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People vs Tandoy

Topics: Best Evidence Rule; Photocopy of a Bill;

Facts:

Six police officers were dispatched to conduct buy-bust operation in Makati City. They
apprehended Tandoy in the course of operation. The police officers recovered from Tandoy P10
peso Bill and two P5 coins. During the trial, the prosecution presented photocopy of the P10
Bill. The trial court, nevertheless convicted Tandoy. Tandoy faulted the trial courts admission of
the photocopied P10 Bill, arguing that under the Best Evidence Rule, the original copy of the
P10 Bill must be presented.

Issue: WON the Best Evidence Rule is applicable in this case.

Ruling: No.

Tandoy erroneously thinks that said marked money is an ordinary document falling
under Sec. 2, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court which excludes the introduction of
secondary evidence except in the five (5) instances mentioned therein. The best evidence rule
applies only when the contents of the document are the subject of inquiry. Where the issue is
only as to whether or not such document was actually executed, or exists, or in the
circumstances relevant to or surrounding its execution, the best evidence rule does not apply
and testimonial evidence is admissible. Since the aforesaid marked money was presented by
the prosecution solely for the purpose of establishing its existence and not its contents, other
substitutionary evidence, like a xerox copy thereof, is therefore admissible without the need of
accounting for the original.

Doctrines:

1. Apparently, Tandoy erroneously thinks that said marked money is an ordinary document
falling under Sec. 2, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court which excludes the
introduction of secondary evidence except in the five (5) instances mentioned therein.
2. The best evidence rule applies only when the contents of the document are the subject
of inquiry.
3. Where the issue is only as to whether or not such document was:
a. actually executed or exists; or
b. in the circumstances relevant to or surrounding its execution,
- The best evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is
admissible.
4. Since the aforesaid marked money was presented by the prosecution solely for the
purpose of establishing its existence and not its contents, other substitutionary
evidence, like a xerox copy thereof, is therefore admissible without the need of
accounting for the original.