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Development Bank)
GR no. 97929 Dec. 17, 1991



Bienvenido Manalo purchased Lot 2 from Paramount
Development Bank (Paramount). Thereby, a deed of
absolute sale was duly registered and a TCT was issued
in favor of Manalo. Consequently, Manalo and
Parmount entered into a contract of sale involving Lot 3
wherein they agreed that P3,000 will be paid in
advance and the balance in installments. The Contract
to Sell stipulated that the mortgagor of Lot 3 having
defaulted, Paramount would institute foreclosure
proceedings and allow Manalo to take possession of the
lot upon its purchase thereof at the auction sale. The
bank also agreed to execute a Deed of Absolute Sale
once it acquired title to the lot and upon full payment
of the balance by Manalo.
When Manalo was about to occupy the lots, he found
that they had been fenced by Benjamin Dy, who
claimed to be the owner of the properties. Manalo then
demanded from Paramount that it eject Dy from the
property, however it failed to do so. Thus, Manalo filed
a complaint against Paramount.
Consequently, Petitioner Dy intervened in the case
alleging that he is the owner of the subject lots, having
purchased it from his father (Dy Hong) who acquired
them from Dona Agripina Subdivision, as evidenced by
two receipts issued to him by the seller. Petitioner
further claimed that the private respondents knew that
he was the owner of the lots.
The trial court held that Paramount was bound to place
Manalo in peaceful possession of lot 2 in accordance
with the express warrant in the Deed of Absolute Sale
and that Manalo has the right to suspend payment of
the balance of the purchase price. It further held that
the evidence of ownership presented by Dy was
insufficient, consisting as it did only of the two receipts
and the deed of sale from his father. No deed of sale
from the Doa Agripina Subdivision was submitted.
There was no proof either that the disputed lots
belonged to the subdivision as the evidence of record
showed that the land was originally owned by one
Eusebio Lopez, who mortgaged it to Paramount.
CA affirmed in toto the trial courts decision.
Whether or not the receipts presented by Petitioner Dy
are sufficient to prove his ownership of the lots.
Dys evidence of his ownership consisted only of the
deed of sale executed and signed by his father, the
receipts supposedly issued by the Dona Agripina Subd.,
and his own testimony.
The two receipts allegedly issued by the subdivision
are private documents. In proving their due execution
and genuineness, it is not sufficient that the witness

state in a general manner that the person whose

signature appears thereon the one who executed the
document. The testimony of an eye witness
authenticating a private document must be positive,
categorically stating that the document was actually
eye-witness by the person whose name is subscribed
thereto. The Court notes that in the case at bar, the
details surrounding execution of the petitioner's
documentary evidence were even narrated.


GR No. 138084 April 10, 2002
Respondent Philippine Nails and Wires Corporation
insured against all risks its shipment of 10,053.400
metric tons of steel billets valued at P67,156,300 with
petitioner Malayan Insurance Company Inc. The
shipment delivered was short by 377.168 metric
tons. For this shortage, respondent claimed insurance
undelivered steel billets, plus customs duties, taxes
and other charges paid by respondent. Petitioner
refused to pay.
Respondent filed a complaint against Petitioner for sum
of money representing said lost and/or undelivered
cargo. Petitioner moved to dismiss the complaint, but
the motion was denied.
Respondent filed a motion to admit and amended
complaint which the trial court granted. Due to
petitioners failure to file an answer, respondent moved
to declare petitioner in default. The trial court granted
the said motion and allowed the presentation of
evidence ex parte. Respondent presented its lone
witness, Jeanne King.
counterclaim. Upon motion by the respondent, the trial
court expunged from the records the answer for late
The trial court rendered a judgment by default in favor
of the respondent. The CA denied petitioners appeal
and affirmed the trial courts decision.
1. WON the testimony of Jeanne King is hearsay,
thus without probative value.
2. WON
authenticated the documentary evidence it
submitted at the trial.
1. Petitioner Malayan Insurance Co., Inc., contends that
Jeanne Kings testimony was hearsay because she had
no personal knowledge of the execution of the
documents supporting respondents cause of action,
such as the sales contract, invoice, packing list, bill of
Policy. Petitioner avers that even though King was
personally assigned to handle and monitor the
importation of Philippine Nails and Wires Corporation,
herein respondent, this cannot be equated with
personal knowledge of the facts which gave rise to
respondents cause of action. Further, petitioner
asserts, even though she personally prepared the
summary of weight of steel billets received by
respondent, she did not have personal knowledge of
the weight of steel billets actually shipped and

At the outset, we must stress that respondents cause

of action is founded on breach of insurance contract
covering cargo consisting of imported steel billets. To
hold petitioner liable, respondent has to prove, first, its
importation of 10,053.400 metric tons of steel billets
valued at P67,156,300.00, and second, the actual steel
billets delivered to and received by the importer,
namely the respondent. Witness Jeanne King, who was
assigned to handle respondents importations, including
their insurance coverage, has personal knowledge of
the volume of steel billets being imported, and
therefore competent to testify thereon. Her testimony
is not hearsay, as this doctrine is defined in Section 36,
Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.
However, she is not qualified to testify on the shortage
in the delivery of the imported steel billets. She did not
have personal knowledge of the actual steel billets
received. Even though she prepared the summary of
the received steel billets, she based the summary only
on the receipts prepared by other persons. Her
testimony on steel billets received was hearsay. It has
no probative value even if not objected to at the trial.
2. Petitioner avers that King failed to properly
authenticate respondents documentary evidence.
Petitioners contention is meritorious. Under the rules
on evidence, documents are either public or
private.Private documents are those that do not fall
under any of the enumerations in Section 19, Rule 132
of the Rules of Court. Section 20 of the same law, in
turn, provides that before any private document is
received in evidence, its due execution and
authenticity must be proved either by anyone who saw
the document executed or written, or by evidence of
the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the
maker. Here, respondents documentary exhibits are
private documents. In this case, respondent admits
that King was none of the aforementioned persons. She
merely made the summary of the weight of steel billets
based on the unauthenticated bill of lading and the
SGS report. Thus, the summary of steel billets actually
received had no proven real basis, and Kings testimony
on this point could not be taken at face value.
With the exception concerning the summary of the
weight of the steel billets imported, respondent
presented no supporting evidence concerning their
authenticity. Consequently, they cannot be utilized to
prove less of the insured cargo and/or the short
delivery of the imported steel billets. In sum, we find
no sufficient competent evidence to prove petitioners


GR No. 84905 Feb. 1, 2000
The property subject of the present controversy is Lot
No. 719 of the Piedad Estate situated in the
Municipality of Caloocan, Rizal, containing an area of
215,264 square meters. It forms part of the land
covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 614 of the
Registry of Deeds of Rizal, in the name of the
Government of the Philippines.
On March 20, 1909, the Director of Lands, as
administrator of the Piedad Estate, executed a contract
in favor of Antonio Cleofas, (predecessor-in-interest of
herein petitioners) known as Sales Certificate No. 923.
Antonio Cleofas took possession of the lot and
occupied the same until his death sometime in 1945.
Antonio's title was burned in a fire sometime in 1933.
Subsequently, when petitioners tried to reconstitute
the lost certificate, they discovered that the lot was
already registered in the name of herein respondent St.
Peter Memorial Park. Hence, they filed on October 31,
1970 a suit against respondents for annulment of
certificate of title and recovery of possession before
then Court of First Instance of Rizal which was
docketed as Civil Case No. Q-15001. In their complaint,
petitioners prayed, among others, that they be
declared the rightful owners of Lot No. 719, that the
title of their predecessor, Antonio Cleofas, be
reconstituted and that all certificates of title over said
lot issued in the names of the respondents be declared
null and void.
alleging inter alia: that while Lot No. 719 was originally
sold to Antonio Cleofas by the government, Cleofas
subsequently assigned his rights to a certain Aniceto
Martin and Trino Narciso, in whose favor Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 21893 was issued on June 17,
1932; that Martin and Narciso in turn conveyed the
property to Nazario Roque on May 11, 1937 resulting in
the issuance of TCT No. 32258; and that Nazarios
transfer certificate of title was cancelled and the
property was passed on to his heirs, Carmen and
Basilisa Roque from whom respondent St. Peter
Memorial Park purchased the lot.
The trial court rendered a decision in favor of the
petitioners declaring them as the rightful owners of lot
719. Respondents Memorial Park and Banco Filipino
filed a joint motion for new trial on the ground of newly
discovered evidence consisting of documents to show
that the title issued to Antonio Cleofas refers to lot 640
and not lot 719 of the Piedad Estate. Said motion was
denied by the court. Thereafter, filed with the SC a
petition for certiorari and prohibition to set aside the
trial courts order denying their motion. The Court
granted the petition and remanded the case to the CFI
for new trial.
At the new trial, respondents introduced new evidence
to show that Antonio Cleofas is the awardee of Lot 640
of the Piedad Estate as evidenced by Deed No. 18562
dated August 10, 1929, as well as TCT No. 15694
covering the same lot. It is their theory that Sheet 15
of Original Certificate of Title No. 614 which is the basis

of petitioners' title over the subject lot, referred to Lot

No. 640 and not to Lot 719. The CFI rendered a
decision in favor of the petitioners. The trial court
found the Deed of Assignment in favor of Martin and
Narciso, predecessors of herein respondent St. Peter
Memorial Park, spurious. The trial court dwelled on the
fact that the Assignment of Certificate of Sale No.
923[6] executed by Antonio Cleofas in favor of Martin
and Narciso, Deed No. 25874[7] executed by the
Director of Lands in favor or Martin and Narciso
conveying lot 719 to the latter and the deed of sale
executed by Martin and Narciso in favor of Nazario
Roque were all in the possession of respondent St.
Peters and not with the proper custodians or
repositories thereof and that the alleged assignment
bears only a thumbmark of Antonio Cleofas although
there is proof of his competence to sign the same. The
respondents elevated again the case to the SC which
affirmed the trial courts decision.
Again, respondents St. Peter Memorial Park and Banco
Filipino moved to reconsider the aforesaid decision. In
their prayer for another new trial, respondents have
manifested that in view of the adverse finding as to the
genuineness of the deed of assignment, they continued
their search for evidence to bolster their contention
that the deed of assignment of Sale Certificate No. 923
was a genuine document properly filed in a
government office and confirmed by entries in the
records of the same. The Court set aside its decision of
July 30, 1979 and remanded the case to the trial court
of Quezon City for new trial.
In the second new trial, respondents presented
photocopies of OCT No. 543 of the Tala Estate which
contain an entry of the sale by Antonio Cleofas in favor
of Narciso and Martin covering lot no. 719 of the Piedad
Estate and the Notarial Register of Notary Public Jose
Ma. Delgado, showing entries of the deed of sale
executed by the Director of Lands in favor of Trino
Narciso and Aniceto Martin over lot 719. On the basis
of the new evidence presented by respondents, the
trial court on November 20, 1985 rendered judgment
dismissing petitioners' complaint. The trial court opined
that the deed of assignment was not found in the
possession of the person in which it would naturally be
found because the deed of conveyance was
misrecorded in a memorandum sheet of OCT No. 543
of the Tala Estate.
Petitioners appealed to the CA but were denied. The
Court of Appeals anchored its ruling on the doctrine
that a title which emanated from a spurious source
may be the root of a valid title. Petitioners now
challenge the court's decision before this Court arguing
that the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion
when it disregarded pertinent and material facts of the
case and went beyond the issues raised. They assert
that the doctrine relied upon by the Court of Appeals is
not applicable to the case at bar because in the three
trials held, the only point raised is the spurious
character of the alleged deed of assignment.
WON the deed of assignment executed by Antonio
Cleofas in favor of Narciso and Trino is authentic
despite Memorials possession of it.

Respondent St. Peter Memorial's possession of the
documents is reasonable considering that it is the
vendee of the subject lot. In other words, it is
reasonably expected that respondent, as successor-ininterest of the assignees Trino and Narciso, and the
purchaser of the subject lot, be found in the possession
of the documents. The custody to be shown for the
purpose of making a document evidence without proof
of execution is not necessarily that of the person
strictly entitled to the possession of the said document.
It is enough that if the person in whose custody the
document is found is so connected with the document
that he may reasonably be supposed to be in
possession of it without fraud.[16] Thus, documents are
said to be in proper custody where they are in the
place in which, and under the care of the person with
whom, they would naturally be, as, for instance, where
they are found among the family papers of the persons
entitled thereto, or where they are found in the hands
of an agent of the parties beneficially interested.
GR No. 127745 April 22, 2003

the administratrix denied that the checks-exhibits were

issued by the deceased and that the return slips were
issued by the depository/clearing bank. After the
claimants rested their case, the administratrix filed
four separate manifestations informing the trial court
that she was dispensing with the presentation of
evidence against their claims.


The administratrix counters the allegations of the

petitioners stating that the due execution and
authenticity of the checks-exhibits of the Montinolas
were not duly proven since Jade did not categorically
state that she saw the filling up and signing of the
checks by the deceased, hence, her testimony is selfserving.

Petitioner-appellant Felicito G. Sanson (Sanson), in his

capacity as creditor, filed before the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Iloilo City a petition for the settlement of
the estate of Juan Bon Fing Sy (the deceased) who died
on January 10, 1990. Sanson claimed that the
deceased was indebted to him in the amount
of P603,000.00 and to his sister Celedonia SansonSaquin (Celedonia) in the amount of P360,000.00.
Petitioners-appellants Eduardo Montinola, Jr. and his
mother Angeles Montinola (Angeles) later filed
separate claims against the estate, alleging that the
deceased owed them P50,000.00 and P150,000.00,
By Order of February 12, 1991, the RTC appointed
Melecia T. Sy, surviving spouse of the deceased, as
administratrix of his estate.
During the hearing of the claims against the estate,
Sanson, Celedonia, and Jade Montinola, wife of
claimant Eduardo Montinola, Jr., testified on the
transactions that gave rise thereto, over the objection
of the administratrix who invoked Section 23, Rule 130
of the Revised Rules of Court otherwise known as the
Dead Mans Statute.
The administratrix, denying having any knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of
the claims, nevertheless alleged that if they ever
existed, they had been paid and extinguished, are
usurious and illegal and are, in any event, barred by
prescription. And she objected to the admission of the
checks and check return slips-exhibits offered in
evidence by the claimants upon the ground that the
witnesses who testified thereon are disqualified under
the Dead Mans Statute. Specifically with respect to the
checks-exhibits identified by Jade, the administratrix
asserted that they are inadmissible because Jade is the
daughter-in-law of claimant Angeles and wife of
claimant Eduardo Montinola, Jr., hence, she is covered
by the above-said rule on disqualification. At all events,

The trial court rendered a decision in favor of the

petitioners finding that the Dead Mans Statute does
not apply in the case. The respondent appealed the
case to the CA which set aside the order of the trial
court and dismissed the claims of the petitioners.
Hence, the present petition.
WON the handwriting of the deceased in the checks
presented as evidence by the petitioners has been
adequately proved. (one of the issues in this case)

While the foregoing testimonies of the Sanson siblings

have not faithfully discharged the quantum of proof
under Section 22, Rule 132 of the Revised Rules on
Evidence which reads:
Section 22. How genuineness of handwriting proved.
The handwriting of a person may be proved by any
witness who believes it to be the handwriting of such
person because he has seen the person write, or has
seen writing purporting to be his upon which the
witness has acted or been charged and has thus
acquired knowledge of the handwriting of such person.
x x x,
not only did the administratrix fail to controvert the
same; from a comparison with the naked eye of the
deceaseds signature appearing on each of the checksexhibits of the Montinolas with that of the checksexhibits of the Sanson siblings all of which checks
were drawn from the same account, they appear to
have been affixed by one and the same hand.
In fine, as the claimants-herein petitioners have, by
their evidence, substantiated their claims against the
estate of the deceased, the burden of evidence had
shifted to the administratrix who, however, expressly
opted not to discharge the same when she manifested
that she was dispensing with the presentation of
evidence against the claims.

AM No. CA-02-14-P

July 31, 2002

Complainant Leonora Mariano filed an administrative
case with the CA charging respondent Susan Roxas,
Clerk III, with forgery and dishonesty.
In the Report and Recommendation of the Assistant
Clerk of Court in the investigation she conducted, it
was shown that complainant Mariano sold to
respondent Roxas a total of P55,700 worth of jewelries,
payable on installment. After several payments by
Roxas, an unpaid balance was left. To pay the balance,
Roxas executed a written authority to the Court Cashier
for Mariano to get her benefits. Pursuant thereto,
Mariano received from the Court Cashier partial
payments. However, Roxas subsequently revoked the
said authority on the ground that she overpaid
Mariano. The amounts she claimed as overpayments
referred to alleged payments made by her in 3
installments which are evidenced by receipts
purportedly signed by Mariano. Mariano denied that
she received the alleged payments and that she signed
and issued those receipts since those signatures are
forgeries. She also claimed that she never issues
typewritten receipts as the one Mrs. Roxas presented
evidencing her alleged payment on January 25, 2001
and on February 15, 2001.This fact was corroborated
by her witness, Lorna Caraga, a friend and former
officemate who affirmed that the signature on the
aforementioned receipts are not Mrs. Marianos whose
signature she is familiar with and whom she knows as
one who does not issue typewritten receipts. Moreover,
an examination of the receipts which Mrs. Mariano
claims to be forged (Exhs. C-3 and 3-C, C-4 and 3-d)
show to the naked eye that there are differences from
her genuine signatures, thus supporting Mrs. Marianos
and Mrs. Caragas statements that those signatures are
forged and not those of Mrs. Mariano. Hence, Mrs.
Mariano has established by sufficient evidence that
Mrs. Roxas still has an unpaid balance of P12,110.00
(Exh. F-1) and that the two receipts she presented
whose signatures Mrs. Mariano disowns and the other
unsigned receipt are not accurate records of the
transactions between them and do not prove that Mrs.
Roxas had overpaid complainant.
Thus, the Assistant Clerk of Court recommended that
Roxas be found guilty of misconduct and be ordered to
pay the balance of her debt to Mariano. The CA
affirmed the said recommendation. Respondent Roxas
filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied. In a
letter, the CA transmitted to the SC the records of the
WON the testimony of Caraga is admissible.
The receipts she presented to prove that she overpaid
complainant P6,425.00 were forged. As found by the
CA, there are marked differences between the
signatures in the receipts and complainants specimen

signature which are easily discernible by the naked

eye. That the receipts are not genuine was confirmed
by Lorna Caraga. She testified that she is familiar with
the signature of complainant who was her officemate
for a period of 5 years in the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Branch 130, Caloocan City. In many occasions,
complainant signed documents in her presence. Her
opinion as to complainants genuine signature is
admissible in evidence pursuant to Section 50, Rule
130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence which provides:
Sec. 50. Opinion of ordinary witnesses. The opinion of a
witness for which proper basis is given, may be
received in evidence regarding
(b) A handwriting with which he has sufficient
familiarity; and
Corollarily, Section 22, Rule 132 of the same Rules
provides that:
Sec. 22. How genuineness of handwriting proved.
The handwriting of a personmay be proved by any
witness who believes it to be the handwriting of such
person because he has seen the person write,
or has seen writing purportingto be his upon which
the witness has acted or been charged, and has thus
acquired knowledge of the handwriting of such
person. Evidence respecting the handwriting may
also be given by a comparison, made by the
witness or the court, with writings admitted or
treated as genuine by the party against whom the
evidence is offered, or proved to be genuine to the
satisfaction of the judge.

GR No. 109370 July 11, 1995
Private respondent was issued Original Certificate of
Title No. P-4123 by the Land Registration Commission
by virtue of the approval of his free patent application
over a parcel of land. Subsequently, he filed an action
for forcible entry to evict petitioner Rogelio Parma from
the said parcel of land. The Municipal Trial Court found
petitioner to have possessed the land long before the
issuance of private respondents title and dismissed
the case for lack of jurisdiction. The court was of the
view that the issue was not of possession but of
ownership, hence, cognizable only by the RTC.
The RTC sustained the judgment not on lack of
jurisdiction of the inferior court but on the ground that
private respondent failed to prove his case. On appeal,
the CA reversed the decision of the Regional Trial
Court. Hence, this petition.
Private respondent presented as proof of ownership his
original certificate of title and the affidavits of some of
his tenants and the barangay captain attesting to the
claim of forcible entry.
Petitioner claimed prior possession of the litigated
portion and presented the following exhibits: a) the
letter-complainant dated September 22, 1986 sent to
the Bureau of Lands prior to the issuance of private
respondents title b) the Notice/Letter dated November
7, 1986 sent by the District Land Officer of Calapan,
Oriental Mindoro, directing both petitioner and private
respondent to appear before him regarding the land in
dispute; c) the complainant/protest addressed to the
Bureau of Lands dated July 8, 1987; and d) the
affidavits of two neighbors of petitioners who attested
to his possession for about ten years of some three
hectares of land, including the litigated portion.

The Court of Appeals held that the letter-complainant is

self-serving, . . . a machine copy, unclear as to its
proper receipt in the Bureau of Lands and unconfirmed
by the said office or any representative thereof, and
apparently, disregarded when the Office subsequently
approved petitioners (Private respondents) free
patent application. . . . The said evidence cannot be
considered as indicative of prior possession of the
portion litigated."
WON the letter-complaint has any probative value.
The alleged letter-complainant dated September 22,
1986, has no probative value. It was never certified by
the Bureau of Lands. Under Section 25, Rule 132 of the
Revised Rules on Evidence.
"Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested
for purpose of evidence, the attestation must state, in
substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the
original, or a specific part thereof, as the case may be.
The attestation must be under the official seal of the
attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of
a court having a seal, under the seal of such court."
Inspite of the fact that a subpoena duces tecum had
been issued ordering the Bureau of Lands to produce
the original of the letter-complaint, no representative
from said office appeared to testify as to the existence
According to petitioner, it was private respondents
counsel who volunteered to make the verification as to
the authenticity of the letter complaint. This assertion
is bereft of merit. It was petitioners duty to
authenticate the said handwritten letter-complaint
because it was his main evidence to prove prior
physical possession.