Sei sulla pagina 1di 9

DASMARIAS GARMENTS VS. REYES/AMERICAN PRES.

LINES
GRN 108229 August 24, 1993 Narvasa, J.;

FACTS:
APL sued Dasmarias Garments for sum of money at the hearing. Instead of presenting its
witness, APL filed a motion praying that it intended to take the depositions of
some Taiwan nationals. The lower court granted the deposition which was in compliance with
the rules on taking of testimony by deposition upon written interrogatories under ROC. CA
affirmed.

ISSUE:
Whether or not a party could present its evidence by taking the deposition of its witness in a
foreign jurisdiction before a private entity.

RULING:
Depositions are chiefly a mode of discovery. They are intended as a means to compel disclosure
of facts resting in the knowledge of a party or other person which are relevant in some suit or
proceeding in court. Depositions are principally made by law to the parties as a means of
informing themselves of all the relevant facts; they are not therefore generally meant to be a
substitute for the actual testimony in open court of a party witness. Leave of court is not
necessary where the deposition is to be taken before a secretary or embassy or legation, consul
gen. etc., and the defendants answer has already been served.
Depositions may be taken at any time after the institution of any action, whenever necessary or
convenient. There is no rule that limits deposition. Taking only to the period of pre-trial or before
it; no prohibition against the taking of deposition after pre-trial the law authorizes the taking of
depositions before or after an appeal is taken from the judgment of RTC to perpetuate their
testimony for use in event of further proceedings in court or during the process of execution of
a final and executor judgment.

HARRY L. GO, TONNY NGO, JERRY NGO AND JANE GO, Petitioners, vs. THE PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES and HIGHDONE COMPANY, LTD., ET AL., Respondents.

G.R. No. 185527 July 18, 2012

FACTS:

Petitioners were charged with Other Deceits under Art 318 of RPC before MTC Manila. They
pleaded not guilty, trial dates were postponed due to the unavailability of private complainant Li
Luen Ping, a frail old businessman from Laos, Cambodia.

The Prosecution filed a Motion to Take Oral Deposition of Li Luen Ping, alleging that he was
being treated for lung infection at the Cambodia Charity Hospital in Laos, Cambodia and that,
upon doctor's advice, he could not make the long travel to the Philippines by reason of ill health.

Petitioners opposed. MTC granted said Motion; denied ensuing MR. Petitioners, filed a Rule 65
before RTC Manila
RTC granted the petition; declared the MTC Order null and void; denied ensuing Motion for
Reconsideration

Section 17, Rule 23 on the taking of depositions of witnesses in civil cases cannot apply
suppletorily to the case since there is a specific provision in the Rules of Court with
respect to the taking of depositions of prosecution witnesses in criminal cases, which is
primarily intended to safeguard the constitutional rights of the accused to meet the witness
against him face to face.

Prosecution, elevated to CA. CA reversed RTC

no grave abuse of discretion can be imputed upon the MeTC for allowing the deposition-
taking of the complaining witness Li Luen Ping because no rule of procedure expressly
disallows the taking of depositions in criminal cases and that, in any case, petitioners would
still have every opportunity to cross-examine the complaining witness and make timely
objections during the taking of the oral deposition either through counsel or through the
consular officer who would be taking the deposition of the witness.

ISSUES:

1. Is allowing the deposition of private complainant tantamount to a violation of petitioners


rights to public trial and to confront the witnesses face to face? YES.
HELD:

The procedure for taking depositions in criminal cases recognizes the prosecution's right to
preserve testimonial evidence and prove its case despite the unavailability of its witness. It
cannot, however, give license to prosecutorial indifference or unseemly involvement in a
prosecution witness' absence from trial. To rule otherwise would

effectively deprive the accused of his fundamental right to be confronted with the witnesses
against him.

The Procedure for Testimonial Examination of an Unavailable Prosecution Witness is Covered


Under Section 15, Rule 119.

The examination of witnesses must be done orally before a judge in open court.13 This is true
especially in criminal cases where the Constitution secures to the accused his right to a public
trial and to meet the witnessess against him face to face. The requirement is the "safest and
most satisfactory method of investigating facts" as it enables the judge to test the witness'
credibility through his manner and deportment while testifying.14 It is not without exceptions,
however, as the Rules of Court recognizes the conditional examination of witnesses and the use
of their depositions as testimonial evidence in lieu of direct court testimony.
Even in criminal proceedings, there is no doubt as to the availability of conditional examination
of witnesses both for the benefit of the defense, as well as the prosecution. The Court's ruling
in the case of Vda. de Manguerra v. Risos15 explicitly states that

o "x x x As exceptions, Rule 23 to 28 of the Rules of Court provide for the different
modes of discovery that may be resorted to by a party to an action. These rules are
adopted either to perpetuate the testimonies of witnesses or as modes of discovery. In
criminal proceedings, Sections 12, 13 and 15, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure, which took effect on December 1, 2000, allow the conditional examination of
both the defense and prosecution witnesses." (Underscoring supplied)

The procedure under Rule 23 to 28 of the Rules of Court allows the taking of depositions in civil
cases, either upon oral examination or written interrogatories, before any judge, notary public or
person authorized to administer oaths at any time or place within the Philippines; or before any
Philippine consular official, commissioned officer or person authorized to administer oaths in a
foreign state or country, with no additional requirement except reasonable notice in writing to the
other party.

But for purposes of taking the deposition in criminal cases, more particularly of a prosecution
witness who would forseeably be unavailable for trial, the testimonial examination should be
made before the court, or at least before the judge, where the case is pending as required by
the clear mandate of Section 15, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. The
pertinent provision reads thus:

SEC. 15. Examination of witness for the prosecution. When it satisfactorily appears
that a witness for the prosecution is too sick or infirm to appear at the trial as directed by
the court, or has to leave the Philippines with no definite date of returning, he may
forthwith be conditionally examined before the court where the case is pending. Such
examination, in the presence of the accused, or in his absence after reasonable notice to
attend the examination has been served on him shall be conducted in the same manner
as an examination at the trial. Failure or refusal of the accused to attend the examination
after notice shall be considered a waiver. The statement taken may be admitted in behalf
of or against the accused.

Since the conditional examination of a prosecution witness must take place at no other place
than the court where the case is pending, the RTC properly nullified the MeTC's orders granting
the motion to take the deposition of Li Luen Ping before the Philippine consular official in Laos,
Cambodia. We quote with approval the RTC's ratiocination in this wise:

The condition of the private complainant being sick and of advanced age falls within the
provision of Section 15 Rule 119 of the Rules of Court. However, said rule substantially
provides that he should be conditionally examined before the court where the case is
pending. Thus, this Court concludes that the language of Section 15 Rule 119 must be
interpreted to require the parties to present testimony at the hearing through live
witnesses, whose demeanor and credibility can be evaluated by the judge presiding at
the hearing, rather than by means of deposition. No where in the said rule permits the
taking of deposition outside the Philippines whether the deponent is sick or not.18
(Underscoring supplied)

Certainly, to take the deposition of the prosecution witness elsewhere and not before the very
same court where the case is pending would not only deprive a detained accused of his right to
attend the proceedings but also deprive the trial judge of the opportunity to observe the
prosecution witness' deportment and properly assess his credibility, which is especially
intolerable when the witness' testimony is crucial to the prosecution's case against the accused.
This is the import of the Court's ruling in Vda. de Manguerra19 where we further declared that

While we recognize the prosecution's right to preserve the testimony of its witness in
order to prove its case, we cannot disregard the rules which are designed mainly for the
protection of the accused's constitutional rights. The giving of testimony during trial is the
general rule. The conditional examination of a witness outside of the trial is only an
exception, and as such, calls for a strict construction of the rules.

It is argued that since the Rules of Civil Procedure is made explicitly applicable in all cases, both
civil and criminal as well as special proceedings, the deposition-taking before a Philippine
consular official under Rule 23 should be deemed allowable also under the circumstances.

However, the suggested suppletory application of Rule 23 in the testimonial examination of an


unavailable prosecution witness has been categorically ruled out by the Court in the same case
of Vda. de Manguerra, as follows:

It is true that Section 3, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court provides that the rules of civil procedure
apply to all actions, civil or criminal, and special proceedings. In effect, it says that the rules of
civil procedure have suppletory application to criminal cases. However, it is likewise true that
criminal proceedings are primarily governed by the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Considering that Rule 119 adequately and squarely covers the situation in the instant
case, we find no cogent reason to apply Rule 23 suppletorily or otherwise."

The Conditional Examination of a Prosecution Witness Cannot Defeat the Rights of the Accused
to Public Trial and Confrontation of Witnesses

The CA took a simplistic view on the use of depositions in criminal cases and overlooked
fundamental considerations no less than the Constitution secures to the accused, i.e., the right
to a public trial and the right to confrontation of witnesses. Section 14(2), Article III of the
Constitution provides as follows:
VDA. De MANGUERRA vs. RISOS August 28, 2008 | Nachura | Rule 45 Petition Facts: RTC of Cebu,
and not before the Clerk of Court of Makati City; and thus, in issuing the assailed order, the RTC clearly
committed grave abuse of discretion. Respondents were charged with Estafa Through Falsification of
Public Document before the RTC of Cebu City, Branch 19. The case arose from the falsification of a deed
of real estate mortgage allegedly committed by respondents where they made it appear that Concepcion,
the owner of the mortgaged property known as the Gorordo property, affixed her signature to the
document. Concepcion, who was a resident of Cebu City, while on vacation in Manila, was unexpectedly
confined at the Makati Medical Center due to upper gastrointestinal bleeding; and was advised to stay in
Manila for further treatment. Respondents then filed a Motion for Suspension of the Proceedings in
Criminal Case No. CBU-52248 on the ground of prejudicial question. They argued that Civil Case No.
CEB-20359, which was an action for declaration of nullity of the mortgage, should first be resolved. On
May 11, 2000, the RTC granted the aforesaid motion. Concepcions motion for reconsideration was
denied on June 5, 2000. This prompted Concepcion to institute a special civil action for certiorari before
the CA seeking the nullification of the May 11 and June 5 RTC orders. The counsel of Concepcion filed a
motion to take the latters deposition. He explained the need to perpetuate Concepcions testimony due to
her weak physical condition and old age, which limited her freedom of mobility. RTC granted the motion
and ordered the taking of the deposition before the Clerk of the Makati RTC. Respondents appealed to
the CA. CA rendered a judgment favorable to the respondents. CA ratiocinated that the examination of
prosecution witnesses, as in the present case, is governed by Section 15, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules
of Criminal Procedure and not Rule 23 of the Rules of Court. The latter provision, said the appellate court,
only applies to civil cases. Pursuant to the specific provision of Section 15, Rule 119, Concepcions
deposition should have been taken before the judge or the court where the case is pending, which is the
Issue/Held: WoN Rule 23 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure applies to the deposition of Concepcion.
NO. Ratio: It is basic that all witnesses shall give their testimonies at the trial of the case in the presence
of the judge. This is especially true in criminal cases in order that the accused may be afforded the
opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses pursuant to his constitutional right to confront the witnesses
face to face. It also gives the parties and their counsel the chance to propound such questions as they
deem material and necessary to support their position or to test the credibility of said witnesses. Lastly,
this rule enables the judge to observe the witnesses' demeanor. This rule however, is not absolute. As
exceptions, Rules 23 to 28 of the Rules of Court provide for different MODES OF DISCOVERY that may
be resorted to by a party to an action. These rules are adopted either to perpetuate the testimonies of
witnesses or as modes of discovery. In criminal proceedings, Sections 12, 13, and 15 of Rule 119, which
took effect 1 December 2000, allow the conditional examination of both the defense and prosecution
witnesses. In the case at bench, in issue is the examination of a prosecution witness who according to the
petitioners was too sick to travel and appear before the trial court. Section 15 of Rule 119 comes into play
and it provides: Section 15. Examination of witness for prosecution When it satisfactorily appears that a
witness for the prosecution is too sick or infirm to appear at the trial as directed by the court, or has to
leave the Philippines with no definite date of returning, he may forthwith be conditionally examined before
the court where the case is pending. Such examination, in the presence of the accused, or in his
absence, after reasonable notice to attend the examination has been served on him, shall be conducted
in the same manner as an examination at the trial. Failure or refusal of the accused to attend the
examination after notice shall be considered a waiver. The statement taken may be admitted in behalf of
or against the accused. Petitioners contend that Concepcion's advanced age and health
condition exempt her from this application of Section 15, Rule 119 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure
and thus, calls for the application of Rule 23 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The contention does not
persuade. The very reason offered by the petitioners to exempt Concepcion from the coverage of Rule
119 is at once the ground which places her squarely within the coverage of the same provision.
Undoubtedly, the procedure set forth in Rule 119 applies to the case at bar. In granting Concepcion's
motion and in actually taking her deposition, were the rules complied with? The CA answered in the
negative. The appellate court considered the taking of deposition before the Clerk of Court of Makati City
erroneous and contrary to the clear mandate of the Rules that the same be made before the court where
the case is pending. Accordingly, said the CA, the RTC order was issued with grave abuse of discretion.
To reiterate, the conditional examination of a prosecution witness for the purpose of taking his deposition
should be made before the court, or at least before the judge where the case is pending. Such is the clear
mandate of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. While we recognize the prosecution's right to preserve its
witness; testimony to prove its case, we cannot disregard rules which are designed mainly for the
protection of the accused's constitutional rights. The giving of testimony during trial is the general rule.
The conditional examination of a witness outside of the trial is only an exception, and as such, calls for a
strict construction of the rules.

ALLIED AGRI-BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CO., INC vs.CA


G.R. No. 118438, December 4, 1998

TOPIC: Admission of Facts

FACTS:

A complaint was filed by respondent Cherry Valley for collection of sum of money against the
petitioner Allied Agri-Business for its failure to pay for the value of orders made and received by the latter.
Cherry Valley served a Request for Admission of Facts to Agri-Business. The latter failed to submit a
sworn answer to the request for admission within the allowed period. Thus, summary judgment
ensued. Agri-Business alleged that Cherry Valley had the burden to prove through its own witness during
the trial the matters for which admissions were requested, and subsequently questioned the summary
judgment.

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondents failure to answer the Request for Admission shall mean admission
of the mailers stated in the request which can be the basis for summary judgment?

HELD:

The purpose of the rule governing requests for admission of facts and genuineness of documents
is to expedite trial and to relieve parties of the costs of proving facts which will not be disputed on trial and
the truth of which can be ascertained by reasonable inquiry. The burden of affirmative action is on
the party upon whom notice is served to avoid the admission rather than upon the party seeking
the admission. Hence, when Agri-Business failed to reply to a request to admit, it may not argue that
the adverse, party has the burden of proving the facts sought to be admitted. Agri-Business silence is an
admission of the facts stated in the request. This now becomes the basis of a summary judgment.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs WEBB

312 SCRA 573

FACTS:

Webb, an accused in the crime of Rape with Homicide, filed a Motion to Take Testimony by Oral
Deposition, to take the testimonies of some vital witnesses residing in the U.S., before the proper
Philippine consular authorities since the Philippine court had no jurisdiction over them and may not
therefore be compelled by subpoena to testify. Respondent further alleged that the taking of the oral
depositions of the aforementioned individuals whose testimonies are allegedly material and
indispensable to establish his innocence of the crime charged is sanctioned by Section 4, Rule 24 of the
Revised Rules of Court. The prosecution thereafter filed an opposition to the said motion averring that
Rule 24, Section 4 of the Rules of Court has no application in criminal cases. The trial court denied the
motion but was thereafter reversed by the COA on appeal.
ISSUE:

Whether or not COA committed reversible error in reversing the trial courts ruling.

RULING:

YES. It need not be overemphasized that the factual circumstances only serves to underscore the
immutable fact that the depositions proposed to be taken from the five U.S. based witnesses would be
merely corroborative or cumulative in nature and in denying respondents motion to take them, the trial
court was but exercising its judgment on what it perceived to be a superfluous exercise on the belief that
the introduction thereof will not reasonably add to the persuasiveness of the evidence already on record.
It is pointed out that the defense has already presented at least fifty-seven (57) witnesses and four
hundred sixty-four (464) documentary exhibits, many of them of the exact nature as those to be produced
or testified to by the proposed foreign deponents. Under the circumstances, We sustain the proposition
that the trial judge commits no grave abuse of discretion if she decides that the evidence on the matter
sought to be proved in the United States could not possibly add anything substantial to the defense
evidence involved.

SPOUSES AFULUGENCIA vs METROBANK

715 SCRA 399

TOPIC:

Section 6,1 Rule 25 of the Rules of Court (Rules) provides that "a party not served with written
interrogatories may not be compelled by the adverse party to give testimony in open court, or to give a
deposition pending appeal." The provision seeks to prevent fishing expeditions and needless delays. Its
goal is to maintain order and facilitate the conduct of trial.

FACTS:

Petitioners, spouses Vicente and Leticia Afulugencia, filed a Complaint for nullification of mortgage,
foreclosure, auction sale, certificate of sale and other documents, with damages, against respondents
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) and Emmanuel L. Ortega (Ortega) before the RTC of Malolos
City. With the conclusion of pre-trial, petitioners filed a Motion for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum Ad
Testificandum to require Metrobanks officers to appear and testify as the petitioners initial witnesses
during the August 31, 2006 hearing for the presentation of their evidence-in-chief, and to bring the
documents relative to their loan with Metrobank, as well as those covering the extrajudicial foreclosure
and sale of petitioners 200-square meter land in Meycauayan, Bulacan.

Metrobank filed an Opposition arguing that for lack of a proper notice of hearing, the Motion must be
denied; that being a litigated motion, the failure of petitioners to set a date and time for the hearing
renders the Motion ineffective and pro forma; that pursuant to Sections 1 and 6 of Rule 25 of the
Rules, Metrobanks officers who are considered adverse parties may not be compelled to appear
and testify in court for the petitioners since they were not initially served with written
interrogatories; that petitioners have not shown the materiality and relevance of the documents sought
to be produced in court; and that petitioners were merely fishing for evidence.

On October 19, 2006, the RTC denied petitioners motion for lack of merit.
Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration claiming that the defective notice was cured by the filing of
Metrobanks Opposition, which they claim is tantamount to notice. They further argued that Metrobanks
officers who are the subject of the subpoena are not party-defendants, and thus do not comprise the
adverse party; they are individuals separate and distinct from Metrobank.

In an Opposition to the Motion for Reconsideration, Metrobank insisted that since a corporation may act
only through its officers and employees, they are to be considered as adverse parties in a case against
the corporation itself.

The RTC denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration prompting them to file a Petition for Certiorari
with the CA asserting this time that their Motion for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum Ad Testificandum
is not a litigated motion; it does not seek relief, but aims for the issuance of a mere process. They added
that Rule 21 of the Rules requires prior notice and hearing only with respect to the taking of depositions.
Finally, petitioners claimed that the Rules particularly Section 10, 22 Rule 132 do not prohibit a party
from presenting the adverse party as its own witness.

The CA affirmed the assailed decision.

ISSUE/S:

1. WON an adverse party can be required to take the witness stand (Sec. 6 of Rule 25) without
complying with the notice and hearing requirement under Sec. 4 and 5 of Rule 15

RULING:

NO. On the procedural issue, it is quite clear that Metrobank was notified of the Motion for Issuance of
Subpoena Duces Tecum Ad Testificandum; in fact, it filed a timely Opposition thereto. The technical defect
of lack of notice of hearing was thus cured by the filing of the Opposition.

As a rule, in civil cases, the procedure of calling the adverse party to the witness stand is not allowed,
unless written interrogatories are first served upon the latter. This is embodied in Section 6, Rule 25 of the
Rules, which provides

Sec. 6. Effect of failure to serve written interrogatories.

Unless thereafter allowed by the court for good cause shown and to prevent a failure of justice, a party
not served with written interrogatories may not be compelled by the adverse party to give testimony in
open court, or to give a deposition pending appeal.

One of the purposes of the above rule is to prevent fishing expeditions and needless delays; it is there to
maintain order and facilitate the conduct of trial. It will be presumed that a party who does not serve
written interrogatories on the adverse party beforehand will most likely be unable to elicit facts useful to its
case if it later opts to call the adverse party to the witness stand as its witness.
In the present case, petitioners seek to call Metrobanks officers to the witness stand as their initial and
main witnesses, and to present documents in Metrobanks possession as part of their principal
documentary evidence. This is tantamount to building their whole case from the evidence of their
opponent. The burden of proof and evidence falls on petitioners, not on Metrobank; if petitioners cannot
prove their claim using their own evidence, then the adverse party Metrobank may not be pressured to
hang itself from its own defense.

Disini vs Sandiganbayan

Jurisdiction over person

On 16 February 1989, the Republic of the Philippines and Disini entered into an Immunity Agreement under which Disini undertook to testify
for the Republic and provide its lawyers with the information, affidavits, and documents they needed in its case against Westinghouse
Electric Corporation before the United States District Court of New Jersey and in the arbitration case that Westinghouse International
Projects Company and others filed against the Republic before the International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration. Disini worked
for his second cousin, Herminio, as an executive in the latter's companies from 1971 to 1984. The Republic believed that the Westinghouse
contract for the construction of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, brokered by one of Herminios companies, had been attended by anomalies.
In the Immunity Agreement, the Republic guaranteed that, apart from the two Westinghouse cases, it would not compel Disini to testify in any
other domestic or foreign proceeding brought by the Republic against Herminio. Disini complied with his undertaking but 18 years later, upon
the Republic's application, the Sandiganbayan issued a subpoena against Disini, commanding him to testify and produce documents before
that court in an action that the Republic filed against Herminio. Disini moved to quash the subpoena, invoking the Immunity Agreement. The
Sandiganbayan ignored the motion and issued a new subpoena directing him to testify before it. Subsequently, the PCGG revoked and
nullified the Immunity Agreement insofar as it prohibited the Republic from requiring Disini to testify against Herminio. Later on, the
Sandiganbayan denied Disinis motion to quash the subpoena. Disini, thus, brought the matter to the Supreme Court. The Republic
maintained that the PCGGs power to grant immunity under Section 5 of Executive Order 14 covered only immunity from civil or criminal
prosecution and did not cover immunity from providing evidence in court. The Republic argued that Disini's immunity from testifying against
Herminio contravened the states policy to recover ill-gotten wealth acquired under the regime of former President Marcos. The Republic
further argued that under the last sentence of paragraph 3 of the Immunity Agreement which reads: Nothing herein shall affect Jesus P.
Disini's obligation to provide truthful information or testimony, Disini, despite the immunity given him against being compelled to testify in
other cases, was to provide truthful information or testimony in such other cases. For his part, Disini argued that the Republic, through the
PCGG, was estopped from revoking the questioned immunity as it had made him believe that it had the authority to provide such guarantee.
The Republic countered by invoking Section 15, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution which provides that (t)he right of the State to recover
properties unlawfully acquired by public officials or employees from them or from their nominees, or transferees, shall not be barred by
prescription, laches or estoppel.

Issue: Whether or not the PCGG acted within its authority when it revoked and nullified the Immunity Agreement, hence having jurisdiction
over the person of Disini.

Held: No. PCGG needs to fulfill its obligations honorably as Disini did. More than anyone, the government should be fair.

It has been a settled rule that by seeking affirmative relief, voluntary appearance or submission to the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
constitute waiver on the objection regarding lack of jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner. Jurisprudence holds that an objection based
on lack of jurisdiction over the person is waived when the defendant files a motion or pleading which seeks affirmative relief other than the
dismissal of the case.

The Court should not allow respondent Republic, to put it bluntly, to double cross petitioner Disini. The Immunity Agreement was the result of
a long drawn out process of negotiations with each party trying to get the best concessions out of it. The Republic did not have to enter that
agreement. It was free not to. But when it did, it needs to fulfill its obligations honorably as Disini did. More than any one, the government
should be fair.

PCGGs revocation of the questioned immunity and Sandiganbayan's denial of Disini's motion to quash the subpoena were both annulled.