You are on page 1of 8

EVIDENCE DIGESTS The fact that should be assumed as judicially known must be on such notoriety that

Justice Bernabe such fact cannot be disputed. Judicial notice is not judicial knowledge where the
personal knowledge of the judge does not amount to the judicial notice of the court.
The common knowledge contemplated by the law where the court can take judicial
ADMINISTRATIVE AND QUASI JUDICIAL PROCEEDING notice must come from the knowledge of men generally in the course of ordinary
experiences that are accepted as true and one that involves unquestioned
1. Bantolino et al v. Coca-Cola Bottlers demonstration. The court ruled that the information he obtained from the newspaper is
one of hearsay evidence. The judge erred in taking cognizant of a law that was not yet
the argument that the affidavit is hearsay because the affiants were not in force and ordered the dismissal of the case without giving the prosecution the right
presented for cross-examination is not persuasive because the rules of to be heard and of due process. The court ordered for the dismissal of the judge from
evidence are not strictly observed in proceedings before administrative bodies service for gross ignorance of the law and grave abuse of discretion for dismissing the
like the NLRC where decisions may be reached on the basis of position papers case motu proprio and for erring in exercising his discretion to take judicial notice on
only." A criminal prosecution requires a quantum of evidence different from that matters that are hearsay and groundless with a reminder the power to take judicial
of an administrative proceeding. Under the Rules of the Commission, the Labor notice is to be exercised by the courts with caution at all times.
Arbiter is given the discretion to determine the necessity of a formal trial or
hearing. Hence, trial-type hearings are not even required as the cases may be
decided based on verified position papers, with supporting documents and their 3. Zalamea vs. Court of Appeals 288 SCRA 23 (1993)
affidavits.

JUDICIAL NOTICE HELD:
The CA was in error. There was fraud or bad faith on the part of TWA when it did not
State Prosecutor’s Vs. Muro allow Mrs. Zalamea and her daughter to board their flight for Los Angeles in spite of
confirmed tickets. The US law or regulation allegedly authorizing overbooking has
236 SCRA 505 never been proved.

1.) Foreign laws do not prove themselves nor can the court take judicial notice of
HELD: them. Like any other fact, they must be alleged and proved. Written law may be
evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officers having
The Supreme Court held the respondent judge guilty for gross ignorance of the law. It legal custody of the record, or by his deputy and accompanied with a certificate that
cannot comprehend his assertion that there is no need to wait for the publication of the such officer has custody. The certificate may be made by a secretary of an embassy
circular no. 1353 which is the basis of the President’s announcement in the or legation, consul-general, consul, vice-consul, or consular agent or by any officer in
newspaper, believing that the public announcement is absolute and without the foreign service of the Phil. stationed in the foreign country in which the record is
qualification and is immediately effective and such matter becomes a public kept and authenticated by the seal of his office. Here, TWA relied solely on the
knowledge which he can take a judicial notice upon in his discretion. It is a mandatory testimony of its customer service agent in her deposition that the Code of Federal
requirement that a new law should be published for 15 days in a newspaper of general Regulations of the Civil Aeronautic Board allows overbooking. Aside from said
circulation before its effectivity. When the President’s statement was published in the statement, no official publication of said code was presented as evidence. Thus, the
newspaper, the respondent admitted of not having seen the official text of CB circular CA’s finding that overbooking is specifically allowed by the US Code of Federal
1353 thus it was premature for him to take judicial notice on this matter which is Regulations has no basis in fact.
merely based on his personal knowledge and is not based on the public knowledge
that the law requires for the court to take judicial notice of. 3. KAREN KRISTY FISHING INDUSTRY VS CA

For the court to take judicial notice, three material requisites should be present: If counsel moves to another address without informing the court of that change, such
(1) the matter must be one of common and general knowledge; omission or neglect is inexcusable and will not stay the finality of the decision. The
(2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain; court cannot be expected to take judicial notice of the new address of a lawyer who
(3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court. has moved or to ascertain on its own whether or not the counsel of record has been
changed and who the new counsel could possibly be or where he probably resides or ineffectual but also void, and the Japanese Court did not, therefore, acquire
holds office jurisdiction over it.

4. Tabuena v. CA It is settled that matters of remedy and procedure such as those relating to the service
of process upon a defendant are governed by the lex fori or the internal law of the
The mere fact that a particular document is marked as an exhibit does not mean it has forum. In this case, it is the procedural law of Japan where the judgment was rendered
thereby already been offered as part of the evidence of a party. It is true that Exhibits that determines the validity of the extraterritorial service'of process on SHARP. As to
"A," "B" and "C" were marked at the pre-trial of the case below, but this was only for what this law is is a question of fact, not of law. It may not be taken judicial notice of
the purpose of identifying them at that time. They were not by such marking formally and must be pleaded and proved like any other fact. Sections 24 and 25, Rule 132 of
offered as exhibits. While even if there be no formal offer of an exhibit, it may still be the Rules of Court provide that it may be evidenced by an official publication or by a
admitted against the adverse party if, 1) it has been duly identified by testimony duly duly attested or authenticated copy thereof. It was then incumbent upon SHARP to
recorded and, 2) it has itself been incorporated in the records of the case. But the present evidence as to what that Japanese procedural law is and to show taat under
Court does not find that these requirements have been satisfied. Although one of the it, the assailed extraterritorial service is invalid. It did not. Accordingly, the presumption
estate’s witnesses did testify and was cross-examined, all she did was identify the of validity and regularity of the service of summons and the decision thereafter
documents. Nowhere in her testimony did the Court find a recital of the contents of the rendered by the Japanese court must stand.
exhibits

7. G.R. No. 110844 April 27, 2000

ALFREDO CHING vs. CA
5. EDUARDO BUGHAW V TREASURE ISLAND INDUSTRIAL Under the Rules, pleadings superseded or amended disappear from the
record, lose their status as pleadings and cease to be judicial admissions. While they
This Court took judicial notice of scientific findings that drug abuse can damage the may nonetheless be utilized against the pleader as extrajudicial admissions, they
mental faculties of the user. It is beyond question therefore that any employee under must, in order to have such effect, be formally offered in evidence. If not offered in
the influence of drugs cannot possibly continue doing his duties without posing a evidence, the admission contained therein will not be considered.
serious threat to the lives and property of his co-workers and even his employer. Consequently, the original complaint, having been amended, lost its
character as a judicial admission, which would have required no proof, and became
merely an extrajudicial admission, the admissibility of which, as evidence, required its
6. Northwest Orient Airlines v. CA 241 SCRA 192 [1995] formal offer.
In virtue thereof, the amended complaint takes the place of the original. The
latter is regarded as abandoned and ceases to perform any further function as a
RULING pleading. The original complaint no longer forms part of the record.
"A foreign judgment is presumed to be valid and binding in the country from which it
comes, until the contrary is shown. It is also proper to presume the regularity of the
proceedings and the giving of due notice therein. 8. PEOPLE VS AGRAVANTE

under Section 3 of Rule 131, a court, whether of the Philippines or elsewhere, enjoys A mental retardate is not for this reason alone disqualified from being a witness. In
the presumption that it was acting in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction and has this case, the victim was able to intelligently make known such perceptions or narrate
regularly performed its official duty. them truthfully despite the grueling examination by both prosecutor and defense
counsel.
Consequently, the party attacking a foreign judgment has the burden of overcoming
the presumption of its validity. Being the party challenging the judgment rendered by
the Japanese court, SHARP had the duty to demonstrate the invalidity of such
judgment. In an attempt to discharge that burden, it contends that the extraterritorial
service of summons effected as its home office in the Philippines was not only 9. OFELIA HERRERA-FELIX vs. CA
original may be dispensed with, in the trial court’s discretion whenever the opponent
does
The admissions made in a motion are judicial admissions which are binding on the
not bona fide dispute the contents of the document and no other useful purpose will be
party who made them. Such party is precluded from denying the same unless there is
served by requiring production.
proof of palpable mistake or that no such admission was made.
15. People vs Tandoy
10. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RONNIE RULLEPA
Since the aforesaid marked money was presented by the prosecution solely for the
A person‘s appearance, where relevant, is admissible as object evidence, the same purpose of establishing its existence and not its contents, other substitutionary
being addressed to the senses of the court. evidence, like a xerox copy thereof, is therefore admissible without the need of
accounting for the original.
11. PEOPLE VS sacabin

As held in People vs. Sacabin, 57 SCRA 707, physical evidence is of the highest 16. PACIFICO B. ARCEO, JR. vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
order. It speaks more eloquently than a hundred witnesses. Besides, the absence of
any torn apparel of the girl allegedly raped indicates absence of intimidation or force in No. Petitioner’s insistence on the presentation of the check in evidence as a
the carnal relations between the two. condition sine qua non for conviction under BP 22 is wrong. Rule 130, Section 3, of
the Rules of Court, otherwise known as the best evidence rule, applies only where the
12. CITIBANK VS SABENIANO content of the document is the subject of the inquiry. Where the issue is the execution
or existence of the document or the circumstances surrounding its execution, the best
But even with respect to documentary evidence, the best evidence rule applies only evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible.
when the content of such document is the subject of the inquiry. Where the issue is
only as to whether such document was actually executed, or exists, or on the
circumstances relevant to or surrounding its execution, the best evidence rule does The fact in issue is the act of drawing and issuing a worthless check. Hence, the
not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible subject of the inquiry is the fact of issuance or execution of the check, not its content.
Although the check and the return slip were among the documents lost, Cenizal was
13. People v Malimit nevertheless able to adequately establish the due execution, existence and loss of the
check and the return slip in an affidavit of loss as well as in his testimony during the
The non-disclosure by the witness to the police officers of appellant's identity trial of the case.
immediately after the occurrence of the crime is not entirely against human
experience. In fact the natural reticence of most people to get involved in criminal 17. HEIRS OF SABANPAN v. COMORPOSA
prosecutions against immediate neighbors, as in this case, is of judicial notice.
Neither the rules of procedure nor jurisprudence would sanction the admission of
14. Concepcion Chua Gaw v. Suy Ben Chua evidence that has not been formally offered during the trial. But this evidentiary rule is
The “best evidence rule” as encapsulated in Rule 130, Section 3, of the Revised Rules applicable only to ordinary trials, not to cases covered by the rule on summary
of procedure -- cases in which no full-blown trial is held.
Procedure applies only when the content of such document is the subject of the
inquiry.
Where the issue is only as to whether such document was actually executed, or
exists, or 18. MEDINA VS NATIVIDAD
on the circumstances relevant to or surrounding its execution, the best evidence rule
does when the special power of attorney is executed and acknowledged before a notary
not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible. Any other substitutionary evidence is public or other competent official in a foreign country, it cannot be admitted in evidence
likewise admissible without need to account for the original. Moreover, production of unless it is certified as such in accordance with the foregoing provision of the rules by
the a secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular
agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign SEC. 51. Secondary evidence when original is lost or destroyed.
country in which the record is kept of said public document and authenticated by the — When the original writing has been lost or destroyed, upon
seal of his office. proof of its execution and loss or destruction, its contents may be
proved by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authentic
document, or by the recollection of witnesses.
19. DANTIS VS MAGHINANG
Exhibit "4," the undated handwritten receipt, is considered secondary evidence being
a mere photocopy which cannot be admitted to prove the contents of the document. There is merit in the petitioners' contention. From the enactment of Act No. 190 to the
The best evidence rule requires that the highest available degree of proof must be present Rules of Court, the rule governing the sale of real property has remained
produced. For documentary evidence, the contents of a document are best proved by unchanged: it can be proved only by the very instrument reciting the transaction, duly
the production of the document itself to the exclusion of secondary or substitutionary subscribed by the proper party or his authorized agent, or else by secondary evidence
evidence, pursuant to Rule 130, Section 3. of the contents of such document.2 However, before the terms of a transaction in
realty may be established by secondary evidence, it is necessary that the due
A secondary evidence is admissible only upon compliance with Rule 130, Section 5, execution and subsequent loss of the original instrument evidencing the transaction be
which states that: when the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced proved.3 For it is the due execution, and loss thereafter, of the document that would
in court, the offeror, upon proof of its execution or existence and the cause of its warrant or constitute basis for the introduction of secondary evidence to prove the
unavailability without bad faith on his part, may prove its contents by a copy, or by a contents of such document.4 And the due execution of the document should be
recital of its contents in some authentic document, or by the testimony of witnesses in proved through the testimony of (1) the person or persons who executed it; (2) the
the order stated. person before whom its execution was acknowledged; or (3) any person who was
present and saw it executed and delivered, or who, after its execution and delivery,
saw it and recognized the signatures, or by a person to whom the parties to the
20. PEOPLE VS DISMUKE
instruments had previously confessed the execution thereof.5 Thus, in one case,6 the
admission of the certified copy of the record of a deed in a public registry as
To be admissible as secondary evidence, the prosecution should have shown that the secondary evidence of the terms of the deed of sale, was declared improper and
original marked money has been lost or destroyed or cannot be produced in court or invalid, the Court pointing to the party's failure to present the notary and those persons
that it is in the custody of the adverse party.21 The prosecution did not. who must have seen the signing of the document as witnesses to testify on its due
execution
21. LAZATIN VS CAMPOS
23. Villa Rey vs Ferrer
Secondary evidence is nonetheless admissible where the records of
adoption proceedings were actually lost or destroyed. But, prior to the introduction of Section 5 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides for the requisites for the
such secondary evidence, the proponent must establish the former existence of the admissibility of secondary evidence when the original is in the custody of the adverse
instrument. The correct order of proof is as follows: Existence; execution; loss; party, thus: (1) opponent's possession of the original; (2) reasonable notice to
contents; although this order may be changed if necessary in the discretion of the opponent to produce the original; (3) satisfactory proof of its existence; and (4) failure
court. 16 The sufficiency of the proof offered as a predicate for the admission of an or refusal of opponent to produce the original in court.11 Villarama has practically
alleged lost deed lies within the judicial discretion of the trial court under all the admitted the second and fourth requisites.12 As to the third, he admitted their previous
circumstances of the particular case.17 As earlier pointed out, petitioner failed to existence in the files of the Corporation and also that he had seen some of them.13
establish the former existence of the adoption paper and its subsequent loss or Regarding the first element, Villarama's theory is that since even at the time of the
destruction. Secondary proof may only be introduced if it has first beer. established issuance of the subpoena duces tecum, the originals were already missing, therefore,
that such adoption paper really existed and was lost. the Corporation was no longer in possession of the same. However, it is not necessary
for a party seeking to introduce secondary evidence to show that the original is in the
actual possession of his adversary. It is enough that the circumstances are such as to
22. DIRECTOR OF LANDS VS CA indicate that the writing is in his possession or under his control. Neither is it required
that the party entitled to the custody of the instrument should, on being notified to
Section 51 of the old Rule 123, Rules of Court, referred to by herein petitioners, reads produce it, admit having it in his possession.14 Hence, secondary evidence is
as follows: admissible where he denies having it in his possession. The party calling for such
evidence may introduce a copy thereof as in the case of loss. For, among the Petitioners (and RBBI) maintain that while it refers to TCT No. T-62096, the parties
exceptions to the best evidence rule is "when the original has been lost, destroyed, or actually intended the sale of the Lantap property (covered by TCT No. T-62836).
cannot be produced in court."15
· Respondents contend that the reference to TCT No. T-62836 (corresponding to
24. Allied vs Chwng Yong the Lantap property) reflects the true intention of RBBI and the petitioners, and the
reference to "Barangay Murong" was a typographical error.
On this score, it ruled that the parole evidence introduced by the Cheng
· This dispute reflects an intrinsic ambiguity in the contracts, arising from an
spouses to the effect that the validity and enforceability of the note are conditioned
apparent failure of the instruments to adequately express the true intention of the
upon its approval and ratification by the management committee should have been parties. To resolve the ambiguity, resort must be had to evidence outside of the
instruments.
discarded by the trial court, consistent with the parole evidence rule embodied in Rule
130, Section 9 of the Rules of Court.[9] Says the appellate court in its challenged
· The PER excludes parol or extrinsic evidence by which a party seeks to
decision: contradict, vary, add to or subtract from the terms of a valid agreement or instrument.

· Respondents are not parties to the VLTs executed between RBBI and
Instead, We agree with [Allied Bank] that there is no petitioners; they are strangers to the written contracts.
evidence to support the court a quos finding that the effectivity of
the promissory note was dependent upon the prior ratification or
confirmation of the management committee formed by the SEC in · Rule 130, Sec 9 specifically provides that PER is exclusive only as "between
SEC Case No. 2042. the parties and their successors-in-interest." The PER may not be invoked where at
least one of the parties to the suit is not a party or a privy of a party to the written doc
To begin with, there is nothing on the face of the in question, and does not base his claim on the instrument or assert a right originating
promissory note requiring said prior ratification for it to become in the instrument.
valid. Basic is the rule that if the terms of the contract are clear
and leave no doubt upon the intention of the parties, the literal · The instant case falls under the exceptions to the PER, as provided in the 2nd
meaning of its stipulations shall control (Article 1370, Civil Code; par of Rule 130, Sec 9:
Honrado, Jr. vs. CA, 198 SCRA 326).
This basic rule notwithstanding, the court a quo
admitted in evidence the alleged verbal stipulation made by [the However, a party may present evidence to modify, explain or add to the terms of the
spouses Cheng] to the effect that the validity of the promissory written agreement if he puts in issue in his pleading:
note was dependent upon its ratification by the management
committee. Such parole evidence should not have been allowed
1. An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the written agreement;
as it had the effect of altering the provisions of the promissory
note which are in clear and unequivocal terms.
2. The failure of the written agreement to express the true intent and agreement of
Under the parole evidence rule, the terms of a contract the parties thereto;
are conclusive upon the parties and evidence which shall vary a
complete and enforceable agreement embodied in a document is
· Guidance is provided by the ff Arts of the Civil Code involving the interpretation
inadmissible (Magellan Manufacturing Corporation vs. CA, 201
of contracts:
SCRA 106).[10] (Words in bracket ours)

· Art 1370. If the terms of a contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the
25. Marquez vs Espejo
intention of the contracting parties, the literal meaning of its stipulations shall control.
Peaches
If the words appear to be contrary to the evident intention of the parties, the latter shall The rule is not applicable where the controversy is between one of the
prevail over the former. parties to the document and third persons. Through the testimony of Leoncia, it was
shown that what she really intended to sell is lot 5522 but not being able to read and
write and fully relying on the good faith of her cousin, petitioner, she just placed her
· Art 1371. In order to judge the intention of the contracting parties, their
thumb mark on a piece of paper.
contemporaneous and subsequent acts shall be principally considered.

29. Pilipinas Bank vs CA
· Rule 130, Sec 13: For the proper construction of an instrument, the
circumstances under which it was made, including the situation of the subject thereof
and of the parties to it, may be shown, so that the judge may be placed in the position Section 9, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court expressly requires that for parol
of those whose language he is to interpret. evidence to be admissible to vary the terms of the written agreement, the mistake or
imperfection thereof or its failure to express the true agreement of the parties should
be put in issue by the pleadings.1[7]
26. Pamintuan vs. People

As correctly noted by the appellate court, petitioner failed to raise the issue of an
Under the circumstances, the best evidence to ascertain the nature of the parties
intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the terms of the Policy, or of the failure of
diamond ring transaction is the Katibayan which is the written evidence of their
said contract to express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto in its
agreement that should be deemed to contain all the terms they agreed upon. Under
Complaint. There was therefore no error on the part of the appellate court when it
the parol evidence rule, no additional or contradictory terms to this written agreement
affirmed the RTCs Order disallowing the recall of Tubianosa to the witness stand, for
can be admitted to show that, at or before the signing of the document, other or
such disallowance is in accord with the rule that when the terms of an agreement have
different terms were orally agreed upon by the parties. Thus, the terms of the
been reduced to writing, it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and
Katibayan should be the prevailing terms of the transaction between the parties, not
there can be, between the parties and their successors-in-interest, no evidence of
any oral or side agreement the petitioner alleged.
such other terms other than the contents of the written agreement.

27. Palanca vs. Wilson
The parol evidence herein introduced is inadmissible. First, private respondents oral
testimony on the alleged conditions, coming from a party who has an interest in the
DOCTRINE. That a written agreement shall be presumed to contain all the terms. outcome of the case, depending exclusively on human memory, is not as reliable as
nevertheless “does not exclude other evidence of the circumstances under which the written or documentary evidence. Spoken words could be notoriously undesirable
agreement was made, or to which it relates, or to explain an intrinsic ambguity.” unlike a written contract which speaks of a uniform language. Thus, under the general
Surrouncng circumstanc are taken into consideration to ascertain the true meaning of rule in Section 9 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, when the terms of an agreement
the contract. were reduced to writing, as in this case, it is deemed to contain all the terms agreed
upon and no evidence of such terms can be admitted other than the contents thereof.
28. Lechugas vs CA
30. Raymundo vs Lunaria

The appellate court acted correctly in upholding the trial court’s action in
admitting the testimony of Leoncia. Petitioner alleges that lot 5522 was sold to her by
Leonora, not Leoncia, who was never presented as witness in any proceeding in the Plainly stated, the issues for resolution are: Did the Court of Appeals err (1)
lower court… the parol evidence rule does not apply and may not properly be involved in applying the parol evidence rule; (2) in requiring petitioners to establish their case
by either party to litigation against the other, where at least one of the parties to the
suit is not a party or a privy of a party to a written instrument in the question and does by more than a preponderance of evidence; and (3) in holding petitioners jointly and
not base a claim on the instrument or assert a right originating in the instrument or the severally liable for the payment of the entire brokers fees?
relation established thereby.

1
Anent the first issue, petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals erred in Note that no written evidence was presented by the
defendants to show that the plaintiffs [herein respondents] agreed
applying the parol evidence rule to the facts of the case because the verbal agreement
to the above-sharing of the commission. The fact is that the
was entered into subsequent to the written agreement. Further, they aver that there is plaintiffs are denying having ever entered into such sharing
agreement. For if the plaintiffs as sales agents indeed agreed to
no rule that requires an agreement modifying an earlier agreement to be in the same
share the commission they are entitled to receive by virtue of the
form as the earlier agreement in order for such modification or amendment to be valid. Exclusive Authority to Sell with Lourdes G. Raymundo and
Hipolito, it passes understanding why no written agreement to that
effect was ever made. The absence of such written agreement is
mute but telling testimony that no such sharing arrangement was
Conversely, respondents argue that the Court of Appeals did not apply the
ever made.
parol evidence rule in this case. Although the appellate court stated and emphasized
the general legal principle and rule on parol evidence, it did not apply the parol
31. National Power vs Codilla
evidence rule with regard to the evidence adduced by the petitioners.
The information in those Xerox or photocopies was not received, recorded, retrieved
or produced electronically. Moreover, such electronic evidence must be authenticated
We rule for the respondents. To begin with, we agree with petitioners claim (Sections 1 and 2, Rule 5, Rules on Electronic Evidence), which the plaintiff failed to
do. Finally, the required Affidavit to prove the admissibility and evidentiary weight of
that the parol evidence rule does not apply to the facts of this case. First, the parol
the alleged electronic evidence (Sec. 1, Rule 9, Ibid) was not executed, much less
evidence rule forbids any addition to or contradiction of the terms of a written presented in evidence.
instrument by testimony or other evidence purporting to show that, at or before the
The Xerox or photocopies offered should, therefore, be stricken off the record. Aside
execution of the parties written agreement, other or different terms were agreed upon from their being not properly identified by any competent witness, the loss of the
principals thereof was not established by any competent proof.
by the parties, varying the purport of the written contract. 2[10] Notably, the claimed
verbal agreement was agreed upon not prior to but subsequent to the written A perusal of the information contained in the photocopies submitted by petitioner will
agreement. Second, the validity of the written agreement is not the matter which is reveal that not all of the contents therein, such as the signatures of the persons who
purportedly signed the documents, may be recorded or produced electronically. By no
being put in issue here. What is questioned is the validity of the claim that a stretch of the imagination can a person’s signature affixed manually be considered as
subsequent verbal agreement was agreed upon by the parties after the execution of information electronically received, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved
or produced. Hence, the argument of petitioner that since these paper printouts were
the written agreement which substantially modified their earlier written agreement. produced through an electronic process, then these photocopies are electronic
documents as defined in the Rules on Electronic Evidence is obviously an erroneous,
if not preposterous, interpretation of the law. Having thus declared that the offered
Nonetheless, even if we apply the parol evidence rule in this case, the photocopies are not tantamount to electronic documents, it is consequential that the
same may not be considered as the functional equivalent of their original as decreed
evidence presented by the petitioners fell short in proving that a subsequent verbal in the law.
agreement was in fact entered into by the parties. We subscribe to the findings of both
The rules use the word "information" to define an electronic document received,
the trial court and the appellate court that the evidence presented by petitioners did recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically. This
not establish the existence of the alleged subsequent verbal agreement. As pointed would suggest that an electronic document is relevant only in terms of the information
contained therein, similar to any other document, which is presented in evidence as
out by the trial court: proof of its contents. However, what differentiates an electronic document from a
paper-based document is the manner by which the information is processed; clearly,
2
the information contained in an electronic document is received, recorded, transmitted, (except computer-generated faxes, which is a newer development as compared to the
stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically ordinary fax machine to fax machine transmission), when it defined the term
“electronic data message.”
32. MCC industrial vs Ssangyang
[T]he terms “electronic data message” and “electronic document,” as defined under
Electronic document shall be regarded as the equivalent of an original document the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, do not include a facsimile transmission.
under the Best Evidence Rule, as long as it is a printout or output readable by sight or Accordingly, a facsimile transmission cannot be considered as electronic evidence. It
other means, showing to reflect the data accurately. Thus, to be admissible in is not the functional equivalent of an original under the Best Evidence Rule and is not
evidence as an electronic data message or to be considered as the functional admissible as electronic evidence.
equivalent of an original document under the Best Evidence Rule, the writing must
foremost be an “electronic data message” or an “electronic document. 33. Vidallion vs Salud

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 8792 defines the No. The respondent’s claim that the admission of the text messages as evidence
“Electronic Data Message” refers to information generated, sent, received or stored by against him constitutes a violation of his right to privacy is unavailing. Text messages
electronic, optical or similar means, but not limited to, electronic data interchange have been classified as “ephemeral electronic communication” under Section 1(k),
(EDI), electronic mail, telegram, telex or telecopy. Rule 2 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence, and “shall be proven by the testimony of a
person who was a party to the same or has personal knowledge thereof.” Any
question as to the admissibility of such messages is now moot and academic, as the
The phrase “but not limited to, electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic mail,
respondent himself, as well as his counsel, already admitted that he was the sender of
telegram, telex or telecopy” in the IRR’s definition of “electronic data message” is
the first three messages on Atty. Madarang’s cell phone.This was also the ruling of the
copied from the Model Law on Electronic Commerce adopted by the United Nations
Court in the recent case of Zaldy Nuez v. Elvira Cruz-Apao. In that case, the Court, in
Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), from which majority of the
finding the respondent therein guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct, considered
provisions of R.A. No. 8792 were taken. While Congress deleted this phrase in the
text messages addressed to the complainant asking for a million pesos in exchange
Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, the drafters of the IRR reinstated it. The deletion by
for a favorable decision in a case pending before the CA. The Court had the occasion
Congress of the said phrase is significant and pivotal.
to state:

Moreover, when Congress formulated the term “electronic data message,” it intended
… The text messages were properly admitted by the Committee since the same are
the same meaning as the term “electronic record” in the Canada law. This construction
now covered by Section 1(k), Rule 2 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence, which
of the term “electronic data message,” which excludes telexes or faxes, except
provides:
computer-generated faxes, is in harmony with the Electronic Commerce Law’s focus
on “paperless” communications and the “functional equivalent approach” that it
espouses. Facsimile transmissions are not, in this sense, “paperless,” but verily are “Ephemeral electronic communication” refers to telephone conversations, text
paper-based. messages … and other electronic forms of communication the evidence of which is
not recorded or retained.”
[I]n an ordinary facsimile transmission, there exists an original paper-based
information or data that is scanned, sent through a phone line, and re-printed at the
receiving end. … [I]n a virtual or paperless environment, technically, there is no
original copy to speak of, as all direct printouts of the virtual reality are the same, in all
respects, and are considered as originals. Ineluctably, the law’s definition of “electronic
data message,” which, as aforesaid, is interchangeable with “electronic document,”
could not have included facsimile transmissions, which have an original paper-based
copy as sent and a paper-based facsimile copy as received. These two copies are
distinct from each other, and have different legal effects. While Congress anticipated
future developments in communications and computer technology when it drafted the
law, it excluded the early forms of technology, like telegraph, telex and telecopy