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Margery Roana F.


US vs. Que Ping

August 25, 1919 | Malcolm, J. | Official Records

Que Ping was convicted of homicide. Presented for courts perusal are the following:
Exhibit A: certificate by the municipal secretary of San Pablo, Laguna from "Registry of
Births, Marriages and Deaths," containing an inscription that the Que Ping, 41 years of age,
had died of gastritis
Exhibit B: copy certificate of death, given by the president of the municipal board of health
of San Pablo

WON the documents presented are admissible
WON the documents have probative value

The two exhibits being in the nature of entries in public records, made in the performance of
their duty by public officers of the Philippine Islands, are prima facie evidence of the FACTS
therein stated.
Evidence of no probative value. Exhibit A was signed by the municipal secretary, but he
admitted that he did not see the body of the deeased. He ISSUEd the certificate of death at
the instance of a Chinaman named Que Siong, who was unknown to him personally, and that
he did so upon the presentation of the cedula of Que Ping, but without seeing the corpse of
the alleged deceased.
As to Exhibit B, the persons who prepared the certificate of death were the president of the
municipal board of health and a sanitary inspector, but who, likewise, admitted that it was
done without seeing the corpse of the deceased.
In addition, there is certain hearsay evidence of little or no value. In direct opposition of this
evidence is that of the porter of the cemetery who swore that on April 8, 1917, the alleged
date of the burial of Que Ping, there was no burial in the cemetery. It is also noteworthy that
the Chinaman Que Siong who secured the burial certificate was not introduced as a witness.

People v Cabuang

TOPIC: Effect of delay in reporting on the credibility of a witness

Accused Modesto Cabuang and Nardo Matabang robbed, raped and killed Maria.
Evelyn, Marias cousin, positively identified the accused as the perpetrator of the crime as
she was just able to escape when the accused pursued them.The accused are personally
known to Evelyn because they are just living in the same barangay.The accused were found
guilty as charged.
On appeal, the accused contended that the trial court erred in finding that Evelyn had
positively identified them as the assailants of Maria. They point to the entry in the police
blotter which stated that the assailants were "still unidentified" although the entry was made
after prosecution witness Evelyn de Vera was questioned by the police.
Accused accordingly argue that Evelyn had never identified the accused as the assailants of
WON the failure of Evelyn to identify the accused the first time she was questioned by the
police affects her credibility.
NO. The failure of Evelyn to specify the accused-appellants as the doers of the horrific rape,
killing and robbery of Maria Victoria the first time she was questioned by the police, does not
adversely affect her credibility.
It is firmly settled case law that the delay of a witness in revealing to the police authority
what he or she may know about a crime does not, by itself, render the witness' testimony
unworthy of belief.
The few hours delay which lapsed from the time the entry in the police blotter was made, up
to the time Evelyn gave her sworn statement on the afternoon of the same day, did not have
the effect of eroding the intrinsic credibility and strength of that statement.
It may be noted that significantly longer delays in informing investigating officers of what
witnesses had seen, have been HELD understandable by this Court and as not, in
themselves, destructive of the otherwise credible character of such testimony, especially
where the witnesses' fear of possible retaliation from the accused could not be dismissed as
merely fanciful.


G.R. No. L-22793, May 16, 1967 (20 SCRA 54 (1967))


At first, petitioners, thru their mother as guardian ad litem, sued respondent Tan for
acknowledgment and support. The first civil case was dismissed on the ground that parties
have already come to an amicable settlement. Another complaint for support was filed by
the petitioners, this time thru their maternal grandfather as guardian ad litem, before the
Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court for acknowledgment and support, involving the same
parties, cause of action and subject matter. The case was again dismissed by reason of res
judicata and insufficiency of evidence.
On appeal, petitioners contend that the testimony of their witnesses, who were unable to
testify in the 2nd trial must be admissible, applying Rule 130 Sec 41.Notably, the witnesses
were subpoenaed by the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court a number of times. But, they
did not appear to testify. These witnesses were neither dead nor outside of the Philippines.

Whether or not the witnesses' testimonies are admissible

The Court ruled in the negative. They cannot be categorized as witnesses of the class
unable to testify. The witnesses in question were available. Only, they refused to testify. No
other person that prevented them from testifying is cited. Certainly, they do not come within
the legal purview of those unable to testify.
To emphasize, subsequent failure or refusal to appear thereat [second trial] or hostility since
testifying at the first trial does not amount to inability to testify. To be qualified, such inability
should proceed from a grave cause, almost amounting to death, as when the witness is old
and has lost the power of speech.

Ohio v Roberts
Citation. 448 U.S. 56, 100 S. Ct. 2531, 65 L. Ed. 2d 597, 1980 U.S.
Brief Fact Summary. Defendant, Herschel Roberts, was charged with forgery for writing
checks in the name of Bernard Isaacs. Defendant was able to question Isaacs daughter,
Anita Isaacs, at a preliminary hearing, but she failed to appear for the trial. Therefore the
state introduced the record of the preliminary hearing as evidence.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Testimony from a preliminary hearing is admissible if the declarant
can not be produced for the trial, but the prior testimony should have factors, such as a prior
opportunity for questioning by a defendants counsel and being under oath, to indicate the
testimony is reliable and trustworthy.
FACTS. Defendant stayed at Anita Isaacs apartment for a few days. During his stay,
Defendant used checks and credit cards under Bernard Isaacss name. At a preliminary
hearing, Anita was called by Defendants counsel and asked at length about granting
permission to Defendant. She denied granting permission. During the trial, Anita was not
available despite an extensive search by the prosecution and her family. Therefore, the
prosecution submitted her preliminary hearing testimony as evidence. Defendant objected
but the trial judge allowed the evidence. Defendant was convicted, but the appellate court
and The Supreme Court of Ohio sided with Defendant in not allowing the evidence.

Whether the preliminary hearing testimony by an unavailable witness is admissible.

HELD. The admission of the preliminary hearing testimony does not violate Defendants
rights under the Confrontation Clause of the United States Constitution. The witness was
unavailable, but the prosecution made a good-faith effort in trying to locate her. There were
also several factors that demonstrated the reliability of her testimony such as Defendants
counsel asked her leading questions at length during the preliminary hearing.


45 OG 5536 (1949)

TOPIC: Expert witness

Dilag & Co. owned a 1938 international truck, entrusted to CorSec Dilag for the business. In
1944, the height of the occupation, it was stolen in Laguna. After liberation, Dilag saw the
truck in San Pablo in 1945 and had it seized. Though he filed a complaint for theft filed
against Merced, Ben, Pua and Zandueta, it was dismissed. The company thus filed this civil
action for recovery and damages. Merced retained possession due to a counterbond.
Merced claims he bought it from Ben. Ben and Pua claim to have it bought from Zandueta.
Zandueta was in default. The CFI ruled Dilag as the owner and absolved Ben and Pua from
damages. Merced appeals.
Merced relies in the certified copy of the registration certificate for the truck. Dilag proved
that it was tampered and only the last three digits are different. He also pointed out
distinguishing features. He was corroborated by his mechanic who described the repairs.
Dilag filed a case against Merced for the theft of his truck. Merced claimed that he
purchased the truck in good faith and relied on his certified copy of the certificate of
registration. Merced impugns the testimony of Aguila as a witness to testify on the alleged
tampering of the motor number, on the ground that he is not qualified as expert on motor
Whether or not Aguilar of the Bureau of Public Works who testified on the alteration is
qualified as an expert witness.
The certification of registration is not conclusive in view of the tampering. Aguilar has been
with the Bureau since 1930 as inspector in charge. There is not precise requirement as to
the mode in which skill or experience is acquired. A witness can be an expert even without
scientific study and training. No special study is needed. Scientific study and training are
not always essential to the competency of a witness as an expert. A witness may be
competent to testify as an expert although his knowledge was acquired through the medium
of practical experience rather than scientific study and research.

THE UNITED STATES, complainant-appellee, vs. VALENTIN TRONO, ET AL., defendants-


From the evidence introduced at the trial it appears that the deceased were arrested in their
respective houses by the defendants; that Valentin Trono was a subinspector of the
municipal police of the town of Hagonoy; that he was accompanied by two municipal
policemen; that the deceased and his companions were suspected of the theft of a revolver
belonging to one Maximo Angeles; that when Benito Perez was arrested he was in good
health,; that he and his companions Guevarra and Bautista, were taken by their captors to a
placed called Sapang-Angelo and there beaten and maltreated, and that while they were
undergoing this ill treatment Benito was heard to beg;
The defense denies that they illtreated the said Benito. Nevertheless the proof for the
prosecution upon this point is conclusive.
Felipe Bautista and Policarpo Guevara, who were with Benito Perez at the time of his arrest,
testify that they heard blows inflicted on Benito and his groans and his supplications to
Maximo to pardon him. The testimony of these witnesses has been corroborated by that of
Pedro Santos, who was sent, together with one Esperidion, by Benito's mother to follow the
latter and observe what was being done to him. The physician, Icasiano, who examined
Benito by order of the justice, called upon him twice on the same night with an interval of
two hours only, which shows that he had fully realized the serious condition of his patient.
Whether the testimony of the physician alone can show that the defendant is not guilty of
the crime charged.
No. Expert testimony no doubt constitutes evidence worthy of meriting consideration,
although not exclusive, on questions of a professional character. The courts of justice,
however, are not bound to submit their findings necessarily to such testimony; they are free
to weight them, and they can give or refuse to give them any value as proof, or they can
even counterbalance such evidence with the other elements of conviction which may have
been adduced during the trial. In the present case there are to be found sufficient data
which show in a conclusive manner the seriousness of the wounds inflicted upon the
deceased, which from the very first moment prevented him from keeping on his feet, and
caused him continuous and sharp pains in the abdomen and retention of the urine
symptoms which constantly showed themselves until death came which in the absence of
satisfactory proof to the contrary may be attributed to these causes, which undoubtedly
were sufficient in themselves to bring about the death of the deceased.


Evidence - Polygraph Test / Credibility of the Witness / Alibi


Adoviso was found guilty of Murder. On appeal, Adoviso hinges his bid of exoneration on
whether he was properly identified by the two (2) eyewitnesses as one of the killers of the
victims. He contends that eyewitnesses presented an incredible story because it is highly
improbable that they could have distinctly and positively recognized accused-appellant as
one of the perpetrators of the crimes. The witness was in the dark portion of the yard hiding
behind a coconut tree and could not have identified appellant by the light emanating from
gas lamp inside the camalig.
Furthermore, appellant argues that the trial court rendered the judgment of conviction on
the basis of mere conjectures and speculations. The negative result of the polygraph test
should be given weight to tilt the scales of justice in his favor.

Whether appellants contentions are correct.

Visibility is indeed a vital factor in the determination of whether or not an eyewitness could
have identified the perpetrator of a crime. However, it is settled that when conditions of
visibility are favorable, and the witnesses do not appear to be biased, their assertion as to
the identity of the malefactor should normally be accepted. Illumination produced by
kerosene lamp or a flashlight is sufficient to allow identification of persons. Wicklamps,
flashlights, even moonlight or starlight may, in proper situations be considered sufficient
illumination, making the attack on the credibility of witnesses solely on that ground

It is the natural reaction of relatives of victims to strive to observe the faces and appearance
of the assailants, if not ascertain their identities, and the manner in which the crime is
committed.The bamboo slats of the camalig could not have effectively obstructed the
eyewitnesses view of appellant, considering that the slats were built four (4) meters apart.
Besides, it is the natural reaction of relatives of victims to strive to observe the faces and
appearance of the assailants, if not ascertain their identities, and the manner in which the
crime is committed. A relative will naturally be interested in identifying the malefactor to
secure his conviction to obtain justice for the death of his relative(s). It must be remembered
that appellant was not a complete stranger to the eyewitnesses. Bonifacio had known him
for ten (10) years while Elmer had been acquainted with him for four (4) years. Elmer
recalled that appellant used to join the rabuz at the barracks. Familiarity with appellants
face and appearance minimized if not erased the possibility that they could have been
mistaken as to his identity.

For an alibi to prosper, there must be proof that the defendant was not only somewhere else
when the crime was committed but that he could not be physically present at the place of
the crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission.

Estrada vs. Desierto

Estrada vs Desierto G.R. No. 146710-15; Estrada vs Arroyo G.R. No. 146738, March 2 2001

It began in October 2000 when allegations of wrong doings involving bribe-taking, illegal
gambling, and other forms of corruption were made against Estrada before the Senate Blue
Ribbon Committee. On November 13, 2000, Estrada was impeached by the Hor and, on
December 7, impeachment proceedings were begun in the Senate during which more
serious allegations of graft and corruption against Estrada were made and were only
stopped on January 16, 2001 when 11 senators, sympathetic to the President, succeeded in
suppressing damaging evidence against Estrada. As a result, the impeachment trial was
thrown into an uproar as the entire prosecution panel walked out and Senate President
Pimentel resigned after casting his vote against Estrada.

On January 19, PNP and the AFP also withdrew their support for Estrada and joined the crowd
at EDSA Shrine. Estrada called for a snap presidential election to be HELD concurrently with
congressional and local elections on May 14, 2001. He added that he will not run in this
election. On January 20, SC declared that the seat of presidency was vacant, saying that
Estrada constructively resigned his post. At noon, Arroyo took her oath of office in the
presence of the crowd at EDSA as the 14th President. Estrada and his family later left
Malacaang Palace. Erap, after his fall, filed petition for prohibition with prayer for WPI. It
sought to enjoin the respondent Ombudsman from conducting any further proceedings in
cases filed against him not until his term as president ends. He also prayed for judgment
confirming Estrada to be the lawful and incumbent President of the Republic of the
Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office.

1. WoN the petition presents a justiciable controversy.
2. WoN Estrada resigned as President.
3. WoN Arroyo is only an acting President.
4. WoN the President enjoys immunity from suit.
5. WoN the prosecution of Estrada should be enjoined due to prejudicial publicity.


1. Political questions- "to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided
by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority
has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It is concerned
with ISSUEs dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular measure."
Legal distinction between EDSA People Power I EDSA People Power II:
exercise of the people power of revolution which overthrew the whole government.
exercise of people power of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to petition the
government for redress of grievances which only affected the office of the President.
extra constitutional and the legitimacy of the new government that resulted from it cannot
be the subject of judicial review

intra constitutional and the resignation of the sitting President that it caused and the
succession of the Vice President as President are subject to judicial review.
presented a political question;
involves legal questions.
The cases at bar pose legal and not political questions. The principal ISSUEs for resolution
require the proper interpretation of certain provisions in the 1987 Constitution: Sec 1 of Art
II, and Sec 8 of Art VII, and the allocation of governmental powers under Sec 11 of Art VII.
The ISSUEs likewise call for a HELD on the scope of presidential immunity from suit. They
also involve the correct calibration of the right of petitioner against prejudicial publicity.

2. Elements of valid resignation: (a)an intent to resign and (b) acts of relinquishment. Both
were present when President Estrada left the Palace.
Totality of prior contemporaneous posterior FACTS and circumstantial evidence bearing
material relevant ISSUEsPresident Estrada is deemed to have resigned constructive
SC declared that the resignation of President Estrada could not be doubted as confirmed by
his leaving Malacaan Palace. In the press release containing his final statement:
1. He acknowledged the oath-taking of the respondent as President;
2. He emphasized he was leaving the Palace for the sake of peace and in order to begin the
healing process (he did not say that he was leaving due to any kind of disability and that he
was going to reassume the Presidency as soon as the disability disappears);
3. He expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them as President
(without doubt referring to the past opportunity);
4. He assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come in the same
service of the country;
5. He called on his supporters to join him in promotion of a constructive national spirit of
reconciliation and solidarity.
Intent to resignmust be accompanied by act of relinquishmentact or omission before,
during and after January 20, 2001.

3. The Congress passed House Resolution No. 176 expressly stating its support to Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo as President of the Republic of the Philippines and subsequently passed
H.R. 178 confirms the nomination of Teofisto T. Guingona Jr. As Vice President. Senate passed
HR No. 83 declaring the Impeachment Courts as Functius Officio and has been terminated.
It is clear is that both houses of Congress recognized Arroyo as the President. Implicitly clear
in that recognition is the premise that the inability of Estrada is no longer temporary as the
Congress has clearly rejected his claim of inability.
The Court therefore cannot exercise its judicial power for this is political in nature and
addressed solely to Congress by constitutional fiat. In fine, even if Estrada can prove that he
did not resign, still, he cannot successfully claim that he is a President on leave on the
ground that he is merely unable to govern temporarily. That claim has been laid to rest by
Congress and the decision that Arroyo is the de jure, president made by a co-equal branch of
government cannot be reviewed by this Court.

4. The cases filed against Estrada are criminal in character. They involve plunder, bribery
and graft and corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes, especially
plunder which carries the death penalty, be covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of a
non-sitting president. He cannot cite any decision of this Court licensing the President to
commit criminal acts and wrapping him with post-tenure immunity from liability. The rule is
that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally
is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any trespasser.

5. No. Case law will tell us that a right to a fair trial and the free press are incompatible. Also,
since our justice system does not use the jury system, the judge, who is a learned and
legally enlightened individual, cannot be easily manipulated by mere publicity. The Court
also said that Estrada did not present enough evidence to show that the publicity given the
trial has influenced the judge so as to render the judge unable to perform. Finally, the Court
said that the cases against Estrada were still undergoing preliminary investigation, so the
publicity of the case would really have no permanent effect on the judge and that the
prosecutor should be more concerned with justice and less with prosecution.

UNITED STATES of America v. Richard RIDLING

350 F. Supp. 90 (1972)

TOPIC: Admissibility of Polygraphs

This is a perjury case.
Ridling is alleged to have made statements under oath before a Grand Jury which he knew
were false.
As a part of his defense, he has indicated his intention to offer testimony of one or more
polygraph experts who, he asserts will testify that, as a result of their tests, it is their opinion
that he is telling the truth when he makes the statements that are alleged to be the basis for
this indictment.
WON polygraphs is admissible in evidence.

In view of the weight of judicial precedent militating against the decision, Judge Joiner HELD
such evidence admissible subject to the satisfaction of a number of stringent conditions: (1)
the defendant must submit to a polygraph examination conducted by a examiner chosen
from a list of mutually accepted names submitted by the parties; (2) test results must be
reported to the court and to counsel for both parties; (3) the court-appointed examiner will
be permitted to testify upon a determination that the defendant is testable and that the test
results reveal whether the defendant is lying or telling the truth; and (4) conversely, if the
court-appointed examiner is unable to ascertain whether or not the defendant is telling the
truth, none of the poly-graph evidence is admissible.
The court ruled Ridling's evidence admissible upon an initial finding that the polygraph was
a reliable instrument for recording the physiological responses of an individual to stress and
that "the scientific psychological basis for the polygraph examination [was] well
established." Judge Joiner considered the historical development of polygraphy into an
organized, well-recognized profession and took note of the widespread use of the poly-graph
by private industry, the armed forces, governmental security organizations, and most law
enforcement agencies. The opinion made a significant observation that cases involving the
ISSUE of perjury were most aptly suited for the use of polygraph evidence: A perjury case is
based on 'willfully' or 'knowingly' giving false evidence. [T]he polygraph examination is
aimed exactly at this aspect of truth. A subject ...may be honestly mistaken as to a fact and,
if he answers according to his honest belief, the operator will interpret the results as being a
truthful answer.


21 N.J. 171, 121 A.2d 373 (1956)



FACTS: This case is about automobile accident Mrs. Ruth had. She was allowed a new trial as
to damages only. Defendant appealed to the Appellate Division, challenging the award of the
new trial or, alternatively, its limitation to damages only, and asserting error at the new trial
in permitting cross-examination of defendant's medical experts, Dr. Solk and Dr. Reilly,
based upon medical treatises which were not relied upon by them in forming their expert

Whether or not statements from medical treaties, books and documents may be thus
admitted on the cross-examination of the witness
The Court ruled in the affirmative. Experts may state what books they relied on in forming
their opinions but may not give the contents unless these are asked for in cross-examination
(in which case "the treatise may be read to show that it does not contain * * * corroboration,
on the principle of discrediting a witness by showing misstatements on a material point," 6
Wigmore, Evidence (3d ed.), sec. 1700, p. 19), and the witness may also be cross-examined
as to whether he admits other books to be recognized and standard authorities, and upon
such admission may be confronted with statements in those books. The statements from
such books and documents may be thus admitted on the cross-examination of the witness
either when the authorities have been cited by him or are admitted by him to be recognized
and standard authorities on the subject. Even then the work itself is not to be admitted in
evidence, but the statements only may be read by the cross-examiner so far as they are
material and have first been brought to the attention of the witness. It is plain then that
what was done in the instant case was within the cover of this principle.
G.R. No. L-8405 February 10, 1915

This is an action upon an open policy of fire insurance of household effects. The property
was insured on January 25, 1912, for P3,000. In 1912, his house caught fire. The day
following the fire, the insured presented an itemized statement of the goods contained in the
house at the time of the fire, the total value of which he claims to be P4,512.
The insurance company interposed a special defense to the effect that the policy had been
forfeited by reason of the fact that the claim presented by the plaintiff was fraudulently false
as the latter claims more than what he should recover.
Upon trial, the plaintiff testified that the statement was prepared from memory immediately
after the fire by himself with the assistance of his brother. The defendant, on the other hand,
introduced three witnesses, who were sent to the scene of the fire shortly after it occurred to
estimate the value of the property contained in the house. From photographs submitted in
evidence it appears that the first floor of the plaintiff's residence was not damaged by the
fire at all, but did suffer damage from water and breakage.
The court below declined to consider as competent the testimony of the plaintiff and his
brother as to the value of the property on the ground that neither was qualified to appraise
the property.
WON the plaintiff is competent to determine the valuation of the destroyed properties.
As to the HELD of the trial court that the plaintiff and his brother were not qualified to
appraise the value of the household effects of the former, we must say that we do not agree
with the learned trial court on the point. There is nothing in the whole list, except the
jewelry, but what may be legitimately described as household effects furniture, clothing,
dishes, kitchen utensils, etc. They are with which all people of ordinary education and
refinement are reasonably familiar. Such articles are on sale in retail shops everywhere and
the prices are readily available to anyone seeking the information. Not only this, but most of
them are articles which persons with a reasonably fair income purchase for their own
convenience and comfort. Hence, information as to their value must necessarily be acquired
by all such individuals. While the knowledge of some persons on the subject may be greater
than that possessed by others, this is true of all other branches of knowledge and equally as
true of experts. For these reasons we cannot subscribe to the proposition that none but
experts can testify as to the values of ordinary household articles.
The plaintiff was intimately acquianted with the articles described by him. He, no doubt, had
purchased most of them. One could hardly expected to be in much better position to
estimate the value of the articles than this. We conclude, therefore, that the preponderance
of the evidence is to the effect that the quantity and quality of the goods contained in the
house at the time of the fire were substantially those described by the plaintiff in his claim of


GR No. 125901 March 8, 2001

Petitioners are husband and wife who has six children including Edgardo Tijing Jr. Petitioner
Bienvenida served as the laundrywoman of respondent Diamante. When Diamante fetched
Bienvenida for an urgent laundry job, the latter left his son Edgardo under the care of the
former like she always does. When Bienvenida returned from the market, she found out that
Diamante and her son Edgardo were gone and that Diamante also moved to another place.
Four years later, she read in a tabloid the death of Diamantes common-law husband and
she lost no time in going to the said place where she allegedly saw his son Edgardo who was
now named as John Thomas Lopez.

Petitioners then filed a petition for habeas corpus in order to recover their son from
Diamante. The trial court concluded that since Diamante and her common-law husband
could not have children, the alleged birth of John Thomas Lopez is an impossibility and
granted the petition for habeas corpus. On appeal, the CA reversed and set aside the
decision rendered by the trial court and HELD that the evidence adduced by Bienvenida was
not sufficient to establish that she was the mother of the minor.

Whether or not the evidence adduced by Bienvenida is sufficient to establish her claim.

The records reveal that the evidence presented by Bienvenida is sufficient to establish that
John Thomas Lopez is actually her missing son Edgardo Tijing Jr. First, there is evidence that
Diamante could no longer bear children; second, there is strong evidence which directly
proves that Thomas Lopez is no longer capable of siring a son; third, it is unusual that the
birth certificate of John Thomas was filed by Thomas instead of the midwife which was done
four months after the alleged birth of the minor; fourth, the strong similarities of the facial
features of Bienvenida and the minor; fifth, Vasquez testified that she assisted Bienvenida
when she gave birth to the minor.

Hence, the subject minor is indeed the son of the petitioners. The writ of habeas corpus is
proper to regain custody of said child.


The lot in controversy is a part of the Santa Clara Estate on which many families have
settled through the consent of its owner. In May, 1941, the Santa Clara Estate was acquired
by the Government under the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 539, section 1.
The evidence tends to show that the plaintiffs acquired by purchase the rights of occupation
of the lot in question on the strength of a document. After the purchase of the Santa Clara
Estate by the plaintiffs were allowed to make payments on account of the purchase price of
the lot. All the amounts so paid were duly receipted. The plaintiffs sent a check but it was
not accepted. Thereafter the plaintiffs found out that the lot, the right of occupancy of which
they had purchased from Vicenta San Jose, had been subdivided into two smaller lots, Nos.
44 and 78, Block 12. Lot No. 44 had been sold to Herminio Guzman. The plaintiffs then filed
a complaint and, as a result, the investigator, Atty. Vizconde, recommended that the lot
vacated by San Jose be restored to them. Pornellosa, one of the plaintiffs, was given lot No.
78 and she would not agree. She tried to convince us that lot No. 44 was given to a wrong
party, Herminio Guzman, who was not a bona fide occupant thereof. Guzman might not have
been a bona fide occupant, but the law does not bar him from acquiring the lot, at least, as
against the plaintiffs who have not satisfactorily established their right thereto.
Whether the judgment in the case be in favour of the plaintiff because of the weakness of
the proof of the defendant over his title of ownership on the property.
No. A party claiming a right granted or created by law must prove his claim by competent
evidence. A plaintiff is duty bound to prove his allegations in the complaint. He must rely on
the strength of his evidence and not on the weakness of that of his opponent. Moreover, the
deed of sale (Exhibit A), allegedly executed by Vicenta San Jose in favor of Pornellosa is a
mere private document and does not conclusively establish their right to the parcel of land.
While it is valid and binding upon the parties with respect to the sale of the house erected
thereon, yet it is not sufficient to convey title or any right to the residential lot in litigation.
Acts and contracts which have for their object the creation, transmission, modification or
extinguishment of real rights over immovable property must appear in a public document.

IFC VS. TOBIAS, 78 SCRA 28 (1977)

Negative Allegation

Tobias bought on installment one a Dodge truck from Leelin Motors, Inc. To answer for his
obligation he executed a promissory note in favor of the latter and a chattel mortgage on
the Dodge truck. Leelin Motors, Inc. indorsed the promissory note and assigned the chattel
mortgage to petitioner Industrial Finance Corporation (IFC).
When Tobias defaulted in payment, IFC through a letter gave Tobias a choice of either paying
the balance of the purchase price or surrender the truck. Tobias responded to the letter
voluntarily and willingly surrendering the truck which was still in the custody of Leelin Motors
ever since the truck met an accident.
Upon learning that the truck met an accident, IFC decided not to get the truck anymore from
Leelin Motors. Instead, IFC filed an action against Tobias to recover the unpaid balance of the
promissory note.
The lower court dismissed the complaint on the ground that the defendant voluntarily and
willingly surrendered the truck and gave the Industrial Finance Corporation full authority to
get said truck from Leelin Motors, Inc. (Exhibit 2) pursuant to the demand to surrender
(Exhibit B) the defendant complied with the demands of the plaintiff.

The CA affirmed the decision.

Whether the CA erred in affirming the decision dismissing the complaint.

Yes. The judgment of the CA and the lower court are set aside and ordered Tobias to pay the
balance of the purchase price of the truck plus legal interest.
Foreclosure; Mere demand to surrender possession of object of mortgage does not constitute
foreclosure.Foreclosure, judicial or extrajudicial, presupposes something more than a mere
demand to surrender possession of the object of the mortgage.

To hold the petitioner in estoppel, it must be shown that when it gave the respondent the
choice of either paying the balance of the purchase price or of surrendering the truck, it had
already knowledge of the accident and the consequent damage to the truck. The petitioner
claims it had no knowledge of the accident when it gave the respondent the choice of either
paying the balance of the promissory note or of surrendering the truck. It is hard to believe
that petitioner would make such offer to respondent either to pay the balance on the
promissory note or to surrender the truck in question if it knew that the truck has had an
accident. The more plausible thing it would have asked the respondent is to ask for the
balance on the promissory note.

The allegation of petitioner that it had no knowledge of the accident is a negative allegation
and needs no evidence to support it, not being an essential part of the statement of the
right on which the cause of action is founded.

[G.R. No. 111692. February 9, 1996]

PHILIPPINES, respondents.

Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction for murder. Accused, still professing innocence and
insisting that he is a victim of mistaken identity, petitioner Fuentes seeks reversal of the
decision of the Court of Appeals.
Petitioner contends that the appellate court erred when it HELD that petitioner was
positively and categorically identified as the killer of Malaspina and points to an alleged
inconsistency between the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Alberto Toling and Honorio
Osok to the effect that they saw petitioner stab Malaspina on the right lumbar region, and
the testimony of the attending physician that the victim was stabbed on the left lumbar

ISSUE: whether or not the conviction was proper.

HELD: This discrepancy is inconsequential. What is material is that Malaspina was stabbed to
death and that three (3) prosecution witnesses positively identified petitioner as the knife
wielder. It must be stressed that these witnesses had known petitioner for quite some time
and never had any personal misunderstanding nor altercation with the latter as to create
any suspicion that they were impelled by ill motives to falsely implicate him.
There are three (3) essential requisites for the admissibility of a declaration against interest:
(a) the declarant must not be available to testify; (b) the declaration must concern a fact
cognizable by the declarant; and (c) the circumstances must render it improbable that a
motive to falsify existed.

The admission against penal interest cannot be accepted in the instant case as the declarant
is not unable to testify. No showing that declarant is either dead, mentally incapacitated or
physically incompetent was made which Section 38 of the rules contemplates.

That it was another person who committed the offense is too incredible. No less than
petitioners own witness, Nerio Biscocho who claimed he also saw the killing, testified that
Alejandro Fuentes, Jr., the petitioner, and Jonie Fuentes are one and the same person.

People vs. Verzola

G.R. No. L-35022 December 21, 1977

At about 10pm on September 28, 1969, Bernardo Molina was clubbed to death by accused-
appellant Ricardo Verzola in the presence of appellant Josefina Molina, the wife of Bernardo,
inside the Molina'shouse. The body of the victim was subsequently carried by the two
appellants to the ground and left at the foot of the stairs. Verzola then went home and kept
his bloodstained clothes as well as the piece of wood used in clubbing Bernardo inside his
toilet. Afterwards, he went to the municipal building and reported to the police authorities
that Bernardo died in an accident. However, Josefina revealed that the assailant of her
husband was Verzola. Josefina testified that Verzola went to their house that fateful night,
entered the room where she was sleeping with her husband, woke her up and had carnal
knowledge of her. When Bernardo woke up, Verzola clubbed him on the head. Afterwards,
she heard the sound of the body being dragged downstairs and the voice of Verzola saying
that he was leaving and warned her not to say anything. The version of Verzola was Josefina
was his paramour for about 10 years and that when he went there that night, they did
everything that both of them wanted to do but before that night, Josefina told Verzola that
her husband was planning to kill him probably because he already knew of their affair.
Because of that, he clubbed Bernardo three times at the nape and both he and Josefina
threw him downstairs of their house. Court of First Instance of Abra found them guilty of
Murder. Verzola as the principal and Josefina Molina as an accessory after the fact.
Whether Josefina is an accessory after the fact to the murder of her husband
Although appellant Josefina Molina admitted in her extra-judicial statement that she was
the paramour of her co-appellant for over a year, there is no proof that she had knowledge
of the criminal design of her co-appellant.

Patterson v. New York

432 U.S. 197 (1977)

TOPIC: Burden of Persuasion by the defendant

Patterson was charged with and convicted of the second-degree murder of his estranged
wife, Roberta.
In December of 1970, Patterson borrowed a rifle and went to his father-in-laws house where
he witnessed Roberta through a window half-dressed in the presence of Northrup, a neighbor
to whom she had been engaged prior to her marriage to Patterson. Patterson entered the
house and killed the man by shooting him in the head. At trial, Patterson raised the defense
of extreme emotional disturbance. The jury was instructed on the elements of the crime of
Patterson sought to invalidate the statutory scheme by claiming it violated due process
because it improperly shifted the burden of persuasion from the prosecutor to the
Patterson based his argument on Mullaney v. Wilbur, where the court HELD a Maine statute
in violation of the Due Process Clause.

WON Pattersons due process rights were violated when he was required under state law to
bear the burden of persuasion for his affirmative defense to the crime of murder

No. In New York, the two elements to the crime of second-degree murder are: (1) intent to
cause the death of another person; and (2) causing the death of such person or of a third
person. Malice aforethought is not an element of the crime.
Additionally, the state permits a person to raise an affirmative defense that he acted under
the influence of extreme emotional disturbance.
The defendant bears the burden of persuasion by a preponderance of the evidence. New
York also recognizes the crime of manslaughter.
Under Maines statute in Mullaney, a person accused of murder could rebut the statutory
presumption that he committed the offense with malice aforethought by proving he acted in
the heat of passion on sudden provocation.
New Yorks defense of extreme emotional disturbance is an expanded version of the
common law defense of heat of passion. Under the common law, the burden of proving this
defense and other affirmative defenses rested on the defendant.


G.R. No. 1511, July 26, 1905 (4 Phil. 604 (1905))


FACTS: Pascual brought this action to recover the possession of a certain tract of land
unlawfully occupied by the defendant Angeles, and for the payment of rent due, damages,
and costs. It was alleged that defendant then HELD under a lease a certain tract of land 15
yards square in San Jose de Navotas; that the land formerly belonged to Ciriaca Pascual, his
sister, from whom he inherited it; that the defendant owed him 30 pesos for the use of the
land during the years 1899, 1900, and 1901 under the terms of the lease written in Tagalog
and attached to the complaint; that, demand having been made upon the defendant for
payment of the rent due for the first two years, he asked for and obtained an extension; that
by virtue of this extension the lease was continued in force; that a subsequent demand was
made upon the defendant about the end of the year 1901 for the payment of rent due and
for the possession of the land; that the defendant refused to do either; and that he had since
been in the wrongful possession of the land.
The defendant entered a general denial to the complaint. He denied specifically under oath
the genuineness and due execution of the lease attached to the complaint

Whether or not defendant can validly question the genuineness and due execution of the
written lease.
The Court ruled in the negative. The defendant cannot question the genuineness and due
execution of the written lease. He himself recognized it and it was admitted in evidence
during the trial, the court stating that it established a fact relating to the question at ISSUE.
The presumption, therefore, is that the contract was executed for a good and sufficient
consideration. (Sec. 334, par. 36, of the Code of Civil Procedure.)
As to the identity of the land referred to in the complaint, it may be said that this was fully
established not only by the lease and the evidence introduced at the trial but by defendant's
answer as well. He stated that he had not been in possession of the land in question as
tenant but as owner, and that his possession covered a period of more than thirty years.
This shows that both parties agree that there is but one certain tract of land in dispute.

Ormachea v. Trillama
Ormachea filed a collection claim against Trillana that were engaged in a business together
with Lawa as their managing agents. Trillana executed vales which stated that he owed the
business. The business was dissolved. Trillana claimed that he had already paid the debt
after delivering tuba to Lawa. He presented a document signed by Lawa stating that he had
no more debt to the partnership. The document was dated after the dissolution of the

WON the debt has already been paid.

No. Since the vales existed, and were in the possession of the creditor, it was because the
amounts they called for had not presumed to have been fulfilled when the proofs of its
existence have been returned to the debtor. (Sec. 334, par. 8, Code of Civil Procedure.)
Seeing that the amounts stated in the vales acknowledged by the debtor were advanced to
him in part payment of the price of certain quantities of tuba or liquor of the nipa palm
which he had contracted to deliver at the distillery, and as long as he is able to comply with
these stipulations within a reasonable time, the defendant can not be compelled to pay his
debt in cash. The amounts stated in the vales were advanced under the condition that the
same would be paid or satisfied with the value of the tuba received by the distillery;
therefore, the decision of the court below, which moreover appears to have been acquiesced
in by the appellee for the reason that it was undoubtedly so stipulated, is in accordance with
the law. (Art. 1278, Civil Code.)
In view of the forgoing, and accepting the conclusions contained in the judgment of February
27, 1907, appealed from, it is our opinion that the same should be affirmed, and we hereby
affirm it, with the addition made in the order of May 7 of the same year, with the costs
against the appellant. So ordered.

Doctrine: Where the evidence of indebtedness is in the possession of the creditor, it is

presumed that the debt has not been paid yet.


GR No. L-37284 February 27, 1976

TOPIC: Expert witness

Defendant was charged of the crime of parricide against his husband, Rodolfo Padiernos.
One morning after the defendant has brought their son to school, she inquired about the
deceaseds things and went inside their room where the deceased was lying and reading a
newspaper. Shortly thereafter, the defendant and the deceased came out of the room where
the former shouted for help. When their family driver responded, he saw the accused
holding with her right hand a blood-stained knife and the decease sprawled in a bloody mess
on the floor, groaning and moaning in pain. They brought the decease to the hospital but
was declared dead on arrival due to the injury he sustained.

The defendant admitted that she killed the deceased but claimed that she did it in self
defense. However, the version of the defendant was disbelieved by the trial court. The
defendant maintains and insists that the trial court erred in rejecting her claim of self
defense and in admitting and in giving weight to the testimonies of the prosecution

Whether or not the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses must be given credence.

YES. The prosecution witness Dr. Brion was presented as expert witness and his
competency was admitted by the defendants counsel although he was not the one who
conducted the autopsy examination. Besides, he testified that the autopsy examination of
the body of the deceased was conducted under his direct supervision. Hence, he was
competent to testify on the nature, extent and location of the wounds sustained by the
deceased, and on the basis thereof could, with some degree of certainty, deduce the
possible relative positions of the defendant and the deceased during the stabbing incident.
Hence, the testimony is fully supported and corroborated by the testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses.


18-year-old David Sandstrom confessed to the slaying of Annie Jessen. Based upon the
confession and corroborating evidence, petitioner was charged with "deliberate homicide,"
At trial, Sandstrom's attorney informed the jury that, although his client admitted killing
Jessen, he did not do so "purposely or knowingly," and was therefore not guilty of "deliberate
homicide" but of a lesser crime. The basic support for this contention was the testimony of
two court-appointed mental health experts, each of whom described for the jury petitioner's
mental state at the time of the incident. Sandstrom's attorney argued that this testimony
demonstrated that petitioner, due to a personality disorder aggravated by alcohol
consumption, did not kill Annie Jessen "purposely or knowingly."
The prosecution requested the trial judge to instruct the jury that "[t]he law presumes that a
person intends the ordinary consequences of his voluntary acts." Petitioner's counsel
objected, arguing that "the instruction has the effect of shifting the burden of proof on the
ISSUE of" purpose or knowledge to the defense, and that "that is impermissible under the
Federal Constitution, due process of law." The instruction was delivered, the jury found
petitioner guilty of deliberate homicide, id., at 38, and petitioner was sentenced to 100 years
in prison.
Sandstrom appealed to the Supreme Court of Montana. The Montana court conceded that
these cases did prohibit shifting the burden of proof to the defendant by means of a
presumption, but HELD that the cases "do not prohibit allocation of some burden of proof to
a defendant under certain circumstances."

Whether the presumption laid down by the prosecution summarizes the acts of the
petitioner and therefor HELD him guilty of the crime charged.

No. Montana's own Rules of Evidence expressly state that the presumption at ISSUE here
may be overcome only "by a preponderance of evidence contrary to the presumption."
Montana Rule of Evidence 301 (b) (2). Such a requirement shifts not only the burden of
production, but also the ultimate burden of persuasion on the ISSUE of intent. A presumption
which, although not conclusive, had the effect of shifting the burden of persuasion to
petitioner, would have suffered from similar infirmities. If the jury interpreted the
presumption in this manner, it could have concluded that upon proof by the State of the
slaying, and of additional FACTS not themselves establishing the element of intent, the
burden was then shifted to petitioner to prove that he lacked the requisite mental state.
Such a presumption was found constitutionally deficient. Because David Sandstrom's jury
may have interpreted the judge's instruction as constituting either a burden-shifting
presumption like that in Mullaney, or a conclusive presumption like those in Morissette and
United States Gypsum Co., and because either interpretation would have deprived
defendant of his right to the due process of law, we hold the instruction given in this case



Defendants were found guilty of possessing loaded firearms. Defendants argue that a
statute allowing a presumption of possession was unconstitutional and in violation of their
due process rights.

There is a rational connection between the basic FACTS of the case and the ultimate fact
presumed, (Defendants possession of the guns), then this ultimate fact is more likely than
not to flow from the FACTS proved.

Three adult males and one 16 year-old girl (who is not a Defendant), were jointly tried on
charges of possession of two loaded handguns, a machine gun and over one pound of
heroin. The jury convicted Defendants on possession of the handguns but acquitted them of
possession of the contents of the trunk. Defendants argued that the guns were in actually in
the possession of the girl and they did not have possession of the guns. Defendants
challenged the constitutionality of the New York State statute which allowed a presumption
of illegal possession if a gun was found in a car occupied by all individuals charged.

ISSUE. Whether the New York State statute allowing a presumption of illegal possession was

HELD. Affirmed. The State advanced a permissive presumption that is constitutional and did
not deprive Defendants of due process.
There is a rational connection between the basic FACTS of the case proved by the
prosecution and the ultimate fact presumed, in this case that Defendants had possession of
the guns, then this ultimate fact is more likely than not to flow from the FACTS proved.
As long as it is clear that the presumption is not the sole and sufficient basis for a finding of
guilt, than the above test is the proper analysis.

G.R. No. L-25504 July 31, 1969

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
ROBERTO NER Y FELICIANO, defendant-appellant.

FACTS: CFI found Feliciano guilty of the crime of murder And sentenced him to life
imprisonment, with the corresponding accessory penalties, to indemnify the heirs of the
deceased. As such, defendant appealed the case assailling the veracity of Rosales'
testimony upon the ground that there are several contradictions between his testimony in
court and that given by him at the preliminary investigation, in the office of the City Fiscal
and between his testimony in chief and the answer given by him on cross-examination.

ISSUE: whether or not appellant has been sufficiently identified as the killer.

CFIaffirmed. Declarations which are the natural emanations or outgrowths of the act or
occurrence in litigation, although not precisely concurrent in point of time, if they were yet
voluntarily and spontaneously made so nearly contemporaneous as to be in the presence of
the transaction which they illustrate and explain, and were made under circumstances as
necessarily to exclude the idea of design or deliberation, must, upon the clearest principles
of justice, be admissible as part of the act or transaction itself. All that is required for the
admissibility of a given statement as part of the res gestae, is that it be made under the
influence of a startling event witnessed by the person who made the declaration before he
had time to think and make a story, or to concoct or contrive a falsehood, or to fabricate an
account, and without any undue influence in obtaining it, aside f rom ref erring to the event
in question or its immediate attending circumstances.

72 SCRA 428 (1976)
In a case "People of the Philippines, plaintiff, versus Gregorio Ojoy, accused", after the
accused himself had testified in his defense, his counsel manifested that for his subsequent
witnesses he was filing only their affidavits subject to cross-examination by the prosecution
on matters stated in the affidavits and on all other matters pertinent and material to the
Private prosecutor Atty. Amelia K. del Rosario, one of the petitioners here, objected to the
proposed procedure
Respondent Judge gave his conformity and ISSUEd the questioned Order.
Contending that respondent Judge gravely abused his discretion because the aforesaid
Orders violates Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court, which requires
that the testimony of the witness should be given orally in open court, and there is no
appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law

Whether respondent judge erred in sustaining the manifestation of the defense counsel in
filing only affidavits of his subsequent witnesses.

Yes. Sections 1 and 2, Rule 132 and Section 1, Rule 133 of the Revised Rules of Court clearly
require that the testimony of a witness shall be given orally in open court.
"The opponent", demands confrontation, for the purpose of cross-examination which cannot
be had except by the direct and personal putting of questions and obtaining immediate
Another advantage is that it enables the judge as the trier of FACTS "to obtain the elusive
and incommunicable evidence of a witness deportment while testifying, and a certain
subjective moral effect is produced upon the witness.
It is only when the witness testifies orally that the judge may have a true idea of his
countenance, manner and expression, which may confirm or detract from the weight of his
testimony. Certainly, the physical condition of the witness will reveal his capacity for
accurate observation and memory, and his deportment and physiognomy will reveal clues to
his character.
Thus, Section 1 of Rule 133 of the Rule requires that in determining the superior weight of
evidence on the ISSUEs involved, the court, aside from the other factors therein
enumerated, may consider the "witness manner of testifying" which can only be done if the
witness gives his testimony orally in open court". If a trial judge prepares his opinion
immediately after the conclusion of the trial, with the evidence and his impressions of the
witnesses fresh in his mind, it is obvious that he is much more likely to reach a correct result
than if he simply reviews the evidence from a typewritten transcript, without having had the
opportunity to see, hear and observe the actions and utterances of the witnesses.

Galman V Judge Pumaran

TOPIC: Admissibility in evidence of defendants who did not invoke their rights against self-

To determine the FACTS and circumstances surrounding the assasination of former Senator
Benigno S. Aquino and to allow a free, unlimited and exhaustive investigation of all aspects
of the tragedy, P.D. 1886 was promulgated creating an ad hoc Fact Finding Board which later
became more popularly known as the Agrava Board.
The Board conducted public hearings wherein various witnesses appeared and testified
and/or produced documentary and other evidence either in obedience to a subpoena or in
response to an invitation ISSUEd by the Board
Among the witnesses who appeared, testified and produced evidence before the Board were
the herein private respondents General Fabian C. Ver, Major General Prospero Olivas, Sgt.
Pablo Martinez, Sgt. Tomas Fernandez, Sgt. Leonardo Mojica, Sgt. Pepito Torio, Sgt. Prospero
Bona and AIC Aniceto Acupido.
After conducting the necessary preliminary investigation, the TANODBAYAN filed with the
SANDIGANBAYAN two (2) Informations for MURDER-one for the killing of Sen. Benigno S.
Aquino and another for the killing of Rolando Galman, who was found dead on the airport
tarmac not far from the prostrate body of Sen. Aquino on that same fateful day.
In both criminal cases, private respondents were charged as accessories, along with several
principals, and one accomplice.
In the course of the joint trial of the two (2) aforementioned cases, the Prosecution
represented by the Office of the petition TANODBAYAN, marked and thereafter offered as
part of its evidence, the individual testimonies of private respondents before the Agrava
Private respondents, through their respective counsel objected to the admission of said
exhibits contending that its admission will be in derogation of thier constitutional right
against self-incrimination and violative of the immunity granted by P.D. 1886.

WON the testimonies given by the eight (8) private respondents who did not invoke their
rights against self-incrimination before the Agrava Board are admissible in evidence.
NO. Presidential Decree No. 1886 denied them the right to remain silent.
They were compelled to testify or be witnesses against themselves.
Section 5 of P.D. 1886 leave them no choice.
SEC. 5. No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books,
records, correspondence, documents, or other evidence in obedience to a subpoena ISSUEd
by the Board on the ground that his testimony or the evidence required of him may tend to
incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture; but his testimony or any evidence
produced by him shall not be used against him in connection with any transaction, matter or
thing concerning which he is compelled, after having invoked his privilege against self-
incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, except that such individual so testifying shall
not be exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying, nor
shall he be exempt from demotion or removal from office.
They have to take the witness stand, testify or produce evidence, under pain of contempt if
they failed or refused to do so.
Similarly, they cannot invoke the right not to be a witness against themselves, both of which
are sacrosantly enshrined and protected by our fundamental law.
Both these constitutional rights (to remain silent and not to be compelled to be a witness
against himself) were right away totally foreclosed by P.D. 1886.
And yet when they so testified and produced evidence as ordered, they were not immune
from prosecution by reason of the testimony given by them.
It has been categorically declared that a person detained for the commission of an offense
undergoing investigation has a right to be informed of his right to remain silent, to counsel,
and to an admonition that any and all statements to be given by him may be used against


G.R. No. 71537, September 17, 1987 (154 SCRA 65 (1987))


FACTS: On May 12, 1983, Loreto de la Paz filed a complaint against the petitioners with the
Regional Trial Court of Rizal for a judicial declaration of ownership of a parcel of land. Loreto
alleged that the subject parcel of land was among the properties adjudicated to her and her
mother. petitioners denied the allagation. They claimed that the parcel of land was not
accounted for in the probate proceedings but is actually community property of the parties.
Loreto took the witness stand. She finished her direct testimony on March 12, 1984. On April
25, 1984, the petitioners' counsel began his cross-examination of Loreto. The cross-
examination was, however, not completed, and there had been several rescheduling and
postponements of the cross-examination up until Loretos death.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners had waived their right to cross-examine Loreto.

HELD: The Court ruled in the affirmative. In the case at bar, the petitioners' failure to cross-
examine Loreto was through no fault of the respondents. As can be gleaned from the record,
Loreto was available for cross-examination from the time she finished her direct testimony
on March 12, 1984 to November 7, 1984, the last scheduled hearing of the case before her
death on December 1, 1984. The petitioners not only kept on postponing the cross-
examination but at times failed to appear during scheduled hearings. The scheduled trials
before November 7, 1984, did not push through, because of the petitioners' fault. And also
during the scheduled hearing on September 18, 1984, when the petitioners were allowed to
cross-examine Loreto despite the fact that the case was already deemed submitted for
decision, the petitioners again failed to appear.
Under these circumstances, we rule that the petitioners had waived their right to cross-
examine Loreto. Through their own fault, they lost their right to cross-examine Loreto. Her
testimony stands.

G.R. No. L-61570 February 12, 1990.

Fulgado v CA

On September 9,1967, Ruperto Fulgado, filed against Rufino Custodia, and others for the
annulment of certain contracts of sale and partition with accounting. Plaintiff Fulgado was
then allowed to present his evidence ex parte before the Deputy Clerk of Court for failure of
the defendant to appear in the pre trial.
The trial court rendered a decision in favor of plaintiff Ruperto Fulgado. On appeal, however,
the Court of Appeals found that private respondents had been deprived of their day in court
by the unjust denial of their motion to lift the order of default. 2 The Appellate Court, in no
less than explicit terms, said:
WHEREFORE, the decision of the court a quo is hereby set aside and the case is remanded to
the court of origin for trial on the merits, granting to the defendants the opportunity to
present their evidence, provided, however, that the evidence already presented before the
commissioner shall stand, but with the right of the defendants to cross-examine the witness
who had already testified and with the right of the plaintiff to present additional evidence
that then he may decide. Without costs.
On June 30, 1976, the trial court ISSUEd an order dismissing the case. It decreed:
For reason stated in the defendants' motion filed on May 18, 1976, which the Court finds
meritorious, the testimonies of plaintiffs witnesses Ruperto Fulgado and Jose Fulgado, who
were not presented by the plaintiff so that the defendants could cross-examine them on May
4, 1976, are stricken off the record and, as a consequence, in view of the manifestation of
plaintiffs counsel that he had no more witnesses to present, the above-entitled case is
dismissed without pronouncement as to costs. 6
Private respondents maintain that such testimonies are wholly inadmissible for being
hearsay, because respondents were not able to cross-examine the witnesses. Petitioners, on
the other hand, contend that while the right to cross-examination is an essential part of due
process, the same may however be waived as the private respondent have done when they
allowed an unreasonable length of time to lapse from the inception of the opportunity to
cross-examine before availing themselves of such right and likewise when they failed to
exhaust other remedies to secure the exercise of such right.

WON testimonies given by the now deceased Ruperto Fulgado and his witness, Jose Fulgado,
who has departed for the United States, should be excluded
The appeal is well-taken.There is no disputing that where there was no such opportunity (to
cross examine) and the want of it was caused by the party offering (plaintiff), the testimony
should be stricken out. However, where the failure to obtain cross-examination was
imputable to the cross examiner's fault, the lack of cross-examination is no longer a ground
for exclusion according to the general principle that an opportunity, though waived, will
suffice. 10
Such inaction on the part of private respondents cannot be easily dismissed by the
argument that it is the duty of the plaintiff to always take the initiative in keeping the
proceedings "alive." At best, the argument is fatuous.
The task of recalling a witness for cross examination is, in law, imposed on the party who
wishes to exercise said right. This is so because the right, being personal and waivable, the
intention to utilize it must be expressed. Silence or failure to assert it on time amounts to a
renunciation thereof. Thus, it should be the counsel for the opposing party who should move
to cross-examine plaintiffs witnesses. It is absurd for the plaintiff himself to ask the court to
schedule the cross-examination of his own witnesses because it is not his obligation to
ensure that his deponents are cross-examined. Having presented his witnesses, the burden
shifts to his opponent who must now make the appropriate move. Indeed, the rule of placing
the burden of the case on plaintiffs shoulders can be construed to extremes as what
happened in the instant proceedings.
Where death prevents cross-examination under such circumstances that no responsibility of
any sort can be ascribed to the plaintiff or his witness, it seems a harsh measure to strike
out all that has been obtained in the direct examination. 14
As to the witness Jose Fulgado who is reportedly abroad, private respondents could have
resorted to the various modes of discovery under the Rules of Court to cross-examine Jose.
D, During the hearing of May 4, 1976, counsel for private respondents unwittingly or
wittingly disclosed that they knew that Jose was in the country "for a visit" but they did not
exert any effort to have him subpoenaed.


GR No. L-6204 July 31, 1956

Petitioner claims to be the owner of the lot where the Provincial Hospital of Occidental
Negros was built. When its claim of ownership was rejected, it brought the present action in
the CFI to recover possession of the lot and reasonable rents for its use. After trial, the lower
court rendered judgment in favor of Capitol requiring the defendant to restore possession of
the lot to petitioner subject to the latters right to exercise the option granted by the Civil
Code and to pay the rents.

The trial court refused to allow the witness Jose Marco, a former deputy clerk of court, to say
anything about the expropriation proceeding in question on the excuse that his testimony on
this matter would be immaterial and incompetent.

Whether or not the trial court is correct in not allowing the witness Jose Marco to testify on
the expropriation proceeding.

The loss of the records of said expropriation proceeding had already been established.
Section 51 of Rule 123 expressly permits proof by secondary evidence. The trial court, after
thus preventing defendant from proving the existence of the expropriation case through the
testimony of Jose Marco, willingly acceded to the presentation in rebuttal of a witness who
testified to the non-existence of said expropriation case, thus permitting petitioner to prove
in rebuttal what he had refused defendant to substantiate in defense.

MERCADO, defendants-appellants.
FACTS: These defendants were charged with the crime of coaccion. That the said accused,
without legitimate authority therefore, and by means of violence or force employed upon the
person of Claro Mercado, prevent the latter from rendering aid to Maria R. Mateo in order
that Santiago Mercado might at his pleasure maltreat the said Maria R. Mateo, in a violation
of law. Mr. Ricardo Gonzalez Lloret, attorney for the private prosecutor, asked the witness for
the defense, the said Santiago Mercado, if he had been convicted of assault upon other
persons. The appellant argued that the question had no relation to the question which was
being discussed by the court and id not tend to show that the defendants were either guilty
or not guilty of the crime charged; that questions tending to disclose the character of a
witness are immaterial. In reply to the argument of the appellant, the Attorney-General
contends that the question was a proper question, because it tended to impugn the
credibility of the witness and that such questions were for that purpose material and
ISSUE: Whether the counsel can impeach the credibility of the witness.
HELD: No. Generally speaking, a witness cannot be impeached by the party against whom
he has been called, except by showing (a) that he has made contradictory statements: or (b)
by showing that his general reputation for the truth, honesty, or integrity is bad. While you
cannot impeach the credibility of a witness, except by showing that he has made
contradictory statements or that his general reputation for truth, honesty, or integrity is bad,
yet, nevertheless, you may show by an examination of the witness himself or from the
record of the judgment, that he has been convicted of a high crime. (Sec. 342, Act No. 190.)
In the present case, the other offense to which the question above related was not a high
crime, as that term is generally used, and we assume that the phrase "high crime," as used
in section 342, is used in its ordinary signification. High crimes are generally defined as such
immoral and unlawful acts as are nearly allied and equal in guilt to felonies. We believe that
the objection to the above question was properly interposed and should have been

PEOPLE VS. CABRERA, 740 SCRA 41 (2014)

Objection to Evidence

Cabrera was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of RA 9165. The CA affirmed
the decision. On appeal to the SC, appellant raised as additional assignment of errors the
lack of physical inventory of the seized specimen and non-taking of its photograph pursuant
to Section 21 of the Chain of Custody Rule.

Whether objection to evidence can be raised for the first time on appeal.

No. The appeal has no merit. The records of the case is bereft of any showing that appellant
objected before the RTC regarding the seizure and safekeeping of the shabu seized from him
on account of the failure of the police officers to maintain an unbroken chain of custody of
the said drugs. The only time that appellant questioned the chain of custody was before the
CA but not on the ground of lack of physical inventory or non-taking of photograph, but on
the alleged gap between the time of confiscation of the specimen and the time of its
submission to the PNP Crime Laboratory. But even then, it was already too late in the day for
appellant to do so. Appellant should have raised the said ISSUE before the trial court. In
similar cases, the Court brushed aside the accuseds belated contention that the illegal
drugs confiscated from his person were inadmissible because the arresting officers failed to
comply with Section 21 of RA 9165. Whatever justifiable grounds may excuse the police
officers from literally complying with Section 21 will remain unknown, because [appellant]
did not question during trial the safekeeping of the items seized from him. Objection to
evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal; when a party desires the court to
reject the evidence offered, he must so state in the form of an objection. Without such
objection, he cannot raise the question for the first time on appeal. Besides and as already
mentioned, the CA had already aptly concluded that the identity of the seized drugs was
established by the prosecution and its integrity preserved.

[G.R. No. 107735. February 1, 1996]



Trial court found RICARDO O. SAN GABRIEL guilty as charged with murder in conspiracy with
Ramon Doe, with treachery, evident premeditation and intent to kill. Accused appealed the
case and has a different version claiming that on that day he stayed with the victim and
called out the latters companions to bring him to the hospital; that prosecution witness
Brenda Gonzales only arrived at the crime scene after Tonog was already taken to the
hospital; that Brenda even inquired from him what happened and then prodded him to
testify; that his refusal coupled with the fact that he owed Gonzales some money earned him
the ire of the latter and that was why he was charged for the death of Tonog. Further,
Accused-appellant claims in this appeal that the trial court erred: (a) in giving credence to
the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Brenda Gonzales and Pio Ochobillo, and for
discrediting his contending that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses are incredible
and conflicting. Further, The accused leans heavily on the Advance Information Sheet[6]
prepared by Pat. Steve Casimiro which did not mention him at all and named only Ramon
Doe as the principal suspect.

Whether or not the advance information sheet is admissible.

No. Requisites in order that entries in official records be admissible in evidence.Entries in
official records made in the performance of his duty by a public officer or by a person in the
performance of a duty specially enjoined by law are prima facie evidence of the FACTS
therein stated. But to be admissible in evidence three (3) requisites must concur: (a) The
entry was made by a police officer or by another person specially enjoined by law to do so;
(b) It was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties or by such other person
in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law; and, (c) The public officer or other
person had sufficient knowledge of the FACTS by him stated, which must have been acquired
by him personally or through official information.

The Advance Information Sheet does not constitute an exception to the hearsay rule, hence,
inadmissible. The public officer who prepared the document had no sufficient and personal
knowledge of the stabbing incident. Any information possessed by him was acquired from
Camba which therefore could not be categorized as official information