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1. What are the requisites for circumstantial evidence?

Circumstantial Evidence is that evidence that indirectly proves a fact in issue through an inference
which the fact finder draws from the evidence established. Circumstantial or indirect evidence is
the exact opposite of direct evidence. When the evidence is circumstantial, a fact is established
by making an inference from a previously established fact. Circumstantial evidence is the rule of
evidence that applies when no witness saw the commission of the crime.

Example: The fingerprints of the accused that are found in a crime scene of a murder, such prints
constitute

The following are requisites for circumstantial evidence:


a) There is more than one circumstance;
b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and
c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt.

Note: The above circumstances must constitute an unbroken chain that inexorably leads to one
fair conclusion; the accused committed the crime to the exclusion of all others. The circumstances
must be consistent with one another, and are to be taken together as proved.

2. Differentiate Pre-trial in civil and criminal cases.

Pre-trial in civil cases:

a) It is set upon the filing of the last pleading.


b) It is scheduled upon ex parte motion of the plaintiff.
c) The submission of pre-trial brief is mandatory.
d) Non-appearance of the plaintiff during pre-trial results in the dismissal of the case.
However, if the plaintiff is present but the counsel is absent the case will not be dismissed.
If the lawyer is present but the plaintiff is absent, the case will be dismissed unless the
plaintiff has authorized the lawyer to appear for and in his behalf.
e) Non-appearance of the defendant results in the plaintiff being allowed by the court to
present evidence ex parte.
f) There is no plea bargaining but the parties can, however, enter into amicable settlement.

Pre-trial in criminal cases:

a) Pre-trial is mandatory in all criminal cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, RTC,


MTC and MCTC.
b) It is set after arraignment and within 30 days the court acquires jurisdiction over the
person of the accused.
c) It is the court which schedules the pre-trial.
d) The submission of pre-trial brief is NOT mandatory.
e) If the counsel for the accused or the prosecutor does not appear at the pre-trial
conference and does not offer an acceptable excuse for his lack of cooperation, the court
may impose proper sanctions or penalties.
f) Absence of the offended party does not result in the case being dismissed as the real party
in a criminal case is the People of the Philippines. The offended party is only a complaining
witness, he is only a witness for the prosecution. If, however, offended party repeated
absents himself, the accused could invoke his right to a speedy trial. If plaintiff is absent
trial will be reset. If lawyer of plaintiff is absent there can be a sanction as to him.
g) Absence of the accused results in the issuance of a warrant of arrest. If the accused is out
on a bond, failure to satisfactorily explain to the court your absence, your bond will be
forfeited or the court may require the bondsman to surrender your bond.
h) There is plea bargaining but the parties are not allowed, as a general rule, to amicable
settle the case.

Note: Any admission to be taken against the accused during the pretrial should be in writing
and signed by the accused and his counsel.

3. What is the One day examination of witness rule? What is the most important witness rule?

The one-day examination of witness rule states that a witness has to be fully examined in one day
only and this rule shall be strictly adhered to subject to the courts discretion during trial on
whether or not to extend the direct and/or cross-examination for justifiable reasons.

The most important witness rule states that when all efforts to settle fail, the trial judge shall
determine the most important witness to be heard and limit the number of witnesses.

4. Effect of failure of parties in pre-trial

Failure to appear of plaintiff in pre-trial:

a) Non-appearance of the plaintiff during pre-trial results in the dismissal of the case. The
dismissal shall be with prejudice, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
b) However, if the plaintiff is present but the counsel is absent the case will not be dismissed.
The lawyer may be sanctioned by the court.
c) If the lawyer is present but the plaintiff is absent, the case will be dismissed unless the
plaintiff has authorized the lawyer to appear for and in his behalf fully authorized in
writing to enter into an amicable settlement, to submit to alternative modes of dispute
resolution, and to enter into stipulations or admissions of facts and of documents.

Failure to appear of the defendant in pre-trial:

a) Non-appearance of the defendant results in the plaintiff being allowed by the court to
present evidence ex parte and the court to render judgment on the basis thereof.
b) However, if the defendant is present but the counsel is absent the case will not be
dismissed. The lawyer may be sanctioned by the court.
c) If the lawyer is present but the defendant is absent, the case will be dismissed unless the
latter has authorized the lawyer to appear for and in his behalf fully authorized in writing
to enter into an amicable settlement, to submit to alternative modes of dispute
resolution, and to enter into stipulations or admissions of facts and of documents.

5. Matters subject of mandatory judicial notice

The following are subject to mandatory judicial notice:

a) existence and territorial extent of states;


b) their political history;
c) forms of government;
d) symbols of nationality;
e) the law of nations;
f) the admiralty and maritime courts of the world and
g) their seals;
h) the political constitution and history of the Philippines;
i) the official acts of legislative, executive and judicial departments of the Philippines;
j) the laws of nature;
k) the measure of time; and
l) the geographical divisions.
6. Examples? Exceptions? of Best Evidence Rule

The Best Evidence Rule provides that when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document,
no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself.

The exceptions to the Best Evidence Rule are the following:

a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, without
bad faith on the part of the offeror;
b) When the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the
evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice;
c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot be
examined in court without great loss of time and the fact sought to be established from
them is only the general result of the whole; and
d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a
public office.

Requisites for the applicability of the Best Evidence Rule


a) The subject matter must involve a document; and
b) The subject of the inquiry is the contents of the document.

7. Distinctions between best evidence rule and parol evidence rule

The Best Evidence Rule provides that when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document,
no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself. The Best Evidence Rule,
applied to documentary evidence, operates as a rule of exclusion, that is, secondary evidence
cannot be inceptively be introduced as the original writing itself must be produced in court, except
in the four instances mentioned in Sec. 3. Where the issue is only as to whether such a document
was actually executed, or exists, or on the circumstances relevant to or surrounding its execution
or delivery (external facts), the best evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is
admissible

The Parol Evidence Rule provides that when the terms of an agreement have been reduced to
writing, it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, between the
parties and their successors-in-interest, no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the
written agreement. The term agreement includes wills. The Parol Evidence Rule can only be
invoked by the parties to the contract. It is limited only to contractual agreements. It is important
that the contract must have been reduced into WRITING. The term parol means oral or verbal
but with reference to contracts it means extraneous evidence or evidence aliunde. Only the
parties and successors-in-interest are bound by the parol evidence rule. The rule does NOT bind
suits involving strangers to the contract. The rule applies only to parties to the written agreement
and those who are privy to a party or successors-in-interests.

Parol evidence is inadmissible for any of the following purposes as between parties to the
contract, to wit:

a) Modify
b) Explain
c) Add to the terms of the written agreement.

Exceptions to the Parol Evidence Rule: (these matters must be put in issue in the pleadings)

a) An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the written agreement;


b) Failure of the written agreement to express the true intent of the parties thereto;
c) Validity of the written agreement; or
d) Existence of other terms agreed (collateral agreements) to by the parties or their
successors in interest after the execution of the written agreement (Sec. 9, Rule 130).

Both the best evidence rule and the parol evidence rule do not apply to object evidence.
8. Distinction between marital DQ rule vs. marital privilege rule.

The Marital Disqualification Rule provides that during their marriage, neither the husband nor the
wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse, except in a
civil case by one against the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the
other or the latters direct descendant or descendants. (Sec. 22, Rule 130)

Requisites for the Marital Disqualification Rule to apply: (Spousal Immunity)


1. Existence of a valid marriage
2. Communication was received during the marriage.

Exceptions to spousal immunity

a) Consent is given by the party-spouse or where no objection is interposed by the spouse


who has the right to invoke the prohibition.
b) In a civil case filed by one against the other;
c) In a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latters direct
descendants or ascendants (Sec. 22, Rule 130); or
d) Where the testimony was made after the dissolution of the marriage.
e) Where the marital and domestic relations of the spouses have become so strained that
there is no more harmony and peace to be preserved.

The Marital Privileged Communications Rule provides that the husband or the wife, during or after
the marriage, cannot be examined without the consent of the other as to any communication
received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage except in a civil case by one
against the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the
latter's direct descendants or ascendants (Sec. 24(a), Rule 130).

Requisites for the Marital Privileged Communications Rule to apply: (Spousal Privilege)

1. There must be a valid marriage between the husband and wife;


2. There is a communication received in confidence by one from the other; and
3. The confidential communication was received during the marriage.
4. The spouse against whom such evidence is being offered has not given his or her consent
to such testimony.

Cases when marital privilege is inapplicable

1. In a civil case by one against the other; or


2. In a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latters direct
descendants or ascendants (Sec. 24(a), Rule 130).
3. Information acquired by a spouse before the marriage even if received confidentially will
not fall squarely within the privilege (Riano, 2013).
4. Where the marital and domestic relations of the spouses have become so strained that
there is no more harmony and peace to be preserved.

9. Requisites for admissibility of object evidence.

Object as evidence are those addressed to the senses of the court. When an object is relevant to
the fact in issue, it may be exhibited to, examined or viewed by the court (Sec. 1, Rule 130).

Object evidence, also known as real evidence, demonstrative evidence, autoptic preference and
physical evidence, is that evidence which is addressed to the senses of the court (Sec. 1, Rule 130).
It is not limited to the view of an object. It covers the entire range of human senses: hearing, taste,
smell, and touch (Riano)

For object evidence to be admissible it must be:


1. Relevant
2. Competent
3. Duly authenticated
To authenticate the object, it must be shown that the object is the very thing that
is either the subject matter of the law suit or the very one involved to prove an
issue in the case. The authentication must be made by a competent witness who
should identify the object to be the actual thing involved.
4. Formally offered in evidence.

10. What is a leading question and when are they allowed?

A leading question is one which suggests to the witness the answer which the examining party
desires. As a rule leading questions are not allowed.

However, leading questions are allowed in the following instances:

a) On cross and re-cross examination;


b) On preliminary matters;
c) When there is difficulty in getting direct and intelligible answers from a witness who is
ignorant, or a child of tender years, or is of feeble mind or a deaf-mute;
d) To unwilling witness or hostile witness;
e) Witness is an adverse party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or private
corporation or of a partnership or association which is an adverse party (Sec. 10, Rule
132); or
f) In all stages of examination of a child if the same will further the interests of justice (Sec.
20, AM 004-07-SC).

11. When do you make a formal offer of evidence?

If the evidence offered is testimonial evidence, the offer must be made at the time the witness is
called to testify. Every time a new witness is called to testify, there must be an offer of evidence.
Objections to testimonial evidence must be made right after every question is
propounded.

If the evidence offered is documentary and/or object evidence the offer must be made after the
presentation of partys testimonial evidence, and before resting his case (Sec. 35, Rule 132). The
evidence is only offered once, after all the testimonial evidence are offered and prior to the
resting of the case for a party.
Objections to documentary or object evidence can only be made at the time of the formal
offer of evidence.

NOTE: The presentation of a documentary or object evidence for marking and identification
during the course of trial is not the offer contemplated in the rules (Riano, 2013).