G.R. No.

107383
February 20, 1996
CECILIA ZULUETA, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and ALFREDO MARTIN, respondents.
DECISION
MENDOZA, J.:
This is a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals, affirming the decision of the Regional
Trial Court of Manila (Branch X) which ordered petitioner to return documents and papers taken by her
from private respondent's clinic without the latter's knowledge and consent.
The facts are as follows:
Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Alfredo Martin. On March 26, 1982, petitioner
entered the clinic of her husband, a doctor of medicine, and in the presence of her mother, a driver and
private respondent's secretary, forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet in her husband's clinic and took
157 documents consisting of private correspondence between Dr. Martin and his alleged paramours,
greetings cards, cancelled checks, diaries, Dr. Martin's passport, and photographs. The documents and
papers were seized for use in evidence in a case for legal separation and for disqualification from the
practice of medicine which petitioner had filed against her husband.
Dr. Martin brought this action below for recovery of the documents and papers and for damages against
petitioner. The case was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch X, which, after trial,
rendered judgment for private respondent, Dr. Alfredo Martin, declaring him "the capital/exclusive owner
of the properties described in paragraph 3 of plaintiff's Complaint or those further described in the Motion
to Return and Suppress" and ordering Cecilia Zulueta and any person acting in her behalf to a
immediately return the properties to Dr. Martin and to pay him P5,000.00, as nominal damages;
P5,000.00, as moral damages and attorney's fees; and to pay the costs of the suit. The writ of preliminary
injunction earlier issued was made final and petitioner Cecilia Zulueta and her attorneys and
representatives were enjoined from "using or submitting/admitting as evidence" the documents and
papers in question. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court.
Hence this petition.
There is no question that the documents and papers in question belong to private respondent, Dr. Alfredo
Martin, and that they were taken by his wife, the herein petitioner, without his knowledge and consent. For
that reason, the trial court declared the documents and papers to be properties of private respondent,
ordered petitioner to return them to private respondent and enjoined her from using them in evidence. In
appealing from the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the trial court's decision, petitioner's only
ground is that in Alfredo Martin v. Alfonso Felix, Jr.,1 this Court ruled that the documents and papers
(marked as Annexes A-1 to J-7 of respondent's comment in that case) were admissible in evidence and,
therefore, their use by petitioner's attorney, Alfonso Felix did not constitute malpractice or gross
misconduct, For this reason it is contended that the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the decision of the
trial court instead of dismissing private respondent's complaint.
Petitioner's contention has no merit. The case against Atty. Felix, Jr. was for disbarment. Among other
things, private respondent, Dr. Alfredo Martin, as complainant in that case, charged that in using the
documents in evidence, Atty. Felix, Jr. committed malpractice or gross misconduct because of the
injunctive order of the trial court. In dismissing the complaint against Atty. Felix, Jr., this Court took note of
the following defense of Atty. Felix; Jr. which it found to be "impressed with merit:"2
On the alleged malpractice or gross misconduct of respondent [Alfonso Felix, Jr.], he maintains
that:
....
4. When respondent refiled Cecilia's case for legal separation before the Pasig Regional Trial
Court, there was admittedly an order of the Manila Regional Trial Court prohibiting Cecilia from
using the documents Annex "A-1 to J-7." On September 6, 1983, however having appealed the
said order to this Court on a petition for certiorari, this Court issued a restraining order on
aforesaid date which order temporarily set aside the order of the trial court. Hence, during the
enforceability of this Court's order, respondent's request for petitioner to admit the genuineness
and authenticity of the subject annexes cannot be looked upon as malpractice. Notably, petitioner
Dr. Martin finally admitted the truth and authenticity of the questioned annexes, At that point in
time, would it have been malpractice for respondent to use petitioner's admission as evidence

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against him in the legal separation case pending in the Regional Trial Court of Makati?
Respondent submits it is not malpractice.
Significantly, petitioner's admission was done not thru his counsel but by Dr. Martin himself under
oath, Such verified admission constitutes an affidavit, and, therefore, receivable in evidence
against him. Petitioner became bound by his admission. For Cecilia to avail herself of her
husband's admission and use the same in her action for legal separation cannot be treated as
malpractice.
Thus, the acquittal of Atty. Felix, Jr. in the administrative case amounts to no more than a declaration that
his use of the documents and papers for the purpose of securing Dr. Martin's admission as to their
genuiness and authenticity did not constitute a violation of the injunctive order of the trial court. By no
means does the decision in that case establish the admissibility of the documents and papers in question.
It cannot be overemphasized that if Atty. Felix, Jr. was acquitted of the charge of violating the writ of
preliminary injunction issued by the trial court, it was only because, at the time he used the documents
and papers, enforcement of the order of the trial court was temporarily restrained by this Court. The TRO
issued by this Court was eventually lifted as the petition for certiorari filed by petitioner against the trial
court's order was dismissed and, therefore, the prohibition against the further use of the documents and
papers became effective again.
Indeed the documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence. The constitutional injunction
declaring "the privacy of communication and correspondence [to be] inviolable" 3 is no less applicable
simply because it is the wife (who thinks herself aggrieved by her husband's infidelity) who is the party
against whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced. The only exception to the prohibition in the
Constitution is if there is a "lawful order [from a] court or when public safety or order requires otherwise,
as prescribed by law."4 Any violation of this provision renders the evidence obtained inadmissible "for any
purpose in any proceeding." 5
The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of them in breaking the drawers and
cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A person, by
contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his right to privacy as an individual and the
constitutional protection is ever available to him or to her.
The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by making it privileged.
Neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse
while the marriage subsists.6Neither may be examined without the consent of the other as to any
communication received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage, save for specified
exceptions.7 But one thing is freedom of communication; quite another is a compulsion for each one to
share what one knows with the other. And this has nothing to do with the duty of fidelity that each owes to
the other.
WHEREFORE, the petition for review is DENIED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Regalado, Romero and Puno, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. 117740 October 30, 1998
CAROLINA ABAD GONZALES, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, HONORIA EMPAYNADO, CECILIA H. ABAD, MARIAN H. ABAD and
ROSEMARIE S. ABAD, respondents.
ROMERO, J.:
Before us is a petition for certiorari to annul the decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 19, 1994,
finding private respondents as the heirs of Ricardo de Mesa Abad as well as annulling petitioners' extrajudicial partition of the decedent's estate.
The facts are as follows:
On April 18, 1972, petitioners Carolina Abad Gonzales, Dolores de Mesa Abad and Cesar de Mesa
Tioseco sought the settlement of the intestate estate of their brother, Ricardo de Mesa Abad, before the
then Court of First Instance of Manila. In their petition, docketed as Special Proceedings No. 86792,
petitioners claimed that they were the only heirs of Ricardo de Mesa Abad, as the latter allegedly died a
bachelor, leaving no descendants or ascendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate. On May 9, 1972,
petitioners amended their petition by alleging that the real properties covered by TCT Nos. 13530, 53671,

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and 64021, listed therein as belonging to the decedent, were actually only administered by the latter, the
true owner being their late mother, Lucila de Mesa. On June 16, 1972, the trial court appointed Cesar de
Mesa Tioseco as administrator of the intestate estate of Ricardo de Mesa Abad.
Meanwhile, on May 2, 1972, petitioners executed an extrajudicial settlement of the estate of their late
mother Lucila de Mesa, copying therein the technical descriptions of the lots covered by TCT Nos. 13530,
53671, and 64021. By virtue thereof, the Register of Deeds cancelled the above-mentioned TCTs in the
name of Ricardo Abad and issued, in lieu thereof, TCT No. 108482 in the name of Dolores de Mesa
Abad, TCT No. 108483 in the name of Cesar de Mesa Tioseco and TCT No. 108484 in the name of
Carolina Abad Gonzales. The three promptly executed real estate mortgages over the real properties in
favor of Mrs. Josefina Viola, the wife of their counsel, Escolastico Viola.
On July 7, 1972, private respondents Honoria Empaynado, Cecilia Abad Empaynado, and Marian Abad
Empaynado filed a motion to set aside proceedings and for leave to file opposition in Special Proceedings
No. 86792. In their motion, they alleged that Honoria Empaynado had been the common-law wife of
Ricardo Abad for twenty-seven years before his death, or from 1943 to 1971, and that during this period,
their union had produced two children, Cecilia Abad Empaynado and Marian Abad Empaynado. Private
respondents also disclosed the existence of Rosemarie Abad, a child allegedly fathered by Ricardo Abad
with another woman, Dolores Saracho. As the law awards the entire estate to the surviving children to the
exclusion of collateral relatives, private respondents charged petitioners with deliberately concealing the
existence of said three children in other to deprive the latter of their rights to the estate of Ricardo Abad.
On July 24, 1972, private respondents filed a motion to withdraw their first motion and, in lieu thereof, filed
a motion for reconsideration praying that Cecilia Abad be appointed administrator instead of Cesar
Tioseco. The trial court denied private respondents' motion to remove Cesar Tioseco as administrator, but
allowed them to appear in the proceedings to establish their right as alleged heirs of Ricardo Abad.
Private respondents later discovered that petitioners had managed to cancel TCT Nos. 13530, 53671,
and 64021 through the stratagem of extra-judicially partitioning their mother's estate. Accordingly, on
October 4, 1973, private respondents filed a motion to annul the extra-judicial partition executed by
petitioners, as well as TCT Nos. 108482, 108483, and 108484, the Torrens titles issued in substitution of
TCT Nos. 13530, 53671, and 64021 and the real estate mortgages constituted by the latter on said
properties.
After due trial, the lower court, on November 2, 1973, rendered the following judgment:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:
(1) Declaring Cecilia E. Abad, Marian E. Abad and Rosemarie S. Abad
acknowledged natural children of the deceased Ricardo M. Abad;
(2) Declaring said acknowledged natural children, namely: Cecilia E.
Abad, Marian E. Abad, and Rosemarie S. Abad the only surviving legal
heirs of the deceased Ricardo M. Abad and as such entitled to succeed
to the entire estate of said deceased, subject to the rights of Honoria
Empaynado, if any, as co-owner of any of the property of said estate that
may have been acquired thru her joint efforts with the deceased during
the period they lived together as husband and wife;
(3) Denying the petition of decedent's collateral relatives, namely:
Dolores M. Abad, Cesar M. Tioseco and Carolina M. Abad to be
declared as heirs and excluding them from participating in the
administration and settlement of the estate of Ricardo Abad;
(4) Appointing Honoria Empaynado as the administratrix in this intestacy
with a bond of THIRTY THOUSAND (P30,000.00) PESOS; and
(5) Ordering Cesar Tioseco to surrender to the new administratrix all
property or properties, monies and such papers that came into his
possession by virtue of his appointment as administrator, which
appointment is hereby revoked. 1
The trial court, likewise, found in favor of private respondents with respect to the latter's motion for
annulment of certain documents. On November 19, 1974, it rendered the following judgment:
WHEREFORE, this Court finds oppositors' Motion for Annulment, dated October 4, 1973
to be meritorious and accordingly —
1. Declares that the six (6) parcels of land described in TCT Nos. 13530,
53671 and 64021, all registered in the name of Ricardo Abad, as

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Book No. again dismissed petitioners' appeal on the ground that their record on appeal was filed out of time. 1973 decision was denied by the trial court.replaced by TCT No.-G. 30. to wit: 4 . Likewise. 1974. Page No. Josefina C. 144. 1973 declaring private respondents heirs of the deceased Ricardo Abad. Series of 1972. instituted certiorari and mandamus proceedings with the Court of Appeals. On March 21. Their notice of appeal was likewise denied on the ground that the same had been filed out of time. On July 9. and (c) Carolina de Mesa Abad-Gonzales.R. Declares the deed of Extra Judicial Settlement of the Estate of the Deceased Lucila de Mesa. On October 19. petitioners filed their notice of appeal of the November 19. Cruz) by petitioners and Carolina de Mesa Abad-Gonzales. (b) petitioner Cesar de Mesa Tioseco. 108483. SO ORDERED. No. Josefina C. to be inexistent and void from the beginning. 146. this appeal was similarly denied on the ground that it had been filed out of time. 86792. Manila. 3. petitioners. 2. and 6. VII. 108484 of Carolina de Mesa Abad-Gonzales and in lieu thereof. and orders the Register of Deeds of Manila to cancel the registration or annotation thereof from the back of the torrens title of Ricardo Abad. Declares as null and void the cancellation of TCT Nos. Viola and his law associate and wife. Page No. TCT No. petitioners again instituted certiorari and mandamus proceedings with the Court of Appeals. executed on May 2.A. Page No. 108483 of Cesar de Mesa Tioseco. Because of this ruling. 1972 (Doc. TCT No. in favor of Mrs. 30. 108482 of Dolores de Mesa Abad. Book No. Page 31. 53671 and 64021 and issuance in lieu thereof. 13530.R. Due to the dismissal of their two appeals. 108483 in the name of Cesar de Mesa Tioseco and TCT No. 1974 ruling of the trial court. SP-04352. 108483 and 108484. the Court of Appeals rendered judgment as follows: WHEREFORE. the instant appeal is DENIED for lack of merit. 1975. No. 108484 in the name of Carolina de Mesa Abad-Gonzales. No. No. Viola. Viola. however. 1994. Book No. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal of the two appeals. identified as Doc. Yap of Manila. of TCT Nos. Series of 1972. 1974. identified as Doc.-G. TCT Nos. 145. and TCT No. annulling certain documents pertaining to the intestate estate of deceased. docketed there as C. 445. No. 86. all the foregoing considered. to be the properties of the late Ricardo Abad. The trial court. 4. Series of 1972 of the notarial book of Faustino S. XX. Honoria Empaynado. the appellate court granted petitioners' petition and ordered the lower court to give due course to the latter's appeal.A. 2 Petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the November 2. XX. XX. 108482. The orders of the court a quo in SP No. Escolastico R. Declares as inexistent and void from the beginning the three (3) real estate mortgages executed on July 7. 108482 in the name of Dolores de Mesa Abad. restore and/or issue the corresponding certificate of title in the name of Ricardo Abad. and 108484 within five (5) days from receipt hereof. San Andres Subdivision. all of the notarial book of Ricardo P. to surrender to the new administratrix. this Court directed the trial court to give due course to petitioners' appeal from the order of November 2. On November 2. prompting petitioners to appeal to the Supreme Court. and the residential house situated at 2432 Opalo Street. The two appeals were accordingly elevated by the trial court to the appellate court. 1975. Series of 1972. Orders Atty. Book No. SP-03268-R. docketed therein as C. 1985. on January 4. 1972 executed by (a) petitioner Dolores de Mesa Abad. and the order dated November 19. Orders the Register of Deeds of Manila to cancel TCT No. identified as Doe. 5. 108482. No.

The date of Jose Libunao's death is important. all surnamed Abad as the acknowledged natural children and the only surviving heirs of the deceased Ricardo Abad. accomplished in 1956. they conclude that Jose Libunao must have still been alive in 1956 and 1958. for if he was still alive in 1971. and 3. 5 . declaring in substance that the six (6) parcels of land described in TCT Nos. ABAD ARE THE ACKNOWLEDGED NATURAL CHILDREN OF THE DECEASED RICARDO DE MESA ABAD. the cancellation of the aforementioned TCTs is null and void. petitioners presented in evidence the application for enrolment at Mapua Institute of Technology of Angelita Libunao. The child shall be presumed legitimate. leaving as his widow. We are not persuaded. Additionally. But while private respondents claim that Jose Libunao died in 1943. Angelita. was still alive when Cecilia and Marian Abad were born in 1948 and 1954. ABAD AND ROSEMARIE S. It is undisputed that prior to her relationship with Ricardo Abad. Order dated November 2. 1974. 2. Jose Libunao. MARIAN E. petitioners claim that the latter died sometime in 1971. With costs against petitionerappellants. which states: Father's Name: Jose Libunao Occupation: engineer (mining) Mother's Name: Honoria Empaynado 5 as well as Cesar Libunao's 1958 application for enrolment at the Mapua Institute of Technology. Marian and Rosemarie. 1972 is inexistent and void from the beginning. ABAD. 53671 and 64021 are the properties of Ricardo Abad. prior to the birth of Cecilia and Marian. Order dated November 19. provides: Art. Honoria Empaynado was married to Jose Libunao. Honoria Empaynado. for being filed out of time. PETITIONERS ARE ENTITLED TO THE SUBJECT ESTATE WHETHER THE SAME IS OWNED BY THE DECEASED RICARDO DE MESA ABAD OR BY LUCILA DE MESA. their union having produced three children. petitioners presented the joint affidavit of Juan Quiambao and Alejandro Ramos 7 stating that to their knowledge Jose Libunao had died in 1971. although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. Marian and Rosemarie Abad's filiation. submit the startling theory that the husband of Honoria Empaynado. 1973. 256. 3 Petitioners now seek to annul the foregoing judgment on the following grounds: I. Order dated March 21. are all AFFIRMED in toto.1. but of Jose Libunao and Honoria Empaynado. II. the applicable provision of the Civil Code. declaring in substance that Cecilia. that the extra-judicial partition of the estate of the deceased Lucila de Mesa executed on May 2. and given that he was legally married to Honoria Empaynado. which states: Father's Name: Jose Libunao Occupation: none Mother's Name: Honoria Empaynado 6 Petitioners claim that had Jose Libunao been dead during the time when said applications were accomplished. respectively. THE MOTHER OF PETITIONERS AND RICARDO DE MESA ABAD. and that the former had been interred at the Loyola Memorial Park. 1975 denying the appeal of Dolores de Mesa Abad and Cesar de Mesa Tioseco from the latter Order. the presumption would be that Cecilia and Marian are not Ricardo Abad's children with the latter. Petitioners. the Register of Deeds be ordered to restore and/or issue the corresponding Certificates of Title in the name of Ricardo Abad. Cesar. 13530. and Maria Nina. Article 256. SO ORDERED. 4 To bolster their theory. These not being the case. THE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT RESPONDENTS CECILIA E. the enrolment forms of his children would have stated so. in contesting Cecilia.

They assert. Furthermore. As stated by the trial court: In the case of Westover vs. however. the same was objected to by private respondents as being privileged communication under Section 24 (c). from the communications and disclosures which a patient should make to his physician. thus: In his individual statements of income and assets for the calendar years 1958 and 1970. are final and conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal. it was pointed out that: "The privilege of secrecy is not abolished or terminated because of death as stated in established precedents. argue that factual findings of the Court of Appeals are not binding on this Court when there appears in the record of the case some fact or circumstance of weight and influence which has been overlooked. Jose Libunao's death certificate would have been the best evidence as to when the latter died. petitioners presented the affidavit of Dr. petitioners claim that Cecilia and Marian Abad are not the illegitimate children of Ricardo Abad. Arenas' affidavit. adopted and confirmed by the Court of Appeals. Aetna Life Insurance Company. 1969 6 . With these pieces of evidence. inexplicably failed to present the same. although there is no showing that said death certificate has been lost or destroyed as to be unavailable as proof of Jose Libunao's death. that if considered. 11 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. d) the information was necessary for the performance of his professional duty. that the finding as to Ricardo Abad's "sterility" does not blacken the character of the deceased. 9 Petitioners. however. it is clearly apparent that petitioners have failed to establish their claim by the quantum of evidence required by law. while the records of Loyola Memorial Park show that a certain Jose Bautista Libunao was indeed buried there in 1971. 12 Petitioners do not dispute that the affidavit meets the first four requisites. without the attendant embarrassment of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease. b) the relation of physician and patient existed between the person claiming the privilege or his legal representative and the physician. the evidence presented by petitioners to prove that Jose Libunao died in 1971 are. however. he had examined Ricardo Abad and found him to be infected with gonorrhea. declaring that in 1935. and that the latter had become sterile as a consequence thereof. At the outset. c) the advice or treatment given by him or any information was acquired by the physician while professionally attending the patient. notwithstanding the death of Ricardo Abad. 1968. this person appears to be different from Honoria Empaynado's first husband. would affect the result of the case. Given the above disquisition. but rather the legitimate children of the spouses Jose Libunao and Honoria Empaynado. 59. 1965. to say the least. We thus hold the affidavit inadmissible in evidence. it must be noted that petitioners are disputing the veracity of the trial court's finding of facts. the living are not permitted to impair his name and disgrace his memory by dragging to light communications and disclosures made under the seal of the statute. Pedro Arenas. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. We quote with approval the trial court's decision. It is an established rule that the purpose of the law would be thwarted and the policy intended to be promoted thereby would be defeated. It is a fundamental and settled rule that factual findings of the trial court. 99 N. 10 This Court finds no justifiable reason to apply this exception to the case at bar. and e) the disclosure of the information would tend to blacken the reputation of the patient. the joint affidavit of Juan Quiambao and Alejandro Ramos as to the supposed death of Jose Libunao in 1971 is not competent evidence to prove the latter's death at that time. and in all his individual income tax returns for the years 1964. In fact.Y. far from conclusive. given that society holds virility at a premium. Jose Bautista Libunao's wife is listed as Josefa Reyes while the wife of Jose Santos Libunao was Honoria Empaynado. As to Dr. After one has gone to his grave. the latter's name being Jose Santos Libunao. 8 Ricardo Abad's physician. a fact which most assuredly blackens his reputation. or the significance of which has been misinterpreted. being merely secondary evidence thereof. Failure to indicate on an enrolment form that one's parent is "deceased" is not necessarily proof that said parent was still living during the time said form was being accomplished. More telling. First. if death removed the seal of secrecy. And the same remains inadmissible in evidence. the evidence presented by private respondents overwhelmingly prove that they are the acknowledged natural children of Ricardo Abad. Petitioners conveniently forget that Ricardo Abad's "sterility" arose when the latter contracted gonorrhea.Lastly. On the other hand. Petitioners have. 1967. Even the name of the wife is different. sterility alone. would be sufficient to blacken the reputation of any patient.

in its decision dated October 19. 13 In fact. Art.000. 2013 JOSIELENE LARA CHAN. February 26. pp. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. As stated earlier. On January 5. the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased in accordance with the following articles. 34-B to C. as well as to observe the demeanor of the witnesses while testifying in the case. their contention being that they are entitled to the subject estate whether the same is owned by Ricardo Abad or by Lucila de Mesa. 34 and 34-A.and 1970. premises considered.R. . petitioners seem to accept this conclusion. (Exh. 1971. G. 1003. the illegitimate children shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased. (Emphasis supplied).. petitioners are precluded from inheriting the estate of their brother. and paid for their premiums (Exh..28 as of June 30. Purisima and Pardo. payable to his daughter Marian (Exh. No. and as his legitimate dependent children. concur. 1972.812. 12 to 19. this Court had already ruled that the same was not filed out of time. under PBTC Savings Account No. Cecilia. If there are no . The applicable provisions are: Art. then eleven (11) years old. This affirmance is erroneous. Ltd. TSN. 1975 denying the appeal of Dolores de Mesa Abad and Cesar de Mesa Tioseco for being filed out of time is SET ASIDE. 21-36). SO ORDERED. he and his daughter Cecilia Abad opened a trust fund account of P100. 1975 denying the appeal of Dolores de Mesa Abad and Cesar de Mesa Tioseco on the ground that the same was filed out of time. 1973. 1973. 35-A to D. 988. 36-A.R.000. 37-A). JJ. 38) where the income of the trust fund intended for Cecilia was also deposited monthly (TSN.00 with the People's Bank and Trust Company which was renewed until (sic) 1971. payable to either of them in the event of death (Exhs.00 trust fund shall (sic) be paid monthly to the account reserved for Cecilia. 1994. xxx xxx xxx In December 1959. 1971. or a surviving spouse. Digressing from the main issue. Ricardo Abad insured his daughters Cecilia. Kapunan. WHEREFORE. illegitimate children. both the trial court and the appellate court ruled that the evidence presented by private respondents proved that said properties in truth belong to Ricardo Abad. DECISION ABAD. under Savings Account 17348 which has (sic) a balance of P34. 49053 in the name of Ricardo Abad and/or Cecilia Abad (Exh. he has declared therein as his legitimate wife. 7 . Ricardo Abad had also deposited (money) with the Monte de Piedad and Savings Bank in the name of his daughter Marian. it being in a better position to examine the real evidence. the findings of fact by the trial court are entitled to great weight and should not be disturbed on appeal. February 27. 1994 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the affirmance of the Order dated March 21. . JOHNNY T. 33-44). Respondent. Narvasa. Ricardo Abad and his sister Dolores Abad had (sic) agreed to stipulate in their PBTC Trust Agreement that the 9% income of their P100.: This case is about the propriety of issuing a subpoena duces tecum for the production and submission in court of the respondent husband's hospital record in a case for declaration of nullity of marriage where one of the issues is his mental fitness as a husband. CV No. Petitioner. 1973.00 with the same bank. pp. Well-settled is the dictum that the rulings of the Supreme Court are binding upon and may not be reversed by a lower court. 30184 dated October 19. pp. Honoria Empaynado. on [a] twenty (20) year-endowment plan with the Insular Life Assurance Co. 1985. . represented by him. Marian (except in Exh. In 1966. 179786 July 24. vs. As to petitioners' claim that the properties m the name of Ricardo Abad actually belong to their mother Lucila de Mesa. the instant petition is hereby DENIED. CHAN. the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's order dated March 21. . then (5) years old. Ricardo Abad opened a trust fund of P100. 12) and Rosemarie Abad (Exhs. In the absence of legitimate descendants or ascendants. February 27. 60-B).000. TSN. J. 35. 36-E). Costs against petitioners. for on July 9. With the finding that private respondents are the illegitimate children of Ricardo Abad. On January 4. 7-20). as father. and Marian.

On September 17. 24. He attached the Philhealth form to his answer for the limited purpose of showing his alleged forcible confinement. 2007 the CA3 denied Josielene’s petition. The form carried a physician’s handwritten note that Johnny suffered from "methamphetamine and alcohol abuse. The marriage relations got worse when the police temporarily detained Josielene for an unrelated crime and released her only after the case against her ended. surgery or obstetrics cannot in a civil case. but also affidavits. To save their marriage. Josielene pre-marked the Philhealth Claim Form1 that Johnny attached to his answer as proof that he was forcibly confined at the rehabilitation unit of a hospital. their marriage relationship could no longer be repaired. Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence which reads: SEC. On September 13. He cites Section 24(c). and which would blacken the reputation of the patient. The request was accompanied by a motion to "be allowed to submit in evidence" the records sought by subpoena duces tecum. prompting her to file a special civil action of certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. It ruled that. 2006 the RTC sustained the opposition and denied Josielene’s motion. It also denied her motion for reconsideration. she had convinced him to undergo hospital confinement for detoxification and rehabilitation. on August 22. Indeed. which records she wanted to present in court as evidence in support of her action to have their marriage declared a nullity. Josielene claimed that Johnny failed to care for and support his family and that a psychiatrist diagnosed him as mentally deficient due to incessant drinking and excessive use of prohibited drugs. imputing grave abuse of discretion to the RTC. invoking the privileged character of those records. 2006 petitioner Josielene Lara Chan (Josielene) filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City.— The following persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases: xxxx (c) A person authorized to practice medicine. During the pre-trial conference. 8 . claiming that it was Josielene who failed in her wifely duties. the dissolution of their conjugal partnership of gains. if courts were to allow the production of medical records. arguing that the medical records were covered by 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 patient’s consent as to any facts which would blacken the latter’s reputation. and give him access to his body. relate to him the history of his ailment. Respondent Johnny resisted her request for subpoena. two men forcibly held him by both arms while another gave him an injection.2 Johnny opposed the motion. which information was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity. however. Johnny resisted the action. The prohibition covers not only testimonies. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication." Following up on this point. he did not do so in this case. he agreed to marriage counseling but when he and Josielene got to the hospital. and the award of custody of their children to her. Question Presented The central question presented in this case is: Whether or not the CA erred in ruling that the trial court correctly denied the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum covering Johnny’s hospital records on the ground that these are covered by the privileged character of the physician-patient communication. be examined as to any advice or treatment given by him or any information which he may have acquired in attending such patient in a professional capacity.The Facts and the Case On February 6. and pertinent hospital records. The CA added that. SP 97913. certificates. 2006 Josielene filed with the RTC a request for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum addressed to Medical City.R. then patients would be left with no assurance that whatever relevant disclosures they may have made to their physicians would be kept confidential. covering Johnny’s medical records when he was there confined. The Ruling of the Court Josielene requested the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum covering the hospital records of Johnny’s confinement. Branch 144 a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage to respondent Johnny Chan (Johnny). By then. This rule is intended to encourage the patient to open up to the physician. although Johnny can waive the privilege. without the consent of the patient.

be examined" regarding their professional conversation. The order shall specify the time. Thus: SEC. 1. a discovery procedure available to a litigant prior to trial. Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence quoted above is about non-disclosure of privileged matters. objects or tangible things. photographs. Section 24(c).— Upon motion of any party showing good cause therefor. by or on behalf of the moving party. Rule 27 of the Rules of Civil Procedure provides: SEC. measuring. however. She will have to wait for trial to begin before making a request for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum covering Johnny’s hospital records. books. without the latter’s prior consent. 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. (Emphasis supplied) But the above right to compel the production of documents has a limitation: the documents to be disclosed are "not privileged. 2. Disclosing them would be the equivalent of compelling the physician to testify on privileged matters he gained while dealing with the patient. The privilege. of any designated documents. Josielene argues that since Johnny admitted in his answer to the petition before the RTC that he had been confined in a hospital against his will and in fact attached to his answer a Philhealth claim form covering that confinement. and may prescribe such terms and conditions as are just. letters.4 1. In any case.— Objection to evidence offered orally must be made immediately after the offer is made. Objection. not just to their admission in evidence. Physician memorializes all these information in the patient’s records. Since the offer of evidence is made at the trial. the grounds for the objections must be specified. states that objections to evidence must be made after the offer of such evidence for admission in court. that Johnny may opt to object. The case presents a procedural issue. accounts. An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to within three (3) days after notice of the offer unless a different period is allowed by the court. not privileged. order. surveying. Section 36. does not cover the hospital records. Josielene invokes Section 17. but more so to their disclosure. or (b) order any party to permit entry upon designated land or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting. the disclosure during discovery procedure of the hospital records—the results of tests that the physician ordered. which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action and which are in his possession." Josielene of course claims that the hospital records subject of this case are not privileged since it is the "testimonial" evidence of the physician that may be regarded as privileged. he should be deemed to have waived the privileged character of its records. To allow. says Josielene. such as the hospital records. Rule 132. The offer could be made part of the physician’s testimony or as independent evidence that he had made entries in those records that concern the patient’s health problems. papers. custody or control. without the consent of the patient. Objection to a question propounded in the course of the oral examination of a witness shall be made as soon as the grounds therefor shall become reasonably apparent. given that the time to object to the admission of evidence. Motion for production or inspection. 36. Josielene’s request for subpoena duces tecum is premature.enabling the physician to make a correct diagnosis of that ailment and provide the appropriate cure. or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or operation thereon. the diagnosis of the patient’s illness. would be at the time they are offered. place and manner of making the inspection and taking copies and photographs. It is when those records are produced for examination at the trial. Section 24(c) of Rule 130 states that the physician "cannot in a civil case. Rule 132 of the Rules of Evidence that provides: 9 . and the advice or treatment he gave him— would be to allow access to evidence that is inadmissible without the patient’s consent. Section 1. 3. the court in which an action is pending may (a) order any party to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing. It is of course possible to treat Josielene’s motion for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum covering the hospital records as a motion for production of documents. but only the examination of the physician at the trial. thus putting his own health at great risk.

129. G.4 and National Defense and Security5 against petitioner Romulo L. 2008 ROMULO L. declaration. the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. the act contemplated above which would justify Josielene into requesting an inquiry into the details of his hospital confinement. ACCORDINGLY. 127. 2007. and when a detached act. the remainder admissible.: At bar is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing the show cause Letter1 dated November 22. SP 97913 dated September 17.S. any other act. introduced by Senator Panfilo M. as culled from the pleadings.R. entitled RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY TO INVESTIGATE. For all of the above reasons. AND SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY. it cannot be said that Johnny had already presented the Philhealth claim form in evidence. THE CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO THE APPROVAL OF THE BROADBAND CONTRACT WITH ZTE AND THE ROLE PLAYED BY THE OFFICIALS CONCERNED IN GETTING IT CONSUMMATED AND TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO HALE TO THE COURTS OF LAW THE PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ANOMALY IN CONNECTION THEREWITH AND TO PLUG THE LOOPHOLES. writing or record is given in evidence. When part of transaction. 2007 and contempt Order2 dated January 30. Any request for disclosure of his hospital records would again be premature.3 Trade and Commerce. Res. No. as follows: (1) P. declaration. DECISION LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. petitioner. In connection with this NBN Project. Consequently. IF ANY IN THE BOT LAW AND OTHER PERTINENT LEGISLATIONS. the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) entered into a contract with Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) for the supply of equipment and services for the National Broadband Network (NBN) Project in the amount of U.290 (approximately P16 Billion Pesos). Res. Johnny was not yet bound to adduce evidence in the case when he filed his answer. J. The facts. 180643 March 25. are as follows: On April 21. various Resolutions were introduced in the Senate. former Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). 2008 concurrently issued by respondent Senate Committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations. conversation. SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND COMMERCE..R. 2007. entitled RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY IN AID OF LEGISLATION INTO THE NATIONAL SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF AWARDING THE NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK CONTRACT TO THE CHINESE FIRM ZHONG XING TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT COMPANY LIMITED (ZTE CORPORATION) WITH THE END IN VIEW OF PROVIDING REMEDIAL LEGISLATION THAT WILL PROTECT OUR NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY. $ 329. 10 . Lacson. respondents.1âwphi1 But. NERI. SENATE COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS AND INVESTIGATIONS. entitled Á RESOLUTION URGING PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO TO DIRECT THE CANCELLATION OF THE ZTE CONTRACT (3) P. introduced by Senator Mar Roxas. IN AID OF LEGISLATION. writing or record necessary to its understanding may also be given in evidence.481. No. introduced by Senator Aquilino Q. writing or record given in evidence. the whole of the same subject may be inquired into by the other. conversation. 17. vs. 144. the CA and the RTC were justified in denying Josielene her request for the production in court of Johnny’s hospital records.S. The Project was to be financed by the People's Republic of China. (2) P. SO ORDERED.S. writing or record is given in evidence by one party. SECURITY AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY.SEC.— When part of an act. Jr. Pimentel. declaration.S. Res. Neri. No. conversation. trial in the case had not yet begun. No.

Neri sought guidance on the possible invocation of executive privilege on the following questions. 2007. it will be recalled that Sec. Senate Bill No. in the Letter dated November 15. introduced by Senator Mar Roxas. businessman Jose de Venecia III testified that several high executive officials and power brokers were using their influence to push the approval of the NBN Project by the NEDA. However. IN AID OF LEGISLATION. Neri asked for time to consult with his superiors in line with the ruling of the Supreme Court in Senate v. Executive Secretary Eduardo R. to wit: a) Whether the President followed up the (NBN) project? b) Were you dictated to prioritize the ZTE? c) Whether the President said to go ahead and approve the project after being told about the alleged bribe? 11 . introduced by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. 1317. GOODS. It appeared that the Project was initially approved as a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project but. No. Specifically. 2007. 1794. to wit: 1. AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. At the same time. entitled AN ACT SUBJECTING TREATIES. Neri had already testified and exhaustively discussed the ZTE / NBN project. Senate Bill No. 488 SCRA 1 (2006). In the September 18. 136. Sec. 8555. 9184. He was summoned to appear and testify on September 18. Res. However. AND CONSULTING SERVICES TO BE INCLUDED IN THE SCOPE AND APPLICATION OF PHILIPPINE PROCUREMENT LAWS. Asked to elaborate further on his conversation with the President. on March 29. Petitioner was among those invited. invoking "executive privilege". 20. AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO.(4) P. the investigation was claimed to be relevant to the consideration of three (3) pending bills in the Senate. entitled RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE PROPER SENATE COMMITTEE TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY. He disclosed that then Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Benjamin Abalos offered him P200 Million in exchange for his approval of the NBN Project. However. the NEDA acquiesced to convert it into a government-to-government project. On September 26. petitioner testified before respondent Committees for eleven (11) hours.6 (b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it. 8182. he attended only the September 26 hearing. ON THE LEGAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTIFICATION OF THE NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK (NBN) PROJECT OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT.8 Unrelenting. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. In particular. The pertinent portion of the letter reads: With reference to the subpoena ad testificandum issued to Secretary Romulo Neri to appear and testify again on 20 November 2007 before the Joint Committees you chair. requiring him to appear and testify on November 20. He further narrated that he informed President Arroyo about the bribery attempt and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. Senate Bill No. and 3. Sec. 2.S. petitioner refused to answer. 1793. respondent Committees issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum to petitioner. to be financed through a loan from the Chinese Government. 2007. entitled AN ACT IMPOSING SAFEGUARDS IN CONTRACTING LOANS CLASSIFIED AS OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1996. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT REFORM ACT. including his conversation with the President thereon last 26 September 2007. introduced by Senator Mar Roxas. Ermita requested respondent Committees to dispense with petitioner's testimony on the ground of executive privilege.7 and (c) whether or not she directed him to approve. and 26 and October 25. 2007 hearing. introduced by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. entitled AN ACT MANDATING CONCURRENCE TO INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND EXECUTIVE AGREEMENTS. Respondent Committees initiated the investigation by sending invitations to certain personalities and cabinet officials involved in the NBN Project. Ermita. 2007. he refused to answer the questions on (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project. INTERNATIONAL OR EXECUTIVE AGREEMENTS INVOLVING FUNDING IN THE PROCUREMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS. claiming he was "out of town" during the other dates. 2007. when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project.

95637. During said hearing. and (2) his conversation with President Arroyo dealt with delicate and sensitive national security and diplomatic matters relating to the impact of the bribery scandal involving high government officials and the possible loss of confidence of foreign investors and lenders in the Philippines. and has advised Secretary Neri accordingly. Ermita. Disclosure of conversations of the President will have a chilling effect on the President. On November 29. petitioner replied to respondent Committees. July 9. Atty. Be that as it may. I have cooperated with the task of the Senate in its inquiry in aid of legislation as shown by my almost 11 hours stay during the hearing on 26 September 2007. The expectation of a President to the confidentiality of her conversations and correspondences. Chavez v. stating.Following the ruling in Senate v. Given the confidential nature in which these information were conveyed to the President. save for those which I thought was covered by executive privilege. Thus. The context in which executive privilege is being invoked is that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the People's Republic of China. Without responding to his request for advance notice of the matters that he should still clarify. like the value which we accord deference for the privacy of all citizens. on December 7. Neri has been lengthily interrogated on the subject in an unprecedented 11-hour hearing. 2007. wherein he has answered all questions propounded to him except the foregoing questions involving executive privilege. 2007. the foregoing questions fall under conversations and correspondence between the President and public officials which are considered executive privilege (Almonte v. if she is not protected by the confidentiality of her conversations. and even blunt or harsh opinions in Presidential decision-making. Article 6 of the Rules of the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon). In the interim. The Letter reads: Since you have failed to appear in the said hearing. 12 . 23 May 1995. after that exhaustive testimony. we therefore request that his testimony on 20 November 2007 on the ZTE / NBN project be dispensed with. may I be furnished in advance as to what else I need to clarify. On November 20. Antonio R. I thought that what remained were only the three questions. manifesting that it was not his intention to ignore the Senate hearing and that he thought the only remaining questions were those he claimed to be covered by executive privilege. objective. The letter ended with a reiteration of petitioner's request that he "be furnished in advance" as to what else he needs to clarify so that he may adequately prepare for the hearing. Trade and Commerce and National Defense and Security require you to show cause why you should not be cited in contempt under Section 6. PEA. Hence. 2007. thus: It was not my intention to snub the last Senate hearing. I answered all the questions that were asked of me. Ermita. Bautista. Maintaining the confidentiality of conversations of the President is necessary in the exercise of her executive and policy decision making process. Considering that Sec. where the Executive Secretary claimed executive privilege. 133250. In fact. this Office is constrained to invoke the settled doctrine of executive privilege as refined in Senate v. without disclosing the very thing the privilege is designed to protect.R. petitioner submitted a letter prepared by his counsel. is the necessity for protection of the public interest in candid. 2007. on November 22. petitioner filed with this Court the present petition for certiorari assailing the show cause Letter dated November 22. The Senate expects your explanation on or before 2 December 2007. and which was confirmed by the Executive Secretary in his Letter 15 November 2007. I may adequately prepare myself. 2002). among others that: (1) his (petitioner) non-appearance was upon the order of the President. he cannot provide the Committee any further details of these conversations. 2007. G. Vasquez. G. petitioner did not appear before respondent Committees. In good faith. they issued the Order dated January 30. In light of the above considerations. the Committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon). so that as a resource person.R. Respondent Committees found petitioner's explanations unsatisfactory. the latter issued the show cause Letter requiring him to explain why he should not be cited in contempt. should there be new matters that were not yet taken up during the 26 September 2007 hearing. his request that my presence be dispensed with. In addition. and will hamper her in the effective discharge of her duties and responsibilities.

petitioner filed on February 1." According to him. 2007. to cover (i) conversations of the President in the exercise of her executive and policy decision-making and (ii) information. Thursday. Petitioner contends that respondent Committees' show cause Letter and contempt Order were issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (b) requiring the parties to observe the status quo prevailing prior to the issuance of the assailed order. 2008. In view of respondent Committees' issuance of the contempt Order. 6713. 2007. (2) there is no valid justification for petitioner to claim executive privilege. Did petitioner Neri correctly invoke executive privilege to avoid testifying on his conversations with the President on the NBN contract on his assertions that the said conversations "dealt with delicate and sensitive national security and diplomatic matters relating to the impact of bribery scandal involving high government officials and the possible loss of confidence of foreign investors and lenders in the 13 . They argue that (1) petitioner's testimony is material and pertinent in the investigation conducted in aid of legislation. the following issues were ventilated: 1. impeded and obstructed the inquiry into the subject reported irregularities. and (4) petitioner has not come to court with clean hands. On the same date. NERI is hereby cited in contempt of this (sic) Committees and ordered arrested and detained in the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms until such time that he will appear and give his testimony. respondent Committees did not respond to his request for advance notice of questions. as it has in fact delayed.2008. Thursday. petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the above Order. He stresses that his conversations with President Arroyo are "candid discussions meant to explore options in making policy decisions. seeking to restrain the implementation of the said contempt Order. September 20. In the oral argument held last March 4. SO ORDERED. otherwise known as Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. According to him. he argues that he is precluded from disclosing communications made to him in official confidence under Section 712 of Republic Act No. herein attached) ROMULO L. which thereby delays. November 20. these discussions "dwelt on the impact of the bribery scandal involving high government officials on the country's diplomatic relations and economic and military affairs and the possible loss of confidence of foreign investors and lenders in the Philippines.11Lastly. the Court issued a Status Quo Ante Order (a) enjoining respondent Committees from implementing their contempt Order. October 25.b. AND for failure to explain satisfactorily why he should not be cited for contempt (Neri letter of 29 November 2007). however. Ermita10 and United States v. 2007.a Did Executive Secretary Ermita correctly invoke the principle of executive privilege. The said Order states: ORDER For failure to appear and testify in the Committee's hearing on Tuesday. Respondent Committees assert the contrary. Reynolds. The Sergeant-At-Arms is hereby directed to carry out and implement this Order and make a return hereof within twenty four (24) hours from its enforcement. What communications between the President and petitioner Neri are covered by the principle of 'executive privilege'? 1. impedes and obstructs. 2008 aSupplemental Petition for Certiorari (With Urgent Application for TRO/Preliminary Injunction). 9 He insisted that he has not shown "any contemptible conduct worthy of contempt and arrest. 2008. and (c) requiring respondent Committees to file their comment. this should restrain respondent Committees from enforcing the show cause Letter "through the issuance of declaration of contempt" and arrest." He emphasized his willingness to testify on new matters. despite personal notice and Subpoenas Ad Testificandum sent to and received by him. 2007. citing him in contempt of respondent Committees and ordering his arrest and detention at the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms until such time that he would appear and give his testimony. September 18. (3) there is no abuse of their authority to order petitioner's arrest. 2007. and Tuesday. by order of the President." He also emphasizes that his claim of executive privilege is upon the order of the President and within the parameters laid down in Senate v. On February 5. which might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the People's Republic of China? 1. and Section 2413 (e) of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. He also mentioned the petition for certiorari he filed on December 7.

of Article VI of the Constitution. Art. The heads of department may upon their own initiative. among others. the Senate and respondent Committees manifested that they would not be able to submit the latter's "Minutes of all meetings" and the "Minute Book" because it has never been the "historical and traditional legislative practice to keep them. did respondent Committees commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the contempt Order? We grant the petition."16 They instead submitted the Transcript of Stenographic Notes of respondent Committees' joint public hearings." (2) Petitioner was not summoned by respondent Senate Committees in accordance with the lawmaking body's power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation as laid down in Section 21. As the foregoing facts unfold. Senate draws in bold strokes the distinction between the legislative and oversight powers of the Congress. 151. As to the required documents. and if the respondent Committees disagree thereto. Ermita18 becomes imperative. She advised executive officials and employees to follow and abide by the Constitution. 17. 2008. SECTION 22. Article VI of the Constitution and Senate v. the case of Senate v. or as the rules of each House shall provide.c Will the claim of executive privilege in this case violate the following provisions of the Constitution: Sec. the unanswered questions will be the subject of a supplemental pleading to be resolved along with the three (3) questions subject of the present petition. existing laws and jurisprudence. the parties were directed to manifest to the Court within twenty-four (24) hours if they are amenable to the Court's proposal of allowing petitioner to immediately resume his testimony before the Senate Committees to answer the other questions of the Senators without prejudice to the decision on the merits of this pending petition. On March 17. March 18. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. respondent Committees were directed to submit several pertinent documents. Ermita (488 SCRA 1 [2006])? 1. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene and to Admit Attached Memorandum. as embodied under Sections 21 and 22. a glimpse at the landmark case of Senate v. II (Full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest) Sec. Art. It was understood that petitioner may invoke executive privilege in the course of the Senate Committees proceedings. to wit: First. (3) Respondent Senate Committees gravely abused its discretion for alleged non-compliance with theSubpoena dated November 13. revoking Executive Order No.Philippines" x x x within the principles laid down in Senate v. At the core of this controversy are the two (2) crucial queries. 2008. III (The right of the people to information on matters of public concern) Sec. related events transpired. 7. Did the Senate Committees gravely abuse their discretion in ordering the arrest of petitioner for non-compliance with the subpoena? After the oral argument. respectively. 1. 2007.15 The Senate did not agree with the proposal for the reasons stated in the Manifestation dated March 5. VII (The President shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed) and the due process clause and the principle of separation of powers? 2. 2008. or upon the request of either House. 14 . President Arroyo issued Memorandum Circular No. At the outset. What is the proper procedure to be followed in invoking executive privilege? 3. Ermita17 when they are invited to legislative inquiries in aid of legislation. 2008. Art. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. XI (Public office is a public trust) Sec. The Court granted the OSG's motion the next day. Art. founded on the following arguments: (1) The communications between petitioner and the President are covered by the principle of "executive privilege. with the consent of the President. are the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions covered by executive privilege? And second. 464 and Memorandum Circular No. 108. 14 At the same time. Ermita. On March 6. including. to wit: SECTION 21. 28. appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments.

in theory. Nonetheless. occasionally interpreted only by this Court in various cases. when the inquiry in which Congress requires their appearance is 'in aid of legislation' under Section 21. no less susceptible to abuse than executive or judicial power. broad as it is.O. their objectives are different. such department heads must give a report of their performance as a matter of duty. in keeping with the separation of powers. the right of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is." however. the power of Congress to compel the appearance of executive officials under section 21 and the lack of it under Section 22 find their basis in the principle of separation of powers. Article VIII of the Constitution. 464? A. Ermita20 is clear: When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how department heads are implementing the statutes which it has issued.O. On the other hand. To be valid. Section 21 relates to the power to conduct inquiriesin aid of legislation.There is a Recognized Claim of Executive Privilege Despite the Revocation of E. as Chief Executive.is there a recognized claim of executive privilege despite the revocation of E. 19 Simply stated. In fine. while both powers allow Congress or any of its committees to conduct inquiry. It may thus be subjected to judicial review pursuant to the Court's certiorari powers under Section 1. the objective of which is to obtain information in pursuit of Congress' oversight function. has limitations. The most recent of these is the 15 . Ermita. the appearance is mandatory for the same reasons stated in Arnault.22 This directs us to the consideration of the question -. this decision. adjunct thereto is the compulsory process to enforce it. This is consistent with the intent discerned from the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission Ultimately. This distinction gives birth to another distinction with regard to the use of compulsory process. it is imperative that it is done in accordance with the Senate or House duly published rules of procedure and that the rights of the persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected. it cannot frustrate the power of Congress to legislate by refusing to comply with its demands for information. states that Congress may only request their appearance. its right to such information is not as imperative as that of the President to whom. The power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is broad. the power. Hence. it must be stressed that the revocation of E. but may cover matters related thereto.) The availability of the power of judicial review to resolve the issues raised in this case has also been settled inSenate v. The Court's pronouncement inSenate v. In such instances. But. the appearance shall be conducted in executive session. 21 Inevitably. This is because this concept has Constitutional underpinnings.24 the Philippines has retained its constitutional origination. Its aim is to elicit information that may be used for legislation. when it held: As evidenced by the American experience during the so-called "McCarthy era. Senate cautions that while the above provisions are closely related and complementary to each other. This is based on the proposition that a legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change. Unlike in Section 21. the oversight function of Congress may be facilitated by compulsory process only to the extent that it is performed in pursuit of legislation. 464 At this juncture. When the security of the state or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing. Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions. they should not be considered as pertaining to the same power of Congress. Unlike the United States which has further accorded the concept with statutory status by enacting the Freedom of Information Act23 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act. While the executive branch is a co-equal branch of the legislature.O.Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three days before their scheduled appearance. (Emphasis supplied. 464 does not in any way diminish our concept of executive privilege. I The Communications Elicited by the Three (3) Questions are Covered by Executive Privilege We start with the basic premises where the parties have conceded. Section 22 pertains to the power to conduct a question hour. Congress cannot compel the appearance of executive officials under Section 22. Section 22. The power extends even to executive officials and the only way for them to be exempted is through a valid claim of executive privilege.

congressional or judicial negation of the presidential communications privilege is always subject to greater scrutiny than denial of the deliberative process privilege. involving what the court characterized as "quintessential and non-delegable Presidential power. Turning on who are the officials covered by the presidential communications privilege. Presidential communications privilege applies todecision-making of the President while. the presumption is founded on the "President's generalized interest in confidentiality. appointment and removal power.35 and information related to pending investigations. etc. 464. and covers final and post-decisional materials as well as pre-deliberative ones31 As a consequence. the Deputy Attorney General and the Pardon Attorney were deemed to be too remote from the President and his senior White House advisors to be protected." such as commander-in-chief power. we deem it imperative to explore it once more in view of the clamor for this Court to clearly define the communications covered by executive privilege. found insufficient to justify the confidentiality of the 4. While these cases. Court of Appeals delved deeper. especially Senate v. while the presidential decision involved is the exercise of the President's pardon power. PEA. Ermita. however. The first is rooted in the constitutional principle of separation of power and the President's unique constitutional role." In In Re: Sealed Case. Nixon. core-presidential function. recommendations and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated.case of Senate v. Vasquez. a full disclosure of all the measures. pronounced: The nature of foreign negotiations requires caution." Accordingly. to decision-making of executive officials. the lesser protections of the deliberative process privilege would suffice. citing President George Washington.28 In United States v. Unlike the deliberative process privilege.341 withheld documents. Almonte v.37 the U. and their success must often depend on secrecy. Ermita where this Court declared unconstitutional substantial portions of E. In this regard. It ruled that there are two (2) kinds of executive privilege. Court recognized a great public interest in preserving "the confidentiality of conversations that take place in the President's performance of his official duties.34identity of government informers in some circumstances. the power to grant pardons and reprieves. Inc. In United States v. Department of Justice33 tested the In Re: Sealed Case principles. the power to negotiate treaties. Court.S. a nondelegable.25 and Chavez v. 16 . the deliberative process privilege. 464. one is the presidential communications privilege and.30 the U. Ermita. the other is the deliberative process privilege. In Re: Sealed Caseconfines the privilege only to White House Staff that has "operational proximity" to direct presidential decision-making." Apparently. But more specific classifications of communications covered by executive privilege are made in older cases.O. thepresidential communications privilege applies to documents in their entirety. That privilege was. v. Courts ruled early that the Executive has a right to withhold documents that might reveal military or state secrets. they are characterized by marked distinctions. the sole-authority to receive ambassadors and other public officers. There. demands. 2007 limits its bases for the claim of executive privilege to Senate v.S.S. it is worthy to note that Executive Ermita's Letter dated November 15.26 There was never a mention of E.. the second on common law privilege. Thus. The majority concluded that." The privilege is said to be necessary to guarantee the candor of presidential advisors and to provide "the President and those who assist him… with freedom to explore alternatives in the process of shaping policies and making decisions and to do so in a way many would be unwilling to express except privately.27 have comprehensively discussed the concept of executive privilege. and even when brought to a conclusion." It thus considered presidential communications as "presumptively privileged.O. The former pertains to "communications. the privilege is meant to encompass only those functions that form the core of presidential authority." The latter includes 'advisory opinions.32 The situation in Judicial Watch. The Nixon and post-Watergate cases established the broad contours of the presidential communications privilege. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp.36 An area where the privilege is highly revered is in foreign relations. The Court conceded that functionally those officials were performing a task directly related to the President's pardon power. but concluded that an organizational test was more appropriate for confining the potentially broad sweep that would result from theIn Re: Sealed Case's functional test.29 the U. documents or other materials that reflect presidential decision-making and deliberations and that the President believes should remain confidential.

petitioner can be considered a close advisor. Ermita. The third element deserves a lengthy discussion." In Chavez v. The U. In Re Sealed Case and Judicial Watch. 17 . indeed. unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. Majority of the above jurisprudence have found their way in our jurisdiction. the bases are presidential communications privilege and executive privilege on matters relating to diplomacy or foreign relations. especially. the power to enter into an executive agreement with other countries." Simply put. In other words. to wit: 1) The protected communication must relate to a "quintessential and non-delegable presidential power. the claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where the subject of inquiry relates to a power textually committed by the Constitution to the President. perhaps danger and mischief. somehow provide the elements ofpresidential communications privilege. then. And third. that "the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the People's Republic of China. the President is the repository of the commander-in-chief. United States v. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in "operational proximity" with the President. Court held: [N]either the doctrine of separation of powers.39 there is also a recognition of the confidentiality of Presidential conversations. the communications relate to a "quintessential and non-delegable power" of the President. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine jurisprudence. a right in the House of Representatives to demand and to have as a matter of course all the papers respecting a negotiation with a foreign power would be to establish a dangerous precedent. The above cases. i. such that the information sought "likely contains important evidence" and by the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. In Senate v. Using the above elements. without more. this Court held that there is a "governmental privilege against public disclosure with respect to state secrets regarding military. Under the "operational proximity" test. To admit.42 and diplomatic43 powers. 3) The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be overcome by a showing of adequate need. Nixon held that a claim of executive privilege is subject to balancing against other interest. Executive Secretary Ermita premised his claim of executive privilege on the ground that the communications elicited by the three (3) questions "fall under conversation and correspondence between the President and public officials" necessary in "her executive and policy decision-making process" and. diplomatic and other security matters.e. As may be gleaned from the above discussion. nor the need for confidentiality of high-level communications.40appointing. the concept of presidential communications privilege is fully discussed. being a member of President Arroyo's cabinet.45 Second. Under our Constitution. there is no adequate showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. First. the communications elicited by the three (3) questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege.41 pardoning. PEA.or eventual concessions which may have been proposed or contemplated would be extremely impolitic. The necessity of such caution and secrecy was one cogent reason for vesting the power of making treaties in the President. for this might have a pernicious influence on future negotiations or produce immediate inconveniences. Consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers. we are convinced that.S. Nixon. PCGG38. can sustain an absolute. confidentiality in executive privilege is not absolutely protected by the Constitution. the information relating to these powers may enjoy greater confidentiality than others." 2) The communication must be authored or "solicited and received" by a close advisor of the President or the President himself. correspondences. and discussions in closed-door Cabinet meetings. with the advice and consent of the Senate. such as the area of military and foreign relations.44 In the case at bar. the communications are "received" by a close advisor of the President. the principle on which the body was formed confining it to a small number of members. In Chavez v. in relation to other powers.

to investigate instances of possible corruption and malfeasance in office. Sirica. Sirica. as did the judicial branch. Senate v. Court was quick to "limit the scope of its decision. we think the sufficiency of the Committee's showing must depend solely on whether the subpoenaed evidence is demonstrably critical to the responsible fulfillment of the Committee's functions. It is settled in United States v. But under Nixon v. Ermita ruled that the "the oversight function of Congress may be facilitated by compulsory process only to the extent that it is performed in pursuit of legislation." It is conceded that it is difficult to draw the line between an inquiry in aid of legislation and an inquiry in the exercise of oversight function of Congress. Ermita stressed that the validity of the claim of executive privilege depends not only on the ground invoked but." Unlike in Nixon. not in a criminal proceeding. In the present case. in Nixon. In this regard. invoke a general confidentiality privilege to shield its officials and employees from investigations by the proper governmental institutions into possible criminal wrongdoing. The Court expounded on this issue in this wise: It is true. and the executive branch itself in Nixon v. on the basis of the subpoenaed tapes. there is a pending criminal proceeding where the information is requested and it is the demands of due process of law and the fair administration of criminal justice that the information be disclosed. In Nixon. that the Executive cannot.49 it was held that since an impeachment proceeding had been initiated by a House Committee. Pertinently. Here also our task requires and our decision implies no judgment whatever concerning possible presidential involvement in culpable activity. This is the reason why the U. of course. specific need for evidence in pending criminal trial" outweighs the President's "generalized interest in confidentiality. United States. on the nature and appropriateness of the function in the performance of which the material was sought. Executive Secretary Ermita categorically claims executive privilege on the grounds of presidential communications privilege in relation to her executive and policy decision-making process and diplomatic secrets. It contended that resolution. instead. Furthermore." It stressed that it is "not concerned here with the balance between the President's generalized interest in confidentiality x x x and congressional demands for information. Instead. On the contrary. the President did not interpose any claim of need to protect military. not on the nature of the presidential conduct that the subpoenaed material might reveal. also. and the degree to which the material was necessary to its fulfillment. of the conflicts in the testimony before it 'would aid in a determination whether legislative involvement in political campaigns is necessary' and 'could help engender the public support needed for basic reforms in our electoral system. Congress has. We see no dispute on this. Nixon.' Moreover."47 Here. diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets. the information here is elicited. The Congress learned this as to its own privileges in Gravel v.S. and 18 . Nixon48 that "demonstrated. the record is bereft of any categorical explanation from respondent Committees to show a compelling or citical need for the answers to the three (3) questions in the enactment of a law.The foregoing is consistent with the earlier case of Nixon v." However. power to oversee the operations of the executive branch. in Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities v. any more than the other branches of government. in a sense. according to the Committee. the showing required to overcome the presumption favoring confidentiality turned. the Senate Select Committee's immediate oversight need for five presidential tapes should give way to the House Judiciary Committee which has the constitutional authority to inquire into presidential impeachment. In this regard. the questions veer more towards the exercise of the legislative oversight function under Section 22 of Article VI rather than Section 21 of the same Article. Sirica. United States. The courts are enjoined to resolve the competing interests of the political branches of the government "in the manner that preserves the essential functions of each Branch. in Clark v. Senate v. the Committee argued that it has shown exactly this. but. but in a legislative inquiry. on the procedural setting or the context in which the claim is made. Respondent Committees argue that a claim of executive privilege does not guard against a possible disclosure of a crime or wrongdoing. the present case's distinction with the Nixon case is very evident. The respondent Committees should cautiously tread into the investigation of matters which may present a conflict of interest that may provide a ground to inhibit the Senators participating in the inquiry if later on an impeachment proceeding is initiated on the same subject matter of the present Senate inquiry. much will depend on the content of the questions and the manner the inquiry is conducted. In its initial briefs here.46 where it was held that presidential communications are presumptively privileged and that the presumption can be overcome only by mere showing of public need by the branch seeking access to conversations.

In these circumstances. the right of Congress or any of its Committees to obtain information in aid of legislation cannot be equated with the people's right to public information. No.A. not to an individual citizen. a general oversight power. there is a recognized public interest in the confidentiality of certain information. 3019. or any institution engaged in like functions. The right to public information.) No. we think the need for the tapes premised solely on an asserted power to investigate and inform cannot justify enforcement of the Committee's subpoena. as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development. Not only that. There is a clear difference between Congress' legislative tasks and the responsibility of a grand jury. 6713. entirely on whether the subpoenaed materials are critical to the performance of its legislative functions. and Section 24(e)54 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. clear distinctions between the right of Congress to information which underlies the power of inquiry and the right of people to information on matters of public concern. one of those crimes is perjury concerning the content of certain conversations. The distinction between such rights is laid down in Senate v. and papers pertaining to official acts. transactions. with the exception only of those covered by his claim of executive privilege. Section 3 (k)53 of R. 50 We might have agreed with such contention if petitioner did not appear before them at all. where he was questioned for eleven (11) hours. We see no comparable need in the legislative process. like any other right. is undeniable.51 Article 22952 of the Revised Penal Code. we need neither deny that the Congress may have. this power has been delegated to it by the Senate. These powers belong only to Congress. Indeed. shall be afforded the citizen. the House Committee on the Judiciary has begun an inquiry into presidential impeachment. whatever force there might once have been in the Committee's argument that the subpoenaed materials are necessary to its legislative judgments has been substantially undermined by subsequent events. he expressly manifested his willingness to answer more questions from the Senators. The sufficiency of the Committee's showing of need has come to depend. These are in addition to what our body of jurisprudence classifies as confidential55 and what our Constitution considers as belonging to the larger concept of executive privilege. and that to exercise its power responsibly. quite apart from its legislative responsibilities. it must have access to the subpoenaed tapes. as in Nixon v. though. Some of these laws are Section 7 of Republic Act (R. We find the information subject of this case belonging to such kind. the exact text of oral statements recorded in their original form. i. it bears noting. The Committee says that with respect to Watergate-related matters. nor explore what the lawful reach of that power might be under the Committee's constituent resolution. than on precise reconstruction of past events. Access to official records. If. Section 7 of Article III provides: The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. therefore. the demand of a citizen for the production of documents pursuant to his right to information does not have the same obligatory force as a subpoena duces tecum issued by Congress. More than anything else. 19 . The former cannot claim that every legislative inquiry is an exercise of the people's right to information. But petitioner made himself available to them during the September 26 hearing. The investigative authority of the Judiciary Committee with respect to presidential conduct has an express constitutional source. as may be provided by law. at least not in the circumstances of this case. is subject to limitation. Ermita: There are.e. Sirica. Since passage of that resolution. In contrast. legislative judgments normally depend more on the predicted consequences of proposed legislative actions and their political acceptability. Neither does the right to information grant a citizen the power to exact testimony from government officials. Congress frequently legislates on the basis of conflicting information provided in its hearings. the grand jury's need for the most precise evidence. (Emphasis supplied) Respondent Committees further contend that the grant of petitioner's claim of executive privilege violates the constitutional provisions on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern.to expose the results of its investigations to public view. for example. or decisions. In the circumstances of this case.A. For one. The provision itself expressly provides the limitation. Clearly. While fact-finding by a legislative committee is undeniably a part of its task. the responsibility of the grand jury turns entirely on its ability to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that certain named individuals did or did not commit specific crimes. We turn first to the latter contention. and to documents. x x x We have been shown no evidence indicating that Congress itself attaches any particular value to this interest.

he expressly states that "this Office is constrained to invoke the settled doctrine of executive privilege as refined in Senate v. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. It serves as the formal claim of privilege. There." we find the grounds relied upon by Executive Secretary Ermita specific enough so as not "to leave respondent Committees in the dark on how the requested information could be classified as privileged. Ermita. At any rate. 20 . the right to information must be balanced with and should give way. lodged by the head of the department which has control over the matter." The case of Senate v.whether the claim is properly invoked by the President. manifesting that it was not his intention to ignore the Senate hearing and that he thought the only remaining questions were the three (3) questions he claimed to be covered by executive privilege. petitioner replied immediately. 2007. In addition thereto." The particular ground must only be specified. he submitted Atty. they do so as public officials and members of Congress. in other words where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility and it must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. Both correspondences include an expression of his willingness to testify again. Bautista's letter. there must be a formal claim of privilege. to constitutional precepts particularly those pertaining to delicate interplay of executive-legislative powers and privileges which is the subject of careful review by numerous decided cases. as held further in Senate v. This is because when they discharge their power. while Congress is composed of representatives elected by the people. This is a matter of respect to a coordinate and co-equal department. Ermita. or. With regard to the existence of "precise and certain reason.57 The Letter dated November 17. closeddoor Cabinet meetings. respondent Committees issued the Order dated January 30." 56 A formal and proper claim of executive privilege requires a "precise and certain reason" for preserving their confidentiality. Jurisprudence teaches that for the claim to be properly invoked. Thereupon. II Respondent Committees Committed Grave Abuse of Discretion in Issuing the Contempt Order Grave abuse of discretion means "such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. and has advised Secretary Neri accordingly. That is more than enough compliance." 60 It must be reiterated that when respondent Committees issued the show cause Letter dated November 22. except in a highly qualified sense. B. stating that his non-appearance was upon the order of the President and specifying the reasons why his conversations with President Arroyo are covered by executive privilege." Obviously.The Claim of Executive Privilege is Properly Invoked We now proceed to the issue -. In Senate v. the people are exercising their right to information. Ermita only requires that an allegation be made "whether the information demanded involves military or diplomatic secrets. a less categorical letter was even adjudged to be sufficient. without disclosing the very thing the privilege is designed to protect. citing him in contempt of respondent Committees and ordering his arrest and detention at the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms until such time that he would appear and give his testimony. informing respondent Committees that he had filed the present petition for certiorari. The members of respondent Committees should not invoke as justification in their exercise of power a right properly belonging to the people in general. Ermita. Given the confidential nature in which these information were conveyed to the President. The enumeration is not even intended to be comprehensive. Be that as it may. in appropriate cases. Without responding to his request for advance list of questions.Thus. he is referring to the Office of the President. 59 the Congress must not require the executive to state the reasons for the claim with such particularity as to compel disclosure of the information which the privilege is meant to protect. he cannot provide the Committee any further details of these conversations. 2007 of Executive Secretary Ermita satisfies the requirement. it does not follow."58 The following statement of grounds satisfies the requirement: The context in which executive privilege is being invoked is that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the People's Republic of China. Respondent Committees committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the contempt Order in view of five (5) reasons. 2008. provided he "be furnished in advance" copies of the questions. etc. that in every exercise of its power of inquiry.

there is a cloud of doubt as to the validity of the contempt Order dated January 30. need the concurrence of a majority of all members of the said committee and we have three committees conducting this. And once the signatures are obtained. there is no problem. Senator Pimentel. despite petitioner's repeated demands. CAYETANO.First. we will just hold a caucus to be able to implement that right away because…Again. THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. before we know it. you. our determination is watered down by delay and. if a majority of all members sign and I am following the Sabio v. Third. we enforce what we decide. A). may punish for contempt any witness before it who disobeys any order of the Committee or refuses to be sworn or to testify or to answer proper questions by the Committee or any of its members. Mr. This must be so to ensure that the rights of both persons appearing in or affected by such inquiry are respected as mandated by said Section 21 and by virtue of the express language of Section 22. I am not sure that is the right interpretation. Second. I think. Chairman. Mr. So I am merely stating that. Mr." Clearly. I was merely mentioning that under Section 6 of the Rules of the Committee and under Section 6. A. thus: THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. respondent Committees did not send him an advance list of questions. Chairman. SEN. May I recognize the Minority Leader and give him the floor. both under Sections 21 and 22 of Article VI of the Constitution. know reservations that other committees might have who are only secondary or even tertiary committees. I think that once we decide here. because otherwise. that when we will prepare the documentation. if I am not mistaken. 2008. For clarification. the issuance of the contempt Order suffers from constitutional infirmity. Chairman Gordon prepared the documentation and then either in caucus or in session asked the other members to sign. But I am of the opinion that the Blue Ribbon Committee is the lead committee. PIMENTEL. Ermita that the invitations should contain the "possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry. So my suggestion. Gordon rule wherein I do believe. Lozada will not be able to legally question our subpoena as being insufficient in accordance with law. members who did not actually participate in the deliberation were made to sign the contempt Order. CAYETANO." So the Blue Ribbon Committee is more than willing to take that responsibility. a reading of the transcript of respondent Committees' January 30." along with "the usual indication of the subject of inquiry and the questions relative to and in furtherance thereof. CAYETANO.A). PIMENTEL. is the Blue Ribbon Committee should not forget it's the lead committee here. Chairman. there being a legitimate claim of executive privilege. solely for the purpose that Secretary Neri or Mr. with consulting the other committees." Compliance with this requirement is imperative. 61 Section 18 of the Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation provides that: "The Committee. sir. "The Committee by a vote of a majority of all its members may punish for contempt any witness before it who disobeys any order of the Committee. Apparently. by a vote of majority of all its members. 2008 proceeding reveals that only a minority of the members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee was present during the deliberation. THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. So thank you very much to the members… SEN. and therefore. Meaning to say. respondent Committees did not comply with the requirement laid down in Senate v. Mr. the so-called "consultation" that inevitably will have to take place if we follow the premise that has been explained. Thus. Meaning. the will of the lead committee prevails over all the other. x x x The Chair will call either a caucus or will ask the Committee on Rules if there is a problem. the needed vote is a majority of all the members of the Committee.) Thank you very much to the Minority Leader. it should have preference in enforcing its own decisions. Unfortunately. But we only have six members here today. But if we have a sufficient number. our Rules provide that any one held in contempt and ordered arrested. you know. if we do not have the sufficient numbers. it is not something that is subject to consultation with other committees. I am the seventh as chair and so we have not met that number. We quote the pertinent portion of the transcript. 21 . Chairman. and therefore. And I agree with the wisdom of his statements.

In this regard. 22 . He holds a high position in a co-equal branch of government. He manifested several times his readiness to testify before respondent Committees. A fact worth highlighting is that petitioner is not an unwilling witness. the institution that we are representing because the alternative will be a disaster for all of us. One last word. A. The same quality afflicted their conduct when they (a) disregarded petitioner's motion for reconsideration alleging that he had filed the present petition before this Court and (b) ignored petitioner's repeated request for an advance list of questions. and therefore there is more than a quorum demanded by our Rules as far as we are concerned now. you know. Mr. I am simply trying to avoid the court rebuking the Committee. So. the composition of the Senate also changes by the end of each term. CAYETANO. Even the courts are repeatedly advised to exercise the power of contempt judiciously and sparingly with utmost self-restraint with the end in view of utilizing the same for correction and preservation of the dignity of the court. it is important to mention that many incidents of judicial review could have been avoided if powers are discharged with circumspection and deference. Mr. yes. there is a need for a majority of all members if it is a case of contempt and arrest. I know that. we find merit in the argument of the OSG that respondent Committees likewise violated Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution. Chairman. and acting as Blue Ribbon Committee. they curtly dismissed his explanation as "unsatisfactory" and simultaneously issued the Order citing him in contempt and ordering his immediate arrest and detention. Mr. cannot even sanction people who openly defy." Undoubtedly.SEN. He refused to answer the three (3) questions because he was ordered by the President to claim executive privilege. procedurally infirm. because it really looks terrible if the primary Committee of the Senate. Not having published its Rules of Procedure. Concomitant with the doctrine of separation of powers is the mandate to observe respect to a co-equal branch of the government. It must be pointed out that respondent Committees did not first pass upon the claim of executive privilege and inform petitioner of their ruling. as Senator Enrile pointed out. Chairman. Instead. which is the Blue Ribbon Committee. But let me very respectfully disagree with the legal requirements. It behooves respondent Committees to first rule on the claim of executive privilege and inform petitioner of their finding thereon. not for retaliation or vindication. Minority Leader. I know that the Chair is going through an agonizing moment here. But I do agree. which will instead of strengthening will weaken us. the caution that the chair is suggesting is very well-taken. are therefore. I think we have to uphold.63 Respondent Committees should have exercised the same restraint. Any two-member senators attending a Senate committee hearing provide that quorum. the signatures that will follow by the additional members will only tend to strengthen the determination of this Committee to put its foot forward – put down on what is happening in this country. So having said that. the subject hearings in aid of legislation conducted by the 14th Senate. And fifth. you know. PIMENTEL. But nonetheless. Mr. the summons of this Committee. respondent Committees' issuance of the contempt Order is arbitrary and precipitate. Since Senatorial elections are held every three (3) years for onehalf of the Senate's membership. requiring that the inquiry be in accordance with the "duly published rules of procedure. after all petitioner is not even an ordinary witness. Each Senate may thus enact a different set of rules as it may deem fit. And if they refure or they disobey not only can we cite them in contempt and have them arrested. instead of peremptorily dismissing his explanation as "unsatisfactory. In any event. Because. we can have a hearing if we are only two but both under Section 18 of the Rules of the Senate and under Section 6 of the Rules of the Blue Ribbon Committee. I'd like to reiterate my point. I agree 100 percent with the intentions of the Minority Leader." We quote the OSG's explanation: The phrase 'duly published rules of procedure' requires the Senate of every Congress to publish its rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation because every Senate is distinct from the one before it or after it. x x x 62 Fourth. THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. if there be any aside from the three (3) questions as to which he claimed to be covered by executive privilege.) First of all. And it's very clear that we are all allowed to call witnesses. that we should push for this and show the executive branch that the well-decided – the issue has been decided upon the Sabio versus Gordon case. Chairman. respondent Committees' actions constitute grave abuse of discretion for being arbitrary and for denying petitioner due process of law. But I'd like to advert to the fact that the quorum of the committee is only two as far as I remember.

Respondent. via the instant Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. 86329. On various dates." It proceeded to state: Under this view. to avoid a piecemeal consideration of the questions for review and to avert a constitutional crisis between the executive and legislative branches of government. respondent Pennswell. Branch 64. the Judiciary interprets it and the Executive implements it. our mandate is to rule objectively and dispassionately. where the Legislature enacts the law. 6433. American Tel. it remanded the record to the District Court for further proceedings during which the parties are required to negotiate a settlement. the nullification of the 16 February 2006 Decision1 and the 25 May 2006 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. For failure of the 23 . This is the only way we can preserve the stability of our democratic institutions and uphold the Rule of Law. SP No." we should turn to the fundamental constitutional principles which underlie our tripartite system of government. 6634 and 6633.6 and 8963. On the other hand. American Tel. Under the contracts. PENNSWELL.864. coordinate and supreme within their respective spheres but. always mindful of Mr. These immediate interests exercise a kind of hydraulic pressure which makes what previously was clear seem doubtful. No. and special lubricants. thus: "some accident of immediate and overwhelming interest…appeals to the feelings and distorts the judgment. the coordinate branches do not exist in an exclusively adversary relationship to one another when a conflict in authority arises.4 9105. the petition is hereby GRANTED. 172835 December 13. INC. 8846. The Court's mandate is to preserve these constitutional principles at all times to keep the political branches of government within constitutional bounds in the exercise of their respective powers and prerogatives. As magistrates. Instead.64 the court refrained from deciding the case because of its desire to avoid a resolution that might disturb the balance of power between the two branches and inaccurately reflect their true needs. co-equal. &Tel Co. 00-561. Petitioner. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. was organized to engage in the business of manufacturing and selling industrial chemicals. It is the long-term staying power of government that is enhanced by the mutual accommodation required by the separation of powers. & Tel Co. even if it be in the search for truth. which affirmed the Order3 dated 30 June 2004 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). 6684. respectively... vs. is hereby nullified. The accusation is far from the truth. In the subsequent case of United States v. Makati City. Justice Holmes' warning on the dangers inherent in cases of this nature. SO ORDERED. 2008. in Civil Case No.: Petitioner Air Philippines Corporation seeks. Petitioner Air Philippines Corporation is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of air transportation services. The Court did so.98 with interest at 14% per annum until the amount would be fully paid. G. It thereafter concluded that: "The Separation of Powers often impairs efficiency. in terms of dispatch and the immediate functioning of government. solvents. Rather each branch should take cognizance of an implicit constitutional mandate to seek optimal accommodation through a realistic evaluation of the needs of the conflicting branches in the particular fact situation. covered by Sales Invoices No. Inc." In rendering this decision. J. The subject Order dated January 30. respondent delivered and sold to petitioner sundry goods in trade.7 which correspond to Purchase Orders No.R. the Court emphasizes once more that the basic principles of constitutional law cannot be subordinated to the needs of a particular situation. They are considered separate. Neri in contempt of the Senate Committees and directing his arrest and detention. citing petitioner Romulo L.The Court was accused of attempting to abandon its constitutional duty when it required the parties to consider a proposal that would lead to a possible compromise. petitioner’s total outstanding obligation amounted to P449. 2007 AIR PHILIPPINES CORPORATION. imbued with a system of checks and balances to prevent unwarranted exercise of power."66 In this present crusade to "search for truth. WHEREFORE. only to test a tool that other jurisdictions find to be effective in settling similar cases.R. and before which even well settled principles of law will bend.5 8962.65 it was held that "much of this spirit of compromise is reflected in the generality of language found in the Constitution. In United States v.

petitioner filed a Motion to Compel10 respondent to give a detailed list of the ingredients and chemical components of the following products. respondent’s products. and Anti-Seize Compound. Contact Grease to be compared with Connector Grease. Dry Lubricant b. covered by Purchase Order No. Connector Grease. Petitioner specifically identified the items in question.519. a. and (c) Dry Lubricant and Anti-Seize Compound. contending that it cannot be compelled to disclose the chemical components sought because the matter is confidential.236. It disposed.864. However. Amount P. Moreover. as follows: Label/Description Item No. petitioner alleged that it was defrauded in the amount of P592. the RTC rendered an Order granting the petitioner’s motion. petitioner was surprised when it received a letter from the respondent.496. On 15 March 2004.96 4582 5446 01/29/99 04/21/99 4.11 It appears that petitioner had earlier requested the Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PIPAC) for the latter to conduct a comparison of respondent’s goods.346. thus: The Court directs [herein respondent] Pennswell. Thixohtropic Grease. a conference was held between petitioner and respondent on 13 January 2000. Di-Electric Strength Protective Coating (fake) EPC EPC#2 81. Excellent Rust Corrosion (fake) MPL-800 MPL-008 153. Petitioner asseverated that had respondent been forthright about the identical character of the products. but were in truth and in fact. demanding payment of the amount of P449. and Dry Lubricant. and c.00 5714 5888 05/20/99 06/20/99 2. a. a. b. petitioner alleged that when the purported fraud was discovered. (b) Thixohtropic Grease and Di-Electric Strength Protective Coating. to give [herein petitioner] Air Philippines Corporation[.876. respondent filed a Complaint8 for a Sum of Money on 28 April 2000 with the RTC.876. and if their components were 24 .petitioner to comply with its obligation under said contracts.108.000.] a detailed list of the ingredients or chemical components of the following chemical products: a.52 5540 6327 04/26/99 08/05/99 3. 6626. It argued that what petitioner endeavored to inquire upon constituted a trade secret which respondent cannot be forced to divulge.9 petitioner contended that its refusal to pay was not without valid and justifiable reasons. Said items were misrepresented by respondent as belonging to a new line. Dry Lubricant to be compared with Anti-Seize Compound[.10 5712 4763 & 5890 05/20/99 02/16/99 & 06/24/99 According to petitioner. namely Excellent Rust Corrosion. Contact Grease. Trixohtropic Grease b. In particular.O.52 124. Connector Grease (fake) COG #2 CG 115. In its Answer.94. Contact Grease b.00 by respondent for its previous sale of four items.941. Inc. it would not have purchased the items complained of.00 230. Petitioner asserted that it was deceived by respondent which merely altered the names and labels of such goods. Inc. During the pendency of the trial. Date 1. to wit: (a) Contact Grease and Connector Grease.96 81. a. are identical with its Anti-Friction Fluid.] [Respondent] Pennswell. is given fifteen (15) days from receipt of this Order to submit to [petitioner] Air Philippines Corporation the chemical components of all the above-mentioned products for chemical comparison/analysis. Electric Strength Protective Coating. identical with products petitioner had previously purchased from respondent. which later became the subject of respondent’s Complaint for Collection of a Sum of Money against petitioner. Thixohtropic Grease to be compared with Di-Electric Strength Protective Coating.12 Respondent sought reconsideration of the foregoing Order. whereby the parties agreed that respondent would return to petitioner the amount it previously paid. Anti-Friction Fluid b. Respondent maintained that its products are specialized lubricants.40 155. Anti-Seize Compound (fake) ASC-EP ASC-EP 2000 87. respectively.

trade or industrial secrets (pursuant to the Intellectual Property Code and other related laws) as well as banking transactions (pursuant to the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act) re also exempt from compulsory disclosure. through their access to [respondent] Pennswell’s business secrets. may use the same for their own private gain and to the irreparable prejudice of the latter. the Court of Appeals expounded. the detailed list of ingredients or chemical components may not be the subject of mode of discovery under Rule 27.e. We believe and so hold that the ingredients or composition of [respondent] Pennswell’s lubricants are trade secrets which it cannot be compelled to disclose. Otherwise. The formulation thereof is not known to the general public and is peculiar only to [respondent] Pennswell.revealed. There. finding that the chemical components are respondent’s trade secrets and are privileged in character. papers." Trade secrets may not be the subject of compulsory disclosure. xxxx In the case before Us. Section 1 of the Rules of Court. All told. petitioner [Air Philippines Corporation] would have [respondent] Pennswell produce a detailed list of ingredients or composition of the latter’s lubricant products so that a chemical comparison and analysis thereof can be obtained. ingredients or chemical components of the products ordered by this Court to be disclosed constitute trade secrets lest [herein respondent] would eventually be exposed to unwarranted business competition with others who may imitate and market the same kinds of products in violation of [respondent’s] proprietary rights. The legitimate and economic interests of business enterprises in protecting their manufacturing and business secrets are well-recognized in our system. Presidential Commission on Good Government. commercial and financial information are exempt from public scrutiny. It issued an Order dated 30 June 2004. Being privileged. [Respondent] Pennswell has a right to guard its trade secrets. The Court of Appeals ruled that to compel respondent to reveal in detail the list of ingredients of its lubricants is to disregard respondent’s rights over its trade secrets. marketing strategies and other confidential programs and information against the public. or any object which are considered trade secrets. its business competitors may easily imitate and market the same types of products. This is reiterated in Chavez v. the alleged trade secrets have a factual basis." In disallowing the disclosure.. manufacturing formulas. in violation of its proprietary rights and to its serious damage and prejudice. aside from national security matters and intelligence information. On this note. release or disclose documents. In the instant case. A priori. petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with the Court of Appeals.13 Alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC. trade or industrial secrets (pursuant to the Intellectual Property Code and other related laws) as well as banking transactions (pursuant to the Secrecy of Bank Deposit Act) are also exempted from compulsory disclosure. [Respondent] Pennswell has a proprietary or economic right over the ingredients or components of its lubricant products. such information can be illegally and unfairly utilized by business competitors who." It is thus clear from the foregoing that a party cannot be compelled to produce. It was categorical in declaring that the chemical formulation of respondent’s products and their ingredients are embraced within the meaning of "trade secrets. it rationalized: The Supreme Court held in the case of Chavez vs. p. By reason of [their] confidential and privileged character. that "the drafters of the Constitution also unequivocally affirmed that aside from national security matters and intelligence information. it comprises of the ingredients and formulation of [respondent] Pennswell’s lubricant products which are unknown to the public and peculiar only to Pennswell. the Supreme Court explicitly stated that: "The drafters of the Constitution also unequivocally affirmed that. The RTC gave credence to respondent’s reasoning. and reversed itself. We find no grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of public respondent Judge in finding that the detailed list of ingredients or composition of the subject 25 . thus: The Supreme Court in Garcia v. Presidential Commission on Good Government (299 SCRA 744 [1998]) where the Supreme Court enumerated the kinds of information and transactions that are recognized as restrictions on or privileges against compulsory disclosure. i. Board of Investments (177 SCRA 374 [1989]) held that trade secrets and confidential. which denied the Petition and affirmed the Order dated 30 June 2004 of the RTC. 299 SCRA 744. 764. which expressly makes privileged information an exception from its coverage.

tool. The inventor. What it had achieved by virtue of its investments may not be wrested from respondent on the mere pretext that it is necessary for petitioner’s defense against a collection for a sum 26 . Relying on Section 1. even if in fact there be none at all to speak of. the parameters in the determination of trade secrets were set to be such substantial factual basis that can withstand judicial scrutiny. The chemical composition. Unyielding. (4) the value of the information to the employer and to competitors. in Cocoland. pigments and similar preparations. 14 Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was denied. sell or otherwise dispose of goods. As a caveat. (2) the extent to which the information is known by employees and others involved in the business. formulae or other so-called trade secrets must have a substantial factual basis which can pass judicial scrutiny. A trade secret is defined as a plan or process. Respondent was established to engage in the business of general manufacturing and selling of. mechanism or compound known only to its owner and those of his employees to whom it is necessary to confide it. paints."20 American jurisprudence has utilized the following factors21 to determine if an information is a trade secret. privileged against compulsory disclosure. respondent expended efforts. discoverer. including but not limited to industrial chemicals. or oppress respondent. 18 Generally. and to deal in. Petitioner assails the conclusion reached by the Court of Appeals that the matters are trade secrets which are protected by law and beyond public scrutiny. among others. (5) the amount of effort or money expended by the company in developing the information. varnishes. In the creation of its lubricants. Rule 27 of the Rules of Court. salts. 23 the issue was the legality of an employee’s termination on the ground of unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets. lubricants. wares. petitioner argues that the use of modes of discovery operates with desirable flexibility under the discretionary control of the trial court. research.24 Hence. Furthermore. and resources. for example. products. or compilation of information that: (1) is used in one's business. and ingredients of respondent’s special lubricants are trade secrets within the contemplation of the law. colors. petitioner brought the instant Petition before us. alkalies. hence. formulation. oils. to wit: (1) the extent to which the information is known outside of the employer's business. and (2) gives the employer an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not possess the information. processes. embarrass. merchandise. (3) the extent of measures taken by the employer to guard the secrecy of the information. National Labor Relations Commission. acids. or possessor of a trade secret or similar innovation has rights therein which may be treated as property. petitioner posits that its request is not done in bad faith or in any manner as to annoy.16 The definition also extends to a secret formula or process not patented. The Court rejected the employer’s naked contention that its own determination as to what constitutes a trade secret should be binding and conclusive upon the NLRC. skills. and thereby create a weapon with which he/it may arbitrarily dismiss an employee on the pretext that the latter somehow disclosed a trade secret. distribute. and ordinarily an injunction will be granted to prevent the disclosure of the trade secret by one who obtained the information "in confidence" or through a "confidential relationship. The Court laid down the rule that any determination by management as to the confidential nature of technologies. solvents.17 A trade secret may consist of any formula. and (6) the extent to which the information could be easily or readily obtained through an independent source. but known only to certain individuals using it in compounding some article of trade having a commercial value. a machine or formula.15 Petitioner seeks to convince this Court that it has a right to obtain the chemical composition and ingredients of respondent’s products to conduct a comparative analysis of its products. It is unmistakable to our minds that the manufacture and production of respondent’s products proceed from a formulation of a secret list of ingredients. a trade secret is a process or device intended for continuous use in the operation of the business.lubricant products which petitioner [Air Philippines Corporation] seeks to be disclosed are trade secrets of [respondent] Pennswell. on the sole issue of: WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS RULED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PREVAILING LAWS AND JURISPRUDENCE WHEN IT UPHELD THE RULING OF THE TRIAL COURT THAT THE CHEMICAL COMPONENTS OR INGREDIENTS OF RESPONDENT’S PRODUCTS ARE TRADE SECRETS OR INDUSTRIAL SECRETS THAT ARE NOT SUBJECT TO COMPULSORY DISCLOSURE.19 It is indubitable that trade secrets constitute proprietary rights. the Court said that to rule otherwise would be to permit an employer to label almost anything a trade secret. but can be a price list or catalogue or specialized customer list. device.22 In Cocoland Development Corporation v. pattern.

(d) communication between priest and penitent. Not only do we acknowledge the fact that the information grants it a competitive advantage. which are not privileged. Among them are the following: (a) editors may not be compelled to disclose the source of published news. place and manner of making the inspection and taking copies and photographs. rule against the petitioner. 902-A. accounts. (d) information contained in tax census returns. and must constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action and which are in the party’s possession. measuring. (c) trade secrets. books.26 The documents must not be privileged against disclosure. the court in which an action is pending may (a) order any party to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing. books. Section 2429 of Rule 130 draws the types of disqualification by reason of privileged communication. and (2) cases for rehabilitation transferred from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the RTCs pursuant to 27 . and to place it at an undue disadvantage. that is. and (d) bank deposits. (b) communication between attorney and client. objects or tangible things. The protection that this jurisdiction affords to trade secrets is evident in our laws. measuring. or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or operation thereon. 30 We. by or on behalf of the moving party. and may prescribe such terms and conditions as are just. Motion for production or inspection order.28 Such a condition is in addition to the requisite that the items be specifically described. letters. There are. objects or tangible things. effective 15 December 2000. could not be received in evidence. To compel its disclosure is to cripple respondent’s business. or b) to permit entry upon designated land or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting. photographs.31 as amended. which applies to: (1) petitions for rehabilitation filed by corporations.25 which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action. Rule 27 of the Rules of Court. By and large. (c) communication between physician and patient. We now take a look at Section 1. A more than cursory glance at the above text would show that the production or inspection of documents or things as a mode of discovery sanctioned by the Rules of Court may be availed of by any party upon a showing of good cause therefor before the court in which an action is pending. which permits parties to inspect documents or things upon a showing of good cause before the court in which an action is pending. custody or control. letters. accounts. accounts. the information is also valuable to respondent’s competitors. letters. papers. other privileged matters that are not mentioned by Rule 130. surveying. we also find that there is clearly a glaring intent on the part of respondent to keep the information confidential and not available to the prying public. to wit: (a) communication between husband and wife. – Upon motion of any party showing good cause therefore. because of their confidential and privileged character. The court may order any party: a) to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing of any designated documents. papers. partnerships. however. which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action and which are in his possession. Our conclusion is that the detailed ingredients sought to be revealed have a commercial value to respondent. objects or tangible things that may be produced and inspected should not be privileged.of money. it will stand to lose the backbone on which its business is founded. the rules providing for production and inspection of books and papers do not authorize the production or inspection of privileged matter. and (e) public officers and public interest. thus. Its entire provision reads: SECTION 1. books and papers which. papers. (b) voters may not be compelled to disclose for whom they voted. That trade secrets are of a privileged nature is beyond quibble. The Interim Rules of Procedure on Government Rehabilitation. This would result in nothing less than the probable demise of respondent’s business. photographs. Rule 27 sets an unequivocal proviso that the documents. of any designated documents.27 On the ground of public policy. not privileged. custody or control. the value of the information to respondent is crystal clear. The order shall specify the time. and associations pursuant to Presidential Decree No. Respondent’s proprietary interest over the ingredients which it had developed and expended money and effort on is incontrovertible. We affirm the ruling of the Court of Appeals which upheld the finding of the RTC that there is substantial basis for respondent to seek protection of the law for its proprietary rights over the detailed chemical composition of its products. surveying. or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or operation thereon. If the chemical composition of respondent’s lubricants are opened to public scrutiny. books. or (b) order any party to permit entry upon designated land or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting. The ingredients constitute the very fabric of respondent’s production and business. custody or control. photographs. and which are in his possession. No doubt.

Revealing secrets with abuse of office. to have access to all information filed with the Commission. restrict or prohibit the importation. 41 Significantly. in accordance with our statutory laws.Republic Act No. penalizing the revelation thereof by internal revenue officers or employees. or commercial information belonging to the debtor. on the rationalization that the company has a right to guard its trade secrets. development. Republic Act No. to the prejudice of the owner thereof. also contains a provision that limits the right of the public to have access to records. in such capacity. manufacturing formulas. — The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed upon any manager.35 Clearly. processor or distributor. — The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed upon the person in charge.000). . employee or servant who. Art. sale.38 Verily. profit. aside from national security matters and intelligence information.Any person who causes or procures an officer or employee of the Bureau of Internal Revenue to divulge any confidential information regarding the business. use and disposal of chemical substances and mixtures that present unreasonable risk and/or injury to health or the environment. trade or industrial secrets (pursuant to the Intellectual Property Code and other related laws) as well as banking transactions (pursuant to the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act). marketing 28 . shall learn the secrets of his principal or master and shall reveal such secrets. production or processes unique to such manufacturer.39 Foremost. loss or expenditure appearing in any income tax return. the Revised Penal Code endows a cloak of protection to trade secrets under the following articles: Art. this Court has ruled that all agreements concerning intellectual property are intimately connected with economic development. reports or information concerning chemical substances and mixtures including safety data submitted and data on emission or discharge into the environment. Republic Act No.32 Moreover. has a restrictive provision on trade secrets. processor or distributor. manufacture. 291. Similarly.34 Furthermore. this Court has declared that intellectual and industrial property rights cases are not simple property cases. knowledge of which was acquired by him in the discharge of his official duties. shall reveal the secrets of the industry of the latter. the Securities Regulation Code is explicit that the Securities and Exchange Commission is not required or authorized to require the revelation of trade secrets or processes in any application. this Court upheld the validity of the policy of a pharmaceutical company prohibiting its employees from marrying employees of any competitor company. processing. production or sales figures. 8799.40 We said that the drafters of the Constitution also unequivocally affirmed that. or both. enacted to implement the policy of the state to regulate.1âwphi1 There is a privilege not to disclose one’s trade secrets. employee or workman of any manufacturing or industrial establishment who. and any person who publishes or prints in any manner whatever. upon request. are also exempted from compulsory disclosure. and which it is unlawful for him to reveal. any income.33 This confidentiality is made paramount as a limitation to the right of any member of the general public.37 The protection of industrial property encourages investments in new ideas and inventions and stimulates creative efforts for the satisfaction of human needs. our cases on labor are replete with examples of a protectionist stance towards the trade secrets of employers. this Court has declared that trade secrets and banking transactions are among the recognized restrictions to the right of the people to information as embodied in the Constitution. or methods. or suffer imprisonment of not less than six (6) months nor more than five (5) years. or would otherwise tend to affect adversely the competitive position of such manufacturer. Procuring Unlawful Divulgence of Trade Secrets. to wit: SECTION 278. Revelation of industrial secrets. and thereby bring about social and economic progress. if the matter is confidential such that it would divulge trade secrets. otherwise known as The Securities Regulation Code. 292. or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990. not provided by law. expressly provides that the court may issue an order to protect trade secrets or other confidential research. report or document filed with the Commission. shall be punished by a fine of not more than two thousand pesos (P2. the protection of industrial secrets is inextricably linked to the advancement of our economy and fosters healthy competition in trade. For instance. otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.36 Without limiting such industrial property rights to trademarks and trade names. distribution. income or inheritance of any taxpayer. 6969. 8424. It speeds up transfer of technology and industrialization. Jurisprudence has consistently acknowledged the private character of trade secrets.

including production or sales figures or methods. Contact Grease. requires the disclosure of the active ingredients of a drug is also on faulty ground. the clear import of the law is that said authority is limited by the right to confidentiality of the manufacturer. which is on the collection of a sum of money. find reason to except respondent’s trade secrets from the application of the rule on privilege.R. such are not the characteristics of respondent’s products. as defined therein. What is clear from the factual findings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals is that the chemical formulation of respondent’s products is not known to the general public and is unique only to it. including safety data submitted. which shall include. and data on emission or discharge into the environment. 29 . we rule in favor of the greater interest of respondent. the Petition is DENIED. cosmetics.strategies and other confidential programs and information from competitors. Indeed. 8203. The Decision dated 16 February 2006.48 We do not find merit or applicability in petitioner’s invocation of Section 1249 of the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990. It is true that under the same Act. however. family. the law does not apply to respondent. which information may be released only to a medical research or scientific institution where the information is needed for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment of a person exposed to the chemical substance or mixture. Petitioner’s argument that Republic Act No. 86329 are AFFIRMED. "Consumer products. This is not the nature of respondent’s products. which may not be made public. or the Consumer Act of the Philippines. it was in a laborrelated case that this Court made a stark ruling on the proper determination of trade secrets. prevention or diagnosis of disease in man or animals. 52 To the mind of this Court. To be sure. which grants the public access to records. Since such factual findings are generally not reviewable by this Court. SP No. Di-Electric Strength Protective Coating. Thixohtropic Grease." as it is defined in Article 4(q). shall indicate their general make or active ingredients in their respective labels of packaging. but not be limited to. Petitioner has not made the slightest attempt to show that these circumstances are availing in the case at bar. While it is true that all consumer products domestically sold. The revelation of respondent’s trade secrets serves no better purpose to the disposition of the main case pending with the RTC. drugs. The right to confidentiality is recognized by said Act as primordial. or the Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs. Factual findings of the trial court when affirmed by the Court of Appeals. whether manufactured locally or imported. and the Resolution dated 25 May 2006. As can be gleaned from the facts. in order to compel respondent to reveal the chemical components of its products. WHEREFORE. debts or obligations which are primarily for personal. In the case at bar.44 refers to goods. 45 Respondent’s products are outside the scope of the cited law. Its products are not intended for personal. there are defenses under the laws of contracts and sales available to petitioner. processor or distributor. and devices. family. the trial court may compel disclosure where it is indispensable for doing justice. however. or would otherwise tend to affect adversely the competitive position of such manufacturer. household or agricultural purposes. household or agricultural purposes. Rather. processor or distributor.51 We do not. it is not duty-bound to analyze and weigh all over again the evidence already considered in the proceedings below. they are for industrial use. 47 We need not delve into the factual bases of such findings as questions of fact are beyond the pale of Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. those that would divulge trade secrets. Both courts uniformly ruled that these ingredients are not within the knowledge of the public. the privilege is not absolute. that is intended for use in the treatment. reports or information concerning chemical substances and mixtures. If we were to weigh the conflicting interests between the parties. No costs. Trade secrets should receive greater protection from discovery.namely. food. specifically for the use of aircraft propellers and engines. refers to any chemical compound or biological substance. petitioner received respondent’s goods in trade in the normal course of business. Section 1250 of said Act deems as confidential matters. petitioner cannot rely on Section 7743 of Republic Act 7394. 42 Notably. On the other hand. Dry Lubricant and Anti-Seize Compound -are not consumer products. the greater interest of justice ought to favor respondent as the holder of trade secrets. Again. petitioner was not able to show a compelling reason for us to lift the veil of confidentiality which shields respondent’s trade secrets. Connector Grease. services and credits. because they derive economic value from being generally unknown and not readily ascertainable by the public. Respondent’s specialized lubricants -. processor or distributor. of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. To reiterate. other than food. the Department of Environment and Natural Resources may release information. are binding and conclusive on the Supreme Court. They do not come within the purview of a drug 46 which. production or processes unique to such manufacturer.

Florencio Canlas. while her father was on top of her. and then he left and proceeded to the field to catch fish. ARTEMIO INVENCION Y SORIANO.8 Dr. Tarlac. Presented as rebuttal witnesses were Gloria Pagala and Celestino Navarro. Gloria and her children lived in Pura. which could have been caused by sexual intercourse or any foreign body inserted in her private part. She then executed a written statement. Eddie Sicat. Invencion. Nueva Ecija. 131636 March 5. He then peeped through a small opening in the destroyed portion of the sawali wall of Artemio’s house. She found Cynthia to be five to six months pregnant and to have incomplete. Its door was padlocked. while he was sleeping in one room with his father Artemio. they had six children.R. the mother of Cynthia and former common-law wife of Artemio. in February 1969.m. Whenever he was drunk. took the witness stand and testified for the defense. 9375. Isabelo Salamida.SO ORDERED. Tarlac. and two other younger brothers. her son Novelito told her that Cynthia was pregnant. Gloria then went to the house of Artemio and asked Cynthia about her condition. testified that on 18 September 1996. 8 o’clock positions. later that morning. an NBI agent. all dated 17 October 1996. he would maul Elven and quarrel with his stepfather. He angrily prohibited Cynthia from entertaining any of her suitors. 5. a 40-year-old farmer and neighbor of Artemio in Barangay Sapang Tagalog. 10 which she subscribed and sworn to before Atty. testified that she and Artemio started living together in Guimba. G.. one of whom was Cynthia. No. between 6:00 and 7:00 a. 6 Gloria Pagala.11 The defense did not present Artemio as a witness. Elven Invencion.. Rosario Fider of Tarlac Provincial Hospital testified that she examined Cynthia on 16 September 1996.: Before us for automatic review1 is the Decision2 dated 22 September 1997 of the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac. testified that on the second week of March 1996. Artemio was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac with thirteen counts of rape in separate complaints docketed as Criminal Cases Nos.4 Eddie Sicat. and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death and to pay Cynthia the sum of P50.J. Rosario Fider. 5 He reported what he had witnessed to Artemio’s stepfather. healed hymenal lacerations at 3. he heard somebody crying. as well as the costs of suit. Cynthia lived with Artemio in a small one-room dwelling owned by Celestino and located in Barangay Sapang Tagalog..000 as exemplary damages. his counsel de parte. Celestino. vs. Out of their common-law relationship.m. Eddie observed them for about fifteen seconds. while he was passing by the house of Artemio on his way to the field to catch fish. Tarlac. JR. 9363 to 9375. Gloria then went to the office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Tarlac and reported what Artemio had done to their daughter Cynthia. The cases were consolidated and jointly tried. The latter confessed that she had been sexually abused by her father. doing a pumping motion. appellee. Tarlac. When Artemio’s mother died sometime in 1996. between 10:45 and 11:00 a. he saw his father on top of Cynthia. 2003 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Gloria Pagala. his father put on his short pants. he was awakened by Cynthia’s loud cries. DAVIDE. He saw Cynthia lying on her back and crying. testified that he is a half-brother of Cynthia and son of Artemio with his second common-law wife.000 as moral damages and P25.7 On 30 August 1996. Tarlac. accompanied by her mother. doing a pumping motion. Celestino Navarro. He declared that on 24 June 1997 (the same day when he testified before the court). Sometime before the end of the school year in 1996. After about two minutes. Cynthia. appellant. When he went around the house and tried to peep through the old sawali walls on 30 . and Atty. complained before him and NBI Supervising Agent Rolando Vergara that she was raped by her father Artemio. The witnesses presented by the prosecution in its evidence in chief were Elven Invencion. and its windows were shut. she and Artemio parted ways permanently. Florencio Canlas. Cynthia. an 8-year-old grade two pupil of Sapang Tagalog Elementary School in Tarlac. he and his secretary went to the house of Artemio in Barangay Sapang Tagalog. Tarlac. Branch 65. Tarlac. in Criminal Case No. C. In March 1982. Later. Atty.3 Elven further declared that Artemio was a very strict and cruel father and a drunkard. Looking towards her. Instead. Dr. The hut was made of sawali. Canlas. finding accused-appellant Artemio Invencion y Soriano guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape committed against his 16-year-old daughter Cynthia P.9 Atty. At his arraignment Artemio entered a plea of not guilty in each case.

the hesitation. especially on the credibility of the witnesses. he likewise urges us to disregard the testimonies of rebuttal witnesses Celestino and Gloria. thus confirming the testimony of Eddie Sicat. he could not see anything inside the room where Artemio and his children used to sleep. there was a hole in front and at the sidewall of the hut facing a vacant lot where people passed by to fish in a nearby brook. are accorded great weight and respect and will not be disturbed on appeal. Artemio attacks the competency and credibility of Elven as a witness. the trial court convicted Artemio in Criminal Case No. a person named Alvin occupied the house. Gloria stated that he was living with the appellant. the yawn. as the questions asked were mostly leading questions. the blush of conscious shame. Gloria wanted to get rid of Artemio because she was already cohabiting with another man. Although it was then about noontime. the hut’s old sawali walls had some small holes in them. but later she declared that he was living with her in Pura. but recommends that a civil indemnity in the amount of P75.15 In its Decision of 22 September 1997. among other things. it was impossible for Elven and Eddie to see him allegedly doing pumping motion on top of Cynthia. In his Appellant’s Brief.m. At the time that Artemio and his children. the forthright tone of a ready reply. the furtive glance. while Elven and Eddie declared that she was in Sapang Tagalog in March 1996. After Artemio was arrested on the basis of Cynthia’s complaint before the NBI. In another attempt to cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. such as the angry flush of an insisted assertion. and (3) as to the residence of Artemio. she noticed that the destroyed portions of the hut’s sawali walls were not yet repaired. When she went there to visit her children sometime in December 1995.14 The second rebuttal witness Celestino Navarro. Artemio contends that the trial court erred in I x x x BELIEVING THE TESTIMONIES OF THE PROSECUTION WITNESSES. It is doctrinally settled that the factual findings of the trial court. as he (Artemio) was cruel to him. In the Appellee’s Brief. Gloria testified that the former was living with her in Guimba from November 1995 to September 1996. (2) as to the residence of Cynthia in 1996. Gloria Pagala testified that the house where Artemio used to live was a small hut with some destroyed portions in its sawali walls. It. were living in that house. in the second week of March 1996.000 be awarded in addition to the awards of moral and exemplary damages. 12 Atty. Elven had ill-motive in testifying against him. including Cynthia. however. According to him.. He argues that Elven. This is so because the trial court has the advantage of observing the witnesses through the different indicators of truthfulness or falsehood. 9375. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Celestino made some repairs in the hut by. We find no cogent reason to overturn the findings of the trial court on the culpability of Artemio. Moreover. Artemio also argues that since his house had no electricity and was dark even at daytime. Artemio points to the following inconsistencies in their testimonies: (1) as to the time of the commission of the crime.16 Besides. On rebuttal. stepfather of Artemio.the front and left and right sides of the hut. Celestino had an ax to grind against him (Artemio) because he had been badgering Celestino for his share of the lot where the hut stands. which was owned by Artemio’s deceased mother. as his son. Salamida then concluded that prosecution witness Eddie Sicat was not telling the truth when he declared having seen what Artemio did to Cynthia when he peeped through a small opening in the sawali wall of the house in the early morning sometime on the second week of March 1996. should have been disqualified as a witness against him under Section 20(c). II x x xNOT DISMISSING THIS CASE FOR FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE [HIS] GUILT x x x BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. Jr. Thereafter. while Eddie Sicat testified having seen them in the same position between 6:00 and 7:00 a.13 When she went to the place again sometime in September 1996 after she was informed of Cynthia’s pregnancy. the sigh. placing galvanized iron sheets to cover the holes at the destroyed portions of the sawali walls. acquitted him in all the other twelve cases for lack of evidence. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) prays for the affirmation of Artemio’s conviction and sentence. the scant or full realization of 31 . Elven testified having seen Artemio on top of his sister one night in March 1996. the candor or lack of it. the sudden pallor of a discovered lie. On the other hand. In his Reply Brief. it was dark inside. the tremulous mutter of a reluctant answer. testified that he is the owner of the small house where Artemio and his children used to reside. Elven’s testimony appears not to be his but what the prosecution wanted him to say.

or where the trial court has acted arbitrarily in its appreciation of the facts.24 In this case. they may even be considered badges of veracity or manifestations of truthfulness on the material points in the testimonies. who is the father of her other children.e. even without Celestino’s testimony. disgrace. The alleged ulterior motive of Elven in testifying against his father also deserves scant consideration. the presumption is that he was not so actuated and his testimony is entitled to full credence. Elven was not compelled to testify against his father. The death penalty was imposed because of the trial court’s appreciation of the special qualifying circumstances that Artemio is the father of the victim and the latter was less than 18 years old at the time the crime was committed. 18We do not find any of these exceptions in the case at bar.17 This rule. The rule is that where there is no evidence that the principal witness for the prosecution was actuated by improper motive. Artemio’s conviction would stand.20 The rule refers to a privilege not to testify. we have repeatedly held that no mother would subject her child to the humiliation. As observed by the OSG. which can be invoked or waived like other privileges. Elven could not have been mistaken in his identification of Artemio because he had known the latter for a long time. during the night as testified to by Elven. Even without sufficient illumination. No. The alleged inconsistencies in the testimonies of both Elven and Gloria do not impair the credibility of these witnesses. could observe the pumping motion made by his father. We agree with the trial court that they are minor inconsistencies.29 At any rate. Elven declared that he was testifying as a witness against his father of his own accord and only "to tell the truth. as amended by R. Section 10(c) of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court22 expressly allows leading questions when the witness is a child of tender years like Elven. could not have subjected himself to the ordeal of a public trial had he not been compelled by a motive other than to bring to justice the despoiler of his sister’s virtue. As to the competency of Elven to testify.m. and not by Artemio’s mother. 7659. 28 As for Celestino. Moreover. who was of tender age. As correctly observed by the lower court. or the carriage and mien. we believe that the crime of rape was. or between 6:00 and 7:00 a. who was jostled out of his sleep by Cynthia’s loud cry.27 The alleged ill-motives on the part of Gloria and Celestino were not sufficiently proved. which is the governing law in this case. we rule that such is not affected by Section 25. Such insinuation of ill-motive is too lame and flimsy.19 otherwise known as the rule on "filial privilege. and trauma attendant to the prosecution for rape if she were not motivated solely by the desire to have the person responsible for her child’s defilement incarcerated.26 Artemio’s allegation that it was impossible for both Elven and Eddie to have seen and witnessed the crime because the room was dark even at daytime was convincingly disputed by rebuttal witnesses Gloria Pagala and Celestino Navarro. Moreover. indeed.A. nor is there any showing that he was unduly pressured or influenced by his mother or by anyone to testify against his father. he chose to waive that filial privilege when he voluntarily testified against Artemio. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. We have held in a number of cases that inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses that refer to minor and insignificant details do not destroy the witnesses’ credibility.. even if the hut was without electricity. What is decisive in a rape charge is that the commission of the rape by the accused has been sufficiently proved." 21 Neither can Artemio challenge the prosecution’s act of propounding leading questions on Elven. committed as testified to by Elven and Eddie. Elven. per the testimony of Eddie. The exact time or date of the commission of rape is not an element of the crime. Nothing in the records suggests any reason that would motivate Gloria to testify falsely against Artemio.the solemnity of an oath. Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. Elven was at the time only two meters away from Cynthia and Artemio. pertinently reads: 32 . as where there exists a fact or circumstance of weight and influence that has been ignored or misconstrued by the court. 23 We find as inconsequential the alleged variance or difference in the time that the rape was committed. Elven. Inconsistencies and discrepancies as to minor matters irrelevant to the elements of the crime cannot be considered grounds for acquittal. admits of exceptions. There is no indication that Elven testified because of anger or any ill-motive against his father." This rule is not strictly a rule on disqualification because a descendant is not incompetent or disqualified to testify against an ascendant. as observed by the OSG. i. which do not affect the credibility of the witnesses. The remaining issue for our resolution is the correctness of the penalty of death imposed by the trial court. Furthermore. What is important is that the testimonies agree on essential facts and substantially corroborate a consistent and coherent whole. he testified that the lot where the hut stands is owned by his daughter Erlinda. 25 On the contrary. however.

The statement in the medical certificate showing Cynthia’s age is not proof thereof. In the very recent case of People v. When and how rape is committed. If the victim is alleged to be below 7 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 12 years old. 6. If the certificate of live birth or authentic document is shown to have been lost or destroyed or otherwise unavailable.Article 335. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. makes the decision-making process in capital offenses aptly subject to the most exacting 33 . The accusatory portion of the complaint in Criminal Case No. Province of Tarlac. If the victim is alleged to be below 12 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 18 years old. similar authentic documents such as baptismal certificate and school records which show the date of birth of the victim would suffice to prove age. It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving the age of the offended party. which are special qualifying circumstances. 9375 reads as follows: That on or about the month of March 1996 at Sapang Tagalog. since Cynthia was alleged to be 16 years old already at the time of the rape and what is sought to be proved is that she was then 18 years old. Invencion who was sixteen (16) years old. no birth certificate or any similar authentic document was presented and offered in evidence to prove Cynthia’s age. guardian. or the testimony of the victim’s mother or relatives concerning the victim’s age. Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence shall be sufficient under the following circumstances: a. in their house. when the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent. The failure of the accused to object to the testimonial evidence regarding age shall not be taken against him.31 we set the guidelines in appreciating age either as an element of the crime or as a qualifying circumstance: 1. ascendant. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree. In the present case. the testimony. the trial court did not even make a categorical finding on Cynthia’s minority. c. In the absence of a certificate of live birth. If the victim is alleged to be below 3 years of age and what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 7 years old. Pruna. unlawfully and feloniously by using force and intimidation have carnal knowledge of his daughter Cynthia P. the allegation in the complaint regarding her age was not clearly proved. The trial court should always make a categorical finding as to the age of the victim. 3. xxx The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following circumstances: 1. Gloria’s testimony regarding Cynthia’s age was insufficient. the said accused Artemio S. CONTRARY TO LAW. The best evidence to prove the age of the offended party is an original or certified true copy of the certificate of live birth of such party. – The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.30 Although the relationship of Cynthia with her father Artemio was alleged in the complaint and duly established by evidence during trial. b. the minority of the victim and her relationship with the offender. 4. To justify the imposition of the death penalty in a rape committed by a father on a daughter. authentic document. if clear and credible. Municipality of Tarlac. 2. Invencion did then and there willfully. the complainant’s testimony will suffice provided that it is expressly and clearly admitted by the accused. step-parent. the silence of Artemio or his failure to object to the testimonial evidence regarding Cynthia’s age could not be taken against him. of the victim’s mother or a member of the family either by affinity or consanguinity who is qualified to testify on matters respecting pedigree such as the exact age or date of birth of the offended party pursuant to Section 40. Philippines. since a medical certificate does not authenticate the date of birth of the victim. Moreover. or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. must be alleged in the complaint or information and proved by the prosecution during the trial by the quantum of proof required for conviction. It must be stressed that the severity of death penalty. Finally. 5. especially its irreversible and final nature once carried out. pursuant to Pruna. In the absence of a certificate of live birth. Moreover.

SPO1 Jose Eclipse of the Tuguegarao PNP Station was in Balzain.: For having allegedly killed her husband on 30 July 1990. The information was docketed as Criminal Case No. 34 . On his way. 1990. Policeman Eclipse rushed to the reported crime scene. Costs de oficio. DOLORES LORENZO Y CORSINO. with evident premeditation and with treachery did then and there wilfully.00. plaintiff-appellee. 2060-92-TUG and raffled to Branch 5. the decision of the Regional Trial Court. in the Municipality of Tuguegarao. 1990. unlawfully and feloniously attack. "I'm surrendering because I killed my husband".000. Tuguegarao. a policewoman. The versions of both the prosecution and the defense are summarized by the trial court as follows: The prosecution's evidence tells the following story: Agapito Lorenzo and accused Dolores Lorenzo were spouses residing in Looban. on 30 March 1992. and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the victim Cynthia Invencion the sums of P50. hack and chop one. Civil indemnity. inflicting upon him several injuries on the different parts of his body which caused his death. SPO3 Urbano Aquino. the said accused. The accusatory portion thereof reads as follows: That on or about July 30.000 as exemplary damages. No. Tuguegarao. Province of Cagayan. Policeman Eclipse saw Agapito sprawled on the ground with blood all over his body. Eclipse then orally made his report to the Desk Officer which was noted down in the Police Blotter. Tuguegarao. the prosecution presented barangay captain Isabelo Liban and SPO1 Jose Eclipse as its witnesses. Cagayan. SO ORDERED. DAVIDE. vs..32 Accordingly. the trial court promulgated on 24 February 1993 2 its judgment finding the appellant guilty of the crime of parricide and sentencing her to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs of the victim P50. armed with a bolo and a fan knife. Barangay 12.000 and exemplary damages in the amount of P25.33 should also be awarded. The defense presented the appellant herself and Romeo Racheta. After due trial. Cagayan because that was his post for the night. Artemio cannot be convicted of qualified rape and sentenced to suffer the death penalty. assault. WHEREFORE. At the trial. Balzain. was charged with the crime of parricide in an information 1 filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC). he met PO1 Dolores Lorenzo. He should only be convicted of simple rape and meted the penalty of reclusion perpetua. P50. a tricycle driver went to Policeman Eclipse and reported to him a stabbing incident in said Barangay 12. In simple rape. and P25. As regards the civil liability of Artemio. Among their neighbors are Barangay Captain Isabelo Liban. the aggravating circumstance of cruelty was present. Policeman Eclipse ordered somebody to get a tricycle to bring the lifeless body of Agapito Lorenzo to a funeral parlor while he and Policewoman Lorenzo went to the Tuguegarao PNP Station. in Criminal Case No. Romeo Racheta and Robert Santos. JR. J. "I killed my husband". with intent to kill. In front of the store of Barangay Captain Isabelo Liban.000 are insufficient. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.000 as indemnity. Tarlac. accused-appellant Dolores Lorenzo y Corsino. the civil indemnity for the victim shall not be less than P50. In the evening of July 30. Policeman Eclipse turned over Policewoman Lorenzo together with the bolo and knife to the Desk Officer. Cagayan. the awards of moral damages in the amount of P50. stab. 9375 is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that that accused Artemio Invencion y Soriano is held guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crime of simple rape. 1995 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Branch 65. Policeman Eclipse called for Barangay Captain Liban to come out of his house. In the presence and within the hearing of said barangay official. Tarlac. 110107 January 26. a policewoman of his own Station who immediately surrendered to him a blood-stained bolo and a fan knife and told him.000 as moral damages.rules of procedure and evidence.000.R. her own husband. Policewoman Lorenzo again said. Lorenzo. G. The two proceeded to where the victim was. PO1 Dolores C. Agapito Lorenzo. in the absence of sufficient proof of Cynthia’s minority. which is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape. accused-appellant. At about a little past 10:00 o'clock that evening. That in the commission of the offense.

accused Policewoman Lorenzo testified that it is not true that she confessed to Policeman Eclipse in the presence of Barangay Captain Liban that she killed her husband. wife of the slain man and policewoman at that. she even let the cat out when she presented in evidence Exhibit "1". Policewoman went to market and then immediately went back home to cook what she bought. Seconds later on. Policewoman Lorenzo picked it up and tried to stab Robert with it but she was so overwhelmed by nervousness that she collapsed into unconsciousness. she regained consciousness and found herself beside her dying husband. It found nothing on record which showed that their impartiality had been vitiated or compromised or that they had any motive to falsely impute upon the appellant the commission of the crime. Since there is 35 . When Policewoman Lorenzo arrived home from work. a struggle for the possession of the bolo ensued between the two men. No one with an ordinary intelligence would buy such reasons. It was at this precise time when Policeman Eclipse arrived at the scene of the incident. Third. Article III of the Constitution. 5 The appellant was neither under police custody nor under investigation in connection with the killing of her husband. accused put forth the theory of her defense: it was not she but Robert Santos who did her husband in. While cooking in the kitchen. If this is true. It further declared that when the appellant surrendered the knife and bolo to SPO1 Eclipse and volunteered the information that she killed her husband. Second. she heard a heated exchange of words between Robert Santos and her husband in the sala of their house pertaining to some bullets and a hand grenade which the latter gave Robert Santos. in the presence of Robert Santos. Policewoman Lorenzo went to the sala to pacify the quarelling men only to meet Robert Santos running out of the house with a bolo and being chased by Agapito Lorenzo who was holding a knife in his hand and whose clothes were splattered with blood. Agapito dropped his knife. controverts logic and assails common sense. reported to the Desk Officer that the latter killed her husband. If her denial is true. . Agapito. When Agapito overtook Robert. Policeman Eclipse. These reasons do not cut ice. Finding nothing to cook. While wrestling.The defense painted another picture of the incident. Since the policewoman had not yet fully recovered her composure. she made an extrajudicial confession and nothing more was needed to prove her culpability. she asked permission from her husband to go to market. [A] story which runs against the grain of ordinary reality. Policewoman Lorenzo just keep quiet. Why did she not grab this chance — as normal people in the same situation — would have done? Fourth. in the presence of Policewoman Lorenzo. went to change her clothes and proceeded to the kitchen to prepare supper. Not that a counter-affidavit is obligatory but that it afforded the accused the best opportunity to explain her innocence and to identify the "real killer" of her husband. 1990. met her with the following intemperate questions: "Your mother's cunt. It's theory is that it was not Policewoman Lorenzo but a certain Robert Santos who killed Agapito. Agapito's clothes were already bloodied. she did not say anything. when she saw her husband Agapito chasing Robert out of the house. why did she not tell it to Policeman Eclipse and Barangay Captain Liban at the scene of the crime? Why did she withhold such a very vital information when she was brought to the Tuguegarao PNP Station shortly after the incident? But the biggest "why" is: Why did not the accused. file a criminal case against Robert Santos? The accused's explanation was: she was still uncomposed when she turned over the knife and bolo to Policeman Eclipse and even when she was in the police station. Section 12. . When the two arrived at the police station. Policewoman Lorenzo gave the knife and bolo to Policeman Eclipse. Agapito Lorenzo and his neighbor Robert Santos were in the former's house passing the time over a bottle of beer grande. why did she not correct or even protest when Policeman Eclipse reported to the Desk Officer that she confessed having killed her husband? Why did she not even try to correct the entry in the police blotter containing said inculpatory report? On the contrary. 4 The trial court held that the confession was admissible for it was not made in violation of paragraph 1. The trial court rejected the story of the defense and characterized it as "palpably a put-up scenario . The Policeman invited her to go with him to the Tuguegarao PNP Station. why do you arrive only now? Where did you come from? To avoid further scandal. by some inexplicable quirk. They are for the birds. She obliged. This theory is shot. accused version is simply implausible. According to Policewoman Lorenzo." 6 First. She did not also file a case against Robert Santos because she found herself the suspect and later on the accused. 3 The trial court gave full faith and credit to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. Here is the defense's version of the incident. the accused never filed a counter-affidavit during the preliminary investigation of this case. . Policewoman Lorenzo stood and picked up the knife and bolo. In the afternoon of July 30.

together with Robert Santos who first stabbed him". . which would be devoid of any evidentiary value without corroboration. should Agapito still try to divest Robert of his bolo when he (Agapito) was holding a knife which he could have easily used against the latter during the alleged clinching between the two? Finally. faced Agapito and hacked and stabbed him many times. Such inconsistency in the version of the two defense witnesses cannot but heighten one's conviction that the defense theory is a conjured one. The appellant also contends that the trial court erred when it made capital of her alleged failure to file a criminal complaint against Robert Santos since it was the police's duty to arrest and prosecute Robert Santos. 12 Meeting squarely the ratiocinations of the trial court in describing the story of the defense as a "probably put-up scenario. Fifth. Thus. GIVING CREDENCE TO THE TESTIMONIES OF PROSECUTION WITNESSES ISABELO LIBAN AND SPO1 JOSE ECLIPSE. it may be asked. But why. . she contends that the conclusions drawn by the trial court in its evaluation of her testimony and that of her witnesses are mere speculations. he turned around." At one time. The appellee agrees with the findings of fact and conclusions of the trial court and prays that the challenged decision be affirmed." the appellant asserts that it was error for the trial court to hold her failure to correct the entry in the police blotter against her since there is nothing in the records which clearly shows that she heard Eclipse making the report to the desk officer and that she saw the entry. the implication is that Agapito was already hacked and stabbed by Robert inside the former's house.no proof at all that Robert ever sustained any wound. Eclipse testified that Liban did not come out of his house. Furthermore. . he declared that the appellant told him that she "accidentally injured her husband. 11 Eclipse was reported to have disclosed that the appellant "voluntarily surrendered and asked him to bring her to the police station because she allegedly killed her husband named Agapito Lorenzo. . . in support thereof. Jr. for while Liban declared in court and stated in his sworn statement that he (Liban) came out of his house and heard the appellant confess to Eclipse that she killed her husband. the version of accused and her witness Romeo Racheta are even at variance at a very vital point. Besides. Witness Racheta however said that when Agapito chased Robert. while testifying. II. she was in detention all throughout and suffering from trauma. he testified that the appellant told him that she "killed her husband. she asseverates that the testimonies of Liban and Eclipse are inconsistent on material points. in his testimony in court he pinned down only the appellant and mentioned nothing about Santos. It is therefore." 9 She discusses these jointly and. he caught up with him when he was already cornered. She pleads that this Court discredit both Liban and Eclipse because the testimony of Liban was improbable while that of Eclipse "was not so firm and resolute as to what was actually allegedly told him by the accused. When Robert could no longer run anywhere else. as shown in the entry in the police blotter. yet. appellate courts will generally not disturb the findings of the trial court considering that the latter is in a better position to decide the 36 . the two struggled for the possession of the bolo of Robert. She avers that the trial court erred when it held against her the failure to file her counter-affidavit. . did not tell the truth and argues that a testimony on her alleged confession. Policewoman Lorenzo said that when Agapito was able to overtake Robert in front of the store of Barangay Captain Liban. difficult to believe that Agapito who already sustained several wounds could chase Robert — and even harder to imagine that he wrestled with Robert for the possession of the latter's bolo. Eclipse having known of Robert Santos' killing of her husband." 10 Also. since that was not obligatory and her non-filing was in accord with her constitutional right to remain silent. she continues. 7 The appellant appealed from the judgment to this Court and in her brief 8 contends that the trial court erred in: I. This is a concoction to provide an explanation for the possession of the accused of a knife and a bolo. It is a well-entrenched rule that when such is the issue. NOT HOLDING THAT THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED WAS NOT PROVED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. Finally. One of them. she charges the prosecution with suppression of evidence in not presenting as a witness another police officer who Eclipse said accompanied him to the scene of the crime and who used a vehicle which they rode in going to the police station. it is very unnatural for "assailant" Robert to have left his bolo before running away from the scene of the crime." but on another. The pith of the assigned errors and the focus of the appellant's arguments is the issue of the witnesses' credibility.

We thus accept its assessment of the evidence as correct and consider it binding. shall not be sufficient ground for conviction. if credible and positive and if it satisfies the court as to the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. if an accused had nothing to do with the crime. that Eclipse had any improper motive to implicate a fellow police officer in the commission of a serious crime or the slightest bias against the appellant which would blemish his objectivity and truthfulness. it would be against the natural order of events and of human nature and against the presumption of good faith for a prosecution witness to falsely testify against the accused. gesture. It is made up of two elements: (a) that a certain result has been proved. the latter word was used when the court asked him for the precise term used by the appellant. and more specifically in the cross-examination of Eclipse and the direct examination of the appellant. and the corroborative evidence required is not the testimony of another person who heard the confession but the evidence of corpus delicti. to adduce other evidence sufficient to justify conviction independently of such confession. that she "injured" her husband or "killed" him. witnesses are to be weighed. and inflection of the voice of the witnesses while they are on the witness stand. Corpus delicti is the body (material substance) upon which a crime has been committed. is misplaced. Eclipse did not allow that sentiment to compromise his official and public duty as a peace officer. We agree with the trial court that prosecution witness SPO1 Jose Eclipse told the truth when he declared under oath that the appellant surrendered to him a blood-stained bolo and a fan knife and told him that she killed her husband. indeed. the appellant herself does not question its presence because she knows that it has been overwhelmingly established in this case. Otherwise. having heard the witnesses themselves and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. the PNP at the Tuguegarao station. — An extrajudicial confession made by an accused. may affect the result of this case. Tuguegarao. establish the corpus delicti beyond a reasonable doubt. In a derivative sense. is sufficient to convict. Eclipse and the appellant both belonged to the same police unit. Note that what must be corroborated is the extrajudicial confession and not the testimony of the person to whom the confession is made. Rule 133 of the Rules of Court which provides: Sec. Rule 133 of the Rules of Court does not mean that every element of the crime charged must be clearly established by independent evidence apart from the confession. Except when expressly required by law. 19 In determining the value and credibility of evidence.e. 14 The appellant has not convinced us that the trial court plainly overlooked proved facts or circumstances which. i. There is nothing in the records. 13 The trial court has the singular opportunity to observe and consider certain potent aids in understanding and weighing the testimony of witnesses. As these are not incorporated into the record.question. logically. 16 The appellant's emphasis on the inconsistency in the testimony of Eclipse as to what she actually told him. Eclipse happened to be on his way to the scene of the stabbing incident which was reported to him by a tricycle driver while he was in the performance of his official duty at his assigned post in Barangay Balzain. which suggests. it means the substantial fact that a crime was committed. Cagayan. the other evidence need not.g. it should have been. It is settled that the absence of evidence as to an improper motive strongly tends to sustain the conclusion that none existed and that the testimony is worthy of full faith and credit. unless certain facts of value have been plainly overlooked which. even remotely. 3. might affect the result of the case. e. the corpse of a murdered man or the charred remains of a house burned down. Extrajudicial confession. if considered. If there was any bias. not numbered. 20 As to the corroborative evidence of corpus delicti. there being no showing that it was reached arbitrarily. if considered. 18 the testimony of a single person. 21 37 . such as the emphasis. in addition to the confession. in favor of the appellant because of esprit de corps. 15 Our own evaluation thereof yields no cause for the application of the exception to the settled rule. unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti.. not sufficient ground for conviction. independently of the confession. This theory could only be a product of a misunderstanding of Section 3. Otherwise stated. 17 Nor is there merit to the claim that Isabelo Liban's testimony must corroborate Eclipse's testimony or the confession of the appellant since without such corroboration Eclipse's testimony would have no probative value. and (b) that some person is criminally responsible for the act. for. for example a man has died or a building has been burned. Section 3. the utility of the confession as a species of proof would vanish if it were necessary.. It means merely that there should be some evidence tending to show the commission of the crime apart from the confession. the appellate court cannot avail of them and must therefore rely on the good judgment of the trial court.

in order to refute this statement. . in connection with proof of other facts. . and tending. 23 We do not. it was admissible against the appellant and. by the accused in a criminal case. they even tend to strengthen rather than weaken their credibility because they erase any suspicion of rehearsed testimony. even if the latter were present. declaration or admission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him. having been duly proved. she should have protested when Eclipse reported to the desk officer that she had confessed to the killing of her husband or she should have attempted to correct the entry in the police blotter containing this inculpatory report. The trial court had stated that if indeed the appellant never confessed to Eclipse that she killed her husband. logic. of his guilt of the crime charged. by a party in a criminal case. and which tends only to establish the ultimate fact of guilt. — The act. may be given in evidence against him. 28 Nevertheless. and common sense. — The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged. the burden of the evidence was shifted to the appellant to disprove. It is clear from Sections 26 and 33. together with the other facts and circumstances.Since the corroboration of Isabelo Liban's testimony was unnecessary. 33. or of any offense necessarily included therein. Confession. agree with the trial court's characterization of the appellant's declaration that she killed her husband as an extrajudicial confession. Admission is usually applied in criminal cases to statements of fact by the accused which do not directly involve an acknowledgment of guilt of the accused or of the criminal intent to commit the offense with which he is charged. The presumption laid down in Section 3(e). however. to prove his guilt. While Wigmore 27 says: A confession is an acknowledgment in express words. find to be on minor matters. In any event. The prosecutor and the defense counsel asked no further questions of Eclipse to elicit more on the presence of the other policeman. to prove that she was not guilty of killing her husband. In a confession. Admission of a party. Underhill 26 distinguishes a confession from an admission as follows: A confession is defined as an acknowledgment of guilt of the crime charged or of the facts which constitute the crime. his testimony would only be corroborative. while an admission is a statement by the accused. more especially on its alleged inconsistencies vis-a-vis the testimony of Eclipse which inconsistencies we. It is only an admission. controverts logic and assails common sense. 24 Wharton 25 defines confession as follows: A confession is an acknowledgment in express terms. The appellant demonstrated her penchant for falsehood when. These sections reads as follows: Sec." The five reasons enumerated by it to support this conclusion are founded on or are inferred from facts duly established by the prosecution or are otherwise solidly based on common experience. or when the said witness is available to the defense because then the evidence would have the same weight against one party as against the other. by strong evidence. it has never been shown that the said policeman was not available to the defense. on the contrary. As earlier shown. The testimony of the other policeman whom Eclipse requested to get a vehicle could only be corroborative in some respects but not of the fact of the surrender of the blood-stained bolo and fan knife and of the appellant's telling Eclipse that she killed her husband since it was explicitly shown that he was with Eclipse at the precise time of the surrender. she asserted in her brief that nothing in the record clearly shows that she heard Eclipse 38 . and is but an acknowledgment of some fact or circumstance which in itself is insufficient to authorize a conviction. Furthermore. In other words. xxx xxx xxx Sec. we need not discuss its intrinsic merits. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court that there is a distinction between an admission and a confession. Rule 131 of the Rules of Court that "evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced" does not apply when the testimony of the witness not produced would only be corroborative. nevertheless. [A] story which runs against the grain of ordinary reality. whether it was a confession or an admission. but it is an admission and not a confession if the facts acknowledged raise an inference of guilt only when considered with other facts. the trial court characterized her story as "palpably a put-up scenario . that she made the admission or. Minor inconsistencies do not affect the credibility of witnesses. admitting it. direct or implied. 22 The claim of suppression of evidence has no merit. of the truth of the guilty fact charged or of some essential part of it. there is an acknowledgment of guilt. . 26. an admission is something less than a confession. of facts pertinent to the issue.

despite the unhampered opportunities for her to denounce Santos as the alleged killer of her husband. The appellant surrendered to Eclipse the blood-stained bolo and the fan knife. The appellant never asked the police authorities to investigate Robert Santos for his complicity in the killing of her husband. 4. together with Robert Santos who first stabbed him. the former reported to the desk officer that she surrendered to him and told him that she had killed her husband. to the exclusion of all others. 39 . she did not protest to Eclipse or except to the report. Rule 133 34 of the Rules of Court on the sufficiency of circumstantial evidence to convict the appellant are present. 32 5. 29 The appellant's failure to assert. is that not so? A Yes. from the time she went with Eclipse to the police station up to the time she was committed to jail and even thereafter until she took the witness stand. with abrasions and multiple contusions as well. in her presence. is the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. and nine incised wounds on different parts of his body. 2. These circumstances constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion that points to the appellant. at any part of the entire event. 35 To be appreciated in the appellant's favor. she implicated Santos only when she testified on 21 January 1993. as the guilty party. thirteen stab wounds. The requirements then of Section 4. that it was not she who killed her husband only serves to reinforce and strengthen this Court's respect for the trial court's finding that her story that "it was not she but Robert Santos who did her husband in. "is shot. Eclipse reported to the desk officer you meant to say that you heard him telling the police officer that you killed your husband Agapito Lorenzo. however. sir. 30 Even granting for the sake of argument that the appellant only surrendered a blood-stained bolo and a fan knife but did not admit that she killed her husband. Eclipse met the appellant who had with her a blood-stained bolo and a fan knife. sir. 6. Saguncio: Q You heard this and you did not make any comment? A Yes. A tricycle driver reported to Eclipse a stabbing incident and the latter immediately proceeded to where it took place. sir. to the exclusion of all others. Sir. Eclipse accompanied the appellant to the police station and. The appellant's husband lay dead nearby with nine chop wounds. She conveniently forgot that on crossexamination she admitted having heard Eclipse making the report but claiming that she did not protest because she was not in her right senses and was in a state of shock at the time. Thus: Prosecutor Saguncio: Q Did the desk officer ever talk to you? A No. xxx xxx xxx Court: Q When you said that you heard Pat. the desk officer then entered this report in the police blotter. 33 or after the lapse of nearly two and one-half years after the incident. Q So it was only PFC Eclipse who talked to the desk officer? A Yes. and 7. This Court has held that the testimony of the accused is not credible where he has adopted an attitude of indifference relative to the crime he is accused of and where he failed to inform the police authorities and the fiscal during the investigation that it was not he but somebody else who committed the murder. sir. Pros. but because at this time I was not in my right senses because I was then shocked at that time. Sir.making the report and that she read the entry in the police blotter. we find in this case several circumstances whose concordant combination and cumulative effect 31 point to the appellant. Q Within your hearing and you heard PFC Eclipse talked to the desk officer? A Yes. Court: Proceed. 3. Although the appellant heard the report. Jr." We find it incredible that a peace officer and a wife of the victim would not forthwith denounce or reveal the identity of the assailant if it were true that it was not she who killed her husband. Q And what did PFC Eclipse report to the desk officer? A The one that is appearing in the excerpt of the police blotter. These circumstances are the following: 1. as the guilty person.

Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. LADIANA GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide and. 2000 Resolution2 of the Sandiganbayan (First Division) in Criminal Case No. Costs against the appellant. However. assailing the April 10. 1992.6 still charging petitioner with murder. as the Information stands. did then and there willfully. Philippines. The challenged decision is then in accordance with the facts and the applicable laws. The Facts 40 . WHEREFORE. petitioner. said accused who was armed with a firearm. (c) indemnify the heirs of the victim.00). the appealed decision of Branch 5 of the Regional Trial Court of Tuguegarao." Further. an Amended Information. sentencing the said accused to: (a) suffer an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment of ten (10) years of prision mayor. nothing except a conclusion of fact exists to vest jurisdiction [in] this Court over the accused and over the crime for which he is charged. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1992. The Case Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal. The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision reads as follows: "WHEREFORE. the above-named accused. Francisco San Juan. Lumban. as minimum. 16988. SO ORDERED. LADIANA. DECISION PANGANIBAN. Laguna. respondent. However. Lumban. Laguna. G. was filed on April 1. with intent to kill and with treachery. Cagayan in Criminal Case No.The penalty for parricide under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code is reclusion perpetua to death. Jacinto Street. unlawfully and feloniously attack and sho[o]t Francisco San Juan with the firearm hitting Francisco San Juan at his head and neck inflicting upon him fatal wounds thereby causing the death of Francisco San Juan. assisted by his counsel de parte. the Order gave the government sufficient time to amend the Information to show adequate facts to vest the Sandiganbayan with jurisdiction over the case. purposely to insure the safety of persons passing along the said street and when Francisco San Juan told the accused that the latter has no business in stopping him. vs. 2000 Decision1 and August 4. 1991. not murder. Barangay Salac. 144293 December 4. 1991. No. in the Municipality of Lumban. In the light of the mitigating circumstance. a counter-affidavit voluntarily presented by the accused during the preliminary investigation. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.R. The accusatory portion reads as follows: "That on or about the 29th day of December 1989.] (b) suffer all the appropriate accessory penalties consequent thereto. 2060-92-TUG is AFFIRMED. judgment is hereby rendered finding accused JOSUE R. taking advantage of his official position confronted Francisco San Juan why the latter was removing the steel pipes which were previously placed to serve as barricade to prevent the entry of vehicles along P. the Sandiganbayan found him guilty of homicide. Subsequently. may be used as evidence against the affiant. acting in relation to his duty which is primarily to enforce peace and order within his jurisdiction. the anti-graft court issued an Order5 dated October 14. a public officer.’ nothing else is in the Information to indicate this fact so that. being then a member of the Integrated National Police (INP now PNP) assigned at the Lumban Police Station.: The Constitution bars the admission in evidence of any statement extracted by the police from the accused without the assistance of competent and independent counsel during a custodial investigation. as maximum[. Petitioner was originally charged with murder before the Sandiganbayan in an Information 4 dated August 5. 8 pled not guilty."3 The assailed Resolution denied petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration. 2002 JOSUE R. and (d) pay the costs. in the absence of any modifying circumstance. noting that "besides the allegation that the crime was allegedly committed by the accused while he was ‘taking advantage of his official position. the proper penalty which should be imposed upon the appellant should be reclusion perpetua. petitioner. J.500. in the total amount of Fifty Six Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P56. which are both indivisible penalties."7 During his arraignment on May 8. pursuant to Rule 3.9 After due trial. Laguna. even if made without the assistance of counsel.

"Finally. "On cross-examination. She declared that she had incurred about Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20. Cacalda saw the lifeless body of Francisco lying face up on the road. Dr. ‘Halili’). Caridad recalled that. Thereat. SPO2 Percival A. on December 29. 1989. Caridad also admitted she did not witness the killing of her husband. and Caridad saw the lifeless body of Francisco lying in the middle of the road and being examined by [SPO2] Percival A. Caridad testified that Francisco was the Barangay Captain of Barangay Salac. ‘CACALDA’) declared that he is a policeman assigned at the Lumban Police Station in Lumban. Lumban. whose name he could no longer recall. "On questions propounded by the Court. burial and other incidental expenses by reason of the death of Francisco. Javan. 41 .. 1989. ‘Caridad’) declared that she is the wife of Francisco San Juan (hereinafter ‘Francisco’). she was not even allowed by the police to touch. San Juan. Cortez. Gabinete. Cacalda did not examine the body of Francisco. JR.m. "Caridad maintained that she was aware that her husband was killed by accused Ladiana because this was what the woman actually told her. expectedly. "Cacalda had gathered from the people milling around the body of Francisco that it was accused Ladiana who shot and killed Francisco. many people were milling around. Caridad stated that she was told that the wounds were the entry and the exit points. accused Ladiana had given himself up to the police authorities. Laguna. on December 29. on December 30. in essence are as follows. he eventually saw accused Ladiana already inside the jail of the police station and thereafter learned that said accused had surrendered to the police authority. her husband was with his close friend. the victim in the case at bar. PO2 LEOPOLDO DE RAMOS CACALDA. Caridad presented the Death Certificate of her husband and testified that he was eventually buried at the Lumban Cemetery. when she reached the place of the subject incident. (hereinafter. Caridad narrated that her husband suffered two gunshot wounds . where he was accompanied by Alberto Mercado.one on the upper right temple and the other on the left cheek. was crying and one of her aunts advised her to go home. and some other persons. a member of the CAGFIL. Cacalda immediately left to look for accused Ladiana. much less get near to.In their Memoranda. Their respective testimonies. Laguna. and Maria T. on December 29. "2. both the prosecution and the defense substantially relied upon the Sandiganbayan’s narration of the facts as follows: "The prosecution presented five (5) witnesses. PO2 Leopoldo Cacalda. Caridad. somebody. Gabinete and other policemen subsequently arrived. who happens to be also a distant relative of the decedent. "Caridad recalled that it was around 11:00 o’clock a.000. She immediately called up her sister-in-law before rushing to Jacinto Street where the gruesome incident allegedly transpired. until he was shot and killed by accused Ladiana. a certain Rodolfo Cabrera. to wit: "1. "Caridad went on to narrate that. "Cacalda recounted that. Gabinete. the cadaver of Francisco. on the date of the incident. CARIDAD MARGALLO SAN JUAN (hereinafter. However. she was in her house when an unidentified woman came and told her that her husband was killed by accused Ladiana. and that they went to Jacinto Street to repair the steel humps which were used to block the street during school days for the protection and safety of the school children. "Caridad recounted that. Thereat. She also told the Court that her husband was wearing short pants at the time of his death and that she found some bruises on his knees. 1989.m. However. Rogelio M. Moreover. she was at the police station. He has been designated as the radio operator of the station since 1989. 1989. Caridad testified that. where she gave her written statement before police investigator PFC Virgilio Halili (hereinafter. He left the place of the incident when [SPO2] Percival A. at around 11:00 o’clock a.00) for the funeral. namely: Caridad M.m. "Additionally. she was in her house and that she did not hear any gunshot between 10:30 and 11:00 o’clock a. At that point in time. reported to him about an existing trouble along Jacinto Street in Barangay Salac Cacalda responded by going to the scene.

However. Javan made a sketch representing the anterior and posterior views of the body of Francisco. Cacalda executed a written statement in relation to the subject incident. "The testimony of Gabinete was subsequently dispensed with. He also testified that he did not witness the incident subject matter of the case at bar. Javan testified that he was not able to retrieve any bullet during the examination. Javan opined that the firearm used was probably a caliber 38. "Javan recounted that he was the one who performed the necropsy on the cadaver of Francisco and that he had prepared the corresponding reports and/or documents relating thereto. Javan also testified that there is another gunshot wound and the point of entry and exit are labeled as ‘Gunshot wound C’ and ‘Gunshot wound D’. "Lastly. Javan then stressed that both wounds are fatal in nature. ROGELIO JAVAN y MAGRACIA (hereinafter."Cacalda recalled that he was later on investigated by Halili because he was the responding policeman who went to the scene of the incident. three and one-half (3-1/2) centimeters below the left eye. Javan testified that ‘Gunshot wound A’ could have been fired first because the trajectory is on the same level so much so that the assailant and the victim could have been both standing. ‘Gabinete’) declared that he is a police officer and a resident of No. The marking ‘Gunshot wound B’ is the point of exit of ‘Gunshot wound A’. which is one (1) centimeter in diameter and situated two (2) inches behind the left ear. authenticity. As regards ‘Gunshot wound C’. DR. ‘Javan’) declared that he is a physician and the Municipal Health Officer of Lumban. already inflicted a stab wound on the arm of accused Ladiana. "Cacalda went on to testify that the people milling around the place of the incident told him that accused Ladiana had already left.500. 1990 in the sum of Six Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P6. "4. ‘Cortez’) declared that he is a retired Assistant Prosecutor of Laguna. Cruz. SPO2 PERCIVAL AMBROSIO GABINETE (hereinafter. at the level of the adam’s apple. "Prior to the conduct of the examination-in-chief on Cortez. Because of this development. upon the admission of the defense that he was part of the group of policemen who proceeded to the place of the subject incident and that he found the body of Francisco lying along the road. which is two (2) centimeters in diameter and found above the right cheekbone and one (1) inch below the right eye. Sta.00). Laguna. in fact. the defense counsel made an admission as to the authorship. accused Ladiana allegedly admitted to making the fatal shots on Francisco. ‘Gunshot wound D’ is one and one-half (1-1/2) centimeters in diameter and located at the left cheek. respectively. The marking ‘Gunshot wound A’ is the point of entry. Cacalda testified that he was a radio operator and not an investigator of the police station. while ‘Gunshot wound C’ is one (1) centimeter in diameter and found at the right lateral aspect of the neck. "3. However. In said counter-affidavit. and voluntariness of the execution of the counter-affidavit of accused Ladiana. and labeled and placed red markings on the gunshot wounds found on the said cadaver. the defense admitted the existence of the receipt issued by Funeraria de Mesa dated January 3. "On cross-examination. the assailant must be behind the victim when he inflicted ‘Gunshot wound A’. Cacalda accordingly went to the police station where he saw accused Ladiana already locked inside the jail. "5. Laguna. 4055 Villa Josefina Subdivision. Javan inferred that ‘Gunshot wound C’ could have been inflicted while the victim was already falling down. judging from the size of the wound and the point of entry. at a distance of more than twenty-four (24) inches away. which was subscribed and sworn to before Cortez. Consequently. accused Ladiana allegedly did so in self-defense as Francisco was then purportedly attacking accused Ladiana and had. Cacalda proceeded to accused Ladiana’a house but was told that he had already gone to the police station. He also saw a stab wound on accused Ladiana’s right bicep but he did not anymore ask him how he sustained the said injury. Additionally. the assailant likewise must be behind the victim. 42 . "According to Javan. MARIO TALAVERA CORTEZ (hereinafter. "On questions propounded by the Court.

petitioner raises the following issues for this Court’s consideration: "I. (ii) at best. Whether or not the Sandiganbayan may convict the accused-petitioner beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide even in the absence of any eyewitness who personally saw the sho[o]ting of the victim by the accused. Instead. after which the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution. waived his right to present controverting evidence. Whether or not the Sandiganbayan is constitutionally and legally correct in issuing the Order of August 23. As for the prosecution. claiming that: (i) a review of the documentary and testimonial evidence adduced by the prosecution allegedly failed to show that the accused is guilty of the offense charged. 1996. the evidence submitted by the prosecution are allegedly hearsay in character. 15 of Rule 120 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure in relation to Rule XXI of the Revised Rules of Sandiganbayan. it convicted him of homicide only. in view of his perception that the evidence submitted by the prosecution is allegedly inadequate to sustain a conviction. "After the presentation of Cortez. but not the identity of the person who caused said death. it opted not to file any. both parties were given time within which to do so. "On August 20. Additionally. but maintained that there was a person who appeared and identified himself as Josue Ladiana before he affixed his signature on the counteraffidavit. "IV. considering that the supposed eyewitness in the person of Rodolfo Cabrera was never presented in court. However."However. 1995."10 (Citations omitted) Ruling of the Sandiganbayan The Sandiganbayan ruled that the prosecution had been able to establish the guilt of petitioner beyond reasonable doubt. accused Ladiana filed a Motion for Leave of Court to File Demurrer to Evidence dated August 16. through counsel. It underscored the admission made by the defense as to the authorship. "On May 31. this Petition. "III. "Thereafter. 1996 by mail the Memorandum for the defense. it found no evidence of treachery. it ruled that the document had sufficiently established his responsibility for the death of the victim. Thus. 1996 denying the Motion for Leave of Court to File Demurrer to Evidence dated August 16. "On September 2. the prosecution filed its formal offer of evidence and rested its case. this Court received on October 25. 1996. 1995. accused Ladiana. 1995 on the admission of the prosecution’s documentary exhibits as early as May 25. "On August 23.15 Issues In his Memorandum. Cortez testified that he would not be able to anymore recognize the face of the affiant in the said counter-affidavit.11 in which he had admitted to having fired the fatal shots that caused the victim’s death. 1996. this Court issued an Order of even date holding that the filing of a demurrer to evidence is no longer appropriate considering that accused Ladiana received a copy of this Court’s resolution dated May 31. Cortez emphasized that he was not the one who conducted the preliminary investigation of the complaint which led to the filing of the subject case. basing it only on the testimony of the prosecutor who had administered the oath on the Counter-affidavit filed by petitioner-accused.14 Hence. Whether or not the prosecution has presented proof beyond reasonable doubt to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence of the accused and his right against self-incrimination on the basis of the Counter-affidavit whose execution was admitted by the counsel of the petitioner. 1995 filed by the accused in accordance with Sec. "II. and (iii) the prosecution was allegedly merely able to prove the fact of death of the victim. thus. but not by the accused personally. Whether or not the Counter-affidavit of the accused-petitioner which was considered by the Sandiganbayan in its decision as similar to an extrajudicial confession may [be] admitted against him as evidenc[e] of guilt beyond reasonable doubt even if he was not assi[s]ted then by counsel and while he was under custodial investigation.12 may be used as evidence against him. 1995.13 In short. The court a quo held that his Counter-Affidavit. 43 . he asked for time to file a written memorandum. this Court issued a resolution admitting all the documentary evidence submitted by the prosecution. the authenticity and the voluntariness of the execution of the Counter-Affidavit.

However. the right to refuse to answer a specific question that tends to incriminate them for some crime other than that for which they are being prosecuted. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. Article IV of the 1973 Constitution [now Section 12. for the obvious reason that he is no longer under ‘custodial interrogation. A preliminary investigation is an inquiry or a proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed. the resolution of this case hinges mainly on the admissibility of the CounterAffidavit17 submitted by petitioner during the preliminary investigation. He argues that no counsel was present when the Affidavit was executed. petitioner admits that the questioned statements were made during the preliminary investigation. In fact. These include: 1) the right to refuse to be made witnesses.unquestionably possess rights that must be safeguarded. if any there had been would already have been ended at the time of the filing of the criminal case in court (or the public prosecutor’s office). First Issue: Admissibility of Counter-Affidavit Undeniably. the accused -. (2) whether the Sandiganbayan erred in denying his Motion for Leave to File a Demurrer to Evidence. xxx xxx xxx (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. the rights enumerated in the constitutional provision "exist only in custodial interrogations. 19 Indeed. and 4) while testifying. This Court’s Ruling The Petition is not meritorious. 23 It explained as follows: "His [accused] interrogation by the police. are not at issue in this case. or in-custody interrogation of accused persons.whether in court or undergoing preliminary investigation before the public prosecutor -.25 44 . the admissions made by petitioner in his Counter-Affidavit are not violative of his constitutional rights. he cites the Constitution thus: "SEC. Whether or not accused is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender which fact was admitted by the prosecution as it even used the same as proof of the guilt of the accused."16 In short. However. 12. there is no occasion to speak of his right while under ‘custodial interrogation’ laid down by the second and subsequent sentences of Section 20.’"24 There is no question that even in the absence of counsel. 2) the right not to have any prejudice whatsoever imputed to them by such refusal. We disagree. In support of his argument. not during the custodial investigation. Hence. with respect to a defendant in a criminal case already pending in court (or the public prosecutor’s office). and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial."18 It is well-settled that the foregoing legal formalities required by the fundamental law of the land apply only to extra-judicial confessions or admissions obtained during custodial investigations. Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel. the constitutional rights of a person under custodial investigation as embodied in Article III. he argues that the right to competent and independent counsel also applies during preliminary investigations. 22 Evidently. this Court has unequivocally declared that a defendant on trial or under preliminary investigation is not under custodial interrogation. Hence. subject to cross-examination by the prosecution. a person undergoing preliminary investigation before the public prosecutor cannot be considered as being under custodial investigation. and (3) whether he is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender."20 Custodial interrogation is the 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. 3) the right to testify on their own behalf. It is clear from the undisputed facts that it was not exacted by the police while he was under custody or interrogation."V. petitioner raises the following questions in this appeal: (1) whether the Counter-Affidavit he executed during the preliminary investigation of this case is admissible proof showing his complicity in the crime. Article III of the 1987 Constitution].21 In the present case. he must be provided with one.

in the case at bar. being bound by the actions of their counsels. the unbroken stream of judicial dicta is that. or that the admission was made in ignorance of the true state of facts. a statement by the accused admitting the commission of the act charged against him but denying that it was done with criminal intent is an admission. Further. In general. we do not doubt the voluntariness of the Counter-Affidavit. Nevertheless."31 The admissions of petitioner made through his counsel cannot be any clearer. and that the latter incurred no criminal liability therefor. declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him. whether categorized as a confession or as an admission. in an admission.We do not. manner.33 A counsel may err as to the competency of witnesses. unless the counsel’s incompetence is so gross that the clients are prevented from fairly presenting their case. thus. It escapes this Court how he can cavalierly deny a document that he has voluntarily submitted and originally relied upon in his defense. ILAGAN We will admit that.27 The Counter-Affidavit in question contains an admission that petitioner actually shot the victim when the latter was attacking him. 33. as in the case at bar. the sufficiency and the relevance of evidence. not a confession.but denies having done it with any criminal intent. sa bilis ng pangyayari ay hindi ko alam na siya ay tinamaan. are evidence of great weight against the declarant. clients are bound by the actions of their counsels.which eventually led to the latter’s death -. In fact. Confession. there is an acknowledgment of guilt. admissions made under oath. the introduction or the withholding of witnesses or pieces of evidence. leaving them unrebutted. the authenticity or the voluntariness of the Counter-Affidavit. In addition. he will identify the person who took the oath before him. admissions may be rebutted by confessing their untruth or by showing they were made by mistake. the burden of proof. sa dahilang hindi ako makatakbo o makaiwas sa kabila ng aking pananalag hanggang magpaputok ako ng pasumala sa kanya. 1990? Companiero? ATTY ILAGAN Admitted. your Honor. Admissions of a party. cannot complain that the result of the litigation might have been different had their lawyers proceeded differently. – The act. PJ GARCHITORENA So in that case we will have no question about the authorship. in the conduct of their case. clients.32 Also. Sections 26 and 33 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence distinguish one from the other as follows: "SEC. however. petitioner had the duty of showing that the killing was justified. It is only an admission. reckless and inexcusable that the former are deprived of their day in court. petitioner never offered any rationalization why such admissions had been made.35 Petitioner should have relied on the 45 . They throw on him the burden of showing a mistake.26Thus. 29 Yet.34 Having admitted that he had fatally shot the victim. may be given in evidence against him. We quote verbatim the proceedings in the Sandiganbayan: "PJ GARCHITORENA Well. however. or of any offense necessarily included therein. 26. – The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged.30 Petitioner contends that nowhere in the transcripts of this case can it be found that he has admitted to the authorship. the proper defense." In a confession. your Honor. agree with the Sandiganbayan’s characterization of petitioner’s Counter-Affidavit as an extrajudicial confession. it is admissible in evidence against him. We quote the pertinent portion: "[K]aya itong si Kapitan San Juan ay sumugod at hinawakan ako sa may leeg ng aking suot na T-shirt upang ako ay muling saksakin. not a serious. there is merely a statement of fact not directly involving an acknowledgment of guilt or of the criminal intent to commit the offense with which one is charged. "SEC. save when the latter’s negligence is so gross. has ruled several times that those are not even proper grounds for a new trial. This Court. or the manner of arguing the case. To be sure. The party may also establish that the response that formed the admission was made in a jocular. Will you deny that it was your client who took the oath before the Fiscal at the preliminary investigation? ATTY. authenticity and the voluntariness of the execution of the counter-affidavit dated July 31. he claims he did it in self-defense. petitioner admits shooting the victim -."28 Through the above statement. Petitioner himself submitted it to the public prosecutor to justify his actions in relation to the charges hurled against him.

and 3) the surrender is voluntary.55 To be sufficient. the burden of proving his innocence fell on him. if the accused fails to discharge the burden of proving the existence of self-defense or of any other circumstance that eliminates criminal liability. he could not be bound by it. unless there is grave abuse amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in its denial. 51 And.44 Upholding this principle does not in any way violate his right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. It became his duty to establish by clear and convincing evidence the lawful justification for the killing. satisfactory and convincing evidence that excludes any vestige of criminal aggression on the part of the person invoking it. But.45As far as he is concerned. He argues that two of the prosecution witnesses testified that he had surrendered to the police authorities after the shooting incident. Prior leave to file a demurrer to evidence is discretionary upon the trial court. it cannot be disbelieved after the accused has admitted the killing. his conviction shall of necessity follow. the surrender must be spontaneous and made 46 .39 It cannot be entertained if it is uncorroborated by any separate and competent evidence. and it is also doubtful. because this argument had already been laid out in his Counter-Affidavit. 50 We disagree. Therefore. the following elements must concur: 1) the offender has not been actually arrested. When he admitted to having killed the victim. petitioner can no longer invoke his constitutional right to be presumed innocent of the crime charged. The fact of death and its cause were established by his admissions coupled with the other prosecution evidence including the Certificate of Death.48 The intent to kill is likewise presumed from the fact of death. No presumption was necessary. Neither do we believe petitioner’s claim that the anti-graft court "miserably failed to give equal effect or treatment to all the allegations found therein (Counter-Affidavit) choosing deliberately and without reasonable basis the parts which are incriminating in character.53To buttress his argument. He brands this denial as legally and constitutionally wrong.52 Final Issue: Voluntary Surrender After vigorously arguing against his own Counter-Affidavit. and ignoring without sufficient legal basis the exculpatory assertions of the accused. implores this Court to consider his voluntary surrender to the police authorities as a mitigating circumstance. For voluntary surrender to mitigate criminal liability. we do not see how the Sandiganbayan could have been selective in its treatment of his Counter-Affidavit. as found by the court a quo.37 The Sandiganbayan did not unfairly presume that he had indeed raised the theory of self-defense. he could have presented clear and cogent evidence to prove those elements.43 So. 36 Petitioner argues that it was the prosecution that indirectly raised the issue of self-defense. 40 The question whether the accused acted in self-defense is essentially a question of fact properly evaluated by the lower court.46 the Certificate of Post-Mortem Examination47 and the Medico-Legal Findings. the declarations contained in his Counter-Affidavit are admissions that may be used as evidence against him.41 By itself." 54 It goes without saying that this statement only reaffirms the admissions contained in his Counter-Affidavit. 2) the offender surrenders himself to a person in authority or to the latter’s agent. in this case. the trial court’s resolution may not be disturbed. It is hornbook doctrine that self-defense must be proved with certainty by sufficient. Even if his evidence be weak. in a surprising change of tenor. This argument deserves scant consideration. homicide has already been established. he did not even bother to present any evidence at all. petitioner. because the admission was clear and unequivocal. Verily."38 The unsubstantiated and uncorroborated statements of petitioner in his Counter-Affidavit are utterly insufficient to discharge his burden of proving that the act of killing was justified. As discussed earlier. Hence.42Had petitioner been more vigilant in protecting his rights. he contends that the "main reason for his voluntary surrender is that he sincerely believe[d] that he was legally justified in defending himself as a policeman when he fought the victim after he was attacked by the latter. he not only failed to discharge the burden of proving the existence of the justifying circumstance of self-defense. the Counter-Affidavit miserably fails to establish the requisites of self-defense enumerated in the law. the Sandiganbayan. which he so vehemently tried to discredit. on the basis of his admission of the killing.49 Second Issue: Denial of Motion for Leave to File Demurrer Petitioner then argues that the Sandiganbayan erred in not giving due course to his Motion for Leave to File Demurrer to Evidence.strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of that for the prosecution.

" On 22 April 1992.. and with intent of gain and against the will and consent of the owners thereof. WHEREFORE. but in the rugged and mountainous terrain of Tuba. 1991. JR.R. Benguet. 1995 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES plaintiff-appellee. prosecution initially included one Richard Malig y Severino in the information for robbery with homicide and serious physical injuries 1 filed on 19 November 1991 with Branch 10 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Benguet at La Trinidad. the victims·former houseboy. prior to the arraignment of Richard Malig. DAVIDE. Only Richard Malig was arrested On 22 January 1992. a consultant of the World Bank. Maqueda was subsequently arrested on 4 March 1992. 4He categorically stated therein that "he is willing and volunteering to be a State witness in the above-entitled case. the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision and Resolution AFFIRMED. Horace was brutally slain and Teresita badly battered with lead pipes on the occasion of a robbery.1âwphi1 We have ruled in the past that the accused who had gone to the police headquarters merely to report the shooting incident did not evince any desire to admit responsibility for the killing. Conspiring. the prosecution filed a motion to amend the information 2 to implead as co-accused Hector Maqueda alias Putol because the evaluation Of the evidence subsequently submitted established his complicity in the crime. the. Teresita Mendoza. Philippines. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the prosecution filed an Amended Informations 5 with only Salvamante and Maqueda as the accused. Accused. 112983 March 22. As to Rene's co-conspirator. Accused-Appellant. either because they acknowledge their guilt or wish to save the authorities the trouble and the expense that will necessarily be incurred in searching for and capturing them. chose the peace and quiet of a country home not any near the metropolis of Manila or its environs. and his Filipino wife. he filed an application for bail. Perhaps they thought they were in a veritable paradise. No. in the. There is no showing that he was not actually arrested. Neither is there any finding that he has evinced a desire to own to any complicity in the killing. and RENE SAGVAMAIJTE (at large). Province Of Benguet. the. Sufficient prima facie evidence pointed to Rene Salvamante. or that when he went to the police station. the Prosecutor further asked that accused Richard Malig be dropped from the information because further evaluation of the evidence disclosed no sufficient evidence against him. at Tagadi. we cannot appreciate voluntary surrender to mitigate petitioner’s penalty. G. and on 9 April 1992. vs.it: [An enumeration and description of the articles follow] 47 . Britisher Horace William Barker. 3 The motion to drop Malig was granted and warrants for the arrest of accused Salvamante and Maqueda were issued. HECTOR MAQUEDA @ PUTOL. J. sanctity of their own home. and at the hearing of the motion the following day. beyond the reach of worldly distractions and trouble when in the early morning of 27 August 91.: As against a bustling city life. unlawfully and feloniously enter the house of Spouses TERESITA and WILLIAM HORACE BARKER and with violence against and intimidation of the persons therein ransack the place and take and carry away the following articles. confederating and mutually aiding one another. Benguet.57 In the absence of sufficient and convincing proof showing the existence of indispensable circumstances. it appearing that he is the least guilty among the accused in this case. above-named accused. he surrendered himself to a person in authority. Its accusatory portion reads as follows: That on or about the 27th Of August.in a manner clearly indicating the intent of the accused to surrender unconditionally. as one of the perpetrators of the That illusion was shattered ghastly crime. Upper Tadiangan Municipality of Tuba.56 The only pieces of evidence in support of the plea of voluntary surrender made by petitioner are statements made by two (2) prosecution witnesses that they were allegedly told by other people that he had already gone to the police station. he could not be deemed to have voluntarily surrendered. HECTOR MAQUEDA @ PUTOL. Costs against petitioner. to . Thus. armed with lead pipes. SO ORDERED. did then and there willfully.

P100. both accused willfully. Since the door knob turned as if someone was forcing his way into the room. customary labor for the same period of time. the trial Maqueda guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery with homicide and serious physical Injuries and sentenced him to Suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the victim. The version of the prosecution. Salvamante chased her and pulled her back inside the house. the spouses Horace William Barker and Teresita Mendoza Barker repaired to their bedroom after Teresita had checked.00 representing actual expenses.m. the main doors of their house to see if they had been locked and bolted. She went down the Stairs and proceeded t. as washer wont. they braced themselves against the door to prevent anyone from entering. SPO1 Rodolfo Tabadero.he went near the door of the garage and because she could not open it. leading to the death of William Horace Barker and inflicting various physical injuries on the former which required medical attendance for a period of more than thirty (30) days and have likewise incapacitated her from the performance of her. as culled from the trial court's detailed and meticulous summary thereof. Jr. Norie Dacara. a househelp of the Barkers who shared a room with her cousin and fellow househelp. . in his evidence in chief and Myrna Maqueda Katindig as his sour-rebuttal witness. Glen Enriquez. 48 . prosecutor Daniel Zarate. of 26 August 1991. got out of her bed and upon opening the door of her room. Francisco Hernandez. saw a man clad in maong jacket and short pants with 'his right hand brandishing a lead pipe standing two meters in front of her. Teresita Mendoza Barker. When they saw that the door knob was being turned. Philippine Currency. After a few seconds. trial proceeded entered a plea of not guilty on 22 April 1992. Teresita M. At around 6:00 a. She rose from her bed and went out of the room. on the light. When she opened the door of the toilet and switched. of the following day. She knew Salvamante very well because he and his sister Melanie were the former househelps of the Barkers whom she and Julieta Villanueva had replaced and because Salvamante had acquainted her on her chores. she saw Rene Salvamante. Accused Hector Maqueda took the witness stand and presented SPO1 Aurelio Sagun. After she broke free from Salvamante.000. she ran to-the garage and hid under the car. they heard the moans of Mrs. househelps Norie Dacara and Julieta Villanueva. the said Teresita and William Horace Barker. Since Rene Salvamante continues to elude arrest and has remained at large. tall man with a high-bridged nose at Salvamante's side. went to the lavatory to wash her face. that on the occasion and by reason of the said robbery. (She got scared and immediately closed the door. Ray Dean Salvosa.all having a total value of TWO HUNDRED FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FIFTY PESOS (P204. While locked in their room. Salvamante suddenly strangled her.00). Salvamante also hit Norie with the lead pipe on her back and at the·back of her right hand. Jr. leaving behind her husband who was still asleep. and proceeded to the toilet. Barker: "That's enough. whom she identified at the trial as Maqueda. Barker in the amount of P50. and after she had recovered.250. She pointed to.000. she pointed to accused Maqueda as Salvamante's companion.00 for the death of William Horace Barker. and Policarpio Cambod in its evidence in chief and Fredesminda Castrence and SP03 Armando Molleno on rebuttal. unlawfully and feloniously repeatedly strike Teresita Barker and William Horace Barker with lead pipes on the different Parts of their body. opened the door to the garage. She fell to the concrete floor. who was awakened by the shouts of Norie. The shouts awakened Teresita Mendoza Barker. she held on to it and shouted for help. Suddenly the two rushed towards her and beat her up with lead pipes. is as follows: Between 10:30 and 11:00 pm. 6 In its decision 7 Promulgated on 31 August 1993. she called Julieta. got up. Norie fled towards the garage and shouted for help.. Despite her pleas to get what they want and not to hurt her. Contrary to Law. Norie happened to turn her face and she saw a fair-complexioned. Julieta Villanueva. Mike Tayaban. they continued to beat her up until she lost consciousness. accused Maqueda as the man she saw then. At the trial. belonging to. 27 August 1991. At the trial. Julieta opened the door and they rushed to their room and closed the door. Julieta Villanueva. the dining room. court found accused Hector P41. While she Was fighting back. Dr.681. Barker and the shouts of Mr.00 as moral damages and to pay the costs." The prosecution presented as its witnesses Mrs. Francisco Cabotaje. She saw Salvamante and a companion who was a complete stranger to her.

The attending physician. who in the meantime was called by Dalit. Perfecto Micu of the City Health Department. La Union. Upon his request. Tuba·. The wounded Teresita Barker was brought to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center where she was treated and confined for eight days. Barker inside the Barker house and Cambod prepared a sketch (Exhibit "JJ") showing its location. found in it twenty-seven injuries.m. they saw the Barkers bathed in their own blood. When the two men reached the shed.' They went around the house and found a lead pipe (Exhibit "AA") at the toilet. Mike again noticed that the taller man had the defects above mentioned because the latter used his right hand with only three fingers to hold on to the bar of the jeepney as he bearded it. that's enough. which. Mike Tabayan and Mark Pacio were resting in a waiting shed beside the Asin road at Aguyad. Enriquez conducted his own investigation. One of the muscles adjoining her eyes was paralyzed. Francisco L. At 5:00 p. leaving behind BCF Security Officer Glen Enriquez and a security guard. In the dining room. They saw two men approaching them from a curve. a passenger jeepney bound for Baguio City and owned and driven by Ben Lusnong arrived at the waiting shed. also arrived. A team from the Baguio City Police Station. Dr. At the master's bedroom. he and Mark noticed that the taller of the two had an amputated left hand and a right hand with a missing thumb and index finger. was sent to the Barker house to secure the premises. Benguet. La Trinidad. Dr. The body of William Horace Barker was taken to the Baguio Funeral Homes at Naguilian Road. of that same day. The team conducted an initial investigation only because it found out that the scene of the crime was within the jurisdiction of the Tuba Police Station. The two men bearded it. Dr. After requesting Janet to call the police. Perfecto Micu found the body of Mr. Dr." and "R"). She regained consciousness only after two days. Five minutes later.m. Benguet. he pointed to Maqueda as the taller man. determined the cause of death as hemorrhagic shock. and then issued a death certificate (Exhibits "P. and bruises on the arm. where it was examined by Dr. 27 August 1991. was difficult to get in touch with at that time. Enriquez. Benguet. the taller man asked Mike and Mark whether the road they were following would lead to Naguilian. Enriquez then left after Dalit's arrival." "O. This man was carrying a black bag on his right shoulder Speaking in Tagalog. She was in a comatose state. members of the Tuba Police Station arrived at the·Barker house to conduct their investigation. which could have been caused by a blunt instrument.m. a security guard of the BCF. Hernandez opined that Mrs. he saw several pieces of jewelry scattered on the floor and an empty inner cabinet. like a lead pipe. of that same day. she would have died by noontime of 27 August 1991 due to bleeding or hemorrhagic shock.m. returned to the Barker house. and which included Dr. headed by Police Officer Policarpio Cambod. particularly at the riprap wall. Cabotaje. Jr. black T-shirt. however. He then interviewed the two househelps who provided him with descriptions of the assailants. Hernandez. Cambod prepared a report of his initial investigation (Exhibit "KK"). Soon after. of 27 August 1991. In the Investigation conducted by the Tuba Police. and concluded that if her injuries had been left unattended. Francisco P. The lead pipes. and the green hand towel recovered from the Barker house by the Baguio City Police were first brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory Service at Camp Dangwa. security guards of the Baguio College Foundation (BCF) arrived." When the noise stopped. Mike replied that it did not. Norie and Julieta heard the sound of water flowing from the toilet and the barking of dogs. They just stayed near the road. At 9:00 a. Norie and Julieta rushed out of the house and ran to the place of Janet Albon to seek help. a black T-shirt (Exhibit "CC"). Edgar Dalit. which is only a kilometer away from the house of the Barkers.that's enough. of 27 August 1991. bleeding in the left ear. and a green hand towel (Exhibit "DD").. He noticed footprints at the back of the house. At 7:00 a. Baguio City. Norie and Julieta gathered bough courage to leave the room where they had earlier barricaded themselves and proceed to the kitchen to get the key to the gate of the garage. he identified through a picture the shorter man as Salvamante. The team then left. H. Barker's injuries were caused by a blunt instrument. first saw her at around 11:00 a. He also discovered another lead pipe (Exhibit "BB") at the back of the door of the house. 49 . and observed that the grass below it was parted as if someone had passed through and created a trail amidst the grass down toward the Asin road of Tuba. Benguet. and at the hearing. and then to the court. Hernandez found that she sustained multiple lacerations primarily an the left side of the occipital area. Municipal·Health Officer of Tuba. they returned to the Barker's house but did not enter it for fear of what they had seen earlier.

when they were in the kitchen of the Barker house. and some pieces of jewelry (Exhibit "W-2") were missing. Upon being informed by Barangay Captain Requeron that the two had not. Requeron's daughter called up Enriquez to inform him that Putol. together with another policeman. Maj. Salvosa then led Maqueda toward the balcony. one of the househelps was already there. Salvamante then brought him to the Barker house and it was only when they were at the vicinity thereof that Salvamante revealed to him that his zeal purpose in going to Baguio City was to rob the Barkers. Rendon.). and three others went back to Guinyangan to find out whether Salvamante and "Putol" had returned. Enriquez requested Requeron to notify him immediately once Salvamante or "Putol" returned to Guinyangan. to coordinate with the police in determining the. while he was under detention. Luke's Hospital in Quezon City. Barker. Barker. Enriquez.250. In the meantime. After he felled Mrs. Quezon. it appearing that he is the least guilty among the accused in this case. Maqueda. 50 . however. Benguet. On 3 September 1991. Anagaran's arrival at Guinyangan. When informed of the investigation. The aggregate value of the missing items was P204. Maqueda filed a Motion to Grant Bail (Exhibit "GG-6"). It was revealed that she sustained a damaged artery on her left eye which could cause blindness." who is none other than accused Hector Maqueda. Melanie Mendoza. Calauag. Enriquez and Maj. Salvamante hit her with a lead pipe and she screamed. they already left the place. He stated therein that "he is willing and volunteering·to be a State witness in the above entitled case. He did so and according to him. In Guinyangan. he helped Salvamante in beating up Mr. Maria. Its commanding officer. Mrs.On 1 September 1991. Rodolfo Anagaran. tried to determine the items lost during the robbery. Executive Vice President of the BCF. he initially objected to the plan. Mrs. The Tuba PNP gave them to Enriquez (Exhibit "V"). headquarters of the 235th PNP Mobile Force Company at Sta.00. the Barkers were already unconscious on the' floor. Basilio Requeron. She requested Glen Enriquez to get back the pieces of jewelry taken by the Tuba PNP (Exhibit "U"). Maqueda narrated to Salvosa that Salvamante brought him to Baguio City in order to find a job as a peanut vendor. Chief of the Tuba Police Station. Barker were cremated. forcing him. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York (Exhibit "L") where she underwent an unsuccessful operation. ordered Glen Enriquez to go to Guinyangan. the remains of Mr. Virgilio F. Barker was then discharged from the hospital and upon getting home. Maqueda. The Guinyangan Police Station turned over Maqueda to Maj. Barker underwent a CT Scan at the St. radio cassette recorder (Exhibit "W-3"). came to the hospital bed of Mrs. On 29 November 1991. Mrs. showed her pictures of several persons. directed SP03 Armando Molleno to get Maqueda's statement. Salvamante went upstairs and a few minutes later came down bringing with him a radio cassette and some pieces of jewelry. and she had double vision. and asked her to identify the persons who had assaulted her. Barker came down. Before Maj. Ray Dean Salvosa. Moreover. a police team from the Tuba Police Station. She then executed an affidavit on these missing items (Exhibit "X. Quezon. he informed Maqueda of his rights under the Constitution. Maqueda had been taken to the. her visual acuity was impaired. Prosecutor Zarate told Maqueda that he would oppose the motion for bail since he. Barker discovered that her Canon camera. her eyesight had not yet improved. On 9 April 1992. Dr. Enriquez was able to obtain information from the barangay captain. but later on agreed to it. She pointed to a person who turned out to be Richard Malig. Ray Dean Salvosa arrived at the Office of Prosecutor Zarate and obtained permission from the latter to talk to Maqueda. whereabouts of accused Rene Salvamante. Proceeded to Guinyangan. to attack her with the lead pipe provided·him by Salvamante. After he received an affirmative answer. was the only accused on trial (Exhibit "II"). that he saw Salvamante together with a certain "Putol" in September 1991." Prosecutor Zarate then had a talk with Maqueda regarding such statement and asked him if he was in the company of Salvamante on 27 August 1991 in entering the house of the Barkers. then Mrs. Anagaran who then brought Maqueda to the Benguet Provincial Jail. On 4 March 1992. Hernandez told the members of the team that it was improper for them to conduct it without first consulting him since Mrs. had been arrested in Guinyangan. On 21 December 1991. she then sought treatment at the St. Barker who had followed his wife downstairs. Maqueda thereafter signed a Sinumpaang Salaysay (Exhibit "LL") wherein he narrated his participation in the crime at the Barker house on 27 August 1991. Barker had not yet fully recovered consciousness. She likewise received treatment at the New York Medical Center (Exhibit "M").

After his Christmas vacation. Benguet where he has remained under detention up to the present. then to the Tuba Police Station. having gone to the same elementary school. Quezon. it was his duty to supervise the employees in the factory and whenever his employer was not around. 8 Accused Hector Maqueda put up the defense of denial and alibi. On December 20. Sukat. 1991 he was at the polvoron factory owned by Minda Castrense located at Lot 1. On August 26. testimony is summarized by the trial court in this wise: Accused Hector Maqueda denied having anything to do with the crime.Maqueda further divulged to Salvosa that they then changed clothes. he went home to Gapas. walked toward the road where they Saw two persons from whom they asked directions. it decreed a conviction "based on the confession and the proof of corpus delicti" as well as on circumstantial evidence. who found him the job as caretaker. Myrna Katindig. he accompanied Rosely home to Guinyangan. Quezon Province and roam around. Jose Maqueda who resided at Sabangdos. Quezon. 9 The prosecution rebutted the testimony of Hector Maqueda by presenting Fredesminda Castience and SP03 Armando Molleno. Hence. he saw accused Rene Salvamante. SP03 Molleno declared that he informed Maqueda of his constitutional rights before Maqueda was investigated and that Maqueda voluntarily and freely gave his Sinumpaang Salaysay (Exhibit "LL"). he and Salvamante bearded it. he was teaching the new employees how to make the seasoning for the polvoron. He was to be back at work after New Year's Day in 1992. They had their meal and then went to visit accused Maqueda's brother. He stated that O" August 27. Quezon Province as it was his vacation time from his job at the polvoron factory. When the two accused were at Calauag. went out of the house. He agreed to go as he also wanted to visit his brother. ·testified that she started her business only on 30 August 1991 and thus it was impossible for her to have hired Maqueda on 5 July 1991. He again saw accused Salvamante after Christmas day on the road beside their (Salvamante) house. After that occasion. Guinyangan. caretaker. It was his sister. 10 Although the trial court had doubts on the identification of Maqueda by prosecution witnesses Teresita Mendoza Barker. On March 5. Benguet. he reported for work although he could not recall what he did that day. They were able to sell the cassette recorder to Salvamante's aunt. Hi. Salvamante asked Maqueda to accompany him /Salvamante) in selling a cassette recorder which he said came from Baguio City. he would be freed and he could also become a state witness: He told them that he could attest to the fact that he accompanied accused Salvamante in selling the cassette recorder. One of his co-workers Roselyn Merca. He was also told that if he would point to accused Salvamante. Upon alighting from the bus at Guinyangan. 1991. he never saw accused Salvamante again. He and his 8 co-employees all Sleep inside the factory. They alighted somewhere along Albano Street in Baguio City and walked until they reached the Philippine Rabbit Bus station where they boarded a bus for Manila. He slept inside the factory that night and on August 27. It stated thus: 51 . There he was told to cooperate with the police in arresting Salvamante so he would not stay long in the Province of Benguet. Norie Dacara. He knows accused Salvamante as they were childhood playmates. he went back to work a the polvoron factory until February 29. he was in charge of the sales. Metro Manila. 1992. and Julieta Villanueva and thus disregarded their testimonies on this matter. Tuba. 1991. He had no chance to talk to him that day when he saw him and so they just waved to each other. who was a townmate of his asked him to accompany her home as she was hard up in her work at the factory. Salvamante invited him to go to Calauag. 1991. Quezon. Accused Maqueda knew that Salvamante worked in Baguio as the latter's mother told him about it. 1992. 1992 but he was not able to as he was arrested by members of the CAGFU at the house of Roselyn Merca when he brought her home. 1991. he was brought to the Benguet Provincial Jail at La Trinidad. 1991 and he worked continuously there up to August 27. Block 21 Posadas Bayview Subdivision. He was supposed to report back for work on March 2. He was employed as a caretaker Since July 5. A. He was then brought to the Guinyangan municipal jail. and when a passenger jeepney stopped and they were informed by the two Persons that it was bound for Baguio City. Muntinlupa. Calauag. the owner of the polvoron factory where Maqueda worked. Castrence.

This defense easily crumbles down as Tayaban placed accused Maqueda at vicinity of the crime scene. 77285. This time. 1992. typed double space. it the accused in appearing that he is the least guilty along This in effect. Pajarit. 12 Only three pages of the brief. No. The circumstances shown by the prosecution which tend to show the guilt of the accused are: 1. as the author of the crime (People vs. 1992. 90637. G. G. . Accused Maqueda knows or is familiar with accused Rene Salvamante as they from the same town. are devoted to his arguments which are anchored on his alibi that at the time the crime Was committed he was not in Benguet but in Sukat. and 3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt (People vs. Martinado. 11 The extrajudicial confession referred to is the Sinumpaang Salaysay (Exhibit: "LL") of Maqueda taken by SP02 Molleno immediately after Maqueda was arrested.R. it must not only appear that the accused interposing the same was at some other place but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission (People vs. 2. No. His Motion to Grant Bail (Exhibit "HH") contains this statement that he is willing and volunteering to be State witness in the above-entitled case. October 19. he pleads that we acquit him because the trial court committed this lone error: . the following requisites must be present: 1) there must be more than One circumstance. his admission to Prosecutor Zarate that he was at the Barker house that fateful morning and his even more damaging admission to Ray Dean Salvosa as to what he actually did can be considered as another circumstance to already bloster the increasing circumstances against the accused. His presence within the vicinity of the crime scene right after the incident in the company of accused Salvamante was testified to by Mike Tabayan. There must be an unbroken chain of circamstances which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the defendant to the exclusion of all Others. . G. Metro 52 . The accused's defense is alibi. the only prosecution witness who noticed the defective hands of the accused. Barker to death. Maqueda seasonably appealed to us his conviction. As stated in a long Line of cases. 4. As they had to ask for directions from the witness in the Tagalog dialect shows that they were strangers to the place 3. October 29. No. September 4. It is not farfetched then to conclude that accused Maqueda could have easily beat Mr. 213 SCRA 569). Pugal. this is a flimsy excuse which cannot Had he not understood what the motion meant. 214 SCRA 712). October 19. supports his extrajudicial confession trade to the police at Although he claims that he did not his signature would lean his as he was just told that release from detention. For alibi to be given credence. No. G. 1992. 5. In his 14-page brief. A physical demonstration to which the accused and his counsel did not offer any objection shows that despite his being handicapped.R.R. IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME CHARGED. he could have easily asked his sister and brother-inlaw what it meant seeing that their signatures up already affixed on the motion. 6. 82770. Abuyen. alibi is at best a weak defense and easy of fabrication (People vs. The combination of all these circumstances plus extrajudicial confession produce the needed proof beyond reasonable doubt that indeed accused Maqueda is guilty of the crime.R. 2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proved. Muntinlupa. 1992. accused Maqueda could well and easily grip a lead pipe and strike a cement post with such force that it produced a resounding vibration. accused Maqueda has established that he Salvamante are close friends to the point that they went out together during the Christmas vacation in 1991 and he even accompanied Salvamante in selling the black radio cassette recorder. 214 SCRA 678). By his own testimony. 92020. can we still secure a conviction based on the confession and the proof of corpus delicti as well as on circumstantial evidence? In order to establish the guilt of the accused through circumstantia1 evidence.Since we have discarded the positive identification theory of the prosecution pinpointing accused Maqueda as the culprit. 215 SCRA 247).

and is but an acknowledgment of some fact or circumstance which in itself is insufficient to authorize a conviction and which tends only to establish the ultimate fact of guilt. therefore. to prove his guilt. The accused's arguments which stress the incredibility of the testimonies of Mrs. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. of his guilt of the crime charged. 15 i. Barker and the househelps identifying Maqueda are misdirected and misplaced because the trial court had ruled that Mrs. the two housemaids gave a description of Salvamante's companion that fitted Richard Malig. may be given in evidence against him." It heavily relied on People vs. of facts pertinent to the issue and tending. despite his knowing fully well that a case had already been filed in court. xxx xxx xxx Sec. 14 And under Section 3 of Rule 133. As hereinafter shown. Ayson 16 where this Court elucidated on the rights of a person under custodial investigation and the rights of an accused after a case is filed in court. There is a distinction between. taken during custodial investigation. 12. Pointed to Richard Malig as the companion of Rene Salvamante. Hence. The term admission is usually applied in criminal cases to statements of fact by the accused which do not directly involve an acknowledgment of his guilt or of the criminal intent to commit the offense with which he is charged. and that when initially investigated. — The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged. but on the voluntariness of its execution. direct or implied. Teresita Mendoza Barker and the two housemaids. 17 The trial court then held that the admissibility of the Sinumpaang Salaysay should not be tested under the aforequoted Section 12(1). as well as on circumstantial evidence. He should have focused his attention and arguments on these. when investigated at the hospital. is not applicable. while an admission is a statement by the accused. Article III of the Constitution. the former and the latter as clearly shown in Sections 26 and 33. declaration or omission of party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him. in connection with proof of other facts. Norie Dacara and Julieta Villanueva. Section 12(1).. Since 53 . an extrajudicial confession made by the accused is not sufficient for conviction unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti. an admission is something less than a confession. The trial court admitted the Sinumpaang Salaysay of accused Maqueda although it was taken without the assistance of counsel because it was of the opinion that since an information had already benefited in court against him and he was arrested pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued by the court. Confession. 13 Wharton distinguishes a confession from an admission as follows: A confession is an acknowledgment in express terms. or of any offense necessarily included therein. the defense of alibi is unconvincing. Article III of the Constitution providing as follows: Sec. The trial court based his conviction on his extrajudicial confession and the proof of corpus delicti. 26. the trial court made a distinction between an extrajudicial confession — the Sinumpaang Salaysay — and an extrajudicial admission — the. It is only an extrajudicial admission. the accused was already facing charges in court. ad the failure of the star witnesses for the Prosecution to identify him.e. the Sinumpaang Salaysay was not. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel. In other words.Manila. From its ratiocinations. he must be provided with one. We find no merit in this appeal. Admission of a party. A perusal of the Sinumpaang Salaysay fails to convince us that it is an extrajudicial confession. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. He no longer had the right to remain silent and to counsel but he had the right to refuse to be a witness and not to have any prejudice whatsoever result to him by such refusal. 33. by a party in a criminal case. were not able to positively identify Magueda. — The act. And yet. Barker. He alleges that Mrs. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court which read as follows: Sec. there is an acknowledgment of guilt. In a confession. he still confessed when he did not have to do so. verbal admissions to Prosecutor Zarate and Ray Dean Salvosa. The trial court went on to state: At the time of the confession. the police investigation was " no longer within the ambit of a custodial investigation.

it would also diminish the said accused's rights under Section 14(2) Article III of the Constitution. it is settled that when testimony is presented to establish not the truth but the tenor of the statement or the fact that such statement was made. and to be informed of such right . theSinumpaang Salaysay was admissible against him. was excluded. Maqueda had the burden of proving otherwise. stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. unless other fully effective means are devised to inform accused persons of their right of silence and to assure a continuous opportunity to exercise it. February 28. 1992. Such a view would not only give a very restrictive application to Section 12(1). Likewise. in Galman vs." The direct and primary source of this Section 12(1) is the second paragraph of Section 20. Article II of the 1973 Constitution which reads: Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel. that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him. .R. The incorporation of the second paragraph of Section 20 in the Bill of Rights of the 1973 constitution was an acceptance of the landmark doctrine laid down by the united States Supreme Court in Miranda vs. If. which is now Section 17. As for the procedural safeguards to be employed. Pamaran. we cannot agree with its sweeping view that after such filing an accused "no longer Has] the right to remain silent End to counsel but he [has] the right to refuge to be a witness and not to have any prejudice whatsoever result to him by such refusal. hence. 21 this Court aptly observed: The fact that the framers of our Constitution did not choose to use the term "custodial" by having it inserted between the words "under" and "investigation. the trial court admitted their testimony thereon only to prove the tenor of their conversation but not to prove the truth of the admission because such testimony was objected to as hearsay. The first sentence to which it immediately follows refers to the right against self-incrimination reading: No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself." If this were so. if the individual is alone and indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated. Prior to any questioning the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent. however. Arizona. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney. 206 SCRA 652)." as in fact the sentence 54 . either retained or appointed. 83027. it is not hearsay (People vs. the following measures are required. the Court explicitly stated that the holding therein "is not an innovation in our jurisprudence. No. By custodial interrogation. Article III of the Constitution and his rights after a criminal complaint or information had been filed against him. whether exculpatory or inculpatory. the police may not question him. it is this: the prosecution may not use statements. As to the admissions made by Maqueda to Prosecutor Zarate and Ray Dean Salvosa. 19 In that case.voluntariness is presumed. which was used in Miranda with reference to the investigation. knowingly and intelligently. but is an application of principles long recognized and applied in other settings. 20 It may be pointed out though that as formulated in the second paragraph of the aforementioned Section 20. In view thereof. The mere fact that he may have answered some question or volunteered some statements on his own does not deprive him of the right to refrain from answering any further inquiries until he has consulted with an attorney and thereafter consents to a questioned. we mean 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. Article III of the Constitution are not confined to that period prior to the filing of a criminal complaint or information but are available at that stage when a person is "under investigation for the commission of an offense. Fule. The exercise of the rights to remain silent and to counsel and to be informed thereof under Section 12(1). The defendant may waive effectuation of these rights. . he indicates in any manner and at any stage of the process that he wishes to consult with an attorney before speaking there can be no questioning. then there would be a hiatus in the criminal justice process where an accused is deprived of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel and to be informed of such rights. which he failed to do and. It said: In any case." It went on to state its ruling: Our holding will be spelled out with some specificity in the pages which follow but briefly stated. 18 While we commend the efforts of the trial court to distinguish between the rights of a person under Section 12(1). G. the wordcustudial. provided the waiver is made voluntarily.

opens with the phrase "any person" goes to prove that they did not adopt in toto the entire fabric of the Miranda doctrine. At the time a person is arrested. Then. 26 this Court emphatically declared: One of the great principles of justice guaranteed by our Constitution is that "no person shall be-held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law". No custodial investigation shall be conducted unless it be in the presence of counsel engaged by the person arrested. without counsel. shall be inadmissible in evidence. preferably of his own choice. in whole or in part. and that any statement he might make could be used against him. as so formulated." In criminal cases there can be no fair hearing unless the accused be given an opportunity to be heard by counsel. Holgado. Note that the first sentence requires the arresting officer to inform the person to be arrested of the reason for the arrest and show him "the warrant of arrest. Applying the second paragraph of Section 20. (b) if the party cannot afford the services of such counsel. 22 Accordingly. Section 12(2). by any person on his behalf. 55 . and that all accused "shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. it shall be the duty of the arresting officer to inform him of the reason for the arrest and he must be shown the warrant of arrest. it is not enough to ask him whether he desires the aid of an attorney." The underscored phrase simply means that a case had been filed against him in a court of either preliminary or original jurisdiction and that the court had issued the corresponding warrant of arrest. if any. This paragraph was incorporated into Section 12(1). The right to be heard would be of little avail if it does not include the right to be heard by counsel. if any. but it is essential that the court should assign one de officio for him if he so desires and he is poor or grant him a reasonable time to procure an attorney of his own. the second paragraph of Section 20 has even broadened the application of Miranda by making it applicable to the investigation for the commission of an offense of a person and in custody. it is clear that the right to remain silent and to counsel and to be informed thereof under the second paragraph of Section 20 are available to a person at any time before arraignment whenever he is investigated for the commission of an offense. and (c) the rights therein cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. It shall be the responsibility of the arresting officer to see to it that this is accomplished. Clearly then. whether exculpatory or inculpatory. he must be provided with one. Enrile: 24 7. Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of the law. It was. particularly in the rules of procedure. The right to counsel may be waived but the waiver shall not be valid unless made with the assistance of counsel. Jose 23 that the rights of the accused only begin upon arraignment. Any statement obtained in violation of the procedure herein laid down. He shall be informed of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel. then police authorities and other law enforcement agencies would have a heyday in extracting confessions or admissions from accused persons after they had been arrested but before they are arraigned because at such stage the accused persons are supposedly not entitled to the enjoyment of the rights to remain silent and to counsel. wrong for the trial court to hold that Section 12(1). Article III of the present Constitution provides that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. It is for this reason that the right to be assisted by counsel is deemed so important that it has become a constitutional right and it is so implemented that under our rules of procedure it is not enough for the Court to apprise an accused of his right to have an attorney. the right to be heard would be a farce if it did not include the right to counsel. or appointed by the court upon petition either of the detainee himself or by anyone on his behalf. therefore. And this can happen more easily to persons who are ignorant or uneducated. he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. a relative. or anyone he chooses by the most expedient means — by telephone if possible — or by letter or messenger." In People vs. The person arrested shall have the right to communicate with his lawyer. If we follow the theory of the trial court. this Court laid down this rule in Morales vs. 25 Thus. and. Article III of the present Constitution with the following additional safeguards: (a) the counsel must be competent and independent. From the foregoing. the second paragraph of Section 20 changed the rule adopted in People vs. too. Article III of the Constitution is strictly limited to custodial investigation and that it does not apply to a person against whom a criminal complaint or information has already been filed because after its filing he loses his right to remain silent and to counsel.

declaring the rights that exist without governmental grant. (3) He and co-accused Rene Salvamante are friends. as correctly ruled by the trial court. People. that rule applies to oral extrajudicial admissions. and Julieta Villanueva as one of two persons who committed the crime. 28 or restriction on the power of government found "not in the particular specific types of action prohibited. His defense of alibi was futile because by his own admission he was not only at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. Norie Dacara. it appearing that he is the least guilty among the accused in this case. 32 this Court held that the declaration of an accused expressly acknowledging his guilt of the offense may be given in evidence against him and any person." In the light of his admissions to Prosecutor Zarate and Ray Dean Salvosa and his willingness to be a state witness. the extrajudicial admissions of Maqueda to Prosecutor Zarate and to Ray Dean Salvosa stand on a different footing. (2) Rene Salvamante. Article III of the Constitution. was positively identified by Mrs. and (6) He freely and voluntarily offered to be a state witness stating that "he is the least guilty. Quezon. If. The following circumstances were duly proved in this case: (1) He and a companion were seen a kilometer away from the Barker house an hour after the crime in question was committed there. Rule 133 of the Rules of Court provides that circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: (a) There is more than one circumstance. it was given to a private person. his guilt was.stated that "he is willing and volunteering to be a state witness in the above entitled case. 31 Accordingly. is competent to testify as to the substance of what he heard if he heard and understood it. Quezon. and both left the place sometime in September 1991. However. a private party. otherwise competent to testify as a witness. Article III of the Constitution and the jurisprudence thereon must be faithfully complied with. who heard the confession. 30 or state tyranny and abuse of authority. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Maqueda's participation in the commission of the crime charged was established beyond moral certainty. The provisions of the Bill of Rights are primarily limitations on government.. The said witness need not repeat verbatim the oral confession. Maqueda's admissions to Ray Dean Salvosa. the Constitution did not govern the relationships between individuals. 56 . Maqueda voluntarily and freely made them to Prosecutor Zarate not in the course of an investigation. Article III of the Constitution which reads: (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. Barker. As disclosed by a reading thereof. who is still at large. These are not governed by the exclusionary rules under the Bill of Rights. (5) He was arrested in Guinyangan. (4) He and Rene Salvamante were together in Guinyangan. In laying down the principles of the government and fundamental liberties of the people. Such uncounselled Sinumpaang Salaysay is wholly inadmissible pursuant to paragraph 3. nevertheless. and as to the other admission. 27 and since the court has already acquired jurisdiction over his person. that may not be taken away by government and that government has the duty to protect. he must be delivered to the nearest police station or jail and the arresting officer must make a return of the warrant to the issuing judge. it suffices if he gives its substance. Even if we disregard his extrajudicial admissions to Prosecutor Zarate and Salvosa. Section 12. he also admitted his participation therein. Maqueda was not even told of any of his constitutional rights under the said section. established beyond doubt by circumstantial evidence. are admissible in evidence against the former Under Section 26. on 4 March 1992. The Sinumpaang Salaysay of Maqueda taken by SP02 Molleno after the former's arrest was taken in palpable violation of his rights under Section 12(1). To be added to Maqueda's extrajudicial admission is his Urgent Motion for Bail wherein he explicitly . The statement was also taken in the absence of counsel. then Section 12(1).Once a criminal complaint or information is filed in court and the accused is thereafter arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest." Section 4. he is subjected to such' investigation. By analogy. In Aballe vs. 29 They are the fundamental safeguards against aggressions of arbitrary power. it would be improper for any public officer Or law enforcement agency to investigate him in connection with the commission of the offense for which he is charged. but in the general principle that keeps alive in the public mind the doctrine that governmental power is not unlimited. but in connection with Maqueda's plea to be utilized as a state witness.

Ampil.. To enforce its claims. When one of the bonded employees. a place barely a kilometer away from the house of the Barkers. plaintiffappellant instituted its complaint. as the guilty person. while acting in his capacity as cashier. Moreover. such as non-compliance with the conditions stipulated in the insurance policy. On June 22. and PHOENIX ASSURANCE CO. it filed claims for payments on the said fidelity guarantee bond but defendantappellee Ker & Co. for plaintiff-appellant. consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty.e. This conclusion having been reached. In its answer. Costs against accused-appellant HECTOR MAQUEDA @ PUTOL. Ker & Co. counsel for Ker & Co. justified its denial of the claims of plaintiff-appellant on various reas•ns. SO ORDERED. denied and refused indemnification and payment. Ltd. likewise averred that it was merely an agent and. No.490. Fredisminda Castrence categorically declared that Maqueda started working in her polvoron factory in Sukat only on 7 October 1991. Sometime in January. it was positively established that Maqueda and a companion were seen at 7:00 a.. the defense of alibi put up by the appellant must fail. and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Inc.as such it was not liable under the policy. vs. Ablaza. filed a request for admission..ñët 57 . LTD. as jurisprudentially formulated. 34 Through the unrebutted testimony of Mike Tayaban. of 27 August 1991 at the waiting shed in Aguyad.. Ablaza and non-production of the documents to prove the alleged loss. nonpresentation of evidence regarding the various charges of dishonesty and misrepresentation against Tomas E. the requirements of time and place must be strictly met. 1967 since it involved purely questions of law.. was discovered by plaintiff-appellant to have had a cash shortage and unremitted collections in the total amount of P42. for defendants-appellants. 63181 of the Court of First Instance of Manila... which Maqueda does not controvert in his brief. Ltd. KER & CO. Ltd. he must demonstrate that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. defendant-appellee Ker & Co. L-28237 August 31. Alfonso Felix. 1982 BAY VIEW HOTEL. secured a fidelity guarantee bond from defendant-appellee Ker & Co. The trial court correctly rejected such defense. is the Philippine general agent of Phoenix Assurance Co.. Rule 133 of the Rules of Court are present in this case. testimony that he started working on 5 July 1991 and continuously until 27 August 1991. a foreign corporation duly licensed to do insurance business in the Philippines. to the exclusion of all others. plaintiff-appellant Bay View Hotel. furnishing plaintiff-appellant's counsel with a copy thereof requesting admission of the following facts: 1äwphï1. LTD. Mariano V. G. Jr.95. WHEREFORE. Jr. It is not enough to prove that the accused was somewhere else when the crime was committed. No. It was not then impossible for Maqueda and his companion to have been at the Barker house at the time the crime was committed. and at the same time inconsistent with any other hypothesis except that of guilty. Said defendant-appellee Ker & Co. Or. & TEEHANKEE. a judgment of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be upheld only if the circumstances proved constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion which points to the accused. the instant appeal is DISMISSED and the appealed decision Of Branch 10 of the Regional Trial Court Of Benguet in Criminal Case.R. for its accountable employees against acts of fraud and dishonesty.m. the circumstances proved must be consistent with each other. The rule is settled that for the defense of alibi to prosper.. thereby belying his.91-CR-1206 is AFFIRMED in toto.. 1965 docketed as Civil Case No. dated August 30. 33 We do not hesitate to rule that all the requisites of Section 2. then the lessee arid operator of the Manila Hotel. defendants-appellees. Tomas E. Benguet.. in of the foregoing. i. Tuba. INC.: This appeal was originally brought before the Court of Appeals but was certified to this Court pursuant to the appellate court's resolution of October 13. 1958. 1966.(b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven. plaintiff-appellant. J..

filed a reply to the opposition reiterating its stand that since it merely acted as an agent. Inc. plaintiff-appellant was deemed to have abandoned its claim in view of the fact that it did not ask for an arbitration of its claim within twelve (12) months from June 22. the case should be dismissed and plaintiff-appellant should file the necessary action against the principal Phoenix. 8 of the Policy No. amended. 2. it followed that the proper party in interest against whom plaintiff-appellant might have a claim was the principal Phoenix Assurance Co. ordering the dismissal of the case. A true copy of the policy as it finally stood at the time of the alleged defalcation is annexed to our answer as Annex 'B ' thereof. on June 22. Ltd. " When plaintiff-appellant failed to make any answer to the request for admission within the period prescribed by the rules. II The lower court erred and acted with grave abuse of discretion in giving legal effects to a request for admission by the defendant-appellee under the original complaint after the said original complaint was. a true copy of which is annexed to our answer as Annex "A" thereof. 1958 by the Phoenix Assurance Co.. Again. 1965 the date of receipt of the denial of the claim. under the circumstances was not to dismiss the complaint but to amend it in order to bring the necessary or indispensable parties to the suit.. as amended. Ltd. Plaintiff-appellant filed an opposition. in favor of the Bay View Hotel. Ltd. FGC-5018-P requires that should there be a controversy in the payment of the claims. 1967. 3. and was renewed from time to time with amendments. 1965 sent by registered mail to the Bay View Hotel. applied to the Phoenix Assurance Co. III The lower court erred and acted with grave abuse of discretion in holding that "Condition No. defendants.. 8 of said Policy No. Ltd. with leave of court. it follows that Phoenix has no right to avail of these admissions.. 1966. 1966. filed a Motion to Dismiss on Affirmative Defense. The first two errors assigned may be taken jointly. which was not a party-defendant at the time said request was filed and for whom no similar request was ever filed. the Bay View Hotel. this time impleading Phoenix as party defendant. Such a policy was actually issued on January 22. On the other hand. This claim filed by the Bay View Hotel. Ker & Co. plaintiff-appellant filed the present appeal. for a fidelity guarantee bond through a proposal form. 1966. A true copy of this letter of denial is annexed to the present request as Annex "C" hereof. dated July 6. 1966 arguing that the proper remedy. under this policy was denied on behalf of the Phoenix Assurance Co. defendant-appellee Ker & Co. 58 . Plaintiff-appellant argues that since the implied admission was made before the amendment of its complaint so as to include Phoenix.. FGC-5018-P provides for Arbitration if any dispute shall arise as to the amount of company's liability. argued that it was merely an agent and therefore not liable under the policy... defendants-appellees filed a motion for summary judgment which the trial court granted in its decision of November 4. if any. averred that under Condition 8 of the insurance policy... by a letter dated 18th June.1.. Inc. On February 14. dated July 19. it should be submitted to an arbitration" despite the admissions by the parties and the established fact that Condition No. 2. attaching copy of the complaint. Ltd. plaintiff-appellant was deemed to have impliedly admitted each of the matters enumerated in the request for admission. Rule 26 of the Rules of Court..appellees filed their joint answer to the amended complaint. and that the trial court committed a grave abuse of discretion in extending to Phoenix the legal effects of the request for admission filed solely by Ker & Co. to the Phoenix Assurance Co. Ltd. Inc. 1965. 1966. plaintiff-appellant filed a Motion for Leave to Admit Amended Complaint. (Phoenix) and not the agent Ker & Co. of the request for admission filed by Ker & Co. raising the following assignment of errors: 1äwphï1. After denial of its motion for reconsideration. Inc. Phoenix. On August 24.ñët I The lower court erred and acted with grave abuse of discretion in extending the legal effects. insisting that since under Sec. Defendant-appellee Ker & Co. On August 1..." IV The lower court erred and acted with grave abuse of discretion in granting the Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissing the complaint. On August 16. 1966..

ñët If any dispute shall arise as to the amount of company's liability under this Policy the matter shall if required by either party be to the decision of two neutral persons as arbitrators one of. The issues. Condition No. acts and representations of his principal 1 and may be given in evidence against such party. arbitrator or umpire. in moving for the dismissal of the case and prayed "that the present action be dismissed as against Ker & Co. The costs of and connected with the arbitration shag be in the discretion of the arbitrators.. since an agent may do such acts as may be conducive to the accomplishment of the purpose of the agency. This has to be the rule. whom shall be named by each party or of an umpire who shall be appointed by the said arbitrators before entering on the reference and in case either party or his representative shall neglect or refuse for the space of two months after request in writing from the other party so to do to name an arbitrator the arbitrator of the other party may proceed alone. 8 comes into play only if the insurer admits liability but cannot agree with the insured as to the amount thereof and cannot be invoked in cases like that at bar where the insurer completely denies any liability. Ltd. 59 . The provisions of Condition No. 8 of the insurance policy. more particularly the prayer thereof. a reading of the said motion for summary judgment.. shows that Phoenix did join Ker & Co." do not appear to require any extended interpretation. But the motion for summary judgment was filed after the complaint had been amended and answer thereto had been filed. the reference to arbitration is not a condition precedent to the filing of the suit contrary to the insurer company's posture.appellant's failure to answer the request for admission could and should have been corrected below by its filing a motion to be relieved of the consequences of the implied admission with respect to respondent Phoenix.. while here the insurer denies liability wholly and totally. because being purely and simply the agent of the insurer.. is deemed under condition 8 of . arbitrator or umpire of the amount of the loss shall first be obtained. more specifically the portion thereof which reads. photostatic copy of which was submitted to the trial court and reproduced as follows: 1äwphï1.The argument is untenable.. it is not liable under the policy and as against the Phoenix Assurance Co. The legal effects of plaintiff. tie policy. The amendment of the complaint per se cannot set aside the legal effects of the request for admission since its materiality has not been affected by the amendment. 8. 2 Plaintiff-appellant maintains that Condition No. If a fact is admitted to be true at any stage of the proceedings. plaintiff Bay View Hotel. therefore. Moreover. for the act or declarations of an agent of the party within the scope of the agency and during its existence are considered and treated in turn as the declarations. there is a total and complete negation of liability. Ltd. We find in favor of plaintiff-appellant.. To allow a party to alter the legal effects of the request for admission by the mere amendment of a pleading would constitute a dangerous and undesirable precedent. specially considering the established principle that contracts of adhesion such as the insurance policy in question are to be strictly construed in case of doubt against the insurer.existence of liability. And it is hereby expressly agreed and declared that it shag be a condition precedent to any right of action or upon this Policy that the award by such arbitrators. Plaintiff-appellant insists that since the motion for summary judgment was filed on behalf of defendantappellee Ker & Co.. to have abandoned its claim against said defendant phoenix Assurance Co. because by failing to seek an arbitration within twelve months from the date of its receipt of the denial of its claim on June 22. 1965. Defendants-appellees' contention that plaintiffappellant's failure to request arbitration proceedings is a bar to its filing of the suit at bar against the insurer company cannot be sustained... "if any dispute shall arise as to the amount of company's liability under this policy . it is not stricken out through the amendment of the complaint. Admission is in the nature of evidence and its legal effects were already part of the records of the case and therefore could be availed of by any party even by one subsequently impleaded. 8 requires arbitration only as to disputes regarding the amount of the insurer's liability but not as to any dispute as to the existence or non. there was no motion for summary judgment as far as Phoenix was concerned and the trial court's decision dismissing the case should not have included the principal Phoenix. Plaintiff-appellant points out that in the instant case. Condition No. 8 of the policy provides for arbitration only "if any dispute should arise as to the amount of company's liability" consequently. alone. Thus. Ltd. Moreover." The main issue raised by plaintiff-appellant is with respect to Condition No. There is no dispute as to the amount of company's liability because this presupposes an admission of responsibility although not to the extent of the cost thereof. Inc. admissions secured by the agent within the scope of the agency ought to favor the principal. with respect to Phoenix had already been likewise joined.

1 However. However. does this principle still hold true if the victim cannot recall how the alleged rape was committed as she was asleep and never woke up throughout the incident? We answer in the negative. acts and representations of his principal and may be given in evidence against such party. to wit. for the act or declarations of an agent of the party within the scope of the agency and during its existence are considered and treated in turn as the declarations. This has to be the rule. Ltd. Section 26 of Rule 130 allows the admission against the principal of any act or declaration of the agent within the scope of his authority during its existence. while the dismissal of the case against Phoenix Assurance Co. concur. pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. Relova and Gutierrez. [P]rovince of Romblon. against her will. To my mind. The information reads: That on or about the 6th day of March. KAPUNAN. whether it may be utilized by Phoenix against Bay View itself. at around 12:00 midnight. Ltd. concurring: I concur in the resolution of the issues in regard to the respective liabilities of Ker & Co. Ltd. [M]unicipality of Romblon. there appears to be no serious contradiction as to the fact that it merely acted as the agent of its principal. At around 60 .2 Upon his arraignment. The version of the prosecution is primarily anchored on the testimonies of Emily Mariño. but rather.3 She was fourteen (14) years old and a Grade V or Grade VI student when she was allegedly sexually ravished. 2001 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. she has. Section 26. is hereby affirmed and maintained. RAMON MARIÑO Y MINA. accused-appellant Ramon Mariño y Mina was charged with the crime of rape before the Regional Trial Court of Romblon. Philippines.1âwphi1. 1997. 132550 February 19. admissions secured by the agent within the scope of the agency ought to favor the principal. In the case at bar. while case against Phoenix Assurance Co. the victim's brother. its justification must be based on some legal ground other than Section 26 of Rule 130.. and Phoenix Assurance Co. 1997.. Case against Ker & Co. Ltd set aside and case remanded to court of origin for further proceedings and determination on the merits... Ltd.. Ltd.ñët Separate Opinions VASQUEZ. said all that is necessary to establish that rape was committed against her. the victim. Phoenix. cries rape. JJ. No costs. Accordingly.. No. Branch 81. did then and there willfully. While this may be correct. the dismissal of the case against Ker & Co. The authority cited for this view. is hereby set aside and the case is remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings and determination on the merits. the said accused. res inter alios acta does not come into play herein.. accused-appellant. assisted by counsel. Phoenix seeks to profit from something done by Ker.: It has been consistently held that when a woman. since an agent may do such acts as may be conducive to the accomplishment of the purpose of the agency. On April 28.As to appellee Ker & Co..R. J. It has no reference to a principal using in his favor an admission secured by the agent from a third party. The question is not whether such act or declaration is admissible in evidence against some other entity with which Bay View is in privity. 1997. Emily is the eldest child among the six children of accused-appellant and Edita Mariño. especially one who is the daughter of the accused..nêt Contrary to law. The act or declaration involved herein is that of petitioner Bay View.. however.. vs.. Melencio-Herrera. Makasiar. J. this rule of evidence finds no application herein. We find no error in the dismissal of the case against said defendant Ker & Co. affirmed and maintained. plaintiff-appellee. in [B[arangay Agtongo. reveals that the same is being justified under one of the recognized exceptions to the rule of res inter alios acta. in effect. G. Plana.ñët Moreover. Ltd. unlawfully and feloniously had carnal knowledge of his daughter EMILY MARIÑO. a fourteen year old girl.. accused-appellant. Clearly. Considering that there was full disclosure of such agency since the insurance policy was actually issued by Phoenix. on July 8.1äwphï1. Ltd. Phoenix is not being held bound or made liable by any act or declarations of Ker Instead. and Ramil Mariño. I do not subscribe to the view expressed in the following paragraph of the main opinion: 1äwphï1. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.

10:00 p.m. of May 6, 1997, she was in their house and was about to go to sleep beside her younger
siblings when accused-appellant approached her and asked if he could sleep beside her.4 She refused.
Angered by her refusal, accused-appellant kicked her.5 Accused-appellant then returned to his bed while
Emily to sleep beside her siblings6 on the floor of their house.7 Accused-appellant's wife was not then
around because she was staying in the Municipality of Romblon during weekdays as a helper in the
house of a certain Rene Fajilagutan.8
When Emily awoke at around 3:00 a.m., she was surprised to see that she was no longer on the floor but
already lying on her parents' bed.9 She felt her whole body ache and her vagina was painful, wet and
sticky.10Dumbfounded, she looked around and saw accused-appellant wrapped in a blanket and lying on
the floor.11Thereupon, accused-appellant told her: "Madasok lang da gapaindi pa." (It already entered but
still you refused or It is just being inserted but still you refuse). 12 Realizing that she was violated during
her sleep, Emily cried.13 She recalled that it was already the third time that her father raped her; once
when she was in grade III and again when she was in Grade V. 14
Emily went back to sleep and got out of bed at around 5 a.m. to prepare breakfast. 15 Accused-appellant
was no longer around at that time since he went to work.16 After finishing breakfast, she and three of her
siblings, including Ramil, then eleven years old, proceeded to school. 17 On their way to school, Ramil told
Emily of what he witnesses the previous night.18 He recounted that at around midnight, he woke up to
urinate.19 After relieving himself, he tried to sleep again but could not.20 It was at this point when he saw
accused-appellant lift Emily from the floor and lay her on the bed.21 Accused-appellant next opened the
skirt of Emily and took off her dress and her panty.22Thereafter, accused-appellant took off his brief, held
his penis and inserted it into the vagina of Emily, making pumping motions. 23 Accused-appellant then
stood up, put back the clothes of Emily as well as his own clothes. 24
After lunch break, Emily decided to skip her afternoon classes to report the incident to her mother. 25 At
around 3 p.m., she left for the town of Romblon to see her mother.26 Emily told her of the reprehensible
act committed by her father.27 Her mother got angry and commented that accused-appellant is stupid and
mindless.28 Her mother instructed her to stay in Romblon while she proceeded to their house to confront
accused-appellant.29 Emily spent the night at her grandaunt's house in Bagtasan. 30 The following day, she
was brought by her mother to the police station where she filed a complaint for rape against accusedappellant.31 Thereafter, they proceeded to the hospital where Dr. Victorio Benedicto, the Rural Health
Physician, examined her.32
Dr. Benedicto testified that after examining Emily, he issued a medico-legal certificate where he noted
that the victim's vagina easily admitted a thumb; that it had scars at 2, 5 and 7 o'clock positions; and that
the victim suffered no external physical injuries.33 She opined that a hard object could have previously
penetrated Emily's vagina and that she was no longer a virgin.34
The prosecution also presented Teodino Martinez, the Provincial Warden of Romblon, who declared that
accused-appellant was incarcerated in the provincial jail during the pendency of this case.35 He was,
however, able to escape on April 26, 1997. On that day, a group of Seventh Day Adventists conducted a
bible study at the provincial jail.36 As the group was leaving the premises of the provincial jail, accusedappellant surreptitiously mingled with them pretending to be one of them and, thus, was able to evade the
prison guards.37 For three days, the jail authorities searched for accused-appellant. On April 29, 1997, he
was surrendered to the authorities by his two (2) brothers, Editho and Raymundo Mariño.38 Martinez
conducted an investigation surrounding accused-appellant's escape. Accused-appellant told him that the
reason why he left the jail was to look for his wife to ask for forgiveness. 39
On the other hand, the defense had a totally different account of what transpired.
On March 6, 1997, accused-appellant went home from work.40 He found his children at home except his
eldest, Emily, who had already gone out of their house. 41 Emily was used to going out to watch betamax
movies in other people's houses or attend overnight dances and parties, 42 sometimes sleeping in her
friend's house and would return the following day.43 Knowing that Emily would not come home that
evening, accused-appellant, after checking on his other children who were already sleeping, retired to
bed at around 8:30 p.m.44 He woke up at 6:00 a.m. the following day, prepared breakfast for his children
and proceeded to work.45 Later on, he was informed by his neighbor, Ben Mindoro, that Emily returned to
their house at around 8:00 a.m. that day and did not go to school.46
To refute the testimony of Ramil Mariño, the defense put to the witness stand Raymundo Mariño
(accused-appellant's brother), Noemi Selosa (the wife of Raymundo Mariño), and Valentina Mindoro
(accused-appellant's aunt).

61

Noemi Selosa testified that on March 10, 1997, she accompanied Edita Mariño and Ramil Mariño to the
police station.47 Ramil Mariño gave his statement before the police investigator with regard to what he
witnessed on the night of March 6, 1997.48 When Ramil finished giving his statement, the investigator
noted that his story did not tally with the account previously given by Emily to the police that she was
raped by accused-appellant.49 Instead, Ramil told the police that he did not see his father rape Emily.
Because of this, Edita Mariño instructed Ramil Mariño to tell the police that he saw accused-appellant
take off the shorts of Emily and rape her. She was able to convince her son that if he would do what he
was told, "his father could be released from jail."50 She also warned him that if he did not follow what she
told him, she would not let him eat.51 Ramil Mariño complied with her mother's instructions.52
Raymundo Mariño testified that in the afternoon of March 10, 1997, Ramil Mariño, his nephew, went to
his house after giving his statement at the police station.53 When Ramil saw his uncle, he cried and
hugged him.54 Raymundo Mariño asked what was wrong55 and Ramil Mariño said that his mother forced
him to tell the police that his father raped Emily. She also assured him that if he made that story to the
police, his father would be released from jail.56
Valentina Mindoro told the court that she lives in the house of Raymundo Mariño and Noemi Selosa. 57 In
the afternoon of March 10, 1997, Ramil Mariño arrived in their house crying. 58 He approached his uncle,
Raymundo Mariño, and asked him why his father had not yet been released from jail as he (the father)
was not at fault.59 It was then that Ramil Mariño admitted that he was coached by his mother to testify
against his father.60
In its Decision, dated December 12, 1997, the trial court found accused-appellant guilty of raping his
daughter and sentenced him to suffer the supreme penalty of death. The dispositive portion of the
decision reads:
WHEREFORE, this Court finds the accused RAMON MARIÑO Y MINA GUILTY beyond
reasonable doubt of the heinous crime of Rape under the aforequoted Information, dated April 14,
1997, and hereby sentences him to suffer the supreme penalty of DEATH. He is ordered to pay
the victim, his daughter Emily Mariño, the sum of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity without subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.61
Hence, this appeal where accused-appellant raises the following as his lone assignment of error:
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME
CHARGED IN THE INFORMATION DESPITE INSUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE TO PROVE HIS
GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.62
In finding accused-appellant guilty, the trial court considered the alleged statement made by accusedappellant: "Madasok lang da gapaindi ka pa" (It already entered but still you refused or It is just being
inserted but still you refuse), as an admission that he raped his daughter. We do not agree.
An admission under Section 26, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court63 applies to statements made by an
accused which directly or impliedly point towards an acknowledgement of guilt for the crime charged. 64
In order that an admission may be appreciated against the accused, the statement must have been clear
and unequivocal such that a reasonable construction of the same would lead to an acknowledgement of
the fact sought to be proven.65 Being merely an inference, an admission, standing alone, is insufficient to
authorize a conviction unless backed up by some other proof which would show the culpability of the
accused.66
We agree with the finding of the trial court that accused-appellant's statement: "Madasok lang da gapaindi
a pa" (It already entered but still you refused or It is just being inserted, but still you refused,) 67 is an
admission under Section 26 of Rule 130. However, would this admission, standing alone, create an
inference that accused-appellant raped his daughter68 in that he was able to actually penetrate her vagina
with his sex organ? For one thing, there was no mention at all that what was inserted was accusedappellant's sex organ. Neither was there an indication that the insertion was made into her sex organ.
While the victim claims that she was raped, she admittedly did not awake during the entire length of the
episode when she was being undressed and her panty removed, when her legs were spread, when his
body was pressed against hers, when his penis entered into her private parts and when accusedappellant was doing pumping motions into her vagina. In recalling the events that transpired on March 6,
1997, Emily testified:
Q
Now, at about 10:00 o'clock in the evening, do you recall what happened to you?
A
Yes, sir.
Q
What happened?
A
My father said, can I sleep beside you?

62

Q
When he said those words, where were you?
A
At the side, beside my younger siblings.
Q
Now, what happened after that?
A
I said, I don't want to sleep with you.
Q
Because you did not want to sleep with your father, what happened?
A
My father got angry.
Q
When he became angry with you, when he got angry, what happened?
A
He counted one (1) up to three (3)
Q
Up to three (3)?
A
Yes, sir.
Q
When he counted, what did you do?
A
I remained in the place where I was sleeping and I kept quiet.
Q
When you remained in the place where you were lying and you kept quiet, what happened?
A
He approached me and kicked me on my feet.
Q
Will you please demonstrate before this Honorable Court what part of your body was hit?
A
Here, sir (Witness is pointing to her right lower leg).
Q
When you were hit by this kick of your father, what did you do?
A
I still kept quiet and he returned to his bed and when he returned again I ran towards the
center where my siblings were lying.
Q
When he returned again, what did he do, what happened?
A
He said, why would you not let me sleep beside you, there's nothing wrong with it, you are
my child.
Q
When he told you that, what happened?
A
I kept quiet on my place and I did not answer him.
Q
What did you do after that?
A
There I felt asleep beside my siblings.
Q
And what time did you wake that evening?
A
When I woke up it was already 3:00 o'clock in the morning.
Q
Where were you lying when you woke up at about 3:00 o'clock that early morning?
A
I was already on bed.
Q
When you woke up on bed, what did you feel if you felt any?
A
My whole body was aching and my vagina was also aching and wet and sticky.
Q
At 3:00 o'clock, did you see where your father was?
A
Yes, sir.
Q
Where?
A
On his bed.
PROS. ROCERO:
Your Honor, the witness did not say bed, she said sa kanyang higa-an.
COURT:
Answer.
A
I saw father where he was sleeping.
xxx
Q
Miss Mariño, aside from asking you for him to sleep with you the night of March 6, 1997 you
do not know any other things that your father did to you?
A
No more.
Q
That your father raped you that evening of March 6 or in the night of March 6, 1997, you
only got that information from your brother?
A
And I also came to know about it because at 3:00 early in the morning, he said, "madasok
lang da gapaindi pa" meaning, it already entered but still you refused".
Q
This was stated by your father at 3:00 o'clock in the morning?
A
Yes, sir.
Q
And so, if not for the statement of your father, you do not know about it?
A
Yes, sir.
Q
And so, the actual incident that happened you do not know because you were asleep?
A
Yes, sir.
Q
And what do you understand by rape? Do you understand what is rape?

63

69 It is clear from her testimony that she was not aware of what happened between the time she fell asleep until she woke up in the bed of her parents. Q And you are sure about that? A Yes. her father did something to her which made her whole body ache and her most private part feel wet and sticky. it is perplexing that the victim would remain asleep as she was being undressed. Q What do you mean by ginagahasa? A Used. sir. sir. In Corcina. yes sir"? A Yes. intruded into and subjected to a push and pull movement made on her private parts. Q But we were talking of raped on March 6. Q What is rape? A Raping the girls. is not on all fours with the factual circumstances of the present case.A Yes. 64 . sir. Corcina71 cited by the Solicitor General to support his claim that carnal knowledge is possible with a woman without her knowledge due to deep slumber. Emily was totally unaware of her being raped. and I also came to know about it because he was the only one there and he had raped me before. Whether victim's body ached. Q And that was the only time that you came to know about it? A What? Q That you were raped by your father? A Because before when I was studying in Grade III he raped me and when I was studying in Grade V he raped me again. there is the possibility of the victim not awaking throughout the act." Be that as it may. The probing fingers could have involuntarily produced a wet and sticky feeling on the part of the victim by the stimulation of her private parts. 1997 you really do not know what happened to you? A No. Possibly it could only be acts of lasciviousness if the penetration or insertion was caused by another object like accused-appellant's fingers. her testimony adequately establishes the fact that on that fateful night. Q You are talking of the time when you were Grade III? A Yes. Q What time? A In my estimate it was already 6:30 o'clock. if his penis penetrated her vagina. sir. accustomed to sexual intercourse. it cannot be reasonably ascertained if she was telling the truth or simply exaggerating. Indeed. as such.72 The victim in the said case awoke in the middle of the rape since she felt the weight of a man on top of her. Q When did Ramil tell you that you were raped by your father? A The following morning. Q 6:30 o'clock in the morning of March 7? A Yes. The facts at hand would more persuasively support the theory that the offense committed by accused-appellant was acts of lasciviousness. Q And you only came to know that you were raped by your father. it was March 7 because the incident happened March 6 and if it is already 12:00 o'clock past it was already March 7.70Foremost is that Emily was not awakened by the molestation of his father. Q What is ginagamit? A Had sexual intercourse. the victim was a married woman who already had a daughter and. which is less obtrusive. sir. Her conclusion that she was raped by accused-appellant was only deduced from the latter's statement "Madasok lang da gapaindi ka pa. penetrate his organ into her vagina and make thrusting motions which would readily awaken the victim if sleeping. Possibly. without the information given to you by Ramil Mariño at 6:30 o'clock in the morning of March 7. 1997. Unlike in rape where the perpetrator would normally place his weight atop his victim. Q What do you mean by saying "no. There is no pretense that she was drugged or otherwise rendered unconscious to facilitate the alleged rape. from whom? A From Ramil. The case of People vs. where only the finger of the assailant or some other object is inserted into the victim's private parts. sir. it was rape.73 In the present case.

1987. MADRONA: That is the question. Ramil Mariño. Towards the end of the Judge's examination. Your Honor.The testimony of prosecution witness. SY: That is what I said before and I am saying it now that this little boy from Alas does not know what is a year. Your satisfy. The trial court did not give much credence to it. SY: Why don't we asked him on January 6. 1986. Mariño? PROS. I am not sure if you understand. 65 . MADRONA: No. SY: 10. Judge Placido Marquez had to conduct a very lengthy clarificatory examination of this witness in order to determine if he really understood the statements he was making. SY: No. PROS. 1987. the defense counsel's cross-examination of Ramil Mariño during rebuttal reveals why the testimony of this eyewitness was discounted by the trial court. he did not know what the word "year" means. how old were you? A I was 10. ATTY. COURT: 11. The question was only a span of one (1) year. 1987. he could only give eight (8). For the record at least. When asked what are the months and the year. MADRONA continuing: Q On January 6. PROS. ATTY. ATTY. sir. mentioning December ahead of October. And yet the … he must have heard 1987. MADRONA continuing: Q And what is your birthday? A January 6. MADRONA continuing: Q You are now 11 years old Mr. That is all Ramil. he made the following observations: COURT: The truth to this Court I will be frank with you there is a ring of truth to your statement that your mother told you to say to the police station that you saw your father doing this things like pumping motion on Emily telling you so that your father will be released from jail it is the Court's perception. He did not know that his birthday. ATTY. MADRONA ON ADDITIONAL CROSS EXAMINATION: x x x ATTY. what is your age? COURT: Clarify. ATTY. on what transpired between the time that the victim slept on the floor until she woke up on the bed of her parents. You may not understand this because you are too young but we have to tell you this but maybe after your college graduation you can read the transcript and this Court told you this that you see Ramil the mother your mother might be using your love for your father see so that you would be manipulated to tell the police what he did so that your father will be released because you love your father. 74 Furthermore. A Yes. or Christmas day comes once in a year. MADRONA: Yes. Most likely you must understand. Thus: ATTY. Q So that you were 1 year old on January 6. Although already 11 years old. being incoherent. we will satisfy. leaves much to be desired. correct? PROS. Is not as simple as it seem. We don't know whether he knows how to compute. This was shown when Ramil Mariño was recalled to the witness stand as the prosecution's rebuttal witness in view of his uncle Raymundo Mariño's earlier testimony that Ramil was coached by his mother to testify against his father.

August. COURT: Answer. MADRONA continuing: Q Do you know the difference between 86 and 87? A No. COURT: Q You are still going to school? A Still going to school. you also know that it comes once a year also? PROS. Q Do you know your birthday only comes once a year? PROS. we will asked one question and we will leave the matter to the Court. SY: Your Honor please. What does he understand by a year. Your Honor that this witness does not know what year and month by asking him whether his birthday happens once a year he might relate that his birthday happens blowing candle over a cake once a year. Have you finished Grade 3? A No. no more. MADRONA: Now. Your Honor. do you know that christmas comes once a year also. Q What school? A In Alad. It does not prove. July. March. SY. MADRONA continuing: Q How about Christmas. Q Please tell us? A Enero. you are now absent? A Yes. MADRONA continuing: Q How about the birthdays of your brothers and sisters. PROS. ATTY. sir. ATTY. COURT: Answer.COURT: Let us asked him. What is the point? Does he understand what is a year and how many months a year when he cannot mention a month and a year he could only count 8 months and it is not in the order … COURT: Answer. SY: He only blew his candle once a year. October. Your Honor. Q Grade 3? A Yes. SY: If he cannot understand his own birthday much more the birthdays of his brother and sister. PROS. sir. PROS. ATTY. Your Honor. clarify. sir. as we have said earlier he does not know. ATTY. SY: It is now very obvious. A No. MADRONA continuing: Q You have gone to school. MADRONA continuing: Q Now. Your Honor. A I don't know. May. December. 66 . Q Alad Elementary school? A Lamao Elementary school. February. ATTY. Q So. ATTY. why don't we asked the witness directly how many months a year and what are the month in the year. do you know what is a month from January to December? A Yes. sir.

L-54470 May 8. 5 and 7 o'clock positions. PADILLA. it is evident why the trial court doubted the testimony of the prosecution's sole eyewitness. INC."77 What was inserted into her vagina could be accused-appellant's finger or another object not necessarily his penis. Dr. the Court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence. COURT OF APPEALS and NATIVIDAD VDA. ATTY. relationship is considered as aggravating. what was committed was the crime of acts of lasciviousness. No. Nevertheless. respondents." For "after all. There were no fresh lacerations on the victim's vagina but only scars at 2. this incident is not included in the information."76 On the other hand. 1403.nêt SO ORDERED.R. Victorio Benedicto testified that Emily was no longer a virgin at the time he conducted the medico-legal examination since her vagina easily admitted the introduction of a thumb. The testimony of Ramil Mariño is no longer needed because "(t)ruth is established not by the number of witnesses but by the quality of their testimonies" and "the lone testimony of the victim in the crime of rape if credible is sufficient to sustain a conviction. What has been established is that an object was inserted into her vagina which resulted in her having felt pain and that she noticed to be wet and sticky after she found herself on his parents' bed alongside accused-appellant who blurted out "(M)adasok lang da gapaindi a pa. 1997. In crimes of chastity such as rape and acts of lasciviousness. the appealed decision is MODIFIED in that accusedappellant RAMON MARIÑO Y MINA is found GUILTY of the crime of ACTS OF LASCIVIOUSNESS and sentenced to suffer the indeterminate sentence of 6 months of arresto mayor as minimum to 6 years of prision correccional as maximum and the amount of P10. the minimum of which shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for the offense. Siguion Reyna. arresto mayor in this case. The absence of fresh lacerations renders doubtful the prosecution's assertion that Emily was raped on March 6. vs. ALBERTO A. in view of the foregoing.75 Based on the foregoing.82 There being one aggravating circumstance (relationship). petitioner. PADILLA and RAMON A.83 Under Section 1 of Art. Judge Marquez correctly entertained the thought that Ramil Mariño might not have witnessed the alleged rape committed on March 6. 79 The alternative circumstance of relationship under Article 1580 of the Revised Penal Code should be appreciated against accused-appellant. WHEREFORE. The felony of acts of lasciviousness is punishable by prision correccional. relationship aggravates the offense committed by accused-appellant. 67 . which we have previously determined to be prision correccional in its maximum period. 1990 PHILIPPINE AIRLINES. hence. PADILLA." It is axiomatic that "witnesses are to be weighed.00 as moral damages. the accused who is charged with latter crime may be convicted with the former. No. in view of the attending circumstances. PADILLA. sir. namely: AUGUSTO A. hence. there is no law which requires that the testimony of a single witness needs corroboration except when the law so expressly requires. the penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period shall be imposed upon appellant.1âwphi1. not numbered. The maximum term of the indeterminate sentence shall be that which.000.78 Considering that the crime of acts of lasciviousness or abusos dishonestos is necessarily included in rape. Your Honor. The medico-legal findings indicating old scars in her vagina tend to buttress the claim of Emily that she was raped by her father when she was 8 years old. Montecillo & Ongsiako for petitioner. Thus.. ABES (representing the deceased Isabel Padilla Abes) MIGUEL A. CRESENCIO R. Unfortunately. G. DE PADILLA.A No. Due to his inability to comprehend simple questions. MADRONA: We are though with the witness. could be properly imposed under the rules of the Code. the trial court's appreciation of this witness' testimony is reflected in its decision: xxx. 1997 but was only coaxed by his mother into testifying against his father. HON. an accused may be convicted of a lesser crime than that with which he is charged if such lesser offense is necessarily included in the one charged. This crime was not alleged in the information against accused-appellant. substituted by her legal heirs.81 It was expressly alleged in the information and duly proven during trial that the offended party is the daughter of accused-appellant.

as the petitioner contends. Baco.M. offering its services to the public as such for compensation. San Miguel. 970 (formerly No. Makati. 4. Solano St. Oriental Mindoro 68 . Rizal. 5. 1948. Padilla filed a complaint (which was amended twice) against PAL. Plaintiff is the widow of the late Alberto R.000 hours at the time of its illfated flight. He was a son by lawful marriage of plaintiff and Alberto R. registered and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Philippines. and from January 1958. and graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Literature in 1951 and the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1954. GRIÑO-AQUINO. Padilla Filipino. as the trial court and the Court of Appeals did. and that. Alberto R.: The only legal issue raised by the petitioner in this thirty-year-old case is whether the indemnity for the death of private respondent's son. the late Nicanor A. de Padilla. It had been certified as airworthy by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. while travelling and being transported and flown as a paid passenger on one [of] defendant's aircraft. while defendant Philippine Air Lines. engaged. 1955. at 5:30 P." for which the deceased was named "Jaycee of the Month of January 1960. was killed when said plane crashed in the area of Mount Baco. 1960. 1960. Inc. was his only legal heir. Mrs. 1965. brother of his father.. Mempin & Reyes Law Offices for private respondents. 1964. Nicanor A. 1965 a stipulation of facts. Padilla. to the time of his death on November 23..000 as actual and compensatory damages. At the time of his death. J. PAL denied that the accident was caused by its negligence or that of any of the plane's flight crew. In its answer. He was also Vice-President and Treasurer of the Allied Overseas Trading Co.Ambrosio Padilla. his only legal heir. As a result of her son's death. and a resident of and with postal address at No. On November 23. is a corporation duly organized. Padilla was born on January 10. 247) Gral. On June 8. Padilla should be computed on the basis of his life expectancy. as a common carrier in the business of carrying or transporting by air passengers and goods. 26 bound for Manila from the City of Iloilo on November 23. graduated the Reserve Officer's Course (Infantry Basic Course) Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1949. moreover. the damages sought were excessive and speculative. On November 23. He was 29 years old. on its way to Manila. Padilla. 6. 2. including the plane's complement. 1960.. Starlight Flight No. the parties submitted a partial stipulation of facts providing as follows: 1. he was the President and General Manager of the Padilla Shipping Co.. high school in 1947. demanding payment of P600. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) International and Chairman of its Committee on Governmental Affairs for the term 1960-1961. of legal age. 1931. The plane did not reach its destination but crashed on Mt. he was associated with the law offices of Senator Ambrosio Padilla. on "Star Light Flight" No. Nicanor A. Natividad A. Padilla finished the elementary grades in 1943. plus exemplary damages and P60. all in Ateneo de Manila. It had flown almost 18." 7. Inc. a DC-3 type aircraft manufactured in 1942 and acquired by PAL in 1948.The plane was Identified as PI-C133. Nicanor A. His mother. Mindoro. Inc. who died on September 2. Vda. rather than the life expectancy of private respondent. PI-C133. with offices at Makati Bldg. This Committee on Governmental Affairs published a pamphlet entitled "Good Government is our Business.. Manila. 26 of the Philippine Air Lines (hereafter PAL) took off from the Manduriao Airport in Iloilo.000 as attorney's fees. single. He was admitted by the Supreme Court of the Philippines to practice law on January 28. Padilla. 3. a DC-3 with registry No. one hour and fifteen minutes after takeoff . or a negative manifestation in case they failed to submit a stipulation. Among the fatalities was Nicanor Padilla who was a passenger on the star crossed flight. with 33 persons on board. the trial court issued a pre-trial order requiring the parties to file on or before January 30.

(b) the Standard Industrial. On October 15. Oriental Mindoro on November 23. Tuguegarao. University of Michigan and member of the Actuarial Society of the Philippine. 'fifth columns on both pages. The aircraft (PI-C133) that crashed on Mt. the Sterling Life Insurance Co. Army and was purchased from the latter by the Commercial Air lines. and Star life Insurance Co.. Said request was granted and the registration number was changed from PI-C142 to PI-C133 on July 29. The defendant Philippine Air Lines acquired the plane from the Commercial Air Lines. Other facts on which the parties cannot agree will be subject to proof at the trial. appearing in Exhibit "B-1". That of the life expectancy based on the different systems mentioned in said Exhibits "C". 1949. That Salvador B... Inc. on October 15. That in the book written by Salvador B. 11 7." refers to the age of the individual. Salvosa. appearing in the same Exhibit "B". the parties submitted another partial stipulation of facts: 1..90" years. a photostat of which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A. 1954. PI-C133 was issued a certificate of airworthiness by the Civil Aeronautics Administration on September 13. 6." the complete life expectancy of Filipinos appear on page 3 thereof.. 39-42. "Filipino Experience Mortality Table. Baco. Inc. Baco. Record on Appeal. Padilla died single. 4. 1961. 1953. entitled. the day before the fatal crash on Mt. corresponding life expec tancy of said person under column 'oex' is "17. and (c) the 1941 Commissioner Standard Ordinary. on September 25. a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit "I" and made a part of this stipulation." a person aged 29. PIC142 met with a non-fatal accident at Piat. Nicanor A. It was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Corporation of the United States for the U. a third joint partial stipulation of facts was submitted by the parties to the trial court 69 . and the columns "oe x" refers to the corresponding number of years the individuals expected to live. 11. "C-l".. and that the same has been approved by the Insurance Commissioner for the use of life insurance companies doing business in the Philippines as shown by a certificate issued by said Commissioner which is attached hereto as Exhibit "B". "C-2" and "C-3". PAL requested the Civil Aeronautics Administration for a change in the identification mark. third column. 1960 which was to expire on September 12. Consulting Actuaries of St. (pp. was a twinengine passenger plane of the Philippine Air Lines of the DC-3 type. Record on Appeal. Thus. Solano St. 117. (pp. "sixth column on both pages (pages 12 and 13 of the book). 10." 2. the columns under the heading "Age x. 3. Rollo. the corresponding life expectancy of said person under column "oex" is "42. p. Cagayan. "C-1". 34-39. under the column "Age x. 1966. 1946. Missouri. and under said column "Age x" a person aged 60.8. 1948. 1970. That the book of Nelson and Warren. contains a table of comparison of complete life expectancy based on principal mortality tables used by life insurance companies. p.S.996:33 hours. on both pages (pages 14 and 15 of the book).. That the materiality and applicability [sic] of the life expectancy tables shown in Exhibit A or Exhibits "C". 1960.) On March 19. The aircraft was registered by Philippine Air Lines with the Civil Aeronautics Administration as PI-C142 on May 10. Manila. a photostat of which is likewise attached hereto as Exhibits "C".) On January 15. entitled: "Principal Mortality Tables". the Cardinal Life Insurance Co. "C-2". Rollo. 1960. or CSO 1941 for short. "C-2" and "C-3" are left to the judgment of the Honorable Court. the first column corresponding to the age of the individual (pages 12 and 13 of the book). and "C-3". the following are also used in the Philippines for life insurance purposes: (a) the American Experience appearing in Exhibit "B". "C-1". M." including the table of life expectancy are used by the Philippine International life Insurance Co. Luis and Kansas cities. That in said Exhibit "A". 9.60" years. 5. Salvosa's "Filipino Experience Mortality Table. PI-C133 had a total flying time of 17. leaving as his nearest of kin and sole heiress to his estate his mother the plaintiff herein with whom he was residing at the time of his death at 970 Gral.S. As [ofl November 22.

6 & 6-A b) Check No. (ii) Aircraft Engine Overhaul Shop. 6-E and 6-F. Defendant in November. (ii) Terminating Check: — the visual inspection of the aircraft performed in stations were aircraft terminated a flight and where maintenance men are assigned. 3 d) PI. (iii) After Maintenance Check: — the visual inspection of an aircraft preparatory to any flight following the completion of any check from Check No. The forms used and accomplished for the various checks were: Description Exhibit a) Preflight check sheet. to wit: (a) Check No. 2. 4 which is accomplished every 500 flying hours. 6-C. (f) Check No.which reads. (iii) Aircraft Instrument.-CAA Rating Grant to operate a repair station with ratings on (i) Aircraft of Composite Construction. (ii) Aircraft of all Metal Construction. (e) Check No. including DC-3C Daily Airplane and Engine Routine and Cleaning Routine. Air Force.S. 8-A to 8-XX d) Check No.S.A. 9. KLM and other foreign airlines. respectfully submit the following partial stipulation of facts: 1. 4. Also in 1960 defendant was maintaining and following a CAA approved system of aircraft maintenance control using worksheets and work card which record the specific job on any particular aircraft. Defendant maintained and repaired aircrafts of the U. They are: a) Preflight inspections consisting of the — (i) Through Check: — the visual inspection of an aircraft prior to flight and performed in stations where maintenance men are assigned.S. 5 which is accomplished every 1. 10-A to 9 work control cards. The Quality Control Division is the custodian of all worksheets for the checks performed and under PICAA regulations. 4 consisting of a work control card. 1 known as daily inspection check. U. 6-D. 3 which is accomplished every 250 flying hours. consisting of 37 work control cards. 4 2. and foreign registries and as such holds the following: Description Exhibit a) US FAA Air Agency 1 Certificate b) US FAA Repair Station Operations Specifications (2 pages) PI.250 flying hours.2 and 2-A c) CAA Rating Grant to operate Repair Station with ratings on [sic] (i) Aircraft Metal propeller Hubs Overhaul Shop. 5 consisting of 00. 7-A to 7-KK c) Check No. is required to keep the records for at least 90 days. 1 to Cheek No. (c) Check No. 1960 and even before was authorized and rated to repair aircrafts of U. 2 which is accomplished every 125 hours. 11-A to 70 . 8. 6 which is a series broken down into 6. Navy and commercial carriers like PANAM Northwest Airways. 9-A to 9-F e) Check No. 6-A consisting of 11. (d) Check No. 5. 3. 3 consisting of 49 work control cards. thus: JOINT FIRST PARTIAL STIPULATION OF FACTS Plaintiff and defendant through their respective counsel. 5. 6. (b) Check No. 10-H f) Check No. 6-B.

6-D consisting of 14. 1963 17 . they would give the same testimony as shown in the afore-mentioned transcript of stenographic notes on direct examination. 11-(G) g) Check No.166) g. If aforenamed witnesses were called to testify in this case. A fourth partial stipulation of facts was submitted by the parties. Rollo. Eduardo Estrella October 14. 1963 75 . cross and recross examination by the plaintiff's counsels in Davila vs. Antonio Lopez October 15. 1963 6 . (pp. Felipe Paculaba October 15. 1964 3 . to wit: Transcript of Witnesses Stenographic Notes At Pages Exhibit a Mario Rodriguez October 30. objections. The transcript of stenographic notes are attached hereto and marked as above set forth. Alfredo Subesa March 20.R. 1963 39 . 1962 1 .27) h. Record on Appeal. Certified copy of said transcript of stenographic notes were then submitted to the trial court. Ramon Pedrosa December 19. Vicente Sison October 14. 6-C consisting of 13.89 45 n. 6-B consisting of 12.67 37 October 31. No.39) c. 1963 15 . 6-F consisting of 16. Offer of documentary evidence February 6. 42-46. 1963 91 . 12-A to 114 work control cards.83 44 m. as the case may be plaintiffs counsel hereby adopting the manifestations.88) e. Ponciano Saldaña March 19. 1963 6 . 13-A to 117 work control cards 13-(I) i) Check No.76) 2. Melecio Joson March 20. 1963 11 .25) 43 k. p. considering that defendant's evidence on the basic issues of fortuitous event and extraordinary diligence of the carrier consists of the witnesses and documents presented in Civil Case No.161) 42 f.16-A to 118 work control cards 16-(M) The parties reserve their right to agree to additional stipulation of facts and/or to adduce evidence on other matters not covered by this stipulation. cross-examination and re-direct examination. 5720 of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo entitled "Pedro R.112 work control cards. Arturo Camatoy March 19.15-A to 120 work control cards." now pending appeal before the Supreme Court in G. Jaime Manzano February 6. reading as follows: PARTIAL STIPULATION OF FACTS Plaintiff and defendant respectfully submit the following partial stipulation of facts: 1. 1964 18 .55) l.74 39 October 14. as reflected in the corresponding transcript of stenographic notes. 117. supra and so far as the joint hearings held on December 20. Tirol. 1963 and February 6. 14-(E) j) Check No. 1963 17 . arising out of the same accident. Pedro N. defendant has proposed to reproduce in this case the testimonies of same witnesses and documentary evidence Identified and marked in the course of the same proceedings.14-A to 110 work control cards. Davila vs. 1964. 5728 and 2790 of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo. All exhibits mentioned and identified are attached to this stipulation. L-28512.74) i. Isaac Lamela October 15. 1963 4 . PAL. also of plaintiff's counsels in 71 . Mallari March 19. 1963 27 . 1962 67 . Cesar Mijares December 20. 1963 162 . 1972. 1963 26 . Preciosa C. 12-(J) h) Check No. the parties stipulated that they were reproducing the testimonial and documentary evidence presented in Civil Cases Nos.15 j.75) 41 d.) During the hearing on September 4. 15-(E) k) Check No.15) 46 o. For the convenience and brevity of these proceedings. 6-E consisting of 15. 1963 15 . 3.11 40 b.153 38 January 7.

Jr. Pedro Davila. Even in the absence of local statute and case law. Brief for the Defendant-Appellant. the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto. For the settlement of the issue at hand. (Emphasis supplied. testified that the deceased. 117. 6. The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or quasi. it was manifested in court that "the parties agreed that they will abide with whatever decision the Supreme Court may have in similar cases involving the same airplane crash accident then pending before other courts pending decision in Supreme Court" (p. PAL. 1764.delict shall be at least three thousand pesos. Rollo.) On Appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA-G. that upon learning of the death of her son in the plane crash. .500 monthly. 47-50. not of his beneficiary. private respondent Padilla testified that her son. As pointed out at the outset. the trial court promulgated a decision. . 5. Art. P10. and a legal assistant of the Padilla Law Office. 19. declared that the deceased was the President and General of the firm and received a salary of P1. p. the proceeds of which were paid to his sister. Rollo). as established by authorities. and thus erred in awarding what appears to the petitioner as the excessive sum of P477. The trial court in its decision stated that on March 19. 1970.R.000. such indemnity shall in every case be assessed and awarded by the court. Damages in cases comprised in this Section shall be awarded in accordance with Title XVIII of this Book. and to pay the costs. but also the manner of computing the damages due the plaintiff therein which it based on the life expectancy of the deceased. 119. Inc. vs. Article 2206 shall also apply to the death of a passenger caused by the breach of contract by a common carrier. she suffered shock and mental anguish. was one of the incorporators of the company and also its vice-president and treasurer. judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendant Philippine Air Lines. (pp. Nicanor Padilla. to pay the plaintiff Natividad A. 59-60. Civil Case No. whichever is shorter (p. also of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo.Abeto. auditor of the Padilla Shipping Company. Record on Appeal. All the documentary evidence marked in the course of the hearings shown in the transcripts of stenographic notes attached hereto have already been marked correspondingly before the Commissioner of this Honorable Court on a hearing held on May 24. The articles provide: Art. Rec. President and General Manager of Padilla Shipping Company at Iloilo City.00 as moral damages. there are enough applicable local laws and jurisprudence. 5790. single.00 as attorney's fees. et al. even though there may have been mitigating circumstances. resort to foreign jurisprudence would be proper only if no law or jurisprudence is available locally to settle a controversy. P10. prior to his death. p.) In the case of Davila vs. 1973. in good health. 1980. receiving a monthly salary of P455. Eduardo Mate. 2206. manager of the Allied Overseas Trading Company. (pp.) In addition to the stipulations of facts. de Padilla the sum of P477.00 as award for the expected income of the deceased Nicanor. 117. unless the deceased on account of permanent physical disability not caused by the defendant. Record on Appeal. Nicanor Padilla. this Court determined not only PALs liability for negligence or breach of contract. Petitioner relies on "the principle of law generally recognized and applied by the courts in the United States" that "the controlling element in determining loss of earnings arising from death is.000. p. was 29 years old. Rollo. 49 SCRA 497 which involved the same tragic plane crash. and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter. Isaac M. This Court held thus: 72 . No. had no earning capacity at the time of his death. Reyes. concerning Damages. the lone issue is whether or not the respondent court erred in computing the awarded indemnity on the basis of the life expectancy of the late Nicanor A. p. Padilla rather than on the life expectancy of private respondent. Rollo) On August 31. In addition: (1) The defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the deceased.000.000. on Appeal. 117. Defendant reserves its right to present evidence on the question of damages. foreign jurisprudence is only persuasive. . PAL. 56079-R) dated July 17. However. 4.000 as indemnity for loss of earnings. the life expectancy of the deceased or of the beneficiary. Plaintiff reserves her right to present such further evidence as she may deem proper in rebuttal. because her son who was still single was living with her. Vda. Under Article 1764 and Article 2206(1) of the Civil Code. the award of damages for death is computed on the basis of the life expectancy of the deceased. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. 1968 with the same exhibit identification. 51. and that Nicanor had a life insurance of P20.

Considering how inflation has depleted the value of the judgment in her favor.000 (not P477. the private respondent herself has already joined her son in the Great Beyond without being able to receive the indemnity she well deserved. leaving a net yearly income of P7. 117. Rules of Court).000). At that age one's normal life expectancy is 33-1/3 years. 58. Rollo).000 from the Padilla Shipping Company and P5. Record on Appeal. Nicanor A. undermines instead of supporting its stand here. since they were cross-examined by petitioner's counsel. 85247 July 30. 109 Phil. G. 592.00.200.100 from the Allied Overseas Trading Corporation. Dy vs. No. PAL. from managing a radio station. 13 SCRA 611. The payrolls of the companies and the decedent's income tax returns could. according to the formula (2/3 x [80-30]) adopted by this Court in the case of Villa Rey Transit. resulting in a net income of P13. the petitioner should pay legal rate of interest on the indemnity due her.900 (not P15. Pedro Davila. seems to Us reasonable. As observed by the Court of Appeals.100 based on his yearly salaries of P18.200 as yearly living expenses. 1993 73 . namely. multiplied by 25 years. It is reasonable to make an allowance for these circumstances and consider. (pp. This amount. any objections to their competence and the admissibility of their testimonies. However. or P7.800. is error. The failure of the trial court to award such interest amounts to a "plain error" which we may rectify on appeal although it was not specified in the appellee's brief (Sec. and in any event. vs. a deduction of P600. Rules of Court).The deceased. were deemed waived. The petitioner is ordered to pay the private respondent or her heirs death indemnity in the sum of P417. Costs against the petitioner. Considering that he was single. Inc.. Surro. in the interest of justice.000.) The petitioner's recourse to our decision in Alcantara vs. for the indemnity in that case was also based on the life expectancy of the deceased and not of his beneficiaries. 30.000) which is the amount of death indemnity due his mother and only forced heir (p. a reduction of his life expectancy to 25 years. because of the 16 year delay in the disposition of this case. the trial court allowed him a life expectancy of 30 years.00 a year. Zaballero. was single and 30 years of age when he died. The witnesses Mate and Reyes. The decision of the trial court is affirmed with modification. Jr. for purposes of this case. his medical history shows that he had complained of and been treated for such ailments as backaches. the court deducted P9. Padilla (Sec. Multiplying his annual net income of P13. have constituted the best evidence of his salaries. Borromeo vs. the petition is dismissed. 332). no timely objection was made to their testimonies. Rule 51.00 is the amount which should be awarded to the plaintiffs in this particular respect. 472.900 as erroneously stated in the decision). p.900 by his life expectancy of 30 years. from law practice and from farming. Rule 130.00 a month. xxx xxx xxx Considering the fact that the deceased was getting his income from three (3) different sources. until it is fully paid. although the deceased was in relatively good health. but there is no rule disqualifying competent officers of the corporation from testifying on the compensation of the deceased as an officer of the same corporation. with legal rate of interest of 6% per annum from the date of the judgment on August 31. were competent to testify on matters within their personal knowledge because of their positions. CA. the trial court determined the victims gross annual income to be P23. 49 SCRA 497. 93 Phil. Court of Appeals on the basis of the American Expectancy Table of Mortality or the Actuarial of Combined Experience Table of Mortality. Kuizon. chest pains and occasional feelings of tiredness. Since Nicanor Padilla was only 29 years old and in good health. SO ORDERED. Together with his living expenses. who were respectively the manager and auditor of Allied Overseas Trading Company and Padilla Shipping Company.000 (not P477. but its perception that such evidence was not presented in this case. While as a general rule.R. such as the income and salary of the deceased. 7. 1973. it is true. 113 Phil. or P195. we nevertheless find merit in the private respondent's plea for relief for the long delay this case has suffered on account of the petitioner's multiple appeals. Rollo. the product is P417. the expenses incidental to the generation of such income were necessarily more than if he had only one source. 504-505. an appellee who has not appealed is not entitled to affirmative relief other than the ones granted in the decision of the court below (Aparri vs. The petitioner's contention that actual damages under Article 2206 of the Civil Code must be proven by clear and satisfactory evidence is correct. Following the procedure used by the Supreme Court in the case of Davila vs. WHEREFORE. Indeed.

Then he was forced into a jeep. Many cases decided by this Court have shown that drug-pushers do not confine their transactions only to known customers. Forensic Chemist Zenaida Sinfuego of the PCCL testified on the result of her laboratory examination. he pleaded to be allowed to pass by his house as he said he was under probation. and CIC Felix Arroyo as members. CRUZ. Marcelino did not offer the marked money as an exhibit. Marcelino was caught red-handed at a buy-bust operation conducted by a NARCOM team at half past six in the evening of January 22. In his brief. Marcelino recognized him and immediately took flight. which are factual in nature. Eleuterio Salde. Frightened. who said he followed the pursuers when he heard the two shots and saw how they mauled and arrested Marcelino and put the plastic bag in his mouth." 1 He is now before this Court to challenge the factual findings that led to his conviction. Sgt.00 for only P50. It is this conclusion that the appellant now questions. near the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City. the other team members. 6 The trial court.000. 7 We do not find his assessment incorrect.00 worth of marijuana. vs. in finding for the prosecution. We have said time and again that these are issues best resolved by the trial judge because he has the opportunity to directly observe the witnesses and to determine by their demeanor whether they are telling or falsifying the truth. He contends that the trial court should have given more credence to his testimony and the corroboration of Hiponia as being more conformable to human experience and the constitutional presumption of innocence in his favor.00. 2 The seized plastic bag was sent to the PC Crime Laboratory for examination and was later found to contain marijuana. the trial court convicted Edwin Marcelino of violating Section 4. Moreover. The appellant raises questions of credibility. Benito Bonete. They kicked his waist and pistol-whipped the back of his head. In the case at bar. for the mock transaction. 5 Marcelino was corroborated by Melvin Hiponia.000 he was carrying when they reached the police station. with Sgt. 4 Marcelino took the stand and denied the charge.00 bill and a P10.00 bill. He was stripped and divested of the P30. both marked. Such findings are received with respect and even as binding unless the record shows that they are flawed and should therefore be reversed. J. whereupon Bonete boxed him on the chest and pulled out a gun. He testified that he approached Marcelino that night and said he wanted to buy P50. Cabaron for accused-appellant. Marcelino argues that he would not have sold marijuana to a person he did not know and in a public place at that. considering that they were total strangers. Bonete took a plastic bag from his pocket and gagged Marcelino with it. 8 Notably. The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. considered the evidence for the defense to be contrived. even strangers are accommodated provided they have the money to pay. now moved toward the two. 1987. As Bonete approached. Seeing the delivery.: The questions presented in criminal cases are mainly if not exclusively factual. He said he would have to get his parents' permission first. He wonders why Bagasa would have given him P60. accused-appellant. the appellant contradicts himself when he also argues in his brief that he would not have transacted with Bagasa 74 . EDWIN MARCELINO. As found by Judge Jose D. but they rejected his request. The team was headed by Lt. Marcelino returned after five minutes with a plastic bag which he handed to Gabasa. plaintiff-appellee. 3 Bagasa and Bonete were corroborated by Salde. Macelino took to his heels but stopped when he heard two shots from behind him. age 11. These arguments are unacceptable. where the police had earlier begun a surveillance because of confidential reports of rampant drug pushing there. Article II of the Dangerous Drugs Act and sentenced him "to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P20. He claimed he was going home that night after watching a basketball game when Bonete and another man accosted him and told to come with them to police headquarters. Azarraga of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo.00 worth of marijuana. the task of the higher court is usually limited to the ascertainment of whether the factual findings of the trial court have been correctly reached. Bonete said he fired two warning shots and Marcelino stopped in his tracks as they surrounded and captured him. and even before he could deliver it. who had deployed themselves unobtrusively some ten meters away. Gabasa was to act as the buyer and was given a P50. Bonete and his companion then manhandled him right there on the street. On the way to the police station. They then took him to police headquarters for investigation.PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Where a conviction is appealed. Liberato T. Rodrigo Gabasa. Marcelino left to get it after receiving the marked money from him.

Only this 11-year old boy. "to prove a specific intent or knowledge. Then. he was felled down by a volley of shots. She saw Florencio Odencio (Poren). L-31961 January 9. and no medical certificate of injuries. at about seven o'clock in the evening of June 29. custom or usage and the like. 1979 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. public streets and markets. These circumstances may be taken as evidence against him under Rule 130. who was near the stairs. Remarkably. His playmates did not go with him." Given the fact that the transaction took place in a public place and in the early evening (as the appellant himself emphasizes). The conduct of Bagasa regarding the money is. had fallen to the ground around three arms' length from Daongan's house. scheme. Baguio. Penillos 11 and People v. Those in the street would have paused to watch the impromptu show. North Cotabato. reiterating People v. Setie rushed to the aid of her husband. 1968. not reclusion perpetua. FLORENCIO ODENCIO and GUIAMELON MAMA. According to the prosecution. the Court finds it significant that only one witness corroborated Marcelino. Calanog for appellants. system. No. 5276). A different manner might have aborted the operation. No one else but the boy. saw the pistol-whipping of the appellant. curious but this must have been part of the team strategy of not unduly arousing Marcelino's suspicions. she heard another volley of shots. the appealed judgment is AFFIRMED as above modified and the appeal is DISMISSED. no one else saw the incident in that busy street near the university. The penalty prescribed by the Dangerous Drugs Act for the offense charged is life imprisonment. She noticed that Kadir Oranen. she saw Guiamelon Mama holding a gun near a coconut tree around six brazas away. The sentence must. Daongan Karaing. while Prowa Talib (Palua Talib). Pigcawayan. Many persons would have even come out of their houses. with costs against the appellant. Apparently. As for the non-presentation of the marked money as evidence for the prosecution. vs. Manuel P. only Mervin Hiponia seems to have witnessed the incident. also holding a gun near another coconut tree around ten meters away in the yard of the house of her neighbor.000 to the heirs of Prowa Talib and P12. 12 WHEREFORE. Kadir died instantly. habit. Yet. J. handing a pot of rice to his wife. We have also affirmed the conviction of drug-pushers who have not hesitated to operate in billiard halls. 10 It is less so in the case before us because the object of the sham sale was itself offered as an exhibit. He alone boldly followed the pursuers and witnessed the arrest of the appellant.000 to the heirs of Kadir Oranen (Criminal Case No. plan. Section 34 of the Rules of Court. 75 . This distinction was emphasized in Administrative Circular No. We are satisfied with the trial court that the guilt of the appellant of the crime charged has been established beyond reasonable doubt. we have held in several decisions that this is not a fatal omission. 6-A-92 dated June 21. they must all have scampered in fright. The constitutional presumption of innocence has been overcome not because the evidence of the defense is weak but because the evidence of the prosecution is strong. When she looked in the direction where the gunshots emanated. Further probing revealed that his conviction was for drug-pushing also and that another information against him for a similar offense had been provisionally dismissed. whom the trial court disbelieved for his letter-perfect testimony. The two warning shots must have attracted attention and caused the people to see what was going on. identity. Reclusion perpetua carries accessory penalties that do not attach to life imprisonment. was in the yard of his house located at Barrio Simsiman. and other public places in open defiance of the law. It was Marcelino himself who invited attention to his past criminal record when he testified that he was on probation. plaintiff-appellee. 1993. however. who was still playing tansan at half past six that night. who was nearby.: Florencio Odencio and Guiamelon Mama appealed from the decision of the Court of First Instance of North Cotabato. sentencing each of them to two reclusion perpetuas. AQUINO.R. Office of the Solicitor General for appellee. indeed. G. finding them guilty of two separate crimes of murder. although Marcelino was allegedly hit several times in the back of his head with a pistol. a forty-year old farmer. It is so ordered. heard the shots: if others did. by the defense account. 9 Their own recklessness is certainly not evidence of their innocence. be corrected. Setie Mamalintao. there was no report of blood. and ordering them to pay P12.because he knew some of his companions. accused-appellants.

The two assailants fled westward. Rongot saw Setie crying and holding Talib on her lap. Sañada executed an affidavit reciting the circumstances surrounding the taking thereof. Sañada testified in court on Talib's dying declaration. the trial court observed that the accused were indubitably Identified as the assailants in Talib's dying declarations to his wife and Patrolman Sañada. that he had no misunderstanding with Talib. Prior to that shooting incident. and that. and. At the time the incident occurred. In disbelieving the alibis of Florencio and Guiamelon. In that unsigned antemortem declaration. the incumbent mayor. The trial court acquitted Joseph and convicted only Florencio and Guiamelon. He asked Guiamelon why there were gunshots but the latter did not make any reply. the gunshots on the occasion in question. that he was arrested while he was attending Talib's funeral. on the other hand. B) as taken down by Patrolman Sañada Talib was brought to the hospital. On September 19. the candidate of the Liberal Party. They waived the second stage of the preliminary investigation. a Constabularly Sergeant. On July 1. who testified that he was present when Patrolman Sañada interrogated Talib and that the latter declared that he was not able to recognize his assailant because it was dark. He died on the following day. adopted the same line of defense. The accused presented Samuel Jubilan. Setie informed them that Guiamelon was the gunwielder. Guiamelon suspected Talib of having stolen the carabao of Damiog. He was arrested on the following day. Poren's father-in-law. instead. an information was filed in the Court of First Instance against Guiamelon Florencio Odencio and Joseph Odencio. He encountered Guiamelon and Joseph Odencio with both of whom he was well acquainted. June 30. No autopsy was performed on the body of Oranen who. being the brother of his stepmother. The other accused. 1968. Talib also articulated his belief that he was going to die because he could hardly breathe and his wound was painful. as noted above. He directed her to remember what had happened to him and that they had seen Guiamelon Mama and Poren armed with guns. who is his father's brother-in-law. a thirty-two year-old farmer. Setie also told Towa that Florencio Odencio had shot Oranen. 1968. He hastened to Talib's house. denied that he shot Talib and that he had a misunderstanding with Oranen and Talib with both of whom he was acquainted. he voted for Estañol. Florencio Odencio and Florencio's father. 1968 or within forty-eight hours after taking Talib's unsigned antemortem statement. While Setie was comforting her husband. In his defense.Setie had known for a long time Florencio and Guiamelon who were friends and neighbors also residing in Barrio Simsiman. She advised her uncle not to use his flashlight because Guiamelon was still in the vicinity. Talib revealed that Florencio Odencio suspected that he and Oranen had masterminded the theft of Joseph Odencio's two carabaos. he allegedly told her that he was going to die. and that he came to know his co-accused Florencio Odencio only in jail. It was stated further in the same dying declaration that Talib had told Patrolman Sañada that he wanted to sign it but that he could not do so because of the wound in his arm. The autopsy disclosed that Talib sustained eight gunshot wounds in the back or posterior chest wall. Due to the critical condition of Talib (nagaagonto). a thirty-year-old farmer. Joseph Odencio. Florencio testified that he was in his house when the shooting occurred. Sañada said he did not know of that interrogation made by Jubilan. Florencio. Upon reaching Talib's house. Towa left Talib's house in order to get assistance from his father-in-law. Florencio's alibi was corroborated by his wife and his brother-in-law. his father's second wife. Joseph Odencio and Angelico Aposaga. He declared that he was also in his house when Talib was shot. Setie and Guiamelon had cultivated adjacent farmlands. the father-in-law of Guiamelon. Antonio Cesar. Florencio Odencio. died at the scene of the crime. On July 1. Setie told him that Talib was shot by Guiamelon and she pointed to him Oranen's corpse which was about two arms' length from Talib. 1968. He surmised that he was implicated in the case because he did not support Mayor Doruelo. Setie told him that Guiamelon Mama had shot Talib. another neighbor and the uncle of Setie heard. he was not able to sign his dying declaration (Exh. a complaint for double murder was filed in the municipal court against Guiamelon. While crossing the trail his flashlight focussed on Florencio Odencio with two companions leaving the scene of the crime. Policemen arrived at Talib's house. Setie Mamalintao in her statement to the police declared that she was able to recognize Florencio and 76 . Ngelam Towa (Nilan Tuwa). They brought Talib to a medical clinic where he was interrogated by Patrolman Joaquin Sañada Talib told Sañada that his assailants were Guiamelon. Guiamelon Mama. Prowa Talib had reported to the barrio captain that Florencio Odencio had stolen his lumber. Japal Rongot was on his way to Talib's house.

Revised Penal Code). and the prosecution has the burden to establish his guilt. Cagayan in Criminal Case No. They proceeded to the clinic of Dr. an eyewitness. which was to liquidate the victims because the latter allegedly stole the carabaos of the relatives of the accused.: A person charged with conspiracy to commit a crime is presumed to be innocent. Stacy was carried into the jeep of Foster. The manner in which they shot the victims shows treachery. if he is able to give the substance thereof. pp.. accused-appellants. of reproducing exactly the words of the decedent. the witness. GANCAYCO. On the way to the clinic. the contention of appellants' counsel de oficio that they had not been sufficiently Identified as the killers cannot be sustained. 11. 315-316. stationed themselves in a place where they could shoot the victims with impunity without any risk to themselves or without exposing themselves to any retaliation since the victims did not expect to be assaulted at that time and place. Moreover. appellee. Therefore. they are each liable for the two murders. That contention is not correct. Exh. thus showing a coordination of efforts and community of design.000 each. They were animated by the same motive. Pulmano in Centro.R. the forty-year limit fixed in article 70 of the Revised Penal Code should be observed. On leaving the scene of the crime. Talib's antemortem statement fortifies the testimony of his widow. Another contention of counsel de oficio is that the trial court erred in finding that Guiamelon and Odencio conspired to kill Talib and Oranen. 27. his connection with. J. They shot the two victims in the same place and almost simultaneously.) We are satisfied that the guilt of the appellants was proven beyond reasonable doubt. VIII-12 dated July 15. a policeman. 1970 Ed. another man named Pedro Tapuro stopped the jeep to ride 77 . 1967. Exh. of course. The record does not disclose any reason why Setie Mamalintao and Patrolman Sañada would frame up the appellants. Appellants' counsel further contends that they were convicted on the basis of the wife's uncorroborated testimony "which is open to suspicion due to inherent improbabilities'' and "motives to falsify the truth". vs. p. Record). they proceeded in the same direction (westward). That contention is belied by the evidence. The shooting was not the product of momentary impulse. (See 5 Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court.Guiamelon because there was a "big torch" in front of her house and Karaing's house (No. and participation in the conspiracy. who heard it. FELIPE ELIZAGA and MARCOS ELIZAGA (deceased). As stated above. the trial court properly penalized each murder with reclusion perpetua (Arts. 1). while driving his jeep on Taquiqui Bridge in Gattaran. Talib's dying declaration was sufficiently proven. two witnesses saw the accused in the vicinity of Talib's house shortly after the shooting. The rule is that a dying declaration may be oral or written If oral. Cagayan. With the help of one Romulo Tolentino. may testify thereto without the necessity. The trial court noted that there "was a good amount of lighting in the yard of Prowa Talib because he was preparing" supper when he was shot and that Setie was able to recognize the accused because she had been acquainted with them for a long time. Costs against the appellants. Gattaran. An unsigned dying declaration may be used as a memorandum by the witness who took it down. 64[1] and 248. taking advantage of the cover of night. As they were coconspirators. 1986. We have stressed that two other witnesses saw the appellants leaving the scene of the crime. The trial court's judgment is affirmed with the sole modification that the two appellants should be held solidarity liable for the two indemnities of P12. In the service of the two reclusion perpetuas. 78794 November 21. There being no modifying circumstances concomitant with the commission of the two assassinations. 19. lying along a canal with a gunshot wound in his stomach. This Court reiterates this principle in this Decision acquitting herein appellant Felipe Elizaga of the crime of murder and reversing the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Aparri. SO ORDERED. 1988 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Tomas Foster saw Wilson Stacy. Guiamelon and Odencio were seen pacing back and forth near Talib's house on the day of the incident (No. No. G. There was alevosia because the two malefactors. The facts are as follows: On October 8. 1.

committed as follows: That on or about October 8. 1967. conspiring together and helping each other. the said accused. How do you feel? A. Third Error: THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN MAKING A FINDING OF TREACHERY IN THE SHOOTING OF THE VICTIM BY WHOEVER THE ASSAILANT WAS. with intent to kill. did then and there wilfully. Just right now at 4:30 PM this 8th day of October 1967. After due trial. with evident premeditation and with treachery. On March 5. Dr. inflicting upon him wounds on his body.000. 2 In his appeal. Second Error: ASSUMING THAT THERE WERE THREE ASSAILANTS. explained to Foster that he was the pilot of the canoe which Stacy rode when the latter was shot. Stacy answered. which wounds caused his death. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 1967. appeared in court. province of Cagayan.000.with them. an Information was filed with the Court of First Instance of Aparri. Yes sir. Accused Felipe Elizaga is hereby ordered to indemnify the heirs of deceased Wilson Stacy the sum of Nine Thousand ( P9. appellant Felipe Elizaga assigns the following errors on the part of the trial court: First Error: THAT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING AND CONSIDERING EXHIBIT "A" THE ALLEGED DYING DECLARATION OF THE DECEASED WILSON STACY. defined and penalized under Article 248. Felipe Elizaga and Marcos Elizaga. When and where were you shot? A. and Pabling Molina. 1976. of the Revised Penal Code. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: WHEREFORE. Felipe Elizaga was convicted of murder in the Decision of the lower court dated July 15. the following requisites must concur: (a) That the declaration must concern the cause and surrounding circumstances of the declarant's death. Tapuro. Pulmano immediately attended to the wounded policeman. who was wounded in the arm. 78 . the declarant was under a consciousness of an impending death. in the municipality of Gattaran. the herein appellant. What happened to you? A. I was shot by Marcos Elizaga. Iping Elizaga and Pabling Molina. 3 We disagree with the appellant that the lower court erred in admitting the dying declaration of Wilson Stacy which is restated here as follows: Q. this Court finds accused Felipe Elizaga guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences said accused to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. at the close traffic at Takiki Creek." In as much as the clinic lacked the necessary medical facilities. 1 Since Marcos Elizaga already passed away. Q. Please state your name? A. When asked as to what happened to him. PREMISES CONSIDERED.00 ) Pesos as compensatory damages and the sum of Thirty Thousand ( P30. Q. While Stacy was being treated. Acting Provincial Fiscal. accuses Felipe Elizaga and Marcos Elizaga of the crime of Murder. 1986. and to pay the costs of this suit. unlawfully and feloniously assault. despite medical attendance. However. Fourth Error: THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT ACQUITTING THE APPELLANT OF THE CRIME CHARGED IN THE INFORMATION. I think I am going to die if the Lord will not help me. "I was shot by Marcos Elizaga. only Felipe Elizaga. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING CONSPIRACY AMONG THEM. Q. (b) That at the time the declaration was made. attack and shoot one Wilson Stacy. Wilson Stacy. In case you die do you want this statement of yours be brought to court for evidence? A. Q. Stacy died on October 10. When they arrived at the clinic. another policeman named Rodrigo Sales took his statement for the police report. Iping Elizaga. 4 In order that a dying declaration may be admissible in evidence.00 ) Pesos as moral damages. Cagayan which reads as follows: The undersigned. Stacy had to be transferred to the Calaminiugan Emergency Hospital. armed with guns.

. it is necessary that it be proved that he killed the victim or acted in conspiracy with the one who killed him. second. during. appellant was in the store of Eustaquio Gumabao playing pool. like any other ingredient of the offense. appellant herein. The Solicitor General submits that the lower court erred in making a finding of conspiracy. murder. For an accused to be convicted of murder. We have held that conspiracy. the question now is this-"Can appellant Elizaga be convicted of murder based on such dying declaration?" We answer in the negative. is even a colleague of the victim in the police force. applying the same rules used in testing the weight and credibility of a testimony of a living witness. 5 It is evident from the facts that the first. Pedro Tapuro. No eyewitness to the crime was presented in court. 8 Again. Pabling Molina and Felipe Elizaga.. Marcos Elizaga and Pabling Molina trained their respective guns in unison at one part of the body. The act of one is the act of all. or right after the commission of the crime. And it is hard for the Court to believe that accused Felipe Elizaga. This was admitted by the lower court when it said: True the evidence of the prosecution is bereft that accused Felipe Elizaga was the author of the multiple gunshot wounds at the abdomen of deceased Stacy. RPC). not by mere conjectures.. Having ruled on the admissibility of the dying declaration. In this case. It is also a well-entrenched rule that proof beyond reasonable doubt is required to establish a finding of criminal conspiracy. Upon a careful examination of the records. Time and again. We discovered that the conviction of appellant Elizaga was based solely on the dying declaration of the victim Stacy. In his dying declaration. the person who was actually with the victim when he was shot and who could have given a detailed account of the whole incident. However.. was never presented by the prosecution. it must be carefully examined in order for the trial court to determine whether or not the same is sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. There is no showing of planning and concerted action on the part of the alleged co-conspirators. We agree. .. 2. With regard to the third requisite. 7 The only reason why the lower court found the appellant culpable was its belief that he was a coconspirator in the murder of the victim. Thus. As it has been shown that all the above-mentioned requisites are present. This must certainly apply to appellant Elizaga. At this point. the abdomen of the late Stacy.(c) That the declarant is competent as a witness. rendering it physically impossible for him to have killed the victim. Neither did anyone attest that he saw the appellant in possession of a firearm or that he was the gunman. On the contrary. . the dying declaration of Stacy is clearly admissible. this does not mean that it will automatically convict the appellant of the crime of murder. or parricide. namely: Marcos Elizaga. 8. two witnesses corroborated the defense of the appellant that in the morning and afternoon of the day of the incident. the issue that has to be resolved in this case is whether or not there was conspiracy. the proof necessary to show conspiracy requires 79 . Whoever among them whose (Marcos Felipe and Pabling) gun fire found its mark on the abdomen is of no moment for (the) obvious reason that a conspirator is equally responsible for the acts of his coconspirator. there is no factual basis for the finding of conspiracy by the lower court. 6 In this particular case. the finding of conspiracy was based by the lower court on the dying declaration of Stacy. must be established by clear and convincing evidence. It is true that the dying declaration of Stacy is valid and admissible. Stacy mentioned three people as his assailants. during. it is but proper to quote the following observations of the Solicitor General: Since a conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it (Art. par. and after the crime from which it can be inferred that they were in conspiracy with each other. Obviously.. in which the declarant is the victim. and (d) That the declaration is offered in a criminal case for homicide. Juanito Martin. Therefore. No evidence was presented of the conduct of the supposed assailants before. and fourth requisites of a valid dying declaration are present in this case. there is no showing that the victim could not have been a competent witness and so the presumption of competency must be sustained. Like any other dying declaration. there is no concrete proof that appellant acted in any manner in conspiracy with the two other assailants. One of these witnesses. its credibility and weight should be determined by the court. the said dying declaration does not prove that petitioner was the one who fired the shot that injured and later killed the victim. Indeed. . Nobody testified that he saw the appellant within the vicinity of the crime before.

with evident premeditation and treachery. Bulacan. to take him to Paco. also rushed to the hospital. after being informed that Pelagio had been shot.. province of Bulacan. Pelagio fell on the ground unconscious. Upon advice of the doctors. accused-appellant robbed Pelagio of his money and repeatedly struck him on the head with a gun. thus: That on or about the 8th day of December. unlawfully and feloniously. Pampanga together with his wife on the date of the incident. 133964 February 13. Jimbo Pelagio’s mother. On February 6. proceeded to the hospital. there is no evidence to this effect. For his part. SPO1 Bautista took the statement of Pelagio in a question and answer method. 137).a showing: 1. That the execution of the felony be decided upon (Reyes. the above-named accused armed with a firearm with intent to kill one Jimbo Pelagio y Ferrer. J. 1995. whom he did not know. if he should be held responsible at all. The owner of the tricycle. accused-appellant claimed that he was in San Isidro. the appealed decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the appellant is hereby ACQUITTED.000. Pelagio related how accused-appellant inflicted his injuries on him. vs. Pelagio affixed his thumbmark on both sheets. There is no proof that all the assailants were armed and if so. Jimbo Pelagio expired. 1995. did then and there wilfully. 2. In his statement. Obando. p. the motive for the killing. Francisca brought her son to the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital. in view of the foregoing. Ana rushed to the hospital and found the still conscious Pelagio lying on a stretcher. He went into hiding in the house of his uncle. with costs de oficio. she spent P26. The court a quo based on the aforecited dying declaration of the victim just assumed and concluded that it was appellant who shot the victim in conspiracy with his two companions. There is no showing that a meeting of the minds or agreement was arrived at by appellant and his two named companions. That the agreement concerned the commission of a felony. No. Accused-appellant shot him on the head and fled on board his tricycle. as to who fired the fatal shot at the victims. for nine (9) months because he allegedly killed a certain Roger Wininsala. plaintiff-appellee. He came to know that he was being accused of the murder of Pelagio. Wilfredo Lampa.00 for his medical and funeral expenses. SPO1 Froilan Bautista got a call from the Valenzuela Emergency Hospital stating that a man had been shot on the head and was in their hospital. Then. only while he was in detention on a drug charge. Francisca Pelagio. assault and shoot the said Jimbo Pelagio y Ferrer. That two or more persons came to an agreement. San Luis. the role of the appellant during the incident. The Revised Penal Code.: Accused-appellant Ramil Peña was charged with murder in an Information which reads. That same morning.R. the kind of firearms they carried. No person can be convicted on mere assumptions and conclusions. accused-appellant. G. 80 . Maximiano Guevarra. that there was an agreement to bring about the death of Wilson Stacy and/or the wounding of Pedro Tapuro. which he took down on two sheets of yellow paper. SO ORDERED. SPO1 Bautista and SPO1 Jose Sta. llth ed. 9 Since conspiracy has not been established. in the municipality of Obando. we submit that conspiracy was not sufficiently established. and 3. After his statement was taken. a tricycle driver working the night shift. As above-discussed. In view of the paucity of evidence to show conspiracy. 2002 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Pelagio told him that it was accused-appellant who shot him and took away his tricycle. According to Francisca. Philippines. attack. RAMIL PEÑA. accused-appellant hired Jimbo Pelagio. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. When they reached their destination. and such other material details as may shed light on the killing and the degree of responsibility of the appellant. The record is bereft of any showing to support any of the above.1 In the early morning of December 8. the individual responsibility of the appellant for the offense. DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO. 1996. must be determined from the nature of his participation in the commission of the crime. hitting the latter on the head thereby inflicting wound which directly caused the death of the said Jimbo Pelagio y Ferrer. he ordered Pelagio to get off the tricycle. WHEREFORE. There. or that the perpetrators made up their minds or decided to commit the crime.

sumakay sa may gasolinahan ng Petron sa Malinta.M. While he was in pain when he made his statement. Valenzuela. he expressly stated that accused-appellant only pistol-whipped him and almost shot him. T: Sino and may-ari ng tricycle? S: Si Rey Dagul. An ante-mortem statement or dying declaration is entitled to probative weight if: (1) at the time the declaration was made. 2 the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. Particularly. kailan at anong oras nangyari ito? S: Sa Paco. T: Binaril ka ba ni Ramil? S: Muntik na ho. he emphasizes that "it was imperative on the part of the lower court that it should have appreciated the principle of res gestae on the basis of the contents of Jimbo Pelagio’s statement reduced in handwritten form by SPO1 Bautista. and (5) the declaration is offered in a criminal case wherein the declarant’s death is the subject of the inquiry. M. The trial court was not persuaded. death was imminent and the declarant was conscious of that fact. Thus. T: Ano ba ang tatak ng tricycle mo? S: Yamaha RS-100. Hence this appeal. dahil pinagpapalo po ako ng baril ni RAMIL PEÑA sa ulo at kinuha and tricycle kong minamaneho. allegedly by Jimbo Pelagio. this Court hereby finds RAMIL PEÑA GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and sentences him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay the victim’s mother. Accused-appellant claims that the trial court erred in finding that accused-appellant shot Pelagio because there is no evidence that a bullet was embedded in the skull of the victim. Accused-appellant next claims that the evidence relied upon by the trial court is hearsay and inadmissible. The requisites for the admissibility of dying declarations have already been established in a long line of cases.Accused-appellant’s testimony was corroborated by his uncle Maximiano Guevarra. The statement or declaration made by Pelagio. More specifically. kaninang ika-8 ng Disyembre 1995 sa ganap na ika-4:15 ng umaga.4 The trial court ruled that Pelagio’s statement was a dying declaration since it was uttered at the point of death and with consciousness of that fact due to the serious nature of his wounds. the attending physicians were not presented to testify that the victim died of a gunshot wound in the head.5 The first element is lacking in the case at bar. an exception to the hearsay rule. It was not established with certainty whether Pelagio uttered his statement with consciousness of his impending death. T: Dati mo bang kilala si Ramil Peña? S: Opo. 81 .000. On May 13. (4) the declarant thereafter died. Such ante mortem statement is evidence of the highest order because at the threshold of death. Francisca Pelagio. it rendered a decision. the amount of P26. reads: T: Alam mo ba ang dahilan kung bakit ka naririto sa Valenzuela Emergency Hospital at kinukunan ka ng salaysay? S: Opo. the foregoing considered. Obando. He argues that said evidence does not constitute res gestae. Bulacan. taken by SPO1 Bautista. T: Taga saan itong si Ramil Peña? S: Sa Dulong Tangke. T: Sakay mo ba itong si Ramil Peña? S: Oho. T: Saan.6 The significance of a victim’s realization or consciousness that he was on the brink of death cannot be gainsaid. 1998. (3) the declaration relates to facts which the victim was competent to testify to. it admitted Pelagio’s statement in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule. and not on the dying declarations made by Jimbo Pelagio to SPO1 Bautista. (2) the declaration refers to the cause and surrounding circumstances of such death.00 representing actual damages and the costs of suit. M.M. Wilfredo Lampa and Francisca Pelagio because these prosecution witnesses had all the time to contrive and improvise on what was actually told them. kulay itim. Valenzuela."3 The pivotal issue is whether the statement of the victim Jimbo Pelagio as well as the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses on the victim’s declaration can be considered as part of the res gestae. T: Bakit sa iyo ginawa ni Ramil and bagay na ito? S: Ewan ko ho. hence. (Malinta).

(Emphasis supplied) A declaration made spontaneously after a startling occurrence is deemed as part of the res gestae when (1) the principal act.10 this Court held that: The term "res gestae" comprehends a situation which presents a startling or unusual occurrence sufficient to produce a spontaneous and instinctive reaction. and (3) the statements concern the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. is a startling occurrence. is not admissible as a dying declaration. hence the same should be admitted under both exceptions to the hearsay rule. The crucial factor to consider is the contemporaneity of the moment when the statement was made and the moment of the realization of death. the victim evidently had no opportunity to contrive his statement beforehand.all thoughts of fabricating lies are stilled. We should take note further that the handwritten statement’s contents are rather detailed in terms of the specifics of the circumstances before. Hernandez. thus: We should stress that Jimbo Pelagio’s handwritten statement. Pelagio’s statement may nonetheless be admitted in evidence as part of the res gestae. Notably. or immediately after. on the theory that said statements are natural and spontaneous. It is entitled to the highest credence.9 In People v. it being said that in these cases. Putian. Marollano. or at a time when the exciting influence of the startling occurrence still continued in the declarant’s mind. after giving his statement. In People v.13 the Court held that although a declaration does not appear to have been made by the declarant under the expectation of a sure and impending death. (2) the statements were made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise. (Citation omitted) While the admissibility thereof would naturally not be affected whether viewed under either or both considerations. In People v. and he had no time to contrive or devise. or his declarations therein.11 In People v. were made immediately after the res gestae or the principal act took place.12 the infliction on a person of a gunshot wound on a vital part of the body should qualify by any standard as a startling occurrence. during which interval certain statements are made under such circumstances as to show lack of forethought or deliberate design in the formulation of their content. later on realized that he was dying. Naerta. The utterance of a victim made immediately after sustaining serious injuries may be considered the incident speaking through the victim. unreflected and instinctive. Pelagio’s declaration is admissible as part of the res gestae since it was made shortly after a startling occurrence and under the influence thereof. And the rule is that testimony by a person regarding statements made by another as that startling occurrence was taking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto. for that reason. Pelagio constantly complained of pain in his head while his statement was being taken by SPO1 Bautista. he was conscious and lucid enough to intelligently respond rather spontaneously on the questions propounded to him by SPO1 Bautista. the res gestae. made before there had been opportunity to devise or contrive anything contrary to the real fact that occurred.14 82 . although essentially hearsay. while his statements directly concerned the occurrence in question and its immediate circumstances. These acts and statements made by Jimbo Pelagio definitely constitute part of res gestae and not the testimonies and/or written statements of the three prosecution witnesses in this case. it is the event speaking through the declarant. While it may not qualify as a dying declaration. Under the circumstances. Indeed the defense admitted as much when it stated. so much so that there was no opportunity for him to be able to devise or contrive anything other than what really happened.7 Granting that Pelagio. yet if such declaration was made at the time of. is admissible exceptionally. his statement still can not be considered a dying declaration. considering that the very identification of the assailant and the accuracy thereof are essentially based on the declaration of the victim. it is admissible as part of the res gestae. it is clear that the pistol-whipping and the gunshot on the head of Pelagio qualified as a startling occurrence. the advantage of resting the issue on the aforesaid dual bases is that its admission would be invulnerable to a theorized absence of an element of one of said exceptions.8 this Court held: The requisites for the admissibility of the victim’s ante mortem statement as part of the res gestae and also as a dying declaration are present in this case. This is particularly important in this case. not the latter speaking of the event. the commission of the crime. In this case. during and after the subject incident which elicits guarded conclusion that notwithstanding Jimbo Pelagio’s physical condition at the Valenzuela Emergency Hospital. The time the statement was being made must also be the time the victim was aware that he was dying. and.

15 In any case. There is. This Court agrees with the Solicitor General when it observed thus: Since res gestae refers to those exclamations and statements made by either the participants. the witness who merely testifies on a res gestae is not the declarant referred to in the second requisite whose statements had to be made before he "had the time to contrive or devise a falsehood. the penalty to be imposed shall be the medium period of reclusion temporal. no motive was shown as to why he would contrive or devise a falsehood against accused-appellant. even if there were intervening periods between the time the victim gave his account of the incident to the prosecution witnesses and the time the latter first disclosed what the victim told them. eight (8) months and one (1) day to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months. however. ranging from fourteen (14) years. the results of the C. therefore. victims or spectators to a crime before. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law.1âwphi1 SPO1 Bautista’s testimony as well as Wilfredo Lampa’s and Francisca Pelagio’s merely corroborated Pelagio’s statement that it was accused-appellant who caused his head injuries. considering that the trial court is in a better position to decide the question for it had heard the witnesses themselves during the trial. no merit in accused-appellant’s contention that there was no evidence that Pelagio was shot in the head.17 the underlying cause of death was indicated as gunshot wound to the head. The Solicitor General’s following submission would. It should be noted that accused-appellant pistol-whipped Pelagio repeatedly. he was duty-bound to investigate and unearth the facts of the case. As a police officer. (Citation omitted) Settled is the rule that in the absence of any fact or circumstance of weight and influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misconstrued to impeach the findings of the trial court. The crime proved was only homicide. Further. In accordance with Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code.19 However." (citation omitted) Thus. make sense: Given the probability that he was already unconscious or his head had become numb due to severe head injuries when accused-appellant shot him. thus: The straightforward and consistent testimonies of the three vital prosecution witnesses bear the earmarks of credibility. the same will not affect the admissibility of the victim’s declaration or statement as part of res gestae since it is sufficient that such declaration or statement was made by the victim before he had time to contrive or devise a falsehood. they should necessarily be the ones who must not have the opportunity to contrive or devise a falsehood but not the persons to whom they gave their dying declaration or spontaneous statement. 83 . While evident premeditation and treachery were alleged in the information. the appellate courts will not interfere with the trial court’s findings on the credibility of the witnesses or set aside its judgment. he sought only the truth. Scan conducted on the victim showed the presence of metallic fragments in his skull. There being no mitigating or aggravating circumstance. The evaluation of the credibility of witnesses is a matter that particularly falls within the authority of the trial court.18 Regardless.16 SPO1 Bautista gathered that accused-appellant shot Pelagio from the Radiologic Report conducted at the Valenzuela District Hospital wherein the presence of metallic fragments was discovered. Besides. this Court cannot agree with the trial court that the crime should be murder. accused-appellant should be sentenced to reclusion temporal. the victim merely stated that he was nearly shot by accused-appellant. In his Investigation Report.By stating. This was probably the reason why in his initial declaration. Pelagio categorically declared that it was accused-appellant who caused his head injuries which eventually led to his death. therefore. there exists no ill motive on their part to prevaricate. there is no reason why SPO1 Bautista would contrive or devise a falsehood especially on the matter that Pelagio was shot on the head and that it was accused-appellant who shot him. In other words.T. In Pelagio’s Death Certificate. This absence of evidence as to an improper motive actuating the principal witnesses for the prosecution strongly tends to sustain that no improper motive existed and their testimony is worthy of full faith and credit (citation omitted). The trial court found. it is not unlikely for the victim not to have known or felt being shot and hit by accused-appellant on the head. during or immediately after the commission of the crime. the trial court did not state why the killing was qualified to murder. for witnesses do not generally falsely impute to an accused a serious criminal offense were it not the untarnished truth. The prosecution failed to establish the attendance of the qualifying circumstances with concrete proof. that the testimonies or the written statements of the three prosecution witnesses were taken into consideration by the trial court as part of the res gestae betrays a misapprehension of said principle. There is a presumption that as an officer of the law. Moreover.

accused-appellant shall be entitled to a minimum penalty, to be taken from the penalty next lower in
degree or prision mayor, in any or its periods, ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12)
years.
As to the matter of damages, we hold that the trial court should have awarded civil indemnity in the
amount of P50,000.00 in line with prevailing jurisprudence.20 The award of P26,000.00 as actual
damages is upheld, being duly proven with receipts.21
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the decision is MODIFIED. Accused-appellant Ramil Peña is found
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide and sentenced to suffer an indeterminate sentence of ten (10)
years of prision mayor, as minimum, to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal, as
maximum, and to pay the heirs of the victim Jimbo Pelagio the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and
P26,000.00 as actual damages.
Costs against accused-appellant.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 74740 August 28, 1992
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
DANILO SANCHEZ, accused-appellant.
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Aniceto L. Madronio, Sr. for accused-appellant.
DAVIDE, JR, J.:
Appellant, with Juanito Zamora, was charged with the crime of arson in Criminal Case No. D-5402 before
Branch XLIV (Dagupan City) of the Regional Trial Court, First Judicial Region, in an Information the
accusatory portion of which reads:
xxx xxx xxx
That on or about November 22, 1982, in the evening, in the barangay of Longos, municipality of Calasiao,
province of Pangasinan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused Danilo Sanchez and Juanito Zamora aiding one another and conspiring with two others whose
identities are not yet known, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously (sic) set fire to the
residential house of Spouses Elpidio Nepuscua and Julieta Nepuscua worth P50,000.00 known to be
occupied at the time.
Contrary to Article 321 of the Revised Penal Code. 1
Only accused Danilo Sanchez could be served with the warrant of arrest. According to the return
indorsement dated 23 June 1983, his co-accused, Juanito Zamora, "could not be located in his indicated
address." 2
Accused entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment. Trial then proceeded against him with the
prosecution presenting as its witnesses Demetrio Matabang, Pedro Parayno, Julieta Nepuscua and Cesar
Nepuscua. The lone eyewitness, Mr. Elpidio Nepuscua, could no longer be presented because he died on
13 December 1982. 3 He, however, signed a statement on 24 November 1982 before an investigator of the
Integrated National Police of Aguilar, Pangasinan wherein he implicated the accused as the person who
burned the house. 4 Upon the other hand, after the trial court denied 5 a Demurrer to Evidence, 6 the defense
presented as its witness the accused, Benedicto Mola and Herminigildo Mamaradeo.
On 20 March 1986, the trial court promulgated its decision 7 finding the accused guilty of the crime of Arson
as defined under Presidential Decree No. 1613 and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of "reclusion
perpetua (life imprisonment)" and to pay Julieta Nepuscua the sum of P50,000.00 representing the value
of the house. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
WHEREFORE, the Court finds accused Danilo Sanchez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
Arson as defined by Presidential Decree Number 1613 and considering the presence of the special
aggravating circumstance that the offender is motivated by spite or hatred towards the owner or occupant
of the property burned and the generic aggravating circumstance of nighttime, without any mitigating
circumstance to offset the same, pursuant to Section 3(2) of Presidential Decree Number 1613, hereby
sentences accused Danilo Sanchez to serve and suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua (Life
Imprisonment), to pay Julieta Nepuscua the sum of P50,000.00 representing the value of the house that
was burned, and to pay the costs.
SO ORDERED. 8
Undaunted by his defeat and insisting on his innocence, accused immediately appealed the decision to the

84

then Intermediate Appellate Court (now Court of Appeals). 9 The records of the case were thus referred,
although erroneously, to the Intermediate Appellate Court on 12 May 1986. 10 The latter forwarded the
same to this Court on 5 July 1986. 11
In the Appellant's Brief, 12 accused imputes upon the trial court the commission of the following errors:
1. . . . in not considering the statement of Elpedio (sic) Nepuscua as hearsay evidence.
2. . . . in convicting the accused-appellant by considering the information made by Elpedio (sic) Nepuscua
to his wife Julieta Nepuscua and his son Cesar Nepuscua as part of the res gestae.
3. . . . in not giving credence to the defense of alibi interposed by the accused.
4. . . . in convicting the accused under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1613 considering that the
accused was charged under the provisions of Art. 321 of the Revised Penal Code. 13
The facts are not disputed.
Prior to 22 November 1982, the spouses Elpidio and Julieta Nepuscua were residents of Longos, Calasiao,
Pangasinan. They lived in a house valued at P50,000.00. On 21 November 1982, Julieta, her children and
three (3) grandchildren were evacuated by her husband to the house of his sister, Filomena Nepuscua,
allegedly because the accused and Juanito Zamora were angry with her (Julieta's) husband who reported
them to the police authorities for having cut, on 20 November 1982, the bamboo trees on a lot mortgaged
to them (Nepuscuas) by Maria Billota, mother of Juanito Zamora. At midnight of 22 November 1982, while
in the house of Filomena, Julieta was awakened first by a burst of gunfire and then by the barking of dogs
from the direction of their house, which was about 150 meters from Filomena's house. 14 She rushed to the
window and saw their house on fire. She woke up their children. 15
Elpidio and Juanita's only son, Cesar, who had arrived from Manila in the evening that same day and who
was also sleeping in the house of Filomena, witnessed the fire after being roused from sleep. He wanted
to go to their burning house but his mother prevented him from leaving as he could be harmed by those
responsible for the fire. The conflagration lasted for one and one-half (1 1/2) hours. Earlier that evening, he
was in their house but he left at about 11:30 o'clock for Filomena's house to spend the night there. At 3:00
o'clock in the early morning of 23 November 1982, Cesar left for Manila to report for work and to consult
with his uncle, Atty. Cirilo Nepuscua, about the burning of the house. 16
According to Julieta, at 4:00 o'clock in the morning of 23 November 1982, her husband arrived at the house
of Filomena and related to her that "on that evening of November 22, 1982, there were four (4) persons
who went near our house and they were carrying with them rice stalks or hay and then one of them called
out, saying "Tatay, tatay, bangon kayo ta ansakit so eges nen nanay, iyacar tayo ed hospital", which means,
"Father, father wake up because my mother is suffering from stomach (sic) ache and we will rush her to the
hospital." He further told her that on that same evening, Danilo Sanchez went up to the balcony of their
house carrying with him one (1) bundle of rice hay which he then set on fire thus causing the burning of
their house. 17
However, Cpl. Demetrio Matabang of the Integrated National Police of Aguilar, Pangasinan, testified that
although Elpidio reported the burning of their house to the police authorities of Calasiao, Pangasinan on 23
November 1982, the latter did not mention the name of any suspect. 18
Later, Elpidio reported the incident to the 152nd P.C. Company Headquarters at Lingayen, Pangasinan; on
24 November 1982, both his and Julieta's sworn statements 19 were taken by Cpl. Matabang in the presence
of TSG Pedro Parayno of the said 152nd P.C. Company.
In his sworn statement, Elpidio narrated the burning incident. He categorically admitted therein that he
reported the incident to the Calasiao Police Station, but he did not mention the names of the culprits for
fear that he and his family would be placed in danger once the culprits discovered that they had been
identified as suspects. Thus:
23. Q Did you ever made (sic) a report to the Police Station of Calasiao, Pangasinan, that your house was
set fired (sic) by those subject persons named-above (sic)?
A Yes sir, I reported the same on the following morning, November 23, 1982, but I did not made (sic)
mentioned of (sic) any names, knowing that my life and the life of my family is (sic) in danger once those
persons involved will come to know that I suspected them in (sic) doing the same and besides my plan is
(sic) to report this to this PC Headquarters. 20
At the time the four (4) persons (allegedly, the accused, Juanito Zamora and two other unidentified persons)
arrived at the house, Elpidio was actually under the same and thus he was able to recognize the accused
and Zamora because of the illumination caused by the burning rice hay. 21 He also declared that:
22. Q When your house was already on fire and that those suspects have (sic) already left, what did you
do, any?

85

A I already run (sic) to the house of my sister where my family were (sic) and told them that it was Danilo
Sanchez, Juanito Zamora and two (2) unidentified others who burned our house.
Matabang and Parayno then indorsed the case to the Office of the Provincial Fiscal.
On 18 December 1982, Elpidio Nepuscua died. 22
It was only on 8 February 1983 that the Office of the Provincial Fiscal prepared the Information for Arson
against the accused and Juanito Zamora. It was actually filed in court on 28 February 1983. 23
There can, therefore, be no question that the only eyewitness to the burning of the house was Elpidio
Nepuscua. Unfortunately, he died even before the Information was prepared and filed. Thus, he could no
longer testify during trial.
The core issue then is whether or not the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of the accused beyond
reasonable doubt to overcome the presumption of innocence which the Constitution guarantees every
person accused of a crime.
A careful scrutiny of the records discloses that the prosecution relied solely on the sworn statement of
Elpidio Nepuscua wherein he named the accused, Juanito Zamora, and two others whom he failed to
identify, as the parties who set his house on fire, and the testimony of his wife Julieta Nepuscua to the effect
that on 21 November 1982, she, her children and three (3) grandchildren were evacuated by Elpidio to the
house of her sister-in-law, Filomena Nepuscua, because herein accused and Juanito Zamora were angry
with Elpidio because the latter reported them for having cut on 20 November 1982 the bamboo trees that
were mortgaged to them (Nepuscuas) by Maria Billota, Juanito's mother. Julieta also declared that at 4:00
o'clock in the morning of 23 November 1982 — four (4) hours after the burning of the
house — Elpidio told her that in the evening of 22 November 1982, four (4) persons carrying rice stalks
went near their house; one of them uttered "father, father wake up because my mother is suffering from
stomach (sic) ache and we will rush her to the hospital"; thereafter, Danilo Sanchez went up to the
balcony of their house carrying a bundle of rice stalks and set the same on fire. The court admitted in
evidence Elpidio's sworn statement and considered Elpidio's declaration to Julieta as part of res gestae.
In the light of the above facts, the first assigned error must be resolved in favor of the accused.
Unless the affiants themselves are placed on the witness stand to testify thereon, 24 affidavits must be
rejected, in judicial proceedings; the same would be inadmissible in evidence as hearsay. The reason for
this is that an accused has the Constitutional right "to meet the witnesses face to face" 25 or to confront
the witnesses against him. 26 To safeguard this right, Section 1, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court provides
that the examination of witnesses presented in a trial or hearing shall be done in open court, and under
oath or affirmation. The most that the trial court could have done was to admit the sworn statement of
Elpidio Nepuscua merely as part of the testimony of the peace officer who conducted the investigation;
assignment of any probative value to it could not be done without violating the hearsay rule and infringing
upon the above-stated right of the accused.
The second assigned error must likewise be resolved in favor of the accused. The so-called statement
uttered by Elpidio Nepuscua to his wife Julieta at about 4:00 o'clock in the morning of 23 November 1982,
or four (4) hours after the burning, implicating accused, should not have been admitted as part of the res
gestae.
Section 42 of Rule 130 provides:
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 means the "things done". 27 It "refers to those exclamations and statements made by either the
participants, victims, or spectators to a crime immediately before, during, or immediately after the
commission of the crime, when the circumstances are such that the statements were made as spontaneous
reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion and there was no opportunity for the
declarant to deliberate and to fabricate a false statement." 28 A spontaneous exclamation is defined as "a
statement or exclamation made immediately after some exciting occasion by a participant or spectator and
asserting the circumstances of that occasion as it is observed by him. The admissibility of such exclamation
is based on our experience that, under certain external circumstances of physical or mental shock, a stress
of nervous excitement may be produced in a spectator which stills the reflective faculties and removes their
control, so that the utterance which then occurs is a spontaneous and sincere response to the actual
sensations and perceptions already produced by the external shock. Since this utterance is made under
the immediate and uncontrolled domination of the senses, rather than reason and reflection, and during the

86

What is important is that the declarations were voluntarily and spontaneously made "so nearly contemporaneous as to be in the presence of the transaction which they illustrate and explain." 40 In the light of the foregoing principle on res gestae and the settled jurisprudence thereon. He could easily negotiate that distance in less than five (5) minutes. Cesar then left for Manila at 3:00 o'clock early the next morning. if they were known for their violence and Elpidio was so afraid of revealing their names. If indeed he was at his house at the time the accused and the latter's alleged companions came. 33 this Court. there was no reason at all for him to risk his life and limb by staying alone in their house. worry over Elpidio's fate did not seize or overcome both Julieta and Cesar. It could." 31 There are. (2) the statements were made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise. Doubtless. and the burning took place at midnight. the spontaneity of the declaration is such that the declaration itself may be regarded as the event speaking through the declarant rather than the declarant speaking for himself. be a startling occurrence. We find the questioned statement of Elpidio Nepuscua to his wife to be lacking in spontaneity and to have been given after he had the luxury of time to concoct a story or fabricate an account. 35 or to concoct or contrive a falsehood. He did not proceed to their house to find out what had happened to his father. . Ner. speaking through Chief Justice Concepcion." 29 In a manner of speaking. with a good deal of reason. then he would have kept their identities in pectoris. and were made under such circumstances as necessarily to exclude the idea of design or deliberation . however. 39 The cases are not uniform as to the interval of time that should separate the occurrence of the startling event and the making of the declaration. 32 In People vs. thus. By that time. no plausible reason may be summoned to justify or explain his nearly fourhour delay in reporting the incident to his wife and other members of his family. 30 Or. his conduct cannot be reconciled with human experience. All that is required for the admissibility of a given statement as part of the res gestae. They never mentioned that they expressed fears as to Elpidio's fate. and there being no evidence at all that he was prevented through threats and intimidation by the accused and his companions or that he was struck by fear which immobilized him from immediately leaving the scene of the fire. If he evacuated his family to the house of Filomena on 21 November 1982 because he was afraid of the accused and Juanito Zamora. the conduct of his wife and son seemed too unnatural. That he was not in the house at the time of the burning seems to be supported by the conduct of the members of his family. . The reasons given therefor are palpably untenable. three (3) requisites for the admission of evidence as constituting part of the res gestae: (1) that the principal act. It behooved Elpidio to relay the tragic event to those dear to him without any delay. with his family in the house of Filomena during the fire. they just looked out the window of Filomena's house while their own house was burning. As testified to by Julieta and her son Cesar. in fact. The spontaneous character of the language is assumed to preclude the probability of its premeditation or fabrication.brief period when consideration of self-interest could not have been fully brought to bear. there is no evidence that the accused and his companions had a reputation for being violent. In the first place. held: . and (3) that the statements must concern the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. ". therefore. If indeed Elpidio was in their house before the fire and he left the scene only four (4) hours later. stated differently.' the utterance may be taken as expressing the real belief of the speaker as to the facts just observed by him. is that it be made under the influence of a startling event witnessed by the person who made the declaration 34 before he had time to think and make up a story. 37 and without any undue influence in obtaining it. . All that Julieta could do was to prevent Cesar from returning to their burning house for fear that the persons who set it on fire would harm him. . if in fact the latter was left in the house. Pangasinan in the morning of 23 November 1982. the events speak for themselves. be easily reconciled if he were. such a dastardly occurrence caused an irreparable loss of property and rendered them homeless. Another badge of untrustworthiness attributable to the alleged statement given by Elpidio to his wife is his deliberate suppression of the names of the "suspects" when he reported the incident to the police authorities of Calasiao. the burning of their house was no ordinary event. This he failed to do during the 87 . . 38 aside from referring to the event in question or its immediate attending circumstances. as a guarantee of its truth. ordinary habits of men and common sense. giving out their fullest meaning through the unprompted language of the participants. The shock and excitement it naturally produced was more than enough to propel his feet to bring him to his family as soon as possible. Its utterance on the spur of the moment is regarded. 23 November 1982. barely three (3) hours after the fire. the res gestae. . considering that the house of Filomena where his wife and children were sleeping was only 150 meters away. 36 or to fabricate an account.

in his capacity as Ombudsman. No. character or use of the property burned. His sharp descent from power started on October 4. respondent. a longtime friend of the petitioner. however. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. charged the accused and Juanito Zamora with the crime of Arson as defined and penalized under Article 321 (Other forms of Arson) of the Revised Penal Code. Hence. No. However. No. 146738 March 2. or more than two (2) years earlier.. J. to advise Prosecutors to exercise utmost care in the preparation of Informations to the end that no injustice would be done to the accused and no prejudice would befall the State whose interest they are bound to protect. Petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada alleges that he is the President on leave while respondent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo claims she is the President. It may however be pointed out that.R. October 5. First. VOLUNTEERS AGAINST CRIME AND CORRUPTION. ESTRADA. vs. we take a view of the panorama of events that precipitated the crisis in the office of the President.: On the line in the cases at bar is the office of the President. the jugular issue involves the relationship between the ruler and the ruled in a democracy. petitioner was plagued by a plethora of problems that slowly but surely eroded his popularity. 2000. 1613. petitioner. 1613. The inaccuracy or error committed by the Fiscal was not a fatal defect. 2001 JOSEPH E. In the May 11. Ilocos Sur Governor. vs. 9. inter alia. The warring personalities are important enough but more transcendental are the constitutional issues embedded on the parties' dispute. LEONARD DE VERA. From the beginning of his term. 3rd Assistant Provincial Fiscal Pedro T. Headquarters the following day despite the absence of any assurance of protection. Some ten (10) million Filipinos voted for the petitioner believing he would rescue them from life's adversity.1 The exposẻ immediately ignited reactions of rage. GRAFT FREE PHILIPPINES FOUNDATION. ESTRADA.D. 1613. the decision appealed from in Criminal Case No. 1998. entitled Amending the law on Arson. 1998 elections. While the significant issues are many. The next day. respondent. Fernandez. DENNIS FUNA. INC. petitioner. went on air and accused the petitioner. repealing clause of which provides: Sec.C. D-5402 of Branch XLIV of the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan City is REVERSED and the accused-appellant is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged with costs de officio. No. especially when viewed in the light of the probability of concoction — he had every reason to get even with the accused and Juanito Zamora. SO ORDERED. FRANCISCO.R. having voluntarily pleaded thereto without any question. the accused could be convicted for the violation of P. as to the fourth assigned error. This conclusion renders unnecessary further disquisitions on the remaining assigned errors. JR. Repealing clause. 2000. The proper charge should have been for a violation of P. the crimes defined and punished in Article 321 are also included in said decree although. The allegations in the information sufficiently charge an offense defined and penalized in P. No. 2001 JOSEPH E. 146710-15 March 2. G. which was promulgated on 11 November 1980. After everything is said and done. — The provisions of Articles 320 to 326-B of the Revised Penal Code and all laws. ROMEO CAPULONG and ERNESTO B. WHEREFORE.. Philippine style. Both petitioner and the respondent were to serve a six-year term commencing on June 30.investigation at the P.D. it is clear to Us that serious doubts surround the questioned statement of Elpidio to his wife. however. the Fiscal who conducted the preliminary investigation and filed the Information. 1613. Senator Teofisto 88 . Luis "Chavit" Singson. his family and friends of receiving millions of pesos from jueteng lords. He must have been unaware of P. rules and regulations. RAMON GONZALES. or parts thereof. Accused then deserves an acquittal on the ground of reasonable doubt.D. inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed or amended accordingly. ANIANO DESIERTO. petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada was elected President while respondent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was elected Vice-President. the latter imposes varying penalties depending on the nature. and provides for the effects of special aggravating circumstances. PUNO.D. executive orders. We take this opportunity. ---------------------------------------G.

Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin issued a pastoral statement in behalf of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Manila. They were assisted by a battery of private prosecutors led by now Secretary of Justice Hernando Perez and now Solicitor General Simeon Marcelo. Jr.12 On November 20. the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines joined the cry for the resignation of the petitioner.3 billion in a secret bank account under the name "Jose Velarde. then headed by Representative Roilo Golez. 14 The battle royale was fought by some of the marquee names in the legal profession. Davide. On January 11. to the Blue Ribbon Committee (then headed by Senator Aquilino Pimentel) and the Committee on Justice (then headed by Senator Renato Cayetano) for joint investigation. Clavel Martinez and Antonio Nachura. This caused political convulsions in both houses of Congress. Senate President Franklin Drilon. and House Speaker Manuel Villar. former City Fiscal of Manila Jose Flaminiano. They were Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala." The public and private prosecutors walked out in protest of the ruling. presiding.2 The House of Representatives did no less. Senator Drilon was replaced by Senator Pimentel as Senate President. Edgardo Espiritu who served as petitioner's Secretary of Finance took the witness stand.13 The political temperature rose despite the cold December. or more than 1/3 of all the members of the House of Representatives to the Senate. Jr.5 Former President Fidel Ramos also joined the chorus. 2001. 15 After the testimony of Ocampo. Dante Tan who was facing charges of insider trading. In disgust. On December 7. She testified that she was one foot away from petitioner Estrada when he affixed the signature "Jose Velarde" on documents involving a P500 million investment agreement with their bank on February 4. Early on. The House Committee on Public Order and Security. Raymund Fortun.8 On November 2.16 Then came the fateful day of January 16. or on October 12. former Deputy Speaker of the House Raul Daza. Raul Gonzales. decided to investigate the exposẻ of Governor Singson. former President Corazon C. or on October 17. the impeachment trial started. 18 The ruling made at 10:00 p. Speaker Villar was unseated by Representative Fuentebella.. 9 On November 3. He also charged that the petitioner took from Governor Singson P70 million on excise tax on cigarettes intended for Ilocos Sur. the impeachment trial was adjourned in the spirit of Christmas. Aquino also demanded that the petitioner take the "supreme self-sacrifice" of resignation.. 2000. He alleged that the petitioner jointly owned BW Resources Corporation with Mr.m. The privilege speech was referred by then Senate President Franklin Drilon. respondent Arroyo resigned as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Services6 and later asked for petitioner's resignation. Atty. The dramatic point of the December hearings was the testimony of Clarissa Ocampo. petitioner strenuously held on to his office and refused to resign. Roan Libarios. Its high and low points were the constant conversational piece of the chattering classes. 3 Two days later or on October 13. Atty.Guingona. more bombshells were exploded by the prosecution. The day to day trial was covered by live TV and during its course enjoyed the highest viewing rating. Oscar Rodriguez. 4 Four days later. the Senate formally opened the impeachment trial of the petitioner. four (4) senior economic advisers. former Senator Vicente Paterno and Washington Sycip. together with some 47 representatives defected from the ruling coalition. Lapian ng Masang Pilipino. former Solicitor General and Secretary of Justice Estelito P. By midnight. Secretary Mar Roxas II also resigned from the Department of Trade and Industry. On the other hand. Serving as defense counsel were former Chief Justice Andres Narvasa. In a tumultuous session on November 13. Twenty-one (21) senators took their oath as judges with Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario G. Sergio Apostol. House Speaker Villar transmitted the Articles of Impeachment11 signed by 115 representatives. On October 11. Oscar Moreno. Wigberto Tañada. senior vice president of Equitable-PCI Bank. former Prime Minister Cesar Virata. Salacnib Baterina. The heat was on. On November 1. resigned. Standing as prosecutors were then House Minority Floor Leader Feliciano Belmonte and Representatives Joker Arroyo. took the floor and delivered a fiery privilege speech entitled "I Accuse. Siegfried Fortun and his brother. Senator Pimentel resigned as Senate President.7 However. when by a vote of 11-1017 the senator-judges ruled against the opening of the second envelope which allegedly contained evidence showing that petitioner held P3. Mendoza. then the Senate Minority Leader. was met by a spontaneous outburst of anger that hit the streets of the metropolis. Atty. Ernesto Herrera and Michael Defensor spearheaded the move to impeach the petitioner.10 The month of November ended with a big bang. Representatives Heherson Alvarez. When it resumed on January 2. members of the Council of Senior Economic Advisers." He accused the petitioner of receiving some P220 million in jueteng money from Governor Singson from November 1998 to August 2000. asking petitioner to step down from the presidency as he had lost the moral authority to govern. thousands had assembled at the EDSA Shrine and speeches full of sulphur were 89 . Calls for the resignation of the petitioner filled the air.

Speakers in the continuing rallies at the EDSA Shrine. undersecretaries.m.m.. I will not shirk from any future challenges that may come ahead in the same service of our country. I call on all my supporters and followers to join me in to promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity.22 In the presence of former Presidents Aquino and Ramos and hundreds of thousands of cheering demonstrators. General Reyes declared that "on behalf of Your Armed Forces. Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath as President of the Republic of the Philippines.. January 20.. petitioner announced he was ordering his lawyers to agree to the opening of the highly controversial second envelope. At 1:20 p. Office of the Executive Secretary. negotiated for the petitioner. for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation.21 On January 19. petitioner and his family hurriedly left Malacañang Palace. Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Ramon Bagatsing. assistant secretaries. he signed the following letter: 31 90 . It is for this reason that I now leave Malacañang Palace. The tide had become a tsunami. head of the Presidential Management Staff. It did not diffuse the growing crisis.19 Senator Raul Roco quickly moved for the indefinite postponement of the impeachment proceedings until the House of Representatives shall have resolved the issue of resignation of the public prosecutors. the 130. the first round of negotiations for the peaceful and orderly transfer of power started at Malacañang'' Mabini Hall."23 A little later. MABUHAY! (Sgd. May the Almighty bless our country and beloved people. Director General Panfilo Lacson and the major service commanders gave a similar stunning announcement. I have strong and serious doubts about the legality and constitutionality of her proclamation as President. They also filed their Manifestation of Withdrawal of Appearance with the impeachment tribunal. At about 12:00 noon.m. On January 17.29 He issued the following press statement:30 "20 January 2001 STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA At twelve o'clock noon today. Respondent Arroyo was represented by now Executive Secretary Renato de Villa. Secretary of National Defense Orlando Mercado and General Reyes. had defected. 20 January 18 saw the high velocity intensification of the call for petitioner's resignation. The negotiations consumed all morning until the news broke out that Chief Justice Davide would administer the oath to respondent Arroyo at high noon at the EDSA Shrine. While along with many other legal minds of our country. the seat of the presidency of this country.) JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA" It also appears that on the same day. I leave the Palace of our people with gratitude for the opportunities given to me for service to our people.m. now Secretary of Finance Alberto Romulo and now Secretary of Justice Hernando Perez.m. To stem the tide of rage. the petitioner informed Executive Secretary Edgardo Angara that General Angelo Reyes. the fall from power of the petitioner appeared inevitable. attracted more and more people.28 At 2:30 p.25 Rallies for the resignation of the petitioner exploded in various parts of the country.24 Some Cabinet secretaries. we wish to announce that we are withdrawing our support to this government. 26 There was no turning back the tide. there was a brief encounter at Mendiola between pro and antiEstrada protesters which resulted in stone-throwing and caused minor injuries. Students and teachers walked out of their classes in Metro Manila to show their concordance. Secretary Boying Remulla. and Atty. At 2:30 p. Secretary Edgardo Angara. petitioner agreed to the holding of a snap election for President where he would not be a candidate. At 12:20 a. At 3:00 p. January 20 turned to be the day of surrender. 2001. Chief Justice Davide granted the motion.delivered against the petitioner and the eleven (11) senators. Asst. Macel Fernandez. PNP Chief.. Political Adviser Angelito Banayo. Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. and bureau chiefs quickly resigned from their posts.27 Outside the palace. together with the chiefs of all the armed services went to the EDSA Shrine. I do not wish to be a factor that will prevent the restoration of unity and order in our civil society. the public prosecutors submitted a letter to Speaker Fuentebella tendering their collective resignation. A 10-kilometer line of people holding lighted candles formed a human chain from the Ninoy Aquino Monument on Ayala Avenue in Makati City to the EDSA Shrine to symbolize the people's solidarity in demanding petitioner's resignation.000 strong members of the Armed Forces. Chief Justice Davide administered the oath to respondent Arroyo as President of the Philippines. all masters of the physics of persuasion..

33 On January 22. (Sgd. the Monday after taking her oath. the respondent signed into law the Solid Waste Management Act. at noon of January 20. 2001. led by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. Senators Teresa Aquino-Oreta and Robert Barbers were absent.23 Another copy was transmitted to Senate President Pimentel on the same day although it was received only at 9:00 p. this Court issued the following Resolution in Administrative Matter No. on January 20. respondent Arroyo nominated Senator Teofisto Guingona. 176 "expressing the support of the House of Representatives to the assumption into office by Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as President of the Republic of the Philippines. 49 In another survey conducted by the ABSCBN/SWS from February 2-7. which request was treated as an administrative matter. The survey also revealed that President Arroyo is accepted by 60% in Metro Manila. Her trust rating increased to 52%. Jr.37 The House then passed Resolution No. 2001. President of the Philippines. more than a hundred foreign diplomats recognized the government of respondent Arroyo. by also 60% in the balance of Luzon. and 55% in Mindanao.. by 71% in the Visayas. February 7. and 54% among the E's or very poor class. 40 A few days later.m.1âwphi1. Jr. took his oath as Vice President two (2) days later. Representative Feliciano Belmonte was elected new Speaker of the House of Representatives.43 Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago. 42 The next day. respondent Arroyo immediately discharged the powers the duties of the Presidency. On January 23. Several cases 91 ."38 It also approved Resolution No.M. extending its congratulations and expressing its support for her administration as a partner in the attainment of the nation's goals under the Constitution. results showed that 61% of the Filipinos nationwide accepted President Arroyo as replacement of petitioner Estrada. addressed to the Chief Justice and confirmed by a letter to the Court.50 After his fall from the pedestal of power. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.46 On February 7. Her presidency is accepted by majorities in all social classes: 58% in the ABC or middle-to-upper classes. the petitioner's legal problems appeared in clusters. 2001 to administer the oath of office of Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as President of the Philippines.36 On January 24. in a survey conducted by Pulse Asia. as her Vice President.48 Meanwhile. in a reception or vin d' honneur at Malacañang. 01-1-05-SC — In re: Request of Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to Take her Oath of Office as President of the Republic of the Philippines before the Chief Justice — Acting on the urgent request of Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to be sworn in as President of the Republic of the Philippines. 175 "expressing the full support of the House of Representatives to the administration of Her Excellency.) JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA" A copy of the letter was sent to former Speaker Fuentebella at 8:30 a."Sir: By virtue of the provisions of Section 11. she also signed into law the Political Advertising ban and Fair Election Practices Act. Bush gave the respondent a telephone call from the White House conveying US recognition of her government. 178. dated January 20. and John Osmena voted "yes" with reservations. citing as reason therefor the pending challenge on the legitimacy of respondent Arroyo's presidency before the Supreme Court. 01-1-05-SC.nêt This resolution is without prejudice to the disposition of any justiciable case that may be filed by a proper party. 82 confirming the nomination of Senator Guingona.m. No. 41 On February 6. 35 US President George W. President Arroyo's public acceptance rating jacked up from 16% on January 20." Respondent Arroyo appointed members of her Cabinet as well as ambassadors and special envoys. Juan Ponce Enrile. 64% in the D or mass class.47 Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago stated "for the record" that she voted against the closure of the impeachment court on the grounds that the Senate had failed to decide on the impeachment case and that the resolution left open the question of whether Estrada was still qualified to run for another elective post. the Vice-President shall be the Acting President. to wit: "A. On the same day. the court Resolve unanimously to confirm the authority given by the twelve (12) members of the Court then present to the Chief Justice on January 20. Jr. Article VII of the Constitution. 2001 to 38% on January 26. By operation of law and the Constitution. I am hereby transmitting this declaration that I am unable to exercise the powers and duties of my office. the Senate adopted Resolution No. 2001.44 The House of Representatives also approved Senator Guingona's nomination in Resolution No."39 On January 26. the Senate passed Resolution No. Papal Nuncio Antonio Franco. 83 declaring that the impeachment court is functus officio and has been terminated. 2001. 34 Recognition of respondent Arroyo's government by foreign governments swiftly followed. 45 Senator Guingona.

2000 for plunder. plunder. the parties were given the short period of five (5) days to file their memoranda and two (2) days to submit their simultaneous replies. perjury. The bedrock issues for resolution of this Court are: I Whether the petitions present a justiciable controversy. plunder. 2001." On February 13. II 92 .51 and Associate Justice Artemio Panganiban 52 recused themselves on motion of petitioner's counsel.previously filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman were set in motion. indirect bribery. it appearing from news reports that the respondent Ombudsman may immediately resolve the cases against petitioner Joseph E. Francisco.. forfeiture. and (6) OMB Case No. serious misconduct. Joseph E.m. the panel issued an Order directing the petitioner to file his counter-affidavit and the affidavits of his witnesses as well as other supporting documents in answer to the aforementioned complaints against him. (2) OMB Case No. 2000 for plunder. On January 22. It sought to enjoin the respondent Ombudsman from "conducting any further proceedings in Case Nos. etc. 0-00-1758 filed by Ernesto B. Gonzales on October 23. the stage for the cases at bar was set. and RA 7080. 1754. only in an acting capacity pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution. the Court. perjury. 146738 for Quo Warranto. 14671015. on November 24. 146738. required the respondents "to comment thereon within a non-extendible period expiring on 12 February 2001. on the same day. filed by Ramon A. which action will make the cases at bar moot and academic. on November 28. petitioner. graft and corruption. viz: Director Andrew Amuyutan. Prosecutor Pelayo Apostol. on February 6. of February 15. (2) to order the parties and especially their counsel who are officers of the Court under pain of being cited for contempt to refrain from making any comment or discussing in public the merits of the cases at bar while they are still pending decision by the Court. It is chaired by Overall Deputy Ombudsman Margarito P. 2000 for malversation of public funds. Before the hearing. acting on the urgent motion for copies of resolution and press statement for "Gag Order" on respondent Ombudsman filed by counsel for petitioner in G. February 6." Acting on GR Nos. et al. (4) OMB Case No. bribery. He prayed for judgment "confirming petitioner to be the lawful and incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office." On February 15. the cases at bar were deemed submitted for decision. violation of the Code of Conduct for Government Employees. the consolidated cases were orally argued in a four-hour hearing. OMB 0-00-1629. On February 5. et al. 1756. on December 4. Inc. Estrada and subject of the cases at bar. 1757 and 1758 or in any other criminal complaint that may be filed in his office. PD 1829. 1755. filed GR No. violation of PD 1602.. and (3) to issue a 30-day status quo order effective immediately enjoining the respondent Ombudsman from resolving or deciding the criminal cases pending investigation in his office against petitioner. Thereafter. 0-00-1756 filed by Romeo Capulong. serious misconduct. graft and corruption. former Senator Rene A. petitioner filed with this Court GR No. Jr. 0-00-1754 filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption on November 17.. Gervasio with the following as members. 146710-15 and GR No. bribery. 146738 and the filing of the respondents' comments "on or before 8:00 a. PD 46. 0-00-1755 filed by the Graft Free Philippines Foundation. No. forfeiture. In a resolution dated February 20. 2000 for plunder. on November 28. Emmanuel Laureso. A special panel of investigators was forthwith created by the respondent Ombudsman to investigate the charges against the petitioner. Atty.R."53 The parties filed their replies on February 24. These are: (1) OMB Case No. a petition for prohibition with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction. (3) OMB Case No." Thru another counsel. Chief Justice Davide. the Court ordered the consolidation of GR Nos. the Court resolved: "(1) to inform the parties that the Court did not issue a resolution on January 20. 2000 for bribery and graft and corruption. Estrada seven (7) days after the hearing held on February 15. Jose de Jesus and Atty. (5) OMB Case No. Jr. until after the term of petitioner as President is over and only if legally warranted. On this date. 000-1757 filed by Leonard de Vera. and declaring respondent to have taken her oath as and to be holding the Office of the President. Saguisag. illegal use of public funds and property. graft and corruption. 2000 for bribery. 146710-15. Thus. etc. 2001 declaring the office of the President vacant and that neither did the Chief Justice issue a press statement justifying the alleged resolution. They debunked the charge of counsel Saguisag that they have "compromised themselves by indicating that they have thrown their weight on one side" but nonetheless inhibited themselves. 0-00-1629.

the judiciary has focused on the "thou shalt not's" of the Constitution directed against the exercise of its jurisdiction." To a great degree. whether he is immune from criminal prosecution. continue to be refined in the mills of constitutional law.57 Our leading case is Tanada v. IV Whether the prosecution of petitioner Estrada should be enjoined on the ground of prejudicial publicity. in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen. the political question doctrine which rests on the principle of separation of powers and on prudential considerations." Respondents rely on the case of Lawyers League for a Better Philippines and/or Oliver A.Assuming that the petitions present a justiciable controversy. have tried to lift the shroud on political question but its exact latitude still splits the best of legal minds. 93 . through former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion. Cuenco. not legality of a particular measure. the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ (of habeas corpus) or the extension thereof x x x. courts here and abroad. which the Court cannot enter. Lozano v. or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made.55 In the United States. I Whether or not the cases At bar involve a political question Private respondents54 raise the threshold issue that the cases at bar pose a political question.56 viz: "x x x Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it. not of 'political cases'. Clearly. the new provision did not just grant the Court power of doing nothing. The doctrine of which we treat is one of 'political questions'. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. courts are given a greater prerogative to determine what it can do to prevent grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government. that she has exercised the powers of the presidency and that she has been recognized by foreign governments. whether petitioner Estrada is a President on leave while respondent Arroyo is an Acting President." In the Philippine setting. In the negative and on the assumption that petitioner is still President. 59 Heretofore. Prominent of these provisions is section 18 of Article VII which empowers this Court in limpid language to "x x x review." They stress that respondent Arroyo ascended the presidency through people power. or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on question. are beyond the jurisdiction of this Court to decide. Justice Brennan in the 1962 case or Baker v. 60 With the new provision. Unless one of these formulations is inextricable from the case at bar. and hence. there should be no dismissal for non justiciability on the ground of a political question's presence. held that political questions refer "to those questions which. In sync and symmetry with this intent are other provisions of the 1987 Constitution trimming the so called political thicket.58 where this Court. the most authoritative guidelines to determine whether a question is political were spelled out by Mr. We reject private respondents' submission. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. III Whether conviction in the impeachment proceedings is a condition precedent for the criminal prosecution of petitioner Estrada. under the Constitution. Developed by the courts in the 20th century. We shall discuss the issues in seriatim. They contend that shorn of its embroideries. the cases at bar assail the "legitimacy of the Arroyo administration. that she has already taken her oath as the 14 th President of the Republic. or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government. To be sure. Carr. however. this Court has been continuously confronted with cases calling for a firmer delineation of the inner and outer perimeters of a political question. the 1987 Constitution has narrowed the reach of the political question doctrine when it expanded the power of judicial review of this court not only to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable but also to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government. They submit that these realities on ground constitute the political thicket.

it is the people who count. Sandiganbayan." The guaranty was carried over in the Philippine Bill. as amended. In fine. and fourth. In checkered contrast. Freedom of speech and the right of assembly are treasured by Filipinos."70 In Hague v. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. second. ergo. Aquino. we held that the government of former President Aquino was the result of a successful revolution by the sovereign people. In the Instruction to the Second Philippine Commission of April 7. she categorically swore to preserve and defend the 1987 Constitution. freedom of expression is essential as a means of assuring individual fulfillment. EDSA I involves the exercise of the people power of revolution which overthrew the whole government." These fundamental rights were preserved when the United States acquired jurisdiction over the Philippines. albeit a peaceful one. A more cerebral reading of the cited cases will show that they are inapplicable.71 this function of free speech and assembly was echoed in the amicus curiae filed by the Bill of Rights Committee of the American Bar Association which emphasized that "the basis of the right of assembly is the substitution of the expression of opinion and belief by talk rather than force.73 this Court similar stressed that "… it should be clear even to those with intellectual deficits that when the sovereign people assemble to petition for redress of grievances. For in a democracy. third. EDSA I is extra constitutional and the legitimacy of the new government that resulted from it cannot be the subject of judicial review.61 and related cases62 to support their thesis that since the cases at bar involve the legitimacy of the government of respondent Arroyo. The oath that she took at the EDSA Shrine is the oath under the 1987 Constitution. individually or collectively. 64 In her oath. 1902 and the Jones Law. the government of respondent Arroyo is not revolutionary in character. The reasons are well put by Emerson: first."72 In the relatively recent case of Subayco v. or of the press. which is the work of the revolutionary Congress in 1898. Denial of these rights was one of the reasons of our 1898 revolution against Spain. 4. These rights are now safely ensconced in section 4. the Act of Congress of August 29. raised the clarion call for the recognition of freedom of the press of the Filipinos and included it as among "the reforms sine quibus non. it is an essential process for advancing knowledge and discovering truth." In is familiar learning that the legitimacy of a government sired by a successful revolution by people power is beyond judicial scrutiny for that government automatically orbits out of the constitutional loop."65 The Malolos Constitution.President Corazon C. the Act of Congress of July 1. Indeed. A brief discourse on freedom of speech and of the freedom of assembly to petition the government for redress of grievance which are the cutting edge of EDSA People Power II is not inappropriate. but EDSA II is intra constitutional and the resignation of the sitting President that it caused and the succession of the Vice President as President are subject to judicial review. No less than the Freedom Constitution63 declared that the Aquino government was installed through a direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people "in defiance of the provisions of the 1973 Constitution. EDSA I presented a political question." 69 In this sense. EDSA II is an exercise of people power of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to petition the government for redress of grievances which only affected the office of the President." The indispensability of the people's freedom of speech and of assembly to democracy is now self-evident. Committee for Industrial Organization. In the cited cases. and (3) of the right to send petitions to the authorities. Jose P. the legal distinction between EDSA People Power I EDSA People Power II is clear. 1966. (2) of the right of association for purposes of human life and which are not contrary to public means. Our national hero. and this means talk for all and by all.66 Thence on. a more stable community of maintaining the precarious balance between healthy cleavage and necessary consensus. the guaranty was set in stone in our 1935 Constitution. freedom of speech and of assembly provides a framework in which the "conflict necessary to the progress of a society can take place without destroying the society. it is specifically provided "that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or of the rights of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances." 94 . of expression. et al. through the use of the press or other similar means. those who are deaf to their grievances are ciphers. they present a political question. it is a method of achieving a more adaptable and hence.67 and the 197368 Constitution. it is essential to provide for participation in decision-making by all members of society. 1900 issued by President McKinley. she has stressed that she is discharging the powers of the presidency under the authority of the 1987 Constitution. Rizal. or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. EDSA II involves legal questions. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech. orally or in writing. provided in its Bill of Rights that Filipinos shall not be deprived (1) of the right to freely express his ideas or opinions. all should listen. viz: "Sec.

and the allocation of governmental powers under section 11 76 of Article VII. Their number grew exponentially. Resignation is not a high level legal abstraction. Madison. the Vice President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term. The more detailed revelations of petitioner's alleged misgovernance in the Blue Ribbon investigation spiked the hate against him. Petitioner denies he resigned as President or that he suffers from a permanent disability. we can have an authoritative window on the state of mind of the petitioner. contemporaneous and posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing a material relevance on the issue. respondent's in vocation of the doctrine of political question is but a foray in the dark. hence. Article VII of the Constitution which provides: "Sec. removal from office or resignation of the President. petitioner's loyal advisers were worried about the swelling of the crowd at EDSA. removal from office. Before the night of January 16 was over. The window is provided in the "Final Days of Joseph Ejercito Estrada. the facts show that petitioner did not write any formal letter of resignation before he evacuated Malacañang Palace in the afternoon of January 20. Soon. his respected senior economic advisers resigned together with his Secretary of Trade and Industry.Needless to state. They also involve the correct calibration of the right of petitioner against prejudicial publicity.77 the doctrine has been laid down that "it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is . . permanent disability. The issue brings under the microscope the meaning of section 8. Hence. they decided to create an ad hoc committee to handle it.. None of the parties considered this issue as posing a political question. 2001 or by the totality of prior. The Articles of Impeachment filed in the House of Representatives which initially was given a near cipher chance of succeeding snowballed. x x x. 2001 after the oath-taking of respondent Arroyo. shall then act as President until the President or Vice President shall have been elected and qualified. it is important to follow the succession of events after the exposẻ of Governor Singson. 78 The validity of a resignation is not government by any formal requirement as to form. In case of death. As the political isolation of the petitioner worsened. in case of his inability. the people's call for his resignation intensified. Senate President Drilon and former Speaker Villar defected with 47 representatives in tow. To appreciate the public pressure that led to the resignation of the petitioner. It can be implied. 8. we hold that petitioner resigned as President. the EDSA Shrine was swarming with people crying for redress of their grievance. whether or not petitioner resigned has to be determined from his act and omissions before. the President of the Senate or." Thus. Respondent Arroyo quit as Secretary of Social Welfare." the diary of Executive Secretary Angara serialized in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It can be express. Their worry would worsen. the cases at bar pose legal and not political questions. In the cases at bar. during and after January 20.74 and section 875 of Article VII. As early as the 1803 case of Marbury v. petitioner's powerful political allies began deserting him. As events approached January 20. At 1:20 p. Indeed. The issues likewise call for a ruling on the scope of presidential immunity from suit. The call reached a new crescendo when the eleven (11) members of the impeachment tribunal refused to open the second envelope. It can be written. it involves a legal question whose factual ingredient is determinable from the records of the case and by resort to judicial notice.m. he submits that the office of the President was not vacant when respondent Arroyo took her oath as President.79 The Angara Diary reveals that in the morning of January 19. It can be oral. Rallies and demonstration quickly spread to the countryside like a brush fire. As long as the resignation is clear. . In express speed." The issue then is whether the petitioner resigned as President or should be considered resigned as of January 20. II Whether or not the petitioner Resigned as President We now slide to the second issue. In case of death. The principal issues for resolution require the proper interpretation of certain provisions in the 1987 Constitution. It is a factual question and its elements are beyond quibble: there must be an intent to resign and the intent must be coupled by acts of relinquishment. it must be given legal effect. 95 . Using this totality test. the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Consequently. The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigated. or resignation of both the President and Vice President. Then. notably section 1 of Article II. 2001 when respondent took her oath as the 14th President of the Public. It sent the people to paroxysms of outrage. permanent disability. it gained the signatures of 115 representatives or more than 1/3 of the House of Representatives.

) I just want to clear my name. The President immediately stresses that he just wants the five-day period promised by Reyes. Ayoko na masyado nang masakit.petitioner pulled Secretary Angara into his small office at the presidential residence and exclaimed: "Ed. The first negotiation for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power immediately started at 12:20 a. The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police shall function under the Vice President as national military and police authority effective immediately. this is high grade evidence that the petitioner has resigned..m. Pagod na ako sa red tape. the bureaucracy. on which day the Vice President will assume the Presidency of the Republic of the Philippines. "Pagod na pagod na ako. through its Chief of Staff.m. petitioner revealed to Secretary Angara. 4.84 At 10:00 p. the petitioner expressed no objection to the suggestion for a graceful and dignified exit but said he would never leave the country.)" 80 An hour later or at 2:30 p. he briefed the petitioner on the three points and the following entry in the Angara Diary shows the reaction of the petitioner. The Armed Forced of the Philippines.. The intent to resign is clear when he said "x x x Ayoko na masyado nang masakit. on Monday. The proposal for a snap election for president in May where he would not be a candidate is an indicium that petitioner had intended to give up the presidency even at that time. former President Ramos called up Secretary Angara and requested. that will be effective on Wednesday. Rene pulls out a document titled "Negotiating Points. this is serious. His mind was already concerned with the five-day grace period he could stay in the palace. Beginning to day. we note that at this stage. the intrigue. The negotiation was limited to three (3) points: (1) the transition period of five days after the petitioner's resignation. 20 January 2001. Angelo has defected.. 3." "Ayoko na" are words of resignation.m. Angie (Reyes) guaranteed that I would have five days to a week in the palace. At 3:00 p. seryoso na ito."85 This is proof that petitioner had reconciled himself to the reality that he had to resign. "Ed.m. Secretary Angara readily agreed.m. According to Secretary Angara. If the envelope is opened. Again. It was a matter of time. (2) the guarantee of the safety of the petitioner and his family. magtulungan tayo para magkaroon tayo ng (let's cooperate to ensure a) peaceful and orderly transfer of power. at 2:30 a. According to the Angara Diary. he will leave by Monday. bureaucracy.m. viz: "x x x I explain what happened during the first round of negotiations. The second round of negotiation resumed at 7:30 a. The President says. and (3) the agreement to open the second envelope to vindicate the name of the petitioner. that fateful Saturday. I'm tired of the red tape. General Reyes joined the sea of EDSA demonstrators demanding the resignation of the petitioner and dramatically announced the AFP's withdrawal of support from the petitioner and their pledge of support to respondent Arroyo. Senator Pimentel repeated to the petitioner the urgency of making a graceful and dignified exit. of January 20.82 The sky was falling fast on the petitioner. (I am very tired."81 Petitioner did not disagree but listened intently. The seismic shift of support left petitioner weak as a president. the transition process for the assumption of the new administration shall commence.m. According to Secretary Angara. as well as to open the second envelope to clear his name. I don't want any more of this – it's too painful."86 There was no defiance to the request. then I will go. intriga. 24 January 2001. we note that the resignation of petitioner was not a disputed point. the problem was already about a peaceful and orderly transfer of power. At 9:30 p. 2. 20 January 2001. The petitioner cannot feign ignorance of this fact. I am accompanied by Dondon Bagatsing and Macel. shall guarantee the security of the 96 . the petitioner decided to call for a snap presidential election and stressed he would not be a candidate.m.. The pressure continued piling up. The President shall sign a resignation document within the day. The resignation of the petitioner was implied. For this round.. – Rene arrives with Bert Romulo and (Ms." It reads: '1. By 11:00 p. he asked Senator Pimentel to advise petitioner to consider the option of "dignified exit or resignation.m. "Ed."88 Again.83 Significantly. Macapagal's spokesperson) Rene Corona. Kumalas na si Angelo (Reyes) (Ed. and persons designated by the Vice President to various positions and offices of the government shall start their orientation activities in coordination with the incumbent officials concerned. 87 Again. the following happened: "Opposition's deal 7:30 a. he says.. He gave the proposal a sweetener by saying that petitioner would be allowed to go abroad with enough funds to support him and his family.

In return. I can hear the general clearing all these points with a group he is with. signed by their side and he was ready to fax it to General Reyes and Senator Pimentel to await the signature of the United Opposition. It was then. Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo shall issue a public statement in the form and tenor provided for in "Annex A" heretofore attached to this agreement. Agreement. 20 January 2001. The Angara diary narrates the fateful events. However. on which day the Vice President will assume the presidency of the Republic of the Philippines. It will be noted that during this second round of negotiation. our discussion draft which reads: The undersigned parties. '2. Both parties hereto agree that the AFP chief of staff and PNP director general shall obtain all the necessary signatures as affixed to this agreement and insure faithful implementation and observance thereof. Both parties shall endeavor to ensure that the Senate sitting as an impeachment court will authorize the opening of the second envelope in the impeachment trial as proof that the subject savings account does not belong to President Estrada. 24 January 2001. too. the signing by the party of the respondent Arroyo was aborted by her oath-taking. President Estrada and his families are guaranteed security and safety of their person and property throughout their natural lifetimes."89 The second round of negotiation cements the reading that the petitioner has resigned. I hear voices in the background. '4. '4. at which time President Joseph Ejercito Estrada will turn over the presidency to Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The Armed Forces of the Philippines through its Chief of Staff. there is a firm agreement on the five points to effect a peaceful transition.90 "xxx 11:00 a. '3. – Between General Reyes and myself. pursuant to the request to the Senate President. which resignation shall be effective on 24 January 2001. xxx The rest of the agreement follows: 2. agree and undertake as follows: '1. The only unsettled points at that time were the measures to be undertaken by the parties during and after the transition period. 5. Both parties request the impeachment court to open the second envelope in the impeachment trial. '5. The agreement starts: 1. for and in behalf of their respective principals. the draft agreement. This commitment shall be guaranteed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through the Chief of Staff. During the Transition Period. The AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) shall function under the Vice President as national military and police authorities. According to Secretary Angara.m. 97 . the resignation of the petitioner was again treated as a given fact. The President shall resign today. which was premised on the resignation of the petitioner was further refined. '3. shall guarantee the safety and security of the President and his families throughout their natural lifetimes as approved by the national military and police authority – Vice President. A transition will occur and take place on Wednesday. Our deal We bring out. the contents of which shall be offered as proof that the subject savings account does not belong to the President. The transition process for the assumption of the new administration shall commence on 20 January 2001. the incoming Cabinet members shall receive an appropriate briefing from the outgoing Cabinet officials as part of the orientation program. Likewise. wherein persons designated by the Vice President to various government positions shall start orientation activities with incumbent officials.President and his family as approved by the national military and police authority (Vice President). During the five-day transition period between 20 January 2001 and 24 January 2001 (the 'Transition Period"). the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) shall function Vice President (Macapagal) as national military and police authorities. as approved by the national military and police authorities – Vice President (Macapagal). It is to be noted that the Senate will open the second envelope in connection with the alleged savings account of the President in the Equitable PCI Bank in accordance with the rules of the Senate. President Estrada and his families are guarantee freedom from persecution or retaliation from government and the private sector throughout their natural lifetimes. viz.

It was confirmed by his leaving Malacañang. General Reyes calls me to say that the Supreme Court has decided that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is President and will be sworn in at 12 noon. at least. – The PSG distributes firearms to some people inside the compound. I call on all my supporters and followers to join me in the promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity.' I ask him: Di yung transition period. It is for this reason that I now leave Malacañang Palace.' Contrary to subsequent reports. Reyes answered: 'Wala na. Only the PSG is there to protect the Palace. demonstrators have already broken down the first line of defense at Mendiola. 11:20 a. 1 p. since the police and military have already withdrawn their support for the President. I will not shirk from any future challenges that may come ahead in the same service of our country. I leave the Palace of our people with gratitude for the opportunities given to me for service to our people. Dondon and Macel. I do not wish to be a factor that will prevent the restoration of unity and order in our civil society.m. Within moments. During lunch. for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation. signed by our side and awaiting the signature of the United opposition. sir (it's over. (1) he acknowledged the oath-taking of the respondent as President of the Republic albeit with reservation about its legality. I direct Demaree Ravel to rush the original document to General Reyes for the signatures of the other side. He did not say he was leaving the Palace due to any kind inability and that he was going to re-assume the presidency as soon as the disability disappears: (3) he expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them. should be respected. for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation. The president is having his final meal at the presidential Residence with the few friends and Cabinet members who have gathered. we hold that the resignation of the petitioner cannot be doubted. And then it happens. While along with many other legal minds of our country.m. and (5) he called on his supporters to join him 98 . the seat of the presidency. sir (yes. I do not react and say that there was a double cross. May the Almighty bless our country and our beloved people. moot and academic na?' And General Reyes answers: ' Oo nga. the seat of the presidency of this country. we're deleting the part). MABUHAY!"' It was curtain time for the petitioner. Ronnie Puno mentions that the president needs to release a final statement before leaving Malacañang. he was referring to the past opportunity given him to serve the people as President (4) he assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come ahead in the same service of our country. Petitioner's reference is to a future challenge after occupying the office of the president which he has given up. (2) he emphasized he was leaving the Palace. to Nene Pimentel and General Reyes.m.The Vice President shall issue a public statement in the form and tenor provided for in Annex "B" heretofore attached to this agreement. 'Bakit hindi naman kayo nakahintay? Paano na ang agreement (why couldn't you wait? What about the agreement)?' I asked. The statement reads: At twelve o'clock noon today. – The President's personal staff is rushing to pack as many of the Estrada family's personal possessions as they can. 12:20 p. Macel erases the first provision and faxes the documents. In sum. The President is too stunned for words: Final meal 12 noon – Gloria takes her oath as president of the Republic of the Philippines. Without doubt. as it is important that the provisions on security. which have been signed by myself. I delete na natin. But I immediately instruct Macel to delete the first provision on resignation since this matter is already moot and academic. – I am all set to fax General Reyes and Nene Pimentel our agreement. In the press release containing his final statement. sir). By this time. I have strong and serious doubts about the legality and constitutionality of her proclamation as President. Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath as President of the Republic of the Philippines. I then advise the President that the Supreme Court has ruled that Chief Justice Davide will administer the oath to Gloria at 12 noon.

viz: "Sec. a public official is facing administrative or criminal investigation or prosecution. To be sure. The separation or cessation of a public official form office shall not be a bar to his prosecution under this Act for an offense committed during his incumbency. shall be allowed to voluntarily resign or retire. however. Senator Arturo Tolentino. "reserved to propose during the period of amendments the inclusion of a provision to the effect that no public official who is under prosecution for any act of graft or corruption. criminal or administrative.in the promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity. but the deliberations on this particular provision mainly focused on the immunity of the President. if at the time he resigns or retires. It is. 3019 originated form Senate Bill No. otherwise known as the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Under any circumstance. Article VII of the Constitution. the national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity could not be attained if he did not give up the presidency. the Vice President shall be the Acting president. 3019. By virtue of the provisions of Section II. 12. despite its legal value. Senate Bill No. which was substantially similar Senate Bill No. Certainly. when it was submitted to the Senate. still. I am hereby transmitting this declaration that I am unable to exercise the powers and duties of my office. If it was prepared before the press release of the petitioner clearly as a later act. His presidency is now in the part tense. the circumstances that led to its preparation. no person can be compelled to render service for that would be a violation of his constitutional right."93 The bill was vetoed by then President Carlos P. Again."92 During the period of amendments." A reading of the legislative history of RA No. there was not the slightest hint of its existence when he issued his final press release. 571. Neither did the counsel of the petitioner reveal to the Court these circumstances during the oral argument. which allegedly prohibits his resignation. It strikes the Court as strange that the letter. in his sponsorship speech. The press release was petitioner's valedictory. which was one of the reasons for the veto of the original bill. however. was thereafter passed. the following provision was inserted as section 15: "Sec. the above letter is wrapped in mystery. Section 15 above became section 13 under the new bill. By operation of law and the Constitution.94 A public official has the right not to serve if he really wants to retire or resign. Be that as it may. the mysterious letter cannot negate the resignation of the petitioner. for any offense under the Act or under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on bribery. did not contain a provision similar to section 12 of the law as it now stands. There was hardly any debate on the prohibition against the resignation or retirement of a public official with pending criminal and administrative cases against him. the intent of the law ought to be obvious. the author of the bill. may even intimate. for any offense under this Act or under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on bribery. such resignation or retirement will not cause the dismissal of the criminal or administrative proceedings 99 . After petitioner contended that as a matter of fact he did not resign. Nevertheless. we refer to the said letter. or is under administrative investigation. 15. it commands scant legal significance. 2001 of the petitioner sent to Senate President Pimentel and Speaker Fuentebella is cited. his final act of farewell. However. viz: "Sir. or pending a prosecution against him. If. or pending a prosecution against him. he also argues that he could not resign as a matter of law. Garcia who questioned the legality of the second paragraph of the provision and insisted that the President's immunity should extend after his tenure. urged that the petitioner did not resign but only took a temporary leave dated January 20. it was prepared after the press released. criminals or administrative. 3019 will hardly provide any comfort to the petitioner. 293. (Sgd. was never referred to by the petitioner during the week-long crisis. RA No. 293. There is another reason why this Court cannot given any legal significance to petitioner's letter and this shall be discussed in issue number III of this Decision.) Joseph Ejercito Estrada" To say the least. Petitioner's resignation from the presidency cannot be the subject of a changing caprice nor of a whimsical will especially if the resignation is the result of his reputation by the people. Termination of office – No public official shall be allowed to resign or retire pending an investigation. No public officer shall be allowed to resign or retire pending an investigation. however. It is to prevent the act of resignation or retirement from being used by a public official as a protective shield to stop the investigation of a pending criminal or administrative case against him and to prevent his prosecution under the Anti-Graft Law or prosecution for bribery under the Revised Penal Code. It was all too easy for him to tell the Filipino people in his press release that he was temporarily unable to govern and that he was leaving the reins of government to respondent Arroyo for the time bearing. He relies on section 12 of RA No.91 The pleadings filed by the petitioner in the cases at bar did not discuss. The original draft of the bill. To be sure.

or. the VicePresident shall act as President. within fortyeight hours. in accordance with its rules and without need of call. the President shall continue exercising the powers and duties of his office. If the Congress. the Congress shall decide the issue. in effect. Thereafter. 0-00-1757 and 0-00-1758. the public prosecutors filed their Manifestation of Withdrawal of Appearance. when the President transmits to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists. He cannot use his resignation or retirement to avoid prosecution. and the proceedings were postponed indefinitely. 0-00-1756. Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. 0-00-1629. Article VII is in order. the operative facts: 1 2 Petitioner. But even assuming arguendo that it is an administrative proceeding. 2001 letter of petitioner sent on the same day to Senate President Pimentel and Speaker Fuentebella. no impeachment case pending against petitioner when he resigned. Technically. While these cases have been filed. that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. on January 20. Meanwhile. petitioner was immune from suit. the public and private prosecutors walked out."95 This contention is the centerpiece of petitioner's stance that he is a President on leave and respondent Arroyo is only an Acting President.against him. sent the above letter claiming inability to the Senate President and Speaker of the House. the respondent Ombudsman refrained from conducting the preliminary investigation of the petitioner for the reason that as the sitting President then. It provides: "SEC. 11. otherwise. There was. and hence is a President on leave. An examination of section 11. if it is not in session. within twelve days after it is required to assemble. 0-00-1755. Section 12 of RA No. For that purpose. 2001. such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President. Petitioner contends that the impeachment proceeding is an administrative investigation that. the said cases cannot be considered as pending for the Ombudsman lacked jurisdiction to act on them. His significant submittal is that "Congress has the ultimate authority under the Constitution to determine whether the President is incapable of performing his functions in the manner provided for in section 11 of article VII. should a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet transmit within five days to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. the inability claim is contained in the January 20. and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary. it can not be considered pending at the time petitioner resigned because the process already broke down when a majority of the senator-judges voted against the opening of the second envelope. 2001. We shall now tackle the contention of the petitioner that he is merely temporarily unable to perform the powers and duties of the presidency. We hold otherwise. bars him from resigning. he shall reassume the powers and duties of his office. Petitioner postulates that respondent Arroyo as Vice President has no power to adjudge the inability of the petitioner to discharge the powers and duties of the presidency. Now. III Whether or not the petitioner Is only temporarily unable to Act as President. determines by a two-thirds vote of both Houses. the Congress shall convene." That is the law. 3 
 100 . the records show that when petitioner resigned on January 20. In the cases at bar. the Vice-President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. within ten days after receipt of the last written declaration. There is another reason why petitioner's contention should be rejected. The exact nature of an impeachment proceeding is debatable. voting separately. under section 12 of RA 3019. if not in session. As aforestated. the cases filed against him before the Ombudsman were OMB Case Nos. 3019 cannot therefore be invoked by the petitioner for it contemplates of cases whose investigation or prosecution do not suffer from any insuperable legal obstacle like the immunity from suit of a sitting President. Whenever a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet transmit to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

it is a concomitant duty of the House of Representatives to exert all efforts to unify the nation. Speaker This Resolution was adopted by the House of Representatives on January 24. continuing government and therefore must remove all obstacles to the attainment thereof. it is axiomatic that the obligations of the government cannot be achieved if it is divided.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR. there is a vacancy in the Office of the Vice President due to the assumption to the Presidency of Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. To express its support to the assumption into office by Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as President of the Republic of the Philippines. Davide. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as President of the Republic of the Philippines. Adopted. and to be an instrument of national reconciliation and solidarity as it is a direct representative of the various segments of the whole nation. it is vital for the attainment of all the foregoing. to heal social and political wounds. immediately thereafter. therefore. (Sgd. 
 Despite receipt of the letter. without surrending its independence.) ROBERTO P. NAZARENO Secretary General" On February 7. the President in the event of such vacancy shall nominate a Vice President from among the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives who shall assume office upon confirmation by a majority vote of all members of both Houses voting separately. WHEREAS. 17898 which states: "RESOLUTION CONFIRMING PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO'S NOMINATION OF SENATOR TEOFISTO T. (Sgd. the House of the Representatives passed House Resolution No. the national interest demanding no less: Now. as a consequence of the people's loss of confidence on the ability of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada to effectively govern. Her Excellency. the Armed Forces of the Philippines. and to be a constructive partner in nation-building. AS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES WHEREAS.m. 2001 House Resolution No. members of the international community had extended their recognition to Her Excellency. to eliminate fractious tension. be it Resolved by the House of Representatives. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has espoused a policy of national healing and reconciliation with justice for the purpose of national unity and development. the House of the Representatives passed House Resolution No. JR. 2001. upon authority of an en banc resolution of the Supreme Court.4 5 6 Unaware of the letter. Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was sworn in as President of the Philippines on 20 January 2001 before Chief Justice Hilario G. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has nominated Senate Minority Leader 101 . respondent Arroyo took her oath of office as President on January 20. Article VII of the Constitution. Her Excellency. WHEREAS. to extend its congratulations and to express its support for her administration as a partner in the attainment of the Nation's goals under the Constitution. 2001. WHEREAS. 175. the Philippine National Police and majority of his cabinet had withdrawn support from him. thus by reason of the constitutional duty of the House of Representatives as an institution and that of the individual members thereof of fealty to the supreme will of the people. GUINGONA. 2001 at about 12:30 p.. for the House of Representatives to extend its support and collaboration to the administration of Her Excellency. Jr. EXTENDING ITS CONGRATULATIONS AND EXPRESSING ITS SUPPORT FOR HER ADMINISTRATION AS A PARTNER IN THE ATTAINMENT OF THE NATION'S GOALS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION WHEREAS.. WHEREAS. WHEREAS. the House of Representatives must ensure to the people a stable. the House of Representatives passed on January 24. WHEREAS. WHEREAS. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. 17697 which states: "RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE SUPPORT OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO THE ASSUMPTION INTO OFFICE BY VICE PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO AS PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES.96 7 On the same date. WHEREAS. pursuant to Section 9.

WHEREFORE. Jr. competence and courage.) AQUILINO Q. Guingona Jr. among others. Jr. we recognize and express support to the new government of President Gloria MacapagalArroyo and resolve to discharge and overcome the nation's challenges. Jr. to the position of Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. having served the government in various capacities. AS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES WHEREAS. despite receipt of petitioner's letter claiming inability.. 83101 which states: 102 . as Delegate to the Constitutional Convention. the Senate of the Philippines has been the forum for vital legislative measures in unity despite diversities in perspectives. therefore. WHEREAS. 2001.. Guingona. the Senate also passed Senate Resolution No. therefore. who has served the Filipino people with dedicated responsibility and patriotism. Secretary of Justice. the President in the event of such vacancy shall nominate a Vice President from among the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives who shall assume office upon confirmation by a majority vote of all members of both Houses voting separately. GUINGONA. among others. TEOFISTO T. That the Senate confirm the nomination of Sen. Guingona. who has served the Filipino people with dedicated responsibility and patriotism. as it is hereby resolved. Senator Teofisto T. (Sgd. there is vacancy in the Office of the Vice President due to the assumption to the Presidency of Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. as Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR. Her Excellency. WHEREAS. Teofisto T. Adopted. having served the government in various capacities. 2001. possesses sterling qualities of true statesmanship. to the position of Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. as Delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Adopted. Sen.) ROBERTO P. be it Resolved as it is hereby resolved by the House of Representatives. (Sgd. (Sgd. Senator of the land . WHEREAS. WHEREAS. (Sgd. possesses sterling qualities of true statemanship. BARBO Secretary of the Senate" On the same date. February 7. Guingona. Speaker This Resolution was adopted by the House of Representatives on February 7. 82100 which states: "RESOLUTION CONFIRMING PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO'S NOMINATION OF SEM. competence and courage. JR. Guingona. is a public servant endowed with integrity. the Senate likewise passed Senate Resolution No. NAZARENO Secretary General" (4) Also. Jr. PIMENTEL JR. WHEREAS. the recent transition in government offers the nation an opportunity for meaningful change and challenge. as the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. Sen. Teofisto T. That the House of Representatives confirms the nomination of Senator Teofisto T. WHEREAS.) LUTGARDO B. Secretary of Justice.which qualities merit his nomination to the position of Vice President of the Republic: Now. WHEREAS. Executive Secretary. pursuant to Section 9 Article VII of the Constitution. President of the Senate This Resolution was adopted by the Senate on February 7. is a public servant endowed with integrity. Chairman of the Commission on Audit. Jr. some twelve (12) members of the Senate signed the following: "RESOLUTION WHEREAS. Jr. Guingona. Teofisto T. WHEREAS." 99 On February 7. be it Resolved. Guingona. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has nominated Senate Minority Leader Teofisto T. Guingona Jr. Senator of the Philippines – qualities which merit his nomination to the position of Vice President of the Republic: Now.Teofisto T. Senator Teofisto T. to attain desired changes and overcome awesome challenges the nation needs unity of purpose and resolve cohesive resolute (sic) will. Chairman of the Commission on Audit. Executive Secretary.

further. Resolved."RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THAT THE IMPEACHMENT COURT IS FUNCTUS OFFICIO Resolved. even if the petitioner can prove that he did not resign. the Court cannot pass upon petitioner's claim of inability to discharge the power and duties of the presidency. this Court. It is a political issue. J." Clearly. still.' (6) Both houses of Congress started sending bills to be signed into law by respondent Arroyo as President. In fine. 2001. PIMENTEL. Harding and C. Implicitly clear in that recognition is the premise that the inability of petitioner Estrada. vs. respectively. for damages for allegedly conspiring to deport him to China. president made by a co-equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by this Court.R. Governor-General of the Philippine Islands. The doctrine of executive immunity in this jurisdiction emerged as a case law. Tuesday. President of the Senate This Resolution was adopted by the Senate on February 7. Adopted. That the Journals of the Impeachment Court on Monday. That the records of the Impeachment Court including the "second envelope" be transferred to the Archives of the Senate for proper safekeeping and preservation in accordance with the Rules of the Senate. Is no longer temporary. he enjoys immunity from all kinds of suit. In the 1910 case of Forbes. Chief of Police and Chief of the Secret Service of the City of Manila. IV Whether or not the petitioner enjoys immunity from suit. What leaps to the eye from these irrefutable facts is that both houses of Congress have recognized respondent Arroyo as the President. and without any support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. That the Senate recognize that the Impeachment Court is functus officio and has been terminated. Jr. Resolved. Assuming he enjoys immunity. Resolved. January 15. he cannot successfully claim that he is a President on leave on the ground that he is merely unable to govern temporarily. Before resolving petitioner's contentions. (Sgd.104 the respondent Tiaco. That claim has been laid to rest by Congress and the decision that respondent Arroyo is the de jure. January 16 and Wednesday. The question is whether this Court has jurisdiction to review the claim of temporary inability of petitioner Estrada and thereafter revise the decision of both Houses of Congress recognizing respondent Arroyo as president of the Philippines. as it is hereby resolved. Cameron Forbes. the Senate also passed Resolution No. The question is political in nature and addressed solely to Congress by constitutional fiat. whether criminal or civil. sued petitioner W. finally." Or to use the language in Baker vs.) LUTGARDO B. a Chinese citizen.103 there is a "textually demonstrable or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it. Disposition and retrieval thereof shall be made only upon written approval of the Senate president. Carr. etc. January 17.E. Trowbridge. (Sgd. the cases filed against him before the respondent Ombudsman should be prohibited because he has not been convicted in the impeachment proceedings against him. the petitioner continues to claim that his inability to govern is only momentary. (7) Despite the lapse of time and still without any functioning Cabinet.102 we hold that this Court cannot exercise its judicial power or this is an issue "in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislative xxx branch of the government. Following Tañada v. which cannot be decided by this Court without transgressing the principle of separation of powers. 2001 be considered approved. the extent of the immunity Petitioner Estrada makes two submissions: first. 2001 and the Senatorial candidate garnering the thirteenth (13th) highest number of votes shall serve only for the unexpired term of Senator Teofisto T. without any recognition from any sector of government. Guingona. 84 "certifying to the existence of vacancy in the Senate and calling on the COMELEC to fill up such vacancy through election to be held simultaneously with the regular election on May 14. Chuoco Tiaco and Crosfield. and second. That all parties concerned be furnished copies of this Resolution. further. 103 . JR. BARBO Secretary of the Senate" (5) On February 8. a revisit of our legal history executive immunity will be most enlightening. In granting a writ of prohibition. Congress has clearly rejected petitioner's claim of inability.) AQUILINO Q. Cuenco.

might honestly differ."105 Our 1935 Constitution took effect but it did not contain any specific provision on executive immunity. Atty. brightened the modifications effected by this constitutional amendment on the existing law on executive privilege. destroying rights of person and of property."106 petitioner's learned counsel. It can be said that at that point most of us were suffering from AIDS (or absolute immunity defense syndrome). On the contrary. even by the highest authority of the state. reasonably qualified for that position. do what he will. In 1981. The immunities herein provided shall apply to the incumbent President referred to in Article XVII of this Constitution. however humble or of whatever country. and will. simply. disrespect engendered for the person of one of the highest officials of the state and for the office he occupies. be they government officials or private individuals. Justice Johnson underscored the consequences if the Chief Executive was not granted immunity from suit. Public policy forbids it. provided he actually used discretion and judgement. If he decide wrongly. when the mater is properly presented to it and the occasion justly warrants it. we enlarged its scope so that it would cover even acts of the President outside the scope of official duties. This does not mean. any more than it can a member of the Philippine Commission of the Philippine Assembly. In other words. Article VII stated: "The President shall be immune from suit during his tenure. First. though. "Presidential Immunity and All The King's Men: The Law of Privilege As a Defense To Actions For Damages. And third. that he may. be acts. a tendency to unrest and disorder resulting in a way. when his personal or property rights have been invaded. the judicial faculty. In such case. we extended it to shield the President not only form civil claims but also from criminal cases and other claims. that is. To quote his disquisition: "In the Philippines. Second. we broadened its coverage so as to include not only the President but also other persons. In his second Vicente G. in determining the question of his authority. The judiciary has full power to. under the guise of the execution of the law.speaking thru Mr. could walk defiantly abroad. under cover of his office. who acted upon orders of the President." Mr. Action upon important matters of state delayed. but also when he is without authority. Such a construction would mean that tyranny. unimpeded and unrestrained. Marcos and the 1973 Constitution was born. like the judges if the courts and the members of the Legislature. What is held here is that he will be protected from personal liability for damages not only when he acts within his authority. declare an act of the Governor-General illegal and void and place as nearly as possible in status quo any person who has been deprived his liberty or his property by such act. it means. former Dean of the UP College of Law. but he s not protected if the lack of authority to act is so plain that two such men could not honestly differ over its determination. Neither does this principle of nonliability mean that the chief executive may not be personally sued at all in relation to acts which he claims to perform as such official. Pacificao Agabin. not as Governor-General but as a private individual. we sought to do the Americans one better by enlarging and fortifying the absolute immunity concept. the time and substance of the chief executive spent in wrangling litigation. particularly that portion which touched the liability of judges and drew an analogy between such liability and that of the Governor-General. it was amended and one of the amendments involved executive immunity. viz "xxx. that the governors-general. but must submit in silence. Justice Johnson. that the latter is liable when he acts in a case so plainly outside of his power and authority that he can not be said to have exercised discretion in determining whether or not he had the right to act." The Opposition in the then Batasan Pambansa sought the repeal of this Marcosian concept of executive 104 . in determining whether he had authority to act or not. wholly free from interference of courts or legislatures. This remedy is assured to every person. he is still protected provided the question of his authority was one over which two men. Sinco professional Chair lecture entitled. may not be personally mulcted in civil damages for the consequences of an act executed in the performance of his official duties. Then came the tumult of the martial law years under the late President Ferdinand E. it clearly appears from the discussion heretofore had. no suit whatsoever shall lie for official acts done by him or by others pursuant to his specific orders during his tenure. does not mean that the judiciary has no authority to touch the acts of the Governor-General. in distrust as to the integrity of government itself. On the contrary. and as such must answer for the consequences of his act. as herein enunciated. either that a person injured by the executive authority by an act unjustifiable under the law has n remedy. held: " The principle of nonliability. The thing which the judiciary can not do is mulct the Governor-General personally in damages which result from the performance of his official duty. Section 17. Thereafter.

especially plunder which carries the death penalty."109 Since. now Secretary of Finance. who argued that the after incumbency immunity granted to President Marcos violated the principle that a public office is a public trust. if an impeachment proceeding has been filed against the President. Such a submission has nothing to commend itself for it will place him in a better situation than a non-sitting President who has not been subjected to impeachment proceedings and yet can be the object of a criminal prosecution. Romulo. The reason for the omission is that we consider it understood in present jurisprudence that during his tenure he is immune from suit. Bernas. Bernas. Madam President. petitioner Estrada cannot demand as a condition sine qua non to his criminal prosecution before the Ombudsman that he be convicted in the impeachment proceedings. and the President resigns before judgement of conviction has been rendered by the impeachment court or by the body. His reliance on the case of Lecaroz vs. The last question is with reference to the Committee's omitting in the draft proposal the immunity provision for the President. So there is no need to express it here. Petitioner cannot cite any decision of this Court licensing the President to commit criminal acts and wrapping him with posttenure immunity from liability. Sandiganbayan112 and related cases113 are inapropos for they have a different factual milieu. 83 "Recognizing that the Impeachment Court is Functus Officio. 2001. Suarez. Fr. On that understanding. The impeachment trial of petitioner Estrada was aborted by the walkout of the prosecutors and by the events that led to his loss of the presidency. He denounced the immunity as a return to the anachronism "the king can do no wrong. The cases filed against petitioner Estrada are criminal in character. Aquino. as the President-in-exile in Hawaii is now facing litigation's almost daily? Fr. The following explanation was given by delegate J. the debates in the Constitutional Commission make it clear that when impeachment proceedings have become moot due to the resignation of the President. I agree with Commissioner Nolledo that the Committee did very well in striking out second sentence. I think the Commissioner for the clarifications.immunity in the 1973 Constitution. Alberto Romulo. be covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of a non-sitting president. of the original provision on immunity from suit under the 1973 Constitution. at the very least. for example. The move was led by them Member of Parliament. Mr. he might be spending all his time facing litigation's. The plea if granted."107 The effort failed." This is in accord with our ruling In Re: Saturnino Bermudez111 that 'incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period of their incumbency and tenure" but not beyond. Suarez. bribery and graft and corruption. To be sure. Bernas vis:108 "Mr. the Impeachment Court is now functus officio. how does it affect the impeachment proceeding? Will it be necessarily dropped? Mr. Thank you. Mr. However. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes. On another point. There is no need. When the 1987 Constitution was crafted. viz: 110 "xxx Mr. the proper criminal and civil cases may already be filed against him. But would the Committee members not agree to a restoration of at least the first sentence that the President shall be immune from suit during his tenure. They involve plunder. If we decide the purpose of impeachment to remove one from office. it is untenable for petitioner to demand that he should first be impeached and then convicted before he can be prosecuted. It was that way before. then his resignation would render the case moot and academic. We now come to the scope of immunity that can be claimed by petitioner as a non-sitting President. as the provision says. the Senate passed Senate Resolution No. its framers did not reenact the executive immunity provision of the 1973 Constitution. Suarez. on February 7. The only innovation made by the 1973 Constitution was to make that explicit and to add other things. I will not press for any more query. Considering the peculiar circumstance that the impeachment process against the petitioner has been aborted and thereafter he lost the presidency." We shall now rule on the contentions of petitioner in the light of this history. would put a perpetual bar against his prosecution. It will be anomalous to hold that immunity is an inoculation from liability for 105 . Indeed. the criminal and civil aspects of it may continue in the ordinary courts. The 1973 Constitution ceased to exist when President Marcos was ousted from office by the People Power revolution in 1986. We reject his argument that he cannot be prosecuted for the reason that he must first be convicted in the impeachment proceedings. considering that if we do not provide him that kind of an immunity.

Teehankee. the US Supreme Court had the occasion to reiterate this doctrine in the case of Clinton v. Then and now." Recently. integrity. critical reading of current literature on executive immunity will reveal a judicial disinclination to expand the privilege especially when it impedes the search for truth or impairs the vindication of a right. unjust improper or inefficient. President Nixon moved to quash the subpoena on the ground. et al. 118 It declared as a state policy that "the State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruptio. i. Nixon." 120 It set the rule that 'the right of the State to recover properties unlawfully acquired by public officials or employees. loyalty. court of Appeals. This is not the first time the issue of trial by publicity has been raised in this Court to stop the trials or annul convictions in high profile criminal cases.124 These constitutional policies will be devalued if we sustain petitioner's claim that a non-sitting president enjoys immunity from suit for criminal acts committed during his incumbency.. He submits that the respondent Ombudsman has developed bias and is all set file the criminal cases violation of his right to due process. Seven advisers of President Nixon's associates were facing charges of conspiracy to obstruct Justice and other offenses.129 we laid down the doctrine that: "We cannot sustain appellant's claim that he was denied the right to impartial trial due to prejudicial publicity. It concluded that "when the ground for asserting privilege as to subpoenaed materials sought for use in a criminal trial is based only on the generalized interest in confidentiality."119 it ordained that "public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people. The rule is that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any trespasser.116 the US Supreme Court further held that the immunity of the president from civil damages covers only "official acts. V Whether or not the prosecution of petitioner Estrada should be enjoined due to prejudicial publicity Petitioner also contends that the respondent Ombudsman should be stopped from conducting the investigation of the cases filed against him due to the barrage of prejudicial publicity on his guilt."123 The Office of the Ombudsman was also given fiscal autonomy. we rule that the right of an accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press. It is true that the print and broadcast media gave the case at bar pervasive publicity." In the 1982 case of Nixon v. US courts assume a skeptical approach about the potential effect of pervasive publicity on the right of an accused to a fair trial.e. President Nixon himself was named an unindicted co-conspirator.115 US President Richard Nixon." 121 It maintained the Sandiganbayan as an anti-graft court. that the President was not subject to judicial process and that he should first be impeached and removed from office before he could be made amenable to judicial proceedings. Fitzgerald. One of the great themes of the 1987 Constitution is that a public office is a public trust. latches or estoppel.126 The American approach is different. strong likelihood. just like all high profile and high stake criminal trials. etc.122 It created the office of the Ombudsman and endowed it with enormous powers. among others. and lead modest lives. and efficiency act with patriotism and justice. They have developed different strains of tests to resolve this issue. from them or from their nominees or transferees. Jr. or on complaint by any person. Jones 117 where it held that the US President's immunity from suits for money damages arising out of their official acts is inapplicable to unofficial conduct. which were committed in a burglary of the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington's Watergate Hotel during the 972 presidential campaign. it cannot prevail over the fundamental demands of due process of law in the fair administration of criminal justice. 125 The British approach the problem with the presumption that publicity will prejudice a jury.. To be sure. serve them with utmost responsibility.. There are two (2) principal legal and philosophical schools of thought on how to deal with the rain of unrestrained publicity during the investigation and trial of high profile cases. shall not be barred by prescription. There are more reasons not to be sympathetic to appeals to stretch the scope of executive immunity in our jurisdiction.128 later reiterated in the case of Larranaga vs. a sitting President. probability of irreparable harm.unlawful acts and conditions. Thus. English courts readily stay and stop criminal trials when the right of an accused to fair trial suffers a threat. was subpoenaed to produce certain recordings and documents relating to his conversations with aids and advisers. clear and present danger. responsible reporting enhances accused's right to a fair 106 . In the 1974 case of US v. employee. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. among which is to "investigate on its own. office or agency.127 In People vs. any act or omission of any public official. substantial. 114 Indeed. The claim was rejected by the US Supreme Court.

' We expounded further on this doctrine in the subsequent case of Webb vs.. gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that the publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired his impartiality. as well pointed out. Our judges are learned in the law and trained to disregard offcourt evidence and on-camera performances of parties to litigation. which can best be provided by allowing people to observe such process.. To work effectively. We find no procedural impediment to its early invocation considering the substantial risk to their liberty while undergoing a preliminary investigation. These news form part of our everyday menu of the facts and fictions of life. and judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism. 80 S Ct 1038. The state of the art of our communication system brings news as they happen straight to our breakfast tables and right to our bedrooms. the records do not show that the trial judge developed actual bias against appellants as a consequence of the extensive media coverage of the pre-trial and trial of his case. it is impossible to seal the minds of members of the bench from pre-trial and other off-court publicity of sensational criminal cases. For sure. The mere fact that the trial of appellant was given a day-to-day. the respondents. viz: "Again petitioners raise the effect of prejudicial publicity on their right to due process while undergoing preliminary investigation. v. which is incapable of change even by evidence presented during the trial. there must be allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced. United States. even the principal actors in the case – the NBI. 4 L Ed 2d 989. The totality of circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge acquired a fixed opinion as a result of prejudicial publicity. 130 and its companion cases. For one. 
 c The freedoms of speech. In Martelino. share a 107 . In the seminal case of Richmond Newspapers. Levine v. etc. providing an outlet for community concern. criminal trials both here and in England had long been presumptively open. 75 S Ct 11. v. xxx xxx xxx. by the barrage of publicity. the misconduct of participants. Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. criminal trials cannot be completely closed to the press and public.g.trial for. appellant can only conjure possibility of prejudice on the part of the trial judge due to the barrage of publicity that characterized the investigation and trial of the case. Virginia. 362 US 610. For another. their lawyers and their sympathizers have participated in this media blitz. 348 US 11. its excessiveness has been aggravated by kinetic developments in the telecommunications industry. the significant community therapeutic value of public trials was recognized when a shocking crime occurs a community reaction of outrage and public protest often follows. We have not installed the jury system whose members are overly protected from publicity lest they lose there impartially. Their mere exposure to publications and publicity stunts does not per se fatally infect their impartiality. xxx The democratic settings. Our daily diet of facts and fiction about the case continues unabated even today. media coverage of trials of sensational cases cannot be avoided and oftentimes. our idea of a fair and impartial judge is not that of a hermit who is out of touch with the world. 99 L ED 11.' Offutt v. it was xxx a b The historical evidence of the evolution of the criminal trial in Anglo-American justice demonstrates conclusively that at the time this Nation's organic laws were adopted. Appellant has the burden to prove this actual bias and he has not discharged the burden. e. 14. Press and assembly. From this unbroken.. uncontradicted history. In the case at a bar. thus giving assurance that the proceedings were conducted fairly to all concerned and discouraging perjury. Cf. Alejandro. The press does not simply publish information about trials but guards against the miscarriage of justice by subjecting the police. hostility and emotion. we rejected this standard of possibility of prejudice and adopted the test of actual prejudice as we ruled that to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity. it must be concluded that a presumption of openness inheres in the very nature of a criminal trial under this Nation's system of justice. The possibility of media abuses and their threat to a fair trial notwithstanding. et al. Hon. United States. expressly guaranteed by the First Amendment. not simply that they might be. In addition. it is important that society's criminal process satisfy the appearance of justice. supported by reasons as valid today as in centuries past. Raul de Leon. et al. a responsible press has always been regarded as the criminal field xxx. Indeed. prosecutors. and thereafter the open processes of justice serve an important prophylactic purpose. Commentators still bombard the public with views not too many of which are sober and sublime. Inc. or decisions based on secret bias or partiality. At best. few cases can match the high volume and high velocity of publicity that attended the preliminary investigation of the case at bar.

common core purpose of assuring freedom of communication on matters relating to the
functioning of government. In guaranteeing freedom such as those of speech and press, the First
Amendment can be read as protecting the right of everyone to attend trials so as give meaning to
those explicit guarantees; the First Amendment right to receive information and ideas means, in
the context of trials, that the guarantees of speech and press, standing alone, prohibit
government from summarily closing courtroom doors which had long been open to the public at
the time the First Amendment was adopted. Moreover, the right of assembly is also relevant,
having been regarded not only as an independent right but also as a catalyst to augment the free
exercise of the other First Amendment rights with which the draftsmen deliberately linked it. A trial
courtroom is a public place where the people generally and representatives of the media have a
right to be present, and where their presence historically has been thought to enhance the
integrity and quality of what takes place. 

d Even though the Constitution contains no provision which be its terms guarantees to the public the right
to attend criminal trials, various fundamental rights, not expressly guaranteed, have been
recognized as indispensable to the enjoyment of enumerated rights. The right to attend criminal
trial is implicit in the guarantees of the First Amendment: without the freedom to attend such trials,
which people have exercised for centuries, important aspects of freedom of speech and of the
press be eviscerated.
Be that as it may, we recognize that pervasive and prejudicial publicity under certain circumstances can
deprive an accused of his due process right to fair trial. Thus, in Martelino, et al. vs. Alejandro, et al., we
held that to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity there must be allegation and proof that the judges
have been unduly influenced, not simply that they might be, by the barrage of publicity. In the case at bar,
we find nothing in the records that will prove that the tone and content of the publicity that attended the
investigation of petitioners fatally infected the fairness and impartiality of the DOJ Panel. Petitioners
cannot just rely on the subliminal effects of publicity on the sense of fairness of the DOJ Panel, for these
are basically unbeknown and beyond knowing. To be sure, the DOJ Panel is composed of an Assistant
Chief State Prosecutor and Senior State Prosecutors. Their long experience in criminal investigation is a
factor to consider in determining whether they can easily be blinded by the klieg lights of publicity. Indeed,
their 26-page Resolution carries no indubitable indicia of bias for it does not appear that they considered
any extra-record evidence except evidence properly adduced by the parties. The length of time the
investigation was conducted despite its summary nature and the generosity with which they
accommodated the discovery motions of petitioners speak well of their fairness. At no instance, we note,
did petitioners seek the disqualification of any member of the DOJ Panel on the ground of bias resulting
from their bombardment of prejudicial publicity." (emphasis supplied)
Applying the above ruling, we hold that there is not enough evidence to warrant this Court to enjoin
the preliminary investigation of the petitioner by the respondent Ombudsman. Petitioner needs to
offer more than hostile headlines to discharge his burden of proof. 131 He needs to show more weighty
social science evidence to successfully prove the impaired capacity of a judge to render a bias-free
decision. Well to note, the cases against the petitioner are still undergoing preliminary investigation by a
special panel of prosecutors in the office of the respondent Ombudsman. No allegation whatsoever has
been made by the petitioner that the minds of the members of this special panel have already been
infected by bias because of the pervasive prejudicial publicity against him. Indeed, the special panel has
yet to come out with its findings and the Court cannot second guess whether its recommendation will be
unfavorable to the petitioner.1âwphi1.nêt
The records show that petitioner has instead charged respondent Ombudsman himself with bias. To
quote petitioner's submission, the respondent Ombudsman "has been influenced by the barrage of
slanted news reports, and he has buckled to the threats and pressures directed at him by the mobs." 132
News reports have also been quoted to establish that the respondent Ombudsman has already prejudged
the cases of the petitioner133 and it is postulated that the prosecutors investigating the petitioner will be
influenced by this bias of their superior.
Again, we hold that the evidence proffered by the petitioner is insubstantial. The accuracy of the news
reports referred to by the petitioner cannot be the subject of judicial notice by this Court especially in light
of the denials of the respondent Ombudsman as to his alleged prejudice and the presumption of good
faith and regularity in the performance of official duty to which he is entitled. Nor can we adopt the
theory of derivative prejudice of petitioner, i.e., that the prejudice of respondent Ombudsman
flows to his subordinates. In truth, our Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, give investigation

108

prosecutors the independence to make their own findings and recommendations albeit they are
reviewable by their superiors.134 They can be reversed but they can not be compelled cases which they
believe deserve dismissal. In other words, investigating prosecutors should not be treated like unthinking
slot machines. Moreover, if the respondent Ombudsman resolves to file the cases against the petitioner
and the latter believes that the findings of probable cause against him is the result of bias, he still has the
remedy of assailing it before the proper court.
VI.
Epilogue
A word of caution to the "hooting throng." The cases against the petitioner will now acquire a different
dimension and then move to a new stage - - - the Office of the Ombudsman. Predictably, the call from the
majority for instant justice will hit a higher decibel while the gnashing of teeth of the minority will be more
threatening. It is the sacred duty of the respondent Ombudsman to balance the right of the State to
prosecute the guilty and the right of an accused to a fair investigation and trial which has been
categorized as the "most fundamental of all freedoms."135 To be sure, the duty of a prosecutor is more to
do justice and less to prosecute. His is the obligation to insure that the preliminary investigation of the
petitioner shall have a circus-free atmosphere. He has to provide the restraint against what Lord Bryce
calls "the impatient vehemence of the majority." Rights in a democracy are not decided by the mob whose
judgment is dictated by rage and not by reason. Nor are rights necessarily resolved by the power of
number for in a democracy, the dogmatism of the majority is not and should never be the definition of the
rule of law. If democracy has proved to be the best form of government, it is because it has respected the
right of the minority to convince the majority that it is wrong. Tolerance of multiformity of thoughts,
however offensive they may be, is the key to man's progress from the cave to civilization. Let us not throw
away that key just to pander to some people's prejudice.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petitions of Joseph Ejercito Estrada challenging the respondent Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo as the de jure 14th President of the Republic are DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 113685 June 19, 1997
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
THEODORE BERNAL, JOHN DOE and PETER DOE, accused-appellants.
ROMERO, J.:
Accused-appellant Theodore Bernal, together with two other persons whose identities and whereabouts
are still unknown, were charged with the crime of kidnapping in Criminal Case No. 26658-92 of the
Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch 10, under an information 1 dated July 13, 1992, which reads as
follows:
That on or about August 5, 1991, in the City of Davao, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-mentioned accused, armed with hand guns, conspiring, confederating and
cooperating together and helping one another, and by means of force, violence, intimidation and threat,
wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously grabbed and kidnapped one Bienvenido Openda, Jr., while the latter
was drinking liquor with his friends as Bolton Isla, this City and was brought, handcuffed and carried away
using the PU then fled together with Bienvenido Openda, Jr., thereby depriving the said Bienvenido
Openda, Jr. of his liberty against his will.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
A plea of not guilty having been entered by Bernal during his arraignment, trial ensued. The prosecution
presented four witnesses. 2 On the other hand, Theodore Bernal testified for his defense.
The materials facts and events as found by the court a quo are:
It appears that on August 5, 1991, around 11:30 in the morning, while Roberto Racasa and Openda, Jr.
were engaged in a drinking spree, they invited Bernal, who was passing by, to join them.
After a few minutes, Bernal decided to leave both men, apparently because he was going to fetch his
child. Thereafter, two men arrived, approached Openda, Jr., and asked the latter if he was "Payat." 3
When he said yes, one of them suddenly pulled out a handgun while the other handcuffed him and told
him "not to run because they were policemen" and because he had an "atraso" or a score to settle with
them. They then hastily took him away. Racasa immediately went to the house of Openda, Jr. and
informed the latter's mother of the abduction.
The theory of the prosecution, as culled from the testimony of a certain Salito Enriquez, tends to establish

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that Openda, Jr. had an illicit affair with Bernal's wife Naty and this was the motive behind the former's
kidnapping. Until now, Openda, Jr. is still missing.
On the other hand, the defense asserts that Openda Jr. was a drug-pusher arrested by the police on
August 5, 1991, and hence, was never kidnapped. 4
On December 10, 1993, the court a quo rendered judgment 5 finding Bernal "guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of kidnapping for the abduction and disappearance of Bienvenido Openda Jr. under
Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences him to reclusion perpetua and to indemnify
his mother Teresita Openda in the amount of P50,000.00 for her mental anguish and moral suffering." 6
Bernal assails the lower court for giving weight and credence to the prosecution witnesses' allegedly
illusory testimonies and for convicting him when his guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.
We find no compelling reason to overturn the decision of the lower court.
The Court notes that up to this day, neither the victim nor his body has been found. This, however, does
not preclude the Court from ruling on the merits of the case. In Kidnapping, what is important is to
determine and prove the fact of seizure, and the subsequent disappearance of the victim will not
exonerate an accused from prosecution therefor. Otherwise, kidnappers can easily avoid punishment by
the simple expedient of disposing of their victim's bodies.
Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code provides thus:
Art. 267. — Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. —
Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his
liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death:
1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than five days.
2. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority.
3. If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained, or if
threats to kill him shall have been made.
4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, female or a public officer.
The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting
ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances above-mentioned were
present in the commission of the offense.
For the charge of kidnapping to prosper, the deprivation of the victim's liberty, which is the essential
element of the offense, must be duly proved. In the case at bar, Bernal indisputably acted in conspiracy
with the two other unknown individuals "as shown by their concerted acts evidentiary of a unity of thought
and community of purpose." 7 Proof of conspiracy is perhaps most frequently made by evidence of a
chain of circumstances only. 8 The circumstances present in this case sufficiently indicate the participation
of Bernal in the disappearance of Openda, Jr.
The prosecution has profferred sufficient evidence to show that, indeed, Bernal, together with his two
companions, abducted Openda, Jr. on August 5, 1991. A certain Adonis Sagarino, a childhood friend and
neighbor of the victim, testified that he saw Bernal at the billiard hall at about 11:00 a.m. with his two
companions and overheard him dispatching one of them to "Tarsing's Store" to check if a certain person
was still there. This person later turned out to be Openda, Jr. He added that after the latter's presence
was confirmed, the three men left the billiard hall. Minutes later, Openda, Jr., already handcuffed, passed
by the billiard hall with Bernal's companions.
Equally important is the testimony of Roberto Racasa, a resident of Bucana, Davao City who knew both
Bernal and the victim, the former being his neighbor and compadre. He narrated that he and the victim
were drinking at "Tarsing's Store" on that fateful day when Bernal passed by and had a drink with them.
After a few minutes, Bernal decided to leave, after which, two men came to the store and asked for
"Payat." When Openda, Jr. confirmed that he was indeed "Payat," hew was handcuffed and taken away
by the unidentified men.
Likewise, a certain Salito Enriquez, a tailor and a friend of Openda, Jr., testified that sometime in January
1991, Openda, Jr. confided to him that he and Bernal's wife Naty were having an affair. One time, Naty
even gave Openda, Jr. money which they used to pay for a motel room. He advised Naty "not to do it
again because she (was) a married woman. 9 Undoubtedly, his wife's infidelity was ample reason for
Bernal to contemplate revenge.
Motive is generally irrelevant, unless it is utilized in establishing the identity of the perpetrator. Coupled
with enough circumstantial evidence of facts from which it may be reasonably inferred that the accused
was the malefactor, motive may be sufficient to support a conviction. 10 Openda, Jr.'s revelation to
Enriquez regarding his illicit relationship with Bernal's wife is admissible in evidence, pursuant to Section

110

: Sec. his two companions came back and proceeded to Tarcing Store and arrested Jun-jun Openda. Q He was alone? 111 . — The declaration made by a person deceased. definitely a declaration against his own interest. pass by the billiard hall already handcuffed. Q The three of them together? A Yes." 12 Openda. 15 From this proceeding. because when they left. sir. His confession to Enriquez. with the two unidentified companions of Bernal with him. Racasa. having been missing since his abduction. Jr. When these two men brought out Jun-jun Openda. and that he came to know that he was Openda. how long (sic) were you able to see him again? A Quite a time. were still there drinking with Racasa. (2) that it relates to a fact against the interest of the declarant. where did you stay? A I just stayed in the billiard hall. 11 A statement may be admissible when it complies with the following requisites. Bernal highlights supposed inconsistencies in Sagarino's testimony. moral or even penal. that a reasonable man in his position would not have made the declaration unless he believed it to be true. With the deletion of the phrase "pecuniary or moral interest" from the present provision. he says that he had not known who the person was that Bernal referred to when he requested one of this two companions to go see if that person was still there at the store. since his affair with Naty Bernal was a crime. 16 If one had a direct view of "Tarsing's Store" from the billiard hall. Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence. the latter came back with Openda. already handcuffed. if the fact asserted in the declaration was at the time it was made so far contrary to declarant's own interest. Bernal would not have requested his companion to check if Openda. is admissible in evidence 13 because no sane person will be presumed to tell a falsehood to his own detriment. sir. arrested. at the Tarsing or Tarcing store. that is. Bernal came. to wit: "(1) that the declarant is dead or unable to testify. sir. on cross-examination. against the interest of the declarant. Q Are you sure of that? A Yes. Jr. and (4) that the declarant had no motive to falsify and believed such declaration to be true. it is safe to assume that "declaration against interest" has been expanded to include all kinds of interest. pecuniary. (3) that at the time he made said declaration the declarant was aware that the same was contrary to his aforesaid interest. Q And what about you. Declaration against interest. sir. Q While you stay (sic) in the billiard hall. On the contrary. stated: Q After Theodore Bernal left you have seen him also returned (sic) with his child. Jr. Jr. Q He has with him his son? A He was with nobody. on their way out to the main road. is that correct? A Yes. proprietary. 14 In his brief. or unable to testify. after a while.38. viz. Q Do you know where this Bernal from? (sic) A He was coming from outside. Jr. He alleges that the latter could not have seen the actual handcuffing because "Tarsing's Store" could not be seen from the billiard hall. sir. Q And what did these two men do? A They apprehended Jun-jun Openda. 38.. fifteen minutes later. The lower court correctly rejected this argument by holding that: But Sagarino has not said that he saw the actual handcuffing of Openda. Jr. cannot be called upon to testify. Sagarino's testimony shows that after Bernal and two others left the billiard hall.. what did you see next? A The two came back. only after he saw Openda. Jr. Q Who were these two whom you said who (sic) came back? A The companions of Bernal. Bernal wrongly inferred that Sagarino actually saw Openda. Another discrepancy pointed out by Bernal arose from the testimonies of Racasa and Sagarino. may be received in evidence against himself or his successors-in-interest and against third persons. Sagarino averred that: Q When Theodore Bernal left the place. because I was still in the store. 17 On the other hand.

21 This Court once again finds occasion to reiterate the established rule that the findings of fact of a trial court carry great weight and are entitled to respect on appeal. since it is in a better position to decided the question of credibility of witnesses. The court a quo committed no error in finding the testimonies of Enriquez. No. represented by VICTORIA CABADING. Evidence. DECISION Tinga. in its maximum period.(?) Q What was the answer of the policemen? A The police officer said that those people were wanted by them because accordingly (sic) they were marijuana pushers. This contention is quite improbable. petitioners.: Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari seeking to overturn a Decision rendered by the Fourteenth 112 . 1991. RAMON. He alleges that on July 29. the latter could have already brought home his son before proceeding alone to the billiard hall where he was seem by Segarino. 20 Bernal's position is that no abduction or kidnapping ever took place but that an arrest was made by pursuing policemen. recommended to this Court the penalty of seventeen (17) years of reclusion temporal. the victim has yet to resurface. Sagarino.. all surnamed FRANCO. 19 Bernal would like the Court to dismiss Sagarino's testimony by imputing revenge as his motive for testifying. Finally. as the minimum penalty. He replied that they were residents of the place and staying at the billiard hall and mahjong house. If the latter's allegations were true. 18 The testimonies of Racasa and Sagarino are not absolutely inconsistent with each other as to be irreconcilable. SO ORDERED. "it is left entirely within the discretion of the court to fix it anywhere within the range of the penalty next lower without reference to the periods into which it may be subdivided. but must be credible in itself. BERNARDO. With respect to the minimum penalty. must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness. five policemen arrived at Kasilak. PACITA.R. Jr. J. The court said that Sagarino's forthright answers to the questions of the prosecutor and defense counsel clearly establish the participation of Bernal in the abduction or kidnapping or Openda. absent any strong and cogent reason to the contrary." 23 Consistent with this ruling. EMMA. the Solicitor General. G. respondents. JOHNNY. as maximum. it is safe to assume that Openda. or six days before the alleged kidnapping. sir. if not highly preposterous. 22 We note that after a lapse of a considerable length of time. Joseph Mendoza. pursuant to the Indeterminate Sentence Law. namely: MODESTA. Q Minutes later do you know what happened? A They came back. Dansoy Madelo and Dagoy Balagan. Jr. No such arrest was. 2003 HEIRS OF MIGUEL FRANCO. 1993. what did you do ? A I asked the police officers why they were looking for these persons. Racasa and Sagarino sufficient to convict Bernal. to reclusion perpetua. Jr. as maximum. COURT OF APPEALS and HEIRS OF FAUSTINA CABADING. 123924 December 11. The policemen departed and went to the places he mentioned. Q Since the answer is in the negative. The trial court correctly appreciated the testimony of Sagarino. Considering the proximity of the store from the billiard hall. Considering the circumstances. this Court imposes reclusion temporal. is AFFIRMED in toto. vs. LEONIDES ROMULA. to be believed. Bucana on board a patrol car asking for Openda. WHEREFORE. in view of the foregoing. however. however.A Yes. Costs against accused-appellant Theodore Bernal. it being free from any ill-motive against Bernal. there is a possibility that when Racasa saw Bernal with his son at the store. Q What did you do after they came back? A I asked these police officers if they found these (sic) persons they were looking (for) ? Q What was their answer? A They answered in the negative. to reclusion perpetua. made. The maximum penalty must be determined in accordance with rules and provision of the Revised Penal Code. then Sagarino should have been arrested by the police at the time he gave his testimony in court. as minimum. the instant appeal is DISMISSED and the appealed decision dated November 18. is already dead.

his conflicting interest rendered him incapable of rendering a true and faithful account of the estate. filed a Petition for Issuance of Letters of Administration on 17 October 1968. then apparently joined by the other heirs of Quintin except Miguel. CV No. Quintin was the absolute owner of the subject property. Quintin was the patentee4 of a parcel of public land. wherein it was directed that the new transfer certificates of title be issued. P-436. Zamboanga del Norte. the intestate court said that since Miguel was claiming ownership over half of the subject property. on 13 February 1973. 37609. the intestate court appointed him as special administrator of the estate on 3 December 1969. T-20203 shortly after learning about it through a Motion for Reconsideration filed in the estate proceedings. T-20203 issued in the name of Miguel Franco (whose heirs are the petitioners herein). As basis. docketed as Civil Case No. with his inclusion of the entire property in the list of properties left behind by Quintin."). T-20203 and directing the issuance of a new transfer certificate of title in the name of the Heirs of Quintin. based on the evidence. Proc. surveyed as Lot No. covering half of the subject property. (TCT) T20203. the RTC concluded that a trust had been created by force of law in favor of Miguel to the extent of one-half of the property. Original Certificate of Title No. Dipolog. in a Resolution17 dated 1 October 1984. private respondents as plaintiffs. and the issuance of a new transfer certificate of title for Lot No. praying that he be appointed as administrator of Quintin’s estate. It was also discovered that on the basis of this "General Power of Administration" Miguel had filed a Petition dated 2 January 1972 before Branch 1 of the Dipolog Court of First Instance. 85 Ext. 11 seeking the cancellation of OCT No. affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals. Cad. Quintin died intestate on 8 December 1967. with Quintin as the signatory thereof acknowledging that he was holding half of the property titled in his name in trust for Miguel. T-20203 in the name of Miguel. De Cabading ("Faustina"). the intestate court had no jurisdiction to settle questions of property ownership. Upon motion of Miguel.Division of the Court of Appeals1 on 6 October 1995 in CA G. seeking the cancellation of TCT No. per the Order dated 1 September 1973.7 moved for the latter’s removal as special administrator. Consequently. it recited the following circumstances: 1. 2993. surreptitious conduct. PSD-64806. Miguel admitted that the subject property in its entirety belonged to his brother. one in the name of the heirs of Quintin and the other name of Miguel.19 The RTC found that the "General Power of Administration" evinced an existing trust relation between Quintin and his brother Miguel. Faustina. This Petition was granted in the Order12 of 6 January 1973. Miguel Franco ("Miguel. docketed as Misc. the intestate court issued an order14 cancelling TCT No. No. Sp.9 Miguel filed a Motion for Reconsideration10 of the 1 September 1973 Order. In the latter Order.R. the claim of Miguel to half of the property. 5 She prayed for her own appointment as administratrix instead of Miguel. On 4 May 1977.6381 hectares. 23 113 .18 After trial.13 The other heirs asked the intestate court to cancel TCT No. the sister of the decedent. In his petition for the issuance of letters of administration. Miguel was able to obtain Transfer Certificate of Title No. without asserting ownership over it or any part thereof. on the ground that Miguel’s acquisition of the title was fraudulent. The Court of Appeals reversed the Order in its Decision 15 of 29 February 1984. Applying Article 145220 of the Civil Code. The appellate court concluded that Miguel had succeeded in registering the property through fraud. the intestate court issued an Order 8 declaring inter alia that. who had died in the meantime. T-20203 issued in the name of Miguel. and containing an area of 70. The intestate court had declared that Quintin was the absolute owner of the subject property and dismissed. ordering the cancellation of TCT No. 6 However. Thus. the Court of Appeals rendered on 6 October 1995 the challenged Decision21 reversing the RTC decision. before the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga del Norte ("intestate court"). 5172. wherein he alleged for the first time that one-half of the subject property was transferred to him by virtue of a document entitled "General Power of Administration" and executed by Quintin in 1967. docketed as Sp. in favor of the heirs of Quintin Franco3 ("Quintin"). filed before the RTC a complaint. on the ground that Miguel was unfit to be the administrator. Quintin. located at Lianib. Branch 7 2 ("RTC") and ordered the cancellation of TCT No. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Dipolog City. R-531. On appeal. on 23 July 1971. 22 2. 5172-B. His brother. and bad faith. On 27 August 1973. According to the appellate court.16 This Court. the RTC rendered a decision dismissing the complaint. 3847. This finding was subsequently used by the intestate court as one of the grounds for granting the motion to remove Miguel as special administrator. P-436 covering subject property was issued in Quintin’s name on 9 July 1954. for lack of sufficient evidence. ("subject property"). Being the patentee. was opposed by Faustina Franco Vda. No. This Petition.

the statement and the accompanying silence may be appreciated in more than one context. The subject property was solely declared for taxation purposes in the name of Quintin. or if one of them had posed an adverse claim or serious objection which would render the case controversial.27 After their motion for reconsideration was denied by the Court of Appeals.35 Thus from the substantive and procedural standpoints alike. was registered as early as 9 July 1954 but it was only on 13 February 1973 that Miguel Franco obtained the TCT covering half of the property in his name. The "General Power of Administration. P-436 was issued without factual basis. LRC Cad. had simply documented a delegated power to administer property and could not be a source of ownership. 5172. It is a declaration against interest 30 and a judicial admission combined. Therein. Yet no evidence was adduced to prove the alleged inadvertence." on which Miguel anchored his claim of ownership.120.31 In the same vein... His silence for 19 years had militated against his claim of ownership and may well be indicative of laches on his part. no amount of rationalization can offset it. assessed at P26. with an area of 706. Dipolog Cadastre-85 Ext. he merely alleged inadvertence in failing to state his claim of co-ownership.25 5. at the same time he was remarkably silent about his claim that he acquired one-half thereof during the lifetime of Quintin. and absent any showing that this was made thru palpable mistake. which directed the cancellation of OCT No.24 4. P-436. Thus. As a matter of fact. — That said Quintin Franco left the following properties: a – A parcel of agricultural land located at Pinan. under Tax Dec. Miguel Franco may well be charged with laches. the statement being both a declaration against interest and judicial admission should be 114 . that he had full knowledge of the status and extent of the property holdings of the decedent. A declaration against interest is the best evidence which affords the greatest certainty of the facts in dispute. Cad. arising from his duty as special administrator of the estate of Quintin. 26 6. Zamboanga del Norte known as Lot No. Section 112 of the old Land Registration Act which was the apparent basis of the Order contemplated only summary proceedings for non-controversial erasures.’ Juxtaposed with his previous judicial admission of Quintin Franco’s absolute ownership of Lot No. They also claim that the Court of Appeals failed to appreciate the recognition which Quintin had accorded to the rights and interest of Miguel. Sp.33 The following observation of the Court of Appeals is worth citing: "This tolerant silence militates against Miguel Franco’s claim of ‘co-ownership. 769. He asserted his claim to the subject property quite belatedly. if not belated. they point out that at no time did the respondents question the execution or genuineness of the "General Power of Administration" which purportedly admits of the existence of a trust relation between Quintin and Miguel. 3847. 2993. the review of the case is in order. OCT No. 9. there is no showing of palpable mistake on the part of Miguel when he made the admission. 5172.A. hence. P-436. Miguel had ample opportunity to make the rectification in the initial stages of the intestate proceedings. four years after he stated under oath and in a court pleading that it belonged in its entirety to his brother. 7612). Case No. m. And even assuming there was indeed such a mistake.381 sq.e.1âwphi1 It was presented in evidence and utilized as such in Civil Case No. a judicial admission binds the person who makes the same.00. In his Motion to Admit Amended Petition. (citations omitted) While he explicitly declared that the subject property belonged to Quintin. While asserting that the transfer and registration of one-half of the subject property in the name of Miguel was not done through fraud or in bad faith. The Order dated 6 January 1973 of Judge Rafael Mendoza in Misc. No.28 After a thorough examination of the case. No. 676. it is not difficult to see that the act of Miguel Franco in registering one-half of the property in his name was an insidious and surreptitious." 34 The statement under oath of Miguel was made in the intestate proceedings. we hold that the petition lacks merit and affirm the Decision of the Court of Appeals. the petitioners brought forth the present petition. Rec. The findings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals are contradictory. Miguel’s claim of ownership to half of the subject property is belied by his statement in the Verified Petition29 for issuance of letters administration that he filed on 17 October 1968. No. i. he stated: "7. alterations or amendment of entries in a certificate of title and therefore could not be invoked if there is no unanimity among the parties.3. Bearing on the weight of the combined declaration against interest and judicial admission is the assumption. covered by Original Certificate of Title No. Proc. covering the entire subject property. (S. maneuver to deprive the legal heirs of Quintin Franco of their lawful share and interest in the property.32 In the case at bar.

covering the subject property in its entirety. 1452. The surreptitious registration by Miguel of the property had worked to the prejudice of the other heirs of Quintin. it was granted only four days later. As the Court of Appeals correctly noted: "The order dated January 6. Proc. The intestate court in its Order36dated 27 August 1973 declared that Quintin was the absolute owner of the property and accordingly denied Miguel’s claim of ownership over half the subject property. at no time did Miguel file a motion for the reconsideration of the 27 August 1973 Order of the intestate court which denied Miguel’s claim of ownership. or there is no adverse claim or serious objection on the part of any party in interest. While the intestate court does not have the authority to rule with finality on questions of ownership over the property of the decedent. Now. the in rem registration process. If two or more persons agree to purchase property and by common consent the legal title is taken in the name of one of them for the benefit of all. resort to the procedure laid down in Section 112 would be available only if there is a "unanimity among the parties. Sp. or participated in.39 OCT No. was therefore without factual basis. directing the Register of Deeds to cancel OCT No. and that they consent that one should take the title in 115 . thus: Art. and Miguel Franco on the other hand. title to the property covered by a Torrens title becomes indefeasible after the expiration of one year from the entry of the decree of registration. A Torrens title is the best evidence of ownership of registered land."47 The RTC cited Article 1452 of the Civil Code which reads. 1973 of Judge Rafael T.37 And yet. 496) which contemplates summary proceeding for non-controversial erasures. Under the Land Registration Act. Mendoza in Misc. from which petitioners draw heavy support. Article 1452 presupposes the concurrence of two requisites before an trust can be created. contemplating corrections or insertions of mistakes which are only clerical but certainly not controversial issues. or on 6 January 1973. The "General Power of Administration" does not suffice in that regard. maintained that Miguel owned half of the property because the document entitled "General Power of Administration" states that it "admits of an existing trust relation between the signatory Quintin Franco on the one hand. His petition seeking the issuance of a title over his purported half of the property was dated 2 January 1973.43 Proceedings under Section 112 are summary in nature. The undue haste which characterized Miguel’s success in obtaining judicial registration of his ownership over half of the subject property is noticeable. the Dipolog RTC. it is not precluded from making a provisional determination over such questions for purposes relevant to the settlement of the estate. Unfortunately. The decree is incontrovertible and becomes binding on all persons whether or not they were notified of. P-436. the issue viewed from the perspective of the Torrens system of registration. namely: that two or more persons agree to purchase a property."45 Such unanimity among the parties has been held to mean "the absence of serious controversy between the parties in interest as to the title of the party seeking relief under said section. such as ruling whether or not to include properties in the inventory of the estate. ." 46 Clearly. 5172-B to the Heirs of Quintin Franco and Miguel Franco. 2993. albeit simply corollary. there was no such unanimity among the parties in interest. . a trust is created by force of law in favor of the others in proportion to the interest of each. Indeed. all the heirs of Quintin. "41 It is clear from reading Section 112 of the old Land Registration Act42 that the same may be utilized only under limited circumstances. It was the 1 September 1973 Order of the intestate court.38 While the 27 August 1973 Order is a provisional determination of ownership over the subject property. it does not contain any language that operates as a conveyance of the subject property. it would appear that the order was based on Section 112 of the Land Registration Act (Act No. respectively. No. Another important point. yet conformably to ordinary experience any prudent claimant is expected to dispute such an order which rejects his claim of ownership. Branch 1 apparently ignored this fundamental principle when on 6 January 1973 it issued the Order directing the registration of half of the subject property in the name of Miguel. 40 Whatever claim of ownership Miguel had raised should have been weighed against Quintin’s title. There is no document in existence whereby the ownership of any portion of the subject property was conveyed by Quintin to Miguel. Miguel’s inaction unmistakably bolsters the unshakeable weight that should be accorded the statement as a declaration against interest and a judicial admission. The Order was apparently issued for the purpose of determining which properties should be included for the inventory of the estate of Miguel. was registered as early as 9 July 1954 in the name of Quintin. 5172-A and Lot No. or amendments of entries in a certificate of title. P-436 and to issue new separate transfer certificates of title for Lot No. The RTC ruling. by virtue of which Miguel was removed as special administrator. alterations.44 More importantly.accorded the full evidentiary value it deserves. namely. and yet incredibly. Besides. that he contested. .

Costs against petitioners. as it clearly speaks of an instance when the property is acquired through a joint purchase by two or more persons." it is safe to conclude that Miguel did not have any ownership rights over any portion of the subject property and that the registration of half of the property in his name was baseless and afflicted with fraud. Branch 98. It appears that petitioners Corazon Tison and Rene Dezoller are the niece and nephew. in themselves.his name for everyone’s benefit. REGALADO. petitioners. On January 2. J. WHEREFORE. Teodora Dezoller Guerrero died on March 5. executed on September 15. died on October 3. 358074 was issued in the name of Martin Guerrero. even without having to inquire into the authenticity and due execution of the "General Power of Administration. Quezon City and which was originally owned by the spouses Martin Guerrero and Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. (3) whether or not defendant (herein private respondent) must reconvey the reserved participation of the plaintiffs to the estate of the late Teodora Dezoller under Section 4. DEZOLLER. At the pre-trial conference. The present appellate review involves an action for reconveyance filed by herein petitioners against herein private respondent before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. claiming that they are entitled to inherit one-half of the property in question by right of representation. COURT OF APPEALS and TEODORA DOMINGO. 66886. 1973. her surviving spouse. of the deceased Teodora Dezoller Guerrero who is the sister of petitioner's father. granting herein private respondent's Demurrer to Plaintiff's Evidence filed in Civil Case No. herein petitioners filed an action for reconveyance on November 2. and this fact taken in conjunction with the other circumstances inexorably lead to the conclusion that Miguel’s claim of ownership cannot be sustained. G. 1995 1 which affirmed the Order of December 3. the above premises considered. (4) whether or not the plaintiffs are entitled to damages.: The present appeal by certiorari seeks the reversal of the judgment rendered by respondent Court of Appeals on June 30. Martin Guerrero sold the lot to herein private respondent Teodora Domingo and thereafter. Rule 74 of the Rules of Court which was duly annotated on the title of the defendant.R. That circumstance is not present in this case since the subject property was acquired through Quintin’s application for a patent. 1988. Martin Guerrero died on October 25. 1986 an Affidavit of Extrajudicial Settlement 2 adjudicating unto himself. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit and the decision of the Court of appeals is AFFIRMED. Thus. moral and exemplary. 49 The subject property had been consistently declared for taxation purposes in the name of Quintin. respectively. they constitute at least proof that the holder has a claim of title over the property. as a consequence of which Transfer Certificate of Title No. Petitioners' father. Hermogenes. over a parcel of land with a house and apartment thereon located at San Francisco del Monte. Branch 98. There is no proof that Miguel had joined Quintin in acquiring the property. the following issues were presented by both parties for resolution: (1) whether or not the plaintiffs (herein petitioners) are the nephew and niece of the late Teodora Dezoller. as noted by the Court of Appeals. SO ORDERED. vs. Q-88-1054 pending therein. Q-88-1054. No. 1983 without any ascendant or descendant. allegedly as sole heir. and herein petitioners. and was survived only by her husband. 1997 CORAZON DEZOLLER TISON and RENE R. Hermogenes Dezoller. while tax receipts and declarations and receipts and declarations of ownership for taxation purposes are not. The records reveal that upon the death of Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. hence they seek to inherit from Teodora Dezoller Guerrero by right of representation. (2) whether or not the plaintiffs are entitled to inherit by right of representation from the estate of the late Teodora Dezoller. 1988. respondents. 121027 July 31. 1992 issued by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Martin Guerrero. plus attorney's fees for the willful and malicious refusal of defendant to reconvey the participation of plaintiffs in the estate of Teodora 116 . incontrovertible evidence of ownership. Martin. the land in dispute which is covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. docketed as the aforesaid Civil Case No. 1988.48 The aforementioned provision is not applicable in this case. Transfer Certificate of Title No. Subsequently. 374012 was issued in the latter's name. Lastly.

corollarily. 4 Petitioners thereafter rested their case and submitted a written offer of these exhibits to which a Comment 5 was filed by herein private respondent. Subsequently. because they refer to "the action to impugn the legitimacy. I. and joint affidavits are all inadmissible and insufficient to prove and establish filiation. to wit: a family picture. Negros Occidental is merely proof of the alleged destruction of the records referred to therein. and the joint affidavit executed by Pablo Verzosa and Meliton Sitjar certifying to the date. the certification issued by the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Himamaylan. with the following documentary evidence offered to prove petitioners' filiation to their father and their aunt. 8 And well settled is the rule that the issue of legitimacy cannot be attacked collaterally. There is no presumption of the law more firmly established and founded on sounder morality and more convincing reason than the presumption that children born in wedlock are legitimate.Dezoller. uncorroborated and incompetent. certification of destroyed records of live birth of Corazon and Rene Dezoller. We disagree on both counts. joint affidavit of Juliana Cariaga and Manuela Cariaga attesting to the fact of marriage between Martin Guerrero and Teodora Dezoller. such as the baptismal certificates. are not per se sufficient proof of legitimacy nor even of pedigree. It is not debatable that the documentary evidence adduced by petitioners. the issue of legitimacy may be validly controverted in an action for reconveyance. The bone of contention in private respondent's demurrer to evidence is whether or not herein petitioners failed to meet the quantum of proof required by Article 172 of the Family Code to establish legitimacy and filiation. that herein petitioners have the onus probandi to prove their legitimacy and. 7 In upholding the dismissal. 6 On December 3. despite demands and knowing fully well that plaintiffs are the niece and nephew of said deceased. Hence. Articles 170 and 171 of the code confirm this view. certificates of destroyed records of birth of Teodora Dezoller and Hermogenes Dezoller. and within the period limited by law. date and place of birth of Corazon and Rene Dezoller. and that civil status cannot be attacked collaterally. actually fixes a civil status for the child born in wedlock. death certificates of Hermogenes Dezoller and Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. petitioner Corazon Dezoller Tison was presented as the lone witness. in the first place. respondent Court of Appeals declared that the documentary evidence presented by herein petitioners. however. this appeal. and. The legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a direct action brought for that purpose. It seems that both the court a quo and respondent appellate court have regrettably overlooked the universally recognized presumption on legitimacy. place of birth and parentage of herein petitioners is inadmissible for being hearsay since the affiants were never presented for crossexamination. It is further averred that the testimony of petitioner Corazon Dezoller Tison regarding her relationship with her alleged father and aunt is self-serving. The rationale for these rules has been explained in this wise: The presumption of legitimacy in the Family Code . taken separately and independently of each other. 117 . by the proper parties. . . and second is the question regarding their filiation with Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. that the rulings of both lower courts in the case are basically premised on the erroneous assumption that. baptismal certificates of Teodora and Hermogenes Dezoller. joint affidavits of Pablo Verzosa and Meliton Sitjar attesting to the parents. The necessity of an independent action directly impugning the legitimacy is more clearly expressed in the Mexican Code (Article 335) which provides: "The contest of the legitimacy of a child by the husband or his heirs must be made by proper complaint before the competent court." This principle applies under our Family Code. It is important to note. the trial court issued an order granting the demurrer to evidence and dismissing the complaint for reconveyance. There are two points for consideration before us: first is the issue on petitioner's legitimacy. The legitimacy of the child cannot be contested by way of defense or as a collateral issue in another action for a different purpose." This action can be brought only by the husband or his heirs and within the periods fixed in the present articles. Also. 3 During the hearing. and that it falls short of the quantum of proof required under Article 172 of the Family Code to establish filiation. their filiation. any contest made in any other way is void. 1992. and the marriage certificate of Martin and Teodora Guerrero. We find for petitioners. in the second place. private respondent filed a Demurrer to Plaintiff's Evidence on the ground that petitioners failed to prove their legitimate filiation with the deceased Teodora Guerrero in accordance with Article 172 of the Family Code. and (5) whether or not the subject property now in litigation can be considered as conjugal property of the spouses Martin Guerrero and Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. family picture.

subject to the following conditions: (1) that the declarant is dead or unable to testify. and can no longer be questioned. as it did. the action to impugn the legitimacy of a child can no longer be brought. 9 The issue. and (4) that the declaration was made ante litem motam. and unless the fact thus established prima facie by the legal presumption of its truth is disproved. it implies that the party in whose favor the presumption exists does not have to introduce evidence to establish that fact. (3) that such relationship be shown by evidence other than the declaration. The weight and sufficiency of the evidence regarding petitioner's relationship with Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. Even assuming that the issue is allowed to be resolved in this case. the baptismal. This is aside. under Section 39. The obvious intention of the law is to prevent the status of a child born in wedlock from being in a state of uncertainty for a long time. The primary proof to be considered in ascertaining the relationship between the parties concerned is the testimony of Corazon Dezoller Tison to the effect that Teodora Dezoller Guerrero in her lifetime. and he should decide whether to conceal that infidelity or expose it. therefore. the party against whom it operates must adduce substantial and credible evidence to the contrary. 15 Indubitably. a family picture. 13 and unless or until it is rebutted. it must stand as proved. so that the evidence material to the matter. but on private respondent who is disputing the same. a presumption must be followed if it is uncontroverted. as to whether petitioners are the legitimate children of Hermogenes Dezoller cannot be properly controverted in the present action for reconveyance.Upon the expiration of the periods provided in Article 170. consists mainly of the testimony of Corazon Dezoller Tison. xxx xxx xxx Only the husband can contest the legitimacy of a child born to his wife. as an exception to the hearsay rule. the party denying it must bear the burden of proof to overthrow the presumption. relieve the proponent from presenting evidence on the facts he alleged and such facts are thereby considered as duly proved. It also aims to force early action to settle any doubt as to the paternity of such child. 16 Such a statement is considered a declaration about pedigree which is admissible. she overlooked or disregarded the evidential rule that presumptions like judicial notice and admissions. which must necessarily be facts occurring during the period of the conception of the child. none — even his heirs — can impugn legitimacy. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. and in any litigation where that fact is put in issue. 12 Where there is an entire lack of competent evidence to the contrary. II. she in effect impliedly admitted the truth of such fact. on the demurrer to evidence. when private respondent opted not to present countervailing evidence to overcome the presumption. whose estate is the subject of the present controversy. or sometime in 1946. There is no dispute with respect to the first. It is only in exceptional cases that his heir are allowed to contest such legitimacy. but before any controversy has arisen thereon. death and marriage certificates. Outside of these cases. Indeed. requires a more intensive and extensive examination. may still be easily available. categorically declared that the former is Teodora's niece. second and fourth elements. by merely filing a demurrer to evidence instead. the various certifications from the civil registrar. that would amount to an insult to his memory. as well as the time and effort necessitated thereby. 14 Perforce. whether or not the other documents offered in evidence sufficiently corroborated the 118 . He is the one directly confronted with the scandal and ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produces. it has been held that a presumption may stand in lieu of evidence and support a finding or decision. (2) that the declarant be related to the person whose pedigree is the subject of inquiry. Ordinarily. in view of the moral and economic interest involved. It would have delimited the issues for resolution. What remains for analysis is the third element. when a fact is presumed. The presumption consequently continues to operate in favor of petitioners unless and until it is rebutted. as earlier explained. the burden of proof rests not on herein petitioners who have the benefit of the presumption in their favor. from the further consideration that private respondent is not the proper party to impugn the legitimacy of herein petitioners. The status conferred by the presumption. 10 The presumption of legitimacy is so strong that it is clear that its effect is to shift the burden of persuasion to the party claiming illegitimacy. therefore. of course. This fact alone should have been sufficient cause for the trial court to exercise appropriate caution before acting. This is based on the theory that a presumption is prima facie proof of the fact presumed. that is. that is. becomes fixed. Petitioners' evidence. not only before the commencement of the suit involving the subject matter of the declaration. and several joint affidavits executed by third persons all of which she identified and explained in the course and as part of her testimony. 11 And in order to destroy the presumption.

the declaration made by Teodora Dezoller Guerrero that petitioner Corazon is her niece. 21 where the subject of the declaration is the declarant's own relationship to another person. that is not the real ground for its admission. otherwise it will be deemed to have been waived. or from the presentation of the proof. a member of the particular family. the inadmissibility of the evidence is. that petitioners are the niece and nephew of Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. Thus. 19 We are sufficiently convinced. There must be some independent proof of this fact. 17 (Emphasis ours. but not from the declarant himself or the declarant's estate. Accordingly there must be precedent proof from other sources that declarant is what he claimed to be. as a foundation for the admission of the declaration. From the foregoing disquisitions. Petitioners are claiming a right to part of the estate of the declarant herself. Such declarations do not derive their evidential value from that consideration. 20 More importantly. is admissible without other proof of the fact of relationship. While the nature of the declaration is then disserving. Gonda. the objection shall be treated as waived. we are however of the considered opinion that the same may be admitted by reason of private respondent's failure to interpose any timely objection thereto at the time they were being offered in evidence. 23 otherwise. 18 As an exception. in the other they are competent from reasons of necessity. therefore. et al. or by other declarations of said declarant. notwithstanding the fact that there was no other preliminary evidence thereof. That objection to a question put to a witness must be made at the time the question 119 . whose estate is in controversy. if not an artificial. it seems absurb to require. on the sole basis of the decedent's declaration and without need for further proof thereof. the relationship of the declarant to the common relative may not be proved by the declaration itself. otherwise the requirement to admissibility that declarant's relationship to the common family must appear is not met.. In such case the declaration of the decedent. the situation and the policy of the law applicable are quite different. The rule is stated thus: One situation to be noted is that where one seeks to set up a claim through. The preliminary proof would render the main evidence unnecessary. but not from. the reason being such declaration is rendered competent by virtue of the necessity of receiving such evidence to avoid a failure of justice. is that where the party claiming seeks recovery against a relative common to both claimant and declarant. and so hold. or may be inferred. Conformably. a failure to except to the evidence because it does not conform with the statute is a waiver if the provisions of the law. American jurisdiction has it that a distinction must be made as to when the relationship of the declarant may be proved by the very declaration itself. For while the documentary evidence submitted by petitioners do not strictly conform to the rules on their admissibility. if at all. and when it must be supported by evidence aliunde. aid in determining the class to which the declarations belong. he may not do by declarant's own statements as to declarant's relationship to the particular family. namely. the declarant and to establish the admissibility of a declaration regarding claimant's pedigree. proof of the very fact which the declaration is offered to establish. 24 since the right to object is merely a privilege which the party may waive. or from the answer thereto. is admissible and constitutes sufficient proof of such relationship. it may thus be safely concluded. But when the party claiming seeks to establish relationship in order to claim directly from the declarant or the declarant's estate. The distinction we have note is sufficiently apparent. although it is a useful.declaration made by Teodora Dezoller Guerrero in her lifetime regarding the pedigree of petitioner Corazon Dezoller Tison or. The proper time is when from the question addressed to the witness. in the one case the declarations are self-serving. 25 As explained in Abrenica vs. does not apply where it is sought to reach the estate of the declarant himself and not merely to establish a right through his declarations to the property of some other member of the family. that the present case is one instance where the general requirement on evidence aliunde may be relaxed. there is in the present case an absolute failure by all and sundry to refute that declaration made by the decedent. As held in one case.) The general rule. it is necessary to present evidence other than such declaration. The reason is that declarant's declaration of his own relationship is of a self-serving nature. Applying the general rule in the present case would nonetheless produce the same result. 26 it has been repeatedly laid down as a rule of evidence that a protest or objection against the admission of any evidence must be made at the proper time. that he was related to the one who claims his estate. 22 It is elementary that an objection shall be made at the time when an alleged inadmissible document is offered in evidence. the requirement that there be other proof than the declarations of the declarant as to the relationship.

petitioner. is too late. 32 III. But if they alone survive. and herein petitioners and private respondent are declared co-owners of the subject property with an undivided one-fourth (1/4) and three-fourths (3/4) share therein. the surviving spouse shall inherit the entire estate. even assuming ex gratia argumenti that these documents are inadmissible for being hearsay. to prove that herein petitioners are the children of Hermogenes Dezoller — these can be deemed to have sufficiently established the relationship between the declarant and herein petitioners. may no longer serve to rectify the legal consequences which resulted therefrom. the latter shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance and the brothers and sisters or theirs children to the other half. as well as the Certificates of Baptism of Teodora Dezoller 30 (Exhibit H) and Hermogenes Dezoller (Exhibit J) which both reflect the names of their parents as Isabelo Dezoller and Cecilia Calpo. they shall inherit from the latter by representation. taken after the testimony has been given. Martin Guerrero. and illegitimate children and their descendants. private respondent's counsel elicited answers from the witness on the circumstances and regularity of her obtention of said documents: The observations later made by private respondent in her comment to petitioners' offer of exhibits. bear the surname Dezoller. under Article 1001. In the absence of legitimate descendants and ascendants. G. on the basis of the foregoing considerations. for instance. Art. respectively. 28 The situation is aggravated by the fact that counsel for private respondent unreservedly cross-examined petitioners. Art. on the documentary evidence that were offered. Martin Guerrero could only validly alienate his total undivided three-fourths (3/4) share in the entire property to herein private respondent.is asked. Applying the aforequoted statutory provisions." 33 WHEREFORE. Should brothers and sisters or their children survive with the widow or widower. Hence. as the lone witness. Hence. the Certificate of Marriage (Exhibit S) wherein it is indicated that the parents of Teodora Dezoller are Isabelo Dezoller and Cecilia Calpo. This is in consonance with the rule that a prima facie showing is sufficient and that only slight proof of the relationship is required. the demurrer to plaintiff's evidence should have been. without prejudice to the rights of brothers and sisters. one-half of the subject property was automatically reserved to the surviving spouse. When children of one or more brothers or sisters of the deceased survive. 31 Finally. as his share in the conjugal partnership. is a waiver of any objections thereto. SO ORDERED. 118904 April 20. Instead. failure to object to parol evidence given on the stand. respectively. 374012 in the proportion of an undivided one-fourth (1/4) and three-fourths (3/4) share thereof. Nonetheless. it may not be amiss to consider as in the nature of circumstantial evidence the fact that both the declarant and the claimants. and the Death Certificate of Hermogenes Dezoller (Exhibit K) the entries wherein were made by petitioner Corazon Dezoller Tison as his daughter. although the grounds therefor were already apparent at the time these documents were being adduced in evidence during the testimony of Corazon Dezoller Tison but which objections were not timely raised therein. who are the subject of the declaration. At no time was the issue of the supposed inadmissibility thereof. the questioned judgment of respondent Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. private respondent may no longer be allowed to present evidence by reason of the mandate under Section 1 of revised Rule 3 of the Rules of Court which provides that "if the motion is granted but on appeal the order of dismissal is reversed he shall be deemed to have waived the right to present evidence. 27 Thus. to show that Hermogenes Dezoller is the brother of Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. where the party is in a position to object. the remaining half shall be equally divided between the widower and herein petitioners who are entitled to jointly inherit in their own right. together with the Joint Affidavits of Pablo Verzosa and Meliton Sitjar (Exhibits N and P). Resultantly. they shall inherit in equal portions. to wit: Art. 120 . or the possible basis for objection thereto. 1998 ARTURIO TRINIDAD. but on account of herein private respondent's failure to object thereto. petitioners and private respondent are deemed co-owners of the property covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 995. should there be any. the same may be admitted and considered as sufficient to prove the facts therein asserted. 29 Accordingly. if they survive with their uncles or aunts. 975. nephews and nieces. whether legitimate or illegitimate. The following provisions of the Civil Code provide for the manner by which the estate of the decedent shall be divided in this case. 1001.R. An objection to the admission of evidence on the ground of incompetency. denied. as it is hereby. No. All told. Upon the death of Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. ever raised.

1995 3 in CA-GR CV No. respondents. namely. In its four-page Decision. This court therefore cannot rule on that. and claimed that the parcels of land described in the complaint had been in their possession since the death of their father in 1940 and that they had not given plaintiff a share in the produce of the land. who was the original owner of the parcels of land. but the defendants refused. at the age of twenty three (23). plaintiff demanded from the defendants to partition the land into three (3) equal shares and to give him the one-third (1/3) individual share of his late father. in which it ruled: 8 Considering therefore that this court is of the opinion that plaintiff is the legitimate son of Inocentes Trinidad. born on July 21.: In the absence of a marriage contract and a birth certificate. 1982. 1994. plaintiff is entitled to inherit the property left by his deceased father which is 1/3 of the 4 parcels of land subject matter of this case. When Patricio died in 1940. 1994 2 and Resolution promulgated on February 8. Defendants also denied that plaintiff had lived with them. Lourdes and Felix. Patricio Trinidad died in 1940. the Court hereby DISMISSES the [petitioner's] complaint and the counterclaim thereto. Inocentes. all situated at Barrio Tigayon. 23275. COURT OF APPEALS. Respondent Court reversed the trial court on the ground that petitioner failed to adduce sufficient evidence to prove that his parents were legally married to each other and that acquisitive prescription against him had set in. 6 On July 4. 1978. In 1970. described therein. filed on September 07. 1978. this Court hereby reproduces pertinent portions of the trial court's decision: 13 EVIDENCE FOR THE PLAINTIFF: 121 . Patricio Trinidad and Anastacia Briones were the parents of three (3) children. defendants denied that plaintiff was the son of the late Inocentes Trinidad. claimed to be the legitimate son of the late Inocentes Trinidad. for lack of merit. Aklan. Respondent Court denied reconsideration in its impugned Resolution which reads: 10 The Court DENIES defendants-appellants' motion for reconsideration. the Court REVERSES the appealed decision. 1975. Branch I. 5 On October 25. as follows: 12 On August 10. There are no new or substantial matters raised in the motion that merit the modification of the decision. In their answer. 1943. there was no evidence introduced as to what year he stopped receiving his share and for how much. the trial court rendered a twenty-page decision 7 in favor of the petitioner. Hence. Arturio got married in 1966 to Candelaria Gaspar. In order to appreciate more clearly the evidence adduced by both parties. Arturio demanded from the defendants that the above-mentioned parcels of land be partitioned into three (3) equal shares and that he be given the one-third (1/3) individual shares of his late father. PANGANIBAN. survived by the above named children. Without costs. he left four (4) parcels of land. this petition. Felix died without issue. an action for partition of four (4) parcels of land. leaving the four (4) parcels of land to his three (3) children. but defendants refused. J. dated December 15. Defendants contended that Inocentes was single when he died in 1941 . plaintiff [herein petitioner] filed with the Court of First Instance of Aklan. one of three (3) children of Patricio Trinidad. how may marriage and filiation be proven? The Case This is the main question raised in this petition for review on certiorari challenging the Court of Appeals 1 Decision promulgated December 1. Kalibo Aklan. so he was not substituted as a party. which reversed the decision of the trial court and dismissed petitioner's action for partition and damages. claiming that he was the son of the late Inocentes Trinidad. In lieu thereof. Sometime after the marriage.vs. before plaintiff's birth. FELIX TRINIDAD (deceased) and LOURDES TRINIDAD. before the Court of First Instance of Aklan. Arturio Trinidad. The assailed Decision disposed: 9 WHEREFORE. 11 The Facts The assailed Decision recites the factual background of this case. Kalibo. Lourdes and Felix. Petitioner Arturio Trinidad filed a complaint 4 for partition and damages against Private Respondents Felix and Lourdes. 1989. both surnamed Trinidad. On August 10. Inocentes. Although the plaintiff had testified that he had been receiving [his] share from said land before and the same was stopped.

When asked by the court when . the plaintiff. Felix and Lourdes. A picture. who is his co-defendant in this case. Kalibo. witness testified that she [knew] the land in question very well as she used to pass by it always. That she knew these 4 parcels belonged to Patricio Trinidad because said Patricio Trinidad was a native also of Barrio Tigayon. She testified having known Inocentes Trinidad as the father of Arturio Trinidad and that Inocentes. Said Patricio died before the [war] and after his death the land went to his 3 children. That upon the death of Inocentes. 1943. It was located just near her house but she cannot exactly tell the area as she merely passes by it. was shown to the witness for identification and she identified a woman in the picture as the defendant. A man with a hat holding a baby was identified by her as Felix Trinidad. The witness testified that upon the death of Inocentes. Aklan. both were already dead. Jovita Gerardo. Kalibo.Plaintiff presented as his first witness. When asked if she [knew] the photographer who took the pictures presented as Exhibit A and B. in 1966. In said picture. At the time of the birth of the plaintiff. since 1972. on July 21. until Arturio grew up and got married. Inocentes having died in 1944 and his wife died very much later. by a protestant pastor by the name of Lauriano Lajaylajay. Felix and Lourdes Trinidad. The date of birth being July 21. were marked as Exhibit C-2. namely: Felix and Inocentes. Kalibo. about 3 years old. Felix and Lourdes possessed and usufructed the 4 parcels they inherited from their father. the picture [was] taken. Felix and Lourdes are brothers and sister and that their father was Patricio Trinidad who left them 4 parcels of land. Aklan. Since then the land was never partitioned or divided among the 3 children of Patricio. were married in New Washington. who are the plaintiff and the defendants in this case. That both Felix and Lourdes Trinidad are the uncle and aunt of Arturio because Inocentes Trinidad who is the father of the plaintiff is the brother of the defendants. Also she was [a member of the] board of director[s] of the Parent-Teachers Association of Tigayon.] all surnamed Trinidad[. The other woman in the picture was pointed by the witness as the wife of the plaintiff. When asked if Arturio Trinidad was baptized. witness answered yes. Lourdes Trinidad was holding a child which witness identified as the child Arturio Trinidad. That she knew Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato who are the parents of Arturio. The signature of Monsignor Iturralde was also identified. Aklan. On cross-examination. When asked about the adjoining owners or boundaries of the 4 parcels of land. counsel for the plaintiff answered. (at the time she testified in 1981) who is the barangay captain of barrio Tigayon. Witness then identified the certificate of baptism marked as Exhibit C. She testified the woman in this picture as Lourdes Trinidad. The name Arturio Trinidad was marked as Exhibit C-1 and the name of Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato as father and mother respectively. 77 years old. he had also enjoyed the 122 . As Lourdes outlived her two brothers. the defendant. When asked if Arturio Trinidad and Lourdes Trinidad and Felix Trinidad pointed to by her in the picture are the same Arturio. Exhibit A. namely: Inocentes. she was the one possessing and usufructing the 4 parcels of land up to the present. At this stage of the trial. Lourdes Trinidad. That she knows both the defendants as they are also neighbors. as she had gone to the house of his parents. Aklan. 1943 was also marked. the house of the witness was about 30 meters away from plaintiff's parents['] house and she used to go there 2 or 3 times a week. Next witness for the plaintiff was ISABEL MEREN who was 72 years old and a widow. Another picture marked as Exhibit B was presented to the witness for identification. . witness answered she does not know as she was not present during the picture taking. That she knows that during the lifetime of Inocentes the three of them. That she knows the plaintiff because they are neighbors and she knows him from the time of his birth. Arturio Trinidad. . witness answered yes. However. Felix and Lourdes[. That while Arturio was growing up. she can identify everybody in the picture as she knows all of them. witness answered and mentioned the respective adjoining owners. She testified that before being elected as barrio captain she held the position of barrio council-woman for 4 years. That she knows all these [parcels of] land because they are located in Barrio Tigayon. Lourdes Trinidad. She testified she also knows that the father of Inocentes. Inocentes. Witness recalls plaintiff was born in 1943 in Barrio Tigayon.] was Patricio Trinidad who is already dead but left several parcels of land which are the 4 parcels subject of this litigation. That she knows Felicidad Molato and Lourdes Trinidad very well because as a farmer she also owns a parcel of land [and] she used to invite Felicidad and Lourdes to help her during planting and harvesting season. Lourdes took Arturio and cared for him when he was still small. Lourdes Trinidad was in possession of the property without giving the widow of Inocentes any share of the produce. Felix and Lourdes. Felix Trinidad [died] without issue and he was survived by his only sister. She knows the father of the plaintiff as Inocentes Trinidad and his mother Felicidad Molato. Patricio.

Adjoining owners are: East-Ambrosio Trinidad. 903. North-Federico Inocencio. Parcel 4 is covered by Original Certificate of Title No. That he does not have the death certificate of his father who died in 1944 because it was wartime. namely Lourdes and Felix Trinidad. That both defendants. the defendants invited him to live with them being their nephew as his mother was already dead. The harvest is 40 cavans two times a years [sic]. it is a family picture according to him. Lajaylajay is a municipal judge of New Washington. he showed a certificate of baptism which had been previously marked as Exhibit C. Aklan. As proof that he and his family lived with the defendants when the latter invited him to live with them. Aklan. Plaintiff further testified that his father is Inocentes Trinidad and his mother was Felicidad Molato. That after the death of his father. Adjoining owners are: East-Gregorio Briones. he presented a picture previously marked as Exhibit B where there appears his aunt. 979 of the cadastral survey of Kalibo covered by Tax Decl. Parcel 1 is covered by Tax Decl. carrying plaintiff's son. Felicidad Molato. the defendants made them vacate the house for he requested for partition of the land to get his share. The boundaries are: East-Federico Inocencio. his uncle and his wife. Inocentes Trinidad. 16378 in the name of Patricio Trinidad. Plaintiff's mother died when he was 13 years old. As proof that he is the son of Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato. these 2 pictures were taken when he and his wife and children were living with the defendants. Parcel 3 is Lot No. Patricio Trinidad married to Anastacia Briones. 863 of the cadastral survey of Kalibo.] he lived with his aunt and uncle. located at Tigayon.000 square meters. carrying plaintiff's daughter. At the age of 19.produce of the land while he was being taken care of by Lourdes Trinidad. Lourdes Trinidad. the defendants in this case. Parcel 1 is Lot No. EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENDANTS: 123 . They were married in New Washington. 703310 with reference to one of the owners of the land. He testified there are 4 parcels of land in controversy of which parcel 1 is an upland. They treated him well and provided for all his needs. ARTURIO TRINIDAD. Aklan. Lourdes and Felix Trinidad. Parcel 3 is about 12. by a certain Atty. Parcel 1 is 1. He testified that defendants. 22502 RO-174 covering Lot No. Plaintiff. That his birth certificate was burned during World War 2 hut he has a certificate of loss issued by the Civil Registrar of Kalibo. and South-Bulalio Briones. he lived with his mother and when his mother died[. are his aunt and uncle. plaintiff testified that during the lifetime of his mother they were getting the share in the produce of the land like coconuts. plaintiff answered he does not know because he was not yet born at that time. he left the house of the defendants and lived on his own. defendant Felix Trinidad. Parcel 2 is an upland with an area of 500 square meters. That a misunderstanding later on arose when Arturio Trinidad wanted to get his father's share but Lourdes Trinidad will not give it to him. one-half share. 11609 in the name of Patricio Trinidad while parcel 2 is covered by Tax Decl. are single and they have no other nephews and nieces. they being the brother and sister of his father. 11637 for Parcel 3 in the name of Ambrosio Trinidad while Parcel 4 is covered by Tax Decl. No. were already dead having died in Tigayon. West-Teodulo Dionesio. So he and his wife and children lived with the defendants. palay and corn. He got married at 23 to Candelaria Gaspar and then they were invited by the defendants to live with them.00 each. it was his mother receiving the share of the produce of the land. the father of the plaintiff. the deceased father of the defendants and Inocentes. The title is in the name of Patricio Trinidad married to Anastacia Briones. No. [has] 10 coconut trees and fruit bearing. He lived with defendants for 5 years. Aklan. was presented as witness. Another family picture previously marked Exhibit A shows his uncle. That a few years after having lived with them. North-Teodulo Dionesio. No. 10626 in the name of Anastacia Briones and another Tax Declaration No. That the parents of his father and the defendants were Patricio Trinidad and Anastacia Briones. That during the lifetime of his mother. South-Federico Inocencio and North-Digna Carpio. Kalibo. himself. When he was 14 years old. That both his father. He moved out and looked for [a] lawyer to handle his case. Parcel 4 is a riceland with an area of 5. In short.000 square meters and 1/4 of that belongs to Patricio Trinidad. When asked if this Atty. The harvest is 100 coconuts every 4 months and the cost of coconuts is P2. it has only 1 coconut tree and 1 bamboo groove. That [petitioner's] highest educational attainment is Grade 3. also located in Tigayon. his father having died in 1944 and his mother about 25 years ago. No.000 square meters. West-Bulalio Briones. and mother. According to him. Lajaylajay. On cross-examination. Parcel 2 is Lot No. 864 of the cadastral survey of Kalibo and only Lot 864-A with an area of 540 square meters is the subject of litigation. West-Patricio Trinidad and South-Gregorio Briones.

his aunt. But inasmuch as Felix and Inocentes are already dead. Inocentes Trinidad was around 65 years old. Inocentes Trinidad. Furthermore. when asked if he can recall if during the lifetime of Inocentes Trinidad witness knew of anybody with whom said Inocentes Trinidad had lived as husband and wife. as Lourdes Trinidad. When asked if he knew Inocentes Trinidad cohabited with anybody before his death. Defendant. When asked if after the death of Inocentes Trinidad. According to her. Anastacia Briones. answered that he could not recall because he was then in Manila working. Kalibo. When asked by the court if there had been an instance when the plaintiff had lived with her even for days. as well as Inocentes Trinidad. having died already. he also did [not] get married. When confronted with Exhibit A which is the alleged family picture of the plaintiff and the defendants. That he knew this fact because at the time of the death of Inocentes Trinidad he was then residing with his aunt. witness was able to identify the lady in the picture. That at the time of the death of Inocentes Trinidad. testified that her brother.] she does not kn[o]w if her brother. witness answered that he was buried in their own land because the Japanese forces were roaming around the place. neither does he kn[o]w a person by the name of Felicidad Molato. Next witness for the defendants was the defendant herself. She stated that she is 75 years old. When asked if he was aware of the 4 parcels of land which is the subject matter of this case before the court. namely: Inocentes Trinidad. Arturio Trinidad." On cross examination. answered: "I do not know about that. He testified having known the defendants. however. according to this witness he stayed with his aunt. and with his children before 1940 for only 3 months. That before the death of her brother. When further cross-examined that I[t] could not be true that Inocentes Trinidad died in March 1941 because the war broke out in December 1941 and March 1941 124 . in the same manner that her brother. 68 years old. What he knew is that among the 3 children of Patricio Trinidad. had lived with Felicidad Molato as husband and wife. When further asked if Arturio Trinidad went to visit her in her house. referring to Anastacia Briones who is mother of the defendants. Inocentes Trinidad. Arturio Trinidad. When asked if she knew the plaintiff. was already dead before the war. Felix and Lourdes Trinidad. According to the witness. witness testified that although he was born in Tigayon. Felix Trinidad and herself. Aklan. Inocentes is the eldest. he did not. Anastacia." Upon cross examination by counsel for the plaintiff. unemployed and a resident of Nalook. That according to him. Arturio Trinidad. She testified that Inocentes Trinidad was her brother and he is already dead and he died in 1941 in Tigayon. Pedro Briones. While his brother was in Manila. Inocentes Trinidad. when asked if he knew the plaintiff. he answered. upon arrival from Manila in 1941 his brother. Lourdes Trinidad testified that her parents. witness testified she was not aware that he had married anybody. "He did not. Anastacia Trinidad. as the hereditary property of their father was located there. Arturio Trinidad did not live with the defendants but he stayed with his grandmother by the name of Maria Concepcion. he does not know the plaintiff.] when Inocentes Trinidad [died] in 1941. Kalibo. However. had 3 children. at Tigayon. he knew anybody who has stayed with the defendants who claimed to be a son of Inocentes Trinidad. And that at the time of the death of Inocentes in 1940. "Yes. "That I do not know". Inocentes Trinidad [died] in 1940 and at the time of his death Inocentes Trinidad was not married. Likewise. According to the witness. According to her[. witness also said. witness. Felicidad Molato. witness answered that he does not know. Lourdes Trinidad. Aklan. he had gone back to the house of his aunt. witness answered.First witness for the defendants was PEDRO BRIONES. his mother. "Nanay Taya". and the man wearing a hat on the said picture marked as Exhibit 2-A is Felix Trinidad. lived only for 15 days before he died. Kalibo. When asked on cross examination if he knew where Inocentes Trinidad was buried when he died in 1940. That he also knew Inocentes Trinidad being the brother of Felix and Lourdes and he is already dead. she is the only remaining daughter of the spouses Patricio Trinidad and Anastacia Briones. She herself testified that she does not have any family of her own for she has [no] husband or children. witness. died without a wife and children. Inocentes Trinidad. Pedro Briones. when he arrived in Tigayon in 1941. When asked if she knew one by the name of Felicidad Molato. Kalibo. single and jobless. as he always visit[s] her every Sunday. she said. according to her[. Aklan. LOURDES TRINIDAD. Felix and Lourdes Trinidad. They being his first cousins because the mother of Lourdes and Felix by the name of Anastacia Briones and his father are sister and brother. witness answered she knew her because Felicidad Molato was staying in Tigayon. according to the witness when cross examined." but she denied that Arturio Trinidad had lived with them. he had gone to Manila where he stayed for a long time and returned to Tigayon in 1941. Anastacia Briones and Patricio Trinidad. Kalibo. That after the war. which had been marked as Exhibit A-1. he stated to reside in Nalook. However. Felix Trinidad. they buried him in their private lot in Tigayon because nobody will carry his coffin as it was wartime and the municipality of Kalibo was occupied by the Japanese forces. he said he does not know him. died without a wife and children.

Furthermore. She likewise identified the man with a hat holding a child marked as Exhibit A-2 as her brother. When she was presented with Exhibit A which is the alleged family picture wherein she was holding was [sic] the child of Arturio Trinidad. Felix. Respondent Court ruled: 14 We sustain the appeal on the ground that plaintiff has not adduced sufficient evidence to prove that he is 125 . Felix. 1978 issued by one Remedios Eleserio of the Local Civil Registrar of the Municipality of New Washington. Felix Trinidad. Lourdes Trinidad and Felix Trinidad were also present. in a house which is only across the street from her house. legitimate or otherwise. she answered. therefore. about 1 1/2 months after his arrival from Manila. was presented as rebuttal witness. who was 76 years old and a resident of Tigayon. Rebuttal witness testified that . witness testified that he did not die in that year because he died in the year 1944. When asked if she can remember that it was only in the early months of the year 1943 when the Japanese occupied Kalibo. witness testified that she does not know. and marriages in the municipality of New Washington were destroyed during the Japanese time. she was 13 or 14 years old when the war broke out. it is not true that Inocentes Trinidad died single because he had a wife by the name of Felicidad Molato whom he married on May 5. [petitioner] presented ISABEL MEREN. Felix and Lourdes. That according to her. When asked if there was a party. witness identified herself and explained that she was requested to bring the child to the church and that the picture taken together with her brother and Arturio Trinidad and the latter's child was taken during the time when she and Arturio Trinidad did not have a case in court yet. When asked if the child being carried by her brother. of the late Inocentes Trinidad. when asked to identify the woman in the picture who was at the right of the child held by her brother. According to her. and Inocentes all surnamed Trinidad because they were her cousins. their marriage was solemnized by a Protestant minister and she was one of the sponsors. Arturio Trinidad. That she knew both Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato to be Catholics but that according to her. as his wife. is another child of the plaintiff. That during the marriage of Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato. she answered. For rebuttal evidence. Aklan. On cross examination. he was not able to present a marriage contract of his parents but instead a certification dated September 5. holding another child in the picture for the same reason. Lourdes Trinidad. She also testified that she knew Felicidad Molato and that Felicidad Molato had never been married to Inocentes Trinidad. witness answered she does not know because her eyes are already blurred. attesting to the fact that records of births. Inocentes Trinidad died. When plaintiff. Arturio Trinidad. Aklan. 1942 in New Washington. . When asked if it is true that according to Lourdes Trinidad. she knew both the [petitioner] and the [private respondents] in this case very well as her house is only around 200 meters from them. "Maybe there was. She further testified that Inocentes Trinidad had lived almost in his lifetime in Manila and he went home only when his father fetched him in Manila because he was already sick.was still peace time. In the same manner that she also knew the defendants. That she knew this fact because she was personally present when couple was married by Lauriano Lajaylajay. deaths. it was in 1941 when Inocentes Trinidad died. child of Arturio Trinidad. and that Inocentes Trinidad lived with his sister." and the child that she is holding is Clarita Trinidad. she was only requested to hold this child to be brought to the church because she will be baptized and that the baptism took place in the parish church of Kalibo. According to her she was horn in 1928. she said she [was] not sure. witness answered that she cannot identify because she had a poor eyesight neither can she identify plaintiff." When confronted with Exhibit A-1 which is herself in the picture carrying the child. a protestant pastor. . "Yes. She testified that a few months after the war broke out Inocentes Trinidad died in their lola's house whose names was Eugenia Rufo Trinidad. Respondent Court's Ruling In finding that petitioner was not a child. ARTURIO TRINIDAD. According to her. Third witness for the defendants was BEATRIZ TRINIDAD SAYON who testified that she knew Arturio Trinidad because he was her neighbor in Tigayon. She further testified that Inocentes Trinidad was buried in their private lot because Kalibo was then occupied by the Japanese forces and nobody would carry his body to be buried in the Poblacion. rebuttal witness testified that when Inocentes Trinidad arrived from Manila he was in good physical condition. According to the said rebuttal witness. When asked by counsel for the plaintiff if she knows that the one who took this picture was the son of Ambrosio Trinidad by the name of Julito Trinidad who was also their cousin. [Inocentes Trinidad] arrived from Manila in 1941 and he lived only for 15 days and died. the witness could not answer the question. and who was previously identified by plaintiff.

in the record of birth or a final judgment. This. Whether or not petitioner (plaintiff-appellee) has proven by preponderant evidence the marriage of his parents. This Court disagrees.] the decision of the Regional Trial Court having been promulgated on July 4. 6. To prove the fact of marriage. Plaintiff has not established that he was recognized. 1988. there was no preponderant evidence of the marriage. The right to demand partition does not prescribe (de Castro vs. Two witnesses. 497).s. 1943. brother of private respondents (defendants-appellants) Felix and Lourdes Trinidad. that Inocentes Trinidad married Felicidad Molato in New Washington. 1958) acquisitive prescription may set in (Florenz D. Admittedly. 1988. according to Respondent Court. still.the son of the late Inocentes Trinidad. thus. 1942. such rule does not apply here. 2. the couple's public and open cohabitation as husband and wife after the alleged wedlock. Even if possession be counted from 1964. 23). 16 His right as a coowner would. as a legitimate son of the late Inocentes Trinidad. 5. Simply stated. Regalado. depend on whether he was born during the existence of a valid and subsisting marriage between his mother (Felicidad) and his putative father (Inocentes). Whether or not of private respondent (defendants-appellants) have acquired ownership of the properties in question by acquisitive prescription. 3. he failed to accomplish. One witness. Hence. But the action to claim legitimacy has not prescribed. defendants possessed the land for more than ten (10) years. be disturbed because the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. as a rule. we had to meticulously pore over the records and the evidence adduced in this case. Whether or not petitioner's status as a legitimate child can be attached collaterally by the private respondents. 20 Phil. after the Family Code became effective on August 3. when plaintiff attained the age of majority. in turn. testified for the defendants that Inocentes Trinidad never married. the main issues raised in this petition are: 1. we stress that an appellate court's assessment of the evidence presented by the parties will not. testified in rebuttal for the plaintiff. said marriage may be proven by relevant evidence. January 14. Whether or not the Family Code is applicable to the case at bar[. Was his claim time-barred under the rules on acquisitive prescription? The Court's Ruling The merits of this petition are patent. 4. and the mention of such nuptial in subsequent 126 . Echarri. The Issues Petitioner submits the following issues for resolution: 15 1. I. Whether or not petitioner (plaintiff-appellee) has adduced sufficient evidence to prove that he is the son of the late Inocentes Trinidad. 4). Remedial Law Compendium. 1989. Trias 18 ruled that when the question of whether a marriage has been contracted arises in litigation. First and Second Issues: Evidence of and Collateral Attack on Filiation At the outset.n. Fifth Revised Edition. on May 5. This Court holds that such burden was successfully discharged by petitioner and. the reversal of the assailed Decision and Resolution is inevitable. 17 Petitioner's first burden is to prove that Inocentes and his mother (Felicidad) were validly married. Pugeda vs. Isabel Maren. in a public document or a private handwritten instrument. Did petitioner present sufficient evidence of his parents' marriage and of his filiation? 2. who was born on July 21. the birth and the baptismal certificates of children born during such union. So. Aklan. Vol. Cordova. Sept. thus acquiring ownership of the same by acquisitive prescription (Article 1134. Where one of the interested parties openly and adversely occupies the property without recognizing the co-ownership (Cordova vs. But in the face of the contradictory conclusions of the appellate and the trial courts. p. L-9936. He died single in 1941. 1988. and that he was born during the subsistence of their marriage. nor of Inocentes' acknowledgment of plaintiff as his son. Pedro Briones and Beatriz Trinidad Sayon. or that he was in continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child. Was petitioner's status as a legitimate child subject to collateral attack in the action for partition? 3. the following would constitute competent evidence: the testimony of a witness to the matrimony. p. the defendants have been in possession of the parcels of land involved in the concept of owners since their father died in 1940. The partition of the late Patricio's real properties requires preponderant proof that petitioner is a co-owner or co-heir of the decedent's estate. solemnized by a pastor of the protestant church and that she attended the wedding ceremony (t. Civil Code of the Philippines).

because Gerardo was not shown to be a member of the Trinidad family by either consanguinity or affinity. and Jovita Gerardo. To prove his filiation. admission by silence. These pictures were taken before the case was instituted. Exhibit B is another picture showing Lourdes Trinidad (Exhibit B-1) carrying petitioner's first child (Exhibit B-2). common reputation respecting his pedigree. the 77-year old barangay captain of Tigayon and former board member of the local parent-teachers' association. Aklan. The first family picture (Exhibit A) shows petitioner (Exhibit A-5) carrying his second daughter and his wife (Exhibit A-4) together with the late Felix Trinidad (Exhibit A-2) carrying petitioner's first daughter. 27 Petitioner submitted in evidence a certification 28 that records relative to his birth were either destroyed during the last world war or burned when the old town hall was razed to the ground on June 17. a judicial admission. 1942 in New Washington. 267. 32 her testimony does not constitute family reputation regarding pedigree. Gerardo dropped by Inocentes' house when Felicidad gave birth to petitioner. Pedro Briones. as she lived only thirty meters away. his wife and the couple's children — slyly explaining that she could not clearly see because of an alleged eye defect. Such evidence may consist of his baptismal certificate. as this Court ruled in Mendoza vs. In the absence of a record of birth. final judgment or possession of status. as other forms of relevant evidence may take its place. legitimate filiation may be proved by any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. [Justice Alicia Sempio-Diy. petitioner's failure to present it is not proof that no marriage took place. 1956. by itself. 1943. Gerardo.documents. however. petitioner secured a certification 20 from the Office of the Civil Registrar of Aklan that all records of births. 30 Although a baptismal certificate is indeed not a conclusive proof of filiation. 21 In place of a marriage contract. She also attended petitioner's baptismal party held at the same house. the totality of petitioner's positive evidence clearly preponderates over private respondents' self-serving negations. is not fatal to petitioner's case. 24 It further gives rise to the disputable presumption that a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage. the testimony of witnesses. 29 When shown Exhibit A. filiation may be proven by the following: Art. who testified that she was present during the nuptial of Felicidad and Inocentes on May 5. a family Bible in which his name has been entered.. private respondents' thesis is that Inocentes died unwed and without issue in March 1941. burned or destroyed during the Japanese occupation of said municipality. be used to establish petitioner's legitimacy. 265. Although they do not directly prove petitioner's filiation to Inocentes." according to the Family Code. This fact. the petitioner's daughter. p. his baptismal certificate and Gerardo's testimony. While she admitted that Exhibit B shows her holding Clarita Trinidad. Hence. who testified that the couple deported themselves as husband and wife after the marriage. Art. he presented in evidence two family pictures. 22 On July 21. the filiation shall be proved by the continuous possession of status of a legitimate child. Lourdes' denials of these pictures are hollow and evasive. Art. and other kinds of proof admissible under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. 26 On the other hand. or "by evidence of proof in his favor that the defendant is her father. Handbook on the Family Code of the Phil. or by an authentic document or a final judgment. and Lourdes Trinidad (Exhibit A-1). it cannot. because nobody was willing to carry the coffin to the 127 . 25 Petitioner also presented his baptismal certificate (Exhibit C) in which Inocentes and Felicidad were named as the child's father and mother. authentic document. In the absence of the titles indicated in the preceding article. used to visit Inocentes and Felicidad's house twice or thrice a week. 1988 ed. they show that petitioner was accepted by the private respondents as Inocentes' legitimate son ante litem motam. 19 In the case at bar. 266. two witnesses were presented by petitioner: Isabel Meren. she recognized her late brother — but not petitioner. Be that as it may. 23 Her testimony constitutes evidence of common reputation respecting marriage. Private respondents' witness. The filiation of legitimate children is proved by the record of birth appearing in the Civil Register." according to the Civil Code. Court of Appeals: 31 What both the trial court and the respondent court did not take into account is that an illegitimate child is allowed to establish his claimed filiation by "any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. it is one of "the other means allowed under the Rules of Court and special laws" to show pedigree. she demurred that she did so only because she was requested to carry the child before she was baptized. In sum. deaths and marriages were either lost. 246] Concededly. testified that Inocentes died in 1940 and was buried in the estate of the Trinidads. Although the marriage contract is considered the primary evidence of the marital union.

who was also a resident of Tigayon. the evidence adduced by one side outweighs that of the adverse party. do you remember having gone back to the house of your aunt Anastacia at Tigayon. but denied that Felicidad was ever married to Inocentes. 1941 with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. however. In determining where the preponderance of evidence lies. She knew Felicidad Molato. 40 Applying this rule. 1942. where were you residing? A: I was staying with them. that when the Japanese occupied Kalibo in 1941. The fact that plaintiff had so lived with the 128 . do you know if there was anybody who has stayed with the defendants who claimed to be a son of Inocentes Trinidad? A: I do not know about that. Q: You know a person by the name of Felicidad Molato? A: No. 37 Furthermore. . Anastacia. the trial court was not convinced that Inocentes dies in March 1941. 36 thus. because of the Japanese soldiers who were roaming around the area. Q: After the war. the trial court significantly and convincingly held that the weight of evidence was in petitioner's favor. xxx xxx xxx Q: You know the plaintiff Arturio Trinidad? A: I do not know him. 34 Taking judicial notice that World War II did not start until December 7. xxx xxx xxx Q: Will you please tell the Court for how long did you stay with your aunt Anastacia Trinidad and his children before 1940? A: For only three months. Inocentes stayed with their grandmother. Respondent Court's holding that petitioner failed to prove his legitimate filiation to Inocentes is unconvincing. 35 The Japanese forces occupied Manila only on January 2. . can you tell the Court if this Inocentes Trinidad was married or not? A: Not married. Do you know if he had cohabited with anybody before his death? A: [T]hat I do not know. as a whole. Q: Can you recall if during the lifetime of Inocentes Trinidad if you have known of anybody with whom he has lived as husband and wife? A: I could not recall because I was then in Manila working. . It was only then that local residents were unwilling to bury their dead in the cemetery In Kalibo. Inocentes Trinidad was single. . a trial court may consider all the facts and circumstances of the case. and his answers on direct examination were noncommittal and evasive: 33 Q: At the time of his death. testified. it stands to reason that Aklan was not occupied until then. Q: When you said "them". Q: How often did you go to the house of your aunt? A: Every Sunday. petitioner consistently used Inocentes' surname (Trinidad) without objection from private respondents — a presumptive proof of his status as Inocentes' legitimate child. to whom are you referring to [sic]? A: My aunt Nanay Taya. is far from credible because he stayed with the Trinidads for only three months. her father brought Inocentes from Manila to Tigayon because he was sick. their intelligence. Q: After the death of Inocentes Trinidad. which was then occupied by the Japanese forces. 38 Preponderant evidence means that. before plaintiff [had] gotten married and had a family of his own where later on he started demanding for the partition of the share of his father. the probability or improbability of their testimony. Beatriz Sayon. sir. their interest or want thereof. Aklan? A: Yes. the other witness of private respondent. Inocentes. and died single and without issue in March 1941. Kalibo. His testimony. including the witnesses' manner of testifying. Q: In 1940 at the time of death of Inocentes Trinidad. Q: Now. and their personal credibility. one and a half months after his return to Tigayon. [O]ne thing sure is the fact that plaintiff had lived with defendants enjoying the status of being their nephew . 39 Compared to the detailed (even if awkwardly written) ruling of the trial court. their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which they are testifying.cemetery in Kalibo. It declared: . you said at the time of his death. sir. Eugenia Roco Trinidad. the nature of the facts.

RONALD PAUL S. GRACIA. of their repudiation. 41 Doctrinally. Respondent Court committed reversible error in holding that petitioner's claim over the land in dispute was time-barred. unless the former repudiates the co-ownership. The Court disagrees. the Court held: 44 . Further. 156 SCRA 55 (1987). No costs. In this particular case. Respondent. . Hollasco. 117 SCRA 532 [1982]). In the other words. was receiving from private respondents his share of the produce of the land in dispute. This witness was already 77 years old at the time she testified. The trial court's decision dated July 4. 165 SCRA 118 [1988]). 2009 JENIE SAN JUAN DELA CRUZ and minor CHRISTIAN DELA CRUZ "AQUINO. . Although private respondents had possessed these parcels openly since 1940 and had not shared with petitioner the produce of the land during the pendency of this case. there is no more need to rule on the application of this doctrine to petitioner's cause. She has nothing to gain in this case as compared to the witness for the defendants who are either cousin or nephew of Lourdes Trinidad who stands to gain in the case for defendant. 43 Thus. if any. Court of Appeals. DECISION CARPIO MORALES. In this case. among them the testimony of witness. Hence. an action to demand partition is imprescriptible and cannot be barred by laches (Del Banco vs. 156 SCRA 55 [1987] citing Jardin vs. . Considering the foregoing. an action for partition may be seen to be at once an action for declaration of co-ownership and for segregation and conveyance of a determinate portion of the property involved (Rogue vs. prescription does not run again private respondents with respect to the filing of the action for partition so long as the heirs for whose benefit prescription is invoked. . 1989 is REINSTATED. the titles of these pieces of land were still in their father's name. either. His demand for the partition of the share of his father provoked the ire of the defendants. the petition is GRANTED and the assailed Decision and Resolution are REVERSED and SET ASIDE." represented by JENIE SAN JUAN DELA CRUZ. SO ORDERED. Corollarily. Said witness had no reason to favor the plaintiff. There is no evidence. Lourdes Trinidad. WHEREFORE. as he was already having a family of his own. . IAC. G. . who is the barrio captain. No. . they acquired ownership of these parcels. no prescription runs in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his or her co-owners or co-heirs. Third Issue: No Acquisitive Prescription Respondent Court ruled that. These family pictures were taken at a time when plaintiff had not broached the idea of getting his father's share. Otherwise stated.defendants . Lourdes Trinidad. In Mariategui vs. Until such time. On the other hand. the act of one benefits all the other co-owners. However. which status was only broken when plaintiff demanded for the partition . in his capacity as City Civil Registrar of Antipolo City. of the plaintiff [petitioner herein] being her nephew is offset by the preponderance of evidence. because acquisitive prescription sets in when one of the interested parties openly and adversely occupies the property without recognizing the co-ownership. . the plaintiff enjoyed the continuous possession of a status of the child of the alleged father by the direct acts of the defendants themselves. a collateral attack on filiation is not permitted. 148 SCRA 342 [1987]). . 42 Rather than rely on this axiom. prior to the action for partition. Intermediate Appellate Court. Private respondents have not acquired ownership of the property in question by acquisitive prescription. .R. . have not expressly or impliedly repudiated the co-ownership. Exhibits A & B. Furthermore. the disowning by the defendant [private respondent herein]. is shown by the alleged family pictures. recognition of the co-ownership by private respondents was beyond question. Jovita Gerardo. it is undisputed that. still. a co-owner cannot acquire by prescription the share of the other co-owners absent a clear repudiation of co-ownership duly communicated to the other co-owners (Mariano vs. 177728 July 31. thus.: 129 . of the co-ownership of petitioner's father Inocentes over the land. in the concept of a coowner. petitioner chose to present evidence of his filiation and of his parents' marriage. . . IAC. petitioner. they disowned him as their nephew. being already 75 years old. has no husband nor children. She had been a PTA officer and the court sized her up as a civic minded person. In a co-ownership. vs. prescription of an action for partition does not lie except when the co-ownership is properly repudiated by the co-owner (Del Banco vs. Petitioners. they manifested no repudiation of the co-ownership. and because private respondents had been in possession — in the concept of owners — of the parcels of land in issue since Patricio died in 1940. . J. . . so long as he or she expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership. De Vega.

or on November 2. 7.2 If admission of paternity is made through a private handwritten instrument. AUSF8 b. Antipolo City. otherwise Known as the ‘Family Code of the Philippines’"]) provides that: Rule 7. and that his paternity had never been questioned. xxxx AS OF NOW I HAVE MY WIFE NAMED JENIE DELA CRUZ. and Affidavit of Acknowledgment executed by Dominique’s father Domingo Butch Aquino. MY FATHER’S NAME IS DOMINGO BUTCH AQUINO AND MY MOTHER’S NAME IS RAQUEL STO. gave birth to her herein co-petitioner minor child Christian Dela Cruz "Aquino" at the Antipolo Doctors Hospital. 9255 ["An Act Allowing Illegitimate Children to Use the Surname of their Father. who continued to live with Dominique’s parents. that during the lifetime of Dominique.For several months in 2005. Statement of Assets and Liability 6. he had continuously acknowledged his yet unborn child. Aquino and Raquel Sto. Amending for the Purpose. Dominique died. Teresa. 2 Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father3 (AUSF) which she had executed and signed. inter alia. Ronald Paul S. in support of which she submitted the child’s Certificate of Live Birth. Any two of the following documents showing clearly the paternity between the father and the child: 1.5 I RESIDE AT PULANG-LUPA STREET BRGY.1. On September 4. docketed as SCA Case No. during his lifetime. denied Jenie’s application for registration of the child’s name in this wise: 7. wrote in his own handwriting. 2005. x x x. TOMAS AQUINO. 06-539.1 For Births Not Yet Registered 7.1 After almost two months. 209. Rule 7 of Administrative Order No. with the Office of the City Civil Registrar. WE MET EACH OTHER IN OUR HOMETOWN. THEN WE FELL IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER.6 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) By letter dated November 11. TERESA. The complaint alleged that. Employment records 2. Tomas Aquino at Pulang-lupa. I AM THE YOUNGEST IN OUR FAMILY. the denial of registration of the child’s name is a violation 130 . CHRISTIAN DOMINIQUE S. DULUMBAYAN. provided the registration is supported by the following documents: a. 102 – Affidavit of Acknowledgment/Admission of Paternity – or the Authority to Use the Surname of the Father). if 18 years old and over at the time of the filing of the document. AT FIRST WE BECAME GOOD FRIENDS. Jenie. the child shall use the surname of the father. TOMAS AQUINO. Gracia (respondent). THEN WE BECAME GOOD COUPLES. Dulumbayan. Tomas Aquino (Dominique) lived together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. THAT’S ALL. TOMAS AQUINO. 2005. inter alia. SSS/GSIS records 3.1. the pertinent portions of which read: AQUINO. Article 176 of Executive Order No. Antipolo City. Requirements for the Child to Use the Surname of the Father 7. then 21-year old petitioner Jenie San Juan Dela Cruz (Jenie) and then 19year old Christian Dominique Sto. (Underscoring supplied) Jenie and the child promptly filed a complaint9 for injunction/registration of name against respondent before the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo City. 2005. TEREZA RIZAL.T. c.1 The illegitimate child shall use the surname of the father if a public document is executed by the father.4 Both affidavits attested. Certification of membership in any organization 5. Jenie attached to the AUSF a document entitled "AUTOBIOGRAPHY" which Dominique. which was raffled to Branch 73 thereof. Rizal. either at the back of the Certificate of Live Birth or in a separate document. 1. 2005. They resided in the house of Dominique’s parents Domingo B. 19 YEARS OF AGE TURNING 20 THIS COMING OCTOBER 31. Series of 2004 (Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. AND AS OF NOW SHE IS PREGNANT AND FOR THAT WE LIVE TOGETHER IN OUR HOUSE NOW. Consent of the child. AUTOBIOGRAPHY I’M CHRISTIAN DOMINIQUE STO.7 the City Civil Registrar of Antipolo City. Insurance 4. RIZAL. using Dominique’s surname Aquino. Income Tax Return (ITR) In summary. Jenie applied for registration of the child’s birth. the child cannot use the surname of his father because he was born out of wedlock and the father unfortunately died prior to his birth and has no more capacity to acknowledge his paternity to the child (either through the back of Municipal Form No. I HAVE ONE BROTHER NAMED JOSEPH BUTCH STO.

1. They add that the deceased’s handwritten Autobiography. Provided. and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. She testified on the circumstances of her common-law relationship with Dominique and affirmed her declarations in her AUSF that during his lifetime. 9255. It further submits that Dominique’s Autobiography "merely acknowledged Jenie’s pregnancy but not [his] paternity of the child she was carrying in her womb. 175.1avvphi1 Hence. The recognition made in any of these documents is. does not.A. as affirmed by the trial court. 9255. a consummated act of acknowledgment of the child’s paternity. explicitly state that the private handwritten instrument acknowledging the child’s paternity must be signed by the putative father. 131 .16 Petitioners further contend that the trial court erred in not finding that Dominique’s handwritten Autobiography contains a "clear and unmistakable" recognition of the child’s paternity. also testified. is in consonance with the law and thus prays for the dismissal of the petition. the father has the right to institute an action before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime.13 By Decision14 of April 25. WHICH ENTITLES THE SAID MINOR TO USE HIS FATHER’S SURNAME. for the requirement in the above-quoted paragraph 2. or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father. the same does not contain any express recognition of paternity. Joseph Butch S. 19 Article 176 of the Family Code. this direct resort to the Court via Petition for Review on Certiorari raising this purely legal issue of: WHETHER OR NOT THE UNSIGNED HANDWRITTEN STATEMENT OF THE DECEASED FATHER OF MINOR CHRISTIAN DELA CRUZ CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A RECOGNITION OF PATERNITY IN A "PRIVATE HANDWRITTEN INSTRUMENT" WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF ARTICLE 176 OF THE FAMILY CODE. However.15 (Underscoring supplied) Petitioners contend that Article 176 of the Family Code. as amended by R. 2007. is sufficient. Rule 2 (Definition of Terms) of Administrative Order (A. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother.2 Private handwritten instrument – an instrument executed in the handwriting of the father and duly signed by him where he expressly recognizes paternity to the child.A.10 which provides: Article 176.2. The legitime of each illegitimate child shall consist of onehalf of the legitime of a legitimate child.12 Dominique’s lone brother. or through an admission made in a public or private handwritten instrument."18 Article 176 of the Family Code.2 of the Administrative Order that the admission/recognition must be "duly signed" by the father is void as it "unduly expanded" the earlier-quoted provision of Article 176 of the Family Code. 9255.T. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) They maintained that the Autobiography executed by Dominique constitutes an admission of paternity in a "private handwritten instrument" within the contemplation of the above-quoted provision of law. hence. corroborating Jenie’s declarations. citing paragraph 2. the trial court dismissed the complaint "for lack of cause of action" as the Autobiography was unsigned. in itself. illegitimate children may use the surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil register. respondent was declared in default. no separate action for judicial approval is necessary.A. AS AMENDED BY R. indeed. For failure to file a responsive pleading or answer despite service of summons. however. (Underscoring supplied) The trial court held that even if Dominique was the author of the handwritten Autobiography. thus: Art. Jenie thereupon presented evidence ex-parte. This provision must. as amended by Republic Act (R. permits an illegitimate child to use the surname of his/her father if the latter had expressly recognized him/her as his offspring through the record of birth appearing in the civil register. does not expressly require that the private handwritten instrument containing the putative father’s admission of paternity must be signed by him. though unsigned by him. Series of 2004 (the Rules and Regulations Governing the Implementation of R.of his right to use the surname of his deceased father under Article 176 of the Family Code.O. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) submits that respondent’s position. 17 In its Comment. as amended.A.) No. 9255) which defines "private handwritten document" through which a father may acknowledge an illegitimate child as follows: 2.) No.11 She offered Dominique’s handwritten Autobiography (Exhibit "A") as her documentary evidence-in-chief. he had acknowledged his yet unborn child. as amended. be read in conjunction with related provisions of the Family Code which require that recognition by the father must bear his signature. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children. Aquino.

Series of 2004. Dominique died about two months prior to the child’s birth. It embraces also facts of family history intimately connected with pedigree. The relevant sections of Rule 130 provide: SEC. 172. and the names of the relatives. marriage. discoursing in relevant part: Laws. 39. CA. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children. or (2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. the dates when and the places where these facts occurred. correspond to the facts culled from the testimonial evidence Jenie proffered. in respect to the pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage. Rules. together with the certificate of live birth. The Rules on Evidence include provisions on pedigree. it did not "unduly expand" the import of Article 176 as claimed by petitioners. In the absence of the foregoing evidence. may be received in evidence where it occurred before the controversy. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree. the claim of filiation must be made by the putative father himself and the writing must be the writing of the putative father. 1. Under Article 278 of the New Civil Code. Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts. or in any authentic writing. To be effective. 175. Second. 172. we stated that the issue of paternity still has to be resolved by such conventional evidence as the relevant incriminating verbal and written acts by the putative father. Act or declaration about pedigree. the legitimate filiation shall be proved by: (1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child. Alba. though unsigned by him. a statement before a court of record. death. Jenie’s testimony is corroborated by the Affidavit of Acknowledgment of Dominique’s father Domingo Aquino and testimony of his brother Joseph Butch Aquino whose hereditary rights could be affected by the registration of the questioned recognition of the child. In Pe Lim v. 132 . however. and Jurisprudence Establishing Filiation The relevant provisions of the Family Code provide as follows: ART. rules. No. a case petitioner often cites. in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members. the relevant matters in the Autobiography. A notarial agreement to support a child whose filiation is admitted by the putative father was considered acceptable evidence. may be received in evidence if the witness testifying thereon be also a member of the family. xxxx ART. These circumstances indicating Dominique’s paternity of the child give life to his statements in his Autobiography that "JENIE DELA CRUZ" is "MY WIFE" as "WE FELL IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER" and "NOW SHE IS PREGNANT AND FOR THAT WE LIVE TOGETHER. — The act or declaration of a person deceased. substantially satisfies the requirement of the law. 40. birth. — The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous to the controversy.2. voluntary recognition by a parent shall be made in the record of birth. may be received as evidence of pedigree. Paragraph 2. a will. merely articulated such requirement. In the present case.20 Third. or (2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. SEC. or (2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. or unable to testify. engraving on rings. either by consanguinity or affinity. and jurisprudence on establishing filiation. The word "pedigree" includes relationship. x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) That a father who acknowledges paternity of a child through a written instrument must affix his signature thereon is clearly implied in Article 176 of the Family Code.xxxx Art. special circumstances exist to hold that Dominique’s Autobiography. and the relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following: (1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment. family portraits and the like. family genealogy.O. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following: (1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment.21 the Court summarized the laws. This Court's rulings further specify what incriminating acts are acceptable as evidence to establish filiation. Rule 2 of A. unquestionably handwritten by Dominique. First." In Herrera v. Letters to the mother vowing to be a good father to the child and pictures of the putative father cuddling the child on various occasions.

148220 June 15. 59766. Dulumbayan. "(t)he State as parens patriae affords special protection to children from abuse. In view of the pronouncements herein made. represented by his mother ARMI A. during his lifetime. there is no dispute that the earlier quoted statements in Dominique’s Autobiography have been made and written by him. the Court sees it fit to adopt the following rules respecting the requirement of affixing the signature of the acknowledging parent in any private handwritten instrument wherein an admission of filiation of a legitimate or illegitimate child is made: 1) Where the private handwritten instrument is the lone piece of evidence submitted to prove filiation. The Order dated 3 February 2000 directed Rosendo Herrera ("petitioner") to submit to deoxyribonucleic acid ("DNA") paternity testing. exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development. Presiding Judge. or a marriage contract where the putative father gave consent. represented by his mother Armi Alba. courts of law. and record the same in the Register of Births. Taken together with the other relevant facts extant herein – that Dominique. and 2) Where the private handwritten instrument is accompanied by other relevant and competent evidence. 2005.22 Article 3(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child of which the Philippines is a signatory is similarly emphatic: Article 3 1. However. G. and Jenie were living together as common-law spouses for several months in 2005 at his parents’ house in Pulang-lupa. a student permanent record. vs.23 (Underscoring supplied) It is thus "(t)he policy of the Family Code to liberalize the rule on the investigation of the paternity and filiation of children. administrative authorities or legislative bodies. the petition is GRANTED. On 7 August 1998.R. No. ALBA. SP No. NIMFA CUESTAVILCHES. there should be strict compliance with the requirement that the same must be signed by the acknowledging parent. 98-88759. respondents. neither a certificate of baptism nor family pictures are sufficient to establish filiation. Regional Trial Court. while the Order dated 8 June 2000 denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. it suffices that the claim of filiation therein be shown to have been made and handwritten by the acknowledging parent as it is merely corroborative of such other evidence."25 In the eyes of society. a written consent to a father's operation. Our laws instruct that the welfare of the child shall be the "paramount consideration" in resolving questions affecting him. she was pregnant when Dominique died on September 4. support and damages against petitioner. Standing alone. 2005 ROSENDO HERRERA. petitioner filed his answer with counterclaim where he denied that he is the biological father of respondent. Branch 48. DECISION CARPIO. Jenie gave birth to the child – they sufficiently establish that the child of Jenie is Dominique’s. Teresa. SO ORDERED.proved filiation. filed before the trial court a petition for compulsory recognition. then thirteen-year-old Rosendo Alba ("respondent"). Petitioner also denied physical contact with respondent’s mother.R. the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration."24 Too.) In the case at bar. and HON. minor. WHEREFORE. It is to petitioner minor child’s best interests to allow him to bear the surname of the now deceased Dominique and enter it in his birth certificate. especially of illegitimate children x x x. The appellate court affirmed two Orders3 issued by Branch 48 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila ("trial court") in SP No. cannot be taken as authentic writing.: The Case This is a petition for review1 to set aside the Decision2 dated 29 November 2000 of the Court of Appeals ("appellate court") in CA-G. a child with an unknown father bears the stigma of dishonor. 133 . In all actions concerning children. The Facts On 14 May 1998. Rizal. ROSENDO ALBA. Manila. J. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied. and about two months after his death. petitioner. Tomas Aquino as the surname of petitioner minor Christian dela Cruz in his Certificate of Live Birth. whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions. The City Civil Registrar of Antipolo City is DIRECTED to immediately enter the surname of the late Christian Dominique Sto.

The Ruling of the Trial Court In an Order dated 3 February 2000. namely: the petitioner. Public respondent ruled to accept DNA test without considering the limitations on. petitioner filed before the appellate court a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.8 Petitioner moved for reconsideration. and ordered dismissed. Finally. respondent and Armi Alba. appeal is an available remedy for an error of judgment that the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction. The appellate court stated that petitioner merely desires to correct the trial court’s evaluation of evidence. adequate and speedy remedy in the ordinary course of law. the motion of the petitioner is GRANTED and the relevant individuals. and conditions precedent for the admissibility of DNA testing and ignoring the serious constraints affecting the reliability of the test as admitted by private respondent’s "expert" witness. Thus. 7 The Ruling of the Court of Appeals On 29 November 2000. To support the motion. unconstitutional. the minor child.Respondent filed a motion to direct the taking of DNA paternity testing to abbreviate the proceedings. The parties are further reminded of the hearing set on 24 February 2000 for the reception of other evidence in support of the petition. irrelevant and the coercive process to obtain the requisite specimen from the petitioner. SO ORDERED. He submitted the following grounds to support his objection: 1. She was a former professor at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.5 (Emphasis in the original) Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the 3 February 2000 Order. Dr. IT IS SO ORDERED. the Petition is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE. with costs to Petitioner. 3. the trial court denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. Petitioner further argued that DNA paternity testing violates his right against self-incrimination. the trial court granted respondent’s motion to conduct DNA paternity testing on petitioner. which the appellate court denied in its Resolution dated 23 May 2001. with public respondent relying on scientific findings and conclusions unfit for judicial notice and unsupported by experts in the field and scientific treatises. She was also head of the University of the Philippines Natural Sciences Research Institute ("UP-NSRI"). Petitioner asks for the conditions under which DNA technology may be integrated into our judicial system and the prerequisites for the admissibility of DNA test results in a paternity suit. 2. Subject Orders lack legal and factual support. 4. Halos was an Associate Professor at De La Salle University where she taught Cell Biology. foregoing premises considered. and to submit the results thereof within a period of ninety (90) days from completion.9999% in establishing paternity. The dispositive portion of the appellate court’s decision reads: WHEREFORE. He asserted that "under the present circumstances.6 On 18 July 2000. Public respondent misread and misapplied the ruling in Lim vs. He asserted that the trial court rendered the Orders dated 3 February 2000 and 8 June 2000 "in excess of. the DNA test [he] is compelled to take would be inconclusive. Ph. 10 Petitioner further submits that the appellate court gravely abused its discretion when it authorized the trial 134 . respondent presented the testimony of Saturnina C.4 Petitioner opposed DNA paternity testing and contended that it has not gained acceptability. Under the present circumstances the DNA testing petitioner [is] compelled to take will be inconclusive. unconstitutional. Halos described the process for DNA paternity testing and asserted that the test had an accuracy rate of 99. In her testimony. and the challenged orders of the Trial Court AFFIRMED.D.9 Issues Petitioner raises the issue of whether a DNA test is a valid probative tool in this jurisdiction to determine filiation. and respondent are directed to undergo DNA paternity testing in a laboratory of their common choice within a period of thirty (30) days from receipt of the Order. irrelevant and the coercive process to obtain the requisite specimen…. Quezon City." Petitioner further contended that there is "no appeal nor any [other] plain. Halos. When she testified. Court of Appeals (270 SCRA 2). The appellate court also stated that the proposed DNA paternity testing does not violate his right against self-incrimination because the right applies only to testimonial compulsion. Dr. where she developed the Molecular Biology Program and taught Molecular Biology. or without jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction." Petitioner maintained his previous objections to the taking of DNA paternity testing. the appellate court pointed out that petitioner can still refute a possible adverse result of the DNA paternity testing. a DNA analysis laboratory. Thus: In view of the foregoing. the appellate court issued a decision denying the petition and affirming the questioned Orders of the trial court." In an Order dated 8 June 2000.

rules. Act or declaration about pedigree. In our jurisdiction. Armi Alba.13 support (as in the present case). Laws. affirmative defenses. or inheritance. A child born to a husband and wife during a valid marriage is presumed legitimate.14 A prima facie case exists if a woman declares that she had sexual relations with the putative father. The relevant sections of Rule 130 provide: SEC.16 The putative father may also show that the mother had sexual relations with other men at the time of conception. 175. An Overview of the Paternity and Filiation Suit Filiation proceedings are usually filed not just to adjudicate paternity but also to secure a legal right associated with paternity. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children. Before discussing the issues on DNA paternity testing. Armi Alba countered petitioner’s denial by submitting pictures of respondent and petitioner side by side.court "to embark in [sic] a new procedure xxx to determine filiation despite the absence of legislation to ensure its reliability and integrity. We shall consider the requirements of the Family Code and of the Rules of Evidence to establish paternity and filiation. and physical resemblance between the putative father and child. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following: (1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment. respondent’s mother. and the 135 . we deem it appropriate to give an overview of a paternity suit and apply it to the facts of this case. There are four significant procedural aspects of a traditional paternity action which parties have to face: a prima facie case." 11 Petitioner maintains that the proposed DNA paternity testing violates his right against self-incrimination. such as citizenship. on the other hand. The burden of proving paternity is on the person who alleges that the putative father is the biological father of the child. We now look to the law. However. Petitioner. may be received in evidence where it occurred before the controversy. the dates when and the places where these facts occurred. Rules. physical resemblance between the putative father and child may be offered as part of evidence of paternity. she offered corroborative proof in the form of letters and pictures. The word "pedigree" includes relationship. marriage. and governing jurisprudence to help us determine what evidence of incriminating acts on paternity and filiation are allowed in this jurisdiction. the legitimate filiation shall be proved by: (1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child. death.—The act or declaration of a person deceased. He denied ever having sexual relations with Armi Alba and stated that respondent is Armi Alba’s child with another man. xxx ART. 15 There are two affirmative defenses available to the putative father. want of official recognition as made clear in Lim vs. Resemblance is a trial technique unique to a paternity proceeding. to show how much they resemble each other. although likeness is a function of heredity. The putative father may show incapability of sexual relations with the mother. because of either physical absence or impotency. corroborative proof is required to carry the burden forward and shift it to the putative father. 39. and Jurisprudence Establishing Filiation The relevant provisions of the Family Code provide as follows: ART. Court of Appeals and the presence of technical and legal constraints in respect of [sic] its implementation. there is no mathematical formula that could quantify how much a child must or must not look like his biological father. in respect to the pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage.12 The Ruling of the Court The petition has no merit. the trial court encountered three of the four aspects. or unable to testify.19 This kind of evidence appeals to the emotions of the trier of fact. birth. put forward a prima facie case when she asserted that petitioner is respondent’s biological father. The Rules on Evidence include provisions on pedigree. or (2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. In the absence of the foregoing evidence.17 The child’s legitimacy may be impugned only under the strict standards provided by law. Paternity and filiation disputes can easily become credibility contests. In the present case. or (2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. Aware that her assertion is not enough to convince the trial court. and the relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. denied Armi Alba’s assertion. family genealogy. 18 Finally. presumption of legitimacy. 172.

are sections that differ. except for identical twins. saliva. a written consent to a father’s operation. or a marriage contract where the putative father gave consent. Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts. The present case asks us to go one step further. in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members. We are now asked whether DNA analysis may be admitted as evidence to prove paternity. a will. This gives a person his or her genetic code. SEC.28 the result of the blood grouping test showed that the putative father was a "possible father" of the child. the laws." How is DNA typing performed? From a DNA sample obtained or extracted. or a DNA profile. a molecular biologist may 136 . C (cystosine) and T (thymine). CA. They are known as "polymorphic loci.29 the child." Every gene has a certain number of the above base pairs distributed in a particular sequence. either by consanguinity or affinity. together with the certificate of live birth.27 In Co Tao v.21 A notarial agreement to support a child whose filiation is admitted by the putative father was considered acceptable evidence. and jurisprudence seemingly limit evidence of paternity and filiation to incriminating acts alone. This Court’s rulings further specify what incriminating acts are acceptable as evidence to establish filiation. The chemical structure of DNA has four bases. cannot be taken as authentic writing. the DNA of an individual’s blood is the very DNA in his or her skin cells. we stated that the issue of paternity still has to be resolved by such conventional evidence as the relevant incriminating verbal and written acts by the putative father. So far. muscles. although inconclusive on paternity. The order in which the four bases appear in an individual’s DNA determines his or her physical makeup. Being a component of every cell in the human body. To be effective. which indicated that the child could not have been the possible offspring of the mother and the putative father.names of the relatives. hair follicles. semen. Paternity was imputed to the putative father after the possibility of paternity was proven on presentation during trial of facts and circumstances other than the results of the blood grouping test. advances in science show that sources of evidence of paternity and filiation need not be limited to incriminating acts. In Pe Lim v. and DNA is unchanging throughout life.30 DNA analysis is a procedure in which DNA extracted from a biological sample obtained from an individual is examined. rules. fingerprinting. It embraces also facts of family history intimately connected with pedigree. or in any authentic writing. may be received in evidence if the witness testifying thereon be also a member of the family.22 Letters to the mother vowing to be a good father to the child and pictures of the putative father cuddling the child on various occasions. Court of Appeals. Genetic identity is unique. neither a certificate of baptism 25 nor family pictures26 are sufficient to establish filiation. Court of Appeals.24 Standing alone." which are the areas analyzed in DNA typing (profiling. DNA is found in all human cells and is the same in every cell of the same person. This DNA profile is unique for each person. DNA Analysis as Evidence DNA is the fundamental building block of a person’s entire genetic make-up. the mother. We held that the result of the blood grouping test was conclusive on the non-paternity of the putative father. it is composed of two specific paired bases. 40. However. These are called "genes.23 However. In Jao v. They are known as A (adenine). fertilized egg). Somewhere in the DNA framework. a student permanent record.—The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous to the controversy. samples from buccal swabs. 31 We quote relevant portions of the trial court’s 3 February 2000 Order with approval: Everyone is born with a distinct genetic blueprint called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). And since DNA is a double-stranded molecule. A-T or T-A and G-C or C-G. Hence. It is exclusive to an individual (except in the rare occurrence of identical twins that share a single. tests. for the individual from whom the sample is taken. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree. or analysis/DNA fingerprinting/genetic tests or fingerprinting).20 a case petitioner often cites. engraving on rings. and the putative father agreed to submit themselves to a blood grouping test. the claim of filiation must be made by the putative father himself and the writing must be the writing of the putative father. voluntary recognition by a parent shall be made in the record of birth. Under Article 278 of the New Civil Code. a person’s DNA profile can determine his identity. There is now almost universal scientific agreement that blood grouping tests are conclusive on non-paternity. may be received as evidence of pedigree. a statement before a court of record. G (guanine). nonetheless. family portraits and the like. The National Bureau of Investigation ("NBI") conducted the test. The DNA is processed to generate a pattern. or other body parts. proved filiation. In other words. DNA typing simply means determining the "polymorphic loci.

STR. which match the paternal types in the child. then he is not excluded as the father. Though it is not necessary in this case to resort to DNA testing. This may be considered a 180 degree turn from the Court’s wary attitude towards DNA testing in the 1997 Pe Lim case. how they were handled. We affirmed the accused’s conviction of rape with homicide and sentenced him to death. Vallejo35 discussed DNA analysis as evidence. If the DNA types match. in [the] future it would be useful to all concerned in the prompt resolution of parentage and identity issues.33 it was only in the 2001 case of Tijing v. The Court moved from the issue of according "official recognition" to DNA analysis as evidence to the issue of observance of procedures in conducting DNA analysis. The Court. we issued a writ of habeas corpus against respondent who abducted petitioners’ youngest son. Admissibility of DNA Analysis as Evidence The 2002 case of People v. "matches" are determined. VNTR (variable number tandem repeats). courts should consider. In Tijing. The alleged father’s profile is then examined to ascertain whether he has the DNA types in his profile. xxx has not yet been accorded official recognition by our courts. "reverse dot blot" or HLA DQ a/Pm loci which was used in 287 cases that were admitted as evidence by 37 courts in the U. there were two other cases that had a significant impact on jurisprudence on DNA testing: People v. as of November 1994.S. the forensic scientist looks at a number of these variable regions in an individual to produce a DNA profile. Teehankee. However. a person possesses two genetic types called "allele". xxx For it was said.36 where we stated that "DNA. Yatar38 and In re: The Writ of Habeas Corpus for Reynaldo de Villa. one inherited from each parent. the DNA or fingerprint is deemed to be a match. mtDNA process. there was no longer any question on the validity of the use of DNA analysis as evidence. of DNA evidence. the procedure followed in analyzing the samples. By 2002. We declared: In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence. Jr. as of 1996. In [a] paternity test. the man is excluded as the father. in DNA typing. and the most recent which is known as the PCR([polymerase] chain reaction) based STR (short tandem repeats) method which. In each of these regions. the DNA profile from the vaginal swabs taken from the rape victim matched the accused’s DNA profile. even if only one feature of the DNA or fingerprint is different. But then. that courts should apply the results of science when completely obtained in aid of situations presented. To illustrate. Testimonial and documentary evidence and physical resemblance were used to establish parentage. since to reject said result is to deny progress. the following data: how the samples were collected. certain regions of human DNA show variations between people. therefore. takes measurements in 13 separate places and can match two (2) samples with a reported theoretical error rate of less than one (1) in a trillion. The other half must have been inherited from the biological father. a match existed between the DNA profile of the semen found in the victim and the DNA profile of the blood sample given by appellant in open court. we have now the facility and expertise in using DNA test for identification and parentage testing. Just like in fingerprint analysis.37 Vallejo discussed the probative value. The University of the Philippines Natural Science Research Institute (UP-NSRI) DNA Analysis Laboratory has now the capability to conduct DNA typing using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. As earlier stated.39 In Yatar. it is deemed not to have come from the suspect. when DNA or fingerprint tests are done to identify a suspect in a criminal case. the evidence collected from the crime scene is compared with the "known" print. If the man’s DNA types do not match that of the child. it is possible to determine which half of the child’s DNA was inherited from the mother. on the other hand. was availed of by most forensic laboratories in the world. following Vallejo’s footsteps. Court of Appeals34 that more than a passing mention was given to DNA analysis. not admissibility. affirmed the conviction of 137 . the possibility of contamination of the samples. we observed that: Parentage will still be resolved using conventional methods unless we adopt the modern and scientific ways available.proceed to analyze it in several ways. and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests." In Vallejo. There are five (5) techniques to conduct DNA typing. whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests. among other things. Comparing next the DNA profiles of the mother and child. In 2004.32 (Emphasis in the original) Although the term "DNA testing" was mentioned in the 1995 case of People v.. PCR is the process of replicating or copying DNA in an evidence sample a million times through repeated cycling of a reaction involving the so-called DNA polymerize enzyme. Fortunately. They are: the RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism). If a substantial amount of the identifying features are the same. being a relatively new science.

" The United States Supreme Court ruled that in federal trials.41 In Frye v. we hold that admissibility of specific test results in a particular case hinges on the laboratory’s compliance with appropriate standards and controls. U.45 further modified the Frye-Schwartz standard. Inc.44 In 1993. the various pleadings filed by petitioner and respondent refer to two United States cases to support their respective positions on the admissibility of DNA analysis as evidence: Frye v. "Relevant evidence" is defined as that which has any "tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence." The Frye standard of general acceptance states as follows: Just when a scientific principle or discovery crosses the line between the experimental and demonstrable stages is difficult to define. Another product liability case. The prosecution introduced the private testing facility’s results over Schwartz’s objection. by these rules.46 further modified the Daubert standard. corroborated by circumstantial evidence. the Federal Rules of Evidence have superseded the Frye standard. v. while Rule 402 provides the foundation for admissibility of evidence. skill. Daubert v. All relevant evidence is admissible. except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of the United States. Schwartz43 modified the Frye standard. (2) whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication. and while courts will go a long way in admitting expert testimony deduced from a well recognized scientific principle or discovery. the convict-petitioner presented DNA test results to prove that he is not the father of the child conceived at the time of commission of the rape. Admissibility would depend on factors such as (1) whether the theory or technique can be or has been tested. State v. In 1989. U. technical. In De Villa. This led to the amendment of Rule 702 in 2000 and which now reads as follows: If scientific. development. by Act of Congress. or by other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court pursuant to statutory authority. showed appellant guilty of rape with homicide. a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge.40 and Daubert v. Carmichael. technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence 138 . The Court ruled that a difference between the DNA profile of the convict-petitioner and the DNA profile of the victim’s child does not preclude the convict-petitioner’s commission of rape. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible. One of the issues brought before the state Supreme Court included the admissibility of DNA test results in a criminal proceeding. Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence governing expert testimony provides: If scientific. Rule 402. Frye appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. Somewhere in this twilight zone the evidential force of the principle must be recognized. and the availability of their testing data and results.. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. Daubert cautions that departure from the Frye standard of general acceptance does not mean that the Federal Rules do not place limits on the admissibility of scientific evidence. the trial court convicted Frye of murder. Schwartz was charged with stabbing and murder. training. Rule 401 defines relevant evidence. The state Supreme Court concluded that: While we agree with the trial court that forensic DNA typing has gained general acceptance in the scientific community. Kumho Tires Co. Rather. Thus: Rule 401. (4) the existence and maintenance of standards controlling the technique’s operation. and (5) whether the theory or technique is generally accepted in the scientific community. In the present case.appellant because the physical evidence. may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise. Frye’s counsel offered an expert witness to testify on the result of a systolic blood pressure deception test42 made on defendant. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. experience. and experiments thus far made. or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue. the judge must ensure that the testimony’s reasoning or method is scientifically valid and is relevant to the issue.S. (3) the known or potential rate of error. Bloodstained articles and blood samples of the accused and the victim were submitted for DNA testing to a government facility and a private facility. Daubert was a product liability case where both the trial and appellate courts denied the admissibility of an expert’s testimony because it failed to meet the Frye standard of "general acceptance. or education. the thing from which the deduction is made must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs. During trial.S. The state Supreme Court affirmed Frye’s conviction and ruled that "the systolic blood pressure deception test has not yet gained such standing and scientific recognition among physiological and psychological authorities as would justify the courts in admitting expert testimony deduced from the discovery.

53 trial courts should require at least 99. We reiterate our statement in Vallejo: In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence. In our jurisdiction. among other things. Indeed. and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case. the procedure followed in analyzing the samples. the restrictive tests for admissibility established by Frye-Schwartz and Daubert-Kumho go into the weight of the evidence. experience or training which he is shown to possess may be received in evidence. If the man’s DNA types do not match that of the child. the possibility of contamination of the samples. which match the paternal types in the child. which governs the admissibility of expert testimony. trial courts should be cautious in giving credence to DNA analysis as evidence. then there is refutable presumption of paternity.or to determine a fact in issue. This Rule does not pose any legal obstacle to the admissibility of DNA analysis as evidence. A complete match between the DNA profile of the child and the DNA profile of the putative father does not necessarily establish paternity. W will never equal to 100%. may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise. Vallejo and Yatar to illustrate that DNA analysis is admissible as evidence.49 Section 49 of Rule 130." Petitioner asserts that obtaining samples from him for DNA testing violates his right against self-incrimination. If the value of W is less than 99. or education.9% or higher. Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution provides that "no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. how they were handled. the results of the DNA analysis should be considered as corroborative evidence. Probative Value of DNA Analysis as Evidence Despite our relatively liberal rules on admissibility. therefore.55 This refutable presumption of paternity should be subjected to the Vallejo standards. An appropriate reference population database. Due to the probabilistic nature of paternity inclusions.54 DNA analysis that excludes the putative father from paternity should be conclusive proof of non-paternity. mother and child are subjected to DNA analysis compared to those conducted between the putative father and child alone. if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data. we quote relevant portions of the trial court’s 3 February 2000 Order with approval: Obtaining DNA samples from an accused in a criminal case or from the respondent in a paternity case. Petitioner ignores our earlier pronouncements that the privilege is applicable only to testimonial evidence. (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods. W is a numerical estimate for the likelihood of paternity of a putative father compared to the probability of a random match of two unrelated individuals. evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the fact in issue and is not otherwise excluded by statute or the Rules of Court. the forensic scientist looks at a number of these variable regions in an individual to produce a DNA profile. For this reason. the accuracy of W estimates is higher when the putative father. The alleged father’s profile is then examined to ascertain whether he has the DNA types in his profile.9%."50 Indeed. However. and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. The other half must have been inherited from the biological father. 139 .9% as a minimum value of the Probability of Paternity ("W") prior to a paternity inclusion. Again. such as the Philippine population database. Right Against Self-Incrimination Section 17. it would have been convenient to merely refer petitioner to our decisions in Tijing. If the DNA types match. Obviously. is required to compute for W. We now determine the applicability in this jurisdiction of these American cases. a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge. whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests.52 It is not enough to state that the child’s DNA profile matches that of the putative father. skill. then he is not excluded as the father. training. American jurisprudence merely has a persuasive effect on our decisions. the man is excluded as the father. following the highest standard adopted in an American jurisdiction. the following data: how the samples were collected. 48 Evidence is relevant when it has such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or non-existence. even evidence on collateral matters is allowed "when it tends in any reasonable degree to establish the probability or improbability of the fact in issue. it is possible to determine which half of the child’s DNA was inherited from the mother. neither the Frye-Schwartz standard nor the Daubert-Kumho standard is controlling in the Philippines. provides as follows: The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring special knowledge. If the value of W is 99. Comparing next the DNA profiles of the mother and child. skill.47 At best. Here.51] We also repeat the trial court’s explanation of DNA analysis used in paternity cases: In [a] paternity test. experience. courts should consider.

morphine forced out of the mouth was received as proof (US vs. the substance emitting from the body of the accused was received as evidence for acts of lasciviousness (US vs. The Supreme Court has ruled that the right against self-incrimination is just a prohibition on the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communication (testimonial evidence) from a defendant. and jurisprudence. since the gist of the privilege is the restriction on "testimonial compulsion. 36 Phil. 735). 140 . We AFFIRM the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 29 November 2000 in CA-G. is without prejudice to the right of the putative parent to claim his or her own defenses. and the court can compel a woman accused of adultery to submit for pregnancy test (Villaflor vs. 62). 154 SCRA 513.R. 244). an order by the judge for the witness to put on pair of pants for size was allowed (People vs. rules. Summers. will not violate the right against self-incrimination. a defendant can be required to submit to a test to extract virus from his body (as cited in People vs. Olvis. 41 Phil. especially of illegitimate children. Otadora. Olvis. 23 Phil. 86 Phil. SO ORDERED. SP-98-88759."56 The policy of the Family Code to liberalize the rule on the investigation of the paternity and filiation of children. such evidence should be considered subject to the limits established by the law. Tan Teng. Ong Siu Hong. WHEREFORE. SP No. Supra). We also AFFIRM the Orders dated 3 February 2000 and 8 June 2000 issued by Branch 48 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila in Civil Case No. we DISMISS the petition. 1987).contrary to the belief of respondent in this action.57 Where the evidence to aid this investigation is obtainable through the facilities of modern science and technology. 145). This privilege applies only to evidence that is "communicative" in essence taken under duress (People vs. 59766. As such. not an exclusion of evidence taken from his body when it may be material.