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TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE

IV . Privileged communication

A.C. No. 5439. January 22, 2007.*

CLARITA J. SAMALA, complainant, vs. ATTY. LUCIANO D. VALENCIA, respondent

Same; same; The stern rule against representation of conflicting interests is founded on principles of public policy
and good taste. It springs from the attorneys duty to represent his client with undivided fidelity and to maintain
inviolate the clients confidence as well as from the injunction forbidding the examination of an attorney as to any
of the privileged communications of his client Samala vs. Valencia, 512 SCRA 1, A.C. No. 5439 January 22, 2007

Facts:

Complainant Clarita J. Samala filed against Atty. Luciano D. Valencia for Disbarment on the following grounds:

1. Serving on 2 separate occasions as counsel for contending parties


2. Knowingly misleading the court by submitting false documentary evidence
3. Initiating numerous cases in exchange for non-payment of rental fees.
4. Having a reputation of being immoral by siring illegitimate children.

Commissioner found respondent guilty of violating Canons 15 and 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and
recommended the penalty of suspension for 6 months. IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the report
and recommendation of Commissioner Reyes but increased the penalty of suspension from 6 months to 1 year.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent should be suspended.

HELD: respondent Atty. Luciano D. Valencia GUILTY of misconduct and violation of Canons 21, 10 and 1 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility. SUSPENDED for 3 years. Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility provides that a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all
concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.

A lawyer may not, without being guilty of professional misconduct, act as counsel for a person whose interest
conflicts with that of his present or former client. He may not also undertake to discharge conflicting duties any
more than he may represent antagonistic interests. This stern rule is founded on the principles of public policy and
good taste. It springs from the relation of attorney and client which is one of trust and confidence. Lawyers are
expected not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and
double-dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their lawyers, which is of
paramount importance in the administration of justice.

The stern rule against representation of conflicting interests is founded on principles of public policy and good
taste. It springs from the attorney's duty to represent his client with undivided fidelity and to maintain inviolate
the client's confidence as well as from the injunction forbidding the examination of an attorney as to any of the
privileged communications of his client.
TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE

Exceptions To The Hearsay Rule

Section 37. Dying declaration

People vs. Palanas, 759 SCRA 318, June 17, 2015

Remedial Law; Evidence; Dying Declaration; Hearsay Evidence Rule; Conditions for a dying declaration to constitute
an exception to the hearsay evidence rule.For a dying declaration to constitute an exception to the hearsay
evidence rule, four (4) conditions must concur: (a) the declaration must concern the cause and surrounding
circumstances of the declarants death; (b) that at the time the declaration was made, the declarant is conscious of
his impending death; (c) the declarant was competent as a witness; and (d) the declaration is offered in a criminal
case for Homicide, Murder, or Parricide where the declarant is the victim. On the other hand, a statement to be
deemed to form part of the res gestae, and thus, constitute another exception to the rule on hearsay evidence,
requires the concurrence of the following requisites: (a) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling occurrence; (b)
the statements were made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and (c) the statements must concern
the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances.

Same; Same; Same; Same; Because the declaration was made in extremity, when the party is at the point of death
and when every motive of falsehood is silenced and the mind is induced by the most powerful considerations to speak
the truth, the law deems this as a situation so solemn and awful as creating an obligation equal to that which is
imposed by an oath administered in court.In the case at bar, SPO2 Borres statements constitute a dying
declaration, given that they pertained to the cause and circumstances of his death and taking into consideration the
number and severity of his wounds, it may be reasonably presumed that he uttered the same under a fixed belief that
his own death was already imminent. This declaration is considered evidence of the highest order and is entitled to
utmost credence since no person aware of his impending death would make a careless and false accusation. Verily,
because the declaration was made in extremity, when the party is at the point of death and when every motive of
falsehood is silenced and the mind is induced by the most powerful considerations to speak the truth, the law deems
this as a situation so solemn and awful as creating an obligation equal to that which is imposed by an oath
administered in court.

Same; Same; Res Gestae; The test of admissibility of evidence as a part of the res gestae is, therefore, whether the
act, declaration, or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the principal fact or event that it
characterizes as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself, and also whether it clearly negates any
premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony.In the same vein, SPO2 Borres statements may likewise be
deemed to form part of the res gestae. Res gestae refers to the circumstances, facts, and declarations that grow out
of the main fact and serve to illustrate its character and are so spontaneous and contemporaneous with the main
fact as to exclude the idea of deliberation and fabrication. The test of admissibility of evidence as a part of the res
gestae is, therefore, whether the act, declaration, or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the
principal fact or event that it characterizes as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself, and also whether it
clearly negates any premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony. In this case, SPO2 Borres statements refer
to a startling occurrence, i.e., him being shot by Palanas and his companion. While on his way to the hospital, SPO2
Borre had no time to contrive the identification of his assailants. Hence, his utterance was made in spontaneity and
only in reaction to the startling occurrence. Definitely, such statement is relevant because it identified Palanas as one
of the authors of the crime. Therefore, the killing of SPO2 Borre, perpetrated by Palanas, is adequately proven by the
prosecution. People vs. Palanas, 759 SCRA 318, G.R. No. 214453 June 17, 2015
FACTS:
At around 6:40 in the morning of March 26, 2006, SPO2 Borre took his five (5)-month-old grandson outside his
residence at Pasig City. PO3 Leopoldo Zapanta (PO3 Zapanta), who slept at SPO2 Borres residence, was watching
television when four (4) successive gunshots rang out. PO3 Zapanta looked through the open door of SPO2 Borres
house and saw two (2) men armed with .38caliber revolvers standing a meter away from SPO2 Borre. He saw Palanas
deliver the fourth shot to SPO2 Borre, but he could not identify the other shooter. Thereafter, the two (2) assailants
fled on a motorcycle. PO3 Zapanta, together with SPO2 Borres stepson Ramil Ranola (Ramil), brought SPO2 Borre
to the Pasig City General Hospital. On the way to the hospital, SPO2 Borre told Ramil and PO3 Zapanta that it was
"Abe," "Aspog," or "Abe Palanas" referring to his neighbor, Palanas who shot him. This statement was repeated
to his wife, Resurreccion Borre (Resurreccion), who followed him at the hospital. At around 11 oclock in the morning
of even date, SPO2 Borre died due to gunshot wounds on his head and trunk. 7

Palanas interposed the defense of denial and alibi. He claimed that he was in Paraaque City attending to the needs
of his sick father. The next day, he went to a baptism in Tondo, Manila and stayed there from morning until 9 oclock
in the evening, after which he returned to his father in Paraaque City. He maintained that he was not aware of the
death of SPO2 Borre until he was informed by a neighbor that Resurreccion was accusing him of killing her husband.
He also denied any knowledge why Resurreccion would blame him for SPO2 Borres death. RTC convicted Palanas of
the crime of Murder. CA affirmed the RTCs ruling with modification increasing the amounts awarded to the heirs of
SPO2 Borre to P75,000.00 as civil indemnity, and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages.

Issue:
Whether or not Palanass conviction for the crime of Murder.

Held:
Appeal is bereft of merit.For a dying declaration to constitute an exception to the hearsay evidence rule, four (4)
conditions must concur: (a) the declaration must concern the cause and surrounding circumstances of the
declarants death; (b) that at the time the declaration was made, the declarant is conscious of his impending death;
(c) the declarant was competent as a witness; and (d) the declaration is offered in a criminal case for Homicide,
Murder, or Parricide where the declarant is the victim. On the other hand, a statement to be deemed to form part
of the res gestae, and thus, constitute another exception to the rule on hearsay evidence, requires the concurrence
of the following requisites: (a) the principal act, the res gestae, is a startling occurrence; (b) the statements were
made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and (c) the statements must concern the occurrence in
question and its immediately attending circumstances. SPO2 Borres statements constitute a dying declaration, given
that they pertained to the cause and circumstances of his death and taking into consideration the number and
severity of his wounds, it may be reasonably presumed that he uttered the same under a fixed belief that his own
death was already imminent. This declaration is considered evidence of the highest order and is entitled to utmost
credence since no person aware of his impending death would make a careless and false accusation. Verily, because
the declaration was made in extremity, when the party is at the point of death and when every motive of falsehood
is silenced and the mind is induced by the most powerful considerations to speak the truth, the law deems this as a
situation so solemn and awful as creating an obligation equal to that which is imposed by an oath administered in
court.

Res gestae refers to the circumstances, facts, and declarations that grow out of the main fact and serve to illustrate
its character and are so spontaneous and contemporaneous with the main fact as to exclude the idea of deliberation
and fabrication. The test of admissibility of evidence as a part of the res gestae is, therefore, whether the act,
declaration, or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the principal fact or event that it
characterizes as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself, and also whether it clearly negates any
premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony. SPO2 Borres statements refer to a startling occurrence Hence,
his utterance was made in spontaneity and only in reaction to the startling occurrence. Definitely, such statement is
relevant because it identified Palanas as one of the authors of the crime. Therefore, the killing of SPO2 Borre,
perpetrated by Palanas, is adequately proven by the prosecution.
BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTIONS

SUPPRESSION OF TESTIMONY

[G.R. No. 122899. June 8, 2000]

METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST COMPANY, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and G.T.P. DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION, respondents.

Evidence; When the evidence tends to prove a material fact which imposes a liability on a party, and he has it in his
power to produce evidence which from its very nature must overthrow the case made against him if it is not founded
on fact, and he refuses to produce such evidence, the presumption arises that the evidence, if produced, would
operate to his prejudice, and support the case of his adversary.Just as decisive is petitioner METROBANKs failure
to bring before respondent Court of Appeals the current statement evidencing what it claims as other unliquidated
past due loans at the scheduled hearing of 8 March 1995. It was a golden opportunity, so to speak, lost for petitioner
METROBANK to defend its non-release of the real estate mortgage. Thus, the following pronouncements of this Court
in Manila Bay Club Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, et al., speaking thru Mr. Justice Ricardo Francisco, find rightful
application, viz.It is a well-settled rule that when the evidence tends to prove a material fact which imposes a
liability on a party, and he has it in his power to produce evidence which from its very nature must overthrow the
case made against him if it is not founded on fact, and he refuses to produce such evidence, the presumption arises
that the evidence, if produced, would operate to his prejudice, and support the case of his adversary, x x x No rule
of law is better settled than that a party having it in his power to prove a fact, if it exists, which, if proved, would
benefit him, his failure to prove it must be taken as conclusive that the fact does not exist. Metropolitan Bank &
Trust Company vs. Court of Appeals, 333 SCRA 212, G.R. No. 122899 June 8, 2000

FACTS: The subject property is a parcel of land in Diliman, Quezon City consisting of six hundred ninety (690) square
meters originally owned by businessman Tomas Chia. Saddled with debts and business reverses, Mr. Chia offered
the subject property for sale to private respondent G.T.P. Development Corporation (hereafter, GTP), with
assumption of the mortgage indebtedness in favor of petitioner METROBANK secured by the subject property.
Pending negotiations for the proposed sale, Atty. Bernardo Atienza, acting in behalf of respondent GTP, went to the
METROBANK branch in Quiapo, Manila sometime in the last week of August 1980 to inquire on Mr. Chia's remaining
balance on the real estate mortgage. METROBANK obliged with a statement of account of Mr. Chia amounting to
about P115,000.00 as of August ,1980. The deed of sale[2] and the memorandum of agreement[3] between Mr. Chia
and respondent GTP were eventually executed and signed on 04 September 1980 in the office of Atty. Atienza.
Twelve (12) days later, or on 16 September 1980, Atty. Atienza went to METROBANK Quiapo Branch and paid one
hundred sixteen thousand four hundred sixteen pesos and seventy-one centavos (P116,416.71),[4] for which
METROBANK issued an official receipt acknowledging payment. This notwithstanding, petitioner METROBANK
refused to release the real estate mortgage on the subject property despite repeated requests from Atty. Atienza,
thus prompting respondent GTP to file on October 17, 1980 an action for specific performance against petitioner
METROBANK and Mr. Chia. Mr. Chia denied having executed any deed of sale in favor of respondent GTP involving
the subject property. After trial, judgment was rendered by the regional trial court on 11 December 1990 granting
the reliefs prayed for by respondent GTP. On appeal, respondent Court of Appeals rendered a Decision dated 24
October 1994 reversing the trial court's 11 December 1990 judgment, ruling in the main that the one hundred sixteen
thousand four hundred sixteen pesos and seventy-one centavos (P116,416.71) paid by respondent GTP to petitioner
METROBANK did not extinguish the real estate mortgage inasmuch as there are other unliquidated past due loans
secured by the subject property.

ISSUE: Whether or not Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (hereafter, METROBANK) to release/cancel the real
estate mortgage constituted over the subject property
HELD: METROBANK is estopped from refusing the discharge of the real estate mortgage on the claim that the subject
property still secures "other unliquidated past due loans."

When the evidence tends to prove a material fact which imposes a liability on a party, and he has it in his power to
produce evidence which from its very nature must overthrow the case made against him if it is not founded on fact,
and he refuses to produce such evidence, the presumption arises that the evidence, if produced, would operate to
his prejudice, and support the case of his adversary.Just as decisive is petitioner METROBANKs failure to bring
before respondent Court of Appeals the current statement evidencing what it claims as other unliquidated past due
loans at the scheduled hearing of 8 March 1995. It was a golden opportunity, so to speak, lost for petitioner
METROBANK to defend its non-release of the real estate mortgage. Thus, the following pronouncements of this
Court in Manila Bay Club Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, et al., speaking thru Mr. Justice Ricardo Francisco, find
rightful application, viz.It is a well-settled rule that when the evidence tends to prove a material fact which
imposes a liability on a party, and he has it in his power to produce evidence which from its very nature must
overthrow the case made against him if it is not founded on fact, and he refuses to produce such evidence, the
presumption arises that the evidence, if produced, would operate to his prejudice, and support the case of his
adversary, x x x No rule of law is better settled than that a party having it in his power to prove a fact, if it exists,
which, if proved, would benefit him, his failure to prove it must be taken as conclusive that the fact does not exist.