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Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity
A credible witness is one who is not disqualified to testify by mental incapacity, crime,
or other cause. Historical Soc. of Dauphin County vs. Kelker, 74 A. 619, 226 Pa. 16, 134 Am. St.
Rep. 1010. (Words and Phrases, Vol. 10, p. 340).
As construed by the common law, a credible witness to a will means a competent
witness. Appeal of Clark, 95 A. 517, 114 Me. 105, Ann. Cas. 1917A, 837. (Ibid. p. 341).
Expression credible witness in relation to attestation of wills means competent
witness; chan roblesvirtualawlibrarythat is, one competent under the law to testify to fact of
execution of will. Vernons Ann. Civ. St. art. 8283. Moos vs. First State Bank of Uvalde, Tex. Civ.
App. 60 S. W. 2d 888, 889. (Ibid. p. 842)
The term credible, used in the statute of wills requiring that a will shall be attested by
two credible witnesses, means competent; who, at the time of attesting the will, are legally
competent to testify, in a court of justice, to the facts attested by subscribing the will, the
competency being determined as of the date of the execution of the will and not of the time it
is offered for probate. Smith vs. Goodell, 101 N.E. 255, 256, 258 Ill. 145. (Ibid.)
Credible witnesses, as used in the statute relating to wills, means competent
witnesses that is, such persons as are not legally disqualified from testifying in courts of
justice, by reason of mental incapacity, interest, or the commission of crimes, or other cause
excluding them from testifying generally, or rendering them incompetent in respect of the
particular subject matter or in the particular suit.
Disqualification by reason of marriage
Exception to the Marital Disqualifications Rule
But like all other general rules, the marital disqualification rule has its own exceptions,
both in civil actions between the spouses and in criminal cases for offenses committed by one
against the other. Like the rule itself, the exceptions are backed by sound reasons which, in the
excepted cases, outweigh those in support of the general rule. For instance, where the marital
and domestic relations are so strained that there is no more harmony to be preserved nor
peace and tranquility which may be disturbed, the reason based upon such harmony and
tranquility fails. In such a case, identity of interests disappears and the consequent danger of
perjury based on that identity is non-existent. Likewise, in such a situation, the security and
confidences of private life, which the law aims at protecting, will be nothing but ideals, which
through their absence, merely leave a void in the unhappy home.
In Ordoo vs. Daquigan, [13] this Court held:
We think that the correct rule, which may be adopted in this jurisdiction, is that
laid down in Cargil vs. State, 35 ALR 133, 220 Pac. 64, 25 Okl. 314, wherein the
court said:
The rule that the injury must amount to a physical wrong upon
the person is too narrow; and the rule that any offense remotely
or indirectly affecting domestic harmony comes within the
exception is too broad. The better rule is that, when an offense
directly attacks, or directly and vitally impairs, the conjugal
relation, it comes within the exception to the statute that one
shall not be a witness against the other except in a criminal
prosecution for a crime committee (by) one against the other.
Where spouse is accused with others
As correctly observed by the court a quo, the disqualification is between husband and
wife, the law not precluding the wife from testifying when it involves other parties or accused.
Disqualification by reason of privileged communication
Marital Privileged Communications may be waived
The marital privilege rule, being a rule of evidence, may be waived by failure of the
claimant to object timely to its presentation or by any conduct that may be construed as
Attorney-Client Privilege
Certain it is that a judge may not be held administratively accountable for every
erroneous order or decision he renders (Rodrigo v. Quijano, etc., 79 SCRA 10 [1977]). To hold
otherwise would be to render judicial office untenable, for no one called upon to try the facts
or interpret the law in the process of administering justice can be infallible in his judgment
(SEE Lopez v. Corpus, 78 SCRA 374 [1977]; Pilipinas Bank v. Tirona-Liwag, 190 SCRA 834 [1990]).
The error must be gross or patent deliberate and malicious, or incurred with evident bad faith
(Quizon v. Balthazar, Jr., 65 SCRA 293 [1975]).
The imputed error in this case not being in the premises gross, and the record being
bereft of any persuasive showing of deliberate or malicious intent on the part of respondent
Judge to cause prejudice to any party, the instant administrative proceeding against the latter
must be given short shrift want of basis. (EMMANUEL D. SANTO vs. JUDGE JOSE L. ORLINO)

Physician-Patient Privilege
The physician-patient privileged communication rule essentially means that a physician
who gets information while professionally attending a patient cannot in a civil case be
examined without the patients consent as to any facts which would blacken the latters
reputation. This rule is intended to encourage the patient to open up to the physician, relate to
him the history of his ailment, and give him access to his body, enabling the physician to make a
correct diagnosis of that ailment and provide the appropriate cure. Any fear that a physician
could be compelled in the future to come to court and narrate all that had transpired between
him and the patient might prompt the latter to clam up, thus putting his own health at great
The rule on confidential communications between physician and patient requires that:
a) the action in which the advice or treatment given or any information is to be used is a civil
case; b) the relation of physician and patient existed between the person claiming the privilege
or his legal representative and the physician; c) the advice or treatment given by him or any
information was acquired by the physician while professionally attending the patient; d) the
information was necessary for the performance of his professional duty; and e) the disclosure
of the information would tend to blacken the reputation of the patient.
Executive Privilege
At common law a governmental privilege against disclosure is recognized with respect
to state secrets bearing on military, diplomatic and similar matters. This privilege is based upon
public interest of such paramount importance as in and of itself transcending the individual
interests of a private citizen, even though, as a consequence thereof, the plaintiff cannot
enforce his legal rights.
On the other hand, where the claim of confidentiality does not rest on the need to
protect military, diplomatic or other national security secrets but on a general public interest in
the confidentiality of his conversations, courts have declined to find in the Constitution an
absolute privilege of the President against a subpoena considered essential to the enforcement
of criminal laws.