Malaluan, Alyssa Clarizze E. EVIDENCE NORA T. JIMENEZ, JOSEFINA T. GAVINO, LIBRADA T. DINO and SUSAN T. JOVEN, petitioners, vs.

COMMISSION ON ECUMENICAL MISSION AND RELATIONS OF THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE PHILIPPINES and POLICARPIO CARUNGIN, respondents. THIRD DIVISION G.R. No. 140472 June 10, 2002

PANGANIBAN, J.: ISSUE: WON the CA erred when it disregarded the factual findings of the RTC which had given weight, credibility and reliability to the handwriting experts from both the NBI and the PC. HELD:No, the CA did not erred. It is a hornbook doctrine that the opinions of handwriting experts, even those from the NBI and the PC, are not binding upon courts. This principle holds true especially when the question involved is mere handwriting similarity or dissimilarity, which can be determined by a visual comparison of specimens of the questioned signatures with those of the currently existing ones. Handwriting experts are usually helpful in the examination of forged documents because of the technical procedure involved in analyzing them. But resort to these experts is not mandatory or indispensable to the examination or the comparison of handwriting. A finding of forgery does not depend entirely on the testimonies of handwriting experts, because the judge must conduct an independent examination of the questioned signature in order to arrive at a reasonable conclusion as to its authenticity. Indeed, the best evidence of a forged signature in an instrument is the instrument itself showing the alleged forgeries. The fact of forgery can be established by comparing the allegedly false signature with the authentic or genuine one.This was exactly what the appellate court did. After comparing the allegedly forged signature of Francisca on the 1936 Deed of Sale with her authentic or genuine specimen, the CA made its independent conclusion that there was nothing irregular in the signature on the questioned document. This right -- nay, duty -- of the RTC judge was exercised by the justices of the appellate court when they overturned the former’s findings.

Malaluan,Alyssa Clarizze E. EVIDENCE SPOUSES REYNALDO ALCARAZ and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ, petitioners, vs. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, MENAS R. TANGGA-AN, VIRGINIA III YVETTE R. TANGGA-AN, CECIL T. VILLAFLOR, HERMES R. TANGGA-AN, VENUS R. TANGGA-AN, JUPITER R. TANGGA-AN, YVONNE T. FRI, VIVIEN R. TANGGA-AN and HON. JUDGE P. BURGOS and THE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents. THIRD DIVISION G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003

CORONA, J.: FACTS: The late Virginia Tangga-an (the spouse of respondent Pedro Tangaa-an and mother of the rest of the respondents) leased a residential building (house) to the petitioner spouses. The lease contract was limited to the use and occupancy of the said residential building and did not include the lot on which it was constructed because the said lot was then owned by the National Housing Authority (NHA). However, since November 1993, they failed to pay rent. Despite repeated demands by respondents to pay the rentals in arrears and to surrender the possession of the residential building, the petitioner spouses refused to vacate the same. Respondents sought to repossess the property for their own use and benefit. On the other hand, the petitioner spouses alleged that, on July 23, 1993, the ownership of the lot on which the house stood was transferred by the NHA to Virgilio and Angelita D. Tangga-an. Transfer Certificate of Title No. 125657 was consequently issued in the name of Virgilio Tangga-an. According to the petitioner spouses, the subsequent change in ownership of the lot and the house resulted in the cancellation of the contract of lease between respondents and petitioner spouses. Thereafter, they paid the rent to the new owners of the lot (Virgilio and Angelita) and not to respondents since the latter supposedly no longer had the legal right to collect rentals.The petitioner spouses insist that Virgilio Tangga-an became the new owner not only of the lot but also of the residential house. They claim that, before she died, Virginia, the original owner of the subject house, waived and ceded her rights over the land in favor of Virgilio. The said transfer allegedly included the subject house because, pursuant to Article 440 of the Civil Code, "the ownership of the property gives the right of accession to everything which is produced thereby, or which is incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or artificially."

ISSUE: WON the lease contract ceased to be effective because Virgilio’s assumption of ownership of the land stripped the respondents of ownership of the building. HELD: No, Virgilio’s assumption of ownership of the land did not stripped the respondents of ownership of the building. Section 2, Rule 131 of the Rules of Court provides as a conclusive presumption the (a) Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally and deliberately led 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 permitted to falsify it. After recognizing the validity of the lease contract for two years, the petitioner spouses are barred from alleging the automatic cancellation of the contract on the ground that the respondents lost ownership of the house after Virgilio acquired title over the lot. There is nothing in their lease contract that allows the parties to extrajudicially rescind the same in case of violation of the terms thereof. Extrajudicial rescission of a contract is not possible without an express stipulation to that effect. What the petitioner spouses should have done was to file a special civil action for interpleader for the claimants to litigate their claims and to deposit the rentals in court.

Malaluan, Alyssa Clarizze E. EVIDENCE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appelee, vs. JESUS EDUALINO, accused-appellant. EN BANC G.R. No. 119072 April 11, 1997 PADILLA, J.: FACTS: On May 12, 1994, the complainant and her mother were in Mambalot, Brooke's Point, Palawan to attend a dance. At about ten (10) o'clock in the evening of that day Rowena saw her cousin Antero Bacosa at the dance and she asked him to drink beer with her. The accused approached her and offered her a glass of beer. She then felt dizzy after drinking the beer. Edualino then dragged her toward a grassy area where no people were present. The accused then forced himself on top of her and succeeded in raping her while she was in a semi-unconscious state. She stated that she passed out after the rape was consummated. Accused-appellant raises the issue of the character of complainant Rowena Nantiza. It is argued that a responsible and decent married woman, who was then three (3) months pregnant, would not be out at two (2) o'clock in the morning getting drunk much less would a decent Filipina ask a man to accompany her to drink beer. It is contended that complainant merely concocted the charge of rape to save her marriage since her husband had found out that she was using drugs and drinking alcohol. ISSUE: WON the moral character of a rape victim is material in the prosecution and conviction of the accused. HELD: No, the moral character of a rape victim is not material in the prosecution and conviction of the accused. The Court has ruled that even prostitutes can be the victims of rape. In the present case, even if accused-appellant's allegations that the victim was drunk and under the influence of drugs and that she (the victim) cannot be considered a decent and responsible married woman, were true, said circumstances will not per se preclude a finding that she was raped. The Court cannot believe that a married woman would invent a story that she was raped in an attempt to conceal addiction to drugs or alcohol, in order to save her marriage. The Court fail to understand how a false rape story can save a marriage under the circumstances averred by accused-appellant.

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