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Betty Gepulle-Garbo v. Sps. Victorey Antonio and Josephine Garabato 1

Dela Llana v Biong...............................................................3
Marcos v Heirs of Navarro, Jr...............................................5
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v NOEL LEE.........................11
MIDWAY MARITIME AND TECHNOLOGICAL FOUNDATION, represented by its Chairman/President PhD in Education DR. SABINO M.
MANGLICMOT vs. MARISSA E. CASTRO, ET AL.,................13
JUANITA ERMITANO v. LAILANIE PAGLAS (2013).................15
People v. Lagahit, G.R. No. 200877, November 12, 2014 (Perez, J)


Joy Lee Recuerdo v. People, GR 168217, June 27, 2006, Callejo. 20

Racines vs. Judge Morallos, Sheriff Cabusao.....................20
Spouses Manuel vs Ong....................................................22
Tarapen v People...............................................................23
Uniwide Sales Realty and Resources Corp v Titan-Ikeda Construction and Devt Corp


People v Casabuena..........................................................30
Baculi v Belen....................................................................31
SPS. CARPO v. AYALA LAND, INCORPORATED....................32
PEOPLE v. GO (SUPRA).......................................................33
Elena Duarte v. Miguel Duran............................................38
.......................................................................................... 41
Atienza v BOM...................................................................43



Estate of Ong v. Diaz.........................................................47
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 1 of 53



14 January 2015
J. Villarama Jr. | 3rd Division
1. Nick Garbo6 (Nick) was married to Eduviges Garabato
(Eduviges). They had a daughter named Florence Garabato
(Florence) who in turn had a son, respondent Victorey
Antonio Garabato (Victorey).
2. During the subsistence of Nick and Eduviges marriage, Nick
cohabited with petitioner Betty Gepulle-Garbo (Betty).
3. 6/17/1977: Eduviges and Florence executed a Deed of Sale
(1st Deed of Sale). Eduviges sold to Florence a parcel of land
in Pasay city. Nick signed the deed of sale.
4. 5/12/1978: Eduviges died. Nick married Betty 3 months
5. 10/26/1988: Florence registered the property in her name
and was issued a new TCT. She died on March 4, 992 while
Nick died on Feb. 28, 1996.
6. 1196: Victorey registered the same property in his name by
virtue of a Deed of Sale (2 nd Deed of Sale) executed by
Florence in his favor. A new TCT was issued in his name.
7. 8/2/2001: Betty filed a petition for cancellation of TCT
against sps Garabato on the following grounds:
o 1st Deed of Sale was invalid the signatures of Nick
and Eduviges being forged by Florence, and
o 2nd Deed of Sale was invalid (walang rason si
Bettyboop. Invalid lang)
8. Betty: Nick had previously sought the examination of his
alleged signature on the 1st Deed of Sale by the NBI.
Albacea, the NBI document examiner and a handwriting
expert, allegedly found that the questioned signature and
the standard signatures of Nick were not written by one and
the same person. Nick had filed a criminal complaint for
falsification against Florence though the case was dismissed
due to lack of probable cause. Also, on February 6, 1993,
Nick wrote a letter12 to respondent Victorey reminding him
that the subject property was his despite the transfer of
title. She prayed that Victoreys TCT be cancelled and the
property be registered in her name.

During the trial, Betty presented Albacea as witness.

He stated that in 1992, he was requested to examine
the signatures of Nick appearing in the 1 st Deed of
Sale and compared it with the specimen signatures
appearing in the Alien Registration Form No. 3, a
document17 from the Treasurers Office of Pasay City
and several receipts issued by Nick to his lessees.
After he conducted an examination of the signatures
in these documents, he concluded that the
questioned and the standard signatures of Nick were
not written by one and the same person.

9. Spouses Garabato: Denied the allegation of forgery, that the

action had prescribed and/or barred by laches, that Betty
has no cause of action as the subject property is the
paraphernal property of Eduviges, and that the sale was
regular, valid and genuine. They asserted that the
signatures appearing on the deeds of sale are true and
genuine signatures of the parties including Nick Garbo.
o Victorey admitted that he purchased the property
from Florence for a valid consideration and registered
it late because he had no money

Victorey presented a document entitled Affidavit of

Waiver dated June 17, 1977 executed by Nick stating
that Eduviges acquired the subject parcel of land and
that Nick did not contribute a single centavo to buy
the parcel of land. It further stated that Nick waived
all his rights, title and interest and possession to land
in favor of his wife, Eduviges.

10. RTC: Dismissed the complaint for cancellation of title. RTC

found that Betty failed to prove that the signatures of Nick
and Eduviges were forgeries. The RTC did not give credence
to the testimony of Albacea, holding that courts are not
bound by expert testimonies and that the relative weight
and sufficiency of expert testimony is peculiarly within the
province of the trial court to decide.
11. CA: Affirmed RTC Decision. The CA also held that Mr.
Albaceas opinion as to the truth or falsity of the signature of
Nick Garbo is not binding and conclusive upon the court
since the request for examination of the deed of sale was
not upon the order of the trial court but at the instance of
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 2 of 53

the petitioner. Such examination brings suspicion as to the

bias or prejudice of the examining party. The CA also
emphasized that the deed of sale being a notarized
document bears the presumption of regularity in its
Issue: W/N the signatures of Nick and Edugives
appearing on the 1st Deed of Sale were forged. NO
As a rule, forgery cannot be presumed and must be proved by
clear, positive and convincing evidence, the burden of proof lies on
the party alleging forgery. The fact of forgery can only be
established by a comparison between the alleged forged signature
and the authentic and genuine signature of the person whose
signature is theorized to have been forged.
The authenticity of a questioned signature cannot be
determined solely upon its general characteristics, similarities or
dissimilarities with the genuine signature. Dissimilarities as regards
spontaneity, rhythm, pressure of the pen, loops in the strokes, signs
of stops, shades, etc., that may be found between the questioned
signature and the genuine one are not decisive on the question of
the formers authenticity. The result of examinations of questioned
handwriting, even with the benefit of aid of experts and scientific
instruments, is, at best, inconclusive. There are other factors that
must be taken into consideration. The position of the writer, the
condition of the surface on which the paper where the questioned
signature is written is placed, his state of mind, feelings and
nerves, and the kind of pen and/or paper used, play an important
role on the general appearance of the signature. Unless, therefore,
there is, in a given case, absolute absence, or manifest dearth, of
direct or circumstantial competent evidence on the character of a
questioned handwriting, much weight should not be given to
characteristic similarities, or dissimilarities, between that
questioned handwriting and an authentic one
The opinion of handwriting experts are not necessarily binding
upon the court, the experts function being to place before the
court data upon which the court can form its own opinion. This
principle holds true especially when the question involved is mere
handwriting similarity or dissimilarity, which can be determined by
a visual comparison of specimens of the questioned signatures with
those of the currently existing ones. A finding of forgery does not
depend entirely on the testimonies of handwriting experts, because
the judge must conduct an independent examination of the

questioned signature in order to arrive at a reasonable conclusion

as to its authenticity.

Here, both the RTC and CA found that Albacea did not explain the
manner of examination of the specimen signatures in reaching his
conclusion. Albacea did not point out distinguishing marks,
characteristics and discrepancies in and between genuine and false
specimens of writing which would ordinarily escape notice or
detection by an untrained observer.
The courts are not bound by expert testimonies especially that
the examination was upon the initiative of Nick and Betty and they
had complete control on what documents and specimens to be
examined by the NBI.
Rule 130: S49 opinion of expert witness; s50 opinion of
ordinary witnesses
Brion, J Dec 4, 2013
Petition for review on certiorari of a CA decision
On Mar 2000, Juan dela Llana was driving along North Ave,
QC. His sister, petitioner Dr. Leila dela Llana, was seated
at the front passenger seat while a certain Calimlim was at
the backseat
Juan stopped the car when the signal light turned red. A few
secs after the car halted, a dump truck containing gravel
and sand suddenly rammed the cars rear end, violently
pushing the car forward. Glass splinters flew, puncturing
Traffic investigation report stated that the truck driver, Joel
Primero was recklessly imprudent in driving the truck.
Primeros employer was respondent Rebecca Biong
Starting May 2000, petitioner began to feel mild to
moderate pain on the left side of her neck and shoulder.
Pain became more intense as days passed by. Her health
deteriorated to the extent that she could no longer move
her left arm. A rehab med specialist told petitioner that she

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 3 of 53

suffered from a whiplash injury1. Despite 3 mos of extensive

physical therapy, petitioners condition did not improve.
Afterwards, she consulted 3 other doctors. Upon suggestion
of her neurosurgeon, she underwent a cervical spine
surgery. The operation released impingement of the nerve
but incapacitated her from the practice of her profession
Petitioner then demanded from respondent compensation
for her injuries; respondent refused
Thus, pet sued resp for damages before the RTC, alleging
that she lost the mobility of her arm as a result of the
vehicular accident and claimed 150K for her med expenses
and an average monthly income of 30K since June 2000. She
further prayed for actual, moral, exemplary damages + AF
Resp maintained that pet had no cause of action as no
reasonable relation existed between the accident and pets
injury; pointed out that pets illness became manifest 1 mo
and 1 wk from the date of the accident; demanded payment
of AF and costs of the suit as counterclaim
Pet presented herself as an ordinary witness and
driver Primero as a hostile witness
Pet maintained that she lost mobility of her arm due to the
accident; to prove claim, she identified and authenticated a
med cert dated Nov 20, 2000 issued by the rehab med
specialist (Dr. Milla). Med cert stated that she has whiplash
Primero testified that his truck hit the car because the
trucks brakes got stuck.
Resp testified that pet was phys fit and strong when they
met several days after the vehicular accident. She also
asserted she observed the diligence of a good father in the
selection and supervision of Primero2.
Mechanic who conducted driving skills test for Primero also
testified. He affirmed that the truck was in good condition
prior to the accident and opined that the cause of the
accident was a damaged compressor which was caused by
the absence of air inside the tank.

RTC: Primeros reckless driving is the proximate cause of

Pets whiplash injury. Respondent is vicariously liable 3 as
employer of Primero. Awarded actual and moral damages.
CA: Reversed RTC. Petitioner failed to establish a reasonable
connection bet the vehicular accident and her whiplash
injury by preponderance of evidence.
In this petition: Pet asserts
o that she has established by preponderance of
evidence that Primeros negligent act was the
proximate cause of her whiplash injury. (First,
pictures of her damaged car show that the collision
was strong. She posits that it can be reasonably
inferred from these pictures that the massive impact
resulted in her whiplash injury. Second, Dr. Milla
categorically stated in the medical certificate that
Dra. dela Llana suffered from whiplash injury. Third,
her testimony that the vehicular accident
caused the injury is credible because she was a
o medical certificate has probative value.
o expert opinion is unnecessary if the opinion
knowledge. She maintains that a judge is qualified
as an expert to determine the causation between
Joels reckless driving and her whiplash injury. Trial
judges are aware of the fact that whiplash injuries
are common in vehicular collisions

ISSUE/HOLDING/RATIO: W/N Joels reckless driving is the

proximate cause of Pets whiplash injury. NO. Dra. dela
Llana failed to establish her case by preponderance of
evidence. Petition denied.

1 injury caused by the sudden jerking of the spine in the neck area.
2 she required Primero to submit a certification of good moral character as well as
barangay, police, and NBI clearances prior to his employment; only hired Primero
after he successfully passed the driving skills test conducted by a licensed drivermechanic

33 elements necessary to establish Rebeccas liability were present: (1) that the
employee was chosen by the employer, personally or through another; (2) that the
services were to be rendered in accordance with orders which the employer had the
authority to give at all times; and (3) that the illicit act of the employee was on the
occasion or by reason of the functions entrusted to him.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 4 of 53

Under NCC Art 21764, the elements necessary to establish a

quasi-delict case are:
(1) damages to the plaintiff;
(2) negligence, by act or omission, of the defendant or by some
person for whose acts the defendant must respond, was guilty; and
(3) the connection of cause and effect between such negligence
and the damages
Based on these requisites, Dra. dela Llana must first establish
by preponderance of evidence the 3 elements of quasi-delict before
Resps liability5 as Primeros employer can be determined.
The burden of proving the proximate causation between
Primeros negligence Pets whiplash injury rests on Pet. She must
establish by preponderance of evidence that Primeros negligence,
in its natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
intervening cause, produced her whiplash injury, and without which
her whiplash injury would not have occurred.
Peitioner anchors her claim mainly on 3 pieces of
evidence. None of these pieces of evidence show the causal
relation between the vehicular accident and the whiplash
(1) the pictures of her damaged car
SC: The pictures of the damaged car only demonstrate the
impact of the collision. It is a far-fetched assumption that the
whiplash injury can also be inferred from these pictures.
(2) the medical certificate dated November 20, 2000, and
SC: The medical certificate cannot be considered because it
was not admitted in evidence. Even if SC considers the medical
certificate in the disposition of this case, the medical certificate has
no probative value for being hearsay. Evidently, it was Dr. Milla who
had personal knowledge of the contents of the medical certificate.

However, she was not presented to testify in court and was not
even able to identify and affirm the contents of the medical
certificate. Court also pointed out that the medical certificate did
not explain the chain of causation in fact between Primeros
reckless driving and Pets whiplash injury.)
(3) her testimonial evidence.
SC: Pets opinion that Primeros negligence caused her
whiplash injury has no probative value. Pet was the lone
physician-witness during trial. [TOPICAL] Significantly, she
merely testified as an ordinary witness. Under the RoC,
there is a substantial difference between an ordinary
witness and an expert witness. The opinion of an ordinary
witness may be received in evidence regarding:
(a) the identity of a person about whom he has adequate
(b) a handwriting with which he has sufficient familiarity;
(c) the mental sanity of a person with whom he is
sufficiently acquainted. Furthermore, the witness may also
testify on his impressions of the emotion, behavior, condition or
appearance of a person.
On the other hand, the opinion of an expert witness may
be received in evidence on a matter requiring special
knowledge, skill, experience or training which he shown to
Pets medical opinion cannot be given probative value for
the reason that she was not presented as an expert witness. As
an ordinary witness, she was not competent to testify on the
nature, and the cause and effects of whiplash injury.
Furthermore, Pet, during trial, nonetheless did not provide a
medical explanation on the nature as well as the cause and
effects of whiplash injury in her testimony.

4Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that "[w]hoever by act or omission causes
damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage
done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
between the parties, is a quasi-delict.

5Under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, in relation with the 5th paragraph of Article
2180, "an action predicated on an employees act or omission may be instituted
against the employer who is held liable for the negligent act or omission committed
by his employee.

Other: SC cannot take judicial notice that vehicular accidents

cause whiplash injuries. This proportion is not public knowledge, or
is capable of unquestionable demonstration, or ought to be known
to judges because of their judicial functions. Justices have no
expertise in the field of medicine. Justices and judges are only
tasked to apply and interpret the law on the basis of the parties
pieces of evidence and their corresponding legal arguments
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 5 of 53


Villarama, Jr., J July 3, 2013
Appeal of a CA decision
Spouses Andres Navarro, Sr. and Concepcion Navarro left
behind several parcels parcels of land including a ~108 ha
lot (subject lot) located in Masbate.
Spouses were survived by their daughters Luisa (petitioner)
and Lydia, and the heirs of their only son Andres, Jr.
Pet and Lydia discovered that respondents are claiming
exclusive ownership of the subject lot, based on the Affidavit
of Transfer of Real Property where allegedly Andres, Sr.
donated the subject lot to Andres.
Believing that the affidavit is a forgery, the sisters requested
a handwriting exam of the affidavit.
PNP handwriting expert, PO2 Alvarez found that Andres Srs
signature on the affidavit and the submitted standard
signatures of Andres, Sr were not written by the same
The sisters sued the respondents for annulment of the deed
of donation before the RTC (Civil Case No. 5215)
After pre-trial, resp moved to disqualify PO2 Alvarez as
a witness, arguing that the RTC did not authorize the
handwriting exam of the affidavit. Presenting PO2
Alvarez as a witness will violate their consti right to due
process since no notice was given to them before the exam.
Testimony would be useless and irrelevant.
RTC: granted resps motion, Alvarez disqualified as witness.
Alvarezs testimony would be hearsay as she has no
personal knowledge of the alleged handwriting of Andres, Sr.
Also, no need to present her as an expert witness
testimony is not yet needed. MR denied.
CA: petition for certiorari dismissed. Dismissal of Civil Case
No. 5215 mooted the issue of Alvarezs disqualification. MR
denied CA refused to take judicial notice of another CA div
which reinstated Civil Case 5215.
1. W/N the issue of PO2 Alvarezs disqualification as a
witness is moot. No.

That Civil Case No. 5215 was reinstated is a fact that cannot
be ignored.
1. W/N Alvarez should be disqualified as witness and
w/n Alvarezs testimony would be hearsay. No. RTC
committed GAD in disqualifying Alvarez
Section 20, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence provides:
SEC. 20. Witnesses; their qualifications.Except as
provided in the next succeeding section, all persons
who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known
their perception to others, may be witnesses.
Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of
the case, or conviction of a crime unless otherwise
provided by law, shall not be a ground for
Specific rules of witness disqualification are provided under
Sections 21 to 246, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence.
Sections 19 and 207 of Rule 130 provide for specific
As a handwriting expert of the PNP, PO2 Alvarez can surely
perceive and make known her perception to others. SC
declared that she is qualified as a witness and cannot be
disqualified as a witness since she possesses none of
the disqualifications specified under the Rules. The
RTC rather confused the qualification of the witness with the
credibility and weight of her testimony.
The value of the opinion of a handwriting expert
depends not upon his mere statements of whether a writing
is genuine or false, but upon the assistance he may afford in

6 Section 21 disqualifies a witness by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity.

Section 22 disqualifies a witness by reason of marriage. Section 23 disqualifies a
witness by reason of death or insanity of the adverse party. Section 24 disqualifies a
witness by reason of privileged communication.

7 Section 19 disqualifies those who are mentally incapacitated and children whose
tender age or immaturity renders them incapable of being witnesses. Section 20
provides for disqualification based on conflicts of interest or on relationship. Section
21 provides for disqualification based on privileged communications.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 6 of 53

pointing out distinguishing marks, characteristics and

discrepancies in and between genuine and false specimens
of writing which would ordinarily escape notice or detection
from an unpracticed observer. Thus, SC disagreed with the
RTC that PO2 Alvarezs testimony would be hearsay. Under
Section 498, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence, PO2 Alvarez
is allowed to render an expert opinion.
True, the use of the word "may" in Section 49, Rule 130
of the Rules on Evidence signifies that the use of opinion of
an expert witness is permissive and not mandatory on the
part of the courts. Jurisprudence is also replete with
instances wherein this Court dispensed with the testimony
of expert witnesses to prove forgeries. However, SC also
recognized that handwriting experts are often offered as
expert witnesses considering the technical nature of the
procedure in examining forged documents. More important,
analysis of the questioned signature in the deed of donation
executed by the late Andres Navarro, Sr. is crucial to the
resolution of the case.
Petition granted. Respondents motion to disqualify Alvarez



PROSECUTION: At around 10:00 p.m. of Jan. 21, 1993, the

petitioner Tabao was driving his Toyota Corolla car (PCH-111)
along GoV. Forbes corner G. Tuazon St towards Nagtahan when
it suddenly ramped on an island divider, bumping Rochelle
Lanete who was crossing the street. As a result of the impact,
Rochelle was thrown into the middle of the road on her back.
Thereafter, Leonardo Mendez speeding blue Toyota Corona car
(PES-764) ran over Rochelles body. Bystanders armed with
stones and wooden clubs followed Mendez car until it
stopped near the Nagtahan Flyover. Cielo, a newspaper boy,
went inside Mendez car, sat beside him, got his drivers
license, and ordered him to move the car backwards. Mendez

8 SEC. 49. Opinion of expert witness.The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring

special knowledge, skill, experience or training which he is shown to possess, may
be received in evidence.

followed his order, but his car hit the center island twice while
backing up. Cielo went out of the car and approached the
sprawled body of Rochelle; he and the petitioner brought
Rochelles body inside Mendez car. The three of them (the
petitioner, Cielo and Mendez) brought Rochelle to the UST
Hospital, where she died due to septicemia secondary to
traumatic injuries.
DEFENSE: The petitioner was driving along Gov. Forbes corner
G. Tuazon St. when his car ramped on an island at the foot of
the Nagtahan Flyover. He tried to move the car backwards, but
failed to do so. He alighted from his car and then saw that its 2
rear wheels had been elevated. He returned inside his car to
turn off its engine; he then noticed that many people were
approaching his car. He again alighted from his vehicle and
saw a person lying on the road. He looked at his left side and
saw a car that was "running fast like a wind" pass by. He
approached the person lying on the road, and noticed that she
was still breathing and moaning. Afterwards, he saw Mendez
car backing up; he carried the victim towards that car.
Thereafter, he, Mendez and Cielo brought the victim to the UST
Mendez, for his part, testified that as he was driving along Gov.
Forbes corner G. Tuazon St. on his way home, he saw a vehicle
that had ramped on an island divider. Suddenly, another
vehicle overtook his car from the right and cut his lane. He
slowed down his car when he saw a rug-like object fall from the
car that overtook him, and stopped when he realized that what
had fallen was a persons body. When he moved his car
backwards to help this person, many people approached his
car. He alighted from his car and inquired from them what had
happened. The people replied that someone was run over;
some of them pointed to him as the culprit. He denied having
run over the victim when they tried to hurt him. The petitioner
carried the victim and placed her inside Mendez car.
Thereafter, the two of them brought the victim to the UST
The petitioner and Mendez were charged with reckless
imprudence resulting to homicide before the RTC, Br. 39,
Manila. The RTC convicted the 2 accused of the crime charged.
It found that the petitioners car first hit the victim, causing her
to be thrown into the road on her back, and that Mendez car
ran over her as she was lying down.
The CA agreed with the factual findings of the RTC, and
affirmed its decision with the modification on the penalty.

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 7 of 53

1. Whether or not the conviction of the accused should
be affirmed - YES
2. Whether or not the CA [ERRED IN UPHOLDING HIS]
3. Whether or not the CA erred in disregarding the
witness of the accused - NO
1. Reckless imprudence, generally defined by our penal law,
consists in voluntarily, but without malice, doing or failing to
do an act from which material damage results by reason of
inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person
performing or failing to perform such act, taking into
consideration his employment or occupation, degree of
intelligence, physical condition and other circumstances
regarding persons, time and place. Imprudence connotes a
deficiency of action. It implies a failure in precaution or a
failure to take the necessary precaution once the danger or
peril becomes foreseen. Thus, in order for conviction to be
decreed for reckless imprudence, the material damage
suffered by the victim, the failure in precaution on the part
of the accused, and the direct link between material
damage and failure in precaution must be established
beyond reasonable doubt. All three were established in this
case in accordance with the required level of evidence in
criminal cases.
The petitioner failed to exercise precaution in
operating his vehicle.
The petitioner repeatedly admitted that as he drove his
vehicle on his way home from work, he did not notice the
island divider at the foot of the Nagtahan Flyover. As a
result, his car ramped on the island so that both its rear
wheels became "elevated" from the road and he could no
longer maneuver the vehicle.33 The petitioner even testified
that his car had to be towed. Later, during crossexamination, he admitted that all four wheels of his car, not
just the two rear wheels mentioned in his earlier testimony,
lost contact with the ground. The entire vehicle, therefore,
ended up on top of the island divider. He puts the blame for
the ramping and, essentially, his failure to notice the island

on the darkness of nighttime and the alleged newness of the

THE fact that the petitioners entire vehicle ended up
ramped on the island divider strongly indicates what
actually happened in the unfortunate incident. The vehicle
could not have ended up in that condition had the petitioner
been driving at a reasonable speed. We are not persuaded
by the petitioners rather simplistic account that mere
darkness, coupled with the traffic islands alleged newness,
caused his car to veer off the traffic trajectory of Governor
Forbes Street and to end up jumping on top of the traffic
island intended to channel vehicular traffic going to the
Nagtahan Flyover.
2. The petitioner was positively identified by an eyewitness.
An eyewitness account established that the petitioners
identification is vital evidence, and, in most cases, decisive
of the success or failure of the prosecution. One of the
prosecution witnesses, Victor Soriano, unfortunately for the
petitioners cause, saw the incident in its entirety; Victor
thus provided direct evidence as eyewitness to the very act
of the commission of the crime.24 In his testimony,
Victor positively identified the petitioner as the person
who drove the car that ramped on an island divider along
Gov. Forbes cor. G. Tuazon St., and hit Rochelle. The
petitioner nonetheless claims that Victor is not a credible
witness due to inconsistencies between his affidavit and
court testimony. He harps on the fact that Victor declared in
his affidavit that the petitioners car first hit Rochelle before
it ramped on an island divider; while he testified in court
that the petitioners vehicle ramped on the island divider
before hitting the victim.
Discrepancies and/or inconsistencies between a witness
affidavit and testimony in open court do not impair
credibility as affidavits are taken ex parte and are often
incomplete or inaccurate for lack or absence of searching
inquiries by the investigating officer. At any rate, Victor was
able to sufficiently explain the discrepancies between his
affidavit and court statements. Victor reasoned out that the
secretary who typed his affidavit made a mistake.
The general rule that contradictions and discrepancies
between the testimony of a witness and his statements in
an affidavit do not necessarily discredit him is not without
exception, as when the omission in the affidavit refers to a
very important detail of the incident that one relating the
incident as an eyewitness would not be expected to fail to
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 8 of 53

mention, or when the narration in the sworn statement

substantially contradicts the testimony in court. In the
present case, the Court sees no substantial contradiction in
Victors affidavit and in his court statements as he declared
in both that he saw the petitioners car ramp on the island
divider and bump Rochelle. As to whether the car ramped on
the center island before or after it bumped the victim does
not detract from the fundamental fact that Victor saw and
identified the petitioner as the driver of the car that ramped
on the island divider and hit Rochelle.
Victor, who stood only 7 meters from the incident, clearly
and in a straightforward manner described how the
petitioners car had bumped the victim. We thus see no
reason to overturn the lower courts finding regarding
Victors credibility, more so since the petitioner did not
impute any ill motive that could have induced Victor to
testify falsely. The fundamental and settled rule is that the
trial court's assessment regarding the credibility of
witnesses is entitled to the highest degree of respect and
will not be disturbed on appeal, especially when the
assessment is affirmed by the CA.
The positive identification in this case, coupled with the
failure of the defense to impute any ill-motive on the
eyewitness, to our mind, works to dispel reasonable doubt
on the fact that the petitioners car had in fact hit Rochelle.
The eyewitness account provides the necessary link
between the petitioners failure to exercise
3. Weigh of expert testimony
The petitioner likewise claims that the CA violated Sec. 49,
Rule 130 when it disregarded the testimony of defense
witness Police Senior Inspector Danilo Cornelio who testified
that the petitioners car could not have bumped the victim
because the latters body was not thrown in line with the
car, but on its side. The petitioner argues that P/Sr. Insp.
Cornelio is highly qualified in the field of traffic accident
investigation, and as such, his statements are "backed-up
by [the] principles of applied physics, engineering, and
Sec. 49, Rule 130 states that the opinion of a witness on a
matter requiring special knowledge, skill, experience or
training, which he is shown to possess, may be received in
evidence. The use of the word "may" signifies that the use
of opinion of an expert witness is permissive and not
mandatory on the part of the courts. Allowing the testimony
does not mean, too, that courts are bound by the testimony
of the expert witness. The testimony of an expert witness

must be construed to have been presented not to sway the

court in favor of any of the parties, but to assist the court in
the determination of the issue before it, and is for the court
to adopt or not to adopt depending on its appreciation of the
attendant facts and the applicable law. It has been held of
expert testimonies:
Although courts are not ordinarily bound by expert
testimonies, they may place whatever weight they
may choose upon such testimonies in accordance
with the facts of the case. The relative weight and
sufficiency of expert testimony is peculiarly within
the province of the trial court to decide, considering
the ability and character of the witness, his actions
upon the witness stand, the weight and process of
the reasoning by which he has supported his opinion,
his possible bias in favor of the side for whom he
testifies, the fact that he is a paid witness, the
relative opportunities for study and observation of
the matters about which he testifies, and any other
matters which deserve to illuminate his statements.
The opinion of the expert may not be arbitrarily
rejected; it is to be considered by the court in view of
all the facts and circumstances in the case and when
common knowledge utterly fails, the expert opinion
may be given controlling effect. The problem of the
credibility of the expert witness and the evaluation of
his testimony is left to the discretion of the trial court
whose ruling thereupon is not reviewable in the
absence of abuse of discretion.
P/Sr. Insp. Cornelio was not an eyewitness to the incident;
his testimony was merely based on the Traffic Accident
Report prepared by SPO4 Edgar Reyes who himself did not
witness the incident. At any rate, nowhere in P/Sr. Insp.
Cornelios testimony did he conclusively state that the
petitioner could not have been involved in the incident.
From P/Sr. Insp. Cornelios testimon, it is clear that P/Sr. Insp.
Cornelio did not discount the possibility that the victim could
have been thrown on the side. He likewise admitted that the
location of an accident victim in relation to the vehicle would
also depend on the speed of the vehicle and the point of
Hernandez v. San Juan Santos
7 August 2009
Corona, J.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 9 of 53

1. Maria Lourdes San Juan Hernandez (or Lulu) was to the
spouses Felix Hernandez and Maria San Juan Hernandez.
The latter died due to complications during childbirth. After
Maria's death, Felix left Lulu in the care of her maternal
uncle, Sotero C. San Juan.
2. Felix married Natividad Cruz. The union produced three
children, petitioners Cecilio C. Hernandez, Ma. Victoria C.
Hernandez-Sagun and Teresa C. Hernandez-Villa Abrille.
3. Lulu inherited valuable real properties from the San Juan
family (estimated at P50M).
4. Lulu went to live with her father and his new family. Due to
her "violent personality," Lulu stopped schooling when she
reached Grade 5.
5. Upon reaching the age of majority, Lulu was given full
control of her estate. Because Lulu did not even finish her
elementary education, Felix continued to exercise actual
administration of Lulus properties. Upon Felix's death,
petitioners took over the task of administering Lulu's
6. During the period of their informal administration, Felix and
petitioners undertook various "projects" involving Lulus real
7. Lulu sought the assistance of her maternal first cousin,
respondent Jovita San Juan-Santos, after learning that
petitioners had been dissipating her estate. She confided to
Jovita that she was made to live in the basement of
petitioners Montalban, Rizal home and was receiving a
measly daily allowance. Lulu was severely overweight,
unkempt and smelled of urine.
8. Respondent filed a petition for guardianship.
9. During the hearing, Lulu was presented and asked to testify
on her genealogy and experiences with the San Juan and
Hernandez families. Lulu identified and described her
parents, stepmother, half-siblings and maternal relatives.
She claimed inheriting tracts of land from the San Juan
family. However, these properties were dissipated by the
Hernandez family as they lived a "luxurious" lifestyle. When
asked to explain this allegation, Lulu said that her
stepmother and half-siblings rode in cars while she was
made to ride a tricycle.
10. Medical specialists testified to explain the results of Lulus
a. afflicted with diabetes mellitus

b. artheroselorotic cardiovascular disease

c. in view of Lulus intelligence level (which was below
average) and fragile mental state, she would not be
able to care for herself and self-administer her
11. RTC appointed respondent as guardian over the person and
property of Lulu
1. WON Lulu is an incompetent who requires the appointment
of a judicial guardian over her person and property. YES.
1. Petitioners: Opinions of Lulu's attending physicians
regarding her mental state were inadmissible in evidence as
they were not experts in psychiatry.
SC: Under Section 50, Rule 103 of the Rules of Court,
an ordinary witness may give his opinion on the
mental sanity of a person with whom he is sufficiently
acquainted. Lulu's attending physicians spoke and
interacted with her. Such occasions allowed them to
thoroughly observe her behavior and conclude that
her intelligence level was below average and her
mental stage below normal. Their opinions were
admissible in evidence.
Furthermore, where the sanity of a person is at issue,
expert opinion is not necessary. The observations of the trial
judge coupled with evidence establishing the person's state
of mental sanity will suffice. Here, the trial judge was given
ample opportunity to observe Lulu personally when she
testified before the RTC.
Under Section 2, Rule 92 of the Rules of Court,
persons who, though of sound mind but by reason of age,
disease, weak mind or other similar causes are incapable of
taking care of themselves and their property without outside
aid, are considered as incompetents who may properly be
placed under guardianship. The RTC and the CA both found
that Lulu was incapable of taking care of herself and her
properties without outside aid due to her ailments and weak
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 10 of 53

CSC v. Belagan
19 October 2004
Sandoval-Gutierrez, J.
1. Two separate complaints were filed by Magdalena Gapuz,
founder/directress of the "Mother and Child Learning
Center," and Ligaya Annawi, a public school teacher against
respondent Dr. Allyson Belagan, Superintendent of the
Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS).
Magdalena charged respondent with sexual indignities and
harassment, while Ligaya accused him of sexual harassment
and various malfeasances.
2. Magdalena alleges that sometime in March 1994, she filed
an application with the DECS Office in Baguio City for a
permit to operate a pre-school. One of the requisites for the
issuance of the permit was the inspection of the school
premises by the DECS Division Office. In the course of the
inspection, while both were descending the stairs of the
second floor, respondent suddenly placed his arms around
her shoulders and kissed her cheek.
3. She then wrote a letter-complaint for sexual indignities and
harassment to former DECS Secretary Ricardo Gloria.
4. The CSC dismissed respondent.
5. Respondent seasonably filed a motion for reconsideration,
contending that he has never been charged of any offense
in his thirty-seven (37) years of service. By contrast,
Magdalena was charged with several offenses before the
Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Baguio City, thus: 22 criminal
cases for light oral defamation, slight physical injuries, grave
threats, malicious mischief, light threats, grave oral
defamation, light oral defamation, and unjust vexation.
6. In addition, the following complaints against Magdalena
were filed with the Barangay Chairmen of Barangay Gabriela
Silang and Barangay Hillside, both in Baguio City: 23 cases
of grave threats, unjust vexation, rumor mongering, oral
defamation, harassment, habitual trouble maker, etc.
1. WON complaining witness, Magdalena Gapuz, is credible.

1. Generally, the character of a party is regarded as legally

irrelevant in determining a controversy.15 One statutory
exception is that relied upon by respondent, i.e., Section 51
(a) 3, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence, which we
quote here:
"SEC. 51. Character evidence not generally
admissible; exceptions.
(a) In Criminal Cases:


(3) The good or bad moral character of the

offended party may be proved if it tends to
establish in any reasonable degree the
probability or improbability of the offense

This provision pertains only to criminal cases, not to

administrative offenses. And even assuming that this
technical rule of evidence can be applied here, still, we
cannot sustain respondents posture.
Not every good or bad moral character of the
offended party may be proved under this provision.
Only those which would establish the probability or
improbability of the offense charged. This means that
the character evidence must be limited to the traits
and characteristics involved in the type of offense
charged. Thus, on a charge of rape - character for
chastity, on a charge of assault - character for
peaceableness or violence, and on a charge of
embezzlement - character for honesty.
Respondent did not offer evidence that has a bearing
on Magdalenas chastity. What he presented are charges for
grave oral defamation, grave threats, unjust vexation,
physical injuries, malicious mischief, etc. filed against her.
Certainly, these pieces of evidence are inadmissible under

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 11 of 53

the above provision because they do not establish the

probability or improbability of the offense charged.

remote from the commencement of the suit. Certainly,

every person is capable to change or reform.

Obviously, in invoking the above provision, what

respondent was trying to establish is Magdalenas lack of
credibility and not the probability or the improbability of the
charge. In this regard, a different provision applies.

Second, respondent failed to prove that Magdalena

was convicted in any of the criminal cases specified by
respondent. It is not permissible to show that a witness has
been arrested or that he has been charged with or
prosecuted for a criminal offense, or confined in jail for the
purpose of impairing his credibility on following grounds or
theories: (a) that a mere unproven charge against the
witness does not logically tend to affect his credibility, (b)
that innocent persons are often arrested or accused of a
crime, (c) that one accused of a crime is presumed to be
innocent until his guilt is legally established, and (d) that a
witness may not be impeached or discredited by evidence of
particular acts of misconduct.

Credibility means the disposition and intention to tell

the truth in the testimony given. It refers to a persons
integrity, and to the fact that he is worthy of belief. Section
11, Rule 132 of the same Revised Rules on Evidence reads:

"SEC. 11. Impeachment of adverse partys witness. A

witness may be impeached by the party against whom he
was called, by contradictory evidence, by evidence that
his general reputation for truth, honesty, or integrity
is bad, or by evidence that he has made at other times
statements inconsistent with his present testimony, but not
by evidence of particular wrongful acts, except that it
may be shown by the examination of the witness, or the
record of the judgment, that he has been convicted
of an offense."


G.R. No. 139070



Is Magdalenas derogatory record sufficient to

discredit her credibility? No.
First, most of the 22 cases filed with the MTC of
Baguio City relate to acts committed in the 80s,
particularly, 1985 and 1986. With respect to the complaints
filed with the Chairmen of Barangay Gabriela Silang and
Barangay Hillside, the acts complained of took place in 1978
to 1979. In the instant administrative case, the offense was
committed in 1994. Surely, those cases and complaints are
no longer reliable proofs of Magdalenas character or
reputation. Settled is the principle that evidence of ones
character or reputation must be confined to a time not too
remote from the time in question. In other words, what is to
be determined is the character or reputation of the person
at the time of the trial and prior thereto, but not at a period

May 29, 2002

Information was filed against accused-appellant charging

him with the crime of murder committed as follows:
"That on or about the 29th day of September 1996, in
Kalookan City, Metro Manila, and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent
to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation did then
and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack and
shoot one JOSEPH MARQUEZ y LAGANDI, with the use of a
handgun, thereby inflicting upon the latter serious physical
injuries, which ultimately caused the victims death.

Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty

The prosecution established the following facts:
o At 9:00 in the evening of September 29, 1996,
Herminia Marquez, 46 years of age and her son,
Joseph, 26 years of age, were in the living room of
their house located at No. 173 General Evangelista
St., Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 12 of 53

In their living room, mother and son were watching a

basketball game on television.
o Herminia was seated on an armchair and the
television set was to her left.
o Across her, Joseph sat on a sofa against the wall and
window of their house and the television was to his
o To her complete surprise, she saw a hand holding a
gun coming out of the open window behind Joseph.
She looked up and saw accused-appellant Noel Lee
peering through the window and holding the gun
aimed at Joseph.
o Before she could warn him, Joseph turned his body
towards the window, and simultaneously, appellant
fired his gun hitting Josephs head.
o Herminia stood up but could not move as accusedappellant fired a second shot at Joseph and three (3)
shots more two hit the sofa and one hit the cement
o When no more shots were fired, Herminia ran to the
window and saw accused-appellant, in a blue sando,
flee towards the direction of his house.
Defense claims: He was in his house located at 317 M. de
Castro St., Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. He was having
some drinks with his neighbor, Orlando Bermudez, and his
driver, Nelson Columba
Dr. Rosaline O. Cosidon, a medico-legal officer: cause of
death is intracranial hemorrhage as a result of gunshot
VICTIM JOSEPH is a well-known figure in their
neighborhood and has several criminal cases pending
against him in Caloocan City. He was charged with
frustrated homicide in 1984 and attempted murder in
o Appellant explained the information for attempted
murder was dismissed as a result of the victims
desistance while in the frustrated homicide case, the
real assailant appeared and admitted his crime.
Accused-appellant had known the victim since childhood
and their houses are only two blocks apart. Joseph had a
bad reputation in their neighborhood as a thief and
drug addict. Six days before his death, on September
23, 1996, accused-appellant caught Joseph inside his
car trying to steal his car stereo. As proof of the

victims bad reputation, appellant presented a letter

handwritten by his mother, Herminia, addressed to
Mayor Reynaldo Malonzo of Caloocan City, and sent
through PO3 Willy Tuazon and his wife, Baby Ruth. In
the letter, Herminia was surrendering her son to the
Mayor for rehabilitation because he was hooked on
shabu, a prohibited drug, and was a thief. Herminia
was scared that eventually Joseph might not just
steal but kill her and everyone in their household
because of his drug habit.
Trial court: guilty and sentenced him to the penalty of death.

WON Herminia Marquez testimony was credible? YES.

Herminias testimony is positive, clear and straightforward.

She did not waver in her narration of the shooting incident,
neither did she waffle in recounting her sons death. She
readily gave specific details of the crime scene, e.g., the
physical arrangement of the sofa and the television set, the
height of the sofa, the wall and the window, because the
crime happened right in her own living room. She explained
that she was unable to warn Joseph because she was
shocked by the sight of accused-appellant aiming a gun at
her son.
Accused-appellant: there are inconsistencies in the
eyewitness testimony.
o Affidavit of September 30, 1996: Herminia declared
that while she and Joseph were watching television,
she saw a hand holding a gun pointed at her son. The
hand and the gun came out of a hole in the window,
i.e., "butas ng bintana."
o On cross-examination, Herminia stated that she saw
a hand holding a gun in the open window, i.e.,
"bukas na bintana."
SC: The inconsistency between her affidavit and her
testimony was satisfactorily explained by Herminia on crossexamination:
In your testimony, you did not mention what
part of the window was that hand holding a gun that
you saw? Is that correct?

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 13 of 53

Hindi naman po butas, kundi bukas na bintana.
Nakabukas iyong bintana namin.

probability or improbability of the offense


So in your sinumpaang salaysay in the
statement that you said butas na bintana is not
Mali ho kasi, hindi ko na napansin iyan, kasi ito
napansin ko, kinorect ko.
COURT: You show to the witness. There, butas na

WITNESS: Mali po ang letra, Bukas hindi butas.

Herminia corrected her affidavit by saying in open court that

she saw the hand and the gun coming out of the open
window, not from a hole in the window. In her direct
testimony, Herminia presented a photograph of her living
room just the way it looked from her side on the night of the
shooting. Affidavits are generally considered inferior to open
court declarations because affidavits are taken ex-parte and
are almost always incomplete and inaccurate.
The lone eyewitness account of the killing finds support in
the medico-legal report. Dr. Rosalie Cosidon found that the
deceased sustained two gunshot woundsone to the right
of the forehead, and the other, to the left side of the back of
the victims head.

WON the bad reputation of the victim is admissible as character

evidence? NO.

Accused-appellant: the victims drug habit led him to

commit other crimes and he may have been shot by any of
the persons from whom he had stolen.
Character evidence is governed by Section 51, Rule 130 of
the Revised Rules on Evidence, viz:

"Section 51. Character evidence not generally admissible;

exceptions:-(3) The good or bad moral character of the
offended party may be proved if it tends to
establish in any reasonable degree the

Both sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) of Section 51 of Rule

130 refer to character evidence of the accused. Subparagraph (3) of Section 51 of the said Rule refers to the
character of the offended party. Character evidence,
whether good or bad, of the offended party may be proved
"if it tends to establish in any reasonable degree the
probability or improbability of the offense charged."
In homicide cases, a pertinent character trait of the victim is
admissible in two situations: (1) as evidence of the deceaseds
aggression; and (2) as evidence of the state of mind of the
In the instant case, proof of the bad moral character of
the victim is irrelevant to determine the probability or
improbability of his killing. Accused-appellant has not
alleged that the victim was the aggressor or that the
killing was made in self-defense. There is no connection
between the deceaseds drug addiction and thievery
with his violent death in the hands of accused-appellant.
Moreover, proof of the victims bad moral character is
not necessary in cases of murder committed with
treachery and premeditation. (People v. Soliman)
In the case at bar, accused-appellant is charged with murder
committed through treachery and evident premeditation. The
evidence shows that there was treachery. Joseph was sitting in
his living room watching television when accused-appellant
peeped through the window and, without any warning, shot him
twice in the head.
As to the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation,
this cannot be appreciated to increase the penalty in the
absence of direct evidence showing that accused-appellant
deliberately planned and prepared the killing of the victim.
Neither can the aggravating circumstance of dwelling found by
the trial court be applied in the instant case. The Information
alleges only treachery and evident premeditation, not dwelling.

G.R. No. 189061

August 6, 2014



Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 14 of 53






Midway Maritime and Technological Foundation (petitioner)

is the lessee of two parcels of land in Cabanatuan City. The
president of the company is Dr. Sabino Manglicmot. He is
married to Adoracion Cloma, the registered owner of the
Inside said property stands a residential building owned by
the respondents.
The two parcels of land were originally owned by the
respondents father Louis Castro, Sr. The elder Castro was
also the president of Cabanatuan City Colleges (CCC).
On August 15, 1974, Castro mortgaged the property to
Bancom Development Corporation (Bancom) to secure a
During the subsistence of the mortgage, CCCs board of
directors agreed to a 15-year lease of a portion of the
property to the Castros children, herein respondents, who
subsequently built the residential house nowin dispute.
The lease was to expire in 1992.
When CCC failed to pay its obligation, Bancom foreclosed
the mortgage and the property was sold at public auction in
1979, with Bancom as the highest bidder.
Bancom thereafter assigned the credit to Union Bank of the
Philippines (Union Bank), and later on, Union Bank
consolidated its ownership over the properties in 1984 due
to CCCs failure to redeem the property.
When Union Bank sought the issuance of a writ of
possession over the properties, which included the
residential building, respondents opposed the same.
The case reached the Court entitled, Castro, Jr. v. CA, and in
a Decision, the Court ruled that the residential house was
owned by the respondents.
In the meantime, Adoracions father, Tomas Cloma (Tomas),
bought the two parcels of land from Union Bank in an
auction sale conducted on July 13, 1993. Tomas
subsequently leased the property to the petitioner and
thereafter, sold the same to Adoracion.

Several suits were brought by the respondents against the

petitioner, including the case at bench, which is an action
for Ownership, Recovery of Possession and Damages,
docketed as Civil Case No. 3700 (AF).
In their Amended Complaint the respondents alleged:
(1) they are the owners of the residential building,
which they used from 1977 to 1985 when they left for the
United States of America and instituted their uncle, Josefino
C. Castro (Josefino), as the caretaker; (2) Manglicmot, leased
the building (except for the portion occupied by Josefino)
from Lourdes Castro, mother of the respondents; (3) the
petitioner failed to pay rent starting August 1995, thus
prompting the respondents to file the action.
The petitioner, however, denied respondents ownership of
the residential building and claimed that Adoracion owns the
building, having bought the same together with the land on
which it stands.
Regional Trial Court: rendered judgment in favor of the
respondents, declared them as the absolute owners of the
residential building
CA: dismissed the petitioners appeal

WON there was a lease agreement between the petitioner and
respondent regarding the residential building? YES, the petitioner
thus cannot claim ownership over the building.

Such issue is a question of fact already resolved by the RTC

in the affirmative.
From June 1993 to July 25, 1995 or for a period of 26
months, the [petitioner] has been paying rentals for the
building in question and paid a rental of [P]156,000.00
which rental was increased to P10,000.00 beginning October
1995 when the caretaker of the [respondents] Mr. Josefino
Castro was ejected therefrom and the entire building was
leased to the [petitioner], represented by Dr. Sabino
Evidence: cash disbursement voucher issued by the
petitioner to Mrs. Lourdes Castro. The voucher contained the
statement "payment of building rentals x x x from June 01 to
December 01, 1993" in the total amount of P36,000.00.
[TOPICAL] It is settled that "[o]nce a contact of lease
is shown to exist between the parties, the lessee
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 15 of 53

cannot by any proof, however strong, overturn the

conclusive presumption that the lessor has a valid
title to or a better right of possession to the subject
premises than the lessee." Section 2(b), Rule 131 of
the Rules of Court prohibits a tenant from denying
the title of his landlord at the time of the commencement
of the relation of landlord and tenant between them.
Santos v. National Statistics Office - Court expounded on the
rule on estoppel against a tenant and further clarified
that what a tenant is estopped from denying is the
title of his landlord at the time of the commencement
of the landlord-tenant relation. If the title asserted is
one that is alleged to have been acquired subsequent to the
commencement of that relation, the presumption will not
In this case, Adoracions ownership dates back to her
purchase of the two parcels of land from her father, Tomas.
It was Tomas who bought the property in an auction sale by
Union Bank in 1993 and leased the same to the petitioner in
the same year. Note must be made that the petitioners
president, Manglicmot, is the husband of Adoracion and sonin-law of Tomas. It is not improbable that at the time the
petitioner leased the residential building from the
respondents mother in 1993, it was aware of the
circumstances surrounding the sale of the two parcels of
land and the natureof the respondents claim over the
residential house. Yet, the petitioner still chose to lease the
building. Consequently, the petitioner is now estopped from
denying the respondents title over the residential building.
What Tomas bought from Union Bank in the auction sale
were the two parcels of land originally owned and
mortgaged by CCC to Bancom, and which mortgage was
later assigned by Bancom to Union Bank. Contrary to the
petitioners assertion, the property subject of the
mortgage and consequently the auction sale pertains
only to these two parcels of land and did not include
the residential house
In Castro, Jr. v. CA, the Court nullified the writ of possession
issued by the trial court insofar as it affected the residential
house constructed by the respondents on the mortgaged
property as it was not owned by CCC, which was the

WON the sale of the property included all improvements,

including the building? NO.

As regards the ruling of the RTC of Cabanatuan City that the

advertised sale of the property included all the
improvements thereon, that said case involved an action for
ejectment and any resolution by the RTC on the matter of
the ownership of the improvements of the property is
merely provisional and cannot surpass the Courts
pronouncement in Castro and in the present case.
Also, Adoracions subsequent acquisition of the two parcels
of land from her father does not necessarily entail the
acquisition of the residential building. "A building by itself is
a real or immovable property distinct from the land on which
it is constructed and therefore can be a separate subject of

WON the lease had already expired when Adoracion bought the
property from Tomas? The issue cannot be resolved in the
present case, but nothing supports that view.

The petitioner also insists that the lease between CCC and
the respondents already expired when Adoracion bought the
property from Tomas. The foregoing issue, however, cannot
be considered in the present action. There is also nothing on
record that will prove the petitioners claim that the lease
between CCC and the respondents already expired. The fact
that Adoracion subsequently bought the property did not
ipso facto terminate the lease. While the lease between CCC
and the respondents contained a 15-year period, to end in
1992, the petitioner failed to show that the subsequent
transferors/purchasers of the two parcels of land opted to
terminate the lease or instituted any action for its
Bancom bought the property at an auction sale in 1979;
Union Bank, in 1984; Tomas, and later, Adoracion, acquired
the property in 1993. It cannot be denied that the
transferors/purchasers of the property all had knowledge of
the lease between CCC and the respondents; yet, not any of
the transferors/purchasers moved to terminate the lease.


Peralta J.| By Ron San Juan
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 16 of 53

Respondent and petitioner executed a Contract of lease wherein

petitioner leased in favor of respondent a 336 sqm residential lot
and a house standing thereon. The contract period is one (1) year,
which commenced on November 4, 1999, with a monthly rental
rate of P13,500.00.
Subsequent to the execution of the lease contract, respondent
received information that petitioner mortgaged the subject
property in favor of a Yap and that the same was already foreclosed
with Yap as the purchaser of the disputed lot in an extrajudicial
foreclosure sale which was registered on February 22, 2000. On
June 1, 2000, respondent bought the subject property from Yap thru
a Deed of Sale of Real Property which clearly indicated that it was
still subject to petitioner's right of redemption.
Prior to said sale, petitioner filed a suit for the declaration of nullity
of the mortgage in favor of Yap. Meanwhile, petitioner sent two
letters demanding respondent to pay the rentals which are due and
to vacate the leased premises. Respondent ignored both letters.
Petitioner filed with the MTCC a case of unlawful detainer against
respondent. MTCC dismissed the case filed by petitioner. On
appeal, RTC affirmed MTCC. CA affirmed RTC. Hence, this petition.
Issues/Held: CA affirmed with modifications.
Whether or not the findings of the lower courts of the presumed
validity of the real estate mortgage is correct. (YES)
In an unlawful detainer case, the sole issue for resolution is the
physical or material possession of the property involved,
independent of any claim of ownership by any of the party litigants.
Where the issue of ownership is raised by any of the parties, the
courts may pass upon the same, albeit provisionally, in order to
determine who has the right to possess the property.
In the instant case, pending final resolution of the suit filed by
petitioner for the declaration of nullity of the real estate mortgage
in favor of Yap, the MTCC, the RTC and the CA were unanimous in
sustaining the presumption of validity of the real estate mortgage
as well as the presumption of regularity in the performance of the
duties of the public officers who subsequently conducted its
foreclosure sale and issued a provisional certificate of sale. Based
on the presumed validity of the mortgage and the subsequent
foreclosure sale, the MTCC, the RTC and the CA also sustained the

validity of respondent's purchase of the disputed property from Yap.

Court agreed with the lower courts. Thus, for purposes of resolving
the issue as to who between petitioner and respondent is entitled
to possess the subject property, this presumption stands.
Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to possession of the
(Yes, during the period of redemption. After that, respondent
acquired the right to possess the property. Petitioner is entitled
only to back rentals due her during the redemption period.)
In unlawful detainer, one unlawfully withholds possession thereof
after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession
under any contract, express or implied In such case, the
possession was originally lawful but became unlawful by the
expiration or termination of the right to possess; hence, the issue of
rightful possession is decisive for, in such action, the defendant is
in actual possession and the plaintiffs cause of action is the
termination of the defendants right to continue in possession.
Petitioner argues: She remains the owner of the subject property.
Based on her contract of lease with respondent, respondent is not
permitted to deny her title over the said property in accordance
with the provisions of Section 2 (b), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court.
SC: No. The conclusive presumption found in Section 2 (b), Rule
131 of the Rules of Court, known as estoppel against tenants,
provides: "[t]he tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his
landlord at the time of the commencement of the relation of
landlord and tenant between them."
What a tenant is estopped from denying is the title of his landlord
at the time of the commencement of the landlord-tenant relation.
If the title asserted is one that is alleged to have been acquired
subsequent to the commencement of that relation, the
presumption will not apply. Hence, the tenant may show that the
landlord's title has expired or been conveyed to another or himself;
and he is not estopped to deny a claim for rent, if he has been
ousted or evicted by title paramount. In the present case, what
respondent is claiming is her supposed title to the subject property
which she acquired subsequent to the commencement of the
landlord-tenant relation between her and petitioner. Hence, the
presumption under Section 2 (b), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court
does not apply.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 17 of 53

HOWEVER, even if respondent is not estopped from denying

petitioner's claim for rent, her basis for such denial, which is her
subsequent acquisition of ownership of the disputed property, is
nonetheless, an insufficient excuse from refusing to pay the rentals
due to petitioner.
There is no dispute that at the time that respondent purchased
Yap's rights over the subject property, petitioner's right of
redemption as a mortgagor has not yet expired. It is settled that
during the period of redemption, it cannot be said that the
mortgagor is no longer the owner of the foreclosed property, since
the rule up to now is that the right of a purchaser at a foreclosure
sale is merely inchoate until after the period of redemption has
expired without the right being exercised. It is only upon the
expiration of the redemption period, without the judgment debtor
having made use of his right of redemption, that the ownership of
the land sold becomes consolidated in the purchaser.
During the period of redemption, the mortgagor, being still the
owner of the foreclosed property, remains entitled to the physical
possession thereof subject to the purchaser's right to petition the
court to give him possession and to file a bond pursuant to the
provisions of Section 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended. The mere
purchase and certificate of sale alone do not confer any right to the
possession or beneficial use of the premises.
In the instant case, there is neither evidence nor allegation that
respondent, as purchaser of the disputed property, filed a petition
and bond. In addition, respondent defaulted in the payment of her
rents. Thus, absent respondent's filing of such petition and bond
prior to the expiration of the period of redemption, coupled with her
failure to pay her rent, she did not have the right to possess the
subject property.
On the other hand, petitioner, as mortgagor and owner, was
entitled not only to the possession of the disputed house and lot
but also to the rents, earnings and income derived therefrom.
The situation became different, however, after the expiration of the
redemption period. Since there is no allegation, much less
evidence, that petitioner redeemed the subject property within one
year from the date of registration of the certificate of sale,
respondent became the owner thereof. Consolidation of title
becomes a right upon the expiration of the redemption period.

Having become the owner of the disputed property, respondent is

then entitled to its possession.
As a consequence, petitioner's ejectment suit filed against
respondent was rendered moot when the period of redemption
expired on February 23, 2001 without petitioner having redeemed
the subject property. The only remaining right that petitioner can
enforce is his right to the rentals during the time that he was still
entitled to physical possession of the subject property that is from
May 2000 until February 23, 2001.


September 12, 2012|Velasco Jr.| By Ron San Juan

January 28, 1992 - Respondent spouses Reblando obtained a

loan from PNB secured by a real estate mortgage (REM) over
two (2) parcels of land, the first covered by TCT No. T-40839 and
the second by Tax Declaration (TD) No. 59006 and designated
as Lot No. 10. The pro forma REM contract consisted of two (2)
pages plus a duly-signed supplemental page, providing a
description of Lot No. 10. TCT No. T-40839 was then registered
in the name of Letecia Reblando-Bartolome, who earlier
executed an SPA authorizing Alejandro, her brother, to utilize
the lot covered by the title as collateral to secure a loan.
January 4, 1995 - the parties executed an Amendment to
REM9 reflecting the increase in the loan accommodation. The
two parcels of land again appeared as collaterals.
January 26, 1995 - the parties again agreed to another increase
and executed for the purpose a second Amendment to REM.

9 The amended contract provides in part:WHEREAS, in order to

secure the payment of certain loans and obligations of the
Mortgagor with the Mortgagee, the former has executed on 1-28-92
in favor of the latter a Real Estate Mortgage conveying by way of
mortgage that TWO (2) parcel[s] of land, with an aggregate area of
SIX HUNDRED SEVENTY (670) sqm. More or less, located at [blank],
covered by TCT-T-40839 and TD# 59006 of the land records of the
City of General Santos / Province of South Cotabato, registered in
the name of the Mortgagor x x x.

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 18 of 53

July 24, 1995 - Meanwhile, Alejandro and the Bliss Dev't Corp.
(BDC) entered into a Contract to Sell over a dwelling unit (Unit
No. 10) in the Rural Bliss 1 Project located at Calumpang, Gen.
Santos City with an area of 36 sqm.
Reblandos defaulted in their loan obligation, prompting the PNB
to extra-judicially foreclose the mortgage over TCT No. T-40839.
PNB bought the land as the lone bidder. Following the lapse of
the redemption period, PNB consolidated its ownership over the
subject parcels of land and was able to secure a new title over
the property.
The Reblandos filed a complaint before the RTC to declare the
nullity of the mortgage over Lot No. 10 allegedly constituted
on January 13, 1995 when PNB and the Reblandos executed
the Amendment to REM. According to them, they could not
have validly created a mortgage over Lot No. 10, not being the
owner when the mortgage was constituted (since it was still
public land). They only included Lot No. 10 in the mortgage
package, albeit it did not belong to them, because PNB
required them to post Lot No. 10 as additional collateral.
PNB's arguments: On January 28, 1992, the Reblandos, via a
contract of REM of even date, already conveyed by way of
mortgage Lot No. 10 covered by TD No. 59006, inclusive of the
Reblandos possessory and other rights. And together with the
lot covered by TCT No. T-40839, Lot No. 10 is listed as
mortgaged property. The Reblandos deliberately omitted to
attach the supplemental page in their basic complaint in an
attempt to mislead the court and conceal the simultaneous
constitution of the mortgage over Lot No. 10 and the titled lot.
Lot No. 10 was not an additional security, noting that the very
same lot was already an existing collateral. As an affirmative
defense, PNB raised the issue of estoppel.
RTC for the Reblandos. CA affirmed.

Issues/Held: Petition granted.

Whether or not the both parcels of land were mortgage
simultaneously. (YES)
First, on its face, the REM shows that it was executed on January
28, 1992. Second, the January 28, 1992 REM contract specifically
covered, as collaterals, two parcels of land, albeit the second
collateral was reflected in the supplemental page of the contract,
which page respondents neglected or indeed omitted to attach to
their basic complaint, whether purposely or not. That respondents
did not include said supplemental page is buttressed by a simple

annotation at the bottom of the last page of their Annex A

(pertaining to the REM), reading: - ADDITIONAL COLLATERAL AT
THE SUPPLEMENTAL PAGE -. Without explanation, respondents
cannot plausibly deny that it referred to Lot No. 10. The
Amendment to REM, executed and signed by the parties on
January 26, 1995, made a cross-reference to the January 28, 1992
REM contract and the properties mortgaged.
And lest it be overlooked, the mortgage over Lot No. 10 is reflected
in TD No. 59006 filed by Alejandro for tax purposes, through an
annotation by stamp-mark, signed by City Assessor Angel S.
Daproza, dated January 29, 1992, the day after the execution of the
REM contract.
When the terms of an agreement have been reduced into writing,
as in this case, it is, under the rules on evidence, considered as
containing all the terms agreed upon. Respondents have not
presented evidence to contradict the stipulations in the contract.
The REM, it bears to stress, having been notarized, is a public
document, thus accorded the benefit of certain presumptions.
Being a public document, it enjoys the presumption of regularity. It
is a prima facie evidence of the truth of the facts stated
therein and a conclusive presumption of its existence and
due execution. To overcome this presumption, there must be clear
and convincing evidence. Absent such evidence, as in this case, the
presumption must be upheld.
Given the above perspective, the Court accords full credence to the
proposition that both parcels of land in question were
simultaneously mortgaged on January 28, 1992.
Whether or not the mortgage was valid. (YES)
Article 2085 of the Civil Code provides that a mortgage contract, to
be valid, must have the following requisites: (a) that it be
constituted to secure the fulfilment of a principal obligation; (b)
that the mortgagor be the absolute owner of the thing mortgaged;
and (c) that the persons constituting the mortgage have free
disposal of their property, and in the absence of free disposal, that
they be legally authorized for the purpose. The presence of the
second requisiteabsolute ownershipis the contentious
determinative issue.
Contrary to the findings of the courts a quo, the evidence on record
reveals that, at the time the subject mortgage was created,
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 19 of 53

respondent Alejandro was the declared owner of Lot No. 10. His
ownership is reflected in TD No. 59006 issued in 1990 which was
prior to the constitution of the mortgage on Lot No. 10 in January
1992. The fact of being in actual possession of the property is
another indication of such ownership.
The records are bereft of evidence, other than respondents bare
and self-serving assertion, to support their contention about being
mere applicants in a social housing project at the time and that Lot
No. 10 was, indeed, government property. And as may be noted, TD
No. 59006 was issued in Alejandros name, two (2) years prior to
the constitution of the REM.
The Contract to Sell shows that it contemplates a different object.
The contract, to stress, is one for the sale of Unit No. 10 in the Rural
Bliss I Project, having an area of 36 sqm. Its Clause IV specifically
refers to the unit being sold as a dwelling unit" (read: house). The
Contract to Sell of Unit No. 10 presented by respondents has
nothing to do with this case, as it is not in any way related to the
mortgage contract. And as between the Contract to Sell and TD No.
59006, categorically stating that respondent Alejandro is the owner
of Lot No. 10 since the time of its issuance on September 12, 1990,
the latter ought to be the superior evidence as to who owns Lot No.
Not only was the tax declaration in Alejandros name, but also,
respondents admittedly possessed the property mortgaged, their
residence being constructed on it--a prima facie proof of ownership
which respondents failed to rebut.
Whether or not the respondents were guilty of estoppel by deed.
Rule 131, Section 2(a) of the Rules of Court, enunciating the
principle of estoppel, states, Whenever a party has, by his own
declaration, act or omission, intentionally and deliberately led
another to believe a particular thing to be true, and to act upon
such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such
declaration, act or omission, be permitted to falsify it.
Respondents act of entering into the mortgage contract with
petitioner, benefiting through the receipt of the loaned amount,
defaulting in payment of the loan, letting the property be
foreclosed, failing to redeem the property within the redemption
period, and thereafter insisting that the mortgage is void, cannot
be countenanced. Respondents are estopped from contesting the

validity of the mortgage, absent any proof that PNB coerced or

fraudulently induced respondents into posting Lot No. 10 as
Even if We assume, for the sake of argument, that respondents did
not intend to deceive petitioner when they used Lot No. 10 as
collateral, still respondents cannot arbitrarily reverse their position
to the damage and prejudice of the bank absent any showing that
the latter accepted the mortgage over Lot No. 10 in bad faith.

PEOPLE V. LAGAHIT, G.R. NO. 200877, NOVEMBER 12, 2014

Topic: Disputable presumptions
Two criminal charges were filed against Charve John Lagahit, one
for selling to a poseur-buyer 0.49 grams of marijuana (4 handrolled
sticks) and another for possession of 0.88 grams of marijuana (8
handrolled sticks). He pleaded not guilty to both informations.
Prosecution witness PO3 Lawas Jr testified that they conducted a
buy-bust operation against Lagahit after reports in Brgy Lahug in
Cebu about the Lagahit's selling of illegal drugs near the stairway
of the flyover. Most of his customers were students of the night
high school of Brgy Lahug. They used marked money and a trusted
informant acted as poseur buyer who took down his bull cap as
signal of the consummation of the sale.
Appellant Lagahit testified that he was waiting for a friend and 3
persons out of nowhere and for no reason arrested him. He resisted
arrest but a gun was pointed at the back of his head. When he was
brought to the brgy hall, the arresting officers told him they found
the sticks inside his pocket. He denied owning them.
RTC convicted him and sentenced him to life imprisonment. CA

ISSUE: WON Lagahit's guilt was proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Lagahit contends that the sole witness (PO3 Lawas Jr) never
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 20 of 53

testified as to how he was able to recover the 4 sticks of marijuana

and so the prosecution failed to prove the identity of the corpus
SC: Guilt not proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Lagahit is presumed innocent until proven guilty under Article III
Section 14(2) of constitution and Section 2, Rule 133 of the Rules of
Court which states:
In a criminal case, the accused is entitled to an acquittal, unless his
guilt is proved beyond reasonable doubt. Proof beyond reasonable
doubt does not mean such a degree of proof, excluding possibility
of error, produces absolute certainty. Only moral certainty is
required, or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an
unprejudiced mind.
Elements for prosecution of illegal sale of dangerous drugs like
1. identities of buyer and seller, the object, and consideration
2. delivery of the thing sold and payment for it
Elements for prosecution of illegal possession of dangerous drugs
like marijuana:
1. accused is in possession of an item or object which is
identified as a prohibited drug
2. possession is not authorized by law
3. accused freely and consciously possessed the drug
Since the drug is the corpus delicti of the crime, it must be
identified and the chain of custody must be observed. Chain of
custody is defined in Section 1(b) of Dangerous Drugs Board
Regulation No. 1, Series of 2002, that implements the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002:
"Chain of Custody" means the duly recorded authorized
movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled
chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory
equipment of each stage, from the time of seizure/confiscation

to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to

presentation in court for destruction. Such record of
movements and custody of seized item shall include the identity
and signature of the person who held temporary custody of the
seized item, the date and time when such transfer of custody were
made in the course of safekeeping and use in court as evidence,
and the final disposition.
In People v. Gatlabayan24 citing People v. Kamad,25 this Court
enumerated the links that the prosecution must establish in the
chain of custody in a buy-bust situation to be as follows: first, the
seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug recovered
from the accused by the apprehending officer; second, the
turnover of the illegal drug seized by the apprehending
officer to the investigating officer; third, the turnover by the
investigating officer of the illegal drug to the forensic
chemist for laboratory examination; and fourth, the
turnover and submission of the marked illegal drug seized
by the forensic chemist to the court.
In this case, prosecution evidence failed to show the essential links
in the chain of custody (even though prosecution proved the
identities of the seller and buyer). In particular, prosecution failed
to show how the 4 sticks came into the hands of PO3 Lawas Jr from
the trusted informant/poseur-buyer. (After the exchange of money
and the bull cap signal from the informant, another person
approached Lagahit and they walked towards opposite side of road.
PO3 Lawas and the brgy tanods followed them until they
apprehended Lagahit and searched him which led to the recovery
of 8 more sticks, the mared 20peso bill, and cash (90pesos).
Thereafter Lagahit was brought to the brgy hall and then to the
police station. All the seized items remained with PO3 Lawas until
they reached the police stations where the items were marked.
There was no mention how the four sticks of handrolled marijuana
cigarettes, which were the subject of the sale transaction, came
into the hands ofPO3 Lawas, Jr. from the trusted informant. PO3
Lawas, Jr.s testimony was lacking as to when, where and how the
said four sticks of handrolled marijuanacigarettes sold by the
appellant to the trusted informant were turned over to him by the
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 21 of 53

latter. In the same manner, PO3 Lawas,Jr. failed to state that

he actually seized the sold four sticks of handrolled
marijuana cigarettes. Considering that PO3 Lawas, Jr. was not
the poseur-buyer and he was not even with the poseur buyer
during the sale transaction as he was on the opposite side of the
road, the turning over to him by the trusted informant of the four
sticks of handrolled marijuana cigarettes sold by the appellant was
the supposed first link in the chain of custody. Given this missing
link, reasonable doubt arises as to the first charge (selling of
As for the possession case, prosecution satisfied the elements
of the crime but they failed to show that theapprehending team
complied with the required procedure for the custody and
disposition of confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous
drugs set forth in Section 21, ArticleII of Republic Act No.
(a) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the
drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation,
physically inventory and photograph the same in the
presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items
were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or
counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of
Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required
to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof.
(Emphasis supplied).
The specific procedures relating to the seizure and custody of drugs
have been laid down under the Implementing Rules and
Regulations for Republic Act No. 9165, particularly Section 21(a),
Article II thereof, and it is the prosecutions burden to adduce
evidence that these procedures have been complied with in
proving the elements of the offense.
In this case, records don't show any physical inventory or
photograph of confiscated items. Even the marking wasn't shown to
have been done in his presence. While non-compliance with Section
21 may not be fatal as long as there is justifiable ground therefor,
and as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized

items are properly preserved by the apprehending team, these

conditions, however, were not met in the present case.
Accused Lagahit acquitted.


Topic: Disputable Presumptions
Three separate informations charging Recuerdo of Estafa (a dentist)
of estafa. She bought several pieces of jewelry from Yolanda Floro
and issued checks as payment in installments (6 checks for each of
the 3 transactions for a total of 18 checks). The checks in total
amounted to 132K (Unitrust Bank), 78K (PCI Bank) and 600K
(Prudential Bank) for each of the information.
Recuerdo's defense was that the trial court of Malolos did not have
jurisdiction over the case because she bought the jewelry and
issued the checks in Makati. She also says the checks were not
issued and delivered to Floro simultaneous to the purchase of the
pieces of jewelry, but only several days thereafter, when she had
already thoroughly examined the jewelry.
Trial court convicted her. CA affirmed.
ISSUE: WON guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Elements of estafa under Par 2(d) of Art 315 of the RPC:
3. a check is postdated or issued in payment of an obligation
contracted at the time it is issued;
4. lack or insufficiency of funds to cover the check; and
5. damage to the payee thereof.
Estafa is committed with dolo (malice) and thus malice and specific
intent to defraud are required. General criminal intent is an
element of all crimes but malice is properly applied only to
deliberate acts done on purpose and with design. Generally,
a specific intent is not presumed. Its existence, as a matter of
fact, must be proved by the State just as any other essential
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 22 of 53

element. This may be shown, however, by the nature of the act, the
circumstances under which it was committed, the means employed
and the motive of the accused. The law provides that, in estafa,
prima facie evidence of deceit is established upon proof
that the drawer of the check failed to deposit the amount
necessary to cover his check within three (3) days from
receipt of the notice of dishonor for lack or insufficiency of

The SC finding merit in the recommendation of the Office of

the Court Administrator, dismissed the complaint.

The Court held that there was nothing in the

records to show that Judge Morallos was moved
by improper motive when he rendered the
decision, neither was there anything to show that
Sheriff Cabusao used his position to influence the
outcome of the decision

The Court in the same resolution that dismissed the

complaint ordered Racines to show cause why he should not
be held in contempt of court for filing an utterly baseless
and unfounded administrative case.

Thus in estafa, good faith is a defense (lack of malice) but it must

be proved.
Recuerdo raised the defense of good faith as a mere afterthought
because she raised it only in her Motion for Reconsideration of the
CA decision. In Pascual v. Ramos, the SC held that if an issue is
raised only in the MR of the appellate court's decision, it is as if it
was never raised in that court at all.
Besides, other evidence shows her lack of good faith. She
intransigently refused to make payments despite demands and
only started making payments after the CA affirmed her conviction.
The deposit slips she appended in her MR did not even show which
checks they were made in payment for.
Also, even if 9 of the 17 checks were honored, and even if she paid
every bit of the amounts in the checks, her criminal liability is not
Recuerdo cannot rely on the Ojeda case because Ojeda made
prompt gradual payments until she paid all of her debt.

knowingly rendering an unjust judgment,

other deceits,
violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
violation of Article 32 of the New Civil Code,
Section 1, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, and
the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Racines: The complaint was prepared by his lawyer in English and

although it was not explained to him, he signed the complaint
because he trusted his lawyer - Atty. Onofre Manalad. Had Atty.
Manalad fully explained the documents to him, he would not have
signed the same, as he had no intention of filing a baseless
administrative case against respondents. If there was anyone who
should be punished, it was Atty. Manalad because he deceived him
into filing a baseless administrative case.

Conviction affirmed.


Austria-Martinez, J.

Racines filed a Complaint against Judge Jose P. Morallos

(Judge Morallos) and Sheriff Benjamin Cabusao, Jr. (Sheriff
Cabusao) for

Atty Manalad: When asked to comment on what Racines averred,

Atty Manalad said that Racines was being used against him by
people who were the opposing parties in one of the other cases
that hes representing. He would not have initiated an action
against an incumbent trial court judge had no grievous correctible
error been committed in bad faith at the expense of truth and
justice. Finally, he also asserts that the allegations in the complaint
against Judge Morallos are substantiated by the admission of the
parties in their pleadings, and that he filed the charges against
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 23 of 53

respondents at the instance of Racines who was even crying when

he was pleading before Atty. Manalad for legal assistance.

him from liability. Lawyers must always keep in perspective that

since they are administrators of justice, oath-bound servants of
society, their first duty is not to their clients, as many suppose, but
to the administration of justice. Penalty: P5,000.

Issue: W/N Racines and Atty Manalad are guilty of indirect

contempt. YES, both are guilty of indirect contempt.
Persons guilty of any improper conduct tending, directly or
indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of
justice may be punished for indirect contempt.
The filing of clearly unfounded or malicious complaints seriously
affects the efficiency of the members of the judiciary in
administering fair, speedy and impartial justice. The Court, mindful
of the proliferation of unfounded or malicious administrative or
criminal cases filed by losing litigants and disgruntled lawyers
against members of the judiciary, therefore issued A.M. No. 03-1001-SC.
Paragraph 1 provides that if upon informal preliminary
inquiry it is found that the complaint is unfounded, baseless
and merely intended to harass respondent, complainant
may be required to show cause why he should not be held in
contempt of court. And if the complainant is a lawyer, he
may be further required to show cause why he or she should
not be administratively sanctioned as a member of the Bar
and as an officer of the court.


Leonen, J.

Respondent Ramon Ong (Ong) filed with the Regional Trial

Court of La Trinidad, Benguet a complaint for accion
reivindicatoria. Ong charged the Spouses Manuel with
having constructed improvements through force,
intimidation, strategy, threats, and stealth on a property
he supposedly owned.

Ong filed with the Regional Trial Court a motion to declare

the Spouses Manuel in default.
o Sheriff Joselito Sales attempted to personally serve
summons on the Spouses Manuel at their address in
Lower Bacong, Loacan, Itogon, Benguet.
o Spouses Manuel, however, requested that service be
made at another time considering that petitioner
Sandra Manuel's mother was then critically ill.
o Sheriff Sales made another attempt at personal
service to petitioner Sandra Manuel but she refused
to sign and receive the summons and the complaint.
Sheriff Sales was thus prompted to merely tender the
o As the Spouses Manuel failed to file their answer
within the required 15-day period, Ong asked that
they be declared in default.

RTC: issued an order granting Ong's motion to declare the

Spouses Manuel in default. RTC also granted motion for ex
parte presentation of evidence.

Spouses Manuel filed a motion to lift the order of default.

o They claimed that it is the siblings of petitioner
Sandra Manuel who resided in Lower Bacong, Itogon,

Racines tries to escape liability by saying that Atty. Manalad did not
explain the contents of the pleadings to him, because if Atty.
Manalad did, he would not have signed the same.
The Court is not convinced. It is presumed that a person intends
the ordinary consequences of his voluntary act and unless the
requirements for proper substitution were made, a lawyer enjoys
the presumption of authority given him by his client. Racines does
not deny that the signatures in the pleadings were his. He also does
not claim that he was prevented by Atty. Manalad from reading the
contents thereof. He only said that since he fully trusted Atty.
Manalad. Penalty: Reprimand
As to Atty. Manalad, the Court finds that a greater penalty is in
order. As a member of the bar, he should know better than to file
an unfounded administrative complaint. His claim that he filed the
charges against respondent at the instance of Racines cannot free

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 24 of 53

Benguet so summons could not have been properly

served on them in the former address.

RTC: denied motion to lift order of default.

Issue #1 (topical): W/N jurisdiction over their person was

acquired? YES.
Issue #2: W/N the Spouses Manuel may be granted relief from
the order of default? NO.

Issue #1:
Jurisdiction over the persons of both defendants was validly
acquired because personal service of summons, via tender to
petitioner Sandra Manuel, was made by Sheriff Joselito Sales.
The sheriffs return on summons indicated that Sheriff Joselito
Sales endeavored to personally hand the summons and a copy
of the complaint to the Spouses Manuel on two (2) separate
The Spouses Manuel did not deny the occurrence of the events
narrated in the sheriffs return but claimed that no valid service
of summons was made. The Spouses Manuel cannot capitalize
on the supposed variance of address. Personal service of
summons has nothing to do with the location where summons is
served. A defendants address is inconsequential.
Topical: the Spouses Manuels self-serving assertion must
crumble in the face of the clear declarations in the sheriffs
return. The acts of Sheriff Joselito Sales and the events relating
to the attempt to personally hand the summons and a copy of
the complaint to the Spouses Manuel, as detailed in the sheriffs
return, enjoy the presumption of regularity. Moreover, Sheriff
Joselito Sales must be presumed to have taken ordinary care
and diligence in carrying out his duty to make service upon the
proper person(s) and not upon an impostor.
A sheriffs return, if complete on its face, must be accorded the
presumption of regularity and, hence, taken to be an accurate
and exhaustive recital of the circumstances relating to the steps
undertaken by a sheriff. In this case, the Spouses Manuel have

harped on their (self-serving) claim of maintaining residence

elsewhere but failed to even allege that there was anything
irregular about the sheriffs return or that it was otherwise

Issue #2: The requisites for declaring a party in default were

satisfied by respondent Ong.
1) the claiming party must file a motion asking the court to
declare the defending party in default;
2) the defending party must be notified of the motion to
declare him in default;
3) the claiming party must prove that the defending party has
failed to answer within the period provided by the Rule."
It is not disputed that Ong filed a motion to declare the Spouses
Manuel in default. It is also not disputed that the latter filed their
answer after the fifteen-day period had lapsed. It is similarly settled
that the Spouses Manuel were notified that a motion to declare
them in default had been filed.
Not only were the requisites for declaring a party in default
satisfied, the Spouses Manuels motion to lift order of default was
also shown to be procedurally infirm. To lift the order of default,
there are 3 requirements:
1.) the motion to lift order of default
2.) an affidavit showing the invoked ground - fraud, accident,
mistake or excusable negligence
3.) the party's meritorious defense or defenses

In this case, the Court of Appeals noted that the Spouses Manuels
motion to lift order of default was not made under oath. We add
that this motion was not accompanied by an affidavit of merit
specifying the facts which would show that their non-filing of an
answer within fifteen (15) days from March 16, 2010 was due to
fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence.
Failing both in making their motion under oath and in attaching an
affidavit of merits, the Spouses Manuels motion to lift order of
default must be deemed pro-forma. It is not even worthy of
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 25 of 53


raised his head, Tarapen hit the formers head again with the
shovel. Accused then ran away.

Ponente: J. Chico-Nazario
Concept: Rule 131 Section 3

Tarapen was charged before the RTC of Baguio City with Frustrated
Homicide for attacking and assaulting James Lacbao Pangoden. The
day after, the victim died from the injuries he sustained. Thus, the
information was amended charging him with Homicide.

Prosecutions version of the incident is based on the accounts of

witnesses Patricia Pangoden (Wife), Molly Linglingen, Silmana
Linglingen, Virginia Costales, Dr. Lindo Mensalvas, Dr. Rizal Leo Cala
and SPO2 Juanito Meneses II. Their collective testimonies revealed:

At around 7:00 to 7:30 in the morning of 8 June 2000, a dump

truck driven by Jimmy Pugoy, with Tarapen and Edmond Ferrer
as passengers, turned around as it reached the Hilltop Market in
Baguio. The vendors, including the victim James Pangoden,
Molly Linglingen, Silmana Linglingen and Virginia Costales were
peddling their wares along said street. Tarapen alighted from
the truck and signaled to the driver to move slowly. Despite
guiding the truck, said vehicle ran over the eggplants being sold
by Costales. Tarapen picked up the vegetables and threw them
at James. This angered James because the flowers he was
selling were soiled. An exchange of words ensued between the
two. Tarapen went to the back of the dump truck and got a
shovel. While James was facing downwards in front of the truck,
Tarapen, coming from behind and holding the shovel with two
hands, struck James on the head with the same, causing him to
fall to the ground in a squatting position. As soon as James

James was brought to the Baguio General Hospital & Medical

Center, where Dr. Rizal Leo Cala refused to operate saying that
it was already hopeless. He was transferred to Saint Louis
University Hospital by his wife Patricia, who was again told that
her husband had no more chance to live. Advised to bring home
James, otherwise, they would just be spending so much, Patricia
brought her husband to his hometown in La Union, where he
died two days after.

The defense presented Jimmy Pugoy, petitioner Peter Tarapen,

Edmond Ferrer and Dr. Maryjane Tipayno as witnesses to arrive at
its version of the incident:

Jimmy Pugoy, Tarapen and Edmond Ferrer are garbage

collectors. At around 7:00 a.m., they arrived at Zandueta St,
the half of which was almost occupied by vendors. In order to
collect garbage piled on said street, the truck driven by Pugoy
had to go up the street then go down. While going down the
street, Pugoy kept on honking the trucks horn, causing the
vendors selling near the garbage pile to move away, but some
of their goods were left behind. Ferrer alighted and started
filling up the garbage basket with the use of a shovel. Tarapen
saw a sack of eggplants pinned under the truck being removed
by its owner. Tarapen helped the old woman carry the sack to
the side of the road when, all of a sudden, James punched him
hard on the right ear, causing him to fall and roll down the
street. Tarapen ended up sitting on the ground. As he was
getting up, James punched him again. The accused protested,
saying he did not do anything wrong. James answered: "You
people from the government are show-off[s]." Tarapen was
then kicked by James on the left side of the body and he fell on
the road and rolled anew. Feeling very dizzy, the accused tried
to pick up something to throw at James to stop him, because
he (Tarapen) thought James would kill him. At this moment,
Edmond was coming to his aid, carrying the shovel he used to
collect garbage. Edmond tried to help Tarapen stand. While in a
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 26 of 53

sitting position, accused was able to get hold of the shovel and
swing it, hitting James who was approaching him and about to
strike with a clenched fist. Tarapen stood up and tried to leave.
When James followed him, the accused hit him again with the
shovel. Tarapen saw James boarding a taxi, before reporting
the matter to his supervisor at the office.

Tarapen accompanied by his supervisor, voluntarily surrendered to

the police authorities. Per his request, he was brought to the
hospital where he met Jamess wife who hit him on the back. He
was then brought to the City Jail to avoid trouble. Upon posting bail,
he went back to the hospital for treatment.

The trial court convicted Tarapen of the crime of homicide. This was
affirmed with modification in the CA. Hence, this petition for review
filed before the SC.

1. WON the Court should give credence to testimony of
prosecution witnesses YES
2. WON the accused acted in self-defense and should be acquitted
- NO

1. Credence should be given to prosecution witnesses testimony.

Tarapen: Testimonies of Molly and Silmana Linglingen that there

was no prior quarrel or exchange of words between Tarapen and
James before the victim was hit by a shovel was contrary to human
experience, because Tarapen could not have taken the life of James
for no reason at all.

SC: They never said that there was no quarrel or exchange.

What they said was that they never witnessed such. They,
however, saw Tarapen get a shovel and strike James. Both
Molly and Silmana Linglingen never witnessed the events
prior to Tarapens act of getting the shovel. This void was
substantially filled up by the testimony of Virginia Costales,
who actually witnessed the altercation between the
petitioner and the victim. The defense cannot, therefore,
claim that the prosecutions witnesses established that
Tarapen took the life of James for no reason.

Tarapen: Molly and Silmana Linglingen are biased witnesses, thus,

unreliable, because they were town mates and co-vendors of the

SC: Mere relationship of a witness to the victim does not

impair the witness credibility. On the contrary, a witness
relationship to a victim of a crime would even make his or
her testimony more credible, as it would be unnatural for a
relative, or a friend as in this case, who is interested in
vindicating the crime, to accuse somebody other than the
real culprit.

A witness is said to be biased when his relation to the cause

or to the parties is such that he has an incentive to
exaggerate or give false color to his statements, or to
suppress or to pervert the truth, or to state what is false. It
must thus be clearly shown that, independently of the
relationship, the testimony was inherently improbable or
defective, or that improper or evil motives had moved the
witness to incriminate the accused falsely. The defense
failed to show any evidence that prosecution witnesses had
improper or evil motives to testify falsely against petitioner.

suppressed material evidence favorable to Tarapen. It may
be safely presumed that such evidence, having been
willfully suppressed, would be adverse if produced.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 27 of 53

SC: The defense failed to specify which evidence was
suppressed. It simply made a general statement that
the prosecution witnesses allegedly did not tell the
truth and thus deliberately suppressed material
evidence favorable to the petitioner.

The adverse presumption of suppression of evidence

is not applicable when (1) the suppression is not
willful; (2) the evidence suppressed or withheld is
merely corroborative or cumulative; (3) the evidence
is at the disposal of both parties; and (4) the
suppression is an exercise of a privilege. In the case
at bar, the prosecution witnesses who allegedly
suppressed material evidence were presented in
court and were cross-examined by the defense
counsel. How then can the defense claim there was

(Digesters Note: No mention of Rule 131 Section 3 in the

entire case but this is probably the issue thats most
relevant to the topic)

Tarapen: The credibility of Virginia Costales is questionable,

considering that her testimony in court, which says that she did not
see petitioner and the victim engage in a fistfight, contradicts her
declaration in her sworn statement that that two engaged in a

SC: Certain discrepancies between declarations made in an

affidavit and those made on the witness stand seldom
could discredit the declarant. Sworn statements, being
taken ex parte, are almost always incomplete and often
inaccurate for various reasons, sometimes from partial
suggestion or for want of suggestion and inquiries. They
are generally inferior to the testimony of the witness given
in open court.

Affidavits are generally subordinated in importance to

open-court declarations; or, more bluntly stated,
whenever there is inconsistency between an affidavit
and the testimony of a witness in court, the testimony
commands greater weight.
The alleged inconsistencies between the testimony of
a witness in open court and his sworn statement
before the investigators are not fatal defects that
would justify the reversal of a judgment of conviction.
When Mrs.Costales was confronted with this
contradiction, she explained that she never told the
police that the petitioner and the victim had a fistfight.
What she said was they had a quarrel; that is, they
faced each other and exchanged words.

Tarapen: Molly and Silmana Linglingens version that the victim was
hit from behind, on the right side of the head is not tenable,
considering that it is not corroborated by medical findings. Molly
and Silmana Linglingens claim was negated by the findings of Dr.
Mensalvas that James suffered injuries on the "left fronto parietal
and left fronto temporo parietal" areas of his head. The findings
mean that James was facing Tarapen when hit by the shovel.

SC: The defense relies too much on the findings made by

Dr.Lindo Mensalvas and completely omits the findings made
by Dr. Rizal Leo Cala. It must not be forgotten that the victim
was brought to two hospitals where the attending doctors
issued separate medico-legal certificates.

From the medico-legal certificate issued by Dr.Cala and

with his testimony in court, it is clear that the victim
suffered injuries on the right side of his head. Thus, the
claim of Molly and Silmana Linglingen that the victim
was struck from behind on the right side of his head is
consistent with that of Dr.Cala.
More weight to this medical certificate is given by the
SC, because the same was issued by a government
doctor. Under Section 44, Rule 130, Revised Rules of
Court, entries in official records made in the
performance of official duty are prima facie evidence of
the facts therein stated.
Even assuming arguendo that we give more weight to
the medical certificate issued by Dr. Mensalvas, this
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 28 of 53

does not mean that the testimonies of Molly and

Silmana Linglingen shall be disbelieved. It is noted that
Dr. Mensalvas testified that the victim sustained a
wound on the right side of his head, possibly caused by
a steel shovel.
Where a part of the testimony of a witness runs
counter to the medical evidence submitted, it is within
the sound discretion of the court to determine which
portions of the testimony to reject as false and which
to consider worthy of belief.


Tarapen: The trial court judge was not able to observe the
demeanor of the prosecution witnesses, because they were looking
at the court interpreter when they were testifying.


SC: The trial court judge was emphatic in saying that he had
the chance to see the face of the witness while she testified.

2. Tarapen failed to clearly and convincingly prove self-defense,

whether complete or incomplete.

Article 11, paragraph (1) of the Revised Penal Code,

provides for the elements and/or requisites in order that a
plea of self-defense may be validly considered in absolving a
person from criminal liability, viz:
1. First. Unlawful aggression;
2. Second. Reasonable necessity of the means
employed to prevent or repel it;
3. Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of
the person defending himself.
The burden of evidence that one acted in self-defense
shifted to Tarapen. Like an alibi, self-defense is inherently
weak, for it is easy to fabricate. He must rely on the strength
of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the
prosecutions evidence, for, even if the latter were weak, it
could not be disbelieved after his open admission of
responsibility for the killing.
The SC confirms the observations of the trial court:
1. Tarapen claim that the victim James Pangoden,
suddenly and without provocation, boxed him on his
right ear is simply unbelievable. By his own account,
he was at that moment helping a road vendor carry
her sack of eggplants away from the path of the
truck. If this is true, then his testimony that James



attacked and boxed him for no reason at all loses

credibility. Testimonies to be believed must not only
come from the mouth of credible witnesses but
should by themselves be credible, reasonable, and in
accord with human experience.
It is likewise inconceivable how accused-appellant
could have hit the victim twice in the head while he
(accused) was allegedly in a sitting position and
holding the shovel by the middle part of its shaft. He
also made a contradicting account, showing that he
was kneeling down, when asked during crossexamination to demonstrate how he hit the victim.
It simply goes against the grain of human experience
for the victim to persist in his attack against Tarapen
after getting hit in the head with a steel shovel,
considering that he is unarmed and had nothing to
match the accused weapon on hand. That James till
had the resolution and power for a second assault on
Tarapen, after getting hit with a steel shovel in the
head, flouts ordinary human capacity and nature. In
contrast, Tarapen claims that he "fell down" and "felt
dizzy" after getting boxed on the right side of his
head by James with his bare fist.
Tarapen himself admitted walking away from the
crime scene immediately after the incident, an
actuation contrary to his assertion of self-defense.
Flight strongly indicates a guilty mind and betrays
the existence of a guilty conscience, for a righteous
individual will not cower in fear and unabashedly
admit the killing at the earliest possible opportunity if
he were morally justified in doing so.
The nature and number of the fatal injuries inflicted
negate Tarapens claim of self-defense. Said victim
suffered cerebral contusion, epidural hematoma,
scalp laceration and skull fracture, which directly
caused his death. If he hit the victim just to defend
himself, it certainly defies reason why he had to aim
for the head and do it twice.

Even assuming arguendo that accused-appellant was

able to establish the element of unlawful aggression, this
Court will rule out self-defense. James was unarmed
while Tarapen was armed with a steel shovel. There was
no reasonable necessity for him to use a steel shovel to
repel the attack of an unarmed man. Moreover, the
eyewitnesses account of how Tarapen uncaringly threw
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 29 of 53

the soiled eggplants towards the direction of James

goods would negate the absence of sufficient
provocation on the accuseds part. Thus, the second and
third requisites for self-defense are not present in this
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, all the foregoing considered, the
decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 26636, dated 31
January 2006, is AFFIRMED in toto. Costs against the petitioner.

paid Titan for additional works done on Project 1) and VAT on

Project 3 (after the Court credited the VAT payment to Project
1). This was affirmed by the CA in a petition for review.
4. Hence, Uniwide comes to this Court via a petition for review
under Rule 45.


1. Whether Uniwide is entitled to a return of the amount it

allegedly paid by mistake to Titan for additional works done on
Project 1 NO (The discussion of this issue mentions Rule 131
Section 3f)
2. Whether the lower court was correct in crediting the payment of
VAT to Project 1 - YES
3. Whether Uniwide is entitled to liquidated damages for Projects 1
and 3 - NO
4. Whether Titan is liable for deficiencies in Project 2 - NO





Ponente: J. Tinga
Concept: Rule 131 Section 3

1. 3 construction contracts was entered into by Titan and Uniwide
whereby Titan undertook to construct Uniwides Warehouse Club
and Administration Building (Project 1), to construct an
additional floor and renovate Uniwides warehouse (Project 2)
and, to construct the Uniwide Sales Department Store Building
(Project 3).
2. Titan filed an action against Uniwide with the RTC, for the nonpayment of certain claims billed by Titan after completion of 3
projects covered by the said agreements. Upon Uniwides
motion to dismiss/suspend proceedings the case was
suspended for it to undergo arbitration. Titans complaint was
thus re-filed with the Construction Industry Arbitration
Commission (CIAC).
3. An Arbitral Tribunal was created in accordance with the CIAC
Rules. After conducting a preliminary conference, it issued a
Terms of Reference (TOR) which was signed by the parties. The
tribunal then promulgated a Decision, holding Uniwide liable for
the unpaid balance for Projects 2 and 3 (since Uniwide already

As a rule, findings of fact of administrative agencies and

quasi-judicial bodies, which have acquired expertise because their
jurisdiction is confined to specific matters, are generally accorded
not only respect, but also finality, especially when affirmed by the
Court of Appeals. As an exception, the SC however may inquire into
these factual issues since the CIAC and the Court of Appeals
differed in their findings.

1st Issue: Payment by Mistake

The first issue refers to the P5,823,481.75 paid by Uniwide for

additional works done on Project 1.

Uniwide: Titan was not entitled to be paid this amount because the
additional works were without any written authorization. None of
the contracts contain stipulations on additional works, Uniwides
liability for additional works, and prior approval as a requirement
before Titan could perform additional works. Nonetheless, Uniwide

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 30 of 53

cites Article 1724 of the New Civil Code 10 as basis for its claim that
it is not liable to pay for additional works it did not authorize or
agree upon in writing.

Art 1724 is inapplicable because Uniwide had already paid,

albeit with unwritten reservations for the additional works.
The provision would have been operative had Uniwide
refused to pay for the costs of the additional works. Instead,
the CA applied Art. 1423, which characterized Uniwides
payment of the said amount as a voluntary fulfillment of a
natural obligation. The situation was characterized as being
akin to Uniwide being a debtor who paid a debt even while it
knew that it was not legally compelled to do so. As such
debtor, Uniwide could no longer demand the refund of the
amount already paid.
The distinction pointed out by the Court of Appeals is
material. The issue is no longer centered on the right of the
contractor to demand payment for additional works
undertaken because payment, whether mistaken or not, was
already made by Uniwide. Thus, it would not anymore be
incumbent on Titan to establish that it had the right to
demand or receive such payment.
Art. 1724 does not ipso facto accord Uniwide the right to be
reimbursed for payments already made. It has to be
understood Art. 1724 does not preclude the payment to the
contractor who performs additional works without any prior
written authorization or agreement as to the price for such
works if the owner decides anyway to make such payment.
What the provision does preclude is the right of the
contractor to insist upon payment for unauthorized
additional works.

10 Art. 1724. The contractor who undertakes to build a structure or any other work
for a stipulated price, in conformity with plans and specifications agreed upon with
the landowner, can neither withdraw from the contract nor demand an increase in the
price on account of the higher cost of labor or materials, save when there has been a
change in the plans and specifications, provided:(1)
Such change has been
authorized by the proprietor in writing; and
The additional price to be paid to the contractor has been determined in
writing by both parties.

Uniwide, as the owner who did pay the contractor for such
additional works even if they had not been authorized in
writing, has to establish its own right to reimbursement not
under Art. 1724, but under a different provision of law.
Uniwides burden of establishing its legal right to
reimbursement becomes even more crucial in the light of
the general presumption in Section 3(f), Rule 131 of the
Rules of Court that money paid by one to another was due
to the latter.

Uniwide: Its payment was made through mistake, and not a

voluntary fulfillment under Art. 1423 of the Civil Code. Hence, the
principle of solutio indebiti under Arts. 2154 and 2156 of the Civil
Code should apply.

It not enough to prove that the payments made by Uniwide

to Titan were not due because there was no prior
authorization or agreement with respect to additional works.
There is a further requirement that the payment by the
debtor was made either through mistake for the provisions
on solutio indebiti to apply.
The CIAC refused to acknowledge that the additional works
on Project 1 were indeed unauthorized by Uniwide. Neither
did the Court of Appeals arrive at a contrary determination.
There would thus be some difficulty for this Court to agree
with this most basic premise submitted by Uniwide that it
did not authorize the additional works on Project 1
undertaken by Titan.
Uniwide must be able to establish that these payments were
made through mistake - a factual matter that would have
acquired a mantle of invulnerability had it been determined
by both the CIAC and the Court of Appeals. However, both
bodies failed to arrive at such a conclusion.
Uniwide is unable to direct attention to any pertinent part of
the record that would indeed establish that the payments
were made by reason of mistake.

(In case Maam asks)

2nd Issue: Liability for VAT

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 31 of 53

The contract for Project 1 is silent on which party should

shoulder the VAT while the contract for Project 3 contained a
provision to the effect that Uniwide is the party responsible
for the payment of the VAT. Thus, when Uniwide paid the
amount of P2,400,000.00 as billed by Titan for VAT, it
assumed that it was the VAT for Project 3. However, the
CIAC and the Court of Appeals found that the same was for
Project 1.
The SC agreed with the CIAC and the CA that the amount
of P2,400,000.00 was paid by Uniwide as VAT for Project 1.
This conclusion was drawn from an Order of Payment, which
was approved by Uniwide and which expressly indicated
that the project involved was the UNIWIDE SALES
The reduced base for the computation of the tax, according
to the Court of Appeals, was an indication that the parties
agreed to pass the VAT for Project 1 to Uniwide but based on
a lower contract price. Indeed, the CIAC found that the VAT
is paid on labor only for construction contracts since VAT
had already been paid on the materials purchased. Since
labor costs is proportionately placed at 60%-40% of the
contract price, simplified accounting computes VAT at 4% of
the contract price.

3rd Issue: Liquidated Damages

The claim for liquidated damages was premised on Titans

delay in the construction of Projects 1 and 3. CIAC rejected
such claim while the CA held that the matter should be left
for determination in future proceedings where the issue has
been made clear. CA noted that the only evidence on record
to prove delay in the construction of Project 1 is the
testimony of Titans engineer regarding the date of
completion of the project while the only evidence of delay in
the construction of Project 3 is the affidavit of Uniwides
o The testimony of Engr. Tablante was offered only to
prove that Project 1 was indeed completed. It was
not offered to prove the fact of delay. It must be
remembered that the purpose for which evidence is
offered must be specified because such evidence
may be admissible for several purposes under the

doctrine of multiple admissibility, or may be

admissible for one purpose and not for another,
otherwise the adverse party cannot interpose the
proper objection.
o Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that said
testimony on the date of completion of Project 1 is
admitted, the establishment of the mere fact of delay
is not sufficient for the imposition of liquidated
damages. It must further be shown that delay was
attributable to the contractor if not otherwise
justifiable. Contrarily, Uniwides belated claim
constitutes an admission that the delay was justified
and implies a waiver of its right to such damages.
On the allegation of quantifying its claim for liquidated
damages belatedly, Uniwide asserts that CIAC should have
applied procedural rules such as Section 5, Rule 10 with
more liberality because it was an administrative tribunal
free from the rigid technicalities of regular courts. The CIAC
rejected this position, saying such importation of the Rules
of Court provision on amendment to conform to evidence
would contravene the spirit, if not the letter of the CIAC
o Uniwide only introduced and quantified its claim for
liquidated damages in its Memorandum submitted to
the CIAC at the end of the arbitration proceeding.
o Arbitration has been defined as an arrangement for
taking and abiding by the judgment of selected
persons in some disputed matter, instead of carrying
it to established tribunals of justice, and is intended
to avoid the formalities, the delay, the expense and
vexation of ordinary litigation. Voluntary arbitration,
on the other hand, involves the reference of a
dispute to an impartial body, the members of which
are chosen by the parties themselves, which parties
freely consent in advance to abide by the arbitral
award issued after proceedings where both parties
had the opportunity to be heard. The basic objective
is to provide a speedy and inexpensive method of
settling disputes by allowing the parties to avoid the
formalities, delay, expense and aggravation which
commonly accompany ordinary litigation, especially
litigation which goes through the entire hierarchy of
o As an arbitration body, the CIAC can only resolve
issues brought before it by the parties through the
TOR which functions similarly as a pre-trial brief.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 32 of 53

Thus, if Uniwides claim for liquidated damages was

not raised as an issue in the TOR or in any modified
or amended version of it, the CIAC cannot make a
ruling on it. The Rules of Court cannot be used to
contravene the spirit of the CIAC rules, whose policy
and objective is to provide a fair and expeditious
settlement of construction disputes through a nonjudicial process which ensures harmonious and
friendly relations between or among the parties.
Further, a party may not be deprived of due process
of law by an amendment of the complaint as
provided in Section 5, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court.
Verily, Titan was not given a chance to present
evidence to counter Uniwides claim for liquidated

4th Issue: Deficiencies in Project 2

It is alleged by Uniwide that Titan failed to submit any asbuilt plans for Project 2, such plans allegedly serving as a
condition precedent for payment. SC said the submission of
these plans were not necessary.
Uniwide claims that Titan had substantially overcharged
Uniwide for Project 2. The SC upheld the findings of the
CIAC and held Uniwide liable for the amount agreed upon in
the parties agreement. Claims of connivance or fraudulent
conspiracy between Titan and Uniwides representatives
which allegedly grossly exaggerated the price may properly
be dismissed for not being supported by evidence.
Furthermore, Uniwide alleged that the works performed
were structurally defective, as evidenced by the structural
damage on four columns as observed on ocular inspection
by the CIAC and confirmed by Titans project manager. Court
agreed with the CIAC that there was no structural defect.
o Uniwide had the burden of proving that there was
defective construction in Project 2 but it failed to
discharge this burden. The concrete slab placed by
Titan was not attached to the old columns where
cracks were discovered. The CIAC held that the posttensioning of the new concrete slab could not have
caused any of the defects manifested by the old
columns. What was being passed off as a defective
construction, was in fact an old column. The SC is
bound by this finding of fact.

Dispositive: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is

DENIED and the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 21 February
1996 in CA-G.R. SP No. 37957 is hereby AFFIRMED.

BRION, J., 2014:
1. Rosalinda Casabuena was charged with violation of RA 9165
for the illegal sale of shabu, and sentenced to life.
2. She was caught in a buy buys operation with a certain
Armando Joaquin acting as the poser buyer.
3. Prosecutions version:
a. A certain Armando was a walk-in informant who told
police officer Balolong that Casabuena was selling
shabu. They set up an entrapment team, with
Armando as the poseur-buyer. Armando went inside
Casabuenas house, tried to buy the drugs, then
went out to make the pre-arranged signal. Balolong
and the other cops went inside, forced Casabuenas
hand, and took the money. Note that Balolong did not
see the transaction between Armando and
Casabueno and that Armando was a walk-in
4. Defense story:
a. Casabuena was taking a bath when she heard a male
voice looking for her. Someone kicked the bathroom
door open, the cops came in, asked where the money
was (which confused her, since shes allegedly
innocent), then brought her to the precinct.
Casabuena alleges that the cops did not sign any
confiscation receipt and that she was innocent.
5. RTC: guilty.
6. CA: guilty.
Issue: Is she guilty? No. Acquitted.

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 33 of 53

1. In a prosecution for drug busts, Sec 21 of RA 9165 is

important. Under said law, the identity of the buyer and
seller, and the object of the sale, the consideration, and the
delivery of thing sold and payment therefore are important.
They constitute the corpus delicti.
2. The required procedure on the seizure and custody of drugs
is as follows: after seizure, take an inventory and
photograph the same in the presence of the accused or
counsel, or a representative from the DOJ or media or an
elected officer.
3. Strict compliance with these requirements is important
because of the nature of drugs it is easily rendered
indistinct. In the case at bar, it was not shown that the
procedure required by law was followed. There was no
inventory, no photo, etc. ( the law is not too strict, you can
skip some requirements upon showing of justifiable grounds,
but no grounds were shown for not following the required
4. In sum, the chain of custody requirement in narcotics cases
is crucial because the drugs is the corpus delicti. Under the
chain of custody rule, there should be testimony about
every link in the chain from the moment the drugs were
seized to the time it was offered in evidence.
5. The prosecution failed to establish the chain. A vital link is
Balolongs possession of the drugs and his delivery of the
drugs to the police station. At this juncture, Balolong did not
mark the plastic sachet. It was another cop, Ancheta, who
marked the sachet. Marking at the police station is not
forbidden per se, but the court doubted that the sachet
marked by Ancheta was the same sachet that Balolong
brought to the police station. Ancheta said that he marked
the sachet with RC (accuseds initials) but the initials were
not present when the sachet was presented to other cops.
6. The chemistry reports likewise did not state what markings
the police made in the sachet. Even the weight of the gram
was not consistent (some said it was 0.1 grams, while in
other reports it was 0.0139 grams).
7. (Important!) The SC also held that there was NO
Obmiranis, the court said that when the official act in
question was irregular, an adverse presumption arises. In
other words, public officers have in their favor the
presumption of regularity, only when they follow the regular
procedure. In the case at bar, the cops did not follow the

regular procedure, and neither did they show cause for

8. The court notes that a walk-in informant is highly irregular.
The fact that the cops did not mark the sachets properly
was highly irregular.
VELASCO JR., J., 2012
1. Case is an administrative complaint filed by Prosecutor (of
Zambales) Jorge Baculi against Judge Belen of Calamba., for
gross ignorance of the law, gross misconduct, violation of RA
3019, grave abuse of authority, conduct prejudicial to
interest of public service, oppressive conduct, harassment,
fraudulent/unjust decision, etc.
2. Background:
a. Baculi filed a qualified theft case, People v Azucena
Capacete, at Belens RTC branch, which Belen
dismissed based on his finding that the crime
committed was not qualified theft but estafa.
b. In the MR, Baculi claimed that Belens decision was
motivated by hatred, ill will ,prejudice.
c. This was made the subject of indirect contempt
proceedings, for which Belen found Baculi guilty.
d. Belens findings (that Baculi was guilty of indirect
contempt) was considered by Baculi as immoral,
unlawful, unjust, unconstitutional, etc., and is the
principal cause of action in one of the cases at bar
(this involves several cases against Belen). Baculis
comments on Belens findings was later the subject
of DIRECT contempt proceedings, because Baculis
language was, for Belen, in violation of the decency
and propriety of the judicial system.
e. In other words, nagaaway sila. Eventually, Belens 2
contempt decisions were issued a writ of execution
and warrant of arrest, which Baculi countered with a
complaint against Belen, alleging that Belen was
unjust, oppressive, etc.
f. In sum: Baculi argues that Belen was unjust and that
he was not afforded due process in the contempt
proceedings. Belen, on the other hand, argues that
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 34 of 53

the contempt proceedings were only because of the

contemptuous language which Baculi used. Belen
also argues that an admin case cannot be used to
reverse his decisions as a judge.
g. In the meantime, there was another case with
another prosecutor (Atty. Comilang) who had the
same issues as Baculi. In Comilangs case, Comilang
set a preliminary investigation without informing
Belen, and Belen issued a Show Cause Order as to
why he, Comilang, should not be held in contempt.
h. In both Comilang and Baculis case, they both
responded with reiterative comments and motions to
postpone cancel hearings (this will later be important
in showing that due process was afforded Baculi and
1. WON Belen acted beyond his authority in conducting the
contempt proceedings against Baculi and Comilang? No.
2. WON Belens conduct was justified? Yes.
1. Preliminarily, please note that the cases against Belen were
investigated by the OCA which found that a judges
decisions cannot be reversed via an admin proceeding.
Nevertheless, OCA found Belen liable for having
incorporated the indirect contempt proceeding with the
main case when the the contempt case should have
proceeded separately.
2. SC however found that while OCA was correct in saying that
admin cases cannot substitute for the lost judicial remedies
when Belen issued decisions adverse to Baculi and
Comilang. Rule 71 of the ROC lays down the remedies from
a judgment in direct and indirect ontempt proceedings. Sec.
2. Remedy therefrom.The person adjudged in direct
contempt by any court may not appeal therefrom, but may
avail himself of the remedies of certiorari or prohibition. The
execution of the judgment shall be suspended pending
resolution of such petition, provided such person files a
bond fixed by the court which rendered the judgment and
conditioned that he will abide by and perform the judgment
should the petition be decided against him.

3. In indirect contempt proceedings, the Rules states: Sec. 11.

Review of judgment or final order; bond for stay.The
judgment or final order of a court in a case of indirect
contempt may be appealed to the proper court as in
criminal cases. But execution of the judgment or final order
shall not be suspended until a bond is filed by the person
adjudged in contempt, in an amount fixed by the court from
which the appeal is taken, conditioned that if the appeal be
decided against him he will abide by and perform the
judgment or final order.
4. Belen was correct in saying that the judgments have
become final and executory.
5. Baculi also failed to prove bad faith on the part of Belen.
They have not presented any credible evidence to support
the allegations against Belen.
6. Baculia and Comilang should have adduced the
necessary evidence to prove bad faith. (IMPORTANT)
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the
following presumptions stand: (1) that official duty
has been regularly performed and (2) that a judge
was acting in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction.
7. A judge cannot be held administratively liable for every
wrong decision . all that is expected is that he follow the
rules to ensure a fair hearing. Not every error is ignorance of
the law. In the case at bar, Belen followed the proper
procedure in citing complaintant in contempt of court.
8. Under the ROC, indirect contempt proceedings may be filed
either (a) motu proprios by the court or (b) by a verified
petition. The judge followed the rules in filing a contempt
proceedings motu proprio.
9. Baculi and Comilang were afforded the opportunity to
present defense but they failed to do so. Baculi blatantly
refused to answer the charges against him. It cannot be said
that Belen did not afford Baculi the opportunity to be heard.


FACTS: Morris and Socorro Carpo (Carpos) filed a complaint
for QUIETING of TITLE with the Makati RTC against Ayala
Corporation, Ayala Property Ventures Corporation (APVC), and the
Registry of Deeds of Las Pinas, claiming to be owners of a 171,209
square-meter parcel of land. They alleged that Ayala Corp was
claiming to have titles over the property under the Carpos TCT.
Attached to the complaint were photocopies of the TCTs. They filed
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 35 of 53

an amended complaint impleading Ayala Land, Inc (ALI) after

verifying with the Las Pinas RD that the title to the subject property
was registered in the name of ALI and not Ayala Corp.
ALI answered:
1. The areas covered by the TCTs do not overlap the Carpos
2. Dispute pertained to land covered by the Carpos TCT in the
name of Las Pinas Ventures Inc
3. The OCT from which it traces its TCTs was issued in 1950
while that of the Carpos was issued in 1970
4. The Carpos complaint is barred by res judicata by virtue of
Guico v. San Pedro
The Makati RTC ruled the case was an action in rem and
directed the case to be transferred to the Las Pinas RTC. ALI filed a
motion for summary judgment alleging there was no genuine issue
as to a material fact and the only issue to be resolved was a legal
one which of the two titles should be accorded priority. The RTC
denied the MSJ but the CA overturned the RTC and directed the RTC
to render a summary judgment. The RTC found for the Carpos,
ratiocinating thus:
a. ALIs answer failed to allege the survey plan of the OCT was
approved by the Director of the Bureau of Lands, rendering
such OCT of dubious character;
b. The date of the survey of the OCT from which ALI derives its
title was done on a later date (July 28, 1930), as compared
to the Carpos which was surveyed January 4-6, 1927
The CA reversed the RTC and ruled for ALI.
ISSUE(S): Whether or not the CA erred in reversing the RTCs
summary judgment NO, because (a) the OCT issued in favor of
respondents enjoys the presumption of regularity, which they failed
to overcome; and (b) petitioners were guilty of laches.
Preliminary Discussion
a. The RTC cancelled 799,262 square meters worth of property
in favour of the Carpos, who were claiming only 171,309
square meters
b. The sole issue is a legal one: Whose title is superior and
must be upheld
c. Petitioners were barred from litigating by reason of res
judicata in Realty Sales Enterprise Inc v IAC
Whether or not the petitioners successfully overcame
the presumption of regularity by which ALIs title was
issued NO

1. There was no admission in ALIs answer or amended answer

that the OCT from which it derives its title was issued
without a survey plan that was duly approved by the
Director of the Bureau of Lands
2. RTC merely concluded ALIs mother title was without a
survey plan because of the notation indicating SWO in the
technical description of said title
3. Though a survey plan is one of the requirements for the
issuance of decrees of registration, it can be assumed that
said requirement was complied with by ALIs predecessor-ininterest upon the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official functions by public officers. The court
upon which the law has conferred jurisdiction is deemed to
have exercised all necessary powers to exercise jurisdiction
and to have exercised it effectively.
a. Once a decree of registration is made under the
Torrens system and time has passed to render the
title perfect, it cannot later on be questioned
4. Rule 131, Section 3 provides that:
Section 3. Disputable presumptions. The following presumptio
uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and overcome by other
(m) That official duty has been regularly performed;
(n) That a court, or judge acting as such, whether in the Philippin
in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction;
(o) That all the matters within an issue raised in a case were laid
passed upon by it; and in like manner that all matters within an i
submitted for arbitration were laid before the arbitrators and pas
Further, in Herce v. Municipality of Cabuyao, citing
Tichangco v. Enriquez (as to the presumption of regularity
enjoyed by Torrens titles): To overturn this legal presumption
carelessly more than 90 years since the termination of
the case will not only endanger judicial stability, but also
violate the underlying principle of the Torrens system.
Indeed, to do so would reduce the vaunted legal
indefeasibility of Torrens titles to meaningless verbiage.
5. ALI need not allege or prove that a duly approved survey
plan accompanied the issuance of its mother title.
Whether or not the petitioners did not have the burden
of proof of showing the irregularity of ALIs title YES,
petitioners had the burden of proof showing the irregularity
of ALIs title.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 36 of 53

that the Managers Checks were encashed using the banks

Section 1. Burden of proof. Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present evidence
funds and then deposited to Gos accounts. These amounts
then used to fund Gos personal checks. The evidence
the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the amount of were
strongly indicates Go converted OCBC funds for his personal
required by law.
use and benefit.
In proving the element of conversion or misappropriation, a
1. With the filing of the complaint, petitioners should have
legal presumption of misappropriation arises when the
already alleged all the bases of their causes of action,
accused fails to deliver the proceeds of the sale or to return
particularly the allegation that ALIs title is null and void and
the items to be sold and fails to give an account of their
that such title should be cancelled
whereabouts. The mere presumption or misappropriation or
2. ALI did not have to allege in its answer that the OCT was
conversion is enough to conclude that a probable cause
accompanied by a survey plan duly approved by the
exists for the indictment.
Director of the Bureau of Lands
3. ALIs title was derived from an earlier OCT and the CA did
Whether or not respondents were guilty of falsification of
not err in applying the maxim Primus tempore, potior jure
commercial document YES, the prosecution also successfully
proved that the elements of falsification of commercial document
were present
TOPICAL (presumption of forgery)
1. Whenever someone has in his possession falsified
documents which he used to his advantage and benefit, the
Del Castillo / August 6, 2014
presumption that he authored it arises.
Digest by Aaron Valdez
2. This is especially true if the use or uttering of the forged
documents was so closely connected in time with the
FACTS: The Monetary Board of the BSP issued a resolution
forgery that the user or possessor may be proven to have
closing the Orient Commercial Banking Corporation and placing it
the capacity of committing the forgery, or to have close
under receivership with the Philippine Deposit Insurance
connection with the forgers, and therefore, had complicity in
Corporation. As statutory receiver, the PDIC took charge of OCBCs
the forgery. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, one
assets and liabilities. It began collecting on OCBCs past due loans
who is found in possession of a forged document and who
receivable by sending demand letters to its borrowers, and among
used or uttered it is presumed to be the forger.
these borrowers are Timmys Inc and Asia Textile Mills, Inc.

The PDIC discovered the loans in Timmys and Asia Textile were
released in managers checks to Zeta International and Philippine
Recyclers, said checks thereafter deposited to the account of
respondent Jose Go. The PDIC filed two counts for estafa against Go
and two others in the Office of the City Prosecutor. The respondents
filed a demurrer to the evidence, which the RTC granted, and which
is now the subject of appeal, after being upheld by the CA.
ISSUE(S): Whether or not the prosecution sufficiently proved
estafa YES, the prosecution successfully proved that the elements
of estafa were present.

GR No. 194846 / 19 Jun 2013 / J. Mendoza
Properties in dispute (parcels of land in Daan Bantayan,

Cebu City) were acquired by Luis and Honorata, who had nine

1. As to the 2nd element of estafa (misappropriation or
conversion of such money or property by the offender, or
denial on his part of such receipt) the evidence establishes
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 37 of 53

Honorata died and Luis married a second time, to Lourdes.

This action was originally filed by Luis, substituted upon his
death by Hospicio, Cleofe, Antonio and Angelica against their
sister Lucila, the second wife Lourdes, their niece Laila and
the latter's husband Ham. The action was for declaration of
nullity of documents with damages.
Petitioners' version
There was a first sale of the properties from Luis to the

following children:

Luis Hospicio, Antonio, Angelica, Cleofe

Defendants/respondents allege that this sale had no

consideration but did not impugn its validity
Laila, the grand-daughter, in conspiracy with her mother
Lucila, obtained a special power of attorney (first SPA), from
Luis who was sick, infirm, blind and of unsound mind
authorizing them to sell and convey the properties already
sold to the other children.
On the strength of another SPA (second SPA), Laila and her
husband, Ham, mortgaged another parcel of land included in
the first sale, in consideration of P150,000 with the
concurrence of Lourdes, the second wife.
Defendants made Luis sign a deed of absolute sale in favor
of Meridian Realty for three parcels of land covered by the first
Luis executed an affidavit revoking the first SPA on 24 Nov
1994, three months after the date of the sale to Meridian on
23 Aug 1994.
There were letters to the Register of Deeds informing them
of the revocation of the SPA. But subsequently, Luis revoked
his affidavit on 12 Dec 1994.
The mortgage was subsequently redeemed and the property
also sold.

Respondents' version
Lucila and Laila
Petitioners were estopped from questioning the second sale

to Meridian because they failed in

Effecting the transfer of title
Annotating their interests on the titles of the
questioned properties
The SPAs were valid as Luis was of sound mind and body

when he made them. Luis together with Lourdes used the

payment from Meridian for his medical expenses.
Meridian, answer with compulsory counterclaim
They did not act with bad faith as the corporation checked

the title with the Register of Deeds and the first sale was not
The first sale had no consideration. Her and Luis' signature

in the first sale was obtained through fraud, deceit and

trickery. They signed the prepared deed out of pity because
they were told that petitioners' needed it for a loan
On the second sale, she never encouraged it, but it was

made by Luis' own volition. She received the payment on

behalf of her husband from Meridian because Luis was already
Ruled in favor of petitioners. Luis was no longer the

owner of the lots when he sold them to Meridian as the first

sale was valid. The buyers/petitioners had already been living
there and were in actual possession.
Actual registration is not necessary to render a contract

valid and effective because where the vendor delivered

possession and no superior rights of third persons intervened,
the efficacy of the deed was not destroyed.
Reversed RTC and ruled in favor of respondents. Ruled

that the first sale was void because they failed to prove that
they tendered consideration (a point later reversed by the
CA relied on testimony of Lourdes that petitioners did not

pay. There was simulation of payment.

Evidence was wanting as to the invalidity of the SPAs, and

the CA found them valid as Luis was of sound mind when he

executed them.

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 38 of 53

The second sale was transacted before the first SPA

(granting authority to sell) was revoked. Thus, it was valid and
Meridian could rely on it in good faith.
Furthermore, the CA said that if it was Luis' intention to
discredit the second sale, he should have revoked the first SPA
as well (granting authority to mortgage) because from this
SPA came the mortgage, subsequent redemption and sale of a
particular lot.

1 W/N the first sale to petitioners was void for lack of
consideration. NO
2 W/N Meridian was a buyer in good faith. NO.
3 W/N the second sale was void. YES (no subject matter)

Instead of investigating the rights and interests of the persons

occupying the said lots, however, it chose to just believe that
Luis still owned them. Meridian failed to exercise the due
diligence required by law of purchasers in acquiring a piece of
land in the possession of person or persons other than the

Thus, Luis would have no right to sell again what he no longer

owned. The second sale is thus void. His remedy would be to
rescind the sale for failure of the buyer to perform part of the
obligation pursuant to Art. 1191.



CA reversed. RTC decision reinstated.

1 The first deed of sale was valid. The following are disputable
presumptions: (Sec. 3 Rule 131)
a Private transactions have been fair and regular
b Ordinary course of business has been followed
c There was sufficient consideration for a contract
The respondents failed to trounce the presumption. Aside
from the bare allegation that there was no consideration, they
failed to supply evidence to back up this claim. The only
evidence (which was relied by the CA heavily) was Lourdes'
testimony, but this is self-serving.

In double sale of immovable property, Art. 1544, the

ownership shall belong to the person acquiring it who in good
faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property.
However, the act of registration must be coupled with good
faith - that is, the registrant must have no knowledge of the
defect or lack of title of his vendor or must not have been
aware. When a piece of land is in the actual possession of
persons other than the seller, the buyer must be wary and
should investigate the rights of those in possession. Without
making such inquiry, one cannot claim that he is a buyer in
good faith.
From the testimony of Sophia Sanchez, VP of Meridian, it is
clear that Meridian, through its agent, knew that the subject
properties were in possession of persons other than the seller.

Cast of Characters:
Siain Enterprises (debtor) engaged in wholesale trading
Yuyek Manufacturing (another company owned by Cua Le Leng)
Cua Le Leng President and Majority Shareholder of both
Wilfredo Lim common law husband of Cua Le Leng

Cupertino Realty Corp (creditor) engaged in real estate business

Wilfredo Lua President

Edwin Catacutan (notary public who notarized the mortgage


(1) Prior to 1995, Siain Enterprises and Cupertino Realty and
their respective Presidents have had transactions with each
other, wherein Cupertino constituted checks, debit memos,
and the pledges of the jewelries, condominium units and
trucks in favor of Siain, Yuyek, Cua Le Leng, and Wilfredo
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 39 of 53

Lim, presumably as some form of assistance or informal

loans. [this fact is relevant to disputable presumptions].
(2) In 1995 Siain and Cupertino executed several agreements
as follows:
a. Promissory Note #1 (April 1995)
i. Cupertino will put in escrow P37M with
Metrobank to pay off Siains obligation with
ii. Loan secured by REM over two parcels of land
with immovable equipment and machinery.
iii. Initially interest free, amended two days later
to include 17% p.a.
iv. Cua Le Leng signed in her capacity as
b. Promissory Note #2 (August 1995)
i. 1 year maturity
ii. Cua Le Leng signed as co-maker | joint and
several liability with Siaian.
iii. Interest of 30% p.a. | 3% p.m. penalty for non
iv. Agreement to execute REM or Chattel
mortgage to secure the loan
v. Cua Le Leng pledged her 80% interest in Siain
as further collateral
vi. First REM was amended to increase the
amount secured by the properties to P197M.
The amended REM was also annotated on the
deeds of the properties mortgaged.
(3) Controversy:
a. Siain claims that it never received the P160M despite
repeated demands
b. Cupertino claims that the P160M loan consists of all
the transactions prior to 1995 when it transferred
checks and other assets to Siain or related entities.
c. Siain made partial payments of P8M on the First
Promissory Note, but then Cupertino refused to
accept the balance of P29M. Siain also claims that
there should be no interest on the First Promissory
d. Instead, Cupertino instituted extrajudicial foreclosure
proceedings over the properties in the REM. Notary
Public Catacutan was commissioned to conduct the
auction sale (this is why he was impleaded).
(4) ACTION: TRO to restrain Catacutan from proceeding with
the public auction.

RTC and CA:

Complaint of Siain dismissed. Ordered to pay P100K actual and
exemplary and P500K atty fees. Siain failed to overcome the
presumption that the REM was executed for consideration of P160M
since their only defense was bare denial and negative evidence of
non-receipt, while Cupertino provided affirmative evidence of the
existence of consideration which were the total amounts it gave to
Siain, affiliated persons, and companies over the years. Lower
courts applied the doctrine of piercing the veil of corporate fiction
to preclude Siain from disavowing the obligation incurred by its

ISSUES before the SC:

(1) Did Siain receive the P160M consideration for the loan +
REM agreement? (YES)
(2) Did the lower courts err in piercing the veil of corporate
fiction? (YES)
SC: Upheld the holding and ratio of the lower courts.

Applicable Rules and Laws

Rule 131.3 (r) and 131.1 (s): Disputable presumptions. The
following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may
be contradicted and overcome by other evidence:
(r) That there was sufficient consideration for a contract;
(s) That a negotiable instrument was given or indorsed for a
sufficient consideration;

Negotiable Instruments Law; Section 24 Presumption of

consideration. Every negotiable instrument is deemed prima facie
to have been issued for a valuable consideration; and every person
whose signature appears thereon to have become a party thereto
for value.

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 40 of 53

RE consideration in the loan + REM agreement

allowed to offer evidence apart from the written agreement.

HOWEVER: despite being given the chance, it failed to offer any
evidence to support its claim.

A disputable presumption that the loan was supported by

consideration arose because:
(1) Such consideration was deemed received because the
agreements contained the statements:
for value
(2) Cupertino was authorized to dispose of the properties in a
public auction in the event of default of payment.
(3) Chain of documents continuously affirmed the nature of
their agreement: 1st PN Amended 1st PN REM 2nd PN
Amended REM.
Bare faced denial of Siain without supporting evidence cannot
overcome this disputable presumption.
(1) Siain manifested that it would provide rebuttal evidence but
never did so.
(2) Such failure to provide rebuttal evidence is an implied
admission of Cupertinos evidence that consideration was
(3) Even evidence exists, it is presumed to be willingly
suppressed and thus adverse.
(4) Presentation by Siain of Cash Journal Receipt Book for the
year 1995 does not help its cause because the transactions
happened prior to 1995. It was also prepared solely at the
behest Siain and is therefore self-serving and tainted with
lack of credibility.
Burden of Proof: Since Siain brought the action, it has the burden
of proof to establish that it did not receive any of the proceeds. It
did not do so with respect to the P160M. They even tried to
establish a pattern of violations by claiming that they never
received the P37M of the 1st PN. SC said this is idiotic because the
P37M was placed in escrow with Metrobank to pay off the DBP loan
so there would never actually be a transfer to Siain.

Re Piercing the Veil of Corporate Fiction

GR: Corporation deemed separate legal entity.
EX: Legal entity is used to defeat public convenience, justify
wrong, protect fraud, or defend crime.

(1) Recipients of the proceeds were Siain and Yuyek (both
companies owned and run by Cua Leleng), Cua Leleng
herself, and her common law husband Alberto Lim.
(2) These entities are related because:
a. Siain and Yuyek have [a] common set of
[incorporators], stockholders and board of directors;
b. They have the same internal bookkeeper and
accountant in the person of Rosemarie Ragodon;
c. They have the same office address at 306 Jose Rizal
St., Mandaluyong City;
d. They have the same majority stockholder and
president in the person of Cua Le Leng; and
e. Relation to Siain Transport, Cua Le Leng had the
unlimited authority by and on herself, without
authority from the Board of Directors, to use the
funds of Siain Trucking to pay the obligation incurred
by the [petitioner] corporation.
f. As common law husband, it appears that Alberto Lim
received the checks and debit memos on behalf of
his wife or her alter ego corporations.
(3) The same principle applies to respondent CUPERTINO and its
President who are also mere alter egos of each other. So
any amounts issued by the President were on behalf of the
corporation and vice versa.

Side Issue: Siain also argued that parol evidence rule is not
applicable to the Amended Real Estate Mortgage (most likely
because it was partially executed already) such that it should be


Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 41 of 53

Cast of Characters: Duarte (vendee) | Duran (vendor) | Dy

(common friend)

(1) Feb 14, 2002. Duran offered to sell a laptop computer to
Duarte through Dy for the amount of P15,000.
(2) Duran left the laptop with Duarte for a trial period of 2 days
while the latter was deciding whether or not she would but
(3) 2 days later she allegedly agreed to buy it on installments.
a. Duarte paid Duran P5,000 down payment
b. Promised to pay P3,000 on Feb 18, 2002, and the
balance of P7,000 to be paid on March 15, 2002.
(4) Feb 18, 2002 Duarte paid Dy the P3,000 installment and
Dy signed the handwritten receipt as proof of payment.
(5) Dy returned on March 15, 2002 but Duarte ONLY paid P2,000
claiming that the laptop was worth P10,000
(6) Duran thru counsel sent a demand letter for the balance
(7) Duarte CLAIMS
a. That she did not issue the handwritten receipt for
b. That she did not receive a demand letter
c. That there was NO contract of sale since it was
really a LOAN to Dy in the amount of P8000
(P5000 + P3000) with the laptop as collateral
coupled with an option to buy. However, since
Duarte refused to buy the laptop, the loan is now due
and demandable.
(8) ACTION: Collection of Sum of Money. Duran v. Duarte.
MTC: In favor of Duran. Gave credence to testimonies of Duran
and Dy that there was a contract of sale. Actual damages P7K, Atty
Fees P5K, Expesnes P3K.

CA: Reversed RTC. Duarte failed to overturn the presumption that

the demand letter dated July 29, 2002 sent by respondents counsel
by registered mail was received by her. Neither was she able to
deny under oath the genuineness and due execution of the receipt
dated February 18, 2002.

Substantive: (1) WON there was contract of sale (Yes) (2) WON
entitled to attorneys fees and litigation expenses. (Yes) |
Procedural: WON petition for review filed on time (Yes)

Duarte Argues
(1) No Contract of Sale
a. Duran failed to present a WRITTEN CONTRACT
b. Under the Statute of Frauds, to be enforceable must
be in writing
73038_2011.html - fnt43
(2) Receipt was not an actionable document, thus no need to
deny under oath its genuineness and due execution.
(3) Denial of receipt of demand letter shifts burden of proof to
Duarte to prove that she received it.
(4) Atty Fees and Expenses were excessive since they comprise
70% of the principal amount claimed by Duran.
(5) Petition for Review with the CA on June 1, 2004 was beyond
the reglementary period. Copy of the RTC Decision on March
25, 2004, filed an MR April 12, 2004 since April 9 and 10
were holidays and April 11, 2004 was a Sunday, and
received a copy of the RTC Order denying his MR on May 27,
2004. Thus, he only had one day left from May 27, 2004
within which to file a Petition for Review with the CA.
Duran Argues

RTC: Reversed MTC. Ruled for Duarte. Handwritten receipt was

forged. It shows no proof of conformity or acknowledgment on the
part of the defendant that indeed she agreed on the stipulations.
Thus, it cannot be given any credence and ultimately, did not bind
her. Duarte: Return Laptop. Duran: Return money.

(1) Receipt dated February 18, 2002 is an actionable document,

and thus, petitioners failure to deny under oath its
genuineness and due execution constitutes an admission

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 42 of 53

(2) Denial of the receipt of the demand letter dated July 29,
2002 cannot overcome the presumption that the said letter
was received in the regular course of mail.
(3) Statute of Frauds does not apply in the instant case.
(4) Award of attorneys fees and litigation expenses are not
excessive and that the factual and legal bases of the award
were stated in the body of MTCC Decision.
(5) Fresh Period Rule gives him additional 15 days from receipt
of RTC order.
SC: Upheld CA decision in favor of Duran.

RE contract of sale
(1) Elements: A contract of sale is perfected the moment the
parties agree upon the object of the sale, the price, and the
terms of payment, regardless of form.
(2) Statute of Frauds does not apply in the present case the
contract of sale had been partially executed and possession
already transferred to Duarte and the partial payments
made by her.
(3) Preponderance of evidence that there was an oral
contract of sale,
a. Durans own affidavit,
b. Affidavit of his witness Dy
c. Receipt dated February 18, 2002
d. Demand letter dated July 29, 2002.
(4) No other evidence submitted by Duarte except for bare
(5) Alleged loan was a mere afterthought since it appears that
from the time she allegedly decided not to buy the laptop up
to the time the instant case was filed against her, she did
not exert any effort to recover from respondent the payment
of the alleged loan.
RE receipt
(1) NOT an actionable document
(2) However, it corroborates the testimonies of Duran and his
witness Dy that there was an oral contract of sale between
the parties.

(1) Denial of receipt did not overturn the presumption of

regularity that the letter was delivered and received by the
addressee in the regular course of the mail
a. Duran was able to present the postmasters
certification stating that the letter was indeed sent
to the address of petitioner.
b. Bare denial of receipt of a mail cannot prevail over
the certification of the postmaster, whose official
duty is to send notices of registered mail.
RE award of atty fees
Proper. Falls under Art 2008 when the defendants act or omission
has compelled the plaintiff to incur expenses to protect his interest.
Reason was set forth in the decision of the MTCC. ALSO: Not
unreasonable amount because a simple collection of P7,000
has dragged on for almost a decade and even had to reach
the SC.

Finally, although not raised as an issue, we find it necessary to

modify the legal interest rate imposed on the principal amount
claimed. Since the claim involves an obligation arising from a
contract of sale and not a loan or forbearance of money, the
interest rate should be six percent (6%) per annum of the amount
claimed from July 29, 2002. The interest rate of twelve percent
(12%) per annum, however, shall apply from the finality of
judgment until the total amount awarded is fully paid.71

RE petition for review timely filed with the CA

Apply Neypes rule. Litigants must be given a fresh period of 15
days within which to appeal, counted from receipt of the order
dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration
under Rules 40, 41, 42, 43 and 45 of the Rules of Court. This ruling,
as we have said in Fil-Estate Properties, Inc. v. Homena-Valencia,
retroactively applies even to cases pending prior to the
promulgation of Neypes on September 14, 2005, there being no
vested rights in the rules of procedure.59

RE demand letter
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 43 of 53

that his first marriage was invalid for he has not heard from
Rubylus for 20 years due to imprisonment for Estafa.

TC: bigamy affirmed. That the absence of his wife for 20 years even
if true did not exculpate him from bigamy.
G.R. No. 165842
November 29, 2005


Eduardo was charged with bigamy for being married to Rubylus and
contracting a second marriage with Tina Gandalera Manuel whom
he met in Dagupan
Tina was then 21 years old, a Computer Secretarial student, while
Eduardo was 39.
Eduardo went to Baguio City her hometown to visit her. Eduardo
proposed marriage on several occasions, assuring her that he was
single. Eduardo even brought his parents to Baguio City to meet
Tinas parents, and was assured by them that their son was still
single. They were happy during the first 3 years, but then in
January 2001, Eduardo left. In August 2001, Tina secured from the
NSO a certificate saying that Eduardo had already been married.
Eduardo meanwhile alleged that Tina was a GRO, that he informed
her of his previous marriage, that she cheated as proof of a love
bite, and that he stated that he was single because he believed

CA: affirmed TC but ruled that there should have been a judicial
declaration of presumptive death.
WON the wife could be presumed dead under Article
390? amended
With the effectivity of the Family Code, the period of seven years
under the first paragraph of Article 390 of the Civil Code was
reduced to four consecutive years. Thus, before the spouse present
may contract a subsequent marriage, he or she must institute
summary proceedings for the declaration of the presumptive death
of the absentee spouse, without prejudice to the effect of the
reappearance of the absentee spouse.
This provision is intended to protect the present spouse from
a criminal prosecution for bigamy under Art. 349 of the
Revised Penal Code because with the judicial declaration
that the missing spouses presumptively dead, the good faith
of the present spouse in contracting a second marriage is
already established
What evidence must be adduced? A decision of a competent
court declaring the presumptive death of his first wife as
required by Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation
to Article 41 of the Family Code

For the accused to be held guilty of bigamy, the prosecution is

burdened to prove the felony:
(a) he/she has been legally married; and
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 44 of 53

(b) he/she contracts a subsequent marriage without the former

marriage having been lawfully dissolved. The felony is
consummated on the celebration of the second marriage or
subsequent marriage.
It is essential in the prosecution for bigamy that the alleged second
marriage, having all the essential requirements, would be valid
were it not for the subsistence of the first marriage.
In the present case, the prosecution proved that the petitioner was
married to Gaa in 1975, and such marriage was not judicially
declared a nullity; hence, the marriage is presumed to subsist. The
prosecution also proved that the petitioner married the private
complainant in 1996, long after the effectivity of the Family Code.
The petitioner is presumed to have acted with malice or evil intent
when he married the private complainant. As a general rule,
mistake of fact or good faith of the accused is a valid defense in a
prosecution for a felony by dolo; such defense negates malice or
criminal intent. However, ignorance of the law is not an excuse
because everyone is presumed to know the law. Ignorantia legis
neminem excusat.
It was the burden of the petitioner to prove his defense that when
he married the private complainant in 1996, he was of the wellgrounded belief that his first wife was already dead, as he had not
heard from her for more than 20 years since 1975. He should have
adduced in evidence a decision of a competent court declaring the
presumptive death of his first wife as required by Article 349 of the
Revised Penal Code, in relation to Article 41 of the Family Code.
Such judicial declaration also constitutes proof that the petitioner
acted in good faith, and would negate criminal intent on his part
when he married the private complainant and, as a consequence,
he could not be held guilty of bigamy in such case. The petitioner,
however, failed to discharge his burden.

G.R. No. 180197

June 23, 2009



Assailed is the August 10, 2007 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. CV No. 81657 which reversed the October 29, 2003
Decision and February 2, 2004 Resolution of the Regional Trial Court
of Quezon City, Branch 89 finding petitioner Francisco N. Villanueva
entitled to damages. Also assailed is the October 16, 2007
Resolution2 denying the motion for reconsideration.
Francisco N. Villanueva, then Assistant Manager for Operations of
Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation-Channel 13 (IBC-13) was
dismissed from employment on the ground of loss of confidence for
selling forged certificates of performance. He filed a complaint for
illegal dismissal before the NLRC
Pending the labor case, irregularities in IBC-13 were published in
Manila Times,Phil Star and Manila Bulletin
Virgilio P. Balaguer, then President of IBC-13, was quoted to have
said that he uncovered various anomalies in IBC-13 about an
operations executive selling forged certificates of performance who
was dismissed
In the Manila Times, on July 18, 1992:3
Anomalies at IBC-13 uncovered
INSIDER pilferage, malversation, overpricing and other
irregularities have cost government-owned Intercontinental
Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) 13 more than P108 million in losses
for the period 1986-1989.
Gil P. Balaguer, IBC president, uncovered the anomalies after a long
and painstaking investigation when he took over the company in
The investigation uncovered irregularities ranging from selling
forged certificates of performance (CPs) to non-remittance of sales
collections, illegal and unauthorized airing of movie trailer
advertisements (MTAs), illegal leasing of electricity and machines
to "friendly clients," millions worth of undocumented transactions

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 45 of 53

to movie suppliers, exorbitant fees against in-house productions,

abused overtime charges by certain employees.

exorbitant fees on in-house productions and abused overtime

charges by some employees.

The anomalies did not escape Balaguer when he came to IBC-13

backed by hands-on experience in television management work.

In the Manila Bulletin, on July 19, 1992:5

Sequestered firms losses bared

IBC has had four presidents since 1986 after the EDSA revolution.
Balaguer is the fifth president.
A special investigative committee helped Balaguer uncover the
anomalies in IBC. It led to the dismissal of an operations executive
who sold forged certificates of performance, a former supervisor
who pocketed IBCs sales collections, and station managers who
did not remit payments on radio advertisements.
Other anomalies committed against the government station
include the loose issuance of technical facilities orders (TFOs)
which practically leased the networks broadcast facilities to a
"friendly client" for free.
Balaguer, sources said, succeeded in staying as president because
of his technical expertise in media and communications and his
"managerial will" to cleanse the ranks of the firm. (Emphasis
In the Philippine Star, on July 18, 1992:4

He said the irregularities ranged from selling forged certificates of

performance to non-remittance of sales collections, illegal and
unauthorized airing of movie trailer advertisements, illegal leasing
of electricity and machines to "friendly clients," millions worth of
undocumented transactions to movie suppliers, exorbitant fees
against in-house productions, and abused overtime charges by
certain employees.
IBC has had four presidents since 1986, Balaguer being the fifth.
A special probe committee that helped Balaguer said one
dismissed executive sold forged certificates of performance, a
former supervisor pocketed IBC sales collections, and some station
managers did not remit payments on radio advertisements.
Villanueva in a letter wanted Balaguer to confirm or deny whether
he was the one alluded to on the papers. No response was obtained
thus he filed for damages in the RTC claiming that the publication
defamed him falsely and maliciously. The RTC sided withVillanueva,
awarding the damages sought; the CA reversed.

IBC president uncovers anomalies at tv network

The government-owned International Broadcasting Corp.-Channel
13 lost more than P108 million due to insider pilferage,
malversation, overpricing and other irregularities from 1986 to
IBC president Gil P. Balaguer uncovered the anomalies after "a long
and painstaking investigation" when he took over the television
station in 1990.
Balaguer, in a statement, said the irregularities uncovered included
the sale of forged certificates of performance, non-remittance of
sales collections, illegal and unauthorized airing of movie
advertisements, illegal lease of equipment to "friendly" clients,

The labor arbiter then found the dismissal illegal and so did the
NLRC. However the commission found that IBC did it in good faith.
The parties entered into a compromise agreement with IBC
proposing a scheme of paying the monetary claims arising from the
labor case.

Does the failure to respond to a letter containing

statements adverse to him may be used in evidence against

The lack of response to the letter is not an admission by silence in

Sec. 32, Rule 130.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 46 of 53

He does not make the letter evidence by sending it to the party

against whom he wishes to prove the facts and impose a duty to
answer a charge than he can impose a duty to pay by sending
goods. Therefore a failure to answer such adverse assertions in the
absence of further circumstances making an answer requisite or
natural has no effect as an admission.
Moreover, the rule on admission by silence applies to adverse
statements in writing if the party was carrying on a mutual
correspondence with the declarant. However, if there was no such
mutual correspondence, the rule is relaxed. The rule on admission
by silence is relaxed when the statement is not made orally in ones
presence or when one still has to resort to a written reply, or when
there is no mutual correspondence between the parties.
2. Is the admission by a principal admissible against its agent?
Is the admission by a person jointly interested with a party
admissible against the latter? Not in this case.
IBC-13s cross-claim against Balaguer effectively created an
adverse interest between them. Hence, the admission of one
defendant is not admissible against his co-defendant.

Does the failure of an individual to disown the attribution to

him by newspaper publications, as the source of defamatory
newspaper reports, when he is free and very able to do so,
constitute admission that he, indeed, was the source of the
said defamatory news reports?NO

Admissions should be clear and unambiguous which can hardly be

said of Balaguers above testimony. If Balaguer intended to admit
the allegation that he conducted a press conference and caused
the publication of the news articles, he could have done so. Instead,
Balaguer specifically denied these allegations in paragraphs 4 and
5 of his Answer.
As for the publications themselves, newspaper articles purporting
to state what the defendant said are inadmissible against him,
since he cannot be held responsible for the writings of third
persons. While the subject news items indicated that Balaguer was
the source of the columnists, proving that he truly made such

statements is another matter. Petitioner failed to prove that

Balaguer did make such statements.

It is the safest policy to be liberal, not rejecting them on

doubtful or technical grounds, but admitting them unless plainly
irrelevant, immaterial or incompetent, for the reason that their
rejection places them beyond the consideration of the court, if
they are thereafter found relevant or competent; on the other
hand, their admission, if they turn out later to be irrelevant or
incompetent, can easily be remedied by completely discarding
07.htm - _ftn10
Admissibility of evidence refers to the question of WON the
circumstance (or evidence) is to be considered at all. The
probative value of evidence refers to the question of WON it
proves an issue.


The doctors removed fully functional right kidney, instead of the

left non-functioning and non-visualizing kidney.
Sioson offered photocopied X-ray of her kidneys.

Arguments of the Petitioner

Exhibits offer in evidence

o (1) violate the best evidence rule;
o (2) have not been properly identified and authenticated;
o (3) are completely hearsay; and
o (4) are incompetent to prove their purpose.
Petitioner contends that the exhibits are inadmissible evidence.

Issue: WON the photopied Xray offered by Sioson as evidence is

inadmissible. No.

Rules of evidence are not strictly applied in proceedings before

administrative bodies such as the BOM.
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 47 of 53



It is the safest policy to be liberal, not rejecting them on

doubtful or technical grounds, but admitting them unless plainly
irrelevant, immaterial or incompetent, for the reason that their
rejection places them beyond the consideration of the court, if
they are thereafter found relevant or competent; on the other
hand, their admission, if they turn out later to be irrelevant or
incompetent, can easily be remedied by completely discarding
them or ignoring them.




Admissibility of evidence refers to the question of WON the

circumstance (or evidence) is to be considered at all.
The probative value of evidence refers to the question of WON it
proves an issue.


Laws of nature involving the physical sciences, specifically

biology, include the structural make-up and composition of
living things such as human beings. In this case, we may take
judicial notice that Edithas kidneys before, and at the time of,
her operation, as with most human beings, were in their proper
anatomical locations.


The fact sought to be proved thereby, that the two kidneys of

Editha were in their proper anatomical locations at the time she
was operated on, is presumed under Sec 3, Rule 131 of the
Rules of Court:
Sec. 3. Disputable presumptions. The following
presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be
contradicted and overcome by other evidence:
(y) That things have happened according to the ordinary
course of nature and the ordinary habits of life.

The subject of inquiry in this case is whether respondent

doctors before the BOM are liable for gross negligence in
removing the right functioning kidney of Editha instead of the
left non-functioning kidney, not the proper anatomical locations
of Edithas kidneys.

Finally, these exhibits do not constitute hearsay evidence of the

anatomical locations of Edithas kidneys. To further drive home
the point, the anatomical positions, whether left or right, of
Edithas kidneys, and the removal of one or both, may still be
established through a belated ultrasound or x-ray of her
abdominal area.
In fact, the introduction of secondary evidence, such as copies
of the exhibits, is allowed. Witness Dr. Nancy Aquino testified
that the Records Office of RMC no longer had the originals of
the exhibits "because [it] transferred from the previous building,
x x x to the new building." Ultimately, since the originals cannot
be produced, the BOM properly admitted Edithas formal offer of
evidence and, thereafter, the BOM shall determine the
probative value thereof when it decides the case.

G.R. No. 173540

January 22, 2014



Tecla Hoybia Avenido instituted on 11 November 1998, a

Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage against
Peregrina Macua Vda. de Avenido on the ground that she
(Tecla), is the lawful wife of the deceased Eustaquio Avenido.

In her complaint, Tecla alleged that

o marriage - 30 Sep 1942 in Talibon, Bohol (Parish Priest)
o She has a Marriage Certificate recorded with the Office
of the Local Civil Registrar (LCR)
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 48 of 53

However, due to World War II, records were destroyed.

During the existence of Tecla and Eustaquios union,
they begot four (4) children.
o In 1958, Tecla and her children were informed that
Eustaquio was in Davao City living with another woman
by the name of Buenaventura Sayson who later died in
o In 1979, Tecla learned that her husband Eustaquio got
married to another woman (Peregrina).
Peregrina filed her answer to the complaint with counterclaim
o Ako legal wife!
o marriage - 30 March 1979 at St. Jude Parish in Davao
Evidence Presented:

Office of the Municipal Registrar of Talibon, Bohol,

that they cannot furnish as requested a true
transcription from the Register of Birth of Climaco


o 1) Testimonies of Adelina Avenido-Ceno [sister
Eustaqio] , Climaco Avenido and Tecla herself
o 2) Documentary evidence such as the following:

j. Certificate of Baptism of Climaco indicating that he

was born on 30 March 1943 to spouses Eustaquio
and Tecla;
k. Electronic copy of the Marriage Contract between
Eustaquio and Peregrina.


a. Certification of Loss/Destruction of Record of

Marriage from 1900 to 1944 issued by the Office of
the Civil Registrar, Municipality of Talibon, Bohol;
b. Certification of Submission of a copy of Certificate
of Marriage to the Office of the Civil Registrar
General, National Statistics Office (NSO), R.
Magsaysay Blvd., Sta Mesa, Manila;
c. Certification that Civil Registry records of births,
deaths and marriages that were actually filed in the
Office of the Civil Registrar General, NSO Manila,
started only in 1932;

d. Certification that Civil Registry records submitted

to the Office of the Civil Registrar General, NSO, from
1932 to the early part of 1945, were totally
destroyed during the liberation of Manila;
e. Certification of Birth of Apolinario Avenido;
f. Certification of Birth of Eustaquio Avenido, Jr.;
g. Certification of Birth of Editha Avenido;
h. Certification of Marriage between Eustaquio Sr.,
and Tecla issued by the Parish Priest of Talibon, Bohol
on 30 September 1942;
i. Certification that record of birth from 1900 to 1944
were destroyed by Second World War issued by the

o Testified that Tecla was once a common law wife of
o Documentary evidence
1) 1979 Marriage Contract
2) Affidavit of Eustaquio executed on 22 March
1985 declaring himself as single when he
contracted marriage with the petitioner although
he had a common law relation with one Tecla
Hoybia with whom he had 4 children
3) Letter of Atty. Edgardo T. Mata dated 15 April
2002, addressed to the Civil Registrar of the
Municipality of Alegria, Surigao del Norte;
4) Certification dated 25 April 2002 issued by
Colita P. Umipig, in her capacity as the Civil
Registrar of Alegria, Surigao del Norte.
RTC dismissed the case for failure of Tecla to present the
marriage certificate
CA ruled in favor of Tecla. Marriage to Ate P was bigamous.
o RTC erred when it disregarded
(1) the testimonies of
[Adelina], the sister of EUSTAQUIO who
testified that she personally witnessed the
wedding celebration of her older brother
EUSTAQUIO and [Tecla];

(2) the documentary evidence mentioned at the

outset. It should be stressed that the due
execution and the loss of the marriage contract,
both constituting the condition sine qua non, for
the introduction of secondary evidence of its
contents, were shown by the very evidence the
trial court has disregarded.
Peregrina appealed. OSG raises the following legal issues:

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 49 of 53

1. WON the court can validly rely on the "presumption of

marriage" to overturn the validity of a subsequent marriage;
2. WON secondary evidence may be considered and/or
taken cognizance of, without proof of the execution or
existence and the cause of the unavailability of the best
evidence, the original document;
3. WON a Certificate of Marriage issued by the church has a
probative value to prove the existence of a valid marriage
without the priest who issued the same being presented to
the witness stand.
WON the evidence presented during the trial proves the existence
of the marriage of Tecla to Eustaquio.
In Aonuevo v. Intestate Estate of Rodolfo G. Jalandoni, we said,
citing precedents, that:
While a marriage certificate is considered the primary
evidence of a marital union, it is not regarded as the sole
and exclusive evidence of marriage. Jurisprudence teaches that
the fact of marriage may be proven by relevant evidence other
than the marriage certificate. Hence, even a persons birth
certificate may be recognized as competent evidence of the
marriage between his parents.
Vda de Jacob v. CA: Marriage may be prove[n] by other competent
evidence. Truly, the execution of a document may be proven by the
parties themselves, by the swearing officer, by witnesses who saw
and recognized the signatures of the parties; or even by those to
whom the parties have previously narrated the execution thereof.

The starting point then, is the presumption of marriage.

Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee: rationale behind the presumption:
The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is
that of marriage.1wphi1 Marriage in this jurisdiction is not
only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution
in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested.
Consequently, every intendment of the law leans toward
legalizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together in
apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any
counter-presumption or evidence special to the case, to be
in fact married. The reason is that such is the common
order of society, and if the parties were not what they thus
hold themselves out as being, they would be living in the
constant violation of decency and of law. A presumption
established by our Code of Civil Procedure is that a man
and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife
have entered into a lawful contract of marriage. (Sec. 334,
No. 28) Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio Always
presume marriage.
The establishment of the fact of marriage was completed by the
testimonies of Adelina, Climaco and Tecla; the unrebutted the
certifications of marriage issued by the parish priest of the Most
Holy Trinity Cathedral of Talibon, Bohol.
The marriage between petitioner Peregrina Macua Avenido and the
deceased Eustaquio Avenido is hereby declared NULL and VOID.

G.R. No. 176492, October 20, 2014,

Due execution was established by the testimonies of Adela
Pilapil, who was present during the marriage ceremony, and
of petitioner herself as a party to the event. The subsequent
loss was shown by the testimony and the affidavit of the officiating
priest, Monsignor Yllana, as relevant, competent and admissible
evidence. Since the due execution and the loss of the marriage
contract were clearly shown by the evidence presented, secondary
evidencetestimonial and documentarymay be admitted to prove
the fact of marriage.


Leonardo and Marrietas marriage was dissolved by reason of
psychologyical incapacity in 1996, hence Leonardo filed a
complaint for partition over their property consisting of a house and
lot, since according to him, there was no more reason to maintain
their co-ownership. In her defense, Marrieta claimed that the
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 50 of 53

property had been sold to their children Joseph Raymond and

Joseph Leo. She also moved for dismissal of the action for lack of
jurisdiction on the part of the MTCC Bacolod City, the action for
partition being an action incapable of pecuniary estimation. Per
decision of the MTCC, it ruled in favour of Marrietta and adjudicated
the land to her, being the spouse with whom the majority of the
common children choose to remain. It also awarded moral damages
in favour of Marrieta.
Leonardo appealed the ruling to the RTC, which reversed the MTCC
ruling and ordered the partition of the property, hence Marrieta
appealed the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals by petition for
review. The appellate court denied Mariettas appeal, ruling that
since the assessed value of the property is only P8,080.00, it clearly
fell within the MTCC jurisdiction. Though the RTC applied Art. 129
instead of Art. 147 thereof, it still correctly ordered the partition of
the property.
Marrieta elevated her case to the Supreme Court.
On topical issue:
The records reveal that Nonatoand Barridos marriage had been
declared void for psychological incapacity under Article 36 10 of the
Family Code. During their marriage, however, the conjugal
partnership regime governed their property relations. Although
Article 12911 provides for the procedure in case of dissolution of the
conjugal partnership regime, Article 147 specifically covers the
effects of void marriages on the spouses property relations. Article
147 reads:
Art. 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry
each other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife
without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their
wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the
property acquired by both of them through their work or industry
shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.

In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while

they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by
their joint efforts, work or industry, and shall beowned by them in
equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not
participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property
shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition
thereof if the former's efforts consisted in the care and
maintenance of the family and of the household.


GR No. 171713, December 17, 2007
Chico-Nazario, J.
Petition for Review on Certiorari
Minor Joanne Diaz, represented by her mother Jinky Diaz
filed a complaint for compulsory recognition with prayer for
support against Rogelio Ong before RTC
o February 1993: Jinky married Japanese Hasegawa
o November 1993: Jinky and Rogelio got acquainted
and fell in love
o January 1994-September 1998: Jinky and Rogelio
o February 1998: Joanne was born, Rogelio paid all
expenses, recognized child as his
o September 1998: Rogelio abandoned them and
stopped giving support, alleging that he is not the
father of the child
RTC ordered defendant to recognize plaintiff as natural child
and provide monthly support
RTC granted Rogelios Motion for New Trial (because he was
declared in default before)
RTC declared Joanne to be the illegitimate child of Rogelio
Ong with Jinky Diaz. Support to continue until she reaches
majority age.
Rogelio appealed to CA but he died in February 2005 during
its pendency
December 2000: CA granted appeal and remanded case to
RTC for the issuance of an order directing the parties to
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 51 of 53

make arrangements for DNA analysis for the purpose of

determining the paternity of Joanne
Issue: WoN CA erred in remanding the case for DNA analysis
despite the fact that it is no longer feasible due to Rogelios death
Held: No, the death of the petitioner does not ipso facto
negate the application of DNA testing for as long as there
exist appropriate biological samples of his DNA
Even if Rogelio already died, any of his biological samples
may be used for DNA testing
Biological sample means any organic material originating
from a persons body, even if found in inanimate objects,
that is susceptible to DNA testing. This includes blood,
saliva, and other body fluids, tissues, hairs, and bones.
Death of Rogelio cannot bar the conduct of DNA testing.
According to jurisprudence, DNA testing, which examines
genetic codes obtained from body cells of the illegitimate
child and any physical residue of the long dead parent could
be resorted to. (People v. Umanito, citing Tecson v.
Petition denied for lack of merit. CA decision is affirmed.
Topical issue: Disputable presumptions
Filiation proceedings are usually filed not just to adjudicate
paternity but also to secure a legal right associated with paternity,
such as citizenship, support (as in the present case), or inheritance.
The burden of proving paternity is on the person who alleges that
the putative father is the biological father of the child.
There are four significant procedural aspects of a traditional
paternity action which parties have to
1. a prima facie case,
2. affirmative defenses,
3. presumption of legitimacy, and
4. physical resemblance between the putative father
and child.
A child born to a husband and wife during a valid marriage is
presumed legitimate. As a guaranty in favor of the child and to
protect his status of legitimacy, Article 167 of the Family Code

Article 167. The children shall be considered legitimate

although the mother may have declared against its
legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress.
The law requires that every reasonable presumption be made in
favor of legitimacy. We explained the rationale of this rule in the
recent case of Cabatania v. Court of Appeals:
The presumption of legitimacy does not only flow out of a
declaration in the statute but is based on the broad
principles of natural justice and the supposed virtue of the
mother. The presumption is grounded on the policy to
protect the innocent offspring from the odium of illegitimacy.
The presumption of legitimacy of the child, however, is not
conclusive and consequently, may be overthrown by evidence to
the contrary. Hence, Article 255 of the New Civil Code provides:
Article 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days
following the celebration of the marriage, and before three
hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of
the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate.
Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted
other than that of the physical impossibility of the husbands
having access to his wife within the first one hundred and
twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth
of the child.
This physical impossibility may be caused:
1) By the impotence of the husband;
2) By the fact that husband and wife were living separately
in such a way that access was not possible;
3) By the serious illness of the husband.
The relevant provisions of the Family Code provide as follows:
ART. 172. 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; 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, the legitimate
filiation shall be proved by:
Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 52 of 53

(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a

legitimate child; or
(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and
special laws.

of new technology, it can now be determined with reasonable

certainty whether Rogelio is the biological father of the minor,
through DNA testing.

ART. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their

illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same
evidence as legitimate children.
There had been divergent and incongruent statements and
assertions bandied about by the parties to the present petition. But
with the advancement in the field of genetics, and the availability

Evidence Rule 130 sections 25-34 Page 53 of 53