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THE REVISED RULES

EVIDENCE:

ON

Codal Provisions,
Special Laws &
Jurisprudence

Class of 3-C
2003-2004
Atty. Francis Edralin Lim
Ateneo De Manila School of Law

Volume 1

Project Heads
Glenn Q. Albano
Ma. Lourdes O. Dino
Frances Joanne D. Miranda
Ma. Cristina P. Salvatierra
Jose C. Salvosa
Project Members & Contributors
Frank John S. Abdon
Madeleine G. Avanzado
Giovanni Bautista
Jazel Anne G. Calvo
Arnaldo M. Cario
Elon Cris C. Culangen
Oliver S. Faustino
Jose Miguel A. Fernandez
Abigail Joy D. Gamboa
Serene A. Go
Raymond Joseph R. Ibon
Jonas S. Khaw
Katherine L. Larios
Jaydee Justine B. Legaspi
Antonio Paolo S. Lim
Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr.
Ryan D. Mancera

Gary Jay R. Maramag


Marvin V. Masangkay
Clarence Rommel C. Nanquil
Emerson U. Palad
Giancarlo M. Puyo
Rodolfo V. Reyno III
Aaron Roi B. Riturban
Anne Perpetual S. Rivera
Jose Marmoi F. Salonga
Trina B. San Diego
Anna Lyne P. San Juan
Beverly L. Santiago
Jeovert Lesmes S. Solanoy
Christian H. Sorita
Marie Angeli P. Uy
Fides C. Victorio

Evidence Project Volumes


Volume 1:

I. Admissibility of Evidence
II. What Need Not Be Proved
III. Real Demonstrative Evidence
IV. Best Evidence Rule

Volume 2:

V. Parole Evidence Rule


VI. Interpretation of Documents
VII. Qualifications of Witnesses
VIII. Privileged Communications

Volume 3:

IX. Admissions & Confessions


X. Conduct & Character

Volume 4:

XI. Hearsay Rule


XII. Opinion Rule

Volume 5:

XIII. Burden of Proof & Presumptions


XIV. Presentation of Evidence (Part.
A., B. , C. 1. to 7.)

Volume 6:

XIV. Presentation of Evidence (Part C.


8. to 10., D., E.)
XV. Weight & Sufficiency of Evidence

Volume 1: Table of Contents

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I.

Admissibility of Evidence
A. Rule 128, Sections 1-4.
1. Reyes vs. CA
2. People vs. Turco
B. Relevance
1. Rule 128, Sections 3 & 4.
2. Bautista vs. Aperece
3. Lopez vs. Heesen
4. State vs. Ball
C. Competence
1. Rule 128, Section 3.
2. Exclusionary Rules Under 1987 Constitution
(a) Art. III, Sections 2 & 3.
(b) Art. III, Section 12.
(c) Art. III. Section 17.
3. Statutory Rules of Exclusion
(a) Tax Reform Act of 1997, Section 201
(b) RA 1405, Law on Secrecy of Bank Deposits (RA 7653,
135)
(c) RA 4200, Anti-Wiretapping Act
(i)
Ganaan vs. IAC
(ii)
Salcedo-Ortanez vs. CA
(iii) Ramirez vs. CA

II.

What Need Not Be Proved


A. Rule 129, Sections 1-4.
Rule 10, Section 8.
B. Cases
1. Judicial Notice
(a) City of Manila vs. Garcia
(b) Baguio vs. Vda. De Jalagat
(c) Prieto vs. Arroyo
(d) Yao-Kee vs. Sy-Gonzales
(e) Tabuena vs. CA
(f) People vs. Godoy
(g) BPI-Savings vs. CTA
2. Judicial Admissions
(a) Lucida vs. Calupitan
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(b) Torres vs. CA


(c) Bitong vs. CA
III.

Real and Demonstrative Evidence


A. Rule 130, Sections 1 & 2.
B. Cases
1.
2.
3.
4.

IV.

People vs. Bardaje


Sison vs. People
Adamczuk vs. Holloway
State vs. Tatum

Best Evidence Rule


A. Rule 130, Sections 2-8
Rule 132, Sections 25 & 27.
Electronic Commerce Act (RA 8792), Sections 5, 6-15.
Rules on Electronic Evidence, Rule 2, Sections 1, 3, 4.
B. Cases
1. Air France vs. Carrascoso
2. Meyers vs. United States
3. People vs. Tan
4. Seiler vs. Lucasfilm
5. People vs. Tandoy
6. US vs. Gregorio
7. Fiscal of Pampanga vs. Reyes
8. Vda. De Corpus vs. Brabangco
9. Compania Maritima vs. Allied Free Workers
10. Villa Rey Transit vs. Ferrer
11. Michael & Co. vs. Enriquez
12. De Vera vs. Aguilar

I.

ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE
A.

RULE 128, SECTION 1-4:


RULE 128
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GENERAL PROVISIONS
SECTION 1. Evidence defined. Evidence is the means, sanctioned
by these rules, of ascertaining in a judicial proceeding the truth
respecting a matter of fact. (1)
SECTION 2. Scope. The rules of evidence shall be the same in all
courts and in all trials and hearings, except as otherwise provided by
law or these rules. (2a)
SECTION 3. Admissibility of evidence. Evidence is admissible when
it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules.
(3a)
SECTION 4. Relevancy; Collateral Matters. Evidence must have
such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or
non-existence. Evidence on collateral matters shall not be allowed,
except when it tends in any reasonable degree to establish the
probability or improbability of the fact in issue.
CASES:
Reyes vs. Court of Appeals
216 SCRA 25 (1993)
Rule 128, Sec. 1-4
FACTS:
Juan Mendoza, the father of defendant Olympio, is the owner of Farm Lots Nos. 46
and 106, devoted to the production of palay. The lots are tenanted and cultivated by Julian de
la Cruz, the husband of plaintiff Eufrocina de la Cruz.
In her complaint, Eufrocina alleged that upon the death of her husband, she succeeded
him as bona fide tenant. However, Olympio in conspiracy with the other defendants
prevented her daughter Violeta and her workers from entering and working on the farm lots.
Defendants likewise refused to vacate and surrender the lots, which prompted Eufrocina to
file a case for the recover of possession and damages with a writ of preliminary mandatory
injunction in the meantime.
The petitioners in this case, the defendants Reyes, Parayao, Aguinaldo and
Mananghaya, are duly elected and appointed barangay officials of the locality, who denied
their interference in the tenancy relationship existing between Olympio and Eufrocina.
Olympio, for his part, raised abandonment, sublease and mortgage of the farm lots without
his consent, and non-payment of rentals as his defenses.
The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the agrarian courts decision with modification,
which ordered the defendants to restore possession of the farm lots to plaintiff Eufrocina.
The CA likewise ruled that the petitioners are solidarily liable to pay to Eufrocina the value
of cavans of palay until they have vacated the area.

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On appeal, the petitioners questioned the favorable consideration given to the


affidavits of Eufrocina and Efren Tecson, since the affiants were not presented and subjected
to cross-examination.
ISSUE(S):
Whether or not the trial court erred when it gave favorable consideration to the
affidavits of plaintiff, even if the affiant was not presented and subjected to crossexamination.
RULING:
The judgment is affirmed. The trial court did not err when it favorable considered the
affidavits of Eufrocina and Efren Tecson although the affiants were not presented and
subjected to cross-examination. Section 16 of P.D. No. 946 provides that the Rules of Court
shall not be applicable in agrarian cases even in a suppletory character. The same provision
states that In the hearing, investigation and determination of any question or controversy,
affidavits and counter-affidavits may be allowed and are admissible in evidence, Moreover,
in agrarian cases, the quantum of evidence required is no more than substantial evidence.
Thus, this case is an application of the rule with regard the scope of the Rules on Evidence
which states that The rules of evidence shall be the same in all courts and in all trials and
hearings except as otherwise provided by law (ex. Section 16 of P.D. No. 946) or these rules.
By: Frances Joanne D. Miranda
People vs. Turco
337 SCRA 714 (2000)
Rule 128, Sec 1-4
FACTS:
Rodegelio Turco, Jr. (a.k.a. Totong) was charged with the crime of rape. The
prosecution alleged that the victim, Escelea Tabada (12 yrs and 6 months old at the time of
the incident) and accused Turco were neighbors. On the night of the incident, upon reaching
her home, Escelea heard a call from outside. She recognized the voice to be Turcos since
they have been neighbors for 4 years and are second cousins. When she opened the door, the
accused with the use of a towel, covered the victims face. Then the accused bid the victim
to walk. When they reached a grassy part, near the pig pen which was about 12 meters away
from the victims house, the accused laid the victim on the grass, went on top of her an took
off her short pants and panty. The victim tried to resist by moving her body but to no avail.
The accused succeeded in pursuing his evil design by forcibly inserting his penis inside the
victims private parts.
Upon reaching home, the victim discovered that her short pants and panty were filled
with blood. For almost ten days, she kept to herself the harrowing experience, until she had
the courage to tell her brother-in-law, who in turn told the victims father about the rape of
his daughter. Thereafter, they did not waste time and immediately asked the victim to see a
doctor for medical examination. After the issuance of the medical certificate, they went to

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the Isabela Municipal Station and filed a compliant against the accused charging him with
rape.
The trial court convicted the accused, stating that the defense of sweetheart theory
was a mere concoction of the accused in order to exculpate him from criminal liability.
Appealing his conviction, the accused-appellant argues that the trial court erred because no
actual proof was presented that the rape of the complainant actually happened considering
that although a medical certificate was presented, the medico-legal officer who prepared the
same was not presented in court to explain the same.
ISSUE(S):
Whether or not the trial court erred in admitting the medical certificate in evidence,
although the medico-legal officer who prepared the same was not presented in court to testify
on it.
RULING:
Conviction affirmed. We place emphasis on the distinction between admissibility of
evidence and the probative value thereof. Evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the
issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules (Section 3, Rule 128) or is competent.
Since admissibility of evidence is determined by its relevance and competence, admissibility
is therefore, an affair of logic and law. On the other hand, the weight to be given to such
evidence, once admitted, depends on judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided in
rule 133 and the jurisprudence laid down by the Court. Thus, while evidence may be
admissible, it may be entitled to little or no weight at all. Conversely, evidence which may
have evidentiary weight may be inadmissible because a special rule forbids its reception.
However, although the medical certificate is an exception to the hearsay rule, hence
admissible as evidence, it has very little probative value due to the absence of the examining
physician. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that the prosecution relied solely on the medical
certificate. In fact, reliance was made on the testimony of the victim herself, which standing
alone even without the medical examination, is sufficient evidence. The absence of medical
findings by a medico-legal officer does not disprove the occurrence of rape. It is enough that
the evidence on hand convinces the court that conviction is proper. In the instant case, the
victims testimony alone is credible and sufficient to convict.
By: Frances Joanne D. Miranda
B.

RELEVANCE:
1. SECTIONS 3 AND 4, RULE 128

SECTION 3. Admissibility of evidence. Evidence is admissible when


it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules.
(3a)
SECTION 4. Relevancy; Collateral Matters. Evidence must have
such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or
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nJon-existence. Evidence on collateral matters shall not be allowed,


except when it tends in any reasonable degree to establish the
probability or improbability of the fact in issue.
CASES:
Bautista vs. Aparece
51 O.G. 805 (1995)
Relevance
FACTS:
As owner of the lot subject of the case, Nicolas Anasco sold the same to Valentin
Justiniani. In the same year, Valentin sold this property to Claudio Justiniani, In October 12,
1935, Claudio Justiniani executed a public instrument whereby he sold the same property for
P100 to Apolonio Aparece in whose name it was assessed since 1935. While Aparece was in
possession, Hermogenes Bautista illegally entered a part of the land and took possession
thereof. Thus, Aparece file a complaint with the guerilla forces then operating in the
province of Bohol. When the case was called for hearing, and after inspection was made by a
guerilla officer, Bautista executed a public instrument wherein he promised to return the land
to Aparece in good will, and recognized Apareces lawful ownership over the land. Thus,
possession of the land was restored to Aparece.
However, claiming that the property belongs to him, and alleging that with the aid of
armed men and pretending to be owner, usurped the land, Bautista filed a complaint in the
Court of First Instance (CFI) of Bohol. The CFI rendered judgment declaring Aparece as
owner of the land.
On appeal, Bautista raised as defense the error of the trial court in admitting the
public instrument which he executed as evidence. He argued that the document was executed
under duress, violence, and intimidation, and that the guerilla officer before whom it was
executed, had no jurisdiction over the matter.
ISSUE(S):
Whether or not the trial court erred in admitting as evidence, a public document
executed before an officer who had no jurisdiction over the matter.
RULING:
This argument is beside the point. The test for the admissibility or inadmissibility of
a certain document is whether or not it is relevant, material or competent. The public
document is not only relevant, but is also material and competent to the issue of ownership
between the parties litigants. Relevant evidence is one that has any value in reason as tending
to prove any matter probable in ac action. And evidence is said to be material when it is
directed to prove a fact in issue as determined by the rules of substantive law and pleadings,
while competent evidence is one that s not excluded by law in a particular case.
With these criteria in mind, we hold that the mere fact that the public document was
executed before a guerilla officer does not make the same as irrelevant, immaterial or
incompetent to the main issue raised in the pleadings. The public document, considered
together with the other evidence, documentary and oral, satisfies the Court that the portions
of land in question really belong to defendant Aparece.

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By: Frances Joanne D. Miranda


Lopez vs. Heesen
365 P.2d 448 (1961)
Relevance
FACTS:
Appellee Heesen, an air Force officer, purchased a J.C. Higgins Model 51 30.06 rifle
from the store of appellee Sears. The rifle has a bolt action known as a Mausser type
action with a Class 1 safety mechanism. At the time of the purchase, Heesen was given
an instruction pamphlet which he read, explaining the composition of the rifle and gave
operating instructions, including the method to be pursued to make the gun safe.
Immediately after the purchase, Heesen left for a deer hunting trip in an area known
as Ute Park. He placed a live cartridge in the chamber and placed the gun on safety position.
He traveled a good deal during the hours before the shooting and on one of two occasions, he
discovered the gun off safety position. This occurred when he had come down a long hill
covered with rocks and boulders. Heesen was not aware that the rifle moved from safe to
fire position at least twice before the shooting. Ten minutes before the accident began, he
left the knoll and he was carrying the gun on his shoulder.
He later heard a rustle and saw a deer go between some trees. When he followed the
deer, his left foot went down hard on the ground on one side of a log and his right foot
slipped on the grass. This brought the rifle down and the rifle discharged, the bullet hitting
appellant Lopez, who was nearby.
Lopez brought suit against Heesen for allegedly unlawfully assaulting him, thereby
inflicting dangerous and painful wounds. He also included as party-defendant, the designer,
manufacturer and seller of the rifle, Sears, for allegedly negligently designing and
manufacturing the rifle bought by Heesen.
Defendants presented expert testimony on the general reputation of other firearms
companies who use the same modified leaf safety device as the Higgins Model 51. Lopez
objected to this evidence on the ground that it was wholly immaterial and irrelevant to any
issue in the case. He likewise objected on the introduction of testimony on the poundage
pressure required to move the safety levers from safe to fire position on the ground of
irrelevance and immateriality. Lastly, he objected to the introduction of opinion evidence
regarding the design of the safety mechanism, on the ground that it was a subject which is
within the province of the jury to determine.
ISSUE(S):
(1)
Whether or not expert testimony on the general reputation of other firearms
companies using the same safety device is material and relevant.
(2)
Whether or not testimony on the poundage pressure required is relevant and
material.
(3)
Whether or not the design of the safety mechanism was a proper subject of expert
testimony.
RULING:

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(1)

The expert testimony is admissible. The allegations on the ultimate facts in issue
involve whether the Higgins Model 51 rifle was in a dangerous and defective
condition due to its negligent manufacture, in that the safety mechanism moved
re4adily from safe to fire position. This is an issue, the proper understanding of
which, requires knowledge or experience and cannot be determined independently
merely from deductions made and inferences drawn on the basis of ordinary
knowledge. Moreover, the conduct of others is proper evidence for a jury to consider,
in determining whether the tendency of the thing is dangerous, defective, or the
reverse. Considering these principles, the Court held that the testimony as to the
reputation of other firearms companies using the same safety device is material and
relevant to the issue of whether the safety device on the Higgins Model 51 was unsafe
or safe, and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting this testimony.

(2)

The testimony was introduced under Lopezs contention that the Higgins model was
unsafe and thus, the issue arose as to the poundage pressure required to move the
safety lever from safe to fire. It was then proper for Sears to show the amount of
pressure required to move the safety lever as this was relevant to the issue posed.

(3)

Expert testimony is admissible because the expert testimony was upon the ultimate
issue of whether or not the safety device was dangerous and defective. It was the
proper subject of expert testimony. It does not usurp the functions of the jury as the
latter may still reject these opinions. Said opinion evidence is not binding on the jury.

By: Frances Joanne D. Miranda


State vs Ball
339 S.w2d 783 (1960)
Relevance
FACTS:
Ball appeals from an order of the trial court, convicting him of robbery.
At about 2:30 in the afternoon, two colored men, one of them tall and the other short,
entered the Krekeler Jewelry Store. As the taller man looked at jewelry and made his
purchase, the shorter man looked in the cases and moved about in the store. Later in the
same day, at around 5:30 p.m., as John Krekeler was placing the rings and watches in the safe
preparing for the closing of the store, the two men who had been in the store at 2:30, entered
the store. They were immediately recognized by Krekeler, especially the taller mans
narrow-brimmed tall hat, brown jacket, gray short and particularly a scar on his face.
The shorter man walked behind the counter and as Krekeler tried to intercept him, the
man hit Krekeler on the face using a 0.38 long barreled pistol. With the gun on his back, the
two men directed Krekeler to go to the watch repair department, then to the restroom, where
he was positioned, facing the wall. Thereafter, he could hear jewelry being dumped in a bag,
and the jingle of the car register. After hearing the door slam, Krekeler call the police. He
reported that the two men took $4,455.21 worth of watched and rings, and $140 in cash.

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Three weeks later, Ball was arrested by Officers Powell and Ballard while walking in
the street. Ball shoved Officer Powell over and ran down the avenue. The officers ran after
him and he was only pacified when the Officers fired a bullet which fell in his back. Ball
claims that this evidence of flight was not material or relevant, since it was too remote
from the date of the robbery (3 weeks later), to indicate a consciousness of guilt. Ball
likewise objected to the admissibility of the following articles found in his person during the
arrest on grounds of immateriality and irrelevance: a brown felt hat, a brownish windbreaker
type jacket, trousers, gray shirt and shoes, and $258.02 in currency and two pennies.
ISSUES(S)
(1)
Whether or not the evidence of flight is inadmissible for reason of remoteness to the
time of the commission of the crime.
(2)
Whether or not the articles found in the person of the accused at the time of his arrest
are inadmissible for being irrelevant and immaterial.
RULING:
(1)
Unexplained flight and resisting arrest even thirty days after the supposed
commission of the crime is a relevant circumstance. The remoteness of the flight
goes to the weight of the evidence rather than to its admissibility.
(2)

In identifying Ball, Krekeler was impressed with and remembered the brown
ensemble, particularly the tall brown hat. These items were of course relevant and
admissible in evidence and there is no objection to them.
However, the money is inadmissible. The proof of the money here was
evidently on the theory that Ball did not have or was not likely to have such a sum of
money on his person prior to the commission of the offense. However, Krekeler was
not able to identify the money or any of the items on Balls person as having come
from the jewelry store so that in fact, they were not admissible in evidence. There
was no proof as to the denomination of the money in the cash register, it was simply a
total of $140. Here, nineteen days had elapsed, there was no proof that Ball had
suddenly come into possession of the $258.02 and in all these circumstances the
mere possession of a quantity of money is in itself no indication that the possessor
was the taker of the money charged as taken, because in general all money of the
same denomination and material is alike, and the hypothesis that the money found is
the same as the money taken is too forced and extraordinary to be receivable.

By: Frances Joanne D. Miranda


C.

COMPETENCE:
1.

SECTION 3, RULE 128

SECTION 3. Admissibility of evidence. Evidence is admissible when


it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules.
(3a)
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2.

EXCLUSIONARY RULES UNDER THE 1987 CONSTITUTION


(a) SECTIONS 2 AND 3, ARTICLE III

SEC. 2, Article III


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever
nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant
or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be
determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or
things to be seized.
SEC. 3. Article III
(1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be
inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety
or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section
shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
(b) SECTION 12, ARTICLE III
Section 12, Article III
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense
shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to
have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own
choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be
provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and
in the presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means
which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention
places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are
prohibited.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section
17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of
this section as well as compensation to and rehabilitation of victims of
torture or similar practices, and their families.
(c) SECTION 17, ARTICLE III

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SEC. 17.
No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

3.

STATUTORY RULES OF EXCLUSION


1. SECTION 201, TAX REFORM ACT OF 1997

SEC. 201. Effect of Failure to Stamp Taxable Document. - An


instrument, document or paper which is required by law to be stamped
and which has been signed, issued, accepted or transferred without
being duly stamped, shall not be recorded, nor shall it or any copy
thereof or any record of transfer of the same be admitted or used in
evidence in any court until the requisite stamp or stamps are affixed
thereto and cancelled.
(b)

RA 1405, LAW ON SECRECY OF BANK DEPOSITS


LAW ON SECRECY OF BANK DEPOSITS
Republic Act No.1405, as amended

AN ACT PROHIBITING DISCLOSURE OF OR INQUIRY


INTO, DEPOSITS WITH ANY BANKING INSTITUTION AND
PROVIDING PENALTY THEREFOR
Section 1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Government to give
encouragement to the people to deposit their money in banking institutions and to
discourage private hoarding so that the same may be properly utilized by banks in
authorized loans to assist in the economic development of the country.
Sec 2.1 All deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions
in the Philippines including investments in bonds issued by the Government of the
Philippines, its political subdivisions and its instrumentalities, are hereby
considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined,
inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office, except
when the examination is made in the course of a special or general examination
of a bank and is specifically authorized by the Monetary Board after being
satisfied that there is reasonable ground to believe that a bank fraud or serious
irregularity has been or is being committed and that it is necessary to look into the
deposit to establish such fraud or irregularity, or when the examination is made by
an independent auditor hired by the bank to conduct its regular audit provided that
the examination is for audit purposes only and the results thereof shall be for the
exclusive use of the bank, or upon written permission of the depositor, or in cases
of impeachment, or upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or
dereliction of duty of public officials, or in cases where the money deposited or
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invested is the subject matter of the litigation. (As amended by PD No.1792,


January 16, 1981)
Sec 3. It shall be unlawful for any official or employee of a bank to disclose
to any person other than those mentioned in Section Two hereof, or for an
independent auditor hired by a bank to conduct its regular audit to disclose to any
person other than a bank director, official or employee authorized by the bank, any
information concerning said deposits. (As amended by PD No.1792)
Sec 4. All acts or parts of Acts, Special Charters, Executive Orders, Rules
and Regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby
repealed.
Sec 5. Any violation of this law will subject the offender upon conviction, to
an imprisonment of not more than five years or a fine of not more than twenty
thousand pesos or both, in the discretion of the court.
Sec 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
APPROVED, September 9, 1955.

__________
1

This Section and Section 3 were both amended by Pres. Decree No.1792, issued
January 16, 1981, PD 1792 was expressly repealed by Sec. 135 of Rep. Act No.7653,
approved June 14, 1993. The original Sections 2 and 3 of Rep. Act No.1405 are hereby
reproduced for reference, as follows: "Sec. 2 All deposits of whatever nature with banks or
banking institutions in the Philippines including investments in bonds issued by the
Government of the Philippines, its political subdivisions and its instrumentalities, are
hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined,
inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office, except upon
written per- mission of the depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of a
competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials. or in cases
where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation," "Sec. 3. It
shall be unlawful for any official or employee of a banking institution to disclose to any
person other than those mentioned in Section two hereof any information concerning said
deposits."

(c)

R.A. NO. 4200 WIRETAPPING ACT


REPUBLIC ACT NO. 4200

AN ACT TO PROHIBIT AND PENALIZE WIRE TAPPING AND OTHER


RELATED VIOLATIONS OF THE PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION, AND FOR
OTHER PURPOSES
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SECTION 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all
the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable,
or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or
record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known
as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or
however otherwise described.
It shall also be unlawful for any person, be he a participant or not in the act
or acts penalized in the next preceding sentence, to knowingly possess any tape
record, wire record, disc record, or any other such record, or copies thereof, of
any communication or spoken word secured either before or after the effective
date of this Act in the manner prohibited by this law; or to replay the same for any
other person or persons; or to communicate the contents thereof, either verbally
or in writing, or to furnish transcriptions thereof, whether complete or partial, to
any other person: Provided, That the use of such record or any copies thereof as
evidence in any civil, criminal investigation or trial of offenses mentioned in
Section 3 hereof, shall not be covered by this prohibition.
SECTION 2. Any person who willfully or knowingly does or who shall aid,
permit, or cause to be done any of the acts declared to be unlawful in the
preceding section or who violates the provisions of the following section or of any
order issued thereunder, or aids, permits, or causes such violation shall, upon
conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than six months or
more than six years and with the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute
disqualification from public office if the offender be a public official at the time of
the commission of the offense, and, if the offender is an alien he shall be subject
to deportation proceedings.
SECTION 3. Nothing contained in this Act, however, shall render it
unlawful or punishable for any peace officer, who is authorized by a written order
of the Court, to execute any of the acts declared to be unlawful in the two
preceding sections in cases involving the crimes of treason, espionage, provoking
war and disloyalty in case of war, piracy, mutiny in the high seas, rebellion,
conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to rebellion, sedition,
conspiracy to commit sedition, inciting to sedition, kidnapping as defined by the
Revised Penal Code, and violations of Commonwealth Act No. 616, punishing
espionage and other offenses against national security: Provided, That such
written order shall only be issued or granted upon written application and the
examination under oath or affirmation of the applicant and the witnesses he may
produce and a showing: (1) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that any
of the crimes enumerated hereinabove has been committed or is being committed
or is about to be committed: Provided, however, That in cases involving the
offenses of rebellion, conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to
rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to commit sedition, and inciting to sedition, such
authority shall be granted only upon prior proof that a rebellion or acts of sedition,
as the case may be, have actually been or are being committed; (2) that there are
reasonable grounds to believe that evidence will be obtained essential to the
conviction of any person for, or to the solution of, or to the prevention of, any such
crimes; and (3) that there are no other means readily available for obtaining such

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evidence.
The order granted or issued shall specify: (1) the identity of the person or
persons whose communications, conversations, discussions, or spoken words are
to be overheard, intercepted, or recorded and, in the case of telegraphic or
telephonic communications, the telegraph line or the telephone number involved
and its location; (2) the identity of the peace officer authorized to overhear,
intercept, or record the communications, conversations, discussions, or spoken
words; (3) the offense or offenses committed or sought to be prevented; and (4)
the period of the authorization. The authorization shall be effective for the period
specified in the order which shall not exceed sixty (60) days from the date of
issuance of the order, unless extended or renewed by the court upon being
satisfied that such extension or renewal is in the public interest.
All recordings made under court authorization shall, within forty-eight hours
after the expiration of the period fixed in the order, be deposited with the court in a
sealed envelope or sealed package, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit of
the peace officer granted such authority stating the number of recordings made,
the dates and times covered by each recording, the number of tapes, discs, or
records included in the deposit, and certifying that no duplicates or copies of the
whole or any part thereof have been made, or if made, that all such duplicates or
copies are included in the envelope or package deposited with the court. The
envelope or package so deposited shall not be opened, or the recordings
replayed, or used in evidence, or their contents revealed, except upon order of the
court, which shall not be granted except upon motion, with due notice and
opportunity to be heard to the person or persons whose conversation or
communications have been recorded.
The court referred to in this section shall be understood to mean the Court
of First Instance within whose territorial jurisdiction the acts for which authority is
applied for are to be executed.
SECTION 4. Any communication or spoken word, or the existence,
contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of the same or any part thereof,
or any information therein contained obtained or secured by any person in
violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence
in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation.
SECTION 5. All laws inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby
repealed or accordingly amended.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

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CASES:
Gaanan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court
145 SCRA 112 (1986)
Competence (Anti-Wiretapping Act)
FACTS:
Complainant Atty. Pintor and his client Montebon, were in the living room of
complainants residence, discussing the terms from the withdrawal of the complaint for direct
assault which they filed against Laconico. After they decided on the conditions, Atty. Pintor
made a phone call to Laconico.
That same morning, Laconico telephoned Atty. Gaanan to come to his office and
advise him on the settlement of the direct assault case.
When Atty. Pintor called, Laconico requested Atty. Gaanan to secretly listen to the
telephone conversation through a telephone extension so as to hear personally the proposed
conditions for the settlement.
Twenty minutes later, Atty. Pinto called up again to ask Laconico if he was agreeable
to the conditions. Laconico agreed. An amount of P5,000 as settlement money was agreed
upon. He was instructed to give the money to give the money to Atty. Pintors wife at the
office of the Department of Public Highways. However, Laconico insisted that Atty. Pintor
himself should receive the money. However, when Atty. Pintor received the money, he was
arrested by agents of the Philippine Constabulary.
On the following day, Atty. Gaanan executed an affidavit that he heard complainant
Atty. Pintor demand P8,000 for the withdrawal of the case for direct assault. Laconico
attached the affidavit to the complaint for robbery/extortion which he filed against Atty.
Pintor. Since Atty. Gaanan listened to the telephone conversation without Atty. Pintors
consent, Atty. Pintor charged Atty. Gaanan and Laconico with violation of the AntiWiretapping Act (R.A. No. 4200).
Atty. Gaanan and Laconico were found guilty by the trial court. The decision was
affirmed by the Intermediate Appellate Court (IAC) stating that the extension telephone
which was used to overhear the telephone conversation was covered in the term device as
provided in R.A. No. 4200.
ISSUE(S):
Whether or not an extension telephone is among the prohibited device in Section 1 of the
Anti-Wiretapping Act, such that its use to overhear a private conversation would constitute
unlawful interception of communications between the two parties using a telephone line.
RULING:
The main issue revolves around the meaning of the phrase any other device or
arrangement. The law refers to a tap of a wire or cable or the use of a device or
arrangement for the purpose of secretly overhearing, intercepting, or recording the
communication. There must be either a physical interruption through a wiretap or the
deliberate installation of a device or arrangement in order to overhear, intercept, or record the
spoken words.
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An extension telephone cannot be placed in the same category as a dictaphone,


dictagraph or the other device enumerated un Section 1 of R.A. No. 4200 as the use thereof
cannot be considered as tapping the wire or cable of a telephone line. The telephone
extension in this case was not installed for that purpose. It just happened to be there for
ordinary office use.
The phrase device or arrangement, although not exclusive to that enumerated,
should be construed to comprehend instruments of the same or similar nature, that is,
instruments the use of which would be tantamount to tapping the main line of a telephone. It
refers to instruments whose installation or presence cannot be presumed by the party or
parties being overheard because, by their very nature, they are not of common usage and
their purpose is precisely for tapping, intercepting, or recording a telephone conversation.
An extension telephone is an instrument which is very common especially now when
the extended unit does not have to be connected by wire to the main telephone but can be
moved from place to place within a radius of a kilometer or more.
An extension telephone is not among such device or arrangements covered by Section
1 of R.A No. 4200.
By: Frances Joanne D. Miranda
Salcedo-Ortaez vs. Court of Appeals
235 SCRA 111 (1994)
Competence (Anti-Wiretapping Act)
FACTS:
Rafael Ortaez filed a complaint for annulment of marriage with damages against his
wife Teresita Salcedo-Ortaez, on grounds of lack of marriage license and/or psychological
incapacity of Teresita. Among the exhibits offered by Rafael were three (3) cassette tapes of
alleged telephone conversations between Teresita and unidentified persons. These tape
recordings were made and obtained when Rafael allowed his friends from the military to wire
tap his home telephone.
Teresita objected to Rafaels oral offer of the said tapes. However, the Regional Trail
Court (RTC) of Quezon City admitted the tapes into evidence. Teresita filed a petition for
certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA), but the CA upheld the lower courts order for two
reasons: (1) Tape recordings are not inadmissible per se. hey are admissible depending on
how they are presented and offered and how the trial judge utilizes them and (2) Certiorari is
inappropriate since the order admitting the tape into evidence is interlocutory. The order
should be questioned in the appeal from the judgment on the merits and through the special
civil action of certiorari.
Hence, Teresita filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court (SC).
ISSUE(S):
(1)
Whether or not the recordings of Teresitas phone conversations, made and obtained
through wiretapping are admissible as evidence (not per se inadmissible)

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(2)

Whether or not a petition for certiorari is the appropriate remedy to question an order
admitting the tapes into evidence

RULING:
(1) The tape recordings are inadmissible. Relevant provisions of R.A. 4200
(Anti-Wiretapping Act) provides that:
Section 1: It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all parties to
any private conversation or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any
other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such
communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone,
or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise
described x x x
Section 4. Any communication, or spoken word, or the existence, contents,
substance, purport, or meaning of the same or any part thereof, or any information
therein contained, obtained, or secured by any person in violation of the preceding
section of this Act shall not be admitted in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial,
legislative, or administrative hearing or investigation.
Hence, absent any clear showing that both parties consented to the recording, the
inadmissibility of the tapes is mandatory under R.A. No. 4200
(2)
Certiorari was the appropriate remedy. Generally, the extraordinary writ of certiorari
is not available to challenge interlocutory orders of a trial court. The proper remedy is an
ordinary appeal from an adverse judgment, incorporating in the said appeal the grounds fro
assailing the interlocutory order. However, where the assailed interlocutory order is patently
erroneous and the remedy of appeal would not afford adequate and expeditious relief, the
Court may allow certiorari as a mode of redress.
By: Aaron Roi B. Riturban
Ramirez vs. Court of Appeals
248 SCRA 590 (1995)
Competence (Anti-Wiretapping Act)
FACTS:
Ester Garcia filed a criminal case for violation of R.A. No. 4200 (Anti-Wiretapping
Act) against Socorro Ramirez, for secretly taping their confrontation. Socorro filed a Motion
to Quash the Information, which the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasay granted, agreeing
that the facts charged did not constitute an offense under R.A. No. 4200 since the law refers
to the taping of a communication by a person other than a participant to the communication.
After which, Ester filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals (CA), which reversed
the ruling of the lower court. Hence, Socorro filed this instant petition where she raised three
ISSUES:
(2) That R.A. No. 4200 does not apply to the taping of the conversation by one of
the parties to the conversation. She contends that R.A. 4200 only refers to
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unauthorized taping of a conversation of a person other than those involved in


the conversation.
(3) That the substance or contents of the cnvesation must be alleged in the
information; otherwise, the facts charged will not constitute a violation of
R.A. No. 4200.
(4) That R.A. No. 4200 penalizes the taping of private communication not a
private conversation and that, consequently, her act of secretly taping her
conversation with Ester was not illegal under the said Act.
RULING:
(1)
R.A. No. 4200 applies to recordings by one of the parties to the conversation.
Section 1 of the Act clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any person, not
authorized by all parties to any private communication to secretly record such
communication by means of a tape recorder. The law makes no distinction as to
whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be a party other than or
different from those involved in the private communication. The statutes intent to
penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of
the qualifier any. Consequently, the CA was correct in concluding that even a
person privy to a communication, who records his private conversation with another
without knowledge of the latter, will qualify as a violator under R.A. No. 4200. A
perusal of the Senate Congressional Records, moreover, supports such conclusion.
(2)

The substance of the conversation need not be alleged in the information. The
nature of the communication is immaterial. The mere allegation that an individual
made a secret recording of a private communication by means of a tape recorder would
suffice to constitute an offense under Section 1 of R.A. No. 4200 As the Solicitor
General pointed out, Nowhere (in the said law) is it required that before one can be
regarded as a violator, the nature of the conversation, as well as its communication to a
third person should be professed.

(3)

Private communication includes private conversation. The word


communicate comes from the Latin word communicare, meaning to share or to
impart. In its ordinary signification, communication connotes an act of sharing or
imparting, as in a conversation (process by which meanings or thoughts are shared
between individuals through a common system of symbols). These broad definitions
are likely to include the confrontation between Socorro and Ester. Moreover, any
doubts about the legislative bodys meaning of the phrase private communication are
put to rest by the fact that Senator Taada in his Explanatory Note to the Bill used
communication and conversation interchangeably.

By: Aaron Roi B. Riturban

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II.

WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED


A. RULE 129, SECTIONS 1-4;
RULE 129
WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED
SECTION 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory. A court shall take
judicial notice, without the introduction of evidence, of the existence
and territorial extent of states, their political history, forms of
government and symbols of nationality, the law of nations, the
admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political
constitution and history of the Philippines, the official acts of the
legislative, executive and judicial departments of the Philippines, the
laws of nature, the measure of time, and the geographical divisions.
(1a)
SECTION 2. Judicial notice, when discretionary. A court may take
judicial notice of matters which are of public knowledge, or are capable
of unquestionable demonstration, or ought to be known to judges
because of their judicial functions. (1a)
SECTION 3. Judicial notice, when hearing necessary. During the
trial, the court, on its own initiative, or on the request of a party, may
announce its intention to take judicial notice of any matter and allow
the parties to be heard thereon.
After trial, and before judgment or on appeal, the proper court, on its
own initiative or on request of a party, may take judicial notice of any
matter and allow the parties to be heard thereon if such matter is
decisive of a material issue in the case. (n)
SECTION 4. Judicial Admissions. An admission, verbal or written,
made by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case,
does not require proof. The admission may be contradicted only by
showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such
admission was made. (2a)
RULE 10, SECTION 8
SECTION 8. Effect of amended pleadings. An amended pleading
supersedes the pleading that it amends. However, admissions in
superseded pleadings may be received in evidence against the
pleader; and claims or defenses alleged therein not incorporated in the
amended pleading shall be deemed waived.

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CASES:
1.

JUDICIAL NOTICE
City of Manila vs. Garcia
19 SCRA 413 (1967)
Judicial Notice

FACTS:
Finding that it was necessary to expand the school grounds of Epifanio de los Santos
Elementary School, Manilas City Engineer, pursuant to the Mayors directive, ordered the
illegal occupants/squatters (defendants) to vacate the property contiguous to the school. The
defendants refused to vacate, thus, prompting the City of Manila to file a suit to recover
possession over the land. The Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila favored the plaintiff.
Consequently, the squatters appealed and questioned the lower courts finding that the
city needs the premises for school purposes. The citys evidence on this point was the
certification of the Chairman Committee on Appropriations of the Municipal Board. The
certification recites that the amount of P100,000 had been set aside in Ordinance 4566, the
1962-63 Manila City Budget, for the construction of an additional building of the elementary
school. The said document was originally deemed inadmissible, but was, subsequently,
admitted into evidence by the lower court. Hence, the defendants appealed.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CFI of Manila had properly found that the City of Manila needs
the premises for school purposes (considering that it had a contradictory stance regarding the
admissibility of the evidence of the City on this point).
RULING:
The CFI of Manila properly found that the city needs the premises for school
purposes. It is beyond debate that a court of justice may alter its ruling while the case is
within its power, to make it conformable to law and justice. Such was done here. The
defendants remedy was to bring the attention of the court to its contradictory stance. Not
having done so, the Supreme Court will not reopen the case solely for this purpose.
Anyway, elimination of the certification as evidence would not benefit the
defendants. For in reversing his stand, the trial judge could have well taken because he was
duty bound to take judicial notice of Ordinance 4566. The reason being that the city charter
of Manila requires that all courts sitting therein to take judicial notice of all ordinances
passed by the municipal board of Manila.
By: Aaron Roi B Riturban

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Baguio vs. . Vda de Jalagat


42 SCRA 337 (1971)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
GABRIEL BAGUIO filed for the quieting of title to real property against TEOFILA
JALAGAT and her minor children with the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Misamis
Oriental. The Jalagats filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the present complaint is
barred by a previous judgment rendered by the same court. The previous case involved
practically the same property, the same cause of action, and the same parties, with Melecio
Jalagat (Teofilas deceased husband and predecessor in interest) as the defendant. The
previous case was terminated with the court dismissing Baguios complaint.
Acting on the motion and taking judicial notice of its previous judgment, the lower
court dismissed the present complaint on the ground of res judicata.
Consequently,
Baguio appealed the order of dismissal. He claimed that for the ground of res judicata to
suffice as a basis for dismissal it must be apparent on the face of the complaint.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CFI of Misamis Oriental was correct in finding that there was res
judicata by taking judicial notice of its previous judgment.
RULING:
THE CFI OF MISAMIS ORIENTAL WAS CORRECT IN TAKING JUDICIAL OF ITS
PREVIOUS JUDGMENT. It ought to be clear even to the appellant that under the
circumstances, the lower court certainly could take judicial notice of the finality of judgment
in a case that was previously pending and thereafter decided by it. That was all that was done
by the lower court in decreeing the dismissal. Certainly, such an order is not contrary to law.
The Supreme Court quoted Chief Justice Morgan, who said: Courts have also taken judicial
notice of previous cases to determine whether or not the case pending is a moot one or
whether or not the previous ruling is applicable in the case under consideration.
By: Aaron Roi B Riturban
Prieto vs. Arroyo
14 SCRA 549 (1965)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
ZEFERINO ARROYO and GABRIEL PRIETO were registered owners of adjoining
lots in Camarines Sur. After Zeferino died, his heirs had a new certificate of title registered
in their names. Subsequently, the heirs discovered that the technical description set forth in
their transfer certificate of title and in the original certificate of title did not conform with that
embodied in the decision of the land registration court (which registered the land in
Zeferinos name), and was less in area by 157 square meters. They, therefore, filed a petition

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for the correction of the said description in their titles. Thereafter, the court issued an order
directing the correction of the technical description of the land covered by their title.
Gabriel filed a petition to annul the order granting the correction claiming that the 157
square meters were unduly taken from his lot. However, his petition was dismissed for
failure to prosecute. Thus, Gabriel filed a second petition containing similar allegations. As
expected, the court dismissed his second petition on the ground of res judicata.
Hence, Gabriel appealed to the Supreme Court to question the dismissal of his second
petition. He insisted that there was no res judicata since the dismissal of his first petition
was erroneous. He claimed that the lower court should have not dismissed his first petition
for failure to prosecute because no parole evidence need be taken to support it, the matters
therein alleged being part of the records land registration proceedings, which were well
within the judicial notice and cognizance of the court.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Camarines Sur (in dismissing the
first petition of Gabriel) erred in not taking judicial notice of the parts of the records of the
land registration proceedings that would have supported Gabriels allegations, thus, making
the dismissal for failure to prosecute erroneous.
RULING:
THE CFI OF CAMARINES SUR WAS CORRECT IN NOT TAKING JUDICIAL
NOTICE OF THE RECORDS THE LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS. As a
general rule, courts are not authorized to take judicial notice, in the adjudication of the cases
pending before them, of the contents of other cases, even when such cases have been tried or
are pending in the same court, and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been
tried or actually pending before the same judge. Besides, if Gabriel really wanted the court
to take judicial notice of such records, he should have presented the proper request or
manifestation to that effect. For failing to do so in the appropriate time, the dismissal of the
first petition is now valid and binding on him. Thus, the dismissal on the ground of res
judicata must be sustained.
By: Aaron Roi B Riturban
Yao-Kee vs. Sy-Gonzales
167 SCRA 736 (1988)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
Sy Kiat, a Chinese national, died intestate, leaving real and personal properties in the
Philippines. AIDA SY-GONZALES and the other children of Sy with Asuncion Gillego filed
a petition for the settlement of his estate. YAO KEE filed her opposition to the petition
claiming that she is the legitimate wife of Sy. The probate court sustained the validity of
Yaos marriage to Sy, but the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the lower courts decision and
held that the petitioners and Yaos children were all of illegitimate status. The CA ruled that
the marriage between Yao and Sy was not proven to be valid under the Chinese laws.
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Hence, Yao filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court claiming that the CA
erred in holding that the validity of the foreign marriage between Yao and Sy had not been
proven. To support this contention, Yao claimed that the CA should have taken judicial
notice of the Chinese laws on marriage which show the validity of her marriage to Sy.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA should take judicial notice of foreign laws (i.e. Chinese laws
on marriage), thus, relieving Yao of her duty of proving the validity of her marriage under
Chinese laws.
RULING:
COURTS CANNOT TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF FOREIGN LAWS. Under the
Philippine jurisprudence, to establish a valid foreign marriage two things must be proven: (1)
the existence of the foreign law as a question of fact; and (2) the alleged foreign marriage by
convincing evidence. Though Yao may have established the fact of marriage, she has failed
to prove the Chinese laws on marriage that would show the validity of her marriage to Sy.
Well-established is the rule that Philippine courts cannot take judicial notice of
foreign laws or customs. They must be alleged and proved as any other fact. On this point,
Yao cannot rely on a the case of Sy Joc Lieng v. Sy Quia (16 Phil. 137 (1910)) to prove her
case. The ruling that case did not show that the court took judicial notice of Chinese laws on
marriages. Even assuming for the sake of argument that the court did take judicial notice of
Chinese laws or customs on foreign marriages in that case, Yao still failed to show that the
law assumed to recognized in Sy Joc Lieng case (wherein the marriage was celebrated in
1847) was still applicable during the time of her marriage to Sy, which took place 84 years
later. Hence, the CA was correct in considering that the validity of the marriage between Yao
and Sy has not been established.
By: Aaron Roi B Riturban
Tabuena vs. Court of Appeals
196 SCRA 650 (1991)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
The subject of the dispute is a parcel of residential land of about 440 sq. meters in
Makato, Aklan. In 1973, an action for recovery of ownership was filed by the estate of
Alfredo Tabernilla against Jose Tabuena. After trial, the court ordered Tabuena to return the
property to Tabernilla.
At the trial, it was found that the lot was sold by Juan Peralta, Jr. in 1926 to Tabernilla
while they were in the United States. Upon Tabernillas return to the Philippines in 1934,
Damasa Timtiman, mother of Juan Peralta acting upon Juans instructions conveyed the land
to Tabernilla. Upon her request, she was supposedly allowed by Tabernilla to remain in the
said lot provided she paid the realty taxes on the property which she did do so. She remained
on the lot until her death and, thereafter, the property was taken possession by Tabuena. This
complaint was filed after a demand for Tabuena to vacate was made.
The trial court rejected his defense that the subject of the sale was a different lot and
that he was the absolute owner of the said property by virtue of the inheritance he acquired
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from his deceased parent. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court,
rejecting therein his claim that the trial court erred in taking cognizance of Exhibits A, B,
& C which had been marked but not formally offered in evidence by Tabernilla.
ISSUE(S):
(1) Whether or not it was proper for the CA and trial court properly took cognizance of
the exhibits even if they were not formally offered during trial?
(2) Whether or not the trial court erred in taking judicial notice of Tabuenas testimony in
a case it had previously heard which was closely connected with the case before it?
RULING:
The SC reversed the decision and ruled in favor of Tabuena.
(1) No. The mere fact that a particular document is marked as an exhibit does not
mean it has thereby already been offered as part of the evidence of a party. It is true that
Exhibits A, B, and C were marked at pre-trial but this was only for identifying them
and not for making a formal offer. It is during the trial that the party presenting the marked
evidence decides whether to offer the evidence or not. In case they dont, such documents
cannot be considered evidence, nor can they be given any evidentiary value.
An exception was given in People vs. Napat-a, wherein the court ruled that evidence
even if not offered can be admitted against the adverse party if: first, it has been duly
identified by testimony duly recorded and second, it has itself been incorporated in the
records of the case. In this case, these requirements had not been satisfied. The documents
were indeed testified to but there was no recital of its contents having been read into the
records.
(2) Yes. The Court of Appeals conceded that as a general rule, courts are not
authorized to take judicial notice in the adjudication of cases pending before them of the
contents of the records of other cases, even when such events have been tried or are pending
in the same court, and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been heard or are
actually pending before the same judge. Nevertheless, it applied the exception that in the
absence of objection, with the knowledge of the opposing party, or at the request or with
the consent of the parties, the case is clearly referred to or the original or part of the records
of the case are actually withdrawn from the archives and admitted as part of the record of
the case then pending. These conditions however, were not established in this case. Tabuena
was completely unaware that the court had taken judicial notice of Civil Case no. 1327.
Thus, the said act by the trial court was improper.
By: Frank John Abdon

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People vs. Godoy


250 SCRA 676 (1995)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
This is an automatic review of the decision of the RTC in view of the death sentence
imposed upon Danny Godoy, who was charged in two separate informations with rape and
another for kidnapping with serious illegal detention.
Complainant Mia Taha alleged that Godoy, her Physics Teacher and a married man
raped her first on Jan. 21, 1994 in her cousins boarding house wherein upon entering the
back door, Godoy pointed a knife at her. As Godoy removed her panties and brought out his
penis to rape her, a knife was pointed at her neck. As such, she was not able to resist. The
next day, Godoy came by their house and asked the permission of her parents if she can join
him in soliciting funds, since Mia was a candidate for Ms. Palawan National School (PNS).
Mias parents allowed her to go with Godoy and she was allegedly brought to the Sunset
Garden Motel where she was repeatedly raped again. After three days, they transferred to
Edwards subdivision where she was kept in a lodging house and was again raped.
During this time, a police blotter had already been placed for the missing Mia. She
was later released by Godoy after a certain Naem interceded and only after her parents
agreed to settle the case. It was after Mias return that her parents accompanied her to a
medico-legal which found lacerations in her vagina concluding that she just had sexual
intercourse. She and her mother Helen went to the police and executed sworn statements
stating that the accused Godoy had raped and abducted Mia.
Godoy denied that he raped Mia Taha. He admitted having had sex with her and that
they indeed stayed in Sunset Gardens and in Edwards Subdivision, but it was because they
were lovers and that Mia had consented to their having sex. To support his claim that they
were lovers, he presented two letters supposedly delivered to him in the provincial jail while
he was detained by Mias cousin Lorna. There Mia explained that it was her parents who
forced her to testify against him.
The delivery of the letter was denied by Lorna but the defense presented the
provincial jail guard on duty on the supposed date of the delivery and testified that indeed
Lorna had visited Godoy on said date. Several witnesses were also presented including two
former teachers of Mia who knew the handwriting on the two said letters as belonging to Mia
having been their former student and where thus familiar with her handwriting particularly
those made in her test papers. Other witnesses were presented by the defense attesting that
they saw the two together in a manner that was affectionate and cordial, prior to the said
kidnapping and even during such.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt
of the accused
RULING:
The Supreme Court acquitted Danny Godoy .
Three guiding principles in the appellate review of the evidence of the prosecution for
the crime of rape, namely: a) while rape is a most detestable crime, it must be borne in mind
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that it is an accusation easy to be made, hard to be proved, but harder to be defended by the
party accused, though innocent; b) the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with
extreme caution; and c) that the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own
merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the
defense.
Mia claimed that the appellant always carried a knife but it was never explained how
she was threatened with the same in such a manner that she was allegedly always cowed into
giving in to his innumerable sexual demands. In taking judicial notice, the Supreme Court
said that it is not unaware that in rape cases, the claim of the complainant of having been
threatened appears to be a common testimonial expedient and face-saving subterfuge. But it
had not been duly corroborated by other evidence nor proved that the accused indeed always
carried a knife.
The SC also takes judicial cognizance of the fact that in rural areas (such as in
Palawan) young ladies are strictly required to act with circumspection and prudence. Great
caution is observed so that their reputations shall remain untainted. Any breath of scandal
which brings dishonor to their character humiliates their entire families. It could precisely be
that complainants mother wanted to save face in the community where everybody knows
everybody else, and in an effort to conceal her daughters indiscretion and escape wagging
tongues of their small rural community, she had to weave the scenario of this rape drama.
By: Frank John Abdon
BPI-Savings vs. Court of Tax Appeals
330 SCRA 507 (2000)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
This case involves a claim for tax refund in the amount of P112,491.00 representing
BPIs tax withheld for the year 1989. BPIs 1989 Income Tax Return (ITR) shows that it had
a total refundable amount of P297,492 inclusive of the P112,491.00 being claimed as tax
refund in this present controversy. However, BPI declared in the same 1989 ITR that the said
total refundable amount of P297,492.00 will be applied as tax credit to the succeeding
taxable year.
On October 11, 1990, BPI filed a written claim for refund in the amount of
P112,491.00 with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) alleging that it did not apply
the 1989 refundable amount to its 1990 Annual ITR or other tax liabilities due to the alleged
business losses it incurred for the same year. Without waiting for the CIR to act on the claim
for refund, BPI filed a petition for review with the CTA, seeking the refund of the amount of
P112,491.00.
The CTA dismissed BPIs petition on the ground that petitioner failed to present as
evidence its Corporate Annual ITR for 1990 to establish the fact that BPI had not yet credited
the amount of P297,492.00 to its 1990 income tax liability. BPI filed a Motion for
Reconsideration which was denied by the CTA. The CA affirmed the CTA. Hence, this
Petition.
Before the Supreme Court, the petitioner called the attention of the Court to a
Decision rendered by the Tax Court in CTA Case No. 4897 involving its claim for refund for
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the year 1990 wherein the Tax Court held that petitioner suffered a net loss for the taxable
year 1990. Respondent, however, urges the Supreme Court not to do so.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court may take judicial notice of the Decision by the CTA in
deciding the present case?
RULING:
AS A RULE, "courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the contents of the
records of other cases, even when such cases have been tried or are pending in the same
court, and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been heard or are actually
pending before the same judge." Be that as it may, Section 2, Rule 129 provides that courts
may take judicial notice of matters ought to be known to judges because of their judicial
functions. In this case, the Court notes that a copy of the Decision in CTA Case No. 4897 was
attached to the Petition for Review filed before this Court. Significantly, respondents do not
claim at all that the said Decision was fraudulent or nonexistent. Indeed, they do not even
dispute the contents of the said Decision, claiming merely that the Court cannot take judicial
notice thereof.
This merely showed the weakness of the respondents
case because they did not take steps to prove that BPI did not suffer any loss in 1990.
Respondents opted not to assail the fact appearing therein - that petitioner suffered a net loss
in 1990 the same way that it refused to controvert the same fact established by petitioners
other documentary exhibits. The Decision in CTA Case No. 4897 is not the sole basis of
petitioners case. It is merely one more bit of information showing that the petitioner did not
use its 1989 refund to pay its taxes for 1990.
By: Frank John Abdon
2. JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS
Lucido vs. Calupitan
27 Phil. 48 (1914)
Judicial Admissions
FACTS:
The properties of Leonardo Lucido were sold on auction on Feb. 10, 1903 to Rosales
and Zolaivar. On March 30, 1903, Rosales and Zolaivar with the consent of Lucido, sold the
properties to Calupitan via a public document. On the same day, Calupitan and Lucido
executed a document admitting the sale and that their real agreement was that redemption by
Lucido can only be effected 3 years. from the date of the document. Lucido tendered the
redemption price to Calupitan. For failure of the latter to surrender the properties to Lucido,
this case was instituted.
Calupitan claimed that the sale was not one with a right to redeem. The lower court
decided in favor of Lucido.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Calupitans original answer to the complaint may be used as evidence
against him to prove that a sale with a right to redeem was in fact agreed to by both parties?
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RULING:
Yes, Calupitans original answer to the complaint expressly stated that the transaction
was one of sale with right to repurchase. The Court held that its admission was proper,
especially in view of the fact that it was signed by Calupitan himself, who was acting as his
own attorney.
The Court cited Jones on Evidence (sec. 272, 273) which stated that although
pleadings were originally considered as inadmissible as admissions because it contained only
pleaders matter (fiction stated by counsel and sanctioned by the courts), modern tendency
was to treat pleadings as statements of real issues and herein, admissions of the parties.
By: Frank John Abdon

Torres vs. Court of Appeals


11 SCRA 24 (1984)
Judicial Admissions
FACTS:
This is a Petition for Review, treated as a special civil action praying that the decision
of the CA be set aside.
Lot no. 551 was originally owned by Margarita Torres. Margarita was married to
Claro Santillan and out of this union were begotten Vicente and Antonina. Claro died.
Antonina married and had six children, who, together with Vicente are the private
respondents. After Claros death, Margarita cohabited with Leon Arbole, and out of this,
petitioner Macaria Torres was born.
Lot no. 551, an urban lot, was leased to Margarita, who was the actual occupant of the
lot. A Sale Certificate was issued to Margarita by the Director of Lands. The purchase price
was to be paid in installments. According to testimonial evidence, Leon paid the installments
out of his own earnings. Before his death, Leon sold and transferred all his rights to
portion of the lot in favor of petitioner Macaria. Subsequently, Vicente executed an Affidavit
claiming possession of Lot no. 551 and petitioned the Bureau of Lands for the issuance of
title in his name. A title was then issued in the name of the legal heirs of Margarita (private
respondents).
On June 3, 1954, respondents filed a complaint against petitioner for forcible entry
alleging that petitioner entered a portion of Lot no. 551 without their consent and constructed
a house therein. The case was decided against the petitioner.
On June 8, 1954, petitioner instituted an action for Partition of Lot. N0. 551 alleging
that said lot was conjugal property and the she is the legitimated child of Margarita and Leon.
The ejectment case and the partition case was consolidated.
The trial court ruled that the lot was paraphernal property of Maragarita and
adjudicated 2/3 of the lot to respondents and 1/3 to petitioner Macaria. On Motion for
Reconsideration, the decision was amended with Macaria being entitled to 4/6 of the lot. On
appeal to the CA, the CA changed Macarias share to of the lot and declared that she is not
a legitimated child.

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Petitioner now alleges that although the CA is correct in declaring that she is not a
legitimated child of the spouses, it has overlooked to include in its findings of facts the
admission made by the respondents that she and Vicente and Antonina are brothers and
sisters and they are the legal heirs and nearest of relatives of Maragarita. The admission
adverted to appears in paragraph 3 of respondents original complaint in the Ejectment Case,
which was however subsequently amended.
ISSUE:
Whether or not said statement in the original complaint must be treated as a judicial
admission despite the fact that the same statements no longer appears in the amended
complaint?
RULING:
No, in the Amended Complaint filed by respondents in the same ejectment case, the
supposed admission was deleted and in fact the statement simply read, That plaintiffs are the
legal heirs and nearest of kin of Margarita. By virtue thereof, the amended complaint takes
the place of the original. The latter is regarded as abandoned and ceases to perform any
further function as a pleading. The original complaint no longer forms part of the record.
If petitioner had intended to utilize the original complaint, she should have offered it
in evidence. Having been amended, the original complaint lost its character as a judicial
admission, which would have required no proof, and became merely an extrajudicial
admission of which as evidence, required its formal offer. Contrary to petitioners
submission, therefore, there can be no estoppel by extrajudicial admission in the original
complaint, for the failure to offer it in evidence.
Teehankee, separate opinion:
Such admission did not cease to be a judicial admission simply because respondents
subsequently deleted the same in their amended complaint. The original complaint, although
replaced by an amended complaint, does not cease to be part of the judicial record, not
having been expunged therefrom.
By: Frank John Abdon
Bitong vs. Court of Appeals
292 SCRA 503 (1998)
Judicial Admissions
FACTS:
Petitioner Nora Bitong, claiming to be a former Treasurer and Member of the Board
of Directors of Mr. & Ms. Publishing Co. filed a derivative suit before the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) allegedly for the benefit of private respondent Mr. & Ms.
Publishing Co., Inc. to hold respondent spouses Eugenia Apostol and Jose Apostol liable for
fraud, misrepresentation, disloyalty, evident bad faith, conflict of interest and
mismanagement in directing the affairs of Mr. & Ms to its damage and prejudice and its
stockholders. She further alleged that respondents Apostol, Magsanoc and Nyuda subscribed
to Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) shares of stock; the stock subscriptions were paid for by
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Mr. & Ms. and treated as receivables from officers and employees but no payments were ever
received from respondents. The petition principally sought to enjoin respondent spouses from
further acting a president-director and director, respectively of Mr. & Ms and disbursing any
money or funds except for the payment of salaries and similar expenses in the ordinary
course of business. Private respondents refuted the allegations of petitioner saying that she
was merely a holder-in-trust of JAKA shares and only represented and continue to represent
JAKA in the board. JAKA, owned by spouses Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Cristina Ponce
Enrile, is one of the original stockholders of Mr. & Ms.. The respondents averred that the
real party-in-interest was JAKA and not petitioner. Bitong testified at trial that she became
the registered owner of 997 shares of stock of Mr. & Ms. after she acquired them from JAKA
through a deed of sale.The SEC Hearing Panel dismissed the derivative suit. The SEC En
Banc reversed the decision of the Hearing Panel. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision
of the SEC En Banc and held that from the evidence in record, petitioner was not the owner
of the shares of stock in Mr. & Ms. and therefore not a real party-in-interest to prosecute the
claim. She was merely an agent who cannot file a derivative suit in behalf of her principal.
Before the Supreme Court, petitioner submits that in her Amended Petition in the
SEC, she stated that she was a stockholder and director of Mr. & Ms. and even declared that
she is the registered owner of 1,000 shares of stock of Mr. & Ms. out of the latters 4,088
total outstanding shares, and that she was a member of the Board of Directors and treasurer
of said company. She contends that respondents did not deny the above allegations in their
answer and are therefore conclusively bound by this judicial admission.
ISSUE:
Whether or not there was judicial admission on the part of the respondents that
petitioner is a stockholder of Mr. & Ms.?
RULING:
The answer of private respondents shows that there was no judicial admission that
petitioner was a stockholder of Mr. & Ms. to entitle her to file a derivative suit on behalf of
the corporation. The affirmative defenses of private respondents directly refute the
representation of petitioner that she is a true stockholder of Mr. & Ms, by stating
unequivocally that petitioner is not the true party to the case but JAKA which continues to be
the stockholder of Mr. & Ms. In fact, one of the reliefs prayed for was the dismissal of the
petition on the ground that petitioner did not have the legal interest to initiate and prosecute
the same. When taken in its totality, the Amended Answer to the Amended Petition and even
the Answer to the Amended Petition alone, clearly raises an issue to the legal personality of
the petitioner to file the complaint.
With regard to the contention of the petitioner that respondents admission that she
has 1,000 shares of stocks registered in her name forecloses any question on her status and
right to bring a derivative suit the Court said: Where the statements of the private respondents
were qualified with phrases such as, insofar as they are limited, qualified and/or expanded
by, the truth being as stated in the Affirmative Allegations/Defenses of this Answer they
cannot be considered definite and certain enough to be construed as judicial admissions. A
party whose pleading is admitted as an admission against interest is entitled to overcome by
evidence the apparent inconsistency and it is competent for the party against whom the
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pleading is offered to show that the statements were inadvertently made or made under a
mistake of fact. While an admission is admissible in evidence, its probative value is to be
determined from the whole statement and others intimately related or connected therewith.
Although acts or facts admitted do not require proof and cannot be contradicted, evidence
aliunde can be presented to show that the admission was made through palpable mistake.
The rule is always in favor of the liberality in construction of pleadings so that the real matter
in dispute may be submitted for judgment in the court.
By: Frank John Abdon

III.

REAL AND DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE


A.

RULE 130; SEC. 1; SEC. 2


Rule 130
RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY
B.

OBJECT (REAL) EVIDENCE

SECTION 1. Object as evidence. Objects as evidence are those


addressed to the senses of the court. When an object is relevant to
the fact in issue, it may be exhibited to, examined or viewed by the
court.
C.

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

SECTION 2. Documentary evidence. Documents as evidence


consist of writings or any material containing letters, words, numbers,
figures, symbols or other modes of written expressions offered as proof
of their contents.
Cases:
People vs. Bardaje
99 SCRA 388 (1980)
Real and Demonstrative Evidence
FACTS:
The accused, Adelino Bardaje was convicted of Forcible Abduction with Rape and
sentenced to death. Thus, the case is brought to the SC for automatic review.
The complainant Marcelina Cuizon claimed that she was dragged by the accused
together with five other persons from the house of a certain Fernandez by means of force and
intimidation and at nighttime. Also, she narrated that Bardaje slapped her rendering her
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unconscious and when she regained consciousness in a hut, Bardaje was holding her hands
and removing her panties. Despite her struggle, Bardaje succeeded in having sexual
intercourse with her while his companions kept guard.
When Cuizon underwent physical examination, the doctor found that there were old
healed lacerations which may have been caused by possible sexual intercourse or other
factors, and if it were intercourse, it could have occurred two weeks or one month ago.
During trial, Adelino admitted having had carnal knowledge of the victim but denied
having raped her. He claims that they eloped as previously planned.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the guilt of Bardaje was established beyond reasonable doubt?
RULING: No.
Cuizons charge that she was forcibly abducted and afterwards raped was highly
dubious and inherently improbable. According to the medical findings, no evidence of
external injuries was found around the vulva or any part of the body. Considering that
complainant was allegedly dragged, slapped into unconsciousness, wrestled with and
criminally abused. Physical evidence is of the highest order and speaks more eloquently than
all witness put together.
The medical findings of old healed lacerations in the hymen which according to the
testimony of the examining physician would have occurred two weeks or even one month
before, if said lacerations had been caused by sexual intercourse. This expert opinion
bolsters the defense that Bardaje and Cuizon had previous amorous relations at the same time
that it casts serious doubts on the charge of intercourse by force and intimidation.
It is impossible that complainant could have been raped by the accused inside a small
room occupied by a woman and two children and in a small hut where the owner, his wife
and seven children are all present. It is improbable that she could have been sexually abused
with so many within hearing and seeing distance.
Under the abovementioned circumstances, the Five Others who stood guard outside
while Adelino allegedly took advantage of her. Would have taken turns in abusing her if rape
indeed happen. The fact that they did not do so, implies a special relationship between
Marcelino and Adelino.
This is a case where a young girl could not admit to her parents that she had eloped
and voluntarily submitted to sexual intercourse. She was left with no choice but to charge
Bardaje with rape or incur the ire of her parents and social disrepute from a small
community.
By: Raymond Joseph Ibon
Sison vs. People
250 SCRA 58 (1995)
Real and Demonstrative Evidence
FACTS:

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Several informations were filed in court against eleven persons (Sison et al) identified
as Marcos loyalists charging them with the murder of Stephen Salcedo, a supporter of Cory
Aquino, which happened on the occasion of a rally held by the Marcos loyalists at Luneta.
After being asked to disperse the crowd for not having with them the required permit, the
loyalists started hurling stones toward the police officers at the scene, and directed their ire
against Cory supporters. Salcedo, wearing a yellow shirt was ganged upon by several men,
and he was beaten and mauled. When he tried to get away from his attackers by running
away, the attackers ran after him and when they caught up with him, he was further beaten
until he was knocked unconscious. He was dead upon arriving at the PGH.
All these were witnessed by Renato Banculo, a cigarette vendor. Banculo and
Sumilang (who was also a witness who tried to help Salcedo but to no avail) were principal
witnesses for the prosecution. The incident was also witnessed by photographers, whose
pictures ere published in major newspapers in Metro Manila and were presented as evidence
as to the participation of the accused in the mauling. Several of the accused were
photographed with Salcedo.
Despite their defense of alibis, the trial court convicted several of the accused of
homicide and acquitted the others. Upon appeal to the CA, the charge was qualified to
murder. In the SC, the accused question the admissibility of the photographs taken of the
victims as he was being mauled at the Luneta, for lack of proper identification by the person
or persons who took the same.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the photographs should be admitted as evidence against the accused?
RULING: Yes.
The rule in this jurisdiction is that photographs, when presented in evidence, must be
identified by the photographer as to its production and testified as to the circumstances which
they were produced. The value of this kind of evidence lies in its being a correct
representation or reproduction of the original, and its admissibility is determined by its
accuracy in portraying the scene at the time of the crime.
The photographer, however, is not only the witness who can identify the pictures he
has taken. The correctness of the photograph as a faithful representation of the object
portrayed can be proved prima facie, either by the testimony of the person who made it or by
other competent witnesses, after which the court can admit it subject to impeachment as to its
accuracy. Photographs, therefore, can be identified by the photographer or by any other
competent witness who can testify to its exactness and accuracy.
Even if the person who took the photographs was not presented to identify them, the
use of these photos by some of the accused to show their alleged non-participation in the
crime is an admission of the exactness and accuracy thereof. That the photos are faithful
representations of the mauling incident was affirmed when appellants identified themselves
therein and gave reasons for their presence thereat.
By: Raymond Joseph Ibon
Adamczuk vs. Holloway
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13 A.2d.2 (1940)
Real and Demonstrative Evidence
FACTS:
Jack Adamczuk brought an action in trespass against defendants car owner Morris
Cohon and driven by defendant Elmer Holloway for an incident arising out of the collision
between the cars they were driving. The accident took place at 9:30 p.m. at the junction were
Highway Route 6 meet with Bridgeville Road. Adamczuk was driving southwardly on the
Bridgeville Road and Holloway was driving eastwardly on Route 6.
The jury ruled in favor of Holloway. Adamczuks motion for a new trial was refused
and these appeals followed.
It was found that on trial, Jack Adamczuk was on the stand and he was shown
Exhibit no. 3, a picture and when queried as to what it depicted, he replied, the conditions
represented by that picture truly represents the conditions of the crossing at the time of this
accident except for the fact of daylight or dark. Then the exhibit was offered in evidence.
On cross, it was disclosed that the witness did not know who took the picture or when it was
taken. He could not relate the circumstances at to how the picture was taken. The court then
sustained the objection to the pictures introduction, wherein the court did not admit it.
The none admission of this evidence is the main issue asserted by the plaintiff in this
appeal.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Photograph (Exhibit no. 3) is admissible as evidence even if the
taker is not presented to verify the picture?
RULING:
The court affirmed the decision.
The rule is well settled that a photograph may be put in evidence if relevant to the
issue and if verified. It does not have to be verified by the taker. Its verification depends on
the competency of the verifying witness and as to that the trial judge must in the first instance
decide, subject to reversal for substantial error.
The map or photograph must first, to be admissible, be made a part of some qualified
persons testimony. Some one must stand forth as its testimonial sponsor; in other words, IT
MUST BE VERIFIED. If a witness is familiar with the scene photographed and is
competent to testify that the photograph correctly represents it, it should, if relevant, be
admitted.
There is also a rule giving the trial judge discretion to reject a picture, on the ground
that the evidence is cumulative or that the photograph is unnecessary. This can be done the
court in such situations that there are far better photographs of the place taken than the photo
offered or the jury had personally visited the place photographed. The question of the
sufficiency of the preliminary proofs to identify a photograph and show that it is a fair
representation of the objects which it purports to portray is a question committed to the
discretion of the trial judge.
The court thus finds that the exclusion under the facts of this case amounted to
reversible error because:
a.) the jury had the benefit of other photos of the intersection
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b.) the testimony of Herbert Dillard


c.) Also, it would not support Adamczuks contention that he had his head turned
at a 45 degree angle and, thus, being able to see for 200 feet only. This caused
him not to see the car coming from the west. But Dillards testimony stated
that at the intersection he had an unobstructed view to the west of 793 feet.
By: Raymond Joseph Ibon
State of Washington vs. Tatum
360 P.2d 754 (1961)
Real and Demonstrative Evidence
FACTS:
William Tousin received monthly welfare checks from the state of Washington. In
February of 1960, Tousin did not receive his check which was normally mailed to him. It
was discovered that Tousins check had been taken by Ralph Tatum who subsequently forged
an endorsement on the check to his name and cashed the same at a food store.
A criminal case was subsequently brought against Tatum for first degree forgery.
During the trial, Caroline Pentecost, an employee of the store, testified that, although she
could not recall the specific transaction involving Tatum, the initials appearing on the back of
the check were hers.
She explained that whenever a check was presented to her for payment at the store,
she had been instructed by the manager to initial it and then to insert it into a regiscope
machine. The machine was designed to simultaneously photograph both the check and the
person facing the machine. The Regiscope film of the transaction was then sent to the
Regiscope distributor to be developed. The processed film showed both the check and the
person of Tatum with the food store in the background. The negative and the print were
admitted in evidence and Tatum was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. On
appeal, Tatum questions the films admission into evidence.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Regiscope films were authenticated sufficiently to warrant their
admission into evidence?
RULING: Yes.
The quantum of authentication required by the courts before a photograph may be
admissible in evidence was stated thus: that some witness, not necessarily the photographer,
be able to give some indication as to when, where and under what circumstances the
photograph was taken, and the photograph accurately portray the subject or subjects
illustrated. The photograph need only be sufficiently accurate to be helpful to the court and
the jury.
Witness Pentecost testified that she recognized the background shown in the picture
as that of the food store, and as already mentioned, she testified as to the stores standard
procedure of regiscoping each individual who cashed a check at the store. Also, one Philip
Dale testified at length concerning the Regiscope process. The testimony of these two
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witnesses taken together amounted to a sufficient authentication to warrant admission of the


photograph into evidence.
The authentication supplied by the testimony summarized above, of course, did not
preclude appellant from attempting to prove that the individual portrayed was someone other
than the appellant, that the photograph was inaccurate in or more respects, the appellant was
somewhere else at the moment the photograph was taken, or any other such defense. But
these arguments go to the weight rather than to the admissibility of the exhibits in question.
In our opinion, the Regiscope exhibits, coupled with the other evidence produced by the
state, sufficed to establish a prima facie case of first degree of forgery.
By: Raymond Joseph Ibon
III.
A.

BEST EVIDENCE RULE

RULE 130, SEC. 2-8;

SECTION 2. Documentary Evidence Documents as evidence


consist of writings or any material containing letters, words, numbers,
figures, symbols, or other modes of written expressions offered as
proof of their contents. (n)
1.

Best Evidence Rule

SECTION 3.
Original document must be produced; exceptions.
When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence
shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except in
the following cases:
ii.
When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot
be produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the offeror;
iii.
When the original is in the custody or under the control of
the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce
it after reasonable notice;
iv.
When the original consists of numerous accounts or
other documents which cannot be examined in court without great loss of time
and the fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of
the whole; and
v.
When the original is a public record in the custody of a
public officer or is recorded in a public office. (2a)
SECTION 4. Original of document.
(a)
The original of a document is one the contents of which are
the subject of inquiry.

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(b)
When a document is in two or more copies executed at or
about the same time, with identical contents, all such copies are equally
regarded as originals.
(c)
When an entry is repeated in the regular course of business,
one being copied from another at or near the time of the transaction, all the
entries are likewise equally regarded as originals. (3a)
2.

Secondary Evidence

SECTION 5. When original document is unavailable. When the


original document has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced
in court, the offeror, upon proof of its execution or existence and the
cause of its unavailability without bad faith on his part, may prove its
contents by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authentic
document, or by the testimony of witnesses in the order stated. (4a)
SECTION 6. When original document is in adverse partys custody or
control. If the document is in the custody or under the control of the
adverse party, he must have reasonable notice to produce it. If after
such notice and after satisfactory proof of its existence, he fails to
produce the document, secondary evidence may be presented as in
the case of its loss. (5a)
SECTION 7. Evidence admissible when original document is a public
record. When the original of a document is in the custody of a public
officer or is recorded in a public office, its contents may be proved by a
certified copy issued by the public officer in custody thereof. (2a)
SECTION 8. Party who calls for document not bound to offer it. A
party who calls for the production of a document and inspects the
same is not obliged to offer it as evidence. (6a)
RULE 132, SEC. 25 AND 27;
SECTION 25. What attestation of copy must state. Whenever a copy
of a document or record is attested for the purpose of the evidence, the
attestation must state, in substance, that the copy is a correct copy of
the original, or a specific part thereof, as the case may be. The
attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting officer, if
there be any, or if he be the clerk of court having a seal, under the seal
of such court. (26a)
SECTION 27. Public record of a private document. An authorized
public record of a private document may be proved by the original
record, or by a copy thereof, attested by the legal custodian of the
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record, with an appropriate certificate that such officer has the custody.
(28a)
ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT (R.A. 8792), SEC. 5, 6-15;
SECTION 5. Definition of Terms. - For the purposes of this Act, the following
terms are defined, as follows:
a. Addressee refers to a person who is intended by the originator to receive
the electronic data message or electronic document. The term does not
include a person acting as an intermediary with respect to that electronic data
message or electronic document.
b. Computer refers to any device or apparatus which, by electronic, electromechanical or magnetic impulse, or by other means, is capable of receiving,
recording, transmitting, storing, processing, retrieving, or producing
information, data, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression
according to mathematical and logical rules or of performing any one or more
of those functions.
c. Electronic Data Message refers to information generated, sent, received
or stored by electronic, optical or similar means.
d. Information and Communication System refers to a system intended for
and capable of generating, sending, receiving, storing or otherwise
processing electronic data messages or electronic documents and includes
the computer system or other similar device by or in which data is recorded or
stored and any procedures related to the recording or storage of electronic
data message or electronic document.
e. Electronic Signature refers to any distinctive mark, characteristic and/or
sound in electronic form, representing the identity of a person and attached to
or logically associated with the electronic data message or electronic
document or any methodology or procedures employed or adopted by a
person and executed or adopted by such person with the intention of
authenticating or approving an electronic data message or electronic
document.
f. Electronic Document refers to information or the representation of
information, data, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression,
described or however represented, by which a right is established or an
obligation extinguished, or by which a fact may be proved and affirmed, which
is received, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced
electronically.
g. Electronic Key refers to a secret code which secures and defends
sensitive information that crosses over public channels into a form
decipherable only with a matching electronic key.
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h. Intermediary refers to a person who in behalf of another person and with


respect to a particular electronic document sends, receives and/or stores or
provides other services in respect of that electronic document.
i. Originator refers to a person by whom, or on whose behalf, the electronic
document purports to have been created, generated and/or sent. The term
does not include a person acting as an intermediary with respect to that
electronic document.
j. Service Provider refers to a provider of
(i) On-line services or network access, or the operator of facilities therefore,
including entities offering the transmission, routing, or providing of
connections for online communications, digital or otherwise, between or
among points specified by a user, of electronic documents of the users
choosing; or
(ii) The necessary technical means by which electronic documents of an
originator may be stored and made accessible to a designated or
undesignated third party;
Such service providers shall have no authority to modify or alter the content
of the electronic data message or electronic document received or to make
any entry therein on behalf of the originator, addressee or any third party
unless specifically authorized to do so, and who shall retain the electronic
document in accordance with the specific request or as necessary for the
purpose of performing the services it was engaged to perform.
CHAPTER II
LEGAL RECOGNITION OF ELECTRONIC WRITING
OR DOCUMENT AND DATA MESSAGES
SECTION 6. Legal Recognition of Data Messages. - Information shall not be
denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely on the grounds that it is in
the data message purporting to give rise to such legal effect, or that it is
merely referred to in that electronic data message.
SECTION 7. Legal Recognition of Electronic Documents. Electronic
documents shall have the legal effect, validity or enforceability as any other
document or legal writing, and (a) Where the law requires a document to be in writing, that requirement is
met by an electronic document if the said electronic document maintains its
integrity and reliability and can be authenticated so as to be usable for
subsequent reference, in that (i) The electronic document has remained complete and unaltered, apart from
the addition of any endorsement and any authorized change, or any change
which arises in the normal course of communication, storage and display;
and

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(ii) The electronic document is reliable in the light of the purpose for which it
was generated and in the light of all the relevant circumstances.
(b) Paragraph (a) applies whether the requirement therein is in the form of an
obligation or whether the law simply provides consequences for the
document not being presented or retained in its original form.
(c) Where the law requires that a document be presented or retained in its
original form, that requirement is met by an electronic document if (i) There exists a reliable assurance as to the integrity of the document from
the time when it was first generated in its final form; and
(ii) That document is capable of being displayed to the person to whom it is to
be presented: Provided, That no provision of this Act shall apply to vary any
and all requirements of existing laws on formalities required in the execution
of documents for their validity.
For evidentiary purposes, an electronic document shall be the functional
equivalent of a written document under existing laws.
This Act does not modify any statutory rule relating to the admissibility of
electronic data messages or electronic documents, except the rules relating
to authentication and best evidence.
SECTION 8. Legal Recognition of Electronic Signatures. - An electronic
signature on the electronic document shall be equivalent to the signature of a
person on a written document if that signature is proved by showing that a
prescribed procedure, not alterable by the parties interested in the electronic
document, existed under which (a) A method is used to identify the party sought to be bound and to indicate
said partys access to the electronic document necessary for his consent or
approval through the electronic signature;
(b) Said method is reliable and appropriate for the purpose for which the
electronic document was generated or communicated, in the light of all the
circumstances, including any relevant agreement;
(c) It is necessary for the party sought to be bound, in order to proceed
further with the transaction, to have executed or provided the electronic
signature; and
(d) The other party is authorized and enabled to verify the electronic
signature and to make the decision to proceed with the transaction
authenticated by the same.
SECTION 9. Presumption Relating to Electronic Signatures. - In any
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(a) The electronic signature is the signature of the person to whom it


correlates; and
(b) The electronic signature was affixed by that person with the intention of
signing or approving the electronic document unless the person relying on the
electronically signed electronic document knows or has notice of defects in or
unreliability of the signature or reliance on the electronic signature is not
reasonable under the circumstances.
SECTION 10. Original Documents. - (1) Where the law requires information
to be presented or retained in its original form, that requirement is met by an
electronic data message or electronic document if:
(a) the integrity of the information from the time when it was first generated in
its final form, as an electronic data message or electronic document is shown
by evidence aliunde or otherwise; and
(b) where it is required that information be presented, that the information is
capable of being displayed to the person to whom it is to be presented.
(2) Paragraph (1) applies whether the requirement therein is in the form of an
obligation or whether the law simply provides consequences for the
information not being presented or retained in its original form.
(3) For the purposes of subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1):
(a) the criteria for assessing integrity shall be whether the information has
remained complete and unaltered, apart from the addition of any
endorsement and any change which arises in the normal course of
communication, storage and display; and
(b) the standard of reliability required shall be assessed in the light of the
purpose for which the information was generated and in the light of all
relevant circumstances.
SECTION 11. Authentication of Electronic Data Messages and Electronic
Documents. - Until the Supreme Court by appropriate rules shall have so
provided, electronic documents, electronic data messages and electronic
signatures, shall be authenticated by demonstrating, substantiating and
validating a claimed identity of a user, device, or another entity in an
information or communication system, among other ways, as follows:
(a) The electronic signature shall be authenticated by proof that a letter,
character, number or other symbol in electronic form representing the
persons named in and attached to or logically associated with an electronic
data message, electronic document, or that the appropriate methodology or
security procedures, when applicable, were employed or adopted by a person
and executed or adopted by such person, with the intention of authenticating
or approving an electronic data message or electronic document;

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(b) The electronic data message and electronic document shall be


authenticated by proof that an appropriate security procedure, when
applicable was adopted and employed for the purpose of verifying the
originator of an electronic data message and/or electronic document, or
detecting error or alteration in the communication, content or storage of an
electronic document or electronic data message from a specific point, which,
using algorithm or codes, identifying words or numbers, encryptions, answers
back or acknowledgment procedures, or similar security devices.
The Supreme Court may adopt such other authentication procedures,
including the use of electronic notarization systems as necessary and
advisable, as well as the certificate of authentication on printed or hard copies
of the electronic document or electronic data messages by electronic
notaries, service providers and other duly recognized or appointed
certification authorities.
The person seeking to introduce an electronic data message and electronic
document in any legal proceeding has the burden of proving its authenticity
by evidence capable of supporting a finding that the electronic data message
and electronic document is what the person claims it to be.
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the integrity of the information and
communication system in which an electronic data message or electronic
document is recorded or stored may be established in any legal proceeding (a) By evidence that at all material times the information and communication
system or other similar device was operating in a manner that did not affect
the integrity of the electronic data message and/or electronic document, and
there are no other reasonable grounds to doubt the integrity of the
information and communication system;
(b) By showing that the electronic data message and/or electronic document
was recorded or stored by a party to the proceedings who is adverse in
interest to the party using it; or
(c) By showing that the electronic data message and/or electronic document
was recorded or stored in the usual and ordinary course of business by a
person who is not a party to the proceedings and who did not act under the
control of the party using the record.
SECTION 12. Admissibility and Evidential Weight of Electronic Data
Message and Electronic Documents. - In any legal proceedings, nothing in
the application of the rules on evidence shall deny the admissibility of an
electronic data message or electronic document in evidence a. On the sole ground that it is in electronic form; or
b. On the ground that it is not in the standard written form and electronic data
message or electronic document meeting, and complying with the
requirements under Sections 6 or 7 hereof shall be the best evidence of the
agreement and transaction contained therein.
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In assessing the evidential weight of an electronic data message or electronic


document, the reliability of the manner in which it was generated, stored or
communicated, the reliability of the manner in which its originator was
identified, and other relevant factors shall be given due regard.
SECTION 13. Retention of Electronic Data Message and Electronic
Document. - Notwithstanding any provision of law, rule or regulation to the
contrary (a) The requirement in any provision of law that certain documents be
retained in their original form is satisfied by retaining them in the form of an
electronic data message or electronic document which
i. Remains accessible so as to be usable for subsequent reference;
ii. Is retained in the format in which it was generated, sent or received, or in a
format which can be demonstrated to accurately represent the electronic data
message or electronic document generated, sent or received;
iii. Enables the identification of its originator and addressee, as well as the
determination of the date and the time it was sent or received.
(b) The requirement referred to in paragraph (a) is satisfied by using the
services of a third party, provided that the conditions set forth in
subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of paragraph (a) are met.
SECTION 14. Proof By Affidavit. - The matters referred to in Section 12, on
admissibility and Section 9, on the presumption of integrity, may be presumed
to have been established by an affidavit given to the best of the deponents
knowledge subject to the rights of parties in interest as defined in the
following section.
SECTION 15. Cross-Examination. - (1) A deponent of an affidavit referred to
in Section 14 that has been introduced in evidence may be cross-examined
as of right by a party to the proceedings who is adverse in interest to the
party who has introduced the affidavit or has caused the affidavit to be
introduced.
(2) Any party to the proceedings has the right to cross-examine a person
referred to in Section 11, paragraph 4, sub-paragraph c.

RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE (REE), RULE 2, SEC. 1; RULE 3; RULE 4.


RULE 2
DEFINITION OF TERMS AND CONSTRUCTION
SECTION 1. Definition of Terms. - For purposes of these Rules, the following
terms are defined, as follows:

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(a) Asymmetric or public cryptosystem means a system capable of


generating a secure key pair, consisting of a private key for creating a digital
signature, and a public key for verifying the digital signature.
(b) Business records include records of any business, institution,
association, profession, occupation, and calling of every kind, whether or not
conducted for profit, or for legitimate purposes.
(c) Certificate means an electronic document issued to support a digital
signature which purports to confirm the identity or other significant
characteristics of the person who holds a particular key pair.
(d) Computer refers to any single or interconnected device or apparatus,
which, by electronic, electro-mechanical or magnetic impulse, or by other
means with the same function, can receive, record, transmit, store, process,
correlate, analyze, project, retrieve and/or produce information, data, text,
graphics, figures, voice, video, symbols or other modes of expression or
perform any one or more of these functions.
(e) Digital Signature refers to an electronic signature consisting of a
transformation of an electronic document or an electronic data message
using an asymmetric or public cryptosystem such that a person having the
initial untransformed electronic document and the signers public key can
accurately determine:
(i) whether the transformation was created using the private key that
corresponds to the signers public key; and
(ii) whether the initial electronic document had been altered after the
transformation was made.
(f) Digitally signed refers to an electronic document or electronic data
message bearing a digital signature verified by the public key listed in a
certificate.
(g) Electronic data message refers to information generated, sent, received
or stored by electronic, optical or similar means.
(h) Electronic document refers to information or the representation of
information, data, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression,
described or however represented, by which a right is established or an
obligation extinguished, or by which a fact may be proved and affirmed, which
is received, recorded, transmitted, stored processed, retrieved or produced
electronically. It includes digitally signed documents and any print-out or
output, readable by sight or other means, which accurately reflects the
electronic data message or electronic document. For purposes of these
Rules, the term electronic document may be used interchangeably with
electronic data message.

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(i) Electronic key refers to a secret code which secures and defends
sensitive information that crosses over public channels into a form
decipherable only with a matching electronic key.
(j) Electronic signature" refers to any distinctive mark, characteristics and/or
sound in electronic form. Representing the identity of a person and attached
to or logically associated with the electronic data message or electronic
document or any methodology or procedure employed or adopted by a
person and executed or adopted by such person with the intention of
authenticating, signing or approving an electronic data message or electronic
document. For purposes of these Rules, an electronic signature includes
digital signatures.
(k) Ephemeral electronic communication refers to telephone conversations,
text messages, chatroom sessions, streaming audio, streaming video, and
other electronic forms of communication the evidence of which is not
recorded or retained.
(l) Information and Communication System refers to a system for
generating, sending, receiving, storing or otherwise processing electronic
data messages or electronic documents and includes the computer system or
other similar devices by or in which data are recorded or stored and any
procedure related to the recording or storage of electronic data message or
electronic document.
(m) Key Pair in an asymmetric cryptosystem refers to the private key and its
mathematically related public key such that the latter can verify the digital
signature that the former creates.
(n) Private Key refers to the key of a key pair used to create a digital
signature.
(o) Public Key refers to the key of a key pair used to verify a digital
signature.
RULE 3
ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS
SECTION 1. Electronic documents as functional equivalent of paper-based
documents. Whenever a rule of evidence refers to the term of writing,
document, record, instrument, memorandum or any other form of writing,
such term shall be deemed to include an electronic document as defined in
these Rules.
SEC. 2. Admissibility. An electronic document is admissible in evidence if it
complies with the rules on admissibility prescribed by the Rules of Court and
related laws and is authenticated in the manner prescribed by these Rules.

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SEC. 3. Privileged communication. The confidential character of a


privileged communications is not solely on the ground that it is in the form of
an electronic document.
RULE 4
BEST EVIDENCE RULE
SECTION 1. Original of an electronic document. An electronic document
shall be regarded as the equivalent of an original document under the Best
Evidence Rule if it is a printout or output readable by sight or other means,
shown to reflect the data accurately.
SEC. 2. Copies as equivalent of the originals. When a document is in two or
more copies executed at or about the same time with identical contents, or is
a counterpart produced by the same impression as the original, or from the
same matrix, or by mechanical or electronic re-recording, or by chemical
reproduction, or by other equivalent techniques which is accurately
reproduces the original, such copies or duplicates shall be regarded as the
equivalent of the original.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, copies or duplicates shall not be admissible to
the same extent as the original if:
(a) a genuine question is raised as to the authenticity of the original; or
(b) in the circumstances it would be unjust or inequitable to admit a copy in
lieu of the original.

CASES:
Air France vs. Carrascoso
18 SCRA 155 (1966)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Carrascoso, bought a first class ticket to go to Rome. From Manila to Bangkok,
plaintiff traveled in first class but on their stop-over in Bangkok, the Manager of the
defendant airline forced the plaintiff to vacate his seat in order to make room for a white
man, who, the Manager aleeged, had a better right to the seat. After a brief commotion
wherein Carrascoso said he would leave his seat on over his dead body, he gave it up.
The CFI decided in favor of Carrascoso , while the CA affirmed the decision but
reduced the award further.
During the trial, one piece of evidence that was admitted was the alleged entry by the
purser employed by the defendant and testified to by the plaintiff. The alleged notebook
entry, read First class passengers was forced to go to tourist class against his will and that
the captain refused to intervene. Defendant charges that such testimony by Carrascoso is
incompetent for being hearsay.
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It is claimed by Air France that such piece of evidence comes within the proscription
of the Best Evidence rule they are claiming such entry could not have been proven by mere
testimony but by presenting the notebook itself.
ISSUE: Whether or not the entry in the notebook is incompetent as evidence?
RULING: Yes.
The subject of inquiry is not the entry but the ouster incident. Testimony on the entry
does not come within the Best Evidence rule. It is admissible.
Besides, from a reading of the transcript above mentioned, when the dialogue
happened, the impact of the startiling occurrence was still fresh and continued to be felt. The
excitement had not as yet died down. Statements then, in this environment, are
ADMISSIBLE AS PART OF THE RES GESTAE. For they grow out of the nervous
excitement and mental and physical condition of the declarant.
The utterance of the purser regarding his entry in the notebook was spontaneous, and
related to the circumstances of the ouster incident. Its trustworthiness has been guaranteed. It
thus escapes the operation of the hearsay rule. It forms part of the res gestae.
It is not within the Best Evidence Rule as the entry was made outside the Philippines
by the employee of Air France. It would have been an easy matter for petitioner to have
contradicted Carrascosos testimony. If it were true that no entry was made the deposition of
the purser could have cleared up the matter.
By: Raymond Joseph Ibon
Meyers vs. United States
171 F.2d 800 (1948)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Meyers, an officer of the US army, organized a Corp. called the Aviation Electric
Corp. for the manufacture of parts & accessories for airplanes & paid into its treasury $500 to
cover the authorized capital stock. 224 shares went to June Ballabu and the remaining shares
to David Johnson & Robert Pine. It had orders worth $20,000 from the Signal Corps of the
US Army. Lamarre was made Secretary-treasurer and the 224 shares were transferred to him
& he later became President. At the end of the war, there was reduced demand and led to the
dissolution of the corp. The US Senate created an investigating committee to look into
instances of waste, fraud, corruption, excessive profits during the war.
Meyers testified (and so did Lamarre) that:
1. Meyers was not financially interested/connected with Aviation Electric Corp.
2. A Cadillac automobile was purchased for the corp. & for its use
3. the sum of $10,000, paid by means of Aviation checks for furnishing Meyers
apartment was a gift from Lamarre
Based on this testimony, Meyers was charged and convicted of the charge of
subordination for perjury by the trial court. On appeal, he alleges that the trial court took on
a bizarre procedure when it accepted the testimony of William Rogers who examined his co3C 2003-2004 Evidence Project
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defendant Lamarre in the Senate investigation and also allowed the introduction of a
stenographic note transcript of Lamarres testimony on the same hearing. This is based on
the theory that the transcript itself was the best evidence of Lamarres testimony before the
Senate and there was no need for Rogers testimony.
ISSUE: Whether or not the best evidence rule is applicable
RULING: No.
The best evidence rule applies only when contents of a writing are to be proved which
does not obtain in the case at bar.
In prosecution for perjured testimony given before the Senate committee, the
testimony by chief counsel of the senatorial committee as to what witnesses had sworn to
was not barred under the best evidence rule, and it was not unfair or prejudicial to permit
transcript of testimony given before the subcommittee to be introduced after chief counsel
had testified, though counsel testified early in protracted trial and transcript was introduced
near its close, since both methods of proving the perjury were permissible, and prosecution
could present its proof in any order it chose.
Here, there was no attempt to prove the contents of a writing. The issue was what
Lamarre had said, not what the transcript contained. The transcript was evidence of what he
had said but it was not the only admissible evidence concerning it. The testimony of Rogers,
chief counsel to the committee, was equally competent and admissible whether given before
or after the transcript was received in evidence. Statements alleged to perjuries may be
proved by any person who heard them, as well as, by the reporter who recorded them in
shorthand.
By: Raymond Joseph Ibon
People vs. Tan
105 Phil. 1242 (1959)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Pacita Gonzales and others were charged with the crime of falsification of public
documents in their capacities as public officials and employees. It was alleged that they have
made it appear that certain relief supplies were purchased by Gonzales for distribution to
calamity victims in such quantities and at such prices and from such business establishments
or persons as are made to appear in the said public documents, when in truth and in fact, no
such distributions of such relief and supplies as valued and supposedly purchased by said
Pacita Gonzales in the public and official documents had ever been made.
The prosecution presented to a witness a booklet of receipts containing blue invoices
of the Metro Drug Corporation. The booklet contained the triplicate copies, and according to
said witness the original invoices were sent to the Manila office of the company, the
duplicates to the customers, so that the triplicate copies remained in the booklet. The witness
further testified that in preparing receipts, two carbons were used between the three sheets, so
that the duplicates and the triplicates were filled out by the use of the carbons. While the
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witness was testifying, the trial court judge interrupted and said that the triplicates are not
admissible unless it is first proven that the originals were lost and cannot be produced.
Another witness was presented by the prosecution to testify. The witness testified that
the original practice of keeping the original white copies no longer prevails as the originals
are given to the customers. After the cross-examination of this last witness, the prosecution
again went back to the identification of the triplicate invoice. At this point, the judge told the
prosecutor that the originals must be produced. The prosecution filed a petition for certiorari
with the Supreme Court.
ISSUE:
Whether or not triplicates formed by the use of carbon papers are admissible in
evidence without accounting first for the loss of the originals.
RULING:
The Court said that the admissibility of duplicates or triplicates has long been a
settled question. It quoted with approval the opinion of Moran, a commentator on the Rules
of Court. When carbon sheets are inserted between two or more sheets of writing paper so
that the writing of a contract upon the outside sheet, including the signature of the party to be
charged thereby, produces a facsimile upon the sheets beneath, such signature being thus
reproduced by the same stroke of the pen which made the surface or exposed the impression,
all of the sheets so written on are regarded as duplicate originals and either of them may be
introduced in evidence as such without accounting for the non-production of the others.
By: Elon Cris C. Culangen
Seiler vs. Lucas Film, Ltd.
797 F.2d 1504 (1986)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Lee Seiler, an artist and designer of science fiction creatures and machines brought
copyright infringement action against the producers and creators of the movie The Empire
Strikes Back. Seiler claimed that creatures known as Imperial Walkers infringed his
copyright on his own creatures called Garthian Striders. He contended that he created and
published his Garthian Striders in 1976 and 1977 and that George Lucas copied these.
Because Seiler possessed no originals of any work he contended was copied, he sought to
introduce secondary evidence in the form of copies, reconstructions, and the like. He
proposed to exhibit his Striders in a blown-up comparison to Lucas Walkers at opening
statement. The district judge held an evidentiary hearing on the admissibility of the
reconstructions of the Striders. Applying the best evidence rule, the court found that Seiler
lost or destroyed the originals in bad faith and consequently no secondary evidence, such as
the post-Empire Strikes Back reconstructions, was admissible. The court granted summary
judgment to Lucas after the evidentiary hearing. Seiler appealed.

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ISSUE: Whether or not Seilers drawings constituted writings for purposes of the best
evidence rule.
RULING:
Yes. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district judge. It held that Seilers drawings
were writings within the meaning of Rule 1001 (1) which defined writings and records as
letters, words, or numbers, or their equivalent, set down by handwriting, typewriting,
printing, Photostatting, photographing, magnetic impulse, mechanical or electronic
recording, or other forms of data compilation. According to the Court, Seilers drawings
consist not of letters, words or numbers but of their equivalent.
The Court said that to recognize Seilers works as writings does not run counter to the
rules preoccupation with the centrality of the written word in the world of written legal
relations. Comparing Seilers drawings with Lucas drawings is no different in principle than
evaluating a contract and the intent behind it. Seilers works are writings that affect legal
relations; their copyright ability attests to that.
A creative literary work and a photograph whose contents are sought to be proved are
both covered by the best evidence rule. It would be inconsistent to apply the rule to artwork
which is literary or photographic but not to artwork of other forms.
By: Elon Cris C. Culangen

People vs. Tandoy


192 SCRA 98 (1990)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
On May 27, 1986, detectives of the Makati Police conducted a buy-bust operation at
Solchuaga St., Barangay Singkamas, Makati. The target area was a store along the said street,
and detective Singayan was to pose as the buyer. He stood alone near the store waiting for
any pusher to approach. Soon, three men approached him. One of them was Mario Tandoy
who said: Pare, gusto mo bang umiskor? Singayan answered yes. The exchange was made
then and theretwo rolls of marijuana for one P10.00 and two P5.00 bills marked ANU
(meaning Anti-Narcotics Unit). The team then moved in and arrested Tandoy. The marked
money and eight foils of marijuana were found on Tandoys body. An information was filed
against Tandoy. The RTC of Makati found him guilty of violating RA 6425. Tandoy
appealed. In his appeal, Tandoy invoked the best evidence rule and questioned the admission
by the trial court of the Xerox copy only of the marked P10.00 bill.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Xerox copy of the marked P10.00 bill is excludible under the best
evidence rule.
RULING:
No. The Supreme Court quoted with approval the Solicitor Generals Comment which
refuted the contention of Tandoy. The best evidence rule applies only when the contents of
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the document are the subject of inquiry. Where the issue is only as to whether or not such
document was actually executed, or exists, or in the circumstances relevant to or surrounding
its execution, the best evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible.
Since the aforesaid marked money was presented by the prosecution solely for the purpose of
establishing its existence and not its contents, other substitutionary evidence, like a Xerox
copy thereof, is therefore admissible without the need of accounting for the original.
By: Elon Cris C. Culangen
U.S. vs. Gregorio
17 Phil. 522 (1910)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
In a case filed by Pedro Salazar, as creditor, against Eustaquio Balistoy for the
payment of a sum of money, judgment was rendered wherein the debtor was sentenced to pay
to the plaintiff P275.92 with interest thereon. For the execution of the judgment, two rural
properties of the debtor were attached. The date for the sale and adjudication of the attached
properties to the highest bidder was set on May 27, 1908. On the 18 th of the same month,
Bernardo Gregorio requested the deputy sheriff to exclude the said realty from the
attachment, alleging that he was the owner of one of the properties levied upon for the reason
that he had acquired it by purchase from the debtor Balistoy in 1905, prior to the filing of the
complaint. Bernardo presented to the sheriff a document at the end of which appears a
memorandum which states that Eustaquio Balistoy bought the land referred to in the said
document from Luis Balistoy and sold it to Bernardo Gregorio. Subsequently, falsification
charges were brought against Gregorio and Balistoy. The complaint for falsification alleged
that the defendants simulated a conveyance of one of the attached properties in favor of
Gregorio. However, the original document setting forth the memorandum was not presented.
Only a copy thereof was produced in court. The trial court found the defendants guilty. They
appealed.
ISSUE:
Whether or not in a criminal case for the falsification of a document, the original
document alleged to have been falsified must be produced
RULING:
Yes. The Court reversed the lower court. Defendants were acquitted. In a criminal
case for the falsification of a document, it is indispensable that the judges and the courts have
before them the document alleged to have been simulated, counterfeited, or falsified, in order
that they may find, pursuant to the evidence produced at trial, whether or not the crime of
falsification was actually committed; in the absence of the original document, it is improper
to conclude, with only a copy of the said original in view, that there has been a falsification
of a document which was neither found nor exhibited, because, in such a case, even the
existence of such original may be doubted.

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By: Elon Cris C. Culangen


Fiscal of Pampanga vs. Reyes
55 Phil 905 (1931)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
The fiscal of Pampanga filed two informations for libel against Andres Guevarra. The
informations alleged that Guevarra, with malicious intent, published on page 9 of the weekly
paper Ing Magumasid, a squib in verse, of which a translation into Spanish was included
therein, intended to impeach the honesty, integrity, and reputation of Clemente Dayrit and of
Mariano Nepomuceno.
The fiscal attempted to present as evidence for the prosecution copies of the Ing
Magumasid containing the libelous articles with the innuendo, another article in the
vernacular published in the same weekly, and its translation into Spanish. Defendant
Guevarras counsel objected to this evidence, which objection was sustained by the trial
court. The fiscal filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Supreme Court to compel
the lower court to admit the copies of the weekly as evidence for the prosecution. The
petitioner fiscal contended that the exhibits in question are the best evidence of the libel, the
subject matter of the information, and should be admitted. Respondents maintained that since
the libelous article was not quoted in the information, said evidence cannot be admitted
without amending the information.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the copies of the weekly are admissible.
RULING:
Yes. The general rules regarding the admissibility of evidence are applicable to cases
of libel or slander. This being so, the rule of procedure which requires the production of the
best evidence is applicable to the present case. The copies of the weekly where the libelous
article was published, and its translation, constitute the best evidence of the libel charged.
The newspaper itself is the best evidence of an article published in it.
By: Elon Cris C. Culangen
Vda. de Corpus vs. Brabangco
59 O.G. 8262 (1963)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Defendant Tiburcia Brabangco is the owner of a certain parcel of land. Plaintiffs, the
surviving widow and children of the deceased German Corpus alleges that the land was sold
by defendant Tiburcia Brabangco to their father German Corpus for and in consideration of
P450 of which P300 was paid right upon the execution of the Deed of sale in due form
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witnessed by Pablo Albeza and Bonifacio Villareal (now deceased) and acknowledged be
defendant Brabangco before notary Public Jose Tirador (also deceased). At the same time,
Plaintiffs Corpus allege that their predecessor in interest was and is in possession of said
lands up to his death until Defendants with the aid and protection of policemen entered the
premises and got bamboos and corn. Defendants, on the other hand, allege that a sale never
took place. Defendants answer avers that they simply accommodated and allowed the
Plaintiffs Corpus to build their evacuation cottage when Japanese forces occupied the
Philippines. Plaintiffs filed a case against the defendants. With reference to the deed of sale
from which the plaintiffs case draw its cause of action was said to be lost during the war.
The trial court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and upheld the sale. The defendants appealed
claiming that the sale never took place since the document of sale could not be produced and
the plaintiff has failed to establish the contents of the deed of sale as required by Rule 130,
Sec. 3.
ISSUES
(1) Whether or not the Plaintiffs have sufficiently proven the existence, due execution
and subsequent loss of the Deed of sale.
(2) Whether or not the plaintiffs have adduced sufficient evidence to prove the contents
of the loss deed of sale?
RULING: Yes.
The plaintiff declared that the original deed of sale signed by defendant Tiburcia was
lost during the war. The record of the present case will bear that its existence was
convincingly proven not only by the testimony of Heraclea Vda. De Corpus, the surviving
widow, and by the environmental facts disclosed by the evidence, but also by the
disinterested testimony of Pablo Albeza. After proper proof of the due execution & delivery
of the instrument & its loss or destruction, oral evidence may be given of its contents by any
person who signed the document, or who read it.
As to the second issue, it is not necessary, in order to admit evidence of the contents
of a lost instrument, that the witness should be able to testify with verbal accuracy to its
contents; it is sufficient if they are able to state it in substance. Witnesses cannot be expected
to recite the content word for word. It is enough if intelligent witnesses have read the paper
& can state substantially its contents & import with reasonable accuracy. Thus, it was held
sufficient if the witness can recollect and testify to facts showing the presence of essential
elements of a contract, namely; consent, subject matter, consideration and form in certain
instances. In the case at bar, the evidence adduced by the plaintiffs are more than enough to
satisfy the statutory requirements as to execution and subsequent loss of the deed of sale as
well as to its contents.
By: Abigail Joy D. Gamboa
Compania Maritima vs. Allied Free Workers Union
77 SCRA 24 (1977)
Best Evidence Rule

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FACTS:
Plaintiff-appellee Compania Maritima (company) and the Defendant- appellant Allied
Free Workers Union (union) entered into a written contract whereby the union will perform
arrastre and stevedoring work for the companys vessels, effective for 1 month, renewable
upon agreement. The company could terminate the contract if the union failed to render
proper service. The union agreed that the company would not pay for the loading, unloading
and deliveries of cargoes and that these would be paid by the owners and consignees of the
cargoes as has been the practice in the port of Iligan.
However, shippers and consignees refused to pay the union for the stevedoring
services because the bill of lading provided that the unloading of the cargo was at the ship
owners expense. The company, on the other hand, refused to pay for the stevedoring
services because this was provided for in the contract between the company and the union.
This became the root of all the problems between the two parties. Despite of the fact that the
set-up was disadvantageous on the Union, it did not terminate the contract because its
members were in dire need of work, which although not adequately compensated, was
preferable to having no work at all.
Thus, upon the expiration of the one month period, the contract was verbally
renewed. Then, the union sent the company a letter requesting that it be recognized as the
exclusive bargaining unit. The company ignored the demand. The union then filed with the
CIR a petition that it be certified as the sole collective bargaining unit. The company then
terminated the contract. The union filed an Unfair Labor Practice case. Then, the company
entered into a new stevedoring contract with Iligan Stevedoring. On the following day, the
Union members picketed the wharf and prevented the Iligan Stevedoring from performing
arrastre and stevedoring work. The company sued the union. Thereafter, a legal battle
ensued with the trial court in the end ruling in favor of the company. Also, the Trial court
awarded actual damages, amounting to P450, 000 and other damages on the basis of the
auditors reports, Exhibits A to I.
Plaintiff Company to bolster its case presented Teves, the companys manager who
testified in its favor. One of the pieces of evidence he presented was a statement showing
the alleged cost of 3 forklifts, pallet boards, wire rope slings and tarpaulins in the sum of P27,
215. (The company alleges that it was forced to purchase the equipment in order to improve
the arrastre & stevedoring services.) He claims that the damages to the company by reason
of depreciation of the said equipment amounted to P38, 385 or more than the cost thereof.
Also presented was Accountant Demetrio Jayme who was a personal friend of Teves and
companys branch manager in Ozamis. His testimony is basically that the Company due to
the act of Union members, the company suffered losses as shown in the books of the as to
unrealized freight and passenger revenue. The Company also claims damages on lost cargoes
and freight as set forth by Salvador Magante, the companys chief clerk in Iligan City in his
statement. Magante did not testify on his statement, instead it was Jayme who testified on
behalf of Magante.
ISSUE:
Whether the Trial Court erred in awarding to the plaintiff company actual damages,
moral damages, and attorneys fees on the ground that the Auditors report on which they were
based were hearsay?

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RULING:
The company argues that the accountants (auditors) reports are admissible in
evidence because of the rule that when the original consists of numerous accounts or other
documents which cannot be examined in court without great loss of time and the fact sought
to be established from them is only the general result of the whole, the original writings need
not be produced. That rule cannot be applied in this case because the voluminous character of
the records on which the accountants reports were based was not duly established.
Moreover, in order for said rule to be applied, the records and accounts should be made
accessible to the adverse party so that the correctness of the summary may be tested on crossexamination.
What applies is the general rule that an audit made by or the testimony of a private
auditor is inadmissible in evidence as proof of the original records, books of accounts, reports
or the like. The company failed to make a preliminary showing as to the difficulty or
impossibility attending the production of the records in court and their examination and
analysis as evidence by the court
As to the statement presented by Teves, SC said that the best evidence on the cost of
the equipment would have been the sales invoice instead of his mere oral testimony of. Also,
he should have produced the sales invoice. The same is true with regard to Jaymes estimates
as recoverable damages. The pertinent records of the company should have been produced in
Court. As to Magantes report, Jayme was not competent to take his place since the statement
was prepared by Magante and not by Jayme. More appropriate still, the documents and
records on which the statement was based should have been presented as evidence or at least
brought to the Court for examination. Lower courts award of damages is reversed and set
aside.
By: Abigail Joy D. Gamboa
Villa Rey Transit vs. Ferrer
25 SCRA 845 (1968)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Jose Villarama was an operator of a bus company (Villa Rey Transit) pursuant to
CPCs granted him by the PSC. In 1959, he sold 2 CPCs to Pangasinan Transpo. Co.
(Pantranco) with the condition that Villarama shall not, for 10 years, apply for any TPU
service competing with buyer. 3 months later, Villa Rey Transit Inc. (VRTI) was formed
wherein the wife and relatives of Jose Villarama were the stockholders and the incorporators.
The Corporation. then bought 5 CPCs from Valentin Fernando. The Sheriff levied 2 out of
the 5 CPCs pursuant to a writ of execution in favor of Eusebio Ferrer, Fernandos judgment
creditor. The 2 CPCs were sold at auction with Ferrer as highest bidder. Ferrer then sold
these 2 CPCs to Pantranco . Thus, VRTI filed a complaint for annulment of the sheriffs sale
of the CPCs in favor of Ferrer and its subsequent sale to Pantranco. The CFI declared these
sales as null and void. Hence, this appeal. It is the contention of Pantranco that Jose
Villarama and the Corporation were one and the same. Therefore, the non competition clause
embodied in the deed of sale entered into by Jose Villarama is also binding to the
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Corporation. The evidence presented by Pantanco to prove its contention is Photostatic


copies of ledger entries and vouchers. Jose Villarama has assailed the admissibility of these
exhibits, contending that no evidentiary value whatsoever should be given to them since
they were merely photostatic copies of the originals, the best evidence being the originals
themselves.
ISSUE:
Whether or not photostatic copies of ledger entries and vouchers (Exh. 6 to 19 and
22) showing that Villarama had co-mingled his personal funds and transactions with those
made in the name of VRTI are admissible in evidence?
RULING:
Yes. Exhibits 6 to 19 and Exhibit 22 which are photostatic copies of the ledger entries
and vouchers showing that Villarama had co- mingled his personal funds and transactions
with those made in the name of the Corporation are very illuminating evidence. The
requisites for the admissibility of secondary evidence when the original is in the custody of
the adverse party are: a.) opponents possession of the original; b.) reasonable notice to
opponent to produce the original; c.) satisfactory proof of its existence; d.) failure or refusal
of opponent to produce the original in court.
Said requisites have been complied with. Villarama has practically admitted the 2nd
th
and 4 . As to the 3rd, he admitted their previous existence in the files of VRTI and had even
seen some of them. As to the 1 st, he said that the originals were missing and that VRTI was
no longer in possession of the same. However, it is not necessary for a party seeking to
introduce secondary evidence to show that the original is in the actual possession of the
adversary. It is enough that the circumstances are such as to indicate that the writing is in his
possession or under his control.
Neither is it required that the party entitled to the custody of the instrument, on being
notified to produce it, admit having it in his possession. Secondary evidence is admissible
where he denied having it in his possession. The party calling for such evidence may
introduce a copy thereof as in the case of loss because among the exceptions to the best
evidence rule is when the original has been lost, destroyed or cannot be produced in court.
The original of the vouchers must be deemed to have been lost as even VRTI admit such loss.
Thus, said evidence, though secondary, are admissible.
By: Abigail Joy D. Gamboa
Michael & Co. vs. Enriquez
33 Phil. 87 (1915)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
This is an appeal from a judgment of the CFI of Cebu dismissing the action after trial
on the ground that the plaintiff did not prove facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.
This action is based on a sale with right to repurchase made by Enriquez in favor of
E. Michael and E. Michael & Co.,sociedad en comandita, of which Michael and Company
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(MCI) claims to be a successor by reason of an instrument duly executed and deliverd by the
former to the latter transferring property, business and assets of every kind including the land
which is the subject of this litigation. It is alleged that the period to repurchase had expired
thus consolidating ownership in MCI. During the trial, MCI sought to prove the execution
and delivery of the conveyance transferring to it the land described in the pacto de retro. The
TC prevented MCI from proving that fact. MCI also attempted to prove the fact that the
instrument so executed and delivered was lost, it being his purpose to lay the basis for the
introduction of secondary evidence as to its contents. The TC also prevented appellant from
proving that.
While the efforts of MCIs counsel to prove the execution and delivery of the
document were at times rather informal and objections to such questions were properly
sustained, at others the questions put for the purpose of proving those facts were well framed
and answers should have been allowed to them; but, even in such cases, the TC also
sustained & objections to the questions and the evidence sought to be adduced was excluded.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the TC erred in preventing MCI from proving existence and the
delivery of the conveyance transferring to it the land in question?
RULING:
Trial courts do well in refusing at all times to permit the introduction of incompetent
evidence and particularly secondary evidence of the contents of written instruments unless
the facts required by the Code of Civil Procedure as the conditions precedent for such
evidence are clearly shown to exist. Section 321 of the Code provides: An original writing
must be produced and proved, except as otherwise provided in this Act. If it has been lost,
proof of the loss must first be made before evidence can be given of its contents. Upon such
proof being made, together with proof of the due execution of the writing, its contents may
be proved by a copy or by a recital of its contents in some authentic document or by the
recollection of a witness.
As will be seen in this section, the writing itself must be produced unless it has been
lost or destroyed in which case, before its contents may be proved by other evidence, it must
be shown by the party offering secondary evidence (1) that the document was duly executed
and delivered, where delivery is necessary (2) that it has been lost or destroyed. The
execution or delivery of the document maybe established by the person or persons, who
executed it, by the person before whom its execution was acknowledged, or by any person
who was present and saw it executed and delivered or who, after its execution and delivery,
saw it and recognized the signatures; or by a person to whom the parties to the instruments
have previously confessed the execution thereof. The destruction of the instrument may be
proved by any person knowing the fact. The loss may be shown by any person who knew the
fact of its loss, or by anyone who has made, in the judgment of the court, a sufficient
examination in the place or places where the document or pares of similar character are
usually kept by the person in whose custody the document lost was, and has been unable to
find it; or who has made any other investigation which is sufficient to satisfy the Court that
the document was indeed lost. If it appears , on an attempt to prove the loss , that the
document is in fact in existence , then the proof of loss or destruction fails and secondary

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evidence is inadmissible unless section 322 of the Civil code of Procedure should be
applicable.
After proper proof of the due execution and delivery and its loss or destruction, oral
evidence maybe given of its contents by any person who signed the document, or who read it,
or heard it read knowing, or it being proved from other sources, that the document so read
was the one in question. Such evidence may also be given by any person who was present
when the contents of the document was being talked over between the parties thereto to such
an extent as to give him reasonably full information as to its contents; or the contents maybe
proved by any person to whom the parties to the instrument have confessed or stated the
contents thereof; or by a copy thereof; or by a recital of its contents in some authentic
document.
By: Abigail Joy D. Gamboa
De Vera vs. Aguilar
218 SCRA 602 (1983)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Petitioners (all surnamed De Vera) and respondent Leona (married to Mariano
Aguilar) are the children and heirs of the late Marcosa Bernabe. Marcosa Bernabe owned
the disputed parcel of land. Such property was mortgaged by petitioners to Bordador. When
the mortgage had matured, the respondents Spouses Aguilar redeemed the property, and in
turn Bernabe sold the same to them as evidenced by a deed of absolute sale. Then, an OCT
was issued in their name. Three years later, the petitioners wrote to the respondents claiming
that as children of Bernabe, they were co-owners of the property and demanded partition
thereof. The petitioners also claimed that the respondents had resold the property to Bernabe.
Petitioners De Vera filed a suit for reconveyance of the lot. The TC rendered its decision
ordering the reconveyance of the lot. In ruling for the petitioners de Vera, the TC admitted,
over the objection of the respondents Aguilar, a Xerox copy of an alleged deed of sale
executed by respondents in favor of Bernabe.
On appeal to the CA, the decision was reversed. The CA found that the loss or
destruction of the original deed of sale has not been duly proven by petitioners, so secondary
evidence (Xerox copy of deed of sale) is inadmissible. Hence, this petition for review on
certiorari.
RULING:
Secondary evidence is admissible when the original documents were actually lost or
destroyed. But prior to the introduction of such secondary evidence, the proponent must
establish the former existence of the instrument. The correct order of proof is as follows:
existence, execution, loss, contents although this order may be changed if necessary in the
discretion of the court. The sufficiency of proof for the admission of an alleged lost deed lies
within the judicial discretion of the TC.
In the case at bar, the TC merely ruled in the existence and dye execution of the
alleged deed of sale. The existence of the alleged deed was proved by the Xerox copy. In
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establishing the execution of a document, the same may be accomplished by the person(s)
who executed it; by the person before whom its execution was acknowledged; or by any
person who was present and saw it executed or who, after its execution saw it and recognized
the signatures, or by a person to whom the parties had confessed the execution thereof. The
petitioners have sufficiently established the due execution of the alleged deed through the
testimony of the notary public.
The loss or destruction of the deed may be proved by any person who knew the fact
of its loss or by anyone who had made, in the judgment of the court, a sufficient examination
in the place(s) where papers of similar character are usually kept by the person in whose
custody the document lost was, and has been unable to find it; or who has made any other
investigation which is sufficient to satisfy the court that the instrument is indeed lost.
However, all duplicates must be accounted for before using copies. For since all the
duplicates are parts of the writing itself to be proved, no excuse for non-production of the
writing itself can be regarded as established until it appears that all of its parts are
unavailable. In the case at bar, the notary public testified that the alleged deed of sale has
about 4 or 5 original copies. Hence, all these must be accounted for before secondary
evidence can be given of any one. These petitioners failed to do. Decision affirmed.
By: Abigail Joy D. Gamboa

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