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Assignment No.


1. City of Manila vs. Cabangis, 10 Phil 151

2. People vs. Alcaraz, 136 SCRA 74
3. Macalinao vs. Ong, 477 SCRA 740
4. Sison vs. People, 250 SCRA 58
5. People vs. Abatayo, 87 Phil 794
6. People vs. Cabrera, 740 SCRA 41
7. People vs. Quintos, 740 SCRA 179
8. Orion Savings Bank vs. Suzuki, 740 SCRA 345
9. Villanueva vs. People, 740 SCRA 456
10. Bartolome vs. Maranan, 740 SCRA 491
11. Nedlloyd Lijnen B.V. Rotterdan vs. Glow Laks Enterprises, Ltd., 740 SCRA
12. Office of the Ombudsman vs. Caberoy, 739 SCRA 118
13. People vs. Cataytay, 739 SCRA 201
14. People vs. Villalba, 739 SCRA 302
15. MCMP Construction Corp. vs. Monark Equipment Corp., 739 SCRA 432
16. SMI-Ed Philippine Technology, Inc. vs. Commission of Internanl Revenue,
739 SCRA 691
17. People vs. Andaya, 738 SCRA 105
18. Extra-ordinary Development Corporation vs. Samson-Bico, 738 SCRA 147
19. People vs. Estonilo, Sr., 738 SCRA 204
20. Andres vs. Philippine National Bank, 738 SCRA 344
21. Espiritu vs. Del Rosario, 738 SCRA 464
22. Barrido vs. Nonato, 738 SCRA 510
23. Agile Maritime Resources, Inc. vs. Siador, 737 SCRA 360
24. Sabay vs. People, 737 SCRA 423
25. People vs. Fieldad, 737 SCRA 455
26. Sultan vs. Macabanding, 737 SCRA 530
27. BPI Express Card Corporation vs. Armovit, 737 SCRA 542
28. Centennial Guarantee Assurance Corporation vs. Universal Motors
Corporation, 737 SCRA 654
29. Re: Allegations Made Under Oath at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee
Hearing Held on September 26, 2013 Against Associate Justice Gregory S.
Ong, Sandiganbayan, 736 SCRA 12
30. Barut vs. People, 736 SCRA 313
31. Bognot vs. RRI Lending Corporation, 736 SCRA 357
32. People vs. Guinto, 736 SCRA 461


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ROY ALCAZAR y MIRANDA (G.R. No. 186494, September 15, 2010)

TOPIC: Credibility of a Child witness in a rape case

FACTS: Roy Alcazar y Miranda was charged with raping AAA. The prosecution presented the following witnesses,
namely: AAA, the private offended party; BBB, the mother of AAA; CCC, the cousin of AAA; and Dr. Sarah Bongao
Vasquez (Dr. Vasquez), the examining physician who conducted a medical examination on AAA. AAA, BBB and CCC
were likewise presented as rebuttal witnesses. Roy was the lone witness for the defense. He denied having raped AAA
and offered a different version of the case. RTC gave credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and
rejected the defense of denial adduced by appellant.

ISSUE: WON the trial court gravely erred in convicting Roy of the crime charged notwithstanding the fact that his guilt
was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

HELD: Time and again, this Court has consistently held that in rape cases, the evaluation of the credibility of witnesses
is best addressed to the sound discretion of the trial judge whose conclusion thereon deserves much weight and
respect because the judge had the direct opportunity to observe them on the stand and ascertain if they were telling
the truth or not. Generally, appellate courts will not interfere with the trial courts assessment in this regard, absent
any indication or showing that the trial court has overlooked some material facts of substance or value, or gravely
abused its discretion, which certainly is not the case here.The transcribed notes reveal that AAAs testimony was given
in a candid, categorical and straightforward manner and despite the grueling cross-examination, she never faltered in
her testimony. With tears in her eyes, AAA recounted the details of her harrowing experience in the hands of
appellant. She categorically described before the court a quo how the appellant got closer to her in the attic followed
by appellants act of removing her clothes and his own clothes and the successful penetration of appellants penis into
her vagina.
AAA, young as she is, would not endure the pain and the difficulty of a public trial wherein she had to narrate
over and over again how her person was violated if she has not in truth been raped and impelled to seek justice for
what the appellant had done to her. As it has been repeatedly held, no woman would want to go through the
process, the trouble and the humiliation of trial for such a debasing offense unless she actually has been a victim of
abuse and her motive is but a response to the compelling need to seek and obtain justice.
The result of AAAs medical examination corroborated her testimony of defilement. The medical findings of Dr.
Vasquez revealed two healed hymenal lacerations on AAAs private part, which findings are consistent with AAAs
testimony that appellant twice inserted his penis into her vagina. Where a victims testimony is corroborated by the
physical findings of penetration, there is sufficient basis for concluding that sexual intercourse did take place.

Macalinao vs. Ong, 477 SCRA 740

TOPIC: Use of photographs as evidence.

FACTS: On April 1992, Sebastian instructed Macalinao, Ong and 2 other truck helpers to deliver a heavy piece of
machinery to Sebastians manufacturing plant in Angat, Bulacan. While delivering, the Genetrons Isuzu Elf truck
driven by Ong bumped the front portion of a private jeepney. Both vehicles incurred severe damages while the
passengers sustained physical injuries as a consequence of the collision. Macalinao was brought to Sta. Maria District
Hospital for first aid treatment then to Philippine Orthopedic Center then to Capitol Medical Center and lastly, to
Philippine General Hospital due to financial considerations. His body was paralyzed and immobilized from the neck
down. He filed against Ong and Sebastian. A criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting to serious physical
injuries was instituted but was not ensued. On November 7 1992, Macalinao died and was substituted by his parents.
The Court found Ong negligent.
ISSUE: Whether or not physical evidence such as photographs may be sufficient to merit conviction and liability.

RULING: The Court ruled in the affirmative. Physical evidence is a mute but an eloquent manifestation of truth which
ranks high in our hierarchy of trustworthy evidence.
In this case, while there is a dearth of testimonial evidence to enlighten us about what actually happened,
photographs depicting the relative positions of the vehicles immediately after the accident took place do exist. It is
well established that photographs, when duly verified and shown by extrinsic evidence to be faithful representations
of the subject as of the time in question, are, in the discretion of the trial court, admissible in evidence as aids in
arriving at an understanding of the evidence, the situation or condition of objects or premises or the circumstances of
an accident.
According to American courts, photographs are admissible in evidence in motor vehicle accident cases when
they appear to have been accurately taken and are proved to be a faithful and clear representation of the subject,
which cannot itself be produced, and are of such nature as to throw light upon a disputed point. Before a photograph
may be admitted in evidence, however, its accuracy or correctness must be proved, and it must be authenticated or
verified first. In the case at bar, the photographer testified in open court and properly identified the pictures as the
ones he took at the scene of the accident.

Sison v People

Facts: This case involves the group of Marcos Loyalists and Coryistas. Several informations were filed in court against
eleven persons identified as Marcos loyalists charging them with the murder of Salcedo. All of the accused pleaded
not guilty to the charge and trial ensued accordingly. The prosecution presented twelve witnesses, including two
eyewitnesses, Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo, and the police officers who were at the Luneta at the time of
the incident. In support of their testimonies, the prosecution likewise presented documentary evidence consisting of
newspaper accounts of the incident and various photographs taken during the mauling.

Issue: WON the photographs are admissible in evidence.

Held: Yes. The rule in this jurisdiction is that photographs, when presented in evidence, must be identified by the
photographer as to its production and testified as to the circumstances under which they were produced. The value
of this kind of evidence lies in its being a correct representation or reproduction of the original, and its admissibility is
determined by its accuracy in portraying the scene at the time of the crime. The photographer, however, is not the
only witness who can identify the pictures he has taken. The correctness of the photograph as a faithful
representation of the object portrayed can be proved prima facie, either by the testimony of the person who made it
or by other competent witnesses, after which the court can admit it subject to impeachment as to its
accuracy. 52Photographs, therefore, can be identified by the photographer or by any other competent witness who
can testify to its exactness and accuracy.
This court notes that when the prosecution offered the photographs as part of its evidence, appellants,
through counsel Atty. Alfredo Lazaro, Jr. objected to their admissibility for lack of proper identification. However,
when the accused presented their evidence, Atty. Winlove Dumayas, counsel for accused Joselito Tamayo and Gerry
Neri used Exhibits "V", "V-1" to "V-48" to prove that his clients were not in any of the pictures and therefore could not
have participated in the mauling of the victim. The photographs were adopted by appellant Joselito Tamayo and
accused Gerry Neri as part of the defense exhibits. And at this hearing, Atty. Dumayas represented all the other
accused per understanding with their respective counsels, including Atty. Lazaro, who were absent. At subsequent
hearings, the prosecution used the photographs to cross-examine all the accused who took the witness stand. No
objection was made by counsel for any of the accused, not until Atty. Lazaro appeared at the third hearing and
interposed a continuing objection to their admissibility.
The objection of Atty. Lazaro to the admissibility of the photographs is anchored on the fact that the person
who took the same was not presented to identify them. We rule that the use of these photographs by some of the
accused to show their alleged non-participation in the crime is an admission of the exactness and accuracy thereof.
That the photographs are faithful representations of the mauling incident was affirmed when appellants Richard de
los Santos, Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan identified themselves therein and gave reasons for their presence thereat.
An analysis of the photographs vis-a-vis the accused's testimonies reveal that only three of the
appellants, namely, Richard de los Santos, Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan could be readily seen in various belligerent
poses lunging or hovering behind or over the victim. Appellant Romeo Sison appears only once and he, although
afflicted with hernia is shown merely running after the victim. Appellant Joselito Tamayo was not identified in
any of the pictures. The absence of the two appellants in the photographs does not exculpate them. The
photographs did not capture the entire sequence of the killing of Salcedo but only segments thereof. While the
pictures did not record Sison and Tamayo hitting Salcedo, they were unequivocally identified by Sumilang
and Banculo Appellants' denials and alibis cannot overcome their eyeball identification.

PEOPLE vs ADONES ABATAYO (GR No. 139456 July 7, 2004)

TOPIC: Credibility of the lone eyewitness

FACTS: Abatayo was charged with the crime of double murder against Dominador Basalan and Teofredo Basalan with
the use of a GI pipe. In convicting Abatayo, the trial court relied on the testimony of Apolonio and eyewitness Juanito
Gutang which were corroborated by the medical findings showing the nature and location of the wounds inflicted on
the victims. The court brushed aside as dubious and weak the denial and alibi interposed by Abatayo. According to
the court, such defenses could not prevail over the positive identification made by Gutang of Abatayo as the
perpetrator of the crime.


ISSUE: Whether or not the eyewitness Gutangs testimony is credible and sufficient.

HELD: YES. The testimony the lone eyewitness Gutang is clear, straightforward, categorical and consistent without
any tinge of falsehood or sign of fabrication. No evil motive has been imputed against Gutang for testifying against
Abatayo. In such a situation, the rule is that where there is no evidence, and nothing to indicate that the principal
witness for the prosecution was actuated by improper motives, the presumption is that he was not and his testimony
is entitled to full faith and credit.
It is well-established that the trial courts calibration of the credibility of witnesses should not be disturbed on
appeal since the said court is in a better position to decide the question, having itself heard and observed the
demeanor of the witnesses on the stand. Unless, it has plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value which
if considered could alter and affect the result of the case.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. EDWIN CABRERA [ G.R. No. 190175, November 12, 2014 ]

Facts: After receiving information from residents of Sitio Galaxy, Tangke, Talisay, Cebu and a report from a
confidential asset of the illegal drug activities of appellant, police officers conducted a buy-bust operation against
appellant. At about 4:30 p.m., poseur-buyer, together with the confidential asset, approached appellant who was
standing outside his house. PO1 Palconit gave appellant two marked P50.00 bills, while the latter handed to him two
plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance. Thereupon, PO1 Palconit made the pre-arranged signal by
touching his head with his right hand. His back-ups then rushed to the scene and simultaneously therewith PO1
Palconit arrested the appellant. He then put the markings "EC" on the two plastic sachets and brought the same to
the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory for forensic examination.
The chemistry report from the PNP Crime Laboratory later revealed that the white crystalline substance with
a total weight of 0.11 gram inside the two plastic sachets marked with "EC" tested positive for methylamphetamine
hydrochloride or shabu, a dangerous drug.

Issue: Whether or not there is compliance with Section 21 of the implementing rules of RA 9165

Ruling: With regard to the non-compliance by the police officers with Section 21 of the Implementing Rules of RA
9165 as alleged by appellant in his Supplemental Brief, particularly the lack of physical inventory of the seized
specimen and the non-taking of photograph thereof, the Court notes that appellant raised the same only in this
appeal. The records of the case is bereft of any showing that appellant objected before the RTC regarding the seizure
and safekeeping of the shabu seized from him on account of the failure of the police officers to maintain an unbroken
chain of custody of the said drugs. The only time that appellant questioned the chain of custody was before the CA
but not on the ground of lack of physical inventory or non-taking of photograph, but on the alleged gap between the
time of confiscation of the specimen and the time of its submission to the PNP Crime Laboratory. But even then, it
was already too late in the day for appellant to do so.
Appellant should have raised the said issue before the trial court. In similar cases, the Court brushed aside
the accused's belated contention that the illegal drugs confiscated from his person were inadmissible because the
arresting officers failed to comply with Section 21 of RA 9165. "Whatever justifiable grounds may excuse the police
officers from literally complying with Section 21 will remain unknown, because [appellant] did not question during
trial the safekeeping of the items seized from him. Objection to evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal;
when a party desires the court to reject the evidence offered, he must so state in the form of an objection. Without
such objection, he cannot raise the question for the first time on appeal.

PEOPLE VS. QUINTOS, 740 SCRA 179, 2014

TOPIC: Witness Credibility

FACTS: Two information were filed against the accused Enrique Quintos for allegedly raping a 21-year old girl who is
confrmed to be intellectually disabled at the time the rape incident happened. AAA testified that on several
occasions, Quintos inserted his penis in her vagina despite her protests. For his defense, Quintos claimed that he has
romantic relationships with AAA and that the act of AAA accusing him of rape is only a way of AAA to get back at him
because he ended their relationship.
The RTC gave credence to the testimony of AAA and convicted Quintos for the crime charged. On appeal, the
CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. Hence, this petition

ISSUE: Whether Quintos is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged.


HELD: Yes. The SC affirmed the decision of the CA.
The observance of the witnesses demeanor during an oral direct examination, cross-examination, and during
the entire period that he or she is present during trial is indispensable especially in rape cases because it helps
establish the moral conviction that an accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged.The
observance of the witnesses demeanor during an oral direct examination, cross-examination, and during the entire
period that he or she is present during trial is indispensable especially in rape cases because it helps establish the
moral conviction that an accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. Trial provides judges with
the opportunity to detect, consciously or unconsciously, observable cues and microexpressions that could, more than
the words said and taken as a whole, suggest sincerity or betray lies and ill will. These important aspects can never be
reflected or reproduced in documents and objects used as evidence.
The evaluation of the witnesses credibility is a matter best left to the trial court because it has the opportunity
to observe the witnesses and their demeanor during the trial.[T]he evaluation of the witnesses credibility is a
matter best left to the trial court because it has the opportunity to observe the witnesses and their demeanor during
the trial. Thus, the Court accords great respect to the trial courts findings, more so when the Court of Appeals
affirmed such findings. The exception is when the trial court and/or the Court of Appeals overlooked or
misconstrued substantial facts that could have affected the outcome of the case. No such facts were overlooked or
misconstrued in this case.

ORION SAVINGS BANK vs. SHIGEKANE SUZUKI (G.R. No. 205487. November 12, 2014)

Facts: Respondent Suzuki, a Japanese national, met with Ms. Soneja to inquire about a condominium unit and a
parking slot allegedly owned by Kang, a Korean national and a Special Resident Retirees Visa (SRRV) holder. Soneja
informed Suzuki that Unit No. 536 is for sale and assured that the titles to the unit and the parking slot were clean.
After a brief negotiation, the parties agreed to reduce the price. Subsequently, Suzuki issued Kang a BPI Check for
P100,000.00 as reservation fee and P2,700,000.00 representing the remaining balance of the purchase price.
Consequently a Deed of Absolute Sale was executed. Suzuki took possession and commenced the renovation of the
interior of the condominium unit.
Kang thereafter made several representations with Suzuki to deliver the titles to the properties, which were
then allegedly in possession of Alexander Perez (Perez, Orions Loans Officer) for safekeeping. Despite several verbal
demands, Kang failed to deliver the documents. Suzuki later on learned that Kang had left the country, prompting
Suzuki to verify the status of the properties with the Mandaluyong City Registry of Deeds. Suzuki filed a complaint for
specific performance and damages against Kang and Orion. The RTC and CA ruled in favor of suzuki.
Orion sought a reconsideration and argued that The Deed of Sale executed by Kang in favor of Suzuki is null and void.
Under Korean law, any conveyance of a conjugal property should be made with the consent of both spouses;

Issue: whether or not the applicable law is Korean law

Ruling: No. On the other hand, property relations between spouses are governed principally by the national law of
the spouses.26 However, the party invoking the application of a foreign law has the burden of proving the foreign
law. The foreign law is a question of fact to be properly pleaded and proved as the judge cannot take judicial notice of
a foreign law.27 He is presumed to know only domestic or the law of the forum.28
To prove a foreign law, the party invoking it must present a copy thereof and comply with Sections 24 and 25
of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court which reads:

SEC. 24. Proof of official record.The record of public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of
Section 19, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a
copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if the
record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which
the record is kept is in a foreign country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or
legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the
Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his
office. (Emphasis supplied)
SEC. 25. What attestation of copy must state.Whenever a copy of a document or record is
attested for the purpose of the evidence, the attestation must state, in substance, that the copy is a correct
copy of the original, or a specific part thereof, as the case may be. The attestation must be under the official
seal of the attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court having a seal, under the seal of
such court.


Accordingly, matters concerning the title and disposition of real property shall be governed by Philippine law
while issues pertaining to the conjugal nature of the property shall be governed by South Korean law, provided it is
proven as a fact.

ELLA M. BARTOLOME vs. ROSALIE B. MARANAN, (A.M. No. P-11-2979, November 18, 2014)

TOPIC: Ephemeral Evidence

FACTS: Ella M. Bartolome filed against Rosalie B. Maranan, Court Stenographer III, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch
20, Imus, Cavite, charging her with extortion, graft and corruption, gross misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a
court employee. The complainant alleged that the respondent asked money from her in the amount of P200,000.00,
which was later reduced to P160,000.00, to facilitate the filing of her case for annulment of marriage. In support of
her allegations, the complainant attached to her affidavit-complaint, among others, the transcribed electronic
communications (text messages) between her and the respondent and a versatile compact disc (VCD) containing the
video taken during the entrapment operation conducted against the respondent. In her defense, Maranan insisted
that the present complaint against her is plain and simple harassment and a vexatious suit by the complainant who
either has a grudge against her or must have been used by another person with a grudge against her.

ISSUE: WON the conversation between Bartolome and Maranan thru text messages is admissible.

HELD: YES. Ephemeral electronic communications are now admissible evidence, subject to certain conditions.
"Ephemeral electronic communication" refers to telephone conversations, text messages, chatroom sessions,
streaming audio, streaming video, and other electronic forms of communication the evidence of which is not
recorded or retained. It may be proven by the testimony of a person who was a party to the communications or has
personal knowledge thereof.
In the present case, we have no doubt regarding the probative value of the text messages as evidence in
considering the present case. The complainant, who was the recipient of the text messages and who therefore has
personal knowledge of these text messages, identified the respondent as the sender through cellphone number
09175775982. The respondent herself admitted that her conversations with the complainant had been thru SMS
messaging and that the cellphone number reflected in the complainants cellphone from which the text messages
originated was hers. She confirmed that it was her cellphone number during the entrapment operation the Imus
Cavite Police conducted. The complainant submitted two (2) copies of the VCD23 containing pictures taken during the
entrapment conducted by the Imus Cavite Police on November 11, 2009.24
Under Section 1, Rule 11 of A.M. No. 01-7-01-SC, audio, photographic and video evidence of events, acts or
transactions shall be admissible provided it shall be shown, presented or displayed to the court and shall be
identified, explained or authenticated by the person who made the recording or by some other person competent to
testify on the accuracy thereof. We viewed the VCD and the video showed the actual entrapment operation.

Nedlloyd Lijnen B.V. Rotterdam vs. Glow Laks Enterprises, Ltd., 740 SCRA 592

TOPIC: Foreign Law must be proved and alleged.

FACTS: Petitioner Nedlloyd is a foreign corporation, doing business in the Philippines thru its local ship agent, co-
petitioner. Respondent Glow Laks Enterprises,Ltd., is likewise a foreign corporation organized and existing under the
laws of Hong Kong with no license to do business in the Philippines. On Sept. 1987, respondent loaded on board M/S
Scandutch, owned by Petitioner, at the Port of Manila a total 343 cartoons of garments, to Colon, Panama via
Hongkong. By an unfortunate turn of events, however, unauthorized persons managed to forge the covering bills of
lading and on the basis of the falsified documents, the ports authority released the goods. Hence this formal claim
with Nedlloyd.
The RTC dismissed the case against Petitioner. It ruled that Panama law was duly proven during the trial and
pursuant to the said statute, carriers of goods destined to any Panama port of entry have to discharge their loads into
the custody of Panama Ports Authority to make effective government collection of port dues, customs duties and
taxes. The subsequent withdrawal effected by unauthorized persons on the strength of falsified bills of lading does
not constitute misdelivery arising from the fault of the common carrier. CA reversed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Panamian Laws were duly proved as ruled by the RTC.

RULING: The Court ruled in the negative. It is well settled that foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction
and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them. Like any other fact, they must be alleged and


proved. To prove a foreign law, the party invoking it must present a copy thereof and comply with Sections 24 and 25
of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court.
Contrary to the contention of the petitioners, the Panamanian laws, particularly Law 42 and its Implementing
Order No. 7, were not duly proven in accordance with Rules of Evidence and as such, it cannot govern the rights and
obligations of the parties in the case at bar. While a photocopy of the Gaceta Official of the Republica de Panama No.
17.596, the Spanish text of Law 42 which is the foreign statute relied upon by the court a quoto relieve the common
carrier from liability, was presented as evidence during the trial of the case below, the same however was not
accompanied by the required attestation and certification.

Ombudsman v Caberoy

Facts: Caberoy is the principal of Ramon Avancea National High School (RANHS) in Arevalo, Iloilo City. She was
charged with Oppression and Violation of Section 3(e) and (f) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019 or the "Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act"by Angeles O. Tuares (Tuares) for allegedly withholding her salary for the month of June 2002.
She withheld the salary of Tuares until the latter complied with the requisite clearance and Performance Appraisal
Sheet for Teachers (PAST). She was found guilty and meted out a penalty of dismissal from service.

Issue: WON the Ombudsman is correct.

Held: Finally, on the contention that the findings and conclusions of the respondent Ombudsman is considered
conclusive and deserve respect and finality is true only when the same is based on substantial evidence. As discussed
above, the action taken by petitioner in withholding the salaries of private respondent was clearly justified. It was a
measure taken by a superior against a subordinate who ignored the basic tenets of law by not submitting the required
documents to support payment of her salary and proportional vacation pay for the aforesaid period.
In this case before us, the records is bereft of substantial evidence to support respondent Ombudsmans
findings and conclusion that petitioner committed oppressive acts against private respondent and violated Sections
3(e) and (f) of RA 3019. On the contrary and as earlier discussed, respondent Ombudsman found and concluded that
private respondent was paid her June salary albeit late. Hence, it cannot be gainsaid that the act of respondent
Ombudsman in concluding that petitioner is guilty as charged despite absence of substantial evidence to support the
same is totally unfounded and is therefore, tantamount to grave abuse of discretion amounting to a lack or excess of

PEOPLE vs LEONARDO CATAYTAY (GR No. 196315 October 22, 2014)

TOPIC: Child witness and mental incapacity

FACTS: Cataytay was charged with the crime of rape against a 19-year old with a mental age of a minor. The facts
show that the mother of the victim left the victim in their house. Thirty minutes later, her neighbor brought her to
the barangay outpost where she found her daughter who told her that she was raped. In a Psychological Evaluation
Report from the DSWD, it stated that the victim has the mental capacity of an eight-year old child. Cataytay
interposed alibi and denial as his defense. He further questions the credibility of the victims mother testimony
concerning the details of the commission of the crime and that the victim can be easily influenced.

ISSUE: Whether or not the testimony of the victims mother is credible.

HELD: YES. Despite lacking certain details concerning the manner in which the victim was allegedly raped, the trial
court took into consideration the mental incapacity of the victim and qualifying her to be a child witness. The trial
court found her testimony to be credible and convincing. The victims mental condition may have prevented her from
delving into the specifics of the assault in her testimony almost three years later, unlike the way she narrated the
same when she was asked
at the barangay outpost merely minutes after the incident. However, as ruled in a litany of cases, when a woman,
more so if she is a minor, says she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to prove that rape was
committed. Youth and immaturity are generally badges of truth.


FACTS: Accused-appellants were charged with intent to kill, with treachery, evident premeditation, and abuse of
superior strength, one Maximilian Casona y Lacroix with the use of an ice pick. The prosecution presented the
testimonies of three persons who witnessed the stabbing incident: Maximillian's widow Josephine, Homer, and
Frederick. The prosecution also called to the witness stand the physicians who attended to Maximillian before his
death, namely, cardiologist Dr. Gonzales and surgeon Dr. Urag. RTC promulgated its Judgment convicting accused-
appellants as charged. The trial court found that the prosecution had duly established the essential elements of
murder, and rejected the uncorroborated claim of self-defense of accused-appellant Arnel and defenses of denial and
alibi of accused-appellant Randy.
Court of Appeals rendered its assailed Decision affirming the conviction of accused-appellants for murder.

ISSUE: Whether or not the prosecution has established the quantum of evidence required in the case.

HELD: No. The prosecution likewise failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt any of the alleged circumstances which
would qualify the killing of Maximillian to murder. The essence of evident premeditation is that the execution of the
criminal act must be preceded by cool thought and reflection upon the resolution to carry out the criminal intent
during a space of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment. For it to be appreciated, the following must be proven
beyond reasonable doubt: (1) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime; (2) an act manifestly
indicating that the accused clung to his determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time between such determination
and execution to allow him to reflect upon the circumstances of his act. As the Court already discussed in the
preceding paragraphs, the events leading to the stabbing of Maximillian by accused-appellant Arnel happened swiftly
and unexpectedly, with accused-appellant Arnel instantaneously and spontaneously stabbing Maximillian with a
barbecue stick he found in the area. Accused-appellant Arnel clearly had no opportunity for cool thought and
reflection prior to stabbing Maximillian.


TOPIC: Best Evidence Rule; Documentary Evidence

FACTS: MCMP Construction Corporation (MCMP) leased heavy equipment from Monark Equipment Corporation
(Monark). When MCMP failed to pay rental fees despite demand, Monark then filed a suit for a sum of money. MCMP
alleged in defense that the complaint was premature as Monark has refused to give a detailed breakdown of its
claims. MCMP further averred that it had an agreement with Monark that it would not be charged for the whole time
that the leased equipment was in its possession but rather only for the actual time that the equipment was used
although still on the project site. MCMP, however, admitted that this agreement was not contained in the Contract.
RTC ruled in favor of Monark. The CA affirmed the decision.
MCMP challenges the ruling of the CA arguing that the appellate court should have disallowed the
presentation of secondary evidence to prove the existence of the Contract, following the Best Evidence Rule. MCMP
specifically argues that based on the testimony of Peregrino, Monark did not diligently search for the original copy of
the Contract as evidenced by the fact that: 1) the actual custodian of the document was not presented; 2) the alleged
loss was not even reported to management or the police; and 3) Monark only searched for the original copy of the
document for the purposes of the instant case.

ISSUE: Whether the contention is correct.

HELD: No. In Country Bankers Insurance Corporation v. Lagman, the Court set down the requirements before a party
may present secondary evidence to prove the contents of the original document whenever the original copy has been
lost: Before a party is allowed to adduce secondary evidence to prove the contents of the original, the offeror must
prove the following: (1) the existence or due execution of the original; (2) the loss and destruction of the original or
the reason for its non-production in court; and (3) on the part of the offeror, the absence of bad faith to which the
unavailability of the original can be attributed. The correct order of proof is as follows: existence, execution, loss, and
In the instant case, the CA correctly ruled that the above requisites are present. Both the CA and the RTC
gave credence to the testimony of Peregrino that the original Contract in the possession of Monark has been lost and
that diligent efforts were exerted to find the same but to no avail. Such testimony has remained uncontroverted. As
has been repeatedly held by this Court, findings of facts and assessment of credibility of witnesses are matters best
left to the trial court.12Hence, the Court will respect the evaluation of the trial court on the credibility of Peregrino.
MCMP, to note, contends that the Contract presented by Monark is not the contract that they entered into.
Yet, it has failed to present a copy of the Contract even despite the request of the trial court for it to produce its copy
of the Contract.13 Normal business practice dictates that MCMP should have asked for and retained a copy of their
agreement. Thus, MCMPs failure to present the same and even explain its failure, not only justifies the presentation
by Monark of secondary evidence in accordance with Section 6 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, but it also gives rise
to the disputable presumption adverse to MCMP under Section 3(e) of Rule 131 of the Rules of Court that evidence
willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced.


12, 2014.

Facts: SMI-ED is a PEZA-registered corporation authorized to engage in the business of manufacturing ultra high-
density microprocessor unit package," filed a claim for tax refund. The BIR did not act on SMI-Ed Philippines claim,
which prompted the latter to file a petition for review before the Court of Tax Appeals. The Court of Tax Appeals
denied SMI-Ed Philippines claim for refund because fiscal incentives given to PEZA-registered enterprises may be
availed only by PEZA-registered enterprises that had already commenced operations. Since SMI-Ed Philippines had
not commenced operations, it was not entitled to the incentives of either the income tax holiday or the 5%
preferential tax rate. Hence the present petition arguing that the Court of Tax Appeals has no jurisdiction to make an
assessment since its jurisdiction, with respect to the decisions of respondent, is merely appellate.34 Moreover, the
power to make assessment had already prescribed under Section 203 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997
since the return for the erroneous payment was filed on September 13, 2000. This is more than three (3) years from
the last day prescribed by law for the filing of the return.35
Petitioner also argued that the Court of Tax Appeals En Banc erroneously subjected petitioners machineries to 6%
capital gains tax.36 Section 27(D)(5) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 is clear that the 6% capital gains
tax on

Issue: whether or not petitioner is entitled to its claim.

Ruling: No. Rule 131, Section 3(ff) of the Rules of Court provides for the presumption that the law has been obeyed
unless contradicted or overcome by other evidence, thus:
SEC. 3. Disputable presumptions.The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be
contradicted and overcome by other evidence:
(ff) That the law has been obeyed.
The BIR did not make a deficiency assessment for this declaration. Neither did the BIR dispute this statement
in its pleadings filed before this court. There is, therefore, no reason to doubt the truth that petitioner indeed
suffered a net loss in 2000. Since petitioner had not started its operations, it was also not subject to the minimum
corporate income tax of 2% on gross income.70 Therefore, petitioner is not liable for any income tax.
In an action for the refund of taxes allegedly erroneously paid, the Court of Tax Appeals may determine whether
there are taxes that should have been paid in lieu of the taxes paid. Determining the proper category of tax that
should have been paid is not an assessment. It is incidental to determining whether there should be a refund.
A Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-registered corporation that has never commenced operations
may not avail the tax incentives and preferential rates given to PEZA-registered enterprises. Such corporation is
subject to ordinary tax rates under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

191090, October 13, 2014)

TOPIC: Judicial Admissions

FACTS: Juan and Irenea were siblings who became co-owners of the subject property which they inherited from their
parents. When the both died, the heirs of Juan and Irenea became co-owners of the property. The heirs of Juan,
without the consent of respondents, the heirs of Irenea, executed in favor of EDC a Deed of Absolute Sale covering
the subject property. This prompted respondents to file the Complaint for Annulment of Contract and Tax
Declaration No. 00-BI-030-3512 and Reconveyance of Possession with Damages.
In their answer, the heirs of Juan categorically admitted, as well as during the hearing the existence of co-
ownership. Thus, both the trial court and the appellate court ruled that the heirs of Juan, as co-owners, could only
alienate or convey to EDC their one-half portion of the subject property which may be allotted to them in the division
upon the termination of the co-ownership. Thus, the sale will affect only their share but not those of the other co-
owners who did not consent to the sale. EDC pursued this petition and insist that respondents failed to prove co-
ownership presumably to validate in its entirety the Deed of Absolute Sale it entered into with the heirs of Juan.

ISSUE: WON the respondents failed to prove the existence of co-ownership

HELD: NO. Herminia has successfully established her successional rights over the subject property through her clear
testimony and admitted by the opposing counsel. The Court took into consideration the admissions made by the heirs
of Juan in their Answer to the Complaint filed by respondents before the trial court.


A party may make judicial admissions in (a) the pleadings, (b) during the trial, either by verbal or written
manifestations or stipulations, or (c) in other stages of the judicial proceeding. The Answer submitted by the heirs of
Juan, as well as the testimony of Juan constitute judicial admissions. Well-settled is the rule that a judicial admission
conclusively binds the party making it. He cannot thereafter take a position contradictory to, or inconsistent with his
pleadings. Acts or facts admitted do not require proof and cannot be contradicted unless it is shown that the
admission was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made.

People vs. Estonilo, Sr., 738 SCRA 204

TOPICS: 1.) First hand impression of the trial court as to witnesses.

2.) Defense of alibi.

FACTS: Information was filed charging the accused of killing one Floro Casas. Trial ensued and the prosecution
presented several witnesses. The defense tried to discredit the witnesses by confronting them with facts of pending
criminal cases filed against them. Meanwhile, they relied on the defenses of denial and alibi.
The RTC found the accused-appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. It gave credence
to the eyewitness account of Antipolo and the corroborating testimony of Serapion, who were both present at the
school grounds during the shooting incident. The RTC found accused-appellants Mayor Carlos, Sr. and Rey to
have ordered their co-accused to kill Floro based on the testimony of Servando, who was present when the group
planned to kill Floro. Thus, the RTC concluded that Ex-Mayor Carlos, Sr. is a principal by inducement. And accused-
appellant Rey conspired with his father. In sum, the prosecution was able to establish conspiracy and evident
premeditation among all the accused-appellants.
The accused appealed prayed for the reversal of the judgment of conviction in the criminal case on the
ground that some of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses constitute circumstantial evidence, and that the
prosecution was not able to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

1. Whether or not the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
2. Whether or not the twin defenses of denial and alibi raised by the accused-appellants be accepted.

RULING: The Court ruled in the affirmative. The age-old rule is that the task of assigning values to the testimonies of
witnesses on the witness stand and weighing their credibility is best left to the trial court which forms its first-hand
impressions as a witness testifies before it. It is, thus, no surprise that findings and conclusions of trial courts on the
credibility of witnesses enjoy, as a rule, a badge of respect, for trial courts have the advantage of observing the
demeanor of witnesses as they testify.
This Court had nevertheless carefully scrutinized the records but found no indication that the trial and the
appellate courts overlooked or failed to appreciate facts that, if considered, would change the outcome of this
case. The trial court and the appellate court did not err in giving credence to the testimonies of the prosecution
witnesses, particularly of Antipolo who was an eyewitness to the crime.
Antipolos testimony did not suffer from any serious and material inconsistency that could possibly detract
from his credibility. From his direct and straightforward testimony, there is no doubt as to the identity of the culprits.
As to the second issue, the Court ruled in the negative. The twin defenses of denial and alibi raised by the
accused-appellants must fail in light of the positive identification made by Antipolo and Serapion. Alibi and denial are
inherently weak defenses and must be brushed aside when the prosecution has sufficiently and positively ascertained
the identity of the accused as in this case. It is also axiomatic that positive testimony prevails over negative testimony
Further, it has been held that for the defense of alibi to prosper, the accused must prove the following: (i)
that he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime; and (ii) that it was physically
impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime during its commission. Physical impossibility involves the distance
and the facility of access between the crime scene and the location of the accused when the crime was committed;
the accused must demonstrate that he was so far away and could not have been physically present at the crime scene
and its immediate vicinity when the crime was committed. Here, the accused-appellants utterly failed to satisfy the
above-quoted requirements

Andres v. PNB

Facts: This case involves a 4,634-square-meter parcel of land in Nueva Ecija mortgaged to respondent Philippine
National Bank (PNB). PNB later foreclosed the property and consolidated title in its name.
Onofre Andres, claiming ownership over the property, filed on November 13, 1996 a complaint for
cancellation of title, reconveyance of property and damages against PNB, among others.


The complaint alleged that on November 8, 1994, Onofre Andres nephew Reynaldo Andres was in collusion with his
mother, Lydia Echaus-Andres, in executing a falsified document denominated as Self-Adjudication of Sole Heir. This
stated that Reynaldo Andres was the sole heir of his father, Roman Andres, who died on October 12, 1968, and his
mother who died on December 15, 1969. However, his mother was then still alive and his father, Roman Andres, died
only on May 29, 1990.
PNB denied the material allegations in the complaint. It argued that it conducted an investigation on the
property. The title presented to PNB by Reynaldo Andres and his wife was clear and free from adverse
In his reply, Onofre Andres countered that the extrajudicial partition with sale executed on July 1, 1965 was fictitious,
thus, void.
Onofre Andres argued that (1) this was not published in a newspaper of general circulation; (2) it was
executed only to accommodate the request of Roman Andres and his wife who wanted to mortgage the property; (3)
three of the legitimate heirs of the late Victor and Filomena Andres, who were then still living, namely, Sixto, Ofelia,
and Araceli, did not participate in its execution; and (4) there was no consideration for the alleged sale.

Issue: Whether a valid title in favor of PNB can be derived from these void titles.

Held: While it is settled that a simulated deed of sale is null and void and therefore, does not convey any right that
could ripen into a valid title, it has been equally ruled that, for reasons of public policy, the subsequent nullification of
title to a property is not a ground to annul the contractual right which may have been derived by a purchaser,
mortgagee or other transferee who acted in good faith. (Emphasis supplied, citations omitted)
The doctrine protecting mortgagees and innocent purchasers in good faith emanates from the social interest
embedded in the legal concept granting indefeasibility of titles. The burden of discovery of invalid transactions
relating to the property covered by a title appearing regular on its face is shifted from the third party relying on the
title to the co-owners or the predecessors of the title holder. Between the third party and the co-owners, it will be
the latter that will be more intimately knowledgeable about the status of the property and its history. The costs of
discovery of the basis of invalidity, thus, are better borne by them because it would naturally be lower. A reverse
presumption will only increase costs for the economy, delay transactions, and, thus, achieve a less optimal welfare
level for the entire society.
Second, the two-year period under Rule 74, Section 4 of the Rules of Court had lapsed and petitioner heirs
did not allege if any heir or creditor of Roman Andres and his wife had invoked their right under this provision. In any
event, Rule 74, Section 4 does not apply to Onofre Andres who never alleged being an excluded heir or unpaid
creditor of his brother Roman Andres and Romans wife.


TOPIC: Presumption of regularity of the acts of public officer

FACTS: In 2000, respondent del Rosario filed an application for exemption with the DAR seeking to exempt Lot Nos.
854 and 855 from the CARP coverage which was granted citing DOJ Opinion No. 44 s. 1990 stating that lands classified
as non-agricultural before the enactment of CARP are beyond its coverage. The farmers in respondents landholdings
led by petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the order arguing that the landholdings were classified as
agricultural and not industrial. The DAR gave due course and granted the motion thereby revoking the earlier
order. It also denied the motion for reconsideration of del Rosario. Del Rosario filed a notice of appeal before the
Office of the President. Deputy Executive Secretary Gaite rendered the decision dismissing the appeal for lack of
merit. Del Rosario filed a petition for review before the CA, arguing that the decision of Gaite was void since he had
been appointed to the SEC two months prior to the rendering of the decision.

ISSUE: Whether or not Deputy Secretary Gaites decision is presumed valid, effective and binding.

HELD: YES. Gaite, being a public officer, his acts enjoy the presumption of regularity. The presumption of regularity
of official acts may be rebutted by affirmative evidence of irregularity or failire to perform a duty. The presumption,
however, prevails until it is overcome by no less than clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. Thus, unless the
presumption is rebutted, it becomes conclusive. Every reasonable intendment will be made in support of the
presumption and in case of doubt as to an officers act being lawful or unlawful, construction should be in favor of its


Respondent has not presented evidence showing that the decision was rendered ultra vires, other than her
allegation that Gaite had already been appointed to another office. Unless there is clear and convincing evidence on
the contrary, the decision is conclusively presumed to have been rendered in the regular course of business.


FACTS: In the course of the marriage of respondent Leonardo V. Nonato and petitioner Marietta N. Barrido,they were
able to acquire a property. their marriage was declared void on the ground of psychological incapacity. Since there
was no more reason to maintain their co-ownership over the property, Nonato asked Barrido for partition, but the
latter refused. Thus, Nonato filed a complaint for partition of property. Barrido claimed, by way of affirmative
defense, that the subject property had already been sold to their children, Joseph Raymund and Joseph Leo. She
likewise moved for the dismissal of the complaint because the MTCC lacked jurisdiction, the partition case being an
action incapable of pecuniary estimation.

ISSUE: Whether the deed of sale alleged is binding and therefore, the property is no longer in the owned by the

HELD: No. Aside from the title to the property still being registered in the names of the former spouses, said
document of safe does not bear a notarization of a notary public. It must be noted that without the notarial seal, a
document remains to be private and cannot be converted into a public document, making it inadmissible in evidence
unless properly authenticated. Unfortunately, Barrido failed to prove its due execution and authenticity. In fact, she
merely annexed said Deed of Sale to her position paper. Therefore, the subject property remains to be owned in
common by Nonato and Barrido, which should be divided in accordance with the rules on co-ownership.


TOPIC: Burden of Evidence

FACTS:Since the seafarers heir has initially discharged his burden of proof, the employer, in order to avoid liability,
must similarly establish their defense. If the employer is able to establish its defense by substantial evidence, the
burden now rests on the seafarers heir to overcome the employers defense. In other words, the burden of evidence
now shifts to the seafarers heirs. Dennis Siador was an ordinary seaman on board the vessel LNG Aries.
Apolinario Siador, Dennis father, was claiming death benefits from Pronav Ship Management, Inc. and its
local manning agent, Agile Maritime Resources (Agile) for claiming that Dennis fell from the vessel and died in the
high seas. The latters body was never recovered.
Apolinario claims that Dennis was suffering with mental disability days prior to the incident finding solace on
portion of crewmembers statements that Dennis was telling them some strange things about the future, Jesus,
Angels, some visions/predictions that he have and that his writings will be guided by Jesus. Thus, his act of jumping
overboard cannot be considered as willful.
Agile interposed the defense that Dennis willfully took his life by jumping overboard. A life ring was
immediately thrown into the water by the vessels crew, but Rolando Moreno, the fitter, saw Dennis floating on his
back and making no efforts to swim towards the life ring.
Under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Standard Employment Contract (POEA - SEC), the
employer is not liable for the compensation if the death is directly attributable to the seafarer. Both the Labor Arbiter
and the NLRC dismissed the complaint finding that substantial evidence exists to support that Dennis, saddled by
heavy personal and psychological problems, took his own life by jumping overboard.
The Court of Appeals reversed NLRCs decision finding the latter gravely abused its discretion in holding that
substantial evidence exists to support its conclusion that Dennis willfully took his life.

ISSUE: Was Agile able to prove by substantial evidence that Dennis willfully took his life by jumping overboard thus
shifting the burden on Siador to prove by substantial evidence that Dennis was insane at the time of incident?

HELD: Yes. As a claimant for death benefits, Apolinario has the burden of proving that the seafarers death (1) is work-
related; and (2) happened during the term of the employment contract. Unarguably, Apolinario has discharged this
burden of proof. Since Apolinario has initially discharged his burden of proof, Agile, et. al., in order to avoid liability,
must similarly establish their defense. If they are able to establish their defense by substantial evidence, the burden
now rests on Apolinario to overcome the employers defense. In other words, the burden of evidence now shifts to
the seafarers heirs.


Whether it is the employer or the seafarer, the quantum of proof necessary to discharge their respective
burdens is substantial evidence, i.e., such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion, even if other minds equally reasonable might conceivably opine otherwise.Whether it is the
employer or the seafarer, the quantum of proof necessary to discharge their respective burdens is substantial
evidence, i.e., such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, even if
other minds equally reasonable might conceivably opine otherwise. Since Apolinario has initially discharged his
burden of proof, the petitioners, in order to avoid liability, must similarly establish their defense. If the petitioners are
able to establish their defense by substantial evidence, the burden now rests on Apolinario to overcome the
employers defense. In other words, the burden of evidence now shifts to the seafarers heirs. While the rules of
evidence are not controlling in the proceedings of the labor tribunals, a structured approach as described above is
necessary if the courts were to observe the limitations to their own power of review. Otherwise, as we hinted at in
our preliminary consideration, resort to the courts will amount to the review of the intrinsic merits of the NLRCs
ruling, in effect a review on appeal that statutory law does not (and, hence, the courts cannot) provide.
By holding that willfulness could not be presumed from Dennis act of jumping overboard, we observe that the
Court of Appeals (CA) cluttered its appreciation of the evidence, contrary to the rules on the burden of proof and the
burden of evidence that must be observed since the issue before the CA was not the intrinsic correctness of the
National Labor Relations Commissions (NLRCs) ruling but the existence of grave abuse of discretion.With the
companys discharge of the burden to prove its defense, the burden of evidence shifted to Apolinario to rebut the
petitioners case. In other words, Apolinario has to prove by substantial evidence that Dennis may be insane at the
time he took his life. By holding that willfulness could not be presumed from Dennis act of jumping overboard, we
observe that the CA cluttered its appreciation of the evidence, contrary to the rules on the burden of proof and the
burden of evidence that must be observed since the issue before the CA was not the intrinsic correctness of the
NLRCs ruling but the existence of grave abuse of discretion.
Since the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration-Standard Employment Contract (POEA-SEC) requires
the employer to prove not only that the death is directly attributable to the seafarer himself but also that the seafarer
willfully caused his death, evidence of insanity or mental sickness may be presented to negate the requirement of
willfulness as a matter of counter-defense.Since the POEA-SEC requires the employer to prove not only that the
death is directly attributable to the seafarer himself but also that the seafarer willfully caused his death, evidence of
insanity or mental sickness may be presented to negate the requirement of willfulness as a matter of counter-
defense. Since the willfulness may be inferred from the physical act itself of the seafarer (his jump into the open sea),
the insanity or mental illness required to be proven must be one that deprived him of the full control of his senses; in
other words, there must be sufficient proof to negate voluntariness.
Apolinarios complaint must be dismissed not because of doubt but because of the insufficiency of his evidence
to support his claim of insanity.We must point out that this case is not one of doubt reasonably arising from the
evidence. In that case, we would have resolved the case in favor of the seafarer. From the prism of the initial Rule 65
petition that the CA faced, and eventually the Rule 45 petition now before this Court, we find that the petitioners
sufficiently established that Dennis willfully caused his death while Apolinarios evidence fell short of substantial
evidence to establish its counter-defense of insanity. In other words, Apolinarios complaint must be dismissed not
because of doubt but because of the insufficiency of his evidence to support his claim of insanity.

FEDERICO SABAY vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (G.R. No. 192150. October 1, 2014.)

Facts: Godofredo and Jervie filed a complaint against the petitioner before the barangay. The parties agreed to settle
the complaint based on the recommendation of the building inspector and reflected their agreement in their
Kasunduang Pag-aayos9 (Kasunduan) dated June 20, 2001. The Kasunduan, however, was not implemented because
the building inspector failed to make the promised recommendation to resolve the boundary dispute between the
parties. Thus, the Office of the Barangay Captain issued a Certificate to File an Action. The petitioner was accordingly
charged before the MTC with the crime of Physical Injuries. The petitioner denied the charge and claimed that he had
simply acted in self-defense and To defend himself, he got a stone and threw it at Godofredo. They further argued
that mtc has no jurisdiction over the criminal cases in view of the alleged inadmissibility of the Certification to File
The RTC ruled against petitioner and found them guilty beyond reasonable doubt for two (2) counts of Slight
Physical Injuries which was affirmed by the CA.

Issue: Won the Certification to File Action is admissible.

Ruling: Yes. The Certification to File an Action is Admissible. Section 34 of Rule 132 of our Rules on Evidence provides
that the court cannot consider any evidence that has not been formally offered. Formal offer means that the offering
party shall inform the court of the purpose of introducing its exhibits into evidence, to assist the court in ruling on


their admissibility in case the adverse party objects. Without a formal offer of evidence, courts cannot take notice of
this evidence even if this has been previously marked and identified.
This rule, however, admits of an exception. The Court, in the appropriate cases, has relaxed the formal-offer
rule and allowed evidence not formally offered to be admitted.
The cases of People v. Napat-a, People v. Mate, and The Heirs of Romana Saves, et al. v. The Heirs of
Escolastico Saves, et al., to cite a few, enumerated the requirements so that evidence, not previously offered, can be
admitted, namely: first, the evidence must have been duly identified by testimony duly recorded and second, the
evidence must have been incorporated in the records of the case.
In the present case, we find that the requisites for the relaxation of the formal-offer rule are present. As the
lower courts correctly observed, Godofredo identified the Certification to File an Action during his cross-examination,
to wit:


TOPIC: Expert witness

FACTS:Sultan ran for the position of Mayor for the Municipality of Buadipuso Buntong, Lanao del Sur in 2007. After
filing his COC with the COMELEC, an Affidavit of Withdrawal of Certificate of Candidacy for Municipal Mayor3
(Affidavit of Withdrawal) was notarized and submitted by Atty. Macabanding to the COMELEC, withdrawing Sultans
candidacy without the his knowledge or authorization. When the complainant learned of this, he wrote a letter4 and
submitted an Affidavit to Mamangcoday Colangcag (Colangcag), Acting Election Officer of the COMELEC in Buadipuso
Buntong, Lanao del Sur alleging that he neither executed the Affidavit of Withdrawal nor authorized anybody to
prepare a document to withdraw his COC. He asked that the withdrawal be ignored and that his name be retained on
the list of candidates. Sultan also filed a criminal complaint with the Prosecutors Office of Marawi City against
Abdulmojib Moti Mariano (Mariano) who was another candidate for the mayoralty position, the respondent, and
Colangcag for Falsification of Public Documents. Subsequently, the NBI transmitted its Questioned Documents Report
No. 428-907 to the COMELEC en banc, stating that the signature in the Affidavit of Withdrawal and the specimen
signatures of the complainant were not written by one and the same person. NBIs findings: Laboratory and scientific
comparative examination of the specimens submitted, under stereoscopic microscope and magnifying lenses, with
the aid of photographic enlargements (Comparison charts), reveal that there exist fundamental, significant
differences in writing characteristics/habits between the questioned signature DOMADO DISOMIMBA (written in
Arabic characters/alphabet), on one hand, and the sample specimen signatures DOMADO DISOMIMBA (written in
Arabic characters/alphabet), on the other hand, such as in:
- Structural pattern of characters/elements
- Direction of strokes
- Proportion characteristics
- Other minute identifying details
Thereafter, Sultan filed the present administrative complaint against the respondent with prayer for his
disbarment. The respondent maintained that the NBI officer who examined the complainants signature is not an
expert in Arabic language and thus, could not give an expert opinion regarding a signature written in Arabic language.

ISSUE: WON Atty. Macabanding should be held administratively liable based on the examination of the NBI officer
despite not being expert in Arabic language

HELD: YES. a handwriting expert does not have to be a linguist at the same time. To be credible, a handwriting expert
need not be familiar with the language used in the document subject of his examination. The nature of his
examination involves the study and comparison of strokes, the depth and pressure points of the alleged forgery, as
compared to the specimen or original handwriting or signatures.

BPI Express Card Corporation vs. Armovit, 737 SCRA 542

TOPIC: Parol Evidence Rule.

FACTS: Ma. Antonia R. Armovit treated her British friends to lunch at a restaurant. She handed to the waiter her BPI
Express Credit Card to settle the bill but to her astonishment, the waiter returned and informed that her card had
been cancelled upon verification with the BPI Express Credit (BPI). Armovit called BPI and the latter told her that her
credit card had been summarily cancelled for failure to pay her outstanding obligations. She denied having defaulted
on her payments and demanded for compensation for the shame and embarrassment she suffered. BPI claimed that
it send Armovit a telegraphic message requesting her to pay her arrears for three consecutive months. As she did not
comply with the request, it temporarily suspended her credit card with due notice to her. BPI further claimed that
Armovit failed to submit the required application form in order to reactivate her credit card privileges. Later on,
Armovit received a telegraphic message from BPI apologizing forits error of inadvertently including her credit card in
Caution List sent to its affiliated merchants. Armovit sued BPI for damages insisting that she had been a credit
cardholder in good standing, and that she did not have any unpaid bills at the time of the incident. RTC ordered in
favor of Armovit. BPI appealed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the imposed duty of BPI to submit the new application form in order to enable Armovit to
reactivate the credit card would contravene the Parol Evidence Rule.

RULING: The Court ruled in the affirmative. Indeed, there was no agreement between the parties to add the
submission of the new application form as the means to reactivate the credit card. When she did not promptly settle
her outstanding balance, BPI Express Credit sent a message on March 19, 1992 demanding payment with the warning
that her failure to pay would force it to temporarily suspend her credit card effective March 31, 1992. It then sent
another demand letter dated March 31, 1992 requesting her to settle her obligation in order to lift the suspension of
her credit card and prevent its cancellation. In April 1992, she paid her obligation. In the context of the
contemporaneous and subsequent acts of the parties, the only condition for the reinstatement of her credit card was
the payment of her outstanding obligation. Had it intended otherwise, BPI Express Credit would have surely informed
her of the additional requirement in its letters of March 19, 1992 and March 31, 1992. That it did not do so confirmed
that they did not agree on having her submit the new application form as the condition to reactivate her credit card.

A.M. No. SB-14-21-J September 23, 2014

TOPIC: Substantial evidence in administrative proceedings

FACTS: When the Pork Barrel Scam broke the news in 2013, incriminating evidence surfaced implicating Associate
Justice of the Sandiganbayan Gregory Ong. Multiple sworn statements and verbal testimonies of Marina Sula pointed
out that Ong had visited the office of Janet Lim Napoles. A phot published by Rapple showed Senator Jinggoy Estrada,
Napoles and Ong together in a party. Ong explained himself in a letter to CJ Sereno that he did not attend any event
hosted by Napoles during or after she had a case (Kevlar case) in the Sandiganbayan in which she was
acquitted. Sereno then requested the court En Banc to conduct an investigation motu proprio over members of the
judiciary and members of the legal profession. Ong filed a comment saying that the testimony of Sula was merely
hearsay. Justice Sandoval evaluated and concluded that the testimonies of Benhur Luy and Marina Sula, because they
were only denied and in no way challenged or refuted by Ong via adverse testimony, were not lies.

ISSUE: Whether or not the testimonies of Luy and Sula were merely hearsays.

HELD: NO. It is a settled rule that the findings of investigating magistrates are generally given great weight by the
Court by reason of their unmatched opportunity to see the deportment of the witnesses as they testified. The rule
which concedes due respect and even finality to the assessment of credibility of witnesses by trial judges in civil and
criminal cases applies a fortiori to administrative cases. In administrative proceedings, only substantial evidence is
required. The standard of substantial evidence is satisfied when there is reasonable ground to believe that
respondent is responsible for the misconduct complained of even if such evidence might not be overwhelming or
even preponderant. The testimonies of Luy and Sula, considering that they were employees of Napoles privy to her
daily business and personal activities and that she occasionally updated them on developments regarding the case,
were able to provide substantial evidence.

Barut v. People

FACTS: Petitioner Emeritu C. Barut, a guard of the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC), was tried for
and found guilty of homicide by the Regional Trial Court, in Muntinlupa City. He was sentenced of imprisonment and
to inndemnify the heirs of Vincent Ucag. On appeal, the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the conviction of Barut
through its decision Hence, Barut now seeks the review of his conviction by petition for review on certiorari. Barut
adverts to the extra-judicial sworn statement that Villas gave, in which he declared not having seen Barut fire a gun.
Barut contends that this declaration definitely contradicted Villas court testimony

ISSUE: Whether the testimony of Villas could be admissible as an evidence in favor of Barut.


HELD: No. Pursuant to Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, the RTC as the trial court could consideronly the
evidence that had been formally offered; towards that end, the offering party must specify the purpose for which the
evidence was being offered. The rule would ensure the right of the adverse party to due process of law, for,
otherwise, the adverse party would not be put in the position to timely object to the evidence, as well as to properly
counter the impact of evidence not formally offered.
The pertinent provisions of the Revised Rules of Court on the inclusion on appeal of documentary evidence or
exhibits in the records cannot be stretched as to include such pleadings or documents not offered at the hearing of
the case.
The rule that only evidence formally offered before the trial court can be considered is relaxed where two
requisites concur, namely: one, the evidence was duly identified by testimony duly recorded; and, two, the evidence
was incorporated in the records of the case. Furthermore, the rule has no application where the court takes judicial
notice of adjudicative facts pursuant to Section 2, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court; or where the court relies on judicial
admissions or draws inferences from such judicial admissions within the context of Section 4, Rule 129 of the Rules of
Court; or where the trial court, in judging the demeanor of witnesses, determines their credibility even without the
offer of the demeanor as evidence.


TOPIC:Burden of Proof; Best Evidence Rule

FACTS: Leonardo Bognot executed a promissory note in favor of RRI Lending Corporation, with Rolando Bognot, his
brother as a co-maker, for a loan they obtained in the amount of Php500,000.00, secured by a post-dated check.
Eventually, the loan was renewed several times on a monthly basis by the siblings until Rolandos wife, Julieta Bognot,
renewed the said loan and got the loan documents for the Bognot siblings signatures but she never returned them.
Despite repeated demands, the loan was left unpaid. The petitioner, then, pleaded that he had paid the loan but
failed to prove it.

ISSUE: Whether the Bognot siblings obligation was extinguished by novation through substitution of debtors.

HELD: No, there is no novation to talk about since to legally effect a novation, the original debtor must expressly
released from the obligation and the new debtor assumes his place. The renewal of the loan made by Mrs. Bognot is
not in effect, a substitution since she merely renewed the original loan by executing a new promissory note and
check. Nevertheless, the respondent never agreed to the substitution which is essential to validly substitute the old
On the nature of the petitioners liability, we rule however, that the CA erred in holding the petitioner
solidarily liable with Rolando. In this case, both the RTC and the CA found the petitioner solidarily liable with Rolando
based on Promissory Note No. 97-035 dated June 30, 1997. Under the promissory note, the Bognot Siblings defined
the parameters of their obligation as follows:
FOR VALUE RECEIVED, I/WE, jointly and severally, promise to pay to READY RESOURCES INVESTORS RRI
LENDING CORPO. or Order, its office at Paraaque, M.M. the principal sum of Five Hundred Thousand PESOS
(P500,000.00), Philippine Currency, with interest thereon at the rate of Five percent (5%) per month/annum, payable
in One Installment (01) equal daily/weekly/semi-monthly/monthly of PESOS Five Hundred Thousand Pesos
(P500,000.00), first installment to become due on June 30, 1997. x x x44 (Emphasis Ours)
Although the phrase jointly and severally in the promissory note clearly and unmistakably provided for the
solidary liability of the parties, we note and stress that the promissory note is merely a photocopy of the original,
which was never produced.
Under the best evidence rule, when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence is
admissible other than the original document itself except in the instances mentioned in Section 3, Rule 130 of the
Revised Rules of Court.Under the best evidence rule, when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no
evidence is admissible other than the original document itself except in the instances mentioned in Section 3, Rule
130 of the Revised Rules of Court. The records show that the respondent had the custody of the original promissory
note dated April 1, 1997, with a superimposed rubber stamp mark June 30, 1997, and that it had been given every
opportunity to present it. The respondent even admitted during pre-trial that it could not present the original
promissory note because it is in the custody of its cashier who is stranded in Bicol. Since the respondent never
produced the original of the promissory note, much less offered to produce it, the photocopy of the promissory note
cannot be admitted as evidence.
Jurisprudence tells us that one who pleads payment has the burden of proving it; the burden rests on the
defendant to prove payment, rather than on the plaintiff to prove nonpayment.Jurisprudence tells us that one
who pleads payment has the burden of proving it; the burden rests on the defendant to prove payment, rather than


on the plaintiff to prove nonpayment. Indeed, once the existence of an indebtedness is duly established by evidence,
the burden of showing with legal certainty that the obligation has been discharged by payment rests on the debtor.


Facts: The RTC found Guinto guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged for violation of Section 5, Article
II of R.A. No. 9165 Dangerous Drugs Act. Likewise, it affirmed the testimonies of the police officers on the conducted
buy-bust operation and the presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties as against the claim of
unsubstantiated denial of Guinto. The defense interposed denial and argued that there were evident inconsistencies,
which when put together, erodes the presumption of regularity of performance of duty. We find several
inconsistencies on points material to the credibility of the buy-bust operation. Among those are the inconsistencies
on the prearranged signal, length of time the police officers spent in waiting for the accused and the exact time of the

Issue: whether or not the accused is guilty as charged.

Ruling: No. Acquitted. One of the means used by the Court in determining the credibility of the prosecution witnesses
is the objective test. Following this test, in order to establish the credibility of prosecution witnesses regarding the
conduct of buy-bust operation, prosecution must be able to present a complete picture detailing the buy-bust
operation from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise or
payment of the consideration, until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal subject of sale. The
manner by which the initial contact was made, the offer to purchase the drug, the payment of the buy-bust money,
and the delivery of the illegal drug must be the subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens
are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. In light of these guiding principles, we rule that the prosecution
failed to present a clear picture on what really transpired on the buy-bust operation.

In People v. Unisa, 658 SCRA 305 (2011), this Court held that in cases involving violations of the Dangerous
Drug Act, credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police officers for they are presumed to have
performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary suggesting ill motive on the part
of the police officers. In case of conflict between the presumption of regularity of police officers and the
presumption of innocence of the accused, the latter must prevail as the law imposes upon the prosecution the
highest degree of proof of evidence to sustain conviction.