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State Prosecutors vs Muro

The state prosecutors who are members of the DOJ Panel of Prosecution filed a complaint against respondent
Judge Muro on the ground of ignorance of the law, grave misconduct and violation of the provisions in the
Code of Judicial Conduct. The case at bar involves the prosecution of the 11 charges against Imelda Marcos in
violation of the Central Bank Foreign Exchange Restriction in the Central Bank Circular 960. The respondent
judge dismissed all 11 cases solely on the basis of the report published from the 2 newspapers, which the judge
believes to be reputable and of national circulation, that the Pres. of the Philippines lifted all foreign exchange
restrictions. The respondent’s decision was founded on his belief that the reported announcement of the
Executive Department in the newspaper in effect repealed the CB 960 and thereby divested the court of its
jurisdiction to further hear the pending case thus motu propio dismissed the case. He further contends that the
announcement of the President as published in the newspaper has made such fact a public knowledge that is
sufficient for the judge to take judicial notice which is discretionary on his part.
The complainants contend that the respondent judge erred in taking judicial notice on matters he purported to
be a public knowledge based merely on the account of the newspaper publication that the Pres. has lifted the
foreign exchange restriction. It was also an act of inexcusable ignorant of the law not to accord due process to
the prosecutors who were already at the stage of presenting evidence thereby depriving the government the
right to be heard. The judge also exercised grave abuse of discretion by taking judicial notice on the published
statement of the Pres. In the newspaper which is a matter that has not yet been officially in force and effect of
the law.
Issue: Whether or not the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in taking judicial notice on
the statement of the president lifting the foreign exchange restriction published in the newspaper as basis for
dismissing the case?
YES. The Supreme Court held the respondent judge guilty for gross ignorance of the law. It cannot
comprehend his assertion that there is no need to wait for the publication of the circular no. 1353 which is the
basis of the President’s announcement in the newspaper, believing that the public announcement is absolute
and without qualification and is immediately effective and such matter becomes a public knowledge which he
can take a judicial notice upon in his discretion. It is a mandatory requirement that a new law should be
published for 15 days in a newspaper of general circulation before its effectivity. When the President’s statement
was published in the newspaper, the respondent admitted of not having seen the official text of CB circular
1353 thus it was premature for him to take judicial notice on this matter which is merely based on his personal
knowledge and is not based on the public knowledge that the law requires for the court to take judicial notice
For the court to take judicial notice, three material requisites should be present: (1) the matter must be one of
common and general knowledge; (2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain;
and (3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court.
The fact that should be assumed as judicially known must be on such notoriety that such fact cannot be
disputed. Judicial notice is not judicial knowledge where the personal knowledge of the judge does not amount
to the judicial notice of the court. The common knowledge contemplated by the law where the court can take
judicial notice must come from the knowledge of men generally in the course of ordinary experiences that are
accepted as true and one that involves unquestioned demonstration. The court ruled that the information he
obtained from the newspaper is one of hearsay evidence. The judge erred in taking cognizant of a law that was
not yet in force and ordered the dismissal of the case without giving the prosecution the right to be heard and
of due process. The court ordered for the dismissal of the judge from service for gross ignorance of the law
and grave abuse of discretion for dismissing the case motu proprio and for erring in exercising his discretion
to take judicial notice on matters that are hearsay and groundless with a reminder the power to take judicial
notice is to be exercised by the courts with caution at all times
Aguenza vs Metrobank
1. On February 28, 1977, the Board of Directors of Intertrade, through a Board Resolution, authorized and
empowered petitioner and private respondent Vitaliado Arrieta, Intertrade's President and Executive Vice-
President, respectively, to jointly apply for and open credit lines with private respondent Metrobank. Pursuant
to such authority, petitioner and private respondent Arrieta executed several trust receipts from May to June,
1977, the aggregate value of which amounted to P562,443.46, with Intertrade as the entrustee and private
respondent Metrobank as the entruster
2. On March 14, 1977, petitioner and private respondent Arrieta executed a Continuing Suretyship Agreement
whereby both bound themselves jointly and severally with Intertrade to pay private respondent Metrobank
whatever obligation Intertrade incurs, but not exceeding the amount of P750,000.00. Private respondents
Arrieta and Lilia P. Perez, a bookkeeper in the employ of Intertrade, obtained a P500,000.00 loan from private
respondent Metrobank. Both executed a Promissory Note in favor of said bank in the amount of P500,000.00.
Under said note, private respondents Arrieta and Perez promised to pay said amount, jointly and severally, in
twenty five (25) equal installments of P20,000.00 each starting on April 20, 1979 with interest of 18.704% per
annum, and in case of default, a further 8% per annum.
3. Private respondents Arrieta and Perez defaulted in the payment of several installments, thus resulting in the
entire obligation becoming due and demandable. In 1979, private respondent Metrobank instituted suit against
Intertrade, Vitaliado Arrieta, Lilia Perez and her husband, Patricio Perez, to collect not only the unpaid principal
obligation, but also interests, fees and penalties, exemplary damages, as well as attorney's fees and costs of suit.
The trial court rendered its decision absolving petitioner from liability and dismissing private respondent
Metrobank's complaint against him. The CA reversed the decision on the basis that the loan made by private
respondent Arrieta and Lilia Perez were admitted by Intertrade to be its own obligation
Issue: Was the promissory note dated secured and signed by Arrieta and Lilia Perez a corporate liability of
Intertrade and Aguenza?
The general rule that "the allegations, statements, or admissions contained in a pleading are conclusive as against
the pleader" is not an absolute and inflexible rule and is subject to exceptions. Rule 129, Section 4, of the Rules
of Evidence, provides:

"Section 4. Judicial admissions. An admission, verbal or written, made by a 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." (Underlining supplied)

In other words, an admission in a pleading on which a party goes to trial may be contradicted by showing that
it was made by improvidence or mistake or that no such admission was made, i.e., "not in the sense in which
the admission was made to appear or the admission was taken out of context."
In the case at bench, we find that the respondent Court of Appeals committed an error in appreciating the
"Answer" filed by the lawyer of Intertrade as an admission of corporate liability for the subject loan. A careful
study of the responsive pleading filed by Atty. Francisco Pangilinan, counsel for Intertrade, would reveal that
there was neither express nor implied admission of corporate liability warranting the application of the general
rule. Thus, the alleged judicial admission may be contradicted and controverted because it was taken out of
context and no admission was made at all.
In any event, assuming arguendo that the responsive pleading did contain the aforesaid admission of
corporate liability, the same may not still be given effect at all. As correctly found by the trial court, the alleged
admission made in the answer by the counsel for Intertrade was "without any enabling act or attendant
ratification of corporate act," as would authorize or even ratify such admission. In the absence of such
ratification or authority, such admission does not bind the corporation.
People vs Jumamoy

Appellant Luciano Jumamoy and the victim Rolando Miel were once friends and belonged to the same 'barkada'
until sometime in 1970 when the former was stabbed by the latter on his left forearm. As a result, appellant's
left arm was deformed, despite medical attendance, because the main vein of his left arm was severely cut. Since
then the two had not met each other, as the victim avoided appellant.

In the evening of April 1, 1987, the victim and his younger brother Edgar, together with three other
companions, went to the Cultural Center of Inabanga, Bohol, where a 'disco' dance was being held in
connection with the commencement exercises of St. Paul Academy. all of a sudden appellant appeared in front
obliquely to the right of the victim and fired three (3) successive shots at the latter.

The defense contends that the firearm alleged to have been used by the accused in killing the victim was not
presented in court during the trial. Its caliber and make was never established by sufficient evidence, so that
there is no basis to convict the accused for illegal possession of firearm.

On April 1, 1987, appellant Luciano Jumamoy killed Rolando Miel using an unlicensed firearm. Thus, appellant
was charge for two separate informations for murder and qualified illegal possession of firearms and
ammunitions. The trial court convicted the appellant

Issue: WON is appellant is guilty of the crime of murder and illegal possession of firearms


YES. The SC ruled that it is not indispensable for the prosecution to introduce and offer in evidence the firearm
which was used in the killing of the victim. There is no law or rule of evidence which requires the prosecution
to do so; there is also no law which prescribes that a ballistics examination be conducted to determine the
source and trajectory of the bullets. For conviction to lie it is enough that the prosecution establishes by proof
beyond reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and that the accused is the author thereof. The production
of the weapon used in the commission of the crime is not a condition sine qua non for the discharge of such a
burden for the weapon may not have been recovered at all from the assailant. If the rule were to be as proposed
by the accused, many criminals would go scot-free and much injustice would be caused to the victims of crimes,
their families and society. In the instant case, it was established with moral certainty that the accused attacked,
assaulted and shot the victim Rolando Miel with an unlicensed firearm, thereby inflicting upon the latter
multiple gunshot wounds which caused his death. Such proof was all that was needed for the conviction of the
Against the overwhelming evidence consisting of his positive identification as the author of Rolando Miel's
death, accused has nothing to offer but alibi. It is a fundamental judicial dictum that the defense of alibi cannot
prevail over the positive identification of the accused.
Borje vs Sandiganbayan


Borje, a provincial plant officer of the bureau of plant industry in La Union, was accused of the crime of
falsification of public document before the Sandiganbayan. Herein complainant Ducusin alleged that the
petitioner took advantage of his position in falsifying the time book and payroll of his office for the periods
January to March 1977, daily time record of Ducusin by making it appear that Ducusin participated in the same
and affixed his signatures, when in fact he did not sign the documents, in order to receive P225which was
supposed to have been received by Ducusin. To prove that Borje committed the crime, the prosecutor
presented several documents such as: the time book and payroll of the accused’s office for the period of January
to March 1977; the daily time record for the same period of Rodrigo Ducusin and the certification that Ducusin
was detailed to the program. The Sandiganbayan convicted the accused

Borje argued that proof beyond reasonable doubt was not established since; a. the originals of the alleged
falsified documents were not presented in court hence, the corpus delicti was not established as held in US vs
Gregorio and; b. there is no iota of evidence that the petitioner falsified the complainant’s signature on the
alleged falsified documents.

Issue: WON the presentation of the photocopies of the falsified documents is enough to prove the crime of
falsification of public documents


NO, Borje is acquitted. Sandiganbayan’s reliance on the presumption that as possessor of the document, the
accused is presumed to be the author of the falsification is misplaced and unwarranted, there being no sufficient
reason to apply the same.
(1) Testimony of the Regional Disbursing Officer and Cashier, to the effect that she delivered payroll and
checks to Borje, is impeached by her original testimony at Tanodbayan reinvestigation where she said she
delivered the payroll and checks to complainant Ducusin, even identifying the genuine signature of Ducusin on
the payroll. To use this doubtful testimony as factual basis is unwarranted
(2) Timebook and payroll was also signed by 10 other production technicians. It is initialled by 3 personnel in
Accounting Services Unit and further signed by Regional Accountant and for the Regional Director. All of
these persons were at one time or another in possession of the document, all of them had the same opportunity
impliedly imputed to the accused. Payroll must have been carried and passed by messengers & other employees
from one office to another, from one desk to another for purposes of typing, funding, initialling, verification,
certification, accounting, recording, drawing of the check and finally, issuing of the check

Further, the Sandiganbayan held that accused's claim that in the absence of the original documents it is improper
to conclude that there is falsification of document in accordance with the case of U.S. vs. Gregorio is misplaced.
Firstly the Gregorio ruling makes no distinction for the doctrine itself applies in criminal proceedings for the
falsification of a document, whether simulated, counterfeited, or falsified. Secondly, the Gregorio doctrine is still
tenable notwithstanding modern copying devices for a falsified document, passed off as an original can also be
duplicated by xeroxing and thereafter, certified as true copy of the original. And thirdly, considering that in the
case at bar, the xeroxing was done or caused to be done by complainant Ducusin after taking out the original
documents without the official authority and permission of the Disbursing Officer and Cashier, Remedios
Lorenzo, who was then out on rural service and thereafter the originals were lost, misplaced and are now
missing, the failure to present the originals is suspicious for complainant had ulterior and ill motives in accusing
the petitioner as will be shown hereunder.
People vs Taneo


Due to loss of 2 cassette recorders, Dr. Herminia Sia decided to hire the services of a guard. A Sgt. Codinas
and an army man named Bros, recommended accused Roy Codilla to her. On one occasion at the clinic, Codilla
introduced to Dr. Sia Bebot Escoreal as his friend.

Almost two years later, Dr. Sia's neighbors Nicky Padriga and Ricardo Ferrer went to her clinic and informed
her that some persons (accused Victor Taneo) who burglarized her house were apprehended by them and that
they brought the injured maid, Landa, to a hospital. Victor Taneo claimed that it was Roy Codilla who told him
to go along with him (Codilla) to the house of Dr. Sia to get some valuables, like cassette recorders.

Codilla, Escoreal (remained at large) and Taneo accused were charged with the crime of Robbery with Homicide
by Assistant City Fiscal Salvador O. Solima of Cebu City in an Information. MR. Taneo pleaded guilty while
Codilla did not plead guilty. The trial court issued an Order finding the latter guilty as charged and sentencing
him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

Issue: WON the trial court erred in giving weight to the testimony of appellant's co-accused, Victor Taneo


NO. When the issue of credibility of a witness is concerned, the appellate court will generally not disturb the
findings of the trial court, considering that the latter is in a better position to decide the question, having heard
the witness himself and observed his deportment and manner of testifying during the trial, unless certain facts
of substance and value had been plainly overlooked which, if considered, might affect the results of the case.

Upon examination of the records and the transcripts of stenographic notes of the testimonies of the witnesses
and find no cogent reason to disregard the rule and give way to the exception. The full faith and credit given
by the trial court to the testimonies of the Herminia Sia and Victor Taneo are supported by the evidence. In
fact, the tenor of the assigned errors and the arguments summoned to support them betray the appellant's
realization of the infirmity of his stand

Appellant insists that Victor Taneo's credibility is questionable because the latter had earlier been charged in
two criminal cases for robbery; the former admits, however, that these cases were dismissed for failure to
prosecute. Section 20, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides that except as provided for in the succeeding
sections, all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known their 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 a ground for disqualification. Clearly, the mere pendency of a criminal
case against a person does not disqualify him from becoming a witness. As a matter of fact, conviction of a
crime does not disqualify such person from being presented as a witness unless otherwise provided by law. At
his arraignment, Victor Taneo voluntarily pleaded guilty to an information which charges conspiracy. He was
not discharged as a state witness — a sure guarantee of acquittal — and he did not impute criminal responsibility
solely on the appellant. Thus, if he were to testify falsely against the latter, he must have been moved by a
strong, improper and ulterior motive. That motive must have been established; appellant failed to do so. In the
absence of evidence to show any reason or motive why witnesses for the prosecution should have testified
falsely, the logical conclusion is that no improper motive existed, and that their testimony is worthy of full faith
and credit.
Philippine American General Insurance Co., Inc. vs. Sweet Lines, Inc. 212 SCRA 194 , August 05, 1992

Petitioners were insurers and importers of Polyethylene. The polyethylenes are to be shipped from US through
an Indian Ship, SS Vishva Yash and are to be received in Manila. After which, the subject matter is to be shipped
to Davao. The Indian vessel arrived at Manila and sought the services of respondent Sweet Lines for the inter-
island shipment to Davao. However, when respondent’s MV Sweet Love arrived, petitioners found that some
of the imported polyethylene were either missing or damaged beyond the point of being useful for the intended
purpose. Petitioners filed a suit against Sweet Lines and Davao Veterans Arrastre based on the bills of
lading. However, bills of lading were not formally offered as evidence. Hence it was not shown that a
contractual prescriptive period was indicated therein. Trial court ruled in favor of PHILAMGE

Issue: WON the trial court is correct in ruling in favor of Philamgem despite the failure to present the actionable
documents or bills of lading.


Petitioners' failure to specifically deny the existence, much less the genuineness and due execution, of the
instruments in question amounts to an admission. Judicial admissions, verbal or written, made by the
parties in the pleadings or in the course of the trial or other proceedings in the same case are
conclusive, no evidence being required to prove the same, and cannot be contradicted unless shown
to have been made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. 23 Moreover, when
the due execution and genuineness of an instrument are deemed admitted because of the adverse party's failure
to make a specific verified denial thereof, the instrument need not be presented formally in evidence for it may
be considered an admitted fact. 24

Even granting that petitioners' averment in their reply amounts to a denial, it has the procedural earmarks of
what in the law on pleadings is called a negative pregnant, that is, a denial pregnant with the admission of the
substantial facts in the pleading responded to which are not squarely denied. It is in effect an admission of the
averment it is directed to. Thus, while petitioners objected to the validity of such agreement for being
contrary to public policy, the existence of the bills of lading and said stipulations were nevertheless
impliedly admitted by them.

We find merit in respondent court's comments that petitioners failed to touch on the matter of the non-
presentation of the bills of lading in their brief and earlier on in the appellate proceedings in this case, hence it
is too late in the day to now allow the litigation to be overturned on that score, for to do so would mean an
over-indulgence in technicalities. Hence, for the reasons already advanced, the non-inclusion of the
controverted bills of lading in the formal offer of evidence cannot, under the facts of this particular
case, be considered a fatal procedural lapse as would bar respondent carrier from raising the defense
of prescription. Petitioners' feigned ignorance of the provisions of the bills of lading, particularly on the time
limitations for filing a claim and for commencing a suit in court, as their excuse for non-compliance therewith
does not deserve serious attention.
National Power Corporation vs. Codilla, G.R. No. 170491. April 3, 2007

M/V Dibena Win, a vessel of foreign registry owned and operated by private respondent Bangpai Shipping,
Co., bumped and damaged petitioner’s Power Barge 209 which was then moored at the Cebu International
Port. Petitioner filed before the Cebu RTC a complaint for damages against private respondent Bangpai
Shipping Co., for the alleged damages caused on petitioner’s power barges.

Petitioner, during trial filed a formal offer of evidence before the lower court consisting of Exhibits "A" to
"V" together with the sub-marked portions thereof. However, public respondent judge excluded other records
offered in evidence such as Exhibits "A", "C", "D", "E", "H" and its sub-markings, "I", "J" and its sub-markings,
"K", "L", "M" and its sub-markings, "N" and its sub-markings, "O", "P" and its sub-markings, "Q" and its sub-
markings, "R" and "S" and its sub-markings because they were not the originals. The plaintiff was given every
opportunity to present the originals of the Xerox or photocopies of the documents it offered. It never produced
the originals. The plaintiff attempted to justify the admission of the photocopies by contending that "the
photocopies offered are equivalent to the original of the document" on the basis of the Electronic Evidence

Issued: WON the Xerox copies offered in evidence constitute the electronic evidence defined in Section 1 of
Rule 2 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence and therefore admissible in evidence.


The court found that the pieces of petitioner’s documentary evidence were not properly identified by any
competent witness neither the witnesses have personal knowledge of and participation in the preparation and
making of the pieces of documentary evidence. Moreso, the pieces of evidence are merely photocopies of
purported documents or papers. Therefore, the respondent judge acted within the pale of his discretion when
he denied admission of said documentary evidence. Section 3 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court of the
Philippines is very explicit in providing that, when the subject of inquiry are the contents of documents, no
evidence shall be admissible other than the original documents themselves, except in certain cases specifically
so enumerated therein, and the petitioner has not shown that the non-presentation or non-production of its
original documentary pieces of evidence falls under such exceptions. Furthermore, no error can be ascribed to
the court a quo in denying admission and excluding from the records petitioner’s Exhibits "A", "C", "D", "E",
"H" and its sub-markings, "I", "J" and its sub-markings, "K", "L", "M" and its sub-markings, "N" and its sub-
markings, "O", "P" and its sub-markings, "Q" and its sub-markings, and "R". 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 evidence. Before the onset of liberal rules of discovery, and modern
technique of electronic copying, the best evidence rule was designed to guard against incomplete or fraudulent
proof and the introduction of altered copies and the withholding of the originals.8 But the modern justification
for the rule has expanded from the prevention of fraud to a recognition that writings occupy a central position
in the law

The evidence offered by NAPOCOR were photocopies. The Court held that the photocopies
were not equivalent to the original documents based on the Rules on Electronic Evidence. The
information contained in the photocopies submitted by NAPOCOR 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.

On the other hand, an "electronic document" refers to information or the representation of information, data,
figures, symbols or other models 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.5 It includes digitally signed
documents and any printout, readable by sight or other means which accurately reflects the electronic data
message or electronic document.6

The rules use the word "information" to define an electronic document received, recorded, transmitted, stored,
processed, retrieved or produced electronically. This would suggest that an electronic document is relevant only
in terms of the information contained therein, similar to any other document which is presented in evidence as
proof of its contents.7 However, what differentiates an electronic document from a paper-based document is
the manner by which the information is processed; clearly, the information contained in an electronic document
is received, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically.

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. Having thus declared that
the offered photocopies are not tantamount to electronic documents, it is consequential that the same may not
be considered as the functional equivalent of their original as decreed in the law.
People vs. Baid 336 SCRA 656 , July 31, 2000


Eric Baid y Ominta charged of the crime of rape against Nieva Garcia y Saban, 27-year old single woman, a
mental patient, suffering [from] schizophrenia. She was confined at the Holy Spirit Clinic in Cubao, Quezon
City because of a relapse of her mental condition. Accused-appellant was a nurse-aide of said clinic. The
prosecution presented three witnesses, namely, the complainant, Dr. Herminigilda Salangad, the
complainant's attending psychiatrist, and Dr. Emmanuel Reyes, the medico-legal officer who examined the

Issue: WON Complainant who has mental illness qualify as a witness.


SC ruled, notwithstanding her mental illness, complainant showed that she was qualified to be a witness, i.e.,
she could perceive and was capable of making known her perceptions to others.18 Her testimony indicates that
she could understand questions particularly relating to the incident and could give responsive answers to them.
Though she may have exhibited emotions inconsistent with that of a rape victim ("inappropriate affect") during
her testimony, such as by smiling when answering questions, her behavior was such as could be expected from
a person suffering from schizophrenia. Otherwise, complainant was candid, straightforward, and coherent. It
is established that schizophrenic persons do not suffer from a clouding of consciousness and gross deficits of
memory.22 It has long been settled that a person should not be disqualified on the basis of mental handicap
People v. Armando Reanzares G.R. No. 130656 June 29, 2000


Sps. Tactacan owned a sari-sari store in San Miguel, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. In the evening, they left the store
and headed to their home in Brgy, San Roque, Batangas, riding their jeepney. While on the way, 2 unidentified
men rode and asked them to drop them off at the town proper, but as the spouses are not headed to the town
proper, they asked to be dropped off at the nearest intersection. After some 500 meters, one of the men pointed
a .38 caliber revolver at Gregorio and a balisong at Lilia, and demanded to stop the vehicle. From there, 2 more
people, including Armando Reanzares were waiting. They then proceeded to gag and tie Gregorio, took his
Seiko watch worth P2500, and Reanzares drove the vehicle. Gregorio managed to free himself and jumped out
of the vehicle, heading to San Roque East shouting for help. When they returned to the crime scene, they found
the vehicle and his wife, who was declared dead on arrival in the hospital.
2 informations were filed against Reanzares and 3 John Does, first was for violation of PD 532 or Anti Piracy
and Anti- Highway Robbery Law and for Carnapping. The trial court found for the spouses, declaring
Reanzares and others guilty for highway robbery but not for carnapping for insufficiency of evidence. The court
awarded them P50000 as indemnity for death, P172000 for funeral, burial and related expenses, P1000 for cash
taken from the bag of wife, and P2500 for the Seiko watch taken.

Issue: Were the awards proper? (related to evidence as per syllabus)


Yes, but the Supreme Court modified the amounts. However, the same court removed the reimbursement for
the Seiko watch. The amount of P2,500.00 as reimbursement for the Seiko wristwatch taken from
Gregorio Tactacan must be deleted in the absence of receipts or any other competent evidence aside
from the self-serving valuation made by the prosecution. An ordinary witness cannot establish the
value of jewelry (the watch was considered as a jewelry) and the trial court can only take judicial notice
of the value of goods which is a matter of public knowledge or is capable of unquestionable
demonstration. The value of jewelry therefore does not fall under either category of which the court
can take judicial notice. As to the damages awarded by the trial court to the heirs of the victim, we sustain
the award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for the wrongful death of Lilia Tactacan. In addition, the amount
of P50,000.00 as moral damages is ordered. Also, damages for loss of earning capacity of Lilia Tactacan must
be granted to her heirs. The testimony of Gregorio Tactacan, the victims husband, on the earning capacity of
his wife, together with a copy of his wifes payroll, is enough to establish the basis for the award. The formula
for determining the life expectancy of Lilia Tactacan, applying the American Expectancy Table of Mortality, is as
follows: 2/3 multiplied by (80 minus the age of the deceased).Since Lilia was 48 years of age at the time of her
death, then her life expectancy was 21.33 years. However, the award of P1,000.00 representing the cash taken
from Lilia Tactacan must be increased to P1,200.00 as this was the amount established by the prosecution
without objection from the defense. The award of P172,000.00 for funeral, burial and related expenses must
be reduced to P22,000.00 as this was the only amount sufficiently substantiated.There was no other competent
evidence presented to support the original award.
BPI v. Reyes G.R. No. 157177 February 11, 2008


Jesusa Reyes went to the BPI with her daughter to open an ATM account. She was accommodated by Cicero
Capati, an employee of the bank, in lieu of the Bank Manager. Reyes informed Capati that she wants to open
an ATM account for P200,000, P100,000 of which shall be withdrawn from her existing savings account with
BPI and the other P100,000 in cash. Allegedly, Capati made a mistake and made a withdrawal slip in the amount
of P200,000. Minutes later after the slips were presented to the teller, Capati returned to where the plaintiff was
seating and informed the latter that the withdrawable balance could not accommodate P200,000.00. Reyes
explained that she is withdrawing the amount of P100,000.00 only and then changed and correct the figure two
(2) into one (1) with her signature super-imposed thereto signifying the change, afterwhich the amount
of P100,000.00 in cash in two bundles containing 100 pieces of P500.00 peso bill were given to Capati with her
daughter Joan witnessing the same. Reyes then left for the US. When she returned, and upon going to her
pawnshop, she was made aware by BPI that the ATM account only contained P100,000. They asked the bank
for the missing amount but the bank assured them that they will look into the matter. When no word was heard
as to the investigation made by the bank, Mrs. Reyes sent two (2) demand letters thru her lawyer demanding
return of the missing P100,000.00 plus interest.

Capati then admitted that that Jesusa Reyes had effected a fund transfer in the amount of P100,000.00 from
her ordinary savings account to the express teller account she opened, however, it was the only amount she
deposited and no additional cash deposit of P100,000.00 was made. That plaintiff wanted to effect the transfer
of P200,000.00 but the balance in her account was not sufficient and could not accommodate the same. Plaintiff
thereafter agreed to reduce the amount to be withdrawn from P200,000.00 to P100,000.00 with plaintiffs
signature superimposed on said corrections; that the original copy of the deposit slip was also altered
from P200,000.00 to P100,000.00.

The RTC found for Reyes, ordering the bank to pay the missing amount., and the CA affirmed the decision.
In finding petitioner liable for the missing P100,000.00, the CA held that the RTC correctly gave credence to
the testimonies of respondent Jesusa and Joan Reyes to the effect that aside from the fund transfer
of P100,000.00 from Jesusa's savings account,

Issue: Did Jesusa Reyes made an initial deposit of P200,000 in her teller account?


No. After a careful and close examination of the records and evidence presented by the parties, we find that
respondents failed to successfully prove by preponderance of evidence that respondent Jesusa made an initial
deposit of P200,000.00 in her Express Teller account. The fact that respondent Jesusa initially intended to
transfer the amount of P200,000.00 from her savings account to her new Express Teller account was further
established by the teller's tape presented as petitioner's evidence and by the testimony of Emerenciana Torneros,
the teller who had attended to respondent Jesusa's transactions. The teller's tape reflected various transactions
involving different accounts on December 7, 1990 which included respondent Jesusa's Savings Account No.
233243388 and her new Express Teller Account No. 235076748. It shows that respondent Jesusa's initial
intention to withdraw P200,000.00, not P100,000.00, from her Savings Account No. 233324299 was begun
at 3 o'clock, 12 minutes and 45 seconds. Torneros then called Capati to her cage and told him of the
insufficiency of respondent Jesusa's balance. Capati then motioned respondent Jesusa to the teller's cage; and
when she was already in front of the teller's cage, Torneros told her that she could not withdraw P200,000.00
because of overdraft; thus, respondent Jesusa decided to just withdraw P100,000.00. The teller's tape
definitely establishes the fact of respondent Jesusa's original intention to withdraw the amount
of P200,000.00, and not P100,000.00 as she claims, from her savings account, to be transferred as her
initial deposit to her new Express Teller account, the insufficiency of her balance in her savings
account, and finally the fund transfer of the amount of P100,000.00 from her savings account to her
new Express Teller account. We give great evidentiary weight to the teller's tape, considering that it
is inserted into the bank's computer terminal, which records the teller's daily transactions in the
ordinary course of business, and there is no showing that the same had been purposely manipulated
to prove petitioner's claim. Respondent Jesusa's bare claim, although corroborated by her daughter, that the
former deposited P100,000.00 cash in addition to the fund transfer of P100,000.00, is not established by
physical evidence.

Physical evidence is a mute but eloquent manifestation of truth, and it ranks high in our hierarchy of trustworthy
evidence. We have, on many occasions, relied principally upon physical evidence in ascertaining the truth.
Where the physical evidence on record runs counter to the testimonial evidence of the prosecution witnesses,
we consistently rule that the physical evidence should prevail.
Gurango v. IAC G.R. No. 75290 November 4. 1992

Edward Ferreira sold to Amado Gurango 1 booklet of raffle tickets worth P500 consisting of 100
tickets for a fundraising project sponsored by Makati Jaycees. One ticket won a Toyota Corolla car. Gurango
alleged that he issued a check for the payment of 60 raffle ticket worth P300, and instructed his cashier to fill
up the 100 stubs. He was informed by his cashier that the check was taken by the messenger of Ferreira and
also the raffle tickets. The next morning, Ferreira informed Gurango that he already paid the remaining amount
of P200 to the Makati Jaycees. It was during the conversation where Gurango asked whether any of the tickets
won the raffle, but was told that no Jaycee had any car. Ferreira asked Gurango to return the 40 claim stubs,
but Gurango is still willing to honor the agreement and tendered a check for P200, but it was refused, thus he
handed to claim stubs to Ferreira. He was then asked by Ferreira to put the agreement into writing.
“This is a mutual agreement between Mads Gurango & Ed Ferreira that they bought a booklet of
Raffle Tickets of Makati JC worth P500.00. All the stubs in our possessions remains our share and any number
happened to win in the raffle corresponding to the stub numbers each one of us is holding will own the prize
solely w/o the other party claims co-ownership, even that the name printed in the such raffle stubs is in the
name of one party or any other person. Further any holder of the winning stub shall be printed as the sole
winner and owner, even though it was in other's name.This is a Gentlemen and Jayceely agreement that both
of us will stick to this simple and binding agreement.”
Gurango found out that he won but was surprised that the winning stub is one held by Ferreira. They
then confronted each other in a meeting. Gurango alleged that the date in the agreement (April 14, which is
also the date of the raffle draw) was a mistake and it should be on April 15 as he remembered it was the last
day of filing income tax return but a wrong date was placed. On the other hand, private respondent claimed
that petitioner informed the former that he is only buying sixty (60) tickets and offered to return the remaining
forty (40) tickets since he needed the money for the payment of his income tax which was accepted by the
private respondent and the latter agreed to appropriate for himself the remaining tickets. Upon noticing that all
the returned tickets were in the name of the petitioner Amado Gurango or members of his family, private
respondent, during his meeting with the petitioner at Manila Midtown Ramada Hotel at around 6 p.m. of April
14, 1977, asked the latter to write down their agreement signed by them on April 14, 1977.

Issue: Was the agreement between the two valid?


Yes. Under the aforementioned provision (Section 9, Rule 130), when the parties have reduced their agreement
in writing, the contents of said agreement are rendered conclusive upon the parties and evidence aliunde is
inadmissible to change a valid and enforceable agreement embodied in a document. "The mistake contemplated
as an exception to the parol evidence rule is one which is a mistake of fact mutual to the parties," which is not
present on this case. Moreover, in view of the parties' conflicting claims regarding the true nature of the
agreement executed by them, We find the version of the private respondent more credible for the terms of said
agreement are clear and require no room for interpretation since the intention of the parties, as expressly
specified in said agreement, do not contradict each other. The fact that the agreement was prepared and written
by petitioner himself further indicated that said agreement was entered into by the parties freely and voluntarily
which renders petitioners' claim of fraud in the execution of the agreement unbelievable. Being the author of
the agreement, petitioner is presumed to have actual knowledge of the true intent of the parties and the
surrounding circumstance that attended the preparation of the document in question including the date when
said agreement was executed. If it is true that the date if execution was on April 15, 1977, petitioner should
have written said date in the agreement and not April 14, 1977 considering that one does not usually forget a
date that has a special significance to him as alleged by the petitioner.
Razon v. IAC G.R. No. 74306 March 16, 1992

A corporation was made (E. Razon, Inc.); shares of stock were given to Juan; Razon alleges
that there is an oral agreement between him and Juan for the former to retain ownership of the shares
until paid; Vicente (son of Juan) now seeks to recover the shares of stock in a case against Razon and

Vicente Chuidian prayed that defendants Enrique Razon, be ordered to deliver certificate of stocks
representing the shareholdings of the deceased Juan Chuidian in the E.Razon, Inc. However, Razon and others
alleged that the shares of stock in the name of stockholders of record of the corporation were fully paid by
them. Vicente Chuidian is the administrator of the intestate estate of Juan Chuidian. Enrique Razon organized
hte E. Razon, Inc for the purpose of bidding for the arrastre services in south harbor. A stock certificate for
1,500 shares was issued in the name of Juan. From the time the certificate of stock was issued, Enrique Razon
had not questioned the ownership by Juan T. Chuidian of the shares of stock in question and had not brought
any action to have the certificate of stock over the said shares cancelled. The certificate of stock was in the
possession of defendant Razon who refused to deliver said shares to the plaintiff, until the same was
surrendered by defendant Razon and deposited in a safety box in Philippine Bank of Commerce.
Enrique Razon assails the appellate court's decision on its alleged misapplication of the dead man's
statute rule under Section 20(a) Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. According to him, the "dead man's statute" rule
is not applicable to the instant case. Moreover, the private respondent, as plaintiff in the case did not object to
his oral testimony regarding the oral agreement between him and the deceased Juan T. Chuidian that the
ownership of the shares of stock was actually vested in the petitioner unless the deceased opted to pay the
same; and that the petitioner was subjected to a rigid cross examination regarding such testimony.

Issue: Is the prohibition under the Dead Man statute applicable?

No. The reason for the rule is that if persons having a claim against the estate of the deceased or his
properties were allowed to testify as to the supposed statements made by him (deceased person), many would
be tempted to falsely impute statements to deceased persons as the latter can no longer deny or refute them,
thus unjustly subjecting their properties or rights to false or unscrupulous claims or demands. The purpose of
the law is to "guard against the temptation to give false testimony in regard to the transaction in question on
the part of the surviving party." The rule, however, delimits the prohibition it contemplates in that it is
applicable to a case against the administrator or its representative of an estate upon a claim against the estate of
the deceased person. In the instant case, the testimony excluded by the appellate court is that of the
defendant (petitioner herein) to the affect that the late Juan Chuidian, (the father of private respondent
Vicente Chuidian, the administrator of the estate of Juan Chuidian) and the defendant agreed in the
lifetime of Juan Chuidian that the 1,500 shares of stock in E. Razon, Inc. are actually owned by the
defendant unless the deceased Juan Chuidian opted to pay the same which never happened. The case
was filed by the administrator of the estate of the late Juan Chuidian to recover shares of stock in E.
Razon, Inc. allegedly owned by the late Juan T. Chuidian.
It is clear, therefore, that the testimony of the petitioner is not within the prohibition of the rule. The
case was not filed against the administrator of the estate, nor was it filed upon claims against the estate.
Furthermore, the records show that the private respondent never objected to the testimony of
the petitioner as regards the true nature of his transaction with the late elder Chuidian. The
petitioner's testimony was subject to cross-examination by the private respondent's counsel. Hence,
granting that the petitioner's testimony is within the prohibition of Section 20(a), Rule 130 of the
Rules of Court, the private respondent is deemed to have waived the rule. We ruled in the case of Cruz
v. Court of Appeals (192 SCRA 209 [1990]):

It is also settled that the court cannot disregard evidence which would ordinarily be
incompetent under the rules but has been rendered admissible by the failure of a party to
object thereto. Thus: The acceptance of an incompetent witness to testify in a civil suit, as
well as the allowance of improper questions that may be put to him while on the stand is a
matter resting in the discretion of the litigant. He may assert his right by timely objection or
he may waive it, expressly or by silence. In any case the option rests with him. Once admitted,
the testimony is in the case for what it is worth and the judge has no power to disregard it for the sole reason
that it could have been excluded, if it had been objected to, nor to strike it out on its own motion

FACTS: Rosalie is the owner of Roferxane Building in Baclaran. Spouses Latip entered into a lease contract
with Rosalie.

A year after the commencement of the lease, Rosalie, through counsel, sent the spouses a letter demanding
payment of back rentals and should they fail to do so to vacate the leased cubicles.

When spouses did not heed Rosalie’s demand, she filed a complaint for unlawful detainer + damages against
them. She attached to the complaint a contract of lease over 2 cubicles in Roferxane Bldg.

Spouses Latip argues that he lease of the 2 cubicles had already been paid in full as evidenced by receipts
showing payment to Rosalie of the total amount of P2,570,000. There were 3 receipts in Rosalie’s handwriting.
1. P2M
2. P500K
3. P70K

Spouses also averred that sometime in October 1999, Rosalie offered for sale lease rights over 2 cubicles.
Having in mind the brisk sale of goods during the Christmas season, they readily accepted Rosalie’s offer to
purchase lease rights. The immediate payment of P2M+ would be used to finish construction of the building
giving them first priority in the occupation of the finished cubicles. And as soon as the 2 cubicles were finished,
Spouses occupied them.

Spouses averred that the contract of lease they signed had been novated by their purchase of lease rights of the
subject cubicles. Thus, they were surprised to receive a demand letter from Rosalie’s counsel.

METC’s Ruling:

In favor of Rosalie. It ordered the spouses to vacate and pay rent arrearages, 10% increase in the rent, atty’s
fees and cost of suit.

RTC’s Ruling:

Reversed MTC’s ruling. Spouses Latio could not be ejected until the expiration of the lease period.

It did not give credence to the contract of lease since it was not notarized and incomplete, lacking:
1. Signature of Ferdinand, Rosalie’s husband
2. Signatures of Spouses Latip on the 1st page
3. Specific dates for the term of the contract
4. Exact date of execution of the document
5. Provision for payment of deposit or advance rental which is supposedly uncommon in big commercial
lease contracts

The entire lease rentals for the 2 cubicles for 6 years had already been paid in the amount of P2M+.

RTC shot down Rosalie’s claim that the P2M+ was simply goodwill payment by by prospective lessees to their
lessor, and not payment for the purchase of lease rights. The court said that apart from her bare allegations,
Rosalie did not adduce evidence to substantiate this claim.
CA’s Ruling:

Reversed RTC’s decision and reinstated METC’s decision.

The alleged defects in the contract of lease did not render the contract ineffective.

On the issue of whether the amount of P2M+ merely constituted payment of goodwill money, the CA took judicial notice of this
common practice in the area of Baclaran, especially around the Redemptorist Church. According to CA, this judicial notice was
bolstered by the Joint Sworn Declaration of the stallholders at Roferxane Bldg. that they all had paid goodwill money to Rosalie
prior to occupying the stalls thereat.

Spouses Latip appealed.

ISSUE: Whether the payment of 2M can be considered as judicial notice constituting goodwill money?


NO. Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court declare when the taking of judicial notice is mandatory
or discretionary on the courts, thus State Prosecutors v. Muro is instructive.

The power to take judicial notice is to be exercised by courts with caution; care must be taken that the requisite
notoriety exists; and every reasonable doubt on the subject should be promptly resolved in the negative.

Generally speaking, matters of judicial notice have three material requisites:

(1) the matter must be one of common and general knowledge;
(2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain; and
(3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court.

The principal guide in determining what facts may be assumed to be judicially known is that of notoriety.

The matter which the CA judicial notice of does not meet the requisite of notoriety. Only CA took
judicial notice of this supposed practice to pay goodwill money to the lessor in the Baclaran area. Rosalie, apart
from her bare allegation, adduced no evidence to prove her claim that the amount of P2M+ simply constituted
the payment of goodwill money. Subsequently, Rosalie attached an annex to her petition for review before the
CA, containing a joint declaration under oath by other stallholders in Roferxane Bldg. that they had paid
goodwill money to Rosalie as their lessor.

The reason why our rules on evidence provide for matters that need not be proved under Rule 129, specifically
on judicial notice, is to dispense with the taking of the usual form of evidence on a certain matter so notoriously
known, it will not be disputed by the parties.

However, in this case, the requisite of notoriety is belied by the necessity of attaching documentary evidence,
i.e., Joint Affidavit of the stallholders. 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.

In the end, the court ruled that the amount of P2,570,000 shall be considered as advance rentals.
People v Malimit

 Onofre Malaki (victim) was attending to his store. Malaki's houseboy Edilberto Batin, was busy cooking
supper at the kitchen located at the back of the store.
 He proceeded directly to the store to ask Malaki if supper is to be prepared. As Batin stepped inside the
store, he saw accused Encarnacion “Manolo” Malimit coming out of the store with a bloodied bolo while
his boss, bathed in his own blood, was sprawled on the floor.
 He also noticed that the store's drawer was opened and ransacked and the wallet of Malaki was missing
from his pocket

Malimit was then captured. He pointed to the police officers where he hid the wallet. He was
subsequently convicted of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide.

He argues that the wallet of Malimit should not be admitted as evidence since it violates his right against self-

WON the wallet may be admitted as evidence?


YES. The wallet is considered as Object Evidence and NOT AN INCRIMINATING STATEMENT.

The right against self-incrimination guaranteed under our fundamental law finds no application in this case.
The evidence (Wallet) sought to be excluded is not an incriminating statement but an object evidence.

This right, as put by Mr. Justice Holmes in Holt vs. United States, 26 ". . . 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. 27
Thus, the wallet is admissible to establish the fact that it was the very wallet taken from Malaki on the night of
the robbery. The identification card, residence certificate and keys found inside the wallet, on the other hand,
are admissible to prove that the wallet really belongs to Malaki. Furthermore, even assuming arguendo that
these pieces of evidence are inadmissible, the same will not detract from appellant's culpability considering the
existence of other evidence and circumstances establishing appellant's identity and guilt as perpetrator of the
crime charged.
National Irrigation Administration vs Gamit

Facts: Estanislao Gamit filed a complaint against the defendant National Irrigation Administration for
reformation of contract, recovery of possession and damages. Gamit alleges that in the contract of lease entered
into, the real agreement or intention of the parties was only for the lease of the twenty five (25,000) thousand
square meters by defendant at the rate of P0.10 centavos per square meter, for a period of ten (10) years from
date of execution with the right of defendant to purchase the area upon the termination of the lease, on a price
to be negotiated and agreed upon, by and between the parties after the lapse of the ten (10) year period.

Gamit alleges that there was a mistake in its part and that NIA fraudulently inserted in the contract the provision
that after 10 years of lease, the rentals paid forms part of the purchase price which shall not exceed P25,000.00.

National Irrigation argues that there was no fraud in the agreement which was signed by Gamit and his wife
and it clearly stated that after 10 years of lease, the rentals paid forms part of the purchase price which shall not
exceed P25,000.00.

RTC did not order the reformation of the instrument since it is only a question of law and not a question of
fact. It then interpreted the contract as contract of lease with right to purchase. CA affirmed.

Whether or not the court of appeals has properly interpreted the contract.

Held: NO. As a general rule, parol evidence is not admissible for the purpose of varying the terms of a
contract. However, when the issue that a contract does not express the intention of the parties, the court should
hear the evidence for the purpose of ascertaining the true intention of the parties.

A perusal of the complaint at bar and the relief prayed for therein shows that this is clearly a case for
reformation of instrument.

As a general 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, EXCEPT when it fails to express the true intent
and agreement of the parties thereto, in which case, one of the parties may bring an action for the reformation
of the instrument to the end that such true intention may be expressed.

The lower court erred in not conducting a trial for the purpose of determining the true intention of the parties.
It failed to appreciate the distinction between interpretation and reformation of contracts. While the aim in
interpretation of contracts is to ascertain the true intention of the parties, interpretation is not, however,
equivalent to reformation of contracts. Since the complaint in the case at bar raises the issue that the contract
of lease does not express the true intention or agreement of the parties due to mistake on the part of the plaintiff
(private respondent) and fraud on the part of the defendant (petitioner), the court a quo should have conducted
a trial and received the evidence of the parties for the purpose of ascertaining the true intention of the parties
when they executed the instrument in question.
People vs Castaneda

Facts: Victoria filed a complaint for Falsification of Public Document against her husband, Benjamin. Victoria
alleged that Benjamin falsified her signature in a deed of sale of a house belonging to the conjugal partnership,
making it appear that she gave her marital consent to said sale. At the trial, the prosecution called to the witness
stand Victoria, but the defense moved to disqualify her as a witness, invoking the rule that a spouse cannot be
examined without the consent of the other spouse, except in a civil case by one against the other or in a criminal
case for a crime committed by one against another. The prosecution opposed the motion on the ground that
the case falls under the exception, contending that it is a criminal case committed by one against the other. The
trial court granted the motion, disqualifying Victoria from testifying against Benjamin. Their motion for
reconsideration denied, the prosecution elevated the case to the Supreme Court on pure question of law


Whether or not the criminal case for Falsification of Public Document may be considered as a criminal case
for a crime committed by a husband against his wife and, therefore, an exception to the rule on marital


Yes. The case is an exception to the marital disqualification rule, as a criminal case for a crime committed by
the accused-husband against the witness-wife.

The act complained of as constituting the crime of Falsification of Public Document is the forgery by the
accused of his wife's signature in a deed of sale, thereby making it appear therein that said wife consented to
the sale of a house and lot belonging to their conjugal partnership when in fact and in truth she did not. It must
be noted that had the sale of the said house and lot, and the signing of the wife's name by her husband in the
deed of sale, been made with the consent of the wife, no crime could have been charged against said husband
Clearly, therefore, it is the husband's breach of his wife's confidence which gave rise to the offense charged.
And it is this same breach of trust which prompted the wife to make the necessary complaint with the Office
of the Provincial Fiscal which, accordingly, filed the aforesaid criminal case. To rule, therefore, that such
criminal case is not one for a crime committed by one spouse against the other is to advance a conclusion which
completely disregards the factual antecedents of the instant case.

It is undeniable that the act complained of had the effect of directly and vitally impairing the conjugal relation.
This is apparent not only in the act of the wife in personally lodging her complaint with the Office of the
Provincial Fiscal, but also in her insistent efforts in connection with the instant petition, which seeks to set
aside the order disqualified her from testifying against her husband. Taken collectively, the actuations of the
witness-wife underscore the fact that the martial and domestic relations between her and the accused-husband
have become so strained that there is no more harmony to be preserved said nor peace and tranquility which
may be disturbed. In such a case, the "identity of interests disappears and the consequent danger of perjury
based on that identity is nonexistent. Likewise, in such a situation, the security and confidence 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. Thus, there is no reason to apply the martial disqualification rule.
People v. Manalo
G.R.Nos. 96123-24 March 8, 1993

1. Accused Rolando Manalo was convicted by the RTC for 2 separate counts of murder for shooting one
Warlito Bonillo and one Carlito Diomampo with an unlicensed pistolized Colt Caliber .45, with Serial No.
2. The conviction was the result of the filing of two (2) amended informations. The accused pleaded not guilty.
After trial on the merits the accused was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder in
relation to PD 1728.

3. Witness Carlos Lacbay narrated that at about 5PM of Nov. 29, 1989 he visited one of the victims, Diomampo,
in the latter's house where they conversed over some wine and camote regarding the latter's interest in buying
a motorcycle. After 2 hours, witness Lacbay decided to leave, while Diomampo and a brother-in-law offered
to accompany him home. After this, Lacbay rode on his service motorcycle while Diomampo and the other
person (Bonilla) rode in tandem in their own motocycle.

4. When the group arrived at Bgy. San Rafael in San Pablo City at about 7 pm, and parked their motorcycles,
accused Manalo (an acquaintance of both victims) arrived and invited the victims to his house for some drinks.
The two acceded after insisting that Lacbay would go as he did, with them. As they were walking to accused
house, Bonilla and Diamampao walked ahead, with accused following close by and Lacbay behind the latter.

5. After the victims entered the house of accused, the latter suddenly drew a .45 Caliber gun and shot
Diomampo once in the head and then Bonilla on the temple about 3 meters from behind. Both died
immediately, nevertheless, accused fired another shot at Diomampo. Lacbay who saw everything was so
shocked. The accused told him that he shot both because Diomampo had impregnated his daughter, Dina
Manalo. After this, accused asked Lacbay to dig, to which the latter refused. Finally, accused asked him not to
leave the place as he would look for someone to do the digging. Lacbay took this chance to flee the scene.
Subsequently, both the bodies of Bonilla and Diomampo were found buried in a shallow pit under the
'banggerahan' of accused' house.

6. The defense maintains that accused-appellant is not responsible for the treacherous acts, but that rather, he
is just an unwilling witness to the horrible event perpetrated by persons unknown to him According to the
defense' version of the story, it was these two unknown persons who killed both victims. Accordingly, the
assailants were already waiting in the area for Bonilla and Diomampo, then thereafter shot them.

7. Manalo further maintains that the trial court erred in overlooking a vital fact that there is no physical
evidence that appellant fired a gun.


RTC Decision affirmed. The court had examined the evidence and it found that it supported the
judgement of the lower court.The accused banks on the alleged absence of physical evidence showing
that accused fired a gun. The court held that this circumstance did not prove his innocence. In fact,
even if he were subjected to a paraffin test and the same yields a negative finding, it cannot be
definitely concluded that he had not fired a gun as it is possible for one to fire a gun and yet be negative
for the presence of nitrates as when the hands are washed before the test (People vs. Talingdan, 191
SCRA 333 [1990]; People v. Roallos, 113 SCRA 584 [1982]). The Court has even recognized the great
possibility that there will be no paraffin traces on the hand if, as in the instant case, the bullet was fired
from a .45 Caliber pistol (People vs. Rebullar, 188 SCRA 838 [1990]).

Finally, the lone witness to the crime, Lacbay has positively identified Manalo as the sole perpetrator of the
killing. Lacbay can never be said to be a prejudiced witness since he had no other motive nor misunderstanding
to maliciously testify against Manalo. The little delay in reporting the killings to the authorities was due to the
shock, confusion and fear of Lacbay and that he had to wait and consult with a relative who was a member of
the Philippine marines.

More importantly, the accused Manalo has executed an extrajudicial statement admitting the killings but which
he later on withdrew during the trial. Accused adopted two irreconciliable stands that is actually the heart of
the case, rendering him unworthy of credit and belief. Accused also wrote several letters, one to Mr. Marcela
Bonilla offering money as settlement for the death of the two victims and then to Fiscal Escondo requesting
him no to charge murder but only homicide as he had no intention to kill the victims. In one of these letters,
he even asked forgiveness for the crime he had committed.

WRITTEN AGREEMENT BE A PUBLIC INSTRUMENT.- Clearly, the rule does not specify that the
written agreement be a public document. What is required is that the agreement be in writing as the rule is in
fact founded on "long experience that written evidence is so much more certain and accurate than that which
rests in fleeting memory only, that it would be unsafe, when parties have expressed the terms of their contract
in writing, to admit weaker evidence to control and vary the stronger and to show that the parties intended a
different contract from that expressed in the writing signed by them" Thus, for the parol evidence rule to apply,
a written contract need not be in any particular form, or be signed by both parties. As a general rule, bills, notes
and other instruments of a similar nature are not subject to be varied or contradicted by parol or extrinsic


This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming that of the
Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental, Branch 18, which disposed of Civil Case No. 10507 for collection of
a sum of money and damages. Petitioner's liability resulted from the promissory note in the amount of
P50,000.00 which he signed with Rene C. Naybe and Gregorio D. Pantanosas on February 3, 1983, holding
themselves jointly and severally liable to private respondent Philippine Bank of Communications, Cagayan de
Oro City branch. When the promissory note was due on May 5, 1983, the promisors failed to pay their
obligations despite repeated demand, which prompted PBCOM to file a complaint for collection of the sum of
P50,000.00 against the three obligors.

Thereafter, the lower court dismissed the case against defendant Pantanosas as prayed for by PBCOM.
Meanwhile, only the summons addressed to petitioner was served as the sheriff learned that defendant Naybe
had gone to Saudi Arabia.

In his answer, petitioner alleged that sometime in January 1983, he was approached by his friend, Rudy
Campos, who told him that he was a partner of Pio Tio, the branch manager of (PBCOM) in Cagayan de Oro
City, in the falcata logs operation business. Campos also intimated to him that Rene C. Naybe was interested
in the business and would contribute a chainsaw to the venture. He added that, although Naybe had no money
to buy the equipment Pio Tio had assured Naybe of the approval of a loan he would make with PBCOM.
Campos then persuaded petitioner to act as a "co-maker" in the said loan to the extent of Php 5,000.00

Petitioner alleged further that five (5) copies of a blank promissory note were brought to him by
Campos at his office. He affixed his signature thereto but in one copy, he indicated that he bound himself only
for the amount of P5,000.00. Thus, it was by trickery, fraud and misrepresentation that he was made liable for
the amount of P50,000.00.

The lower court did not find merit in Petitioner’s allegations. It noted that the typewritten
figure "P50,000-" clearly appears directly below the admitted signature of the petitioner in the
promissory note. Hence, the latter's uncorroborated testimony on his limited liability cannot prevail
over the presumed regularity and fairness of the transaction. The lower court also noted that petitioner
was a holder of a Bachelor of Laws degree and a labor consultant who was supposed to take due care of his
concerns, and that, on the witness stand, Pio Tio denied having participated in the alleged business venture
although he knew for a fact that the falcata logs operation was encouraged by the bank for its export potential.
The lower court decision was affirmed by the CA , thus, the case was elevated to the SC

SC found that there merit in petitioner's assertion that since the promissory note "is not a public deed with the
formalities prescribed by law but x x x a mere commercial paper which does not bear the signature of x x x
attesting witnesses," parol evidence may "overcome" the contents of the promissory note. The first paragraph
of the parol evidence rulei states:

"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."

Clearly, the rule does not specify that the written agreement be a public document. What is required is that
agreement be in writing as the rule is in fact founded on "long experience that written evidence is so much more
certain and accurate than that which rests in fleeting memory only, that it would be unsafe, when parties have
expressed the terms of their contract in writing, to admit weaker evidence to control and vary the stronger and
to show that the parties intended a different contract from that expressed in the writing signed by them." Thus,
for the parol evidence rule to apply, a written contract need not be in any particular form, or be signed by both
parties.As a general rule, bills, notes and other instruments of a similar nature are not subject to be varied or
contradicted by parol or extrinsic evidence.

Because the promissory note involved in this case expressly states that the three signatories therein are jointly
and severally liable, any one, some or all of them may be proceeded against for the entire obligation. The choice
is left to the solidary creditor to determine against whom he will enforce collection. Consequently, the dismissal
of the case against Judge Pontanosas may not be deemed as having discharged petitioner from liability as well.
As regards Naybe, suffice it to say that the court never acquired jurisdiction over him. Petitioner, therefore,
may only have recourse against his co-makers, as provided by law.
G.R. No. L-39012 January 31, 1975


Avelino Ordoño was charged in the municipal court of San Gabriel, La Union with having raped his daughter,
Leonora, on October 11, 1970. The verified complaint dated November 7, 1973 was signed by the twenty four
year old victim (Criminal Case No. 104).
In support of that complaint, Catalina Balanon Ordoño, the mother of Leonora, executed a sworn statement
wherein she disclosed that on that same date, October 11th, Leonora had apprised her of the outrage but no
denunciation was filed because Avelino Ordoño threatened to kill Leonora and Catalina (his daughter and wife,
respectively) if they reported the crime to the police.
Catalina Ordoño in her sworn statement further revealed that her husband had also raped their other daughter,
Rosa, on March 25 and April 7, 1973. He was charged in court with that offense.
Catalina Ordoño said that the rape committed by Avelino Ordoño against Leonora was mentioned during the
investigation and trial of Avelino Ordoño for the rape committed against Rosa Ordoño. Catalina's statement
on this point is as follows:
During the preliminary investigation of the rape committed against Leonora, Catalina manifested that she was
no longer afraid to denounce Avelino Ordoño because he was already in jail for having raped Rosa Ordoño.
When the Fiscal presented Catalina Ordoño, the defense counsel objected to her competency. He invoked the
marital disqualification rule found in Rule 130 of the Rules of Court which provides:

Sec. 20. Disqualification by reason of interest or relationship. — The following persons cannot testify
as to matters in which they are interested, directly or indirectly, as herein enumerated: (b) A
husband cannot be examined for or against his wife without her consent; nor a wife for or
against her husband without his consent, except in a civil case by one against the other or in a
criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other;

Counsel claimed that Avelino Ordoño had not consented expressly or impliedly to his wife's testifying against

Issue: Whether the rape committed by the husband against his daughter is a crime committed by him against
his wife within the meaning of the exception found in the marital disqualification rule.


Should the phrase "in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other" be restricted to crimes
committed by one spouse against the other, such as physical injuries, bigamy, adultery or concubinage, or should
it be given a latitudinarian interpretation as referring to any offense causing marital discord?

There is a dictum that "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" (People vs. Francisco, 78 Phil. 694, 704).

In the Francisco case, the wife, as a rebuttal witness, was allowed to testify against the husband who was charged
with having killed his son and who testified that it was the wife who killed their son.
We think that the correct rule, which may be adopted in this jurisdiction, is that laid down in Cargill vs. State,
35 ALR 133, 220 Pac. 64, 25 Okl. 314, wherein the court said:

The rule that the injury must amount to a physical wrong upon the person is too narrow; and
the rule that any offense remotely or indirectly affecting domestic harmony comes within the
exception is too broad. The better rule is that, when an offense directly attack or directly
and vitally impairs, the conjugal relation, it comes within the exception to the statute
that one shall not be a witness against the other except in a criminal prosecution for a
crime committed (by) one against the other.

Using the criterion thus judiciously enunciated in the Cargill case, it can be concluded that in the law of evidence
the rape perpetrated by the father against his daughter is a crime committed by him against his wife (the victim's
mother). *

That conclusion is in harmony with the practices and traditions of the Filipino family where, normally, the
daughter is close to the mother who, having breast-fed and reared her offspring, is always ready to render her
counsel and assistance in time of need. Indeed, when the daughter is in distress or suffers moral or physical
pain, she usually utters the word Inay (Mother) before she invokes the name of the Lord.
Thus, in this case, when Avelino Ordoño, after having raped his daughter Leonora in the early morning of
October 11, 1970, tried to repeat the beastly act in the evening of that date, Leonora shouted "Mother" and,
on hearing that word, Avelino desisted.

That the rape of the daughter by the father, an undeniably abominable and revolting crime with incestuous
implications, positively undermines the connubial relationship, is a proposition too obvious to require much
In Wilkinson vs. People, 282 Pac. 257, it was held that the wife was a competent witness against the husband in a
prosecution for rape committed by the husband against his stepdaughter, who is the wife's natural daughter
because the crime was "an outrage upon nature in its dearest and tenderest relations as well as a crime against
humanity itself". The court adopted the interpretation that "a criminal action or proceeding for a crime
committed by one against the other" may refer to a crime where the wife is the individual particularly and
directly injured or affected by the crime for which the husband is being prosecuted (See Dill vs. People, 19
Colo. 469, 475, 36 Pac. 229, 232).
In State vs. Chambers, 87 Iowa 1, 53 N.W. 1090, it was held under the statutory provision that husband or wife
shall in no case be a witness for or against the other, except in a criminal proceeding for a crime committed by
one against the other, that the wife was competent to testify against the husband in a case where he was
prosecuted for incest committed against his stepdaughter.
In State vs. Shultz, 177 Iowa 321, 158 N.W. 539, it was held that the wife may testify against the husband in a
case where he was prosecuted for incest committed against their eleven-year old daughter because incest is a
"crime committed against the wife".
The trial court did not err in holding that Catalina Ordoño could testify against her husband, Avelino Ordoño,
in the case where he is being tried for having raped their daughter, Leonora.