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ALVIZO et al v SANDIGANBAYAN (2003) FACTS: Consolidated petitions for review on certiorari filed by Alvizo et al to annul decision of Sandiganbayan finding

them guilty of different counts of violation of RA 3019 (Anti-graft and corrupt practices act). In 1978 a team from COA was organized to verify the alleged issuances of fake Letters of Advice of Allotments (LAAs) and Sub-Advices of Cash Disbursement Ceilings (SACDCs) during the period of 1976-1978 in various Highway Engineering Districts (HEDs) of Region VII. The Audit team found out that fake LAAs and SACDCs were issued in the year 1977 leading to irregular disbursements of public funds for the payment of ghost projects. The investigations resulted in the filing of 397 criminal cases with the Sandiganbayan charging certain officials and employees of the government as well as private contractors with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The subject-matter of herein petitions are 199 of said cases. The officials and employees of the Cebu 2nd HED were charged, together with private contractors/suppliers. All these cases were tried jointly by agreement of the parties (except as to accused private contractor Genson who, upon his motion, was granted a separate trial when it was his turn to present evidence.) During the trial, accused Rolando Mangubat (Region VII Accountant) who signed all the fake LAAs and SACDCs, and co-accused contractors/ suppliers Erasmo Gabison and Feliciano Echavez who delivered the materials and prosecuted the ghost projects, changed their previous pleas of not guilty to guilty to the crimes charged against them. Among the testimonies which the prosecution presented are: [Of the then Supervising COA Auditor Ruth Paredes which established the standard operating procedure in the releases of allotments to fund the highway projects or the maintenance and repair of the existing ones in the different regions of the MPH. Prosecution witness Felicitas Ona, then Auditor V, who was assigned as a member of the team formed by the Performance Audit Office to investigate the extent of the anomaly in the MPH Central and the Regional Offices. Prosecution witness Manuel Dionisio, a Senior Agent of the NBI and member of the Special Task Force of the Cabinet Committee. Accused-turned-state witness, Delia Preagido who testified that she was employed in the MPH, Region VII, holding the position of Accountant III, sometime in the last week of January 1977, accused Mangubat, Chief Accountant of Region VII, asked her to stay after office hours and told her that they could get a big money out of the simulated LAAs by selling them to the Contractors, District Accountant, District Engineer and the Assistant District Engineer. Fe delos Reyes, then Auditing Examiner II at the Cebu 2 nd HED, likewise an accused-turned-state witness, testified that sometime in the first quarter of 1977, she was instructed by petitioner Auditor Efren Coyoca to inspect the delivery of supplies and materials at the project site of the Argao Dalaguete project but she found no deliveries therein. She then reported the non-delivery to petitioner Coyoca who told her that he had to confer the matter with petitioner Engr. Rafael Rabaya, Jr.. She was later called by petitioner Coyoca to his office and told her, in the presence of petitioner Rabaya, to just sign all the prepared tally sheets and inspection reports as Coyoca would assume the responsibility if anything went wrong. Thereafter, she just signed tally sheets and reports without actually going to the jobsites to inspect the deliveries of supplies and materials because she knew that there would be no deliveries to be made. ] The Sandiganbayan convicted the accused under Section 3, paragraph (e) of RA 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. (RELEVANT TO THE TOPIC) Rafael Rabaya (Asst Highway District Engr) and Nestor Rabaya (Material Testing Engr) submitted, among others, that the court erred in giving evidentiary value to the pleas of guilty of accused Mangubat, Gabison and Echavez as it violated the hearsay and res inter alios acta rule. ISSUE1: WON the court erred in giving evidentiary value to the pleas of guilty of accused Mangubat, Gabison and Echavez as it violated the hearsay and res inter alios acta rule. NO ISSUE2: WON the confessions were admissible even if not made during existence of conspiracy (Sec. 30). YES. HELD1: Section 28 allows exceptions, one is Section 30 on admissions by a co-conspirator. The pleas of guilty of some of the accused are admissions of the truth of the accusations that they committed acts of falsifications done during the existence of the conspiracy. The Sandiganbayan merely declared that the pleas of guilty confirmed the issuance and release of fake or simulated LAAs and SACDCs, the irregular, improper and illegal preparation, execution and processing of the general vouchers and their supporting documents, and the non-delivery of materials and non-prosecution of ghost projects. Therefore, the pleas of guilty were merely confirmatory : they confirmed the facts already established by other evidence of the prosecution. Said pleas were not used by the Sandiganbayan to convict petitioners for even if the pleas were completely disregarded, the prosecution had already succeeded in proving petitioners guilt beyond reasonable doubt. HELD2: The said pleas are nonetheless admissible against petitioners as co-conspirators because the pleas were made in open court. In other words, they are judicial confessions. The rule embodied in Sec. 30 that the declaration of a conspirator made after the termination of the conspiracy is inadmissible against his co-conspirator applies only to an extrajudicial confession, and not to a plea of guilty, which is a judicial confession. In this very specific instance, the rule of res inter alios acta does not apply because the confessions embodied in the pleas of guilty are judicial confessions, not extrajudicial ones. The Sandiganbayan did not convict petitioners on the basis of the pleas of guilty. The Sandiganbayan merely said that the prosecutions case had been amply supported and strengthened by the pleas of guilty entered by the three. The pleas of guilty are in themselves evidence that the pleaders committed the acts mentioned in the Informations. The pleas certainly have corroborative effect on the evidence-in-chief of the prosecution. There is no rule violated by the Sandiganbayan when it considered the pleas of guilty.

Section 28. Admission by third party. The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of another and proceedings against one cannot affect another, except as hereinafter provided. Section 30. Admission by conspirator. The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its existence, may be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. 1

ON HEARSAY RULE The rule applies only if Gabison, Mangubat and Echavez admission of guilt was testified to by another person or by means of affidavit. In this case the three co-accused personally confessed their guilt during arraignment where petitioners were likewise present. Assuming that it was error for the Sandiganbayan to consider and refer to the pleas of guilty, this is not reversible error because after disregarding the pleas of guilty there remains sufficient evidence to establish the guilt of petitioners beyond reasonable doubt, and the substantial rights of petitioners were not, therefore, prejudice by its admission.

ACENAS, Sps v. SISON, Sps. (1963) FACTS: Angela Sison executed a promissory note, promising to pay Emma Acenas in 26 installments, the first falling due on November 30, 1956 and the last on November 30, 1960. The note provided that failure to pay two consecutive installments would make the balance due and demandable. Mrs. Sison was able to pay up to August 31, 1957 only. Upon her failure to pay the balance of the note, alleged to be in the sum of P8,391.60, she was sued. Her husband, Teofilo Sison, was joined as a defendant pursuant to Article 113 of the Civil Code. In their answer, Mr. Sison denied liability on the ground that he had not signed the promissory note. When the case was called for hearing, counsel for the defendants moved for the postponement of the hearing in view of the absence of his clients and that he needs time within which to confer with them for the purpose of amicably settling this case. Counsel for the plaintiffs objected on the ground that the defendants have been given sufficient time within which to settle this case but failed to do so. On the other hand, when the court indicated to the defendant's counsel that there seems to be no defense on the part of the defendants in this case, and that it would be for the best interest of the latter if the case is terminated by way of judgment on the pleadings or confession of judgment, counsel for defendants offered no objection and asked that confession of judgment by the defendants may be entered in this case provided that the corresponding writ of execution thereof should not be issued until June 30, 1960, to which counsel for the plaintiffs agreed. Hence, this appeal. Appellant Teofilo Sison contends that his lawyer agreed to a judgment on the pleadings but not to a confession of judgment; that he never authorized his lawyer to confess judgment for him and that at any rate he was not liable on the note of his wife. ISSUE: WON the appellant agreed to a confession of judgment DECISION: NO. Decision MODIFIED. Only wife is liable. HELD: The records do not show that Atty. Sison had authority to confess judgment. On the contrary, the decision of states that Atty. Sison "moved for the postponement of the hearing hereof in view of the absence of his clients and that he needs time within which to confer with them for the purpose of amicably settling this case." This indicates that Atty. Sison lacked authority to confess judgment, otw, there would have been no need for him to confer with his clients. This circumstance should have put the trial court on an inquiry as to counsel's authority. o In Natividad v. Natividad, and Anduiza v. Quirona, the Court held that the compromise of causes and confession of judgments appear to stand upon the same footing and that since the compromise may not be effected by counsel without special authority, so may not an agreement to permit judgment to be entered against his client be authorized except with the knowledge and at the instance of the client. Such judgment may be set aside or reopened. Appellees cite decisions of the courts of Georgia which hold that where a settlement of a suit is made by an attorney accepting less than the full amount of the claim in cash, the agreement binds the client if the settlement is carried out by a consent verdict and judgment and the settlement was made without fraud on the part of the attorney or any instruction of the client to the contrary. (Coweta Fertilizer Co. v. Johnson) o As the Court noted in the Natividad case, these cases do not apply here because the Georgia statute is different from our law. In the present case the attorney of the defendant was not endeavoring to collect or enforce his client's claim, but was resisting a suit or claim against his client and consented to the credit in favor of his client. . . . In contrast, Section 21 of Rule 127 expressly requires that attorneys have special authority not only to receive anything in discharge of a client's claim but the full amount in cash but also to compromise their client's litigation. Appellees also rely on Holker and others v. Parker, but that case does not support appellees' position, for it was held there that Although an attorney at law, merely as such has strictly speaking no right to make a compromise, yet a court would be disinclined to disturb one which was not so unreasonable in itself as to be exclaimed against by all, and to create an impression that the judgment of the attorney has been imposed on, or not fairly exercised in the case. But where the sacrifice is such as to leave it scarcely possible that, with a full knowledge of every circumstance, such a compromise could be fairly made, there can be no hesitation in saying that the compromise, being unauthorized and being therefore itself void, ought not to bind the injured party. Though it may assume the form of an award or of a judgment at law, the injured party, if his own conduct has been perfectly blameless, ought to be relieved against it. . . . The Court holds therefore that it was error for the trial court to accept the confession made by counsel without ascertaining his authority to do so, at least with respect to Teofilo Sison. With respect to Angela Sison, however, the judgment will be maintained, there being no claim in this appeal that the confession of judgment made in her behalf was unauthorized. In fact her liability is admitted here. The law requires the joinder of the husband not because he is thereby bound with his wife but because he is the administrator of the conjugal partnership which might be held liable in the action. To make the husband solidarily liable with his wife simply because his joinder is required would be to subvert the basic rule that the wife cannot bind the conjugal partnership without the husband's consent. (Art. 172, Civil Code.) The only exceptions are when the husband consents; when the wife spends for the usual daily needs of the family (Art. 115); or when she is given the management of the partnership (Arts. 157, 168, 178 and 196). There is no allegation in the complaint that Mrs. Sison incurred her obligation to Mrs. Acenas under any of these exceptions so as to bind the conjugal partnership.

ADMISSION BY CONSPIRATORS

PEOPLE v. ROSARIO CABRERA, ET AL. (1974) Facts: On January 17, 1972, Police Sgt. Mario Tanfelix received an instruction to proceed to Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital to investigate an abandoned person found at the North Diversion Road suffering from stab wounds. The abandoned person was Luis dela Cruz, who gave an ante-mortem statement naming Rosario Cabrera as the person who hired his jeep and who was with the three unidentified men who stabbed him and took his money and jeep. The next morning, Cabrera was arrested, and two days later, executed an extra-judicial confession, pointing to Conrado Villanueva as the mastermind of the robbery. She herself merely hired the jeep upon instructions, but the robbery and killing itself were done by Villanueva and two others. One Dante Marcelo also testified that, on the night of the robbery, he had seen Cabrera riding on the jeep of dela Cruz, but did not notice whether there were other passengers. Cabrera and Villanueva were convicted on the basis of Cabreras extra-judicial confession. 2

Issue: Is Cabreras extrajudicial statement admissible against Villanueva? Held: No. The extrajudicial statement of Cabrera is inadmissible against Villanueva, who made timely objection thereto. Cabreras i nculpatory statements were made during the investigation conducted by the Valenzuela police on January 20, 1972, two days after the date of the incident in question. For this reason alone, said statement was not made during the existence of the alleged conspiracy between her and Villanueva, but after said supposed conspiracy had already ceased and when she was already in the hands of the authorites. Hence, Sec. 27, Rule 130, of the Rules of Court, which allows the act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its existence to be given in evidence against the coconspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration, cannot be availed of. Doctrine: Where the act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy is made after such conspiracy has ceased and the conspirator is already in the hands of the authorities, such act or declaration can no longer be given in evidence against the co-conspirator.

PREAGIDO v. SANDIGANBAYAN (2005) FACTS: The Tanodbayan filed 6 Infos for estafa through falsification of public and commercial documents against 9 public officials and 2 private individuals on the basis of conspiracy. Charge: The public officials conspired among themselves,with their private party co-accused, after having falsified or caused to have falsified Letters of Advice of Allotment and Sub-Advices of Cash Disbursement Ceiling, which are all public documents, o They made it appear that an amount of P300K had been lawfully allocated for Tagbilaran from the MPH R egional Highway Office, and made available For the maintenance of existing and unabandoned roads and bridges through falsification of a General Voucher, covering the payment o f road shouldering materials (anapog binder), with the use of the falsified Letters of Advice of Allotment and Sub-advices of Cash Disbursement Ceiling to support thereof and other documents, such as the Program of Work/Budget Cost for Roads and Bridges, Request for Obligation of Allotment, Abstract of Sealed Quotations, Purchase Orders, Record of Inspection, and other papers in support thereof, by making it appear that the request for obligation of allotment was regularly prepared and approved, that the bidding of materials was properly conducted. All the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. The Sandiganbayan acquitted accused Sayson, Budget Examiner II and Quiroz, the employee of accused contractor Tiu; and convicted the rest of the accused, including Bolotaulo, of estafa thru falsification of official and commercial documents The Sandiganbayan convicted petitioners and the other accused on the basis of conspiracy. It found that they were guilty of conspiring in the falsification of the following documents, to wit: (1) Letters of Advice of Allotment (LAAs); (2) Sub-Advice of Cash Disbursement Ceiling (SACDCs); (3) Programs of Work (PWs); (4) General Vouchers (GVs); (5) Requests for Obligation of Allotment (ROAs); (6) Abstract of Sealed Quotations; (7) Purchase Orders (POs); (8) Delivery Receipts and (9) Records of Inspections (ROIs); that such falsification facilitated the unauthorized release of funds; and, the supplies allegedly requisitioned under them were short delivered or not delivered at all. The separate appeals of petitioner Bolotaulos co-accused Castillo (City Engineer), Bagasao (Assistant Regional Director), Recamadas (Property Custodian), and Mangubat (Regional Chief Accountant), were denied. o Petitioner Bolotaulo was convicted for his signature in the RSEs, in the abstract of sealed quotations and for signing the general voucher certifying that the expenses are necessary, lawful and incurred under his direct supervision, and that the price is just and reasonable and not in excess of the current rates in the locality. He, however, contends that he merely performed his duties and responsibilities in affixing his signatures on those documents.

ISSUE: WON the Sandiganbayan is correct in finding petitioner Bolotaulo guilty of conspiracy in committing the crime charged DECISION: YES. Petition DENIED. HELD: Petitioner, as the Senior Civil Engineer, was the one who prepared the three Request for Supplies or Equipment (RSEs) allegedly on the basis of three programs of work he recommended for approval. Notably, however, the RSEs antedated the programs of work which is an anomalous circumstance since the RSEs needed for the prosecution of the projects are only based on the programs of work. In fact, petitioner, in his cross-examination, admitted that he cannot prepare a RSE without an approved program of work and that it is the normal and regular procedure; that if the program of work is prepared later than the RSE, there must be something irregular about it. o No satisfactory explanation was advanced by petitioner on why the RSEs antedated the programs of work as all he could say was that it was not his concern which of these two came ahead as long as that at the time he was signing the general voucher, the program of work was there. o In fact, the RSEs are not even in accord with the program of work. While petitioner recommended the approval of the three programs of work each calling for the use of 3,123 cubic meters of selected borrow as well as the detailed estimates which also called for the use of selected borrow, the three RSEs which petitioner prepared called for the use of anapog binder. No explanation was offered as to why there was such a discrepancy. o Notably, petitioner Bolotaulo recommended for approval three programs of work which all cost not more than P50K each. As established by the testimony of prosecution witness, Miguel V. Bulac, this was so since petitioner Bolotaulos co -accused City Engineer Castillo could not approve program of work exceeding P50,000.00 because in excess of that amount, the program of work has to be approved by the Regional Director. Petitioner Bolotaulo signed three GVs certifying that the expenses are necessary, lawful and incurred under his direct supervision, and that the price is just and reasonable and not in excess of the current rates in the locality. Attached to these GVs as supporting documents are the programs of work, the RSEs, the requests for sealed quotations and the purchase orders among others. He signed the GVs despite the fact that the RSEs antedated the programs of work. He could not have failed to notice that there was only one set of request for sealed quotation for the total of 9,369 cubic meters of anapog binders and one purchase order which supported the three GVs all for amounts less thanP50K each to the same contractor/ supplier James Tiu. There is also no truth to petitioner Bolotaulos certification in the general voucher that the price of the materials requisiti oned is just and reasonable and not in excess of the current rates in the locality considering that it was established that there was irregularity in the bidding. Conspiracy has been clearly established by the evidence presented by the prosecution. The whole scheme started with the issuances of fake LAAs, which give the authority to obligate, and the SACDCs, the authority to disburse funds, to the Tagbilaran CEO for the alleged purpose of prosecuting certain projects. The Tagbilaran Office which was fully aware of the fake LAAs and SACDCs, made it appear that there were valid requisitions, public bidding and purchase order which all turned out to be also falsified. General vouchers were prepared and checks pursuant thereto were issued in payment to the supplier/contractor for materials which turned out to be short delivered or not delivered at all. Finally, petitioner argues that assuming that there were admissions from the other co-accused, the alleged conspiracy must first be proven by evidence other than the declaration of a co-conspirator citing Section 27 of Rule 130, Rules of Court. The argument is devoid of merit. o Section 27 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court applies only to extrajudicial acts or declarations but not to testimony given on the witness stand at the trial where the defendant has the opportunity to cross-examine the declarant.

ADMISSION BY PRIVIES THE CITY OF MANILA, v. JACINTO DEL ROSARIO, (1905) FACTS: This is an action to recover the possession of the two lots describe in the complaint, located in Calles Clavel and Barcelona, Tondo, at present occupied by the defendant. The court below entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant. At the trial, after the plaintiff rested, the defendant moved for the dismissal of the case upon the ground that the plaintiff had failed to establish the allegations in the complaint. This motion was overruled by the court. The question thus raised puts in issue the trial court's finding that the plaintiff was entitled to the ownership and possession of the land in question. We accordingly hold that this point is impliedly involved in the third and fourth assignments of error. Plaintiff introduced both documentary and oral evidence. The latter consisted of the testimony of John del Rosario, and Modesto Reyes, the city attorney. o The first witness testified that he did not know of his own knowledge if the land in question belonged to the city. o The next witness testified that the land included in Calles Clavel and Barcelona was formerly part of Plaza Divisoria, which belonged to the Central Government (not the city), and that he did not know to whom it now belongs. It must be borne in mind that this witness referred to the land included in Calles Clavel and Barcelona, and not to the lots described in the complaint. These lots abut upon the streets referred to, but do not form a part of either. o The third witness, Juan Villegas, testified that the land in question was formerly included in the Gran Divisoria, and that all the land included in it belonged to the city. In this particular his testimony is at variance with that of the preceding witness, who testified that the land belonged to the Central Government. Villega's testimony was merely hearsay. It consisted of what he had learned from some of the oldest residents in that section of the city. His testimony was introduced by the plaintiff apparently for the purpose of proving that the city was generally considered the owner of the land, drawing from this fact the presumption of actual ownership. Such testimony, however, does not constitute the "common reputation" referred to in the section mentioned. "common reputation," as used in that section, is equivalent to universal reputation. The testimony of this witness is not sufficient to establish the presumption. Furthermore, this witness stated that the land in Calle Azcarraga had been partitioned between the municipality and the Central Government, share and share alike, and that the Central Government (not the city) retained Calles Gabriel de Rivera and Barcelona, which are precisely the streets on which the property abuts. o The fourth witness (Sotera Roco) testified merely that Lorenzo del Rosario had paid 100 pesos to her brother Cipriano Roco for the purpose of instituting a possessory information as to the property abutting on Calle Clavel. It appears that Lorenzo del Rosario acquired the land from Cipriano Roco and sold it to his brother Jacinto del Rosario, the defendant in this case. Notwithstanding this, and assuming that the hearsay testimony of Sotera Roco is admissible, we do not see how it can be inferred from her testimony that the plaintiff is the real owner of the property. o The witness Modesto Reyes and Lorenzo del Rosario said nothing as to the ownership of the land. They simply testified as to the authenticity of some of the documentary evidence introduced by the plaintiff. Of these documents the most important of all is the petition presented by Lorenzo del Rosario to the "mayor of the city of manila", and the letter written by him, to the Municipal Board of Manila. Lorenzo del Rosario in his testimony, admitted the authenticity of both documents which contain an offer to the municipality of Manila to purchase the land on Calle Clavel. Lorenzo del Rosario admitted also that he signed the first document under the misapprehension that the land belonged to the city, but that he had been subsequently informed by some of the city officials that the land did not belong to the municipality, but to Cipriano Roco y Vera. o He stated that he signed the second document because the President of the Municipal Board, Seor Herrera, advised him to do so in order to avoid litigation with the city. His testimony in this respect was not contradicted. o Again, Lorenzo del Rosario signed the first document before he acquired from Cipriano Roco y Vera the ownership of the land referred to therein, the second document being signed after he had transferred the land to the defendant Jacinto del Rosario, who tookpossession of the same and had it registered, as the plaintiff admits. On the other hand, the two public instruments between the defendant and Telesfora Apostol y Perea, also introduced in evidence by the plaintiff, show that the defendant was in possession of the land under a good title and with the status of owner of the land. In the first instrument if is stated so many words that the defendant is the owner in fee simple of the land, he having repurchased it from Liberio de Aurteneche y Menchacatorre, whose title had been recorded in the property register.

ISSUE: WON Lorenzos offer in the two documents be deemed admissions and therefore competent against Jacinto, the present owner DECISION: NO. Petition DENIED. HELD: From the foregoing it appears that the evidence introduced by the plaintiff does not prove its claim of title to the land in question. Neither the testimony of the witnesses presented by the plaintiff nor the documentary evidence introduced show that the city of Manila is the owner of the land, or that it has a right to its possession as claimed in the complaint. Some of the documents introduced, as well as the two public instruments referred to as having been executed in 1900, tended to support the contentions of the defendant rather than those of the plaintiff. Furthermore, the plaintiff itself admits in the complaint that the defendant's possession of the land in Calle Barcelona was recorded since March, 1901, and his possession of that in Calle Clavel since February, 1893. This shows that the defendant had been in the adverse possession of the land. According to article 448 of the Civil Code he must be presumed to hold under a just title, unless the contrary is shown. Lorenzo signed the first document before he acquired the land from Roco and the second one after he had transferred the land to del Rosario, who took possession of the same and had it registered. Whatever statements he might have made in the documents, they are not binding upon Jacinto. Under Sec. 278 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Rule 130, Sec. 31), where one derives title to real property from another, the declaration, act or omission of the latter, in relation to that property, is evidence against the former only when made while the latter holds the title. In this case, the statements were made when Lorenzo no longer had title to the lands; hence, they are no longer binding upon Jacinto. REPUBLIC v. SANDIGANBAYAN (2003) FACTS: Republic, through the PCGG, represented by the OSG, filed a petition for forfeiture before the Sandiganbayan, entitled Republic vs. Ferdinand E. Marcos, represented by his Estate/Heirs and Imelda R. Marcos. In said case, petitioner sought the declaration of the aggregate amount of US$356 million deposited in escrow in the PNB, as ill-gotten wealth. The funds were previously held by five account groups, using various foreign foundations in certain Swiss banks. Before the case was set for pre-trial, a General Agreement and the Supplemental Agreements were executed by the Marcos children and PCGG Chairman for a global settlement of the assets of the Marcos family. Subsequently, respondent Marcos children filed a motion or the approval of said agreements and for the enforcement thereof. o The General Agreement/Supplemental Agreements sought to identify, collate, cause the inventory of and distribute all assets presumed to be owned by the Marcos family under the conditions contained therein. The aforementioned General Agreement specified in one of its premises or "whereas clauses" the fact that petitioner "obtained a judgment from the Swiss Federal Tribunal, that the US$356M belongs in principle to the Republic provided certain conditionalities are met. o The said decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court affirmed the decision of Zurich District Attorney Peter Consandey, granting petitioner's request for legal assistance. Consandey declared the various deposits in the name of the enumerated foundations to be of illegal provenance and ordered that they be frozen to await the final verdict in favor of the parties entitled to restitution. 4

Petitioner filed a motion for summary judgment and/or judgment on the pleadings. Respondent Mrs. Marcos filed her opposition thereto which was later adopted by respondents Mrs. Manotoc, Mrs. Araneta and Ferdinand, Jr. o Sandiganbayan denied petitioner's motion for summary judgment and/or judgment on the pleadings on the ground that the motion to approve the compromise agreement "(took) precedence over the motion for summary judgment." After the pre-trial and the issuance of the pre-trial order and supplemental pre-trial order the case was set for trial. After several resettings, petitioner filed another motion for summary judgment pertaining to the forfeiture of the US$356 million. o Petitioner contended that, after the pre-trial conference, certain facts were established, warranting a summary judgment on the funds sought to be forfeited. Sandiganbayan granted petitioner's motion for summary judgment to the effect that the Swiss deposits which were transmitted to and now held in escrow at the PNB are deemed unlawfully acquired as ill-gotten wealth. Upon MR, the Sandiganbayan reversed its decision, thus denying petitioner's motion for summary judgment. In sum, the evidence offered for summary judgment of the case did not prove that the money in the Swiss Banks belonged to the Marcos spouses because no legal proof exists in the record as to the ownership by the Marcoses of the funds in escrow from the Swiss Banks. Hence, the present petition. Petitioner faults the Sandiganbayan for questioning the non-production of the authenticated translations of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court decisions as this was a marginal and technical matter that did not diminish by any measure the conclusiveness and strength of what had been proven and admitted before the Sandiganbayan, that is, that the funds deposited by the Marcoses constituted ill-gotten wealth and thus belonged to the Filipino people.

ISSUE: WON the Marcoses admitted ownership of the Swiss Bank deposits DECISION: YES. Petition GRANTED. HELD: Respondents make much capital of the pronouncement by the Court that the General and Supplemental Agreements were null and void. They insist that nothing in those agreements could thus be admitted in evidence against them because they stood on the same ground as an accepted offer which, under Section 27, Rule 130 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, provides that "in civil cases, an offer of compromise is not an admission of any liability and is not admissible in evidence against the offeror." o We find no merit in this contention. The declaration of nullity of said agreements was premised on the following infirmities: (1) the grant of criminal immunity to the Marcos heirs was against the law; (2) the PCGG's commitment to exempt from all forms of taxes the properties to be retained by the Marcos heirs was against the Constitution; and (3) the government's undertaking to cause the dismissal of all cases filed against the Marcoses pending before the Sandiganbayan and other courts encroached on the powers of the judiciary. The reasons relied upon by the Court never in the least bit even touched on the veracity and truthfulness of respondents' admission with respect to their ownership of the Swiss funds. Besides, having made certain admissions in those agreements, respondents cannot now deny that they voluntarily admitted owning the subject Swiss funds, notwithstanding the fact that the agreements themselves were later declared null and void. A written statement is nonetheless competent as an admission even if it is contained in a document which is not itself effective for the purpose for which it is made, either by reason of illegality, or incompetency of a party thereto, or by reason of not being signed, executed or delivered. Accordingly, contracts have been held as competent evidence of admissions, although they may be unenforceable. o The testimony of respondent Marcos, Jr. during the hearing on the motion for the approval of the Compromise Agreement also lent credence to the allegations of Republic that respondents admitted ownership of the Swiss bank accounts. Ferdinand Jr.'s pronouncements, taken in context and in their entirety, were a confirmation of respondents' recognition of their ownership of the Swiss bank deposits. Admissions of a party in his testimony are receivable against him. If a party, as a witness, deliberately concedes a fact, such concession has the force of a judicial admission. It is apparent from Marcos Jr.'s testimony that the Marcos family agreed to negotiate with the Philippine government in the hope of finally putting an end to the problems besetting the Marcos family regarding the Swiss accounts. This was doubtlessly an acknowledgment of ownership on their part. o Respondents' ownership of the Swiss bank accounts as borne out by Mrs. Marcos' manifestation is as bright as sunlight. And her claim that she is merely a beneficiary of the Swiss deposits is belied by her own signatures on the appended copies of the documents substantiating her ownership of the funds in the name of the foundations. The failure of Imelda Marcos to specifically deny the existence, much less the genuineness and due execution, of the instruments bearing her signature, was tantamount to a judicial admission of the genuineness and due execution of said instruments. o Likewise, in her Constancia, Imelda Marcos prayed for the approval of the Compromise Agreement and the subsequent release and transfer of the $150 million to the rightful owner. Said statements were indicative of Imelda's admission of the Marcoses' ownership of the Swiss deposits as in fact "the Marcoses defend that it (Swiss deposits) is a legitimate (Marcos) asset." o Respondents Imelda Manotoc, Marcos, Jr. and Irene Araneta filed a motion asking the Sandiganbayan to place the res (Swiss deposits) in custodia legis. Such display of deep, personal interest can only come from someone who believes that he has a marked and intimate right over the considerable dollar deposits. Truly, by filing said motion, the Marcos children revealed their ownership of the said deposits. o Lastly, the Undertaking entered into by the PCGG, the PNB and the Marcos foundations confirmed the Marcoses' ownership of the Swiss bank deposits. The subject Undertaking brought to light their readiness to pay the human rights victims out of the funds held in escrow in the PNB. All told, the foregoing disquisition negates the claim of respondents that "petitioner failed to prove that they acquired or own the Swiss funds" and that "it was only by arbitrarily isolating and taking certain statements made by private respondents out of context that petitioner was able to treat these as judicial admissions." An admission made in the pleadings cannot be controverted by the party making such admission and becomes conclusive on him, and that all proofs submitted by him contrary thereto or inconsistent therewith should be ignored, whether an objection is interposed by the adverse party or not. o In the absence of a compelling reason to the contrary, respondents' judicial admission of ownership of the Swiss deposits is definitely binding on them. The individual and separate admissions of each respondent bind all of them pursuant to Sections 29 and 31, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. o The declarations of a person are admissible against a party whenever a "privity of estate" exists between the declarant and the party, the term "privity of estate" generally denoting a succession in rights. Consequently, an admission of one in privity with a party to the record is competent. Without doubt, privity exists among the respondents in this case. And where several co-parties to the record are jointly interested in the subject matter of the controversy, the admission of one is competent against all.

CONFESSIONS PEOPLE v. MARLO COMPIL Y LITABAN (1995) Facts: Robbers broke into MJ Furnitures, which also served as the dwelling of its proprietors, the Spouses Manuel and Mary Jay, by detaching the window grills on the second floor where the Jays bedroom was located. The two maids were herded in the bathroom and Mary was tied and gagged in the bedroom as the robbers ransacked the room, taking P35,000 in cash and jewelry worth P30,000. Upon noticing that the two men guarding them had already left, the two maids rushed to the bedroom and freed Mary, and they all rushed to the ground floor, where they found Manuel, who apparently had just come home from their other furniture store, Best Wood Furniture, sprawled on the floor among pieces of furniture that were in disarray. He eventually died from 13 stab wounds. Jessie Bartolome, who worked at the store, told the police that he and his girlfriend, while inside an owner-type jeep parked near the furniture shop, had seen his co-workers, Marlo Compil, Baltazar Mabini and Jose Jacale, going to the back of the shop. Moreover, Compil, Mabini and Jacale all failed to report for work the day after the incident. Upon being arrested, Compil admitted his guilt and pointed to the arresting officers his co-perpetrators in the heist from a picture of the baptism of the child of Mabinis sister. Compil was further investigated at the Tayabas Police Station, and again in Manila. He confessed that he had been with the group that robbed MJ Furnitures, claiming he merely served as a lookout, for which he received P1,000, but did not go into the shop since he would be recognized. Compil claimed that his cohorts stabbed Manuel to death. Compil also claimed that, after the robbery, they all met in the house of his co-conspirators brother to share the loot and drink beer. The owner of said house confirmed the facts in Compils confession. The day after his arrest, Compil, in the presence of his lawyer and three relatives, executed a sworn statement admitting his participation in the crime as a lookout and named his six cohorts. The police, however, failed to arrest said cohorts, and an Information for robbery with homicide was later filed against Compil, who entered a plea of not guilty. Issue: Are Compils extrajudicial confessions admissible as evidence against him? Held: No. "The right to counsel attaches upon the start of an investigation, i.e., when the investigating officer starts to ask questions to elicit information and/or confessions or admissions from respondent/accused. At such point or stage, the person being interrogated must be assisted by counsel to avoid the pernicious practice of extorting forced or coerced admissions or confessions from the lips of the person undergoing interrogation for the commission of the offense." The person arrested shall have the right to communicate with his lawyer, a relative, or anyone he chooses by the most expedient means by telephone if possible or by letter or messenger. It shall be the responsibility of the arresting officer to see to it that this is accomplished. Any statement obtained in violation of the procedure herein laid down, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in whole or in part, shall be inadmissible in evidence. In this case, Compil was subjected to interrogation and confessed to the commission of the crime thrice without the assistance of counsel. The belated arrival of the CLAO lawyer the next day, even if prior to the actual signing of the uncounseled confession, does not cure the defect since the investigators had already extracted incriminatory statements from Compil. The operative act, it has been stressed, is when the police investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a particular suspect who has been taken into custody by the police to carry out a process of interrogation that lends itself to eliciting incriminatory statements, and not the signing by the suspect of his supposed extrajudicial confession. However, Compil was still found guilty of the crime, such guilt having been established through circumstantial evidence. Doctrine: The right to counsel attaches upon the start of an investigation, i.e., when the investigating officer starts to ask questions to elicit information and/or confessions or admissions from respondent/accused. Extrajudicial confession extracted without the assistance of counsel is inadmissible in evidence, even if such counsel was present at the time of the signing of the supposed confession. PEOPLE v. WONG CHUEN MING (1996) Facts: The 11 accused, all Malaysian nationals, arrived in Manila from Hong Kong as a tour group arranged by Select Tours International Co., Ltd. Upon reaching Customs, Au Wing Cheung, the tour guide, handed to the Customs examiner, Danilo Gomez, the tour group's passenger's manifest, their baggage declarations and their passports. Upon finding a number of Alpen Cereal boxes in each of the baggage of the accused, however, Gomez became suspicious and opened one of them. The baggage was found to contain a white crystalline substance which was later found to be shabu. The group was then ordered to proceed to the district collector's office, where the bagg age of the other members of the tour group were further examined. A total of 30 boxes of Alpen Cereals containing a white crystalline substance were recovered from the baggage of the 11 accused. Gomez bundled said boxes with masking tape and handed them over to Zenaida Reyes Bonifacio, Chief of the Collection Division and Acting Duty Collector of the Customs Office at the NAIA. Bonifacio then called out the names of accused as listed in the passengers' manifest and ordered them to sign on the masking tape placed on the boxes. A field test was conducted, the substance was revealed to be shabu, and the 11 accused were arrested. At Camp Crame, accused were asked to identify their signatures on the boxes and after having identified them, they were again made to sign on the plastic bags containing white crystalline substance inside the boxes bearing their signatures. A further examination by the forensic chemist of the PNP Crime Lab confirmed that the white crystalline substance was shabu. Co-accused Lim Chan Fatt admitted being responsible for bringing the boxes of Alpen Cereals into the country, but denied any knowledge that they contained shabu. Lim claimed that a certain Ah Hong, a co-boarder and a Hong Kong businessman, had asked him to bring with him boxes of cereals to the Philippines, where a certain Ah Sing would get them from him. In exchange, Ah Sing would see to it that Lim would have a good time in the Philippines. Ah Hong allegedly even opened one box to show that it really contained cereals. Lim acceded to Ah Hong's request, but since his baggage could not accommodate all 30 boxes, he requested two of his co-accused to accommodate some of the boxes in their baggage. The tour guide, Cheung, and Wong Chuen Ming denied that the boxes were recovered from their baggage, claiming they affixed their signatures on the boxes only because they were threatened by police authorities present during the examination inside the collector's office. All the accused were later found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of R.A. 6425. Issue: Are the signatures of the accused on the cereal boxes admissible as evidence against them? Held: No. Accused were not informed of their right to remain silent and to counsel and any statement they might make could be used against them, when they were made to affix their signatures on the boxes of Alpen Cereals while they were at the NAIA and again, on the plastic bags when they were already taken in custody at Camp Crame. By affixing their signatures, accused in effect made a tacit admission of the crime charged for mere possession of shabu is punished by law. These signatures of accused are tantamount to an uncounselled extrajudicial confession which is not sanctioned by the Bill of Rights (Section 12 (1)(3), Article III, 1987 Constitution). They are, therefore, inadmissible as evidence for any admission wrung from the accused in violation of their constitutional rights is inadmissible against them. The fact that all accused are foreign nationals does not preclude application of the "exclusionary rule" because the constitutional guarantees embodied in the Bill of Rights are given and extend to all persons, both aliens and citizens. Among the prosecution witnesses, only Gomez testified that all the seized baggage, including those owned by Chuen Ming and Wing Cheung, contained a box or boxes of shabu. However, Gomez's testimony inculpating accused-appellants was not corroborated by other prosecution witnesses. The presumption of regularity in the performance of duties accorded to Gomez cannot, by itself, prevail over the constitutional right of accused-appellants to be presumed innocent especially in the light of the foregoing testimonies of other prosecution witnesses. Doctrine: Extrajudicial confession extracted in violation of the accuseds constitutional rights is inadmissible as evidence against hi m. That fact that he is a foreign national does not preclude application of the "exclusionary rule" because the constitutional guarantees embodied in the Bill of Rights are given and extend to all persons, both aliens and citizens. 6

PEOPLE v. SUAREZ (1997) FACTS: Arlene Tuyor was awakened by loud knocking sounds on the door of her room. She was a domestic helper at that time, working in the household of Estrellita Guzman. Also in the house then were the nieces of Estrellita, namely, Babyruth, Cristy and Marivic. Babyruth and Marivic had been adopted by Estrellita as her own daughters. Marivic's husband, Jojo Suarez, and her three children likewise lived in Estrellita's bungalow-type house. Upon opening the door, Tuyor was surprised to see Jojo surrounded by two men wearing black nylon cloths over their heads and faces. The men immediately entered her room, tied her up and asked for her money. She was also asked if she knew Jojo. Getting no response from Tuyor, the intruders left her room bringing Suarez with them. When Tuyor went out of her room, she saw Marivic weeping in the living room. She proceeded to her employer's bedroom and found Estrellita bleeding and lying on her bed. All this time, accused Suarez was just sitting on the chair of the piano. Estrellita later died due to severe hemorrhage secondary to stab wounds. When police investigators arrived at the scene of the crime, they found a half-eaten chicken on the dining table, four pieces of black nylon cloth, pieces of blue and white ropes, three pieces of cloth, and two strands of ordinary wire. They initially surmised that the intruders had forcibly entered the house through its back door located in the kitchen.They arrived at this conclusion after finding a piece of wire inserted in the knob of the kitchen door and its chain lock's anchor detached from the doorjamb. Ferdinand Suarez narrated to Patrolman Roxas [what he claimed happened. The lawyer of the family of the deceased sought the help of the NBI. The case was assigned to Atty. Ranin. Atty. Ranin concluded that the perpetrators could not have entered the house without the aid of somebody inside as the bolt lock of the kitchen door can only be released from within. He had one suspect in mind, that is, Jojo. Ranin had discovered in the course of his investigation that there were no signs of injuries or rope marks on Suarez and that he was not on good terms with Estrellita when the crime happened. He was even found positive for deception after taking the polygraph test at the NBI. Suarez eventually revealed to Ranin his involvement in the commission of the crime after Ranin told him that he had damaging information to the effect that Suarez had left the house that night. In his sworn statement before the NBI, Suarez said that one Loreto Reyes, alias "Dondon" or Larry, approached him and talked to him to allow Reyes and his group to rob their house as they badly needed money for the Christmas season. It was only after the group threatened to kill him that Suarez acceded to their demand, on the condition that they would only steal but should not kill him. The NBI soon found out that "Dondon" or Larry is Loreto Reyes, a former neighbor of Suarez. Reyes also admitted his participation in the commission of the crime and gave a written statement to the NBI. o He began his confession by implicating Wilfredo Lara in the crime. He said that while he, Arthur Lara, Morris Santos, and Eduardo Lozada were doing nothing in their place, Lara approached them and told them that he had some good news. Lara told them that he was asked by Suarez to look for some men who could kill his Auntie Estrellita. Reyes could not believe what he heard, so Lara called Suarez to let him tell the gang about his offer. Atty. Ranin was able to retrieve the duplicate keys used by the gang from the father of Reyes after Reyes had admitted that the keys could be found in his father's house in Montalban. Lara was arrested by the NBI. He likewise confessed his participation in the crime and gave a sworn statement. An information for the crime of robbery with homicide was filed against Ferdinand Suarez, Loreto Reyes, Wilfredo Lara, Maria Victoria G. Suarez, Noli Licsi, Vicente Rodriguez, and Morris Santos in the RTC. Only accused Suarez, Reyes and Lara were brought within the jurisdiction of the lower court as the other accused went into hiding. Suarez, Reyes and Lara pleaded not guilty despite their earlier confessions before the NBI. Although they admitted that they signed and placed their thumbmarks on their respective statements, they tried to show during their trial that those statements were procured through coercion, intimidation and violence by the NBI agents and without the assistance of counsel. Relying on the extrajudicial confessions of the accused and on the circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution, the trial court found the three accused guilty of robbery with homicide.

ISSUE: WON the extrajudicial confessions of the accused should be admitted to evidence DECISION: YES. HELD: Although an extrajudicial confession is admissible only against the confessant, jurisprudence makes it admissible as corroborative evidence of other facts that tend to establish the guilt of his co-accused. The lower court treated the confessions of the three accused as interlocking confessions sufficient to corroborate and bolster the truth of each accused's own incriminating statements. This doctrine of interlocking confessions has been accepted and recognized in numerous decisions of this Court as an exception to the res inter alios acta rule and the hearsay rule. o Reyes' confession is thus admissible against Lara to show the probable involvement of the latter in the perpetration of the crime. Where the confession is used as circumstantial evidence to show the probability of participation by an accused co-conspirator, that confession is receivable as evidence against him. The extrajudicial confessions of accused Reyes and appellant Lara were freely and voluntarily given and that their retraction and claims of violence and coercion were merely belated contrivances and efforts at exculpation. Their claim that they were forced to sign their respective statements was sufficiently refuted by the witnesses for the prosecution who were present on the day and time the duo gave and signed their sworn statements. Once the prosecution has shown that there was compliance with the constitutional requirement on pre-interrogation advisories, a confession is presumed to be voluntary and the declarant bears the burden of proving that his confession is involuntary and untrue. The burden is on the accused to destroy this presumption. A confession is admissible until the accused successfully proves that it was given as a result of violence, intimidation, threat, or promise of reward or leniency. o Reyes stated that he had been assisted by counsel during the custodial investigation and appellant Lara confirmed that he was assisted by a lawyer when he waived his constitutional rights. Additionally, several witnesses for the People testified before the lower court that the constitutional mandates were observed during their investigation. Reyes and Lara were not even able to show any evil or dubious motive corrosive of the credibility of these witnesses whom the court a quo found more worthy of belief than the witnesses for the defense. o Accused failed to submit any evidence, apart from their own testimony, that violence and intimidation had been inflicted upon them to extort their sworn confessions. They never complained to Prosecutor Capistrano nor to anyone else about the physical beatings that they claim had been inflicted upon them. They did not ask for medical assistance and there was no proof that any such request was denied. Extrajudicial confessions independently made without collusion, almost identical with each other in their essential details which could have been known only to the declarants, and corroborated by other evidence against the person or persons implicated to show the probability of the latter' s actual participation in the commission of the crime, are thus impressed with features of voluntariness in their execution. Also, the failure of an accused to complain to the swearing officer or to file charges against the persons who allegedly maltreated him, although he had all the chances to do so, manifests voluntariness in the execution of the confession. We find no merit in herein appellant' s contention that Atty. Saunar was not Reyes' own choice as counsel for the interrogation. A lawyer provided by the investigators is deemed engaged by the accused where he never raised any objection against the former's appointment during the course of the investigation and the accused thereafter subscribes to the veracity of his statement before the swearing officer. o To be an effective counsel, a lawyer need not challenge all the questions being propounded to his client. The presence of a lawyer is not intended to stop an accused from saying anything which might incriminate him but, rather, it was adopted in our Constitution to preclude the slightest coercion as would lead the accused to admit something false. The counsel, however, should never prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the truth. Hence, absent any showing that the lawyers who assisted the accused were remiss in their duties, it can be safely concluded that the custodial investigation of Reyes and Lara were regularly conducted. 7

Even disregarding for a moment Reyes' extrajudicial declaration, appellant Lara can still be held accountable under his own sworn statement. Well-entrenched is the rule that it is not necessary that an eyewitness should testify to having seen the accused committing the crime or had seen him under circumstances indicating his having committed the crime, before the accused may be held liable under his confession. This is how much weight and credence our jurisprudence gives to a confession. The Rules of Court provide that "(t)he declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or any offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence against him. " Of course, when the confession is made outside of court proceedings, it must be accompanied by evidence of the corpus delicti to be sufficient for conviction. If it is made freely and voluntarily, a confession constitutes evidence of a high order since it is supported by the strong presumption that no sane person or one of a normal mind will deliberately and knowingly confess himself to be the perpetrator of a crime unless prompted by truth and conscience. PEOPLE v. BASE (2000)

FACTS:

3 men arrived in the residence of Julianito Luna. One was identified to be called Apple who knocked at the door and the person who accompanied his two other companions. After Apple left, Julianito Luna who was the Barangay Captain of the place together with his wife and son Arvin went out and Julianito Luna talked with the two men who introduced themselves as policemen and were looking for one Hernandez. Julianito told the two men that he did not know the man they were looking for and told Arvin to accompany the two men to one Ka Prado. At that juncture the man armed with a .45 pistol shot Julianito once hitting the latter on his head and Julianito sprawled on the ground. After the shooting the two men ran towards their top down owner jeep colored green parked on the National Highway in front of the residence of Julianito Luna and thereafter sped away. Julianito Luna was rushed to a local hospital but he expired due to the gun shot wound. Early reports having reached police, a team was immediately dispatched to track down the assassins of Julianito Luna and in due time the motor vehicle of the assassins was recovered in the premises of the house of Mrs. Quizon already parked but without the assassins. The motor vehicle was brought to the camp of the 217th PC Co., but was immediately returned to the place based upon a notion that the assassins would come back to the place to recover the same vehicle. Elberto Base one of the accused arrived in the premises of the house of Mrs. Quizon in order to recover the top down owner type jeep and it was then when he was collared by a team of PC soldiers who were all in civilian clothes and brought to the camp together with the motor vehicle. In the camp in a line-up of several people Elberto Base was positively identified by Amelia Quizon as one of the passengers of the jeep who parked the jeep in her premises and also the person who tried to recover the jeep when he was finally collared by the PC soldiers. What made her so remember Base is the scar on the face of the latter. Before the vehicle in question was brought by the assassins, the latter passed by the house of the brother of Leo Vale and because the brother of Leo Vale was not there, Leo Vale was requested by the passengers of the jeep to accompany them to the house of the husband of Amelia Quizon to which request Leo Vale acceded. And in a line-up of several people Leo Vale positively identified accused Elberto Base as one of the passengers of the jeep whom he accompanied to Lipa City, and which identification he reiterated when he testified in Court. He also identified the subject vehicle. The owner of the jeep involved was established to be that of Loreto Angeles of Paraaque. Accused Frederick Lazaro known to him as a policemen of Paraaque together with accused Eduardo Patrocinio borrowed from him the said vehicle telling him that he was going to Pangasinan, to which request he acceded and promising him to return said jeep the following day. While in the camp of the 217th PC Company Elberto Base executed a written Sworn Statement with the assistance and presence of Atty. Reyes, who testified in court, to the effect that he assisted the accused in the execution of his statement, by telling Elberto Base of his constitutional rights before said execution. He further testified that throughout the proceedings he was present and the accused read the contents of his statement before swearing to the truth of the same. A perusal of the statement of Elberto Base shows that he was well aware of the intended plot to kill Julianito Luna, by admitting that a week before the killing he was with the assassins surveiling the residence of Julianito Luna. Accused-appellant denied having anything to do with the fatal shooting of the victim and alleges, in sum, that he was tortured to admit the crime. He was trussed up at the neck, bound hand and foot with abaca rope with his hands tied behind his back. He was then loaded on a top down jeep and brought to the 217th PC Company Detachment in Rosario, Batangas. Upon their arrival at the PC Detachment, accused-appellant was brought to the CAFGU barracks and there he was mauled, pounded with gun barrels and gun butts by 15 persons and forced to admit to the shooting of the victim. As a result of the mauling, his lips bled and he broke a tooth. To underscore just how tightly his captors bound him, accused-appellant likewise showed the court a quo a scar on his left arm allegedly caused by the tying of the rope. After he was manhandled, he was interrogated by Sgt. Romulo Mercado who sat by a typewriter and took down his statements. With regard to the manner in which the custodial interrogation was conducted and the Sworn Statement was executed, accused-appellant testified that his pleas to his interrogators that they observe his constitutional rights went unheeded. He likewise claimed that although the sworn statement bore the attesting signature of Atty. Romeo Reyes, he neither knew nor saw Atty. Reyes at the 217th PC Detachment. Accused-appellant denied thet he knew his co-accused Conrado Guno, Frederick Lazaro and Eduardo Patrocinio. He likewise denied knowing Leo Valle and Erlinda Angeles.

ISSUE: WON the accused Sworn Statement is admissible against him DECISION: YES. Decision AFFIRMED. HELD: Section 12, Article III of the Constitution embodies the mandatory safeguards afforded a person under investigation for the commission of a crime and the concomitant duty of the State and its agencies to enforce such mandate Numerous decisions of this Court rule that for an extrajudicial confession to be admissible, it must be: 1.] voluntary; 2.] made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; 3.] express; and 4.] in writing. o The mantle of protection afforded by the above quoted constitutional provision covers the period from the time a person is taken into custody for the investigation of his possible participation in the commission of a crime or from the time he is singled out as a suspect in the commission of the offense although not yet in custody. The exclusionary rule is premised on the presumption that the defendant is thrust into an unfamiliar atmosphere running through menacing police interrogation procedures where the potentiality for compulsion, physical or psychological is forcefully apparent. However, the rule is not intended as a deterrent to the accused from confessing guilt if he voluntarily and intelligently so desires but to protect the accused from admitting what he is coerced to admit although untrue. It must be remembered in this regard that while the right to counsel is immutable, the option to secure the services of counsel de parte is not absolute. While the initial choice in cases where a person under custodial investigation cannot afford the services of a lawyer is naturally lodged in the police investigators, the accused really has the final choice as he may reject the counsel chosen for him and ask for another one. A lawyer provided by the investigators is deemed engaged by the accused where he never raised any objection against the formers appointment during the course of the investigation and the accused t hereafter subscribes to the veracity of his statement before the swearing officer. o Verily, to be an effective counsel "[a] lawyer need not challenge all the questions being propounded to his client. The presence of a lawyer is not intended to stop an accused from saying anything which might incriminate him but, rather, it was adopted in our Constitution to preclude the slightest coercion as would lead the accused to admit something false. The counsel, however, should never prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the truth." A circumspect scrutiny of the records leaves this Court unconvinced of accused-appellants claim that he was not adequately assisted by counsel during his custodial interrogation. o Sgt. Mercado remained steadfast and unwavering with regard to the regularity in the conduct of the investigation despite repeated attempts of defense counsel to throw him off track on cross examination. Even more revealing on the voluntariness in the taking of accused-appellants statement is the following testimony of Atty. Romeo T. Reyes who was with the accused and assisted him during the taking. Like Sgt. Mercado, Atty. Reyes remained constant and steadfast despite intense 8

grilling by defense counsel on cross-examination. The testimony vividly shows that Atty. Reyes participation during the custodial investigation of accused was anything but perfunctory. Much less could it be argued that he was remiss in his duties to assist the accused. On the contrary, they in fact underscore his active participation in the proceedings. To support his claim that his sworn statement was irregularly taken, accused-appellant further insists that the same was obtained through force and paints a graphic picture of torture at the hands of fifteen persons who repeatedly beat him up with gun barrels and butts as a result of which he allegedly lost a tooth and sustained contusions, a busted mouth and broken bones at his back. We remain unpersuaded. For all accused-appellants protestations to the contrary, his tale of coercion and torture in the hands of his interrogators taxes credulity vis--vis his testimonial declarations that despite supposedly being severely mauled and sustaining injuries as a result thereof he did not: 1.] complain to the senior officer of his interrogators about how he was treated during his custodial investigation; 2.] tell his wife of his injuries when she arrived the next day nor did he ask her to take him to a hospital for treatment; 3.] inform his lawyer of the alleged injuries he sustained at the hands of his interrogators although he had several opportunities to do so; 4.] inform his lawyer that he was forced to sign the sworn statement; 5.] present any medical certificate to prove the existence of his alleged injuries. o Topping accused-appellants incredible tale of torture is his almost two-year silence on the incident which only came to light when he testified in court. Accusedappellant explains away these lapses as the products of his fear of his interrogators. However, his failure to speak up and disclose his fear at the earliest opportunity subjects to serious doubt the reality and substance of that supposed fear. Along the same vein, accused-appellants unsupported claims of physical abuse in the hands of his interrogators simply ring hollow in the absence of other proof to corroborate them. o Going by accused-appellants account, the Court likewise finds it odd for accused -appellants interrogators who picked him up for questioning as he disembarked from a bus at Mataas na Lupa, Lipa City to take a detour by first bringing him to Lodlod, Lipa City at the house of Amelia Quizon where he was bound hand and foot at gun point, loaded on a top down jeep and then brought to the 217th PC Detachment in Rosario, Batangas instead of being forthwith taken to the PC Camp for questioning after being apprehended at the bus stop. Suffice it to state in this regard that such circumstances narrated by accused-appellant only tends to underscore the incongruity of his tale of torture. o A circumspect scrutiny of accused-appellants Sinumpaang Salaysay clearly shows how he and his co-accused planned the killing of the deceased as well as the sequence of events before and after the occurrence of the incident. These events could not have been supplied either any of those interviewed by the peace officers or by the peace officers themselves because the said statement is replete with details which only one who has an intricate knowledge thereof can supply. o When, as in this case, "[a]n extrajudicial statement satisfies the requirements of the Constitution, it constitutes evidence of a high order because of the strong presumption that no person of normal mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to a crime unless prompted by truth and conscience. Unfortunately for accused-appellant, he failed to overcome the overwhelming prosecution evidence to the contrary. Section 3, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court provides that "[a]n extrajudicial confession made by an accused shall not be sufficient ground for conviction, unless corroborated by evidence ofcorpus delicti." In this case the prosecution presented other evidence to prove the two elements of corpus delicti, to wit: a.] a certain result has been proven, i.e. a man has died; and 2.] some person is criminally responsible. In this case, it is indubitable that a crime has been committed and that the other pieces of prosecution evidence clearly show that accused-appellant had conspired with the other accused to commit the crime. In fact, he was seen by the prosecution witnesses in the company of his other co-accused. Furthermore, Atty. Romeo T. Reyes and the interrogator, Sgt. Romulo Mercado, testified to the voluntariness of his confession. In this regard, it must be stressed that the aforementioned rule merely requires that there should be some other evidence "tending to show the commission of the crime apart from the confession."

PEOPLE v. ULIT (2004) FACTS: Upon the sworn complaint of the victim Lucelle Serrano, 4 Infos for rape and acts of lasciviousness were filed against her uncle, the appellant. The appellant, assisted by counsel, pleaded not guilty during the arraignment. Joint trial of all the cases ensued. The prosecution presented Lucelle as its first witness. o She testified that her uncle, the appellant, did something to her. When the prosecution asked her what happened, Lucelle did not answer. When asked if she wanted to continue with her testimony, again, she did not respond. She cried profusely in open court. When asked by the court if she wanted to proceed with the trial, she remained silent. The trial court ordered that Lucelle be subjected to physical and psychological examinations. Dr. Samson examined Lucelle and submitted her Report which stated that she is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Thus, she avoids recollections of the trauma. o The prosecution presented Lucelle anew to continue with her testimony on direct examination. She declared that the appellant raped her and many other times thereafter in her residence. Instead of asking questions to elicit the facts and circumstances before and during the commission of the crimes, the prosecutor asked Lucelle to identify her signature in her sworn statement and to affirm the truth of its contents. She did so. The public prosecutor then marked the sworn statement in evidence and then manifested to the court that he had no more questions for the witness on direct examination. In her sworn statement, Lucelle alleged that, she was sleeping in a room in the house.. She was awakened when she felt someone kissing her on the cheek. When she opened her eyes, she saw her uncle, the appellant, armed with a bladed weapon (balisong). He poked the weapon on the left side of her neck. He warned her that if she told her parents, he would kill her. He removed her panties, undressed himself and mounted her. He then inserted his penis into her vagina. She felt pain in her private part and cried. The appellant, thereafter, left the room. Also The appellant continued kissing her whenever her parents were out of the house. Believing that the appellant had been abusing their daughter, Celso and Lourdes brought Lucelle to Barangay Chairman Romeo Medina. On their way, Lucelle adamantly refused to tell her parents what the appellant did to her. However, when they reached the barangay headquarters, Lucelle told the barangay chairman that the appellant sexually abused her. Thereafter, Lourdes filed a complaint with the barangay chairman. Brgy Tanod David testified that the brgy chairman ordered him and Brgy Tanod Echavez to invite and bring the appellant to the barangay hall. The barangay chairman asked the appellant if he raped Lucelle and the latter replied that he did. A Sinumpaang Salaysay was prepared in the Office of the Barangay Chairman in which the appellant admitted that he raped Lucelle, despite her resistance, and that he threatened to kill her and her family if she divulged the incidents to her parents. The appellant signed his statement in the presence of the barangay chairman and the barangay tanods. The appellant was brought to the Makati City Police Headquarters where Celso, Lourdes and Lucelle filed a complaint against him for rape and acts of laciviousness. SPO4 Lilia Hogar of the Womens Desk Unit took the sworn statements of Lourdes and Lucelle. She conducted a custodial investigation of the appellant who was without counsel during which the latter admitted having raped the victim. SPO4 Hogar also prepared a report on her investigation of the victi ms complaint. When the prosecution offered in evidence the appellants Sinumpaang Salaysay before the barangay chairman as part of the test imony of Barangay Tanod Fernando David, the appellant objected to its admission on the ground that the appellant was not assisted by counsel and that, he was forced and coerced into signing the same. Nevertheless, the trial court admitted the statement as part of Davids testimony. The appellants counsel, likewise, objected to the admissibility of Lucelles sworn statement on the ground that she was incompetent to give the same because of her mental illness. The trial court admitted the sworn statement of Lucelle. After the prosecution had rested its case, the accuseds counsel manifested to the court that the appellant was changing his plea in from not guilty to guilty for the 2 counts. He also manifested that he would no longer adduce any evidence in his defense for the other 2 counts because the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt for the crimes charged therein. TC convicted the appellant of all the crimes charged. Upon appeal, the appellant does not contest his conviction for rape, and the validity of the proceedings in the said cases in the trial court. He pleads, however, that he be spared the death penalty. He asserts that he was so remorseful for the crimes he committed and that he pleaded guilty. Nevertheless, the appeal in a criminal case is a review de novo and the court is not limited to the assigned errors.

ISSUE: WON the admission of the accused in the brgy proceedings is admissible in evidence 9

DECISION: YES.. Decision of the RTC in Criminal Cases Nos. 97-385 to 97-388 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. The appellant Feliciano Ulit y Tampoy is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of rape in Criminal Cases Nos. 97-385 and 97-386, HELD: Appellants Plea of Guilty in Criminal Case No. 97-385 was Imprudently Made. In Criminal Case No. 97-385, the appellant was charged with qualified rape, i.e., the rape of his niece, who was a minor, punishable by death under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659. Undoubtedly, the appellant was charged with a capital offense. When the appellant informed the trial court of his decision to change his plea of not guilty to guilty, it behooved the trial court to conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehens ion of the consequences of his plea as mandated by Section 6, Rule 116 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. o The raison detre for the rule is that the courts must proceed with extreme care where the imposable penalty is death, considering that the execution of such sentence is irrevocable. Experience has shown that even innocent persons have at times pleaded guilty. There is no hard and fast rule as to how the trial judge may conduct a searching inquiry. It has been held, however, that the focus of the inquiry must be on the voluntariness of the plea and the full or complete comprehension by the accused of his plea of guilty so that it can truly be said that it is based on a free and informed judgment. In People vs. Aranzado, we formulated the following guidelines as to how the trial court may conduct its searching inquiry: (1) Ascertain from the accused himself (a) how he was brought into the custody of the law; (b) whether he had the assistance of a competent counsel during the custodial and preliminary investigations; and (c) under what conditions he was detained and interrogated during the investigations. These the court shall do in order to rule out the possibility that the accused has been coerced or placed under a state of duress either by actual threats of physical harm coming from malevolent or avenging quarters. (2) Ask the defense counsel a series of questions as to whether he had conferred with, and completely explained to, the accused the meaning and consequences of a plea of guilty. (3) Elicit information about the personality profile of the accused, such as his age, socio-economic status, and educational background, which may serve as a trustworthy index of his capacity to give a free and informed plea of guilty. (4) Inform the accused the exact length of imprisonment or nature of the penalty under the law and the certainty that he will serve such sentence. Not infrequently indeed an accused pleads guilty in the hope of a lenient treatment or upon bad advice or because of promises of the authorities or parties of a lighter penalty should he admit guilt or express remorse. It is the duty of the judge to see to it that the accused does not labor under these mistaken impressions. (5) Require the accused to fully narrate the incident that spawned the charges against him or make him reenact the manner in which he perpetrated the crime, or cause him to supply missing details or significance. In People vs. Ostia, we held that the trial court is also required to probe thoroughly into the reasons or motivations, as well as the facts and circumstances for a change of plea of the accused and his comprehension of his plea; explain to him the elements of the crime for which he is charged as well as the nature and effect of any modifying circumstances attendant to the commission of the offense, inclusive of mitigating and aggravating circumstances, as well as the qualifying and special qualifying circumstances, and inform him of the imposable penalty and his civil liabilities for the crime for which he would plead guilty to. In this case, the trial court failed to make a searching inquiry into the appellants voluntariness and full comprehension of his plea of guilty. o First. The trial court did not ask the appellant his reasons for changing his plea, from not guilty to that of guilty, and the cogent circumstances that led him to decide to do so. o Second. It appears in the Informations filed by the Public Prosecutor that the appellant opted not to avail himself of his right to a regular preliminary investigation and refused to execute a waiver under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. The records also show that the appellant executed a Sinumpaang Salaysay while detained at the barangay hall where he confessed to having raped the victim. However, the trial court did not ask the appellant whether he was assisted by counsel when he was brought to the Office of the Public Prosecutor for inquest investigation. Neither did the court a quo inquire about the circumstances and the appellants reasons for refusing to execute the said waiver. o Third. The trial court also failed to ascertain from the appellant whether he was assisted by counsel when he executed his Sinumpaang Salaysay while detained at the barangay hall; and, if he was not so assisted by counsel, whether he had waived his right thereto, before and when he signed his Sinumpaang Salaysay. o Fourth. The trial court failed to ask the appellant why he was pleading guilty to a rape committed in November 1996, when in his Sinumpaang Salaysay,[31] he confessed to having raped the victim only in February 1997 and March 2, 1997. The appellant did not admit having raped her in November 1996 as alleged in the Information in Criminal Case No. 97-385. The trial court did not even inquire from the appellant who prepared and typed his Sinumpaang Salaysay and if the contents of his statement were explained to him before he signed the same. o Fifth. The trial court did not explain the following to the appellant, in plain and simple terms so as to be understood by him: (a) the elements of the crime of qualified rape; (b) the circumstances of relationship and the minority of the victim; and (c) that his plea of guilty to qualified rape would not mitigate the penalty for the crime in light of Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. o Sixth. It was not explained to the appellant that if convicted of qualified rape, he would be civilly liable to the victim in the amount of P50,000 as moral damages and P75,000 as civil indemnity ex delicto. o Seventh. Neither did the trial court inquire from the appellants counsel whether the meaning and the consequences of a guilt y plea were explained to the appellant in a language or dialect known to and understood by him. o Eight. The trial court failed to delve into and ascertain from the appellant his age, educational attainment and socio-economic status. o Ninth. The trial court failed to ask the appellant to narrate the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident of qualified rape as charged in Criminal Case No. 97-385. o Tenth. The appellant was not asked if he desired to adduce evidence in Criminal Case No. 97-385 in spite of his plea of guilty. The prosecution had already rested its case when the appellant decided to change his plea. It is, thus, incumbent upon this Court to determine whether the evidence adduced by the prosecution in Criminal Case No. 97-385 is sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt the appellants guilt for qualified rape. In determining the guilt of the accused in rape cases, the Court is guided by the ff considerations: (a) that an accusation of rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove, but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove; (b) that in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime which usually involves two persons, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and (c) that the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defense. It, likewise, bears stressing that in all criminal prosecutions, without regard to the nature of the defense which the accused may raise, the burden of proof remains at all times upon the prosecution to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The Prosecution Adduced Proof of the Appellants Guilt Beyond Reasonable Doubt of the Crime of Rape in Criminal Case No. 97-385 The prosecution adduced proof beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant raped the victim in November 1996. The victim declared in her sworn statement, on direct examination and her testimony on clarificatory questions made by the trial court, that indeed, the appellant raped her in November 1996. Lucelle testified on and affirmed the truth of the contents of her sworn statement which she herself had given. As gleaned from the said statement, she narrated how and when the appellant raped and subjected her to lascivious acts. She was cross-examined by the appellants counsel and answered the trial courts clarificatory questions. The prosecution offered her sworn statement as part of her testimony and the court admitted the same for the said purpose without objection on the part of the appellant. 10

The Prosecution Proved Beyond Reasonable Doubt that the Appellant Raped the Victim in February 1997 The trial court convicted the appellant of rape in Criminal Case No. 97-386 on the basis of Lucelles sworn statement the testimony of her mother, Lourdes Serrano, the appellants statement executed in the Barangay Chairmans Office, and the testimony of Dr. Armie Soreta -Umil. We agree with the trial courts findings and conclusion. First. In Lucelles sworn statement,[48] she declared that the appellant subjected her to sexual abuse. Second. Lourdes saw Lucelle in bed (papag) in Marinas room, covered with a blanket beside the appellant who was wearing a pair of short pants and undershirt. He slid down from thepapag, went under the bed and slipped outside. When Lourdes removed the blanket, she saw Lucelle trembling with fear, lying sidewise, her knees near her chin (nakabaluktot). Third. The appellant admitted to the barangay chairman on March 5, 1997, that he raped Lucelle in February 1997. o Although the appellant was not assisted by counsel at the time he gave his statement to the barangay chairman and when he signed the same, it is still admissible in evidence against him because he was not under arrest nor under custodial investigation when he gave his statement. o The exclusionary rule is premised on the presumption that the defendant is thrust into an unfamiliar atmosphere and runs through menacing police interrogation procedures where the potentiality for compulsion, physical and psychological, is forcefully apparent. As intended by the 1971 Constitutional Convention, this covers investigation conducted by police authorities which will include investigations conducted by the municipal police, the PC and the NBI and such other police agencies in our government. The barangay chairman is not deemed a law enforcement officer for purposes of applying Section 12(1) and (3) of Article III of the Constitution. Under these circumstances, it cannot be successfully claimed that the appel lants statement before the barangay chairman is inadmissible.

FACTS:

PEOPLE VS TOMAQUIN (2004)

Tomaquin together with Rico and others were having drinking spree. Tomaquin left the group saying he has a headache. At the behest of Rico Magdasal, the group transferred to Lorega proper. A few minutes later, they heard Rustica Isogan shouting for help as the latter heard Jaquelyn. In the kitchen, they saw Jaquelyn bloodied. Jaquelyn was brought to the hospital, where she expired. A neighbor later found a tres cantos with blood on it by the stairs, which Rico also identified to be appellants. Bgy tanods Julius Yosores and Armando Zabate of Lorega, Cebu City, searched for appellant because of the information given by Rico Magdasal that the shoes and tres cantos found in the scene of the crime belonged to appellant. Together with Rico, they went to the house of Wilson Magdasal where appellant was temporarily staying, and found him sleeping. Appellant was wearing a bloodstained maong shorts. The tanods told appellant that he is a suspect in the killing of Jaquelyn, and brought him to the house of barangay captain Atty. Fortunato Parawan. There, appellant was asked about the shirt he was wearing and he told them that it was in Wilson Magdasals house . It was Edgar Magdasal who found his shirt, wet and bloodstained, among the soiled clothes. Appellant was investigated by SPO2 Mario Monilar of the Homicide Section. After being apprised of his constitutional rights, appellant told SPO2 Monilar that he was willing to confess and asked for Atty. Parawan, the barangay captain, to assist him. SPO2 Monilar called Atty. Parawan but the latter told him that he will be available in the afternoon. When Atty. Parawan arrived at 2:00 in the afternoon, he conferred with appellant for around fifteen minutes. Atty. Parawan then called SPO2 Monilar and told him that appellant was ready to give his statement. Appellants extrajudicial confession was taken in Cebuano dialect. On the witness stand, appellant did not deny that he had a drinking spree with Rico Magdasal and three other persons. His version of the incident is that it was Rico who committed the crime and not him. Appellant claims that Rico and Edgar Magdasal maltreated him in the presence of barangay captain Atty. Fortunato Parawan when he was brought to the latters house. He was made to admit committing the crime because Rico has a family while he is single. Appellant also repudiated his extrajudicial confession, saying that Atty. Parawan merely asked him to sign a blank sheet of paper and in exchange, Atty. Parawan promised to assist and help him with his expenses. RTC convicted him of Murder.

ISSUE: WON the extrajudicial confession executed by appellant, with the assistance of Atty. Fortunato Parawan, is admissible in evidence against him. DECISION: NO. Accused ACQUITTED. HELD: The words "competent and independent counsel" in the constitutional provision is not an empty rhetoric. It stresses the need to accord the accused, under the uniquely stressful conditions of a custodial investigation, an informed judgment on the choices explained to him by a diligent and capable lawyer. 1. Atty. Fortunato Parawan, at that time, was the barangay captain of Barangay Lorega, Cebu City. As barangay captain, is called upon to enforce the law and ordinances in his barangay and ensure peace and order at all times. In fact, as barangay captain, Atty. Parawan is deemed a person in authority under Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code, On these bases, it is not legally possible to consider Atty. Parawan as an independent counsel of appellant. o Considering that Atty. Parawans role as a barangay captain, was a peacekeeping officer of his barangay and therefore in direct conflict with the role of providing competent legal assistance to appellant who was accused of committing a crime in his jurisdiction, Atty. Parawan could not be considered as an independent counsel of appellant, when the latter executed his extrajudicial confession. What the Constitution requires is the presence of an independent and competent counsel, one who will effectively undertake his clients defense without any intervening conflict of interest. 2. Neither does Atty. Parawan qualify as a competent counsel, i.e., an effective and vigilant counsel. An "effective and vigilant counsel" necessarily and logically requires that the lawyer be present and able to advise and assist his client from the time the confessant answers the first question asked by the investigating officer until the signing of the extrajudicial confession. 3. Moreover, the lawyer should ascertain that the confession is made voluntarily and that the person under investigation fully understands the nature and the consequence of his extrajudicial confession in relation to his constitutional rights. By the time Atty. Parawan arrived, the investigation had already started and SPO2 Monilar had already asked and elicited information from appellant. Worse, Atty. Parawan merely "observed" during the entire investigation and failed to advise or explain to appellant the questions being propounded by SPO2 Monilar. He did not even bother to ask appellant if the extrajudicial confession he was about to execute was being voluntarily given. 4. Moreover, that Atty. Parawan is not an effective and vigilant counsel is bolstered by his own testimony that he already suspected appellant as having committed the crime when the latter was brought to his house by the barangay tanods The Court cannot imagine how Atty. Parawan could have effectively safeguarded appellants rights as an accused during the investigation when he himself entertained the suspicion that appellant is guilty of the crime charged, and naturally, he would want appellant to admit having committed it. 5. It was posited that appellant cannot challenge Atty. Parawans qualification as a competent and independent counsel because he was his choice. It appears that appellant chose Atty. Parawan because he was the barangay captain of Brgy. Lorega where appellant resides, and apparently, appellant trusts Atty. Parawan to protect his rights. The latter, however, fell short in tending to the trust reposed on him. Appellant did not finish Grade 1 and does not know how to read and write.As between him and Atty. Parawan who presumably knows the intricacies of the law and appellants predicament, Atty. Parawan should have known better and exercised his sound judgment before conceding to appellants choice Clearly, Atty. Parawan failed to meet the exacting standards of an independent and competent counsel as required by the Constitution. Thus, the extrajudicial confession executed by appellant, even if gospel truth, is deemed an uncounselled confession and therefore, inadmissible in evidence. Without appellants extrajudicial confession, the prosecutions case now teeters precariously on circumstantial evidence, namely: o (1) Rico Magdasals testimony that: (a) appellant left their drinking session at 1:00 in the morning of December 16, 1996; (b) the tres cantos and pair of shoes found inside Jaquelyns residence belongs to appellant; and 11

(c) appellant was wearing a pair of maong shorts and white sando shirt on the night of the crime, which blood-stained shirt was found among the soiled clothes in Wilson Magdasals house; o (2) Medical Technologist Jude Daniel Mendozas testimony that the blood stains on appellants sando shirt and the tres cantos was of human origin. The circumstantial evidence in this case does not constitute an unbroken chain leading to one fair and reasonable conclusion that appellant is the guilty person. PEOPLE V. RAPEZA (2007)

Facts:

Jerry Rapeza and Mike Regino were charged with murdering a spouse in Culion, Palawan. It was alleged that Regino was a nephew of Rapeza, and that they planned to murder the spouses out of Reginos revenge. Rapeza, an illiterate fisherman from Samar, was invited by the police alleging that they got a tip from someone that Rapeza wanted to confess. From there they presented an extrajudicial confession to the Court where Rapeza allegedly confessed, in the presence of a lawyer and informed of his rights, his guilt to the murder. The police also alleged the presence of an interpreter for Rapeza as he was not fluent in Tagalog. The extrajudicial confession was the sole basis of the RTC for convicting Rapeza. Appellant mainly contends that the extrajudicial confession suffers from constitutional infirmity as it was extracted in violation of the due process guidelines for custodial investigation. First, he claims that he affixed his thumbmark (in place of a signature) on the extrajudicial confession thinking that it was a release form as he was told it was, and was obtained through violence and intimidation (mauling). Second, he was not informed of his rights during the time of his detention when he was already considered a suspect as the police had already received information of his alleged involvement in the crimes. Third, neither did a competent and independent counsel assist him from the time he was detained until trial began. Assuming Atty. Reyes was indeed designated as counsel, said lawyer was not appellants personal choice. Fourth, there was no showing that his rights under custodial investigation were explained to him in a way that an uneducated person like him could understand.

Issue: WON appellants extrajudicial confession is admissible in evidence to warrant the verdict of guilt. Held/Ratio: NO. The following are the requisites for an admissible extrajudicial confession: 1) the confession must be voluntary; 2) it must be made with the assistance of a competent and independent counsel, preferably of the confessants choice; 3) it must be express; and 4) it must be in writing. Rapeza was not informed of his constitutional rights in custodial investigation . Custodial interrogation or investigation means questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way (Ppl vs. Ayson). It refers to the critical pre-trial stage when the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a particular person as a suspect (Ppl vs. Dueas). It includes the practice of issuing an "invitation" to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed (RA 7438) . Assuming he was read his rights, there is no proof that Rapeza had actually understood them. Since comprehension is the objective, the degree of explanation required necessarily depends on the education, intelligence, and other relevant personal circumstances of the person under investigation. In this case the presence of an interpreter during the interrogation was not sufficiently established. The officer as witness on the stand did not swear of his personal knowledge as to what Rapeza confessed as it was only relayed to him by an interpreter. Without the testimony of the interpreter, it cannot be said with certainty that Rapeza was informed of his r ights and that he understood them. Confession was not made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel of appellant s choice. The moment a police officer tries to elicit admissions or confessions or even plain information from a suspect, the latter should, at that juncture, be assisted by counsel, unless he waives this right in writing and in the presence of counsel. Rapeza did not make any such waiver. Lawyers engaged by the police are generally suspect since the relationship between lawyers and law enforcement authorities can be symbiotic. There is no evidence of how he assisted Rapeza based on the confessions of the policemen themselves. Confession is not voluntary. A confession is presumed voluntary until the contrary is proved. Confessant bears the burden of proving the contrary, which is what happened here. First, the confession contains facts and details which appear to have been supplied by the investigators themselves (like wrong date when the crime was exactly committed). The actual date of the commission of the crimes is material in assessing the credibility of the prosecution witnesses and of the admissibility of the alleged confession. Second, again appellant was not assisted by counsel Confession was not sufficiently corroborated. As a general rule, a confession must be corroborated by those to whom the witness who testified thereto refers as having been present at the time the confession was made or by any other evidence. Inconsistencies in the testimonies of the police as well as any lingering doubt as to the credibility of the extrajudicial confession could have been laid to rest by the testimonies of Atty. Reyes, the interpreter, and of those allegedly present during the custodial investigation. However, they were not presented in court. The corroboration that medico-legal findings lend to an extrajudicial confession becomes irrelevant when the latter is considered inadmissible. No motive could be ascribed to appellant. Motive is essential for conviction when there is doubt as to the identity of the perpetrator (due to inadmissibility of the extrajudicial confession). Although the confession states that Regino allegedly sought Rapezas help in killing the victims as Regino was his nephew, the fact of their relationship was denied by Rapeza and was never established by the prosecution.

12

CONDUCT AS EVIDENCE US v. PINEDA (1918) FACTS: Santiago Pineda is a registered pharmacist of long standing and the owner of a drug store. One Feliciano Santos, having some sick horses, presented a copy of a prescription obtained from Dr. Richardson, and which on other occasions Santos had given to his horses with good results, at Pineda's drug store for filling. Under the supervision of Pineda, the prescription was prepared and returned to Santos in the form of six papers. Santos, under the belief that he had purchased the potassium chlorate which he had asked for, put two of the packages in water the doses to two of his sick horses. Another package was mixed with water for another horse, but was not used. The two horses, to which had been given the preparation, died shortly afterwards. Santos, thereupon, took the three remaining packages to the Bureau of Science for examination. Drs. Pea and Darjuan, of the Bureau of Science, on analysis found that the packages contained not potassium chlorate but barium chlorate (poison). Santos filed a criminal case against Pineda for violation of the Pharmacy Law. The lower court found Pineda guilty.

ISSUES: 1. WON the testimony of the chemist Pena and Darjuan as to their purchase of potassium chlorate at the drug store of the accused, may be admitted 2. WON Pineda is liable for negligence DECISION: Judgment AFFIRMED. HELD: 1. YES. What the appellant is relying on is the maxim res inter alios acta. As a general rule, the evidence of other offenses committed by a defendant is inadmissible. But appellant has confused this maxim and this rule with certain exceptions thereto. The effort is not to convict the accused of a second offense. Nor is there an attempt to draw the mind away from the point at issue and thus to prejudice defendant's case. The purpose is to ascertain defendant's knowledge and intent, and to fix his negligence. If the defendant has on more than one occasion performed similar acts, accident in good faith is possibly excluded, negligence is intensified, and fraudulent intent may even be established. It has been said that there is no better evidence of negligence than the frequency of accidents. 2. YES. Every pharmacist shall be responsible for the quality of all drugs, chemicals, medicines, and poisons he may sell or keep for sale; and it shall be unlawful for any person whomsoever to manufacture, prepare, sell, or administer any prescription, drug, chemical, medicine, or poison under any fraudulent name, direction, or pretense, or to adulterate any drug, chemical, medicine, or poison so used, sold or offered for sale. Any drug, chemical, medicine, or poison shall be held to be adulterated or deteriorated within the meaning of this section if it differs from the standard of quality or purity given in the United States Pharmacopoeia. a. The same section of the Pharmacy Law also contains the following penal provision: "Any person violating the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollar." The Administrative Code, section 2676, changes the penalty somewhat by providing that: Any person engaging in the practice of pharmacy in the Philippine Islands contrary to any provision of the Pharmacy Law or violating any provisions of said law for which no specific penalty s provided shall, for each offense, be punished by a fine not to exceed two hundred pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than ninety days, or both, in the discretion of the court. i. As a pharmacist, he is made responsible for the quality of all drugs and poisons which he sells. And finally it is provided that it shall be unlawful for him to sell any drug or poison under any "fraudulent name." It is the one word "fraudulent" which has given the court trouble. What did the Legislature intend to convey by this restrictive adjective? b. Were we to adhere to the technical definition of fraud, which the appellant vigorously insists upon, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to convict any druggist of a violation of the law. The prosecution would have to prove to a reasonable degree of certainty that the druggist made a material representation; that it was false; that when he made it he knew that it was false or made it recklessly without any knowledge of its truth and as positive assertion; that he made it with the intention that it should be acted upon by the purchaser; that the purchaser acted in reliance upon it, and that the purchased thereby suffered injury. c. Under one conception, and it should not be forgotten that the case we consider are civil in nature, the question of negligence or ignorance is irrelevant. The druggist is responsible as an absolute guarantor of what he sells. Instead of caveat emptor, it should be caveat venditor. PEOPLE v. ASINAS (1929) FACTS: Brothers, Canuto and Eugenio Asinas entered the house of Aniceto Asinas, father of said defendants, held him while he was asleep, and the accused Canuto beat on the nape of his neck, pressing his neck strongly until Aniceto died, while the other accused Eugenio was holding the feet assisted by his other companions named Leon Ogacho and Felipe Credo, who also held the deceased by both hands or arms to prevent him from making any defense, that after killing said Aniceto, the two defendants, together with their two companions, built a fire outside of the house and put the dead body on the fire with the intention of reducing it to coal, contrary to article 402 of the Penal Code. The Asinas brothers were charged with parricide while Leon Ogacho and Felipe Credo were charged with murder. On motion of the fiscal the defendant Ogacho in the murder case was discharged, so that he could be used as a witness for the Government. On their motion, Asinas brothers were granted a separate trial both of whom entered a plea of not guilty, as did Felipe Credo. Both Canuto and Eugenio Asinas were found guilty of parricide

ISSUE: WON the previous crimes of the accused are admissible as evidence DECISION: NO. HELD: The general rule is that the evidence is not admissible which shows, or tends to show, that the accused in the criminal case has committed a crime wholly independent of the offense for which he is on trial. It is not competent to prove that he committed other crimes of a like nature for the purpose of showing that he would likely commit the crime charged in the indictment. To permit proof of other crimes would naturally predispose the minds of the jurors against the defendant. Unless such a relation exists, it is illegal and manifestly unfair to require a man, who, is charged with specific crime in the indictment, to prepare a defense against other crimes that the state may prove against him, but which are not charged in the indictment. That is good law, and the only theory upon which the testimony of Visitacion Golondrina, Nazario Opinion, and Cirilo Mercader is admissible that the relation as to the matter about which they testified tends to prove the commission of the crime in the manner in which it was committed, and unless there is such a relation, their evidence is illegal and manifestly unfair to the defendants. As stated we very much doubt the truth of the testimony of those witnesses, and we have a serious doubt about the admissibility of their evidence for any purpose. It is conceded that the defendants are men of affairs, ordinary intelligence and of substantial means. If it be a fact that they formed a design to take the life of their own father, they could very easily have done that without the aid or assistance of Ogacho or Credo, and there is no valid reason why they should ever be called to assist in the commission of the crime. By his statement, Ogacho never did anything more than to trail along the heels of his master through the dark and stormy night through the scene of the crime until after the father have been strangled to death by his own son, four of them took his body and placed it on fire which has been built for that purpose. o The evidence shows that the father was between 70 and 80 years old, and that for five years he had lived alone in the camarin. The point is that, if the defendant brothers have really conspired to commit the crime, as Ogacho says, why and for what purpose would they call their aid and their assistance to irresponsible men 13

like Ogacho and Credo? They could easily commit the crime without them, and Ogachos own evidence shows that his services were of no value to the Asinas brothers in the commission of the crime. Again, it was committed on the night of October 4th. It appears from the almanac of that date, that the moon was then in its first quarter, and the evidence shown that it was a rainy, stormy night, and yet Ogacho said that the very first thing they did on entering the room of the deceased was to put out the light which was burning low. The crime was committed in the camarin, and without any light and in the very nature of things, everything must have been dark, and yet this situation Ogacho testified that immediately after the light was put out, Canuto Asinas held his fathers neck, and that Eugenio held his feet, and that Canuto told me to hold one of his hands, and that Canuto did not loosen his hold upon the neck until Aniceto was dead, and that during all of this time, Aniceto trembled. Upon Ogachos own testimony, the father must have died from strangulation, yet the autopsy did not reveal, and there is no claim or pretense, that there were many marks of violence found on the neck of the deceased. If the deceased died from strangulation, as Ogacho testified, it is hard to conceive that there would not have some evidence of the strangulation on the neck, and yet no one claims to ever have seen or found any such marks of violence. It is far better to acquit a man of such serious crime upon the ground that the evidence is not sufficient to prove his guilt, even though he may be guilty, than to invoke the death penalty upon a man who may be innocent. The defendants stoutly maintain their innocence and there is nothing inconsistent or unreasonable in their testimony. The evidence shows that the day before the crime was committed, the defendant Canuto and his father met and had friendly dealings with each other, and that Canuto left his work to assist his father to catch his carabaos and put rings in their noses. PEOPLE v. IRANG (1937)

FACTS:

7 individuals with white stripes upon their faces, two of whom were armed with guns and two with bolos, went to the house of the spouses Perfecto Melocotones and Maximiniana Vicente, where three lights were burning, one at the balcony, another in the room and another on a table. Some of said individuals went up and others remained on guard downstairs. Those who went up approached Melocotones immediately and ordered him to bring his money. Melocotones answered in the affirmative but before he could do what was ordered him he was attacked with bolos until he fell to the floor. Later another armed with a gun went up and approaching Maximiana Vicente struck her face with the butt of his gun, making her lose consciousness momentarily. When she regained consciousness he saw her husband already dead. One of the assailants then said t o her: Bring out the money and jewelry. Maximiniana Vicente turned over to the man who had struck her with the butt of his gun P70 in cash and jewelry valued at P200, which she has kept in a trunk. She lo oked at the mans face and saw that he had pockmarks and a scar on his left eyelid. That same night the house of Juana de la Cruz was assaulted by malefactors who had been firing shots before arriving at and going up the house. After the malefactors had left Melocotones house, the latters son Toribio Melocotones, reported the matter to the municipal authorities and to the constabulary. Having arrested a group of persons, he brought them to Maximiniana Vicentes house so that the latter might identify among th em the one who struck her with the butt of his gun, but she did not find such man. Later another group was presented to her and in it she identified the herein accused-appellant Benjamin Irang as the one who had struck her with the butt of his gun and demanded delivery of her money and jewelry. He was likewise the same man arrested by Lieutenant Alejandre in the barrio of Tampac, based on the testimony of Juana de la Cruz, which is five or seven kilometers from Maturanoc to which he was taken and brought to the house of the deceased. Once under arrest, the accused-appellant Benjamin Irang made an affidavit. The defense of the accused-appellant is an alibi to the effect that in the afternoon of the day of the commission of the crime, he was in his rice field washing a fishing basket. During the interrogation, as Benjamin Irang answered that he had not left his house, the lieutenant gave him a blow which made him lose consciousness. Then the lieutenant said to the widow: He is the same man. It was he to whom you delivered the money and jewelry. Look at him well. Identify him well. In the constabulary barracks in Cabanatuan the soldiers and a sergeant manhandled him for having denied all knowledge of the crime, making him lose his breath and punching him in the stomach. When he could no longer bear the maltreatment, he agreed to tell what they wanted him to tell. o Upon being taken for investigation, the constabulary soldiers told him to agree to all that the clerk of court might read to him, otherwise they would again manhandle him at the barracks. He was not present when the affidavit was prepared. Neither are the contents true. He merely affixed his thumbmark upon said document for fear of the soldiers. Lieutenant Alejandre as well as Sergeant Lubrico denied that the accused had been maltreated in the least. The CFI found the accused guilty of the complex crime of homicide with robbery.

ISSUE: WON the confession of de la Cruz is admissible as evidence DECISION: YES. Judgment AFFIRMED. HELD: The testimony of Juana de la Cruz to the effect that her house, situated only about one hundred meters from that of Melocotones, was assaulted that same night by some malefactors with white stripes upon their faces, who later turned out to be the herein accused-appellant, opened her box, indirectly corroborates Maximiniana Vicentes testimony that the man of the same description was the open who went to her house and demanded delivery of her money and jewelry, having recognized him later to be the herein accused-appellant. o While evidence of another crime is, as a rule, not admissible in a prosecution for robbery, it is admissible when it is otherwise relevant, as where it tends to identify defendant as the perpetrator of the robbery charged, or tends to show his presence at the scene or in the vicinity of the crime at the time charged, or when it is evidence of a circumstance connected with the crime Maximiniana Vicentes identification of the herein accused -appellant is likewise corroborated by the latters own admission invited to assault the house of Perfecto Meloc otones which they in fact the lower court of the appellants admission under oath upon the assumption that it was not made voluntari ly, is erroneous, inasmuch as the only evidence that it was not voluntarily is the accused-appellants own testimony that he had been manhandled by the constabulary soldiers and threatened with further maltreatment if he did not testify as they wished. This imputation of fortune was categorically denied by Lieutenant Alejandre and Sergeant Lubrico of the Constabulary, before whom the accused-appellant made the admission and who caused it to be put in writing. The imputation is likewise contradicted by the deputy clerk of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija before whom the accused-appellant swore to his admission and who testified that before he administered oath to said accused-appellant, he asked him whether he understood Tagalog and, having been answered in the affirmative, he read said document to him and asked him whether he had anything to add, the appellant affixing his thumbmark upon it after answering that he had nothing more to say. There is no doubt that an admission made under oath under such circumstances cannot be considered involuntary and therefore is admissible against the person making it. This court is of the opinion, therefore, that the accused-appellant identity as one of those who assaulted the house of Perfecto Melocotones and robbed Maximiniana Vicente of her money and jewelry, is established conclusively beyond reasonable doubt. The defense of the accused is an alibi and has for its purpose to show that he could both have been at the scene of the crime between 7 and 8 oclo ck at night because he was in another place about seven kilometers away at that time. This defense of alibi is contradicted by the above-stated testimony of Juana de la Cruz and by the accusedappellants own admission.

14

NICOLAS v. ENRIQUEZ (1955) FACTS: At the trial of a criminal case for concubinage filed in the CFI by Corazon Vizcarra against the defendant Jimmy William Nelson and his co-defendant Priscilla Fontanosa, the court ruled out testimony of three prosecution witnesses tending to show that a boy named Paul William Nelson was the son of both defendants. The said testimony was objected to as immaterial, but the objection was sustained on the ground that inquiry into the paternity of a natural child is forbidden except in actions for forcible acknowledgment. Contending that prior sexual relations between the defendants were admissible to show propensity to commit the offense charged or disposition to maintain such relations even after the marriage of one of the defendants to the complaint, the prosecution brought the present action for mandamus to compel the trial court to admit the preferred evidence.

ISSUE: WON prior sexual relations were admissible to how propensity to commit the offense charged DECISION: NO. Writ DENIED. HELD: It is a rule of evidence that what one did at one time is no proof of his having done the same or a similar thing at another time. But the rule is not absolute, for it is subject to the exceptions enumerated in section 17 of Rule 123, Rules of Court, which reads o SEC. 17. Evidence of similar acts. Evidence that one did or ommitted to do a certain thing at one time is not admissible to prove that he did or ommitted to do the same or a similar thing at another time; but it may be received to prove a specific intent or knowledge, identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or usage, and the like. We are not persuaded that the preferred evidence, when viewed in the light of facts brought out in the present case, would come under any of the exceptions named. It appears from the order containing the questioned ruling that the boy Paul was born five years before complainants marriage to one of the defendants. This means that the previous sexual relations sought to be proved were far removed in point of time from the illicit act now complained of, and having, moreover, taken place when there was as yet no legal impediment to the same, they furnish no rational basis for the inference that they would be continued after complainants marriage to one of the defendants h ad created such impediment and made continuance of sexual relations between the defendants a crime. The evidence objected to being immaterial and irrelevant, the trial court cannot be compelled to admit it regardless of whether or not the New Civil Code permits investigation or inquiry into the paternity of a natural child except in actions for forcible acknowledgement.

BOSTON BANK v. MANALO (2006) FACTS: Xavierville Estate, Inc. (XEI) sold to The Overseas Bank of Manila (OBM) some residential lots in Xavierville subdivision. Nevertheless, XEI continued selling the residential lots in the subdivision as agent of OBM. Carlos Manalo, Jr. proposed to XEI, through its President Emerito Ramos, to purchase two lots in the Xavierville subdivision and offered as part of the downpayment the P34,887.66 Ramos owed him. XEI, through Ramos, agreed. In a letter dated August 22, 1972 to Perla Manalo, Ramos confirmed the reservation of the lots. In the letter he also pegged the price of the lots at P348,060 with a 20% downpayment of the purchase price amounting to P69,612.00 (less the P34,887.66 owing from Ramos), payable as soon as XEI resumes its selling operations; the corresponding Contract of Conditional Sale would then be signed on or before the same date. Perla Manalo conformed to the letter agreement. Thereafter, the spouses constructed a house on the property. The spouses were notified of XEIs resumption of selling operations. However, they did not pay the balance of the downpayment because XEI fail ed to prepare a contract of conditional sale and transmit the same to them. XEI also billed them for unpaid interests which they also refused to pay. XEI turned over its selling operations to OBM. Subsequently, Commercial Bank of Manila (CBM) acquired the Xavierville Estate from OBM. CBM requested Perla Manalo to stop any on-going construction on the property since it (CBM) was the owner of the lot and she had no permission for such construction. Perla informed them that her husband had a contract with OBM, through XEI, to purchase the property. She promised to send CBM the documents. However, she failed to do so. Thus, CBM filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against the spouses. But later on, CBM moved to withdraw its complaint because of the issues raised. In the meantime, CBM was renamed the Boston Bank of the Philippines. Then, the spouses filed a complaint for specific performance and damages against the bank before the RTC. The spouses alleged that they had always been ready and willing to pay the installments on the lots sold to them but no contract was forthcoming. The spouses further alleged that upon their partial payment of the downpayment, they were entitled to the execution and delivery of a Deed of Absolute Sale covering the subject lots. During the trial, the spouses adduced in evidence the separate Contracts of Conditional Sale executed between XEI and 3 other buyers to prove that XEI continued selling residential lots in the subdivision as agent of OBM after the latter had acquired the said lots. The trial court ordered the petitioner to execute a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of the spouses upon the payment of the spouses of the balance of the purchase price. It ruled that under the August 22,1972 letter agreement of XEI and the spouses, the parties had a "complete contract to sell" over the lots, and that they had already partially consummated the same. The Court of Appeals sustained the ruling of the RTC, but declared that the balance of the purchase price of the property was payable in fixed amounts on a monthly basis for 120 months, based on the deeds of conditional sale executed by XEI in favor of other lot buyers. Boston Bank filed a Motion for the Reconsideration of the decision alleging that there was no perfected contract to sell the two lots, as there was no agreement between XEI and the respondents on the manner of payment as well as the other terms and conditions of the sale. o Boston Bank also asserts that there is no factual basis for the CA ruling that the terms and conditions relating to the payment of the balance of the purchase price of the property (as agreed upon by XEI and other lot buyers in the same subdivision) were also applicable to the contract entered into between the petitioner and the respondents. CA denied the MR.

ISSUE: 1.) 2.)

WON there was a perfected contract to sell the property WON the CA correctly held that the terms of the deeds of conditional sale executed by XEI in favor of the other lot buyers in the subdivision, which contained uniform terms of 120 equal monthly installments, constitute evidence that XEI also agreed to give the Manalo spouses the same mode and timeline of payment. (Evidence, Disputable Presumptions, Habits and Customs Rule 130, Section 34) DECISION: Petition GRANTED. Decision REVERSED and SET ASIDE. HELD: 1.) NO. In a contract to sell property by installments, it is not enough that the parties agree on the price as well as the amount of downpayment. The parties must, likewise, agree on the manner of payment of the balance of the purchase price and on the other terms and conditions relative to the sale. Even if the buyer makes a downpayment or portion thereof, such payment cannot be considered as sufficient proof of the perfection of any purchase and sale between the parties. A contract of sale is perfected at the moment there is a meeting of the minds upon the thing which is the object of the contract and the price. The agreement as to the manner of payment goes into the price, such that a disagreement on the manner of payment is tantamount to a failure to agree on the price. o We have meticulously reviewed the records, including Ramos February 8, 1972 and August 22,1972 let ters to respondents and find that said parties confined themselves to agreeing on the price of the property (P348,060.00), the 20% downpayment of the purchase price (P69,612.00), and credited respondents for the 15

2.)

P34,887.00 owing from Ramos as part of the 20% downpayment. Based on these two letters, the determination of the terms of payment of the P278,448.00 had yet to be agreed upon on or before December 31, 1972, or even afterwards, when the parties sign the contract of conditional sale. o So long as an essential element entering into the proposed obligation of either of the parties remains to be determined by an agreement which they are to make, the contract is incomplete and unenforceable. NO. The bare fact that other lot buyers were allowed to pay the balance of the purchase price of lots purchased by them in 120 or 180 monthly installments does not constitute evidence that XEI also agreed to give the respondents the same mode and timeline of payment. Under Section 34, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court, evidence that one did a certain thing atone time is not admissible to prove that he did the same or similar thing at another time, although such evidence may be received to prove habit, usage, pattern of conduct or the intent of the parties. Habit, custom, usage or pattern of conduct must be proved like any other facts. The offering party must establish the degree of specificity and frequency of uniform response that ensures more than a mere tendency to act in a given manner but rather, conduct that is semi-automatic in nature. The offering party must allege and prove specific, repetitive conduct that might constitute evidence of habit. o The examples offered in evidence to prove habit, or pattern of evidence must be numerous enough to base on inference of systematic conduct. Mere similarity of contracts does not present the kind of sufficiently similar circumstances to outweigh the danger of prejudice and confusion. In determining whether the examples are numerous enough, and sufficiently regular, the key criteria are adequacy of sampling and uniformity of response. It is only when examples offered to establish pattern of conduct or habit are numerous enough to lose an inference of systematic conduct that examples are admissible. o Respondents failed to allege and prove that, as a matter of business usage, habit or pattern of conduct, XEI granted all lot buyers the right to pay the balance of the purchase price in installments of 120 months of fixed amounts with pre-computed interests, and that XEI and the respondents had intended to adopt such terms of payment relative to the sale of the two lots in question. o Indeed, respondents adduced in evidence the three contracts of conditional sale executed by XEI and other lot buyers merely to prove that XEI continued to sell lots in the subdivision as sales agent of OBM after it acquired said lots, not to prove usage, habit or pattern of conduct on the part of XEI to require all lot buyers in the subdivision to pay the balance of the purchase price of said lots in 120 months.

TESTIMONIAL KNOWLEDGE ESTRADA v. DESIERTO (2001) Facts: The issues in these cases are whether former President Joseph Estrada should be considered to have resigned from his presidency as of January 20, 2001. The Angara Diary and certain newspaper accounts was offered in evidence to prove such resignation. The Angara Diary contains direct statements of Estrada which can be categorized as admissions of a party: his proposal for a snap presidential election where he would not be a candidate; his statement that he only wanted the five-day period promised by chief of Staff Angelo Reyes; his statements that he would leave by Monday if the second envelope would be opened by Monday and pagod na Pagod na ako. Ayoko na, masyado nang masakit. Pagod na ako sa red tape, bureaucracy, intriga. However, Estrada is assailing the admissibility of said Diary and newspaper accounts for being violative of the hearsay rule. Issue: Are the Diary and the newspaper accounts inadmissible in evidence for being hearsay? Held: No. The Angara Diary is not an out of court statement, but a part of the pleadings in the cases at bar. Even assuming arguendo that the Angara Diary was an out of court statement, still its use is not covered by the hearsay rule. Evidence is called hearsay when its probative force depends, in whole or in part, on the competency and reliability of some persons other than the witness by whom it is sought to produce it. There are three reasons for excluding hearsay evidence: (1) absence of cross-examination; (2) absence of demeanor evidence, and (3) absence of oath. Not all hearsay evidence, however, is inadmissible as evidence. Hearsay evidence may be admitted by courts due to their relevance, trustworthiness and necessity. A complete analysis of any hearsay problem requires an analysis of the evidence with respect to the rules of exclusion. The rules of exclusion do not cover admissions of a party and the Angara Diary belongs to this class. Section 26 of Rule 130 provides that the act, declaration, or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him. It has long been settled that these admissions are admissible even if they are hearsay. Moreover the ban on hearsay evidence does not cover independently relevant statements, which are statements which are relevant independently of whether they are true or not. They belong to two (2) classes: (1) those statements which are the very facts in issue, and (2) those statements which are circumstantial evidence of the facts in issue. The second class include the following: a. b. Statements of a person showing his state of mind, that is his mental condition, knowledge belief, intention, ill will and other emotions; x x x statements of a person from which an inference may be made as to the state of mind of another, that is, the knowledge, belief, motive, good or bad faith, etc. og the latter;

The Angara Diary contains statements of the petitioner which reflects his state of mind and are circumstantial evidence of his intent to resign. It also contains statements of Secretary Angara from which we can reasonably deduce petitioners intent to resign. They are admissible and they are not covered by the rule on hea rsay. LEA MER VS. MALAYAN INSURANCE (2005) FACTS: Ilian Silica Mining entered into a contract of carriage with Lea Mer Industries, Inc., for the shipment of 900 metric tons of silica sand. Consigned to Vulcan Industrial and Mining Corporation, the cargo was to be transported from Palawan to Manila. The silica sand was placed on board Judy VII, a barge leased by Lea Mer. During the voyage, the vessel sank, resulting in the loss of the cargo. Malayan Insurance (Vulca ns insurer) paid Vulcan the value of the lost cargo. Malayan demanded reimbursement from Lea Mer, which refused to comply. Hence, Malayan instituted a Complaint for the collection of P565,000 representing the amount that respondent had paid Vulcan. The trial court dismissed the Complaint, upon finding that the cause of the loss was a fortuitous event. It noted that the vessel had sunk because of the bad weather condition brought about by Typhoon Trining and that no advance knowledge of the incoming typhoon, and that the vessel had been cleared by the Philippine Coast Guard to travel from Palawan to Manila. CA reversed and held that the vessel was not seaworthy when it sailed for Manila. Lea Mer now appeals, questioning the admissibility of the survey report of the cargo surveyor Cortez, who had not been presented as a witness during the trial. The said survey report was used in preparing the final Report which showed that the barge was not seaworthy because of the existence of holes in the hull of the barge.

ISSUE: Whether or not the survey report of Jesus Cortez is admissible in evidence DECISION: Petition DENIED. Decision AFFIRMED. HELD/RATIO: 16

NO. Because he did not testify during the trial, then the Report that he had prepared was hearsay and therefore inadmissible for the purpose of proving the truth of its contents. BUT, the REPORT IS ADMISSIBLE as part of the testimonies of the witnesses presented during the trial (Soriano and Manlapig). Cortezs Survey Report was used in the testimonies of respondents witnesses -- Soriano and Manlapig, a cargo marine surveyor and the vice-president of Toplis and Harding Company. Soriano testified that the Survey Report had been used in preparing the final Adjustment Report conducted by their company. The final Report showed that the barge was not seaworthy because of the existence of the holes. Manlapig testified that he had prepared that Report after taking into account the findings of the surveyor, as well as the pictures and the sketches of the place where the sinking occurred. Evidently, the existence of the holes was proved by the testimonies of the witnesses, not merely by Cortez Survey Report. That witnesses must be examined and presented during the trial, and that their testimonies must be confined to personal knowledge is required by the rules on evidence (Section 36)1. On this basis, the trial court correctly refused to admit Cortezs Affidavit. The rule is, unless the affiant is presented as a witness, an affidavit is considered hearsay. An exception to the rule is that on independently relevant statements. A report made by a person is admissible if it is intended to prove the tenor, not the truth, of the statements. Independent of the truth or the falsity of the statement given in the report, the fact that it has been made is relevant. Here, the hearsay rule does not apply. In this case, Survey Report prepared by Cortez was admitted only as part of the testimonies of respondents witnesses. The referral to Cortezs Report was in relation to Manlapigs final Adjustment Report. Evidently, it was the existence of the Survey Report that was testified to. The admissibility of that Report as part of the testimonies of the witnesses was correctly ruled upon by the trial court. (SIDE ISSUE): As the common carrier, petitioner bore the burden of proving that it had exercised extraordinary diligence to avoid the loss, or that the loss had been occasioned by a fortuitous event -- an exempting circumstance. The evidence presented by petitioner in support of its defense of fortuitous event was sorely insufficient. As required by the pertinent law, it was not enough for the common carrier to show that there was an unforeseen or unexpected occurrence. It had to show that it was free from any fault -- a fact it miserably failed to prove. First, petitioner presented no evidence that it had attempted to minimize or prevent the loss before, during or after the alleged fortuitous event. Second, the alleged fortuitous event was not the sole and proximate cause of the loss (there were holes in the hull of the barge).

DYING DECLARATION PEOPLE v. RODULFO SABIO (PAPU) (1981) FACTS Catalino was found on the 2nd floor of his house wounded on the forehead, an injury from which he died 3 days later. Birondo, Catalinos neighbour, testified that she heard Catalino shout and she looked out and saw Papu coming out of the door of Catalinos house. She then shouted for help. Semilla, grand-nephew of Catalino, left the house to go to the seashore, when he saw Papu running. Minutes later someone told him to go home because his granduncle had cried for help. When he reached home, he saw that Catalino was wounded and told him to call a policeman. He noticed that the merchandise in their store below the house was in disarray and the can cointaining their cash sales was empty. Patrolman Fuentes came and interviewed Catalino and he wrote the questions and answers on a torn calendar page. Fuentes asked Catalino who hacked him and he answered Papu Sabio, son of Menes. Fuentes says that the person referred to is the accused. When he asked why Papu did this, he answered that Papu demanded money from him. Fuentes then asked Catalino to affix his thumbmark with his own blood (since there was no ink available) on the calendar page. Another policeman, as well as Semilla, were present. Fuentes and the other policeman then signed as witnesses. Papu claims that he was still sleeping when the incident occurred and he was only awakened when the police were looking for him. Mendez, who also slept in their house, corroborated Papus alibi. The trial Court found the accused guilty of the crime of Robbery with Homicide.

ISSUE: WON Catalinos antemortem declaration is admissible DECISION: YES. Decision AFFIRMED. HELD: As to robbery: o The dying declaration is not admissible. Admission of dying declarations has always been strictly limited to criminal prosecutions for homicide or murder as evidence of the cause and surrounding circumstances of death. As to homicide: o Defense argues that there is no evidence showing that when the declaration was uttered the declarant was under a consciousness of impending death. In fact, he had hope of recovery for his first words to Semilla was to fetch the police. Also, there are doubts as to when such was thumb-marked because, although it was already in existence on the day of the incident according to Fuentes, Papu was never confronted with the document when he was taken in to custody by the police, thereby implying that the document did not yet exist at that time. o The arguments advanced are unavailing. The seriousness of the injury on the victim's forehead which had affected the brain and was profusely bleeding; the victim's inability to speak until his head was raised; the spontaneous answer of the victim that "only Papu Sabio is responsible for my death"; and his subsequent demise from the direct effects of the wound on his forehead, strengthen the conclusion that he must have known that his end was inevitable. o That death did not ensue till three days after the declaration was made will not alter its probative force since it is not indispensable that a declarant expires immediately thereafter. o It is the belief in impending death and not the rapid succession of death, in point of fact, that renders the dying declaration admissible. Further, the fact that he told Semilla to fetch the police does not negate his feeling of hopelessness of recovery but rather emphasizes the realization that he had so little time to disclose his assailant to the authorities. o The mere failure of the police to confront the accused with the antemortem declaration the first time the latter was arrested and incarcerated neither militates against the fact of its execution considering that it was evidence that the police was under no compulsion to disclose. Abad Santos, J., dissenting: I dissent in respect of the finding that no robbery was committed. 1. The tin can or barro which contained some P8.00 the night before the incident, was found empty and lying on the ground of t he house where the deceased had his store. It could only have been Sabio who took the money for it was he who entered the store and hacked Catalino Espina who died as a result thereof. 2. True, Catalino Espina could not state how much money was lost. But from inability to state the amount lost, it does not follow that nothing was lost. The two the loss and the amount of the loss are two entirely different concepts. 3. Naturally, Catalino could not state how much money was lost because he was hacked severely on the forehead before the money was taken by Sabio. A man mortally wounded who did not hand over any money to his assailant should not be expected to answer an inconsequential question as to the amount of his loss. A man in his situation would be thinking not how much he had lost but of his impending death. 4. There would be no motive for the killing of there was no robbery and robbery cannot be discounted after Sabio had entered the store and attacked its owner.
1 Section 36. Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge; hearsay excluded. A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception, except as otherwise provided in these rules.

17

PEOPLE v. LAQUINON (JOLLY) (1985) FACTS: Samama Buat, a barrio captain was at his residence in barrio Clib. In a short while he heard gunshots coming from the bank of a river. Then, his brother, Leocario Buat, arrived and told him that a man was shouting for help at the bank of the river. Samama Buat told his brother to call the barrio councilman. Thereafter, he proceeded to the place where the unidentified man was. His brother, Leocario and the barrio councilman also arrived there. Samama Buat found the man lying on the sand and asked who he was. The man answered, "I am Pablo Remonde." Remonde's two hands were tied on his back. He was lying face down. Samama Buat then took the "ante mortem" statement of Pablo Remonde. Samama Buat asked "who shot you" and Remonde said that it was Gregorio Laquinon. He asked Pablo Remonde whether from the gunshot wounds he suffered he would survive to which the victim answered "I do not know." After that, barrio captain Buat went to the municipality of Hagonoy and reported to Vice Mayor Antonio Biran. VM Biran went to the scene of the incident and asked the victim who shot him to which the latter answered that he was shot by Gregorio Laquinon. Pablo Remonde was placed on a jeep of the VM and brought to the hospital. Pablo Remonde died in the hospital because of bullet wounds. Accused Gregorio Laquinon was charged with the crime of murder in the CFI for the killing of Pablo Remonde After the trial, the lower court rendered a decision finding the accused guilty. Laquinons defense was that he was a KM member. He and Nerosa were ordered by Cabardo to fetch Remonde. Nerosa left after bri nging Remonde to Cabardo. Cabardo, after confronting Remonde as to why he never returned after being commanded to buy provisions and upon Remonde answering that he spent the money drinking and gambling, shot Remonde. o The accused-appellant argues that the statement is inadmissible in evidence as an ante-mortem declaration because it was not executed under a consciousness of an impending death; and that the deceased was not a competent witness.

ISSUE: WON the dying declaration of Remonde is admissible in evidence DECISION: NO. Accused is guilty of the crime of murder qualified by treachery. The victim was apparently shot while his two hands were tied at his back. Accused, in shooting the victim, obviously employed means or force in the execution of the offense which tended directly and specially to insure its execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. HELD: The fact that the deceased had named the son of Suelo Maravillas who turned out as Cristino Nerosa as one of those who shot him in his dying declaration does not make the deceased an incompetent witness. Nor does it render said dying declaration incredible of belief. The testimony of the accused that he and Nerosa separated and that he alone brought the deceased to Noli Cabardo is not corroborated. It may be that Nerosa was with the accused when the latter shot the deceased, as stated in the dying declaration, but that the accused testified that Nerosa was not with him when he brought the deceased to Noli Cabardo in order to free Nerosa from criminal liability. o Nor does the testimony of Barrio Captain Samama Buat that the place was dark and that the victim had told him that he was shot by members of the KM make the deceased an incompetent witness. On the contrary, it strengthens the statement of the deceased since the accused is a member of the KM. But the dying declaration of the deceased Pablo Remonde is not admissible as an ante-mortem declaration since the deceased was in doubt as to whether he would die or not. The declaration fails to show that the deceased believed himself in extremist, "at the point of death when every hope of recovery is extinct, which is the sole basis for admitting this kind of declarations as an exception to the hearsay rule." It may be admitted, however, as part of the res gestae since the statement was made immediately after the incident and the deceased Pablo Remonde had no sufficient time to concoct a charge against the accused. On the whole, the Court is satisfied with the findings of the trial court that the accused was responsible for the killing of Pablo Remonde. o Indeed, the Court cannot believe that CO Cabardo did the killing as related by the accused for the following reasons: First, when the deceased was allegedly delivered to CO Cabardo, he was already hand-tied at his back, that the place of the shooting was "covered by thick bushes and beside the river", and that CO Cabardo was with ten men excluding the accused; under these circumstances, it is hard to believe that the deceased, with all those overwhelming handicap, would attempt to flee. Second, if the deceased truly tried to flee, the logical thing he would do would be to flee away from and not towards Cabardo; in doing the former he would turn to his right or to his left or towards his back; if he fled to his left or right, or towards his back, he would be exposing one side of his body, or his back, and when fired upon in that position he would have been hit on one side of the body or at his back. The evidence as testified to by Dr. Llanos however, shows that the deceased had only one wound a gunshot wound, in the abdomen; this shows he was fired upon frontally, the bullet going through and through the intestines and lodged, presumably in the bony portions of his back, that is why the slug was recovered. The accused's version, therefore, that the deceased tried to flee is hard to believe for being against the physical facts. o With these observations, the Court cannot believe that the accused really delivered the deceased to CO Cabardo and that it was Cabardo who shot him. As testified to by him, their mountain camp was raided by the PC two days after the incident, as a result of which raid Cabardo and two of their companions were killed. The accused himself was able to escape, went to hide in a relative's farm in faraway Magpet, North Cotabato, did farming there until one day in May, 1975, repentant that, as a KM member, he had "committed something", he finally surrendered to the PC Barracks in Davao City. Cabardo, may he rest in peace, having gone to the other world, and can no longer speak in his behalf, it is not unlikely that the accused conceived of this outlandish defense by pointing to CO Cabardo, to free himself from responsibility. o Most important to remember on this point is that at the time the deceased grade his "dying" statement, Cabardo was still alive; that per the accused himself, he had no previous differences with the deceased or with the barrio captain; and that from the prosecution witness Bo. Capt. Buat when he took the statement of the deceased, the deceased was feeling strong, surely, under such circumstances it is hard to believe that the deceased would name the accused with whom he had no quarrel and Nerosa as his killers if that was really not the truth.

PEOPLE v. DE JOYA (1991) FACTS: The Spouses Valencia, together with their 10-year old son Alvin Valencia and Herminia Valencia's 88-year old mother, Eulalia, are residents of Bulacan. Herminia Valencia and his son left the house. Eulalia was then left at the house [sitting] at their sofa watching the television set. When Alvin reached home, he saw his grandmother Eulalia lying down prostrate and drenched with her own blood. He immediately threw his bag and ran towards her. He then held her hands and asked her: "Apo, Apo, what happened?" Eulalia held his hand and after which said: "Si Paqui. " After saying these words, she let go of Alvin's hand and passed away. Dr. Tolentino arrived and examined the body of Eulalia. Said doctor declared that said Eulalia had a heart attack which caused her death. When asked by Herminia why her mother's ears were punctured, no reply was given by said doctor. 18

Herminia found out that the 2 gold rings worn by her mother were missing. The right earring of her mother was likewise missing. Herminia saw the room of the ground floor ransacked. The contents of the wardrobe closet (aparador) were taken out. Its secret compartment/box was missing. Herminia also found a beachwalk step-in by the side of the cabinet near the door of their room downstairs, more or less one meter from where the victim was lying prostrate. Herminia was able to recognize the said step-in because of its color and size, as the other half of the pair she bought for her husband Arnedo but which she gave to Socorro de Joya, the wife of herein appellant. An information for the crime of robbery with homicide was filed against Pioquinto de Joya y Cruz. The trial court found the accused guilty and ruled that: the prosecution relied heavily on the circumstances surrounding the death of the victim as testified to by the witnesses and proven during the trial, also the dying statement of the deceased, which are: Herminia testified that two weeks before the incident the accused and the deceased quarreled over a bicycle which the former took from their house without the consent of the latter; that the step-in was identified by Herminia as the step-in that she gave to the wife of the accused and which she saw accused wearing when she visited them in their house; the testimony of Gloria Capulong that she saw the accused in the yard of Herminia standing and holding a bicycle; the accused admitted, although his wife is the sister of the husband of Herminia he never visited the deceased during the four days that it was lying in state without any justifiable reason and contrary to the ordinary experience of man; last but most convincing is the dying statement of the deceased when her grandson Alvin asked her "Apo, Apo, what happened?" and she answered, "Si Paki", then she expired. When Alvin was asked during his testimony who is this Paki, he identified the accused. The accused during his testimony never denied that he is called Paki.

ISSUE: 1. 2. HELD: 1. No. It has been held that a dying declaration to be admissible must be complete in itself. To be complete in itself does not mean that the declarant must recite everything that constituted the res gestae of the subject of his statement, but that his statement of any given fact should be a full expression of all that he intended to say as conveying his meaning in respect of such fact The reason upon which incomplete declarations are generally excluded, or if admitted, accorded little or no weight, is that since the declarant was prevented (by death or other circumstance) from saying all that he wished to say, what he did say might have been qualified by the statements which he was prevented from making. That incomplete declaration is not therefore entitled to the presumption of truthfulness which constitutes the basis upon which dying declarations are received. a. It is clear to the Court that the dying declaration of the deceased victim here was incomplete. In other words, the deceased was cut off by death before she could convey a complete or sensible communication to Alvin. The trial court simply assumed that by uttering the words "Si Paqui", the deceased had intended to name the person who had thrust some sharp instrument through and through her neck just below her ears. But Eulalia herself did not say so and we cannot speculate what the rest of her communication might have been had death not interrupted her. No. The totality of the case made out against appellant De Joya thus consists of an incomplete, aborted, dying declaration and a number of circumstances which, singly or collectively, do not necessarily give rise to a compelling inference that appellant had indeed robbed and slain Eulalia. The sum total of the evidence in the instant case is insufficient to induce that moral certainty of guilt which characterizes proof beyond reasonable doubt. a. Rubber or beach, walk slippers are made in such quantities by multiple manufacturers that there must have been dozens if not hundreds of slippers of the same color, shape and size as the pair that Herminia gave to appellant's wife. And even if conclusive identification of the slippers had been offered, and it is assumed that appellant (not wife) had worn those very slippers on that afternoon, still the presence of that singular slipper did not clearly and directly connect the appellant to the robbery or the slaying. At most, under that assumption, the presence of that slipper in the house of the Valencias showed that the accused had gone to the house of the Valencias and there mislaid that slipper. b. The appellant himself had testified that he did enter the house of the Valencias that afternoon, but after the killing had been perpetrated, and there had found many persons in the house viewing the body. The testimony of Capulong that she saw the accused in the yard of the Valencias, standing and holding a bicycle and doing nothing is, by itself, not proof of any act or circumstance that would show that appellant had perpetrated the slaying or the robbery. The behaviour of the appellant, as testified to by Gloria Capulong, offers no basis for supposing that appellant, 72 years of age, had just slain an 88-year old woman by skewering her through the neck and had ransacked both floors of the Valencia house. PEOPLE v. COMILING (2004) FACTS: Five men including Galingan were charged with the crime of robbery with homicide for robbing the Masterline Grocery and shooting a policeman who responded to the scene. The case proceeded because of Naty Panimbaan, Galingans girlfriend, who was present in the four meetings held by the accused in planning the robbery. She revealed what she knew to the police because she said that she was bothered by her conscience. The trial court acquitted two and found the three, including Galingan, guilty of the crime charged. Galingan impugns the credibility of Naty. He denied that they were lovers and maintains that he pays Naty P700 everytime they had sex. The only reason why she implicated him, according to Galingan, is that he refused to leave his wife for her. He also opined that Natys credibility is also tainted by her drug use. ISSUE: Whether Galingan is guilty of the crime charged? DECISION: YES. Decision AFFIRMED. Held: PO3 Pastors dying declaration is complete in the sense that it was a full expression of al l that he wanted to say with regard to the circumstances of his death. An ante-mortem statement is evidence of the highest order. It is doctrinal that, when a person is at the point of death, every motive of falsehood is silenced. The mind is induced by the strongest of reasons to speak the truth the declarants impending meeting with his Creator. Testimonies attacking the character of a witness for the purpose of impugning his credibility must relate and be confined to the general reputation which such witness has in the community or neighborhood where he lives or has lived. Personal opinions on the moral character of a witness, being usually too general, sweeping or subjective, are excluded. The attacks on Natys character and reputation made by Galingan are too flimsy and irrelevant to deserve serious consideration. More importantly, PO3 Erwil Pastor identified Galingan as the robber who shot him. In the emergency room of the Eastern Pangasinan District Hospital, at around 7:00 p.m. on September 2, 1995, Pastor moaned I might die. I might die in the presence of SPO1 Conrado Hidalgo and SPO4 Emilio Nagui. Hence, PO3 Pastors sta tements were taken down by SPO1 Hidalgo who assisted PO3 Pastor in affixing his thumbmark with his own blood. o Q: Who shot you? o A: Bong Galingan Four requisites which must concur in order that a dying declaration may be admissible under Rule 130, Section 37 of the Rules of Court: o (1) it must concern the crime and surrounding circumstances of the declarants death; o (2) at the time it was made, the declarant was under the consciousness of an impending death; o (3) the declarant was competent as a witness; and o (4) the declaration is offered in any criminal case for homicide, murder or parricide in which the declarant was the victim. 19 Whether or not the dying declarations of Eulalia is admissible Whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime based on the evidence presented.

2.

(1) (2) (3) (4)

The first requisite is present in the ante-mortem statements of deceased PO3 Pastor. Certainly, the narration he made at the hospitals emergency room before SPO1 Hidalgo and SPO4 Nagui concerned the cause and surrounding circumstances of the declarants death. The two policemen heard from the declarants own lips his utterance of the name Bong Galingan as his assailant. This fact was even testified to by these policemen. PO3 Pastor knew at the time he was being questioned that his chances of recovery were nil. In fact, he uttered the words I might die, I might die to signify his perception that death was forthcoming. PO3 Pastor, at the time he uttered the dying declaration, was competent as a witness. The dying declaration of PO3 Pastor was offered as evidence in a criminal case for robbery with homicide in which the declarant was the victim. MARTURILLAS VS. PEOPLE (2006)

FACTS:

Artemio Pantinople was shot dead outside his store in Davao City. The prosecution presented the victims wife, a neighbor, sister, police officer, and the doctor who conducted the autopsy as witnesses. o In its version, the neighbor Lito Santos, farmer, saw Artemio in that afternoon carrying a truck battery, some corn bran and rice. They chatted a few moments before eating supper. After supper, Artemio returned to the bench in front of the store while Lito ate. Lito then heard a gunshot and from a distance of about 10 meters, he also notices smoke and fire coming from the muzzle of a big gun. He then saw Artemio clasping his chest. Artemio shouted to him, Tabangi ko pre, gipusil ko ni kapitan, or Help me, pre, I was shot by the captain. o Shortly after, Lito saw Ernita Pantinople, the victims wife, coming from her house towards Artemio. She was hysterical, jump ing and shouting, Kapitan, bakit mo binaril ang aking asawa? She also repeatedly cried for help. Lito then went out of their house to help while some of their neighbors also answered and helped them. When the shooting happened, Litos house was illuminated by lamp. Ernita was at the kitchen but when she heard the gunshot and her husbands call for help, she immediately pushed open the window and saw the captain running towards the direction of the back portion of Litos house. o She also saw appellant carrying with him a long firearm which looked like an M-14 rifle. She also sensed that he had some companions with him. No member of the CFO, barangay tanod and CAFGU came to help them. PO2 Operario testified that after getting information that the captain was involved, he went to the latters house and invited him for questioning, and the latter brought with him his M-14 rifle. The victims sister, Alicia Pantinople, testified that when she went to the police station to confront the appellant, he did not answer her. Dr. Ledesma explained that Artemio died of a gunshot wound. The version of defense is anchored on denial and alibi. o The appellant Barangay Captain Celestino Marturillas was roused from his sleep at his house by his wife since the kagawads wanted to see him as he was informed that a resident in his barangay was shot. When they approached the scene of the crime, he was met by Ernita who was very mad and belligerent. o She accused him of shooting her husband. Because of this, they just left and contacted the Bunawan Police Station to report what happened. The paraffin test conducted found appellant negative for gunpowder nitrates. The barangay kagawads testified for the defense. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found appellant guilty of the crime of homicide.

ISSUES: 1. WON the victims dying declaration that the captain shot him admissible as evidence 2. WON the appellants guilt was established beyond reasonable doubt? DECISION: Petition DENIED, Judgment AFFIRMED. Held: 1. YES.

Re: Statements Uttered Contemporaneous with the Crime It was to be expected that, after seeing the victim stagger and hearing the cry for help, Santos would shift his attention to the person who had uttered the plea Help me pre, I was shot by the captain. A shift in his focus of attention would sufficiently explain why Santos was not able to see the assailant. Santos never pointed to petitioner as the perpetrator of the crime. His statements corroborated those of Ernita and therefore simply added credence to the prosecutions version of the facts. If it were true that he had an ulterior motive, it would have been very easy for him to say that he had seen petitioner shoot the victim.

Re: Dying Declaration Statements identifying the assailant, if uttered by a victim on the verge of death, are entitled to the highest degree of credence and respect. Persons aware of an impending death have been known to be genuinely truthful in their words and extremely scrupulous in their accusations. The dying declaration is given credence, on the premise that no one who knows of ones impending death will make a careless and false accusation. Hence, not infrequently, pronouncements of guilt have been allowed to rest solely on the dying declaration of the deceased victim. To be admissible, a dying declaration must o 1) refer to the cause and circumstances surrounding the declarants death; o 2) be made under the consciousness of an impending death; o 3) be made freely and voluntarily without coercion or suggestions of improper influence; o 4) be offered in a criminal case, in which the death of the declarant is the subject of inquiry; and o 5) have been made by a declarant competent to testify as a witness, had that person been called upon to testify. The law does not require the declarant to state explicitly a perception of the inevitability of death. The perception may be established from surrounding circumstances, such as the nature of the declarants injury and conduct that would justify a conclusion that there was a consciousness of impending death. Even if the declarant did not make an explicit statement of that realization, the degree and seriousness of the words and the fact that death occurred shortly afterwards may be considered as sufficient evidence that the declaration was made by the victim with full consciousness of being in a dying condition. As found by the CA, the dying declaration of the victim was complete, as it was a full expression of all that he intended to say as conveying his meaning. It [was] complete and [was] not merely fragmentary. Testified to by his wife and neighbor, his dying declaration was not only admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule, but was also a weighty and telling piece of evidence. Re: Res Gestae The fact that the victims statement constituted a dying declaration does not preclude it from being admitted as part of the res gestae, if the elements of both are present. o Rule 130.42: Part of the res gestae. -- Statements made by a person while a startling occurrence is taking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances thereof, may be given in evidence as part of the res gestae. So, also, statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue, and giving it a legal significance, may be received as part of the res gestae. Res gestae refers to statements made by the participants or the victims of, or the spectators to, a crime immediately before, during, or after its commission. These statements are a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion, without any opportunity for the declarant to fabricate a false statement. An important 20

consideration is whether there intervened, between the occurrence and the statement, any circumstance calculated to divert the mind and thus restore the mental balance of the declarant; and afford an opportunity for deliberation. A declaration is deemed part of the res gestae and admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule, when the following requisites concur: o 1) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling occurrence; o 2) the statements were made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and o 3) the statements concerned the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. All these requisites are present in this case. The principal act, the shooting, was a startling occurrence. Immediately after, while he was still under the exciting influence of the startling occurrence, the victim made the declaration without any prior opportunity to contrive a story implicating petitioner. Also, the declaration concerned the one who shot the victim. Thus, the latters statement was correctly appreciated as part of the res gestae. Aside from the victims statement, that of Ernita -- Kapitan, ngano nimo gipatay ang akong bana? (Captain, why did you shoot my husband?) -- may be considered to be in the same category. Her statement was about the same startling occurrence; it was uttered spontaneously, right after the shooting, while she had no opportunity to concoct a story against petitioner; and it related to the circumstances of the shooting. YES. The totality of evidence presented by the prosecution is sufficient to sustain a conviction. The dying declaration made by the victim immediately prior to his death constitutes evidence of the highest order as to the cause of his death and of the identity of the assailant. There was positive identification of the assassin. Ernita was able to identify the captain as the one running away immediately after the sound of the gunshot. She was even able to describe his clothes. Given the proper conditions, including the full moon and light from the fluorescent lamps, it was sufficient to allow the identification of persons. Those related to the victim of the crime have a natural tendency to remember the faces of those involved in it. It would be unnatural for a relative who is interested in vindicating the crime to accuse somebody else rather than the culprit. For her to do so is to let the guilty go free.

2.

PEOPLE v. SALAFRANCA (2012) FACTS: Bolanon was stabbed; his assailant ran away; that Bolanon was still able to walk to the house of his uncle Rodolfo B. Estao in order to seek help; that his uncle rushed him to the PGH; that on their way to the hospital Bolanon told Estao that it was Salafranca who had stabbed him; that Bolanon eventually succumbed at the hospital; and that the stabbing of Bolanon was personally witnessed by Augusto Mendoza, then still a minor of 13 years, who was in the complex at the time. Salafranca was charged with and tried for murder for the fatal stabbing of Johnny Bolanon, and was ultimately found guilty of the felony On appeal, his conviction was affirmed by the CA. o The evidence is clear that it was Rodrigo Salafranca who delivered 2 stabbing blows to the victim while holding Johnny Bolanon with his left arm encircled around Bolanons neck stabbing the latter with the use of his right hand at the right sub costal area which caused Bolanons death. Not only because it was testified to by Augusto Mendoza but corroborated by Rodolfo Estao, the victims uncle who brought Bolanon to the hospital and who relayed to the court th at when he aided Bolanon and even on their way to the hospital while the latter was suffering from hard breathing, victim Bolanon was able to say that it was Rodrigo Salafranca who stabbed him.

ISSUE: WON the dying declaration of Bolanon is admissible DECISION: YES. Decision AFFIRMED. HELD: An ante-mortem declaration of a victim of murder, homicide, or parricide that meets the conditions of admissibility under the Rules of Court and pertinent jurisprudence is admissible either as a dying declaration or as a part of the res gestae, or both. Salafrancas denial and alibi were worthless in the face of his positive identification by Mendoz a as the assailant of Bolanon. The lower courts properly accorded full faith to such incrimination by Mendoza considering that Salafranca did not even project any ill motive that could have impelled Mendoza to testify against him unless it was upon the truth. It appears from the testimony of Estao, that, upon being stabbed, Bolanon went to his house, that he had asked Bolanon who had stabbed him, and the latter had told Estao that his assailant had been Salafranca; that at the time of the utterance Bolanon had seemed to be having a hard time breathing; and that about ten minutes after his admission at the emergency ward of the hospital, Bolanon had expired and had been pronounced dead. Such circumstances qualified the utterance of Bolanon as both a dying declaration and as part of the res gestae, considering that the Court has recognized that the statement of the victim an hour before his death and right after the hacking incident bore all the earmarks either of a dying declaration or part of theres gestae either of which was an exception to the hearsay rule. All the requisites of a dying declaration were met. Bolanon communicated his ante-mortem statement to Estao, identifying Salafranca as the person who had stabbed him. At the time of his statement, Bolanon was conscious of his impending death, having sustained a stab wound in the chest and, according to Estao, was then experiencing great difficulty in breathing. Bolanon succumbed in the hospital emergency room a few minutes from admission, which occurred under three hours after the stabbing. There is ample authority for the view that the declarants belief in the imminence of his death can be shown by the declarants own statemen ts or from circumstantial evidence, such as the nature of his wounds, statements made in his presence, or by the opinion of his physician. Bolanon would have been competent to testify on the subject of the declaration had he survived. Lastly, the dying declaration was offered in this criminal prosecution for murder in which Bolanon was the victim. A declaration or an utterance is deemed as part of the res gestae and thus admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule when the following requisites concur, to wit: (a) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling occurrence; (b) the statements are made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and (c) the statements must concern the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. The requisites for admissibility of a declaration as part of the res gestae concur herein. Surely, when he gave the identity of the assailant to Estao, Bolanon was referring to a startling occurrence, i.e., his stabbing by Salafranca. Bolanon was then on board the taxicab that would bring him to the hospital, and thus had no time to contrive his identification of Salafranca as the assailant. His utterance about Salafranca having stabbed him was made in spontaneity and only in reaction to the startling occurrence. The statement was relevant because it identified Salafranca as the perpetrator.

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DECLARATION AGAINST INTEREST VIACRUCIS v. CA (1972) FACTS: Private respondents, Anastacio Orais and his wife Celestina Malazarte brought an action to establish their title to a land of about 4 ha alleging that it is part of a bigger lot sold to them, by its registered owner, Pedro Sanchez, by virtue of a deed of sale as well as to recover, from petitioners Guillermo Viacrucis and Luisa de Viacrucis the possession of said land. In their answer, Mr. and Mrs. Viacrucis averred that they are the owners of said 4-hectare land; that the deed of sale in favor of Anastacio Orais attests merely to a simulated transaction; and that this action is barred by the statute of limitations. Alleging that the rights of Mr. and Mrs. Viacrucis had been assigned to them, Claros Marquez and his wife Rustica Arevalo subsequently intervened in the case. The trial court ruled in favor of Orais which was affirmed by the CA. It appears that the 4 hectares is part of a bigger lot in the name of Pedro Sanchez; that Sanchez executed the deed to Anastacio Orais and recorded in the memorandum of encumbrances of Homestead, Sanchez executed another deed to Balentin Ruizo, who in turn sold it to Guillermo Viacrucis. o Upon Orais demand, Viacrucis executed another deed in favor of his brother -in-law Claros Marquez but such deeds were not registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Leyte. The Viacrucis appealed contending that the action is barred by laches on the part of Orais and in deciding the case in violation of Sec. 22, 23, and 25 of the Rule 130 of the New RoC. They bewail that the CA considered in favor or Orais allegedly in violation of Sec. 25 the admission of Mrs. Beatriz Costelo, to the effect that, although the land in dispute was physically in the possession of her now deceased husband, Pelagio Costelo, he and she recognized Orais as the owner of the land.

ISSUES: 1. 2. WON the admission of Mrs. Costelo is admissible as evidence WON the Spouses Orais own the land

DECISION: Decision AFFIRMED. HELD: 1. YES. It should be noted, however, that said testimony of Mrs. Costelo and this recognition by the now deceased Pelagio Castelo which were confirmed by the public document constitute a declaration of Mr. and Mrs. Castelo adverse to their interest, which is admissible in evidence, pursuant to section 32 of said Rule 130. o Petitioners have no reason whatsoever to object to the consideration in favor of Orais of said admission, the same having been made in 1936, more than five (5) years before their (petitioners) predecessor in interest, Balentin Ruizo, had entered into the picture, when Orais and Castelo were the only parties who had any interest in the object of said admission. Pursuant to said legal provision, such admission "may be received in evidence," not only against the party who made it "or his successors in interest," but, also, "against third persons." YES. As between Pedro Sanchez, Orais and petitioners herein, the title to said land if treated as an unregistered one passed, therefore, to Orais when the title was recorded in the office of the register of deeds. Accordingly, Sanchez was no longer its owner when he sold it to Balentin Ruizo who, as a consequence, acquired no title to said land, and conveyed none to Viacrucis, who, in turn, could not have transmitted any to Claros Marquez. Furthermore, petitioners could not possibly have acquired title to said land, as one registered under Act No. 496, inasmuch as the deeds of conveyance in their favor and in that of their predecessor in interest, Balentin Ruizo have not been registered, and, pursuant to the provisions of said Act, "the act of registration shall be the operative act to convey and affect the land ...." o Neither could the petitioners have acquired title by prescription, for "no title to registered land in derogation to that of the registered owner shall be acquired by prescription or adverse possession." Hence, petitioners have given up the plea of prescription, on which they relied heavily in the court of first instance and the Court of Appeals, and now merely press the defense of laches, belatedly invoked, for the first time, in the Court of Appeals and properly rejected by the same.

2.

FUENTES, JR. v. CA (1996) FACTS: Julieto Malaspina together with Godofredo Llames, Honorio Osok and Alberto Toling, was at a benefit dance. Petitioner called Malaspina and placed his right arm on the shoulder of the latter saying, Before, I saw you with a long hair but now you have a short hair. Suddenly petitioner stabbe d Malaspina in the abdomen with a hunting knife. Petitioner fled. Before the victim succumbed to the gaping wound on his abdomen he muttered that Alejandro Fuentes, Jr., stabbed him. A charge for murder was filed in the RTC. Petitioner claims that it was his cousin Zoilo Fuentes, Jr., alias Jonie who knif ed Malaspina; that when the victim was killed he was conversing with him; that he was compelled to run away when he heard that somebody with a bolo and spear would kill all those from San Isidro because Jonie, the killer, was from that place. RTC found petitioner guilty of murder qualified by treachery. CA affirmed. Hence, this petition for review. o Petitioner points to an alleged inconsistency between the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Alberto Toling and Honorio Osok to the effect that they saw petitioner stab Malaspina on the right lumbar region, and the testimony of the attending physician that the victim was stabbed on the left lumbar region. o Petitioner would make much of the alleged confession of Zoilo Fuentes, Jr., since it is a declaration against penal interest and therefore an exception to the hearsay rule. The so-called confession of Zoilo was allegedly given to Felicisimo Fuentes, the uncle of petitioner and Zoilo, who in turn relayed the matter to P/Sgt. Benjamin Conde, Jr. Felicisimo testified that while he was at Brgy. San Isidro, Zoilo Fuent es, Jr., confessed that he killed Malaspina in retaliation; that he even showed him the knife he used and asked his help in finding a lawyer, in securing bail and, if possible, in working out a settlement with the relatives of the deceased. The following day however he learned that the self-confessed killer was gone and that petitioner had been arrested for a crime he did not commit.

ISSUE: WON the petitioner is guilty of murder DECISION: YES. HELD: The discrepancy is inconsequential. What is material is that Malaspina was stabbed to death and that 3 prosecution witnesses positively identified him. It must be stressed that these witnesses had known petitioner for quite some time and never had any personal misunderstanding nor altercation with the latter as to create any suspicion that they were impelled by ill motives to falsely implicate him. o That it was another person who committed the offense is too incredible. No less than petitioners own witness, Nerio Biscocho who claimed he also saw the killing, testified that Alejandro Fuentes, Jr., the petitioner, and Jonie Fuentes are one and the same person. 22

One of the recognized exceptions to the hearsay rule is that pertaining to declarations made against interest. Sec. 38 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides that (t)he declaration made by a person deceased, or unable to testify, against the interest of the declarant, if the fact asserted in the declaration was at the time it was made so far contrary to declarants own interest, that a reasonable man in his position would not have made the declaration unless he believed it to be true, may be received in evidence against himself or his successors in interest and against third persons. The admissibility in evidence of such declaration is grounded on necessity and trustworthiness. There are three (3) essential requisites for the admissibility of a declaration against interest: (a) the declarant must not be available to testify; (b) the declaration must concern a fact cognizable by the declarant; and (c) the circumstances must render it improbable that a motive to falsify existed. o The declaration particularly against penal interest attributed to Zoilo Fuentes Jr. is not admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule. Consider this factual scenario: the alleged declarant Zoilo Fuentes Jr., a cousin of accused-appellant, verbally admitted to the latter, and later to their common uncle Felicisimo Fuentes, that he (Zoilo) killed the victim because of a grudge, after which he disappeared. One striking feature that militates against the acceptance of such a statement is its patent untrustworthiness. Zoilo who is related to accused-appellant had every motive to prevaricate. The same can be said of accused-appellant and his uncle Felicisimo. Secondly, we need not resort to legal rhetorics to find that the admission of such a statement may likewise be, according to Wigmore, shocking to the sense of justice. Let us assume that the trial court did admit the statement of Zoilo and on that basis acq uitted accused-appellant. Let us assume further that Zoilo was subsequently captured and upon being confronted with his admission of guilt readily repudiated the same. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can bind Zoilo legally to that statement. But more importantly, the far weightier reason why the admission against penal interest cannot be accepted in the instant case is that the declarant is not unable t o testify. There is no showing that Zoilo is either dead, mentally incapacitated or physically incompetent which Sec. 38 obviously contemplates. His mere absence from the jurisdiction does not make him ipso facto unavailable under this rule. For it is incumbent upon the defense to produce each and every piece of evidence that can break the prosecution and assure the acquittal of the accused. Other than the gratuitous statements of accused-appellant and his uncle to the effect that Zoilo admitted having killed Malaspina, the records show that the defense did not exert any serious effort to produce Zoilo as a witness. PAREL v. PRUDENCIO (2006)

FACTS: Simeon Prudencio (respondent) filed a complaint for recovery of possession against petitioner alleging that: he is the owner of a two-storey residential house; such property was constructed solely from his own funds; he commenced the construction of said house in 1972 until its completion three years later. When the second floor of said house became habitable, he allowed petitioners parents, Florentino (now deceased) and Susan Pa rel, to move therein while the construction of the ground floor was on-going to supervise the construction and to safeguard the materials; when the construction of the second floor was finished in 1975, respondent allowed petitioners parents and children to transfer and temporarily reside thereat. Respondent wrote Florentino a notice for them to vacate the said house as the former was due for retirement and he needed the place to which petitioners pare nts heeded when they migrated to U.S. in 1986; however, without respondents knowledge, petitioner and his family unlawfully entere d and took possession of the ground floor of respondents house; petitioners refusal to vacate the house despite repeated demands prompted respondent to file the instant action for recovery of possession. Petitioner filed his Answer with Counterclaim alleging that: his parents are the co-owners of the said residential house. Petitioner asked for the dismissal of the complaint and prayed for damages and attorneys fees. RTC ruled in favor of the petitioner.The RTC found the following matters as conclusive: that petitioners father was an allocatee of the land on which the subject house was erected, as one of the lowly-paid government employees at that time when then Mayor Luis Lardizabal gave them the chance to construct their own house on said reservation; that respondent failed to show proof of any contract, written or oral, express or implied, that the late Florentino and his family stayed on the house not as co-owners but as mere lessees, nor any other proof that would clearly establish his sole ownership of the house; and, that the late Florentino was the one who gathered the laborers for the construction of the house and paid their salaries. Thus, the RTC ruled that co-ownership existed between respondent and petitioners father, Florentino. CA reversed the trial court. Petitioner failed to formally offer in evidence any documentary evidence. The trial courts statement that "defendants occupancy of the house is due to a SPA executed by his parents is wanting of any concrete evidence on record. The CA found the affidavit of Florentino, petitioners father, stating that he is not the owner of the subject house but respondent, as conclusive proof of respondents sole ownership of the subject house as it is a declarat ion made by Florentino against his interest. It also found the tax declarations and official receipts representing payments of real estate taxes of the questioned property covering the period 1974 to 1992 sufficient to establish respondents case which constitute at least proof that the holder has a claim of title over the property.

ISSUE: WON the affidavit of Florentino is conclusive proof of respondents sole ownership DECISION: YES. HELD: The theory under which declarations against interest are received in evidence notwithstanding they are hearsay is that the necessity of the occasion renders the reception of such evidence advisable and, further that the reliability of such declaration asserts facts which are against his own pecuniary or moral interest. The affiant, Florentino, who died in 1989 was petitioners father and had adequate knowledge with respect to the subject covered by his statement. In said affidavit, Florentino categorically declared that while he is the occupant of the residential building, he is not the owner of the same as it is owned by respondent who is residing in Quezon City. It is safe to presume that he would not have made such declaration unless he believed it to be true, as it is prejudicial to himsel f as well as to his childrens interests as his heirs. A declaration against interest is the best evidence which affords the greatest certainty of the facts in dispute. Notably, during Florentinos lifetime, from 1973, the year he executed said affidavit until 1989, the year of his death, ther e is no showing that he had revoked such affidavit even when a criminal complaint for trespass to dwelling had been filed by respondent against him (Florentino) and petitioner in 1988 regarding the subject house which the trial court dismissed due to the absence of evidence showing that petitioner entered the house against the latters will and held that the remedy of respondent was to file an action for ejectment; and even when a complaint for unlawful detainer was filed against petitioner and his wife also in 1988 which was subsequently dismissed on the ground that respondents action should be an accion publiciana which is beyond the jurisdiction of the MTC. Moreover, the building plan of the residential house dated January 16, 1973 was in the name of respondent and his wife. It was established during petitioners crossexamination that the existing structure of the two-storey house was in accordance with said building plan.14 Notably, respondent has been religiously paying the real estate property taxes on the house declared under his name since 1974. In fact, petitioner during his crossexamination admitted that there was no occasion that they paid the real estate taxes nor declared any portion of the house in their name. o While tax receipts and declarations are not incontrovertible evidence of ownership, they constitute at least proof that the holder has a claim of title over the property. The house which petitioner claims to be co-owned by his late father had been consistently declared for taxation purposes in the name of respondent, and this fact, taken with the other circumstances above-mentioned, inexorably lead to the conclusion that respondent is the sole owner of the house subject matter of the litigation.

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