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Dasmarias Garments Inc v Reyes

Use of depositions
Facts:
1. American President Lines, Ltd. (APL) filed a complaint in the RTC for a sum of money
against Dasmarinas Garments Inc (Dasmarinas), and attorneys fees
a. Dasmarinas answered, denying any liability with APL
b. Trial was scheduled and a witness was presented by APL, after which the case
was reset on May 3 to receive two more witnesses on APLs behalf
c. On May 3, instead of presenting its two witnesses, but instead prayed that this
court allow the issuance of Letters Rogatory to take depositions of two Taiwan
nationals
d. Dasmarinas opposed,
i. The issuance of letters rogatory is not needed since the witnesses can be
examined by Philippine courts.
ii. Rules of Court expressly require that witness testimony must be taken
orally in an open court.
iii. Such motion is fatally defective because it does not seek that a foreign
court examine a person in its jurisdiction
e. RTC resolved the rogatory issue in favor of APL, deposition will be coursed
through a private entity, Asian Exchange Center, Inc. (AEC) MR by Dasmarinas
denied. RTCs Ratio:
i. MR filed out of time
ii. In any case, the RTC opined that the private entity which the deposition
will be coursed through is an authorized Phil. Representative and may
take testimonies of witnesses but only in writing so the plaintiff could
cross-examine.
2. Dasmarinas appealed to CA, but was denied. MR also denied.
3. Hence, this petition
Issue: W/N foreign depositions may be taken by a private entity.
Held: Yes, but with qualifications.
Ratio:
Court went on to define deposition:
Depositions are chiefly a mode of discovery. They are intended as a means to compel
disclosure of facts resting in the knowledge of a party or other person which are relevant
in some suit or proceeding in court.
Depositions are principally made by law to the parties as a means of informing
themselves of all the relevant facts;
They are not therefore generally meant to be a substitute for the actual testimony in open court
of a party witness. Leave of court is not necessary where the deposition is to be taken before a

secretary or embassy or legation, consul gen. etc., and the defendants answer has already been
served.
The Rule 132 says that examinations must be done in an open court. Any depositions offered to
prove the facts may be opposed as hearsay, and any party must be afforded an opportunity to
cross-examine a witness taking deposition.
However, depositions may be used without the witness actually called to the witness stand,
under certain conditions and under limited purposes, as seen in R23 S4, and in line with R24
and R132. In R24 S11, depositions of persons in a foreign state shall be taken before the consul
or under letters rogatory.
Since PH doesnt have a consulate in Taiwan because of PHs One China Policy, it would have no
embassy or consulate in Taiwan. Foreign depositions may thus be taken under letters rogatory as
provided for in R24 S12. Here, it appears that the letters rogatory will be coursed through the
DFA to its proper representative, the private entity AEC.
Ruling: Petition denied.