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EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS (Batch 4: Case Nos.

40-57)
40.

People v. Estenzo, 72 SCRA 428 (1976)

Rule: The testimony of witnesses shall be given orally in open court and under oath or
affirmation.
FACTS:
In the Criminal Case entitled "Pp. vs. Ojoy, accused", after the accused himself had testified in his
defense, his counsel manifested that for his subsequent witnesses he was filing only their affidavits
subject to cross-examination by the prosecution on matters stated in the affidavits and on all other
matters pertinent and material to the case. Private prosecutor Atty. Amelia K. del Rosario, one of the
petitioners here, objected to the proposed procedure but this notwithstanding, respondent Judge
gave his conformity thereto and subsequently issued the questioned Order. Contending that
respondent Judge gravely abused his discretion because the aforesaid Orders violates Sections 1 and
2 of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court, which requires that the testimony of the witness should
be given orally in open court, and there is no appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law, petitioners instituted the present petition.
ISSUE:
WON the testimony of the witness should be given orally in open court.
RULING:
Yes, the testimony of the witness should be given orally in open court. Sections 1 and 2,
Rule 132 and Section 1, Rule 133 of the Revised Rules of Court clearly require that the testimony of a
witness shall be given orally in open court. The main and essential purpose of requiring a witness to
appear and testify orally at a trial is to secure for the adverse party the opportunity of
cross-examination. There is also the advantage to be obtained by the personal appearance of the
witness before the judge, and it is this it enables the judge as the trier of facts to obtain the elusive
and incommunicable evidence of a witness deportment while testifying, and a certain subjective
moral effect is produced upon the witness. It is only when the witness testifies orally that the judge
may have a true idea of his countenance, manner and expression, which may confirm or detract from
the weight of his testimony.
Thus, Section 1 of Rule 133 of the Rule requires that in determining the superior weight of evidence
on the issues involved, the court, aside from the other factors therein enumerated, may consider the
"witness manner of testifying" which can only be done if the witness gives his testimony orally in open
court.
Rules governing the examination of witnesses are intended to protect the rights of litigants and to
secure orderly dispatch of the business of the courts. It is obvious that such purpose may be
subverted, and the orderly dispatch of the business of the courts thwarted if trial judges are allowed,
as in the case at bar, to adopt any procedure in the presentation of evidence other than what is
specifically authorized by the Rules of Court.

41.

People v. Molo, 88 SCRA (11 January 1979)

Rule: Inconsistencies on minor details or on matters that are not of material


consequence as to affect the guilt or the innocence of the accused do not detract from
the credibility of the witnesses.
FACTS:
This is an automatic review of the death sentence imposed upon the respondent for the murder of
Venancio Gapisa sometime in April 1976.
At the trial, the prosecution presented the following testimonies: (1) the victim's wife, Simeona Gapisa,
an eye-witness to the alleged murder; (2) Alejandro Gapisa, a son of the victim who went to the
rescue of his father after he was stabbed by the respondent and was able to talk with him before he
succumbed to several bolo wounds; (3) Roman, a neighbor of Alejandro, who also inquired from
Venancio who his assailant was and elicited the answer, "Boslo"; and (4) Dr. Victorio Benedicto, who
performed the autopsy and accomplished the Autopsy Report. On the other hand, the accused, who
offered alibi as a defense, presented his testimony, that of his wife, Barbara Mingo, and Police
Patrolman Rodolfo Manunggay.
Based on the evidence on record, it appears that at around 8:00p.m. of April 9, 1976, spouses
Venancio and Simeona already retired to sleep. Venancio immediately fell asleep; however, Simeona,
who was still awake, heard murmuring and gnashing of teeth. She peeped through the dilapidated
buri wall and saw the respondent outside of their house. She then lighted a kerosene lamp and tried
to awaken her husband but to no avail. Thereafter, the respondent climbed up and barged into the
house; then, finding Venancio asleep, he started hacking the latter. Fearing for her own life, Simeona
rushed out of the house through the door of the unfinished kitchen to summon help from her son,
Alejandro Gapisa, who was at Roman Mangaring's house some 100 meters away. Upon being
informed, Alejandro and Roman ran towards the house, followed by Simeona. Upon arrival, they saw
Venancio bleeding profusely and in weakened condition. When Alejandro took him in his arms,
Venancio told him that he was boloed by Boslo. Roman Mangaring who was present also inquired from
Venancio who his assailant was and elicited the answer, "Boslo". Venancio was then rushed to the
hospital; however, he expired a few minutes after.
After trial, the court, relying on the testimony of Simeona who was an eye-and-ear-witness to the
incident and the corroborating testimonies of Alejandro and Roman, who testified on the ante-mortem
statements of the victim identifying accused as the assailant and discounting the defense of alibi put
forth by the accused and his wife, rendered a decision finding the accused guilty of murder.
Respondent now appeals the decision assailing, among others, that his identity as the assailant was
not established as there were inconsistencies and incredible assertions in Simeonas testimony.
ISSUE:
WON Simeonas testimony should be impeached on the basis of the alleged inconsistencies.

RULING:
No, Simeonas testimony should not be impeached. The respondent alleges that
inconsistencies exist between Simeona's statement given to the police and her foregoing testimony in
court pertaining to the precise moment when Simeona recognized the accused and whether there was
a conversation between Simeona and the accused. The records show, however, that the alleged
statement given to the police was neither offered as evidence nor shown to witness in order to enable
her to explain the discrepancies if any in accordance with Sec. 13, Rule 132, Rules of Court, to wit:

Before a witness can be impeached by evidence that he has made at other times statements
inconsistent with his present testimony, the statements must be related to him, with the
circumstances of the times and places and the persons present, and he must be asked whether he
made such statements, and if so, allowed to explain them. If the statements be in writing they must
be shown to the witness before any question is put to him concerning them.

The proper basis was, therefore, not laid to impeach Simeona's testimony on the basis of alleged
inconsistent statements which she allegedly made before the police. Further, the Court held that at
any rate, the alleged inconsistencies are inconsequential. Inconsistencies on minor details or on
matters that are not of material consequence as to affect the guilt or the innocence of the accused do
not detract from the credibility of the witnesses. The discordance in their testimonies on collateral
matters heightens their credibility and shows that their testimonies were not coached or rehearsed.
Far from being evidence of falsehood, they could justifiably be regarded as a demonstration of good
faith.
42.

After trial, the lower court rendered judgment in favor of the petitioner for the full amount demanded
under the first cause of action but dismissed the second cause of action on the ground that the
petitioner had failed to show that the credit upon which said cause of action is based had been legally
assigned to it. Both the petitioner and the defendant Gorayeb appealed from this judgment.
The defendant-appellant alleges, among others, that the trial court erred in refusing to receive the
testimony of the defendant Hashim, that of A. T. Hashim, and that of K. N. Hemady in the former
action G. R. No. 21345.
ISSUE:
WON the testimonies may be offered in evidence.
RULING:
No, the testimonies may not be offered in evidence. In offering in evidence the testimony
given by Mr. Hemady and the Hashims in the earlier case, the defendant-appellant did not claim that
said testimony contained admissions against interest by the parties to the action or their agents; if
such had been the case, the testimony would have been admissible without the laying of a foundation
and without the witnesses having testified in the case at bar. But the purpose of the offer of the
testimony was evidently to impeach the testimony of the same witnesses in the present case and if so,
a foundation should have been laid by calling the attention of the witnesses to the former statements
so as to give them opportunity to explain before the statements were offered in evidence.

Juan Ysmael & Co., Inc. v. Hashim and Gorayeb, 48 Phil. (18 March 1927)
43.

Rule: Before a witness can be impeached by evidence that he has made at other times
statements inconsistent with his present testimony, the statements must be related to
him, with the circumstances of the times and places and the persons present, and he
must be asked whether he made such statements, and if so, allowed to explain them.

People v. Resabal, 50 Phil. 780 (1927)

Rule: Before a witness can be impeached by evidence that he has made at other times
statements inconsistent with his present testimony, the statements must be related to
him, with the circumstances of the times and places and the persons present, and he
must be asked whether he made such statements, and if so, allowed to explain them.

FACTS:
The complaint in the present case sets forth two causes of action. For its first cause of action, the
petitioner alleges that the respondent Hashim executed a chattel mortgage in favor of petitioner for
the sum of Php13,160.87 and that since the respondent failed to make payment in accordance with
the terms agreed upon, the chattel mortgage was foreclosed. The proceeds of the sale amounted to
Php2,100 only; thus, leaving a balance of Php11,060.87 plus interest or a total of Php19,134.32, for
which amount judgment is prayed. For the second cause of action, the petitioner alleges that the
defendant Hashim has been indebted in the sum of P14,646.47 to the Hashim Commercial & Trading
Company, Ltd. and that such indebtedness was later assigned by the latter to the petitioner.
Defendant Hashim admitted all the allegations in the complaint and consented to the rendition of the
judgment. On the other hand, co-defendant Gorayeb admits that she and her co-defendant are
husband and wife but denied all the allegations in the complaint. Gorayeb set up the special defense
that the action is the result of a conspiracy between Hashim and his relations, the stockholders of
petitioner company, to defraud her of the alimony granted her.

FACTS:
Sometime in April 1926, a certain Primo Ordiz was shot dead in his own home by herein respondent.
According to the prosecutions witness, Glicerio Orit, the accused, who was armed with a revolver,
invited him on the morning of April 25 1926 to the victim's house in order to kill the latter, and upon
arriving at said house, the accused went into the ground, approached one of the windows of the
house less than a meter and a half in height, opened it and looked in. At that moment the witness left
the place, and at a distance of 15 brazas heard an explosion. Glicerio Orit's testimony as to the
explosion was corroborated by the declaration of the boy Jose Ordiz, who slept with his uncle Primo
Ordiz, to the effect that early in the morning of that day he was awakened by the noise of an explosion
and saw his uncle Primon Ordiz vomiting blood and unable to speak.
After the trial, the lower court reached the conclusion that the crime committed by the respondent is
that of murder. The respondent appeals the decision of the lower court alleging that the testimony of
Orit should have been ignored. The respondent argues that Orit is not a credible witness because of
his having been excluded from the information to be used as a witness for the prosecution; and,

because, moreover, of the contradiction in his testimony at the preliminary investigation and during
the trial.
ISSUE:
WON Orits testimony should be ignored by the Court.

the re-appearance of witness Lee for which the prosecution could not be held liable and to the fact
that Lee has already been thoroughly examined by the former defense counsel; thus, praying upon
these premises the further examination of Lee be dispensed with and the prosecution be allowed to
terminate the presentation of its evidence. However, trial court denied the motion of the defense
and ordered the testimony of Benjamin Lee for the prosecution be stricken off the record for lack of
complete cross-examination on the ground that the witness could no longer be found, and the failure
of counsel for the accused to further cross-examine the witness is not the fault of the defense.

RULING:
No, the testimony of Orit should be given credence as the witness was not properly
impeached. The Court is of the opinion that the mere fact of having been excluded from the
information to be used as a witness for the Government does not prevent the witness from telling the
truth in this case, especially in the absence of proof showing the interest he might possibly have in
testifying against the accused. Neither is the apparent contradiction which may be noted in his
declarations before the court of the justice of the peace (Exhibit 1) and before the court of first
instance sufficient to discredit his testimony, for the simple reason that this witness was not given
ample opportunity, by a reading to him of his declarations before the court of the justice of the peace,
to explain the discrepancies noted by counsel for the accused. The mere presentation of Exhibit 1,
without said declaration having been read to the witness while he testified in the Court of First
Instance, is no ground for impeaching his testimony.

ISSUE:

44.

However, that discretion may not be exercised in a vacuum, as it were, entirely, isolated from a
particular set of attendant circumstances. The discretion to recall a witness is not properly invoked or
exercisable by an applicant's mere general statement that there is a need to recall a witness "in the
interest of justice," or "in order to afford a party full opportunity to present his case," or that, as here,
"there seems to be many points and questions that should have been asked" in the earlier
interrogation. To regard expressed generalities such as these as sufficient ground for recall of
witnesses would make the recall of witness no longer discretionary but ministerial. There must be a
satisfactory showing of some concrete, substantial ground for the recall. There must be a satisfactory
showing on the movant's part that particularly identified material points were not covered in the
cross-examination, or that particularly described vital documents were not presented to the witness
whose recall is prayed for, or that the cross-examination was conducted in so inept a manner as to
result in a virtual absence thereof.

People v. Rivera, 200 SCRA 786 (1991)

Rule: After the examination of a witness by both sides has been concluded, the witness
cannot be recalled without leave of the court. The court will grant or withhold leave in its
discretion, as the interests of justice may require.
FACTS:
The private respondent Wilfredo Sembrano, in this case, was charged for the crime of arson involving
a fire on May 21, 1987 that totally destroyed the second and third floors of the I Love You Restaurant
and Sauna Bath which was owned by a certain Juanita Tan. Among the witnesses presented by the
prosecution was a certain Benjamin Lee, who was a room boy of the establishment. He testified that
he saw Sembrano run out of the VIP room where the fire had started and the the latter refused to his
heed to stop. After the direct examination, Lee was subjected to cross-examination and subsequently
to redirect examination and recross-examination.
The prosecution completed presentation of its evidence-in-chief in due course. But before it could rest
its case, after Lee had completed his testimony, the defendant's original counsel withdrew his
appearance and was substituted by another lawyer, Eduardo S. Rodriguez. The latter then filed a
motion to recall Lee for further examination on the ground that that there seems to be many points
and questions that should have been asked but were not propounded by the other defense counsel.
Efforts were thereafter exerted to cause witness Lee to again appear before the Court for further
cross-examination; however, those efforts were met with no success as it appears that Lee had
terminated his employment and moved elsewhere without indicating his new address.
The private prosecutor filed a Manifestation and Motion drawing attention to the inability to procure

WON the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion in authorizing the recall of witness Benjamin
Lee and in striking off from the record the testimony of Lee.
RULING:
Yes, the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the assailed order.
There is no doubt that a trial court has discretion to grant leave for the recall of a witness under Sec.
9, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, to wit: After the examination of a witness by both sides has been
concluded, the witness cannot be recalled without leave of the court. The court will grant or withhold
leave in its discretion, as the interests of justice may require.

In the case at bar, the respondent trial court granted the defendant's motion for recall on nothing
more than said movant's general claim that certain questions unspecified, it must be stressed
had to be asked. In doing so, it acted without basis, exercised power whimsically or capriciously, and
gravely abused its discretion.
Further, the respondent court acted whimsically, capriciously, and oppressively, in other words,
gravely abused its discretion, in ordering the striking out of the entire testimony of Lee after it
appeared that he could no longer be found and produced for further examination. In the first place,
the Court acted unilaterally, without any motion to this effect by the defense and thus without
according the prosecution a prior opportunity to show why the striking out should not be decreed.
More importantly, the striking out was directed without any showing whatever by the defense of the
indispensability of further cross-examination, what it was that would have been elicited by further
cross-examination rendering valueless all that the witness had previously stated. It should be stressed
that Lee was subjected both to cross-examination and recross-examination by former counsel of the

accused Sembrano. Obviously the latter was satisfied that there had been sufficient cross-examination
of the witness. Absence of cross-examination may not therefore be invoked as ground to strike out
Lee's testimony.
45.

Bartolome v. IAC, 183 SCRA 102 (1990)

Rules:
Where a private document is more than thirty years old, is produced from the

custody in which it would naturally be found if genuine, and is unblemished by any


alterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other evidence of its authenticity need
be given.
Before any private document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due

execution and authenticity must be proved either by anyone who saw the
document executed or written or by evidence of the genuineness of the signature
or handwriting of the maker.

RULING:
No, the deed of sale is not an ancient document. Under Sec. 21 of Rule 132, where a private
document is more than thirty years old, is produced from the custody in which it would naturally be
found if genuine, and is unblemished by any alterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other
evidence of its authenticity need be given.
As correctly held by the respondent court, the first two requirements indicated in the above provision
have been met by the deed of sale, i.e. it is a private document which is more than thirty years old
when it was offered as evidence in 1983, it appearing that it was executed in 1917 and that it was
presented in court by the proper custodian thereof who is an heir of the person who would naturally
keep it. However, the respondent court failed to consider the third requirement, i.e. that no alterations
or circumstances of suspicion are present. Admittedly, on its face, the deed of sale appears unmarred
by alteration; however, the missing page (page 4) has nonetheless affected its authenticity. Indeed,
its importance cannot be overemphasized as page 4 of the document allegedly bears the signature of
the vendor of the portion of Lot No. 11165 in question; thus, it contains vital proof of the voluntary
transmission of rights over the subject of the sale. Without that signature, the document is incomplete.
Verily, an incomplete document is akin to if not worse than a document with altered contents.

FACTS:
This case involves a dispute for a 772-sq.m. portion of Lot No. 11165 located in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.
Based on the records of the case, the disputed property was first declared by Epitacio Batara under a
tax declaration sometime in May 1906. Epitacio was married to a certain Maria Gonzales and, together,
they had two children, Pedro and Catalina. The former died without issue; while, the latter, who was
married to a man surnamed Bartolome, had five children namely: Isabela, Tarcila, Calixto,
Resurreccion and Ruperta. Resurreccion Bartolome, herein petitioner, claims ownership of the
disputed 772-sq.m. Property.

Moreover, the Court held that if it is really true that the document was executed in 1917, Ursula would
have had it in her possession when she filed her answer in in 1933. Accordingly, she could have stated
therein that she acquired the portion in question by purchase from Maria Gonzales.; however, she only
claimed purchase as a mode of acquisition after the other descendants of Doroteo Bartolome sought
intervention in the case and demanded their rightful shares over the property. All these negate the
appellate court's conclusion that Exhibit 4 is an ancient document. Necessarily, proofs of its due
execution and authenticity are vital.

On the other hand, it turned out that sometime in 1912, Epitacio entrusted the disputed property to
his cousin, Doroteo Bartolome, who owned the lot bounding Epitacios property on the south. Doroteo
had two children, Maria and Bernabe, both surnamed Bartolome. Bernabe Bartolome, together with
his wife Ursula Cid, are the private respondents in this case. When the Director of Lands instituted
cadastral proceedings over the land, Ursula filed her answer claiming ownership over the whole of Lot
No. 11165 and stating that such property was inherited by them from Doroteo. Ursula subsequently
filed an amended answer stating that the property was actually inherited by her from her late husband
Bartolome, who, together with her, purchased the property from Maria Gonzales, wife of Epitacio. In
support of her claim, particularly on the disputed 772-sq.m. parcel of land, Ursula presented a Deed of
Sale (marked as Exhibit 4) dated February 9, 1917 which was issued in favor of Bernabe and Ursula by
Maria Gonzales.

In proving the due execution and authenticity of the private document, the provision under Sec. 20,
Rule 132 of the Rules of Court must be followed, which states that before any private document
offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be proved either
by anyone who saw the document executed or written or by evidence of the genuineness of the
signature or handwriting of the maker. However, in the case at bar, the testimony of Dominador on
Exhibit 4 and Ursula's sworn statement in 1937 do not fall within the purview of such provision. The
signature of Maria Gonzales on the missing fourth page of Exhibit 4 would have helped authenticate
the document if it is proven to be genuine. But as there can be no such proof arising from the
signature of Maria Gonzales in the deed of sale, the same must be excluded.

After trial, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of Resurreccion Bartolome. It held that Exhibit 4 had
no probative value as it was incomplete and unsigned. Upon appeal, the respondent court reversed
the decision of the RTC and adjudicated the whole of Lot No. 11165 to spouses Bernabe and Ursula. It
held that the deeds of sale presented by Ursula are ancient documents under Sec. 21, Rule 132, Rules
of Court, and as such, no other evidence of its authenticity need be given.

Rule: Whenever any private document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its
due execution and authenticity must be proved either by (a) anyone who saw the
document executed or written; or (b) by evidence of the genuineness of the signature or
handwriting of the maker.

ISSUE:
WON the Deed of Sale dated February 9, 1917 is considered an ancient document under the rules.

46.

Aznar v. Citibank, 519 SCRA 287 (28 March 2007)

FACTS:
This case involves a complaint for damages filed by the petitioner, a known businessman in cebu and

a holder of a CitiBank MasterCard, against the respondent, who is the issued the said card. It was
established that the credit card originally had a credit limit of Php150K; however, petitioner, wanting
to increase his credit limit to Php635K to be used during his planned trip, made a total advance
deposit amounting to Php485K. Thereafter, petitioner purchase plane tickets to Kuala Lumpur
worth Php237K using his credit card.
Petitioner claims that when he presented his credit card in some establishments in Malaysia,
Singapore and Indonesia, the same was not honored and that when he tried to use the same in
Ingtan Tour and Travel Agency (Ingtan Agency) in Indonesia to purchase plane tickets to Bali, it was
again dishonored for the reason that his card was blacklisted by Citibank. Such dishonor forced him to
buy the tickets in cash. He further claims that his humiliation caused by the denial of his card was
aggravated when Ingtan Agency spoke of swindlers trying to use blacklisted cards.
Thereafter, upon his return to the Philippines, petitioner filed a complaint for damages claiming that
respondent fraudulently or with gross negligence blacklisted his MasterCard, which forced him, his
wife and grandchildren to abort important tour destinations and prevented them from buying certain
items in their tour.9 He further claimed that he suffered mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded
feelings, besmirched reputation and social humiliation due to the wrongful blacklisting of his card. To
prove that CitiBank blacklisted his card, he presented a computer print-out denominated as ON-LINE
AUTHORIZATIONS FOREIGN ACCOUNT ACTIVITY REPORT (marked as Exhibit G), issued to him by
Ingtan Agency with the signature of one Victrina Elnado Nubi, which shows that his card in question
was declared over the limit.
On the other hand, CitiBank denied the allegation that it blacklisted the petitioners card. In support of
such, respondents Credit Card Department Head presented Warning Cancellation Bulletins which
contained the list of its canceled cards covering the period of petitioners trip.
On May 29, 1998, RTC Branch 20 dismissed the complaint for lack of merit. Petitioner then filed a
motion for reconsideration with motion to re-raffle the case saying that the presiding judge of RTC
Branch 20 could not be impartial as he himself is a holder of a CitiBank credit card. The case was
re-raffled to RTC Branch 10, whose presiding judge issued an order on November 25, 1998 granting
petitioners motion for reconsideration. Thereafter, the trial court rendered a decision ordering the
respondent to pay. However, this decision was later on set aside and reversed by the CA upon appeal.
Petitioner, in this present appeal, contends, among others that Exhibit G cannot be excluded as it
qualifies as an electronic evidence following the Rules on Electronic Evidence; the RTC judge correctly
credited his testimony on the issuance of the computer print-out as he saw that it was signed by Nubi;
and said testimony constitutes other evidence showing the integrity and reliability of the print-out to
the satisfaction of the judge as required under the Rules on Electronic Evidence.
ISSUE:
WON the document (Exhibit G) can be admitted in evidence.
RULING:
No, Exhibit G is inadmissible. As correctly found by the RTC Branch 20 and the CA, Exhibit G

cannot be considered admissible as its authenticity and due execution were not sufficiently
established by petitioner. The prevailing rule at the time of the promulgation of the May 1998 RTC
Decision is Sec. 20 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. It provides that whenever any private document
offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be proved either
by (a) anyone who saw the document executed or written; or (b) by evidence of the genuineness of
the signature or handwriting of the maker.
Petitioner, who testified on the authenticity of the disputed exhibit, did not actually see the document
executed or written, neither was he able to provide evidence on the genuineness of the signature or
handwriting of Nubi, who handed to him said computer print-out.
Even if examined under the Rules on Electronic Evidence, which took effect on August 1, 2001 and
which is being invoked by Aznar in this case, the authentication of Exhibit G would still be found
wanting. Under Sec. 1, Rule 5, the person seeking to introduce an electronic document in any legal
proceeding has the burden of proving its authenticity in the manner provided. Further, Sec. 2 of the
same rule provides that before any private electronic document offered as authentic is received in
evidence, its authenticity must be proved by any of the following means:
(a)

by evidence that it had been digitally signed by the person purported to have signed the same;

(b)

by evidence that other appropriate security procedures or devices as may be authorized by the
Supreme Court or by law for authentication of electronic documents were applied to the
document; or

(c)

by other evidence showing its integrity and reliability to the satisfaction of the judge.

Petitioners claim that his testimony complies with paragraph C, i.e. it constitutes the other evidence
showing integrity and reliability of Exhibit G to the satisfaction of the judge is not convincing. His
testimony that the person from Ingtan Agency merely handed him the computer print-out and that he
thereafter asked said person to sign the same cannot be considered as sufficient to show said
print-outs integrity and reliability. The said document does not show on its face that it was issued by
Ingtan Agency as the petitioner merely mentioned in passing how he was able to secure the print-out
from the agency. Further, petitioner failed to show the specific business address of the source of the
computer print-out because while the name of Ingtan Agency was mentioned by petitioner , its
business address was not reflected in the print-out. Indeed, petitioner failed to demonstrate how the
information reflected on the print-out was generated and how the said information could be relied
upon as true.
Lastly, even if Exhibit G is admitted as evidence, it only shows that the use of the credit card of
petitioner was denied because it was already over the limit. There is no allegation in the Complaint or
evidence to show that there was gross negligence on the part of CitiBank in declaring that the credit
card has been used over the limit.

47.

Heirs of Arcilla v. Teodoro, G.R. No. 182886, 11 August 2008

Rule: The certification of non-forum shopping executed in a foreign country is not


covered by Section 24, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.
FACTS:
On December 19, 1995, Ma. Lourdes A. Teodoro, herein respondent, filed with the RTC an application
for land registration of two parcels of land located at Virac, Catanduanes. Respondent alleged that,
with the exception of the commercial building constructed thereon, she purchased the subject lots
from her father, Pacifico Arcilla, as shown by a Deed of Sale dated December 9, 1966, and that, prior
thereto, Pacifico acquired the said lots by virtue of the partition of the estate of his father, Jose Arcilla,
as evidenced by a document entitled Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate. Respondent also presented as
evidence an Affidavit of Quit-Claim in favor of Pacifico, executed by herein petitioners as Heirs of
Vicente Arcilla, brother of Pacifico.
On the other hand, petitioners contended that they are the owners pro-indiviso of the subject lots
including the building and other improvements constructed thereon by virtue of inheritance from their
deceased parents, spouses Vicente and Josefa Arcilla. They further alleged that, contrary to the claim
of respondent, the lots in question were owned by their father, Vicente, having purchased the same
from a certain Manuel Sarmiento sometime in 1917; that Vicente's ownership is evidenced by several
tax declarations; and that petitioners and their predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of
the subject lots since 1906.
The case was subsequently transferred to the MTC. During trial, particularly on March 20, 1998, the
respondent filed a Motion for Admission contending that, through oversight and inadvertence, she
failed to include in her application the verification and certification against non-forum shopping.
Petitioners then filed a Motion to Dismiss Application on the ground that respondent should have filed
the certificate against forum shopping simultaneously with the petition. However, this was opposed by
the respondent who contended that the petitioners motion was filed out of time and that the Motion
to Dismiss was deemed waived for failure of petitioners to file the same during the earlier stages of
the proceedings.
Thereafter, the MTC issued an order denying the petitioners Motion to Dismiss Application.
Subsequently, it rendered a decision in favor of the respondent Teodoro. Upon appeal, the decision
was affirmed in toto by the RTC. Further appeal was made by the petitioners to the CA; however, such
was dismissed by the CA.
The petitioners, in this present appeal, allege, among others, that the CA erred when it held that the
certification of non-forum shopping subsequently submitted by respondent does not require a
certification from an officer of the foreign service of the Philippines as provided under Section 24, Rule
132 of the Rules of Court.
ISSUE:
WON a certification of non-forum shopping executed and notarized in a foreign country is admissible
in evidence even without a certification from an officer of the foreign service of the Philippines.

RULING:
Yes, the certification of non-forum shopping is admissible. The Court held that a certification
of non-forum shopping executed in a foreign country is not covered by Sec. 24, Rule 132 of the Rules
of Court, which provides that the record of public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of Section
19, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy
attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if
the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the
office in which the record is kept is in foreign country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of
the embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the
foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept, and
authenticated by the seal of his office.
On the other hand, Sec. 19 of Rule 132 provides that public documents are:
(a)

The written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies
and tribunals, and public officers, whether of the Philippines, or of a foreign country;

(b)

Documents acknowledge before a notary public except last wills and testaments; and

(c)

Public records, kept in the Philippines, of private documents required by law to the entered
therein.

Considering the above provisions, it can be gathered that the requirement of certification from an
officer of the foreign service of the Philippines under Sec. 14 of Rule 132 does not include documents
acknowledged before notary public abroad. For foreign public documents to be admissible for any
purpose here in our courts, the same must be certified by any officer of the Philippine legation
stationed in the country where the documents could be found or had been executed. However, such
basically pertains to written official acts, or records of the official of the sovereign authority, official
bodies and tribunals, and public officers, whether of the Philippines, or of a foreign country. If the rule
comprehends to cover notarial documents, the rule could have included the same.
Thus, petitioners' contention that the certificate of non-forum shopping that was submitted was
defective, as it did not bear the certification provided under Sec. 24, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, is
devoid of any merit.
48. Heirs of Lacsa v. CA, 197 SCRA 234 (1991)

Rule: Under the "ancient document rule," for a private ancient document to be exempt
from proof of due execution and authenticity, the following requirements must be
fulfilled: (1) the private document is more than thirty (30) years old; (2) it is produced
from a custody in which it would naturally be found if genuine; and (3) it is unblemished
by any alteration or circumstances of suspicion.
FACTS:
This case involves two civil actions filed by the heirs of a certain Demetria Lacsa against the
respondents and their predecessors-in-interest over a parcel of land consisting partly of a fishpond
and partly of uncultivated open space, which, according to the petitioners, was owned by Demetria

during her lifetime as evidence by OCT No. RO-1028 (11725). The first action is for recovery of
possession with damages and preliminary injunction based on the actions of principal respondent and
his predecessor-in-interest, who are neither co-owners of the land nor tenants thereof, in occupying
and possessing the disputed property through stealth, fraud and other forms of machination. The
second action is for cancellation of title, ownership with damages and preliminary injunction based on
the action of the private respondents and their predecessors-in-interest in presenting to the Register
of Deeds forged and absolutely simulated documents, resulting to the disputed property being
transferred in the name of the private respondents predecessor-in-interest.

are, therefore, more than thirty years old (considering that the first civil action was brought sometime
in 1982). Both copies of the aforementioned documents were certified as exact copies of the original
on file with the Office of the Register of Deeds of Pampanga, by the Deputy Register of Deeds. There
is a further certification with regard to the Pampango translation of the document of extra-judicial
partition which was issued by the Archives Division, Bureau of Records Management of the
Department of General Services. The documents in question, being certified as copies of originals on
file with the Register of Deeds of Pampanga, can be said to be found in the proper custody. Clearly,
therefore, the first two requirements of the "ancient document rule" were met.

The private respondents denied the allegations and contended that OCT No. RO-1038 (11725) had
long been cancelled and superseded by TCT No. 794, which was issued
in the name of Alberta
Guevarra and Juan Limpin by virtue of an extra-judicial partition entered into by the heirs of Demetria
Lacsa and that TCT No. 794 was in turn cancelled and superseded by TCT No. 929, which was issued
in the name of Incocencio Songco (father of the private respondents), by virtue of a sale executed by
spouses Limpin and Guevarra in favor of said Songco.

As to the last requirement that the document must on its face appear to be genuine, petitioners did
not present any conclusive evidence to support their allegation of falsification of the said documents.
They merely alluded to the fact that the lack of signatures on the first two pages could have easily led
to their substitution. The Court held that it cannot uphold this surmise absent any proof whatsoever.
Jurisprudence provides that a contract apparently honest and lawful on its face must be treated as
such and one who assails the genuineness of such contract must present conclusive evidence of
falsification.

The trial court found out that the entire property was indeed originally owned by Demetria and that,
upon Demetrias death, it was partitioned by her two children, Ambrosia Guevarra and Alberta
Guevarra. The fishpond in question was adjudicated to Alberta by virtue of an extra-judicial partition.
As a result, TCT No. 794 was issued in the name of the spouses Alberta Guevarra and Juan Limpin.
Thereafter, the spouses sold the property to Incocencio Songco. Thus, the fishpond in question
belongs to the private respondents. This was subsequently affirmed by the CA upon appeal.

Moreover, the last requirement of the "ancient document rule" that a document must be unblemished
by any alteration or circumstances of suspicion refers to the extrinsic quality of the document itself.
The lack of signatures on the first pages, therefore, absent any alterations or circumstances of
suspicion, cannot be held to detract from the fact that the documents in question, which were certified
as copied of the originals on file with the Register of Deeds of Pampanga, are genuine and free from
any blemish or circumstances of suspicion.

Petitioners, in this present appeal, allege that the CA erred in applying the ancient document rule on
the documents evidencing the extra-judicial partition executed by the heirs of Demetria and the
document evidencing the sale to Songco. It is submitted by petitioners that under this rule, for a
document to be classified as an ancient document, it must not only be at least thirty years old but it
must also be found in the proper custody and is unblemished by alterations and is otherwise free from
suspicion. Thus, according to petitioners, the documents cannot qualify under the foregoing rule for
the reason that since the "first pages" of said documents do not bear the signatures of the alleged
parties thereto, this constitutes an indelible blemish that can beget unlimited alterations.

The documents in question are "ancient documents" as envisioned in Sec. 21, Rule 132 of the Rules of
Court. Consequently, proof of their due execution and authenticity is no longer required. Further, there
is no further need for these documents to fulfill the requirements of the 1903 Notarial Law; hence, the
other contentions of the petitioners that the documents do not fulfill the mandatory requirements of
the Notarial Law and that the proper person or public official was not presented to testify on his
certification of the documents in question, need not be resolved as they would no longer serve any
purpose.

ISSUE:

49.

Interpacific Transit v. Aviles, 186 SCRA 385 (1990)

WON the documents can be considered as ancient documents.


RULING:
Yes, the documents are ancient documents. Under the "ancient document rule," for a private
ancient document to be exempt from proof of due execution and authenticity, the following
requirements must be fulfilled: (1) the private document is more than thirty (30) years old; (2) it is
produced from a custody in which it would naturally be found if genuine; and (3) it is unblemished by
any alteration or circumstances of suspicion.
The first document (marked as Exhibit 3), which provides for the extra-judicial partition of the
property, was executed on April 7, 1923; while, the second document (marked as Exhibit 7), which
provides for the sale of the fishpond to Songco, was executed on January 20, 1924. These documents

Rule: Objection to documentary evidence must be made at the time it is formally offered
as an exhibit and not before; otherwise, the objection is deemed premature.
FACTS:
A criminal case for estafa was filed by the petitioner against the respondents. According to the
petitioners, the respondents, being sub-agents of the petitioner, were tasked to collect from the
latters clients payment for various airway bills; however, the respondents failed to remit collections
totaling Php208K and instead used the funds for their personal use and benefit.
At the trial, during the direct examination of the prosecutions witness, the prosecution introduced
photocopies of the airway bills supposedly received by the respondents for which they had not

rendered proper accounting for. This was objected to by the defense on the ground of best evidence
rule. The prosecution said it would submit the original copies in due time; thus, the trial court allowed
the marking of the photocopies. However, the prosecution failed to submit the original copies nor did
it prove their loss to justify the substitution with secondary evidence. Nevertheless, when the certified
photocopies of the said bills formally were offered in evidence, the defense interposed no objection.
After the trial, the court rendered a decision acquitting the accused by rejecting the agency theory of
the prosecution and holding that the relationship between the parties is that of a creditor-debtor; thus,
the non-payment did not constitute estafa. This was confirmed in toto by the CA, which held that
since no evidence of civil liability was presented, no necessity existed on the part of the private
respondents to present evidence of payment of an obligation which was not shown to exist.
The petitioner, in its appeal to the SC, insists that the photocopies of the airway bills are admissible to
prove the civil liability of the respondents.
ISSUE:
WON the photocopies of the airway bills are admissible.
RULING:
Yes, the photocopies are admissible. The Court held that there is no question that the
photocopies were secondary evidence and as such were not admissible unless there was ample proof
of the loss of the originals and neither were the other exceptions allowed by the Rules applicable.
However, the trial court erred in denying the admissibility of the documents by virtue of the best
evidence rule alone.
The trial court failed to consider the rule that objection to documentary evidence must be made at the
time it is formally offered as an exhibit and not before. Objection prior to that time is premature.
A distinction between Identification of documentary evidence and its formal offer as an exhibit must
be made. The first is done in the course of the trial and is accompanied by the marking of the evidence
an an exhibit. The second is done only when the party rests its case and not before. The mere fact
that a particular document is Identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean it will be or has been
offered as part of the evidence of the party.
Objection to the documentary evidence must be made at the time it is formally offered, not earlier.
The Identification of the document before it is marked as an exhibit does not constitute the formal
offer of the document as evidence for the party presenting it. Objection to the Identification and
marking of the document is not equivalent to objection to the document when it is formally offered in
evidence.
In the case at bar, the objection of the defense to the photocopies of the airway bills while they were
being identified and marked as exhibits did not constitute the objection it should have made when the
exhibits were formally offered in evidence. No valid and timely objection was made at that time. Thus,
since the evidence was not validly objected to, it is deemed admitted and may be validly considered by

the court in arriving at its judgment.


Therefore, that it was erroneous for the lower courts to reject the photocopies of the airway bills to
prove the liability of the private respondents to the petitioner. While there was really no criminal
liability that could attach to the respondents because they had no fiduciary relationship with the
petitioner, the rejected evidence sufficiently established their indebtedness to the latter.
50.

PHILAMGEN v. Sweet Lines, Inc., 212 SCRA 194 (1992)

Rule: Actionable documents must be properly pleaded either as causes of action or


defenses. The genuineness and due execution of which are deemed admitted unless
specifically denied under oath by the adverse party. Failure to specifically deny the
existence, genuineness and due execution of the instruments in question amounts to an
admission.
FACTS:
Sometime in March 1977, SCI Line (The Shipping Corporation of India Limited), a foreign common
carrier, took on board its vessel SS Vishva Yash 600 bags of Low Density Polyethylene 631 and another
6,400 bags Low Density Polyethylene 647. Both were consigned to the order of Far East Bank and
Trust Company of Manila, with arrival notice to Tagum Plastics, Inc. (TPI), one of the petitioners.
When the vessel arrived at Manila, it discharged he cargoes for transhipment to Davao City. For this
purpose, the foreign carrier made use of the services of the M/V Sweet Love vessel, which is owned
and operated by respondent Sweet Lines, Inc. (SLI). When the cargoes were loaded in the vessel, it
was commingled with similar cargoes belonging to Evergreen Plantation and Standifico.
On May 15, 1977, the shipments were discharged from the interisland carrier into the custody of the
consignee. It was discovered, through a survey conducted on July 8, 1977, that of the shipment
totaling 7K bags, only a total of 5,820 bags were delivered to the consignee in good order and
condition; while, the remaining balance of 1,080 bags were either shortlanded or were missing. Some
of the 1,080 bags were torn, the contents thereof partly spilled or were fully/partially emptied, and
some of the contents thereof were contaminated with foreign matters and could no longer serve their
intended purpose. Thus, a suit was filed by the petitioner TPI and petitioner PHILAMGEN, who insured
the shipped cargoes, against SCI Line and F.E. Zuellig as well as respondents SLI and Savao Veterans
Arrastre and Port Services, Inc. (DVAPSI).
Before trial, a compromise agreement was entered into between the petitioners and SCI Line and F.E.
Zuellig, upon the latter's payment in settlement of the claim against them. Whereupon, the trial court
granted the petitioners motion to dismiss grounded on said amicable settlement. In the same
decision, the trial court ordered the respondents to pay the petitioners jointly and severally.
On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial courts decision on the ground of prescription. This
was based on paragraph 5 of the pertinent bills of lading, which reads in part: Claims for non-delivery,
misdelivery, loss or damage must be filed within 30 days from accrual. Suits arising from shortage,
damage or loss, non-delivery or misdelivery shall be instituted within 60 days from date of accrual of
right of action. Failure to file claims or institute judicial proceedings as herein provided constitutes

waiver of claim or right of action.

51.

Petitioners now contend that it was error for the appellate court to reverse the trial courts decision on
the supposed ground of prescription when SLI failed to adduce any evidence in support thereof and
that the bills of lading said to contain the shortened periods were never offered in evidence.

Rule: The testimony of a witness must be offered at the time the witness is called to
testify.

ISSUE:

FACTS:

WON the pertinent bills of lading need to be offered in evidence for the defense of prescription to be
availed of by the respondents.

On June 8, 1990, two Informations for Estafa were filed against the petitioner for having issued two
checks, which were in payment of her obligation to private complainant Maxima Ocampo, when
petitioner had no sufficient funds to cover the same, resulting to the two checks to be dishonored by
the drawee bank upon presentment for payment.

RULING:
No, the bills of lading need not be offered in this case. As petitioners are suing upon SLI's
contractual obligation under the contract of carriage as contained in the bills of lading, such bills of
lading can be categorized as actionable documents which under the Rules must be properly pleaded
either as causes of action or defenses, and the genuineness and due execution of which are deemed
admitted unless specifically denied under oath by the adverse party. The rules on actionable
documents cover and apply to both a cause
of action or defense based on said documents.
In the case at bar, prescription as an affirmative defense was seasonably raised by SLI in its answer,
except that the bills of lading embodying the same were not formally offered in evidence. However,
the Court noted that petitioners, on the other hand, failed to controvert the existence of the bills of
lading when it contended in its reply that the agreements in the bills of lading are contracts of
adhesion and, consequently, the provisions are contrary to law and public policy and cannot be availed
of by the respondents.
Petitioners' failure to specifically deny the existence, much less the genuineness and due execution, of
the instruments in question amounts to an admission. Judicial admissions, verbal or written, made by
the parties in the pleadings or in the course of the trial or other proceedings in the same case are
conclusive, no evidence being required to prove the same, and cannot be contradicted unless shown
to have been made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. Moreover, when
the due execution and genuineness of an instrument are deemed admitted because of the adverse
party's failure to make a specific verified denial thereof, the instrument need not be presented
formally in evidence for it may be considered an admitted fact.
The Court further held that while petitioners objected to the validity of such agreement for being
contrary to public policy, the existence of the bills of lading and said stipulations were nevertheless
impliedly admitted by them. Hence, the non-inclusion of the controverted bills of lading in the formal
offer of evidence cannot be considered a fatal procedural lapse as would bar respondent carrier from
raising the defense of prescription.

Catuira v. CA, G.R. No. 105813, 12 September 1994

At the trial, after the prosecution has presented its evidence, the petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss
(by way of Demurrer to Evidence). The petitioner contends that the testimony of the private
complainant was not properly introduced when she was called to testify contrary to the mandate in
Sec. 35, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. The petitioner further contends that even if the testimony of
private respondent was considered, the evidence of the prosecution still failed to prove that the
checks were issued in payment of an obligation.
The trial court denied the motion to dismiss for lack of merit. On appeal, the appellate court also
rejected petitioners contentions.
ISSUE:
WON the testimony of the private complainant is inadmissible for not having been formally offered at
the time the witness was called to testify.
RULING:
No, the testimony is admissible. As a general rule, under Sec. 35, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court,
the testimony of a witness must be offered at the time the witness is called to testify.
The reason for requiring that evidence be formally introduced is to enable the court to rule
intelligently upon the objection to the questions which have been asked. As a general rule, the
proponent must show its relevancy, materiality and competency. Where the proponent offers evidence
deemed by counsel of the adverse party to be inadmissible for any reason, the latter has the right to
object. But such right is a mere privilege which can be waived. Necessarily, the objection must be
made at the earliest opportunity, lest silence when there is opportunity to speak may operate as a
waiver of objections.
Thus, while it is true that the prosecution failed to offer the questioned testimony when private
respondent was called to the witness stand, petitioner waived this procedural error by failing to object
at the appropriate time, i.e., when the ground for objection became reasonably apparent the moment
private respondent was called to testify without any prior offer having been made by the proponent.
But even assuming that petitioner's objection was timely, it was at best pointless and superfluous. It

cannot be denied that the testimony of complaining witness is relevant and material in the criminal
prosecution of petitioner for estafa. Consequently, even if the offer was belatedly made by the
prosecution, there is no reason for the testimony to be expunged from the record. On the contrary,
the unoffered oral evidence must be admitted if only to satisfy the court's sense of justice and fairness
and to stress that substantial justice may not be denied merely on the ground of technicality
52.

Vda. de Oate v. Court of Appeals, 250 SCRA 283 (1995)

Rule: As a general rule, or evidence to be considered, the same must be formally offered.
By way of exception, evidence not formally offered may still be allowed and admitted if
the same has been duly identified by testimony duly recorded and it has been
incorporated in the records of the case.
FACTS:
Sometime in 1976, a certain Leonor Taguba bought a parcel of land form herein petitioner for a
consideration of Php5K, payable in four installments. Accordingly, the following payments were made:
(1) Php2,250 on January 20, 1976, (2) Php750 on February 23, 1976, (3) Php1K on March 20, 1976,
and (4) Php1K on July 29, 1976. After the full payment was made, the parties however failed to
reduce their contract in writing. Subsequently, Leonor Taguba died; thus, herein private respondent,
Eulalia Taguba, demanded from the petitioner that a public document of sale be executed in favor of
the deceased. The demand was left unheeded; thus, private respondent, in her capacity as
administratrix of the estate of Leoner Taguba, filed an action for specific performance with damages
against the petitioner.
The trial court ruled in favor of the private respondent and the petitioners defense that the petitioner
contracted a verbal loan from Leonor Taguba in the amount of P12,000.00 payable within a period of
4 years with 12%interest. It also disbelieved the allegation that two parcels of land covered by TCT
No. 5167 and TCT No. 5168 (the land in dispute) were mortgaged by the petitioner to Taguba as
security for the payment of the loan and that only P5,000.00 of the P12,000.00 loan was given by
Taguba.
Petitioner appealed to the CA contending that the trial court erred when it took cognizance of the
private respondents evidence, particularly Exhibits "F," "F-1," "F-2" and "F-3" (pertaining to the
receipts for the payments made by Leonor Taguba), which had been marked but never formally
submitted in evidence as required by the Rules of Court. Consequently, it was claimed that the trial
court erred in relying on the said evidence in deciding for private respondents.
In affirming the decision of the trial court, the CA held Exhibits "F, "F-1," "F-2" and "F3" though not
formally offered, may still be admitted in evidence for having complied with the two requisites for
admission enunciated in our jurisprudence: (1) evidence must be duly identified by testimony duly
recorded and (2) it must be incorporated in the records of the case.
ISSUE:
WON the pertinent documents can be admitted in evidence even if not formally offered.

RULING:
Yes, the documents in this case are admissible. As a general rule, under Sec. 34, Rule 132 of
the Rules of Court, for evidence to be considered, the same must be formally offered. Corollarily, the
mere fact that a particular document is identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean that it has
already been offered as part of the evidence of a party. However, in People v. Napat-a citing People v.
Mate, the Court relaxed the foregoing rule and allowed evidence not formally offered to be admitted
and considered by the trial court provided the following requirements are present: (1) the same must
have been duly identified by testimony duly recorded and, (2) the same must have been incorporated
in the records of the case.
In the case at bar, the Court held that the above requisites have been complied with. The documents
were marked at the pre-trial for the purpose of identifying them. In fact, the payment of Php5K was
admitted by herein petitioners in the same pre-trial. Further, the private respondent identified the said
exhibits in her testimony which was duly recorded and incorporated and made part of the records of
this case.
53.

Hrs. of Santioque v. Hrs. of Calma, 505 SCRA 665 (2006)

Rule: A party holding the affirmative of an issue is bound to present all of the evidence on
the case in chief before the close of the proof, and may not add to it by the device of
rebuttal.
FACTS:
Sometime in 1932, a Homestead Patent over a parcel of land located in Tibag, Tarlac was issued by
the Governor General. Such patent was made the basis for the issuance of OCT No. 1112 on April 21,
1932 by the Register of Deeds. The OCT was later cancelled by TCT No. 13287, which was
subsequently cancelled by TCT No. 19181 under the names of Agatona Calma, Fabian Calma, Emilio
Calma and Demetria Calma. Sometime in September 1967, upon the partition of the property by
virtue of Fabian Calmas death, TCT No. 19181 was cancelled by TCT No. 71826 in the names of
Agatona Calma, Emilio Calma, Demetria Calma and Fabian Calma.

(Homestead Patent in 1932 --> OCT No. 1112 --> TCT No. 13287 --> TCT No. 19181 --> TCT No.
71826 in the names of Agatona Calma, Emilio Calma, Demetria Calma and Fabian Calma)
Meanwhile, in 1967, a parcel of land located in Tibag, Tarlac was declared for taxation purposes under
the name of Emilio Santioque; however, the declaration did not bear the name and signature of the
declarant. Sometime in 1973, Santioque died intestate. His heirs then instituted a complaint for
declaration of nullity of title, reconveyance, with damages, over a piece of land located in Tibag, Tarlac.
According to Santioques heirs, herein petitioners, Emilio was awarded Homestead Patent No. 18577
by virtue of Homestead Application No. 132104 over a lot located in Tibag, Tarlac. Thereafter, OCT No.
1112 was issued to Emilio on April 21, 1932, and from then on, he enjoyed full ownership and
dominion over the said lot. However, it was later discovered that OCT No. 1112 was already registered
in the names of Agatona Calma, Emilio Calma, Demetria Calma and Fabian Calma under TCT No.
19181.

The heirs of Santioque, petitioners in this case, contend that Emilio was the first registrant of the
subject lot and, as such, was its lawful owner. The land could no longer be the subject matter of
subsequent cadastral proceedings, and any title issued pursuant thereto would be void.

RULING:
No, the CA was correct in not giving credence to the certifications and documents. It is
well settled that courts will consider as evidence only that which has been formally offered, otherwise,
the opposing party would be denied due process of law.

During trial, Felimon Santioque testified for the petitioners and admitted that they had no copy of OCT
No. 1112; the Register of Deeds likewise had no record of the said title, nor TCT No. 13287. He also
admitted that Felimon admitted that the Chief of the Records Management Division of the Lands
Management Bureau (LMB) certified that, based on the survey records, Emilio Santioque was the
claimant of the lot. However, the Bureau had no available records of Homestead Application No.
132104 and Homestead Patent No. 18577. The Register of Deeds of Tarlac, on the other hand, stated
that, despite diligent efforts, he could not locate TCT No. 13287 and OCT No. 1112 or any other
document leading to the issuance of TCT No. 19181.

Petitioners, however, contend that they could have presented the said documents during the rebuttal
stage of the proceedings before the trial court. It bears stressing, however, that a plaintiff is bound to
introduce all evidence that supports his case during the presentation of his evidence in chief. A party
holding the affirmative of an issue is bound to present all of the evidence on the case in chief before
the close of the proof, and may not add to it by the device of rebuttal. After the parties have produced
their respective direct proofs, they are allowed to offer rebutting evidence only.

After the petitioners rested their case, the respondents, heirs of Calma, demurred to petitioners
evidence and sought its dismissal on the ground that the latter failed to establish a preponderance of
evidence to support their ownership over the property. Thereafter, the trial court issued an Order
granting the demurrer and dismissing the complaint on the ground that plaintiffs failed to establish
their case.

Generally, rebuttal evidence is confined to that which explains, disproves, or counteracts evidence
introduced by the adverse party. It is not intended to give a party an opportunity to tell his story twice
or to present evidence that was proper in the case in chief. However, the court for good reasons, in the
furtherance of justice, may permit them to offer evidence upon their original case, and its ruling will
not be disturbed in the appellate court where no abuse of discretion appears. This is usually allowed
when the evidence is newly discovered, or where it has been omitted through inadvertence or mistake,
or where the purpose of the evidence is to correct evidence previously offered.

On August 30, 2000, Felimon Santioque wrote to the Director of the NBI requesting for his assistance
in investigating the disappearance of the copy of the Registrar of Deeds of Tarlac of OCT No. 1112 and
TCT No. 13287. In such letter, Felimon attached several documents, some of which are as follows:

Certification of Mr. Meliton I. Vicente, Jr., Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer
of the DENR, Region III, that Lot No. 3844 is already covered by Homestead Application No.
132104 with Patent No. 1877 issued to Emilio Santioque on March 31, 1932;

Certified xerox copy of Record Book Page 383 signed by Florida S. Quiaoit, Records
Management Unit, CENRO III-6, Tarlac City, showing that Emilio Santioque is a claimant of Lot
No. 3844 under Homestead Application No. HA-132104 and Patent No. 1877;

Certified xerox copy of Area Sheet over Lot 3844 prepared for Emilio Santioque, certified by
Emilanda M. David, Record Officer 1, DENRO, San Fernando, Pampanga dated February 29,
2000;

Certified xerox copy of Case No. 6, Cad Record No. I, showing that Emilio Santioque was the
claimant of Lot No. 3844, under Pat-H-132104 Part.

The above documents were not presented during the trial; however, they were attached to the
appellants brief upon appeal to the CA. Thereafter, the CA affirmed the appealed decision. The
appellate court did not give probative weight to the certifications and other documents submitted by
the heirs of Santioque, as their authenticity had not been established and the signatories therein were
not presented for cross-examination.

It is true that petitioners failed to adduce rebuttal evidence because respondents filed a Demurrer to
Evidence. However, petitioners should have filed a motion for new trial based on newly-discovered
evidence under Rule 37, Section 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure after the trial court granted the
demurrer and dismissed the complaint.
Petitioners aver that the documents they submitted on appeal were not yet discovered during the
presentation of their evidence before the trial court. Assuming this claim to be true, the Court notes
however, that petitioners nevertheless failed to establish that they could not, with reasonable
diligence, have discovered and produced the documents at the trial, and prove that such documents
would probably alter the result, if presented. The documents belatedly submitted by petitioners on
appeal can hardly be considered "newly discovered" since they are public records. Petitioners could
have earlier secured copies thereof during trial. Moreover, a perusal of these documents reveals that
even if admitted, they would not, in any way, bolster petitioners case, or remedy the vacuum in their
evidence-in-chief.
54.

People v. Libnao, 395 SCRA 407 (30 January 2003)

Rule: Evidence not formally offered can be considered by the court as long as they have
been properly identified by testimony duly recorded and they have themselves been
incorporated in the records of the case.

ISSUE:
WON the CA erred in not giving credence to the certifications and documents on the ground that they
were not submitted as evidence at the trial and that their authenticity has not been established.

FACTS:
An information was filed against respondent and a certain Rosita Nunga for violation of Sec. 4 of the
Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. It was alleged in the information that the respondent and her
co-accused transported, with intent to sell, marijuana leaves on October 20, 1996. During the

arraignment, both accused pleaded not guilty.

55.

Based on the evidence adduced by the prosecution, it appears that on October 19, 1996, at about
10:00p.m., the Tarlac Police Chief held a briefing in connection with a tip which his office received that
two drug pushers, riding in a tricycle, would be making a delivery of illegal drugs that night. An hour
later, the Police Alert Team installed a checkpoint in Barangay Salapungan to apprehend the suspects.
Witness SPO1 Gamotea, PO3 Ferrer and SPO3 Aquino were assigned to man the checkpoint.

Rules:
A Rebuttal Witness is a witness who is called to rebut testimony already presented.

In criminal cases, unless in rebuttal, the prosecution may not prove his bad moral
character which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense charged.

At about 1:00a.m. of the following day, SPO1 Gamotea and PO3 Ferrer flagged down a passing
tricycle. It had two female passengers seated inside, who were later identified as the respondent
Libnao and her co-accused Nunga. In front of them was a black bag. Suspicious of the black bag and
the uneasy behavior of the two passengers when asked about its ownership and content, the officers
invited them to Kabayan Center No.2 located at the same barangay. They brought with them the black
bag.

FACTS:

Upon reaching the center, PO3 Ferrer fetched Barangay Captain Roy Pascual to witness the opening of
the black bag. In the meantime, the two women and the bag were turned over to the investigator on
duty, SPO3 Antonio. As soon as the barangay captain arrived, the black bag was opened in the
presence of the appellant, her co-accused and personnel of the center. Found inside it were eight
bricks of leaves, which later turned out to be marijuana, sealed in plastic bags and covered with
newspaper. The leaves were suspected to be marijuana.

On October 4, 1963, petitioner filed with the Philippine Patent Office a petition to cancel the
registration of the respondents trademark. Petitioner alleges that the registration of "Valentine" and
design has caused and will cause great damage to petitioner by reason of mistake, confusion, or
deception among the purchasers because it is similar to its "Victorias" trademark.

After trial, the court convicted the two accused. In interposing this present appeal, the respondent
contends that the trial court erred in giving credence to the documentary and object evidence of the
prosecution which were not formally offered.
ISSUE:

Victorias Milling Company v. Ong Su, 79 SCRA 786 (1991)

The petitioner, in this case, is a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture and sale of refined
granulated sugar. It is the owner of the trademark "VICTORIAS" and design registered in the
Philippines Patent Office on November 9, 1961. On the other hand, the respondent is engaged in the
repacking and sale of refine sugar and is the owner of the trademark "VALENTINE" and design
registered in the Philippines Patent Office on June 20, 1961.

The Director of Patents denied the petition to cancel the certificate of registration of the respondent.
The petitioner now appeals the decision of the Director of Patents alleging, among others: (1) that it
was erroneous for the Director of Patents to prevent the testimonies of the respondent and witness
Ernesto Duran as rebuttal witnesses for the petitioner, and (2) that it was erroneous for the Director of
Patents to admit respondents exhibits pertaining to a certain Mariano Ang as said name has not been
clearly established as an alias of the respondent.

WON the documentary and object evidence should be held inadmissible for failure of the prosecution
to formally offer the same.

ISSUE:

RULING:

RULING:

No, the documentary and object evidence are admissible. The Court held that evidence not
formally offered can be considered by the court as long as they have been properly identified by
testimony duly recorded and they have themselves been incorporated in the records of the case. All
the documentary and object evidence in this case were properly identified, presented and marked as
exhibits in court, including the bricks of marijuana. Even without their formal offer, therefore, the
prosecution can still establish the case because witnesses properly identified those exhibits, and their
testimonies are recorded. Furthermore, respondents counsel had cross-examined the prosecution
witnesses who testified on the exhibits.

No, the petitioners contentions are untenable. The refusal of the Director of Patents to allow
respondent Ong Su and witness Emesto Duran to testify on rebuttal is not a reversible error. The only
purpose of the petitioner in proposing to call Ong Su as a witness on rebuttal is to ask the latter if he
had judicial authority to use the alias 'Mariano'. It appears, however, that the counsel of petitioner had
already extensively cross-examined Ong Su as to a citizenship, alien certificate of registration and the
other name Mariano Ang. It seems immaterial whether or not Ong Su has judicial authority to use
Mariano Ang as an alias. There is evidence that even before the last World War, the trademark
'Valentine' and design had been used under the name of either Ong Su or Mariano Ang.

WON the petitioners contentions are correct.

The petitioner sought to present Emesto Duran as rebuttal witness to prove that there was a
confusion among consumers or buyers of sugar caused by the alleged sorority of the "Victorias" and
"Valentine" trademarks. The proposed testimony of Duran that in February 1963 he went to Arangue
market and bought one bag of sugar which he thought was "Victorias" and when he went home he
found out that the sugar was marked "Valentine" is not sufficient evidence that the two trademarks

are so similar that buyers of sugar are confused. The words "Victorias" and "Valentine" are not similar
in spelling and do not have a similar sound when pronounced. Even the diamond designs are different.
The diamond design of the trademark "Valentine" has protruding fines at the corners. Even an
illiterate person can see the difference between the two diamond designs.
The record and evidence show that Ong Su had also used in his business the name Mariano Ang.
Hence the licenses and permits in the name of Ong Su and/or Mariano Ang were correctly admitted as
evidence.
56.

Abarquez v. People, 479 SCRA (20 January 2006)

Rule: Under the equipoise rule, where the evidence on an issue of fact is in issue or there
is doubt on which side the evidence preponderates, the party having the burden of proof
loses.
FACTS:
The petitioner is charged with the crimes of homicide and attempted homicide, as a co-consipirator of
one Alberto Almojuela, for having inflicted mortal wounds to one Ricardo Quejong and for inflicting
injury, although not fatal, to one Jose Paz. The petitioner pleaded not guilty to both charges.
According to the prosecution, the petitioner was with the group of Almojuela when the latter attacked
and seriously wounded Quejong and Paz. The act of the petitioner in restraining Paz while Almojuela
attacked Paz indicates that there was conspiracy between Almojuela and the petitioner; thus, the
latter should be convicted for the crimes charged.
According to the petitioner, it was the group of Paz who challenged Almojuela to a fist fight and that,
being a barangay kagawad, he immediately went to the place of the incident to stop the fight.
After the trial, the lower court found the petitioner guilty as an accomplice in the crime of homicide
and held that the prosecution failed to prove that the petitioner was a co-conspirator of Almojuela in
the killing of Quejong. However, the trial court ruled that petitioner, in holding and restraining Paz,
prevented the latter from helping Quejong and allowed Almojuela to pursue his criminal act without
resistance. This was later affirmed by the CA, which gave more credence to the testimony of Paz.
ISSUE:
WON the CA erred in giving more credence to the testimony of the prosecution witnesses.
RULING:
Yes, the testimony of the prosecution witnesses should not be given credence. As a
general rule, the trial court is in the best position to determine the value and weight of the testimony
of a witness. The exception is if the trial court failed to consider certain facts of substance and value,
which if considered, might affect the result of the case.The case at bar is an exception to the rule.

Two elements must concur before a person becomes liable as an accomplice: (1) community of design,
which means that the accomplice knows of, and concurs with, the criminal design of the principal by
direct participation; and (2) the performance by the accomplice of previous or simultaneous acts that
are not indispensable to the commission of the crime. Mere commission of an act, which aids the
perpetrator, is not enough. Thus, the cooperation that the law punishes is the assistance knowingly
rendered, which cannot exist without the previous cognizance of the criminal act intended to be
executed. It is therefore required in order to be liable as an accomplice, that the accused must unite
with the criminal design of the principal by direct participation
Here, in convicting the petitioner, the trial court and the CA relied mainly on the testimony of Paz who
stated that he was held by the petitioner on the shoulders, thus preventing him from helping Quejong
who was grappling with Almojuela. However, such testimony does not show that petitioner concurred
with Almojuelas criminal design. On the contrary, it is clear that the petitioner was trying to stop Paz
from joining the fray, not from helping Quejong.
The prosecution argues that petitioner was remiss in his duties as a barangay kagawad in not
extending assistance to the then wounded Quejong. This, however, does not necessarily show
concurrence in Almojuelas criminal act.
Further, the equipoise rule finds application in this case. Under such a rule, where the evidence on an
issue of fact is in issue or there is doubt on which side the evidence preponderates, the party having
the burden of proof loses. Thus, in a case where the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable
of two or more explanations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the
other consistent with his guilt, as in this case, the evidence should be considered as not having
fulfilled the test of moral certainty and should not suffice to produce a conviction. Briefly stated, the
needed quantum of proof to convict the accused of the crime charged is found lacking.
57.

Heirs of Reyes v. CA, 519 SCRA 250 (28 March 2007)

Rule: Under the actors rule, it is the witness whose action is more closely connected to
the point at issue that should be given more credence.
FACTS:
This case involves a parcel of land which is registered in the name of Eustaquia Reyes and which was
inherited by the latter prior to her marriage to Magno Sarreal. Sometime in June 1963, Eustaquia
leased a portion of the property to ACME Abrasive Manufacturing Corporation (ACME) for a period of
20 years commencing on June 1, 1963 until June 1, 1983. The lease contract provided that ACME shall
have the right to build, construct and place additional improvements within the property during the
term of the lease subject to the condition that upon the expiration of such term, the ownership of all
the improvements found within the leased property would automatically be transferred to the lessor
without need for reimbursement. The contract was thumbmarked by Eustaquia as the lessor, with
Magno Sarreal likewise affixing his signature to the instrument to indicate his marital consent to the
transaction.
Before the expiration of the lease contract, sometime in January 1979, Eustaquia purportedly sold the

property to private respondents Anatalia Reyes and Gloria Reyes-Paulino in a notarized Deed of
Absolute Sale. In the second paragraph of the document, Eustaquia expressly stated that the property
was exclusive in character and did not belong to the conjugal partnership because it formed part of
her inheritance. Accordingly, it was only her signature and thumbmark which appeared on the deed.
Anatalia and Gloria subsequently divided the property between themselves and registered their
respective shares under their own names.
Subsequently, Eustaquia died sometime in May 1987. Thereafter, the children of the siblings of
Eustaquia who predeceased her filed a complaint for partition and accounting with receivership
against Magno Sarreal and private respondents alleging, among others, that the sale between
Eustaquia and the private respondents were simulated and fictitious.
During trial, petitioners presented as witnesses Celerina Sarreal Kamantigue, Monico Reyes Palmario
and Aida Sarreal. The sole witness for the defense, on the other hand, was private respondent Gloria
Reyes-Paulino. Thereafter, the RTC rendered a decision declaring the sale between Eustaquia and the
private respondents null and void and allowing the partition of the property among the legal heirs of
Eustaquia and the legal heirs of her deceased husband, Magno. It gave credence to the testimony of
Monico Reyes Palmario to the effect that: he had been engaged by the spouses as a carpenter and
mason to make improvements on the property; he made repairs on the buildings constructed on the
property; that there were at least 10 houses on the said property and a building housing a knitting
company; and that the houses and buildings were constructed on the property prior to the purported
sale to private respondents. Thus, the RTC concluded that while the parcel of land was inherited by
Eustaquia prior to her marriage to Magno, the improvements introduced to the property during the
marriage became conjugal properties of the spouses.
Private respondents then appealed the decision to the CA, which reversed the decision of the RTC.
The CA pointed out that during pre-trial, the parties agreed that the sole issue that would limit or
control the course of the trial was whether the conveyance of the property to private respondents was
simulated or fictitious. The CA ruled that the burden of proof, which rested upon petitioners was not
met after finding that the testimonies of the petitioners two witnesses to the effect that private
respondents had no means or source of income that would enable them to buy the property and that
they merely lived with the spouses Eustaquia and Magno Sarreal during their lifetime were mere
generalities and fell short of the clear, convincing and more than merely preponderant evidence
necessary to overcome the notarized deed of sale. The CA held that the RTC showed undue bias in
favor of petitioners by resolving the case on issues not agreed upon during the pre-trial, particularly
with regard to the true nature of the property and whether the same was paraphernal or conjugal as
the RTC, in ruling that the property was conjugal, held that the Deed of Absolute Sale which did not
bear Magnos signature was void. In its decision, the CA gave more credence to the testimony of
private respondent Gloria Reyes-Paulino, to wit: the complaint never mentioned any "house" or a
"building occupied by a knitting company"; it confined itself only to a "parcel of land" and "market
stalls". Hence, Palmario must be referring to another land and his lack of certitude is confirmed by his
inability to be sure of the number of houses that he was talking about. The CA held that private
respondent Gloria, who is renting one of those "houses" or apartments from Eustaquia and Magno, is
more knowledgeable of the place and thus, more reliable, declared that they are outside the land in
controversy.

ISSUE:
WON the CA was correct in giving credence to the testimony of private respondent Gloria.
RULING:
Yes, the testimony of Gloria should be given more credence. Applying the well-known test of
credibility called the actors rule, it is the witness whose action is more closely connected to the point
at issue that should be given more credence. In the present case, the RTC gave credence to the
testimony of petitioner Monico Reyes Palmario, who claimed he worked as carpenter on the property
in question, and there were houses and buildings constructed on the property including a knitting
factory. The CA, however, sustained the testimony of private respondent Gloria Reyes-Paulino, who
rented from the spouses Eustaquia and Magno one of the "houses" or apartments, and lived therein,
and who testified that these houses and buildings were on a different property. As between these two
witnesses, the latter is more reliable since her act of renting and living in one of the "houses" or
apartments makes her the actor more closely related to the point at issue, i.e., whether or not the
houses were on the property in question. For while a carpenter would not concern himself with the
title of the property, a lessee would normally look into the title covering the property leased, including
its precise location or boundaries, and in fact Gloria Reyes-Paulino testified that the lot on which the
house she rented was found had a separate title.