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Mamba vs Garcia 359 SCRA 426 (2001)

Topic: Rules of Exclusion – RA 4200 Anti-Wiretapping Law


Facts:
An illegal possession of firearms case was filed against a certain Renato Bulatao.
On the date set for preliminary investigation, the complaining officer demanded
a sum of money from Bulatao in consideration of the withdrawal of the criminal
case against him.
During an entrapment operation, 2 police officers were arrested when the
marked money was found in their possession, inside the chambers of respondent
Judge Garcia where the supposed negotiations took place.
The investigating judge handling the administrative case against Judge Garcia,
referred to the taped conversation between the 2 policemen and Bulatao. After
investigation, the judge found Judge Garcia guilty of improper conduct.

Is the reliance of the investigating judge on the taped conversation valid?

HELD:
NO.
The Investigating Judge's reliance on the tape-recorded conversation between
Bulatao and the two police officers is erroneous. The recording of private
conversations without the consent of the parties contravenes the provisions of
Rep. Act. No. 4200, otherwise known as the Anti-Wire Tapping Law, and renders
the same inadmissible in evidence in any proceeding. The law covers even those
recorded by persons privy to the private communications, as in this case. Thus,
the contents of the tape recorder cannot be relied upon to determine the
culpability of respondent judge.
Atillo III v. Court of Appeals, 266 SCRA 596 (1997)
Topic: Judicial Admissions
Facts:
AMANCOR failed to pay a loan which was later assumed by petitioner. AMANCOR
failed to repay petitioner. Petitioner now sues AMANCOR and Michell Lhullier.
Lower court ruled Lhullier is not personally liable. Petitioner appealed.
Petitioner claims that LHUILLIER made a judicial admission of his personal
liability in his Answer wherein he stated that:

"3.11. In all the subject dealings, it was between plaintiff and Lhuillier
personally without the official participation of Amancor, Inc.

xxx xxx xxx

3.14 . Since the board of Amancor, Inc. did not formally ratify nor
acceded (sic) to the personal agreement between plaintiff and
Lhuillier through no fault of the latter, the corporation is not bound and
the actionable documents are, at most, unenforceable insofar as the
subject claim of plaintiff is concerned."

Petitioner contended that an admission made in the pleadings cannot be


controverted by the party making such admission and are conclusive as to him,
and that all proofs submitted by him contrary thereto or inconsistent therewith,
should be ignored, whether objection is interposed by the party or not.

Whether such admission is conclusive and cannot be objected upon?


HELD:
NO.
As provided for in Section 4 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court, the general rule
that a judicial admission is conclusive upon the party making it and does
not require proof admits of two exceptions: 1) when it is shown that the
admission was made through palpable mistake, and 2) when it is shown that
no such admission was in fact made. The latter exception allows one to
contradict an admission by denying that he made such an admission.
Contrary to petitioner's allegations, LHUILLIER had categorically denied
personal liability for AMANCOR's corporate debts.
We hold that such admission is not conclusive upon him. Applicable by
analogy is our ruling in the case of Gardner vs. Court of Appeals which allowed
a party's testimony in open court to override admissions he made in his answer.
Thus:
“ xxx
As a general rule, facts alleged in a party's pleading are deemed admissions
of that party and are binding upon it, but this is not an absolute and
inflexible rule. An answer is a mere statement of fact which the party filing
it expects to prove, but it is not evidence.
xxx ”