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01 AFP RETIREMENT AND SEPARATION BENEFITS • Section 21 provides for disqualifications based on

SYSTEM V. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES privileged communications.


G.R No. 188956. March 20, 2013. Villarama Jr. J. Section 15 of Rule 132 may not be a rule on disqualification of
TOPIC: Testimonial Evidence witnesses but it states the grounds when a witness may be
impeached by the party against whom he was called.
FACTS: The specific enumeration of disqualified witnesses excludes
1. AFP-RSBS filed an application for Registration of Title the operation of causes of disability other than those
over 3 parcels of land located in Taguig City, before the mentioned in the Rules.
RTC of Pasig. A reading of the pertinent law and jurisprudence would show
2. The 3 parcels of land constitute a land grant by virtue of that Ms. Aban is qualified to testify as a witness for the
Presidential Proclamation No. 1218, issued by President petitioner since she possesses the qualifications of being
Ramos. able to perceive and being able to make her perceptions
3. The application was filed by Mr. Azcueta, the the known to others. Furthermore, she possesses none of the
Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer of AFP-RSBS, disqualifications described above.
who was duly authorized to do so by the Board of
Trustees, as evidenced by a notarized Secretary’s
Certificate.
4. After due posting and publication, and since there was no
opposition, the court issued an order of general default
and allowed AFP-RSBS to present evidence ex-parte.
5. AFP-RSBS presented Ms. Aban, the VP and Head of its
Asset Enhancement Office.
6. Ms. Aban testified that:
• the subject properties were acquired by the
petitioner through a land grant under
Presidential Proclamation No. 1218;
• the Republic and AFP-RSBS was in open,
continuous, exclusive, notorious, and peaceful
possession and occupation of the subject
properties;
• AFP-RSBS exercised control over them in the
concept of owner, and likewise assumed the
obligations of an owner; and
• AFP-RSBS has been paying the real estate
taxes on the subject properties; and the subject
properties are not mortgaged, encumbered, or
tenanted.
7. Sunsequnty, AFP-RSBS submitted its Formal offer of
Evidence.
8. RTC- Pasig granted the application. However, the OSG
filed an MR and argued that AFP-RSBS failed to prove
that it has personality to own the property and that AFP-
RSBS failed to show that the witness it presented was
duly authorized to appear for and in its behalf.
9. The MR of the OSG was granted, on the ground that
AFP-RSBS failed to prosecute its case.

ISSUE: Whether AFP-RSBS presented its duly authorized


representative to prosecute the case-YES

HELD:
There is no substantive or procedural rule which requires a
witness for a party to present some form of authorization to
testify as a witness for the party presenting him or her. No law
or jurisprudence would support the conclusion that such
omission can be considered as a failure to prosecute on the
part of the party presenting such witness.

All that the Rules require of a witness is that the witness


possesses all the qualifications and none of the
disqualifications provided therein. Rule 130 of the Rules on
Evidence provides:
SEC. 20. Witnesses; their qualifications – Except as provided
in the next succeeding section, all persons who can perceive,
and perceiving, can make known their perception to others,
may be witnesses.
Cavili v. Judge Florendo speaks of the disqualifications:

Sections 19 and 20 of Rule 130 provide for specific


disqualifications.
• Section 19 disqualifies those who are mentally
incapacitated and children whose tender age or
immaturity renders them incapable of being
witnesses.
• Section 20 provides for disqualification based on
conflicts of interest or on relationship.

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 1


02 SUNGA-CHAN VS. CHUA arisen”. Plainly then, Josephine is merely a witness of
G.R. No. 143340, August 15, 2001 Lamberto, latter being the plaintiff.

FACTS: Lilibeth’s reliance alone on the “Dead Man’s Statue” to defeat


• Lamberto Chua alleged that in 1977, he verbally Lamberto’s claim cannot prevail over the factual findings that a
entered into a partnership with Jacinto in the partnership was established between Lamberto and
distribution of Shellane LPG. For business Jacinto. Based not only on the testimonial evidence, but the
convenience, Lamberto and Jacinto allegedly agreed documentary evidence as well, they considered the evidence
to register the business name of their partnership, for Lamberto as sufficient to prove the formation of a
SHELLITE GAS APPLIANCE CENTER, under the partnership, albeit an informal one.
name of Jacinto as a sole proprietorship. Both
Lamberto and Jacinto contributed P100,000.00 to the
partnership, with the intention that the profits would
be equally divided between them.
• The partnership allegedly had Jacinto as manager,
assisted by Josephine Sy, sister-in-law of
Lamberto. Upon Jacinto’s death in the later part of
1989, his daughter, Lilibeth took over the operations
of Shellite without Lamberto’s consent. Despite
Lamberto’s repeated demands for accounting, she
failed to comply.
• On June 22m 1992, Lamberto filed a complaint
against Lilibeth with the RTC. RTC decided in favor
of Lamberto.
• Lilibeth questions the correctness of the finding that
a partnership existed between Lamberto and
Jacinto. In the absence of any written document to
show such partnership between Lamberto and
Jacinto, Lilibeth argues that these courts were
proscribed from hearing the testimonies of Lamberto
and his witness, Josephine, to prove the alleged
partnership three (3) years after Jacinto’s death.
• To support the argument, Lilibeth invokes the “DEAD
MAN’S STATUTE OR SURVIVORSHIP RULE”
under Sec. 23, Rule 130. Lilibeth thus implores this
Court to rule that the testimonies of Lamberto and his
alter ego, Josephine, should not have been admitted
to prove certain claims against a deceased person
(Jacinto).

ISSUE/S:
Whether or not the “DEAD MAN’S STATUTE” applies to this
case so as to render inadmissible Lamberto’s testimony and
that if his witness, Josephine. – NO.

HELD:
No. The “Dead Man’s Statute” provides that if one party to the
alleged transaction is precluded from testifying by death,
insanity, or other mental disabilities, the surviving party is not
entitled to the undue advantage of giving his own contradicted
and unexplained account of the transaction.

Lilibeth filed a compulsory counterclaim against Lamberto in


their answer before the RTC, and with the filing of their
counterclaim, Lilibeth herself effectively removed this case
from the ambit of the “Dead Man’s Statute”. Well entrenched
is the rule that when it is the executor or administrator or
representatives of the estate that sets up the counterclaim,
Lamberto, may testify to occurrences before the death of the
deceased to defeat the counterclaim. Moreover, as defendant
in the counterclaim, Lamberto is not disqualified from testifying
as to matters of fact occurring before the death of the
deceased, said action not having been bought against but by
the estate or representatives of the deceased.

The testimony of Josephine is not covered by the “Dead Man’s


Statute” for the simple reason that she is not “a party or
assignor of a party to a case or persons in whose behalf a
case is prosecuted”. Lamberto offered the testimony of
Josephine to establish the existence of the partnership
between Lamberto and Jacinto. Lilibeth’s insistence that
Josephine is the alter ego of Lamberto does not make her an
assignor because of the term “assignor” of a party means
“assignor of a cause of action which has arisen, and not the
assignor of a right assigned before any cause of action has

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 2


03 JUDGE UBALDINO A. LACUROM, Presiding Judge, remarks and phrases amounting to discourtesy and
Regional Trial Court, Cabanatuan City, Branch 29 and disrespect.
Pairing Judge, Branch 30 vs. ATTY. ELLIS F. JACOBA and 17. IBP Board: Reduced it to 3 months.
ATTY. OLIVIA VELASCO-JACOBA, 18. Velasco-Jacoba, MR
A.C. No. 5921; March 10, 2006
ISSUE: Whether the marital privilege rule could be invoked
FACTS: (NO)
1. The Jacoba-Velasco-Jacoba Law Firm is counsel for HELD:
plaintiff Alejandro R. Veneracion in a civil case for • The evidence as regards Jacoba, his name does not
unlawful detainer against defendant Federico appear in the 30 July 2001 motion. He asserts the
Barrientos. MTC of Cabanatuan City rendered inadmissibility of Velasco-Jacoba’s statement pointing to
judgment in favor of Veneracion him as the author of the motion.
2. Barrientos appealed to the RTC. The case was SC:
raffled to the branch where Judge Lacurom was 1. Jacoba's answer with Second Motion for
sitting as pairing judge. Inhibition did not contain a denial of his
3. Judge Lacurom issued a Resolution reversing the wife’s account. Instead, Jacoba impliedly
earlier judgments rendered in favor of Veneracion. It admitted authorship of the motion by
ordered Veneracion to CEASE and DESIST from stating that he "trained his guns and fired at
ejecting the defendant-appellant Federico Barrientos the errors which he perceived and believed
from the 1,000sq.m homelot covered by a TCT, and to be gigantic and monumental."
the smaller area of 147sm, w/in the 1,000 sq.m. 2. Velasco-Jacoba’s version of the facts more
covered by another TC and Barrientos is ordered to plausible: (1) her reaction to the events was
pay Veneracion P10K for the house immediate and spontaneous, unlike
4. Veneracion’s counsel filed a MR: Jacoba’s defense which was raised only
language contained in the motion used of after a considerable time had elapsed from
the following words and phrases: the eruption of the controversy; and (2)
abhorrent nullity, legal monstrosity, Jacoba had been counsel of record for
horrendous mistake, horrible error, Veneracion in Civil Case No. 2836,
boner, and an insult to the judiciary and supporting Velasco-Jacoba’s assertion that
an anachronism in the judicial process. she had not "actually participated" in the
5. Velasco-Jacoba claimed that she did not actually prosecution of the case.
participate in the case and that she disavowed • No doubt, the language contained in the 30 July
deliberate intent to degrade the honor of the Court. 2001 motion greatly exceeded the vigor required of
6. She explained that the words used were merely Jacoba to defend ably his clients cause. Even
articulating their feelings of shock and disbelief at the Velasco-Jacoba acknowledged that the words
sudden reversal of the case. created a cacophonic picture of total and utter
7. Judge found her guilty of contempt sentencing her of disrespect.
imprisonment for 5 days and P1k fine. • Moreover, Jacoba filed a Manifestation, praying that
8. Velasco-Jacoba moved for MR. She recounted that Judge Lacurom await the outcome of the petition for
on her way out of the house for an afternoon hearing, certiorari before deciding the contempt charge
Atty. Ellis Jacoba ("Jacoba") stopped her and said against him. This petition for certiorari anchors some
"O, pirmahan mo na ito kasi last day na, baka of its arguments on the premise that the motion was,
mahuli." (Sign this as it is due today, or it might not in fact, Jacoba’s handiwork.
be filed on time.) She signed the pleading handed to • The marital privilege rule, being a rule of
her without reading it, in "trusting blind faith" on her evidence, may be waived by failure of the
husband of 35 years with whom she "entrusted her claimant to object timely to its presentation or by
whole life and future." any conduct that may be construed as implied
9. This pleading turned out to be the motion which consent.
Jacoba drafted but could not sign because of his o This waiver applies to Jacoba who
then suspension from the practice of law. impliedly admitted authorship of the 30 July
10. Velasco-Jacoba lamented that Judge Lacurom had 2001 motion.
found her guilty of contempt without conducting any NOTES:
hearing. She accused Judge Lacurom of harboring • Respondent spouses have both been the subject
"a personal vendetta," ordering her imprisonment of administrative cases. In an Administrative Case,
despite her status as "senior lady lawyer of the IBP Jacoba was suspended from the practice of law for a
Nueva Ecija Chapter, already a senior citizen, and a period of 6 mos. for "his failure to file an action for
grandmother many times over." At any rate, she the recovery of possession of property despite the
argued, Judge Lacurom should have inhibited lapse of 2 1/2 years from receipt by him of P550
himself from the case out of delicadeza bec which his client gave him as filing and sheriff’s fees."
Veneracion had already filed against him criminal • In another Administrative Case, Jacoba was once
cases before the Office of the City Prosecutor of again found remiss in his duties when he failed to file
Cabanatuan City and before the Ombudsman for the appellant’s brief, resulting in the dismissal of his
violation of RA 3019 client’s appeal. - penalty of one year suspension.
11. Judge Lacorum issued another order directing Atty. • As for Velasco-Jacoba, only recently this Court fined
Jacoba to explain why he should not be held in her P5k for appearing in barangay conciliation
contempt. proceedings on behalf of a party, knowing fully well
12. Atty. Jacoba denied preparing the motion. the prohibition contained in Sec 415 of the Local
13. Jacoba invoked the marital privilege rule of Government Code.
evidence.
• In this case: Velasco-Jacoba - by signing the motion,
14. Atty. Jacoba was found guilty of contempt and was
she certified that she had read it, knew it to be
sentenced to pay a P500 fine.
meritorious, and not for the purpose of delaying the
15. Judge Lacurom filed the present complaint against
case.It has been their practice to sign each other’s
the counsels before the IBP.
pleadings because of their implicit trust for each
16. IBP Commissioner recommended the Suspension of
other. And by her own admission, she violated the
counsels from the practice for 6 mos.; found that they
ROC on Ethics w/c is a ground for disciplinary action.
were prone to using offensive and derogatory

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 3


04 MERCADO V. VITRIOLO paramount importance to the administration of justice. One
A.C. No. 5108, May 26, 2005 rule adopted to serve this purpose is the attorney-client
privilege: an attorney is to keep inviolate his clients secrets or
FACTS: confidence and not to abuse them. Thus, the duty of a lawyer
1. Rosa Mercado is a Senior Education Program Specialist to preserve his client’s secrets and confidence outlasts the
of the Standards Development Division, Office of termination of the attorney-client relationship, and continues
Programs and Standards while Atty. Vitriolo is a Deputy even after the clients death.
Executive Director IV of the Commission on Higher
Education (CHED). Factors essential to establish the existence of the privilege:
2. Complainant’s husband filed for annulment of their (1) There exists an attorney-client relationship, or a
marriage with the RTC of Pasig City. This annulment case prospective attorney-client relationship, and it is by
had been dismissed by the trial court, and the dismissal reason of this relationship that the client made the
became final and executory on July 15, 1992. communication.
3. Atty. Anastacio P. de Leon, counsel of complainant, died. (2) The client made the communication in confidence.
On February 7, 1994, respondent entered his appearance (3) The legal advice must be sought from the attorney
before the trial court as collaborating counsel for in his professional capacity.
complainant.
4. It also appears that on April 13, 1999, respondent filed a Applying all these rules to the case at bar, we hold that
criminal action against complainant before the Office of the evidence on record fails to substantiate complainants
the City Prosecutor, Pasig City for falsification of public allegations. We note that complainant did not even specify the
document. alleged communication in confidence disclosed by respondent.
a. Respondent alleged that complainant made All her claims were couched in general terms and lacked
false entries in the Certificates of Live Birth of specificity. She contends that respondent violated the rule on
her children, Angelica and Katelyn Anne. More privileged communication when he instituted a criminal action
specifically, complainant allegedly indicated in against her for falsification of public documents because the
said Certificates of Live Birth that she is married criminal complaint disclosed facts relating to the civil case for
to a certain Ferdinand Fernandez, and that their annulment then handled by respondent. She did not, however,
marriage was solemnized on April 11, 1979, spell out these facts which will determine the merit of her
when in truth, she is legally married to Ruben G. complaint. The Court cannot be involved in a guessing game
Mercado and their marriage took place on April as to the existence of facts which the complainant must prove.
11, 1978. Indeed, complainant failed to attend the hearings at the
5. Rosa denied the accusations. Also she cited other IBP. Without any testimony from the complainant as to the
charges against respondent that are pending before or specific confidential information allegedly divulged by
decided upon other tribunals. Further, Rosa alleged that respondent without her consent, it is difficult, if not impossible
the said criminal complaint for falsification of public to determine if there was any violation of the rule on privileged
document disclosed confidential facts and information communication. Such confidential information is a crucial link
relation to the civil case for annulment, then handled by in establishing a breach of the rule on privileged
the respondent as her counsel. She claims that filing the communication between attorney and client. It is not enough to
criminal case for falsification, respondent is guilty of merely assert the attorney-client privilege. The burden of
breaching their privileged and confidential lawyer-client proving that the privilege applies is placed upon the party
relationship, and should be disbarred. asserting the privilege.
6. Respondent filed a MTD, alleging that the complaint for
disbarment was all hearsay, misleading and irrelevant
because all the allegations leveled against him are
subject of separate fact-finding bodies. Respondent
maintains that his filing of the criminal complaint for
falsification of public documents against complainant
does not violate the rule on privileged communication
between attorney and client because the bases of the
falsification case are two certificates of live birth which are
public documents and in no way connected with the
confidence taken during the engagement of respondent
as counsel.
7. IBP Board of Governors found respondent guilty of
violating the rule on privileged communications between
attorney and client, recommending his suspension from
practice of law for one year.
8. Rosa, upon receiving the IBP recommendations, wrote
Chief Justice Davide a letter of desistance, as she has
now found forgiveness for those who wronged her.

ISSUE: WON respondent violated the rule of priviledge


communication between attorney and client when he filed
a criminal case for falsification of public document
against his former client

HELD: NO

RATIO:
In engaging the services of an attorney, the client reposes on
him special powers of trust and confidence. Their relationship
is strictly personal and highly confidential and fiduciary. The
relation is of such delicate, exacting and confidential nature
that is required by necessity and public interest. he
preservation and protection of that relation will encourage a
client to entrust his legal problems to an attorney, which is of
EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 4
05 CHAN V. CHAN • Under the Civil Procedure rules on Discovery, the
GR 179786, July 24, 2013 inspection of documents does not cover those which are
privileged.
FACTS: • Josielene says that the physician-patient privilege only
• Josielene Chan sought the declaration of nullity of her covers “testimonial” evidence, and should not cover
marriage to Johnny Chan. Josielene said Johnny failed to hospital records.
support the family, and she also said a psychiatrist • However, to allow the disclosure during discovery
diagnosed Johnny as mentally deficient due to his procedure of the hospital records—the results of tests
incessant drinking and drug use. Johnny resists the claim, that the physician ordered, the diagnosis of the patient’s
saying that it was Josielene who was the one who failed illness, and the advice or treatment he gave him—would
in her wifely duties. be to allow access to evidence that is inadmissible
• The couple agreed to undergo counselling, but when they without the patient’s consent.
reached the hospital, 2 men fforcibly held Johnny and • Physician memorializes all these information in the
gave him an injection. patient’s records.
• The marriage relations got worse when the police • Disclosing them would be the equivalent of
temporarily detained Josielene for an unrelated crime and compelling the physician to testify on privileged
released her only after the case against her ended. matters he gained while dealing with the patient,
• Hence, the marriage could no longer be repaired. without the latter’s prior consent.
• During pre-trial, Josielene pre-marked the Philhealth
claim form that Johnny attached to his answer (where he *Other issue RE: Prematurity of Josielene’s subpoena
attempted to prove that he was forcibly confined at the duces tecum
hospital’s rehab unit) • Section 36, Rule 132, states that objections to evidence
• The Philhealth claim form showed a physician’s must be made after the offer of such evidence for
handwritten note that Johnny suffered from admission in court. Thus:
methamphetamine and alcohol abuse. SEC. 36. Objection.— Objection to evidence offered
• Thereafter, Josielene sought a subpoena duces tecum to orally must be made immediately after the offer is
Medical City, requesting Johnny’s medical records when made.
he was confined. Josielene sought to be allowed to
present such medical records in evidence. Objection to a question propounded in the course of
• Johnny opposed, saying the medical records were the oral examination of a witness shall be made as
covered by physician-patient privilege. soon as the grounds therefor shall become
• RTC upheld Johnny’s position, and denied Josielene’s reasonably apparent.
motion.
• CA affirmed the RTC decision. The Ca said that if An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to
courts allowed such petitions, then patients would be left within three (3) days after notice of the offer unless a
with no assurance that their disclosures to physicians different period is allowed by the court.
would be kept confidential.
• The CA said that the physician-patient privilege covers In any case, the grounds for the objections must be
not only testimonies, but also affidavits, certificates and specified.
hospital records.
• The CA said that although the privilege can be • Since the offer of evidence is made at the trial,
waived, Johnny never waived the privilege. Josielene’s request for subpoena duces tecum is
• By attaching his Philhealth claim form in his answer, premature. She will have to wait for trial to begin before
he only did so for the limited purpose of showing his making a request for the issuance of a subpoena duces
alleged forcible confinement. tecum covering Johnny’s hospital records.
• It is when those records are produced for examination at
ISSUE: Did Johnny waive the physician-patient privilege? the trial, that Johnny may opt to object, not just to their
NO. admission in evidence, but more so to their disclosure.
• Josielene argues that since Johnny admitted in his The physician-patient privilege in Section 24(c), Rule 130
answer to the petition before the RTC that he had been of the Rules of Evidence quoted above is about non-
confined in a hospital against his will and in fact attached disclosure of privileged matters.
to his answer a Philhealth claim form covering that
confinement, he should be deemed to have waived the Leonen, concurring:
privileged character of its records. Josielene Chan should have availed of the following mode of
discovery: the physical and mental examination or
• Josielene invokes Section 17, Rule 132
persons, which may be granted by the court upon showing
• SEC. 17. When part of transaction, writing or record given
good cause. Had this mode been availed of, then:
in evidence, the remainder admissible.— When part of an
act, declaration, conversation, writing or record is given in • If Johnny would request a copy of the report, then
evidence by one party, the whole of the same subject Josielene would be entitled to any past or future medical
may be inquired into by the other, and when a detached report involving the same physical or mental condition.
act, declaration, conversation, writing or record is given in And upon motion, the Court may order Johnny to deliver
evidence, any other act, declaration, conversation, writing those medical reports if Josielene would request them.
or record necessary to its understanding may also be More importantly, if Johnny requested a copy of the
given in evidence. examination report, or he takes the examining physician’s
deposition, he waives his privilege when the testimony of the
• But, trial in the case had not yet begun.
physician is taken.
• Consequently, it cannot be said that Johnny had
already presented the Philhealth claim form in
evidence and waived the physician-patient privilege
• Johnny was not yet bound to adduce evidence in the case
when he filed his answer. Any request for disclosure of
his hospital records would again be premature.

ISSUE: Can the Josielene’s motion succeed if it were


treated as a motion for production of documents? NO.

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 5


06 IN RE: PETITION FOR CANCELLATION AND testimony and, normally, the RTC cannot deprive
CORRECTION OF ENTRIES IN THE RECORD OF BIRTH of them of their right to compel the attendance of such
EMMA K LEE v CA a material witness.

FACTS Parental privilege


1. Sps Lee and Keh entered in PH as immigrants from
China. They had 11 children. • But petitioner Emma Lee raises two other objections
2. Lee brought from China a young woman named Tiu to to requiring Tiu to come to court and testify: a)
serve as housemaid. The Lee-Keh children believed that considering her advance age, testifying in court
Tiu left the household and moved to another property of would subject her to harsh physical and emotional
Lee nearby and had a relation with him. stresses; and b) it would violate her parental right
3. Keh died. Lee-Keh children learned that Tiu’s children w/ not to be compelled to testify against her
Lee claimed that they were children of Lee and Keh. stepdaughter.
4. Lee-Keh children requested NBI to investigate. • Regarding the physical and emotional punishment
5. NBI concluded that it is obvious that it is not Keh’s that would be inflicted on Tiu if she were compelled
children, but a younger woman, most probably Tiu; that at her age and condition to come to court to testify,
Lee is in a quandary in fixing the age of Keh possibly to petitioner Emma Lee must establish this claim to the
conform with his grand design of making his 8 children as satisfaction of the trial court. About five years have
their own legitimate children, elevating status of his passed from the time the Lee-Keh children sought
second family. the issuance of a subpoena for Tiu to appear before
6. The NBI found, for example, that in the hospital records, the trial court.The RTC would have to update itself
the eldest of the Lees other children, Marcelo Lee (who and determine if Tius current physical condition
was recorded as the 12th child of Lee and Keh), was born makes her fit to undergo the ordeal of coming to
of a 17-year-old mother, when Keh was already 38 years court and being questioned. If she is fit, she must
old at the time. Another of the Lees other children, obey the subpoena issued to her.
Mariano Lee, was born of a 23-year-old mother, when • Tiu claimed before the trial court the right not to
Keh was then already 40 years old, and so forth. In other testify against her stepdaughter, petitioner Emma
words, by the hospital records of the Lees other children, Lee, invoking Section 25, Rule 130 of the Rules of
Kehs declared age did not coincide with her actual age Evidence, which reads:
when she supposedly gave birth to such other children, o SECTION 25. Parental and filial
numbering eight. privilege.- No person may be
7. Lee-Keh children filed petitions for the deletion from compelled to testify against his
certificate of live birth of Emma Lee (child of Tiu) the parents, other direct
name Keh and replace with Tiu as mother’s name. ascendants, children or other
8. Lee-Keh children filed with the RTC an ex parte request direct descendants.
for the issuance of a subpoena ad testificandum to • The above is an adaptation from a similar
compel Tiu, to testify. provision in Article 315 of the Civil Code that
9. RTC granted, but Tiu moved to quash the subpoena applies only in criminal cases. But those who
saying it was violation on rule on parental privilege. revised the Rules of Civil Procedure chose to
10. RTC quashed the subpoena for being unreasonable and extend the prohibition to all kinds of actions,
oppressive considering that Tiu was already very old and whether civil, criminal, or administrative, filed
that the obvious object of the subpoena was to badger against parents and other direct ascendants or
her into admitting that she was Emma Lees mother. descendants.
11. Lee-Keh filed certiorari before CA. CA ruled that only a • But here Tiu, who invokes the filial privilege,
subpoena duces tecum, not a subpoena ad testificandum, claims that she is the stepmother of petitioner
may be quashed for being oppressive or unreasonable Emma Lee. The privilege cannot apply to them
under Rule 21 of ROC. CA also held that Tius advanced because the rule applies only to direct
age alone does not render her incapable of testifying. The ascendants and descendants, a family tie
party seeking to quash the subpoena for that reason must connected by a common ancestry. A
prove that she would be unable to withstand the rigors of stepdaughter has no common ancestry by her
trial, something that petitioner Emma Lee failed to do. stepmother.
• Consequently, Tiu can be compelled to testify
ISSUE: WON TC may compel Tiu to testify in the correction of against petitioner Emma Lee
entry case?

HELD: Yes.
RATIO:
• The grounds cited unreasonable and oppressive are
proper for subpoena ad duces tecum or for the
production of documents and things in the
possession of the witness, a command that has a
tendency to infringe on the right against invasion of
privacy.
• Lee-Keh children have the right to file the action for
correction of entries in the certificates of birth of Lees
other children, Emma Lee included. The Court
recognized that the ultimate object of the suit was to
establish the fact that Lees other children were not
children of Keh.
• Taking in mind the ultimate purpose of the Lee-Keh
childrens action, obviously, they would want Tiu to
testify or admit that she is the mother of Lees other
children, including petitioner Emma Lee. Keh had
died and so could not give testimony that Lees other
children were not hers. The Lee-Keh children have,
therefore, a legitimate reason for seeking Tius

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 6


07 ESTRADA v DISIERTO where he would not be a candidate; his
statement that he only wanted the five-day
FACTS FROM MARCH 2001 CASE: period promised by Chief of Staff Angelo
It began in October 2000 when allegations of wrong doings Reyes; his statements that he would leave
involving bribe-taking, illegal gambling, and other forms of by Monday if the second envelope would
corruption were made against Estrada before the Senate Blue be opened by Monday and Pagod na
Ribbon Committee. On November 13, 2000, Estrada was pagod na ako. Ayoko na, masyado nang
impeached by the Hor and, on December 7, impeachment masakit. Pagod na ako sa red tape,
proceedings were begun in the Senate during which more bureaucracy, intriga. (I am very tired. I dont
serious allegations of graft and corruption against Estrada want any more of this its too painful. Im
were made and were only stopped on January 16, 2001 when tired of the red tape, the bureaucracy, the
11 senators, sympathetic to the President, succeeded in intrigue). I just want to clear my name, then
suppressing damaging evidence against Estrada. As a result, I will go. We noted that days before,
the impeachment trial was thrown into an uproar as the entire petitioner had repeatedly declared that he
prosecution panel walked out and Senate President Pimentel would not resign despite the growing
resigned after casting his vote against Estrada. clamor for his resignation. The reason for
the meltdown is obvious - - - his will not to
In this case, SC ruled that Estrada actually resigned as all the resign has wilted.
elements of valid resignation was present. It was also evident • It is, however, argued that the Angara Diary is not
in Angara Diary which shows that he was tired and he didn’t the diary of the petitioner, hence, non-binding on
want it any more – he is tired of red tape, intrigue and him. The argument overlooks the doctrine
bureaucracy. And that the diary clearly is a high grade of adoptive admission. An adoptive admission is a
evidence that Estrada resigned. partys reaction to a statement or action by another
person when it is reasonable to treat the partys
FACTS, APRIL 2001 case: reaction as an admission of something stated or
1. For resolution are petitioner’s MR and Omnibus implied by the other person
motion of the Court’s decision of March 2001 o In the Angara Diary, the options of the
2. Petitioner specifically raises an issue whether the petitioner started to dwindle when the
Angara diary is inadmissible for being violative of armed forces withdrew its support from him
hearsay evidence, best evidence, authentication, as President and commander-in-
admissions and res inter alios acta? chief. Thus, Executive Secretary Angara
ISSUE: WON the Angara diary is admissible? had to ask Senate President Pimentel to
HELD: Yes advise petitioner to consider the option
RATIO: of dignified exit or resignation. Petitioner
did not object to the suggested option but
HEARSAY: simply said he could never leave the
• The Angara Diary is part of the pleadings in the country. Petitioners silence on this and
cases at bar. Petitioner cannot complain he was not other related suggestions can be taken as
furnished a copy of the Angara Diary. Nor can he an admission by him.
feign surprise on its use. To be sure, the said Diary RES INTER ALIOS ACTA
was frequently referred to by the parties in their • Petitioner further contends that the use of
pleadings. the Angara diary against him violated the rule
o It was also extensively used by Secretary on res inter alios acta. The rule is expressed in
of Justice Hernando Perez in his oral section 28 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, viz: The
arguments.Thus, petitioner had all the rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act,
opportunity to contest the use of the Diary declaration, or omission of another, except as
but unfortunately failed to do so. hereinafter provided.
• Even assuming arguendo that the Angara Diary was o The res inter alios acta rule has several
an out of court statement, still its use is not covered exceptions. One of them is provided in
bythe hearsay rule. Evidence is called hearsay when section 29 of Rule 130 with respect
its probative force depends, in whole or in part, on to admissions by a co-partner or agent.
the competency and credibility of some persons o Executive Secretary Angara as such was
other than the witness by whom it is sought to an alter ego of the petitioner. He was the
produce it. There are three reasons for excluding Little President. Indeed, he was
hearsay evidence: (1) absence of cross examination; authorized by the petitioner to act for
(2) absence of demeanor evidence, and (3) absence him in the critical hours and days before
of the oath. Not at all hearsay evidence, however, is he abandoned Malacaang Palace. Thus,
inadmissible as evidence. according to the Angara Diary, the
o A complete analysis of any hearsay petitioner told Secretary Angara: Mula
problem requires that we further umpisa pa lang ng kampanya, Ed, ikaw na
determine whether the hearsay evidence lang pinakikinggan ko. At hanggang sa huli,
is one exempted from the rules of ikaw pa rin.
exclusion. A more circumspect o This statement of full trust was made by
examination of our rules of exclusion the petitioner after Secretary Angara
will show that they do not cover briefed him about the progress of the
admissions of a party and the Angara first negotiation. True to this trust, the
Diary belongs to this class. Section 26 of petitioner had to ask Secretary Angara if he
Rule 130 provides that the act, declaration would already leave Malacaang after taking
or omission of a party as to a relevant fact their final lunch on January 20, 2001 at
may be given in evidence against him. It about 1:00 p.m. The Angara Diary quotes
has long been settled that these the petitioner as saying to Secretary
admissions are admissible even if they Angara: ed, kailangan ko na bang umalis?
are hearsay. (Do I have to leave now?)[18] Secretary
o The Angara Diary contains direct Angara told him to go and he did. Petitioner
statements of petitioner which can be cannot deny that Secretary Angara headed
categorized as admissions of a party: his his team of negotiators that met with the
proposal for a snap presidential election team of the respondent Arroyo to discuss
EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 7
the peaceful and orderly transfer of power
after his relinquishment of the powers of
the presidency.
o Secretary Angara acted for and in behalf
of the petitioner in the crucial days before
respondent Arroyo took her oath as
President.Consequently, petitioner is
bound by the acts and declarations of
Secretary Angara.
o Under our rules of evidence, admissions
of an agent (Secretary Angara) are
binding on the principal
(petitioner).[19] Jones very well explains
the reasons for the rule, viz: What is
done, by agent, is done by the principal
through him, as through a mere
instrument.

BEST EVIDENCE:
• It is true that the Court relied not upon the original
but only copy of the Angara Diary as published in
the Philippine Daily Inquirer on February 4-6,
2001. In doing so, the Court, did not, however,
violate the best evidence rule. Wigmore, in his
book on evidence, states that:
Production of the original may be dispensed with, in the trial
courts discretion, whenever in the case in hand the opponent
does not bona fide dispute the contents of the
document and no other useful purpose will be served by
requiring production.
• Petitioner cites the case of State prosecutors v.
Muro,[28] which frowned on reliance by courts on
newspaper accounts. In that case, Judge Muro was
dismissed from the service for relying on a
newspaper account in dismissing eleven (11) cases
against Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos. There is
a significant difference, however, between
the Muro case and the cases at bar. In
the Muro case, Judge Muro dismissed the cases
against Mrs. Marcos on the basis of a newspaper
account without affording the prosecution the
basic opportunity to be heard on the matter by way of
a written comment or on oral argument. . .(this is) not
only a blatant denial of elementary due process to
the Government but is palpably indicative of bad faith
and partiality. In the instant cases, however,
the petitioner had an opportunity to object to the
admissibility of the Angara Diary when he filed his
Memorandum dated February 20, 2001, Reply
Memorandum dated February 22, 2001,
Supplemental Memorandum dated February 23,
2001, and Second Supplemental memorandum
dated February 24, 2001. He was therefore not
denied due process. In the words of Wigmore, supra,
petitioner had been given an opportunity to inspect
the Angara Diary but did not object to its
admissibility. It is already too late in the day to raise
his objections in an Omnibus Motion, after
the Angara Diary has been used as evidence and a
decision rendered partly on the basis thereof.

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 8


08 DYNAMIC SIGNMAKER V. POTONGAN

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 9


09 ALFELOR VS. HALASAN

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 10


10 SHRIMP SPECIALISTS INC. V. FUJI-TRIUMPH RULING: No. As correctly ruled by the CA, the statement "to
G.R. No. 168756, December 7, 2009 inform in advance in case the same checks cannot be
deposited for failure to replace the defective feeds" is not
FACTS: expressed in definite, certain and unequivocal language that
1. Shrimp Specialists (SS) and Fuji (F) entered into a Fuji admitted to delivering defective feeds.
Distributorship Agreement, under which F agreed to
supply prawn feeds on credit basis to SS. As held in CMS Logging, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, it is a rule
2. In 1987, SS began purchasing prawn feeds from F that 'a statement is not competent as an admission where
and paid for them in the regular course of business. it does not, under a reasonable construction, appear to
3. From 3 June 1989 to 24 July 1989, F delivered admit or acknowledge the fact which is sought to be
prawn feeds, and SS issued 9 postdated checks as proved by it.' An admission or declaration to be
payment. Shrimp Specialists alleges that it issued a competent must have been expressed in definite, certain
stop-payment order for the checks because it and unequivocal language.
discovered that earlier deliveries were contaminated
with aflatoxin. Even assuming that Fuji admitted that the feeds delivered
4. SS states that it continued to purchase prawn feeds were defective, the question of whether Fuji had replaced the
from Fuji, but the stocks were still contaminated with feeds is a factual matter not usually reviewable in a petition
aflatoxin. filed under Rule 45.
5. F denies that the feeds were contaminated. F asserts
that SS requested to put on hold the deposit of the Whether Fuji delivered defective feeds, or whether the
checks due to insufficient funds. Fuji adds that when statement is tantamount to an admission that the feeds
the checks were presented for payment, the drawee delivered were defective, or whether Fuji failed to replace
bank dishonored all the checks due to a stop- defective feeds, are questions of fact which necessitate an
payment order. examination of the probative value of the evidence adduced
6. In January 1990, Ervin Lim, Fuji's owner, and before the trial court.
Edward Lim SS' Finance Officer agreed that SS
would issue another set of checks to cover the ones Based on the evidence on record, representative from SS
issued earlier. This agreement was reduced into even acknowledged receipt of feeds in good order and
writing and signed by both parties on behalf of their condition, hence, SS' argument is contrary to the evidence on
corporations. Part of their agreement stated “To record.
inform in advance in case the above checks cannot
be deposited for failure to replace the defective The factual findings of the trial court, when affirmed by the
feeds.” appellate court, are generally binding on the Supreme Court.
7. However, upon presentment of the replacement After a careful review of the records, the Court finds no reason
checks, these were again dishonored due to another to disturb the factual findings of the trial court and the
stop-payment order issued by SS. appellate court.
8. This prompted F to file a criminal case against SS for
anti-bouncing check law. However, the criminal Petition denied.
charge was dismissed.
9. F filed another case, this time a civil action for
recovery of sum of money for the value of the
checks.
10. The trial court ruled in favor of F. It held that the
written agreement signed by Edward Lim and Ervin
Lim does not suffice to convince the court that the
feeds delivered by Fuji were defective. The trial court
explained that even if the agreement mentions Fuji
as having to replace the defective feeds, this
statement is not tantamount to an express admission
of the defective quality of the feeds that were
delivered. It ordered SS to pay F P767,427 for the
prawn feeds delivered from June to July 1989,
among others.
11. On appeal to CA, the latter affirmed the ruling of trial
court. The CA declared that the portion in the
agreement, which states "to inform in advance in
case the same checks cannot be deposited for
failure to replace the defective feeds," is too
nebulous to be taken as an admission on the part of
Fuji's representative that the feeds earlier delivered
were defective. The CA doubted if Fuji really
acknowledged that its earlier feeds were defective
because the agreement was just to acknowledge
receipt of the checks. To be an admission of any
breach of warranty, the evidence must be clear and
convincing.
12. On appeal to SC, SS argued that the provision "to
inform in advance in case the same checks cannot
be deposited for failure to replace the defective
feeds" clearly shows that Fuji admitted that the feeds
delivered were defective, otherwise, there would be
no reason to include the statement in an agreement
that merely acknowledged receipt of the checks.

ISSUE: WON the statement amounts to F admission.

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 11


11 PEOPLE VS. LAUGA recognized by the local government unit to perform
615 SCRA 548, G.R. NO. 186228 MARCH 15, 2010 functions relating to the preservation of peace and order
at the barangay level. Any inquiry a bantay bayan
FACTS: makes has the color of a state-related function and
Prosecution’s version of facts: objective insofar as the entitlement of a suspect to his
• In March 2000, AAA was raped by her father. AAA was constitutional rights provided for under Article III, Section
a 13 yr old minor when this happened. 12 of the Constitution, otherwise known as the Miranda
• It happened after father had a drinking spree with the Rights, is concerned, and an extrajudicial confession
neighbors and AAA was alone at home. She was alone taken from a suspect by such bantay bayan without a
because her mother decided to leave because of her counsel is inadmissible in evidence.
father’s habit of mauling the latter when drunk and her
brother went out with neighbors. 2. The testimony of AAA does not run contrary to that of
• I was at around 10:00 o clock PM when her father came BBB. Both testified that they sought the help of a
back home and proceeded in raping her. There was a “bantay bayan.” Their respective testimonies differ only
penetration of penis in her vagina. as to when the help was sought for, which this Court
• Soon after, BBB arrived and found AAA crying. could well attribute to the nature of the testimony of
Appellant claimed he scolded her for staying out late. BBB, a shortcut version of AAA’s testimony that
BBB decided to take AAA with him. While on their way dispensed with a detailed account of the incident. At any
to their maternal grandmother’s house, AAA recounted rate, the Court of Appeals is correct in holding that the
her harrowing experience with their father. Upon assailed inconsistency is too trivial to affect the veracity
reaching their grandma’s house, they told their grandma of the testimonies. In fact, inconsistencies which refer to
and uncle of the incident, after which, they sought the minor, trivial or inconsequential circumstances even
assistance of Moises Boy Banting. strengthen the credibility of the witnesses, as they erase
• Moises Boy Banting found appellant in his house doubts that such testimonies have been coached or
wearing only his underwear. He invited appellant to the rehearsed.
police station. At the police outpost, he admitted to him
that he raped AAA because he was unable to control
himself. 3. Appellant’s contention that AAA charged him of rape
only because she bore grudges against him is likewise
• The next day, AAA had herself examined by the
unmeritorious.
Municipal Health Officer. The latter issued a MedCert
a. This Court is not dissuaded from giving full
demonstrating the vagina’s laceration1.
credence to the testimony of a minor
Defendant’s version of facts:
complainant by motives of feuds, resentment
• There was no food on that day when AAA arrived. He
or revenge. As correctly pointed out by the
confronted her but she answered back. He was
Court of Appeals: Indeed, mere disciplinary
infuriated thus he kicker her buttocks.
chastisement is not strong enough to make
• He then left for work daughters in a Filipino family invent a charge
• At 3PM, he went back home. There was nobody but that would not only bring shame and
him. He prepared his dinner and slept but was humiliation upon them and their families but
awakened by members of “Bantay Bayan” headed by also bring their fathers into the gallows of
Moises. The latter detained him because of AAA’s death.
accusation. b. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that it
Trial proper: is unbelievable for a daughter to charge her
On trial, 3 witnesses testified for the prosecution: own father with rape, exposing herself to the
1. AAA ordeal and embarrassment of a public trial
2. BBB- brother of AAA and subjecting her private parts to
3. Moises- “Bantay Bayan” examination if such heinous crime was not in
RTC and CA found him guilty. fact committed. No person, much less a
woman, could attain such height of cruelty to
Defendant-appellant however, filed a notice of appeal because, one who has sired her, and from whom she
according to him, (1) there were inconsistencies in the testimonies owes her very existence, and for which she
of AAA and her brother BBB;51 (2) his extrajudicial confession naturally feels loving and lasting gratefulness.
before Moises Boy Banting was without the assistance of a Even when consumed with revenge, it takes a
counsel, in violation of his constitutional right;52 and (3) AAA’s certain amount of psychological depravity for
accusation was ill-motivated2. a young woman to concoct a story which
would put her own father to jail for the most of
ISSUES: his remaining life and drag the rest of the
1. Whether or not the EJC of Bantay Bayan that is done family including herself to a lifetime of shame.
without a counsel is inadmissible? - Yes It is highly improbable for [AAA] against whom
2. Whether or not Inconsistencies which refer to minor, no proof of sexual perversity or loose morality
trivial or inconsequential circumstances strengthen the has been shown to fake charges much more
credibility of the witnesses? - Yes against her own father. In fact her testimony is
3. Whether or not the Court is dissuaded from giving full entitled to greater weight since her accusing
credence to the testimony of a minor complainant by words were directed against a close relative.
motives of feuds, resentment, or revenge? – No.
____________________________________
HELD: Court’s Ruling:
1. Barangay-based volunteer organization in the nature of Lauga is guilty. The law provides, in part, that rape is committed,
watch groups, as in the case of the “bantay bayan3,” are among others, “[b]y a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a
woman” “through force, threat or intimidation.” The death penalty
shall be imposed if it is committed with aggravating/qualifying
1 “hyperemic vulvae with 4 o’clock & 6 o’clock freshly lacerated hymen; (+)
circumstances, which include, “[w]hen the victim is under eighteen
minimal to moderate bloody discharges 2° to an alleged raping incident (18) years of age and the offender is a parent.” However, since DP
2 He believed that the charge against him was ill-motivated because he is suspended, he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of
sometimes physically abuses his wife in front of their children after engaging reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole and to pay AAA
in a heated argument, and beats the children as a disciplinary measure. P75,000.00 as civil indemnity, P75,000.00 as moral damages, and
3 A “bantay bayan” is a group of male residents living in an area organized P30,000.00 as exemplary damages.
for the purpose of keeping peace in their community deemed a law
enforcement officer within the contemplation of Article III, Section 12 of the
Constitution as stated in the case of Manglan and People v. Buendia. If we
are also to consider EO 309, they can be deemed as the fifth in the
composition of the Peace and Order Committee- “(5) at least three (3) Groups or a Non Government Organization Representative well-known in
Members of existing Barangay-Based Anti-Crime or neighborhood Watch his community.”
EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 12
12 SALAPUDDIN VS. COURT OF APPEALS

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 13


13 PEOPLE VS. JOSE CACHUELA AND BENJAMIN against the appellants, Nabilgas and Zaldy. During
IBANEZ trial, Zaldy died.
(GR 191752; JUNE 10, 2013) • RTC: guilty beyond reasonable doubt; ordered them
to pay, jointly and severally, the heirs of
FACTS: Rex P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00
• Prosecution’s evidence revealed that on July 23, as moral damages, pay Hector C. Rodriguez,
2004, accused Ibanez went to Weapons System Jr. P1,563,300.00, for value of the firearms and
Corporation (WSC) on board an old car and told ammunitions stolen from WSC. Nabilgas acquitted
Henessy, WSC’s Secretary and Sales on ground of reasonable doubt.
Representative that he was the one who bought a • CA: RTC affirmed with modifications only in the
gun barrel from their gun show in SM Megamall. amounts awarded. CA based its ruling on
Ibanez inquired from Henessy about the schedule circumstantial evidence that the appellants robbed
and rates of firing range, membership fee and asked WSC and killed Rex during the course of the
the days when there are many people and if robbery. CA ruled that the totality of the
Henessy is the only female employee. circumstances point to the appellants as the
• On July 26, around 9 am, Henessy arrived at WSC perpetrators of the special complex crime of robbery
but no one opened the door so she went to the back with homicide.
of the office where the firing range was located and
called Zaldy, another WSC’s employee, who ISSUES:
answered that he could not open the door because 1. WON Zaldy’s out-of-court identification admissible?
his hands were tied. Henessy called Sian, their NO.
operations manager and the police arrived. 2. WON Nabilgas’ extrajudicial confession admissible?
• They saw Zaldy handcuffed to the vault and he NO.
informed the police that the company’s gunsmith, 3. WON Nabilgas’ confession binds the appellants?
Rex was inside the firing range. The police saw the NO.
lifeless body of Rex and the autopsy revealed that he
suffered several gunshot wounds caused by a .45 RULING: Court affirmed CA with modification on amounts
pistol. awarded.
• NBI received an information from an asset that the 1.) Lino testified that Zaldy identified the appellants as the
group of Cachuela was involved in the robbery of persons involved in the robbery of WSC and in the killing of
WSC and killing of the employee and that they are Rex in a police line-up held at the NBI Main Office on Taft
looking for prospective buyers of firearms. The NBI Avenue, Manila. Zaldy did not testify in court since he was
formed an entrapment team and proceeded to brought to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), and
Bacoor, Cavite where they met Nabilgas, who told subsequently died there during the trial. For this reason, Court
them that he had been sent by Cachuela and Ibañez examined with greater scrutiny Lino’s testimony regarding
to look for buyers of firearms. The police introduced Zaldy’s alleged out-of-court identification.
themselves and told Nabilgas that they were • People v. Algarme explains the procedure for out-
conducting an entrapment operation against the of-court identification and the test to determine its
suspects of the robbery at WSC. Nabilgas admissibility, as follows:
surrendered to the police, and gave the names of the Out-of-court identification is conducted by the police
other persons involved in the crime. in various ways. It is done thru show-ups where the
• Thereafter, the asset contacted Cachuela and suspect alone is brought face-to-face with the
informed him that Nabilgas had already talked to the witness for identification. It is done thru mug shots
buyers, and that they would like to see the firearms where photographs are shown to the witness to
being sold. Cachuela set up a meeting with the identify the suspect. It is also done thru line-ups
buyers at a gasoline station in Naic, Cavite. NBI where a witness identifies the suspect from a group
Special Investigator Lino, Supervising Agent Abiera of persons lined up for the purpose x x x In resolving
and the asset went to the agreed place. Cachuela the admissibility of and relying on out-of-court
brought them inside his house and showed them identification of suspects, courts have adopted the
several firearms. When the agents inquired from totality of circumstances test where they consider the
Cachuela whether the firearms had legal following factors, viz.: (1) the witness' opportunity to
documentation, the latter sensed that the meeting view the criminal at the time of the crime; (2) the
was a set-up so the NBI agents arrested Cachuela witness' degree of attention at that time; (3) the
and they recovered 4 firearms, including a .9 mm accuracy of any prior description, given by the
Bernardelli with serial number T1102-03E000151. witness; (4) the level of certainty demonstrated by
• The NBI conducted a follow-up operation on Ibañez the witness at the identification; (5) the length of time
whom the asset also contacted. Ibañez directed the between the crime and the identification; and, (6) the
asset to bring the prospective buyers to his suggestiveness of the identification procedure.
residence in Imus, Cavite to meet them and the NBI
agents saw him inside a Nissan California car. Lino, Lino merely stated that Zaldy, during a police line-up, identified
Abiera and the asset entered the car, and Ibañez the appellants as the persons involved in the robbery of WSC
brought out 2 firearms, and showed them to the and in the killing of Rex. Lino did not state when and how the
agents. The agents asked whether the guns had line-up had been conducted. Hence, Lino’s failure to state
legal documentation; they then arrested Ibañez when relevant details surrounding the police line-up is a glaring
they sensed that he was already becoming omission that renders unreliable Zaldy’s out-of-court
suspicious. The agents recovered two guns from identification. No way exists for the courts to evaluate the
Ibañez, viz.: a .45 Glock 30 with serial number FML factors used in determining the admissibility and
245 and a .45 Llama with serial number 04490Z. reliability of out-of-court identifications.
• At the NBI Main Office, Zaldy pointed to the
Cachuela and Ibanez, during a police line-up, as the 2.) The records also show that Nabilgas executed an
persons responsible for the robbery at WSC and for extrajudicial confession at the NBI Main Office, where he
the killing of Rex. Nabilgas also executed a implicated the appellants and Zaldy in the crime charged.
handwritten confession implicating the appellants During trial, he repudiated this confession, and claimed that he
and Zaldy in the crime. The prosecution filed an had been tortured by the NBI agents, and that he was forced
Information for robbery with homicide before the RTC to copy a previously prepared statement.

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 14


• Court ruled that Nabilgas’ extrajudicial made while the declarant was engaged in
confession is inadmissible in evidence. The carrying out the conspiracy.
Court has consistently held that an extrajudicial • Exception does not apply in the present case
confession, to be admissible, must satisfy the since there was no other piece of evidence
following requirements: "(1) the confession must presented, aside from the extrajudicial
be voluntary; (2) it must be made with the confession, to prove that Nabilgas conspired
assistance of a competent and independent with the appellants in committing the crime
counsel, preferably of the confessant's choice; charged. Conspiracy cannot be presumed and
(3) it must be express; and (4) it must be in must be shown as distinctly and conclusively as
writing." the crime itself. Nabilgas, in fact, was acquitted
• Nabilgas was already under custodial by the trial court due to insufficiency of evidence
investigation by the authorities when he to prove his participation in the crime.
executed the alleged written confession. "A • In view of the inadmissibility of Zaldy’s out-of-court
custodial investigation is understood x x x as x x identification and Nabilgas’ extrajudicial confession,
x any questioning initiated by law enforcement the prosecution’s case rests purely on circumstantial
authorities after a person is taken into custody or evidence. "Circumstantial evidence consists of proof
otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in of collateral facts and circumstances from which the
any significant manner. x x x It begins when main fact in issue may be inferred based on reason
there is no longer a general inquiry into an and common experience. These circumstances
unsolved crime and the investigation has started must be consistent with one another, and the only
to focus on a particular person as a suspect, i.e., rational hypothesis that can be drawn therefrom must
when the police investigator starts interrogating be the guilt of the accused."
or exacting a confession from the suspect in • Court held that no doubt exists that their primary
connection with an alleged offense. objective was to rob WSC, and that the killing of Rex
• In People v. Rapeza, the lawyer called to be present was done on occasion, or by reason, of the robbery.
during custodial investigations should, as far as However, another WSC employee – Zaldy – was not
reasonably possible, be the choice of the individual killed, but merely tied to the vault and was one of the
undergoing questioning or if furnished by the police, accused in this case after the Office of the City
the lawyer should be competent, independent and Prosecutor found probable cause to indict him in the
prepared to fully safeguard the constitutional rights of crime, as the robbery could have been the result of
the accused, as distinguished from one who would an "inside job." Unfortunately, Zaldy was unable to
merely be giving a routine, peremptory and testify during trial since the RTC ordered that he be
meaningless recital of the individual's constitutional brought to the NCMH for treatment.
rights. • Accordingly, Nabilgas’ extrajudicial confession
• Court ruled that Nabilgas’ confession was not (which we ruled to be inadmissible) was the only
made with the assistance of a competent and evidence linking Zaldy to the crime. For lack of
independent counsel because Atty. Melita Go, evidence, we cannot make any definite conclusion
was provided by the very same agency and can only speculate on Zaldy’s involvement in the
investigating him, the NBI itself despite Nabilgas’ crime charged.
open declaration to the agency’s investigators
that he already had a lawyer in the person of
Atty. Donardo Paglinawan, which the latter
confirmed.
• Nabilgas also testified that Atty. Go did not disclose
that she was a lawyer to assist him and merely
represented herself to be a mere witness to the
confession. Nothing on record show that Atty. Go
ascertained whether Nabilgas’ confession was made
voluntarily, if he fully understood the nature and the
consequence of his extrajudicial confession and its
impact on his constitutional rights. Hence, it is not the
kind of assistance required of lawyers in a custodial
investigation.

3.) Therefore, Nabilgas’ extrajudicial confession is


inadmissible in evidence against the appellants in view of
the res inter alios acta rule. This rule provides that the
rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act,
declaration, or omission of another. Consequently, an
extrajudicial confession is binding only on the confessant
and is not admissible against his or her co-accused
because it is considered as hearsay against them.
• An exception to the res inter alios acta rule is an
admission made by a conspirator under Section
30, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. This provision
states that the act or declaration of a conspirator
relating to the conspiracy, and during its
existence, may be given in evidence against the
co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by
evidence other than such act or declaration.
Thus, in order that the admission of a
conspirator may be received against his or her
co-conspirators, it is necessary that: (a) the
conspiracy be first proved by evidence other
than the admission itself; (b) the admission
relates to the common object; and (c) it has been

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 15


14 PEOPLE V. BOKINGCO killing several days before because they got fed up with
G.R. No. 187536, August 10, 2011 Pasion.

FACTS: With the necropsy report prepared by Dr. Joven G. Esguerra,


On 31 July 2000, an Information was filed against appellants he concluded that the injuries sustained by Pasion on his skull
charging them of the crime of murder. On arraignment, proved fatal.
Bokingco entered a guilty plea while Col pleaded not
guilty. During the pre-trial, Bokingco confessed to the crime Appellants testified on their own behalf. Bokingco recalled that
charged. he was sleeping in Apartment No. 3 at around 1:20 a.m. on 29
February 2000 when he was awakened by Pasion who
The victim, Pasion and his wife, Elsa, were residing in a house appeared to be intoxicated. The latter wanted to know why he
in Angeles City. Pasion owned a pawnshop, which formed part did not see Bokingco at the construction site on 28 February
of his house. He also maintained two (2) rows of apartment 2000. When Bokingco replied that he just stayed at the
units at the back of his house. The 2nd row was still under apartment the whole day, Pasion suddenly hit him in the
construction at the time of his death. Appellants, who were head. This prompted Bokingco to take a hammer and hit
staying in Apartment No. 3, were among the 13 construction Pasion. They both struggled and Bokingco repeatedly hit
workers employed by Pasion. Pasion. Bokingco escaped to Manila right after the incident.
He was subsequently arrested in Mindanao on 11 June
The prosecution’s evidence show that at around 1:00 a.m. on 2000. During the cross-examination, Bokingco admitted that
29 February 2000, Vitalicio, Pasion’s brother-in-law, was spin- he harbored ill feelings towards Pasion.
drying his clothes inside his apartment when Pasion came
from the front door, passed by him and went out of the back Col confirmed that he was one of the construction workers
door. A few minutes later, he heard a commotion from employed by Pasion. He however resigned on 26 February
Apartment No. 3. He headed to said unit to check. He peeped 2000 because of the deductions from his salary. He went
through a screen door and saw Bokingco hitting something on home to Cainta, Rizal, where he was apprehended and
the floor. Upon seeing Vitalicio, Bokingco allegedly pushed brought to Camp Olivas. Upon reaching the camp, he saw
open the screen door and attacked him with a hammer in his Bokingco who pointed to him as the person who killed
hand. A struggle ensued and Vitalicio was hit several times. Pasion. He insisted that he doesnt know Bokingco very well.
Vitalicio bit Bokingcos neck and managed to push him
away. Bokingco tried to chase Vitalicio but was eventually 1. TC found appellants guilty of murder and sentenced them
subdued by a co-worker. Vitalicio proceeded to his house and to death. CA found Col guilty and reduced sentence to
was told by his wife that Pasion was found dead in the kitchen reclusion perpetua. Appellants filed MR noting the
of Apartment No. 3. Vitalicio went back to Apartment No. 3 and absence of other evidence, aside from Bokingcos
saw Pasions body lying flat on the kitchen floor. Pasion and admission, to prove that conspiracy existed in the instant
Vitalicio were brought to the hospital. Pasion expired a few case. Appellants maintained that the admission made by
hours later while Vitalicio was treated for his injuries. Bokingco cannot be used as evidence against his alleged
co-conspirator. Appellants also took exception to the
Elsa testified that she was in the masters bedroom on the findings of the lower courts that the aggravating
second floor of the house when she heard banging sounds circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation,
and her husbands moans. She immediately got off the bed nighttime and abuse of confidence attended the
and went down. Before reaching the kitchen, Col blocked her commission of the crime. Pursuant to the MR, CA
way. Elsa asked him why he was inside their house modified its decision to include Bokingco’s criminal
but Col suddenly ran towards her, sprayed tear gas on her liability.
eyes and poked a sharp object under her chin. Elsa was
wounded when she bowed her head to avoid the tear 2. Appellants filed a notice of appeal. In its Resolution dated
gas. Col then instructed her to open the vault of the pawnshop 26 October 2009, this Court required the parties to submit
but Elsa informed him that she does not know the combination their Supplemental Briefs within 30 days from notice
lock. Elsa tried offering him money but Col dragged her thereof if they so desire. Appellants manifested that they
towards the back door by holding her neck and pulling her are no longer filing a Supplemental Brief and are adopting
backward. Before they reached the door, Elsa saw Bokingco their arguments in the Appellants Brief submitted before
open the screen door and heard him tell Col: tara, patay na the Court of Appeals. The appellee likewise manifested
siya. Col immediately let her go and ran away with that it is dispensing with the filing of a Supplemental
Bokingco. Elsa proceeded to Apartment No. 3. Thereat, she Brief. The instant case was thus submitted for
saw her husband lying on the floor, bathed in his own blood. deliberation.

PO3 Quirino Dayrit was stationed at Police Station No. 4 ISSUES:


in Barangay Salakot, Balibago, Angeles City. At 1:20 a.m. of 1. Whether the qualifying circumstances were properly
29 February 2000, he received a phone call regarding the appreciated to convict appellant Bokingco of murder. NO
incident. He, together with a certain P/Insp. Maniago, 2. Whether appellant Col is guilty beyond reasonable doubt
proceeded to Apartment No. 3 and conducted an as a co-conspirator.
investigation. He noticed a pool of blood on the cemented floor
of the kitchen. He also saw a claw hammer with a green lead HELD/RATIO:
pipe handle approximately 13 inches long near the kitchen 1. NO. A downgrade of conviction from murder to homicide
sink. A lead pipe measuring 40 inches and a chisel were also is proper for Bokingco for failure of the prosecution to
found in the nearby construction site. The police went prove the presence of the qualifying circumstances.
to Angeles University Medical Center afterwards. PO3 Dayrit
saw Pasion lying in one of the beds while Vitalicio was still On the basis of his extrajudicial confession, Bokingco was
loitering around the emergency room. He approached Vitalicio charged for murder qualified by evident premeditation and
and Elsa who both informed him of the incident. He prepared a treachery. However, appellants maintain that they could not be
police report on the same day narrating the result of his convicted of murder. Treachery cannot be appreciated to
investigation. qualify the crime to murder in the absence of any proof of the
manner in which the aggression was commenced.
Evelyn Gan, the stenographic reporter of Prosecutor Lucina
Dayaon, jotted down notes during the preliminary Bokingco admitted in open court that he killed Pasion. But the
investigation. She attests that Bokingco admitted that he admitted manner of killing is inconsistent with evident
conspired with Col to kill Pasion and that they planned the premeditation. It is indispensable to show how and when the
plan to kill was hatched or how much time had elapsed before
EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 16
it was carried out. In the instant case, no proof was shown as provides that the act or declaration of the conspirator relating
to how and when the plan to kill was devised. to the conspiracy and during its existence may be given in
evidence against the co-conspirator provided that the
It was during the preliminary investigation that Bokingco conspiracy is shown by evidence other than by such act or
mentioned his and Cols plan to kill Pasion. Bokingcos declaration. In order that the admission of a conspirator may
confession was admittedly taken without the assistance of be received against his or her co-conspirators, it is necessary
counsel in violation of Section 12, Article III of the 1987 that first, the conspiracy be first proved by evidence other than
Constitution, which provides: the admission itself; second, the admission relates to the
common object; and third, it has been made while the
Section 12. (1) Any person under investigation for the declarant was engaged in carrying out the conspiracy. As we
commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of have previously discussed, we did not find any sufficient
his right to remain silent and to have competent and evidence to establish the existence of
independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the conspiracy. Therefore, the extrajudicial confession has no
person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be probative value and is inadmissible in evidence
provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in against Col.
writing and in the presence of counsel.
Bokingcos judicial admission exculpated Col because
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Bokingco admitted that he only attacked Pasion after the latter
Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against hit him in the head. All told, an acquittal for Col is in order
him. because no sufficient evidence was adduced to implicate him.

In the instant case, the extrajudicial confession is


inadmissible against Bokingco because he was not
assisted at all by counsel during the time his confession
was taken before a judge.

The finding that nighttime attended the commission of the


crime is anchored on the presumption that there was evident
premeditation. Having ruled however that evident
premeditation has not been proved, the aggravating
circumstance of nighttime cannot be properly
appreciated. There was no evidence to show that Bokingco
purposely sought nighttime to facilitate the commission of the
offense.

Abuse of confidence could not also be appreciated as an


aggravating circumstance in this case. Taking into account
that fact that Bokingco works for Pasion, it may be conceded
that he enjoyed the trust and confidence of Pasion. However,
there was no showing that he took advantage of said trust to
facilitate the commission of the crime.

2. NO. This Court is well aware of the policy to accord


proper deference to the factual findings of the trial court,
owing to their unique opportunity to observe the
witnesses firsthand and note their demeanor, conduct,
and attitude under grueling examination. However, this
rule admits of exceptions, namely: when certain facts of
substance and value likely to change the outcome of the
case have been overlooked by the lower court.

Indeed, in order to convict Col as a principal by direct


participation in the case before us, it is necessary that
conspiracy between him and Bokingco be proved. The finding
of conspiracy was premised on Elsa’s testimony that
appellants fled together after killing her husband and the
extrajudicial confession of Bokingco. Nobody witnessed the
commencement of the attack. Col was not seen at the
apartment where Pasion was being attacked by Bokingco. In
fact, he was at Elsa’s house and allegedly ordering her to
open the pawnshop vault. At the most, Cols actuations can be
equated to attempted robbery, which was actually the initial
information filed against appellants before it was amended, on
motion of the prosecution, for murder.

In as much as Bokingcos extrajudicial confession is


inadmissible against him, it is likewise inadmissible
against Col, specifically where he implicated the latter as
a cohort. Under Section 28, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court,
the rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act,
declaration or omission of another. Res inter alios acta alteri
nocere non debet. Consequently, an extrajudicial
confession is binding only on the confessant, is not
admissible against his or her co-accused, and is
considered as hearsay against them. An exception to
the res inter alios acta rule is an admission made by a
conspirator. Section 30, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court
EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 17
15 TAN SIOK KUAN AND PUTE CHING v. FELICISIMO a. Though the CA upheld MeTC’s jurisdiction,
"BOY" HO, RODOLFO C. RETURTA, VICENTE M. SALAS, saying that the allegations make a case for
AND LOLITA MALONZO PEREZ, J.: unlawful detainer and that the complaints were
filed within 1 year from respondents' receipt of
the demand letters, it nevertheless agreed with
FACTS:
respondents that petitioners have materially
1. This case stems from 7 separate complaints for unlawful
failed to prove their right to eject respondents on
detainer filed by petitioners Tan Siu Kuan and Pute Ching
the strength of being lessors. Moreover, CA
against defendants Avelino Bombita (Bombita), Felix
sustained respondents' invocation of the principle
Gagarin (Gagarin), Bernardo Napolitano (Napolitano),
of res inter alios acta,
Felicisimo "Boy" Ho (Ho), Rodolfo Returta (Returta), Vicente
ISSUE:
Salas (Salas), and Lolita Malonzo (Malonzo).
1. Whether a lessor-lessee relationship was properly
2. They alleged that they are the owners of a parcel of land,
established— NO.
along with the improvements, located at Apollo Street, San
2. Whether the invocation of the principle of res inter allos acta
Francisco del Monte, Quezon City, and covered by TCT
has merit— YES
Nos. 279014 and 279015; that they have been leasing
portions of said property to the defendants since 1972; and
RATIO:
that on February 7, 2003 they notified defendants in writing
1. The evidence on record generates a negative conclusion.
of their failure to pay rentals in the amount as follows:
Except for petitioners' bare claims, they have not shown any
(1) BOMBITA: P17.5k from March 1997 to Dec.
evidence of a lease between them and respondents, be it
2002;
express or implied. As keenly observed by the CA, there
(2) GAGARIN: P16k from Sept. 1997 to Dec.
was no mention of how and when the alleged contract of
2002
lease started, there was no proof of prior payment of rentals
(3) HO: P28.7k from Dec. 1996 to Dec. 2002
or any prior demand for such payment considering
(4) MALONZO: P21.6k from Jan 1997 to Dec
petitioners' allegation that respondents failed to pay rentals
2002
since 1997 and that the case was instituted only in 2003.
(5) NAPOLITANO: P16k from Sept. 1997 to Dec
2002
2. There is merit in respondents' invocation of the principle
(6) RETURTA: P23.7k from July 1996 to Dec
of res inter alios acta or that principle which states that "the
2002
right of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration
(7) SALAS: P22.7k from Aug 1997 to Dec 2002
or omission of another, except as hereinafter provided,
3. Defendants were given 10 days to pay the rentals due or
among which are: (1) admission by third party, (2)
vacate the premises, but defendants allegedly ignored
admission by co-partner or agent, (3) admission by
petitioners' demand, warranting the filing of the complaints
conspirator, and (4) admission by privies."
for unlawful detainer.
4. Bombita, Gagarin, and Napolitano (defendants) argued that:
In the case of Tamargo v. Awingan, the Court expounded on the
- the lease agreements are void ab initio
rationale behind the principle of res inter alios acta. Citing People v.
because petitioners are Chinese nationals
vda. De Ramos, the Court held that: On a principle of good faith and
who are not entitled to own real property in
mutual convenience, a man's own acts are binding upon himself, and
the Philippines.
are evidence against him. So are his conduct and declarations. Yet it
- they also claim to have been in possession would not only be rightly inconvenient, but also manifestly unjust, that a
of the premises since 1968 or some 35
man should be bound by the acts of mere unauthorized strangers; and
years ago, thus plaintiffs action cannot be
if a party ought not to be bound by the acts of strangers, neither ought
one for ejectment or unlawful detainer,
their acts or conduct be used as evidence against him.
but accion publiciana which must be filed
before the RTC.
In the present case, petitioners failed to establish that the
5. On the other hand, Ho, Returta, Salas, and Malonzo
defendants' alleged implied admission of a lessor-lessee relationship
maintained that:
falls under the exceptions to the principle of res inter alios acta as to
- they have been in possession of the make such admission binding upon respondents. Although defendants
premises for 37 years without any rentals
and respondents were all defendants in the complaints for unlawful
being paid to any landlord
detainer filed by petitioners, it is very clear that defendants and
- that there are no existing lease contracts respondents espoused different defenses. Contrary to defendants'
- Respondents also asserted that they have position, respondents, as early as the filing of their response to
started possessing said property in 1966 by petitioners' demand letter, firmly and consistently denied the existence
building residential houses, and that they of any lease contract between them and petitioners over the subject.
have been in continuous possession since
then. Petition Denied.
- that petitioners presented only photocopies
of the subject TCTs and that when they Note: On whether the Joint MR of the RTC Decision was timely filed, a
presented such to the Register of Deeds of close review of the records yields the finding that it was. Respondents
Quezon City for verification as to how such received the Decision dated May 6, 2005 on May 15, 2005, and they
were transferred from the mother titles TCT filed the MR only on June 29, 2005. However, as explained by
Nos. 12505 and 12506, said office informed respondents, the statement that they received the RTC Decision on
them that there is no single transaction May 15, 2005 was inadvertent and erroneous. The records, particularly
recorded in the aforesaid mother titles. the certified true copies of the registry return slips from the RTC show
- Lastly, even assuming that petitioners' titles that the RTC Decision was simultaneously mailed by the RTC to the
are authentic, their cause of action should parties only on June 7, 2005. Thus, as correctly maintained by
have been accion publiciana considering respondents, they could not have received the RTC Decision on May
that respondents are in possession and that 15, 2005 or before the said decision was mailed to them. Respondents
no lease contract exists between the then clarified that they received the RTC Decision on June 15,
parties. 2005. As such, the filing of the Joint Motion for Reconsideration on
6. MeTC: ruled in favor of petitioners. June 29, 2005 was timely and the RTC Decision was not yet final and
a. It held that defendants impliedly admitted the executory.
existence of lease contracts and, as such, they
cannot deny the consequent lessor-lessee
relationship following the rule that a tenant is not
permitted to deny the title of his landlord.
b. that since petitioners were able to show that the
property in question was registered under their
name, and since respondents merely denied the
existence of a lessor-lessee relationship between
them and petitioners, petitioners' averments must
prevail following the tenet that in weighing
contradictory declarations and statements,
greater weight must generally be given to
positive testimony.
7. RTC affirmed the MeTC. CA reversed the RTC.

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 18


16 PEOPLE VS. TUNIACO ET. AL.

EVIDENCE CASE DIGESTS – PART 5 (TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE): JUDGE SIA (G02) | 19