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Basic Rules in Evidence

By: Atty. Debbie G. Dulay - Del Val

Preliminary Considerations
General Provisions
Concepts of evidence
Different kinds of evidence
Judicial Notice
Confession and Admission

Object Evidence
Documentary Evidence
Testimonial Evidence
Burden of Proof and Presumptions
Presentation of Evidence

What is the Importance of

Evidence in Law Enforcement?
As one of the pillars of justice, it is the
duty of every law enforcement agency to
provide the Prosecution with the materials
and information (Evidence) necessary in
order to support a conviction.

Linkingthe chain of events

through Evidence during Trial
Trial refers to the examination before a
competent tribunal, according to the laws
of the land, of the facts in issue in a cause,
for the purposes of determining such issue

Linkingthe chain of events

through Evidence during Trial
Evidence helps in the determination of
Factual Issues and Questions of Facts
by helping the judge reconstruct the chain
of events from the conception up to the
consummation of a criminal design.

Factual Issues
Factual issues arise when a party specifically
denies material allegations in the adverse party's
These are the issues which the judge cannot
resolve without evidence being presented thereon.
Thus, whether a certain thing exists or not, whether
a certain act was done or not, whether a certain
statement was uttered or not, are questions of fact
that require evidence for their resolution.

Questions of Facts
Questions of fact exist when the doubt or
difference arises as to the truth or
falsehood of alleged facts.

Evidence is the means of proving a fact.
It becomes necessary to present evidence
in a case when the pleadings filed present
factual issues

Terms to Remember
PROOF - the result or effect of evidence.
When the requisite quantum of evidence
of a particular fact has been duly admitted
and given weight, the result is called the
proof of such fact.

Terms to Remember
the ultimate fact or the
fact sought to be
Refers to proposition
murder was
committed thru treachery
robbery was made
through force upon

is the evidentiary fact or the
fact by which the factum
probandum is to be
Materials which establish the
exit woundswere in front
indicating that victim was
shot at the back
destroyed locks
indicative of force upon

Thus, the outcome of every trial is

determined by:

Propositions of law, and

Questions of fact.

It is a means of ascertainment used to
arrive at a legal conclusion
It is sanctioned by the rules of court
meaning, not excluded by the rules on
relevancy and admissibility

It is used in a judicial proceeding
there is a jural conflict involving different
rights asserted by different parties
It pertains to the truth respecting a
matter of fact evidence represents a
claim either for the prosecution or for the
defense where issues (clashes of view)
are present.

Hence, Evidence the means to arrive at
a conclusion. Under the Revised Rules of
Court, evidence is defined as the means,
sanctioned by the rules, for ascertainment
in a judicial proceeding, the truth,
respecting a matter of fact.

Terms to Remember
Quantum of evidence

Quantum of proof

The totality of
evidence presented
for consideration

Refers to the degree

of proof required in
order to arrive at a

Terms to Remember
Burden of evidence

Burden of proof

The duty of a party of

going forward with

The duty of the

affirmative to prove
that which it alleges.

Variations on degrees of proof

based on type of action
1. Criminal Action proof beyond reasonable doubt
[that degree of proof which produces conviction in an
unprejudiced mind]
2. Civil Action preponderance of evidence [evidence
of greater weight or more convincing than that which
is offered to refute it]
3. Administrative Action sufficiency of evidence [that
amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable
mind might accept as adequate to justify a

Exclusionary Rule

Evidence ILLEGALY OBTAINED are inadmissible for

reasons of public policy. This is so because of the
constitutional requirement of due process. Due process
has been defined as the law that hears before it
condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry,
and renders judgment only after fair trial.

As a result, jurisprudence has evolved a rule

that renders inadmissible any evidence obtained in an
illegal search from being introduced in trial.

Fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine

Principle of Chain of Custody of

If the evidence is of a type which cannot be easily
recognized or can readily be confused or tampered with,
the proponent of the object must present evidence of its
chain of custody. The proponent need not negate all
possibilities of substitution or tampering in the chain of
custody, but must show that:
The evidence is identified as the same object which was taken
from the scene;
It was not tampered with, or that any alteration can be sufficiently
explained (i.e. discoloration due to the application of ninhydrine
solution, etc.); and
The persons who have handled the evidence are known and
may be examined in court with regard to the object.

The study of the law on evidence involves
two main problems:
1. Determining whether a given piece of
evidence is admissible; and
2. The proper presentation of that
evidence so that the court will consider it
in resolving the issues and deciding the

Although evidence may, by itself, be
admissible, the court may not admit or
consider it in the resolution of the case
unless the evidence was properly

Axiom of Admissibility of

For evidence to be admissible, it

must be:
1) Relevant to the issue [relevancy
test], and
2) Not excluded by the law or rules of
court [competency test].

Axiom of Admissibility of

Note: To determine the relevancy of

any item of proof, the purpose for
which it is sought to be introduced
must first be known (There must be
a formal offer).

Test of Relevancy of Evidence

Evidence is relevant if it tends in any
reasonable degree to establish the
probability or improbability of a fact in
In other words, evidence is relevant when
it is:
1) material, and
2) has probative value

What is meant by probative

It is the tendency of the evidence to
establish the proposition that it is offered
to prove.

Collateral Matters
Not admissible except when it tend in any
reasonable degree to establish probability
or improbability of the fact in issue.
Matters other than the fact in issue and
which are offered as a basis for inference
as to the existence or non-existence of the
facts in issue.

Collateral matters are classified

1. Antecedent circumstances facts existing before the
commission of the crime [i.e. hatred, bad moral
character of the offender, previous plan, conspiracy,
2. Concomitant circumstances facts existing during
the commission of the crime [i.e. opportunity, presence
of the accused at the scene of the crime, etc.]
3. Subsequent circumstances facts existing after the
commission of the crime [i.e.
flight, extrajudicial admission to third party, attempt to
conceal effects of the crime, possession of stolen
property, etc.]

Judicial Notice
Judicial notice is based on necessity and
expediency. This is so because what is known
need not be proved.
Different kinds of judicial notices:
1. Mandatory
2. Discretionary

Confession and


An acknowledgement
of guilt.

An acknowledgment
of facts.

Different kinds of
1. Judicial
2. Extrajudicial
3. Oral
4. Written
5. Voluntary
6. Forced

to the senses of the court and consist of tangible things
exhibited or demonstrated in open court, in an ocular
inspection, or at place designated by the court for its
view or observation of an exhibition, experiment or
demonstration. This is referred to as autoptic preference.
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE evidence supplied by
written instruments or derived from conventional
symbols, such as letters, by which ideas are represented
on material substances
TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE is that which is submitted
to the court through the testimony or deposition of a


having any value in reason as tending to
prove any matter provable in an action.
The test is the logical relation of the
evidentiary fact to the fact in issue,
whether the former tends to establish the
probability or improbability of the latter.


Material evidence evidence is material
when it is directed to prove a fact in issue
as determined by the rules of substantive
law and pleadings.
Competent evidence not excluded by

Classification of
Direct evidence proves the fact in issue
without aid of inference or presumptions.
Circumstantial evidence - the proof of
fact or facts from which, taken either singly
or collectively, the existence of a particular
fact in dispute may be inferred as
necessary or probable consequence.

Classification of
Positive evidence evidence which
affirms a fact in issue.
Negative evidence - evidence which
denies the existence of a fact in issue.
Rebutting evidence given to repel,
counter act or disprove facts given in
evidence by the other party.

Classification of
Primary/Best evidence that which the
law regards as affording the greatest
Secondary evidence that which
indicates the existence of a more original
source of information

Classification of
Expert evidence the testimony of one possessing knowledge not usually
acquired by other persons.
Prima facie evidence evidence which can stand alone to support a
conviction unless rebutted.
Conclusive evidence incontrovertible evidence
Cumulative evidence additional evidence of the same kind bearing on
the same point.
Corroborative evidence additional evidence of a different kind and
character tending to prove the same point as that of previously offered

Classification of

Character evidence evidence of a persons moral standing or

personality traits in a community based on reputation or opinion.
Demeanor evidence the behavior of a witness on the witness
stand during trial to be considered by the judge on the issue of
Demonstrative evidence evidence that has tangible and
exemplifying purpose.
Hearsay evidence oral testimony or documentary evidence
which does not derive its value solely from the credit to be
attached to the witness himself.
Testimonial evidence oral averments given in open court by
the witness.

Classification of
Object/Auotoptic proferrence/Real evidence
those addressed to the senses of the
court (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste).
Documentary evidence those consisting
of writing or any material containing letters,
words, numbers, figures, symbols or other
modes of written expression offered as
proof of its contents.

Best Evidence Rule

When the subject of the inquiry is the
contents of a document, no evidence
shall be admissible other than the
original of the document.

Original is lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in
court without bad faith on the part of the offeror;
When the original is in the custody of the party against
whom the evidence is offered, and the latter fails to
produce it after reasonable notice;
When the original consists of numerous accounts or other
documents which cannot be examined in court without
great loss of time and the only fact sought to be
established is the general result of the whole; and
When the original is a public record in the custody of a
public officer or is recorded in a public office.

Original Document
It is the subject of an inquiry
When in two or more copies executed at
or about the same time, with identical
When an entry is repeated in ordinary
course of business, one being copied from
another at or near the time of the

Secondary Evidence
When the original document has been:
1. lost,
2. destroyed, or
3. cannot be produced in court.
The offeror without bad faith must:
1. prove its execution or existence, and
2. prove the cause of its unavailability.

Secondary evidence
Secondary evidence may consist of:
1. a copy,
2. recital of its contents in some
authentic document, or
3. by testimony of witnesses.

When original document is in

the custody of:
adverse party adverse party must have
reasonable notice to produce it. After such
notice and satisfactory proof of its
existence, he fails to produce it, secondary
evidence may be presented.
public officer contents may be proved
by certified copy issued by the public
officer in custody thereof.

Qualifications of witnesses:
1. can perceive
2. can make known their perception to
3. not disqualified by reason of mental
incapacity, immaturity, marriage, privileged
communications, or dead mans statute.

Res Inter Alios Acta

General Rule: The rights of a party cannot be
prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of
1. admission by a co-partner or agent
2. admission by a conspirator
3. admission by privies
4. admission by silence
In the above cases, the admission of one person is
admissible as evidence against another.

Testimonial Knowledge
General Rule: A witness can testify only to
those facts which he knows of his
personal knowledge; that is, which are
derived from his own perception. Any
statement which derives its strength from
anothers personal knowledge is hearsay,
and is therefore inadmissible.

1. Dying declarations (ante-mortem statements)
2. Declaration against interest
3. Act or declaration about pedigree
4. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree
5. Common reputation
6. Part of the res gestae
7. Entries in the course of business
8. Entries in official records
9. Commercial lists and the like
10. Learned treatises
11. Testimony or deposition at a former proceeding
Examination of child victim/witness in cases of child abuse


Burden of proof the duty of a party to present
evidence on the facts in issue necessary to
establish his claim or defense by the amount of
evidence required by law.
Presumption an inference as to the existence
of a fact not actually known, arising from its
usual connection with another which is known or
a conjecture based on past experience as to
what course human affairs ordinarily take.

2 kinds of presumptions:
Conclusive presumptions [jure et de jure]
based on rules of substantive law which
cannot be overcome by evidence to the
Disputable presumptions [prima facie
presumptions, rebuttable presumptions]
based on procedural rules and may be
overcome by evidence to the contrary.

Kinds of Conclusive
Estoppel by record or judgment the preclusion to deny the truth of matters set
forth in a record, whether judicial or legislative, and also deny the facts
adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction (Salud v. CA, 233 SCRA 387).
Estoppel by deed a bar which precludes a party to a deed and his privies from
asserting as against the other and his privies any right or title in derogation of the
deed or denying the truth of any material fact asserted in it (Iriola v. Felices, 30
SCRA 202).
Estoppel in pais based upon express representation or statements or upon
positive acts or conduct. A party cannot, in the course of litigation or in dealings in
pais, be permitted to repudiate his representation or occupy inconsistent
Estoppel against Tenant the tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his
landlord at the time of the commencement of the relation of landlord and tenant
between them.

Presentation of
The examination of witnesses presented
in a trial or hearing shall be done is open
court, and under oath or affirmation.
Unless the witness is incapacitated to
speak, or the question calls for a different
mode of answer, the answer of the witness
shall be given orally.

Rights and Obligations of

1) To be protected from irrelevant, improper, or insulting
questions, and from harsh or insulting demeanor.
2) Not to be detained longer than the interest of justice requires.
3) Not to be examined except only as to matters pertinent to the
4) Not to give an answer which will tend to subject him to a
penalty for an offense unless otherwise provided by law.
5) Not to give an answer which will tend to degrade his
reputation, unless it be to the very fact at issue or to the fact
from which the fact in issue would be presumed, but a
witness must answer to the facts of his previous final
conviction for an offense.

Order of Examination of
individual witnesses:

Direct examination by the proponent

Cross examination by the opponent
Re-direct examination by the proponent
Re-cross examination by the opponent

Direct examination the examination in chief of

a witness by the party presenting him on the facts
relevant to the issue.
Cross examination the examination by the
adverse party of the witness as to any matter
stated in the direct examination, or connected
therewith, with sufficient fullness and freedom
from interest or bias, or the reverse, and to elicit
all important facts bearing upon the issue.

Re-direct examination second

questioning by the proponent to explain or
supplement answers given in the cross
Re-cross examination second
questioning by the adverse party on
matters stated on the re-direct and also on
such matters as may be allowed by court.

Different Types of
Leading questions It is one where the answer is
already supplied by the examiner into the mouth of the
witness. [Ex. You saw Jose killed Juan because you
were present when it happened, didnt you?]
Misleading question a question which cannot be
answered without making an unintended admission.
[Ex. Do you still beat your wife?]
Compound question a question which calls for a
single answer to more than one question. [Ex. Have
you seen and heard him?]

Different Types of
Argumentative question a type of
leading question which reflects the
examiners interpretation of the facts. [Ex.
Why were you driving carelessly?]
Speculative question a question which
assumes a disputed fact not stated by the
witness as true. [Ex. The victim cried in
pain, didnt he?]

Different Types of
Conclusionary question a question which
asks for an opinion which the witness is not
qualified or permitted to answer. [Ex. Asking
a high schooldrop-out whether the gun used
is a Cal. 45 pistol or 9mm pistol]
Cumulative question a question which
has already been asked and answered.
Harassing/Embarrassing question [Ex.
Are you a homosexual?]

Classes of Documents
Public documents are:
1. The written official acts, or records of the official acts of
sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public
officers, whether of the Philippines, or a foreign country.
2. Documents acknowledged before a notary public
except last willsand testaments.
3. Public records (1) kept in the Philippines, or private
documents (2) required by law to be entered therein.
All other writings are private.