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CASE DIGESTS (EVIDENCE)

A. COLF Corp. v. Bernabe, Jr. (Decision of the Court of Appeals)


CV No. 61595 April 27, 2005
Petitioner: Consolidated Orient Leasing & Financing Corporation
(COLF) Corporation
Respondent: Luis Bernabe, Jr.
Ponente: Pine, J.
Facts of the Case:
On June 4, 1982, COLF Corporation had a lease agreement
involving three items which were received by Willie G. Sia, who was
the lessee of the agreement. He refused to pay and return the
equipment. As a result, COLF filed an action against him before the
RTC of Makati that granted a writ of seizure ordered by Sheriff
Silvino Pastrana.
On the other hand, on February 3, 1984, judgment was
rendered in favor of Bernabe who filed a case against Sia before the
RTC of Bambang, Nueva, Vizcaya for the recovery of a sum of
money. Accordingly, a writ of execution was issued against Sia.
When Pastrana was about to take the equipment of Sia in
accordance to the decision from RTC of Makati, he was intercepted
by Bernabe claiming the equipment.
This led COLF to file a Third Party Claim over the equipment
and thus, filed an action against him on April 1, 1985 at RTC of
Makati. The decision of the RTC was in favor of COLF. Thus,
Bernabe filed an appeal in the Court of Appeals.
Bernabe stands that he bought the equipment under legal
processes as it was sold at public auction.
Issue:
Whether or not appellee is the owner of the units of heavy
equipment sold at public auction
Held:
Yes. COLF Corp has sufficiently established by a preponderance of
evidence that it was the real owner and Sia, a mere lessee of the
heavy equipment. Hence, the trial court is correct in finding that
COLF owns the units of the heavy equipment sold at public auction.
Appeal dismissed and the judgment affirmed.

B. Government of the Philippine Islands v. Martinez
44 Phil. 817, January 10, 1918
Petitioner: Carmen Martinez and Dolores Martinez
Respondent: Julio Salvador
Ponente: Araullo, J.
Facts of the Case:
The Martinez Sisters and Salvador were both claiming the
same land title in the municipality of Iloilo, Province of Iloilo. Julio
Salvador presented a certified copy issued by the acting registrar of
deeds of Iloilo as evidence that the Martinez sisters made a
document of sale of said lots to a man named Domenech who sold
the land to Salvador. The Court of First Instance of Iloilo rendered
judgment in favor of Salvador. The Martinez sisters appealed and
alleged that the trial court erred in admitting the copy of the record
of a supposed document of sale, presented by Salvador, in support
of his claim of title without the disappearance or loss of the original
document having been previously proved.
Issue:
Whether or not the introduction of secondary evidence is admissible
Held:
No. The general rule is that the secondary evidence of its contents
cannot be admitted until the non production of the original has
been satisfactorily accounted for.
Judgment reversed.

C. People of the Philippines v. Antivola
G.R. No. 139236, February 3, 2004, 421 SCRA 487
Petitioner: Sally de Guzman
Respondent: Rodel Antivola
Ponente: Callejo, Sr., J
Facts of the Case:
It was a review of the decision of the RTC of Malolos, Bulacan
Branch 78 convicting Antivola of qualified rape and sentenced him
with death penalty.
It was claimed that he molested Rachel de Guzman, a five-
year-old child. Rachel said that Antivola took her inside his house
who told her that they were going to play a game. But once inside,
the appellant removed her shorts, touch her private parts and
inserted his penis in the childs vagina. Laboratory exam on Rachel
showed multiple fresh lacerations on her hymen. Thus, RTC
convicted him. The appellant appealed that the lower court failed to
prove the age of the alleged victim. Her birth certificate was not
submitted as evidence and the only basis for her age was the childs
testimony and her mothers.
Issue:
Whether or not the evidence for the childs age to determine the
propriety of the penalty imposed on the appellant is sufficient.
Held:
No. The High Court held that appellant is only guilty of simple rape
for failure of the prosecution to present competent evidence to prove
the victims age. Thus, Antivolas penalty would be from death
penalty to reclusion perpetua.
Judgment is affirmed with modification.

D. Asuncion v. National Labor Relations Commission
G.R. No. 129329, July 31, 2001, 362 SCRA 56
Petitioner: Ester M. Asuncion
Respondents: National Labor Relations Commission, Mabini
Medical Clinic, and Dr. Wilfrido Juco
Ponente: Kapunan, J.
Facts of the Case:
Petitioner Ester Asuncion was employed as an
accountant/bookkeeper by the respondent Mabini Medical Clinic on
August 16, 1993.
On August 1994, private respondent, Medical Director Wilfrido
Juco, issued a memorandum for the petitioner charging her with
offenses mainly chronic absenteeism, habitual tardiness, loitering
and wasting of company time, and other reasons.
She was required to explain within two days why she should
not be fired based on the charges in the memorandum yet she had
submitted the response 3 days later and was terminated.
This prompted the petitioner to file a case for illegal
termination. The Labor Arbiter stated that the allegations against
the petitioner lack evidence.
The respondent presented handwritten and unsigned entries
and computerized print-outs as evidence for the petitioners
absenteeism and tardiness.
The Labor Arbiters decisions were reversed by the NLRC.
Thus, Asuncion filed a petition for certiorari in the High Court.
Issue:
Whether or not the evidence is admissible and satisfied the
employers burden of proof
Held:
No. The print-outs which constitute the only evidence of the
employer afford no assurance of their authenticity and are easily
subject to fraud. The unexplained and unjustified non-presentation
of the record book, which is the best evidence, casts serious doubts
on the factual basis of the charges of absenteeism and tardiness.
The consistent rule is that when doubt exists between the evidence
presented by the employer and the employee, it must favor the
latter. The employer must affirmatively show rationally adequate
evidence that the dismissal was for a justifiable cause. Not having
satisfied the burden of proof, the Court held that the termination is
illegal.
Decision of the NLRC reversed and the decision of the Labor Arbiter
reinstated.

E. De Vera v. Aguilar
G.R. No. 83377, February 9, 1988, 218 SCRA 602
Petitioners: Basilio De Vera, Luis De Vera, Felipe De Vera,
Eustaquia De V era, and Maria De Vera
Respondents: Mariano Aguilar and Leona Aguilar
Ponente: Campos, Jr., J.
Facts of the Case:
Basilio, Luis, Felipe, and Maria, all surnamed De Vera, and
respondent Leona, married to Mariano Aguilar, are the children and
heirs of the late Marcosa Bernabe who had passed away.
Respondent Mariano Aguilar presented an Original Certificate
of Title No. P-1356 (M) issued in his name.
Petitioners wrote to the respondents that they were co-owners
of the land as children of Marcosa Bernabe. The petitioners also
claimed that the respondents resold the propert to Marcosa
Bernabe on April 28, 1959 which was denied by the respondents.
As a result, the petitioners filed a falsification case which was
dismissed and filed a suit for reconveyance. The RTC rendered its
decision in favor of the petitioners.
Repondents appealed in the CA stating that the petitioners
failed to produce the original of the alleged deed of sale dated April
28, 1959. Thus, the CA reversed the decision of the RTC of Bulacan
for failure of the petitioners to prove the loss or destruction of the
original deed of sale and all of its duplicate original copies.
Petitioners presented that the loss of original document had
been proven by the testimony of the representatives of the offices of
the National Archives and the Provincial Assessor of Bulacan.
Issue:
Whether or not the presentation of secondary evidence is admissible
Held:
No. The petitioners did not satisfactorily prove the loss of original
deed of sale so as to allow the presentation of the xeroxed copy of
the same. Secondary evidence is admissible when the original
document were actually destroyed or lost. The best evidence needed
in this case was not actually lost or destroyed for it was submitted
to the Office of Registration of Deeds for registration. The appellees,
therefore, should have asked that office to produce it in court and if
it could not be produced for one reason or another, they should
have called the Register of Deeds or his representative to explain
why. That the failed to do. The loss or destruction of the original of
the document in question has not, therefore, been established.
Hence, the secondary evidence of it is not admissible.
Decision affirmed.

F. People of the Philippines v. Alcoreza (Decisions of the Court
of Appeals)
C.R. No. 27498, January 27, 2005
Petitioner: Richard Cachapero
Respondent: Virgilio Alcoreza
Ponente: Tagle, J.
Facts of the Case:
Complainant Richard Cachapero and his wife brought their
sick child to the hospital and brought their owner-type jeep and
parked it there. He noticed a young boy and an older man standing
nearby that time.
When he returned, he found that the plastic sidings of his jeep
were slashed and the total value of things stolen from them was 35,
500php. He reported the matter to Security Guard Dante Laureto
who called for police assistance.
They caught the accused and saw the missing articles inside
the backseat of the tricycle where the accused rode.
Alcoreza appealed that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt
beyond reasonable doubt as there were no eyewitnesses presented
against them.
Issue:
Whether or not the accused is proven guilty beyond reasonable
doubt even without eyewitnesses presented against him
Held:
Yes. In our jurisdiction, direct evidence is not the only basis upon
which the guilt of an accused may be proved. There are crimes
where there are no eyewitnesses at all. Under such circumstances,
the offense may be established through circumstantial evidence.