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78 SCRA 696
July 16, 1947
Defendant, who had been previously arrested on charges of robbery requested permission
from the chief of police of Mansalay to go home to see his wife about the procurement of bail for
his provisional release. Permission was granted. He was allowed to go with sergeant Pimentel.
Upon reaching the house, the sergeant allowed the prisoner to see his wife. After a few
moments, Pimentel heard the scream of a woman. Still moments later, Pimentel saw defendant
lying down with his little son Romeo, aged one year and a half, on his breast. Pimentel also
found defendant to have a wound in his belly while his child had a wound in the back. Pimentel
found the child dead.
The prosecution, in recommending the imposition of the capital penalty upon the accused
relies mainly on the affidavit of the accused, the arraignment of the defendant upon which he
made a plea of guilty, and the rebuttal testimony of Emilia Taladtad, wife of appellant.
Whether or not the testimony of Emilia Taladtad, wife of appellant, is admissible.
The rule contained in section 26(d) of Rule 123 is an old one. Courts have assigned as
reasons therefor the following: first, identity of interest; second, the consequent danger of
perjury; third, the policy of the law which deems it necessary to guard the security and
confidences of private life even at the risk of and occasional failure of justice, and which rejects
such evidence because its admission would lead to domestic disunion and unhappiness; and,
fourth, because where a want of domestic tranquility exists, there is danger of punishing one
spouse through the hostile testimony of the other. However, this rule has its exceptions as well.
In the instant case, the wife did not testify in the direct evidence for the prosecution. It
will be noted that the wife only testified against her husband after the latter, testifying in his own
defense, imputed upon her the killing of their little son. By all rules of justice and reason this
gave the prosecution, which had theretofore refrained from presenting the wife as a witness
against her husband, the right to do so, as it did in rebuttal; and to the wife herself the right to so
testify, at least, in self-defense, not, of course, against being subjected to punishment in that
case in which she was not a defendant but against any or all of various possible consequences
which might flow from her silence.
Furthermore, by his said act (imputing the crime to his wife), the husband himself exercising the
very right which he would deny to his wife upon the ground of their marital relations must be
taken to have waived all objection to the latters testimony upon rebuttal, even considering that
such objection would have been available at the outset. As well settled as this rule of marital
incompetency itself is the other that it may be waived.

G.R. No. 143439
October 14, 2005
Susan Ramirez, herein respondent, is the complaining witness in Criminal Case No. 19933MN for arson3 pending before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 72, Malabon City. The accused is
Maximo Alvarez, herein petitioner. He is the husband of Esperanza G. Alvarez, sister of
On June 21, 1999, the private prosecutor called Esperanza Alvarez to the witness stand as
the first witness against petitioner, her husband. Petitioner and his counsel raised no objection.
On June 30, 1999, petitioner, through counsel, filed a motion5 to disqualify Esperanza from
testifying against him pursuant to Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court on marital
disqualification. Respondent filed an opposition to the motion. Pending resolution of the motion,
the trial court directed the prosecution to proceed with the presentation of the other witnesses.
On September 2, 1999, the trial court issued the questioned Order disqualifying Esperanza
Alvarez from further testifying and deleting her testimony from the records. The prosecution filed
a motion for reconsideration but was denied in the other assailed Order dated October 19, 1999.
Whether or not Esperanza Alvarez can testify against her husband.
Section 22, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:
"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 latters direct descendants or
The reasons given for the rule are:
1. There is identity of interests between husband and wife;
2. If one were to testify for or against the other, there is consequent danger of
3. The policy of the law is to guard the security and confidences of private life, even
at the risk of an occasional failure of justice, and to prevent domestic disunion and
unhappiness; and
4. Where there is want of domestic tranquility there is danger of punishing one
spouse through the hostile testimony of the other.
But like all other general rules, the marital disqualification rule has its own exceptions,
both in civil actions between the spouses and in criminal cases for offenses committed by one
against the other. Like the rule itself, the exceptions are backed by sound reasons which, in the
excepted cases, outweigh those in support of the general rule. For instance, where the marital
and domestic relations are so strained that there is no more harmony to be preserved nor peace
and tranquility which may be disturbed, the reason based upon such harmony and tranquility
fails. In such a case, identity of interests disappears and the consequent danger of perjury based
on that identity is non-existent. Likewise, in such a situation, the security and confidences of
private life, which the law aims at protecting, will be nothing but ideals, which through their
absence, merely leave a void in the unhappy home.
Obviously, the offense of arson attributed to petitioner, directly impairs the conjugal
relation between him and his wife Esperanza. His act, as embodied in the Information for arson
filed against him, eradicates all the major aspects of marital life such as trust, confidence,
respect and love by which virtues the conjugal relationship survives and flourishes.

It should be stressed that as shown by the records, prior to the commission of the offense,
the relationship between petitioner and his wife was already strained. In fact, they were
separated de facto almost six months before the incident. Indeed, the evidence and facts
presented reveal that the preservation of the marriage between petitioner and Esperanza is no
longer an interest the State aims to protect.
At this point, it bears emphasis that the State, being interested in laying the truth before
the courts so that the guilty may be punished and the innocent exonerated, must have the right
to offer the direct testimony of Esperanza, even against the objection of the accused, because
(as stated by this Court in Francisco14), "it was the latter himself who gave rise to its necessity."


G.R. No. L-13109
March 6, 1918
The appellant was prosecuted in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Batangas,
charged with the murder of one Fortunato Dinal. The trial court convicted him of homicide and
from that decision he was appealed. One of the errors assigned is based upon the refusal of the
trial judge to permit Susana Ezpeleta, the widow of the man whom the appellant is accused of
having murdered, to testify as a witness on behalf of the defense concerning certain alleged
dying declarations. The witness was called to the stand and having stated that she is the widow
of Fortunato Dinal.
Counsel for defendant insisted that the witness was competent, arguing that the
disqualification which the fiscal evidently had in mind relates only to cases in which a husband or
wife of one of the parties to a proceeding is called to testify; that the parties to the prosecution of
a criminal case are the Government and the accused; that, furthermore the marriage of Dinal to
the witness having been dissolved by the death of her husband, she is no longer his wife, and
therefore not subject to any disqualification arising from the status of marriage.
These propositions were rejected by the trial judge, and the objection of the fiscal as to the
testimony of the woman Ezpeleta was sustained. To this objection counsel took exception and
made an offer to prove by the excluded witness the facts which he expected to establish by her
testimony. Concerning these facts it is sufficient at this time to say that some of them would be
both material and relevant, to such a degree that if proven to the satisfaction of the court, they
might have lead to the acquittal of the accused, as they purported to relate to the dying
declarations of the deceased, concerning the cause of his death, the general purport being that
his injuries were due to fall and not to the acts imputed to the accused.
Whether or not the testimony of the widow be excluded.
The declarations of a deceased person while in anticipation of certain impending death,
concerning the circumstances leading up to the death, are admissible in a prosecution of the
person charged with killing the declarant. (U. S. vs. Gil, 13 Phil., Rep., 530.) Such dying
declarations are admissible in favor of the defendant as well as against him. (Mattox vs. U. S.,
146 U. S., 140.) It has been expressly held in several jurisdictions in the United States that the
widow of the deceased may testify regarding his dying declarations. In the case of the State vs.
Ryan (30 La. Ann., 1176), cited by appellant in his brief, the court said: The next bill is as to the
competency of the widow of the deceased to prove his dying declarations. We see no possible
reason for excluding her . . . after the husband's death she is no longer his wife, and the rules of
evidence, as between husbands and wives, are no longer applicable.
In the case of Arnett vs. Commonwealth (114 Ky., 593, 596), the testimony of the widow of
the deceased as to his dying declarations made to her was objected to upon the express ground
that under the terms of the Kentucky Code, "the wife was incompetent to testify even after the
cessation of the marriage relation, to any communication made by her by her husband during
the marriage."
This contention was rejected, the court saying:
On grounds of public policy the wife can not testify against her husband as to what came
to her from him confidentially or by reason of the marriage relation, but this rule does not apply
to a dying communication made by the husband to the wife on the trial of the one who killed
him. The declaration of the deceased made in extremes in such cases is a thing to be proven,
and this proof may be made by any competent witness who heard the statement. The wife may

testify for the state in cases of this character as to any other fact known to her. . . . It can not be
contended that the dying declaration testified to by the witness was a confidential
communication made to her; on the contrary, it was evidently made in the furtherance of justice
for the express purpose that it should be testified to in the prosecution of the defendant.


G.R. No. L-22948
March 17, 1925
In the afternoon of May 26th the defendant went to the office of the deceased and found
him there alone. According to the evidence of the prosecution, the defendant then, without any
preliminary quarrel between the two, attacked the deceased with a fan-knife and stabbed him
twice. The deceased made an effort to escape but the defendant pursued him and overtaking
him in the hall outside the office, inflicted another wound upon him and as a consequence of the
three wounds he died within a few minutes. The defendant made his escape but surrendered
himself to the Constabulary at Malolos, Bulacan, in the evening of the following day.
The defendant admits that he killed the deceased but maintains that he did so in selfdefense. He explains that he went to Doctor Sityar's office to protest against the amount of the
fee charged by the doctor and, in any event, to ask for an extension of the time of payment; that
during the conversation upon that subject the deceased insulted him by telling him that
inasmuch as he could not pay the amount demanded he could send his wife to the office as she
was the one treated, and that she could then talk the matter over with the deceased; that this
statement was made in such an insolent and contemptuous manner that the defendant became
greatly incensed and remembering the outrage committed upon his wife, he assumed a
threatening attitude and challenged the deceased to go downstairs with him and there settle the
matter; that the deceased thereupon took a pocket-knife from the center drawer of his desk and
attacked the defendant, endeavoring to force him out of the office; that the defendant, making
use of his knowledge of fencing, succeeded in taking the knife away from the deceased and
blinded by fury stabbed him first in the right side of the breast and then in the epigastric region,
and fearing that the deceased might secure some other weapon or receive assistance from the
people in the adjoining room, he again stabbed him, this time in the back.
The court below found that the crime was committed with premeditation and therefore
constituted murder. This finding can only be sustained by taking into consideration Exhibit L, a
letter written to the defendant by his wife and siezed by the police in searching his effects on the
day of his arrest. It is dated May 25, 1924, two days before the commission of the crime and
shows that the writer feared that the defendant contemplated resorting to physical violence in
dealing with the deceased.
Whether or not the letter made by the spouse, as part of privilege communication be
excluded as evidence.
The letter Exhibit L must, however, be excluded for reasons not discussed in the briefs.
The letter was written by the wife of the defendant and if she had testified at the trial the letter
might have been admissible to impeach her testimony, but she was not put on the witness-stand
and the letter was therefore not offered for that purpose. If the defendant either by answer or
otherwise had indicated his assent to the statements contained in the letter it might also have
been admissible, but such is not the case here; the fact that he had the letter in his possession is
no indication of acquiescence or assent on his part. The letter is therefore nothing but pure
hearsay and its admission in evidence violates the constitutional right of the defendant in a
criminal case to be confronted with the witnesses for the prosecution and have the opportunity
to cross-examine them. In this respect there can be no difference between an ordinary
communication and one originally privileged.


G.R. L-21237
STREET; March 22, 1924
James Barton is a US citizen residing in Manila while Leyte Asphalt is a Philippine company
which has its principal office in Cebu. Barton sought to recover the sum of $318,563.30 in
damages from Leyte Asphalt due to breach of contract along with a judicial pronouncement that
he was entitled to an extension of the terms of the sales agencies specified in the contract
(Exhibit A).
Leyte Asphalt appears to be the owner of the Lucio Mine in Leyte, a valuable deposit of
bituminous limestone and other asphalt products. William Anderson, the general manager of
Leyte Asphalt, wrote a letter to Baron authorizing the latter to sell the products of the Lucio Mine
in the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand upon a scale of prices indicated in said
letter. Exhibit A, the authorization Baron relies on, contained the following stipulations (among
Baron is given the sole and exclusive sales agency for the bituminous limestone and other
asphalt products of the Leyte asphalt in Australia, Saigon, Java, New Zealand, India, China,
Tasmania, Sumatra, Siam, the Strait Settlements, USA and Hongkong until May 1, 1921.
No orders for less than one thousand (1,000) tons will be accepted except under special
agreement with Leyte Asphalt. It also contained a breakdown of the prices per ton. If the sales
in the above territory equal or exceed ten 10,000 tons in the year ending October 1, 1921 then in
that event the price of all shipments made during the above period shall be ten pesos (P10) per
ton, and any sum charged to any of your customers or buyers in the aforesaid territory in excess
of ten pesos (P10) per ton shall be rebated to Baron.
Baron also had full authority to sell the Lucio mine products for any sum he saw fit in
excess of the prices quoted above and such excess in price was to be his extra and additional
profit and commission. All ships, steamers, boats or other carriers were to be loaded promptly
with not less than 1,000 tons each 24 hours after March 1, 1921, unless there was to be prior
notice. It was also stipulated that Leyte Asphalt shall not be required to ship orders of 5,000 tons
except on 30 days notice and 10,000 tons except on 60 days notice. Baron entered into
subagency agreements in San Francisco and Australia. In San Francisco, he entered into an
agreement with Ludvigsen & McCurdy. Ludvigsen & McCurdy was instituted as a subagent and
given the sole selling rights for the bituminous limestone products of Leyte Asphalt for 1 year.
Baron had also gone to Australia where he instituted Frank Smith as his sales agent.
February 5, 1921 Ludvigsen & McCurdy advised Baron of an order of 6,000 tons of
bituminous limestone which Baron accepted. Anderson informed Baron that Leyte Asphalt was
behind construction so it could not handle big contracts as of the moment. The two met in
Manila on March 12 and Baron told Anderson about the San Francisco order. Anderson said that,
owing to lack of capital, adequate facilities had not been provided by the company for filling
large orders and suggested that Baron had better hold up in the matter of taking orders.
Despite Andersons response, Baron wrote a notification to Leyte Asphalt for the company
to be prepared to ship five thousand tons of bituminous limestone to San Francisco. He also
made additional orders for Smith in Australia. Leyte Asphalt acknowledged the orders for
Australia and San Francisco but stated that no orders would be entertained without a cash
deposit. The CFI absolved Leyte Asphalt from four of the six causes of action. The CFI allowed
Barton to recover $202,500 from the first cause of action and $405,000 from the fourth cause of
Among the evidence presented was a carbon copy of a letter written by Baron to Atty.
Ingersoll, his lawyer. In the said letter, Baron wrote that his profit from the San Francisco
contract would have been at the rate of 85 cents per ton. When the letter was offered in
evidence by the attorney for the defendant, the counsel for the plaintiff announced that he had
no objection to the introduction of this carbon copy in evidence if counsel for the defendant
would explain where this copy was secured. The attorney for the defendant informed the court
that he received the letter from the former attorneys of the defendant without explanation of the
manner in which the document had come into their possession. Barons lawyer then made an

announcement that unless the defendants counsel explained how the letter came to the
defenses possession, he proposed to object the letters admission on the ground that it was a
confidential communication between client and lawyer. The trial judge excluded the letter.
Whether or not the letter should be excluded.
When papers are offered in evidence a court will take no notice of how they were obtained,
whether legally or illegally, properly or improperly; nor will it form a collateral issue to try that
Even supposing that the letter was within the privilege which protects communications
between attorney and client, this privilege was lost when the letter came to the hands of the
adverse party and it makes no difference how the defense acquired possession. The law protects
the client from the effect of disclosures made by him to his attorney in the confidence of the
legal relation, but when such a document, containing admissions of the client, comes to the hand
of a third party, and reaches the adversary, it is admissible in evidence.
According to Wigmore: Since the means of preserving secrecy of communication are
entirely in the client's hands, and since the privilege is a derogation from the general testimonial
duty and should be strictly construed, it would be improper to extend its prohibition to third
persons who obtain knowledge of the communications. One who overhears the communication,
whether with or without the client's knowledge, is not within the protection of the privilege. The
same rule ought to apply to one who surreptitiously reads or obtains possession of a document in
original or copy.

PEOPLE v SANDIGANBAYAN (Honrada; Paredes; Sansaet)

G.R. Nos 115439-41
REGALADO; July 16, 1997
Mansueta Honrada was the Clerk of Court and Acting Stenographer of the First MCTC, San
Francisco-Bunawan-Rosario in Agusan del Sur. Ceferino Paredes was successively the Provincial
Attorney of Agusan del Sur, then Governor, and is at present a Congressman. Generoso Sansaet
was a practicing attorney who served as counsel for Paredes in several instances pertinent to the
criminal charges involved herein.
In 1976, Paredes applied for a free patent over a lot of Rosario Public Land Subd Survey.
This was approved and an OCT was issued in his favor. In 1985, Director of Lands filed an action
for the cancellation of Paredes' patent and certificate of title since the land had been designated
and reserved as a school site in the subdivision survey. The TC nullified the patent and title after
finding that Paredes had obtained the same through fraudulent misrepresentations in his
application. Sansaet served as counsel of Paredes in that civil case.
Upon the subsequent complaint of the Sangguniang Bayan, an information for perjury was
filed against Paredes in the MCTC. Provincial Fiscal was, however, directed by the Deputy Minister
of Justice to move for the dismissal of the case on the ground inter alia of prescription, hence the
proceedings were terminated. Paredes was represented by Sansaet. Paredes was then haled
before the Tanodbayan for PI on the charge that, by using his former position as Provincial
Attorney to influence and induce the Bureau of Lands officials to favorably act on his application
for free patent, he had violated Sec 3(a) of RA 3019. Sansaet was again Paredes' counsel.
On Aug 29, 1988, the Tanodbayan, issued a resolution recommending the criminal
prosecution of Paredes. Sansaet, as counsel, moved for reconsideration, saying: . . . respondent
had been charged already by the complainants before the Municipal Circuit Court of San
Francisco, Agusan del Sur, went to jail on detention in 1984 under the same set of facts and the
same evidence . . . but said case after arraignment, was ordered dismissed by the court upon
recommendation of the Department of Justice. Copy of the dismissal order, certificate of
arraignment and the recommendation of the Department of Justice are hereto attached for ready
reference; thus the filing of this case will be a case of double jeopardy for respondent herein . . .
A criminal case was subsequently filed with Sandiganbayan, charging Paredes with
violation of Sec 3 (a) of RA 3019. However, a motion to quash was later granted and the case
was dismissed on the ground of prescription. On Jan 23, 1990, Teofilo Gelacio, a taxpayer who
had initiated the perjury and graft charges against Paredes, sent a letter to the Ombudsman
seeking the investigation of the three respondents herein for falsification of public documents.
He claimed that Honrada, in conspiracy with Paredes and Sansaet, simulated and certified as
true copies certain documents purporting to be a notice of arraignment, dated July 1, 1985, and
transcripts of stenographic notes supposedly taken during the arraignment of Paredes on the
perjury charge. These falsified documents were annexed to Paredes' motion for reconsideration
of the Tanodbayan resolution for the filing of a graft charge against him, in order to support his
contention that the same would constitute double jeopardy.
Gelacio attached to his letter a certification that no notice of arraignment was ever
received by the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Agusan del Sur in connection with that perjury
case; and a certification of Presiding Judge Ciriaco Ario that said perjury case in his court did not
reach arraignment since action was suspended pending the review of the case by the DOJ.
Respondents filed their counter-affidavits, but Sansaet subsequently discarded and
repudiated the submissions he had made. In an Affidavit of Explanations and Rectifications,
Sansaet revealed that Paredes contrived to have the graft case under preliminary investigation

dismissed on the ground of double jeopardy by making it appear that the perjury case had been
dismissed by the trial court after he had been arraigned. For that purpose, the documents which
were later filed by Sansaet in the preliminary investigation were prepared and falsified by his corespondents in the house of Paredes.
To evade responsibility for his own participation in the scheme, Sansaet claimed that he
did so upon the instigation and inducement of Paredes. This was intended to pave the way for his
discharge as a government witness.
In a resolution dated Feb 24, 1992, the Ombudsman approved the filing of falsification
charges against Honrada, Paredes and Sansaet. The proposal for the discharge of Sansaet as a
state witness was rejected by the Ombudsman on this evaluative legal position:
. . . Taking his explanation, it is difficult to believe that a lawyer of his stature, in the absence of
deliberate intent to conspire, would be unwittingly induced by another to commit a crime. As
counsel for the accused in those criminal cases, Atty. Sansaet had control over the case theory
and the evidence which the defense was going to present. Moreover, the testimony or confession
of Atty. Sansaet falls under the mantle of privileged communication between the lawyer and his
client which may be objected to, if presented in the trial.
The Ombudsman refused to reconsider that resolution and, ostensibly to forestall any
further controversy, he decided to file separate informations for falsification of public documents
against each of the respondents. Thus, three criminal cases were filed in the graft court. These
were consolidated for joint trial in the Sandiganbayan. A motion was filed by the People on July
27, 1993 for the discharge of Sansaet as a state witness. It was submitted that all the requisites,
as provided in Sec 9, Rule 119 ROC, were satisfied insofar as Sansaet was concerned. The basic
postulate was that, except for the eyewitness testimony of Sansaet, there was no other direct
evidence to prove the confabulated falsification of documents by Honrada and Paredes.
Sandiganbayan resolved to deny the desired discharge on this ratiocination:
From the evidence adduced, the opposition was able to establish that client and lawyer
relationship existed between Atty. Sansaet and Ceferino Paredes, Jr., before, during and after the
period alleged in the information. In view of such relationship, the facts surrounding the case,
and other confidential matter must have been disclosed by accused Paredes, as client, to
accused Sansaet, as his lawyer in his professional capacity. Therefore, the testimony of Atty.
Sansaet on the facts surrounding the offense charged in the information is privileged.
Whether or not the projected testimony of Sansaet, as proposed state witness, is barred by
the attorney-client privilege.
The attorney-client privilege cannot apply in these cases, as the facts and actuations of
both respondents therein constitute an exception to the rule.
a. It may be assumed that there was a confidential communication made by Paredes to
Sansaet in connection with the criminal case for falsification, and this may be expected since
Paredes was the accused and Sansaet his counsel. The fact that Sansaet was called by Paredes
and Honrada to witness the preparation of the falsified documents was as eloquent a
communication, if not more than, as verbal statements by Paredes as to the fact and purpose of
such falsification. It is significant that the evidentiary rule on this point has always referred to
"any communication," without distinction or qualification.
In the American jurisdiction, there is no particular mode by which a confidential
communication shall be made by a client to his attorney. The privilege is not confined to verbal
or written communications made by the client to his attorney but extends as well to information
communicated by the client to the attorney by other means.
Nor can it be pretended that during the entire process, considering their past and existing
relations as counsel and client and, further, in view of the purpose for which such falsified
documents were prepared, no word at all passed between Paredes and Sansaet on the subject
matter of that criminal act. The clincher for this conclusion is that the documents were thereafter
filed by Sansaet as annexes to the motion for reconsideration in the preliminary investigation of

the graft case before the Tanodbayan. Also, the acts and words of the parties during the period
when the documents were being falsified were necessarily confidential since Paredes would not
have invited Sansaet to his house and allowed him to witness the same except under conditions
of secrecy and confidence.
b. It is postulated that a distinction must be made between confidential communications
relating to past crimes already committed, and future crimes intended to be committed, by the
client. The announced intention of a client to commit a crime is not included within the
confidences which his attorney is bound to respect. Respondent court appears, however, to
believe that it is here dealing with a past crime, and that Sansaet is set to testify on alleged
criminal acts of Paredes and Honrada that have already been committed and consummated.
It is true that by now, insofar as the falsifications to be testified to are concerned, those
crimes were necessarily committed in the past. But for the application of the attorney-client
privilege, however, the period to be considered is the date when the privileged communication
was made by the client to the attorney in relation to either a crime committed in the past or with
respect to a crime intended to be committed in the future. In other words, if the client seeks his
lawyer's advice with respect to a crime that the former has 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.
Statements and communications regarding the commission of a crime already committed, made
by a party who committed it, to an attorney, consulted as such, are privileged communications.
Contrarily, the unbroken stream of judicial dicta is to the effect that communications between
attorney and client having to do with the client's contemplated criminal acts, or in aid or
furtherance thereof, are not covered by the cloak of privileges ordinarily existing in reference to
communications between attorney and client.
The testimony sought to be elicited from Sansaet are the communications made to him by
physical acts and/or accompanying words of Parades at the time he and Honrada, either with the
active or passive participation of Sansaet, were about to falsify, or in the process of falsifying, the
documents which were later filed in the Tanodbayan and culminated in the criminal charges now
pending in Sandiganbayan. Clearly, therefore, the confidential communications made by Paredes
to Sansaet were for purposes of and in reference to the crime of falsification which had not yet
been committed in the past by Paredes but which he, in confederacy with his co-respondents,
later committed. Having been made for purposes of a future offense, those communications are
outside the pale of the attorney-client privilege.
c. Furthermore, Sansaet was himself a conspirator in the commission of that crime of falsification
which he, Paredes and Honrada concocted and foisted upon the authorities. It is well settled that
in order that a communication between a lawyer and his client may be privileged, it must be for
a lawful purpose or in furtherance of a lawful end. The existence of an unlawful purpose prevents
the privilege from attaching. In fact, the "prosecution of the honorable relation of attorney and
client will not be permitted under the guise of privilege, and every communication made to an
attorney by a client for a criminal purpose is a conspiracy or attempt at a conspiracy which is not
only lawful to divulge, but which the attorney under certain circumstances may be bound to
disclose at once in the interest of justice."
It was error for Sandiganbayan to insist that such unlawful communications intended for
an illegal purpose contrived by conspirators are nonetheless covered by the so-called mantle of
privilege. To prevent a conniving counsel from revealing the genesis of a crime which was later
committed pursuant to a conspiracy, because of the objection thereto of his conspiring client,
would be one of the worst travesties in the rules of evidence and practice in the noble profession
of law.

G.R. No. 105938
KAPUNAN; September 20, 1996
The matters raised here are an offshoot of the institution of the Complaint on July 31, 1987
before the Sandiganbayan by RP, through the PCGG against Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr., as one of
the principal defendants, for the recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth, which includes shares of
stocks in the named corporations in PCGG Case entitled "RP vs. Eduardo Cojuangco, et al." (Civil
Case No.0033).
Among the defendants named in the case are herein petitioners Teodoro Regala, Edgardo
J. Angara, Avelino V. Cruz, Jose C. Concepcion, Rogelio A. Vinluan, Victor P. Lazatin, Eduardo U.
Escueta and Paraja G. Hayudini, and herein private respondent Raul S. Roco, who all were then
partners of the law firm Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala and Cruz Law Offices (ACCRA Law
ACCRA Law Firm performed legal services for its clients, which included, among others,
the organization and acquisition of business associations and/or organizations, with the
correlative and incidental services where its members acted as incorporators, or simply, as
stockholders. More specifically, in the performance of these services, the members of the law
firm delivered to its client documents which substantiate the client's equity holdings, i.e., stock
certificates endorsed in blank representing the shares registered in the client's name, and a
blank deed of trust or assignment covering said shares. In the course of their dealings with their
clients, the members of the law firm acquire information relative to the assets of clients as well
as their personal and business circumstances.
As members of the ACCRA Law Firm, petitioners and respondent Raul Roco admit that they
assisted in the organization and acquisition of the companies included in Civil Case No. 0033,
and in keeping with the office practice, ACCRA lawyers acted as nominees-stockholders of the
said corporations involved in sequestration proceedings.
August 20, 1991, PCGG filed a "Motion to Admit Third Amended Complaint" and "Third
Amended Complaint" which excluded private respondent Raul S. Roco from the complaint in
Civil Case No. 0033 as party-defendant. Respondent PCGG based its exclusion of private
respondent Roco as party-defendant on his undertaking that he will reveal the identity of the
principal/s for whom he acted as nominee/stockholder in the companies involved in Civil Case
No. 0033.

Petitioners were included in the Third Amended Complaint on the strength of the following
Defendants Cojuangco, Angara, Concepcion, Regala, Cruz, Vinluan, Escueta, Hayudini and Roco
of ACCRA plotted, devised, schemed. conspired and confederated with each other in setting up,
through the use of the coconut levy funds, the financial and corporate framework and structures
that led to the establishment of UCPB, UNICOM, COCOLIFE, COCOMARK, CIC, and more than
twenty other coconut levy funded corporations, including the acquisition of San Miguel
Corporation shares and its institutionalization through presidential directives of the coconut
Through insidious means and machinations, ACCRA, being the wholly-owned
investment arm, ACCRA Investments Corporation, became the holder of approximately 15M
shares representing roughly 3.3% of the total outstanding capital stock of UCPB as of March
1987. This ranks ACCRA Investments Corporation number 44 among the top 100 biggest
stockholders of UCPB which has approximately 1.4M shareholders. On the other hand, corporate
books show the name Edgardo J. Angara as holding approximately 3,744 shares as of February,
In their answer ACCRA lawyers alleged that:
> Defendants-ACCRA lawyers participation in the acts with which their co-defendants are
charged, was in furtherance of legitimate lawyering.
> In the course of rendering professional and legal services to clients, defendants became
holders of shares of stock in the corporations listed under their respective names as
incorporating or acquiring stockholders only and, as such, they do not claim any proprietary
interest in the said shares of stock.
> Defendant Cruz was one of the incorporators in 1976 of Mermaid Marketing Corporation,
which was organized for legitimate business purposes not related to the allegations of the
expanded Amended Complaint. However, he has long ago transferred any material interest
therein and therefore denies that the shares appearing in his name are his assets.
Petitioner Hayudini, who had separated from ACCRA, filed a separate answer denying the
allegations in the complaint implicating him in the alleged ill-gotten wealth. ACCRA lawyers
subsequently filed their "COMMENT AND/OR OPPOSITION" with Counter-Motion that respondent
PCGG similarly grant the same treatment to them (exclusion as parties-defendants) as accorded
In its "Comment," PCGG set the following conditions precedent for the exclusion of
petitioners, namely: (a) the disclosure of the identity of its clients; (b) submission of documents
substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and (c) the submission of the deeds of assignments
petitioners executed in favor of its clients covering their respective shareholdings.
Consequently, PCGG presented supposed proof to substantiate compliance by Roco of the
conditions precedent to warrant the latter's exclusion as party-defendant in Civil Case No. 0033:
(a) Letter to PCGG of the counsel of Roco reiterating a previous request for reinvestigation by the
PCGG in PCGG Case No. 33 (Civil Case No. 0033); (b) Affidavit executed by Roco as Attachment
to the letter aforestated; and (c) Letter of the Roco, Bunag, and Kapunan Law Offices to the
PCGG in behalf Roco originally requesting the reinvestigation and/or re-examination of the
evidence of the PCGG against Roco in PCGG Case No. 33.
During said proceedings, Roco did not refute petitioners' contention that he did not
actually reveal the identity of the client involved in PCGG Case No. 33, nor had he undertaken to
reveal the identity of the client for whom he acted as nominee-stockholder. Sandiganbayan
promulgated the Resolution, herein questioned, denying the exclusion of petitioners in PCGG
Case No. 33, for their refusal to comply with the conditions required by respondent PCGG. This is
what appears to be the cause for which they have been impleaded by the PCGG as defendants
The PCGG is satisfied that Roco has demonstrated his agency and that Roco has
apparently identified his principal, which revelation could show the lack of cause against him.
This in turn has allowed the PCGG to exercise its power both under the rules of Agency and under
Section 5 of E.O. No. 14-A in relation to the Supreme Court's ruling in Republic v. Sandiganbayan
(173 SCRA 72).

The PCGG has apparently offered to the ACCRA lawyers the same conditions availed of by
Roco; full disclosure in exchange for exclusion from these proceedings. The ACCRA lawyers have
preferred not to make the disclosures required by the PCGG.
The ACCRA lawyers cannot, therefore, begrudge the PCGG for keeping them as party
defendants. In the same vein, they cannot compel the PCGG to be accorded the same treatment
accorded to Roco.
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion in not holding
that, under the facts of this case, the attorney-client privilege prohibits petitioners ACCRA
lawyers from revealing the identity of their client(s) and the other information requested by the
As a matter of public policy, a clients 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 attorneyclient 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
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 and 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 attorneyclient relationship).
The link between the alleged criminal offense and the legal advice or legal service sought
was duly established in the case at bar, by no less than the PCGG itself. The key lies in the three
specific conditions laid down by the PCGG which constitutes petitioners ticket to non-prosecution
should they accede thereto: the disclosure of the identity of its clients; submission of documents
substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and the submission of the deeds of assignment
petitioners executed in favor of their clients covering their respective shareholdings.

From these conditions, particularly the third, we can readily deduce that the clients indeed
consulted the petitioners, in their capacity as lawyers, regarding the financial and corporate
structure, framework and set-up of the corporations in question. In turn, petitioners gave their
professional advice in the form of, among others, the aforementioned deeds of assignment
covering their clients shareholdings.
There is no question that the preparation of the aforestated documents was part and
parcel of petitioners legal service to their clients. More important, it constituted an integral part
of their duties as lawyers. Petitioners, therefore, have a legitimate fear that identifying their
clients would implicate them in the very activity for which legal advice had been sought, i.e., the
alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth in the aforementioned corporations.
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. It is the link, in the words of Baird, that would inevitably form the chain of testimony
necessary to convict the (client) of a... crime."
An important distinction must be made between a case where a client takes on the
services of an attorney for illicit purposes, seeking advice about how to go around the law for the
purpose of committing illegal activities and a case where a client thinks he might have previously
committed something illegal and consults his attorney about it. These cases may be readily
distinguished, because the privilege cannot be invoked or used as a shield for an illegal act, as in
the first example; while the prosecution may not have a case against the client in the second
example and cannot use the attorney client relationship to build up a case against the latter. The
reason for the first rule is that it is not within the professional character of a lawyer to give
advice on the commission of a crime. The reason for the second has been stated in the cases
above discussed and are founded on the same policy grounds for which the attorney-client
privilege, in general, exists.
In fine, the crux of petitioners' objections ultimately hinges on their expectation that if the
prosecution has a case against their clients, the latter's case should be built upon evidence
painstakingly gathered by them from their own sources and not from compelled testimony
requiring them to reveal the name of their clients, information which unavoidably reveals much
about the nature of the transaction which may or may not be illegal. A lawyer cannot reveal such
communication without exposing himself to charges of violating a principle which forms the
bulwark of the entire attorney-client relationship.
We have no choice but to uphold petitioners' right not to reveal the identity of their clients
under pain of the breach of fiduciary duty owing to their clients, because the facts of the instant
case clearly fall within recognized exceptions to the rule that the clients name is not privileged
information. By compelling petitioners, not only to reveal the identity of their clients, but worse,
to submit to the PCGG documents substantiating the client-lawyer relationship, as well as deeds
of assignment petitioners executed in favor of its clients covering their respective shareholdings,
the PCGG would exact from petitioners a link that would inevitably form the chain of testimony
necessary to convict the (client) of a crime.


G.R. No. 70054 (RESOLUTION)
July 08, 1986
It appears that due to the financial troubles of Banco Pilipino, it was placed under
conservatorship by the Monetary Board. The Conservator Mr. TIAOQUI tendered his report dated
January 19, 1995. To adequately address the contents of the report, Banco Filipino filed a motion
for production of certain papers and records invoking Rule 27.1.The documents asked to be
produced, inspected, and copied are the following:

(1) Copies of tapes and transcripts of the Monetary Board (MB) deliberations on the closure of
Banco Filipino (BF) and its meeting on July 27, 1984, and March 22, 1985;
(2) Copies of the letter and reports of first conservator, Mr. Basilio Estanislao, to the MB and to
Central Bank Governor Jose Fernandez;
(3) Papers showing computations of all the interests and penalties charged by the CB against
(4) Schedule of recommended valuation of reserves per Mr. Tiaoqui's report dated March 19,
(5) Adjustment per Annex "C" of Mr. Tiaoqui's report;
(6) Annexes "A", "B", and "C" of the joint report of Mr. Tiaoqui, Mr. Aurellano, and Mrs.
(7) Schedule of devaluation of CB-premises of Paseo de Roxas of same report;
(8) Schedule of BF's assets from P5,159.44 B to P3,909.23 B as of January 25, 1985;
(9) Documents listed in BF's letter to Mr. Carlota Valenzuela dated October 25, 1985.
In issuing the challenged order, the court below took the view that the Supreme Court's
resolution referring to it the matters relative to the bank's closure does not preclude the
petitioner from availing of his mode of discovery as an additional means of preparing for the
Respondents Monetary Board and Central Bank take exception to the said order and pray
in their petition before this Court for the reversal and setting aside of the same. It opined that the
ratiocination of the trial court is wholly in error because the proceedings before it, do not at all
deal with either the administrative proceedings conducted by the respondents or the regularity
and impartiality of the CB actions on BF; it does so simply upon the charge that no "hearing" was
given BF prior to those actions of no "hearing" was given BF prior to those actions of closure and
liquidation. However, no such prior hearing had been called as none is required by the law and
by the Supreme Court decisions in force to this date (Rural Bank of Lucena, Inc. vs. Arca, 15 SCRA
66, and Rural Bank of Bato vs. IAC, G.R. 65642, Oct. 15, 1984). It also argued that the tapes and
transcripts of the Monetary Board deliberations are confidential pursuant to Sections 13 and 15
of the Central Bank Act.
Whether or not the tapes and transcripts of the Monetary Board deliberations on the
closure of Banco Filipino and its meetings on July 27, 1984, and March 22, 1985, are privileged
communication that may not be inquired into.
The deliberations may be confidential but not necessarily absolute and privileged. There
is no specific provision in the Central Bank Act, even in Section 13 and 15 thereof, which
prohibits absolutely the courts from conducting an inquiry on said deliberations when these are
relevant or material to a matter subject of a suit pending before it. The disclosure is here not
intended to obtain information for personal gain. There is no indication that such disclosure
would cause detriment to the government, to the bank or to third parties. Significantly, it is the
bank itself here that is interested in obtaining what it considers as information useful and
indispensably needed by it to support its position in the matter being inquired to by the court
As to the tapes and transcripts of the Monetary Board deliberations on the closure of
Banco Filipino and its meetings on July 27, 1984, and March 22, 1985, (Item No. 1), respondents
contend that "it is obvious from the requirement (Sections 13 and 15 of the Central Bank Act)
that the subject matter ( of the deliberations), when resolved . . . shall be made available to the

public but the deliberations themselves are not open to disclosure but are to be kept in
On the other hand, respondents cite Section 21, Rule 130, Rules of Court which states:
"Section 21. Privilege Communications.
The following persons cannot testify as to
matters learned in confidence in the following cases:
(e) A public officer cannot be examined during his term of office or afterwards, as to
communications made to him in official confidence, when the court finds that the public interest
would suffer by disclosure."
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.
On the contrary, public interests will be 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 ion 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.

G.R. No. L-1846-48
BENGZON; January 18, 1948
Vicente Gatchalian, Severino Austria, Pedro Reyes, Eusebio Perez, Gervasio Due and
Marcelo Due were charged in two separate cases with the deaths of Benjamin Nery and Alfredo
Laguitan. In another case, they were accused of causing physical injuries to Francisco Orsino.
April 19, 1946, Good Friday in Cacutud, Arayat, Pampanga While the pabasa was being
performed, the appellants, assisted by Marcelo Due, Gervasio Due and one Peping and carrying
pistols, approached Nery, Laguitan and Orsino who were members of the military police.
The three MPs were sitting on one corner, watching the proceedings. At gunpoint, the
three MPs were driven to the road and when they were about ten meters away from where the
pabasa was being done, they were shot from behind. Nery and Laguitan were killed instantly
while Orsino fractured a leg which took 6 months to heal.
The motive for the killing was the conflict between the MPs and the Huks, the attackers
being Huk members.
Six people testified for the prosecution, including Reyes. Eusebio Perez said he was attending the
pabasa and when he heard gunshots, he grabbed his wife and ran. The next day he saw three of
the assailants including Maximo Austria and they said they were going into hiding because they
had taken part in the shooting the night before. Perez did not mention Gatchalian.
Lt. Martinez testified that in the investigation conducted by Quintans, Gatchalian stated
that each of them approached an MP and fired at them and that he was sure they would die.
Witnesses for the defense gave their own testimonies. Segundo Guevara saw Gatchalian during
the pabasa and when gunshots were heard, he saw Gatchalian run carrying his child and then
the latter lay in a pile of palay. Gatchalian remained in Guevaras house the whole night. This
was corroborated by a testimony by Evaristo Paras.
The fiscal filed a motion for the dismissal of the case against Eusebio Perez for
insufficiency of evidence. This was granted. He also asked that the accused Pedro Reyes be
discharged so that the latter may be used as prosecution witness. This was also granted.
The CFI judge found the accused Maximino Austria alias Severino Australia alias Big Boy
and Vicente Gatchalian alias Magallanes guilty of the offenses set forth in the different
informations. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua and indemnity for the deaths of Nery
and Laguitan.
Reyes did become a state witness but he did not confirm every statement he had
previously made at the fiscal's investigation. He testified that before the crime was committed,
Gervacio had asked him to talk to the MPs but he refused. Later on, he heard gunshots and
when he ran to the ricefield, he saw and heard Gervacio saying that the MP he shot would surely
die and Gatchalian assuring him that the MO would indeed die.
Orsino narrated a similar incident but could not identify the assailants except Austria. Lts.
Martinez and Quintans declared under oath that Gatchalian admitted to them during the
investigation that he had shot one of the MPs. Gatchalian even demonstrated how he shot the
victim whih was captured in a photograph. Lt. Quintans also testified that Austria had voluntarily
signed the confession.
Gatchalian denies that he made a confession before Lt. Quintans. He denied that he had
taken part in the killing and that he was merely threatened to be killed lest he reenact the crime
as shown in the photograph. He alleged that he was maltreated and even showed his supposed
injuries in court.
Whether or not the judgment appealed from should be reversed

The picture of the reenactment of the crime is convincing enough to show the guilty
participation of the appellants. Their defense of alibi is weak and untenable. The Solicitor
General's brief substantially proves conspiracy between them and their other co-accused who
are still at large.


G.R. No. L-9181
November 28, 1955
Juan Consunji, Alfonso Panganiban, and another whose identity is still unknown, were
charged with having conspired together in the murderof one Jose Ramos. During the progress of
the trial, counsel for the defendant Panganiban interposed a general objection to any evidence
on such confession made by defendant consunji on the ground that it was hearsay and therefore
incompetent as against the other accused Panganiban. The lower court ordered the exclusion of
the objected evidence but on a different ground which is the prosecution could not be permitted
to introduce the confessions of defendants Juan Consunji and Alfonso Panganiban to prove
conspiracy between them, without prior proof of such conspiracy by a number of definite acts,
conditions, and circumstances.
OSG filed a petition for cetiorari before the SC for the review and annulment of the lower
Court's order completely excluding anyevidence on the extrajudicial confessions of the accused
Juan Consunjiand Alfonso Panganiban without prior proof of conspiracy.
Whether or not the lower court is correct in excluding the prosecutionss evidence (extrajudicial confession by Consunji)?
We believe that the lower Court committed a grave abuse of discretion in ordering the
complete exclusion of the prosecution's evidence on the alleged confessions of the accused Juan
Consunji at the stage of the trial when the ruling was made. Section 14, Rule 123, Rules of Court,
is specific as to the admissibility of theextrajudicial confession of an accused, freely and
voluntarily made, as evidence against him.
SEC. 14. Confession. The declaration of an accused expressly acknowledging the truth
of his guilt as to the offense charged, may be given in evidence against him. Under the rule of
multiple admissibility of evidence, even if Consunji's confession may not be competent as
against his co-accused Panganiban, being hearsay as to the latter, or to prove conspiracy
between them without the conspiracy being established by other evidence, the confession
ofConsunji was, nevertheless, admissible as evidence of the declarant's own guilt and should be
Rule on admissibility:
The practice of excluding evidence on doubtful objections to its materiality or technical
objections to the form of the questions should be avoided. In a caseof any intricacy it is
impossible for a judge of first instance, in the early stages of the development of the proof, to
know with any certainty whether testimony is relevant or not; and where there is no indication of
bad faith on the part of the Attorney offering the evidence, the court may as a rule safely accept
the testimony upon the statement of the attorney that the proof offered will be connected later.
At any rate, in the final determination and consideration of the case, the trial Court should be
able to distinguish the admissible from the inadmissible, and reject what, under the rules of
evidence, should be excluded. There is greater reason to adhere to such policy in criminal cases
where questions arise as to admissibility of evidence for the prosecution, for the unjustified
exclusion of evidence may lead to the erroneous acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the
charges, from which the People can no longer appeal.


CARSON; Aug 14, 1914
Servando Bay was charged of rape of Florentina Alcones. The accused met Alcones
walking along the beach, caught hold her, picked her up, and carried her to the edge of some
thickets, where he threw her on the ground and attempted to have carnal intercourse with her.
However, a party who were passing near the place where the crime was committed heard her
cries. One of the parties stepped ashore, and seeing the accused get up from the place where
the woman claims the crime was committed, asked "What's this? The accused made no
explanation of his conduct or his presence there, and left the place forthwith. Immediately
thereafter the woman, accompanied by some of the party from the boat, went to the councilman
of the barrio and made complaint. The accused, having been brought before the councilman and
asked had he committed the crime of which he was charged, admitted that he had. Thereafter
the accused was sent to the justice of the peace, who held him for trial.
The accused was convicted.
Whether or not finding the accused guilty has basis.
There can be no possible doubt that he was present when the party on board the boat was
attracted to the place where the victim raised her outcry charging him with the assault, and that
he was present later on when the victim presented her complaint to the councilman of the barrio.
Under such circumstances, we are convinced that an innocent man would instantly and
indignantly repudiate such a charge, and attempt there and then to establish his innocence,
explaining how he came to be there present with the woman, and the conditions under which she
had made the false charge; yet there is not the slightest indication in the evidence that there
was on the part of the accused any such indignant denials and protests as would be expected
from an innocent man suddenly confronted with such a charge under such circumstances.
Indeed, his conduct at that time was, to the minds of the Court, wholly at variance with that
which might fairly be expected from him, granting the truth of his testimony and that of the
other witnesses for the defense.