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People v. Francisco (Short title) 2.

GR # L-568 | July 16, 1947 1. The reasons given by law text-writers and courts why neither a
Petitioner: The People of the Philippines husband nor wife shall in any case be a witness against the
Respondent: Juan Francisco other except in a criminal prosecution for a crime committed
(Rule 130, Section 22) by one against the other have been stated thus: First, identity
of interests; second, the consequent danger of perjury; third,
FACTS the policy of the law which deems it necessary to guard the
security and confidences of private life even at the risk of an
1. Prisoner Francisco was allowed to go to his house with Pimentel. occasional failure of justice.
2. Pimentel then heard a scream and saw the wife running out of the o This one has its own exceptions, both in civil actions
room and bleeding while Francisco was lying down with his little between the spouses and criminal cases committed
son Romeo who had a wound at the back. against the other.
3. The prosecution recommended capital penalty based on: (1) the o Where the marital and domestic relations are so strained
affidavit which is a virtual confession of Francisco; (2) the record of that there is no more harmony to be preserved nor peace
the arraignment where Francisco entered a plea of guilty; and (3) and tranquility of interests disappears.
the testimony of the wife. 2. The security and confidences of private life will be nothing but
4. In the affidavit, Francisco stated that he suddenly lost his sense ideals which, through their absence, merely leave a void in the
because of remarks made to him being a dishonor so he unhappy home.
unconsciously stabbed his wife and child. 3. At any rate, in the instant case the wife did not testify in the direct
5. The voluntariness and spontaneity of the confession was testified to evidence for the prosecution for it will be noted that the wife only
by the justice of the peace, Pimentel, and the chief of police. testified against her husband after the latter imputed upon her the
6. The evidence and record was scanned and searched diligently for killing of their son.
facts and circumstances which might sufficiently establish insanity 4. By all rules of justice and reason this gave the prosecution, which
or any allied defense. had theretofore refrained from presenting the wife as a witness
7. As far as the court knows, the confession contains truth because it against her husband, the right to do so, as it did in rebuttal; and the
was narrated by the accused himself who must have been moved the wife herself the right to so testify, at least, in self-defense.
by the determination of a repentant father and husband. 5. The State being interested in laying the truth before the courts so
8. Defense counsel attacks the value of the affidavit as evidence of that the guilty may be punished and the innocent exonerated, must
guilt for the reason that the statements were not, given have the right to offer the rebutting testimony in question, even
spontaneously but through violence and intimidation. He also against the objection of the accused, because it was the latter
questions the admissibility of the testimony of appellant's wife, himself who gave rise to its necessity.
invoking the provision of section 26 (d) of Rule 123 prohibiting the 6. When the husband testified that it was his wife who caused the
wife and the husband from testifying for or against each other. death of their son, he could not justly expect the State to keep silent
and refrain from rebutting such new matter in his testimony, through
ISSUE/S the only witness available, namely, the wife; nor could he
1. W/N the affidavit must be accepted as evidence legitimately seal his wife's lips and thus gravely expose her to the
2. W/N the testimony of the wife must is admissible danger of criminal proceedings.
7. At any rate, the trial court not only had the power to allow the State
RULING & RATIO to utilize the wife as rebuttal witness, but also the discretion to
1. Yes permit "new additional evidence bearing upon the main issue in
1. There is no sufficient proof to destroy the categorical testimony of question."
the justice of the peace that the affidavit was signed voluntarily and
with a full understanding thereof. DISPOSITION
As above modified, the appealed judgment is affirmed, with costs against
appellant. So ordered.