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City of Manila vs.

Jacinto del Rosario (1905) Facts: The City of Manila sought to recover possession of two lots located in the Tondo district. It appears from the case that Lorenzo del Rosario acquired the land from Cipriano Roco and then sold it to his brother Jacinto del Rosario, the defendant in this case. However, the City of Manila wanted to recover possession of the lots and presented as one of its witnesses, Juan Villegas, who testified that the land in question was formerly included in the Gran Divisoria, and that all the land included in it belonged to the city. This particular testimony is at variance with the testimonies of two other witnesses Wilson and Timoteo who testified that the land belonged to the Central Government (not the city). Villegas testimony was based on what he had learned from the oldest residents of that section of the city and was introduced by the City of Manila apparently for the purpose of proving that the city was generally considered the owner of the land drawing from this fact the presumption of actual ownership. Issue: Was the testimony of Villegas admissible as proof of common reputation, making it an exception against hearsay? Held: No. Villega's testimony was merely hearsay. It consisted of what he had learned from some of the oldest residents in that section of the city. His testimony was introduced by the plaintiff apparently for the purpose of proving that the city was generally considered the owner of the land, drawing from this fact the presumption of actual ownership under the Code of Civil Procedure. Such testimony, however, does not constitute the "common reputation" referred to in the section mentioned. "common reputation," as used in that section, is equivalent to universal reputation. The testimony of this witness is not sufficient to establish the presumption referred to.

People vs. Cabuang Facts: Evelyn and Maria Victoria were walking home when Modesto Cabuang suddenly emerged from the rice paddies and asked them where they were going. Evelyn got scared and started walking faster but Maria Victoria started talking to Modesto. When Evelyn was about ten (10) feet ahead of them, she looked back and saw Nardo Matabang appearing from the ricefields. Modesto grabbed Maria while Nardo went after Evelyn who ran into the yard of a house and hid. Sometime later, Evelyn saw from her hiding place a tricycle pass by with her cousin Maria Victoria, Modesto, Nardo, the tricycle driver and another person in it. Maria was crying for help. Shocked and scared, Evelyn went home and was unable to tell anybody about what happened. Maria Victoria was found dead the following morning, naked with stab wounds in different parts of her body. During the investigation, Evelyn executed a sworn statement identifying Modesto Cabuang and Nardo Matabang as the assailants. She was later able to identify them as well from a police line-up. The accused were convicted on the basis of her testimony, among others. In the present appeal,

defendants contend that the trial court had erred in finding that prosecution witness Evelyn de Vera had positively identified Modesto Cabuang and Nardo Matabang as the assailants of Maria Victoria. They point to the entry in the Bayambang police blotter, which stated that the assailants were "still unidentified" although the entry was made after prosecution witness Evelyn de Vera was questioned by the police. Issue: Whether Evelyn was able to positively identify Cabuang and Matabang despite the fact that the police blotter stated that the assailants were still unidentified, which was made after Evelyn was already questioned? Held: Yes. The police investigator who initially questioned Evelyn that morning, noticed that she was in a state of shock. He accordingly chose to defer further questioning until the afternoon of the same day when Evelyn had calmed down sufficiently to be able to give a sworn statement to the police. Thus, there was the initial report prepared and recorded in the police blotter at around 11:00 am stating that the assailants were still unidentified; there was, upon the other hand, Evelyn de Vera's sworn statement made and completed in the afternoon of the same day, where she revealed the identifies of the men she had seen the night before and who she believed were responsible for the rape and death of her cousin Maria Victoria. The failure of Evelyn to specify the accused-appellants as the doers of the horrific rape, killing and robbery of Maria Victoria the first time she was questioned by the police, does not adversely affect her credibility. It is firmly settled case law that the delay of a witness in revealing to the police authority what he or she may know about a crime does not, by itself, render the witness' testimony unworthy of belief. Entries in a police blotter, though regularly done in the course of performance of official duty, are not conclusive proof of the truth of such entries. Entries in official records like a police blotter are only prima facie evidence of the facts therein set out, since the entries in the police blotter could well be incomplete or inaccurate. Testimony given in open court during the trial is commonly much more lengthy and detailed than the brief entries made in the police blotter and the trial court cannot base its findings on a police report merely, but must necessarily consider all other evidence gathered in the course of the police investigation and presented in court. Here, De Vera did positively and clearly identify Modesto Cabuang and Nardo Matabang as among those who had raped and killed and robbed the victim.