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REVISED RULES

ON

EVIDENCE

Codal Provisions, Special Laws & Jurisprudence


Evidence Project Volumes
Volume 1: I. Admissibility of Evidence
II. What Need Not Be Proved
III. Real Demonstrative Evidence
IV. Best Evidence Rule
Volume 2: V. Parole Evidence Rule
VI. Interpretation of Documents
VII. Qualifications of Witnesses
VIII. Privileged Communications
Volume 3: IX. Admissions & Confessions
X. Conduct & Character
Volume 4: XI. Hearsay Rule
XII. Opinion Rule
Volume 5:

XIII. Burden of Proof & Presumptions


XIV. Presentation of Evidence (Part. A., B. , C. 1.
to 7.)

Volume 6:

XIV. Presentation of Evidence (Part C. 8. to 10.,


D., E.)
XV. Weight & Sufficiency of Evidence
Volume 1: Table of Contents

I.

Admissibility of Evidence
A. Rule 128, Sections 1-4.
1. Reyes vs. CA
2. People vs. Turco
B. Relevance
1. Rule 128, Sections 3 & 4.
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2. Bautista vs. Aperece


3. Lopez vs. Heesen
4. State vs. Ball
C. Competence
1. Rule 128, Section 3.
2. Exclusionary Rules Under 1987 Constitution
(a) Art. III, Sections 2 & 3.
(b) Art. III, Section 12.
(c)Art. III. Section 17.
3. Statutory Rules of Exclusion
(a) Tax Reform Act of 1997, Section 201
(b) RA 1405, Law on Secrecy of Bank Deposits
(RA 7653, 135)
(c)RA 4200, Anti-Wiretapping Act
(i)
Ganaan vs. IAC
(ii)
Salcedo-Ortanez vs. CA
(iii) Ramirez vs. CA
II.

What Need Not Be Proved


A. Rule 129, Sections 1-4.
Rule 10, Section 8.
B. Cases
1. Judicial Notice
(a) City of Manila vs. Garcia
(b) Baguio vs. Vda. De Jalagat
(c)Prieto vs. Arroyo
(d) Yao-Kee vs. Sy-Gonzales
(e) Tabuena vs. CA
(f) People vs. Godoy
(g) BPI-Savings vs. CTA
2. Judicial Admissions
(a) Lucida vs. Calupitan
(b) Torres vs. CA
(c)Bitong vs. CA

III.

Real and Demonstrative Evidence


A. Rule 130, Sections 1 & 2.
B. Cases
1. People vs. Bardaje
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2. Sison vs. People


3. Adamczuk vs. Holloway
4. State vs. Tatum
IV.

Best Evidence Rule


A. Rule 130, Sections 2-8
Rule 132, Sections 25 & 27.
Electronic Commerce Act (RA 8792), Sections 5, 6-15.
Rules on Electronic Evidence, Rule 2, Sections 1, 3, 4.
B. Cases
1. Air France vs. Carrascoso
2. Meyers vs. United States
3. People vs. Tan
4. Seiler vs. Lucasfilm
5. People vs. Tandoy
6. US vs. Gregorio
7. Fiscal of Pampanga vs. Reyes
8. Vda. De Corpus vs. Brabangco
9. Compania Maritima vs. Allied Free Workers
10. Villa Rey Transit vs. Ferrer
11. Michael & Co. vs. Enriquez
12. De Vera vs. Aguilar

I.

ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE
A.

RULE 128, SECTION 1-4:


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)
SECTION 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)
SECTION 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)
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SECTION 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.
CASES:
Reyes vs. Court of Appeals
216 SCRA 25 (1993)
Rule 128, Sec. 1-4
FACTS:
Juan Mendoza, the father of defendant Olympio, is the owner of
Farm Lots Nos. 46 and 106, devoted to the production of palay. The lots
are tenanted and cultivated by Julian de la Cruz, the husband of plaintiff
Eufrocina de la Cruz.
In her complaint, Eufrocina alleged that upon the death of her
husband, she succeeded him as bona fide tenant. However, Olympio in
conspiracy with the other defendants prevented her daughter Violeta and
her workers from entering and working on the farm lots. Defendants
likewise refused to vacate and surrender the lots, which prompted
Eufrocina to file a case for the recover of possession and damages with a
writ of preliminary mandatory injunction in the meantime.
The petitioners in this case, the defendants Reyes, Parayao,
Aguinaldo and Mananghaya, are duly elected and appointed barangay
officials of the locality, who denied their interference in the tenancy
relationship existing between Olympio and Eufrocina. Olympio, for his
part, raised abandonment, sublease and mortgage of the farm lots
without his consent, and non-payment of rentals as his defenses.
The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the agrarian courts decision
with modification, which ordered the defendants to restore possession of
the farm lots to plaintiff Eufrocina. The CA likewise ruled that the
petitioners are solidarily liable to pay to Eufrocina the value of cavans of
palay until they have vacated the area.
On appeal, the petitioners questioned the favorable consideration
given to the affidavits of Eufrocina and Efren Tecson, since the affiants
were not presented and subjected to cross-examination.
ISSUE(S):

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Whether or not the trial court erred when it gave favorable


consideration to the affidavits of plaintiff, even if the affiant was not
presented and subjected to cross-examination.
RULING:
The judgment is affirmed. The trial court did not err when it
favorable considered the affidavits of Eufrocina and Efren Tecson although
the affiants were not presented and subjected to cross-examination.
Section 16 of P.D. No. 946 provides that the Rules of Court shall not be
applicable in agrarian cases even in a suppletory character. The same
provision states that In the hearing, investigation and determination of
any question or controversy, affidavits and counter-affidavits may be
allowed and are admissible in evidence, Moreover, in agrarian cases, the
quantum of evidence required is no more than substantial evidence.
Thus, this case is an application of the rule with regard the scope of the
Rules on Evidence which states that The rules of evidence shall be the
same in all courts and in all trials and hearings except as otherwise
provided by law (ex. Section 16 of P.D. No. 946) or these rules.
** Rule on evidence is applicable only in judicial proceeding thus agrarian
cases are not covered.
People vs. Turco
337 SCRA 714 (2000)
Rule 128, Sec 1-4
FACTS:
Rodegelio Turco, Jr. (a.k.a. Totong) was charged with the crime of
rape. The prosecution alleged that the victim, Escelea Tabada (12 yrs
and 6 months old at the time of the incident) and accused Turco were
neighbors. On the night of the incident, upon reaching her home, Escelea
heard a call from outside. She recognized the voice to be Turcos since
they have been neighbors for 4 years and are second cousins. When she
opened the door, the accused with the use of a towel, covered the victims
face. Then the accused bid the victim to walk. When they reached a
grassy part, near the pig pen which was about 12 meters away from the
victims house, the accused laid the victim on the grass, went on top of
her an took off her short pants and panty. The victim tried to resist by
moving her body but to no avail. The accused succeeded in pursuing his
evil design by forcibly inserting his penis inside the victims private parts.
Upon reaching home, the victim discovered that her short pants and
panty were filled with blood. For almost ten days, she kept to herself the
harrowing experience, until she had the courage to tell her brother-in3C 2003-2004 Evidence Project
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law, who in turn told the victims father about the rape of his daughter.
Thereafter, they did not waste time and immediately asked the victim to
see a doctor for medical examination. After the issuance of the medical
certificate, they went to the Isabela Municipal Station and filed a
compliant against the accused charging him with rape.
The trial court convicted the accused, stating that the defense of
sweetheart theory was a mere concoction of the accused in order to
exculpate him from criminal liability.
Appealing his conviction, the
accused-appellant argues that the trial court erred because no actual
proof was presented that the rape of the complainant actually happened
considering that although a medical certificate was presented, the
medico-legal officer who prepared the same was not presented in court to
explain the same.
ISSUE(S):
Whether or not the trial court erred in admitting the medical
certificate in evidence, although the medico-legal officer who prepared
the same was not presented in court to testify on it.
RULING:
Conviction affirmed. We place emphasis on the distinction between
admissibility of evidence and the probative value thereof. Evidence is
admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law
or these rules (Section 3, Rule 128) or is competent. Since admissibility
of evidence is determined by its relevance and competence, admissibility
is therefore, an affair of logic and law. On the other hand, the weight to
be given to such evidence, once admitted, depends on judicial evaluation
within the guidelines provided in rule 133 and the jurisprudence laid down
by the Court. Thus, while evidence may be admissible, it may be entitled
to little or no weight at all. Conversely, evidence which may have
evidentiary weight may be inadmissible because a special rule forbids its
reception.
However, although the medical certificate is an exception to the
hearsay rule, hence admissible as evidence, it has very little probative
value due to the absence of the examining physician. Nevertheless, it
cannot be said that the prosecution relied solely on the medical
certificate. In fact, reliance was made on the testimony of the victim
herself, which standing alone even without the medical examination, is
sufficient evidence. The absence of medical findings by a medico-legal
officer does not disprove the occurrence of rape. It is enough that the
evidence on hand convinces the court that conviction is proper. In the
instant case, the victims testimony alone is credible and sufficient to
convict.

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B.

RELEVANCE:
1. SECTIONS 3 AND 4, RULE 128

SECTION 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)
SECTION 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.
CASES:
Bautista vs. Aparece
51 O.G. 805 (1995)
Relevance
FACTS:
As owner of the lot subject of the case, Nicolas Anasco sold the
same to Valentin Justiniani. In the same year, Valentin sold this property
to Claudio Justiniani, In October 12, 1935, Claudio Justiniani executed a
public instrument whereby he sold the same property for P100 to
Apolonio Aparece in whose name it was assessed since 1935. While
Aparece was in possession, Hermogenes Bautista illegally entered a part
of the land and took possession thereof. Thus, Aparece file a complaint
with the guerilla forces then operating in the province of Bohol. When the
case was called for hearing, and after inspection was made by a guerilla
officer, Bautista executed a public instrument wherein he promised to
return the land to Aparece in good will, and recognized Apareces lawful
ownership over the land. Thus, possession of the land was restored to
Aparece.
However, claiming that the property belongs to him, and alleging
that with the aid of armed men and pretending to be owner, usurped the
land, Bautista filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance (CFI) of
Bohol. The CFI rendered judgment declaring Aparece as owner of the
land.
On appeal, Bautista raised as defense the error of the trial court in
admitting the public instrument which he executed as evidence. He
argued that the document was executed under duress, violence, and
intimidation, and that the guerilla officer before whom it was executed,
had no jurisdiction over the matter.
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ISSUE(S):
Whether or not the trial court erred in admitting as evidence, a
public document executed before an officer who had no jurisdiction over
the matter.
RULING:
This argument is beside the point. The test for the admissibility or
inadmissibility of a certain document is whether or not it is relevant,
material or competent. The public document is not only relevant, but is
also material and competent to the issue of ownership between the
parties litigants. Relevant evidence is one that has any value in reason as
tending to prove any matter probable in ac action. And evidence is said
to be material when it is directed to prove a fact in issue as determined
by the rules of substantive law and pleadings, while competent evidence
is one that s not excluded by law in a particular case.
With these criteria in mind, we hold that the mere fact that the
public document was executed before a guerilla officer does not make the
same as irrelevant, immaterial or incompetent to the main issue raised in
the pleadings. The public document, considered together with the other
evidence, documentary and oral, satisfies the Court that the portions of
land in question really belong to defendant Aparece.
Lopez vs. Heesen
365 P.2d 448 (1961)
Relevance
FACTS:
Appellee Heesen, an air Force officer, purchased a J.C. Higgins
Model 51 30.06 rifle from the store of appellee Sears. The rifle has a bolt
action known as a Mausser type action with a Class 1 safety
mechanism.
At the time of the purchase, Heesen was given an
instruction pamphlet which he read, explaining the composition of the
rifle and gave operating instructions, including the method to be pursued
to make the gun safe.
Immediately after the purchase, Heesen left for a deer hunting trip
in an area known as Ute Park. He placed a live cartridge in the chamber
and placed the gun on safety position. He traveled a good deal during
the hours before the shooting and on one of two occasions, he discovered
the gun off safety position. This occurred when he had come down a long
hill covered with rocks and boulders. Heesen was not aware that the rifle
moved from safe to fire position at least twice before the shooting. Ten

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minutes before the accident began, he left the knoll and he was carrying
the gun on his shoulder.
He later heard a rustle and saw a deer go between some trees.
When he followed the deer, his left foot went down hard on the ground on
one side of a log and his right foot slipped on the grass. This brought the
rifle down and the rifle discharged, the bullet hitting appellant Lopez, who
was nearby.
Lopez brought suit against Heesen for allegedly unlawfully
assaulting him, thereby inflicting dangerous and painful wounds. He also
included as party-defendant, the designer, manufacturer and seller of the
rifle, Sears, for allegedly negligently designing and manufacturing the rifle
bought by Heesen.
Defendants presented expert testimony on the general reputation of
other firearms companies who use the same modified leaf safety device
as the Higgins Model 51. Lopez objected to this evidence on the ground
that it was wholly immaterial and irrelevant to any issue in the case. He
likewise objected on the introduction of testimony on the poundage
pressure required to move the safety levers from safe to fire position on
the ground of irrelevance and immateriality. Lastly, he objected to the
introduction of opinion evidence regarding the design of the safety
mechanism, on the ground that it was a subject which is within the
province of the jury to determine.
ISSUE(S):
(1) Whether or not expert testimony on the general reputation of other
firearms companies using the same safety device is material and
relevant.
(2) Whether or not testimony on the poundage pressure required is
relevant and material.
(3) Whether or not the design of the safety mechanism was a proper
subject of expert testimony.
RULING:
(1) The expert testimony is admissible. The allegations on the ultimate
facts in issue involve whether the Higgins Model 51 rifle was in a
dangerous and defective condition due to its negligent manufacture,
in that the safety mechanism moved re4adily from safe to fire
position. This is an issue, the proper understanding of which,
requires knowledge or experience and cannot be determined
independently merely from deductions made and inferences drawn
on the basis of ordinary knowledge. Moreover, the conduct of
others is proper evidence for a jury to consider, in determining
whether the tendency of the thing is dangerous, defective, or the
reverse. Considering these principles, the Court held that the
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testimony as to the reputation of other firearms companies using


the same safety device is material and relevant to the issue of
whether the safety device on the Higgins Model 51 was unsafe or
safe, and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in
admitting this testimony.
(2)

The testimony was introduced under Lopezs contention that the


Higgins model was unsafe and thus, the issue arose as to the
poundage pressure required to move the safety lever from safe to
fire. It was then proper for Sears to show the amount of pressure
required to move the safety lever as this was relevant to the issue
posed.

(3)

Expert testimony is admissible because the expert testimony was


upon the ultimate issue of whether or not the safety device was
dangerous and defective. It was the proper subject of expert
testimony. It does not usurp the functions of the jury as the latter
may still reject these opinions. Said opinion evidence is not binding
on the jury.
State vs Ball
339 S.w2d 783 (1960)
Relevance

FACTS:
Ball appeals from an order of the trial court, convicting him of
robbery.
At about 2:30 in the afternoon, two colored men, one of them tall
and the other short, entered the Krekeler Jewelry Store. As the taller
man looked at jewelry and made his purchase, the shorter man looked in
the cases and moved about in the store. Later in the same day, at
around 5:30 p.m., as John Krekeler was placing the rings and watches in
the safe preparing for the closing of the store, the two men who had been
in the store at 2:30, entered the store.
They were immediately
recognized by Krekeler, especially the taller mans narrow-brimmed tall
hat, brown jacket, gray short and particularly a scar on his face.
The shorter man walked behind the counter and as Krekeler tried to
intercept him, the man hit Krekeler on the face using a 0.38 long barreled
pistol. With the gun on his back, the two men directed Krekeler to go to
the watch repair department, then to the restroom, where he was
positioned, facing the wall. Thereafter, he could hear jewelry being
dumped in a bag, and the jingle of the car register. After hearing the

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door slam, Krekeler call the police. He reported that the two men took
$4,455.21 worth of watched and rings, and $140 in cash.
Three weeks later, Ball was arrested by Officers Powell and Ballard
while walking in the street. Ball shoved Officer Powell over and ran down
the avenue. The officers ran after him and he was only pacified when the
Officers fired a bullet which fell in his back. Ball claims that this evidence
of flight was not material or relevant, since it was too remote from the
date of the robbery (3 weeks later), to indicate a consciousness of guilt.
Ball likewise objected to the admissibility of the following articles found in
his person during the arrest on grounds of immateriality and irrelevance:
a brown felt hat, a brownish windbreaker type jacket, trousers, gray shirt
and shoes, and $258.02 in currency and two pennies.
ISSUES(S)
(1) Whether or not the evidence of flight is inadmissible for reason of
remoteness to the time of the commission of the crime.
(2) Whether or not the articles found in the person of the accused at
the time of his arrest are inadmissible for being irrelevant and
immaterial.
RULING:
(1) Unexplained flight and resisting arrest even thirty days after the
supposed commission of the crime is a relevant circumstance. The
remoteness of the flight goes to the weight of the evidence rather
than to its admissibility.
(2)

In identifying Ball, Krekeler was impressed with and remembered


the brown ensemble, particularly the tall brown hat. These items
were of course relevant and admissible in evidence and there is no
objection to them.
However, the money is inadmissible. The proof of the money
here was evidently on the theory that Ball did not have or was not
likely to have such a sum of money on his person prior to the
commission of the offense. However, Krekeler was not able to
identify the money or any of the items on Balls person as having
come from the jewelry store so that in fact, they were not
admissible in evidence. There was no proof as to the denomination
of the money in the cash register, it was simply a total of $140.
Here, nineteen days had elapsed, there was no proof that Ball had
suddenly come into possession of the $258.02 and in all these
circumstances the mere possession of a quantity of money is in
itself no indication that the possessor was the taker of the money
charged as taken, because in general all money of the same
denomination and material is alike, and the hypothesis that the
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money found is the same as the money taken is too forced and
extraordinary to be receivable.
C.

COMPETENCE:
1.

SECTION 3, RULE 128

SECTION 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)
2.
EXCLUSIONARY RULES UNDER THE 1987
CONSTITUTION
(a)

SECTIONS 2 AND 3, ARTICLE III

SEC. 2, Article III


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be
inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall
issue except upon probable cause to be determined
personally by the judge after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may
produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched
and the persons or things to be seized.
SEC. 3. Article III
(1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall
be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when
public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the
preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding.
(b)

SECTION 12, ARTICLE III

Section 12, Article III


(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an
offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to
remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel
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preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the


services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These
rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence
of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any
other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against
him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or
other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this
or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against
him.
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for
violations of this section as well as compensation to and
rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices, and
their families.
(c)SECTION 17, ARTICLE III
SEC. 17.
No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

3.

STATUTORY RULES OF EXCLUSION


1. SECTION 201, TAX REFORM ACT OF 1997

SEC. 201. Effect of Failure to Stamp Taxable Document. - An


instrument, document or paper which is required by law to be
stamped and which has been signed, issued, accepted or
transferred without being duly stamped, shall not be
recorded, nor shall it or any copy thereof or any record of
transfer of the same be admitted or used in evidence in any
court until the requisite stamp or stamps are affixed thereto
and cancelled.
(b) RA
DEPOSITS

1405,

LAW

ON

SECRECY

OF

BANK

LAW ON SECRECY OF BANK DEPOSITS

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Republic Act No.1405, as amended

AN ACT PROHIBITING DISCLOSURE OF OR INQUIRY


INTO, DEPOSITS WITH ANY BANKING INSTITUTION AND
PROVIDING PENALTY THEREFOR
Sec 1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the
Government to give encouragement to the people to deposit their
money in banking institutions and to discourage private hoarding
so that the same may be properly utilized by banks in authorized
loans to assist in the economic development of the country.
Sec 2.1 All deposits of whatever nature with banks or
banking institutions in the Philippines including investments in
bonds issued by the Government of the Philippines, its political
subdivisions and its instrumentalities, are hereby considered as of
an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined,
inquired or looked into by any person, government official,
bureau or office, except when the examination is made in the
course of a special or general examination of a bank and is
specifically authorized by the Monetary Board after being satisfied
that there is reasonable ground to believe that a bank fraud or
serious irregularity has been or is being committed and that it is
necessary to look into the deposit to establish such fraud or
irregularity, or when the examination is made by an independent
auditor hired by the bank to conduct its regular audit provided
that the examination is for audit purposes only and the results
thereof shall be for the exclusive use of the bank, or upon written
permission of the depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon
order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of
duty of public officials, or in cases where the money deposited or
invested is the subject matter of the litigation. (As amended by
PD No.1792, January 16, 1981)
Sec 3. It shall be unlawful for any official or employee of a
bank to disclose to any person other than those mentioned in
Section Two hereof, or for an independent auditor hired by a bank
to conduct its regular audit to disclose to any person other than a
bank director, official or employee authorized by the bank, any
information concerning said deposits. (As amended by PD
No.1792)
Sec 4. All acts or parts of Acts, Special Charters, Executive
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Orders, Rules and Regulations which are inconsistent with the


provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.
Sec 5. Any violation of this law will subject the offender
upon conviction, to an imprisonment of not more than five years
or a fine of not more than twenty thousand pesos or both, in the
discretion of the court.
Sec 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
APPROVED, September 9, 1955.
__________
This Section and Section 3 were both amended by Pres. Decree
No.1792, issued January 16, 1981, PD 1792 was expressly
repealed by Sec. 135 of Rep. Act No.7653, approved June 14,
1993. The original Sections 2 and 3 of Rep. Act No.1405 are
hereby reproduced for reference, as follows: "Sec. 2 All deposits
of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions in the
Philippines including investments in bonds issued by the
Government of the Philippines, its political subdivisions and its
instrumentalities, are hereby considered as of an absolutely
confidential nature and may not be examined, inquired or looked
into by any person, government official, bureau or office, except
upon written per- mission of the depositor, or in cases of
impeachment, or upon order of a competent court in cases of
bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials. or in cases where
the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the
litigation," "Sec. 3. It shall be unlawful for any official or
employee of a banking institution to disclose to any person other
than those mentioned in Section two hereof any information
concerning said deposits."
1

( c ) R.A. NO. 4200 WIRETAPPING ACT


REPUBLIC ACT NO. 4200

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AN ACT TO PROHIBIT AND PENALIZE WIRE TAPPING AND


OTHER RELATED VIOLATIONS OF THE PRIVACY OF
COMMUNICATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

SECTION 1. It shall be unlawful for any person, not


being authorized by all the parties to any private communication
or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other
device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record
such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly
known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkietalkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described.
It shall also be unlawful for any person, be he a participant
or not in the act or acts penalized in the next preceding sentence,
to knowingly possess any tape record, wire record, disc record, or
any other such record, or copies thereof, of any communication
or spoken word secured either before or after the effective date
of this Act in the manner prohibited by this law; or to replay the
same for any other person or persons; or to communicate the
contents thereof, either verbally or in writing, or to furnish
transcriptions thereof, whether complete or partial, to any other
person: Provided, That the use of such record or any copies
thereof as evidence in any civil, criminal investigation or trial of
offenses mentioned in Section 3 hereof, shall not be covered by
this prohibition.
SECTION 2. Any person who willfully or knowingly does or
who shall aid, permit, or cause to be done any of the acts
declared to be unlawful in the preceding section or who violates
the provisions of the following section or of any order issued
thereunder, or aids, permits, or causes such violation shall, upon
conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than
six months or more than six years and with the accessory penalty
of perpetual absolute disqualification from public office if the
offender be a public official at the time of the commission of the
offense, and, if the offender is an alien he shall be subject to
deportation proceedings.
SECTION 3. Nothing contained in this Act, however, shall
render it unlawful or punishable for any peace officer, who is
authorized by a written order of the Court, to execute any of the
acts declared to be unlawful in the two preceding sections in
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cases involving the crimes of treason, espionage, provoking war


and disloyalty in case of war, piracy, mutiny in the high seas,
rebellion, conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to
rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to commit sedition, inciting to
sedition, kidnapping as defined by the Revised Penal Code, and
violations of Commonwealth Act No. 616, punishing espionage
and other offenses against national security: Provided, That such
written order shall only be issued or granted upon written
application and the examination under oath or affirmation of the
applicant and the witnesses he may produce and a showing: (1)
that there are reasonable grounds to believe that any of the
crimes enumerated hereinabove has been committed or is being
committed or is about to be committed: Provided, however, That
in cases involving the offenses of rebellion, conspiracy and
proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to rebellion, sedition,
conspiracy to commit sedition, and inciting to sedition, such
authority shall be granted only upon prior proof that a rebellion or
acts of sedition, as the case may be, have actually been or are
being committed; (2) that there are reasonable grounds to
believe that evidence will be obtained essential to the conviction
of any person for, or to the solution of, or to the prevention of,
any such crimes; and (3) that there are no other means readily
available for obtaining such evidence.
The order granted or issued shall specify: (1) the identity of
the person or persons whose communications, conversations,
discussions, or spoken words are to be overheard, intercepted, or
recorded and, in the case of telegraphic or telephonic
communications, the telegraph line or the telephone number
involved and its location; (2) the identity of the peace officer
authorized to overhear, intercept, or record the communications,
conversations, discussions, or spoken words; (3) the offense or
offenses committed or sought to be prevented; and (4) the
period of the authorization. The authorization shall be effective
for the period specified in the order which shall not exceed sixty
(60) days from the date of issuance of the order, unless extended
or renewed by the court upon being satisfied that such extension
or renewal is in the public interest.
All recordings made under court authorization shall, within
forty-eight hours after the expiration of the period fixed in the
order, be deposited with the court in a sealed envelope or sealed
package, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the peace
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officer granted such authority stating the number of recordings


made, the dates and times covered by each recording, the
number of tapes, discs, or records included in the deposit, and
certifying that no duplicates or copies of the whole or any part
thereof have been made, or if made, that all such duplicates or
copies are included in the envelope or package deposited with the
court. The envelope or package so deposited shall not be opened,
or the recordings replayed, or used in evidence, or their contents
revealed, except upon order of the court, which shall not be
granted except upon motion, with due notice and opportunity to
be heard to the person or persons whose conversation or
communications have been recorded.
The court referred to in this section shall be understood to
mean the Court of First Instance within whose territorial
jurisdiction the acts for which authority is applied for are to be
executed.
SECTION 4. Any communication or spoken word, or the
existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of the
same or any part thereof, or any information therein contained
obtained or secured by any person in violation of the preceding
sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any
judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or
investigation.
SECTION 5. All laws inconsistent with the provisions of this
Act are hereby repealed or accordingly amended.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
CASES:
Gaanan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court
145 SCRA 112 (1986)
Competence (Anti-Wiretapping Act)
FACTS:
Complainant Atty. Pintor and his client Montebon, were in the living
room of complainants residence, discussing the terms from the
withdrawal of the complaint for direct assault which they filed against
Laconico. After they decided on the conditions, Atty. Pintor made a phone
call to Laconico.
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That same morning, Laconico telephoned Atty. Gaanan to come to


his office and advise him on the settlement of the direct assault case.
When Atty. Pintor called, Laconico requested Atty. Gaanan to
secretly listen to the telephone conversation through a telephone
extension so as to hear personally the proposed conditions for the
settlement.
Twenty minutes later, Atty. Pinto called up again to ask Laconico if
he was agreeable to the conditions. Laconico agreed. An amount of
P5,000 as settlement money was agreed upon. He was instructed to give
the money to give the money to Atty. Pintors wife at the office of the
Department of Public Highways. However, Laconico insisted that Atty.
Pintor himself should receive the money. However, when Atty. Pintor
received the money, he was arrested by agents of the Philippine
Constabulary.
On the following day, Atty. Gaanan executed an affidavit that he
heard complainant Atty. Pintor demand P8,000 for the withdrawal of the
case for direct assault. Laconico attached the affidavit to the complaint
for robbery/extortion which he filed against Atty. Pintor. Since Atty.
Gaanan listened to the telephone conversation without Atty. Pintors
consent, Atty. Pintor charged Atty. Gaanan and Laconico with violation of
the Anti-Wiretapping Act (R.A. No. 4200).
Atty. Gaanan and Laconico were found guilty by the trial court. The
decision was affirmed by the Intermediate Appellate Court (IAC) stating
that the extension telephone which was used to overhear the telephone
conversation was covered in the term device as provided in R.A. No.
4200.
ISSUE(S):
Whether or not an extension telephone is among the prohibited device in
Section 1 of the Anti-Wiretapping Act, such that its use to overhear a
private conversation would constitute unlawful interception of
communications between the two parties using a telephone line.
RULING:
The main issue revolves around the meaning of the phrase any
other device or arrangement. The law refers to a tap of a wire or cable
or the use of a device or arrangement for the purpose of secretly
overhearing, intercepting, or recording the communication. There must
be either a physical interruption through a wiretap or the deliberate
installation of a device or arrangement in order to overhear, intercept, or
record the spoken words.
An extension telephone cannot be placed in the same category as a
dictaphone, dictagraph or the other device enumerated un Section 1 of
R.A. No. 4200 as the use thereof cannot be considered as tapping the
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wire or cable of a telephone line. The telephone extension in this case


was not installed for that purpose. It just happened to be there for
ordinary office use.
The phrase device or arrangement, although not exclusive to that
enumerated, should be construed to comprehend instruments of the
same or similar nature, that is, instruments the use of which would be
tantamount to tapping the main line of a telephone.
It refers to
instruments whose installation or presence cannot be presumed by the
party or parties being overheard because, by their very nature, they are
not of common usage and their purpose is precisely for tapping,
intercepting, or recording a telephone conversation.
An extension telephone is an instrument which is very common
especially now when the extended unit does not have to be connected by
wire to the main telephone but can be moved from place to place within a
radius of a kilometer or more.
An extension telephone is not among such device or arrangements
covered by Section 1 of R.A No. 4200.
Salcedo-Ortaez vs. Court of Appeals
235 SCRA 111 (1994)
Competence (Anti-Wiretapping Act)
FACTS:
Rafael Ortaez filed a complaint for annulment of marriage with
damages against his wife Teresita Salcedo-Ortaez, on grounds of lack of
marriage license and/or psychological incapacity of Teresita. Among the
exhibits offered by Rafael were three (3) cassette tapes of alleged
telephone conversations between Teresita and unidentified persons.
These tape recordings were made and obtained when Rafael allowed his
friends from the military to wire tap his home telephone.
Teresita objected to Rafaels oral offer of the said tapes. However,
the Regional Trail Court (RTC) of Quezon City admitted the tapes into
evidence. Teresita filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals
(CA), but the CA upheld the lower courts order for two reasons: (1) Tape
recordings are not inadmissible per se. They are admissible depending on
how they are presented and offered and how the trial judge utilizes them
and (2) Certiorari is inappropriate since the order admitting the tape into
evidence is interlocutory. The order should be questioned in the appeal
from the judgment on the merits and through the special civil action of
certiorari.
Hence, Teresita filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court
(SC).

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ISSUE(S):
(1) Whether or not the recordings of Teresitas phone conversations,
made and obtained through wiretapping are admissible as evidence
(not per se inadmissible)
(2) Whether or not a petition for certiorari is the appropriate remedy to
question an order admitting the tapes into evidence
RULING:
(1)
The tape recordings are inadmissible. Relevant provisions of
R.A. 4200 (Anti-Wiretapping Act) provides that:
Section 1: It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized
by all parties to any private conversation or spoken word, to tap
any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to
secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or
spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone,
or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or
however otherwise described x x x
Section 4. Any communication, or spoken word, or the existence,
contents, substance, purport, or meaning of the same or any part
thereof, or any information therein contained, obtained, or secured
by any person in violation of the preceding section of this Act shall
not be admitted in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial,
legislative, or administrative hearing or investigation.
Hence, absent any clear showing that both parties consented to the
recording, the inadmissibility of the tapes is mandatory under R.A. No.
4200
(2) Certiorari was the appropriate remedy. Generally, the extraordinary
writ of certiorari is not available to challenge interlocutory orders of a trial
court.
The proper remedy is an ordinary appeal from an adverse
judgment, incorporating in the said appeal the grounds fro assailing the
interlocutory order. However, where the assailed interlocutory order is
patently erroneous and the remedy of appeal would not afford adequate
and expeditious relief, the Court may allow certiorari as a mode of
redress.
Ramirez vs. Court of Appeals
248 SCRA 590 (1995)
Competence (Anti-Wiretapping Act)
FACTS:

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Ester Garcia filed a criminal case for violation of R.A. No. 4200
(Anti-Wiretapping Act) against Socorro Ramirez, for secretly taping their
confrontation. Socorro filed a Motion to Quash the Information, which the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasay granted, agreeing that the facts
charged did not constitute an offense under R.A. No. 4200 since the law
refers to the taping of a communication by a person other than a
participant to the communication. After which, Ester filed a petition for
review with the Court of Appeals (CA), which reversed the ruling of the
lower court. Hence, Socorro filed this instant petition where she raised
three ISSUES:
(2)
That R.A. No. 4200 does not apply to the taping of the
conversation by one of the parties to the conversation. She
contends that R.A. 4200 only refers to unauthorized taping of
a conversation of a person other than those involved in the
conversation.
(3)
That the substance or contents of the
conversation must be alleged in the information; otherwise,
the facts charged will not constitute a violation of R.A. No.
4200.
(4)
That R.A. No. 4200 penalizes the taping of
private communication not a private conversation and
that, consequently, her act of secretly taping her conversation
with Ester was not illegal under the said Act.
RULING:
(1)
R.A. No. 4200 applies to recordings by one of the parties to
the conversation. Section 1 of the Act clearly and unequivocally
makes it illegal for any person, not authorized by all parties to any
private communication to secretly record such communication by
means of a tape recorder. The law makes no distinction as to
whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be
a party other than or different from those involved in the private
communication.
The statutes intent to penalize all persons
unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of
the qualifier any. Consequently, the CA was correct in concluding
that even a person privy to a communication, who records his
private conversation with another without knowledge of the latter,
will qualify as a violator under R.A. No. 4200. A perusal of the
Senate Congressional Records, moreover, supports such conclusion.
(2)

The substance of the conversation need not be alleged in the


information. The nature of the communication is immaterial. The
mere allegation that an individual made a secret recording of a
private communication by means of a tape recorder would suffice to
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constitute an offense under Section 1 of R.A. No. 4200 As the


Solicitor General pointed out, Nowhere (in the said law) is it required
that before one can be regarded as a violator, the nature of the
conversation, as well as its communication to a third person should
be professed.
(3)

II.

Private communication includes private conversation. The


word communicate comes from the Latin word communicare,
meaning to share or to impart.
In its ordinary signification,
communication connotes an act of sharing or imparting, as in a
conversation (process by which meanings or thoughts are shared
between individuals through a common system of symbols). These
broad definitions are likely to include the confrontation between
Socorro and Ester. Moreover, any doubts about the legislative bodys
meaning of the phrase private communication are put to rest by the
fact that Senator Taada in his Explanatory Note to the Bill used
communication and conversation interchangeably.
WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED
A. RULE 129, SECTIONS 1-4;
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)
SECTION 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)
SECTION 3. Judicial notice, when hearing necessary.
During the trial, the court, on its own initiative, or on the
request of a party, may announce its intention to take judicial
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notice of any matter and allow the parties to be heard


thereon.
After 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)
SECTION 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 showing that it was made through
palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. (2a)
RULE 10, SECTION 8
SECTION 8. Effect of amended pleadings. An amended
pleading supersedes the pleading that it amends. However,
admissions in superseded pleadings may be received in
evidence against the pleader; and claims or defenses alleged
therein not incorporated in the amended pleading shall be
deemed waived.
CASES:
1.

JUDICIAL NOTICE
City of Manila vs. Garcia
19 SCRA 413 (1967)
Judicial Notice

FACTS:
Finding that it was necessary to expand the school grounds of Epifanio de
los Santos Elementary School, Manilas City Engineer, pursuant to the
Mayors directive, ordered the illegal occupants/squatters (defendants) to
vacate the property contiguous to the school. The defendants refused to
vacate, thus, prompting the City of Manila to file a suit to recover
possession over the land. The Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila
favored the plaintiff.
Consequently, the squatters appealed and
questioned the lower courts finding that the city needs the premises for
school purposes. The citys evidence on this point was the certification of
the Chairman Committee on Appropriations of the Municipal Board. The
certification recites that the amount of P100,000 had been set aside in
Ordinance 4566, the 1962-63 Manila City Budget, for the construction of
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an additional building of the elementary school. The said document was


originally deemed inadmissible because there was no proof of the
resolution, but was, subsequently, admitted into evidence by the lower
court. Hence, the defendants appealed.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CFI of Manila had properly found that the City of
Manila needs the premises for school purposes (considering that it had a
contradictory stance regarding the admissibility of the evidence of the
City on this point).
RULING:
The CFI of Manila properly found that the city needs the premises
for school purposes. It is beyond debate that a court of justice may alter
its ruling while the case is within its power, to make it conformable to law
and justice. Such was done here. The defendants remedy was to bring
the attention of the court to its contradictory stance. Not having done so,
the Supreme Court will not reopen the case solely for this purpose.
Anyway, elimination of the certification as evidence would not
benefit the defendants. For in reversing his stand, the trial judge could
have well taken because he was duty bound to take judicial notice of
Ordinance 4566. The reason being that the city charter of Manila requires
that all courts sitting therein to take judicial notice of all ordinances
passed by the municipal board of Manila, hence, no need for the
certification.

Baguio vs. Vda de Jalagat


42 SCRA 337 (1971)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
GABRIEL BAGUIO filed for the quieting of title to real property
against TEOFILA JALAGAT and her minor children with the Court of First
Instance (CFI) of Misamis Oriental. The Jalagats filed a motion to dismiss
on the ground that the present complaint is barred by a previous
judgment rendered by the same court. The previous case involved
practically the same property, the same cause of action, and the same
parties, with Melecio Jalagat (Teofilas deceased husband and predecessor
in interest) as the defendant. The previous case was terminated with the
court dismissing Baguios complaint.
Acting on the motion and taking judicial notice of its previous
judgment, the lower court dismissed the present complaint on the ground
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of res judicata.
Consequently, Baguio appealed the order of dismissal.
He claimed that for the ground of res judicata to suffice as a basis for
dismissal it must be apparent on the face of the complaint.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CFI of Misamis Oriental was correct in finding
that there was res judicata by taking judicial notice of its previous
judgment.
RULING:
THE CFI OF MISAMIS ORIENTAL WAS CORRECT IN TAKING
JUDICIAL OF ITS PREVIOUS JUDGMENT. It ought to be clear even to the
appellant that under the circumstances, the lower court certainly could
take judicial notice of the finality of judgment in a case that was
previously pending and thereafter decided by it. That was all that was
done by the lower court in decreeing the dismissal. Certainly, such an
order is not contrary to law. The Supreme Court quoted Chief Justice
Morgan, who said: Courts have also taken judicial notice of previous
cases to determine whether or not the case pending is a moot one or
whether or not the previous ruling is applicable in the case under
consideration.
Prieto vs. Arroyo
14 SCRA 549 (1965)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
ZEFERINO ARROYO and GABRIEL PRIETO were registered owners of
adjoining lots in Camarines Sur. After Zeferino died, his heirs had a new
certificate of title registered in their names. Subsequently, the heirs
discovered that the technical description set forth in their transfer
certificate of title and in the original certificate of title did not conform
with that embodied in the decision of the land registration court (which
registered the land in Zeferinos name), and was less in area by 157
square meters. They, therefore, filed a petition for the correction of the
said description in their titles. Thereafter, the court issued an order
directing the correction of the technical description of the land covered by
their title.
Gabriel filed a petition to annul the order granting the correction
claiming that the 157 square meters were unduly taken from his lot.
However, his petition was dismissed for failure to prosecute. Thus,
Gabriel filed a second petition containing similar allegations. As expected,
the court dismissed his second petition on the ground of res judicata.
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Hence, Gabriel appealed to the Supreme Court to question the


dismissal of his second petition. He insisted that there was no res
judicata since the dismissal of his first petition was erroneous. He
claimed that the lower court should have not dismissed his first petition
for failure to prosecute because no parole evidence need be taken to
support it, the matters therein alleged being part of the records land
registration proceedings, which were well within the judicial notice and
cognizance of the court.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Camarines Sur
(in dismissing the first petition of Gabriel) erred in not taking judicial
notice of the parts of the records of the land registration proceedings that
would have supported Gabriels allegations, thus, making the dismissal for
failure to prosecute erroneous.
RULING:
THE CFI OF CAMARINES SUR WAS CORRECT IN NOT TAKING
JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE RECORDS THE LAND REGISTRATION
PROCEEDINGS. As a general rule, courts are not authorized to take
judicial notice, in the adjudication of the cases pending before them, of
the contents 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 tried or actually pending before the same judge. Besides,
if Gabriel really wanted the court to take judicial notice of such records,
he should have presented the proper request or manifestation to that
effect. For failing to do so in the appropriate time, the dismissal of the
first petition is now valid and binding on him. Thus, the dismissal on the
ground of res judicata must be sustained.
Yao-Kee vs. Sy-Gonzales
167 SCRA 736 (1988)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
Sy Kiat, a Chinese national, died intestate, leaving real and
personal properties in the Philippines. AIDA SY-GONZALES and the other
children of Sy with Asuncion Gillego filed a petition for the settlement of
his estate. YAO KEE filed her opposition to the petition claiming that she
is the legitimate wife of Sy. The probate court sustained the validity of
Yaos marriage to Sy, but the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the lower
courts decision and held that the petitioners and Yaos children were all

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of illegitimate status. The CA ruled that the marriage between Yao and
Sy was not proven to be valid under the Chinese laws.
Hence, Yao filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court
claiming that the CA erred in holding that the validity of the foreign
marriage between Yao and Sy had not been proven. To support this
contention, Yao claimed that the CA should have taken judicial notice of
the Chinese laws on marriage which show the validity of her marriage to
Sy.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA should take judicial notice of foreign laws (i.e.
Chinese laws on marriage), thus, relieving Yao of her duty of proving the
validity of her marriage under Chinese laws.
RULING:
COURTS CANNOT TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF FOREIGN LAWS.
Under the Philippine jurisprudence, to establish a valid foreign marriage
two things must be proven: (1) the existence of the foreign law as a
question of fact; and (2) the alleged foreign marriage by convincing
evidence. Though Yao may have established the fact of marriage, she
has failed to prove the Chinese laws on marriage that would show the
validity of her marriage to Sy. Well-established is the rule that Philippine
courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws or customs. They must
be alleged and proved as any other fact. On this point, Yao cannot rely
on a the case of Sy Joc Lieng v. Sy Quia (16 Phil. 137 (1910)) to prove
her case. The ruling that case did not show that the court took judicial
notice of Chinese laws on marriages. Even assuming for the sake of
argument that the court did take judicial notice of Chinese laws or
customs on foreign marriages in that case, Yao still failed to show that the
law assumed to recognized in Sy Joc Lieng case (wherein the marriage
was celebrated in 1847) was still applicable during the time of her
marriage to Sy, which took place 84 years later. Hence, the CA was
correct in considering that the validity of the marriage between Yao and
Sy has not been established.
Tabuena vs. Court of Appeals
196 SCRA 650 (1991)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
The subject of the dispute is a parcel of residential land of about
440 sq. meters in Makato, Aklan. In 1973, an action for recovery of
ownership was filed by the estate of Alfredo Tabernilla against Jose
Tabuena. After trial, the court ordered Tabuena to return the property to
Tabernilla.
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At the trial, it was found that the lot was sold by Juan Peralta, Jr. in
1926 to Tabernilla while they were in the United States. Upon Tabernillas
return to the Philippines in 1934, Damasa Timtiman, mother of Juan
Peralta acting upon Juans instructions conveyed the land to Tabernilla.
Upon her request, she was supposedly allowed by Tabernilla to remain in
the said lot provided she paid the realty taxes on the property which she
did do so. She remained on the lot until her death and, thereafter, the
property was taken possession by Tabuena. This complaint was filed after
a demand for Tabuena to vacate was made.
The trial court rejected his defense that the subject of the sale was
a different lot and that he was the absolute owner of the said property by
virtue of the inheritance he acquired from his deceased parent. The
Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court, rejecting therein
his claim that the trial court erred in taking cognizance of Exhibits A,
B, & C which had been marked but not formally offered in evidence by
Tabernilla.
ISSUE(S):
(1)
Whether or not it was proper for the CA and trial court
properly took cognizance of the exhibits even if they were not
formally offered during trial?
(2)
Whether or not the trial court erred in taking judicial notice of
Tabuenas testimony in a case it had previously heard which was
closely connected with the case before it?
RULING:
The SC reversed the decision and ruled in favor of Tabuena.
(1) No. The mere fact that a particular document is marked as an
exhibit does not mean it has thereby already been offered as part of the
evidence of a party. It is true that Exhibits A, B, and C were marked
at pre-trial but this was only for identifying them and not for making a
formal offer. It is during the trial that the party presenting the marked
evidence decides whether to offer the evidence or not. In case they
dont, such documents cannot be considered evidence, nor can they be
given any evidentiary value.
An exception was given in People vs. Napat-a, wherein the court
ruled that evidence even if not offered can be admitted against the
adverse party if: first, it has been duly identified by testimony duly
recorded and second, it has itself been incorporated in the records of the
case. In this case, these requirements had not been satisfied. The
documents were indeed testified to but there was no recital of its
contents having been read into the records.

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(2) Yes. The Court of Appeals conceded that as a general rule,


courts are not authorized to take judicial notice in the adjudication of
cases pending before them of the contents of the records of other cases,
even when such events 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. Nevertheless, it applied the
exception that in the absence of objection, with the knowledge of the
opposing party, or at the request or with the consent of the parties, the
case is clearly referred to or the original or part of the records of the
case are actually withdrawn from the archives and admitted as part of
the record of the case then pending. These conditions however, were not
established in this case. Tabuena was completely unaware that the court
had taken judicial notice of Civil Case no. 1327. Thus, the said act by the
trial court was improper.
People vs. Godoy
250 SCRA 676 (1995)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
This is an automatic review of the decision of the RTC in view of the
death sentence imposed upon Danny Godoy, who was charged in two
separate informations with rape and another for kidnapping with serious
illegal detention.
Complainant Mia Taha alleged that Godoy, her Physics Teacher and
a married man raped her first on Jan. 21, 1994 in her cousins boarding
house wherein upon entering the back door, Godoy pointed a knife at her.
As Godoy removed her panties and brought out his penis to rape her, a
knife was pointed at her neck. As such, she was not able to resist. The
next day, Godoy came by their house and asked the permission of her
parents if she can join him in soliciting funds, since Mia was a candidate
for Ms. Palawan National School (PNS). Mias parents allowed her to go
with Godoy and she was allegedly brought to the Sunset Garden Motel
where she was repeatedly raped again. After three days, they transferred
to Edwards subdivision where she was kept in a lodging house and was
again raped.
During this time, a police blotter had already been placed for the
missing Mia. She was later released by Godoy after a certain Naem
interceded and only after her parents agreed to settle the case. It was
after Mias return that her parents accompanied her to a medico-legal
which found lacerations in her vagina concluding that she just had
sexual intercourse. She and her mother Helen went to the police and
executed sworn statements stating that the accused Godoy had raped
and abducted Mia.
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Godoy denied that he raped Mia Taha. He admitted having had sex
with her and that they indeed stayed in Sunset Gardens and in Edwards
Subdivision, but it was because they were lovers and that Mia had
consented to their having sex. To support his claim that they were lovers,
he presented two letters supposedly delivered to him in the provincial jail
while he was detained by Mias cousin Lorna. There Mia explained that it
was her parents who forced her to testify against him.
The delivery of the letter was denied by Lorna but the defense
presented the provincial jail guard on duty on the supposed date of the
delivery and testified that indeed Lorna had visited Godoy on said date.
Several witnesses were also presented including two former teachers of
Mia who knew the handwriting on the two said letters as belonging to Mia
having been their former student and where thus familiar with her
handwriting particularly those made in her test papers. Other witnesses
were presented by the defense attesting that they saw the two together
in a manner that was affectionate and cordial, prior to the said
kidnapping and even during such.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the prosecution was able to prove beyond
reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused
RULING:
The Supreme Court acquitted Danny Godoy.
Three guiding principles in the appellate review of the evidence of
the prosecution for the crime of rape, namely: a) while rape is a most
detestable crime, it must be borne in mind that it is an accusation easy to
be made, hard to be proved, but harder to be defended by the party
accused, though innocent; b) the testimony of the complainant must be
scrutinized with extreme caution; and c) that the evidence for the
prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to
draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.
Mia claimed that the appellant always carried a knife but it was
never explained how she was threatened with the same in such a manner
that she was allegedly always cowed into giving in to his innumerable
sexual demands. In taking judicial notice, the Supreme Court said that it
is not unaware that in rape cases, the claim of the complainant of having
been threatened appears to be a common testimonial expedient and facesaving subterfuge. But it had not been duly corroborated by other
evidence nor proved that the accused indeed always carried a knife.
The SC also takes judicial cognizance of the fact that in rural areas
(such as in Palawan) young ladies are strictly required to act with
circumspection and prudence. Great caution is observed so that their
reputations shall remain untainted. Any breath of scandal which brings
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dishonor to their character humiliates their entire families. It could


precisely be that complainants mother wanted to save face in the
community where everybody knows everybody else, and in an effort to
conceal her daughters indiscretion and escape wagging tongues of their
small rural community, she had to weave the scenario of this rape drama.
BPI-Savings vs. Court of Tax Appeals
330 SCRA 507 (2000)
Judicial Notice
FACTS:
This case involves a claim for tax refund in the amount of
P112,491.00 representing BPIs tax withheld for the year 1989. BPIs
1989 Income Tax Return (ITR) shows that it had a total refundable
amount of P297,492 inclusive of the P112,491.00 being claimed as tax
refund in this present controversy. However, BPI declared in the same
1989 ITR that the said total refundable amount of P297,492.00 will be
applied as tax credit to the succeeding taxable year.
On October 11, 1990, BPI filed a written claim for refund in the
amount of P112,491.00 with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR)
alleging that it did not apply the 1989 refundable amount to its 1990
Annual ITR or other tax liabilities due to the alleged business losses it
incurred for the same year. Without waiting for the CIR to act on the
claim for refund, BPI filed a petition for review with the CTA, seeking the
refund of the amount of P112,491.00.
The CTA dismissed BPIs petition on the ground that petitioner failed
to present as evidence its Corporate Annual ITR for 1990 to establish the
fact that BPI had not yet credited the amount of P297,492.00 to its 1990
income tax liability. BPI filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was
denied by the CTA. The CA affirmed the CTA. Hence, this Petition.
Before the Supreme Court, the petitioner called the attention of the
Court to a Decision rendered by the Tax Court in CTA Case No. 4897
involving its claim for refund for the year 1990 wherein the Tax Court held
that petitioner suffered a net loss for the taxable year 1990.
Respondent, however, urges the Supreme Court not to do so.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court may take judicial notice of the Decision
by the CTA in deciding the present case?
RULING:
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
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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. This merely showed the
weakness of the respondents case because they did not take steps to
prove that BPI did not suffer any loss in 1990. Respondents opted not to
assail the fact appearing therein - that petitioner suffered a net loss in
1990 the same way that it refused to controvert the same fact
established by petitioners other documentary exhibits. The Decision in
CTA Case No. 4897 is not the sole basis of petitioners case. It is merely
one more bit of information showing that the petitioner did not use its
1989 refund to pay its taxes for 1990.
2. JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS
Lucido vs. Calupitan
27 Phil. 48 (1914)
Judicial Admissions
FACTS:
The properties of Leonardo Lucido were sold on auction on Feb. 10,
1903 to Rosales and Zolaivar. On March 30, 1903, Rosales and Zolaivar
with the consent of Lucido, sold the properties to Calupitan via a public
document. On the same day, Calupitan and Lucido executed a document
admitting the sale and that their real agreement was that redemption by
Lucido can only be effected 3 years. from the date of the document.
Lucido tendered the redemption price to Calupitan. For failure of the
latter to surrender the properties to Lucido, this case was instituted.
Calupitan claimed that the sale was not one with a right to redeem.
The lower court decided in favor of Lucido.
**original answer of Calupitan expressly stated that the transaction
was one of sale with right to repurchase. Deemed admitted by the court.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Calupitans original answer to the complaint may be
used as evidence against him to prove that a sale with a right to redeem
was in fact agreed to by both parties?
RULING:
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Yes, Calupitans original answer to the complaint expressly stated


that the transaction was one of sale with right to repurchase. The Court
held that its admission was proper, especially in view of the fact that it
was signed by Calupitan himself, who was acting as his own attorney.
The Court cited Jones on Evidence (sec. 272, 273) which stated
that although pleadings were originally considered as inadmissible as
admissions because it contained only pleaders matter (fiction stated by
counsel and sanctioned by the courts), modern tendency was to treat
pleadings as statements of real issues and herein, admissions of the
parties.
Torres vs. Court of Appeals
11 SCRA 24 (1984)
Judicial Admissions
FACTS:
This is a Petition for Review, treated as a special civil action praying
that the decision of the CA be set aside.
Lot no. 551 was originally owned by Margarita Torres. Margarita
was married to Claro Santillan and out of this union were begotten
Vicente and Antonina. Claro died. Antonina married and had six children,
who, together with Vicente are the private respondents. After Claros
death, Margarita cohabited with Leon Arbole, and out of this, petitioner
Macaria Torres was born.
Lot no. 551, an urban lot, was leased to Margarita, who was the
actual occupant of the lot. A Sale Certificate was issued to Margarita by
the Director of Lands. The purchase price was to be paid in installments.
According to testimonial evidence, Leon paid the installments out of his
own earnings. Before his death, Leon sold and tran sferred all his rights
to portion of the lot in favor of petitioner Macaria. Subsequently,
Vicente executed an Affidavit claiming possession of Lot no. 551 and
petitioned the Bureau of Lands for the issuance of title in his name. A
title was then issued in the name of the legal heirs of Margarita (private
respondents).
On June 3, 1954, respondents filed a complaint against petitioner
for forcible entry alleging that petitioner entered a portion of Lot no. 551
without their consent and constructed a house therein. The case was
decided against the petitioner.
On June 8, 1954, petitioner instituted an action for Partition of Lot.
N0. 551 alleging that said lot was conjugal property and the she is the
legitimated child of Margarita and Leon. The ejectment case and the
partition case was consolidated.

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The trial court ruled that the lot was paraphernal property of
Maragarita and adjudicated 2/3 of the lot to respondents and 1/3 to
petitioner Macaria. On Motion for Reconsideration, the decision was
amended with Macaria being entitled to 4/6 of the lot. On appeal to the
CA, the CA changed Macarias share to of the lot and declared that she
is not a legitimated child.
Petitioner now alleges that although the CA is correct in declaring
that she is not a legitimated child of the spouses, it has overlooked to
include in its findings of facts the admission made by the respondents
that she and Vicente and Antonina are brothers and sisters and they are
the legal heirs and nearest of relatives of Maragarita. The admission
adverted to appears in paragraph 3 of respondents original complaint in
the Ejectment Case, which was however subsequently amended.
**original complaint of Macaria stated that Vicente and Antonina
are her brothers and sister but this was subsequently amended.
ISSUE:
Whether or not said statement in the original complaint must be
treated as a judicial admission despite the fact that the same statements
no longer appears in the amended complaint?
RULING:
No, in the Amended Complaint filed by respondents in the same
ejectment case, the supposed admission was deleted and in fact the
statement simply read, That plaintiffs are the legal heirs and nearest of
kin of Margarita. By virtue thereof, the amended complaint takes the
place of the original. The latter is regarded as abandoned and ceases to
perform any further function as a pleading. The original complaint no
longer forms part of the record.
If petitioner had intended to utilize the original complaint, she
should have offered it in evidence. Having been amended, the original
complaint lost its character as a judicial admission, which would have
required no proof, and became merely an extrajudicial admission of which
as evidence, required its formal offer. Contrary to petitioners submission,
therefore, there can be no estoppel by extrajudicial admission in the
original complaint, for the failure to offer it in evidence.
Teehankee, separate opinion:
Such admission did not cease to be a judicial admission simply
because respondents subsequently deleted the same in their amended
complaint. The original complaint, although replaced by an amended
complaint, does not cease to be part of the judicial record, not having
been expunged therefrom.
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Bitong vs. Court of Appeals


292 SCRA 503 (1998)
Judicial Admissions
FACTS:
Petitioner Nora Bitong, claiming to be a former Treasurer and Member of
the Board of Directors of Mr. & Ms. Publishing Co. filed a derivative suit
before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allegedly for the
benefit of private respondent Mr. & Ms. Publishing Co., Inc. to hold
respondent spouses Eugenia Apostol and Jose Apostol liable for fraud,
misrepresentation, disloyalty, evident bad faith, conflict of interest and
mismanagement in directing the affairs of Mr. & Ms to its damage and
prejudice and its stockholders. She further alleged that respondents
Apostol, Magsanoc and Nyuda subscribed to Philippine Daily Inquirer
(PDI) shares of stock; the stock subscriptions were paid for by Mr. & Ms.
and treated as receivables from officers and employees but no payments
were ever received from respondents. The petition principally sought to
enjoin respondent spouses from further acting a president-director and
director, respectively of Mr. & Ms and disbursing any money or funds
except for the payment of salaries and similar expenses in the ordinary
course of business. Private respondents refuted the allegations of
petitioner saying that she was merely a holder-in-trust of JAKA shares
and only represented and continue to represent JAKA in the board. JAKA,
owned by spouses Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Cristina Ponce Enrile, is
one of the original stockholders of Mr. & Ms.. The respondents averred
that the real party-in-interest was JAKA and not petitioner. Bitong
testified at trial that she became the registered owner of 997 shares of
stock of Mr. & Ms. after she acquired them from JAKA through a deed of
sale.The SEC Hearing Panel dismissed the derivative suit. The SEC En
Banc reversed the decision of the Hearing Panel. The Court of Appeals
reversed the decision of the SEC En Banc and held that from the evidence
in record, petitioner was not the owner of the shares of stock in Mr. & Ms.
and therefore not a real party-in-interest to prosecute the claim. She was
merely an agent who cannot file a derivative suit in behalf of her
principal.
Before the Supreme Court, petitioner submits that in her Amended
Petition in the SEC, she stated that she was a stockholder and director of
Mr. & Ms. and even declared that she is the registered owner of 1,000
shares of stock of Mr. & Ms. out of the latters 4,088 total outstanding
shares, and that she was a member of the Board of Directors and
treasurer of said company. She contends that respondents did not deny
the above allegations in their answer and are therefore conclusively
bound by this judicial admission.
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ISSUE:
Whether or not there was judicial admission on the part of the
respondents that petitioner is a stockholder of Mr. & Ms.?
RULING:
The answer of private respondents shows that there was no judicial
admission that petitioner was a stockholder of Mr. & Ms. to entitle her to
file a derivative suit on behalf of the corporation. The affirmative defenses
of private respondents directly refute the representation of petitioner that
she is a true stockholder of Mr. & Ms, by stating unequivocally that
petitioner is not the true party to the case but JAKA which continues to be
the stockholder of Mr. & Ms. In fact, one of the reliefs prayed for was the
dismissal of the petition on the ground that petitioner did not have the
legal interest to initiate and prosecute the same. When taken in its
totality, the Amended Answer to the Amended Petition and even the
Answer to the Amended Petition alone, clearly raises an issue to the legal
personality of the petitioner to file the complaint.
With regard to the contention of the
petitioner that respondents admission that she has 1,000 shares of
stocks registered in her name forecloses any question on her status and
right to bring a derivative suit the Court said: Where the statements of
the private respondents were qualified with phrases such as, insofar as
they are limited, qualified and/or expanded by, the truth being as stated
in the Affirmative Allegations/Defenses of this Answer they cannot be
considered definite and certain enough to be construed as judicial
admissions. A party whose pleading is admitted as an admission against
interest is entitled to overcome by evidence the apparent inconsistency
and it is competent for the party against whom the pleading is offered to
show that the statements were inadvertently made or made under a
mistake of fact. While an admission is admissible in evidence, its
probative value is to be determined from the whole statement and others
intimately related or connected therewith.
Although acts or facts
admitted do not require proof and cannot be contradicted, evidence
aliunde can be presented to show that the admission was made through
palpable mistake.
The rule is always in favor of the liberality in
construction of pleadings so that the real matter in dispute may be
submitted for judgment in the court.
III. REAL AND DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE
A.

RULE 130; SEC. 1; SEC. 2

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Rule 130
RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY
B.

OBJECT (REAL) EVIDENCE

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.
C. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
SECTION 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.
Cases:
People vs. Bardaje
99 SCRA 388 (1980)
Real and Demonstrative Evidence
FACTS:
The accused, Adelino Bardaje was convicted of Forcible Abduction
with Rape and sentenced to death. Thus, the case is brought to the SC
for automatic review.
The complainant Marcelina Cuizon claimed that she was dragged by
the accused together with five other persons from the house of a certain
Fernandez by means of force and intimidation and at nighttime. Also, she
narrated that Bardaje slapped her rendering her unconscious and when
she regained consciousness in a hut, Bardaje was holding her hands and
removing her panties. Despite her struggle, Bardaje succeeded in having
sexual intercourse with her while his companions kept guard.
When Cuizon underwent physical examination, the doctor found
that there were old healed lacerations which may have been caused by
possible sexual intercourse or other factors, and if it were intercourse, it
could have occurred two weeks or one month ago.
During trial, Adelino admitted having had carnal knowledge of the
victim but denied having raped her. He claims that they eloped as
previously planned.
ISSUE:
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Whether or not the guilt of Bardaje was established beyond


reasonable doubt?
RULING: No.
Cuizons charge that she was forcibly abducted and afterwards
raped was highly dubious and inherently improbable. *physical evidence
is of the highest order. According to the medical findings, no evidence of
external injuries was found around the vulva or any part of the body.
Considering that complainant was allegedly dragged, slapped into
unconsciousness, wrestled with and criminally abused.
Physical
evidence is of the highest order and speaks more eloquently than all
witness put together.
The medical findings of old healed lacerations in the hymen which
according to the testimony of the examining physician would have
occurred two weeks or even one month before, if said lacerations had
been caused by sexual intercourse. This expert opinion bolsters the
defense that Bardaje and Cuizon had previous amorous relations at the
same time that it casts serious doubts on the charge of intercourse by
force and intimidation.
It is impossible that complainant could have been raped by the
accused inside a small room occupied by a woman and two children and
in a small hut where the owner, his wife and seven children are all
present. It is improbable that she could have been sexually abused with
so many within hearing and seeing distance.
Under the abovementioned circumstances, the Five Others who
stood guard outside while Adelino allegedly took advantage of her. Would
have taken turns in abusing her if rape indeed happen. The fact that they
did not do so, implies a special relationship between Marcelino and
Adelino.
This is a case where a young girl could not admit to her parents
that she had eloped and voluntarily submitted to sexual intercourse. She
was left with no choice but to charge Bardaje with rape or incur the ire of
her parents and social disrepute from a small community.
Sison vs. People
250 SCRA 58 (1995)
Real and Demonstrative Evidence
FACTS:
Several informations were filed in court against eleven persons
(Sison et al) identified as Marcos loyalists charging them with the murder
of Stephen Salcedo, a supporter of Cory Aquino, which happened on the
occasion of a rally held by the Marcos loyalists at Luneta. After being
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asked to disperse the crowd for not having with them the required permit,
the loyalists started hurling stones toward the police officers at the scene,
and directed their ire against Cory supporters. Salcedo, wearing a yellow
shirt was ganged upon by several men, and he was beaten and mauled.
When he tried to get away from his attackers by running away, the
attackers ran after him and when they caught up with him, he was further
beaten until he was knocked unconscious. He was dead upon arriving at
the PGH.
All these were witnessed by Renato Banculo, a cigarette vendor.
Banculo and Sumilang (who was also a witness who tried to help Salcedo
but to no avail) were principal witnesses for the prosecution. The incident
was also witnessed by photographers, whose pictures ere published in
major newspapers in Metro Manila and were presented as evidence as to
the participation of the accused in the mauling. Several of the accused
were photographed with Salcedo.
Despite their defense of alibis, the trial court convicted several of
the accused of homicide and acquitted the others. Upon appeal to the
CA, the charge was qualified to murder. In the SC, the accused question
the admissibility of the photographs taken of the victims as he was being
mauled at the Luneta, for lack of proper identification by the person or
persons who took the same.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the photographs should be admitted as evidence
against the accused?
RULING: Yes. The rule in this jurisdiction is that photographs, when
presented in evidence, must be identified by the photographer as to its
production and testified as to the circumstances which they were
produced. The value of this kind of evidence lies in its being a correct
representation or reproduction of the original, and its admissibility is
determined by its accuracy in portraying the scene at the time of the
crime. The photographer, however, is not only the witness who can
identify the pictures he has taken. The correctness of the photograph as
a faithful representation of the object portrayed can be proved prima
facie, either by the testimony of the person who made it or by other
competent witnesses, after which the court can admit it subject to
impeachment as to its accuracy.
Photographs, therefore, can be
identified by the photographer or by any other competent witness who
can testify to its exactness and accuracy. Even if the person who took the
photographs was not presented to identify them, the use of these photos
by some of the accused to show their alleged non-participation in the
crime is an admission of the exactness and accuracy thereof. That the
photos are faithful representations of the mauling incident was affirmed
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when appellants identified themselves therein and gave reasons for their
presence thereat.
Adamczuk vs. Holloway
13 A.2d.2 (1940)
Real and Demonstrative Evidence
FACTS:
Jack Adamczuk brought an action in trespass against defendants
car owner Morris Cohon and driven by defendant Elmer Holloway for an
incident arising out of the collision between the cars they were driving.
The accident took place at 9:30 p.m. at the junction were Highway Route
6 meet with Bridgeville Road. Adamczuk was driving southwardly on the
Bridgeville Road and Holloway was driving eastwardly on Route 6.
The jury ruled in favor of Holloway. Adamczuks motion for a new
trial was refused and these appeals followed.
It was found that on trial, Jack Adamczuk was on the stand and he
was shown Exhibit no. 3, a picture and when queried as to what it
depicted, he replied, the conditions represented by that picture truly
represents the conditions of the crossing at the time of this accident
except for the fact of daylight or dark. Then the exhibit was offered in
evidence. On cross, it was disclosed that the witness did not know who
took the picture or when it was taken.
He could not relate the
circumstances at to how the picture was taken. The court then sustained
the objection to the pictures introduction, wherein the court did not
admit it.
The none admission of this evidence is the main issue asserted by
the plaintiff in this appeal.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Photograph (Exhibit no. 3) is admissible as
evidence even if the taker is not presented to verify the picture?
RULING:
The court affirmed the decision.
The rule is well settled that a photograph may be put in evidence if
relevant to the issue and if verified. It does not have to be verified by the
taker. Its verification depends on the competency of the verifying witness
and as to that the trial judge must in the first instance decide, subject to
reversal for substantial error.
The map or photograph must first, to be admissible, be made a part
of some qualified persons testimony. Some one must stand forth as its
testimonial sponsor; in other words, IT MUST BE VERIFIED. If a witness
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is familiar with the scene photographed and is competent to testify that


the photograph correctly represents it, it should, if relevant, be admitted.
There is also a rule giving the trial judge discretion to reject a
picture, on the ground that the evidence is cumulative or that the
photograph is unnecessary. This can be done the court in such situations
that there are far better photographs of the place taken than the photo
offered or the jury had personally visited the place photographed. The
question of the sufficiency of the preliminary proofs to identify a
photograph and show that it is a fair representation of the objects which
it purports to portray is a question committed to the discretion of the trial
judge.
The court thus finds that the exclusion under the facts of this case
amounted to reversible error because:
a.)the jury had the benefit of other photos of the intersection
b.)the testimony of Herbert Dillard
c.) Also, it would not support Adamczuks contention that he had
his head turned at a 45 degree angle and, thus, being able to
see for 200 feet only. This caused him not to see the car
coming from the west. But Dillards testimony stated that at
the intersection he had an unobstructed view to the west of
793 feet.
State of Washington vs. Tatum
360 P.2d 754 (1961)
Real and Demonstrative Evidence
FACTS:
William Tousin received monthly welfare checks from the state of
Washington. In February of 1960, Tousin did not receive his check which
was normally mailed to him. It was discovered that Tousins check had
been taken by Ralph Tatum who subsequently forged an endorsement on
the check to his name and cashed the same at a food store.
A criminal case was subsequently brought against Tatum for first
degree forgery. During the trial, Caroline Pentecost, an employee of the
store, testified that, although she could not recall the specific transaction
involving Tatum, the initials appearing on the back of the check were
hers.
She explained that whenever a check was presented to her for
payment at the store, she had been instructed by the manager to initial it
and then to insert it into a regiscope machine. The machine was
designed to simultaneously photograph both the check and the person
facing the machine. The Regiscope film of the transaction was then sent
to the Regiscope distributor to be developed. The processed film showed
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both the check and the person of Tatum with the food store in the
background. The negative and the print were admitted in evidence and
Tatum was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. On appeal,
Tatum questions the films admission into evidence.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Regiscope films were authenticated sufficiently
to warrant their admission into evidence?
RULING: Yes.
The quantum of authentication required by the courts before a
photograph may be admissible in evidence was stated thus: that some
witness, not necessarily the photographer, be able to give some indication
as to when, where and under what circumstances the photograph was
taken, and the photograph accurately portray the subject or subjects
illustrated. The photograph need only be sufficiently accurate to be
helpful to the court and the jury.
Witness Pentecost testified that she recognized the background
shown in the picture as that of the food store, and as already mentioned,
she testified as to the stores standard procedure of regiscoping each
individual who cashed a check at the store. Also, one Philip Dale testified
at length concerning the Regiscope process. The testimony of these two
witnesses taken together amounted to a sufficient authentication to
warrant admission of the photograph into evidence.
The authentication supplied by the testimony summarized above, of
course, did not preclude appellant from attempting to prove that the
individual portrayed was someone other than the appellant, that the
photograph was inaccurate in or more respects, the appellant was
somewhere else at the moment the photograph was taken, or any other
such defense. But these arguments go to the weight rather than to the
admissibility of the exhibits in question. In our opinion, the Regiscope
exhibits, coupled with the other evidence produced by the state, sufficed
to establish a prima facie case of first degree of forgery.
III.

BEST EVIDENCE RULE


A.

RULE 130, SEC. 2-8;

SECTION 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)
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1.

Best Evidence Rule

SECTION 3.
Original document must be produced;
exceptions. When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a
document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the
original document itself, except in the following cases:
ii. When the original has been lost or destroyed, or
cannot be produced in court, without bad faith on
the part of the offeror;
iii. 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;
iv. When the original consists of numerous accounts
or other documents which 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
v. When the original is a public record in the custody
of a public officer or is recorded in a public office.
(2a)
SECTION 4. Original of document.
(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.
(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)
2. Secondary Evidence
SECTION 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)
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SECTION 6. When original document is in adverse partys


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)
SECTION 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)
SECTION 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)
RULE 132, SEC. 25 AND 27;
SECTION 25.
What attestation of copy must state.
Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the
purpose of the evidence, the attestation must state, in
substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the original, or a
specific part thereof, as the case may be. The attestation
must be under the official seal of the attesting officer, if there
be any, or if he be the clerk of court having a seal, under the
seal of such court. (26a)
SECTION 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)
ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT (R.A. 8792), SEC. 5, 6-15;
SECTION 5. Definition of Terms. - For the purposes of this
Act, the following terms are defined, as follows:

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a. Addressee refers to a person who is intended by the


originator to receive the electronic data message or electronic
document. The term does not include a person acting as an
intermediary with respect to that electronic data message or
electronic document.
b. Computer refers to any device or apparatus which, by
electronic, electro-mechanical or magnetic impulse, or by
other means, is capable of receiving, recording, transmitting,
storing, processing, retrieving, or producing information,
data, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression
according to mathematical and logical rules or of performing
any one or more of those functions.
c. Electronic Data Message refers to information generated,
sent, received or stored by electronic, optical or similar
means.
d. Information and Communication System refers to a
system intended for and capable of generating, sending,
receiving, storing or otherwise processing electronic data
messages or 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 data message or electronic document.
e. 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 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.
f. 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.

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g. 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.
h. Intermediary refers to a person who in behalf of another
person and with respect to a particular electronic document
sends, receives and/or stores or provides other services in
respect of that electronic document.
i. 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.
j. Service Provider refers to a provider of
(i) On-line services or network access, or the operator of
facilities
therefore,
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
users choosing; or
(ii) The necessary technical means by which electronic
documents of an originator may be stored and made
accessible to a designated or undesignated third party;
Such service providers shall have no authority to modify or
alter the content of the electronic data message or 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.
CHAPTER II
LEGAL RECOGNITION OF ELECTRONIC WRITING
OR DOCUMENT AND DATA MESSAGES
SECTION 6. Legal Recognition of Data Messages. Information shall not be denied legal effect, validity or
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enforceability solely on the grounds that it is in the data


message purporting to give rise to such legal effect, or that it
is merely referred to in that electronic data message.
SECTION 7. Legal Recognition of Electronic Documents.
Electronic documents shall have the legal effect, validity or
enforceability as any other document or legal writing, and (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
(ii) The electronic document is reliable in the light of the
purpose for which it was generated and in the light of all the
relevant circumstances.
(b) Paragraph (a) applies whether the requirement therein is
in the form of an obligation or whether the law simply
provides consequences for the document not being presented
or retained in its original form.
(c) Where the law requires that a document be presented or
retained in its original form, that requirement is met by an
electronic document if (i) There exists a reliable assurance as to the integrity of the
document from the time when it was first generated in its
final form; and
(ii) That document is capable of being displayed to the person
to 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.
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This Act does not modify any statutory rule relating to the
admissibility of electronic data messages or electronic
documents, except the rules relating to authentication and
best evidence.
SECTION 8. Legal Recognition of Electronic Signatures. - An
electronic signature on the electronic document shall be
equivalent to the signature of a person on a written document
if that signature is 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 partys access to the electronic document
necessary for his consent or approval through the electronic
signature;
(b) Said method is reliable and appropriate for the purpose
for which the electronic document was generated or
communicated, in the light of all the circumstances, including
any relevant agreement;
(c) It is necessary for the party sought to be bound, in order
to proceed further with the transaction, to have executed or
provided the electronic signature; and
(d) The other party is authorized and enabled to verify the
electronic signature and to make the decision to proceed with
the transaction authenticated by the same.
SECTION 9. Presumption Relating to Electronic Signatures. In any proceedings involving an electronic signature, it shall
be presumed that (a) The electronic signature is the signature of the person to
whom it correlates; and
(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 signed
electronic document knows or has notice of defects in or
unreliability of the signature or reliance on the electronic
signature is not reasonable under the circumstances.

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SECTION 10. Original Documents. - (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 data message
or electronic document is shown by evidence aliunde or
otherwise; and
(b) where it is required that information be presented, 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 purposes 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 the purpose for which the information was generated
and in the light of all relevant circumstances.
SECTION 11. Authentication of Electronic Data Messages
and Electronic Documents. - Until the 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 in an information or communication
system, among other ways, as follows:
(a) The electronic signature shall be authenticated by proof
that 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
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security procedures, when applicable, were 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;
(b) The electronic data message and 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 and/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 algorithm or codes, identifying
words
or
numbers,
encryptions,
answers
back or
acknowledgment procedures, or similar security devices.
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
document 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
and 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 and
electronic document is what the person claims it to be.
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 (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 and/or electronic document, and there are no
other reasonable grounds to doubt the integrity of the
information and communication system;
(b) By showing that the electronic data message and/or
electronic document was recorded or stored by a party to the
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proceedings who is adverse in interest to the party using it;


or
(c) By showing that the electronic data message and/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 and Electronic Documents. - 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 electronic data message or electronic document meeting,
and complying with the requirements under Sections 6 or 7
hereof shall be the best evidence of the agreement and
transaction contained therein.
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 factors shall be given due regard.
SECTION 13. Retention of Electronic Data Message and
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
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;
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iii. Enables the identification of its originator and addressee,


as well as the determination 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 forth in subparagraphs (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 deponents
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 to the
proceedings who is adverse in interest to the party who has
introduced the affidavit or has caused the affidavit to be
introduced.
(2) Any party to the proceedings has the right to crossexamine a person referred to in Section 11, paragraph 4, subparagraph c.
RULES ON ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE (REE), RULE 2, SEC. 1; RULE
3; RULE 4.
RULE 2
DEFINITION OF TERMS AND CONSTRUCTION
SECTION 1. Definition of Terms. - For purposes of these
Rules, the following terms are defined, as follows:
(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.
(b) Business records include records of any business,
institution, association, profession, occupation, and calling of

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every kind, whether or not conducted for profit, or for


legitimate 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 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 signers public
key can accurately determine:
(i) whether the transformation was created using the private
key that corresponds to the signers public key; and
(ii) whether the initial electronic document had been altered
after the transformation was made.
(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.
(g) Electronic data message refers to information
generated, sent, received or stored by electronic, optical or
similar means.
(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
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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.
(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,
characteristics 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 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 message or electronic document.
(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.

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(o) Public Key refers to the key of a key pair used to verify
a digital signature.
RULE 3
ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS
SECTION 1. Electronic documents as functional equivalent of
paper-based documents. Whenever a rule of evidence refers
to the term of 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.
SEC. 2. Admissibility. An electronic document
in evidence if it complies with the rules on
prescribed by the Rules of Court and related
authenticated in the manner prescribed by these

is admissible
admissibility
laws and is
Rules.

SEC. 3. Privileged communication. The confidential


character of a privileged communications is not solely on the
ground that it is in the form of an electronic document.
RULE 4
BEST EVIDENCE RULE
SECTION 1. Original of an electronic document. An
electronic document shall be 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.
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 techniques
which is 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:

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(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 a copy in lieu of the original.
CASES:
Air France vs. Carrascoso
18 SCRA 155 (1966)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Carrascoso, bought a first class ticket to go to Rome. From Manila
to Bangkok, plaintiff traveled in first class but on their stop-over in
Bangkok, the Manager of the defendant airline forced the plaintiff to
vacate his seat in order to make room for a white man, who, the
Manager aleeged, had a better right to the seat. After a brief commotion
wherein Carrascoso said he would leave his seat on over his dead body,
he gave it up.
The CFI decided in favor of Carrascoso , while the CA affirmed the
decision but reduced the award further.
During the trial, one piece of evidence that was admitted was the
alleged entry by the purser employed by the defendant and testified to by
the plaintiff. The alleged notebook entry, read First class passengers was
forced to go to tourist class against his will and that the captain refused
to intervene. Defendant charges that such testimony by Carrascoso is
incompetent for being hearsay.
It is claimed by Air France that such piece of evidence comes within
the proscription of the Best Evidence rule they are claiming such entry
could not have been proven by mere testimony but by presenting the
notebook itself.
ISSUE: Whether or not the
evidence?

entry in the notebook

is incompetent as

RULING: Yes.
The subject of inquiry is not the entry but the ouster incident.
Testimony on the entry does not come within the Best Evidence rule. It is
admissible.
Besides, from a reading of the transcript above mentioned, when
the dialogue happened, the impact of the startiling occurrence was still
fresh and continued to be felt. The excitement had not as yet died down.
Statements then, in this environment, are ADMISSIBLE AS PART OF THE
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RES GESTAE. For they grow out of the nervous excitement and mental
and physical condition of the declarant.
The utterance of the purser regarding his entry in the notebook was
spontaneous, and related to the circumstances of the ouster incident. Its
trustworthiness has been guaranteed. It thus escapes the operation of the
hearsay rule. It forms part of the res gestae.
It is not within the Best Evidence Rule as the entry was made
outside the Philippines by the employee of Air France. It would have been
an easy matter for petitioner to have contradicted Carrascosos testimony.
If it were true that no entry was made the deposition of the purser could
have cleared up the matter.
Meyers vs. United States
171 F.2d 800 (1948)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Meyers, an officer of the US army, organized a Corp. called the
Aviation Electric Corp. for the manufacture of parts & accessories for
airplanes & paid into its treasury $500 to cover the authorized capital
stock. 224 shares went to June Ballabu and the remaining shares to
David Johnson & Robert Pine. It had orders worth $20,000 from the
Signal Corps of the US Army. Lamarre was made Secretary-treasurer and
the 224 shares were transferred to him & he later became President. At
the end of the war, there was reduced demand and led to the dissolution
of the corp. The US Senate created an investigating committee to look
into instances of waste, fraud, corruption, excessive profits during the
war.
Meyers testified (and so did Lamarre) that:
1. Meyers was not financially interested/connected with Aviation
Electric Corp.
2. A Cadillac automobile was purchased for the corp. & for its use
3. the sum of $10,000, paid by means of Aviation checks for
furnishing Meyers apartment was a gift from Lamarre
Based on this testimony, Meyers was charged and convicted of the
charge of subordination for perjury by the trial court. On appeal, he
alleges that the trial court took on a bizarre procedure when it accepted
the testimony of William Rogers who examined his co-defendant Lamarre
in the Senate investigation and also allowed the introduction of a
stenographic note transcript of Lamarres testimony on the same hearing.
This is based on the theory that the transcript itself was the best evidence
of Lamarres testimony before the Senate and there was no need for
Rogers testimony.
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ISSUE: Whether or not the best evidence rule is applicable


RULING: No.
The best evidence rule applies only when contents of a writing are
to be proved which does not obtain in the case at bar.
In prosecution for perjured testimony given before the Senate
committee, the testimony by chief counsel of the senatorial committee as
to what witnesses had sworn to was not barred under the best evidence
rule, and it was not unfair or prejudicial to permit transcript of testimony
given before the subcommittee to be introduced after chief counsel had
testified, though counsel testified early in protracted trial and transcript
was introduced near its close, since both methods of proving the perjury
were permissible, and prosecution could present its proof in any order it
chose.
Here, there was no attempt to prove the contents of a writing. The
issue was what Lamarre had said, not what the transcript contained. The
transcript was evidence of what he had said but it was not the only
admissible evidence concerning it. The testimony of Rogers, chief counsel
to the committee, was equally competent and admissible whether given
before or after the transcript was received in evidence. Statements
alleged to perjuries may be proved by any person who heard them, as
well as, by the reporter who recorded them in shorthand.
People vs. Tan
105 Phil. 1242 (1959)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Pacita Gonzales and others were charged with the crime of
falsification of public documents in their capacities as public officials and
employees. It was alleged that they have made it appear that certain
relief supplies were purchased by Gonzales for distribution to calamity
victims in such quantities and at such prices and from such business
establishments or persons as are made to appear in the said public
documents, when in truth and in fact, no such distributions of such relief
and supplies as valued and supposedly purchased by said Pacita Gonzales
in the public and official documents had ever been made.
The prosecution presented to a witness a booklet of receipts
containing blue invoices of the Metro Drug Corporation. The booklet
contained the triplicate copies, and according to said witness the original
invoices were sent to the Manila office of the company, the duplicates to
the customers, so that the triplicate copies remained in the booklet. The
witness further testified that in preparing receipts, two carbons were used
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between the three sheets, so that the duplicates and the triplicates were
filled out by the use of the carbons. While the witness was testifying, the
trial court judge interrupted and said that the triplicates are not
admissible unless it is first proven that the originals were lost and cannot
be produced.
Another witness was presented by the prosecution to testify. The
witness testified that the original practice of keeping the original white
copies no longer prevails as the originals are given to the customers.
After the cross-examination of this last witness, the prosecution again
went back to the identification of the triplicate invoice. At this point, the
judge told the prosecutor that the originals must be produced. The
prosecution filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court.
ISSUE:
Whether or not triplicates formed by the use of carbon papers are
admissible in evidence without accounting first for the loss of the
originals.
RULING:
The Court said that the admissibility of duplicates or triplicates has
long been a settled question. It quoted with approval the opinion of
Moran, a commentator on the Rules of Court. When carbon sheets are
inserted between two or more sheets of writing paper so that the writing
of a contract upon the outside sheet, including the signature of the party
to be charged thereby, produces a facsimile upon the sheets beneath,
such signature being thus reproduced by the same stroke of the pen
which made the surface or exposed the impression, all of the sheets so
written on are regarded as duplicate originals and either of them may be
introduced in evidence as such without accounting for the non-production
of the others.

Seiler vs. Lucas Film, Ltd.


797 F.2d 1504 (1986)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Lee Seiler, an artist and designer of science fiction creatures and
machines brought copyright infringement action against the producers
and creators of the movie The Empire Strikes Back. Seiler claimed that
creatures known as Imperial Walkers infringed his copyright on his own
creatures called Garthian Striders. He contended that he created and
published his Garthian Striders in 1976 and 1977 and that George Lucas
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copied these. Because Seiler possessed no originals of any work he


contended was copied, he sought to introduce secondary evidence in the
form of copies, reconstructions, and the like. He proposed to exhibit his
Striders in a blown-up comparison to Lucas Walkers at opening
statement. The district judge held an evidentiary hearing on the
admissibility of the reconstructions of the Striders. Applying the best
evidence rule, the court found that Seiler lost or destroyed the originals in
bad faith and consequently no secondary evidence, such as the postEmpire Strikes Back reconstructions, was admissible. The court granted
summary judgment to Lucas after the evidentiary hearing. Seiler
appealed.
ISSUE: Whether or not Seilers drawings constituted writings for
purposes of the best evidence rule.
RULING:
Yes. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district judge. It held that
Seilers drawings were writings within the meaning of Rule 1001 (1)
which defined writings and records as letters, words, or numbers, or
their equivalent, set down by handwriting, typewriting, printing,
Photostatting, photographing, magnetic impulse, mechanical or electronic
recording, or other forms of data compilation. According to the Court,
Seilers drawings consist not of letters, words or numbers but of their
equivalent.
The Court said that to recognize Seilers works as writings does not
run counter to the rules preoccupation with the centrality of the written
word in the world of written legal relations. Comparing Seilers drawings
with Lucas drawings is no different in principle than evaluating a contract
and the intent behind it. Seilers works are writings that affect legal
relations; their copyright ability attests to that.
A creative literary work and a photograph whose contents are
sought to be proved are both covered by the best evidence rule. It would
be inconsistent to apply the rule to artwork which is literary or
photographic but not to artwork of other forms.

People vs. Tandoy


192 SCRA 98 (1990)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
On May 27, 1986, detectives of the Makati Police conducted a buy-bust
operation at Solchuaga St., Barangay Singkamas, Makati. The target area
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was a store along the said street, and detective Singayan was to pose as
the buyer. He stood alone near the store waiting for any pusher to
approach. Soon, three men approached him. One of them was Mario
Tandoy who said: Pare, gusto mo bang umiskor? Singayan answered
yes. The exchange was made then and theretwo rolls of marijuana for
one P10.00 and two P5.00 bills marked ANU (meaning Anti-Narcotics
Unit). The team then moved in and arrested Tandoy. The marked money
and eight foils of marijuana were found on Tandoys body. An information
was filed against Tandoy. The RTC of Makati found him guilty of violating
RA 6425. Tandoy appealed. In his appeal, Tandoy invoked the best
evidence rule and questioned the admission by the trial court of the Xerox
copy only of the marked P10.00 bill.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Xerox copy of the marked P10.00 bill is
excludible under the best evidence rule.
RULING:
No. The Supreme Court quoted with approval the Solicitor Generals
Comment which refuted the contention of Tandoy. The best evidence rule
applies only when the contents of the document are the subject of
inquiry. Where the issue is only as to whether or not such document was
actually executed, or exists, or in the circumstances relevant to or
surrounding its execution, the best evidence rule does not apply and
testimonial evidence is admissible. Since the aforesaid marked money
was presented by the prosecution solely for the purpose of establishing its
existence and not its contents, other substitutionary evidence, like a
Xerox copy thereof, is therefore admissible without the need of
accounting for the original.
U.S. vs. Gregorio
17 Phil. 522 (1910)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
In a case filed by Pedro Salazar, as creditor, against Eustaquio
Balistoy for the payment of a sum of money, judgment was rendered
wherein the debtor was sentenced to pay to the plaintiff P275.92 with
interest thereon. For the execution of the judgment, two rural properties
of the debtor were attached. The date for the sale and adjudication of the
attached properties to the highest bidder was set on May 27, 1908. On
the 18th of the same month, Bernardo Gregorio requested the deputy
sheriff to exclude the said realty from the attachment, alleging that he
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was the owner of one of the properties levied upon for the reason that he
had acquired it by purchase from the debtor Balistoy in 1905, prior to the
filing of the complaint. Bernardo presented to the sheriff a document at
the end of which appears a memorandum which states that Eustaquio
Balistoy bought the land referred to in the said document from Luis
Balistoy and sold it to Bernardo Gregorio. Subsequently, falsification
charges were brought against Gregorio and Balistoy. The complaint for
falsification alleged that the defendants simulated a conveyance of one of
the attached properties in favor of Gregorio. However, the original
document setting forth the memorandum was not presented. Only a copy
thereof was produced in court. The trial court found the defendants guilty.
They appealed.
ISSUE:
Whether or not in a criminal case for the falsification of a document,
the original document alleged to have been falsified must be produced
RULING:
Yes. The Court reversed the lower court. Defendants were
acquitted. In a criminal case for the falsification of a document, it is
indispensable that the judges and the courts have before them the
document alleged to have been simulated, counterfeited, or falsified, in
order that they may find, pursuant to the evidence produced at trial,
whether or not the crime of falsification was actually committed; in the
absence of the original document, it is improper to conclude, with only a
copy of the said original in view, that there has been a falsification of a
document which was neither found nor exhibited, because, in such a
case, even the existence of such original may be doubted.
Fiscal of Pampanga vs. Reyes
55 Phil 905 (1931)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
The fiscal of Pampanga filed two informations for libel against
Andres Guevarra. The informations alleged that Guevarra, with malicious
intent, published on page 9 of the weekly paper Ing Magumasid, a squib
in verse, of which a translation into Spanish was included therein,
intended to impeach the honesty, integrity, and reputation of Clemente
Dayrit and of Mariano Nepomuceno.
The fiscal attempted to present as evidence for the prosecution
copies of the Ing Magumasid containing the libelous articles with the
innuendo, another article in the vernacular published in the same weekly,
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and its translation into Spanish. Defendant Guevarras counsel objected to


this evidence, which objection was sustained by the trial court. The fiscal
filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Supreme Court to compel
the lower court to admit the copies of the weekly as evidence for the
prosecution. The petitioner fiscal contended that the exhibits in question
are the best evidence of the libel, the subject matter of the information,
and should be admitted. Respondents maintained that since the libelous
article was not quoted in the information, said evidence cannot be
admitted without ending the information.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the copies of the weekly are admissible.
RULING:
Yes. The general rules regarding the admissibility of evidence are
applicable to cases of libel or slander. This being so, the rule of procedure
which requires the production of the best evidence is applicable to the
present case. The copies of the weekly where the libelous article was
published, and its translation, constitute the best evidence of the libel
charged. The newspaper itself is the best evidence of an article published
in it.
Vda. de Corpus vs. Brabangco
59 O.G. 8262 (1963)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Defendant Tiburcia Brabangco is the owner of a certain parcel of
land. Plaintiffs, the surviving widow and children of the deceased German
Corpus alleges that the land was sold by defendant Tiburcia Brabangco to
their father German Corpus for and in consideration of P450 of which
P300 was paid right upon the execution of the Deed of sale in due form
witnessed by Pablo Albeza and Bonifacio Villareal (now deceased) and
acknowledged be defendant Brabangco before notary Public Jose Tirador
(also deceased). At the same time, Plaintiffs Corpus allege that their
predecessor in interest was and is in possession of said lands up to his
death until Defendants with the aid and protection of policemen entered
the premises and got bamboos and corn. Defendants, on the other hand,
allege that a sale never took place. Defendants answer avers that they
simply accommodated and allowed the Plaintiffs Corpus to build their
evacuation cottage when Japanese forces occupied the Philippines.
Plaintiffs filed a case against the defendants. With reference to the deed
of sale from which the plaintiffs case draw its cause of action was said to
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be lost during the war. The trial court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and
upheld the sale. The defendants appealed claiming that the sale never
took place since the document of sale could not be produced and the
plaintiff has failed to establish the contents of the deed of sale as required
by Rule 130, Sec. 3.
ISSUES
(1)
Whether or not the Plaintiffs have sufficiently proven the
existence, due execution and subsequent loss of the Deed of sale.
(2)
Whether or not the plaintiffs have adduced sufficient evidence
to prove the contents of the loss deed of sale?
RULING: Yes.
The plaintiff declared that the original deed of sale signed by
defendant Tiburcia was lost during the war. The record of the present
case will bear that its existence was convincingly proven not only by the
testimony of Heraclea Vda. De Corpus, the surviving widow, and by the
environmental facts disclosed by the evidence, but also by the
disinterested testimony of Pablo Albeza. After proper proof of the due
execution & delivery of the instrument & its loss or destruction, oral
evidence may be given of its contents by any person who signed the
document, or who read it.
As to the second issue, it is not necessary, in order to admit
evidence of the contents of a lost instrument, that the witness should be
able to testify with verbal accuracy to its contents; it is sufficient if they
are able to state it in substance. Witnesses cannot be expected to recite
the content word for word. It is enough if intelligent witnesses have read
the paper & can state substantially its contents & import with reasonable
accuracy. Thus, it was held sufficient if the witness can recollect and
testify to facts showing the presence of essential elements of a contract,
namely; consent, subject matter, consideration and form in certain
instances. In the case at bar, the evidence adduced by the plaintiffs are
more than enough to satisfy the statutory requirements as to execution
and subsequent loss of the deed of sale as well as to its contents.
Compania Maritima vs. Allied Free Workers Union
77 SCRA 24 (1977)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Plaintiff-appellee Compania Maritima (company) and the Defendantappellant Allied Free Workers Union (union) entered into a written
contract whereby the union will perform arrastre and stevedoring work for
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the companys vessels, effective for 1 month, renewable upon agreement.


The company could terminate the contract if the union failed to render
proper service. The union agreed that the company would not pay for the
loading, unloading and deliveries of cargoes and that these would be paid
by the owners and consignees of the cargoes as has been the practice in
the port of Iligan.
However, shippers and consignees refused to pay the union for the
stevedoring services because the bill of lading provided that the unloading
of the cargo was at the ship owners expense. The company, on the other
hand, refused to pay for the stevedoring services because this was
provided for in the contract between the company and the union. This
became the root of all the problems between the two parties. Despite of
the fact that the set-up was disadvantageous on the Union, it did not
terminate the contract because its members were in dire need of work,
which although not adequately compensated, was preferable to having no
work at all.
Thus, upon the expiration of the one month period, the contract
was verbally renewed. Then, the union sent the company a letter
requesting that it be recognized as the exclusive bargaining unit. The
company ignored the demand. The union then filed with the CIR a
petition that it be certified as the sole collective bargaining unit. The
company then terminated the contract. The union filed an Unfair Labor
Practice case. Then, the company entered into a new stevedoring contract
with Iligan Stevedoring. On the following day, the Union members
picketed the wharf and prevented the Iligan Stevedoring from performing
arrastre and stevedoring work.
The company sued the union.
Thereafter, a legal battle ensued with the trial court in the end ruling in
favor of the company. Also, the Trial court awarded actual damages,
amounting to P450, 000 and other damages on the basis of the auditors
reports, Exhibits A to I.
Plaintiff
Company to bolster its case presented Teves, the
companys manager who testified in its favor.
One of the pieces of
evidence he presented was a statement showing the alleged cost of 3
forklifts, pallet boards, wire rope slings and tarpaulins in the sum of P27,
215. (The company alleges that it was forced to purchase the equipment
in order to improve the arrastre & stevedoring services.) He claims that
the damages to the company by reason of depreciation of the said
equipment amounted to P38, 385 or more than the cost thereof. Also
presented was Accountant Demetrio Jayme who was a personal friend of
Teves and
companys branch manager in Ozamis. His testimony is
basically that the Company due to the act of Union members, the
company suffered losses as shown in the books of the as to unrealized
freight and passenger revenue. The Company also claims damages on
lost cargoes and freight as set forth by Salvador Magante, the companys
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chief clerk in Iligan City in his statement. Magante did not testify on his
statement, instead it was Jayme who testified on behalf of Magante.
ISSUE:
Whether the Trial Court erred in awarding to the plaintiff company
actual damages, moral damages, and attorneys fees on the ground that
the Auditors report on which they were based were hearsay?
RULING:
The company argues that the accountants (auditors) reports are
admissible in evidence because of the rule that when the original
consists of numerous accounts or other documents which 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, the original
writings need not be produced. That rule cannot be applied in this case
because the voluminous character of the records on which the
accountants reports were based was not duly established. Moreover, in
order for said rule to be applied, the records and accounts should be
made accessible to the adverse party so that the correctness of the
summary may be tested on cross-examination.
What applies is the general rule that an audit made by or the
testimony of a private auditor is inadmissible in evidence as proof of the
original records, books of accounts, reports or the like. The company
failed to make a preliminary showing as to the difficulty or impossibility
attending the production of the records in court and their examination
and analysis as evidence by the court
As to the statement presented by Teves, SC said that the best
evidence on the cost of the equipment would have been the sales invoice
instead of his mere oral testimony of. Also, he should have produced the
sales invoice. The same is true with regard to Jaymes estimates as
recoverable damages. The pertinent records of the company should have
been produced in Court. As to Magantes report, Jayme was not
competent to take his place since the statement was prepared by
Magante and not by Jayme. More appropriate still, the documents and
records on which the statement was based should have been presented
as evidence or at least brought to the Court for examination. Lower
courts award of damages is reversed and set aside.
Villa Rey Transit vs. Ferrer
25 SCRA 845 (1968)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
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Jose Villarama was an operator of a bus company (Villa Rey Transit)


pursuant to CPCs granted him by the PSC. In 1959, he sold 2 CPCs to
Pangasinan Transpo. Co. (Pantranco) with the condition that Villarama
shall not, for 10 years, apply for any TPU service competing with buyer. 3
months later, Villa Rey Transit Inc. (VRTI) was formed wherein the wife
and relatives of Jose Villarama were the stockholders and the
incorporators.
The Corporation. then bought 5 CPCs from Valentin
Fernando. The Sheriff levied 2 out of the 5 CPCs pursuant to a writ of
execution in favor of Eusebio Ferrer, Fernandos judgment creditor. The 2
CPCs were sold at auction with Ferrer as highest bidder. Ferrer then sold
these 2 CPCs to Pantranco . Thus, VRTI filed a complaint for annulment
of the sheriffs sale of the CPCs in favor of Ferrer and its subsequent sale
to Pantranco. The CFI declared these sales as null and void. Hence, this
appeal. It is the contention of Pantranco that Jose Villarama and the
Corporation were one and the same. Therefore, the non competition
clause embodied in the deed of sale entered into by Jose Villarama is also
binding to the Corporation. The evidence presented by Pantanco to prove
its contention is Photostatic copies of ledger entries and vouchers. Jose
Villarama has assailed the admissibility of these exhibits, contending that
no evidentiary value whatsoever should be given to them since they
were merely photostatic copies of the originals, the best evidence being
the originals themselves.
ISSUE:
Whether or not photostatic copies of ledger entries and vouchers
(Exh. 6 to 19 and 22) showing that Villarama had co-mingled his personal
funds and transactions with those made in the name of VRTI are
admissible in evidence?
RULING:
Yes. Exhibits 6 to 19 and Exhibit 22 which are photostatic copies of
the ledger entries and vouchers showing that Villarama had co- mingled
his personal funds and transactions with those made in the name of the
Corporation are very illuminating evidence.
The requisites for the
admissibility of secondary evidence when the original is in the custody of
the adverse party are: a.) opponents possession of the original; b.)
reasonable notice to opponent to produce the original; c.) satisfactory
proof of its existence; d.) failure or refusal of opponent to produce the
original in court.
Said requisites have been complied with. Villarama has practically
admitted the 2nd and 4th. As to the 3rd, he admitted their previous
existence in the files of VRTI and had even seen some of them. As to the
1st, he said that the originals were missing and that VRTI was no longer in
possession of the same. However, it is not necessary for a party seeking
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to introduce secondary evidence to show that the original is in the actual


possession of the adversary. It is enough that the circumstances are such
as to indicate that the writing is in his possession or under his control.
Neither is it required that the party entitled to the custody of the
instrument, on being notified to produce it, admit having it in his
possession. Secondary evidence is admissible where he denied having it
in his possession. The party calling for such evidence may introduce a
copy thereof as in the case of loss because among the exceptions to the
best evidence rule is when the original has been lost, destroyed or
cannot be produced in court. The original of the vouchers must be
deemed to have been lost as even VRTI admit such loss. Thus, said
evidence, though secondary, are admissible.
Michael & Co. vs. Enriquez
33 Phil. 87 (1915)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
This is an appeal from a judgment of the CFI of Cebu dismissing the
action after trial on the ground that the plaintiff did not prove facts
sufficient to constitute a cause of action.
This action is based on a sale with right to repurchase made by
Enriquez in favor of E. Michael and E. Michael & Co.,sociedad en
comandita, of which Michael and Company (MCI) claims to be a successor
by reason of an instrument duly executed and delivered by the former to
the latter transferring property, business and assets of every kind
including the land which is the subject of this litigation. It is alleged that
the period to repurchase had expired thus consolidating ownership in
MCI. During the trial, MCI sought to prove the execution and delivery of
the conveyance transferring to it the land described in the pacto de retro.
The TC prevented MCI from proving that fact. MCI also attempted to
prove the fact that the instrument so executed and delivered was lost, it
being his purpose to lay the basis for the introduction of secondary
evidence as to its contents. The TC also prevented appellant from
proving that.
While the efforts of MCIs counsel to prove the execution and
delivery of the document were at times rather informal and objections to
such questions were properly sustained, at others the questions put for
the purpose of proving those facts were well framed and answers should
have been allowed to them; but, even in such cases, the TC also
sustained & objections to the questions and the evidence sought to be
adduced was excluded.

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ISSUE:
Whether or not the TC erred in preventing MCI from proving
existence and the delivery of the conveyance transferring to it the land in
question?
RULING:
Trial courts do well in refusing at all times to permit the introduction
of incompetent evidence and particularly secondary evidence of the
contents of written instruments unless the facts required by the Code of
Civil Procedure as the conditions precedent for such evidence are clearly
shown to exist. Section 321 of the Code provides: An original writing
must be produced and proved, except as otherwise provided in this Act.
If it has been lost, proof of the loss must first be made before evidence
can be given of its contents. Upon such proof being made, together with
proof of the due execution of the writing, its contents may be proved by a
copy or by a recital of its contents in some authentic document or by the
recollection of a witness.
As will be seen in this section, the writing itself must be produced
unless it has been lost or destroyed in which case, before its contents
may be proved by other evidence, it must be shown by the party offering
secondary evidence (1) that the document was duly executed and
delivered, where delivery is necessary (2) that it has been lost or
destroyed. The execution or delivery of the document maybe established
by the person or persons, who executed it, by the person before whom its
execution was acknowledged, or by any person who was present and saw
it executed and delivered or who, after its execution and delivery, saw it
and recognized the signatures; or by a person to whom the parties to the
instruments have previously confessed the execution thereof. The
destruction of the instrument may be proved by any person knowing the
fact. The loss may be shown by any person who knew the fact of its loss,
or by anyone who has made, in the judgment of the court, a sufficient
examination in the place or places where the document or pares of similar
character are usually kept by the person in whose custody the document
lost was, and has been unable to find it; or who has made any other
investigation which is sufficient to satisfy the Court that the document
was indeed lost. If it appears , on an attempt to prove the loss , that the
document is in fact in existence , then the proof of loss or destruction
fails and secondary evidence is inadmissible unless section 322 of the
Civil code of Procedure should be applicable.
After proper proof of the due execution and delivery and its loss or
destruction, oral evidence maybe given of its contents by any person who
signed the document, or who read it, or heard it read knowing, or it being
proved from other sources, that the document so read was the one in
question. Such evidence may also be given by any person who was
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present when the contents of the document was being talked over
between the parties thereto to such an extent as to give him reasonably
full information as to its contents; or the contents maybe proved by any
person to whom the parties to the instrument have confessed or stated
the contents thereof; or by a copy thereof; or by a recital of its contents
in some authentic document.
De Vera vs. Aguilar
218 SCRA 602 (1983)
Best Evidence Rule
FACTS:
Petitioners (all surnamed De Vera) and respondent Leona (married
to Mariano Aguilar) are the children and heirs of the late Marcosa
Bernabe.
Marcosa Bernabe owned the disputed parcel of land. Such
property was mortgaged by petitioners to Bordador. When the mortgage
had matured, the respondents Spouses Aguilar redeemed the property,
and in turn Bernabe sold the same to them as evidenced by a deed of
absolute sale. Then, an OCT was issued in their name. Three years later,
the petitioners wrote to the respondents claiming that as children of
Bernabe, they were co-owners of the property and demanded partition
thereof. The petitioners also claimed that the respondents had resold the
property to Bernabe. Petitioners De Vera filed a suit for reconveyance of
the lot. The TC rendered its decision ordering the reconveyance of the
lot. In ruling for the petitioners de Vera, the TC admitted, over the
objection of the respondents Aguilar, a Xerox copy of an alleged deed of
sale executed by respondents in favor of Bernabe.
On appeal to the CA, the decision was reversed. The CA found that
the loss or destruction of the original deed of sale has not been duly
proven by petitioners, so secondary evidence (Xerox copy of deed of sale)
is inadmissible. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
RULING:
Secondary evidence is admissible when the original documents
were actually lost or destroyed. But prior to the introduction of such
secondary evidence, the proponent must establish the former existence of
the instrument. The correct order of proof is as follows: existence,
execution, loss, contents although this order may be changed if necessary
in the discretion of the court. The sufficiency of proof for the admission
of an alleged lost deed lies within the judicial discretion of the TC.
In the case at bar, the TC merely ruled in the existence and due
execution of the alleged deed of sale. The existence of the alleged deed
was proved by the Xerox copy. In establishing the execution of a
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document, the same may be accomplished by the person(s) who


executed it; by the person before whom its execution was acknowledged;
or by any person who was present and saw it executed or who, after its
execution saw it and recognized the signatures, or by a person to whom
the parties had confessed the execution thereof. The petitioners have
sufficiently established the due execution of the alleged deed through the
testimony of the notary public.
The loss or destruction of the deed may be proved by any person
who knew the fact of its loss or by anyone who had made, in the
judgment of the court, a sufficient examination in the place(s) where
papers of similar character are usually kept by the person in whose
custody the document lost was, and has been unable to find it; or who
has made any other investigation which is sufficient to satisfy the court
that the instrument is indeed lost. However, all duplicates must be
accounted for before using copies. For since all the duplicates are parts
of the writing itself to be proved, no excuse for non-production of the
writing itself can be regarded as established until it appears that all of its
parts are unavailable. In the case at bar, the notary public testified that
the alleged deed of sale has about 4 or 5 original copies. Hence, all these
must be accounted for before secondary evidence can be given of any
one. These petitioners failed to do. Decision affirmed.

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