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ARCILLA VS TEODORO

The case of the Heirs of the deceased spouses Arcilla v. Teodoro (August 11, 2008) involved an application for land registration filed in 1995.
Through oversight and inadvertence, the applicant failed to include in her application a verification and certificate against forum shopping. The
MTC nonetheless admitted the same and eventually granted the application despite the opposition of the Arcillas who claimed ownership of the
property. The RTC and the CA affirmed the decision and dismissed the appeal of the Arcillas.

Before the SC, one of the issues raised by the Arcillas was the certification of non-forum shopping which appears to have been executed by the
applicant in Maryland and notarized before a notary public in Maryland. The Arcillas invoked the Lopez decision.

According to Justice Austria-Martinez of the Third Division of the SC, the ruling in Lopez is inapplicable to the present case because the Rules
of Evidence which were in effect at that time were the old Rules prior to their amendment in 1989. The rule applied in Lopez was based on
Section 25, Rule 132 and spoke of an official record or an entry therein. When the Rules of Evidence were amended in 1989, Sec. 25, Rule 132
became Section 24, Rule 132 and the amendment consisted in the deletion of the introductory phrase an official record or an entry therein,
which was substituted by the phrase, The record of public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of Section 19.

Sec. 19 refers to classes of documents and sub-paragraph (a) refers to written official acts or records of the official acts of the sovereign
authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers whether of the Philippines or of a foreign country.

Thus, Justice Austria-Martinez said that the required certification of an officer in the foreign service under Sec. 24 refers only to the
documents referred in Sec. 19 (a). In Lopez, the requirements of then Sec. 25, Rule 132 were made applicable to all public or official records
without any distinction because the old rule did not distinguish.

She agreed with the position of the Court of Appeals penned by Justice Buenaventura J. Guerrero with concurrence of Justices Andres B.
Reyes Jr. and Regalado E. Maambong that Sec. 24 of Rule 132 does not include documents acknowledge before a notary public abroad and
explicitly refers only to paragraph (a) of Sec. 19. If the rule comprehends to cover notarial documents, the rule could have included the same.

HELD: The law does not require that parties to a document notarized by a notary public should be residents of the place where the said
document is acknowledged or that they affix their signature in the presence of the notary publicwhat is necessary is that the persons
who signed a notarized document are the very same persons who executed and personally appeared before the notary public in order to
attest to the contents and truth of what are stated therein.Petitioners claim that the Affidavit of Quitclaim is null and void on the ground
that the signatories thereto are not residents of Virac, Catanduanes and that they affixed their signature in places other than Virac, Catanduanes
where they supposedly acknowledged the said document, is not persuasive. The Court finds no error in the finding of the MTC, as affirmed by the
CA, that the execution of the subject Affidavit of Quitclaim or the signatures of the affiants appearing therein were never contested nor raised
as an issue and that petitioner Sarah Arcilla herself acknowledged her own signature in the said Affidavit. In any event, the law does not require
that parties to a document notarized by a notary public should be residents of the place where the said document is acknowledged or that they
affix their signature in the presence of the notary public. What is necessary is that the persons who signed a notarized document are the very
same persons who executed and personally appeared before the notary public in order to attest to the contents and truth of what are stated
therein.

ABBAS VS ABBAS

FACTS: Syed, a Pakistani citizen, testified that he met Gloria, a Filipino citizen, in Taiwan in 1991, and they were married on August 9, 1992 at
the Taipei Mosque in Taiwan. In January 1993, Syed Azhar Abbas was invited to the house of Felicitas Goo, mother of Gloria Goo. He said he was
asked to participate in a ceremony which was meant to welcome him to the Philippines (Abbas is a Pakistani). He said he did not know that the
ceremony was actually his marriage with Gloria Goo.

Later, Gloria filed a bigamy case against Abbas. Abbas allegedly married a certain Maria Corazon Buenaventura.

To avoid the bigamy case, Abbas filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to Gloria Goo.
To prove the validity of their marriage, Gloria presented a marriage contract signed by Abbas as well as the solemnizing officer who celebrated
their marriage. The marriage contract contained the alleged marriage license issued to Abbas.

Abbas presented a certification issued by the Local Civil Registrar which states that the marriage license, based on its number, indicated in the
marriage contract was never issued to Abbas but to someone else.

The RTC ruled in favor of Abbas. However, the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC on the ground that there was no diligence to search for the
real source of the marriage license issued to Abbas (for it could be that the marriage license was issued in another municipality).

ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage between Abbas and Goo is void ab initio.

HELD: Yes. Their marriage lacked one of the essential requisites of marriage which is the issuance of a valid marriage license.

The Court of Appeals is wrong in reversing the RTC. The Local Civil registrars certification enjoyed probative value as her duty was to
maintain records of data relative to the issuance of a marriage license. There is a presumption of regularity of official acts in favor of
the local civil registrar. Gloria was not able to overcome this presumption hence it stands to favor Abbas.

In reversing the RTC, the CA focused on the wording of the certification, stating that it did not comply with Section 28, Rule 132 of the Rules
of Court.

CA contention:

The CA deduced that from the absence of the words despite diligent search in the certification, and since the certification used stated that
no marriage license appears to have been issued, no diligent search had been conducted and thus the certification could not be given probative
value.

To justify that deduction, the CA cited the case of Republic v. Court of Appeals.45 It is worth noting that in that particular case, the Court, in
sustaining the finding of the lower court that a marriage license was lacking, relied on the Certification issued by the Civil Registrar of Pasig,
which merely stated that the alleged marriage license could not be located as the same did not appear in their records. Nowhere in the
Certification was it categorically stated that the officer involved conducted a diligent search, nor is a categorical declaration absolutely necessary
for Sec. 28, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court to apply.

Under Sec. 3(m), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, it is a disputable presumption that an official duty has been regularly performed, absent
contradiction or other evidence to the contrary.

We held, The presumption of regularity of official acts may be rebutted by affirmative evidence of irregularity or failure to perform a duty.46
No such affirmative evidence was shown that the Municipal Civil Registrar was lax in performing her duty of checking the records of their office,
thus the presumption must stand. In fact, proof does exist of a diligent search having been conducted, as Marriage License No. 996967 was
indeed located and submitted to the court. The fact that the names in said license do not correspond to those of Gloria and Syed does not
overturn the presumption that the registrar conducted a diligent search of the records of her office.

It is telling that Gloria failed to present their marriage license or a copy thereof to the court. She failed to explain why the marriage license was
secured in Carmona, Cavite, a location where, admittedly, neither party resided. She took no pains to apply for the license, so she is not the best
witness to testify to the validity and existence of said license. Neither could the other witnesses she presented prove the existence of the
marriage license, as none of them applied for the license in Carmona, Cavite. Her mother, Felicitas Goo, could not even testify as to the contents
of the license, having admitted to not reading all of its contents. Atty. Sanchez, one of the sponsors, whom Gloria and Felicitas Goo approached
for assistance in securing the license, admitted not knowing where the license came from. The task of applying for the license was delegated to a
certain Qualin, who could have testified as to how the Abbas vs. Abbas, 689 SCRA 646, G.R. No. 183896 January 30, 2013

The fact that Abbas did sign the marriage contract does not make it conclusive that there was in fact a valid marriage license issued to him nor
does it cure the fact that no marriage license was issued to Abbas. Article 4 of the Family Code is clear when it says, The absence of any of the
essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio. Article 35(3) of the Family Code also provides that a marriage solemnized
without a license is void from the beginning.

KHO vs. REPUBLIC


G.R. No. 187462; June 1, 2016
FACTS:
The present petition arose from a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage filed by herein petitioner with the RTC of Oras, Eastern Samar.
Petition states:
Sometime in the afternoon of May 31, 1972, petitioner's parents summoned one Eusebio Colongon, now deceased, then clerk in the office of the
municipal treasurer, instructing said clerk to arrange and prepare whatever necessary papers were required for the intended marriage between
petitioner and respondent supposedly to take place at around midnight of June 1, 1972 so as to exclude the public from witnessing such.
Petitioner and Respondent thereafter exchanged marital vows in a marriage ceremony which actually took place at around 3:00 before dawn of
June 1, 1972, on account that there was a public dance held in the town plaza which is just situated adjacent to the church, and the dance only
finished at around 2:00 of same early morning.
Petitioner has never gone to the office of the Local Civil Registrar to apply for marriage license and had not seen much less signed any papers or
documents in connection with the procurement of a marriage license.
Considering the shortness of period from the time the aforenamed clerk of the treasurer's office was told to obtain the pertinent papers so
requied for the purpose of the forthcoming marriage up to the moment the actual marriage was celebrated, no marriage license therefore could
have been validly issued, thereby rendering the marriage null and void for want of the most essential requisite.
Neither was it performed under circumstances exempting the requirement of such marriage license. Prayer:
It is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court that after due notice and hearing, judgment be rendered:
1. Declaring the contract of marriage between petitioner and respondent held on June 1, 1972, at Arteche, Eastern Samar, null and void ab initio
and of no legal effect.
Among the pieces of evidence presented by petitioner is a Certification issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar of Arteche, Eastern Samar which
attested to the fact that the Office of the Local Civil Registrar has neither record nor copy of a marriage license issued to petitioner and
respondent with respect to their marriage.
Respondent filed her Answer praying that the petition be outrightly dismissed for lack of cause of action because there is no evidence to prove
petitioner's allegation that their marriage was celebrated without the requisite marriage license and that, on the contrary, both petitioner and
respondent personally appeared before the local civil registrar and secured a marriage license which they presented before their marriage was
solemnized.
Upon petitioner's request, the venue of the action was subsequently transferred to the RTC of Borongan, Eastern Samar where the parties
submitted their respective pleadings as well as affidavits of witnesses.
RTC granted the petition. RTC found that petitioner's evidence sufficiently established the absence of the requisite marriage license. RTC ruled
that based on Articles 53 (4), 58 and 80 (3) of the Civil Code, the absence of the said marriage license rendered the marriage between petitioner
and respondent null and void ab initio.
Respondent then filed an appeal with the CA in Cebu City. CA reversed and set aside the RTC decision. CA held that since a marriage was, in fact,
solemnized between the contending parties, there is a presumption that a marriage license was issued for that purpose and that petitioner failed
to overcome such presumption. The CA also ruled that the absence of any indication in the marriage certificate that a marriage license was issued
is a mere defect in the formal requisites of the law which does not invalidate the parties' marriage.
Petitioner filed MR, but the CA denied.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in disregarding petitioner's documentary evidences of lack of marriage license and giving weight instead to
unsupported presumptions in favor of respondent.
HELD:
The Court finds for the petitioner.
The marriage of petitioner and respondent was celebrated on June 1, 1972, prior to the effectivity of the Family Code. Hence, the Civil Code
governs their union. Article 53 of the Civil Code spells out the essential requisites of marriage as a contract, to wit:
ART. 53. No marriage shall be solemnized unless all these requisites are complied with:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties;
(2) Their consent, freely given;
(3) Authority of the person performing the marriage; and
(4) A marriage license, except in a marriage of exceptional character.
Under the Civil Code, marriages of exceptional character are covered by Chapter 2, Title III, comprising Articles 72 to 79. These marriages are:
(1) marriages in articulo mortis or at the point of death during peace or war; (2) marriages in remote places; (3) consular marriages; (4) ratification
of marital cohabitation; (5) religious ratification of a civil marriage; (6) Mohammedan or pagan marriages; and (7) mixed marriages. Petitioner's
and respondent's marriage does not fall under any of these exceptions.
Article 80 (3) of the Civil Code also makes it clear that a marriage performed without the corresponding marriage license is void, this being
nothing more than the legitimate consequence flowing from the fact that the license is the essence of the marriage contract. The rationale is
that it is the authority granted by the State to the contracting parties, after the proper government official has inquired into their capacity to
contract marriage.
In the instant case, respondent claims that she and petitioner were able to secure a marriage license which they presented to the solemnizing
officer before the marriage was performed.
The OSG, on its part, contends that the presumption is always in favor of the validity of marriage and that any doubt should be resolved to sustain
such validity. Indeed, this Court is mindful of this principle as well as of the Constitutional policy which protects and strengthens the family as
the basic autonomous social institution and marriage as the foundation of the family.
On the other hand, petitioner insists that the Certification issued by the Civil Registrar of Arteche, Eastern Samar, coupled with the testimony
of the former Civil Registrar, is sufficient evidence to prove the absence of the subject marriage license.
The Court agrees with petitioner and finds no doubt to be resolved as the evidence is clearly in his favor.

Apropos is the case of Nicdao Cario v. Yee Cario. There, it was held that the certification of the Local Civil Registrar, that their
office had no record of a marriage license, was adequate to prove the non-issuance of said license. It was further held that the presumed
validity of the marriage of the parties had been overcome, and that it became the burden of the party alleging a valid marriage to prove
that the marriage was valid, and that the required marriage license had been secured.
Petitioner was able to present a Certification issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar of Arteche, Eastern Samar attesting that the Office of the
Local Civil Registrar "has no record nor copy of any marriage license ever issued in favor of Raquel G. Kho [petitioner] and Veronica M. Borata
[respondent]" Thus, on the basis of such Certification, the presumed validity of the marriage of petitioner and respondent has been overcome
and it becomes the burden of respondent to prove that their marriage is valid as it is she who alleges such validity. As found by the RTC,
respondent was not able to discharge that burden.
It is telling that respondent failed to present their alleged marriage license or a copy thereof to the court. In addition, the Certificate of
Marriage issued by the officiating priest does not contain any entry regarding the said marriage license, Respondent could have obtained a copy
of their marriage contract from the National Archives and Records Section, where information regarding the marriage license, i.e., date of
issuance and license number, could be obtained. However, she also failed to do so. The Court also notes, with approval, the RTC's agreement with
petitioner's observation that the statements of the witnesses for respondent, as well as respondent herself, all attest to the fact that a marriage
ceremony was conducted but neither one of them testified that a marriage license was issued in favor of petitioner and respondent. Indeed, she
failed to present evidence to prove such allegation. It is a settled rule that one who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and mere allegation
is not evidence.

Based on the Certification issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar of Arteche, Eastern Samar, coupled with respondent's failure to produce a copy
of the alleged marriage license or of any evidence to show that such license was ever issued, the only conclusion that can be reached is that no
valid marriage license was, in fact, issued. Contrary to the ruling of the CA, it cannot be said that there was a simple defect, not a total absence,
in the requirements of the law which would not affect the validity of the marriage. The fact remains that respondent failed to prove that the
subject marriage license was issued and the law is clear that a marriage which is performed without the corresponding marriage license is null and
void.
As to the sufficiency of petitioner's evidence, the OSG further argues that, on the basis of this Court's ruling in Sevilla v. Cardenas, the
certification issued by the local civil registrar, which attests to the absence in its records of a marriage license, must categorically state that
the document does not exist in the said office despite diligent search.
However, in Republic of the Philippines v. CA, this Court considered the certification issued by the Local Civil Registrar as a certification
of due search and inability to find the record or entry sought by the parties despite the absence of a categorical statement that "such
document does not exist in their records despite diligent search." The Court, citing Section 28, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, held that
the certification of due search and inability to find a record or entry as to the purported marriage license, issued by the civil registrar,
enjoys probative value, he being the officer charged under the law to keep a record of all data relative to the issuance of a marriage
license. Based on said certification, the Court held that there is absence of a marriage license that would render the marriage void ab
initio.
Moreover, as discussed in the abovestated case of Nicdao Cario v. Yee Cario, this Court considered the marriage of the petitioner and her
deceased husband as void ab initio as the records reveal that the marriage contract of petitioner and the deceased bears no marriage license
number and, as certified by the local civil registrar, their office has no record of such marriage license. The court held that the certification
issued by the local civil registrar is adequate to prove the non-issuance of the marriage license.

Moreover, Under Sec. 3(m), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, it is a disputable presumption that an official duty has been regularly
performed, absent contradiction or other evidence to the contrary.

It can be deduced that to be considered void on the ground of absence of a marriage license, the law requires that the absence of such marriage
license must be apparent on the marriage contract, or at the very least, supported by a certification from the local civil registrar that no such
marriage license was issued to the parties.
Indeed, all the evidence cited by the CA to show that a wedding ceremony was conducted and a marriage contract was signed does not operate to
cure the absence of a valid marriage license. As the marriage license, an essential requisite under the Civil Code, is clearly absent, the marriage
of petitioner and respondent is void ab initio.

NORBERTO A. VITANGCOL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 207406, January 13, 2016
LEONEN, J.:
FACTS:
Norberto was charged with bigamy with bigamy for contracting a second or subsequent marriage with ALICE G. EDUARDO-VITANGCOL which
second marriage has all the legal requisites for its validity with the said accused NORBERTO ABELLA VITANGCOL knowing fully well prior to and
at the time of the celebration of the second marriage he was already married to the said GINA M. GAERLAN.
Norberto was arraigned, pleading not guilty to the charge. Trial then ensued.9
According to the prosecution, on December 4, 1994, Norberto married Alice G. Eduardo (Alice) at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros. Born into
their union were three (3) children.10
After some time, Alice "began hearing rumors that [her husband] was previously married to another womanf.]"11 She eventually discovered that
Norberto was previously married to a certain Gina M. Gaerlan (Gina) on July 17, 1987, as evidenced by a marriage contract registered with the
National Statistics Office. Alice subsequently filed a criminal Complaint for bigamy against Norberto.12
On the other hand, Norberto alleged that he and Alice became romantically involved sometime in 1987.13 "After much prodding by their friends
and relatives, [he and Alice] decided to get married in 1994."14
Before finalizing their marriage plans, however, Norberto revealed to Alice that he had a "fake marriage"15 with his college girlfriend, a certain
Gina Gaerlan.16 Nevertheless, despite Norberto's revelation, Alice convinced him that they proceed with the wedding. Thus, Norberto and Alice
were married on December 4, 1994 and, thereafter, had three children.17
Sometime in 2007, Norberto heard rumors from their household workers that Alice was having an affair with a married man. He was able to
confirm the affair after hearing Alice in a phone conversation with her paramour.18
Norberto then sought advice from his business lawyer who later on convinced Alice to end the affair. The lawyer also warned Alice of the possible
criminal liability she may incur if she continued seeing her paramour.19
Allegedly in retaliation to the threat of criminal action against her, Alice filed the criminal Complaint for bigamy against Norberto.20
Finding that Norberto contracted a second marriage with Alice despite his subsisting valid marriage with Gina, Branch 25 of the Regional Trial
Court of Manila convicted Norberto of bigamy.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals sustained the guilty verdict against Norberto but modified the penalty imposed in accordance with the
Indeterminate Sentence Law.
Norberto filed a Motion for Reconsideration,23 which the Court of Appeals denied. Norberto filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari before this
court. The People of the Philippines, through the Office of the Solicitor General, filed a Comment25 to which Norberto filed a Reply.26
Norberto argues that the first element of bigamy is absent in this case.27 He presents as evidence a Certification28 from the Office of the
Civil Registrar of Imus, Cavite, which states that the Office has no record of the marriage license allegedly issued in his favor and his first wife,
Gina. He argues that with no proof of existence of an essential requisite of marriagethe marriage licensethe prosecution fails to establish
the legality of his first marriage.29
In addition, Norberto claims that the legal dissolution of the first marriage is not an element of the crime of bigamy. According to Norberto,
nothing in Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code that punishes bigamy mentions that requirement.30 Stating that "[a]ny reasonable doubt must
be resolved in favor of the accused[,]"31 Norberto prays for his acquittal.32
The prosecution counters that it has proven the existence of Norberto's prior valid marriage with Gina as evidenced by the marriage contract
they had executed. The prosecution likewise proved that the first marriage of Norberto with Gina was not legally dissolved; that while his first
marriage was subsisting, Norberto contracted a second marriage with Alice; and that the second marriage would have been valid had it not been
for the existence of the first. Norberto, therefore, should be convicted of bigamy.

ISSUE:
The issue for our resolution is whether the Certification from the Office of the Civil Registrar that it has no record of the marriage license
issued to petitioner Norberto A. Vitangcol and his first wife Gina proves the nullity of petitioner's first marriage and exculpates him from the
bigamy charge.

HELD:
Contrary to petitioner's claim, all the elements of bigamy are present in this case. Petitioner was still legally married to Gina when he married
Alice. Thus, the trial court correctly convicted him of the crime charged.
Based on the marriage contract presented in evidence, petitioner's first marriage was solemnized on July 17, 1987. This was before the Family
Code of the Philippines became effective on August 3, 1988.35 Consequently, provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines36 govern the validity
of his first marriage.
Article 53 of the Civil Code enumerates the requisites of marriage, the absence of any of which renders the marriage void from the beginning:37

Article 53. No marriage shall be solemnized unless all these requisites are complied with:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties;
(2) Their consent, freely given;
(3) Authority of the person performing the marriage; and
(4) A marriage license, except in a marriage of exceptional character.

The fourth requisitethe marriage licenseis issued by the local civil registrar of the municipality where either contracting party habitually
resides.38 The marriage license represents the state's "involvement and participation in every marriage, in the maintenance of which the general
public is interested."39
To prove that a marriage was solemnized without a marriage license, "the law requires that the absence of such marriage license must be apparent
on the marriage contract, or at the very least, supported by a certification from the local civil registrar that no such marriage license was issued
to the parties."40
Petitioner presents a Certification from the Office of the Civil Registrar of Imus, Cavite.
This Certification does not prove that petitioner's first marriage was solemnized without a marriage license. It does not categorically state that
Marriage License No. 8683519 does not exist.42
Moreover, petitioner admitted the authenticity of his signature appearing on the marriage contract between him and his first wife, Gina.43 The
marriage contract between petitioner and Gina is a positive piece of evidence as to the existence of petitioner's first marriage.44 This "should
be given greater credence than documents testifying merely as to [the] absence of any record of the marriage[.]"45

This court held that "[t]he certification . . . enjoys probative value, [the local civil registrar] being the officer charged under the law to
keep a record of all data relative to the issuance of a marriage license."49 This court further said that "[u]naccompanied by any
circumstance of suspicion and pursuant to Section 29, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, a certificate of 'due search and inability to find'
sufficiently proved that [the local civil registrar] did not issue [a] marriage license ... to the contracting parties."

The appreciation of the probative value of the certification cannot be divorced from the purpose of its presentation, the cause of action in the
case, and the context of the presentation of the certification in relation to the other evidence presented in the case. We are not prepared to
establish a doctrine that a certification that a marriage license cannot be found may substitute for a definite statement that no such license
existed or was issued. Definitely, the Office of the Civil Registrar of Imus, Cavite should be fully aware of the repercussions of those words.
That the license now cannot be found is not basis per se to say that it could not have been issued.
A different view would undermine the stability of our legal order insofar as marriages are concerned. Marriage licenses may be conveniently lost
due to negligence or consideration. The motivation to do this becomes greatest when the benefit is to evade prosecution.

This factual context makes the use and issuance of the Certification from the Office of the Civil Registrar suspect. The prosecution has to
prove that despite the existence of a valid first marriage, petitioner nevertheless contracted a second or subsequent marriage. The
admission of a marriage contract with proof of its authenticity and due execution suffices to discharge the burden of proving beyond
reasonable doubt that a prior marriage exists. The burden of evidence will, thus, pass on to the defense. Mere presentation of a
certification from the civil registrar that the marriage license cannot be found is not enough to discharge the burden of proving that no
such marriage license was issued.

This court cannot grant the presumption of good faith and regularity in the performance of official functions to the civil registrar for the
purposes sought by petitioner. In other words, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions is too remotely detached
to the conclusion that there is no marriage license.
At best, the presumption of regularity in the performance of the civil registrar's function without the context just discussed can lead to the
conclusion that he in good faith could not find the marriage license in his office. This presumption does not mean that the marriage license did
not exist. Nor does it mean that the marriage license was issued.
However, even the conclusion of good faith is difficult to accept. There was a marriage contract duly executed by petitioner and his first spouse
as well as by the solemnizing officer. The marriage contract is in the custody of the civil registrar. The presumption of regularity in the
performance of official functions by a public officer should likewise be applicable to infer a conclusion that the marriage license mentioned in
that contract exists.
Assuming without conceding that petitioner's first marriage was solemnized without a marriage license, petitioner remains liable for bigamy.
Petitioner's first marriage was not judicially declared void. Nor was his first wife Gina judicially declared presumptively dead under the Civil
Code.56 The second element of the crime of bigamy is, therefore, present in this case.
With all the elements of bigamy present in this case, petitioner was correctly convicted of the crime charged.
WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review on Certiorari is DENIED. The Court of Appeals Decision dated July 18, 2012 and Resolution dated June 3,
2013 in CA-G.R. CR No. 33936 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Petitioner Norberto A. Vitangcol is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate
penalty of six (6) months and one (1) day of prision correccional as minimum to eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as maximum.

Section 30 Proof of Notarial Documents


GREGORIO DESTREZA v ATTY. MA. GRACIA RIOZA-PLAZO and MA. FE ALARAS
G.R. No. 176863 October 30, 2009

Facts: Pedro L. Rioza (Rioza) died, leaving several heirs, which included respondents (Plazo)and (Alaras). In the course of settling Riozas estate,
respondent Plazo wrote a letter to the Registry of Deeds requesting for certified true copies of all titles in Riozas name, including a sugarland
located at Barangay Utod, Nasugbu, Batangas covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) 40353. When she delivered the letter, Plazo also
asked that she be shown the originals of the titles but they were not available. To inquire on the matter, she talked to the Register of Deeds,
Atty. Alexander Bonuan. According to Bonuan, he had the titles in his personal files and there were no transactions involving them. respondent
Plazo found another title, TCT 55396, at the Assessors Office covering the same Utod sugarland and canceling the missing TCT 40353. The new
title, entered was in the name of petitioner Gregorio M. Destreza and his wife Bernarda Butiong. Alaras testified that her late father, Rioza,
gave her the title of a land that he wanted to mortgage to her uncle. Rioza told her that the land was about five hectares and was located at
Barangay Utod, Nasugbu, Batangas. She did not, however, look at the number of the title. A week later, unable to secure a mortgage from her
uncle, she returned the title to her father and never saw it again.
Their discovery prodded respondents Plazo and Alaras to file a complaint against the Destreza spouses and the Register of Deeds before the
RTC and an amended complaint. They claim serious irregularities in the issuance of TCT 55396 to petitioner Destreza. They asked, among others,
that TCT 55396 be nullified, that TCT 40353 be restored, and that the Destrezas be ordered to reconvey the land to the Rioza estate.
Register of Deeds Bonuan denied that TCT 40353 was missing since he had the title safe in his office and no transaction affecting it had been
recorded. With regard to TCT 55396, he explained that the new title had not yet been released to the Destreza spouses because they were yet
to submit certain required documents. Bonuan claimed that during his lifetime, the late Rioza, asked him for a photocopy of TCT 55396. As a
courtesy to the ex-mayor, Bonuan gave him a copy.
In compliance with the RTCs order, Bonuan gave the court certified copies of TCTs 40353and 55396 as well as the duplicate original of the deed
of absolute sale between Rioza and the Destreza spouses.
On the part of the Destreza spouses, petitioner Destreza testified that he bought the Utod sugarland from Rioza through Toribio Ogerio, a
common kumpadre.He paid him P100,000.00 Destreza did not get a copy of the deed of sale nor a receipt for the payment but Rioza accompanied
him to the Register of Deeds. After about a month, but not later than July 15, 1989, Destreza returned to the Register of Deeds and got a copy
of TCT 55396 in his name.
After the sale, petitioner Destreza immediately took possession of the land, plowing and planting on it even until the case was filed. No
communication or demand letter from respondents Plazo and Alaras disturbed his occupation until he received the summons for suit.
RTC- declared that the deed of sale between Rioza and Destreza is not a public document for the failure of the notary public to submit his report
to the RTC notarial section. Thus, the RTC found no basis for the cancellation of TCT 40353 and the issuance of TCT 55396 in the name of the
Destreza spouses.
CA- affirmed RTC with the modification that Riozas estate did not have to pay any amount to the Destrezas. Although it found that the deed of
sale may be presumed regularly executed despite the notary's failure to report the transaction to the RTC Notarial Section, Destrezas themselves
destroyed such presumption when they failed to prove its authenticity and genuineness.

Issue: whether or not sufficient evidence warranted the nullification of the deed of sale that the late Rioza executed in favor of the Destrezas.

Ruling: Yes. Indeed, the notarized deed of sale should be admitted as evidence despite the failure of the Notary Public in submitting his notarial
report to the notarial section of the RTC Manila. It is the swearing of a person before the Notary Public and the latters act of signing and affixing
his seal on the deed that is material and not the submission of the notarial report.
Parties who appear before a notary public to have their documents notarized should not be expected to follow up on the submission of the notarial
reports. They should not be made to suffer the consequences of the negligence of the Notary Public in following the procedures prescribed by
the Notarial Law. Thus, the notarized deed of sale executed by Rioza is admissible as evidence of the sale of the Utod sugarland to the Destrezas.
Furthermore, it will be shown later that the Destrezas did not fabricate the sale of the Utod sugarland as may be suggested by the failure of
the Notary Public to submit his notarial report because there are evidence which show that Rioza really consented to the sale.
The CA, however, made a mistake with regard to the assignment of the burden of proof. No rule requires a party, who relies on a notarized deed
of sale for establishing his ownership, to present further evidence of such deeds genuineness lest the presumption of its due execution be for
naught. Under the rules of evidence, Every instrument duly acknowledged or proved and certified as provided by law, may be presented in evidence
without further proof, the certificate of acknowledgment being prima facie evidence of the execution of the instrument or document involved.
Here, Atty. Crispulo Ducusin notarized the deed of sale that Rioza acknowledged as his free act and deed on June 17, 1989. By signing and
affixing his notarial seal on the deed, Atty. Ducusin converted it from a private document to a public document. As such, the deed of sale is
entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. And since Rioza, the executor of the deed, is already dead, the notarized deed of absolute sale is
the best evidence of his consent to the sale of the Utod sugarland to the Destreza spouses.Parenthetically, it is not disputed that the
Destrezas immediately and openly occupied the land right after the sale and continuously cultivated it from then on. Furthermore, the
declaration of Bonuan that he furnished ex-mayor Rioza with a copy of TCT 55396 strengthens the case of the Destrezas. It shows that Rioza
knew of and gave consent to the sale of his Utod sugarland to them considering that he even helped facilitate the registration of the deed of
sale. This negates any possible suggestion that the Destrezas merely fabricated the sale of the Utod sugarland on the evidence that the Notary
Public failed to submit his notarial report. Whatever irregularity in registration may have been incurred, it did not affect the validity of the
sale. TCT 40353 remained uncancelled in her fathers hands even after the supposed entry of TCT 55396 in the Registry of Deeds. But she did
not so testify. #HOFFMAN

PEOPLE V TOMAQUIN

FACTS: At around 11:00 in the evening of December 14, 1996, appellant Elizar Tomaquin @ Hapon, together with Rico and Romy Magdasal, Noel
Labay, and a certain Cardo, were drinking Red Horse beer in Itom Yuta, Lorega, Cebu City. Appellant left the group at around 1:00 in the morning,
saying he has a headache. At the behest of Rico Magdasal, the group transferred to Lorega proper. A few minutes later, they heard Rustica
Isogan shouting for help as the latter heard Jaquelyn Tatoy, her goddaughter, asking for help. Isogan got two flashlights and they proceeded
upstairs to Jaquelyns house. The first to go up was a certain Moises, followed by the brothers Rico and Romy Magdasal, while Noel and Cardo
remained downstairs. Rico noticed that the hinge and the walling of the main door were damaged, as if it were kicked open, and only the light in
the kitchen was turned on. Rico also saw a black shoe on the stairs and another in the sala, which he claims belong to appellant. When they went
into the kitchen, they saw Jaquelyn bloodied and sprawled face-up on the floor, with her head inside a plastic container. Jaquelyn was brought to
the hospital, where she expired. A neighbor later found a tres cantos with blood on it by the stairs, which Rico also identified to be appellants. A
certain Rey got the black pair of shoes and tres cantos for safekeeping which were later turned over to Policeman Tariao of the Homicide Section,
Ramos Police Station. The person who turned over the objects to Policeman Tariao was not identified.
At around 12:00 in the afternoon of December 15, 1996, barangay tanods Julius Yosores and Armando Zabate of Lorega, Cebu City, searched for
appellant because of the information given by Rico Magdasal that the shoes and tres cantos found in the scene of the crime belonged to appellant.
Together with Rico, they went to the house of Wilson Magdasal where appellant was temporarily staying, and found him sleeping. Appellant was
wearing a bloodstained maong shorts. The tanods told appellant that he is a suspect in the killing of Jaquelyn, and brought him to the house of
barangay captain Atty. Fortunato Parawan. There, appellant was asked about the shirt he was wearing and he told them that it was in Wilson
Magdasals house. It was Edgar Magdasal who found his shirt, wet and bloodstained, among the soiled clothes. Atty. Parawan then told his tanods
to take appellant to the police station

In the morning of the next day, December 16, 1996, appellant was investigated by SPO2 Mario Monilar of the Homicide Section, Ramos Police
Station in Cebu City. After being apprised of his constitutional rights, appellant told SPO2 Monilar that he was willing to confess and asked for
Atty. Parawan, the barangay captain, to assist him. SPO2 Monilar called Atty. Parawan but the latter told him that he will be available in the
afternoon. When Atty. Parawan arrived at 2:00 in the afternoon, he conferred with appellant for around fifteen minutes. Atty. Parawan then
called SPO2 Monilar and told him that appellant was ready to give his statement.

On the witness stand, appellant did not deny that he had a drinking spree with Rico Magdasal and three other persons. His version of the incident
is that it was Rico who committed the crime and not him. Appellant testified that Rico asked his help in stealing the television set from the Tatoys
residence. When Jacquelyn saw them, she ran towards the kitchen but she did not reach it as Rico had stabbed her on the back with the tres
cantos. Appellant claims that it was Rico who owns the tres cantos, as well as the pair of shoes, left inside Tatoys house. Afraid of what happened,
appellant went home to Wilson Magdasals house and slept there. He was awakened the next morning by barangay tanod Julius Yosores who kicked
him. Yosores also boxed and poked a gun at him. Appellant claims that Rico and Edgar Magdasal maltreated him in the presence of barangay captain
Atty. Fortunato Parawan when he was brought to the latters house. He was made to admit committing the crime because Rico has a family while
he is single.

Appellant also repudiated his extrajudicial confession, saying that Atty. Parawan merely asked him to sign a blank sheet of paper and in exchange,
Atty. Parawan promised to assist and help him with his expenses.
After trial, the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City (Branch 18) (RTC for brevity) rendered its decision on October 24, 1997, convicting appellant
of the crime of Murder
Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE: WON THE EXTRA JUDICIAL CONFESSION OF THE APPELLANT SHOULD BE ADMITTED
HELD: YES. Appellants extrajudicial confession was taken and transcribed entirely in the Cebuano dialect. Rule 132, Section 33 of the Revised
Rules on Evidence provides:
Sec. 33. Documentary evidence in an unofficial language.-- Documents written in an unofficial language shall not be admitted as evidence, unless
accompanied with a translation into English or Filipino. To avoid interruption of proceedings, parties or their attorneys are directed to have such
translation prepared before trial.
The rule is that when there is presented in evidence an exhibit written in any language other than the official language (Filipino or English), if
there is an appeal, that exhibit should be translated by the official interpreter of the court, or a translation should be agreed upon by the parties,
and both original and translation sent to this court. In this case, there is no official translation of appellants extrajudicial confession in the
Filipino or English language. If the Court were to strictly follow the rule, then appellants extrajudicial confession should not have been admitted
by the trial court as evidence for the prosecution.
Nevertheless, considering that appellant did not interpose any objection thereto, and the parties and the judicial authorities or personnel
concerned appeared to be familiar with or knowledgeable of Cebuano in which the document was written, such extrajudicial confession was
appropriately considered by the trial court as evidence for the prosecution.

Pisuena vs Unating
G.R. No. 132803, August 31,1999
Panganiban J.

Facts: Lot 1201 is a registered land in the name of Petra Unating married to Aquilino Villar, both later died. The spouses had 2 children, namely
Felix Villar and Catalina Villar, both also later died. Felix Villar is represented by Dolores Villar Bautista, the eldest of his four children while
Catalina Villar is represented by Salvador Villar Upod, the eldest of her three (3) children, all as respondents. Jessie Pisuea, is the son-in-law of
Agustin Navarra who was once a mayor of Ivisan.

The land in question was a subject of court litigations between Dolores Bautista and Salvador Upod on one hand, and Jessie Pisuea on the other.
Thus, when Salvador Upod filed a petition for reconstitution of its title in CFI, Jessie Pisuea filed his opposition. Nevertheless, the title was
reconstituted in the name of the registered owners.

Defendant Jessie Pisuea filed a petition for the surrender of withheld owners duplicate certificate of title under Special Case No. 4610 against
Salvador Upod, et. al. for Quieting of Title and Damages with Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction before this court then presided by Hon.
Odon C. Yrad, Jr. who dismissed said complaint. Plaintiffs evidence further shows that Salvador Upod and Dolores Bautista filed a complaint for
ejectment with damages against defendant Jessie Pisuea and Norberto Tugna before the Municipal Court.

Respondents contend that during the lifetime of the registered owners, Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar, they enjoyed the absolute ownership
and possession of Lot No. 1201. However, sometime in 1950 (after the death of Petra Unating on October 1, 1948) Aquilino Villar entered into an
oral partnership agreement for ten 10 yrs with Agustin Navarra involving the swampy portion of the lot in question. It was agreed that the area
of around three 3 hectares shall further be developed into a fishpond while about one 1 hectare shall be converted into a fishpond with the
investment capital of Agustin Navarra. Whatever excess there was in the capital so invested shall be used to make the fishpond productive.
Parties agreed that the net income after deducting expenses shall be divided equally between Aquilino Villar and his co-heirs on one hand and
Agustin Navarra on the other. The upland portion of the land remained in the possession of the plaintiffs. Agustin Navarra, who managed the
partnership, religiously gave Aquilino Villar and his co-heirs their share.

Since Agustin Navarra died, Felix and Catalina Villar repossessed the land in question until their death. Thereafter, the children of Felix and
Catalina Villar continued the possession until the defendant disturbed their possession. However, in 1975, they regained physical possession of
the disputed area particularly the fishpond portion. Defendant later acquired physical possession, thus the complaint for its recovery. Defendant
contends that the whole land was sold by Felix and Catalina Villar to Agustin Navarra. The contract in Spanish captioned ESCRITURA DE VENTA
ABSOLUTA to evidence such sale was duly notarized by Jose Villagracia, Notary Public, and was entered in his Notarial Register.
More than ten (10) years after the death of Agustin Navarra, his heirs executed a Deed of Extra Judicial Partition and Deed of Sale of the land
in question in favor of the Spouses Jessie Pisuea and Rosalie Navarra. From the time of the sale up to the present, the fishpond portion was in
the possession of the spouses Jessie Pisuea and Rosalie Navarra. However, the upland portion is in the possession of Salvador Upod and Dolores
Bautista by mere tolerance of the defendant, denying any partnership agreement by Agustin Navarra and spouses Villar.

Trial Court ruled that purported sale by Felix and Catalina Villar could be considered valid, but pertained only to the share of Petra
Unating, since at the time of the sale, Aquilino Villa was still alive. Respondents were also held entitled to share in the disputed lot. CA affirmed
the same ruling that the disputed lot belonged to the conjugal partnership of Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar.Petitioner traces his claim over the
disputed lot to his father-in-law, Agustin Navarra, who in turn acquired it from Felix and Catalina Villar, Petra Unatings children. His claim is
evidenced by a notarized Deed of Sale written in Spanish, captioned Escritura de Venta Absoluta. Private Respondent Salvador Upod, on the other
hand, asserts that both the trial and the appellate courts erred in admitting the Deed, citing Section 33, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, which
provides:
Documents written in an unofficial language shall not be admitted as evidence, unless accompanied with a translation into English or Filipino. To
avoid interruption of the proceedings, parties or their attorneys are directed to have such translation prepared before trial.

Issue: W/N the Deed of Sale written in Spanish is admissible

Held:The assertion is without merit. The aforementioned rule is not always taken literally so long as there was no prejudice caused to the opposing
party (People v. Salison, G.R. No. 115690, February 20, 1996).The records show that there was no prejudice caused to the plaintiffs who appear
to be familiar with the contents or the nature of Exhibit '1'. As proof thereof, they even questioned the defendant on the subject document.
Importantly, when required by the court to comment on the English translation of Exhibit '1' (p. 316, records) plaintiffs did not bother to comment
giving rise to the presumption that the translation submitted was correct (p. 340, records). Hence, the court a quo did not err in admitting the
Escritura de Venta Absoluta.[13]
Furthermore, the respondents were not able to impugn the due execution and validity of the notarized Deed.
Neither are we persuaded by Upods argument that the petitioners right has prescribed under Article 1144 of the Civil Code. It is undisputed
that he was already in possession of the fishpond when the present case was filed.

CABOTAJE VS PUDUNAN

FACTS: Bonifacia Lang-ew was the owner of two parcels of land in Nueva Vizcaya, Law-ew died intestate and was survived by her grandchildren
Maria Cabotaje, Agustin Cabotaje, Amelia Tomas, the children of her daughter Josefina Bintican who died on November 21, 1952; and, her
grandson Daniel Pugayan, the son of her daughter Emerenciana Bintican who also predeceased her.

Maria Cabotaje, Daniel Pugayan were in dire need of money they borrowed P1,000 from the Spouses Sotero Pudunan and Maria Rivera where
they signed a private document which stated that the payment of the said amount was secured by a mortgage over Lot 1 covered by TCT No. T-
1657, and that the property was redeemable within one year, extendible for another year, until the full amount of the loan was paid.

On the same date they affixed their signatures over a deed entitled "Confirmatory Deed of Sale," in which they undertook to sell Lot 2 covered
by TCT No. T-1657 to the Spouses Pudunan for the price of P2,000.00. Also in the document was a statement that part of the money was
remitted to Bonifacia Lang-ew and was spent by her during her illness, and to her heirs which was used for burial expenses. The document was
notarized by the Judge of the Municipality, Judge Tomas Maddela retained two copies of the deed for his notarial file. However, the deed was
not filed with the Registry of Deeds of Nueva Vizcaya. Subsequently, it was made to appear in the original copy of the said deed that both lots
were sold to Spouses Pudunan.

After nineteen years the petitioners filed for recovery of ownership and possession against the Pudunans alleging it that they mortgaged Lot 1
to secure the payment of a P1,000-loan from the respondents but only received 660, in 1972 they offered to pay their loan but refused.

The petitioners further averred that after eighteen years, or in 1984, they sought the assistance of counsel on what course of action to take,
and it was only then that they discovered that by virtue of a deed of sale issued in favor of the respondents, TCT No. T-20808 covering Lots 1
and 2 had been issued in the names of the latter. The petitioners alleged, however, that no copy of the said deed could be found in the Register
of Deeds, and that they never executed any deed of sale covering the said lots, much less any deed settling the estate of the deceased
Bonifacia Lang-ew.

The Pudunans countered that such land has long been registered in their name that Cabotajes action has already prescribed barred by statute
of limitations

In the course of the presentation of the petitioners evidence, Cornelio Tubal from the Office of the Register of Deeds of Nueva Vizcaya
testified on July 15, 1986 that TCT No. T-20808 was issued on the basis of a "Confirmatory Deed of Sale"10 covering Lots 1 and 211 which deed,
on its face, contained intercalations and alterations.

Respondent Rivera narrated that the parties to the sale arrived in the Office of Judge Maddela and requested the latter to revise the original
copy of the Confirmatory Deed of Sale so as to include Lot 1 thereon. Since Judge Maddela was in a hurry, he instructed his Clerk of Court
Mariano Gonzales to include Lot 1 in the deed, and the latter did as he was told. The petitioners and respondents then proceeded to the Office
of the Register of Deeds where the said deed was filed. According to respondent Rivera, she was not aware if Judge Maddelas notarial copies
of the deed were altered as to include Lot 1 therein, since the judge was in such a hurry. 17

The petitioners presented Maria Cabotaje on rebuttal, who testified that the petitioners never sold Lot 1 to the respondents and that they
learned of the insertions and intercalations in the original copy of the Confirmatory Deed of Sale only when Tubal testified.

RTC: Petitioners merely mortgaged the land, that the conveyance of the land to Pudunan was void since it was not made in the settlement of the
Estate. While the action to declare non-existence of a deed is imprescriptible. And the action for cancellation start to run only upon the
discovery of the fraud only when Tubal testified. No acquisitive prescription in favor of Pudunans since it was only by mere tolerance of the
Cabotajes.

CA: Reversed RTC. Holding that the original copy of the Confirmatory Deed of Sale was voidable under Article 1391 of the New Civil Code and
not void ab initio hence, the action to annul the said deed prescribed four years from the time of the petitioners actual or presumptive
knowledge thereof. Hence, the petitioners should have filed their complaint within four years from July 18, 1966 or, on or before July 19, 1970.
Since the appellees filed their complaint only on February 26, 1995, their action had long prescribed and should have been dismissed by the trial
court

ISSUE: WON the original copy of the Confirmatory Deed of Sale wherein it appears that the petitioners also sold Lot 1 of their property to
the respondents is null and void.

HELD: NO. We rule for the petitioners.

The general rule is that in a petition for review on certiorari, only questions of law may be raised. However, the rule is not without exceptions,
which the Court enumerated in Fuentes v. Court of Appeals23 as follows: (a) when the factual findings of the trial court and the Court of Appeals
are contradictory; (b) when the inference made by the Court of Appeals is manifestly mistaken or absurd; (c) when the judgment of the Court
of Appeals is premised on its misapprehension of the facts; and, (d) when the Court of Appeals failed to resolve relevant facts which, if
properly considered, would justify a modification or reversal of the decision of the appellate court.24 The present case falls within the
foregoing exceptions.

Rule 132, Section 31 of the Revised Rules of Evidence, provides:

Alterations in document, how to explain. The party producing a document as genuine which has been altered and appears to have been
altered after its execution, in a part material to the question in dispute, must account for the alteration. He may show that the
alteration was made by another, without his concurrence, or was made with the consent of the parties affected by it, or was
otherwise properly or innocently made, or that the alteration did not change the meaning or language of the instrument. If he fails to
do that, the document shall not be admissible in evidence.

There is no doubt that the alterations in the assailed deed of sale are substantial and material. We have reviewed the evidence on record and
we are convinced that the respondents, either by themselves or at their behest and without the knowledge of the petitioners, caused the
alterations in the assailed copy of the Confirmatory Deed of Sale by making it appear therein that the petitioners sold Lot 1 as well as Lot 2
with a total area of 15,333 square meters for only P2,000.00.

First. Respondent Maria Rivera admitted in court that the alteration occurred after the execution of the Confirmatory Deed of Sale. 25

Second. The petitioners did not authenticate the alterations in the assailed deed by affixing their initials or signatures thereon.

Third. Neither did Ex-Officio Notary Public, Judge Tomas Maddela authenticate the said alterations when he notarized the Confirmatory Deed
of Sale.26

Fourth. Under the Confirmatory Deed of Sale, the petitioners sold Lot 2 for P2,000.00. In the assailed deed, the petitioners purportedly also
sold Lot 1 to the respondents, but the purchase price thereof remained unchanged. Thus, under the assailed deed, the respondents
paid P2,000.00 for the two lots. The respondents failed to give a satisfactory explanation why the price of the property remained at P2,000.00
Evidently, there was no price or consideration for the sale of Lot 1, as it is incredible that the petitioners would sell the property to the
respondents without any price or consideration therefor.

Fifth. The respondents claim that they told Judge Maddela that they were also buying Lot 1 from the petitioners, but since the judge was in a
hurry to leave, he merely instructed his clerk of court to make the necessary alterations in his copies of the deed of sale.

The claim of the respondents is incredible because Saturnino Galapon, the Clerk of Court of the Municipal Trial Court of Bayombong, who
testified for the petitioners, declared that he was appointed to the position during the incumbency of Judge Florante Tupasi
Furthermore, Judge Maddela knew or should have known the legal implications of the alterations on the original copy of the Confirmatory Deed
of Sale without making the appropriate alterations in his own copies of the deed, and could not have agreed to merely ordering the clerk of
court to make the alterations himself. Aside from the fact that the copies of the deed30 retained by Judge Maddela do not contain any
alterations, the respondents failed to present Judge Tomas Maddela to corroborate the testimony of respondent Maria Rivera.

While it is true that a notarized deed of sale is a public document and has in its favor the presumption of regularity and that to contradict the
same, there must be evidence that is clear and convincing; the evidence on record in this case is, however, so clear and convincing in support of
the finding that the assailed copy of the Confirmatory Deed of Sale has been altered and is, in fact, null and void.

All told then, we find and so hold that the petitioners did not consent to the sale of Lot 1 to the respondents.

Pisuena vs Unating
G.R. No. 132803, August 31,1999
Panganiban J.

Facts: Lot 1201 is a registered land in the name of Petra Unating married to Aquilino Villar, both later died. The spouses had 2 children, namely
Felix Villar and Catalina Villar, both also later died. Felix Villar is represented by Dolores Villar Bautista, the eldest of his four children while
Catalina Villar is represented by Salvador Villar Upod, the eldest of her three (3) children, all as respondents. Jessie Pisuea, is the son-in-law of
Agustin Navarra who was once a mayor of Ivisan.

The land in question was a subject of court litigations between Dolores Bautista and Salvador Upod on one hand, and Jessie Pisuea on the other.
Thus, when Salvador Upod filed a petition for reconstitution of its title in CFI, Jessie Pisuea filed his opposition. Nevertheless, the title was
reconstituted in the name of the registered owners.

Defendant Jessie Pisuea filed a petition for the surrender of withheld owners duplicate certificate of title under Special Case No. 4610 against
Salvador Upod, et. al. for Quieting of Title and Damages with Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction before this court then presided by Hon.
Odon C. Yrad, Jr. who dismissed said complaint. Plaintiffs evidence further shows that Salvador Upod and Dolores Bautista filed a complaint for
ejectment with damages against defendant Jessie Pisuea and Norberto Tugna before the Municipal Court.

Respondents contend that during the lifetime of the registered owners, Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar, they enjoyed the absolute ownership
and possession of Lot No. 1201. However, sometime in 1950 (after the death of Petra Unating on October 1, 1948) Aquilino Villar entered into an
oral partnership agreement for ten 10 yrs with Agustin Navarra involving the swampy portion of the lot in question. It was agreed that the area
of around three 3 hectares shall further be developed into a fishpond while about one 1 hectare shall be converted into a fishpond with the
investment capital of Agustin Navarra. Whatever excess there was in the capital so invested shall be used to make the fishpond productive.
Parties agreed that the net income after deducting expenses shall be divided equally between Aquilino Villar and his co-heirs on one hand and
Agustin Navarra on the other. The upland portion of the land remained in the possession of the plaintiffs. Agustin Navarra, who managed the
partnership, religiously gave Aquilino Villar and his co-heirs their share.

Since Agustin Navarra died, Felix and Catalina Villar repossessed the land in question until their death. Thereafter, the children of Felix and
Catalina Villar continued the possession until the defendant disturbed their possession. However, in 1975, they regained physical possession of
the disputed area particularly the fishpond portion. Defendant later acquired physical possession, thus the complaint for its recovery. Defendant
contends that the whole land was sold by Felix and Catalina Villar to Agustin Navarra. The contract in Spanish captioned ESCRITURA DE VENTA
ABSOLUTA to evidence such sale was duly notarized by Jose Villagracia, Notary Public, and was entered in his Notarial Register.

More than ten (10) years after the death of Agustin Navarra, his heirs executed a Deed of Extra Judicial Partition and Deed of Sale of the land
in question in favor of the Spouses Jessie Pisuea and Rosalie Navarra. From the time of the sale up to the present, the fishpond portion was in
the possession of the spouses Jessie Pisuea and Rosalie Navarra. However, the upland portion is in the possession of Salvador Upod and Dolores
Bautista by mere tolerance of the defendant, denying any partnership agreement by Agustin Navarra and spouses Villar.

Trial Court ruled that purported sale by Felix and Catalina Villar could be considered valid, but pertained only to the share of Petra
Unating, since at the time of the sale, Aquilino Villa was still alive. Respondents were also held entitled to share in the disputed lot. CA affirmed
the same ruling that the disputed lot belonged to the conjugal partnership of Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar.Petitioner traces his claim over the
disputed lot to his father-in-law, Agustin Navarra, who in turn acquired it from Felix and Catalina Villar, Petra Unatings children. His claim is
evidenced by a notarized Deed of Sale written in Spanish, captioned Escritura de Venta Absoluta. Private Respondent Salvador Upod, on the other
hand, asserts that both the trial and the appellate courts erred in admitting the Deed, citing Section 33, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, which
provides:
Documents written in an unofficial language shall not be admitted as evidence, unless accompanied with a translation into English or Filipino. To
avoid interruption of the proceedings, parties or their attorneys are directed to have such translation prepared before trial.

Issue: W/N the Deed of Sale written in Spanish is admissible

Held:The assertion is without merit. The aforementioned rule is not always taken literally so long as there was no prejudice caused to the opposing
party (People v. Salison, G.R. No. 115690, February 20, 1996).The records show that there was no prejudice caused to the plaintiffs who appear
to be familiar with the contents or the nature of Exhibit '1'. As proof thereof, they even questioned the defendant on the subject document.
Importantly, when required by the court to comment on the English translation of Exhibit '1' (p. 316, records) plaintiffs did not bother to comment
giving rise to the presumption that the translation submitted was correct (p. 340, records). Hence, the court a quo did not err in admitting the
Escritura de Venta Absoluta.[13]
Furthermore, the respondents were not able to impugn the due execution and validity of the notarized Deed.
Neither are we persuaded by Upods argument that the petitioners right has prescribed under Article 1144 of the Civil Code. It is undisputed
that he was already in possession of the fishpond when the present case was filed.

Sec. 35 When to make offer


17. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. EDGARDO VARGAS Y LUCERO

FACT: SPO1 Alfredo Dan Cocjin y Magnaye was shot to death on January 4, 1992 by an unidentified assailant. Seven months after the shooting
incident, eyewitness Job Bieren gave a sworn statement before the police authorities and identified herein accused-appellant as the one who
fatally shot the deceased. According to Job, he went to house of Jose Vargas to watch the "daily double," an illegal local gambling game. He passed
through the fence at the back door of the house and gravitated to the balcony while waiting for the games to start. Suddenly, there was a
commotion and pandemonium ensued. Job saw accused-appellant Edgardo as the latter collared SPO1 Cocjin with his left arm and with his right
hand pointed a pistol at the policeman's right temple. Job was about five meters away. Edgardo dragged SPO1 Cocjin away from the house, through
a narrow passageway leading to the national highway. Edgardo then shot SPO1 Cocjin in the head. Edgardo stepped away from the fallen victim,
and fired another shot, hitting SPO1 Cocjin at the back. Warlito "Buloy" Bagcal, who was outside the fence asked Edgardo, "Doy, nga-a gin tira mo
gid si Dan?" (Doy, why did you shoot Dan?). 4 Edgardo saw Job, and the latter was petrified. Job hurriedly left the place, passing through the
back way.

TC gave credence and full probative weight to the testimony of the prosecution eyewitness and rejected appellant's defense of alibi.

Appellant brought the instant appeal. In assailing the credibility of the prosecution eyewitness, appellant asserted that Job's delay in giving his
statement and identifying him as the assailant rendered his testimonies too incredible to be believed. The appellant also argues that the
prosecution failed to formally offer Job's testimony in evidence; thus, the trial court likewise erred when the said testimony was considered and
given credence and probative weight.

ISSUE: WON there was failure to formally offer Jobs testimony in evidence.

HELD: NO. The appellant's contention that the public prosecutor failed to offer Job's testimony as mandated by Section 35, Rule 132 of the
Revised Rules of Court is belied by the records. The transcript of the stenographic notes taken when Job testified show that the public prosecutor
indeed offered Job's testimony, thus:

Interpreter: Please state your name, age, civil status, residence and occupation.
Witness: Job Bieren, thirty-four (34) years old, married, a laborer, resident of Sto.
Domingo, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo.

Fiscal Cabalum: I would like to present the testimony of this witness being an eyewitness considering that he was an eyewitness to the killing of
the victim SPO1 Alfredo Dan Cocjin by the accused sometime on January 4, 1992, at Brgy. Zona Sur, Banate, Iloilo.

The appellant did not object to Job's testimony when the public prosecutor offered it. Instead, the appellant cross-examined the witness. The
appellant did not protest when the prosecutor faultily offered its documentary and physical evidence and rested its case. The appellant even
offered testimonial evidence to controvert Job's testimony. It is now too late in the day for the appellant to assail, for the first time in this
Court, the public prosecutor's failure to offer the testimony of a witness before direct examination.

Moreover, Job's failure to report the killing for some months does not necessarily affect his credibility. It found such delay to have been
sufficiently and convincingly explained by Job. It held that it is not unusual for a witness to show some reluctance about getting involved in a
criminal case and such reticence of most people is of judicial notice. Here, Job cannot be faulted for keeping silent and opting not to report to
the police authorities the fact that he saw the appellant shoot the victim, and that he did so only seven months thereafter. Appellant is the cousin
of the municipal mayor. Job was afraid to divulge to the police authorities that he witnessed the commission of the crime for fear of retaliation
from the appellant, the mayor and his henchmen. He divulged what he knew about the shooting incident only after the mayor lost in the election
and was replaced. Job found it safe to come out and report what he knew about the killing only after the peril to his life had diminished
considerably. #HABIJAN

2.) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. IRENEO DEQUITO


[G.R. No. 132544. May 12, 2000]

Facts: This is a crime of rape against Analiza. On cross-examination, Analiza clarified that Ireneo raped her on the first and last week of July
1996. When the second rape transpired, they were making copra with her brothers who were two years old and four years old while Analyn
remained in their house. appellant learned that Analiza filed a case of rape against him. After his arrest, Analiza and Analyn visited him at the
municipal jail where Analiza allegedly divulged that she filed the case against him at the insistence of Margarita.

Analyn corroborated his defense. She related that appellant was always by her side when they made copra. While they were taking a respite from
work, Analiza gave her a letter disclosing that she was no longer a virgin and that the man who deflowered her was a certain Bady. The letter
reads:
"Dangay,
"Ate maniwala ka sana dito. Pero isa lang ang pakiusap ko sa iyo huwag mong sasabihin kay kuya Eri dahil baka ako ay mapatay. Ate ang una ngang
gumamit sa akin ay si Bady nga. Pero saka ko na lang sasabihin sa iyong mag-asawa kung sino yon. Siguro hindi pa panahon ngayon. Siya nga pala ate
yong gumamit na iyon sa akin ay nandito lang sa tabi-tabi. Alam mo ate, tsismis na kami dito sa buong San Andres Labak. Ate yun nga pala ay tatlo
silang magkakasama pero isang (sic) lang ang pumanhik dito sa bahay yun pa nga ay ayaw kung papanhikin kaya ay itinulak ang pinto (sic).
"Ate pasinsiya (sic) ka na sa sulat kong barok kasi dali dali ako.
Ang nagsulat nito
Analiza (alyas) Ening

Jaime Querante, who also corroborated appellants defense, recounted that once, while he was husking coconuts, he saw Analiza and Analyn arguing.
Appellant was also present that time. Querante overheard that Analiza wanted to leave their house and told the spouses that they had no business
meddling with her life.

On rebuttal, Analiza denied having written a letter to Analyn. She reiterated that Analyn tried to convince her not to file a case against appellant.
She added that Querantes testimony referred to an incident that transpired at Barangay Mangalayaan in August 1996. Querante was not with
them in July when they worked at Barangay Montes Balaon.

The trial court rejected the defense of the accused. It ruled that his denial cannot prevail over the positive and credible testimony of Analiza.
It held that Analyn is not worthy of belief since she did not even verify the content of the letter allegedly sent to her by Analiza. It was unnatural
for her not to show the slightest interest over such a serious matter. Her testimony was biased by her desire to free her husband from criminal
liability. It also disbelieved the testimony of Querante since he could not have monitored every movement of the accused while he (Querante)
was husking coconuts.

Allegedly, Analiza testified that she was first raped by the appellant on the first week of July 1996 and the trial court convicted appellant for
this first rape and not for the last rape committed on the same period. Allegedly too, the first rape was not charged in the Information. Next,
appellant maintains that the testimony of Analiza is not sufficient to establish rape. Allegedly, there was no force employed because her panty
was not torn when removed. Doubt is also cast on her story because her brothers always accompanied them in making copra. Appellant also
capitalized on the delay for two (2) months in reporting the incident on the part of the complainant.

Issue: Whether the testimony of Analiza is not sufficient to establish rape.

Ruling: No. Rule 132, Sections 34, 35 and 36 of the Rules of Court, provide, viz.:
"Sec. 34. Offer of evidence. The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is
offered must be specified."
"Sec. 35. When to make an offer. As regards the testimony of a witness, the offer must be made at the time the witness is called to testify.
xxx."
"Sec. 36. Objection. Objection to evidence offered orally must be made immediately after offer is made.
xxx."
To start with, a mere perusal of the information will show that appellant was charged with rape committed on or about the month of July 1996.
The prosecution offered Analizas testimony to prove that she was sexually abused several times by the appellant on or about the month of July
1996. The prosecutors statement that what was being tried was the last rape committed in July 1996 is an innocuous error that did not prejudice
the rights of the appellant. The records show that Analiza testified that appellant raped her on the first and last week of July 1996 and Analiza
was cross-examined on both incidents. The counsel for appellant did not object that Analiza cannot testify on the first rape as the prosecutor
was presenting her only to prove the second rape in July 1996. Appellant therefore cannot complain of surprise. He was able to defend himself
from the charge of the complainant.

A torn underwear is not indispensable to prove the crime of rape. Rape can be committed without damaging the apparel of the victim. Analizas
testimony explains well why her underwear was not damaged. She testified that appellant began raping her while they were resting on a rock. He
started to remove her clothes but she ran away. He chased and caught her. While he was forcing himself on her, she resisted until her strength
ebbed away. She gave a last ditch effort to preserve her honor but to no avail. That was the time appellant removed her underwear and
consummated his lust. Thus, her underwear was not torn. Anent the second contention, Analiza testified she and appellant were alone when she
was abused. She was not with her brothers who were two years old and four years old. Assuming that they were present, it is doubtful whether
they understood what appellant was doing to Analiza. The result of the medical examination corroborated Analizas story as it disclosed that
Analiza was no longer a virgin.

The delay of Analiza in reporting the incident can not diminish her credibility. The incident happened when she was only 15-years old and living
with appellant and her sister. Her parents were absent. She was dependent on appellant. Appellant warned her that he would leave her sister if
the latter knew of the incident and she feared this eventuality. Further, her sister prevented her from filing charges. Given all these, it can not
be expected that she would act like a mature woman, young and inexperienced as she was. Our consistent doctrine is that delay in reporting a
rape, if sufficiently explained, does not affect the credibility of a witness.

Appellant tried to impute the authorship of the crime to another person through a letter that Analiza allegedly gave to Analyn. Allegedly, Analyn
established that Analiza wrote the letter.
This contention is unconvincing. On rebuttal, Analiza denied that she wrote the letter. She also claimed that Analyn dissuaded her from filing
charges against appellant. We agree with the trial court that Analyn is not worthy of belief. As aptly observed, she did not show the slightest
interest about the contents of the letter that affected the honor of her younger sister. She said that Analiza wrote the letter in front of her
and gave it when they were jesting with each other. Her testimony is incredible. Analiza could not have treated her debasement as a joke. Evidence
to be believed must not only come from credible witnesses, but must be credible in itself.#HOFFMAN

CHAN VS CHAN
G.R. No. 179786, July 24, 2013

FACTS. On February 6, 2006 petitioner Josielene Lara Chan (Josielene) filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 144
a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage to respondent Johnny Chan (Johnny), the dissolution of their conjugal partnership of
gains, and the award of custody of their children to her. Josielene claimed that Johnny failed to care for and support his family and that a
psychiatrist diagnosed him as mentally deficient due to incessant drinking and excessive use of prohibited drugs. Indeed, she had convinced him
to undergo hospital confinement for detoxification and rehabilitation.

Johnny resisted the action, claiming that it was Josielene who failed in her wifely duties. To save their marriage, he agreed to marriage
counseling but when he and Josielene got to the hospital, two men forcibly held him by both arms while another gave him an injection. The
marriage relations got worse when the police temporarily detained Josielene for an unrelated crime and released her only after the case against
her ended. By then, their marriage relationship could no longer be repaired.

During the pre-trial conference, Josielene pre-marked the Philhealth Claim Form1 that Johnny attached to his answer as proof that he was
forcibly confined at the rehabilitation unit of a hospital. The form carried a physicians handwritten note that Johnny suffered from
"methamphetamine and alcohol abuse." Following up on this point, on August 22, 2006 Josielene filed with the RTC a request for the issuance of
a subpoena duces tecum addressed to Medical City, covering Johnnys medical records when he was there confined. The request was
accompanied by a motion to "be allowed to submit in evidence" the records sought by subpoena duces tecum.

Johnny opposed the motion, arguing that the medical records were covered by physician-patient privilege. On September 13, 2006 the RTC
sustained the opposition and denied Josielenes motion. It also denied her motion for reconsideration, prompting her to file a special civil action
of certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP 97913, imputing grave abuse of discretion to the RTC.

On September 17, 2007 the CA3 denied Josielenes petition. It ruled that, if courts were to allow the production of medical records, then
patients would be left with no assurance that whatever relevant disclosures they may have made to their physicians would be kept confidential.
The prohibition covers not only testimonies, but also affidavits, certificates, and pertinent hospital records. The CA added that, although
Johnny can waive the privilege, he did not do so in this case. He attached the Philhealth form to his answer for the limited purpose of showing
his alleged forcible confinement.

ISSUE. Whether or not the objection to evidence be given after the offer thereof for admission.

HELD. Yes.

The case presents a procedural issue, given that the time to object to the admission of evidence, such as the hospital records, would be at the
time they are offered. The offer could be made part of the physicians testimony or as independent evidence that he had made entries in those
records that concern the patients health problems.
Section 36, Rule 132, states that objections to evidence must be made after the offer of such evidence for admission in court. Thus:
SEC. 36. Objection. Objection to evidence offered orally must be made immediately after the offer is made.

Objection to a question propounded in the course of the oral examination of a witness shall be made as soon as the grounds therefor shall
become reasonably apparent.
An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to within three (3) days after notice of the offer unless a different period is allowed by the
court.

In any case, the grounds for the objections must be specified. Since the offer of evidence is made at the trial, Josielenes request for
subpoena duces tecum is premature. She will have to wait for trial to begin before making a request for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum
covering Johnnys hospital records. It is when those records are produced for examination at the trial, that Johnny may opt to object, not just
to their admission in evidence, but more so to their disclosure. Section 24(c), Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence quoted above is about non-
disclosure of privileged matters.

SEC 40 TENDER OF EXCLUDED EVIDENCE


Philips Yu vs CA

Facts: Viveca Lim Yu brought against her husband, Philip Sy Yu an action for legal separation and dissolution of conjugal partnership on the grounds
of marital infidelity and physical abuse before RTC.

During trial, private respondent moved for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum and ad testificandum to certain officers of Insular Life
Assurance Co. Ltd. to compel production of the insurance policy and application of a person suspected to be petitioners illegitimate child. RTC
denied the motion and ruled that the insurance contract is inadmissible evidence in view of Circular Letter No. 11-2000, issued by the Insurance
Commission which presumably prevents insurance companies/agents from divulging confidential and privileged information pertaining to insurance
policies. It added that the production of the application and insurance contract would violate Article 280 of the Civil Code and Section 5 of the
Civil Registry Law, both of which prohibit the unauthorized identification of the parents of an illegitimate child.

Aggrieved, private respondent filed a petition for certiorari before the CA, which ruled that private respondent was merely seeking the production
of the insurance application and contract, and was not yet offering the same as part of her evidence. Thus, it declared that petitioners objection
to the admission of the documents was premature. The contents of the insurance application and insurance documents cannot be considered as
privileged information, the Court of Appeals added, in view of the opinion of the Insurance Commissioner to the effect that Circular Letter No.11-
2000 was never intended to be a legal impediment in complying with lawful orders. Lastly, the CA ruled that a trial court does not have the
discretion to deny a partys privilege to tender excluded evidence, as this privilege allows said party to raise on appeal the exclusion of such
evidence.

Private respondent maintains that the details surrounding the insurance policy are crucial to the issue of petitioners infidelity and his financial
capacity to provide support to her and their children. Further, she argues that she had no choice but to make a tender of excluded evidence
considering that she was left to speculate on what the insurance application and policy ruled out by the trial court would contain

Issue: W/N trial court has the discretion to deny a partys motion to attach excluded evidence to the record under Section 40, Rule 132 of the
Rules of Court

Held:While trial courts have the discretion to admit or exclude evidence, such power is exercised only when the evidence has been formally
offered. For a long time, the Court has recognized that during the early stages of the development of proof, it is impossible for a trial court
judge to know with certainty whether evidence is relevant or not, and thus the practice of excluding evidence on doubtful objections to its
materiality should be avoided.

In the instant case, the insurance application and the insurance policy were yet to be presented in court, much less formally offered before it. In
fact, private respondent was merely asking for the issuance of subpoena duces tecum and subpoena ad testificandum when the trial court issued
the assailed Order. Even assuming that the documents would eventually be declared inadmissible, the trial court was not then in a position to make
a declaration to that effect at that point. Thus, it barred the production of the subject documents prior to the assessment of its probable worth.
As observed by petitioners, the assailed Order was not a mere ruling on the admissibility of evidence; it was, more importantly, a ruling affecting
the proper conduct of trial.

Excess of jurisdiction refers to any act which although falling within the general powers of the judge is not authorized and is consequently void
with respect to the particular case because the conditions under which he was only authorized to exercise his general power in that case did not
exist and therefore, the judicial power was not legally exercised. Thus, in declaring that the documents are irrelevant and inadmissible even
before they were formally offered, much less presented before it, the trial court acted in excess of its discretion.

Anent the issue of whether the information contained in the documents is privileged in nature, the same was clarified and settled by the Insurance
Commissioners opinion that the circular on which the trial court based its ruling was not designed to obstruct lawful court orders. Hence, there
is no more impediment to presenting the insurance application and policy.

Petitioner additionally claims that by virtue of private respondents tender of excluded evidence, she has rendered moot her petition before the
Court of Appeals since the move evinced that she had another speedy and adequate remedy under the law. The Court holds otherwise.

Section 40, Rule 132 provides:


Sec.40. Tender of excluded evidence.If documents or things offered in evidence are excluded by the court, the offeror may have the same
attached to or made part of the record. If the evidence excluded is oral, the offeror may state for the record the name and other personal
circumstances of the witness and the substance of the proposed testimony.

It is thus apparent that before tender of excluded evidence is made, the evidence must have been formally offered before the court. And before
formal offer of evidence is made, the evidence must have been identified and presented before the court. While private respondent made a
Tender of Excluded Evidence, such is not the tender contemplated by the above-quoted rule, for obviously, the insurance policy and application
were not formally offered much less presented before the trial court. At most, said Tender of Excluded Evidence was a manifestation of an
undisputed fact that the subject documents were declared inadmissible by the trial court even before these were presented during trial. It was
not the kind of plain, speedy and adequate remedy which private respondent could have resorted to instead of the petition for certiorari she filed
before the Court of Appeals. It did not in any way render the said petition moot.