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BON VS PP A partys verbal admission that is established through the testimonies of the persons who heard it fall under Section 26 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. According to this provision, the act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him. This rule is based upon the notion that no man would make any declaration against himself, unless it is true. The testimony of petitioner may, therefore, be received in evidence against him. It is undisputed that no direct evidence was presented. This kind of evidence, however, is not the only matrix from which the trial court may draw its conclusions and findings of guilt. Conviction may be based on circumstantial evidence, as long as the circumstances proven constitute an unbroken chain that leads to a fair and reasonable conclusion that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. To sustain a conviction based on circumstantial evidence, it is necessary that the following elements concur: 1. There is more than one circumstance. 2. The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven. 3. The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Did the circumstances in this case satisfy the above requirements? We rule in the affirmative. In its assessment of the evidence, the regional trial court (RTC) considered the following proven facts and circumstances: Accused Virgilio Bon, being the tenant is in actual possession and control over the land, fruit trees and big trees. Virgilio Bon has a better chance to cut and saw the lumber. He admitted before the barangay tanod, Julian Lascano, with other witnesses present[,] that he ordered the cutting of the trees[, and the] saw[ing thereof] by his son-inlaw, accused Alejandro Jeniebre, Jr. His admission was corroborated by Oscar Narvaez, the one hired by Alejandro Jeniebre, Jr., to saw the lumber. His extrajudicial confession is admissible evidence against him as it was voluntary and not under custodial investigation. The appellate court, on the other hand, found that the following circumstances sufficiently proved petitioners culpability: x x x (1) [Petitioner] Virgilio Bon admitted in the presence of Manuel Dangalan, Julian Lascano and Natividad Legaspi that he caused the cutting of the questioned trees; (2) [o]n February 12, 1990, Virgilio Bon and his son[,] x x x Rosalio Bon[,] went to private complainant[,] demanding [that] the latter x x x pay the value of the questioned trees which they had cut; (3) [o]n February 13, 1990, [Petitioner] Virgilio Bon went to private complainant to ask forgiveness for cutting the trees. A review of the records also shows that the fact of the alleged cutting, gathering and manufacture of lumber from the trees was proven by the prosecution through the following pieces of documentary evidence: photographs of tree stumps, the investigation report of an officer of the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) that no permit was secured for the cutting of the trees, and the CENROs computation of the value of the timber generated from the felled trees. This fact, together with the circumstantial evidence, indubitably points to no other conclusion than that petitioner was guilty as charged. 2. PP VS ULYSSES GARCIA Extrajudicial Confessions It is clear from a plain reading of the three extrajudicial confessions13 that Garcia was not assisted by Atty. Sanchez. The signature of the latter on those documents was affixed after the word SAKSI. Moreover, he appeared in court and categorically testified that he had not assisted Garcia when the latter was investigated by the police, and that the former had signed the Sworn Statement only as a witness. The written confessions, however, were still admitted in evidence by the RTC on the ground that Garcia had expressed in writing his willingness and readiness to give the Sworn Statements without the assistance of counsel. The lower courts action is manifest error. The right to counsel has been written into our Constitution in order to prevent the use of duress and other undue influence in extracting confessions from a suspect in a crime. The basic law specifically requires that any waiver of this right must be made in writing and executed in the presence of a counsel. In such case, counsel must not only ascertain that

the confession is voluntarily made and that the accused understands its nature and consequences, but also advise and assist the accused continuously from the time the first question is asked by the investigating officer until the signing of the confession. Hence, the lawyers role cannot be reduced to being that of a mere witness to the signing of a pre-prepared confession, even if it indicated compliance with the constitutional rights of the accused. The accused is entitled to effective, vigilant and independent counsel. A waiver in writing, like that which the trial court relied upon in the present case, is not enough. Without the assistance of a counsel, the waiver has no evidentiary relevance. The Constitution states that [a]ny confession or admission obtained in violation of Section 12 shall be inadmissible in evidence x x x. Hence, the trial court was in error when it admitted in evidence the uncounseled confessions of Garcia and convicted appellants on the basis thereof. 3. PP VS VINECARIO The constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures admits of certain exceptions, however. Searches conducted in checkpoints are valid for as long as they are warranted by the exigencies of public order and are conducted in a way least intrusive to motorists. For as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individuals right against unreasonable search. Although the general rule is that motorists and their vehicles as well as pedestrians passing through checkpoints may only be subjected to a routine inspection, vehicles may be stopped and extensively searched when there is probable cause which justifies a reasonable belief of the men at the checkpoints that either the motorist is a law offender or the contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments of some offense. Warrantless search of the personal effects of an accused has been declared by this Court as valid, because of existence of probable cause, where the smell of marijuana emanated from a plastic bag owned by the accused, or where the accused was acting suspiciously, and attempted to flee. In light then of appellants speeding away after noticing the checkpoint and even after having been flagged down by police officers, their suspicious and nervous gestures when interrogated on the contents of the backpack which they passed to one another, and the reply of Vinecario, when asked why he and his co- appellants sped away from the checkpoint, that he was a member of the Philippine Army, apparently in an attempt to dissuade the policemen from proceeding with their inspection, there existed probable cause to justify a reasonable belief on the part of the law enforcers that appellants were offenders of the law or that the contents of the backpack were instruments of some offense. As to Vinecarios allegation that his constitutional rights were violated during the custodial investigation conducted by the police officers, the same is relevant and material only when an extrajudicial admission or confession extracted from an accused becomes the basis of his conviction. In the case at bar, the trial court convicted appellants on the basis of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, particularly those of SPO1 Haydenburge Goc-ong and PO1 Vicente Carvajal. Finally, Vinecario harps on his defense of denial.vThe defense of denial, like alibi, has invariably been viewed by the courts with disfavor for it can just as easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in most prosecutions of the Dangerous Drugs Act. The categorical and consistent testimonies, and the positive identification by prosecution witnesses SPO1 Goc-ong and PO1 Carvajal, against whom no ill motive to falsely charge appellants was shown, must thus then prevail over the unconvincing alibi and unsubstantiated denial of appellants. 4. PP VS GUILLERMO Be that as it may, however, the inadmissibility of the appellants confession to SPO1 Reyes at the Antipolo PNP Station as evidence does not necessarily lead to his acquittal. For constitutional safeguards on custodial investigation (known, also as the Miranda principles) do not apply to spontaneous statements, or those not elicited through questioning by law enforcement authorities but given in an ordinary manner whereby the appellant verbally admits to having committed the offense. The rights enumerated in the Constitution, Article

III, Section 12, are meant to preclude the slightest use of the States coercive power as would lead an accused to admit something false. But it is not intended to prevent him from freely and voluntarily admitting the truth outside the sphere of such power. The facts in this case clearly show that appellant admitted the commission of the crime not just to the police but also to private individuals. According to the testimony of the security guard, Romualdo Campos, on the very day of the killing the appellant called him to say that he had killed his employer and needed assistance to dispose of the cadaver. Campos testimony was not rebutted by the defense. As the Solicitor General points out, appellants statements to Campos are admissible for being part of the res gestae. Under the Rules of Court, a declaration is deemed part of the res gestae and admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule when the following requisites concur: (1) the principal act, the res gestae is a startling occurrence; (2) the statements were made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise; and (3) the statements must concern the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. All these requisites are present in the instant case. Appellant had just been through a startling and gruesome occurrence, the death of his employer. His admission to Campos was made while he was still under the influence of said startling occurrence and before he had an opportunity to concoct or contrive a story. His declaration to Campos concerned the circumstances surrounding the killing of Keyser. Appellants spontaneous statements made to a private security guard, not an agent of the State or a law enforcer, are not covered by the Miranda principles and, as res gestae, admissible in evidence against him. Further, when interviewed on separate occasions by the media, appellant not only agreed to be interviewed by the news reporters, but he spontaneously admitted his guilt to them. He even supplied the details regarding the commission of the crime to reporter Kara David of GMA Channel 7, who testified in court. The TV news reporters testimonies on record show that they were acting as media professionals when they interviewed appellant. They were not under the direction and control of the police. There was no coercion for appellant to face the TV cameras. The record also shows that the interviews took place on several occasions, not just once. Each time, the appellant did not protest or insist on his innocence. Instead, he repeatedly admitted what he had done. He even supplied details of Keysers killing. As held in Andan, statements spontaneously made by a suspect to news reporters during a televised interview are voluntary and admissible in evidence. Thus, we have no hesitation in saying that, despite the inadmissibility of appellants alleged confession to the police, the prosecution has amply proven the appellants guilt in the killing of Victor F. Keyser. The bare denial raised by the appellant in open court pales in contrast to the spontaneous and vivid out-of-court admissions he made to security guard Campos and the two media reporters, Abelgas and David. The positive evidence, including the instruments of the crime, together with the medical evidence as well as the testimonies of credible prosecution witnesses, leaves us no doubt that appellant killed his employer, Victor Francisco Keyser, in the gruesome manner vividly described before the trial court. 5. PP VS AYANGAO The appellant also faults the trial court for failing to give weight to her defense of alibi. Appellants alibi could not prevail over the overwhelming evidence presented by the prosecution. Alibi as a defense is inherently weak and for it to serve as basis for an acquittal, the accused must establish by clear and convincing evidence (a) his presence at another place at the time of the perpetration of the offense and (b) the physical impossibility to be at the scene of the crime. The appellant failed to meet these two requirements. Jaime Alarcons house where appellant claimed to be sleeping at the time of her arrest, was only 10 meters from the tricycle terminal where she was arrested by the officers. Thus, the trial court was correct in ruling that the alibi of appellant was not enough to acquit her of the charges. 7. PP VS NAVARRO Petitioner Navarro questions the credibility of the testimony of Jalbuena on the ground that he was a biased witness, having a grudge against him. The testimony of a witness who has an interest in the conviction of the accused is not, for this reason alone, unreliable. Trial courts, which have the opportunity to observe the facial expressions, gestures, and tones of voice of a witness while testifying, are competent to determine whether his or her

testimony should be given credence. In the instant case, petitioner Navarro has not shown that the trial court erred in according weight to the testimony of Jalbuena. Indeed, Jalbuena's testimony is confirmed by the voice recording he had made. It may be asked whether the tape is admissible in view of R.A. No. 4200, which prohibits wire tapping. The answer is in the affirmative. The law prohibits the overhearing, intercepting, or recording of private communications. Since the exchange between petitioner Navarro and Lingan was not private, its tape recording is not prohibited. Nor is there any question that it was duly authenticated. A voice recording is authenticated by the testimony of a witness (1) that he personally recorded the conversation; (2) that the tape played in court was the one he recorded; and (3) that the voices on the tape are those of the persons such are claimed to belong. In the instant case, Jalbuena testified that he personally made the voice recording; that the tape played in court was the one he recorded; and that the speakers on the tape were petitioner Navarro and Lingan. A sufficient foundation was thus laid for the authentication of the tape presented by the prosecution. Second. The voice recording made by Jalbuena established: (1) that there was a heated exchange between petitioner Navarro and Lingan on the placing in the police blotter of an entry against him and Jalbuena; and (2) that some form of violence occurred involving petitioner Navarro and Lingan, with the latter getting the worst of it. 8. CANDIDO VS CA Petitioners would impress upon us that the verified complaint and the affidavit presented by petitioners to the DAR are proofs of the provisional rentals fixed by it and that it was error for the trial court not to have taken cognizance of these documents. We are not persuaded. It is settled that courts will only consider as evidence that which has been formally offered. 7 The affidavit of petitioner Natividad Candido mentioning the provisional rate of rentals was never formally offered; neither the alleged certification by the Ministry of Agrarian Reform, Not having been formally offered, the affidavit and certification cannot be considered as evidence. Thus the trial court as well as the appellate court correctly disregarded them. If they neglected to offer those documents in evidence, however vital they may be, petitioners only have themselves to blame, not respondent who was not even given a chance to object as the documents were never offered in evidence. A document, or any article for that matter, is not evidence when it is simply marked for identification; it must be formally offered, and the opposing counsel given an opportunity to object to it or cross-examine the witness called upon to prove or identify it. A formal offer is necessary since judges are required to base their findings of fact and judgment only and strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties at the trial. To allow a party to attach any document to his pleading and then expect the court to consider it as evidence may draw unwarranted consequences. The opposing party will be deprived of his chance to examine the document and object to its admissibility. The appellate court will have difficulty reviewing documents not previously scrutinized by the court below. The pertinent provisions of the Revised Rules of Court on the inclusion on appeal of documentary evidence or exhibits in the records cannot be stretched as to include such pleadings or documents not offered at the hearing of the case. 9. SANTOS VS LUMBAO Upon examination of the aforesaid documents, this Court finds that in the "Bilihan ng Lupa," dated 17 August 1979, the signatures of petitioners Virgilio and Tadeo appeared thereon. Moreover, in petitioners Answer and Amended Answer to the Complaint for Reconveyance with Damages, both petitioners Virgilio and Tadeo made an admission that indeed they acted as witnesses in the execution of the "Bilihan ng Lupa," dated 17 August 1979. However, in order to avoid their obligations in the said "Bilihan ng Lupa," petitioner Virgilio, in his cross-examination, denied having knowledge of the sale transaction and claimed that he could not remember the same as well as his appearance before the notary public due to the length of time that had passed. Noticeably, petitioner Virgilio did not categorically deny having signed the "Bilihan ng Lupa," dated 17 August 1979. As a general rule, facts alleged in a partys pleading are deemed admissions of that party and are binding upon him, but this is not an absolute and inflexible rule. An answer is a mere statement of fact which the party filing it expects to prove, but it is not evidence. And in spite of the presence of judicial admissions in a partys pleading, the trial court is still given leeway to consider other evidence presented. However, in the case at bar,

petitioners had not adduced any other evidence to override the admission made in their Answer that petitioners Virgilio and Tadeo actually signed the [Bilihan ng Lupa dated 17 August 1979] except that they were just misled as to the purpose of the document. Virgilios answers were unsure and quibbled. Hence, the general rule that the admissions made by a party in a pleading are binding and conclusive upon him applies in this case. Furthermore, both "Bilihan ng Lupa" documents dated 17 August 1979 and 9 January 1981 were duly notarized before a notary public. It is well- settled that a document acknowledged before a notary public is a public document that enjoys the presumption of regularity. It is a prima facie evidence of the truth of the facts stated therein and a conclusive presumption of its existence and due execution. To overcome this presumption, there must be presented evidence that is clear and convincing. Absent such evidence, the presumption must be upheld. In addition, one who denies the due execution of a deed where ones signature appears has the burden of proving that contrary to the recital in the jurat, one never appeared before the notary public and acknowledged the deed to be a voluntary act. Nonetheless, in the present case petitioners denials without clear and convincing evidence to support their claim of fraud and falsity were not sufficient to overthrow the above-mentioned presumption; hence, the authenticity, due execution and the truth of the facts stated in the aforesaid "Bilihan ng Lupa" are upheld. 10. ACABAL VS ACABAL Petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals erred when it failed to apply Section 8, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court, respondent Villaner having failed to deny under oath the genuineness and due execution of the April 19, 1990 Deed of Absolute Sale. Petitioners contention does not persuade. The failure to deny the genuineness and due execution of an actionable document does not preclude a party from arguing against it by evidence of fraud, mistake, compromise, payment, statute of limitations, estoppel, and want of consideration. On the merits, this Court rules in petitioners favor. It is a basic rule in evidence that the burden of proof lies on the party who makes the allegations. If he claims a right granted by law, he must prove it by competent evidence, relying on the strength of his own evidence and not upon the weakness of that of his opponent. More specifically, allegations of a defect in or lack of valid consent to a contract by reason of fraud or undue influence are never presumed but must be established not by mere preponderance of evidence but by clear and convincing evidence. For the circumstances evidencing fraud and misrepresentation are as varied as the people who perpetrate it in each case, assuming different shapes and forms and may be committed in as many different ways. In the case at bar, it was incumbent on the plaintiff-herein respondent Villaner to prove that he was deceived into executing the Deed of Absolute Sale. Except for his bare allegation that the transaction was one of lease, he failed to adduce evidence in support thereof. His conjecture that perhaps those copies of the deed of sale were placed by Mr. Cadalin under the documents which I signed the contract of lease, must fail, for facts not conjectures decide cases. 11. PROGRAMME INCORPORATED VS PROVINCE OF BATAAN The evidence clearly established respondents ownership of Piazza Hotel. First, the title of the land on which Piazza Hotel stands was in the name of respondent. Second, Tax Declaration No. 12782 was in the name of respondent as owner of Piazza Hotel. Third, petitioner was doubtlessly just a lessee. In the lease contract annexed to the complaint, petitioner in fact admitted BASECOs (respondents predecessor-in-interest) ownership then of the subject property. The Rules of Court states that [a]n 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. Such admissions may be made in (a) the pleadings filed by the parties, (b) in the course of the trial either by verbal or written manifestations or stipulations, or (c) in other stages of the judicial proceeding, as in the pre-trial of the case. Admissions obtained through depositions, written interrogatories or requests for admission are also considered judicial admissions.

To be considered as a judicial admission, the same must be made in the same case in which it is offered. In its own complaint for preliminary injunction and sum of money, petitioner acknowledged that it was not the owner of the property when it stated that BASECO leased to petitioner the building Piazza Hotel and its outlet Mariveles Lodge xxx for monthly rentals of P6,500.00. Petitioner could not possibly be the owner of a building merely leased to it. 12. SISON VS PP Exhibits "V," "V-1" to "V-48" are photographs taken of the victim as he was being mauled at the Luneta starting from a grassy portion to the pavement at the Rizal Monument and along Roxas Boulevard, as he was being chased by his assailants and as he sat pleading with his assailants. Exhibits "W", "W-1" to "W-13" are photographs of Salcedo and the mauling published in local newspapers and magazines such as the Philippine Star, Mr. and Ms. Magazine, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and the Malaya. The admissibility of these photographs is being questioned by appellants for lack of proper identification by the person or persons who took the same. The rule in this jurisdiction is that photographs, when presented in evidence, must be identified by the photographer as to its production and testified as to the circumstances under which they were produced. The value of this kind of evidence lies in its being a correct representation or reproduction of the original, and its admissibility is determined by its accuracy in portraying the scene at the time of the crime. The photographer, however, is not the only witness who can identify the pictures he has taken. The correctness of the photograph as a faithful representation of the object portrayed can be proved prima facie, either by the testimony of the person who made it or by other competent witnesses, after which the court can admit it subject to impeachment as to its accuracy. Photographs, therefore, can be identified by the photographer or by any other competent witness who can testify to its exactness and accuracy. This court notes that when the prosecution offered the photographs as part of its evidence, appellants, through counsel Atty. Alfredo Lazaro, Jr. objected to their admissibility for lack of proper identification. However, when the accused presented their evidence, Atty. Winlove Dumayas, counsel for accused Joselito Tamayo and Gerry Neri used Exhibits "V", "V-1" to "V-48" to prove that his clients were not in any of the pictures and therefore could not have participated in the mauling of the victim. The photographs were adopted by appellant Joselito Tamayo and accused Gerry Neri as part of the defense exhibits. And at this hearing, Atty. Dumayas represented all the other accused per understanding with their respective counsels, including Atty. Lazaro, who were absent. At subsequent hearings, the prosecution used the photographs to cross-examine all the accused who took the witness stand. No objection was made by counsel for any of the accused, not until Atty. Lazaro appeared at the third hearing and interposed a continuing objection to their admissibility. The objection of Atty. Lazaro to the admissibility of the photographs is anchored on the fact that the person who took the same was not presented to identify them. We rule that the use of these photographs by some of the accused to show their alleged non-participation in the crime is an admission of the exactness and accuracy thereof. That the photographs are faithful representations of the mauling incident was affirmed when appellants Richard de los Santos, Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan identified themselves therein and gave reasons for their presence thereat. An analysis of the photographs vis-a-vis the accused's testimonies reveal that only three of the appellants, namely, Richard de los Santos, Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan could be readily seen in various belligerent poses lunging or hovering behind or over the victim. Appellant Romeo Sison appears only once and he, although afflicted with hernia is shown merely running after the victim. Appellant Joselito Tamayo was not identified in any of the pictures. The absence of the two appellants in the photographs does not exculpate them. The photographs did not capture the entire sequence of the killing of Salcedo but only segments thereof. While the pictures did not record Sison and Tamayo hitting Salcedo, they were unequivocally identified by Sumilang and Banculo. Appellants' denials and alibis cannot overcome their eyeball identification. 13. PP VS CERVANTES In every prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drug, what is crucial is the identity of the buyer and seller, the object and its consideration, the delivery of the thing sold, and the payment for it. Implicit in these cases is first and foremost the identity and existence, coupled with the presentation to the court of the traded prohibited substance, this object evidence being an integral part of the corpus delicti of the crime of possession or selling of

regulated/prohibited drug. There can be no such crime when nagging doubts persist on whether the specimen submitted for examination and presented in court was what was recovered from, or sold by, the accused. Essential, therefore, in appropriate cases is that the identity of the prohibited drug be established with moral certainty. This means that on top of the key elements of possession or sale, the fact that the substance illegally possessed and sold in the first place is the same substance offered in court as exhibit must likewise be established with the same degree of certitude as that needed to sustain a guilty verdict. And as we stressed in Malillin v. People, the chain of custody requirement performs this function in that it ensures that unnecessary doubts concerning the identity of the evidence are removed. So it is that in a slew of cases the Court has considered the prosecutions failure to adequately prove that the specimen submitted for laboratory examination was the same one supposedly seized from the offending seller or possessor as ground for acquittal. Sec. 1(b) of the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 1, Series of 2002, or the Guidelines on the Custody and Disposition of Seized Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, and Laboratory Equipment, defines chain of custody, thusly: Chain of Custody means the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled chemicals x x x from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. Such record of movements and custody of seized item shall include the identity and signature of the person who held temporary custody of the seized item, the date and time when such transfer of custody was made in the course of safekeeping and use in court as evidence, and the final disposition. As a mode of authenticating evidence, the chain of custody rule requires that the admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. In context, this would ideally include testimony about every link in the chain, from the seizure of the prohibited drug up to the time it is offered into evidence, in such a way that everyone who touched the exhibit would describe how and from whom it was received, where it was and what happened to it while in the witness possession, the condition in which it was received, and the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain. The need for the punctilious observance of the chain-of- custody process in drug-related cases is explained in Malillin in the following wise: While testimony about a perfect chain is not always the standard because it is almost always impossible to obtain, an unbroken chain of custody becomes indispensable and essential when the item of real evidence is not distinctive and is not really identifiable, or when its condition at the time of testing or trial is critical, or when a witness has failed to observe its uniqueness. The same standard likewise obtains in case the evidence is susceptible to alteration, tampering, contamination and even substitution and exchange. In other words, the exhibits level of susceptibility to fungibility, alteration or tampering without regard to whether the same is advertent or otherwise notdictates the level of strictness in the application of the chain of custody rule. xxxx A unique characteristic of narcotic substances is that they are not readily identifiable as in fact they are subject to scientific analysis to determine their composition and nature. The Court cannot reluctantly close its eyes to the likelihood, or at least the possibility, that at any of the links in the chain of custody over the same there could have been tampering, alteration or substitution of substances from other casesby accident or otherwisein which similar evidence was seized or in which similar evidence was submitted for laboratory testing. Hence, in authenticating the same, a standard more stringent than that applied to cases involving objects which are readily identifiable must be applied, a more exacting standard that entails a chain of custody of the item with sufficient completeness if only to render it improbable that the original item has either been exchanged with another or been contaminated or tampered with. As the Court distinctly notes in this case, of the individuals who came into direct contact with or had physical custody of the seized regulated items, only PO3 Ramos testified for the specific purpose of identifying the evidence. In the witness box, however, he did not indicate how he and his companions, right after the buy bust, handled the seized plastic bag and its contents. He did not name the duty desk officer at Camp Vicente Lim to whom he specifically turned over the confiscated bag and sachets at least for recording. What is on record is Exhibit C, which, as earlier described, is a memorandum PO3 Ramos

prepared dated April 5, 2000 from the RSOG-IV Director to the Chief, PNP R-IV Crime Laboratory Service, submitting for qualitative analysis the white crystalline substance confiscated by the buy-bust group. Needless to stress, the unnamed person who delivered the suspected shabu and the recipient of it at the laboratory were no-show in court to testify on the circumstances under which they handled the specimen or whether other persons had access to the specimen before actual testing. And C/I Geronimo, the analyzing forensic chemist, was not also presented. Then, too, no one testified on how the specimen was cared after following the chemical analysis. As the Court observed aptly in People v. Ong, [T]hese questions should be answered satisfactorily to determine whether the integrity of the evidence was compromised in any way. Otherwise, the prosecution cannot maintain that it was able to prove the guilt of appellants beyond reasonable doubt. It cannot be overemphasized that Inspector Tria was really not part of the custodial chain. And she did not as she could not, even if she wanted to, testify on whether or not the specimen turned over for analysis and eventually offered in court as exhibit was the same substance received from Arguson. Given the foregoing perspective, it is fairly evident that the police operatives trifled with the procedures in the custody of seized prohibited drugs in a buy-bust operation, as embodied in Sec. 21(1), Art. II of RA 9165, i.e., the apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drug shall: immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the [drug] in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. In this case, no physical inventory was made and no photograph taken nor markings made on the seized articles at the crime scene. Just as clear is the fact that the exacting chain of custody rule was not observed. Withal, there is no reasonable assurance that no tampering or substitution occurred between the time the police seized the black bag in P. Ocampo St. in Manila until its contents were tested in the laboratory of the PNP R-IV headquarters in Canlubang, Laguna. In net effect, a heavy cloud of doubt hangs over the integrity and necessarily the evidentiary value of the seized items. The prosecution cannot, thus, rightfully assert that the six sachets seized from Arguson were the very same objects tested by C/I Geronimo and offered in court in proving the corpus delicti. Adding a negative dimension to the prosecutions case is the non-presentation of C/I Geronimo and the presentation in her stead of Inspector Tria to testify on the chemical report C/I Geronimo prepared. While Inspector Tria can plausibly testify on the fact that C/I Geronimo prepared the chemical report in the regular course of her duties, she, Inspector Tria, was incompetent to state that the specimen her former colleague analyzed was in fact shabu and was the same specimen delivered to the laboratory for chemical analysis. To be sure, the Court, notably in People v. Bandang, has held that the non-presentation of the forensic chemist in illegal drug cases is an insufficient cause for acquittal. In it, the accused persons were convicted of illegal sale of shabu even if the forensic chemist who prepared the corresponding laboratory report was not presented. It should be pointed out, however, that the Bandang ruling was cast against a different backdrop where: (1) the seized crystalline substance was the same item examined and tested positive for shabu and presented in court, implying that the identity and integrity of prohibited drug was safeguarded throughout, a circumstance not obtaining in this case; (2) there was a compelling reason for not presenting the examining forensic chemist, i.e., the parties stipulated that the confiscated seven plastic bags have been identified and examined and that the chemist stated in his report that the substance is positive for shabu. In this case, C/I Geronimos resignation from the service is not, standing alone, a justifying factor for the prosecution to dispense with her testimony; and (3) accused Bandang, et al. did not raise any objection to the chemical report during trial, unlike here where accusedappellant objected to Inspector Trias competency to testify on the Geronimo chemical report. At any rate, Inspector Trias testimony on, and the presentation of, the chemistry report in question only established, at best, the existence, due execution, and authenticity of the results of the chemistry analysis. It does not prove compliance with the requisite chain of custody over the confiscated substance from the time of seizure of the evidence. In this regard, the Court in effect stated in Malillin that unless the state can show by records or

testimony that the integrity of the evidence has not been compromised by accounting for the continuous whereabouts of the object evidence at least between the time it came into the possession of the police officers until it was tested in the laboratory, then the prosecution cannot maintain that it was able to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. So it was that in People v. Kimura the Court said that in establishing the corpus delicti, proof beyond reasonable doubt demands that unwavering exactitude be observed, a demand which may be addressed by hewing to the chain-of-custody rule. Evidently, the prosecution has not proved that the substance seized in front of the McDonalds was the same substance adduced in evidence as an indispensable element of corpus delicti of the crime, which failure produces a serious doubt as to accusedappellants guilt. Both the trial and appellate courts made much of the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions both with respect to the acts of PO3 Ramos and other PNP personnel at Camp Vicente Lim. To a point, the reliance on the presumptive regularity is tenable. This presumption is, however, disputable and may be overturned by affirmative evidence of irregularity or failure to perform a duty; any taint of irregularity vitiates the performance and negates the presumption. And as earlier discussed, the buy bust team committed serious lapses in the handling of the prohibited item from the very start of its operation, the error of which the PNP R-IV command later compounded. The Court need not belabor this matter anew. Lest it be overlooked, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty always yields to the presumption of innocence and does not constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt. We held in one case: The presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty cannot be used as basis for affirming accused-appellants conviction because, first, the presumption is precisely just thata mere presumption. Once challenged by evidence, as in this case, x x x [it] cannot be regarded as binding truth. Second, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions cannot preponderate over the presumption of innocence that prevails if not overthrown by proof beyond reasonable doubt. For failure then of the prosecution to establish the guilt of accused-appellant beyond reasonable doubt, she must perforce be exonerated from criminal liability. The facts and the law of the case call for this kind of disposition. 14. PP VS RIVERA In prosecutions for illegal sale of prohibited or dangerous drugs, what determines if there was a sale of dangerous drugs is proof of the concurrence of all the elements of the offense. Conviction is proper if the following elements concur: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. What is material is proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the prohibited or regulated drug or the corpus delicti as evidence. Accused-appellant was arrested in flagrante delicto in a buy-bust operation which is a form of entrapment which in recent years has been accepted to be a valid and effective mode of apprehending drug pushers. In a buy-bust operation, ways and means are employed for the purpose of trapping and capturing lawbreakers in the execution of their plan. The idea to commit a crime originates from the offender, without anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the offense. If carried out with due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards, a buy-bust operation deserves judicial sanction. PO2 Llantino's testimony proved all the elements of the crime. He testified vividly on the buy-bust operation. He positively identified accused- appellant as the seller of the shabu. Per Report No. D-1162-02 of Forensic Chemist Albert S. Arturo, the substance, weighing 0.25 gram, which was bought from accused-appellant in consideration of P100.00, was examined and found to be methylamphetamine hydrochloride. He testified that he was the one who prepared the marked money, acted as the poseur-buyer, arrested the accused, and turned-over the suspected shabu to the investigator. PO2 Llantino testified in a frank, spontaneous, straightforward and categorical manner and his credibility was not crumpled on cross-examination by defense counsel. His testimony was able to present a complete picture detailing the buy-bust operation - from the initial contact between the designated poseur-buyer PO2 Llantino and the pusher accused-appellant, the offer to purchase, the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of the sale. The shabu subject of the sale was brought to

and properly identified in court. Moreover, the chain of custody is unbroken and thus the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items have been preserved. The procedure to be followed in the custody and handling of seized dangerous drugs is outlined in Section 21, paragraph 1, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 which stipulates: The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. The same is implemented by Section 21(a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9165, viz.: (a) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: Provided, further, that noncompliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. The failure of the prosecution to show that the police officers conducted the required physical inventory and photograph of the evidence confiscated pursuant to said guidelines, is not fatal and does not automatically render accused- appellant's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. Indeed, the implementing rules offer some flexibility when a proviso added that `non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items.' The same provision clearly states as well, that it must still be shown that there exists justifiable grounds and proof that the integrity and evidentiary value of the evidence have been preserved. This Court can no longer find out what justifiable reasons existed, if any, since the defense did not raise this issue during trial. Be that as it may, this Court has explained in People v. Del Monte that what is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. The existence of the dangerous drug is a condition sine qua non for conviction for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs. The dangerous drug itself constitutes the very corpus delicti of the crime and the fact of its existence is vital to a judgment of conviction. Thus, it is essential that the identity of the prohibited drug be established beyond doubt. The chain of custody requirement performs the function of ensuring that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are preserved, so much so that unnecessary doubts as to the identity of the evidence are removed. To be admissible, the prosecution must show by records or testimony, the continuous whereabouts of the exhibit at least between the time it came into possession of the police officers and until it was tested in the laboratory to determine its composition up to the time it was offered in evidence. In the case at bar, the totality of the testimonial, documentary, and object evidence adequately supports not only the findings that a valid buy-bust operation took place but accounted for an unbroken chain of custody of the seized evidence as well. A certified true photocopy of the NPDO-DDEG logbook indicated that a team was officially dispatched at 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon for a buy-bust operation at Pitong Gatang, Dampalit, in Malabon City, and brought with them one (1) piece of one hundred peso bill with Serial Number HL 034748 to be used as buy-bust money. The testimony of PO2 Llantino established that the buy-bust operation occurred between 4:00 o'clock to 5:30 o'clock in the afternoon of 21 October 2002. Accused-appellant was brought to the Larangay police station at around 7:00 o'clock in the evening. PO2 Llantino testified that the seized evidence was turned over to the police investigator who put his markings "ERCBB." DDEG Chief Reynaldo Orante made the request for laboratory examination dated 21 October 2002. The request, together with the seized item (one sachet) was brought to the

NPDO-CLO at 11:30 o'clock in the evening that same night and received by Forensic Chemist Albert S. Arturo at 11:35 o'clock in the evening. The parties stipulated on the qualification and competence of the Forensic Chemist of the PNP Crime Laboratory. It was stipulated that the Forensic Chemist was the one who prepared the report on the examination of the specimen submitted and that he can identify the specimen. While the Court notes that there is a slight discrepancy in the Serial Numbers of the buy-bust money as stated in the affidavit of PO2 Llantino vis-a-vis the Serial Numbers reflected in the NPDODDEG Police Blotter[51] and the actual buy-bust money presented. This minor inconsistency does not detract from the veracity and weight of the prosecution evidence. It is enough that the prosecution proved that money was paid to accused-appellant in consideration of which he sold and delivered the shabu. Moreover, any discrepancy on the the buy-bust money was resolved on the categorical statement of PO2 Llantino that he put the markings AL on the buy- bust money, corresponding to his initials Allan Llantino. Thus, beyond his bare allegations, accused- appellant has not shown any evidence that will destroy the identity of the sachet. 15. PP VS DE LA CRUZ In prosecutions for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following must be proven: (1) that the transaction or sale took place; (2) the corpus delicti or the illicit drug was presented as evidence; and (3) that the buyer and seller were identified. The dangerous drug is the very corpus delicti of the offense. In the case at bar, the Court finds that the arresting officers failed to strictly comply with the guidelines prescribed by the law regarding the custody and control of the seized drugs despite its mandatory terms. While there was testimony regarding the marking of the seized items at the police station, there was no mention whether the same had been done in the presence of appellant or his representatives. There was likewise no mention that any representative from the media, DOJ or any elected official had been present during the inventory or that any of these people had been required to sign the copies of the inventory. Neither does it appear on record that the team photographed the contraband in accordance with law. Following the rule that penal laws shall be construed strictly against the government, and liberally in favor of the accused, the apprehending team's omission to observe the procedure outlined by R.A. 9165 in the custody and disposition of the seized drugs significantly impairs the prosecution's case. Now, the prosecution cannot seek refuge in the proviso of the IRR in the absence of proof of entitlement to such leniency. The prosecution rationalizes its oversight by merely stating that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items were properly preserved in accordance with law. The allegation hardly sways the Court save when it is accompanied by proof. According to the proviso of the IRR of Section 21(a) of R.A. No. 9165, noncompliance with the procedure shall not render void and invalid the seizure of and custody of the drugs only when: (1) such non- compliance was under justifiable grounds; and (2) the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending team. Clearly, there must be proof that these two (2) requirements were met before any such non-compliance may be said to fall within the scope of the proviso. Significantly, not only does the present case lack the most basic or elementary attempt at compliance with the law and its implementing rules; it fails as well to provide any justificatory ground showing that the integrity of the evidence had all along been preserved. Failing to prove entitlement to the application of the proviso, the arresting officers' noncompliance with the procedure laid down by R.A No. 9156 is not excused. This inexcusable non-compliance effectively invalidates their seizure of and custody over the seized drugs, thus, compromising the identity and integrity of the same. We resolve the doubt in the integrity and identity of the corpus delicti in favor of appellant as every fact necessary to constitute the crime must be established by proof beyond reasonable doubt. Considering that the prosecution failed to present the required quantum of evidence, appellant's acquittal is in order. 16. PP VS DEL MONTE At the outset, it must be stated that appellant raised the police officers' alleged noncompliance with Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 for the first time on appeal. This, he cannot do.Itistoolateinthedayforhimtodoso. In People v. Sta. Maria in which the very same issue was raised, we ruled:

The law excuses non-compliance under justifiable grounds. However, whatever justifiable grounds may excuse the police officers involved in the buy-bust operation in this case from complying with Section 21 will remain unknown, because appellant did not question during trial the safekeeping of the items seized from him. Indeed, the police officers' alleged violations of Sections 21 and 86 of Republic Act No. 9165 were not raised before the trial court but were instead raised for the first time on appeal. In no instance did appellant least intimate at the trial court that there were lapses in the safekeeping of seized items that affected their integrity and evidentiary value. Objection to evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal; when a party desires the court to reject the evidence offered, he must so state in the form of objection. Without such objection, he cannot raise the question for the first time on appeal. In People v. Pringas, we explained that non- compliance with Section 21 will not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. In the case at bar, appellant never questioned the custody and disposition of the drug that was taken from him. In fact, he stipulated that the drug subject matter of this case was forwarded to PNP Regional Crime Laboratory Office 3, Malolos, Bulacan for laboratory examination which examination gave positive result for methamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous drug. We thus find the integrity and the evidentiary value of the drug seized from appellant not to have been compromised. We would like to add that non-compliance with Section 21 of said law, particularly the making of the inventory and the photographing of the drugs confiscated and/or seized, will not render the drugs inadmissible in evidence. Under Section 3 of Rule 128 of the Rules of Court, evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules. For evidence to be inadmissible, there should be a law or rule which forbids its reception. If there is no such law or rule, the evidence must be admitted subject only to the evidentiary weight that will accorded it by the courts. One example is that provided in Section 31 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court wherein a party producing a document as genuine which has been altered and appears to be altered after its execution, in a part material to the question in dispute, must account for the alteration. His failure to do so shall make the document inadmissible in evidence. This is clearly provided for in the rules. We do not find any provision or statement in said law or in any rule that will bring about the non- admissibility of the confiscated and/or seized drugs due to non-compliance with Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165. The issue therefore, if there is non-compliance with said section, is not of admissibility, but of weight - evidentiary merit or probative value - to be given the evidence. The weight to be given by the courts on said evidence depends on the circumstances obtaining in each case. The elements necessary for the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs are (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti. All these elements have been shown in the instant case. The prosecution clearly showed that the sale of the drugs actually happened and that the shabu subject of the sale was brought and identified in court. The poseur buyer positively identified appellant as the seller of the shabu. Per Chemistry Report No. D-728-2002 of Forensic Chemical Officer Nellson Cruz Sta. Maria, the substance, weighing 0.290 gram, which was bought by PO1 Tolentino from appellant in consideration of P300.00, was examined and found to be methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). 17. STATE VS TATUM What quantum of authentication do courts require before a photograph may be admissible in evidence? It is simply this--that some witness (not necessarily the photographer) be able to give some indication as to when, where, and under what circumstances the photograph was taken, and that the photograph accurately portray the subject or subjects illustrated. The photograph need only be sufficiently accurate to be helpful to the court and the jury. Witness Pentecost testified that she recognized the background shown in the picture as that of the food store, and, as mentioned previously, she also testified as to the store's standard procedure of "regiscoping" each individual who cashed a check at the store. Phillip Dale testified at length concerning the Regiscope process. The testimony of these

two witnesses taken together amounted to a sufficient authentication to warrant the admission of the photograph (both the print and the negative) into evidence. 18. ADAMCZUK VS HOLLOWAY The rule is well settled that a photograph may be put in evidence if relevant to the issue and if verified. It does not have to be verified by the taker. Its verification depends on the competency of the verifying witness and as to that the trial judge must in the first instance decide, subject to reversal for substantial error. Wigmore on Evidence (2d ed.), Vol. 2, sec. 792, p.97, says: The objection that a photograph may be so made as to misrepresent the object is genuinely directed against its testimonial soundness; but it is of no validity. It is true that a photograph can be deliberately so taken as to convey the most false impression of the object. But so also can any witness lie in his words. A photograph can falsify just as much and no more than the human being who takes it or verifies it. The fallacy of the objection occurs in assuming that the photograph can come in testimonially without a competent person's oath to support it. If a qualified observer is found to say, "This photograph represents the fact as I saw it," there is no more reason to exclude it than if he had said, "The following words represent the fact as I saw it," which is always in effect the tenor of a witness's oath. If no witness has thus attached his credit to the photograph, then it should not come in at all, any more than an anonymous letter should be received as testimony. Section 793: The map or photograph must first, to be admissible, be made a part of some qualified person's testimony. Someone must stand forth as its testimonial sponsor; in other words, it must be verified. There is nothing anomalous or exceptional in this requirement of verification; it is simply the exaction of those testimonial qualities which are required equally of all witnesses; the application merely takes a different form. In other words, if a witness is familiar with the scene photographed and is competent to testify that the photograph correctly represents it, it should, if relevant, be admitted. 19. PP VS CARPO After the filing of briefs, the accused filed an Addendum to Appellants Brief urging that the favorable result of their lie detector tests with the NBI be admitted into the records. A lie detector test is based on the theory that an individual will undergo physiological changes, capable of being monitored by sensors attached to his body, when he is not telling the truth. The Court does not put credit and faith on the result of a lie detector test inasmuch as it has not been accepted by the scientific community as an accurate means of ascertaining truth or deception. 20. PP VS VALLEJO DNA is an organic substance found in a persons cells which contains his or her genetic code. Except for identical twins, each persons DNA profile is distinct and unique. When a crime is committed, material is collected from the scene of the crime or from the victims body for the suspects DNA. This is the evidence sample. The evidence sample is then matched with the reference sample taken from the suspect and the victim. The purpose of DNA testing is to ascertain whether an association exists between the evidence sample and the reference sample. The samples collected are subjected to various chemical processes to establish their profile. The test may yield three possible results: 1) The samples are different and therefore must have originated from different sources (exclusion). This conclusion is absolute and requires no further analysis or discussion; 2) It is not possible to be sure, based on the results of the test, whether the samples have similar DNA types (inconclusive). This might occur for a variety of reasons including degradation, contamination, or failure of some aspect of the protocol. Various parts of the analysis might then be repeated with the same or a different sample, to obtain a more conclusive result; or 3) The samples are similar, and could have originated from the same source (inclusion). In such a case, the samples are found to be similar, the analyst proceeds to determine the statistical significance of the Similarity. In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, therefore, courts should consider, among others things, the following data: how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of contamination of the samples, the procedure followed in

analyzing the samples, whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. Upon analysis by the experts, they showed the DNA profile of accused-appellant: In conclusion, we hold that the totality of the evidence points to no other conclusion than that accused-appellant is guilty of the crime charged. 21. PP VS RUFINO Amidst the slew of assertions and counter-assertions, a happenstance may provide the definitive key to the absolution of the appellant. This is the fact that AAA bore a child as a result of the purported rape. With the advance in genetics and the availability of new technology, it can now be determined with reasonable certainty whether appellant is the father of AAAs child. If he is not, his acquittal may be ordained. We have pronounced that if it can be conclusively determined that the accused did not sire the alleged victims child, this may cast the shadow of reasonable doubt and allow his acquittal on this basis. If he is found not to be the father, the finding will at least weigh heavily in the ultimate decision in this case. Thus, we are directing appellant, AAA and AAAs child to submit themselves to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing under the aegis of the New Rule on DNA Evidence (the Rules), which took effect on 15 October 2007, subject to guidelines prescribed herein. DNA print or identification technology is now recognized as a uniquely effective means to link a suspect to a crime, or to absolve one erroneously accused, where biological evidence is available. For purposes of criminal investigation, DNA identification is a fertile source of both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. It can aid immensely in determining a more accurate account of the crime committed, efficiently facilitating the conviction of the guilty, securing the acquittal of the innocent, and ensuring the proper administration of justice in every case. 22. HERRERA VS ALBA Parentage will still be resolved using conventional methods unless we adopt the modern and scientific ways available. Fortunately, we have now the facility and expertise in using DNA test for identification and parentage testing. The University of the Philippines Natural Science Research Institute (UP-NSRI) DNA Analysis Laboratory has now the capability to conduct DNA typing using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. xxx For it was said, that courts should apply the results of science when completely obtained in aid of situations presented, since to reject said result is to deny progress. Though it is not necessary in this case to resort to DNA testing, in [the] future it would be useful to all concerned in the prompt resolution of parentage and identity issues. n [a] paternity test, the forensic scientist looks at a number of these variable regions in an individual to produce a DNA profile. Comparing next the DNA profiles of the mother and child, it is possible to determine which half of the childs DNA was inherited from the mother. The other half must have been inherited from the biological father. The alleged fathers profile is then examined to ascertain whether he has the DNA types in his profile, which match the paternal types in the child. If the mans DNA types do not match that of the child, the man is excluded as the father. If the DNA types match, then he is not excluded as the father. It is not enough to state that the childs DNA profile matches that of the putative father. A complete match between the DNA profile of the child and the DNA profile of the putative father does not necessarily establish paternity. For this reason, following the highest standard adopted in an American jurisdiction, trial courts should require at least 99.9% as a minimum value of the Probability of Paternity (W) prior to a paternity inclusion. W is a numerical estimate for the likelihood of paternity of a putative father compared to the probability of a random match of two unrelated individuals. An appropriate reference population database, such as the Philippine population database, is required to compute for W. Due to the probabilistic nature of paternity inclusions, W will never equal to 100%. However, the accuracy of W estimates is higher when the putative father, mother and child are subjected to DNA analysis compared to those conducted between the putative father and child alone. DNA analysis that excludes the putative father from paternity should be conclusive proof of non- paternity. If the value of W is less than 99.9%, the results of the DNA analysis should be considered as corroborative evidence. If the value of W is 99.9% or higher, then there is refutable presumption of paternity. This refutable presumption of paternity should be subjected to the Vallejo standards. Right Against Self-Incrimination

Petitioner asserts that obtaining samples from him for DNA testing violates his right against self- incrimination. Petitioner ignores our earlier pronouncements that the privilege is applicable only to testimonial evidence. Obtaining DNA samples from an accused in a criminal case or from the respondent in a paternity case, contrary to the belief of respondent in this action, will not violate the right against self- incrimination. This privilege applies only to evidence that is communicative in essence taken under duress. The Supreme Court has ruled that the right against selfincrimination is just a prohibition on the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communication (testimonial evidence) from a defendant, not an exclusion of evidence taken from his body when it may be material. 23. PP VS YATAR DNA is a molecule that encodes the genetic information in all living organisms. A persons DNA is the same in each cell and it does not change throughout a persons lifetime; the DNA in a persons blood is the same as the DNA found in his saliva, sweat, bone, the root and shaft of hair, earwax, mucus, urine, skin tissue, and vaginal and rectal cells. Most importantly, because of polymorphisms in human genetic structure, no two individuals have the same DNA, with the notable exception of identical twins. DNA print or identification technology has been advanced as a uniquely effective means to link a suspect to a crime, or to exonerate a wrongly accused suspect, where biological evidence has been left. For purposes of criminal investigation, DNA identification is a fertile source of both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. It can assist immensely in effecting a more accurate account of the crime committed, efficiently facilitating the conviction of the guilty, securing the acquittal of the innocent, and ensuring the proper administration of justice in every case. DNA evidence collected from a crime scene can link a suspect to a crime or eliminate one from suspicion in the same principle as fingerprints are used. Incidents involving sexual assault would leave biological evidence such as hair, skin tissue, semen, blood, or saliva which can be left on the victims body or at the crime scene. Hair and fiber from clothing, carpets, bedding, or furniture could also be transferred to the victims body during the assault. Forensic DNA evidence is helpful in proving that there was physical contact between an assailant and a victim. If properly collected from the victim, crime scene or assailant, DNA can be compared with known samples to place the suspect at the scene of the crime. In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, courts should consider, inter alia, the following factors: how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of contamination of the samples, the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. In the case at bar, Dr. Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria was duly qualified by the prosecution as an expert witness on DNA print or identification techniques. Based on Dr. de Ungrias testimony, it was determined that the gene type and DNA profile of appellant are identical to that of the extracts subject of examination. The blood sample taken from the appellant showed that he was of the following gene types: vWA 15/19, TH01 7/8, DHFRP2 9/10 and CSF1PO 10/11, which are identical with semen taken from the victims vaginal canal. Verily, a DNA match exists between the semen found in the victim and the blood sample given by the appellant in open court during the course of the trial. Admittedly, we are just beginning to integrate these advances in science and technology in the Philippine criminal justice system, so we must be cautious as we traverse these relatively uncharted waters. Fortunately, we can benefit from the wealth of persuasive jurisprudence that has developed in other jurisdictions. Specifically, the prevailing doctrine in the U.S. has proven instructive. In Daubert v. Merrell Dow, it was ruled that pertinent evidence based on scientifically valid principles could be used as long as it was relevant and reliable. Judges, under Daubert, were allowed greater discretion over which testimony they would allow at trial, including the introduction of new kinds of scientific techniques. DNA typing is one such novel procedure. Under Philippine law, evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or non-existence. Applying the Daubert test to the case at bar, the DNA evidence obtained through PCR testing and utilizing STR analysis, and which was appreciated by the court a quo is relevant and reliable since it is reasonably based on

scientifically valid principles of human genetics and molecular biology. In an attempt to exclude the DNA evidence, the appellant contends that the blood sample taken from him as well as the DNA tests were conducted in violation of his right to remain silent as well as his right against self-incrimination under Secs. 12 and 17 of Art. III of the Constitution. This contention is untenable. 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. 24. PP VS CAJUMOCAN Paraffin tests, in general, have been rendered inconclusive by this Court. Scientific experts concur in the view that the paraffin test has proved extremely unreliable in use. It can only establish the presence or absence of nitrates or nitrites on the hand; still, the test alone cannot determine whether the source of the nitrates or nitrites was the discharge of a firearm. The presence of nitrates should be taken only as an indication of a possibility or even of a probability but not of infallibility that a person has fired a gun, since nitrates are also admittedly found in substances other than gunpowder. Appellants argument that the negative result of gunpowder nitrates from the paraffin test conducted on him the day after the crime was committed, thereby showing an absence of physical evidence that he fired a gun, is untenable. In the case of People v. Manalo, we stressed: xxx 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. 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. In People v. Abriol, et al., we reiterated the rule on the admissibility of this kind of evidence: A paraffin test could establish the presence or absence of nitrates on the hand. However, it cannot establish that the source of the nitrate was the discharge of firearms. Nitrates are also found in substances other than gunpowder. A person who tests positive may have handled one or more substances with the same positive reaction for nitrates such as explosives, fireworks, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, and leguminous plants. Hence, the presence of nitrates should only be taken as an indication of a possibility that a person has fired a gun. However, it must be borne in mind that appellants were not convicted on the sole basis of the paraffin test. Paraffin tests, it must be emphasized, merely corroborate direct evidence that may be presented by the prosecution. In the case at bar, the positive, clear and categorical testimony of the lone eyewitness to the crime deserves full merit in both probative weight and credibility over the negative results of the paraffin test conducted on the appellant. Verily, establishing the identity of the malefactor through the testimony of the witness is the heart and cause of the prosecution. All other matters, such as the paraffin test, are of lesser consequence where there is positive identification by the lone eyewitness, Leo Mirabueno, of appellant as the perpetrator of the crime. Hence, a paraffin test cannot be considered as conclusive proof of appellants innocence. 25. REVITA VS PP Even negative findings of the paraffin test do not conclusively show that a person did not fire a gun. A paraffin test has been held to be highly unreliable. The Court thus once held: Scientific experts concur in the view that the paraffin test has proved extremely unreliable in use. The only thing that it can definitely establish is the presence or absence of nitrates or nitrites on the hand. It cannot be established from this test alone that the source of the nitrates or nitrites was the discharge of a firearm. The person may have handled one or more of a number of substances which give the same positive reaction for nitrates or nitrites, such as explosives, fireworks, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and leguminous plants such as peas, beans, and alfalfa. A person who uses tobacco may also have nitrate or nitrite deposits on his hands since these substances are present in the products of combustion of tobacco. In numerous rulings, we have also recognized several factors which may bring about the absence of gunpowder nitrates on the hands of a gunman, viz: when

the assailant washes his hands after firing the gun, wears gloves at the time of the shooting, or if the direction of a strong wind is against the gunman at the time of firing. In fine, this Court defers to the findings of the trial court which are affirmed by the Court of Appeals, there being no cogent reason to veer away from such findings. 26. PP VS BUDUHAN Appellants likewise cannot rely on the negative findings of Police Inspector Chua-Camarao on the paraffin tests conducted in order to exculpate themselves. The said witness herself promptly stated that paraffin test results are merely corroborative of the major evidence offered by any party, and they are not conclusive with respect to the issue of whether or not the subjects did indeed fire a gun. As previously mentioned, the positive and negative results of the paraffin test can also be influenced by certain factors affecting the conditions surrounding the use of the firearm, namely: the wearing of gloves by the subject, perspiration of the hands, wind direction, wind velocity, humidity, climate conditions, the length of the barrel of the firearm or the open or closed trigger guard of the firearm. 27. AIR FRANCE VS CARRASCOSO Petitioner draws the SCs attention to respondent Carrascoso's testimony, thus "Q. mentioned about an attendant. Who is that attendant and purser? You

A. When we left already that was already in the trip I could not help it. So one of the flight attendants approached me and requested from me my ticket and I said, What for? and she said, 'We will note that you were transferred to the tourist class'. I said, 'Nothing of that kind. That is tantamount to accepting my transfer.' And I also said, You are not going to note anything there because I am protesting to this transfer. Q. A. Q. A. feel uncomfortable and you don't have enough leg room, I stood up and I went to the pantry that was next to me and the purser was there. He told me, 'I have recorded the incident in my notebook.' He read it and translated it to me because it was recorded in French 'First class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and that the captain refused to intervene.' Was she able to note it? No, because I did not give my ticket. About that purser? Well, the seats there are so close that you MR. VALTE I move to strike out the last part of the testimony of the witness because the best evidence would be the notes. Your Honor. COURT I will allow that as part of his testimony." Petitioner charges that the finding of the Court of Appeals that the purser made an entry in his notebooks reading "First class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and that the captain refused to intervene" is predicated upon evidence [Carrascoso's testimony above] which is incompetent. We do not think so. The subject of inquiry is not the entry, but the ouster incident. Testimony of the entry does not come within the proscription of the best evidence rule. Such testimony is admissible. Besides, from a reading of the transcript just quoted, when the dialogue happened, the impact of the startling occurrence was still fresh and continued to be felt. The excitement had not as yet died down. Statements then, in this environment, are admissible as part of the res gestae. For, they grow "out of the nervous excitement and mental and physical condition of the declarant". The utterance of the purser regarding his entry in the notebook was spontaneous, and related to the circumstances of the ouster incident. Its trustworthiness has been guaranteed. It thus escapes the operation of the hearsay rule. It forms part of the res gestae. At all events, the entry was made outside the Philippines. And, by an employee of petitioner. It would have been an easy matter for petitioner to have contradicted Carrascoso's testimony. If it were really true that no such entry was made, the deposition of the purser could have cleared up the matter. We, therefore, hold that the transcribed testimony of Carrascoso is admissible in evidence. 28. PP VS TAN The admissibility of duplicates or triplicates has long been a settled question and we need not elaborate on the reasons for the rule. This matter has received consideration from the foremost commentator on the Rules of Court thus:

"When carbon sheets are inserted between two or more sheets of writing paper so that the writing of a contract upon the outside sheet, including the signature of the party to be charged thereby, produces facsimile upon the sheets beneath, such signature being thus reproduced by the same stroke of the pen which made the surface or exposed impression, all of the sheets so written on are regarded as duplicate originals and either of them may be introduced in evidence as such without accounting for the nonproduction of the others.' It has also been decided in favor of the petitioner by Us in the case of People vs. Quinones, 44 Off. Gaz., No. 5, 1520, 1525, thus: "It is argued in the second assignment of error that the confession Exhibit B is not admissible because it is merely a carbon copy. The said confession Exhibit B, being carbon copy of the original and bearing as it does the signature of the appellant, is admissible in evidence and possess all the probative value of the original, and the same does not require an accounting for the non- production of the original. (Sec. 47, Rule 123, Rules of Court)" Two principal authors on the law on evidence have sustained the theory of th admissibility of duplicate originals, as follows: "SEC. 386. . . . the best evidence rule is that rule which requires the highest grade of evidence obtainable to prove a disputed fact p. 616. A "duplicate sales slip' has been held to be primary evidence, p. 616. "SEC. 420. Duplicate originals. - Where letters are produced by mechanical means and, concurrently with the original, duplicate are produced, as by placing carbon paper between sheets of writing on the exposed surface at the same time, all are duplicate originals, and any one of them may be introduced in evidence without accounting for the nonproduction of the other. "SEC. 100. Carbon copies, however, when made at the same time and on the same machine as the original, are duplicate originals, and these have been held to be as much primary evidence as the originals. We find that the ruling of the court below to the effect that the triplicates formed by the used of carbon papers are not admissible in evidence, without accounting first for the loss of the originals is incorrect and must be reversed. 29. PP VS TANDOY The best evidence rule applies only when the contents of the document are the subject of inquiry. Where the issue is only as to whether or not such document was actually executed, or exists, or in the circumstances relevant to or surrounding its execution, the best evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible. Since the aforesaid marked money was presented by the prosecution solely for the purpose of establishing its existence and not its contents, other substitutionary evidence, like a xerox copy thereof, is therefore admissible without the need of accounting for the original. 30. U.S. VS GREGORIO In criminal proceedings for the falsification of a document, it is indispensable that the judges and courts have before them the document alleged to have been simulated, counterfeited, or falsified, in order that they may find, pursuant to the evidence produced in the cause, whether or not the crime of falsification was committed, and also, at the same time, to enable them to determine the degree of each defendant's liability in the falsification under prosecution. Through the lack of the original document containing the memorandum alleged to be false, it is improper to hold, with only a copy of the said original in view, that the crime prosecuted was committed; and although, judging from the testimony of the witnesses who were examined in the two consolidated causes, there is reason to entertain much doubt as to the defendant's innocence, yet, withal, this case does not furnish decisive and conclusive proof of their respective guilt as coprincipals of the crime charged. Defendants in a criminal cause are always presumed to be innocent until their guilt be fully proven, and, in case of reasonable doubt and when their guilt is not satisfactorily shown, they are entitled to a judgment of acquittal. In view of the evidence produced in both of the aforesaid criminal causes, said causes can only be terminated by such a finding. For the foregoing reasons, it is proper, in our opinion, with a reversal of the judgment appealed from, to acquit, and we hereby do acquit Eustaquio Balistoy and Bernardo

Gregorio, with the costs of both instances de oficio. So ordered. 31. FISCAL OF PAMPANGA VS REYES The general rules regarding the admissibility of evidence are applicable to cases of libel or slander. The evidence must be relevant, and not hearsay. This being so, the rule of procedure which requires the production of the best evidence, is applicable to the present case. And certainly the copies of the weekly where the libelous article was published, and its translation, constitute the best evidence of the libel charged. The newspaper itself is the best evidence of an article published in it. 32. COMPANIA MARITIMA VS ALLIED WORKERS UNION After analyzing the nature of the damages, awarded, how the same were computed, and the trustworthiness of the company's evidence, we find the first assignment of error meritorious. The best evidence on the cost of the said equipment would have been the sales invoices instead of the oral testimony of Teves. He did not produce the sales invoices. We have already stress that, on the basis of the reports of the two accountants, the damages, claimed by the complaint as a matter of simple addition, does not reach the sum of P 450,000 fixed by the trial court. The damages, shown in the accountants' reports and in the statement made by the consignees chief clerk amount to P349,245.37, or much less than P450,000. The company argues that the accountants' reports are admissible in evidence because of the rule that "when the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot be examined in court without great loss-of time and the fact sought to be established from them is oth the general result of the whole", the original writings need not be produced (Sec. 2[e], Rule 130, Rules of Court). That rule cannot be applied in this case because the voluminous character of the records, on which the accountants' reports were based, was not duly established (U. S. vs. Razon and Tayag, 37 Phil. 856, 861; 29 Am Jur 2nd 529). It is also a requisite for the application of the rule that the records and accounts should be made accessible to the adverse party so that the company, of the summary may be tested on cross-examination (29 Am Jur 2nd 517-8; 32A C.J.S. 111). What applies to this case is the general rule "that an audit made by, or the testimony of, a private auditor, is inadmissible in evidence as proof of the original records, books of accounts, reports or the like" (Anno 52 ALR 1266). That general rule cannot be relaxed in this case because the company failed to make a preliminary showing as to the difficulty or impossibility attending the production of the records in court and their examination and analysis as evidence by the court (29 Am Jur 2nd 529). 33. VILLA REY TRANSIT VS FERRER The evidence shows that when the Corporation was in its initial months of operation, Villarama purchased and paid with his personal checks Ford trucks for the Corporation. Exhibits 20 and 21 disclose that the said purchases were paid by Philippine Bank of Commerce Checks Nos. 992618-B and 993621-B, respectively. These checks have been sufficiently established by Fausto Abad, Assistant Accountant of Manila Trading & Supply Co., from which the trucks were purchased9 and Aristedes Solano, an employee of the Philippine Bank of Commerce,10 as having been drawn by Villarama. Exhibits 6 to 19 and Exh. 22, which are photostatic copies of ledger entries and vouchers showing that Villarama had co-mingled his personal funds and transactions with those made in the name of the Corporation, are very illuminating evidence. Villarama has assailed the admissibility of these exhibits, contending that no evidentiary value whatsoever should be given to them since "they were merely photostatic copies of the originals, the best evidence being the originals themselves." According to him, at the time Pantranco offered the said exhibits, it was the most likely possessor of the originals thereof because they were stolen from the files of the Corporation and only Pantranco was able to

produce the alleged photostat copies thereof. Section 5 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides for the requisites for the admissibility of secondary evidence when the original is in the custody of the adverse party, thus: (1) opponent's possession of the original; (2) reasonable notice to opponent to produce the original; (3) satisfactory proof of its existence; and (4) failure or refusal of opponent to produce the original in court.11 Villarama has practically admitted the second and fourth requisites.12 As to the third, he admitted their previous existence in the files of the Corporation and also that he had seen some of them.13 Regarding the first element, Villarama's theory is that since even at the time of the issuance of the subpoena duces tecum, the originals were already missing, therefore, the Corporation was no longer in possession of the same. However, it is not necessary for a party seeking to introduce secondary evidence to show that the original is in the actual possession of his adversary. It is enough that the circumstances are such as to indicate that the writing is in his possession or under his control. Neither is it required that the party entitled to the custody of the instrument should, on being notified to produce it, admit having it in his possession.14 Hence, secondary evidence is admissible where he denies having it in his possession. The party calling for such evidence may introduce a copy thereof as in the case of loss. For, among the exceptions to the best evidence rule is "when the original has been lost, destroyed, or cannot be produced in court."15 The originals of the vouchers in question must be deemed to have been lost, as even the Corporation admits such loss. Viewed upon this light, there can be no doubt as to the admissibility in evidence of Exhibits 6 to 19 and 22. Taking account of the foregoing evidence, together with Celso Rivera's testimony,16 it would appear that: Villarama supplied the organization expenses and the assets of the Corporation, such as trucks and equipment;17 there was no actual payment by the original subscribers of the amounts of P95,000.00 and P100,000.00 as appearing in the books;18 Villarama made use of the money of the Corporation and deposited them to his private accounts;19 and the Corporation paid his personal accounts. The foregoing circumstances are strong persuasive evidence showing that Villarama has been too much involved in the affairs of the Corporation to altogether negative the claim that he was only a part-time general manager. They show beyond doubt that the Corporation is his alter ego. 34. DE VERA VS AGUILAR Section 4 of Rule 130 (now Section 5, Rule 130) of the Rules of Court on Secondary Evidence states: Sec. 4. Secondary evidence when original is lost or destroyed. When the original writing has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, upon proof of its execution and loss or destruction, or unavailability, its contents may be proved by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authentic document, or by the recollection of witnesses. Secondary evidence is admissible when the original documents were actually lost or destroyed. But prior to the introduction of such secondary evidence, the proponent must establish the former existence of the instrument. The correct order of proof is as follows: Existence; execution; loss; contents although this order may be changed if necessary in the discretion of the court. The sufficiency of proof offered as a predicate for the admission of an alleged lost deed lies within the judicial discretion of the trial court under all the circumstances of the particular case. A reading of the decision of the trial court shows that it merely ruled on the existence and due execution of the alleged deed of sale dated April 28, 1959. It failed to look into the facts and circumstances surrounding the loss or destruction of the original copies of the alleged deed of sale. In the case at bar, the existence of an alleged sale of a parcel of land was proved by the presentation of a xeroxed copy of the alleged deed of absolute sale. In establishing the execution of a document the same may be established by the person or persons who executed it, by the person before whom its execution was acknowledged, or by any person who was present and saw it executed or who, after its execution, saw it and recognized the signatures; or by a person to whom the parties to the instrument had

previously confessed the execution thereof. We agree with the trial court's findings that petitioners have sufficiently established the due execution of the alleged deed of sale through the testimony of the notary public to wit: Preponderance of evidence clearly disclosed the facts that Atty. Ismael Estela prepared Exhibit A. Atty. Emiliano Ibasco, Jr. positively identified the signatures appearing therein to be that (sic) of the spouses and witnesses Luis de Vera and Ismael Estela, in his capacity as Notary Public who ratified the document. After the due execution of the document has been established, it must next be proved that said document has been lost or destroyed. The destruction of the instrument may be proved by any person knowing the fact. The loss may be shown by any person who knew the fact of its loss, or by any one who had made, in the judgment of the court, a sufficient examination in the place or places where the document or papers of similar character are usually kept by the person in whose custody the document lost was, and has been unable to find it; or who has made any other investigation which is sufficient to satisfy the court that the instrument is indeed lost. However, all duplicates or counterparts must be accounted for before using copies. For, since all the duplicates or multiplicates are parts of the writing itself to be proved, no excuse for non-production of the writing itself can be regarded as established until it appears that all of its parts are unavailable (i.e. lost, retained by the opponent or by a third person or the like). In the case at bar, Atty. Emiliano Ibasco, Jr., notary public who notarized the document testified that the alleged deed of sale has about four or five original copies. Hence, all originals must be accounted for before secondary evidence can be given of any one. This petitioners failed to do. Records show that petitioners merely accounted for three out of four or five original copies. 35. THE CONSOLIDATED BANK VS DEL MONTE MOTOR WORKS The appellate court likewise sustained the ruling of the trial court that the best evidence rule or primary evidence must be applied as the purpose of the proof is to establish the terms of the writing meaning the alleged promissory note as it is the basis of the recovery of the money allegedly loaned to the defendants (respondents herein).[28] According to McCormick, an authority on the rules of evidence, the only actual rule that the best evidence phrase denotes today is the rule requiring the production of the original writing the rationale being: (1)that precision in presenting to the court the exact words of the writing is of more than average importance, particularly as respects operative or dispositive instruments, such as deeds, wills and contracts, since a slight variation in words may mean a great difference in rights, (2) that there is a substantial hazard of inaccuracy in the human process of making a copy by handwriting or typewriting, and (3) as respects oral testimony purporting to give from memory the terms of a writing, there is a special risk of error, greater than in the case of attempts at describing other situations generally. In the light of these dangers of mistransmission, accompanying the use of written copies or of recollection, largely avoided through proving the terms by presenting the writing itself, the preference for the original writing is justified. Bearing in mind that the risk of mistransmission of the contents of a writing is the justification for the best evidence rule, we declare that this rule finds no application to this case. It should be noted that respondents never disputed the terms and conditions of the promissory note thus leaving us to conclude that as far as the parties herein are concerned, the wording or content of said note is clear enough and leaves no room for disagreement. In their responsive pleadings, respondents principal defense rests on the alleged lack of consideration of the promissory note. In addition, respondent Morales also claims that he did not sign the note in his personal capacity. These contentions clearly do not question the precise wording of the promissory note which should have paved the way for the application of the best evidence rule. It was, therefore, an error for the Court of Appeals to sustain the decision of the trial court on this point. Besides, the best evidence rule as stated in our Revised Rules of Civil Procedure is not

absolute. As quoted earlier, the rule accepts of exceptions one of which is when the original of the subject document is in the possession of the adverse party. As pointed out by petitioner in its motion to inhibit, had it been given the opportunity by the court a quo, it would have sufficiently established that the original of Exhibit A was in the possession of respondents which would have called into application one of the exceptions to the best evidence rule. Significantly, and as discussed earlier, respondents failed to deny specifically the execution of the promissory note. This being the case, there was no need for petitioner to present the original of the promissory note in question. Their judicial admission with respect to the genuineness and execution of the promissory note sufficiently established their liability to petitioner regardless of the fact that petitioner failed to present the original of said note. Indeed, when the defendant fails to deny specifically and under oath the due execution and genuineness of a document copied in a complaint, the plaintiff need not prove that fact as it is considered admitted by the defendant. 36. ARCEO VS PP Applicability of the Best Evidence Rule Petitioners insistence on the presentation of the check in evidence as a condition sine qua non for conviction under BP 22 is wrong. Petitioner anchors his argument on Rule 130, Section 3, of the Rules of Court, otherwise known as the best evidence rule. However, the rule applies only where the content of the document is the subject of the inquiry. Where the issue is the execution or existence of the document or the circumstances surrounding its execution, the best evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible. The gravamen of the offense is the act of drawing and issuing a worthless check. Hence, the subject of the inquiry is the fact of issuance or execution of the check, not its content. Here, the due execution and existence of the check were sufficiently established. Cenizal testified that he presented the originals of the check, the return slip and other pertinent documents before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City when he executed his complaint-affidavit during the preliminary investigation. The City Prosecutor found a prima facie case against petitioner for violation of BP 22 and filed the corresponding information based on the documents. Although the check and the return slip were among the documents lost by Cenizal in a fire that occurred near his residence on September 16, 1992, he was nevertheless able to adequately establish the due execution, existence and loss of the check and the return slip in an affidavit of loss as well as in his testimony during the trial of the case. Moreover, petitioner himself admited that he issued the check. He never denied that the check was presented for payment to the drawee bank and was dishonored for having been drawn against insufficient funds. 37. MAGDAYAO VS PP The gravamen of the offense is the act of making or issuing a worthless check or a check that is dishonored upon presentment for payment. As to the second element, knowledge on the part of the maker or drawer of the check of the insufficiency of the funds in or credit with the bank to cover the check upon its presentment refers to the state of mind of the drawer; hence, it is difficult for the prosecution to prove. The law creates a prima facie knowledge on the insufficiency of funds or credit, coincidental with the attendance of the two other elements. We agree with the petitioner that it was incumbent upon the prosecution to adduce in evidence the original copy of PNB Check No. 399967 to prove the contents thereof, more specifically the names of the drawer and endorsee, the date and amount and the dishonor thereof, as well as the reason for such dishonor. Section 3, Rule 129 of the Revised Rules on Evidence specifically provides that when the subject of inquiry is the contents of the document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original thereof. The purpose of the rule requiring the production by the offeror of the best evidence is the prevention of fraud, because if a party is in possession of such evidence and withholds it and presents inferior or secondary evidence in its place, the presumption is that the latter evidence is

withheld from the court and the adverse party for a fraudulent or devious purpose which its production would expose and defeat. As long as the original evidence can be had, the court should not receive in evidence that which is substitutionary in nature, such as photocopies, in the absence of any clear showing that the original writing has been lost or destroyed or cannot be produced in court. Such photocopies must be disregarded, being inadmissible evidence and barren of probative weight. Furthermore, under Section 3(b), Rule 130 of the said Rules, secondary evidence of a writing may be admitted when the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice. To warrant the admissibility of secondary evidence when the original of a writing is in the custody or control of the adverse party, Section 6 of Rule 130 provides that the adverse party must be given reasonable notice, that he fails or refuses to produce the same in court and that the offeror offers satisfactory proof of its existence The mere fact that the original of the writing is in the custody or control of the party against whom it is offered does not warrant the admission of secondary evidence. The offeror must prove that he has done all in his power to secure the best evidence by giving notice to the said party to produce the document. The notice may be in the form of a motion for the production of the original or made in open court in the presence of the adverse party or via a subpoena duces tecum, provided that the party in custody of the original has sufficient time to produce the same. When such party has the original of the writing and does not voluntarily offer to produce it or refuses to produce it, secondary evidence may be admitted. In this case, Olvis, the private complainant, testified that after the check was dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds, he returned it to the petitioner upon the latters offer to pay the amount of the check by drawing and issuing two checks, one for P400,000.00 and the other for P200,000.00. However, the petitioner still failed to satisfy his obligation to Olvis. In his Motion to Suspend Proceedings in the trial court, the petitioner admitted that he received the original copy of the dishonored check from the private complainant and that he caused the non- payment of the dishonored check. The petitioner cannot feign ignorance of the need for the production of the original copy of PNB Check No. 399967, and the fact that the prosecution was able to present in evidence only a photocopy thereof because the original was in his possession. In fact, in the Omnibus Supplemental Motion dated February 8, 1996, and in his Special Manifestation filed on May 28, 1996, the petitioner complained of the prosecutions violation of the best evidence rule. The petitioner, however, never produced the original of the check, much less offered to produce the same. The petitioner deliberately withheld the original of the check as a bargaining chip for the court to grant him an opportunity to adduce evidence in his defense, which he failed to do following his numerous unjustified postponements as shown by the records. There was no longer a need for the prosecution to present as witness the employee of the drawee bank who made the notation at the dorsal portion of the dishonored check to testify that the same was dishonored for having been drawn against insufficient funds. The petitioner had already been informed of such fact of dishonor and the reason therefor when Olvis returned the original of the check to him. In fact, as shown by the testimony of Olvis, the petitioner drew and issued two other separate checks, one for P400,000.00 and the other for P200,000.00, to replace the dishonored check. Because of his dilatory tactics, the petitioner failed to adduce evidence to overcome that of the prosecutions. The petitioners contention that Olvis failed to identify him as the drawer of the subject check is nettlesome. It bears stressing that Olvis was ready to identify the petitioner after his direct examination, but the latter and his counsel inexplicably failed to appear. The direct examination of Olvis had to be continued to enable him to point to and identify the petitioner as the drawer of the check. 38. SY VS CA We note that their marriage certificate and marriage license are only photocopies. So are the birth certificates of their son Frederick and daughter Farrah Sheryll. Nevertheless,

these documents were marked as Exhibits during the course of the trial below, which shows that these have been examined and admitted by the trial court, with no objections having been made as to their authenticity and due execution. Likewise, no objection was interposed to petitioner's testimony in open court when she affirmed that the date of the actual celebration of their marriage was on November 15, 1973. We are of the view, therefore, that having been admitted in evidence, with the adverse party failing to timely object thereto, these documents are deemed sufficient proof of the facts contained therein. 39. HEIRS OF TEODORO DELA CRUZ VS CA To begin with, Atty. Sevillano Tabangay, the notary public who notarized the deed of sale, testified that the document has about five (5) copies. Hence, it is imperative that all the originals must be accounted for before secondary evidence can be presented. These petitioners failed to do. Moreover, records show that none of these five copies was even presented during the trial. Petitioners' explanation that these copies were lost or could not be found in the National Archives was not even supported by any certification from the said office. It is a well-settled principle that before secondary evidence can be presented, all duplicates and/or counterparts must be accounted for, and no excuse for the nonproduction of the original document itself can be regarded as established until all its parts are unavailable. Notwithstanding this procedural lapse, when Exhibit "A" was presented private respondents failed, not only to object, but even to cross- examine the notary public, Atty. Tabangay, regarding its execution. Forthwith, upon private respondents' failure to object to Exhibit "A" when it was presented, the same becomes primary evidence. To be sure, even if Exhibit "A" is admitted in evidence, we agree with the Court of Appeals that its probative value must still meet the various tests by which its reliability is to be determined. Its tendency to convince and persuade must be considered for admissibility of evidence should not be confused with its probative value. As earlier stated, Exhibit "A" was merely a photocopy lifted from the carbon copy of the alleged deed of sale. A cursory glance will immediately reveal that it was unsigned by any of the parties and undated as to when it was executed. Worse, when Atty. Tabangay typed Exhibit "A," the contents were based on an alleged carbon original which petitioners' predecessor-in-interest presented to him, without bothering to check his own files to verify the correctness of the contents of the document he was copying. In other words, Atty. Tabangay's failure to determine the accuracy of the carbon copy requested by the petitioners' predecessor-in- interest renders Exhibit "A" unreliable. 40. MEYERS VS US The [best evidence] rule is limited to cases where the contents of a writing are to be proved. Here there was no attempt to prove the contents of a writing; the issue was what [the defendant] had said, not what the transcript contained. The transcript made from shorthand notes of his testimony was, to be sure, evidence of what he had said, but it was not the only admissible evidence concerning it. [The witness's] testimony was equally competent, and was admissible whether given before or after the transcript was received in evidence. Statements alleged to be perjurious may be proved by any person who heard them, as well as by a reporter who recorded them in shorthand. 41. SEILER VS LUCAS FILM LTD The best evidence rule embodied in Rules 1001-1008 represented a codification of longstanding common law doctrine. Dating back to 1700, the rule requires not, as its common name implies, the best evidence in every case but rather the production of an original document instead of a copy. Many commentators refer to the rule not as the best evidence rule but as the original document rule.

Rule 1002 states: "To prove the content of a writing, recording, or photograph, the original writing, recording, or photograph is required, except as otherwise provided in these rules or by Act of Congress." Writings and recordings are defined in Rule 1001 as "letters, words,

or numbers, or their equivalent, set down by handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, magnetic impulse, mechanical or electronic recording, or other form of data compilation." The Advisory Committee Note supplies the following gloss: Traditionally the rule requiring the original centered upon accumulations of data and expressions affecting legal relations set forth in words and figures. This meant that the rule was one essentially related to writings. Present day techniques have expanded methods of storing data, yet the essential form which the information ultimately assumes for usable purposes is words and figures. Hence the considerations underlying the rule dictate its expansion to include computers, photographic systems, and other modern developments. Some treatises, whose approach seems more historical than rigorously analytic, opine without support from any cases that the rule is limited to words and figures. We hold that Seiler's drawings were "writings" within the meaning of Rule 1001(1); they consist not of "letters, words, or numbers" but of "their equivalent." To hold otherwise would frustrate the policies underlying the rule and introduce undesirable inconsistencies into the application of the rule. 43. NPC VS CODILLA Issue: Whether the photocopies it offered as formal evidence before the trial court are the functional equivalent of their original based on its inimitable interpretation of the Rules on Electronic Evidence. Petitioner insists that, contrary to the rulings of both the trial court and the appellate court, the photocopies it presented as documentary evidence actually constitute electronic evidence based on its own premise that an "electronic document" as defined under Section 1(h), Rule 2 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence is not limited to information that is received, recorded, retrieved or produced electronically. Rather, petitioner maintains that an "electronic document" can also refer to other modes of written expression that is produced electronically, such as photocopies, as included in the sections catch-all proviso: "any print-out or output, readable by sight or other means". Ruling: We do not agree. 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. It includes digitally signed documents and any printout, readable by sight or other means which accurately reflects the electronic data message or electronic document. 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. 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 persons 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.

Furthermore, no error can be ascribed to the court a quo in denying admission and excluding from the records petitioners 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. The importance of the precise terms of writings in the world of legal relations, the fallibility of the human memory as reliable evidence of the terms, and the hazards of inaccurate or incomplete duplicate are the concerns addressed by the best evidence rule. 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. The offeror of secondary evidence is burdened to prove the predicates thereof: (a) the loss or destruction of the original without bad faith on the part of the proponent/offeror which can be shown by circumstantial evidence of routine practices of destruction of documents; (b) the proponent must prove by a fair preponderance of evidence as to raise a reasonable inference of the loss or destruction of the original copy; and (c) it must be shown that a diligent and bona fide but unsuccessful search has been made for the document in the proper place or places. 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 the abovequoted rule. Accordingly, we find no error in the Order of the court a quo denying admissibility of the photocopies offered by petitioner as documentary evidence. 44. MCC INDUSTRIAL SALES VS SSANYONG CORPORATION Thus, when the Senate consequently voted to adopt the term "electronic data message," it was consonant with the explanation of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago that it would not apply "to telexes or faxes, except computer-generated faxes, unlike the United Nations model law on electronic commerce." In explaining the term "electronic record" patterned after the E- Commerce Law of Canada, Senator Defensor- Santiago had in mind the term "electronic data message." This term then, while maintaining part of the UNCITRAL Model Law's terminology of "data message," has assumed a different context, this time, consonant with the term "electronic record" in the law of Canada. It accounts for the addition of the word "electronic" and the deletion of the phrase "but not limited to, electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic mail, telegram, telex or telecopy." Noteworthy is that the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, explains the term "electronic record," as drafted in the Uniform Electronic Evidence Act, in a manner strikingly similar to Sen. Santiago's explanation during the Senate deliberations: "Electronic record" fixes the scope of the Act. The record is the data. The record may be any medium. It is "electronic" because it is recorded or stored in or by a computer system or similar device. The Act is intended to apply, for example, to data on magnetic strips on cards, or in smart cards. As drafted, it would not apply to telexes or faxes (except computer-generated faxes), unlike the United Nations Model Law on Electronic Commerce. It would also not apply to regular digital telephone conversations, since the information is not recorded. It would apply to voice mail, since the information has been recorded in or by a device similar to a computer. Likewise video records are not covered, though when the video is transferred to a Web site it would be, because of the involvement of the computer. Music recorded by a computer system on a compact disk would be covered. In short, not all data recorded or stored in "digital" form is covered. A computer or similar device has to be involved in its creation or storage. The term "similar device" does not extend to all devices that create or store data in digital form. Although things that are not recorded or preserved by or in a computer system are omitted from this Act, they may well be admissible under other rules of law. This Act focuses on replacing the search for originality, proving the reliability of systems instead of that of individual records, and using standards to show systems reliability. Paper records that are produced directly by a computer system, such as printouts, are themselves electronic records, being just the means of intelligible display of the contents of the record. Photocopies of the printout would be paper records subject to the usual rules about copies, but the "original" printout would be subject to the rules of admissibility of this Act.

However, printouts that are used only as paper records, and whose computer origin is never again called on, are treated as paper records. See subsection 4(2). In this case the reliability of the computer system that produced the record is relevant to its reliability. There is no question then that when Congress formulated the term "electronic data message," it intended the same meaning as the term "electronic record" in the Canada law. This construction of the term "electronic data message," which excludes telexes or faxes, except computer-generated faxes, is in harmony with the Electronic Commerce Law's focus on "paperless" communications and the "functional equivalent approach" that it espouses. In fact, the deliberations of the Legislature are replete with discussions on paperless and digital transactions. Facsimile transmissions are not, in this sense, "paperless," but verily are paper-based. A fax machine is essentially an image scanner, a modem and a computer printer combined into a highly specialized package. The scanner converts the content of a physical document into a digital image, the modem sends the image data over a phone line, and the printer at the other end makes a duplicate of the original document. Thus, in Garvida v. Sales, Jr., where we explained the unacceptability of filing pleadings through fax machines, we ruled that: A facsimile or fax transmission is a process involving the transmission and reproduction of printed and graphic matter by scanning an original copy, one elemental area at a time, and representing the shade or tone of each area by a specified amount of electric current. The current is transmitted as a signal over regular telephone lines or via microwave relay and is used by the receiver to reproduce an image of the elemental area in the proper position and the correct shade. The receiver is equipped with a stylus or other device that produces a printed record on paper referred to as a facsimile. x x x A facsimile is not a genuine and authentic pleading. It is, at best, an exact copy preserving all the marks of an original. Without the original, there is no way of determining on its face whether the facsimile pleading is genuine and authentic and was originally signed by the party and his counsel. It may, in fact, be a sham pleading. Accordingly, in an ordinary facsimile transmission, there exists an original paper-based information or data that is scanned, sent through a phone line, and re-printed at the receiving end. Be it noted that in enacting the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, Congress intended virtual or paperless writings to be the functional equivalent and to have the same legal function as paper-based documents. Further, in a virtual or paperless environment, technically, there is no original copy to speak of, as all direct printouts of the virtual reality are the same, in all respects, and are considered as originals. Ineluctably, the law's definition of "electronic data message," which, as aforesaid, is interchangeable with "electronic document," could not have included facsimile transmissions, which have an original paper- based copy as sent and a paper-based facsimile copy as received. These two copies are distinct from each other, and have different legal effects. While Congress anticipated future developments in communications and computer technology when it drafted the law, it excluded the early forms of technology, like telegraph, telex and telecopy (except computer-generated faxes, which is a newer development as compared to the ordinary fax machine to fax machine transmission), when it defined the term "electronic data message." Clearly then, the IRR went beyond the parameters of the law when it adopted verbatim the UNCITRAL Model Law's definition of "data message," without considering the intention of Congress when the latter deleted the phrase "but not limited to, electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic mail, telegram, telex or telecopy." The inclusion of this phrase in the IRR offends a basic tenet in the exercise of the rule-making power of administrative agencies. After all, the power of administrative officials to promulgate rules in the implementation of a statute is necessarily limited to what is found in the legislative enactment itself. The implementing rules and regulations of a law cannot extend the law or expand its coverage, as the power to amend or repeal a statute is vested in the Legislature.91 Thus, if a discrepancy occurs between the basic law and an implementing rule or regulation, it is the former that prevails, because the law cannot be broadened by a mere administrative issuancean administrative agency certainly cannot amend an act of Congress. Had the Legislature really wanted ordinary fax transmissions to be covered by the mantle of the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, it could have easily lifted without a bit of tatter the entire wordings of the UNCITRAL Model Law.

We, therefore, conclude that the terms "electronic data message" and "electronic document," as defined under the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, do not include a facsimile transmission. Accordingly, a facsimile transmission cannot be considered as electronic evidence. It is not the functional equivalent of an original under the Best Evidence Rule and is not admissible as electronic evidence. Since a facsimile transmission is not an "electronic data message" or an "electronic document," and cannot be considered as electronic evidence by the Court, with greater reason is a photocopy of such a fax transmission not electronic evidence. In the present case, therefore, Pro Forma Invoice Nos. ST2- POSTS0401-1 and ST2-POSTS0401-2 (Exhibits "E" and "F"), which are mere photocopies of the original fax transmittals, are not electronic evidence, contrary to the position of both the trial and the appellate courts. 45. NUEZ VS CRUZ-APAO Complainant was able to prove by his testimony in conjunction with the text messages from respondent duly presented before the Committee that the latter asked for One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) in exchange for a favorable decision of the former's pending case with the CA. The text messages were properly admitted by the Committee since the same are now covered by Section 1(k), Rule 2 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence 65 which provides: "Ephemeral electronic communication refers to telephone conversations, text messages . . . and other electronic forms of communication the evidence of which is not recorded or retained." Under Section 2, Rule 11 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence, "Ephemeral electronic communications shall be proven by the testimony of a person who was a party to the same or who is not a party but who has personal knowledge thereof . . . ." In this case, complainant who was the recipient of said messages and therefore had personal knowledge thereof testified on their contents and import. Respondent herself admitted that the cellphone number reflected in complainant's cellphone from which the messages originated was hers. 66 Moreover, any doubt respondent may have had as to the admissibility of the text messages had been laid to rest when she and her counsel signed and attested to the veracity of the text messages between her and complainant. 67 It is also well to remember that in administrative cases, technical rules of procedure and evidence are not strictly applied. 68 We have no doubt as to the probative value of the text messages as evidence in determining the guilt or lack thereof of respondent in this case.