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Evidence

Admissibility

Reyes vs. CA

Petitioners questions CA decision affirming with modification Admissibility


the agrarian court's decision which orders the defendant to of evidence
restore possession of the disputed landholding to private in Agrarian
respondent. CA affirms Lower Court admission in evidence cases
affidavits of respondents who are not subjected to cross-examination.

ISSUE Whether or not affidavits of witnesses not subjected to


cross- examination in Agrarian case admissible in evidence.

HELD

No. The trial court did not err when it favorably considered the affidavits of
Respondents, Eufrocina and Efren Tecson, although the affiants were not
presented and subjected to cross-examination. Section 16 of P.D. No. 946
provides that the "Rules of Court shall not be applicable in agrarian cases
even in a suppletory character." The same provision states that "In the
hearing, investigation and determination of any question or controversy,
affidavits and counter-affidavits may be allowed and are admissible in
evidence".

People vs. Turco Credence of


testimony of
Accused-appellant Rodegelio Turco, Jr. (aka "Totong") is found a rape
guilty of rape. He claims that there is no rape because he and victim.
the victim is sweethearts. A medical certificate issued by a Exception to
physician who is not subjected to cross- examination is hearsay;
admitted in evidence. expert
opinion
ISSUE Whether or not the testimony of a rape
victim has credence.
Whether or not a medical certificate issued by a physician who is
not subjected to cross-examination is admissible in
evidence.

HELD

There are guiding principles in rape cases as cited in People vs. Abrecinoz: x
x x (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merit,
and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence
for the defense. Thus, the credibility of the complainant is a paramount
importance, and if her testimony proves credible, the accused may be
convicted on the basis thereof.

********************

Although the medical certificate is an exception to the hearsay rule, hence


admissible as evidence, it has very little probative value due to the absence
of the examining physician. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that the
prosecution relied solely on the medical certificate x x x. In fact, reliance was
made on the testimony of the victim herself which, standing alone even
without medical examination, is sufficient to convict (People vs. Topaguen. It
is well-settled that a medical examination is not indispensable in the
prosecution of rape (People vs. Lacaba. The absence of medical findings by a
medico-legal officer does not disprove the occurrence of rape. It is enough
that the evidence on hand convinces the court that conviction is
proper (People vs. Auxtero. In the instant case, the victim's testimony alone
is credible and sufficient to convict.

Since admissibility of evidence is determined by its relevance and


competence, admissibility is, therefore, an affair of logic and law. On the
other hand, the weight to be given to such evidence, once admitted,
depends on judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided in Rule 133 and
the jurisprudence laid down by the Court. Thus, while evidence may be
admissible, it may be entitled to little or no weight at all. Conversely,
evidence which may have evidentiary weight may be inadmissible because a
special rule forbids its reception.

Agustin vs. CA

Constitutionalit
y of DNA
paternity
testing
Respondents Fe Angela and her son Martin Prollamante sued Martin’s alleged
biological father, petitioner Arnel L. Agustin, for support and
support pendente lite.

Fe and Martin moved for the issuance of an order directing all the parties to
submit themselves to DNA paternity testing pursuant to Rule 28 of the Rules
of Court. Arnel opposed said motion by invoking his constitutional right
against self-incrimination.

The trial court denied the motion to dismiss the complaint and ordered the
parties to submit themselves to DNA paternity testing at the expense of the
applicants. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.

ISSUE Whether DNA paternity testing can be ordered in a


proceeding for support without violating petitioner’s
constitutional right to privacy and right against self-
incrimination

HELD

No. The kernel of the right is not against all compulsion, but against
testimonial compulsion. The right against self-incrimination is simply against
the legal process of extracting from the lips of the accused an admission of
guilt. It does not apply where the evidence sought to be excluded is not an
incrimination but as part of object evidence.

Relevance

Lopez vs. Hassen

Appellant, Jesse G. Lopez, originally filed suit against Constitutionalit


appellee, Robert Heesen, alleging that Heesen unlawfully, y of DNA
violently, maliciously and feloniously assaulted and shot paternity
testing
appellant with a shotgun, inflicting injuries.

By stipulation of appellant and appellee, Heesen, appellee, Sears, Roebuck


and Company was joined as a party-defendant. Appellee, Sears, Roebuck and
Company. Thereafter two amended complaints followed before the third
amended complaint was filed, alleging that appellee, Sears, was engaged in
the design and manufacture of hunting firearms, including the Higgins Model
51, Cal. 30.06 rifle, and was also engaged in the selling of firearms in
Albuquerque.

It was also alleged that appellee, Sears, sold to appellee, Heesen, one of said
Higgins Model 51 hunting rifles; that said rifle was negligently designed or
manufactured by appellee, Sears, in that the safety mechanism moved
readily and in a dangerous manner from a "safe" to a "fire" position. In
addition, it was alleged that the rifle in this dangerous condition known to
appellee, Sears, was sold to appellee, Heesen, with the knowledge that it
would be used for hunting purposes and that appellee, Sears, negligently
failed to warn appellee, Heesen, of the dangerous and defective condition of
the rifle.

The complaint further alleged that on the afternoon of October 15, 1958, in
Colfax County, New Mexico, appellee, Heesen, negligently permitted the rifle
to discharge while hunting and that as a proximate result of the joint and
concurrent negligence of both appellees, appellant sustained a severe and
disabling wound and injury to his chest, requiring hospital and surgical care.

ISSUE Whether or not expert opinion on the safety of the rifle is


relevant.

HELD

Yes. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting this testimony.
The Court hold that the testimony as to the reputation of Fabrique Nationale,
who manufacture the safety device on the Higgins Model 51, and the
reputation of Marlin Firearms Company, Weatherby Corporation, Colt
Firearms Company and Jefferson Corporation, who manufacture rifles which
have the same modified leaf safety device as the Higgins Model 51, was
relevant to the issue of whether the safety device on the Higgins Model 51
was unsafe or safe.

The testimony of these witnesses, all experts in their field, was upon the
ultimate issue of fact of whether the safety device on the Higgins Model 51
was dangerous and defective or unsafe, and was properly the subject of
expert testimony. Opinion evidence on an ultimate issue of fact does not
attempt or have the power to usurp the functions of the jury, and this
evidence could not usurp the jury's function because the jury may still reject
these opinions and accept some other view.
In 20 Am.Jur., Evidence, § 775, p. 647, the rule is stated as follows:

"* * * In such cases, witnesses possessing requisite training, skill, or


knowledge, denominated `experts,' may testify, not only to the facts, but to
their opinions respecting the facts, so far as necessary to enlighten the jury
and to enable it to come to a right verdict. * * * Issues of this kind are said to
create a necessity for the admission in evidence of the opinions or
conclusions of witnesses who are shown to be specially skilled or
experienced in the particular field in question.

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in permitting the experts to
express their opinion.

State vs. Ball