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[EVIDENCE, (2018-02-17)](http://lawyerly.ph/laws/view/l66)
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REVISED RULES OF EVIDENCE

 

RULE 128

General Provisions

 

SECTION 1 . Evidence defined . Evidenceis the means, sanctioned by these rules, of ascertaining in a judicialproceeding the truth respecting a matter of fact. (1)

Sec. 2 . Scope . The rules of evidence shall be the same in all courts and in all trials andhearings, except as otherwise provided by law or these rules. (2a)

Sec. 3 . Admissibility ofevidence . Evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issueand is not excluded by the law of these rules. (3a)

Sec. 4 . Relevancy ; collateral matters . Evidence must have such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce beliefin its existence or non-existence. Evidence on collateral matters shall not beallowed, except when it tends in any reasonable degree to establish theprobability or improbability of the fact in issue. (4a)

 

RULE 129

What Need Not Be Proved

 

SECTION 1 . Judicialnotice, when mandatory . A court shall take judicial notice,without the introduction of evidence, of the existence and territorial extentof states, their political history, forms of government and symbols ofnationality, the law of nations, the admiralty and maritime courts of the worldand their seals, the political constitution and history of the Philippines, theofficial acts of legislative, executive and judicial departments of thePhilippines, the laws of nature, the measure of time, and the geographicaldivisions. (1a)

Sec. 2 . Judicial notice,when discretionary . A court may take judicial notice of matterswhich are of public knowledge, or are capable to unquestionable demonstration,or ought to be known to judges because of their judicial functions. (1a)

Sec. 3 . Judicial notice,when hearing necessary . During the trial, the court, on its owninitiative, or on request of a party, may announce its intention to takejudicial notice of any matter and allow the parties to be heard thereon.

After the trial, and before judgment or on appeal, the proper court, onits own initiative or on request of a party, may take judicial notice of anymatter and allow the parties to be heard thereon if such matter is decisive ofa material issue in the case. (n)

Sec. 4 . Judicial admissions . An admission, verbal or written, made by the party in the course of theproceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The admission may becontradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or thatno such admission was made. (2a)

RULE 130

Rules of Admissibility

 

A. Object (Real)Evidence

 

SECTION 1 . Object as evidence . Objectsas evidence are those addressed to the senses of the court. When an object isrelevant to the fact in issue, it may be exhibited to, examined or viewed bythe court. (1a)

 

B. DocumentaryEvidence

 

Sec. 2 . Documentaryevidence . Documents as evidence consist of writing or any materialcontaining letters, words, numbers, figures, symbols or other modes of writtenexpression offered as proof of their contents. (n)

 

1.      BestEvidence Rule

 

Sec. 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, exceptin the following cases:

(a)When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced incourt, without bad faith on the part of the offeror;

(b)When the original is in the custody or under the control of the partyagainst whom the evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it afterreasonable notice;

(c)When the original consists of numerous accounts or other documentswhich cannot be examined in court without great loss of time and the factsought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole; and

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

Sec. 4 . Original ofdocument .

(a)The original of the document is one the contents of which are thesubject of inquiry.

(b)When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about the sametime, with identical contents, all such copies are equally regarded asoriginals.

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

 

2. SecondaryEvidence

 

Sec. 5 . When originaldocument is unavailable . When the original document has been lostor destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, the offeror, upon proof of itsexecution or existence and the cause of its unavailability without bad faith onhis part, may prove its contents by a copy, or by a recital of its contents insome authentic document, or by the testimony of witnesses in the order stated.(4a)

Sec. 6 . When originaldocument is in adverse party's custody or control . If the documentis in the custody or under the control of adverse party, he must havereasonable notice to produce it. If after such notice and after satisfactoryproof of its existence, he fails to produce the document, secondary evidencemay be presented as in the case of its loss. (5a)

Sec. 7 . Evidence admissible when originaldocument is a public record . When the original of document is in thecustody of public officer or is recorded in a public office, its contents maybe proved by a certified copy issued by the public officer in custody thereof.(2a)

Sec. 8 . Party who calls for document notbound to offer it . A party who calls for the production of a document andinspects the same is not obliged to offer it as evidence. (6a)

 

3. Parol Evidence Rule

 

Sec. 9 .Evidence of written agreements. When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, it is consideredas containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, between the partiesand their successors in interest, no evidence of such terms other than thecontents of the written agreement.

However, a party may present evidence to modify, explain or add to theterms of written agreement if he puts in issue in his pleading:

(a)An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the writtenagreement;

(b)The failure of the written agreement to express the true intent andagreement of the parties thereto;

(c)The validity of the written agreement; or

(d)The existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or theirsuccessors in interest after the execution of the written agreement.

The term "agreement" includes wills. (7a)

 

4. Interpretation Of Documents

 

Sec. 10 . Interpretation of a writing according to its legal meaning . The languageof a writing is to be interpreted according to thelegal meaning it bears in the place of its execution, unless the partiesintended otherwise. (8)

Sec. 11 . Instrument construed so as to giveeffect to all provisions . In the construction of an instrument, where thereare several provisions or particulars, such a construction is, if possible, tobe adopted as will give effect to all. (9)

Sec. 12 . Interpretationaccording to intention ; general and particular provisions . In the construction of an instrument, the intention of the parties is to bepursued; and when a general and a particular provision are inconsistent, thelatter is paramount to the former. So a particular intent will control ageneral one that is inconsistent with it. (10)

Sec. 13 . Interpretation accordingto circumstances . For the proper construction of an instrument,the circumstances under which it was made, including the situation of thesubject thereof and of the parties to it, may be shown, so that the judge maybe placed in the position of those who language he is to interpret. (11)

Sec. 14 . Peculiarsignification of terms . The terms of a writing are presumed to have been used in their primary and general acceptation, butevidence is admissible to show that they have a local, technical, or otherwisepeculiar signification, and were so used and understood in the particularinstance, in which case the agreement must be construed accordingly. (12)

Sec. 15 . Written words control printed . When an instrument consists partly of written words and partly of a printedform, and the two are inconsistent, the former controls the latter. (13)

Sec. 16 . Experts andinterpreters to be used in explaining certain writings . When thecharacters in which an instrument is written are difficult to be deciphered, orthe language is not understood by the court, the evidence of persons skilled indeciphering the characters, or who understand the language, is admissible todeclare the characters or the meaning of the language. (14)

Sec. 17 . Of Two constructions, which preferred. When the terms of an agreement have been intended in a different sense by thedifferent parties to it, that sense is to prevail against either party in whichhe supposed the other understood it, and when different constructions of aprovision are otherwise equally proper, that is to be taken which is the most favorable to the party in whose favor the provision was made. (15)

Sec. 18 . Construction in favor of natural right . When an instrument isequally susceptible of two interpretations, one in favor of natural right and the other against it, the former is to be adopted.(16)

Sec. 19 . Interpretationaccording to usage . An instrument may be construed according tousage, in order to determine its true character. (17)

 

C. TestimonialEvidence

1. Qualification Of Witnesses

 

Sec. 20 . Witnesses ; theirqualifications . Except as provided in the next succeeding section,all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make their known perceptionto others, may be witnesses.

Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, orconviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be ground fordisqualification. (18a)

Sec. 21 . Disqualificationby reason of mental incapacity or immaturity . The followingpersons cannot be witnesses:

(a)Those whose mental condition, at the time of their production forexamination, is such that they are incapable of intelligently making knowntheir perception to others;

(b)Children whose mental maturity is such as to renderthem incapable of perceiving the facts respecting which they are examined andof relating them truthfully. (19a)

Sec. 22 . Disqualification by reason of marriage . Duringtheir marriage, neither the husband nor the wife may testify for or against theother without the consent of the affected spouse, except in a civil case by oneagainst the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one againstthe other or the latter's direct descendants or ascendants. (20a)

Sec. 23 . Disqualificationby reason of death or insanity of adverse party . Parties orassignor of parties to a case, or persons in whose behalf a case is prosecuted,against an executor or administrator or other representative of a deceasedperson, or against a person of unsound mind, upon a claim or demand against theestate of such deceased person or against such person of unsound mind, cannottestify as to any matter of fact occurring before the death of such deceasedperson or before such person became of unsound mind. (20a)

Sec. 24 . Disqualificationby reason of privileged communication . The following personscannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases:

(a)The husband or the wife, during or after the marriage, cannot beexamined without the consent of the other as to any communication received inconfidence by one from the other during the marriage except in a civil case byone against the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by oneagainst the other or the latter's direct descendants or ascendants;

(b)An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined asto any communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon inthe course of, or with a view to, professional employment, nor can anattorney's secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consentof the client and his employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which hasbeen acquired in such capacity;

(c)A person authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics cannotin a civil case, without the consent of the patient, be examined as to anyadvice or treatment given by him or any information which he may have acquiredin attending such patient in a professional capacity, which information wasnecessary to enable him to act in capacity, and which would blacken thereputation of the patient;

(d)A minister or priest cannot, without the consent of the person makingthe confession, be examined as to any confession made to or any advice given byhim in his professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by thechurch to which the minister or priest belongs;

(e)A public officer cannot be examined during his term of office orafterwards, as to communications made to him in official confidence, when thecourt finds that the public interest would suffer by the disclosure. (21a)

 

2. TestimonialPrivilege

 

Sec. 25 . Parental andfilial privilege . No person may be compelled to testify againsthis parents, other direct ascendants, children or other direct descendants.(20a)

 

3. Admissions And Confessions

 

Sec. 26 . Admission of aparty . The act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevantfact may be given in evidence against him. (22)

Sec. 27 . Offer of compromise not admissible . In civil cases, an offer of compromise is not an admission of any liability,and is not admissible in evidence against the offeror.

In criminal cases, except those involving quasi-offenses (criminalnegligence) or those allowed by law to be compromised, an offer of compromisedby the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.

A plea of guilty later withdrawn, or an unaccepted offer of a plea ofguilty to lesser offense, is not admissible in evidence against the accused who made the plea or offer.

An offer to pay or the payment of medical, hospital or other expensesoccasioned by an injury is not admissible in evidence as proof of civil orcriminal liability for the injury. (24a)

Sec. 28 . Admission bythird party . The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act,declaration, or omission of another, except as hereinafter provided. (25a)

Sec. 29 . Admission byco-partner or agent . The act or declaration of a partner or agentof the party within the scope of his authority and during the existence of thepartnership or agency, may be given in evidenceagainst such party after the partnership or agency is shown by evidence otherthan such act or declaration. The same rule applies to the act or declarationof a joint owner, joint debtor, or other person jointly interested with theparty. (26a)

Sec. 30 . Admission byconspirator . The act or declaration of a conspirator relating tothe conspiracy and during its existence, may be given in evidence against theco-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act ofdeclaration. (27)

Sec. 31 . Admission byprivies . Where one derives title to property from another, theact, declaration, or omission of the latter, while holding the title, inrelation to the property, is evidence against the former. (28)

Sec. 32 . Admission bysilence . An act or declaration made in the presence and within thehearing or observation of a party who does or says nothing when the act ordeclaration is such as naturally to call for action or comment if not true, andwhen proper and possible for him to do so, may be given in evidence againsthim. (23a)

Sec. 33 . Confession . The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged,or of any offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidenceagainst him. (29a)

 

4. PreviousConduct As Evidence

 

Sec. 34 . Similar acts as evidence . Evidence that one did or did not do a certain thing at one time is notadmissible to prove that he did or did not do the same or similar thing atanother time; but it may be received to prove a specific intent or knowledge;identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or usage, and the like. (48a)

Sec. 35 . Unaccepted offer . An offer in writing to pay a particular sum of money or to deliver a writteninstrument or specific personal property is, if rejected without valid cause,equivalent to the actual production and tender of the money, instrument, orproperty. (49a)

 

5. TestimonialKnowledge

 

Sec. 36 . Testimony generally confined topersonal knowledge ; hearsay excluded . A witness can testify onlyto those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge; that is, which arederived from his own perception, except as otherwise provided in these rules.(30a)

 

6. Exceptions To The Hearsay Rule

 

Sec. 37 . Dying declaration . The declaration of a dying person, made under

the consciousness of animpending death, may be received in any case wherein his death is the subjectof inquiry, as evidence of the cause and surrounding circumstances of suchdeath. (31a)

Sec. 38 . Declarationagainst interest . The declaration made by a person deceased, orunable to testify, against the interest of the declarant, if the fact isasserted in the declaration was at the time it was made so far contrary todeclarant's own interest, that a reasonable man in his position would not havemade the declaration unless he believed it to be true, may be received inevidence against himself or his successors in interest and against thirdpersons. (32a)

Sec. 39 . Act ordeclaration about pedigree . The act or declaration of a persondeceased, or unable to testify, in respect to the pedigree of another personrelated to him by birth or marriage, may be received in evidence where itoccurred before the controversy, and the relationship between the two personsis shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The word"pedigree" includes relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage,death, the dates when and the places where these fast occurred, and the namesof the relatives. It embraces also facts of family history intimately connectedwith pedigree. (33a)

Sec. 40 . Family reputationor tradition regarding pedigree . The reputation or traditionexisting in a family previous to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree ofany one of its members, may be received in evidence if the witness testifyingthereon be also a member of the family, either by consanguinity or affinity.Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engravings on rings,family portraits and the like, may be received as evidence of pedigree. (34a)

Sec. 41 . Common reputation . Common reputation existing previous to the controversy, respecting facts ofpublic or general interest more than thirty years old, or respecting marriageor moral character, may be given in evidence. Monuments and inscriptions inpublic places may be received as evidence of common reputation. (35)

Sec. 42 . Part of resgestae . Statements made by a person while a starting occurrence istaking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to thecircumstances thereof, may be given in evidence as part of res gestae .So, also, statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue, andgiving it a legal significance, may be received as part of the res gestae .(36a)

Sec. 43 . Entries in thecourse of business . Entries made at, or near the time oftransactions to which they refer, by a person deceased, or unable to testify,who was in a position to know the facts therein stated, may be received asprima facie evidence, if such person made the entries in his professionalcapacity or in the performance of duty and in the ordinary or regular course ofbusiness or duty. (37a)

Sec. 44 . Entries inofficial records . Entries in official records made in theperformance of his duty by a public officer of the Philippines, or by a personin the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidenceof the facts therein stated. (38)

Sec. 45 . Commercial listsand the like . Evidence of statements of matters of interest topersons engaged in an occupation contained in a list, register, periodical, orother published compilation is admissible as tending to prove the truth of anyrelevant matter so stated if that compilation is published for use by personsengaged in that occupation and is generally used and relied upon by themtherein. (39)

Sec. 46 . Learned treatises . A published treatise, periodical or pamphlet on a subject of history, law,science, or art is admissible as tending to prove the truth of a matter statedtherein if the court takes judicial notice, or a witness expert in the subjecttestifies, that the writer of the statement in the treatise, periodical orpamphlet is recognized in his profession or calling as expert in the subject.(40a)

Sec. 47 . Testimony ordeposition at a former proceeding . The testimony or deposition ofa witness deceased or unable to testify, given in a former case or proceeding,judicial or administrative, involving the same parties and subject matter, maybe given in evidence against the adverse party who had the opportunity to cross-examinehim. (41a)

 

7. Opinion Rule

 

Sec. 48 . General rule . The opinion of witness is not admissible, except as indicated in thefollowing sections. (42)

Sec. 49 . Opinion of expertwitness . The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring specialknowledge, skill, experience or training which he shown to possess, may bereceived in evidence. (43a)

Sec. 50 . Opinion ofordinary witnesses . The opinion of a witness for which properbasis is given, may be received in evidence regarding

(a) the identity of a person about whom he hasadequate knowledge;

(b)A handwriting with which he has sufficient familiarity; and

(c)The mental sanity of a person with whom he issufficiently acquainted.

The witness may also testify on his impressions of the emotion, behavior , condition or appearance of a person. (44a)

 

8. CharacterEvidence

 

Sec. 51 . Character evidence not generallyadmissible ; exceptions :

(a)In Criminal Cases:

(1)The accused may prove his good moral character which is pertinent tothe moral trait involved in the offense charged.

(2)Unless in rebuttal, the prosecution may not prove his bad moralcharacter which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offensecharged.

(3)The good or bad moral character of the offended party may be proved ifit tends to establish in any reasonable degree the probability or improbabilityof the offense charged.

(b)In Civil Cases:

Evidence of the moral character of a party in civil case is admissibleonly when pertinent to the issue of character involved in the case.

(c)In the case provided for in Rule 132, Section 14.

 

RULE 131

Burden of Proof andPresumptions

 

SECTION 1 . Burden ofproof. Burden of proof is the duty of a party to presentevidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the amount of evidence required by law. (1a, 2a)

Sec. 2 . Conclusivepresumptions . The following are instances of conclusivepresumptions:

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

(b)The tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his landlord at thetime of commencement of the relation of landlord and tenant between them. (3a)

Sec. 3 . Disputablepresumptions . The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted , but may be contradicted and overcome byother evidence:

(a)That a person is innocent of crime or wrong;

(b)That an unlawful act was done with an unlawful intent;

(c)That a person intends the ordinary consequences of his voluntary act;

(d)That a person takes ordinary care of his concerns;

(e)That evidence willfully suppressed would beadverse if produced;

(f)That money paid by one to another was due to the latter;

(g)That a thing delivered by one to another belonged to the latter;

(h)That an obligation delivered up to the debtor has been paid;

(i )That prior rents orinstallments had been paid when a receipt for thelater one is produced;

(j)That a person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of arecent wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole act; otherwise, thatthings which a person possess, or exercises acts of ownership over, are ownedby him;

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

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

(m)That official duty has been regularly performed;

(n)That a court, or judge acting as such, whether in the Philippines orelsewhere, was acting in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction;

(o)That all the matters within an issue raised in a case were laid beforethe court and passed upon by it; and in like manner that all matters within anissue raised in a dispute submitted for arbitration were laid before thearbitrators and passed upon by them;

(p)That private transactions have been fair andregular;

(q)That the ordinary course of business has been followed;

(r)That there was a sufficient consideration for a contract;

(s)That a negotiable instrument was given or indorsed for a sufficientconsideration;

(t)That an endorsement of negotiable instrument was made before theinstrument was overdue and at the place where the instrument is dated;

(u)That a writing is truly dated;

(v)That a letter duly directed and mailed was received in the regularcourse of the mail;

(w)That after an absence of seven years, it being unknown whether or notthe absentee still lives, he is considered dead for all purposes, except forthose of succession.

The absentee shall not be considered dead for the purpose of opening hissuccession till after an absence of ten years. If he disappeared after the ageof seventy-five years, an absence of five years shall be sufficient in orderthat his succession may be opened.

The following shall be considered dead for all purposes including thedivision of the estate among the heirs:

(1)A person on board a vessel lost during a seavoyage, or an aircraft with is missing, who has not been heard of for fouryears since the loss of the vessel or aircraft;

(2)A member of the armed forces who has taken partin armed hostilities, and has been missing for four years;

(3)A person who has been in danger of death underother circumstances and whose existence has not been known for four years;

(4)If a married person has been absent for fourconsecutive years, the spouse present may contract a subsequent marriage if heor she has well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already death. In caseof disappearance, where there is a danger of death the circumstanceshereinabove provided, an absence of only two years shall be sufficient for thepurpose of contracting a subsequent marriage. However, in any case, beforemarrying again, the spouse present must institute a summaryproceedings as provided in the Family Code andin the rules for declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, withoutprejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse.

(x)That acquiescence resulted from a belief that the thing acquiesced inwas conformable to the law or fact;

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

(z)That persons acting as copartners haveentered into a contract of copartnership ;

(aa )That a man and womandeporting themselves as husband and wife have enteredinto a lawful contract of marriage;

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

(cc)That in cases of cohabitation by a man and awoman who are not capacitated to marry each other and who have acquire properlythrough their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry, suchcontributions and their corresponding shares including joint deposits of moneyand evidences of credit are equal.

(dd )Thatif the marriage is terminated and the mother contracted another marriage withinthree hundred days after such termination of the former marriage, these rulesshall govern in the absence of proof to the contrary:

(1)A child born before one hundred eighty days afterthe solemnization of the subsequent marriage is considered to have beenconceived during such marriage, even though it be bornwithin the three hundred days after the termination of the former marriage.

(2)A child born after one hundred eighty daysfollowing the celebration of the subsequent marriage is considered to have beenconceived during such marriage, even though it be bornwithin the three hundred days after the termination of the former marriage.

(ee )Thata thing once proved to exist continues as long as is usual with things of thenature;

(ff )Thatthe law has been obeyed;

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

(hh )Thata printed or published book, purporting contain reports of cases adjudged intribunals of the country where the book is published, contains correct reportsof such cases;

(ii)That a trustee or other person whose duty it wasto convey real property to a particular person has actually conveyed it to himwhen such presumption is necessary to perfect the title of such person or hissuccessor in interest;

(jj )Thatexcept for purposes of succession, when two persons perish in the samecalamity, such as wreck, battle, or conflagration, and it is not shown who diedfirst, and there are no particular circumstances from which it can be inferred,the survivorship is determined from the probabilities resulting from thestrength and the age of the sexes, according to the following rules:

1.If both were under the age of fifteen years, the older is deemed to have survived;

2.If both were above the age sixty, the younger is deemed to have survived;

3.If oneis under fifteen and the other above sixty, the former is deemed to havesurvived;

4.If both be over fifteen and under sixty, and the sex be different, the male isdeemed to have survived, if the sex be the same, the older;

5.If onebe under fifteen or over sixty, and the other between those ages, the latter isdeemed to have survived.

(kk )Thatif there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are called to succeedeach other, as to which of them died first, whoever alleges the death of one priorto the other, shall prove the same; in the absence of proof, they shall beconsidered to have died at the same time. (5a)

Sec. 4 . No presumption of legitimacy orillegitimacy . There is no presumption of legitimacy of a child born afterthree hundred days following the dissolution of the marriage or the separationof the spouses. Whoever alleges the legitimacy or illegitimacy of such childmust prove his allegation. (6)

 

RULE 132

Presentation of Evidence

 

 

A. Examination Of Witnesses

 

SECTION 1 . Examination tobe done in open court . The examination of witnesses presented in atrial or hearing shall be done in open court, and under oath or affirmation.Unless the witness is incapacitated to speak, or the questionscalls for a different mode of answer, the answers of the witness shallbe given orally. (1a)

Sec.2 . Proceedingsto be recorded . The entire proceedings of a trial or hearing,including the questions propounded to a witness and his answers thereto, thestatements made by the judge or any of the parties, counsel, or witnesses withreference to the case, shall be recorded by means of shorthand or stenotype orby other means of recording found suitable by the court.

A transcript of the record of the proceedings made by the officialstenographer, stenotypist or recorder and certifiedas correct by him shall be deemed prima facie a correct statement ofsuch proceedings. (2a)

Sec. 3 . Rights andobligations of a witness . A witness must answer questions,although his answer may tend to establish a claim against him. However, it isthe right of a witness:

1)     To be protected from irrelevant, improper, or insulting questions, andfrom harsh or insulting demeanor ;

2)     Not to be detained longer than the interests of justice require;

3)     Not to be examined except only as to matters pertinent to the issue;

4)     Not to give an answer which will tend to subject him to a penalty for anoffense unless otherwise provided by law; or

5)     Not to give an answer which will tend to degrade his reputation, unlessit to be the very fact at issue or to a fact from which the fact in issue wouldbe presumed. But a witness must answer to the fact of his previous finalconviction for an offense.

Sec. 4 . Order in theexamination of an individual witness . The order in which theindividual witness may be examined is as follows;

(a) Direct examination by the proponent;

(b) Cross-examinationby the opponent;

(c) Re-directexamination by the proponent;

(d) Re-cross-examinationby the opponent.

Sec. 5 . Direct examination . Direct examination is the examination-in-chief of a witness by the partypresenting him on the facts relevant to the issue. (5a)

Sec. 6 . Cross-examination;its purpose and extent . Upon the termination of the directexamination, the witness may be cross-examined by the adverse party as to manymatters stated in the direct examination, or connected therewith, withsufficient fullness and freedom to test his accuracy and truthfulness andfreedom from interest or bias, or the reverse, and to elicit all importantfacts bearing upon the issue. (8a)

Sec. 7 . Re-direct examination; its purposeand extent . After the cross-examination of the witness has beenconcluded, he may be re-examined by the party calling him, to explain orsupplement his answers given during the cross-examination. Onre-direct-examination, questions on matters not dealt with during thecross-examination, may be allowed by the court in its discretion. (12)

Sec. 8 . Re-cross-examination . Upon the conclusion of the re-direct examination, the adverse partymay re-cross-examine the witness on matters stated in his re-directexamination, and also on such other matters as may be allowed by the court inits discretion. (13)

Sec. 9 . Recalling witness . After the examination of a witness by both sides has been concluded,the witness cannot be recalled without leave of the court. The court will grantor withhold leave in its discretion, as the interests of justice may require.(14)

Sec. 10 . Leading andmisleading questions . A question which suggests to thewitness the answer which the examining party desires is a leading question. Itis not allowed, except:

(a)On cross examination;

(b)On preliminary matters;

(c)When there is a difficulty is getting direct and intelligible answersfrom a witness who is ignorant, or a child of tender years, or is of feeblemind, or a deaf-mute;

(d)Of an unwilling or hostile witness; or

(e)Of a witness who is an adverse party or an officer,director, or managing agent of a public or private corporation or of apartnership or association which is an adverse party.

A misleading question is one which assumes as true a fact not yettestified to by the witness, or contrary to that which he has previouslystated. It is not allowed. (5a, 6a, and 8a)

Sec. 11 . Impeachment ofadverse party's witness . A witness may be impeached by theparty against whom he was called, by contradictory evidence, by evidence thathis general reputation for truth, honestly, or integrity is bad, or by evidencethat he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his present,testimony, but not by evidence of particular wrongful acts, except that it maybe shown by the examination of the witness, or the record of the judgment, thathe has been convicted of an offense. (15)

Sec. 12 . Party may not impeach his own witness . Except with respect to witnesses referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e)of Section 10, the party producing a witness is not allowed to impeach hiscredibility.

A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile only if so declaredby the court upon adequate showing of his adverse interest, unjustifiedreluctance to testify, or his having misled the party into calling him to thewitness stand.

The unwilling or hostile witness so declared, or the witness who is anadverse party, may be impeached by the party presenting him in all respects asif he had been called by the adverse party, except by evidence of his badcharacter. He may also be impeached and cross-examined by the adverse party,but such cross-examination must only be on the subject matter of hisexamination-in-chief. (6a, 7a)

Sec. 13 . How witnessimpeached by evidence of inconsistent statements . Before awitness can be impeached by evidence that he has made at other times statementsinconsistent with his present testimony, the statements must be related to him,with the circumstances of the times and places and the persons present, and hemust be asked whether he made such statements, and if so, allowed to explainthem. If the statements be in writing they must be shown to the witness beforeany question is put to him concerning them. (16)

Sec. 14 . Evidence of goodcharacter of witness . Evidence of the good character of awitness is not admissible until such character has been impeached. (17)

Sec. 15 . Exclusion andseparation of witnesses . On any trial or hearing, the judgemay exclude from the court any witness not at the time under examination, sothat he may not hear the testimony of other witnesses. The judge may also causewitnesses to be kept separate and to be prevented from conversing with oneanother until all shall have been examined. (18)

Sec. 16 . When witness mayrefer to memorandum . A witness may be allowed to refreshhis memory respecting a fact, by anything written or recorded by himself orunder his direction at the time when the fact occurred, or immediatelythereafter, or at any other time when the fact was fresh in his memory and knewthat the same was correctly written or recorded; but in such case the writingor record must be produced and may be inspected by the adverse party, who may,if he chooses, cross examine the witness upon it, and may read it in evidence.So, also, a witness may testify from such writing or record, though he retainno recollection of the particular facts, if he is able to swear that thewriting or record correctly stated the transaction when made; but such evidencemust be received with caution. (10a)

Sec. 17 . When part of transaction, writing orrecord given in evidence, the remainder, the remainder admissible . Whenpart of an act, declaration, conversation, writing or record is given inevidence by one party, the whole of the same subject may be inquired into bythe other, and when a detached act, declaration, conversation, writing orrecord is given in evidence, any other act, declaration, conversation, writingor record necessary to its understanding may also be given in evidence. (11a)

Sec. 18 . Right to respectwriting shown to witness . Whenever awriting is shown to a witness, it may be inspected by the adverse party.(9a)

 

B. Authentication And Proof Of Documents

 

Sec. 19 . Classes ofDocuments . For the purpose of their presentation evidence,documents are either public or private.

Public documents are:

(a)The written official acts, or records of the official acts of thesovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers, whetherof the Philippines, or of a foreign country;

(b)Documents acknowledge before a notary public except last wills andtestaments; and

(c)Public records, kept in the Philippines, of private documents requiredby law to the entered therein.

All other writings are private. (20a)

Sec. 20 . Proof of privatedocument . Before any private document offered as authenticis received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be provedeither:

(a)By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or

(b)By evidence of the genuineness of the signature orhandwriting of the maker.

Any other private document need only be identified as that which it isclaimed to be. (21a)

Sec. 21 . When evidence ofauthenticity of private document not necessary . Where aprivate document is more than thirty years old, is produced from the custody inwhich it would naturally be found if genuine, and is unblemished by anyalterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other evidence of itsauthenticity need be given. (22a)

Sec. 22 . How genuineness of handwritingproved . The handwriting of a person may be proved by any witness whobelieves it to be the handwriting of such person because he has seen the personwrite, or has seen writing purporting to be his upon which the witness hasacted or been charged, and has thus acquired knowledge of the handwriting ofsuch person. Evidence respecting the handwriting may also be given by acomparison, made by the witness or the court, with writings admitted or treatedas genuine by the party against whom the evidence is offered, or proved to begenuine to the satisfaction of the judge. (23a)

Sec. 23 . Public documentsas evidence . Documents consisting of entries in publicrecords made in the performance of a duty by a public officer are primafacie evidence of the facts therein stated. All other public documents areevidence, even against a third person, of the fact which gave rise to theirexecution and of the date of the latter. (24a)

Sec. 24 . Proof of officialrecord . The record of public documents referred to inparagraph (a) of Section 19, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidencedby an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer havingthe legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if therecord is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer hasthe custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in foreign country,the certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consulgeneral, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in theforeign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in whichthe record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office. (25a)

Sec. 25 . What attestation of copy must state . Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the purpose ofevidence, the attestation must state, in substance, that the copy is a correctcopy of the original, or a specific part thereof, asthe case may be. The attestation must be under the official seal of theattesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court having aseal, under the seal of such court. (26a)

Sec. 26 . Irremovability of public record . Any public record, anofficial copy of which is admissible in evidence, must not be removed from theoffice in which it is kept, except upon order of a court where the inspectionof the record is essential to the just determination of a pending case. (27a)

Sec. 27 . Public record ofa private document . An authorized public record of aprivate document may be proved by the original record, or by a copy thereof,attested by the legal custodian of the record, with an appropriate certificatethat such officer has the custody. (28a)

Sec. 28 . Proof of lack ofrecord . A written statement signed by an officer having thecustody of an official record or by his deputy that after diligent search norecord or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of hisoffice, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible asevidence that the records of his office contain no such record or entry. (29)

Sec. 29 . How judicial record impeached . Any judicial record may be impeached by evidence of: (a) want ofjurisdiction in the court or judicial officer, (b) collusion between theparties, or (c) fraud in the party offering the record, in respect to theproceedings. (30a)

Sec. 30 . Proof of notarialdocuments . Every instrument duly acknowledged or proved andcertified as provided by law, may be presented in evidence without furtherproof, the certificate of acknowledgment being prima facie evidence ofthe execution of the instrument or document involved. (31a)

Sec. 31 . Alteration in document,how to explain . The party producing a document as genuinewhich has been altered and appears to have been altered after its execution, ina part material to the question in dispute, must account for the alteration. Hemay show that the alteration was made by another, without his concurrence, orwas made with the consent of the parties affected by it, or was otherwiseproperly or innocent made, or that the alteration did not change the meaning orlanguage of the instrument. If he fails to do that, the document shall not beadmissible in evidence. (32a)

Sec. 32 . Seal . There shall be no difference between sealed and unsealed private documentsinsofar as their admissibility as evidence is concerned. (33a)

Sec. 33 . Documentaryevidence in an unofficial language . Documents written in anunofficial language shall not be admitted as evidence, unless accompanied witha translation into English or Filipino. To avoid interruption of proceedings,parties or their attorneys are directed to have such translation preparedbefore trial. (34a)

 

C. Offer And Objection

 

Sec. 34 . Offer of evidence . Thecourt shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. Thepurpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified. (35)

Sec. 35 . When to makeoffer . As regards the testimony of a witness, the offermust be made at the time the witness is called to testify.

Documentary and object evidence shall be offered after the presentationof a party's testimonial evidence. Such offer shall be done orally unlessallowed by the court to be done in writing. (n)

Sec. 36 . Objection . Objection to evidence offered orally must be made immediately afterthe offer is made. 

Objection to a question propounded in the course of the oral examinationof a witness shall be made as soon as the grounds therefor shall becomereasonably apparent.

An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to within three (3)days after notice of the unless a different period isallowed by the court.

In any case, the grounds for the objections must be specified. (36a)

Sec. 37 . When repetition of objectionunnecessary . When it becomes reasonably apparent in the course ofthe examination of a witness that the question being propounded are of the sameclass as those to which objection has been made, whether such objection wassustained or overruled, it shall not be necessary to repeat the objection, itbeing sufficient for the adverse party to record his continuing objection tosuch class of questions. (37a)

Sec. 38 . Ruling . The ruling of the court must be given immediately after the objectionis made, unless the court desires to take a reasonable time to inform itself onthe question presented; but the ruling shall always be made during the trialand at such time as will give the party against whom it is made an opportunityto meet the situation presented by the ruling.

The reason for sustaining or overruling an objection need not be stated.However, if the objection is based on two or more grounds, a ruling sustainingthe objection on one or some of them must specify the ground or grounds reliedupon. (38a)

Sec. 39 . Striking outanswer . Should a witness answer the question before theadverse party had the opportunity to voice fully its objection to the same, andsuch objection is found to be meritorious, the court shall sustain theobjection and order the answer given to be stricken off the record.

On proper motion, the court may also order the striking out of answerswhich are incompetent, irrelevant, or otherwise improper. (n)

Sec. 40 . Tender ofexcluded evidence . If documents or things offered inevidence are excluded by the court, the offeror may have the same attached toor made part of the record. If the evidence excluded is oral, the offeror maystate for the record the name and other personal circumstances of the witnessand the substance of the proposed testimony. (n)

 

RULE 133

Weight and Sufficiency ofEvidence

 

SECTION 1 . Preponderance of evidence, howdetermined . In civil cases, the party having burden of proof mustestablish his case by a preponderance of evidence. In determining where thepreponderance or superior weight of evidence on the issues involved lies, thecourt may consider all the facts and circumstances of the case, the witnesses'manner of testifying, their intelligence, their means and opportunity ofknowing the facts to which there are testifying, the nature of the facts towhich they testify, the probability or improbability of their testimony, theirinterest or want of interest, and also their personal credibility so far as thesame may legitimately appear upon the trial. The court may also consider thenumber of witnesses, though the preponderance is not necessarily with thegreater number. (1a)

Sec. 2 . Proof beyondreasonable doubt . In a criminal case, the accused isentitled to an acquittal, unless his guilt is shown beyond reasonable doubt.Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof, excludingpossibility of error, produces absolute certainly. Moral certainly only isrequired, or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudicedmind. (2a)

Sec. 3 . Extrajudicialconfession, not sufficient ground for conviction . Anextrajudicial confession made by an accused, shall not be sufficient ground forconviction, unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti .(3)

Sec. 4 . Circumstantialevidence, when sufficient . Circumstantial evidence issufficient for conviction if:

(a)There is more than one circumstances ;

(b)The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and

(c)The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce aconviction beyond reasonable doubt. (5)

Sec. 5 . Substantialevidence . In cases filed before administrative orquasi-judicial bodies, a fact may be deemed established if it is supported bysubstantial evidence, or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonablemind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. (n)

Sec. 6 . Power of the courtto stop further evidence . The court may stop theintroduction of further testimony upon any particular point when the evidenceupon it is already so full that more witnesses to the same point cannot bereasonably expected to be additionally persuasive. But this power should beexercised with caution. (6)

Sec. 7 . Evidence on motion . When a motion is based on facts not appearing of record the court mayhear the matter on affidavits or depositions presented by the respectiveparties, but the court may direct that the matter be heard wholly or partly onoral testimony or depositions. (7)

 

RULE 134 Perpetuation of Testimony

 

SECTION 1 . Petition . A personwho desires to perpetuate his own testimony or that of another person regardingany matter that may be cognizable in any court of the Philippines, any file averified petition in the court of the province of the residence of any expectedadverse party.

Sec. 2 . Contents ofpetition . The petition shall be entitled in the name of thepetitioner and shall show: (a) that the petitioner expects to be a party to anaction in a court of the Philippines by is presently unable to bring it orcause it to be brought; (b) the subject matter of the expected action and hisinterest therein; (c) the facts which he desires to establish by the proposedtestimony and his reasons for desiring to perpetuate it; (d) the names of adescription of the persons he expects will be adverse parties and their addressesso far as known; and (e) the names and addresses of the persons to be examinedand the substance of the testimony which he expects to elicit from each, andshall ask for an order authorizing the petitioner to take the depositions ofthe persons to be examined named in the petition for the purpose ofperpetuating their testimony.

Sec. 3 . Notice and service . The petitioner shall thereafter serve a notice upon each person named in thepetition as an expected adverse party, together with a copy of a petition,stating that the petitioner will apply to the court, at a time and place namedtherein, for the order described in the petition. At leasttwenty (20) days before the date of hearing the notice shall be served in themanner provided for service of summons.

Sec. 4 . Order ofexamination . If the court is satisfied that the perpetuation ofthe testimony may prevent a failure or delay of justice, it shall make an orderdesignating or describing the persons whose deposition may be taken andspecifying the subject matter of the examination, and whether the depositionsshall be taken upon oral examination or written interrogatories. Thedepositions may then be taken in accordance with Rule 24 before the hearing.

Sec. 5 . Reference to court . For the purpose of applying Rule 24 to depositions for perpetuatingtestimony, each reference therein to the court in which the action is pendingshall be deemed to refer to the court in which the petition for such depositionwas filed.

Sec. 6 . Use of deposition . If a deposition to perpetuate testimony is taken under this rule, or if,although not so taken, it would be admissible in evidence, it may be used inany action involving the same subject matter subsequently brought in accordancewith the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 24.

Sec. 7 . Depositions pending appeal . Ifan appeal has been taken from a judgment of the Regional Trial Court or beforethe taking of an appeal if the time therefor has not expired, the RegionalTrial Court in which the judgment was rendered may allow the taking ofdepositions of witnesses to perpetuate their testimony for use in the event offurther proceedings in the said court. In such case the party who desires toperpetuate the testimony may make a motion in the said Regional Trial Court forleave to take the depositions, upon the same notice and service thereof as ifthe action was pending therein. The motion shall show (a) the name and theaddresses of the persons to be examined and the substance of the testimonywhich he expects to elicit from each; and (b) the reason for perpetuating theirtestimony. If the court finds that the perpetuation of the testimony is properto avoid a failure or delay of justice, it may make an order allowing thedepositions to be taken, and thereupon the depositions may be taken and used inthe same manner and under the same conditions as are prescribed in these rulesfor depositions taken in actions pending in the Regional Trial Court. (7a)

 

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