of Evidence a. When the original has been lost or destroyed, or

cannot be produced in court, without bad faith on
the part of the offeror;
b. When the original is in the custody or under the
Rule 130 – Rules of Admissibility control of the party against whom the evidence is
offered, and the latter fails to produce it after
A. OBJECT (REAL) EVIDENCE reasonable notice;
c. When the original consists of numerous accounts
SECTION 1 - OBJECT AS EVIDENCE or other documents which cannot be examined in
Objects as evidence are those addressed to the senses court without great loss of time and the fact sought
of the court. When an object is relevant to the fact in to be established from them is only the general
issue, it may be exhibited to, examined or viewed by result of the whole; and
the court. d. When the original is public record in the custody of
a public officer or is recorded in a public office
• Where object is relevant to a fact in issue, court may
acquire knowledge by: Section 4 – ORIGINAL OF DOCUMENT
1. Actually viewing the object – becomes object a. The original of a document is one the contents of
evidence which are the subject of inquiry.
2. Receiving testimonial evidence thereon b. When a document is in two or more copies
• The fact that an ocular inspection has been held does not executed at or about the same time, with identical
preclude a party from introducing other evidence on the contents, all such copies are equally regarded as
same issue originals.
» Ocular inspection – lies within the discretion of the c. When an entry is repeated in the regular course of
court business, one being copied from another at or near
▪ Invalid if conducted by a judge without notice the time of the transaction, all the entries are
or presence of the parties likewise equally regarded as originals.
• Court may refuse introduction of object evidence and rely
on testimonial evidence alone if: • Document – deed, instrument or other duly authorized
1. Exhibition of such object is contrary to public policy, paper by which something is proved, evidenced, or set
morals or decency forth
▪ But if view is necessary in the interest of • Best Evidence Rule – rule of exclusion
justice, may still be exhibited but the court » Secondary evidence cannot inceptively be
may exclude the public from such view introduced as the original writing itself must be
▪ Viewing may not be refused if the indecent or produced in court
immoral object constitute the very basis for » Non-production of the original document, unless
the criminal or civil action justified under Sec 3, gives rise to the presumption
2. To require its being viewed in court or in an ocular of suppression of evidence
inspection would result in delays, inconvenience, » Applies only when the content of such document is
and expenses out of proportion to the evidentiary the subject of inquiry
value of such object » In criminal cases where the issue is not only with
3. Such object evidence would be confusing or respect to the contents of the document but also as
misleading to whether such document actually existed with the
4. Testimonial or documentary evidence already participation therein as imputed to the accused, the
presented clearly portrays the object in question as original itself must be presented.
to render a view unnecessary ▪ Libel published in a newspaper: copy of said
• Object evidence – includes any article or object which newspaper
may be known or perceived by the use of any of the ▪ Falsification of a document: original of the
senses – sight (visual), hearing (auditory), touch document
(tactile), taste (gustatory), or smell (olfactory) » Does not apply if transactions have been recorded
» Includes: in writing but the contents of such writing are not
1. Examination of the anatomy of a person or of the subject of inquiry
any substance taken therefrom ▪ Affidavits and depositions – strictly speaking,
2. Conduct of tests, demonstrations, or BER does not apply, but will not be admitted if
experiments affiants or deponents are available as
3. Examination of representative portrayals of the witnesses
object in question
• Observations of the court may be amplified by Mahilum vs. CA (1966)
interpretations afforded by testimonial evidence, A signed carbon copy or duplicate of a document
especially be experts executed at the same time as the originals is known as a
• Documents are considered object evidence if the purpose duplicate original and may be introduced in evidence without
is to: accounting for the non-production of the original.
1. Prove their existence or condition or the nature
of the handwritings thereon People vs. Tan (105 Phil 1242)
2. Determine the age of the paper used or the With respect to documents prepared in several copies
blemishes or alterations thereon through the use of carbon sheets, SC has held that each
» Otherwise, considered documentary evidence carbon copy is considered an original provided that the writing
of a contract upon the outside sheet, including the signature
B. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE of the party sought to be charged thereby, produces a
facsimile upon the sheets beneath, such signature being thus
Section 2 – DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE reproduced by the same stroke of the pen which made the
Documents as evidence consists of writings or any surface or exposed impression
material containing letters, words, numbers, figures,
symbols or other modes of written expressions offered • However, even if said signature on each copy was written
as proof of their contents through separate acts, all of carbon copies are regarded
as originals if each copy was intended as a repository of
1. BEST EVIDENCE RULE the same legal act of the party thereto
• Imperfect carbon copies – merely secondary evidence
Section 3 – ORIGINAL DOCUMENT MUST BE PRODUCED; • Telegrams and cables – depends on the issue to be
When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a » Original dispatch – issue is the contents of the
document, no evidence shall be admissible other than telegram as received by the addressee
the original document itself, except in the following » Message delivered for transition – issue as to the
cases: telegram sent by the sender

page 4
Admissibility of Evidence
» Both – issue is the inaccuracy of the transmission Section 8 – PARTY WHO CALLS FOR DOCUMENT NOT
Provincial Fiscal of Pampanga vs. Reyes (55 Phil 905) A party who calls for the production of a document and
On the issue as to the contents of the articles sent by inspects the same is not obliged to offer it as evidence
the accused for publication, the manuscript was the best
evidence; but on the issue as to what was actually published,
a copy of the newspaper publication was the best evidence.



When the original document has been lost or destroyed,
or cannot be produced in court, the offeror, upon proof
of its execution or existence and the cause of its
unavailability without bad faith on his part, may prove
its contents by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in
some authentic document, or by the testimony of
witnesses in the order stated.

• Requisites: proof by satisfactory evidence of

1. Due execution of the original
▪ Proved through the testimony of either:
a. Person/s who executed it;
b. Person before whom its execution was
acknowledged; or
c. Any person who was present and saw it
executed and delivered or who thereafter
saw it and recognized the signatures, or
one to whom the parties thereto had
previously confessed the execution
2. Loss, destruction or unavailability of all such
originals, not due to bad faith
▪ Intentional destruction of the originals by a
party who, however, had acted in good faith
does not preclude his introduction of secondary
evidence of the contents thereof
▪ May be proved by any person who:
a. Knew of fact of loss or destruction
b. Had made a sufficient examination of the
places where the document or papers of
similar character are usually kept by the
person in whose custody the document
was and has been unable to find it
c. Has made any other investigation which is
sufficient to satisfy the court that the
document is indeed lost
3. Reasonable diligence and good faith in the search or
attempt to produce the original
» All duplicates or counterparts must be accounted for
before using copies thereof

De Vera vs. Aguilar (1993)

Since all the duplicates or multiplicates are parts of the
writing to be proved, no excuse for non-production of the
document can be regarded as established until it appears that
all of its parts are unavailable

PNB vs. Olila (98 Phil 1002)

When the original is outside the jurisdiction of the court,
as when it is in a foreign country, secondary evidence is

• Secondary evidence may consist of:

1. Copy of said document
2. Recital of its contents in an authentic document
3. Recollection of witnesses
» In this particular order
▪ Except when specifically required by law
• E.g. lost notarial will – testimony of at
least 2 credible witnesses
• Reconstitution – governed by Act 3110 + jurisprudence


If the document is in the custody or under the control
of the adverse party, he must have reasonable notice to
produce it. If after such notice and after satisfactory
proof of its existence, he fails to produce the document,
secondary evidence may be presented as in the case of
its loss

page 5
Admissibility of Evidence
• No particular form of notice is required De Guzman vs. Calma (100 Phil 1008)
» As long as it fairly appraises the other party as to Parol evidence is based upon the consideration that
what papers are desired when the parties have reduced their agreement on a particular
• Even oral demand in court is allowed matter into writing, all their previous and contemporaneous
» Made on a reasonable time agreements on the matter are merged therein
• Notice must be given to the adverse party or his counsel
even if papers is in the hands of a third person

Phil. Ready-Mix Concrete Co. vs. Villacorta, et al (98

Phil 993)
Where receipt of the original of a letter is acknowledged
on a carbon copy thereof, there is no need for a notice to the
other party to produce the original of the letter

• Remember: the duplicate copy, if complete is itself an

original copy
» Only issue: receipt of the original
• Justified refusal of the adverse party to produce the
document ≠ presumption of suppression of evidence
» Only authorizes the introduction of secondary
• Where such document is produced ≠ admissibility
» Requisites for admissibility must be present
• Production of evidence under Rule 130 ≠ Production of
evidence under Rule 27

Warner, Barnes & Co., Ltd. vs. Buenaflor (36 OG 3290)

Where the nature of the action is in itself a notice, as
where it is for the recovery or annulment of documents
wrongfully obtained or withheld by the other party, no notice
to produce said documents is required

• Third exception to BER – justified not only by the fact

that the records are voluminous but also because the
fatum probandum is just the general result of the whole
» For exception to apply
1. The voluminous character of the records must
be established
2. Such records must be made available to the
adverse party so that their correctness may be
tested on cross-examination
» Originals have to be produced if:
▪ Detailed contents of the records are challenged
for being hearsay1
▪ Issues are raised as to the authenticity or
correctness of the detailed entries


When the original of a document is in the custody of a
public officer or is recorded in a public office, its
contents may be proved by a certified copy issued by
the public officer in custody thereof

• Complements the 4th exception to BER

» See Rule 132 Sections 24 and 27



When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to
writing, it is considered as containing all the terms
agreed upon and there can be, between the parties and
their successors in interest, no evidence of such terms
other than the contents of the written agreement.
However, a party may present evidence to modify,
explain or add to the terms of written agreement if he
puts in issue in his pleading:
a. An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in
the written agreement;
b. The failure of the written agreement to express the
true intent and agreement of the parties thereto;
c. The validity of the written agreement; or
d. The existence of other terms agreed to by the
parties or their successors in interest after the
execution of the written agreement.
The term "agreement" includes wills.

US vs. Razon (37 Phil 856)

page 6
Admissibility of Evidence
• Parol evidence – evidence aliunde (oral or written) • Latent ambiguity – when the writing on its face appears
» Intended or tends to vary or contradict a complete clear and unambiguous but there are collateral matters
and enforceable agreement embodied in a or circumstances which make the meaning uncertain
» Or where the writing admits of two constructions
• As long as they have been put into issue, parol evidence both of which are in harmony with the language
did not bar evidence of a collateral agreement in used6
instances where:
» Collateral agreement is not inconsistent with the
terms of the contract
» Collateral agreement has not been integrated in and
is independent of the written contract (suppletory to
the original document)
» Collateral agreement is subsequent to the written
» Collateral agreement constitutes a condition
precedent which determines whether the written
contract may become effective
▪ Does not apply to a condition subsequent not
stated in the agreement
• Parol evidence does not apply where at least one party to
the suit is not a party or privy of a party to the written
agreement in question

Parol Evidence Best Evidence

Presupposes that the original Situation wherein the original

document is available in writing is not available and/or
court there is a dispute as to
whether said writing is

Prohibits the varying of the Prohibits the introduction of

terms of a written agreement substitutionary evidence in
lieu of the original document

Applies only documents that Applies to all kinds of writings

are contractual in nature

Can be invoked only when Can be invoked by any party

the controversy is between to the action
the parties to the written
agreement, their privies or
any party directly affected
thereby (cestui que trust)

• To be admissible, mistake or imperfection of the

document or its failure to express the true intent and
agreement of the parties, or the validity of the document
must be put in issue by the pleadings
» Plaintiff failed to allege in his complaint – cannot
introduce parol evidence
▪ But if defendant invoked such fact in his
answer, parol evidence may be introduced2
» However, even if not raised on the pleadings but
parol evidence is not objected to, objection deemed
» Mistake or imperfection must be proved by clear
and convincing evidence3
• Mistake – refers to mistake of fact which is mutual to the
» Or where the innocent party was imposed upon by
unfair dealing of the other

CC Art. 1363
When one party was mistaken and the other knew
or believed that the instrument did not state their
real agreement, but concealed that fact from the
former, the instrument may be reformed.

• Failure to express true intent

» Purpose: enable the court to ascertain the true
intent of the parties5 or the true nature of their

PNR vs. CFI of Albay (1978)
Tolentino vs. Gonzales Sy Chiam (50 Phil 558)
BPI vs. Fidelity & Surety Co. (51 Phil 57)
5 6
Tolentino vs. Gonzales Sy Chiam (50 Phil 558) Ignacio vs. Rementeria (99 Phil 1054)

page 7
Admissibility of Evidence
Palanca vs. Fred Wilson & Co. (87 Phil 506) Section 17 - OF TWO CONSTRUCTIONS, WHICH
The phrase “capacity of 6,000 liters” used in connection PREFERRED
with a distilling apparatus was held to be a latent When the terms of an agreement have been intended in
ambiguity which had to be clarified by parol evidence to a different sense by the different parties to it, that
determine whether it meant receiving, treating, or the sense is to prevail against either party in which he
producing capacity of the machine supposed the other understood it, and when different
constructions of a provision are otherwise equally
• Patent ambiguity – extrinsic; such ambiguity which is proper, that is to be taken which is the most favorable
apparent on the face of the writing itself and requires to the party in whose favor the provision was made.
something to be added in order to ascertain the meaning
of the words used Section 18 - CONSTRUCTION IN FAVOR OF NATURAL
» Parol evidence is not admissible RIGHT
▪ Court would not be construing a contract, but When an instrument is equally susceptible of two
creating a contract for the parties interpretations, one in favor of natural right and the
• Intermediate ambiguity – the words of the writing,
other against it, the former is to be adopted.

though seemingly clear and with a settled meaning, is Section 19 - INTERPRETATION ACCORDING TO USAGE
actually equivocal and admits of two interpretations7 An instrument may be construed according to usage, in
» Example: “dollars” – may refer to currency of US or order to determine its true character.
HK or Australia
“Ton” – can be long ton, short ton, displacement • Rules on interpretation
ton, freight ton or timber ton » For contracts: CC Articles 1370 to 1379
» Parol evidence is admissible to clarify the ambiguity » For wills: CC Articles 788 to 794
• Remember: falsa demonstration non nocet cum de
» False description does not vitiate a document if the
subject is sufficiently identified 1. QUALIFICATION OF WITNESSES
• No express trust concerning an immovable or any
interest therein may be proved by parol evidence Section 20 - WITNESSES; THEIR QUALIFICATIONS
Except as provided in the next succeeding section, all
Section 10 - INTERPRETATION OF A WRITING persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make
ACCORDING TO ITS LEGAL MEANING their known perception to others, may be witnesses.
The language of a writing is to be interpreted according Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of
to the legal meaning it bears in the place of its the case, or conviction of a crime unless otherwise
execution, unless the parties intended otherwise. provided by law, shall not be ground for
In the construction of an instrument, where there are MENTAL INCAPACITY OR IMMATURITY
several provisions or particulars, such a construction is, The following persons cannot be witnesses:
if possible, to be adopted as will give effect to all. a. Those whose mental condition, at the time of
their production for examination, is such that
Section 12 - INTERPRETATION ACCORDING TO they are incapable of intelligently making
INTENTION; GENERAL AND PARTICULAR PROVISIONS known their perception to others;
In the construction of an instrument, the intention of b. Children whose mental maturity is such as to
the parties is to be pursued; and when a general and a render them incapable of perceiving the facts
particular provision are inconsistent, the latter is respecting which they are examined and of
paramount to the former. So a particular intent will relating them truthfully.
control a general one that is inconsistent with it.
• Qualifications/disqualifications of witnesses - determined
Section 13 - INTERPRETATION ACCORDING TO as of the time the witnesses are produced for
CIRCUMSTANCES examination in court or at the taking of their depositions
For the proper construction of an instrument, the » Children of tender years – take into account their
circumstances under which it was made, including the competence at the time of the occurrence to be
situation of the subject thereof and of the parties to it, testified
may be shown, so that the judge may be placed in the • Interest in the subject matter – does not disqualify
position of those whose language he is to interpret. » Affects only his credibility, not his competency
» Except: Dead Man’s Statute
Section 14 - PECULIAR SIGNIFICATION OF TERMS • Defendant declared in default – not disqualified from
The terms of a writing are presumed to have been used testifying fro his non-defaulting co-defendant
in their primary and general acceptation, but evidence • Conviction of a crime – not ground for disqualification
is admissible to show that they have a local, technical, » But must answer to the fact of a previous final
or otherwise peculiar signification, and were so used conviction as it may affect credibility
and understood in the particular instance, in which case » Except: conviction of falsification of a document,
the agreement must be construed accordingly. perjury or false testimony – disqualified from being
witnesses to a will, therefore cannot testify on
When an instrument consists partly of written words • “Unsound mind” – any mental aberration whether
and partly of a printed form, and the two are organic or functional or induced by drugs or hypnosis
inconsistent, the former controls the latter. » At the time of the testimony
» If at the time of the fact to be testifies – affects only
Section 16 - EXPERTS AND INTERPRETERS TO BE USED his credibility
When the characters in which an instrument is written People vs. De Jesus (1984)
are difficult to be deciphered, or the language is not As long as the witness can convey ideas by words or
understood by the court, the evidence of persons skilled signs and give sufficiently intelligent answers to questions
in deciphering the characters, or who understand the propounded, she is a competent witness even if she is feeble-
language, is admissible to declare the characters or the minded
meaning of the language.
• Or a mental retardate, or is a schizophrenic
• Requirements for deaf-mutes:
1. Can understand and appreciate the sanctity of an
7 oath
Referred to in American jurisprudence

page 8
Admissibility of Evidence
2. Can comprehend facts they are going to testify to ▪ Necessary that defendant is being sued in his
3. Can communicate their ideas through a qualified representative capacity and not in individual
interpreter capacity
• Considerations for a child witness: ▪ If property involved has already been
1. Capacity at the time the fact to be testified occurred adjudicated to the heirs, still protected –
such that he could receive correct impressions considered as representatives of the deceased
thereof ▪ Applies whether the deceased died before or
2. Capacity to comprehend the obligation of an oath after the suit was filed as long as he was dead
3. Capacity to relate those facts truly at the time he is at the time the testimony is to be presented
offered a witness 3. Case is upon a claim or demand against the estate
of such deceased / insane person
Section 22 – DISQUALIFICATION BY REASON OF ▪ Does not apply where it is the administrator
MARRIAGE who brought the action to recover property for
During their marriage, neither the husband nor the wife the estate
may testify for or against the other without the consent 4. Testimony to be given is on a matter of fact
of the affected spouse, except in a civil case by one occurring before the death of such deceased person
against the other, or in criminal case for a crime or before such person became of unsound mind
committed by one against the other or the latter’s ▪ Negative testimony – testimony that the fact
direct descendants and ascendants did not occur during the lifetime of the
deceased – not covered
• Called rule on marital disqualification or spousal ▪ Testimony of the present possession by the
immunity witness of a written instrument signed by the
• Requisites: deceased is also not covered
1. Marriage is valid and existing as of the time of the • Ma’am: misleading because the document
offer of testimony contains acts of the deceased before he
2. The other spouse is a party to the action died
• May be waived as in the case of other witnesses • Does not apply to land registration cases or cadastral
generally cases
• Purpose: discourage perjury and protect the estate from
Lezama vs. Rodriguez (1968) fictitious claim
Where the wife is a co-defendant in a suit charging her • Prohibition does not apply despite meeting all
and her husband with collusive fraud, she cannot be called as requirements if:
an adverse party witness under (Sec 10, Rule 132) as this will 1. Testimony is offered to prove a claim less than what
violate the marital disqualification rule. is established under a written document
2. Testimony is intended to prove a fraudulent
Section 23 – DISQUALIFICATION BY REASON OF DEATH transaction of the deceased, provided such fraud is
OR INSANITY OF ADVERSE PARTY first established by evidence aliunde
Parties or assignors of parties to a case, or persons in • Disqualification waived:
whose behalf a case is prosecuted, against an executor 1. Defendant does not timely object to the admission
or administrator or other representative of a deceased of such evidence
person, or against a person of unsound mind, upon a 2. Defendant testifies on the prohibited matters
claim or demand against the estate of such deceased 3. Defendant cross-examines thereon
person or a person of unsound mind, cannot testify as
to any matter of fact occurring before the death of such Section 24 – DISQUALIFICATION BY REASON OF
deceased person or before such person became of PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
unsound mind The following persons cannot testify as to matters
learned in confidence in the following cases:
• Dead man statute a. The husband or the wife, during or after the
marriage, cannot be examined without the consent
of the other as to any communication received in
Marital Disqualification
Dead Man Statute confidence by one from the other during the
marriage, except in a civil case by one against the
other or in a criminal case for a crime committed
Partial disqualification Complete disqualification
by one against the other or the latter’s direct
• Disqualified only to testify
descendants or ascendants;
as matter of facts
b. An attorney cannot, without the consent of his
occurring before the death
client, be examined as to any communication made
of deceased person or
by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in
before deceased person
the course of, or with a view to professional
became of unsound mind
employment, nor can the attorney’s secretary,
stenographer or clerk be examined without the
Applies only to civil case or Applies to civil or criminal
consent of the client and his employer, concerning
special proceeding over the case
any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired
estate of deceased / insane
in such capacity;
c. A person authorized to practice medicine, surgery
or obstetrics cannot in a civil case, without the
• Requisites: consent of the patient, be examined as to any
1. Witness offered for examination is a party plaintiff, advice or treatment given by him or any
or the assignor of said party, or a person in whose information which he may have acquired in
behalf a case is prosecuted attending such patient in a professional capacity,
▪ Plaintiff must be the real party in interest which information was necessary to enable him to
▪ Not applicable to mere witnesses act in that capacity, and which would blacken the
▪ Assignor – one who transferred his interests in reputation of the patient;
a case d. A minister or priest cannot, without the consent of
• Assignee – not disqualified the person making the confession, be examined as
▪ Does not apply where a counterclaim has been to any confession made to or any advice given by
interposed by the defendant as the plaintiff him in his professional character in the course of
would thereby be testifying in his defense discipline enjoined by the church to which the
▪ Also if deceased contracted through an agent minister or priest belongs;
2. Case is against the executor or administrator or e. A public officer cannot be examined during his
representative of the deceased or insane person term of office or afterwards, as to any
communications made to him in official confidence,

page 9
Admissibility of Evidence
when the court finds that the public interest would Marital Privilege
suffer by the disclosure. • Requisites for marital privilege:
1. There was a valid marital relations
• Objections can only be made by the persons protected 2. Privilege was invoked with respect to a
and may be waived by the same persons expressly or confidential communication between the
impliedly spouses during the said marriage
3. Spouse against whom the testimony is given
did not give his/her consent
• Privilege cannot be claimed to confidential matters given
before the marriage
• Privilege cannot be invoked if the communication was not
intended to be confidential
• If third person heard the communication, such person is
not covered by the prohibition
» But if person is the agent of one spouse, covered by
the prohibition

Marital Privilege Marital Disqualification

Can be claimed WON the Can be invoked only if the

spouse is a party to the spouse is a party to the
action action

Can be claimed even after Can only apply if the

the marriage has been marriage is existing at the
dissolved time the testimony is offered

Applies only to confidential Constitutes a total prohibition

communications between the against any testimony for or
spouses against the spouse of the

Attorney – Client Privilege

• Requisites:
1. There is an attorney-client relation
2. Privilege is invoked with respect to a confidential
communication between them in the course of
professional employment
3. Client has not given his consent to the disclosure of
the communication
• Attorney must have been consulted in his professional
capacity even if pro bono
• Preliminary communications made for the purpose of
creating attorney-client relationship are within the
• Communications include verbal statements, papers,
document or even actions
• Does not apply to communication:
1. Intended to be made public
2. Intended to be communicated to others
3. Intended for an unlawful purpose
4. Received from third persons not acting as agent of
the client
5. Made in the presence of third persons who are
strangers to the attorney-client relationship
• Period to be considered is that date when the
communication was made
» In determining whether past or future crime
» Communication having to do with a future crime is
not covered by the privilege
• If attorney is a co-conspirator to the crime, privilege not

Physician – Patient Privilege

• Requisites:
1. Physician is authorized to practice medicine, surgery
or obstetrics
2. Information was acquired or the advice or treatment
was given by him in his professional capacity for the
purpose of treating or curing the patient
3. Information, advice or treatment, if revealed, would
blacken the reputation of the patient
4. Privilege is invoked in a civil case, whether the
patient is a party thereto or not
• Not necessary that the relationship was created by the
voluntary act of the patient – may have been acquired by
» E.g. patient in extremis
• Privilege extends to all forms of communication, advice
or treatment

page 10
Admissibility of Evidence
» Includes information acquired by the physician » Can be invoked in any case against any of his
through his observations and examinations of the parents, direct descendants, children or direct
patient ascendants
• Does not apply where:
1. Communication not given in confidence
2. Communication is irrelevant to the professional
3. Communication was made for an unlawful purpose
4. Information was intended to be made public
5. There was a waiver of the privilege either by
provisions of contract or law


By requesting and obtaining a report of the
examination so ordered or by taking the deposition
of the examiner, the party examined waives any
privilege he may have in that action or any other
involving the same controversy, regarding the
testimony of every other person who has examined
or may thereafter examine him in respect of the
same mental or physical examination

Minister/Priest – Penitent Privilege

• Requires that communication was made pursuant to a
religious duty enjoined in the course of discipline of the
sect or denomination
• Must be confidential in character
» E.g. under the seal of the confessional

Privileged Communications as to Public Officials

• Requisites:
1. It was made to the public officer in official
2. Public interest would suffer by the disclosure of the

• RA 53, as amended by RA 1477
» Publisher, editor or duly accredited reporter of any
newspaper, magazine or periodical of general
circulation – cannot be compelled to revel the
source of any news report which was related to him
in confidence
» Unless the court or a House or committee of
Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by
the security of the State
• Article 233 of Labor Code
» All information and statements made at conciliation
proceedings shall be treated as privileged
communications and shall not be used as evidence
in the NLRC, and the conciliators and similar officials
shall not testify in any court or body regarding the
matter taken up at the conciliation proceedings
conducted by them
• Alternative Dispute Resolution Act (RA 9285)
» Sec 9 (a) – Information obtained through mediation
shall be privileged and confidential



No person may be compelled to testify against his
parents, other direct ascendants, children or other
direct descendants.

• Disqualification by reason of relationship

• Filial privilege - not correctly a rule of disqualification, as
the descendant was not incompetent to testify against
his ascendants, but was actually a privilege not to testify

Art. 215, FC
No descendant shall be compelled, in a criminal
case, to testify against his parents and
grandparents, except when such testimony is
indispensable in a crime against the descendant or
by one parent against the other.

• Both parental and filial privileges are granted to any


page 11
Admissibility of Evidence
3. ADMISSIONS AND CONFESSIONS » Does not include his testimony as a witness in court
» Cannot be considered self-serving if it was not made
Section 26 - ADMISSION OF A PARTY in anticipation of a future litigation
The act, declaration or omission of a party as to a
relevant fact may be given in evidence against him. People vs. Bocasas (1985)
Flight from justice is an admission by conduct and
• Admission – any statement of fact made by a party circumstantial evidence of consciousness of guilt
against his interest or unfavorable to the conclusion for
which he contends or is inconsistent with the facts • The act of repairing a machine, bridge or other facility
alleged by him after an injury has been sustained therein is not an
implied admission of negligence by conduct
» Merely a measure of extreme caution
Admissions Confessions
Statement of fact which does Involves an
In civil cases, an offer of compromise is not an
not involve an acknowledgement of guilt or
admission of any liability, and is not admissible in
acknowledgement of guilt or liability
evidence against the offeror.
In criminal cases, except those involving quasi-offenses
(criminal negligence) or those allowed by law to be
May be express or tacit Must be express
compromised, an offer of compromised by the accused
may be received in evidence as an implied admission of
May be made by third Can be made only by the
persons and, in certain cases, party himself and, in certain
A plea of guilty later withdrawn, or an unaccepted offer
are admissible against a cases, are admissible against
of a plea of guilty to lesser offense, is not admissible in
party his co-accused
evidence against the accused who made the plea or
• To be admissible, an admission must: An offer to pay or the payment of medical, hospital or
1. Involve matters of fact, not of law other expenses occasioned by an injury is not
2. Be categorical and definite admissible in evidence as proof of civil or criminal
3. Be knowingly and voluntarily made liability for the injury.
4. Be adverse to the admitter’s interest
▪ Otherwise would be self-serving and • Offer of compromise (civil case) – not a tacit admission
inadmissible of liability and cannot be proved over the objection of the
• Judicial admission – one made in connection with a offeror
judicial proceeding in which it is offered • Offer of compromise (criminal case) – implied admission
• Extrajudicial admission – any other admission of guilt
» But accused is permitted to prove that offer was not
People vs. Aling (1980) made under consciousness of guilt but merely to
Facts: Norija Mohamad was stabbed in the chest and avoid risks of criminal action against him
diaphragm and she died two days later in the hospital. Girlie • Offer of compromise (violation of internal revenue law) –
Aling and Norija’s daughter Daria brought Norija to the not admissible in evidence
hospital. They learned from the police that Norija was stabbed
by her husband Airol Aling. Aling was investigated by the People vs. Amiscua (1971)
police and he declared in Chavacano dialect that he killed his In a rape case, an offer to compromise for a monetary
wife because he was informed in prison by his relatives that consideration, and not to marry the victim, is an implied
his wife was fooling around with other men. Aling was charged admission of guilt
with parricide and during arraignment, he pleaded guilty
although he had no lawyer. A counsel de oficio was appointed People vs. Manzano (1982)
for him. When he was again arraigned, he pleaded guilty with In a rape case, the attempt of the parents of the
the assistance of counsel. Aling was placed on the witness accused to settle the case with the complainant was
stand and examined by his counsel and after being informed considered an implied admission of guilt.
that the penalty for parricide is death or life imprisonment,
Aling still admitted killing his wife. People vs. Valdez (1987)
Issue: WON the marriage of Aling and Norija was proven An offer of marriage by the accused during the
Held: Yes investigation of the rape case is also an admission of guilt
Ratio: The testimony of Aling that he was married to Norija is
an admission against his penal interest. It was a confirmation • Criminal cases involving criminal negligence or quasi-
of the maxim simper praesumitur matrimonio and the offenses are allowed to be compromised, hence an offer
presumption that a man and a woman deporting themselves of settlement is not an admission of guilt
to be husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of • Offer to pay or the actual payment of medical bills by
marriage. reason of victim’s injuries – not admissible to prove civil
or criminal liability
Admissions Declarations Against
The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act,
declaration, or omission of another, except as
Need not be made against Must have been made against
hereinafter provided.
the proprietary or pecuniary the proprietary or pecuniary
interest of the parties interest of the parties
• First branch of res inter alios acta alteri nocere non debet
But if so made, it will greatly
• Exceptions: third person is a partner, agent, or has joint
enhance its probative weight
interest with the party, or is a co-conspirator or a privy
of the party
Made by the party himself, Must have been made by the
and, is a primary evidence person who is either
People vs. Valero (1982)
and competent though he be deceased or unable to testify
Facts: Michael and Annabel, children of Ceferino Velasco, died
present in court and ready to
of poisoning after eating bread containing endrin, a
commercial insecticide. Their sister Imelda would have also
died if not for the timely medical assistance given to her. At
Can be made anytime Made ante litem motam
about the same time, 3 puppies of Velasco under the balcony
where the children ate the bread also died of poisoning.
• Self-serving declaration – one which has been made Earlier that morning, Velasco was seen throwing poisoned rats
extrajudicially by a party to favor his interests in the river near his house.
» Not admissible in evidence

page 12
Admissibility of Evidence
The evidence of the prosecution shows that the poisoned
» Because if it was, can become vague (same as with
bread was given to the children by Alfonso Valero alias Pipe,
Section 30)
deaf-mute brother of accused Lucila Valero, and that it was
» It only appears in Section 31: admission by privies
Lucila who gave Alfonso the bread to be delivered to the
 What predecessors didn't do is binding on you
children. Lucila denies the allegation. The evidence of the
= this is the rationale in including the word
defense tends to show that the children might have eaten one
omission in Section 31
of the sliced poisoned bread used by their father in poisoning
• GR: admission of some1 else shouldn't be taken against
the rats.
3/9 witnesses for the prosecution:
• But Section 29 is an exception: admission of another can
1. Rodolfo Quilang – testified that he saw Lucila deliver
be taken against you – fair?
something wrapped in a piece of paper to Alfonso and
instructed him by sign language to deliver the same to
the Velasco children. He never saw what was inside the
piece of paper. His testimony as to WON he saw the Section 30 - ADMISSION BY CONSPIRATOR
parcel delivered to the children was a series of The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the
contradictions. He is what the defense counsel calls and conspiracy and during its existence, may be given in
“eleventh-hour witness evidence against the co-conspirator after the
2. Federico Jaime and Ceferino Velasco – did not see Lucila conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act of
deliver to Alfonso the alleged parcel, as well as the declaration.
alleged instruction. Both claimed that they learned the
information from Pipe after interviewing him by means of People vs. Serrano
sign language. Testimony of Jaime was confusing. There This rule applies only to extrajudicial acts or statements
is nothing in the testimony of Velasco indicating that and not to testimony given on the witness stand at the trial
Alfonso pointed to Lucila as the source of the poisoned where the party adversely affected thereby has the
bread. opportunity to cross-examine the declarant.
Issue: WON the testimonies of Jaime and Velasco may be An admission by a conspirator is admissible against his
admitted co-conspirator if:
Held: No 1. Such conspiracy is shown by evidence aliunde
Ratio: The evidence is pure hearsay. It violates the principle 2. Admission was made during the existence of the
of res inter alios acta. Alfonso, who was the source of the conspiracy
information, was never presented as a witness either for the 3. Admission relates to the conspiracy itself
defense or the prosecution. Testimony of Velasco cannot be These are not required in admissions during the trial as the
considered as part of res gestae because when the co-accused can examine the declarant.
information was allegedly obtained by Velasco from Alfonso,
nobody was poisoned yet. With regard to the testimony of • Judicial admissions - admissions after the conspiracy has
Jaime, there is no showing that the revelation was made by ended
Alfonso under the influence of a startling occurrence. • Existence of conspiracy may be inferred from
The failure of the defense counsel to object to the 1. Acts of the accused
presentation of incompetent evidence does not give such 2. Confessions of the accused
evidence probative value. The lack of objection may make any 3. By prima facie proof thereof
incompetent evidence admissible. But admissibility of
evidence should not be equated with weight of evidence. People vs. Alegre (1976)
Hearsay evidence whether objected to or not has no probative Where there is no independent evidence of the alleged
value conspiracy, the extrajudicial confession of an accused cannot
be used against his co-accused as the res inter alios rule
Section 29 - ADMISSION BY CO-PARTNER OR AGENT applies to both extrajudicial confessions and admissions
The act or declaration of a partner or agent of the party
within the scope of his authority and during the • Extrajudicial admission made by a conspirator after the
existence of the partnership or agency, may be given in conspiracy has ended and even before trial – not
evidence against such party after the partnership or admissible against co-conspirator
agency is shown by evidence other than such act or » Except:
declaration. The same rule applies to the act or 1. If made in the presence of the co-
declaration of a joint owner, joint debtor, or other conspirator who expressly or impliedly
person jointly interested with the party. (tacit admission, Rule 130.32) agreed
• Requisites: 2. Where the facts stated in the said
1. That the partnership, agency or joint interest is admissions are confirmed in the individual
established by evidence other than the act or extrajudicial confessions made by the co-
declaration conspirators after their apprehension
2. That the act/declaration must have been within the 3. as a circumstance to determine the
scope of the partnership, etc. credibility of a witness
3. Such act/declaration must have been made during 4. as circumstantial evidence to show the
the existence of the partnership, etc. probability of the co-conspirator’s
• Admissions made in connection with the winding up – participation in the offense
still admissible
• Admission by counsel – admissible against client (agent- People vs. Ola (1987)
principal) In order that the extrajudicial statements of a co-
» Limitation: accused may be taken into consideration in judging the
1. admission should not amount to a compromise testimony of a witness, it is necessary that the statements are
2. admission should not amount to a confession made by several accused, the same are in all material
of judgment respects identical, and there could have been no collusion
among said co-accused in making such statements.
Jaucian vs. Querol
The phrase joint debtor does not refer to a mere Section 31 - ADMISSION BY PRIVIES
community of interest but should be understood according to Where one derives title to property from another, the
its meaning in the common law system from which the act, declaration, or omission of the latter, while holding
provision was taken, that is, in solidum, and not the title, in relation to the property, is evidence against
mancomunada the former.

• Requisites:
• 1st exception to Section 28 1. There must be a relation of privity between the
• Word omission in Section 28 doesn't appear here party and the declarant

page 13
Admissibility of Evidence
2. The admission was made by the declarant, as Section 32 - ADMISSION BY SILENCE
predecessor in interest, while holding title to the An act or declaration made in the presence and within
property the hearing or observation of a party who does or says
3. The admission is in relation to said property nothing when the act or declaration is such as naturally
• Privity in estate may have arisen by succession, by acts to call for action or comment if not true, and when
mortis causa or by acts inter vivos proper and possible for him to do so, may be given in
evidence against him.

• Requisites to be admissible against a party:

1. He must have heard or observed the act or
declaration of the other person
2. He must have had the opportunity to deny it
3. He must understood the statement
4. He must have an interest to object, such that he
would naturally have done so, if the statement was
not true
5. The facts were within his knowledge
6. The fact admitted or the inference to be drawn from
his silence is material to the issue
• Applies where a person is surprised or even if he is
already in the custody of the police
» Voluntary participation in the reenactment of the
crime conducted by police is considered tacit
admission of complicity
▪ But to be given weight, the validity and
efficacy of the confession must first be shown

Section 12, Article III, 1987 Constitution

1. Any person under investigation for the commission
of an offense shall have the right to be informed of
his right to remain silent and to have competent
and independent counsel preferably of his own
choice. If the person cannot afford the services of
counsel, he must be provided with one. These
rights cannot be waived except in writing and in
the presence of counsel.
2. No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or
any other means which vitiate free will shall be
used against him. Secret detention places, solitary,
incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention
are prohibited
3. Any confession or admission obtained in violation
of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in
evidence against him.
4. The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions
for violations of this section as well as
compensation to and rehabilitation of victims of
torture or similar practices and their families.

Section 17, Article III, 1987 Constitution

No person shall be compelled to be a witness
against himself

• Rule does not apply:

» if the statements adverse to the party were made
in the course of an official investigation
» Or where the party had a justifiable reason to
remain silent (e.g. acting on advice of counsel)
• Keep in mind that a person under investigation for the
commission of a crime has the right to remain silent and
to be informed of that right
• Rule applies to adverse statements in writing if the party
was carrying on a mutual correspondence with the
» If no such mutual correspondence, rule is relaxed
▪ Theory: a prompt response can generally not
be expected if the party still has to resort to a
written reply, as opposed to a statement orally

Section 33 – CONFESSION
The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt
of the offense charged, or of any offense necessarily
included therein, may be given in evidence against him.

• Confession – categorical acknowledgement of guilt made

by an accused in a criminal case, without any
exculpatory statement or explanation
» If there is an allegation of a justification for the act,
merely an admission
• Confession of judgment – made in a civil case where the
party expressly admits his liability
• Confession can be made orally or in writing

page 14
Admissibility of Evidence
» Ii in writhing – need not be under oath
• Judicial confession – one made before a court in which
the case is pending and in the course of legal
proceedings therein
» By itself, can sustain a conviction
• Extrajudicial confession – one made in any other place or
occasion and cannot sustain a conviction unless
corroborated by evidence of the corpus delicti

Rule 133, Section 3 - EXTRAJUDICIAL

An extrajudicial confession made by an accused,
shall not be sufficient ground for conviction, unless
corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti.

• Requisites for admissibility

1. Confession must involve an express and categorical
acknowledgement of guilt
2. Facts admitted must be constitutive of an offense
3. Confession must have been given voluntarily
4. Confession must have been intelligently made, the
accused realizing the importance of his act
5. No violation of Sec 12, Art III of the Constitution

People vs. Garcia (101 Phil 615)

Confessions are presumed to be voluntary and the onus
is on the defense to prove that it was involuntary for having
been obtained by violence, intimidation, threat or promise of
reward or leniency.

• Indicia of voluntariness of confession

1. contains details which the police could not have
supplied or invented
2. contains details which could have been known only
to the accused
3. contains statements which are exculpatory in nature
4. contains corrections made by the accused in his
handwriting or with his initials
5. accused sufficiently educated and aware of his the
consequences of his acts
6. made in the presence of an impartial witness with
the accused acting normally on that occasion
7. lack of motive on the part of the investigators to
extract a confession
8. accused questioned the voluntariness of his
confession only on trial
9. contents were affirmed by the accused in his
voluntary participation in the reenactment of the
10. facts in confession were confirmed by other
subsequent facts
11. after confession, accused subjected to physical
examination and there were no signs of
maltreatment or accused never complained thereof
▪ not applicable when accused failed to complain
because of a reasonable apprehension of
further maltreatment as he was still in the
custody of his torturers
• Justifications for inadmissibility of involuntary confessions
1. unreliable
2. humanitarian considerations
3. legal considerations of their violative of the
• But there were cases stating that involuntary admissions
are admissible if they contain the truth
» No longer applies because of the ruling in Stonehill
vs. Diokno

Section 20, Article IV, 1973 Constitution

No person shall be compelled to be a witness
against himself. Any person under investigation for
the commission of an offense shall have the right
to remain silent and to counsel, and to be informed
of such right. No force, violence, threat,
intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the
free will shall be used against him. Any confession
in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in

• If confession obtained before effectivity of 1973

Constitution (17 Jan 1973), admissible even without
informing the accused of his right to remain silent

page 15
Admissibility of Evidence
Draculan vs. Donato (1978) 3) Accused admitted the facts stated in the
Where, before the statement containing the extrajudicial confession after being apprised of such
confession of guilt was taken, the accused was asked whether confession
he was familiar with the provisions of Sec 20, Art IV, 1973 4) Charged as co-conspirators and confession is
Constitution and he answered in the affirmative, and the used only as corroborating evidence
statement which he signed states that he had been apprised 5) Confession is used as circumstantial evidence
of his constitutional rights with the warning that anything he to show the probability of participation by the
would say might be used against him in court, such co-conspirator
extrajudicial confession is admissible 6) Confessant testified fro his co-defendant
7) Co-conspirator’s extrajudicial confession is
People vs. Tampus (1980) corroborated by other evidence of record
Where the verbal extrajudicial confession was made • Confession of the accused admissible not only with
without counsel, but it was spontaneously made by the respect to the offense charged but also any offense
accused immediately after the assault, the same is admissible, necessarily included therein
not under the confession rule, but as part of the res gestae • 1987 Constitution – illegal confessions and admissions
are inadmissible against confessant or admitter
People vs. Felipe (1981) » But admissible against the person who violated the
Where the accused was merely told of his constitutional constitutional provision against obtaining illegal
rights and asked if he understood what he was told, but he confessions or admissions
was never asked whether he wanted to exercise or avail
himself of such rights, his extrajudicial confession is People vs. Domantay (1999)
inadmissible Facts: The body of six year old Jennifer Domantay, bearing
several stab wounds, was found sprawled amidst a bamboo
People vs. Broqueza (1988) grove. The investigation by the police pointed to Bernardino
Where the extrajudicial confession of the accused while Domantay, cousin of the victim’s grandfather, as the lone
under custodial investigation was merely prefaced by the suspect in the crime. Police officers (Montemayor, De la Cruz
investigator with a statement of his constitutional rights, to and De Guzman) picked up Domantay at the public market
which he answered that he was going to tell the truth, the and took him to the police station. Upon questioning by SPO1
same is inadmissible as his answer does not constitute a Espinoza, Domantay confessed to the killing of Jennifer. He
waiver of his right to counsel and he was not assisted by one also said that he had given the bayonet he used in the killing
when he signed the confession. His short answer does not to Casingal spouses, his aunt and uncle. The next day, SPO1
show that he knew the legal significance of what were asked Espinoza and another policeman took Domantay to the
of him Casingal spouses where they recovered the bayonet.
The prosecution presented 7 witnesses:
Morales, Jr. vs. Enrile (1983) 1. Edward Domantay – testified that in the morning of the
The waiver of the right to counsel during custodial incident, he was drinking with Caballero, Macasaeb and
investigation must be made with the assistance of counsel Domantay. There, Domantay rolled up his shirt and said
that he will massacre somebody in their place. Edward
• Requirement is now embodied in the 1987 Constitution saw that tucked in the left side of Domantay’s waistline
was a bayonet without a cover handle. Edward has seen
People vs. Jara (1986) that bayonet being carried by Domantay many times.
Where a confession was illegally obtained from two of 2. Jiezl Domantay (10 years old) – testified that at about
the accused and, consequently, are not admissible as against 2pm, she saw Domantay and Jennifer walking towards
them, with much more reason should the same be the bamboo grove where the body of Jennifer was later
inadmissible against a third accused who had no participation found. Domantay was about 2 meters ahead of Jennifer.
3. Lorenzo Domantay – corroborated Jennifer’s testimony.
• Promise of immunity or leniency vitiates a confession if He said that he saw Domantay standing at the spot in
given by the offended party or by the fiscal the bamboo grove where Jennifer’s body was later found.
» Not if given by a person whom the accused could Domantay appears restless and worried as he kept
not have reasonably expected to be able to comply looking around. Lorenzo was in a hurry and did not try to
with such promise (e.g. investigator who is not a find out why Domantay was restless.
prosecuting officer) or could not bind the offended 4. Joselito Mejia – a tricycle driver. He said that when he
party which was a corporation was about to take his lunch, Domantay approached him
and implored him to take him (Domantay) to Malasiqui at
US vs. Mercado (6 Phil 332) once. Mejia said he will first take his lunch. Domantay
Where the accused voluntarily made a second pleaded with him and said that they will not be long so
extrajudicial confession after he has been maltreated in order Mejia agreed. Domantay alighted near the Mormon
to extort the first confession, such second confession is church outside Malasiqui, instead of the town proper
admissible only if it can be proved that he was already 5. SPO1 Antonio Espinoza – testified that he investigated
relieved of the fear generated by the previous maltreatment the case. Before questioning Domantay, he appraised the
latter of his constitutional right to remain silent and to
• Entire confession must be admitted in evidence have a competent and independent counsel, in English,
» But court may, in appreciating it, reject such which was later translated into Pangasinense. Domantay
portions as are incredible agreed to answer the questions even in the absence of
counsel and admitted to the killing of Jennifer. Domantay
Camasura vs. Provost Marshal (78 Phil 131) also disclosed the location of the bayonet he used.
Where the extrajudicial confession was obtained by (Cross-examination) Espinoza admitted that Domantay
maltreatment, the judgment based solely thereon is null and was not assisted by counsel during the course of the
void and the accused may obtain his release on a writ of questioning. Neither was Domantay’s statement reduced
habeas corpus into writing. This testimony was admitted over the
objection of the defense.
• The extrajudicial confession of an accused is binding only 6. Celso Manuel – radio reporter of DWPR. He interviewed
upon him and is not admissible against his co-accused Domantay who was then detained in the municipal jail.
» Except if: He introduced himself as a media reporter to Domantay.
1) Co-accused impliedly adopted said confession He said that Domantay was willing to state what
by not questioning its truthfulness happened. When he asked Domantay if he committed the
2) Interlocking confessions – accused persons crime, Domantay said yes. Domantay also said that he
voluntarily and independently executed killed Jennifer in his revenge for a boundary dispute and
identical confessions without conclusion, that he is willing to accept his punishment. (Cross)
• which confessions are corroborated by Manuel explained that the interview was conducted in the
other evidence and not contradicted by jail, 2-3 meters away from the police station. An uncle of
the co-accused who was present Jennifer was with him. The nearest policeman was 2-3

page 16
Admissibility of Evidence
meters away. There was no lawyer present and it was day of the incident, he was locking one of the doors of the
the first time that he was called to testify regarding an shop when 3 men approached him from behind and one of
interview he conducted. This testimony was admitted them held him at gunpoint. Mayola and Balderas saw what
over the objection of the defense was happening and shouted for help. Mantung was taken to
7. Dr. Ronald Bandonill – conducted an autopsy of the the comfort room when he heard 2 gunshots and the shouts of
victim. Mayola and Balderas stopped. The men took him out, pushed
Defense presented Domantay as its lone witness. Domantay him inside a red car and blindfolded him. Afterwards, he felt
denied the allegations against him. He denied Edward’s claim. the car stop and he was left alone by his captors. He then
He admitted that he passed the bamboo grove but said that seized the opportunity to escape. He saw that they stopped in
he did not know that Jennifer was following him. He admitted the pier so he mingled with the people and boarded a ship to
hiring Mejia to get to Malasiqui to meet his brother, who did Cebu and from there went to Cotabato. He denied that pieces
not come. He denied confessing to SPO1 Espinoza and he of jewelry were recovered from him. He refuted the reports
denied having a grudge against Jennifer’s parents because of saying he admitted to the killing of the victims in the press
a boundary dispute. He admitted being interviewed by Manuel conference. According to him, he did not tell anyone what
but denied ever admitting anything to the reporter. happened because he was confused and he did not know what
Domantay was convicted by the trial court to do.
Issue: WON the extrajudicial confessions made by Domantay Issue1: WON Mantung’s admission during the press
to SPO1 Espinoza and Manuel are admissible conference is admissible
Held: No and Yes, respectively Held1: Yes
Ratio: Art III, Sec 12 of the 1987 Constitution applies to Ratio1: The clippings of the news articles reporting Mantung’s
custodial investigation, when the investigation is no longer a confession is hearsay because their writers were not
general inquiry into an unsolved crime but starts to focus on a presented to affirm the veracity of the reports. However,
particular person as a suspect. RA 7438 extended the Ricardo Diago, an employee of Cebuana Lhuiller present
constitutional guarantee to situations in which an individual during the press conference, was presented as rebuttal
has not been formally arrested but has merely been “invited” witness to prove that Mantung indeed claimed responsibility
for questioning. for the killings.
Requirements for admissibility of extrajudicial confessions: The constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not
1. It must be voluntary apply to a spontaneous statement, not elicited through
2. It must be made with the assistance of a competent and questioning by the authorities, but given in an ordinary
independent counsel manner whereby accused orally admitted having committed a
3. It must be express crime. The rights under Sec 12 are guaranteed to preclude the
4. It must be in writing slightest use of coercion by the State as would lead the
When Domantay was brought to the police station he was accused to admit something false, not to prevent him from
already under custodial investigation and the rights freely and voluntarily telling the truth (People vs. Andan).
guaranteed by the Constitution apply to him. Even though he There is nothing to show that Mantung’s admission was
waived the assistance of counsel, the waiver was not put into coerced or made under duress.
writing nor made in the presence of counsel. Therefore the
waiver is invalid and the confession is inadmissible. The Ladiana vs. People (2002)
bayonet is also inadmissible in evidence as it was a “fruit of a Facts: Josue Ladiana, a police officer, was accused of killing
poisonous tree”. Francisco San Juan, a Barangay Captain. The case was filed in
Domantay’s confession to Manuel is admissible. The Bill of the Sandiganbayan and Ladiana was found guilty of homicide.
Rights does not concern itself with the relation between The prosecution presented 5 witnesses:
private individuals. The prohibitions therein are primarily
addressed to the State and its agents.
1. Caridad San Juan – wife of the victim. She testified that
Domantay claims that the atmosphere during the interview San Juan was the Barangay Captain of Brgy. Salac,
was tense and intimidating. The Court does not agree. There Lumban, Laguna. She said that she was in her house
is no indication that the presence of the police officers exerted when an unidentified woman came and told her that her
any undue pressure or influence on Domantay and coerced husband was killed by Ladiana. She also presented the
him into giving his confession. There is also no evidence that death certificate of her husband. (Cross) She admitted
Manuel was a police beat reporter and it has not been shown that she did not witness the killing of her husband.
that his purpose in conducting the interview was to elicit 2. PO2 Leopoldo Cacalda Jr. – He recounted that somebody
incriminating information from Domantay. whose name he could not recall reported to him about an
Domantay’s extrajudicial confession is corroborated by existing trouble in the scene of the incident. He
evidence of corpus delicti, as required by Rule 133, Sec 3. responded by going to the scene, accompanied by
another person. There, he saw the dead body of San
People vs. Mantung (1999) Juan. He gathered from the people milling around the
Facts: Maribel Mayola and Renjie Balderas were found dead body that it was Ladiana who killed San Juan. He
inside the vault room of the Maywood branch of Cebuana immediately left to look for Ladiana. He later learned that
Lhuiller where they were employed. The jewelries kept inside Ladiana surrendered to the police. (Cross) He testified
the safe were all gone and the cash drawer had been emptied that he did not witness the incident. He also said that it
of its contents. In the counter, a holster was placed on top of was the people around the incident who told him that
a letter addressed to Mary Ann Gordoncillo, district manager Ladiana already left. He also saw a stab wound on
of Cebuana Lhuiller. The letter was written by Guiamad Ladiana’s right bicep but he did not ask him how he got
Mantung, the security guard assigned to the branch. Mantung it.
wrote in Filipino that he killed Mayola and Balderas because 3. Dr. Rogelio Javan – performed the necropsy
they gave him pork which his Moslem religion prohibited him 4. SPO2 Percival Gabinete – his testimony was dispensed
from eating. He also admitted taking the cash and jewelry with upon the admission of the defense that he was part
inside the vault, claiming that he needed the money. He wrote of the group that responded to the incident
another letter addressed to his wife, which was found in the 5. Mario Cortez – retired Assistant Prosecutor of Laguna.
office logbook. Mantung was later arrested in Sultan Kudarat, Prior to the conduct of examination-in-chief of Cortez,
Cotabato and several pieces of jewelry believed to be part of defense counsel admitted to the authorship, authenticity,
the loot were recovered from him. After his arrest, he was and voluntariness of the execution of the counter-
immediate brought to Paramour where he was presented to affidavit of Ladiana. In the counter-affidavit, Ladiana
the media at a press conference called by Mayor Joey admitted shooting Francisco but he allegedly did so in
Marquez. When Mayor Marquez then asked him if he is the self-defense as Francisco was then attacking Ladiana and
one who killed the two employees, Mantung answered yes and had in fact already inflicted a stab wound on the arm of
said that he killed the victims because they induced him to eat Ladiana. Cortez emphasized that he was not the one who
pork. The news about Manton’s admission to the killings conducted the PI. He also said that he would not be able
appeared in the Inquirer and Manila Bulletin the following day. to recognize the face of the affiant in the counter-
Clippings of these reports were presented as evidence by the affidavit but maintained that there was a person who
prosecution during the trial. appeared and identified himself as Josue Ladiana before
The defense presented the lone testimony of Mantung to him.
substantiate his claims of innocence. He claimed that on the Defense filed a Demurrer to Evidence

page 17
Admissibility of Evidence
Issue: WON the counter-affidavit executed by Ladiana during 5. TESTIMONIAL KNOWLEDGE
the preliminary investigation is admissible although no counsel
was present when he executed it Section 36 – TESTIMONY GENERALLY CONFINED TO
Ratio: The constitutional guarantee applies only during A witness can testify only to those facts which he
custodial investigations. Custodial investigation is the knows of his personal knowledge; that is, which are
questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a derived from his own perception, except as otherwise
person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of provided in these rules.
freedom of action in any significant way.
The Court held that the right to counsel does not extend to • Hearsay evidence – any evidence, whether oral or
PIs. A PI is an inquiry or a proceeding to determine whether documentary, whose probative value is based not on
there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief personal knowledge of the witness but on the knowledge
that a crime has been committed, and that the respondent is of some other person not on the witness stand
probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial. A person » Excluded because the party against whom it is
undergoing PI before a public prosecutor cannot be considered presented is deprived of the right to cross-examine
as being under custodial investigation. the persons to whom the statements or writings are
However, the accused possesses rights that must be attributed
safeguarded: » If a party does not object – admissible
1. Right to refuse to be made witness
2. Right not to have any prejudice whatsoever imputed to Savory Luncheonette vs. Lakas ng Manggagawang
him by such refusal Pilipino (1975)
3. Right to testify on his own behalf, subject to cross- The repeated failure of the party to cross-examine the
examination by the prosecution witness is an implied waiver of such right and the testimony of
4. While testifying, the right to refuse to answer a specific the said witness who died thereafter should not be excluded
question that tends to incriminate him for some crime from the record
other than that for which he is being prosecuted
Ladiana’s counter-affidavit is not an extrajudicial confession, it People vs. Cusi, Jr. (1965)
is only an admission. In confession, there is an Facts: Arcadio Puesca, Walter Apa, Jose Gustilo, Filomeno
acknowledgement of guilt. In an admission, there is merely a Macalinao, Ricardo Dario and Magno Montano were charged
statement of fact not directly involving an acknowledgement with robbery in band with homicide.
of guilt or of criminal intent to commit the offense with which During trial, while Sgt. Bano was testifying as prosecution
one is charged. In the counter-affidavit, Ladiana admits witness regarding the extrajudicial confession made to him by
shooting San Juan but denies having done it with criminal Puesca, he said that Puesca admitted his participation in the
intent since he claimed that it was done in self-defense. offense and revealed the name of other persons who
There is no doubt as to the voluntariness of the counter- conspired with him. Counsel for Macalinao, Gustilo and Dario
affidavit. The admissions of Ladiana made through his counsel objected to the naming of the co-conspirators. Trial judge
during the trial are very clear. resolved the objection directing the witness to name the co-
In general, admissions may be rebutted by confessing their conspirators other than the 3 objectors.
untruth or by showing that they were made by mistake. Issue: WON the witness should be allowed to name all the
Ladiana never offered any rationalization why he made the conspirators as stated to him by Puesca
admission. Held: Yes
Ratio: While the testimony of a witness regarding a statement
4. PREVIOUS CONDUCT AS EVIDENCE made by another person, if intended to establish the truth of
the facts asserted in the statement, is clearly hearsay
Section 34 – SIMILAR ACTS AS EVIDENCE evidence, it is otherwise if the purpose of placing the
Evidence that one did or did not do a certain thing at statement in the record is merely to establish the fact that the
one time is not admissible to prove that he did or did statement was made or the tenor of such statement.
not do the same or similar thing at another time; but it For the limited purpose of establishing the fact that Puesca
may be received to prove a specific intent or mentioned the names of his co-conspirators, the evidence
knowledge, identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, should be admitted but with the understanding that the
custom or usage, and the like. testimony shall not be taken as competent evidence to show
that the persons named really and actually conspired with
• Second branch of res inter alios acta Puesca.
» Applies to both criminal and civil cases
» Strictly enforced in all cases applicable • But even if hearsay evidence not objected to is
• Exceptions to the rule: evidence of similar acts may admissible, it has no probative value and as opposed to
prove direct primary evidence, the latter always prevails
1. Specific intent or knowledge
2. Identity Section 28, Rule on Examination of a Child Witness
4. Specific habit A statement made by a child describing any act or
5. Established customs, usages and the like attempted act of child abuse not otherwise
• Evidence of another crime is admissible in a prosecution admissible under the hearsay rule, may be
for robbery where it has the tendency to identify the admitted in evidence in any criminal or non-
accused or show his presence at the scene of the crime criminal proceeding subject to the following rules:
» But not where the evidence is to prove that he a. Before such hearsay statement may be
committed another crime wholly independent of that admitted, its proponent shall make known to
for which he is on trial the adverse party the intention to offer such
• Previous acts of negligence is admissible to show statement and its particulars to provide him a
knowledge or intent fair opportunity to object. If the child is
available, the court shall, upon the motion of
Section 35 – UNACCEPTED OFFER the adverse party, require the child to be
An offer in writing to pay a particular sum of money or present at the presentation of the hearsay
to deliver a written instrument or specific personal statement for cross-examination by the
property is, if rejected without valid cause, equivalent adverse party. When the child is unavailable,
to the actual production and tender of the money, the fact of such circumstance must be proved
instrument or property by the proponent
b. In ruling on the admissibility of such
• Merely evidentiary complement to the rule on payment hearsay statement, the court shall consider
• Such tender of payment must be followed by the time content and circumstances thereof
consignation of the amount in court in order to produce which provide sufficient indicia of reliability. It
the effects of valid payment shall consider the following factors:
1. Whether there is motive to lie;

page 18
Admissibility of Evidence
2. The general character of the declarant impending death and as long as no retraction was made
child; by the declarant before his death
3. Whether more than one person heard
the statement;
4. Whether the statement was
5. The timing of the statement and the
relationship between the declarant child
and witness;
6. Cross-examination could not show the
lack of knowledge of the declarant child;
7. The possibility of faulty recollection of
declarant child is remote; and
8. The circumstances surrounding the
statement are such that there is no reason
to suppose the declarant child
misinterpreted the involvement of the
c.The child witness shall be considered
unavailable under the following situations:
1. Is deceased, suffers from physical
infirmity, lack of memory, mental illness,
or will be exposed to severe psychological
injury; or
2. Is absent from the hearing and the
proponent of his statement has been
unable to procure his attendance by
process or other reasonable means.
d. When the child witness is unavailable,
his hearsay testimony shall be admitted only if
corroborated by other admissible evidence.

• Not covered by hearsay rule - where the statements or

writings attributed to a person who is not on the witness
stand are being offered not to prove the truth of the facts
stated therein but to prove that those statements were
made or writings executed
» Witness who testifies is competent – these are
matters derived from his own perception
• Doctrine of independently relevant statements –
independent of whether the facts stated are true or not,
they are relevant because they are the facts in issue or
are circumstantial evidence of the facts in issue

People vs. Arguel (1980)

Newspaper clippings or facts published in the
newspapers are hearsay and have no evidentiary value unless
substantiated by persons with personal knowledge of said


Dying Declaration


The declaration of a dying person, made under the
consciousness of an impending death, may be received
in any case wherein his death is the subject of inquiry,
as evidence of the cause and surrounding
circumstances of such death.

• Dying declaration – antemortem statement or statement

in articulo mortis
• Requisites:
1. That death is imminent and the declarant is
conscious of that fact
▪ Considerations for the consciousness of
imminent death:
a. Words or statements of the declarant
b. His conduct at the time the declaration
was made
c. Serious nature of his wounds as to
engender a belief on his part that he
would not survive
2. That the declaration refers to the cause and the
surrounding circumstances of such death
3. That the declaration relates to facts which the victim
is competent to testify to
4. That the declaration is offered in a case wherein the
declarant’s death is the subject of the inquiry
• Intervening time from the making of the declaration up
to the actual death is immaterial as long as the
declaration was made under the consciousness of

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Admissibility of Evidence
People vs. Sabio (1981) 4. That his declaration was offered in evidence in a criminal
It is the belief in the impending death at the time the case for homicide, murder or parricide in which the
statement was made, and not the rapid succession of death, declarant is the victim
that renders the dying declaration admissible. All these circumstances were present when Abelardo made his
• Interval of time may be taken into account where the
declaration was ambiguous as to whether the declarant People vs. Molo (1979)
believed that his death was imminent when he made the Facts: Not long after the couple Venacio Gapisa and Simeona
declaration Rapa-Gapisa had retired for the night, Simeona heard and
indistinct sound of murmur and gnashing teeth. Venacio was
People vs. Antonio (1970) asleep by then. Although seized by fear, Simeona managed to
Where the declarant stated that he would not die if peep through the dilapidated buri wall and saw Dominador
treated, such statement indicates an awareness of death and Molo attired only in short pants, alone. She tried to awaken
the nature of his wound and his death an hour later qualifies Venacio but he did not respond. Molo had already climbed up
such statement into a dying declaration, or at least, as part of the stairs and barged into the house. When he found Venacio
res gestae. asleep near the door, he immediately grabbed the latter’s left
wrist and started hacking the old man. Venacio woke up and
People vs. Gueron (1983) tried to fight back but he was unable to retaliate because Molo
Where, shortly after he was wounded, the victim was started hacking him again. Simeona rushed out of the house
asked as to whether he believed he would die and to which he and called for help. Her son Alejandro and Roman Mangaring
replied, “I cannot ascertain,” and he died the following day, ran towards the house and there they found Venacio bleeding
his statement is admissible both as part of res gestae and as a profusely. When Alejandro took his father in his arms, Venacio
dying declaration. told him that he was boloed by Boslo, the name by which Molo
was known in their locality. Roman also asked Venacio who
People vs. Laquinon (1985) his assailant was and the latter answered Boslo. Venacio was
Where the victim, when asked as to whether he thought rushed to the hospital where he died a few minutes after
he would die, replied, “I don’t know,” his declaration was not arrival.
made under the consciousness of his imminent death and Issue: WON the statements made by Venacio to Alejandro and
does not qualify as an antemortem statement, although the Roman are admissible
same may be admitted as part of the res gestae since it was Held: Yes
made immediately after the incident Ratio: The statements of Venacio identifying Molo as his
assailant to Alejandro and Roman are dying declarations.
• The credibility and weight of the admitted dying Considering the nature of the wounds, 8 in all, Venacio must
declaration should be determined under the same rules have the seriousness of his condition and that it can therefore
used in other testimonial evidence be inferred that he made the incrimination under the
• A dying declaration is admissible only to insofar as it consciousness of an impending death.
refers to facts regarding the cause and surrounding
circumstances of the declarant’s death Declaration Against Interest
• A dying declaration is admissible in any case as long as
the requisite concur Section 38 – DECLARATION AGAINST INTEREST
• A dying declaration may be oral or written or made by The declaration made by a person deceased, or unable
signs which could be testified to by a witness thereto to testify, against the interest of the declarant, if the
fact asserted in the declaration was at the time it was
People vs. Odencio (1979) made was so contrary to declarant’s own interest, that
If the antemortem statement was made orally, the a reasonable man in his position would not have made
witness who heard it may testify thereto, without necessarily the declaration unless he believed it to be true, may be
reproducing the exact words as long as he can give the received in evidence against himself or his successors
substance thereof, and if the deceased had an unsigned dying in interest and against third persons.
declaration, the same may be used as a memorandum by the
witness who took it down • Made by a person who is neither a party nor in privity
with a party to the suit
• May be attacked on the absence of any of the requisites » Admissible only when the declarant is unavailable as
and may be impeached in the same manner as the a witness
testimony of any other witness on the stand • Requisites:
» American jurisprudence: dying declarations are on 1. Declarant is dead or unable to testify
the same footing as testimony of a witness on a 2. It relates to the facts against the declarant
stand and whatever would disqualify the witness 3. At the time he made the declaration, he is aware
would also make such declaration incompetent that the same was contrary to the aforesaid interest
evidence 4. Declarant had no motive to falsify and believed such
declaration to be true
People vs. Molas (1993)
Facts: Bernardo Resonable went home after working in his Act or Declaration About Pedigree
farm. There he found his son Abelardo (8) bleeding at the
doorway of their house. Bernardo carried Abelardo inside the Section 39 – ACT OR DECLARATION ABOUT PEDIGREE
house. Abelardo informed his father that Josue Molas was the The act or declaration of a person deceased, or unable
person who not only inflicted his injuries but also stabbed his to testify in respect to the pedigree of another person
sister Dulcesima and mother Soledad. Molas and Dulcesima related to him by birth or marriage, may be received in
were sweethearts and engaged to be married. While Bernardo evidence where it occurred before the controversy, and
looked for the bodies of his wife and daughter, Abelardo was the relationship between the two persons is shown by
brought to the hospital by his brother Nicholas. Abelardo died evidence other than such act or declaration. The word
the next day. “pedigree” includes relationship, family genealogy,
Issue: WON the statement of Abelardo is admissible birth, marriage, death, the dates when and the places
Held: Yes where these facts occurred, and the names of the
Ratio: Abelardo’s statement was given to his father while he relatives. It embraces also facts of family history
lay at death’s door, bleeding from stab wounds, as a result of intimately connected with pedigree.
which he died the next day. It was indubitably a dying
declaration. • Requisites:
To be admissible, a dying declaration must: 1. The actor or declarant is dead and unable to testify
1. Concern the cause and surrounding circumstances of the 2. The act or declaration is made by the person related
declarant’s death to the subject by birth or marriage
2. That the time it was made, the declarant was under a 3. The relationship between the declarant or the actor
consciousness of impending death and the subject is shown by evidence other than
3. That he was a competent witness such act or declaration

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Admissibility of Evidence
4. The act or declaration was made prior to the Res Gestae
• Do not require any specific degree of relationship Section 42 – PART OF THE RES GESTAE
» But may affects the weight of such act or Statements made by a person while a startling
declaration occurrence is taking place or immediately prior or
subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances
Family Reputation or Tradition Regarding Pedigree thereof, may be given in evidence as part of the res
gestae. So also statements accompanying an equivocal
Section 40 – FAMILY REPUTATION OR TRADITION act material to the issue, and giving it a legal
REGARDING PEDIGREE significance, may be received as part of the res gestae
The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous
to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any • Res gestae (“things done”) refers to:
one of its members, may be received in evidence if the 1. Spontaneous statements in connection with a
witness testifying thereon be also a member of the startling occurrence relating to that fact and in
family, either by consanguinity or affinity. Entries in effect forming part thereof
family bibles or other family books or charts, 2. Statements accompanying an equivocal act (verbal
engravings on rings, family portraits and the like, may act) on the theory that they are the verbal parts of
be received as evidence of pedigree the act to be explained
• Requirements:
• Requisites: 1. The principal act (res gestae) is a startling
1. Witness testifying thereto must be a member, by occurrence
consanguinity or affinity, of the same family as the 2. The statements forming a part thereof were made
subject before the declarant had the opportunity to
2. Such tradition or reputation must have existed in contrive
that family ante litem motam 3. Statements refer to the occurrence in question and
• Person’s statement of date of birth and age – declaration its attending circumstances
of family tradition » Only such statements as appear to have been
» Prevails over mere opinion of the trial judge involuntarily wrung from the witness by the impact
» But cannot generally prevail over secondary of the occurrence are admissible
statement of the father • Interval of time between the startling occurrence and the
statement depends upon the circumstances
Common Reputation » But statement must have been made while the
declarant was under the immediate influence of the
Section 41 – COMMON REPUTATION startling occurrence
Common reputation existing previous to the ▪ If declarant rendered unconscious after the
controversy, respecting facts of public or general startling occurrence, his statement relative to
interest more than 30 years old, respecting marriage or thereto upon regaining consciousness still
moral character, may be given in evidence. Monuments forms part of re gestae regardless of the time
and inscriptions in public places may be received as that intervened between
evidence of common reputation
People vs. Berame (1976)
• Common reputation – general reputation; definite If the statement was made under the influence of a
opinion of the community in which the fact to be proved startling event and the declarant did not have time to concoct
is known or exists or contrive a story, even if made 9 hours after the killing, the
» General or substantially undivided reputation and statement is admissible as part of res gestae
need not be unanimous
» Admissible to prove: • Statements or outcries as part of res gestae had been
▪ Facts of public or general interest more than admitted to establish the identity of assailant, prove the
30 years old complicity of another person to the crime, establish
• Public interest – national interest admission of liability on part of the accused
• General interest – affecting inhabitants of • Requirements for verbal acts to be admissible:
a particular region or community 1. Res gestae be characterized as equivocal
• Must be more than 30 years old 2. Such act must be material to the issue
» Established only by persons who 3. Statements must accompany the equivocal act
have had knowledge of that fact for 4. Statements give a legal significance to the
such length of time, or by equivocal act
monuments or documents existing » “Verbal act” – used to denote that such statements
for that length of time are the verbal parts of the equivocal act of which
▪ Marriage such statements are explanatory
▪ Moral character
• Not required to be more than 30 years old Borromeo vs. CA (1976)
» Must be ante litem motam Notes taken regarding a transaction by a person who is
» Established by: not a party thereto and who has not been requested to take
1. Testimonial evidence of competent witness down such notes are not part of the res gestae
2. Monuments and inscription in public places
3. Documents containing statements of
Res Gestae (re a homicidal Dying Declaration
• Reputation – opinion of him by others
• Character – inherent qualities of a person
Statement may also be made Declaration can only be made
» Under this section, character may be established
by the killer himself or by a by the victim
through common reputation
third person
• As a rule, reputation of a person should be that existing
in the place of his residence Statement may precede, Declaration made only after
» But, it may also be that existing in the place where accompany, or be made after the homicidal attack was
he is best known the homicidal act was committed
US vs. Choa Chiok
The character of a place as an opium joint may be Has its justification in the Trustworthiness is based
proved by its common reputation in the community spontaneity of the statement upon its being given under
the awareness of impending

page 21
Admissibility of Evidence
• Statement may not be a dying declaration because it was 2. The entrant had personal knowledge of the facts
not made under the consciousness of an impending stated by him or such facts were acquired by him
death, but may be admissible as part of res gestae if from reports made by persons under a legal duty to
made immediately after the incident submit the same
• Where the elements of both are present, may be 3. Such entries were duly entered in a regular manner
admitted as both in the official records
• Motor vehicle accident report made at about the time of
Entries in the Course of Business the accident by a police officer in the performance of his
Section 43 – ENTRIES IN THE COURSE OF BUSINESS » Admissible if based upon information given by the
Entries made at, or near the time of the transactions to drivers who figured in the accident
which they refer, by a person deceased, or unable to » Prima facie evidence of facts therein stated
testify, who was in a position to know the facts therein • Sheriff’s return – exception to hearsay
stated, may be received as prima facie evidence, if such » Sheriff need not testify in court
person made the entries in his professional capacity or • Entrant must have been competent
in the performance of a duty and in the ordinary or
regular course of business or duty. Remigio vs. Ortiga (33 Phil 614)
While a priest who officiates at a baptism acts pursuant
• Requisites: to a legal duty in recording the facts of such baptism in a
1. The person who made the entry must be dead or register, such entries in the register are not admissible to
unable to testify prove the date of birth of the child or its relation to particular
2. The entries were made at or near the time of the persons as the entrant priest is not competent to testify with
transaction to which they refer respect to the truth of these latter facts
3. The entrant was in a position to know the facts
stated in the entries • Church registries – no longer public writings pursuant to
4. The entries were made in his professional capacity GO No. 58 and Act No. 190
or in the performance of a duty, whether legal, » But still admissible as evidence of the facts stated
contractual, moral or religious therein
5. The entries were made in the ordinary or regular » But necessary to be authenticated as private
course of business or duty writings
» A copy of the certificate transmitted to the public
Cang Yui vs. Gardner (34 Phil 376) officer as required by law becomes a public
If the entrant is available as a witness, the said entries document
will not be admitted as an exception to the hearsay rule, but ▪ Admissible without prior authentication
they may nevertheless be availed of by said entrant as a • Entries in official records may be proved and evidenced
memorandum to refresh his memory while testifying on the in the manner provided by Rule 132 Sections 24 and 25
transactions reflected therein
Commercial Lists
Rule 132, Section 16 – WHEN WITNESS MAY REFER
A witness may be allowed to refresh his memory Evidence of statements of matters of interest to
respecting a fact, by anything written or recorded persons engaged in an occupation contained in a list,
by himself or under his direction at the time when register, periodical, or other published compilation is
the fact occurred, or immediately thereafter, or at admissible as tending to prove the truth of any relevant
any other time when the fact was fresh in his matter so stated if that compilation is published for use
memory and he knew that the same was correctly by persons engaged in that occupation and is generally
written or recorded; but in such case the writing or used and relied upon by them therein.
record must be produced and may be inspected by
the adverse party, who may, if he chooses, cross- • Examples: Carlisle or Wigglesworth Tables and accepted
examine the witness upon it and may read it in actuarial and annuity tables
evidence. So, also, a witness may testify from such
a writing or record, though he retain no Learned Treatises
recollection of the particular facts, if he is able to
swear that the writing or record correctly stated Section 46 - LEARNED TREATISES
the transaction when made; but such evidence A published treatise, periodical or pamphlet on a
must be received with caution. subject of history, law, science, or art is admissible as
tending to prove the truth of a matter stated therein if
Yek Tong Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Inc. vs. the court takes judicial notice, or a witness expert in
Gutierrez, et al (CA, 59 OG 8122) the subject testifies, that the writer of the statement in
In the presentation and admission as evidence of entries the treatise, periodical or pamphlet is recognized in his
made in the regular course of business, there is no overriding profession or calling as expert in the subject.
necessity to bring into court all the clerks or employees who
individually made the entries in a long account. It is sufficient • Requisites:
that the person who supervises the work of the clerks or other 1. The court takes judicial notice thereof
employees making the entries testify that the account was 2. The same is testified to by a witness expert in the
prepared under his supervision and that the entries were subject
regularly entered in the ordinary course of business
• CA took judicial notice of the Ballantyne Scale of Values8
Entries in Official Records • Legal treatises also included

Section 44 – ENTRIES IN OFFICIAL RECORDS Testimony or Deposition at a Former Proceeding

Entries in official records made in the performance of
his duty by a public officer of the Philippines, or by a Section 47 - TESTIMONY OR DEPOSITION AT A FORMER
person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined PROCEEDING
by law, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein The testimony or deposition of a witness deceased or
stated unable to testify, given in a former case or proceeding,
judicial or administrative, involving the same parties
• Merely prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated and subject matter, may be given in evidence against
• Requisites: the adverse party who had the opportunity to cross-
1. Entries were made by a public officer in the examine him.
performance of his duties or by a person in the
performance of a duty specially enjoined by law • Requisites:
Estrada vs. Noble (CA, 49 OG 139)

page 22
Admissibility of Evidence
1. Witness is dead or unable to testify Section 50 - OPINION OF ORDINARY WITNESSES
2. His testimony or deposition was given in a former The opinion of a witness for which proper basis is given,
case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, may be received in evidence regarding
between the same parties or those representing the a. The identity of a person about whom he has
same interests adequate knowledge;
3. The former case involved the same subject as that b. A handwriting with which he has sufficient
in the present case, although on different causes of familiarity; and
action c. The mental sanity of a person with whom he is
4. The issues testified to by the witness in the former sufficiently acquainted.
trial is the same issue involved in the present case The witness may also testify on his impressions of the
5. The adverse party had an opportunity to cross- emotion, behavior, condition or appearance of a person.
examine the witness in the former case
• Subsequent failure or refusal to appear at the second • General rule: Section 48
trial, or hostility since testifying at the first trial ≠ • Exceptions: Sections 49 and 50
inability to testify • Opinion of a witness is admissible in the following
» Inability should proceed from a grave cause almost circumstances:
amounting to death 1. On a matter requiring special knowledge, skill,
experience or training which he possesses, that is,
Aldecoa vs. Jugo (61 Phil 374)9 when he is an expert thereon
Testimony given by a witness in a civil case is not 2. Regarding the identity or the handwriting of a
admissible in a subsequent criminal case, even if said witness person, when he has knowledge of the person or
had died in the interim, because the former testimony handwriting, whether he is an ordinary or expert
referred to in sec 15 of GO No. 5810 as being admissible in the witness
trial of the criminal case refers to testimony given in the 3. On the mental sanity of a person, if the witness is
preliminary investigation or prior trial of said criminal case and sufficiently acquainted with the former or if the
not to testimony taken in a prior civil case, the actions being latter is an expert witness
essentially different 4. On the emotion, behavior, condition or appearance
of a person which he has observed
Guevara vs. Almario (56 Phil 476)
The testimony of the witness in a prior criminal action
5. On ordinary matters known to all men of common
for libel as to the reputation of the offended party would be perception as the value of ordinary household
admissible in the civil case arising from the same criminal articles14
offense if said witness was no longer available • Expert witness – one who belongs to the profession or
calling to which the subject matter of the inquiry relates
• Admissibility of prior judgment – governed by different and who possesses special knowledge on questions on
rules which he proposes to express an opinion
» No definite standard of determining degree of
Almeida Chantangco vs. Abaroa (40 Phil 1056) knowledge or skill
A judgment in a criminal proceeding or in an » Factors:
administrative proceeding cannot be read in evidence in a civil 1. Training and education
action against a person not a party thereto to establish any 2. Particular, first-hand familiarity with the facts
fact therein determined. The matter is res inter alios and of the case
cannot be invoked as res judicata 3. Presentation of authorities or standards upon
which his opinion is based15
• Such judgment may only be admitted in evidence in a » Expert evidence is admissible only when:
1. The matter to be testified to is one that
civil case by way of inducement, or to show a collateral
requires expertise
fact relevant to the issue in the civil action11
2. The witness has been qualified as a witness
» Judgment can only prove that a certain defendant » Hypothetical questions may be asked of an expert
has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to the
penalty therein imposed12
» Courts are not bound by the expert’s findings16
» Generally not regarded as conclusive, but purely
Miranda vs. Malate Garage & Taxicab, Inc. advisory in character17
(99 Phil 670)
A judgment of conviction, in the absence of collusion Wells vs. Leek (151 Pa. 431, 439, 25 Atl. 101)
between the accused and the offended party, is binding and In weighing the testimony of an expert witness, courts
conclusive upon the person subsidiarily liable not only with must necessarily consider all the circumstances of the case,
regard to his subsidiary liability but also with regard to the among them his qualifications, experience and degree of
amount thereof learning, the basis and logic of his conclusion, and the other
evidence of record. The value of expert testimony depends
• Said judgment is admissible in evidence in the civil action
largely on the extent of the experience or studies of the
witness, because the greater his experience or knowledge, the
brought to enforce said subsidiary liability13 greater is the value of his opinion resting upon the same
7. OPINION RULE US vs. Kosel (24 Phil 594)
With respect to a handwriting expert, the value of his
Section 48 - GENERAL RULE opinion depends not upon his mere statement whether the
The opinion of witness is not admissible, except as handwriting is genuine or false, but upon the assistance he
indicated in the following sections. may afford in pointing out the distinguishing marks,
characteristics and discrepancies in and between genuine and
Section 49 - OPINION OF EXPERT WITNESS false specimens of writing which would ordinarily escape
The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring special notice or detection by an untrained observer
knowledge, skill, experience or training which he shown
to posses, may be received in evidence. • Whether or not courts are bound by the testimony of an
expert depends greatly upon the nature of the subject of
Also in People vs. Villaluz (1983)
Later 1964 ROC Rule 115 Sec 1(f)
Ed A. Keller & Co. (Ltd.) vs. Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co.
(Ltd.) (38 Phil 514); City of Manila vs. Manila Electric Co. (52 Phil Galian vs. State Assurance Co. Ltd. (29 Phil 413)
586) People vs. Abriol (2001)
12 16
Arambulo vs. Manila Electric Co. (55 Phil 75) People vs. Florendo (68 Phil 619)
13 17
Pajarito vs. Seneris (1978) People vs. Deauna (2002)

page 23
Admissibility of Evidence
Cesar vs. Sandiganbayan (1985)20
» If the same is one that falls within the general
Where the supposed expert’s testimony would
knowledge of judges, courts are not bound by the constitute the sole ground for conviction and there is equally
conclusions of even a real expert along such line18 expert testimony to the contrary, the constitutional
» Only where the subject of inquiry is of such a presumption of innocence must prevail
technical nature that a layman can possibly have no
knowledge thereof that the courts must depend and • Expert evidence on handwriting is at best, weak and
rely upon expert evidence19 unsatisfactory
• Conflicting expert evidence have neutralizing effect » Proof of handwriting by comparison is in most cases
» Generates doubt unsafe, even when several documents are used as
bases for comparison
 Contrary ruling: see Lopez vs. CA (1978)
» Opinions of handwriting experts are not necessarily
binding upon the courts
• Authenticity of a questioned signature cannot be
determined solely upon its general characteristics,
similarities or dissimilarities with the genuine signature
» Dissimilarities are not decisive on the question of a
signature’s authenticity
• Common knowledge that that the writing of a person
changes as time passes

Cirujano vs. PNB (CA, 59 OG 8404)

Less weight should be given to inferences from
comparison, than to direct and credible testimony of witnesses
as to the matters within their personal observation

• Diphenaline or Paraffin Test – proved to be extremely

unreliable in use

People vs. Mendoza (1989)

The Paraffin test is not conclusive as to the presence of
gunpowder because fertilizers, cosmetics, cigarettes, urine,
and other nitrogenous compounds with nitrites and nitrates
will give a positive reaction

People vs. Castillon III (2001)

A finding that the paraffin test yielded negative results
is not conclusive evidence that the accused had not fired a
gun. It is possible for a person to have fired a gun and yet be
negative for the presence of nitrates, as when he wore gloves
or washed his hands afterwards

• Results of blood grouping tests on the filiation of a child,

competently conducted by qualified persons, are
admissible and conclusive on the non-paternity of a
person over a child
• Admissibility of DNA evidence has been upheld by the SC
» In assessing the probative value, necessary to
consider, inter alia, how the samples were collected,
how they were handled, the possibility of
contamination of the samples, the procedure
followed in analyzing the samples, the
determination of whether or not the proper
standards and procedures were followed in
conducting the tests and the qualification of the
analyst who conducted those tests

Bryan vs. Eastern & Australian S.S. Co., Ltd.

(28 Phil 310)
The testimony of a witness skilled in the unwritten law
of a foreign country is not necessarily binding on our courts



a. In Criminal Cases:
1. The accused may prove his good moral
character which is pertinent to the moral trait
involved in the offense charged.
2. Unless in rebuttal, the prosecution may not
prove his bad moral character which is
pertinent to the moral trait involved in the
offense charged. The good or bad moral
character of the offended party may be proved
if it tends to establish in any reasonable
degree the probability or improbability of the
offense charged.
b. In Civil Cases:
Paras vs. Narciso (35 Phil 244); Dolar vs. Diansin (55 Phil 479)
Raymundo vs. Legaspi (47 OG 807), cited in NARIC vs. First
National Security & Assurance Co., Inc. (CA, 64 OG 10607) Siasat vs. IAC (1985)

page 24
Admissibility of Evidence
Evidence of the moral character of a party in civil
case is admissible only when pertinent to the issue
of character involved in the case.
c. In the case provided for in Rule 132, Sec 14.

Summary of the rules on character evidence:

• With respect to the nature of the case
» Criminal cases
 Prosecution at the outset may not prove the
bad moral character of the accused which is
pertinent to the moral trait involved in the
offense charged
• Intended to avoid unfair prejudice to the
• If accused in his defense attempts to
prove his good moral character,
prosecution can introduce evidence of bad
moral character in rebuttal
 Good or bad moral character of the offended
party may be proved by either party as long as
such evidence is relevant
» Civil cases
 Moral character of either party cannot be
proved unless pertinent to the issue of
character involved
• With respect to the person
» Accused: character evidence must be pertinent to
the moral trait involved in the offense charged
» Offended party: sufficient that character evidence is
» Witness: bad moral character may always be proved
by either party (Rule 132 Sec 11)
 Not evidence of his good moral character
unless it has been impeached (Rule 132 Sec

page 25
Burden of Proof and What Need Not Be Proved

Burden of Proof and What Need the facts are more immediately within the
knowledge of the accused, the onus probandi
Not Be Proved rests on him. It is not incumbent upon the
prosecution to adduce positive evidence to
support a negative averment the truth of which
Rule 131 – Burden of Proof and Presumptions is fairly indicated by established circumstances
and which, if untrue, could readily be
disproved by documents or other evidence
within the knowledge or control of the accused.
People vs. Macalaba (2003)
Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present
Thus where the charge is made that the accused carried
evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his
on a business without a license, the fact that he has a license
claim or defense by the amount of evidence required by
is a matter which is peculiarly within his knowledge and he
must establish that fact or suffer conviction.
• Burden of proof – onus probandi; obligation imposed
upon a party who alleges the existence of facts necessary
for the prosecution of his action or defense to establish
the same by the requisite quantum of evidence
» Civil cases – preponderance of evidence
• Presumption – inference of an existence or non-existence
of a fact which courts are permitted to draw from the
Rule 183, Section 1
proof of other facts
» Compared to judicial notice and judicial admission
▪ Presumption: proponent still has to introduce
» Criminal cases
evidence of the basis of the presumption,
▪ For issuance of warrant of arrest after PI –
evidence of the existence or non-existence of
evidence of probable cause
facts from which the court can draw the
• Reasonable ground to believe that the
inference of the fact in issue
accused committed the offense
▪ Judicial notice and judicial admission: as a
▪ To warrant the filing of an information – prima
rule, proponent does not have to introduce
facie evidence
▪ To sustain a conviction – evidence beyond
reasonable doubt
» Charge of misconduct against judges – clear and Presumptions of Law Presumptions of Fact
convincing evidence
▪ Removal – beyond reasonable doubt Praesumptiones juris Praesumptiones hominis
» Agrarian cases – substantial evidence
Certain inference must be Discretion is vested in the
▪ Only such relevant evidence as a reasonable
made whenever the facts tribunal as to drawing the
mind might accept, as sufficient to support a
appear which furnish the inference
basis for the inference
▪ Also applies to cases filed before administrative
or quasi-judicial bodies Reduced to fixed rules and Derived wholly and directly
form a part of the system from the circumstances of the
Burden of Proof Burden of Evidence of jurisprudence particular case by means of the
common experience of
Civil cases - on the party who Both civil and criminal cases mankind
would be defeated if no – lies with party who asserts
evidence were given on an affirmative allegation
1. Conclusive (juris et de
either side
Criminal cases – always on
2. Disputable (juris
the prosecution
tantum or prima facie)
Does not shift as it remains Shifts from party to party
throughout the trial with the depending upon the 1) Conclusive Presumptions
party upon whom it is exigencies of the case in the
imposed course of the trial Section 2 – CONCLUSIVE PRESUMPTIONS
The following instances are conclusive presumptions:
Generally determined by the Generally determined by the a. Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act,
pleading filed by the party developments at the trial or or omission, intentionally and deliberately led
by provisions of law another to believe a particular thing true, and to
act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation
arising out of such declaration, act, or omission, be
• Negative allegations – do not have to be proved
permitted to falsify it;
» Except where such are essential parts of the COA or
b. The tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his
defense in a civil case or essential ingredients of the
landlord at the time of the commencement of the
relation of landlord and tenant between them.
▪ E.g. breach of contract: prove the fact that the
defendant did not comply with the obligation
• Based upon doctrine of estoppel in pais
Illegal possession of firearms: absence of a
2) Disputable Presumptions
▪ However, in civil cases, even if negative
allegation is an essential part of the COA or
defense, such does not have to be proven if it
The following presumptions are satisfactory if
is only for the purpose of denying the
uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and overcome
existence of a document which would properly
by other evidence:
be in the custody of the adverse party
a. That a person is innocent of crime or wrong;
▪ The general rule is if the criminal charge is
b. That an unlawful act was done with unlawful
predicated on a negative allegation or that a
negative averment is an essential element of
c. That a person intends the ordinary consequences
the crime, the prosecution has the burden of
of his voluntary act;
proving the charge. Where the negative of an
d. That a person takes ordinary care of his concerns;
issue does not permit of direct proof, or where

page 26
Burden of Proof and What Need Not Be Proved
e. That evidence willfully suppressed would be x. That acquiescence resulted from a belief that the
adverse if produced; thing acquiesced in was conformable to the law or
f. That the money paid by one to another was due to fact;
the latter; y. That things have happened according to the
g. That the thing delivered by one to another ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits
belonged to the latter; of life;
h. That an obligation delivered up to the debtor has z. That persons acting as co-partners have entered
been paid; into a contract of partnership;
i. That prior rents or installments had been paid aa. That a man and woman deporting themselves as
when a receipt for the latter ones is produced; husband and wife have entered into a lawful
j. That a person in possession of a thing taken in the contract of marriage;
doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the bb. That property acquired by a man and a woman who
doer of the whole act; otherwise, that things which are capacitated to marry each other and who live
a person possesses, or exercises acts of ownership exclusively with each other as husband and wife
over, are owned by him; without the benefit of marriage or under a void
k. That a person in possession of an order on himself marriage, has been obtained by their joint efforts,
for the payment of money, or the delivery work, or industry;
anything, has paid the money or delivered the cc. That in cases of cohabitation by a man and a
thing accordingly; woman who are not capacitated to marry each
l. That a person acting in a public office was regularly other and who have acquired property through
appointed or elected to it; their actual joint contribution of money, property,
m. That official duty has been regularly performed; or industry, such contributions and their
n. That a court, or judge acting as such, whether in corresponding shares including joint deposits of
the Philippines or elsewhere, was acting in the money and evidences of credit are equal;
lawful exercise of jurisdiction; dd. That if the marriage is terminated and the mother
o. That all the matters within an issue raised in a case contracted another marriage within 300 days after
were laid before the court and passed upon by it; such termination of the former marriage, these
and in like manner that all matters within an issue rules shall govern in the absence of proof to the
raised a dispute submitted for arbitration were laid contrary:
before the arbitrators and passed upon by them; 1) A child born before 180 days after the
p. That private transactions have been fair and solemnization of the subsequent marriage is
regular; considered to have been conceived during the
q. That the ordinary course of business have been former marriage, provided it be born within
followed; 300 days after the termination of the former
r. That there was sufficient consideration for a marriage.
contract; 2) A child born after 180 days following the
s. That a negotiable instrument was given or indorsed celebration of the subsequent marriage is
for a sufficient consideration; considered to have been conceived during
t. That an indorsement of a negotiable instrument such marriage, even though it be born within
was made before the instrument was overdue and 300 days after the termination of the former
at the place where it was dated; marriage.
u. That a writing is duly dated; ee. That a thing once proved to exist continues as long
v. That a letter duly directed and mailed was received as is usual with the things of that nature;
in the regular course of the mail; ff. That the law has been obeyed;
w. That after an absence of 7 years, it being unknown gg. That a printed or published book, purporting to be
whether or not the absentee still lives, he shall be printed or published by public authority, was so
considered dead for all purposes except those of printed or published;
succession. hh. That a printed or published book, purporting to
The absentee shall not be considered dead for the contain reports of cases adjudged in tribunals of
purpose of opening his succession till after an the country where the book is published, contains
absence of 10 years. If he disappeared after the correct reports of such cases;
age of 75, an absence of 5 years shall be sufficient ii. That a trustee or other person whose duty it was to
in order that his succession may be opened. convey the real property to a particular person has
The following shall be presumed dead for all actually conveyed it to him when such presumption
purposes, including the division of the estate is necessary to perfect the title of such person or
among the heirs: his successor-in-interest;
1) A person on board a vessel lost during a jj. That except for purposes of succession, when 2
sea voyage, or an aircraft which is missing, persons perish in the same calamity, such as
who has not been heard of for 4 years since wreck, battle, or conflagration, and it is not shown
the lost of the vessel or aircraft; who died first, and there are no particular
2) A member of the armed forces who has circumstances from which it can be inferred, the
taken part in armed hostilities and has been survivorship is determined from the probabilities
missing for 4 years; resulting from the strength and age of the sexes,
3) A person who has been in danger of death according to the following rules:
under other circumstances and whose 1) If both were under the age of 15, the older is
existence has not been known for 4 years; deemed to have survived;
4) If a married person has been absent for 4 2) If both were above the age of 60, the younger
consecutive years, the spouse present may is deemed to have survived;
contract a subsequent marriage if he or she 3) If one is under 15 and the other is above 60,
has a well-founded belief that the absent the former is deemed to have survived;
spouse is already dead. In case of 4) If both be over 15 and under 60, and the sex is
disappearance, where there is danger of death different, the male is deemed to have
under the circumstances hereinabove survived; if the sex is the same, the older;
provided, an absence of only 2 years shall be 5) If one be under 15 or over 60, and the other
sufficient for the purpose of contracting a between those ages, the latter is deemed to
subsequent marriage. However, in any case, have survived
before marrying again, the spouse present kk. That if there is doubt, as between 2 or more
must institute a summary proceeding as persons who are called to succeed each other, as to
provided in the Family Code and in the rules which of them died first, whoever alleges the death
for declaration of presumptive death of the of one prior to the other, shall prove the same; in
absentee, without prejudice to the effect of the absence of proof, they shall be considered to
the reappearance of the absent spouse. have died at the same time.

page 27
Burden of Proof and What Need Not Be Proved
• Par (a)
» Legislature may provide for prima facie evidence of • Requisites for par. (e)
guilt provided there be a rational connection 1. The evidence is material
between the facts proved and the ultimate fact 2. Party had the opportunity to produce the same
presumed 3. Said evidence is available only to said party
▪ RPC, Article 217 ▪ Presumption does not apply if evidence is
equally available to both parties, or is merely
corroborative/cumulative or unnecessary

People vs. Realon (1980)

Presumption does not arise from the failure of the
prosecution to present the NBI agents and the results of the
fingerprint and paraffin tests in view of the overwhelming
evidence on the positive identification of the accused.
Furthermore, the defense could have availed of said evidence
which was equally available to it

People vs. Navaja (1993)

The adverse presumption of suppression of evidence
does not arise when:
1. The suppression is not willful,
2. The evidence withheld is merely corroborative or
3. The evidence is at the disposal of both parties,
4. The suppression is an exercise of a privilege

• Par. (i) is connected with the Civil Code principles

Civil Code, Article 1176

The receipt of the principal by the creditor, without
reservation with respect to the interest, shall give
rise to the presumption that said interest has been
The receipt of a later installment of a debt without
reservation as to prior installments, shall likewise
raise the presumption that such installments have
been paid.

• Par (j) – similar rationale:

People vs. Sendaydiego (1978)

If a person had in his possession a falsified document
and he made use of it, taken advantage of it and profited
thereby, the presumption is that he is the material author of
the falsification.

• Par (v) – it must be proved that the letter was properly

addressed with postage pre-paid and that it was actually
» If not returned to sender, it is presumed that it was
received by the addressee

Barrameda vs. Castillo (1977)

Under Rule 13, Sec 10, service by pleadings by mail is
complete upon the expiration of 10 days after mailing, unless
the court otherwise provides, while service by registered mail
is complete upon actual receipt by the addressee, but if he
fails to claim his mail from the post office within 5 days from
the date of first notice, the service is complete at the
expiration of such time. There must, however, be conclusive
proof that a first notice was sent to the addressee as the
presumption that official duty has been regularly performed
does not apply to this situation

Ferraren vs. Santos (1982)

If, however, the postmaster certifies that first notice
was sent, the presumption that official duty has been regularly
performed arises and overrides the contrary claim of the

• Par (w) – taken from Civil Code

» Sub par 1&2 – the absentee is presumed to have
died at the end of the period (5/7/10 years)
» Sub par 3 (qualified absence) – absentee is
presumed to have died at the time he was exposed
to the danger or peril
▪ At the start of the 4 year period
▪ Number (4) does not actually provide for a
presumption – corollary procedural rule

Victory Shipping Lines vs. WCC (106 Phil 1165)

Where the fate of the vessel is known, and not where
the vessel was merely lost or missing, the disputable

page 28
Burden of Proof and What Need Not Be Proved
presumption of death does not arise and the fact of death,
must, instead, be established by preponderance of evidence

• Par (dd) – taken from Art 259 of the Civil Code, in line
with Art 168 of the Family Code
• Par (jj) – requisites:
1. Deaths occurred in a calamity
2. There are no particular circumstances from which it
can be inferred that one died ahead of the other

page 29
Presentation of Evidence

Presentation of Evidence b. Refers to his previous final conviction or

2. Under the right against self-incrimination
▪ Criminal cases – Rule 115 Section 1(e):
Rule 132 – Presentation of Evidence accused may refuse to take the stand
A. EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES • Accused: may be with reference to the
offense involved in the same case wherein
Section 1 – EXAMINATION TO BE DONE IN OPEN COURT he is charged or to an offense for which
The examination of witnesses presented in a trial or he may be charged and tried in another
hearing shall be done in open court, and under oath or case
affirmation. Unless the witness is incapacitated to • Witness: offense involved is one for which
speak, or the question calls for a different mode of he may be tried in another case
answer, the answers of a witness shall be given orally • Right should be seasonably invoked and
may be waived
Section 2 – PROCEEDINGS TO BE RECORDED ▪ Other cases/proceedings – a party may be
The entire proceedings of a trial or hearing, including compelled to take the stand but he may object
the questions to be propounded to a witness and his to incriminating questions
answer thereto, the statements made by the judge or
any of the parties, counsel, or witnesses with reference Beltran vs. Samson (53 Phil 570)
to the case, shall be recorded by means of shorthand or Where in a prosecution for falsification, the
stenotype or by other means of recording found accused took the stand and testified denying his
suitable by the court. authorship of the alleged falsified signature, on
A transcript of the record of the proceedings made by cross-examination he can be compelled to give a
the official stenographer, stenotypist or recorder and sample of his handwriting and it was not a denial of
certified as correct by him shall be deemed prima facie his right against self-incrimination
a correct statement of such proceedings.
Bermudez vs. Castillo (64 Phil 483)
• To be admissible, testimony of a witness may be given in Where, in a disbarment case, the complainant on
open court cross-examination denied authorship of certain
» May be supplanted by: handwritten letters, she could not be compelled to
1. Civil cases – depositions (Rules 23 – 24) give samples of her handwriting as it would amount
2. Criminal cases – depositions or conditional to a denial of her right against self-incrimination in
examinations (Rule 119 Sections 12-15 and a possible charge for perjury
Rule 123 Sec 1)
» Mere presentation of affidavits of witnesses subject ▪ Conflict can be reconciled:
to cross-examination is not allowed by the rules • Beltran: it was the accused himself who
» But, under BP 129, summary procedures may be opened the issue on his direct
authorized by SC in special cases examination
▪ May provide that affidavits and counter- » He could have refused to testify
affidavits may be admitted in lieu of oral altogether
testimony » Therefore, he waived his right
• Testimony of witness should be elicited by questions of • Bermudez: complainant could not refuse
counsel to testify without an unfavorable inference
» But Court itself may propound questions or may being drawn against her
suggest questions to counsel » Also, issue was raised during cross-
examination, hence she did not
People vs. Manalo (1987) waive the right
The court should be given reasonable leeway to ▪ “Unless otherwise provided by law” – refers to
ascertain the truth, and the extent to which such examination immunity statutes wherein the witness is
may be conducted rests in its discretion and will not be granted immunity from criminal prosecution
controlled in the absence of abuse of discretion to the
prejudice of either party Section 4 - ORDER IN THE EXAMINATION OF AN
Section 3 - RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF A WITNESS The order in which the individual witness may be
A witness must answer questions, although his answer examined is as follows;
may tend to establish a claim against him. However, it a. Direct examination by the proponent;
is the right of a witness: b. Cross-examination by the opponent;
1. To be protected from irrelevant, improper, or c. Re-direct examination by the proponent;
insulting questions, and from harsh or insulting d. Re-cross-examination by the opponent.
2. Not to be detained longer than the interests of Section 5 - DIRECT EXAMINATION
justice require; Direct examination is the examination-in-chief of a
3. Not to be examined except only as to matters witness by the party presenting him on the facts
pertinent to the issue; relevant to the issue.
4. Not to give an answer which will tend to subject
him to a penalty for an offense unless otherwise Section 6 - CROSS-EXAMINATION; ITS PURPOSE AND
provided by law; or EXTENT
5. Not to give an answer which will tend to degrade Upon the termination of the direct examination, the
his reputation, unless it to be the very fact at issue witness may be cross-examined by the adverse party as
or to a fact from which the fact in issue would be to many matters stated in the direct examination, or
presumed. But a witness must answer to the fact of connected therewith, with sufficient fullness and
his previous final conviction for an offense. (3a, freedom to test his accuracy and truthfulness and
19a) freedom from interest or bias, or the reverse, and to
elicit all important facts bearing upon the issue.
• Witness cannot refuse to answer questions material to
the inquiry even if it may tend to establish a claim Section 7 - RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION; ITS PURPOSE
against him AND EXTENT
• But may refuse if: After the cross-examination of the witness has been
1. Under the right against self-degradation unless: concluded, he may be re-examined by the party calling
a. Such question is directed to the very fact in him, to explain or supplement his answers given during
issue the cross-examination. On re-direct-examination,
questions on matters not dealt with during the cross-

page 30
Presentation of Evidence
examination, may be allowed by the court in its Section 8 - RE-CROSS-EXAMINATION
discretion. Upon the conclusion of the re-direct examination, the
adverse party may re-cross-examine the witness on
matters stated in his re-direct examination, and also on
such other matters as may be allowed by the court in
its discretion.

• A witness may be cross examined by the adverse party

not only as to matters stated in the direct examination
but also as to matters connected therewith, and this
should be allowed to do with sufficient fullness and
freedom to test the witness’ accuracy, truthfulness and
freedom from interest or bias, and also to elicit from him
any important fact bearing upon the issue
» American rule – cross-examination must be
confined to the matters inquired about in the direct
» English rule – witness may be cross-examined not
only upon matters relevant to the issue
» This jurisdiction – more on English rule
• Unwilling/hostile/adverse party witness – cross
examination shall only be on the subject of his
» Same as accused testifying on his own behalf
• Question which assumes facts not on the record:
» If on cross examination – objectionable for bring
» If on direct examination – objectionable for lack of

Bachrach Motor Co., Inc. vs. CIR (1978)

When cross examination is not and cannot be done or
completed due to causes attributable to the party who offered
the witness, the uncompleted testimony is thereby rendered
incomplete and should be stricken from the record

People vs. Seneris (1980)

Where in a criminal case the prosecution witness was
extensively cross examined on the essential elements of the
crime and what remained for further cross-examination was
the matter of the prize or reward which was treated therein as
merely an aggravating circumstance, his failure to appear for
further cross-examination thereon will not warrant the striking
out of his direct examination, especially since further cross-
examination could not be conducted due to the subsequent
death of the said witness, a circumstance not attributable to
the prosecution


After the examination of a witness by both sides has
been concluded, the witness cannot be recalled without
leave of the court. The court will grant or withhold
leave in its discretion, as the interests of justice may

• Recall based on discretion of the court

» But recall is a matter of right if the examination of
the witness has not been concluded or the recall has
been expressly reserved by a party with the
approval of the court


A question which suggests to the witness the answer
which the examining party desires is a leading
question. It is not allowed, except:
a. On cross examination;
b. On preliminary matters;
c. When there is a difficulty is getting direct and
intelligible answers from a witness who is
ignorant, or a child of tender years, or is of feeble
mind, or a deaf-mute;
d. Of an unwilling or hostile witness; or
e. Of a witness who is an adverse party or an officer,
director, or managing agent of a public or private
corporation or of a partnership or association
which is an adverse party.
A misleading question is one which assumes as true a
fact not yet testified to by the witness, or contrary to
that which he has previously stated. It is not allowed.



page 31
Presentation of Evidence
A witness may be impeached by the party against in the same case, but not the testimony of another
whom he was called, by contradictory evidence, by witness
evidence that his general reputation for truth, honestly, 2. Evidence of prior inconsistent statements –
or integrity is bad, or by evidence that he has made at statements, oral or documentary, made by the
other times statements inconsistent with his present, witness sought to be impeached on occasions other
testimony, but not by evidence of particular wrongful than the trial in which he is testifying
acts, except that it may be shown by the examination of ▪ “Laying the predicate”
the witness, or the record of the judgment, that he has a. By confronting him with such statements,
been convicted of an offense. with the circumstances under which they
were made
Section 12 - PARTY MAY NOT IMPEACH HIS OWN b. By asking him whether he made such
WITNESS statement
Except with respect to witnesses referred to in c. By giving him a chance to explain the
paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 10, the party inconsistency
producing a witness is not allowed to impeach his » Impeachment is incomplete if
credibility. witness is not given the chance to
A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile explain the discrepancy
only if so declared by the court upon adequate showing » But defect is waived if no objection
of his adverse interest, unjustified reluctance to testify, on that ground is raised when the
or his having misled the party into calling him to the document involved is offered for
witness stand. admission
The unwilling or hostile witness so declared, or the ▪ No need to lay the predicate if the prior
witness who is an adverse party, may be impeached by inconsistent statement appears in a deposition
the party presenting him in all respects as if he had of the adverse party and not a mere witness
been called by the adverse party, except by evidence of • Statements are in the nature of an
his bad character. He may also be impeached and cross- admission
examined by the adverse party, but such cross-
examination must only be on the subject matter of his Juan Ysmael & Co., Inc. vs. Hashim
examination-in-chief. (50 Phil 132)
Where previous statements of a witness are
Section 13 - HOW WITNESS IMPEACHED BY EVIDENCE offered as evidence of an admission, and not merely
OF INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS to impeach him, the rule on laying the predicate
Before a witness can be impeached by evidence that he does not apply
has made at other times statements inconsistent with
his present testimony, the statements must be related 3. Evidence of bad character
to him, with the circumstances of the times and places 4. Evidence of bias, interest, prejudice or
and the persons present, and he must be asked whether incompetence
he made such statements, and if so, allowed to explain • Party can impeach his own witness only by:
them. If the statements be in writing they must be 1. Evidence contradictory to his testimony
shown to the witness before any question is put to him 2. Evidence of prior inconsistent statements
concerning them. » In case of hostile/adverse party/involuntary
witnesses – can also be impeached by other modes
• Leading question – one which suggests to the witness the of impeachment
answer desired
» May cause the witness, by reacting to an inference Section 14 - EVIDENCE OF GOOD CHARACTER OF
in his mind, to testify in accordance with the WITNESS
suggestion by the question Evidence of the good character of a witness is not
▪ Answer may be “rather an echo of the question admissible until such character has been impeached.
than a genuine recollection
» Testimony on direct examination elicited through Section 15 - EXCLUSION AND SEPARATION OF
leading questions has little probative value WITNESSES
On any trial or hearing, the judge may exclude from the
People vs. Dela Cruz (2002) court any witness not at the time under examination, so
Leading questions may be permitted in the examination that he may not hear the testimony of other witnesses.
of a witness who is immature; aged and infirm; an bad The judge may also cause witnesses to be kept separate
physical condition; uneducated; ignorant of, or unaccustomed and to be prevented from conversing with one another
to, court proceedings; inexperienced; unsophisticated; feeble- until all shall have been examined.
minded; confused and agitated; terrified, timid or
embarrassed while on stand; lacking in comprehension of • Power of exclusions apply only to witnesses and not to
questions or slow to understand; deaf and dumb; or unable to parties in the civil case
speak or understand the English language or only imperfectly • Parties have a right to be present at the trial
familiar therewith » Either by themselves or by their counsels
» Since they have such right, they cannot be divested
• Misleading question – one which assumes facts not in thereof by an exclusion order
evidence or without sufficient basis or which assumes
testimony or proof which has not been given Paez vs. Berenguer (8 Phil 457)
A party to an action has a right to be present in court
Fernandez vs. Tantoco (49 Phil 380) while his case is being tried, and the rule authorizing the
A party who voluntarily offers the testimony of a witness exclusion of witnesses during trial cannot be understood to
in the case is, as a rule, bound by the testimony of the said extend to him
witness. The exceptions to the rule are:
1. In case of a hostile witness • If witness violates the order of exclusion, court may bar
2. Where the witness is the adverse party or the him from testifying or give little weight to his testimony
representative of a judicial person which is the adverse » Aside from his liability for contempt
3. When the witness is not voluntarily offered but is People vs. Lua Chu (56 Phil 44)
required by law to be presented by the proponent, as in It is within the power of the trial judge to refuse to
the case of a subscribing witness to a will order the exclusion of the principal witness of the government
during the hearing of a criminal case and it may not, on that
• Party can impeach adverse party’s witness by: count alone, be considered as an abuse of his discretion
1. Contradictory evidence – other testimony of the
same witness, or other evidence presented by him Section 16 - WHEN WITNESS MAY REFER TO

page 32
Presentation of Evidence
A witness may be allowed to refresh his memory
respecting a fact, by anything written or recorded by • Classification in RPC is different
himself or under his direction at the time when the fact
occurred, or immediately thereafter, or at any other • “Public documents”
time when the fact was fresh in his memory and knew
that the same was correctly written or recorded; but in Antillon vs. Barcelon (37 Phil 148)
such case the writing or record must be produced and Public documents generally include notarial documents
may be inspected by the adverse party, who may, if he and are admissible in evidence without the necessity of
chooses, cross examine the witness upon it, and may preliminary proof as to authenticity and due execution
read it in evidence. So, also, a witness may testify from
such writing or record, though he retain no recollection
of the particular facts, if he is able to swear that the
writing or record correctly stated the transaction when
made; but such evidence must be received with caution.

• American jurisprudence:
» First sentence – “revival of present memory”
▪ Applies if witness remembers the facts
regarding his entries and is entitled to greater
» Second sentence – revival of past recollection
▪ Applies where the witness does not recall the
facts involved and is entitled to lesser weight
• Applies only when it is shown beforehand that there is a
need to refresh the memory of the witness
• Memorandum used to refresh the memory of the witness
does not constitute evidence and may not be admitted as
» Reason: the witness has just the memorandum to
testify on the basis of refreshed memory
» Memorandum not admissible as corroborative

Borromeo vs. CA (1976)

Where the witness has testified independently of or
after his memory has been refreshed by a memorandum of
the events in dispute, such memorandum is not admissible as
corroborative evidence, since the witness may not be
corroborated by any written statement prepared wholly by
him. He cannot be more credible just because he supports his
open-court declaration with written statements of the same
facts even if he did prepare them during the occasion in
dispute, unless the proper predicate of his failing memory is
priorly laid down


When part of an act, declaration, conversation, writing
or record is given in evidence by one party, the whole of
the same subject may be inquired into by the other, and
when a detached act, declaration, conversation, writing
or record is given in evidence, any other act,
declaration, conversation, writing or record necessary
to its understanding may also be given in evidence.

• Similar rule in depositions

Rule 32, Section 4 – OATH OF COMMISSIONER

Before entering upon his duties the commissioner
shall be sworn to a faithful and honest
performance thereof


Whenever a writing is shown to a witness, it may be
inspected by the adverse party.



For the purpose of their presentation evidence,
documents are either public or private.
Public documents are:
a. The written official acts, or records of the official
acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and
tribunals, and public officers, whether of the
Philippines, or of a foreign country;
b. Documents acknowledge before a notary public
except last wills and testaments; and
c. Public records, kept in the Philippines, of private
documents required by law to the entered therein.
All other writings are private.

page 33
Presentation of Evidence
» Except if law requires proof » Rule of authentication by adverse party – where the
▪ E.g. notarial wills – law still requires witnesses reply of the adverse party refers to and affirms the
for its probate sending to him and his receipt thereof of the letter
» Kinds: in question, a copy of which the proponent is
1. Official documents offering as evidence
• Requisites for admissibility of copy of • Authentication of document not required if:
foreign official document: 1. The writing is an ancient document (Sec 21)
a. Must be attested by the officer 2. The writing is a public document or record (Sec 19)
having legal custody of the records 3. It is a notarial document acknowledged, proved or
or his deputy certified in accordance with Sec 30
b. Must be accompanied by a Philippine 4. The authenticity and due execution of the
diplomatic or consular representative document has been expressly or impliedly admitted
to the foreign country certifying that by a failure to deny the same under oath
such attesting officer has the ▪ Actionable documents (Rule 8, Section 8)
custody of the document • Authenticity and due execution of a private document is
▪ Requirement is not merely a proved by, inter alia, evidence of genuineness of the
technicality but is intended to handwriting of the maker
justify the giving of full faith » Handwriting is proved by:
and credit to the genuineness 1. Witness who actually saw the person writing
of a document in a foreign the instrument (Sec 20a)
country 2. Witness familiar with such handwriting (Sec
2. Those acknowledged before persons authorized 22) and who can give his opinion thereon, such
to administer oaths – further governed by opinion being exception to opinion rule (Rule
Section 30 130, Sec 50b)
3. Private documents required by law to entered 3. Comparison by the court of the questioned
in public records – subject to provisions of handwriting and admitted genuine specimens
Section 27 thereof (Sec 22)
• While public records of private writings 4. Expert evidence (Rule 130 Sec 49)
are also public documents, the public
writing is not the writing itself but the Lopez vs. CA (1978)
“public record” thereof Rule 132 Section 22 merely enumerates the methods of
proving handwriting but does not give preference or priority to
Republic vs. Worldwide Insurance & a particular method
Surety Co. (CA, 62 OG 8857)
If a private writing itself is inserted officially Section 24 - PROOF OF OFFICIAL RECORD
into a public record, its record, its recordation, The record of public documents referred to in paragraph
or its incorporation into the public record (a) of Section 19, when admissible for any purpose,
becomes a public document, but that does not may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or
make the private writing itself a public by a copy attested by the officer having the legal
document so as to make the private writing it custody of the record, or by his deputy, and
admissible without authentication accompanied, if the record is not kept in the
Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the
• “Private documents” – commercial and private custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in
documents foreign country, the certificate may be made by a
secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general,
Section 20 - PROOF OF PRIVATE DOCUMENT consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer
Before any private document offered as authentic is in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the
received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity foreign country in which the record is kept, and
must be proved either: authenticated by the seal of his office.
a. By anyone who saw the document executed or
b. By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested
handwriting of the maker. for the purpose of evidence, the attestation must state,
Any other private document need only be identified as in substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the
that which it is claimed to be. original, or a specific part thereof, as the case may be.
The attestation must be under the official seal of the
Section 21 - WHEN EVIDENCE OF AUTHENTICITY OF attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of
PRIVATE DOCUMENT NOT NECESSARY a court having a seal, under the seal of such court.
Where a private document is more than thirty years old,
is produced from the custody in which it would Section 26 - IRREMOVABILITY OF PUBLIC RECORD
naturally be found if genuine, and is unblemished by Any public record, an official copy of which is
any alterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other admissible in evidence, must not be removed from the
evidence of its authenticity need be given. office in which it is kept, except upon order of a court
where the inspection of the record is essential to the
Section 22 - HOW GENUINENESS OF HANDWRITING just determination of a pending case.
The handwriting of a person may be proved by any • Public record – cannot be removed from the office in
witness who believes it to be the handwriting of such which it is kept without a court order such as subpoena
person because he has seen the person write, or has duces tecum
seen writing purporting to be his upon which the » Even court cannot order its removal except when
witness has acted or been charged, and has thus essential to the just determination of the pending
acquired knowledge of the handwriting of such person. case
Evidence respecting the handwriting may also be given » Refers only to a public record an official copy of
by a comparison, made by the witness or the court, which could be made available to the interested
with writings admitted or treated as genuine by the party and is admissible in evidence
party against whom the evidence is offered, or proved
to be genuine to the satisfaction of the judge. Wildvalley Shipping Co., Ltd. vs. CA (2000)
Absent the attestation of the officer having the legal
• Rules of authenticity custody of the records and the certificate to that effect by a
• In addition, American jurisprudence also gives: Philippine foreign service officer, a mere copy of the foreign
» Doctrine of self-authentication - where the facts in document is not admissible as evidence to prove the foreign
the writing could only have been known by the law

page 34
Presentation of Evidence
An authorized public record of a private document may » Not sufficient to prove paternity21 or voluntary
be proved by the original record, or by a copy thereof, recognition of a child22
attested by the legal custodian of the record, with an
appropriate certificate that such officer has the


A written statement signed by an officer having the
custody of an official record or by his deputy that after
diligent search no record or entry of a specified tenor is
found to exist in the records of his office, accompanied
by a certificate as above provided, is admissible as
evidence that the records of his office contain no such
record or entry.


Any judicial record may be impeached by evidence of:
a. Want of jurisdiction in the court or judicial officer,
b. Collusion between the parties, or
c. Fraud in the party offering the record, in respect to
the proceedings.

• Rule 39 Sec 1


Every instrument duly acknowledged or proved and
certified as provided by law, may be presented in
evidence without further proof, the certificate of
acknowledgment being prima facie evidence of the
execution of the instrument or document involved.

• Public documents may be proved by:

1. Original copy
2. Official publication thereof
3. Certified true copy thereof
▪ Requirements in Secs 24 and 25
• Unless specifically exempted (FC, Art 12)

Mahilum vs. CA (1966)

It is presumed that the requisite stamps
have been affixed to the original copy of a
document where only the carbon copies
thereof are available

Lopez vs. CA (1987)

Where the special power of attorney is
executed and acknowledged before a notary
public or other competent officer in a foreign
country, it cannot be admitted in evidence in
Philippine courts unless it is certified as such in
accordance with Rule 132 Sec 24 by a
secretary of the embassy or legation, consul-
general, consul, vice-consul, consular agent or
by any officer in the foreign service in the
Philippines stationed in the foreign country in
which the record is kept of said public
document and authenticated by the seal of his

• Even public documents do not have uniform probative

» Probative value depends on the kind of document
that is presented in evidence
• Baptismal certificates
» Held as analogous to the records of birth in CC Art
265, before the establishment of civil registry in
▪ Considered presumptive evidence of facts
stated therein
» Issued by priests during Spanish regime –
considered as public documents
» Issued after the Spanish regime – private document
and cannot even be prima facie evidence of the fact
that gave rise to its execution (the fact of the
baptism and the date thereon)
▪ Hearsay and inadmissible
• Unless the priest who performed the
baptismal rights and made the certificate
is produced

Arde vs. Anocoche (1978)
Berciles vs. GSIS (1984)

page 35
Presentation of Evidence
Macadangdang vs. CA (1980) offer shall be done orally unless allowed by the court to
A baptismal certificate is proof only of the baptism be done in writing.
administered by the priest who baptized the child but not
the veracity of the declarations and statements in the
certificates concerning the relationship of the person

» Above doctrines modified by the SC in determining

the minority of the victim in statutory rape or where
that fact is an element of qualified rape

People vs. Llandelar (2001)23

While recognizing the primacy of a birth certificate as
proof of the victim’s age, the SC held that, in the
absence of such evidence, the victim’s minority may be
proved by other documentary evidence such as her
baptismal certificate or other authentic records

• Death certificate

Sison vs. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada

(CA, 47 OG 1954)
A death certificate is not proof of the cause of death, its
probative value being confined only to the fact of death, and
the statement therein

Garcia Fule vs. Malvar (1976)

A death certificate is admissible to prove the residence
of the deceased at the time of his death


The party producing a document as genuine which has
been altered and appears to have been altered after its
execution, in a part material to the question in dispute,
must account for the alteration. He may show that the
alteration was made by another, without his
concurrence, or was made with the consent of the
parties affected by it, or was otherwise properly or
innocent made, or that the alteration did not change the
meaning or language of the instrument. If he fails to do
that, the document shall not be admissible in evidence.

Section 32 – SEAL
There shall be no difference between sealed and
unsealed private documents insofar as their
admissibility as evidence is concerned.


Documents written in an unofficial language shall not
be admitted as evidence, unless accompanied with a
translation into English or Filipino. To avoid interruption
of proceedings, parties or their attorneys are directed
to have such translation prepared before trial.

• Section 3, Article XIV, 1935 Constitution – English and

Spanish A official languages
• Section 3(3), Article XV, 1973 Constitution – English and
» PD 155 – Spanish language shall continue to be
recognized as an official language while important
documents in government files are in the Spanish
language and not translated into Pilipino or English
• Section 7, Article XIV, 1987 Constitution - the official
languages are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by
law, English, with the regional languages as auxiliary
official languages in the region



The court shall consider no evidence which has not
been formally offered. The purpose for which the
evidence is offered must be specified.


As regards the testimony of a witness, the offer must
be made at the time the witness is called to testify.
Documentary and object evidence shall be offered after
the presentation of a party's testimonial evidence. Such

Also in People vs. Jalosjos (2001) and People vs. Fruna (2002)

page 36
Presentation of Evidence
Section 36 – OBJECTION Oliveros vs. Oliveros (106 Phil 369)24
Objection to evidence offered orally must be made The trial courts should permit all exhibits presented by
immediately after the offer is made. the parties, although not admitted, to be attached to the
Objection to a question propounded in the course of the records so that, in case of appeal, the appellate court may be
oral examination of a witness shall be made as soon as able to examine the same and determine the propriety of their
the grounds therefor shall become reasonably apparent. rejection
An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to
within three (3) days after notice of the offer unless a Bañez vs. CA (1974)
different period is allowed by the court. Where documentary evidence was rejected by the trial
In any case, the grounds for the objections must be court and the offeror did not move that the same be attached
specified. to the record, the same cannot be considered by the appellate
UNNECESSARY De Castro vs. CA (75 Phil 824)
When it becomes reasonably apparent in the course of Documents forming no part of the of proofs before the
the examination of a witness that the question being appellate court cannot be considered in disposing of the case.
propounded are of the same class as those to which
objection has been made, whether such objection was
sustained or overruled, it shall not be necessary to • Otherwise, it would infringe on the constitutional right of
repeat the objection, it being sufficient for the adverse the adverse party to due process of law25
party to record his continuing objection to such class of • The practice of excluding evidence on doubtful objections
questions. should be avoided

Section 38 – RULING Prats & Co. vs. Phoenix Insurance Co. (52 Phil 807)
The ruling of the court must be given immediately after In a case of any intricacy it is impossible for a judge of
the objection is made, unless the court desires to take a first instance, in the early stages of the development of the
reasonable time to inform itself on the question proof, to know with any certainty whether testimony is
presented; but the ruling shall always be made during relevant or not; and where there is no indication of bad faith
the trial and at such time as will give the party against on the part of the attorney offering the evidence, the court
whom it is made an opportunity to meet the situation may, as a rule, safely accept the testimony upon the
presented by the ruling. statement of the attorney that the proof offered will be
The reason for sustaining or overruling an objection connected later
need not be stated. However, if the objection is based
on two or more grounds, a ruling sustaining the People vs. Diano (CA, 66 OG 6405)
objection on one or some of them must specify the Evidence submitted for one purpose may not be
ground or grounds relied upon. considered for any other purpose

Section 39 - STRIKING OUT ANSWER Sheraton-Palace hotel vs. Quijano (CA, 64 OG 9118)
Should a witness answer the question before the A document or writing which is admitted not as
adverse party had the opportunity to voice fully its independent evidence but merely as part of the testimony of a
objection to the same, and such objection is found to be witness does not constitute proof of the facts related therein
meritorious, the court shall sustain the objection and
order the answer given to be stricken off the record.
On proper motion, the court may also order the striking
• Identification of documentary evidence ≠ its formal offer
» Identification – made in the course of the trial
out of answers which are incompetent, irrelevant, or
▪ Evidence identified and marked as exhibits
otherwise improper.
may be withdrawn before formal offer
» Formal offer – when proponent rests his case
▪ Where objection may be made
If documents or things offered in evidence are excluded
by the court, the offeror may have the same attached to
Vda de Flores vs. WCC (1977)26
or made part of the record. If the evidence excluded is
Documents which may have been marked as exhibits
oral, the offeror may state for the record the name and
during the hearing but which were not formally offered in
other personal circumstances of the witness and the
evidence cannot be considered as evidence nor can they be
substance of the proposed testimony.
given evidentiary value
• Parties who offer objections to questions on whatever
People vs. Mate (1981)
ground are entitled to a ruling at the time the objection
(Criminal case for kidnapping with murder) Even if there
is made
was no formal offer of the exhibits but the same have been
» Unless they present a question with regard to which
duly identified by testimony duly recorded and the exhibits
the court desires to inform itself before making a
have been incorporated in the records of the case, said
exhibits are admissible against the accused
Lopez vs. Valdez (32 Phil 644)
People vs. Jose (1976)27
If no ruling is made during the course of the trial,
Considering the gravity of the offenses and in the
counsel would have no means of knowing whether or not he
interest of justice, the SC allowed the presentation and
would be compelled to meet any evidence at all, hence it
admitted the birth certificates of the accused to prove the
would prejudice the substantial rights of his client
mitigating circumstance of minority although said birth
certificates were not presented or offered in the trial courts
People vs. Singh (45 Phil 645)
The failure of the court to make such ruling should be
• Section 37 – party may just enter a general and
brought to its attention, failing which the case cannot be
continuing objection to the same class of evidence the
reopened for a new trial on that ground
ruling of the court shall be applicable to all such evidence
of the same class
People vs. Tavera (47 Phil 645)
The reservation of a ruling made by the court on an
Ed. A. Keller & Co. (Ltd.) vs. Ellerman & Bucknall
objection to the admissibility of evidence, without
Steamship Co., (Ltd.) (38 Phil 514)
subsequently excluding the same, amounts to a denial of said
Also Lamagan vs. Dela Cruz (1971)
People vs. Abalos (CA, 58 OG 5446) 25
Tinsay vs. Yusay (47 Phil 639)
The courts should consider the evidence only for the 26
Also Republic vs. CA and People vs. CA (1982), cf. People vs.
purpose for which it was offered
Pecardal and Soliman vs. Sandiganbayan (1986)
Also Co vs. Ca (1980)

page 37
Presentation of Evidence
The court itself may motu proprio treat the objection as People vs. Bande
a continuing one An erroneous rejection or admission of evidence by the
trial court is not a ground for a new trial or reversal of the
decision if there are other independent evidence to sustain the
decision, or if the rejected evidence, if it had been admitted,
would not have changed the decision

• Otherwise, a new trial is warranted by reason of the

erroneous ruling which goes into the merits of the case
and would have affected the decision28

Tinsay vs. Yusay (47 Phil 639)

If the trial court erroneously ruled out the evidence and
discovered such error before the judgment had become final
or before an appeal therefrom had been perfected, it may re-
open the case

• Rulings of trial court on procedural questions and on

admissibility of evidence during the course of the trial are
interlocutory in nature and may not be the subject of
separate appeals or review on certiorari

US vs. Villanueva (18 Phil 639)

page 38

Weight and Sufficiency of People vs. Quilino (CA, 50 OG 68)

The failure of a party to present merely corroborative or
Evidence cumulative evidence does not give rise to any adverse or
unfavorable presumption

Rule 133 – Weight and Sufficiency of Evidence


In civil cases, the party having burden of proof must
establish his case by a preponderance of evidence. In
determining where the preponderance or superior
weight of evidence on the issues involved lies, the court
may consider all the facts and circumstances of the
case, the witnesses' manner of testifying, their
intelligence, their means and opportunity of knowing
the facts to which there are testifying, the nature of the
facts to which they testify, the probability or
improbability of their testimony, their interest or want
of interest, and also their personal credibility so far as
the same may legitimately appear upon the trial. The
court may also consider the number of witnesses,
though the preponderance is not necessarily with the
greater number.


In a criminal case, the accused is entitled to an
acquittal, unless his guilt is shown beyond reasonable
doubt. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean
such a degree of proof, excluding possibility of error,
produces absolute certainly. Moral certainly only is
required, or that degree of proof which produces
conviction in an unprejudiced mind.

• Sections 1&2 give the rule on the requisite quantum of

evidence in civil and criminal cases
» Last 2 sentences of Sec1: factors which the court
may take into consideration in determining the
weight to be given in testimonial evidence
• Evidence must be from a credible source and must be
credible in itself
» It shall be natural, reasonable, and probable as to
make it easy to believe
» To be believed, it should be in accord with common
knowledge and experience of mankind
• General rule: findings of judge who tried the case and
heard the witnesses are not to be disturbed on appeal,
unless there are substantial facts and circumstances
which have been overlooked and which, if properly
considered, might affect the result of the case
» Issue: credibility of the witness - trial court is in the
better position to decide the question, having heard
and observed the demeanor of the witness
▪ Unless it has plainly overlooked certain facts of
substance and value which, if considered,
might affect the outcome of the case
▪ Does not apply if one judge heard the
witnesses and another judge penned the

People vs. Magallanes (1968)

The matter of assigning values to declarations at the
witness stand is best and most competently performed by a
trial judge, who, unlike appellate magistrates, can weigh such
testimony in light of the defendant’s behavior, demeanor,
conduct and attitude at the trial, and the conclusions of the
trial courts command great weight and respect

People vs. Enriquez (CA, 44 OG 3853)

The trial court should not discredit a witness by the
supposed expression of lack of sincerity in his face. Facial
expressions are not necessarily indicative of one’s feelings.
The trial court should have made it appear in the record and
allowed the witness the opportunity to explain why he was
showing such an expression on his face

Caluna vs. Vicente (1951)

As a general rule, the number of witnesses should not in
and by itself determine the weight of evidence, but in case of
conflicting testimonies of witnesses, the numerical factor may
be given certain weight

page 39
People vs. Rivera (CA, 58 OG 68) sufficient number to prove the commission of the
By credibility of a witness is meant his integrity, crime
disposition and intention to tell the truth in the testimony he • Inconsistencies on mere details – do not impair the
has given as distinguished from the credibility of his testimony credibility of the witness
» Actually indicate veracity rather than prevarication
Arroyo vs. El Beaterio del Santissimo Rosario de Molo » Perfect dovetailing of witnesses testimonies can
(1968) generate suspicion – prefabricated story
To hold that a particular person is competent to testify • Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus – deals only with eight
upon a given matter does not mean that his testimony of evidence and is not a positive rule of law and the rule
thereon must be believed by the court or must be deemed by is not an inflexible one of universal application
it to be of sufficient probative value to establish the point » Modern trend – testimony of a witness may be
which it was intended to prove. Competency of a witness is believed in part and disbelieved in part
one thing, and it is another to be credible witness. Courts ▪ Depending upon the corroborative evidence
allow a person to testify as a witness upon a given matter and the probabilities and improbabilities of the
because he is competent but may thereafter decide whether case
to believe or not to believe his testimony ▪ Does not apply where:
1. The challenged testimony is sufficiently
US vs. Macuti (26 Phil 170) corroborated on many grounds
It is a well-settled doctrine that the demeanor, the 2. The falsity consists of mistakes on points
emphasis, gestures and inflection of the voice of a witness, that are not material
while testifying, are potent aids in the proper evaluation of his 3. Such mistakes do not arise from the
credibility apparent desire to pervert the truth but
from innocent lapses and the desire of the
Mondragon vs. CA (1974) witness to exculpate himself but not
When a witness makes two sworn statements and these completely
two statements incur in the gravest contradictions, the court
cannot accept either statement as proof. The witness by his People vs. Abonales (106 Phil 190)
own act of giving false testimony impeaches his own The non-production of a corroborative witness without
testimony and the court should exclude it from all any explanation given why he was not so produced, weakens
consideration the testimony of the witness who named the corroborating
witness in his testimony
People vs. Reyes (CA, 50 OG 665)
It has been said that “perhaps the most subtle and • Rape cases: corroborative statements not required
prolific of all fallacies of testimony arises out of unconscious » But testimony should be exercised with greatest
partisanship. Upon the happening of an accident, the care
occasional passengers on board of a streetcar are very apt to
side with the employees in charge of the car (citing Wellman, Garcia vs. Garcia (63 Phil 419)
The Art of Cross-Examination) The testimony of persons accidentally present at the
time of the execution of the will, but who have nothing to do
People vs. Juarez (CA, 57 OG 2518) with the transaction, is not as weighty as that of the
The fact that a person has reached the “twilight of his subscribing witness
life” is not always a guaranty that he would tell the truth. It is
also quite common that advanced age makes a person • Affirmative testimony – stronger than negative testimony
mentally dull and completely hazy about things which have » Greater weight must be given to the positive
happened to him and, at times, it weakens the resistance to testimony of the witness than to the denial of the
outside influence defendant
• Conflict in the testimony of 2 witnesses – may be due to
US vs. Laban (21 Phil 297) difference in observation or memory
The record of a PI constitutes no part of the final » Does not necessarily imply falsehood
proceedings in a cause, unless it is presented in evidence, and • Delay of the witness in revealing to the authorities what
the facts adduced therein are evidence only for the purpose of he knows of the crime – does not render his testimony
testing the credibility of the witnesses false
» Attributed to natural reticence and abhorrence to
• Bias – that which excites the disposition to see and get involved in a criminal case
report matters as they are wished for rather than as they » Or inherent fear of reprisal
are » Or intense grief
• Relationship of witness to the victim – does not impair
People vs. Watin (CA, 67 OG 5899) his clear and positive testimony nor give it lesser credit
When the witnesses on both sides are equally interested » Unless there is a showing of improper motive
or otherwise biased, especially if there is no numerical
preponderance on either side, bias ceases to be a Tunala vs. Diola (CA, 62 OG 4946)
consideration in determining where the weight of evidence Where a party resorts to falsehood to advance his suit,
rests. Credit should be given to the one whose demeanor and it is presumed that he knows perfectly well that his cause is
manner of testifying convinces the court of his veracity groundless, and this presumption affects the whole mass of
evidence presented by such party
• Testimony of interested witness – not necessarily biased
or self-serving • Affidavits – generally subordinated in importance to open
» But may affect their credibility court declarations
» Often executed when the affiant is at a high pitch of
People vs. Aquino (1974) excitement
While the testimony of a co-conspirator or an » Not complete reproductions of what the declarant
accomplice is admissible, such testimony comes from a have in mind because they are generally prepared
polluted source and must be scrutinized with great caution as by the administering officer and the affiant simply
it is subject to grave suspicion signs after the same have been read to him
» Discrepancies between the affidavit and the open
• Testimony of a single witness may support a conviction – court statement
if trustworthy and reliable ▪ Do not discredit the witness because ex parte
» And clear and convincing affidavits are generally incomplete for want of
• Testimony of offended party – not essential to convict suggestion and inquiries
accused if there are already other evidence to prove the ▪ Does not apply where the self-contradiction or
guilt of the accused inconsistencies are on very material and
» Prosecution not obliged to present each and every substantial matters
person who witnesses the occurrence but only a

page 40
» Only prima facie evidence of weak probative force • Res ipsa loquitur – the fact of the occurrence of an
and should be received with caution injury, taken with the surrounding circumstances, may
• Conspiracy – need not establish that all parties agreed to permit an inference or raise a presumption of negligence
every detail or make out a plaintiff’s prima facie case and present a
» Enough that it may be reasonably deduced that question of fact for the defendant to meet with an
they had a common plan to commit the felony explanation
» But must be proven beyond reasonable doubt » Doctrine is merely evidentiary or procedural in
» Need not be established by direct evidence nature
▪ May be proved by a number of indefinite acts, ▪ Does not dispense with the requirement of
conditions and circumstances proof of negligence
• Qualifying and aggravating circumstances – must be
proved in an evident and incontestable manner Section 3 - EXTRAJUDICIAL CONFESSION, NOT
» As conclusively as the crime itself SUFFICIENT GROUND FOR CONVICTION
• Self-defense – one who sets up must rely on the strength An extrajudicial confession made by an accused, shall
of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the not be sufficient ground for conviction, unless
prosecution corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti.
» Quantum: clear and convincing evidence
• Alibi – one of the weakest defenses • Corpus delicti – actual commission by someone of the
» May be considered only when established by particular crime charged
positive, clear and satisfactory evidence » Common fact made up of 2 things:
» Must be physically impossible for the accused to be Existence of a certain act or result forming the basis
at the scene of the crime at the time of the of the criminal charge
commission Existence of a criminal agency as the cause of the
» Strong defense when there is no positive and proper act or result
identification of the accused as the author of the » Identity of the accused not a necessary element
offense » Literally means “body of the crime”
» When set up, the court should not at once have a » Proved when the evidence on record shows that the
mental prejudice against him crime prosecuted had been committed
• Theft: corpus delicti –
People vs. Aquiedo (108 Phil 186) 1. Property was lost by the owner
Where one accused withdraws his appeal after realizing 2. It was lost by felonious taking
the futility of his defense, and the other escapes from » Crime may be established without recovery of the
confinement thereby causing the dismissal of his appeal, said property
acts are unmistakable signs of guilt • Illegal possession of firearms
1. Existence of the firearm
• Flight – evidence of guilt and a guilty conscience 2. It has actually been held with animus possidendi by
» “The wicked flee even when no man pursueth, the accused without the corresponding license
whereas the righteous are as brave as a lion” • Murder: corpus delicti is the fact of death
» Non-flight – not an indication of innocence » Where there is doubt as to the identity of the
• Payment of taxes cadaver, in the absence of any other evidence,
» Continuous payment – evidence of great weight in there is no corpus delicti
favor of ownership, especially if accompanied by • A mere voluntary extrajudicial confession uncorroborated
OCEAN possession by independent proof of corpus delicti is not sufficient to
▪ But not conclusive evidence of ownership sustain a judgment of conviction
» Non-payment – indicative of the fact that claimant » Evidence may be circumstantial but it must
does not believe himself to be the owner of the substantiate the confession
property » But corpus delicti is not synonymous with the whole
• Motive of the accused in a criminal case – immaterial charge
» But necessary in the following instances: ▪ Need not require that all the elements of the
1. Where identity of the assailant is in question crime be established independently
2. To determine the voluntariness of the criminal ▪ Were it required that, independent of the
act or the sanity of the accused confession, evidence be adduced sufficient in
3. To determine from which side the unlawful itself to convict, the utility of a confession as a
aggression commenced (self-defense) species of proof would be illusory
4. To determine the specific nature of the crime
committed (murder or homicide) People vs. Sasota (91 Phil 111)
5. To determine whether the shooting was When the complex crime of robbery with homicide is
intentional or accidental charged and the extrajudicial confession of the accused of the
6. Where the accused contended that he acted in entire charge is corroborated by corpus delicti of homicide
the defense of a stranger alone, the entire confession is admissible although there is no
7. Where the evidence is circumstantial and independent evidence of the robbery
8. Where malice is an element of the offense Section 4 - CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, WHEN
» Mere proof of motive, no matter how strong, cannot SUFFICIENT
sustain a conviction if there is no other evidence Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if:
establishing the guilt of the accused a. There is more than one circumstances;
» Evidence is weak, without any motive – reasonable b. The facts from which the inferences are derived are
doubt proven; and
• “Totality of circumstance” test – used for the c. The combination of all the circumstances is such as
admissibility and reliability of out-of-court identification to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
of suspects
» Factors: People vs. Tan-Choco; People vs. Jara (1986)
1. Witness’ opportunity to view the criminal at the In order to convict a person accused of a crime on the
time of the crime strength of circumstantial evidence alone, it is incumbent
2. Witness’ degree of attention at the time upon the prosecution to present such circumstantial evidence
3. Accuracy of any prior description given by the which will and must necessarily lead to the conclusion that the
witness accused is guilty of the crime charged beyond reasonable
4. Level of certainty demonstrated by the witness doubt, excluding all and each and every reasonable hypothesis
at the identification consistent with his innocence
5. Length of time between the crime and the
identification • Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction in
6. Suggestiveness of the identification procedure capital offenses

page 41
» Except when law specifies the quantum of evidence,
such as in treason
» Falsification, bigamy and libel - circumstantial
evidence not sufficient to sustain a conviction
▪ Documents involved must be presented
▪ Bigamy: direct evidence of first marriage is
• Reputation or cohabitation merely
• Same as in adultery, parricide or other
cases where issue of marriage is primarily
• Prior and coetaneous, as well as subsequent, acts of the
accused are circumstantial evidence of guilt
• While motive of the accused is generally immaterial not
being an element of the crime, such motive becomes
important when the evidence of the crime is purely

People vs. Turtoga (2002)

The fact that the accused was in dire need of money
and the victim scolded him for soliciting a loan from her,
robbery as the motive explains the killing


In cases filed before administrative or quasi-judicial
bodies, a fact may be deemed established if it is
supported by substantial evidence, or that amount of
relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.

Biak-na-Bato Mining Co. vs. Tanco (1991)

Substantial evidence does not necessarily mean
preponderant proof as required in ordinary civil cases, but
such kind of relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion

• Or evidence commonly accepted by reasonably prudent

men in the conduct of their affairs


The court may stop the introduction of further
testimony upon any particular point when the evidence
upon it is already so full that more witnesses to the
same point cannot be reasonably expected to be
additionally persuasive. But this power should be
exercised with caution.

Guinea vs. Vda. De Ramonal (1975)

The court has the power to stop the introduction of
testimony which will merely be cumulative


When a motion is based on facts not appearing of
record the court may hear the matter on affidavits or
depositions presented by the respective parties, but the
court may direct that the matter be heard wholly or
partly on oral testimony or depositions.

Sapida vs. De Villanueva (1972)

While the court may hear and rule upon motions solely
on the basis of affidavits or counter-affidavits, if the affidavits
contradict each other on matters of fact, the court can have
no basis to make its findings of fact and the prudent course is
to subject the affiants to cross-examination so that the court
can decide whom to believe

page 42