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EVIDENCE

ATTY. NESTOR M. LEYNES, III

I. Definition and Scope
Sections 1-2, Rule 128

TUASON, J.:
The petitioner herein, an accused in a criminal case, filed a motion with the
Court of First Instance of Pampanga after he had been bound over to that
court for trial, praying that the record of the case be remanded to the justice
of the peace court of Masantol, the court of origin, in order that the petitioner
might cross-examine the complainant and her witnesses in connection with
their testimony, on the strength of which warrant was issued for the arrest of
the accused. The motion was denied and that denial is the subject matter of
this proceeding.

RULE 128
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)

Bustos v. Lucero, 81 Phil 640 (1948)

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-2068

October 20, 1948

DOMINADOR B. BUSTOS, petitioner,
vs.
ANTONIO G. LUCERO, Judge of First Instance of
Pampanga, respondent.
E. M. Banzali for petitioner.
Acting Provincial Fiscal Albino L. Figueroa and Assistant Provincial Fiscal
Marcelo L. Mallari for respondent.

According to the memorandum submitted by the petitioner's attorney to the
Court of First Instance in support of his motion, the accused, assisted by
counsel, appeared at the preliminary investigation. In that investigation, the
justice of the peace informed him of the charges and asked him if he pleaded
guilty or not guilty, upon which he entered the plea of not guilty. "Then his
counsel moved that the complainant present her evidence so that she and
her witnesses could be examined and cross-examined in the manner and
form provided by law." The fiscal and the private prosecutor objected,
invoking section 11 of rule 108, and the objection was sustained. "In view
thereof, the accused's counsel announced his intention to renounce his right
to present evidence," and the justice of the peace forwarded the case to the
court of first instance.
Leaving aside the question whether the accused, after renouncing his right to
present evidence, and by reason of that waiver he was committed to the
corresponding court for trial, is estopped, we are of the opinion that the
respondent judge did not act in excess of his jurisdiction or in abuse of
discretion in refusing to grant the accused's motion to return the record for
the purpose set out therein. In Dequito and Saling Buhay vs. Arellano, G.R.
No. L-1336, recently promulgated, in which case the respondent justice of
the peace had allowed the accused, over the complaint's objection, to recall
the complainant and her witnesses at the preliminary investigation so that
they might be cross-examined, we sustained the justice of the peace's order.
We said that section 11 of Rule 108 does not curtail the sound discretion of
the justice of the peace on the matter. We said that "while section 11 of Rule
108 defines the bounds of the defendant's right in the preliminary
investigation, there is nothing in it or any other law restricting the authority,
inherent in a court of justice, to pursue a course of action reasonably
calculated to bring out the truth."
But we made it clear that the "defendant can not, as a matter of right, compel
the complaint and his witnesses to repeat in his presence what they had said

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at the preliminary examination before the issuance of the order of arrest." We
called attention to the fact that "the constitutional right of an accused to be
confronted by the witnesses against him does not apply to preliminary
hearings' nor will the absence of a preliminary examination be an
infringement of his right to confront witnesses." As a matter of fact,
preliminary investigation may be done away with entirely without infringing
the constitutional right of an accused under the due process clause to a fair
trial.
The foregoing decision was rendered by a divided court. The minority went
farther than the majority and denied even any discretion on the part of the
justice of the peace or judge holding the preliminary investigation to compel
the complainant and his witnesses to testify anew.

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 request of a party, may announce its
intention to take judicial notice of any matter and allow the parties to be
heard thereon.

Baguio v. Vda. De Jalagat, 42 SCRA 337 (1971)

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

Upon the foregoing considerations, the present petition is dismissed with
costs against the petitioner.
Moran, C.J., Paras, Pablo, Bengzon, and Briones, JJ., concur.

II. When Not Required

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-28100 November 29, 1971

Judicial Notice
Sections 1-3, Rule 129

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 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 to

GABRIEL BAGUIO, plaintiff-Appellant,
vs.
TEOFILA L. VDA. DE JALAGAT, for herself and in representation of her
minor children, DOMINADOR, LEA and TEONIFE all surnamed
JALAGAT; ANABELLA JALAGAT and EMMANUEL
JALAGAT, defendants-appellees.
Bonifacio P. Legaspi for plaintiff-appellant.
Cecilio P. Luminarias for defendants-appellees.
FERNANDO, J.:
The specific legal question raised in this appeal from an order of dismissal by
the Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental, presided by the Hon.
Benjamin K. Gorospe, one which has not as yet been the subject of a
definitive ruling is whether or not on a motion to dismiss on the ground of res
judicata that the cause of action is barred by a prior judgment, a lower court
may take judicial notice of such previous case decided by him resulting in the

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prior judgment relied upon. Judge Gorospe answered in the affirmative. So
do we. An affirmance is thus called for.
The case started with the complaint for the quieting of title to real property
filed by plaintiff, now appellant, Gabriel Baguio, on February, 14, 1966. There
was on March 7, 1966 a motion to dismiss filed by defendants, now
appellees, on the ground that the cause of action is barred by a prior
judgment. This was the argument advanced: "The instant complaint or case,
besides being clearly unfounded and malicious, is identical to or the same as
that Civil Case No. 1574 filed by the same plaintiff and against Melecio alias
Mening Jalagat, now deceased and whose legal heirs and successors in
interest are the very defendants in the instant complaint or Civil Case No.
2639. Said Civil Case No. 1574 was filed on October 7, 1958 for 'Recovery of
Possession and Ownership of Real Estate' and entitled Gabriel Baguio,
plantiff, versus Melecio alias Mening Jalagat, defendant, involving practically
the same property and practically the same parties as defendants are the
widow and the children, respectively, thus the legal or forced heirs of the
deceased Melecio Jalagat. That the said Case No. 1574, which is identical to
or is the same case as the instant one, has already been duly and finally
terminated as could be clear from [an] order of this Honorable Court [dated
December 6, 1965]." 1 There was an opposition on the part of plaintiff made
on March 26, 1966 on the ground that for prior judgment or res judicata to
suffice as a basis for dismissal it must be apparent on the face of the
complaint. It was then alleged that there was nothing in the complaint from
which such a conclusion may be inferred. Then, on September 26, 1966,
came the order complained of worded thus: "Acting on the motion to dismiss
filed by counsel for the defendants under date of March 4, 1966, anchored on
the ground that plaintiff's cause of action is barred by a prior judgement
which this Court finds to be well-founded as it has already dismissed
plaintiff's complaint in Civil Case No. 1574 against Melecio Jalagat alias
Mening Jalagat, defendants predecessor in interest from whom they have
derived their rights, in an order dated December 6, 1965, pursuant to Section
3 of Rule 17 of the new Rules of Court, which case involved the same parcel
of land as the one in the instant case, as prayed for, Civil Case No. 2639
should be as it is hereby [dismissed]. The Court's previous dismissal of Civil
Case No. 1574 has the effect of an adjudication upon the merits and
consequently is a bar to and may be pleaded in abatement of any
subsequent action against the same parties over the same issues and the
same subject-matter by the same plaintiff. [So ordered]" 2 Hence, this appeal.
The order of dismissal, as noted at the outset, must be sustained. It is in
accordance with law.

1. The sole error assigned is that a bar by prior judgement cannot be raised
in a motion to dismiss when such ground does not appear on the face of the
complaint. What immediately calls attention in the rather sketchy and in
conclusive discussion in the six-page brief of applicant is that there was no
denial as to the truth of the statement made by Judge Gorospe that there
was a previous dismissal the same plaintiff's complaint against the
predecessor-in-interest of defendants, who as expressly admitted by
appellant was the deceased husband of one of them and father of the rest.
There was no denial either of the property involved being the same and of
the finality of the decsion in the previous case which would show that
appellant's claim was devoid of any support in law. It would be therefore futile
for the court to continue with the case as there had been such a prior
judgment certainly binding on appellant. What then was there for the lower
court to do? Was there any sense in its being engaged in what was
essentially a fruitless, endeavor as the outcome was predictible?
Certainly, the law would lend itself to a well-deserved reproach if the Rules of
Court would sanction such a proceeding distinguished by nothing but its
futility. It ought to be clear even to appellant that under the circumstances,
the lower court certainly could take judicial notice of the finality of a 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. A citation from the comments of former
Chief Justice Moran is relevant. Thus: "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 a previous ruling is applicable in the case under
consideration." 3
2. There is another equally compelling consideration. Appellant undoubtedly
had recourse to a remedy which under the law then in force could be availed
of. It would have served the cause of justice better, not to mention the
avoidance of needless expense on his part and the vexation to which
appellees were subjected if he did reflect a little more on the matter. Then the
valuable time of this Tribunal would not have been frittered away on a
useless find hopeless appeal. It has, ever been the guiding principle
from Alonso v. Villamor, 4 a 1910 decision, that a litigant should not be
allowed to worship at the altar of technicality. That is not to dispense justice
according to law. Parties, and much more so their counsel, should ever keep
such an imperative of our legal system in mind. 5
WHEREFORE, the order of dismissal of September 26, 1966 is hereby
affirmed. With costs against plaintiff.

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Concepcion, C.J., Makalintal, Zaldivar, Castro, Barredo, Villamor and
Makasiar, JJ., concur.

in the names of his heirs, the defendants in this case, namely Meden Jack,
Joker, Nonito and Zeferino, Jr., all surnamed Arroyo.

Reyes, J.B.L., J., concurs in the result.

On March 6, 1956 said heirs filed in the Court of First Instance of Camarines
Sur a petition (L.R.C. No. 144; G.L.R.O. No. 1025; Special Proceedings No.
900) in which they claimed that the technical description set forth in their
transfer certificate of title and in the original certificate of their predecessor
did not conform with that embodied in the decision of the land registration
court, and was less in area by some 157 square meters. They therefore
prayed that said description be corrected pursuant to Section 112 of the Land
Registration Act; that their certificate of title be cancelled and another one
issued to them containing the correct technical description. The petition was
filed in the registration record but was docketed as Special Proceedings No.
900.

Prieto v. Arroyo, 14 SCRA 549 (1965)
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-17885

June 30, 1965

GABRIEL P. PRIETO, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
MEDEN ARROYO, JACK ARROYO, NONITO ARROYO and ZEFERINO
ARROYO, JR., defendants-appellees.
Prila, Pardalis and Pejo for plaintiff-appellant.
Quijano and Azores and J. P. Arroyo for defendants-appellees.
MAKALINTAL, J.:
Gabriel P. Prieto appealed to the Court of Appeals from the order of the Court
of First Instance of Camarines Sur dismissing his complaint in Civil Case No.
4280. Since only questions of law are involved the appeal has been certified
to this Court.
In 1948 Zeferino Arroyo, Sr. filed in the Court of First Instance of Camarines
Sur a petition for registration of several parcels of land, including Lot No. 2,
Plan Psu-106730 (L.R.C. No. 144; G.L.R.O. No. 1025). After the proper
proceedings Original Certificate of Title No. 39 covering said lot was issued in
his name. The same year and in the same Court Gabriel P. Prieto filed a
petition for registration of an adjoining parcel of land, described as Lot No. 3,
Plan Psu-117522 (L.R.C. No. 173; G.L.R.O. No. 1474). As a result Original
Certificate of Title No. 11 was issued in his name.
After the death of Zeferino Arroyo, Sr., Original Certificate of Title No. 39 was
cancelled and in lieu thereof Transfer Certificate of Title No. 227 was issued

On May 23, 1956 the court issued an order directing the Register of Deeds of
Camarines Sur to "change, upon payment of his fees, the description in
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 227 of Lot 2 in Plan Psu-106730 so as to
make it conform to that embodied in the decision of the Court on March 8,
1950, and to correct therein the spelling of the name of one of the petitioners
from 'Miden Arroyo' to 'Meden Arroyo'.
On November 29, 1956 Prieto filed against the defendants in the Court of
First Instance of Camarines Sur (in the original registration records of the two
lots) a petition to annul the order of May 23 in Special Proceedings No. 900.
At the hearing of the petition on July 12, 1957 neither he nor his counsel
appeared. Consequently, the trial court on the same day issued an order
dismissing the petition for failure to prosecute. A motion for reconsideration of
that order was denied on September 5, 1957.
On September 2, 1958 Prieto filed against the same defendants the present
action for annulment of Special Proceedings No. 900 and the order therein
entered on May 23, 1956. He also prayed that the 157 square meters
allegedly taken from his lot by virtue of said order be reconveyed to him.
Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of res judicata.
Plaintiff opposed, and on January 15, 1959 the court granted the motion. It is
from the order of dismissal, plaintiff having failed to secure its
reconsideration, that the appeal has been taken.
Appellant maintains that the institution of Special Proceedings No. 900 was
irregular and illegal mainly because he was not notified thereof and the same
was instituted almost six years after the issuance of the decree and title

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sought to be corrected, and hence the order of the court dated May 23, 1956
for the correction of the technical description in appellees' title is void ab
initio.
The issue here, however, is not the validity of said Special Proceedings No.
900 but the propriety of the dismissal of appellant's complaint on the ground
of res adjudicata. The validity of the said proceedings was the issue in the
first case he filed. But because of his failure and that of his counsel to attend
the hearing the court dismissed the case for failure to prosecute. Since no
appeal was taken from the order of dismissal it had the effect of an
adjudication upon the merits, the court not having provided otherwise (Rule
30, Section 3).
Appellant contends that said order could not have the effect of a judgment
because the Court did not acquire jurisdiction over the persons of the
respondents therein, defendants-appellees here, as they did not file any
opposition or responsive pleading in that case. Appellees, on the other hand,
allege that they had voluntarily submitted to the court's jurisdiction after they
were served copies of the petition. This allegation finds support in the record,
particularly in the following statement of appellant in his brief:
This petition was originally set for hearing on December 8, 1956, but
was postponed to January 14, 1957, due to lack of notice to the
respondents. Upon motion for postponements of respondents, now
defendants-appellees, the hearing of January 14, 1957 was
postponed to May 16, 1957. The hearing set for May 16, 1957 was
again postponed upon motion of the respondents to July 12, 1957.
Appellant next points out that the lower court should not have dismissed his
first petition for annulment because no "parole" evidence need be taken to
support it, the matters therein alleged being parts of the records of L.R.C. No.
144, G.L.R.O. No. 1025, and L.R.C. 173, G.L.R.O. No. 1474, which were well
within the judicial notice and cognizance of the said court.

hearing, which the court correctly denied. Finally, the point raised by counsel
is now academic, as no appeal was taken from the order dismissing his first
petition, and said order had long become final when the complaint in the
present action was filed.
The contention that the causes of action in the two suits are different is
untenable.
Both are based on the alleged nullity of Special Proceedings No. 900; in both
appellant seeks that the order of correction of the title of appellees be set
aside. Of no material significance is the fact that in the complaint in the
instant case there is an express prayer for reconveyance of some 157
square meters of land, taken from appellant as a result of such correction of
title. For that area would necessarily have reverted to appellant had his first
petition prospered, the relief asked for by him being that "the Register of
Deeds of Camarines Sur be ordered to amend Certificate of Title No. 332 by
incorporating therein only and solely the description of Lot No. 2, plan Psu106730 as appearing in the Decree No. 5165 and maintaining consequently
the description limits and area of the adjoining land of the herein petitioner,
Lot No. 3, plan Psu-117522, in accordance with Decree No. 2301 of Land
Registration No. 173." The claim for damages as well as for other additional
and alternative reliefs in the present case are not materially different from his
prayer for "such other remedies, just and equitable in the premises"
contained in the former one.
There being identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action between
the two cases, the order of dismissal issued in the first constitutes a bar to
the institution of the second.
The appealed order is affirmed, with costs against appellant.
Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon,
Regala,
Bengzon,
J.P.,
and
Zaldivar,
JJ.,
concur.
Barrera, J., is on leave.

In the first place, as a general rule, courts are not authorized to take judicial
notice in the adjudication of 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 are actually pending before the same judge (Municipal Council of San
Pedro, Laguna, et al. v. Colegio de San Jose, et al., 65 Phil. 318). Secondly,
if appellant had really wanted the court to take judicial notice of such records,
he should have presented the proper request or manifestation to that effect
instead of sending, by counsel, a telegraphic motion for postponement of

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Tabuena v. CA, 196 SCRA 650 (1991)

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 85423

May 6, 1991

JOSE TABUENA, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and EMILIANO TABERNILLA, JR., respondents.
Ramon Dimen for petitioner.
Dionisio A. Hernandez for private respondent.

CRUZ, J.:
The petitioner faults the decision of the trial court, as affirmed by the
respondent court, for lack of basis. It is argued that the lower courts should
not have taken into account evidence not submitted by the private
respondent in accordance with the Rules of Court.
The subject of the dispute is a parcel of residential land consisting of about
440 square meters and situated in Poblacion, Makato, Aklan. In 1973, an
action for recovery of ownership thereof was filed in the Regional Trial Court
of Aklan by the estate of Alfredo Tabernilla against Jose Tabuena, the herein
petitioner. After trial, judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff and the
defendant was required to vacate the disputed lot. 1
As the trial court found, the lot was sold by Juan Peralta, Jr. sometime in
1926 to Alfredo Tabernilla while the two were in the United States. Tabernilla
returned to the Philippines in 1934, and Damasa Timtiman, acting upon her
son Juan's instruction, conveyed the subject land to Tabernilla. At the same
time, she requested that she be allowed to stay thereon as she had been
living there all her life. Tabernilla agreed provided she paid the realty taxes
on the property, which she promised to do, and did. She remained on the
said land until her death, following which the petitioner, her son and halfbrother of Juan Peralta, Jr., took possession thereof. The complaint was filed

when demand was made upon Tabuena to surrender the property and he
refused, claiming it as his own.
The trial court rejected his defense that he was the absolute owner of the lot,
which he inherited from his parents, who acquired it even before World War II
and had been living thereon since then and until they died. Also disbelieved
was his contention that the subject of the sale between Peralta and Tabernilla
was a different piece of land planted to coconut trees and bounded on three
sides by the Makato River.
Tabuena appealed to the respondent court, complaining that, in arriving at its
factual findings, the trial court motu proprio took cognizance of Exhibits "A",
"B" and "C", which had been marked by the plaintiff but never formally
submitted in evidence. The trial court also erred when, to resolve the
ownership of the subject lot, it considered the proceedings in another case
involving the same parties but a different parcel of land.
The said exhibits are referred to in the pre-trial order as follows:
Plaintiff proceeded to mark the following exhibits: Exh. "A", letter
dated October 4, 1921 addressed in Makato, Capiz, Philippines; Exh.
"A-1", paragraph 2 of the letter indicating that the amount of P600.00
—the first P300.00 and then another P300.00 as interest since
October 4, 1921; Exh. "A-2", is paragraph 3 of the letter; Exh. "B", a
Spanish document; Exh. "C", deed of conveyance filed by Tomasa
Timtiman and Alfredo Tabernilla in 1923; and Exh. "C-1", paragraph 4
of Exh. "C".
In sustaining the trial court, the respondent court held that, contrary to the
allegations of the appellant, the said exhibits were in fact formally submitted
in evidence as disclosed by the transcript of stenographic notes, which it
quoted at length. 2 The challenged decision also upheld the use by the trial
court of testimony given in an earlier case, to bolster its findings in the
second case.
We have examined the record and find that the exhibits submitted were not
the above-described documents but Exhibits "X" and "T" and their submarkings, which were the last will and testament of Alfredo Tabernilla and the
order of probate. It is not at all denied that the list of exhibits does not include
Exhibits "A", "B" and "C". In fact, the trial court categorically declared that
"Exhibits "A-1, "A-2", "B", "C" and "C-l," were not among those documents or
exhibits formally offered for admission by plaintiff-administratrix." This is a
clear contradiction of the finding of the appellate court, which seems to have

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in the absence of objection. though. Cunegunda Hernandez. it has been duly identified by testimony duly recorded and. at the request or with the consent of the parties. of the contents of the records of other cases. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified. . 3 "At the trial on the merits. leaving him no opportunity to counteract. 35. even if they had not been formally offered. As we said in Interpacific Transit. vs.confused Exhibits "A. it has itself been incorporated in the records of the case." "B" and "C" with Exhibits "X" and "Y". or when the original record of the former case or any part of it. it may still be admitted against the adverse party if. We do not agree. In the latter event. Nowhere in her testimony can we find a recital of the contents of the exhibits. by name and number or in some other manner by which it is sufficiently designated. that this exception is applicable only when. 7 Nevertheless." or "at the request or with the consent of the parties. and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been heard or are actually pending b before the same judge. is actually withdrawn from the archives by the court's direction. Napat-a 5 that even if there be no formal offer of an exhibit. Rule 132 of the Rules of Court provides in Section 35 thereof as follows: Sec. As the petitioner puts it. nor can they be given any evidentiary value. They were not by such marking formally offered as exhibits. but this was only for the purpose of identifying them at that time. second." "B" and "C" were marked at the pre-trial of the case below. . and as a matter of convenience to all 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. the letter of the sister of Juan Peralta to Alfredo Tabernilla? Court: The best evidence is the document. . even when such cases have been tried or are pending in the same court. Offer of evidence. 8 It is clear. 6 She also did not explain the contents of the other two exhibits. It is true that Exhibits "A. testified on them at the trial and was even cross-examined by the defendant's counsel. Proceed." These conditions have not been established here. Thus. 4 We did say in People vs. a court may properly treat all or any part of the original record of a case filed in its archives as read into the record of a case pending before it. The trial court said the said exhibits could be validly considered because. But we do not find that these requirements have been satisfied in the case before us. when. Although she did testify. it applied the exception that: . On the contrary. with the knowledge of the opposing party. Inc. the evidence mentioned in the quoted transcript. "A" about ? A The translation of the letter. . 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. first." Chief Justice Moran explained the rationale of the rule thus: . It conceded that as a general rule "courts are not authorized to take judicial notice. "A". 1327 was being considered by the trial court in the case then pending before it. "in the absence of objection. one of the plaintiffs witnesses. The respondent court said that even assuming that the trial court improperly took judicial notice of the other case. reference is made to it for that purpose. The offer is necessary because it is the duty of a judge to rest his findings of facts and his judgment only and strictly upon the evidence offered by the patties at the trial. such documents cannot be considered evidence. Q What is the content of this Exh. in the adjudication of cases pending before them. all she did was identify the documents. and admitted as a part of the record of the case then pending. striking off all reference thereto would 7 . and then again it may decide not to do so at all. the petitioner was completely unaware that his testimony in Civil Case No. The respondent court also held that the trial court committed no reversible error in taking judicial notice of Tabuena's testimony in a case it had previously heard which was closely connected with the case before it.—The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. the party may decide to formally offer (the exhibits) if it believes they will advance its cause. Aviles. her interrogation on Exhibit "A" ran: LEGASPI: That is this Exh." "with the knowledge of the opposing party. the matter was never taken up at the trial and was "unfairly sprung" upon him.

Our own finding is that the private respondent. 13 Jose Tabuena built a house of strong materials on the lot. as the petitioner contends. even as dacion en pago. On the other hand. Considering the resultant paucity of the evidence for the private respondent. 11 The Court can only wonder why. being a bachelor and fond only of the three dogs he had bought from America. have themselves not been formally submitted. The exception is where such findings do not conform to the evidence on record and appear indeed to have no valid basis to sustain their correctness. to Alfredo Tabernilla and not another property. 14 He even mortgaged the land to the Development Bank of the Philippines and to two private persons who acknowledged him as the owner.1âwphi1However. who was only the son of Damasa Timtiman. there is no explanation for the sale thereof by Juan Peralta. According to the trial court. we do not see why he did not have it declared in his name when the realty taxes thereon were paid by Damasa Timtiman or why he did not object when the payments were made in her own name. which had not been formally offered as evidence and therefore should have been totally disregarded. she herself stayed there until she died. 15 These acts denote ownership and are not consistent with the private respondent's claim that the petitioner was only an overseer with mere possessory rights tolerated by Tabernilla. 1327 and took judicial notice thereof without the consent or knowledge of the petitioner. he did not at least require her to pay the realty taxes in his name. Jr. In the case at bar. indeed. No such authorization has been presented. He would have demanded another form of payment if he did not have the intention at all of living on the land. Damasa Timtiman and her forebears had been in possession thereof for more than fifty years and. In comparison. that rule is also not absolute and yields to the accepted and well-known exception. As in this case. conformably to the Rules of Court." Juan Peralta. we feel that the complaint should have been dismissed by the trial court for failure of the plaintiff to substantiate its allegations. It is the policy of this Court to accord proper deference to the factual findings of the courts below and even to regard them as conclusive where there is no showing that they have been reached arbitrarily. 9 It is only where payment of taxes is accompanied by actual possession of the land covered by the tax declaration that such circumstance may be material in supporting a claim of ownership. it is not even disputed that the petitioner and his predecessors-in-interest have possessed the disputed property since even before World War II. Exhibits "A". as we have held in many cases. not hers. 10 The tax receipts accompanied by actual and continuous possession of the subject parcels of land by the respondents and their parents before them for more than 30 years qualify them to register title to the said subject parcels of land. The trial court also erred when it relied on the evidence submitted in Civil Case No. It is true that tax declarations are not conclusive evidence of ownership. as plaintiff in the lower court. 12 She paid the realty taxes thereon in her own name." What "other evidences"? The trouble with this justification is that the exhibits it intends to corroborate. "B" and "C". could not have validly conveyed title to property that did not belong to him unless he had appropriate authorization from the owner. the factual findings here challenged are as an edifice built upon shifting sands and should not have been sustained by the respondent court. Thus vitiated. if Alfredo Tabernilla did purchase the property and magnanimously allowed Damasa Timtiman to remain there. Jr. If he were really that unconcerned. Even assuming it was the same lot. to wit. failed to prove his claim of ownership over the disputed property with evidence properly cognizable under our adjudicative laws. As this Court has held: While it is true that by themselves tax receipts and declarations of ownership for taxation purposes are not incontrovertible evidence of ownership they become strong evidence of ownership acquired by prescription when accompanied by proof of actual possession of the property. "B" and "C". if he were really interested in the property. It has failed to prove that the subject lot was the same parcel of land sold by Juan Peralta. it is pure conjecture. the tax declarations in their name become weighty and compelling evidence of the petitioner's ownership. all the acts of Damasa Timtiman and Jose Tabuena indicate that they were the owners of the disputed property. At best. The explanation given by the trial court is that he was not much concerned with the property. Jr. "there is no question that before 1934 the land in question belonged to Damasa Timtiman. in violation of existing doctrine. it is curious that he should have acquired the property in the first place. By contrast. there 8 .not be fatal to the plaintiff's cause because "the said testimony was merely corroborative of other evidences submitted by the plaintiff.. In light of this uncontroverted fact. That is specious reasoning. The conclusions of the trial court were based mainly on Exhibits "A".

JUAN PECAYO.97 2. Bernabe Ayuda 39. due from date of delinquency to Feb. L-26053 February 21.1 ELENA RAMOS. LORENZO CARANDANG. 1967 CITY OF MANILA. Isabelo Obaob 75.76 570.36 6. JUAN ASPERAS. Elena Ramos. HONORIO BERIÑO — SEDORA ORAYLE.: Plaintiff City of Manila is owner of parcels of land. Parayno. MARIA TABIA — SIMEON DILIMAN. Manila. BERNABE AYUDA — LEOGARDA DE LOS SANTOS. MARCIANA ALANO.60 3. The appealed decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. the petition is GRANTED. Benedicto Diaz. defendants were charged nominal rentals. FELICIDAD MIRANDA — EMIGDIO EGIPTO.38 9 .ñët Following are the rentals due as of February. Maria Tabia 35. and without the necessary building permits from the city. Ana Dequis Alunan and Benedicto Ofiaza (predecessor of defendant Carandang) were given by Mayor Valeriano E.is substantial evidence supporting the petitioner's contrary contentions that should have persuaded the trial judge to rule in s favor and dismiss the complaint. Modesta C.75 10.24 5. Jose Barrientos.40 7. Modesta C. again without plaintiff's knowledge and consent. For their occupancy. defendants Felicidad Miranda (Emigdio Egipto). vs. WILARICO RICAMATA. the presence of defendants having previously been discovered. with costs against the private respondent.08 3.32 99. bordering Kansas. 19 SCRA 413 (1967) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Fugoso written permits — each labeled "lease contract" — to occupy specific areas in the property upon conditions therein set forth.00 P7.06 208.628. Garcia. AQUILINO BARRIOS — LEONORA RUIZ. MARCIAL LAZARO. Narvasa. respectively. Laureano Dizo. JOSE BARRIENTOS. ISABELO OBAOB — ANDREA RIPARIP. Laureano Dizo 35. forming one compact area. Gerardo Garcia 66. WHEREFORE.34 8. and covered by Torrens Titles Nos. MODESTA PARAYNO — NARCISO PARAYNO. plaintiff-appellee. Parayno 87. GLORIA VELASCO. concur.53 379. The rest of the 23 defendants exhibited none. Estefania Nepacina. Rental Amt. Shortly after liberation from 1945 to 1947.00 4. Villanueva) received their permits from Mayor Manuel de la Fuente on January 29 and March 18.R. City Fiscal's Office for plaintiff-appellee.92 P1. URBANO RAMOS. Modesta Sanchez. J. They built houses of second-class materials. Gancayco. Juan Asperas 39. Mauricio Z. 37082 and 37558. No. Defendants Isabelo Obaob and Gerardo Garcia (in the name of Marta A. Vermont and Singalong streets in Malate. both of 1948. 1947. LAUREANO DIZO. defendants entered upon these premises without plaintiff's knowledge and consent. GERARDO GARCIA — CARMENCITA VILLANUEVA. Griño-Aquino and Medialdea.80 22..17 323.00 4. In November. Honorio Beriño. SANCHEZ. 1962: NAME Area Monthly in sq.) ALUNAN. 1962 1.00 2. 49763. Aquilino Barrios (Leonora Ruiz) 54. defendants-appellants. Gloria Velasco. ANA DEQUIZ — (MRS. There they lived thru the years to the present. It is so ordered. ESTEFANIA NEPACINA.36 4. BENEDICTO DIAZ.68 9. JJ.20 5. City of Manila v.52 9.m. MODESTA SANCHEZ. Alunan for defendants-appellants.1äwphï1.

Jose Barrientos 39. That document recites that the amount of P100. 1962. Estefania Nepacina 41.18 10. 4 Anyway. at the hearing. Elena Ramos 34.000.84 21.16 17. Honorio Beriño 24.06 255.48 2.03 5. this Court will not reopen the case solely for this purpose.00 1.60 Paid up to Feb. the certification of the Chairman. aforesaid. 11. The city's dominical right to possession 10 . the trial judge could well have taken — because the was duty bound to take — judicial notice5 of Ordinance 4566.52 3. Felicidad Miranda 48. Ana Dequis Alunan 64. Marciana Alano 25. Lorenzo Carandang 45.40 437.32 15. defendants' position is vulnerable to assault from a third direction. Wilarico Ricamata 45. Exhibit E.69 Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School is close. They have been asked to leave.80 3.92 188. Defendants refused. We are called upon to rule on the forefront question of whether the trial court properly found that the city needs the premises for school purposes. The city's evidence on this point is Exhibit E. Gloria Velasco 32. and to pay their monthly rentals from March. It is indeed correct to say that the court below. they refused to heed.80 2. For. Pecayo 25. 1961. 1962.65 5.67 739.06 30. plaintiff's City Engineer. it became pressing.9. The city's right to throw defendants out of the area cannot be gainsaid.68 19. to make it conformable to law and justice.88 14. the 1962-1963 Manila City Budget. Defendants' remedy was to bring to the attention of the court its contradictory stance. this suit to recover possession. Juan N. It is in this factual background that we say that the city's need for the premises is unimportant. He there declared that there was need for defendants to vacate the premises for school expansion. in the decision under review.74 744.000.80 2.60 23.00 had been set aside in Ordinance 4566. 20. he cited the very document.02 5. ruled out the admissibility of said document.40 2. Exhibit E. gave each of defendants thirty (30) days to vacate and remove his construction or improvement on the premises. Hence. It is beyond debate that a court of justice may alter its ruling while the case is within its power. But then.20 4.48 P7. until they vacate the said premises. On September 14. Benedicto Diaz 40.00 was set aside for the "construction of additional building" of the Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School. elimination of the certification.580.82 Paid up to March 1962. for the construction of an additional building of the Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School. Committee on Appropriations of the Municipal Board. would not profit defendants. Defendants have absolutely no right to remain in the premises. The permits to occupy are recoverable on thirty days' notice.78 186.6 And.68 444.26 7. the trial judge obviously revised his views.34 504. The reason being that the city charter of Manila requires all courts sitting therein to take judicial notice of all ordinances passed by the municipal board of Manila. The excuse that they have permits from the mayor is at best flimsy.40 1. to pay the amounts heretofore indicated opposite their respective names. and the costs. Cecilia Manzano in lieu of Urbano Ramos (deceased) 46. Ordinance 4566 itself confirms the certification aforesaid that an appropriation of P100.59 56. to the property. Not having done so. Furthermore. 1962. pursuant to the Mayor's directive to clear squatters' houses on city property.79 688.71 30. Came the need for this school's expansion.98 18.76 132. in reversing his stand.44 16. for the payment of the amount due by reason of the occupancy and to vacate in fifteen (15) days. 1.83 3.40 22. Defendants appealed.53 4.3 Such was done here. 2 The judgment below directed defendants to vacate the premises. as evidence. This was followed by the City Treasurer's demand on each defendant. made in February and March. Modesta Sanchez 33. though not contiguous.26 12.34 13. Marcial Lazaro 22.

And yet. such permit does not serve social justice. Knowingly. Their constructions are as illegal. written or oral. built houses of second-class materials thereon without the knowledge and consent of the city. squatting on another's property in this country has become a widespread vice. It is high time that. It is our considered view that the Mayor of the City of Manila cannot legalize forcible entry into public property by the simple expedient of giving permits. Because. are being flouted. the mills of justice grind slow. are quite often successful in procuring delay of the day of reckoning. even those of the government. Two decades have now elapsed since the unlawful entry. accordingly. The selfish interests of defendants must have to yield to the general good. 3. We. But. They are breeding places for crime. They are emboldened seemingly because of their belief that they could violate the law with impunity. Rampancy of forcible entry into government lands particularly. government or private.10 In the situation thus obtaining. Official approval of squatting should not. or. It is in this environment that we look into the validity of the permits granted defendants herein. Defendants' entry as aforesaid was illegal. The latter are thus prevented from recovering possession by peaceful means. In principle. Their homes were erected without city permits. the houses and constructions aforesaid constitute public nuisance per se. much to the detriment of public interest. sanitation. if not outright encouragement or protection. It has its roots in vice. and even against the will. The public purpose of constructing the school building annex is paramount. These constructions are illegal. for that matter. be permitted to obtain in this country where there is an orderly form of government. It was and is a blight. without permits. usurpers that they are.is paramount. it abets disrespect for the law. The pugnaciousness of some of them has tied up the hands of legitimate owners. it fosters moral decadence. With the result that squatting still exists. Squatters' areas pose problems of health. they preferred to remain on city property. by means. Said squatters have become insensible to the difference between right and wrong. Defendants could have. to defendants. These permits. The courts may well take judicial notice of the fact that housing school children in the elementary grades has been and still is a perennial problem in the city. Government lands have not been spared by them. such error is harmless and will not justify reversal of the judgment below. a compound of illegal entry and official permit to stay is obnoxious to our concept of proper official norm of conduct. It does not promote public welfare. executing leases. that intrusion into property. of the owner. defendants are squatters: Since the last global war. In a language familiar to all. erroneously labeled "lease" contracts. sanity and the rule of law be restored. If error there was in the finding that the city needs the land. if they wanted to. But defendants insist that they have acquired the legal status of tenants. so it is an infected bargain. Squatting is unlawful and no amount of acquiescence on the part of the city officials will elevate it into a lawful act. in this aspect.8 The city charter enjoins the mayor to "safeguard all the lands" of the City of Manila. were issued by the mayors in 1947 and 1948 when the effects of the war had simmered down and when these defendants could have very well adjusted themselves.7 2. They are wrong. mainly because of lawyers who. is wrong. They know. then. for the reason 11 . To them. Obstinacy of these squatters is difficult to explain unless it is spawned by official tolerance. the permits granted did not "safeguard" the city's land in question. of course. They constitute proof that respect for the law and the rights of others. Let us look into the houses and constructions planted by defendants on the premises. They entered the land. located permanent premises for their abode. squatters have embarked on the pernicious act of occupying property whenever and wherever convenient to their interests — without as much as leave. therefore. fair or foul. is abetted by the apathy of some public officials to enforce the government's rights. They clearly hinder and impair the use of that property for school purposes. And this. violation of law means nothing. rule that the Manila mayors did not have authority to give permits. and that the permits herein granted are null and void. 9 Surely enough.

. Aguinaldo was also the corporate secretary of KAL. 459 SCRA 147 (2005) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. Mario Aguinaldo and his law firm. Reyes.B. C. During the hearing of January 28. No. plus attorney’s fees and exemplary damages. JJ. Defendants challenge the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Manila. to the prejudice of the education of the youth of the land. 1961. Upon his motion. 1999. showing that he was the lawyer of KAL. ETI filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that Atty. Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo claimed that he had been authorized to file the complaint through a resolution of the KAL Board of Directors approved during a special meeting held on June 25. 152392 DECISION CALLEJO. Inc. Its general manager in the Philippines is Suk Kyoo Kim. So ordered.. J. Zaldivar and Castro. Rule 7 of the Rules of Court. who indicated therein that he was the resident agent and legal counsel of KAL and had caused the preparation of the complaint.11 They shackle the hands of the government and thus obstruct performance of its constitutionally ordained obligation to establish and maintain a complete and adequate system of public education. Suit was filed long after the one-year limitation set forth in Section 1 of Rule 70. Their possession continued to remain illegal from incipiency. respondent. INC. They say that the case should have been started in the municipal court. 1962. KAL. And the Manila Court of First Instance has jurisdiction. 2000. Aguinaldo. Appended to the said opposition was the identification card of Atty. On September 6. Atty.that they hinder and impair the use of the property for a badly needed school building. Aguinaldo. 2005 12 . It was further alleged that Atty. and more.R. Their legal ground is Section 1.. They prop up their position by the averment that notice for them to vacate was only served in September.L. for the collection of the principal amount of P260. contending that Atty. concur. through Atty. Concepcion..: Korean Airlines (KAL) is a corporation established and registered in the Republic of South Korea and licensed to do business in the Philippines. KAL was given a period of 10 days within which to submit a copy May 26..14 The Antecedents Upon the premises. Expertravel & Tours v. 4. Bengzon. Regala.R. Aguinaldo was not authorized to execute the verification and certificate of non-forum shopping as required by Section 5. 1999. vs. even without the aid of the courts. to "provide at least free public primary instruction".13 Before us is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.P.. Reason dictates that no further delay should be countenanced. we vote to affirm the judgment under review. Aguinaldo was its resident agent and was registered as such with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as required by the Corporation Code of the Philippines. Dizon.12 EXPERTRAVEL & TOURS. Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. The verification and certification against forum shopping was signed by Atty. and suit was started in July. petitioner. 61000 dismissing the petition for certiorari and mandamus filed by Expertravel and Tours. Makalintal.150. Costs against defendants-appellants.J. That entry was not legalized by the permits. We have reached the conclusion that their forcible entry dates back to the period from 1945 to 1947. SP No. COURT OF APPEALS and KOREAN AIRLINES. KAL opposed the motion. CA. J. SR. while its appointed counsel was Atty.00. The public nuisance could well have been summarily abated by the city authorities themselves. (ETI). J. filed a Complaint2 against ETI with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila.

2000. ETI. (Sgd. Philippines. Doc. 2000. issued on January 7. voted upon and approved the following resolution which is now in full force and effect. 2000. the RTC could not be faulted for taking judicial notice of the said teleconference of the KAL Board of Directors. (Sgd. AGUINALDO Resident Agent SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 10th day of January. Makati City. and was the resident agent of KAL.) MARIO A. In its comment on the petition. Aguinaldo subsequently filed other similar motions. I have hereunto affixed my signature this 10th day of January. 25. ETI filed a motion for reconsideration of the said decision. Atty. KAL submitted on March 6. Aguinaldo. IN WITNESS WHEREOF. executed by its general manager Suk Kyoo Kim. No. the trial court issued an Order denying the motion to dismiss. Book No. KAL appended a certificate signed by Atty. 1999. 2000 PTR #889583/MLA 1/3/20006 On December 18. during which it approved a resolution as quoted in the submitted affidavit. Aguinaldo to execute the certificate of non-forum shopping and to file the complaint. 1999 at which a quorum was present. 2000 at Manila. Mario A. contending that it was inappropriate for the court to take judicial notice of the said teleconference without any prior hearing. Atty.. Finally. comes to the Court by way of petition for review on certiorari and raises the following issue: 13 . assailing the orders of the RTC. however. They are hereby specifically authorized to prosecute. Aguinaldo had been duly authorized by the board resolution approved on June 25. which the CA denied. 2000 an Affidavit 3 of even date. Aguinaldo & Associates or any of its lawyers are hereby appointed and authorized to take with whatever legal action necessary to effect the collection of the unpaid account of Expert Travel & Tours. of legal age. ETI then filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus. Aguinaldo attended. Atty. a foreign corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Republic of Korea and also duly registered and authorized to do business in the Philippines. defend. Page No. worded as follows: SECRETARY’S/RESIDENT AGENT’S CERTIFICATE KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: I. now the petitioner. which he and Atty. alleging that the board of directors conducted a special teleconference on June 25. ETI filed a motion for the reconsideration of the Order. The trial court granted the motion. Philippines. 1999. Aguinaldo and Suk Kyoo Kim that the KAL Board of Directors indeed conducted a teleconference on June 25. 14914545.of the said resolution. Salcedo Village. Suk Kyoo Kim also alleged. Aguinaldo was sufficient compliance with the Rules of Court. Aguinaldo dated January 10.A. 1999. litigate. XXIV Series of 2000.) ATTY. in the City of Manila. HENRY D. HEREBY CERTIFY that during a special meeting of the Board of Directors of the Corporation held on June 25. attend the Pre-Trial Proceedings and enter into a compromise agreement relative to the above-mentioned claim. the CA rendered judgment dismissing the petition. with office address at Ground Floor. Aguinaldo exhibiting to me his Community Tax Certificate No. It was also averred that in that same teleconference. LPL Plaza Building. 119. and duly elected and appointed Corporate Secretary and Resident Agent of KOREAN AIRLINES. Filipino. 1999. The trial court denied the motion in its Order 5dated August 8. 2001. which the trial court granted. giving credence to the claims of Atty. Aguinaldo and his law firm M. to wit: RESOLVED. that the corporation had no written copy of the aforesaid resolution. ruling that the verification and certificate of non-forum shopping executed by Atty. the board of directors approved a resolution authorizing Atty. that Mario A. Thus. 124 Alfaro St. 4 On April 12. sign and execute any document or paper necessary to the filing and prosecution of said claim in Court. the said Board unanimously passed. Mario A. ADASA Notary Public Until December 31. As such. According to the appellate court. 1999.

as the resident agent and corporate secretary. The respondent posits that the courts are aware of this development in technology. Certification against forum shopping. It further proposes possible amendments to the Corporation Code to give recognition to such manner of board meetings to transact business for the corporation. teleconferencing cannot be the subject of judicial notice. it would be against the provisions of the Corporation Code not to have any record thereof. had provided a record of corporate conferences and meetings through FiberNet using fiber-optic transmission technology. hence. The petitioner insists that the teleconference and resolution adverted to by the respondent in its pleadings were mere fabrications foisted by the respondent and its counsel on the RTC. tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and. The respondent. on top of the board resolution approved during the teleconference of June 25. as well as the Secretary’s/Resident Agent’s Certification and the resolution of the board of directors contained therein. it insists that Atty. nor any motion therefor. he shall report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court wherein his aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed. or other related corporate matters. for its part. a complete statement of the present status thereof. Rule 7 of the Rules of Court.DID PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS DEPART FROM THE ACCEPTED AND USUAL COURSE OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS WHEN IT RENDERED ITS QUESTIONED DECISION AND WHEN IT ISSUED ITS QUESTIONED RESOLUTION. Aguinaldo. the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. 1999. or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith: (a) that he has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court. The respondent insists that "technological advances in this time and age are as commonplace as daybreak. and (c) if he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending. hence. (b) if there is such other pending action or claim. Even if such hearing is required. the courts may take judicial notice that the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. and the CA erred in considering the affidavit of the respondent’s general manager. whether in this country or elsewhere. the petitioner pointed out that there are no rulings on the matter of teleconferencing as a means of conducting meetings of board of directors for purposes of passing a resolution. avers that the issue of whether modern technology is used in the field of business is a factual issue. 1999 through teleconferencing where Atty. Inc. On the merits of the petition. It points out that even the E-Commerce Law has recognized this modern technology. Hence. the petitioner asserts. In its reply. It insists that the Corporation Code requires board resolutions of corporations to be submitted to the SEC. Rule 7. may take judicial notice thereof without need of hearings. of the Rules of Court can be determined only from the contents of the complaint and not by documents or pleadings outside thereof. Section 5. The petition is meritorious.— The plaintiff or principal party shall certify under oath in the complaint or other initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief. and that such technology facilitates voice and image transmission with ease. Even assuming that there was such a teleconference. cannot be raised in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. It asserts that safeguards must first be set up to prevent any mischief on the public or to protect the general public from any possible fraud. this makes constant communication between a foreign-based office and its Philippine-based branches faster and easier. The petitioner further avers that the supposed holding of a special meeting on June 25. considering that there was no mention of where it was held. The petitioner reiterates its submission that the teleconference and the resolution adverted to by the respondent was a mere fabrication. until then. 5. as proof of compliance with the requirements of Section 5. Aguinaldo was supposedly given such an authority is a farce. Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not be curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other initiatory 14 . allowing for cost-cutting in terms of travel concerns. until and after teleconferencing is recognized as a legitimate means of gathering a quorum of board of directors." Hence. such cannot be taken judicial notice of by the court. Rule 7 of the Rules of Court provides: SEC. The petitioner also maintains that the RTC cannot take judicial notice of the said teleconferencewithout prior hearing. ANNEXES A AND B OF THE INSTANT PETITION?7 The petitioner asserts that compliance with Section 5. the CA and this Court. to the best of his knowledge. no such other action or claim is pending therein. is authorized to sign and execute the certificate of non-forum shopping required by Section 5. Rule 7 of the Rules of Court. the requirement is nevertheless satisfied if a party is allowed to file pleadings by way of comment or opposition thereto.

liabilities and incapacities as are agents of individuals and private persons. Hence. incumbent upon the respondent. … For who else knows of the circumstances required in the Certificate but its own retained counsel. The reason was explained by the Court in National Steel Corporation v. a corporation exercises said powers through its board of directors and/or its dulyauthorized officers and agents. In this case. Its regular officers. the court may allow subsequent compliance with the rule. is impermissible. The respondent. thus. who has personal knowledge of the facts required to be established by the documents. and except so far as The verification and certificate of non-forum shopping which incorporated in the complaint and signed by Atty. like the signing of documents. limitations or restrictions which may be imposed by special charter. Indeed. Physical acts. the same shall be ground for summary dismissal with prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt. by-law. like its board chairman and president. as the plaintiff. Gil Sts. or statutory provisions. in exceptional circumstances. to allege and establish that Atty. Aguinaldo reads: was I. Court of Appeals. If the acts of the party or his counsel clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping. as well as a cause for administrative sanctions. Aguinaldo of legal age.pleading but shall be cause for the dismissal of the case without prejudice. The certification is a peculiar and personal responsibility of the party. namely. the certification may be signed. 1564 A. can be performed only by natural persons dulyauthorized for the purpose by corporate by-laws or by specific act of the board of directors." … It is settled that the requirement to file a certificate of non-forum shopping is mandatory8 and that the failure to comply with this requirement cannot be excused.10 In a case where the plaintiff is a private corporation. an assurance given to the court or other tribunal that there are no other pending cases involving basically the same parties. its officers and/or agents. has no powers except those expressly conferred on it by the Corporation Code and those that are implied by or are incidental to its existence. Manila. of whatever status or rank. P. failed to do so. Mabini cor. However.11 as follows: Unlike natural persons. Ermita. the former is required to show proof of such authority or representation. Aguinaldo to execute the requisite verification and certificate of non-forum shopping as the resident agent and counsel of the respondent. Even his counsel may be unaware of such facts.9 Hence. the requisite certification executed by the plaintiff’s counsel will not suffice. in respect to his power to act for the corporation. the certificate of non-forum shopping may be incorporated in the complaint or appended thereto as an integral part of the complaint. upon motion and after hearing. The rule is that compliance with the rule after the filing of the complaint. Aguinaldo had such authority to execute the requisite verification and certification for and in its behalf. including its retained counsel. assailed the authority of Atty. or members acting in their stead. however. after having sworn to in accordance with law hereby deposes and say: THAT - 15 . with office address at Suite 210 Gedisco Centre. 12 If the authority of a party’s counsel to execute a certificate of non-forum shopping is disputed by the adverse party. are subject to the same rules. the certification must be accomplished by the party himself because he has actual knowledge of whether or not he has initiated similar actions or proceedings in different courts or tribunals. It was. the petitioner. In turn. without prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal actions. corporations may perform physical actions only through properly delegated individuals. may not even know the details required therein.. and agents once appointed. Mario A. Filipino. such as the petitioner. as the defendant in the RTC. for and on behalf of the said corporation. "All acts within the powers of a corporation may be performed by agents of its selection. The submission of a false certification or non-compliance with any of the undertakings therein shall constitute indirect contempt of court. by a specifically authorized person. or the dismissal of a complaint based on its non-compliance with the rule. the same general principles of law which govern the relation of agency for a natural person govern the officer or agent of a corporation. unless otherwise provided. issues and causes of action. … The corporation.

I have read the complaint and that all the allegations contained therein are true and correct based on the records on files. Aguinaldo is the resident agent of the respondent in the Philippines. but also on the approval by the Board of Directors of the resolution authorizing Atty. the RTC took judicial notice that because of the onset of modern technology. 128. or any tribunal or agency. 1999. 1/4/9913 As gleaned from the aforequoted certification. thus: SEC. 2000 PTR No. This is because while a resident agent may be aware of actions filed against his principal (a foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines). 00671047 issued on January 7. XXI Series of 1999. Book No. such attempt of the respondent casts veritable doubt not only on its claim that such a teleconference was held. – A resident agent may either be an individual residing in the Philippines or a domestic corporation lawfully transacting business in the Philippines: Provided. AGUINALDO Affiant CITY OF MANILA SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me this 30th day of August. Aguinaldo and Suk Kyoo Kim in attendance. service of process. Resident agent. persons in one location may confer with other 16 . 1999 at Manila. the Court of Appeals. 2. Rule 7 of the Rules of Court. Atty. Page No. SEC. or in the country where such corporation was organized and registered. Aguinaldo to execute the certificate of non-forum shopping. this does not mean that he is authorized to execute the requisite certification against forum shopping.) ATTY. there was no allegation that Atty. 1999. for and in behalf of the foreign corporation. moreover. such resident may not be aware of actions initiated by its principal. or different divisions thereof. 198. (Sgd. Aguinaldo. (Sgd. a resolution purporting to have been approved by its Board of Directors during a teleconference held on June 25. Philippines. whether in the Philippines against a domestic corporation or private individual.14 Under the law. 2000 Order. No.) MARIO A. Atty. ADASA Notary Public Until December 31. or any other tribunal or agency. I will notify the court. If I subsequently learned that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court. 320501 Mla. on March 6. That in the case of an individual. In its April 12. services and other legal processes in all actions and other legal proceedings against such corporation. Who may be a resident agent. affiant exhibiting to me his Community Tax Certificate No. was not specifically authorized to execute the said certification. the Court of Appeals. against a Philippine registered corporation or a Filipino citizen. tribunal or agency within five (5) days from such notice/knowledge. the authority of the resident agent of a foreign corporation with license to do business in the Philippines is to receive. 2000. Under Section 127. or different divisions thereof. – The Securities and Exchange Commission shall require as a condition precedent to the issuance of the license to transact business in the Philippines by any foreign corporation that such corporation file with the Securities and Exchange Commission a written power of attorney designating some persons who must be a resident of the Philippines. and consenting that service upon such resident agent shall be admitted and held as valid as if served upon the duly-authorized officers of the foreign corporation as its home office.1. I hereby further certify that I have not commenced any other action or proceeding involving the same issues in the Supreme Court. Aguinaldo had been authorized to execute the certificate of non-forum shopping by the respondent’s Board of Directors. Doc. It attempted to show its compliance with the rule subsequent to the filing of its complaint by submitting. 1005. on whom any summons and other legal processes may be served in all actions or other legal proceedings against such corporation. While Atty. in relation to Section 128 of the Corporation Code. HENRY D. 127. no such board resolution was appended thereto or incorporated therein. I am the Resident Agent and Legal Counsel of the plaintiff in the above entitled case and have caused the preparation of the above complaint. Aguinaldo was not specifically authorized to execute a certificate of non-forum shopping as required by Section 5. The respondent knew that its counsel. allegedly with Atty. However. 3. as its resident agent. he must be of good moral character and of sound financial standing.

But a court cannot take judicial notice of any fact which. Participants are generally better prepared than for FTF meetings." of which courts take judicial matters coming to the knowledge of men generally in the course of the ordinary experiences of life. Communication between the home office and field staffs is maximized. among other advantages include: 1. In this age of modern technology. The principal guide in determining what facts may be assumed to be judicially known is that of notoriety.18 This type of group communication may be used in a number of ways. 7. Aguinaldo’s certification.20 In time. as well as Atty. provided. information exchange. however. teleconferencing can bring people together under one roof even though they are separated by hundreds of miles. Severe climate and/or unreliable transportation may necessitate teleconferencing.printed communication through keyboard terminals. people found it advantageous to hold teleconferencing in the course of business and corporate governance. It is particularly satisfactory for simple problem-solving. [15] Moreover. Thus. which was regarded as more of a novelty than as an actual means for everyday communication. Follow-up to earlier meetings can be done with relative ease and little expense. People (including outside guest speakers) who wouldn’t normally attend a distant FTF meeting can participate. Teleconferencing is interactive group communication (three or more people in two or more locations) through an electronic medium.21 On the other hand. meetings are shorter and more oriented to the primary purpose of the meeting. 8. (2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain. are judicially noticed. 5. a judicially noticed fact must be one not subject to a reasonable dispute in that it is either: (1) generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court.17 3. no demand existed for the new technology. (2) computer conferencing . a wide variety of particular facts have been judicially noticed as being matters of common knowledge. At that time. other private corporations opt not to hold teleconferences because of the following disadvantages: 17 . 16 and (3) audio-conferencing-verbal communication via the telephone with optional capacity for telewriting or telecopying. Group members participate more equally in well-moderated teleconferences than an FTF meeting. as contained in the affidavit of Suk Kyoo Kim. based on the said premise. dictionaries or other publications. Socializing is minimal compared to an FTF meeting. The CA.television-like communication augmented with sound. the courts may take judicial notice that business transactions may be made by individuals through teleconferencing. Aguinaldo had a teleconference with the respondent’s Board of Directors in South Korea on June 25. and (3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court. 2. it can be said that judicial notice is limited to facts evidenced by public records and facts of general notoriety.persons in other places. As the common knowledge of man ranges far and wide. they are of such universal notoriety and so generally understood that they may be regarded as forming part of the common knowledge of every person. and have three basic types: (1) video conferencing . and procedural tasks. because of the money saved. Travel costs were reasonable and consumers were unwilling to pay the monthly service charge for using the picturephone. or they may be matters which are generally accepted by mankind as true and are capable of ready and unquestioned demonstration. matters of judicial notice have three material requisites: (1) the matter must be one of common and general knowledge. facts which are universally known. 19 A teleconference represents a unique alternative to face-to-face (FTF) meetings. In general terms. Hence. It was first introduced in the 1960’s with American Telephone and Telegraph’s Picturephone. 6. in part. Things of "common knowledge. likewise. concluded that Suk Kyoo Kim and Atty. is dependent on the existence or non-existence of a fact of which the court has no constructive knowledge. and. 9. 1999. therefore. gave credence to the respondent’s claim that such a teleconference took place. Generally speaking. and which may be found in encyclopedias. Some routine meetings are more effective since one can audioconference from any location equipped with a telephone. 4. or (2) capable of accurate and ready determination by resorting to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questionable.

announced the holding of the teleconference only during the hearing of January 28. The court granted the motion. defend. and instead prayed for 15 more days to submit the said resolution. 2000 motion for extension of time to submit the questioned resolution that it was in the custody of its main office in Korea. even if there had been one. Aguinaldo was its resident agent in the Philippines.26 The respondent. Informal. that he and Atty.23 In the Philippines.29 But then. was duly authorized to sue in its behalf. inter alia. providing the guidelines to be complied with related to such conferences. Aguinaldo. The court granted the motion per its Order 27 dated February 11. The respondent opposed the motion on December 1. 1999. Greater participant preparation time needed. 2000. where the Board of Directors supposedly approved the following resolution: RESOLVED. or until February 8. This belied the respondent’s earlier allegation in its February 10. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued SEC Memorandum Circular No. The records show that the petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the respondent failed to comply with Section 5. litigate. 2000. such as negotiation or bargaining. 2001. it may also be easier to miscommunicate. 7. 8792. Technical failures with equipment. Aguinaldo which the respondent appended to its pleading merely showed that he is the company lawyer of the respondent’s Manila Regional Office. Aguinaldo to file the complaint and execute the required certification against forum shopping. Difficulty in determining participant speaking order. Atty. Although it may be easier to communicate via teleconferencing. Impersonal.1. Even the identification card25 of Atty. They are hereby specifically authorized to prosecute. social interaction not possible. in the same affidavit. 15. 6. 1999. the Court is not inclined to believe that a board resolution was duly passed specifically authorizing Atty. 28 It was on the said date that the respondent submitted an affidavit of its general manager Suk Kyoo Kim. teleconferencing and videoconferencing of members of board of directors of private corporations is a reality. attend the Pre-trial Proceedings and enter into a compromise agreement relative to the abovementioned claim. The respondent again prayed for an extension within which to submit the said resolution. however. however. frequently one person monopolizes the meeting. on November 30. Aguinaldo & Associates or any of its lawyers are hereby appointed and authorized to take with whatever legal action necessary to effect the collection of the unpaid account of Expert Travel & Tours. through Atty. The respondent gave the trial court the impression that it needed time to secure a copy of the resolution kept in Korea. only to allege later (via the affidavit of Suk Kyoo Kim) that it had no 18 . Rule 7 of the Rules of Court. on its contention that Atty. Aguinaldo and his law firm M. its resident agent. one-to-one. Aguinaldo. Even given the possibility that Atty. it does not alter the complexity of group communication. 2000. Unsatisfactory for complex interpersonal communication. until March 6. the Court agrees with the RTC that persons in the Philippines may have a teleconference with a group of persons in South Korea relating to business transactions or corporate governance. The respondent. including connections that aren’t made. 3. failed to comply. the Court is not convinced that one was conducted. 2000. that Mario A. Suk Kyoo Kim declared that the respondent "do[es] not keep a written copy of the aforesaid Resolution" because no records of board resolutions approved during teleconferences were kept. Aguinaldo and Suk Kyoo Kim participated in a teleconference along with the respondent’s Board of Directors. teleconferencing can only facilitate the linking of people. in light of Republic Act No. The respondent. less easy to create an atmosphere of group rapport. failed to establish its claim that Atty. stating. 5. Lack of participant familiarity with the equipment. Acoustical problems within the teleconferencing rooms. contending that it was with its main office in Korea. 8. Aguinaldo attended the said teleconference on June 25. and meeting skills. within which to submit the board resolution purportedly authorizing him to file the complaint and execute the required certification against forum shopping. the medium itself. 24 Thus. Aguinaldo then prayed for ten days.A. 4. 22 Indeed. 2. sign and execute any document or paper necessary to the filing and prosecution of said claim in Court. Teleconferencing cannot satisfy the individual needs of every type of meeting.

for the first time.R. (Chairman). Chevron Philippines Inc.: After we promulgated our decision in this case on March 7. It was only on January 26. Austria-Martinez. 1999.. and Chico-Nazario. 2000). the petition is GRANTED.. the respondent should have incorporated it in its complaint. to avert the dismissal of its complaint against the petitioner. HON. long before the complaint was filed. Suk Kyoo Kim stated in his affidavit that the resolution was embodied in the Secretary’s/Resident Agent’s Certificate signed by Atty. the CA and this Court. Acting C. The Court is. The Regional Trial Court of Manila is hereby ORDERED to dismiss. Aguinaldo had signed a Secretary’s/Resident Agent’s Certificate alleging that the board of directors held a teleconference on June 25. which was filed on September 6. More importantly. Moreover. in his capacity as Mayor of the City of Manila. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 2000. it even represented to the Court that a copy of its resolution was with its main office in Korea. and yet was notarized one year later (on January 10.petitioners. CABIGAO and BONIFACIO S. 1999. Aguinaldo.R. 1999. No such certificate was appended to the complaint.. 1999. Puno. no such resolution was appended to the said certificate. It was only on March 6. (Chevron). 156052. Tinga. JR. and that the resolution allegedly approved by the respondent’s Board of Directors during the said teleconference was a mere concoction purposefully foisted on the RTC. 1999 and approved the said resolution (with Atty. the complaint of the respondent. 61000 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 156052 February 13. The respondent failed to do so. out of the country. 1999. concur. 2008 SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS). 1999 never took place.such written copy. 2000 that the respondent alleged.. PETRON CORPORATION and PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION. RESOLUTION CORONA. No. movant-intervenor.R. that there was such a meeting of the Board of Directors held on June 25.. However. or at least appended a copy thereof. J. the respondent did not explain why the said certificate was signed by Atty. 2000 that the respondent claimed. Petron Corporation (Petron) and Pilipinas Shell 19 . as well as to its Compliance dated March 6. for the first time. that the meeting of the Board of Directors where the resolution was approved was held via teleconference. TUMBOKON. 2000. J. given the additional fact that no such allegation was made in the complaint. Worse still. No. it also did not explain its failure to append the said certificate to the complaint. Atty. SP No. vs. without prejudice. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. Aguinaldo as early as January 9. JJ.J. If the resolution had indeed been approved on June 25. 2001 when the respondent filed its comment in the CA that it submitted the Secretary’s/Resident Agent’s Certificate30 dated January 10. x----------------------x DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY. SO ORDERED. thus. 1999.movants-intervenors. ATIENZA. x----------------------x CHEVRON PHILIPPINES INC. respondent. Social Justice Society v. Aguinaldo in attendance) is incredible. more inclined to believe that the alleged teleconference on June 25. only to allege later that no written copy existed. It was only on January 28. Atienza¸ G. JOSE L. VLADIMIR ALARIQUE T. The respondent’s allegation that its board of directors conducted a teleconference on June 25. 2007. it appears that as early as January 10. 13 February 2008 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.

in the southwest. 8027 with application for writs of preliminary prohibitory 20 . the oil companies and DOE sought to intervene and filed motions for reconsideration in intervention on March 12. Ana bounded by the Pasig River. 8027. 97 to April 30. development. Mayo 28 St. Sta. On June 26. Owners or operators of industries and other businesses. coordinate. Marcelino Obrero St. the operation of which are no longer permitted under Section 1 hereof. Jr. On April 11. for the annulment of Ordinance No. xxx xxx xxx SEC. They agreed that "the scaling down of the Pandacan Terminals [was] the most viable and practicable option.Petroleum Corporation (Shell) (collectively. 2007 and March 21. respondent and movants-intervenors oil companies and DOE. Vladimir Alarique T. Carreon in the southwest. then mayor of the City of Manila. Ana as well as its adjoining areas.. We concluded that there was nothing that legally hindered respondent from enforcing Ordinance No. M. 2003 and authorizing the mayor of Manila to issue special business permits to the oil companies. 2007. sought to compel respondent Hon. Among the businesses situated in the area are the so-called "Pandacan Terminals" of the oil companies. 8027 reclassified the area described therein from industrial to commercial and directed the owners and operators of businesses disallowed under the reclassification to cease and desist from operating their businesses within six months from the date of effectivity of the ordinance. are hereby reclassified from Industrial II to Commercial I. Cabigao and Bonifacio S. 1311extending the validity of Resolution No. This ordinance was enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Manila on November 20. 2002.L. to enforce Ordinance No. 2 The DOE is a governmental agency created under Republic Act (RA) No. the oil companies) and the Republic of the Philippines. 4 The facts are restated briefly as follows: Petitioners Social Justice Society. 2003. Chevron1 is engaged in the business of importing. the land use of [those] portions of land bounded by the Pasig River in the north.] PNR Railroad in the northwest area. distributing and marketing of petroleum products in the Philippines. disallowed.9 In the same resolution. Ordinance No." 13 including Ordinance No. and Estero de Pandacan in the west[.. 8027. the City of Manila and the Department of Energy (DOE) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) 8 with the oil companies. in an original petition for mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. public safety.5 approved by respondent Mayor on November 28. distributing and marketing of petroleum products in the Philippines while Shell and Petron are engaged in the business of manufacturing. filed their respective motions for leave to intervene and for reconsideration of the decision. The area of Punta.10 Thereafter. Atienza. 2007 decision. Estero de Pandacan in the [n]ortheast. Branch 39. 2007. Jose L. We also held that we need not resolve the issue of whether the MOU entered into by respondent with the oil companies and the subsequent resolutions passed by the Sanggunian could amend or repeal Ordinance No. Tumbokon. in the south.. 7638 3 and tasked to prepare. 97. 8027 since the resolutions which ratified the MOU and made it binding on the City of Manila expressly gave it full force and effect only until April 30. refining and likewise importing. and F. Beata St." The Sangguniang Panlungsod ratified the MOU in Resolution No. 2002. Palumpong St. represented by the Department of Energy (DOE). utilization. 6 and became effective on December 28. Pasig River in the southeast and Dr. and general welfare of the residents of Pandacan and Sta. 8027. 2007 respectively. PNR Railroad Track in the east. For the purpose of promoting sound urban planning and ensuring health. projects and activities of the government relative to energy exploration. are hereby given a period of six (6) months from the date of effectivity of this Ordinance within which to cease and desist from the operation of businesses which are hereby in consequence. we conducted the oral arguments in Baguio City to hear petitioners. After we rendered our decision on March 7. the Sanggunian declared that the MOU was effective only for a period of six months starting July 25. integrate.12 This was the factual backdrop presented to the Court which became the basis of our March 7. Manalo Street. The oil companies called our attention to the fact that on April 25. 3. on January 30. 2003. Chevron had filed a complaint against respondent and the City of Manila in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. programs. 2001 after publication. 2003. supervise and control all plans. We ruled that respondent had the ministerial duty under the Local Government Code (LGC) to "enforce all laws and ordinances relative to the governance of the city.7 Sections 1 and 3 thereof state: SECTION 1. 2001. distribution and conservation. 2001. the Sanggunian adopted Resolution No.

The area. On the same day. By so doing. considering its impact on public interest. the joint motion was granted and all the claims and counterclaims of the parties were withdrawn. Branch 42. Branches 39 and 42 and 3. 03-106377.22 The court issued a TRO in favor of Petron.26 2. Chevron and Shell filed a complaint in the RTC of Manila. 2003 granting the applications for writs of preliminary prohibitory injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction: WHEREFORE. we will do away with the delays concomitant with litigation and completely adjudicate an issue which will most likely reach us anyway as the final arbiter of all legal disputes. these two cases were consolidated and the RTC of Manila. 8119. the enactment and existence of which were not previously brought by the parties to the attention of the Court and (b) writs of preliminary prohibitory injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction and status quo order issued by the RTC of Manila. was ideal for various emerging industries as the nearby river facilitated the transportation of goods and products. 24 In an order dated April 23. Thus. the city council of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 06-115334. The parties were after all given ample opportunity to present and argue their respective positions. it was 21 .15 This was docketed as civil case no. we will also dispose of this issue here. 2007. 2004. During the oral arguments. let a Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction be issued ordering [respondent] and the City of Manila. 21 This was docketed as civil case no. and any other persons assisting or acting in their behalf.16 Petron likewise filed its own petition in the RTC of Manila. In an order dated August 4. their officers.injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction. successors. Branch 20. Shell filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus likewise assailing the validity of Ordinance No. then largely uninhabited. This was docketed as civil case no.18 This was approved by respondent on June 16.000.00) PESOS. Branch 41. At the turn of the twentieth century. 19 Aggrieved anew. 2007. also known as the Manila Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance of 2006. whether the following are impediments to the execution of our March 7. 8119. 03-106379. Before we resolve these issues. 8027 will unduly encroach upon the DOE’s powers and functions involving energy resources. whether movants-intervenors should be allowed to intervene in this case.14 The case was docketed as civil case no.25 Given these additional pieces of information. 8119. a brief review of the history of the Pandacan Terminals is called for to put our discussion in the proper context. 03-106379. the RTC enjoined the parties to maintain the status quo. 8027 with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order (TRO). representatives. 03106380. whether the implementation of Ordinance No. History Of The Pandacan Oil Terminals Pandacan (one of the districts of the City of Manila) is situated along the banks of the Pasig river. 2006. 07-116700. 17 Thereafter. 8027. asking for the nullification of Ordinance No. 8027 and with application for writs of preliminary prohibitory injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction. agents. to REFRAIN from taking steps to enforce Ordinance No. enjoining the City of Manila and respondent from enforcing Ordinance No. 2007 decision: (a) Ordinance No. Later on.23 Meanwhile. Branch 39 issued an order dated May 19. also attacking the validity of Ordinance No. the parties filed a joint motion to withdraw complaint and counterclaim on February 20. the following were submitted as issues for our resolution: 1. Pandacan was unofficially designated as the industrial center of Manila. the parties submitted to this Court’s power to rule on the constitutionality and validity of Ordinance No. Petron filed its own complaint on the same causes of action in the RTC of Manila. 20 This was docketed as civil case no. In the 1920s. during the pendency of the case. and let a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction be issued ordering [respondent] to issue [Chevron and Shell] the necessary Business Permits to operate at the Pandacan Terminal. upon the filing of a total bond of TWO MILLION (Php 2. in 2006. in civil case no. 8119. 8027 despite the pendency of consolidated cases involving this issue in the RTC.000. 27 The importance of settling this controversy as fully and as expeditiously as possible was emphasized.

the Second World War reached the shores of the Philippine Islands. The three major oil companies resumed the operation of their depots.44 The refineries of Chevron and Shell in Tabangao and Bauan. be allowed to intervene in the action. churches. also services the depot. Intervention Of The Oil Companies And The DOE Should Be Allowed In The Interest of Justice Intervention is a remedy by which a third party. or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof may. — The motion to intervene may be filed at any time before rendition of judgment by the trial court. her or it to protect or preserve a right or interest which may be affected by such proceedings.000 people.29 Caltex (now Chevron) followed suit in 1917 when the company began marketing its products in the country. Thus. — A person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation. are connected to the Pandacan Terminals through a 114-kilometer45 underground pipeline system. Today. 31 The corporate presence in the Philippines of Esso (Petron’s predecessor) became more keenly felt when it won a concession to build and operate a refinery in Bataan in 1957.49 Fuel can also be transported through barges along the Pasig river or tank trucks via the South Luzon Expressway. A copy of the pleading-in-intervention shall be attached to the motion and served on the original parties. Historian Nick Joaquin recounted the events as follows: After the USAFFE evacuated the City late in December 1941. all army fuel storage dumps were set on fire. Bataan. majority of whom are urban poor who call it home. Along the walls of the Shell facility are shanties of informal settlers.39 Malacañang Palace.33 On December 8. Pandacan changed as Manila rebuilt itself. or an interest against both.34 The U. SEC.000 is located directly across the depot on the banks of the Pasig river. In fact. with leave of court.47 The terminals store fuel and other petroleum products and supply 95% of the fuel requirements of Metro Manila. 36 After the war. not originally impleaded in the proceedings. setting even the rivers ablaze. there are also small businesses. We now discuss the first issue: whether movants-intervenors should be allowed to intervene in this case. Rule 19 of the Rules of Court: SEC. 48 50% of Luzon’s consumption and 35% nationwide. Who may intervene. or in the success of either of the parties.classified as an industrial zone. schools.50 The pertinent rules are Sections 1 and 2.30 In 1922. 1941.35 The fire consequently destroyed the Pandacan Terminals and rendered its network of depots and service stations inoperative. the "open city" blazed—a cloud of smoke by day. the oil depots were reconstructed. the Americans had no interest in welcoming the Japanese. 1914. Shell established its installation there on January 30. it had evolved into a bustling. respectively. becomes a litigant therein to enable him. enveloping the City in smoke.42 A university with a student population of about 25. is just two kilometers away. causing a frightening conflagration.28 Among its early industrial settlers were the oil companies. in their zealous attempt to fend off the Japanese Imperial Army. … For one week longer. hodgepodge community. restaurants. the following are the requisites for intervention of a non-party: 22 .46 Petron’s refinery in Limay. both in Batangas. 38 Aside from numerous industrial installations. Time to intervene. on the other hand. a pillar of fire by night.43 The 36-hectare Pandacan Terminals house the oil companies’ distribution terminals and depot facilities.32 It then went on to operate a state-of-the-art lube oil blending plant in the Pandacan Terminals where it manufactures lubes and greases. it built a warehouse depot which was later converted into a key distribution terminal. The court shall consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties. 2. 41 More than 15. daycare centers and residences situated there. Although Manila was declared an open city. The flames spread. the United States Army took control of the Pandacan Terminals and hastily made plans to destroy the storage facilities to deprive the advancing Japanese Army of a valuable logistics weapon.000 students are enrolled in elementary and high schools situated near these facilities. Pandacan has become a densely populated area inhabited by about 84. the official residence of the President of the Philippines and the seat of governmental power. 1.37 But the district was no longer a sparsely populated industrial zone. and whether or not the intervenor’s rights may be fully protected in a separate proceeding.40 There is a private school near the Petron depot.S. endangering bridges and all riverside buildings. Army burned unused petroleum.

intervention is allowed "before rendition of judgment" as Section 2. alleges that its interest in this case is also direct and immediate as Ordinance No. if persons not parties to the action were allowed to intervene. 2002. And this would be against the policy of the law. it will be expedited since their intervention will enable us to rule on the constitutionality of Ordinance No. Their claim is that they will need to spend billions of pesos if they are compelled to relocate their oil depots out of Manila. We will tackle the issue of the alleged encroachment into DOE’s domain later on. the last requirement is definitely absent. expensive and interminable. although their motion for intervention was not filed on time. Otherwise.52 a recently decided case which was also an original action filed in this Court. 2007 decision to protect their interests. 8027. (2) Intervention will not unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of rights of original parties. on the other hand. (3) Intervenor’s rights may not be fully protected in a separate proceeding51 and (g)The motion to intervene may be filed at any time before rendition of judgment by the trial court. In fact. or (b) in the success of either of the parties.56 We agree that the oil companies have a direct and immediate interest in the implementation of Ordinance No. After all. for the purpose of hearing all sides and considering the transcendental importance of this case. like all other rules of procedure.54 The oil companies assert that they have a legal interest in this case because the implementation of Ordinance No. we declared that the appropriate time to file the motions-in-intervention was before and not after resolution of the case. Rule 19 in the interest of substantial justice: The rule on intervention. however. they should have intervened long before our March 7.(1) Legal interest (a) in the matter in controversy. has recognized exceptions to Section 2. proceedings would become unnecessarily complicated. one that would put the intervenor in a legal position to litigate a fact alleged in the complaint without the establishment of which plaintiff could not recover. In Republic of the Philippines v.55 [T]he interest which entitles a person to intervene in a suit between other parties must be in the matter in litigation and of such direct and immediate character that the intervenor will either gain or lose by direct legal operation and effect of the judgment. or (d) person is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof. 8027 encroaches upon its exclusive and national authority over matters affecting the oil industry. we will also allow DOE’s intervention. 23 . It is aimed to facilitate a comprehensive adjudication of rival claims overriding technicalities on the timeliness of the filing thereof. we do not think that this will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of rights of the original parties. Both filed their separate motions after our decision was promulgated. Rule 19 expressly provides. The words "an interest in the subject" means a direct interest in the cause of action as pleaded.57 Neither did they offer any worthy explanation to justify their late intervention. 8027 instead of waiting for the RTC’s decision. Considering that they admitted knowing about this case from the time of its filing on December 4. The DOE. Gingoyon. the allowance or disallowance of a motion to intervene is addressed to the sound discretion of the court before which the case is pending. 2007 decision. is intended to make the powers of the Court fully and completely available for justice. For both the oil companies and DOE. Be that as it may.53 The Court.58 Considering the compelling reasons favoring intervention. But they did not. 8027 will directly affect their business and property rights. It seeks to intervene in order to represent the interests of the members of the public who stand to suffer if the Pandacan Terminals’ operations are discontinued. we will allow it because they raised and presented novel issues and arguments that were not considered by the Court in its March 7. Suffice it to say at this point that. or I against both parties. As a rule.

we presumed with certainty that this had already lapsed. 3. respondent should have updated the Court. continuance or nonperformance of the act or acts complained of during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant.61 Respondent also mentioned the grant of injunctive writs in his rejoinder which the Court. It is true that had the oil companies only intervened much earlier. cannot be restrained by injunction.The Injunctive Writs Are Not Impediments To The Enforcement Of Ordinance No. ― A preliminary injunction may be granted when it is established: (a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded. respondent did not unlawfully fail or neglect to enforce Ordinance No. 8027. or is procuring or suffering to be done. In resolving controversies... SEC.. the presumption of validity. It is a settled rule that an ordinance enjoys the presumption of validity and. Branches 39 and 42. This is why. some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting the subject of the action or proceeding. 8027. There are two requisites for the issuance of a preliminary injunction: (1) the right to be protected exists prima facieand (2) the acts sought to be enjoined are violative of that right. expunged for being a prohibited pleading. 63 Nevertheless. in our March 7. Under Section 5 of Rule 58 of the Rules of Court. when the validity of the ordinance is assailed. in the mind of the judge. According to the oil companies. Respondent (who was also impleaded as a party in the RTC cases) defends himself by saying that he informed the court of the pendency of the civil cases and that a TRO was issued by the RTC in the consolidated cases filed by Chevron and Shell. The act sought to be restrained here was the enforcement of Ordinance No. or (g) IThat a party. or is attempting to do. and the whole or part of such relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of. either for a limited period or perpetually. They can only act on the facts and issues presented before them in appropriate pleadings. corporation.. agency or a person is doing.62 Courts. the petitioner assailing the ordinance has made out a case of unconstitutionality strong enough to overcome. They may not even substitute their own personal knowledge for evidence. 8027 We now proceed to the issue of whether the injunctive writs are legal impediments to the enforcement of Ordinance No. or in requiring the performance of an act or acts. and tending to render the judgment ineffectual.64 (Emphasis supplied) 24 . 8027 because he was lawfully prevented from doing so by virtue of the injunctive writs and status quo order issued by the RTC of Manila. in addition to a showing of a clear legal right to the remedy sought. officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office. as such. trust or station. a petition for mandamus may be filed when any tribunal. board. we have declared that the issuance of said writ is proper only when: . the original parties failed to inform the Court about these injunctive writs. court. Nevertheless. on such a relevant matter. however. by way of manifestation. as well as magistrates presiding over them are not omniscient. courts can only consider facts and issues pleaded by the parties. 2007 decision. the Court would not have been left in the dark about these facts. Section 359 of the Rules of Court. Rule 58 of the Rules of Court enumerates the grounds for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction: First. a TRO issued by the RTC is effective only for a period of 20 days. Grounds for issuance of preliminary injunction. In his memorandum. 60 Second. Nor may they take notice of matters except those expressly provided as subjects of mandatory judicial notice. respondent mentioned the issuance of a TRO. we note that while Chevron and Shell still have in their favor the writs of preliminary injunction and preliminary mandatory injunction. It must be proven that the violation sought to be prevented will cause an irreparable injustice. The parties and their counsels were clearly remiss in their duties to this Court. threatening. Section 3.. However. Under Rule 65. (b) That the commission. the courts are not precluded from issuing an injunctive writ against its enforcement. the status quo order in favor of Petron is no longer in effect since the court granted the joint motion of the parties to withdraw the complaint and counterclaim.

It reclassified the subject area from industrial to commercial. to continue their operation in the Pandacan Terminal and the right to protect their investments. 25 . therefore. it was included in the Investment Priorities Plan as mandated under the "Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1988 (R. This is a clear and unmistakable right of the plaintiff/petitioners. has in effect given notice that the regulations are essential to the well being of the people . in resolving whether or not a Writ of Preliminary Injunction or Preliminary Mandatory Injunction should be issued.67 The presumption is all in favor of validity. a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and a Writ of Mandatory Injunction be issued to prevent serious and irreparable damage to plaintiff/petitioners..] in the determination of actual cases and controversies[. (2) a violation of that right. The reason for this is obvious: The action of the elected representatives of the people cannot be lightly set aside. 71 X—x—x There can be no doubt that the City of Manila has the power to divide its territory into residential and industrial zones. As a lawful business. Statutes and ordinances are presumed valid unless and until the courts declare the contrary in clear and unequivocal terms. and to prescribe that offensive and unwholesome trades and occupations are to be established exclusively in the latter zone. Every year they were issued Business Permits by the City of Manila. Ros. in his order dated May 19. 8479). . does not at all appear to be unconstitutional.. and (3) a permanent and urgent necessity for the Writ to prevent serious damage.69 The oil companies argue that this presumption must be set aside when the invalidity or unreasonableness appears on the face of the ordinance itself. he was convinced that they had made out a case of unconstitutionality or invalidity strong enough to overcome the presumption of validity of the ordinance. The Judiciary should not lightly set aside legislative action when there is not a clear invasion of personal or property rights under the guise of police regulation. therefore. commercial and residential zones is recognized in almost all jurisdictions inasmuch as it is derived from the police power itself and is exercised for the protection and benefit of their inhabitants.A. of City Ordinance No. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary[. this power is within the power of municipal corporations: The power of municipal corporations to divide their territory into industrial. The councilors must. in the very nature of things. on its face. by enacting the ordinance. therefore.65 Nowhere in the judge’s discussion can we see that. In fact. before the Court.] must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the government. in addition to a showing of a clear legal right of Chevron and Shell to the remedy sought. Prima facie. the plaintiff/petitioners have a right.66 The mere fact that the ordinance is alleged to be unconstitutional or invalid will not entitle a party to have its enforcement enjoined. 2003.Judge Reynaldo G. be familiar with the necessities of their particular municipality and with all the facts and circumstances which surround the subject and necessitate action. There is no doubt that the plaintiff/petitioners have been legitimately operating their business in the Pandacan Terminal for many years and they have made substantial capital investment therein. The local legislative body. stated his basis for issuing the injunctive writs: The Court. determines whether the Ordinance in question is valid or not. . 68 X—x—x . is guided by the following requirements: (1) a clear legal right of the complainant.70 We see no reason to set aside the presumption. The ordinance. The enactment. because of its vital importance to the national economy. The Court believes that these requisites are present in these cases.[Courts] accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. Its operations have not been declared illegal or contrary to law or morals. 8027 passed by the City Council of Manila reclassifying the area where the Pandacan Terminal is located from Industrial II to Commercial I and requiring the plaintiff/petitioners to cease and desist from the operation of their business has certainly violated the rights of the plaintiff/petitioners to continue their legitimate business in the Pandacan Terminal and deprived them of their huge investments they put up therein. Thus.

should have taken steps to procure a copy of the ordinance on its own. opting instead to question the validity of Ordinance No. We are aware that the issuance of these injunctive writs is not being assailed as tainted with grave abuse of discretion. 73 Although. 8027 (which is the subject of the mandamus petition).78 In the same way that we deem the intervenors’ late intervention in this case unjustified. 8119 because he believed that it was different from Ordinance No. 03-106379 (where Petron assailed the constitutionality of Ordinance No. 8027 and that the two were not inconsistent with each other.. a court is not required to take judicial notice of ordinances that are not before it and to which it does not have access. As already discussed. 8119.72 Courts will not invalidate an ordinance unless it clearly appears that it is unconstitutional. Ordinances are not included in the enumeration of matters covered by mandatory judicial notice under Section 1. Enforcement and Amendment thereto" which was approved by respondent on June 16. the rule with respect to local ordinances is different.All courts sitting in the city shall take judicial notice of the ordinances passed by the [Sangguniang Panglungsod]. . in his answer in civil case no. This cannot be taken to mean that this Court. 75 Counsel should take the initiative in requesting that a trial court take judicial notice of an ordinance even where a statute requires courts to take judicial notice of local ordinances. Ordinance No. There is no such showing here.xxx xxx xxx Likewise. Therefore. it cannot be denied that the City of Manila has the authority. Section 50 of RA 40974 provides that: SEC. which has been declared residential. 8027 was repealed by Ordinance No. 8119).. Respondent countered that this stipulation simply meant that Petron was recognizing the validity and legality of Ordinance No. 50 Judicial notice of ordinances. 8119 in civil case no. Even where there is a statute that requires a court to take judicial notice of municipal ordinances. expressly stated that Ordinance No. we find the failure of respondent. However. 77 In its defense.. 2007 decision did not take into consideration the passage of Ordinance No. While courts are required to take judicial notice of the laws enacted by Congress. The party asking the court to take judicial notice is obligated to supply the court with the full text of the rules the party desires it to have notice of. 8119]. we are confronted with the question of whether these writs issued by a lower court are impediments to the enforcement of Ordinance No. derived from the police power. 8027) when the parties in their joint motion to withdraw complaint and counterclaim stated that "the issue . inexcusable. since it has its seat in the City of Manila. relieving the party of any duty to inform the Court about it. 06-115334 (where Chevron and Shell are asking for the nullification of Ordinance No.80 The oil companies deny this and further argue that respondent. Rule 129 of the Rules of Court. The Rule On Judicial Admissions Is Not Applicable Against Respondent The oil companies assert that respondent judicially admitted that Ordinance No. 8027:81 26 .76 The intent of a statute requiring a court to take judicial notice of a local ordinance is to remove any discretion a court might have in determining whether or not to take notice of an ordinance. Such a statute does not direct the court to act on its own in obtaining evidence for the record and a party must make the ordinance available to the court for it to take notice. 2006. respondent claimed that he did not inform the Court about the enactment of Ordinance No. 8119 replaced Ordinance No. who was an original party here. 8027 Was Not Superseded By Ordinance No."79 They contend that such admission worked as an estoppel against the respondent.has been rendered moot and academic by virtue of the passage of [Ordinance No. The simple reason was that the Court was never informed about this ordinance. 8027 and that it had conceded the issue of said ordinance’s constitutionality.. we rule in the negative. the injunctive writs issued in the Manila RTC’s May 19. 8119 The March 7.. 2003 order had no leg to stand on. 8119 entitled "An Ordinance Adopting the Manila Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Regulations of 2006 and Providing for the Administration. of forbidding the appellant to continue the manufacture of toyo in the zone where it is now situated.

structure or land at the time of the adoption of this Ordinance may be continued. 8119 Did Not Impliedly Repeal Ordinance No.] 8027. 8119 superseded Ordinance No.. 72. (Emphasis supplied) Moreover. made by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case. 8119 provides for a phase-out of seven years: While it is true that a party making a judicial admission cannot subsequently take a position contrary to or inconsistent with what was pleaded. replaced Ordinance [No.84 To constitute a judicial admission. does not require proof.] PNR Railroad in the northwest area. On the contrary. also impugn its (8119’s) validity.] seven years. (Emphasis supplied) This is opposed to Ordinance No. Pasig River in the southeast and Dr. 8119 reclassified the area covering the Pandacan Terminals to "High Density Residential/Mixed Use SEC. Owners or operators of industries and other businesses. According to the oil companies. PNR Railroad Track in the east. verbal or written. (Emphasis supplied) Zone (R-3/MXD)"87 whereas Ordinance No.L. Parties cannot take vacillating or contrary positions regarding the validity of a statute85 or ordinance. provided: xxx xxx xxx (g) In case the non-conforming use is an industrial use: xxx xxx xxx d. 03-106379 and 06-115334 which are not "the same" as this case before us. Section 4 of the Rules of Court provides: Section 4. 8119 impliedly repealed it. Manalo Street. the operation of which are no longer permitted under Section 1 hereof. that is[. Mayo 28 St. 8119 thus provided for an even longer term. M. merely took note of the time frame provided for in Ordinance No. 83 the aforestated rule is not applicable here.. 82 (Emphasis supplied) Rule 129.. although such use does not conform with the provision of the Ordinance. 8119. The admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. The land use classified as non-conforming shall program the phase-out and relocation of the nonconforming use within seven (7) years from the date of effectivity of this Ordinance.The lawful use of any building. Ana bounded by the Pasig River. Judicial admissions. The area of Punta. They rely on the argument that Ordinance No. 8027. 8027 which compels affected entities to vacate the area within six months from the effectivity of the ordinance: SEC. Ordinance No. Sta. 8027 Both the oil companies and DOE argue that Ordinance No. Estero de Pandacan in the [n]ortheast. 8119 repealed Ordinance No. at the same time. Palumpong St.. Ordinance No.. 8027 but. Existing Non-Conforming Uses and Buildings. Ordinance No. We frown on the adoption of inconsistent positions and distrust any attempt at clever positioning under one or the other on the basis of what appears advantageous at the moment. the admission must be made in the same case in which it is offered. . 27 . Respondent made the statements regarding the ordinances in civil case nos. are herebyreclassified from Industrial II to Commercial I. 8119 did not supersede Ordinance No. Beata St. the land use of [those] portions of land bounded by the Pasig River in the north. 8027. Nonetheless. They assert that although there was no express repeal86 of Ordinance No. Marcelino Obrero St. Ordinance No. disallowed. 3. businesses whose uses are not in accord with the reclassification were given six months to cease [their] operation. are hereby given a period of six (6) months from the date of effectivity of this Ordinance within which to cease and desist from the operation of businesses which are hereby in consequence. Under Ordinance No. Carreon in the southwest.. and general welfare of the residents of Pandacan and Sta. which in effect. public safety. we will look into the merits of the argument of implied repeal. Ordinance No. Ana as well as its adjoining areas. respondent is not estopped from claiming that Ordinance No. 8027. and Estero de Pancacan in the west[. Hence. in the south. 8027. For the purpose of promoting sound urban planning and ensuring health.. ― An admission. 8027 reclassified the same area from Industrial II to Commercial I: SECTION 1. Ordinance No. it is the oil companies which should be considered estopped. and F.. in the southwest. 8119.

8027 applicable to the oil companies even after the passage of Ordinance No. in passing a law. there was any indication of the legislative purpose to repeal Ordinance No.94 As statutes and ordinances are presumed to be passed only after careful deliberation and with knowledge of all existing ones on the subject. constitutes an implied repeal of the earlier one. iyon lang po ang ni-lift eithe at inilagay eith. it follows that. complementarily of building types and land uses. in all instances be complied with 3. 96 These standards are deeply enshrined in our jurisprudence. 8119. every effort at reasonable construction must be made to reconcile the ordinances so that both can be given effect: The fact that a later enactment may relate to the same subject matter as that of an earlier statute is not of itself sufficient to cause an 28 . 23. iyong Ordinance No. the [Land Use Intensity Control (LUIC)] under which zones are located shall. Pandacan Oil Depot Area xxx xxx xxx Enumerated below are the allowable uses: 1. the validity of the prescribed LUIC shall only be [superseded] by the development controls and regulations specified for each PUD as provided for each PUD as provided for by the masterplan of respective PUDs. all uses allowed in all zones where it is located 2. building siting. 8119 also designated the Pandacan oil depot area as a "Planned Unit Development/Overlay Zone (O-PUD)": SEC. pursuant to regulations specified for each particular PUD. the legislature did not intend to interfere with or abrogate a former law relating to the same subject matter.Ordinance No. if there is no intent to repeal the earlier enactment. the Sanggunian did not intend to repeal Ordinance No. At eith eith ordinansang …iyong naipasa ng huling Konseho. 8027. Implied repeals are not favored and will not be so declared unless the intent of the legislators is manifest. 8027 but meant instead to carry over 8027’s provisions to 8119 for the purpose of making Ordinance No. So ini-lift lang po [eithe] iyong definition.89 He quotes an excerpt from the minutes of the July 27.92 The second is: if the later act covers the whole subject of the earlier one and is clearly intended as a substitute. classification of the land use of the area where Pandacan oil depot is located. While it is true that both ordinances relate to the same subject matter. the later act should be construed as a continuation of. it will operate to repeal the earlier law. 8119.i. We disagree that. So wala po kaming binago na taliwas o nailagay na taliwas doon sa ordinansang ipinasa ninyo. 2004 session of the Sanggunian during the first reading of Ordinance No. Use Regulations in Planned Unit Development/Overlay Zone (O-PUD). the latter act. 8027. to the extent of the conflict. So kung ano po ang nandirito sa ordinansa na ipinasa ninyo last time. Repeal by implication proceeds on the premise that where a statute of later date clearly reveals the intention of the legislature to abrogate a prior act on the subject. iyong patungkol po roon sa oil depot doon sa amin sa Sixth District sa Pandacan. The first is: where the provisions in the two acts on the same subject matter are irreconcilably contradictory.e. wala pong nakalagay eith sa ordinansa rito na taliwas o kakaiba roon sa ordinansang ipinasa noong nakaraang Konseho. 8027. ni-lift lang po [eithe] from Ordinance No.93 The oil companies argue that the situation here falls under the first category. the earlier act. – O-PUD Zones are identified specific sites in the City of Manila wherein the project site is comprehensively planned as an entity via unitary site plan which permits flexibility in planning/ design.88 (Emphasis supplied) Respondent claims that in passing Ordinance No. usable open spaces and the preservation of significant natural land features. niri-classify [ninyo] from Industrial II to Commercial C-1 ang area ng Pandacan kung nasaan ang oil depot. 8119. that intention must be given effect. iniba lang po naming iyong title. 8119: Member GARCIA: Your Honor. Enumerated below are identified PUD: xxx xxx xxx 6. and not a substitute for. at saka po yon pong … ng… noong ordinansa ninyo na siya eith naming inilagay eith. density."90 (Emphasis supplied) We agree with respondent.95 If the intent to repeal is not clear. 97 The excerpt quoted above is proof that there was never such an intent. in enacting Ordinance No.91 There are two kinds of implied repeal.

a later general law will ordinarily not repeal a prior special law on the same subject.e. 8027) or mixed residential/commercial (Ordinance No. What is necessary is a manifest indication of legislative purpose to repeal. Ordinance No. in passing a law of special character.. it is a well-settled rule in statutory construction that a subsequent general law does not repeal a prior special law on the same subject unless it clearly appears that the legislature has intended by the latter general act to modify or repeal the earlier special law. But with such clause contained in the subsequent general law."101 There is no conflict since both ordinances actually have a common objective. comprehensively planned as an entity via unitary site plan which permits flexibility in planning/design. whether the prior law is a general law or a special law. the legislature. 8027. 84.. regulations in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed. 98 For the first kind of implied repeal. Ordinance No. i. 102 This is so even if the provisions of the general law are sufficiently comprehensive to include what was set forth in the special act. 8027. 8119. This being so. 8027 is applicable to the area particularly described therein whereas Ordinance No. a special enactment. since the aforequoted minutes (an official record of the discussions in the Sanggunian) actually indicated the clear intent to preserve the provisions of Ordinance No. repeal or modification of the latter.99 the Pandacan area was shown to be within the "High Density Residential/Mixed Use Zone (R-3/MXD). rules. the prior special law will be deemed repealed.implied repeal of the prior act. That the rights that are vested upon the effectivity of this Ordinance shall not be impaired.105 The reason for this is that the legislature. services and business activities. by adopting a general law containing provisions repugnant to those of the special law and without making any mention of its intention to amend or modify such special law. in Section 23. The repealing clause of Ordinance No.110 This ruling in not applicable here. The two ordinances can be reconciled.. Without such a clause.. the general act or provision. Repealing Clause. 8119 can be considered a general law108 as it covers the entire city of Manila.103 The special act and the general law must stand together.. one as the law of the particular subject and the other as the law of general application. there must be an irreconcilable conflict between the two ordinances. 8119 is applicable to the entire City of Manila. complementarity of building types and land uses.. since the new statute may merely be cumulative or a continuation of the old one. the existence of an all-encompassing repealing clause in Ordinance No. to shift the zoning classification from industrial to commercial (Ordinance No. 8027 reclassified the Pandacan area from Industrial II to Commercial I. building siting. The "O-PUD" classification merely made Pandacan a "project site . Ordinance No. 8119 are not inconsistent with the reclassification of the Pandacan area from Industrial to Commercial in Ordinance No. Department of Agrarian Reform:109 The presence of such general repealing clause in a later statute clearly indicates the legislative intent to repeal all prior inconsistent laws on the subject matter.. 8119). PROVIDED."100 Its classification as "R-3/MXD" means that it should "be used primarily for high-rise housing/dwelling purposes and limited complementary/supplementary trade. 8119 cannot be taken to indicate the legislative intent to repeal all prior inconsistent laws on the subject matter. Cebu City v. or a qualification of. There is no conflict between the two ordinances.. 29 .106 Ordinance No. including Ordinance No. 8119 evinces an intent on the part of the Sanggunian to repeal the earlier ordinance: Sec." In its Annex C which defined the zone boundaries. – All ordinances. the conflict between the two ordinances is more apparent than real. cannot be deemed to have intended an amendment. designated it as a "Planned Unit Development/Overlay Zone (O-PUD). To summarize. usable open spaces and the preservation of significant natural land features. 8027 is a special law107 since it deals specifically with a certain area described therein (the Pandacan oil depot area) whereas Ordinance No. Generalia specialibus non derogant (a general law does not nullify a specific or special law). considers and makes special provisions for the particular circumstances dealt with by the special law. The oil companies assert that even if Ordinance No.104 The special law must be taken as intended to constitute an exception to. as the clause is a clear legislative intent to bring about that result." These zone classifications in Ordinance No. Moreover. They cited Hospicio de San Jose de Barili. 8027. 8027 is a special law.

General Welfare. A party need not go first to the DILG in order to compel the enforcement of an ordinance. such power may be delegated. Duties. known as the general welfare clause. The tests of a valid ordinance are well established. ― Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted. (5) must be general and consistent with public policy and (6) must not be unreasonable. except to enforce mere ministerial acts required by law to be performed by some officer thereof. This suggested process would be unreasonably long. Besides. Specifically. Again. and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants. Police power is the plenary power vested in the legislature to make statutes and ordinances to promote the health. 8027 was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Manila in the exercise of its police power. Functions and Compensation. local government units shall ensure and support. and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. good order or safety and general welfare of the people. tedious and consequently injurious to the interests of the local government unit (LGU) and its constituents whose welfare is sought to be protected. in this case. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions.118 Section 16 of the LGC. [the] Courts will not interfere by mandamus proceedings with the legislative [or executive departments] of the government in the legitimate exercise of its powers. it must also conform to the following substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute. 8027 which was to seek relief from the President of the Philippines through the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) by virtue of the President’s power of supervision over local government units. 8027 The oil companies insist that mandamus does not lie against respondent in consideration of the separation of powers of the executive and judiciary.116 This power flows from the recognition that salus populi est suprema lex (the welfare of the people is the supreme law). speedy and adequate remedy to compel respondent to enforce Ordinance No. 8027 Ordinance No. 117 While police power rests primarily with the national legislature. we now proceed to make a definitive ruling on its constitutionality and validity. (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade. encapsulates the delegated police power to local governments: 119 Section 16. enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology. 8027. Indeed. as well as powers necessary. promote full employment among their residents. LGUs like the City of Manila exercise police power through their respective legislative bodies. appropriate. – (a) The sangguniang panglungsod. Legislative powers. education. which is the power to compel "the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from office. the preservation and enrichment of culture. among other things. we disagree. or incidental for its efficient and effective governance. the Sanggunian can enact ordinances for the general welfare of the city: Section. improve public morals. enhance economic prosperity and social justice. petitioners’ resort to an original action for mandamus before this Court is undeniably allowed by the Constitution. peace. – Powers."113 They also argue that petitioners had a plain.112 (Emphasis Supplied) since this is the function of a writ of mandamus.Mandamus Lies To Compel Respondent Mayor To Enforce Ordinance No.115 The City of Manila Has The Power To Enact Ordinance No. 458. as the legislative branch of the city. (2) must not be unfair or oppressive. — The [City Council] shall have the following legislative powers: 30 . shall enact ordinances. it must not only be within the corporate powers of the LGU to enact and be passed according to the procedure prescribed by law. (3) must not be partial or discriminatory. encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities.111 This argument is misplaced. maintain peace and order. 114 Ordinance No. morals. theSangguniang Panlungsod or the city council. approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code xxxx This police power was also provided for in RA 409 or the Revised Charter of the City of Manila: Section 18. those necessarily implied therefrom. For an ordinance to be valid. trust or station. 8027 Is Constitutional And Valid Having ruled that there is no impediment to the enforcement of Ordinance No. promote health and safety.

the threats of terrorism continued [such] that it became imperative for governments to take measures to combat their effects. aviation fuel. as a representation of western interests which means that it is a terrorist target. Towards this objective. the government may enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty. liquefied petroleum gas. kerosene and fuel oil among others.130 The means adopted by the Sanggunian was the enactment of a zoning ordinance which reclassified the area where the depot is situated from industrial to commercial. It therefore became necessary to remove these terminals to dissipate the threat. Resettlement and Urban Development of the City of Manila which recommended the approval of the ordinance: (1) the depot facilities contained 313. convenience. comfort. property rights of individuals may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the objectives of the government. The following facts were found by the Committee on Housing. safety or welfare must have a reasonable relation to the end in view.128 Otherwise stated. A zoning ordinance is defined as a local city or municipal legislation which logically arranges. the continued 31 . As long as it there is such a target in their midst. as distinguished from those of a particular class. there must be a concurrence of a lawful subject and a lawful method. The destruction of property and the loss of thousands of lives on that fateful day became the impetus for a public need.126 Wide discretion is vested on the legislative authority to determine not only what the interests of the public require but also what measures are necessary for the protection of such interests. is actually possible. In the exercise of police power. 8027 was enacted "for the purpose of promoting sound urban planning. In the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy. gasoline. In short. rightly or wrongly. local governments may be considered as having properly exercised their police power only if the following requisites are met: (1) the interests of the public generally.5 million liters of highly flammable and highly volatile products which include petroleum gas. diesel. morals. The Sanggunian was impelled to take measures to protect the residents of Manila from catastrophic devastation in case of a terrorist attack on the Pandacan Terminals.124 The ordinance was intended to safeguard the rights to life. defines and apportions a given political subdivision into specific land uses as present and future projection of needs. the residents of Manila are not safe. ensuring health.131 As a result of the zoning.122 Ordinance No."121 The Enactment Of Ordinance No. 125 The depot is perceived. (3) it is situated in a densely populated place and near Malacañang Palace and (4) in case of an explosion or conflagration in the depot. property. the methods or means used to protect public health.xxx xxx xxx (g) To enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and proper for the sanitation and safety. lawful businesses and occupations to promote the general welfare. (2) the depot is open to attack through land. the furtherance of the prosperity. public safety and general welfare" 123 of the residents of Manila. 8027 Is A Legitimate Exercise Of Police Power As with the State. require its exercise and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. and the promotion of the morality. the Sanggunian was in the best position to determine the needs of its constituents. water or air. 127 Clearly. and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants. According to respondent: Such a public need became apparent after the 9/11 incident which showed that what was perceived to be impossible to happen. security and safety of all the inhabitants of Manila and not just of a particular class. to the most powerful country in the world at that. good order. peace. And to forestall arbitrariness. prescribes. the Sanggunian reclassified the area defined in the ordinance from industrial to commercial.129However. the interference must be reasonable and not arbitrary. and such others as may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred by this chapter xxxx 120 Specifically. the fire could spread to the neighboring communities. the Sanggunian has the power to "reclassify land within the jurisdiction of the city.

on the other hand. Oppressive Or Confiscatory Which Amounts To Taking Without Compensation According to the oil companies. may prove injurious or offensive to the public. 8027 did not render the oil companies illegal. Respondent succinctly stated that: The oil companies are not forbidden to do business in the City of Manila. Respondent counters that this is not accurate since the ordinance merely prohibits the oil companies from operating their businesses in the Pandacan area.135 The oil companies aver that the ordinance is unfair and oppressive because they have invested billions of pesos in the depot. If the municipal council of Cabanatuan is authorized to establish said zone. The power to establish zones for industrial. He who owns property in such a district is not deprived of its use by such regulations. 8027 is within the power of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Manila and any resulting burden on those affected cannot be said to be unjust: There can be no doubt that the City of Manila has the power to divide its territory into residential and industrial zones. the enactment of Ordinance No. commercial and residential uses is derived from the police power itself and is exercised for the protection and benefit of the residents of a locality. there are other places in the City of Manila where they can conduct this specific kind of business. and good order of the city. property is appropriated and applied to some public purpose. He may use it for the purposes to which the section in which it is located is dedicated. Ordinance No.operation of the businesses of the oil companies in their present location will no longer be permitted. they foster pride in and attachment to the city. "The benefits to be derived by cities adopting such regulations (zoning) may be summarized as follows: They attract a desirable and assure a permanent citizenship. but it does not prevent legislation intended to regulate useful occupations which. Compensation is necessary only when the state’s power of eminent domain is exercised. [tranquility]. it is also authorized to provide what kind of engines may be installed therein. The assailed ordinance affects the oil companies business only in so far as the Pandacan area is concerned. In banning the installation in said zone of all engines not excepted in the ordinance.137 The restriction imposed to protect lives. except that their oil storage facilities are no longer allowed in the Pandacan area. They may still very well do so.136 Its forced closure will result in huge losses in income and tremendous costs in constructing new facilities. there is a limitation on or restriction of property interests to promote public welfare which involves no compensable taking. 8027 Is Not Unfair. 8027 is unfair and oppressive as it does not only regulate but also absolutely prohibits them from conducting operations in the City of Manila. consequently.132 Consequently. Property condemned under the exercise of police power. the municipal council of Cabanatuan did no more than regulate their installation by means of zonification. In eminent domain." xxx xxx xxx "The 14th Amendment protects the citizen in his right to engage in any lawful business. public health and 32 . Indeed. 8027 is a valid police power measure because there is a concurrence of lawful subject and lawful method. In the exercise of police power. the ordinance expressly delineated in its title and in Section 1 what it pertained to. the oil companies’ contention is not supported by the text of the ordinance. and to prescribe that offensive and unwholesome trades and occupations are to be established exclusively in the latter zone. The City of Manila merely exercised its power to regulate the businesses and industries in the zones it established: As to the contention that the power to regulate does not include the power to prohibit. Ordinance No. it will be seen that the ordinance copied above does not prohibit the installation of motor engines within the municipality of Cabanatuan but only within the zone therein fixed. they stabilize the use and value of property and promote the peace. is noxious or intended for a noxious or forbidden purpose and. because of their nature or location. Ordinance No. Their contention has no merit. Certainly. That he shall not be permitted to use it to the desecration of the community constitutes no unreasonable or permanent hardship and results in no unjust burden. Therefore. 134 The oil companies are not prohibited from doing business in other appropriate zones in Manila. We do not hesitate to say that the attainment of these objects affords a legitimate field for the exercise of the police power. they promote happiness and contentment. is not compensable." 133 We entertain no doubt that Ordinance No.

(2) it must be germane to the purpose of the law. 140 In this case. and economic supply of energy expressed in RA 7638. Only their use is restricted although they can be applied to other profitable uses permitted in the commercial zone. Finally. nobody else acquires the use or interest therein. distribution. 8027 (which effectively calls for the removal of these terminals) allegedly frustrates the state policy of ensuring a continuous. Any damage caused by fire or explosion occurring in those areas would be nothing compared to the damage caused by a fire or explosion in the depot itself. Property has not only an individual function. are subject to reasonable limitations in their enjoyment as shall prevent them from being injurious. under Section 5 I. Fire Code and Health and Sanitation Code. the national legislature declared it a policy of the state "to ensure a continuous.144 Here. adequate. there is a substantial distinction.138 The principle is this: Police power proceeds from the principle that every holder of property. utilization.142 The requirements for a valid and reasonable classification are: (1) it must rest on substantial distinctions. Therefore it is germane to the purpose of the ordinance. The enactment of the ordinance which provides for the cessation of the operations of these terminals removes the threat they pose. Rights of property. may think necessary and expedient. An ordinance based on reasonable classification does not violate the constitutional guaranty of the equal protection of the law.148 They further assert that the terminals are necessary for the delivery of immediate and adequate supply of oil to its recipients in the most economical way.150 Likewise. a national law. distribution and transport are of national interest and fall under DOE’s primary and exclusive jurisdiction. particularly in Section 7 thereof: 33 .safety from danger is not a taking. It is merely the prohibition or abatement of a noxious use which interferes with paramount rights of the public. marketing. stockpiling." Considering that the petroleum products contained in the Pandacan Terminals are major and critical energy resources. like all other social and conventional rights. We reiterate that what the ordinance seeks to prevent is a catastrophic devastation that will result from a terrorist attack. conservation. the ordinance is applicable to all businesses and industries in the area it delineated. Unlike the depot.143 The law may treat and regulate one class differently from another class provided there are real and substantial differences to distinguish one class from another. transportation. Ordinance No.141 This issue should not detain us for long. the properties of the oil companies and other businesses situated in the affected area remain theirs. however absolute and unqualified may be his title. The classification is not limited to the conditions existing when the ordinance was enacted but to future conditions as well. and economic supply of energy" 147 and created the DOE to implement this policy. DOE is empowered to "establish and administer programs for the exploration. 8027 Is Not Partial And Discriminatory The oil companies take the position that the ordinance has discriminated against and singled out the Pandacan Terminals despite the fact that the Pandacan area is congested with buildings and residences that do not comply with the National Building Code. the ordinance thwarts the determination of the DOE that the terminals’ operations should be merely scaled down and not discontinued. holds it under the implied liability that his use of it shall not be injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having an equal right to the enjoyment of their property.149 Local legislation such as Ordinance No.139 In the regulation of the use of the property. hence there is no compensable taking. they conclude that their administration.151They insist that this should not be allowed considering that it has a nationwide economic impact and affects public interest transcending the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Manila. 8027 is unconstitutional because it contravenes RA 7638 (DOE Act of 1992) 145 and RA 8479 (Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Law of 1998). Ordinance No. adequate. 146 They argue that through RA 7638. and storage of energy resources. 152 According to them. but also a social function insofar as it has to provide for the needs of the other members of society. the surrounding community is not a high-value terrorist target. nor injurious to the right of the community. (3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only and (4) it must apply equally to all members of the same class. insofar as it has to provide for the needs of the owner. under the governing and controlling power vested in them by the constitution. there is a reasonable classification. 8027 is Not Inconsistent With RA 7638 And RA 8479 The oil companies and the DOE assert that Ordinance No. the DOE’s supervision over the oil industry under RA 7638 was subsequently underscored by RA 8479. Accordingly. and to such reasonable restraints and regulations established by law as the legislature. storage. Thus.

and enhance environmental protection. transportation.. and if we can suppose it capable of so great a folly and so great a wrong. True.:154 The rationale of the requirement that the ordinances should not contravene a statute is obvious. the mere tenants at will of the legislature. the legislature might. however. The delegate cannot be superior to the principal or exercise powers higher than those of the latter. and joint actions on oil spill control and fire prevention. and any unfair competition in the Industry as defined in Article 186 of the Revised Penal Code." On the other hand. We know of no limitation on the right so far as to the corporation themselves are concerned.SECTION 7. sweep from existence all of the municipal corporations in the State. The power to create still includes the power to destroy. which cannot defy its will or modify or violate it. and storage of energy resources. combinations in restraint of trade. Promotion of Fair Trade Practices. utilization. Inc. the DOE "shall continue to encourage certain practices in the Industry which serve the public interest and are intended to achieve efficiency and cost reduction. The power to grant still includes the power to withhold or recall. and negate by mere ordinance the mandate of the statute. ensure continuous supply of petroleum products. and the corporation could not prevent it. 8027 contravenes RA 7638 and RA 8479. the people expressly adopted the following policy: Section 25. Unless there is some constitutional limitation on the right. so to phrase it. marketing. The LGC was specially promulgated by Congress to ensure the autonomy of local governments as mandated by the Constitution: 34 . otherwise known as the "Intellectual Property Rights Law".153 Indeed. and Articles 168 and 169 of Republic Act No. which cannot now be withdrawn by mere statute. 155 The question now is whether Ordinance No." This basic relationship between the national legislature and the local government units has not been enfeebled by the new provisions in the Constitution strengthening the policy of local autonomy. and derive their powers and rights wholly from the legislature. joint tanker and pipeline utilization. "Municipal corporations owe their origin to. These practices may include borrow-and-loan agreements. Municipal governments are only agents of the national government. As it creates.The DOE shall continue to encourage certain practices in the Industry which serve the public interest and are intended to achieve efficiency and cost reduction. Section 25 thereof. rationalized depot and manufacturing operations. DOE was given the power to "establish and administer programs for the exploration. like the direct conferment on the local government units of the power to tax. It is a heresy to suggest that the local government units can undo the acts of Congress. without which they cannot exist. As it may destroy. by a single act. They are. In Article II. hospitality agreements. there are certain notable innovations in the Constitution. Local councils exercise only delegated legislative powers conferred on them by Congress as the national lawmaking body. Under Section 5 I of RA 7638. distribution. stockpiling. monopolies. 8293. An entire article (Article X) of the Constitution has been devoted to guaranteeing and promoting the autonomy of LGUs. The principle of local autonomy is enshrined in and zealously protected under the Constitution. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments." Nothing in these statutes prohibits the City of Manila from enacting ordinances in the exercise of its police power. ― The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and DOE shall take all measures to promote fair trade and prevent cartelization. It breathes into them the breath of life. By and large. Without meaning to detract from that policy. the national legislature is still the principal of the local government units. it may abridge and control. (Emphasis supplied) Respondent counters that DOE’s regulatory power does not preclude LGUs from exercising their police power. Pryce Properties Corp. conservation. ensure continuous supply of petroleum products. we here confirm that Congress retains control of the local government units although in significantly reduced degree now than under our previous Constitutions. The rationale for this was clearly explained in Magtajas vs. under Section 7 of RA 8749. It does not. from which they have derived their power in the first place. ordinances should not contravene existing statutes enacted by Congress. so it may destroy.

v. ― In the interpretation of the provisions of this Code. Any fair and reasonable doubt as to the existence of the power shall be interpreted in favor of the local government unit concerned.. To rule against the power of 35 . any question thereon shall be resolved in favor of devolution of powers and of the lower local government unit. authority. and in case of doubt. 7 enacted by the municipality of Daanbantayan. ensure continuous supply of petroleum products. and resources. the doubt must be resolved in favor of the City of Manila: SECTION 5. Pryce Properties Corp. This is not the case here. we shall make a brief survey of our decisions where the police power measure of the LGU clashed with national laws. Pereña." These powers can be exercised without emasculating the LGUs of the powers granted them. When these ambiguous powers are pitted against the unequivocal power of the LGU to enact police power and zoning ordinances for the general welfare of its constituents. marketing. 2. This law granted a franchise to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and allowed it to operate lotteries. (Emphasis supplied) We do not see how the laws relied upon by the oil companies and DOE stripped the City of Manila of its power to enact ordinances in the exercise of its police power and to reclassify the land uses within its jurisdiction. v. Laguna because lotto was duly authorized by RA 1169. Cebu allowing the operation of three cockpits was invalid for violating PD 449 (or the Cockfighting Law of 1974) which permitted only one cockpit per municipality. a permit to operate a cable television (CATV) system in Batangas City. as amended by BP 42. and storage of energy resources" and "to encourage certain practices in the [oil] industry which serve the public interest and are intended to achieve efficiency and cost reduction. Court of Appeals. stockpiling. Taon 1995 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna could not be used as justification to prohibit lotto in the municipality of San Pedro. utilization. Inc. ― (a) It is hereby declared the policy of the State that the territorial and political subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the attainment of national goals. Rules of Interpretation.159 the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cagayan de Oro City passed Ordinance Nos. distribution. Toward this end. In Magtajas v. The inconsistencies were so patent that there was no room for doubt. In Lina. We ruled that these ordinances were void for contravening PD 1869 or the charter of the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation which had the power to operate casinos. 210 granting Batangas CATV. Jr. Inc. In Tan v. Declaration of Policy. Considering that the powers of the DOE regarding the Pandacan Terminals are not categorical. The process of decentralization shall proceed from the National Government to the local government units.Sec. 205 and 436 to regulate CATV operations. EO 205 mandated the NTC to grant certificates of authority to CATV operators while EO 436 vested on the NTC the power to regulate and supervise the CATV industry. Inc. responsibilities. 3353 and 3375- 93 prohibiting the operation of casinos in the city. Paño. In Batangas CATV. conservation.156 the Court ruled that Ordinance No. The Court held that the LGU did not have the authority to grant franchises to operate a CATV system because it was the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that had the power under EO Nos. it is not difficult to rule in favor of the latter.157 the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Batangas City enacted Resolution No. the State shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization whereby local government units shall be given more powers. transportation. To guide us.. the following rules shall apply: (a) Any provision on a power of a local government unit shall be liberally interpreted in its favor.158 we held that Kapasiyahan Bilang 508. xxx xxx xxx (g) IThe general welfare provisions in this Code shall be liberally interpreted to give more powers to local government units in accelerating economic development and upgrading the quality of life for the people in the community xxxx The least we can do to ensure genuine and meaningful local autonomy is not to force an interpretation that negates powers explicitly granted to local governments. The laws cited merely gave DOE general powers to "establish and administer programs for the exploration. The common dominator of all of these cases is that the national laws were clearly and expressly in conflict with the ordinances/resolutions of the LGUs.

the President and his or her alter egos. our national officials should not only comply with the constitutional provisions on local autonomy but should also appreciate the spirit and liberty upon which these provisions are based.LGUs to reclassify areas within their jurisdiction will subvert the principle of local autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution. the DOE cannot substitute its own discretion for the discretion exercised by the sanggunian of the City of Manila. The members of the Cabinet and other executive officials are merely alter egos. the President. and land use planning. a power that not even its principal. has. not control. the department heads. ― Metro-wide services under the jurisdiction of the MMDAare those services which have metro-wide impact and transcend local political boundaries or entail huge expenditures such that it would not be viable for said services to be provided by the individual [LGUs] comprising Metropolitan Manila. cannot interfere with the activities of local governments. suspended or reversed. Xxxx Consequently. it shall endorse the same to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).162Control and supervision are distinguished as follows: [Supervision] means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. Scope of MMDA Services. the development of shelter and housing facilities and the provision of necessary social services thereof. what the DOE seeks to do is to set aside an ordinance enacted by local officials. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them. By constitutional fiat. standards. is the power of mere oversight over an inferior body. zoning. it does not include any restraining authority over such body. rules and regulations. Their basis is Section 3 (e) of RA 7924:168 SECTION 3. This is because: Under our present system of government. programs and projects to rationalize and optimize urban land use and provide direction to urban growth and expansion. executive power is vested in the President. Their sovereign powers emanate from the electorate. 160As we have noted in earlier decisions. cannot exercise the power of control over them.166 Thus. and shelter services which include the formulation. the President may not withhold or alter any authority or power given them by the Constitution and the law.165 Here. means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer ha[s] done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter. so long as their acts are exercised within the sphere of their legitimate powers. to whom they are directly accountable. 8027 Is Not Invalid For Failure To Comply With RA 7924 And EO 72 The oil companies argue that zoning ordinances of LGUs are required to be submitted to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for review and if found to be in compliance with its metropolitan physical framework plan and regulations. adoption and implementation of policies. In contrast. (Emphasis supplied) Reference was also made to Section 15 of its implementing rules: 36 . on the other hand. Control.167 Ordinance No. Accordingly. In local affairs. The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments. when contrasted with control. the rehabilitation and development of slum and blighted areas. As such.164 It does not allow the supervisor to annul the acts of the subordinate. the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties. the heads of political subdivisions are elected by the people. the wisdom of local officials must prevail as long as they are acting within the parameters of the Constitution and the law. By the same token. so long as they act within the scope of their authority. These services shall include: xxx xxx xxx (g) Urban renewal. or their actions and decisions changed. the Chief Executive or his or her alter egos.161 The DOE Cannot Exercise The Power Of Control Over LGUs Another reason that militates against the DOE’s assertions is that Section 4 of Article X of the Constitution confines the President’s power over LGUs to one of general supervision: SECTION 4.163 Supervisory power. they are subject to the power of control of the President. at whose will and behest they can be removed from office. they are subject to the President’s supervision only.

therefore. paragraphs I. 8119 which was explicitly formulated as the "Manila [CLUP] and Zoning Ordinance of 2006. Cities and municipalities shall prepare their respective land use plans and zoning ordinances and submit the same for review and integration by the [MMDA] and indorsement to HLURB in accordance with Executive Order No. the comprehensive land use plans of provinces. NHA. 72 and other pertinent laws. S. Within the context of the National Housing and Urban Development Framework. and. the comprehensive land use plans of cities and municipalities of Metropolitan Manila shall be reviewed by the HLURB to ensure compliance with national standards and guidelines. RA 7942 does not give MMDA the authority to review land use plans and zoning ordinances of cities and municipalities. 37 . and RA 7279. the [MMDA] shall coordinate with the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council. of 1978. HLURB. EO 648. Linkages with HUDCC. the same shall be deemed consistent with law. (e). review. (g) Said review shall be completed within three (3) months upon receipt thereof otherwise. highly urbanized cities and independent component cities shall be reviewed and ratified by the HLURB to ensure compliance with national standards and guidelines. and provide the basis for the preparation. HLURB. (f) and (g): SECTION 1. in accordance with the land use planning and zoning standards and guidelines prescribed by the HLURB pursuant to EO 392.Section 15. and all other agencies of the national government which are concerned with land use and zoning. Zoning and Land Use Planning and Shelter Services. and other pertinent national policies. of 1981. it is invalid. LGUs and Other National Government Agencies Concerned on Urban Renewal. They cite Section 1. 8027 is admittedly not a CLUP nor intended to be one. The argument is flawed. ordinance of cities and municipalities in the area. of 1990. EO 72 expressly refers to comprehensive land use plans (CLUPs) only. and pursuant to the national standards. the [MMDA] shall prepare a metropolitan physical framework plan and regulations which shall complement and translate the socio-economic development plan for Metro Manila into physical or spatial terms. ― xxx xxx xxx (g) Cities and municipalities of Metropolitan Manila shall continue to formulate or update their respective comprehensive land use plans. xxx xxx xxx (e) Pursuant to LOI 729. it is a very specific ordinance which reclassified the land use of a defined area in order to prevent the massive effects of a possible terrorist attack. S. planning and zoning policies and procedures that shall be observed by local government units in the preparation of their own plans and ordinances pursuant to Section 447 and 458 of RA 7160. Said framework plan and regulations shall contain. (Emphasis supplied) They also claim that EO 72169 provides that zoning ordinances of cities and municipalities of Metro Manila are subject to review by the HLURB to ensure compliance with national standards and guidelines. This was only found in its implementing rules which made a reference to EO 72. urban renewal and shelter services. Instead. In the preparation of a Metropolitan Manila physical framework plan and regulations. S. among others. Plan formulation or updating. S. 8027 did not go through this review process. integration and implementation of local land use plans and zoning. as well as the identification of sites and projects that are considered to be of national or metropolitan significance. Intramuros Administration. It is Ordinance No. of 1999. (f) Pursuant to EO 392. the National Housing Authority. guidelines and regulations formulated by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board [HLURB] on land use planning and zoning. valid." CLUPs are the ordinances which should be submitted to the MMDA for integration in its metropolitan physical framework plan and approved by the HLURB to ensure that they conform with national guidelines and policies. (Emphasis supplied) They argue that because Ordinance No. Ordinance No.

there are no impediments to its enforcement and implementation. The city government wants to be assured that its residents are safe at any time from these installations. the right to life enjoys precedence over the right to property. [which] shall include the preparation of a Master Plan. When the state or LGU’s exercise of police power clashes with a few individuals’ right to property. specially one with far-reaching consequences.. and within a time-frame that complies with the letter and spirit of our resolution.. In accordance with the presumption of validity in favor of an ordinance. the oil companies did not present any evidence to show that these were not complied with. However. property is not. they failed to rebut the presumption of validity of Ordinance No. in accordance with a comprehensive and well-coordinated plan.172 Both law and jurisprudence support the constitutionality and validity of Ordinance No. Yet aside from their bare assertion. Their power to chart and control their own destiny and preserve their lives and safety should not be curtailed by the intervenors’ warnings of doomsday scenarios and threats of economic disorder if the ordinance is enforced.. the oil companies are fighting for their right to property. whose aim is to determine the scope and timing of the feasible location of the Pandacan oil terminals and all associated facilities and infrastructure including government support essential for the relocation such as the necessary transportation infrastructure. the oil companies have no choice but to obey the law. As early as October 2001. They allege that they stand to lose billions of pesos if forced to relocate. they did not present any certification from the MMDA or the HLURB nor did they append these to their pleadings. its constitutionality or legality should be upheld in the absence of proof showing that the procedure prescribed by law was not observed. undertake a comprehensive and comparative study ..174 Now that they are being compelled to discontinue their operations in the Pandacan Terminals. this Court is not about to provoke a crisis by ordering the immediate relocation of the Pandacan Terminals out of its present site. Just the same. The burden of proof is on the oil companies which already had notice that this Court was inclined to dispose of all the issues in this case. land and right of way acquisition. xxx xxx xxx It is not enough for the city government to be told by these oil companies that they have the most sophisticated fire-fighting equipments and have invested millions of pesos for these equipments. 38 .Moreover. 170 Conclusion Essentially. 8027. Clearly. resettlement of displaced residents and environmental and social acceptability which shall be based on mutual benefit of the Parties and the public. the oil companies signed a MOA with the DOE obliging themselves to: . The enforcement of a decision of this Court.. 8027 are the policy considerations which drove Manila’s government to come up with such a measure: . A Warning To Petitioners’ Counsel We draw the attention of the parties to a matter of grave concern to the legal profession. [The] oil companies still were not able to allay the apprehensions of the city regarding the security threat in the area in general. No specific action plan or security measures were presented that would prevent a possible large-scale terrorist or malicious attack especially an attack aimed at Malacañang. based on the hierarchy of constitutionally protected rights. 8027. even assuming that the MMDA review and HLURB ratification are necessary. the former should prevail. should always be within the bounds of reason. Secondary to the legal reasons supporting the immediate implementation of Ordinance No. The measures that were installed were more directed towards their internal security and did not include the prevention of an external attack even on a bilateral level of cooperation between these companies and the police and military. not one statement has been said that indeed the absolute safety of the residents from the hazards posed by these installations is assured. Without a doubt.171 The reason is obvious: life is irreplaceable. 173 We are also putting an end to the oil companies’ determination to prolong their stay in Pandacan despite the objections of Manila’s residents. To this end. Any delay is unfair to the inhabitants of the City of Manila and its leaders who have categorically expressed their desire for the relocation of the terminals. and in the three public hearings and in their position papers. they cannot feign unreadiness considering that they had years to prepare for this eventuality..

within a non-extendible period of ninety (90) days. are hereby GRANTED. January 23. an officer of the court. may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record. the comprehensive plan and relocation schedule which have allegedly been prepared. and authenticated by the seal of his office. Samson Alcantara is hereby ordered to explain within five (5) days from notice why he should not be disciplined for his refusal. Their respective motions for reconsideration are hereby DENIED. Branch 39 will monitor the strict enforcement of this resolution. Branch 39. and accompanied. and the Republic of the Philippines. 03-106380. 2008. if the record is not kept in the Philippines. causing death. Rule 132 A Final Word On Wednesday. consul.Petitioners and their counsel. submitted a four-page memorandum that clearly contained either substance nor research. a lawyer ought to be keenly aware that the chief safeguard of the body politic is respect for the law and its magistrates.. respondent Mayor is hereby ordered to oversee the relocation and transfer of the Pandacan Terminals out of its present site. SO ORDERED. RULE 132 Presentation of Evidence Section 24. Or did counsel think he can earn his moment of glory without the hard work and dedication called for by his petition? Qualified By Sections 24-25. Samson Alcantara. a defective tanker containing 2. 03106377 and Civil Case No. As a member of the bar and as an officer of the court. We have always tended towards judicial leniency. 8027. The Regional Trial Court. Proof of official record. represented by the Department of Energy.. Atty. If the office in which the record is kept is in foreign country. the certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation. (25a) 39 . with a certificate that such officer has the custody. The inability of counsel to prepare a memorandum worthy of this Court’s consideration is an ejemplo malo to the legal profession as it betrays no genuine interest in the cause he claims to espouse. We reiterate our order to respondent Mayor of the City of Manila to enforce Ordinance No. Manila. or by his deputy. or inability. Need we say anthing about what will happen if it is the estimated 162 to 211 million liters175 of petroleum products in the terminal complex which blow up? WHEREFORE. temperance and compassion to those who suffer from a wrong perception of what the majesty of the law means. to file in this Court a memorandum of such unacceptable quality is an entirely different matter. There is nothing more effective than the written word by which counsel can persuade this Court of the righteousness of his cause. Treble costs against petitioners’ counsel.000 liters of gasoline and 14. But for a member of the bar. — The record of public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of Section 19. Atty. the intervenors Chevron Philippines Inc. or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept. when admissible for any purpose. For if truth were selfevident. consul general. The presiding judge of Manila RTC. to file a memorandum worthy of the consideration of this Court. vice consul. Samson Alcantara. a memorandum would be completely unnecessary and superfluous. Branch 39 is ORDERED to DISMISS the consolidated cases of Civil Case No. Atty. It is indicative less of a personal shortcoming or contempt of this Court and more of a lawyer’s sorry descent from a high sense of duty and responsibility. It is absolutely insulting to this Court. In coordination with the appropriate agencies and other parties involved.000 liters of diesel exploded in the middle of the street a short distance from the exit gate of the Pandacan Terminals. extensive damage and a frightening conflagration in the vicinity of the incident. To ensure the orderly transfer. Petron Corporation and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. submit to the Regional Trial Court of Manila. movement and relocation of assets and personnel. Petron Corporation and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation shall. the motions for leave to intervene of Chevron Philippines Inc.

pp. pp. Sze Lai Cho and Sy Yun Chen who alleged that: (a) Yao Kee is the lawful wife of Sy Kiat whom he married on January 19. willing and desirous to become the administratrix of the estate of Sy Kiat [Record on Appeal. 107. 167 SCRA 736 (1988) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION Kiat's marriage to Yao Kee nor the filiation of her children to him.] and. as the case may be.] (2) Sze Sook Wah. Aida Sy-Gonzales. Sze Lai Cho and Sze Chun Yen are the legitimate children of Yao Kee with Sy Mat [CFI decision. 1977 in Caloocan City where he was then residing. p. Manuel Sy. (d) they nominate Aida Sy-Gonzales for appointment as administratrix of the intestate estate of the deceased [Record on Appeal. G. (b) the other oppositors are the legitimate children of the deceased with Yao Kee. or a specific part thereof. (c) they do not recognize Sy (3) Aida Sy-Gonzales. vs.000. and SY CHUN YEN. 27-28. Sze Sook Wah.Section 25. pp. 4-9. pp. Caloocan City. 12-13. Rollo.65. 107. 28-31.R. SZE LAI CHO. in substance. the probate court. 49-64. or if he be the clerk of a court having a seal. that the copy is a correct copy of the original. the decision of the lower Court is hereby MODIFIED and SET ASIDE and a new judgment rendered as follows: (1) Declaring petitioners Aida Sy-Gonzales. the attestation must state. Albon. pp. Teresita Sy-Bernabe and Rodolfo Sy are the acknowledged illegitimate offsprings of Sy Kiat with Asuncion Gillego [CFI decision. Sy-Gonzales.] The petition was opposed by Yao Kee. Thereafter. if there be any. 65-68. In said petition they alleged among others that (a) they are the children of the deceased with Asuncion Gillego. Fulgencio & De Lunas for respondents. Rollo. leaving behind real and personal properties here in the Philippines worth P300. Teresita Sy. the dispositive portion of which reads: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING.: Sy Kiat. (b) to their knowledge Sy Mat died intestate. Rollo.] On appeal the Court of Appeals rendered a decision modifying that of the probate court. finding among others that: (1) Sy Kiat was legally married to Yao Kee [CFI decision. — Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the purpose of evidence. and. What attestation of copy must state. Manuel Sy. The attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting officer. a Chinese national. pp. p. 64. TERESITA SY-BERNABE. Teresita Sy-Bernabe and Rodolfo Sy filed a petition for the grant of letters of administration docketed as Special Proceedings Case No. (26a) Yao Kee v. petitioners. pp. AIDA SY-GONZALES. C-699 of the then Court of First Instance of Rizal Branch XXXIII. J. Salonga. pp. SZE SOOK WAH. (c) Sze Sook Wah is the eldest among them and is competent. and HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. and.00 more or less. Rollo.] After hearing. pp. MANUEL SY. respondents. L-55960 November 24. Montesa.Bernabe and Rodolfo Sy acknowledged natural children of the deceased Sy Kiat with Asuncion Gillego. CORTES.] held if favor of the oppositors (petitioners herein) and appointed Sze Sook Wah as the administratrix of the intestate estate of the deceased [CFI decision. pp. an unmarried woman with whom he lived as husband and wife without benefit of marriage for many years: 40 . Manuel Sy. RODOLFO SY. died on January 17. Rollo. 1988 YAO KEE. 105-106. 68-69. & Associates for petitioners. 1931 in China. De Lapa. Rollo. No. 12-27. under the seal of such court.

37. 56045. on the other hand. 1982 entry of judgment was made in G. pp. China. and Sze Chun Yen. the acknowledged natural children of the deceased Sy Kiat with his Chinese wife Yao Kee. but two of them died. (3) Declaring the deed of sale executed by Sy Kiat on December 7. No. since the legality of the alleged marriage of Sy Mat to Yao Kee in China had not been proven to be valid to the laws of the Chinese People's Republic of China (sic). Teresita Sy-Bernabe and Rodolfo Sy v. then they agree on a date as an engagement day. that during the wedding the bridegroom brings with him a couch (sic) where the bride would ride and on that same day. the eldest being Sze Sook Wah who is already 38 years old. 1981 reconsidered the denial and decided to give due course to this petition. questions paragraphs (1) and (2) of the dispositive portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals. English translation of Exhibit "G") of the Avenue Tractor and Diesel Parts Supply to be valid and accordingly. and then one month after that. Sy Mat. They thus interposed their respective appeals to this Court. that she has five children with Sy Kiat. that she and her husband. Sze Lai Cho. p. the testimony of Yao Kee summarized by the trial court as follows: Yao Kee testified that she was married to Sy Kiat on January 19. MANUEL SY. and in her case. the parents of the groom would bring some pieces of jewelry to the parents of the bride-to-be. Sze Lai Cho and Sy Chun Yen" questioning paragraphs (3) and (4) of the dispositive portion of the Court of Appeals' decision. that in China. that Sze Sook Wah was born on November 7. 1976 in favor of Tomas Sy (Exhibit "G-1". Herein petitioners assign the following as errors: I. that on engagement day.] From said decision both parties moved for partial reconsideration. 11-12.] I. To buttress this argument they rely on the following testimonial and documentary evidence. that the said agreement was complied with. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN DECLARING THE MARRIAGE OF SY KIAT TO YAO YEE AS NOT HAVE (sic) BEEN PROVEN VALID IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAWS OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN DECLARING AIDA SY-GONZALES. China before he went to the Philippines on several occasions. a sort of marriage broker who is known to both parties who would talk to the parents of the bride-to-be. that if the parents of the bride-to-be agree to have the groom-to-be their son in-law. [CA decision. Court of Appeals. that the practice during the time of her marriage was a written document [is exchanged] just between the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom. the wedding date was set. her elder brother was the one who contracted or entered into [an] agreement with the parents of her husband. p. [Petition. Upon motion of the petitioners the Court in a resolution dated September 16. also known as Yui Yip. Manuel Sy. The Supreme Court however resolved to deny the petition and the motion for reconsideration. 36. Rollo. have been living in FooKien. or any elder for that matter. the parents of the bride would give the dowry for her daughter 41 . II. which was however denied by respondent court.between. Sze Sook Wah.R. that she does not have a marriage certificate because the practice during that time was for elders to agree upon the betrothal of their children. and (4) Affirming the appointment by the lower court of Sze Sook Wah as judicial administratrix of the estate of the deceased. Rollo. 56045 entitled "Aida Sy-Gonzales. TERESITA SY-BERNABE AND RODOLFO SY AS NATURAL CHILDREN OF SY KIAT WITH ASUNCION GILLEGO. that the agreement was that she and Sy Mat would be married. 6.(2) Declaring oppositors Sze Sook Wah. Sze Lai Chu and Sze Chun Yen. 1931 in Fookien. First. which in her case. This petition was initially denied by the Supreme Court on June 22. Yao Kee. 1939. and invitations were sent out. a date would be set for the wedding. 1981. ** The instant petition. Thus on March 8. pp. No. the wedding date to Sy Kiat was set on January 19. Private respondents filed a petition with this Court docketed as G. the custom is that there is a go. said property should be excluded from the estate of the deceased Sy Kiat. 1931.R. 2. that those who are alive are Sze Sook Wah. Petitioners argue that the marriage of Sy Kiat to Yao Kee in accordance with Chinese law and custom was conclusively proven.

the same do not suffice to establish the validity of said marriage in accordance with Chinese law or custom. 395 (1907). Rollo. they lived together. the People's Republic of China" [Exhibit "5". and. shall also be valid in this country. that during her wedding. that the bride would then be placed in a carriage where she would be brought to the town of the bridegroom and before departure the bride would be covered with a sort of a veil. Custom is defined as "a rule of conduct formed by repetition of acts. 7 Phil. 1968 where the following entries are likewise found: "Civil status— Married". Fourth Ed. "Date of marriage—1931". that the parties themselves do not sign the document. 17. Sy Chick. that she begot her children with Sy Kiat during the several trips by Sy Kiat made back to China. July 30.] Second. SCRA 3. or incestuous 42 . Yao Kee alias Yui Yip also Chinese were married on January 19. uniformly observed (practiced) as a social rule. if not one of a higher degree. that during her wedding to Sy Kiat (according to said Chinese custom). China" [Exhibit "4". 13-15. and from then on. Vol. Outline of Phil. All marriages performed outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were performed and valid there as such. pp. the testimony of Gan Ching. that it was left in the possession of Sy Kiat's family. that after Sy Kiat opened the door of the carriage.and then the document would be signed by the parties but there is no solemnizing officer as is known in the Philippines. she does not know the whereabouts of that document because of the lapse of many years and because they left it in a certain place and it was already eaten by the termites. 1977 by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to the effect that "according to the information available at the Embassy Mr.] Third. that right now. The law on foreign marriages is provided by Article 71 of the Civil Code which states that: Art.] The same evidence. legally binding and obligatory" [In the Matter of the Petition for Authority to Continue Use of the Firm Name "Ozaeta. p. state name and address of spouse—Yao Kee Chingkang. 12 citing JBL Reyes & RC Puno. the statements made by Asuncion Gillego when she testified before the trial court to the effect that (a) Sy Mat was married to Yao Kee according to Chinese custom. 1972 where the following entries are found: "Marital status— Married". 54.] Fifth. and then came back to China. 15-16..] On this score the Court had occasion to state that "a local custom as a source of right can not be considered by a court of justice unless such custom is properly established by competent evidence like any other fact" [Patriarca v. pp. Polygamous. that upon reaching the town of the bridegroom. 390. a younger brother of Yao Kee who stated that he was among the many people who attended the wedding of his sister with Sy Kiat and that no marriage certificate is issued by the Chinese government. Orate. Romulo.] These evidence may very well prove the fact of marriage between Yao Kee and Sy Kiat.] And lastly. Civil Code. and. Rollo. a document signed by the parents or elders of the parties being sufficient [CFI decision. she and Sy Mat were married for 46 years already and the document was left in China and she doubt if that document can still be found now. that after her wedding with Sy Kiat. Sy Kiat's Alien Certificate of Registration issued in Manila on January 12.] Fourth. Civil Law. 7. 52-53. Mabanta and Reyes". except bigamous. However. 50-52. that she went to the Philippines in 1970. 71. 1931 in Fukien. Sy Kiat's Master Card of Registered Alien issued in Caloocan City on October 3. and "Place of marriage—China" [Exhibit "SS-1". the bridegroom takes away the veil. that Sy Kiat went to the Philippines sometime in March or April in the same year they were married. should be required of a foreign custom. 'If married. they lived immediately together as husband and wife. "If married give name of spouses—Yao Kee". that during the wedding day. the eldest brother of Sy Kiat. according to the rules of evidence" [Article 12. signed the document with her mother. pp. p. "Address-China. two old ladies helped her go down the carriage and brought her inside the house of Sy Mat. there were many persons present. the certification issued in Manila on October 28. [CFI decision. 1979. Sy Kiat a Chinese national and Mrs. the document is signed only by the parents of the bridegroom as well as by the parents of the bride. pp. that again she went back to the Philippines and lived with Sy Mat as husband and wife. 1. (b) Sy Kiat's admission to her that he has a Chinese wife whom he married according to Chinese custom [CFI decision. de Leon. p.] The law requires that "a custom must be proved as a fact. that as to the whereabouts of that document. Rollo.

vice consul. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country. 43 . petitioners however have not shown any proof that the Chinese law or custom obtaining at the time the Sy Joc Lieng marriage was celebrated in 1847 was still the law when the alleged marriage of Sy Kiat to Yao Kee took place in 1931 or eighty-four (84) years later. Rule 130 section 45 states that: SEC. if proved to be commonly admitted in such courts. 686. 160. holds true in this case. (Emphasis supplied.—The oral testimony of witnesses. consul. or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and authenticated by the seal of his office.] Moreover a reading of said case would show that the party alleging the foreign marriage presented a witness. that the testimony of one of the contracting parties is competent evidence to show the fact of marriage. 54 Phil. 43. may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record. supra. 30 Phil. Fisher 110 Phil. as determined by Philippine law. The Court has interpreted section 25 to include competent evidence like the testimony of a witness to prove the existence of a written foreign law [Collector of Internal Revenue v. even assuming for the sake of argument that the Court has indeed taken judicial notice of the law of China on marriage in the aforecited case. They aver that the judicial pronouncement in the Memoracion case. the validity of the marriage in accordance with said law or custom. the marriage between Yao Kee and Sy Kiat cannot be recognized in this jurisdiction. Cheong Seng Gee. v.] In proving a foreign law the procedure is provided in the Rules of Court. the certificate may be made by a secretary of embassy or legation. 610 (1930). when admissible for any purpose. as are also printed and published books of reports of decisions of the courts of the foreign country.. consul general. Muzzal. The testimonies of Yao and Gan Ching cannot be considered as proof of China's law or custom on marriage not only because they are self-serving evidence. thus: SEC. 471 (1935). or by his deputy. Memoracion [34 Phil. Well-established in this jurisdiction is the principle that Philippine courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. 633 (1916)] as being applicable to the instant case. what was left to be decided was the issue of whether or not the fact of marriage in accordance with Chinese law was duly proven [Sy Joc Lieng v. The Memoracion case however is not applicable to the case at bar as said case did not concern a foreign marriage and the issue posed was whether or not the oral testimony of a spouse is competent evidence to prove the fact of marriage in a complaint for adultery. 46. For failure to prove the foreign law or custom. on the other hand.] In the case at bar petitioners did not present any competent evidence relative to the law and custom of China on marriage. with a certificate that such officer has the custody.—An official record or an entry therein. is provided for under Rule 132 section 25. Unwritten law. Based on his testimony. namely: (1) the existence of the foreign law as a question of fact. and consequently. With respect to an unwritten foreign law.] This contention is erroneous. 45. 25. is admissible as evidence of the unwritten law of a foreign country. there is no showing that they are competent to testify on the subject matter. Proof of a written foreign law. Petitioners moreover cite the case of U. Collector of Customs. and (2) the alleged foreign marriage by convincing evidence [Adong v.marriages. but more importantly. 61 Phil. Sy Quia. Fluemer v. 48 (1915).] Further. skilled therein. Proof of public or official record. and accompanied. Petitioners contend that contrary to the Court of Appeals' ruling they are not duty bound to prove the Chinese law on marriage as judicial notice thereof had been taken by this Court in the case of Sy Joc Lieng v. Hix. 137 (1910). one Li Ung Bieng. to prove that matrimonial letters mutually exchanged by the contracting parties constitute the essential requisite for a marriage to be considered duly solemnized in China. Sy Quia [16 Phil. 43 Phil. 700-701 (1961) citing Willamette Iron and Steel Works v.S.) *** Construing this provision of law the Court has held that to establish a valid foreign marriage two things must be proven. at p. which as found by the Court is uniformly corroborated by authors on the subject of Chinese marriage. They must be alleged and proved as any other fact [Yam Ka Lim v. 49 (1922). if the record is not kept in the Philippines.

1950. (3) an affidavit executed on March 22. They have in their favor their father's acknowledgment. only three of whom are alive namely.. No. Teresita Sy. Teresita Sy. and. Civil Code] when her alleged marriage to Sy Mat was celebrated [CFI decision. born on May 30. Aida Sy.] II. December 12. 271. shall be retained by Sy Kiat. in the absence of proof of the Chinese law on marriage.1977. The second issue raised by petitioners concerns the status of private respondents. it should be presumed that it is the same as ours *** [Wong Woo Yiu v. which they have likewise decided to definitely and finally terminate effective immediately.00 ) monthly out of the rental of the two doors of the same building now occupied by Everett Construction. Private respondents on the other hand are also the deceased's acknowledged natural children with Asuncion Gillego.. and Rodolfo Sy.000.. two of whom—Sook Wah and Sze Kai Cho—she knows.] Likewise on the record is the testimony of Asuncion Gillego that Sy Kiat told her he has three daughters with his Chinese wife. it appearing that at the time of their conception Yao Kee and Sy Kiat were not disqualified by any impediment to marry one another [See Art. even if true. Vivo. Ricardo Sy now deceased. 13 SCRA 552. pp. 1974 wherein Sy Kiat not only acknowleged them as his children by Asuncion Gillego but likewise made provisions for their support and future inheritance. and one adopted son [TSN. 9-11. shall be divided into two equal shares between. born on July 1. they cannot be accorded the status of legitimate children but only that of acknowledged natural children. pp. G. Sy Kiat who shall own one-half of the total and the other half to Asuncion Gillego who shall transfer the same to their children. Manuel Sy. Manuel Sy. xxx xxx xxx 44 . thus: xxx xxx xxx 2. born on December 14.] (b) the business name and premises .] However. it shall be his obligation to give to the aforenamed children an amount of One Thousand Pesos ( Pl. and distributed to. namely. and Rodolfo Sy. 51]. p. Respondent court found the following evidence of petitioners' filiation: (1) Sy Kiat's Master Card of Registered Alien where the following are entered: "Children if any: give number of children—Four".] (2) the testimony of their mother Yao Kee who stated that she had five children with Sy Kiat. 87-88. born on January 28.] And they are acknowledged children of the deceased because of Sy Kiat's recognition of Sze Sook Wah [Exhibit "3"] and its extension to Sze Lai Cho and Sy Chun Yen who are her sisters of the full blood [See Art. . Sze Lai Chu and Sze Chin Yan [TSN. 1956. The parties also acknowledge that they are common-law husband and wife and that out of such relationship. p. Civil Code. March 31. 3. However. 1953. 269. cannot be recognized in this jurisdiction [Wong Woo Yiu v.. Civil Code..] and.R. L-21076. evidenced by a compromise agreement entered into by and between their parents and approved by the Court of First Instance on February 12. With respect to the AVENUE TRACTOR AND DIESEL PARTS SUPPLY . 1955. Rollo. 1958. 555. Petitioners are natural children.] Since Yao Kee admitted in her testimony that there was no solemnizing officer as is known here in the Philippines [See Article 56. 1965. supra. 14.. pp. namely: Aida Sy. 555-556. a Filipina with whom he lived for twenty-five (25) years without the benefit of marriage. Vivo.. Sze Sook Wah. the parties mutually agree and covenant that— (a) The stocks and merchandize and the furniture and equipments . wherein Sy Kiat expressly stated that she is his daughter [Exhibit "3".1961 by Sy Kiat for presentation to the Local Civil Registrar of Manila to support Sze Sook Wah's application for a marriage license. as petitioners failed to establish the marriage of Yao Kee with Sy Mat according to the laws of China. December 6.Accordingly. they begot five children.. born on May 7. 1977. it therefore follows that her marriage to Sy Kiat. "Name—All living in China" [Exhibit "SS-1".

) xxx xxx xxx This compromise agreement constitutes a statement before a court of record by which a child may be voluntarily acknowledged [See Art. Moreover. 278. namely. (3) Annulment of marriages. 129 and Divinagracia v. xxx xxx xxx As held in the case of Divinagracia v. 3278. Blg. 360] hence it is no longer necessary to pass upon the issue of jurisdiction raised by petitioners. Teresita Sy. Act No. B.] With the enactment of Batas Pambansa Blg. 5502 sec. L-47407. legal separation of spouses. 4834 **** a case involving paternity and acknowledgment may be ventilated as an incident in the intestate or testate proceeding (See Baluyot vs. L-42615. August 12.. even without the exactment of Batas Pambansa Blg. Rovira [G. but to be administered by Asuncion Gillego during her lifetime . No. Their functions and jurisdiction are now vested with the Regional Trial Courts [See Section 19 (7). But that legal provision presupposes that such an administration proceeding is pending or existing and has not been terminated. 91-A. August 10. paternity and acknowledgment. of the real estates and properties registered and/or appearing in the name of Asuncion Gillego . relief from marital obligations. during the existence of the common-law husband-and-wife relationship between the parties. 5502. guardianship. Belosillo. [Exhibit "D".. 91-A last paragraph that: xxx xxx xxx If any question involving any of the above matters should arise as an incident in any case pending in the ordinary court. L-23661. 143 SCRA 356.P. Act No.— xxx xxx xxx The provisions of the Judiciary Act to the contrary notwithstanding. . Bartolome [G. and Rodolfo Sy. with regard to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court: SEC. Manuel Sy. revocation of adoption. the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts were abolished. 72 SCRA 307. No. No. Creation and Jurisdiction of the Court. 313-314.R. Civil Code. Aida Sy. the parties mutually agree and covenant that the said real estates and properties shall be transferred in equal shares to their children. xxx xxx xxx and the ruling in the case of Bartolome v. 21 SCRA 1324] reiterated in Divinagracia v. Rovira [G. 129.] Petitioners further argue that the questions on the validity of Sy Mat's marriage to Yao Kee and the paternity and filiation of the parties should have been ventilated in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. said incident shall be determined in the main case. petitioners rely on the following provision of Republic Act No.R. adoption. L-42215.] (Emphasis supplied. 1986. Ines Luciano. Specifically. July 13. 72 SCRA 307]: xxx xxx xxx It is true that under the aforequoted section 1 of Republic Act No. 1976.) 45 .. entitled "An Act Revising Rep. 1976). otherwise known as the Charter of the City of Caloocan'. G. (4) Proceedings brought under the provisions of title six and title seven.R. and actions for support. L42615.. No.] (Emphasis supplied. chapters one to three of the civil code.R. 129 we find in Rep.(5) With respect to the acquisition. the court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases: xxx xxx xxx (2) Cases involving custody. [at pp. otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980.

The admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. GELASIO CALUPITAN. (40a) Judicial Admissions Section 4. L-8200 Section 46.. 1976. a public document was executed and signed by all of the above parties and the defendant. Feliciano and Bidin. who the text day transferred a one-half interest in the property of Zolaivar. married. SO ORDERED. or 1. sold all their rights had obligation pertaining to the property in question to Calupitan for the amount of the purchase price together with 1 per cent per month interest thereon up to the time of redemption. were regularly sold at an execution sale on February 10. Accordingly. de Baluyut v. certify that I have delivered this statement to Leonardo Lucido y Vidal to witness that his lands. No.: In this case it appears that some chattels and real estate belonging to the plaintiff.687 Mexican dollars. which appear in the instrument I hold from the deputy sheriff and for 46 .. On the same day Lucido and Calupitan executed the following document: I. — An admission. On March 30. Rules of Admissibility Section 46. July 13. Rule 129 RULE 129 What Need Not Be Proved Section 4. J. to one Rosales. Jr. law.xxx xxx xxx proof. Ramon Diokno for appellee.. 63] but more importantly to prevent multiplicity of suits. Judicial admissions. that the writer of the statement in the treatise.J.R. Learned treatises. 72 SCRA 52. or a witness expert in the subject testifies. Gelasio Calupitan y Agarao. L-42215.74 Mexican dollars.. verbal or written. Rule 130 March 17. 1903. periodical or pamphlet is recognized in his profession or calling as expert in the subject. 1903. periodical or pamphlet on a subject of history. wherein it was stated that Rosales and Zolaivar. does not require TRENT. plus 33. 27 Phil 48 (1914) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila WHEREFORE. concur G. Gutierrez. RULE 130 Pedro Guevara for appellants. vs. Luciano. EN BANC Fernan. (2a) The reason for ths rule is not only "to obviate the rendition of conflicting rulings on the same issue by the Court of First Instance and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court" [Vda. No. Lucido. It will be observed that the computation of the transfer price is in accordance with section 465 of the Code of Civil Procedure.R. C. JJ. this Court finds no reversible error committed by respondent court. G. Calupitan. science. Gelasio Calupitan. with the consent of Lucido. plaintiff-appellee. ET AL. Lucido v. defendants-appellants. 1914 LEONARD LUCIDO. — A published treatise. or art is admissible as tending to prove the truth of a matter stated therein if the court takes judicial notice. the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED. made by the party in the course of the proceedings in the same case. the amount of the interest.

on the ground that 47 . which has been drawn up n duplicate. Further indication that Calupitan himself considered this transaction as a sale with the right to conventional redemption is to be found in his original answer to the complaint. if the document executed by the execution purchasers and the parties to this action stood alone. who took possession of the major portion of the land as his security for its redemption. and a marble table. The ruling of the lower court the transaction between Lucido and Calupitan was one of purchase and sale with the right to redeem was therefore correct. It further appears from the uncontradicted testimony of the plaintiff that he furnished $20 Mexican of the account necessary to redeem the property from the execution purchasers.which he has accepted money from me. Jones on evidence (secs. a lamp stand. 273). Its admission was proper. This original answer was introduced in evidence by the plaintiff over the objection of the defendant. On the same principles where amended pleadings have been filed. The decision of the lower court was that the property in question should be returned to the plaintiff.fiction stated by counsel and sanctioned by the courts. having weight according to the circumstances of each case. but in such case the original pleadings can have no effect. It therefore appears beyond dispute that the redemption of the property from the execution purchasers was made by the plaintiff himself by means of a loan furnished by the defendant Calupitan. the five-lamp chandelier. These rights and obligations are defined in the Code of Civil Procedure to be the ownership of the property sold. In that document it appears that Calupitan acquired the rights and obligations of the execution purchasers pertaining to the property in question. The right to repurchase must necessary imply a former ownership of the property. of the Civil Code. The lower court further found as a fact that Lucido had prior to the institution of the action offered the redemption price to the defendant. Hence. before he may redeem or repurchase them from me. two wall tables. 2. 1906. 1. however. The whole modern tendency is to reject this view and to treat pleadings as statements of the real issues in the cause and hence as admissions of the parties. From this judgment the defendant appealed. our real agreement is to permit three (3) whole year to elapse. says: Many of the cases holding that pleadings inadmissible as admissions were based on the theory that most of the allegations were merely pleader's matter -. no coconut tree on said irrigated land is included. within one year from the date of the sale. especially in view of the fact that it was signed by Calupitan himself. and the lower court arrived at the date upon which the right to redeem expired by computing five years from March 30. Apart from this. The present action not having been instituted until February 17. the fact that he intervened as an interested party is at least some indication that the parties intended something more or different by the document in question than a simple assignment of the rights and obligations of the execution purchasers to a third person. as also the Vienna chairs. Code Civ. In this document it is distinctly stipulated that the right to redeem the property is preserved to Lucido. By the terms of his agreement with Calupitan the plaintiff could not exercise his right to redeem the property within three years from March 30. 463-465. In this original answer it was expressly stated that the transaction was one of sale with the right to repurchase governed by the provisions of articles 1507 et seq.) Were this the nature of the transaction between the parties. Any doubt. allegations in the original pleadings are held admissible. 1903. after remarking that the earlier cases were not in harmony on the point. who was the time acting as his own attorney. of the Civil Code. and all three of the above rulings of the court are assigned as errors. But some of the authorities still hold that if the pleading is not signed by the party there should be some proof that he has authorized it. 272. reckoned from the date of this instrument. to be exercised after the expiration of three years. The lower court held that this document constituted a sale with the right to conventional redemption set forth in articles 1507 et seq. the intervention of Lucido in the transfer would be wholly unnecessary. 1910. which the lower court decided in the negative. who refused it. Considerable doubt might arise as to the correctness of the ruling of the lower court upon the first question. unless formally offered in evidence. however. the fur the question arose as to whether the redemption period had expired. I have ceded to him all the irrigated lands until such time as he may repurchase all said lands from me (not only he irrigated ones). subject only to the right of redemption on the part of the judgment debtor or a redemptioner. and that this offer was a sufficient compliance with article 1518 of the Civil Code. as to the character of this transaction is removed by the agreement entered into between Lucido and calupitan on the same day. Proc. (Secs.

Lucido denies that he was aware of the sale of Dorado until after it had taken place. as the redemption price of the property.600. even though in the second contract no mention should have been made of the conventional redemption.74. and held that it was sufficient. it is clear that the following provisions of article 1510 of the Civil Code are applicable: The vendor may bring his action against every possessor whose right arises that of the vendee. We discussed the legal sufficiency of such tender in the above-cited case of Rosales vs. No evidence of the purchase of the land from Calupitan by Dorado is of record with the exception of the oral testimony although it may be taken as established that such a sale actually took place. Dorado himself testified that he purchased the property with the knowledge that Calupitan had purchased the property from Lucido subject to the right of redemption and insists that he purchased with the knowledge and consent of Lucido. No amount is fixed in the document of purchase and sale above set forth. L-37420 July 31. judgment will be entered directing the defendants Calupitan and Dorado to deliver the possession of the land in question to the plaintiff upon the plaintiff's depositing with the clerk of the court the sum of P1.600.. Calupitan for Dorado. Of this amount the plaintiff furnished $120 Mexican.R. The court held that the plaintiff had actually tendered the redemption price to the defendant Calupitan. TORRES. Torres v. CA. vol.. The defendants Oreta and Bueno have no interest in the subject matter of this action.74 Mexican.600.J. 1984 MACARIA A. This assignment of error must therefore be held to be unfounded. without prejudice to the provisions of the Mortgage Law with regard to third persons. Reyes and Ordoveza (25 Phil. The amount paid to the purchaser at the execution sale for the redemption of the property was $1. No. 495). Rep.there was no express agreement as to how long the right to repurchase. 317. (Manresa. plus the costs entailed in the execution of the document of repurchase.74 Philippine currency. Counsel for the appellant admits in his brief that the complaint was filed forty-three days before the expiration of this period. since all the parties interested agree on this point. once available. Reyes and Ordoveza. but the amount borrowed from Calupitan to redeem the land from the execution sale being thus clearly established no objection can be or is made to the plaintiff's paying this amount.600. In view of this offer and in case it is accepted by the defendant it will be unnecessary to go through formality of a new trial for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of the fact that it is claimed that Calupitan has sold the land in question to his codefendant. should continue. Carson and Araullo. vs. On this appeal plaintiff alleges that this amount in Mexican currency exceeds the amount he actually owes to the defendant by about P100. Upon this state on facts. Macario Dorado. we hold that this ruling of the court was correct. C.. and Calupitan the balance of $1. The lower court ordered the redelivery of the land to the plaintiff upon his payment to Calupitan of P1. 131 SCRA 24 (1984) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. concur.720.74. and it not clearly appearing to whom the plaintiff should pay the P1.. The provisions of the Mortgage Law with regard to third persons are clearly not applicable to Dorado. we concur therein. it appears that the defendant Dorado purchased the land from his codefendant Calupitan subsequent to the tender of the redemption price to the latter by the plaintiff.74 Mexican.600. For the foregoing reasons. 4. nor was the document of sale with the right to repurchase registered by either Calupitan or Lucido. petitioner. to be disposed of in the manner above set forth. Arellano. 48 . p. 10. we think this amount should be turned over to the clerk of the Court of First Instance of the Province of Laguna to be held by him until it is determined in the proper manner who is the owner of this amount. After an examination of the evidence of record as to this finding of fact. In accordance with our decision inRosales vs. but that rather than spend the time and incur the expense attendant to new trial for the purpose of determining the equivalent of his amount in Philippine currency he is agreeable to pay the defendant P1. JJ. In all other respects the judgment appealed from is affirmed with costs against the appellants Calupitan and Dorado.) 5. 3. It does not appear that the property was ever registered by any one. In ordering the payment of this amount to the defendant the lower court failed to reduce it to Philippine currency.

1963 be affirmed. VICENTE SANTILLAN. 1931 (Exhibit "D"). with an area of approximately 1. 551 of the Sta. while her father's name was left blank (Exhibit "4"). G. 1936. 34998-R entitled "Macaria A. DEMETRIA NARCISO and ADELINA NARCISO. CA-G. Cesar Nocon for respondents. et al. for the sum of P300. respondents. the father. more or less. 2 during the pendency of the cases in the Trial Courts. NO. petitioner Macaria Torres (later married to Francisco Bautista) was born on June 20. 49 . Margarita Torres cohabited with Leon Arvisu Arbole. vs.00.. 1957. Leon Arvisu Arbole and Margarita Torres were named as father and mother of petitioner whose name was listed as Macaria Arvisu". et al. Vicente and Antonina were begotten of this union. and baptized on June 26. 1957. On August 25. petitioner. plaintiffs-appellants vs. issued to Margarita Torres. TOMAS NARCISO and AMADO NARCISO. in the alternative. 551 in favor of petitioner.COURT OF APPEALS. however. be set aside. 222 (Exhibit "B") over the said lot at the price of P428. AMADO NARCISO. SALUD NARCISO. LEONARDO QUINTO. Cruz de Malabon Estate (part of the friar lands) in Tanza.R. DEMETRIA NARCISO. Transfer Certificate of Title No. 1984 MACARIA A.R. plaintiff-appellee vs. passed away on September 14. 34999-R entitled "Vicente Santillan. Juan R. Cavite. who. The facts of the case cover three generations. Adelina (married to Cesario Punzalan). Liwag for petitioner. VICENTE SANTILLAN. Antonina died before the institution of the cases while Vicente died on June 4. together with Vicente Santillan. instead. On December 13.80. 1 prays that the judgment rendered by the then Court of Appeals in the consolidated cases.. ms. Leon Arbole sold and transferred in a notarial deed all his rights and interest to the one-half (1/2) portion of Lot No. Involved in this controversy are the respective claims of petitioner and private respondents over Lot No. SALUD NARCISO. and CA-G. 1898. COURT OF APPEALS. also in the name of said heirs. the Government. are the private respondents. during the Spanish regime. Cavite. or three (3) years after his death.R. L-37421 July 31. treated as a special civil action. Sale Certificate No. No. T-6804 was eventually issued by the Register of Deeds of Cavite on November 7. 1898. while Leon. defendants-appellees and the Resolution denying the Motion for Reconsideration and Petition for New Trial.40 was credited to the purchase price. that the case be remanded to it for new trial. Margarita.: This Petition for Review on Certiorari. 1933 (Exhibit " E "). Leon Arbole and Margarita Torres were married (Exhibit "A"). In a Certificate of Baptism issued by the Parish Priest of Tanza. Based thereon. Subsequently. was married to Claro Santillan. was paid on December 17. had been leased temporarily by the Government (Lease No. (Exhibit "C" Another Baptismal Certificate. listed her name as Macaria Torres. Petitioner lived with and was reared by her parents. BALDOMERO BUENAVENTURA. Demetria (married to Leonardo Quinto). respondents. without benefit of marriage. The rental/s previously paid of P17. 551 and asking for the issuance of title in his name. 1953. Out of their cohabitation. 1933. Tanza. Testimonial evidence is to the effect that Leon Arbole paid the installments out of his earnings as a water tender at the Bureau of Lands. Margarita Torres. ALFREDO NARCISO. Vicente Santillan executed an Affidavit claiming possession of Lot No. CESARIO PUNZALAN. ALFREDO NARCISO. Tomas and Amado all surnamed Narciso.. The last installment. TOMAS NARCISO. or on June 7. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 17) to Margarita Torres who was the actual occupant of the lot. 551. the Bureau of Lands issued the corresponding patent in the name of the legal heirs of Margarita Torres. or. 3 On June 6. however. Vicente Santillan. MELENCIO-HERRERA. an urban lot with an area of 1. et al. the mother. Claro died leaving Margarita a widow. 1909. J. payable in 20 annual installments of P20. namely: Alfredo. No. twenty (20) days before his death. 1910. The propositus.. died on December 20. which he filed with the Bureau of Lands. Salud (married to Baldomero Buenaventura).622 sq.622 square meters. Bautista. T-6804 issued in the name of the legal heirs of Margarita Torres. through the Director of Lands. Lot No. Cavite. Torres. without progeny . ADELINA NARCISO. The Order of the Court of First Instance of August 7. Antonina married and had six children. After the death of her husband. defendants-appellants".00 each. The date of the lease cannot be determined with exactitude from the records. Macaria A. TORRES. and that.

Leon Arbole and Margarita Torres. since Vicente Santillan is already dead. and two-sixths (2/6th) in equal shares to Alfredo. Branch 1. . all surnamed Narciso. where it was docketed as Civil Case No. The ejectment case was decided against petitioner and the latter appealed to the then Court of First Instance of Cavite. 551 is the paraphernal property of Margarita Torres and adjudicating to private respondents twothirds (2/3) of the property in equal shares. (2) Declaring that Lot No. Cruz de Malabon Estate is a conjugal partnership property of the spouses Leon Arbole and Margarita Torres. and that her father is Leon Arvisu and her mother is Margarita Torres. On August 7. The Ejectment Case and the Partition Case were jointly tried and decided on November 20. Torres was born on June 20. private respondents filed a complaint against petitioner for Forcible Entry. "G") also shows that Macaria Torres was given the family name of Arvisu. 50 . 1958. de Malabon Estate to Macaria Torres. judgment is hereby rendered in Civil Case No. the same is hereby dismissed. she became the legitimated daughter of on Arbole and Margarita Torres. and refused to vacate upon demand. Private respondents filed an Answer alleging that the lot belonged exclusively to Margarita Torres. petitioner instituted an action for partition of Lot No. Amado. alleging that petitioner had entered a portion of Lot No. 5505: (1) Declaring that Macaria A. For her part. 1954. The positive portion thereof reads as follows: Wherefore. Tomas. 551 of S. her parents. were later partially reconstituted. the Provincial Capitol of Cavite was burned. Such being the case. however. which. As to Civil Case No. 1909.On June 3. Salud. the decretal part of which states: Wherefore. 1963. which is also the family name of her father. Without costs in both cases. and that she is their legitimated child. docketed as Civil Case No. brought up and reared by her parents until they died. 6 Private respondents appealed. issued an Order granting reconsideration and amending the Decision of November 20. 1898. being one of the daughters of Margarita Torres. Pending its resolution. each party should be alloted that portion of the lot where his or her house has been constructed. had the capacity to marry each other. The certificate of baptism (Exh.C. 5 In concluding that petitioner is a legitimated child. In case the parties are unable to agree upon the partition. and to petitioner a one-third (1/3) portion. to the parties. 1954. Torres as the legitimated child of the spouses Leon Arbole and Margarita Torres. 5505: (1) Declaring Macaria A. the then Court of First Instance of Cavite. The parties may make the partition among themselves by proper instruments of conveyance. the Trial Court opined: It is undisputed that when Macaria A. There was no legal impediment for them to marry It has also been established that Macaria A. legitimate children and heirs of the deceased Antonina Santillan. however. resulting in the complete destruction of the records of the two cases. Leon Arbole. constructed a house. Cavite. judgment is hereby rendered in Civil Case No. and that the complaint for partition should be dismissed. the then Court of Appeals 7 rendered the judgment sought to be set aside herein. Demetria and Adelina. In fairness. with the Justice of the Peace Court of Tanza. petitioner claimed that she is a co-owner of the lot in question. as far as this is possible. that they are her only heirs. the Court shall appoint three commissioners to make the partition. On April 2. On June 8. Torres had been taken care of. 1973. And when her parents were married on June 7. 551 of the Sta. 5547 (Ejectment Case). (3) Adjudicating four-sixths (4/6th of Lot No. 551 before the then Court of First Instance of Cavite. alleging that said lot was conjugal property of the spouses Margarita Torres and Leon Arbole. 5505 (Partition Case). Torres possessed the status of an acknowledged natural child. 1958 with a finding that Lot No. Macaria A. which private respondents opposed. 5547. subject to confirmation by the Court. 4 Petitioner moved for reconsideration. 551 without their consent. Torres is not the legitimated child of the spouses Leon Arbole and Margarita Torres.

in a will or in some public document. The certificate of baptism of Wherefore. legitimate children and heirs of Antonina Santillan. we hereunto signed out names at Tanza.C. de Malabon Estate to Macaria Torres. The parties may make the partition among themselves by proper instruments of conveyance. 5547. As to Civil Case No. 1930. 9 A Motion for Reconsideration and for New Trial. the governing law on the matter. petitioner submitted a typewritten Sworn Statement.. Article 131 then prescribed the form in which the acknowledgment of a natural child should be made. and the other half (1/2) in equal shares to Alfredo. brought up and reared by her parents until they died. and Article 131 of the same code provides that the acknowledgement of a natural child must be in the record of birth. That at the time of her birth or conception. and (3) Adjudicating one-half (1/2) of Lot No. the same is hereby dismissed. however. the Court shall appoint three commissioners to make the partition. her parents could have married without dispensation had we desired. this 5th day of March 1930. subject to confirmation by the Court. the fact that she was taken cared of. In case the parties are unable to agree upon the partition. each party should be alloted that portion of the lot where his or her house has been constructed. dated April 16.(2) Declaring that Lot No. Demetria and Adelina. Leon Arvisu and Margarita Torres husband and wife respectively. Cavite. Torres is not a legitimated daughter of Leon Arvisu Arbole and Margarita Torres. and residents of the Municipality of Tanza. 551 of the Sta Cruz de Malabon Estate is a conjugal partnership property of the spouses Leon Arbole and Margarita Torres. we. the former not having been legally acknowledged before or after the marriage of her parents. of majority age. 8 The Appellate Court was of the opinion that: Macaria A. to the parties. but as stated she was legitimized by our subsequent marriage. Torres (Exhibit "C") is not the record of birth referred to in Article 131. 10 reading in full as follows: SWORN STATEMENT We. Corrales Tan. Macaria A. Tomas. As correctly pointed out by the appellants in their brief. Cavite. Salud. in the civil register (Samson vs. In fairness. of spouses Leon Arvisu (Arbole) and Margarita Torres. it must be made in the record of birth. 1973. That as natural child our aforesaid daughter was surnamed de Torres after that of her mother's at the time she was baptized as per record on file in the Church. dated March 5. children shall be considered legitimated by subsequent marriage only when they have been acknowledged by the parents before or after the celebration thereof. P. In testimony hereof. Province of Cavite. In support thereof. Without costs in both cases. This article of the old Civil Code 'requires that unless the acknowledgement is made in a will or other public document. Amado. 551 of S. since Vicente Santillan is already dead.I. 48 PhiL 406). was filed by petitioner. it is respectfully requested to anybody concerned that proper remedy be made for the change of the surname of said Macaria de Torres as desired. an surnamed Narciso. as far as this is possible. 51 . or in other words. That as a legitimized daughter she should now be surnamed Arvisu after her father's family name. Under Article 121 of the old Civil Code. after being duly sworn to according to law depose and say That Macaria de Torres is our legitimized daughter she being born out of wedlock on the 26 th of June 1898 all Tanza. and that the certificate of baptism (Exhibit "C") shows that she was given the family name of Arvisu did not bestow upon her the status of an acknowledged natural child.

VELASCO Province 56 2 The reason given for the non-production of the notarial document during trial was that the same was only found by petitioner's daughter. there was disagreement. When the Motion for Reconsideration and New Trial was considered. Bautista are the legal heirs and nearest of kins of Margarita Torres. Jose N. composed of Justices Jesus Y. 1931. composed of Justices Antonio Lucero Magno S. San Diego. who died in Tanza. subject to certain exceptions. A Special Division of five was then formed. will not amount to automatic recognition. Witness my hand and seal of office on the date and place aforesaid. Signed in the prsence of: (Sgd. etc.) Macaria Bautista x----------------------------------------------------x UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ) PHILIPPINE ISLANDS ) MUNICIPALITY OF TANZA ) ss PROVINCE OF CAVITE ) Subscribed and sworn to before me this 5th day of March 1930. Not. an adverse party. III Series of 1930. Torres is not the legitimated child of the spouses Leon Arbole and Margarita Torres. Leuterio and Luis B. it has overlooked to include in its findings of facts the admission made by Vicente Santillan and the heirs of Antonina Santillan (herein respondents) that Macaria A. denied both reconsideration and new trial. and contended that it is not newly discovered evidence which could not have been produced during the trial by the exercise of due diligence. she cannot be considered a legitimated child of her parents. Vicente Santillan. Cavite on December 20.) Illegible (Sgd. Public. The affiant Leon Arvisu exhibited to me no cedula certificate being exempt on account of going over 60 years of age and Margarita Torres having exhibited no cedula certificate being exempt on account of her sex. has summarized her submission based on two assignments of error. 1930. Nemensia A. Lourdes P. Gatmaitan. 11 Cavite No. Reg. but an action for compulsory recognition is still necessary. The Decision of the Appellate Court was rendered by a Division of three. (emphasis supplied) As we understand it. with which we concur. Continuous possession of the status of a natural child. Book No. The first was expressed as follows: Although the Court of Appeals is correct in declaring that Macaria A. among the personal belongings of private respondent. P. Leuterio and Luis B. Perez. 12 The admission adverted to appears in paragraph 3 of private respondents' original complaint in the Ejectment Case reading: the plaintiffs and the defendant Macaria A. possibly as to whether or not new trial To warrant review. (Emphasis supplied). the Division of five.(Thumbmarked) (Thumbmarked) LEON ARVISU MARGARITA TORRES should be granted in respect of the sworn statement of March 5. after his death and who may have attempted to suppress it. Reyes (Justice Perez having retired or having disqualified himself). Bautista. petitioner has conceded. fact of delivery by the mother. CONSTANCIO Notary Until Dec. No. ponente. argued against new trial. and as a consequence thereof. 1973. Jose N. T. 1930. which action may be commenced only during the lifetime of the putative parents. 31. Torres and Vicente Santillan and Antonina Santillan are brother and sisters with a common mother Margarita Torres and they are the legal heirs and nearest of relatives of Margarita Torres. Private respondents. 52 . for their part. Reyes. the Court of Appeals had drawn an incorrect conclusion in adjudicating the entire share of Margarita Torres in the conjugal property solely to Vicente Santillan and the heirs of Antonina Santillan. without taking account of the sworn statement of March 5. petitioner. 1930. that. by a vote of three or two. In a minute resolution of August 24.

1931. the new trial can be conducted by respondent Appellate Court. and De la Fuente. In our view. and. the Sworn Statement was not newly discovered evidence. 129. 1930 is established in accordance with Plana. 15 (2) whether or not it conforms to an act of acknowledgment by the parents after the celebration of their marriage as required by Article 121 of the same code. therefore there can be no estoppel by extrajudicial admission made in the original complaint. 14 procedural due process.. No costs. in their Answer (parag. It is our considered opinion that new trial was warranted to prevent a possible miscarriage of justice. after his death. 4). the original complaint lost its character as a judicial admission. and became merely an extrajudicial admission. Relova. an adverse party. said Court shall also resolve the respective participation of the parties in the disputed property. knowing as it does that the judgment is clearly erroneous in view of the evidence which is offered and no amount of diligence on the part of the petitioner could it be produced in court at any time before it was offered as it was found from the personal belongings of Vicente Santillan. suppressed the document. which would have required no proof. inclusive of the estate of the deceased Vicente Santillan. Qualified By Section 7. and would entitle her to enjoy hereditary rights to her mother's estate. specially if it really had been in the possession of Vicente Santillan. concur. The latter is regarded as abandoned and ceases to perform any further function as a pleading. for failure to offer it in evidence. the admissibility of which. In the Amended Complaint filed by private respondents in the same Ejectment Case. 16 and (3) whether or not petitioner's signature as a witness to said document was the equivalent of the consent necessary for acknowledgment of an adult person under Article 133 of that Code. Also. Jr. an adverse party who. In virtue thereof. this case is hereby remanded to the now Intermediate Appellate Court for new trial. according to petitioner. therefore. the Court of Appeals has gravely abused its discretion when it denied the petition for new trial. a new trial would resolve such vital considerations as (1) whether or not said Sworn Statement qualifies as the public document prescribed in Article 131 of the old Civil Code. now empowered to do so under Section 9 of Batas Pambansa Blg. on December 20. The second error attributed to the Appellate Court has been pleaded as follows: SO ORDERED. It should be noted that in the Partition Case private respondents. denied the legitimacy of petitioner. Gutierrez. Having been amended. The original complaint no longer forms part of the record.. which could not have been produced during the trial even with the exercise of due diligence. WHEREFORE. the underlined portion was deleted so that the statement simply read: That the plaintiffs are the legal heirs and nearest of kin of Margarita Torres. Private respondents stress that since petitioner signed as a witness to the document she should be chargeable with knowledge of its existence. 17 Affirmative answers would confer upon petitioner the status of a legitimated child of her parents. Assuming that the genuineness and due execution of the Sworn Statement of March 5. Rule 18 RULE 18 Pre-Trial 53 . the Amended Complaint takes the place of the original.The statement. is an admission of her legitimation and is controlling in the determination of her participation in the disputed property. In the interest of judicial expediency. required its formal offer. We are not persuaded. and depending on its outcome. Cavite. JJ. the document can reasonably qualify as newly discovered evidence. it was alleged. Contrary to petitioner's submission. as evidence. who died at Tanza. 13 If petitioner had desired to utilize the original complaint she should have offered it in evidence.

4. the amendments allowed to the pleadings. otherwise. the court shall issue an order which shall recite in detail the matters taken up in the conference. 1996 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. CORREA. RONALD T. ULDARICO P. BERNABE. BERNABE. and the agreements or admissions made by the parties as to any of the matters considered. ARMANDO P. LEGASPI. limit the trial to matters not disposed of. (Philippine-Thai) in Ermita. Philippines. and evidence marked. the order shall. four (4) were presented as witnesses for the prosecution. FRANCISCO. VELASQUEZ (herein known as private complainants) without first having secured the required license or authority from the POEA. 4. LEGASPI. the facts stipulated.. appellant asserted that her company recruited workers for placement abroad and asked private complainants if they wanted to work as factory workers in Taipeh. — The proceedings in the pre-trial shall be recorded. 1988. Enticed by the assurance of immediate employment and an $800 per month salary. J. explicitly define and limit the issues to be tried. Mendoza and Arnel Mendoza. Hernandez. MENDOZA. Manila to meet the appellant. cir. Inc. Gregorio P. appellant pleaded not guilty and trial on the merits ensued. 260 SCRA 25 (1996) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. JR. they cannot be used against the accused. 1988 when one Josefa Cinco accompanied them to the office of the Philippine Thai Association. GREGORIO P. Should the action proceed to trial. They testified to the following essential facts: Private complainants' first encounter with the appellant was on December 12. Of the fourteen (14) private complainants. R20) Sections 2. Rule 118 RULE 118 Pre-Trial Section 2. DANILO PALAD and ROBERT P. (3) Pp v. Robert P. Appellant required 54 . did then and there willfully and unlawfully for a fee. unless modified before trial to prevent manifest injustice. private complainants applied. the said accused representing herself to have the capacity to contract. Record of pre-trial. The agreements covering the matters referred to in section 1 of this Rule shall be approved by the court. accused-appellant. ARNEL B. and control the course of the action during the trial. 38-98) Section 4.R. (5a. 2 (Emphasis supplied. Pre-trial agreement. namely: Benito L.:p Accused-appellant Cristina Hernandez was charged with the crime of illegal recruitment committed in large scale in violating of Article 38 (a) and (b) in relation to Article 13 (b) and (c) of the New Labor Code 1. plaintiff-appellee. recruit and promise employment/job placement abroad to the following persons to wit: ROGELIO N. CRISTINA M HERNANDEZ. the court shall issue an order reciting the actions taken. The contents of the order shall control the subsequent course of the action.Section 7. vs. No. 1988 to December 24. Velasquez. PAGULAYAN. Bernabe. Such order shall bind the parties. inclusive in the City of Manila. VALENZUELA. Introducing herself as the general manager of Philippine-Thai. the action taken thereon. 108028 July 30. SONNY P. (sec. enlist and transport Filipino workers for employment abroad. Upon the termination thereof. BENITO L. — All agreements or admissions made or entered during the pre-trial conference shall be reduced in writing and signed by the accused and counsel.) Upon arraignment. — After the pre-trial conference. unless modified by the court to prevent manifest injustice. MENDOZA. ARNOLD P. Pre-trial order. committed as follows: That in or about and during the period comprised between December 14.

Island Wood Products Corporation which was engaged in the logging business. DOCKETED AS CRIMINAL CASE NO. 1988. After careful calibration of the evidence presented by the prosecution and the defense.C. . However. 5 Appellant comes to this Court for the reversal of the judgment of conviction assigning the following errors against the lower court: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED "LIABLE OF (sic) ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT COMMITTED IN A LARGE SCALE AND BY A SYNDICATE (sic)" FOR HAVING "MAINTAINED OFFICE WITHOUT LICENSE OR REGISTRATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. premises considered. to ROBERT P. But contrary to appellant's promise. When the complainants-witnesses paid the first two installments. 1412. the court a quorendered a decision holding that the defense of "denial" interposed by the accused could not prevail over the positive and clear testimonies of the prosecution witnesses which had established the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. complainants-witnesses were unable to leave for abroad. MENDOZA the amount of TWENTY TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED (22. . After having received the entire amount 3 from the witnesses.00) PESOS.00 per applicant. Philippines. Manila. she did not participate in any of its transactions. They demanded for the return of their money but to no avail." II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN TAKING JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE "FACT THAT ACCUSED CRISTINA M. For its part. and to pay the costs. . and the appellant. in relation to Article 13(b) and (c) .00) PESOS also without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. appellant assured them that they would be able to leave for Taipeh sometime before the end of December.500. to ARNEL MENDOZA the amount of TWENTY TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED (P22. Appellant maintained that although she had an office in Ermita Building located at Arquiza Street. P10. 1991. to wit: P1. THRU ITS OFFICE.00) PESOS. The receipts for the last installment paid by them were signed by Liza Mendoza.00 on December 16. the defense presented as its lone witness. . Appellant claimed that she never met any of the complainants nor did she ever recruit any of them. OF ANOTHER ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT .500.00 on December 22. and P11.000. 1988. when questioned further. Manila. . SO ORDERED. Ermita. 1988. 1988. to GREGORIO P.000.500.500.private complainants to pay placement and passport fees in the total amount of P22. BERNABE the amount of TWENTY EIGHT THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED (P28. to be paid in three installments. the said office belonged to B. . . and claimed that as nominee-president. HERNANDEZ HAD BEEN CHARGED . the alleged treasurer of PhilippineThai signed by the latter in the presence of the appellant. She likewise denied having received money from anyone and asserted that she did not know any Liza Mendoza who is the alleged treasure of Philippine-Thai. sentences the accused to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment (RECLUSION PERPETUA) with the accessory penalties provided for by law. they were issued receipts by Liza Mendoza. November 29. . appellant admitted being the president of Philippine-Thai but only in a nominal capacity. to pay a fine of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P100. triggered the filing of the complaint. Appellant's unfulfilled promise of employment and her refusal to return the money that had been paid by way of placement and passport fees. committed in large scale. this Court hereby finds that the accused CRISTINA HERNANDEZ. VELASQUEZ the amount of TWENTY TWO THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED (P22.00) PESOS without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.500) PESOS. as defined in Article 38(a) & (b) of Presidential Decree No. to return and pay to BENITO L. the appellant whose testimony consisted mainly in denying the charges against her. 88-62599" AND IN CONSIDERING THE 55 . accordingly. Appellant likewise insisted that Philippine-Thai was engaged solely in the barong tagalog business.500 on December 14.000. . 4 The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. THE PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION (POEA). (sic) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of illegal recruitment. .

the following discussion. . but was merely an admission that the Chief Licensing Officer of the POEA. According to the appellant. what was stipulated on between the prosecution and defense counsel at the hearing on June 6. we propose some stipulations regarding the testimony of the Chief Licensing Branch of the POEA — that Cristina Hernandez is not a (sic) licensed nor authorized by the Department of Labor to recruit workers abroad. a certification issued by the Chief Licensing Branch of the POEA. will you stipulate that those are the facts?" The attorney who is pressing for trial says: "No but I will stipulate 56 . and an admission of the facts themselves. 8 Although appellant's arguments find no significant bearing in the face of the existence of "EXHIBIT I". Appellant posits the foregoing arguments to bolster her contention that the stipulation of facts did not relieve the prosecution of its duty to present evidence to prove all the elements of the crime charged to the end that the guilt of the accused may be proven beyond reasonable doubt. At the outset. 1990 was "merely that the testimony of the Chief Licensing Officer of the POEA would be to the effect that appellant is not licensed nor authorized to recruit workers". who is anxious to go to trial. was offered and admitted in evidence without the objection of the appellant. attesting to the fact that neither appellant nor Philippine-Thai is licensed/authorized to recruit workers for employment abroad. Your Honor. This being the case. Hence. Ulep (Counsel for the Accused): Agreed. 6 The first assignment of error is anchored on the contention that the prosecution failed to prove one of the essential elements of the crime of illegal recruitment — that the offender is a non-licensee or nonholder of authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and placement of workers. an important witness. Appellant assails as erroneous the reliance placed by the prosecution on the said stipulation of facts in dispensing with the presentation of evidence to prove the said element of the crime of illegal recruitment. it should be said that the above contention and the arguments are insignificant in view of the fact that records disclose that the prosecution had in fact presented evidence to prove the said element of the crime of illegal recruitment. 7 The aforementioned element. His opponent. . if presented. 9 Thus: Prosecutor . it remained incumbent upon the prosecution to present evidence of such fact. the following was cited to note the distinction: Suppose a case is set for trial and one of the parties moves for a continuance because of the absence of W. would testify to this fact." III THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT GIVING CREDENCE OR WEIGHT TO THE DEFENSE OF THE ACCUSED. 10 She claims that the foregoing clearly indicate that there was no judicial admission of the fact of non-possession of a license/authority but rather a mere admission that the witness. . adding: "If I consent to the overruling of my motion. and (2) the stipulation of facts is null and void for being contrary to law and public policy. specifically the fact that neither appellant nor Philippine-Thai was licensed or authorized to recruit workers as shown by the records of the POEA. AND PRACTICED WITH THE HELP OF HER AGENTS AND OTHER PERSONS WORKING UNDER THE SHADE OF HER PROTECTION. if presented in court. The other attorney tells him. . Before we call on our first witness. Appellant argues that: (1) the stipulation of facts was not tantamount to an admission by the appellant of the fact of non-possession of the requisite authority or license from the POEA. To buttress her position. would testify to such fact. they nonetheless require deeper scrutiny and a clear response for future application. was the subject of a stipulation proposed by the prosecution and admitted by the defense during trial.PENDENCY THEREOF AS EVIDENCE OF THE "SCHEME AND STRATEGY ADOPTED BY THE ACCUSED . "EXHIBIT I". Court Would you agree? Atty. asks what are the facts to which W would testify. Appellant correctly distinguishes between an admission that a particular witness if presented in court would testify to certain facts.

. this Court held that: Atty. . Ass. some of which are favorable to the defense. . Phil. 15 The distinction. as held in the case of U. . or to render judgment therein. no objection was interposed by defense counsel. Ulep agreed to the stipulation proposed by the prosecution." What is the difference between the two stipulations? consistent ruling of this Court on the matter. is neither licensed nor authorized by that office to recruit workers for overseas abroad and that if the duly authorized representative from the POEA Administration (sic) is to take the witness stand. it is evident that the prosecution and the defense counsel stipulated on two things: that ". by virtue of an agreement entered into between the provincial fiscal and the counsel for the accused with reference to facts.) From the foregoing. 12 (Emphasis supplied. .. . etc. without any evidence being adduced or testimony taken from the witnesses mentioned in the agreement. . Conveniently omitted from the appellant's reply chief is the ensuing statement made by the court after counsel for the accused. to wit: The above ruling was reiterated in a subsequent case where the accused was convicted solely on the basis of an agreement between the fiscal and the counsel for the accused that certain witnesses would testify confirming the complaint in all its parts. . . Appellant further contends that granting arguendo that defense counsel had in fact agreed to the above stipulation of facts. Thus. by which it is stipulated that certain witnesses. . Ulep (counsel for the accused): Agreed. it is an open violation of the rules of criminal procedure . may not be relieve of this obligation by the mere expedient of stipulating with defense counsel on a matter constitutive of an essential elements of the crime charged. if present. . is neither licensed nor authorized by the office to recruit workers overseas abroad andthat if the duly authorized representative from the POEA Administration is to take the witness stand. from the record of the POEA. he would so testify. . and others related to the prosecution. such practice is not authorized and defeats the purposes of criminal law. and they cannot be contradicted. . Atty. etc. 11 Agreements between attorneys for the prosecution and for the defense in criminal cases. Donato: 14 In the first stipulation proposed there is a judicial admission of the facts. Dept. 16 The rule prohibiting the stipulation of facts in criminal cases is grounded on the fundamental right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. ." 13 The claim that the lower court mistakenly interpreted defense counsel's acquiescence to the prosecution's proposed stipulation as an admission of non-possession of the requisite POEA license or authority is belied by the fact that after the above enunciation by the court. . It is therefor advanced that the prosecution being duty-bound to prove all the elements of the crime. he will confirm to this fact . Your Honor. he will confirm to this fact as borne by the records. The rationale behind the proscription against this class of agreements between prosecution and defense was enunciated in the case of U. But the second stipulation proposed will only have the same effect as if the witness had testified to the facts.S. and corollary duty of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. is unfortunately inapplicable to the case at bar. appellant cited the It is neither proper nor permissible to consider a case closed.S. Nor is it possible for a trial court to weigh 57 . . Court The prosecution and the defense agreed to stipulate/admit that from the record of the POEA Licensing and Regulation Office. Manlimos: 17 It is not supposed to be within the knowledge or competence of counsel to predict what a proposed witness shall say under the sanction of his oath and the test of crossexamination. the same is null and void for being contrary to the well-established rule that a stipulation of facts is not allowed in criminal cases. To bolster this contention. though cogent.that if W were called in this case as a witness. accused Cristina Hernandez. accused Cristina Hernandez/Phil. Such testimony the party is free to contradict. of Labor and Employment. vs. . Ass. In reversing the judgment of conviction. vs. A conviction for crime should not rest upon mere conjecture. would testify to certain facts prevent a review of the evidence by the Supreme Court and arc in violation of the law.

When such admissions are made . the prohibition against a stipulation of facts in criminal cases no longer holds true. where the accused and counsel agree. More at point is the case of People vs. The declarations constitute judicial admission. In the case of People vs. in the light of recent changes in our rules on criminal procedure. . Sec. . xxx xxx xxx (Emphasis supplied) By virtue of the foregoing rule." 25 58 . for the purpose of the trial.) American jurisprudence has established the acceptability of the practice of stipulating during the trial of criminal cases. The defendant contends that it was error for his counsel to make these stipulations. who is. by virtue of which the prosecution dispensed with the introduction of additional evidence and the defense waived the right to contest or dispute the veracity of the statements contained in the exhibits. binding upon the parties. a stipulation of fact should be allowed not only during pre-trial but also and with more reason. which are binding on the parties. . has prima facie authority to make relevant admissions by pleadings. Pre-trial conference. "judicial admission are frequently those of counsel or of the attorney of record.) In fact. hence. without impairing the rights of the accused. Hare 22 that: The record discloses that the defense counsel stipulated to what certain witnesses would testify if they were present in court. although not expressly sanctioned under the old rules of court. . 21 (Emphasis supplied. 23 The collorally issue left for the determination of this Court is whether or not Section 4 of Rule 118—requiring an agreement or admission made or entered during the pre-trial conference to be reduced in writing and signed by the accused and his counsel before the same may be used in evidence against the accused-equally applies to a stipulation of facts made during trial. . Parenthetically. . The conformity of the accused in the form of his signature affixed thereto is unnecessary in view of the fact that: ". he cannot complain in this Court of evidence which he has stipulated into the record. . or even after. whether made during. 2. particularly the pre-trial provisions found in Rule 118. the agent of his client. . . they bind the client. . . The pre-trial conference shall consider the following: (a) Plea bargaining. . . . . Rule 118 provides the following: Sec. a stipulation facts in criminal cases is now expressly sanctioned by law. Mapa 19 where the accused was charged with illegal possession of firearms. Pre-trial. . subjects ." 24 (Emphasis supplied. the trial.Bocar 20 wherein the fiscal proposed the admission by the accused of the affidavits and other exhibits already presented by the prosecution to dispense with oral testimonies on the matter. the court shall conduct a pretrial conference on the matters enunciated in Section 2 hereof. . when proper — To expedite trial. This court has held that an accused may by stipulation waive the necessity of a proof of all or any part of the case which the people have alleged against him and that having done so. . the prosecution and the defense stipulated on the fact that the accused was found in possession of gun without the requisite permit or license. and categorically stated in People vs. . by oral or written stipulation. a stipulation of facts by the parties in criminal cases has long been allowed and recognized as declarations constituting judicial admissions. 18 However. during trial proper itself.with exact nicety the contradictory declaration of witnesses not produced so as to be subjected to its observation and its judgment as to their credibility. We resolved this issue in the negative. 1. In further pursuit of the objective of expediting trial by dispensing with the presentation of evidence on matters that the accused is willing to admit. Holding that the admissions made by the parties were binding. for the purpose of dispensing with proof of some fact. which unless allowed to be withdrawn are conclusive. . (b) Stipulation of facts. A stipulation of facts entered into by the prosecution and defense counsel during trial in open court is automatically reduced into writing and contained in the official transcript of the proceedings had in court. this Court stated that: . . [T]here is nothing unlawful or irregular about the above procedure. an attorney who is employed to manage a party's conduct of a lawsuit . .

36 (emphasis supplied. 29Thus. a court may properly treat all or any part of the original record of the case filed in its archives as read into the records of a case pending before it. . it may be said that such an admission is a waiver of the right of an accused to present evidence on his behalf. the stipulation of facts proposed during trial by prosecution and admitted by defense counsel is tantamount to a judicial admission by the appellant of the facts stipulated on.The foregoing find basis in the general rule that a client is bound by the acts of his counsel who represents him." 33 The abovementioned doctrine is squarely applicable to the case at bar. 27 No cogent reason exists to make such exception in this case. Although the right to present evidence is guaranteed by no less than the Constitution itself for the protection of the accused. made by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case. appellant makes much ado of the "judicial notice" taken by the lower court of the fact that appellant had been charged with another illegal recruitment case. Anastasio. In view of the foregoing. verbal or written. It is worth noting that Atty. 34 and in considering the pendency thereof as evidence of the scheme and strategy adopted by the accused. then it is the defense who should have presented him. appellant staunchly denied ever having engaged in the recruitment business either in her personal capacity or through Philippine-Thai. Her continuous failure to do so during trial was a waiver of her right to present the pertinent evidence to contradict the stipulation of facts and establish her defense. . In her second assignment of error. The rule extends even to the mistakes and negligence committed by the lawyer except only when such mistakes would result in serious injustice to the client. but obviously because the said stipulation of facts was also in conformity of defense's theory of the case. if it can be dispensed with and relinquished without infringing on any public right. vs. therefore. in the case of U. . Rule 129 of the Rules of Court which provides that: An admission. everyone has a right to waive. appellant's counsel in the lower court. 28 But the right of confrontation guaranteed and secured to the accused is a personal privilege which may be waived.) The judicial notice taken by the lower court of the pendency of another illegal recruitment case against the appellant falls squarely under the above 59 . in the absence of objection and as a matter of convenience to all parties. and agree to waive. this rule is subject to the exception that: . Among the fundamental rights of the accused is the right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him. . the advantage of a law or rule made solely for the benefit and protection of the individual in his private capacity. Therefore. 32 This is in consonance with the doctrine of waiver which recognizes that ". the admission by the accused that witnesses if present would testify to certain facts stated in the affidavit of the prosecution. and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been tried or are actually pending before the same judge. It is true that as a general rule. reference is made to it. The admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. 31 In the same vein. and without detriment to the community at large. it was but logical to admit that the POEA records show that neither she nor Philippine-Thai was licensed or authorized to recruit workers. We now go to appellant's second and third assignment of errors. Controlling. does not require proof. by name and number or in some other manner by which it is sufficiently designated. courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the contents of the records of other cases. 35 However. . is Section 4.S. agreed to the stipulation of facts proposed by the prosecution not out of mistake nor inadvertence. It is true that the rights of an accused during trial are given paramount importance in our laws on criminal procedure. 30 this Court deemed as a waiver of the right of confrontation. Appellant cites a violation of Section 3 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court which provides that before the court may take judicial notice of any matter. It may be recalled that throughout the entire duration of the trial. Appellant was never prevented from presenting evidence contrary to the stipulation of facts. If appellant believed that the testimony of the Chief Licensing Officer of the POEA would be beneficial to her case. even when such cases have been tried or are pending in the same court. this right may be waived expressly or impliedly. when with the knowledge of the opposing party. Ulep. . the parties shall be heard thereon if such matter is decisive of a material issue in the case. the acts of a lawyer in the defense of a case are the acts of his client. . 26For all intents and purposes. It is claimed that the lower court never announced its intention to take judicial notice of the pendency of the other illegal recruitment case nor did it allow the accused to be heard thereon.

39 The lower court erred in imposing "the penalty of life imprisonment (reclusion perpetua) with the accessory penalties provided for by law. what is the status of that case? A: It is also in this sala. self-serving evidence which deserve no weight in law and cannot be given greater evidentiary weight over the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters.00) PESOS without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. SO ORDERED.000.500. sir. VELASQUEZ the amount of TWENTY TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED (P22. The judgment of WHEREFORE. Q: Complaint about what? A: The same case. to return and pay to BENITO L. . to ARNEL MENDOZA the amount of TWENTY TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED (P22. Finally. Cinco inquired from you about placement abroad? A: I was just invited by the personnel of the NBI and I was not allowed to go home.500. . to ROBERT P. and to pay the costs. 38 That she did not merely deny. Hernandez — what happened to that case. MENDOZA the amount of TWENTY TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED (P22. A: Yes. however. by the way. 40 (Emphasis supplied) Q: You mean illegal recruitment also? COURT: It decision. Mrs.000. the error would not be fatal to the prosecution's cause. Q: Whey were you invited by the NBI? A: They told me that there was a complaint against me. Well established is the rule that denials if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence are negative. . . suffice it to say that we do not find any compelling reason to reverse the findings of the lower court that appellant's bare denials cannot overthrow the positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses against her. the penalty for illegal recruitment committed in large scale is life imprisonment and a fine of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100. that the lower court improperly took judicial notice of the pendency of another illegal recruitment case against the appellant. I am not referring to this case. but on the overwhelming evidence against her in the instant case.exception in view of the fact that it was the appellant herself who introduced evidence on the matter when she testified in open court as follows: Q: You mean to say . 60 .00) PESOS.000. . appellant's conviction of the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale is hereby AFFIRMED. for Even assuming.00) PESOS.00) PESOS also without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. life imprisonment is not synonymous with reclusion perpetua. xxx xxx xxx Q: You made mention that an illegal recruitment case which was supposed to be the cause of your detention at the NBI . under Article 39 of the New Labor Code. but likewise raised as an affirmative defense her appointment as mere nominee-president of Philippine-Thai is a futile attempt at exculpating herself and is of no consequence whatsoever when weighed against the positive declarations of witnesses that it was the appellant who executed the acts of illegal recruitment as complained of. . As previously held by this Court. is already submitted Anent the last assignment of error. BERNABE the amount of TWENTY EIGHT THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED (P28. where (sic) were you at the NBI when Mrs. .500. and the penalty imposed MODIFIED as follows: the court sentences the accused to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P100.00) PESOS. to GREGORIO P.00). 37 conviction was not based on the existence of another illegal recruitment case filed against appellant by a different group of complainants.

Pedro Concepcion.. petitioner. The accused refused to obey the order on the ground that such examination of her person was a violation of the constitutional provision relating to self-incrimination. 41 Phil 62 (1920) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. State vs. Object as evidence. nor become the petitioner herein. section 5. examined or viewed by the court. (Compare State vs. Pr.. Kinds Object / Real Section 1. Ah Nordstrom [1893]. 1920 EMETERIA VILLAFLOR. Judge of First Instance. Jacobs [1858]. 506. Jr. The facts are not dispute. upon the petitioner of the assistant fiscal for the city of Manila. Thornton vs.) Counsel for petitioner argues that such bodily exhibition is an infringement of the constitutional provision. concur. C. Alfredo Calupitan. fifth amendment.. 50 N..R. but being threatened with force. 45 How. State [1903]. respondent. The trial judge in the instant case has held with the fiscal. yielded. The evidence of these physicians was offered at the trial and ruled 61 .) A case concordant with this view and almost directly in point is People vs. 117 Wis. violates that portion of the Philippine Bill of Rights and that portion of our Code of Criminal Procedure which find their origin in the Constitution of the United States and practically all state constitutions and in the common law rules of evidence.. III. sheriff of the City of Manila. On this case coming on for trial before the Hon. JJ.. United States Constitution. to submit her body to the examination of one or two competent doctors to determine if she was pregnant or not. McDonough & Johnson for petitioner. 1916. McCoy ([1873]. paragraph 3. (1a) Villaflor v. See further State vs. What may be termed the conservative courts emphasize greatly the humanitarianism of the constitutional provisions and are pleased to extend the privilege in order that its mantle may cover any fact by which the accused is compelled to make evidence against himself. Act of Congress of August 29. MALCOLM. the court ordered the defendant Emeteria Villaflor.Narvasa. She objected to the examination. When an object is relevant to the fact in issue. Thereupon she was found in contempt of court and was ordered to be committed to Bilibid Prison until she should permit the medical examination required by the court.. 216). No. section 15 [4]. 79. Emeteria Villaflor and Florentino Souingco are charged with the crime of adultery. Code of Criminal Procedure. 7 Wash. Height [1902]. 259 with State vs. 16444 September 8. 117 Iowa. while it is brought to our notice that a judge of the same court has held on an identical question as contended for by the attorney for the accused and petitioner. Rule 130 RULE 130 Rules of Admissibility Section 1. Melo and Panganiban. — Objects as evidence are those addressed to the senses of the court. and the examination was had. The authorities are abundant but conflicting.. Summers. 14 Nev. J. paragraph 3. The sole legal issue from the admitted facts is whether the compelling of a woman to permit her body to be examined by physicians to determine if she is pregnant. A woman was charged with the crime of infanticide. Ah Chuey [1879]. it may be exhibited to. 1902. (President's Instructions to the Philippine Commission. Act of Congress of July 1.. providing that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. 338. the representative of the city fiscal contends that it is not an infringement of the constitutional provision.: The petitioner prays that a writ of habeas corpus issue to restore her to her liberty. Assistant City of Fiscal Felix for respondent. RICARDO SUMMERS. 650. The corner directed two physicians to go to the jail and examine her private parts to determine whether she had recently been delivered of a child. Davide. and Gibbs. vs. C. In a criminal case pending before the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila. section 3.J.

citing the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands as authority. by threats. 245). Among these can be prominently mentioned decisions of the United States Supreme Court. and has had a child? It is not possible that this court has that right. Justice Holmes. The maxim of the common law." said: "The prohibition of compelling a man in a criminal court to be a witness against himself is a prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communications from him. As forcing a man to be a witness against himself was deemed contrary to the fundamentals of republican government. We can only consistently consent to the retention of a principle which would permit of such a result by adhering steadfastly to the proposition that the purpose of the constitutional provision was and is merely to prohibit testimonial compulsion. as we think. 23 Phil. an admission of his guilt. 145. The court said that the proceeding was in violation of the spirit and meaning of the Constitution. we have come finally to take our stand with what we believe to be the reason of the case. Justice Holmes. in two decisions. But here before us is presented what would seem to be the most extreme case which could be imagined. greatly impressed with the weight of these decisions. we cannot unconcernedly leave the subject without further consideration. we believe that an unbiased consideration of the history of the constitutional provisions will disclose that our conclusion is in exact accord with the causes which led to its adoption. and here in the Philippines. and compelled her. A legal shield was raised against odious inquisitorial methods of interrogating an accused person by which to extort unwilling confessions with the ever present temptation to commit the crime of perjury. against his will. Justice McClain." (See also. and while the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands could permit substances taken from the person of an accused to be offered in evidence. with the aid of a speculum. Justice Day in Adams vs. but nevertheless we cannot refrain from saying that. Even in the opinion Mr. possibly innocent. S. in the late case of Holt vs. Moreover. in resolving an objection based upon what he termed "an extravagant extension of the Fifth Amendment." It may be revealing a judicial secret. supra.out. the court said: "They might as well have sworn the prisoner. while the Supreme Court of Nuevada could go so far as to require the defendant to roll up his sleeve in order to disclose tattoo marks. and had been delivered of a child. as to have compelled her. ." (U. While the United States Supreme Court could nonchalantly decree that testimony that an accused person put on a blouse and it fitted him is not a violation of the constitutional provision. S." Continuing.. The kernel of the privilege as disclosed by the textwriters was testimonial compulsion.. to disclose her body in all of its sanctity to the gaze of strangers. 585. 567. 735. has seemed to limit the protection to a prohibition against compulsory testimonial self-incrimination. none of these even approach in apparent harshness an order to make a woman. Height. to which we have alluded. vs. 568. So much for the authorities. vs. Has this court the right to compel the prisoner now to submit to an examination they are of the opinion she is not a virgin. 218 U. would rather desire our decision to rest on a strong foundation of reason and justice than on a weak one blind adherence to tradition and precedent. Thus. by threats.) The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands. and it is too clear to admit of argument that evidence thus obtained would be inadmissible against the prisoner. S. to allow them to look into her person. United States ([1910]. in State vs. Nemo tenetur seipsum accusare. there was inserted the careful proviso that "we need not consider how far a court would go in compelling a man to exhibit himself.. . and the derivatory principle announced in 16 Corpus Juris. Buth having disabused our minds of a too sensitive appreciation of the rights of accused persons. to penetrate through the maze of law reports to the policy which lies behind the constitutional guaranty and the common law principle. to testify that she had been pregnant. decision of Mr." Other courts have likewise avoided any attempt to determine the exact location of the dividing line between what is proper and what is improper in this very broad constitutional field.) Although we have stated s proposition previously announced by this court and by the highest tribunal in the United States. . U. to ascertain whether she had been pregnant and been delivered of a child. New York [1903]. but not in the other legal systems of the world. especially the one written by Mr. not an exclusion of his body as evidence when it may be material. and the Supreme Court of these Islands. Tan Teng [1912]. was recognized in England in early days. the instant case was reported by the writer with the tentative recommendation that the court should lay down the general rule that a defendant can be compelled to disclose only those parts of the body which are not usually covered. The constitutional limitation was said to be "simply a prohibition against legal process to extract from the defendant's own lips. For the nonce we would prefer to forget them entirely. being in the agrreable state of breaking new ground. the always forward looking jurist. Mr. and having been able. In contradistinction to the cases above-mentioned are others which seem to us more progressive in nature. 36 Phil. 192 U. which declares that "no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. the principle was taken into the American Constitutions. in a revolt against the thumbscrew and the rack. of same general tenor.. Ong Siu Hong [1917]. and from the United States was brought to the Philippine 62 . S.

the lawyers as players. and the public as fascinated spectators. the rules of evidence. and therefore legal. particularly of a woman. we must nevertheless enforce the constitutional provision in this jurisdiction in accord with the policy and reason thereof. and 15 Harvard L.. no objection to the physical examination being made by the family doctor of the accused or by doctor of the same sex can be seen. or to submit to the touch of a stranger. undeterred by merely sentimental influences.. Criminal procedure.. be understood as subject to the limitations herein mentioned. The costs shall be taxed against the petitioner. vs. 71. 610 found in 4 Wigmore on Evidence. It is a reasonable presumption that in an examination by reputable and disinterested physicians due care will be taken not to use violence and not to embarass the patient any more than is absolutely necessary. Indeed. The writ of habeas corpus prayed for is hereby denied. The corollary to the proposition is that. Once again we lay down the rule that the constitutional guaranty. [1891]. For instance. law and justice cannot hesitate.. an ocular inspection of the body of the accused is permissible.. R. an assault. No rule is intemended to be so rigid as to embarrass the administration of justice in its endeavor to ascertain the truth. 1902. The protection of accused persons has been carried to such an unwarranted extent that criminal trials have sometimes seemed to be like a game of shuttlecocks. Although the order of the trial judge. Pp. S. Obviously a stirring plea can be made showing that under the due process of law cause of the Constitution every person has a natural and inherent right to the possession and control of his own body. C. 250 SCRA 58 (1995) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION 63 . "To compel any one. of course. are then provided. Unfortunately. Sison v. Avanceña. in exactly as wide — but no wider — a scope as it existed in old English days. can be invaded by exposure to another's gaze. and especially a woman. vs. Against such a loose extension of constitutional guaranties we are here prepared to voice our protest. JJ. No accused person should be afraid of the use of any method which will tend to establish the truth. Phil. the criminal as guest of honor. all too frequently the modesty of witnesses is shocked by forcing them to answer. But no evidence of physical facts can for any substantial reason be held to be detrimental to the accused except in so far as the truth is to be avoided in order to acquit a guilty person. The proviso is that torture of force shall be avoided.) Perhaps the best way to test the correctness of our position is to go back once more to elements and ponder on what is the prime purpose of a criminal trial. Between a sacrifice of the ascertainment of truth to personal considerations. questions which are put to them. Wigmore in 5 Harvard L. as well suggested by the same court. and such a tendency to degrade the witness in public estimation does not exempt him from the duty of disclosure.J. and U. that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.. Whether facts fall within or without the rule with its corollary and proviso must. Navarro [1904]. 250) said. Moir and Villamor. but with a judicious and a judicial appreciation of both its benefits and its abuses. Botsford ([1891]. to lay bare the body. it should. 143. is limited to a prohibition against compulsory testimonial self-incrimination. with the judge as referee. p. It is extremely abhorrent to one's sense of decency and propriety to have the decide that such inviolability of the person. So ordered. The provision should here be approached in no blindly worshipful spirit. p. (Read the scholarly articles of Prof. and yet. to use torture to make the defendant admit her guilt might only result in including her to tell a falsehood. As Mr. S. 3069 et seq. Mapa. Justice Gray in Union Pacific Railway Co. nevertheless. As we view it. under the facts before us. which on first impression is a shock to one's sensibilities. between a disregard of the public welfare for refined notions of delicacy. without lawful authority. is an indignity. and a trespass. 141 U. even superior to the complete immunity of a person to be let alone is the inherent which the public has in the orderly administration of justice. without any mental evasion. concur. Araullo.Islands. Fully conscious that we are resolving a most extreme case in a sense. not to protect the guilty but to protect the innocent. R. and constitutional provisions. pp. acceding to the request of the assistant fiscal for an examination of the person of the defendant by physicians was phrased in absolute terms. be decided as cases arise." Conceded. the object of having criminal laws is to purgue the community of persons who violate the laws to the great prejudice of their fellow men.

and the police officers who were at the Luneta at the time of the incident. J. a small group of loyalists converged at the Chinese Garden. Somebody then shouted "Kailangang gumanti. 1986. JOEL TAN. RICHARD DE LOS SANTOS. Eventually. The cases were consolidated and raffled to the Regional Trial Court." Atty.R. Nos. They caught Salcedo and boxed and kicked and mauled him. several informations were filed in court against eleven persons identified as Marcos loyalists charging them with the murder of Salcedo. a rally was scheduled to be held at the Luneta by the Marcos loyalists. Branch XLIX. Pabalikin si Marcos. 1995 ROMEO SISON. Criminal Case No. There. The prosecution established that on July 27. Annie Ferrer was arrested by the police. Nilo Pacadar y Abe and Joel Tan y Mostero. On July 27. a cigarette vendor. both members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. plaintiff-appellee. the crowd fled towards Maria Orosa Street and the situation later stabilized. Led by Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega. accused. saw the loyalists attacking persons in yellow. 1995 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. and JOSELITO TAMAYO. Salcedo tried to extricate himself from the group but they 64 . Cory iyan!" The man in the yellow t-shirt was Salcedo and his pursuers appeared to be Marcos loyalists. Marcos pa rin.m. The loyalist leaders asked for thirty minutes but this was refused. Colonel Dula Torres thereupon gave them ten minutes to disperse. 114931-33 November 16. They approached her and informed her of their dispersal and Annie Ferrer angrily ordered them "Gulpihin ninyo and mga Cory hecklers!" Then she continued jogging around the fountain chanting "Marcos pa rin. Colonel Edgar Dula Torres. Atty. 2 He then saw a man wearing a yellow t-shirt being chased by a group of persons shouting "Iyan." From August to October 1986. they saw Annie Ferrer. This was the time when the newlyinstalled government of President Corazon C. sige gulpihin ninyo!" The police then pushed the crowd. the prosecution likewise presented documentary evidence consisting of newspaper accounts of the incident and various photographs taken during the mauling. recited prayers and delivered speeches in between. Despite this setback. vs. Marcos. Nuega added "Sige. tayo ngayon!" A commotion ensued and Renato Banculo.R. it resulted in the murder of Stephen Salcedo. and Criminal Case No.petitioners. The loyalists scampered away but some of them fought back and threw stones at the police. ROMEO SISON. 86-47617 against Romeo Sison y Mejia. 1 At about 4:00 p. In support of their testimonies. NILO PACADAR. the color of the "Coryistas. 108280-83 November 16. the loyalists started an impromptu singing contest. respondents. a known "Coryista. Earlier. 86-47790 against Richard de los Santos y Arambulo. and used tear gas and truncheons to disperse them. Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo. Also filed were Criminal Cases Nos. Tension and animosity between the two (2) groups sometimes broke into violence. vs. and JOSELITO TAMAYO. 86-49007 and 86-49008 against Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega as well as Annie Ferrer charging them as accomplices to the murder of Salcedo. All of the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and trial ensued accordingly. NILO PACADAR. Pabalikin si Marcos. 1986. arrived and asked the leaders for their permit. a popular movie starlet and supporter of President Marcos. Manila. ANNIE FERRER. Bugbugin ang mga nakadilaw!" The loyalists replied "Bugbugin!" A few minutes later. then Deputy Superintendent of the Western Police District. habulin iyan. they applied for a permit to hold the rally but their application was denied by the authorities. G. Lozano turned towards his group and said "Gulpihin ninyo ang lahat ng mga Cory infiltrators. The prosecution presented twelve witnesses. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and COURT OF APPEALS." Renato took off his yellow shirt. including two eyewitnesses. No permit could be produced. Phase III of the Luneta." supporters of deposed President Ferdinand E. jogging around the fountain. 86-48538 against Joselito Tamayo y Ortia.. 86-48931 against Rolando Fernandez y Mandapat. 86-47322 was filed against Raul Billosos y de Leon and Gerry Nery y Babazon. three thousand of them gathered at the Rizal Monument of the Luneta at 2:30 in the afternoon of the scheduled day. Aquino was being openly challenged in rallies. Criminal Case No. Criminal Case No.G. JOEL TAN. accusedappellants.: The case before us occurred at a time of great political polarization in the aftermath of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. PUNO. RICHARD DE LOS SANTOS. Nos. demonstrations and other public fora by "Marcos loyalists. Criminal Case No.

mauling Sumilang in the process.. pulis. Contused-abrasions: 6. right side. 13 Gerry Neri claimed that he was at the Luneta Theater at the time of the incident. Wala bang pulis?" 9 The mauling of Salcedo was witnessed by bystanders and several press people. left side. occipital bone. 10 For their defense. This prompted President Aquino to order the Capital Regional Command and the Western Police District to investigate the incident.000... scalp. He sat on some cement steps 8 and then tried to flee towards Roxas boulevard to the sanctuary of the Rizal Monument but accused Joel Tan and Nilo Pacadar pursued him. over the left eyebrow. upper lip. 6. right side.0 x 2. frontal region. So they took him to the Philippine General Hospital where he died upon arrival. right temporal region. Patayin!" 5Sumilang tried to pacify Pacadar but the latter lunged at the victim again. shouting: "Iyan. Somebody gave Sumilang a loyalist tag which Sumilang showed to Salcedo's attackers.0 cm. left elbow. 5." He cried: "Pulis. Sumilang flagged down a van and with the help of a traffic officer. 5.0 cm. 14 Romeo Sison." He sustained various contusions. intracranial traumatic. Banculo saw Ranulfo Sumilang. right elbow. Tulungan ninyo ako. left ear.again pounced on him and pummelled him with fist blows and kicks hitting him on various parts of his body. pinna. 17 He said that he merely watched the mauling which explains why his face appeared in 65 . nose. face. 5. including Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo. left parietal region. 1986. 4 Accused Nilo Pacadar punched Salcedo on his nape. 15 He claimed to be afflicted with hernia impairing his mobility. subdural. 16 Richard de los Santos admits he was at the Luneta at the time of the mauling but denies hitting Salcedo.. he cannot run normally nor do things forcefully.. Accused Joselito Tamayo boxed Salcedo on the left jaw and kicked him as he once more fell. 7 Abrasions: 4. skull.5 cm. the principal accused denied their participation in the mauling of the victim and offered their respective alibis. Stomach.0 x 2. rush to Salcedo's aid. then Police Chief. 3. were apprehended and investigated. right anterior cranial fossa. Salcedo died of "hemorrhage. Sumilang tried to pacify the maulers so he could extricate Salcedo from them. he was in his house in Quezon City. But the maulers pursued Salcedo unrelentingly. Accused Joselito Tamayo testified that he was not in any of the photographs presented by the prosecution 12 because on July 27. brought Salcedo to the Medical Center Manila but he was refused admission. a commercial photographer. Banculo saw accused Romeo Sison trip Salcedo and kick him on the head.0 cm. occipital region. 11 Several persons. But accused Raul Billosos emerged from behind Sumilang as another man boxed Salcedo on the head. including the accused. The press took pictures and a video of the event which became front-page news the following day. 6 Sumilang saw accused Gerry Neri approach the victim but did not notice what he did. frontal region. Other visceral organs.0 x 4. congested. capturing national and international attention.0 cm.2 cm. 4. Hematoma.4 cm. Accused Richard de los Santos also boxed Salcedo twice on the head and kicked him even as he was already fallen.0 x 2. Salcedo pleaded for his life exclaiming "Maawa na kayo sa akin. lips.. 6. left suprascapular region. abrasions.8 x 4. left side.0 x 4. extensive.5 cm. right cheek. 1. and 3. Hemorrhage. The mauling resumed at the Rizal Monument and continued along Roxas Boulevard until Salcedo collapsed and lost consciousness. Cory Iyan. and nailbeds. They backed off for a while and Sumilang was able to tow Salcedo away from them.2 cm.0 x 3.8 cm. lacerated wounds and skull fractures as revealed in the following post-mortem findings: Cyanosis. frontal region.0 x 2.. and when he tried to stand.5 cm.. right posterior cranial fossa.1 cm. and on the basis of their identification. 2.5 x 2. both sides..0 x 2.. cooperated with the police. was allegedly at his office near the Luneta waiting for some pictures to be developed at that time. several persons. Salcedo somehow managed to get away from his attackers and wipe off the blood from his face. an electrician at the Luneta.0 x 1.. Fractures. 3 Salcedo tried to stand but accused Joel Tan boxed him on the left side of his head and ear.00) was put up by Brigadier General Alfredo Lim. Lacerated wounds: 2. boxing him with stones in their fists. about 1/2 filled with grayish brown food materials and fluid.. A reward of ten thousand pesos (P10. Sison repeatedly boxed him. right knee. for persons who could give information leading to the arrest of the killers. both local and foreign. right side.0 cm.

In "People versus Raul Billosos and Gerry Nery. 2. TEN (10) MONTHS and TWENTY (20) DAYS of Reclusion Temporal. hereby imposes on each of them an indeterminate penalty of from FOURTEEN (14)YEARS." Criminal Case No. as Minimum. The maulers however ignored him.000. 21 The other accused. Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega. 6. 86-49007. as principals for the crime of Murder. 3. Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan. there being no other extenuating circumstances. for the crime of "Murder" defined in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby imposes on him an indeterminate penalty of from FOURTEEN (14) YEARS.18 Unlike the other accused. 20 Joel Tan also testified that he tried to pacify the maulers because he pitied Salcedo. the Court finds that the Prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the Accused for the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt and hereby acquits him of said charge. the Court finds the Accused Romeo Sison. Nilo Pacadar admits that he is a Marcos loyalist and a member of the Ako'y Pilipino Movement and that he attended the rally on that fateful day. however. In "People versus Rolando Fernandez. 1988. jointly and severally." Criminal Case No. judgement is hereby rendered in the aforementioned cases as follows: 1. Nilo Pacadar. 8649008. as minimum. 86-48538 the Court finds the Accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal. there being no other mitigating or aggravating circumstances. merely viewed the incident. the trial court rendered a decision finding Romeo Sison. 86-47322." Criminal Case No. as Maximum. 19 His face was in the pictures because he shouted to the maulers to stop hitting Salcedo. TEN (10) MONTHS and TWENTY (20) DAYS. and. Rolando Fernandez. to TWENTY (20) YEARS of Reclusion Temporal. Richard de los Santos and Joselito Tamayo guilty as principals in the crime of murder qualified by treachery and sentenced them to 14 years 10 months and 20 days of reclusion temporal as minimum to 20 years of reclusion temporal as maximum.00 as actual 66 .." Criminal Case No. the Court finds the said Accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt. the Court hereby imposes on him an indeterminate penalty of from FOURTEEN (14) YEARS. In "People versus Richard de los Santos. to TWENTY (20) YEARS ofReclusion Temporal. 7. The Accused Romeo Sison. Joselito Tamayo and Annie Ferrer are hereby ordered to pay. he saw Salcedo being mauled and like Richard de los Santos. as minimum. The dispositive portion of the decision reads as follows: WHEREFORE. Gerry Nery. the Court finds that the Prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the Accused beyond reasonable doubt for the crime charged and hereby acquits them of said charge. as Minimum to TWELVE (12) YEARS. defined in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. Joel Tan. Lozano and Nuega and Annie Ferrer opted not to testify in their defense. the Court finds the Accused Richard de los Santos guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal for the crime of Murder defined in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and. In "People versus Annie Ferrer. as Maximum. to the heirs of Stephen Salcedo the total amount of P74. Richard de los Santos. et al." Criminal Case No. 86-47617. TEN (10) MONTHS and TWENTY (20) DAYS of Reclusion Temporal. 4. the Court finds that the Prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the two (2) Accused beyond reasonable doubt for the crime charged and hereby acquits them of said charge.some of the photographs. as accomplice to the crime of Murder under Article 18 in relation to Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby imposes on her an indeterminate penalty of NINE (9) YEARS and FOUR (4) MONTHS of Prision Mayor. In "People versus Joselito Tamayo. of Reclusion Temporal. guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The court. According to him. In "People versus Oliver Lozano. On December 16. to TWENTY (20) DAYS. Annie Ferrer was likewise convicted as an accomplice. Joel Tan." Criminal Case No." Criminal Case No. 86-4893l. FIVE (5) MONTHS and ELEVEN (11) DAYS of Reclusion Temporal. as Maximum. specifically Attys. as Minimum. In "People versus Romeo Sison. of Reclusion Temporal. Nilo Pacadar. to TWENTY (20) YEARS of Reclusion Temporal as Maximum. found that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the other accused and thus acquitted Raul Billosos.. 5. 86-47790. et al.

000.damages and the amount of P30. 2. and one-half (1/2) of the costs of suit. Nilo Pacadar y Abe. accused-appellants assign the following errors: I On appeal. Before this court. The bail bonds posted by the Accused Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega are hereby cancelled. an indeterminate penalty of TWELVE (12) YEARS of prision mayor as Minimum to TWENTY (20) YEARS of reclusion temporal as Maximum is hereby imposed upon him. as a consequence. Romeo Sison. Nos. 108280-83 under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court inasmuch as Joselito Tamayo was not sentenced to reclusion perpetua. the Court of Appeals 23 on December 28.R. 24 Petitioners filed G. Raul Billosos and Rolando Fernandez from the City Jail unless they are being detained for another cause or charge. to reclusion perpetua. Accused-appellants Romeo Sison y Mejia. Nos. the decision appealed from is hereby MODIFIED as follows: 1. except for Joselito Tamayo.R. The appellate court found them guilty of murder qualified by abuse of superior strength. 1992. 114931-33 was certified to us for automatic review of the decision of the Court of Appeals against the four accused-appellants sentenced to reclusion perpetua. 3. modified the decision of the trial court by acquitting Annie Ferrer but increasing the penalty of the rest of the accused. Joel Tan y Mostero and Richard de los Santos are hereby found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Murder and are each hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua. CONSIDERING that the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua has been imposed in the instant consolidated cases. The Petition for Bail of the Accused Rolando Fernandez has become moot and academic. the said cases are now hereby certified to the Honorable Supreme Court for review. III 67 . The period during which the Accused Nilo Pacadar. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: PREMISES CONSIDERED. SUSPICIOUS AND INCONCLUSIVE TESTIMONIES OF PROSECUTION WITNESS RANULFO SUMILANG. The Warden of the City Jail of Manila is hereby ordered to release the Accused Gerry Nery. II THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE UNRELIABLE. Joel Tan. G. Romeo Sison and Joselito Tamayo is denied for lack of merit. Accused-appellant Joselito Tamayo y Oria is hereby found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT NOTED THAT THE ACCUSED FAILED TO CITE ANYTHING ON RECORD TO SUPPORT THEIR AVERMENT THAT THERE WERE NO WITNESSES WHO HAVE COME FORWARD TO IDENTIFY THE PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF STEPHEN SALCEDO. DOUBTFUL.00 as moral and exemplary damages. Accused-appellant Annie Ferrer is hereby ACQUITTED of being an accomplice to the crime of Murder. but convicted Joselito Tamayo of homicide because the information against him did not allege the said qualifying circumstance. The Petition for Bail of the Accused Joel Tan. Richard de los Santos and Joselito Tamayo had been under detention during the pendency of these cases shall be credited to them provided that they agreed in writing to abide by and comply strictly with the rules and regulations of the City Jail. 22 with the generic aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength and.

"O". doubtful and do not deserve any credence. "W" TO "W-13". ALL OF WHICH WERE NOT PROPERLY IDENTIFIED. "G". TO UPHOLD THE VALIDITY OF THE VERY SAME JUDGMENT. "V". appellants contend that: I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN REACHING A CONCLUSION OF FACT UTILIZING SPECULATIONS. 29 He informed the police that he would cooperate with them and identify Salcedo's assailants if he saw them again. NON-SEQUITUR CONCLUSIONS. V THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE CRIME COMMITTED IS MURDER AND NOT DEATH (HOMICIDE) CAUSED IN A TUMULTUOUS AFFRAY. the testimonies of these two witnesses are suspect because they surfaced only after a reward was announced by General Lim. 30 The fact that Banculo executed three sworn statements does not make them and his testimony incredible. Renato Banculo even submitted three sworn statements to the police geared at providing a new or improved version of the incident. AND EVEN THE DISPUTED DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT. TO "V-48". IV THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THERE EXISTS CONSPIRACY AMONG THE PRINCIPAL ACCUSED. 31 The records show that Sumilang was admonished several times by the trial court on the witness stand for being argumentative and evasive. SURMISES. 25 In their additional brief. The sworn statements were made to identify more suspects who were apprehended during the investigation of Salcedo's death. even before announcement of any reward. NOT DEATH (HOMICIDE) IN TUMULTUOUS AFFRAY SIDESTEPPING IN THE PROCESS THE FACTUAL GROUNDS SURROUNDING THE INCIDENT. 28 There is no proof that Banculo or Sumilang testified because of the reward announced by General Lim. On the contrary. According to them. much less that both or either of them ever received such reward from the government. because they are unreliable. THE ADMITTED CAUSE OF THE HEMORRHAGE RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF THE DECEASED.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS LIKEWISE ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED GUILTY WHEN THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT ANY OF THE ACCUSED CARRIED A HARD AND BLUNT INSTRUMENT. 32 This is not enough reason to reject Sumilang's testimony for he did not exhibit this 68 . III THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT CONSPIRACY EXISTED IN THE CASE AT BAR DISREGARDING ALTOGETHER THE SETTLED JURISPRUDENCE ON THE MATTER. "P". ALL CONTRARY TO THE RULES OF EVIDENCE. Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo. IV THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN RULING THAT THE CRIME COMMITTED WAS MURDER. II THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN ADMITTING EXHIBITS "D". On the witness stand. the evidence shows that Sumilang reported the incident to the police and submitted his sworn statement immediately two hours after the mauling. 26 Appellants mainly claim that the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the testimonies of the two in prosecution eyewitnesses. 27 Ranulfo Sumilang was evasive and unresponsive prompting the trial court to reprimand him several times. he mistakenly identified a detention prisoner in another case as accused Rolando Fernandez.

At subsequent hearings. the testimony of a witness can be believed as to some facts but disbelieved with respect to the others. Alfredo Lazaro. either by the testimony of the person who made it or by other competent witnesses. "W-1" to "W-13" are photographs of Salcedo and the mauling published in local newspapers and magazines such as the Philippine Star. they should have placed Pat. 53 This court notes that when the prosecution offered the photographs as part of its evidence. and Ms." "V. Bautista. Dr. after which the court can admit it subject to impeachment as to its accuracy. In the court's discretion. 44 Mr. Flores on the witness stand. his testimony was correctly given credence by the trial court despite his evasiveness at some instances. An honest mistake is not inconsistent with a truthful testimony. 38 Appellants also contend that although the appellate court correctly disregarded Exhibits "D. including Atty. the Joint Affidavit merely reiterates what the other prosecution witnesses testified to." and "P. 37 Appellants do not deny that Salcedo was mauled. Flores properly identified Exhibit "O" as his sworn statement and in fact gave testimony corroborating the contents thereof. when presented in evidence.undesirable conduct all throughout his testimony. 47 The admissibility of these photographs is being questioned by appellants for lack of proper identification by the person or persons who took the same. 36 The fatal injury of intracranial hemorrhage was a result of fractures in Salcedo's skull which may have been caused by contact with a hard and blunt object such as fistblows. If appellants wanted to impeach the said affidavit." 39 Exhibit "O" is the Joint Affidavit of Pat. kicks and blows from rough stones. 51 The correctness of the photograph as a faithful representation of the object portrayed can be proved prima facie. Roberto Garcia. Atty. Sumilang in fact testified that Salcedo was pummeled by his assailants with stones in their hands. Exhibits "V. must be identified by the photographer as to its production and testified as to the circumstances under which they were produced. who were absent. As trial courts. 50 The photographer. kicked and punched. And at this hearing. 54 However. kicks and a blunt wooden instrument. therefore. 55 The photographs were adopted by appellant Joselito Tamayo and accused Gerry Neri as part of the defense exhibits. 52 Photographs. 48 The value of this kind of evidence lies in its being a correct representation or reproduction of the original. 56 No objection was made by counsel for any of the accused. therefore. Pat. Atty. testified that the victim had various wounds on his body which could have been inflicted by pressure from more than one hard object. Magazine. Their positive identification of all petitioners jibe with each other and their narration of the events are supported by the medical and documentary evidence on record. objected to their admissibility for lack of proper identification. Identification by Pat. The rule in this jurisdiction is that photographs." it erroneously gave evidentiary weight to Exhibits "O." "W-1" to "W-13. the medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation. 40 Besides. through counsel Atty. Except for compelling reasons. is not the only witness who can identify the pictures he has taken. counsel for accused Joselito Tamayo and Gerry Neri used Exhibits "V". the prosecution used the photographs to cross-examine all the accused who took the witness stand. the police intelligenceoperatives who witnessed the rally and subsequent dispersal operation. 45 Philippine Daily Inquirer." "V-1" to "V-48." "V-1" to "V-48" are photographs taken of the victim as he was being mauled at the Luneta — starting from a grassy portion to the pavement at the Rizal Monument and along Roxas Boulevard. 41 — as he was being chased by his assailants 42 and as he sat pleading with his assailants." "W. 33 It does not make his whole testimony a falsity. Perfect testimonies cannot be expected from persons with imperfect senses. they can best appreciate the verbal and non-verbal dimensions of a witness' testimony. when the accused presented their evidence. 49 and its admissibility is determined by its accuracy in portraying the scene at the time of the crime. Banculo's mistake in identifying another person as one of the accused does not make him an entirely untrustworthy witness. 34 We sustain the appellate and trial courts' findings that the witnesses' testimonies corroborate each other on all important and relevant details of the principal occurrence. can be identified by the photographer or by any other competent witness who can testify to its exactness and accuracy. Lazaro. On the whole. 46 and the Malaya. "V-1" to "V-48" to prove that his clients were not in any of the pictures and therefore could not have participated in the mauling of the victim. Winlove Dumayas. however. not until 69 . Dumayas represented all the other accused per understanding with their respective counsels. we cannot disturb the way trial courts calibrate the credence of witnesses considering their visual view of the demeanor of witnesses when on the witness stand. Jr. 43 Exhibits "W"." "G. appellants. Flores and Pat. Bautista is a surplusage. 35 The contusions and abrasions found could have been caused by punches.

nor was there a reciprocal aggression at this stage of the incident. and in the course of the affray someone is killed.57 The objection of Atty. taking turns in inflicting punches. They followed Salcedo from the Chinese Garden to the Rizal Monument several meters away and hit him mercilessly even when he was already fallen on the ground. if it can be called a quarrel. but this confusion subsided eventually after the loyalists fled to Maria Orosa Street. was between one distinct group and one individual. namely. 59 Appellant Romeo Sison appears only once and he. 63 The quarrel in the instant case. For this article to apply. Lazaro to the admissibility of the photographs is anchored on the fact that the person who took the same was not presented to identify them. While the pictures did not record Sison and Tamayo hitting Salcedo. it must be established that: (1) there be several persons. 58 An analysis of the photographs vis-a-vis the accused's testimonies reveal that only three of the appellants. quarrel and assault each other in a confused and tumultuous manner. (2) that they did not compose groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and attacking each other reciprocally. the penalty ofprision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon all those who shall have used violence upon the person of the victim. they were unequivocally identified by Sumilang and Banculo 61Appellants' denials and alibis cannot overcome their eyeball identification. prop himself against the pavement and wipe off the blood from his face. the victim's assailants were numerous by as much as fifty in number 65 and were armed with stones with which they hit the victim. That the photographs are faithful representations of the mauling incident was affirmed when appellants Richard de los Santos. and it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the deceased. They took advantage of their superior strength and excessive force and frustrated any attempt by Salcedo to escape and free himself. If it cannot be determined who inflicted the serious physical injuries on the deceased. 64 As the lower courts found. not death in tumultuous affray. in the course of which some person is killed or wounded and the author thereof cannot be ascertained. Death caused in a tumultuous affray. but the person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries can be identified. The photographs did not capture the entire sequence of the killing of Salcedo but only segments thereof. such person or persons shall be punished by prison mayor. kicks and blows on him. (4) someone was killed in the course of the affray. (5) it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the deceased. Appellants claim that the lower courts erred in finding the existence of conspiracy among the principal accused and in convicting them of murder qualified by abuse of superior strength. — When. We rule that the use of these photographs by some of the accused to show their alleged non-participation in the crime is an admission of the exactness and accuracy thereof. The absence of the two appellants in the photographs does not exculpate them. 62 A tumultuous affray takes place when a quarrel occurs between several persons and they engage in a confused and tumultuous affray. Confusion may have occurred because of the police dispersal of the rallyists. not composing groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and attacking each other reciprocally. Richard de los Santos.Atty. while several persons. (3) these several persons quarrelled and assaulted one another in a confused and tumultuous manner. There was a time when Salcedo was able to get up. Sumilang tried to save him from his assailants but they continued beating him. hitting Sumilang in the process. Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan could be readily seen in various belligerent poses lunging or hovering behind or over the victim. Salcedo pleaded for mercy but they ignored his pleas until he finally lost 70 . Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan identified themselves therein and gave reasons for their presence thereat. There was no confusion and tumultuous quarrel or affray. Death in a tumultuous affray is defined in Article 251 of the Revised Penal code as follows: Art. and (6) that the person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries or who used violence can be identified. 60Appellant Joselito Tamayo was not identified in any of the pictures. although afflicted with hernia is shown merely running after the victim. Salcedo could not defend himself nor could he find means to defend himself. Lazaro appeared at the third hearing and interposed a continuing objection to their admissibility. 251. But his attackers continued to pursue him relentlessly. It was only a while later after said dispersal that one distinct group identified as loyalists picked on one defenseless individual and attacked him repeatedly.

. Evident premeditation cannot be appreciated in this case because the attack against Salcedo was sudden and spontaneous. 71 IN VIEW WHEREOF. the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed and modified as follows: (a) P74.. 67 Each of the conspirators is liable for all acts of the others regardless of the intent and character of their participation. JJ.00 must also be awarded for the death of the victim.. 467 SCRA 552 (2005) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT SECOND DIVISION 71 . All accused-appellants are hereby ordered to pay jointly and severally the heirs of Stephen Salcedo the following amounts: The qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation was alleged in the information against Joselito Tamayo. Accused-appellant Joselito Tamayo is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide with the generic aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength and. At the time he died on July 27.000.000. The deliberate and prolonged use of superior strength on a defenseless victim qualifies the killing to murder.000. Nilo Pacadar. 70 warrant an increase in moral damages from P30.J. Regalado and Mendoza. taunting them into mauling him. concur.000. Salcedo was twenty three years old and was set to leave on August 4. True. 1986 for employment in Saudi Arabia. 1. and one half of the costs of the suit.000. SO ORDERED.000. The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack without the slightest provocation on the part of the person being attacked. Costs against accused-appellants. 3.00 to P100. There is no proof that the attack on Salcedo was deliberately and consciously chosen to ensure the assailants' safety from any defense the victim could have made. spurred by the raging animosity against the so-called "Coryistas. Francisco.000. and (c) P50.00 as indemnity for the death of the victim. C. the attack on Salcedo was sudden and unexpected but it was apparently because of the fact that he was wearing a yellow t-shirt or because he allegedly flashed the "Laban" sign against the rallyists. a showing as to who among the conspirators inflicted the fatal wound is not required to sustain a conviction. is on leave. The indemnity of P50. Torralba v.000. Treachery as a qualifying circumstance cannot be appreciated in the instant case. as a consequence.00 as moral and exemplary damages. As the appellate court well found. Accused-appellants Romeo Sison. he is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of TWELVE (12) YEARS of prision mayoras minimum to TWENTY (20) YEARS of reclusion temporal as maximum. a concerted effort to bring about the death of Salcedo. Salcedo had the opportunity to sense the temper of the rallyists and run away from them but he. Narvasa. unfortunately. Joel Tan and Richard de los Santos are found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Murder without any aggravating or mitigating circumstance and are each hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.00 as actual damages. (b) P100. 69 The reckless disregard for such a young person's life and the anguish wrought on his widow and three small children. At the time they were committing the crime. Where a conspiracy existed and is proved.consciousness." It was not preceded by cool thought and reflection. 68 The trial court awarded the heirs of Salcedo P74. 66 2. 1986. was overtaken by them. We find however the existence of a conspiracy among appellants. P30. because the act of one is the act of all. Pp.00. J.00 as moral damages.00 as actual damages. their actions impliedly showed a unity of purpose among them.

integrity. effort. unlawfully and feloniously. The information states: AGAPITO HONTANOSAS AND CASTOR HONTANOSAS. an information for libel was filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tagbilaran City against petitioner Torralba. thereby maliciously exposing the family of the late Judge Agapito Hontanosas including Atty. THEY ARE TRAITORS TO THE LAND OF THEIR BIRTH. 8958 – were then pending with the RTC." X X X. No. City Prosecutor II. and No." which in English means: "THESE HONTANOSAS. 2005 CIRSE FRANCISCO "CHOY" TORRALBA. petitioner Torralba filed before the RTC. to the damage and prejudice of said Atty. impeaching and discrediting the honesty. (SGD. 24818 which affirmed. petitioner Torralba pleaded not guilty to the crime he was charged with. Philippines. No. and to facilitate the early disposition of these cases. Philippines. Hontanosas in the amount to be proved during the trial of the case. Manuel Hontanosas (Atty. prestige and honor of late CFI Judge Agapito Y. 3 one of the legitimate children of [the] late CFI Judge Agapito Y. Manuel L. Acts committed contrary to the provisions of Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 355 of the same Code. Branch 1.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision1 promulgated on 22 May 2002 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Hontanosas to public hatred. who was during his [lifetime] a CFI Judge of Cebu and a man of good reputation and social standing in the community and for the purpose of exposing him to public hatred. TRAYDOR SA YUTANG NATAWHAN. where Crim. J. IN OTHER WORDS. 1994. a motion for consolidation6 alleging therein that private complainant Atty. Petitioners. MGA COLLABORATOR SA PANAHON SA GUERRA. with modification. disrespect and ridicule. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Tagbilaran City. Upon arraignment on 12 March 1996." and other words of similar import. September 8. Hontanosas. City of Tagbilaran. reputation. AGAPITO HONTANOSAS UG CASTOR HONTANOSAS. Tagbilaran City. contempt and ridicule causing the latter to suffer social humiliation. vs. SA ATO PA. "DUNAY DUGO NGA PAGKATRAYDOR ANG AMAHAN NI MANOLING HONTANOSAS. three of which – Crim. Cases No. Case No. embarrassment. As the evidence for the prosecution as well as the defense were substantially the same. Respondent. 9107 was raffled off. on or about the 11th day of April. 8957. Philippines. 72 . petitioner Torralba moved that Crim. Culled from the records are the following facts: Petitioner Torralba was the host of a radio program called "Tug-Ani ang Lungsod" which was aired over the radio station DYFX in Cebu City. MONTES City Prosecutor II APPROVED: The undersigned.5 City Prosecutor4 On 14 May 1998. CR No. discredit. Manuel L. openly. 8956. City of Tagbilaran. 1994. publicly and repeatedly announce[d] the following: "KINING MGA HONTANOSAS. with deliberate and malicious intent of maligning. in his radio program "TUG-ANI AND LUNGSOD" (TELL THE PEOPLE) over radio station DYFX. 9107 be consolidated with the three other cases so as to save time. in the City of Tagbilaran. 153699 August 22.G. Hontanosas. the abovenamed accused. committed as follows: (SGD) MARIANO CAPAYAS That. did then and there willfully. On 12 September 1994.R. contempt. R. ARE COLLABORATORS DURING THE WAR." X X X. wounded feelings and mental anguish. "THE FATHER OF MANOLING HONTANOSAS HAD TREACHEROUS BLOOD. Branch III. Hontanosas) filed a total of four (4) criminal cases for libel against petitioner Torralba. dishonor. 9107.) ADRIANO P. Case No. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. hereby accuses CIRSE FRANCISCO "CHOY" TORRALBA for the crime of Libel. the trial court’s2 decision finding petitioner Cirse Francisco "Choy" Torralba guilty of the crime of libel in Criminal Case No.

17 When he was cross-examined by petitioner Torralba’s counsel. to wit: Exhibit B . petitioner Torralba took on the management of TMSI. (TMSI) and was at that time the assigned manager of the port in Tagbilaran City. that on 20 January 1994. the court a quo eventually admitted the three tape recordings into evidence.tape recording of 25 January 19949 Exhibit D . Fearing that the Toledos would think that TMSI was behind the incessant criticisms hurled at them. the management of TMSI decided to cease sponsoring petitioner Torralba’s radio show. The day after said incident. He maintained. Lim brought to his office a tape recording of petitioner Torralba’s radio program of 11 April 1994 during which petitioner Torralba averred that the Hontanosas were traitors to the land of their birth.R. the TMSI sponsored"Tug-Ani ang Lungsod" for only a month at the cost of P500. Tagbilaran City. Lim admitted that they were recorded by Shirly Lim. "People of the Philippines v. that on 12 April 1994. This prompted petitioner Torralba to pose a continuing objection to the admission of the said tape recordings for lack of proper authentication by the person who actually made the recordings. Lim admitted that he did not know how to operate a tape recorder and that he asked either his adopted daughter. This request was approved by private complainant Atty. they asked him to institute a case against petitioner Torralba. the management of TMSI noticed that petitioner Torralba was persistently attacking former Bureau of Internal Revenue Deputy Director Tomas Toledo and his brother Boy Toledo who was a customs collector. petitioner Torralba sought TMSI’s sponsorship of his radio program. and Gabriel Sarmiento. the prosecution presented as witnesses Segundo Lim.11 It was revealed during Lim’s cross-examination 12 that petitioner Torralba previously instituted a criminal action for libel 13 against the former arising from an article published in the Sunday Post. CR No. 16413 entitled. Lim testified that petitioner Torralba accused TMSI of not observing the minimum wage law and that said corporation was charging higher handling rates than what it was supposed to collect. Inc. Hontanosas went on-air in petitioner Torralba’s radio program to explain the side of TMSI. Branch 1. 7 the motion for consolidation filed by petitioner Torralba was granted by the RTC. On 17 December 1993. Soon thereafter. During the existence of said sponsorship agreement. that in his radio show on 25 January 1994. petitioner Torralba resumed his assault on TMSI and its management. Hontanosas disclosed that he did not actually hear 73 . a newspaper of general circulation in the provinces of Cebu and Bohol. sometime during the Marcos administration. private complainant Atty. by the Court of Appeals in its decision promulgated on 29 July 1996 in CA-G. petitioner Torralba mentioned that "he was now [wary] to interview any one because he had a sad experience with someone who betrayed him and this ‘someone’ was like his father who was a collaborator". or his housemaid to record petitioner Torralba’s radio program. Hontanosas.16 For his part. Shirly Lim. Segundo Lim and Boy Guingguing. private complainant Atty. Lim testified that he was one of the incorporators of the Tagbilaran Maritime Services. however.00. Hontanosas who was then the president of TMSI." 15 In our resolution of 04 December 1996. and that after he informed his siblings regarding this. In said case. The trial court provisionally admitted the tape recordings subject to the presentation by the prosecution of Shirly Lim for the proper authentication of said pieces of evidence. with modification. It was petitioner Torralba’s relentless badgering of TMSI which allegedly prompted Lim to tape record petitioner Torralba’s radio broadcasts. Lim presented to him a tape recording of petitioner Torralba’s radio program aired on 18 January 1994 during which petitioner Torralba allegedly criticized him and stated that he was a person who could not be trusted. Hontanosas testified that he was at that time the chairman and manager of TMSI. private complainant Atty. Despite petitioner Torralba’s objection to the formal offer of these pieces of evidence. private complainant Atty. In effect.tape recording of 19 January 19948 Exhibit C . we denied Lim’s petition for review on certiorari. that Judge Agapito Hontanosas and Castor Hontanosas were collaborators during the Japanese occupation. In the case of the subject tape recordings.In its order dated 25 May 1998. During the trial on the merits of the consolidated cases. Three of the tape recordings were introduced in evidence by the prosecution.tape recording of 11 April 199410 During his testimony. that he was near the radio whenever the recording took place and had actually heard petitioner Torralba’s radio program while it was being taped. however. According to him. Lim was found guilty as charged by the trial court14 and this decision was subsequently affirmed.

Hontanosas in his radio program. For this. the Court finds the same accused GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt in Crim.200. as afore-discussed. petitioner Torralba requested TMSI to send a representative to his radio show in order to give the corporation an opportunity to address the issues leveled against it. considering their good reputation and high social standing in the community and the gravity of the dishonor and public humiliation caused. the findings of the court a quo. 9107. Petitioner Torralba maintained that he was a member of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and other civic organizations in Cebu.00 each representing cash deposits therefore are hereby cancelled and released. he is ordered to indemnify the heirs of the late Judge Agapito Y. . and close associates. he did ask the latter if he was in any way related to the late CFI Judge Hontanosas. and No. thus: WHEREFORE. 9107. 5301158. 5301157. with modification. .000. petitioner Torralba himself. 8956. 18 Sarmiento testified that he was the former court stenographer and interpreter of RTC. 354 and Art. Hontanosas.00). Petitioner Torralba averred that he posed said question as mere backgrounder on his interviewee. and that he translated the contents of the tape recordings in 1994 upon the request of private complainant Atty. The defense presented. No. the corresponding cash bonds of the accused in said cases as shown by OR No. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SPEAKING THROUGH ITS SPECIAL FIFTEENTH DIVISION GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE LOWER COURT A QUO (WITH MODIFICATION). he allegedly received complaints regarding the services of TMSI particularly with respect to the laborers’ low pay and exhorbitant rates being charged for the arrastre services. 355 of the Revised Penal Code under which the instant case falls. AS BORNE OUT BY THE STENOGRAPHIC NOTES WOULD NOT SUPPORT THE FINDING THAT HE TESTIFIED ON THE MALICIOUS IMPUTATIONS PURPORTEDLY MADE BY PETITIONER-APPELLANT [TORRALBA] IN CRIMINAL CASE NO. The dispositive portion of the trial court’s decision reads: WHEREFORE. 8957. II 74 . the radio interview of private complainant Atty.000. in the challenged decision before us.00. Consequently. In the course of his profession as a radio broadcaster. Petitioner Torralba admitted. relatives. Hontanosas.22 Hence. friends. the Court hereby ACQUITS from criminal liability herein accused Cirse Francisco Choy Torralba of the charges alluded in Criminal Cases Nos. As he was in favor of balanced programming. and No. as prayed for. grandchildren. CONVICTING PETITIONER-APPELLANT [TORRALBA] FOR THE CRIME OF LIBEL AS DEFINED AND PENALIZED UNDER ARTICLES 353 AND 355 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE BASED SOLELY ON THE ALLEGED TESTIMONY OF SEGUNDO LIM . though. 8957. 9107 for his unwarranted blackening of the memory of the late Hon. and 8958 being an exercise of legitimate self-defense. the present recourse where petitioner Torralba raises the following issues: I On 24 August 2000. Case No. 8958 but holding him guilty of the crime of libel in Crim. 353 in relation to Art. the appealed Decision of the court a quo is AFFIRMED with the modification that accused-appellant is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of four (4) months of arresto mayor to two (2) years. all dated February 23. No. Hontanosas through the air lanes in his radio program resulting to the dishonor and wounded feelings of his children. Furthermore.19 he denied having called former CFI Judge Hontanosas a traitor during his 11 April 1994 radio broadcast. When petitioner Torralba was cross-examined by private complainant Atty.petitioner Torralba’s radio broadcasts and he merely relied on the tape recordings presented to him by Lim as he believed them to be genuine. Hontanosas on 17 December 1993. Cases No. the trial court rendered an omnibus decision 20 acquitting petitioner Torralba in Crim.21 Petitioner Torralba seasonably filed an appeal before the Court of Appeals which. Branch 3. eleven (11) months and ten (10) days of prision correccional and to pay moral damages in the amount of P100. issued by the Clerk of Court of Multiple Salas in the amount of P4. Tagbilaran City. Case No. Hontanosas for moral damages suffered in the amount of ONE MILLION PESOS (P1. 8956. 2000. 5301156. However. CFI Judge Agapito Y.000. thus. affirmed. the Court hereby sentences the accused to imprisonment for an indeterminate period of FOUR MONTHS of Arresto Mayor to THREE YEARS of Prision Correccional medium period pursuant to Art. as its sole witness. that during the 17 December 1993 appearance of private complainant Atty. in view of all the foregoing.

(6) identification of the speakers. In the case at bar. 25 In our jurisdiction. (5) a showing of the manner of the preservation of the recording. petitioner Torralba continues. These requisites were laid down precisely to address the criticism of susceptibility to tampering of tape recordings. Without said authentication. the accuracy of the recordings. NEW CIVIL CODE). 1994? 75 . (3) establishment of the authenticity and correctness of the recording. it is a rudimentary rule of evidence that before a tape recording is admissible in evidence and given probative value. to wit: ATTY. one can easily discern that the proper foundation for the admissibility of the tape recording was not adhered to. (4) a showing that changes. his method of operating it. Oddly. 28 The party seeking the introduction in evidence of a tape recording bears the burden of going forth with sufficient evidence to show that the recording is an accurate reproduction of the conversation recorded. We agree. or deletions have not been made. a witness’ declaration that the sound recording represents a true portrayal of the voices contained therein satisfies the requirement of authentication. Shirly Lim.26 In one case. 30 Petitioner Torralba vigorously argues that the court a quo should not have given considerable weight on the tape recording in question as it was not duly authenticated by Lim’s adopted daughter. additions. 27 Likewise.23 (1) a showing that the recording device was capable of taking testimony. it was held that the establishment of a proper foundation for the admission of a recording provided adequate assurance that proper safeguards were observed for the preservation of the recording and for its protection against tampering. and (7) a showing that the testimony elicited was voluntarily made without any kind of inducement. 1999). and the identities of the persons speaking laid a sufficient foundation for the admission of the recordings. Thus.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY COMMITTED AN ERROR IN ADMITTING IN EVIDENCE AN UNAUTHENTICATED AND SPURIOUS TAPE RECORD OF A RADIO BROADCAST (EXHIBIT "D") ALLEGEDLY BY HEREIN PETITIONER-APPELLANT [TORRALBA] ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE LATTER WAS CONVICTED FOR THE CRIME OF LIBEL." THE HONORABLE COURT SERIOUSLY ERRED IN NOT CONSIDERING THE PRIVILEGE[D] NATURE OF HIS ALLEGED STATEMENTS IN FEALTY ADHERRENCE TO THE LANDMARK DECISION OF THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT IN BORJAL VS. the tape recording is incompetent and inadmissible evidence. HONTANOSAS: q Was this radio program of the accused recorded on April 11. III ASSUMING WITHOUT ADMITTING THAT PETITIONER-APPELLANT [TORRALBA] MADE UTTERANCES CONTAINED IN THE TAPE RECORD MARKED AS EXHIBIT "D. It bears stressing that Lim categorically admitted in the witness stand that he was not familiar at all with the process of tape recording31 and that he had to instruct his adopted daughter to record petitioner Torralba’s radio broadcasts. it was held that the testimony of the operator of the recording device as regards its operation. 14. 301 SCRA 01 (JAN. CA. the following requisites must first be established. (2) a showing that the operator of the device was competent. this matter was not addressed head-on by the Office of the Solicitor General in its comment. thus: It is generally held that sound recording is not inadmissible because of its form24 where a proper foundation has been laid to guarantee the genuineness of the recording.29 This Court deems it proper to first resolve the issue of the propriety of the lower court’s admission in evidence of the 11 April 1994 tape recording. IV THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED AN ERROR IN AWARDING DAMAGES AGAINST THE PETITIONER ABSENT ANY SHOWING OF EVIDENT BAD FAITH ON THE PART OF THE PETITIONERAPPELLANT [TORRALBA] WHO ACTED WITH UBERIMA FIDES (OVERWHELMING GOOD FAITH) IN EXERCISING THE CONSTITUTIONALLY ENSHRINED FREEDOM OF THE PRESS (ARTICLE 2220.

The cash bond posted by said petitioner is ordered released to him subject to the usual auditing and accounting procedures. is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. the strongest suspicion must not be permitted to sway judgment. Lim could not present himself as an "uninterested witness" whose testimony merits significance from this Court. The proof against him must survive the test of reason. Shirly Lim. he was so near the radio that he could even touch the same.a Yes. or by the witness’ recognition of the voice of the speaker. In view of our disallowance of the 11 April 1994 tape recording. Nor is this Court inclined to confer probative value on the testimony of private complainant Atty. 1994? a It was my adopted daughter whom I ordered to tape recorded the radio program of Choy Torralba. Branch 3. Indeed.32 Clearly. Lim was implying that he was listening to "Tug-Ani ang Lungsod" at that time. wrote that "[e]vidence of a message or a speech by means of radio broadcast is admissible as evidence when the identity of the speaker is established either by the testimony of a witness who saw him broadcast his message or speech. there is need for the most careful scrutiny of the testimony of the State. Only if the judge below and the appellate tribunal could arrive at a conclusion that the crime had been committed precisely by the person on trial under such an exacting test should the sentence be one of conviction. we are constrained to examine the records of this case in order to determine the sufficiency of evidence stacked against petitioner Torralba. Surely then." Being near the radio is one thing. the person who actually recorded petitioner Torralba’s radio show on 11 April 1994. however. a person may be in close proximity to said device without necessarily listening to the contents of a radio broadcast or to what a radio commentator is saying over the airwaves. the guilt of the accused can only be sustained upon proof beyond reasonable doubt. WHEREFORE. He simply relied on the tape recording handed over to him by Lim."33 The records of this case are bereft of any proof that a witness saw petitioner Torralba broadcast the alleged libelous remarks on 11 April 1994. Lim. such bare assertion on the part of Lim. affirming the omnibus decision dated 24 August 2000 of the Regional Trial Court. What further undermines the credibility of Lim’s testimony is the fact that he had an ax to grind against petitioner Torralba as he was previously accused 76 . Justice Ricardo Francisco. the prosecution must overthrow the presumption of innocence with proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. independently of whatever defense is offered by the accused. the petition is GRANTED. there was no basis for the trial court to admit the tape recording – Exhibit "D" – in evidence.one which requires moral certainty. a new one is entered ACQUITTING petitioner Cirse Francisco "Choy" Torralba of the crime of libel. a certainty that convinces and satisfies the reason and conscience of those who are to act upon it. To meet this standard.35 As we have so stated in the past – … Accusation is not. Time and again. No costs. The Decision promulgated on 22 May 2002 of the Court of Appeals. actually listening to the radio broadcast and recognizing the voice of the speaker is another. this Court is compelled to overturn the decision of the Court of Appeals due to insufficiency of evidence meriting a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. synonymous with guilt. should have been presented by the prosecution in order to lay the proper foundation for the admission of the purported tape recording for said date. In our view. Hontanosas particularly in the light of his declaration that he did not listen to petitioner Torralba’s radio show subject of this petition. 34In effect. Without the requisite authentication. Tagbilaran City. q Who recorded the same radio program of April 11. bearing in mind that in criminal cases. It is thus required that every circumstance favoring innocence be duly taken into account. fails to meet the standard that a witness must be able to "recognize the voice of the speaker. according to the fundamental law. sir. both oral and documentary. this Court has faithfully observed and given effect to the constitutional presumption of innocence which can only be overcome by contrary proof beyond reasonable doubt -. uncorroborated as it was by any other evidence. stated that while petitioner Torralba’s radio program on that date was being tape recorded by his adopted daughter. In his comprehensive book on evidence. our former colleague. Instead.36 Confronted with what the State was able to present as evidence against petitioner Torralba. SO ORDERED. by the latter with the crime of libel and for which he was found guilty as charged by the court.

A biological sample exists that is relevant to the case. if any. October 2. but the results may require confirmation for good reasons. which biological sample is clearly identifiable as originating from that person. 3. e. 06-11-5-SC (2 October 2007) RULE ON DNA EVIDENCE RESOLUTION Acting on the recommendation of the Chairperson and Members of the Subcommittee on Evidence submitting for the Court’s consideration and approval the proposed Rule on DNA Evidence. b. which is the chain of molecules found in every nucleated cell of the body. – For purposes of this Rule. that is susceptible to DNA testing. 4. Definition of Terms. and f. No. 2007 following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation. used. “Biological sample” means any organic material originating from a person’s body. “Probability of Parentage” means the numerical estimate for the likelihood of parentage of a putative parent compared with the probability of a random match of two unrelated individuals in a given population. or (ii) was previously subjected to DNA testing. A. at any time. is offered. No. c. c. The existence of other factors. – The appropriate court may. with reasonable certainty. Sec. the generation of DNA profiles and the comparison of the information obtained from the DNA testing of biological samples for the purpose of determining. d. the following terms shall be defined as follows: 77 . RULE ON DNA EVIDENCE SECTION 1.Rule on DNA Evidence. saliva and other body fluids. even if found in inanimate objects. as defined in Section 3 hereof. Scope. The totality of an individual’s DNA is unique for the individual. This includes blood. The DNA testing has the scientific potential to produce new information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the case. or proposed to be offered or used as evidence in all criminal and civil actions as well as special proceedings.M. results and other genetic information directly generated from DNA testing of biological samples. “DNA profile” means genetic information derived from DNA testing of a biological sample obtained from a person. “DNA testing” means verified and credible scientific methods which include the extraction of DNA from biological samples. order a DNA testing. The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid technique. – In all matters not specifically covered by this Rule. which the court may consider as potentially affecting the accuracy of integrity of the DNA testing. Application of other Rules on Evidence. b. whether or not the DNA obtained from two or more distinct biological samples originates from the same person (direct identification) or if the biological samples originate from related persons (kinship analysis). a.M. The biological sample: (i) was not previously subjected to the type of DNA testing now requested. 2. hairs and bones. “DNA evidence” constitutes the totality of the DNA profiles. tissues. the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same. “DNA” means deoxyribonucleic acid. either motu proprio or on application of any person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation. Such order shall issue after due hearing and notice to the parties upon a showing of the following: a. and e. Sec. Sec. except identical twins. the Rules of Court and other pertinent provisions of law on evidence shall apply. Application for DNA Testing Order. 06-11-5-SC Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A. This Resolution shall take effect on October 15. 2007. – This Rule shall apply whenever DNA evidence. d.

to the prosecution or any person convicted by final and executory judgment provided that (a) a biological sample exists. If the value of the Probability of Paternity is 99. 9. including the procedure followed in analyzing the samples. – Post-conviction DNA testing may be available. in any way. DNA Testing Order. the testing process and the reliability of the test results. c. at the behest of any party. without need of a prior court order. Sec. The general degree of confidence attributed to mathematical calculations used in comparing DNA profiles and the significance and limitation of statistical calculations used in comparing DNA profiles. the court shall consider the following: a. 5. If the value of the Probability of Paternity is less than 99. including how the biological samples were collected. Sec.9%. before a suit or proceeding is commenced. and f. Sec. and c. b. Order. The chair of custody. – In evaluating the results of DNA testing. unless a higher court issues an injunctive order. Any petition for certiorari initiated therefrom shall not. the relevant experience of the laboratory in forensic casework and credibility shall be properly established. – In evaluating whether the DNA testing methodology is reliable. Sec. The falsifiability of the principles or methods used. – If the court finds that the requirements in Section 4 hereof have been complied with. Reliability of DNA Testing Methodology. The reliability of the testing result. The results of the DNA testing in the light of the totality of the other evidence presented in the case. An order granting the DNA testing shall be immediately executory and shall not be appealable. without need of prior court order. 8. b. and d. the court shall consider the following: a.This Rule shall not preclude a DNA testing. If the laboratory is not accredited. If the biological sample taken is of such an amount that prevents the conduct of confirmatory testing by the other or the adverse party and where additional biological samples of the same kind can no longer be obtained. (b) such sample is relevant to the case. 6. The forensic DNA laboratory. The DNA testing methodology. d. the results of the DNA testing shall be considered as corroborative evidence. the court shall – a. the court shall consider the following: a. and compliance with the scientifically valid standards in conducting the tests. and that c. The subjection to peer review and publication of the principles or methods. The existence of an appropriate reference population database. Post-conviction DNA Testing. stay the implementation thereof. Sec. the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure. issue an order requiring all parties to the case or proceedings to witness the DNA testing to be conducted. 78 . where appropriate. c. e. of DNA Testing Results. – In assessing the probative value of the DNA evidence presented. Impose reasonable conditions on DNA testing designed to protect the integrity of the biological sample. The general acceptance of the principles or methods by the relevant scientific community. b. DNA results that exclude the putative parent from paternity shall be conclusive proof of non-paternity. whether the theory or technique can be and has been tested. that biological samples be taken from any person or crime scene evidence. b.9% or higher there shall be a disputable presumption of paternity. The existence and maintenance of standards and controls to ensure the correctness of data generated. as hereinafter provided. The grant of DNA testing application shall not be construed as an automatic admission into evidence of any component of the DNA evidence that may be obtained as a result thereof. and (c) the testing would probably result in the reversal or modification of the judgment of conviction. Assessment of probative value of DNA evidence. that is. 7. and the possibility of contamination of the samples. The evaluation of the weight of matching DNA evidence or the relevance of mismatching DNA evidence. including the condition that the DNA test results shall be simultaneously disclosed to parties involved in the case. how they were handled. The provisions of the Rules of Court concerning the appreciation of evidence shall apply suppletorily. including accreditation by any reputable standards-setting institution and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. including law enforcement agencies.

The court may allow the physical destruction of a biological sample before the expiration of the periods set forth above. Person from whom the sample was taken. utilizes or publishes in any form any information concerning a DNA profile without the proper court order shall be liable for indirect contempt of the court wherein such DNA evidence was offered. provided that: a. 10. the court may order the appropriate government agency to preserve the DNA evidence as follows: for not less than the period of time that any person is under trial for an offense. Applicability to Pending Cases. In all other cases. ii. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila A. i. under such terms and conditions as may be set forth by the court: a. A. d. or in case the accused is serving sentence. Except upon order of the court. 2007. Confidentiality. DNA profiles and results or other genetic information obtained from DNA testing. – DNA profiles and all results or other information obtained from DNA testing shall be confidential. 13. following publication in a newspaper of general circulation. 01-7-01-SC Whoever discloses. including all biological samples. a DNA profile and all results or other information obtained from DNA testing shall only be released to any of the following. Sec. This Rule shall take effect on October 15. For this purpose. 12. Sec. These Rules shall take effect on the first day of August 2001 a. The Rules on Electronic Evidence shall apply to cases pending after their effectivity. Duly authorized law enforcement agencies. which may conduct a hearing thereon or remand the petition to the court of origin and issue the appropriate orders. if shall reverse or modify the judgment of conviction and order the release of the convict. No. Except as provided in Section 6 and 10 hereof. Person from whom the sample was taken. c. this Rule shall apply to cases pending at the time of its effectivity. 8792] submitting the Rules on Electronic Evidence for this Court's consideration and approval. In the case the court. unless continued detention is justified for a lawful cause. No. 2001 RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE Acting on the Memorandum dated 18 June 2001 of the Committee on the Revision of the Rules of Court to Draft the Rules on E-Commerce Law [R. – The convict or the prosecution may file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the court of origin if the results of the postconviction DNA testing are favorable to the convict. the Court Resolved to APPROVED the same.M. Lawyers of private complainants in a criminal action. e. Where the person from whom the biological sample was taken files a written verified request to the court that allowed the DNA testing for the disclosure of the DNA profile of the person and all results or other information obtained from the DNA testing. a. presented or sought to be offered and presented. No. 01-7-01-SC July 17. until such time as the decision in the case where the DNA evidence was introduced has become final and executory. b. A court order to that effect has been secured. Effectivity. or with any member of said courts. A similar petition may be filed either in the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. The person from whom the DNA sample was obtained has consented in writing to the disposal of the DNA evidence. In criminal cases: 79 . after due hearing finds the petition to be meritorious. The trial court shall preserve the DNA evidence in its totality. Post-conviction DNA Testing – Remedy if the Results Are Favorable to the Convict. Preservation of DNA Evidence. 11. Sec. until such time as the accused has served his sentence.Sec. he same may be disclosed to the persons named in the written verified request. or b.M. Sec. and Other persons as determined by the court.A. Rule on Electronic Evidence. 14.

Section 2. data. the Rules of Court and pertinent provisions of statutes containing rules on evidence shall apply. sent. Section 3. figures. and ii. graphics. as follows: (a) "Asymmetric or public cryptosystem" means a system capable of generating a secure key pair. the following terms are defined. (d) "Computer" refers to any single or interconnected device or apparatus. by electronic. process. retrieve and/or produce information. or by which a fact may be proved and affirmed. 17th July 2001. institution. (h) "Electronic document" refers to information or the representation of information. correlate. Application of other rules on evidence. or for legitimate or illegitimate purposes. video. data. electro-mechanical or magnetic impulse. symbols or other modes of expression or perform any one or more of these functions. 80 . – For purposes of these Rules. (g) "Electronic data message" refers to information generated. occupation. readable by sight or other means. (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. voice. Rule DEFINITION OF TERMS AND CONSTRUCTION 2 Section 1. whether the transformation was created using the private key that corresponds to the signer's public key. store. the term "electronic document" may be used interchangeably with "electronic data message". stored. processed. consisting of a private key for creating a digital signature. as well as quasi-judicial and administrative cases. and calling of every kind. symbols or other modes of written expression. analyze. which accurately reflects the electronic data message or electronic document. record. – These Rules shall apply to all civil actions and proceedings. profession.following thier publication before the 20th of July in two newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines significant characteristics of the person who holds a particular key pair. (b) "Business records" include records of any business. received or stored by electronic. and a public key for verifying the digital signature. can receive. RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE Rule 1 COVERAGE Section 1. – Unless otherwise provided herein. transmitted. For purposes of these Rules. described or however represented. project. recorded. Definition of terms. whether the initial electronic document had been altered after the transformation was made. transmit. retrieved or produced electronically. which. by which a right is established or an obligation extinguished. or by other means with the same function. is offered or used in evidence. figures. association. as defined in Rule 2 hereof. text. – In all matters not specifically covered by these Rules. these Rules shall apply whenever an electronic document or electronic data message. optical or similar means. Scope. which is received. It includes digitally signed documents and any print-out or output. whether or not conducted for profit. Cases covered. (c) "Certificate" means an electronic document issued to support a digital signature which purports to confirm the identity or other (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 signer's public key can accurately determine: i.

81 . streaming audio. (n) "Private key" refers to the key of a key pair used to create a digital signature. sending. Section 2. characteristic and/or sound in electronic form. – 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. Admissibility. 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. document. Privileged communication. signing or approving an electronic data message or electronic document. such term shall be deemed to include an electronic document as defined in these Rules. (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. expeditious. – These Rules shall be liberally construed to assist the parties in obtaining a just. 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. record. instrument. 8792. receiving. Notwithstanding the foregoing. and other electronic forms of communication the evidence of which is not recorded or retained. For purposes of these Rules. or by mechanical or electronic re-recording. shown to reflect the data accurately.(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. such copies or duplicates shall be regarded as the equivalent of the original. Section 2. text messages. and inexpensive determination of cases. – 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. otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act. memorandum or any other form of writing. (o) "Public key" refers to the key of a key pair used to verify a digital signature. an electronic signature includes digital signatures. Construction. – Whenever a rule of evidence refers to the term writing. – The confidential character of a privileged communication is not lost solely on the ground that it is in the form of an electronic document. or is a counterpart produced by the same impression as the original. Section 2. (l) "Information and communication system" refers to a system for generating. (j) "Electronic signature" refers to any distinctive mark. or (b) in the circumstances it would be unjust or inequitable to admit the copy in lieu of the original. or by chemical reproduction. Electronic documents as functional equivalent of paper-based documents. Original of an electronic document. Section 3. streaming video. Copies as equivalent of the originals. The interpretation of these Rules shall also take into consideration the international origin of Republic Act No. (k) "Ephemeral electronic communication" refers to telephone conversations. or from the same matrix. Rule 3 ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS Section 1. 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 messages or electronic documents. – When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about the same time with identical contents. Rule 4 BEST EVIDENCE RULE Section 1. or by other equivalent techniques which accurately reproduces the original. chatroom sessions.

(c) By any other means satisfactory to the judge as establishing the genuineness of the electronic signature. (d) The message associated with a digital signature has not been altered from the time it was signed. Rule 7 EVIDENTIARY WEIGHT OF ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS Section 1. and. it shall be presumed that: (a) The electronic signature is that of the person to whom it correlates. Section 2. – In assessing the evidentiary weight of an electronic document. Burden of proving authenticity. (e) A certificate had been issued by the certification authority indicated therein. Section 3. Section 3. – Before any private electronic document offered as authentic is received in evidence. Section 2. – An electronic signature may be authenticated in any of the following manner: (a) By evidence that a method or process was utilized to establish a digital signature and verify the same. Factors for assessing evidentiary weight. and (c) The methods or processes utilized to affix or verify the electronic signature operated without error or fault. that: (a) The information contained in a certificate is correct. Manner of authentication.Rule 5 AUTHENTICATION OF ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS Section 1. or 82 . (b) The electronic signature was affixed by that person with the intention of authenticating or approving the electronic document to which it is related or to indicate such person's consent to the transaction embodied therein. Disputable presumptions relating to electronic signatures. – A document electronically notarized in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Supreme Court shall be considered as a public document and proved as a notarial document under the Rules of Court. – Upon the authentication of a digital signature. (b) The digital signature was created during the operational period of a certificate. Rule 6 ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES Section 1. (c) No cause exists to render a certificate invalid or revocable. in addition to those mentioned in the immediately preceding section. the following factors may be considered: (b) By any other means provided by law. its authenticity must be proved by any of the following means: (a) by evidence that it had been digitally signed by the person purported to have signed the same. or (c) by other evidence showing its integrity and reliability to the satisfaction of the judge. Proof of electronically notarized document. Section 4. Electronic signature. Authentication of electronic signatures. it shall be presumed. – Upon the authentication of an electronic signature. – The person seeking to introduce an electronic document in any legal proceeding has the burden of proving its authenticity in the manner provided in this Rule. – An electronic signature or a digital signature authenticated in the manner prescribed hereunder is admissible in evidence as the functional equivalent of the signature of a person on a written document. (b) by evidence that other appropriate security procedures or devices as may be authorized by the Supreme Court or by law for authentication of electronic documents were applied to the document. Disputable presumptions relating to digital signatures.

in the light of all the circumstances as well as any relevant agreement. Rule 9 METHOD OF PROOF Section 2. Section 2. Cross-examination of deponent. or diagnoses. is excepted from the rule on hearsay evidence. opinions. and there are no other reasonable grounds to doubt the integrity of the information and communication system. Overcoming the presumption.(a) The reliability of the manner or method in which it was generated. tests and checks for accuracy and reliability of the electronic data message or document. report. or data compilation by electronic. and kept in the regular course or conduct of a business activity. including but not limited to the hardware and computer programs or software used as well as programming errors. – A memorandum. report. optical or similar means. the court shall determine the necessity for such presentation and prescribe terms and 83 . events. (e) The nature and quality of the information which went into the communication and information system upon which the electronic data message or electronic document was based. including but not limited to input and output procedures. (f) Other factors which the court may consider as affecting the accuracy or integrity of the electronic document or electronic data message. and such was the regular practice to make the memorandum. – In any dispute involving the integrity of the information and communication system in which an electronic document or electronic data message is recorded or stored. made by electronic. the court may consider. conditions. – After summarily hearing the parties pursuant to Rule 9 of these Rules. Before so authorizing. Affidavit evidence. – All matters relating to the admissibility and evidentiary weight of an electronic document may be established by an affidavit stating facts of direct personal knowledge of the affiant or based on authentic records. optical or other similar means at or near the time of or from transmission or supply of information by a person with knowledge thereof. The affidavit must affirmatively show the competence of the affiant to testify on the matters contained therein. – The affiant shall be made to affirm the contents of the affidavit in open court and may be cross-examined as a matter of right by the adverse party. the following factors: Section 1. or Section 2. Electronic testimony. record. (b) Whether the electronic document was recorded or stored by a party to the proceedings with interest adverse to that of the party using it. the court may authorize the presentation of testimonial evidence by electronic means. stored or communicated. (b) The reliability of the manner in which its originator was identified. controls. to the proceedings and who did not act under the control of the party using it. all of which are shown by the testimony of the custodian or other qualified witnesses. (c) The integrity of the information and communication system in which it is recorded or stored. record or data compilation of acts. transmission or storage thereof. Rule BUSINESS RECORDS AS EXCEPTION TO THE HEARSAY RULE 8 Section 1. or (c) Whether the electronic document was recorded or stored in the usual and ordinary course of business by a person who is not a party Rule 10 EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES Section 1. among others. – The presumption provided for in Section 1 of this Rule may be overcome by evidence of the untrustworthiness of the source of information or the method or circumstances of the preparation. Integrity of an information and communication system. Inapplicability of the hearsay rule. (d) The familiarity of the witness or the person who made the entry with the communication and information system. (a) Whether the information and communication system or other similar device was operated in a manner that did not affect the integrity of the electronic document.

The transcript should reflect the fact that the proceedings. explained or authenticated by the person who made the recording or by some other person competent to testify on the accuracy thereof. or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority. shall be transcribed by a stenographer. Rule 12 EFFECTIVITY Section 1. Ephemeral electronic communications. and 84 . whether of the Philippines. Effectivity. In the absence or unavailability of such witnesses. – When examination of a witness is done electronically. Rule 132 Section 2. numbers. Section 2. documents are either public or private. the entire proceedings. Documentary Section 2. RULE 132 Presentation of Evidence B. Transcript of electronic testimony. Applicability to pending cases. – Audio. words. Classes of Documents. (n) Section 19. – The electronic evidence and recording thereof as well as the stenographic notes shall form part of the record of the case. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE 11 Section 1. acts or transactions shall be admissible provided it shall be shown. stenotypist or other recorder authorized for the purpose. then the provisions of Rule 5 shall apply. Audio. Storage of electronic evidence. (b) Documents acknowledge before a notary public except last wills and testaments. Rule 130 Section 3. or of a foreign country. – Ephemeral electronic communications shall be proven by the testimony of a person who was a party to the same or has personal knowledge thereof. PHOTOGRAPHIC. video and similar evidence. A recording of the telephone conversation or ephemeral electronic communication shall be covered by the immediately preceding section. figures. If the foregoing communications are recorded or embodied in an electronic document. including the protection of the rights of the parties and witnesses concerned. and public officers. photographic and video evidence of events. AUTHENTICATION AND PROOF OF DOCUMENTS Section 19. either in whole or in part. Section 2. — Documents as evidence consist of writing or any material containing letters. AND EPHEMERAL EVIDENCE RULE 130 Rules of Admissibility B. Rule AUDIO. Such transcript and recording shall be deemed prima facie evidence of such proceedings. — For the purpose of their presentation evidence. Documentary evidence. – These Rules shall take effect on the first day of August 2001 following their publication before the 20th of July 2001 in two newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines. who shall certify as correct the transcript done by him.conditions as may be necessary under the circumstances. – These Rules shall apply to cases pending after their effectivity. symbols or other modes of written expression offered as proof of their contents. official bodies and tribunals. other competent evidence may be admitted. had been electronically recorded. presented or displayed to the court and shall be identified. Section 2. Public documents are: (a) The written official acts. VIDEO. including the questions and answers.

in effect. to pay a fine of 625 pesetas. according to another authority cited by the appellant. Attorney-General Araneta for appellee. as imposed in the judgment.: Damian Orera (alias Kim Cuan) was convicted by the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila. Said penalty.R. vs. called Eng Ning. . C." it follows that the ticket in question." The accused was sentenced to be imprisoned at the Insular Prison of Bilibid for the period of six months and one day. according to the provisions of article 304 of the Penal Code.S. the subject-matter of the complaint. to subsidiary imprisonment. The appeal having been heard. of the crime charged in the complaint. So ordered. and to pay a fine of 625 pesetas. plus the corresponding indemnification for the damage caused. . Torres. Orera. in default thereof. We. and the costs of the suit. by counterfeiting and simulating the signature and rubric of Eng Ning on the ticket the same figures. being an authorized document evidencing an agreement for the rent of a place in a theater to enable the possessor to witness a theatrical performance. this court holds: 1. or. according to the authority cited by the appellant. ornaments and signatures. with the accessory penalty provided for in article 58. L-3810 October 18.net 2. ARELLANO. letters. DAMIAN ORERA (alias KIM CUAN). instrument or other duly authorized paper by which something is proved. namely. "every deed or instrument executed by a private person. That the court below did not err in qualifying such ticket as a document in order to prosecute and punish the crime of falsification. and a fine.lawphil. the indemnification of P1 to the offended party. (20a) U. kept in the Philippines. he could not be convicted of the falsification of six tickets. No. by which document some disposition or agreement is proved. evidenced or set forth. without the intervention of a public notary or of other person legally authorized. v. evidenced or set forth. an error which necessarily must be remedied by this court in the present appeal. Willard and Tracey. Rule 130 85 . Johnson. That." and a private document is. Testimonial Section 20.(c) Public records. Ortigas and Fisher for appellant. on the 7th of October. should be that of presidio correccional in its minimum and medium degrees. 1906. because if. and the payment of the costs of both instances. Philippine currency. of having falsified. a document is a "deed. The error has been in the penalty imposed. plaintiff-appellee. inasmuch as the complaint was restricted to one ticket only. "a Chinese theater ticket which entitled the bearer thereof to admission to a performance held in the theater of the above company at Manila. of private documents required by law to the entered therein. is a private document. as declared and held in the judgment appealed from. 1907 THE UNITED STATES. which in the present case was P1. dragons. and twenty one days ofpresidio correccional. as argued by the appellant. sentence Damian Orera (alias Kim Cuan) to one year. 11 Phil 596 (1907) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. defendant-appellant. to the damages of a Chinese theatrical company of the Philippine Islands. from which the judgment the accused appealed. eleven months. in order that the judgment may be in conformity with the law. as placed by Eng Ning and the above mentioned Chinese theatrical company .J. Del-Pan. All other writings are private. concur. the price of the true ticket. therefore. JJ..

and such objection is found to be meritorious. it shall not be necessary to repeat the objection. Offer and Objection Sections 34-39. In any case. the court may also order the striking out of answers which are incompetent. Ruling. 97 Phil 940 (1955) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila 86 . On proper motion. An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to within three (3) days after notice of the unless a different period is allowed by the court. However. Witnesses. Section 35. — Objection to evidence offered orally must be made immediately after the offer is made. TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE 1. Offer of evidence. — As regards the testimony of a witness. the offer must be made at the time the witness is called to testify. their qualifications. — The ruling of the court must be given immediately after the objection is made. When to make offer. the grounds for the objections must be specified. (35) Section 39. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified.RULE 130 Rules of Admissibility C. IV. but the ruling shall always be made during the trial and at such time as will give the party against whom it is made an opportunity to meet the situation presented by the ruling. Yatco. Such offer shall be done orally unless allowed by the court to be done in writing. The reason for sustaining or overruling an objection need not be stated. Qualification of Witnesses Section 20. unless the court desires to take a reasonable time to inform itself on the question presented. OFFER AND OBJECTION Objection to a question propounded in the course of the oral examination of a witness shall be made as soon as the grounds therefor shall become reasonably apparent. Pp v. or otherwise improper. irrelevant. — Except as provided in the next succeeding section. — The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. it being sufficient for the adverse party to record his continuing objection to such class of questions. (n) Documentary and object evidence shall be offered after the presentation of a party's testimonial evidence. Objection. may be witnesses. (38a) Section 34. When repetition of objection unnecessary. the court shall sustain the objection and order the answer given to be stricken off the record. and perceiving. (36a) Section 37. if the objection is based on two or more grounds. a ruling sustaining the objection on one or some of them must specify the ground or grounds relied upon. can make their known perception to others. — Should a witness answer the question before the adverse party had the opportunity to voice fully its objection to the same. whether such objection was sustained or overruled. (37a) Section 38. all persons who can perceive. — When it becomes reasonably apparent in the course of the examination of a witness that the question being propounded are of the same class as those to which objection has been made. (n) Section 36. Striking out answer. Rule 132 RULE 132 Presentation of Evidence C.

THE HON. Atty. p. Soliman. Section 14. 1955. J. and another whose identity is still unknown. Alfonso Panganiban. without prior proof of such conspiracy by a number of definite acts. conditions and circumstances as required by law. Juan Consunji. counsel for the other defendant Alfonso Panganiban interposed a general objection to any evidence on such confession on the ground that it was hearsay and therefore incompetent as against the other accused Panganiban. — The declaration of an accused expressly acknowledging the truth of his guilt as to the offense charged. Vega. or to prove conspiracy between them without the conspiracy being established by other evidence. nevertheless. People vs. the following remarks were made: FISCAL LUSTRE: May we know from counsel if he is also objecting to the admissibility of the confession of Consunji as against the accused Consunji himself? COURT: That would be premature because there is already a ruling of the Court that you cannot prove a confession unless you prove first conspiracy thru a number of indefinite acts. even if Consunji's confession may not be competent as against his co-accused Panganiban. 50 Phil. 43 Phil. vs. admissible as evidence of the declarant's own guilt (U.B. During the progress of the trial on May 18. Rules of Court. NICASIO YATCO. SEC. being hearsay as to the latter. 14. 41. S. Revilla and Assistant City Attorney Julian E. Quezon City Branch. 296). Judge of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. is specific as to the admissibility of the extrajudicial confession of an accused. Almeda and Rufino Navarro for respondents. People vs. for the review and annulment of the lower Court's order completely excluding any evidence on the extrajudicial confessions of the accused Juan Consunji and Alfonso Panganiban without prior proof of conspiracy. respondents. Rule 123. providing that: The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its existence may be given in evidence against the coconspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. Arturo Xavier of the National Bureau of Investigation. 87 . The Court below ordered the exclusion of the evidence objected to. Annex "B" of the petition. L-9181 November 28. 64 Phil. petitioner. but on an altogether different ground: that the prosecution could not be permitted to introduce the confessions of defendants Juan Consunji and Alfonso Panganiban to prove conspiracy between them. according to the transcript. Fernandez. 37. We believe that the lower Court committed a grave abuse of discretion in ordering the complete exclusion of the prosecution's evidence on the alleged confessions of the accused Juan Consunji at the stage of the trial when the ruling was made.L. Estanislao A. 1955. Bande. Confession. 12 of Rule 123. and should have been admitted as such. vs. The rule cited by the Court below in support of its exclusion of the proffered evidence is Sec. as evidence against him. while the prosecution was questioning one of its witnesses.. Thereafter. Augusto Ilagan. REYES. the confession of Consunji was.EN BANC G. Trial of the case started on May 3. and circumstances. City Attorney Pedro R. 9 The prosecution then moved in writing for a reconsideration of the order of exclusion. this petition for certiorari was brought before this Court by the Solicitor General. conditions. but again the motion was denied. may be given in evidence against him. 1955 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1955. Claro T. and in several hearings the prosecution had been presenting its evidence. freely and voluntarily made. Buan. in connection with the making of a certain extra-judicial confession (allegedly made before him) by defendant Juan Consunji to the witness.: In an amended information filed by the City Attorney of Quezon City on March 22. were charged with having conspired together in the murder of one Jose Ramos (Criminal Case No. Wherefore. No. Lustre for petitioner. and JUAN CONSUNJI and ALFONSO PANGANIBAN. Q-1637 of the Court of First Instance of Quezon City). Solicitor Meliton G.R. Under the rule of multiple admissibility of evidence. J. Office of the Solicitor General Ambrosio Padilla.

88 . a judge of first instance may possibly fall into error in judging of the relevancy of proof where a fair and logical connection is in fact shown. etc. to disregard the evidence (Marcella vs. therefore. 12 Phil. Reyes. conditions. upon final consideration of the case. Nakpil. S. After all. U. or relevancy is doubtful. Moreover. the rule refers to statements made by one conspirator during the pendency of the unlawful enterprises("during its existence") and in furtherance of its object. People vs. People vs.. because the trial judge is supposed to know the law. Phoenix Insurance Co. At any rate. under the rules of evidence. on the ground that it was hearsay as to the latter. the court may as a rule safely accept the testimony upon the statement of the attorney that the proof offered will be connected later. and completely excluded the confessions on that ground. even if the question as to its form. Assuming. 48 Phil. vs. long after the conspiracy had been brought to an end (U. which the Court issuedmotu proprio. attention should be called to the ruling of this Court in the case of Prats & Co. 9 Phil. put up its own objection to the confessions — that it could not be admitted to prove conspiracy between Consunji and Panganiban without prior evidence of such conspiracy by a number of indefinite acts. in the final determination and consideration of the case. — a step which this Court is always very loath to take. the prosecution had not yet offered the confessions to prove conspiracy between the two accused. S.. 1). instead of ruling on this objection. in the early stages of the development of the proof. to distinguish the relevant and material from the irrelevant and immaterial. the Court overlooked that the right to object is a mere privilege which the parties may waive. often finds itself embarrassed and possibly unable to correct the effects of the error without returning the case for a new trial. to know with any certainty whether testimony is relevant or not. 14 Phil. in order to give the prosecution a chance to get into the record all the relevant evidence at its disposal to prove the charges. There is greater reason to adhere to such policy in criminal cases where questions arise as to admissibility of evidence for the prosecution. For all we know. the alleged confessions (both in writing and in tape recordings) had not yet even been identified (the presentation of Atty.Manifestly. We see no need for the present to discuss the question of the admissibility of the individual extrajudicial confessions of two or more accused for the purpose of establishing conspiracy between them through the identity of the confessions in essential details. as in this case. Once more. the trial Court should be able to distinguish the admissible from the inadmissible. But the Court. Suffice it to say that the lower Court should have allowed such confessions to be given in evidence at least as against the parties who made them. and reject what. and where there is no indication of bad faith on the part of the Attorney offering the evidence. The practice of excluding evidence on doubtful objections to its materiality or technical objections to the form of the questions should be avoided... It is particularly noteworthy that the exclusion of the proferred confessions was not made on the basis of the objection interposed by Panganiban's counsel. Besides.. that section 12 of Rule 123 also applies to the confessions in question. materiality. Empeinado. In a case of any intricacy it is impossible for a judge of first instance. 985). When such a mistake is made and the proof is erroneously ruled out.. If this course is followed and the cause is prosecuted to the Supreme Court upon appeal. 816-817: In the course of long experience we have observed that justice is most effectively and expeditiously administered in the courts where trial objections to the admission of proof are received with least favor. Raymundo. and if the ground for objection is known and not reasonably made. should be excluded. upon appeal. but upon an altogether different ground. Panganiban's counsel objected to Consunji's confession as evidence of the guilt of the other accused Panganiban. and admit the same conditionally to establish conspiracy. 416. By so doing. it must be remembered that in the heat of the battle over which the presides. for the unjustified exclusion of evidence may lead to the erroneous acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the charges. circumstances. the prosecution might still be able to adduce other proof of conspiracy between Consunji and Panganiban before their confessions are formally offered in evidence. the objection is deemed waived and the Court has no power. In fact. it was premature for the respondent Court to exclude them completely on the ground that there was no prior proof of conspiracy.. Badilla. On the other hand. and it is duty. the confessions are not before us and have not even been formally offered in evidence for any purpose. 52 Phil. much less formally offered in evidence. 718. on its own motion. nor as evidence against both of them. 52 Phil. from which the People can no longer appeal. can never result in much harm to either litigant. this Court then has all the material before it necessary to make a correct judgment. 613. 807. vs. the Supreme Court. and not to a confession made. Xavier was precisely for the purpose of identifying the confessions). the admission of proof in a court of first instance. vs.

In a similar move. and Concepcion. Rule 132. it was error for respondent appellate court to declare that petitioner's objection was not done at the proper time since under Sec. 105813 September 12. JJ. Rule 132. vs. and. FIRST DIVISION On 4 November 1991 petitioner elevated her case to the Court of Appeals through a petition for certiorari. for having issued two (2) checks in payment of her obligation to private complainant Maxima Ocampo when petitioner had no sufficient funds to Petitioner claims that the Court of Appeals erred when it accepted the testimony of private respondent despite the undisputed fact that it was not offered at the time she was called to testify. 3Petitioner contended that the testimony of private respondent Ocampo was inadmissible in evidence since it was not properly introduced when she was called to testify as mandated in Sec.: Is the testimony of a witness inadmissible in evidence if not formally offered at the time the witness is called to testify. in relation to Sec. BELLOSILLO. 34. the trial court denied the motion to dismiss for lack of merit. Reyes. The reason for requiring that evidence be formally introduced is to enable the court to rule intelligently upon the objection to the questions which have been asked. Labrador. petitioner. 7 As a general rule. of the Revised Rules on Evidence? 1 On 8 June 1990. 35. Montemayor. which prohibits the court from considering evidence which has not been formally offered.CA. Petitioner also argued that even if the testimony of private respondent was considered.. Laguna. Rule 132. Bengzon. So ordered. this recourse seeking to annul the decision of the Court of Appeals rendered on 27 February 1992 as well as its resolution of 1 June 1992. it likewise denied the motion to reconsider its denial of the motion to dismiss. 34. 15. C.R. 35. Jugo. Hence. A. Bautista Angelo. No. Catuira filed a Motion to Dismiss (by way of Demurrer to Evidence) under Sec. 2 After the prosecution had presented its evidence.. albeit belatedly. J.Wherefore. of the Revised Rules on Evidence. Rule 132. Rule 119. Where the 89 .J. 5 objection to evidence offered orally must be made immediately after the offer is made. 4 G. the order excluding the confessions of the accused Juan Consunji and Alfonso Panganiban is annulled and set aside and the Court below is directed to proceed with the trial in accordance with law and this opinion. materiality and competency. the proponent must show its relevancy. Evidently. petitioner Concepcion M. 236 SCRA 398 (1994) cover the same. Padilla. On 18 October 1991. 6 The petition is devoid of merit. her testimony should have been stricken off the record pursuant to Sec. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila On 26 July 1991.. Catuira with the Regional Trial Court of Calamba. of the 1985 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. CATUIRA. two (2) Informations for estafa were filed against petitioner Concepcion M. the evidence of the prosecution still failed to prove that the checks were issued in payment of an obligation. 1994 CONCEPCION M. as required in Sec. petitioner could not have waived her right to object to the admissibility of the testimony of private respondent since the rule requires that it must be done only at the time such testimony is presented and the records plainly show that the opportunity for petitioner to object only came when the prosecution attempted. to offer the testimony after it has rested its case. the appellate court rejected her petition and sustained the trial court in its denial of the motion to dismiss. Catuira v. Paras. Guerrero & Associates for petitioner. Costs against respondents Juan Consunji and Alfonso Panganiban. Arnold V. prohibition and mandamus. respondents. 36. which checks upon presentment for payment were dishonored by the drawee bank.concur.

petitioner. 35. Jr. the latter has the right to object. By so doing she did not save the time of the Court in hearing the testimony of the witness that after all according to her was inadmissible. This is the best time to offer the testimony so that the court's time will not be wasted. the respondent Court did not gravely err in not dismissing the case against the petitioner on the ground invoked. the procedural error or defect was waived. And for her failure to make known her objection at the proper time. SO ORDERED. Cruz. denying petitioner's motion to dismiss (by way of demurrer to evidence) is AFFIRMED. Rule 132.R. Br. the objection must be made at the earliest opportunity. 11 But even assuming that petitioner's objection was timely. Costs against petitioner. Barican. her actuations should have been otherwise. It is inconceivable that a situation could exist wherein an offended party's testimony is immaterial in a criminal proceeding. JJ. RUFO AVILES and JOSEPHINE AVILES. it was at best pointless and superfluous. 8 Thus. Instead.. when the ground for objection became reasonably apparent the moment private respondent was called to testify without any prior offer having been made by the proponent. respondents. If petitioner was genuinely concerned with the ends of justice being served.. lest silence when there is opportunity to speak may operate as a waiver of objections. 86062 June 6.e. Davide. Cruz. 1990 INTERPACIFIC TRANSIT. Balane. the unoffered oral evidence must be admitted if only to satisfy the court's sense of justice and fairness and to stress that substantial justice may not be denied merely on the ground of technicality. For there is no debating the fact that the testimony of complaining witness is relevant and material in the criminal prosecution of petitioner for estafa. INC. 34. vs. she should have objected to the testimony of the complaining witness when it was not first offered upon calling her and should not have waited in ambush after she had already finished testifying. For. Since it can right away rule on whether the testimony is not necessary because it is irrelevant or immaterial. J. 9 dismissed. Quiason and Kapunan. Most apt is the observation of the appellate court: While it is true that the prosecution failed to offer in evidence the testimony of the complaining witness upon calling her to testify and that it was only after her testimony and after the petitioner moved that it be stricken that the offer was made. 90 . even if the offer was belatedly made by the prosecution.. 10Thus — The new rule would require the testimony of a witness to offer it at the time the witness is called to testify. Alampay Law Office for petitioner. Consequently. there is no reason for the testimony to be expunged from the record. 186 SCRA 385 (1990) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION Indeed. is on leave. 12 WHEREFORE. Laguna. the decision of the Court of Appeals sustaining the order of the Regional Trial Court of Calamba. Aviles. she attempted to capitalize on a mere technicality to have the estafa case against her G. Interpacific Transit v. Necessarily.. petitioner waived this procedural error by failing to object at the appropriate time. while it is true that the prosecution failed to offer the questioned testimony when private respondent was called to the witness stand.. But such right is a mere privilege which can be waived. i. concur. No. the rationale behind Sec.proponent offers evidence deemed by counsel of the adverse party to be inadmissible for any reason. is manifest in the minutes of the Revision of Rules Committee. On the contrary.

the respondent court disregarded an equally important principle long observed in our trial courts and amply supported by jurisprudence. the trial court allowed the marking of the said documents a s Exhibits "B" to "OO. instead of remitting it to their principal. the trial court declared that it "had resolved the issue of whether the accused has civil obligation to ITI on the basis of the admissibility in evidence of the xerox copies of the airway bills.Francisco G. of a public officer only. The petitioner now asks this Court to annul that judgment as contrary to law and the facts established at the As in the courts below. invoking the best evidence rule." 5 Right or wrong. J. they collected from its various clients payments for airway bills in the amount of P204. In acquitting the accused. Benito of the Regional Trial Court of Makati rejected the agency theory of the prosecution and held that the relationship between the petitioner and Rufo Aviles was that of creditor and debtor only. of a civil action for damages arising from the same acts imputed to the defendant in a criminal action where he has been acquitted. In the information filed against Rufo and Josephine Aviles. and neither were the other exceptions allowed by the Rules applicable. In assessing this evidence. "the outstanding account. This was done in. The prosecution said it would submit the original airway bills in due time. We agree with the petitioner. Upon such undertaking.payment of which does not Constitute estafa. There is no question that the photocopies were secondary evidence and as such were not admissible unless there was ample proof of the loss of the originals. Nevertheless. Judge Herminio I. the petitioner seeks to press the civil liability of the private respondents. they unlawfully converted to their own personal use and benefit. Neither had it been shown that the originals had been "recorded in an existing record a certified copy of which is made evidence by law. the non. which they held did not come under any of the exceptions to the rule. the course of the direct examination of one of the prosecution witnesses.030." In its order denying the motion for reconsideration. 2 The defense objected to their presentation. 91 . on the ground that the dismissal of the criminal action did not abate the civil claim for the recovery of the amount. and as such enjoying its trust and confidence. However. the acquittal on the merits of the accused can no longer be the subject of an appeal under the double jeopardy rule. The Court of Appeals 6 affirmed. It also declared that: Since no evidence of civil liability was presented. of the accused in favor of ITI would be in the nature of an indebtedness. the defense interposed no objection." 4 The court' also held that the certified photocopies of the airway by were not admissible under the rule that "there can be no evidence of a writing the content of which is the subject of inquiry other' than the writing itself. it is insisting on the admissibility of its evidence to prove the civil liability of the private respondents.: This case hinges on the proper interpretation and application of the rules on the admissibility of documentary evidence and the viability. the lower courts confined themselves to the best evidence rule and the nature of the documents being presented. 1 At the trial." The e prosecution n did submit the original airway bills nor did it prove their loss to justify their substitution with secondary evidence. if any. The trouble is that in rejecting these copies under Rule 130. Mendoza private respondents." Loss of the originals had not been proved to justify the exception to the rule as one of the prosecution witness had testified that they were still in the ITI bodega. no necessity existed on the part of the private respondents to present evidence of payment of an obligation which was not shown to exist. More to the point. the decision of the trial court in toto. 3 in evidence.' it declared. The certified photocopies of the airway bills should have been considered. Inc.66 which. it was alleged that being then sub-agents of Interpacific Transit. when the certified photocopies of the said bills formally were offered. the private respondents herein. CRUZ. adding that the existing record spoken of in Section 2 (e) and (d) of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court must be in the custody. "Under such relationship. ITI argues that the evidence of the airways bills should not have been rejected and that it had sufficiently established the indebtedness of the private respondents to it. the prosecution introduced photocopies of the airway bills supposedly received by the accused for which they had not rendered proper accounting. Section 2.

Teodoro. 9 This is true even if by its nature the evidence is inadmissible and would have surely been rejected if it had been challenged at the proper time. not authorized to consider it. The second is done only when the party rests its case and not before. especially so since the objections to the formal offer of exhibits was made in writing. For what purpose and to what end the Fiscal would introduce them as evidence was not yet stated or disclosed. In fact. the defense did not object when the exhibits as previously marked were formally offered in evidence. no doubt the prosecution would have 92 .. The mere fact that a particular document is Identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean it will be or has been offered as part of the evidence of the party. notwithstanding this omission. . .. of course. The time for objecting the evidence is when the same is offered. the photocopies of the airway bills were objected to by the private respondents as secondary evidence only when they. the trial court is.. . The time for the presentation of the records had not yet come. Objection to the documentary evidence must be made at the time it is formally offered. The party may decide to formally offer it if it believes this will advance its cause. under Rule 132. not earlier. In the case at bar. especially as the Fiscal had not yet stated for what purpose he would introduce the said records. it should have been rejected. It is instructive at this paint to make a distinction between Identification of documentary evidence and its formal offer as an exhibit. This Court. even though not admissible under an objection. Once admitted. In the latter event. Section 35. Objection to the Identification and marking of the document is not equivalent to objection to the document when it is formally offered in evidence.. beet proof of such former conviction. 37 of Rule 132. The rule is that evidence not objected to is deemed admitted and may be validly considered by the court in arriving at its judgment. as an exhibit and not before. What really matters is the objection to the document at the time it is formally offered as an exhibit. They were nevertheless marked as exhibits upon the promise that the original airway bills would be submitted later. when the formal offer of exhibits was made. this time seasonably. said: It must be noted that the Fiscal was only Identifying the official records of service of the defendant preparatory to introducing them as evidence. the defense filed no objection at all not only to the photocopies but to all the other exhibits of the prosecution. It would have been so simple for the defense to reiterate its former objection.. Objection prior to that time is premature. And it is no argument to say that the earlier objection should be considered a continuing objection under Sec. we are not inclined now to reject it. were being Identified for marking by the prosecution. The first is done in the course of the trial and is accompanied by the marking of the evidence an an exhibit. The presumption is. whereupon the trial judge ordered the testimony stricken out. The records certainly would have been the. The objection of counsel for the defendant was. The Identification of the document before it is marked as an exhibit does not constitute the formal offer of the document as evidence for the party presenting it. The certificate was not the best proof. 8 a document being Identified by a prosecution witness was objected to as merely secondary. it is true that the originals were never produced. But. no objection was really made in the case before us because it was not made at the proper time. to repeat... premature. There seems to be no justification for the presentation of proof of a character. 7 In People v. for that provision obviously refers to a single objection to a class of evidence (testimonial or documentary) which when first offered is considered to encompass the rest of the evidence. And these were subsequently admitted by the trial court. that there was an offer and a seasonable objection thereto. without objection. . presentation was to be made after their Identification. No valid and timely objection was made at that time.This is the rule that objection to documentary evidence must be made at the time it is formally offered. in holding the objection to be premature. however. It is curious that it did not. If the defendant had opportunely presented an objection to the admissibility of said certificate. The objection of the defense to the photocopies of the airway bins while they were being Identified and marked as exhibits did not constitute the objection it should have made when the exhibits were formally offered in evidence by the prosecution. Yet. Under an objection upon the ground that the said certificate was not the best proof.. and then again it may decide not to do so at all. The effect of such omission is obvious. therefore. (Emphasis supplied).

which are self-serving. with 6% interest from November 16. He did not produce any receipt of such payment. the judgment shall make a finding on the civil liability of the accused in favor of the offended party. on the basis of the evidence submitted at the trial as reflected in the records before us. He was. pay to the petitioner the sum of P204. of the Rules of Court: In case of acquittal. the petition is GRANTED. Griño-Aquino. While we may agree that there was really no criminal liability that could attach to them because they had no fiduciary relationship with ITI. it is for him to prove that allegation.66. No.. To require a separate civil action simply because the accused was I acquitted would mean needless clogging of court dockets and unnecessary duplication of litigation with all its attendant loss of time." Accoording to Rule 120. No such certification was presented. 11 We hold therefore that it was erroneous for the lower courts to reject the photocopies of the airway bills to prove the liability of the private respondents to the petitioner. 1981. (It) is universally accepted that when secondary or incompetent evidence is presented and accepted without any objection on the part of the other party. Applying the above ruling. CTA. The constitutional presumption of innocence called for more vigilant efforts on the part of prosecuting attorneys and defense counsel. effort. we find that remand of this case to. we hereby declare therefore. The evidence consists only of check stubs corresponding to payments allegedly made by the accused to the ITI. Hence. we also disbelieve the evidence of the private respondents that the said airway bills had been paid for. coupled with the denial made by the accused. the latter is bound thereby and the court is obliged to grant it the probatory value it deserves.66. and a more studied consideration by the judge of the entire records and of applicable statutes and precedents. In short. representing the cost of the airway bills. With the admission of such exhibits pursuant to the ruling above made. As it is Aviles who has alleged payment. Court of Appeals. WHEREFORE. G. and money on the part of all concerned. concur. The challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is SET ASIDE and a new one is rendered ORDERING the private respondents to. in fact. is on leave. we find that there is concrete proof of the defendant's accountability. More than this. He said that the cancelled payment checks had been lost and relied merely on the check stubs. SO ORDERED. 12 we held: There appear to be no sound reasons to require a separate civil action to still be filed considering that the facts to be proved in the civil case have already been established in the criminal proceedings where the accused was acquitted.presented the best proof upon the questions to which said certificate relates. we must reverse the ruling below that "on account of the inadmissibility of the prosecution's Exhibits 'B' and 'OO'. unless there is a clear showing that the act from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. that the private respondents are liable to the petitioner in the sum of P204. and we find this insufficient. Narvasa (Chairman).030. there appears to be no concrete proof of such accountability. Gancayco and Medialdea.030.R. J. 30 April 2008 93 . plus the costs of this suit. the private respondents failed to establish their allegation that payment for the airway bills delivered to them had been duly remitted to ITI. the rejected evidence sufficiently established their indebtedness to the petitioner. Qualified By Dizon v. By the same token. 140944. The prosecution correctly stressed in its motion for reconsideration that the accused could have easily secured a certification from the bank that the checks allegedly issued to ITI had been honored. the trial court for further hearings would be a needless waste of time and effort to the prejudice of the speedy administration of justice. Section 2. exonerated of the charge. 10 In Padilla v. a keener awareness by all witnesses of the serious implications of perjury.

in his capacity as the Judicial Administrator of the Estate of the deceased JOSE P.[6] The probate court then appointed retired Supreme Court Justice Arsenio P. DECISION COMPUTATION OF TAX Conjugal Real Property (Sch. Dizon (Justice Dizon) and petitioner. Umali issued Certification Nos. 1999 which affirmed the Decision3 of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) dated June 17. Gonzales (Atty.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila Gonzales wrote a letter9addressed to the BIR Regional Director for San Pablo City and filed the estate tax return10 with the same BIR Regional Office. J.985. 1) Conjugal Personal Property (Sch. Inc.4 The Facts On November 7. Themistocles Montalban. the probate court appointed petitioner as the administrator of the Estate. as well as the claims against it. 15 Petitioner requested the probate court's authority to sell several properties forming part of the Estate. as it did not file a claim with the probate court since it had security over several real estate properties forming part of the Estate. on April 17. namely: Equitable Banking Corporation (P19. showing therein a NIL estate tax liability. Gonzales) to sign and file on behalf of the Estate the required estate tax return and to represent the same in securing a Certificate of Tax Clearance.756.828. 2008 RAFAEL ARSENIO S. COURT OF TAX APPEALS and COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE. FAS-E-87-91-003269. 1990. had yet to be collated.315.R. Sometime in August 1990. Jose P. Net Taxable Estate NIL. Eventually. 1987. on October 22. 1988). petitioner. Petitioner manifested that Manila Bank. respondents. Atty. Fernandez (Jose) died.34 187.16 However. in a letter8 dated March 14.428. 140944 April 30.46 as of February 28. Petitioner alleged that several requests for extension of the period to file the required estate tax return were granted by the BIR since the assets of the estate. 1989) and State Investment House. on November 26. computed as follows: THIRD DIVISION G. de Suez (US$4. 3) Gross Conjugal Estate Less: Deductions (Sch. a petition for the probate of his will 5 was filed with Branch 51 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila (probate court).31). of the Estate of Jose (Estate).160. 2052[12]and 2053[13] stating that the taxes due on the transfer of real and personal properties[14] of Jose had been fully paid and said properties may be transferred to his heirs. 1991. BIR Regional Director for San Pablo City. a major creditor of the Estate was not included. 1997. vs.020. Thus. Dizon (petitioner) as Special and Assistant Special Administrator.90 as of January 31. 1990.17 demanding the payment of P66.460. DIZON.34 Taxable Transfer (Sch. Justice Dizon informed respondent Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) of the special proceedings for the Estate.06 Net Conjugal Estate NIL Less: Share of Surviving Spouse NIL.: Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision2 dated April 30. Justice Dizon passed away. Thus.2) P10.822.006.11 On April 27. Estate Tax Due NIL.611. issued Estate Tax Assessment Notice No. Justice Dizon authorized Atty. In a letter 7dated October 13. Osmundo G. Jesus M. for the purpose of paying its creditors. Net Share in Conjugal Estate NIL xxx NACHURA. itemized as follows: 94 . Banque de L'Indochine et. 4) 14.00 3. 1990. (P6. respectively.21).40 as deficiency estate tax.973. FERNANDEZ.576.855.905. determined and identified.280. No. Rafael Arsenio P. Atty. 1990. the Assistant Commissioner for Collection of the BIR. Manila Banking Corporation (P84.591. Thereafter. 1988.199.

828. On June 2. Branch VII of Manila.199. Petition for the probate of the will and issuance of letter of administration filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. Ramos and Associates Law Offices addressed to Fernandez Hermanos. 4. Proc.985. and/or Jose P.973.Deficiency Estate Tax. Trial on the merits ensued. 1988 from Arsenio P. Defendants. Jesus M. petitioner received the letter of denial. 1989 at a total amount ofP84. with attachments (pp. petitioner filed a petition for review 21 before respondent CTA. Pleading entitled "Compliance" filed with the probate Court submitting the final inventory of all the properties of the deceased (p. 262-265.M. 1994. 1989 (pp." (pp. together with the demand letter from MBC's lawyer (pp. the BIR Commissioner denied the request and reiterated that the estate is liable for the payment of P66. Inc. BIR records). 5. On May 3. Letter dated October 13. (p. Gonzales addressed to the Regional Director of BIR in San Pablo City (p.late filing 1. 107-108..).4018 In his letter19 dated December 12. for Arsenio P. Rafael S. with the probate Court in the amount ofP19. docketed as Civil Case No. Fernandez.414. 106. but recomputed as of February 28. 126. No. BIR records). 183. BIR records).428. P31. in the total amount ofP240.693.90 as of January 31.00 non payment 25.479. 9. BIR records). represented by Jose P.54.00 Total amount due & collectible Claims against the estate filed by Equitable Banking Corp.68 Compromise-non filing 2. 1987 amounts to P65. Letter dated March 14. BIR records). Fernandez through its authorized representative.46. Inc. 87-42980 (pp. Dizon addressed to Atty. Certification of Payment of estate taxes Nos. 177-182. Dizon as Judicial Administrator of the estate of Jose P. Branch 51.000. CTA records) and 14. 1990 from J. Dizon addressed to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue informing the latter of the special proceedings for the settlement of the estate (p. Inc. 1994.103.160. As found by the CTA. 1988 (pp.103. Inc. in her letter20 dated April 12.1987 Estate tax 7. Gonzales moved for the reconsideration of the said estate tax assessment.00 no CPA Certificate 300. Gonzales. Certified true copy of the Letter of Administration issued by RTC Manila. in Sp. BIR records).158. 1990 of Arsenio P. Atty. 6. Fernandez. 102.967. docketed as Sp. 200-215. Jesus M. 1991. Claim of the Manila Banking Corporation (MBC) which as of November 7. Letter dated April 17. 12. filed with the RTC. 10. petitioner did not present testimonial evidence but merely documentary evidence consisting of the following: Nature of Document (sic) 3.756.17 as of February 28.905. Fernandez. 1988. Dizon.048.62 late payment 7. 1994. 186-187. BIR rec. 7. the respective parties presented the following pieces of evidence. Proc.40 as deficiency estate tax. BIR records). BIR records).00 no notice of death 15. "C" which is the detailed and complete listing of the properties of the deceased (pp. Estate Tax Return filed by the estate of the late Jose P.31 as of March 31.48 25% surcharge.62 Interest 25. as mortgagors.023.868. Atty. 13. Attachment to Exh. BIR records).121. 2052 and 2053.000. Claim of State Investment House. 8. 64-88.973. BIR records). 19. BIR records). 184. 95 . versus Maritime Company Overseas.967. P66. No. Gonzales. together with the Annexes to the claim (pp. (p.. Claim filed by Banque de L' Indochine et de Suez with the probate Court in the amount of US $4. 89-105. Plaintiff. to wit: In the hearings conducted. Demand letter of Manila Banking Corporation prepared by Asedillo. 87-42980 appointing Atty. 11. 194-197. 86-38599 entitled "State Investment House. However.985.

Add: Capital/Paraphernal 11.both dated April 27.62 ============ 96 .652. Abuloc appearing at the lower portion on p. "3".016. 2 of Exh. Signature of Alberto S. Signature of Raymund S. 1991. 2 of Exh. The CTA ratiocinated: Although the above-mentioned documents were not formally offered as evidence for respondent.40. Conjugal Personal Prop. 103-104. and 14. Revenue.652. Court of Appeals.015.813. with attachments (pp. Signature of Alberto Enriquez at the lower portion of Exh.569. signed by the Asst. Citing this Court's ruling in Vda.250.007. to wit: Conjugal Real Property P 5.834.973. Memorandum for the Commissioner. appearing at the lower Portion of Exh. 12. demanding payment of the amount ofP66. 1996. In the course of the direct examination of the witness. Tagle also appearing on p. Reviewed by Maximino V. Alberto S.021. 5.96 P 5.). 13.93 7. Signature of Ma. 9. prepared by revenue examiners. the CTA did not fully adopt the assessment made by the BIR and it came up with its own computation of the deficiency estate tax. Besides. Enriquez appearing at the lower portion on p. the CTA denied the said petition for review. Anabella Abuloc and Alberto Enriquez.813.66 P 50. Signature of Ma.084. Fernandez.062. 1995 one witness in the person of Alberto Enriquez.917. 4-C.93 Less: Deductions 26. Revenue Region No. still they could be considered as evidence for respondent since they were properly identified during the presentation of respondent's witness. Jr. Tagle at the lower portion of Exh. "2". Net Share in Conjugal Estate 10.93 5. considering that respondent has been declared to have waived the presentation thereof during the hearing on March 20. issued by the Office of the Regional Director. 3.00 6. Estate Tax Return prepared by the BIR. Signature of Raymond S. 1990. 1991. Summary of revenue Enforcement Officers Audit Report.821. he identified the following: Documents/Signatures 1.00 8. Gallardo at the lower portion of Exh. 2 of Exh. dated July 19. Ma. 2 of Exh. CTA records. Gallardo appearing at the Lower portion on p. "2". Respondent's [BIR] counsel presented on June 26. "3".66 Less: Capital/Paraphernal Deductions Net Taxable Estate 44.985. 2. Signatures of Ma. Signature of Maximino V. San Pablo City. "1".015. Abuloc at the lower portion of Exh.96 Properties – P44.999. Tagle 4. Gallardo. whose testimony was duly recorded as part of the records of this case.23 the CTA opined that the aforementioned pieces of evidence introduced by the BIR were admissible in evidence. the documents marked as respondent's exhibits formed part of the BIR records of the case. Demand letter (FAS-E-87-91-00). Assessment Notice FAS-E-87-91-00 The CTA's Ruling On June 17. 1997. 33. Enriquez and Raymund S.917. dated July 19. Signature of Maximino V. "3". Commissioner for Collection for the Commissioner of Internal Net Conjugal Estate Less: Share of Surviving Spouse P 11.000. Anabella A.007. "3". Anabella A.24 Nevertheless. Gross Conjugal Estate 38. Abuloc. Anabella A. "2". de Oñate v. "2". who was one of the revenue examiners who conducted the investigation on the estate tax case of the late Jose P.

283 (b). Petitioner and/or the heirs of Jose P. de Oñate is still applicable. viewed from all the foregoing. Fernandez are hereby ordered to pay to respondent the amount of P37. BIR's failure to formally offer said pieces of evidence and depriving petitioner the opportunity to cross-examine Alberto.25 Thus. that the lack of a formal offer of evidence is fatal to BIR's cause. Tax Code of 1987]. Whether or not the Court of Tax Appeals and the Court of Appeals erred in disallowing the valid and enforceable claims of creditors against the estate. Fernandez who died on November 7.71 ============ exclusive of 20% interest from due date of its payment until full payment thereof [Sec. 3. 1998. no estate tax was due. the CA ruled that the petitioner's act of filing an estate tax return with the BIR and the issuance of BIR Certification Nos. 2052 and 2053 had been issued in the estate's favor. and that the reckoning date of the claims against the Estate and the settlement of the estate tax due should be at the time the estate tax return 97 .483. 1999. 1999. that Section 34 of Rule 132 of the Rules on Evidence requiring a formal offer of evidence is mandatory in character.342.493.419.26 Aggrieved.935.74 Add: Penalties for-No notice of death 15. that the doctrine laid down in Vda. while BIR's witness Alberto Enriquez (Alberto) in his testimony before the CTA identified the pieces of evidence aforementioned such that the same were marked.71 plus 20% interest from the due date of its payment until full payment thereof as estate tax liability of the estate of Jose P. the CA affirmed the CTA's ruling. the CTA disposed of the case in this wise: WHEREFORE. Whether or not the Court of Tax Appeals and the Court of Appeals erred in validating erroneous double imputation of values on the very same estate properties in the estate tax return it prepared and filed which effectively bloated the estate's assets. 1999. petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration 29 which the CA denied in its Resolution30 dated November 3.31 The petitioner claims that in as much as the valid claims of creditors against the Estate are in excess of the gross estate.419. 1987. the Court finds the petition unmeritorious and denies the same. Whether or not the admission of evidence which were not formally offered by the respondent BIR by the Court of Tax Appeals which was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeals is contrary to the Rules of Court and rulings of this Honorable Court.00 No CPA certificate Total deficiency estate tax 300. as lawful deductions despite clear and convincing evidence thereof. SO ORDERED. that assuming arguendo that the ruling in Vda. went to the CA via a petition for review. 2052 and 2053. 2052 and 2053 did not deprive the BIR Commissioner of her authority to re-examine or re-assess the said return filed on behalf of the Estate. the instant Petition raising the following issues: 1. render the same inadmissible in evidence.97 Add: 25% Surcharge for Late Filing 7. that the BIR failed to consider that although the actual payments made to the Estate creditors were lower than their respective claims.493. BIR Certification Clearance Nos. Whether or not the Court of Tax Appeals and the Court of Appeals erred in recognizing/considering the estate tax return prepared and filed by respondent BIR knowing that the probate court appointed administrator of the estate of Jose P. on March 2. Adopting in full the CTA's findings. and 4. 28 On May 31. such were compromise agreements reached long after the Estate's liability had been settled by the filing of its estate tax return and the issuance of BIR Certification Nos. Hence. BIR failed to comply with the doctrine's requisites because the documents herein remained simply part of the BIR records and were not duly incorporated in the court records. that.Estate Tax Due P 29.27 The CA's Ruling On April 30. petitioner. Fernandez had previously filed one as in fact. de Oñate has already been abandoned in a long line of cases in which the Court held that evidence not formally offered is without any weight or value.00 P 37.835. 2.

A party. we had the occasion to make a distinction between identification of documentary evidence and its formal offer as an exhibit. — The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. de Oñate. it is clear that Vda. Under Section 8 of RA 1125. 32 On the other hand. no evidentiary value can be given the pieces of evidence submitted by the BIR. in People v. Whether or not the CTA and the CA gravely erred in allowing the admission of the pieces of evidence which were not formally offered by the BIR. respondent counters that the documents. We said that the first is done in the course of the trial and is accompanied by the marking of the evidence as an exhibit while the second is done only when the party rests its case and not before. de Oñate is merely an exception to the general rule. the same must have been incorporated in the records of the case.40 There are two ultimate issues which require resolution in this case: First. Rule 132 of the Revised Rules on Evidence which reads: However. Although in a long line of cases many of which were decided after Vda. de Oñate has already been abandoned. we held that: The Petition is impressed with merit. Being an exception. applying the said doctrine. From the foregoing provision. de Oñate. In Interpacific Transit. that the filing of the estate tax return by the Estate and the issuance of BIR Certification Nos. 2052 and 2053 did not deprive the BIR of its authority to examine the return and assess the estate tax.38 this Court.: first. Corollarily. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. party-litigants shall prove every minute aspect of their cases. it may be applied only when there is strict compliance with the requisites mentioned therein. Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the CTA in the latter's determination of the deficiency estate tax imposed against the Estate.34 Pertinent is Section 34. The Court’s Ruling SEC. The CTA and the CA rely solely on the case of Vda. the mere fact that a particular document is identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean that it has already been offered as part of the evidence of a party. it is clear that for evidence to be considered. Dizon. v. 98 . the general rule in Section 34 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court should prevail. the doctrine laid down in Vda. In the event he chooses to do the latter. Mate [103 SCRA 484]. As cases filed before it are litigated de novo.39 the Court made reference to said doctrine in resolving the issues therein. From the foregoing declaration. which reiterated this Court's previous rulings inPeople v. the same must have been duly identified by testimony duly recorded and. petitioner cannot validly assume that the doctrine laid down in Vda. viz. as the rules on documentary evidence require that these documents must be formally offered before the CTA. Aviles[186 SCRA 385]. 34. Napat-a35 and People v. in Far East Bank & Trust Company v. we held that courts cannot consider evidence which has not been formally offered. second.33 The Issues Mate36 on the admission and consideration of exhibits which were not formally offered during the trial. the same must be formally offered. ruled that the trial court judge therein committed no error when he admitted and considered the respondents' exhibits in the resolution of the case.was filed by the judicial administrator and the issuance of said BIR Certifications and not at the time the aforementioned Compromise Agreements were entered into with the Estate's creditors. Likewise. de Oñate. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified. being part of the records of the case and duly identified in a duly recorded testimony are considered evidence even if the same were not formally offered. Offer of evidence. In Vda. the CTA is categorically described as a court of record. notwithstanding the fact that the same were not formally offered. Recently. Indubitably. otherwise. may opt to formally offer his evidence if he believes that it will advance his cause or not to do so at all.37 nevertheless. De Oñate still subsists in this jurisdiction. therefore. Inc. in Ramos v. however. we relaxed the foregoing rule and allowed evidence not formally offered to be admitted and considered by the trial court provided the following requirements are present. Napat-a [179 SCRA 403] citing People v. the trial court is not authorized by the Rules to consider the same. and that the factual findings of the CTA as affirmed by the CA may no longer be reviewed by this Court via a petition for review. Indubitably. and Second.

petitioners failed to comply with their commitment and allowed almost five months to lapse before finally submitting it. Per the records of this case.50 Thus.44 While the CTA is not governed strictly by technical rules of evidence. be summoned to testify. The exhibits in question were presented and marked during the pre-trial of the case thus.46 The BIR's failure to formally offer these pieces of evidence.. In fact. de Oñate and Ramos that does not exist at all in the instant case. we find and so rule that these requirements have been satisfied. On the other hand. 1996. effective. they have been incorporated into the records. the parties were directed to file their respective memorandum. in effect. 47 Such failure is aggravated by the fact that not even a single reason was advanced by the BIR to justify such fatal omission. petitioner sought that the lead examiner. The assailed pieces of evidence were presented and marked during the trial particularly when Alberto took the witness stand. but BIR's counsel failed to appear. xxxx But what further defeats petitioner's cause on this issue is that respondents' exhibits were marked and admitted during the pre-trial stage as shown by the Pre-Trial Order quoted earlier. Despite several extensions of time to make their formal offer. The Court in Constantino v. Again. Petitioners' failure to comply with the rule on admissibility of evidence is anathema to the efficient. Further.In this case. we held in Ramos: In this case. Elpidio himself explained the contents of these exhibits when he was interrogated by respondents' counsel. A common fact threads through Vda. we find that the trial court had reasonable ground to consider that petitioners had waived their right to make a formal offer of documentary or object evidence. In the aforementioned cases. Its function is to enable the trial judge to know the purpose or purposes for which the proponent is presenting the evidence. Strict adherence to the said rule is not a trivial matter. Abuloc. the exhibits were marked at the pre-trial proceedings to warrant the pronouncement that the same were duly incorporated in the records of the case. Anabella A.42 But Alberto’s account and the exchanges between Alberto and petitioner did not sufficiently describe the contents of the said pieces of evidence presented by the BIR. BIR's counsel failed to appear. In the same Resolution. one Ma. the BIR was directed to present its evidence 48 in the hearing of February 21.43 The lead examiner never testified. the presentation of the BIR's evidence is not a mere procedural technicality which may be disregarded considering that it is the only means by which the CTA may ascertain and verify the truth of BIR's claims against the Estate. despite CTA's directives. Hence. Court of Appeals ruled that the formal offer of one's evidence is deemed waived after failing to submit it within a considerable period of time. is fatal to its cause.41 He was also subjected to crossexamination and re-cross examination by petitioner. inasmuch as Alberto was incompetent to answer questions relative to the working papers. we are constrained to apply our ruling in Heirs of Pedro Pasag v. the CTA considered the BIR to have waived presentation of its evidence. 1996. BIR was duly notified. 99 . we find that these requirements have not been satisfied. Thus. it facilitates review as the appellate court will not be required to review documents not previously scrutinized by the trial court..49 The CTA denied petitioner's motion to consider BIR's presentation of evidence as waived. while Alberto's testimony identifying the BIR's evidence was duly recorded. Petitioner complied but BIR failed to do so. and expeditious dispensation of justice. It explained that the court cannot admit an offer of evidence made after a lapse of three (3) months because to do so would "condone an inexcusable laxity if not non-compliance with a court order which. this allows opposing parties to examine the evidence and object to its admissibility. 1996. with a warning to BIR that such presentation would be considered waived if BIR's evidence would not be presented at the next hearing. would encourage needless delays and derail the speedy administration of justice. 45 as rules of procedure are not ends in themselves and are primarily intended as tools in the administration of justice. Moreover. This. Parocha:53 A formal offer is necessary because judges are mandated to rest their findings of facts and their judgment only and strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties at the trial. we take against the BIR. the BIR documents themselves were not incorporated in the records of the case. in its Resolution51 dated March 21. in this case.52 In all of these proceedings. in the hearing of March 20. Moreover." Applying the aforementioned principle in this case. Alberto identified these pieces of evidence in his direct testimony.

S. As a mode of extinguishing an obligation. are entitled to the highest respect and will not be disturbed on appeal unless it is shown that the lower courts committed gross error in the appreciation of facts. It bears emphasis that tax burdens are not to be imposed. without receiving any equivalent.. based on the federal tax laws of the United States. that it is a tax imposed on the act of transferring property by will or intestacy and. are basically a reproduction of the deductions allowed under Section 89 (a) (1) (C) and (E) of Commonwealth Act No. Philippine tax laws were. the creditor renounces the enforcement of the obligation." as allowable deductions from the gross estate under Section 79 of the Tax Code.in Propstra correctly apply the Ithaca Trust date-of-death valuation principle to enforceable claims against the estate.66 the U. i.S. 60 It is noteworthy that even in the United States.S. nor presumed to be imposed. made pursuant to the ruling of the U. when the object or principal conditions of the obligation should be changed. that there is no equivalent received for the benefit given. There is no law. It is admitted that the claims of the Estate's aforementioned creditors have been condoned. nor do we discern any legislative intent in our tax laws. Thus. however. as affirmed by the CA. the Internal Revenue Service (Service) opines that postdeath settlement should be taken into consideration and the claim should be allowed as a deduction only to the extent of the amount actually paid. It is an essential characteristic of remission that it be gratuitous. 466 (CA 466). U. On the other hand.. when the matter renounced is in litigation or dispute and in exchange of some concession which the creditor receives. the second issue in this case involves the construction of Section 7958 of the National Internal Revenue Code59 (Tax Code) which provides for the allowable deductions from the gross estate of the decedent. or novation. 55 condonation or remission of debt56 is defined as: an act of liberality. otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1939. the decisions of American courts construing the federal tax code are entitled to great weight in the interpretation of our own tax laws. the U. These pronouncements essentially confirm the general principle that post-death developments are not material in determining the amount of the deduction. which is extinguished in its entirety or in that part or aspect of the same to which the remission refers. the CTA's findings. such as where a settlement between the parties results in the reduction of the amount actually paid.68 First.. court ruled that the appropriate deduction is the "value" that the claim had at the date of the decedent's death. "Claims against the estate. 61 On one hand. or compromise. United States.S. there is some dispute as to whether the deductible amount for a claim against the estate is fixed as of the decedent's death which is the general rule. when the Supreme Court announced the dateof-death valuation principle. by virtue of which. 57 Verily. and which was the first codification of Philippine tax laws. pursuant to established rules of statutory construction. in turn. It may become dation in payment when the creditor receives a thing different from that stipulated. The specific question is whether the actual claims of the aforementioned creditors may be fully allowed as deductions from the gross estate of Jose despite the fact that the said claims were reduced or condoned through compromise agreements entered into by the Estate with its creditors. 62 Also.e. we proceed to discuss the merits of the case. the nature of the act changes. as of that time.Having disposed of the foregoing procedural issue. 54 In this case. This analysis supports broad application of the date-of-death valuation rule. v. we find the decision of the CA affirming that of the CTA tainted with palpable error. the Service released Proposed Regulations in 2007 mandating that the deduction would be limited to the actual amount paid. 63 where a lien claimed against the estate was certain and enforceable on the date of the decedent's death. beyond what the statute 100 . 67 We express our agreement with the date-of-death valuation rule. Ordinarily. the net value of the property transferred should be ascertained.64Recognizing the dispute. the instance of death. as held in Propstra v. Supreme Court in Ithaca Trust Co. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held: We are persuaded that the Ninth Circuit's decision. As we interpret Ithaca Trust. as nearly as possible. once such equivalent exists. because the act on which the tax is levied occurs at a discrete time..65 In announcing its agreement with Propstra. the fact that the claimant subsequently settled for lesser amount did not preclude the estate from deducting the entire amount of the claim for estate tax purposes. it was making a judgment about the nature of the federal estate tax specifically. or the same should be adjusted to reflect post-death developments. which disregards the date-of-death valuation principle and particularly provides that post-death developments must be considered in determining the net value of the estate.

namely: REMEDIOS SAVESADAMOS. S. Branch 39 in Civil Case No. 46947 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 2001 by the Court of Appeals. v. No costs. J. BABY DIZON & ULDARICO AMISTOSO (represented by ULDARICO AMISTOSO).P. namely: ELPIDIO AMIGO. 7678. namely: JULIANA DIZON. 2010 THE HEIRS OF ROMANA SAVES. CV No. the instant Petition is GRANTED. LUZ SAVES-HERNANDEZ and DODONG SAVES. SERGIA JUCOM. BENEDICTA JUCOM. The Bureau of Internal Revenue's deficiency estate tax assessment against the Estate of Jose P. On April 22. The facts of this case as narrated in the assailed Court of Appeals’ Decision are as follows: Sometime on January 1921. finado Rafaela Saves. BOBERT MARTINEZ. EMILIANO ALMAIDA. Maximo Saves. The Heirs of JANUARIA SAVES. 1999 and the Resolution dated November 3. the claims existing at the time of death are significant to. Lote No. Such construction finds relevance and consistency in our Rules on Special Proceedings wherein the term "claims" required to be presented against a decedent's estate is generally construed to mean debts or demands of a pecuniary nature which could have been enforced against the deceased in his lifetime. 1921. several persons filed their respective claims before the then. HILARIA DIZON. DIONISIA ALMAIDA. ALFREDO RAMOS. Accordingly. et al. among them were Severo Chaves and Benedicta Chaves. JERRY MARTINEZ (represented by FELICIDAD MARTINEZ).69 Any doubt on whether a person. LUZ ALMAIDA. Court of First Instance of the province of Oriental Negros for the titling of the respective lots they occupy. the assailed Decision dated April 30. 51058. CELESTINA DEMETRIA AMIGO. namely: FELICIDAD MARTINEZ. CATALINA JUCOM. EDNA GENERAL. who filed their claim for Lot No. adjudicating several parcels of land to different claimants. MARLOU MARTINEZ. The Heirs of Escolastico Saves. 1995 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dumaguete City. CORNELIA ALMAIDA. ROWENA MARTINEZ. Romana Saves. (represented by AUTEMIA JUCOM). et al. in Cadastral Case No. FLORDIVIDA REMETILLO. or liability contracted by the deceased before his death. and should be made the basis of. entitled "The Heirs of Romana Saves. tax statutes being construed strictissimi juris against the government. FELINA REMETILLO and ANNA MARIE REMETILLO. and ENRIQUETA CHAVES-ABELLA. 632 SCRA 236 (2010) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. DOLORES JUCOM. among the lots adjudicated. La parte que corresponde a los difuntos Romana Saves y Maximo Saves perteneceran a sus hijos respectivos. 70 Second. GINA RAMOS.expressly and clearly imports. were as follows: 1.R. No. Petitioners. No. The Heirs of RAFAELA SAVES. to be titled in their names.71Therefore. The Heirs of BENEDICTA SAVES. ESTHER ALMAIDA. JOVENCIO DIZON. Fernandez is hereby NULLIFIED. Heirs of Saves. 101 . BABY LOU MARTINEZ. JESUS ALMAIDA. FELIMON ALMAIDA (represented by SINFROSA ALMAIDA). 152866 October 6. THE HEIRS OF ESCOLASTICO SAVES. vs. Romana Saves.. JOSEFINA JUCOM. PETRA GENERAL. together with Escolastico Saves. MAURA DIZON. a Decision was rendered by the court. DECISION LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. FRUTO ROSARIO (represented by ELPIDIO AMIGO)." reversing the Decision2 dated May 23. SO ORDERED. Respondents.R. and Januaria Saves. CATALINA ALMAIDA. ANITA ALMAIDA. The Heirs of MAXIMO SAVES. MEREN (daughter of SEVERA SAVES). 15. namely: FIDELA ALMAIDA. Rafaela Saves. WHEREFORE. namely: AUTEMIA JUCOM. Heirs of Saves v. in favor of the petitioners. Januaria Saves y Maximo Saves finado en la proindiviso de una sixta parte cada uno. the determination of allowable deductions.: This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court from the Decision1 promulgated on June 28. 382 – Se adjudica pro indiviso y en partes iguales a los hermanos Benedicta Saves. Escolastico Saves.R. 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. in CA-G. 382. article or activity is taxable is generally resolved against taxation.

Pablo Saves Dizon. The complaint was amended twice by plaintiffs considering that the original plaintiffs and defendants were all deceased. filed by Gaudencia Valencia. that Lot No. Thereafter. or 3/6 of the property. a Deed of Sale was executed by the heirs of Romana Saves. asking them to verify from the Register of Deeds information pertaining to Lot 382. 1921. who was then residing in Cebu. 386 – Se adjudica con las mejoras ixistentes en el a la acciedad conyugal formada por Escolastico Saves y Gaudencia Valencia. leaving his wife. Series of 1941. Felimon Alimayda and Porferia Alimayda. and the sole heir of Escolastico Saves. to Gaudencia Valencia. and being derived from a polluted source. sold their respective 1/6 share in Lot No. inter alia. Adelaida S. 383 – Se adjudica con las mejores existentes en el a la acciedad conyugal formada por Escolastico Saves y Gaudencia Valencia. 148 was issued by the Register of Deeds for Negros Oriental in the name of Gaudencia Valencia. 102 . Lote No. On June 6. of the notarial register. deceased. or 2/6 of the property. Transfer Certificate of Title No. 177831 was issued by the United States of America for the Court of First Instance of the Province of Negros ordering the registration of Lot No. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. but have agreed to exclude Lot 386 in the litigation and limited the issues as to the ownership of lots 382 and 383. and the sons of Maximo Saves. 1029. 1981. 382 were already sold to Gaudencia Valencia.1avvphi1 In 1979. Decree No. judgment is rendered – 1. Severo Saves died intestate. and Damages was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Negros Oriental by plaintiffsappellees. with Doc. Dismissing defendants’ counterclaim. she initiated the titling of the said property under her name in a Motion for Issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title before the Court of First Instance of Negros Oriental.2. and that Gaudencia Valencia fictitiously sold the lot to her grandchild Enriqueta Chaves Abella. 1941. trial ensued. who predeceased them. Page 46.) The trial court rendered a Decision in favor of the petitioners. Martinez. his four (4) surviving children. 382 was fraudulently acquired by Gaudencia Valencia. rights. the sole heir of Maximo Saves. as they were among the heirs entitled to said property. Gaudencia Valencia sold the entire property to Enriqueta Chavez Abella. deceased. 2. the herein appellees. the sole heir of Rafaela Saves. Meleriana Saves. also to Gaudencia Valencia. wrote her relatives in Negros Oriental. as embodied in a Deed of Absolute Sale. Teresa Ramirez. who were the heirs of Januaria Saves. and Transfer Certificate of Title No. On June 30. Sometime in 1961. per allegation in a Motion for the Issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title. Teodoro Saves. No. Considering that all the 1/6 share. and participation of each co-owner in Lot No. 1947. Subsequently. On March 17. Vicente Alimayda. namely: Sinforosa Alimayda. Januaria Saves. Also on April 22. Martinez and Felicidad S. sold their 1/6 share in Lot No. Book IV. and the heirs of his two children who predeceased him. Lote No. 382. suffers the same legal infirmity that of a total nullity. Rafaela Saves. thus. Benedicta Saves and Marcela Saves. Declaring the Deed of Sale and Deed of Absolute Sale null and void ab initio. the sons of Romana Saves. Partition. 1941. 382 in the names of Benedicta Saves. 382. 3. 382 to a certain Gaudencia Valencia evidenced by a public instrument. 110 was issued in the name of Enriqueta Chavez. Dumaguete Cadastre and the issuance of TCT No. alleging. a case for Reconveyance. 3 (Citations omitted. On June 21. in view of the foregoing considerations. 382. who was married to Charles Abella. 110 covering said lot. The parties failed to arrive to an amicable settlement during the pre-trial stage. Juan Alimayda. Escolastica Saves. whatever documents Gaudencia Valencia executed in favor of defendant Enriquita Chavez Abella in relation to Lot No. their respective 1/6 share in Lot No.

3. Ordering defendant Enriquita Chavez Abella to convey and deliver
unto the plaintiffs their shares of Lot No. 382, Dumaguete Cadastre
in the proportion of their respective rights and interests thereto which
they are entitled to participate and succeed from the shares of their
predecessors-in-interest who are the original registered owners of
the aforesaid lot; and after which, the parties are ordered to effect
physical division and partition of the lot in question to avoid further
animosity between and among themselves;

(a) Can the Court of Appeals, in the exercise of its appellate
jurisdiction, consider as evidence exhibits not formally offered as
such by the defendants (now respondents) in the trial court?

4. Ordering defendant Enriquita Chavez Abella to pay
plaintiffs P6,000.00 as litigation expenses andP2,500.00 as plaintiff’s
counsel court appearances as well as moral damages in the sum
of P120,000.00;

(c) Is it legally correct to consider a rule of evidence simply as a rule
of procedure? x x x.8

5. Dismissing plaintiff’s claim of Lot No. 383, Dumaguete Cadastre,
for lack of merit, the same is originally titled in the name of
Escolastico Saves, married to Gaudencia Valencia; and
6. Defendant Enriquita Chavez Abella is ordered to pay the
costs.4 (Citations omitted.)
Respondents appealed the RTC Decision to the Court of Appeals which
reversed and set aside the same in the herein assailed Court of Appeals
Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision dated, May 23, 1995
rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Negros Oriental, Branch 39, is
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a new one entered, declaring
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 110 in the name of Enriqueta Chaves Abella
as valid and subsisting, and the complaint filed by the plaintiffs is
DISMISSED for lack of merit.5
Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration but this was denied by the
Court of Appeals in a Resolution 6promulgated on March 7, 2002, the
dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, the foregoing premises considered,
Reconsideration is DENIED for lack of merit.7

the

Motion

for

Unperturbed by the adverse Court of Appeals Decision, petitioners come
before this Court and raise the following issues:

(b) Are exhibits (Exhibits "7", "8" and "13") not formally offered as
evidence by the defendants in the trial court subject to judicial notice
by the Court of Appeals for the purpose of utilizing the same as basis
for the reversal of the trial court’s decision?

Petitioners also put into issue the failure of the Court of Appeals to consider
respondent Enriquita Chaves-Abella (hereinafter "Abella") a purchaser and
registrant in bad faith9 and the reasonableness of its declaration that, even if
petitioners are indeed co-owners of Lot No. 382, they are already barred due
to the equitable principle of estoppel by laches in asserting their rights over
the same.10
We find the instant petition to be without merit.
The first three issues propounded by petitioners can be summed up into the
question of whether or not the Court of Appeals can consider evidence not
formally offered in the trial court as basis for the herein assailed Court of
Appeals ruling.
Petitioners draw attention to the fact that respondents did not formally offer
Exhibits "7," "8" and "13" at the trial court proceedings. In accordance with
Section 34, Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court, 11 the trial court did not
consider them as evidence. Despite this, the Court of Appeals allegedly
utilized the same as basis for reversing and setting aside the trial court’s
decision.
It is a basic procedural rule that the court shall consider no evidence which
has not been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is offered
must be specified.12 A formal offer is necessary because judges are
mandated to rest their findings of facts and their judgment only and strictly
upon the evidence offered by the parties at the trial. Its function is to enable
the trial judge to know the purpose or purposes for which the proponent is
presenting the evidence. On the other hand, this allows opposing parties to
examine the evidence and object to its admissibility. Moreover, it facilitates
review as the appellate court will not be required to review documents not
previously scrutinized by the trial court.13

103

However, in People v. Napat-a,14 citing People v. Mate,15 we relaxed the
foregoing rule and allowed evidence not formally offered to be admitted and
considered by the trial court provided the following requirements are
present,viz: first, the same must have been duly identified by testimony duly
recorded and, second, the same must have been incorporated in the records
of the case.16
In the case at bar, the records would show that the above requisites have
been satisfactorily complied with respect to Exhibit "7."
With regard to Exhibit "7," which is a document entitled "Motion for the
Issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title" filed by Gaudencia Valencia
(hereinafter "Valencia") in the same trial court that led to the issuance of
Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 148, the records would show that it is
the same document that petitioners’ witness Fruto Rosario identified in his
March 5, 1984 testimony and marked as petitioner-plaintiffs’ Exhibit "I." He
testified as follows:
Empleo Here is another document, Mr. Rosario, which appears to be a
motion for issuance of transfer certificate of title, dated March 9, 1948, in 3
pages. Will you please go over this certified true copy of the motion in Cad.
Case No. 1, GLRO Rec. No. 140, Lot 382, and find out if these are among
the documents which you have obtained in connection with your verification?
A Yes, this is the one, these are among the documents.
Empleo We request that this certified true copy of the motion for issuance of
transfer certificate of title in Cad. Case No. 1, GLRO Rec. No. 140, Lot 382,
be marked as Exhibit "I" for page one; "I-1" for page two and "I-2" for page 3.
Appearing on Exh. I is a third paragraph, which states, "that Maximo Saves,
owner of 1/6 of Lot 382 is now dead, upon his death Marcela Saves is the
only heiress and successor of his rights and interest in and over 1/6 portion
of said lot." Do you understand that?
A Yes, Sir.
Q Is it true that Maximo Saves left only one heir named Marcela Saves?
A No, Sir, it is not true.
Q Why is it not true?

A Because Maximo had two children, Sir.
Empleo We request that paragraph 3 be marked as Exhibit "I-3".
Court (to witness): Who died ahead Severa or Maximo?
A Maximo, Sir.
Court Who died ahead Marcela or Severa?
A Severa.
Court Did Severa die before 1948?
A No, Sir, because she died before the war; she died in 1940.
Court So, when this motion for issuance of certificate of title was filed on
March 10, 1948, Severa had already died?
A Yes, Sir.
Court And when this motion was filed on March 10, 1948, Marcela was still
alive?
A Yes.
Court That is why the motion and which resulted to a certificate of title had
only claim Marcela as a surviving heir of Maximo?
A That is not so, Sir, because what about us the children of Severa?
Court ORDER
The hour of noon having come, continuance of the direct examination of fifth
plaintiffs’ witness Fruto Rosario, as already scheduled, will be done tomorrow
at 10:30 a.m.17
Verily, Exhibit "7" was incorporated and made part of the records of this case
as a common exhibit of the parties. 18That only plaintiffs were able to formally
offer the said motion as Exhibit "I" most certainly does not mean that it can
only be considered by the courts for the evidentiary purpose offered by

104

plaintiffs. It is well within the discretion of the courts to determine whether an
exhibit indeed serves the probative purpose for which it is offered.
Likewise, Exhibit "13," which is TCT No. 11019 or the Torrens title that was
issued to respondent Abella after she bought Lot No. 382 from Valencia,
complies with the requirements enunciated in Napat-a and Mate.
The records of the case bear out that Exhibit "13" was identified by
respondent Abella during the continuation of her direct examination on March
15, 1988. This much was noted even by the trial court in its Decision dated
May 23, 1995, to wit:
During the continuation of the direct examination, witness Enriquita Chavez
Abella testified and identified the TCT No. 110 of Lot No. 382 registered in
the name of Enriquita Chavez which priorly reserved and now marked Exh.
"13." x x x.20 (Emphasis supplied.)
Moreover, it cannot be denied that Exhibit "13" was included in the records
that was elevated to the Court of Appeals. 21 In fact, the Court of Appeals
correctly noted Abella’s testimony regarding this document in resolving
petitioners’ motion for reconsideration.22
It is likewise worth emphasizing that under the Revised Rules on Evidence,
an admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of the
proceedings in the same case, does not require proof – such admission may
be contradicted only by showing that it is made through palpable mistake or
that no such admission was made.23
The existence of Exhibit "13" was not only known to petitioners but it was
expressly alleged in their Appellees’ Brief 24 filed with the Court of Appeals
and their Petition for Review 25 filed with this Court that Lot No. 382 is
registered in the name of respondent Abella.
Indeed, petitioners did not merely acknowledge the existence of TCT No. 110
(respondents’ Exhibit "13"), but in fact relied upon it in order to put forward
their main theory that the sale from Valencia to respondent Abella is fictitious
or void because, according to petitioners, it appears from the said title that
respondent Abella was supposedly only nine years old at the time of the
transaction. Verily, it is inconsistent for petitioners to claim that Exhibit "13"
proves its theory and in the same breath assail it as inadmissible.

Lastly, petitioners’ present objection to Exhibit "8" hardly deserves any credit.
Exhibit "8" is a rather innocuous document which has no bearing on any of
the significant issues in this case. Its existence was only referred to in the
second paragraph of page 7 of the RTC Decision wherein it is identified as
an "Order of the Hon. Court dated May 11, 1948." 26 Though it never formed
part of the records of this case upon appeal, a careful perusal of the assailed
Court of Appeals’ Decision would reveal that Exhibit "8" was not in any way
used or referred to by the Court of Appeals in arriving at the aforementioned
ruling.
Anent the issue of whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in failing to
consider that respondent Abella is a purchaser in bad faith, petitioner insists
that "for failing to exercise prudent (sic) and caution in buying the property in
question,"27 respondent Abella is a buyer in bad faith. She did not investigate
closely the basis of the ownership of Gaudencia Valencia, her grandmother,
over Lot No. 382 which a buyer in good faith should have done under the
circumstances. She did not even bother to know the persons from whom her
grandmother acquired the parcel in question. 28
Respondents argue that the issue of good faith or bad faith of Enriquita
Chaves-Abella was not raised in the Complaint filed by petitioners in the
RTC. Petitioners’ original theory of the case is that the sale by Gaudencia
Valencia to Enriquita Chaves-Abella was fictitious because the latter was
only nine years old at the time of the sale. However, during trial, it was clearly
established by common evidence that Enriquita was already married to
Charles Abella when she bought the lot in 1961, and, as a matter of fact, the
purchase money was provided by her husband, Charles. Confronted with the
above situation which completely destroyed their theory of the case,
petitioners switched from their "fictitious sale to a 9-year old" theory to an
entirely different theory, to wit: that Enriquita Chaves-Abella is a purchaser in
bad faith.29
Despite this, the RTC declared that respondent Abella is a purchaser in bad
faith because "[s]he did not investigated (sic) closely the basis of the
ownership of Gaudencia Valencia over Lot No. 382 which a buyer in good
faith should have done under the circumstances."30
The Court of Appeals reversed the above finding and ruled that respondent
Abella is an innocent purchaser for value and in good faith because the
"[r]ecords reveal that appellant derived her title of Lot No. 382 from the title of
Gaudencia Valencia, who sold the entire property to the former. Appellant
relied on the face of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 148 in the name of

105

Laches is defined as the failure to assert a right for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time."38 On this issue. 148. 39 In the case at bar. in 1980. that her predecessor-in-interest’s (Valencia’s) title was clean when she (Abella) purchased the property. On the contrary. Like any stranger to the said transactions. TCT No. It is a well-settled doctrine that one who deals with property registered under the Torrens system need not go beyond the same. Plaintiffs failed to substantiate their contention. 382 makes her an innocent purchaser for value or a purchaser in good faith. annotation. 382. 382. for without such inquiry the buyer can hardly be regarded as a buyer in good faith and cannot have any right over the property. petitioners had never taken possession of Lot No."31 which was free from any encumbrances or We agree with the Court of Appeals’ ruling in this regard. assuming that they or their predecessors-in-interest had rights over the land in question.32 In the case at bar.34 As pointed out by the assailed Court of Appeals’ Decision. It must be recalled that the plaintiffs called Abella as one of their witnesses during the trial of this case. the burden to prove that Abella had notice of any defect in the title of her predecessor lies with the plaintiffs. Valencia had been occupying the property prior to its sale to respondent Abella. considering that they filed the action within a reasonable time after their discovery of the allegedly fictitious deeds of sale. petitioners had continued to sleep on their professed rights. 382 nor did they file any claim adverse to the ownership of Gaudencia Valencia. not until one of the plaintiffs wrote her relatives about the possibility of being heirs to the property. the factual circumstances surrounding respondent Abella’s acquisition of Lot No. As found by the Court of Appeals. Herein petitioners were never in possession of the property from the very start. 382 prior to the sale. obviously neglected to exercise these rights by failing to 106 . 382’s transfer of ownership to Valencia. their own evidence tended to prove that Abella was a purchaser in good faith of the property. is the fact that Abella had no participation in the execution of Exhibits "G" and "H" which were signed by the parties thereto when she was very young. in the remote possibility that they are co-owners of Lot No. which evinced Lot No. warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it has either abandoned or declined to assert it. 110. it was reasonable for Abella to assume that these public documents were what they purport to be on their face in the absence of any circumstance to lead her to believe otherwise. elicited as a hostile witness for the plaintiffs. 382 up to the filing of this case in 1981.Gaudencia Valencia. A purchaser in good faith is one who buys property without notice that some other person has a right to or interest in such property and pays its fair price before he has notice of the adverse claims and interest of another person in the same property. Settled is the rule that a buyer of real property in possession of persons other than the seller must be wary and should investigate the rights of those in possession. 382 by Valencia to respondent Abella in 1961 up to 1981 when this case was filed. are barred from asserting their claims over the same because of estoppel by laches. 35 Neither does the plaintiffs’ insistence that Exhibits "G" and "H" (the deeds of sale executed in favor of Valencia) were void support their theory that Abella is a purchaser in bad faith. What must be highlighted. To begin with. Likewise. which represented proof of respondent Abella’s ownership of Lot No. petitioners argue that they are not guilty of unreasonable and unexplained delay in asserting their rights.TCT No. He is charged with notice only of such burdens and claims as are annotated on the certificates. but only has to rely on the certificates of title. on the issue of whether or not petitioners. Since the sale of Lot No. there is no cogent reason or legal compulsion for respondent Abella to inquire beyond Valencia’s title over the property at issue since the latter had been in possession of Lot No. It is Abella’s unrebutted testimony. There is no need to repeat the Court of Appeals’ comprehensive and apt discussions on this point here. nor did they have any idea that they were entitled to the fruits of the property not until co-petitioner Meleriana Saves wrote her relatives. however. we agree with the Court of Appeals’ ruling that the purported irregularities in Exhibits "G" and "H" relied upon by the trial court hardly suffice to deem the said contracts as null and void. "[p]laintiffs were never in possession of the property from the very start. did not contain any encumbrance or annotation that was transferred from its title of origin .33 To be sure. since the 1940’s when their predecessors-in-interest sold their shares in and over Lot No. about the possibility of having a claim to the property. Finally. They maintain that the delay in the discovery of the simulated and fictitious deeds was due to the fact that Escolastico Saves with spouse Valencia committed the acts surreptitiously by taking advantage of the lack of education of plaintiffs’ ascendants. plaintiffs. 37 Respondents counter petitioners’ claims by underscoring the fact that.36 Clearly. nor did they have any inkling that they were entitled to the fruits of the property. co-petitioners in this case. we again hold in favor of respondents.

382 ever since the entire property was sold to her in 1947 which led to the issuance of TCT No. the offeror may have the same attached to or made part of the record. would lean towards the conclusion that petitioners’ inaction for the past so many years belies any present conviction on their part that they have any existing interest over the property at all. is hereby AFFIRMED. As narrated in the petition itself. Moises C. Petitioners contend that the delay is attributable to the surreptitious manner by which Valencia acquired Lot No. RAFAEL DE LA CRUZ. that petitioners decided to assert their alleged rights over the property in a proper action in court. 1963 by respondent Cosme O. De la Cruz. Likewise. 110. petitioner-appellant. 51058. L-27950 July 29. If the evidence excluded is oral. TEEHANKEE. SO ORDERED. 2001 in CA-G. Tender of excluded evidence. It was not only until 1981.R. 1971 TORIBIA LAMAGAN. Instead. 148 in her name. petitioner’s evidence gravely lacks credibility and weight as shown by the records. Kallos for petitioner-appellant.: Appeal by certiorari from a resolution of the Court of Appeals dismissing the petition for certiorari filed with said court by appellant seeking to set aside a formal ruling issued by the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur during the course of the trial of the ejectment case below sustaining the adverse party's objection of evidence preferred * by appellant as defendant therein and indicating the nature of evidence that would be deemed admissible and competent against the adverse party's torrens title. 1 Follosco prayed of the lower court that it order defendants to vacate the 48-hectare portion of his land "illegally occupied" by them and to restore possession thereof to him. Thus. (n) Lamagan v. the offeror may state for the record the name and other personal circumstances of the witness and the substance of the proposed testimony. and COSME O. Tender of Excluded Evidence Section 40. — If documents or things offered in evidence are excluded by the court. No. The disputed portion of land is part of several lots 107 . J. Rule 132 RULE 132 Presentation of Evidence Section 40. or 34 years from Valencia’s acquisition of the entire lot and 20 years from the transfer of ownership over the same to respondent Abella.assert any adverse claim over the property or demand any share of its fruits for many years. Reyes & Dy-Liacco for respondent-appellee Cosme O. on this point. respondents-appellees. it is only fair and reasonable for this Court to apply the equitable principle of estoppel by laches against them in order to avoid an injustice to respondent Abella who is the innocent purchaser for value in this case. vs. Costs against petitioners. the evidence thus presented by both parties. HON. a complaint for ejectment and damages was filed on September 12. CV No. petitioners never interposed any challenge to Valencia’s continued possession under title of ownership over Lot No. Follosco. as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur. 40 WHEREFORE. Not unlike their predecessors. as found by the Court of Appeals. FOLLOSCO. 382 from their predecessors-in-interest but. the petition is DENIED. petitioners and their predecessors-in-interest did not mount any opposition to the sale of Lot No. dated June 28. even if we grant that petitioners are co-owners of the property at issue.R. The Decision of the Court of Appeals. 40 SCRA 101 (1971) Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Follosco as plaintiff against petitioner Toribia Lamagan and her husband Ambrosio Leonor (now deceased) as defendants in the lower court presided by respondent judge. 382 by Valencia to respondent Abella in 1961 which prompted the issuance of TCT No.

The issues having been joined.R. vs. Defendants then presented as their first witness petitioner's late husband in support of their defense and counterclaim for reconveyance. that Follosco's title was acquired through fraud and deceit. inter alia. tax declarations. In the course of his direct examination by petitioner's counsel. without attempting to decide the case at its present stage. Follosco as plaintiff presented through counsel his evidence. 1913. 1966. the petitioner is permitted to present evidence which will indubitably show a better right. 1966. will. Petitioner accordingly filed her petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. and closed his case. Follosco's counsel objected to a question dealing with the ownership of the land and manifested a continuing objection to all similar questions which would elicit evidence of alleged ownership of defendants. 1967 resolution. (b) in the [respondent court's] resolution of August 15. holding that "(T)his court. 1950. correctible by certiorari.. Respondent court therefore ruled that "the court so resolves that all questions tending to elicit proof of ownership other than those which will prove a better and earlier issued Torrens Title duly registered in favor of the defendants or any of the defendants shall be barred and be not heard" and sustained Follosco's objection to defendants' line of questioning. on the principal ground that such ruling is an interlocutory matter and any question as to the correctness thereof does not fall "within the ambit of a writ of certiorari" and may only be reviewed on appeal taken from a decision rendered on the merits of the case. January 30. dismissing the same for failure to state a sufficient cause of action for the following principal reasons: ". No. if there is any. 1891. 1967. denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration of its dismissal order. she asked respondent court to suspend further proceedings in the case below pending her elevation of the disputed ruling for review by the appellate courts. allegedly consisting. petitioner Lamagan and her late husband as defendants claimed that they and their predecessors-in-interest were in open and adverse possession of the property since 1890." Hence this appeal to which the Court gave due course on the strength of petitioner's urgent plea for relief from the "virtual refusal of the trial court to hear defendants in their defense. of which Follosco is the registered owner by virtue of original certificate of title No. 178 issued by the Camarines Sur register of deeds in April. etc. therefore. In answer to Follosco's complaint. oral and documentary. in refusing to review on certiorari the trial court's disputed ruling in the case below rejecting petitioner's contested evidence and dismissing the petition filed for the purpose. 3 which handed down its minute resolution of June 21. Follosco's title had become indefeasible and could no longer be attacked collaterally. on the ground that Follosco's title was already indefeasible and beyond judicial review.totaling over 500 hectares. and respondent court acceded accordingly. and (c) the issue does not appear to be within the ambit of a writ of certiorari. and that the land should be deemed held in trust by Follosco for them. ruling that any claims of defendants based on an alleged pre-existing right prior to the alleged fraudulent issuance of the title in favor of Follosco was already barred under section 38 of Act 496 and that since no petition to reopen and review the decree of registration on the ground of fraud had been filed within one year from issuance of the decree. deed of sale by Mariano Lamagan in favor of Nicolas Cambiado dated April 13.. Tuason & Co. further noted that "the counterclaim for reconveyance has already prescribed (J. 1962). M. L-15539." Petitioner-defendant claims that the effect of respondent court's questioned resolution was to totally prevent her from adducing at the trial any further evidence in support of her defense to the action for ejectment and of her counterclaim for reconveyance of the disputed land." 2 As counterclaim. and that the suit was brought by Follosco "only after many years since he obtained his title thereto to hide from defendants' knowledge that the latter's land was in fact covered by (Follosco's) title." The crux of the issues presented by petitioner-appellant in the appeal is basically procedural with particular reference to the rules governing the admission or exclusion of evidence: did the appellate court commit any grave error. of a possessory information title in the name of one Mariano Lamagan dated November 21. 1966. entertain from the defendants proofs and evidence which will indomitably (sic) show a better and earlier Torrens Title issued to the defendants.. violative of due process. Her motion for reconsideration having been denied by the trial court's order of September 29. such as her documentary evidence. defendants prayed for the reconveyance of the disputed land to them on the theory that the same should be deemed as held in trust by Follosco for them. Inc. The question was apparently extensively argued and respondent court adjourned the trial at noon and issued his three-page written resolution of August 15. deed of sale by Nicolas Cambiado in favor of Leoncio Lamagan (petitioner's father) dated August 7." The appellate court in its August 2. 108 . G. 1909. Adolfo Magangal.

Director of Lands. the court ad quem may thus be able to examine said exhibits and to judge whether or not their rejection was erroneous. or the broader interests of justice so require. The Court has long noted that "it is the better practice to unite with the record exhibits . so that in case of an appeal . Errors of jurisdiction are reviewable on certiorari. petitioner's recourse is clear under the long established rules." 8 4. to make a formal offer of the evidence under Rule 132. petitioner sought to attach to the records here the exhibits which she intended to present to the trial court but were ruled out by it. 10 Again. not satisfied with the trial court's ruling admitting or excluding any proferred (sic) oral or documentary evidence." 5 Thus. An error of judgment is one which the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction. An error of jurisdiction renders an order or judgment void or voidable. Abalos. no matter how erroneous the action of the lower court may have Assuming that the trial court erred in rejecting petitioner's proferred (sic) evidence. but did not take into account petitioner's action in equity (by way of her counterclaim) for the reconveyance of the land on the principle of constructive trust. 1. the Court had to order said documents expunged from the records of the case at bar.The appellate court's dismissal of the petition was in full accord with the rules and applicable jurisprudence of the Court and must be affirmed. The validity of the cited rule. Let us not lose sight of the true function of the writ of certiorari — "to keep an inferior court within the bounds of its jurisdiction or to prevent it from committing such a grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. Neither has petitioner made out a case for her claim that she should be permitted the special recourse of seeking a review of the trial court's ruling by certiorari. 11 wherein the appeal of petitioner Lamagan and her other coappellants (as homestead claimants) from the lower court's order denying their petition to set aside its judgment of August 27..e. there simply would be no end to the trial of cases. enabling the appellate court to examine all the exhibits and evidence of record and judge accordingly whether the trial court erred in rejecting the excluded exhibits was evident in the very case at bar.." No equally compelling reason has been advanced by petitioner as would place her case within the exceptions. which have been rejected. stating on the record what a party or witness would have testified to were his testimony not excluded. Petitioner may have reason in law to complain against the trial court's ruling that it would admit from her only evidence of "a better and earlier issued torrens title duly registered in favor of the defendants or any of (them)". pointing out that "once the accused has been acquitted... would then indefinitely tie up the trial while elevating the ruling for review by the appellate court. for any litigant. i. but are to be assigned as errors and reviewed in the appeal properly taken from the decision rendered by the trial court on the merits of the case. abuse of discretion must be so grave and patent to justify the issuance of the writ. or the orders complained of were found to be completely null and void. "But in those cases. Vasquez 4 thus: "A line must be drawn between errors of judgment and errors of jurisdiction. as well as attaching to the record any rejected exhibits. 3. As petitioner-appellant concedes in her petition and brief." The Court likewise cited therein the exceptional cases where certiorari had been entertained despite the existence of the remedy of an appeal. and hence. only by appeal." 7 and that such rejected or excluded exhibits "should have been permitted by the judge a quo to be attached to the record even if not admitted in evidence. The true and special function of writ of certiorari was defined by the Court in Fernando vs. errors of judgment. either public welfare and the advancement of public policy so dictate. to wit. in People vs. section 35. Since there has been no decision rendered as yet by the trial court and respondent has denounced the proferred (sic) documents as "gross and careless forgery" 9 which should be passed upon by the trial court in the first instance. If the rule were otherwise. appeal in due course was not an adequate remedy. there is no means to secure a review by appeal. Such an action precisely concedes that the adverse party wrongfully succeeded in obtaining a torrens title but prays that such title should be ordered canceled and reconveyed in favor of the claimant as the true beneficiary rightfully entitled thereto. 6 the Court granted as an exception a writ ofcertiorari against the trial court's ruling rejecting rebuttal evidence for the prosecution. 1948 declaring 109 . Here." And. since it virtually ruled out all her evidence in support of her defense to the ejectment and of her counterclaim for reconveyance. 2. it is beyond question that rulings of the trial court on procedural questions and on admissibility of evidence during the course of the trial are interlocutory in nature and may not be the subject of separate appeal or review on certiorari. respondent has cited the 1953 case of Follosco vs. to bring up to the appellate court the rejected exhibits upon a proper appeal from a decision on the merits of the case. been. such as in appeals from orders of preliminary attachment or appointment of receiver. or appeal was not considered the appropriate remedy. since it merely held petitioner's one-year period to reopen the decree in favor of respondent Follosco on the ground of fraud to have already lapsed.

to know with certainty whether testimony is relevant or not. Zaldivar. all these questions will have first to be necessarily passed upon and resolved by the trial court in the decision that it has yet to render — which serves but to demonstrate the impropriety and prematurity of petitioner's present action. The practice of excluding evidence on doubtful objections to its materiality or technical objections to the form of the questions should be avoided. materiality.. 5. the resolution appealed from is hereby affirmed and the petition is dismissed. supra "the admission of proof in a court of first instance. This fact places in grave doubt the veracity of petitioner's allegation that Follosco had sought to hide from her the fact of his having secured title to the land in question. Barredo." 110 .L. and thereafter proceed with the trial and judgment of the case upon the party's failure to secure such injunctive order. as indicated in paragraph 3 supra. In any event. as in Abalos." In other words. the Court has counseled trial courts to be liberal in accepting proferred (sic) evidence. upon final consideration of the case. J. it seems in order." At any rate. Finally. because the trial judge is supposed to know the law. concur. Concepcion. Dizon and Castro. the affected party should nevertheless be allowed to spread the excluded evidence on the record. JJ.. and appears to provide ample justification for the appellate court's pronouncement in its August 2. should the trial court exclude evidence that it deems clearly irrelevant and inadmissible. unlike in the case at bar where the trial court erroneously acceded to suspending the trial below pending the outcome of this proceeding. where there is no indication of bad faith on the part of the party offering the evidence or of a design to unduly prolong the trial. Needless delay in the trial and determination of the case would thus be avoided. can never result in much harm to either litigant. and where there is no indication of bad faith on the part of the attorney offering the evidence. it should not — in the absence of an injunction order from the appellate courts or of strong compelling reasons above indicated . Villamor and Makasiar. even if the question as to its form. It should be sufficient in such cases that the trial court afford the affected party a reasonable period and opportunity to secure from the higher courts a preliminary injunction order against the continuation of the trial. 13 that "(I)n the course of long experience we have observed that justice is most effectively and expeditiously administered in the courts where trivial objections to the admission of proof are received with least favor.respondent Follosco the owner of the land subject of the registration proceedings was turned down by this Court. 12 citing the 1929 case of Prats & Co. Reyes. ACCORDINGLY. vs. since even if they were to refuse to accept the evidence.. to distinguish the relevant and material from the irrelevant and immaterial. In a case of any intricacy it is impossible for a judge of first instance. the court may as a rule safely accept the testimony upon the statement of the attorney that the proof offered will be connected later. which may then be properly appealed from.J. With costs against petitioner. are on leave. Phoenix Insurance Co. If this course is followed and the cause is prosecuted to the Supreme Court upon appeal. to reiterate the Court's admonitions to trial courts. and it is its duty... nevertheless. in the early stages of the development of the proof.B. this court then has all the material before it necessary to make a correct judgment. 1967 resolution as to her counterclaim for reconveyance having "already prescribed. Fernando. As pointed out in Prats.order the suspension of the trial pending the outcome of any recourse sought by the affected party from the higher courts but should continue with the trial and render in due course its judgment. for review on appeal. Makalintal. C. JJ. or relevancy is doubtful.