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July 7, 2014

C.R. No. 80505, 4 December 1990, 192 SCRA 28

Facts: Accused was convicted of a violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. He appealed to Supreme Court, contending
that the trial court erred, in violation of the Best Evidence Rule, in admitting a xerox copy of the bill allegedly used as
buy-bust money.
Issue: Whether the xerox copy of the marked bill is admissible in evidence.
Ruling: The Best Evidence Rule applies only when the contents of the document are the subject of inquiry. Where the
issue is only: as to whether or not such document was actually expected, or exists, or in the circumstances relevant to
or surrounding its execution, the best evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible. Since the
photocopy of the marked money was presented by the prosecution solely for the purpose of establishing its existence
and not its contents, other bstitutionary evidence, like a xerox copy, is therefore admissible without accounting for the
Closely related to the best evidence rule is the rule that ca document or writing which is merely" collateral" to the issue
involved in the case on trial need not be produced. This is the collateral facts rule. Thus, where the purpose of
presenting a document is not to prove its contents, but merely to give coherence to, or to make intelligible, the
testimony of a witness regarding a fact contemporaneous to the writing, the original of the document need not be
presented. In this case, the contents of the document .are not sought to be proven, but are simply incidental to the fact
being testified to. Thus, the best evidence rule cannot apply. 53

Air France vs. Rafael Carracoso
18 SCRA 155

Civil Law Torts and Damages Negligence Malfeasance Quasi-Delict
Remedial Law Evidence Hearsay Rule Res Gestae Startling Event

FACTS: In March 1958, Rafael Carrascoso and several other Filipinos were tourists en route to Rome from Manila.
Carrascoso was issued a first class round trip ticket by Air France. But during a stop-over in Bangkok, he was asked by
the plane manager of Air France to vacate his seat because a white man allegedly has a better right than him.
Carrascoso protested but when things got heated and upon advise of other Filipinos on board, Carrascoso gave up his
seat and was transferred to the planes tourist class.

After their tourist trip when Carrascoso was already in the Philippines, he sued Air France for damages for the
embarrassment he suffered during his trip. In court, Carrascoso testified, among others, that he when he was forced to
take the tourist class, he went to the planes pantry where he was approached by a plane purser who told him that he
noted in the planes journal the following:
First-class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and that the captain refused to intervene
The said testimony was admitted in favor of Carrascoso. The trial court eventually awarded damages in favor
of Carrascoso. This was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Air France is assailing the decision of the trial court and the CA. It avers that the issuance of a first class ticket
to Carrascoso was not an assurance that he will be seated in first class because allegedly in truth and in fact, that was
not the true intent between the parties.
Air France also questioned the admissibility of Carrascosos testimony regarding the note made by the purser
because the said note was never presented in court.

ISSUE 1: Whether or not Air France is liable for damages and on what basis.

ISSUE 2: Whether or not the testimony of Carrasoso regarding the note which was not presented in court is admissible
in evidence.

HELD 1: Yes. It appears that Air Frances liability is based on culpa-contractual and on culpa aquiliana.

Culpa Contractual
There exists a contract of carriage between Air France and Carrascoso. There was a contract to furnish
Carrasocoso a first class passage; Second, That said contract was breached when Air France failed to furnish first
class transportation at Bangkok; and Third, that there was bad faith when Air Frances employee compelled
Carrascoso to leave his first class accommodation berth after he was already, seated and to take a seat in the tourist
class, by reason of which he suffered inconvenience, embarrassments and humiliations, thereby causing him mental
anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings and social humiliation, resulting in moral damages.

The Supreme Court did not give credence to Air Frances claim that the issuance of a first class ticket to a
passenger is not an assurance that he will be given a first class seat. Such claim is simply incredible.

Culpa Aquiliana
Here, the SC ruled, even though there is a contract of carriage between Air France and Carrascoso, there is
also a tortuous act based on culpa aquiliana. Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right
to be treated by the carriers employees with kindness, respect, courtesy and due consideration. They are entitled to be
protected against personal misconduct, injurious language, indignities and abuses from such employees. So it is, that
any rule or discourteous conduct on the part of employees towards a passenger gives the latter an action for damages
against the carrier. Air Frances contract with Carrascoso is one attended with public duty. The stress of Carrascosos
action is placed upon his wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the Air France a case of quasi-
delict. Damages are proper.

HELD: 2: Yes. The testimony of Carrascoso must be admitted based on res gestae. The subject of inquiry is not the
entry, but the ouster incident. Testimony on the entry does not come within the proscription of the best evidence rule.
Such testimony is admissible.

Besides, when the dialogue between Carrascoso and the purser happened, the impact
of the startling occurrence was still fresh and continued to be felt. The excitement had not as yet died down.
Statements then, in this environment, are admissible as part of the res gestae. The utterance of the purser regarding
his entry in the notebook was spontaneous, and related to the circumstances of the ouster incident. Its trustworthiness
has been guaranteed. It thus escapes the operation of the hearsay rule. It forms part of the res gestae.

G.R. No. 83377 February 9, 1993

FACTS: Marcosa Bernabe owned the disputed parcel of land. The petitioners and respondent Leona V. Aguilar are her
children. The property subject of the dispute was mortgaged by petitioners to Atty Leonardo Bordador. Upon maturity
of the mortgage, the respondent spouses redeemed it and in turn Marcosa Bernabe sold the property to the
respondents as evidenced by a deed of absolute sale. The respondents registered the deed of sale and received an
original certificate of title.
The petitioners wrote to the respondents claiming that as children of Marcosa Bernabe, they were co-owners
of the property and demanded partition thereof. The petitioners also claimed that the respondents had resold the
property to Marcosa Bernabe on April 28, 1959.
The respondents wrote in reply to the petitioners that they were the sole owners of the disputed parcel of land
and denied that the land was resold to Marcosa Bernabe.
Petitioners then filed a suit for reconveyance of the lot. The trial court ruled in favor of petitioners and admitted,
over the objection of the respondents, Exhibit A purporting to be a xeroxed copy of an alleged deed of sale executed
on April 28, 1959 by the respondents selling, transferring and conveying unto Marcosa Bernabe the disputed parcel of
land for and in consideration of P1,500.00. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed RTCs decision. It found that the
loss or destruction of the original deed of sale has not been duly proven by the petitioners. Hence, secondary
evidence, i.e., presentation of the xeroxed copy of the alleged deed of sale is inadmissible.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners have satisfactorily proven the loss of the original deed of sale so as to allow the
presentation of the xeroxed copy of the same. (Evidence Best Evidence rule; Admissibility of Secondary Evidence)
HELD: NO. Secondary evidence is admissible when the original documents were actually lost or destroyed. But prior
to the introduction of such secondary evidence, the proponent must establish the former existence of the instrument.
The correct order of proof is as follows: Existence; execution; loss; contents although this order may be changed if
necessary in the discretion of the court. The sufficiency of proof offered as a predicate for the admission of an alleged
lost deed lies within the judicial discretion of the trial court under all the circumstances of the particular case. A reading
of the decision of the trial court shows that it merely ruled on the existence and due execution of the alleged deed of
sale dated April 28, 1959. It failed to look into the facts and circumstances surrounding the loss or destruction of the
original copies of the alleged deed of sale.
In the case at bar, the existence of an alleged sale of a parcel of land was proved by the presentation of a
xeroxed copy of the alleged deed of absolute sale.
In establishing the execution of a document the same may be established by the person or persons who
executed it, by the person before whom its execution was acknowledged, or by any person who was present and saw it
executed or who, after its execution, saw it and recognized the signatures; or by a person to whom the parties to the
instrument had previously confessed the execution thereof. We agree with the trial court's findings that petitioners have
sufficiently established the due execution of the alleged deed of sale through the testimony of the notary public.
After the due execution of the document has been established, it must next be proved that said document has
been lost or destroyed. The destruction of the instrument may be proved by any person knowing the fact. The loss may
be shown by any person who knew the fact of its loss, or by any one who had made, in the judgment of the court, a
sufficient examination in the place or places where the document or papers of similar character are usually kept by the
person in whose custody the document lost was, and has been unable to find it; or who has made any other
investigation which is sufficient to satisfy the court that the instrument is indeed lost.
However, all duplicates or counterparts must be accounted for before using copies. For, since all the
duplicates or multiplicates are parts of the writing itself to be proved, no excuse for non-production of the writing itself
can be regarded as established until it appears that all of its parts are unavailable (i.e. lost, retained by the opponent or
by a third person or the like).
In the case at bar, Atty. Emiliano Ibasco, Jr., notary public who notarized the document testified that the
alleged deed of sale has about four or five original copies. Hence, all originals must be accounted for before secondary
evidence can be given of any one. This petitioners failed to do. Records show that petitioners merely accounted for
three out of four or five original copies.

[G.R. No. 117384. October 21, 1998]

Respondents.Petitioners seek the reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals and affirming the decision of the
Regional Trial Court of Isabela.

FACTS: On November 20, 1986, petitioners filed an action for reconveyance with damages against private
respondents involving a parcel of land situated in Poblacion, San Mateo, Isabela with a total area of 3,277 square
meters petitioners assert that the subject land was bought by their predecessor-in-interest from the private
respondents, Madrid brothers, for P4,000.00 on May 18, 1959. Since then they have been in actual, physical,
continuous and open possession of the property. However in October 1986, private respondents managed to obtain a
Torrens Title over the said land, the Madrids denied having executed the said deed of sale and alleged that the
document was fictitious and falsified. Meanwhile, Pacifico Marquez contends that he is an innocent purchaser for value
of the property having bought the same from the Madrid brothers in 1976.

During the trial, petitioners were unable to present the original deed of sale since it was lost.They were
constrained to offer, as Exhibit A a photo copy of the purported original carbon copy of the deed of sale in an effort to
prove the transaction, The trial court ruled that Exhibit was inadmissible in evidence, for No proof was adduced that
this remaining copy was lost or destroyed.. no attempt was done to produce the copies retained by the notary public
although there is a possibility that the same still exist.. Neither was there any proof that the copy sent to the court as
required by the notarial law is unavailable. the trial court dismissed petitioners complaint.. Declaring the defendants the
lawful owners .. Ordering the plaintiffs.. to vacate the portions of Lots 7036-A-10-A,.. 70360A-10-B and 7036-A-10-C..

Court of Appeals AFFIRMED the decision of the RTC rendering its judgment which ruled that Exhibit A
was admissible in evidence for failure of the private respondents to object when it was offered during the trial, but it had
no probative value to support the allegation of the petitioners that the disputed land was sold to them in 1959.Failing in
their bid to reconsider the decision, the petitioners have filed the present petition

.Issue: Whether Exhibit A is admissible as evidence?

HELD: Exhibit A is admitted in evidence, we agree with the Court of Appeals that its probative value must still meet the
various tests by which its reliability is to be determined. Its tendency to convince and persuade must be considered
for admissibility of evidence should not be confused with its probative value. A cursory glance will immediately reveal
that it was unsigned by any of the parties and undated as to when it was executed. In other words, Atty. Tabangays
failure to determine the accuracy of the carbon copy requested by the petitioners predecessor-in-interest renders
Exhibit A unreliable.

Petitioners explanation that these copies were lost or could not be found in the National Archives was not even
supported by any certification from the said office.

It is a well-settled principle that before secondary evidence can be presented, all duplicates and/or
counterparts must be accounted for, and no excuse for the non-production of the original document itself can be
regarded as established until all its parts are unavailable.

Whether their long possession of the land in question, bolstered by the construction of various improvements
gives rise to the disputable presumption of ownership?

The records show that the disputed property has been in the possession of the petitioners since 1959. They
have since been introducing several improvements on the land which certainly could not have escaped the attention of
the Madrids. The construction of various infrastructure on the land - rice mill, storage house, garage, pavements and
other buildings - was undoubtedly a clear exerciseof ownership which the Madrids could not ignore.

The Failure of the Madrids raise a restraining arm or a shout of dissent to the petitioners possession of the
subject land in a span of almost thirty (30) years is simply contrary to their claim of ownership.

Whether neither prescription nor laches can operate against the madrid because their title to the property is
registered under the Torrens system and therefore imprescriptable?
The Torrens system does not create or vest title. It has never been recognized as a mode of acquiring
ownership, especially considering the fact that both the Madrids and Marquezes obtained their respective TCTs only in
October 1986,twenty-seven long (27) years after petitioners first took possession of the land. They should have filed a
judicial action for recovery of possession and not merely to have the land registered under their respective names.

Lastly, Marquez claim that he is a purchaser in good faith and for value does not inspire any merit.

Where a purchaser was fully aware of another persons possession of the lot he purchased, he cannot
successfully pretend later to be an innocent purchaser for value. Moreover, one who buys without checking the vendor
s title takes all the risks and losses consequent to such failure.

The decision of the Court of Appeals REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Instead, petitioners are hereby declared
as the legal owners of the subject land.

143 SCRA 335 (1986)
Facts: Victoria Lechugas allegedly bought the subject properties from Leoncia Lasangue, as evidenced by a public
Deed of Absolute Sale which was registered with the Register of Deeds. Lechugas claimed that the Lozas, by means
of fraud, intimidation, strategy and stealth, unlawfully entered said properties and appropriated the produce thereof for
themselves, refusing to surrender the same despite demands. The Lozas, however, deny that the properties which
Lechugas bought from Lasangue in 1950 was the same subject land. They claimed that their predecessor, Hugo Loza,
had bought a parcel of land from one Victorina Limor, and another adjoining land from one Emeterio Lasangue. The
remaining portion of the lot bought from Limor was allegedly the one bought by Lechugas. This was corroborated by
Lasangue in her testimony, who, although illiterate, was able to specifically point out the land sold to Lechugas. Such
testimony, however, was contrary to the contents of the deed of sale executed between Lasangue and Lechugas.
Issue: Should parole evidence have been admitted to determine the land bought by Lechugas?
Held: Yes. The Parole Evidence Rule does not apply where the controversy is between one of the parties to the
document and third persons. While the deed of sale was executed between Lasangue and Lechugas, the dispute over
what was actually sold was between Lechugas and the Lozas. Lasangue, therefore, is a stranger to the dispute and is
not bound by the rule.
The Parole Evidence Rule applies only as between parties to the written agreement or their privies, and not to
strangers. It does not apply where either one of the parties between whom the question arises is a stranger to the
written agreement and does not claim under or through one who is party to it.
Doctrine: The parol evidence rule does not apply, and may not properly be invoked by either party to the litigation
against the other, where at least one of the parties to the suit is not party or a privy of a party to the written instrument
in question and does not base a claim on the instrument or assert a right originating in the instrument or the relation
established thereby.