PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HUBERT JEFFREY P. WEBB, respondent. G.R. No.

132577 August 17, 1999 FACTS: Hubert Webb, herein respondent, was accused of rape with homicide. During the course of the proceeding in the trial court, he filed a Motion to Take Testimony by Oral Deposition praying that he be allowed to take the depositions of five (5) citizens and residents of the United States before the proper consular officer of the Philippines in Washington D.C. and California, as the case may be. The prosecution thereafter filed an opposition to the said motion. The trial court denied the motion. ISSUE: WON RESPONDENT’S MOTION SHOULD BE GRANTED. HELD: No. A deposition, in keeping with its nature as a mode of discovery, should be taken before and not during the trial. In fact, rules on criminal practice regularly on the defense of alibi, which is Webb’s main defense in the criminal proceedings against him states that when a person intends to rely on such defense, that person must move for the taking of the deposition of his witnesses with the time provided for filing a pre-trial motion.