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RULES OF

EVIDENCE

COMPREHENSIVE NOTES ON AND OUTLINE OF DEAN RIANO’S BOOK


CODAL — REVISED RULES OF EVIDENCE
SPECIAL SC RULES RELATED TO EVIDENCE
NOTES AND CASES FROM PROFESSOR MANUEL RIGUERA'S BOOK
NOTES AND CASES FROM PROFESSOR BAUTISTA'S BOOK
JURISPRUDENCE BASED ON PROFESSOR VILLAREAL'S SYLLABUS
JURISPRUDENCE BASED ON PROFESSOR TRANQUIL SALVADOR'S SYLLABUS
NOTES FROM PROFESSOR TRANQUIL SALVADOR’S LECTURES

IT BEGINS WITH FAITH & CONVICTION, PERSEVERES WITH HARD WORK & DISCIPLINE, AND
ENDS WITH AN IMPASSIONED TRIUMPH WITHIN, WHEN WE REALIZE THAT WE CAN DO ANYTHING
[SEE EPH. 3:20]

#EMBRACETHEGRIND
TABLE OF CONTENTS
RULE 128: GENERAL PROVISIONS OF EVIDENCE 5
NATURE AND PURPOSE OF EVIDENCE 5
PRINCIPLES ON THE APPLICABILITY AND APPLICATION OF THE RULES OF EVIDENCE 6
ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE 7
WEIGHT/PROBATIVE VALUE OF EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF EVIDENCE 8
RELEVANCY OF EVIDENCE 10
COMPETENCE OF EVIDENCE 11

RULE 129: WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED 12


JUDICIAL NOTICE 12
MANDATORY JUDICIAL NOTICE 12
DISCRETIONARY JUDICIAL NOTICE 13
JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS 17

RULE 130(A): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF OBJECT EVIDENCE 22


KINDS OF EVIDENCE 22
NATURE AND DEFINITION OF OBJECT EVIDENCE 23
ADMISSIBILITY OF OBJECT EVIDENCE 24

RULE 130(B): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE 28


NATURE AND DEFINITION OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE 28
ADMISSIBILITY OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE 29
BEST EVIDENCE RULE 29
SECONDARY EVIDENCE 34
PAROL EVIDENCE RULE 35
INTERPRETATION OF DOCUMENTS 39

RULE 130(C): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE 41


NATURE AND DEFINITION OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE 41
ADMISSIBILITY OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE; COMPETENCE OF WITNESSES 41
CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES 42
DISQUALIFICATIONS OF WITNESSES 43
DISQUALIFICATION BY REASON OF MENTAL INCAPACITY 44
DISQUALIFICATION BY REASON OF IMMATURITY 45
SURVIVORSHIP DISQUALIFICATION RULE (DEAD MAN’S STATUTE) 46
MARTIAL DISQUALIFICATION RULE (SPOUSAL IMMUNITY) 48
MARITAL PRIVILEGE 51
ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE 53
PHYSICIAN-PATIENT PRIVILEGE 56
PSYCHOLOGISTS OR PSYCHOMETRICIAN PRIVILEGE 58
PRIEST/MINISTER-PENITENT PRIVILEGE 58
PUBLIC OFFICERS PRIVILEGE 59
EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE 59
CONFIDENTIALITY OF CRIMINAL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT MATTERS 61
LEGISLATIVE PRIVILEGE 61
JUDICIAL PRIVILEGE 61
RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION 62
PARENTAL AND FILIAL PRIVILEGE 63

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EDITORIAL (JOURNALIST) PRIVILEGE 64
SECRECY OF THE BALLOT 64
CONFIDENTIALITY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRIAL SECRETS 64
ADMISSIONS AND THE RES INTER ALIOS ACTA RULE 64
ADMISSIONS (PARTY ADMISSIONS) 65
CONFESSIONS 66
ADMISSION BY SILENCE 68
OFFER OF COMPROMISE 69
WITHDRAWAL OF GUILTY PLEA 69
OFFER TO PAY FOR EXPENSES 70
RES INTER ALIOS ACTA (RIAA) RULE IN GENERAL 70
RES INTER ALIOS ACTA (RIAA) RULE BRANCH 1 — VICARIOUS ADMISSIONS 70
RES INTER ALIOS ACTA (RIAA) RULE BRANCH 2: EVIDENCE OF SIMILAR CONDUCT 73
UNACCEPTED OFFER 74
HEARSAY EVIDENCE RULE 74
EXCEPTIONS TO THE HEARSAY RULE 79
DYING DECLARATION 80
PARTS OF RES GESTAE 83
DECLARATIONS AGAINST INTEREST 86
ACT OR DECLARATION ABOUT PEDIGREE 88
FAMILY REPUTATION OR TRADITION REGARDING PEDIGREE 88
COMMON REPUTATION 89
ENTRIES IN THE COURSE OF BUSINESS (BUSINESS ENTRIES) 89
ELECTRONIC BUSINESS ENTRIES OR RECORDS 90
ENTRIES IN OFFICIAL RECORDS 91
COMMERCIAL LISTS AND THE LIKE 91
LEARNED TREATISES 92
TESTIMONY OR DEPOSITION IN A FORMER PROCEEDING 92
IN THE CASE OF CHILD WITNESSES 92
DEPOSITIONS IN CIVIL CASES 93
OPINION RULE 93
CHARACTER EVIDENCE 96

RULE 131: BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTIONS 101


BURDEN OF PROOF 101
BURDEN OF EVIDENCE 104
PRESUMPTIONS IN GENERAL 106
CONCLUSIVE PRESUMPTIONS 107
DISPUTABLE PRESUMPTIONS 110

RULE 132(A): EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES 122


EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES PRESENTED IN TRIAL OR HEARING 122
PROCEEDINGS OF A TRIAL OR HEARING SHOULD BE RECORDED 123
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF A WITNESS 123
KINDS OF EXAMINATIONS 124
RECALLING A WITNESS 126
LEADING AND MISLEADING QUESTIONS 126

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IMPEACHMENT OF A WITNESS 128
ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE OF GOOD CHARACTER OF A WITNESS 132
EXCLUSION AND SEPARATION OF WITNESSES 132
WHEN THE WITNESS MAY REFER TO A MEMORANDUM 132
WHEN PART OF TRANSACTION, WRITING OR RECORD GIVEN IN EVIDENCE 133
RIGHT OF INSPECTION OF WRITING SHOWN TO WITNESS 133
PRINCIPLES AND RULES ON CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES (UNDER JURISPRUDENCE) 133

RULE 132 (B): AUTHENTICATION AND PROOF OF DOCUMENTS 138


NATURE AND IMPORTANCE OF AUTHENTICATION 138
AUTHENTICATION OF OBJECT EVIDENCE 138
AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE 140
KINDS OF DOCUMENTS; PRESENTING PUBLIC DOCUMENTS 140
PROOF OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS 141
AUTHENTICATION OF PRIVATE DOCUMENTS 144
AUTHENTICATION OF HANDWRITINGS AND SIGNATURES 146
EXPLAINING ALTERATIONS IN A DOCUMENT 148
PROOF OF DOCUMENTS IN UNOFFICIAL LANGUAGE 148
IMPEACHMENT OF JUDICIAL RECORDS 148

RULE 132(C): OFFER AND OBJECTION 149


OFFER OF EVIDENCE 149
OBJECTIONS 151
STRIKING OUT AN ANSWER OR TESTIMONY 153
RULING ON THE OBJECTION 154
TENDER OF EXCLUDED EVIDENCE; OFFER OF PROOF 155

RULE 133: WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE 157


BURDEN OF PROOF AND THE QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE IN GENERAL 157
QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE IN CIVIL CASES; PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE 157
QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL CASES; PROOF BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT 158
QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE IN ADMINISTRATIVE CASES; SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE 161
CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE 162
POWER OF THE COURT TO STOP INTRODUCTION OF FURTHER EVIDENCE 163
EVIDENCE ON MOTION 164
HARMLESS ERROR RULE; ENGLISH EXCHEQUER RULE 164

SPECIAL RULES OF EVIDENCE 165


CONSTITUTIONAL RULES RELATED TO ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE 165
RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE UNDER THE WIRE-TAPPING LAW AND HUMAN SECURITY ACT 165
RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE 169
RULE ON DNA EVIDENCE 176
RULES ON PROOF OF PATERNAL FILIATION 181
RULE ON CHAIN OF CUSTODY IN DRUG CASES 182
RULE ON EXAMINATION OF A CHILD WITNESS 185
JUDICIAL AFFIDAVIT RULE (JAR) 192

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RULE 128: GENERAL PROVISIONS OF EVIDENCE
RULE 128: GENERAL PROVISIONS OF EVIDENCE

NATURE AND PURPOSE OF EVIDENCE

Section 1. Evidence defined. — Evidence is the means, sanctioned by these rules, of ascertaining in a judicial
proceeding the truth respecting a matter of fact. (1)

‣ What is Evidence?
‣ RIANO — Evidence, in its broadest sense, refers to “any matter of fact, the effect, tendency or design of which is to
produce in the mind a persuasive affirmative or disaffirmative of the existence of some other matter of fact”. This
definition should be given a more restrictive meaning because not every fact that could have a relation to the issue of
the case could be adduced in court. “The practical limitations which attend the organization and proper functioning of
judicial tribunals render this impossible if there is to be any reasonable and just end to litigation”.
‣ The very tenor of the definition in Sec. 1, Rule 128 clearly indicates that not every fact having a conceivable
connection to the issue of a case or that which provides a reasonable inference as to the truth or falsity of a matter
alleged, is considered evidence. To be considered evidence, the same must be “sanctioned” or allowed by the
Rules of Court.

‣ It is not evidence if it is excluded by law or by the Rules even if it proves the existence or non-existence of a fact in
issue. Thus, a hearsay evidence, a coerced extrajudicial confession of the accused, and an evidence obtained in
violation of constitutional rights, even if ultimately shown to correspond to the truth, do not fall within the definition
of Sec. 1 of Rule 128.

‣ The definition, provided for under Sec. 1 of Rule 128, significantly considers “evidence” not as an end in itself but
merely as a “means” of ascertaining the truth of a matter of fact. Equally significant is the observation that
“evidence” as defined in the Rules of Court is a means of ascertaining the truth not in all types of proceedings, but
specifically, in a “judicial proceeding.”

‣ What is the purpose of Evidence?


‣ RIANO — The purpose of evidence under the Rules of Court is to ascertain the truth respecting a matter of fact in a
judicial proceeding Litigations cannot be properly resolved by suppositions, or even presumptions, with no basis in
evidence. The truth must have to be determined by the rules for admissibility and proof.
‣ Evidence is required because of the presumption that the court is not aware of the veracity of the facts involved in
a case. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the parties to prove a fact in issue through the presentation of admissible
evidence

‣ The rules of evidence are merely the means for ascertaining the truth respecting a matter of fact. While the purpose
of evidence is to know the truth, the truth referred to in the definition is not necessarily the actual truth but one
aptly referred to as the judicial or legal truth.

‣ The limitations of human judicial systems cannot always guarantee knowledge of the actual or real truth. Actual
truth may not always be achieved in judicial proceedings because the findings of the court would depend on the
evidence presented before it based on the accepted rules for admissibility.

‣ Also, under Sec. 34 of Rule 132, courts, as a rule, are not even authorized to consider evidence which has not
been formally offered. Thus, a supposed evidence that would undoubtedly show the innocence of the accused will
not be considered in the decision of the court if not formally offered in evidence. If it is evidence to the contrary that
has been formally offered, it is the latter which the court is bound to consider or appreciate.

‣ When is Evidence required and not required?


‣ RIANO — Evidence is the means of proving a fact. As the definition says, it is offered in court to ascertain the truth
“respecting a matter of fact.” Implied from the definition of “evidence” in Sec. 1 of Rule 128 is the need for the
introduction of evidence when the court has to resolve a question of fact. Where no factual issue exists in a case, there
is no need to present evidence because where the case presents a question of law, such question is resolved by the
mere application of the relevant statutes or rules of this jurisdiction to which no evidence is required.

‣ Such as —
1. In facts required to be taken judicial notice of (See Rule 129)
2. When the pleadings in a civil case do not tender an issue of fact, a trial need not be conducted since there is no
more reason to present evidence. The case is then ripe for judicial determination through a judgment on the
pleadings. (See Rule 34)

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3. Presentation of evidence may likewise be dispensed with by agreement of the parties. The parties to any action are
allowed by the Rules to agree in writing upon the facts involved in the litigation and to submit the case for
judgment upon the facts agreed upon, without the introduction of evidence (Sec. 6, Rule 30)
4. On matters judicially admitted (Sec. 4, Rule 129)
5. Evidence is not also required when a law or rule presumes the truth of a fact. (See Rule 131)
‣ Is “evidence” the same as “proof”?
‣ RIANO — NO. Proof’ is not the evidence itself. There is proof only because of evidence. It is merely the probative
effect of evidence and is the conviction or persuasion of the mind resulting from a consideration of the evidence. Proof
is the effect or result of evidence, while evidence is the medium of proof

FACTUM PROBANDUM VS FACTUM PROBANS


‣ Evidence signifies a relationship between two facts, namely:

1. The fact or proposition to be established (factum probandum), and

2. The facts or material evidencing the fact or proposition to be established (factum probans)
‣ Factum probandum is the fact to be proved; the fact which is in issue and to which the evidence is directed.

‣ Factum probans is the probative or evidentiary fact tending to prove the fact in issue
‣ RIANO — In practical terms, the factum probandum in a civil case refers to the elements of a cause of action from the
point of view of the plaintiff and the elements of the defense from the standpoint of the defendant.

‣ Example: “If P claims to have been injured by the negligence of D who denies having been negligent, the negligence
of D and the causal connection between such negligence, and the injuries of P taken as a whole, constitute the factum
probandum of the suit. The evidence offered by P, whether it be object, documentary or testimonial, constitute the
materials to prove the liability of D. The totality of the evidence to prove the liability refers to the factum probans.”

PRINCIPLES ON THE APPLICABILITY AND APPLICATION OF THE RULES OF EVIDENCE

Section 2. Scope. — The rules of evidence shall be the same in all courts and in all trials and hearings, except as
otherwise provided by law or these rules. (2a)

UNIFORMITY AND APPLICABILITY OF RULES


‣ The rules on evidence in the Rules of Court are guided by the principle of uniformity. As a general policy, the rules on
evidence shall be the same in all courts and in all trials and hearings

‣ But note that the rules on evidence, being components of the Rules of Court, apply only to judicial proceedings

‣ Significantly, Sec. 4 of Rule 1 provides for the non-applicability of the Rules of Court, including necessarily the rules on
evidence, to certain specified proceedings.

NON-APPLICABILITY OF RULES TO ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS


‣ The general rule is that administrative agencies are not bound by the technical rules of evidence.
‣ It can accept documents which cannot be admitted in a judicial proceeding where the Rules of Court are strictly
observed. It can choose to give weight or disregard such evidence, depending on its trustworthiness

‣ Thus it does NOT apply to —

1. Administrative proceedings (such as under the Board of Medicine or the Civil Service Commission)

2. Labor cases under the NLRC

‣ BUT — The Rules on Electronic Evidence, however, apply to administrative cases.


‣ The application of the rules on evidence in the Rules of Court contrasts with the application of the Rules on Electronic
Evidence.

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NO VESTED RIGHTS IN THE RULES
‣ There is no vested right in the rules on evidence because said rules are subject to change by the Supreme Court pursuant
to its powers to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure (Sec. 5[5], Art VIII, Constitution of the
Philippines).
‣ The change in the rules on evidence is, however, subject to the constitutional limitation on the enactment of ex post facto
laws (Sec. 22, Art. Ill, Bill of Rights, Constitution of the Philippines).
‣ An ex post facto law includes that which alters the rules on evidence and receives less or different testimony than that
required at the time of the commission of the offense in order to convict the accused

ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE

Section 3. Admissibility of evidence. — Evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the
law of these rules. (3a)

ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE
‣ RULE — FOR EVIDENCE TO BE ADMISSIBLE, IT MUST BOTH BE —
1. RELEVANT
‣ This means that the evidence has a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or non-existence.

2. COMPETENT
‣ This means it is not excluded by law (such as the anti-wiretapping law violations of the right against unreasonable
searches and seizures) or by the rules (such as hearsay)

‣ RIANO — These two elements correspond to Wigmore’s two axioms of admissibility, namely: (a) That none but facts
having rational probative value are admissible (relevance); and (b) That all facts having rational probative value are
admissible unless some specific rule forbids them (competence) The formula for admissibility is a simple one. To be
admissible, the evidence must be both relevant and competent.

WAIVER OF THE RULES/ ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE


‣ RULE — THE RULES ON EVIDENCE (PARTICULARLY ON ADMISSIBILITY OR INADMISSIBILITY) MAY BE WAIVED, IF NOT TIMELY
OBJECTED TO.

‣ RIANO — When an otherwise objectionable evidence is not objected to, the evidence becomes admissible because of
waiver, except when it involves public interest. For instance, while as a rule, hearsay evidence is excluded and carries
no probative value, the rule admits of an exception. Where a party fails to object to hearsay evidence, then the same
is admissible.

‣ It is also submitted that a failure to object with respect to a privileged communication involving state secrets
communicated to a public officer in official confidence should not be construed as a waiver of the privileged
character of the communication because of public policy considerations as when the state secret is one involving
national defense and security.

‣ BUT — Note these two important cases as early as now. These are really matters of Criminal Procedure in relation to the
Rights of the Accused but it intersects with evidence.
1. The failure to object to the illegality or invalidity of a warrantless arrest does NOT amount to a waiver of the
inadmissibility of evidence seized during such illegal warrantless arrest
‣ SEE — Dela Cruz vs People, G.R. No. 200748, July 23, 2014
‣ In this case, the petitioner never raised the alleged irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment and raises
the issue only now before this tribunal; hence, he is deemed to have waived his right to question the validity of
his arrest curing whatever defect may have attended his arrest. However, "a waiver of an illegal warrantless
arrest does not mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest.

2. If what is involved is the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the failure to “timely” object to
evidence obtained from an invalid search should NOT amount to a waiver.
‣ SEE — Ogayon vs People, G.R. No. 188794, September 2, 2015
‣ In this case, the accused belatedly failed to timely object to the admissibility of evidence obtained in an invalid
search. The CA declared that Ogayon had waived the protection of his right against unreasonable searches
and seizures due to his failure to make a timely objection against the search warrant’s validity before the trial

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RULE 128: GENERAL PROVISIONS OF EVIDENCE
court. It based its ruling on the procedural rule that any objections to the legality of the search warrant should
be made during the trial of the case.

‣ SC found that the CA’s casual treatment of a fundamental right distressing. It prioritized compliance with a
procedural rule over compliance with the safeguards for a constitutional right. Procedural rules can neither
diminish nor modify substantial rights; their non-compliance should therefore not serve to validate a
warrant that was issued in disregard of the constitutional requirements. The ends of justice are better
served if the supremacy of the constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures is preserved
over technical rules of procedure.

‣ Moreover, the courts should indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of fundamental
constitutional rights; we should not presume acquiescence in the loss of fundamental rights. Whenever a
protection given by the Constitution is waived by the person entitled to that protection, the presumption is
always against the waiver." The relinquishment of a constitutional right has to be laid out convincingly.

‣ In this case, the only evidence that Ogayon waived his constitutional right was his failure to make a timely
motion during the trial to quash the warrant and to suppress the presentation of the seized items as evidence.
This failure alone, to our mind, is not a sufficient indication that Ogayon clearly, categorically, knowingly, and
intelligently made a waiver. He cannot reasonably be expected to know the warrant’s defect for lack of data in
the records suggesting that defect existed. It would thus be unfair to construe Ogayon’s failure to object as a
waiver of his constitutional right. In criminal cases where life, liberty and property are all at stake… The
standard of waiver requires that it ‘not only must be voluntary, but must be knowing, intelligent, and done with
sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences.’”

‣ The requirement to raise objections against search warrants during trial is a procedural rule established by
jurisprudence. Compliance or noncompliance with this requirement cannot in any way diminish the
constitutional guarantee that a search warrant should be issued upon a finding of probable cause. Ogayon’s
1âwphi1

failure to make a timely objection cannot serve to cure the inherent defect of the warrant. To uphold the validity
of the void warrant would be to disregard one of the most fundamental rights guaranteed in our Constitution.

‣ In the light of the nullity of Search Warrant No. AEK 29-2003, the search conducted on its authority is likewise
null and void. Under the Constitution, any evidence obtained in violation of a person’s right against
unreasonable searches and seizures shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
‣ May the parties stipulate waiving the rules on evidence?
‣ RIANO — YES, As long as no law or principles of morality, good customs and public policy are transgressed or no
rights of third persons are violated, the rules on evidence may be waived by the parties. (Art. 6 of the Civil Code)

WEIGHT/PROBATIVE VALUE OF EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF EVIDENCE

‣ Is “admissibility” and the “weight/probative value” of evidence the same thing?

‣ NO. RIANO —

‣ While admissibility of evidence refers to the question of whether or not the evidence is to be considered at all. On
the other hand, the probative value of the evidence refers to the question of whether or not it 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
‣ Admissibility is one thing, weight is another. To admit evidence and not to believe it are not incompatible with
each other. The admissibility of evidence should not be equated with the weight of the evidence. The
admissibility of the evidence depends on its relevance and competence while the weight of evidence pertains
to its tendency to convince and persuade.

‣ A particular item of evidence may be admissible but its evidentiary weight depends on judicial evaluation with
the guidelines provided by the rules of evidence

‣ How would you determine the probative weight of evidence?


‣ Jurisprudence has laid down some basic rules on credibility such as for evidence to be worthy of credit, it must not
only proceed from a credible source but must, in addition, be credible in itself. The evidence must be natural,
reasonable and probable as to make it easy to believe. No better test has yet been found to determine the value of
the testimony of a witness than its conformity to the knowledge and common experience of mankind (Serra v.
Mumar) Whatever is repugnant to the standards of human knowledge, observation and experience becomes
incredible and must lie outside judicial cognisance (People v. De Guzman)

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MULTIPLE ADMISSIBILITY
1. AS TO PURPOSE — WHEN EVIDENCE IS ADMISSIBLE FOR TWO OR MORE PURPOSES
‣ RIANO — The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified because such evidence may be
admissible for several purposes under the doctrine of multiple admissibility, or may be admissible for one purpose but
not for another. Otherwise, the adverse party cannot interpose the proper objection

‣ Such as, if testimony is offered to prove that the project was completed pursuant to the contract, it cannot be
offered to prove that the project was delayed.

‣ A private document may be offered and admitted in evidence both as documentary and object evidence
depending on the purpose for which the document is offered. If offered to prove its existence, condition or for any
purpose other than the contents of a document, the same is considered as an object evidence. When the private
document is offered as proof of its contents, the same is considered as a documentary evidence

‣ Examples:
a. Thus, depending upon the circumstances, the declaration of a dying person may be admissible for several
purposes. It may be offered as a dying declaration (Sec. 37, Rule 130, part of the res gestae (Sec. 42, Rule 130), or
declaration against interest (Sec. 38, Rule 130).
b. The statement by a bus driver immediately after the collision that he dozed off in the wheel while driving may be
admissible as an admission under Sec. 26 of Rule 130 or as part of the res gestae pursuant to Sec. 42 of Rule 130
3. AS TO PARTIES — WHEN EVIDENCE IS ADMISSIBLE AGAINST ONE PARTY BUT NOT AGAINST ANOTHER.
‣ An extrajudicial statement of a robbery suspect is not admissible against his co-accused under the res inter alios acta
rule but may be admissible against the declarant himself as an admission pursuant to Sec. 26 of Rule 130.

CONDITIONAL ADMISSIBILITY
‣ RIANO — It happens frequently enough that the relevance of a piece of evidence is not apparent at the time it is offered,
but the relevance of which will readily be seen when connected to other pieces of evidence not yet offered. The
proponent of the evidence may ask the court that the evidence be conditionally admitted in the meantime, subject
to the condition that he is going to establish its relevancy and competency at a later time. If the connection is not
shown as promised, the court may, upon motion of the adverse party, strike out from the record the evidence that was
previously conditionally admitted.

‣ Example — For instance, Mr. P files an action for recovery of ownership of a parcel of land against Mr. D. The
complaint alleges that Mr. P is the owner of the property. During the trial, Mr. P testifies and adduces evidence that
sometime in 1995, the property subject of the action was bought by Mr. O from a certain Mr. M. The defendant, Mr. D,
objects on the ground that the evidence is irrelevant to support the claim of ownership of Mr. P. The problem presented
in such a situation is whether or not to interrupt the examination of the witness to first present the connecting evidence
or to admit the testimony conditionally, subject to presentation of the said connecting evidence later in the trial. Mr. P
may ask the court to conditionally allow the testimony with the undertaking to show later that he bought the property
from Mr. O who, in turn, bought it from Mr. M.

CURATIVE ADMISSIBILITY
‣ RIANO — The doctrine of curative admissibility allows a party to introduce otherwise inadmissible evidence to
answer the opposing party’s previous introduction of inadmissible evidence if it would remove any unfair prejudice
caused by the admission of the earlier inadmissible evidence
‣ Thus, a party who first introduces either irrelevant or incompetent evidence into the trial cannot complain of the
subsequent admission of similar evidence from the adverse party relating to the same subject matter. Conversely, the
doctrine should not be invoked where evidence was properly admitted.

‣ Example — In an action for damages arising from a car accident, the plaintiff, despite objection by the defendant,
introduced evidence to show that on several occasions the defendant in the past had injured pedestrians because of his
negligence. The evidence was offered to prove the defendant’s propensity for negligence. Of course, under the rules, this
kind of evidence is inadmissible because evidence that a person did a certain thing at one time is not admissible to prove
that he did the same or a similar thing at another time (Sec. 34, Rule 130). If we were to follow the concept of curative
admissibility, the court may be asked to give the defendant the chance to contradict or explain his alleged past acts and to
show evidence of his past acts of diligence to counteract the prejudice which the improperly admitted evidence may have
caused. Also, if hearsay evidence prejudicial to the defendant is erroneously admitted despite objection, under the
principle of curative admissibility, the court should allow hearsay evidence favorable to the same defendant.
‣ Does the concept of curative admissibility refer to a situation where incompetent evidence was erroneously
received by the court despite absence of objection from the other party?

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RULE 128: GENERAL PROVISIONS OF EVIDENCE
‣ RIANO — It is submitted that in our jurisdiction, the principle of curative admissibility should not be made to apply
where the evidence was admitted without objection because the failure to object constitutes a waiver of the
inadmissibility of the evidence. In our jurisdiction, inadmissible evidence not objected to becomes admissible. For
instance, where a party failed to object to hearsay evidence, then the same becomes admissible.

‣ An objection to an otherwise inadmissible evidence is not merely suggested but required by the Rules of Court.
The tenor of the rule is clear: Objections to evidence offered orally must be made immediately after the offer is
made and objections to questions propounded in the course of the oral examination of the witness shall be made
as soon as the grounds therefor shall become apparent (Sec. 36, Rule 132, Rules of Court).

‣ It is likewise submitted that it is only where the objection was incorrectly overruled that the court should
allow the other party to introduce evidence to contradict the evidence improperly admitted in order to cure
the prejudice caused to the other party against whom the offered evidence was erroneously admitted.
Common reason suggests that where there is a waiver, there is no defect to cure
‣ One American case puts it: “A breach of the rules of evidence by one party does not suspend those rules with
respect to the other party

RELEVANCY OF EVIDENCE

Section 4. Relevancy; collateral matters. — Evidence must have such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in
its existence or non-existence. Evidence on collateral matters shall not be allowed, except when it tends in any
reasonable degree to establish the probability or improbability of the fact in issue. (4a)

RELEVANT EVIDENCE
‣ RULE — EVIDENCE TO BE RELEVANT MUST HAVE SUCH A RELATION TO THE FACT IN ISSUE AS TO INDUCE BELIEF IN ITS
EXISTENCE OR NON-EXISTENCE.

‣ The concept of relevance is clearly one of logic.

‣ It deals with the rational relationship between the evidence and the fact to be proved.

‣ In other words, the evidence adduced should be directed to the matters in dispute and any evidence which has
neither direct nor indirect relationship to such matters must be set aside as irrelevant.

‣ It is the relation to the fact in issue which makes evidence either relevant or irrelevant. If the evidence induces belief
as to the existence or non-existence of the fact in issue, the evidence is relevant. If it does not induce such belief, it
is irrelevant.

‣ Although competency of the evidence is a necessary component of admissible evidence, the question that most often
arises in court is the relevance of the evidence. When an advocate offers a piece of evidence for the court’s
consideration, he offers the evidence to prove a fact. This fact may either be the immediate fact in issue or the
ultimate fact in issue.
‣ Because of the definition of relevant evidence under Sec. 4 of Rule 128, it is obvious that relevance is a matter of
relationship between the evidence and the fact in issue. The determination of relevance is, thus, a matter of
inference and not of law. The test, is therefore, one of logic, common sense, and experience.
‣ The existence of the relationship between the fact in issue and the offered evidence is one that is perceived only by
the mind without reference to a statute or rule. It is, therefore, a matter of reasoning. It is a matter of reasoning
because relevance is a matter of logic. The matter of relevance is one that is addressed to the discretion of the
court
‣ There is no precise and universal test of relevancy provided by law. However, the determination of whether
particular evidence is relevant rests largely at the discretion of the court, which must be exercised according to the
teachings of logic and everyday experience

COLLATERAL EVIDENCE
‣ RULE — EVIDENCE ON A COLLATERAL MATTER IS NOT ALLOWED
‣ A matter is collateral when it is on a “parallel or diverging line,” merely “additional” or “auxiliary”

‣ This term connotes an absence of a direct connection between the evidence and the matter in dispute.

‣ Example of Collateral Matters —

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‣ For instance, the motive of a person and, in some instances, his reputation are matters that may be considered
collateral to the subject of a controversy. A very strong motive to kill the victim does not ipso facto make motive
relevant to the issue of guilt or innocence because the person with absolutely no motive to kill could be the culprit.
‣ Evidence of the bad reputation of the accused for being troublesome and aggressive does not make the evidence
admissible to prove his guilt. After all, the culprit could have been the person with the most endearing reputation.
‣ It is not allowed because it does not have direct relevance to the issue of the case.

‣ EXCEPT — A COLLATERAL MATTER MAY BE ADMITTED IF IT TENDS IN ANY REASONABLE DEGREE TO ESTABLISH THE
PROBABILITY OR IMPROBABILITY OF THE FACT IN ISSUE

‣ In other words, while the collateral evidence may not bear directly on the issue, it will be admitted if it has the
tendency to induce belief as to the probability or improbability of the issues of the case as when it would have the
effect of corroborating or supplementing facts previously established by direct evidence.

‣ Example:
‣ Although evidence of character is generally inadmissible (Sec. 51, Rule 130), the accused may prove his good
moral character which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense charged (Sec. 51[a][l], Rule 130).
‣ Evidence of the good character of a witness is admissible if his character has been previously impeached (Sec.
14, Rule 132).

COMPETENCE OF EVIDENCE

‣ Competent evidence is one that is not excluded by law or rules in a particular case. If the the test of relevance is logic and
common sense, the test of competence is the law or rules.

‣ If the law or a particular rule excludes the evidence, it is incompetent. Competence is primarily, therefore, a matter of law
or rule.

‣ The question as to competence is: Is the evidence allowed by the law or rules? If it is allowed, the evidence is competent.
If it is not allowed, it is incompetent. Competence, in relation to evidence in general, refers to the eligibility of an
evidence to be received as such. However, when applied to a witness, the term competent refers to the
qualifications of the witness.

‣ NOTE — Your study of evidence will actually focus on “competence” which consists of the numerous the Rules of
Exclusion found in the Rules or in Law, meaning the question will focus on whether a particular piece of evidence is
excluded by the rules or not. “Relevance” is, well, just common sense, and a matter of argument.

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RULE 129: WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED

RULE 129: WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED

JUDICIAL NOTICE

‣ What is Judicial Notice?


‣ These are matters in a litigation which must be admitted without need for evidence.
‣ RIANO — There is no need to adduce evidence to prove that there are twenty-four (24) hours in a day or that the sun
rises in the east and sets in the west. The fact that Cebu lies in the Visayan region needs no further evidence. To
require evidence for such obvious facts would be to indulge in utter absurdity.

‣ Judicial notice is based on the maxim, “what is known need not be proved,” hence, when the rule is invoked, the
court may dispense with the presentation of evidence on judicially cognizable facts

‣ What is the purpose of Judicial Notice?


‣ RIANO — The function of judicial notice is to abbreviate litigation by the admission of matters that need no evidence
because judicial notice is a substitute for formal proof of a matter by evidence

‣ Judicial notice takes the place of proof and is of equal force. It displaces evidence and fulfills the purpose for
which the evidence is designed to fulfill. Hence, it makes evidence unnecessary

‣ While the court has the power to dispense with proof of judicially cognizable adjudicative facts when the principles
of judicial notice are properly invoked, judicial notice cannot, however, be used to fill in the gaps in the party’s
evidence but judicial notice should not be used to deprive an adverse party of the opportunity to prove a disputed
fact

KINDS OF JUDICIAL NOTICE UNDER THE RULES


1. Mandatory

2. Discretionary

MANDATORY JUDICIAL NOTICE

Section 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory. — A court shall take judicial notice, without the introduction of evidence, of
the existence and territorial extent of states, their political history, forms of government and symbols of nationality, the
law of nations, the admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political constitution and history of the
Philippines, the official acts of legislative, executive and judicial departments of the Philippines, the laws of nature, the
measure of time, and the geographical divisions. (1a)

MATTERS OF MANDATORY JUDICIAL NOTICE


‣ Matters subject to Mandatory Judicial Notice:
1. Existence and territorial extent of states;

2. Political history, forms of government and symbols of nationality of states;

3. The law of nations;

4. Admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals;

5. Political constitution and history of the Philippines;

6. Official acts of the legislative, executive and judicial departments of the Philippines;

7. Laws of nature;

8. Measure of time; and

9. Geographical divisions.

‣ Examples of Matters of Mandatory Judicial Notice


‣ Amendment to the Rules of Court (Siena Realty Corporation v. Gallang)

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‣ Decisions the Supreme Court (Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Heirs of Sero)
‣ Declaration of the President of the Philippines that she informed China’s President that the Philippine Government had
decided not to continue with the ZTE-National Broadband Network (Suplico v. NEDA)
‣ Senate committee report (CLT Realty vs Hi-Grade Feeds Corp. 2015)

‣ Won’t this violate the doctrine of separation of powers?


‣ NO. The Senate Report, an official act of the legislative department, may be taken judicial notice of. CLT posits
that the Court of Appeals violated the time-honored principle of separation of powers when it took judicial
notice of the Senate Report. This contention is baseless. The reports cannot conclusively supersede or
overturn judicial decisions, but if admissible they may be taken into account as evidence on the same level as
the other pieces of evidence submitted by the parties. The fact that they were rendered by the DOJ and the
Senate should not, in itself, persuade the courts to accept them without inquiry. The facts and arguments
presented in the reports must still undergo judicial scrutiny and analysis, and certainly the courts will have the
discretion to accept or reject them, (CLT Realty vs Hi-Grade Feeds Corp. 2015)

HOW MANDATORY JUDICIAL NOTICE IS TAKEN


‣ RULE — WHEN THE MATTER IS SUBJECT TO A MANDATORY JUDICIAL NOTICE, NO MOTION OR HEARING IS NECESSARY FOR THE
COURT TO TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF A FACT

‣ This is because this is a matter which a court ought to take judicial notice of.

‣ SALVADOR — But, in practice, litigants still file a request/motion for the court to take mandatory judicial notice.
Because while the judge should take mandatory judicial notice of the facts enumerated in Sec. 1, no person knows
everything, thus the parties should still enlighten the judge. The judge cannot be expected to know everything in Sec.
1. Unlike discretionary judicial notice, there is no more dispute as whether the court can take judicial notice of
mandatory matters in Sec 1. These matters are already established and are readyly identifiable. (See CLT Realty vs Hi-
Grade Fees Corp. 2015)

DISCRETIONARY JUDICIAL NOTICE

Section 2. Judicial notice, when discretionary. — A court may take judicial notice of matters which are of public
knowledge, or are capable to unquestionable demonstration, or ought to be known to judges because of their judicial
functions. (1a)

Section 3. Judicial notice, when hearing necessary. — During the trial, the court, on its own initiative, or on request of a
party, may announce its intention to take judicial notice of any matter and allow the parties to be heard thereon.
After the trial, and before judgment or on appeal, the proper court, on its own initiative or on request of a party, may take
judicial notice of any matter and allow the parties to be heard thereon if such matter is decisive of a material issue in the
case. (n)

MATTERS OF DISCRETIONARY JUDICIAL NOTICE


‣ RULE — A COURT MAY TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF MATTERS WHICH ARE OF PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE, OR ARE CAPABLE TO
UNQUESTIONABLE DEMONSTRATION, OR OUGHT TO BE KNOWN TO JUDGES BECAUSE OF THEIR JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS

1. PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE
‣ These are matters coming to the knowledge of men generally in the course of the ordinary experiences of life, or
they may be matters which are generally accepted by mankind as true and are capable of ready and unquestioned
demonstration.

‣ Thus, facts which are universally known, and which may be found in encyclopedias, dictionaries or other
publications, are judicially noticed, provided, they are of such universal notoriety and so generally understood that
they may be regarded as forming part of the common knowledge of every person.

‣ As the common knowledge of man ranges far and wide, a wide variety of particular facts have been judicially
noticed as being matters of common knowledge.

‣ But a court cannot take judicial notice of any fact which, in part, is dependent on the existence or non-existence of
a fact of which the court has no constructive knowledge

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‣ The concept of “facts of common knowledge” in the context of judicial notice has been explained as those facts
that are “so commonly known in the community as to make it unprofitable to require proof, and so certainly known
to as to make it indisputable among reasonable men.”

‣ Moreover, though usually facts of ‘common knowledge’ will be generally known throughout the country, it is
sufficient as a basis for judicial notice that they be known in the local community where the trial court sits.

2. CAPABLE TO UNQUESTIONABLE DEMONSTRATION


‣ If there is any uncertainty about the matter, then evidence must be adduced

3. OUGHT TO BE KNOWN TO JUDGES BECAUSE OF THEIR JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS


‣ Judicial notice is not judicial knowledge. The mere personal knowledge of the judge is not the judicial knowledge
of the court, and he is not authorized to make his individual knowledge of a fact, not generally or professionally
known, as the basis of his action

‣ Judicial notice is not limited by the actual knowledge of the individual judge or court. A judge must take judicial
notice of a fact if it is one which is the proper subject of judicial cognizance even if it is not within his personal
knowledge. Consequently, a judge may not take judicial notice of a fact which he personally knows if it is not part
of the evidence or not a fact generally known within its territorial jurisdiction
‣ The principal guide in determining what facts may be assumed to be judicially known is that of notoriety. Hence, it can
be said that judicial notice is limited to facts evidenced by public records and facts of general notoriety.

‣ In other words, the principles of discretionary judicial notice will apply where the following requisites are met:
1. The matter must be one of common knowledge

2. The matter must be settled beyond reasonable doubt (if there is any uncertainty about the matter, then evidence must
be adduced); and

3. The knowledge must exist within the jurisdiction of the court

‣ Discretionary Judicial Notice rests on the wisdom and discretion of the court.
‣ The power to take judicial notice must be exercised with caution, and care must be taken that the requisite notoriety
exists.

‣ Any reasonable doubt on the matter sought to be judicially noticed must be resolved against the taking of judicial
notice

HOW DISCRETIONARY JUDICIAL NOTICE IS TAKEN


‣ RULE — THE COURT, DURING TRIAL, BEFORE JUDGMENT, OR ON APPEAL, MAY ANNOUNCE ITS INTENTION TO TAKE JUDICIAL
NOTICE, ON ITS OWN INITIATIVE, OR ON REQUEST OF A PARTY, AND ALLOW THE PARTIES TO BE HEARD THEREON.

‣ The court can take judicial notice of a fact during or after trial, but the rules provide what “matters” may be taken
depending on the stage of the proceedings:

1. During trial
‣ Court may take judicial notice of “any matter”

2. After the trial (but before judgment) or on appeal


‣ Court may take judicial notice of “matters decisive of a material issue in the case”

‣ Example — that a particular day was a holiday in relation to filing of a notice of appeal, especially local holidays
‣ Hearing required
‣ The hearing is only for the purpose of determining the propriety of taking judicial notice of a certain matter and not for
the purpose of proving the issues in the case.

‣ How is discretionary judicial notice taken?


‣ It is taken either by —

1. The court’s own initiative, motu proprio, or

2. Upon motion of a party

‣ NOTE — In reality, parties must be pro-active in asserting matters to be taken as judicial notice, the trial court rarely,
on its own initiative, does this.

‣ Example of case where SC took judicial notice motu proprio — Enrile’s social standing reputation, respect for legal
process and the fact that he was not a flight risk. (Enrile vs Sandiganbayan 2015)

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RULE 129: WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED
EXAMPLES OF MATTERS OF DISCRETIONARY JUDICIAL NOTICE
1. Court’s own acts and records in the SAME case (Republic v. Court of Appeals)
‣ Such as facts which are ascertainable from the record of court proceedings, as when court notices were received by a
party
‣ BUT — courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the contents of the records of other cases, even
when such cases have been tried or are pending in the same court (or other courts), and notwithstanding the
fact that both cases may have been heard or are actually pending before the same judge (Tabuena v. Court of
Appeals)
‣ EXCEPT —
1. When in the absence of any objection, and with the knowledge of the opposing party, the contents of said
other case are clearly referred to by title and number in a pending action and adopted or read into the record
of the latter; or

2. When the original record of the other case or any part of it is actually withdrawn from the archives at the
court’s discretion upon the request, or with the consent, of the parties, and admitted as part of the record of
the pending case

2. Certain Practices of Banks and Other Financial Institutions


‣ The Court has taken judicial notice of the practices of banks and other financial institutions. Precisely, it has noted that
it is their uniform practice, before approving a loan, to investigate, examine and assess would-be borrowers’ credit
standing or real estate offered as security for the loan applied for (Solidbank Corporation v. Mindanao Ferroalloy
Corporation
3. Financial Condition of the Government
‣ Judicial notice could be taken of the fact that the government is and has for many years been financially strapped, to
the point that even the most essential services have suffered serious curtailment (La Bugal-B’laan Tribal Association v.
Ramos)
4. Local Ordinances
‣ *I put this under discretionary because it’s not expressly listed down under mandatory
‣ Municipal trial courts should take judicial notice of municipal ordinances in force in the municipality in which they sit
(U.S. v. Blanco)
‣ The Regional Trial Courts should also take judicial notice of municipal ordinances in force in the municipalities within
their jurisdiction but only when so required by law. For example, the charter of the City of Manila requires all courts
sitting therein to take judicial notice of all ordinances passed by the city council (City of Manila u. Garcia).
‣ The RTC must take judicial notice also of municipal ordinances in cases on appeal to it from the inferior court in which
the latter took judicial notice of (U.S. v. Hernandez)
‣ The Court of Appeals may take judicial notice of municipal ordinances because nothing in the Rules prohibits it from
taking cognizance of an ordinance which is capable of unquestionable demonstration (Gallego v. People)
5. Others matters the court can take judicial notice
a. General increase in rentals of real estate especially of business establishments (Catungal v. Hao) but not the
reasonable amount of rent

b. In this age of modern technology, the courts may take judicial notice that business transactions may be made by
individuals through teleconferencing by means such as: (1) video conferencing; (2) computer conferencing and (3)
audio-conferencing. But, athough judicial notice may be taken of teleconferencing as a means of making business
transactions, there is no judicial notice that one was conducted in a particular case (Expertravel and Tours, Inc. v.
Court of Appeals)
c. It can be judicially noticed that the scene of the rape is not always nor necessarily isolated or secluded, for lust is no
respecter of time or place. (People v. Tundag)
d. The Court has likewise taken judicial notice of the Filipina’s inbred modesty and shyness, and her antipathy in publicly
airing acts which blemish her honor and virtue (People v. Tundag)
e. The trial court properly took judicial notice that Talamban, Cebu City is an urban area. (Chiongbian-Oliva v. Republic)
f. It is of judicial notice that the judiciary is beset with the gargantuan task in unclogging dockets, not to mention the
shortage of judges occupying positions in far-flung areas. (Government Service Insurance System v. Vallar)
g. Judicial notice can be taken of the fact that testimonies during trial are much more exact and elaborate than those
stated in sworn statements, usually being incomplete and inaccurate for a variety of reasons, at times because of
partial and innocent suggestions or for want of specific inquiries (Estioca v. People).

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h. It is of judicial notice that sworn statements are almost always incomplete, often inaccurate and generally inferior to
the testimony of witness in open court (People v. Sorila)
i. The Supreme Court has taken judicial notice of scientific findings that drug abuse can damage the mental faculties of
the user — it is beyond question, therefore, that any employee under the influence of drugs cannot possibly continue
doing his duties without posing a serious threat to the lives and property of his co-workers and even his employer
(Bughaw, Jr. v. Treasure Island Industrial Corporation)
j. It is a matter of judicial knowledge that persons have killed or committed serious offenses for no reason at all (People
v. Zeta)
k. A court may take judicial notice of a matter within the locality where the court sits. Thus, it was held that the lower
court cannot be faulted for taking judicial notice that petitioner Saludo was the congressman or representative of the
lone district of Southern Leyte at the time of the filing of his complaint and admitted as a fact by the court a quo. In
this connection, it consequently held that, as such, petitioner Saludo’s residence in Southern Leyte, the district he
was then representing, could be taken judicial notice of.

l. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s social and political standing and his having immediately surrendered to the authorities
upon his being charged in court indicate that the risk of his flight or escape from this jurisdiction is highly unlikely. His
personal disposition from the onset of his indictment for plunder, formal or otherwise, has demonstrated his utter
respect for the legal processes of this country. We also do not ignore that at an earlier time many years ago when he
had been charged with rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder, he already evinced a similar personal
disposition of respect for the legal processes, and was granted bail during the pendency of his trial because he was
not seen as a flight risk. With his solid reputation in both his public and his private lives, his long years of public
service, and history’s judgment of him being at stake, he should be granted bail. (Enrile vs Sandiganbayan 2015)

EXAMPLES OF MATTERS NOT OF JUDICIAL NOTICE


1. Foreign Laws
‣ These must be alleged and proved. In the absence of proof, the foreign law will be presumed to be the same as the
laws of the jurisdiction hearing the case under the doctrine of processual presumption
‣ EXCEPTIONS —
a. The foreign law is well-known and had been ruled upon in previous cases
‣ Where the foreign law is within the actual knowledge of the court, such as when the law is generally well-
known, had been ruled upon in previous cases before it and none of the parties claim otherwise, the court may
take judicial notice of the foreign law (PCIB v. Escolin)
b. The foreign law is in a published treatise, periodical or pamphlet and the writer is an expert
‣ Where the foreign law is part of a published treatise, periodical or pamphlet and the writer is recognized in his
profession or calling as expert in the subject, the court, it is submitted, may take judicial notice of the treatise
containing the foreign law (Sec. 46, Rule 130)
2. Proprietary acts of government-owned and controlled corporations
‣ A management contract entered into by a government- owned and controlled corporation like that involving the
Philippine Ports Authority is not among the matters which the courts can take judicial notice of.

‣ It cannot be considered an official act of the executive department because it was entered into while performing a
proprietary function

3. Post-Office Practices
‣ That a registered letter when posted is immediately stamped with the date of its receipt, indicating therein the number
of the registry, both on the covering envelope itself and on the receipt delivered to the person who delivered the letter
to the office is not a proper subject of judicial notice. (Republic v. Court of Appeals)
4. Laws or regulations which have not been promulgated or passed
‣ A court cannot take judicial notice of an administrative regulation or of a statute that is not yet effective. The reason is
simple. A law which is still inexistent cannot be of common knowledge capable of ready and unquestionable
demonstration (State Prosecutors v. Muro)

5. Minority
‣ It must be emphasized that the circumstances of minority and relationship mentioned in of the Revised Penal Code
are special qualifying circumstances which must be alleged in the information and duly proven by the prosecution.
The trial court erred when it took judicial notice of private complainant’s age to be fourteen. It should have required
competent evidence, such as her birth certificate, as proof of the victim’s actual age at the time of the offense (People
v. Metin)

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6. Other matters the court cannot take judicial notice of
a. The court cannot be expected to take judicial notice of the new address of a lawyer who has moved, or 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 (Karen and Khristy Fishing Industry v. Court of Appeals)
b. Notwithstanding a person’s standing in the business community, the court cannot take judicial notice of said person’s
home address or office after his departure from the government as a cabinet member (Garrucho v. Court of Appeals)
c. That vehicular accidents can cause whiplash injuries (Dela Llana vs Biong 2013)
‣ Indeed, a perusal of the pieces of evidence presented by the parties before the trial court shows that Dra. Dela
Llana did not present any testimonial or documentary evidence that directly shows the causal relation between the
vehicular accident and Dra. Dela Llana’s injury. Her claim that Joel’s negligence causes her whiplash injury was not
established because of the deficiency of the presented evidence during trial. We point out in this respect that
courts cannot take judicial notice that vehicular ccidents cause whiplash injuries. This proportion is not public
knowledge, or is capable of unquestionable demonstration, or ought to be known to judges because of their
judicial functions. We have no expertise in the field of medicine. (Dela Llana vs Biong 2013)

JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS

Section 4. Judicial admissions. — An admission, verbal or written, made by the party in the course of the proceedings in
the same case, does not require proof. The admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through
palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. (2a)

RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE


RULE 10: Amended and Supplemental Pleadings
SECTION 8. Effect of amended pleadings. - An amended pleading supersedes the pleading that it amends. However,
admissions in superseded pleadings may be received in evidence against the pleader; and claims or defenses alleged
therein not incorporated in the amended pleading shall be deemed waived. (n)

RULE 8: Manner of Making Allegations in Pleadings


SECTION 8. How to contest such documents. - When an action or defense is founded upon a written instrument, copied
in or attached to the corresponding pleading as provided in the preceding section, the genuineness and due execution of
the instrument shall be deemed admitted unless the adverse party, under oath, specifically denies them, and sets forth
what he claims to be the facts; but the requirement of an oath does not apply when the adverse party does not appear to
be a party to the instrument or when compliance with an order for an inspection of the original instrument is refused. (8a)

SECTION 11. Allegations not specifically denied deemed admitted. - Material averment in the complaint, other than those
as to the amount of unliquidated damages, shall be deemed admitted when not specifically denied. Allegations of usury
in a complaint to recover usurious interest are deemed admitted if not denied under oath. (1a, R9)

RULE 26: Admission by Adverse Party


SECTION 2. Implied admission. - Each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted
unless, within a period designated in the request, which shall not be less than fifteen (15) days after service thereof, or
within such further time as the court may allow on motion, the party to whom the request is directed files and serves upon
the party requesting the admission a sworn statement either denying specifically the matters of which an admission is
requested or setting forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters. XXXXXX

SECTION 3. Effect of admission. - Any admission made by a party pursuant to such request is for the purpose of the
pending action only and shall not constitute an admission by him for any other purpose nor may the same be used
against him in any other proceeding. (3)

RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE


RULE 118: Pre-Trial

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RULE 129: WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED

Section 2. Pre-trial agreement. — All agreements or admissions made or entered during the pre-trial conference shall be
reduced in writing and signed by the accused and counsel, otherwise, they cannot be used against the accused. The
agreements covering the matters referred to in section 1 of this Rule shall be approved by the court. (sec. 4, cir. 38-98)

CIVIL CODE
Article 1431. Through estoppel an admission or representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and
cannot be denied or disproved as against the person relying thereon.

NATURE OF JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS


‣ An admission, verbal or written, made by the party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, does NOT
require proof.

ELEMENTS OF JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS


1. THE SAME MUST BE MADE BY A PARTY TO THE CASE
‣ It must be made by a party to the case, such as the accused

‣ Admissions of a non-party do not fall within the definition of Sec. 4 of Rule 129.

2. THE ADMISSION, TO BE JUDICIAL, MUST BE MADE IN THE COURSE OF THE PROCEEDINGS IN THE SAME CASE
‣ Thus, an admission made in another judicial proceeding will not be deemed a judicial admission in another case
where the admission was not made.

‣ Instead, it will be considered an extrajudicial admission for purposes of the other proceeding where such
admission is offered.

WHEN ADMISSIONS ARE MADE “IN THE COURSE OF THE PROCEEDINGS”


1. PLEADINGS
‣ Admissions made in the pleadings of a party are deemed judicial admissions.

‣ The admission includes those made in a complaint, motion, answer

‣ BUT, an admission made in a document drafted for purposes of filing a pleading but never filed, is not a judicial
admission. If signed by the party, it is deemed an extrajudicial admission. If signed by the attorney, it is not even an
admission by the party. The authority of the attorney to make statements for the client extends only to statements
made in open court or in pleadings filed with the court (Jackson v. Schine Lexington Corp)
‣ What about admissions in amended pleadings?
‣ When a pleading is amended, the amended pleading supersedes the pleading that it amends and the admissions
in the superseded pleading may be received in evidence against the pleader (See. 8, Rule 10)
‣ It has been held that the admissions in a superseded pleading are to be considered as extrajudicial admissions
which must be proven.
‣ Pleadings that have been amended disappear from the record, lose their status as pleadings, and cease to be
judicial admissions, and to be utilized as extrajudicial admissions, they must, in order to have such effect, be
formally offered in evidence

‣ What about admissions in dismissed pleadings?


‣ Admissions made in pleadings that have been dismissed are merely extrajudicial admissions

‣ Is a Motion to Dismiss a Judicial Admission of the Allegations of the Complaint?


‣ NO, the filing of a motion to dismiss does not amount to an actual admission of the material allegations of the
complaint. The admission is NOT the judicial admission contemplated in Sec. 4 of Rule 129 of the Rules of
Court. As the jurisprudence cited above puts it, the admission is merely “hypothetical.”
2. DURING THE TRIAL
3. IN OTHER STAGES OF THE JUDICIAL PROCEEDING, SUCH AS:
a. Pre-trial of Civil Cases
‣ The stipulation of facts at the pre-trial of a case constitutes judicial admissions.

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RULE 129: WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED
‣ One of the purposes of a pre-trial in a civil case is for the court to consider the possibility of obtaining stipulations
or admissions of facts (Sec. 2[d], Rule 18, Rules of Court). A pre-trial is mandatory and because it is mandatory, it
is an important part of a civil proceeding. Admissions therefore, in the pre-trial, as well as those made during the
depositions, interrogatories or requests for admission, are all deemed judicial admissions because they are made
in the course of the proceedings of the case.

‣ Also, admissions in pre-trial briefs are judicial admissions, its submission is mandatory in a pre-trial of a civil case.
Submission of the pre-trial briefs is part of the judicial proceedings.

b. Pre-trial of Criminal Cases


‣ Athough an admission made during the pre-trial is deemed to have been made in the course of a judicial
proceeding and is necessarily a judicial admission, an admission made by the accused in the pre-trial of a criminal
case is not necessarily admissible against him.

‣ To be admissible, the conditions set forth by Sec. 2 of Rule 118 must be complied with. It must be reduced in
writing and signed by the accused and counsel, otherwise, they cannot be used against the accused.
‣ Is this requirement required for admissions made during trial in criminal cases?
‣ NO. A stipulation of facts entered into by the prosecution and defense counsel during trial in open court is
automatically reduced in writing and contained in the official transcript of proceedings had in court.
An attorney who is employed to manage a party’s conduct of a lawsuit... has prima facie authority to make
relevant admissions by pleadings, by oral or written stipulation, which, unless allowed to be withdrawn are
conclusive and binds the client. (People v. Hernandez)
‣ An offer of compromise by the accused in the pre-trial is a judicial admission, since the offer was made in the
course of a pre-trial which is a part of a judicial proceeding.

‣ Under Sec. 27 of Rule 130, the offer of compromise by the accused could be considered as an implied
admission of guilt. (Programme, Inc. v. Province of Bataan)
c. Modes of Discovery
‣ Admissions obtained through depositions, written interrogatories or requests for admission are also considered
judicial admissions

‣ BUT — note that under Sec. 3 of Rule 26, any admission made pursuant to the request for admission is for
the purpose of the pending action only. The admission shall not be considered as one for any other purpose
nor may the same be used against him in any other proceeding.
‣ Thus, generally while judicial admissions in a case are deemed extra-judicial admissions in another case, an
exception is where if the admission is the result of a request for admission, it cannot be used in another cases.

FORM OF JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS


‣ RULE — AN ADMISSION MAY EITHER BE VERBAL OR WRITTEN
‣ Sec. 4 of Rule 129 does NOT require a particular form for an admission.

HOW JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS ARE MADE


1. EXPRESS/ACTUAL ADMISSIONS
‣ An admission made in a pleading may be an actual admission as when a party categorically admits a material
allegation made by the adverse party.

‣ What about admissions by Counsel?


‣ Admissions by a counsel are generally conclusive upon a client. Even the negligence of counsel binds the client.
Acts of the counsel are acts of the client.

‣ EXCEPT — Where reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of law, or when its
application will result in outright deprivation of the client’s liberty or property, or when the interests of justice so
require, relief is accorded the client who suffered by reason of the lawyer’s gross or palpable mistake or negligence

2. IMPLIED ADMISSIONS (BY THE FAILURE TO SPECIFICALLY DENY ALLEGATIONS)


‣ An admission may likewise be inferred from the failure to specifically deny the material allegations in the other party’s
pleadings.

‣ But remember that you only need to specifically deny the “ultimate facts”, not conclusions of law

‣ The rules of civil procedure for example, require a party to specifically deny allegations in the following cases
otherwise they are deemed admitted
a. Material averments in the complaint (Sec. 11, Rule 8)

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‣ The defendant must specifically deny material allegations in the complaint through his answer
‣ EXCEPT — There are averments in the pleadings which are not deemed admitted even if the adverse party
fails to make a specific denial of the same, these are —

1. Immaterial allegations

2. Conclusions, non-ultimate facts in the pleading

3. Amount of unliquidated damages

b. Allegations of Usury (Sec. 11, Rule 8)


‣ If the complaint makes an allegation of usury to recover usurious interest, the defendant must not only
specifically deny the same but must likewise do so under oath.

‣ Failure to make the proper denial under oath would involve an implied admission of the allegation of usury.

c. Actions or defenses founded upon written instruments (Sec. 8, Rule 8)


‣ When an action or defense is founded upon a written instrument, the genuineness and due execution of the
same instrument shall be deemed admitted unless the adverse party, under oath, specifically denies them and
sets forth what he claims to be the facts

‣ In this case, the specific denial must be coupled with an oath

‣ EXCEPT — an oath is NOT necessary when —

i. The adverse party does not appear to be a party to the instrument or

ii. When compliance with an order for an inspection of the original instrument is refused.

‣ BUT — note that only its genuineness and due execution are deemed admitted, the party may still contest
it by arguing against the document by evidence of fraud, mistake, compromise, payment, statute of
limitations, estoppel, and want of consideration

‣ NOTE — the admission of the genuineness and due execution of a document also amounts to a waiver of
the application of the best evidence rule, hence, secondary evidence may be presented. (Gaw vs Chua
2008)

d. In a written request for the admission by the latter of the genuineness of any material and relevant
document described in and exhibited with the request (Sec. 1, 2, 3, Rule 26)
‣ Under Sec. 1 of Rule 26 of the Rules of Court, a party may, at any time after the issues have been joined, file
and serve upon any other party a written request for the admission by the latter of the genuineness of any
material and relevant document described in and exhibited with the request. The request for admission may
also be of the truth of any material and relevant matter of fact set forth in the request.

‣ The party to whom the request is directed must file and serve upon the party requesting the admission, a
sworn statement either denying specifically the matters of which an admission is requested or setting forth in
detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters. The sworn statement must be
filed and served within the period designated in the request which shall not be less than fifteen (15) days after
service thereof, or within such further time as the court may allow on motion. If the sworn statement required
is not filed and served, each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed
admitted (Sec. 2, Rule 26, Rules of Court).
‣ Note that under Sec. 3 of Rule 26, any admission made pursuant to the request for admission is for the
purpose of the pending action only. The admission shall not be considered as one for any other purpose nor
may the same be used against him in any other proceeding.

EFFECT OF JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS


‣ RULE — A JUDICIAL ADMISSION REQUIRES NO PROOF AND CANNOT BE CONTRADICTED BECAUSE THEY ARE CONCLUSIVE
UPON THE PARTY MAKING IT.

‣ Thus, it need not be formally offered in evidence anymore, it is part of the records already

‣ It is an established principle that judicial admissions cannot be contradicted by the admitter who is the party himself
and binds the person who makes the same, absent any showing that this was made through palpable mistake, no
amount of rationalization can offset it

‣ A party who judicially admits a fact cannot later challenge that fact, as judicial admissions are a waiver of proof;
production of evidence is dispensed with.

‣ A judicial admission removes the admitted fact from the field of controversy. Consequently, an admission made in the
pleadings cannot be controverted by the party making such admission, and is conclusive to such party, and all proofs
to the contrary or inconsistent therewith should be ignored, whether objection is interposed or not.

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RULE 129: WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED
‣ The trial court may reject evidence that a party adduces to contradict a judicial admission he made in his pleading
since such admission is conclusive as to him. That despite the presence of judicial admissions in a party’s pleading,
the trial court is still given leeway to consider other evidence presented because said admissions may not necessarily
prevail over documentary evidence

‣ Relate judicial admissions with the principle of estoppel under Art. 1431, Civil Code
‣ EXCEPT — IT MAY BE CONTRADICTED, BY THE ADMITTING PARTY, BY SHOWING THAT EITHER —
1. IT WAS MADE THROUGH PALPABLE MISTAKE
‣ The mistake that would relieve a party from the effects of his admission is not any mistake. It must be one that
is “palpable,” a mistake that is “clear to the mind or plain to see”. It is a mistake that is “readily perceived by
the senses or the mind”

2. THAT NO SUCH ADMISSION WAS MADE (TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT OR IT WASN’T WHAT THE PARTY MEANT)
‣ This argument may be invoked when the statement of a party is taken out of context or that his statement was
made not in the sense it is made to appear by the other party

‣ If a party invokes an ‘admission’ by an adverse party, but cites the admission ‘out of context,’ then the one
making the ‘admission’ may show that he made no ‘such’ admission, or that his admission was taken out of
context. That is the reason for the modifier ‘such’ because if the rule simply states that the admission may be
contradicted by showing that ‘no admission was made,’ the rule would not really be providing for a
contradiction of the admission but just a denial”

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RULE 130(A): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF OBJECT EVIDENCE
RULE 130(A): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF OBJECT EVIDENCE

KINDS OF EVIDENCE
‣ Aside from the kinds of evidence according to the Rules of Admissibility in Rule 130 which are Object, Documentary and
Testimonial, these are the kinds of evidence as classified and categorized by jurisprudence:

DIRECT AND CIRCUMSTANTIAL


1. DIRECT EVIDENCE
‣ Direct evidence proves a fact without the need to make an inference from another fact.

‣ Such as — The testimony of the prosecution witness claiming that he personally saw the accused when the latter drew
and fired his pistol on the victim without the latter’s provocation.
2. CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE
‣ RIANO — Circumstantial evidence or indirect evidence is that evidence which indirectly proves a fact in issue
through an inference which the fact finder draws from the evidence established It is the exact opposite of direct
evidence. When the evidence is circumstantial, a fact is established by making an inference from a previously
established fact.

‣ In other words, in this type of evidence, the court uses a fact from which an assumption is drawn. When the court
does not have to make an inference from one fact to arrive at a conclusion, the evidence is direct.

‣ Such as — The testimony of the victim that he dreads the mere presence of the accused is direct evidence that the
statement was made. However, it is also circumstantial evidence to show that this fear could have prevented the victim
from attacking the accused without provocation.

CUMULATIVE EVIDENCE AND CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE


1. CUMULATIVE EVIDENCE
‣ Cumulative evidence refers to evidence of the same kind and character as that already given and that tends to
prove the same proposition
‣ Such as — When a witness testifies that he saw the event testified to and two other witnesses testify having seen the
same event which the first witness claimed he saw, the subsequent testimonies constitute cumulative evidence.
2. CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE
‣ Corroborative evidence is one that is supplementary to that already given tending to strengthen or confirm it.
‣ RIANO — It is additional evidence of a different character to the same point. It is usually of a different type from that
previously offered but which tends to prove the same fact. As commonly used, the term connotes evidence which
tends to confirm, validate, or strengthen evidence already presented. Although traditionally, this type of evidence is of
a different type from the one it corroborates, the meaning of corroborative evidence has been loosely used in local
courts so as to cover also evidence of the same kind as that already proferred as long as it affirms the previous
evidence.

‣ Such as — If W testifies that the gun marked as Exhibit “A” was the weapon used in the shooting of the victim, the
findings of the crime laboratory that the gun bears only the fingerprints of the accused corroborates the testimony of
W.
‣ NOTE — Corroborative testimony is NOT always required. Corroborative evidence is necessary only when
there are reasons to suspect that the witness falsified the truth or that his observations are inaccurate
‣ When the testimony of a single prosecution witness, where credible and positive, is sufficient to prove beyond
reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused. There is no law which requires that the testimony of a single witness
has to be corroborated, except where expressly mandated in determining the value and credibility of evidence.
Witnesses are to be weighed, not numbered

‣ The testimony of a sole eyewitness is sufficient to support a conviction so long as it is clear, straightforward and
worthy of credence.

‣ Under the Rule on Examination of a Child Witness, corroboration shall not be required of a testimony of a child.
His testimony, if credible by itself, shall be sufficient to support a finding of fact, conclusion or judgment subject to
the standard of proof required in criminal and non-criminal cases (Sec. 22, Rule on Examination of a Child
Witness).
‣ What is the difference between corroborative and cumulative evidence?

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‣ SALVADOR — Lawyers get these wrong, they think both are corroborative. Corroborative evidence is an evidence of a
different kind of character but it establishes the same fact or proposition. Cumulative evidence is different.
Cumulative evidence is evidence of the same kind and character and it establishes the same fact or proposition (such
as if all the evidence is testimonial).

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EVIDENCE


1. POSITIVE EVIDENCE
‣ Evidence is said to be positive when a witness affirms in the stand that a certain state of facts does exist or that a
certain event happened.

‣ Such as — the testimony of W that he saw P fire a gun at the victim is a positive evidence
‣ Positive and negative evidence may likewise refer to the presence or absence of something

‣ Such as — the presence of fingerprints of a person in a particular place is positive evidence of his having been
present in said place although absence of his fingerprints does not necessarily mean he was not in the same place.
‣ A negative finding in a paraffin test is not a conclusive evidence that one has not fired a gun because it is possible
for a person to fire a gun and yet bear no traces of nitrates or gunpowder, as when the culprit washes his hands or
wears gloves
‣ Positive evidence is, as a general rule, more credible than negative evidence. The reason for this rule is that the
witness who testifies to a negative may have forgotten what actually occurred, while it is impossible to remember
what never existed

2. NEGATIVE EVIDENCE
‣ It is negative when the witness states that an event did not occur or that the state of facts alleged to exist does not
actually exist.

‣ Such as — the testimony of W that he could not have fired the gun because he was not armed during the incident
is a negative evidence.
‣ RIANO — A denial is a negative evidence. It is considered by the Court to be a very weak form of defense and can
never overcome an affirmative or positive testimony particularly when the latter comes from the mouth of a credible
witness

‣ It is negative and self-serving which cannot be given greater weight than the testimony of credible witnesses who
testified on affirmative matters

‣ A mere denial does not overturn the relative weight and probative value of an affirmative assertion. Denial is
inherently a weak defense. To be believed, it must be buttressed by strong evidence of non-culpability; otherwise,
such denial is purely self-serving and is with no evidentiary value.

‣ Like the defense of alibi, denial crumbles in the light of positive declarations. Denial cannot prevail over the
positive identification of the accused by the witnesses who had no ill-motive to testify falsely

‣ Greater probative value is given to evidence that is positive in nature than that which is accorded to evidence that
is negative in character. Denial is a self-serving negative evidence that cannot be given greater weight than the
declaration of credible witness who testified on affirmative matters

‣ BUT — Atty. Salvador has a different definition.


‣ SALVADOR — Positive evidence points to an evidence of perception, whether the evidence says whether a certain
fact happened or not, whether a witness says that a certain thing happened or not. Negative evidence points to
evidence without perception, when the witness says that he does not know, or did not see what happened or was not
in a position to perceive what happened.

REBUTTAL AND SUR-REBUTTAL EVIDENCE


‣ SALVADOR — Rebuttal evidence comes in only after the presentation of evidence of the defendant or the accused. It is
evidence which rebuts the evidence which was presented by the defendant or accused. After the presentation by the
plaintiff or prosecution of rebuttal evidence, then the defendant or accused can also present sur-rebuttal evidence to
rebut the rebuttal evidence.

NATURE AND DEFINITION OF OBJECT EVIDENCE

Section 1. Object as evidence. — Objects as evidence are those addressed to the senses of the court. When an object is
relevant to the fact in issue, it may be exhibited to, examined or viewed by the court. (1a)

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WHAT IS OBJECT EVIDENCE?


‣ Object or real evidence refers to evidence that is addressed to the senses of the court.
‣ Object evidence does not refer to the perception of the witness and a recollection of that perception.

‣ It is exactly what its name suggests. It is the real thing itself. It consists of tangible things
‣ It appeals directly to the senses of the court. Instead of relying on the recollection of the witness, an object evidence will
enable the court to have its own firsthand perception of the evidence.
‣ It is not visual alone. It covers the entire range of human senses: hearing, taste, smell, and touch.

‣ Physical evidence is a mute but eloquent manifestation of truth, and it ranks high in the hierarchy of trustworthy evidence
— where the physical evidence runs counter to the testimonial evidence, the physical evidence should prevail

‣ Such as —
‣ The knife used to slash the victim’s throat
‣ The ring actually stolen by the accused
‣ The bullet extracted from the victim’s chest,
‣ The blood splattered on the wall of the room where the victim was found
‣ Even a human being may be a form of real evidence. Where the racial characteristics of a party are at issue, the court
may, at its discretion, view the person concerned. In a criminal case where the complaining witness avers that he was
stabbed in the arm by the accused, the court may inspect his arm

WHAT IS DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE?


‣ This is considered as object evidence as well
‣ Demonstrative evidence is not the actual thing but it is referred to as “demonstrative” because it represents or
demonstrates the real thing.

‣ It is not strictly “real” evidence because it is not the very thing involved in the case

‣ Such as a map, diagram, photograph, or a model

‣ This category of evidence is not separately defined in the Rules of Court and appears to have been incorporated under
the general term “object” evidence.

ADMISSIBILITY OF OBJECT EVIDENCE

Section 1. Object as evidence. — Objects as evidence are those addressed to the senses of the court. When an object is
relevant to the fact in issue, it may be exhibited to, examined or viewed by the court. (1a)

ADMISSIBILITY OF OBJECT EVIDENCE; AUTHENTICATION


‣ RULE: THE ADMISSIBILITY OF OBJECT OR REAL EVIDENCE, LIKE ANY OTHER EVIDENCE, REQUIRES THAT THE OBJECT BE BOTH
RELEVANT AND COMPETENT. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE BASIC REQUISITES FOR THE ADMISSIBILITY OF OBJECT EVIDENCE —

1. The evidence must be relevant and competent


2. The evidence must be authenticated
‣ For the object not to be excluded by the Rules, the same must pass the test of authentication. Authentication is
taken up in Rule 132 as part of presentation of evidence.
‣ To authenticate the object, it must be shown that it is the very thing that is either the subject matter of the lawsuit
or the very one involved to prove an issue in the case.

3. The authentication must be made by a competent witness


‣ To authenticate the object, there must be someone who should identify the object to be the actual thing involved in
the litigation. This someone is the witness.

‣ An object evidence, being inanimate, cannot speak for itself. It cannot present itself to the court as an exhibit.

‣ RIANO —Note that this requirement applies to all evidence, whether it be a document or an object, it needs a
witness. This is a very basic rule. In layman’s term, the evidence must be “sponsored” by a witness.

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4. The object must be formally offered in evidence
‣ The formal offer of evidence is particularly a vital act before the admission of evidence because the court “shall
consider no evidence which has not been formally offered” (Sec. 34, Rule 132)

ADMISSIBILITY OF DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE


‣ RULE — THE EVIDENCE MUST SUFFICIENTLY AND ACCURATELY REPRESENT THE OBJECT IT SEEKS TO DEMONSTRATE OR
REPRESENT
‣ The admissibility of this type of evidence largely depends on laying the proper foundation for the evidence.

‣ The rule boils down to one basic question: Does the evidence sufficiently and accurately represent the object it seeks
to demonstrate or represent? If it does, the evidence would be admissible.

‣ Notable Kinds of Demonstrative Evidence —


a. Photographs
‣ Photographs of persons, things and places, when instructive to the understanding of the case, will be admitted in
evidence.

b. Motion pictures and recordings


c. Diagrams, models and maps
‣ These types of demonstrative evidence are presented to indicate the relative locations or positions of objects and
persons.

d. X-ray pictures
‣ X-ray pictures, also referred to as “skiagraphs” or “radiographs,” are admissible when shown to have been made
under circumstances as to assure their accuracy and relevancy to a material issue in the case.

‣ Authenticated x-rays are normally involved in personal injury cases to show the location and extent of the injury.

e. Scientific tests, demonstrations and experiments


‣ The issue of refusing or granting requests for demonstrations, experiments and tests in open court is a matter
subject to judicial discretion

‣ In-court reenactment of material events by witnesses has been held permissible to help illustrate the testimony of
a witness

VIEW OF AN OBJECT OR SCENE; OCULAR INSPECTION


‣ Remember that under Sec. 1 of Rule 130, when an object is relevant to the fact in issue, it may be exhibited to,
examined or viewed by the court.
‣ Courts have recognized that there are times when a party cannot bring an object to the court for viewing in the
courtroom. In such a situation, the court may take a view of an object.

‣ The court may make an ocular inspection of a contested land to resolve questions of fact raised by the parties. It may
inspect a crime scene to clarify itself with certain matters raised by the litigants.

‣ It may view the conditions of vehicles involved in a civil case for damages. Going out of the courtroom to observe places
and objects is commonly termed a “view.”

‣ The “view” is expressly authorized by Sec. 1 of Rule 130 but even without this express provision, it is well-recognized that
the court has an inherent power to order a view when there is a need to do so (Sec. 5, Rule 135, Rules of Court).
‣ A view disrupts the usual trial process and is time- consuming. Hence, in almost all jurisdictions, the trial judge is granted
discretion to grant or refuse a request for a view

‣ The inspection may be made inside or outside the courtroom. An inspection or view outside the courtroom should be
made in the presence of the parties or at least with previous notice to them.

‣ It is error for the judge, for example, to go alone to the land in question, or to the place where the crime was
committed and take a view without the previous knowledge of the parties. Such inspection or view is part of the trial
since evidence is thereby being received

CATEGORIES OF OBJECT EVIDENCE (ACCORDING TO THE MEANS OF AUTHENTICATION)


‣ For purposes of authentication of an object or for laying the foundation for the exhibit, object evidence may be classified
into the following

1. UNIQUE OBJECTS

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‣ These are objects that have readily identifiable marks
‣ If the object has a unique characteristic (like the serial number of a caliber .45 pistol) it becomes readily
identifiable.

‣ So long as the witness testifies that the object has a unique characteristic, he saw the object on the relevant date,
remembers its characteristics, asserts that the object shown to him in court is the same or substantially in the
same condition as when he first saw it and alleges that those characteristics are those of the object he is
identifying in court, the authentication requirement is satisfied.

2. OBJECTS MADE UNIQUE


‣ These are objects that are made readily identifiable
‣ If the object does not have a unique characteristic (like the typical kitchen knife that has no serial number is
commonplace, and identical with a lot of knives of the same kind and quality) the witness may be able to identify
the same in court if he claims that he made the thing acquire a unique characteristic like placing identifying marks
on it.

‣ All he has to do in court is to testify as to what he did to make the object identifiable and that the object
presented to him for identification in court has the characteristics he made on the object.

3. NON-UNIQUE OBJECTS
‣ These are objects with no identifying marks and cannot be marked
‣ These refers to those which are not readily identifiable, were not made identifiable or cannot be made identifiable

‣ Such as drops of blood or oil, drugs in powder form, fiber, grains of sand and similar objects.

‣ Under this situation, the proponent of the evidence must establish a chain of custody.
‣ The purpose of establishing a chain of custody is to guaranty the integrity of the physical evidence and prevent the
introduction of evidence which is not authentic, but where the exhibit is positively identified, the chain of custody
of physical evidence is irrelevant.

‣ It is to ensure that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are preserved, so much so that
unnecessary doubts as to the identity of the evidence are removed

‣ Since it is called a chain, there must be links to the chain. The links are the people who actually handled or had
custody of the object. Each of the links in the chain must show how he received the object, how he handled it to
prevent substitution, and how it was transferred to another. Each of the handlers of the evidence is a link in the
chain and must testify to make the foundation complete. This is the ideal way to show the chain of custody
although the ideal way is not absolutely required.

‣ There is authority supporting the view that the prosecution is not required to elicit testimony from every
custodian or every person who had an opportunity to come in contact with the evidence sought to be admitted

‣ As long as one of the “chains” testifies and his testimony negates the possibility of tampering and that the
integrity of the evidence is preserved, his testimony alone is adequate to prove the chain of custody

‣ Note that there may be special laws or rules on chain of custody for specific cases, such as in drug-related crimes

ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE IN DRUG CASES; RULE ON CHAIN OF CUSTODY IN DRUG CASES


‣ This is a bit long, see the Rules on Chain of Custody in Drug Cases under the chapter “Special Rules of Evidence” for
more comprehensive stuff and the full text of the Rules

ADMISSIBILITY OF DNA EVIDENCE; RULES ON DNA EVIDENCE


‣ See Chapter on “Special Rules of Evidence” for more comprehensive stuff and the full text of the Rules on DNA Evidence
‣ The issue concerning DNA testing was its admissibility as evidence (particularly in paternity and rape cases)
‣ What is DNA?
‣ DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is a molecule that encodes the genetic information in all living organisms. A person’s
DNA is the same in each cell and it does not change throughout a person’s lifetime; the DNA in a person’s blood is the
same as the DNA found in his saliva, sweat, bone, the root and shaft of hair, earwax, mucus, urine, skin tissue and
vaginal or rectal cells. Most importantly, because of polymorphisms in human genetic structure, no two individuals
have the same DNA, with the notable exception of identical twins (Agustin vs CA)
‣ “DNA” means deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the chain of molecules found in every nucleated cell of the body. The
totality of an individual’s DNA is unique for the individual, except identical twins (Sec. 3, A.M. No. 06-11-5-SC, Rules
on DNA Evidence)

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‣ Is DNA Testing admissible as Evidence?
‣ Yup, Court has acknowledged or admitted it in paternity cases (Agustin vs CA, Tecson v. COMELEC) and rape cases
(People vs Vallejo, People v. Janson, People v. Yatar)
‣ Vallejo is considered to be the first real breakthrough of DNA as admissible and authoritative evidence in Philippine
jurisprudence. From a mere recognition of the existence of DNA testing, Vallejo moved towards an open use of DNA
evidence in deciding cases

‣ Vallejo adopted the following guidelines to be used by courts in assessing the probative value of DNA evidence
(known as the “Vallejo Standards”):
1. How the samples were collected;

2. How they were handled;

3. The possibility of contamination of the samples;

4. The procedure followed in analyzing the samples;

5. Whether the proper standards and procedure were followed in conducting the tests; and

6. The qualification of the analyst who conducted the test

‣ Note that after the Vallejo case, the SC issued the Rules on DNA Evidence in 2007. these are the primary rules to be
applied whenever DNA evidence is offered, used, or proposed to be offered or used as evidence in:
1. Criminal actions
2. Civil actions
3. Special proceedings
‣ Does an order to submit to DNA Testing against the accused (in criminal cases) violate his constitutional right
against self-incrimination?
‣ NO. There is no testimonial compulsion. (People vs Yatar)

‣ Does an order to submit to DNA Testing against the defendant (in civil cases) violate his constitutional right
against unreasonable searches and seizures?
‣ YES. If the order was issued without probable cause or a prima facie case

‣ The Rule on DNA Evidence was enacted to guide the Bench and the Bar for the introduction and use of DNA evidence
in the judicial system. It provides the "prescribed parameters on the requisite elements for reliability and validity (i.e.,
the proper procedures, protocols, necessary laboratory reports, etc.), the possible sources of error, the available
objections to the admission of DNA test results as evidence as well as the probative value of DNA evidence." It seeks
"to ensure that the evidence gathered, using various methods of DNA analysis, is utilized effectively and properly, and
shall not be misused and/or abused and, more importantly, shall continue to ensure that DNA analysis serves justice
and protects, rather than prejudice the public. This does not mean, however, that a DNA testing order will be
issued as a matter of right if, during the hearing, the said conditions are established. In some states, to
warrant the issuance of the DNA testing order, there must be a show cause hearing wherein the applicant must
first present sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case or a reasonable possibility of paternity or "good
cause" for the holding of the test. A court order for blood testing is considered a "search," which, under the
Constitution, must be preceded by a finding of probable cause in order to be valid. Hence, the requirement of a prima
facie case, or reasonable possibility, was imposed in civil actions as a counterpart of a finding of probable cause.
(Lucas vs Lucas 2011)


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RULE 130(B): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

NATURE AND DEFINITION OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Section 2. Documentary evidence. — Documents as evidence consist of writing or any material containing letters, words,
numbers, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression offered as proof of their contents. (n)

RULES OF ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE


Sec. 1(h), Rule 2: ““(h) ‘Electronic document’ refers to information or the representation of information, data, figures,
symbols or other modes of written expressions described or however represented, by which a right is established or an
obligation extinguished, or by which a fact may be proved and affirmed, which is received, recorded, transmitted, stored,
processed, retrieved or produced electronically. It includes digitally signed documents and any print-out or output,
readable by sight or other means, which accurately reflects the electronic data message or electronic document. For
purposes of these Rules, the term ‘electronic document’ may be used interchangeably with ‘electronic data message.”

WHAT IS DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE?


‣ Documents, as evidence, do not exclusively refer to writings. They may refer to any other material like objects as long as
it contains letters, words, numbers, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression and offered as proof of their
contents.

‣ Categories of documents as evidence:

1. WRITINGS
‣ Such as written contracts or wills
2. ANY OTHER MATERIAL CONTAINING MODES OF WRITTEN EXPRESSIONS
‣ Those which are not traditionally considered as writings but are actually objects which contain modes of written
expressions.

3. ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS
‣ These are documents under the Rules on Electronic Evidence, see Sec. 1(h), Rule 2. For more information and the
full text, see the chapter on “Special Rules on Evidence”
‣ An electronic document, also known interchangeably as electronic data message, based on the definition of the
Rules, does not only refer to the information itself. It also refers to the representation of that information.

‣ Whether it be the information itself or its representation, for the document to be deemed ‘electronic,’ it is
important that it be received, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically
‣ The rule does not absolutely require that the electronic document be initially generated or produced electronically.

‣ A contract, for instance, prepared through the traditional written way may be converted to an electronic document
if transmitted or received or later recorded electronically.

‣ Electronic documents are the functional equivalents of paper-based documents


‣ Since an electronic document is the functional equivalent of a paper-based document, whenever a rule of
evidence makes reference to the terms of a writing, document, record, instrument, memorandum or any other
form of writing, such terms are deemed to include electronic documents.
‣ It is therefore, but logical to consider the rules on evidence in the Rules of Court, including statutes containing
rules of evidence, to be of suppletory application to the Rules on Electronic Evidence in all matters not
specifically covered by the latter.

‣ NOTE — that the mere fact that the evidence are writings or materials containing modes of written expressions do
NOT ipso facto make such documentary evidence. For such writings or materials to be deemed documentary
evidence, the same must be offered as proof of their contents.
‣ If offered for some other purpose, the writings or materials would not be deemed documentary evidence but merely
object evidence.

‣ When a contract is presented in court to show that it exists or simply to establish its condition, it is not offered to
prove its contents. The contract therefore, is not considered a documentary evidence but an object or real evidence.

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‣ A private document may be offered and admitted in evidence both as documentary evidence and as object evidence
depending on the purpose for which the document is offered. If offered to prove its existence, condition or for any
purpose other than the contents of a document, the same is considered as an object evidence. When the private
document is offered as proof of its contents, the same is considered as a documentary evidence. The document may
be offered for both purposes under the principle of multiple admissibility.

ADMISSIBILITY OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

REQUISITES FOR ADMISSIBILITY OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE IN GENERAL


‣ RULE — The admissibility of documentary evidence, like any other evidence, requires that the object be both
relevant and competent. The following are the basic requisites for the admissibility of documentary evidence —
1. The document must be relevant and competent

2. The document must be authenticated by a competent witness

3. The document must be formally offered in evidence

‣ NOTE — these are the same basic requirements for admissibility of object evidence

MANNER OF AUTHENTICATING DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE


‣ This is discussed in Rule 132(b), just keep this in mind for now

BEST EVIDENCE RULE


NOTE: What follows from this point is the discussion on the Best Evidence Rule and the Parol Evidence Rule, these are rules
of exclusion, meaning they pertain to the Admissibility of evidence, particularly the “Competence” of evidence

Section 3. Original document must be produced; exceptions. — When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a
document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except in the following cases:
(a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the
offeror;
(b) When the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the
latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice;
(c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot be examined in court without
great loss of time and the fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole; and
(d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office. (2a)

Section 4. Original of document. —


(a) The original of the document is one the contents of which are the subject of inquiry.
(b) When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about the same time, with identical contents, all such
copies are equally regarded as originals.
(c) When an entry is repeated in the regular course of business, one being copied from another at or near the time of the
transaction, all the entries are likewise equally regarded as originals. (3a)

Section 6. When original document is in adverse party's custody or control. — If the document is in the custody or under
the control of adverse party, he must have reasonable notice to produce it. If after such notice and after satisfactory proof
of its existence, he fails to produce the document, secondary evidence may be presented as in the case of its loss. (5a)

Section 8. Party who calls for document not bound to offer it. — A party who calls for the production of a document and
inspects the same is not obliged to offer it as evidence. (6a)

RULES OF ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE


RULE 4: BEST EVIDENCE RULE

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SECTION 1. Original of an electronic document.— An electronic document shall be regarded as the equivalent of an
original document under the Best Evidence Rule if it is a printout or output readable by sight or other means, shown to
reflect the data accurately.”

SEC. 2. Copies as equivalent of the originals. — When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about the
same time with identical contents, or is a counterpart produced by the same impression as the original, or from the same
matrix, or by mechanical or electronic re-recording, or by chemical reproduction, or by other equivalent techniques which
accurately reproduces the original, such copies or duplicates shall be regarded as the equivalent of the original.”
Notwithstanding the foregoing, copies or duplicates shall not be admissible to the same extent as the original if:
(a) a genuine question is raised as to the authenticity of the original; or
(b) in the circumstances it would be unjust or in- equitable to admit a copy in lieu of the original.

BEST EVIDENCE RULE; ORIGINAL DOCUMENT RULE


‣ RULE — WHEN THE SUBJECT OF INQUIRY IS THE CONTENTS OF A DOCUMENT, NO EVIDENCE SHALL BE ADMISSIBLE OTHER
THAN THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT ITSELF

‣ RIANO — The term “best evidence,” as used in the “best evidence rule,” has been a source of misconception. It has
often been misunderstood and given a meaning it does not deserve. The rule has been described as a misnomer
because it has often been misunderstood and given a meaning it does not deserve Despite the word “best,” the rule
does not proclaim itself as the highest and most reliable evidence in the hierarchy of evidence. The term “best”
has nothing to do with the degree of its probative value in relation to other types of evidentiary rules. It is not
intended to mean the “most superior” evidence.

‣ It is Als known as the “original document” rule, or the “primary evidence” rule
‣ The rule is not intended to mean that a weaker evidence be substituted by a stronger evidence. It merely
comprehends a situation where the evidence offered is substitutionary in nature when what should be offered is the
original evidence

‣ The only actual rule that the ‘best evidence’ phrase denotes today is the rule requiring the production of the original
writing

‣ There must be an inquiry into the contents of the document When a document is involved in the inquiry but the
document is only collaterally in issue, the best evidence rule does NOT apply.
‣ A document is collaterally in issue when the purpose of introducing the document is not to establish its terms, but to
show facts that have no reference to its contents like its —

1. Existence

2. Condition

3. Execution, or

4. Delivery

‣ There is no reason to apply the “best evidence” rule when the issue does not involve the contents of a writing.

‣ The key, therefore, to the understanding of the “best evidence” rule is simply to remember that the rule cannot be
invoked unless the contents of a writing is the subject of judicial inquiry, in which case, the best evidence is the
original writing itself.

‣ Where the issue is the execution or existence of the document or the circumstances surrounding its execution, the
best evidence rule does NOT apply

‣ The evils of mistransmission of critical facts, fraud, and misleading inferences arise only when the issue relates to the
terms of the writing. Hence, the Best Evidence Rule applies only when the terms of a writing are in issue. When the
evidence sought to be introduced concerns external facts, such as the existence, execution or delivery of the writing,
without reference to its terms, the Best Evidence Rule cannot be invoked. In such a case, secondary evidence may be
admitted even without accounting for the original. (Prodon vs Alvarez 2013)

RATIONALE BEHIND THE BEST EVIDENCE RULE


‣ SEE — Prodon vs Alvarez, G.R. No. 170604, September 2, 2013
‣ The primary purpose of the Best Evidence Rule is to ensure that the exact contents of a writing are brought before the
court, considering that

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1. The precision in presenting to the court the exact words of the writing is of more than average importance,
particularly as respects operative or dispositive instruments, such as deeds, wills and contracts, because a slight
variation in words may mean a great difference in rights;

2. There is a substantial hazard of inaccuracy in the human process of making a copy by handwriting or typewriting;
and

3. As respects oral testimony purporting to give from memory the terms of a writing, there is a special risk of error,
greater than in the case of attempts at describing other situations generally.

‣ The rule further acts as an insurance against fraud. Verily, if a party is in the possession of the best evidence and
withholds it, and seeks to substitute inferior evidence in its place, the presumption naturally arises that the better
evidence is withheld for fraudulent purposes that its production would expose and defeat. Lastly, the rule protects
against misleading inferences resulting from the intentional or unintentional introduction of selected portions of a
larger set of writings

WAIVER OF THE BEST EVIDENCE RULE


‣ RULE — THE BEST EVIDENCE RULE MAY BE WAIVED IF NOT RAISED/OBJECTED TO IN THE TRIAL
‣ The presentation or the offer of the original may be waived. If the party against whom the secondary evidence is
offered does not object thereto when the same is offered in evidence, the secondary evidence becomes primary
evidence.

‣ But even if admitted as primary evidence, its probative value must still meet the various tests by which its reliability is
to be determined. Its admissibility should not be confused with its probative value

‣ NOTE — the admission of the genuineness and due execution of a document (such as by failure to specially deny it
under oath) also amounts to a waiver of the application of the best evidence rule, hence, secondary evidence may be
presented. (Gaw vs Chua 2008)

WHAT IS AN “ORIGINAL” DOCUMENT


‣ RIANO —The layman’s concept refers to the original as the first one written and from which mere copies are made,
transcribed or imitated. Accordingly, from this perspective, there can only be one original. This is not however, so. Under
the Rules of Court, there are instances when subsequent documents are also regarded as originals

‣ See Sec. 4, Rule 130, this enumerates what are considered as “original” documents
1. THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT ITSELF, WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF INQUIRY
‣ The original of the document is one the contents of which are the subject of inquiry
‣ When the rule speaks of an “original,” it obviously does not refer to the original of an object evidence but an
original of a documentary evidence. In a documentary evidence, its contents are the subjects of the inquiry.

2. SEVERAL DOCUMENTS WHICH ARE IDENTICAL COPIES OR CONTENTS, EXECUTED AT OR ABOUT THE SAME TIME
‣ When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about the same time, with identical contents, all such
copies are equally regarded as originals.
‣ Examples —
‣ When a lawyer writes a pleading in two or more copies which are executed at the same time, with identical
contents, each document is an original
‣ So are writings with identical contents made by printing, mimeographing, lithography and other similar methods
executed at the same time. Thus, each newspaper sold in the stand is an original in itself.
‣ When carbon sheets are inserted between two or more sheets of paper with the writing and the signature on
the first sheet being reproduced in the sheets beneath by the same stroke of the pen or writing medium, all the
sheets are deemed originals
‣ Where a document is executed in duplicate or multiplicate form, each one of the parts is primary evidence of
the contents of the document, and the other need not be produced. In such a case, each is deemed an original
‣ BUT, if several copies of a document are made at the same by inserting on each page a carbon paper and only
one of them is signed, the signed copy is the original and the others are only copies
3. SEVERAL DOCUMENTS IN THE REGULAR COURSE OF BUSINESS, ONE BEING COPIED FROM ANOTHER AT OR NEAR THE TIME
OF THE TRANSACTION

‣ When an entry is repeated in the regular course of business, one being copied from another at or near the time of
the transaction, all the entries are likewise equally regarded as originals.
‣ Requisites:

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a. There must be entries made and repeated in the regular course of business
‣ SALVADOR — “Business” does not necessarily mean a commercial enterprise

‣ Example — A security guard of a residential subdivision making entries in the logbook on who enters and
exits the subdivision
b. The entries must be made at or near the time of the transaction
‣ Example — If a data clerk makes an entry of a transaction which is repeated several times for the files of
each department of the company, each document where the entry was made is an original as long as the
entries are made at or near the time of the transaction and in the regular course of business.
4. THE PRINTOUT OR OUTPUT READABLE BY SIGHT OR OTHER MEANS OF AN ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT AND ITS COPIES
EXECUTED AT OR ABOUT THE SAME TIME WITH IDENTICAL CONTENTS

‣ This is under the Rule 4 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence:


‣ Sec. 1: Original of an electronic document.“An electronic document shall be regarded as the equivalent of an
original document under the Best Evidence Rule if it is a printout or output readable by sight or other means,
shown to reflect the data accurately”
‣ Sec. 2: Copies as equivalent of the originals. “When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about
the same time with identical contents, or is a counterpart produced by the same impression as the original, or
from the same matrix, or by mechanical or electronic re-recording, or by chemical reproduction, or by other
equivalent techniques which accurately reproduces the original, such copies or duplicates shall be regarded as
the equivalent of the original.”
‣ Note that it must be shown to reflect the data accurately
‣ The copies of the printout or output readable by sight are also deemed originals where the copies were executed at
or about the same time with identical contents, or is a counterpart reproduces the original
‣ EXCEPT — For the court NOT to consider the copies as having the same effect as originals —
a. A genuine question as to the authenticity of the original must be raised, or

b. That the circumstances would make it unjust or inequitable to admit the copy in lieu of the original

APPLICATION OF THE BEST EVIDENCE RULE IN RELATION TO THE SECONDARY EVIDENCE RULE
‣ Basically, the rule is to present the original, except when you can justify its unavailability in the manner provided
for by the Rules of Court.
1. SEE IF THE MATTER FALLS UNDER THE BEST EVIDENCE RULE, IF IT DOES, PRODUCE THE ORIGINAL (THE PRIMARY EVIDENCE)
‣ Determine the matter inquired into. If the inquiry involves a document, and its contents are the subject of that same
inquiry, the best evidence rule applies and must, therefore, be complied with.

‣ The procedural compliance of the rule requires the presentation of the original document, and not a copy of that
document.

‣ So long as the original is available, no other evidence can be substituted for the original because the original is the
“best evidence” in relation to mere copies or substitutes thereof.

2. IF THE ORIGINAL CANNOT BE PRESENTED, PRESENT SECONDARY EVIDENCE AFTER COMPLYING WITH THE REQUIREMENTS
‣ Now what is to be done if, for one reason or another, the original cannot be presented in evidence? If this happens, the
second step now comes into play.
‣ This step involves two stages:

a. “LAYING THE BASIS” — FINDING AN ADEQUATE LEGAL EXCUSE FOR THE FAILURE TO PRESENT THE ORIGINAL
‣ These are the exceptions to the best evidence rule in Sec. 3, Rule 130
‣ Before a party is allowed to adduce secondary evidence to prove the contents of the original, the offeror must
prove the following —

i. The existence or due execution of the original

ii. The loss and destruction of the original or the reason for its non-production in court; and

iii. On the part of the offeror, the absence of bad faith to which the unavailability of the original can be
attributed. (MCMP Construction vs Monark 2014)

b. PRESENTING SECONDARY EVIDENCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDER OF PREFERENCE OF SECONDARY EVIDENCE
‣ More on this in Sec. 5 to 8

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‣ NOTE — The correct order of proof is as follows: existence, execution, loss, and contents. (MCMP Construction
vs Monark 2014)

EXCEPTIONS TO THE BEST EVIDENCE RULE; LEGAL JUSTIFICATIONS FOR PRESENTING SECONDARY EVIDENCE
‣ These are the legal basis which should be established by the proponent/offeror before he can present secondary evidence
in lieu of the best evidence. Note that the burden of proof is on the offeror of the secondary evidence
‣ RULE — THESE ARE THE INSTANCES WHICH CONSTITUTES A LEGAL EXCUSE FOR THE FAILURE TO PRESENT THE ORIGINAL
DOCUMENT AND IS THE BASIS TO PRESENTING SECONDARY EVIDENCE

1. ORIGINAL IS LOST OR DESTROYED, OR CANNOT BE PRODUCED IN COURT


‣ When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the
offeror
‣ REQUISITES —

a. The offeror must prove the execution and existence of the original document
b. The offeror must show the cause of its unavailability
c. The offeror must show that the unavailability was not due to his bad faith.
d. The offeror must prove that he employed all reasonable means and diligence to look for the originals
‣ Accordingly, the correct order of proof is as follows: existence, execution, loss and contents, although at the
sound discretion of the court, this order may be changed if necessary

‣ The due execution and authenticity of the document must be proved either: (a) by anyone who saw the document
executed or written, or (b) by evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker

‣ This exception does not only cover loss or destruction but also other reasons for the failure to produce the original
in court even if the original is not lost or destroyed, as when the original is beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the
court

‣ Also falling within this exception are cases where the original consists of inscriptions on immovable objects and
monuments such as tombstones because they cannot be produced in court

‣ Note that the offeror must duly prove the cause of the unavailability, he must show that all reasonable means and
diligence was employed to look for the original.

2. ORIGINAL IS IN THE CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF THE ADVERSE PARTY


‣ When the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the
latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice
‣ REQUISITES —

a. The offeror must prove the existence of the original document


b. That said document is under the custody or control of the adverse party;
c. That the proponent of secondary evidence has given the adverse party reasonable notice to produce the
original document
d. That the adverse party failed to produce the original document despite the reasonable notice.
‣ The mere fact that the original of the writing is in the custody or control of the party against whom it is offered does
not warrant the admission of secondary evidence.

‣ The offeror must prove that he has done all in his power to secure the best evidence by giving notice to the said
party to produce the document.

‣ The notice may be in the form of a motion for the production of the original, or made in open court in the
presence of the adverse party, or via a subpoena duces tecum, provided that the party in custody of the
original has sufficient time to produce the same.

‣ When such party has the original of the writing and does not voluntarily offer to produce it or refuses to produce it,
then secondary evidence may be admitted

‣ What is the effect of not offering a document in evidence after calling for its production and inspection?
‣ If the party who calls for the production of a document does not offer the same in evidence, no unfavorable
inference may be drawn from such failure. This is because under Sec. 8 of Rule 130, a party who calls for the
production of a document is not required to offer it

3. ORIGINAL IS OF NUMEROUS ACCOUNTS

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‣ When the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot be examined in court without
great loss of time and the fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole
‣ REQUISITES —
a. The original consists of numerous accounts or other documents
b. They cannot be examined in court without great loss of time
c. The fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole
‣ The main reason for this exception lies in the determination by the court that production of the original writings and
their examination in court would result in great loss of time considering that the evidence desired from the
voluminous accounts is only the general result of the whole like a summary of the accounts.

‣ Under this exception, a witness may be allowed to offer a summary of a number of documents, or the summary
itself may be admitted, if the underlying documents are so voluminous and intricate as to make an examination of
all of them impracticable. They may also be presented in the form of charts or calculations

‣ The voluminous records must, however, be made accessible to the adverse party so that the correctness of the
summary of the voluminous records may be tested on cross-examination

‣ EXAMPLE — An accountant’s written summary of some 150,000 sales invoices for goods sold by the plaintiff may
be allowed under this exception over the objection of the defendant that the sales invoices constitute the original
documents and should be presented.
4. ORIGINAL IS A PUBLIC RECORD
‣ When the original is a public record in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office
‣ Public records are generally not to be removed from the places where they are recorded and kept (immovability of
public records) For this reason, the proof of the contents of a document which forms part of a public record may
be done by secondary evidence. This evidence is a certified true copy of the original. This certified copy is to be
issued by the public officer in custody of the public records

‣ RIGUERA — The public record must be in the custody of an official repository of public records which has
legal custody of the records as mandated by law. (not merely just any government or public office)

SECONDARY EVIDENCE

Section 5. When original document is unavailable. — When the original document has been lost or destroyed, or cannot
be produced in court, the offeror, upon proof of its execution or existence and the cause of its unavailability without bad
faith on his part, may prove its contents by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authentic document, or by the
testimony of witnesses in the order stated. (4a)

Section 7. Evidence admissible when original document is a public record. — When the original of document is in the
custody of public officer or is recorded in a public office, its contents may be proved by a certified copy issued by the
public officer in custody thereof. (2a)

PRESENTATION OF SECONDARY EVIDENCE; ORDER OF PREFERENCE


‣ RULE — THE PRESENTATION OF SECONDARY EVIDENCE MUST BE IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER —
1. A copy of the original (or certified true copy in case of public records)
2. A recital of the contents of the document in some authentic document
3. By the testimony of witnesses
‣ Secondary evidence refers to evidence other than the original instrument or document itself

‣ The hierarchy of preferred secondary evidence must be strictly followed.

‣ Because of the requirements of the rule, the testimony of the witness to prove the contents of the lost original is
inadmissible if a copy is available or if there is a recital of the contents of the writing in some authentic document.

‣ Under the Rules of Court, a copy of the original is the best secondary evidence. If it is available, other secondary
evidence will not be admitted.

‣ Remember that the presentation or the offer of the original may be waived. If the party against whom the secondary
evidence is offered does not object thereto when the same is offered in evidence, the secondary evidence becomes
primary evidence.

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‣ But even if admitted as primary evidence, its probative value must still meet the various tests by which its reliability is
to be determined. Its admissibility should not be confused with its probative value

PAROL EVIDENCE RULE

Section 9. Evidence of written agreements. — When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, it is
considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, between the parties and their successors in
interest, no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the written agreement.
However, a party may present evidence to modify, explain or add to the terms of written agreement if he puts in issue in
his pleading:
(a) An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the written agreement;
(b) The failure of the written agreement to express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto;
(c) The validity of the written agreement; or
(d) The existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their successors in interest after the execution of the written
agreement.
The term "agreement" includes wills. (7a)

PAROL EVIDENCE RULE; WRITTEN AGREEMENT RULE; INTEGRATION RULE


‣ RULE — WHEN THE TERMS OF AN AGREEMENT HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO WRITING, IT IS CONSIDERED AS CONTAINING ALL THE
TERMS AGREED UPON AND THERE CAN BE, BETWEEN THE PARTIES AND THEIR SUCCESSORS IN INTEREST, NO EVIDENCE OF
SUCH TERMS OTHER THAN THE CONTENTS OF THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT.

‣ This is also called the “integration” rule.

‣ The parol evidence rule becomes operative when the issues in the litigation are the terms of a written agreement.

‣ In clear-cut language, the basic question that would bring the parol evidence rule into play is: “What have the
parties agreed upon?”
‣ The appropriate answer would be: “Look into the written agreement and not elsewhere because only the
contents of the written agreement are admissible in evidence.”
‣ Meaning of “Parol” Evidence
‣ The term “parol” evidence means something ‘oral’ or verbal but with reference to contracts it means extraneous
evidence or evidence aliunde. As used in the Rules of Court, the term refers not only to oral but also to written
evidence which are outside of or extraneous to the written contract between the parties.

‣ The written agreement is considered to contain ALL the terms agreed upon
‣ There is no need to look into any other source because such sources are barred by the rule. They are barred
because, as Sec. 9 of Rule 130 provides, the writing “...is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon…”
‣ The provisions of Sec. 9 of Rule 130 consider the written agreement as the embodiment of all the terms agreed
upon by the parties, i.e., a total integration of said agreement. Because the writing is considered as containing all
the terms of said agreement, the traditional distinction between partial and total integration observed in traditional
American jurisprudence appears irrelevant to the application of the parol evidence rule in a Philippine setting.

‣ The written agreement already represents the final expression of the agreement of the parties on the
subject. Being the final agreement, any extraneous or “parol” evidence is inadmissible for any of the
following purposes: (a) modify, (b) explain, or (c) add to the terms of the written agreement.
‣ The parol evidence rule, therefore, forbids any addition to, or contradiction of, the terms of a written agreement by
testimony or other evidence purporting to show that different terms were agreed upon by the parties, varying the
purport of the written contract

APPLICABILITY OF THE PAROL EVIDENCE RULE


1. THE PAROL EVIDENCE RULE APPLIES ONLY TO “AGREEMENTS” (CONTRACT) WHICH HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO WRITING. THE
TERM "AGREEMENT" INCLUDES WILLS

‣ Among the various evidentiary rules, it is the parol evidence rule that has direct application to the law on contracts.

‣ When the agreement is merely oral, the parol evidence rule should not be applied.

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‣ A contract is a “meeting of the minds” between two or more persons. The Civil Code does not define a contract as a
document, a deed or an instrument. The document, deed and instrument are merely the tangible evidence of a
contract. It is the meeting of the minds between the parties that constitutes the contract.

‣ There can be a contract of sale, for instance, without a document. By the clear terms of the Civil Code, a contract of
sale may be made in writing, or by word of mouth, or partly in writing and partly by word of mouth, or may even be
inferred from the conduct of the parties

‣ The law further provides that contracts shall be obligatory, in whatever form they may have been entered into,
provided all the requisites for their validity are present, namely consent, object, and cause

‣ While, as a rule, a written form is not required for the existence of a contract because contracts are perfected by mere
consent, it would be legally convenient for the parties to reduce the contract in written form in order to have a tangible
and incontrovertible evidence of a previous meeting of the minds

‣ The decision of the parties to reduce the agreement in written form is critical to the application of the parol
evidence rule. When they execute a written contract, the parol evidence rule ipso facto comes into play
‣ Not all writings, however, will trigger the application of the parol evidence rule. That writing must embody an
agreement.
‣ There is only one writing which, although not legally an agreement, is considered to be one for purposes of
the application of the parol evidence rule. This writing is a will.
‣ The last paragraph of Sec. 9 of Rule 130 confirms this observation, thus: “The term ‘agreement’ includes wills”
‣ Note that while the parol evidence rule applies to wills, an express trust concerning an immovable or any interest
therein may not be proved by parol evidence (Art. 1443, Civil Code)
‣ Note that Sec. 9 of Rule 130 only makes reference to a “writing,” not a public writing or a private writing.

2. ONLY THE PARTIES AND SUCCESSORS-IN-INTEREST ARE BOUND BY THE PAROL EVIDENCE RULE. THE RULE DOES NOT BIND
SUITS INVOLVING STRANGERS TO THE CONTRACT.

‣ The rule that the terms of an agreement are to be proven only by the contents of the writing itself refers to suits
between “parties and their successors in interest”

‣ It applies only to the parties to a written agreement and those who are privy to a party or successors-in-interest Thus,
a total stranger to the writing is not bound by its terms and is allowed to introduce extrinsic or parol evidence against
the efficacy of the writing

RATIONALE BEHIND THE PAROL EVIDENCE RULE


‣ The parol evidence rule is designed to give certainty to written transactions, preserve the reliability and protect
the sanctity of written agreements.
‣ Spoken words could be notoriously undesirable unlike a written contract which speaks of a uniform language.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE PAROL EVIDENCE RULE


‣ RULE — A PARTY MAY PRESENT EVIDENCE TO MODIFY, EXPLAIN OR ADD TO THE TERMS OF WRITTEN AGREEMENT, BUT HE
MUST:

1. PROVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING MATTERS —


a. An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the written agreement;

b. The failure of the written agreement to express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto;

c. The validity of the written agreement; or

d. The existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their successors in interest after the execution of the
written agreement.

2. PUT SUCH MATTERS “IN ISSUE” IN THE PLEADINGS


‣ NOTE — With all the exceptions above, what is practically important for you is to put the matter “in issue” in the
pleadings.

“PUTTING IN ISSUE” THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE PAROL EVIDENCE RULE


‣ Introducing parol evidence means offering extrinsic or extraneous evidence that would modify, explain or add to the terms
of the written agreement, but parol evidence may only be allowed, if any of the matters mentioned above is put in issue in
the pleadings.

‣ Without complying with this requirement — putting in issue in the pleadings — parol evidence cannot be introduced.

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‣ The parol evidence rule does not per se bar the introduction of parol evidence as long as the pleader puts in
issue in the pleading any of the matters set forth in the rule such as the mistake or imperfection of the writing,
its failure to express the true agreement of the parties or the existence of subsequent agreements.
‣ The key words are “putting in issue” in the pleading. Unless duly pleaded, a party will be barred from offering extrinsic
evidence over the objection of the adverse party.

‣ It is only where a party puts in issue in the pleadings the failure of the written agreement to express the true intent of
the parties thereto that said party may present evidence to modify, explain or add to the terms of the written agreement

‣ Note that even if parol evidence is admitted, such admission would not mean that the court would give probative value to
the parol evidence. Admissibility is not the equivalent of probative value or credibility.

‣ If the petitioner, for instance, claims that the parties had entered into a verbal agreement subsequent to the written
agreement, the existence of the verbal agreement must be sufficiently supported by evidence

‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — “Seller sues Buyer for P300,000.00, the unpaid balance of the price of a car bought by and duly
delivered to the latter. Although the deed of sale stipulated a contract price of P700,000.00, the actual oral agreement was
only for Buyer to pay a price of P400,000.00, an amount already paid. The amount as written in the deed of sale was
actually a result of mere inadvertence. If Buyer wants to prove during the trial that the true price as agreed by the parties is
P400,000.00, Buyer must allege in his answer to the complaint that there was a mistake in the writing and it does not
reflect the true agreement of the parties. Such allegations would put such matters in issue in the pleading, opening the
door to the introduction of parol evidence”
‣ What if you fail to put it in issue in the pleadings?
‣ SALVADOR — You can amend the pleadings

EXCEPTIONS TO THE PAROL EVIDENCE RULE (EXPOUNDED)


1. INTRINSIC OR LATENT AMBIGUITY IN THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT
‣ An instance when evidence aliunde or parol evidence may be allowed to modify, explain or even add to the written
agreement is when an intrinsic ambiguity exists in the written agreement.

‣ What is “Intrinsic” Ambiguity?


‣ Intrinsic or latent ambiguity is one which is not apparent on the face of the document but which lies in the person
or thing that is the subject of the document or deed.

‣ In other words, the ambiguity is intrinsic or latent when the language of the writing is clear and intelligible and
suggests but a single meaning, but some matter extraneous to the writing creates the ambiguity

‣ In this type of ambiguity, the document is clear on its face but matters extraneous to the agreement create the
ambiguity.

‣ As long as the latent or intrinsic ambiguity is raised as an issue in the pleadings, the court will allow evidence
aliunde to explain the ambiguity to give effect to the intention of a party or the parties.

‣ RIANO —Example — The testator’s will bequeaths to Jose Navidad, his grandson, a parcel of grazing land with an
area of ten thousand square meters, located in a town called Magdiwang. It was discovered after his death that the
testator owns two parcels of land in the same place which are of exactly the same area and description. There is
here an intrinsic ambiguity in the writing. Similarly, if the testator owns only one parcel of land and bequeaths that
land to his grandson, described in the will as Jose Navidad, but it was discovered later that he has two grandsons
with the same name, there also exists an intrinsic or latent ambiguity. Parol evidence may be introduced to show
the exact grazing land referred to in the will or the grandson intended in the will provided that the will’s intrinsic
ambiguity is put in issue.
‣ Where the ambiguity is patent or extrinsic, parol evidence will NOT be admitted even if the same is put in issue
in the pleading.
‣ A patent or extrinsic ambiguity is that which appears on the very face of the instrument, and arises from the
defective, obscure, or insensible language used
‣ Parol evidence is not admissible to explain the ambiguity otherwise the court would be creating instead of
construing a contract.

‣ Even if a pleader raises as an issue the extrinsic or patent ambiguity in a contract or will, the court will not allow
parol evidence to explain the ambiguity or supply the deficiency. The rule only allows parol evidence in the case of
an intrinsic or latent ambiguity.

‣ RIANO — Example — a donor writes in the deed of donation that he is donating to Jose, one of his cars. Without
describing the specific car, there is a patent ambiguity. The ambiguity which is apparent on the very face of the
document cannot be clarified or explained by parol evidence.

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2. MISTAKE OR IMPERFECTION IN THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT
‣ The admission of evidence aliunde may be justified when there is a mistake or imperfection in the written agreement.

‣ SALVADOR — This mistake or imperfection must be MUTUAL.

3. FAILURE OF THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO EXPRESS THE TRUE INTENT AND AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES
‣ RIANO — The failure of the writing to express the true agreement of the parties is another ground for admitting
parol evidence as long as the issue is raised in the pleadings. In fact, mistake or imperfection of the writing may be a
reason for the failure of the instrument or writing to embody the intention of the parties.

‣ This does not mean, however, that the mistake or imperfection prevented the meeting of the minds between or
among the parties. This only means that despite the meeting of the minds, the true agreement of the parties is
not reflected in the instrument.
‣ Aside from mistake, there are some other reasons enumerated in substantive law for the failure of the instrument to
express the true intention of the parties like fraud, inequitable conduct or accident, ignorance, lack of skill,
negligence or bad faith on the part of the person drafting the instrument (Art. 1359, 1364 Civil Code)
‣ Note that although parol evidence is admissible to explain the meaning of a contract, it cannot serve the purpose
of incorporating into the contract additional contemporaneous conditions which are not mentioned at all in the
writing unless there has been fraud or mistake
‣ RIGUERA — This exception should only apply when the contract is so ambiguous or obscure that the contractual
intention of the parties cannot be ascertained from a mere reading of the written document OR that the contract was
clearly not the intended one (such as a written contract of sale but the real contract was really a mortgage only).
‣ Reformation of the Instrument containing the Contract
‣ When there is a meeting of the minds between the parties, but their true intention is not expressed in the
instrument by any of the aforementioned causes, one of the parties may ask for the reformation of the instrument

‣ The action for reformation presupposes that there is nothing wrong with the contract itself, only the instrument
containing it, because there is a meeting of minds between the parties
‣ RIANO — Examples —
‣ If the document appears to be a sale, parol evidence may be resorted to if the same does not express the true
intent of the parties because it is actually a loan. The owner of the property may prove that the contract is really a
loan with mortgage by raising as an issue in the pleading the fact that the document is not really a sale
‣ The parties have agreed on the area of the land subject of the sale. By an act of fraud of the seller who prepared
the deed of sale, a smaller area is indicated in the deed. There is nothing defective in the contract which is the
meeting of the minds. The defect is in the deed of sale, which is the instrument. If an action for reformation is
brought, the action must be for the purpose of reforming the instrument, not for reforming the contract.
‣ If the parties agree upon the mortgage or pledge of property, but the instrument states that the property is sold
absolutely or with a right of repurchase, reformation of the instrument is proper
4. THE VALIDITY OF THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT
‣ Atty. Villareal calls this the “monkey wrench technique”
‣ This is when a party challenges the validity of the contract itself, and not merely the instrument containing it. Such as
when any of the essential requisites of a contract are absent.

‣ Such as — saying that the contract is void or voidable


5. THE EXISTENCE OF OTHER TERMS AGREED TO BY THE PARTIES OR THEIR SUCCESSORS IN INTEREST AFTER THE EXECUTION OF
THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT

‣ Parol evidence on subsequent and independent agreements may be admitted.


‣ The rules limit the inadmissibility of parol evidence or extrinsic evidence to prior or contemporaneous stipulations,
NOT subsequent agreements.

‣ The rule forbidding the admission of evidence aliunde or extrinsic evidence did not prohibit proof of an agreement
entered into after the written instrument was executed, notwithstanding that such agreement may have the effect
of adding to, changing or modifying the written agreement of the parties

‣ This means that the existence of another agreement after the execution of the original written agreement may be
introduced without first complying with the requirement of putting the subsequent agreement in issue

‣ Such as — if there are novatory or modificatory agreements which amend the previous contract
‣ Under the current rules, it must be pleaded or “put in issue” in the pleadings
‣ Note that in contrast to the 1964 Rules on Evidence, the amendments to the rules, effective July 1, 1989, added
“subsequent agreements” as among those matters that need to be put in issue. This signifies that before evidence

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RULE 130(B): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
may be introduced that the parties entered into another agreement after the execution of the written agreement,
such subsequent agreement has first to be put in issue in the pleadings. The phraseology of the rule leads one to
conclude that, unlike traditional jurisprudence, such a subsequent agreement could be invoked only if its existence
is put in issue in the pleading.

‣ The present rule now requires that the admissibility of subsequent agreements be conditioned upon its
being put in issue (Sec. 9[d], Rule 130, Rules of Court). Before the amendments, there was no such
requirement. Subsequent agreements had always been outside the ambit of the parol evidence rule.
6. COLLATERAL OR SIDE AGREEMENTS
‣ Even if there was a written agreement on a particular subject matter, evidence of a collateral agreement between the
same parties on the same or related subject matter may be admitted

‣ Collateral agreements have been admitted in the following cases:


1. Where the collateral agreement is not inconsistent with the terms of the written contract. (Robles vs. Lizarraga
Hermanos)
2. Where the collateral agreement has not been integrated in and is independent of the written contract, as where it is
suppletory to the original contract. (Robles vs. Lizarraga Hermanos)

3. Where the collateral agreement is subsequent to or novatory of the written contract. (Filipinas Manufacturers Bank
vs Eastern Rizal Fabricators)
‣ But this also falls under the 4th exception, the existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their
successors in interest after the execution of the written agreement

4. Where the collateral agreement constitutes a condition precedent which determines whether the written contract
may become operative or effective (Henry W. Peabody & Co vs Bromfield), But this exception does not apply to a
condition subsequent not stated in the agreement.

7. WAIVER BY FAILURE TO OBJECT


‣ The parol evidence rule can be waived by failure to invoke the benefits of the rule. This waiver may be made by
failure to object to the introduction of evidence aliunde.
‣ Inadmissible evidence may be rendered admissible by failure to object. Failure to object to the parol evidence
presented by the adverse party operates as a waiver of the protection of the parol evidence rule

DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE BEST EVIDENCE RULE AND PAROL EVIDENCE RULE

BEST EVIDENCE RULE PAROL EVIDENCE RULE

As to Preference of Establishes a preference for the original Not concerned with the primacy of evidence but
Document document over secondary evidence thereof presupposes that the original is available

As to the Evidence Precludes the admission of secondary Precludes the admission of other evidence to prove
Precluded evidence if the original document is the terms of a document other than the contents of
available the document itself for the purpose of varying the
terms of the writing

As to the Persons who Can be invoked by any litigant to an action Can be invoked only by the parties to the document
can invoke it whether or not said litigant is a party to the and their successors-in-interest
document involved

As to the Documentary Applies to all forms of writing The parol evidence rule applies to written
Evidence Covered agreements (contracts), and wills

Issue involved The contents of a document must be the The contents of a written agreement (including
subject of inquiry wills) must be the subject to inquiry

Rule The parties must look at original document The parties must look at the written agreement only
only

INTERPRETATION OF DOCUMENTS
*This should be part of Civil Law.. zzz

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Section 10. Interpretation of a writing according to its legal meaning. — The language of a writing is to be interpreted
according to the legal meaning it bears in the place of its execution, unless the parties intended otherwise. (8)

Section 11. Instrument construed so as to give effect to all provisions. — In the construction of an instrument, where
there are several provisions or particulars, such a construction is, if possible, to be adopted as will give effect to all. (9)

Section 12. Interpretation according to intention; general and particular provisions. — In the construction of an
instrument, the intention of the parties is to be pursued; and when a general and a particular provision are inconsistent,
the latter is paramount to the former. So a particular intent will control a general one that is inconsistent with it. (10)

Section 13. Interpretation according to circumstances. — 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 of those who language he is to interpret. (11)

Section 14. Peculiar signification of terms. — The terms of a writing are presumed to have been used in their primary and
general acceptation, but evidence is admissible to show that they have a local, technical, or otherwise peculiar
signification, and were so used and understood in the particular instance, in which case the agreement must be
construed accordingly. (12)

Section 15. Written words control printed. — When an instrument consists partly of written words and partly of a printed
form, and the two are inconsistent, the former controls the latter. (13)

Section 16. Experts and interpreters to be used in explaining certain writings. — When the characters in which an
instrument is written are difficult to be deciphered, or the language is not understood by the court, the evidence of
persons skilled in deciphering the characters, or who understand the language, is admissible to declare the characters or
the meaning of the language. (14)

Section 17. Of Two constructions, which preferred. — When the terms of an agreement have been intended in a different
sense by the different parties to it, that sense is to prevail against either party in which he supposed the other understood
it, and when different constructions of a provision are otherwise equally proper, that is to be taken which is the most
favorable to the party in whose favor the provision was made. (15)

Section 18. Construction in favor of natural right. — When an instrument is equally susceptible of two interpretations, one
in favor of natural right and the other against it, the former is to be adopted. (16)

Section 19. Interpretation according to usage. — An instrument may be construed according to usage, in order to
determine its true character. (17)


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RULE 130(C): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE
RULE 130(C): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE

NATURE AND DEFINITION OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE

WHAT IS TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE?


‣ Testimonial or oral evidence is evidence elicited from the mouth of a witness as distinguished from real and documentary
evidence.

‣ It is sometimes called viva voce evidence which literally means “living voice” or by word of mouth. In this kind of
evidence, a human being is called to the stand, is asked questions, and answers the questions asked of him. The person
who gives the testimony is called a “witness.”

IMPORTANCE OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE


‣ Experience and plain observation will tell us that the presentation and introduction of every kind of evidence,
whether it be object, demonstrative or documentary evidence, need the intervention of a witness.
‣ The admission of any evidence requires its identification by a witness. It is a legal truth that identification precedes
authentication.

‣ Without a witness, no evidence can ever be authenticated. Even the so-called “self-authenticating documents” need a
witness to identify the document.

‣ The reason is simple. Being inanimate, a document or an object cannot speak for itself.

ADMISSIBILITY OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE; COMPETENCE OF WITNESSES

Section 20. Witnesses; their qualifications. — Except as provided in the next succeeding section, all persons who can
perceive, and perceiving, can make their known perception to others, may be witnesses.

Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, or conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law,
shall not be ground for disqualification. (18a)

REQUISITES FOR ADMISSIBILITY OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE IN GENERAL


1. The testimony of the witness must be relevant

2. The witness must be competent (qualified) to testify

3. The testimony must be formally offered in evidence

COMPETENCE OF A WITNESS IN GENERAL


‣ Recall that competent evidence means evidence that is not excluded by the law or rules. It therefore, means the eligibility
of an evidence to be admitted by the court.

‣ When applied to a witness, competence means that the witness is qualified to take the stand and testify. It means
that he is fit or eligible to testify on a particular matter in a judicial proceeding.

‣ Competence of a witness refers to his personal qualifications to testify. Competence also includes the absence of any
factor that would disqualify him from being a witness.

‣ If a witness cannot perceive or even if he can perceive but he cannot remember what he has perceived, he is
incompetent to testify. If he has no personal knowledge of an event the truth of which he wants to prove, he is also
incompetent to testify.

‣ As a general rule, a person who takes the stand as a witness is presumed to be qualified to testify.

‣ A party who desires to question the competence of a witness must do so by making an objection as soon as the facts
tending to show incompetency are apparent

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QUALIFICATIONS OF A WITNESS
‣ RULE — THE FOLLOWING ARE THE BASIC QUALIFICATIONS OF A COMPETENT WITNESS —
1. WITNESS MUST BE ABLE TO PERCEIVE
‣ A witness must be able to perceive an event. Thus, it would be absurd to ask a blind man what he saw, or a deaf
person what he heard.

‣ Corollary to this capacity to perceive is the requirement that the witness must have personal knowledge of
the facts surrounding the subject matter of his testimony.

‣ Sec. 36 of Rule 130 explicitly requires that a witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his
personal knowledge, i.e., those which are derived from his own perception. When the witness takes an oath or
an affirmation to tell the truth, he cannot live up to that oath or affirmation without his ability to show that his
testimony is based on his personal knowledge. Without this personal knowledge, the witness lacks the
competence to testify

2. HE CAN MAKE KNOWN HIS PERCEPTION TO OTHERS


‣ The ability of the witness to make known his perception to the court involves two factors:

a. Ability to remember what has been perceived; and

b. Ability to communicate the remembered perception

‣ It is of common reason to realize that a witness is presented to testify on a matter he has perceived. If he cannot
remember what he perceived, he cannot be a competent witness.

‣ Note that deaf-mutes are not necessarily incompetent as witnesses. They are competent where they can —
a. Understand and appreciate the sanctity of an oath

b. Comprehend facts they are going to testify to; and

c. Communicate their ideas through a qualified interpreter

3. HE MUST TAKE EITHER AN OATH OR AN AFFIRMATION


‣ The witness must be able to appreciate the duty to tell the truth

‣ A person is not qualified to be a witness if he is incapable of understanding the duty to tell the truth. An oath or
affirmation is necessary for the witness to recognize the duty to tell the truth.

‣ The oath of a witness signifies that he is swearing to the Creator “to tell the truth and nothing but the truth” and
that if he does not, he will later on answer for all the lies he is guilty of.

‣ The issue which a judge must resolve before a witness is allowed to take the stand is whether the witness
understands the nature of an oath, realizes the moral duty to tell the truth, and understands the prospects of being
punished for a falsehood.

4. HE MUST NOT POSSESS ANY OF THE DISQUALIFICATIONS IMPOSED BY LAW OR THE RULES
‣ Disqualifications and Privileged Communications are found in the Rules of Court and Statutes

CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES

Section 20. Witnesses; their qualifications. — Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, or
conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be ground for disqualification. (18a)

COMPETENCE DISTINGUISHED FROM CREDIBILITY


‣ Remember that “competence” pertains to admissibility of evidence, while “credibility” pertains to its weight or probative
value
‣ Competence is a matter of law or, in this jurisdiction, also a matter of rule.

‣ Credibility of a witness has nothing to do with the law or the rules. It refers to the weight and trustworthiness or reliability
of the testimony.

‣ In deciding the competence of a witness, the court will not inquire into the trustworthiness of a witness.

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RULE 130(C): RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE
‣ Accordingly, a prevaricating witness or one who has given contradicting testimonies is still a competent witness. Although
he may be competent as a witness, his testimony may not be given much weight by the court or no weight at all if the
court deems him not worthy of belief. The competence of the witness must, hence, be sharply distinguished from his
credibility.

MATTERS OF CREDIBILITY
‣ RULE — THE FOLLOWING FACTORS DO NOT AFFECT THE COMPETENCY OF A WITNESS, AT MOST THEY ARE MERELY MATTERS
OF CREDIBILITY —

1. Religious belief
2. Political belief
3. Interest in the outcome of the case (Bias)
‣ The relationship of a witness with a party does not ipso facto render him a biased witness

‣ Interest in the outcome of a case which also includes close relationship, is not a ground to disqualify a witness

4. Conviction of a crime, unless otherwise provided by law


‣ In this case, there must be a law which disqualifies convicted persons to be a witness

‣ Example — those who have been convicted of falsification of a document, perjury or false testimony are
disqualified from being witnesses to a will under the Civil Code.

WEIGHING AND ASCERTAINING THE “CREDIBILITY” OF A WITNESS


‣ Credibility presupposes that the witness is already qualified or competent to testify on the subject-matter
‣ RULE — QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE CREDIBILITY OF A WITNESS ARE BEST ADDRESSED TO THE SOUND DISCRETION OF THE
TRIAL COURT AS IT IS IN THE BEST POSITION TO OBSERVE HIS DEMEANOR AND BODILY MOVEMENTS

‣ The Supreme Court generally defers to the trial court’s assessment because it has the singular opportunity to observe
the demeanor of witnesses and their manner of testifying

The matter of assigning values to declarations on the witness stand is best and most competently performed by the
trial judge, who had the unmatched opportunity to observe the witnesses and to assess their credibility by the various
indicia available but not reflected on the record.

‣ The demeanor of the person on the stand can draw the line between fact and fancy. The forthright answer or the
hesitant pause, the quivering voice or the angry tone, the flustered look or the sincere gaze, the modest blush or
the guilty blanch, these can reveal if the witness is telling the truth or lying through his teeth

‣ When the credibility of a witness is in issue, the findings of fact of the trial court, its calibration of the testimony of the
witnesses and its assessment of the probative weight thereof, as well as its conclusions anchored on said findings are
accorded high respect if not conclusive effect. This is more true if such findings have been affirmed by the appellate
court, since it is settled that when the trial court’s findings have been affirmed by the appellate court, said findings are
generally binding upon this Court”

‣ The wisdom behind this rule is that the trial court had the full opportunity to observe directly the witnesses’
deportment and manner of testifying, thus, it is in a better position than the appellate court to properly evaluate
testimonial evidence

‣ Credibility, to state what is axiomatic, is the sole province of the trial court. In the absence of any clear showing that it
overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance that would have
affected the result of the case, the trial court’s findings on the matter of credibility of witnesses will not be disturbed on
appeal

DISQUALIFICATIONS OF WITNESSES

SUMMARY OF RULES ON DISQUALIFICATION OF WITNESSES AND PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS


1. Mental incapacity or immaturity (Sec. 21, Rules of Court)

2. Survivorship disqualification rule/ Dead man’s statute (Sec. 23, Rules of Court)

3. Martial disqualification/ Spousal immunity (Sec. 22, Rules of Court)

4. Martial privilege (Sec. 24(a), Rules of Court)

5. Attorney-client privilege (Sec. 24(b), Rules of Court)

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6. Physician-patient privilege (Sec. 24(c), Rules of Court)
7. Psychologists or psychometrician privilege (Sec. 30, RA 10029)

8. Priest/minister-penitent privilege (Sec. 24(d), Rules of Court)

9. Privileged communications to public officers (Sec. 24(e), Rules of Court)

10. Executive privilege (Senate vs Ermita)


11. Legislative privilege (Chavez v. PCGG, 1998)

12. Judicial privilege (Chavez v. PCGG, 1998)


13. Right against Self-Incrimination (Sec. 17, Art. 3, 1987 Constitution)

14. Parental and filial privilege (Sec. 25, Rules of Court)

15. Editors Privilege (RA 53, as amended by RA 1477 Air Philippines Corporation v. Pennswell, 2007)

16. Voters Privilege (Air Philippines Corporation v. Pennswell, 2007)

17. Trade or industrial secrets (Art. 291, 292, Revised Penal Code; Air Philippines Corporation v. Pennswell, 2007)

18. Information contained in tax census returns (Air Philippines Corporation v. Pennswell, 2007)
19. Confidentiality of Criminal Matters (Chavez v. PCGG, 1998)

NOTE: Privileged communications apply even to electronic evidence. Under Sec. 3, Rule 3 of the Rules on Electronic
Evidence, the confidential character of a privileged communication is not lost solely on the ground that it is in the form of an
electronic document.

RULE OF PRIVILEGE VS RULE ON CONFIDENTIALITY


‣ NOTE — Distinguish a rule on “privilege” vs a rule on “confidentiality”. The former is a rule of exclusion. Any violation of
privilege amounts to the inadmissibility of evidence as it is rendered incompetent. But, the latter merely provides for
sanctions for violations. There is no express exclusionary effect.

‣ SEE — De Jesus v. Sanchez-Malit, A.C. No. 6470, July 08, 2014


‣ In this case, Rule 24, Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1993 only provides for sanctions against persons violating
the rule on confidentiality of birth records, but nowhere does it state that procurement of birth records in violation of
said rule would render said records inadmissible in evidence. On the other hand, the Revised Rules of Evidence only
provides for the exclusion of evidence if it is obtained as a result of illegal searches and seizures. It should be
emphasized, however, that said rule against unreasonable searches and seizures is meant only to protect a person
from interference by the government or the state.

DISQUALIFICATION BY REASON OF MENTAL INCAPACITY

Section 21. Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity. — The following persons cannot be witnesses:
(a) Those whose mental condition, at the time of their production for examination, is such that they are incapable of
intelligently making known their perception to others;

‣ RULE: TO BE DISQUALIFIED AS A WITNESS BY REASON OF MENTAL INCAPACITY, THE FOLLOWING MUST CONCUR:
1. THE PERSON MUST BE INCAPABLE OF INTELLIGENTLY MAKING KNOWN HIS PERCEPTION TO OTHERS; AND
2. HIS INCAPABILITY MUST EXIST AT THE TIME OF HIS PRODUCTION FOR EXAMINATION
‣ Sec. 21(a) of Rule 130 establishes the rule that the mental incapacity of a witness at the time of his perception of the
events subject of the testimony does not affect his competency as long as he is competent at the time he is produced for
examination to make known his perception to others.

‣ His incapacity at the time of perception, although without legal effect on his competency to testify, would however,
concededly, affect his credibility.

‣ The test supplied by the Rules of Court is simple: Is the mental condition of the proposed witness at the time he is called
to testify is such that he is incapable of intelligently making known his perception to others?
‣ The answer to this question will determine whether or not a person is a mentally competent witness.

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DISQUALIFICATION BY REASON OF IMMATURITY

Section 21. Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity. — The following persons cannot be witnesses:
(b) Children whose mental maturity is such as to render them incapable of perceiving the facts respecting which they are
examined and of relating them truthfully. (19a)

DISQUALIFICATION BY REASON OF IMMATURITY


‣ RULE — TO BE DISQUALIFIED AS A WITNESS BY REASON OF IMMATURITY, THE FOLLOWING MUST CONCUR —
1. THE MENTAL MATURITY OF THE WITNESS MUST RENDER HIM INCAPABLE OF PERCEIVING THE FACTS RESPECTING WHICH HE
IS EXAMINED; AND

2. HE IS INCAPABLE OF RELATING HIS PERCEPTION TRUTHFULLY


‣ Note that, in a disqualification by reason of mental incapacity under Sec. 21(a) of Rule 130, the incompetence of the
witness must exist, not at the time of his perception of the facts, but at the time he is produced for examination, and
consists in his inability to intelligently make known what he has perceived.

‣ In disqualification by reason of immaturity, the incompetence of the witness must occur at the time he perceives the
event including his incapability to relate his perceptions truthfully.

‣ The rule on disqualification by reason of immaturity must, however, be construed in relation to the Rules on Examination of
a Child Witness

WHO IS A CHILD WITNESS?


‣ RULE — A “CHILD WITNESS” IS ANY PERSON WHO, AT THE TIME OF GIVING TESTIMONY, IS BELOW THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN (18)
YEARS (Sec. 4[a], Rules on Examination of a Child Witness)

‣ May a person over eighteen (18) years old be sometimes considered as a child?
‣ Yes, he may. In child abuse cases, a child includes one over eighteen (18) years but is found by the court as unable to
fully take care of himself or protect himself from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination because of a
physical or mental disability or condition (Sec. 4[a], Rules on Examination of a Child Witness)

COMPETENCY OF A CHILD WITNESS; COMPETENCY EXAMINATION


‣ RULE — EVERY CHILD IS PRESUMED QUALIFIED TO BE A WITNESS.
‣ This is the presumption established by the Rule on Examination of a Child Witness (Sec. 6, Rules on Examination of a
Child Witness) and to rebut the presumption of competence enjoyed by a child, the burden of proof lies on the party
challenging his competence

‣ BUT — WHEN THE COURT FINDS THAT SUBSTANTIAL DOUBT EXISTS REGARDING THE ABILITY OF THE CHILD TO PERCEIVE,
REMEMBER, COMMUNICATE, DISTINGUISH TRUTH FROM FALSEHOOD, OR APPRECIATE THE DUTY TO TELL THE TRUTH IN COURT,
THE COURT SHALL CONDUCT A COMPETENCY EXAMINATION OF THE CHILD.

‣ The court may do so motu propio or on motion of a party (Sec. 6, Rules on Examination of a Child Witness)
‣ A party who seeks a competency examination must present proof of necessity of a competency examination.

‣ Proof of such necessity must be grounded on reasons other than the age of the child because such age, in itself, is
not a sufficient basis for a competency examination (Sec. 6[a], Rules on Examination of a Child Witness)
‣ The competency examination of a child witness is not open to the public. Only the following are allowed to
attend the examination:
1. The judge and necessary court personnel

2. The counsel for the parties

3. The guardian ad litem


4. One or more support persons for the child; and

5. The defendant, unless the court determines that competence can be fully evaluated in his absence (Sec. 6[c],
Rules on Examination of a Child Witness)
‣ The competency examination of the child shall be conducted only by the judge. If the counsels of the parties desire
to ask questions, they cannot do so directly. Instead, they are allowed to submit questions to the judge which he may
ask the child in his discretion (Sec. 6[d], Rules on Examination of a Child Witness)

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‣ The questions asked at the competency examination shall be appropriate to the age and developmental level of the
child. The questions shall not be related to the issues at the trial but shall focus on the ability of the child to remember,
communicate, distinguish between truth and falsehood and appreciate the duty to testify truthfully (Sec. 6[e], Rules on
Examination of a Child Witness)
‣ The assessment of the competency of the child is designed to be a continuing one. The court has the duty of
continuously assessing the competence of the child throughout his testimony (Sec. 6[f], Rules on Examination of a Child
Witness)
‣ Note: The court may order that the testimony of the child be taken by live-link television if there is a substantial likelihood
that the child would suffer trauma from testifying in the presence of the accused, his counsel or the prosecutor as the
case may be. The trauma must be of a kind which would impair the completeness or truthfulness of the testimony of the
child (Sec. 25[f], Rules on Examination of a Child Witness)

SEXUAL ABUSE SHIELD RULE


‣ See Sec. 30, Rules on Examination of a Child Witness
‣ RULE — THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE IS NOT ADMISSIBLE IN ANY CRIMINAL PROCEEDING INVOLVING ALLEGED CHILD SEXUAL
ABUSE:

1. Evidence offered to prove that the alleged victim engaged in other sexual behavior; and

2. Evidence offered to prove the sexual predisposition of the alleged victim.

3. In prosecutions for rape, evidence of complainant's past sexual conduct, opinion thereof or of his/her reputation (Sec.
6, Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act)

‣ EXCEPT — EVIDENCE OF SPECIFIC INSTANCES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR BY THE ALLEGED VICTIM TO PROVE THAT A PERSON
OTHER THAN THE ACCUSED WAS THE SOURCE OF SEMEN, INJURY, OR OTHER PHYSICAL EVIDENCE SHALL BE ADMISSIBLE.

‣ For rape cases, but only to the extent that the court finds, that such evidence is material and relevant to the case.
(Sec. 6, Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act)

SURVIVORSHIP DISQUALIFICATION RULE (DEAD MAN’S STATUTE)

Section 23. Disqualification by reason of death or insanity of adverse party. — Parties or assignor of parties to a case, or
persons in whose behalf a case is prosecuted, against an executor or administrator or other representative of a deceased
person, or against a person of unsound mind, upon a claim or demand against the estate of such deceased person or
against such person of unsound mind, cannot testify as to any matter of fact occurring before the death of such
deceased person or before such person became of unsound mind. (20a)

‣ RULE — PARTIES, OR AN ASSIGNOR OF THAT PARTY, OR A PERSON IN WHOSE BEHALF THE CASE IS PROSECUTED CANNOT
TESTIFY AS TO THEIR DEALINGS WITH A DECEASED PERSON IN A CLAIM AGAINST THE LATTER’S ESTATE

‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — Mr. D approaches Mr. C one rainy Sunday morning to borrow P100,000.00 to be paid exactly a
year after. Without hesitation, Mr. C gives Mr. D the amount requested. Mr. C does not require Mr. D to execute a
promissory note. They have been very good friends for as long as they can remember. Years ago, when Mr. C’s small
business was on the verge of bankruptcy it was the generosity of the then wealthy Mr. D that bailed him out. Exactly a
day before the agreed date for payment, Mr. D peacefully joins his Creator without paying the debt. What does Mr. C
do? Well, he does what every creditor would do under the circumstances. He goes to the executor of what remains of
the estate of Mr. D, and tells him of the debt of Mr. D. He says: “Today is supposed to be the due date of his debt. I
cannot demand payment from him because he is dead. You are the executor and you are very much alive. I am asking
you to pay his debt.” The executor retorts: “Look Sir! I am not sure if you are telling the truth. Don’t get me wrong! I am
not calling you a liar but I cannot verify the truth of your claim. Mr. D is dead. He cannot speak. His lips are forever
sealed. I would be doing an act unfair to the memory of Mr. D if I were to listen to you. I am sorry, I cannot pay.”
‣ What is the effect of the death of Mr. D in relation to Sec. 23 of Rule 130? The rule is clear. Mr. C is rendered
incompetent to testify as to the transaction he had with Mr. D. He is incompetent because of the possibility that his
claim is fraudulent. If Mr. C were to be heard, there would be a high risk of paying a fraudulent or a fictitious claim.
It is Mr. C who has the motive to lie. He is the survivor. Mr. D cannot lie. He is dead. He did not survive. Worse, he
cannot answer back. He cannot disprove the claim of Mr. C. To level the playing field between the lucky survivor
and the poor deceased, our remedial law ancestors devised a rule that would seal the lips of the survivor by
declaring him incompetent to testify on the transaction between him and the deceased. The rule is definitely one
that does not protect the survivor even at the risk of not paying a just and valid claim because it is the survivor who

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has the stronger reason to file a false claim. The rule is for the protection of the guy who died. Hence, the name,
Dead Man’s Statute.

RATIONALE
‣ The object of the rule is to guard against the temptation to give false testimony in regard to the transaction on the part of
the surviving party and thereby put the parties upon equal terms.

‣ Its purpose is to close the lips of the plaintiff when death has closed the lips of the defendant, in order to remove from the
plaintiff the temptation to do falsehood and the possibility of fictitious claims against the deceased

‣ It is obvious that the rule, by its terms, intends to protect the representatives of the deceased person when sued in such
capacity or a person of unsound mind on a claim against the estate of the decedent or a claim against the insane person.

REQUISITES FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE SURVIVORSHIP DISQUALIFICATION RULE


1. THERE MUST BE A SUIT UPON A CLAIM BY THE PLAINTIFF AGAINST THE ESTATE OF SAID DECEASED OR PERSON OF UNSOUND
MIND
‣ This rule applies only to a civil case or a special proceeding over the estate of a deceased or insane person

‣ Not to criminal cases because criminal liability obviously does not survive the death of the accused.

‣ Sec. 23 of Rule 130 clearly specifies that the case be “upon a claim or demand against the estate of the deceased
person or a person of unsound mind.”

‣ The rule does not apply when the action brought is not “against” the estate, or not upon a claim or demand “against”
the estate.

‣ This claim, from the tenor of the rule is, by its nature, civil, not criminal, because the estate itself cannot be
criminally liable.

‣ NOTE — The survivor can testify by way of defense in a counterclaim by then estate, such does NOT result in a waiver
of the privilege.

2. THE DEFENDANT IN THE CASE IS THE EXECUTOR OR ADMINISTRATOR OR A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DECEASED OR THE
PERSON OF UNSOUND MIND (THE ESTATE IS THE DEBTOR)

‣ The defendant is the representative (executor or administrator) of the deceased or the person of unsound mind.

‣ The persons entitled to invoke the protection of the dead man’s statute are the executor, administrator and any other
representative of a deceased person, when they are the defendants in a claim against the estate of the deceased.

‣ The protection may likewise be invoked by a person of unsound mind in a claim filed against him.

‣ The rule contemplates a suit against the estate, its administrator or executor and not a suit filed by the administrator
or executor of the estate.

‣ A defendant, who opposes the suit filed by the administrator to recover alleged shares of stock belonging to the
deceased, is NOT barred from testifying as to his transaction with the deceased with respect to the shares

3. THE WITNESS IS THE PLAINTIFF, OR AN ASSIGNOR OF THAT PARTY, OR A PERSON IN WHOSE BEHALF THE CASE IS PROSECUTED;
AND
‣ The plaintiff is the person who has a claim against the estate of the decedent or the person of unsound mind. He is
the survivor.

‣ Conversely, the rule will NOT apply where the plaintiff is the executor or administrator as representative of the
deceased or if the plaintiff is the person of unsound mind.
‣ So if the executor of the estate of Mr. C sues Mr. D to collect an unpaid debt incurred in favor of Mr. C before his
death, Mr. D, although a survivor, is not precluded from testifying as to the transaction he previously had with Mr. C
because the case is not upon a claim against the estate of Mr. C but a claim by his estate against Mr. D.
‣ When a counterclaim is set up by the administrator of the estate, the case is removed from the operation of the “dead
man’s statute.” The plaintiff may testify to occurrences before the death of the deceased to defeat the counterclaim
which is not brought against the representative of the estate but by the said representative

‣ In this case, it is the estate who becomes the plaintiff to the counterclaim

ELEMENTS OF THE SURVIVORSHIP DISQUALIFICATION RULE


1. THE PERSONS PROHIBITED FROM TESTIFYING ARE ONLY THE PARTIES TO THE TRANSACTION, ASSIGNORS OF SUCH PARTIES, OR
PERSONS IN WHOSE BEHALF A CASE IS PROSECUTED

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‣ The rule is obviously intended to be exclusive and does not prohibit a testimony by a mere witness to the
transaction between the plaintiff and the deceased and who has no interest in such transaction.

‣ Thus, offering the testimony of a so-called “disinterested witness” is not a transgression of the rule since the
prohibition extends only to the party or his assignor or the person in whose behalf the case is prosecuted.

2. THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF THE PROHIBITED TESTIMONY IS AS TO ANY MATTER OF FACT OCCURRING BEFORE THE DEATH OF
SUCH DECEASED PERSON OR BEFORE SUCH PERSON BECAME OF UNSOUND MIND

‣ Also, the incompetency imposed upon the witness is to testify “on any matter of fact occurring before the death of
such deceased person or before such person became of unsound mind.”

‣ Hence, if the subject of the testimony is on some other matter, the witness may testify on such matter as when the
subject of the testimony is on a fact which transpired after the death of such person.

3. THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF THE PROHIBITED TESTIMONY MUST PERTAIN TO THE DEALINGS OF THE WITNESS TO THE DECEASED
PERSON, WHICH IS ADVERSE TO THE ESTATE

‣ The rule does not altogether intend to keep the witness out of the stand altogether. He is merely precluded from
testifying on particular topics.

‣ Witnesses who testify on the basis of their personal knowledge of a transaction, which are not based on their
personal dealings with the deceased, are NOT barred
‣ This is because the deceased, even if he were alive, could not contradict it.

‣ The rule would not preclude plaintiff's description of her own actions and the road conditions prior to the point
when within limitations of time or space the decedent could have contradicted her testimony of his own
knowledge. (Ziegler vs Moore)

‣ The dead man’s statute does not operate to close the mouth of a witness as to any matter of fact coming to his
knowledge in any other way than through personal dealings with the deceased person, or communication made by
the deceased to the witness

‣ Testimony which Benefits the Estate NOT barred


‣ Also, since a claim or demand against the estate implies a claim adverse to the estate, a testimony beneficial to
such estate should not be excluded.

‣ Thus, a testimony favorable to the estate or to the insane person is not barred since the rule is designed to protect
the interest of the estate of the deceased or insane person.

‣ In one old case, an oral testimony to prove a lesser claim than what might be warranted by the evidence was
allowed

WAIVER
‣ The survivorship disqualification rule is intended to benefit the estate of the deceased or the insane person, hence, this
protection may be waived by —

1. Failing to object to the testimony, or

2. Cross-examining the witness on the prohibited testimony or

3. Offering evidence to rebut the testimony.

‣ NOTE — If the decedent was guilty of fraud and this is established by independent evidence, then the privilege should
not apply.

MARTIAL DISQUALIFICATION RULE (SPOUSAL IMMUNITY)


NOTE: There are two independent codal provisions which cover marital disqualifications. The first is Sec. 22 of Rule 130
(Disqualification by reason of marriage) and the second is Sec. 24(a) of Rule 130 (Disqualification by reason of privileged
communication)

Section 22. Disqualification by reason of marriage. — During their marriage, neither the husband nor the wife may testify
for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse, except in a civil case by one against the other, or in a
criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latter's direct descendants or ascendants. (20a)

‣ RULE: DURING THEIR MARRIAGE, NEITHER THE HUSBAND NOR THE WIFE MAY TESTIFY FOR OR AGAINST THE OTHER

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‣ The marital disqualification rule, forbids the husband or the wife to testify for or against the other without the consent
of the affected spouse except in those cases authorized by the rule.

‣ EXCEPT —
1. Consent of the affected spouse

2. In a civil case by one against the other

3. In in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latter's direct descendants or
ascendants

4. Waiver or failure to object

5. The marital and domestic relations of the spouses are already strained

‣ RATIONALE — This rule is based on society’s intent to preserve the marriage relations and promote domestic peace. A
spouse testifying against the other creates an ugly sight inimical to society’s interests. The rule prohibiting a testimony in
favor of the spouse is intended to discourage the commission of perjury.

‣ Specific reasons for the rule —

1. There is identity of interests between husband and wife

2. If one were to testify for or against the other, there is a consequent danger of perjury

3. The policy of the law is to guard the security and confidences of private life, even at the risk of an occasional
failure of justice, and to prevent domestic disunion and unhappiness; and

4. Where there is want of domestic tranquility, there is danger of punishing one spouse through the hostile testimony
of the other

ELEMENTS OF THE MARTIAL DISQUALIFICATION RULE


1. COVERS ANY KIND OF TESTIMONY
‣ The prohibition extends not only to a testimony adverse to the spouse but also to a testimony in favor of the spouse.

‣ The testimony covered by the marital disqualification rule not only consists of utterances but also the production of
documents

2. COVERS BOTH CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CASES


‣ It also extends to both criminal and civil cases because the rule does not distinguish.

3. A SPOUSE MUST BE A PARTY TO THE CASE WHERE THE TESTIMONY IS TO BE GIVEN


‣ The rule applies whether or not the witness-spouse is a party to the case but the other spouse must be a party.

‣ That the other spouse must be a party is evident from the phrase “neither the husband nor the wife may testify for or
against the other”

4. PARTIES MUST BE VALIDLY MARRIED AT THE TIME THE WITNESS-SPOUSE IS TO GIVE TESTIMONY
‣ In order that the husband or wife may claim the privilege, it is essential that they be validly married. If they are not,
there is no privilege

‣ Note that Sec. 22 of Rule 130 requires not only a valid marriage but the existence of that valid marriage at the moment
the witness-spouse gives the testimony.

‣ The prohibited testimony is one that is given or offered during the existence of the marriage. Sec. 22 explicitly refers to
a testimony “During their marriage...” Hence, the rule does not prohibit a testimony for or against the other after the
marriage is dissolved.

‣ When the marriage is dissolved on the grounds provided for by law like annulment or declaration of nullity, the rule can
no longer be invoked. One may now testify for or against the other despite an objection interposed by the latter
because there is no more marriage to speak of.

‣ If the testimony for or against the other spouse is offered during the existence of the marriage, it does not matter if the
facts subject of the testimony occurred or came to the knowledge of the witness-spouse before the marriage. The
affected spouse may still invoke the rule by objecting to the testimony as long as it is offered during the marriage.
Nothing in the tenor of the rule allows a contrary view.

‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — Before the marriage of W to H, she witnessed the murder of X by H but she never reported
what she witnessed to the authorities. A year after the murder, H and W married. Barely six months after the marriage,
W became a battered wife and to get even with H, she decided to report the murder to the police, (a) May she testify
against H over the latter’s objection even if the murder took place before the marriage? Answer: She cannot testify
over the objection of H. The situation is covered by the marital disqualification rule, (b) Suppose a year after the
marriage, the marriage is annulled, may W now testify despite the objection of H? Answer: She can now testify after

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the marriage is annulled. The prohibition no longer applies since the testimony is to be offered after, not during the
marriage.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE MARITAL DISQUALIFICATION RULE


1. CONSENT OF THE AFFECTED SPOUSE
2. IN A CIVIL CASE BY ONE SPOUSE AGAINST THE OTHER
‣ In order for a spouse to be allowed to testify against the other in a civil case, the case must be a “civil case by one
against the other.”

‣ This contemplates a situation where one spouse is a plaintiff or petitioner and the other spouse is a defendant or
respondent.

‣ Where the civil case is between a spouse and the direct descendants or ascendants of the other, the marital
disqualification rule still applies.

‣ Thus, if the wife sues the father of her husband for collection of a loan, the husband may be barred from testifying
against the wife upon the objection of the latter. This is because the civil case is not by one spouse against the other
but between a spouse and the parent of the other.

‣ Example: In a suit for annulment of marriage, each spouse can testify against each other.
3. IN A CRIMINAL CASE FOR A CRIME COMMITTED BY ONE AGAINST THE OTHER, OR THE LATTER’S DIRECT DESCENDANTS OR
ASCENDANTS
‣ The rule is different in a criminal case. In a criminal case, the privilege of one to testify against the other is not confined
to crimes committed by one against the other, but covers crimes committed by one against the direct descendants or
ascendants of the latter like the latter’s children or parents.

‣ However, crimes committed against a spouse’s collateral relatives like uncles, aunties, cousins or nephews and
nieces are not covered by the exception because they are neither direct descendants nor ascendants.

‣ Note that the phrase “or the latter’s direct descendants or ascendants” did not appear in the old rules. Sec. 19(c) of
the then Rule 130 only mentioned two exceptions: (a) in a civil case by one against the other; or (b) in a criminal case
for a crime committed by one against the other.

‣ The current rule has been harmonized with the Supreme Court ruling in Ordofio v. Daquigan allowing the wife to testify
against her husband who was accused of raping his daughter. Here, the Court concluded that a rape perpetrated by
the father against his daughter is a crime committed by him against his wife.

‣ In Ordofio, the Court ruled that the correct rule is the one laid down in Cargill v. Stat: “The rule that the injury must
amount to a physical wrong upon the person is too narrow. The better rule is that, when an offense directly attacks
or directly and vitally impairs the conjugal relations, it comes within the exception to the statute...”
‣ Example: If the wife sues the husband for fraudulently embezzling the paraphernal funds of the former, the reason for
the prohibition in the rule ceases. The wife can now testify against the husband. Also, if the wife is sued for adultery,
the husband cannot be barred from testifying against the wife. The same rule applies when the husband is sued by the
wife for bigamy.
‣ May a spouse testify in a trial where the other spouse is a co-accused?
‣ YES, but the testimony of the wife in reference to her husband must be disregarded since the husband timely
objected thereto under the marital disqualification rule. The disqualification is between husband and wife, but the
rule does not preclude the wife from testifying when it involves other parties or accused. Hence, the wife could
testify in the murder case against the brothers who were jointly tried with her husband. However, that the
testimony cannot be used against accused-appellant directly or through the guise of taking judicial notice of the
proceedings in the murder case without violating the marital disqualification rule. “What cannot be done directly
cannot be done indirectly. (People v. Quidato, Jr.)
4. WAIVER OR FAILURE TO OBJECT
‣ The testimony is prohibited only over the objection of the affected spouse or the spouse against whom the testimony
is offered.

‣ It is the latter spouse who has the right to object to the competency of the spouse-witness.

‣ It goes without saying that the testimony is admissible where no objection is interposed by the spouse who has the
right to invoke the prohibition.

‣ The benefit of the rule may be waived and it may be done so impliedly or expressly. The objection to the competency
of the spouse must be made when he or she is first offered as a witness.

‣ Objections to the competency of a husband or wife to testify in a criminal prosecution against the other may be
waived as in the case of the other witnesses generally. Thus, the accused waives his or her privilege by calling the

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other spouse as a witness for him or her, thereby making the spouse subject to cross- examination in the usual
manner. It is also true that objection to the spouse's competency must be made when he or she is first offered as a
witness, and that the incompetency may be waived by the failure of the accused to make timely objection to the
admission of the spouse's testimony, although knowing of such incompetency, and the testimony admitted, especially
if the accused has assented to the admission, either expressly or impliedly (People vs Francisco 1947)

5. THE MARITAL AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS OF THE SPOUSES ARE ALREADY STRAINED
‣ This is because, the rationale for the rule has already disappeared
‣ A testimony under such a situation would still technically be a testimony “during their marriage.” This literal
construction of the rule has, however, been rejected by the Supreme Court.
‣ SEE — Alvarez vs Ramirez, G.R. No. 143439, October 14, 2005 citing People vs Francisco, G.R. No. L-568, July
16, 1947
‣ Like all other general rules, the marital disqualification rule has its own exceptions, both in civil actions between
the spouses and in criminal cases for offenses committed by one against the other. Like the rule itself, the
exceptions are backed by sound reasons which, in the excepted cases, outweigh those in support of the general
rule. For instance. where the marital and domestic relations are so strained that there is no more harmony to
be preserved nor peace and tranquility which may be disturbed, the reason based upon such harmony and
tranquility fails. In such a case, identity of interests disappears and the consequent danger of perjury based on
that identity is non-existent. Likewise. in such a situation, the security and confidences of private life, which the
law aims at protecting, will be nothing but ideals, which through their absence. merely leave a void in the unhappy
home. When the marital and domestic relations between her and the accused-husband have become so strained
that there is no more harmony, peace or tranquility to be preserved. The Supreme Court has held that in such a
case, identity is non-existent. In such a situation. the security and confidences of private life which the law aims to
protect are nothing but ideals which through their absence, merely leave a void in the unhappy home. It should be
stressed that as shown by the records, prior to the commission of the offense, the relationship between petitioner
and his wife was already strained. In fact, they were separated de facto almost six months before the incident.
Indeed, the evidence and facts presented reveal that the preservation of the marriage between petitioner and
Esperanza is no longer an interest the State aims to protect.
‣ However, as all other general rules, this one has its own exceptions, both in civil actions between the spouses and
in criminal cases for offenses committed by one against the other. Like the rule itself, the exceptions are backed by
sound reasons which, in the excepted cases, outweigh those in support of the general rule. For instance, where
the marital and domestic relations are so strained that there is no more harmony to be preserved nor peace
and tranquility which may be disturbed, the reason based upon such harmony and tranquility fails. In such a
case identity of interests disappears and the consequent danger of perjury based on that identity is
nonexistent. Likewise, in such a situation, the security and confidences of private life which the law aims at
protecting will be nothing but ideals which, through their absence, merely leave a void in the unhappy home.

MARITAL PRIVILEGE

Section 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. — The following persons cannot testify as to matters
learned in confidence in the following cases:
(a) The husband or the wife, during or after the marriage, cannot be examined without the consent of the other as to any
communication received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage except in a civil case by one against
the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latter's direct descendants or
ascendants;

‣ RULE: THE HUSBAND OR THE WIFE CANNOT BE EXAMINED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE OTHER AS TO ANY
COMMUNICATION RECEIVED IN CONFIDENCE BY ONE FROM THE OTHER DURING THE MARRIAGE.

‣ Under Sec. 24 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, there are certain persons who cannot testify as to matters learned in
confidence. Among those subject to the rule are legitimate spouses.

‣ RATIONALE — The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by making it privileged.
Neither may be examined without the consent of the other as to any communication received in confidence by one
from the other during the marriage, save for specified exceptions. But one thing is freedom of communication; quite
another is a compulsion for each one to share what one knows with the other and this has nothing to do with the duty
of fidelity that each owes to the other

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REQUISITES FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE MARITAL PRIVILEGE RULE
1. THERE MUST BE A VALID MARRIAGE BETWEEN THE HUSBAND AND WIFE
2. THERE IS A COMMUNICATION RECEIVED IN CONFIDENCE BY ONE FROM THE OTHER; AND
‣ Note that it is required that the information received in confidence during the marriage be “by one from the other.” The
implication is clear: confidential information received from a third person is not covered by the privilege.

‣ For the information to be confidential, it must be made during and by reason of the marital relations and is intended
not to be shared with others. Without such intention, common reason suggests that the information is not confidential

‣ Communications in private between husband and wife are presumed to be confidential (Blau v. United States)
‣ A variety of factors however, may serve to rebut a claim that confidentiality was intended. In particular, if a third
person (other than a child of the family) is present with the knowledge of the communicating spouse, this stretches
the web of confidence beyond the marital pair, and the communication is unprivileged (Pereira v. US)
‣ If children of the family are present, this likewise deprives the conversation of protection unless the children are too
young to understand what is said (Freeman v. Freeman)

3. THE CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION WAS RECEIVED DURING THE MARRIAGE


‣ Since the application of the rule requires a confidential information received by one spouse from the other during the
marriage, information acquired by a spouse before the marriage even if received confidentially will not fall squarely
with the provisions of Sec. 24(a) of Rule 130.

‣ However, divulging the same may be objected to under Sec. 22 of Rule 130 upon proper objection as long as the
information is sought to be revealed during the marriage through a testimony for or against the affected spouse.

‣ The tenor of Sec. 22 of Rule 130 does not distinguish as to when the information subject of the testimony was
acquired and thus, may cover matters which occurred or to adverse information acquired prior to the marriage. It
is sufficient that the witness-spouse testifies during the marriage. It is unlike Sec. 24(a) which explicitly requires
that the confidential information be received during the marriage.

EXCEPTIONS THE MARITAL PRIVILEGE RULE


‣ Same exceptions as the Marital Disqualification Rule, except when the marital and domestic relations of the spouses are
already strained, since the underlying purpose is different
1. Consent of the affected spouse
2. In a civil case by one against the other, or
3. In a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latter's direct descendants or
ascendants
4. Waiver
‣ The marital privilege rule, being a rule of evidence, may be waived by failure of the claimant to object timely to its
presentation or by any conduct that may be construed as implied consent

‣ NOTE —the prerogative to object to a confidential communication between spouses is vested upon the
spouses themselves, particularly the communicating spouse, not a third person. This is clear from the provision:
“cannot be examined without the consent of the other.

DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE MARITAL DISQUALIFICATION RULE AND MARITAL PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION RULE

MARITAL DISQUALIFICATION RULE MARITAL PRIVILEGE RULE

Provision Sec. 22 of Rule 130 Sec. 24(a) of Rule 130

Applicatio Has reference to the prohibition of testimony during the Has reference to confidential
n of the subsistence of the marriage. It does not refer to confidential communications received by one spouse
Rule communications between the spouses. It will not come into play from the other during the marriage.
when the fact pattern in a problem makes reference to
confidential communications between husband and wife during Applies only to testimonies of a confidential
the marriage. Sec. 24(a) of Rule 130 will instead apply. nature received by one spouse from the
BUT — communications that are not intended to be confidential other during the marriage and obviously
because they were uttered in the presence of third parties are does not include acts merely observed by
not deemed confidential even when made during the marriage, the spouse unless such acts are intended
but Sec. 22 could apply instead of Sec. 24(a) when used as as a means of conveying confidential
parts of a testimony for or against the party-spouse. communication by one to the other.

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MARITAL DISQUALIFICATION RULE MARITAL PRIVILEGE RULE

Status of This rule can no longer be invoked once the marriage is When this rule applies, the spouse affected
the dissolved. It may be asserted only during the marriage. by the disclosure of the information or
Marriage testimony may object even after the
dissolution of the marriage. The privilege
does not cease just because the marriage
has ended.

Affected Requires that the spouse for or against whom the testimony is Applies regardless of whether the spouses
spouse as offered is a party to the action. A spouse must be a party to the are parties or not.
a party to action.
the action

Prohibitio The prohibition is a testimony for or against the other. What is prohibited here is the examination
n of a spouse as to matters received in
confidence by one from the other during
the marriage.

Exception 1. Consent of the affected spouse


1. Consent of the affected spouse

s
2. In a civil case by one against the other, or
2. In a civil case by one against the
other, or

3. In a criminal case for a crime committed by one against


the other or the latter's direct descendants or 3. In a criminal case for a crime
ascendants
committed by one against the other
or the latter's direct descendants or
4. Waiver or failure to object

ascendants

5. The marital and domestic relations of the spouses are


4. Waiver or failure to object
already strained

ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE

Section 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. — The following persons cannot testify as to matters
learned in confidence in the following cases:
(b) An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to
him, or his advice given thereon in the course of, or with a view to, professional employment, nor can an attorney's
secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of the client and his employer, concerning any
fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in such capacity;

RATIONALE
‣ A lawyer is bound to comply with Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states that, “a lawyer shall
preserve the confidences and secrets of his client even after the attorney-client relation is terminated.”

‣ The reason for the prohibition is found in the relation of attorney and client, which is one of trust and confidence of the
highest degree. A lawyer becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his client’s case. He learns from his client the
weak points of the action as well as the strong ones. Such knowledge must be considered sacred and guarded with care
(Mercado vs Vitriolo)
‣ In engaging the services of an attorney, the client reposes on him special powers of trust and confidence. Their
relationship is strictly personal and highly confidential and fiduciary. The relation is of such delicate, exacting and
confidential nature that is required by necessity and public interest. Only by such confidentiality and protection will a
person be encouraged to repose his confidence in an attorney. The hypothesis is that abstinence from seeking legal
advice in a good cause is an evil which is fatal to the administration of justice. Thus, the preservation and protection of
that relation will encourage a client to entrust his legal problems to an attorney, which is of paramount importance to the
administration of justice. One rule adopted to serve this purpose is the attorney-client privilege: an attorney is to keep
inviolate his client’s secrets or confidence and not to abuse them. Thus, the duty of a lawyer to preserve his client’s
secrets and confidence outlasts the termination of the attorney-client relationship, and continues even after the client’s
death. It is the glory of the legal profession that its fidelity to its client can be depended on, and that a man may safely go
to a lawyer and converse with him upon his rights or supposed rights in any litigation with absolute assurance that the
lawyer’s tongue is tied from ever disclosing it. With full disclosure of the facts of the case by the client to his attorney,

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adequate legal representation will result in the ascertainment and enforcement of rights or the prosecution or defense of
the client’s cause. (Mercado vs Vitriolo)

REQUISITES FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE:


1. THERE MUST BE A COMMUNICATION MADE BY THE CLIENT TO THE ATTORNEY, OR AN ADVICE GIVEN BY THE ATTORNEY TO HIS
CLIENT
‣ The communication may be oral or written but is deemed to extend to other forms of conduct like physical
demonstration as long as they are intended to be confidential. It is likewise submitted that the communication
between a client and his lawyer is not deemed lacking in confidentiality solely because the communication is
transmitted by facsimile, cellular telephone, or other electronic means.

2. THE COMMUNICATION OR ADVICE MUST BE GIVEN IN CONFIDENCE


‣ The mere relation of attorney and client does not raise a presumption of confidentiality. The client must intend
the communication to be confidential.

‣ A confidential communication refers to information transmitted by voluntary act of disclosure between attorney and
client in confidence and by means which, so far as the client is aware, discloses the information to no third person
other than one reasonably necessary for the transmission of the in- formation or the accomplishment of the purpose
for which it was given.

‣ Before the statements of the client and the advice of the attorney be deemed as privileged, the same should
have been intended to be confidential. This confidentiality is the essence of the privilege.
‣ The communications between lawyer and client do not become confidential merely from the fact that they were made
to each other.

‣ The matters communicated to the attorney are evidently not intended to be confidential when they were made to the
lawyer but in the presence of third persons who neither stand in a position of peculiar confidence to the client or are
not agents of the attorney. If the communications made by the client to his attorney were also made to third persons,
the intention of secrecy does not appear (McCormick on Evidence).
‣ There can be no attorney-client privilege where the information is given with the expectation that it will be revealed to
others (In re Grand Jury Proceeding)

3. THE COMMUNICATION OR ADVICE MUST BE GIVEN EITHER IN THE COURSE OF THE PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT OR WITH A
VIEW TO PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT

‣ The present rules do not require a perfected attorney-client relationship for the privilege to exist. The communications
between the attorney and the client no longer need to be in the course of an actual professional employment.

‣ It is enough that the communication or advice be “with a view to” professional employment.

‣ Hence, the privilege is extended to communications made for the purpose of securing the services of counsel even if
the counsel later refuses the professional relationship.

‣ The insertion of the clause “with a view to” includes preliminary negotiations within the privilege. Without the clause, it
would seem extremely risky to consult an attorney for the first time and communicate to him certain sensitive
information without the protection of confidentiality.

‣ The reason for this is to make the prospective client free to discuss whatever he wishes with the lawyer without fear
that what he tells the lawyer will be divulged or used against him, and for the lawyer to be equally free to obtain
information from the prospective client.

‣ The privilege of a client to keep communications to his attorney confidential is predicated upon the client’s belief that
he is consulting a lawyer in that capacity and has manifested his intention to seek professional legal advice

‣ There is authority to support the theory that it is enough if he reasonably believes that the person consulted is a
lawyer, although in fact he is not as in the case of a detective pretending to be a lawyer (People v. Barker)
‣ For the privilege to exist, payment of a fee is not essential

‣ Where a person consults an attorney, not as a lawyer, but merely as a friend, or a participant in a business transaction,
the consultation would not be one made in the course of a professional employment or with a view to professional
employment as required by Sec. 24(b), Rule 130, Rules of Court, and if proven to be so, would not be within the ambit
of the privilege

‣ Accordingly, the privilege is not confined to communications regarding actual pending cases. The communications
may refer to anticipated litigations or may not refer to any litigation at all. It is sufficient that the statements be made in
the course of legitimate professional relationship between the attorney and the client

‣ The legal advice must be sought from the attorney in his professional capacity. The communication made by a client
to his attorney must not be intended for mere information, but for the purpose of seeking legal advice from his

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attorney as to his rights or obligations. The communication must have been transmitted by a client to his attorney for
the purpose of seeking legal advice.

‣ If the client seeks an accounting service or business or personal assistance, and not legal advice, the privilege does
not attach to a communication disclosed for such purpose” (Mercado v. Vitriolo)

ELEMENTS OF THE RULE ON ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE:


1. ANY COMMUNICATION MADE BY THE CLIENT AND ADVICE GIVEN BY THE ATTORNEY ARE CONFIDENTIAL, BUT IT DOES NOT
COVER:

a. Communications for the commission of a ongoing or future crime or tort


‣ The privilege does not extend to communications where the client’s purpose is the furtherance of a future intended
crime or fraud (Wigmore) or for the purpose of committing a crime or a tort (U.S. v. Wilson), or those made in
furtherance of illicit activity (U.S. v. Aucoin).
‣ Accordingly, although communications made when used to further crimes are not privileged, the discussion of the
communications in confidence with the lawyer after the crime has been committed may still be privileged even
though the earlier ones were not

b. The “fact" of consultation or the “identity” of the client


‣ The traditional and still applicable rule is that an inquiry into the fact of consultation or employment is not
privileged. Even the identity of the client, as well as that of the lawyer, is not privileged (Behrens v. Hironimus)
‣ As a matter of public policy, a clients identity should not be shrouded in mystery. Under this premise, the general
rule in our jurisdiction as well as in the United States is that a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to
divulge the name or identity of his client.The reasons advanced for the general rule are well established. First, the
court has a right to know that the client whose privileged information is sought to be protected is flesh and blood.
Second, the privilege begins to exist only after the attorney-client relationship has been established. The attorney-
client privilege does not attach until there is a client. Third, the privilege generally pertains to the subject matter of
the relationship. Finally, due process considerations require that the opposing party should, as a general rule,
know his adversary. A party suing or sued is entitled to know who his opponent is. He cannot be obliged to grope
in the dark against unknown forces (Regala vs Sandiganbayan 1996)
‣ EXCEPT: In these case, the “fact” of consultation or the “identity” of the client is considered privileged:
i. Under the so- called “last link doctrine,” non-privileged information, such as the identity of the client, is
protected if the revelation of such information would necessarily reveal privileged information (In re Grand
Jury Proceedings)
ii. When the clients name itself has an independent significance, such that disclosure would then reveal client
confidences, such as in the following instances: (Regala vs Sandiganbayan 1996)
a) Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the clients name would
implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the lawyers advice.

b) Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability, his identity is privileged.

c) Where the governments lawyers have no case against an attorneys client unless, by revealing the clients
name, the said name would furnish the only link that would form the chain of testimony necessary to
convict an individual of a crime, the clients name is privileged.

d) Where the nature of the attorney-client relationship has been previously disclosed and it is the identity
which is intended to be confidential, the identity of the client has been held to be privileged, since such
revelation would otherwise result in disclosure of the entire transaction
2. THE PRIVILEGE EXTENDS TO THE ATTORNEY AND HIS EMPLOYEES
‣ The statements of the client need not be made to the attorney in person.

‣ Those made to the attorney’s secretary, clerk or stenographer for transmission to the attorney for the purpose of the
professional relationship, or with a view to such relationship, or those knowledge acquired by such employees in such
capacity are covered by the privilege.

‣ Like the attorney, their employer, these persons cannot be examined as to the communication made by the
client or the advice given by the attorney without the client’s consent and also the employer’s consent
‣ In the case of persons overhearing without the knowledge of the client, it seems that the more reasonable view is one
which would protect the client against disclosure, unless he has failed to use ordinary precautions against
overhearing, but the cases in American jurisprudence have permitted the eavesdropper to speak (Van Horn v.
Commonwealth)
3. THE PRIVILEGE SURVIVES THE DEATH OF THE CLIENT

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‣ The protection of the privilege will generally survive the death of the client (Denver Tramway Co. v. Owens)

‣ But, there had been cases where the privilege was not made to apply in cases involving the validity or interpretation of
the client’s will. Where there is an attack on the validity of the will, communications made to the attorney on the
drawing of the will, while confidential during the lifetime of the client, are not intended to require secrecy after his
death (Wigmore)

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE ON ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE


1. CONSENT OF THE CLIENT
‣ In relation to the attorney, the privilege is owned by the client. It is he who can invoke the privilege. As a rule, every
communication arising from the professional relationship cannot be disclosed without his consent.

‣ The privilege is personal and it belongs to the client. If the client waives the privilege, no one else including the
attorney can invoke it

‣ For example, if the client is asked on cross-examination of his communications to his lawyer and reveals the same,
there would be a waiver of the confidentiality of the communication.

‣ There would also be a waiver if the client does not object to his attorney’s testimony on the communication.

2. IN SUITS BETWEEN THE ATTORNEY AND THE CLIENT


‣ The weight of authority supports the view that when the client and attorney become embroiled in a controversy
between themselves, as in an action filed for payment of attorney’s fees or for damages against the negligence of the
attorney, the privilege is removed from the attorney’s lips (Sokol v. Mortimer)
‣ This rule, however, should be made to apply only where the suit is between the attorney and his client. The
communication would still be privileged where the suit is by or against a third party (State v. Markey)

WORK-PRODUCT DOCTRINE
‣ Not in the rules yet, but recognized in other jurisdictions (it is similar to the deliberative process privilege)
‣ RULE — A PERSON IS IMMUNE FROM DISCLOSING MATERIALS PREPARED IN ANTICIPATION OF LITIGATION
‣ EXCEPT — IF THERE IS A SHOWING OF “SUBSTANTIAL NEED” AND “UNDUE HARDSHIP” IN OBTAINING THE SUBSTANTIAL
EVIDENCE OF THE MATERIALS BY OTHER MEANS.

‣ The work-product doctrine is broader than the attorney-client privilege. Its production extends to materials that are not
based on confidential communications from the client. It covers even materials prepared by non-lawyers when they are
acting on behalf of the party or lawyer in preparing for litigation. Moreover, while the client is the exclusive holder of the
attorney-client privilege, the attorney has the independent right to claim protection for work product, although the
attorney cannot assert immunity against the client or contrary to the client’s interest. But, in other respects, the attorney-
client privilege provides more protection than the work-product doctrine. While the privilege is absolute, the work product
doctrine provides only a qualified immunity, which in the case of ordinary work product can be overcome by a showing of
“substantial need” and “undue hardship” in obtaining the substantial evidence of the materials by other means. The work
product doctrine protects only material prepared in anticipation of litigation, whereas the privilege applies to confidential
communications relating to any type of legal services. The work-product doctrine operates primarily as a limitation on
pre-trial discovery, whereas the attorney-client privilege applies more broadly at all states of legal proceedings. (Mueller
vs Kirkpatrick)
‣ The Work Product Doctrine is essential that a lawyer work with a certain degree of privacy, free from unnecessary
intrusion by opposing parties and their counsel. Proper preparation of a client's case demands that he assemble
information, sift what he considers to be the relevant go from the irrelevant facts, prepare his legal theories and plan his
strategy without undue and needless interference.... This work is reflected of course, be in interviews, statements,
memoranda, etc...Were such materials open to opposing counsel on mere demand, much of what is now put down in
writing would remain unwritten. An attorney's thoughts, heretofore inviolate, would not be his own. The effect on the legal
profession would be demoralizing. And the interests of the clients and the cause of justice would be poorly served.
(Hickman vs Taylor 1947)

PHYSICIAN-PATIENT PRIVILEGE

Section 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. — The following persons cannot testify as to matters
learned in confidence in the following cases:
(c) A person authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics cannot in a civil case, without the consent of the
patient, be examined as to any advice or treatment given by him or any information which he may have acquired in

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attending such patient in a professional capacity, which information was necessary to enable him to act in capacity,
and which would blacken the reputation of the patient;

RATIONALE
‣ The rationale traditionally mentioned to justify the privilege is to encourage the patient to freely disclose all the matters
which may aid in the diagnosis in the treatment of a disease or an injury. For this purpose, it is necessary to shield the
patient from embarrassing details concerning his condition

‣ Accordingly, this privilege protects the interest of the patient. It is designed to promote health, not truth. It encourages
free disclosure in the sickroom by preventing disclosure in the courtroom. The patient is the person to be encouraged and
he is the holder of the privilege

REQUISITES FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE PHYSICIAN-PATIENT PRIVILEGE:


1. A PERSON AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE, SURGERY OR OBSTETRICS ATTENDS TO A PATIENT BY GIVING ADVICE OR
TREATMENT
‣ The person against whom the privilege is claimed must be a person duly authorized to practice medicine, surgery or
obstetrics.

‣ There must be a relationship of physician and patient which existed between the person claiming the privilege or his
legal representative and the physician

2. THE PHYSICIAN ACTS IN HIS “PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY”


‣ The physician may be said to be acting in a professional capacity when he attends to the patient for either curative or
preventive treatment
‣ Hence, it is submitted that results of autopsies may not be deemed covered by the privilege because autopsies
are not intended for treatment

‣ Also, it is opined that the rule does NOT require that the relationship between the physician and the patient be a result
of a contractual relationship. It could be the result of a quasi-contractual relationship as when the patient is seriously ill
and the physician treats him even if he is not in a condition to give his consent as in the situation described in Art.
2167 of the NCC

ELEMENTS OF THE RULE ON PHYSICIAN-PATIENT PRIVILEGE:


1. PRIVILEGE ONLY APPLIES TO A CIVIL CASE, WHETHER THE PATIENT IS A PARTY OR NOT
‣ The phraseology of the rule implies that the privilege cannot be claimed in a criminal case presumably because the
interest of the public in criminal prosecution should be deemed more important than the secrecy of the
communication.

‣ The privilege does not apply to shield the commission of a crime or when the purpose is an unlawful one as to obtain
narcotics or prohibited drugs in violation of law because there is no treatment involved.

‣ Similarly, where the purpose is to ask a physician to have one’s appearance disguised by cosmetic or plastic surgery
to escape apprehension, the privilege does not apply.

‣ Common reason suggests that all these cases be deemed outside the operation of the privilege because the purpose
is not for treatment or prevention of any disease or injury.

2. THE PRIVILEGE COVERS ANY ADVICE, TREATMENT OR INFORMATION WHICH THE PHYSICIAN MAY HAVE ACQUIRED IN
ATTENDING TO THE PATIENT IN HIS PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY, AND WAS NECESSARY OR HELPFUL TO ENABLE HIM TO ACT IN
THAT CAPACITY; AND WHICH WOULD TEND TO BLACKEN THE REPUTATION OF THE PATIENT.

‣ Specifically, the information which cannot be disclosed refers to:

1. Any advice given to the client

2. Any treatment given to the client

3. Any information acquired in attending to such patient

‣ Provided that the advice, treatment or information was:

1. Made or acquired in a professional capacity and


2. Was necessary or helpful to enable him to act in that capacity; and
3. Which would tend to blacken the reputation of the patient

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3. THE PRIVILEGE SURVIVES THE DEATH OF THE PATIENT
‣ Death does not permit the living to impair the deceased’s name by disclosing communications held confidential by
law

WAIVER
‣ The privilege may be waived by the patient.

‣ The waiver may be made expressly or impliedly.

‣ The waiver may be by a contract as in medical or life insurance. When there is disclosure by the patient of the
information, there is necessarily, a waiver. When the patient answers questions on matters which are supposedly
privileged on cross-examination, the waiver also exists.

‣ There could also be a waiver by operation of law or the rules.

‣ Under Rule 28 of the Rules of Court, the court in which the action is pending may, in its discretion, order a party to
submit to a physical or mental examination (Sec. 1, Rule 28). This happens when the mental or physical condition of a
party is in dispute. The party examined may request a report of the examination. By doing so, he waives any
privilege he may have in that action regarding the testimony of every other person who has examined him in
respect of the same examination (Sec. 4, Rule 28)

PSYCHOLOGISTS OR PSYCHOMETRICIAN PRIVILEGE

RA 10029 — PHILIPPINE PSYCHOLOGY ACT of 2009


Section 30. Rights to Privilege Communication for Psychologists and Psychometricians. - A psychologists or
psychometrician cannot, without the consent of the client/patient, be examined on any communication or information
disclosed and/or acquired in the course of giving psychological services to such client. The protection accorded herein
shall extend to all pertinent records and shall be available to the secretary, clerk or other staff of the licensed psychologist
or psychometrician. Any evidence obtained in violation of this provision shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding.

NOTE — Read this with the Physician-Patient privilege. This new one provided by law is much more broader, (1) there is no
requirement that it must tend to blacken the reputation of the patient and (2) it is not limited to Civil Cases.

PRIEST/MINISTER-PENITENT PRIVILEGE

Section 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. — The following persons cannot testify as to matters
learned in confidence in the following cases:
(d) A minister or priest cannot, without the consent of the person making the confession, be examined as to any
confession made to or any advice given by him in his professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by
the church to which the minister or priest belongs;

REQUISITES FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE PRIEST/MINISTER-PENITENT PRIVILEGE


1. A PERSON GIVES A CONFESSION TO A MINISTER OR PRIEST, OR THE LATTER GIVES ADVICE
‣ The person making the confession holds the privilege, and the priest or minister hearing the confession in his
professional capacity is prohibited from making a disclosure of the confession without the consent of the person
confessing.

‣ The privilege also extends not only to a confession made by the penitent but also to any advice given by the minister
or priest.

2. CONFESSION OR ADVICE MUST BE GIVEN OR MADE IN THE MINISTER’S “PROFESSIONAL CHARACTER”, OR IN HIS “SPIRITUAL”
CAPACITY.

‣ Not every communication made to a minister or priest is privileged.

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‣ The communication must be made pursuant to confessions of sins (Wigmore). As clearly provided in the rule, the
advice given as a result of the confession, must be made in the minister’s “professional character”, or in his “spiritual”
capacity.

‣ Accordingly, where the penitent discussed business arrangements with the priest, the privilege does not apply (U.S. v.
Gordon)
‣ RIGUERA — The confession or advice must be made with intent to obtain penance of sins and NOT merely for
spiritual counselling.

3. THE CONFESSION AND THE ADVICE MUST BE MADE OR GIVEN PURSUANT TO THE COURSE OF DISCIPLINE OF THE
DENOMINATION OR SECT TO WHICH THE MINISTER OR PRIEST BELONGS.

‣ The confession and the advice must be made or given pursuant to the course of discipline of the denomination or sect
to which the minister or priest belongs.

‣ Thus, the minister or priest must be duly ordained or consecrated by his sect.

PUBLIC OFFICERS PRIVILEGE

Section 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. — The following persons cannot testify as to matters
learned in confidence in the following cases:
(e) A public officer cannot be examined during his term of office or afterwards, as to communications made to him in
official confidence, when the court finds that the public interest would suffer by the disclosure.

RA 6713: Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees
Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. - In addition to acts and omissions of public officials and employees now
prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any
public official and employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
(c) Disclosure and/or misuse of confidential information. - Public officials and employees shall not use or divulge,
confidential or classified information officially known to them by reason of their office and not made available to the
public, either:
(1) To further their private interests, or give undue advantage to anyone; or
(2) To prejudice the public interest.

‣ RULE: COMMUNICATIONS MADE TO A PUBLIC OFFICER IN OFFICIAL CONFIDENCE ARE PRIVILEGED WHEN THE COURT FINDS
THAT THE DISCLOSURE WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE PUBLIC INTEREST.

‣ It is the interest of the public that is sought to be protected by the rule.

‣ Hence, the disclosure or non- disclosure is not dependent on the will of the officer but on the determination by a
competent court. The privilege may be invoked not only during the term of office of the public officer but also
afterwards

‣ There is also authority supporting the theory that protection must be given to the identity of individuals who provide
information to the government. Effective law enforcement often results from information provided by citizens who do
not wish to publicly involve themselves (U.S. v. Straughter)
‣ Also, The Ethical Standards Act further prohibits public officials and employees from using or divulging
confidential or classified information officially known to them by reason of their office and not made available to
the public.

EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE

Memorandum Circular No. 151 (2008)


Section 3. Executive officials and employees can no longer invoke Executive Order No. 464 and Memorandum Circular
No. 108 as an excuse for not attending legislative inquiries in aid of legislation.

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Section 4. Executive officials and employees are advised to follow and abide by the Constitution, existing laws and
jurisprudence, including, among others, “Senate vs. Ermita, g.r. No. 169777, April 20, 2006,” when they are invited to
legislative inquiries in aid of legislation.

ELEMENTS OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE:


1. IT IS THE POWER OF THE GOVERNMENT TO WITHHOLD MILITARY, DIPLOMATIC AND OTHER NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS
FROM THE PUBLIC, THE COURTS, AND THE CONGRESS.

‣ There are certain types of information which the government may withhold from the public like military, diplomatic and
national security secrets. Alluding to foreign jurisprudence, it was ruled that the President and those who assist him
must be free to explore alternatives in the process of shaping policies and making decisions and to do so in a way
many would be unwilling to express except privately. (Almonte v. Vasquez, 1995)
‣ The privilege covers:

1. Military;
2. Diplomatic; and,
3. Other national security matters, such as:
a. Presidential conversations, correspondences, and discussions in closed-door cabinet meetings
(Presidential Communications Privilege)
b. Deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are
formulated (Deliberative Process Privilege)
‣ This is an exception to the constitutional right to information and the power of inquiry of congress in aid of legislation

‣ The Constitution of the Philippines recognizes the right of the people to information on matters of public concern
and guarantees access to official records, documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or
decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, subject to such
limitations as may be provided by law (Sec. 7, Art. 3, 1987 Constitution)

‣ The rule on confidentiality based on executive privilege is fundamental to the operation of government and rooted in
the separation of powers under the Constitution. (Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita, 2006)
‣ Diplomatic negotiations enjoy a presumptive privilege against disclosure (AKBAYAN v. Aquino)
‣ While the constitutional right to information includes official information on on-going negotiations before a final
contract, such information does not cover recognized exceptions like privileged information, military and diplomatic
secrets and similar matters affecting national interest. These cannot be disclosed even if they constitute definite
propositions. (AKBAYAN v. Aquino)
‣ Elements of “presidential communications privilege” (Neri vs Senate):
1. The protected communications must relate to a “quintessential and non-delegable presidential power.”

2. The communication must be authored or “solicited and received” by a close advisor of the President or the
President himself. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in “operational proximity” with the President; and

3. The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be overcome by a showing of
adequate need, such that the information sought “likely contains important evidence” and by the unavailability of
the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority.
‣ Closely related to the “presidential communications” privilege is the deliberative process privilege recognized in the
United States, which covers documents reflecting advisory opinions, recommendations and deliberations comprising
part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated, Clearly, the privilege accorded to
diplomatic negotiations follows as a logical consequence from the privileged character of the deliberative process
(AKBAYAN v. Aquino)
‣ Information on inter-government exchanges prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements may be
subject to reasonable safeguards for the sake of national interest. (Chavez vs PCGG, 1998)
2. IT IS THE INFORMATION ITSELF THAT IS PRIVILEGED, NOT THE EXECUTIVE OFFICIALS THEMSELVES
‣ When Congress exercises its powers of inquiry, the department heads are not exempt by the mere fact that they are
department heads. Accordingly, only one executive official may be exempted from the power of inquiry of Congress —
the President upon whom executive power is vested and is beyond the reach of Congress except through the power
of impeachment. (Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita, 2006)
3. THERE MUST BE A FORMAL CLAIM OF THE PRIVILEGE WITH SPECIFIC BASIS GIVEN

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‣ Congress has the right to know why the executive considers the requested information privileged.” It does not suffice
to merely declare that the President, or an authorized representative, has determined that it is so. In the absence of a
specific basis for the claim, there is no way of determining whether it falls under one of the traditional privileges or
whether it should be respected. (Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita, 2006)
‣ The specific basis of the claim must be given for the courts to judge whether or not the claim for executive privilege is
valid or not

‣ For the claim of executive privilege to be invoked, there must be a formal claim of the privilege, lodged by the head of
the department which has control of the matter, and that a formal and proper claim of the privilege requires a “precise
and certain reason” for preserving confidentiality, but Congress must not require the executive to state the reasons for
the claim with such particularity as to compel the disclosure of the information which the privilege is meant to protect.
This is a matter of respect for a coordinate and co-equal department (Neri vs Senate)

EXCEPTION TO EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE


‣ INFORMATION COVERED BY EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE MAY BE DISCLOSED IF THERE IS A “SUFFICIENT SHOWING OF NEED”
‣ The standard to be employed in determining whether there is a sufficient interest in favor of disclosure is the strong
“sufficient showing of need” which must be shown whether that party is Congress or a private citizen. (AKBAYAN v.
Aquino)
‣ Information, even if confidential under executive privilege, must be disclosed if the right to information outweighs the
public interest of secrecy.

‣ When the government has claimed executive privilege, and it has established that the information is indeed covered
by the same, then the party demanding it, if it is to overcome the privilege, must show that the information is vital, not
simply for the satisfaction of its curiosity, but for its ability to effectively and reasonably participate in social, political,
and economic decision-making.
‣ Note that it is for the Courts to decide whether the information must be disclosed, based on the reasons and basis
given for the claim of executive privilege in relation to the circumstances

CONFIDENTIALITY OF CRIMINAL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT MATTERS

‣ Courts cannot inquired into to law enforcement matters, such as those relating to the apprehension, the prosecution
and the detention of criminals, prior to such arrest, detention and prosecution.

‣ Efforts at effective law enforcement would be seriously jeopardized by free public access to, for example, police
information regarding rescue operations, the whereabouts of fugitives, or leads on covert criminal activities. (Chavez
vs PCGG, 1998)

LEGISLATIVE PRIVILEGE

‣ Executive sessions of either house of Congress are confidential (Chavez vs PCGG, 1998)

JUDICIAL PRIVILEGE

A.M. No. 10-4-20-SC: The Internal Rules of the Supreme Court


RULE 10: COURT SESSIONS AND HEARINGS
Section 2. Confidentiality of court sessions. – Court sessions are executive in character, with only the Members of the
Court present. Court deliberations are confidential and shall not be disclosed to outside parties, except as may be
provided herein or as authorized by the Court.

‣ The internal deliberations of the Supreme Court are confidential (Chavez vs PCGG, 1998)
‣ PER CURIAM SUPREME COURT DECISION IN CONNECTION WITH THE LETTER OF THE HOUSE PROSECUTION PANEL TO
SUBPOENA JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT (IN RELATION TO CORONA IMPEACHMENT)

‣ To summarize these rules, the following are privileged documents or communications, and are NOT subject to
disclosure:

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1. Court actions such as the result of the raffle of cases and the actions taken by the Court on each case included in
the agenda of the Court’s session on acts done material to pending cases, except where a party litigant requests
information on the result of the raffle of the case, pursuant to Rule 7, Section 3 of the IRSC;

2. Court deliberations or the deliberations of the Members in court sessions on cases and matters pending before
the Court;

3. Court records which are “predecisional” and “deliberative” in nature, in particular, documents and other
communications which are part of or related to the deliberative process, i.e., notes, drafts, research papers,
internal discussions, internal memoranda, records of internal deliberations, and similar papers.

4. Confidential Information secured by justices, judges, court officials and employees in the course of their official
functions, mentioned in (2) and (3) above, are privileged even after their term of office.

5. Records of cases that are still pending for decision are privileged materials that cannot be disclosed, except only
for pleadings, orders and resolutions that have been made available by the court to the general public.

6. The principle of comity or inter-departmental courtesy demands that the highest officials of each department be
exempt from the compulsory processes of the other departments.

7. These privileges belong to the Supreme Court as an institution, not to any justice or judge in his or her individual
capacity. Since the Court is higher than the individual justices or judges, no sitting or retired justice or judge, not
even the Chief Justice, may claim exception without the consent of the Court.

RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION

1987 CONSTITUTION, ART. 3 — BILL OF RIGHTS


Section 17. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

‣ RULE — THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION CANNOT BE INVOKED AGAINST COMPULSION OF PRODUCING OBJECT AND
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE, IT ONLY APPLIES AGAINST TESTIMONIAL COMPULSION (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE)

‣ This is because is a prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion, to extort communications from him. It is
simply a prohibition against legal process to extract from the accused’s own lips, against his will, admission of his
guilt.

‣ It does not apply where the evidence sought to be excluded is not an incriminating statement but an object evidence.
It is not merely compulsion that is the kernel of the privilege, but testimonial compulsion.

‣ Remember that if the witness is the accused, he may totally refuse to take the stand. But, a mere witness cannot
altogether refuse to take the stand. Before he refuses to answer, he must wait for the incriminating question

‣ BUT — THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION CAN ALSO BE INVOKED AGAINST —


1. Acts requiring the use of intellect (such as compelling a persons to write) , those which are NOT purely
mechanical acts (such as compelling him to pee)
‣ SEE — Beltran vs Samson 50 Phil. 570 (1929)

‣ Writing is something more than moving the body, or the hand, or the fingers; writing is not a purely mechanical
act, because it requires the application of the intelligence and attention. For the purpose of the constitutional
privilege, there is a similarity between one who is compelled to produce a document, and one who is
compelled to furnish a specimen of his handwriting, for in both cases, the witness is required to furnish
evidence against himself. Here the witness is compelled to write and create, by means of the act of writing,
evidence which does not exist.

2. When the documentary evidence compelled to be produced is “testimonial” in character


‣ Such as a diary or personal journal
3. When the right against unreasonable searches and seizures is involved
‣ SEE — Dela Cruz vs People, G.R. No. 200748, 23 July 2014
‣ In this case, the accused police officer was arrested for extortion after an entrapment operation. He was
compelled to undergo a drug test by submitting his urine sample. The urine sample tested positive for drugs.
Accused was convicted of the crime of use of dangerous drugs under Section 15, Art. II of the Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act (R.A. 9165). He challenged the admissibility of the urine sample on the ground that his
drug testing violated his right against self-incrimination.

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‣ The court said that the urine sample was NOT properly admitted in evidence The drug testing violated the
accused‟s right against self-incrimination. We are aware of the prohibition against testimonial compulsion and
the allowable exceptions to such proscription. Cases where non-testimonial compulsion has been allowed
reveal, however, that the pieces of evidence obtained were all material to the principal cause of the arrest.
‣ In the instant case, we fail to see how a urine sample could be material to the charge of extortion. The drug test
in Section 15 of RA 9165 covers only those arrested for crimes under Art. II of RA 9165. Here the accused was
arrested for extortion not for dangerous drug use. It is thus erroneous to hold that the extraction of petitioner‟s
urine for purposes of drug testing was “merely a mechanical act, hence, falling outside the concept of a
custodial investigation.

‣ The constitutional right of an accused against self-incrimination proscribes the use of physical or moral
compulsion to extort communications from the accused and not the inclusion of his body in evidence when it
may be material. Purely mechanical acts are not included in the prohibition as the accused does not thereby
speak his guilt, hence the assistance and guiding hand ofcounsel is not required. The essence of the right
against selfincrimination is testimonial compulsion, that is, the giving of evidence against himself through a
testimonial act. Hence,it has been held that a woman charged with adultery may be compelled to submit to
physical examination to determine her pregnancy; and an accused may be compelled to submit to physical
examination and to have a substance taken from his body for medical determination as to whether he was
suffering from gonorrhea which was contracted by his victim; to expel morphine from his mouth; to have the
outline of his foot traced todetermine its identity with bloody footprints; and to be photographed or measured,
or his garments or shoes removed or replaced, or to move his body to enable the foregoing things to be done.

‣ In the instant case, we fail to see how a urine sample could be material to the charge of extortion. The RTC
1âwphi1

and the CA, therefore, both erred when they held that the extraction of petitioner’s urine for purposes of drug
testing was "merely a mechanical act, hence, falling outside the concept of a custodial investigation.

PARENTAL AND FILIAL PRIVILEGE

Section 25. Parental and filial privilege. — No person may be compelled to testify against his parents, other direct
ascendants, children or other direct descendants. (20a)

FAMILY CODE
Article. 215. No descendant shall be compelled, in a criminal case, to testify against his parents and grand- parents,
except when such testimony is indispensable in a crime, against the descendant or by one parent against the other.

‣ RULE — NO PERSON MAY BE COMPELLED TO TESTIFY AGAINST HIS PARENTS, OTHER DIRECT ASCENDANTS, CHILDREN OR
OTHER DIRECT DESCENDANTS

‣ Under the Family Code, no descendant shall be compelled, in a criminal case, to testify against his parents and
grandparents

‣ The privilege under the family code is narrower, but should be deemed to supersede the privilege in the Rules of
Court, in case of conflict, being substantive law.

ELEMENTS OF RULE ON PARENTAL AND FILIAL PRIVILEGE


1. A PERSON CANNOT BE COMPELLED TO TESTIFY AGAINST HIS DIRECT ASCENDANTS OR DESCENDANTS
‣ Note that the holder of the privilege is the person himself, NOT the ascendant or descendant against whom he will
testify.

‣ It is similar to the right-against self-incrimination, unlike privileged communications, the privilege here is a testimonial
privilege in favour of a person

‣ The privilege under the Family Code, however, applies only in favour of descendants testifying against parents or
grandparents

2. THE RULE APPLIES TO BOTH CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CASES


‣ Since the rule makes no distinction
‣ The privilege under the Family Code, however, only applies in criminal cases

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EXCEPTION TO THE RULE ON PARENTAL AND FILIAL PRIVILEGE
1. WAIVER/ VOLUNTARINESS
‣ A person, however, may testify against his parents or children voluntarily, the rule only protects him from any
compulsion
2. IF THE PERSON SOUGHT TO GIVE TESTIMONY IS A DESCENDANT TESTIFYING AGAINST HIS PARENTS/GRANDPARENTS IN A
CRIMINAL CASE, HE MAY BE COMPELLED TO TESTIFY:

a. When such testimony is indispensable in a crime; and

b. Such crime is committed against said descendant, or by one parent against the other

EDITORIAL (JOURNALIST) PRIVILEGE

RA 53 (1946) as amended by RA 1477 (1956)


"Section 1. Without prejudice to his liability under the civil and criminal laws, the publisher, editor, columnist or duly
accredited reporter of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation cannot be compelled to reveal the
source of any news-report or information appearing in said publication which was related in confidence to such publisher,
editor or reporter unless the court or a House or committee of Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by the
security of the State.”

‣ Editors may not be compelled to disclose the source of published news (Air Philippines v. Pennswell, 2007)

SECRECY OF THE BALLOT

1987 CONSTITUTION
Section 2. The Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for
absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.

‣ Voters may not be compelled to disclose for whom they voted (Air Philippines v. Pennswell, 2007)

CONFIDENTIALITY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRIAL SECRETS

REVISED PENAL CODE


Title Nine: CRIMES AGAINST PERSONAL LIBERTY AND SECURITY
Chapter 3: DISCOVERY AND REVELATION OF SECRETS

Article 291. Revealing secrets with abuse of office. - The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos
shall be imposed upon any manager, employee, or servant who, in such capacity, shall learn the secrets of his principal or
master and shall reveal such secrets.

Article 292. Revelation of industrial secrets. - The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods and
a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed upon the person in charge, employee or workman of any manufacturing
or industrial establishment who, to the prejudice of the owner thereof, shall reveal the secrets of the industry of the latter.

‣ Because of public policy, trade secrets are privileged and the rules providing for the production and inspection of books
and papers do not authorize their production in a court of law. (Air Philippines Corporation vs Pennswell Inc, 2007)

‣ But note that a claim of the confidential nature of trade secrets must have “substantial factual basis which can pass
judicial scrutiny.” (Cocoland Development Corporation vs National Labor Relations Commission, 1996)

ADMISSIONS AND THE RES INTER ALIOS ACTA RULE


*Admissions here pertain to “extrajudicial admissions”. Judicial admissions are governed by Rule 129, Sec. 4

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JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS VS EXTRA-JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS
‣ IMPORTANT — There is a need to distinguish Judicial Admissions and Extra-Judicial Admissions. They have different rules
and effects. Before you go any further always keep in mind the rules on judicial admissions

JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS EXTRA-JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS

Governing Rules Rule 129, Sec. 4 Rule 130, Sec. 26-35

Requirements 1. Must be made by a party to the case


1. Must be made by a party to the case

2. Must be made in the same case, in the 2. It is made out of court. It is not made in
course of the proceedings the course of the proceedings

Effects 1. The admission is deemed automatically part 1. Must still be formally offered in evidence

of the records of the case

2. The admission may be given in evidence


2. The admission need not be formally offered against the party making it
in evidence

3. The admission is conclusive against the


admitting party (except in certain cases)

ADMISSIONS (PARTY ADMISSIONS)

Section 26. Admission of a party. — The act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in
evidence against him. (22)

PARTY ADMISSIONS
‣ RULE — AN ADMISSION BY A PARTY MAY BE GIVEN IN EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM.
‣ What are admissions?
‣ An admission is an act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact.
‣ It is a voluntary acknowledgment made by a party of the existence of the truth of certain facts which are
inconsistent with his claims in an action

‣ Admissibility of admissions
‣ His admission is not admissible in his favor, only admissible against him, because it would be self-serving
evidence.

‣ Declarations of a party favorable to himself are not admissible as proof of the facts asserted

‣ This rule is based on the notion that no man would make any declaration against himself, unless it is true

‣ Are party admissions an exception to the hearsay rule?


‣ NO. RIGUERA — Party admissions do NOT fall under the hearsay rule as a party cannot claim that he cannot
cross-examine himself. BUT, out-of-court statements made by the party advocating for his own interest or favour
are self-serving and thus, are considered hearsay.

DOCTRINE OF ADOPTIVE ADMISSION


‣ An admission may also be adoptive. This admission occurs when a person manifests his assent to the statements of
another person.

‣ A party may, by his words or conduct, voluntarily adopt or ratify another’s statement. Where it appears that a party clearly
and unambiguously assented to or adopted the statements of another, evidence of those statements is admissible
against him. This is the essence of the principle of adoptive admission.

‣ An adoptive admission is a party’s reaction to a statement or action by another person when it is reasonable to treat the
party’s reaction as an admission of something stated or implied by the other person. By adoptive admission, a third
person’s statement becomes the admission of the party embracing or espousing it

‣ An adoptive admission is a party’s reaction to a statement or action by another person when it is reasonable to treat the
party’s reaction as an admission of something stated or implied by the other person” (Estrada v. Desierto)

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‣ Adoptive admission may occur when a party --
1. Expressly agrees to or concurs in an oral statement made by another

2. Impliedly agrees to or concurs in an oral statement made by another by silence (Estrada v. Desierto)

3. Hears a statement and later on essentially repeats it

4. Utters an acceptance or builds upon the assertion of another

5. Replies by way of rebuttal to some specific points raised by another but ignores further points which he or she has
heard the other make; or

6. Reads and subsequently signs a written statement made by another (Republic v. Kenrick Development Corp)

‣ Example — Examples of adoptive admissions are the alleged admissions made by President Estrada when his options
dwindled when, according to the Angara Diary, the armed forces withdrew its support from him as President and
Commander- in-Chief. Thus, Executive Secretary Angara had to allegedly ask Senate President Pimentel to advise
petitioner to consider the option of “dignified exit or resignation.” President Estrada did not object to the suggested option
but simply said he could never leave the country. According to the Court, his silence on this and other related suggestions
can be taken as adoptive admissions by him (Estrada v. Desierto)

CONFESSIONS

Section 33. Confession. — The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or of any
offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence against him. (29a)

RULE 133 — WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE


Section 3. Extrajudicial confession, not sufficient ground for conviction. — An extrajudicial confession made by an
accused, shall not be sufficient ground for conviction, unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti. (3)

‣ RULE — THE DECLARATION OF AN ACCUSED ACKNOWLEDGING HIS GUILT OF THE OFFENSE CHARGED, OR OF ANY OFFENSE
NECESSARILY INCLUDED THEREIN, MAY BE GIVEN IN EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM

‣ What are Confessions?


‣ A confession is the declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or of any offense
necessarily included therein

‣ It is a statement by the accused that he engaged in conduct which constitutes a crime

‣ To be sure, a confession is not required to be in any particular form. It may be oral or written, formal or informal in
character. It may be recorded on video tape, sound motion pictures, or tape. However, while not required to be in
writing to be admissible in evidence, it is advisable, if not otherwise recorded by video tape or other means, to
reduce the confession to writing. This adds weight to the confession and helps convince the court that it was
freely and voluntarily made. If possible the confession, after being reduced to writing, should be read to the
defendant, have it read by defendant, have him sign it, and have it attested by witnesses. (People vs Satorre 2003)

‣ Admissions vs Confessions
‣ In a confession, there is an acknowledgement of guilt; in an admission, there is merely a statement of fact not
directly involving an acknowledgement of guilt or the criminal intent to commit the offense with which one is
charged

‣ An admission, in a general sense, includes confessions, the former being a broader term because, accordingly, a
confession is also an “admission... by the accused of the fact charged against him or of some fact essential to the
charge

‣ A confession is a specific type of admission which refers only to an acknowledgment of guilt.

‣ As used, the term admission refers to acknowledgment of facts which, although may be incriminating, falls short
of an admission of guilt. In other words, an admission is something less than a confession, and is but an
acknowledgment of some fact or circumstance which in itself is insufficient to authorize a conviction, and which
tends only to establish the ultimate fact of guilt

‣ Hence, when a person declares in his counter-affidavit that he performed an act like shooting the victim but denies that
he did so with criminal intent because the shooting was done in self-defense, the declaration is merely an admission
and not a confession

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ADMISSIONS CONFESSIONS

Merely a statement of fact not directly There is an acknowledgement of guilt


involving an acknowledgement of guilt or the
Definition
criminal intent to commit the offense with
which one is charged

It may be express or implied. An express It cannot be implied. It must be a positive


How it admission is a positive statement or act. An acknowledgment of guilt and cannot be inferred.
should implied admission is one which may be Sec. 33 of Rule 130 refers to a confession as a
made inferred from the declarations or acts of a “declaration” which connotes an affirmative
person. statement from the person making the confession

It is a statement by the accused, direct or It is an acknowledgment in express terms, by a


Application
implied, of facts pertinent to the issue, and party in a criminal case, of his guilt of the crime
in Criminal
tending, in connection with proof of other charged
Cases
facts, to prove his guilt.

Admissions may be judicial or extrajudicial. An A confession may be also judicial or extrajudicial.


admission is judicial when made in the course But while a judicial confession may sustain a
Where it
of a judicial proceeding. An admission is conviction, an extrajudicial confession is not
should be
extrajudicial when made out of court or even in sufficient for conviction, unless corroborated by
made
a proceeding other than the one under evidence of the corpus delicti.
consideration

An admission may also be adoptive. This Cannot be adoptive


In relation to admission occurs when a person manifests his
the Doctrine assent to the statements of another person.
of Adoptive The admission may be received in evidence if
Admission it can be shown that a party adopted the
statements as his own

KINDS OF CONFESSIONS
1. Judicial confession — confession which takes place in the course of the criminal proceedings, such as a plea of guilt
2. Extra-judicial confession — confession which takes place outside the course of the criminal proceedings, such as
confessions made under custodial investigation.

EFFECT OF JUDICIAL OR EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSIONS OF GUILT


‣ RULE — WHILE A JUDICIAL CONFESSION MAY SUSTAIN A CONVICTION, AN EXTRAJUDICIAL CONFESSION ALONE IS NOT
SUFFICIENT FOR CONVICTION, TO SUSTAIN A CONVICTION, IT MUST BE —

1. CORROBORATED BY EVIDENCE OF THE CORPUS DELICTI


‣ Corpus delicti is the ‘body of the crime’ or the offense. Strictly speaking, it means the actual commission of the
crime and someone criminally responsible therefor

‣ It is the substance of the crime; the fact that a crime has actually been committed

‣ Corpus delicti has two elements —

1. Proof of the occurrence of a certain event


‣ For example, that a man has died or a building has been burned
2. Some person’s criminal responsibility for the act
‣ Corpus delicti, and all the elements thereof, may be proved by circumstantial evidence but such proof must be
convincing and compatible with the nature of the case

‣ While an extrajudicial confession will not be sufficient for conviction unless corroborated by evidence of corpus
delicti, a judicial confession will support conviction without proof of corpus delicti independent of the judicial
confession

‣ At any rate, an extrajudicial confession forms but a prima facie case against the party by whom it is made. Such
confessions are not conclusive proof of that which they state; it may be proved that they were uttered in
ignorance, or levity, or mistake; and hence, they are, at best, to be regarded as only cumulative proof which affords

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but a precarious support and on which, when uncorroborated, a verdict cannot be permitted to rest. In the cases
cited by the trial court, the convictions were based on circumstantial evidence in addition to the appellants’
confessions, or the extrajudicial confessions were reduced to writing and were replete with details which only
appellants could have supplied. In the case at bar, however, there was no circumstantial evidence to corroborate
the extrajudicial confession of appellant. More importantly, the said confession does not contain details which
could have only been known to appellant. Indeed, an extrajudicial confession will not support a conviction
where it is uncorroborated. There must be such corroboration that, when considered in connection with
confession, will show the guilt of accused beyond a reasonable doubt. Circumstantial evidence may be
sufficient corroboration of a confession. It is not necessary that the supplementary evidence be entirely free
from variance with the extrajudicial confession, or that it show the place of offense or the defendant’s identity or
criminal agency. All facts and circumstances attending the particular offense charged are admissible to
corroborate extrajudicial confession. (People vs Satorre 2003)
2. COMPETENT (MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES ON CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION AND OTHER PERTINENT LAWS)
‣ The rule on extrajudicial confession in the Rules of Court must be considered together with applicable
constitutional and substantive laws which must be complied with for the confession to be admissible.

‣ Any extrajudicial confession made by a person arrested, detained, or under custodial investigation shall be in
writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel or in the latter’s absence, upon a valid
waiver, and in the presence of any of the parents, older brothers and sisters, his spouse, the municipal mayor, the
municipal judge, district school supervisor, or priest or minister of the gospel as chosen by him; otherwise, such
extrajudicial confession shall be inadmissible as evidence in any proceeding (Sec. 2(d) of R.A. 7438: Act Defining
Certain Rights of Persons, Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial Investigation)
‣ BUT — a confession made by the accused before he is placed under custodial investigation need NOT
comply with the rules on custodial investigation.
‣ Constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not apply to spontaneous statements, not
elicited through questioning by authorities, but given in an ordinary manner whereby the accused orally
admitted having committed the crime. Hence, such confession is admissible in evidence against him, even
when he did so with- out the assistance of counsel (People v. Cabiles)
‣ Custodial investigation has been described as one which involves any questioning initiated by law enforcement
officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any
significant way. It is only after the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and begins to
focus on a particular suspect, the suspect is taken into custody, and the police carries out a process of
interrogations that lend itself to eliciting incriminating statements, that the rule begins to operate (Aquino v. Paiste)
‣ NOTE — R.A. 7438 (Sec. 2[f]) has extended the meaning of ‘custodial investigation’ to include the practice of
issuing an invitation to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have
committed.

ADMISSION BY SILENCE

Section 32. Admission by silence. — An act or declaration made in the presence and within the hearing or observation of
a party who does or says nothing when the act or declaration is such as naturally to call for action or comment if not true,
and when proper and possible for him to do so, may be given in evidence against him. (23a)

ELEMENTS
1. He heard and understood the statement
2. He was at liberty to make a denial
3. The statement was about a matter affecting his rights or in which he was interested and which naturally calls for
a response
4. The facts were within his knowledge; and
5. The fact admitted from his silence is material to the issue
‣ Admission by silence has been traditionally received, even in common law, as admissible evidence.

‣ The usual pattern for its admissibility involves a statement by a person in the presence of a party to the action, criminal or
civil.

‣ The statement contains assertions against the party which, if untrue, would be sufficient cause for the party to deny. His
failure to speak against the statement is admissible as an admission.

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‣ Not every silence is an implied admission. For instance, the silence of a person under custodial investigation for the
commission of an offense should not be construed as an admission by silence because of constitutional reasons (Sec.
2[b], R.A. 7438).

‣ Note that admission by silence are frowned up, before silence may be construed as an admission, there must be no
other reasonable explanation why the person would be silent

‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — Suppose upon seeing a policeman, a bystander, in the presence of other people, points to a man
and accuses him as the killer of another man found dead the night before. The man pointed at does not respond. He does
not deny the accusation. His failure to respond may be given in evidence against him. The idea of the rule on admission by
silence is that if an accusation is made, and a reasonable person would have denied the same if it were false, the failure to
deny the accusation by the person accused may be construed as an implied admission of the truth of the accusation and
may be given in evidence against him.

OFFER OF COMPROMISE

Section 27. Offer of compromise not admissible. — In civil cases, an offer of compromise is not an admission of any
liability, and is not admissible in evidence against the offeror.
In criminal cases, except those involving quasi-offenses (criminal negligence) or those allowed by law to be
compromised, an offer of compromised by the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.

1. OFFER OF COMPROMISE IN CIVIL CASES


‣ It is not an admission of any liability, and is NOT admissible in evidence against the offeror

‣ BUT — While it is not admissible as proof of liability, it is admissible as evidence for other purposes, such as for
determining the fair market value of the property involved in the case for settlement purposes. (Varedero de Manila
vs Insular Lumber)

2. OFFER OF COMPROMISE IN CRIMINAL CASES


‣ It may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.
‣ NOTE — It is not required that a criminal action was already instituted before the offer can be received in evidence.
(See People vs Yparraguirre 1997) BUT in San Miguel Corp. v. Kalalo 2012, the SC said that offer of compromise
dated 5 December 2000 was made prior to the filing of the criminal complaint against her on 9 March 2001 for a
violation of the Bouncing Checks Law. The Offer of Compromise was clearly not made in the context of a criminal
proceeding and, therefore, cannot be considered as an implied admission of guilt.
‣ EXCEPTIONS — There is no implied admission of guilt if the offer of compromise is in relation to:

a. Quasi-offenses (criminal negligence); or

b. Cases allowed by law to be compromised

‣ RIGUERA — The offer to be considered as an implied admission of guilty must be made by the accused, and not
by any other persons; otherwise, the RIAA rule applies.
‣ EXAMPLE — Although the marriage of the accused in a rape case extinguishes the penal action, an offer of marriage
is, generally speaking, an admission of guilt

WITHDRAWAL OF GUILTY PLEA

Section 27. Offer of compromise not admissible. —


A plea of guilty later withdrawn, or an unaccepted offer of a plea of guilty to lesser offense, is not admissible in evidence
against the accused who made the plea or offer.

‣ RULE — IN CASE THE ACCUSED WITHDRAWS HIS GUILTY PLEA, THAT PLEA OF GUILTY LATER WITHDRAWN IS NOT ADMISSIBLE IN
EVIDENCE AGAINST THE ACCUSED WHO MADE THE PLEA

‣ The Rules of Criminal Procedure (Sec. 2 of Rule 116) allows the accused, at arraignment, to plead guilty to a lesser
offense with the consent of the offended party and the prosecutor provided that the lesser offense is necessarily
included in the offense charged.

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‣ He may also plead guilty to a lesser offense even after arraignment but before trial, after withdrawing his plea of not
guilty.

‣ If the plea of guilty to a lesser offense is not accepted, the rule does not provide for an adverse consequence of the
unaccepted plea. On the contrary, the rule provides that an unaccepted plea of guilty to a lesser offense is not
admissible in evidence against the accused who made the plea or offer

OFFER TO PAY FOR EXPENSES

Section 27. Offer of compromise not admissible. —


An offer to pay or the payment of medical, hospital or other expenses occasioned by an injury is not admissible in
evidence as proof of civil or criminal liability for the injury. (24a)

‣ RULE — AN OFFER TO PAY OR THE PAYMENT OF MEDICAL, HOSPITAL OR OTHER EXPENSES OCCASIONED BY AN INJURY IS NOT
ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE AS PROOF OF CIVIL OR CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR THE INJURY

‣ RIANO — In other jurisdictions, this act of rendering aid is sometimes called the “good, Samaritan rule.” The phrase is
used to refer to the rendering of voluntary aid to a suffering person.

RES INTER ALIOS ACTA (RIAA) RULE IN GENERAL

‣ The expression if fully expressed reads: res inter alios acta alteri nocere non debet which literally means that “things done
between strangers ought not to injure those who are not parties to them”
‣ The res inter alios acta rule has two branches:

1. The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of another (Sec. 28, Rule 130)

2. Evidence of previous conduct or similar acts at one time is not admissible to prove that one did or did not do the
same act at another time (Sec. 34, Rule 130)

RES INTER ALIOS ACTA (RIAA) RULE BRANCH 1 — VICARIOUS ADMISSIONS

Section 28. Admission by third party. — The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of
another, except as hereinafter provided. (25a)

Section 29. Admission by co-partner or agent. — The act or declaration of a partner or agent of the party within the
scope of his authority and during the existence of the partnership or agency, may be given in evidence against such party
after the partnership or agency is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The same rule applies to the act
or declaration of a joint owner, joint debtor, or other person jointly interested with the party. (26a)

Section 30. Admission by conspirator. — The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its
existence, may be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than
such act of declaration. (27)

Section 31. Admission by privies. — Where one derives title to property from another, the act, declaration, or omission of
the latter,while holding the title, in relation to the property, is evidence against the former. (28)

RIAA BRANCH 1
‣ RULE: THE RIGHTS OF A PARTY CANNOT BE PREJUDICED BY AN ACT, DECLARATION, OR OMISSION OF ANOTHER
‣ The first branch is a very simple and logical rule which holds that whatever one says or does or omits to do should
only affect him but should not affect or prejudice others. In other words, both common reason and fairness demand
that a man’s actions and declarations should affect him alone and should not affect others.

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APPLICATION OF THE RIAA RULE


‣ RULE — RES INTER ALIOS ACTA APPLIES ONLY AGAINST EXTRAJUDICIAL ADMISSIONS, NOT JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS
‣ I can’t emphasize this enough, don’t forget this! Judicial admissions are governed by Rule 129, Sec. 4
‣ Res inter alios acta Rule only pertains to extra-judicial admissions, NOT Judicial Admissions

‣ Hence, statements made in open court by a witness implicating persons, aside from his own judicial admissions,
are admissible as declarations from one who has personal knowledge of the facts testified to.

‣ A distinction must be made between extrajudicial and judicial confessions. “An extrajudicial confession may be
given in evidence against the confessant but not against his co-accused as they are deprived of the opportunity to
cross- examine him. A judicial confession is admissible against the declarant’s co-accused since the latter are
afforded opportunity to cross-examine the former. Sec. 30 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court applies only to
extrajudicial acts or admissions and not to testimony at trial where the party adversely affected has the opportunity
to cross-examine the declarant” (People v. Janjalani)

‣ Example: Thus, if X makes a statement before the media admitting his participation in a previous murder, his statement
is admissible against him under Sec. 26 of Rule 130. The rest of his statement pointing to Y and Z as co-participants in
the murder are not admissible against Y and Z under the first branch of the res inter alios acta rule in Sec. 28 of Rule
130. Under this rule, the statement of X should not affect or prejudice Y and Z.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RES INTER ALIOS ACTA RULE BRANCH 1; VICARIOS ADMISSIONS
1. Admission by a co-partner or agent (Sec. 29, Rule 130)
2. Admission by employee (US Jurisprudence)
3. Admission by a person jointly interested (Sec. 29, Rule 130)
4. Admission by a co-conspirator (Sec. 30, Rule 130)
5. Admission by privies (Sec. 31, Rule 130)
6. Interlocking Confessions (Jurisprudence)
‣ RATIONALE — The basis for admitting the exceptions is that the person making the statement is under the same
circumstances as the person against whom it is offered. Such circumstances give him substantially the same interest and
the same motive to make a statement about certain matters

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RES INTER ALIOS ACTA RULE BRANCH 1; VICARIOUS ADMISSIONS (EXPOUNDED)
1. ADMISSION BY A CO-PARTNER OR AGENT
‣ REQUISITES —
a. The declaration or act of the partner or agent must have been made or done within the scope of his
authority
b. The declaration or act of the partner or agent must have been made or done during the existence of the
partnership or agency (while the person making the declaration was still a partner or an agent); and
c. The existence of the partnership or agency is proven by evidence other than the declaration or act of the
partner or agent
‣ An agent performs some service in representation or on behalf of his principal (Art. 1868, NCC).
‣ The agent, therefore, is in legal contemplation, a mere extension of the personality of the principal and unless the
agent acts in his own name, the principal must comply with all the obligations which the agent may have contracted
within the scope of his authority (Art. 1883, NCC)
‣ Hence, whatever is said by an agent to a third person, during the course of the agency and within the scope of his
actual or apparent authority, relative to the business contemplated by the agency, is for legal purposes, also the
statement of the principal and is therefore, admissible against said principal

‣ The relationship among partners is on the same footing with the relationship of an agent to his principal. Both the
contracts of agency and partnership involve fiduciary relationships. Every partner is an agent of the partnership for the
purpose of its business and the act of the partner in carrying out the usual course of business binds the partnership as
a rule (Art. 1818, NCC). Hence, under the same principle governing an agency, the declarations of a partner may be
admissible against the other partners or the partnership.

‣ Any declaration made before the partnership or agency existed, or those made after, are not admissible against the
other partners or the principal but remains admissible against the partner or agent making the declaration. It is also

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necessary for the application of the exception that the proof of the agency or partnership be from a source
independent of the declaration made by the partner or agent.

2. ADMISSION BY EMPLOYEE
‣ RIGUERA — Rule 130, Sec. 29 should also cover statements made by a party’s employee within the scope of his
employment. While the provision uses the word “agent” and not “employee”, the history and rationale of the
evidentiary rule in the US from where the provision was taken also considers statements by employees within the
scope of their employment as vicarious admissions.

3. ADMISSION BY A PERSON JOINTLY INTERESTED


‣ The act or declaration of a joint owner, joint debtor, or other person jointly interested with the party within the scope of
his authority and during the existence of the joint ownership, debt, or interest may be given in evidence against such
party after the joint ownership, debt, or interest is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration.

‣ RIGUERA — Joint here should not be confused with joint and solidary in our law of oblicon. It means community of
interest. Thus a co-owner, solidary (not joint) debtor, and sureties/guarantors.
‣ The statements of Ayala Land Inc., (the developer) would be binding upon the Ayala Alabang Village Association (the
homeowner’s association) in an action by the latter to enforce the deed of restrictions over a lot in Ayala Alabang. This
is because ALI under the deed of restrictions may enforce the same together with AAVA and thus ALI is a person
jointly interested. (The Learning Child Inc. v Ayala Alabang Village Association 2010).
‣ In this case, by entering into a joint venture, MBMI a Canadian corporation, entered into a joint venture with several
corporations. MBMI has a joint interest with such corporations. Hence its statements in relation to such joint venture
with MBMI are an exception to the res inter alios acta rule. (Narra Nickel Mining Corp. v. Redmont Consolidated Mines
Corp 2014)

4. ADMISSION BY A CO-CONSPIRATOR
‣ REQUISITES —
a. The declaration or act be made or done during the existence of the conspiracy;
b. The declaration or act must relate to the conspiracy; and
c. The conspiracy must be shown by evidence other than such declaration or act
‣ A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and
decide to commit it (Art. 8, RPC).
‣ Once the conspiracy is proven, the act of one is the act of all. The statement, therefore, of one may be admitted
against the other co- conspirators as an exception to the rule of res inter alios acta.
‣ Incriminating declarations of co-conspirators made in the absence of or without the knowledge of the others after the
conspiracy has come to an end is inadmissible

‣ If the confessions were made after the conspiracy had ended and after the consummation of the crime. It cannot
be said that the execution of the affidavits were acts or declarations made during the conspiracy’s existence, thus
inadmissible (People v. Quidato)

‣ RIANO —Note that the rule requiring the concurrence of the above requisites does not apply when the co-accused
takes the witness stand and repeats his extrajudicial confession as a witness. The declarations referred to under Sec.
30 of Rule 130 are merely extrajudicial statements or declarations. When he testifies as a witness, his statements
become judicial and are admissible not only against him but also against his co-accused. This is because the
statements by witnesses in open court are admissible as testimonies of a person based on his personal perceptions
and knowledge pursuant to Sec. 36 of Rule 130

‣ The general rule is that the extrajudicial confession or admission of one accused is admissible only against the
said accused but inadmissible against the other accused. However, if the declarant/admitter repeats in court his
extrajudicial confession during trial and the other accused is accorded the opportunity to cross-examine the
admitter, such confession or admission is admissible against both accused. The erstwhile extrajudicial confession
or admission, when repeated during the trial, is transposed into judicial admissions (People v. Buntag)
‣ When the extrajudicial admission of a conspirator is confirmed at the trial, it ceases to be hearsay. It becomes
instead a judicial admission, being a testimony of an eyewitness admissible in evidence against those he
implicates
3. ADMISSION BY PRIVIES
‣ REQUISITES —

a. There must be an act, declaration or omission by a predecessor-in-interest;


b. The act, declaration, or omission of the predecessor must have occurred while he was holding (not after)
the title to the property; and

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c. The act, declaration, or omission must be in relation to the property
‣ “Privies” are persons who are partakers or have an interest in any action or thing, or any relation to another. (Such as a
donor, vendor, decedent, or testator)

‣ Examples: (a) a lessor and his lessee, a grantor and a grantee; an assignor and an assignee are privies in an estate
or a contract; (b) An executor or an administrator and the estate of the deceased are privies in representation; or (c)
An heir and his ascendant are privies in blood or succession.
‣ When the former owner of the property made the declaration after he ceased to be the owner of the property, the rule
on admission by privies does not apply. What applies is the general rule that the rights of a party cannot be prejudiced
by an act, declaration, or omission of another (Gevero v. Intermediate Appellate Court)
4. INTERLOCKING CONFESSIONS
‣ The rule that an extrajudicial statement is evidence only against the person making it, also recognizes various
exceptions. One such exception worth noting is the rule that where several extrajudicial statements had been made
by several persons charged with an offense and there could have been no collusion with reference to said several
confessions, the facts that the statements are in all material respects identical, is confirmatory of the confession of the
co-defendants and is admissible against other persons implicated therein. They are also admissible as circumstantial
evidence against the person implicated therein to show the probability of the latter’s actual participation in the
commission of the crime and may likewise serve as corroborative evidence if it is clear from other facts and
circumstances that other persons had participated in the perpetration of the crime charged and proved. These are
known as interlocking confessions. (People vs Lising 1998)
‣ The rule that an extra judicial confession is evidence only against the person making it recognizes exceptions. One of
them is called interlocking confessions: Where there is several extra judicial statements made by several persons
charged with an offense, and there could have been no collusion between these confessions, and if the statements
are in all material respects identical, then this is confirmatory of the confessions of the co-defendants and is
admissible against other persons implicated therein. (People vs Muit, 2008)
‣ SALVADOR — Here, the admission by a party may be used in as confirmatory/corroborative evidence which
corroborates other circumstantial evidence.

RES INTER ALIOS ACTA (RIAA) RULE BRANCH 2: EVIDENCE OF SIMILAR CONDUCT

Section 34. Similar acts as evidence. — Evidence that one did or did not do a certain thing at one time is not admissible
to prove that he did or did not do the same or similar thing at another time; but it may be received to prove a specific
intent or knowledge; identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or usage, and the like. (48a)

‣ RULE — EVIDENCE OF PREVIOUS CONDUCT OR SIMILAR ACTS AT ONE TIME IS NOT ADMISSIBLE TO PROVE THAT ONE DID OR
DID NOT DO THE SAME ACT AT ANOTHER TIME

‣ The general rule is that the law will not consider evidence that a person has done a certain act at a particular time as
probative of a contention that he has done a similar act at another time.

‣ This is the rule of res inter alios acta found in Sec. 34, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, as amended.

‣ A similar conduct which does not even sufficiently establish a plan or scheme is not admissible

‣ The rule prohibits the admission of the so-called “propensity evidence” which is evidence that tends to show that
what a person has done at one time is probative of the contention that he has done a similar act at another time.

‣ Evidence of similar acts or occurrences compels the defendant to meet allegations that are not mentioned in the
complaint, confuses him in his defense, raises a variety of relevant issues, and diverts the attention of the court from
the issues immediately before it. Hence, the evidentiary rule guards the practical inconvenience of trying collateral
issues and protracting the trial and prevents surprise or other mischief prejudicial to litigants (Cruz v. Court of Appeals)

‣ Example: Assume that Mr. X is accused of physical injuries. Is evidence that in the past he committed several acts
constituting physical injuries admissible to prove his propensity for committing such acts or that he acted in conformity
with his past acts? Answer: The evidence is not admissible for the purpose for which it is offered.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RIAA RULE BRANCH 2


‣ EVIDENCE OF SIMILAR ACTS OR PREVIOUS CONDUCT IS ADMISSIBLE IN THE FOLLOWING CASES —
1. Specific intent (such as if the character of the party is the issue)

2. Knowledge (such as issues involving good faith or bad faith)

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3. Identity

4. Plan

5. System

6. Scheme

7. Habit

8. Custom

9. Usage

10. The like

‣ Evidence of similar acts may frequently become relevant, especially in actions based on fraud and deceit, because it
sheds light on the state of mind or knowledge of a person, his motive or intent, or they may uncover a scheme, design or
plan (Cruz v. Court of Appeals)
‣ The admissibility of similar acts or previous conduct would depend on the purposes for which such acts or conduct
are offered.
‣ RIANO — Example — For example, evidence of the other similar crimes, acts or wrongs previously committed by the
accused are admissible to show that the offense for which he is currently charged and his prior similar acts show the
“signature” or “handiwork” of the accused, or because of identical modus operandi. In other words, the similar acts may
be offered to show that they share distinctive features as the offense for which the accused is currently charged with, but
the evidence cannot be offered to show that the accused is likely to be guilty of the charge for having committed the same
or similar acts before his present indictment. The rule is: The past acts of the accused are inadmissible to prove that he
acted in conformity with such previous acts.

UNACCEPTED OFFER

Section 35. Unaccepted offer. — An offer in writing to pay a particular sum of money or to deliver a written instrument or
specific personal property is, if rejected without valid cause, equivalent to the actual production and tender of the money,
instrument, or property. (49a)

HEARSAY EVIDENCE RULE

Section 36. Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge; hearsay excluded. — A witness can testify only to those
facts which he knows of his personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception, except as otherwise
provided in these rules. (30a)

‣ RULE — A WITNESS CAN TESTIFY ONLY TO THOSE FACTS WITHIN HIS PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE. TESTIMONY BASED ON THE
PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF OTHERS IS INADMISSIBLE AND EXCLUDED AS THEY ARE HEARSAY EVIDENCE.

‣ The reliability of a testimony is based on the personal knowledge of a witness.

‣ If a witness testifies on the basis of what others have told him, and not on facts which he knows of his own personal
knowledge, the testimony would be excluded as hearsay evidence

‣ The personal knowledge of a witness is a substantive prerequisite for accepting testimonial evidence that establishes
the truth of a disputed fact.

‣ A witness bereft of personal knowledge of the disputed fact cannot be called upon for that purpose because her
testimony derives its value, not from the credit accorded to her as a witness presently testifying, but from the veracity
and competency of the extrajudicial source of her information.

‣ Evidence is called hearsay when its probative force depends, in whole or in part, on the competency and credibility of
some persons other than the witness by whom it is sought to produce it

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RATIONALE OF THE HEARSAY RULE
‣ THE RULE AGAINST HEARSAY TESTIMONY RESTS MAINLY ON THE GROUND THAT THERE WAS NO OPPORTUNITY TO CROSS-
EXAMINE THE DECLARANT.

‣ In case a witness is permitted to testify based on what she has heard another person say about the facts in dispute, the
person from whom the witness derived the information on the facts in dispute is not in court and under oath to be
examined and cross-examined. The weight of such testimony then depends, not upon the veracity of the witness, but
upon the veracity of the other person giving the information to the witness without oath. The information cannot be
tested because the declarant is not standing in court as a witness and cannot, therefore, be cross-examined.
‣ It is apparent, too, that a person who relates a hearsay is not obliged to enter into any particular, to answer any question,
to solve any difficulties, to reconcile any contradictions, to explain any obscurities, to remove any ambiguities; and that
she entrenches herself in the simple assertion that she was told so, and leaves the burden entirely upon the dead or
absent author.

‣ Excluding hearsay also aims to preserve the right of the opposing party to cross-examine the original declarant
claiming to have a direct knowledge of the transaction or occurrence. If hearsay is allowed, the right stands to be
denied because the declarant is not in court.

‣ Thus, in criminal cases, for instance, the admission of hearsay evidence would be a violation of the constitutional
provision that the accused shall enjoy the right to confront the witnesses testifying against him and cross- examine them.
The hearsay rule, therefore, bars the admission of evidence that has not been given under oath or solemn affirmation and
more importantly, has not been subjected to cross-examination by opposing counsel.

‣ There are three reasons for excluding hearsay evidence: (1) absence of cross examination; (2) absence of demeanor
evidence, and (3) absence of the oath. (Estrada vs Desierto)

WHAT IS HEARSAY EVIDENCE?


‣ The hard questions is, when is evidence considered “hearsay”?
‣ HEARSAY EVIDENCE IS AN OUT OF COURT STATEMENT OFFERED FOR THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER ASSERTED
‣ Basically, evidence is called hearsay when its probative force depends, in whole or in part, on the competency and
credibility of some persons other than the witness by whom it is sought to produce it.

‣ Does the hearsay rule cover also documentary and object evidence?
‣ YES. It effectively operates against documentary and objects evidence as well because such is required to be
authenticated by testimonial evidence.

‣ Hearsay is not limited to oral testimony or statements. The rule that excludes hearsay evidence applies to both
written and oral evidence. It covers verbal or non-verbal conduct which operates as assertions.
‣ Basic under the rules of evidence is that a witness can only testify on facts within his or her personal
knowledge. This personal knowledge is a substantive prerequisite in accepting testimonial evidence
establishing the truth of a disputed fact. Corollarily, a document offered as proof of its contents has to be
authenticated in the manner provided in the rules, that is, by the person with personal knowledge of the facts
stated in the document. (Da Jose vs Angeles 2013)
‣ If the affiants of affidavits do not take the witness stand to affirm their averments in their affidavits, said
affidavits must be excluded from the judicial proceeding, being inadmissible hearsay. While affidavits that have
been notarized are public documents if they are acknowledged before a notary public, these are still
considered hearsay unless the affiants themselves are placed in the witness stand to testify thereon. The
reason for this rule is that, generally, they are not prepared by the affiants, but by another one who uses his
own language in writing the statements, parts of which may be either omitted or misunderstood by the one
writing them.

‣ Elements of Hearsay Evidence —


1. THERE IS AN OUT-OF-COURT STATEMENT
‣ Who made the statement referred to? It must be another person, aside from the witness testifying in court
‣ This presupposes that the witness has no personal knowledge of the matter testified to. It is someone outside the
court and who at the same time is not in the stand who has personal knowledge of the facts.

‣ That someone outside the court cannot be questioned. His perception cannot be tested. His capacity to remember
what he perceived cannot be accurately determined. Neither can his capacity to communicate his remembered
perceptions.

‣ Why? Because he is not in court and, if he is not in court, he cannot be cross-examined.

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2. SUCH STATEMENT IS REPEATED AND OFFERED BY THE WITNESS IN COURT TO PROVE THE TRUTH OF THE MATTERS ASSERTED
BY THE STATEMENT

‣ What is the purpose of the testimony or statement? It must be to prove the truth of the matters in the statement
‣ Where a statement is not offered for the truth of the matter asserted but is offered for an evidentiary purpose not
dependent on the truth of the matters asserted, the statement is non-hearsay.

‣ When this second element is absent, it is said that the statement is offered for a non-hearsay purpose. If it is
offered to prove the truth of the statement, it is hearsay because it is offered to prove a hearsay purpose.

‣ Although hearsay evidence presupposes lack of personal knowledge of the truth of the fact asserted by a witness, the
purpose for which the evidence is offered is a vital element of hearsay evidence.

‣ It is the purpose for which the evidence is offered which would determine whether the same is hearsay or not.

‣ The purpose of the out-of-court statement as evidence, to be hearsay, should be to prove the truth of the
matters asserted by such statement
‣ RIANO — Example — Jose, a witness testifying in court as to what his friend, Juan, wrote him. In a letter dated August 5,
his friend wrote Jose that it was a street bum who shot the cop, not Jose’s uncle. Jose’s friend, Juan, the eyewitness, is
not in court. It is Jose who is in court but we hear Jose presenting a statement that is not his own. It is a statement made
out- side the court by his friend, Juan. His friend’s statement is an out-of-court statement because when it was made, the
friend who made it was in Cebu and he is not the witness in court. We clearly have an out-of-court statement from Jose’s
friend whom we shall call an outside declarant. We have the first part of our formula: An out-of-court statement from an
out-of- court declarant.
‣ Is Jose’s testimony therefore, hearsay? Answer: We still do not know. We do not know because we do not know the
purpose of the testimony. Is it offered to prove that it was indeed a bum who shot the cop? Or is it offered to prove
something else? We are not sure. If we are not sure, then we do not know if it is hearsay. How can we be sure then? To be
sure, we must know what it is the proponent wants to prove. After knowing what he wants to prove, then we ask whether
or not the matter he wants to prove is relevant to an issue in the case. This is basic, a matter of logic, and no rules of
evidence need tell us this.
‣ Suppose the judge asks: “Counsel, what is the purpose of Jose’s testimony that his friend wrote him that ‘it was a street
bum who shot the cop and not Jose’s uncle?”’ Comes the quick reply: “To prove Your Honor, that Jose’s friend was alive
on August 5 and not to prove that it was a bum who shot the cop. Had he been dead on that day, he would not have been
able to write Jose.”
‣ Is the testimony of Jose hearsay? Now let us go back to our formula. Do we have an out-of-court statement? Yes, we do.
The friend’s statement is out-of-court and you know the reason for this. We have our first element, an out-of-court
statement. To be hearsay, we must have the second. Do we have it this time? Let us repeat what counsel says his purpose
is. He says, “To prove, Your Honor, that Jose’s friend was alive on August 5...etc.” There you are. We do not have the
second part of our formula. We do not have the second part because we are told the statement is offered to prove that
“Jose’s friend was alive on August 5.” It is not to prove that it was “a street bum who shot the cop.” The declaration of
Juan is not, therefore, to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement of Juan. We have the first component but
we don’t have the second. What, then, would the judge rule? Clearly, it would be, “Objection, overruled. Not hearsay!”
‣ Will Jose’s testimony then be admissible? It would be admissible as long as the fact that Jose’s friend was alive on August
5 is relevant to an issue of the case. If the evidence is not allowed, it is not because of the hearsay rule but because it did
not meet the standards of relevance.
‣ Let us repeat the question of the judge: “Counsel, what is the purpose of Jose’s testimony that his friend wrote him that ‘it
was a street bum who shot the cop and not Jose’s uncle?’” This time counsel emphatically declares: “To prove, Your
Honor, that it was not Jose’s uncle who shot the cop but a bum!” Should the judge sustain a hearsay objection? This time,
the judge should sustain the objection. The formula is now complete. Jose’s testimony is hearsay. It is hearsay because
the out-of-court statement of Jose’s friend that “it was a street bum who shot the cop and not Jose’s uncle” is offered to
prove the very matter asserted in the statement: that “it was a street bum who shot the cop... etc... etc... etc...” The first
response is different. It is not hearsay because it was not offered to prove the truth of the assertion in the letter of Jose’s
friend. It was offered to prove a different purpose.

EVIDENCE WHICH IS NOT HEARSAY


‣ Basically, if the witness is testifying as to his or her own personal knowledge, it is not hearsay. It is within the witness’s
personal knowledge if it complies with the elements aforementioned. If it lacks one of the elements then, it is not within his
personal knowledge, and therefore it is hearsay
1. IF THERE IS NO OUT-OF-COURT STATEMENT
‣ Obviously, if the witness is testifying as to his own statements he made, not to statements of another person, there is
no out-of-court statement, thus, it is not hearsay.

2. INDEPENDENTLY RELEVANT STATEMENTS

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‣ This is when the second element is absent, because the statement is offered for the purpose other than to prove the
truth of the matters asserted in the statement

‣ Basically, independent relevant statements are those statements which are relevant independently of whether
they are true or not. They are statements offered for a non-hearsay purpose

‣ As long as an out-of-court statement is offered for a non-hearsay purpose (a purpose other than to prove the truth of
the matter asserted), the statement is admissible if it has relevance to the matter in issue.

‣ It is doctrinal that a declarant’s statement may have relevance to an issue in a case from the mere fact that the words
were spoken or written, irrespective of the truth or falsity of the assertion. This category of a non-hearsay out-of-
court statement, together with the previously discussed categories, is commonly known in this jurisdiction under the
general term, “independently relevant statements.”

‣ They are called as such because the statements are admissible for some relevant reason independent of their truth
or falsity.

‣ They are relevant because the statement itself is either the very fact in issue or a circumstantial evidence of a fact
in issue.

‣ Some authorities call independent relevant statements as the ‘operative acts’ which give rise to legal consequences

‣ An independently relevant statement is not hearsay and is, therefore, not banned under the hearsay evidence rule.

‣ Example: For example, where any mental state or condition is in issue, such as motive, malice, knowledge, intent,
assent or dissent, unless direct testimony of the particular person is to be taken as conclusive of his state of mind,
the only method of proof available is testimony of others to the acts or statements of such person. Where his acts or
statements are against his interest, they are plainly admissible within the rules hereinabove announced as to
admissions against interest. And even where not against interest, if they are so closely connected with the event or
transaction in issue as to constitute one of the very facts in controversy, they become admissible of necessity.

INDEPENDENTLY RELEVANT STATEMENTS


‣ Independently relevant statements actually come in various shapes and shades because of the different reasons for which
such statements are offered. They, however, have a unifying element. That element is: Their relevance to the matter in
issue is not dependent on their truth or falsity. Its relevance lies in its tenor or the fact that it was said.
‣ THESE ARE STATEMENTS WHICH ARE THE VERY FACTS IN ISSUE OR WHICH ARE CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE OF THE FACT IN
ISSUE
‣ Under the doctrine of independently relevant statements, regardless of their truth or falsity, the fact that such
statements have been made is relevant. The hearsay rule does not apply, and the statements are admissible as
evidence. Evidence as to the making of such statement is not secondary but primary, for the statement itself may
constitute a fact in issue or be circumstantially relevant as to the existence of such a fact. (People vs Calungsag 2014)

‣ These include —

a. Statements of a person offered to prove the fact of the utterance itself


‣ A “statement having probative worth simply by virtue of the fact that it was uttered, if relevant to a material fact
in issue, is not hearsay and is generally admissible

‣ Where a statement is not offered for the truth of the contents of the conversation, but only to show that it was
made, then the statement is not hearsay.

‣ What is significant is the making of the statement. Beyond the mere fact that the words were uttered, the
statement proves nothing as to its averments because the out-of-court declaration’s relevance is independent
of the truth of its assertions.

‣ EXAMPLE —
‣ A statement that is offered to show its patent falsity, so as to suggest the defendant’s consciousness of
guilt, is not hearsay
‣ In a prosecution for defamation, an important issue is whether or not the words constituting the offense
were uttered. There is no other inference required. Once there is proof that the words were uttered, then the
legal consequences of the mere making of the statement will follow.
‣ Newspaper accounts of an incident are hearsay if offered to prove the truth of the accounts but are not
hearsay if offered for a purpose other than the truth of the matter asserted. The newspaper account is
admissible only to prove that there was a publication and merely the tenor of the news, but not its truth
b. Statements of a person showing his state of mind, that is, his mental condition, knowledge, belief,
intention, ill-will and other emotions

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‣ A popular example of an out-of-court statement offered for a non-hearsay purpose is one which demonstrates
by inference from the tenor of the statement the state of mind of the speaker or the declarant. Here, the
significance of the statement is not whether its assertion is true or false. Its significance rests on the mere fact
that it was uttered and, by extension, on the conclusion which may reasonably be drawn from the statement.

‣ From experience we know that a person’s state of mind may be revealed by his actions or statements.

‣ It is the fact that the statement was made which is relevant. A testimony by the hearer that such statement was
made is not hearsay. Why? The hearer will be testifying as to his personal knowledge that the statement was
uttered. He may, therefore, be cross- examined as to what he heard, when it was heard, how it was said, and
the circumstances surrounding the making of the statement. The hearer’s veracity and sincerity can well be
tested under a cross-examination because he will not be testifying as to the veracity of the assertion or its
falsity which are totally irrrelevant.

c. Statement offered to prove its effect on the listener/hearer


‣ An out-of-court statement may be offered not only to prove the state of mind of the declarant. It may also be
used to show the state of mind of the hearer or listener. This state of mind of the listener is oftentimes
described in terms of the effect of the declarant’s statement on the hearer and why the listener acted in a
particular manner. The statement here, although out-of-court, is presented not to prove the truth of the
statement and hence, non-hearsay.

‣ When the statement is not offered for the truth of the matter asserted but is offered to show the mental effect
of the statement on the hearer, the statement is not hearsay

‣ This is an important category of non-hearsay evidence worth remembering. The statement offered in evidence
is not hearsay because it is the hearer’s reaction to the statement which is sought to be proved. It is his
reaction to the statement that is relevant, not the truth of the assertion in the statement. Since the hearer is
present in court, he can be cross-examined on whether or not he heard the statement accurately, believed the
statement to be true, and whether or not he really acted in conformity with his belief.

d. Statements of a person which shows his physical condition, as illness and the like
e. Statements of a person from which an inference may be made as to the state of mind of another, that is
knowledge, belief, motive, good or bad faith, etc. of the latter
f. Statements which may identify the date, place, and person in question
g. Statements showing the lack of credibility of a witness
‣ Words uttered, in this regard, merely constitute circumstantial evidence of an assertion and where the making
of the statement is the significant fact because it either gives rise to the inference about the declarant’s state of
mind or indicates its effect on the hearer. The truth of the statement is not in issue here. A statement by an out-
of- court declarant may be offered not for the veracity of what is asserted but merely to impeach the
declarant’s credibility

‣ That the credibility of a witness is always an issue in every litigation is a given. It is basic. Of course, a
testimony that attacks the credibility of the witness is equally relevant especially when that witness claims to
have personal knowledge of the facts testified to. Prior out-of-court declarations of that same witness
inconsistent with his testimony on the stand are admissible, not to prove the truth of what was said.

DOUBLE OR MULTIPLE HEARSAY


‣ RULE — HEARSAY INCLUDED WITHIN HEARSAY IS NOT EXCLUDED UNDER THE HEARSAY RULE IF EACH LEVEL OF HEARSAY
CONFORMS WITH AN EXCEPTION TO THE HEARSAY RULE.

‣ In other words, each level of hearsay must be based on a valid exception to the hearsay rule to be admissible.

‣ RIGUERA — Where a hearsay declaration is embedded in another with the result that there are two or more levels of
hearsay. This frequently happens where a party seeks to introduce a written report by a declarant (first level) of
another declarant’s out-of-court statement (second level).

‣ Example — when a person testifies as to a an out-of-court statement he heard from a declarant, the latter also heard
from another. The declarant’s statement was not based on this personal knowledge.

NEGATIVE HEARSAY
‣ This is when a testimony by an in-court witness concerning the conduct or silence of an out-of-court individual. These are
basically non-verbal acts intended as assertions.
‣ RULE — NEGATIVE HEARSAY IS INADMISSIBLE UNLESS THE FOLLOWING ARE ESTABLISHED, IN ADDITION TO SILENCE OF AN
OUT-OF-COURT INDIVIDUAL —

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1. Such individual is similarly situated with the defendant

2. Such individual had the opportunity to complain

‣ This must be proven to avoid being speculative


‣ While the porter’s proposed testimony as to the other passengers’ silence or non-complaint was identified to be hearsay
it was nonetheless held to be properly allowable. Evidence of no complaint is too remote and should not be admitted
unless, in addition to the fact that no complaints were made, there is evidence of circumstances indicating that
others similarly situated and had opportunity for complaining. There must first be a preliminary showing that the non-
complainants were all similarly situated as the plaintiff. In the case at bar, should the circumstances of Mrs. Silver and of
the other passengers as to exposure to the cold be shown to be substantially the same, the negative evidence that none
of the others spoke of it to the porter might properly be admitted. (Silver v. New York Central Railroad 1952)

EXCEPTIONS TO THE HEARSAY RULE

SUMMARY OF THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE HEARSAY RULE UNDER THE RULES


‣ It is not correct to assert that the exceptions to the hearsay rule are not hearsay. They are hearsay evidence but they are
deemed admissible hearsay for certain reasons.
‣ RIGUERA — You can basically group these exceptions in two categories. The first one is where the declarant (the one
who made the statement or entries should DEAD or UNABLE TO TESTIFY [DU REQUIREMENT]. The second is where
there is no such requirement. Note that the more refusal to testify is NOT equivalent to unavailability as the declarant may
be subpoenaed, unless he is invoking a constitutional privilege.

1. Declarations
a. Dying declarations (Sec. 37, Rule 130) [DU REQUIREMENT]

b. Part of the res gestae (Sec. 42, Rule 130)

c. Declaration against interest (Sec. 38, Rule 130) [DU REQUIREMENT]


d. Act or declaration about pedigree (Sec. 39, Rule 130) [DU REQUIREMENT]

2. Reputation
a. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree (Sec. 40, Rule 130)
b. Common reputation (Sec. 41, Rule 130)

3. Entries and Documents


a. Entries in the course of business (Sec. 43, Rule 130) [DU REQUIREMENT]

b. Entries in official records (Sec. 44, Rule 130)


c. Commercial lists and the like (Sec. 45, Rule 130)

d. Learned treatises (Sec. 46, Rule 130)


e. Electronic business entries or records (Sec. 1, Rule 8, Rules on Electronic Evidence)

4. Others
a. Testimony or deposition at a former proceeding (Sec. 47, Rule 130) [DU REQUIREMENT]
b. Declaration by child about act or attempted act of child abuse (Sec. 28, Rules on Examination of Child Witnesses)
[DU REQUIREMENT]
c. Depositions in civil cases (Sec. 4, Rule 23, Rules of Civil Procedure) [DU REQUIREMENT]

RATIONALE OF THE EXCEPTIONS


‣ Under appropriate circumstances, a hearsay statement may possess circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness
sufficient to justify non-production of the declarant in person

‣ Declaration against interest, act or declaration about pedigree, entries in the course of business, entries in official
records, commercial lists, and learned treatises are examples of hearsay evidence where there exist a diminished risk
of untrustworthiness because the motivation to lie is less.

‣ Another justification may be simply dictated by the necessity to admit an out-of-court statement

‣ Some statements may be admissible where no other or better evidence is available to prove an act, such that their
admissibility is predicated on a compelling necessity. A dying declaration is admissible largely under this rationale.

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‣ Not at all hearsay evidence, however, is inadmissible as evidence. Over the years, a huge body of hearsay evidence
has been admitted by courts due to their relevance, trustworthiness and necessity. (Estrada vs Desierto)

ADMISSIONS AND CONFESSIONS (EXTRA-JUDICIAL)

Section 26. Admission of a party. — The act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in
evidence against him. (22)

Section 33. Confession. — The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or of any
offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence against him. (29a)

‣ Are admissions an exception to the hearsay rule? or are they not hearsay to begin with?
‣ It has long been settled that these admissions are admissible even if they are hearsay. (Estrada vs Desierto)
‣ IT IS NOT HEARSAY. Dean Riano says that admissions are NOT exceptions to the hearsay rule. It is admissible but not
as an exception to the hearsay rule but because it is made by a PARTY to the case, and not by a mere witness, which
the rules explicitly provide may be used in evidence against such declarant-party. I think this is because an element of
hearsay is that there is an “out-of-court statement”, meaning a statement by a non-party (but a mere witness), in the
case of admissions, the statement was made by a party to the case (defendant/accused), thus it cannot be hearsay.
But note that the case of Estrada vs Desierto says that admissions are admissible even if they are hearsay. Normally
you prove admissions by presenting witnesses who heard the admission from the declarant, so in that sense, it is
hearsay, yet it is still admissible, so it operates as an exception to the hearsay rule in this sense. The better rule seems
to be that it is not an exception to the hearsay rule, but admissible because it is expressly provided by the rules and the
fact that the declarant is a party and he can rebut the statements testified to by another person by taking the stand. I
put it here for emphasis and correlation.
‣ SALVADOR — Admissions are NOT hearsay. They are considered independently relevant statements

‣ RIGUERA — Party admissions do NOT fall under the hearsay rule as a party cannot claim that he cannot cross-
examine himself. BUT, out-of-court statements made by the party advocating for his own interest or favour are self-
serving and thus, are considered hearsay.
‣ Why are admissions not covered by the hearsay rule?
‣ SEE — Estrada vs Desierto
‣ Wigmore, after pointing out that the party’s declaration has generally the probative value of any other person’s
asssertion, argued that it had a special value when offered against the party. In that circumstance, the admission
discredits the party’s statement with the present claim asserted in pleadings and testimony, much like a witness
impeached by contradictory statements. Moreover, he continued: Admissions pass the gauntlet of the hearsay
rule, which requires that extrajudicial assertions be excluded if there was no opportunity for the opponent
to cross-examine because it is the opponent’s own declaration, and he does not need to cross examine
himself. Wigmore then added that the Hearsay Rule is satisfied since the party now as opponent has the full
opportunity to put himself on the stand and explain his former assertion.

‣ According to Morgan: The admissibility of an admission made by the party himself rests not upon any notion that
the circumstances in which it was made furnish the trier means of evaluating it fairly, but upon the adversary theory
of litigation. A party can hardly object that he had no opportunity to cross-examine himself or that he is unworthy
of credence save when speaking under sanction of an oath.

‣ A man’s acts, conduct, and declaration, wherever made, if voluntary, are admissible against him, for the reason
that it is fair to presume that they correspond with the truth, and it is his fault if they do not.

DYING DECLARATION

Section 37. Dying declaration. — The declaration of a dying person, made under the consciousness of an impending
death, may be received in any case wherein his death is the subject of inquiry, as evidence of the cause and surrounding
circumstances of such death. (31a)

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RATIONALE
‣ A dying declaration is an evidence of the highest order; it is entitled to the utmost credence on the premise that no person
who knows of his impending death would make a careless and false accusation. At the brink of death, all thoughts on
concocting lies disappear

‣ The reasons for its admissibility is necessity and trust- worthiness. Necessity, because the declarant’s death renders it
impossible his taking the witness stand, and it often happens that there is no other equally satisfactory proof of the crime;
allowing it, therefore, prevents a failure of justice. And trustworthiness, because the declaration is made in extremity,
when the party is at the point of death, when every motive to falsehood is silenced and the mind is induced by the most
powerful considerations to speak the truth.

‣ The law considers the point of death as a situation so solemn and awful as creating an obligation equal to that which is
imposed by an oath administered in court

REQUISITES OF A DYING DECLARATION AS ADMISSIBLE HEARSAY EVIDENCE


1. THE DECLARATION IS ONE MADE BY A DYING PERSON
‣ The dying declaration of the deceased need not be directed to a particular person inquiring from the declarant as to
the circumstances of his death. Anyone who has knowledge of what the declarant said, whether it be directed to him
or not, or whether he made inquiries from the declarant or not, can testify thereto (People v. Valdez)

2. THE DECLARATION IS MADE BY SAID DYING PERSON UNDER A CONSCIOUSNESS OF HIS IMPENDING DEATH
‣ A mere consciousness of death is not enough because everyone of us, at one time or another, has become conscious
of death.

‣ The kind of death which the declarant should be conscious of is a death that is impending. The declarant must be
conscious that death is near and certain, that “death is near at hand, and what is said must have been spoken in the
hush of its impending presence.”

‣ A dying declaration must be uttered, under the fixed belief and moral conviction of the person, that his or her death is
impending and certain to follow almost immediately

‣ To admit a dying declaration in evidence, it must be shown that the declarant believed, at the time the statement was
made, that he was in a dying condition and had given up the hope of surviving

‣ How do you prove that the declaration was made by a person with knowledge of his impending death?
‣ The declarant’s belief in the imminence of his death can be shown by the declarant’s own statements or from
circumstantial evidence

‣ In any event, it is conceded that the attendant circumstances should be carefully weighed in determining the
consciousness of the impending death and the sincerity of such belief

‣ The declarant’s belief that he is going to die soon may be shown circumstantially by the obvious fatal quality of the
wound, by the statements made to the victim by the physician that his condition is hopeless, or by some other
circumstances

3. THE DECLARATION REFERS TO THE CAUSE AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE DEATH OF THE DECLARANT AND NOT OF
ANYONE ELSE

‣ This requirement is an essential part of the evidentiary foundation for a dying declaration and where the statement
sought to be introduced by the prosecution is on a matter other than the cause of death of the declarant, the required
foundation for its admissibility cannot be laid. An objection timely interposed will most likely be sustained.

‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — Suppose that a man collapses on your front door, blood oozing from his back where a knife is
prominently planted. You rush to help him and you notice, the poor, hapless guy is your next door neighbor, Candido.
You have long wanted to ask him whether or not he had something to do with the death of Calixto, another neighbor
six months ago. As he lay dying in your arms, you ask him the question and, in a weak voice, he whispers: “It was not
me... it was Frank Santos.” In a couple of seconds, he dies. Is the decedent’s statement admissible as a dying
declaration in a prosecution against Frank Santos for the death of another neighbor? Of course, the answer should be
‘No.’ It should be ‘no’ because the declaration was neither about the cause nor the circumstances of the declarant’s
death. It is not admissible because the subject of the inquiry is the death of someone else.
4. THE DECLARANT IS COMPETENT AS A WITNESS HAD HE SURVIVED
‣ This competence is vital to the admissibility of a dying declaration. Competence is affected where the declarant had
no opportunity to see the assailant.

‣ The declaration must identify the assailant; otherwise it loses its significance

5. THE DECLARANT SHOULD HAVE DIED [DU REQUIREMENT]

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‣ Note that a dying declaration is admissible as evidence of the cause and surrounding circumstances of the death of
the declarant, not merely the cause of his injuries. This is because a dying declaration should be offered in evidence in
any case wherein his death is the subject of inquiry.

‣ Impliedly therefore, the death of the declarant, although always neglected to be mentioned, should be an
element of a dying declaration.

‣ BUT, if the declarant survives, his declaration may be admissible as part of the res gestae.

ELEMENTS OF THE RULE ON ADMISSIBILITY OF DYING DECLARATIONS:


1. A DYING DECLARATION IS AN EXCEPTION TO THE HEARSAY RULE, IT IS ADMISSIBLE AS HEARSAY EVIDENCE
‣ A dying declaration is generally inadmissible in evidence due to its hearsay character but may, nonetheless, be
admitted as an exception to the rule

‣ As an exception to the rule against hearsay evidence, a dying declaration or ante mortem statement is evidence of the
highest order and is entitled to utmost credence since no person aware of his impending death would make a careless
and false accusation.

‣ It is thus, admissible to provide the identity of the accused and the deceased, to show the cause of death of the
deceased, and the circumstances under which the assault was made upon him.

2. A DYING DECLARATION MAY BE OFFERED IN ANY KIND OF CASE


‣ The former rules limited the admissibility of dying declarations to a criminal case. But changes in the Rules in 1989
made in applicable to all cases.
‣ This is seen in the wording of Sec. 37, it applies to “any kind of case”

‣ In doing so, the Rules of Court no longer places any limitation on the type of action in which a dying declaration
may be introduced. As long as the relevance is clear, a dying declaration may now be introduced in a criminal or a
civil action and the requirement of relevance is satisfied where the subject of inquiry is the death of the declarant
himself.

3. THE SUBJECT OF INQUIRY OF THE CASE, IN WHICH THE DYING DECLARATION IS OFFERED, MUST BE THE DECLARANT’S DEATH
‣ A dying declaration is admissible as evidence of the cause and surrounding circumstances of the death of the
declarant, not merely the cause of his injuries. A dying declaration is offered in evidence in any case wherein his death
is the subject of inquiry.

4. THE DYING DECLARATION MAY EITHER FAVOR OR PREJUDICE THE DECLARANT


‣ There is nothing in the rules which prohibit the admission of a dying declaration that is favorable to the accused.

‣ Certainly, the interest of the State in convicting an accused is as strong as its interest in acquitting a man falsely and
erroneously charged. The Supreme Court had long recognized the rule that dying declarations, which exculpate or
exonerate an accused, may be introduced by him and are admissible in his favor.

‣ It has been ruled that it would be unfair to restrict the use of dying declarations by the prosecution. It is well-settled
that it will also be received on behalf of the defendant

HOW TO ASSAIL A DYING DECLARATION


‣ RULE — WHILE IT IS ADMISSIBLE AS HEARSAY EVIDENCE, A PARTY CAN ASSAIL ITS PROBATIVE WEIGHT OR THE CREDIBILITY OF
THE WITNESS LIKE ANY OTHER EVIDENCE

‣ RIANO — No evidentiary rule grants a dying declaration a favored status in the hierarchy of evidence. Like any other
evidence, the declaration may be attacked in the same manner as one would do to a testimony in open court. The
declarant himself may be impeached through the normal methods provided for under the rules.

‣ Although jurisprudentially considered as evidence of the highest order, it is submitted that the admissibility of a
dying declaration, like any admissible evidence, does not create a conclusive presumption of credibility of the
admitted declaration. Courts have to apply to dying declarations the same rules applied in testing the credibility of
testimony of a witness in court. No law allows them to use a different criterion

‣ Examples:
‣ For instance, the objector may show that prior to the admitted declaration, the declarant had previously made a
statement inconsistent with his supposedly ‘dying declaration.’
‣ The objecting counsel may also demonstrate that the declarant has no personal knowledge of the identity of the
assailant.
‣ It may also be pointed out that the declarant would not have been a competent witness even if he had survived.

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‣ One may even question the competency of the declarant himself who, like any other witness, may also be
impeached. If the declarant is incompetent under the rules if he were to appear in court and in person, he would
also be incompetent as a dying declarant. Thus, if a court would adjudge him incompetent because of his insanity if
he were alive, there is no reason to consider him sane as a dying declarant.
‣ Where it is shown that the persons from the prosecution were the ones who squeezed out the dying declaration
from the lips of a weakened declarant through questions calculated to bring out a desired response, a
conscientious counsel may bring this matter up to court.

PARTS OF RES GESTAE

Section 42. Part of res gestae. — Statements made by a person while a starting occurrence is taking place or
immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances thereof, may be given in evidence as part of
res gestae. So, also, statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue, and giving it a legal significance,
may be received as part of the res gestae. (36a)

‣ RULE: THE FOLLOWING MAY BE RECEIVED AS PARTS OF THE RES GESTAE AND ADMISSIBLE AS HEARSAY EVIDENCE:
1. Statements made by a person while a starting occurrence is taking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto
with respect to the circumstances thereof

2. Statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue, and giving it a legal significance

RES GESTAE IN GENERAL; ORIGIN AND CONCEPT


‣ “The term res gestae is an old word which literally means, things done, and was originally used by the courts in the other
side of the world in the early 1800’s to create hearsay exceptions whenever it was difficult to justify the admission of a
piece of hearsay evidence at a time when the hearsay theory was far from being a developed concept in the law of
evidence. It was used as a justification to escape from the strict application of the hearsay rule.

‣ The term res gestae has been defined as “those circumtances which are the undesigned incidents of a particular
litigated act and which are admissible when illustrative of such act.”

‣ In a general way, res gestae refers to the circumstances, facts, and declarations that grow out of the main fact and serve
to illustrate its character and are so spontaneous and contemporaneous with the main fact as to exclude the idea of
deliberation and fabrication.

‣ The rule on res gestae encompasses the exclamations and statements made by either the participants, victims, or
spectators to a crime immediately before, during, or immediately after the commission of the crime when the
circumstances are such that the statements were made as a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the
excitement of the occasion and there was no opportunity for the declarant to deliberate and fabricate a false statement.

‣ The test of admissibility of evidence as a part of the res gestae is, therefore, whether the act, declaration,
exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the principal fact or event that it characterizes as to be
regarded as a part of the transaction itself, and also whether it clearly negatives any premeditation or purpose to
manufacture testimony

RATIONALE BEHIND THE EXCEPTION OF RES GESTAE


‣ The rationale behind the concept is that it is the event that speaks for itself through the spontaneous words or instinctive
words or conduct of the witness, and not the witness speaking for and about the event.

MATTERS WHICH ARE PART OF RES GESTAE


‣ These are the only two matters which may be given as evidence as part of res gestae, no other statement, act or evidence
may qualify as part of res gestae
1. SPONTANEOUS STATEMENTS
‣ These are statements made by a person while a startling occurrence is taking place or immediately prior or
subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances thereof.
‣ RIANO — EXAMPLES —
‣ Where the victim went to her aunt’s house immediately after escaping from the crime scene and spontaneously,
unhesitatingly and immediately declared to her that the accused had sexually abused

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‣ When the deceased gave the identity of his assailant to another, he was referring to a startling occurrence, i.e., his
stabbing by the accused. The victim was then on board the taxicab that would bring him to the hospital, and thus,
had no time to contrive his identification of the accused as the assailant. His utterance about the accused having
stabbed him was made in spontaneity and only in reaction to the startling occurrence. The statement was relevant
because it identified the accused as the perpetrator
2. VERBAL ACTS
‣ These are statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue, and giving it a legal significance.
‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE —Suppose that a witness testifies on the stand for the plaintiff in a collection case where
defendant denies having borrowed P10,000 from the plaintiff. The debt is not evidenced by a promissory note because
plaintiff claims that defendant had orally borrowed money from him in the past and had always paid. This time, he
refuses to pay. The witness testifies that one year ago, he saw the plaintiff give money to the defendant. There is no
hearsay problem at this point because the witness is testifying to what he actually saw. He has a personal knowledge
of the transaction, i.e., the act of the plaintiff handing money to the defendant. The act of the plaintiff, however, taken in
itself, has no legal significance because it is an equivocal act. It is ambiguous. Is the money intended as a bribe? Is it a
payment for a debt? Is it a gift? Or is it a loan extended by the plaintiff to the defendant? We do not know. We still do
not know what to make of that money delivered by the plaintiff to the defendant so the attorney asks the witness: Q:
Mr. Witness, did you testify that you saw the plaintiff give money to the defendant? A: I did, sir. Q: What,if any, did
anybody say at the time the money was handed over by the plaintiff to the defendant? A: As the plaintiff handed the
money, he said to the defendant: “This is the P10,000 you told me you were borrowing from me.” Q: What did the
defendant say, if any? A: The defendant said, “Thank you. I’ll pay you after a year.”
‣ Focus on what the plaintiff said. What he said is an out-of-court statement. There is no doubt about that. The
statement is offered to explain the conduct of the plaintiff. With his statement, the act of the plaintiff acquires a
legal significance. The money is not intended as a bribe, a gift or a payment of a debt. It is a loan by the plaintiff to
the defendant. Now, focus this time on the statement of the defendant. The act of receiving money in itself has no
definite meaning or significance. When, however, the defendant answered: “Thank you. I’ll pay you after a year,” the
act of receiving the money now acquires a legal significance. A contract of loan has just been perfected. It is now
evident, therefore, that the defendant is the debtor of the plaintiff for P10,000. He is a debtor because this is what
the acts of the plaintiff and defendant point to, as explained by the utterances contemporaneous to such acts.
Now, the witness is testifying to that out-of-court statement and it is offered to prove the truth of that statement,
that the money handed over is a loan to the defendant. It is hearsay, but it is an admissible hearsay as part of the
res gestae.

REQUISITES OF “SPONTANEOUS STATEMENTS” AS PART OF RES GESTAE


‣ When all these conditions are met, we have a spontaneous statement constituting an exception to the rule barring hearsay
statements. Even if the declarant is unavailable and thus, cannot be cross-examined, the evidence may be received.
1. THERE IS A STARTLING EVENT OR OCCURRENCE TAKING PLACE
‣ The justification for the excited utterance exception is that a spontaneous declaration of an individual who has
recently suffered an overpowering and shocking experience is likely to be truthful

‣ The event must be of such a nature as to cause an excited reaction in an average individual.

‣ If the event in itself is not sufficient to disturb the emotional and mental equilibrium of the average, reasonable person,
then raise this issue with the court as soon as it becomes apparent that the event is not as startling as that required by
the rules.

2. A STATEMENT WAS MADE, WHILE THE EVENT IS TAKING PLACE OR IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO OR SUBSEQUENT THERETO
‣ In the “spontaneous statement” part of the res gestae, common reason suggests that the statement and the event
cannot be taken separately. The statement alone, without the event, will not qualify for admission because it is the
circumstances surrounding the making of the statement which make said statement admissible.

‣ The res gestae is the startling event or occurrence and the statement is a part of that res gestae. The circumstances
stamp on the statement a character of reliability on the theory that it is almost impossible to lie in an excited state. It
has thus, been said that the spontaneity of the utterance is the guaranty of its trustworthiness.

‣ The declarant is supposed to have made a statement under the influence of the occurrence, it must be made while the
event is taking place or immediately prior to or subsequent thereto

‣ There has been no clear standard formulated so far as to when a statement made after the event is one made under
the influence of that event. There is no mathematical formula for this. Everything hinges on the unique and particular
circumstances of each case. Hence, the determination as to the spontaneity of the utterance is a matter of judicial
discretion.

3. THE STATEMENT WAS MADE BEFORE THE DECLARANT HAD THE TIME TO CONTRIVE OR DEVISE A FALSEHOOD

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‣ The admissibility of a spontaneous statement is anchored on the theory that the statement was uttered under
circumstances where the opportunity to fabricate is absent.

‣ The statement is a reflex action rather than a deliberate act, instinctive rather than deliberate.

‣ Thus, the declaration was made under conditions suggestive of the truth. Accordingly, the basis for the excited
utterance exception to the hearsay rule is that the perceived event produces nervous excitement, making fabrications
about that event unlikely

4. THE STATEMENTS MUST CONCERN THE OCCURRENCE IN QUESTION AND ITS IMMEDIATE ATTENDING CIRCUMSTANCES
‣ In other words, the statement must describe the event perceived.

‣ A declaration by a deceased person concerning the circumstances of his death may not be considered a dying
declaration if it cannot be established that he uttered his statement while conscious of his impending death but the
utterance of the victim made immediately after sustaining injuries may be considered the ‘incident’ speaking through
the victim. While it may not qualify as a dying declaration, it may nonetheless be admitted in evidence as part of the
res gestae.

REQUISITES OF “VERBAL ACTS” AS PART OF RES GESTAE


1. THE PRINCIPAL ACT TO BE CHARACTERIZED MUST BE AMBIGUOUS OR EQUIVOCAL
‣ A verbal act presupposes a conduct that is equivocal or ambiguous, one which, in itself, does not signify anything
taken separately if there were statements made contemporaneous to it.

‣ Is there an act that is equivocal or ambiguous? If the act is clear, it needs no explanation and so there is no res gestae
to speak of.

‣ The act of swinging a baseball bat at the victim in a physical injuries case is not equivocal and need not be
explained by any statement to understand the nature of the act. The bat was swung to cause injuries to the victim.

2. THE EQUIVOCAL ACT MUST BE MATERIAL TO THE ISSUE


‣ Materiality is necessary for relevance.

‣ It is matter of logic and is absolutely necessary for the admissibility of evidence and the reference to it in the rules is a
redundancy.

3. A STATEMENT MUST ACCOMPANY THE EQUIVOCAL ACT


‣ The equivocal or ambiguous act only acquires a meaning, specifically what the rules call a legal significance, only
because of the statements that accompany the act. It is the statement contemporaneous with the act that identifies or
indicates the character, purpose or motive of the act.

‣ The requirement that the statement accompany the act is explicit in Sec. 42 of Rule 130. This element is one
distinction between a spontaneous statement and a verbal act.

‣ A spontaneous statement may be prior to, simultaneous with, or subsequent to the startling event or occurrence. This
is not so in a verbal act. The statement in the latter must ‘accompany’ the equivocal act which evidently means that it
must be contemporaneous with the act.

4. THE STATEMENT MUST GIVE A LEGAL SIGNIFICANCE TO THE EQUIVOCAL ACT


‣ Will the statement accompanying the ambiguous or equivocal act explain the act or give legal significance to it? If it
will not, then the statement is not admissible.
‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE —Thus, the statement, “I will hit you with this” as he swung the bat at the victim, does not explain
the act in the physical injuries case. Because of the nature of the case, the accompanying words will not add a new
meaning to it. However, where the indictment is attempted homicide where intent to kill is an element, the swinging of
the bat may be ambiguous as to whether or not it was swung with or without the intent to kill. The utterance
accompanying the act may explain the nature of the act. Thus, if the accused, while swinging at the victim said, “Adios
Amigo! See you in hell,” the statement may help explain the purpose of the act of the accused.

JURISPRUDENCE ON SPONTANEOUS STATEMENTS AS “RES GESTAE"


‣ SALVADOR — Res Gestae is usually used in the form of spontaneous statements. Rarely is it used and discussed in the
form of equivocal acts.

‣ SEE — People vs Calungsag, G.R. No. 208749, November 26, 2014 (Read this case it basically explains Spontaneous
Statements as “res gestae” through in the most comprehensive way discussing all relevant stuff. Doctrine quoted below)
‣ That declarations which are the natural emanations or outgrowths of the act or occurrence in litigation, although not
precisely concurrent in point of time, if they were yet voluntarily and spontaneously madeso nearly contemporaneous as
to be in the presence of the transaction which they illustrate and explain, and weremade under such circumstances as

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necessarily to exclude the idea of design or deliberation, must, upon the clearest principles of justice, be admissible as
part of the act or transaction itself.

‣ All that is required for the admissibility of a given statement as part of res gestae,is that it be made under the influence of
a startling event witnessed by the person who made the declaration before he had time to think and make up a story, or
to concoct or contrive a falsehood, or to fabricate an account, and without any undue influence in obtaining it, aside from
referring to the event in question or its immediate attending circumstances.

‣ There are then three essential requisites to admit evidence as part of the res gestae, namely —

1. That the principal act, the res gestae, be a startling occurrence;

2. The statements were made before the declarant had the time to contrive or devise a falsehood; and

3. That the statements must concern the occurrence in question and its immediate attending circumstances.

‣ By res gestae, exclamations and statements made by either the participants, victims, or spectators to a crime,
immediately before, during or immediately after the commission of the crime, when the circumstances are such that the
statements constitute nothing but spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion there
being no opportunity for the declarant to deliberate and to fabricate a false statement become admissible in evidence
against the otherwise hearsay rule of inadmissibility

‣ There is, of course, no hard and fast rule by which spontaneity may be determined although a number of factors have
been considered, including, but not always confined to —

1. The time that has lapsed between the occurrence of the act or transaction and the making of the statement

2. The place where the statement is made

3. The condition of the declarant when the utterance is given

4. The presence or absence of intervening events between the occurrence and the statement relative thereto, and

5. The nature and the circumstances of the statement itself

‣ There must be no intervening circumstances between the res gestae occurrence and the time the statement was made
ascould have afforded the declarant an opportunity for deliberation or reflection; in other words, the statement was
unreflected and instinctive. An important consideration is whether there intervened between the occurrence and the
statement any circumstance calculated to divert the mind of the declarant, and thus restore his mental balance and afford
opportunity for deliberation. His statement then cannot be regarded as unreflected and instinctive, and isnot admissible
as part of the res gestae. An example is where he had been talking about matters other than the occurrence in question
or directed his attention to other matters

‣ Two tests in applying the res gestae rule:

1. The act, declaration or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the principal fact orevent that it
characterizes as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself; and

2. The said evidence clearly negatives any premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony

‣ The term res gestae has been defined as "those circumstances which are the undesigned incidents of a particular
litigated act and which are admissible when illustrative of such act." In a general way, res gestae refers to the
circumstances, facts, and declarations that grow out of the main fact and serve to illustrate its character and are so
spontaneous and contemporaneous with the main fact asto exclude the idea of deliberation and fabrication. The rule on
res gestae encompasses the exclamations and statements made by either the participants, victims, or spectators to a
crime immediately before, during, or immediately after the commission of the crime when the circumstances are such that
the statements were made as a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion and there
was no opportunity for the declarant to deliberate and to fabricate a false statement. The test of admissibility of evidence
as a part of the res gestaeis, therefore, whether the act, declaration, or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or
connected with the principal fact or event that it characterizes as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself, and
also whether it clearly negatives any premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony.

‣ By way of illustration, in People v. Villarama,41 the 4-year-old rape victim did not testify, but the accused, an uncle of the
victim, was convicted on the basis of what the child told her mother. The Court said: The critical factor is the ability or
chance to invent a story of rape. At her age, the victim could not havehad the sophistication, let alone the malice, to tell
her mother that her uncle made her lie down, took off her panties and inserted his penis inside her vagina. The shock of
an unwelcome genital penetration on a woman is unimaginable, more so to a four-year-old child. Such a brutal experience
constituted unspeakable trauma. The fact that Elizabeth was still crying when her parents arrived reinforces the
conclusion that she was still in a traumatic state when she made the statements pointing to appellant.

DECLARATIONS AGAINST INTEREST

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Section 38. Declaration against interest. — The declaration made by a person deceased, or unable to testify, against the
interest of the declarant, if the fact is asserted in the declaration was at the time it was made so far contrary to
declarant's own interest, that a reasonable man in his position would not have made the declaration unless he believed it
to be true, may be received in evidence against himself or his successors in interest and against third persons. (32a)

RATIONALE
‣ This is a well-established exception which finds confirmation in human nature and experience.

‣ People normally speak freely and even with untruth when the statement is in their interest, but are usually unwilling to
speak falsely against their interest.

‣ Wigmore considers a declaration against interest as also founded on necessity on account of the impossibility of
obtaining other evidence from the same source, the declarant being unavailable in person to testify on the stand on
account of death, absence from the jurisdiction or serious illness

REQUISITES OF DECLARATIONS AGAINST INTEREST AS ADMISSIBLE HEARSAY EVIDENCE


1. A STATEMENT OF FACT WHICH IS CONTRARY TO DECLARANT'S OWN INTEREST AT THE TIME IT WAS MADE
‣ The declaration contemplated under Sec. 38 of Rule 130 is a declaration against interest.

‣ If the declaration is favorable to the interest of the declaration, it is a mere self- serving statement and does not fall as
an exception to the hearsay rule.

2. THE DECLARANT HAS KNOWLEDGE THAT THE STATEMENT IS AGAINST HIS PECUNIARY OR MORAL INTEREST IN THAT A
REASONABLE MAN IN HIS POSITION WOULD NOT HAVE MADE THE DECLARATION UNLESS HE BELIEVED IT TO BE TRUE

‣ Note that it is not enough that a declaration against interest was made. It is necessary that the declarant knew that the
statement was against his interest and which he would not have made had it not been true.

‣ As a rule, the interest against which the declaration may have been made should be either a pecuniary or moral
interest, but in our jurisdiction, the declaration could possibly be against one’s penal interest because if one admits
to a crime, he is also civilly liable, a liability that is pecuniary

3. THE DECLARANT IS DEAD OR UNABLE TO TESTIFY [DU REQUIREMENT]


‣ This exception will not apply where the declarant is available as a witness. The declarant must be dead or unable to
testify.

‣ What kind of unavailability aside from death is a sufficient reason to justify the application of the exception?
‣ Being outside the territorial jurisdiction of the country may be a good reason for unavailability if his exact
whereabouts abroad are unknown.

‣ If known, his deposition may be taken and the exception will not apply.

‣ Serious physical or mental impairments may be grounds for considering a person “unavailable.”

‣ Example: A statement by the debtor before he died that he owes the creditor a sum of money, or an oral acknowledgment
by the principal that he received the money previously entrusted to his agent, are clear declarations against the interest of
the person making the statement.
‣ Is the declaration against interest admissible against other persons?
‣ YES. the declaration against interest made by the deceased, or by one unable to testify, is admissible even against
the declarant’s successors-in-interest or even against third persons

ADMISSIONS VS DECLARATIONS AGAINST INTEREST

ADMISSIONS DECLARATIONS AGAINST INTEREST

Status of the An admission is admissible in evidence even if the To be admitted as a declaration against interest, the
Persons person making such is alive and is in court declarant must be dead or unable to testify
making the
Statement

When it should Made at any time, even during the trial Generally made before the controversy arises
be made

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ADMISSIONS DECLARATIONS AGAINST INTEREST

Subject-matter Admissible as long as it is inconsistent with his present Generally made against one’s pecuniary or moral
of the claim or defense and need not be against one’s interest;
Statement pecuniary or moral interest

Against whom An admission is admissible only against the party Admissible even against third persons
it is admissible making the admission
against

In relation to It is not an exception to the hearsay rule. It is admissible An exception to the hearsay rule
the Hearsay not as an exception to any rule
Rule

ACT OR DECLARATION ABOUT PEDIGREE

Section 39. Act or declaration about pedigree. — The act or declaration of a person deceased, or unable to testify, in
respect to the pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage, may be received in evidence where it
occurred before the controversy, and the relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act
or declaration. The word "pedigree" includes relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death, the dates when and
the places where these fast occurred, and the names of the relatives. It embraces also facts of family history intimately
connected with pedigree. (33a)

REQUISITES OF ACTS OR DECLARATIONS ABOUT PEDIGREE AS ADMISSIBLE HEARSAY EVIDENCE


1. There is an act or declaration with respect to the pedigree of another person
‣ The word “pedigree” includes relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death, the dates when and the places
where these facts occurred, and the names of the relatives.

‣ It also embraces facts of family history intimately connected with pedigree

2. The declarant is related by birth or marriage to the person whose pedigree is in issue
3. The declaration was made before the controversy
4. The relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration
5. The declarant is dead, or unable to testify
‣ Such as if the declarant is outside the territorial jurisdiction and his whereabouts are unknown, or he has serious
physical or mental impairments

‣ EXAMPLES —
‣ The declaration of Jose, already dead, prior to his death and prior to any controversy, that Juan is his illegitimate son,
is a declaration about pedigree.
‣ Similarly, a statement from a mother while living, that her daughters, Maria and Petra, were sired by the same father is
admissible.
‣ SALVADOR — Note that there are three persons involved. (1) Person whose pedigree is in issue (2) Declarant, and (3)
Witness. The witness need NOT be related to the person whose pedigree is in issue, but the declarant should be related
to him by birth or marriage.

FAMILY REPUTATION OR TRADITION REGARDING PEDIGREE

Section 40. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree. — The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous
to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members, may be received in evidence if the witness
testifying thereon be also a member of the family, either by consanguinity or affinity. Entries in family bibles or other family
books or charts, engravings on rings, family portraits and the like, may be received as evidence of pedigree. (34a)

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REQUISITES OF FAMILY REPUTATION OR TRADITION ABOUT PEDIGREE AS ADMISSIBLE HEARSAY EVIDENCE
1. There is a witness who testifies regarding the reputation or tradition of the family in relation to the pedigree of
any member of the family
2. The witness is related by birth or marriage to the person whose pedigree is in issue
3. The reputation or tradition is one existing previous to the controversy
‣ NOTE — entries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engravings on rings, family portraits and the like, may be
received as evidence of pedigree aside from family tradition or reputation

COMMON REPUTATION

Section 41. Common reputation. — Common reputation existing previous to the controversy, respecting facts of public or
general interest more than thirty years old, or respecting marriage or moral character, may be given in evidence.
Monuments and inscriptions in public places may be received as evidence of common reputation. (35)

REQUISITES OF COMMON REPUTATION AS ADMISSIBLE HEARSAY EVIDENCE


1. There is a witness who testifies regarding any of the following matters of common reputation —
a. Facts of public or general interest more than thirty years old

b. Facts involving marriage

c. Facts involving moral character (Such as by using it as reputation evidence of a witness’ bad reputation for truth
honesty or integrity as a mode of impeachment. Also relate this with Character Evidence in general)

2. The common reputation is one existing prior to the controversy


‣ NOTE —

‣ Common reputation is hearsay, like any other exception to the hearsay rule, but is admissible because of
trustworthiness

‣ Common reputation may also be established by monuments and inscriptions (which need not be thirty years old)

‣ Common reputation cannot establish pedigree. This is established by reputation in the family and not in the
community. But it can establish marriage.

ENTRIES IN THE COURSE OF BUSINESS (BUSINESS ENTRIES)

Section 43. Entries in the course of business. — Entries made at, or near the time of transactions to which they refer, by a
person deceased, or unable to testify, who was in a position to know the facts therein stated, may be received as prima
facie evidence, if such person made the entries in his professional capacity or in the performance of duty and in the
ordinary or regular course of business or duty. (37a)

‣ REQUISITES —

1. Entries are made at, or near the time of transactions to which they refer

2. The person made such entries in his professional capacity or in the performance of duty and in the ordinary or regular
course of business or duty

3. Entrant must be in a position to know the facts stated in the entry. He must have personal knowledge of the
information he is entering.

4. Such person making the entries is deceased, or unable to testify [DU REQUIREMENT]

‣ RIGUERA — The use of the term business entries exception is somewhat misleading. The word “business” therein is
NOT used in the ordinary sense of the word but extends to ALL cases where the entries were made in a professional
capacity or in the performance of duty. Hence, a logbook the a security guard or a wife’s budget journal is a business
record. The business or enterprise may be legal or illegal. Thus, the diary of a jutting book where he kept records of bets
and winning is a business record and admissible to prove the contents thereof if the booking is dead or unable to testify.

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‣ NOTE — The business entries are considered prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. They are treated similarly
as public records. Compare and relate both of them in the context of the following rules (1) best evidence rule (2) prima
facie evidence rule (3) exception to the hearsay rule.

ELECTRONIC BUSINESS ENTRIES OR RECORDS

RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE


RULE 8 — BUSINESS RECORDS AS EXCEPTION TO THE HEARSAY RULE
Section 1. Inapplicability of the hearsay rule. – A memorandum, report, record or data compilation of acts, events,
conditions, opinions, or diagnoses, made by electronic, optical or other similar means at or near the time of or from
transmission or supply of information by a person with knowledge thereof, and kept in the regular course or conduct of a
business activity, and such was the regular practice to make the memorandum, report, record, or data compilation by
electronic, optical or similar means, all of which are shown by the testimony of the custodian or other qualified witnesses,
is excepted from the rule on hearsay evidence.

Section 2. Overcoming the presumption. – The presumption provided for in Section 1 of this Rule may be overcome by
evidence of the untrustworthiness of the source of information or the method or circumstances of the preparation,
transmission or storage thereof.

RULE 9 — METHOD OF PROOF


Section 1. Affidavit evidence. – All matters relating to the admissibility and evidentiary weight of an electronic document
may be established by an affidavit stating facts of direct personal knowledge of the affiant or based on authentic records.
The affidavit must affirmatively show the competence of the affiant to testify on the matters contained therein.

Section 2. Cross-examination of deponent. – The affiant shall be made to affirm the contents of the affidavit in open court
and may be cross-examined as a matter of right by the adverse party.

‣ Remember that “business records” include records of any business, institution, association, profession, occupation, and
calling of every kind, whether or not conducted for profit, or for legitimate or illegitimate purposes. (Rule 2, Sec.
2[b], Rules on Electronic Evidence)
‣ REQUISITES — For electronic business records to be excepted from the hearsay rule —
1. The electronic business record is made at or near the time of the transaction

2. The electronic business record is made by, or from transmission or supply of information by, a person with knowledge
of the transaction.

3. The electronic business record is kept in the regular course or conduct of a business activity.

4. It is the regular practice to keep the electronic business records.

‣ How are the foregoing requirements shown?


‣ It must be shown by the testimony of the (1) custodian or other qualified witness. (Rule 8, Sec. 1, Rules on
Electronic Evidence). It may also be proved by the (2) affidavit of the custodian or other qualified witness stating
acts of direct personal knowledge of the affiant or based on authentic records. (Rule 9, Sec. 1, Rules on Electronic
Evidence)
‣ Is the electronic business entry exception the same as the business entries exception?
‣ RIGUERA — NO. See the following distinctions —

BUSINESS ENTRIES ELECTRONIC BUSINESS ENTRIES

Rule 130, Sec. 43, Rules of Court Rule 8, Rules on Electronic Evidence

Applies to non-electronic business entries or records Applies to electronic business entries or records

Entrant must be dead or unable to testify [DU REQUIREMENT] Entrant need NOT be dead or unable to testify

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BUSINESS ENTRIES ELECTRONIC BUSINESS ENTRIES

Entrant must be in a position to know the facts stated in the entry. Entrant need NOT have personal knowledge of the information
He must have personal knowledge of the information he is recorded, it being sufficient that the record is made by
entering. transmission, or supply of information by, a person with
knowledge thereof.

Testimony of custodian or record-keeper to be made orally in open Foundational testimony of custodian or other qualified witness
court. may be made in affidavit form, subject to cross-exam

Prima facie evidence of facts stated therein NOT prima facie evidence of facts stated therein

ENTRIES IN OFFICIAL RECORDS

Section 44. Entries in official records. — Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by a public officer
of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the
facts therein stated. (38)

‣ REQUISITES —

1. The entries must have been made in official records

2. The entry was made by either a —

a. Public officer or

b. Another person specially enjoined by law to do so (even if he’s not a public officer)

3. It was made by by such other person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law

4. The entrant (public officer or other person) must have either had —

a. Sufficient personal knowledge of the facts by him or her stated acquired by him personally or
b. Sufficient knowledge acquired by him through official information from reports made by persons under a legal
duty to submit the same

‣ SEE —Barcelon Roxas Security vs CIR, G.R. No. 157064, August 7, 2006
‣ An entrant must have personal knowledge of the facts stated by him or such facts were acquired by him from
reports made by persons under a legal duty to submit the same.

‣ In this case, the entries made by the witness were not based on her personal knowledge, as she did not attest to the
fact that she personally prepared and mailed the assessment notice. Nor was it stated in the transcript of
stenographic notes how and from whom she obtained the pertinent information. Moreover, she did not attest to the
fact that she acquired the reports from persons under a legal duty to submit the same.

‣ Hence, Sec. 44 of Rule 130 finds no application in the present case. The evidence offered by respondent does not
qualify as an exception to the rule against hearsay evidence. Furthermore, independent evidence, such as the registry
receipt of the assessment notice, or a certification from the Bureau of Posts, could have easily been obtained
(Barcelon Roxas Security vs CIR)
‣ RIGUERA — This exception should also apply to official records of foreign countries.

COMMERCIAL LISTS AND THE LIKE

Section 45. Commercial lists and the like. — Evidence of statements of matters of interest to persons engaged in an
occupation contained in a list, register, periodical, or other published compilation is admissible as tending to prove the
truth of any relevant matter so stated if that compilation is published for use by persons engaged in that occupation and
is generally used and relied upon by them therein. (39)

‣ REQUISITES —

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1. Evidence presented are commercial lists or reports of matters of interest to persons engaged in a particular
occupation
‣ These documents may be in the form of lists, registers, periodicals, or other published compilations

2. The documents are made and published by persons engaged in such occupation
3. The documents are generally used and relied upon by persons also engaged in such occupation
‣ Example — SCRA, medical journals, stock listings

LEARNED TREATISES

Section 46. Learned treatises. — A published treatise, periodical or pamphlet on a subject of history, law, science, or art
is admissible as tending to prove the truth of a matter stated therein if the court takes judicial notice, or a witness expert
in the subject testifies, that the writer of the statement in the treatise, periodical or pamphlet is recognized in his
profession or calling as expert in the subject. (40a)

‣ History books and published findings of scientists fall within this exception provided that an expert on the subject testifies
to the expertise of the writer or the court takes judicial notice of such fact.

TESTIMONY OR DEPOSITION IN A FORMER PROCEEDING

Section 47. Testimony or deposition at a former proceeding. — The testimony or deposition of a witness deceased or
unable to testify, given in a former case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, involving the same parties and subject
matter, may be given in evidence against the adverse party who had the opportunity to cross-examine him. (41a)

RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE


RULE 115 — RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED
(f) XXXXXXXX
Either party may utilize as part of its evidence the testimony of a witness who is deceased, out of or can not with due
diligence be found in the Philippines, unavailable, or otherwise unable to testify, given in another case or proceeding,
judicial or administrative, involving the same parties and subject matter, the adverse party having the opportunity to
cross-examine him.

‣ REQUISITES —

1. The witness is dead or unable to testify

2. His testimony or deposition was given in a former case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, between the same
parties or those representing the same interests

3. The former case involved the same subject as that in the present case, although on different causes of action

4. The issue testified to by the witness in the former trial is the same issue involved in the present case

5. The adverse party had an opportunity to cross-examine the witness in the former case

‣ Are the documents which are part of the former testimony or deposition admissible under this exception?
‣ YES. (Manliclic vs Calaunan 2007)
‣ RIGUERA — The rule on former testimony or deposition in civil cases is similar to that in criminal cases (See Rule 116,
Sec 1[f], Rules of Criminal Procedure) with the notable distinction that a deposition is NOT mentioned in Rule 116. The
difference should be interpreted in favour of the accused, meaning a deposition in another case should NOT be
admissible against the accused for being hearsay.

IN THE CASE OF CHILD WITNESSES

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EXCEPTION TO THE HEARSAY EVIDENCE RULE FOR CHILD WITNESSES
‣ See Sec. 28, Rules on Examination of a Child Witness
‣ RULE — A STATEMENT MADE BY A CHILD DESCRIBING ANY ACT OR ATTEMPTED ACT OF CHILD ABUSE, NOT OTHERWISE
ADMISSIBLE UNDER THE HEARSAY RULE, MAY BE ADMITTED IN EVIDENCE IN ANY CRIMINAL OR NON-CRIMINAL PROCEEDING
SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING RULES:

1. Before such hearsay statement may be admitted, its proponent shall make known to the adverse party the intention
to offer such statement and its particulars to provide him a fair opportunity to object.

2. If the child is available, the court shall, upon motion of the adverse party, require the child to be present at the
presentation of the hearsay statement for cross-examination by the adverse party. When the child is
unavailable, the fact of such circumstance must be proved by the proponent.

3. In ruling on the admissibility of such hearsay statement, the court shall consider the time, content and
circumstances thereof which provide sufficient indicia of reliability. It shall consider the following factors:
(a) Whether there is a motive to lie

(b) The general character of the declarant child

(c) Whether more than one person heard the statement

(d) Whether the statement was spontaneous

(e) The timing of the statement and the relationship between the declarant child and witness

(f) Cross-examination could not show the lack of knowledge of the declarant child

(g) The possibility of faulty recollection of the declarant child is remote

(h) The circumstances surrounding the statement are such that there is no reason to suppose the declarant child
misrepresented the involvement of the accused.

4. The child witness shall be considered unavailable under the following situations: [DU REQUIREMENT]
(a) Is deceased, suffers from physical infirmity, lack of memory, mental illness, or will be exposed to severe
psychological injury; or

(b) Is absent from the hearing and the proponent of his statement has been unable to procure his attendance by
process or other reasonable means.

(c) When the child witness is unavailable, his hearsay testimony shall be admitted only if corroborated by other
admissible evidence.

DEPOSITIONS IN CIVIL CASES

Section 4. Use of depositions. — At the trial or upon the hearing of a motion or an interlocutory proceeding, any part or all
of a deposition, so far as admissible under the rules of evidence, may be used against any party who was present or
represented at the taking of the deposition or who had due notice thereof, in accordance with any one of the following
provisions;
(a) XXXXXX
(b) XXXXXX
(c) The deposition of a witness, whether or not a party, may be used by any party for any purpose if the court finds: (1)
that the witness is dead, or (2) that the witness resides at a distance more than one hundred (100) kilometers from the
place of trial or hearing, or is out of the Philippines, unless it appears that his absence was procured by the party
offering the deposition, or (3) that the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, sickness, infirmity, or
imprisonment, or (4) that the party offering the deposition has been unable to procure the attendance of the witness
by subpoena; or (5) upon application and notice, that such exceptional circumstances exist as to make it desirable, in
the interest of justice and with due regard to the importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses orally in open
court, to allow the deposition to be used; and
(d) XXXXXX

‣ Rule 23, Sec. 4[c] is really an exception to the hearsay rule. Note the DU requirement.

OPINION RULE

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Section 48. General rule. — The opinion of witness is not admissible, except as indicated in the following sections. (42)

Section 49. Opinion of expert witness. — The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring special knowledge, skill,
experience or training which he shown to posses, may be received in evidence. (43a)

Section 50. Opinion of ordinary witnesses. — The opinion of a witness for which proper basis is given, may be received in
evidence regarding —
(a) the identity of a person about whom he has adequate knowledge;
(b) A handwriting with which he has sufficient familiarity; and
(c) The mental sanity of a person with whom he is sufficiently acquainted.
The witness may also testify on his impressions of the emotion, behavior, condition or appearance of a person. (44a)

FACT-OPINION DICHOTOMY
‣ The true rationale of the Opinion Rule is that opinion testimony of a witness is excluded because it is not needed, it is
superfluous. It is scientifically impossible to distinguish between “fact” and “opinion”, as all matters of measure, identity,
quality and the like are no better than opinions.The difference between so-called fact and opinion is no difference
between opposites or contrasting absolutes, but a mere difference in degree with no recognizable line to mark the
boundary. (Wigmore, McCormick)

INADMISSIBILITY OF OPINIONS AS EVIDENCE; EXCEPTIONS


‣ RULE — GENERALLY, THE OPINION OF A WITNESS IS NOT ADMISSIBLE
‣ This is because when a witness testifies, a witness does so with respect to facts personally observed by him and it is
for the court to draw conclusions from the facts testified to.

‣ EXCEPT — OPINIONS ARE ADMISSIBLE IN THE FOLLOWING INSTANCES —


1. EXPERT OPINION
‣ This is when —

a. The opinion of a witness requires special knowledge, skill, experience or training


b. Such expert witness must be “qualified”, it must be shown that he possesses such special qualifications

‣ BUT — Expert opinions are NOT conclusive on courts


‣ RIANO —Expert opinion evidence is to be considered or weighed by the court, like any other testimony, in
the light of its own general knowledge and experience upon the subject of inquiry.
‣ A handwriting expert is not indispensable to prove that a signature was indeed a forgery. The opinion of
handwriting experts are not necessarily binding upon the court, the expert’s function being to place before
the court data upon which the court can form its own opinion. While these experts are helpful in the
examination of forged documents because of the technical procedure involved in analyzing them, resort to
them is not mandatory or indispensable to the examination or comparison of handwriting. A finding of
forgery does not depend entirely on the findings of handwriting experts, because the judge must conduct
an independent examination of the questioned signature in order to arrive at a reasonable conclusion
(Lorzano v. Tabayag)
‣ Where the sanity of a person is at issue, expert opinion is not necessary. The observations of the trial judge
coupled with evidence establishing the person's state of mental sanity will suffice (Hernandez vs Juan-
Santos 2009)
‣ Courts do not immediately accord probative value to an admitted expert testimony, much less to an
unobjected ordinary testimony respecting special knowledge. The reason is that the probative value of an
expert testimony does not lie in a simple exposition of the expert's opinion. Rather, its weight lies in the
assistance that the expert witness may afford the courts by demonstrating the facts which serve as a basis
for his opinion and the reasons on which the logic of his conclusions is founded. (Dela Llana vs Biong 2013)

2. LAY OPINION ON CERTAIN MATTERS


‣ These are opinion of ordinary witnesses, when they pertain to the following matters

a. The identity of a person about whom the witness has adequate knowledge

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b. The handwriting of a person with which the witness has sufficient familiarity

c. The mental sanity of a person with whom he is sufficiently acquainted

d. The impressions of the witness of the emotion, behavior, condition or appearance of a person (also
known as “short-hand” opinions)
‣ When the opinion is that of a witness who is not an expert (ordinary witness), his testimony may be admitted in
evidence provided that the proper basis of the opinion is given and the subject of the opinion is any of the
aforementioned matters

‣ This is because, in such cases, the ordinary witness already has personal knowledge of the pertinent facts and
data so that his inference or opinion is rationally based on his perception.

‣ It is competent for the ordinary witness to give his opinion as to the sanity or mental condition of a person,
provided the witness has had sufficient opportunity to observe the speech, manner, habits, and conduct of the
person in question. Generally, it is required that the witness details the factors and reasons upon which he
bases his opinion before he can testify as to what it is. (People vs Duranan 2001)

‣ NOTE — a witness who is presented as an expert, who fails to qualify as such, may still be introduced as an
ordinary witness in the enumerated cases

CONCURRENT EXPERT OPINION; “HOT-TUB” METHOD


‣ “Hot tubbing,” the colloquial term for concurrent expert evidence, a method used for giving evidence in civil cases in
Australia. In a “hot tub” hearing, the judge can hear all the experts discussing the same issue at the same time to explain
each of their points in a discussion with a professional colleague. The objective is to achieve greater efficiency and
expedition, by reduced emphasis on cross-examination and increased emphasis on professional dialogue, and swifter
identification of the critical areas of disagreement between the experts. The hot tub method involves multiple expert
witnesses providing testimony at the same time, often together. The experts can challenge and quiz each another
facilitating a dialogue between experts and the tribunal, with counsels' role sometimes limited to stating objections.
(ISAAA vs Greenpeace 2015)

‣ Is this method allowed?


‣ Not sure. The ISAAA case didn’t categorically disallow it and merely said that the hot tub hearing in the case did not
yield any consensus on the points of contention.

‣ However, the concurring opinion of Justice Leonen seems to suggest otherwise “method obfuscated further an
already complicated legal issue. Courts of law have a precise and rigorous method to ferret out the facts of a case, a
method which is governed by our published rules of evidence. By disregarding these rules, the Court of Appeals acted
whimsically, capriciously, and arbitrarily.”

COLLECTIVE FACTS RULE


‣ This is based on US Jurisprudence, and seems to be an additional exception to the opinion rule. These are opinions but
are said to be statements of “collective facts”
‣ VIRGINIA RY VS BURR (1926)
‣ The court is of opinion that this evidence was improperly excluded, that it should have been admitted under what is
called the collective facts rule and not excluded under the opinion rule. The exception to the general rule that
witnesses cannot give opinions, is not confined to the evidence of experts testifying on subjects requiring special
knowledge, skill or learning, but includes the evidence of common observers, testifying to the results of their
observation made at the time in regard to common appearances of facts, and a condition of things which
cannot be reproduced and made palpable to a jury.

‣ Such evidence has been said to be competent from necessity on the same ground as the testimony of experts. Nor is
it a mere opinion, but a conclusion of fact to which his judgment, observation, and common knowledge has led him in
regard to a subject matter which requires no special learning or experiment, but which is within the knowledge of men
in general.

‣ Impressions which are based upon a great variety of circumstances and a combination of appearances, which
because either of the witness' infirmity or the infirmity of our language cannot be adequately or better
expressed, may be testified to by those who have personally observed the facts.
‣ Wigmore: The second corollary of the general principle of knowledge is that the result of the witness' observation
need not be positive or absolute knowledge. Such a degree of certainty cannot be demanded, even in theory; it
suffices if he had an opportunity of personal observation, and did get some impressions from this observation.

‣ What the courts repudiate then is a mere guess, an exercise of the imagination, a suspicion, a conjecture, offered in
the place of the result of actual personal observation; it is from this point of view only that a belief or opinion or
impression is not to be received.

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CHARACTER EVIDENCE

Section 51. Character evidence not generally admissible; exceptions: —


(a) In Criminal Cases:
(1) The accused may prove his good moral character which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense
charged.
(2) Unless in rebuttal, the prosecution may not prove his bad moral character which is pertinent to the moral trait
involved in the offense charged.
(3) The good or bad moral character of the offended party may be proved if it tends to establish in any reasonable
degree the probability or improbability of the offense charged.
(b) In Civil Cases: Evidence of the moral character of a party in civil case is admissible only when pertinent to the issue of
character involved in the case.
(c) In the case provided for in Rule 132, Section 14, (46a, 47a)

Section 14. Evidence of good character of witness. — Evidence of the good character of a witness is not admissible until
such character has been impeached. (17)

RULE 128: GENERAL PROVISIONS OF EVIDENCE


Section 4. Relevancy; collateral matters. — Evidence must have such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in
its existence or non-existence. Evidence on collateral matters shall not be allowed, except when it tends in any
reasonable degree to establish the probability or improbability of the fact in issue.

CHARACTER OR PROPENSITY EVIDENCE; CHARACTER VS REPUTATION


‣ Character is the aggregate of the moral qualities which belong to and distinguish an individual person; the general results
of one’s distinguishing attributes.

‣ It refers to what a man is and depends on the attributes he possesses. It is not the same as a man’s reputation because
the latter depends on attributes which others believe one to possess. Character signifies reality while reputation signifies
what is accepted to be reality at present (Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Ed., p. 211)
‣ Character is defined to be the possession by a person of certain qualities of mind and morals, distinguishing him from
others. It is the opinion generally entertained of a person derived from the common report of the people who are
acquainted with him; his reputation. Good moral character includes all the elements essential to make up such a
character; among these are common honesty and veracity, especially in all professional intercourse; a character that
measures up as good among people of the community in which the person lives, or that is up to the standard of the
average citizen; that status which attaches to a man of good behavior and upright conduct. (People vs Lee 2002)
‣ In other words, while character is what the person really is, reputation is what he is supposed to be in accordance
with what people say he is, and is dependent on how people perceive him to be.

INADMISSIBILITY OF CHARACTER EVIDENCE


‣ RULE — GENERALLY, CHARACTER EVIDENCE IS NOT ADMISSIBLE
‣ Character is generally irrelevant in determining a controversy because the evidence of a person’s character or trait is
not admissible to prove that a person acted in conformity with such character or trait in a particular occasion

‣ The rule is that the character or reputation of a party is regarded as legally irrelevant in determining a controversy, so
that evidence relating thereto is not admissible. Ordinarily, if the issues in the case were allowed to be influenced by
evidence of the character or reputation of the parties, the trial would be apt to have the aspects of a popularity
contest rather than a factual inquiry into the merits of the case. After all, the business of the court is to try the case,
and not the man; and a very bad man may have a righteous cause (People vs Lee 2002)
‣ The general rule prevailing in a great majority of jurisdictions is that it is not permissible to show that a witness has
been arrested or that he has been charged with or prosecuted for a criminal offense, or confined in jail for the purpose
of impairing his credibility. This view has usually been based upon one or more of the following grounds or theories—

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1. That a mere unproven charge against the witness does not logically tend to affect his credibility

2. That innocent persons are often arrested or accused of a crime

3. That one accused of a crime is presumed to be innocent until his guilt is legally established, and

4. That a witness may not be impeached or discredited by evidence of particular acts of misconduct. (CSC v.
Belagan)

EXCEPTIONS; WHEN CHARACTER EVIDENCE IS ADMISSIBLE


1. In criminal cases
a. The accused may prove his good moral character which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense charged.

b. In rebuttal and only after the accused has presented evidence of his good moral character, the prosecution may prove
the bad moral character of the accused which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense charged.

c. The good or bad moral character of the offended party may be proved if it tends to establish in any reasonable degree
the probability or improbability of the offense charged.

2. In civil cases, evidence of the moral character of a party in civil case is admissible only when pertinent to the
issue of character involved in the case.
3. Evidence of the good character of a witness is admissible but only when such character has already been
impeached
‣ BUT — bad reputation evidence is allowed.

‣ NOTE — A rule of thumb is when issues of good faith or bad faith, fraud, or immorality are involved, then character
evidence is allowed.

EXCEPTIONS; WHEN CHARACTER EVIDENCE IS ADMISSIBLE (EXPOUNDED)


1. CRIMINAL CASES
a. THE ACCUSED MAY PROVE HIS GOOD MORAL CHARACTER WHICH IS PERTINENT TO THE MORAL TRAIT INVOLVED IN THE
OFFENSE CHARGED.

‣ RIANO — The general rule against “propensity evidence” does not apply to the accused who is allowed to offer
evidence of his good character. When the accused presents proof of his good moral character, this strengthens
the presumption of innocence, and where good character and reputation are established, an inference arises that
the accused did not commit the crime charged. This view proceeds from the theory that a person of good
character and high reputation is not likely to have committed the act charged against him.

‣ BUT — note that only those moral traits involved in the offense charged are provable.
‣ In doing so, an accused may advance more than one character trait as evidence so long as each trait is
germane to some issue in the case
‣ He may not prove his character by evidence of specific instances of good conduct which are totally unrelated
to the offense charge

‣ The character evidence must be relevant and germane to the kind of the act charged, e.g., on a charge of rape,
character for chastity; on a charge of assault, character for peacefulness or violence; on a charge for
embezzlement, character for honesty and integrity.
‣ The offering of evidence of good moral character is a privilege of the accused and the prosecution cannot even
comment on his failure to produce such evidence. But once he raises the issue of his good character, the
prosecution may, in rebuttal, offer evidence of the defendant’s bad character (People v. Lee 2002)

‣ Where the accused proves his good moral character pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense
charged, he opens the door to the prosecution to prove that his moral character is, in fact, bad.

‣ NOTE — An accused is not entitled to an acquittal simply because of his previous good moral character
and exemplary conduct.
‣ The fact that Diopita is endowed with such "sterling" qualities hardly justifies the conclusion that he is innocent
of the crime charged. Similarly, his having attained the position of "Ministerial Servant" in his faith is no
guarantee against any sexual perversion and plunderous proclivity on his part. Indeed, religiosity is not always
an emblem of good conduct, and it is not the unreligious alone who succumbs to the impulse to rob and rape.
An accused is not entitled to an acquittal simply because of his previous good moral character and exemplary
conduct. The affirmance or reversal of his conviction must be resolved on the basic issue of whether the
prosecution had discharged its duty of proving his guilt beyond any peradventure of doubt. Since the evidence

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of the crime in the instant case is more than sufficient to convict, the evidence of good moral character of
accused-appellant is unavailing. (People vs Diopita 2000)

b. IN REBUTTAL AND ONLY AFTER THE ACCUSED HAS PRESENTED EVIDENCE OF HIS GOOD MORAL CHARACTER, THE
PROSECUTION MAY PROVE THE BAD MORAL CHARACTER OF THE ACCUSED WHICH IS PERTINENT TO THE MORAL TRAIT
INVOLVED IN THE OFFENSE CHARGED

‣ In a criminal case, the prosecution cannot prove the bad moral character of the accused in its evidence-in-
chief. It can only do so in rebuttal
‣ This means that the prosecution may not offer evidence of the character of the accused unless the accused
himself has offered evidence of his good moral character.

‣ The prosecution, therefore, must wait until the accused puts his character in issue during the proceedings.
Then and only then may the prosecution prove the bad moral character of the accused.

‣ The offering of character evidence on his behalf is a privilege of the defendant, and the prosecution cannot
comment on the failure of the defendant to produce such evidence.

‣ RATIONALE —
‣ RIANO — This is intended to avoid unfair prejudice to the accused who might otherwise be convicted not
because he is guilty but because he is a person of bad character. This rule prevents the government from
opening the doors towards the introduction of character evidence of the accused. It prevents a
pronouncement of guilt on account of his being a “bad” man and instead anchors a conviction on the basis
of the sufficiency of evidence of his guilt. The rule also prevents the inference that being a bad person, the
accused is more likely to commit a crime. The rule likewise discourages the presentation of the so-called
“propensity evidence,” i.e., evidence that one acts in accordance with one’s character.

c. THE GOOD OR BAD MORAL CHARACTER OF THE OFFENDED PARTY MAY BE PROVED IF IT TENDS TO ESTABLISH IN ANY
REASONABLE DEGREE THE PROBABILITY OR IMPROBABILITY OF THE OFFENSE CHARGED

‣ Note while both sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) of Section 51 of Rule 130 refer to character evidence of the accused,
this sub-paragraph refers to that of the offended party or the victim
‣ Not every good or bad moral character of the offended party may be proved under this provision but only those
which would establish the probability or improbability of the offense charged.

‣ This means that the character evidence must be limited to the traits and characteristics involved in the type of
offense charged.

‣ Thus, on a charge of rape — character for chastity, on a charge of assault — character for peaceableness or
violence, and on a charge of embezzlement — character for honesty. In one rape case, where it was established
that the alleged victim was morally loose and apparently uncaring about her chastity, the Court found the
conviction of the accused doubtful (CSC v. Belagan)
‣ Such evidence is most commonly offered to support a claim of self-defense in an assault or homicide case or a
claim of consent in a rape case.
‣ SEE — People vs Lee (2002) — [Read this case, it explains a lot]
‣ In the Philippine setting, proof of the moral character of the offended party is applied with frequency in sex
offenses and homicide.

‣ In rape and acts of lasciviousness or in any prosecution involving an unchaste act perpetrated by a man
against a woman where the willingness of a woman is material — the woman’s character as to her chastity
is admissible to show whether or not she consented to the man’s act. The exception to this is when the
womans consent is immaterial such as in statutory rape or rape with violence or intimidation. In the crimes of
qualified seduction or consented abduction, the offended party must be a virgin, which is presumed if she is
unmarried and of good reputation, or a virtuous woman of good reputation. The crime of simple seduction
involves the seduction of a woman who is single or a widow of good reputation, over twelve but under eighteen
years of age. The burden of proof that the complainant is a woman of good reputation lies in the prosecution,
and the accused may introduce evidence that the complainant is a woman of bad reputation.

‣ In homicide cases — a pertinent character trait of the victim is admissible in two situations: (1) as evidence of
the deceased’s aggression; and (2) as evidence of the state of mind of the accused. The pugnacious,
quarrelsome or trouble-seeking character of the deceased or his calmness, gentleness and peaceful nature, as
the case may be, is relevant in determining whether the deceased or the accused was the aggressor. When the
evidence tends to prove self-defense, the known violent character of the deceased is also admissible to show
that it produced a reasonable belief of imminent danger in the mind of the accused and a justifiable conviction
that a prompt defensive action was necessary.

‣ In the instant case, proof of the bad moral character of the victim is irrelevant to determine the probability or
improbability of his killing. Accused-appellant has not alleged that the victim was the aggressor or that the

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killing was made in self-defense. There is no connection between the deceased’s drug addiction and thievery
with his violent death in the hands of accused-appellant. In light of the positive eyewitness testimony, the claim
that because of the victims bad character he could have been killed by any one of those from whom he had
stolen, is pure and simple speculation.

‣ Moreover, proof of the victim’s bad moral character is not necessary in cases of murder committed with
treachery and premeditation. In People v. Soliman. a murder case, the defense tried to prove the violent,
quarrelsome or provocative character of the deceased. Upon objection of the prosecution, the trial court
disallowed the same. While good or bad moral character may be availed of as an aid to determine the
probability or improbability of the commission of an offense, such is not necessary in the crime of murder
where the killing is committed through treachery or premeditation. The proof of such character may only be
allowed in homicide cases to show that it has produced a reasonable belief of imminent danger in the mind of
the accused and a justifiable conviction that a prompt defensive action was necessary. This rule does not apply
to cases of murder.

2. CIVIL CASES — , EVIDENCE OF THE MORAL CHARACTER OF A PARTY IN CIVIL CASE IS ADMISSIBLE ONLY WHEN PERTINENT TO
THE ISSUE OF CHARACTER INVOLVED IN THE CASE.

‣ Thus, evidence of a party’s intemperance may be admitted when such is pertinent to the issues involved.

3. IN ALL CASES — EVIDENCE OF THE GOOD CHARACTER OF A WITNESS IS ADMISSIBLE BUT ONLY WHEN SUCH CHARACTER
HAS ALREADY BEEN IMPEACHED
‣ Evidence of the good character of a witness is not admissible until such character has been impeached (Sec. 14, Rule
132 and Sec. 51[c], Rule 130)
‣ Thus, it is error for counsel to offer evidence of the good character of his witness who is presented in court for the first
time since he could not have been previously impeached.
‣ NOTE — Relate this with Rule 132, Sec. 11 which provides that a witness may not be impeached by evidence of
particular wrongful acts. Such evidence is rejected because of the confusion of issues and the waste of time that
would be involved, and because the witness may not be prepared to expose the falsity of such wrongful acts. (CSC v.
Belagan) He can only be impeached by bad reputation evidence for honest, integrity or truth; and prior conviction of a
crime.

TIMELINESS OF CHARACTER EVIDENCE


‣ Settled is the principle that evidence of ones character or reputation must be confined to a time not too remote
from the time in question. In other words, what is to be determined is the character or reputation of the person at the
time of the trial and prior thereto, but not at a period remote from the commencement of the suit. In this case,
Magdalena’s credibility is diminished by proofs of tarnished reputation existing almost a decade ago is unreasonable. It is
unfair to presume that a person who has wandered from the path of moral righteousness can never retrace his steps
again. Certainly, every person is capable to change or reform. (CSC vs Belagan)

HOW IS CHARACTER PROVED?


1. REPUTATION EVIDENCE
‣ RULE — Generally, reputation evidence is hearsay

‣ EXCEPT — common reputation on moral character of a person is admissible

2. EVIDENCE OF SPECIFIC PAST ACTS


‣ RULE —

a. Character of party is in issue — apply RIAA branch 2 similar acts rule or the shield rule if applicable

b. Character of witness is in issue — apply rules on impeachment of a witness. Use of evidence of specific past acts
is improper impeachment, such kind of evidence is allowed only when the witness’ character has first been
impeached.

3. CONVICTION OF A CRIME
a. Character of party is in issue — apply RIAA branch 2 similar acts rule

b. Character of witness is in issue -- allowed as a mode of impeachment.

CHARACTER EVIDENCE AGAINST CHILDREN AND RAPE VICTIMS

RULE ON EXAMINATION OF A CHILD WITNESS

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Section. 30. Sexual abuse shield rule.—


(a) Inadmissible evidence.— The following evidence is not admissible in any criminal proceeding involving alleged child
sexual abuse:
(1) Evidence offered to prove that the alleged victim engaged in other sexual behavior; and
(2) Evidence offered to prove the sexual predisposition of the alleged victim.
(b) Exception.— Evidence of specific instances of sexual behavior by the alleged victim to prove that a person other
than the accused was the source of semen, injury, or other physical evidence shall be admissible.
A party intending to offer such evidence must:
(1) File a written motion at least fifteen (15) days before trial, specifically describing the evidence and stating the
purpose for which it is offered, unless the court, for good cause, requires a different time for filing or permits filing
during trial; and
(2) Serve the motion on all parties and the guardian ad litem at least three (3) days before the hearing of the motion.
Before admitting such evidence, the court must conduct a hearing in chambers and afford the child, his guardian ad
litem, the parties, and their counsel a right to attend and be heard.  The motion and the record of the hearing must be
sealed and remain under seal and protected by a protective order set forth in Section 31(b). The child shall not be
required to testify at the hearing in chambers except with his consent.

RA 8505 — Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998


Section 6. Rape Shield. - In prosecutions for rape, evidence of complainant's past sexual conduct, opinion thereof or of
his/her reputation shall not be admitted unless, and only to the extent that the court finds, that such evidence is material
and relevant to the case.

SEXUAL ABUSE SHIELD RULE


‣ See Sec. 30, Rule on Examination of a Child Witness and Sec. 6, Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act, the former
involves children victims of child sexual abuse, the latter pertains to rape victims in general
‣ RULE: THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE IS NOT ADMISSIBLE IN ANY CRIMINAL PROCEEDING
1. Involving alleged child sexual abuse, evidence offered to prove that the alleged victim engaged in other sexual
behavior; and

2. Involving alleged child sexual abuse, evidence offered to prove the sexual predisposition of the alleged victim.

3. In prosecutions for rape, evidence of complainant's past sexual conduct, opinion thereof or of his/her reputation
(Sec. 6, Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act)

‣ EXCEPTIONS —
1. For child sexual abuse cases — evidence of specific instances of sexual behavior by the alleged victim to prove
that a person other than the accused was the source of semen, injury, or other physical evidence shall be admissible.

2. For rape cases — but only to the extent that the court finds, that such evidence is material and relevant to the case


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RULE 131: BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTIONS

BURDEN OF PROOF

Section 1. Burden of proof. — Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present evidence on the facts in issue necessary
to establish his claim or defense by the amount of evidence required by law. (1a, 2a)

‣ The burden of proof, or “onus probandi,” traditionally refers to the obligation of a party to a litigation to persuade the court
that he is entitled to relief.

‣ The burden of proof lies with the party who asserts his/her right.

‣ Ei incumbit probation qui dicit, non qui negat — he who asserts, not he who denies, must prove

‣ The party, whether plaintiff or defendant, who asserts the affirmative of the issue has the burden of proof to obtain a
favorable judgment.

‣ The burden of proof is fixed by the pleadings.


‣ The claim of the plaintiff, which he must prove, is spelled out in his complaint.

‣ The defendant’s defenses, which he must likewise prove, are to be found in his answer to the complaint.

‣ The burdens of proof of both parties do not shift during the course of the trial.

‣ Negative allegations do not need to be proved, unless essential elements of the cause of action. But it need not be proved
nonetheless if it is merely for purposes of denying the existence of something

TEST FOR DETERMINING IN WHOM THE BURDEN OF PROOF LIES


‣ RULE — ASK WHICH PARTY TO AN ACTION OR SUIT WILL FAIL IF HE OFFERS NO EVIDENCE COMPETENT TO SHOW THE FACTS
AVERRED AS THE BASIS FOR THE RELIEF HE SEEKS TO OBTAIN.

‣ The burden of proof rests with the party who wants to establish a legal right in his favor. It is on the part of the party who
makes the allegations. If he claims a right granted by law, he must prove his claim by competent evidence, relying on the
strength of his own evidence and not upon the weakness of that of his opponent (China Banking Corporation v. Ta Fa
Industries, Inc)

QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE
‣ This is discussed in Rule 133 on weight and sufficiency of evidence
‣ This is the amount of evidence required by law or the rules to be presented in a particular case to obtain a
favourable ruling
‣ This is what is to be achieved as the party carries the burden of proof.

‣ This is fixed by the law or the rules

‣ Such as —

1. Proof beyond reasonable doubt

2. Preponderance of evidence

3. Substantial evidence

4. Clear and convincing evidence

BURDEN OF PROOF IN CERTAIN CASES (BASED ON JURISPRUDENCE)


1. Civil cases in general
‣ In civil cases, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to establish his case by preponderance of evidence. If he claims a
right granted or created by law, he must prove such right. He must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on
the weakness of that of the opponent

‣ It is submitted that the plaintiff is only obliged to prove facts which constitute the essential elements of his cause of
action. Facts that are not necessary to establish his claim need not be proved.

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‣ Hence, if a party alleges the existence of a fact, that party has the burden of proof whether that party is the plaintiff or
the defendant. If the plaintiff, for example, alleges that the defendant owes him a sum of money, the plaintiff has the
burden to prove the debt.

2. Counterclaims and affirmative defenses


‣ In a counterclaim, the burden of proving the existence of the claim lies with the defendant.

‣ Defendant also has to prove his affirmative defenses. An affirmative defense is one which is not a denial of an
essential ingredient in the plaintiffs cause of action, but one which, if established, will be a good defense — i.e., an
“avoidance” of the claim

‣ It is, thus, inaccurate to state that the burden of proof rests solely on the shoulders of the plaintiff. The burden of
proof, under the clear terms of Sec. 1 of Rule 131, is the duty of a party to present evidence not only to establish a
claim but also a defense. It will be observed that the rule does not define burden of proof as the duty of the plaintiff
but as the duty of a “party.”

‣ If the defendant has affirmative defenses, he bears the burden of proof as to those defenses which he sets up in
answer to the plaintiff s cause of action. Hence, if the defendant sets up the affirmative defense of prescription, he
must prove the date when prescription began to run (Aznar Brothers Realty Co. v. Aying)

3. Notarized documents
‣ The Court has held that one who denies the due execution of a deed where one’s signature appears has the burden of
proving that, contrary to the recital in the jurat, one never appeared before the notary public and acknowledged the
deed to be a voluntary act

‣ Notarized documents enjoy the presumption of regularity which may only be rebutted by evidence so clear, strong,
and convincing as to exclude all controversy as to falsity. The burden of proof to overcome the presumption of the
execution of a notarized document lies on the one contesting the same (Spouses Lehner v. Chua 2013)

4. Actions based on Torts


‣ In an action anchored on a quasi-delict under Art. 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the plaintiff has the burden
of proving that the fault or negligence of the defendant was the proximate cause of the injuries he sustained.

‣ On the other hand, the defendant has the burden to prove his defense as when he claims that the injuries of the
plaintiff were caused, not by his wrongful conduct, but by a third person or a caso fortuito.
5. Actions based on Breach of Contract
‣ In an action based on a contract, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the existence and execution of the contract,
the obligations of the defendant under such contract, and his breach thereof.

‣ In an action for a sum of money, the plaintiff places upon himself the burden of proving the existence of the debt, and
the non-payment of the same despite a proper demand upon the defendant on or after the due date of the obligation.

6. Intervention
‣ A person who wants to intervene in an action has the burden of proving his legal interest in the matter in litigation or
that he is so situated as to be adversely affected by any distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of
the court or an officer thereof.

7. Invoking foreign law


‣ The burden of proof lies with “the party who alleges the existence of a fact or thing necessary in the prosecution or
defense of an action.” In civil cases, plaintiffs have the burden of proving the material allegations of the complaint
when those are denied in the answer; and defendants have the burden of proving the material allegations in their
answer when they introduce new matters. Since the divorce law was a defense raised by respondent, the burden of
proving the pertinent Australian law validating it falls squarely upon him.

8. Actions based on Breach of Contract of Carriage


‣ In suits against a common carrier, the passenger-plaintiff does not have the burden of proving the defendant carrier’s
negligence since common carriers are presumed to have been at fault, or to have acted negligently in case of death or
injuries to passengers (Art. 1756, Civil Code of the Philippines).
‣ On the contrary, under the same provision, the defendant has the burden of proof to show that he observed the
extraordinary diligence required by law.

‣ The plaintiff has to show, however, the existence of a contract and the breach of the contract of carriage. It is the
breach of the contract which the plaintiff has to prove, not the negligence of the defendant-common carrier, the
latter’s negligence be- ing already presumed under Art. 1756 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

‣ All that he has to prove are (a) the existence of the contract, and (b) the fact of non-performance by the carrier

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‣ In a case, the Court ruled that “Although initially, the burden of proof was with the passenger to prove that there was a
breach of contract of carriage, the burden of evidence shifted to the airline when the former adduced sufficient
evidence to prove the fact alleged (Northwest Airlines v. Chiong)

9. Existence and Extinguishment of Obligations


‣ The burden of proof that a debt was contracted lies with the creditor-plaintiff.

‣ If the defendant admits the debt but defends by alleging that it has already been paid, waived or otherwise
extinguished, he has the burden to prove the extinguishment of the alleged obligation

‣ As a general rule, one who pleads payment has the burden of proving it. Even where the plaintiff must allege non-
payment, the general rule is that the burden rests on the defendant to prove payment, rather than on the plaintiff to
prove non-payment. The debtor has the burden of showing with legal certainty that the obligation has been
discharged by payment. When the existence of a debt is fully established by the evidence contained in the record, the
burden of proving that it has been extinguished by payment devolves upon the debtor, who offers such a defense to
the claim of the creditor. Where the debtor introduces some evidence of payment, the burden of going forward with
the evidence — as distinct from the general burden of proof — shifts to the creditor, who is then under a duty of
producing some evidence to show non- payment (Jimenez v. NLRC)
‣ Even where the creditor alleges non-payment, the general rule is that the onus rests on the debtor to prove payment,
rather than on the creditor to prove non-payment. The debtor has the burden of showing with legal certainty that the
obligation has been discharged by payment.

10. Expropriation Cases


‣ In an eminent domain case, the local government that seeks to expropriate private property has the burden of proving
that the elements for the valid exercise of the right of eminent domain have been complied with (Jesus is Lord
Christian Foundation, Inc. v. City of Pasig)
‣ This is because the burden of proof is on the party making the allegations

11. Termination Cases


‣ In termination cases, the burden of proof rests upon the employer to show that the dismissal is for a valid and just
cause. Failure to do so would necessarily mean that the dismissal was not justified, and, therefore, illegal (LBC
Domestic Franchise Co. v. Florido).
‣ This is in consonance with the guarantee of security of tenure in the Constitution and reiterated in the Labor Code. A
dismissed employee is not required to prove his innocence of the charges leveled against him by his employer

‣ When there is no showing of a clear, valid, and legal cause for the termination of employment, the law considers the
matter a case of illegal dismissal and the burden is on the employer to prove that the termination was for a valid or
authorized cause. This burden of proof appropriately lies on the shoulders of the employer and not on the employee
because a worker’s job has some of the characteristics of property rights and is, therefore, within the constitutional
mantle of protection. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any
person be denied the equal protection of the laws. Apropos thereto, Art. 277, par. (b) of the Labor Code mandates in
explicit terms that the burden of proving the validity of the termination of employment rests on the employer. Failure to
discharge this evidential burden would necessarily mean that the dismissal was not justified, and therefore, illegal
(Tongko v. Manufacturer's Life Insurance Company)
12. Disbarment Cases
‣ In disbarment proceedings, the burden of proof rests upon the complainant, and for the court to exercise its
disciplinary powers, the case against the respondent must be established by clear, convincing and satisfactory proof.
Indeed, considering the serious consequences of the disbarment or suspension of a member of the Bar, the Supreme
Court has consistently held that clearly preponderant evidence is necessary to justify the imposition of the
administrative penalty. (Santos v. Dichoso)
13. Insurance Cases
‣ In an accident insurance, the insured’s beneficiary has the burden of proof in demonstrating that the cause of death is
due to the covered peril. Once that fact is established, the burden then shifts to the insurer to show any excepted peril
that may have been stipulated by the parties. And where, thereafter, the burden would be on the insurer to show any
“excluded peril.”

‣ When, however, the insured risk is specified, it lies with the claimant of the insurance proceeds to initially prove that
the loss is caused by the covered peril

14. Administrative Proceedings


‣ In administrative proceedings, the burden of proof that the respondent committed the acts complained of rests on the
complainant. The complainant must be able to show this by substantial evidence, or such relevant evidence which a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, otherwise, the complaint must be dismissed

15. Application for Attachment

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‣ The party suing for the attachment of the property of the adverse party has the burden to justify the attachment
because a general averment will not suffice to support the issuance of a writ for preliminary attachment.

‣ It is necessary to recite in what particular manner an applicant for the writ of attachment was defrauded. It is not
enough for the complaint to ritualistically cite that the defendants are guilty of fraud in contracting the obligation.
Fraud cannot be presumed. Sec. 1 of Rule 131 instructs that each party must prove his own affirmative allegations

16. Cases of Judicial Review


‣ He, who attacks the constitutionality of a law, has the onus probandi to show why the law is repugnant to the
Constitution. Failing to overcome its presumption of constitutionality, a claim that a law is cruel, unusual or inhuman,
must fail.

‣ The reason for the rule is the presumption that the legislature intended to enact a valid, sensible and just law which
operates no further than may be necessary to effectuate the specific purpose of the law. Every statute is, therefore,
presumed to be valid and constitutional

‣ EXCEPTION — Government actions or laws against freedom of speech or of the press are presumed to be
unconstitutional
‣ In this jurisdiction, freedom of the press is crucial and so inextricably woven into the right of free speech and
free expression, that any attempt to restrict it must be met with an examination so critical that only a danger so
clear and present would be allowed to curtail it. A governmental action that restricts freedom of speech or of
the press based on content is given the strictest scrutiny, with the government having the burden of
overcoming the presumed unconstitutionality of the restriction by the clear and present danger rule. This rule
applies equally to all kinds of media, including broadcast media (Chavez v. Gonzalez)

17. Claim of Executive Privilege


‣ In keeping with the general presumption of transparency, the burden is initially on the Executive to provide precise and
certain reasons for upholding its claim of privilege. Once the Executive is able to show that the documents being
sought are covered by a recognized privilege, the burden shifts to the party seeking information to overcome the
privilege by a strong showing of need (AKBAYAN v. Aquino)

BURDEN OF EVIDENCE

BURDEN OF EVIDENCE; BURDEN OF “COMING FORWARD” WITH THE EVIDENCE


‣ THE BURDEN OF EVIDENCE IS THE DUTY OF A PARTY TO GO FORWARD WITH THE EVIDENCE TO OVERTHROW THE PRIMA FACIE
EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM

‣ The burden of going forward with the evidence may shift from one side to the other as the exigencies of the trial
require, and shifts with alternating frequency.

‣ As the trial progresses, one party may have presented evidence that weigh heavily in his favor and sufficient to
convince the court of the justness of his claim. If this occurs, the other party has the burden to come forward with his
own evidence to counteract whatever positive impression which the evidence of the other party may have been
created in the mind of the court.

‣ This duty, also called the burden of coming forward with the evidence is what is referred to as burden of evidence

‣ RIANO — The burden of proof doesn’t shift, it only arises, as it is determined by the pleadings of the parties. It is the
burden of evidence which shifts; this is a day-to-day skirmish in court.

‣ SALVADOR — This is where “rebuttal evidence” comes in. The proper side must rebut the evidence presented by the
other. This is when the burden of evidence shifts.

‣ What is a “Prima Facie” Case?


‣ A prima facie case is that amount of evidence which would be sufficient to counter-balance the general
presumption of innocence, and warrant a conviction, if not encountered and controlled by evidence tending to
contradict it, and render it improbable, or to prove other facts inconsistent with it, and the establishment of a
prima facie case does not take away the presumption of innocence which may in the opinion of the jury be
such as to rebut and control it. (Bautista v. Sarmiento 1985)

‣ RATIONALE —
‣ Basically, if a party fails to present a fact that is necessary to his claim or defense, when it is within his power to do
so, then an inference can be made that, such fact does not exist. The presumption is that a man will do that which
tends to his obvious advantage, if he possesses the means.
‣ If the defendants really had the evidence to controvert the prima facie evidence presented by the plaintiff, then
they should have presented such evidence. The fact that they did not, then inference can be made that either:

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1. If they did present the evidence, it would actually be prejudicial to its case; or

2. That the uncontroverted evidence of private respondents does indeed speak of the truth.

‣ The defendant’s omission to rebut that which would have naturally invited an immediate, pervasive and stiff
opposition from plaintiff created an adverse inference that either the controverting evidences to be presented by
petitioner will only prejudice its case, or that the uncontroverted evidence of private respondents indeed speaks of
the truth. The inference still holds even if it be assumed, for argument's sake, that the plaintiff’s evidence is
improbable or weak, for it has likewise been said that even if a party's testimony is improbable, the failure of the
opposite party to contradict it, although it was entirely within his power to do so if it were false, fully entitles it to
belief. Weak evidence becomes strong by the neglect of the party against whom it is put in, in not showing by
means within the easy control of that party that the conclusion drawn from such evidence is untrue. As weak
evidence is often strengthened by failure of an opposing party to contradict by evidence within his power, so the
trier of facts may infer that testimony in chief is worth its full face value when the other party is content to let it
stand without cross-examination or contradiction by other evidence. (Manila Bay Club vs CA 1995)
‣ The presumption that a man will do that which tends to his obvious advantage, if he possesses the
means, supplies a most important test for judging of the comparative weight of evidence. If, on the
supposition that a charge or claim is unfounded, the party against whom it is made has evidence within his
reach by which he may repel that which is offered to his prejudice, his omission to do so supplies a strong
presumption that the charge or claim is well founded; it would be contrary to every principle of reason, and to
all experience of human conduct, to form any other conclusion.

Burden of Proof vs Burden of Evidence

BURDEN OF PROOF BURDEN OF EVIDENCE

Burden of proof is the obligation of a party to present


Burden of evidence is the duty of a party to go forward
with the evidence to overthrow any prima facie
evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his
presumption against him (Bautista v. Sarmiento)
claim or defense by the amount of evidence required by
law (Sec. 1, Rule 131)

APPLICATION OF THE BURDEN OF EVIDENCE


‣ SALVADOR — In the US, this is called the “Burden of Production”. Relate this with the concepts of Rebuttal and Sur-
Rebuttal Evidence

1. APPLICATION IN CIVIL CASES


‣ He who alleges the affirmative of the issue has the burden of proof, and upon the plaintiff in a civil case, the burden of
proof never parts. However, in the course of trial in a civil case, once plaintiff makes out a prima facie case in his
favor, the duty or the burden of evidence shifts to defendant to controvert plaintiffs prima facie case,
otherwise, a verdict must be returned in favor of plaintiff. Moreover, in civil cases, the party having the burden of
proof must produce a preponderance of evidence thereon, with plaintiff having to rely on the strength of his own
evidence and not upon the weakness of the defendant’s. The concept of ‘preponderance of evidence’ refers to
evidence which is of greater weight, or more convincing, that which is offered in opposition to it; at bottom, it means
probability of truth” (Asian Construction and Development Corporation v. Tulabot)
‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — In insurance cases, where a risk is excepted by the terms of a policy, loss from such a risk
constitutes a defense which the insurer may urge, since it has not assumed that risk. From this, it follows that an
insurer seeking to defeat a claim has the burden of proving that the loss comes within the purview of the exception set
up. If a proof is made of a loss apparently within a contract of insurance, the burden is upon the insurer to prove that
the loss arose from a risk which is excepted or for which it is not liable, or from a cause which limits its liability.
Consequently, it is sufficient for the insured to prove the fact of damage or loss. Once the insured makes out a prima
facie case in his favor, the duty or burden of evidence shifts to the insurer to controvert the insured’s prima facie case.
It is only when the insurer has sufficiently proved that the damage or loss was caused by an excepted risk does the
burden of evidence shift back to the insured, who is then under a duty of producing evidence to show why such
excepted risk does not release petitioner from any liability
2. APPLICATION IN CRIMINAL CASES
‣ There is no denying that in a criminal case, unless the guilt of the accused is established by proof beyond reasonable
doubt, he is entitled to an acquittal. But when the trial court denies petitioners' motion to dismiss by way of
demurrer to evidence on the ground that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against them,
they assume a definite burden. It becomes incumbent upon the accused to adduce evidence to meet and
nullify, if not overthrow, the prima facie case against them. This is due to the shift in the burden of evidence, and
not of the burden of proof as petitioners would seem to believe. When a prima facie case is established by the
prosecution in a criminal case, as in the case at bar, the burden of proof does not shift to the defense. It remains

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throughout the trial with the party upon whom it is imposed—the prosecution. It is the burden of evidence which shifts
from party to party depending upon the exigencies of the case in the course of the trial. This burden of going forward
with the evidence is met by evidence which balances that introduced by the prosecution. Then the burden shifts back.
(Bautista v. Sarmiento 1985)
‣ A prima facie case need not be countered by a preponderance of evidence nor by evidence of greater weight.
Defendant's evidence which equalizes the weight of plaintiff's evidence or puts the case in equipoise is sufficient. As a
result, plaintiff will have to go forward with the proof. Should it happen that at the trial the weight of evidence is equally
balanced or at equilibrium and presumptions operate against plaintiff who has the burden of proof, he cannot prevail.
(Bautista v. Sarmiento 1985)
‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — In criminal cases, generally, “the burden lies upon the prosecution to prove the guilt of the
accused beyond reasonable doubt rather than upon the accused that he was in fact innocent.” If the accused,
however, admits killing the victim, but pleads self-defense, the burden of evidence is shifted to him to prove such
defense by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence that excludes any vestige of criminal aggression on his part. To
escape liability, it now becomes incumbent upon the accused to prove by clear and convincing evidence all the
elements

PRESUMPTIONS IN GENERAL

INFERENCES VS PRESUMPTIONS
1. INFERENCE — A FACTUAL CONCLUSION THAT CAN RATIONALLY BE DRAWN FROM OTHER FACTS
‣ RIANO — It is, in other words, one that is a result of the reasoning process. It need not have a legal effect because it
is not mandated by law. The factfinder is free to accept or reject the inference.

2. PRESUMPTION — AN ASSUMPTION OF FACT RESULTING FROM A RULE OF LAW WHICH REQUIRES SUCH FACT TO BE ASSUMED
FROM ANOTHER FACT OR GROUP OF FACTS FOUND OR OTHERWISE ESTABLISHED IN THE ACTION

‣ The rationale of presumptions is for purposes of expediency and the fact that some things are very hard if not
impossible to prove (such as malice as a state of mind)
‣ A presumption is an inference of the existence or non-existence of a fact which courts are permitted to draw from
proof of other facts (In the Matter of the Intestate Estates of Delgado and Rustia)
‣ A presumption is not evidence (California Evidence Code, cited in Black’s Law Dictionary). They merely affect the
burden of offering evidence (1 Wharton’s Criminal Evidence). In a sense, a presumption is an inference which is
mandatory unless rebutted.
‣ RIANO — It is a rule of law directing that if a party proves certain facts (the basic facts) at a trial or hearing, the
factfinder must also accept an additional fact (the presumed fact) as proven unless sufficient evidence is introduced
tending to rebut the presumed fact. In a sense therefore, a presumption is an inference which is mandatory unless
rebutted

KINDS OF PRESUMPTIONS
1. PRESUMPTIONS OF LAW (PRESUMPTION JURIS)
‣ A presumption of law is an assumption which the law requires to be made from a set of facts.

‣ A party in whose favor the legal presumption exists may rely on and invoke such legal presumption to establish a fact
in issue.

‣ One need not introduce evidence to prove the fact for a presumption is prima facie proof of the fact presume

‣ What is the difference between “evidence” and a “presumption?


‣ SALVADOR — Evidence is the means to prove the truth as to a matter of fact. It proves a factual proposition. A
presumption, it presupposes evidence which proves certain facts which give rise to assumptions to be presumed,
as provided by law.

‣ EXAMPLES —
‣ The presumption that an accused is innocent of the crime charged until the contrary is proven is a presumption of
law embodied in the Constitution (Sec. 14[2], Art. Ill, Bill of Rights, Constitution of the Philippines)
‣ Art. 1756 of the Civil Code of the Philippines also illustrates another presumption man- dated by the law. Under the
said provision, in case of death or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to
have acted negligently.
2. PRESUMPTIONS OF FACT (PRESUMPTION HOMINIS)

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‣ Presumptions of fact are really merely inferences
‣ A presumption is one of fact when the assumption is made from the facts without any direction or positive
requirement of a law.

‣ An assumption of fact does not arise from any direction of the law. It arises because reason itself allows a
presumption from the facts.

‣ EXAMPLE — If A attacks B without provocation, the logical presumption arises that A does not have tender feelings
towards B. A presumption of fact is, in effect, actually a mere inference because it does not necessarily give rise to a
legal effect.

Presumption vs Inference

PRESUMPTION OF LAW INFERENCE/ PRESUMPTION OF FACT

A presumption is an assumption of fact resulting from a An inference is a factual conclusion that can rationally be
rule of law which requires such fact to be assumed from drawn from other facts (29 Am Jur 2d §182)
another fact or group of facts found or otherwise
established in the action (Black’s Law Dictionary)

Fixed by law or the rules Derived from common experience

KINDS OF PRESUMPTIONS OF LAW/ LEGAL PRESUMPTIONS


1. Conclusive (presumptions juris et de jure)

2. Disputable (presumptions juris tantum)

CONCLUSIVE PRESUMPTIONS

Section 2. Conclusive presumptions. — The following are instances of conclusive presumptions:


(a) Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally and deliberately led to another to believe
a particular thing true, and to act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act or
omission, be permitted to falsify it:
(b) The tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his landlord at the time of commencement of the relation of landlord
and tenant between them. (3a)

CORPORATION CODE
Sec. 21. Corporation by estoppel. - All persons who assume to act as a corporation knowing it to be without authority to
do so shall be liable as general partners for all debts, liabilities and damages incurred or arising as a result thereof:
Provided, however, That when any such ostensible corporation is sued on any transaction entered by it as a corporation
or on any tort committed by it as such, it shall not be allowed to use as a defense its lack of corporate personality. On
who assumes an obligation to an ostensible corporation as such, cannot resist performance thereof on the ground that
there was in fact no corporation.

CIVIL CODE
Article 1431. Through estoppel an admission or representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and
cannot be denied or disproved as against the person relying thereon.

Article 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. (2)

RULES ON CIVIL PROCEDURE


RULE 39: Execution, Satisfaction and Effect of Judgments
SECTION 47. Effect of judgments or final orders. - The effect of a judgment or final order rendered by a court or of the
Philippines, having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or final order, may be as follows:

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(a) In case of a judgment or final order against a specific thing, or in respect to the probate of a will, or the administration
of the estate of a deceased person, or in respect to the personal, political, or legal condition or status of a particular
person or his relationship to another, the judgment or final order is conclusive upon the title to the thing, the will or
administration, or the condition, status or relationship of the person; however, the probate of a will or granting of
letters of administration shall only be prima facie evidence of the death of the testator or intestate;
(b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other matter
that could have been raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the parties and their successors in interest by title
subsequent to the commencement of the action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing and under the
same title and in the same capacity; and
(c) In any other litigation between the same parties or their successors in interest, that only is deemed to have been
adjudged in a former judgment or final order which appears upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which was
actually and necessarily included therein or necessary thereto. (49a)

WHAT ARE CONCLUSIVE PRESUMPTIONS?


‣ A PRESUMPTION IS CONCLUSIVE WHEN THE PRESUMPTION BECOMES IRREBUTTABLE UPON THE PRESENTATION OF THE
EVIDENCE AND ANY EVIDENCE TENDING TO REBUT THE PRESUMPTION IS NOT ADMISSIBLE.

‣ Conclusive presumptions are “inferences which the law makes so peremptory that it will not allow them to be overturned
by any contrary proof however strong

‣ A conclusive or irrebuttable presumption is not a presumption at all; it is a substantive rule of law directing that proof of
certain basic facts conclusively proves an additional fact which cannot be rebutted.

‣ Such presumption rests upon grounds of expediency or public policy so compelling in character as to override the
requirement of proof

‣ EXAMPLE — That every person knows the law is a conclusive presumption (Art. 3, NCC; Tañada v. Tuvera) When a law is
passed by Congress, duly approved by the President of the Philippines, properly published, and consequently becomes
effective pursuant to its effectivity clause or to some provision of a general law on the effectivity of statutes, the public is
always put on constructive notice of the law’s existence and effectivity. This is true even if a person has no actual
knowledge of such law. To allow a party to set up as a valid defense the fact that he has no actual knowledge of a law
which he has violated is to foment disorder in society. However, Article 3 applies only to mandatory and prohibitory laws
(Consunji v. Court of Appeals)

CONCLUSIVE PRESUMPTIONS UNDER THE RULES OF COURT


‣ The conclusive presumptions under the Rules of Court are based on the doctrine of estoppel. Under this doctrine, the
person making the representation cannot claim benefit from the wrong he himself committed
1. ESTOPPEL IN PAIS OR ESTOPPEL BY CONDUCT
‣ Estoppel, an equitable principle rooted upon natural justice, prevents persons from going back on their own acts and
representations, to the prejudice of others who have relied on them.

‣ The essential elements of estoppel in pais may be considered in relation to the party sought to be estopped, and in
relation to the party invoking the estoppel in his favor.

‣ Elements in relation to the party to be estopped —


a. Conduct amounting to false representation or concealment of material facts; or at least calculated to convey the
impression that the facts are otherwise than, and inconsistent with, those which the party subsequently attempts
to assert

b. Intent, or at least, expectation, that this conduct shall be acted upon by, or at least influence, the other party

c. Knowledge, actual or constructive, of the real facts

‣ Elements in relation to the party claiming estoppel —


a. Lack of knowledge and of the means of knowledge of the truth as to the facts in question

b. Reliance, in good faith, upon the conduct or statements of the party to be estopped

c. Action or inaction based thereon of such character as to change the position or status of the party claim- ing the
estoppel, to his injury, detriment or prejudice

‣ An essential element of estoppel is that the person invoking it has been influenced, or relied on the representations or
conduct of the person sought to be estopped

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‣ Through estoppel, an admission or representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be
denied or disproved as against the person relying on it. (Art. 1431, NCC)

‣ Where a party, by his deed or conduct, has induced another to act in a particular manner, estoppel effectively bars
the former from adopting an inconsistent position, attitude or course of conduct that causes loss or injury to the
latter.

‣ The doctrine of estoppel is based upon the grounds of public policy, fair dealing, good faith and justice, and its
purpose is to forbid one to speak against his own act, representations, or commitments, to the injury of one to
whom they were directed and who reasonably relied thereon

‣ EXAMPLE — Persons who assume to be a corporation with- out legal authority to act as such shall be considered a
corporation by estoppel and shall be liable as general partners (Sec. 21, Corporation Code of the Philippines)
2. BETWEEN A LESSOR AND A LESSEE, THE FORMER HAS A BETTER TITLE
‣ The tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his landlord at the time of commencement of the relation of landlord
and tenant between them

‣ This conclusive presumption sufficiently shields the lessor from being questioned by the lessee, regarding its title
or better right of possession as lessor because having admitted the existence of a lessor-lessee relationship,
the lessee is barred from assailing the lessor’s title of better right of possession. As long as the lessor-lessee
relationship between the parties exists, the lessee cannot, by any proof, however strong, overturn the conclusive
presumption that the lessor has valid title to or better right of possession to the subject leased premises than it has
(Datalift Movers, Inc. v. Belgravia Realty & Development Corporation)
‣ The lessees, who had undisturbed possession for the entire term under the lease, are estopped to deny their
landlord’s title, or assert a better title not only in themselves, but also in some third person while they remain in
possession of the leased premises and until they surrender possession to the landlord. This estoppel applies even
though the lessor had no title at the time the relation of lessor and lessee was created, and may be asserted not
only by the original lessor, but also by those who succeed to his title (Golden Horizon Realty Corporation v. Sy Chuan)
‣ The relation of lessor and lessee does not depend on the former’s title but on the agreement between the parties,
followed by the possession of the premises by the lessee under such agreement. As long as the latter remains in
undisturbed possession, it is immaterial whether the lessor has a valid title — or any title at all — at the time the
relationship was entered into. Between the present parties, the lease — which was actually a sublease — was
effective. And respondent had a colorable right to lease the premises by virtue of the assign- ment even if, as against
the owner, both the assignment and the sublease were ineffectual. But for reasons of equity, the sub-lessee cannot be
required to pay both owner and lessee for the same period of the lease (Tamio v. Ticson)
‣ However, the alleged lessor-respondents cannot claim estoppel against the lessee where they knew fully well
that they were accepting rentals from the latter in their capacity as mere administrators of the leased premises
or only on behalf of the deceased owner of the property. As administrators, the lessors were not actually parties to the
lease agreement. The fact that the lessee initially thought that respondents were the owners of the leased premises
does not put the lessee in estoppel because respondents were expected to know in what capacity they accepted the
payments. Moreover, respondents themselves have not asserted ownership over the leased premises, the truth of the
matter being that respondents were never the registered owners of the leased premises (Consumido v. Ros)
3. CONCLUSIVE EFFECTS OF FINAL JUDGMENTS (RES JUDICATA)
‣ See Rule 39, Sec. 47
‣ The following are considered conclusive upon the title to the thing, the will or administration, or the condition, status
or relationship of the person if there is a judgment or final order rendered by a court or of the Philippines, having
jurisdiction to pronounce such:

a. Against a specific thing

b. In respect to the probate of a will,

c. The administration of the estate of a deceased person

d. In respect to the personal, political, or legal condition or status of a particular person or his relationship to another

‣ In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other matter
that could have been raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the parties and their successors in interest by title
subsequent to the commencement of the action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing and under the
same title and in the same capacity

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DISPUTABLE PRESUMPTIONS

Section 3. Disputable presumptions. — The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be
contradicted and overcome by other evidence:
(a) That a person is innocent of crime or wrong;
(b) That an unlawful act was done with an unlawful intent;
(c) That a person intends the ordinary consequences of his voluntary act;
(d) That a person takes ordinary care of his concerns;
(e) That evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced;
(f) That money paid by one to another was due to the latter;
(g) That a thing delivered by one to another belonged to the latter;
(h) That an obligation delivered up to the debtor has been paid;
(i) That prior rents or installments had been paid when a receipt for the later one is produced;
(j) That a person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the doer of
the whole act; otherwise, that things which a person possess, or exercises acts of ownership over, are owned by him;
(k) That a person in possession of an order on himself for the payment of the money, or the delivery of anything, has paid
the money or delivered the thing accordingly;
(l) That a person acting in a public office was regularly appointed or elected to it;
(m) That official duty has been regularly performed;
(n) That a court, or judge acting as such, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere, was acting in the lawful exercise of
jurisdiction;
(o) That all the matters within an issue raised in a case were laid before the court and passed upon by it; and in like
manner that all matters within an issue raised in a dispute submitted for arbitration were laid before the arbitrators and
passed upon by them;
(p) That private transactions have been fair and regular;
(q) That the ordinary course of business has been followed;
(r) That there was a sufficient consideration for a contract;
(s) That a negotiable instrument was given or indorsed for a sufficient consideration;
(t) That an endorsement of negotiable instrument was made before the instrument was overdue and at the place where
the instrument is dated;
(u) That a writing is truly dated;
(v) That a letter duly directed and mailed was received in the regular course of the mail;
(w) That after an absence of seven years, it being unknown whether or not the absentee still lives, he is considered dead
for all purposes, except for those of succession.

The absentee shall not be considered dead for the purpose of opening his succession till after an absence of ten
years. If he disappeared after the age of seventy-five years, an absence of five years shall be sufficient in order that
his succession may be opened.

The following shall be considered dead for all purposes including the division of the estate among the heirs:
(1) A person on board a vessel lost during a sea voyage, or an aircraft with is missing, who has not been heard of for
four years since the loss of the vessel or aircraft;
(2) A member of the armed forces who has taken part in armed hostilities, and has been missing for four years;
(3) A person who has been in danger of death under other circumstances and whose existence has not been known
for four years;
(4) If a married person has been absent for four consecutive years, the spouse present may contract a subsequent
marriage if he or she has well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already death. In case of disappearance,
where there is a danger of death the circumstances hereinabove provided, an absence of only two years shall be
sufficient for the purpose of contracting a subsequent marriage. However, in any case, before marrying again, the

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spouse present must institute a summary proceedings as provided in the Family Code and in the rules for
declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent
spouse.
(x) That acquiescence resulted from a belief that the thing acquiesced in was conformable to the law or fact;
(y) That things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and ordinary nature habits of life;
(z) That persons acting as copartners have entered into a contract of co-partnership;
(aa) That a man and woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage;
(bb) That property acquired by a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other and who live exclusively with
each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under void marriage, has been obtained by their
joint efforts, work or industry.
(cc) That in cases of cohabitation by a man and a woman who are not capacitated to marry each other and who have
acquire properly through their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry, such contributions and their
corresponding shares including joint deposits of money and evidences of credit are equal.
(dd) That if the marriage is terminated and the mother contracted another marriage within three hundred days after such
termination of the former marriage, these rules shall govern in the absence of proof to the contrary:
(1) A child born before one hundred eighty days after the solemnization of the subsequent marriage is considered to
have been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within the three hundred days after the
termination of the former marriage.
(2) A child born after one hundred eighty days following the celebration of the subsequent marriage is considered to
have been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within the three hundred days after the
termination of the former marriage.
(ee) That a thing once proved to exist continues as long as is usual with things of the nature;
(ff) That the law has been obeyed;
(gg) That a printed or published book, purporting to be printed or published by public authority, was so printed or
published;
(hh) That a printed or published book, purporting contain reports of cases adjudged in tribunals of the country where the
book is published, contains correct reports of such cases;
(ii) That a trustee or other person whose duty it was to convey real property to a particular person has actually conveyed
it to him when such presumption is necessary to perfect the title of such person or his successor in interest;
(jj) That except for purposes of succession, when two persons perish in the same calamity, such as wreck, battle, or
conflagration, and it is not shown who died first, and there are no particular circumstances from which it can be
inferred, the survivorship is determined from the probabilities resulting from the strength and the age of the sexes,
according to the following rules:
(1) If both were under the age of fifteen years, the older is deemed to have survived;
(2) If both were above the age sixty, the younger is deemed to have survived;
(3) If one is under fifteen and the other above sixty, the former is deemed to have survived;
(4) If both be over fifteen and under sixty, and the sex be different, the male is deemed to have survived, if the sex be
the same, the older;
(5) If one be under fifteen or over sixty, and the other between those ages, the latter is deemed to have survived.
(kk) That if there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are called to succeed each other, as to which of them
died first, whoever alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall prove the same; in the absence of proof, they shall
be considered to have died at the same time. (5a)

Section 4. No presumption of legitimacy or illegitimacy. — There is no presumption of legitimacy of a child born after
three hundred days following the dissolution of the marriage or the separation of the spouses. Whoever alleges the
legitimacy or illegitimacy of such child must prove his allegation. (6)

RULES ON CIVIL PROCEDURE


RULE 39: Execution, Satisfaction and Effect of Judgments
SECTION 48. Effect of foreign judgments or final orders. - The effect of a judgment or final order of a tribunal of a foreign
country, having jurisdiction to render the judgment or final order is as follows:

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(a) In case of a judgment or final order upon a specific thing, the judgment or final order is conclusive upon the title to
the thing; and
(b) In case of a judgment or final order against a person, the judgment or final order is presumptive evidence of a right as
between the parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent title.

In either case, the judgment or final order may be repelled by evidence of a want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the
party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. (50a)

FAMILY CODE
Art. 168. If the marriage is terminated and the mother contracted another marriage within three hundred days after such
termination of the former marriage, these rules shall govern in the absence of proof to the contrary:
(1) A child born before one hundred eighty days after the solemnization of the subsequent marriageis considered to have
been conceived during the former marriage, provided it be born within three hundred days after the termination of the
former marriage;
(2) A child born after one hundred eighty days following the celebration of the subsequent marriage is considered to have
been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within the three hundred days after the termination of
the former marriage. (259a)

Art. 169. The legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child born after three hundred days following the termination of the marriage
shall be proved by whoever alleges such legitimacy or illegitimacy. (261a)

Art. 167. The child shall be considered legitimate although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may
have been sentenced as an adulteress. (256a)

Art. 166. Legitimacy of a child may be impugned only on the following grounds:
(1) (1) That it was physically impossible for the husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife within the first 120 days
of the 300 days which immediately preceded the birth of the child because of:
(a) The physical incapacity of the husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife;
(b) The fact that the husband and wife were living separately in such a way that sexual intercourse was not possible;
or
(c) Serious illness of the husband, which absolutely prevented sexual intercourse;
(2) That it is proved that for biological or other scientific reasons, the child could not have been that of the husband,
except in the instance provided in the second paragraph of Article 164; or
(3) That in case of children conceived through artificial insemination, the written authorization or ratification of either
parent was obtained through mistake, fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence. (255a)

Art. 213. In case of separation of the parents, parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court.
The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age,
unless the parent chosen is unfit. (n)

Art. 129. Children below the age of seven years are deemed to have chosen the mother, unless the court has decided
otherwise.

CIVIL CODE

Article 1176. The receipt of the principal by the creditor without reservation with respect to the interest, shall give rise to
the presumption that said interest has been paid. The receipt of a later installment of a debt without reservation as to
prior installments, shall likewise raise the presumption that such installments have been paid. (1110a)

Article 1387. All contracts by virtue of which the debtor alienates property by gratuitous title are presumed to have been
entered into in fraud of creditors, when the donor did not reserve sufficient property to pay all debts contracted before
the donation. Alienations by onerous title are also presumed fraudulent when made by persons against whom some

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judgment has been rendered in any instance or some writ of attachment has been issued. The decision or attachment
need not refer to the property alienated, and need not have been obtained by the party seeking the rescission. In addition
to these presumptions, the design to defraud creditors may be proved in any other manner recognized by the law of
evidence. (1297a)

Article 1735. In all cases other than those mentioned in Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the preceding article, if the goods are lost,
destroyed or deteriorated, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they
prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as required in article 1733.

Article 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have
acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755.

Article 2180. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for
those of persons for whom one is responsible.
The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by the minor
children who live in their company.
Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or incapacitated persons who are under their authority and
live in their company.
The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their
employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their functions.
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope
of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.
The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent; but not when the damage has been
caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains, in which case what is provided in article 2176 shall be
applicable.
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their pupils and
students or apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody.
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all
the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. (1903a)

Article 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who was in the vehicle,
could have, by the use of the due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is disputably presumed that a driver was
negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next
preceding two months. If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions of article 2180 are applicable. (n)

Article 2188. There is prima facie presumption of negligence on the part of the defendant if the death or injury results from
his possession of dangerous weapons or substances, such as firearms and poison, except when the possession or use
thereof is indispensable in his occupation or business. (n)

WHAT ARE DISPUTABLE PRESUMPTIONS?


‣ A PRESUMPTION IS DISPUTABLE OR REBUTTABLE IF IT MAY BE CONTRADICTED OR OVERCOME BY OTHER EVIDENCE
‣ Disputable presumptions “are satisfactory, if uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence.”

‣ When evidence that rebuts the presumption is introduced, the force of the presumption disappears.

‣ Example: While evidence of receipt of payment of a later installment gives rise to the presumption that previous
installments have been paid, yet when evidence is shown that prior installments remain unpaid, the presumption falls.
‣ What if presumptions conflict with each other?
‣ SALVADOR — Authorities say that the presumption which is based and promotes a social function prevails. Thus,
when the presumption of innocence conflicts with the presumption of regularity, the former prevails.

IMPORTANT DISPUTABLE PRESUMPTIONS UNDER THE RULES OF COURT


‣ Note that there are multitudes of disputable presumptions under statutes

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1. PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
‣ “That a person is innocent of crime or wrong” (Sec. 3[a], Rule 131)
‣ Remember that this is a constitutional right (Sec. 14[2], Art. Ill [Bill of Rights], Constitution)
‣ The presumption of innocence, is founded upon the first principles of justice, and is not a mere form but a substantial
part of the law. It is not overcome by mere suspicion or conjecture; a probability that the defendant committed the
crime; nor by the fact that he had the opportunity to do so. Its purpose is to balance the scales in what would
otherwise be an uneven contest between the lone individual pitted against the People and all the resources at their
command. Its inexorable mandate is that, for all the authority and influence of the prosecution.

‣ The accused must be acquitted and set free if his guilt cannot be proved beyond the whisper of a doubt. This is in
consonance with the rule that conflicts in evidence must be resolved upon the theory of innocence rather than
upon a theory of guilt when it is possible to do so (People vs Alvario)
‣ The constitutional presumption of innocence is enjoyed by the accused until final conviction and in this regard, the
prosecution’s case must rise and fall on its own merits and cannot draw its strength from the weakness of the defense
(People v. Mingming)

2. PRESUMPTION OF REGULARITY
‣ “Official duty has been regularly performed” (Sec. 3[m], Rule 131)
‣ It has been settled that credence is given to prosecution witnesses, who are police officers, for they are presumed to
have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary suggesting ill motive on the
part of the police officers. The presumption stands where the claim of ill motive was not substantiated by the accused
(People v. Almodiel)

‣ A mere allegation of frame-up and extortion, without clear and convincing evidence to support the same, is not
sufficient to rebut the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties (People v. Clarite)
‣ This presumption of regularity of court proceedings includes presumptions of regularity of service of summons. It is,
therefore, incumbent upon the party questioning the validity of the service to rebut these presumptions with
competent and proper evidence. The return is prima facie proof of the facts indicated therein (Masagana Concrete
Products v. NLRC)
‣ The well-settled rule is that a document acknowledged before a notary public enjoys the presumption of regularity. It
is a prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.

‣ In addition, the titles in the name of respondent, having been registered under the Torrens system, are generally a
conclusive evidence of the ownership of the land referred to therein and a strong presumption exists that the titles are
regularly issued and valid. Therefore, until and unless petitioners show that the documents are indeed spurious and
the titles invalid, then the presumptions must prevail at this juncture (Medina v. Greenfield Dev’t Corp.)
‣ The presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions cannot, by itself, overcome the presumption of
innocence. Evidence of guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and nothing else, is required to erase all doubts as to the
culpability of the accused (Zafra v. People)
‣ The presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty must be seen in the context of an existing rule
of law or statute authorizing the performance of an act or duty or procedure in the performance thereof. The
presumption, in other words, obtains only where nothing in the records is suggestive of the fact that the law enforcers
involved deviated from the standard conduct of official duty as provided for in the law. Otherwise, where the official
conduct in question is irregular on its face, an adverse presumption arises as a matter of course. Where the buy-bust
team deviated from the mandated conduct of taking post-seizure custody of the dangerous drugs confiscated, there
is no way to presume that the members thereof had performed their duties regularly (People v. Obmiranis)
‣ The presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty cannot by itself overcome the presumption of
innocence nor constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt. It should be noted that the presumption is precisely just that
– a presumption. Once challenged by evidence, as in this case, it cannot be regarded as binding truth. (People v.
Caranto 2014)
‣ EXCEPTIONS — In these cases, the presumption of regularity does NOT apply:
a. Cases involving the Writ of Amparo
‣ Under Sec. 17 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo, the “respondent public official or employee cannot invoke the
presumption that official duty has been regularly performed to evade responsibility or liability.”

b. Custodial investigation
‣ It is incumbent upon the prosecution to prove during the trial that prior to questioning, the confessant was
warned of his constitutionally-protected rights because the presumption of regularity of official acts does not
apply during in-custody investigation. Trial courts should further keep in mind that even if the confession of the
accused is gospel truth, if it was made without the assistance of counsel, it is inadmissible in evidence
regardless of the absence of coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given (People v. Camat)

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‣ The presumption of innocence of the accused prevails over the presumption that law enforcement agents were
in the regular performance of their duty. To determine whether there was a valid entrapment or not, it is
incumbent upon the courts to make sure that the details of the operation are clearly and adequately laid out
through relevant, material, and competent evidence. It is the duty of courts to preserve the purity of their own
temple from the prostitution of criminal law through lawless enforcement (People v. Ong)
c. Cases involving Chain of Custody of Illegal Drugs
‣ In these cases, the prosecution must establish the chain of custody in order to properly authenticate the drugs
involved. It must establish that it followed the proper procedure under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs
Act of 2002 and its IRR. Non-compliance with the strict procedures however, is not fatal, as if there is a failure
to comply with the requirements of the law in the handling of confiscated drugs, the accused may still be
convicted if the prosecution sufficiently establishes the following:

i. The non-compliance must be because of justifiable grounds; and

ii. The apprehending officer/team must have properly preserved the integrity and evidentiary value of the
seized items.

‣ In prosecutions involving narcotics, the narcotic substance itself constitutes the corpus delicti of the offense
and its existence is vital to sustain a judgment of conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Proof beyond
reasonable doubt demands that unwavering exactitude be observed in establishing the corpus delicti. The
chain of custody performs this function as it ensures that unnecessary doubts concerning the identity of the
evidence are removed. The rule seeks to settle definitively whether the object evidence subjected to laboratory
examination and presented in court is the same object allegedly seized from the accused (Fajardo vs People)
‣ In the present case, the prosecution did not bother to present any explanation to justify the non–observance of
the prescribed procedures. Therefore, the non– observance by the police of the required procedure cannot be
excused. It likewise failed to prove that the integrity and evidentiary value of the items adduced were not
tainted. The lower courts erred in giving weight to the presumption of regularity in the performance that a police
officer enjoys in the absence of any taint of irregularity and of ill motive that would induce him to falsify his
testimony. The regularity of the performance of the police officers’ duties leaves much to be desired in this
case given the lapses in their handling of the allegedly confiscated shabu. The totality of all the aforementioned
procedural lapses effectively produced serious doubts on the integrity and identity of the corpus delicti,
especially in the face of allegations of frame–up. These lapses negate the presumption that official duties have
been regularly performed by the police officers. Any taint of irregularity affects the whole performance and
should make the presumption unavailable. (People vs Caranto 2014)
3. PRESUMPTION OF UNLAWFUL INTENT
‣ “That an unlawful act was done with an unlawful intent” (Sec. 3[b], Rule 131)
‣ Intent is a state of mind, and is hidden from the judicial eye. Courts are left to evaluate the overt acts, and on their
basis, to form a conclusion as to the actor’s intentions. The legal presumption drawn from human experience and
generally applied by the courts is that men intend the natural consequences of their voluntary acts and that unlawful
acts are done with unlawful intent (Supreme Court Resolution in Buenaventura v. Court of Appeals)
4. PRESUMPTION OF DUE DILIGENCE
‣ “That a person takes ordinary care of his concerns” (Sec. 3[d], Rule 131)
‣ “That private transactions have been fair and regular” (Sec. 3[p], Rule 131)
‣ But note that there are exceptions such that a presumption of negligence applies instead, such as against common
carriers (to be discussed later)

‣ A businessman who is presumed to take ordinary care of his concerns. Absent any countervailing evidence, it cannot
be gainsaid that he will not sign documents without first informing himself of its contents and consequences. Clearly,
he knew the nature of the transactions and documents involved as he not only executed these notes on two different
dates but also executed, and again, signed twice, a notarized “Continuing Suretyship Agreement” wherein he
guaranteed, jointly and severally with the debtor to pay the creditor. He cannot now avoid liability by hiding under the
convenient excuse that he merely signed the notes in blank and the phrases “in personal capacity” and “in his official
capacity” were fraudulently inserted without his knowledge (Astro Electronics Corporation v. Philippine Export and
Foreign Guarantee Loan, Inc)
‣ The general rule is that whoever alleges fraud or mistake in a transaction must prove the same since it is presumed
that a person ordinarily takes care of his concerns and private transactions have been fair and regular (Sec. 3[p], Rule
131). However, in Art. 1332 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, if mistake or fraud is alleged, and one of the parties is
unable to read, or if the contract is in a language not understandable to him, the person enforcing the contract must
show that the terms thereof have been fully explained to the former (Cayabyab v. IAC)

5. PRESUMPTION THAT EVIDENCE WILFULLY SUPPRESSED IS ADVERSE


‣ “That evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced” (Sec. 3[e], Rule 131)

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‣ Remember that this is the rationale for the best evidence rule

‣ Based on the logic that a person would not suppress evidence which is favourable to him

‣ EXCEPTIONS — This presumption does NOT apply if —


a. The evidence is at the disposal of both parties

b. The suppression was not wilful

c. It is merely corroborative or cumulative; and

d. The suppression is an exercise of a privilege such as it is covered by the privileged communication between
physician and patient

‣ The non-presentation of corroborative witnesses does not constitute suppression of evidence and is not fatal to
prosecution’s case. There is no rule of evidence which requires the presentation of a specific number of witnesses to
sustain a conviction. It is the prosecutor’s prerogative to determine who or how many witneeses are to be presented in
order to establish the quantum of proof necessary. (People vs Navaja 1993)

6. PRESUMPTION THAT REGISTERED MAIL WAS DULY RECEIVED


‣ “That a letter duly directed and mailed was received in the regular course of the mail” (Sec. 3[v], Rule 131)
‣ The facts to be proved in order to raise this presumption are:

a. That the letter was properly addressed with postage prepaid; and

b. That it was mailed

‣ But note that while a mailed letter is deemed received by the addressee in the ordinary course of mail, this is still
merely a disputable presumption subject to controversion, and a direct denial of the receipt thereof shifts the
burden upon the party favored by the presumption to prove that the mailed letter was indeed received by the
addressee (Barcelon Roxas Securities, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue)
‣ NOTE — This is a weird precedent. It seems that all the other party must do is to make a denial of the receipt and
the presumption is lost.
7. PRESUMPTION OF PAYMENT OF PRIOR INSTALLMENTS
‣ “That prior rents or installments had been paid when a receipt for the later one is produced” (Sec. 3[i], Rule 131)
‣ Relate this with the Civil Code: “Article 1176. The receipt of the principal by the creditor without reservation with
respect to the interest, shall give rise to the presumption that said interest has been paid. The receipt of a later
installment of a debt without reservation as to prior installments, shall likewise raise the presumption that such
installments have been paid.” (NCC)
8. PRESUMPTION OF PERFORMANCE OF CRIMINAL ACTS
‣ “That a person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the doer of
the whole act” (Sec. 3[j], Rule 131)
‣ In the absence of satisfactory explanation, one found in possession of and who used a forged document is the forger
and therefore, guilty of falsification. If a person had in his possession a falsified document and he made use of it
(uttered it), taking advantage of it and profiting thereby, the clear presumption is that he is the material author of the
falsification (Maliwat vs CA)

‣ The rule is that if a person had in his possession a falsified document and be made use of it (uttered it), taking
advantage of it and profiting thereby, the presumption is that he is the material author of the falsification. This is
especially true if the use or uttering of the forged documents was so closely connected in time with the forgery that
the user or possessor may be proven to have the capacity of committing the forgery, or to have close connection with
the forgers, and therefore, had complicity in the forgery. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, one who is found
in possession of a forged document and who used or uttered it is presumed to be the forger (People vs Senaydiego
1978)

‣ BUT, the presumption that whoever possesses or uses a spurious document is its forger applies only in the absence
of a satisfactory explanation. Hence, a satisfactory explanation would render the presumption ineffective.
(Metrobank v. Tobias III 2012)

9. PRESUMPTION OF OWNERSHIP
‣ “XXXX that things which a person possess, or exercises acts of ownership over, are owned by him” Sec. 3[j], Rule 131)
10. PRESUMPTION OF VALIDITY OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS
‣ A judgment or final order against a person, rendered by a tribunal of a foreign country with jurisdiction to render said
judgment or final order, is presumptive evidence of a right as between the parties and their successors-in-
interest. If the judgment or final order is upon a specific thing, said judgment or final order is conclusive upon the title
to the thing. The presumptions are not, however, irrefutable. In either case, the judgment or final order may be repelled

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by any of the following: (a) want of jurisdiction; (b) want of notice to the party; (c) collusion; (d) fraud; or (e) clear
mistake of law or fact (Sec. 48, Rule 39, Rules of Court)
11. PRESUMPTION OF DEATH
a. In case of Probate or Administration Proceedings
‣ While the judgment or final order rendered by a Philippine court, among others, in respect to the probate of a will
or the administration of the estate of a deceased person is conclusive upon the will or administration, the probate
of a will or granting letters of administration shall only be prima facie evidence of the death of the testator
(Sec. 47, Rule 39, Rules of Court).
b. In case of Absence
‣ See Sec. 3[w], Rule 131
i. Absence of seven (7) years — If it is unknown whether or not the absentee is still alive, he is considered dead for
all purposes but not for the purpose of succession
ii. Absence of ten (10) years — The absentee shall be considered dead for the purpose of opening his succession
only after an absence of ten (10) years. Before the lapse of ten (10) years, he shall not be considered dead if the
purpose is the opening of his succession
iii. Absence of five (5) years — In relation to the immediately preceding number, if the absentee disappeared after
the age of seventy five (75) years, his absence of five (5) years is sufficient for the purpose of opening his
succession in which case, it is not necessary to wait for the lapse of ten (10) years
iv. Absence of four (4) years — A person is deemed dead for all purposes even for the purpose of the division of his
estate among his heirs in any of the following cases —
(1) If the person is on board a vessel that was lost during a sea voyage, or an aircraft which is missing, and has
not been heard of for four (4) years since the loss of the vessel or aircraft

(2) If the person is a member of the armed forces who has taken part in armed hostilities, and has been missing
for four (4) years

(3) If the person has been in danger of death under other circumstances and whose existence has not been
known for four (4) years

(4) If the person is married and has been absent for four (4) consecutive years, the spouse present may contract a
subsequent marriage if he or she has a well- founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead.

v. Absence of two (2) years — In case of disappearance, if the person is married and there is danger of death, an
absence of only two (2) years shall be sufficient for the purpose of contracting a subsequent marriage.
‣ However, in any case, before marrying again, the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as
provided in the Family Code and in the rules for a declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without
prejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse

12. PRESUMPTION OF ORDER OF DEATH (SURVIVORSHIP RULES)


‣ See Sec. 3[jj, kk], Rule 131
‣ This is when two persons perish in the same calamity, such as wreck, battle, or conflagration, and it is not shown who
died first, and there are no particular circumstances from which it can be inferred

a. For all purposes except succession (such as insurance) — The survivorship is determined from the probabilities
resulting from the strength and the age of the sexes, according to the following rules —
i. If both were under the age of 15 years — the older is deemed to have survived

ii. If both were above the age 60 — the younger is deemed to have survived

iii. If one is under 15 and the other above 60 — the former is deemed to have survived

iv. If both be over 15 and under 60, and the sex be different — the male is deemed to have survived, if the sex be
the same, the older

v. If one be under 15 or over 60, and the other between those ages — the latter is deemed to have survived.

b. For purposes of succession — That if there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are called to succeed
each other, as to which of them died first, whoever alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall prove the same; in
the absence of proof, they shall be considered to have died at the same time.

OTHER NOTABLE DISPUTABLE PRESUMPTIONS (OUTSIDE THE RULES OF COURT)


1. PRESUMPTION OF CONSTITUTIONALITY
‣ Every statute has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality.

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‣ This presumption is rooted in the doctrine of separation of powers which enjoins upon the three coordinate
departments of the Government a becoming courtesy for each other’s acts. The theory is that every law, being the
joint act of the Legislature and the Executive, has passed careful scrutiny to ensure that it is in accord with the
fundamental law. The Court, however, may declare a law, or portions thereof, unconstitutional, where a petitioner has
shown a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not merely a doubtful or argumentative one. In other words,
the grounds for nullity must be beyond reasonable doubt, for to doubt is to sustain (Cawaling v. Comelec)
2. PRESUMPTION OF VALIDITY OF MARRIAGE
‣ The rule is settled that every intendment of the law or fact leans toward the validity of the marriage, the in- dissolubility
of the marriage bonds. The courts look upon this presumption with great favor. It is not to be lightly repelled; on the
contrary, the presumption is of great weight. The Court is mindful of the policy of the 1987 Constitution to protect and
strengthen the family as the basic autonomous social institution, and marriage as the foundation of the family. Thus,
any doubt should be resolved in favor of the validity of the marriage (Sevilla v. Cardenas)
3. PRESUMPTION OF LEGITIMATE FILIATION
‣ “Art. 167. The child shall be considered legitimate although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or
may have been sentenced as an adulteress.” (Family Code)
‣ The law requires that every reasonable presumption be made in favor of legitimacy.

‣ The presumption of legitimacy does not only flow out of a declaration in the statute but is based on the broad
principles of natural justice and the supposed virtue of the mother. It is grounded on the policy to protect the innocent
offspring from the odium of illegitimacy.

‣ The presumption of legitimacy proceeds from the sexual union in marriage, particularly during the period of
conception.

‣ BUT — note that there is NO presumption of legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child born after three hundred (300)
days following the dissolution of the marriage or the separation of the spouses. (Sec. 4, Rule 131)

‣ In such case, whoever alleges the legitimacy or illegitimacy of such child must prove his allegation

‣ The burden of proving paternity, if no presumption of legitimate filiation exists is on the person who alleges that the
putative father is the biological father of the child. There are four significant procedural aspects of a traditional
paternity action which parties have to face: a prima facie case, affirmative defenses, presumption of legitimacy,
and physical resemblance between the putative father and child. However, ghe law requires that every reasonable
presumption be made in favor of legitimacy. The presumption is grounded on the policy to protect the innocent
offspring from the odium of illegitimacy. (Estate of Ong v. Diaz)

‣ How to dispute the presumption?


‣ See Art. 166, Family Code
‣ To overthrow this presumption on the basis of Article 166(l)(b) of the Family Code, it must be shown beyond
reasonable doubt that there was no access that could have enabled the husband to father the child. Sexual
intercourse is to be presumed where personal access is not disproved, unless such presumption is rebutted by
evidence to the contrary. The presumption is quasi-conclusive and may be refuted only by the evidence of
physical impossibility of coitus between husband and wife within the first 120 days of the 300 days which
immediately preceded the birth of the child. To rebut the presumption, the separation between the spouses must
be such as to make marital intimacy impossible. This may take place, for instance, when they reside in different
countries or provinces and they were never together during the period of conception. Or, the husband was in
prison during the period of conception, unless it appears that sexual union took place through the violation of
prison regulations” (Concepcion v. CA)
‣ Under Art. 166 of the Family Code the physical impossibility for the husband to have sexual intercourse with his
wife within the period mentioned in the law, is not the only way to impugn the legitimacy of a child. Thus, the
legitimacy may be also be impugned by proof that for biological or other scientific reasons, the child could not
have been that of the husband, except children conceived as a result of artificial insemination (Art. 166[2], Family
Code). The legitimacy of a child may likewise be impugned where the written authorization or ratification of either
parent was obtained through mistake, fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence, in case of children
conceived through artificial insemination (Art. 166[2], Family Code)
4. TENDER-AGE PRESUMPTION
‣ “Art. 129. Children below the age of seven years are deemed to have chosen the mother, unless the court has
decided otherwise.” “Art. 213. In case of separation of the parents, parental authority shall be exercised by the parent
designated by the Court. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the
child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit.” (Family Code)
‣ The so-called “tender-age presumption” under Art. 213 of the Family Code may be overcome only by compelling
evidence of the mother’s unfitness.

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‣ The mother is declared unsuitable to have custody of her children in one or more of the following instances: neglect,
abandonment, unemployment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, or
affliction with a communicable disease. (Gamboa-Hirsch v. Court of Appeals)
5. PRESUMPTION OF CONTRACTS OR DONATIONS EXECUTED TO DEFRAUD CREDITORS
‣ “Article 1387. All contracts by virtue of which the debtor alienates property by gratuitous title are presumed to have
been entered into in fraud of creditors, when the donor did not reserve sufficient property to pay all debts
contracted before the donation. Alienations by onerous title are also presumed fraudulent when made by persons
against whom some judgment has been rendered in any instance or some writ of attachment has been issued. The
decision or attachment need not refer to the property alienated, and need not have been obtained by the party seeking
the rescission.” (NCC)
‣ The existence of fraud or intent to defraud creditors may either be presumed in accordance with Art. 1387 of the Civil
Code or duly proved in accordance with the ordinary rules of evidence.

‣ The law presumes that there is fraud of creditors when:


1. There is alienation of property by gratuitous title by the debtor who has not reserved sufficient property to pay his
debts contracted before such alienation; or

2. There is alienation of property by onerous title made by a debtor against whom some judgment has been rendered
in any instance or some writ of attachment has been issued. From the tenor of the law, the decision or attachment
need not refer to the property alienated and need not have been obtained by the party seeking rescission.

6. PRESUMPTION OF SOUND MIND


‣ A person is not incapacitated to contract merely because of advanced years or by reason of physical infirmities. Only
when such age or infirmities impair her mental faculties to such extent as to prevent one from properly, intelligently,
and fairly protecting her property rights, is one considered incapacitated. A person is presumed to be of sound mind
at any particular time and the condition is presumed to continue to exist, in the absence of proof to the contrary.
Competency and freedom from undue influence, shown to have existed in the other acts done or contracts executed,
are presumed to continue until the contrary is shown (Mendezona v. Ozamiz)
7. PRESUMPTION THAT A SALE IS AN EQUITABLE MORTAGAGE
‣ Under Art. 1602 of the New Civil Code, a contract shall be presumed to be an equitable mortgage in any of the
following cases:
a. When the price of a sale with right to repurchase is unusually inadequate
b. When the vendor remains in possession as lessee or otherwise
c. When upon or after the expiration of the right to repurchase another instrument extending the period of redemption
or granting a new period is executed
d. When the purchaser retains for himself a part of the purchase price
e. When the vendor binds himself to pay the taxes on the thing sold
f. In any other case where it may be fairly inferred that the real intention of the parties is that the transaction shall
secure the payment of a debt or the performance of any other obligation.
‣ For the presumptions under the article to apply, two requisites must concur —
1. That the parties entered into a contract denominated as a sale; and

2. That their intention was to secure an existing debt by way of mortgage.

‣ In order for a deed to be declared a mortgage, the relation of debtor and creditor must exist between the grantor in
such a deed and one who seeks to have it declared a mortgage. There must be a continuing binding debt; a debt in its
fullest sense. Where there is no debt, there can be no mortgage; for if there is nothing to secure, there can be no
security. If there is an indebtedness or liability between the parties, either a debt existing prior to the conveyance, or a
debt arising from a loan made at the time of the conveyance, or from any other cause, and this debt is still left
subsistent, not being discharged or satisfied by the conveyance, but the grantor is regarded as still owing and bound
to pay at some future time, so that the payment stipulated for in the agreement to reconvey is in reality the payment of
this existing debt, then the whole transaction amounts to a mortgage, whatever stipulation they may have inserted in
the instruments. If there is no relation of debtor- creditor, but by the terms of the contract, one is merely given an
option to buy real property for a fixed amount and a fixed price, there is no equitable mortgage; the optionee is not
bound to buy and pay for said real property (JMA House, Inc. v. Santa Monica Industrial)

8. PRESUMPTION THAT A WRITTEN CONTRACT CONTAINS THE COMPLETE AND ACCURATE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE PARTIES
‣ Remember the Parol Evidence Rule
‣ The rule is that he, who alleges that a contract does not reflect the true intention of the parties thereto, may prove the
same by documentary or parol evidence. In this case, petitioner alleges that the Deed of Absolute Sale and Option to
Buy do not reflect the true intention of the parties. The petitioner asserts that it is a loan with a mortgage or an

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equitable mortgage. The petitioner is burdened to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that the terms of the
writings, not by simple declarations of the parties, but by proof of facts and circumstances, are inconsistent with the
rule of absolute purchase, otherwise, the solemnity of deeds would always be exposed to the slippery memory of
witnesses. The presumption is that the contract is what it purports to be; and, to establish its character as a
mortgage, the evidence must be clear, unequivocal and convincing which reasons tending to show that the
transaction was intended as a security for debt; and thus to be a mortgage must be sufficient to satisfy every
reasonable mind without hesitation. A less rigorous rule would mean that no man is safe in taking a deed of property.
It would only be necessary for the grantor to bring witnesses to an agreement that the deed was regarded as an
equitable mortgage, to enable him, on payment of the purchase price and interest, to redeem, particularly if the value
of the property had doubled or trebled in ratio. Unless the testimony is entirely plain and convincing beyond
reasonable controversy, the writing will be held to express correctly the intention of the parties. If there is a doubt as to
the fact whether the transaction is in the nature of a mortgage, the presumption, in order to avoid a forfeiture is always
in favor of a position to redeem, to subserve abstract justice and avert injurious consequences (JMA House, Inc. v.
Santa Monica Industrial)
9. PRESUMPTION OF NEGLIGENCE
a. Common Carriers
‣ Common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they
observed extraordinary diligence as required in Art. 1733 of the Civil Code (Arts. 1735 and 1756, NCC)
‣ In case of death of, or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have
acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as prescribed under Arts. 1733 and
1755 of the Civil Code (Art. 1756, NCC)
b. Persons Vicariously Liable
‣ The persons mentioned in Art. 2180 of the Civil Code like employers, and owners or managers of establishment,
among others, are liable for the acts of those persons for whom they are responsible. Under the same provision,
such responsibility shall cease when the persons mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent damage. This indicates that there is a presumption that employers and other
persons in Art. 2180 have likewise been negligent in case those under them have caused damage to
another.
‣ Whenever an employee’s negligence causes damage or injury to another, there instantly arises a presumption juris
tantum that the employer failed to exercise diligentissimi patris familias in the selection (culpa eligiendo) or
supervision (culpa in vigilando) of its employees (Macalinao v. Ong)
c. Motor Vehicle Mishaps
‣ It is disputably presumed that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or violating
traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two months (Art. 2184, NCC)
d. Possession of Dangerous Weapons and Substances
‣ There is prima facie presumption of negligence on the part of the defendant if the death or injury results from his
possession of dangerous weapons or substances, such as firearms and poison, except when the possession or
use there- of is indispensable in his occupation or business (Art. 2188, NCC)
e. Res Ipsa Loquitur
‣ The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself) also establishes a presumption of negligence against
the defendant and furnishes a substitute for a specific proof of negligence.

‣ The doctrine can be invoked only when, under the circumstances, direct evidence is absent and not readily
available.

‣ For the doctrine to apply, the following must be satisfactorily shown —


i. The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of someone’s negligence

ii. It is caused by an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the defendant or defendants; and

iii. The possibility of contributing conduct which would make the plaintiff responsible is eliminated

‣ The defendant’s negligence is presumed or inferred when the plaintiff establishes the requisites for the
application of res ipsa loquitur. Once the plaintiff makes out a prima facie case of all the elements, the burden
then shifts to defendant to explain. The presumption or inference may be rebutted or overcome by other
evidence and, under appropriate circumstances disputable presumption, such as that of due care or innocence,
may outweigh the inference. It is not for the defendant to explain or prove its defense to prevent the presumption
or inference from arising. Evidence by the defendant of say, due care, comes into play only after the circumstances
for the application of the doctrine has been established. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur furnishes a bridge by
which a plaintiff, without knowledge of the cause, reaches over to defendant who knows or should know

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the cause, for any explanation of care exercised by the defendant in respect of the matter of which the
plaintiff complains. (DMCI vs CA)
‣ Res ipsa loquitur is merely evidentiary, a mode of proof, or a mere procedural convenience, since it furnishes
a substitute for, and relieves a plaintiff of, the burden of producing a specific proof of negligence. It
recognizes that parties may establish prima facie negligence without direct proof, thus, it allows the principle to
substitute for specific proof of negligence. It permits the plaintiff to present along with proof of the accident,
enough of the attending circumstances to invoke the doctrine, create an inference or presumption of negligence
and thereby place on the defendant the burden of proving that there was no negligence on his part. The doctrine is
based partly on the theory that the defendant in charge of the instrumentality which causes the injury either knows
the cause of the accident or has the best opportunity of ascertaining it while the plaintiff has no such knowledge,
and is therefore compelled to allege negligence in general terms. (Del Carmen vs Bacoy 2012)
‣ In medical negligence cases — although generally, expert medical testimony is relied upon in malpractice suits
to prove that a physician has done a negligent act or that he has deviated from the standard medical procedure,
when the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is availed by the plaintiff, the need for expert medical testimony is dispensed
with because the injury itself provides the proof of negligence. Hence, in cases where the res ipsa loquitur is
applicable, the court is permitted to find a physician negligent upon proper proof of injury to the patient,
without the aid of expert testimony, where the court from its fund of common knowledge can determine the
proper standard of care. When the doctrine is appropriate, all that the patient must do is prove a nexus between
the particular act or omission complained of and the injury sustained while under the custody and management of
the defendant without need to produce expert medical testimony to establish the standard of care. Thus, courts of
other jurisdictions have applied the doctrine in the following situations: leaving of a foreign object in the body of
the patient after an operation, injuries sustained on a healthy part of the body which was not under, or in the area,
of treatment, removal of the wrong part of the body when another part was intended, knocking out a tooth while a
patient’s jaw was under anesthetic for the removal of his tonsils, and loss of an eye while the patient plaintiff was
under the influence of anesthetic, during or following an operation for appendicitis (Ramos vs CA 1999)

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RULE 132(A): EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
RULE 132(A): EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
Rule 132 in general pertains to “presentation of evidence”

EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES PRESENTED IN TRIAL OR HEARING

Section 1. Examination to be done in open court. — The examination of witnesses presented in a trial or hearing shall be
done in open court, and under oath or affirmation. Unless the witness is incapacitated to speak, or the questions calls for
a different mode of answer, the answers of the witness shall be given orally. (1a)

‣ RULE — THE EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES PRESENTED IN A TRIAL OR HEARING SHALL BE DONE —


1. IN OPEN COURT
‣ EXCEPT —Testimonies may not be given in open court, if the rules provide otherwise, such as —

a. Rules on Summary Procedure


‣ The affidavits of the parties shall constitute the direct testimonies of the witnesses who executed the same
(Sec. 15, Rule on Summary Procedure).
‣ In civil cases, the parties are merely required to submit the affidavits of their witnesses and other pieces of
evidence on the factual issues, together with their position papers, setting forth the law and the facts relied
upon (Sec. 9, Rule on Summary Procedure).
b. Depositions
‣ Likewise, depositions need not be taken in open court. They may be taken before a notary public (Sec. 10,
Rule 23, Rules of Court) or before any person authorized to administer oaths (Sec. 14, Rule 23, Rules of
Court).
‣ In criminal cases, follow the rules on conditional examination of witnesses.
c. Judicial Affidavit Rule
‣ Under the Judicial Affidavit Rule, the judicial affidavit shall take the place of direct testimonies of witnesses
(Sec. 2, Judicial Affidavit Rule).
‣ NOTE — The Judicial Affidavit Rule has practically dispensed with the need to present direct testimony of
witnesses. Read those rules in relation to this.

2. UNDER OATH OR AFFIRMATION


‣ The witness must take either an oath or an affirmation but the option to do so is given to the witness and not to the
court.

‣ An oath is an outward pledge made under an immediate sense of responsibility to God or a solemn appeal to the
Supreme Being in attestation of the truth of some statement
‣ An affirmation is a substitute for an oath, and is a solemn and formal declaration that the witness will tell the truth
‣ No special wording is necessary for an affirmation, provided that the language used is designed to impress upon
the individual the duty to tell the truth (U.S. v. Kalaydjian)
‣ It may be an abuse of the court’s discretion to require the use of the words “swear” or “affirm” in the oath if the
language would violate the witness’s religious beliefs where the witness could otherwise testify truthfully (Gordon v.
State of Idaho)

3. THE ANSWERS OF THE WITNESS SHALL BE GIVEN ORALLY


‣ EXCEPT —

a. If the witness is incapacitated to speak, or

b. The questions calls for a different mode of answer

‣ This method allows the court the opportunity to observe the demeanor of the witness and also allows the adverse
party to cross-examine the witness.

EXAMINATION OF CHILD WITNESSES


‣ RULE -- The examination of a child witness presented in a hearing or any proceeding shall be done in open court.
The answer of the witness shall be given orally, unless the witness is incapacitated to speak, or the question calls
for a different mode of answer (Sec. 8, Rule on Examination of a Child Witness)

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‣ Basically, examination of child witnesses follows the same general rule with ordinary witnesses (must be in open court,
under oath and given orally), BUT there are special rules which applies to child witnesses (tetimony by live-link
television, allowing of support persons, interpreter, facilitator for the child, closing the courtroom to the public, etc).
Just see Chapter on “Special Rules of Evidence” under the “Rule on Examination of a Child Witness” for this.

PROCEEDINGS OF A TRIAL OR HEARING SHOULD BE RECORDED

Section 2. Proceedings to be recorded. — The entire proceedings of a trial or hearing, including the questions
propounded to a witness and his answers thereto, the statements made by the judge or any of the parties, counsel, or
witnesses with reference to the case, shall be recorded by means of shorthand or stenotype or by other means of
recording found suitable by the court.
A transcript of the record of the proceedings made by the official stenographer, stenotypist or recorder and certified as
correct by him shall be deemed prima facie a correct statement of such proceedings. (2a)

‣ RULE — THE ENTIRE PROCEEDINGS OF THE TRIAL OR HEARING MUST BE RECORDED, PARTICULARLY —
1. The questions propounded to a witness and his answers thereto

2. Statements made by the judge, any of the parties or any of the counsels.

‣ How should it be recorded?


‣ The recording may be by either —

1. Shorthand

2. Stenotype or

3. Any means of recording found suitable by the court.

‣ NOTE — The official stenographer, stenotypist or recorder shall make a transcript of the record of the proceedings
and shall be certified by him as correct. The transcript so prepared and certified shall be deemed prima facie a
correct statement of such proceedings

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF A WITNESS

Section 3. Rights and obligations of a witness. — A witness must answer questions, although his answer may tend to
establish a claim against him. However, it is the right of a witness:
(1) To be protected from irrelevant, improper, or insulting questions, and from harsh or insulting demeanor;
(2) Not to be detained longer than the interests of justice require;
(3) Not to be examined except only as to matters pertinent to the issue;
(4) Not to give an answer which will tend to subject him to a penalty for an offense unless otherwise provided by law; or
(5) Not to give an answer which will tend to degrade his reputation, unless it to be the very fact at issue or to a fact from
which the fact in issue would be presumed. But a witness must answer to the fact of his previous final conviction for
an offense. (3a, 19a)

‣ RULE — A WITNESS HAS AN OBLIGATION TO ANSWER QUESTIONS, ALTHOUGH HIS ANSWER MAY TEND TO ESTABLISH A CLAIM
(CIVIL LIABILITY) AGAINST HIM
‣ EXCEPT — There are questions which a witness is not bound to answer in certain instances, as he has the
following rights —
1. Not to give an answer which will tend to subject him to a penalty for an offense (criminal liability), unless otherwise
provided by law

2. To be protected from irrelevant, improper, or insulting questions, and from harsh or insulting demeanour

3. Not to be examined except only as to matters pertinent to the issue

4. Not to be detained longer than the interest of justice requires; and

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5. Not to give an answer which will tend to degrade his reputation, unless it be the very fact at issue or to a fact from
which the fact in issue would be presumed

‣ Counsel must always come to the aid of his witness being subjected to intimidation, harassment and embarrassment.
Such acts are objectionable and a timely objection should be raised.

RIGHT OF A WITNESS AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION


‣ RULE — THE WITNESS HAS THE RIGHT NOT TO GIVE AN ANSWER THAT WILL SUBJECT HIM TO A PENALTY
‣ This is based on the right of a person against self-incrimination (Sec. 17, Art. Ill, 1987 Constitution)
‣ Note that the witness must still take the stand and wait for the incriminating question before he can invoke the right
against self-incrimination. But, if the witness is the accused, he may totally refuse to take the stand. (Bagadiong v.
Gonzales)
‣ The right against self incrimination is accorded to every person who gives evidence, whether voluntary or under
compulsion of subpoena, in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding. The right is not to be compelled to be a
witness against himself. It secures to a witness, whether he be a party or not, the right to refuse to answer any
particular incriminatory question, i.e., one the answer to which has a tendency to incriminate him for some crime.
However, the right can be claimed only when the specific question, incriminatory in character, is actually put to the
witness. It cannot be claimed at any other time. It does not give a witness the right to disregard a subpoena, decline
to appear before the court at the time appointed, or to refuse to testify altogether. As to an accused in a criminal case,
it is settled that he can refuse outright to take the stand as a witness. This is because an accused “occupies a
different tier of protection from an ordinary witness.” As long as the suit is criminal in nature, the party thereto can
altogether decline to take the witness stand. It is not the character of the suit involved but the nature of the
proceedings that controls. (Rosete v. Lim, 2006)
‣ However, remember that the right against self-incrimination applies only to testimonial evidence. It does not apply to a
physical and mechanical acts.

‣ There is no testimonial compulsion involved by extracting blood from the accused for testing purposes. Extracting
blood samples and cutting strands of hair do not involve testimonial compulsion but purely mechanical acts which
neither requires discretion nor reasoning (Tijing vs CA)
‣ Can you ask a witness a question which will expose him to civil liability?
‣ YES. The right against self-incrimination only applies against exposure to criminal liability. A witness must answer
questions, although his answer may tend to establish a claim against him. (Rule 132[A], Sec. 3)

‣ EXCEPT —UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW


‣ Under R.A. 6981 (Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act), a witness admitted into the witness protection
program cannot refuse to testify or give evidence or produce books, documents, records or writings necessary for the
prosecution of the offense or offenses for which he has been admitted on the ground of the right against self-
incrimination (Sec. 14, R.A. 6981).

RIGHT OF A WITNESS AGAINST DEGRADATION


‣ RULE —A WITNESS LIKEWISE HAS THE RIGHT AGAINST BEING DEGRADED.
‣ This refers to his right not to give an answer that will degrade him.

‣ EXCEPT — Even if the answer is degrading to his reputation, he must answer the question if the degrading
answer is any of the following —
1. The very fact in issue; or

2. Refers to a fact from which the fact in issue would be presumed

3. Matters that pertain to a previous final conviction for an offense

KINDS OF EXAMINATIONS

Section 4. Order in the examination of an individual witness. — The order in which the individual witness may be
examined is as follows;
(a) Direct examination by the proponent;
(b) Cross-examination by the opponent;
(c) Re-direct examination by the proponent; (d) Re-cross-examination by the opponent. (4)

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Section 5. Direct examination. — Direct examination is the examination-in-chief of a witness by the party presenting him
on the facts relevant to the issue. (5a)

Section 6. Cross-examination; its purpose and extent. — Upon the termination of the direct examination, the witness may
be cross- examined by the adverse party as to many matters stated in the direct examination, or connected therewith,
with sufficient fullness and freedom to test his accuracy and truthfulness and freedom from interest or bias, or the
reverse, and to elicit all important facts bearing upon the issue. (8a)

Section 7. Re-direct examination; its purpose and extent. — After the cross-examination of the witness has been
concluded, he may be re-examined by the party calling him, to explain or supplement his answers given during the cross-
examination. On re-direct- examination, questions on matters not dealt with during the cross-examination, may be
allowed by the court in its discretion. (12)

Section 8. Re-cross-examination. — Upon the conclusion of the re-direct examination, the adverse party may re-cross-
examine the witness on matters stated in his re-direct examination, and also on such other matters as may be allowed by
the court in its discretion. (13)

KINDS OF EXAMINATIONS
1. DIRECT EXAMINATION (SEC. 5, RULE 132)
‣ This is the examination-in-chief of a witness by the party presenting him on the facts relevant to the issue.
‣ It is actually a procedure for obtaining information from one’s own witness in an orderly fashion.

‣ It is information which counsel wants the court to hear.

‣ The purpose is to elicit facts about the client’s cause of action or defense.

‣ NOTE — this examination is now subject to the Judicial Affidavit Rule which took effect on January 1, 2013. A Judicial
Affidavit is submitted and it takes the place “in lieu of” of direct examination.

‣ SALVADOR — Direct examination is the examination-in-chief.

2. CROSS-EXAMINATION (SEC. 6, RULE 132)


‣ This is the examination of the witness by the adverse party after said witness has given his testimony on direct
examination.

‣ Cross-examination has two basic purposes —

a. To bring out facts favorable to counsel’s client not established by the direct testimony (To elicit)

b. To enable counsel to impeach or to impair the credibility of the witness (To impeach)

‣ SCOPE — The scope of the cross-examination is not confined to the matters stated by the witness in the
direct examination.
‣ The cross-examination is not limited to the mattes taken up in direct examination. We follow the “english rule”, as
long as the issue is raised in the pleadings, it may be covered in cross-examination.
‣ Thus, under the Rules of Court, an objection that the question in the cross-examination is on a matter not touched
upon by the witness in his testimony will seldom be sustained provided the question covers matters allowed to be
asked by way of cross-examination.

‣ This is because the rule allows questions designed to test the accuracy and truthfulness of the witness, his
freedom from interest or bias, or the reverse, and to elicit all important facts bearing upon the issue

‣ EXCEPT — In the following cases, the witness may only be cross-examined as to the subject matter of his
examination-in- chief or on matters covered by direct examination:
a. The witness is an unwilling or a hostile witness as so declared by the court (Sec. 12, Rule 132).
b. The witness is an accused (Sec. 1[d], Rule 115)
c. Witness who has been called by the other side as an adverse party witness or an officer, director, or managing
agent of a corporation, partnership or association which is an adverse party
‣ While the adverse party may cross-examine a witness for the purpose among others, of eliciting all important facts
bearing upon the issue. From this provision it may clearly be inferred that a party may cross- examine a witness on

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matters not embraced in his direct examination. But this does not mean that a party by doing so is making the
witness his own. (Capitol Subd. v. Province of Negros Occidental 1956)
3. RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION (SEC. 7, RULE 132)
‣ This examination is conducted after the cross examination of the witness.

‣ The party who called the witness on direct examination may re-examine the same witness to explain or supplement
his answers given during the cross-examination.

‣ It is the examination of a witness by the counsel who conducted the direct examination after the cross-examination.

‣ In re-direct examination the counsel may elicit testimony to correct or repel any wrong impression or inferences that
may have been created in the cross-examination.

‣ It may also be an opportunity to rehabilitate a witness whose credibility has been damaged.

‣ In its discretion, the court may even allow questions on matters not touched in the cross-examination

‣ SALVADOR — The purpose of re-direct is to (1) supplement matters touched on direct exam (2) explain matters
touched on cross-exam

4. RE-CROSS EXAMINATION (SEC. 8, RULE 132)


‣ This is the examination conducted upon the conclusion of the re-direct examination.

‣ Here, the adverse party may question the witness on matters stated in his re-direct examination and also on such
matters as may be allowed by the court in its discretion

DEATH OR ABSENCE OF A WITNESS BEFORE CROSS-EXAMINATION


‣ RULE —IF THE WITNESS DIES BEFORE HIS CROSS-EXAMINATION IS OVER, HIS TESTIMONY ON THE DIRECT MAY BE STRICKEN
OUT, BUT ONLY WITH RESPECT TO THE TESTIMONY NOT COVERED BY THE CROSS- EXAMINATION.

‣ The absence of the witness is not enough to warrant striking out his testimony for failure to appear for further cross-
examination where the witness has already been sufficiently cross-examined, and the matter on which the cross-
examination is sought is not in controversy (People v. Seheris)
‣ EXCEPT — If the witness was not cross-examined because of causes attributable to the cross-examining
party
‣ In this case, the cross-examiner is deemed to have waived the right to cross- examine the witness

‣ The right to cross examine may also be waived expressly, as when the party does not want to cross-examine the
witness.
‣ If the witness was not cross-examined because of causes attributable to the cross-examining party and the
witness had always made himself available for cross- examination, the direct testimony of the witness shall remain
in the record and cannot be ordered stricken off because the cross-examiner is deemed to have waived the right
to cross- examine the witness (De la Paz v. IAC)

RECALLING A WITNESS

Section 9. Recalling witness. — After the examination of a witness by both sides has been concluded, the witness cannot
be recalled without leave of the court. The court will grant or withhold leave in its discretion, as the interests of justice
may require. (14)

‣ If a witness has been examined by both sides, the witness cannot be recalled without leave of court. Recalling a witness
is a matter of judicial discretion.

‣ In the exercise of its discretion, the court shall be guided by the interests of justice

LEADING AND MISLEADING QUESTIONS

Section 10. Leading and misleading questions. — A question which suggests to the witness the answer which the
examining party desires is a leading question. It is not allowed, except:
(a) On cross examination;
(b) On preliminary matters;

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(c) When there is a difficulty is getting direct and intelligible answers from a witness who is ignorant, or a child of tender
years, or is of feeble mind, or a deaf-mute;
(d) Of an unwilling or hostile witness; or
(e) Of a witness who is an adverse party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or private corporation or of
a partnership or association which is an adverse party.
A misleading question is one which assumes as true a fact not yet testified to by the witness, or contrary to that which he
has previously stated. It is not allowed. (5a, 6a, and 8a)

‣ RULE — LEADING QUESTIONS, WHICH SUGGEST TO THE WITNESS THE ANSWER WHICH THE EXAMINING PARTY DESIRES, ARE
NOT ALLOWED
‣ A leading question is one that is framed in such a way that the question indicates to the witness the answer desired by
the party asking the question.

‣ Note that even the actions of counsel may be leading.

‣ In the words of Sec. 10 of Rule 132, it is a question “which suggests to the witness the answer which the examining
party desires.”

‣ The prohibition on leading questions apply particularly in case of direct and re-direct examinations

‣ Leading questions are not appropriate in direct and re-direct examinations particularly when the witness is asked to
testify about a major element of the cause of action or defense.

‣ SALVADOR — Generally, leadings questions can be answerable by yes or no. But some questions are leading even if
it is not answerable by yes or no, such as if the question gives choices to the witness. (Did you go to the mall or to the
school?).

‣ EXCEPT —LEADING QUESTIONS ARE ALLOWED IN THE FOLLOWING INSTANCES —


1. CROSS EXAMINATION
‣ Leading questions are allowed in cross and re-cross examinations. In fact, leading questions are the types of
questions that should be employed in a cross-examination. Such questions enable the counsel to get the witness
to agree with his client’s version of the facts.

‣ RIANO — Most lawyers will agree that a “why” question should not be asked in cross-examination. This kind of
question allows a witness to explain his or her position, emphasize key points of harmful testimony and control the
pace and scope of the examination. It invites the witness to deliver an unwanted “lecture” in the courtroom. Short
and leading questions will help control the witness.

2. DIRECT EXAMINATION IN THE FOLLOWING INSTANCES —


a. On preliminary matters

b. When the witness is ignorant, or a child of tender years, or is feeble-minded or a deaf-mute and there is difficulty
in getting direct and intelligible answers from such witness;

c. When the witness is a hostile witness

d. When the witness is an adverse party, or an officer, director, or managing agent of a corporation, partnership or
association which is an adverse party

3. EXAMINATION OF CHILD WITNESSES


‣ As to a child witness, Sec. 10, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court should be deemed modified by Sec. 20 of the Rule
on Examination of a Child Witness.

‣ Under the said rule, the court may allow leading questions in all stages of examination of a child under the
condition that the same will further the interest of justice.

‣ Under the Rules of Court, a leading question may be asked of a child only if there is difficulty of eliciting from
said child a direct and intelligible answer (Sec. 10[c], Rule 132, Rules of Court).
‣ RIANO — EXAMPLES —
1. The case is a collection case. The defendant contends that the debt has been paid. He calls a witness to testify to the
fact of payment. Q: While the plaintiff and the defendant were engaged in a conversation on the date and time you
mentioned, did you see the defendant deliver P50,000.00 to the plaintiff?
‣ The question is objectionable on the ground that it is leading. Here, the examiner obviously wants the witness to
directly testify that money was delivered by the defendant to the plaintiff in his presence. The question could have

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been properly framed in this manner: “What have you observed, if any, while the plaintiff and the defendant were
engaged in a conversation?”
2. The fact situation is a robbery case. The accused claims innocence and that a couple of hours after the alleged
robbery, he is arrested by the police while in the park with his children. The defense counsel calls the accused to the
stand. Q: What were you doing in the park? A: I was taking a stroll with my two adolescent children. Q: While you were
in the park with your children, the police officers arrived to arrest you, is that true?
‣ The question is leading. It suggests the next event which the witness should testify to. The attorney could convert
the question into a non-leading one by taking the suggestive element out of the question. Thus, “What happened if
any, while you and your children were at the park?”

MISLEADING QUESTIONS
‣ RULE — MISLEADING QUESTIONS ARE NOT ALLOWED, IN ANY TYPE OF EXAMINATION
‣ A misleading question is one which —

1. Assumes as true a fact not yet testified to by the witness, or

2. Contains facts contrary to that which the witness has previously stated.

‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — Counsel: “You testified that you and the accused were in a car bound for Baguio City. How fast
were you driving?” This question is objectionable as misleading where there was no previous testimony from the
witness that he was driving the car. The question assumes a fact not yet in evidence.

IMPEACHMENT OF A WITNESS

Section 11. Impeachment of adverse party's witness. — A witness may be impeached by the party against whom he was
called, by contradictory evidence, by evidence that his general reputation for truth, honestly, or integrity is bad, or by
evidence that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his present, testimony, but not by evidence of
particular wrongful acts, except that it may be shown by the examination of the witness, or the record of the judgment,
that he has been convicted of an offense. (15)

Section 12. Party may not impeach his own witness. — Except with respect to witnesses referred to in paragraphs (d) and
(e) of Section 10, the party producing a witness is not allowed to impeach his credibility.
A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile only if so declared by the court upon adequate showing of his
adverse interest, unjustified reluctance to testify, or his having misled the party into calling him to the witness stand.
The unwilling or hostile witness so declared, or the witness who is an adverse party, may be impeached by the party
presenting him in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party, except by evidence of his bad character. He
may also be impeached and cross-examined by the adverse party, but such cross-examination must only be on the
subject matter of his examination-in- chief. (6a, 7a)

Section 13. How witness impeached by evidence of inconsistent statements. — Before a witness can be impeached by
evidence that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his present testimony, the statements must be
related to him, with the circumstances of the times and places and the persons present, and he must be asked whether
he made such statements, and if so, allowed to explain them. If the statements be in writing they must be shown to the
witness before any question is put to him concerning them. (16)

GUIDELINES IN IMPEACHING A WITNESS


‣ Impeachment is basically a technique employed usually as part of the cross-examination to discredit a witness by
attacking his credibility.
‣ Destroying credibility is vital because it is linked with a witness’ ability and willingness to tell the truth.

‣ The rules enumerate certain guideposts in impeaching a witness —

1. THE IMPEACHMENT OF A WITNESS IS TO BE DONE BY THE PARTY AGAINST WHOM THE WITNESS IS CALLED (SEC. 11, RULE
132)
2. THE PARTY PRODUCING THE WITNESS IS BARRED FROM IMPEACHING HIS OWN WITNESS (SEC. 12, RULE 132).
‣ Example: If D calls W as his witness, D is not allowed to impeach the credibility of W. It is the adverse party, P,
against whom W was called, who is accorded the privilege of impeaching W

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‣ EXCEPT — IN THE FOLLOWING CASES, THE PARTY MAY IMPEACH HIS OWN WITNESS —
a. If the witness is unwilling or hostile, the party calling him may be allowed by the court to impeach the
witness.
‣ But it is not for the party calling the witness to make a determination that the witness is unwilling or hostile.

‣ Whether or not a witness is hostile, is addressed to judicial evaluation and the declaration shall be made
only if the court is satisfied that the witness possesses an interest adverse to the party calling him or there
is adequate showing that the reluctance of the witness is unjustified, or that he misled the party into calling
him as a witness

b. When the witness is an adverse party or is an officer, director, or managing agent of a corporation,
partnership or association which is an adverse party
3. IT IS IMPROPER FOR THE PARTY CALLING THE WITNESS TO PRESENT EVIDENCE OF THE GOOD CHARACTER OF HIS OWN
WITNESS.

‣ The same is allowed only if the character of the witness has been impeached (Sec. 14, Rule 132).
‣ Thus, evidence of the good character of the witness is allowed only to rebut the evidence offered to impeach the
witness’s character.

‣ If he has been impeached, then he can be rehabilitated by evidence of his good character.

MODES OF IMPEACHING A WITNESS


‣ See Sec. 11, Rule 132
‣ A witness may be impeached through any of the following modes —
1. By contradictory evidence

2. By evidence that his general reputation for truth, honesty or integrity is bad; (bad reputation evidence)

3. By evidence that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his present testimony (prior inconsistent
statements)

4. Prior conviction of a crime

‣ A witness CANNOT be impeached by —


1. Evidence of particular wrongful acts except evidence of his final conviction of an offense as disclosed by his
examination or the record of the judgment (Sec. 11, Rule 132).

2. An unwilling or hostile witness so declared by the court or the witness who is an adverse party cannot be impeached
by evidence of his bad character (Sec. 12, Rule 132)

MODES OF IMPEACHING A WITNESS (EXPOUNDED)


1. IMPEACHMENT BY CONTRADICTORY EVIDENCE (SEC. 11, RULE 132)
‣ Every ethical trial lawyer will tell us that one basic rule in impeaching a witness by contradictory evidence is the
observance of fairness.

‣ Fairness demands that the impeaching matter be raised in the cross-examination of the witness sought to be
impeached by allowing him to admit or deny a matter to be used as the basis for impeachment by
contradictory evidence.
‣ Normally, the basis of this mode of impeachment is a declaration made by the witness in his direct testimony. The
cross-examiner’s intention is to show to the court that there were allegations made by the witness that do not
correspond to the real facts of the case.

‣ This mode of impeachment may also be used to contradict conclusions made by expert witnesses during their
testimonies.

‣ Usually, the adverse party may also call another expert to testify to a contrary conclusion.

‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — Witness A testifies on direct examination that he was barely five meters away from where the
accused, D fired a shot at the victim, V. The defense counsel has reliable information that, at the time the shooting took
place, Witness A was standing as a witness in a wedding of his friend, Witness B, in a place a hundred miles away. The
defense counsel now asks: Q: You testified that you were present when D shot V, is that right? A: Perfectly right,Sir!Q:
Isn’t it true that, at the time of the alleged shooting of V by D, you were in a wedding of your friend miles and miles
away? A: That isn’t true. Sir. Absolutely not. Because Witness A denied his being in a friend’s wedding at the time of
the incident, the defense counsel now has the chance to prove the contrary by a contradictory evidence. He can do so
by calling Witness B or any other witness to testify on the whereabouts of Witness A on the relevant date and time.

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2. IMPEACHMENT BY SHOWING BAD REPUTATION (SEC. 11, RULE 132)
‣ When a witness testifies, he puts his credibility at issue because the weight of his testimony depends upon his
credibility.

‣ One way to impair his credibility is by showing a not so pleasing reputation.

‣ Hence, the prevailing rule allows his impeachment by evidence that he has a bad general reputation.

‣ Not every aspect of a person’s reputation may be the subject of impeachment. Evidence of bad reputation for the
purpose of impeachment should refer only to the following specific aspects:

a. For truth

b. For honesty; or

c. For integrity

‣ These are aspects of a person’s reputation that are relevant to his credibility. He cannot be impeached for his
reputation on other grounds.

‣ Thus, it would be improper for a witness to be impeached because of his reputation for being troublesome and
abrasive.

‣ A witness cannot be impeached by evidence of particular wrongful acts except evidence of his final conviction of an
offense as disclosed by his examination or the record of the judgment

‣ Note that Sec. 11 does not allow impeachment by evidence of bad character but by bad reputation.
‣ “Character” is made up of the things an individual actually is and does, whereas “reputation” is what people think
an individual is and what they say about him Hence, a person’s reputation is not necessarily his character and vice
versa.

‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — Mr. W is called by the prosecution to testify that it was indeed the accused who picked the
pocket of the victim when the latter accidentally tripped by the sidewalk. The defense later presents Mr. D, a neighbor
of Mr. W for thirty (30) years, who testifies that Mr. W has a reputation in the community for telling lies. The testimony of
Mr. D is an impeaching testimony to discredit Mr. W. Mr. D, who has testified on the reputation of Mr. W, may be cross-
examined like any witness. He may be asked on cross-examination about the extent of his familiarity with the witness
who is being impeached, together with any prejudice and biases he may have against the witness or his stake and
interest in the case.
3. IMPEACHMENT BY PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS (SEC. 13, RULE 132)
‣ Prior inconsistent statements are statements made by a witness on an earlier occasion which contradict the
statements he makes during the trial.

‣ In the words of Sec. 13 of Rule 132, they are “that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his
present testimony.”

‣ These statements are admissible to impeach the credibility of the witness making them.

‣ Impeachment by a prior inconsistent statement is the most commonly used method because of its simplicity and
the impact it makes when properly used.

‣ Effectively impeaching a witness by prior inconsistent statements requires laying the proper foundation or basis for
the impeachment.
‣ Laying the foundation or basis, commonly referred to as “laying the predicate” is a preliminary requirement before
the impeachment process prospers.

‣ Elements of “Laying the Basis” (Sec. 13, Rule 132) —


a. The alleged statements must be related to the witness including the circumstances of the times and places and
the persons present. If the statements are in writing they must be shown to him; and

b. He must be asked whether he made such statements and also to explain them if he admits making those
statements.

‣ The underlying purpose for laying the predicate is to allow the witness to admit or deny the prior statement and afford
him an opportunity to explain the same.

‣ NOTE — Non-compliance with the foundational elements for this mode of impeachment will be a ground
for an objection based on “improper impeachment.”
‣ Over a timely objection, extrinsic evidence of a prior inconsistent statement without the required foundation is not
admissible.

‣ The mere presentation of the prior declarations of the witness without the same having been read to him while
testifying in court is insufficient for the desired impeachment of his testimony, if he was not given the ample

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opportunity to explain the supposed discrepancy. This rule is founded, not only upon common sense, but is essential
to protect the character of the witness (People v. De Guzman)
‣ RIANO — To achieve a dramatic effect, the first step in setting up the prior inconsistent statement would actually be to
ask the witness to repeat or reaffirm his most recent statement. The second step would be to relate to the witness his
prior inconsistent statement and, at the same time, “building up” or highlighting the contradictory utterance by relating
to the witness the circumstances of times, persons and places. Then, the witness is asked whether or not the
statements were made
‣ EXAMPLE —The case is a robbery case. The accused has Oriental features and is five feet and three inches tall. The
prosecution witness is one who allegedly saw the culprit come out of the crime scene. Q: Mr. A, you testified on direct
examination that the man you saw come out of the burglarized store had Oriental features and was a little over five feet
tall. Is that correct? A: Yes, Sir. Q: Are you certain of your description of the man? A: Very certain, Sir. Q: And when was
this? A: On February 15, 2012, around 9:30 in the evening. That was the date and time of the burglary. Q: Do you recall
having seen SP04 Morales outside the burglarized store at around 10:00 of the same day and night? A: I do, Sir. He
spoke to me that night and asked me what I saw. Q: And that was only ten minutes from the time you saw the man. Is
that correct? A: That is correct, Sir. Q: And at that time, everything was still fresh in your mind. Right? A: You’re
absolutely right, Sir. Q: Do you recall telling SP04 Morales that you cannot give an accurate description of the man who
came out of the burglarized store because he was wearing a bonnet over his face, had a pair of gloves on and was
wearing dark long sleeves?
‣ At this point, the witness gets boxed in, and his credibility starts crumbling no matter how he responds to the
question asking him to affirm or deny the prior inconsistent statement. If the witness admits the prior inconsistent
statement, the rule requires that he be allowed to explain them. Often, it is difficult to explain inconsistent
statements and would require a lot of effort. If the witness denies making the statement, it is imperative for the
impeaching party to be prepared to present another witness who would contradict the witness being impeached.
‣ It happens sometimes that the prior inconsistent statement is in writing. The process of laying the predicate is
fundamentally the same as when the prior statement is oral, but if the statement be in writing, it must be shown to
the witness before any question is put to him concerning it
4. PRIOR CONVICTION OF A CRIME

NO IMPEACHMENT BY EVIDENCE OF PARTICULAR WRONGFUL ACTS


‣ RULE -- A WITNESS CANNOT BE IMPEACHED BY EVIDENCE OF PARTICULAR WRONGFUL ACTS
‣ EXCEPT — EVIDENCE OF HIS FINAL CONVICTION OF AN OFFENSE AS DISCLOSED BY HIS EXAMINATION OR THE RECORD OF
THE JUDGMENT

‣ This prior conviction of the witness is shown through either of two ways —

1. By his examination (such as by cross-examining him), or

2. By presenting the record of his prior conviction

‣ Examining another witness to elicit from his lips the prior conviction of another witness is not the correct
procedure, unless the witness is one who is competent (like an official custodian of records) to present in court the
record of conviction.

‣ The rule is clear on this. It should be by “the examination of the witness.” This witness is obviously the one whose
prior conviction is the subject of inquiry.

‣ RIANO — EXAMPLE — The case is a criminal prosecution for robbery. The defense is presenting its evidence- in-chief
and calls its first witness to impeach the primary witness of the prosecution. The defense counsel asks a series of
questions to show specific instances of misconduct of the prosecution. Q: Do you know the prosecution witness? A: I do.
Q: How did you come to know him? A:Two years ago, he robbed me of my wallet at gun point. Q: Was that incident the
first time you came to know the prosecution witness? A: No Sir. Q: Why do you say so? A: Prior to my being robbed by
him, he stole the carabao of my neighbor.
‣ Is this line of questioning objectionable? Certainly, it is. A witness cannot be impeached by evidence of particular
wrongful acts. Just as a witness cannot testify on specific acts of misconduct committed by the witness being
impeached, the latter cannot also be examined on particular wrongful acts done by him. To do so would be a
contravention of the tenor of Sec. 11 of Rule 132.
‣ BUT, he can, nevertheless, be impeached as to his bad reputation for truth, honesty or integrity. Thus: Q: How long
have you known the prosecution witness? A: Since childhood, Sir. Q: How well do you know him? A: Very well, Sir. Q:
Why do you say so? A: We studied in the same school since nursery school until we both graduated from college. We
were also neighbors since childhood. Q: What can you say about his reputation? A: Terrible, Sir. He is dishonest and
untruthful.
‣ This line of questioning does not violate the rules on impeachment. This is not an impeachment by evidence of
specific wrongful conduct which is barred, but an impeachment by evidence of bad reputation.

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IMPEACHMENT OF THE ADVERSE PARTY AS A WITNESS


‣ That the witness is the adverse party does not necessarily mean that the calling party will not be bound by the former’s
testimony. The fact remains that it was at his instance that his adversary was put on the witness stand. He is not bound
only in the sense that he may contradict him by introducing other evidence to prove a state of facts contrary to what the
witness testifies. Unlike an ordinary witness, the calling party may impeach an adverse witness in all respects as if
he had been called by the adverse party, except by evidence of his bad character. Under a rule permitting the
impeachment of an adverse witness, although the calling party does not vouch for the witness’ veracity, he is
nonetheless bound by his testimony if it is not contradicted or remains unrebutted (Gaw v. Chua)
‣ For bad character, remember the rules in Rule 130 on Character Evidence

ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE OF GOOD CHARACTER OF A WITNESS

Section 14. Evidence of good character of witness. — Evidence of the good character of a witness is not admissible until
such character has been impeached. (17)

‣ RULE —EVIDENCE OF THE GOOD CHARACTER OF A WITNESS IS NOT ADMISSIBLE


‣ This is because good character is presumed

‣ A witness, cannot initiate proof of his good character.

‣ But note that this the rule has reference only to a mere witness.

‣ It does not refer to an accused in a criminal case.


‣ In a criminal case, the accused may prove his good moral character relevant to the offense charged even before
his character is attacked (Sec. 51[a][l], Rule 130). However, remember that the prosecution cannot initiate proof of
the bad character of the accused. It can only do so by way of rebuttal (Sec. 51[a][2], Rule 130). This means that the
prosecution can prove the bad character of the accused only if the latter had first presented evidence of his good
character.

‣ EXCEPT — IF THE WITNESS HAS BEEN IMPEACHED, EVIDENCE OF HIS GOOD CHARACTER MAY BE PRESENTED

EXCLUSION AND SEPARATION OF WITNESSES

Section 15. Exclusion and separation of witnesses. — On any trial or hearing, the judge may exclude from the court any
witness not at the time under examination, so that he may not hear the testimony of other witnesses. The judge may also
cause witnesses to be kept separate and to be prevented from conversing with one another until all shall have been
examined. (18)

‣ RULE — THE JUDGE MAY EXCLUDE A WITNESS WHO, AT THE TIME OF EXCLUSION, IS NOT UNDER EXAMINATION SO THAT HE
MAY NOT HEAR THE TESTIMONY OF OTHER WITNESSES

‣ Excluding future witnesses from the courtroom at the time another witness is testifying, or ordering that these
witnesses be kept separate from one another, is primarily to prevent them from conversing with one another. The
purpose is to ensure that the witnesses testify to the truth by preventing them from being influenced by the
testimonies of the others. In other words, this measure is meant to prevent connivance or collusion among
witnesses. The efficacy of excluding or separating witnesses has long been recognized as a means of discouraging
fabrication, inaccuracy, and collusion. However, without any motion from the opposing party or order from the court,
there is nothing in the rules that prohibits a witness from hearing the testimonies of other witnesses. (Design
Resources v. Eristingcol)
‣ BUT — there must be a prior order or at least a motion for exclusion from any of the parties, a court cannot simply
allow or disallow the presentation of a witness solely on the ground that the latter heard the testimony of another
witness. (Design Resources v. Eristingcol)

WHEN THE WITNESS MAY REFER TO A MEMORANDUM

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Section 16. When witness may refer to memorandum. — A witness may be allowed to refresh his memory respecting a
fact, by anything written or recorded by himself or under his direction at the time when the fact occurred, or immediately
thereafter, or at any other time when the fact was fresh in his memory and knew that the same was correctly written or
recorded; but in such case the writing or record must be produced and may be inspected by the adverse party, who may,
if he chooses, cross examine the witness upon it, and may read it in evidence. So, also, a witness may testify from such
writing or record, though he retain no recollection of the particular facts, if he is able to swear that the writing or record
correctly stated the transaction when made; but such evidence must be received with caution. (10a)

‣ RULE — DURING HIS TESTIMONY, IN ORDER TO REFRESH HIS MEMORY, A WITNESS MAY REFER TO A MEMORANDUM OR TO
ANYTHING WRITTEN OR RECORDED BY HIMSELF, OR WRITTEN OR RECORDED BY SOMEONE ACTING UNDER HIS DIRECTION.

‣ REQUISITES —

1. Memorandum must be written at the time the fact occurred or immediately thereafter or at any time when the
event or fact was fresh in his memory.

2. Witness must affirm that the fact was correctly written or recorded.

3. The memorandum must be produced and may be inspected by the adverse party

‣ A witness may be allowed to refresh his memory respecting a fact, by anything written or recorded by himself or under
his direction at the time when the fact occurred, or immediately thereafter, or at any other time when the fact was fresh
in his memory and he knew that the same was correctly written or recorded; but in such case the writing or record
must be produced and may be inspected by the adverse party, who may, if he chooses, cross-examine the witness
upon it and may read it in evidence. So, also, a witness may testify from such a writing or record, though he retain no
recollection of the particular facts, if he is able to swear that the writing or record correctly stated the transaction when
made; but such evidence must be received with caution. (People vs Plasencia 1995)
‣ The memorandum used to refresh the memory of the witness does not constitute evidence, and may not be
admitted as such. In other words, where the witness has testified independently of or after his testimony has been
refreshed by a memorandum of the events in dispute, such memorandum is not admissible as corroborative evidence.
It is self-evident that a witness may not be corroborated by any written statement prepared wholly by him. He
cannot be more credible just because he supports his open-court declaration with written statements of the same
facts even if he did prepare them during the occasion in dispute, unless the proper predicate of his failing memory is
priorly laid down. What is more, even where this requirement has been satisfied, the express injunction of the rule
itself is that such evidence must be received with caution, if only because it is not very difficult to conceive and
fabricate evidence of this nature. This is doubly true when the witness stands to gain materially or otherwise from the
admission of such evidence. (Canque vs CA 1999)

WHEN PART OF TRANSACTION, WRITING OR RECORD GIVEN IN EVIDENCE

Section 17. When part of transaction, writing or record given in evidence, the remainder, the remainder admissible. —
When part of an act, declaration, conversation, writing or record is given in evidence by one party, the whole of the same
subject may be inquired into by the other, and when a detached act, declaration, conversation, writing or record is given
in evidence, any other act, declaration, conversation, writing or record necessary to its understanding may also be given
in evidence. (11a)

RIGHT OF INSPECTION OF WRITING SHOWN TO WITNESS

Section 18. Right to respect writing shown to witness. — Whenever a writing is shown to a witness, it may be inspected
by the adverse party. (9a)

PRINCIPLES AND RULES ON CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES (UNDER JURISPRUDENCE)


You can just skip this part

BASIC RULES ON CREDIBILITY OF EVIDENCE


‣ Jurisprudence has laid down some basic rules on credibility such as for evidence to be worthy of credit, it must not only
proceed from a credible source but must, in addition, be credible in itself. The evidence must be natural, reasonable

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and probable as to make it easy to believe. No better test has yet been found to determine the value of the testimony
of a witness than its conformity to the knowledge and common experience of mankind (Serra v. Mumar)
‣ Whatever is repugnant to the standards of human knowledge, observation and experience becomes incredible and must
lie outside judicial cognisance (People v. De Guzman)

CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES ON APPEAL


‣ The Court is guided by the following jurisprudence when confronted with the issue of credibility of witnesses on appeal:
1. The Court gives the highest respect to the RTC’s evaluation of the testimony of the witnesses, considering its unique
position in directly observing the demeanor of a witness on the stand. From its vantage point, the trial court is in the
best position to determine the truthfulness of witnesses.

2. Absent any substantial reason which would justify the reversal of the RTC’s assessments and conclusions, the
reviewing court is generally bound by the lower court’s findings, particularly when no significant facts and
circumstances, affecting the outcome of the case, are shown to have been overlooked or disregarded showing of a
fact or circumstance of weight and influence that was overlooked and, if considered, could affect the outcome of the
case (People v. Valdez)
‣ Appellate courts do not disturb the findings of the trial courts with regards to the credibility of a witness. The
reason for this is that trial courts have the unique opportunity to observe the witnesses first hand and note their
demeanor, conduct and attitude under grilling examination (People v. Cabtalan)
‣ It has been an established rule in appellate review that the trial court’s factual findings — including its assessment of the
credibility of the witnesses, the probative weight of their testimonies, and the conclusions drawn from the factual findings
— are accorded great respect and even conclusive effect. These factual findings and conclusions assume greater
weight if they are affirmed by the Court of Appeals (People v. Diu)
‣ Fundamental is the principle that findings of the trial courts which are factual in nature and which involve the credibility of
witnesses are accorded respect when no glaring errors, gross misapprehension of facts, and speculative, arbitrary and
unsupported conclusions can be gathered from such findings. The reason for this is that the trial court is in a better
position to decide on the credibility of witnesses, having heard their testimonies and observed their deportment and
manner of testifying during the trial. The rule finds an even more stringent application where said findings are sustained by
the Court of Appeals (People v. Mangundayao)
‣ It is hornbook doctrine that the factual findings of the appellate court affirming those of the trial court are binding on the
Court unless there is a clear showing that such findings are tainted with arbitrariness, capriciousness or palpable
error (Valleno v. People)
‣ The factual findings of quasi-judicial agencies, which have acquired expertise because their jurisdiction is confined to
certain specific matters, are generally accorded not only respect but, at all times, even finality if such findings are
supported by substantial evidence (Versoza, Jr. v. Carague)

SUFFICIENCY OF TESTIMONY OF SOLE-WITNESS AS BASIS FOR CONVICTION


‣ In determining the value and credibility of evidence, witnesses are to be weighed, not numbered. The testimony of only
one witness, if credible and positive, is sufficient to convict (Bastian v. Court of Appeals)

‣ The testimony of a single witness, if positive and credible, is sufficient to support a conviction even in the charge of
murder. A person can still be properly identified and recognized even by merely looking at the side portion of his face.
Experience dictates that because of the unusual acts of violence committed right before their eyes, witnesses can
remember with a high degree of reliability the identity of criminals at any given time (People v. Zeta)

INCONSISTENCIES IN WITNESS TESTIMONY


‣ Minor inconsistencies in the narration of facts by the witnesses do not detract from their essential credibility as long as
their testimonies on the whole are coherent and intrinsically believable. Trivial inconsistencies do not rock the pedestal
upon which the credibility of witnesses rests, but enhances credibility as they manifest spontaneity and lack of scheming
(People v. Camat)
‣ For a discrepancy or inconsistency in the testimony of a witness to serve as basis for acquittal, it must refer to the
significant facts vital to the guilt or innocence of the accused for the crime charged. An inconsistency which has nothing
to do with the elements of the crime cannot be a ground for the acquittal of the accused (People v. Mangundayao)
‣ Affidavits and statements taken ex parte are generally considered incomplete and inaccurate. Thus, by nature, they are
inferior to testimony in open court, and whenever there is an inconsistency between the affidavit and testimony of a
witness, the testimony commands greater weight (People v. Cabtalan)
‣ Inconsistencies dwelling on minor details or collateral matters have been held to be badges of veracity and
manifestations of truthfulness due to their tendency of demonstrating that the testimony had not been rehearsed or

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concocted. It is also basic that inconsistencies bearing on minor details or collateral matters should not adversely affect
the substance of the witness’ declaration, veracity, or weight of testimony. The only inconsistencies that might have
discredited the victim’s credible testimony were those that affected or related to the elements of the crime (People v.
Sabadlab)
‣ It is perfectly natural for different witnesses testifying on the occurrence of a crime to give varying details as there may be
some details which one witness may notice while the other may not observe or remember. In fact, jurisprudence even
warns against a perfect dovetailing of narration by different witnesses as it could mean that their testimonies were
fabricated and rehearsed (People v. Cabtalan)
‣ Inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses, which refer only to minor details and collateral matters, do not affect the
veracity and weight of their testimonies where there is consistency in relating the principal occurrence and the positive
identification of the accused. (People vs Sherwin Bis 2014)
‣ Variance between the eyewitnesses’ testimonies in open court and their affidavits does not affect their credibility. The
Court has consistently held that inconsistencies between the testimony of a witness in open court, on one hand, and the
statements in his sworn affidavit, on the other hand, referring only to minor and collateral matters, do not affect his
credibility and the veracity and weight of his testimony as they do not touch upon the commission of the crime itself.
Slight contradictions, in fact, even serve to strengthen the credibility of the witnesses, as these may be considered as
badges of truth rather than indicia of bad faith; they tend to prove that their testimonies have not been rehearsed. Nor are
such inconsistencies, and even improbabilities, unusual, for no person has perfect faculties of senses or recall. (Kummer
vs People 2013)

CREDIBILITY OF TESTIMONY OF THE VICTIMS IN PROSECUTIONS FOR RAPE


‣ Youth and immaturity are generally badges of truth and sincerity. No sane girl would concoct a story of defloration,
allow an examination of her private parts and subject herself to public trial or ridicule if she has not, in truth, been a victim
of rape, and thus impelled to seek justice for the wrong done to her. The weight of her testimony may be countered by
physical evidence to the contrary, or indubitable proof that the accused could not have committed the rape, but in the
absence of such countervailing proof, the testimony shall be accorded utmost value. (People v. Aycardo)

‣ The rule is that when an alleged victim of rape says she was violated, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that
rape has been inflicted on her, and so long as her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be
convicted on that basis (People v. Aycardo)

‣ Testimonies of child-victims are normally given full weight and credit since when a woman, more so if she is a minor, says
that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape was committed. Youth and immaturity
could indeed be badges of truth. This observation is a matter of judicial cognizance borne out by human nature and
experience. There could not have been a more powerful testament to the truth than this, “public baring of
unspoken grief. (People v. Rubio)

‣ Testimonies of rape victims who are young and immature deserve full credence, considering that no young woman,
especially of tender age, would concoct a story of defloration, allow an examination of her private parts, and thereafter
pervert herself by being subjected to a public trial, if she was not motivated solely by the desire to obtain justice for the
wrong committed against her. (People v. Rubio)
‣ It is not enough to say that a girl would not expose herself to the humiliation of a rape complaint unless the charge is true.
That is putting things too simply. For the prosecution to succeed, it is also necessary to find that the complainant’s
story is by itself believable independently of the presumption. Otherwise, if all that mattered was that presumption,
every accusation of rape would inevitably result, without need of further evidence, in the conviction of the accused. This
would militate against the rule that in every criminal prosecution, including rape cases, the accused shall be presumed
innocent until the contrary is proved” (People v. Domogoy)
‣ Motives such as feuds, resentment, hatred or revenge have never swayed the Court from giving full credence to the
testimony of a rape victim. Ill-motives become inconsequential if there is an affirmative and credible declaration from the
rape victim which clearly established the liability of the accused (People v. Navarette)
‣ The sole testimony of a rape victim, if credible, natural, convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal
course of things, suffices to convict (People v. Rubio)
‣ People react differently under emotional stress. There is no standard form of behavior when one is confronted by a
shocking incident, especially if the assailant is physically near. The workings of the human mind when placed under
emotional stress are unpredictable. In a given situation, some may shout, others may faint, and still others may be frozen
into silence. Consequently, the failure of complainant to run away or shout for help at the very first opportunity cannot be
construed consent to the sexual intercourse (Sison v. People)
‣ There is no standard matrix by which to determine what constitutes normal behavior post assault. Different people react
differently to trauma. Hence, the victim’s testimony that after appellant raped her, she stood up, walked home and hid her
shame is not completely improbable (People v. Santos)
‣ Presumption of Guilt in Rape Cases

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‣ Rationale for the presumption of guilt in rape: “In rape cases especially, much credence is accorded the testimony of
the complaining witness, on the theory that she will not choose to accuse her attacker at all and subject herself to the
stigma and indignities her accusation will entail unless he is telling the truth.” (People vs Godoy 1995)

‣ It frequently happens that in a particular case two or more presumptions are involved. Sometimes the presumptions
conflict, one tending to demonstrate the guilt of the accused and the other his innocence. In such case, it is
necessary to examine the basis for each presumption and determine what logical or social basis exists for
each presumption, and then determine which should be regarded as the more important and entitled to prevail
over the other. It must, however, be remembered that the existence of a presumption indicating guilt does not
in itself destroy the presumption against innocence unless the inculpating presumption, together with all of the
evidence, or the lack of any evidence or explanation, is sufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence
by proving the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Until the defendant's guilt is shown in this manner,
the presumption of innocence continues. Although the trial court did observe that a mother would not sacrifice her
daughter to tell a story of defloration, that is not always the case as this Court has noted a long time ago. The books
disclose too many instances of false charges of rape. (People vs Godoy 1995)

FALSUS IN UNO, FALSUS IN OMNIBUS


‣ Means “false in one thing, false in everything”

‣ The doctrine means that if the testimony of a witness on a material issue is willfully false and given with an intention to
deceive, the jury may disregard all the witness’ testimony

‣ It is particularly applied to the testimony of a witness who may be considered unworthy of belief as to all the rest of his
evidence if he is shown to have testified falsely in one detail.

‣ It is not an absolute rule of law and is, in fact, rarely applied in modern jurisprudence
‣ It deals only with the weight of the evidence and is not a positive rule of law. The rule is not an inflexible one of universal
application. Modern trend in jurisprudence favors more flexibility when the testimony of a witness may be partly believed
and partly disbelieved depending on the corroborative evidence presented at the trial (People v Negosa)

‣ Before this maxim can be applied, the witness must be shown to have wilfully falsified the truth on one or more material
points. The principle presupposes the existence of a positive testimony on a material point contrary to subsequent
declarations in the testimony (Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. Chiong)
‣ It does not lay down a categorical test of credibility. While the witnesses may differ in their recollections of an incident, it
does not necessarily follow from their disagreements that all of them should be disbelieved as liars and their testimonies
completely discarded as worthless. (People v. Manalansan)

DEFENSE OF ALIBI AND DENIALS


‣ It is a settled doctrine that the defense of alibi is inherently weak and must be rejected when the identity of the
accused is satisfactorily and categorically established by the eyewitnesses to the offense, especially when such
eyewitnesses have no ill-motive to testify falsely

‣ Alibi crumbles in the light of positive identification by truthful witnesses. The positive identification of the accused,
when categorical and consistent, and without any ill-motive on the part of the eyewitnesses testifying on the matter,
prevails over alibi and denial

‣ Note that there are two types of positive identification, namely: (a) that by direct evidence, through an eyewitness to
the very commission of the act; and (b) that by circumstantial evidence, such as where the accused is last seen with
the victim immediately before or after the crime

‣ Denial, which is the usual refuge of offenders, is an inherently weak defense, and must be buttressed by other
persuasive evidence of non-culpability to merit credibility.

‣ The defense of denial fails even more when the assailant, as in this case, was positively identified by credible
witnesses, against whom no ulterior motive could be ascribed

‣ Denial and alibi are self- serving negative evidence; they cannot prevail over the spontaneous, positive, and credible
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses who pointed to and identified the accused-appellant as the malefactor. “Indeed,
alibi is easy to concoct and difficult to disprove”

‣ For the defense of alibi to prosper, the requirements of time and place must be strictly met. It is not enough to prove
that the accused was somewhere else when the crime was committed, but he must also demonstrate by clear
and convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime at the
time the same was committed
‣ Alibi is not always false and without merit. To be exonerating, the defense of alibi must be so airtight that it would
admit of no exception. It must be demonstrated that the person charged with the crime was not only somewhere else
when the offense was committed, but was so far away that it would be physically impossible to be at the place of the

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crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission. The reason is that no person can be in two places at the
same time

DEFENSE OF “FRAME-UP”
‣ Allegations of frame-up by police officers are common and standard defenses in most dangerous drugs cases. For this
claim to prosper, the defense must adduce clear and convincing evidence to overcome the presumption that government
officials have performed their duties in a regular and proper manner.

‣ Thus, in the absence of proof of motive to falsely impute such a serious crime against the accused, the presumption of
regularity in the performance of official duty shall prevail

‣ The defense of frame-up is not looked upon with favor due to its being conveniently concocted

‣ It is commonly used as a defense in most prosecutions arising from the violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. The legal
presumption that official duty has been regularly performed exists

‣ The rule requiring a claim of frame-up to be supported by clear and convincing evidence was never intended to shift to
the accused the burden of proof in a criminal case. The claim of frame-up assumes importance when faced with the
rather shaky nature of the prosecution evidence

DELAY AND INITIAL RELUCTANCE IN REPORTING A CRIME


‣ Delayed reporting by witnesses of what they know about a crime does not render their testimonies false or incredible, for
the delay may be explained by the natural reticence of most people and their abhorrence to get involved in a criminal
case.

‣ But more than this, there is always the inherent fear of reprisal, which is quite understandable, especially if the
accused is a man of power and influence in the community.

‣ The natural reluctance of a witness to get involved in a criminal case, as well as to give information to the
authorities is a matter of judicial notice
‣ Delay in revealing the commission of a crime, like rape, does not necessarily render such charge unworthy of belief. This
is because the victim may choose to keep quiet rather than expose her defilement to the harsh glare of public scrutiny.
Only when the delay is unreasonable or unexplained may it work to discredit the complainant (People v. Navarette)
‣ It is common for a witness to prefer momentary silence for fear of reprisal from the accused. In the absence of other
circumstances that would show that the charge was a mere concoction, delay in testifying is insufficient to discredit a
testimony (People v. Cabtalan)

FLIGHT OR NON-FLIGHT OF THE ACCUSED


‣ FLIGHT
‣ Flight is indicative of guilt, but its converse is not necessarily true. Culprits behave differently and even erratically in
externalizing and manifesting their guilt.

‣ Some may escape or flee — a circumstance strongly illustrative of guilt — while others may remain in the same
vicinity so as to create a semblance of regularity, thereby avoiding suspicion from other members of the
community

‣ There is no law or principle holding that non-flight per se is proof, let alone conclusive proof, of innocence. Much
like the defense of alibi, the defense of non-flight cannot prevail against the weight of positive identification of the
appellants

‣ Flight per se is not synonymous with guilt and must not always be attributed to one’s consciousness of guilt. Flight
alone is not a reliable indicator of guilt without other circumstances because flight alone is inherently ambiguous
‣ However, when flight is unexplained, it is a circumstance from which an inference of guilt may be drawn. “Indeed,
the wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the innocent are as bold as a lion” Flight betrays a desire to evade
responsibility and is, therefore, a strong indication of guilt

‣ NON-FLIGHT
‣ The fact that appellants never fled the locality where the crime was committed is NOT, by itself, a valid defense
against the prosecution’s allegations because non-flight does not signify innocence.

‣ Non-flight is simply inaction, which may be due to several factors. It cannot be singularly considered as evidence or a
manifestation determinative of innocence

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RULE 132 (B): AUTHENTICATION AND PROOF OF DOCUMENTS

NATURE AND IMPORTANCE OF AUTHENTICATION

‣ RIANO —

‣ The concept of “authentication” occupies a vital place in the presentation of evidence. Not only objects but also
documents introduced in evidence need to be authenticated. It is the preliminary step in showing the admissibility of
an evidence.

‣ Litigation always involves the authentication of either object or documentary evidence. Unless a document is
considered self-authenticating, it will not be admitted in evidence without a prior authentication.

‣ EXAMPLE — A weapon, such as a .38 revolver, is found in the crime scene. To be admissible in evidence, it must be
authenticated. This means that it must be shown to the satisfaction of the court that the weapon is the very same
weapon found in the crime scene. To convince the court, the proponent of the evidence must call someone to identify
the weapon and affirm: “This is the weapon I found in the crime scene.” This someone could be the police investigator
or someone else who handled the evidence. When he affirms it is the same weapon, then the evidence is
authenticated.
‣ The requirement for authentication of evidence discloses the existence in the legal system of a legal presumption that
is not, however, directly written in statutes or procedural rules but is necessarily implied therein.

‣ This presumption is: That objects and documents presented in evidence are, as a rule, counterfeit. In short,
an evidence presented in court is not presumed authentic.

‣ It is, therefore, incumbent upon the proponent of the evidence to prove its authenticity.

AUTHENTICATION OF OBJECT EVIDENCE

AUTHENTICATION OF OBJECT EVIDENCE


‣ RULE — TO AUTHENTICATE THE OBJECT, IT MUST BE SHOWN BY A COMPETENT WITNESS THAT IT IS THE VERY THING INVOLVED
TO PROVE AN ISSUE IN THE CASE.

‣ RIANO — For the object not to be excluded by the Rules, the same must pass the test of authentication.

‣ It must be established that the object sought to be admitted is, in fact, the real thing and not a mere substitute or
representation of the real thing. This problem of authentication is commonly called “laying the foundation” for the
evidence. The manner of authentication depends on the kind of object evidence involved

‣ The authentication must be made by a competent witness


‣ RIANO —

‣ To authenticate the object, there must be someone who should identify the object to be the actual thing
involved in the litigation. This someone is the witness.

‣ An object evidence, being inanimate, cannot speak for itself. It cannot present itself to the court as an exhibit.

‣ Note that this requirement applies to all evidence, whether it be a document or an object, it needs a witness.

‣ This is a very basic rule. In layman’s term, the evidence must be “sponsored” by a witness.

‣ The authentication of the object by a competent witness is to comply with the element of competence as an
essential ingredient of admissibility.

‣ To authenticate the object, the witness must have capacity to identify the object as the very thing involved in
the litigation. Better still, he must have actual and personal knowledge of the exhibit he is presenting for
admission. This is because “a witness can only testify to those facts which he knows of his personal
knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception.

AUTHENTICATION OF CERTAIN TYPES OF OBJECT EVIDENCE


‣ Remember that object evidence also includes demonstrative evidence
1. Photographs

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‣ Photographs of persons, things and places, when instructive to the understanding of the case, will be admitted in
evidence.

‣ For a still photograph to be admitted, the same must be relevant and competent.
‣ How to authenticate?
‣ It is competent when it is properly authenticated by a witness who is familiar with the scene or person portrayed,
and who testifies that the photograph faithfully represents what it depicts.

‣ Some courts insist on requiring the photographer to testify but this view has been eroded by the tendency of
modern courts to admit as a witness one who has familiarity with the scene portrayed
‣ Under the Electronic Rules of Evidence (Sec. 1, Rule 11), photographic evidence of events, acts or transactions
shall be admissible in evidence provided that:

1. It shall be presented, displayed and shown to the court; and

2. It shall be identified, explained or authenticated by either:

i. The person who made the recording; or

ii. Any other person competent to testify on the accuracy thereof

‣ The admissibility of photographs is within the discretion of the trial court, and its ruling in this respect will not be
interfered with, except upon a clear showing of an abuse of discretion.

‣ In determining whether photographs should be admitted, a trial judge must determine whether they are relevant,
and whether a proper foundation has been laid

b. Motion pictures and recordings


‣ How to authenticate?

‣ Courts have taken judicial notice of how motion cameras and tape recorders work and their general reliability and
prevalent use. Court practices regarding motion pictures and tape recordings have been liberalized and the
testimony of a person present when the activities of taking the picture and recording have been held sufficient. He
must testify that the motion picture accurately and faithfully represents the place or person it purports to portray.

‣ In the case of tape recordings, the witness should identify the speakers, state how he recognizes their voices and
that the recording was not taken in violation of the Anti Wire-Tapping Law (R.A. 4200).

‣ The modern approach to motion pictures and recordings is reflected in local rules. Under the Rules on Electronic
Evidence (Sec. 1, Rule 11), the authentication process need not involve the person who actually made the
recording. It can be done by some other person as long as he can testify as to its accuracy. There is also a
requirement that the recording be shown, presented or displayed to the court

c. Diagrams, models and maps


‣ These types of demonstrative evidence are presented to indicate the relative locations or positions of objects and
persons.

‣ How to authenticate?

‣ Aside from the requirement of relevance, a diagram, model or map must be identified by a witness who is
familiar with what the evidence depicts, and that the same is an accurate representation of the scene it
portrays.

‣ Like any other exhibit, the touchstone for admissibility of maps, diagrams and models is the ability of the witness
to authenticate the exhibit.

‣ Some courts may require that the model, diagram or map be made or drawn to scale. If not drawn to scale, the
court must be so informed.

‣ The question as to the sufficiency of the authentication is a matter of judicial discretion

d. X-ray pictures
‣ X-ray pictures, also referred to as “skiagraphs” or “radiographs,” are admissible when shown to have been made
under circumstances as to assure their accuracy and relevancy to a material issue in the case.

‣ Authenticated x-rays are normally involved in personal injury cases to show the location and extent of the injury.

‣ How to authenticate?

‣ X-rays are properly authenticated by the x-ray technician or the physician who testifies to the competence of the
person taking it, the procedure taken and that the x-ray picture shown is that of the person, the anatomical part or
the object involved in the case

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‣ Because the science of taking x-ray pictures is now well-founded and generally recognized, almost all courts no
longer require testimony as to the reliability of an x-ray machine

e. Drug paraphernalia
‣ This has specific rules for authentication, the chain of custody must be established

‣ See chapter on “special rules of evidence; rules on chain of custody in drug cases”
f. DNA evidence
‣ This also has specific rules for authentication.

‣ See chapter on “special rules of evidence; rules on DNA evidence”

AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

KINDS OF DOCUMENTS; PRESENTING PUBLIC DOCUMENTS

Section 19. Classes of Documents. — For the purpose of their in presentation evidence, documents are either public or
private.
Public documents are:
(a) The written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and
public officers, whether of the Philippines, or of a foreign country;
(b) Documents acknowledge before a notary public except last wills and testaments; and
(c) Public records, kept in the Philippines, of private documents required by law to be entered therein. All other writings
are private. (20a)

MEANING OF A DOCUMENT
‣ Remember the definition of a document or documentary evidence in Rule 130
‣ A document as a “deed, instrument or other duly authorized paper by which something is proved, evidenced or set forth”

‣ For documents to be considered as documentary evidence, it must be “offered as proof of their contents” (Sec. 2,
Rule 130)
‣ If the document is not offered for that purpose, the document is a mere object evidence as when the purpose is
merely to prove its existence.

‣ Hence, not every document is to be received as a documentary evidence.

KINDS OF DOCUMENTS
‣ RULE —FOR THE PURPOSE OF THEIR IN PRESENTATION EVIDENCE, DOCUMENTS ARE EITHER —
1. PUBLIC DOCUMENTS
‣ These are —

a. The written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and
tribunals, and public officers, whether of the Philippines, or of a foreign country
‣ These refer to both the Philippines and to foreign countries

b. Documents acknowledge before a notary public except last wills and testaments
‣ Note that last wills and testaments are private documents even if notarized

‣ Assumed to be included in this class of public documents are those acknowledged before an officer, other
than a notary public, authorized to administer oaths

c. Public records, kept in the Philippines, of private documents required by law to be entered therein.
‣ Note that the public document does not refer to the private document itself but the public record of that
private document

2. PRIVATE DOCUMENTS

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‣ Documents which are not public documents are private documents

IMPORTANCE OF THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE DOCUMENTS


‣  The nature of documents as either public or private determines how the documents may be presented as evidence in
court. A public document, by virtue of its official or sovereign character, or because it has been acknowledged before a
notary public (except a notarial will) or a competent public official with the formalities required by law, or because it is a
public record of a private writing authorized by law, is self-authenticating and requires no further authentication in
order to be presented as evidence in court. In contrast, a private document is any other writing, deed, or instrument
executed by a private person without the intervention of a notary or other person legally authorized by which some
disposition or agreement is proved or set forth. Lacking the official or sovereign character of a public document, or the
solemnities prescribed by law, a private document requires authentication in the manner allowed by law or the Rules
of Court before its acceptance as evidence in court. (Patula v. People 2012)

PROOF OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS

Section 24. Proof of official record. — The record of public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of Section 19, when
admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer
having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with
a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in foreign country, the certificate
may be made by a secretary of the 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 country in which the record is kept, and
authenticated by the seal of his office. (25a)

Section 25. What attestation of copy must state. — Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the purpose
of evidence, the attestation must state, in substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the original, or a specific part
thereof, as the case may be. The attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting officer, if there be any, or if he
be the clerk of a court having a seal, under the seal of such court. (26a)

Section 26. Irremovability of public record. — Any public record, an official copy of which is admissible in evidence, must
not be removed from the office in which it is kept, except upon order of a court where the inspection of the record is
essential to the just determination of a pending case. (27a)

Section 30. Proof of notarial documents. — Every instrument duly acknowledged or proved and certified as provided by
law, may be presented in evidence without further proof, the certificate of acknowledgment being prima facie evidence of
the execution of the instrument or document involved. (31a)

Section 23. Public documents as evidence. — Documents consisting of entries in public records made in the
performance of a duty by a public officer are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. All other public documents
are evidence, even against a third person, of the fact which gave rise to their execution and of the date of the latter. (24a)

Section 27. Public record of a private document. — An authorized public record of a private document may be proved by
the original record, or by a copy thereof, attested by the legal custodian of the record, with an appropriate certificate that
such officer has the custody. (28a)

Section 28. Proof of lack of record. — A written statement signed by an officer having the custody of an official record or
by his deputy that after diligent search no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his office,
accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible as evidence that the records of his office contain no such
record or entry. (29)

AUTHENTICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS


‣ RULE: PUBLIC DOCUMENTS NEED NOT BE AUTHENTICATED. THEY ARE PRIMA FACIE PRESUMED TO BE GENUINE, AUTHENTIC
AND DULY EXECUTED BY THE PARTIES THERETO

‣ They are said to be “self-authenticating” documents. There is no need to prove its authenticity and due execution.

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‣ NOTE — Relate this with the hearsay rule exception of official records Rule 130, Sec. 44

1. OFFICIAL ACTS OR RECORDS OF SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY


2. NOTARIAL DOCUMENTS
‣ The certificate of acknowledgment is prima facie evidence of the execution of the instrument or document
involved and may be presented in evidence without further proof (Sec. 30, Rule 132)
‣ Notarial documents also fall under the classification in Sec. 23 of “all other public documents”

‣ The phrase “all other public documents” in the second sentence of Sec. 23 means those public documents other
than the entries in public records made in the performance of a duty by a public officer. And these include notarial
documents. (Siguan vs Lim 1999)

‣ Sec. 23 provides that the facts stated therein constitute evidence of —


a. The facts that gave rise to the execution of such documents and
b. The date of the execution of the same.
‣ The principal function of a notary public is to authenticate documents. When a notary public certifies to the due
execution and delivery of a document under his hand and seal, he gives the document the force of evidence.
Indeed, one of the purposes of requiring documents to be acknowledged before a notary public, in addition to the
solemnity which should surround the execution and delivery of documents, is to authorize such documents to be
given without further proof of their execution and delivery. A notarial document is by law entitled to full faith and
credit upon its face. Courts, administrative agencies and the public at large must be able to rely upon the
acknowledgment executed before a notary public and appended to a private instrument. (Lazaro vs Agustin 2010)

‣ The notarial seal converts a document from a private to a public instrument, after which it may be presented as
evidence without need for proof of its genuineness and due execution (Maria v. Cortez)
‣ It is well settled that a document acknowledged before a notary public is a public document that enjoys the
presumption of regularity. It is a prima facie evidence of the truth of the facts stated therein and a
conclusive presumption of its existence and due execution. To overcome this presumption, there must be
presented evidence that is clear and convincing. Absent such evidence, the presumption must be upheld. In
addition, one who denies the due execution of a deed where one’s signature appears has the burden of proving
that contrary to the recital in the jurat, one never appeared before the notary public and acknowledged the deed to
be a voluntary act. Denials without clear and convincing evidence to support the claim of fraud and falsity are not
sufficient to overthrow the above-mentioned presumption (Spouses Santos v. Spouses Lumbao)
‣ Note that it must at least be acknowledged by the notary, a mere jurat is NOT enough
‣ Not all notarized documents are exempted from the rule on authentication. Thus, an affidavit does not
automatically become a public document just because it contains a notarial jurat. (Lazaro vs Agustin 2010)
3. ENTRIES IN PUBLIC RECORDS
‣ Documents consisting of entries in public records made in the performance of a duty by a public officer are prima
facie evidence of the facts therein stated. (Sec. 23, Rule 132)
‣ The Certificate of Identification of Dead Body being a public record made in the performance of a duty of officers
in the Medico-Legal Office of the NBI is governed by Rule 132, Sections 19 and 23 of the Rules of Court thus the
entries therein are deemed prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein (Suerte-Felipe vs People 2008)

OVERCOMING THE PRESUMPTION OF GENUINENESSS


‣ The presumptions that attach to notarized documents can be affirmed only so long as it is beyond dispute that the
notarization was regular. While notarized document enjoys this presumption, the fact that a deed is notarized is not a
guarantee of the validity of its contents. The presumption is not absolute and may be rebutted by clear and
convincing evidence to the contrary. In this case,the presumption cannot be made to apply to because the regularity in
the execution of the sworn statement was challenged in the proceedings below where its prima facie validity was
overthrown by the highly questionable circumstances under which it was supposedly executed, as well as the testimonies
of witnesses who testified on the improbability of execution of the sworn statement, as well as on the physical condition
of the signatory, at the time the questioned document was supposedly executed. Although the questioned sworn
statement is a public document having in its favor the presumption of regularity, such presumption was adequately
refuted by competent witnesses. (Lazaro vs Agustin 2010)

HOW TO PRESENT AND PROVE PUBLIC DOCUMENTS AS EVIDENCE


‣ While public documents are presumed to be genuine, authentic and duly executed, they still need to be presented and
proved in accordance with the rules
1. PROOF OF OFFICIAL ACTS OF SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY (SEC. 24, 25 & 26, RULE 132)

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‣ These are the written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals,
and public officers whether of the Philippines, or of a foreign country
‣ While a public document does not require the authentication imposed upon a private document, there is a necessity
for showing to the court that indeed a record of the official acts of official bodies, tribunals or of public officers exists.

‣ The record of a public document may be evidenced by:

a. An official publication thereof; or

b. By a copy of the document attested (certified true copy) by the officer having legal custody of the record or by
the attestation of his deputy. (Sec. 24, Rule 132) Such attestation must:

i. State, in substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the original, or a specific part thereof, as the case may
be.

ii. Be under the official seal of the attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court having a seal,
under the seal of such court” (Sec. 25, Rule 132)

‣ What if the record is not kept in the Philippines?


‣ The attestation must be:

a. Accompanied by a certificate that such officer has the custody, by a secretary of the 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 country in which the record is kept,

b. Authenticated by the seal of his office (Sec. 24, Rule 132)


‣ This rule applies to authentication of foreign judgments. Such is given presumptive evidentiary value, but the
document must first be presented and admitted in evidence.

‣ A divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce decree itself.

‣ Indeed, the best evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself. The decree purports to be a written act or
record of an act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign country.
‣ NOTE — The certificate and attestation are required because of the general rule on the “irremovability of
public records”
‣ Any public record, an official copy of which is admissible in evidence, must not be removed from the office in
which it is kept, except upon order of a court where the inspection of the record is essential to the just
determination of a pending case. (Sec. 26, Rule 132)

2. PROOF OF NOTARIZED DOCUMENTS (SEC. 30, 23 RULE 132)


‣ These are documents acknowledge before a notary public except last wills and testaments
‣ It is proved and presented like any other document but with the certificate of acknowledgement

3. PROOF OF ENTRIES IN PUBLIC RECORDS (SEC. 23, 27, & 28, RULE 132)
‣ These are public records, kept in the Philippines, of private documents required by law to be entered therein
‣ A public record of a private document may be proved by any of the following:
a. The original record; or

b. A copy thereof, attested by the legal custodian of the record, with an appropriate certificate that such officer has
the custody (Sec. 27, Rule 132)
‣ How to prove the absence of a record?
‣ The lack of record of a document must be proved by the following documents:

a. Written statement signed by the officer having custody of an official record or by his deputy; and

‣ It must contain the following matters:

i. There has been a diligent search of the record;

ii. That despite the diligent search, no record of entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of
his office. (Sec. 28, Rule 132)
b. Certificate that such officer has the custody of official records. (Sec. 28, Rule 132)
‣ Church Registries are NOT public registries
‣ It is well-settled that church registries of births, marriages, and deaths made subsequent to the promulgation of
General Orders No. 68, promulgated on December 18, 1889, and the passage of Act No. 190, enacted on August
7, 1901, are no longer public writings, nor are they kept by duly authorized public officials. They are private

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writings and their authenticity must therefore be proved, as are all other private writings in accordance with the
Rules of Evidence (Llemos v. Llemos)
‣ Certifications alone without the copies are NOT sufficient
‣ In this case, the documents presented by respondents were mere certifications and not the certified copies or duly
authenticated reproductions of the purported death certificates. While duly-registered death certificate is
considered a public document and the entries found therein are presumed correct, the certifications are not the
public documents referred to by the Rules of Court, nor even records of public documents; thus, they do not enjoy
the presumption granted by the Rules. (Delfin v. Billones 2006)

Complete Definition Prima Facie Evidence of What How to Prove and Present

Official The written official acts, or Prima facie evidence of the facts 1. An official publication
Acts of records of the official acts of therein stated (Sec. 23, Rule 132) thereof; or

Sovereign the sovereign authority,


2. Certified true copy — by a
Authority official bodies and tribunals,
copy of the document
and public officers, whether
attested by the officer
of the Philippines, or of a
having legal custody of the
foreign country (Sec. 19,
record or by the attestation
Rule 132)
of his deputy. (Sec. 24, Rule
132)

Notarized Documents acknowledged It is prima facie evidence of the It is proved and presented like
Document before a notary public execution of the instrument or any other document but it must
s except last wills and document involved (Sec. 30, Rule be with the certificate of
testaments (Sec. 19, Rule 132)
acknowledgement, except that it
132)
need not be authenticated
As under “other public documents
anymore
in Sec. 23, the facts stated therein
constitute evidence of:

1. The facts that gave rise to the


execution of such documents
and

2. The date of the execution of


the same

Entires in Public records, kept in the Prima facie evidence of the facts 1. The original record; or

Public Philippines, of private therein stated. (Sec. 23, Rule 132)


2. A copy thereof, attested by
Records documents required by law
the legal custodian of the
to be entered therein (Sec.
record, with an appropriate
19, Rule 132)
certificate that such officer
has the custody (Sec. 27,
Rule 132)

CONTRACTS WHICH ARE PUBLIC DOCUMENTS


‣ This can either be under notarized documents or those registered in a public record
‣ Where a contract is required by law to be registered, the same must be, as a rule, in a public instrument.
‣ For example, for purposes of registration and convenience, acts and contracts which have for their object the
creation, transmission, modification or extinguishment of real rights over immovable property must appear in a public
instrument (Art. 1358, NCC).

‣ Certain contracts must be embodied in a public instrument in order to be valid (Solemn Contracts). Such as:
1. A donation of an immovable (Art. 749, NCC)
2. A donation of a movable with a value exceeding five thousand pesos (Art. 748, NCC)
3. A partnership where immovable property or real rights are contributed (Art. 1771, NCC)

AUTHENTICATION OF PRIVATE DOCUMENTS

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Section 20. Proof of private document. — Before any private document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its
due execution and authenticity must be proved either:
(a) By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or
(b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker.
Any other private document need only be identified as that which it is claimed to be. (21a)

Section 32. Seal. — There shall be no difference between sealed and unsealed private documents insofar as their
admissibility as evidence is concerned. (33a)

Section 21. When evidence of authenticity of private document not necessary. — Where a private document is more than
thirty years old, is produced from the custody in which it would naturally be found if genuine, and is unblemished by any
alterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other evidence of its authenticity need be given. (22a)

WHEN AUTHENTICATION OF PRIVATE DOCUMENTS IS REQUIRED


‣ RULE — WHERE THE PRIVATE DOCUMENT IS OFFERED IN EVIDENCE AS AUTHENTIC, THERE IS A NEED TO PROVE ITS DUE
EXECUTION AND AUTHENTICITY.

‣ Thus, if the document or writing is not offered as authentic, it only needs to be identified as that which it is claimed to
be, no need for authentication

‣ Where the document is offered in evidence not as authentic, its genuineness and due execution need not be proven
as when the only purpose is for the offeror to show that a certain piece of document exists.

‣ Example: When a witness says: “I found this document in the drawer of my table,” the document only needs
identification and not authentication. But when the witness wants to show that the deed was indeed executed by his
brother, it must be authenticated
‣ Note that there is no difference between sealed and unsealed private documents insofar as their admissibility as
evidence is concerned. (Sec. 32, Rule 132)

MANNER OF AUTHENTICATING PRIVATE DOCUMENTS


‣ Remember, the manner of authenticating a document, required by Sec. 20 of Rule 132, applies only when a private
document is offered as authentic as when it is offered to prove that the document was truly executed by the person
purported to have made the same.
‣ RULE — FOR A PRIVATE DOCUMENT TO BE AUTHENTICATED, ITS DUE EXECUTION AND AUTHENTICITY MUST BE PROVED EITHER
BY:

1. Anyone who saw the document executed or written


‣ Here reliance is placed on the personal knowledge of a witness.

‣ The witness attests to the genuineness of the document because it was executed or signed in his presence, that
he personally witnessed the execution or writing of the document.

2. Evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker.


‣ This does not require that the document be executed in the presence of the witness.

‣ Here, the witness testifies or shows evidence that the signature or handwriting of the maker is genuine

‣ This will be discussed later in Sec. 22, “authentication of handwritings and signatures”
3. Subscribing witnesses

MANNER OF AUTHENTICATING ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS


‣ The person offering the document has the burden to prove its authenticity. The rules also provide the manner of
authentication of an electronic document.
‣ Before any private electronic document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its authenticity must be proved by
any of the following means (Sec. 2, Rule 5, Rules of Electronic Evidence):
1. By evidence that it had been digitally signed by the person purported to have signed the same;

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2. By evidence that other appropriate security procedures or devices as may be authorized by the Supreme Court or by
law for authentication of electronic documents were applied to the document; or

3. By other evidence showing its integrity and reliability to the satisfaction of the judge

WHEN AUTHENTICATION OF PRIVATE DOCUMENTS, OFFERED AS AUTHENTIC, IS NOT REQUIRED


‣ These are basically the exceptions to the rule on authentication, requiring proof of the genuineness and due execution of a
private document, in Sec. 20
1. ANCIENT DOCUMENTS (SEC. 21, RULE 132)
‣ Requisites:

a. The private document is more than thirty (30) years old,

b. It is produced from a custody in which it would naturally be found if genuine, and

c. Unblemished by any alterations or circumstances of suspicion

‣ In this case, a witness is still required, but not for the purpose of authentication, only for the purpose of identification
and showing that it complies with the requisites of an ancient document

‣ The testimony will only be for the purpose of identifying the document and not to prove its authenticity.

‣ In this case, as to the requirement that the document must on its face appear to be genuine and unblemished,
petitioners did not present any conclusive evidence to support their allegation of falsification of the said documents.
They merely alluded to the fact that the lack of signatures on the first two (2) pages could have easily led to their
substitution. Moreover, the last requirement of the "ancient document rule" that a document must be unblemished
by any alteration or circumstances of suspicion refers to the extrinsic quality of the document itself. The lack of
signatures on the first pages, therefore, absent any alterations or circumstances of suspicion cannot be held to detract
from the fact that the documents in question, which were certified as copied of the originals on file with the Register of
Deeds of Pampanga, are genuine and free from any blemish or circumstances of suspicion. (Heirs of Lacsa vs CA
1991)
2. WHEN THE AUTHENTICITY OF A DOCUMENT HAS BEEN JUDICIALLY ADMITTED (SEC. 4, RULE 129; SEC. 8, RULE 8)
‣ This pertains to judicial admissions under Sec. 4, Rule 129

‣ Either because —

a. Express Judicial Admission (Sec. 4, Rule 129)


‣ This is when the genuineness and authenticity of the document have been admitted under Sec. 4 of Rule 129

‣ An admission, verbal or written, made by the party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, does not
require proof
b. Implied Judicial Admission (Sec. 8, Rule 8 in relation to Sec. 4, Rule 129)
‣ When the genuineness and authenticity of an actionable document have not been specifically denied under
oath by the adverse party under Sec. 8 of Rule 8 of the Rules of Court

‣ This is when an action or defense is founded upon a written instrument, copied in or attached to the
corresponding pleading, the genuineness and due execution of the instrument

‣ If he fails to specifically deny them under oath and sets forth what he claims to be the facts, it amounts to a
judicial admission because it is made in the course of the procedings

‣ But note the requirement of an oath does not apply when the adverse party does not appear to be a party
to the instrument or when compliance with an order for an inspection of the original instrument is refused.

3. WHEN THE DOCUMENT IS NOT BEING OFFERED AS GENUINE OR AUTHENTIC


‣ Note that Sec. 20 says that the private document must be offered as authentic for the rules on authentication to apply.

AUTHENTICATION OF HANDWRITINGS AND SIGNATURES


*Very important rule!

Section 22. How genuineness of handwriting proved. — The handwriting of a person may be proved by any witness who
believes it to be the handwriting of such person because he has seen the person write, or has seen writing purporting to
be his upon which the witness has acted or been charged, and has thus acquired knowledge of the handwriting of such
person. Evidence respecting the handwriting may also be given by a comparison, made by the witness or the court, with

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writings admitted or treated as genuine by the party against whom the evidence is offered, or proved to be genuine to the
satisfaction of the judge. (23a)

‣ RULE — THE GENUINENESS OF A HANDWRITING OR SIGNATURE MAY BE PROVED OR DISPROVED BY —


‣ The genuineness may not only be proved but it maybe also be disproved by these modes (as seen in Mariano vs
Roxas 2002)
1. A WITNESS WHO HAS PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE HANDWRITING OF A PERSON
‣ This is either because —

a. He has seen the person write

b. He has seen writing purporting to be his upon which the witness has acted or been charged, and has thus
acquired knowledge of the handwriting of such person; or

‣ This knowledge could be obtained either by (Security Bank vs Triumph 1999) —

a. Seeing the person write some other documents or signatures (ex visu scriptionis); 

b. Seeing documents otherwise known to him to have been written by the person in question (ex scriptis olim
visis); or

c. Examining, in or out of court, for the express purpose of obtaining such knowledge, the documents said to
have been written by the person in question (ex comparatione scriptorum)

2. MAKING A COMPARISON BY A WITNESS OR THE COURT, BETWEEN THE ALLEGED HANDWRITING AND A SAMPLE SPECIMEN
‣ This is by a comparison made by the witness or the court, with writings admitted or treated as genuine by the
party against whom the document is offered, or proved to be genuine to the satisfaction of the judge

‣ It may be made by an ordinary witness, or an expert witness, or even the court itself
‣ Expert testimony is NOT necessary to prove the handwriting of a person.

‣ Well-entrenched by now is the rule that resort to questioned document examiners, more familiarly called
handwriting experts, is not mandatory. Handwriting experts, while probably useful, are not indispensable in
examining or comparing handwriting. (People v. Godoy 1995)

‣ Note that the sample specimen must also be properly authenticated by a witness (unless it’s in a public
document?)
‣ In this case, nobody was presented to prove that the specimen signatures were in fact signatures affixed by the
parties whose signature is purports to be (Security Bank vs Triumph 1999)

3. AUTHENTICATION BY CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE


‣ See Security Bank vs Triumph 1999 citing BA Finance vs CA
‣ This is by either —

a. Self-Authenticated Documents — this is when the document contains details which could only be known to
the writer.
b. Reply-Authenticated Rule and Reply-Letter Rule — this is when there is evidence showing that the reputed
writer of the standard has acquiesced in or recognized the same, or that it has been adopted and acted upon
by him in his business transactions or other concerns
‣ Reply-Authenticated Rule — where the reply of the adverse p-arty refers to and affirms the sending to him
and his receipt of the letter in question, a copy of which the proponent is offering in evidence.
‣ Reply-letter rule — where a reply to a letter indicates that the one writing the reply knew the rtenor of the
letter, the reply is deemed authenticated.

‣ If one writes to a company concerning a business matter, and receive in due course a reply to the letter,
purporting to be made through a manager, a superintendent, or other agent or officer whose department
such a matter would ordinarily lie, a presumption that he replied with authority of his principal would arise.
For this presumption to apply, it must be shown that the letter was written and mailed. In this case, there
was no need for introduction of evidence to authenticate the letter since the court relied on the “Reply
Letter Rule.” The genuineness of the signature and the authority of Schooler was held have been proved
circumstantially by the letterhead, the subject matter, by the fact that it was a “reply” to Anstine’s letter and
that it was done purportedly on behalf of McWilliams. (Anistine vs McWilliams 1945)
‣ NOTE — The law makes no preference, much less distinction among and between the different means stated above in
proving the handwriting of a person. (Lopez vs CA 1978)

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EXPLAINING ALTERATIONS IN A DOCUMENT

Section 31. Alteration in document, how to explain. — The party producing a document as genuine which has been
altered and appears to have been altered after its execution, in a part material to the question in dispute, must account
for the alteration. He may show that the alteration was made by another, without his concurrence, or was made with the
consent of the parties affected by it, or was otherwise properly or innocent made, or that the alteration did not change the
meaning or language of the instrument. If he fails
to do that, the document shall not be admissible in evidence. (32a)

‣ RULE — THE PARTY PRODUCING THE DOCUMENT AS GENUINE BUT WHICH BEARS ALTERATIONS AFTER ITS EXECUTION HAS THE
DUTY TO ACCOUNT FOR ANY ALTERATION FOUND IN A DOCUMENT PURPORTED TO BE GENUINE. FOR SUCH PURPOSE, HE MAY
SHOW ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

1. That the alteration was made by another without his concurrence

2. That the alteration was made with the consent of the parties affected by it

3. That the alteration was otherwise properly or innocently made

4. That the alteration did not in anyway change the meaning or language of the instrument

‣ Failure to do any of the above will make the document inadmissible in evidence

PROOF OF DOCUMENTS IN UNOFFICIAL LANGUAGE

Section 33. Documentary evidence in an unofficial language. — Documents written in an unofficial language shall not be
admitted as evidence, unless accompanied with a translation into English or Filipino. To avoid interruption of
proceedings, parties or their attorneys are directed to have such translation prepared before trial. (34a)

‣ Because the rule provides that a document written in an unofficial language shall not be admitted as evidence, it must be
accompanied by a translation into English or Filipino.

‣ To avoid interruption of court proceedings, attorneys are required to have such translation prepared before trial

IMPEACHMENT OF JUDICIAL RECORDS

Section 29. How judicial record impeached. — Any judicial record may be impeached by evidence of: (a) want of
jurisdiction in the court or judicial officer, (b) collusion between the parties, or (c) fraud in the party offering the record, in
respect to the proceedings. (30a)

‣ RULE —ANY JUDICIAL RECORD MAY BE IMPEACHED BY EVIDENCE OF —


1. Want of jurisdiction in the court or judicial officer,

2. Collusion between the parties, or

3. Fraud in the party offering the record, in respect to the proceedings

‣ A judicial record refers to the record of judicial proceedings.

‣ It does not only include official entries or files or the official acts of a judicial officer, but also the judgment of the court

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RULE 132(C): OFFER AND OBJECTION

OFFER OF EVIDENCE

Section 34. Offer of evidence. — The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. The purpose
for which the evidence is offered must be specified. (35)

Section 35. When to make offer. — As regards the testimony of a witness, the offer must be made at the time the witness
is called to testify. Documentary and object evidence shall be offered after the presentation of a party's testimonial
evidence. Such offer shall be done orally unless allowed by the court to be done in writing. (n)

OFFER OF EVIDENCE VS PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE


‣ In actual practice, there is a difference between presentation or introduction of evidence and offer of such evidence at the
trial of a case. The presentation of evidence consists of putting in as evidence the testimony of the witnesses or the
documents relevant to the issue. An offer of evidence, on the other hand, means the statement made by counsel as to
what he expects to prove through the witness. This is what trial lawyers understand by the "offer of evidence." Thus, "offer
of evidence," as used in Section 34 of Rule 132 must be understood to include the presentation or introduction of
evidence. What is essential in order that an offer of testimony may be valid, therefore, is that the witness be called and
asked appropriate questions. (People v. Yap 1994)

PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE OFFER OF EVIDENCE

Consists of putting in as evidence the testimony of the This is the statement made by counsel as to what he
witnesses or the documents relevant to the issue. expects to prove through the witness.

NECESSITY AND IMPORTANCE OF OFFER OF EVIDENCE


‣ RULE —AN EVIDENCE MUST BE FORMALLY OFFERED, OTHERWISE, THE COURT CANNOT CONSIDER SUCH EVIDENCE
‣ The offer of evidence is necessary because it is the duty of the court to rest its findings of fact and judgment only and
strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties (Aludos v. Suerte 2012).
‣ Only after evidence is offered and admitted that the court can appreciate and properly evaluate it (Marquez v.
Sandiganbayan 2011)
‣ In this case, the Court sustained the Court of Appeals which refused to consider a document submitted for the first
time by the petitioners when the same was attached to their motion for reconsideration of the decision of the Court of
late court, the Supreme Court reiterated the rule in Sec. 34 of Rule 132 that “the court shall consider no evidence
which has not been formally offered.” The document should have been offered during the trial in the Regional Trial
Court. (Spouses Tan v. Republic)
‣ The court considers the evidence only when it is formally offered. The offer of evidence is necessary because it is the
duty of the trial court to base its findings of fact and its judgment only and strictly on the evidence offered by the
parties. A piece of document will remain a scrap of paper without probative value unless and until admitted by the
court in evidence for the purpose or purposes for which it is offered. The formal offer of evidence allows the parties
the chance to object to the presentation of an evidence which may not be admissible for the purpose it is being
offered. (Laborte vs PTCC 2014)
‣ EXCEPT — IN THESE INSTANCES, EITHER NO OFFER IS REQUIRED OR THE SC HAS RELAXED THE RULE —
1. If the evidence were properly identified by testimony duly recorded AND incorporated in the records of the
case. (People v. Napat-a)
‣ The SC merely relaxed the rule here
‣ This really pertains to waiver of failure to object. This is true only when there is a failure to offer an evidence.

‣ The failure to object to the omission of the prosecutor and the cross-examination of the witness by the adverse
party, taken together, constitute a waiver of the defect (People v. Libnao)
‣ In this case, evidence of the prosecution in a crime involving a violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, were
considered by the court even without their having been formally offered because the evidence were properly

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identified by testimony duly recorded and incorporated in the records of the case. The counsel for the accused
also cross-examined the witnesses testifying on the evidence. (People v. Libnao)
‣ Where the absence of an offer of a testimonial evidence was not objected to as when the witness was cross-
examined by the adverse party despite failure of counsel to make an offer of the testimony of the witness, the
court must consider the testimony.

2. Exhibits repeatedly referred to in the course of the trial by the counsel of the accused (Laborte vs PTCC 2014)
‣ The SC merely relaxed the rule here

3. In a summary proceeding, because it is a proceeding where there is no full-blown trial


4. Documents judicially admitted or taken judicial notice of or draws inferences from facts. (Barut vs People 2014)
5. Where the trial court, in judging the demeanour of witnesses, determines their credibility even without the
offer of the demeanour as evidence. (Barut vs People 2014)
6. Documents, affidavits and depositions used in rendering a summary judgment
7. Documents or affidavits used in deciding quasi-judicial or administrative cases (Bantolino v. Coca-Cola Bottlers)

8. Lost objects previously marked, identified, described in the record, and testified to by witnesses who had
been subjects of cross-examination in respect to said objects (Tabuena v. CA)

WHEN OFFER OF EVIDENCE IS TO BE MADE

TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE OBJECT AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Offer must be made at the time the witness is called to Offer must be made after the presentation of a party's
testify. testimonial evidence.

‣ Note that the presentation of a documentary or object evidence for marking and identification during the course of the
trial is not the offer contemplated in the Rules. Failure to object to the evidence at this time should not be construed as a
waiver of the objection to the evidence.

‣ The mere fact that a document is marked as an exhibit does not mean that it has thereby already been offered as part of
the evidence of a party (People v. Gecomo)
‣ There is a distinction between identification of a documentary evidence and its formal offer as an exhibit. The first is done
in the course of the trial and is accompanied by the marking of the evidence as an exhibit, while the second is done only
when the party rests its case (Dizon v. Court of Tax Appeals)
‣ A party is not deemed to have waived objection to admissibility of documents by his failure to object to the same when
they were marked, identified and then introduced during the trial, because objection to documentary evidence must be
made at the time it is formally offered and not earlier. (Macasiray v. People)
‣ Testimonial evidence is formally offered by the calling of the witness to the stand. (Dans, Jr. vs People 1998)

HOW OFFER OF EVIDENCE IS MADE


‣ RULE — WHEN A PARTY MAKES A FORMAL OFFER OF HIS EVIDENCE, HE MUST STATE THE NATURE OR SUBSTANCE OF THE
EVIDENCE, AND THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE EVIDENCE IS OFFERED SUCH OFFER SHALL BE DONE ORALLY.

‣ EXCEPT — unless allowed by the court to be done in writing.


‣ NOTE — The court can only consider the evidence solely for the purpose for which it is offered, not for any other
purpose (Spouses Ragudo v. Fabella Estate Tenants Association)
‣ BUT — See the Rules on Offer of Evidence under the Judicial Affidavit Rule (JAR). The JAR has practically
modified the ordinary rules when it comes to offer of evidence. It is more strict now. Read those rules quoted
below. Now, it seems that an offer can only be made “orally” and not in writing.

A.M. No. 12-8-8-SC — JUDICIAL AFFIDAVIT RULE


Section 6. Offer of and objections to testimony in judicial affidavit. - The party presenting the judicial affidavit of his
witness in place of direct testimony shall state the purpose of such testimony at the start of the presentation of the
witness. The adverse party may move to disqualify the witness or to strike out his affidavit or any of the answers found in
it on ground of inadmissibility. The court shall promptly rule on the motion and, if granted, shall cause the marking of any
excluded answer by placing it in brackets under the initials of an authorized court personnel, without prejudice to a
tender of excluded evidence under Section 40 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.

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Section 8. Oral offer of and objections to exhibits. -


(a) Upon the termination of the testimony of his last witness, a party shall immediately make an oral offer of evidence of
his documentary or object exhibits, piece by piece, in their chronological order, stating the purpose or purposes for
which he offers the particular exhibit.
(b) After each piece of exhibit is offered, the adverse party shall state the legal ground for his objection, if any, to its
admission, and the court shall immediately make its ruling respecting that exhibit.
(c) Since the documentary or object exhibits form part of the judicial affidavits that describe and authenticate them, it is
sufficient that such exhibits are simply cited by their markings during the offers, the objections, and the rulings,
dispensing with the description of each exhibit.

OBJECTIONS

Section 36. Objection. — Objection to evidence offered orally must be made immediately after the offer is made.
Objection to a question propounded in the course of the oral examination of a witness shall be made as soon as the
grounds therefor shall become reasonably apparent.
An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to within three (3) days after notice of the unless a different period is
allowed by the court. In any case, the grounds for the objections must be specified. (36a)

Section 39. Striking out answer. — Should a witness answer the question before the adverse party had the opportunity to
voice fully its objection to the same, and such objection is found to be meritorious, the court shall sustain the objection
and order the answer given to be stricken off the record.
On proper motion, the court may also order the striking out of answers which are incompetent, irrelevant, or otherwise
improper. (n)

PURPOSES OF OBJECTIONS
1. To keep out inadmissible evidence that would cause harm to a client’s cause. The rules of evidence are not self-
operating and, hence, must be invoked by way of an objection

2. To protect the record, i.e., to present the issue of inadmissibility of the offered evidence in a way that if the trial court
rules erroneously, the error can be relied upon as a ground for a future appeal

3. To protect a witness from being embarrassed on the stand or from being harassed by the adverse counsel

4. To expose the adversary’s unfair tactics like his consistently asking obviously leading questions

5. To give the trial court an opportunity to correct its own errors and, at the same time, warn the court that a ruling adverse
to the objector may supply a reason to invoke a higher court’s appellate jurisdiction; and

6. To avoid a waiver of the inadmissibility of an otherwise inadmissible evidence.

HOW OBJECTIONS IS MADE; GENERAL VS SPECIFIC OBJECTIONS


‣ RULE — THE GROUNDS FOR THE OBJECTIONS MUST BE SPECIFIED.
‣ The objection must be specific.

‣ An objection must point out the specific ground of the objection, and if it does not do so, no error is committed in
overruling it

‣ Hence, an objector must be explicit as to the legal ground he invokes. He cannot simply manifest that he is
interposing an objection. He has to precisely state the exclusionary rule that would justify his opposition to the
proffered evidence.

‣ Rule 132 does not tell us how specific an objection must be. Practical reasons, however, tell us that the objection
must be specific enough to adequately inform the court the rule of evidence or of substantive law that
authorizes the exclusion of the evidence.

‣ RIANO — Example — Objections like, “question calls for a hearsay answer” — “witness cannot testify on a
privileged communication” — “the question calls for a conclusion” — “the question is beyond the scope of the

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direct examination” “impeachment is improper” — are specific enough for anyone to know the basis of the
objection.
‣ General objections are those which do not clearly indicate to the judge the ground upon which the objections are
predicated.
‣ They assign no grounds to the objection. A general objection, in including everything, actually specifies nothing.

‣ An objection that evidence is “incompetent,” irrelevant,” or “immaterial” is ordinarily regarded in most jurisdictions, in
the absence of any statutory provision to the contrary , as not sufficiently definite to present any question for review
because it conveys neither to the court nor counsel any specific point of objection

‣ The following examples are considered as general objections —

1. “Objection, The evidence is incompetent!”

2. “Objection! Inadmissible!”

3. “Objection: Incompetent, Irrelevant, and Immaterial!

4. “Objection: Improper!

‣ EXCEPT — GENERAL OBJECTIONS ARE ALLOWED, IF THE GROUND ON WHICH IT IS BASED IS BLATANTLY OBVIOUS TO THE
COURT
‣ There are cases where the incompetency of the evidence is so palpable that a mere general objection is deemed
sufficient, and where the portion of the evidence objected to is clearly pointed out, and its illegality is apparent on its
face, then the objection must be allowed

‣ Objections based on irrelevancy and immateriality need no specification or explanation. Relevancy or materiality of
evidence is a matter of logic, since it is determined simply by ascertaining its logical connection to a fact in issue in
the case. (Cruz-Arevalo v. Layosa 2006)

KINDS OF OBJECTIONS; FORMAL AND SUBSTANTIVE OBJECTIONS


1. FORMAL OBJECTIONS
‣ This is one directed against the alleged defect in the formulation of the question.

‣ Examples — defectively-formulated questions: ambiguous questions; leading and misleading questions; repetitious
questions; multiple questions; argumentative questions.
2. SUBSTANTIAL OBJECTIONS
‣ This is one made and directed against the very nature of the evidence, i.e., it is inadmissible either because it is
irrelevant or incompetent or both.

‣ Examples — parol; not the best evidence; hearsay; privileged; not authenticated; opinion; res inter alios acta.

WHEN OBJECTIONS SHOULD BE MADE


‣ RULE —OBJECTIONS MUST BE TIMELY MADE, OTHERWISE, IT IS DEEMED WAIVED.
‣ Aside from the requirement that an objection must state the specific ground relied upon, it is necessary that the
objection be timely.

‣ In order to be timely therefore, the objection must be made at the earliest opportunity.
‣ What the earliest opportunity is depends upon the manner the evidence is offered.
1. If the evidence is offered orally, objection to the evidence must be made immediately after the offer is made (Sec.
36, par. 1, Rule 132)
2. An objection to a question propounded in the course of the oral examination of the witness shall be made as soon
as the grounds therefor shall become reasonably apparent (Sec. 36, par. 2, Rule 132).
3. An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to within three (3) days after notice of the offer unless a different
period is allowed by the court (Sec. 36, par. 3, Rule 132)
‣ Any objection to evidence must be timely raised in the course of the proceedings in which the evidence is first offered.
This enables the adverse party to meet the objection to his evidence, as well as grants to the trial court the
opportunity to pass upon and rule on the objection. The objection to evidence cannot be made for the first time on
appeal, both because the party who has failed to timely object becomes estopped from raising the objection
afterwards; and because to assail the judgment of the lower court upon a cause as to which the lower court had no
opportunity to pass upon and rule is contrary to basic fairness and procedural orderliness” (Land Bank of the
Philippines v. Nable 2012)

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‣ The rules, therefore, make the offer of evidence the frame of reference for a timely objection. Hence, it is to be
assumed that an objection to the evidence before it is offered, is premature and no adverse inference may be had
against a party who does not object to the evidence before it is offered.

‣ What if the witness answers the question before the adverse party had the opportunity to voice fully its
objection?
‣ If the objection is found to be meritorious, the court shall sustain the objection and order the answer given to be
stricken out of the record (Sec. 39, Rule 132)

EFFECT OF FAILURE TO OBJECT OR FAILURE TO TIMELY OBJECT


‣ RULE — THE FAILURE TO TIMELY OBJECT RESULTS IN THE WAIVER OF SUCH OBJECTIONS. WHAT IS WAIVED ARE OBJECTIONS
TO ITS ADMISSIBILITY

‣ In plain language, the evidence becomes admissible but the waiver involves no admission that the evidence possesses
the weight attributed to it by the offering party.
‣ A waiver should not be construed as an admission that the evidence is credible. It does not also mean that the non-
objecting party waives his right to present controverting evidence. It only involves waiver of objection to two matters,
namely, the relevance and the competence of the evidence. Because these are the components of admissibility
‣ It is a rule of evidence, that any objection against the admission of any piece of evidence must be made at the proper
time, and that, if not so made, it will be understood to have been waived.

‣ BUT — Remember the following important cases —


1. The failure to object to the illegality or invalidity of a warrantless arrest does NOT amount to a waiver of the
inadmissibility of evidence seized during such illegal warrantless arrest
‣ SEE — Dela Cruz vs People, G.R. No. 200748, July 23, 2014
‣ In this case, the petitioner never raised the alleged irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment and raises
the issue only now before this tribunal; hence, he is deemed to have waived his right to question the validity of
his arrest curing whatever defect may have attended his arrest. However, "a waiver of an illegal warrantless
arrest does not mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest.

2. If what is involved is the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the failure to “timely” object to
evidence obtained from an invalid search should NOT amount to a waiver.
‣ SEE — Ogayon vs People, G.R. No. 188794, September 2, 2015
‣ In this case, the accused belatedly failed to timely object to the admissibility of evidence obtained in an invalid
search. The CA declared that Ogayon had waived the protection of his right against unreasonable searches
and seizures due to his failure to make a timely objection against the search warrant’s validity before the trial
court. It based its ruling on the procedural rule that any objections to the legality of the search warrant should
be made during the trial of the case.

‣ SC found that the CA’s casual treatment of a fundamental right distressing. It prioritized compliance with a
procedural rule over compliance with the safeguards for a constitutional right. Procedural rules can neither
diminish nor modify substantial rights; their non-compliance should therefore not serve to validate a
warrant that was issued in disregard of the constitutional requirements. The ends of justice are better
served if the supremacy of the constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures is preserved
over technical rules of procedure.

STRIKING OUT AN ANSWER OR TESTIMONY

Section 39. Striking out answer. — Should a witness answer the question before the adverse party had the opportunity to
voice fully its objection to the same, and such objection is found to be meritorious, the court shall sustain the objection
and order the answer given to be stricken off the record.
On proper motion, the court may also order the striking out of answers which are incompetent, irrelevant, or otherwise
improper. (n)

‣ RULE — A MOTION TO STRIKE MAY BE AVAILED OF IN THE FOLLOWING INSTANCES —


1. When the answer is premature

2. When the answer of the witness is irrelevant, incompetent or otherwise improper

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3. When the answer is unresponsive

4. When the witness becomes unavailable for cross- examination through no fault of the cross-examining party; or

5. when the testimony was allowed conditionally and the condition for its admissibility was not fulfilled

‣ Sometimes, an apparently unobjectionable question brings out an objectionable and inadmissible response. But the
infirmity of the response becomes apparent only after it is completed. If the answer is damaging, then relief may be
obtained by a motion to strike.

RULING ON THE OBJECTION

Section 38. Ruling. — The ruling of the court must be given immediately after the objection is made, unless the court
desires to take a reasonable time to inform itself on the question presented; but the ruling shall always be made during
the trial and at such time as will give the party against whom it is made an opportunity to meet the situation presented by
the ruling.
The reason for sustaining or overruling an objection need not be stated. However, if the objection is based on two or more
grounds, a ruling sustaining the objection on one or some of them must specify the ground or grounds relied upon. (38a)

Section 37. When repetition of objection unnecessary. — When it becomes reasonably apparent in the course of the
examination of a witness that the question being propounded are of the same class as those to which objection has been
made, whether such objection was sustained or overruled, it shall not be necessary to repeat the objection, it being
sufficient for the adverse party to record his continuing objection to such class of questions. (37a)

‣ RULE — THE RULING OF THE COURT MUST BE GIVEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE OBJECTION IS MADE
‣ If the court fails to rule on the objection, the same should be brought to the attention of the court.

‣ Words like “submitted” or “the objections are noted” are, by common reason, not appropriate rulings and neither
sustains or overrules the objection. There is no need to stretch the rules of logic to deduce a ruling that the evidence
is “admitted for whatever they may be worth” or that the “evidence is admitted subject to the objections” are not
rulings on the admissibility or inadmissibility of the evidence.

‣ The ruling of the court sustaining or overruling the objection need not be stated except if the objection is based on
two or more grounds.

‣ In such a case, a ruling sustaining the objection must specify the ground or grounds relied upon

‣ EXCEPT — WHEN THE COURT DESIRES TO TAKE A REASONABLE TIME TO INFORM ITSELF ON THE QUESTION PRESENTED
‣ However, the court must give its ruling during the trial and at such time as will give a party an opportunity to meet
the situation presented by the ruling

‣ The ruling on an objection must be given immediately after an objection is made, unless the court desires to take a
reasonable time to inform itself on the question presented; but the ruling shall always be made during the trial
and at such time as will give the party against whom it is made an opportunity to meet the situations
presented by the ruling. (Cruz-Arevalo v. Layosa 2006)

KINDS OF RULINGS ON OBJECTIONS


1. OBJECTION SUSTAINED
‣ When an objection to a question is sustained, the judge considers the question as improper and the witness will not
be allowed to answer the question.

‣ This means the exclusion of a testimonial evidence.

2. OBJECTION OVERRULED
‣ When the objection is overruled, this means that for the court, the question is proper and the witness will be allowed
to answer.

REPETITION OF OBJECTION; CONTINUING OBJECTIONS


‣ RULE — It shall not be necessary to repeat an objection when it becomes reasonably apparent while the witness
is being examined, that he is asked questions which are of the same class as those to which an objection has
already been made, whether such objection was sustained or overruled.

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‣ Instead of repeating the objection, it is sufficient for the objection to be recorded as a ‘continuing objection’ to such
class of objectionable questions
‣ Thus, when questions calling for a hearsay answer are repetitiously asked by the adverse counsel, the recording of a
continuing objection to such questions would be in order after an initial objection had already been made.
‣ SALVADOR — A continuing objection is like doing a highlight of objections. It has been previously sustained or
overruled. The counsel just propounds the same objection that has already been ruled by the judge. The judge does
not need to resolve it again.

TENDER OF EXCLUDED EVIDENCE; OFFER OF PROOF

Section 40. Tender of excluded evidence. — If documents or things offered in evidence are excluded by the court, the
offeror may have the same attached to or made part of the record. If the evidence excluded is oral, the offeror may state
for the record the name and other personal circumstances of the witness and the substance of the proposed testimony.
(n)

‣ RULE — IF DOCUMENTS OR THINGS OFFERED IN EVIDENCE ARE EXCLUDED BY THE COURT, THE OFFEROR MAY HAVE THE SAME
ATTACHED TO OR MADE PART OF THE RECORD.

‣ The foregoing rule, called “offer of proof’ in other jurisdictions, embodies the procedure for the “tender of excluded
evidence.”

‣ Why make a tender of excluded evidence?

1. To allow the court to know the nature of the testimony or the documentary evidence and convince the trial judge
to permit the evidence or testimony.
2. Even if he is not convinced to reverse his earlier ruling, the tender is made to create and preserve a record for
appeal.

‣ The rule is that evidence formally offered by a party may be admitted or excluded by the court. If a party’s offered
documentary or object evidence is excluded, he may move or request that it be attached to form part of the record of
the case. If the excluded evidence is oral, he may state for the record the name and other personal circumstances of
the witness and the substance of the proposed testimony. These procedures are known as offer of proof or tender of
excluded evidence and are made for purposes of appeal. If an adverse judgment is eventually rendered against
the offeror, he may in his appeal assign as error the rejection of the excluded evidence. The appellate court will
better understand and appreciate the assignment of error if the evidence involved is included in the record of the
case. (Cruz-Arevalo v. Layosa 2006)

MANNER OF MAKING THE TENDER OF EXCLUDED EVIDENCE [RIANO]


1. WHERE THE EVIDENCE INVOLVED IS DOCUMENTARY OR OBJECT EVIDENCE
‣ The tender is made by having the document or object attached to or made part of the record. It will first be
marked and then attached to the records of the case.
‣ Even if the rules do not spell out the details on how this should be done, it is a common practice in almost all
jurisdictions, for the offering counsel to produce, describe, identify the object or document, and in case of the latter, to
state the contents of the document that is sought to be admitted where the substance of the same is not apparent on
its face. Reading the substance of the document is an accepted way of stating its contents for the record in states
which recognize a tender. A disclosure of the contents of the document is necessary in order to aid the court in
determining its competence and relevance.

‣ The next step is to state the purpose for which the object or document sought to be attached is offered, and to ask
that it be marked for identification and have it attached to the record.

2. IF THE EVIDENCE EXCLUDED IS ORAL/TESTIMONIAL


‣ The offeror may state for the record the name and other personal circumstances of the witness and the
substance of the proposed testimony.
‣ There are two traditional methods of making the tender:

a. Where the counsel tells the court what the proposed testimony will be. This is the method prescribed in the Rules
of Court. After stating for the record the name and other personal circumstances of the witness, counsel

b. By using the question and answer form

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‣ The first method has the advantage of brevity and efficiency but it does not create as clear a record as the second
method. Whichever method is to be used lies in the discretion of the trial court.

‣ The court may prefer the second method which although not described in the rules, is not prohibited. In fact, the use
of the first method is not mandatory. This is evident from the use of the word may instead of shall in Sec. 40 of Rule
132.

‣ Whichever method of tender is used, the advocate must see to it that the offer must be specific enough to contain the
facts and circumstances of the matter sought to be proved by the excluded evidence.

‣ The tender is not meant to be a mere manifestation to the court in mere general terms.

‣ It must not be in the form of conclusions of fact such as, “If permitted to pursue this line of questioning, Your
Honor, the witness will testify that he is not a trespasser.”

‣ The offer must make reference to the details of the excluded testimony or excluded document.

‣ An erroneous way of making an offer of excluded testimony is to make a mere general ‘offer of proof (tender of
excluded evidence) without producing the witness or stating the evidence whereby the fact in issue is to be proved

‣ May an objection be interposed to the manner of tender of excluded evidence?


‣ RIANO — The rules are silent on the issue. However, there is no cogent reason to disallow the objection. If the
document tendered is not described or identified, its sub- stance stated in vague and general terms or when the
purpose for which it is offered is not declared, then the evidence has to be objected to. If the testimony tendered
is in the form of a conclusion and thus, fails to disclose sufficient information to enable the court and the other
party to determine its admissibility, the same may likewise be the target of an objection. To have a contrary rule
and confer immunity from objection to such type of evidence would be to grant a favored status to evidence
initially excluded by the trial court.

FORMAL OFFER OF EVIDENCE VS OFFER OF PROOF


‣ Formal offer of evidence — refers either to the offer of the testimony of a witness prior to the latter’s testimony, or the
offer of the documentary and object evidence after a party has presented his testimonial evidence.

‣ Offer of proof — is the process by which a proponent of an excluded evidence tenders the same. If what has been
excluded is testimonial evidence, the tender is made by stating for the record the name and other personal circumstances
of the proposed witness and the substance of his proposed testimony. If the evidence excluded is documentary or of
things, the offer of proof is made by having the same attached to or made a part of the record.

ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE AFTER CASE IS RESTED


‣ The Rules of Court does not prohibit a party from requesting the court to allow it to present additional evidence even after
it has rested its case (Republic v. Sandiganbayan 2011)


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BURDEN OF PROOF AND THE QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE IN GENERAL


*Recall Rule 131 on the Burden of Proof, Rule 133 pertains to the “amount” or “quantum” of evidence or “degree” of proof

QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE
‣ THIS IS THE AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE REQUIRED BY LAW OR THE RULES TO BE PRESENTED IN A PARTICULAR CASE TO OBTAIN A
FAVOURABLE RULING

‣ This is what is to be achieved as the party carries the burden of proof.

‣ Such as —

1. Proof beyond reasonable doubt (Rule 133, Sec. 2)

2. Preponderance of evidence (Rule 133, Sec. 1)

3. Substantial evidence (Rule 133, Sec. 5)

4. Clear and convincing evidence (Jurisprudence)

BURDEN OF PROOF QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE

Rule 131 Rule 133

It is the duty of a party to present evidence on the facts in It is the amount of evidence required by law or the rules
issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the to be presented in a particular case to obtain a favourable
amount of evidence required by law (Rule 131, Sec. 1) ruling

Determined by the pleadings of the parties in relation to Determine by law or by the rules
the rules

QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE IN CIVIL CASES; PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE

Section 1. Preponderance of evidence, how determined. — In civil cases, the party having burden of proof must establish
his case by a preponderance of evidence. In determining where the preponderance or superior weight of evidence on the
issues involved lies, the court may consider all the facts and circumstances of the case, the witnesses' manner of
testifying, their intelligence, their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which there are testifying, the nature of
the facts to which they testify, the probability or improbability of their testimony, their interest or want of interest, and also
their personal credibility so far as the same may legitimately appear upon the trial. The court may also consider the
number of witnesses, though the preponderance is not necessarily with the greater number. (1a)

‣ RULE — IN CIVIL CASES, THE PARTY HAVING BURDEN OF PROOF MUST ESTABLISH HIS CASE BY A PREPONDERANCE OF
EVIDENCE.

‣ Preponderance of evidence is the weight, credit, and value of the aggregate evidence on either side and is usually
considered to be synonymous with the term “greater weight of the evidence” or “greater weight of the credible
evidence.” Preponderance of evidence is a phrase which, in the last analysis, means probability of the truth. It is
evidence which is more convincing to the court as worthier of belief than that which is offered in opposition thereto
(Chua v. Westmont Bank 2012)
‣ It means the “greater or superior weight of evidence.” It is the evidence that is more convincing and more credible
than the one offered by the adverse party. It means that the evidence as a whole adduced by one side is superior to
that of the other (Republic v. Sandiganbayan)
‣ Preponderance of evidence means that the evidence adduced by one side is, as a whole, superior to or has greater
weight than that of the other (Habagat Grill v. DMC-Urban Property Developer)
‣ It means evidence which is more convincing to the court as worthy of belief than that which is offered in opposition
thereto (Republic v. Bautista)

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‣ In determining whether or not there is preponderance of evidence, the court may consider the following —
1. All the facts and circumstances of the case;

2. The witnesses’ manner of testifying, their intelligence, their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which
they are testifying, the nature of the facts to which they testify, the probability or improbability of their testimony;

3. The witnesses’ interest or want of interest, and also their personal credibility so far as the same may ultimately
appear in the trial;

4. The number of witnesses, although it does mean that the preponderance is necessarily with the greater number

QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL CASES; PROOF BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT

Section 2. Proof beyond reasonable doubt. — In a criminal case, the accused is entitled to an acquittal, unless his guilt is
shown beyond reasonable doubt. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof, excluding
possibility of error, produces absolute certainly. Moral certainly only is required, or that degree of proof which produces
conviction in an unprejudiced mind. (2a)

Section 3. Extrajudicial confession, not sufficient ground for conviction. — An extrajudicial confession made by an
accused, shall not be sufficient ground for conviction, unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti. (3)

Section 4. Circumstantial evidence, when sufficient. — Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if:
(a) There is more than one circumstances;
(b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and
(c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. (5)

‣ RULE — IN A CRIMINAL CASE, THE ACCUSED IS ENTITLED TO AN ACQUITTAL, UNLESS HIS GUILT IS SHOWN BEYOND
REASONABLE DOUBT

‣ Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof, excluding possibility of error, produces
absolute certainly. Moral certainly only is required, or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an
unprejudiced mind.

‣ Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof that excludes all possibility of error. Only
moral certainty is required (People v. Sevilleno)

‣ What is reasonable doubt?


‣ Reasonable doubt does not refer to any doubt or a mere possible doubt because everything in human experience
is subject to possible doubt. Reasonable doubt is that state of the case which, after a comparison of all the
evidence, does not lead the judge to have in his mind, a moral certainty of the truth of the charge. Where there is
reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused, there must be an acquittal (People v. Calma)
‣ Correlate this degree of proof with the Presumption of Innocence
‣ It is the constitutional presumption of innocence that lays such burden upon the prosecution

‣ In criminal cases, the burden of proof as to the guilt of the accused lies with the prosecution because of the
presumption that the accused is presumed innocent until the contrary is proven (Sec. 14[2], Art. Ill, Bill of Rights,
Philippine Constitution).
‣ The presumption of innocence of an accused in a criminal case is a basic constitutional principle, fleshed out by
procedural rules which place on the prosecution the burden of proving that the accused is guilty of the offense
charged by proof beyond reasonable doubt. Corollary thereto, conviction must rest on the strength of the
prosecution’s evidence and not on the weakness of the defense (People v. Maraorao 2012)
‣ An accused has in his favor the presumption of innocence which the Bill of Rights guarantees. Unless his guilt is
shown beyond reasonable doubt, he must be acquitted. This reasonable doubt standard is demanded by the due
process clause of the Constitution which protects the accused from conviction except upon proof beyond
reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which he is charged. (People v. Ganguso)
‣ Where the prosecution has failed to discharge the onus probandi for a pronouncement of guilt beyond reasonable
doubt, the constitutional presumption of innocence in favor of the accused will result in acquittal In an acquittal, an
accused is set free not necessarily because he did not commit the offense but, more likely than not, because the

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exacting proof for conviction may not have been met. A person is presumed innocent of a crime unless his guilt
has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Thus, an acquittal does not always mean that the defense
evidence is given full credence, but, rather that the prosecution has failed to overcome the presumption of
innocence. (People vs Coderes 2003)

EQUIPOISE RULE; EQUIPONDERANCE DOCTRINE


‣ RULE — WHERE THE EVIDENCE IN A CRIMINAL CASE IS EVENLY BALANCED, THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRESUMPTION OF
INNOCENCE TILTS THE SCALES IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED, THUS HE MUST BE ACQUITTED.

‣ The doctrine refers to a situation where the evidence of the parties is evenly balanced, or there is doubt on which side
the evidence preponderates or weighs more heavily. In this case the decision should be against the party with the
burden of proof. Hence, where the burden of proof is on the plaintiff and the evidence does not suggest that the scale
of justice should weigh in his favor, the court should render a verdict for the defendant (Rivera v. CA)
‣ The equipoise doctrine is based on the principle that no one shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due
process of law (Sec. 1, Art. Ill, Constitution of the Philippines).
‣ Thus, where the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations one of which is
consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, then the evidence does not fulfill
the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support a conviction (People v. Saturno).
‣ “In our constitutional system, basic and elementary is the presupposition that the burden of proving the guilt of an
accused lies on the prosecution which must rely on the strength of its own evidence and not on the weakness of the
defense. The rule is invariable whatever may be the reputation of the accused, for the law presumes his innocence
unless and until the contrary is proved. In dubio pro reo. When moral certainty as to culpability hangs in the balance,
acquittal on reasonable doubt inevitably becomes a matter of right” (Malillin v. People)
‣ The Court has consistently held that it is better to acquit ten guilty individuals than to convict one innocent person.
Every circumstance against guilt and in favor of innocence must be considered. Where the evidence admits of two
interpretations, one of which is consistent with guilt, and the other with innocence, the accused must be given the
benefit of the doubt and should be acquitted. While it is possible that the accused has committed the crime, there is
also the possibility, based on the evidence presented, that he has not. He should be deemed to have not where there
is a failure to meet the test of moral certainty. (Ubales v. People)
‣ In a criminal case, every circumstance or evidence favoring a man’s innocence must be taken into account. If the
inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more interpretations, one of which is consistent with
innocence and the other with guilt, then the evidence does not pass the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to
support a conviction. Thus, the presumption of innocence founded on the basic principle of justice as embodied in
our Constitution prevails in the present case.(People vs Coderes 2003)
‣ Equipoise Rule as applied in Labor Cases
‣ In labor cases, if doubt exists between the evidence presented by the employer and employee, the scales of justice
must be tilted in favor of the latter (Mayon Hotel & Restaurant v. Adana)
‣ It is a time-honored rule that, in controversies between a laborer and his master, doubts reasonably arising from the
evidence, or in the interpretation of agreements and writing should be resolved in the former’s favor. The policy is to
extend the doctrine to a greater number of employees who can avail of the benefits under the law, which is in
consonance with the avowed policy of the State to give maximum aid and protection to labor (Nicario v. NLRC)

SUFFICIENCY OF EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSIONS AS BASIS FOR CONVICTION


‣ Remember the rules on judicial and extra-judicial admissions and confessions back in Rule 130
‣ RULE — AN EXTRAJUDICIAL CONFESSION ALONE IS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR CONVICTION, TO SUSTAIN A CONVICTION, IT MUST BE
CORROBORATED BY EVIDENCE OF THE CORPUS DELICTI

‣ Remember that while an extrajudicial confession will not be sufficient for conviction unless corroborated by evidence
of corpus delicti, a judicial confession will support conviction without proof of corpus delicti independent of the judicial
confession

‣ Note that what must be corroborated is the extrajudicial confession and not the testimony of the person to whom the
confession is made, and the corroborative evidence required is not the testimony of another person who heard the
confession but the evidence of corpus delicti. (People vs Lorenzo 1995)

‣ Section 3, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court does not mean that every element of the crime charged must be clearly
established by independent evidence apart from the confession. It means merely that there should be some
evidence tending to show the commission of the crime apart from the confession. Otherwise, the utility of the
confession as a species of proof would vanish if it were necessary, in addition to the confession, to adduce other

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evidence sufficient to justify conviction independently of such confession. Otherwise stated, the other evidence need
not, independently of the confession, establish the corpus delicti beyond a reasonable doubt (People vs Lorenzo 1995)
‣ Sec. 3, Rule 133, merely requires that there should be some other evidence "tending to show the commission of
the crime apart from the confession. (People vs Base 2000)

CORPUS DELICTI
‣ CORPUS DELICTI IS THE “BODY OF THE CRIME” OR THE OFFENSE. IT REFERS TO THE FACT OF THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME
‣ Corpus delicti in its legal sense refers to the fact of the commission of the crime, not to the physical body of the deceased
or to the ashes of a burned building or -- as in the present case -- to the smuggled cigarettes. (Rimorin vs People 2003)
‣ Strictly speaking, it means the actual commission of the crime and someone criminally responsible therefor

‣ It is the substance of the crime; the fact that a crime has actually been committed

‣ Elements of the Corpus delicti

1. Proof of the occurrence of a certain event


‣ For example, that a man has died or a building has been burned
2. Some person’s criminal responsibility for the act

PROOF OF THE CORPUS DELICTI


‣ What proof is required to prove the corpus delicti?
‣ RULE: CORPUS DELICTI, AND ALL THE ELEMENTS THEREOF, MAY BE PROVED BY CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE
‣ Circumstantial evidence or indirect evidence is that evidence which indirectly proves a fact in issue through an
inference which the fact finder draws from the evidence established. When the evidence is circumstantial, a fact is
established by making an inference from a previously established fact.

‣ But such proof must be convincing and compatible with the nature of the case

‣ The testimony of a single person, if credible and positive and if it satisfies the court as to the guilt of the accused
beyond reasonable doubt, is sufficient to convict. In determining the value and credibility of evidence, witnesses are to
be weighed, not numbered (People vs Lorenzo 1995)
‣ The corpus delicti may be proven by the credible testimony of a sole witness, not necessarily by physical
evidence. (Rimorin vs People 2003)
‣ At any rate, an extrajudicial confession forms but a prima facie case against the party by whom it is made. Such
confessions are not conclusive proof of that which they state; it may be proved that they were uttered in ignorance, or
levity, or mistake; and hence, they are, at best, to be regarded as only cumulative proof which affords but a precarious
support and on which, when uncorroborated, a verdict cannot be permitted to rest. In the cases cited by the trial
court, the convictions were based on circumstantial evidence in addition to the appellants’ confessions, or the
extrajudicial confessions were reduced to writing and were replete with details which only appellants could
have supplied. In the case at bar, however, there was no circumstantial evidence to corroborate the extrajudicial
confession of appellant. More importantly, the said confession does not contain details which could have only been
known to appellant. Indeed, an extrajudicial confession will not support a conviction where it is uncorroborated.
There must be such corroboration that, when considered in connection with confession, will show the guilt of
accused beyond a reasonable doubt. Circumstantial evidence may be sufficient corroboration of a confession.
It is not necessary that the supplementary evidence be entirely free from variance with the extrajudicial confession, or
that it show the place of offense or the defendant’s identity or criminal agency. All facts and circumstances attending
the particular offense charged are admissible to corroborate extrajudicial confession. (People vs Satorre 2003)

SUFFICIENCY OF CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE AS BASIS FOR CONVICTION


‣ RULE: CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE IS SUFFICIENT FOR CONVICTION IF:
1. There is more than one circumstances

2. The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven

3. The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt; and

4. It excludes the possibility that some other person has committed the crime (jurisprudence)

‣ It is a settled rule that circumstantial evidence is sufficient to support a conviction, and that direct evidence is not always
necessary. This is but a recognition of the reality that in certain instances, due to the inherent attempt to conceal a crime,
it is not always possible to obtain direct evidence. (Zabala vs People 2015)

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‣ The lack or absence of direct evidence does not necessarily mean that the guilt of the accused cannot be proved by
evidence other than direct evidence. Direct evidence is not the sole means of establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt,
because circumstantial evidence, if sufficient, can supplant the absence of direct evidence. The crime charged may also
be proved by circumstantial evidence, sometimes referred to as indirect or presumptive evidence. Circumstantial
evidence has been defined as that which "goes to prove a fact or series of facts other than the facts in issue, which, if
proved, may tend by inference to establish a fact in issue.” (Zabala vs People 2015)
‣ To sustain a conviction based on circumstantial evidence, it is essential that the circumstantial evidence
presented must constitute an unbroken chain which leads one to a fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the
accused, to the exclusion of the others, as the guilty person. The circumstantial evidence must exclude the
possibility that some other person has committed the crime. (Zabala vs People 2015)
‣ True, a person may be convicted on the basis of circumstantial evidence; but the proven circumstances should inexorably
lead to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused as the guilty person, to the exclusion of all others.
Where the evidence presented admits of other conclusions, the accused must be acquitted. The proof against him must
survive the test of reason; the strongest suspicion must not be permitted to sway judgment. What is required then is
moral certainty. (People vs Quizon)
‣ But it is the rule of law that while a conclusion as to an ultimate fact may be based upon an inference from circumstantial
evidence, in reaching such conclusion the inference as to the ultimate fact may not be based on an inference as to the
existence of the circumstantial facts. The prior inferences must be established to the exclusion of any other reasonable
theory rather than merely by a probability, in order that the last inference of the probability of the ultimate fact may be
based thereon. The test is that: while it is permissible to draw successive inferences, each inference, except the last
one, in order to be used as a link in a chain of inferences, must be established to the exclusion of any other
reasonable theory, rather than merely by a probability (New York Life Insurance v. McNeely)

Sufficiency of Evidence as Basis for Conviction

EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSION CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

Sufficient only if it is corroborated by Sufficient only if:


evidence of the corpus delicti
1. There is more than one circumstances

2. The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and

3. The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a


conviction beyond reasonable doubt

4. It excludes the possibility that some other person has committed the
crime

QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE IN ADMINISTRATIVE CASES; SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

Section 5. Substantial evidence. — In cases filed before administrative or quasi-judicial bodies, a fact may be deemed
established if it is supported by substantial evidence, or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. (n)

‣ RULE: IN CASES FILED BEFORE ADMINISTRATIVE OR QUASI-JUDICIAL BODIES, AMPARO OR HABEAS DATA PROCEEDINGS, A
FACT MAY BE DEEMED ESTABLISHED IF IT IS SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

‣ Such as before the NLRC or Labor Arbiters in Labor Cases


‣ Note that the quantum of substantial evidence also applies to proceedings of amparo and habeas data, even though
they are judicial proceedings

‣ Substantial evidence is the amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
justify a conclusion
‣ EXCEPT: IN ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS THAT ARE HIGHLY PENAL IN CHARACTER OR INVOLVE GRAVE OFFENSES, PROOF
BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT APPLIES

‣ Administrative proceedings against judges are highly penal in character and are to be governed by the rules
applicable to criminal cases. The quantum of proof required to support administrative charges against judges should
thus, be more than substantial and requires proof beyond reasonable doubt (Duduaco v. Laquindanum)

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‣ An administrative case filed against a sheriff for harassment and misconduct where the court ruled that administrative
proceedings against judicial employees are, by nature, highly penal in character and are to be governed by the rules
governing criminal cases. (Arnado v. Suarin)
‣ While substantial evidence would ordinarily suffice to support a finding of guilt, the rule is different where the
proceedings involve judges charged with a grave offense. Administrative proceedings against judges are highly penal
in character and are to be governed by the rules applicable to criminal cases. The quantum of proof required to
support the administrative charges or to establish the ground/s for the removal of a judicial officer should thus be
more than substantial; they must be proven beyond reasonable doubt (Alcuizar v. Carpio)
‣ When the liability of a person in the administrative case against him was not established by substantial evidence,
will the criminal case necessarily fall, demanding as it does, a heavier quantum of proof, proof beyond reasonable
doubt.?
‣ NO. It is indeed a fundamental principle that administrative cases are independent from criminal actions for the same
act or omission. Thus, an absolution from a criminal charge is not a bar to an administrative prosecution, or vice versa.
One thing is administrative liability; quite another thing is the criminal liability for the same act. (Paredes v. CA)

CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE

MEANING OF CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE


‣ Evidence is clear and convincing if it produces in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to
allegations sought to be established.

‣ It is intermediate, being more than preponderance, but not to the extent of such certainty as is required beyond
reasonable doubt as in criminal cases

RECOGNIZED CASES WHERE CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE IS THE QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE
1. Application for Bail in Extradition Proceedings
‣ An extradition proceeding being sui generis, the standard of proof required in granting or denying bail can neither be
the proof beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases nor the standard of proof of preponderance of evidence in civil
cases. While administrative in character, the standard of substantial evidence used in administrative cases cannot
likewise apply given the object of extradition law which is to prevent the prospective extraditee from fleeing Philippine
jurisdiction. In his separate opinion in Purganan, then Associate Justice, now Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno,
proposed that a new standard which he termed ‘clear and convincing evidence’ should be used in granting bail in
extradition cases. According to him, this standard should be lower than proof beyond reasonable doubt but higher
than preponderance of evidence. The potential extraditee must prove by ‘clear and convincing evidence’ that he
is not a flight risk and will abide with all the orders and processes of the extradition court.” (Government of
Hongkong Special Administrative Region v. Olalia)
2. Proving a claim of Self-Defense
‣ One recent case makes a more liberal use of the “clear and convincing evidence” rule when it declared: “Once an
accused in a prosecution for murder or homicide admitted his infliction of the fatal injuries, he assumed the burden to
prove by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence the justifying circumstance that would avoid his criminal
liability” (People v. Fontanilla 2012)
‣ While accused-appellant invokes the justifying circumstances of self-defense, it is a well-settled doctrine that when an
accused invokes self-defense, the onus is on him to establish by clear and convincing evidence his justification for the
killing. He must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the evidence for the prosecution.
For self-defense to prevail, three (3) requisites must concur, to wit: 1) unlawful aggression; 2) reasonable necessity of
the means employed to prevent or repel it; and 3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending
himself (People v. Tomolin)
3. Overcoming presumption of facts in a Notarized Document, its genuineness and due execution
‣ A notarized instrument is admissible in evidence without further proof of its due execution, is conclusive as to the
truthfulness of its contents, and has in its favor the presumption of regularity. It is a prima facie evidence of the truth of
the facts stated therein and a conclusive presumption of its existence and due execution. To overcome this
presumption, there must be clear and convincing evidence. Absent such evidence, the presumption must be upheld
(Chua v. Westmont Bank)
4. Overcoming presumption of Good Faith; Alleging bad faith
‣ Bad faith is a question of fact and is evidentiary. Bad faith has to be established by the claimant with clear and
convincing evidence, and this necessitates an examination of the evidence of all the parties. This is best passed upon
after a full-blown trial on the merits (Belle Corporation v. De Leon- Banks)

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‣ To warrant an award of moral damages, it must be shown that the dismissal of the employee was attended by bad
faith, or constituted an act oppressive to labor, or was done in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public
policy. The person claiming moral damages must prove the existence of bad faith by clear and convincing evidence
for the law always presumes good faith. It is not enough that one merely suffered sleepless nights, mental anguish or,
serious anxiety as the result of the actuations of the other party. Invariably, such action must be shown to have been
willfully done in bad faith or with ill-motive, and bad faith or ill-motive under the law cannot be presumed but must be
established with clear and convincing evidence (Resolution of the Supreme Court in Cual v. Leonis Navigation
5. Bias and Partiality of Judges
‣ Bare allegations of bias and partiality of the judge are not enough in the absence of clear and convincing evidence to
overcome the presumption that the judge will undertake his noble role to dispense justice according to law and
evidence and without fear or favor. There should be clear and convincing evidence to prove the charge of bias and
partiality. Extrinsic evidence is required to establish bias, bad faith, malice or corrupt purpose, in addition to the
palpable error that may be inferred from the decision or order itself (Rivera v. Mendoza)
6. Allegations of Fraud in Civil Cases involving Contractual Relations
‣ SEE — Tankeh vs DBP, G.R. No. 171428, November 11, 2013
‣ Jurisprudence has shown that in order to constitute fraud that provides basis to annul contracts, it must fulfill two
conditions. First, the fraud must be dolo causante or it must be fraud in obtaining the consent of the party.
Second, this fraud must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. The standard of proof required is clear and
convincing evidence. This standard of proof is derived from American common law. It is less than proof beyond
reasonable doubt (for criminal cases) but greater than preponderance of evidence (for civil cases). The degree of
believability is higher than that of an ordinary civil case. Civil cases only require a preponderance of evidence
to meet the required burden of proof. However, when fraud is alleged in an ordinary civil case involving
contractual relations, an entirely different standard of proof needs to be satisfied. The imputation of fraud in
a civil case requires the presentation of clear and convincing evidence. Mere allegations will not suffice to
sustain the existence of fraud. The burden of evidence rests on the part of the plaintiff or the party alleging fraud.
The quantum of evidence is such that fraud must be clearly and convincingly shown.
7. Allegations of Forgery
‣ Forgery should be proved by clear and convincing evidence, and whoever alleges it has the burden of proving the
same (Sumbad v. Court of Appeals)
8. Allegations of Frame-up or extortion
‣ An allegation of frame-up and extortion by police officers is a common and standard defense in most dangerous drug
cases. It is, however, viewed by the Court with disfavor, for it can be easily concocted. To substantiate such defense,
including instigation, the evidence must be clear and convincing (People v. Boco)
‣ The presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties will stand if the defense failed to present clear and
convincing evidence that the police officers did not properly perform their duty or that they were inspired by an
improper motive (People v. Concepcion)
9. Defense of Alibi
‣ The shopworn rule is that for alibi to prosper, it is not enough that accused was at some place else at the time of the
commission of the crime. It must also be proved by clear and convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for
him to have been at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission and commit the crime (People v. Agunos)
‣ Clear and convincing evidence is required to show that it was physically impossible for the accused to be at the crime
scene (People v. Cacayan)
‣ Denial is a weak form of defense, particularly when it is not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence. The
defense of denial or frame-up, like alibi, has been invariably viewed by the courts with disfavor for it can just as easily
be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in most prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs
Act. Accused-appellant claims that he was framed and that the arresting officers’ motive in framing him is to extort PI
million from him. This defense requires strong and convincing evidence because of the presumption that the law
enforcement agents acted in the regular performance of their official duties (People v. Mustapa)

POWER OF THE COURT TO STOP INTRODUCTION OF FURTHER EVIDENCE

Section 6. Power of the court to stop further evidence. — The court may stop the introduction of further testimony upon
any particular point when the evidence upon it is already so full that more witnesses to the same point cannot be
reasonably expected to be additionally persuasive. But this power should be exercised with caution. (6)

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EVIDENCE ON MOTION

Section 7. Evidence on motion. — When a motion is based on facts not appearing of record the court may hear the
matter on affidavits or depositions presented by the respective parties, but the court may direct that the matter be heard
wholly or partly on oral testimony or depositions. (7)


HARMLESS ERROR RULE; ENGLISH EXCHEQUER RULE
NOTE — This is really under Civil Procedure, particularly, appellate rules, but relate it with evidence in the sense of evidence
improperly admitted by the trial court.

RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE


RULE 51 — JUDGMENT
Section 6. Harmless error. — No error in either the admission or the exclusion of evidence and no error or defect in any
ruling or order or in anything done or omitted by the trial court or by any of the parties is ground for granting a new trial or
for setting aside, modifying, or otherwise disturbing a judgment or order, unless refusal to take such action appears to the
court inconsistent with substantial justice. The court at every stage of the proceeding must disregard any error or defect
which does not affect the substantial rights of the parties. (5a)

‣ SEE — People vs Teehankee 1995


‣ Appellant cannot hope to exculpate himself simply because the trial judge violated the rule on res inter alios acta when
he considered his involvement in previous shooting incidents. This stance is a specie of a mid-1800 rule known as the
English Exchequer Rule pursuant to which "a trial court's error as to the admission of evidence was presumed to
have caused prejudice and therefore, almost automatically required a new trial." The Exchequer rule has long
been laid to rest for even English appellate courts now disregard an error in the admission of evidence "unless
in its opinion, some substantial wrong or miscarriage (of justice) has been occasioned." American courts
adopted this approach especially after the enactment of a 1915 federal statute which required a federal appellate
court to "give judgment after an examination of the entire record before the court, without regard to technical
errors, defects, or exceptions which do not affect the substantial rights of the parties." We have likewise
followed the harmless error rule in our jurisdiction. In dealing with evidence improperly admitted in trial, we
examine its damaging quality and its impact to the substantive rights of the litigant. If the impact is slight and
insignificant, we disregard the error as it will not overcome the weight of the properly admitted evidence
against the prejudiced party.


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*These are other rules and laws which pertain to evidence found in other rules, the constitution, and statutes

CONSTITUTIONAL RULES RELATED TO ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE

1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE 3: BILL OF RIGHTS


Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of
arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched
and the persons or things to be seized.

Section 3.
(1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when
public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding.

Section 12.
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to
remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot
afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in
the presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him.
Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence
against him.
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as well as compensation to the
rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices, and their families.

Section 17. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE UNDER THE WIRE-TAPPING LAW AND HUMAN


SECURITY ACT

REPUBLIC ACT No. 4200 (1965): AN ACT TO PROHIBIT AND PENALIZE WIRE TAPPING AND OTHER RELATED
VIOLATIONS OF THE PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or
spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or
record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or
dictaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described:

It shall also be unlawful for any person, be he a participant or not in the act or acts penalized in the next preceding
sentence, to knowingly possess any tape record, wire record, disc record, or any other such record, or copies thereof, of
any communication or spoken word secured either before or after the effective date of this Act in the manner prohibited
by this law; or to replay the same for any other person or persons; or to communicate the contents thereof, either verbally
or in writing, or to furnish transcriptions thereof, whether complete or partial, to any other person:

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‣ Provided, That the use of such record or any copies thereof as evidence in any civil, criminal investigation or trial of
offenses mentioned in section 3 hereof, shall not be covered by this prohibition.

Section 2. Any person who willfully or knowingly does or who shall aid, permit, or cause to be done any of the acts
declared to be unlawful in the preceding section or who violates the provisions of the following section or of any order
issued thereunder, or aids, permits, or causes such violation shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment
for not less than six months or more than six years and with the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification
from public office if the offender be a public official at the time of the commission of the offense, and, if the offender is an
alien he shall be subject to deportation proceedings.

Section 3. Nothing contained in this Act, however, shall render it unlawful or punishable for any peace officer, who is
authorized by a written order of the Court, to execute any of the acts declared to be unlawful in the two preceding
sections in cases involving the crimes of treason, espionage, provoking war and disloyalty in case of war, piracy, mutiny
in the high seas, rebellion, conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to
commit sedition, inciting to sedition, kidnapping as defined by the Revised Penal Code, and violations of Commonwealth
Act No. 616, punishing espionage and other offenses against national security:
‣ Provided, That such written order shall only be issued or granted upon written application and the examination under
oath or affirmation of the applicant and the witnesses he may produce and a showing:
(1) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that any of the crimes enumerated hereinabove has been
committed or is being committed or is about to be committed:
‣ Provided, however, That in cases involving the offenses of rebellion, conspiracy and proposal to commit
rebellion, inciting to rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to commit sedition, and inciting to sedition, such
authority shall be granted only upon prior proof that a rebellion or acts of sedition, as the case may be,
have actually been or are being committed;
(2) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that evidence will be obtained essential to the conviction of any
person for, or to the solution of, or to the prevention of, any of such crimes; and
(3) that there are no other means readily available for obtaining such evidence.

The order granted or issued shall specify:


(1) the identity of the person or persons whose communications, conversations, discussions, or spoken words are to be
overheard, intercepted, or recorded and, in the case of telegraphic or telephonic communications, the telegraph line
or the telephone number involved and its location;
(2) the identity of the peace officer authorized to overhear, intercept, or record the communications, conversations,
discussions, or spoken words;
(3) the offense or offenses committed or sought to be prevented; and
(4) the period of the authorization. The authorization shall be effective for the period specified in the order which shall not
exceed sixty (60) days from the date of issuance of the order, unless extended or renewed by the court upon being
satisfied that such extension or renewal is in the public interest.

All recordings made under court authorization shall, within forty-eight hours after the expiration of the period fixed in the
order, be deposited with the court in a sealed envelope or sealed package, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit of
the peace officer granted such authority stating the number of recordings made, the dates and times covered by each
recording, the number of tapes, discs, or records included in the deposit, and certifying that no duplicates or copies of
the whole or any part thereof have been made, or if made, that all such duplicates or copies are included in the envelope
or package deposited with the court. The envelope or package so deposited shall not be opened, or the recordings
replayed, or used in evidence, or their contents revealed, except upon order of the court, which shall not be granted
except upon motion, with due notice and opportunity to be heard to the person or persons whose conversation or
communications have been recorded.

The court referred to in this section shall be understood to mean the Court of First Instance within whose territorial
jurisdiction the acts for which authority is applied for are to be executed.

Section 4. Any communication or spoken word, or the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of the
same or any part thereof, or any information therein contained obtained or secured by any person in violation of the

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preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or
administrative hearing or investigation.

Republic Act No. 9372: "Human Security Act of 2007”

SEC. 7. Surveillance of Suspects and Interception and Recording of Communications. -The provisions of Republic Act
No. 4200 (Anti-Wire Tapping Law) to the contrary notwithstanding, a police or law enforcement official and the members
of his team may, upon a written order of the Court of Appeals, listen to, intercept and record, with the use of any mode,
form, kind or type of electronic or other surveillance equipment or intercepting and tracking devices, or with the use of
any other suitable ways and means for that purpose, any communication, message, conversation, discussion, or spoken
or written words between members of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization, association, or group of
persons or of any person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism.
‣ Provided, That surveillance, interception and recording of communications between lawyers and clients, doctors and
patients, journalists and their sources and confidential business correspondence shall not be authorized.

SEC. 8. Formal Application for Judicial Authorization. - The written order of the authorizing division of the Court of
Appeals to track down, tap, listen to, intercept, and record communications, messages, conversations, discussions, or
spoken or written words of any person suspected of the crime of terrorism or the crime of conspiracy to commit terrorism
shall only be granted by the authorizing division of the Court of Appeals upon an ex parte written application of a police
or of a law enforcement official who has been duly authorized in writing by the Anti-Terrorism Council created in Section
53 of this Act to file such ex parte application, and upon examination under oath or affirmation of the applicant and the
witnesses he may produce to establish: (a) that there is probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts
or circumstances that the said crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism has been committed, or is being
committed, or is about to be committed; (b) that there is probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts
or circumstances that evidence, which is essential to the conviction of any charged or suspected person for, or to the
solution or prevention of, any such crimes, will be obtained; and, (c) that there is no other effective means readily
available for acquiring such evidence.

SEC. 15. Evidentiary Value of Deposited Materials. - Any listened to, intercepted, and recorded communications,
messages, conversations, discussions, or spoken or written words, or any part or parts thereof, or any information or fact
contained therein, including their existence, content, substance, purport, effect, or meaning, which have been secured in
violation of the pertinent provisions of this Act, shall absolutely not be admissible and usable as evidence against
anybody in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative, or administrative investigation, inquiry, proceeding, or hearing.

SEC. 35. Evidentiary Value of Deposited Bank Materials. - Any information, data, excerpts, summaries, notes,
memoranda, work sheets, reports, or documents acquired from the examination of the bank deposits, placements, trust
accounts, assets and records of: (1) a person charged or suspected of the crime of terrorism or the crime of conspiracy to
commit terrorism; (2) a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization, association, or group of persons; or (3) a
member of such organization, association, or group of persons, which have been secured in violation of the provisions of
this Act, shall absolutely not be admissible and usable as evidence against anybody in any judicial, quasi-judicial,
legislative, or administrative investigation, inquiry, proceeding, or hearing.

PROHIBITED ACTS UNDER THE ANTI-WIRETAPPING LAW


‣ RULE — IT IS CONSIDERED UNLAWFUL TO DO THE FOLLOWING ACTS WITHOUT THE AUTHORITY OF ALL THE PARTIES TO SUCH
PRIVATE COMMUNICATION

1. Tap any wire or cable or by using any other device or arrangement in order to
a. Secretly overhear,

b. Intercept

c. Record private communication or spoken word

2. Knowingly possess any tape record, wire record, disc record, or any such record, or copies thereof of any
communication or spoken word secured or obtained in a manner violative of the law.

3. Replay the same to any other person or persons.

4. Communicate the contents thereof, either verbally or in writing to another.

5. Furnishing of transcriptions of the recorded communication, whether complete or partial, to any other person.

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‣ If only one party authorizes the recording and the other does not, there is a violation of the law.

‣ Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording of the same, the
inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Republic Act 4200

‣ It is not unlawful to record open and public communications. What the law protects are private conversations and
communications.

‣ Sec. 1 of the same law mentions certain modes of recording the private conversations: “dictaphone, dictagraph,
detectaphone, walkie-talkie, tape recorder, any device otherwise described”

‣ EXCEPT — THE ACTS MENTIONED WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE LAW IF DONE BY A PEACE OFFICER
AUTHORIZED BY A WRITTEN ORDER OF THE COURT IN CASES INVOLVING —

1. Treason

2. Espionage

3. Provoking war and disloyalty in case of war

4. Piracy

5. Mutiny in the high seas

6. Rebellion

7. Conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion

8. Inciting to rebellion

9. Sedition

10. Conspiracy to commit sedition

11. Inciting to sedition, and

12. Kidnapping

‣ Note that it is important that the court order be issued in accordance with the guidelines set forth

INADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE OBTAINED IN VIOLATION OF THE ANTI-WIRETAPPING LAW


‣ RULE — EVIDENCE OBTAINED IN VIOLATION OF R.A. 4200 SHALL NOT BE ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE IN THE FOLLOWING
PROCEEDINGS —

1. Judicial

2. Quasi-judicial,

3. Legislative, or

4. Administrative hearing or investigation

‣ Such incompetent evidence covers —

1. Any communication or spoken word;

2. The existence, contents, substance, purport, or meaning of the communication or spoken word or any part thereof; or

3. Any information contained, obtained or secured by any person in violation of Secs. 1, 2, and 3 of R.A. 4200

‣ Note that even the “existence” of the communication is inadmissible.

SURVEILLANCE OF SUSPECTS, INTERCEPTION AND RECORDING OF COMMUNICATIONS IN THE HUMAN SECURITY ACT
‣ RULE: THE PROVISIONS OF R.A. 4200 NOTWITHSTANDING, A POLICE OR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL MAY LISTEN TO,
INTERCEPT AND RECORD, ANY COMMUNICATION, MESSAGE, CONVERSATION, DISCUSSION, OR WRITTEN OR SPOKEN WORDS
BETWEEN THE FOLLOWING:

1. Members of a judicially declared and outlawed terrorist organization, association, or group of persons; or
2. Any person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism.
‣ In the interception and recording of communications, the officer may do so with the use of any mode, form, kind or type
of electronic or other surveillance equipment or interception and tracking devices, or with the use of any other suitable
ways and means for that purpose.

‣ Any of the above acts may not, however, be done without a written order of the Court of Appeals (Sec. 7, R.A. 9372).
Such written order of a division of the Court of Appeals shall be granted only upon a written application by a police or law

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enforcement official. This official must be one who is authorized by the Anti-Terrorism Council to file such application.
Note that Sec. 8 of R.A. 9372 requires only an ex parte application.

‣ Before the written order is issued, the applicant and the witnesses he may produce shall be examined under oath
or affirmation to establish the following matters (Sec. 8, RA 9372) —
1. There is a probable cause to believe that the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism has been
committed, or is being committed, or is about to be committed. The finding of probable cause must be shown based
on the personal knowledge of the applicant of facts and circumstances indicating the same.

2. There is probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that evidence essential
to the conviction of the charged or suspected person, or evidence that would solve or prevent the crime, will be
obtained; and

3. There is no other effective means readily avail- able for acquiring such evidence

‣ The authorization granted by the authorizing division of the Court of Appeals shall be effective for the length of time
specified in the written order which shall not exceed thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of the written order by the
applicant. The period may be renewed for a non- extendible period of thirty (30) days from the expiration of the original
period upon proper application under the conditions set forth in Sec. 10 of R.A. 9372.

‣ The authorization, order of extension or renewal, and applications filed, including authorizations of the Anti- Terrorism
Council are considered as classified information. The person under surveillance or whose communications are intercepted
has the right to be informed of the acts done by the law enforcement authorities, or challenge the legality of the
interception before the Court of Appeals which issued the written order

EXCLUSIONARY RULE
‣ See Sec. 4 of the Anti-Wiretapping Law and Sec. 15 of the Human Security Act
‣ RULE — ANY OF THE FOLLOWING IN VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ANTI-WIRETAPPING LAW AND HUMAN SECURITY
ACT SHALL NOT BE ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE IN ANY JUDICIAL, QUASI-JUDICIAL, LEGISLATIVE OR ADMINISTRATIVE
INVESTIGATION, INQUIRY, PROCEEDING, OR HEARING:

1. Communication or spoken word;

2. The existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of the same or any part thereof;

3. Any information therein contained obtained or secured by any person

4. Any listened to, intercepted, and recorded communications, messages, conversations, discussions, or spoken or
written words; or

5. Any part or parts thereof, or any information or fact contained therein, including their existence, content, substance,
purport, effect, or meaning

‣ But note the afore-mentioned exceptions, in these cases, it is not obtained in violation of such laws, thus
admissible

RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE

A.M. No. 01-7-01-SC (July 17, 2001): RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE


Rule 1: COVERAGE
Section 1. Scope. – Unless otherwise provided herein, these Rules shall apply whenever an electronic document or
electronic data message, as defined in Rule 2 hereof, is offered or used in evidence.

Section 2. Cases covered. – These Rules shall apply to the criminal and civil actions and proceeding, as well as quasi-
judicial and administrative cases. (As amended effective upon October 14, 2002)

Section 3. Application of other rules on evidence. – In all matters not specifically covered by these Rules, the Rules of
Court and pertinent provisions of statutes containing rules on evidence shall apply.

Rule 2: DEFINITION OF TERMS AND CONSTRUCTION


Section 1. Definition of terms. – For purposes of these Rules, the following terms are defined, as follows:

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(a) "Asymmetric or public cryptosystem" means a system capable of generating a secure key pair, consisting of a private
key for creating a digital signature, and a public key for verifying the digital signature.
(b) "Business records" include records of any business, institution, association, profession, occupation, and calling of
every kind, whether or not conducted for profit, or for legitimate or illegitimate purposes.
(c) "Certificate" means an electronic document issued to support a digital signature which purports to confirm the
identity or other significant characteristics of the person who holds a particular key pair.
(d) "Computer" refers to any single or interconnected device or apparatus, which, by electronic, electro-mechanical or
magnetic impulse, or by other means with the same function, can receive, record, transmit, store, process, correlate,
analyze, project, retrieve and/or produce information, data, text, graphics, figures, voice, video, symbols or other
modes of expression or perform any one or more of these functions.
(e) "Digital signature" refers to an electronic signature consisting of a transformation of an electronic document or an
electronic data message using an asymmetric or public cryptosystem such that a person having the initial
untransformed electronic document and the signer's public key can accurately determine:
i. whether the transformation was created using the private key that corresponds to the signer's public key; and
ii. whether the initial electronic document had been altered after the transformation was made.
(f) "Digitally signed" refers to an electronic document or electronic data message bearing a digital signature verified by
the public key listed in a certificate.
(g) "Electronic data message" refers to information generated, sent, received or stored by electronic, optical or similar
means.
(h) "Electronic document" refers to information or the representation of information, data, figures, symbols or other
modes of written expression, described or however represented, by which a right is established or an obligation
extinguished, or by which a fact may be proved and affirmed, which is received, recorded, transmitted, stored,
processed, retrieved or produced electronically. It includes digitally signed documents and any print-out or output,
readable by sight or other means, which accurately reflects the electronic data message or electronic document. For
purposes of these Rules, the term "electronic document" may be used interchangeably with "electronic data
message”.
(i) "Electronic key" refers to a secret code which secures and defends sensitive information that crosses over public
channels into a form decipherable only with a matching electronic key.
(j) "Electronic signature" refers to any distinctive mark, characteristic and/or sound in electronic form, representing the
identity of a person and attached to or logically associated with the electronic data message or electronic document
or any methodology or procedure employed or adopted by a person and executed or adopted by such person with
the intention of authenticating, signing or approving an electronic data message or electronic document. For purposes
of these Rules, an electronic signature includes digital signatures.
(k) "Ephemeral electronic communication" refers to telephone conversations, text messages, chatroom sessions,
streaming audio, streaming video, and other electronic forms of communication the evidence of which is not recorded
or retained.
(l) "Information and communication system" refers to a system for generating, sending, receiving, storing or otherwise
processing electronic data messages or electronic documents and includes the computer system or other similar
devices by or in which data are recorded or stored and any procedure related to the recording or storage of electronic
data messages or electronic documents.
(m) "Key pair" in an asymmetric cryptosystem refers to the private key and its mathematically related public key such that
the latter can verify the digital signature that the former creates.
(n) "Private key" refers to the key of a key pair used to create a digital signature.
(o) "Public key" refers to the key of a key pair used to verify a digital signature.

Section 2. Construction. – These Rules shall be liberally construed to assist the parties in obtaining a just, expeditious,
and inexpensive determination of cases. The interpretation of these Rules shall also take into consideration the
international origin of Republic Act No. 8792, otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act.

Rule 3: ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS


Section 1. Electronic documents as functional equivalent of paper-based documents. – Whenever a rule of evidence
refers to the term writing, document, record, instrument, memorandum or any other form of writing, such term shall be
deemed to include an electronic document as defined in these Rules.

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Section 2. Admissibility. – An electronic document is admissible in evidence if it complies with the rules on admissibility
prescribed by the Rules of Court and related laws and is authenticated in the manner prescribed by these Rules.

Section 3. Privileged communication. – The confidential character of a privileged communication is not lost solely on the
ground that it is in the form of an electronic document.

Rule 4: BEST EVIDENCE RULE


Section 1. Original of an electronic document. – An electronic document shall be regarded as the equivalent of an original
document under the Best Evidence Rule if it is a printout or output readable by sight or other means, shown to reflect the
data accurately.

Section 2. Copies as equivalent of the originals. – When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about the
same time with identical contents, or is a counterpart produced by the same impression as the original, or from the same
matrix, or by mechanical or electronic re-recording, or by chemical reproduction, or by other equivalent techniques which
accurately reproduces the original, such copies or duplicates shall be regarded as the equivalent of the original.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, copies or duplicates shall not be admissible to the same extent as the original if:
(a) a genuine question is raised as to the authenticity of the original; or
(b) in the circumstances it would be unjust or inequitable to admit the copy in lieu of the original.

Rule 5: AUTHENTICATION OF ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS


Section 1. Burden of proving authenticity. – The person seeking to introduce an electronic document in any legal
proceeding has the burden of proving its authenticity in the manner provided in this Rule.

Section 2. Manner of authentication. – Before any private electronic document offered as authentic is received in
evidence, its authenticity must be proved by any of the following means:
(a) by evidence that it had been digitally signed by the person purported to have signed the same;
(b) by evidence that other appropriate security procedures or devices as may be authorized by the Supreme Court or by
law for authentication of electronic documents were applied to the document; or
(c) by other evidence showing its integrity and reliability to the satisfaction of the judge.

Section 3. Proof of electronically notarized document. – A document electronically notarized in accordance with the rules
promulgated