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RULES ON EVIDENCE

CONTENTS WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED...............................................3 RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE.....................................4 ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES.................................................. 7 ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT............................................10 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY....................................................14 OBJECT (REAL) EVIDENCE ................................................. 14 DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE................................................ 14 BEST EVIDENCE RULE........................................................ 14 SECONDARY EVIDENCE ..................................................... 14 PAROL EVIDENCE RULE ..................................................... 15 INTERPRETATION OF DOCUMENTS .................................. 16 TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE.................................................... 17 QUALIFICATION OF WITNESSES........................................ 17 TESTIMONIAL PRIVILEGE ................................................... 19 ADMISSIONS AND CONFESSIONS ..................................... 19 PREVIOUS CONDUCT AS EVIDENCE ................................. 21 TESTIMONIAL KNOWLEDGE ............................................... 22 EXCEPTIONS TO THE HEARSAY RULE ............................. 22 OPINION RULE ..................................................................... 23 CHARACTER EVIDENCE ..................................................... 24 BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTIONS........................25 PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE .......................................... 28 EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES .......................................... 28 AUTHENTICATION AND PROOF OF DOCUMENTS ............ 30 OFFER AND OBJECTION..................................................... 31 WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE........................33


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 128 GENERAL PROVISIONS SECTION 1. Evidence defined.— Evidence is the means, sanctioned by these rules, of ascertaining in a judicial proceeding the truth respecting a matter of fact.(1) SEC. 2. Scope.—The rules of evidence shall be the same in all courts and in all trials and hearings, except as otherwise provided by law or these rules.(2a) SEC. 3. Admissibility of evidence.—Evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules.(3a) SEC. 4. Relevancy; collateral matters.—Evidence must have such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or non-existence. Evidence on collateral matters shall not be allowed, except when it tends in any reasonable degree to establish the probability or improbability of the fact in issue.(4a)


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 129 WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED SECTION 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory.— A court shall take judicial notice, without the introduction of evidence, of the existence and territorial extent of states, their political history, forms of government and symbols of nationality, the law of nations, the admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political constitution and history of the Philippines, the official acts of the legislative, executive and judicial departments of the Philippines, the laws of nature, the measure of time, and the geographical divisions.(1a)1 SEC. 2. Judicial notice, when discretionary.—A court may take judicial notice of matters which are of public knowledge, or are capable of unquestionable demonstration, or ought to be known to judges because of their judicial functions.(1a) SEC. 3. Judicial notice, when hearing necessary.2—During the trial, the court, on its own 1

Mandatory JN: EP-FLA-POL-MG The petitioner maintains that the RTC cannot take judicial notice of the said teleconference without prior hearing, nor any motion therefor. 2

Generally speaking, matters of judicial notice have three material requisites: (1) the matter must be one of common and general knowledge; (2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain; and (3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court. The principal guide in determining what facts may be assumed to be judicially known is that of notoriety. Hence, it can be said that judicial notice is limited to facts evidenced by public records and facts of general notoriety. Moreover, a judicially noticed fact must be one not subject to a reasonable dispute in that it is either: (1) generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court; or (2) capable of accurate and ready determination by resorting to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questionable. Things of "common knowledge," of which courts take judicial matters coming to the knowledge of men generally in the course of the ordinary experiences of life, or they may be matters which are generally accepted by mankind as true and are capable of ready and unquestioned demonstration. Thus, facts which are universally known, and which may be found in encyclopedias, dictionaries or other publications, are judicially noticed, provided, they are of such universal notoriety and so generally understood that they may be regarded as forming part of the common knowledge of every person. As the common knowledge of man ranges far and wide, a wide variety of particular facts have been judicially noticed as being matters of common knowledge. But a

court cannot take judicial notice of any fact which, in part, is dependent on the existence or non-existence of a fact of which the court has no constructive knowledge. In this age of modern technology, the courts may take judicial notice that business transactions may be made by individuals through teleconferencing. Teleconferencing is interactive group communication (three or more people in two or more locations) through an electronic medium. In general terms, teleconferencing can bring people together under one roof even though they are separated by hundreds of miles.

initiative, or on request of a party, may announce its intention to take judicial notice of any matter and allow the parties to be heard thereon. After the trial, and before judgment or on appeal, the proper court, on its own initiative or on request of a party, may take judicial notice of any matter and allow the parties to be heard thereon if such matter is decisive of a material issue in the case.(n) SEC. 4. Judicial admissions.—An admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The admission may be contradicted only by 3 showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made.(2a)4 Even given the possibility that Atty. Aguinaldo and Suk Kyoo Kim participated in a teleconference along with the respondent’s Board of Directors, however, the Court is not convinced that one was conducted; even if there had been one, the Court is not inclined to believe that a board resolution was duly passed specifically authorizing Atty. Aguinaldo to file the complaint and execute the required certification against forum shopping.[Experttravel & Tours v. Court of Appeals and Korean Airlines, G.R. No. 152392, 26 May 2005] 3

cf. Retraction of pre-trial stipulations in Criminal Proceedings. After the pre-trial conference, the court shall issue an order reciting the actions taken, the facts stipulated, and evidence marked. Such order shall bind the parties, limit the trial to matters not disposed of, and control the course of the action during the trial, unless modified by the court to prevent manifest injustice. [R 118.4] 4

As a rule, "courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the contents of the records of other cases, even when such cases have been tried or are pending in the same court, and notwithstanding the fact that both cases may have been heard or are actually pending before the same judge." Be that as it may, Section 2, Rule 129 provides that courts may take judicial notice of matters ought to be known to judges because of their judicial functions. In this case, the Court notes that a copy of the Decision in CTA Case No. 4897 was attached to the Petition for Review filed before this Court. Significantly, respondents do not claim at all that the said Decision was fraudulent or nonexistent. Indeed, they do not even dispute the contents of the said Decision, claiming merely that the Court cannot take judicial notice thereof. (BPI Savings v. Court of Tax Appeals, G.R. No. 122480, April 12, 2000) It is settled that judicial admissions may be made: 1. in the pleadings filed by the parties; 2. in the course of the trial either by verbal or written manifestations or stipulations; or 3. in other stages of judicial proceedings, as in the pre-trial of the case. A written statement is nonetheless competent as an admission even if it is contained in a document which is not itself effective for the purpose for which it is made, either by reason of illegality, or incompetency of party thereto, or by reason of not being signed, executed or delivered. Accordingly, contracts have been held as competent evidence of admissions, although they may be unenforceable. [Republic v. Sandiganbayan, 2003]

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 129

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RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE RULE 1 COVERAGE

expression or perform any one or more of these functions. (e) ―Digital Signature‖ refers to an electronic signature consisting of a transformation of an electronic document or an electronic data message using an asymmetric or public cryptosystem such that a person having the initial untransformed electronic document and the signer’s public key can accurately determine:

SECTION 1. Scope. – Unless otherwise provided herein, these Rules shall apply whenever an electronic document or electronic data message, as defined in Rule 2 hereof, is offered or used in evidence. SEC. 2. Cases covered. – These Rules shall apply to all civil actions and proceedings, as well as quasi-judicial and administrative cases.

(i) whether the transformation was created using the private key that corresponds to the signer’s public key; and,

SEC. 3. Application of other rules on evidence. – In all matters not specifically covered by these Rules, the Rules of Court and pertinent provisions of statutes containing rules on evidence shall apply.

(ii) whether the initial electronic document had been altered after the transformation was made.

RULE 2 DEFINITION OF TERMS AND CONSTRUCTION

(f) ―Digitally signed‖ refers to an electronic document or electronic data message bearing a digital signature verified by the public key listed in a certificate.

SECTION 1. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of these Rules, the following terms are defined, as follows:

(g) ―Electronic data message‖ refers to information generated, sent, received or stored by electronic, optical or similar means.

(a) ―Asymmetric or public cryptosystem‖ means a system capable of generating a secure key pair, consisting of a private key for creating a digital signature, and a public key for verifying the digital signature.

(h) ―Electronic document‖ refers to information or the representation of information, data, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression, described or however represented, by which a right is established or an obligation extinguished, or by which a fact may be proved and affirmed, which is received, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically. It includes digitally signed documents and any print-out or output, readable by sight or other means, which accurately reflects the electronic data message or electronic document. For purposes of these Rules, the term ―electronic document‖ may be used interchangeably with ―electronic data message‖.5

(b) Business records ‖ include records of any business, institution, association, profession, occupation, and calling of every kind, whether or not conducted for profit, or for legitimate or illegitimate purposes. (c) Certificate" means an electronic document issued to support a digital signature which purports to confirm the identity or other significant characteristics of the person who holds a particular key pair. (d) ―Computer‖ refers to any single or interconnected device or apparatus, which, by electronic, electro-mechanical or magnetic impulse, or by other means with the same function, can receive, record, transmit, store, process, correlate, analyze, project, retrieve and/or produce information, data, text, graphics, figures, voice, video, symbols or other modes of

5

As rightly pointed out in defendant Wallem’s Reply to the Comment of Plaintiff, the Xerox copies do not constitute the electronic evidence defined in Section 1 of Rule 2 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence.

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RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE (i) ―Electronic key‖ refers to a secret code which secures and defends sensitive information that crosses over public channels into a form decipherable only with a matching electronic key. (j) ―Electronic signature‖ refers to any distinctive mark, characteristic and/or sound in electronic form, representing the identity of a person and attached to or logically associated with the electronic data message or electronic document or any methodology or procedure employed or adopted by a person and executed or adopted by such person with the intention of authenticating, signing or approving an electronic data message or electronic document. For The information in those Xerox or photocopies was not received, recorded, retrieved or produced electronically. Moreover, such electronic evidence must be authenticated (Sections 1 and 2, Rule 5, Rules on Electronic Evidence), which the plaintiff failed to do. Finally, the required Affidavit to prove the admissibility and evidentiary weight of the alleged electronic evidence (Sec. 1, Rule 9, Ibid) was not executed, much less presented in evidence. An "electronic document" refers to information or the representation of information, data, figures, symbols or other models of written expression, described or however represented, by which a right is established or an obligation extinguished, or by which a fact may be proved and affirmed, which is received, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically. It includes digitally signed documents and any printout, readable by sight or other means which accurately reflects the electronic data message or electronic document. The rules use the word "information" to define an electronic document received, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically. This would suggest that an electronic document is relevant only in terms of the information contained therein, similar to any other document which is presented in evidence as proof of its contents. However, what differentiates an electronic document from a paper-based document is the manner by which the information is processed; clearly, the information contained in an electronic document is received, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically. A perusal of the information contained in the photocopies submitted by petitioner will reveal that not all of the contents therein, such as the signatures of the persons who purportedly signed the documents, may be recorded or produced electronically. By no stretch of the imagination can a person’s signature affixed manually be considered as information electronically received, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced. Hence, the argument of petitioner that since these paper printouts were produced through an electronic process, then these photocopies are electronic documents as defined in the Rules on Electronic Evidence is obviously an erroneous, if not preposterous, interpretation of the law. Having thus declared that the offered photocopies are not tantamount to electronic documents, it is consequential that the same may not be considered as the functional equivalent of their original as decreed in the law. [NPC v. Codilla, G.R. No. 170491, 3 April 2007]

purposes of these Rules, an electronic signature includes digital signatures. (k) ―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. (l) ―Information and Communication System‖ refers to a system for generating, sending, receiving, storing or otherwise processing electronic data messages or electronic documents and includes the computer system or other similar devices by or in which data are recorded or stored and any procedure related to the recording or storage of electronic data messages or electronic documents. (m) ―Key Pair‖ in an asymmetric cryptosystem refers to the private key and its mathematically related public key such that the latter can verify the digital signature that the former creates. (n) ―Private Key‖ refers to the key of a key pair used to create a digital signature. (o) ―Public Key‖ refers to the key of a key pair used to verify a digital signature. SEC. 2. Construction. – These Rules shall be liberally construed to assist the parties in obtaining a just, expeditious, and inexpensive determination of cases. The interpretation of these Rules shall also take into consideration the international origin of Republic Act No. 8792, otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act. RULE 3 ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS SECTION 1. Electronic Documents as functional equivalent of paper-based documents. – Whenever a rule of evidence refers to the term writing, document, record, instrument, memorandum or any other form of writing, such term shall be deemed to include an electronic document as defined in these Rules.

RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE

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RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE SEC. 2. Admissibility. – An electronic document is admissible in evidence if it complies with the rules on admissibility prescribed by the Rules of Court and related laws and is authenticated in the manner prescribed by these Rules. SEC. 3. Privileged communication. – The confidential character of a privileged communication is not lost solely on the ground that it is in the form of an electronic document. RULE 4 BEST EVIDENCE RULE

techniques which accurately reproduces the original, such copies or duplicates shall be regarded as the equivalent of the original. Notwithstanding the foregoing, copies or duplicates shall not be admissible to the same extent as the original if: (a) a genuine question is raised as to the authenticity of the original; or (b) in the circumstances it would be unjust or inequitable to admit the copy in lieu of the original.

SECTION 1. Original of an Electronic Document. – An electronic document shall be

RULE 5 AUTHENTICATION OF ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS

regarded as the equivalent of an original document under the Best Evidence Rule if it is a printout or output readable by sight or other means, shown to reflect the data accurately.6 SEC. 2. Copies as equivalent of the originals. – When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about the same time with identical contents, or is a counterpart produced by the same impression as the original, or from the same matrix, or by mechanical or electronic re-recording, or by chemical reproduction, or by other equivalent 6

Petitioner contends that the photocopies of the pro forma invoices presented by respondent Ssangyong to prove the

SECTION 1. Burden of proving authenticity. – The person seeking to introduce an electronic document in any legal proceeding has the burden of proving its authenticity in the manner provided in this Rule. SEC. 2. Manner of authentication. – Before any private electronic document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its authenticity must be proved by any of the following means:

perfection of their supposed contract of sale are inadmissible in evidence and do not fall within the ambit of R.A. No. 8792, because the law merely admits as the best evidence the original fax transmittal. On the other hand, respondent posits that, from a reading of the law and the Rules on Electronic Evidence, the original facsimile transmittal of the pro forma invoice is admissible in evidence since it is an electronic document and, therefore, the best evidence under the law and the Rules. Respondent further claims that the photocopies of these fax transmittals (specificallyST2-POSTS0401-1 and ST2-POSTS0401-2) are admissible under the Rules on Evidence because the respondent sufficiently explained the non-production of the original fax transmittals.

(a)

We conclude that the terms "electronic data message" and "electronic document," as defined under the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, do not include a facsimile transmission. Accordingly, a facsimile transmission cannot be considered as electronic evidence. It is not the functional equivalent of an original under the Best Evidence Rule and is not admissible as electronic evidence.

(c) by other evidence showing its integrity and reliability to the satisfaction of the judge.7

Since a facsimile transmission is not an "electronic data message" or an "electronic document," and cannot be considered as electronic evidence by the Court, with greater reason is a photocopy of such a fax transmission not electronic evidence. In the present case, therefore, Pro Forma Invoice Nos. ST2POSTS0401-1 and ST2-POSTS0401-2 (Exhibits "E" and "F"), which are mere photocopies of the original fax transmittals, are not electronic evidence, contrary to the position of both the trial and the appellate courts. [MCC v. Ssangyong, G.R. No. 170633, 17 October 2007.

by evidence that it had been digitally signed by the person purported to have signed the same;

(b) by evidence that other appropriate security procedures or devices as may be authorized by the Supreme Court or by law for authentication of electronic documents were applied to the document; or

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Aznar claims that his testimony complies with par. (c), i.e., it constitutes the "other evidence showing integrity and reliability of Exh. "G" to the satisfaction of the judge." The Court is not convinced. Aznar’s testimony that the person from Ingtan Agency merely handed him the computer print-out and that he thereafter asked said person to sign the same cannot be considered as sufficient to show said print-out’s integrity and reliability. As correctly pointed out by Judge Marcos in his May 29, 1998 Decision, Exh. "G" does not show on its face that it was issued by Ingtan Agency as Aznar merely mentioned in passing how he was able to secure the print-out from the agency; Aznar also failed to show the specific business address of the source of the computer

RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE

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RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE SEC.

3.

Proof

of

(c) The methods or processes utilized to affix or verify the electronic signature operated without error or fault.

electronically

notarized document. – A document electronically notarized in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Supreme Court shall be considered as a public document and proved as a notarial document under the Rules of Court.8 RULE 6 ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES

SEC. 4. Disputable presumptions relating to digital signatures. – Upon the authentication of a digital signature, it shall be presumed, in addition to those mentioned in the immediately preceding section, that:

SECTION 1. Electronic signature. – An electronic signature or a digital signature authenticated in the manner prescribed hereunder is admissible in evidence as the functional equivalent of the signature of a person on a written document.

(a) The information contained certificate is correct;

in

a

(b) The digital signature was created during the operational period of a certificate;

SEC. 2. Authentication of electronic signatures. – An electronic signature may be

(c) No cause exists to render a certificate invalid or revocable;

authenticated in any of the following manner: (d) The message associated with a digital signature has not been altered from the time it was signed; and,

(a) By evidence that a method or process was utilized to establish a digital signature and verify the same;

(e) A certificate had been issued by the certification authority indicated therein.

(b) By any other means provided by law; or (c) By any other means satisfactory to the judge as establishing the genuineness of the electronic signature.

SEC. 3. Disputable presumptions relating to electronic signatures. – Upon the authentication of an electronic signature, it shall be presumed that:

RULE 7 EVIDENTIARY WEIGHT OF ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS SECTION 1. Factors for assessing evidentiary weight. – In assessing the evidentiary weight of an electronic document, the following factors may be considered:

(a) The electronic signature is that of the person to whom it correlates;

(a)

The reliability of the manner or method in which it was generated, stored or communicated, including but not limited to input and output procedures, controls, tests and checks for accuracy and reliability of the electronic data message or document, in the light of all the circumstances as well as any relevant agreement;

(b)

The reliability of the manner in which its originator was identified;

(c)

The integrity of the information and communication system in which it is recorded or stored, including but not limited to the hardware and computer programs or software used as well as programming errors;

(b) The electronic signature was affixed by that person with the intention of authenticating or approving the electronic document to which it is related or to indicate such person’s consent to the transaction embodied therein; and

print-out because while the name of Ingtan Agency was mentioned by Aznar, its business address was not reflected in the print-out. Indeed, Aznar failed to demonstrate how the information reflected on the print-out was generated and how the said information could be relied upon as true. [Aznar v. Citibank, G.R. No. 170491, 16 April 2009] 8 Sec. 30, Rule 132

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RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE (d)

The familiarity of the witness or the person who made the entry with the communication and information system;

(e)

The nature and quality of the information which went into the communication and information system upon which the electronic data message or electronic document was based; or

(f)

Other factors which the court may consider as affecting the accuracy or integrity of the electronic document or electronic data message.

SEC. 2. Integrity of an information and communication system. – In any dispute involving the integrity of the information and communication system in which an electronic document or electronic data message is recorded or stored, the court may consider, among others, the following factors: (a)

Whether the information and communication system or other similar device was operated in a manner that did not affect the integrity of the electronic document, and there are no other reasonable grounds to doubt the integrity of the information and communication system;

(b)

Whether the electronic document was recorded or stored by a party to the proceedings with interest adverse to that of the party using it; or

(c)

Whether the electronic document was recorded or stored in the usual and ordinary course of business by a person who is not a party to the proceedings and who did not act under the control of the party using it.

RULE 8 BUSINESS RECORDS AS EXCEPTION

TO THE HEARSAY RULE SECTION 1. Inapplicability of the hearsay rule. – A memorandum, report, record or data compilation of acts, events, conditions, opinions, or diagnoses, made by electronic, optical or other similar means at or near the time of or from transmission or supply of information by a person with knowledge thereof, and kept in the regular course or conduct of a business activity, and such was the regular practice to make the memorandum, report, record, or data compilation by electronic, optical or similar means, all of which are shown by the testimony of the custodian or other qualified witnesses, is excepted from the rule on hearsay evidence. SEC. 2. Overcoming the presumption. – The presumption provided for in Section 1 of this Rule may be overcome by evidence of the untrustworthiness of the source of information or the method or circumstances of the preparation, transmission or storage thereof.

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RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE RULE 9 METHOD OF PROOF SECTION 1. Affidavit evidence. – All matters relating to the admissibility and evidentiary weight of an electronic document may be established by an affidavit stating facts of direct personal knowledge of the affiant or based on authentic records. The affidavit must affirmatively show the competence of the affiant to testify on the matters contained therein. SEC. 2. Cross-examination of deponent. – The affiant shall be made to affirm the contents of the affidavit in open court and may be crossexamined as a matter of right by the adverse party. RULE 10 EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES SECTION 1. Electronic testimony. – After summarily hearing the parties pursuant to Rule 9 of these Rules, the court may authorize the presentation of testimonial evidence by electronic means. Before so authorizing, the court shall determine the necessity for such presentation and prescribe terms and conditions as may be necessary under the circumstances, including the protection of the rights of the parties and witnesses concerned. SEC. 2. Transcript of electronic testimony . – When examination of a witness is done electronically, the entire proceedings, including the questions and answers, shall be transcribed by a stenographer, stenotypist or other recorder authorized for the purpose, who shall certify as correct the transcript done by him. The transcript should reflect the fact that the proceedings, either in whole or in part, had been electronically recorded.

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 . SEC.2. Ephemeral communications. – Ephemeral

electronic

electronic communications shall be proven by the testimony of a person who was a party to the same or has personal knowledge thereof. In the absence or unavailability of such witnesses, other competent evidence may be admitted. A recording of the telephone conversation or ephemeral electronic communication shall be covered by the immediately preceding section. If the foregoing communications are recorded or embodied in an electronic document, then the provisions of Rule 5 shall apply. RULE 12 EFFECTIVITY SECTION 1. Applicability to pending cases . – These Rules shall apply to cases pending after their effectivity. SEC. 2. Effectivity. – These Rules shall take effect on the first day of August 2001 following their publication before the 20th of July 2001 in two newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines

SEC. 3. Storage of electronic evidence . – The electronic evidence and recording thereof as well as the stenographic notes shall form part of the record of the case. Such transcript and recording shall be deemed prima facie evidence of such proceedings. RULE 11 AUDIO, PHOTOGRAPHIC, VIDEO, AND EPHEMERAL EVIDENCE

SECTION 1. Audio, video and similar evidence. – Audio, photographic and video evidence of events, acts or transactions shall be admissible provided it shall be shown, presented or displayed to

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ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT [RA 8792] Section 5. Definition of Terms- For the purposes of this Act, the following terms are defined, as follows:

which is receive, recorded, transmitted, stored, processed, retrieved or produced electronically.

(a) "Addressee" refers to a person who is intended by the originator to receive the electronic data message or electronic document, but does not include a person acting as an intermediary with respect to that electronic data message or electronic data document."Computer" refers to any device or apparatus singly or interconnected which, by electronic, electro-mechanical, optical and/or magnetic impulse, or other means with the same function, can receive, record, transmit, store, process, correlate, analyze, projects, retrieve, and/or produce information, data, text, graphics, figures, voice, video, symbols or other modes of expression or perform any one or more of these functions.

(f) "Electronic key" refers to a secret code which secures and defends sensitive information that crossover public channels into a form decipherable only with a matching electronic key. (g) "Intermediary" refers to a person who in behalf of another person and with respect to a particular electronic document sends, receives and/or stores provides other services in respect of that electronic data message or electronic document. (h) "Originator" refers to a person by whom, or on whose behalf, the electronic document purports to have been created, generated and/or sent. The term does not include a person acting as an intermediary with respect to that electronic document.

(b) "Electronic data message" refers to information generated, sent, received or stored by electronic, optical or similar means.

(i) "Service provider" refers to a provider of-

(c) "Information and Communications System" refers to a system for generating, sending, receiving, storing, or otherwise processing electronic documents and includes the computer system or other similar device by or in which data is recorded or stored and any procedures related to the recording or storage of electronic document. (d) "Electronic signature" refers to any distinctive mark, characteristic and/or sound in electronic from, representing the identity of a person and attached to or logically associated with the electronic data message or electronic document or any methodology or procedures employed or adopted by a person and executed or adopted by such person with the intention of authenticating or approving an electronic data message or electronic document. (e) "Electronic document" refers to information or the representation of information, data, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression, described or however represented, by which a right is established or an obligation extinguished, or by which a fact may be prove and affirmed,

ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT

I. Online services or network access or the operator of facilities therefor including entities offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for online communications, digital or otherwise, between or among points specified by a user, of electronic documents of the user's choosing; or II. The necessary technical means by which electronic documents of an originator may be stored and made accessible to designated or undesignated third party. Such service providers shall have no authority to modify or alter the content of the electronic document received or to make any entry therein on behalf of the originator, addressee or any third party unless specifically authorized to do so, and who shall retain the electronic document in accordance with the specific request or as necessary for the purpose of performing the services it was engaged to perform.

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ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT [RA 8792] Section 6. Legal Recognition of Electronic Data Messages- Information shall not be denied validity or enforceability solely on the ground that it is in the form of electronic data message purporting to give rise to such legal effect, or that it is merely incorporated by reference in that electronic data message. 7. Legal Recognition of Electronic documents- Electronic documents shall have the legal effect, validity or enforceability as any other document or legal writing, andSection

(a) Where the law requires a document to be in writing, that requirement is met by an electronic document if the said electronic document maintains its integrity and reliability and can be authenticated so as to be usable for subsequent reference, in that– i. The electronic document has remained complete and unaltered, apart from the addition of any endorsement and any authorized change, or any change which arises in the normal course of communication, storage and display; and

whom it is to be presented: Provided, That no provision of this Act shall apply to vary any and all requirements of existing laws on formalities required in the execution of documents for their validity. For evidentiary purposes, an electronic document shall be the functional equivalent of a written document under existing laws. This Act does not modify any statutory any statutory rule relating to admissibility of electronic data massages or electronic documents, except the rules relating to authentication and best evidence. 8. Legal Recognition of Electronic Signatures.- An electronic signature on the electronic Section

document shall be equivalent to the signature of a person on a written document if the signature is an electronic signature and proved by showing that a prescribed procedure, not alterable by the parties interested in the electronic document, existed under which(a) A method is used to identify the party sought to be bound and to indicate said party's access to the electronic document necessary for his consent or approval through the electronic signature;

ii. The electronic document is reliable in the light of the purpose for which it was generated and in the light of all relevant circumstances.

(b) Said method is reliable and appropriate for the purpose for which the electronic document was generated or communicated, in the light of all circumstances, including any relevant agreement;

(b) Paragraph (a) applies whether the requirement therein is in the from of an obligation or whether the law simply provides consequences for the document not being presented or retained in its original from.

(c) It is necessary for the party sought to be bound, in or order to proceed further with the transaction to have executed or provided the electronic signature; and

(c) Where the law requires that a document be presented or retained in its original form, that requirement is met by an electronic document ifi. There exists a reliable assurance as to the integrity of the document from the time when it was first generated in its final from; and

(d) The other party is authorized and enable to verify the electronic signature and to make the decision to proceed with the transaction authenticated by the same. 9. Presumption Relating to Electronic Signatures-In any proceedings involving an electronic Section

signature, it shall be presumed that, (a) The electronic signature is the signature of the person to whom it correlates; and

ii. That document is capable of being displayed to the person to

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ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT [RA 8792] (b) The electronic signature was affixed by that person with the intention of signing or approving the electronic document unless the person relying on the electronically designed electronic document knows or has noticed of defects in or unreliability of the signature or reliance on the electronic signature is not reasonable under the circumstances.

11. Authentication of Electronic Data Messages and Electronic Documents.- Until the Section

Supreme Court by appropriate rules shall have so provided, electronic documents, electronic data messages and electronic signatures, shall be authenticated by demonstrating, substantiating and validating a claimed identity of a user, device, or another entity is an information or communication system, among other ways, as follows;

Section 10. Original Documents.-

(a) The electronic signatures shall be authenticated by proof than a letter , character, number or other symbol in electronic form representing the persons named in and attached to or logically associated with an electronic data message, electronic document, or that the appropriate methodology or security procedures, when applicable, were employed or adopted by such person, with the intention of authenticating or approving in an electronic data message or electronic document;

(1) Where the law requires information to be presented or retained in its original form, that requirement is met by an electronic data message or electronic document if; (a) the integrity of the information from the time when it was first generated in its final form, as an electronic document is shown by evidence aliunde or otherwise; and

(b) The electronic data message or electronic document shall be authenticated by proof that an appropriate security procedure, when applicable was adopted and employed for the purpose of verifying the originator of an electronic data message or electronic document, or detecting error or alteration in the communication, content or storage of an electronic document or electronic data message from a specific point, which, using algorithms or codes, identifying words or numbers, encryptions, answers back or acknowledgement procedures, or similar security devices.

(b) where otherwise it is required that information be resented, that the information is capable of being displayed to the person to whom it is to be presented. (2) Paragraph (1) applies whether the requirement therein is in the form of an obligation or whether the law simply provides consequences for the information not being presented or retained in its original form. (3) For the purpose of subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1): (a) the criteria for assessing integrity shall be whether the information has remained complete and unaltered, apart from the addition of any endorsement and any change which arises in the normal course of communication, storage and display ; and (b) the standard of reliability required shall be assessed in the light of purposed for which the information was generated and in the light of all the relevant circumstances.

ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT

The Supreme Court may adopt such other authentication procedures, including the use of electronic notarization systems as necessary and advisable, as well as the certificate of authentication on printed or hard copies of the electronic documents or electronic data messages by electronic notaries, service providers and other duly recognized or appointed certification authorities. The person seeking to introduce an electronic data message or electronic document in any legal proceeding has the burden of proving its authenticity by evidence capable of supporting a finding that the electronic data message or electronic document is what the person claims it on be.

12


ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT [RA 8792] In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the integrity of the information and communication system in which an electronic data message or electronic document is recorded or stored may be established in any legal proceeding –

Section 13, Retention of Electronic Data Message or Electronic Document. – Notwithstanding any provision of law, rule or regulation to the contrary – (a) The requirement in any provision of law that certain documents be retained in their original form is satisfied by retaining them in the form of an electronic data message or electronic document which –

a.) By evidence that at all material times the information and communication system or other similar device was operating in a manner that did not affect the integrity of the electronic data message or electronic document, and there are no other reasonable grounds to doubt the integrity of the information and communication system,

(i) Remains accessible so as to be usable for subsequent reference; (ii) Is retained in the format in which it was generated, sent or received, or in a format which can be demonstrated to accurately represent the electronic data message or electronic document generated, sent or received;

b.) By showing that the electronic data message or electronic document was recorded or stored by a party to the proceedings who is adverse in interest to the party using it; or c.) By showing that the electronic data message or electronic document was recorded or stored in the usual and ordinary course of business by a person who is not a party to the proceedings and who did not act under the control of the party using the record. Section 12. Admissibility and Evidential Weight of Electronic Data Message or electronic document. – In any legal proceedings, nothing in the application of the rules on evidence shall deny the admissibility of an electronic data message or electronic document in evidence – (a) On the sole ground that it is in electronic form; or (b) On the ground that it is not in the standard written form, and the electronic data message or electronic document meeting, and complying with the requirements under Sections 6 or7 hereof shall be the best evidence of the agreement and transaction contained therein.

(iii) Enables the identification of its originator and addressee, as well as the detemination of the date and the time it was sent or received. (b) The requirement referred to in paragraph (a) is satisfied by using the services of a third party, provided that the conditions set fourth in subparagraph s (I), (ii) and (iii) of paragraph (a) are met. Section 14. Proof by Affidavit, - The matters referred to in Section 12, on admissibility and Section 9, on the presumption of integrity, may be presumed to have been established by an affidavit given to the best of the deponent's knowledge subject to the rights of parties in interest as defined in the following section. Section 15. Cross – Examination. (1) A deponent of an affidavit referred to in Section 14 that has been introduced in evidence may be cross-examined as of right by a party who has introduced the affidavit or has caused the affidavit to be introduced.

In assessing the evidential weight of an electronic data message or electronic document, the reliability of the manner in which it was generated, stored or communicated, the reliability of the manner in which its originator was identified, and other relevant factor shall be given due regard.

ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT

(2) Any party to the proceedings has the right to cross-examine a person referred to in section 11, Paragraph 4, sub paragraph c.

13


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY A. OBJECT (REAL) EVIDENCE

cannot be examined in court without great loss of time and the fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole; and

SECTION 1. Object as evidence.—Objects as evidence are those addressed to the senses of the court. When an object is relevant to the fact in issue, it may be exhibited to, examined or viewed by the court.(1a)

(d) When the original is a Public record in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office.(2a)

B. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

SEC. 4. Original of document. —

SEC. 2. Documentary evidence.—Documents as evidence consist of writings or any material containing letters, words, numbers, figures, symbols or other modes of written expressions offered as proof of their contents.(n)

(a) The original of a document is one the contents of which are the subject of inquiry. (b) When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about the same time, with identical contents, all such copies are equally regarded as originals.

1. BEST EVIDENCE RULE9 SEC. 3. Original document must be produced; exceptions.—When the subject of inquiry is the

(c) When an entry is repeated in the regular course of business, one being copied from another at or near the time of the transaction, all the entries are likewise equally regarded as originals.(3a)

contents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except in the following cases10: (a) When the original has been Lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the offeror; (b) When the original is in the Custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice; (c) When the original consists of Numerous accounts or other documents which

2. SECONDARY EVIDENCE SEC. 5. When original document is unavailable.—When the original document has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, the offeror, upon proof of its execution or existence and the cause of its unavailability without bad faith on his part, may prove its contents by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authentic document, or by the testimony of witnesses in the order stated.(4a)11

9

The best or primary evidence of a donation of real property is an authentic copy of the deed of donation with all the formalities required by Article 749 of the Civil Code. The duty to produce the original document arises when the subject of the inquiry are the contents of the writing in which case there can be no evidence of the contents of the writing other than the writing itself. Simply put, when a party wants to prove the contents of the document, the best evidence is the original writing itself. A party may prove the donation by other competent or secondary evidence under the exceptions in Section 3, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence. Secondary evidence of the contents of a document refers to evidence other than the original document itself. A party may introduce secondary evidence of the contents of a written instrument not only when the original is lost or destroyed, but also when it cannot be produced in court, provided there is no bad faith on the part of the offeror. However, a party must first satisfactorily explain the loss of the best or primary evidence before he can resort to secondary evidence. A party must first present to the court proof of loss or other satisfactory explanation for non-production of the original instrument. The correct order of proof is as follows: existence, execution, loss, contents, although the court in its discretion may change this order if necessary. (DECS v. Del Rosario, G.R. No. 146586, 26 January 2005) 10

Lost-Custody-Numerous accounts-Public record

11

Applying the above Rule to the present case, before a party is allowed to adduce secondary evidence to prove the contents of the original sales invoices, 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 nonproduction 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 contents. At the sound discretion of the court, this order may be changed if necessary. In the present case, petitioner failed to prove that the originals had been lost or could not be produced in court after reasonable diligence and good faith in searching for them. Indeed, the loss of the originals and reasonable diligence in the search for them were conditions that were not met, because the sales invoices might have been found by Equitable. Finally, when more than one original copy exists, it must appear that all of them have been lost, destroyed, or cannot be produced in court before secondary evidence can be given of any one. A photocopy may not be used without accounting for the other originals. In the present case, triplicates were produced, although the cardholder signed the sales invoice only once. Each of these three copies is regarded as an original in accordance with Section

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

14


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY SEC. 6. When original document is in adverse party's custody or control.—If the document is in the custody or under the control of the adverse party, he must have reasonable notice to produce it. If after such notice and after satisfactory proof of its existence, he fails to produce the document, secondary evidence may be presented as in the case of its loss.(5a)12 SEC. 7. Evidence admissible when original document is a public record.—When the original of a document is in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office, its contents may be proved by a certified copy issued by the public officer in custody thereof.(2a) SEC. 8. Party who calls for document not bound to offer it.—A party who calls for the production of a document and inspects the same is not obliged to offer it as evidence.(6a) 3. PAROL EVIDENCE RULE SEC. 9. Evidence of written agreements.—When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, between the parties and their successors in interest, no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the written agreement. However, a party may present evidence to modify, explain or add to the terms of the written agreement if he puts in issue in his pleading:

4 (b) of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Petitioner failed to show that all three original copies were unavailable, and that due diligence had been exercised in the search for them. (Citibank v. Efren Teodoro, G.R. No. 150905, 23 September 2003) 12

Under the circumstances, since there was proof of the existence of the Employees Clearance as evidenced by the photocopy thereof, and despite the reasonable notices made by the prosecution to the accused and her assistant secretary to produce the original of said employees clearance they ignored the notice and refused to produce the original document, the presentation and admission of the photocopy of the original copy of the questioned Employees Clearance as secondary evidence to prove the contents thereof was justified. This Court decrees that even though the original of an alleged falsified document is not, or may no longer be produced in court, a criminal case for falsification may still prosper if the person wishing to establish the contents of said document via secondary evidence or substitutionary evidence can adequately show that the best or primary evidence – the original of the document – is not available for any of the causes mentioned in Section 3, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court. [Pacasum v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 180314, 16 April 2009]

(a) The Failure of the written agreement to express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto; (b) An Intrinsic ambiguity13, imperfection in the written agreement;

mistake

or

(c) The Validity of the written agreement; or (d) The Existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their successors in interest after the execution of the written agreement. The term "agreement" includes wills.(7a)14

The exception obtains only where "the written contract is so ambiguous or obscure in terms that the contractual intention of the parties cannot be understood from a mere reading of the instrument. 14 The parol evidence rule forbids any addition to, or contradiction of, the terms of a written agreement by testimony or other evidence purporting to show that different terms were agreed upon by the parties, varying the purportofthewritten contract. 13

This principle notwithstanding, petitioner would have the Court rule that this case falls within the exceptions, particularly that the written agreement failed to express the true intent and agreement of the parties. This argument is untenable. Although parol evidence is admissible to explain the meaning of a contract, it cannot serve the purpose of incorporating into the contract additional contemporaneous conditions which are not mentioned at all in the writing unless there has been fraud or mistake. Evidence of a prior or contemporaneous verbal agreement is generally not admissible to vary, contradict or defeat the operation of a valid contract. The Vehicle Sales Invoice is the best evidence of the transaction. A sales invoice is a commercial document. Commercial documents or papers are those used by merchants or businessmen to promote or facilitate trade or credit transactions. Business forms, e.g., order slip, delivery charge invoice and the like, are commonly recognized in ordinary commercial transactions as valid between the parties and, at the very least, they serve as an acknowledgment that a business transaction has in fact transpired. These documents are not mere scraps of paper bereft of probative value, but vital pieces of evidence of commercial transactions. They are written memorials of the details of the consummation of contracts. The terms of the subject sales invoice are clear. They show that Autocorp sold to Seaoil one unit Robex 200 LC Excavator paid for by checks issued by one Romeo Valera. This does not, however, change the fact that Seaoil Petroleum Corporation, as represented by Yu, is the customer or buyer. The moment a party affixes his or her signature thereon, he or she is bound by all the terms stipulated therein and is subject to all the legal obligations that may arise from their breach. Oral testimony on the alleged conditions, coming from a party who has an interest in the outcome of the case, depending exclusively on human memory, is not as reliable as written or documentary evidence. Hence, petitioner's contention that the document falls within the exception to the parol evidence rule is untenable. The exception

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

15


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY 4. INTERPRETATION OF DOCUMENTS obtains only where "the written contract is so ambiguous or obscure in terms that the contractual intention of the parties cannot be understood from a mere reading of the instrument. In such a case, extrinsic evidence of the subject matter of the contract, of the relations of the parties to each other, and of the facts and circumstances surrounding them when they entered into the contract may be received to enable the court to make a proper interpretation of the instrument." [Seaoil Petroleum v. Autocorp Group, G.R. No. 164326, 17 October 2008] Besides, conformably to the Parol Evidence Rule, which is the general rule, when the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, as between the parties and their successors in interest, no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the written agreement. This poses another big obstacle to a favorable finding of petitioner’s right in esse under the alleged dacion en pago agreement. Again, petitioner must first establish that alleged agreement in the main case where it bears the burden of duly proving by competent evidence that the written loan restructuring agreement failed to express the true intent of the parties. Until and unless this has been successfully carried out, there is no right in esse to speak of. And with EIB denying petitioner’s allegation of a right arising from an alleged dacion en pago agreement supposedly entered into by it not with EIB itself, but with Urban Bank, petitioner’s burden becomes doubly cumbersome. [Duvaz Corp. v. Export and Industry Bank, G.R. No. 163011, 7 June 2007] The parol evidence herein introduced is inadmissible. First, private respondents' oral testimony on the alleged conditions, coming from a party who has an interest in the outcome of the case, depending exclusively on human memory, is not as reliable as written or documentary evidence. Spoken words could be notoriously unreliable unlike a written contract which speaks of a uniform language. Thus, under the general rule in Section 9 of Rule 130 , when the terms of an agreement were reduced to writing, as in this case, it is deemed to contain all the terms agreed upon and no evidence of such terms can be admitted other than the contents thereof. Considering that the written deeds of sale were the only repository of the truth, whatever is not found in said instruments must have been waived and abandoned by the parties. Examining the deeds of sale, we cannot even make an inference that the sale was subject to any condition. As a contract, it is the law between the parties. The parol evidence herein sought to be introduced would vary, contradict or defeat the operation of a valid instrument, hence, contrary to the rule that ―the parol evidence rule forbids any addition to x x x the terms of a written instrument by testimony purporting to show that, at or before the signing of the document, other or different terms were orally agreed upon by the parties.‖ Although parol evidence is admissible to explain the meaning of a contract, "it cannot serve the purpose of incorporating into the contract additional contemporaneous conditions which are not mentioned at all in the writing unless there has been fraud or mistake." No such fraud or mistake exists in this case. We disagree with private respondents' argument that their parol evidence is admissible under the exceptions provided by the Rules, specifically, the alleged failure of the agreement to express the true intent of the parties. In this case, the deeds of sale are clear, without any ambiguity, mistake or imperfection, much less obscurity or doubt in the terms thereof. [Ortanez v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 107372, 23 January 1997]

SEC. 10. Interpretation of a writing according to its legal meaning.—The language of a writing is to be interpreted according to the legal meaning it bears in the place of its execution, unless the parties intended otherwise.(8) SEC. 11. Instrument construed so as to give effect to all provisions.—In the construction of an instrument where there are several provisions or particulars, such a construction is, if possible, to be adopted as will give effect to all.(9) SEC. 12. Interpretation according to intention; and particular provisions.—In the construction of an instrument, the intention of the parties is to be pursued; and when a general and a particular provision are inconsistent, the latter is paramount to the former. So a particular intent will control a general one that is inconsistent with it.(10)

general

SEC. 13. Interpretation according to circumstances.—For the proper construction of an instrument, the circumstances under which it was made, including the situation of the subject thereof and of the parties to it, may be shown, so that the judge may be placed in the position of those whose language he is to interpret.(11) SEC. 14. Peculiar signification of terms. —The terms of a writing are presumed to have been used in their primary and general acceptation, but evidence is admissible to show that they have a local, technical, or otherwise peculiar signification, and were so used and understood, in the particular instance, in which case the agreement must be construed accordingly.(12) SEC. 15. Written words control printed.—When an instrument consists partly of written words and partly of a printed form, and the two are inconsistent, the former controls the latter.(13) SEC. 16. Experts and interpreters to be used in explaining certain writings.—When the characters in which an instrument is written are difficult to be deciphered, or the language is not understood by the court, the evidence of persons skilled in deciphering the characters, or who understand the language, is admissible to declare the characters or the meaning of the language.(14) SEC. 17. Of two constructions, which preferred.—When the terms of an agreement have been intended in a different sense by the different parties to it, that sense is to prevail against either party in which he supposed the other understood it, and when different constructions of a provision are

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

16


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY otherwise equally proper, that is to be taken which is the most favorable to the party in whose favor the provision is made.(15) SEC. 18. Construction in favor of natural right.— When an instrument is equally susceptible of two interpretations, one in favor of natural right and the other against it, the former is to be adopted.(16) SEC. 19. Interpretation according to usage.—An instrument may be construed according to usage, in order to determine its true character.(17) C. TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE 1. QUALIFICATION OF WITNESSES SEC. 20. Witnesses; their qualifications.—Except as provided in the next succeeding section, all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known their perception to others, may be witnesses.15 Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, or conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be a ground for disqualification.(18a) SEC. 21. Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity.—The following persons cannot be witnesses: (a) Those whose mental condition, at the time of their production for examination, is such that they are incapable of intelligently making known their perception to others; (b) Children whose mental maturity is such as to render them incapable of perceiving

the facts respecting which they are examined and of relating them truthfully.(19a) SEC. 22. Disqualification by reason of marriage.—During their marriage, neither the husband nor the wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse, except in a civil case by one against the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latter's direct descendants or ascendants.(20a) SEC. 23. Disqualification by reason of death or insanity of adverse party. 16—Parties or assignors of parties to a case, or persons in whose behalf a case is prosecuted, against an executor or administrator or other representative of a deceased person, or against a person of unsound mind, upon a claim or demand against the estate of such deceased person or against such person of unsound mind, cannot testify as to any matter of fact occurring before the death of such deceased person or before such person became of unsound mind.(20a)

16

The purpose of the rule has been explained by this Court in this wise: The reason for the rule is that if persons having a claim against the estate of the deceased or his properties were allowed to testify as to the supposed statements made by him (deceased person), many would be tempted to falsely impute statements to deceased persons as the latter can no longer deny or refute them, thus unjustly subjecting their properties or rights to false or unscrupulous claims or demands. The purpose of the law is to "guard against the temptation to give false testimony in regard to the transaction in question on the part of the surviving party." (Tongco v. Vianzon, 50 Phil. 698; Go Chi Gun, et al. v. Co Cho, et al., 622 [1955])

15

It is thus clear that any child, regardless of age, can be a competent witness if he can perceive, and perceiving, can make known his perception to others and of relating truthfully facts respecting which he is examined. The requirements then of a child's competency as a witness are the: (a) capacity of observation, (b) capacity of recollection, and (c) capacity of communication. In ascertaining whether a child is of sufficient intelligence according to the foregoing requirements, it is settled that the trial court is called upon to make such determination. The decision of this question rests primarily with the trial judge, who sees the proposed witness, notices his manner, his apparent possession or lack of intelligence, and may resort to any examination which will tend to disclose his capacity and intelligence as well as his understanding of the obligations of an oath. As many of these matters cannot be photographed into the record, the decision of the trial judge will not be disturbed on review unless from that which is preserved it is clear that it was erroneous. [People v. Mendoza, G.R. No. 113791, 22 Feberiary 1996]

The rule, however, delimits the prohibition it contemplates in that it is applicable to a case against the administrator or its representative of an estate upon a claim against the estate of the deceased person. In the instant case, the testimony excluded by the appellate court is that of the defendant (petitioner herein) to the affect that the late Juan Chuidian, (the father of private respondent Vicente Chuidian, the administrator of the estate of Juan Chuidian) and the defendant agreed in the lifetime of Juan Chuidian that the 1,500 shares of stock in E. Razon, Inc. are actually owned by the defendant unless the deceased Juan Chuidian opted to pay the same which never happened. The case was filed by the administrator of the estate of the late Juan Chuidian to recover shares of stock in E. Razon, Inc. allegedly owned by the late Juan T. Chuidian. It is clear, therefore, that the testimony of the petitioner is not within the prohibition of the rule. The case was not filed against the administrator of the estate, nor was it filed upon claims against the estate. [Razon v. IAC, G.R. No. 74306, 16 March 1992]

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

17


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY SEC. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication.—The following persons17 cannot

(c) A person authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics cannot in a civil case, without the consent of the patient, be examined as to any advice or treatment given by him or any information which he may have acquired in attending such patient in a professional capacity, which information was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity,

testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases: (a) The husband or the wife, during or after the marriage, cannot be examined without the consent of the other as to any communication received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage except in a civil case by one against the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latter's direct descendants or ascendants;18 (b) An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course of, or with a view to, professional employment, nor can an attorney's secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of the client and his employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in such capacity;19 17

Sec. 1, RA 53—Without prejudice to his liability under the civil and criminal laws, the published, editor, columnist, or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation cannot be compelled to reveal the source of any news report or information appearing in said publication which was related in confidence to such publisher, editor or reporter, unless the Court or a House or committee of Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by the security of the State. 18

Where a privileged communication from one spouse to another comes into the hands of a third party, whether legally or not, without collusion and voluntary disclosure on the part of either of the spouses, the privilege is thereby extinguished and the communication, if otherwise comeptent, becomes admissible. [People v. Carlos, 1925] 19

The question now arises whether or not this duty may be asserted in refusing to disclose the name of petitioners' client(s) in the case at bar. Under the facts and circumstances obtaining in the instant case, the answer must be in the affirmative. As a matter of public policy, a client’s identity should not be shrouded in mystery. Under this premise, the general rule in our jurisdiction as well as in the United States is that a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or identity of his client. The reasons advanced for the general rule are well established. First, the court has a right to know that the client whose privileged information is sought to be protected is flesh and blood. Second, the privilege begins to exist only after the attorney-client relationship has been established. The attorney-client privilege does not attach until there is a client. Third, the privilege generally pertains to the subject matter of the relationship. Finally, due process considerations require that the opposing party should, as a general rule, know his adversary. ―A party suing or sued is entitled to know who his opponent is.‖ He cannot be obliged to grope in the dark against unknown forces.

Notwithstanding these considerations, the general rule is however qualified by some important exceptions. 1. Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the client’s name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the lawyer’s advice. 2. Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability, his identity is privileged. 3. Where the government’s lawyers have no case against an attorney’s client unless, by revealing the client’s name, the said name would furnish the only link that would form the chain of testimony necessary to convict an individual of a crime, the client’s name is privileged. Apart from these principal exceptions, there exist other situations which could qualify as exceptions to the general rule. For example, the content of any client communication to a lawyer lies within the privilege if it is relevant to the subject matter of the legal problem on which the client seeks legal assistance. Moreover, where the nature of the attorney-client relationship has been previously disclosed and it is the identity which is intended to be confidential, the identity of the client has been held to be privileged, since such revelation would otherwise result in disclosure of the entire transaction. Summarizing these exceptions, information relating to the identity of a client may fall within the ambit of the privilege when the client’s name itself has an independent significance, such that disclosure would then reveal client confidences. The circumstances involving the engagement of lawyers in the case at bench, therefore, clearly reveal that the instant case falls under at least two exceptions to the general rule. First, disclosure of the alleged client's name would lead to establish said client's connection with the very fact in issue of the case, which is privileged information, because the privilege, as stated earlier, protects the subject matter or the substance (without which there would be no attorney-client relationship). Furthermore, under the third main exception, revelation of the client's name would obviously provide the necessary link for the prosecution to build its case, where none otherwise exists. [Regala v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 105938, 20 September 1996] A distinction must be made between confidential communications relating to past crimes already committed and future crimes intented to be commited by the client. If the client seeks his lawyer’s advice with respect to a crime that the former has heretofore committed, he is given the protection of a virtual confessional seal which the attorney-client privilege declares cannot be broken by the attorney without the client’s consent. The same privileged confidentiality, however, does not attach with regard to a crime which a client intends to commit thereafter or in the future and for purposes of which he seeks the lawyer’s advice. [People v. Sandiganbayan, 1997]

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

18


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY and which would blacken the reputation of the patient;20 (d) A minister or priest cannot, without the consent of the person making the confession, be examined as to any confession made to or any advice given by him in his professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which the minister or priest belongs; (e) A public officer cannot examined during his term of office afterwards, as to communications made to in official confidence, when the court finds the public interest would suffer by disclosure. (21a)21

be or him that the

20

Lim v. Court of Appeals clearly lays down the requisites in order that the privilege may be successfully invoked: (a) the privilege is claimed in a civil case; (b) the person against whom the privilege is claimed is one duly authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics; (c) such person acquired the information while he was attending to the patient in his professional capacity; (d) the information was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity; and, (e) the information was confidential and, if disclosed, would blacken the reputation (formerly character) of the patient. In the instant case, the person against whom the privilege is claimed is not one duly authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics. He is simply the patient's husband who wishes to testify on a document executed by medical practitioners. Plainly and clearly, this does not fall within the claimed prohibition. Neither can his testimony be considered a circumvention of the prohibition because his testimony cannot have the force and effect of the testimony of the physician who examined the patient and executed the report. [Krohn v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 108854, 14 June 1994] 21

But this privilege, as this Court notes, is intended not for the protection of public officers but for the protection of public interest (Vogel vs. Gruaz 110 U.S. 311 cited in Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, 1980 Ed. Vol. 5, p. 211). Where there is no public interest that would be prejudiced, this invoked rule will not be applicable. The rule that a public officer cannot be examined as to communications made to him in official confidence does not apply when there is nothing to show that the public interest would suffer by the disclosure question. ... ,( Agnew vs. Agnew,'52 SD 472, cited in Martin Rules of Court of the Philippines, Third Edition, Vol. 5, p. 199). In the case at bar, the respondents have not established that public interest would suffer by the disclosure of the papers and documents sought by petitioner. Considering that petitioner bank was already closed as of January 25, 1985, any disclosure of the aforementioned letters, reports, and transcripts at this time pose no danger or peril to our economy. Neither will it trigger any bank run nor compromise state secrets. Respondent's reason for their resistance to the order of production are tenuous and specious. If the respondents public officials acted rightfully and prudently in the performance of their duties, there should be nothing at all that would provoke fear of disclosure.

2. TESTIMONIAL PRIVILEGE SEC. 25. Parental and filial privilege.—No person may be compelled to testify against his parents, other direct ascendants, children or other direct descendants.(20a) 3. ADMISSIONS AND CONFESSIONS SEC. 26. Admissions of a party.—The act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him.(22) SEC. 27. Offer of compromise not admissible.— In civil cases, an offer of compromise is not an admission of any liability, and is not admissible in evidence against the offeror. In criminal cases, except those involving quasioffenses (criminal negligence) or those allowed by law to be compromised, an offer of compromise by the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.22 A plea of guilty later withdrawn, or an unaccepted offer of a plea of guilty to a lesser

On the contrary, public interests will be best served by the disclosure of the documents. Not only the banks and its employees but also its numerous depositors and creditors are entitled to be informed as to whether or not there was a valid and legal justification for the petitioner's bank closure. It will be well to consider that—public interest means more than a mere curiosity; it means something in which the public, the community at large, has some pecuniary interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected (State vs. Crocket, 206, p. 816 cited in Words and Phrases, Vol. 35, p. 229). [Banco Filipino v. Monetary Board, G.R. No. 70054, 8 July 1986] 22

An offer to compromise does not require that a criminal complaint be first held before the offer can be received in evidence against the offeror. What is required is that after committing the crime, the accused or his representative makes an offer to compromise and such offer is proved. [People v. Yparriguere, 1997] It has long been held, however, that in such cases the accused is permitted to show that the offer was not made under a consciousness of guilt, but merely to avoid the inconvenience of imprisonment or for some other reason which could justify a claim by the accused that the offer to compromise was not in truth an admission of guilt or an attempt to avoid the legal consequences which would ordinarily ensue therefrom. Also, it has been held that where the accused was not present at the time the offer for monetary consideration was made, such offer would not save the day for the prosectution. In another case, the Court ruled that no implied admission can be drawn from the efforts to arrive at a settlement outside the court, where the accused did not take part in any of the negotiations and the effort to settle the case xxx. [People v. Godoy, 1997]

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

19


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY offense, is not admissible in evidence against the accused who made the plea or offer. An offer to pay or the payment of medical, hospital or other expenses occasioned by an injury is not admissible in evidence as proof of civil or criminal liability for the injury.(24a) SEC. 28. Admission by third party.—The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of another, except as hereinafter provided.(25a)23 SEC. 29. Admission by co-partner or agent.—The act or declaration of a partner or agent of the party within the scope of his authority and during the existence of the partnership or agency, may be given in evidence against such party after the partnership or agency is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The same rule applies to the act or declaration of a joint owner, joint debtor, or other person jointly interested with the party.(26a) SEC. 30. Admission by conspirator.—The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the

conspiracy and during its existence, may be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. (27) SEC. 31. Admission by privies.—Where one derives title to property from another, the act, declaration, or omission of the latter, while holding the title, in relation to the property, is evidence against the former .(28) SEC. 32. Admission by silence.—An act or declaration made in the presence and within the hearing or observation of a party who does or says nothing when the act or declaration is such as naturally to call for action or comment if not true, and when proper and possible for him to do so, may be given in evidence against him.(23a)24 SEC. 33. Confession.—The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or of any offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence against him.(29a) 25 24

23

The res inter alios rule ordains that the rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of another. An extrajudicial confession is binding only upon the confessant and is not admissible against his co-accused. The reason for the rule is that, on a principle of good faith and mutual convenience, a man's own acts are binding upon himself, and are evidence against him. So are his conduct and declarations. Yet it would not only be rightly inconvenient, but also manifestly unjust, that a man should be bound by the acts of mere unauthorized strangers; and if a party ought not to be bound by the acts of strangers, neither ought their acts or conduct be used as evidence against him. Although the above-stated rule admits of certain jurisprudential exceptions, those exceptions do not however apply to the present case. Firstly, except for that extrajudicial statement of accused Amado Ponce, there exists no evidence whatsoever linking appellants to the crime. In fact, the testimony of police Sgt. Andal S. Pangato that appellant Sabas Raquel was wounded and went to the clinic of Dr. Anulao for treatment using the name Dante Clemente, was negated by Dr. Anulao himself who testified that he treated no person by the name of Danny Clemente. Secondly, this extrajudicial statement, ironically relied upon as prosecution evidence, was made in violation of the constitutional rights of accused Amado Ponce. This was unwittingly admitted in the testimony of the same Sgt. Andal S. Pangato who was the chief of the intelligence and investigation section of their police station. Extrajudicial statements made during custodial investigation without the assistance of counsel are inadmissible and cannot be considered in the adjudication of the case. While the right to counsel may be waived, such waiver must be made with the assistance of counsel. These rights, both constitutional and statutory in source and foundation, were never observed. [People v. Raquel, G.R. No. 119005, 2 December 1996]

Petitioner argues that by not responding to the above letter which expressly urged them to reply if the statements therein contained are untrue, respondents in effect admitted the matters stated therein, pursuant to the rule on admission by silence in Sec. 32, Rule 130, and the disputable presumption that acquiescence resulted from a belief that the thing acquiesced in was conformable to the law or fact. Petitioner’s argument lacks merit. One cannot prove his claim by placing the burden of proof on the other party. Indeed, "(a) man cannot make evidence for himself by writing a letter containing the statements that he wishes to prove. He does not make the letter evidence by sending it to the party against whom he wishes to prove the facts [stated therein]. He no more can impose a duty to answer a charge than he can impose a duty to pay by sending goods. Therefore a failure to answer such adverse assertions in the absence of further circumstances making an answer requisite or natural has no effect as an admission." Moreover, the rule on admission by silence applies to adverse statements in writing if the party was carrying on a mutual correspondence with the declarant. However, if there was no such mutual correspondence, the rule is relaxed on the theory that while the party would have immediately reacted by a denial if the statements were orally made in his presence, such prompt response can generally not be expected if the party still has to resort to a written reply. In the same manner, we also cannot assume an admission by silence on the part of Balaguer by virtue of his failure to protest or disclaim the attribution to him by the newspapers that he is the source of the articles. As explained above, the rule on admission by silence is relaxed when the statement is not made orally in one’s presence or when one still has to resort to a written reply, or when there is no mutual correspondence between the parties. [Villanueva v. Balaguer, G.R. No. 180197, 23 June 2009] 25

The custodial interrogation of accused-appellant was violative of Section 12, Article III of the Constitution. The Constitution

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

20


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY 4. PREVIOUS CONDUCT AS EVIDENCE provides that "(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this section or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible against him." Section 17, Article III provides: "No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself." Any confession, including a re-enactment without admonition of the right to silence and to counsel, and without counsel chosen by the accused is inadmissible in evidence. [People v. Yip Wai Ming, G.R. No. 120959, 14 November 1996] At the outset, the Court holds that the signatures of accused on the boxes, as well as on the plastic bags containing ―shabu,‖ are inadmissible in evidence. A careful study of the records reveals that accused were never informed of their fundamental rights during the entire time that they were under investigation. Specifically, accused were not informed of their Miranda rights i.e. that they had the right to remain silent and to counsel and any statement they might make could be used against them, when they were made to affix their signatures on the boxes of Alpen Cereals while they were at the NAIA and again, on the plastic bags when they were already taken in custody at Camp Crame. By affixing their signatures on the boxes of Alpen Cereals and on the plastic bags, accused in effect made a tacit admission of the crime charged for mere possession of ―shabu‖ is punished by law. These signatures of accused are tantamount to an uncounselled extra-judicial confession which is not sanctioned by the Bill of Rights (Section 12 [1][3], Article III, 1987 Constitution). They are, therefore, inadmissible as evidence for any admission wrung from the accused in violation of their constitutional rights is inadmissible against them. [People v. Wong Chuen Ming, G.R. Nos. 112801-11, 12 April 1996]

SEC. 34. Similar acts as evidence.—Evidence that one did or did not do a certain thing at one time is not admissible to prove that he did or did not do the same or a similar thing at another time; but it may be received to prove a specific intent or knowledge, identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or usage, and the like.(48a)26 SEC. 35. Unaccepted offer.—An offer in writing to pay a particular sum of money or to deliver a written instrument or specific personal property is, if rejected without valid cause , equivalent to the actual production and tender of the money, instrument, or property.(49a)

Corpus delicti has been defined as the body, foundation, or substance of a crime. The evidence of a dead body with a gunshot wound on its back would be evidence that murder has been committed. Corpus delicti has two elements: (a) that a certain result has been established, for example, that a man has died and (b) that some person is criminally responsible for it. The prosecution is burdened to prove corpus delicti beyond reasonable doubt either by direct evidence or by circumstantial or presumptive evidence. The defense claims that the prosecution failed to prove corpus delicti since it did not bother to present a medical certificate identifying the remains found at the dump site and an autopsy report showing such remains sustained gunshot and stab wounds that resulted in death; and the shells of the guns used in killing the victim. But corpus delicti need not be proved by an autopsy report of the dead victim’s body or even by the testimony of the physician who examined such body. While such report or testimony is useful for understanding the nature of the injuries the victim suffered, they are not indispensable proof of such injuries or of the fact of death. Nor is the presentation of the murder weapons also indispensable since the physical existence of such weapons is not an element of the crime of murder. Here, the police authorities found the remains of Cortez at the place pointed to by accused Aleman. That physical confirmation, coming after his testimony of the gruesome murder, sufficiently establishes the corpus delicti of the crime. Of course, that statement must be admissible in evidence. Whether or not accused Aleman’s extrajudicial confession is admissible in evidence. Confession to be admissible must be a) voluntary; b) made with the assistance of a competent and independent counsel; c) express; and d) in writing. hese requirements were met here. A lawyer, not working with or was not beholden to the police, Atty. Besinga, assisted accused

Aleman during the custodial investigation. Officer Tabucon testified that he saw accused Aleman, before the taking of his statement, conversing with counsel at the police station. Atty. Besinga did not dispute this claim. [People v. Tuniaco, G.R. No. 185710, 19 January 2010] 26

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

Rule for witnesses: [R132.11]: 1. A witness may not be impeached by evidence of particular wrongful acts; 2. But it may be shown that he was previously convicted of an offense. 21


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY 5. TESTIMONIAL KNOWLEDGE SEC. 36. Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge; hearsay excluded.—A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception27, except as otherwise provided in these rules. (30a) 6. EXCEPTIONS TO THE HEARSAY RULE SEC. 37. Dying declaration.—The declaration of a dying person28, made under the consciousness of an impending death29, may be received in any case wherein his death is the subject of inquiry, as evidence of the cause and surrounding circumstances of such death.(31a) SEC. 38. Declaration against interest.30—The declaration made by a person deceased, or unable to testify, against the interest of the declarant, if the fact asserted in the declaration was at the time it was made so far contrary to declarant's own interest, that a reasonable man in his position would not have made the declaration unless he believed it to be true, may be received in evidence against himself or his successors in interest and against third persons.(32a)

27

While the testimony of a witness regarding the statement made by another person, if intended to establish the truth of the fact asserted in the statement, is clearly hearsay evidence, it is otherwise if the purpose of placing the statement in the record is merely to establish the fact that the statement was made or the tenor of such statement. [People v. Gaddi, 1998] 28 The

declarant should be competent as a witness had s/he survived. [People v. Macandog, 2001]

SEC. 39. Act or declaration about pedigree31.— The act or declaration of a person deceased, or unable to testify, in respect to the pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage, may be received in evidence where it occurred before the controversy, and the relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The word "pedigree" includes relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death, the dates when and the places where these facts occurred, and the names of the relatives. It embraces also facts of family history intimately connected with pedigree.(33a) SEC. 40. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree.— The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members, may be received in evidence if the witness testifying thereon be also a member of the family, either by consanguinity or affinity. Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engraving on rings, family portraits and the like,32 may be received as evidence of pedigree.(34a) SEC. 41. Common reputation.—Common reputation existing previous to the controversy, respecting facts of public or general interest more than thirty years old, or respecting marriage or moral character, may be given in evidence, Monuments and inscriptions in public places may be received as evidence of common reputation.(35) SEC. 42. Part of the res gestae.—Statements made by a person while a startling occurrence is taking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances thereof, may be given in evidence as part of the res

29

True, Payla made no express statement showing that he was conscious of his impending death. The law, however, does not require the declarant to state explicitly a perception of the inevitability of death. The foreboding may be gleaned from surrounding circumstances. [People v. Latayda, 2004]

31 Conditions

for the application of this section: the declarant is dead or unable to testify the declarant is related to the person whose pedigree is the subject of the inquiry by birth or marriage 3. such relationship is shown by evidence other than the declaration 4. the declaration was made ante litem motam, that is, not only before the commencement of the suit involving the subject matter of the declaration, but before any controversy has arisen. [Tison v. Court of Appeals, 1997] 1. 2.

30

While he explicitly declared that the subject property belonged to Quintin, at the same time he was remarkably silent about his claim that he acquired one-half thereof during the lifetime of Quintin. He asserted his claim to the subject property quite belatedly. Thus, the statement and the accompanying silence may be appreciated in more than one context. It is a declaration against interest and a judicial admission combined. [Heirs of Miguel Franco v. Court of Appeals, 2003] 32

Furthermore, Sembrano’s testimony on behalf of petitioners is about an alleged declaration against interest of a person who is dead in an action that is in effect a claim against the estate. Such a testimony, if coming from a party would be barred by the surviving parties rule, or the dead man’s statute, in the Rules of Court. [Hko Ah Pao v. Ting, 2006]

Private letters and notes do not fall under the phrase ―and the like.‖In light of the rule of esjudem genris, the enumeration contained in the second portion of the provision is limited to objects which are commonly known as ―family possessions,‖ or those articles which represent, in effect, a family’s statement of its belief as to the pedigree of a person. These have been described as objects ―openly exhibited and well known to the family,‖ or those which, if preserved in a family, may be regarded as giving a family tradition.[Jison v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 124583, 1998]

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

22


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY gestae. So,

also, statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue, and giving it a legal significance, may be received as part of the res gestae.(36a) SEC. 43. Entries in the course of business.— Entries made at, or near the time of the transactions to which they refer, by a person deceased, or unable to testify, who was in a position to know33 the facts therein stated, may be received as prima facie evidence, if such person made the entries in his professional capacity or in the performance of duty and in the ordinary or regular course of business or duty.(37a) SEC. 44. Entries in official records.—Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by a public officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law34, are prima facie35 evidence of the facts therein stated.(38)

33

Section 43, Rule 130 does not apply to this case because it does not involve entries made in the course of business. Furthermore, Rayos testified on a statement of account she prepared on the basis of invoices and delivery orders which she, however, knew nothing about. She had no personal knowledge of the facts on which the accounts were based since, admittedly, she was not involved in the delivery of goods and was merely in charge of the records and documents of all accounts receivable as part of her duties as credit and collection manager. [Nestle Phil. V. FY Sons, 2006] 34

The foregoing rule on evidence, however, must be read in accordance with this Court’s pronouncement in Africa v. Caltex where it was held that an entrant must have personal knowledge of the facts stated by him or such facts were acquired by him from reports made by persons under a legal duty to submit the same. [Barcelon, Roxas Securities, Inc. v. CIR, G.R. No. 157064, 7 August 2006] There are three requisites of admissibility under the rule just mentioned: 1. the entry was made bya public officer, or by another person specially enjoined to do so 2. it was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties, or by such other person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law 3. the public officer or other person had sufficient knowledge of the facts stated by him, which must have been acquired by him personally or through official information. [Franco-Cruz v. Court of Appeals, 2008] The Advance Information Sheet does not constitute an exception to the hearsay rule, hence, inadmissible. The public officer who prepared the document had no sufficient knowledge of the stabbing incident. Any information possessed by him was acquired from Camba, which could not be categorized as official information because in order to be classified as such, the persons who made the statements not only must have personal knowledge

SEC. 45. Commercial lists and the like.— Evidence of state ments of matters of interest to persons engaged in an occupation contained in a list, register, periodical, or other published compilations admissible as tending to prove the truth of any relevant matter so stated if that compilation is published for use by persons engaged in that occupation and is generally used and relied upon by them therein.(39) SEC. 46. Learned treatises.—A published treatise, periodical or pamphlet on a subject of history, law, science or art is admissible as tending to prove the truth of a matter stated therein if the court takes judicial notice, or a witness expert in the subject testifies, that the writer of the statement in the treatise, periodical or pamphlet is recognized in his profession or calling as expert in the subject.(40a) SEC. 47. Testimony or deposition at a former proceeding.—The testimony or deposition of a witness deceased or unable to testify36, given in a former case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, involving the same parties and subject matter, may be given in evidence against the adverse party who had the opportunity to cross-examine him.(41a) 7. OPINION RULE SEC. 48. General rule.—The opinion of a witness is not admissible, except as indicated in the following sections.(42) SEC. 49. Opinion of expert witness.—The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring special knowledge, skill, experience or training which he is shown to possess, may be received in evidence.(43a)37 SEC. 50. Opinion of ordinary witnesses.—The opinion of a witness for which proper basis is given, may be received in evidence regarding [IHMI]— (a) The Identity of a person about whom he has adequate knowledge; of the facts stated but must have the duty to give such statements for the record. [People v. Gabriel, 1996] 35

Entries in official records, as in the case of police blotter, are only prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. They are not conclusive. [People v. Gabriel, 1996] 36 The exception does not apply in this case. The witnesses are not dead. They are not outside the Philippines. Here, the witnesses in question are available. Only, they refused to testify. [Tan v. Court of Appeals, 1967] 37

Expert opinions are not ordinarily conclusive. They are generally regarded as purely advisory in character. [Bacalso v. Padigos]

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

23


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130 RULES ON ADMISSIBILITY (b) A Handwriting with which he has sufficient familiarity; and (c) The Mental sanity of a person with whom he is sufficiently acquainted. The witness may also testify on his Impressions of the motion, behavior, condition or appearance of a person.(44a) 8. CHARACTER EVIDENCE SEC. 51. Character evidence not generally admissible; exceptions:— (a) In Criminal Cases: (1) The accused may prove his good moral character which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense charged. (2) Unless in rebuttal, the prosecution may not prove his bad moral character which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense charged. (3) The good or bad moral character of the offended party may be proved if it tends to establish in any reasonable degree the probability or improbability of the offense charged.38 (b) In Civil Cases: Evidence of the moral character of a party in a civil case is admissible only when pertinent to the issue of character involved in the case. (c) In the case provided for in Rule 132, Section 1439. (46a, 47a)

38

The claim that the trial court also erred in not allowing the defense to prove that the deceased had a violent, quarrelsome, or provocative character cannot also deserve consideration. While good or bad moral character may be availed of as an aid to determine the probability or improbability of the commission of an offense, such is not necessary in the crime of murder where the killing is committed through treachery or premeditation. The proof of such character may only be allowed in homicide cases to show ―that it has produced a reasonable belief of imminent danger in the mind of the accused and a justifiable conviction that a prompt defensive action was necessary.‖ [People v. Soliman, 1957] 39

Evidence of the good character of a witness is not admissible until such character has been impeached.

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 130

24


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 131 BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTIONS SECTION 1. Burden of proof.—Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the amount of evidence required by law.(1a, 2a)

(k) That a person in possession of an order on himself for the payment of the money, or the delivery of anything, has paid the money or delivered the thing accordingly;

SEC. 2. Conclusive presumptions.—The following are instances of conclusive presumptions:

(l) That a person acting in a public office was regularly appointed or elected to it;

(a) Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing true, and to act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act or omission, be permitted to falsify it:

(m) That official duty has been regularly performed;

(b) The tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his landlord at the time of the commencement of the relation of landlord and tenant between them.(3a) SEC. 3. Disputable presumptions.—The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence: (a) That a person is innocent of crime or wrong; (b) That an unlawful act was done with an unlawful intent; (c) That a person intends the ordinary consequences of his voluntary act; (d) That a person take ordinary care of his concerns; (e) That evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced; (f) That money paid by one to another was due to the latter; (g) That a thing delivered by one to another belonged to the latter; (h) That an obligation delivered up to the debtor has been paid; (i) That prior rents or installments had been paid when a receipt for the later ones is produced; (j) That a person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole act; otherwise, that things which a person possesses, or exercises acts of ownership over, are owned by him;

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 131

(n) That a court, or judge acting as such, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere, was acting in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction; (o) That all the matters within an issue raised in a case were laid before the court and passed upon by it; and in like manner that all matters within an issue raised in a dispute submitted for arbitration were laid before the arbitrators and passed upon by them; (p) That private transactions have been fair and regular; (q) That the ordinary course of business has been followed; (r) That there was consideration for a contract;

a

sufficient

(s) That a negotiable instrument was given or indorsed for a sufficient consideration; (t) That an indorsement of a negotiable instrument was made before the instrument was overdue and at the place where the instrument is dated; (u) That a writing is truly dated; (v) That a letter duly directed and mailed was received in the regular course of the mail; (w) That after an absence of seven years, it being unknown whether or not the absentee still lives, he is considered dead for all purposes, except for those of succession. The absentee shall not be considered dead for the purpose of opening his succession till after an absence of ten years. If he disappeared after the age of seventy-five years, an absence of five years shall be sufficient in order that his succession may be opened. The following shall be considered dead for all purposes including the division of the estate among the heirs:

25


RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 131 BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTIONS (1) A person on board a vessel lost during a sea voyage, or an aircraft which is missing, who has not been heard of for four years since the loss of the vessel or aircraft; (2) A member of the armed forces who has taken part in armed hostilities, and has been missing for four years; (3) A person who has been in danger of death under other circumstances and whose existence has not been known for four years; (4) If a married person has been absent for four consecutive years, the spouse present may contract a subsequent marriage if he or she has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead. In case of disappearance, where there is danger of death under the circumstances hereinabove provided an absence of only two years shall be sufficient for the purpose of contracting a subsequent marriage. However, in any case, before marrying again, the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in the Family Code and in the rules for a declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse. (x) That acquiescence resulted from a belief that the thing acquiesced in was conformable to the law or fact;

(cc) That in cases of cohabitation by a man and a woman who are not capacitated to marry each other and who have acquired property through their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry, such contributions and their corresponding shares including joint deposits of money and evidences of credit are equal. (dd) That if the marriage is terminated and the mother contracted another marriage within three hundred days after such termination of the former marriage, these rules shall govern in the absence of proof to the contrary: (1) A child born before one hundred eighty days after the solemnization of the subsequent marriage is considered to have been conceived during the former marriage, provided it be born within three hundred days after the termination of the former marriage; (2) A child born after one hundred eighty days follow ing the celebration of the subsequent marriage is considered to have been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within the three hundred days after the termination of the former marriage. (ee) That a thing once proved to exist continues as long as is usual with things of that nature; (ff) That the law has been obeyed;

(y) That things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life;

(gg) That a printed or published book, purporting to be printed or published by public authority, was so printed or published;

(z) That persons acting as copartners have entered into a contract of copartnership; (aa) That a man and woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage;

(hh) That a printed or published book, purporting to contain reports of cases adjudged in tribunals of the country where the book is published, contains correct reports of such cases;

(bb) That property acquired by a man and woman who are capacitated to marry each other and who live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, has been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry.

(ii) That a trustee or other person whose duty it was to convey real property to a particular person has actually conveyed it to him when such presumption is necessary to perfect the title of such person or his successor in interest;

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 131

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RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 131 BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTIONS (jj) That except for purposes of succession, when two persons perish in the same calamity, such as wreck, battle, or conflagration, and it is not shown who died first, and there are no particular circumstances from which it can be inferred, the survivorship is determined from the probabilities resulting from the strength and age of the sexes, according to the following rules: 1. If both were under the age of fifteen years, the older is deemed to have survived; 2. If both were above the age of sixty, the younger is deemed to have survived; 3. If one is under fifteen and the other above sixty, the former is deemed to have survived; 4. If both be over fifteen and under sixty, and the sex be different, the male is deemed to have survived; if the sex be the same, the older; 5. If one be under fifteen or over sixty, and the other between those ages, the latter is deemed to have survived. (kk) That if there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are called to succeed each other, as to which of them died first, whoever alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall prove the same; in the absence of proof, they shall be considered to have died at the same time.(5a) SEC. 4. No presumption of legitimacy or illegitimacy.—There is no presumption of legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child born after three hundred days following the dissolution of the marriage or the separation of the spouses. Whoever alleges the legitimacy or illegitimacy of such child must prove his allegation.(6)

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RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 132 PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE

(b) Cross-examination by the opponent;

A. EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES

(c) proponent;

SECTION 1. Examination to be done in open court.—The examination of witnesses presented in a trial or hearing shall be done in open court, and under oath or affirmation. Unless the witness is incapacitated to speak, or the question calls for a different mode of answer, the answers of the witness shall be given orally.(1a) SEC. 2. Proceedings to be recorded.—The entire proceedings of a trial or hearing, including the questions propounded to a witness and his answers thereto, the statements made by the judge or any of the parties, counsel, or witnesses with reference to the case, shall be recorded by means of shorthand or stenotype or by other means of recording found suitable by the court. A transcript of the record of the proceedings made by the official stenographer, stenotypist or recorder and certified as correct by him shall be deemed prima facie a correct statement of such proceedings.(2a) SEC. 3. Rights and obligations of a witness. —A witness must answer questions, although his answer may tend to establish a claim against him. However, it is the right of a witness: (1) To be protected from irrelevant, improper, or insulting questions, and from harsh or insulting demeanor; (2) Not to be detained longer than the interests of justice require; (3) Not to be examined except only as to matters pertinent to the issue; (4) Not to give an answer which will tend to subject him to a penalty for an offense unless otherwise provided by law; or (5) Not to give an answer which will tend to degrade his reputation, unless it be to the very fact at issue or to a fact from which the fact in issue would be presumed. But a witness must answer to the fact of his previous final conviction for an offense.(3a, 19a) SEC. 4. Order in the examination of an individual witness.— The order in which an individual witness may be examined is as follows: (a) proponent;

Direct

examination

by

the

Re-direct

examination

(d) Re-cross-examination opponent.(4)

by by

the the

SEC. 5. Direct examination.—Direct examination is the examination-in-chief of a witness by the party presenting him on the facts relevant to the issue.(5a) SEC. 6. Cross-examination; its purpose and the termination of the direct examination, the witness may be cross-examined by the adverse party as to any matters stated in the direct examination, or connected therewith, with sufficient fullness and freedom to test his accuracy and truthfulness and freedom from interest or bias, or the reverse, and to elicit all important facts bearing upon the issue.(8a)

extent.—Upon

SEC. 7. Re-direct examination; its purpose and extent.—After the cross-examination of the witness has been concluded, he may be re-examined by the party calling him, to explain or supplement his answers given during the cross-examination. On redirect examination, questions on matters not dealt with during the cross-examination, may be allowed by the court in its discretion.(12) SEC. 8. Re-cross-examination.—Upon the conclusion of the re-direct examination, the adverse party may re-cross-examine the witness on matters stated in his re-direct examination, and also on such other matters as may be allowed by the court in its discretion.(13) SEC. 9. Recalling witness.—After the examination of a witness by both sides has been concluded, the witness cannot be recalled without leave of the court. The court will grant or withhold leave in its discretion40, as the interests of justice may require (14)

40

The discretion to recall a witness is not properly invoked or exercisable by an applicant’s mere general statement that there is a need to recall a witness. ―in the interest of justice‖ or ―in order to to afford a party full opportunity to present his case‖ or that, as here, ―there seems to be many points and questions that should have been asked in the earlier interrogation.‖ To regard expressed generalities such as these as sufficient ground for recall of witnesses would make the recall of a witness no longer discretionary but ministerial. Something more than bare assertion of the need to propound additional questions is essential before a Court’s discretion may rightfully be exercised to grant or deny recall. There must be a satisfactory showing of some concrete, substantial ground for the recall. There must be a satisfactory showing on the movant’s part, for instance, that particularly

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RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 132 PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE SEC. 10. Leading and misleading questions.—A question which suggests to the witness the answer which the examining party desires is a leading question. It is not allowed, except: (a) On cross examination; (b) On preliminary matters; (c) When there is difficulty in getting direct and intelligible answers from a witness who is ignorant, or a child of tender years41, or is of feeble mind, or a deaf-mute; (d) Of an unwilling or hostile witness; or (e) Of a witness who is an adverse party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or private corporation or of a partnership or association which is an adverse party. A misleading question is one which assumes as true a fact not yet testified to by the witness, or contrary to that which he has previously stated. It is not allowed.(5a, 6a, and 8a) SEC. 11. Impeachment of adverse party's witness.—A witness may be impeached by the party against whom he was called, by contradictory evidence, by evidence that his general reputation for truth, honesty, or integrity is bad, or by evidence that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his present testimony, but not by evidence of particular wrongful acts, except that it may be shown by the examination of the witness, or the record of the judgment, that he has been convicted of an offense.(15)42

identified material points were not covered in the crossexamination, or that particularly described vital documents were not presented to the witness whose recall is prayed for, or that the cross-examination was conducted in so inept a manner as to result in a virtual absence thereof. [People v. Rivera, 1991] 41 See

Rule on Examination of Child Witness

SEC. 12. Party may not impeach his own witness.—Except with respect to witnesses referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 10, the party producing a witness is not allowed to impeach his credibility. A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile only if so declared by the court upon adequate showing of his adverse interest, unjustified reluctance to testify, or his having misled the party into calling him to the witness stand. The unwilling or hostile witness so declared, or the witness who is an adverse party, may be impeached by the party presenting him in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party, except by evidence of his bad character. He may also be impeached and cross-examined by the adverse party, but such cross-examination must only be on the subject matter of his examination-in-chief. (6a, 7a) SEC. 13. How witness impeached by evidence of inconsistent statements.—Before a witness can be impeached by evidence that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his present testimony, the statements must be related to him, with the circumstances of the times and places and the persons present, and he must be asked whether he made such statements, and if so, allowed to explain them. If the statements be in writing they must be shown to the witness before any question is put to him concern ing them.(16) SEC. 14. Evidence of good character of witness.—Evidence of the good character of a witness is not admissible until such character has been impeached.( 17) SEC. 15. Exclusion and separation of witnesses.—On any trial or hearing, the judge may exclude from the court any witness not at the time under examination, so that he may not hear the testimony of other witnesses. The judge may also cause witnesses to be kept separate and to be prevented from conversing with one another until all shall have been examined.(18)

42

She contends that the examination of respondent as adverse witness did not make him her witness and she is not bound by his testimony. That the witness is the adverse party does not necessarily mean that the calling party will not be bound by the former’s testimony. The fact remains that it was at his instance that his adversary was put on the witness stand. Unlike an ordinary witness, the calling party may impeach an adverse witness in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party, except by evidence of bad character.

Under the rule permitting the impeachment of an adverse witness, although the calling party does not vouch for the veracity of the testimony of the witness, he is nonetheless bound by the testimony if it is not contradicted or rebutted. A party who calls his adversary as a witness is, therefore, not bound by the latter’s testimony only in the sense that he may contradict him. [Gaw v. Suy Ben Chua, 2008]

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RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 132 PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE 16. When witness may refer to memorandum.—A witness may be allowed to refresh his memory respecting a fact, by anything written or recorded by himself or under his direction at the time when the fact occurred, or immediately thereafter, or at any other time when the fact was fresh in his memory and he knew that the same was correctly written or recorded; but in such case the writing or record must be produced and may be inspected by the adverse party, who may, if he chooses, crossexamine the witness upon it, and may read it in evidence. So, also, a witness may testify from such a writing or record, though he retain no recollection of the particular facts, if he is able to swear that the writing or record correctly stated the transaction when made; but such evidence must be received with caution.(10a)

All other writings are private.(20a)43

SEC.

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.(11a) SEC. 18. Right to inspect writing shown to witness.—Whenever a writing is shown to a witness, it may be inspected by the adverse party.(9a) B. AUTHENTICATION AND PROOF OF DOCUMENTS SEC. 19. Classes of documents.—For the purpose of their presentation in evidence, documents are either public or private. Public documents are: (a) The written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers, whether of the Philippines, or of a foreign country; (b) Documents acknowledged before a notary public except last wills and testaments; and (c) Public records, kept in the Philippines, of private documents required by law to be entered therein.

SEC. 20. Proof of private document.—Before any private document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be proved either: (a) By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or (b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker. Any other private document need only be identified as that which it is claimed to be.(21a) SEC. 21. When evidence of authenticity of private document not necessary.—Where a private document is more than thirty years old, is produced from a custody in which it would naturally be found if genuine, and is unblemished by any alterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other evidence of its authenticity need be given.(22a) SEC. 22. How genuineness of handwriting proved.—The handwriting of a person may be proved by any witness who believes it to be the handwriting of such person because he has seen the person write, or has seen writing purporting to be his upon which the witness has acted or been charged, and has thus acquired knowledge of the handwriting of such person. Evidence respecting the handwriting may also be given by a comparison, made by the witness or the court, with writings admitted or treated as genuine by the party against whom the evidence is offered, or proved to be genuine to the satisfaction of the judge.(23a) SEC. 23. Public documents as evidence.— Documents consisting of entries in public records made in the performance of a duty by a public officer are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. All other public documents are evidence, even against a third person, of the fact which gave rise to their execution and of the date of the latter.(24a) 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 43

It is well-settled that Church registries of births, marriages, and deaths made subsequent to the promulgation of General Orders No. 68 amd the passage of Act No. 190 are no longer public writings, nor are they kept by duly authorized public officials. They are private writings and their authenticity must therefore be proved as are all other private writings in accorance with the rules of evidence. [Llemos v. Llemos, 2007]

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RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 132 PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE 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.(25a) SEC. 25. What attestation of copy must state. — Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the purpose of 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.(26a) SEC. 26. Irremovability of public record. —Any public record, an official copy of which is admissible in evidence, must not be removed from the office in which it is kept, except upon order of a court where the inspection of the record is essential to the just determination of a pending case.(27a) SEC. 27. Public record of a private document.— An authorized public record of a private document may be proved by the original record, or by a copy thereof, attested by the legal custodian of the record, with an appropriate certificate that such officer has the custody .(28a) SEC. 28. Proof of lack of record.—A written statement signed by an officer having the custody of an official record or by his deputy that after diligent search no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his office, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible as evidence that the records of his office contain no such record or entry.(29) SEC. 29. How judicial record impeached.—Any judicial record may be impeached by evidence of: (a) want of jurisdiction in the court or judicial officer, (b) collusion between the parties, or (c) fraud in the party offering the record, in respect to the proceedings.(30a) SEC. 30. Proof of notarial documents.—Every instrument duly acknowledged or proved and certified as provided by law, may be presented in evidence without further proof, the certificate of

acknowledgment being prima facie evidence of the execution of the instrument or document involved.(31a) SEC. 31. Alterations in document, how to explain.—The party producing a document as genuine which has been altered and appears to have been altered after its execution, in a part material to the question in dispute, must account for the alteration. He may show that the alteration was made by another, without his concurrence, or was made with the consent of the parties affected by it, or was otherwise properly or innocently made, or that the alteration did not change the meaning or language of the instrument. If he fails to do that, the document shall not be admissible in evidence.(32a) SEC. 32. Seal.—There shall be no difference between sealed and unsealed private documents insofar as their admissibility as evidence is concerned.(33a) SEC. 33. Documentary evidence in an unofficial language.—Documents written in an unofficial language shall not be admitted as evidence, unless accompanied with a translation into English or Filipino. To avoid interruption of proceedings, parties or their attorneys are directed to have such translation prepared before trial.(34a)44 C. OFFER AND OBJECTION SEC. 34. Offer of evidence.—The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified.(35)45 SEC. 35. When to make offer.—As regards the testimony of a witness, the offer must be made at the time the witness is called to testify. Documentary and object evidence shall be offered after the presentation of a party's testimonial evidence. Such offer shall be done orally unless allowed by the court to be done in writing. (n) SEC. 36. Objection.—Objection to evidence offered orally must be made immediately after the offer is made. 44

Where such document, not so accompanied with a translation in English of Filipino, is offered in evidence and not objected to, either by the parties or the court, it must be presumed that the language in which the document is written is understood by all, and the document is admissible in evidence. [Heirs of Dormonio v. Heirs of Doronio, 2007pp] 45

Note exceptions laid down in Vda. de Onate v. Court of Appeals [1995]

RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 132

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RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 132 PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE Objection to a question propounded in the course of the oral examination of a witness shall be made as soon as the grounds therefor shall become reasonably apparent. An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to within three (3) days after notice of the offer unless a different period is allowed by the court. In any case, the grounds for the objections must be specified. (36a) SEC. 37. When repetition of objection unnecessary.—When it becomes reasonably apparent in the course of the examination of a witness that the questions being propounded are of the same class as those to which objection has been made, whether such objection was sustained or overruled, it shall not be necessary to repeat the objection, it being sufficient for the adverse party to record his continuing objection to such class of questions.(37a) SEC. 38. Ruling.—The ruling of the court must be given immediately after the objection is made, unless the court desires to take a reasonable time to inform itself on the question presented; but the ruling shall always be made during the trial and at such time as will give the party against whom it is made an opportunity to meet the situation presented by the ruling. The reason for sustaining or overruling an objection need not be stated. However, if the objection is based on two or more grounds, a ruling sustaining the objection on one or some of them must specify the ground or grounds relied upon.(38a) SEC. 39. Striking out answer.—Should a witness answer the question before the adverse party had the opportunity to voice fully its objection to the same, and such objection is found to be meritorious, the court shall sustain the objection and order the answer given to be stricken off the record. On proper motion, the court may also order the striking out of answers which are incompetent, irrelevant, or otherwise improper.(n) SEC. 40. Tender of excluded evidence.—If documents or things offered in evidence are excluded by the court, the offeror may have the same attached to or made part of the record. If the evidence excluded is oral, the offeror may state for the record the same and other personal circumstances of the witness and the substance of the proposed testimony.(n)

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RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 133 WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE SECTION 1. Preponderance of evidence, how determined.— In civil cases, the party having the burden of proof must establish his case by a preponderance of evidence. In determining where the preponderance or superior weight of evidence on the issues involved lies, the court may consider all the facts and circumstances of the case, the witnesses’ manner of testifying, their intelligence, their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which they are testifying, the nature of the facts to which they testify, the probability or improbability of their testimony, their interest or want of interest, and also their personal credibility so far as the same may legitimately appear upon the trial. The court may also consider the number of witnesses, though the preponderance is not necessarily with the greater number.(1a)

witnesses to the same point cannot be reasonably expected to be additionally persuasive. But this power should be exercised with caution.(6) SEC. 7. Evidence on motion.—When a motion is based on facts not appearing of record the court may hear the matter on affidavits or depositions presented by the respective parties, but the court may direct that the matter be heard wholly or partly on oral testimony or depositions.(7)

SEC. 2. Proof beyond reasonable doubt. —In a criminal case, the accused is entitled to an acquittal, unless his guilt is shown beyond reasonable doubt. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof as, excluding possibility of error, produces absolute certainty. Moral certainty only is required, or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind.(2a) SEC. 3. Extrajudicial confession, not sufficient ground for conviction.—An extrajudicial confession made by an accused, shall not be sufficient ground for conviction, unless corroborated by evidence of

corpus delicti.(3) SEC. 4. Circumstantial evidence, when sufficient.—Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: (a) There circumstance;

is

more

than

one

(b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and (c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.(5) SEC. 5. Substantial evidence.—In cases filed before administrative or quasi-judicial bodies, a fact may be deemed established if it is supported by substantial evidence, or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.(n) SEC. 6. Power of the court to stop further evidence.—The court may stop the introduction of further testimony upon any particular point when the evidence upon it is already so full that more

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RULES ON EVIDENCE: RULE 134 PERPETUATION OF TESTIMONY SECTION 1. Petition.—A person who desires to perpetuate his own testimony or that of another person regarding any matter that may be cognizable in any court of the Philippines, may file a verified petition in the court of the province of the residence of any expected adverse party. SEC. 2. Contents of petition.—The petition shall be entitled in the name of the petitioner and shall show: (a) that the petitioner expects to be a party to an action in a court of the Philippines but is presently unable to bring it or cause it to be brought; (b) the subject matter of the expected action and his interest therein; (c) the facts which he desires to establish by the proposed testimony and his reasons for desiring to perpetuate it; (d) the names or a description of the persons he expects will be adverse parties and their addresses so far as known; and (e) the names and addresses of the persons to be examined and the substance of the testimony which he expects to elicit from each, and shall ask for an order authorizing the petitioner to take the depositions of the persons to be examined named in the petition for the purpose of perpetuating their testimony. SEC. 3. Notice and service.—The petitioner shall thereafter serve a notice upon each person named in the petition as an expected adverse party, together with a copy of the petition, stating that the petitioner will apply to the court, at a time and place named therein, for the order described in the petition. At least twenty (20) days before the date of hearing the notice shall be served in the manner provided for service of summons.

same subject matter subsequently brought in accordance with the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 24. SEC. 7. Depositions pending appeal.—If an appeal has been taken from a judgment of the Regional Trial Court or before the taking of an appeal if the time therefor has not expired, the Regional Trial Court in which the judgment was rendered may allow the taking of depositions of witnesses to perpetuate their testimony for use in the event of further proceedings in the said court. In such case the party who desires to perpetuate the testimony may make a motion in the said Regional Trial Court for leave to take the depositions, upon the same notice and service thereof as if the action was pending therein. The motion shall show (a) the names and addresses of the persons to be examined and the substance of the testimony which he expects to elicit from each; and (b) the reason for perpetuating their testimony. If the court finds that the perpetuation of the testimony is proper to avoid a failure or delay of justice, it may make an order allowing the depositions to be taken, and thereupon the depositions may be taken and used in the same manner and under the same conditions as are prescribed in these rules for depositions taken in actions pending in the Regional Trial Court.(7)

SEC. 4. Order of examination.—If the court is satisfied that the perpetuation of the testimony may prevent a failure or delay of justice, it shall make an order designating or describing the persons whose deposition may be taken and specifying the subject matter of the examination, and whether the depositions shall be taken upon oral examination or written interrogatories. The depositions may then be taken in accordance with Rule 24 before the hearing. SEC. 5. Reference to court.—For the purpose of applying Rule 24 to deposition for perpetuating testimony, each reference therein to the court in which the action is pending shall be deemed to refer to the court in which the petition for such deposition was filed. SEC. 6. Use of deposition.—If a deposition to perpetuate testimony is taken under this rule, or if, although not so taken, it would be admissible in evidence, it may be used in any action involving the

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Rules on Evidence  

Rules on Evidence with notes

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