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Sanson vs.

CA The rule is exclusive and cannot be construed to extend its scope by


implication so as to disqualify persons not mentioned therein. Mere
Petitioners: FELICITO G. SANSON et al witnesses who are not included in the above enumeration are not
prohibited from testifying as to a conversation or transaction between
Respondents: HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, FOURTH the deceased and a third person, if he took no active part
DIVISION and MELECIA T. SY, AS ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE therein.(Underscoring supplied) Jade is not a party to the case. Neither
INTESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE JUAN BON FING SY is she an assignor nor a person in whose behalf the case is being
prosecuted. She testified as a witness to the transaction.
Facts:
1. Petitioners Felicito G. Sanson (Felicito), his sister Celedonia In any event, what the Dead Man‘s Statute proscribes is the admission
(Celedonia) Sanson-Saquin, Eduardo Montinola Jr. and his mother of testimonial evidence upon a claim which arose before the death of the
Angeles Montinola (Sanson, et al) claimed that the deceased Juan deceased. The incompetency is confined to the giving of testimony.
Bon Fing Sy was indebted to them. Since the separate claims of Sanson and Celedonia are supported by
2. in their capacity as creditors, they filed a petition for the settlement checks-documentary evidence, their claims can be prosecuted on the
of the estate of the deceased before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) bases of said checks.
of Iloilo City.
3. During the hearing, Felicito and Celedonia testified in favor of each This brings this Court to the matter of the authenticity of the signature of
other‘s claim, and Jade Montinola testified in favor of her husband‘s the deceased appearing on the checks issued to Sanson and
(Eduardo) and her mother-in-law‘s (Angeles) claim. Celedonia. By Celedonia‘s account, she “knows” the signature of the
4. Their testimonies were supported by checks allegedly issued by the deceased.
deceased before his death. These testimonies and evidences were
countered by Melencia T. Sy, the surviving spouse and appointed While the foregoing testimonies of the Sanson siblings have not faithfully
administratrix of the deceased‘s estate by invoking the Dead Man‘s discharged the quantum of proof under Section 22, Rule 132 of the
Statute which according to her, disqualifies the witnesses from Revised Rules on Evidence which provides that “the handwriting of a
testifying. person may be proved by any witness who believes it to be the
5. The RTC, upon finding that the Dead Man‘s Statute does not apply handwriting of such person because he has seen the person write, or
to the witnesses ruled in favor of Sanson, et al. Thus, ordering the has seen writing purporting to be his upon which the witness has acted
administratrix to pay in due course the respective amount due to or been charged and has thus acquired knowledge of the handwriting of
Sanson et al. such person” x x x not only did the administratrix fail to controvert the
6. However, the Court of Appeals (CA) set aside RTC‘s decision. same; from a comparison with the naked eye of the deceased‘s
Hence, this appeal to the High Court. signature appearing on each of the checks-exhibits of the Montinolas
with that of the checks-exhibits of the Sanson siblings all of which
Issue: Whether or not the Dead Man‘s Statute applies to the witnesses checks were drawn from the same account, they appear to have been
presented by Sanson, et al. affixed by one and the same hand.

Held: In fine, as Sanson, et al. have, by their evidence, substantiated their


claims against the estate of the deceased, the burden of evidence had
As for the administratrix‘s invocation of the Dead Man‘s Statute, the shifted to the administratrix who, however, expressly opted not to
same does not likewise lie. The rule renders incompetent: 1) parties to a discharge the same when she manifested that she was dispensing with
case; 2) their assignors; or 3) persons in whose behalf a case is the presentation of evidence against the claims.
prosecuted.