Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 2

CASE No.

National Power Corporation vs. Godilla

GR. No. 170491, April 3, 2007

Doctrine (Best Evidence Rule Exception; Secondary Evidence):

As set forth under Rule 130 Sec. 3(a), an exception to the presentation of the original
document would be “when the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in
court, without bad faith on the part of the offeror”. But in order for this exception to apply, the
offeror of the secondary evidence is burdened to prove the predicates thereof: (a) the loss or
destruction of the original without bad faith on the part of the offeror which can be shown by
circumstantial evidence of routine practices of destruction of documents; (b) the proponent
must prove by a fair preponderance of evidence as to raise a reasonable inference of the loss
or destruction of the original copy; and (c) it must be shown that a diligent and bona fide but
unsuccessful search has been made for the document in the proper place or places.

Facts:

The present petition (Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45) assails the decision of
the Court of Appeals which dismissed the Petition for Certiorari filed by the petitioner against
the RTC due to the RTC’s denial of admission and the exclusion from the records of the
plaintiff’s (petitioner) Exhibits A, C, D, E, H, and its sub-markings I, J, and its sub-markings, K,
L, M, and its sub-markings, N, and its sub-markings, O, P, and its sub-markings, Q and its
sub-markings R and S and its sub-markings because all of the said exhibits were mere
photocopies of the original documents. The said exhibits were supposed to establish the claim
for damages the petitioner had filed against private respondent Bangpai Shipping, Co.; owner
of the M/V Dibena Win, which allegedly bumped and damaged petitioner’s Power Barge 209
which was then moored at the Cebu International Port.

The petitioner argues that the exhibits presented are admissible as original documents for they
are considered as “electronic documents” under Section 1 Rule 2 of the Rules on Electronic
Evidence which states that “(h) “Electronic document” refers to information or the
representation of information, data, figures, symbols or other models of written expression,
described or however represented, by which a right is established or an obligation
extinguished, or by which a fact may be proved and affirmed, which is received, recorded,
transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically. It includes digitally signed
documents and any printout, readable by sight or other means which accurately reflects the
electronic data message or electronic document.

Both the RTC and the CA ruled that the said exhibits should be denied admission because
they are not electronic evidence (the information they contain were not received, recorded,
retrieved, or produced electronically. Moreover, they were not properly authenticated by any
competent witnesses as required under the Rules on Electronic Evidence Secs. 1 and 2 Rule
5 (The witnesses presented did not have personal knowledge of and participation in the
preparation and making of the pieces of documentary evidence). Also, the petitioner in this
case failed to prepare an affidavit showing the admissibility and evidentiary weight of the
alleged electronic evidence as required also under Sec. 1 Rule 9 of the Rules on Electronic
Evidence. Lastly, the petitioner had failed to show that the non-presentation or non-production
of the original documents fall under the exceptional circumstances stated under Rule 130 Sec.
3 of the Rules of Court.

Issue:

Whether or not the photocopies of the original documents can be considered as original
electronic document.

Ruling:

The Court affirmed the CA’s ruling and ultimately denied the present petition. It found that
indeed, by examination of the said exhibits, they are not considered as electronic evidence
(document) since some contents of the documents like the manually affixed signatures were
not received nor produced electronically. Take note that the main difference between
electronic and non-electronic evidence is the manner by which the information is processed. In
this case, the manually affixed signatures was clearly not produced electronically. Hence, the
trial court was correct in rejecting these photocopies as they violate the best evidence rule and
are therefore of no probative value being incompetent pieces of evidence. The Court added
that the petitioner also failed to establish that the offer of said exhibits was made in accordance
with the exceptions as enumerated under Sec. 3 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court specifically
subsection (a) because it failed to show that the secondary evidence (photocopy exhibits) was
presented under the predicate that (a) the loss or destruction of the original is without bad faith
on the part of the offeror which can be shown by circumstantial evidence of routine practices of
destruction of documents; (b) the proponent must prove by a fair preponderance of evidence
as to raise a reasonable inference of the loss or destruction of the original copy; and (c) it must
be shown that a diligent and bona fide but unsuccessful search has been made for the
document in the proper place or places.