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G . R. N o .

1 5 5 2 9 9
July 24, 2007
C H I N A B A N K I N G C O R P O R AT I O N , I N C. , v s C O U RT O F A P P E A L S , H E I R S O F AV E L I N A V D A . D E PI N E R O a n d
EMMANUEL PINERO
Facts:
K i p t e o bt a i n e d a l o a n f r o m C h i n a B a n k i n t h e a m o u n t o f P 1 , 2 0 0, 0 0 0 . 0 0 , s e c ur e d b y a pr o m i s s o r y n ot e a n d a
r e a l e s t a t e m o r t g a g e s i g n e d b y Av e l i n a V d a . d e P i e r o o v e r h e r pr o p e r t i e s . T h e m o r t g a g e w a s a n n o t at e d o n
t h e t it l e s . T h e l o a n w a s a l s o s e c ur e d b y a s u r e t y a gr e e m e n t s i g n e d b y K i p t e a s p r i n c i p a l a n d b y Av e l i n a a s
s u r et y. D u e t o K i p t e s f a i l u r e t o p a y h i s i n d e b t e d n e s s , t h e m o r t g a g e d pr o p e r t i e s w e r e f or e c l o s e d a n d a u c t i o n
sale was scheduled on August 17, 1992.
Av e l i n a d e n i e d h a v i n g s i g n e d t h e r e a l e s t at e m o r t g a g e a n d t h e s u r et y a g r e e m e n t t o s e c u r e a l o a n f o r
A l f r e d o k i p t e, w h o m s h e d o e s n o t k n o w. S h e r e c a l l e d t h at s o m e t i m e i n 1 9 9 0 , E m m a n u e l s c o m m o n - l a w
w i f e , L u d i v i n a R i n n o c e s , a s k e d Av e l i n a t o s i g n s o m e d o c u m e n t s a l l e g e d l y p e r t a i n i n g t o a l o a n f r o m
o n e C e r i l a d e L e o n ; Av e l i n a s i g n e d t h e s e d o c u m e n t s w i t h o ut r e a d i n g t h e s a m e , a s s h e i s b l i n d , a n d w i t h o u t
k n o w i n g t h e c o nt e n t s t h e r e of ; i n 1 9 9 1 , L u d i v i n a a g a i n a sk e d h e r t o s i g n s o m e d o c u m e n t s, a l l e g e d l y t o p a y t h e
a c c o u n t t o C e r i l a ; a g a i n , Av e l i n a w a s n ot a b l e t o r e a d o r k n o w t h e c o n t e n t s o f t h e s e d o c u m e n t s.
The Court of Appeals held:
1 . t h at Av e l i n a , 8 0 - y e ar s - o l d a n d b l i n d d u e t o g l a u c o m a , w a s o n l y p e r s u a d e d t o s i g n t h e q u e st i o n e d
documents.
2 . S h e w a s g u i d e d b y h e r s o n s c o m m o n l a w w i f e, L u d i v i n a , i n s i g n i n g t h e d o c u m e n t s g i v e n h er c a s e
( of b l i n d n e s s ) .
3 . T h a t h e r d e p o r t m e n t i n c o u r t a n d t h e f ac t t h at s h e h a d t o b e g u i d e d t o t a k e t h e w i t n e s s s t a n d
c o n s t i t ut e d t h e s t r o n g e s t p r o of of b l i n d n e s s .
4 . T h a t t h e n ot a r y p u b l i c , A t t y. R e s t i t u t o F a n o , w h o c l a i m e d t o h a v e n ot a r i z e d t h e S u r e t y
A g r e e m e n t , s a i d t h a t h e r e m e m b e r e d Av e l i n a t o b e a n o l d l a d y, w i t h w h i t e c o m p l e x i o n a n d w h i t e
h a i r, a n d w h o h a d t o b e a s s i s t e d a n d a c c o m p a n i e d t o h i s t a b l e t o b e a b l e t o s i g n t h e q u e s t i o n e d
agreements.
5 . T h a t A t t y. F a n o n o t i c e d t h at s h e c o u l d h a r d l y s e e .
I S S U E : W h et h e r o r n ot t h e C A er r e d i n f i n d i n g t h a t Av e l i n a V d a D e P i n e r o w a s b l i n d .
RULING: NO.
The rule of evidence requiring the opinion of expert witnesses applies only to such matters clearly within the domain of medical
science, and not to matters that are within the common knowledge of mankind which may be testified to by anyone familiar with the facts. Thus,
to prove whether one is blind, it is not necessary to submit a medical certificate attesting to the blindness or to require an expert witness, such
as an ophthalmologist, to testify to such fact, since the fact of blindness can be determined through common knowledge and by anyone with
sufficient familiarity of such fact. In this case, Avelina, then alive during the trial of the case, categorically testified and attested to her own
blindness, a fact which even the trial court noted.
Avelina's blindness was further confirmed by the testimonies of her children, respondents Emmanuel M.Piero and Rebecca PieroGalang. Even the notary before whom she supposedly appeared testified to the fact that she was indeed blind and that she was not made to
understand the documents.
Based on the foregoing, it is therefore clear that Avelina was in fact blind, that she did not know the contents of the documents she
signed, and more importantly, that she did not know the capacity in which she was signing these documents.
T h e e v i d e n c e p r e s e n t e d b y r e s p o n d e n t s ar e c l e a r a n d c o n v i n c i n g , s u ff i c i e n t t o o v e r t u r n t h e
p r e s u m p t i o n o f r e g u l a r i t y of t h e s u b j e c t d o c u m e n t s.
PETITION DENIED.