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Moral certainty only is required, or that degree of proof

CASE TITLE DOCTRINE which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind.” The
Tan, Jr. vs. Hosana 1. Preponderance of Evidence; Words and Phrases; task of the prosecution is two-fold: first, to prove that a
G.R. No. 190846 Preponderance of evidence is the weight, credit, and crime was committed, and second, that accused is the
February 3, 2016 value of the aggregate evidence on either side and is person responsible.
usually considered to be synonymous with the term 3. Clearly, the information given by either Lumboy or Palos to
CIVIL CASE “greater weight of the evidence” or “greater weight of PO3 Birung as to the identity of appellant is hearsay. The
the credible evidence.”—In civil cases, the basic rule is hearsay rule bars the testimony of a witness who merely
that the party making allegations has the burden of recites what someone else has told him, whether orally or
proving them by a preponderance of evidence. in writing. Section 36 of Rule 130 provides that a witness
Moreover, the parties must rely on the strength of their own can testify only to those facts which he knows of
evidence, not upon the weakness of the defense offered his personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from his
by their opponent. own perception, except as otherwise provided in the rules.
2. It is evidence that is more convincing to the court as it is In fact, PO3 Birung’s testimony is even double or multiple
worthier of belief than that which is offered in opposition hearsay, since it is based upon “third-hand” information
thereto. related to the witness by someone who heard it from
others. Multiple hearsay is no more competent than single
Tolentino vs. 1. Quantum of evidence required in administrative hearsay.
Mendoza proceedings which is only substantial evidence, or that
Adm. Case No. 5151 amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable mind
October 19, 2004 might accept as adequate to support a conviction. ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE
2. The evidence presented by complainants reach that CASE TITLE DOCTRINE
ADMINISTRATIVE quantum of evidence required in administrative BSB Group, Inc. vs. 1. In estafa by conversion, whether the thing converted is
CASE proceedings which is only substantial evidence, or that Go cash or check is immaterial in relation to the formal
amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable mind G.R. No. 168644 allegation in an information for that offense—a check,
might accept as adequate to support a conviction. February 16, 2010 after all, while not regarded as legal tender, is normally
3. Witness Melgar’s testimony that respondent had been accepted under commercial usage as a substitute for
publicly introducing Marilyn dela Fuente as his wife is cash, and the credit it represents in stated monetary value
corroborated by the contents of an article in is properly capable of appropriation; Where the
the Naujanews, introducing respondent as one of 2. Information accuses the respondent of having stolen cash,
Naujan’s public servants, and stating therein that proof tending to establish that respondent has actualized
respondent has been blessed with two beautiful children her criminal intent by indorsing the checks and depositing
with his wife, Marilyn dela Fuente. the proceeds thereof in her personal account, becomes
not only irrelevant but also immaterial and, on that score,
People vs. Garcia 1. The quantum of evidence required in criminal cases is inadmissible in evidence.
G.R. No. 124514 proof beyond reasonable doubt. Section 2 of Rule 133 of 3. In other words, in pursuing a case for this offense, the
July 6, 2000 the Rules of Court provides that “[p]roof beyond prosecution may establish its cause by the presentation of
reasonable doubt does not mean such degree of proof the checks involved. These checks would then constitute
as, excluding possibility of error, produces absolute the best evidence to establish their contents and to prove
certainty. the elemental act of conversion in support of the
proposition that the offender has indeed indorsed the documentary evidence relative to respondent’s Security
same in his own name. Bank account serves no other purpose than to establish
4. Banks and Banking; Bank Secrecy Act (R.A. No. 1405); the existence of such account, its nature and the amount
While the fundamental law has not bothered with the kept in it. It constitutes an attempt by the prosecution at
triviality of specifically addressing privacy rights relative to an impermissible inquiry into a bank deposit account the
banking accounts, there, nevertheless, exists in our privacy and confidentiality of which is protected by law.
jurisdiction a legitimate expectation of privacy governing On this score alone, the objection posed by respondent in
such accounts—the source of this right of expectation is her motion to suppress should have indeed put an end to
statutory, and it is found in the Bank Secrecy Act of 1955. the controversy at the very first instance it was raised
5. The inquiry into bank deposits allowable under Republic before the trial court.
Act No. 1405 must be premised on the fact that the 8. In sum, we hold that the testimony of Marasigan on the
money deposited in the account is itself the subject of the particulars of respondent’s supposed bank account with
action.—What indeed constitutes the subject matter in Security Bank and the documentary evidence
litigation in relation to Section 2 of R.A. No. 1405 has been represented by the checks adduced in support thereof,
pointedly and amply addressed in Union Bank of the are not only incompetent for being excluded by operation
Philippines v. Court of Appeals, 321 SCRA 563 (1999) in of R.A. No. 1405.
which the Court noted that the inquiry into bank deposits De Jesus vs. 1. The 2004 Rules on Notarial Law contain no provision
allowable under R.A. No. 1405 must be premised on the Sanchez-Malit declaring the inadmissibility of documents obtained in
fact that the money deposited in the account is itself the A.C. No. 6470 violation thereof.—Thus, the IBP correctly considered in
subject of the action. July 8, 2014 evidence the other notarized documents submitted by
6. In the criminal Information filed with the trial court, complainant as additional evidence.
respondent, unqualifiedly and in plain language, is
charged with qualified theft by abusing petitioner’s trust People vs. 1. Exclusionary Rule; “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”
and confidence and stealing cash in the amount of Samontañez Doctrine; Custodial Investigations; Extrajudicial
P1,534,135.50. The said Information makes no factual G.R. No. 134530 Confessions; In the absence of a valid waiver, any
allegation that in some material way involves the checks December 4, 2000 confession obtained from the accused during the police
subject of the testimonial and documentary evidence custodial investigation relative to the crime, including any
sought to be suppressed. Neither do the allegations in said other evidence secured by virtue of the said confession is
Information make mention of the supposed bank account inadmissible in evidence even if the same was not
in which the funds represented by the checks have objected to during the trial by the counsel of the
allegedly been kept. In other words, it can hardly be accused.—The trial court lamentably considered pieces of
inferred from the indictment itself that the Security Bank evidence that are inadmissible in evidence for being the
account is the ostensible subject of the prosecution’s proverbial “fruit of a poisonous tree.” The facts show that
inquiry. Without needlessly expanding the scope of what is the appellant Roberto Samontañez was actually arrested
plainly alleged in the Information, the subject matter of by police authorities of Nasugbu, Batangas on November
the action in this case is the money amounting to 28, 1995 at his workplace in Barangay Galicia III, Mendez,
P1,534,135.50 alleged to have been stolen by respondent, Cavite. It does not appear from the record that the
and not the money equivalent of the checks which are appellant was apprised of his constitutional rights during
sought to be admitted in evidence. the police custodial investigation which are enshrined in
7. It comes clear that the admission of testimonial and Article III, Section 12(1) of the 1987 Constitution. It also does

not appear that he was assisted by counsel during the PP vs Flor y Mora 1. With regard to the alleged failure of the police officers to
said custodial investigation. In the absence of a valid G.R. No. 216017 comply with the procedure required in seizure of drugs,
waiver, any confession obtained from the appellant Jan 19 2018 the records show that the prosecution was able to
during the police custodial investigation relative to the establish an unbroken chain of custody over the seized
crime, including any other evidence secured by virtue of drugs - from the seizure and confiscation of the shabu up
the said confession is inadmissible in evidence even if the to the delivery of the same to the crime laboratory and
same was not objected to during the trial by the counsel presentation in Court.
of the appellant. Thus, the personal belongings of the 2. The failure of the police officers to immediately take an
victim namely: Omax wristwatch, gold ring and Joop inventory of the seized shabuis not fatal to the prosecution
cologne were recovered and found inside the bag of the of the case. It did not render the arrest of the appellant
appellant when the police authorities returned to the who was caught in flagrante delicto illegal nor did the
appellant’s place of work at the Hermogenes Trading in omission render the seized drugs inadmissible.
Barangay Galicia III, Mendez, Cavite after they illegally 3. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the
obtained a confession from the appellant. integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized drugs. In
Navarro vs. Court of 1. Anti-Wiretapping Act; Voice Recordings;Where the this case, despite the circumstances that prevented the
Appeals exchange between two persons is not private, its tape police officers from immediately taking an inventory of the
G.R. No. 121087 recording is not prohibited.—Indeed, Jalbuena’s testimony seized drugs, we agree and uphold the findings of the CA
August 26, 1999 is confirmed by the voice recording he had made. It may that the shabu presented in court was duly preserved with
be asked whether the tape is admissible in view of R.A. No. its integrity and evidentiary value uncompromised.
4200, which prohibits wire tapping. The answer is in the PP vs Gajo y At the same time, to convict Lawrence and Rico, it is
affirmative. The law provides: x x x Thus, the law prohibits Buenafe primordial that the corpus delicti or the confiscated illegal
the overhearing, intercepting, or recording of private G.R. No. 217026 drugs had been proved beyond reasonable doubt. This
communications. Since the exchange between petitioner Jan 22, 2018 means that the same illegal drugs possessed and sold by the
Navarro and Lingan was not private, its tape recording is accused must be the same ones offered in court. As such, the
not prohibited. required unbroken chain of custody under Section 21, Article II
2. A voice recording is authenticated by the testimony of a of RA 9165 above-quoted comes into play to ensure that no
witness (1) that he personally recorded the conversation; unnecessary doubt is created on the identity of the seized
(2) that the tape played in court was the one he illegal drugs.
recorded; and (3) that the voices on the tape are those of 1. Chain of custody refers to recorded authorized
the persons such are claimed to belong. movements and custody of confiscated dangerous drugs,
3. In the instant case, Jalbuena testified that he personally or controlled substances. It involves testimony on every link
made the voice recording; that the tape played in court in the chain - from the confiscation of the illegal drugs to
was the one he recorded; and that the speakers on the its receipt in the forensic laboratory up to its presentation
tape were petitioner Navarro and Lingan. A sufficient in court. It is necessary that every person who touched the
foundation was thus laid for the authentication of the tape seized item describe how and from whom he or she
presented by the prosecution. received it; where and what happened to it while in the
1. witness' possession; its condition when received and at the
time it was delivered to the next link in the chain.
2. Generally, there are four links in said chain of custody:
1)the seizure and marking of the illegal drug confiscated

from the accused by the apprehending officer; 2) the
turnover of the seized drug by the apprehending officer to
the investigating officer; 3) the turnover by the
investigating officer of said item to the forensic chemist 'for
examination; and, 4) the turnover and submission thereof
from forensic chemist to the court.

3. In this case, however, the apprehending officer did not

make a proper marking of the seized shabu.
4. Since there was no commotion that transpired after the
seizure of shabu, there was nothing that would prevent
PO3 Justo from marking the shabu immediately after
5. Moreover, PO3 Justo marked it without the presence of
Lawrence and Rico. As testified by PO3 Justo himself he
marked the confiscated shabu in the presence of PO1
Sangahin and PO1 San Pedro.
6. Indeed, the failure to immediately mark the shabu after
confiscation, and for marking it without the presence of
the accused constituted clear gaps in the chain of
custody of the seized illegal drugs.
7. To reiterate, to establish an unbroken chain of custody,
every person who touched the seized illegal drug must
describe how and from whom it was received; its
condition upon receipt, including its condition upon
delivery to the next link in the chain.
8. Similarly, the third link in the chain of custody was also

RULE 129 Juan vs. Juan 1. Judicial Notice; Words and Phrases; Judicial notice is the
CASE TITLE DOCTRINE G.R. No. 221732 cognizance of certain facts that judges may properly take
Omar vs. Chua 1. Judicial Notice; Requisites; The power to take judicial August 23, 2017 and act on without proof because these facts are already
G.R. No. 177809 notice is to be exercised by courts with caution; Judicial known to them. The principle is based on convenience
October 16, 2009 notice is not judicial knowledge—the mere personal LAVANDERA KO was and expediency in securing and introducing evidence on
knowledge of the judge is not the judicial knowledge of registered as matters which are not ordinarily capable of dispute and
CHUA made Omar the court, and he is not authorized to make his individual trademark by are not bona fide disputed.
pay the lease rights knowledge of a fact, not generally or professionally Respondent JUAN 2. Generally speaking, matters of judicial notice have three
before the known, the basis of his action. for laundry business material requisites: (1) the matter must be one of common
completion of the 2. Generally speaking, matters of judicial notice have three but his brother and general knowledge; (2) it must be well and
building subject to material requisites: (1) the matter must be one of common Petitioner JUAN was authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain; and
rent. and general knowledge; (2) it must be well and able to register the (3) it must be known to be within the limits of the
On the issue of authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain; and same with IPO. jurisdiction of the court. (CWW)
whether the amount (3) it must be known to be within the limits of the Hence, RTC case, 3. The principal guide in determining what facts may be
of P2,570,000.00 jurisdiction of the court. which was dismissed assumed to be judicially known is that of notoriety
merely constituted 3. The principal guide in determining what facts may be based on the 4. In connection therewith, the RTC’s basis or source, an
payment of goodwill assumed to be judicially known is that of notoriety. Hence, ground that the article appearing in a website, in ruling that the song
money, the CA took it can be said that judicial notice is limited to facts terms was originally entitled “Lavandera Ko” is protected by a copyright,
judicial notice of this evidenced by public records and facts of general owned by one cannot be considered a subject of judicial notice that
common practice in notoriety. SANTIAGO in 1942 does not need further authentication or verification.
the area of 4. Things of “common knowledge,” of which courts take for a song.
Baclaran, especially judicial notice, may be matters coming to the knowledge
around the of men generally in the course of the ordinary experiences RULE 129; Mandatory Judicial Notice
Redemptorist of life, or they may be matters which are generally CASE TITLE DOCTRINE
Church. According accepted by mankind as true and are capable of ready People vs. 1. On the issue of the trial court’s territorial jurisdiction over
to the appellate and unquestioned demonstration. Documento the crime, we completely agree with the appellate court’s
court, this judicial 5. We note that the RTC specifically ruled that Rosalie, apart G.R. No. 188706 ruling thereon. Contrary to the insistence of Documento
notice was bolstered from her bare allegation, adduced no evidence to prove March 17, 2010 that the prosecution failed to establish that the two (2)
by the Joint Sworn her claim that the amount of P2,570,000.00 simply counts of Rape were perpetrated in Butuan City, the CA
Declaration of the constituted the payment of goodwill money. pointed to specific parts of the records which show that,
stallholders at Subsequently, Rosalie attached an annex to her petition although AAA did not specifically mention “Butuan City” in
Roferxane Bldg. that for review before the CA, containing a joint declaration her testimony, the incidents in the present cases transpired
they all had paid under oath by other stallholders in Roferxane Bldg. that in Barangay Antongalon and on Ochoa Avenue, both in
goodwill money to they had paid goodwill money to Rosalie as their lessor. Butuan City.
Rosalie prior to 6. However, in this case, the requisite of notoriety is belied by 2. The inclusion of the two Barangays in the City of Butuan is
occupying the stalls the necessity of attaching documentary evidence, i.e., a matter of mandatory judicial notice by the trial court.
thereat. the Joint Affidavit of the stallholders, to Rosalie’s appeal Section 1 of Rule 129 of the Revised Rules on Evidence
before the CA. In short, the alleged practice still had to be
proven by Rosalie; contravening the title itself of Rule 129
of the Rules of Court—What need not be proved.

Peltan 1. It is a well-settled rule that the existence of a cause of People vs. Sevilleno 1. Judicial Notice; Geographical Division of our Country;
Development, Inc. action is determined by the allegations in the complaint. G.R. No. 129058 Section 1, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court requires courts to
vs. Court of Appeals 2. In the resolution of a motion to dismiss based on failure to March 29, 1999 take judicial notice, without the introduction of evidence,
G.R. No. state a cause of action, only the facts alleged in the of the existence and geographical divisions of our
117029. March 19, complaint must be considered. country.—The court below also erred in disregarding the
1997 3. Hence, it has been held that a motion to dismiss generally testimony of Norma Baquia “for the reason that her
partakes of the nature of a demurrer which hypothetically testimony failed to establish that the incident happened
admits the truth of the factual allegations made in a within the territorial jurisdiction of this court.” The court did
complaint. not consider her testimony purportedly because she only
4. It is axiomatic nonetheless that a court has a mandate to testified that her sister Virginia went with the accused to
apply relevant statutes and jurisprudence in determining Guindali-an without specifying as to what municipality or
5. whether the allegations in a complaint establish a cause city it was part of. Again, this is error.
of action. While it focuses on the complaint, a court 2. There is only one Sitio Guindali-an, Brgy. Guadalupe, San
clearly cannot disregard decisions material to the proper Carlos City (Negros Occidental).
appreciation of the questions before it. In resolving a
motion to dismiss, every court must take cognizance of
decisions this Court has rendered because they are proper RULE 129; Discretionary Judicial Notice
subjects of mandatory judicial notice as provided by CASE TITLE DOCTRINE
Section 1 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court, to wit: Candelaria vs. 1. Circumstantial Evidence; Circumstantial evidence is
6. “SECTION 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory.—A court People sufficient for conviction if: (a) there is more than one
shall take judicial notice, without the introduction of G.R. No. 209386 circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are
evidence, of the existence and territorial extent of states, December 8, 2014 derived are proven; and (c) the combination of all the
their political history, forms of government and symbols of circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
nationality, the law of nations, the admiralty and maritime reasonable doubt.
courts of the world and their seals, the political constitution 2. Corollary thereto, a conviction based on circumstantial
and history of the Philippines, the official acts of the evidence must exclude each and every hypothesis
legislative, executive and judicial departments of the consistent with innocence.
Philippines, laws of nature, the measure of time, and the
geographical divisions.” 3. The imposable penalty for the crime of Qualified Theft
7. In resolving the present complaint, therefore, the Court is depends upon the value of the thing stolen. To prove the
well aware that a decision in Margolles vs. CA, upheld the value of the stolen property for purposes of fixing the
validity of OCT No. 4216 (and the certificates of title imposable penalty under Articles 309 and 310 of the RPC
derived therefrom), the same OCT that the present 4. In this case, Candelaria has been found guilty of stealing
complaint seeks to nullify for being “fictitious and spurious.” diesel fuel. Unlike in Francisco v. People, where the Court
Respondent CA, in its assailed Decision dated 29 June had no reference to ascertain the price of the stolen
1994, failed to consider Margolles vs. CA. This we cannot jewelry, or in Merida and Dator, where the Court refused
countenance. to take judicial notice of the selling price of lumber
and/or narrafor “lack of independent and competent
source” of the necessary information at the time of the
commission of the theft, the value of diesel fuel in this case
may be readily gathered from price lists published by the that are not ordinarily capable of dispute or actually bona
Department of Energy (DOE). fide disputed, and the tenor of which can safely be
5. In this regard, the value of diesel fuel involved herein may assumed from the tribunal’s general knowledge or from a
then be considered as a matter of public knowledge 2. A court may take discretionary judicial notice where the
which falls within the purview of the rules on discretionary boundaries of the lot covered by the law are not a matter
judicial notice. of public knowledge capable of unquestionable
6. To note, “judicial [notice], which is based on demonstration.—The location of Habagat Grill cannot be
considerations of resolved by merely taking judicial notice of Presidential
7. expediency and convenience, displace[s] evidence Proclamation No. 20; such location is precisely at the core
since, being equivalent to proof, it fulfills the object which of the dispute in this case. Moreover, considering
the evidence is intended to achieve.” respondent’s allegation that the supposed lot covered by
8. While it is true that the prosecution had only presented the the Ordinance has been lost due to inundation by the sea,
uncorroborated testimony of the private complainant, we cannot fathom how the trial court could have known
Lao, to prove that the value of the diesel fuel stolen is of the actual location of the metes and bounds of the
P497,000.00, the Court — taking judicial notice of the fact subject lot. Neither may the MTC take discretionary judicial
that the pump price of diesel fuel in August 2006 (i.e., the notice under Section 2 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court,
time of the commission of the crime) is within the range of because the exact boundaries of the lot covered by that
P37.60 to P37.86 per liter - nonetheless remains satisfied law are not a matter of public knowledge capable of
that such amount must be sustained. As the value of the unquestionable demonstration. Neither may these be
goods may independently and competently be known to judges because of their judicial functions.
ascertained from the DOE’s price publication, adding too Hence, the CA was correct in disregarding the findings of
that the defense had not presented any evidence to the trial courts, because they had erred in taking judicial
contradict said finding nor cross-examined Lao anent her notice of the exact metes and bounds of the property. The
proffered valuation, the Court, notwithstanding the solitary appellate court aptly relied on the Report submitted by
evidence of the prosecution, makes this determination the survey team that had been constituted by the trial
following the second prong set by case law — and that is, court, precisely for the purpose of determining the
to fix the value of the property taken based on the location of Habagat Grill in relation to respondent’s lot.
attendant circumstances of the case.

Habagat Grill vs. 1. Judicial Notice; Municipal Ordinances; Words and Judicial Admissions
DMC-Urban Property Phrases; Judicial notice is the cognizance of certain facts CASE TITLE DOCTRINE
Developer, Inc. which judges may properly take and act on without proof Alfelor vs. Halasan 1. Judicial Admissions; A party who judicially admits a fact
G.R. No. 155110 because they already know them; Municipal courts may G.R. No. 165987 cannot later challenge that fact as judicial admissions are
March 31, 2005 take judicial notice of the municipal ordinances in force in March 31, 2006 a waiver of proof; production of evidence is dispensed
the municipality in which they sit, but such notice is limited with
to what the law is and what it states.—“Judicial notice is 2. A judicial admission also removes an admitted fact from
the cognizance of certain facts which judges may the field of controversy. Consequently, an admission made
properly take and act on without proof because they in the pleadings cannot be controverted by the party
already know them.” Its object is to save time, labor and making such admission and are conclusive as to such
expense in securing and introducing evidence on matters party, and all proofs to the contrary or inconsistent
therewith should be ignored, whether objection is identification of the of the fact or facts stipulated. Even if placed at a
interposed by the party or not. The allegations, statements issues to be litigated. disadvantageous position, a party may not be allowed to
or admissions contained in a pleading are conclusive as rescind them unilaterally, it must assume the
against the pleader. A party cannot subsequently take a consequences of the disadvantage.
position contrary of or inconsistent with what was pleaded. 3. The general rule regarding conclusiveness of judicial
admission upon the party making it and the dispensation
People vs. Castillo 1. Admissions; Words and Phrases;“Admission,” of proof admits of two exceptions: 1) when it is shown that
G.R. Nos. 131592-93 Explained; Even where the accused himself admitted that the admission was made through palpable mistake, and
February 15, 2000 he had no license for the gun recovered from his 2) when it is shown that no such admission was in fact
possession, his admission will not relieve the prosecution of made.
its duty to establish beyond reasonable doubt the
accused’s lack of license or permit to possess the gun.— Atillo III vs. Court of 1. Admissions; The general rule that a judicial admission is
2. In People vs. Solayao, we expounded on this doctrine, Appeals conclusive upon the party making it and does not require
thus: “x x x (b)y its very nature, an “admission is the mere G.R. No. 119053 proof admits of two exceptions: 1) when it is shown that
acknowledgement of a fact or of circumstances from January 23, 1997 the admission was made through palpable mistake, and
which guilt may be inferred, tending to incriminate the 2) when it is shown that no such admission was in fact
speaker, but not sufficient of itself to establish his guilt.’ In made.
other words, it is a ‘statement by defendant of fact or 2. The latter exception allows one to contradict an admission
facts pertinent to by denying that he made such an admission. “For
3. issues pending, in connection with proof of other facts or instance, if a party invokes an ‘admission’ by an adverse
circumstances, to prove guilt, but which is, of itself, party, but cites the admission ‘out of context,’ then the
insufficient to authorize conviction.’ From the above one making the admission may show that he made no
principles, this Court can infer that an admission in criminal ‘such’ admission, or that his admission was taken out of
cases is insufficient to prove beyond doubt the commission context. This may be interpreted as to mean ‘not in the
of the crime charged. “Moreover, said admission is sense in which the admission is made to appear.’ That is
extrajudicial in nature. As such, it does not fall under the reason for the modifier ‘such.’ ”
Section 4 of Rule 129 of the Revised Rules of Court. 3. A party’s testimony in open court may override admissions
he made in his answer.—Granting arguendo that LHUILLIER
Constantino vs. Heirs 1. Evidence; Judicial Admissions; Judicial admissions are had in fact made the alleged admission of personal
of Pedro legally binding on the party making the admissions.— liability in his Answer, We hold that such admission is not
Constantino, Jr. 2. Pre-trial admission in civil cases is one of the instances of conclusive upon him. Applicable by analogy is our ruling in
G.R. No. 181508 judicial admissions explicitly provided for under Section 7, the case of Gardner vs. Court of Appeals which allowed a
October 2, 2013 Rule 18 of the Rules of Court, which mandates that the party’s testimony in open court to override admissions he
On 15 August 2000, contents of the pre-trial order shall control the subsequent made in his answer.
pre-trial conference course of the action, thereby, defining and limiting the 4. As a general rule, facts alleged in a party’s pleading are
was conducted issues to be tried. In Bayas, et al. v. Sandiganbayan, et al., deemed admissions of that party and are binding upon
wherein the parties 391 SCRA 415 (2002) this Court emphasized that: Once the it, but this is not an absolute and inflexible rule. An answer
entered into stipulations are reduced into writing and signed by the is a mere statement of fact which the party filing it expects
stipulations and parties and their counsels, they become binding on the to prove, but it is not
admissions as well as parties who made them. They become judicial admissions 5. evidence. As ARIOSTO SANTOS himself, in open court, had

repudiated the defenses he had raised in his ANSWER and
against his own interest, his testimony is deserving of
weight and credence. Both the Trial Court and the
Appellate Court believed in his credibility and we find no
reason to overturn their factual findings thereon.”
6. In spite of the presence of judicial admissions in a party’s
pleading, the trial court is still given leeway to consider
other evidence presented.—
7. This rule should apply with more reason when the parties
had agreed to submit an issue for resolution of the trial
court on the basis of the evidence presented. As distinctly
stated in the stipulation of facts entered into during the
pre-trial conference, the parties agreed that the
determination of LHUILLIER’s liability shall be based on the
Memoranda of Agreement designated as ANNEXES “A,”
“B” and “C” of the Complaint.

RULE 130; OBJECT EVIDENCE years old;
CASE TITLE DOCTRINE c. If the victim is alleged to be below 12 years of age and
People vs. Rullepa 1. Same; A person’s appearance, where relevant, is what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 18
G.R. No. 131516 admissible as object evidence, the same being addressed years old.
March 5, 2003 to the senses of the court.—This is not to say that the 5. Under the above guideline, the testimony of a relative with
process is not sanctioned by the Rules of Court; on the respect to the age of the victim is sufficient to constitute
contrary, it does. A person’s appearance, where relevant, proof beyond reasonable doubt in cases (a), (b) and (c)
is admissible as object evidence, the same being above. The appearance corroborates the relative’s
addressed to the senses of the court. Section 1, Rule 130 testimony.
provides: SECTION 1. Object as evidence. 6. As the alleged age approaches the age sought to be
2. “To be sure,” one author writes, “this practice of inspection proved, the person’s appearance, as object evidence of
by the court of objects, things or persons relevant to the her age, loses probative value, and doubt as to her true
fact in dispute, has its roots in ancient judicial procedure.” age becomes greater, which doubt must be resolved in
3. Experience teaches that corporal appearances are favor of the accused.—This is because in the era of
approximately an index of the age of their bearer, modernism and rapid growth, the victim’s mere physical
particularly for the marked extremes of old age and appearance is not enough to gauge her exact age. For
youth.—A person’s appearance, as evidence of age (for the extreme penalty of death to be upheld, nothing but
example, of infancy, or of being under the age of consent proof beyond reasonable doubt of every fact necessary
to intercourse), is usually regarded as relevant; and, if so, to constitute the crime must be substantiated.
the tribunal may properly observe the person brought
before it. Bank of the 1. Great evidentiary weight is given to the teller’s tape,
4. There can be no question as to the admissibility of a Philippine Islands vs. considering that it is inserted into the bank’s computer
person’s appearance in determining his or her age, and Reyes terminal, which records the teller’s daily transactions in the
as to the weight to accord such appearance, especially G.R. No. 157177 ordinary course of business, and there is no showing that
in rape cases, People v. Pruna, 390 SCRA 577 (G.R. No. February 11, 2008 the same had been purposely manipulated to prove the
138471, 10 October 2002), laid down the guidelines.—If the bank’s claim.—The teller’s tape definitely establishes the
certificate of live birth or authentic document is shown to fact of respondent Jesusa’s original intention to withdraw
have been lost or destroyed or otherwise unavailable, the the amount of P200,000.00, and not P100,000.00 as she
testimony, if clear and credible, of the victim’s mother or a claims, from her savings account, to be transferred as her
member of the family either by affinity or consanguinity initial deposit to her new Express Teller account, the
who is qualified to testify on matters respecting pedigree insufficiency of her balance in her savings account, and
such as the exact age or date of birth of the offended finally the fund transfer of the amount of P100,000.00 from
party pursuant to Section 40, Rule 130 of the Rules on her savings account to her new Express Teller account.
Evidence shall be sufficient under the following 2. Physical evidence is a mute but eloquent manifestation of
circumstances: truth, and it ranks high in our hierarchy of trust worthy
a. If the victim is alleged to be below 3 years of age and evidence—where the physical evidence on record runs
what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 7 counter to the testimonial evidence of the prosecution
years old; witnesses, the Court has consistently ruled that the physical
b. If the victim is alleged to be below 7 years of age and evidence should prevail;
what is sought to be proved is that she is less than 12
Ricalde vs. People Same; People v. Bonaagua, 650 SCRA 620 (2011),considers a established their liability to petitioner regardless of the fact
G.R. No. 211002 woman’s private organ since most if not all existing that petitioner failed to present the original of said note
January 21, 2015 jurisprudence on rape involves a woman victim. Nevertheless, 4. Indeed, when the defendant fails to deny specifically and
this interpretation can apply by analogy when the victim is a under oath the due execution and genuineness of a
man in that the slightest penetration to the victim’s anal orifice document copied in a complaint, the plaintiff need not
consummates the crime of rape through sexual assault. - The prove that fact as it is considered admitted by the
gravamen of the crime is the violation of the victim’s dignity. defendant
The degree of penetration is not important. Rape is an “assault
on human dignity.” Josef vs. People 1. Best Evidence Rule; By admitting that the originals were in
G.R. No. 146424 his possession and even producing them in open court,
November 18, 2005 petitioner cured whatever flaw might have existed in the
ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS prosecution’s evidence.—By admitting that the originals
CASE TITLE DOCTRINE were in his possession and even producing them in open
Consolidated Bank 1. Evidence; Best Evidence Rule; The “best evidence rule,” court, petitioner cured whatever flaw might have existed
and Trust according to Professor Thayer, first appeared in the year in the prosecution’s evidence. The fact that these originals
Corporation 1699-1700 when in one case involving a goldsmith, Holt, were all stamped “account closed” merely confirmed the
(SOLIDBANK) vs. Del C.J., was quoted as stating that they should take into allegations of the respondent that the checks were
Monte Motor Works, consideration the usages of trade and that “the best proof dishonored by reason of the account being closed.
Inc. that the nature of the thing will afford is only required.”— Because they were entirely consistent with its main theory,
JULY 29, 2005 Over the years, the phrase was used to describe rules the prosecution correctly adopted these originals as its
which were already existing such as the rule that the terms own evidence. In addition, by petitioner’s own admission,
of a document must be proved by the production of the five of the original checks were lost, thus rendering the
document itself, in preference to evidence about the photocopies thereof admissible as exceptions to the Best
document; it was also utilized to designate the hearsay Evidence Rule.
rule or the rule excluding assertions made out of court and Lorenzana vs. Lelina 1. Best Evidence Rule; The best evidence rule requires that
not subject to the rigors of cross-examination; and the G.R. No. 187850 when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document,
phrase was likewise used to designate the group of rules August 17, 2016 no evidence is admissible other than the original
by which testimony of particular classes of witnesses was document itself.—As such, mere photocopies of
preferred to that of others. documents are inadmissible pursuant to the best evidence
2. In light of the dangers of mistransmission, accompanying rule.
the use of written copies or of recollection, largely 2. Courts are not precluded to accept in evidence a mere
avoided through proving the terms by presenting the photocopy of a document when no objection was raised
writing itself, the preference for the original writing is when it was formally offered.—Evidence not objected to is
justified. deemed admitted and may be validly considered by the
3. Significantly, and as discussed earlier, respondents failed court in arriving at its judgment.
to deny specifically the execution of the promissory note.
This being the case, there was no need for petitioner to People vs. 1. Evidence; The best evidence to prove the age of a person
present the original of the promissory note in question. Cayabyab is the original birth certificate or certified true copy thereof
Their judicial admission with respect to the genuineness AUGUST 3, 2005 and in its absence, similar authentic documents may be
and execution of the promissory note sufficiently presented such as baptismal certificates and school
records.—If the original or certified true copy of the birth a case, secondary evidence may be admitted even
certificate is not available, credible testimonies of the without accounting for the original.
victim’s mother or a member of the family may be
sufficient under certain circumstances. In the event that
both the birth certificate or other authentic documents Marquez vs. Espejo 1. Best Evidence Rule; Words and Phrases; The Best Evidence
and the testimonies of the victim’s mother or other G.R. No. 168387 Rule states that when the subject of inquiry is the contents
qualified relative are unavailable, the testimony of the August 25, 2010 of a document, the best evidence is the original
victim may be admitted in evidence provided that it is document itself and no other evidence (such as a
expressly and clearly admitted by the accused. reproduction, photocopy or oral evidence) is admissible
2. Best Evidence Rule; A certificate of live birth is a public as a general rule—The original is preferred because it
record in the custody of the local civil registrar who is a reduces the chance of undetected tampering with the
public officer, and the presentation of a photocopy is document; There is no room for the application of the Best
admissible as secondary evidence to prove its contents. Evidence Rule when there is no dispute regarding the
3. Production of the original may be dispensed with, in the contents of the documents.- In the instant case, there is no
trial court’s discretion, whenever in the case at hand the room for the application of the Best Evidence Rule
opponent does not bona fide dispute the contents of the because there is no dispute regarding the contents of the
document and no other useful purpose will be served by documents. It is admitted by the parties that the
requiring production. In the case at bar, the defense did respondents’ Deed of Sale referred to TCT No. T-62096 as
not dispute the contents of the photocopied birth its subject; while the petitioners’ Deeds of Voluntary Land
certificate; in fact it admitted the same. Having failed to Transfer referred to TCT No. T-62836 as its subject, which is
raise a valid and timely objection against the presentation further described as located in Barangay Murong. The real
of this secondary evidence the same became a primary issue is whether the admitted contents of these
evidence, and deemed admitted and the other party is documents adequately and correctly express the true
bound thereby. intention of the parties. As to the Deed of Sale, petitioners
(and RBBI) maintain that while it refers to TCT No. T-62096,
Heirs of Prodon vs. 1. The Best Evidence Rule stipulates that in proving the terms the parties actually intended the sale of the Lantap
Heirs of Alvarez of a written document the original of the document must property (covered by TCT No. T-62836).
G.R. No. 170604 be produced in court.—The rule excludes any evidence 2. Parol Evidence Rule; The Parol Evidence Rule excludes
September 2, 2013 other than the original writing to prove the contents parol or extrinsic evidence by which a party seeks to
thereof, unless the offeror proves: (a) the exis contradict, vary, add to or subtract from the terms of a
2. tence or due execution of the original; (b) the loss and valid agreement or instrument.-
destruction of the original, or the reason for its non- 3. The parol evidence rule may not be invoked where at
production in court; and (c) the absence of bad faith on least one of the parties to the suit is not a party or a privy
the part of the offeror to which the unavailability of the of a party to the written document in question, and does
original can be attributed. not base his claim on the instrument or assert a right
3. The Best Evidence Rule applies only when the terms of a originating in the instrument.—Even the application of the
writing are in issue.—When the evidence sought to be Parol Evidence Rule is improper in the case at bar. In the
introduced concerns external facts, such as the existence, first place, respondents are not parties to the VLTs
execution or delivery of the writing, without reference to its executed between RBBI and petitioners; they are strangers
terms, the Best Evidence Rule cannot be invoked. In such to the written contracts.

cards and the printouts of such images have the same
evidentiary value as the official physical ballots filled up by
the voters.—We have already ruled that the ballot images
in the CF cards, as well as the printouts of such images, are
the functional equivalent of the official physical ballots
filled up by the voters, and may be used in an election
2. Evidence; The ballot images are not secondary evidence.
Garcillano vs. House 1. The invocation by the respondents of the provisions of R.A.
The official physical ballots and the ballot images in the
of Representatives No. 8792, otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce
Compact Flash (CF) cards are both original documents.
G.R. No. 170338 Act of 2000, to support their claim of valid publication
The ballot images in the CF cards have the same
December 23, 2008 through the internet is all the more incorrect. R.A. 8792
evidentiary weight as the official physical ballots.―The
considers an electronic data message or an electronic
ballot images, which are digital, are electronically
document as the functional equivalent of a written
generated and written in the CF cards when the ballots
document only for evidentiary purposes. In other words,
are fed into the PCOS machine. The ballot images are the
the law merely recognizes the admissibility in evidence (for
counterparts produced by electronic recording which
their being the original) of electronic data messages
accurately reproduce the original, and thus are the
and/or electronic documents. It does not make the
equivalent of the original. As pointed out by the
internet a medium for publishing laws, rules and
COMELEC, “[t]he digital images of the physical ballots are
electronically and instantaneously generated by the PCOS
machines once the physical ballots are fed into and read
People Of The 1. Text messages are to be proved by the testimony of a
by the machines.”
Philippines vs Enojas person who was a party to the same or has personal
G.R. No. 204894 knowledge of them.—As to the admissibility of the text
Bartolome vs. 1. Evidence; Electronic Evidence; Ephemeral Electronic
March 10, 2014 messages, the RTC admitted them in conformity with the
Maranan Communications; Words and Phrases; Ephemeral
Court’s earlier Resolution applying the Rules on Electronic
A.M. No. P-11-2979 electronic communications are now admissible evidence,
Evidence to criminal actions.
November 18, 2014 subject to certain conditions.
2. Here, PO3 Cambi, posing as the accused Enojas,
2. “Ephemeral electronic communication” refers to
exchanged text messages with the other accused in order
telephone conversations, text messages, chatroom
to identify and entrap them. As the recipient of those
sessions, streaming audio, streaming video, and other
messages sent from and to the mobile phone in his
electronic forms of communication the evidence of which
possession, PO3 Cambi had personal knowledge of such
is NOT RECORDED OR RETAINED.—It may be proven by the
messages and was competent to testify on them.
testimony of a person who was a party to the
communications or has personal knowledge thereof. In
Maliksi vs. 1. Automated Election System (AES); The picture images of
the present case, we have no doubt regarding the
Commission on the ballots, as scanned and recorded by the Precinct
probative value of the text messages as evidence in
Elections Count Optical Scan (PCOS), are likewise ‘official ballots’
considering the present case. The complainant, who was
G.R. No. 203302 that faithfully capture in electronic form the votes cast by
the recipient of the text messages and who therefore has
March 12, 2013 the voter, as defined by Section 2 (3) of R.A. No. 9369; In
personal knowledge of these text messages, identified the
short, both the ballot images in the Compact Flash (CF)
respondent as the sender through cell phone number

09175775982. The respondent herself admitted that her
conversations with the complainant had been thru SMS
messaging and that the cell phone number reflected in
the complainant’s cell phone from which the text
messages originated was hers. She confirmed that it was Garvida vs. Sales, Jr. 1. Fax Transmissions; Pleadings must be filed directly with the
her cell phone number during the entrapment operation G.R. No. 124893 proper Clerk of Court of the COMELEC personally, or, by
the Imus Cavite Police conducted. April 18, 1997 registered mail, not by facsimile transmission.—Every
pleading before the COMELEC must be printed,
MCC Industrial Sales 1. Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 (R.A. No. mimeographed or typewritten in legal size bond paper
Corporation vs. 8792); Evidence;Rules on Electronic Evidence; Best and filed in at least ten (10) legible copies. Pleadings must
Ssangyong Evidence Rule; Words and Phrases; To be admissible in be filed directly with the proper Clerk of Court of the
Corporation evidence as an electronic data message or to be COMELEC personally, or, by registered mail. In the instant
G.R. No. 170633 considered as the functional equivalent of an original case, the subject petition was not in proper form. Only two
October 17, 2007 document under the Best Evidence Rule, the writing must (2) copies of the petition were filed with the COMELEC.
foremost be an “electronic data message” or an Also, the COMELEC en banc issued its Resolution on the
“electronic document.”—The ruling of the Appellate Court basis of the petition transmitted by facsimile, not by
is incorrect. R.A. No. 8792, otherwise known as the registered mail.
Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, considers an electronic 2. Filing a pleading by facsimile transmission is not sanctioned
data message or an electronic document as the by the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, much less by the
functional equivalent of a written document for Rules of Court.
evidentiary purposes. 3. A facsimile is not a genuine and authentic pleading. It is,
2. The Rules on Electronic Evidence regards an electronic at best, an exact copy preserving all the marks of an
document as admissible in evidence if it complies with the original. Without the original, there is no way of
rules on admissibility prescribed by the Rules of Court and determining on its face whether the facsimile pleading is
related laws, and is authenticated in the manner genuine and authentic and was originally signed by the
prescribed by the said Rules. An electronic document is party and his counsel. It may, in fact, be a sham pleading.
also the equivalent of an original document under the
Best Evidence Rule, if it is a printout or output readable by National Power 1. An “electronic document” refers to information or the
sight or other means, shown to reflect the data Corporation vs. representation of information, data, figures, symbols or
accurately. Codilla, Jr. other models of written expression, described or however
3. Best Evidence Rule; Facsimile Transmisions; A facsimile G.R. No. 170491 represented, by which a right is established or an
transmission cannot be considered as electronic April 3, 2007 obligation extinguished, or by which a fact may be
evidence—it is not the functional equivalent of an original proved and affirmed, which is received, recorded,
under the Best Evidence Rule and is not admissible as transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced
electronic evidence. electronically.
4. Since a facsimile transmission is not an “electronic data 2. It includes digitally signed documents and any printout,
message” or an “electronic document,” and cannot be readable by sight or other means which accurately
considered as electronic evidence by the Court, with reflects the electronic data message or electronic
greater reason is a photocopy of such a fax transmission document. The rules use the word “information” to define
not electronic evidence. an electronic document received, recorded, transmitted,

stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically. the abovequoted rule. Accordingly, we find no error in the
3. However, what differentiates an electronic document Order of the court a quo denying admissibility of the
from a paper-based document is the manner by which photocopies offered by petitioner as documentary
the information is processed; clearly, the information evidence.
contained in an electronic document is received,
recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or
produced electronically
4. Having thus declared that the offered photocopies are
not tantamount to electronic documents, it is
consequential that
5. the same may not be considered as the functional
equivalent of their original as decreed in the law.—A
perusal of the information contained in the photocopies
submitted by petitioner will reveal that not all of the
contents therein, such as the signatures of the persons who
purportedly signed the documents, may be recorded or
produced electronically. By no stretch of the imagination
can a person’s signature affixed manually be considered
as information electronically received, recorded,
transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced.
Hence, the argument of petitioner that since these paper
printouts were produced through an electronic process,
then these photocopies are electronic documents as
defined in the Rules on Electronic Evidence is obviously an
erroneous, if not preposterous, interpretation of the law.
6. The trial court was correct in rejecting these photocopies
as they violate the best evidence rule and are therefore of
no probative value being incompetent pieces of
7. 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.
8. However, in the case at bar, though petitioner insisted in
offering the photocopies as documentary evidence, it
failed to establish that such offer was made in
accordance with the exceptions as enumerated under