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Heirs of Sabanpan v.

Comorposa (2003)

DOCTRINE:
The admissibility of evidence should not be confused with its probative value.
Just because a piece of evidence is admitted does not ipso facto mean that it conclusively
proves the fact in dispute.

Facts:

A complaint for unlawful detainer was filed by petitioners against respondents before the Santa
Cruz, Davao del Sur Municipal Trial Court. It alleged that Marcos Saez was the lawful and actual
possessor of the land. In 1960, he died leaving all his heirs, his children and grandchildren.
Francisco Comorposa, being a close family friend of Marcos, approached the late Saezs son,
Adolfo, to occupy the land of Marcos Saez. He occupied a portion of without paying any rental.
He was succeeded in his possession by the respondents who likewise did not pay any rental and
are occupying the premises through petitioners tolerance.

On 7 May 1998, a formal demand was made upon the respondents to vacate the premises but
the latter refused to vacate the same and claimed that they were the legitimate claimants and
the actual and lawful possessor of the premises. An action for unlawful detainer was filed by
petitioners against respondents.

The Municipal Trial Court rendered judgment in favor of petitioners but the Regional Trial Court
of Digos, Davao del Sur, on appeal, reversed and set aside the said decision

Issue:
Whether or not the CA gravely abuse its discretion, and err in declaring that, neither is there
error on the part of the Regional Trial Court, when it did not give importance to the affidavits
by Gloria Leano Saez, Noel [Oboza], and Paulina Paran for allegedly being self-serving.

Held:
Petitioners assert that the CA erred in disregarding the Affidavits of their witnesses,
insisting that the Rule on Summary Procedure authorizes the use of affidavits. They also claim
that the failure of respondents to file their position paper and counter-affidavits before the MTC
amounts to an admission by silence.
The admissibility of evidence should not be confused with its probative value. Admissibility
refers to the question of whether certain pieces of evidence are to be considered at all, while
probative value refers to the question of whether the admitted evidence proves an issue. Thus,
a particular item of evidence may be admissible, but its evidentiary weight depends on judicial
evaluation within the guidelines provided by the rules of evidence.
While in summary proceedings affidavits are admissible as the witnesses respective
testimonies, the failure of the adverse party to reply does not ipso facto render the facts, set
forth therein, duly proven. Petitioners still bear the burden of proving their cause of action,
because they are the ones asserting an affirmative relief.
Torres v. PAGCOR (2011)

DOCTRINE:
A facsimile transmission cannot be considered as electronic evidence.
It is not the functional equivalent of an original under the Best Evidence Rule and is not
admissible as electronic evidence.

Facts:
Ellery March G. Torres was a slot machine operator supervisor for PAGCOR. Within the period
November 2066 to March 2007, there was a complaint filed before the office of the HR
department of the respondent for the involvement of Torres in the allege padding of the credit
meter reading of the slot machines. The investigation conducted affirmatively proved that
Torres was involved with the said crime. The administrative tribunal adjudge for the dismissal
of Torres.
Torres filed a motion for reconsideration for the said judgment through facsimile transmission.
The Administrative tribunal denied such motion, affirmed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC)
and further affirmed by the appellate court.

Issue:
Whether or not the CSC erred in ruling that there was no valid letter reconsideration submitted.

Held:
No. The mode used by the petitioner in filing his reconsideration is not sanctioned by the
Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. As stated earlier, the motion for
reconsideration may be filed only in two ways, either by mail or personal delivery.
A facsimile is not a genuine and authentic pleading. It is, at best, an exact copy preserving all
the marks of an original. Without the original, there is no way of determining on its face
whether the facsimile pleading is genuine and authentic and was originally signed by them
party and his counsel. It may, in fact, be a sham pleading.xxx (Garvida vs Sales, Jr.)
We, therefore, conclude that the terms electronic data message and electronic document
as defined under the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, do not include a facsimile transmission.
Accordingly, a facsimile transmission cannot be considered as electronic evidence. It is not the
functional equivalent of an original under the Best Evidence Rule and is not admissible as
electronic evidence. (MCC Industries Sales Corporation vs Ssangyong Corporation).
Petition denied.

Ang v. Republic (2010)

Facts:
This case concerns a claim of commission of the crime of violence against women when a
former boyfriend sent to the girl the picture of a naked woman, not her, but with her face on it.

The public prosecutor charged petitioner-accused Rustan Ang (Rustan) before the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Baler, Aurora, of violation of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their
Children Act or Republic Act (R.A.) 9262 in an information that reads:

On or about June 5, 2005, in the Municipality of Maria Aurora, Province of Aurora, Philippines
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously, in a purposeful and reckless conduct, sent through the Short Messaging Service
(SMS) using his mobile phone, a pornographic picture to one Irish Sagud, who was his former
girlfriend, whereby the face of the latter was attached to a completely naked body of another
woman making it to appear that it was said Irish Sagud who is depicted in the said obscene and
pornographic picture thereby causing substantial emotional anguish, psychological distress and
humiliation to the said Irish Sagud.

On August 1, 2001, the RTC found Rustan guilty of the violation of Section 5(h) of R.A. 9262.
On Rustans appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA), the latter rendered a decision dated January
31, 2008, affirming the RTC decision. Rustan claims that the obscene picture sent to Irish
through a text message constitutes an electronic document. Thus, it should be authenticated by
means of an electronic signature, as provided under Section 1, Rule 5 of the Rules on Electronic
Evidence (A.M. 01-7-01-SC).

The CA denied Rustans motion for reconsideration in a resolution dated April 25, 2008. Thus,
Rustan filed the present for review on certiorari.

Issue:
Whether or not the RTC properly admitted in evidence the obscene picture presented in the
case.

Held:
Yes. The Supreme Court affirms the decision of the CA. Rustan claims that the obscene picture
sent to Irish through a text message constitutes an electronic document. Thus, it should be
authenticated by means of an electronic signature, as provided under Section 1, Rule 5 of the
Rules on Electronic Evidence (A.M. 01-7-01-SC).

However, Rustan is raising this objection to the admissibility of the obscene picture for the first
time before the Supreme Court. The objection is too late since he should have objected to the
admission of the picture on such ground at the time it was offered in evidence. He should be
deemed to have already waived such ground for objection.

Moreover, the rules he cites do not apply to the present criminal action. The Rules on Electronic
Evidence applies only to civil actions, quasi-judicial proceedings, and administrative
proceedings. In conclusion, the Court finds that the prosecution has proved each and every
element of the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt.