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Rule 131 Burden of Proof and Presumptions

After the one year contract period expired, lessee Datalift


continued in possession and enjoyment of the leased
Sec. 2. Conclusive presumptions
warehouse, evidently by acquiesance of lessor Belgravia or by
verbal understanding of the parties. Subsequently, Belgravia
[ANACTA] Datalift Movers, Inc. v. Belgravia Realty & unilaterally increased the monthly rental to P60,000.00 starting
Development Corp., G.R. No. 144268, August 30, 2006
June 1994 to October 1994. Monthly rental was again increased
from P60,000.00 to P130,000.00 beginning November 1994
FACTS:
onwards, allegedly in view of the increased rental demanded by
The premises involved in this case is a warehouse (bodega) PNR on Sampaguita for the latters lease of the formers lot
used by petitioner Datalift Movers, Inc. (Datalift for short) for its whereon the warehouse in question stands. Because of the
cargoes in connection with its brokerage business. The rental increase made by Belgravia, Datalift stopped paying its
warehouse stands on a 3,967.70 squaremeter lot owned by the monthly rental for the warehouse. Thereafter, Sampaguita
Philippine National Railways (PNR) and located at No. 883 addressed demand letters to Datalift asking the latter to pay its
Santibaez Street corner Cristobal Street, Pandacan, Manila.
rental in arrears in the amount of P4,120,000.00 and to vacate
Sometime in 1987, PNR leased out the lot to Sampaguita and surrender the warehouse in dispute. The demands having
Brokerage, Inc. (Sampaguita, hereafter), pursuant to a written proved futile, Belgravia and/or Sampaguita filed with the MeTC
contract commencing on July 1, 1987 and terminating on June of Manila their complaint for ejectment against Datalift and/or its
30, 1990 for a monthly rental of P6,282.49, subject to a ten controlling stockholder, Jaime B. Aquino.

(10%) percent increase every year.


Sampaguita thereafter entered into a special arrangement with ISSUE:

its sister company, Belgravia Realty & Development Corporation Whether or not CA erred in holding that an implied new lease
(Belgravia for short) whereby the latter would put up on the lot a was created between PNR and Respondents when the former
warehouse for its own use. True enough, Belgravia did put up a did not take positive action to eject the latter from the premises.

warehouse occupying an area of about 3,000 squaremeters of

the lot. However, instead of using the said warehouse for itself, HELD:

Belgravia sublet it to petitioner Datalift, represented by its There is no definite showing that the lease contract between
president Jaime B. Aquino, pursuant to a 1-year written contract PNR and Sampaguita Brokerage, Inc. had been eectively
of lease dated October 2, 1990, commencing on October 5, terminated. As held by the court a quo: "(B)y PNR not taking a
1990 and ending on October 5, 1991, subject to extension upon positive action to eject Sampaguita from the leased premises up
mutual agreement by the parties. By the terms of lease, Datalift to the present, again, there is a tacit renewal of the lease
shall pay Belgravia a monthly rental of P40,000.00 payable on or contract between PNR and Sampaguita.(Emphasis in the
before the 15th day of each month, provided an advance rental original.)

for two (2) months is paid upon execution of the contract.


The Rules of Court already suciently shields respondent
Belgravia, as lessor, from being questioned by the petitioners as
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lessees, regarding its title or better right of possession as lessor Petitioners alleged that: they are the owners of a condominium
because having admitted the existence of a lessor-lessee unit, which is located at AIC Gold Tower, Emerald Avenue,
relationship, the petitioners are barred from assailing Belgravia's Ortigas Center, Pasig City; they purchased the condominum unit
title of better right of possession as their lessor.
from three (3) Indian nationals who originally contracted to buy
Section 2, Rule 131, of the Rules of Court provides:
the said property from the developer, AIC Realty Corporation
SEC. 2. Conclusive presumptions. -- The following are instances (AIC), but had not fully paid for it yet; petitioners' purchase was
of conclusive presumptions:
evidenced by a Deed of Assignment and Transfer of Rights and,
(a) Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or later on, evidenced by a Deed of Absolute in the name of
omission, intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a petitioner Armando; at the time of petitioners' purchase of the
particular thing true, and to act upon such belief, he cannot, in subject condominium unit, the same was being leased by
any litigation arising out of such declaration, act or omission, be respondent from the original owners; the period of lease was
permitted to falsify it;
from April 1, 2002 to March 1, 2003; petitioners respected the
(b) The tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his contract of lease between respondent and the original owners;
landlord at the time of the commencement of the relation of however, since June 2002 up to the time of the filing of the
landlord and tenant between them. (Underscoring ours.)
complaint for ejectment, respondent neither remitted nor
Conclusive presumptions have been defined as "inferences consigned the monthly rentals due to petitioners for her
which the law makes so peremptory that it will not allow them to continued use of the condominium unit; the rental arrears
be overturned by any contrary proof however strong." 7 As long amounted to a total of P2,130,000.00; petitioners sent a letter of
as the lessor-lessee relationship between the petitioners and demand to respondent requiring that she, together with any and
Belgravia exists as in this case, the former, as lessees, cannot all persons using the said unit with her approval, vacate the
by any proof, however strong, overturn the conclusive premises and pay her arrears; respondent ignored petitioners'
presumption that Belgravia has valid title to or better right of demand letter; petitioners tried to settle the case amicably but
possession to the subject leased premises than they have.
no agreement was reached.


In her Answer with Compulsory Counterclaims, respondent

countered that: she, indeed, entered into a contract of lease
with the original owners of the disputed condominium unit
[ANACTA] Spouses Trinidad v. Imson, G.R. No. 197728, which was to commence on April 1, 2002 and would end on
September 16, 2015
March 1, 2003; sometime in June 2002, she decided to
(Sorry kung medyo mahaba, but please do read the facts to purchase the unit; however, since she was then undergoing
understand the ruling of the case)
proceedings to annul her previous marriage and thinking that
her purchase of the subject property would disrupt the property
FACTS:

arrangements already agreed upon, she thought it best not to


Petitioners filed with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of
have the condominium unit registered yet in her name; instead,
Pasig City a Complaint for ejectment against herein respondent.
she requested Armando Trinidad, who was her confidante, to
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purchase the unit and register it under his name with the of bills of payments of association dues, utility bills, real estate
understanding that the said property would actually be owned tax on the common areas and building insurance.

by respondent; Armando agreed without objection, which led to

the execution of the Deed of Assignment and Transfer of Rights Respondent filed a petition for review with the CA. The CA
in his name; payments for the purchase price were made by promulgated its assailed Decision setting aside the RTC
respondent through cash and checks paid to the original owners judgment and ordering petitioners to return possession of the
who acknowledged said payments; aside from paying the subject condominium unit to respondent.

purchase price, respondent also paid the real property taxes The CA ratiocinated that, based on the evidence adduced by
due on the condominium unit as well as the association dues, the parties, respondent's claim of ownership deserves more
water bills, common area real estate tax, building insurance and credence. The CA ruled that records of payment of the purchase
other charges billed by the developer; having full trust in price of the subject property, through respondent's personal
Armando, coupled with her hectic schedule, respondent did not checks, acknowledgment of these payments by the former
bother to transfer ownership of the subject unit in her name; owners by way of receipt and adavit, and respondent's
since April 2002 up to the time of filing her Answer, respondent exercise of acts of ownership prove that she is the owner of the
has been in open and public possession of the subject property; disputed condominium unit and, thus, is entitled to the
in 2007, while respondent was out of the country, Armando, possession thereof.

without respondent's knowledge, annotated his claim on the Hence, this petition.

condominium certificate of title; he also executed a Deed of

Absolute Sale in his favor on July 13, 2007; as a result, ISSUES: Whether or not:

respondent was surprised to receive a copy of petitioners' 1. The pieces of evidence shown by the Respondent suce
demand letter and complaint.
to provisionally declare her as owner of the subject

condomunium unit?

The MeTC dismissed the complaint. The MeTC found that 2. The evidence of the Respondent suce to make an
respondent is the true owner of the subject property and that impression that it was the Respondent who paid the
the true intention of the parties is for Armando to hold the consideration for the Deed of Assignment and Transfer of
condominium unit in behalf of respondent until the property Rights?

could be placed in the latter's name. Petitioner filed an appeal 3. Section 2 (b), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court is
with RTC Pasig which reversed the decision of MeTC.
applicable

The RTC held that, by preponderance of evidence, the question HELD:

of ownership is resolved in favor of petitioners. The RTC held The Court finds that the petition must fail as it finds no error in
that the subject Deed of Assignment and Transfer of Rights and the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the CA and the
the Deed of Absolute Sale in the name of Armando is superior to MeTC that respondent is, indeed, entitled to the possession
the evidence presented by respondent, which merely consisted of the subject property.

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unit shall be purchased in the name of Armando with the
1. YES. It is true that the subject Deed of Assignment and understanding that he will hold it in behalf of respondent until
Transfer of Rights and Deed of Absolute Sale are notarized. It is the same could be placed in her name

well settled that a document acknowledged before a notary 2. Petitioners failed to oer any credible explanation why
public is a public document that enjoys the presumption of payments of the purchase price were made by respondent by
regularity. It is a prima facie evidence of the truth of the facts using her personal checks if she is not, in fact, the buyer of the
stated therein and a conclusive presumption of its existence and property. Neither was there any justification why respondent
due execution.However, the CA correctly held that the paid the real property taxes due on the property, as well as the
existence and due execution of these documents are not in utility bills, association dues, common area real estate tax and
issue. Moreover, the presumption of truth of the facts stated in building insurance. More importantly, petitioners also fell short in
notarized documents is merely prima facie, which means that advancing a plausible refutation why the former owners would
this presumption can be overcome by clear and convincing execute an adavit indicating therein that the agreement among
evidence. Hence, the truth of the facts stated in the disputed the parties is that the subject property shall be purchased in the
Deed of Assignment and Transfer of Rights as well as the Deed name of Armando with the understanding between the latter and
of Absolute Sale may be rebutted by evidence.
respondent that Armando would hold the property in
In the present case, what is being asserted by respondent is respondent's behalf until it will be placed in her name, thus
that the above documents do not embody the true intent and exposing themselves to possible perjury charges, if such
agreement of the parties. To this end, respondent submitted agreement is not really true.

sucient proof to refute the contents of the aforementioned


documents and to establish the real intent of the parties, to wit: 3. NO. Petitioners argue that under the Parole Evidence Rule,
(1) nine [9] checks drawn from the personal account of when the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, it
respondent, variously dated from October 11, 2002 to June 11, is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there
2003, each of which amounts to P416,666.67 and paid to the can be, as between the parties, no evidence of such terms other
order of Amarnath Hinduja;22 (2) Acknowledgment Receipt than the contents of the written agreement.Based on this rule,
recognizing the various payments made by respondent to the petitioners contend that since the former owners, as well as
former owners of the subject property;(3) Real Property Tax respondent, are all parties to the Deed of Assignment and
Receipts evidencing respondent's payment of the real estate Transfer of Rights, they are bound by the said Deed and they
cannot allege terms which are not found within the said
taxes due on the property; (4) Certification issued by AIC
agreement.

Golden Tower Condominium acknowledging respondent's


regular payment of association dues, water bills, common area The Court is not convinced.

real estate tax, building insurance and other charges billed by The fact that the Deed of Assignment and Transfer of Rights was
put in writing and notarized does not accord it the quality of
AIC; (5) Adavit executed by the former owners acknowledging
incontrovertibility otherwise provided by the Parole Evidence
the supposed agreement of the parties that the condominium
Rule.The rule on parole evidence is not, as it were, ironclad.
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Thus, the second paragraph of Section 9, Rule 130 of the Rules x x x x

of Court provides the exceptions, to wit:


(b) The tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his landlord at
Section 9. Evidence of written agreements. - x x x
the time of the commencement of the relation of landlord and
However, a party may present evidence to modify, explain or tenant between them.

add to the terms of written agreement if he puts in issue in his

pleading:
It is clear from the above-quoted provision that what a
(a) An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the written tenant is stopped from denying is the title of his landlord at
agreement;ChaRoblesViualalibray
the time of the commencement of the landlord-tenant
relation. If the title asserted is one that is alleged to have been
(b) The failure of the written agreement to express the true acquired subsequent to the commencement of that relation, the
intent and agreement of the parties thereto;
presumption will not apply. Hence, the tenant may show that the
(c) The validity of the written agreement; or
landlord's title has expired or been conveyed to another or
(d) The existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their himself; and he is not estopped to deny a claim for rent, if he
successors in interest after the execution of the written has been ousted or evicted by title paramount. In the present
agreement.
case, what respondent is claiming is her title to the subject
property which she acquired subsequent to the commencement
The term "agreement" includes wills.As observed by the CA, of the landlord-tenant relation between her and the former
respondent squarely put in issue in her Answer that the Deed of owners of the questioned condominium unit. Thus, the
Assignment and Transfer of Rights did not express the true presumption under Section 2 (b), Rule 131 of the Rules of
intent of the parties. Hence, the exception applies.
Court does not apply and respondent is not estopped from
The Court is neither convinced by petitioners' argument that asserting title over the disputed property.

when ley bought the subject property from its former owners,

they stepped into the shoes of the latter who were the lessors of
respondent and that, as lessee, respondent is barred from [ANG] Concepcion v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 123450,
contesting the title of her lessor or her lessor's sjuccessor-in- August 31, 2005

interest, who are herein petitioners.

Article 1436 of the Civil Code provides that "[a] lessee or bailee FACTS:

is estopped from asserting title to the thing leased or received, Petitioner Gerardo B. Concepcion and Ma. Theresa Almonte
as against the lpssor or bailor." In addition, the conclusive were married on December 29, 1989. They lived in Fairview,
presumption found in Section 2(b), Rule 131 of the Rules of Quezon City and a year later on December 8, 1990, Ma. Theresa
Court known as estoppel against tenants provides as follows:
gave birth to Jose Gerardo.

Sec. 2. Conclusive presumptions. The following are On December 19, 1991, Gerardo filed a petition to have his
instances of conclusive presumptions:
marriage to Ma. Theresa annulled on the ground of bigamy,
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alleging that her marriage with Mario Gopiao on December 10, or born during the marriage of his parents is legitimate. As a
198- was never annulled. Although Ma. Theresa did not deny guaranty in favor of the child and to protect his status of
marrying Mario, she averred that the marriage was a sham and legitimacy, Article 167 of the Family Code provides: The child
that she have never lived with Mario at all.
shall be considered legitimate although the mother may have
The trial court said otherwise, and ruled that Ma. Theresas declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as
marriage to Mario was valid and subsisting, thus declaring her an adulteress.. The law requires that every reasonable
marriage to Gerardo as void ab initio. It deemed Jose Gerardo presumption be made in favor of legitimacy.

to be an illegitimate child and the custody was awarded to Ma.


Theresa while Gerardo was granted visitation rights. Also, it Concepcion has no standing in law to dispute the status of Jose
allowed the child to use the surname of his father.
Gerardo on the basis of article 166 (1)(b). Only Ma. Theresas
Ma. Theresa appealed and pleaded for the reverse of the courts husband Mario or, in a proper case, his heirs, who can contest
decisions. The Court of Appeals ruled that Jose Gerardo was the legitimacy of the child Jose Gerardo born to his wife.
not the son of Ma. Theresa by Gerardo but by Mario during her Impugning the legitimacy of a child is a strictly personal right of
first marriage considering the fact that the second marriage was the husband or, in exceptional cases, his heirs. Since the
void from the beginning. Therefore, the child Jose Gerardo marriage of Gerardo and Ma. Theresa was void from the very
under the law is the child of the legal and subsisting marriage beginning, he never became her husband and thus never
between Ma. Theresa and Mario Gopiao.
acquired any right to impugn the legitimacy of her child.

Gerardo Concepcion moved for the reconsideration of the To overthrow this presumption on the basis of Article 166 (1)(b)
decision.
of the Family Code, it must be shown beyond reasonable doubt
that there was no access that could have enabled the husband
ISSUE: Whether or not the presumption of legitimacy of Jose to father the child. Sexual intercourse is to be presumed where
Gerardo can be impugned by Concepcion or Almonte
personal access is not disproved, unless such presumption is
rebutted by evidence to the contrary.

HELD: No. A minor cannot be deprived of his/her legitimate The presumption is quasi-conclusive and may be refuted only
status on the bare declaration of the mother and/or even much by the evidence of physical impossibility of coitus between
less, the supposed father. In fine, the law and only the law husband and wife within the first 120 days of the 300 days
determines who are the legitimate or illegitimate children for which immediately preceded the birth of the child.

ones legitimacy or illegitimacy cannot ever be compromised. To rebut the presumption, the separation between the spouses
Not even the birth certificate of the minor can change his status must be such as to make marital intimacy impossible. But
for the information contained therein are merely supplied by the during the period that Gerardo and Ma. Theresa were living
mother and/or the supposed father. It should be what the law together in Fairview, Quezon City, Mario was living in Loyola
says and not what a parent says it is.
Heights which is also in Quezon City. Fairview and Loyola
The status and filiation of a child cannot be compromised. Heights are only a scant four kilometers apart. Sexual union
Article 164 of the Family Code is clear. A child who is conceived between spouses is assumed. Evidence sucient to defeat the
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assumption should be presented by him who asserts the DOCTRINE: When the terms of an agreement have been
contrary. There is no such evidence here. Thus, the presumption reduced into writing, as in this case, it is, under the rules on
of legitimacy in favor of Jose Gerardo, as the issue of the evidence, considered as containing all the terms agreed upon.
marriage between Ma. Theresa and Mario, stands.
The REM, it bears to stress, having been notarized, is a public
Gerardo relies on Ma. Theresas statement in her answer to the document, thus accorded the benefit of certain presumptions.
petition for annulment of marriage that she never lived with The Court held: Being a public document, it enjoys the
Mario. He claims this was an admission that there was never presumption of regularity. It is a prima facie evidence of the truth
any sexual relation between her and Mario, an admission that of the facts stated therein and a conclusive presumption of its
was binding on her. Ma. Theresas statement is that Jose existence and due execution. To overcome this presumption,
Gerardo is not her legitimate son with Mario but her illegitimate there must be clear and convincing evidence. Absent such
son with Gerardo. This declaration an avowal by the mother evidence, as in this case, the presumption must be upheld.

that her child is illegitimate is the very declaration that is


proscribed by Article 167 of the Family Code. Public policy FACTS:

demands that there be no compromise on the status and On January 28, 1992, respondents, spouses Alejandro and
filiation of a child.
Myrna Reblando (collectively, the Reblandos), obtained a one
In addition, a record of birth is merely prima facie evidence of hundred and fifty thousand-peso (PhP 150,000) loan from PNB.
the facts contained therein. As prima facie evidence, the To secure the payment of the loan, the Reblandos executed a
statements in the record of birth may be rebutted by more real estate mortgage (REM) over two (2) parcels of land located
preponderant evidence. It is not conclusive evidence with in General Santos City. Meanwhile, on July 24, 1995, Alejandro
respect to the truthfulness of the statements made therein by and the Bliss Development Corporation (BDC), a subsidiary of
the interested parties. Between the certificate of birth which is the Home Insurance and Guaranty Corporation, which in turn
prima facie evidence of Jose Gerardos illegitimacy and the was under the then Ministry of Human Settlements, entered into
quasi-conclusive presumption of law (rebuttable only by proof a Contract to Sell over a dwelling unit (Unit No. 10) in the Rural
beyond reasonable doubt) of his legitimacy, the latter shall Bliss 1 Project located at Calumpang, Gen. Santos City with an
prevail. Not only does it bear more weight, it is also more area of 36 square meters. The Reblandos defaulted in the
conducive to the best interests of the child and in consonance payment of their loan obligation, prompting the PNB to
with the purpose of the law.
commence extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgage. Following
Having only his best interests in mind, The SC upholds the the lapse of the redemption period without the Reblandos
presumption of his legitimacy.
redeeming the properties, PNB consolidated its ownership over
the subject parcels of land. Subsequently, the RTC, acting on
PNBs ex parte petition, issued an Order granting a writ of
[BERNARDO] Philippine National Bank v. Spouses Reblando, possession. On May 10, 2000, the Reblandos filed a complaint
G.R. No. 194014, September 12, 2012
before the RTC, seeking, as their main prayer, the declaration of
nullity of the mortgage over Lot No. 10 allegedly constituted on
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January 13, 1995 when PNB and the Reblandos executed the
"Amendment to Real Estate Mortgage." According to them, they ISSUE: Whether or not the mortgage constituted over Lot No.
could not have validly created a mortgage over Lot No. 10, not 10 is valid.

being the owner when the mortgage was constituted, citing in


this regard Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) v. Court HELD: Yes. Both the RTC and the CA brushed aside petitioners
of Appeals. What, they added, impelled them to include Lot No. insistent contentions, to wit: (a) that the parcels of land covered
10 in the mortgage package, albeit it did not belong to them, by TCT No. 40839 and TD No. 59006, as the case may be, were
was the PNBs "requirement for them to post Lot No. 10 as simultaneously mortgaged on January 28, 1992 when petitioner
additional collateral."
and respondents signed the corresponding mortgage contract;
PNB countered and contended that, on February (should be and (b) that what respondents mortgaged included their
January) 28, 1992, the Reblandos, via a contract of REM of even possessory rights over Lot No. 10. In this regard, both courts
date, already conveyed by way of mortgage inclusive of the made parallel factual findings, as shall be discussed below,
Reblandos possessory and other rights. And together with the upon which they anchored their conclusion as to the nullity of
lot covered, Lot No. 10 is listed as mortgaged property. the mortgage over Lot No. 10. Generally, findings of fact of trial
Appended to PNBs Answer was the supplemental page of the courts are accorded great respect and shall not be
covering mortgage deed which page, so the bank claimed, the disturbed,more so when armed by the CA This rule, however,
Reblandos deliberately omitted to attach in their basic complaint admits of several exceptions,such as when the findings are
in an attempt to mislead the court and conceal the simultaneous manifestly mistaken, unsupported by evidence or the result of a
constitution of the mortgage over Lot No. 10 and the titled lot.
misapprehension of acts, as in this case.

RTC ruled in favor of the Reblandos stating that under Article First, on its face, the REM shows that it was executed on
2085 of the Civil Code, it is an essential requisite for the validity January 28, 1992, not February, 28, 1992 as written by the RTC
of a mortgage that the mortgagor be the absolute owner of the and the CA.Second, the January 28, 1992 REM contract
property thus mortgaged, a requirement not met in the case, as specifically covered, as collaterals, two parcels of land, albeit
Lot No. 10 was still owned by the then Ministry of Human the second collateral was reflected in the supplemental page of
Settlements at the time of the constitution of the mortgage.
the contract, which page respondents neglected or indeed
The Motion for Consideration filed by PNB was denied. PNB omitted to attach to their basic complaint, whether purposely or
then appealed to the CA. CA armed the appealed Decision of not.That respondents did not include said supplemental page is
the RTC on the ground that PNB no less admitted that it was buttressed by a simple annotation at the bottom of the last page
only in 1995, or three years after the constitution of the of their Annex "A" (pertaining to the REM), reading: "-
mortgage over Lot No. 10, that Alejandro bought the property ADDITIONAL COLLATERAL AT THE SUPPLEMENTAL PAGE -."
from BDC through the Contract to Sell covering "Unit No. 10." To be sure, respondents have not oered any explanation for
To the CA, the Contract to Sell is an additional argument belying what this annotation referred to. They cannot plausibly deny,
the Reblandos ownership over Lot No. 10 at the time of the however, that it referred to Lot No. 10. The "Amendment to Real
constitution of the REM.
Estate Mortgage," executed and signed by the parties on
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January 26, 1995, made a cross-reference to the January 28, that they prayed for injunction before the RTC when the writ of
1992 REM contract and the properties mortgaged.
possession was issued against them.There is, therefore, a prima
facie proof of ownership in this case which respondents failed to
When the terms of an agreement have been reduced into rebut. Consequently, the power of Alejandro to subject Lot No.
writing, as in this case, it is, under the rules on evidence, 10 as collateral to the loan stands. The pieces of evidence,
considered as containing all the terms agreed upon. consisting of the tax declarations and the annotations, as well
Respondents have not presented evidence, other than their bare as the amendments to the REM executed and signed by
denial, to contradict the stipulations in the contract and to show respondents, show that Lot No. 10 was already owned by
that the REM or the amendment to it, as couched, does not Alejandro at the time of the mortgage. The latter being the
reflect their real agreement with petitioner PNB. The REM, it owner of the lot, he then could validly encumber said property
bears to stress, having been notarized, is a public document, by way of mortgage. Therefore, the REM constituted is valid,
thus accorded the benefit of certain presumptions. The Court contrary to respondents insistence that the contract is void for
held:
lack of authority on the part of the mortgagor to encumber the
Being a public document, it enjoys the presumption of regularity. property used as collateral for the loan.

It is a prima facie evidence of the truth of the facts stated therein


and a conclusive presumption of its existence and due Sec. 3. Disputable presumptions

execution. To overcome this presumption, there must be clear


and convincing evidence. Absent such evidence, as in this case, [BUCOY] People v. Urzais y Lanurias, G.R. No. 207662, April
the presumption must be upheld.The due execution of this 13, 2016

above annotation by the City Assessor stands undisputed. Its Doctrine: The application of disputable presumption found in
correctness must, perforce, stand.
Section 3 (j), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, that a person found
in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful
Given the above perspective, the Court accords full credence to act is the taker and doer of the whole act, in this case the
the proposition, as insisted by PNB at every turn, that both alleged carnapping and the homicide/murder of its owner, is
parcels of land in question were simultaneously mortgaged on limited to cases where such possession is either unexplained or
January 28, 1992. The finding to the contrary of both the RTC that the proered explanation is rendered implausible in view of
and the CA has simply nothing to support itself. Tax receipts independent evidence inconsistent thereto. The disputable
and declarations are prima facie proofs of ownership or presumption cannot prevail over accused-appellant's
possession of the property for which such taxes have been paid. explanation for his possession of the missing vehicle. The
Coupled with proof of actual possession of the property, they possession having been explained, the legal presumption is
may become the basis of a claim for ownership. In this case, not disputed and thus, cannot find application in the instant case. To
only was the tax declaration in Alejandros name, but also, hold otherwise would be a miscarriage of justice as criminal
respondents admittedly possessed the property mortgaged, convictions necessarily require proof of guilt of the crime
their residence being constructed on it. It is for this very reason charged beyond reasonable doubt and in the absence of such
9
proof, should not be solely based on legal disputable Thereafter, their oce was informed that the subject vehicle had
presumptions.
been seen in the AGL Subdivision, Cabanatuan City. Thus, a
team conducted surveillance there and a checkpoint had been
Facts: Accused-appellant, together with co-accused Alex set up outside its gate. That a vehicle that fit the description of
Bautista and Ricky Bautista, was charged with Violation of the carnapped vehicle appeared. The ocers apprehended the
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6539, otherwise known as the Anti- vehicle and asked the driver, accused-appellant, who had been
Carnapping Act of 1972, as amended by R.A. No. 7659, with alone, to alight therefrom. When the ocers noticed the
homicide through the use of an unlicensed firearm. That on or accused-appellant's waist to be bulging of something, he was
about the 13th day of November, 2002, or prior thereto, in the ordered to raise his shirt and a gun was discovered tucked
City of Cabanatuan the above-named accused, conspiring, there. The ocers confirmed that the engine of the vehicle
confederating with and abetting one another, with intent to gain matched that of the victims. Said vehicle contained traces of
and by means of force, violence and intimidation, did then and blood on the car seats at the back and on its flooring. The
there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry ocers detained accused-appellant and led a case for illegal
away, a Isuzu Highlander car, colored Forest Green of one possession of firearm against him.

MARIO MAGDATO, valued at FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND Dr. Concepcion testified about the wounds the victim sustained
PESOS (P500,000.00) and on the occasion of the carnapping, and the cause of his death. He stated that the victim sustained
did assault and use personal violence upon the person of one one (1) gunshot wound in the head, the entrance of which is at
MARIO MAGDATO, that is, by shooting the latter with an the right temporal area exiting at the opposite side.

unlicensed firearm thereby inflicting upon him gunshot wound Accused-appellant testified that he had ordered in October 2002
on the head which caused his death. At his arraignment, from brothers Alex and Ricky Bautista, an owner-type jeepney
accused-appellant pleaded not guilty. The trial proceeded worth P60,000.00 for use in his business. The brothers,
against him. His two co-accused remain at large.
however, allegedly delivered instead a green Isuzu Highlander.
Shirley, the widow of the victim, testified mainly regarding her The brothers told accused-appellant that his P60,000.00 would
husband's disappearance and discovery of his death. She serve as initial payment with the remaining undetermined
narrated that her husband used to drive for hire their Isuzu amount to be paid a week after. Accused-appellant then
Highlander, that her husband left their house in Bulacan and did borrowed money from someone to pay the balance but the
not return home. That she was informed that her husband had brothers never replied to his text messages. That his friend
passed away. Shirley retrieved their vehicle from the Oscar Angeles advised him to surrender the vehicle as it could
Cabanatuan City Police Station. She then had it cleaned as it be a "hot car. The other defense witness, Oscar Angeles
had blood stains and reeked of a foul odor
(Angeles), testified that he had known the accused-appellant as
SP02 Figueroa of the PNP, Cabanatuan testified concerning the Michael Tapayan when they became neighbors in the AGL
circumstances surrounding accused-appellants arrest. That subdivision. Accused-appellant also served as his computer
their oce received a flash alarm from Bulacan PNP about an technician. Angeles testified that accused-appellant previously
alleged carnapped Isuzu Highlander in forest green color. did not own any vehicle until the latter purchased the Isuzu
10
Highlander for P30,000.00 from the latter's friends in Bulacan. The application of disputable presumption found in Section 3 (j),
Angeles advised accused-appellant that the vehicle might have Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, that a person found in
been carnapped due to its very low selling price.
possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act
RTC rendered judgment finding accused-appellant guilty of the is the taker and doer of the whole act, in this case the alleged
crime charged. The RTC anchored its ruling on the disputable carnapping and the homicide/murder of its owner, is limited to
presumption that a person found in possession of a thing taken cases where such possession is either unexplained or that the
in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the doer of proered explanation is rendered implausible in view of
the whole act. It held that the elements of carnapping were independent evidence inconsistent thereto.

proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt through the In the instant case, accused-appellant set-up a defense of
recovery of the purportedly carnapped vehicle from the denial of the charges and adhered to his unrebutted version of
accused-appellant's possession and by his continued the story that the vehicle had been sold to him by the brothers
possession thereof even after the lapse of one week from the Alex and Ricky Bautista. Though the explanation is not
commission of the crime.
seamless, once the explanation is made for the possession, the
the CA rendered the assailed judgment arming with presumption arising from the unexplained possession may not
modification the trial court's decision. The CA noted the anymore be invoked and the burden shifts once more to the
absence of eyewitnesses to the crime yet ruled that sucient prosecution to produce evidence that would render the defense
circumstantial evidence was presented to prove accused- of the accused improbable. And this burden, the prosecution
appellant's guilt, solely, accused-appellant's possession of the was unable to discharge.

allegedly carnapped vehicle. Accused-appellant decries the The disputable presumption cannot prevail over accused-
appellate court's error in relying on the disputable presumption appellant's explanation for his possession of the missing vehicle.
created by law under Section 3 (j), Rule 131 of the Rules of The possession having been explained, the legal presumption is
Court to conclude that by virtue of his possession of the vehicle, disputed and thus, cannot find application in the instant case. To
he is considered the author of both the carnapping of the hold otherwise would be a miscarriage of justice as criminal
vehicle and the killing of its owner.
convictions necessarily require proof of guilt of the crime
Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant assertion that charged beyond reasonable doubt and in the absence of such
such presumption does not hold in the case at bar is proof, should not be solely based on legal disputable
correct?
presumptions.

Held: YES. Every criminal conviction requires the prosecution to The carnapping not being duly proved, the killing of the victim
prove two (2) things: 1. The fact of the crime, i.e., the presence may not be treated as an incident of carnapping. Nonetheless,
of all the elements of the crime for which the accused stands even under the provisions of homicide and murder under the
charged; and (2) the fact that the accused is the perpetrator of Revised Penal Code, the Court finds the guilt of accused-
the crime. The Court finds the prosecution unable to prove both appellant was not established beyond reasonable doubt.

aspects, thus, it is left with no option but to acquit on The equipoise rule states that where the inculpatory facts and
reasonable doubt.
circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one of
11
which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the taxable year 1987. After an audit investigation conducted by
other consistent with his guilt, then the evidence does not ful l the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), respondent CIR issued an
the test of moral certainty and is not sucient to support a assessment for deficiency income tax in the amount of
conviction. The equipoise rule provides that where the evidence P826,698.31 covered by Formal Assessment Notice No.
in a criminal case is evenly balanced, the constitutional FAN-1-87-91-000649, which, respondent alleges, was sent to
presumption of innocence tilts the scales in favor of the petitioner through registered mail on 6 February 1991. However,
accused.
petitioner denies receiving the formal assessment notice.
The basis of the acquittal is reasonable doubt, which simply Petitioner was served with a Warrant of Distraint and/or Levy to
means that the evidence of the prosecution was not sucient to enforce collection of the deficiency income tax for the year
sustain the guilt of accused-appellant beyond the point of moral 1987. Petitioner filed a formal protest which the respondent
certainty.
denied with finality.

[BULLECER] Barcelon, Roxas Securities, Inc. v. Petitioner filed a petition for review with the CTA. CTA rendered
Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 157064, August a decision in favor of petitioner which ruled on the primary issue
7, 2006
of prescription and found it unnecessary to decide the issues on
the validity and propriety of the assessment. It maintained that
DOCTRINE: When a mail matter is sent by registered mail, there while a mailed letter is deemed received by the addressee in the
exists a presumption, set forth under Section 3(v), Rule 131 of course of mail, this is merely a disputable presumption. It
the Rules of Court, that it was received in the regular course of reasoned that the direct denial of the petitioner shifts the burden
mail. The facts to be proved in order to raise this presumption of proof to the respondent that the mailed letter was actually
are: (a) that the letter was properly addressed with postage received by the petitioner. Respondent moved for
prepaid; and (b) that it was mailed. While a mailed letter is reconsideration of the aforesaid decision but was denied by the
deemed received by the addressee in the ordinary course of CTA. In reversing the CTA decision, the Court of Appeals found
mail, this is still merely a disputable presumption subject to the evidence presented by the respondent to be sucient proof
controversion, and a direct denial of the receipt thereof shifts the that the tax assessment notice was mailed to the petitioner,
burden upon the party favored by the presumption to prove that therefore the legal presumption that it was received should
the mailed letter was indeed received by the addressee.
apply.

FACTS:
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA was correct in finding that the
legal presumption (that the tax assessment notice was mailed to
Petitioner Barcelon, Roxas Securities Inc. (now known as UBP the petitioner) should apply.

Securities, Inc.) is a corporation engaged in the trading of

securities. Petitioner filed its Annual Income Tax Return for HELD:

12
municipality and the amount. Such evidence, therefore, is
NO. Jurisprudence is replete with cases holding that if the insucient to give rise to the presumption that the assessment
taxpayer denies ever having received an assessment from the notice was received in the regular course of mail. What is
BIR, it is incumbent upon the latter to prove by competent essential to prove the fact of mailing is the registry receipt
evidence that such notice was indeed received by the issued by the Bureau of Posts or the Registry return card which
addressee. The onus probandi was shifted to respondent to would have been signed by the Petitioner or its authorized
prove by contrary evidence that the Petitioner received the representative. And if said documents cannot be located,
assessment in the due course of mail.
Respondent at the very least, should have submitted to the
Court a certification issued by the Bureau of Posts and any
In Protectors Services, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, this Court ruled other pertinent document which is executed with the
that when a mail matter is sent by registered mail, there exists a intervention of the Bureau of Posts. Consequently, the right of
presumption, set forth under Section 3(v), Rule 131 of the the government to assess and collect the alleged deficiency tax
Rules of Court, [22] that it was received in the regular course of is barred by prescription.

mail. The facts to be proved in order to raise this presumption


are: (a) that the letter was properly addressed with postage
prepaid; and (b) that it was mailed. While a mailed letter is [CANA] Blue Cross Health Care, Inc. v. Olivares, G.R. No.
deemed received by the addressee in the ordinary course of 169737, February 12, 2008

mail, this is still merely a disputable presumption subject to


controversion, and a direct denial of the receipt thereof shifts the FACTS: Respondent Neomi T. Olivares applied for a health care
burden upon the party favored by the presumption to prove that program with petitioner Blue Cross Health Care, Inc., a health
the mailed letter was indeed received by the addressee.
maintenance firm. For the period October 16, 2002 to October
15, 2003, she paid the amount of P11,117. For the same period,
In the instant case, Petitioner denies receiving the assessment she also availed of the additional service of limitless
notice, and the respondent was unable to present substantial consultations for an additional amount of P1,000. She paid
evidence that such notice was, indeed, mailed or sent by the these amounts in full on October 17, 2002. The application was
respondent before the BIRs right to assess had prescribed and approved on October 22, 2002. In the health care agreement,
that said notice was received by the petitioner. No substantial ailments due to pre-existing conditions were excluded from the
evidence was ever presented to prove that the assessment coverage.
On November 30, 2002, or barely 38 days from the eectivity of
notice No. FAN-1-87-91-000649 or other supposed notices
her health insurance, respondent Neomi suered a stroke and
subsequent thereto were in fact issued or sent to the
was admitted at the Medical City which was one of the hospitals
taxpayer. As a matter of fact, it only submitted the BIR record accredited by petitioner. During her confinement, she underwent
book which allegedly contains the list of taxpayers names, the several laboratory tests. On December 2, 2002, her attending
reference number, the year, the nature of tax, the city/ physician, Dr. Edmundo Saniel, informed her that she could be
13
discharged from the hospital. She incurred hospital expenses ISSUE: won the presumption was properly applied by the
amounting to P34,217.20. Consequently, she requested from petitioner.
the representative of petitioner at Medical City a letter of
authorization in order to settle her medical bills. But petitioner HELD: NO. In Philamcare Health Systems, Inc. v. CA, we ruled
refused to issue the letter and suspended payment pending the that a health care agreement is in the nature of a non-life
submission of a certification from her attending physician that insurance. It is an established rule in insurance contracts that
the stroke she suered was not caused by a pre-existing when their terms contain limitations on liability, they should be
condition. construed strictly against the insurer. These are contracts of
adhesion the terms of which must be interpreted and enforced
She was discharged from the hospital on December 3, 2002. On stringently against the insurer which prepared the contract. This
December 5, 2002, she demanded that petitioner pay her doctrine is equally applicable to health care agreements.
medical bill. When petitioner still refused, she and her husband,
respondent Danilo Olivares, were constrained to settle the bill. Petitioner never presented any evidence to prove that
They thereafter filed a complaint for collection of sum of money respondent Neomi's stroke was due to a pre-existing condition.
against petitioner in the MeTC on January 8, 2003. In its answer It merely speculated that Dr. Saniel's report would be adverse to
dated January 24, 2003, petitioner maintained that it had not yet Neomi, based on her invocation of the doctor-patient privilege.
denied respondents' claim as it was still awaiting Dr. Saniel's This was a disputable presumption at best.
report.
Section 3 (e), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court states:
In a letter to petitioner dated February 14, 2003, Dr. Saniel
stated that: "This is in response to your letter dated February 13, Sec. 3. Disputable presumptions. The following presumptions
2003. [Respondent] Neomi T. Olivares called by phone on are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and
January 29, 2003. She stated that she is invoking patient- overcome by other evidence:
physician confidentiality. That she no longer has any relationship xxx xxx xxx
with [petitioner]. And that I should not release any medical
information concerning her neurologic status to anyone without (e) That evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if
her approval. Hence, the same day I instructed my secretary to produced.
inform your oce thru Ms. Bernie regarding [respondent's]
wishes." Suce it to say that this presumption does not apply if (a) the
evidence is at the disposal of both parties; (b) the suppression
Petitioner argued that since the respondent was the one who was not willful; (c) it is merely corroborative or cumulative and (d)
refuses to present evidence, the presumption is that the the suppression is an exercise of a privilege. Here, respondents'
evidence would be adverse if produced. refusal to present or allow the presentation of Dr. Saniel's report
was justified. It was privileged communication between
14
physician and patient. Royal Cargo filed against DFS a Complaint for Collection of Sum
of Money with the RTC.

Furthermore, as already stated, limitations of liability on the part Petitioner presented as part of its evidence, 34 carbon copies of
of the insurer or health care provider must be construed in such invoices to prove respondent's indebtedness. These were
a way as to preclude it from evading its obligations. Accordingly, objected to by respondent on the ground that they are self-
they should be scrutinized by the courts with extreme jealousy serving, immaterial and have no factual and legal basis.
and care and with a jaundiced eye. Since petitioner had the However, they were admitted by the RTC per its Order.

burden of proving exception to liability, it should have made its On the other hand, DFS presented, 28 original copies of the 34
own assessment of whether respondent Neomi had a pre- invoices submitted by petitioner for the purpose of proving
existing condition when it failed to obtain the attending payment of the amount sought to be recovered by the latter.

physician's report. It could not just passively wait for Dr. Saniel's

report to bail it out. The mere reliance on a disputable ISSUE/S: (1) whether respondent, who is the debtor, has the
presumption does not meet the strict standard required under burden of proving payment; and

our jurisprudence. (2) whether the subject invoices prove such payment or at least
raise a disputable presumption that payment has been made.

HELD:

[CASTILLEJO] Royal Cargo Corp. v. DFS Sports Unlimited, (1)YES. As to the first issue raised, the settled rule is that one
Inc., G.R. No. 158621, December 10, 2008
who pleads payment has the burden of proving it. Even where
the creditor alleges non-payment, the general rule is that the
FACTS: Royal Cargo Corp. is an international freight forwarder, onus rests on the debtor to prove payment, rather than on the
which oers trucking, brokerage, storage and other services to creditor to prove non-payment. The debtor has the burden of
the public, and serves as conduit between shippers, showing with legal certainty that the obligation has been
consignees, and carriers for the transportation of cargos from discharged by payment. Where the debtor introduces some
one point of the globe to another. DFS Sports, on the other evidence of payment, the burden of going forward with the
hand, is one of the concessionaires of the Subic Bay evidence as distinct from the general burden of proof shifts to
Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). It is principally engaged in the the creditor, who is then under a duty of producing some
importation and local sale of duty-free sporting goods and other evidence to show non-payment.

similar products.
Since respondent claims that it had already paid petitioner for
DFS sports, engaged the services of Royal Cargo.
the services rendered by the latter, it follows that the former
Royal Cargo rendered services for DFS sports which amounted carries the burden of proving such payment.

to the total of P248,449.63, which the [respondent] fails and

refuses to pay despite [petitioner's] demands.


(Contrary to the claim of respondent that these pieces of
evidence presented by petitioner to prove respondent's
15
indebtedness are mere duplicate copies, the same are engaged in the business of importation and local sale of duty-
considered as original copies because they are carbon copies of free sporting goods and similar products. It is presumed that it
the invoices which are in the possession of respondent and they takes ordinary care of its concerns.

may be introduced in evidence without accounting for the non- Respondent's witness, Adora, failed to suciently explain why it
production of the other copies. Hence, they serve as sucient did not have receipts in its possession to prove payment. The
proof of the indebtedness of respondent.)
witness simply reasoned out that even in the absence of any

receipt, she assumed that an account was paid once the
(2) NO. An invoice or bill is a commercial document issued by a accounting department of respondent forwarded to her the
seller to the buyer indicating the products, quantities and agreed original invoice which was stamped PAID.Such testimony, as
prices for product or services the seller has provided the buyer. well as the invoices which were stamped paid, are all self-
An invoice indicates the buyer must pay the seller according to serving and do not, by themselves, prove respondent's claim of
the payment terms.
payment.

Sales or commercial invoice is defined as a written account of Settled is the rule that in the course of trial in a civil case, once
goods sold or services rendered indicating the prices charged the plainti makes out a prima facie case in his favor, the duty or
therefor or a list by whatever name it is known which is used in the burden of evidence shifts to the defendant to controvert the
the ordinary course of business evidencing sale and transfer or plaintis prima facie case; otherwise, a verdict must be returned
agreement to sell or transfer goods and services. On the other in favor of the plainti.[48] In the instant case, respondent's
hand, the same case defines receipt as a written indebtedness to petitioner has been established. However,
acknowledgment of the fact of payment in money or other respondent failed to meet its burden of proving payment.
settlement between seller and buyer of goods, debtor or Hence, judgment must be rendered in petitioner's favor.

creditor, or person rendering services, and client or customer.

From the foregoing definitions, an invoice, in and by itself, and Sec. 4. No presumption of legitimacy or illegitimacy

as opposed to a receipt, may not be considered evidence of


payment. In addition, it does not mean that possession by a Rule 132 Presentation of Evidence

debtor of an invoice raises the presumption that it has already


paid its obligation. An invoice is simply a list sent to a purchaser, A. Examination of Witness

containing the items, together with the prices and charges, of


merchandise sent or to be sent to him.
Sec. 1. Examination to be done in open court

Furthermore, respondent's defense of payment is made more


untenable by its failure to present any supporting evidence, such [DLC] People v. Go, G.R. Nos. 130714 and 139634,
as ocial receipts or the testimony of its employee who actually 140845-46, December 27, 2002

paid or the one who had direct knowledge of the payment


allegedly made in petitioner's favor, to prove that it had indeed FACTS:

paid its obligations to the latter. Respondent is a corporation


16
Accused-appellants Donel Go and Val de los Reyes were los Reyes. When Adela Brutas, Imeldas mother, was called to
charged with two and three counts of rape, respectively, all the witness stand, the private prosecutor started rereading the
committed against Imelda Brutas. Of the two, only accused- questions and answers as recorded in the transcript of her
appellant Go was initially apprehended; de los Reyes remained testimony at the trial of Go. Before he could go over the entire
at large. Go pleaded not guilty to the charges. Before the transcript, however, the defense counsel objected. The private
prosecution could finish presenting evidence, he jumped bail prosecutor thereupon asked Adela, as the following transcript of
and was tried in absentia.
the proceedings, quoted verbatim, shows, if she armed all her
answers appearing in the transcript of stenographic notes taken
The evidence for the prosecution consists of the testimonies of during her testimony at the trial of Go.

its five witnesses, namely: private complainant Imelda Brutas,


her mother Adela, sister Clara, Dr. Marissa Saguinsin of the At the succeeding hearing, defense counsel cross-examined
Rural Health Unit in Tabaco, Albay, and SPO4 Rosalino Imelda but only on matters preceding and following the alleged
Bonavente; Imeldas panty and watch which she was wearing rapes. The prosecution employed the same procedure when it
when the rape allegedly occurred; the certification about the presented Imeldas sister Clara, and Dr. Marissa Saguinsin,
entry in the police blotter of Imeldas complaint; the medical Medical Ocer of the Rural Health Unit in Tabaco, Albay

certificates issued by Dr. Estela Zenit of the Ziga Memorial


District Hospital and Dr. Marissa Saguinsin of the Rural Health Thereafter, the prosecution formally oered its evidence
Unit in Tabaco, Albay; the adavit executed by Marivic after the including the panty (Exhibit "A") and the wristwatch (Exhibit "B")
alleged incident; the photographs of accused-appellants Go and worn by Imelda when the alleged rapes occurred; the
de los Reyes; and the Referral Form of the ABS-CBN program Certification of Entry in the Police Blotter of the Tabaco Police
"Hoy Gising."
Department; the Medico-Legal Certificate issued by the Dr.
Saguinsin; the Referral Form of the ABS-CBN program to prove,
RTC of Tabaco, Albay found Go guilty beyond reasonable doubt among other things, "the extent to which Clara Brutas went
of two counts of rape and sentenced him to suer the death through in order to seek justice for the cause of her younger
penalty for each count. An alias warrant of arrest against de los sister;" and the decision of the Tabaco, Albay RTC, Branch 16,
Reyes was issued and the cases against him were archived. "to show that Donel Go was convicted" by said court. Also
Hence, the automatic review of the cases against Go.
oered in evidence were the transcripts of the testimonies of
Adela (Exhibit "D"), Dr. Saguinsin, Imelda (Exhibit "F") to prove
de los Reyes was later apprehended, hence, RTC ordered the that she was raped by accused-appellant Val de los Reyes, and
revival of the cases against him, he pleaded not guilty to all Clara to corroborate Imeldas testimony taken at the trial of
three charges of rape. Trial ensued thereafter.
accused-appellant Go were also in evidence.

Except for SPO4 Bonavente, the same prosecution witnesses The defense objected to the admission of, among others,
who testified at the trial of Go were availed of at the trial of de Exhibits "A," "B," "D" and "F", they having "never [been]
17
identified and presented in court," it adding that the "court be obtained by the personal appearance of the witness before
cannot take judicial notice" thereof "as accused [de los Reyes] the judge, and it is thisit enables the judge as the trier of facts
was never a party to the trial" of Go. The objection of the "to obtain the elusive and incommunicable evidence of a
defense notwithstanding, the trial court admitted all the exhibits witness deportment while testifying, and a certain subjective
oered by the prosecution.
moral eect is produced upon the witness."

In its Decision, RTC found de los Reyes guilty beyond It is only when the witness testifies orally that the judge may
reasonable doubt of three counts of rape and sentenced him to have a true idea of his countenance, manner and expression,
suer reclusion perpetua in each. His motion for reconsideration which may confirm or detract from the weight of his testimony.
having been denied, accused-appellant de los Reyes appealed Certainly, the physical condition of the witness will reveal his
to this Court. His appeal, G. R. Nos. 139331 and 140845-46, capacity for accurate observation and memory, and his
and that of accused-appellant Go, G. R. Nos. 130714 and deportment and physiognomy will reveal clues to his character.
139634, were consolidated.
These can only be observed by the judge if the witness testifies
orally in court. Indeed, the great weight given the findings of fact
ISSUE:
of the trial judge in the appellate court is based upon his having
W/N the RTC correctly allowed the witnesses Adela, Clara, had just that opportunity and the assumption that he took
Imelda, and Dr. Saguinsin to merely arm on direct examination advantage of it to ascertain the credibility of the witnesses.

their previous testimonies taken during the trial of Go (and thus


violated de los Reyes right to confront and cross-examine the Thus, Section 1 of Rule 133 of the Rules requires that in
witnesses)
determining the superior weight of evidence on the issues
involved, the court, aside from the other factors therein
HELD:
enumerated, may consider the "witness manner of testifying"
NO. Sections 1 and 2, Rule 132 and Section 1, Rule 133 of which can only be done if the witness gives his testimony "orally
the then Revised Rules of Court, requires that the testimonies of in open court." If a trial judge prepares his opinion immediately
witnesses be given orally.
after the conclusion of the trial, with the evidence and his
impressions of the witnesses fresh in his mind, it is obvious that
The main and essential purpose of requiring a witness to appear he is much more likely to reach a correct result than if he simply
and testify orally at a trial is to secure for the adverse party the reviews the evidence from a typewritten transcript, without
opportunity of cross-examination. "The opponent," according to having had the opportunity to see, hear and observe the actions
an eminent authority, "demands confrontation, not for the idle and utterances of the witness.

purpose of gazing upon the witness, or of being gazed upon by


him, but for the purpose of cross-examination which cannot be There is an additional advantage to be obtained in requiring that
had except by the direct and personal putting of questions and the direct testimony of the witness be given orally in court. Rules
obtaining immediate answers." There is also the advantage to governing the examination of witness are intended to protect the
18
rights of litigants and to secure orderly dispatch of the business Berdex Intl. Filed a complaint for a sum of money against pet
of the courts. Under the rules, only questions directed to the alleging that a foreign corporation organized and existing under
eliciting of testimony which, under the general rules of evidence, the laws of US with principal oce in San Francisco California is
is relevant to, and competent to prove, the issue of the case, maintaining an action only to enforce its right by virtue of an
may be propounded to the witness. A witness may testify only isolated transaction with the pet. That pet received from it
to those facts which he knows of his own knowledge. Thus, on certain amounts of money which were meant partly as advances
direct examination, leading questions are not allowed, except on or loans and partly for the purchase of 40% shares in both
preliminary matters, or when there is diculty in getting direct Seanet and Seabest Corporations. However, not a single share
and intelligible answer from the witness who is ignorant, a child in those corporations was transferred to private respondent by
of tender years, or feebleminded, or a deaf-mute. It is obvious petitioner and the shares were retained by the latter; the parties
that such purpose may be subverted, and the orderly dispatch then agreed to treat all the payments/advances made by private
of the business of the courts thwarted, if trial judges are respondent to petitioner as the latters loan. Petitioner proposed
allowed, as in the case at bar, to adopt any procedure in the the payment of the loan within a period of 3 years, which
presentation of evidence other than what is specifically proposal was accepted by private respondent with the
authorized by the Rules of Court.
agreement that in case of non-payment of any instalment on
their due dates, the entire amount shall become due and
The apprehensions of the prosecution that the lapse of time may demandable. Petitioner later refused to sign a formal contract of
have compromised the memory of the witnesses are loan, petitioner confirmed such loan to private respondents
understandable. But following this line of thought, would not the auditors on August 8, 2000 and he hand only paid US$ 20,000
witnesses have just the same gone over the transcripts of their and no further payment was made despite repeated demands.
testimonies during the trial of Go to refresh them to thereby Private respondent prayed that petitioner be ordered to pay the
enable them to answer the questions of de los Reyes counsel amount of US$ 150,335.75 plus interest until fully paid and
on cross-examination? In any event, lapse of time is a matter attorneys fees. Pre-trial conference terminated and the case
that the trial court would consider in weighing the credibility of was set for trial, PR filed a motion to authorize deposition-taking
witnesses and their testimonies; it does not justify the thru written interrogatories alleging that initial presentation of its
abbreviated procedure adopted by the trial court, especially evidence is set on May 3, 2002. However, all of its witnesses are
considering that the case against accused Go was tried before Americans who reside or hold oce in the USA. That one of the
another branch of the RTC.
witnesses is already of advanced age and travel to the

Philippines may be extremely dicult if not dangerous, and
[EVIDENTE] San Luis v. Rojas, G.R. No. 159127, March 3, there is a perceived danger to the in the aftermath of the 9-11
2008
terrorist attack, that written interrogatories are ideal in this case
since the factual issues are already very few, that such mode of
Facts:
deposition taking will save precious judicial and government
time and will prevent needless delays in the case. This was
19
opposed by PR on the ground that taking the deposition foreign corporation is immaterial. The rule clearly provides that
through written interrogatories would deprive the court of the testimony of any person may be taken by deposition upon
opportunity to observe the general bearing and demeanour of oral examination or written interrogatories, at the instance of any
witnesses. The claim that travel to the Philippines would be party. Depositions serve as a device for ascertaining the facts
dangerous for the witnesses who are all Americans is frivolous, relative to the issue of the case. The evident purpose is to
since respondent has not presented evidence that the US enable the parties to obtain the fullest possible knowledge of the
government has prohibited its citizens from travelling to the issues and facts before civil trials and prevent the said trials
Philippines and if ever there was such prohibition it was not from being carried out in the dark. Depositions are principally
binding on our own legal system, old age was not a valid made available by law to the parties as a means of informing
reason. RTC granted PRs motion to take deposition thru written themselves all the relevant facts, they are not generally meant to
interrogatories, Pets Motion for Reconsideration was denied, be a substitute for the actual testimony in open court of a party
Pet filed certiorari with the CA, denied, ruled in favour of PR.
or witness. However, under Section 4, Rule 24 of the Rules of

Court, depositions may be used without the deponent being
Issue: WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF actually called to the witness stand by the proponent, under
APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION certain conditions and for certain limited purpose. It has been
WHEN IT DISMISSED THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI OF THE repeatedly held that deposition discovery rules are to be
PETITIONER DESPITE THE UNIQUENESS OF THE LEGAL accorded a broad and liberal treatment and should not be
ISSUE RAISED BY THE PETITIONER AND THE GRAVE unduly restricted if the matters inquired into are otherwise
INJUSTICE THAT WILL BE VISITED UPON THE PETITIONER IF relevant and not privileged, and the inquiry is made in good faith
THE PRIVATE RESPONDENT, A NON-RESIDENT FOREIGN and within the bounds of law.

CORPORATION, WILL BE ALLOWED TO PROVE THE


EXISTENCE OF AN ORAL CONTRACT THROUGH DEPOSITION In Dasmarias Garments, Inc. v. Reyes[23], where we upheld the
BY WRITTEN INTERROGATORIES OF ALL ITS WITNESSES right of plainti during the trial stage of the case to present its
TAKEN OUTSIDE THE PHILIPPINES
evidence by deposition of its witnesses in a foreign jurisdiction

in lieu of their oral examination in court, we said:

Ruling: Yes, Section 1, Rule 23 of the Rules of Court provides


that by leave of court after jurisdiction has been obtained over Depositions are chiefly a mode of discovery. They are intended
any defendant for over property which is the subject of the as a means to compel disclosure of facts resting in the
action, or without such leave after an answer has been served, knowledge of a party or other person which are relevant in some
the testimony of any person, whether a party or not, may be suit or proceeding in court. Depositions, and the other modes of
taken, at the instance of any party, by depositions upon oral discovery (interrogatories to parties; requests for admission by
examination or written interrogatories. Unequivocally, the rule adverse party; production or inspection of documents or things;
does not make any distinction or restriction as to who can avail physical and mental examination of persons) are meant to
of deposition. The fact that private respondent is a non-resident enable a party to learn all the material and relevant facts, not
20
only known to him and his witnesses but also those known to evidence is actually presented against him during the trial or
the adverse party and the latter's own witnesses. In fine, the hearing.

object of discovery is to make it possible for all the parties to a


case to learn all the material and relevant facts, from whoever However, depositions may be used without the deponent being
may have knowledge thereof, to the end that their pleadings or actually called to the witness stand by the proponent, under
motions may not suer from inadequacy of factual foundation, certain conditions and for certain limited purposes. These
and all the relevant facts may be clearly and completely laid exceptional situations are governed by Section 4, Rule 24[24] of
before the Court, without omission or suppression.
the Rules of Court.

Depositions are principally made available by law to the parties SEC 4. Use of depositions. At the trial or upon the hearing of a
as a means of informing themselves of all the relevant facts; motion of an interlocutory proceeding, any part or all of a
they are not therefore generally meant to be a substitute for the deposition, so far as admissible under the rules of evidence,
actual testimony in open court of a party or witness. The may be used against any party who was present or represented
deponent must as a rule be presented for oral examination in at the taking of the deposition or who had due notice thereof, in
open court at the trial or hearing. This is a requirement of the accordance with any of the following provisions:

rules of evidence. Section 1, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court xxx....

provides:
(c) The deposition of a witness, whether or not a party, may be
used by any party for any purpose if the court finds: (1) that the
"SECTION 1. Examination to be done in open court. The witness is dead; or (2) that the witness if out of the province and
examination of witnesses presented in a trial or hearing shall be at a greater distance than fifty[25] (50) kilometers from the place
done in open court, and under oath or armation. Unless the of trial or hearing, or is out of the Philippines, unless it appears
witness is incapacitated to speak, or the question calls for a that his absence was procured by the party oering the
dierent mode of answer, the answers of the witness shall be deposition; or (3) that the witness is unable to attend to testify
given orally."
because of age, sickness, infirmity, or imprisonment; or (4) that
the party oering the deposition has been unable to procure the
Indeed, any deposition oered to prove the facts therein set out attendance of the witness by subpoena; or (5) upon application
during a trial or hearing, in lieu of the actual oral testimony of the and notice, that such exceptional circumstances exist as to
deponent in open court, may be opposed and excluded on the make it desirable, in the interest of justice and with due regard
ground that it is hearsay: the party against whom it is oered to the importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses
has no opportunity to cross-examine the deponent at the time orally in open court, to allow the deposition to be used;

that his testimony is oered. It matters not that opportunity for


cross-examination was aorded during the taking of the Thus, petitioner may submit cross-interrogatories upon private
deposition; for normally, the opportunity for cross-examination respondent with sucient fullness and freedom.

must be accorded a party at the time that the testimonial


21
Finally, petitioner contends that since private respondent will Cleary may elect in his sole discretion, and the Parties hereby
have the testimonies of its witnesses in another jurisdiction, the submit to any such suit, action proceeding or judgment and
sanction of penalty for perjury under our laws would not apply to waives any other preferential jurisdiction by reason of domicile.

them; and petitioner may not be able to enforce its own claim Cleary elected to file the case in Cebu.

against private respondent, since it is domiciled in a foreign

country and does not appear to have any assets in the Santamaria, Boza, and Go-Perez filed their respective Answers
Philippines. We will not venture to make any determination on with Compulsory Counterclaims. The trial court then issued a
this matter, as it would be premature, conjectural or anticipatory. notice of pre-trial conference.

We must only deal with an existing case or controversy that is In his pre-trial brief, Cleary stipulated that he would testify "in
appropriate or ripe for judicial determination, not one that is support of the allegations of his complaint, either on the witness
conjectural or merely anticipatory. [38] WHEREFORE, the stand or by oral deposition." Moreover, he expressed his intent
petition is GRANTED.
in availing himself "of the modes of discovery under the rules."

Cleary moved for court authorization to take deposition. He


[GUTIERREZ] Santamaria v. Cleary, G.R. Nos. 197122 prayed that his deposition be taken before the Consulate-
&197161, June 15, 2016
General of the Philippines in Los Angeles and be used as his
direct testimony.

FACTS:
Santamaria and Boza opposed the Motion and argued that the
right to take deposition is not absolute. They claimed that
Cleary, an American citizen with oce address in California, filed Cleary chose the Philippine system to file his suit, and yet he
a Complaint for specific performance and damages against deprived the court and the parties the opportunity to observe his
Miranila Land Development Corporation, Manuel S. Go, Ingrid demeanor and directly propound questions on him.

Sala Santamaria, Astrid Sala Boza, and Kathyrn Go-Perez Go-Perez filed a separate Opposition, arguing that the oral
before the RTC of Cebu.
deposition was not intended for discovery purposes if Cleary

deposed himself as plainti. Since he elected to file suit in the
The Complaint involved shares of stock of Miranila, for which Philippines, he should submit himself to the procedures and
Cleary paid US$191,250.00. Cleary sued in accordance with the testify before the RTC of Cebu. Moreover, Go-Perez argued that
Stock Purchase and Put Agreement he entered into with oral deposition in the United States would prejudice, vex, and
Miranila Land Development Corporation, Manuel S. Go, oppress her and her co-petitioners who would need to incur
Santamaria, Boza, and Go-Perez. Paragraph 9.02 of the costs to attend.

Agreement provides:
The trial court denied Cleary's Motion for Court Authorization to
Any suit, action or proceeding with respect to this Agreement Take Deposition in the Order dated June 5, 2009. It held that
may be brought in (a) the courts of the State of California, (b) the depositions are not meant to be a substitute for actual
United States District Court for the Central District of California, testimony in open court. As a rule, a deponent must be
or (c) the courts of the country of Corporation's incorporation, as presented for oral examination at trial as required under Rule
22
132, Section 1 of the Rules of Court. "As the supposed open-court testimony. Jonathan Landoil International Co., Inc. v.
deponent is the plainti himself who is not suering from any Spouses Mangundadatu is instructive:

impairment, physical or otherwise, it would be best for him to The Rules of Court and jurisprudence, however, do not restrict a
appear in court and testify under oath[.]" The trial court also deposition to the sole function of being a mode of discovery
denied reconsideration.
before trial. Under certain conditions and for certain limited
Cleary elevated the case to the Court of Appeals.
purposes, it may be taken even after trial has commenced and
The Court of Appeals granted Cleary's Petition for Certiorari and may be used without the deponent being actually called to the
reversed the trial court's ruling. It held that Rule 23, Section 1 of witness stand. In Dasmarias Garments v. Reyes, we allowed
the Rules of Court allows the taking of depositions, and that it is the taking of the witnesses' testimonies through deposition, in
immaterial that Cleary is the plainti himself. It likewise denied lieu of their actual presence at the trial.

reconsideration.
Thus, "[d]epositions may be taken at any time after the
Hence, the present Petitions were filed.
institution of any action, whenever necessary or convenient."

There is no rule that limits deposition-taking only to the period of
ISSUE:
pre-trial or before it; no prohibition against the taking of

depositions after pre-trial." There can be no valid objection to
Whether or not the the Court of Appeals erred in granting the allowing them during the process of executing final and
Petition for Certiorari and reversing the trial court's denial of executory judgments, when the material issues of fact have
respondent's Motion for Court Authorization to Take Deposition
become numerous or complicated.


In keeping with the principle of promoting the just, speedy and
HELD:
inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding,
depositions are allowed as a "departure from the accepted and
No. Petitioners argue that the deposition sought by respondent usual judicial proceedings of examining witnesses in open court
is not for discovery purposes as he is the plainti himself. To where their demeanor could be observed by the trial judge."
support their contention, they cite Northwest v. Cruz, where this Depositions are allowed, provided they are taken in accordance
Court held that Rule 132 of the Rules of Court on the with the provisions of the Rules of Court (that is, with leave of
examination of witnesses in open court should be observed court if the summons have been served, without leave of court if
since the deposition was only to accommodate the petitioner's an answer has been submitted); and provided, further, that a
employee who was in the United States, and not for discovery circumstance for their admissibility exists.

purposes.

Jurisprudence has discussed how "[u]nder the concept adopted [FULLANTE] People v. Servano, G.R. Nos. 143002-03, July
by the new Rules, the deposition serves the double function of a 17, 2003

method of discovery with use on trial not necessarily


contemplated and a method of presenting testimony." The VITUG, J.:

taking of depositions has been allowed as a departure from FACTS:

23
The two Informations that spawned the judgment under

review, charging appellant with violation of Article 335 of the The defense presented appellant, its sole witness, who
Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 8353, claimed that he came down from the mountain in time for a
that accused by means of force, threats and intimidation, did dance party in the barangay. He was partaking of some drinks
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal with friends. Upon returning home, he lay down to rest. He felt a
knowledge with his daughter, Ailyn Servano y Clores, a 12-year hand on his forehead and pulled it towards him and, thinking
old girl against her will, to her damage and prejudice.
that it was the hand of his paramour, he held her organ and
The other Information, covers a similar infraction by inserted his finger there. He came to his senses when he heard
appellant committed about two hours later on the same day.
his name called. Stunned, he got up and realized that it was his
At his arraignment, appellant, assisted by counsel, pleaded daughter Ailyn. He asked Ailyns dispensation for what had
not guilty to the charges.
happened and for mistaking her for someone else, but she was
Ailyn is the only daughter of appellant with his common- unforgiving.

law wife Salome Clores. Appellant has an older daughter,


Mylene, by another woman.
The trial court convicted appellant guilty on two counts of rape

and imposed on him the penalty of death for each count. It
Her father, sexually assaulted her. He inserted his penis, found the testimony of Ailyn to be categorical, straight-forward,
into her vagina and pushed it in as she was lying down on her detailed, and consistent. Describing the girl to be guileless, the
back. Appellant had left her alone, Ailyn cooked rice and trial court judge expressed that nothing appeared to him to
washed clothes. Around two hours later, appellant came back indicate that her testimony had been fabricated.

home. Once again, he went on top of Ailyn and inserted his

penis into his daughters vagina. Then, he left for work. Ailyn told ISSUE: W/N the trial court erred in allowing the testimony of
her sister Mylene what happened. The angry half-sisters went in Ailyn to convict the appellant.

a hu to their Aunt Precy to apprise her of the incident. Precy

reported the matter to Barangay Captain Jose Barro of HELD: NO.

Himanag. Barangay captain instructed a tanod to invite Section 1, Rule 132, of the Rules of Court provides that the
appellant for questioning. With a member of the CAFGU, the examination of witnesses presented in a trial or hearing shall be
tanod brought appellant to the police station at Garchitorena; done in open court, and under oath or armation, and that,
appellant was later transferred to the police station. Later, Precy unless the witness is incapacitated to speak, or the question
and the two sisters went to Ailyns grandparents, Jose and calls for a dierent mode of answer, the answers of the witness
Dioleta Servano, to also inform them of what had transpired. shall be given orally. The reason for the requirement obviously is
Ailyn was examined by Dr. Jose Roberto Enriquez explained that to enable the court to judge the credibility of the witness by the
he used the word recent in the report because the lacerations, manner he testifies, by his intelligence, and by his appearance.
which were healing at the time of examination, had likely been It is unquestionably the safest and most satisfactory method of
inflicted only about four to ten days prior to the examination.
investigating facts, and aords the greatest protection to the
24
rights of the individual. Section 1, Rule 133, of the Rules of charge of rape. The fact that Ailyn immediately told her half-
Court requires that in determining the preponderance or sister Mylene about her dreadful experience after which they
superior weight of evidence on the issues involved, the court hurriedly went to their Aunt Precy and angrily reported the
may, among other things, consider the witnesses manner of matter to her, leaves not a whit of doubt that she was indeed a
testifying which can only be done if the witnesses give their victim of rape. In view of the foregoing, I concur with the
testimony orally and in open court.
Majority.

A sworn statement is not a substitute for testimony given at and

during the trial. The demeanor of a witness at the stand and in Rule on Examination of a Child Witness, A.M. No. 004-07-
responding to questions is a matter that can prove to be SC, December 15, 2000

invaluable in determining the credibility of the witness. The trial


court must have the full opportunity to observe the behavior of Sec. 2. Proceedings to be recorded

the witness in all the declarations that can be significant to the


case, its outcome and in decreeing judgment. It is not enough Sec. 3. Rights and obligations of a witness

that the aant broadly confirms the contents of the extrajudicial


statement.
[GO] Lee v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 177861, July 13, 2010

In People v. Estenzo, The main and essential purpose of


requiring a witness to appear and testify orally at a trial is to
Lee vs CA( RULE 132 Sec3 is not mentioned in the case)

secure for the adverse party the opportunity of cross-


Facts: In the 1930s, Lee and Keh entered the Philippines as
examination.

immigrants from China. They had 11 children(Lee-Keh Children).

In People vs. Manambit, the Court ruled that a judges


In 1949, Lee brought in Tiu, a young woman as a
assessment on the credibility of the witnesses should be
housemaid. The respondent Lee-Keh children believe that Tiu
received with caution if he neither personally heard the
left the Lee-Keh household, moved into another property of Lee
testimony of the witnesses nor observed the way in which they
nearby, and had a relation with him.

had testified.

Shortly after Keh died in 1989, the Lee-Keh children


learned that Tius children(8 in total) with Lee claimed that they,
WHEREFORE, I vote to have the judgment of the Regional Trial
too, were children of Lee and Keh. The Lee-Keh children
Court MODIFIED by convicting appellant of the crime of
requested the NBI to investigate this matter who concluded that
QUALIFIED SEDUCTION in both cases and by holding him liable
[I]t is very obvious that the mother of these 8 children is certainly
accordingly.

not KEH SHIOK CHENG, but a much younger woman, most


probably TIU CHUAN.

CONCURRING DECISION

On the basis of this report, the respondent Lee-Keh


BELLOSILLO, J.: It need not be stressed that the conduct of the
children filed two separate petitions, one of them before the
complainant immediately following the alleged assault is of
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan City in Special
utmost importance to establish the truth and falsity of the
25
Proceeding for the deletion from the certificate of live birth of the the lower courts were actually actions to impugn legitimacy,
petitioner Emma Lee, one of Lees other children, the name Keh the prayer therein is not to declare that petitioners are
and replace the same with the name Tiu to indicate her true illegitimate children of Keh Shiok Cheng, but to establish
mothers name.
that the former are not the latter's children. There is nothing
In April 2005 the Lee-Keh children filed with the RTC to impugn as there is no blood relation at all between Keh
an ex parte request for the issuance of a subpoena ad Shiok Cheng and petitioners

testificandum to compel Tiu, Emma Lees presumed mother, to


Taking in mind the ultimate purpose of the Lee-Keh
testify in the case. The RTC granted the motion but Tiu moved
childrens action, obviously, they would want Tiu to testify or
to quash the subpoena, claiming that it was oppressive. On
August 5, 2005 the RTC quashed the subpoena it issued for admit that she is the mother of Lees other children,
being unreasonable and oppressive considering that Tiu was including petitioner Emma Lee. Keh had died and so could
already very old and that the obvious object of the subpoena not give testimony that Lees other children were not hers.
was to badger her into admitting that she was Emma Lees The Lee-Keh children have, therefore, a legitimate reason
mother.
for seeking Tius testimony and, normally, the RTC cannot
Because the RTC denied the Lee-Keh childrens motion for deprive them of their right to compel the attendance of such
reconsideration, they filed a special civil action of certiorari a material witness.

before the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA held that Tius But petitioner Emma Lee raises two other objections to requiring
advanced age alone does not render her incapable of testifying. Tiu to come to court and testify: a) considering her advance age,
The party seeking to quash the subpoena for that reason must testifying in court would subject her to harsh physical and
prove that she would be unable to withstand the rigors of trial, emotional stresses; and b) it would violate her parental right not
something that petitioner Emma Lee failed to do.
to be compelled to testify against her stepdaughter.

Issue: whether or not the CA erred in ruling that the trial court A) Tiu has no need to worry that the oral examination might
may compel Tiu to testify in the correction of entry case that subject her to badgering by adverse counsel. The trial courts
respondent Lee-Keh children filed for the correction of the duty is to protect every witness against oppressive behavior of
certificate of birth of petitioner Emma Lee to show that she is an examiner and this is especially true where the witness is of
not Kehs daughter.
advanced age

Ruling: NO!
B) Tiu, who invokes the filial privilege, claims that she is the
The petitions filed by private respondents for the correction stepmother of petitioner Emma Lee. The privilege cannot apply
of entries in the petitioners' records of birth were intended to them because the rule applies only to direct ascendants and
to establish that for physical and/or biological reasons it descendants, a family tie connected by a common ancestry. A
was impossible for Keh Shiok Cheng to have conceived and stepdaughter has no common ancestry by her stepmother.

given birth to the petitioners as shown in their birth records.


Contrary to petitioners' contention that the petitions before
Sec. 4. Order in the examination of an individual witness

26
several hearings were scheduled thereafter, Russel was not
Sec. 5. Direct examination
subpoenaed anymore.

On the basis of the testimonies of Russel and Dr. Garcia, Judge


Judicial Adavit Rule
Alumbres rendered a decision finding accused guilty

Issue: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE REQUEST


Sec. 6. Cross-examination; its purpose and extent
OF ATTY. TERESITA CARANDANG-PANTUA OF THE PUBLIC
ATTORNEYS OFFICE TO CROSS-EXAMINE THE WITNESS
[GO] People v. Ortillas y Gamlanga, G.R. No. 137666, May 20, PRESENTED BY THE PROSECUTION DURING THE HEARING
2004
ON JUNE 8, 1995.

Ruling: YES,

Facts: Accused Marlon was charged with murder of Jose Section 6, Rule 132 of the then prevailing Rules on Evidence
Labarosa using an explosive pillbox.
provides:

Despite being stated in the information that appellant was a SEC. 6. Cross-examination; its purpose and extent. Upon the
minor, presiding judge Alumbres failed to ascertain and verify termination of the direct examination, the witness may be cross-
the alleged minority of appellant and determine if the provisions examined by the adverse party as to any matters stated in the
the Child and Youth Welfare code should be applied.
direct examination, or connected therewith, with sucient
After arraignment of appellant who pleaded not guilty to the fullness and freedom from interest or bias, or the reverse, and to
oense with which he is charged, the trial court dispensed with elicit all important facts bearing upon the issue.

the pre-trial and proceeded to trial on the merits.


As the Court held in People vs. Rivera, to wit:

On June 8, 1995, the prosecution presented Russel Guiraldo, an The right of a party to cross-examine a witness is embodied in
alleged eyewitness. After Russels direct examination, Atty. Jose Art. III, 14(2) of the Constitution which provides that the accused
G. de Leon, the then counsel for Ortillas moved for shall have the right to meet the witnesses face to face and in
postponement as he had a very important appointment to keep Rule 115, 1(f) of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which
which Judge Alumbres granted. Eventually, Atty. De Leon states that, in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have
withdrew as counsel due to eye ailment. The only other hearing the right to confront and cross-examine the witness against him.
that took place after the testimony of Russel was on September The cross-examination of a witness is essential to test his or her
5, 1995 when NBI Medico-Legal Ocer Roberto Garcia testified credibility, expose falsehoods or half-truths, uncover the truth
for the prosecution. All in all, the continuation of the hearing was which rehearsed direct examination testimonies may
postponed thirteen times from June 8, 1995 until May 8, 1996 successfully suppress, and demonstrate inconsistencies in
when the prosecution finally rested its case with the submission substantial matters which create reasonable doubt as to the
of its documentary evidence. Witness Russel was never guilt of the accused and thus give substance to the
presented for cross-examination. The last time he was constitutional right of the accused to confront the witnesses
subpoenaed was for the hearing set on November 6, 1995, but against him.[15]

records do not show that he appeared on said date. Although

27
Records disclose that there was never a valid waiver on the part perfunctory objection of the prosecution, unreasonably refused
of appellant or his counsel to cross-examine the prosecution to heed Atty. Pantuas request.

witness Russel. The first counsel, Atty. de Leon, in the hearing of It was well within the trial courts discretion to allow the recall of
June 8, 1995 requested for postponement of the cross- witness Russel under the then prevailing Section 9, Rule 132 of
examination of Russel in view of his professional engagement, the Rules on Evidence, to wit:

without objection on the part of the prosecution.[16] The next SEC. 9. Recalling witness. After the examination of a witness by
hearing was also postponed in view of the eye problem of Atty. both sides has been concluded, the witness cannot be recalled
de Leon.[17] And on August 3, 1995, the hearing was again without leave of the court. The Court will grant or withhold leave
postponed due to the withdrawal of appearance of Atty. de Leon in its discretion, as the interests of justice may require.

on ground of eye-ailment.[18] Subsequent dates of hearing were Certainly, under the foregoing circumstances, Judge Alumbres
postponed because the Presiding Judge went on leave.[19] It is should have known that the interest of justice required that
only on September 25, 1995 that Atty. Leopoldo Macinas appellant should have been given the opportunity to cross-
appeared as new counsel for appellant.[20] However, although it examine Russel, as it was not his fault that Russel had not been
appears in the Minutes of the hearing scheduled on said date cross-examined. While a petition for certiorari could have been
that the same is for cross-examination of Russel,[21] there is no duly availed of by counsel for appellant to rectify the judges
showing that Russel was present during that day. In fact, the grave abuse of discretion, appellant should not be made to
Minutes show that Russel had to be notified for the next hearing suer for the failure of his counsel to do so; as a layman, he
set on November 6, 1995.[22] But on November 6, the hearing could not have known better as to what must be done under the
was again postponed to November 11, 1995 due to typhoon circumstances. On this matter, the PAO, as de oficio counsel for
Rosing. The Minutes again does not show that on November 6, appellant was remiss of its duty to protect the interest of its
Russel appeared in court as only complaining witness Grace client.

Mesqueriola signed thereon.[23] Thereafter, Russel was never Under the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, it is
notified of the hearings set on December 11, 1995, January 17, evident that appellant had not been given the opportunity to
1996, January 22, 1996, January 31, 1996, February 26, 1996, cross-examine the lone prosecution witness. In the absence
March 25, 1996 and May 8, 1996.
of cross-examination, which is prescribed by statutory norm

and jurisprudential precept,[24] the direct examination of
Judge Alumbres refusal to give opportunity for Atty. Teresita the witness should have been expunged from the records, in
Carandang-Pantua of the Public Attorneys Oce (PAO), the new
which case, the trial court would have had no valid basis to
counsel for appellant, to cross-examine prosecution witness
deny the demurrer to evidence.

Russel on the ground that prosecution had already rested its


case, is patently a grave abuse of discretion on his part. Accused was acquitted.

Although Atty. Pantua had adequately explained appellants


predicament, on the first scheduled date of hearing for the [JULARBAL] People v. Rivera, G.R. No. 139180, July 31, 2001

presentation of defense evidence, Judge Alumbres, upon the


28
Facts:
other and that she knew that her father had a mistress. Atty.
Rolando Rivera was accused of raping his 13 year old daughter, Mangalindan, then defense counsel, questioned Erlanie
Erlanie D. Rivera. The prosecution presented as witness, the about other supposed acts of molestation committed by
complainant Erlanie Rivera, her aunt, Marietta Pagtalunan, and accused-appellant against her previous to the rape subject
Dr. Demetria Barin, who conducted the physical examination of of the present case, but, upon objection of the prosecution,
complainant.
the trial court disallowed the question on the ground that it
Complainant Erlanie Rivera testified that sometime in March concerned matters not covered by her direct examination.

1997, her younger sister, Zaira, was taken by their parents to the The trial court found accused Guilty.

Escolastica Romero Memorial Hospital in Lubao, Pampanga.


Complainants mother stayed with her sister in the hospital, but
Issue: Whether or not the accused was denied due process
her father, herein accused-appellant, went back home to
when the trial judge refused to allow Atty. Mangalindans
Santiago, Lubao, Pampanga. At around 11 oclock in the evening
questions concerning the other alleged acts of molestation
of the same day, complainant was awakened as accused-
committed by accused-appellant against complainant.

appellant started kissing her and fondling her breasts.


Ruling: NO

Complainant tried to resist by kicking and pushing accused-


The witness testified only on the rape case. She did not testify
appellant, but her eorts were to no avail. Accused-appellant
anything about acts of lasciviousness committed upon her
removed her shorts and panty, touched her private parts, and
person. She may not therefore be questioned on this matter
then had sexual intercourse with her. After he was through with
because it is not connected with her direct testimony or has any
her, accused-appellant told complainant not to tell anyone what
bearing upon the issue. To allow adverse party to cross-examine
had happened or he would kill complainants mother and sister.
the witness on the acts of lasciviousness which is pending trial
Hence, when her mother came home the following day, Erlanie
in another court and which the witness did not testify is
did not tell her what had happened because she was afraid of
improper.

accused-appellant.

Questions concerning acts of lasciviousness will not in any way


On April 9, 1997, however, Erlanie, in the presence of her
test the accuracy and truthfulness and freedom from interest or
mother, told her aunt, Marietta Pagtalunan, and her
bias or the reverse. On the contrary such questions, if allowed,
grandmother, Maxima Payumo, that she had been raped by
will unduly burden the court with immaterial testimonies.

accused-appellant. For this reason, she was referred to Dr. Barin


for physical examination. She also executed a sworn statement


Upon the termination of the direct examination, the witness may
before the police of Lubao, Pampanga.

be cross-examined by the adverse party as to any matters


Erlanie testified that she became pregnant as a result of the rape
stated in the direct examination, or connected therewith, with
committed against her by accused-appellant, but the pregnancy
sucient fullness and freedom to test his accuracy and
was aborted. On cross-examination, she said she was 13 years
truthfulness and freedom from interest, bias or the reverse and
old at the time of her testimony, the second child in the family.
to elicit all important facts bearing upon the issue.

She said that her parents were not on good terms with each
29
The right of a party to cross-examine a witness is embodied in When part of an act, declaration, conversation, writing or record
Art. III, 14(2) of the Constitution which provides that the accused is given in evidence by one party, the whole of the same subject
shall have the right to meet the witnesses face to face and in matter may be inquired into by the other.

Rule 115, 1(f) of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which Neither can this rule be invoked to justify the questioning of
states that, in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have complainant which the trial court did not allow. As the above
the right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against provision states, this rule applies to parts of an act, declaration,
him.[27] The cross-examination of a witness is essential to test conversation, writing or record which is given in evidence.

his or her credibility, expose falsehoods or half-truths, uncover


the truth which rehearsed direct examination testimonies may
successfully suppress, and demonstrate inconsistencies in [LINGAHAN] People v. Estibal y Calungsag, G.R. No. 208749,
substantial matters which create reasonable doubt as to the November 26, 2014
guilt of the accused and thus give substance to the
constitutional right of the accused to confront the witnesses Facts:
against him.

The right of the accused to cross-examine a witness is, This is a rape case on automatic review to the Supreme Court
however, not without limits but is subject to the rules on the committed by the accused against her 13 year old
admissibility and relevance of evidence.
daughter,AAA. According to the information, the accused raped
In this case, accused-appellants counsel argued that his his daughter on February 5, 2009. Apparently, BBB, the wife of
questions to Erlanie on the other acts of lasciviousness the accused and mother of AAA, together with the latter,
supposedly committed by accused-appellant against her were complained to Police Ocer 3 Fretzie Cobardo, the ocer
for the purpose of testing her credibility. There was, however, no assigned at the Philippine National Police Women and Children
showing on his part how these questions had any bearing on Protection Center of Taguig City. It was she who investigated the
complainants credibility or on the truth of her claims. One is led whole incident and took the sworn statement of AAA late in the
to suspect that the purpose of these questions was to confuse evening of February 5, 2009. Members of the Barangay Security
complainant into committing mistakes in her answers during Force Michael Estudillo and Ronilla Perlas arrested the accused.
cross-examination that accused-appellants counsel could later She testified in court. However, AAA, did not appear in court
use to possibly put complainants credibility, not to mention her despite several subpoenas. Later on, BBB and AAA, manifested
character, in question.
their desistance stating that AAA has already forgiven her father.
Accused-appellant insists that his counsel should have been
allowed to ask questions in relation to the sworn statement As a result, the incriminatory statements, which were allegedly
executed by complainant. He cites Rule 132, 17 of the Revised made by AAA, were conveyed to the court by PO3 Cobardo,
Rules of Evidence which provides that:
BSF Estudillo and BSF Perlas. In particular, PO Cobardo made a
summation of what she claims was AAA's narration of her
ordeal, along with her observations of her demeanor during the
30
investigation. the reverse and to elicit all important facts bearing upon the
issue." This equally applies to non-criminal proceedings.
The trial court convicted the accused, ruling that the testimony
of PO3 Cobardo was part of the res gestae. The rule excluding hearsay as evidence is based upon serious
concerns about the trustworthiness and reliability of the hearsay
On appeal to the CA, the accused-appellant maintained that due evidence due to its not being given under oath or solemn
to the absence of AAA's testimony, the prosecution failed to armation and due to its not being subjected to cross-
establish the circumstances proving beyond reasonable doubt examination by the opposing counsel to test the perception,
that he raped his daughter; that the testimonies of the memory, veracity and articulateness of the out-of-court
prosecuting witness PO3 Cobardo and other, not being declarant or actor upon whose reliability the worth of the out-of-
themselves victims or witnesses to the "startling occurrence" of court statement depends.
rape cannot create the hearsay exception of res gestae.
Also, excluding hearsay aims to preserve the right of the
The CA convicted the accused. opposing party to cross-examine the original declarant claiming
to have direct knowledge of the transaction or occurrence. If
Issue: Whether or not the testimonies presented be considered hearsay is allowed, the right stands to be denied because the
as hearsay evidence due to the fact that there was no cross- declarant is not in court. It is then to be stressed that the right to
examination made by the adverse party, against the original cross-examine the adverse party's witness, being the only
declarant (AAA). means of testing the credibility of witnesses and their
testimonies, is essential to the administration of justice.
Ruling:
Therefore, the accused is acquitted.

The testimonies must be dismissed as hearsay, since AAA's


statements were not subjected to cross-examination consistent Sec. 7. Re-direct examination; its purpose and extent

with the constitutional right of the accused-appellant to confront Sec. 8. Re-cross-examination

evidence against him. Sec. 9. Recalling witness

All witnesses must be subjected to the cross-examination by the [MACAVINTA] People v. Ortillas y Gamlanga, G.R. No.
adverse party as further elaborated in Section 6, Rule 142 of the 137666, May 20, 2004

rules of Court, "Upon the termination of the direct examination,


the witnesses may be cross-examined by the adverse party as FACTS:

to any matters stated in the direct examination, or connected On january 6, 1995 an information was filed against Marlon
therewith, with sucient fullness and freedom to test his Ortillas with the Makati RTC, and assigned by rae to branch
accuracy and truthfulness and freedom from interest or bias, or 255 (Las Pias), presided by judge Alumbres.

31
Hence a petition for review on certiorari was filed.

The assistant prosecutor accuses MARLON ORTILLAS Y


GAMLANGA of crime of MURDER
ISSUE:

WON the trial court erred in denying the request of atty


The on or about december 21, 1994 within the jurisdiction of this Carandang-pantua (NEW COUNSEL) to CROSS-EXAMINE the
honorable court, the accused conspiring with Jacob Relox witness presented by the prosecution during the hearing on june
whose true identity and present whereabout is unknown, 8, 1995 (Russel)

mutually aided one another, with intent to kill by means of


treachery and use of explosive attacked Jose Mesqueriola y HELD:

Laborasa, thereby inflicting serious mortal wounds which Judge Alumbres refusal to give opportunity for Atty. Teresita
caused his death.
Carandang-Pantua of the Public Attorneys Oce (PAO), the new
counsel for appellant, to cross-examine prosecution witness
Upon arraignment of appellant who pleaded not guilty to the Russel on the ground that prosecution had already rested its
oense with which he is charged, the trial court dispensed with case, is patently a grave abuse of discretion on his part.
the pre-trial and proceeded to trial on the merits.
Although Atty. Pantua had adequately explained appellants
predicament, on the first scheduled date of hearing for the
On june 8, 1995 the prosecution presented Russel Guiaraldo, an presentation of defense evidence, Judge Alumbres, upon the
alleged eyewitness. After direct examination, Atty De Leon, then perfunctory objection of the prosecution, unreasonably refused
counsel for ortillas moved for postponement which was granted. to heed Atty. Pantuas request.

Subsequently he had to withdraw as counsel because of an eye It was well within the trial courts discretion to allow the recall of
ailment which was approved by the trial court.
witness Russel under the then prevailing Section 9, Rule 132 of
the Rules on Evidence, to wit:

The only hearing that took place after the testimony of Russel SEC. 9. Recalling witness. After the examination of a witness by
was with the NBI medico-legal ocer that testified for the both sides has been concluded, the witness cannot be recalled
prosecution. All in all, the hearing was postponed 13 times until without leave of the court. The Court will grant or withhold leave
the prosecution finally rested its case.
in its discretion, as the interests of justice may require.

Russel was NEVER presented for cross-examination.


Certainly, under the foregoing circumstances, Judge Alumbres
should have known that the interest of justice required that
On the basis of the testimonies of russel and Dr. Garcia (the nbi appellant should have been given the opportunity to cross-
medico-legal) judge alumbres rendered a decision rendering examine Russel, as it was not his fault that Russel had not been
Ortillas y Gamlanga GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT of cross-examined. While a petition for certiorari could have been
the charge against him .
duly availed of by counsel for appellant to rectify the judges
grave abuse of discretion, appellant should not be made to
32
suer for the failure of his counsel to do so; as a layman, he During the trial of the case, the prosecution presented Dumasis
could not have known better as to what must be done under the and Surmieda as witnesses and both identified their respective
circumstances. On this matter, the PAO, as de oficio counsel for adavits as their direct testimonies.

appellant was remiss of its duty to protect the interest of its Zaldivars counsel atty Cabaluna, opted not to cross-examine
client.
the witnesses, while Artajos counsel was deemed to have
Under the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, it is waived his right to cross in view of his absence despite notice.

evident that appellant had not been given the opportunity to The case was then re-raed to a new judge (JUDGE CATILO)
cross-examine the lone prosecution witness. In the absence of upon a inhibition filed by Dumasis which was granted.

cross-examination, which is prescribed by statutory norm and


jurisprudential precept, the direct examination of the witness Wherefore the RTC issued an order, DENying the admission of
should have been expunged from the records, in which case, the prosecutions exhibits.

the trial court would have had no valid basis to deny the The court also NULLIFIED and set aside the previous
demurrer to evidence.
proceedings conducted and set the case anew for pre-trial
Nevertheless, the Court will resolve the third issue so as to put conference.

an end to the question whether or not the trial court erred in


giving weight and credence to the testimony of prosecution Zaldivar then filed a motion to declare prosecutions case
witness Russel and in disregarding the testimony of appellant.
terminated, which was DENIED

Subsequent MR was also denied.

Aggrieved, a petition for certiorari was filed with the CA.

The CA ruled that judge Catilo grossly abused the exercise of


[MACAVINTA] Zaldivar v. People, G.R. No. 197056 his discretion and judgement when he nullified the pre-trial
(Resolution), March 2, 2016
proceeding taken before branch 33 and ordered a conduct of a
new pre-trial.

FACTS:

Zaldivar and Artajo were charged with Estafa pursuant to a The CA stated that instead of calling for a new pre-trial, judge
complaint filed by respondent Dumasis before the RTC. The pre Catilo could recall witnesses as provided in section 9 of rule 132
trial conference was held by the trial court and a pre-trial order of the ROC.

was issued on the same date february 15,2005.

ISSUE:

Upon arraignment both zaldivar and artajo both pleaded NOT WON there was grave abuse of discretion committed by judge
GUILTY for the crime charged
Catilo (new judge) in nullifying the proceeding and setting the
case anew for pre-trial

33
HELD:
[PATAWARAN] Dulla v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 123164,
The CA, likewise, correctly found grave abuse of discretion on February 18, 2000

the part of the trial court when it nullified the proceedings FACTS: Andrea, came home crying and told her guardian,
previously conducted and ordered anew a pre-trial of the case. Illuminada Beltran that her uncle, Dulla, touched her vagina and
Note that one of the main reasons presented by Judge Catilo in said inaano ako ng uncle ko while doing a pumping motion
nullifying the pre-trial proceedings was that the proceedings with his penis exposed to her.
conducted after the pre-trial conference did not comply with the
prescribed procedure in the presentation of witnesses. But as
propounded by the CA, and even the OSG who appeared for With the participation of Barangay Councilor Lumaban, they
Judge Catilo, what the trial court should have done to correct sought to apprehend Dulla but petitioners father refused to
any "perceived" procedural lapses committed during the surrender him and escaped. Dulla was subsequently captured in
presentation of the prosecution's evidence was to recall the a nearby barangay and was finally charged with RAPE.
prosecution's witnesses and have them identify the exhibits
mentioned in their respective adavits. This is explicitly allowed
by the rules, specifically Section 9, Rule 132 of the Rules of In her testimony in court, Andrea said that petitioner fondled her
Court, which provides:
organ and showed her his penis. She said that when petitioner
chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
did a pumping motion, she had no panties on and that she was
Sec. 9. Recalling witnesses - After the examination of a witness lying down. Petitioner was also lying down, according to her.
by both sides has been concluded, the witness cannot be Dulla DENIED the accusation and alleged that Andrea was
recalled without leave of court. The court will grant or withhold coached by her guardian.
leave in its discretion as the interest of justice may require.

The trial court may even grant the parties the opportunity to The RTC found the petitioner guilty of ACTS OF
adduce additional evidence bearing upon the main issue in LASCIVIOUSNESS ruling that although the accused had a lewd
question, for strict observance of the order of trial or trial design on the child, and that he had removed his pants, and
procedure under the rules depends upon the circumstance apparently lain on top of her swaying his hips to and from, he
obtaining in each case at the discretion of the trial judge
never intended to enter her, as clearly shown by the fact that he
DID NOT REMOVE THE PANTY protectively shielding her from
the illegal entry. As such, no crime of rape took place. The CA
[OFALSA] People v. Leodones, G.R. No. 138735, November AFFIRMED the RTC. On appeal with the SC, petitioner
22, 2000
questions the competence of Andreas testimony arguing that
she was not capable of understanding the questions
Sec. 10. Leading and misleading questions
propounded to her, she did not take an oath and the fact that
34
she was asked purely leading questions. showed that she was intelligent and could make her answers
known to others.

ISSUE: Whether or the 3 year old victim may be asked leading
questions.
Rule on Examination of a Child Witness, A.M. No. 004-07-
SC, December 15, 2000

HELD: YES. CA is AFFIRMED. With respect to the fact that


leading questions were propounded to Andrea during her direct Sec. 11. Impeachment of adverse partys witness

examination, suce it to say that under the Rules of Court, such


questions are allowed considering the age (three years and 10 [PATAWARAN] Civil Service Commission v. Belagan, G.R. No.
months) of the witness at the time she testified in court. 132164, October 19, 2004

FACTS: Magdalena Gapuz, founder of Mother and Child


Learning Center and Ligaya Annawi, a public school teacher
Rule 132, 10 provides: filed separate complaints against Dr. Allyson Belagan,
Leading and misleading questions. A question which Superintendent of DECS of Baguio City. Both complainants
suggests to the witness the answer which the examining party charged Belagan with sexual harassment and various
desires is a leading question. It is not allowed, except: malfeasances.

xxx xxx xxx Magdalena alleged that when she filed an application with DECS
(c) When there is diculty in getting direct and intelligible for a PERMIT TO OPERATE a pre-school, one of the requisites
answers from a witness who is ignorant, or a child of tender for its issuance was an inspection of the school premises. Since
years, or is of feeble mind, or deaf-mute; the ocer assigned to conduct the inspection was absent,
respondent Belagan volunteered his services. Magdalena and
Belagan visited the school and during the course of the
As to competency, Andrea was three years and 10 months old inspection, the respondent suddenly placed his arms around
at the time she testified. Despite her young age, however, she Magdalenas shoulders and kissed her cheek. Shocked,
was able to respond to the questions put to her. She answered Magdalena muttered Sir, is this part of the inspection? Pati ba
"yes" and "no" to questions and, when unable to articulate what naman kayo sa DECS walang values?. Fearful that her
was done to her by petitioner, Andrea demonstrated what she application will be jeopardized and that her husband might harm
meant. During her interrogation, she showed an understanding the respondent, she kept the incident to herself.

of what was being asked. In this case, the defense did not even Several days later, Magdalena went to the DECS oce and
object to the presentation of Andrea as a witness, nor asked the respondent the status of her application and the latter
questioned her competence to testify. On the contrary, the replied mag date muna tayo. Magdalena denied explaining
defense cross examined her, and the result of her examination
35
that she is married. Magdalena the n reported the incident to a time in question. In other words, what is to be determined is the
DECS Assistant Superintendent. Subsequently, her permit was character or reputation of the person at the time of the trial and
issued.
prior thereto, but not at a period remote from the
Magdalena then read in a newspaper that Belagan was being commencement of the suit. Hence, to say that Magdalena's
charged by another DECS employee (Ligaya) of sexual credibility is diminished by proofs of tarnished reputation
indignities. Magdalena wrote a letter to the former DECS existing almost a decade ago is unreasonable. It is unfair to
Secretary which resulted to the respondent being placed under presume that a person who has wandered from the path of
suspension.
moral righteousness can never retrace his steps again. Certainly,
DECS Secretary rendered a JOINT DECISION finding Belaga every person is capable to change or reform.

GUILTY of sexual indignities or harassments.

On appeal, the CSC AFFIRMED the DECS Secretary.


Sec. 12. Party may not impeach his own witness

On Belagas motion for reconsideration, he argued that he has


never been charged of any oense in his 37 years or service as [PERENA] Gomez v. Gomez-Samson, G.R. No. 156284,
opposed to Magdalena being charged with 22 complaints with February 6, 2007

the MTC and 23 cases with the Barangay Chairman.


Respondent claims that the numerous cases filed against FACTS:

Magdalena casts doubt upon her character, integrity and


credibility.
On February 15, 1980, [petitioner] instituted these cases, to wit:
CSC DENIED the motion for reconsideration but was (1) Civil Case No. 36089, entitled: Augusto Gomez, as Special
REVERSED by the CA, ruling that Magdalena was an unreliable Administrator of the Intestate Estate of Consuelo Gomez,
witness, her character being questionable.
Plainti, versus Maria Rita Gomez-Samson, Marcial Samson,
ISSUE: Whether or not Magdalenas derogatory record is Jesus B. Gomez, and the Registers of Deeds of Pasig and
sucient to discredit her credibility.
Marikina, Rizal, Defendants; and (2) Civil Case No. 36090,
HELD: NO. The CA is REVERSED. Most of the twenty-two (22) entitled: Augusto Gomez, as Special Administrator of the
cases filed with the MTC of Baguio City relate to acts committed Intestate Estate of Consuelo Gomez, Plainti, versus Ariston
in the 80's, particularly, 1985 and 1986. With respect to the Gomez, Sr., and Ariston B. Gomez, Jr., Defendants, both in the
complaints filed with the Chairmen of Barangay, the acts Regional Trial Court, Pasig City.

complained of took place in 1978 to 1979. In the instant


administrative case, the oense was committed in 1994. Surely, CONSUELO, ARISTON, SR. and Angel, all surnamed Gomez,
those cases and complaints are no longer reliable proofs of were sister and brothers, respectively. MARIA-RITA Gomez-
Magdalena's character or reputation. The Court of Appeals, Samson, JESUS Gomez and ARISTON Gomez, JR. are the
therefore, erred in according much weight to such evidence. children of ARISTON, SR. while AUGUSTO Gomez is the child of
Settled is the principle that evidence of one's character or Angel.

reputation must be confined to a time not too remote from the

36
In Civil Case No. 36089, plainti AUGUSTO alleged in his stock of V-Tri Realty, Inc., eleven thousand eight hundred fifty
complaint that CONSUELO, who died on November 6, 1979, three (11,853) common shares of stock of First Philippine
was the owner of three real properties with TCT NO.s 340233, Holdings Corporation, Jewelries and collectors items, a four-
353818, 268396; that after the death of Consuelo, defendants door sedan 1978 Mercedes Benz, a four-door sedan 1979
Rita and Jesus fraudulently prepared and/or caused to be Toyota Corona, and wo hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00)
prepared a Deed of Donation Intervivos; that in the said including accrued interests on money market placement with
document, Consuelo donated the above described properties to the BA Finance Corporation; that after the death of Consuelo,
defendants Rita and Jesus; that the said defendants forged or defendants fraudulently prepared and/or caused to be prepared
caused to be forged the signature of the donor, Consuelo; that a Deed of Donation Intervivos; that in the said document
the notarial acknowledgement on the said document was Consuelo donated the above described properties to
antedated to April 21, 1979; that on the basis of the said defendants Ariston, Sr. and Ariston, Jr.; and that the said
document defendants sought the cancellation of the certificates defendants forged or caused to be forged the signature of the
of title in the name of Consuelo and the issuance of new ones in donor, Consuelo.

the names of defendants Rita and Jesus.

On the basis of the foregoing, the plainti prayed that the Deed
On the basis of the foregoing, plainti prayed that the Deed of of Donation Intervivos be declared false, null and void ab initio,
Donation Intervivos be declared false, null and void ab initio, and/or be nullified; that defendant Ariston, Sr., be ordered to
and/or be nullified; that TCT Nos. 340233, 353818, and 268396 deliver the stock certificates, jewelries, collectors items, and
be reinstated or be replaced by titles in the name of the Intestate vehicles in his possession plus all the cash dividends earned by
Estate of Consuelo Gomez; and, that defendants be ordered to the shares of stock and reasonable compensation for the use of
pay damages, by way of attorneys fees and expenses of the two (2) motor vehicles; that defendant Ariston, Jr. be ordered
litigation plus costs.
to pay the amount of P191,533.00 received by him from BA
Finance, with interest from the time he received the amount until
On April 24, 1980, private defendants, and nominal defendants he fully pays the plainti; and, damages, by way of attorneys
Registers of Deeds of Pasig and Marikina, Rizal, filed their fees and expenses of litigation, plus costs.

common answer, denying the material allegations in the


complaint and asserting that a copy of the deed of donation was On March 19, 1980, defendants Ariston, Sr. and Ariston Jr., filed
submitted to the Notarial Section of the CFI of Quezon City as their answer, denying the material allegations in the complaint
early as July 2, 1979; and that the said document is valid and and asserting that a copy of the Deed of Donation was
not a forgery or otherwise subject to similar infirmity.
submitted to the Notarial Section of the CFI of Quezon City as
early as July 2, 1979; that the said document is valid and not a
In Civil Case No. 36090, the same plainti alleged in his forgery or otherwise subject to similar infirmity; that the said
complaint that Consuelo was also the sole and absolute owner document being valid, the properties covered therein passed in
of the following properties: seventy-five (75) common shares of ownership to defendants, as early as April 20, 1979; and that
37
defendants have the perfect and absolute right to use, enjoy, Petitioner further claims that the reliance by the Court of
possess and own these properties.
Appeals on the 22 November 1979Certification by Jose
Sebastian is misplaced, considering the questionable
The only direct evidence presented by petitioner on this matter circumstances surrounding such certification. Petitioner points
is the testimony of Zenaida Torres, Document Examinerof the out that the Certification was made after the death of Consuelo,
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Respondents, on the and claims that the same appears to be a scheme by Jose
other hand, presented their own expert witness, Francisco Cruz, Sebastian to concoct an opportunity for him to make mention of
Chief of Document Examinationof the PC-INP Crime Laboratory. the subject Deeds of Donation intervivos, despite the plain fact
Other direct evidence presented by respondents includes that the latter had utterly no relation to the matter referred to by
testimonies positively stating that the Deeds of Donation were Jose Sebastian in the opening phrase of the letter.

signed by Consuelo in their completed form in the presence of


Notary Public Jose Sebastian. These testimonies are that of It is well to note that, as stated by the Court of Appeals, Jose
Jose Sebastian himself, and that of several of the respondents Sebastian was originally a witness for petitioner Augusto. As
including Ariston Gomez, Jr. (Ariston, Jr.), who allegedly drafted such, Rule 132, Section 12, of the Rules of Court prohibits
said Deeds of Donation.
petitioner from impeaching him:

Issue: Whether or not petitioner may disqualify Jose SEC. 12. Party may not impeach his own witness. Except with
Sebastian, the notary public who notarized the documents.
respect to witnesses referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) of
section 10, the party producing a witness is not allowed to
HELD:
impeach his credibility.

The Court ruled that petitioner cannot disqualify Jose Sebastian.


A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile only if so
declared by the court upon adequate showing of his adverse
Petitioner claims that no credence should have been given to interest, unjustified reluctance to testify, or his having misled the
the testimony of the notary public, Jose Sebastian, as said Jose party into calling him to the witness stand.

Sebastian is the same judge whom this Court had dismissed

from the service in Garciano v. Sebastian.Petitioner posits that The unwilling or hostile witness so declared, or the witness who
the dismissal of Judge Jose Sebastian from the service casts a is an adverse party, may be impeached by the party presenting
grave pall on his credibility as a witness, especially given how, in him in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party,
the course of the administrative proceedings against him, he except by evidence of his bad character. He may also be
had lied to mislead the investigator, as well as employed others impeached and cross-examined by the adverse party, but such
to distort the truth.
cross-examination must only be on the subject matter of his
examination-in-chief.

38

testimony of other witnesses must be examined for its
This rule is based on the theory that a person who produces a relevance and credibility. x x x. (Emphasis supplied.)

witness vouches for him as being worthy of credit, and that a

direct attack upon the veracity of the witness would enable the

party to destroy the witness, if he spoke against him, and to The eect of this pronouncement is even more significant in this
make him a good witness, if he spoke for him, with the means in case, as Jose Sebastian has never been convicted of a crime
his hands of destroying his credit, if he spoke against him.
before his testimony, but was instead administratively
sanctioned eleven years after such testimony. Scrutinizing the
Neither had there been declaration by the court that Jose testimony of Jose Sebastian, we find, as the trial court and the
Sebastian was an unwilling or hostile witness.Jose Sebastian is Court of Appeals did, no evidence of bias on the part of Jose
also neither an adverse party, nor an ocer, director nor a Sebastian. On top of this, Jose Sebastians testimony is
managing agent of a public or private corporation or of a supported by the records of the notarial registry, which shows
partnership or association which is an adverse party.
that the documents in question were received by the Notarial
Registrar on 2 July 1979, which was four months before the
Be that as it may, even if Jose Sebastian had been declared by death of Consuelo on 6 November 1979.

the court as an unwilling or hostile witness, the third paragraph


of Section 12 as quoted above, in relation to Section 11 of the [PERENA] Ng Meng Tam v. China Banking Corp., G.R. No.
same Rule, only allows the party calling the witness to impeach 214054, August 5, 2015

such witness by contradictory evidence or by prior inconsistent


statements, and never by evidence of his bad character. Thus,
FACTS:

Jose Sebastians subsequent dismissal as a judge would not


suce to discredit him as a witness in this case.

This case stemmed from a collection suit filed by China Banking


Corporation (China Bank) against Ever Electrical Manufacturing
We have also ruled in People v. Dominguez,which, in turn cited
Company Inc. (Ever), the heirs of Go Tong, Vicente Go, George
Cordial v. People, that:

Go and petitioner Ng Meng Tam sometime in December 2008.


China Bank alleged that it granted Ever a loan amounting to


(E)ven convicted criminals are not excluded from testifying in
P5,532,331.63. The loan was allegedly backed by two surety
court so long as, having organs of sense, they can perceive and
agreements executed by Vicente, George and petitioner in its
perceiving can make known their perceptions to others.

favor, each for P5,000,000.00, and dated December 9, 1993 and


May 3, 1995, respectively. When Ever defaulted in its payment,


The fact of prior criminal conviction alone does not suce China Bank sent demand letters collectively addressed to
to discredit a witness; the testimony of such a witness must George, Vicente and petitioner. The demands were
be assayed and scrutinized in exactly the same way the unanswered. China Bank filed the complaint for collection

39
docketed as Civil Case No. 08-1028, which was raed o to answered by Yap serve as the judicial adavit and there is no
RTC Branch 62, Makati City.
need for Yap to be qualified as a hostile witness.

On March 15, 2011, petitioner served interrogatories to parties The RTC ruled that Section 5 did not apply to Yap since he was
pursuant to Sections 1 and 6, Rule 25 of the Rules of Court to an adverse witness and he did not unjustifiably decline to
China Bank and required Mr. George C. Yap, Account Ocer of execute a judicial adavit.

the Account Management Group, to answer.

Issue: Whether or not Judicial Adavit Rule will apply on


On June 22, 2011, George Yap executed his answers to George Yap.

interrogatories to parties.

HELD:

Petitioner again moved for the hearing of his armative


defenses. Because he found Yaps answers to the The JAR primarily aects the manner by which evidence is
interrogatories to parties evasive and not responsive, petitioner presented in court. Section 2(a) of the JAR provides that judicial
applied for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum and ad adavits are mandatorily filed by parties to a case except in
testificandum against George Yap pursuant to Section 6, Rule small claims cases. These judicial adavits take the place of
25 of the Revised Rules of Court.
direct testimony in court. It provides:

On April 29, 2014, when the case was called for the presentation Sec. 2. Submission of Judicial Adavits and Exhibits in lieu of
of George Yap as a witness, China Bank objected citing Section direct testimonies. (a) The parties shall file with the court and
5 of the JAR. China Bank said that Yap cannot be compelled to serve on the adverse party, personally or by licensed courier
testify in court because petitioner did not obtain and present service, not later than five days before pre-trial or preliminary
George Yaps judicial adavit.
conference or the scheduled hearing with respect to motions
and incidents, the following:LawlibraryofCRAlaw

Petitioner contended that Section 5 does not apply to Yap


because it specifically excludes adverse party witnesses and (1) The judicial adavits of their witnesses, which shall take the
hostile witnesses from its application. Petitioner insists that Yap place of such witnesses direct testimonies; and

needed to be called to the stand so that he may be qualified as


a hostile witness pursuant to the Rules of Court.
(2) The parties documentary or object evidence, if any, which
shall be attached to the judicial adavits and marked as
China Bank, on the other hand, stated that petitioners Exhibits A, B, C, and so on in the case of the complainant or the
characterization of Yaps answers to the interrogatories to plainti, and as Exhibits 1, 2, 3, and so on in the case of the
parties as ambiguous and evasive is a declaration of what type respondent or the defendant.

of witness Yap is. It theorizes that the interrogatories to parties


40
x x x x
Expressio unius est exclusion alterius: the express mention of
one person, thing, or consequence implies the exclusion of all
Section 324 of the JAR enumerates the content of a judicial others.26redarclaw

adavit.

Here, Yap is a requested witness who is the adverse partys


Under Section 10,25 parties are to be penalized if they do not witness. Regardless of whether he unjustifiably declines to
conform to the provisions of the JAR. Parties are however execute a judicial adavit or refuses without just cause to
allowed to resort to the application of a subpoena pursuant to present the documents, Section 5 cannot be made to apply to
Rule 21 of the Rules of Court in Section 5 of the JAR in certain him for the reason that he is included in a group of individuals
situations. Section 5 provides:
expressly exempt from the provisions application.

Sec. 5. Subpoena. If the government employee or ocial, or The situation created before us begs the question: if the
the requested witness, who is neither the witness of the adverse requested witness is the adverse partys witness or a hostile
party nor a hostile witness, unjustifiably declines to execute a witness, what procedure should be followed?

judicial adavit or refuses without just cause to make the


relevant books, documents, or other things under his control The JAR being silent on this point, we turn to the provisions
available for copying, authentication, and eventual production in governing the rules on evidence covering hostile witnesses
court, the requesting party may avail himself of the issuance of a specially Section 12, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court which
subpoena ad testificandum or duces tecum under Rule 21 of the provides:LawlibraryofCRAlaw

Rules of Court. The rules governing the issuance of a subpoena


to the witness in this case shall be the same as when taking his SEC. 12. Party may not impeach his own witness. Except with
deposition except that the taking of a judicial adavit shal1 be respect to witnesses referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) of
understood to be ex parte.
Section 10, the party producing a witness is not allowed to
impeach his credibility.

Section 5 of the JAR contemplates a situation where there is a


(a) government employee or ocial or (b) requested witness who A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile only if so
is not the (1) adverse partys witness nor (2) a hostile witness. If declared by the court upon adequate showing of his adverse
this person either (a) unjustifiably declines to execute a judicial interest, unjustified reluctance to testify, or his having misled the
adavit or (b) refuses without just cause to make the relevant party into calling him to the witness stand.

documents available to the other party and its presentation to


court, Section 5 allows the requesting party to avail of issuance The unwilling or hostile witness so declared, or the witness who
of subpoena ad testificandum or duces tecum under Rule 21 of is an adverse party, may be impeached by the party presenting
the Rules of Court. Thus, adverse party witnesses and hostile him in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party,
witnesses being excluded they are not covered by Section 5. except by evidence of his bad character. He may also be
41
impeached and cross-examined by the adverse party, but such the RTC not to proceed with the presentation of Yap as a
cross-examination must only be on the subject matter of his witness.

examination-in-chief.

In sum, Section 5 of the JAR expressly excludes from its


Before a party may be qualified under Section 12, Rule 132 of application adverse party and hostile witnesses. For the
the Rules of Court, the party presenting the adverse party presentation of these types of witnesses, the provisions on the
witness must comply with Section 6, Rule 25 of the Rules of Rules of Court under the Revised Rules of Evidence and all
Court which provides:
other correlative rules including the modes of deposition and
discovery rules shall apply.

SEC. 6. Eect of failure to serve written interrogatories. Unless


thereafter allowed by the court for good cause shown and to Sec. 13. How witness impeached by evidence of inconsistent
prevent a failure of justice, a party not served with written statements

interrogatories may not be compelled by the adverse party to


give testimony in open court, or to give a deposition pending [RAMOS] People v. Doca, G.R. No. 126781, September 13,
appeal.
2000

PEOPLE VS. ZINAMPAN

In Afulugencia v. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.,27 this Court G.R. No. 126781 September 13, 2000

stated that in civil cases, the procedure of calling the adverse FACTS:

party to the witness stand is not allowed, unless written Before us on appeal is the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of
interrogatories are first served upon the latter.
Tuguegarao, Cagayan, Branch 02, in Criminal Case No. 1339
convicting herein appellant, Elvis Doca, of the crime of robbery
In this case, parties, with the approval of the Court, furnished with homicide.

and answered interrogatories to parties pursuant to Rule 25 of


the Rules of Court. They therefore complied with Section 6 of Appellant Elvis Doca and his co-accused, Calixto Zinampan
Rule 25 of the Rules of Court. Before the present controversy alias Gorio, Artemio Apostol alias Temy, Ignacio Cusipag, Robert
arose, the RTC had already issued subpoenas for Yap to testify Cusipag, Roger Allan and Miguel Cusipag were charged with the
and produce documents. He was called to the witness stand crime of robbery with homicide defined and penalized under
when China Bank interposed its objection for non-compliance Article 294(1) of the Revised Penal Code, in an Information that
with Section 5 of the JAR. Having established that Yap, as an reads:

adverse party witness, is not within Section 5 of the JARs


scope, the rules in presentation of adverse party witnesses as That on or about December 8, 1988, in the Municipality of
provided for under the Rules of Court shall apply. In keeping Tuguegarao, Province of Cagayan, and within the jurisdiction of
with this Courts decision in Afulugencia, there is no reason for this Honorable Court, the said accused, Calixto Zinampan alias
Gorio, Artemio Apostol alias Temy, Ignacio Cusipag, Elvis Doca,
42
Robert Cusipag, Roger Allan, and Miguel Cusipag together with happened; and 3) Marlyn gave perjured testimony when she
one John Doe who was not identified, armed with guns, retracted on cross examination her testimony on direct
conspiring together and helping one another went inside the examination that accused Manuel Cusipag, Ignacio Cusipag and
house of one Mr. and Mrs. Henry Narag, and once inside the Robert Cusipag remained outside the house of Henry Narag
house, with intent to gain and by the use of force, violence while the crime was in progress to serve as look out.

against and intimidation of persons, did then and there wilfully,

unlawfully and feloniously ransack the house of the said Mr. and ISSUE:

Mrs. Henry Narag and after which, take, steal and carry away WHETHER OR NOT THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GIVING DUE
against the will of the owner.
WEIGHT AND CREDENCE TO THE TESTIMONY OF
PROSECUTION ALLEGED LONE EYEWITNESS DESPITE ITS
Accused Robert Cusipag, Ignacio Cusipag and Miguel Cusipag INHERENT INFIRMITIES AND MATERIAL CONTRADICTION
were arrested by the police on February 6, 1990; while accused AND UNRELIABILITY.

Elvis Doca was arrested on February 14, 1990. Accused Calixto

Zinampan, Artemio Apostol and Roger Allan were never arrested RULING:

and remain at large up to the present.


The appellant may not validly impeach the credibility of Marlyn
Calaycay on the basis of the entry in the police blotter of the
Upon being arraigned on May 29, 1990, accused Robert Tuguegarao, Cagayan police pertaining to the robbery and killing
Cusipag, Ignacio Cusipag, Miguel Cusipag and Elvis Doca, on December 8, 1988. Appellant claimed that the pertinent entry
assisted by their counsel, separately entered the plea of "not in the said police blotter which was elicited from prosecution
guilty" to the information in this case.
witness Calaycay does not reflect any names of the alleged
perpetrators of the crime contrary to her testimony during the
Appellant Elvis Doca contends that the testimony of Marlyn trial of the instant criminal case that she knew the names of the
Calaycay was marked with infirmities and material malefactors even prior to December 8, 1988. In impeaching a
contradictions hence, unreliable. Specifically, Elvis pointed out witness by evidence of prior inconsistent statements, Section
the following alleged material inconsistencies in her testimony: 13, Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court provides that:

1) Marlyn gave conflicting dates with respect to the execution of


her sworn statement before the police authorities of SEC. 13. How witness impeached by evidence of inconsistent
Tuguegarao, Cagayan involving the robbery and killing of Henry statements Before a witness can be impeached by evidence
Narag on December 8, 1988; 2) The pertinent entry in the police that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his
blotter of Tuguegarao, Cagayan for the period of December present testimony, the statements must be related to him, with
1988 allegedly provided by Marlyn Calaycay does not reflect any the circumstances of the times and places and the persons
names of the alleged perpetrators of the crime contrary to the present, and he must be asked whether he made such
claim of Marlyn in her testimony that she knew the names of the statements, and if so, allowed to explain them. If the statements
malefactors even prior to December 8, 1988 when the incident
43
be in writing they must be shown to the witness before any December 15, 1989 to her mother BBB4 and the latters late
question is put to him concerning them.
common-law husband CCC,5 as evidenced by a certified true
copy of her birth certificate6 (Exhibit "A"); that AAA is his
It has been held that previous inconsistent statements cannot stepdaughter, having married BBB on June 5, 1996 as
serve as bases for impeaching the credibility of a witness unless evidenced by a certified true copy of their Certificate of
his attention was first directed to the discrepancies and he was Marriage7 (Exhibit "C"); and that on the day of the incident, he,
then given the opportunity to explain them.
AAA and BBB were residing in their house at San Ramon,
It would be unjust to complainant at this stage to be declared an Tinambac, Camarines Sur.8

incredible witness as a result of the unauthorized procedure


adopted by the appellant. It is evidentiarily proscribed to The version of the prosecution: BBB and appellant left their
discredit a witness on the basis of the purportedly prior house in San Ramon, Tinambac and proceeded to their store at
inconsistent statements which were not called to the attention of Sitio Bayang, also in Tinambac, to sell merchandise, leaving
that witness during the trial, although the same are supposedly behind AAA and her three young siblings.9

contained in a document which was merely oered and


admitted in its entirety without the requisite specifications.
Appellant returned to their house in the early evening of the
same day purportedly to get some merchandise.10 At past 8:00
Unless expressly required by law, the testimony of a single that night, appellant approached AAA who was then sleeping in
witness, if found credible and positive such as in the case at the room of BBB and appellant, telling her not to make any
bench, is sucient to convict for the truth is established not by noise. He immediately removed AAAs skirt and panties and tied
the number of witnesses but by the quality of their testimonies.
her hands, after which he parted her legs and inserted his penis
into her vagina, drawing her to cry as he made a push and pull
[RAMOS] People v. Sambahon y Nueva, G.R. No. 182789, movement. Before he returned to the store, he warned her not
August 3, 2010
to tell her siblings and her mother about what he did to her,
otherwise, he would kill all of them.11

Facts: Norlito Sambahon y Nueva (appellant) was charged and About five months later or sometime in the first week of January,
convicted of rape of his 13 year-old stepdaughter, AAA
2004, appellant brought AAA to the Bicol Medical Center, Naga
The crime is committed with the following attendant City for medical check-up where she was found to be pregnant.
12

aggravating/qualifying circumstances:

The victim is under eighteen years of age and the oender is her
stepfather.
Appellant, interposing alibi, denied all of these.

During the pre-trial of the case, appellant admitted that on He is proved guilty in RTC. Hence the appeal in CA

August 12, 2003, AAA was 13 years old as she was born on
44
In his Appellants Brief filed before the appellate court, appellant under Rule 132, Section 13 of the Rules of Court25 which
contended that AAAs testimony cannot be relied upon because: provides:

a) she made inconsistent statements by declaring during the


preliminary examination that she was raped by appellant in the SEC. 13. How witness impeached by evidence of inconsistent
room where she and her siblings were sleeping,21 but in her statements. Before a witness can be impeached by evidence
testimony in court she stated that the rape occurred in the room that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his
of her mother and appellant; b) she did not call for help when present testimony, the statements must be related to him, with
sexually assaulted; and c) it took her about five months from the the circumstances of the times and places and the persons
time of rape before she revealed the incident to her grandmother present, and he must be asked whether he made such
and the police.
statements, and if so, allowed to explain them. If the statements
be in writing they must be shown to the witness before any
Issue: W/N the RTC erred IN GIVING FULL WEIGHT AND question is put to him concerning them. (underscoring supplied)

CREDENCE TO THE TESTIMOMY OF THE PRIVATE


COMPLAINANT
Apropos is this Courts ruling in People v. Relucio:26

. . . every witness is presumed to be truthful and perjury is not to


Held: The appellate court, by Decision18 of November 5, 2007, be readily inferred just because apparent inconsistencies are
armed the factual findings of the trial court but modified the evinced in parts of his testimony. Every eort to reconcile the
penalty to reclusion perpetua, following the enactment of conflicting points should first be exerted before any adverse
Republic Act No. 9346,19 and reduced the award of civil conclusion can be made therefrom. These considerations lie at
indemnity from P75,000.00 to P50,000.00
the base of the familiar rule requiring the laying of a predicate,
which in essence means simply that it is the duty of a party
The Court thus credits AAAs testimony.
trying to impugn the testimony of a witness by means of prior or,
. . . [A] rape victims testimony against her parent is entitled to for that matter, subsequent inconsistent statements, whether
great weight since, customarily, Filipino children revere and oral or in writing, to give the witness a chance to reconcile his
respect their elders. These values are so deeply ingrained in conflicting declarations, such that it is only when no reasonable
Filipino families that it is unthinkable for a daughter to concoct explanation is given by him that he should be deemed
brazenly a story of rape against her father if such were not true.
impeached. (underscoring supplied)

Respecting AAAs inconsistent statements, harped upon by In any event, the questioned inconsistency does not impinge on
appellant, during the preliminary examination and at the witness the essential elements of the oense charged. What is important
stand relative to the location of the room where she was is that AAAs narration (both in the preliminary examination and
ravished, the defense oddly did not call attention thereto to during the trial) of how she was forced and intimidated by
aord her the opportunity to explain or clarify it as called for

45
appellant into submission to his bestial cravings was No. The SC held that the details which she supplied to the
indisputably consistent, direct, positive and unwavering.
police and to the investigating judge are trivial compared to the
testimony she gave in open court. What is important is that in all
[TAN] People v. Bajada y Bautista, G.R. No. 180507, three statements, i.e., sworn statement before the police, sworn
November 20, 2008
statement before Judge Bercales, and testimony in open court,
Asaytono consistently and clearly identified accused-appellants
Facts:
as the perpetrators. The essential facts do not dier: three men
Accused in this case was convicted of the crime of Robbery entered and robbed the house of Villamayor and stabbed him
with homicide along w/ Calisay and a John Doe.
and Asaytono, and Asaytono witnessed the stabbing and
The Prosecution during the trial in the RTC of Sta. Cruz, Laguna recognized two of the accused because she was familiar with
stated that the victim, Antonio Villamayor was in his home w/ his the latter's physical attributes.

live-in partner Anabelle Asaytono when the 3 accused came in As held in People v Alegado, inconsistencies between the sworn
armed and proceeded to take money and jewelry and then stab statement and the testimony in court do not militate against the
both Villamayor and Asaytono. Villamayor died while Asaytono witness' credibility since sworn statements are generally
was able to recover.
considered inferior to the testimony in open court.

Asaytono testified during the trial that she was able to identify Finally, Asaytono was able to suciently identify Bajada as one
the 2 accused since she had known as overseers in the victims of the perpetrators to the satisfaction of the trial court.
farm and would regularly see and interact w/ them. She Asaytono's familiarity with Bajada cannot be denied; she has
described in her testimony several physical features such as known Bajada and Calisay for more than a year prior to the
clothing, smell and physique.
incident. The two accused were also frequent visitors at the
The accused on the other hand claimed that they had an alibi w/ victim's house. Hence, Asaytono was acquainted with Bajada's
c was corroborated w/ their own witnesses.
physical features. The trial court found her testimony to be
The trial court ruled in favor of the prosecution and convicted credible, frank, straightforward, and consistent throughout the
the 2 accused.
trial. We see no reason to disturb this finding since trial courts
In their appeal, the accused claimed that they the evidence are in a unique position to observe the demeanor of
presented by the prosecution was not able to prove their guilt witnesses.The trial court's findings regarding the witness'
beyond reasonable doubt since there were inconsistencies in credibility are accorded the highest degree of respect.

the testimony of Asaytono w/ respect to her sworn statements


to the police and during the preliminary investigation regarding [TAN] People v. Castillano, G.R. No. 139412, April 2, 2003

her identification of Bajada and Calisay.

Issue: WON the inconsistencies in Asaytonos testimony aect Facts:

her credibility as a witness.


The RTC of Camarines Sur convicted the accused brothers of
Held:
the crime of the murder of Diosdado Volante.

46
Through the testimony of the victims wife, Luz, the prosecution has the opportunity to explain the discrepancy, if he can. On the
claimed that the accused along with their father, entered the other hand, if the witness denies making any such contradictory
dwelling of the victim one night and proceeded to stab statement, the accused has the right to prove that the witness
Diosdado. This stemmed from a feud between the two families did make such statement; and if the fiscal should refuse upon
where Castillano Sr. fired a gun towards the house of Volante w/ due notice to produce the document, secondary evidence of the
c caused the latter to chastise the former for his actions w/c contents thereof would be admissible. This process of cross-
endangered the lives of his family.
examining a witness upon the point of prior contradictory
The defense claimed self-defense. It was said that the victim statements is called in the practice of the American courts laying
was acting aggressively outside his home while the accused a predicate for the introduction of contradictory statements. It is
were passing by and Ronald was forced to defend himself when almost universally accepted that unless a ground is thus laid
the victim came at him w/ a bolo.
upon cross-examination, evidence of contradictory statements
After the RTC convicted them, the accused posited that there are not admissible to impeach a witness; though undoubtedly
were inconsistencies in the testimony of the victims wife w/c the matter is to a large extent in the discretion of the court.

should have been taken into account by the RTC. Had the RTC In this case, the appellants never confronted Luz with her
done this, they would not have been convicted.
testimony during the preliminary examination and her sworn
Issue: WON the testimony of the victims wife, Luz is admissible statement. She was not aorded any chance to explain any
as evidence.
discrepancies between her present testimony and her testimony
Held:
during the preliminary examination and her sworn statement.
Yes. The SC held that before the credibility of a witness and the The appellants did not even mark and oer in evidence the said
truthfulness of his testimony can be impeached by evidence transcript and sworn statement for the specific purpose of
consisting of his prior statements which are inconsistent with his impeaching her credibility and her present testimony. Unless so
present testimony, the cross-examiner must lay the predicate or marked and oered in evidence and accepted by the trial court,
the foundation for impeachment and thereby prevent an said transcript and sworn statement cannot be considered by
injustice to the witness being cross-examined. The witness must the court.

be given a chance to recollect and to explain the apparent W/ regard to the claim of self-defense, The Court has
inconsistency between his two statements and state the consistently held that like alibi, self-defense is inherently weak
circumstances under which they were made.
because it is easy to fabricate. In a case where self-defense and
US v Baluyot outlined the procedure thus: it was incumbent defense of relatives is invoked by the accused, the burden of
upon the attorney when cross-examining said witness to direct evidence is shifted to him to prove with clear and convincing
his attention to the discrepancy and to ask him if he did not evidence the essential requisites of self-defense, namely (a)
make such and such statement before the fiscal or if he did not unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (b) reasonable
there make a statement dierent from that delivered in court. If necessity of the means employed to repel or prevent it; and (c)
the witness admits the making of such contradictory statement, lack of sucient provocation on the part of the person
the accused has the benefit of the admission, while the witness defending himself. There can be no complete or incomplete self-
47
defense or defense of relatives unless the accused proves Stephen Sy, also of Design Sourse, however respondent
unlawful aggression on the part of the victim.[42] The accused counsel moved for the exclusion of the latter for which he was in
must rely on the strength of his evidence and not on the the court room when the other was being cross examined to
weakness of the evidence of the prosecution for by pleading which the court ruled in favored of.

self-defense, the accused thereby admits having killed the Petitioners moved for a reconsideration of the Order, but their
victim and he can no longer be exonerated of the crime charged motion was denied on the ground that "the Court deems it no
if he fails to prove the confluence of the essential requisites for longer necessary to allow Stephen Sy from testifyingwhen a
self-defense and defense of a relative.
dierent witness could testify on matters similar to the intended
Appellant Ronald failed to discharge his burden.
testimony of the former."5 The Order also stated that "to allow
Stephen Sy from testifying would work to the disadvantage of
Sec. 14. Evidence of good character of witness
the plainti as he already heard the testimony of witness
Sec. 15. Exclusion and separation of witnesses
Kenneth Sy."6

A 2nd MR was applied for but likewise denied.

[UY] People v. Sandal, G.R. Nos. 32394, 32395, September 5, Rule 65 was raised towards the CA. They raised the sole issue
1930
of whether the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion when it
refused to allow architect Stephen Sy (Stephen) to testify as to
Facts: Design Sources International, Inc. (petitoner) is a material matters

distributor of Pergo flooring. Sometime in 1998, the Private CA found no sucient basis that herein respondent previously
Respondent bought from petitioner a flooring of the "Cherry asked for the exclusion of other witnesses. It was the duty of
Blocked" type. The flooring was installed in her house.
respondents counsel to ask for the exclusion of other
The Private Respondent discovered that the Pergo flooring witnesses, without which, there was nothing to prevent Stephen
installed had unsightly bulges at the joints and seams. The from hearing the testimony of petitioners other witnesses.

Private Respondent informed the Petitioners of these defects Nevertheless, following the doctrine laid down in People v.
and the former insisted on the repair or replacement of the Sandal,9 the appellate court ruled that the RTC did not commit
flooring at the expense of the latter.
grave abuse of discretion in issuing the assailed Orders
After several inspections of the alleged defective flooring, considering that petitioners failed to show that Stephens
meetings between the parties and exchanges of testimony would bolster their position. Moreover, from the
correspondence, the Petitioner Corporation was given until May Manifestation of petitioners counsel, it appears that petitioners
31, 2000 to replace the installed flooring. Nevertheless, the had another witness who could give a testimony similar to
Petitioner Corporation did not comply with the demand of the Stephens.

Private Respondent. Therefore a complaint was filed against Petitioners elevated the case before us assailing the Decision of
petitioner.
the CA. In the meantime, trial proceeded in the lower court. As
On February 8, 2006, Kenneth Sy, one of the Petitioners' they filed a Motion for Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary
witnesses, testified in open court. Petitioner counsel present Mr. Mandatory Injunction or Temporary Restraining Order either to
48
allow the presentation of Stephen as a witness or to suspend The RTC and the CA, however, moved on to determine the
the trial proceedings pending the ruling in the instant Petition.
materiality of the testimony of Stephen, which became their
Issue: WON the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in basis for not allowing the latter to testify. Applying Sandal, the
issuing the assailed Orders disallowing petitioners from CA ruled that the absence of a showing of how his testimony
presenting Stephen as their witness.
would bolster the position of petitioners saved the judgment of
Held: Yes!
the RTC in issuing the order of exclusion.

As aptly found by the CA, respondent failed to substantiate her We agree with petitioners that the application of Sandal is
claim that there was a prior request for the exclusion of other misplaced. Contrary to the present case, in Sandal there was a
witnesses during the presentation of Kenneth. Respondent did court order for exclusion which was disregarded by the witness.
not even allege in her Comment that there was any such The defiance of the order led to the exercise by the court of its
request.
discretion to admit or reject the testimony of the witness who
Excluding future witnesses from the courtroom at the time had defied its order. Again, in this case, there was no order or
another witness is testifying, or ordering that these witnesses be motion for exclusion that was defied by petitioners and their
kept separate from one another, is primarily to prevent them witnesses. Thus, the determination of the materiality of
from conversing with one another. The purpose is to ensure Stephen's testimony in relation to the strengthening of
that the witnesses testify to the truth by preventing them petitioners' defense was uncalled for.

from being influenced by the testimonies of the others. In Without any prior order or at least a motion for exclusion
other words, this measure is meant to prevent connivance or from any of the parties, a court cannot simply allow or
collusion among witnesses. The ecacy of excluding or disallow the presentation of a witness solely on the ground
separating witnesses has long been recognized as a means of that the latter heard the testimony of another witness. It is
discouraging fabrication, inaccuracy, and collusion. However, the responsibility of respondent's counsel to protect the interest
without any motion from the opposing party or order from of his client during the presentation of other witnesses. If
the court, there is nothing in the rules that prohibits a respondent actually believed that the testimony of Kenneth
witness from hearing the testimonies of other witnesses.
would greatly aect that of Stephen's, then respondent's
There is nothing in the records of this case that would show that counsel was clearly remiss in his duty to protect the interest of
there was an order of exclusion from the RTC, or that there was his client when he did not raise the issue of the exclusion of the
any motion from respondents counsel to exclude other witness in a timely manner.

witnesses from the courtroom prior to or even during the


presentation of the testimony of Kenneth. We are one with the [UY] Design Sources International, Inc. v. Eristingcol, G.R.
CA in finding that under such circumstances, there was nothing No. 193966, February 19, 2014

to prevent Stephen from hearing the testimony of Kenneth.


Therefore, the RTC should have allowed Stephen to testify for Facts: In Abaga, District of Monungan, Province of Lanao,
petitioners.
Inambar, a Moro woman, heard the appellant Sandal call the

49
deceased, and later saw them engaged in conversation. While Issue: WON the trial court's refusal to admit a witness presented
the two were talking, appellant Pampang went up to them and by the defense is proper?

with a hammer struck the deceased on the back of the neck, Yes! The court took this stand for the reason that this witness
felling him to the ground. Sandal and the rest of the appellants, had been present during the hearing notwithstanding the court's
Lonsing, Arimao, and Mama, then closed in on the fallen man order that all witnesses leave the court room. Under such
beating him to death.
circumstances it lies within the court's discretion to admit or
Moro Dimaponong testified that early in the morning of that day, reject the testimony of the witness. And although we are of
he saw Eleno, the deceased, in Tomas Permites' warehouse, opinion that the court below should have admitted the testimony
while the appellants were nearby constructing a house. When of this witness, especially when he stated that he did not hear
witness returned to the warehouse, he saw neither the deceased what the other witnesses testified, yet there is nothing to show
nor the defendants where he had seen them before. On that that this error has aected the appellants' defense. There is
night as he was going home, witness saw appellants near a nothing to show what this witness would have testified if
sawmill, carrying the corpse of Eleno, which they threw into the admitted, and so it cannot be held that his failure to testify has
river. During the inquiry made by the Constabulary lieutenant materially aected the appellants' defense.

into Eleno's disappearance, Dimaponong testified to this eect, THERE WAS NO FACT ABOUT THIS BUT IT WAS MENTIONED
and the corpse was found in that part of the river indicated by BY THE COURT IN THE RULING OF Design Sources Intl Inc &
him.
Sy v. Eristingcol in Sandal there was a court order for
Doctor Pablo Hamoy in the post-mortem examination found exclusion which was disregarded by the witness. The
numeration injuries sustained by the victim. The following facts defiance of the order led to the exercise by the court of its
of record explain the motive of the assault: When Tomas discretion to admit or reject the testimony of the witness
Permites went to Manila to look after certain matters, he left who had defied its order.

Eleno in charge of his interests in Monungan. While Permites Notes: additional court ruling just in case shell ask/

was in Manila, the appellants caused some injuries to his *** The appellants also assign as an error the fact that the trial
(Permites) carabaos, as a result of which Eleno had a dispute court failed to require the fiscal to exhibit the testimony given by
with them. Eleno sent word of what had happened to Permites the witnesses during the preliminary investigation conducted by
in Manila, and when the latter returned to Monungan, he verified the justice of the peace. But the only eect of this failure was to
the facts and filed a complaint against the appellants. Eleno was entitle the defense to adduce secondary evidence touching the
to be the principal witness, and the defendants knew it.
testimony of said witnesses, for the purpose of attacking their
The appellants denied the facts set forth and attempted to prove veracity, should they have been presented as witnesses during
an alibi.
the trial.

Upon consideration of the evidence for both sides, we agree *** Neither did the trial court commit an error in refusing the
with the conclusion of the trial court that the appellants killed defense an extension of time to present Doctor Feliciano, for
Eleno in the manner described above. The court below did not this is a matter wholly within the court's discretion, the abuse
err in weighing the evidence.

50
whereof has not been shown, especially in view of the fact that it gestae itself. If such taking of notes has to be given any legal
was not informed of the nature of this witness's testimony.
significance at all, at most it is only circumstantial evidence.

However, the admission of said notes and memoranda suers a


fatal defect. No witness other than Crispina has testified as to
the veracity of her testimony. Also, Crispina is interested in the
Sec. 16. When witness may refer to memorandum
outcome of this case. Her testimony cannot be considered as
absolutely unbiased or impartial, hence unreliable and
[MANIQUIS] Borromeo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. insucient to justify reformation. Such being the case, how can
L-31342, L-31740, April 7, 1976
the notes and memoranda in dispute and any weight to her
testimony, when she herself created them? They cannot have
FACTS: Controversy is on the true nature of three documents any more credibility than her own declarations given under oath
which apparently are deeds of absolute sale of realty by in open court.

deceased Rallos on various dates in favor of Emmanuel Aznar. The notes supposedly prepared by Crispina do not partake at all
Borromeo, administrator of estate of Rallos prayed for of the nature of hearsay evidence. If anything they constitute
reformation alleging these were equitable mortgages for loans memoranda in S10 of R132: xxx

granted to Rallos by Matias Aznar, deceased father of This provision applies only when it is shown beforehand that
Emmanuel. Trial court dismissed. CA armed (original decision) there is need to refresh the memory of the witness, which is not
but later reversed (per curiam decision). CA admitted evidence it the case here. Besides, the memorandum used to refresh the
previously rejected and held that the notations and memoranda memory does not constitute evidence, and may not be
of Crispina Rallos Alcantara, although previously considered admitted as such, because the witness has just the same to
self-serving, may be considered as res gestae to show nature of testify on the basis of refreshed memory. A witness may not be
the contracts. Further, the Aznars "retained part of the price" corroborated by any written statement prepared wholly by him.
stipulated in the deed and there was unusual inadequacy in the He cannot be more credible just because he supports his
price, justifying presumption of equitable mortgage in A1602, open-court declaration with written statements of the same
Civil Code.
facts even if he did prepare them during the occasion in
ISSUE: Whether or not CA error in admitting (as res gestae) the dispute, unless the proper predicate of his failing memory is
notes and memo it originally held to be incompetent (issue of priorly laid down. What is more, even where this requirement
Aznar appeal)
has been satisfied, the express injunction of the rule itself is that
HELD: The notes and memoranda cannot be considered as res such evidence must be received with caution, if only because it
gestae. Crispina was not a party to the transaction. That she is not very dicult to conceive and fabricate evidence of this
allegedly took notes made her at best only a witness, not a nature. This is doubly true when the witness stands to gain
party. It cannot be said that her taking of notes, absent any materially or otherwise from the admission of such evidence,
showing she was requested to do so or that the parties knew which is exactly the case of Crispina Alcantara.

what she was doing, constitute part of the transaction, the res
51
(This considered, as well as the other evidence eventually correctness of the bill. Petitioner subsequently amended her
admitted by CA), it sought to support its reversing per curiam answer denying she entered into sub-contracts with respondent.

resolution with props that are legally untenable. The per curiam On trial, respondent presented its VP Sanchez, and Aday, its
resolution of the CA reversed and the original decision of that bookkeeper. Petitioner's evidence consisted of her lone
court armed (reinstated).
testimony. The court found for respondent. CA armed. CA
(other issues). First, Borromeo says Aznar-appeal barred upheld the trial court's reliance on private respondent's Book of
because he (Borromeo) already perfected his appeal to SC while Collectible Accounts on the basis of R130, S37 (entries in the
Aznars still opted to file MR before CA. Held: NO. Partys right to course of biz). Canque contended that the appellate court
appeal not aected by the appeal of the adverse. Second, (erred?) in so admitting the entries in respondent's book
Borromeo says dismissal of Aznar-appeal for belated considering that the person who made said entries actually
compliance with some requirements for the brief (digest of testified but had no knowledge of said entries. Also, the decision
arguments and copy of resolution to be reviewed). Held: NO. It of the respondent court should be reversed as it has only
would be ideal if all the requirements of the rules were complied inadmissible evidence to support.

with on time, but (rules relaxed). Third, Borromeo says dismissal ISSUE: Whether or not the entries in the Book of respondent
of Aznar-appeal because it involves purely questions of fact. can be considered as a memorandum under S10, R131.

Held: NO. The reversal of factual findings by CA was based on a HELD: First, the stipulation requiring delivery receipts does not
corresponding reversal of legal theory on admissibility of preclude proof of delivery in some other way. The question is
evidence.
whether the entries in the Book of Collectible Accounts (Exh. K)
constitute competent evidence to show such delivery.
[MANIQUIS] Canque v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 96202, Respondent cites R130, 37 (entries in the course of business),
April 13, 1999
requisites: 1. person who made the entry be unable to testify; 2.
entries made at or near the time of transactions; 3. entrant was
FACTS: Petitioner Canque is a contractor (business: RDC in a position to know the facts in the entries; 4. entries were
Construction). She had contracts with the government for xxx. made in performance of a duty, whether legal, contractual, moral
For these projects, petitioner entered into two contracts (of or religious; and 5. entries made in the ordinary or regular
subcontracting) with respondent Socor Construction. Later, course.

respondent sent petitioner a bill (Exh. C), containing a revised The business entries here do not meet the first and third
computation plus interest at 3% a month, representing the requisites. Aday, who made the entries, was presented by
balance for materials and services by respondent under the two respondent. It was in the course of her testimony that the entries
contracts. Petitioner refused, claiming respondent failed to were presented and marked. There was, therefore, neither
submit delivery receipts and the acceptance thereof by the justification nor necessity for the presentation of the entries as
government. Respondent brought suit. Petitioner at first the person who made them was available to testify in court.
admitted the existence of the contracts but she disputed the Moreover, Aday admitted that she had no personal knowledge
of the facts constituting the entry. She said she made the entries
52
based on the bills given to her. But she has no knowledge of the At around ten o'clock in the morning of 29 November 1984,
truth or falsity of the facts stated in the bills. The deliveries of the Herminio Mansueto, wearing a blue and white striped t-shirt,
materials stated in the bills were supervised by "an engineer for maong pants, Seiko 5 stop watch and a pandan hat, left on his
(such) functions." Whether or not the bills given to Aday bicycle for Barangay Patao, Bantayan, Cebu. He had with him
correctly reflected the deliveries in the amounts and on the P10,000.00 cash which he would use to purchase hogs from a
dates indicated was a fact that could be established by the certain Ruby."

project engineer alone who, however, was not presented.

Second, it is nonetheless argued by respondent that although In Patao, Francisca Espina, also known in the locality as
the entries are not under entries in biz, they may be admitted Pansing and whose house was just across the street from the
under R132, 10 (witness reference to memo). Considered as a respective residences of the three accused, saw at the roadside
memorandum, Exh. K does not itself constitute evidence. As Herminio Mansueto and Roberto Descartin alias "Ruby"
explained in Borromeo v. CA: (See preceding case) As the engaged in conversation. Pansing approached them and asked
entries were not made based on personal knowledge, they Mansueto if he would be interested in buying two of her pigs for
could only corroborate Aday's testimony that she made the P1,400.00. Mansueto said "yes" and promised that he would be
entries as she received the bills.
right back.

(Lastly, contrary to Canques averment, there were other


evidence upon which recovery by respondent may be proved). Mansueto and Ruby meantime proceeded to the latter's piggery.
Also, petitioner has been paying respondent for deliveries in the Joelito Descartin and his brother-in-law Rene were also seen
past, but she did not show that she paid only after the delivery going to the place. After some time, Pansing noticed Joelito
receipts had been presented by respondent (acceptance of take Mansueto's bicycle. Believing that Mansueto was already
incomplete performance without protest under A1235, Civil preparing to leave and in her desire to catch up with him,
Code). Also, it appears petitioner was able to collect the full Pansing promptly walked towards the piggery which was around
amount of project costs from the government, so that petitioner 100 meters away from her house. She could see Mansueto
would be unjustly enriched at the expense of respondent if she leaning on the pigsty with Ruby on his right side and Antonio
is not made to pay what is her just obligation under the Plasencia alias "Tonying" on his left; behind was Joelito. 2
contracts. (Even if the Book of respondent was neither entry in Midway, she was halted on her tracks; she suddenly saw
ordinary biz nor memorandum for memory, he won the case)
Antonio stab Mansueto. The latter staggered towards Ruby who
himself then delivered another stab blow. Mansueto fell on his
[MELCHOR] People v. Plasencia y Desamparado, G.R. No. back. Joelito started hitting Mansueto on the forehead while
90198, November 7, 1995 Rene held Mansueto's legs. 3 Except for a coconut tree and
some ipil-ipil trees around the area, nothing obstructed
Facts: Antonio Plasencia, Roberto Descartin and Joelito (Julito) Pansing's line of vision. Pansing rushed back home. The image
Descartin were accused of robbery with homicide in an of Antonio waving the weapon and the thought that she might
information, dated 20 December 1984, that read
herself be killed kept her from revealing to anyone what she saw.
53
in a sack. Tonying asked Ruby to allow the use of the latter's
The following day, in Kodia, Madridejos, Cebu, where Mansueto pumpboat to ferry the body. Tonying paddled the pumpboat to
resided, his daughter Rosalinda reported to Francisca Tayo, the the island of Po-Po'o where he picked up some pieces of
barangay captain, that her father had not returned home. Tayo stones. Then, again paddling the pumpboat farther away from
proceeded to Putian, which was in Mansueto's itinerary, and the island, he ordered Joelito to start the engine of the boat.
then to Ruby's piggery in Patao, where a youngster, who turned They headed for the islet of Gilotongin (Hilotongan). On the way,
out to be Ruby's son, innocently informed her that Mansueto's Tonying filled the sack with stones and, using a rope, tied to it
bicycle was taken by Joelito. the body of the victim. Tonying then unloaded their cargo into
the sea.

The day after, Francisca Tayo, accompanied by police ocers of


Madridejos, Cebu, and some relatives of Mansueto, went back Guided by Joelito, members of the Bantayan police force
to Ruby's place. On a railing of the pigpen, she saw blood headed for the islet of Hilotongan on two pumpboats 9 in the
stains. When she asked Ruby's father about it, he said that the area pinpointed to be the place where the body was dumped.
stains had come from chicken blood. Going around the piggery, On the second day of the search, the group was informed that
she also saw blood stains on a bamboo pole, which Ruby's the body had already surfaced near the vicinity of the search
father once again so identified as chicken blood. At the back of and delivered to the municipal building.
the piggery, Francisca noticed a digging which looked like an
empty grave. The digging was measured and photos were The municipal health ocer of Bantayan, Dr. Oscar Quirante,
taken. The police found a hat at the back of a hut beside the examined the body and concluded that the victim died of
piggery, which was later recognized to be that which belonged internal hemorrhage due to stab wounds. 11 The bloated body
to Mansueto. was in a late stage of decomposition and its skin had sloughed
o. 12 He found the victim's face to be "beyond recognition."
Patrolman Elpidio Desquitado of the Bantayan police went back There were "some rope signs in the body particularly in the
to the piggery. This time, the police learned from Pansing herself waistline and in the knees."
that Joelito took Mansueto's bicycle. 7 Joelito was invited to the
police headquarters to shed light on the case. Later, Joelito, The main defense interposed is one of alibi.

waiving his right to counsel, executed a "confession." 8


Antonio stated that on the whole day of 29 November 1984, he
Joelito narrated that, upon Ruby's instruction, he brought the was out at sea fishing with his son. Joelito, on his part, asserted
bicycle to the piggery. Unexpectedly, he said, Tonying Plasencia that he was in Barrio Baod, about an hour's walk from his
stabbed Mansueto. Stunned, Joelito tried to run away but residence, at the house of his fiancee. He returned to his house,
Tonying stopped him. Tonying then dragged the victim to a he said, only the day after. Roberto ("Ruby"), Joelito's uncle,
nearby house. Threatened by Tonying, Joelito agreed to later testified that on that fateful day, he was in Samoco Purok 2,
return to where the victim's body was dragged. At around Iligan City, and then left for Cebu on 06 December 1984 only
eleven o'clock that evening, tonying and Joelito placed the body
54
after receiving a telegraph that Joelito was implicated in the A. Witness showing to the court her left palm and the following
crime.
words have been written in her palm in ball pen handwritten
words and number of the pumpboat No. 56 and there is another
RTC did not buy the alibi therefore convicting the 3 however an word "petsa" and there are words which cannot be deciphered
instant appeal was interposed by the three convicted appellants.
and all found in the palm of the left hand.

Appellant Antonio Plasencia attacks the credibility of the ATTY. MONTECLAR:

prosecution's lone eyewitness, Francisca Espina, alleging that That is all.

she is a pejured witness who has an axe to grind against him ATTY. GONZALES: RE-CROSS

because his dog had once bitten Francisca's child. 16 He Q Mrs. witness, you cannot deny of what these physical
bewails the fact that it has taken Francisca until 29 December evidences or writings on the palm of your left hand. I want you
1984 to reveal what she supposedly has seen to the police to be honest, the law will not allow you to lie, you are subject to
authorities. Contending that treachery has not been duly proven punishment and penalty. My question is, who wrote this on the
as "no wound was inflicted at the back and as a matter of fact palm of your left hand?

only one wound was fatal," 17 appellant argues that even if A I was the one who wrote this.

conspiracy were to be considered to have attended the Q Why did you write that down?

commission of the crime, he could be held liable with the others, A I was the one who wrote this.

if at all, only for homicide.


Q Why, what was your purpose of writing that in your palm?

A I wrote this in my palm because I wanted to be sure of what


Appellant Roberto Descartin, likewise challenging Francisca time the incident happened, was the same as that I wrote in my
Espina's credibility because of her alleged inconsistencies, palm.

faults the trial court for allowing the witness to glance at the Q And who furnished you the data in which you wrote in the
notes written on her palm while testifying. He also argues that palm of your hand?

his alibi, being corroborated, should have been given weight.


A I was the one who made that.

Appellant Joelito Descartin, in assailing the credibility of ATTY. GONZALES:

Francisca, has noted her "jittery actuation" while giving her Q You don't understand my question. You wrote that writing but
testimony. He also questions the findings of the ponente for not where did you get that data?

being the presiding judge during the examination of Francisca A. This is just of what I know.

on the witness stand.


Q Since you claim to have all this knowledge of your mind, why
did you find it necessary to write that in the palm of your hand
It is asserted that the testimony of Francisca Espina should not and I notice during the trial that you used to look in your palm,
be given worth since, while testifying, she would at times be why, is that necessary in your believe to testify here to what you
seen reading some notes written on her left palm. Thus
knew about the incident.

Q. May I see your left hand, may I see what is written there?
A Because of the fact that I have an headache.

Q When did this headache occur?

55
A After I left my house because my sick child.
Sec. 17. When part of transaction, writing or record given in
Q Now, knowing that you have an headache, did you not bring evidence, the remainder admissible

this to the attention of the Fiscal?

A No, I did not tell the Fiscal.


[MELCHOR] People v. Rivera, G.R. No. 139180, July 31, 2001

Q Do you know of your own that doing this is unfair and is not
allowable while testifying in open court, do you know that is Facts:

illegal act?
Rolando Rivera was accused of raping his 13 year old daughter,
A No, I did not, know.
Erlanie D. Rivera. The prosecution presented as witness, the
Q And you did all of this claiming that you do not know about complainant Erlanie Rivera, her aunt, Marietta Pagtalunan, and
the incident for the purpose of giving here testimony against the Dr. Demetria Barin, who conducted the physical examination of
accused?
complainant.

A Yes, sir. Complainant Erlanie Rivera testified that sometime in March


1997, her younger sister, Zaira, was taken by their parents to the
Issue: WON witness is allowed to testify despite the notes on Escolastica Romero Memorial Hospital in Lubao, Pampanga.
her hand
Complainants mother stayed with her sister in the hospital, but
her father, herein accused-appellant, went back home to
Held: Yes!
Santiago, Lubao, Pampanga. At around 11 oclock in the evening
The use of memory aids during an examination of a witness is of the same day, complainant was awakened as accused-
not altogether proscribed. Section 16, Rule 132, of the Rules of appellant started kissing her and fondling her breasts.
Court states: check codal
Complainant tried to resist by kicking and pushing accused-
appellant, but her eorts were to no avail. Accused-appellant
Allowing a witness to refer to her notes rests on the sound removed her shorts and panty, touched her private parts, and
discretion of the trial court. 23 In this case, the exercise of that then had sexual intercourse with her. After he was through with
discretion has not been abused; the witness herself has her, accused-appellant told complainant not to tell anyone what
explained that she merely wanted to be accurate on dates and had happened or he would kill complainants mother and sister.
like details.
Hence, when her mother came home the following day, Erlanie
did not tell her what had happened because she was afraid of
Appellants see inadvertency on Francisca's appearing to be accused-appellant.

"jittery" on the witness stand. Nervousness and anxiety of a On April 9, 1997, however, Erlanie, in the presence of her
witness is a natural reaction particularly in the case of those who mother, told her aunt, Marietta Pagtalunan, and her
are called to testify for the first time. The real concern, in fact, grandmother, Maxima Payumo, that she had been raped by
should be when they show no such emotions.
accused-appellant. For this reason, she was referred to Dr. Barin
for physical examination. She also executed a sworn statement
before the police of Lubao, Pampanga.

56
Erlanie testified that she became pregnant as a result of the rape such as the nature of the relationship between her parents, who
committed against her by accused-appellant, but the pregnancy were present during the execution of her sworn statement,
was aborted. On cross-examination, she said she was 13 years whether the same had been executed by her voluntarily, the
old at the time of her testimony, the second child in the family. date when she was raped by accused-appellant the reason for
She said that her parents were not on good terms with each her delay in reporting the rape committed by accused-appellant,
other and that she knew that her father had a mistress. Atty. her understanding of Tagalog, who were with her in the house at
Mangalindan, then defense counsel, questioned Erlanie the time of the rape, the details surrounding the rape committed
about other supposed acts of molestation committed by against her, and her age. It is evident that accused-appellant
accused-appellant against her previous to the rape subject and his counsel were given ample opportunity to conduct the
of the present case, but, upon objection of the prosecution, cross-examination of Erlanie Rivera in order to test her
truthfulness.

the trial court disallowed the question on the ground that it


concerned matters not covered by her direct examination.

[SANTOS] People v. Kempis, G.R. No. 97169, May 10, 1993

The trial court found accused Guilty.

FACTS:

Issue: WON accused-appellants was correct in invoking Rule


Accused Teofilo Kempis, then a member of the PC, was initially
132 Sec 17

charged with two (2) counts of murder, for the stabbing of


Miraflor and the shooting of Rivero, grave threats and abuse of
Held: No!

authority.

The records show that after Erlanie had finished with her direct
The accused entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment
examination on November 25, 1997, the trial judge granted the
on 29 June 1989.

motion made by Atty. Anselmo Mangalindan, accused-


Trial on the merits then ensued.

appellants private counsel, to postpone Erlanie Riveras cross-


In convicting the accused, the trial court relied on the
examination to allow him time to secure copies of the transcript
prosecution's version.

of stenographic notes of Erlanies testimony and thus enable him


The trial court gave full faith and credit to the testimonies of the
to fully question complainant, Erlanie was first cross-examined
prosecution witnesses and pronounced that Lolito Rivero was in
on December 2, 1997, but several postponements, namely, on
fact shot and killed by the accused on 15 September 1988. It
January 13, 1998,February 10, 1998March 12, 1998, March 31,
brushed aside the alibi interposed by the latter because Rivero's
1998, April 7, 1998, May 12, 1998, May 26, 1998, May 28, 1998,
place is located in the Municipality of Mayorga which is adjacent
and June 11, 1998, on Erlanies cross-examination took place
to the Municipality of Dulag. It is in Dulag where the accused
because of the failure of Atty. Mangalindan to appear on the said
claims to have been for the wake of Diosdado Kempis. The
trial dates. Erlanies cross-examination was continued on July
court a quo observed that "it would not have been impossible
14, 1998 and July 23, 1998. Her cross-examination by accused-
for the accused to have gone to Bgy. Talisay (in Mayorga) and
appellants counsel was thorough and covered various subjects,
kill Lolito as accused admitted he owns a motorcycle."Moreover,
57
the court declared that the accused "was positively identified by declaration, conversation, writing or record is given in evidence
the prosecution witnesses that he killed Lolito Rivero on by one party, the whole of the same subject may be inquired
September 15, 1988."
into by the other, and when a detached act, declaration,
Anent the accused's claim of self-defense, the trial court conversation, writing or record is given in evidence, any other
rejected the same as it was of the opinion that the accused, act, declaration, conversation, writing or record necessary to its
being a soldier, was more knowledgeable and trained in the use understanding may also be given in evidence.

of firearms than the victim, a mere farmer, "who at the time of Thus, in order that the rest of the Investigation Report may have
the incident was not even armed with a bolo or any weapon." been considered by the trial court, the prosecution should have
The court added that "even granting . . . that Lolito was able to oered the same in evidence or moved that the entire document
grab the gun . . . Lolito . . . would have not known how to use it be received in evidence. It bears stressing at this point that the
on the accused. it further observed that although the accused Report attached to the records of Criminal Case No. 841 is only
reported the killing to the police, he failed to inform the latter an uncertified plain copy which is actually annexed to an Order
that he had merely acted in self-defense.
of the Provincial Prosecutor dated 31 March 1989. This Order
ISSUE:
was not identified or oered in evidence. How it found its way
Whether or not the trial court was biased in considering the into the records of the case was never explained. Hence, the
Investigation Report for the prosecution although the same was trial court cannot even take judicial notice thereof. Nevertheless,
not oered in evidence
stated above, this error was of no consequence. It having been
HELD:
conclusively established that the incident on question actually
While it may be true that the trial court should not have taken took place on 15 September 198, accused's first defense of alibi
into consideration that portion of the Investigation Report of the may be appropriately looked into.

Oce of the Regional Inspector, which is not included in Exhibit Unfortunately, however, this defense provides him of no relief.
"1", to bolster its conclusion that the incident in question did in Prosecution witnesses Rosalina Adonis, Carmen Navarro and
fact occur on 15 September 1988, such an erroneous recourse Urbano Adonis all saw him at the scene of the crime at the time
did not in any way aect the veracity of its findings which were of the killing. In fact, the first two were eyewitnesses to the
based principally on the testimonies of the witnesses given in actual shooting. Moreover, the accused further failed to prove
open court and subjected to rigorous scrutiny during cross- that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the
examination by counsel for the accused.
scene of the crime at the time the crime was committed. It is a
We, of course, agree with the accused that since only a portion fundamental juridicial dictum that the defense of alibi cannot
thereof, Exhibit "1", was oered in evidence, the trial court prevail over the positive identification of the accused. For it to
should not have taken the rest into account in the formulation of prosper, it is not enough that, an accused show that he was
its conclusions. Section 17, Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of somewhere else when the crime was committed; he must, more
Court provides:
importantly, demonstrate that it was physically impossible for
SEC. 17. When part of transaction, writing of record given in him to have been at the scene of the crime. In the instant case,
evidence, the remainder admissible. - When part of an act, the trial court found that Barangay Cabacungan, Dulag, Leyte -
58
the place where the accused claims to have stayed in the accompanied by a motion to "be allowed to submit in evidence"
afternoon of 15 September 1988 - is only a few kilometers from the records sought by subpoena duces tecum.

Barangay Talisay, Mayorga, Leyte, the place where Lolito Rivero Johnny opposed the motion, arguing that the medical records
was killed. The municipalities of Dulag and Mayorga adjoin each were covered by physician-patient privilege.

other; considering that the accused has a motorcycle, it was The RTC sustained the opposition and denied Josielenes
then not physically impossible for him to have been in Talisay at motion.

the time of the killing. The decision is armed.


The CA denied Josielenes petition. It ruled that, if courts were to
allow the production of medical records, then patients would be
[SANTOS] Chan v. Chan, G.R. No. 179786, July 24, 2013
left with no assurance that whatever relevant disclosures they
may have made to their physicians would be kept confidential.
FACTS:
The prohibition covers not only testimonies, but also adavits,
On February 6, 2006 petitioner Josielene filed before the RTC of certificates, and pertinent hospital records. The CA added that,
Makati City, a petition for the declaration of nullity of her although Johnny can waive the privilege, he did not do so in this
marriage to respondent Johnny, the dissolution of their conjugal case. He attached the Philhealth form to his answer for the
partnership of gains, and the award of custody of their children limited purpose of showing his alleged forcible confinement.

to her. Josielene claimed that Johnny failed to care for and ISSUE:

support his family and that a psychiatrist diagnosed him as Whether or not the CA erred in ruling that the trial court correctly
mentally deficient due to incessant drinking and excessive use denied the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum covering
of prohibited drugs.
Johnnys hospital records on the ground that these are covered
Johnny resisted the action, claiming that it was Josielene who by the privileged character of the physician-patient
failed in her wifely duties. The marriage relations got worse communication.

when the police temporarily detained Josielene for an unrelated HELD:

crime and released her only after the case against her ended. By NO. Section 24(c), Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence which
then, their marriage relationship could no longer be repaired.
reads:

During the pre-trial conference, Josielene pre-marked the SEC. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged
Philhealth Claim Form that Johnny attached to his answer as communication. The following persons cannot testify as to
proof that he was forcibly confined at the rehabilitation unit of a matters learned in confidence in the following cases:

hospital. The form carried a physicians handwritten note that (c) A person authorized to practice medicine, surgery or
Johnny suered from "methamphetamine and alcohol abuse." obstetrics cannot in a civil case, without the consent of the
Following up on this point, on August 22, 2006 Josielene filed patient, be examined as to any advice or treatment given by him
with the RTC a request for the issuance of a subpoena duces or any information which he may have acquired in attending
tecum addressed to Medical City, covering Johnnys medical such patient in a professional capacity, which information was
records when he was there confined. The request was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity, and which
would blacken the reputation of the patient.

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The physician-patient privileged communication rule essentially evidence in the case when he filed his answer. Any request for
means that a physician who gets information while disclosure of his hospital records would again be premature.

professionally attending a patient cannot in a civil case be


examined without the patients consent as to any facts which Sec. 18. Right to inspect writing shown to witness

would blacken the latters reputation. This rule is intended to


encourage the patient to open up to the physician, relate to him
the history of his ailment, and give him access to his body,
enabling the physician to make a correct diagnosis of that
ailment and provide the appropriate cure. Any fear that a
physician could be compelled in the future to come to court and
narrate all that had transpired between him and the patient
might prompt the latter to clam up, thus putting his own health
at great risk.

Josielene argues that since Johnny admitted in his answer to


the petition before the RTC that he had been confined in a
hospital against his will and in fact attached to his answer a
Philhealth claim form covering that confinement, he should be
deemed to have waived the privileged character of its records.
Josielene invokes Section 17, Rule 132 of the Rules of Evidence
that provides:

SEC. 17. When part of transaction, writing or record given in


evidence, the remainder admissible. When part of an act,
declaration, conversation, writing or record is given in evidence
by one party, the whole of the same subject may be inquired
into by the other, and when a detached act, declaration,
conversation, writing or record is given in evidence, any other
act, declaration, conversation, writing or record necessary to its
understanding may also be given in evidence.

But, trial in the case had not yet begun. Consequently, it cannot
be said that Johnny had already presented the Philhealth claim
form in evidence, the act contemplated above which would
justify Josielene into requesting an inquiry into the details of his
hospital confinement. Johnny was not yet bound to adduce

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