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P r o f . V. A .

A v e n a
What Need Not Be Proved

ALFELOR v HALASAN
G.R. No. 165987
CALLEJO; March 31, 2006
(glaisa)
NATURE
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari
FACTS
- The children and heirs of the late spouses Telesforo and Cecilia Alfelor filed
a Complaint for Partition. Among the plaintiffs were Teresita Sorongon and
her two children, Joshua and Maria Katrina, who claimed to be the surviving
spouse of Jose Alfelor, one of the children of the deceased Alfelor Spouses.
- Josefina H. Halasan filed a Motion for Intervention alleging that she has
legal interest in the matter of litigation in the above-entitled case for partition
between plaintiffs and defendants; that she is the surviving spouse and
primary compulsory heir of Jose K. Alfelor, one of the children and
compulsory heirs of Telesforo I. Alfelor whose intestate estate is subject to
herein special proceedings for partition; that herein intervenor had not
received even a single centavo from the share of her late husband Jose K.
Alfelor to the intestate estate of Telesforo K. Alfelor.
- Josefina attached to said motion her Answer in Intervention claiming that
she was the surviving spouse of Jose. Thus, the alleged second marriage to
Teresita was void ab initio for having been contracted during the subsistence
of a previous marriage. Josefina further alleged that Joshua and Maria
Katrina were not her husbands children. Josefina prayed, among others, for
the appointment of a special administrator to take charge of the estate.
Josefina attached to her pleading a copy of the marriage contract which
indicated that she and Jose were married.
- Judge set the motion for hearing. Josefina presented the marriage contract
as well as the Reply-in- Intervention filed by the heirs of the deceased, where
Teresita declared that she knew of the previous marriage of the late Jose K.
Alfelor with that of the herein intervenor. However, Josefina did not appear in
court.
- Teresita testified that Jose told her that he did not have his marriage to
Josefina annulled because he believed in good faith that he had the right to
remarry, not having seen her for more than seven years. This opinion was
shared by Joses sister who was a judge. Teresita also declared that she met
Josefina in 2001, and that the latter narrated that she had been married three
times, was now happily married to an Englishman and residing in the United
States.
- Judge denied the motion and dismissed intervenors complaint, ruling that
respondent was not able to prove her claim. The trial court pointed out that
the intervenor failed to appear to testify in court to substantiate her claim.
Moreover, no witness was presented to identify the marriage contract as to
the existence of an original copy of the document or any public officer who
had custody thereof. Teresita and her children, Joshua and Maria Katrina,
were the legal and legitimate heirs of the late Jose K. Alfelor, considering that
the latter referred to them as his children in his Statement of Assets and
Liabilities, among others.
- Josefina filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied. CA reversed
the ruling of the trial court. It held that Teresita had already admitted (both

Evidence-A2010
verbally and in writing) that Josefina had been married to the deceased, and
under Section 4, Rule 129 of the Revised Rules of Evidence, a judicial
admission no longer requires proof. Consequently, there was no need to
prove and establish the fact that Josefa was married to the decedent.
ISSUE
WON the first wife of a decedent, a fact admitted by the other party who
claims to be the second wife, should be allowed to intervene in an action for
partition involving the share of the deceased husband in the estate of his
parents.
HELD
YES.
- The fact of the matter is that Teresita Alfelor and her co-heirs, petitioners
herein, admitted the existence of the first marriage in their Reply- inIntervention filed in the RTC. Teresita admitted several times that she knew
that her late husband had been previously married to another.
- This admission constitutes a deliberate, clear and unequivocal statement;
made as it was in the course of judicial proceedings, such statement qualifies
as a judicial admission. A party who judicially admits a fact cannot later
challenge that fact as judicial admissions are a waiver of proof; production of
evidence is dispensed with.
- A judicial admission also removes an admitted fact from the field of
controversy. Consequently, an admission made in the pleadings cannot be
controverted by the party making such admission and are conclusive as to
such party, and all proofs to the contrary or inconsistent therewith should be
ignored, whether objection is interposed by the party or not.
- The allegations, statements or admissions contained in a pleading are
conclusive as against the pleader. A party cannot subsequently take a
position contrary of or inconsistent with what was pleaded.
- Intervention shall be allowed when a person has (1) a legal interest in the
matter in litigation; (2) or in the success of any of the parties; (3) or an interest
against the parties; (4) or when he is so situated as to be adversely affected
by a distribution or disposition of property in the custody of the court or an
officer thereof.
- Considering this admission of Teresita, petitioners mother, the Court rules
that respondent Josefina Halasan sufficiently established her right to
intervene in the partition case. She has shown that she has legal interest in
the matter in litigation.
Dispositive The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 74757
is AFFIRMED. The Regional Trial Court, Branch 17, Davao City, is
ORDERED to admit respondent Josefina Halasans Complaint-in-Intervention
and forthwith conduct the proper proceedings with dispatch.

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PSCFC FINANCIAL CORP v CA (QUIASON, BANCO
FILIPINO)
G.R. No. 106094
BELLOSILLO; Dec 28, 1992
(kooky)
NATURE
Petition for annulment of foreclosure proceedings, and damages
FACTS:
- PSCFC as land developer availed of the Home Financing Plan of Banco
Filipino and borrowed from the latter the amount of P6,630,690 as "developer
loan." As security, petitioner constituted a mortgage over several lots in Pasay
City which were not yet sold at that time to third parties. It was agreed that
under the Home Financing Plan, the "developer loan" would mature only after
the lots shall have been subdivided and improved and then sold to third
persons who would then be substituted as mortgagors to the extent of the
loan value of the lots and houses bought by them.
- Sept 25 1987, without the loan having matured as none of the lots have
been conveyed to buyers, the mortgage was extrajudicially foreclosed and a
certificate of sale was executed in favor of Banco Filipino.
- Private respondents admitted the loan for which petitioner had executed a
promissory note secured by a real estate mortgage on the properties.
However, they denied that petitioner had availed itself of Banco Filipino's
Home Financing Plan, averring instead that under the promissory note and
the contract of mortgage, the subject loan would fall due "1 year from date" or
on 5 January 1986 and that upon default of petitioner, Banco Filipino could
immediately foreclose the mortgage under Act No. 3135.
- PSCFC served upon Banco Filipino a written request for admission of the
truth of certain matters set forth as follows:
1. The plaintiff (PSCFC) ... was ... granted by you under BF Home Financing
Plan, on the security of mortgages constituted on the lands acquired, under
the terms of which the developer loans, despite the contents of the covering
promissory notes and security instruments, would mature only after the
development of the acquired lands into residential subdivision and the resale
of the ... lots ... to interested third parties who would then be substituted as
mortgagors ...
2. ... in 1984, availing itself of your said Home Financing Plan, the plaintiff
obtained from you a loan ... of P6,630,690.00 for which it signed in your favor
a promissory note on the security of a mortgage constituted on ... lots, which
were not then yet sold to any third person ...
3. ... on September 25, 1987, without the said loan having yet matured for the
reason that none of the ... lots had yet been the subject of sale to third
persons such that substitution of the latter as mortgagors in your favor could
not yet be had, a certificate of sale was executed by the Notary Public over
the ... lands in your favor.
- PSCFC received Banco Filipino's answer to its request for admission signed
by its counsel, Atty. Philip Sigfrid A. Fortun. Counsel admitted, inter alia,
petitioner's mortgage loan as well as the fact that Banco Filipino was
engaged in land development loans. However, respondent denied that
petitioner availed itself of the Home Financing Plan, including the agreement
that the maturity of the debt would depend on the resale of the mortgaged
subdivision lots.

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
- PSCFC made a second request for admission on respondent Banco Filipino
impliedly objecting to the first reply having been made by its lawyer, Atty.
Fortun, who was not even an attorney yet when Banco Filipino inaugurated
its financing plan in February 1968 and therefore did not have personal
knowledge of the financing scheme. The second request called on Banco
Filipino to admit that it did not send a formal notice of its intention to foreclose
the mortgage and that there was no publication of the notice of foreclosure in
a newspaper of general circulation.
- Banco Filipino objected on the ground of irrelevancy and denied all the rest.
- PSCFC asked the trial court for a ruling that the matters sought to be
admitted in its second bid for admission should be considered as impliedly
admitted when the answer was made by a lawyer who was not qualified to do
so as he had no direct and personal knowledge of the matters sought to be
admitted. In insisting that only a client could make a binding admission in
discovery proceedings, petitioner cites Koh v. IAC. (PSCFC counsel
misquoted the decision; SC ordered counsel to show cause)
- Trial court did not grant PSCFCs motion. CA sustained the trial court.
- Petitioner submits that the answer to the request for admission under Rule
26 should be made by the party himself and nobody else, not even his
lawyer. Consequently, failure of respondent Banco Filipino, upon whom the
call for admission was served, to render the required sworn statement would
constitute an implied admission of the facts sought to be admitted. Thus, it
must be the party itself who must respond to the request for admission and
that a mere reply made and verified by its counsel alone is insufficient and
contrary to the Rules and the intent behind recourse to modes of discovery.
ISSUE
WON a request for admission directed to an adverse party under Sec. 1, Rule
26, of the Rules of Court may be answered by his counsel
HELD
YES
- When Rule 26 states that a party shall respond to the request for admission,
it should not be restrictively construed to mean that a party may not engage
the services of counsel to make the response in his behalf.
- Section 21 of Rule 138 states
Sec. 21. Authority of attorney to appear. - An attorney is presumed to be
properly authorized to represent any cause in which he appears, and no
written power of attorney is required to authorize him to appear in court for his
client ... 3
- Petitioner has not shown that the case at bar falls under any of the
recognized exceptions as found in Art. 1878 of the Civil Code, or in Rule 20 of
the Rules of Court.
- Section 23 of Rule 138 provides that "(a)ttorneys have authority to bind their
clients in any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and
in taking appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial procedure ..."
Disposition Petition denied

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PEOPLE v HERNANDEZ
G.R. No. 108028
FRANCISCO; July 30, 1996
(eva)
FACTS
- Accused-appellant Cristina Hernandez was charged with the crime of illegal
recruitment committed in large scale in violating of Art. 38 (a) and (b) in
relation to Article 13 (b) and (c) of the New Labor Code. 1 Between Dec.14Dec.24, 1988, in Manila, she represented herself to have the capacity to
contract, enlist and transport Filipino workers for employment abroad, and for
a fee, recruited and promised employment/job placement abroad to:
ROGELIO N. LEGASPI, ULDARICO P. LEGASPI, SONNY P. BERNABE,
ARNEL B. MENDOZA, BENITO L. BERNABE, ARNOLD P. VALENZUELA,
ARMANDO P. PAGULAYAN, GREGORIO P. MENDOZA, JR., RONALD T.
CORREA, DANILO PALAD and ROBERT P. VELASQUEZ without first having
secured the required license or authority from the POEA.
- Upon arraignment, Hernandez pleaded not guilty and trial on the merits
ensued. Of the 14 complainants, B. Bernabe, Velasquez, G. Mendoza and A.
Mendoza were presented as witnesses for the prosecution.
- They testified to the following essential facts:
Their first encounter with the Hernandez was on Dec.12, 1988 when one
Josefa Cinco accompanied them to the office of the Philippine Thai
Association, Inc. (Philippine-Thai) in Ermita, Manila to meet the appellant.
Introducing herself as the general manager of Philippine-Thai, Hernandez
asserted that her company recruited workers for placement abroad and
asked private complainants if they wanted to work as factory workers in
Taipei. Enticed by the assurance of immediate employment and an $800 per
month salary, they applied. Hernandez required them to pay placement and
passport fees in the total amount of P22,500.00 per applicant, to be paid in
three installments. They were issued receipts by Liza Mendoza, the last one
signed by Mendoza and Hernandez. Hernandez then assured them that they
would be able to leave for Taipei sometime before the end of Dec.1988, but
contrary to the promise, they were unable to leave for abroad. They
demanded for the return of their money but to no avail.
- DEFENSE presented as its lone witness, Hernandez, whose testimony
consisted mainly in denying the charges against her. She claimed that she
never met any of the complainants nor did she ever recruit any of them. She
likewise denied having received money from anyone and asserted that she
did not know any Liza Mendoza who is the alleged treasure of Phil-Thai. She
maintained that although she had an office in Ermita Building, the said office
belonged to B.C. Island Wood Products Corp. which was engaged in the
1

Art. 38. Illegal Recruitment. (a) Any recruitment activities, including the prohibited
practices enumerated under Article 34 of this Code, to be undertaken by non-licensees
or non-holders of authority shall be deemed illegal and punishable under Article 39 of
this Code. The Ministry of Labor and Employment or any law enforcement officers may
initiate complaints under this article.
(b) Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be
considered an offense involving economic sabotage and shall be penalized in
accordance with Article 39 hereof.
Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three
(3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any
unlawful or illegal transaction, enterprise or scheme, defined under the first paragraph
hereof. Illegal recruitment is deemed committed against three (3) or more persons
individually or as a group

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logging business. However, when questioned further, appellant admitted
being the president of Phil-Thai but only in a nominal capacity, and claimed
that as nominee-president, she did not participate in any of its transactions.
Appellant likewise insisted that Phil-Thai was engaged solely in the barong
tagalog business.
- The court rendered a decision holding that the defense of "denial"
interposed by the accused could not prevail over the positive and clear
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses which had established the guilt of
the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
- Appellant comes to this Court for the reversal of the judgment of conviction
ISSUES
1. WON Hernandez is guilty of illegal recruitment committed in a large scale
and by a syndicate.
2. WON the trial court erred in taking judicial notice of the fact that Hernandez
had been charged of illegal recruitment in another criminal case and in
considering the pendency thereof as evidence of the scheme and strategy
adopted by the accused.
3. WON the trial court erred in not giving credence or weight to the defense of
the accused.
HELD
1. YES
The prosecution had in fact presented evidence to prove the said element of
the crime of illegal recruitment. "EXHIBIT I", a certification issued by the Chief
Licensing Branch of the POEA, attesting to the fact that neither appellant nor
Philippine-Thai is licensed/authorized to recruit workers for employment
abroad, was offered and admitted in evidence without the objection of the
appellant.
Reasoning
- Defense contends that the prosecution failed to prove one of the essential
elements of the crime of illegal recruitment- that the offender is a nonlicensee or non-holder of authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and
placement of workers. This element was the subject of a stipulation proposed
by the prosecution and admitted by the defense during trial. Hernandez now
assails as erroneous the reliance placed by the prosecution on the said
stipulation of facts in dispensing with the presentation of evidence to prove
the said element of the crime of illegal recruitment. Appellant argues that: (1)
the stipulation of facts was not tantamount to an admission by the appellant
of the fact of non-possession of the requisite authority or license from the
POEA, but was merely an admission that the Chief Licensing Officer of the
POEA, if presented in court, would testify to this fact, and (2) the stipulation of
facts is null and void for being contrary to law and public policy. This being
the case, it remained incumbent upon the prosecution to present evidence of
such fact.
ON WHAT WAS ADMITTED IN THE STIPULATION
- Although appellant's arguments find no significant bearing in the face of the
existence of "EXHIBIT I", they nonetheless require deeper scrutiny and a
clear response for future application.
- Appellant correctly distinguishes between an admission that a particular
witness if presented in court would testify to certain facts, and an admission
of the facts themselves. According to the appellant, what was stipulated on
was "merely that the testimony of the Chief Licensing Officer of the POEA
would be to the effect that appellant is not licensed nor authorized to recruit
workers."

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
- The distinction, though cogent, is unfortunately inapplicable to the case at
bar. Conveniently omitted from the appellant's reply chief is the ensuing
statement made by the court after counsel for the accused, Atty. Ulep, agreed
to the stipulation proposed by the prosecution:
Atty. Ulep: Agreed, Your Honor.
Court: The prosecution and the defense agreed to stipulate/admit that from
the record of the POEA Licensing and Regulation Office, Dept. of Labor and
Employment, accused Cristina Hernandez/Phil. etc., Ass. . . . is neither
licensed nor authorized by the office to recruit workers overseas abroad and
that if the duly authorized representative from the POEA Administration is to
take the witness stand, he will confirm to this fact as borne by the records.
- It is evident that the prosecution and the defense counsel stipulated on two
things: that from the record of the POEA, Hernandez is neither licensed nor
authorized by that office to recruit workers for overseas abroad and that if the
duly authorized representative from the POEA is to take the witness stand, he
will confirm to this fact.
ON THE VALIDITY OF THE STIPULATION
- Appellant further contends that granting that defense counsel had in fact
agreed to the above stipulation of facts, the same is null and void for being
contrary to the well-established rule that a stipulation of facts is not allowed in
criminal cases.
- The rule prohibiting the stipulation of facts in criminal cases is grounded on
the fundamental right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven
guilty, and corollary duty of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused
beyond reasonable doubt. The rationale behind the proscription against this
class of agreements between prosecution and defense is that It is not
supposed to be within the knowledge or competence of counsel to predict
what a proposed witness shall say under the sanction of his oath and the test
of cross-examination. A conviction for crime should not rest upon mere
conjecture. Nor is it possible for a trial court to weigh with exact nicety the
contradictory declaration of witnesses not produced so as to be subjected to
its observation and its judgment as to their credibility.
- However, in the light of recent changes in our rules, particularly the pre-trial
provisions in Rule 118, the prohibition against a stipulation of facts in criminal
cases no longer holds true.
- Although not expressly sanctioned under the old rules of court, a stipulation
of facts by the parties in criminal cases has long been allowed and
recognized as declarations constituting judicial admissions, hence, binding
upon the parties. In People vs. Bocar this Court stated that: There is nothing
unlawful or irregular about the above procedure. The declarations constitute
judicial admission, which are binding on the parties, by virtue of which the
prosecution dispensed with the introduction of additional evidence and the
defense waived the right to contest or dispute the veracity of the statements
contained in the exhibits.
- American jurisprudence has established the acceptability of the practice of
stipulating during the trial of criminal cases, and stated in People vs. Hare
that: This court has held that an accused may by stipulation waive the
necessity of a proof of all or any part of the case which the people have
alleged against him and that having done so, he cannot complain in this
Court of evidence which he has stipulated into the record.
COROLLARY ISSUE: SHOULD STIPULATION BE IN WRITING AND
SIGNED (Sec.4 R.118)
- A stipulation of facts entered into by the prosecution and defense counsel
during trial in open court is automatically reduced into writing and contained
in the official transcript of the proceedings had in court. The conformity of the

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accused in the form of his signature affixed thereto is unnecessary in view of
the fact that: "an attorney who is employed to manage a party's conduct of a
lawsuit has prima facie authority to make relevant admissions by pleadings,
by oral or written stipulation, which unless allowed to be withdrawn are
conclusive." In fact, "judicial admissions are frequently those of counsel or of
the attorney of record, who is, for the purpose of the trial, the agent of his
client. When such admissions are made for the purpose of dispensing with
proof of some fact, they bind the client, whether made during, or even after,
the trial."
- Appellant was never prevented from presenting evidence contrary to the
stipulation of facts. If appellant believed that the testimony of the Chief
Licensing Officer of the POEA would be beneficial to her case, then it is the
defense who should have presented him. Her continuous failure to do so
during trial was a waiver of her right to present the pertinent evidence to
contradict the stipulation of facts and establish her defense.
- The stipulation of facts proposed during trial by prosecution and admitted by
defense counsel is tantamount to a judicial admission by the appellant of the
facts stipulated on. Controlling, therefore, is Section 4, Rule 129 of the Rules
of Court.
2. NO.
Ratio It is true that as a general 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 tried or are actually pending before the
same judge. However, this rule is subject to the exception that in the absence
of objection and as a matter of convenience to all parties, a court may
properly treat all or any part of the original record of the case filed in its
archives as read into the records of a case pending before it, when with the
knowledge of the opposing party, reference is made to it, by name and
number or in some other manner by which it is sufficiently designated. The
judicial notice taken by the lower court of the pendency of another illegal
recruitment case against the appellant falls squarely under the above
exception in view of the fact that it was the appellant herself who introduced
evidence on the matter when she testified in open court.
Reasoning
- Appellant cites a violation of Section 3 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court
which provides that before the court may take judicial notice of any matter,
the parties shall be heard thereon if such matter is decisive of a material
issue in the case. It is claimed that the lower court never announced its
intention to take judicial notice of the pendency of the other illegal recruitment
case nor did it allow the accused to be heard thereon.
- Even assuming, however, that the lower court improperly took judicial notice
of the pendency of another illegal recruitment case against the appellant, the
error would not be fatal to the prosecution's cause. The judgment of
conviction was not based on the existence of another illegal recruitment case
filed against appellant by a different group of complainants, but on the
overwhelming evidence against her in the instant case.
3. NO.
We do not find any compelling reason to reverse the findings of the lower
court that appellant's bare denials cannot overthrow the positive testimonies
of the prosecution witnesses against her.
Well established is the rule that denials if unsubstantiated by clear and
convincing evidence are negative, self-serving evidence which deserve no
weight in law and cannot be given greater evidentiary weight over the
testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. That she

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did not merely deny, but likewise raised as an affirmative defense her
appointment as mere nominee-president of Philippine-Thai is a futile attempt
at exculpating herself and is of no consequence whatsoever when weighed
against the positive declarations of witnesses that it was the appellant who
executed the acts of illegal recruitment as complained of.
Disposition Appellant's conviction of the crime of illegal recruitment in large
scale is hereby AFFIRMED, and the penalty imposed MODIFIED.

RAMOS v CA (DELOS SANTOS MEDICAL CENTER)


G.R. No. 124354
KAPUNAN (1999)
(sj)
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
- Sometime in 1985, petitioner Erlinda Ramos, after seeking professional
medical help, was advised to undergo an operation for the removal of a stone
in her gall bladder (cholecystectomy). She was referred to Dr. Hosaka, a
surgeon, who agreed to perform the operation on her. The operation was
scheduled for June 17, 1985 at 9:00 in the morning at private respondent De
Los Santos Medical Center (DLSMC). Since neither petitioner Erlinda nor her
husband, petitioner Rogelio, knew of any anesthesiologist, Dr. Hosaka
recommended to them the services of Dr. Gutierrez.
- Petitioner Erlinda was admitted to the DLSMC the day before the scheduled
operation. By 7:30 in the morning of the following day, petitioner Erlinda was
already being prepared for operation. Upon the request of petitioner Erlinda,
her sister-in-law, Herminda Cruz, who was then Dean of the College of
Nursing at the Capitol Medical Center, was allowed to accompany her inside
the operating room.
- At around 9:30 in the morning, Dr. Hosaka had not yet arrived so Dr.
Gutierrez tried to get in touch with him by phone. Thereafter, Dr. Gutierrez
informed Cruz that the operation might be delayed due to the late arrival of
Dr. Hosaka. In the meantime, the patient, petitioner Erlinda said to Cruz,
"Mindy, inip na inip na ako, ikuha mo ako ng ibang Doctor."
- By 10:00 in the morning, when Dr. Hosaka was still not around, petitioner
Rogelio already wanted to pull out his wife from the operating room. He met
Dr. Garcia, who remarked that he was also tired of waiting for Dr. Hosaka. Dr.
Hosaka finally arrived at the hospital at around 12:10 in the afternoon, or
more than three (3) hours after the scheduled operation.
- Cruz, who was then still inside the operating room, heard about Dr.
Hosakas arrival. While she held the hand of Erlinda, Cruz saw Dr. Gutierrez
trying to intubate the patient. Cruz heard Dr. Gutierrez utter: "ang hirap maintubate nito, mali yata ang pagkakapasok. O lumalaki ang tiyan." Cruz
noticed a bluish discoloration of Erlinda?s nailbeds on her left hand. She
(Cruz) then heard Dr. Hosaka instruct someone to call Dr. Calderon, another
anesthesiologist. When he arrived, Dr. Calderon attempted to intubate the
patient. The nailbeds of the patient remained bluish, thus, she was placed in
a trendelenburg position a position where the head of the patient is placed in
a position lower than her feet. At this point, Cruz went out of the operating
room to express her concern to petitioner Rogelio that Erlindas operation
was not going well.

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
- Cruz quickly rushed back to the operating room and saw that the patient
was still in trendelenburg position. At almost 3:00 in the afternoon, she saw
Erlinda being wheeled to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The doctors
explained to petitioner Rogelio that his wife had bronchospasm. Erlinda
stayed in the ICU for a month. She was released from the hospital only four
months later or on November 15, 1985. Since the ill-fated operation, Erlinda
remained in comatose condition until she died on August 3, 1999.1
- Petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a civil case for
damages against private respondents. After due trial, the court a quo
rendered judgment in favor of petitioners. Essentially, the trial court found that
private respondents were negligent in the performance of their duties to
Erlinda. On appeal by private respondents, the Court of Appeals reversed the
trial courts decision and directed petitioners to pay their "unpaid medical
bills" to private respondents.
- Petitioners filed with this Court a petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not private respondents were negligent in the performance of
the operation on Mrs. Ramos.
2. Whether or not the CA erred in taking judicial notice that nurses do not
have intubation in their curriculum as ground for excluding Dean Cruz (Mrs.
Ramos sister in law, who was with her during the operation) testimony.
HELD
1. YES
Ratio Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin phrase which literally means the thing or
the transaction speaks for itself. The phrase res ipsa loquitur is a maxim for
the rule that the fact of the occurrence of an injury, taken with the surrounding
circumstances, may permit an inference or raise a presumption of
negligence, or make out a plaintiffs prima facie case, and present a question
of fact for defendant to meet with an explanation.
- The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is simply a recognition of the postulate that,
as a matter of common knowledge and experience, the very nature of certain
types of occurrences may justify an inference of negligence on the part of the
person who controls the instrumentality causing the injury in the absence of
some explanation by the defendant who is charged with negligence. It is
grounded in the superior logic of ordinary human experience and on the basis
of such experience or common knowledge, negligence may be deduced from
the mere occurrence of the accident itself. Hence, res ipsa loquitur is applied
in conjunction with the doctrine of common knowledge.
- Res ipsa loquitur is not a rule of substantive law and, as such, does not
create or constitute an independent or separate ground of liability. INSTEAD,
IT IS CONSIDERED AS MERELY EVIDENTIARY OR IN THE NATURE OF A
PROCEDURAL RULE. It is regarded as a MODE OF PROOF, OR A MERE
PROCEDURAL CONVENIENCE SINCE IT FURNISHES A SUBSTITUTE
FOR, AND RELIEVES A PLAINTIFF OF, THE BURDEN OF PRODUCING
SPECIFIC PROOF OF NEGLIGENCE. In other words, mere invocation and
application of the doctrine does not dispense with the requirement of proof of
negligence. It is simply a step in the process of such proof, permitting the
plaintiff to present along with the proof of the accident, enough of the
attending circumstances to invoke the doctrine, creating an inference or
presumption of negligence, and to thereby place on the defendant the burden
of going forward with the proof. Still, before resort to the doctrine may be
allowed, the following requisites must be satisfactorily shown:

Evidence-A2010
1. The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of
someones negligence;
2. It is caused by an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the
defendant or defendants; and
3. The possibility of contributing conduct which would make the plaintiff
responsible is eliminated.
Reasoning
- In the above requisites, the fundamental element is the control of the
instrumentality which caused the damage. Such element of control must be
shown to be within the dominion of the defendant. In order to have the
benefit of the rule, a plaintiff, in addition to proving injury or damage, must
show a situation where it is applicable, and must establish that the essential
elements of the doctrine were present in a particular incident.
ALTHOUGH GENERALLY, EXPERT MEDICAL TESTIMONY IS RELIED
UPON IN MALPRACTICE SUITS TO PROVE THAT A PHYSICIAN HAS
DONE A NEGLIGENT ACT OR THAT HE HAS DEVIATED FROM THE
STANDARD MEDICAL PROCEDURE, WHEN THE DOCTRINE OF RES
IPSA LOQUITUR IS AVAILED BY THE PLAINTIFF, THE NEED FOR
EXPERT MEDICAL TESTIMONY IS DISPENSED WITH BECAUSE THE
INJURY ITSELF PROVIDES THE PROOF OF NEGLIGENCE. The reason is
that the general rule on the necessity of expert testimony applies only to such
matters clearly within the domain of medical science, and not to matters that
are within the common knowledge of mankind which may be testified to by
anyone familiar with the facts. Ordinarily, only physicians and surgeons of
skill and experience are competent to testify as to whether a patient has been
treated or operated upon with a reasonable degree of skill and care.
However, testimony as to the statements and acts of physicians and
surgeons, external appearances, and manifest conditions which are
observable by any one may be given by non-expert witnesses. Hence, in
cases where the res ipsa loquitur is applicable, the court is permitted to find a
physician negligent upon proper proof of injury to the patient, without the aid
of expert testimony, where the court from its fund of common knowledge can
determine the proper standard of care.
WHERE COMMON KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE TEACH THAT A
RESULTING INJURY WOULD NOT HAVE OCCURRED TO THE PATIENT IF
DUE CARE HAD BEEN EXERCISED, AN INFERENCE OF NEGLIGENCE
MAY BE DRAWN GIVING RISE TO AN APPLICATION OF THE DOCTRINE
OF RES IPSA LOQUITUR WITHOUT MEDICAL EVIDENCE, WHICH IS
ORDINARILY REQUIRED TO SHOW NOT ONLY WHAT OCCURRED BUT
HOW AND WHY IT OCCURRED. When the doctrine is appropriate, all that
the patient must do is prove a nexus between the particular act or omission
complained of and the injury sustained while under the custody and
management of the defendant without need to produce expert medical
testimony to establish the standard of care. Resort to res ipsa loquitur is
allowed because there is no other way, under usual and ordinary conditions,
by which the patient can obtain redress for injury suffered by him.
EXAMPLES FOR CLASS DISCUSSION
Thus, courts of other jurisdictions have applied the doctrine in the following
situations: leaving of a foreign object in the body of the patient after an
operation, injuries sustained on a healthy part of the body which was not
under, or in the area, of treatment, removal of the wrong part of the body
when another part was intended, knocking out a tooth while a patients jaw
was under anesthetic for the removal of his tonsils, and loss of an eye while
the patient plaintiff was under the influence of anesthetic, during or following
an operation for appendicitis, among others.

Page |4
Nevertheless, despite the fact that the scope of res ipsa loquitur has been
measurably enlarged, it does not automatically apply to all cases of medical
negligence as to mechanically shift the burden of proof to the defendant to
show that he is not guilty of the ascribed negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is not
a rigid or ordinary doctrine to be perfunctorily used but a rule to be cautiously
applied, depending upon the circumstances of each case. It is generally
restricted to situations in malpractice cases where a layman is able to say, as
a matter of common knowledge and observation, that the consequences of
professional care were not as such as would ordinarily have followed if due
care had been exercised.
A distinction must be made between the failure to secure results, and the
occurrence of something more unusual and not ordinarily found if the service
or treatment rendered followed the usual procedure of those skilled in that
particular practice. It must be conceded that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur
can have no application in a suit against a physician or surgeon which
involves the merits of a diagnosis or of a scientific treatment. The physician or
surgeon is not required at his peril to explain why any particular diagnosis
was not correct, or why any particular scientific treatment did not produce the
desired result. Thus, res ipsa loquitur is not available in a malpractice suit if
the only showing is that the desired result of an operation or treatment was
not accomplished.
The real question, therefore, is whether or not in the process of the operation
any extraordinary incident or unusual event outside of the routine
performance occurred which is beyond the regular scope of customary
professional activity in such operations, which, if unexplained would
themselves reasonably speak to the average man as the negligent cause or
causes of the untoward consequence. If there was such extraneous
interventions, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur may be utilized and the
defendant is called upon to explain the matter, by evidence of exculpation, if
he could.
FACTUAL BASIS FOR THE RATIO
Erlinda submitted herself for cholecystectomy and expected a routine general
surgery to be performed on her gall bladder. On that fateful day she
delivered her person over to the care, custody and control of private
respondents who exercised complete and exclusive control over her. At the
time of submission, Erlinda was neurologically sound and, except for a few
minor discomforts, was likewise physically fit in mind and body. However,
during the administration of anesthesia and prior to the performance of
cholecystectomy she suffered irreparable damage to her brain. Thus, without
undergoing surgery, she went out of the operating room already decerebrate
and totally incapacitated. Obviously, brain damage, which Erlinda sustained,
is an injury which does not normally occur in the process of a gall bladder
operation. In fact, this kind of situation does not happen in the absence of
negligence of someone in the administration of anesthesia and in the use of
endotracheal tube. Normally, a person being put under anesthesia is not
rendered decerebrate as a consequence of administering such anesthesia if
the proper procedure was followed. Furthermore, the instruments used in the
administration of anesthesia, including the endotracheal tube, were all under
the exclusive control of private respondents, who are the physicians-incharge. Likewise, petitioner Erlinda could not have been guilty of contributory
negligence because she was under the influence of anesthetics which
rendered her unconscious.
Considering that a sound and unaffected member of the body (the brain) is
injured or destroyed while the patient is unconscious and under the
immediate and exclusive control of the physicians, we hold that a practical

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
administration of justice dictates the application of res ipsa loquitur. Upon
these facts and under these circumstances the Court would be able to say, as
a matter of common knowledge and observation, if negligence attended the
management and care of the patient. Moreover, the liability of the physicians
and the hospital in this case is not predicated upon an alleged failure to
secure the desired results of an operation nor on an alleged lack of skill in the
diagnosis or treatment as in fact no operation or treatment was ever
performed on Erlinda. Thus, upon all these initial determination a case is
made out for the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.
Nonetheless, in holding that res ipsa loquitur is available to the present case
we are not saying that the doctrine is applicable in any and all cases where
injury occurs to a patient while under anesthesia, or to any and all anesthesia
cases. Each case must be viewed in its own light and scrutinized in order to
be within the res ipsa loquitur coverage.
2. YES
Ratio Although witness Cruz is not an anesthesiologist, she can very well
testify upon matters on which she is capable of observing such as, the
statements and acts of the physician and surgeon, external appearances,
and manifest conditions which are observable by any one. This is precisely
allowed under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur where the testimony of expert
witnesses is not required. It is the accepted rule that expert testimony is not
necessary for the proof of negligence in non-technical matters or those of
which an ordinary person may be expected to have knowledge, or where the
lack of skill or want of care is so obvious as to render expert testimony
unnecessary.
WE TAKE JUDICIAL NOTICE OF THE FACT THAT ANESTHESIA
PROCEDURES HAVE BECOME SO COMMON, THAT EVEN AN
ORDINARY PERSON CAN TELL IF IT WAS ADMINISTERED PROPERLY.
AS SUCH, IT WOULD NOT BE TOO DIFFICULT TO TELL IF THE TUBE
WAS PROPERLY INSERTED. This kind of observation, we believe, does not
require a medical degree to be acceptable.
At any rate, without doubt, petitioner's witness, an experienced clinical nurse
whose long experience and scholarship led to her appointment as Dean of
the Capitol Medical Center School of Nursing, was fully capable of
determining whether or not the intubation was a success. She had extensive
clinical experience starting as a staff nurse in Chicago, Illinois; staff nurse and
clinical instructor in a teaching hospital, the FEU-NRMF; Dean of the Laguna
College of Nursing in San Pablo City; and then Dean of the Capitol Medical
Center School of Nursing. eviewing witness Cruz' statements, we find that the
same were delivered in a straightforward manner, with the kind of detail,
clarity, consistency and spontaneity which would have been difficult to
fabricate. With her clinical background as a nurse, the Court is satisfied that
she was able to demonstrate through her testimony what truly transpired on
that fateful day.

PHILIPPINE HELATH-CARE PROVIDERS, INC.


(MAXICARE) v CARMELA ESTRADA/CARAHEALTH
SERVICES

Evidence-A2010
GR 171051
NACHURA; :Jan 28 2008
(da)
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari (original action was an action for breach of
contract and damages filed by respondent Carmela Estrada, sole proprietor
of Cara Health Services, against Philippine Health-Care Providers, Inc.
(Maxicare))
FACTS
- Maxicare is a corporation engaged in selling health insurance plans .On
September 15, 1990, Maxicare engaged the services of Carmela Estrada
who was doing business under the name of CARA HEALTH [SERVICES] to
promote and sell the prepaid group practice health care delivery program
called MAXICARE Plan with the position of Independent Account
Executive. .The letter agreement provided for plaintiff-appellees [Estradas]
compensation in the form of commission.
- Estrada submitted proposals and made representations to the officers of
MERALCO regarding the MAXICARE Plan but when MERALCO decided to
subscribe to the MAXICARE Plan, Maxicare directly negotiated with
MERALCO regarding the terms and conditions of the agreement and left
plaintiff-appellee Estrada out of the discussions on the terms and
conditions.On November 28, 1991, MERALCO eventually subscribed to the
MAXICARE Plan and signed a Service Agreement directly with Maxicare for
medical coverage of its qualified members.
- The total premium amounts paid by MERALCO to Maxicare was
P20,169,335.00.
- Estrada demanded from Maxicare that it be paid commissions for the
MERALCO account and nine (9) other accounts. Maxicare denied this
because Maxicare directly negotiated with MERALCO and the other accounts
and that no agent was given the go signal to intervene in the negotiations for
the terms and conditions and the signing of the service agreement with
MERALCO and the other accounts so that if ever Maxicare was indebted to
Estrada, it was only for P1,555.00 and P43.l2 as commissions on the
accounts of Overseas Freighters Co. and Mr. Enrique Acosta, respectively.
- Maxicare and its officers filed their Answer with Counterclaim alleging that
Estrada did not intervene in the negotiations of the contract with MERALCO
which was directly negotiated by MERALCO with Maxicare; and Estradas
alleged other clients/accounts were not accredited with [Maxicare] as
required, since the agency contract on the MAXICARE health plans were not
renewed.
- Both the trial and appellate courts held that Estrada was the efficient
procuring cause in the execution of the service agreement between Meralco
and Maxicare consistent with our ruling in Manotok Brothers, Inc. v. Court of
Appeals.
- At the SC Maxicare urges the court that both the RTC and CA failed to take
into account the stipulations contained in the February 19, 1991 letter
agreement authorizing the payment of commissions only upon satisfaction of
twin conditions, i.e., collection and contemporaneous remittance of premium
dues by Estrada to Maxicare. Allegedly, the lower courts disregarded
Estradas admission that the negotiations with Meralco failed. Thus, the
flawed application of the efficient procuring cause doctrine enunciated in
Manotok Brothers, Inc. v. Court of Appeals,[9] and the erroneous conclusion

Page |5
upholding Estradas entitlement to commissions on contracts completed
without her participation.
ISSUE
WON Estrada is entitled to a commission for the execution of the service
agreement between Meralco and Maxicare.
HELD
YES
- Contrary to Maxicares assertion, the trial and the appellate courts carefully
considered the factual backdrop of the case as borne out by the records.
Both courts were one in the conclusion that Maxicare successfully landed the
Meralco account for the sale of healthcare plans only by virtue of Estradas
involvement and participation in the negotiations. The assailed Decision aptly
states:
There is no dispute as to the role that Estrada played in selling Maxicares
health insurance plan to Meralco. Estradas efforts consisted in being the first
to offer the Maxicare plan to Meralco, using her connections with some of
Meralco Executives, inviting said executives to dinner meetings, making
submissions and representations regarding the health plan, sending follow-up
letters, etc.
- These efforts were recognized by Meralco as shown by the certification
issued by its Manpower Planning and Research Staff Head Ruben A.
Sapitula .
- this Court finds that Estradas efforts were instrumental in introducing the
Meralco account to Maxicare in regard to the latters Maxicare health
insurance plans. Estrada was the efficient intervening cause in bringing
about the service agreement with Meralco.
- The jettisoning of the petition is inevitable even upon a close perusal of the
merits of the case.
- Maxicares former Chairman Roberto K. Macasaet testified that Maxicare
had been trying to land the Meralco account for two (2) years prior to
Estradas entry in 1990. Even without that admission, we note that Meralcos
Assistant Vice-President, Donatila San Juan, in a letter dated January 21,
1992 to then Maxicare President Pedro R. Sen, categorically acknowledged
Estradas efforts relative to the sale of Maxicare health plans to Meralco,
thus:
- Sometime in 1989, Meralco received a proposal from Philippine HealthCare Providers, Inc. (Maxicare) through the initiative and efforts of Ms.
Carmela Estrada, who introduced Maxicare to Meralco. Prior to this time, we
did not know that Maxicare is a major health care provider in the country. We
have since negotiated and signed up with Maxicare to provide a health
maintenance plan for dependents of Meralco executives, effective December
1, 1991 to November 30, 1992.
- At the very least, Estrada penetrated the Meralco market, initially closed to
Maxicare, and laid the groundwork for a business relationship. The only
reason Estrada was not able to participate in the collection and remittance of
premium dues to Maxicare was because she was prevented from doing so by
the acts of Maxicare, its officers, and employees. She was in fact the
procuring cause.To be regarded as the procuring cause of a sale as to be
entitled to a commission, a brokers efforts must have been the foundation on
which the negotiations resulting in a sale began.[18] Verily, Estrada was
instrumental in the sale of the Maxicare health plans to Meralco. Without her
intervention, no sale could have been consummated.
- On Judicial Admissions

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
Maxicare contends that Estrada herself admitted that her negotiations with
Meralco failed as shown in Annex F of the Complaint.
- We observe that this Annex F is, in fact, Maxicares counsels letter dated
April 10, 1992 addressed to Estrada. The letter contains a unilateral
declaration by Maxicare that the efforts initiated and negotiations undertaken
by Estrada failed, such that the service agreement with Meralco was
supposedly directly negotiated by Maxicare. Thus, the latter effectively
declares that Estrada is not the efficient procuring cause of the sale, and as
such, is not entitled to commissions.
- Our holding in Atillo III v. Court of Appeals,ironically the case cited by
Maxicare to bolster its position that the statement in Annex F amounted to
an admission, provides a contrary answer to Maxicares ridiculous contention.
We intoned therein that in spite of the presence of judicial admissions in a
partys pleading, the trial court is still given leeway to consider other evidence
presented. We ruled, thus:
- As provided for in Section 4 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court, the general
rule that a judicial admission is conclusive upon the party making it and does
not require proof admits of two exceptions: 1) when it is shown that the
admission was made through palpable mistake, and 2) when it is shown that
no such admission was in fact made. The latter exception allows one to
contradict an admission by denying that he made such an admission.
- For instance, if a party invokes an admission by an adverse party, but
cites the admission out of context, then the one making the admission may
show that he made no such admission, or that his admission was taken out
of context.
- This may be interpreted as to mean not in the sense in which the
admission is made to appear. That is the reason for the modifier such.
- In this case, the letter, although part of Estradas Complaint, is not, ipso
facto, an admission of the statements contained therein, especially since the
bone of contention relates to Estradas entitlement to commissions for the
sale of health plans she claims to have brokered. It is more than obvious from
the entirety of the records that Estrada has unequivocally and consistently
declared that her involvement as broker is the proximate cause which
consummated the sale between Meralco and Maxicare.
- Moreover, Section 34,[22] Rule 132 of the Rules of Court requires the
purpose for which the evidence is offered to be specified. Undeniably, the
letter was attached to the Complaint, and offered in evidence, to demonstrate
Maxicares bad faith and ill will towards Estrada.
- Even a cursory reading of the Complaint and all the pleadings filed
thereafter before the RTC, CA, and this Court, readily show that Estrada does
not concede, at any point, that her negotiations with Meralco failed. Clearly,
Maxicares assertion that Estrada herself does not pretend to be the efficient
procuring cause in the execution of the service agreement between Meralco
and Maxicare is baseless and an outright falsehood.

Object Evidence

Evidence-A2010
SISON V PEOPLE
250 SCRA 58
PUNO; November 16, 1995
(maia)
NATURE
Consolidation of 2 cases: petition under rule 45 by accused, and automatic
review of the murder case since penalty imposed was reclusion perpetua
FACTS
- After the 1986 EDSA Revolution, there was a time when the Aquino
administration was openly challenged by Marcos loyalists through rallies
- In one particular rally (which was dispersed by the police for not having a
permit to rally) on July 27, 1986 in Luneta, Stephen Salcedo was killed.
Apparently, after the police dispersed the rallyists (using tear gas and
truncheons), some Marcos loyalists chased people wearing yellow (Coryista)
and mauled them
- Thats how Salcedo died. He was mauled by some Marcos loyalists (8 were
accused as principals, 5 were convicted), hitting and boxing and kicking him
all over his body, even when he was down already. The attackers even
punched him with stones in their hands and kicked him on the head. He lost
consciousness and when the Lunetas electrician rushed him to PGH, he was
already dead. The medical report showed that the cause of death was
hemorrhage, intracranial trauma. (note: theres a graphic description of the
mauling in the original case, and nakakawa siya, pinagtulungan talaga. Sabi
pa, he even had a chance to sit on the pavement and wipe the blood from his
face, but his attackers went after him again).
- Some press people were present in the mauling, and a lot of pictures were
taken of the incident (which reached the front pages of newspapers)
- The prosecution presented as evidence testimonies of 12 witnesses,
including 2 eyewitnesses, newspaper accounts of the incident, and various
photographs during the mauling.
- RTC convicted the 5 attackers as principal, and an accomplice (a movie
starlet Annie Ferrer whose participation in the crime was to shout gulpihn
niyo ang mga cory hecklers! immediately before the incident).
- CA confirmed and increased sentence to reclusion perpetua (and acquitted
the starlet)
- in relation to our topic (object evidence), the relevant part of the case is the
error assigned to the lower court in admitting the photographs in evidence
since they were not properly identified by the one who took them
ISSUE
WON the photographs of the incident should be admitted in evidence
HELD
YES
Ratio We rule that the use of these photographs by some of the accused to
show their alleged non-participation in the crime is an admission of the
exactness and accuracy thereof.
Reasoning
- 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 under which they were produced. The value of this kind of
evidence lies in its being a correct representation or reproduction of the

Page |6
original, and its admissibility is determined by its accuracy in portraying the
scene at the time of the crime. The photographer, however, is not the only
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.
- That the photographs are faithful representations of the mauling incident
was affirmed when appellants Richard de los Santos, Nilo Pacadar and Joel
Tan identified themselves therein and gave reasons for their presence
thereat.
- when the prosecution offered the photographs as part of its evidence,
appellants, through counsel Atty. Lazaro, Jr. objected to their admissibility for
lack of proper identification. However, when the accused presented their
evidence, Atty. Winlove (yessss, the name!) Dumayas, counsel for accused
Joselito Tamayo and Gerry Neri used Exhibits V, V1-V48 to prove that his
clients were not in any of the pictures and therefore could not have
participated in the mauling of the victim. The photographs were adopted by
appellant Joselito Tamayo and accused Gerry Neri as part of the defense
exhibits. And at this hearing, Atty. Dumayas represented all the other accused
per understanding with their respective counsels. At subsequent hearings, the
prosecution used the photographs to cross-examine all the accused who took
the witness stand. No objection was made by counsel for any of the accused,
not until Atty. Lazaro appeared at the 3rd hearing and interposed a continuing
objection to their admissibility.
- An analysis of the photographs vis-a-vis the accused's testimonies reveal
that only 3 of the appellants could be readily seen in various belligerent poses
lunging or hovering behind or over the victim. Appellant Sison appears only
once and he, although (allegedly) afflicted with hernia is shown merely
running after the victim. Appellant Joselito Tamayo was not identified in any of
the pictures. The absence of the two appellants in the photographs does not
exculpate them. The photographs did not capture the entire sequence of the
killing of Salcedo but only segments thereof. While the pictures did not record
Sison and Tamayo hitting Salcedo, they were unequivocally identified by the
eyewitnesses. Appellants' denials and alibis cannot overcome their eyeball
identification.
Disposition Petition is denied. Decision modified (increased award of moral
damages and indemnity for death)

PEOPLE v ADOVISO
G.R. No.116196-7
KAPUNAN; June 23, 1999
(owen)
NATURE
Appeal from RTC Camarines Sur Joint Judgment
FACTS
- Pablo Adoviso, a member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit
(CAFGU), was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for Murders of Rufino
Agunos and Emeterio Vasquez. Four unidentified persons who have been

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
originally charged with him, however, remained at large. The information
states:
That on or about the 18th day of February 1990 at about 8:00 oclock in
the evening at Sitio Tan-agan, Barangay Casugad, Municipality of Bula,
Province of Camarines Sur, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, while armed with assorted
long firearms, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another,
with intent to kill and with treachery and evident premeditation, did then
and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously shoot one Rufino Agunos
several times with said firearms hitting the latter on the different parts of
his body which were the direct and immediate cause of his death, to the
damage and prejudice of the heirs of said Rufino Agunos.
That the crime complained of against the accused is not service
connected. (information wrt the killing of Emeterio Vasquez, contains the
same allegations)
- PROSECUTION VERSION:
The spouses Emeterio and Anastacia Vasquez had two adjacent houses
in Sitio Tan-agan, Barangay Casugad, Bula, Camarines Sur. One of the
houses was actually a camalig where they stored harvested rice. The
spouses preferred to live there because it was cooler. The living area of
the camalig had walls of bamboo called salsag. This area was elevated
from the ground. Three steps led down to an awning (suyab) walled with
bamboo slats. These slats were placed horizontally approximately four to
six inches apart. A portion of the awning was used as a kitchen but
another portion had a papag where the Vasquez grandson, Rufino
Agunos, son of their daughter Virginia, would sleep whenever he tended
the irrigation pump. The spouses son Bonifacio occupied the other house
eight (8) meters from the camalig with his own son Elmer.
At around 8:00 in the evening of February 18, 1990, Emeterio Vazquez
was preparing coffee as his wife was about to retire for the night. Their
grandson Rufino had already gone to sleep in the papag. Anastacia had
just finished spreading the sleeping mat when she heard three or four
gunshots. Emeterio then uttered that he had been shot. Seeing Emeterio,
Anastacia exclaimed, Why should you not be hit when in fact there are
guns in front of you. Anastacia saw the protruding edge of the gun on
the wall near the stairs where Emeterio went down. A lamp near the
stairs where Emeterio drank coffee illuminated the camalig but
Anastacia failed to recognize the persons who fired their guns at her
husband.
The Vasquez son Bonifacio was in the bigger house when he heard the
gunshots. Earlier that evening, Bonifacio was talking to Rufino regarding
the engine of the irrigation pump. Bonifacio was still talking when he
noticed that Rufino had fallen asleep, the latters back against the bamboo
wall. Bonifacio left Rufino snoring in the papag and went to the other
house. Only a minute had passed after he had gone up when Bonifacio
heard the gunshots. He and his 16-year-old son Elmer immediately went
down the front yard to investigate.
Bonifacio hid himself in the dark portion of the yard, behind a coconut
tree. From a distance of eight (8) meters, Bonifacio saw Rufino, who was
inside the camalig, being shot by several persons from the outside.
Looking through the bamboo slats of the camalig wall, Bonifacio
recognized one of the assailants, with a large built and long hair, as
appellant Pablo Adoviso because of the gas lamp that was lighted
inside the camalig. Of Rufinos assailants, only appellant was not
wearing a mask. Appellant was holding a long firearm wrapped inside a

Evidence-A2010
sack with its muzzle protruding and directed where Rufino was sleeping.
Appellant then fired hitting Rufino. At that moment, Bonifacio heard his
father Emeterio shout Pino, (referring to his grandson Rufino) and saw
his father go down the stairs carrying a gas lamp. Appellant fired again,
hitting Emeterio at the stomach.
For his part, Elmer, who rushed towards the camalig with his father
Bonifacio, saw five (5) persons aiming their firearms at the camalig.
Except for appellant, each of these persons had a cover over their faces.
Three (3) of them were positioned in a ditch near the camalig while two (2)
others were near its door. Elmer saw these five (5) persons shoot his
cousin Rufino who was lying down on the papag. Although his back was
hit, Rufino was able to crawl under the papag. Elmers grandfather was
also hit on the stomach but he managed to go up the camalig. When
appellant and his companion by the camalig door saw Elmer, they fired at
him then, with the three others at the ditch, escaped to the banana
plantation. Elmer, on the other hand, fled towards the coconut plantation.
Upon returning to the camalig, Elmer saw his father carrying his
grandfather Emeterio. He also found Rufino at the foot of a coconut tree
near the river, lying on his side with his body curled. Rufino told Elmer
that he had been hit and, when Elmer failed to locate his wound, Rufino
took Elmers hand and put it on his back. Elmer then moved Rufino
sidewise. Upon returning to the camalig, Elmer carried his grandfather
and bandaged his stomach with diapers.
In the meantime, Bonifacio went to the municipal building of Bula to fetch
the police. Inspector Antonio Lopez and Senior Police Officer 1 Claro
Ballevar returned to the scene of the crime with him. The police brought
Emeterio and Rufino to the municipal hall of Bula and then to the Bicol
Regional Hospital. Both Emeterio and Rufino died early the next morning.
- The certification dated March 7, 1990 and signed by Dr. Janice Nanette
Estrada, resident physician of the Bicol Regional Hospital in Naga City, states
that 35-year-old Rufino Agunos died of four (4) gunshot wounds: at the
inguinal area, the sacral area, the thigh and the abdomen. The wounds at
the inguinal area and the thigh bore contusion collars. The same physician
certified that Emeterio Vasquez, 88 years of age, sustained seven (7)
gunshot wounds at the paraumbilical area, lumbar area, hypogastrium,
anterior aspect of the right forearm, anteromedial aspect of the right forearm,
anteromedial aspect left arm and anterolateral aspect of the left arm. Four
(4) of these gunshot wounds had contusion collars at the paraumbilical
area, the hypogastrium, the right forearm and the left arm.
- ACCUSEDS VERSION:
Adoviso interposed alibi and denial as his defense. He claimed that he
was a member of the CAFGU whose headquarters was located in
Barangay Palsong, Bula, Camarines Sur. At around 7:00 in the evening of
February 18, 1990, he was in Sitio Burabod, Palsong, about a kilometer
away from the CAFGU headquarters. He, together with Francisco
Bislombre, Benjamin Alina, Jr. and PFC Antero Esteron, had some drinks
in the store of Honoria Tragante until around 11:00 p.m. Honoria Tragante
and Francisco Bislombre corroborated his alibi. Antero Esteron likewise
testified that from 7:00 until past 11:00 that night of February 18, 1990, he
and Adoviso had a drinking spree at the Tragante store. He distinctly
remembered that date because it was the fiesta of Balatan. To support his
denial, he presented Lt. Antonio Lopez, the deputy chief of police and
SPO2 Claro Ballebar of the PNP Bula Police Station. Lopez identified a
police certification prepared by Pfc. Ramon N. Canabe to the effect
that the shooting incident was perpetrated by unidentified armed

Page |7
men. Lopez said that he (Lopez) was one of those who brought the
victims to the hospital who were then still conscious. The victims told him
that they did not know who shot them or why they were shot. The defense
also offered in evidence the testimony of Ernesto A. Lucena, Polygraph
Examiner II of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila, who
conducted a polygraph test on him. In Polygraph Report No. 900175,
Lucena opined that appellants polygrams revealed that there were no
specific reactions indicative of deception to pertinent questions relevant to
the investigation of the crimes.
- SPO2 Claro Ballebar, however testified that in the follow-up investigation
he conducted several days after the incident, Bonifacio Vasquez revealed to
him that he (Bonifacio) vividly saw the incident and recognized appellant
as one of the perpetrators of the crime and that the killings had some
something to do with land dispute between Bonifacios parents and the
Galicia family.
- REBUTTAL:
Bonifacio Vasquez revealed that when he reported the incident to the
police, he did not identify appellant as one of the culprits because he was
afraid of appellant who was a member of the CAFGU. Nevertheless,
Bonifacio did mention to the police that he recognized appellant as one of
the perpetrators of the crime although he told them that he did not
recognize appellants four (4) companions. He did not mention to Lopez
and Canabe appellants identity because he was confused about what
had happened in their house.
- TRIAL COURT: Joint Judgment finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable
doubt for two (2) counts of murder
- APPELLANT CLAIMS:
His bid for exoneration on whether he was properly identified by the two
(2) eyewitnesses as one of the killers of the victims. He contends that
eyewitnesses Bonifacio and Elmer Vasquez presented an incredible
story because it is highly improbable that they could have distinctly and
positively recognized accused-appellant as one of the perpetrators of the
crimes." According to him, Bonifacio, who was in the dark portion of the
yard hiding behind a coconut tree, could not have identified appellant by
the light emanating from gas lamp inside the camalig where Emeterio
Vasquez and Rufino Agunos were staying at the time of the incident.
Neither could Elmer Vasquez, who declared that he saw his grandfather
shot by him, could have identified him because of the poor lighting
coming from the gas lamp being carried by his grandfather . He
claims that the gas lamp carried by Elmer's grandfather was a small can
about two (2) inches tall and the wick is smaller than a cigarette and
the lamp inside the camalig was placed inside a bigger can so that
the direction of the light emanating therefrom was upwards and not
sidewise.
ISSUES
1. WON visibility, through lamp, is factor in impeaching witness testimony
2. WON visibility, through bamboo slats, is factor in impeaching witness
testimony
3. WON perpetration of a crime without a mask is improbable
4. WON failure to identify him as perpetrator immediately after the crime is a
relevant
5. WON motive is relevant in this case
6. WON alibi holds water
7. WON polygraph test is relevant

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
HELD
1. NO
Ratio Visibility is indeed a vital factor in the determination of whether or not
an eyewitness could have identified the perpetrator of a crime. However, it is
settled that when conditions of visibility are favorable, and the witnesses do
not appear to be biased, their assertion as to the identity of the malefactor
should normally be accepted. Illumination produced by kerosene lamp or a
flashlight is sufficient to allow identification of persons. Wicklamps, flashlights,
even moonlight or starlight may, in proper situations be considered sufficient
illumination, making the attack on the credibility of witnesses solely on that
ground unmeritorious.
Reasoning
- In this case, not one (1) but two (2) gas lamps illuminated the place the
one placed inside the camalig and that held by Emeterio as he descended
from the stairs after the first volley of gunfire. Appellants contention therefore
that one particular gas lamp could not have lighted the place because it was
placed inside a can is puerile. Besides, Elmer was not describing either of
the gas lamps during the incident. The defense counsel at the trial and
appellants counsel misunderstood the testimonies of Elmer and his
grandmother on that matter.
- Through Anastacias testimony, it was shown that the lamp inside the
camalig was placed on the floor and a can was placed over it only after the
incident when Anastacia left with her son and the police to bring the victims to
the hospital.
2. NO
- The bamboo slats of the camalig could not have effectively obstructed the
eyewitnesses' view of Adoviso, considering that the slats were built four (4)
meters apart. Besides, it is the natural reaction of relatives of victims to strive
to observe the faces and appearance of the assailants, if not ascertain their
identities, and the manner in which the crime is committed. A relative will
naturally be interested in identifying the malefactor to secure his conviction to
obtain justice for the death of his relative(s). It must remembered that Adoviso
was not a complete stranger to the eyewitnesses. Bonifacio had known him
for ten (10) years while Elmer had been acquainted with him for four (4)
years. Elmer recalled that Adoviso used to join the rabuz at the barracks.
Familiarity with his face and appearance minimized if not erased the
possibility that they could have been mistaken as to his identity.
3. NO
- Adovisos allegation that it was improbable for him to have committed the
crimes without a mask, unlike the other participants, deserves scant
consideration. It is not contrary to human experience for a person to commit
a crime before the very eyes of people who are familiar to them. Indeed,
some may even take pride in their identification as the perpetrator of a
criminal act.
4. NO
Ratio The failure of a witness to reveal at once the identity of the accused as
one of the perpetrators of the crime does not affect, much less, impair his
credibility as a witness. The general or common rule is that witnesses react to
a crime in different ways. There is no standard form of human behavioral
response to a strange, startling and frightful event, and there is no standard
rule by which witnesses to a crime must react.
Reasoning
- The delay in reporting his participation to the police was however sufficiently
explained by Bonifacio. Bonifacio was afraid of Adoviso since the latter was a

Evidence-A2010
member of the CAFGU and, as such, was provided with a gun. He was also
hesitant in identifying him immediately lest he got wind of his impending
arrest and posthaste escaped the clutches of the law.
5. NO
- According to Adoviso, Bonifacio suspected that he was hired by the Galicia
family to kill Bonifacio's father who had earlier won in a land dispute with the
Galicias. It is irrelevant here to talk of motive on the part of Bonifacio
inasmuch as to credible witnesses had positively identified appellant as one
of the participants in the killing of Emeterio Vasquez and Rufino Agunos.
6. NO
Ratio For an alibi to prosper, moreover, there must be proof that the
defendant was not only somewhere else when the crime was committed but
that he could not be physically present at the place of the crime or its
immediate vicinity at the time of its commission.
Reasoning
- Adovisos alibi thus crumbles in the face of his positive identification as one
of the perpetrators of the crimes. Appellant did not prove the physical
impossibility of his being in Sitio Tan-agan which is not exactly remote from
Sitio Palsong where he claimed to be when the incident happened. Both
places are within the Municipality of Bula. Appellant admitted that the
distance between the two sitios could be negotiated in three hours even
without any means of transportation. On the other hand, his alleged
companion in Sitio Palsong, Antero Esteron, testified that the distance could
be traveled in thirty-five (35) minutes by trimobile or private vehicle.
- Apart from the fact that appellant's alibi was inherently weak, he was not
even sure where he was and who were his companions at the time the
crimes were committed.
7. NO
Ratio A polygraph is an electromechanical instrument that simultaneously
measures and records certain physiological changes in the human body that
are believed to be involuntarily caused by an examinees conscious attempt
to deceive the questioner. The theory behind a polygraph or lie detector test
is that a person who lies deliberately will have a rising blood pressure and a
subconscious block in breathing, which will be recorded on the graph.
However, American courts almost uniformly reject the results of polygraph
tests when offered in evidence for the purpose of establishing the guilt or
innocence of one accused of a crime, whether the accused or the prosecution
seeks its introduction, for the reason that polygraph has not as yet attained
scientific acceptance as a reliable and accurate means of ascertaining truth
or deception. The rule is no different in this jurisdiction.
Disposition Joint Judgment of the trial court is hereby AFFIRMED.

PEOPLE v EMPLEO
226 SCRA 457
REGALADO; Sep 15, 1993
(athe)
FACTS
Elisa Cordova y Urdaneta filed a complaint against Edmund Empleo y
Maquilan charging the latter with the crime of rape allegedly committed by
grabbing her under a point of a gun, forced her to lie on the ground and
forcibly tore her underwear, kissed and with the use of superior strength, had
carnal knowledge with her. During the trial, Collen Parreno, corroborated the

Page |8
testimony of the victim, Elisa, being one of the latters companions on the
date and time of the incident.
The TC found Empleo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape.
Thus, this appeal.
ISSUES
1. WON the trial court erred in finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of rape on the basis of the testimonies of complainant Elisa
Cordova and prosecution witness, Collen Parreo, which are allegedly
replete with contradictions and inconsistencies on material point (in short, the
issue devolves on the credibility of complainant and witness)
2. WON the trial court erred in not taking into consideration the results of the
medical examination conducted on private complainant, the report on which
was admitted as Exhibit B
HELD
1. NO.
Ratio When an appealed conviction hinges on the credibility of witnesses,
the assessment of the trial court is accorded the highest degree of respect.
Absent any proper reason to depart from this fundamental rule, factual
conclusions reached by the lower court, which had the opportunity to observe
and evaluate the demeanor of the witnesses while on the witness stand,
should not be disturbed.
Reasoning
a. The contradiction between the affidavit and the testimony of a witness may
be explained by the fact that an affidavit will not always disclose all the facts
and will oftentimes and without design incorrectly describe, without the
deponent detecting it, some of the occurrences narrated. Being taken ex
parte, an affidavit is almost always incomplete and often inaccurate,
sometimes from partial suggestions, and sometimes from want of
suggestions and inquiries, without the aid of which the witness may be unable
to recall the connected collateral circumstances necessary for the correction
of the first suggestion of his memory and for his accurate recollection of all
that belongs to the subject. It has thus been held that affidavits are generally
subordinated in importance to open court declarations because the former
are often executed when an affiant's mental faculties are not in such a state
as to afford him a fair opportunity of narrating in full the incident which has
transpired. Further, affidavits are not complete reproductions of what the
declarant has in mind because they are generally prepared by the
administering officer and the affiant simply signs them after the same have
been read to him.
The exception to the rule is where the omission in the affidavit refers to a
very important detail such that the affiant would not have failed to mention it,
and which omission could affect the affiant's credibility. Such exceptive
circumstance does not obtain in the present case. The alleged omissions in
the affidavit of complainant are not that vital and substantial as to affect her
credibility. The more important detail which is really material to the case, and
which is categorically declared and explained both in the affidavit and in
complainant's testimony, is the fact that appellant had carnal knowledge of
complainant without her consent.
b. There is no discrepancy in the statements made by complainant in her
affidavit, where she declared that she was stripped naked during the assault,
and in her oral testimony, where she said that she was not naked when
appellant did the sexual act. This seeming inconsistency was later clarified by
complainant in her testimony where she explained that what she really meant

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
by the word "naked" is that she had no underwear but she had her uniform
on.
c. The bare fact alone that complainant did not know the name of herein
appellant, we cannot safely conclude that the identity of the assailant was not
sufficiently established.
The fact that complainant testified that she was able to recognize appellant
because at that time the moon was very bright, when in truth and in fact it
was a first quarter moon, does not serve to discredit her entire testimony. It is
perfectly reasonable to believe the testimony of a witness with respect to
some facts and disbelieve it with respect to other facts.
It is not
inconceivable that complainant may have wrongly perceived the light coming
from the lamp post as having come from the moon.
d. Non-presentation of the torn dress and underwear of the complainant does
not destroy the case for the prosecution, there being sufficient and convincing
evidence to prove the rape charged beyond reasonable doubt. Those clothes
are not essential, and need not be presented, as they are not indispensable
evidence to prove rape. The absence thereof does not negate the truth of a
rape complaint and the credibility of a victim's testimony.
2. NO.
Reasoning
a. An erroneous reckoning or mis-estimation of time is too trivial and
immaterial to discredit the testimony of a complainant, especially in this case
where time is not an essential element or has no substantial bearing on the
fact of commission of the crime. (Note: med cert shows the information that
she was raped at about 6pm while in her testimony she claimed that the
incident happened at around 8:30pm)Minor inconsistencies are not sufficient
to blur or cast doubt on straightforward attestations. Far from being badges of
fraud and fabrication, the inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses may
on the contrary be justifiably considered as indicative of the truthfulness on
material points of the facts testified to. These minor deviations also confirm
that the witnesses had not been rehearsed.
b. The medical findings of the physician who examined complainant shows
that she was positive for alcoholic breath, but this fact alone does not
sufficiently establish that she was in such a state of intoxication as would
completely deprive her of her sense of perception and which would pervert
her otherwise coherent and credible testimony.
Consequently, the rule is that the absence of spermatozoa does not disprove
the fact of rape (People vs Balane, People vs Selfaison, People vs
Carandang). What is essential is that there was genital penetration, which
was unequivocally testified to by complainant.
Disposition The judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED in toto.

PEOPLE v. ESPINOZA
G.R. No. 104596
PUNO; November 23, 1993
(glaisa)
FACTS
- Prosecution witness Lucresio Croda was in the living room of his house
when he heard cries for help. As he went down the stairs, he saw the
appellants drag the victim away from the road towards his house. He
positively recognized the victim. He also witnessed the accused-appellant
Rogelio and Victor Espinoza hack the victim several times with their long

Evidence-A2010
bolos while appellant Magbarit held back the victim who was lying on his
back.
- Prosecution witness Charlito Guevarra testified that he was watching the
coronation ceremonies of the fiesta queen at the barrio hall when he received
information from his brother, Raul, about a hacking incident. He immediately
went to the place and there saw Renato Salvar, seriously wounded and lying
on his back. He asked Salvar who was responsible and Salvar answered: "I
was betrayed by Rogelio Espinoza, Victor Espinoza and Julian Magbaril."
- Simplicio Salvar, Jr. who also proceeded at the crossing of Anlawagan and
Kisawi after being informed that his brother, Renato Salvar was the victim of
an attack, was able to talk to the latter who was then still conscious and
coherent in speech. The victim identified the three accused-appellants as his
assailants.
- Accused-appellants were charged with and convicted of Murder by the RTC
for hacking to death a certain Renato Salvar. CA affirmed.
ISSUE
WON the Trial Court and the Court of Appeals erred in giving credence to the
testimony of the lone alleged eye-witness Lucresio Crudo.
HELD
1. NO
- Eyewitness Lucresio Croda, positively identified Rogelio Espinoza, Victor
Espinoza and Julian Magbaril as the assailants of Renato Salvar. It is
unrebutted that Lucresio's house is located at least three (3) fathoms away
from the scene of the crime. Moreover, during the hacking incident, the place
was illuminated by the moon.
- The accused himself, Rogelio Espinoza, admitted on cross-examination that
prosecution witness Lucresio Croda and Charlito Gualderama, both residents
of Payad, Pangantucan, Bukidnon, are his friends and could not think of any
reason why they testified against him.
- Lucresio testified in detail how the accused-appellants, taking advantage of
their superior strength, hacked to death the victim.
- The testimony of a witness, mentioning the minutiae of an incident that
could not easily be concocted, such as the murder in the case at bar,
deserves credence for it indicates sincerity and truthfulness in the narration of
events.
- The credible testimony of a lone witness can provide a rational basis for
conviction. The fight for truth is not necessarily won by the party with more
numerous witnesses. It is the quality and not the quantity of witnesses that
counts in assessing their credence.
- We take judicial notice of the fact that people usually shy away from any
involvement in criminal cases due to its inconvenience, if not the danger it
poses to their lives. The fact, therefore, that it takes them a long time to
decide whether or not to testify should not necessarily erode their credibility.
Inn this case, Lucresio had just witnessed a gruesome, hacking incident.
There is no standard form of behavior when on is confronted with a shocking
incident. Lucresio's initial hesitation to report the crime to the authorities due
to the shocking experience should not be counted against his credibility.
- It cannot also be doubted that the numerous wounds suffered by the victim
were due to hacking by means of sharp bladed instruments.
Appellant's participation in the merciless killing of Renato Salvar is further
buttressed by the fact that before the victim died, he disclosed to witnesses
CHARLITO GUALDERAMA AND SIMPLICIO SALVAR, JR. the name of his
assailants. Utterances made immediately after a startling occurrence and

Page |9
before the declarant had an opportunity to fabricate a false statement can be
considered as part of the res gestae.
- As between the positive declarations of the prosecution witnesses and the
negative statements of the appellants, the former deserve more credence
and weight than the latter. In this case, we give full credit to the factual
findings of the trial court considering that it is in the best position to weigh
conflicting declarations of witnesses as it was able to observe their demeanor
and conduct while giving their testimonies.
Dispositive The decision of the appellate court finding accused-appellants
ROGELIO ESPINOZA, VICTOR ESPINOZA and JULIAN MAGBARIL guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of Murder is hereby AFFIRMED. Accordingly, they
are sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs
of Renato Salvar an indemnity of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00).

PEOPLE v AMESTUZO
GR 104383
Jul 12, 2001; KAPUNAN
(athe)
NATURE
Appeal from the decision of the RTC of Kalookan City.
FACTS
At about nine-thirty in the evening of February 22, 1991, a group of eight
armed men wearing masks entered the house of complainant Perlita delos
Santos Lacsamana at Sacred Heart Village, Kalookan City and robbed the
said premises of valuables in the total amount of P728,000.00. In the course
of the robbery, two members of the gang raped Maria Fe Catanyag and
Estrella Rolago, niece and employee, respectively of complainant
Lacsamana.
- On February 27, 1991, accused-appellant Albino Bagas, Valeriano
Amestuzo, Federico Ampatin, Dioscoro Vias and four other accused, whose
identities are unknown and who are still at large up to the present, were
charged with the complex crime of robbery in band with double rape.
- The trial court rendered judgment convicting all the accused.
- From the judgment of conviction by the trial court, only herein accusedappellant Bagas appealed to this Court. His appeal is based mainly on (1)
the alleged deprivation of his constitutional right to be represented by counsel
during his identification, (2) the trial courts error in giving due weight to the
open court identification of him which was based on a suggestive and
irregular out-of-court identification, and (3) the trial courts improper rejection
of his defense of alibi.
ISSUES
1. WON his constitutional right to be represented by counsel was violated
2. WON the TC erred in giving due weight to the open court identification of
him which was based on a suggestive and irregular out-of-court
identification
3. WON the TC improperly rejected his defense of alibi
HELD
1. NO.
Ratio The guarantees of Sec. 12 (1), Art. III of the 1987 Constitution, or the
so-called Miranda rights, may be invoked only by a person while he is under

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
custodial investigation. Custodial investigation starts when the police
investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has
begun to focus on a particular suspect taken into custody by the police who
starts the interrogation and propounds questions to the person to elicit
incriminating statements. Police line-up is not part of the custodial
investigation; hence, the right to counsel guaranteed by the Constitution
cannot yet be invoked at this stage.
Reasoning: Bagas could not yet invoke his right to counsel when he was
presented for identification by the complainants because the same was not
yet part of the investigation process. Moreover, there was no showing that
during his identification by the complainants, the police investigators sought
to elicit any admission or confession from accused-appellant. In fact, records
show that the police did not at all talk to accused-appellant when he was
presented before the complainants. The alleged infringement of the
constitutional rights of the accused while under custodial investigation is
relevant and material only to cases in which an extra-judicial admission or
confession extracted from the accused becomes the basis of his conviction.
In the present case, there is no such confession or extra-judicial admission.
2. YES.
Ratio There is no law requiring a police line-up as essential to a proper
identification. The fact that he was brought out of the detention cell alone and
was made to stand before the accused by himself and unaccompanied by
any other suspects or persons does not detract from the validity of the
identification process. However, we agree that complainants out-of-court
identification of accused-appellant was seriously flawed as to preclude its
admissibility. In resolving the admissibility and reliability of out-of-court
identifications, we have applied the totality of circumstances test enunciated
in the case of People vs. Teehankee which lists the following factors: xxx (1)
the witness opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime; (2) the
witness degree of attention at that time; (3) the accuracy of any prior
description given by the witness; (4) the level of certainty demonstrated by
the witness at the identification; (5) the length of time between the crime and
the identification; and (6) the suggestiveness of the identification process.
Reasoning
- The out-of-court identification of herein accused-appellant by complainants
in the police station appears to have been improperly suggestive. Even
before complainants had the opportunity to view accused-appellant face-toface when he was brought our of the detention cell to be presented to them
for identification, the police made an announcement that he was one of the
suspects in the crime and that he was the one pointed to by accused Ampatin
as one of culprits. The fact that this information came to the knowledge of the
complainants prior to their identification based on their own recall of the
incident detracts from the spontaneity of their subsequent identification and
therefore, its objectivity.
3. YES
Ratio The defense of alibi or denial assumes significance or strength when it
is amply corroborated by a credible witness. And to be given weight, accused
must prove not only that he was somewhere else when the crime was
committed but that he was so far away that it was physically impossible for
him to be present at the crime scene or its immediate vicinity at the time of its
commission. Though inherently weak as a defense, alibi in the present case
has been sufficiently established by corroborative testimonies of credible
witnesses and by evidence of physical impossibility of accused-appellants
presence at the scene of the crime. Alibi, therefore, should have been
properly appreciated in accused-apellants favor.

Evidence-A2010
Reasoning
- Accused-appellant vehemently argues that it was physically impossible for
him to have been present at the scene of the crime or its immediate vicinity at
the time of its commission. First, the crime was committed around 9:30 in the
evening of February 22, 1991. Accused-appellant, as well as two other
witnesses, testified that he worked in the factory until 10 p.m. that night and
went to sleep after. Second, there was only one door in the factory which
was the only means of entrance and exit and this door was kept locked by
witness Ocasla after ten p.m. that night. Ocasla was the only person who had
a key to this door. Third, the windows on the first floor of the building
consisted of hollow blocks with small holes which do not allow passage. The
second and third floor windows were 14 and 21 feet high, respectively. There
was no possible means of exit through these windows without accusedappellant getting hurt or injured. Lastly, the crime took place in Kalookan City
around 9:30 p.m. while accused-appellants place of work was in Pasay City.
Assuming for the sake of argument that he was able to leave the premises
after 10 p.m. that night, by the time he reaches Kalookan, the crime would
have already been completed.
- Another significant evidence which the trial court failed to consider is the
voluntary confession of accused Federico Ampatin absolving accusedappellant Bagas of the crime. Ampatins testimony was clear and categorical
that he pointed on Bagas because he was afraid to be hit again by the
policeman if he would not do so. Ampatin did not know Bagas and he did not
even saw his face before pointing on him. Ampatin and accused-appellant
were charged as co-conspirators in the crime of robbery with rape. As a coaccused, it would have been more consistent with human nature for Ampatin
to implicate accused-appellant if indeed he was one of the gang. In fact, the
Court has recognized that as is usual with human nature, a culprit,
confessing a crime is likely to put the blame as far as possible on others
rather than himself. The fact that he testified to the innocence of a coaccused, an act which resulted in no advantage or benefit to him and which
might in fact implicate him more, should have been received by the trial court
as an indicum of the truth of Ampatins testimony and the innocence of herein
accused-appellant. Ampatins testimony, therefore, should have been given
weight by the trial court.
- More so, the same was substantially corroborated by another witness,
Rodolfo Rosales, accused-appellants co-worker and who was present when
accused-appellant was arrested. Rosales testified that he noticed that the
reaction of Federico Ampatin was afraid, so, because of fear he was able to
point on the person of Albino Bagas but when asked he does not know the
name of Albino Bagas.
Disposition The decision of the trial court convicting accused-appellant
Albino Bagas of the crime of robbery with multiple rape is REVERSED and he
is ACQUITTED of the crime charged.

PEOPLE v VALLEJO
382 SCRA 192
PER CURIAM; May 9, 2002
(guilia)
FACTS
The accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo was convicted by the RTC of rape with
homicide, which was affirmed by the CA.
The accused was convicted through the ff circumstancial evidence:

P a g e | 10
1.
2.

3.
4.

5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

The victim, Daisy, went to Aimee Vallejo's house for tutoring


around 1pm
At around 2pm, the accused and Daisy went together to the
latter's house to get a book from which the former could copy
Daisy's school project. After getting the book, they proceeded to
the accused's residence.
Daisy then went to her neighbor's house to watch TV. The
accused thereafter arrived and whispered something to Daisy,
and the latter went with him towards the 'compuerta'
At about 4:30pm, Sps Yepes saw accused coming out of the
'compuerta' with his clothes wet, although his face and hair were
not. According to witnesses, he looked pale, uneasy, and balisa.
He kept looking around and did not even greet them as was his
custom to do so.
The fishing boat used by the accused as a bomber was docked
by the seashore.
A little before 5pm another witness saw the accused buying
cigarettes and noticed that his clothes were wet, but not her hair
and face.
At around 5:30, Ma. Nida Diola, mother of the witness, looked for
her daughter and the accused that Daisy had gone to her
classmate's house. The information proved to be false.
Daisy's body was found tied to an aroma tree at the part of the
river near the 'compuerta'.
During the initial investigation, the accused has scratches on his
feet similar to those caused by the thorns of an aroma tree.
The clothes worn by the accused on that day were bloodstained.
The bloodstains on the accused's clothes and those on Daisy's
clothes were found positive of human blood type 'A'.
The accused's blood type is 'O'.
The vaginal swabs from Daisy's body contained her DNA profile
as well as that of the accused.

ISSUES
1. WON the bloodstains found on the accused's garments were not proven
to have been that of the victim as the victim's blood was not determined and
2. WON the method by which his clothes were recovered was proper.
3. WON DNA analysis conducted by NBI was also questioned as the NBI
failed to show that all the samples were not contaminated.
4. WON prosecution's oral and written confessions were admissible as
evidence and WON the extrajudicial confessions by the accused were
admissible
HELD
1. On the bloodstained clothes and means of recovery
Even if there was no direct determination as to what blood type the victim
had, it can reasonably be inferred that the victim was a blood type 'A' since
she sustained contused abrasions all over her body which would necessarily
produce the bloodstains on her clothing.
2. As to the method by which the accused's clothes were recovered, there is
no showing that accused was coerced or forced into producing the garments.
3. On the validity of DNA
DNA is an organic substance found in a person's cells which contains his or
her genetic code. When a crime is committed, material is collected from the
scene of a crime or from the victim's body for the suspect's DNA. The

P r o f . V. A . A v e n a
purpose of DNA is to ascertain whether an association exists between the
evidence sample and the reference sample. The test may yield three possible
results:
1)
The samples are different and therefore must have originated
from different sources (exclusion). This conclusion is absolute
and requires no further analysis or discussion;
2)
It is not possible to be sure, based on the results of the test,
whether the samples have similar DNA types (inconclusive). This
might occur for a variety of reasons including degradation,
contamination, or failure of some aspect of the protocol. Various
parts of the analysis might then be repeated with the same or a
different sample, to obtain a more conclusive result; or
3)
The samples are similar, and could have originated from the
same source (inclusion). In such a case, the samples are found
to be similar, the analyst proceeds to determine the statistical
significance of the Similarity.
In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, courts should consider,
among others things, the following data: how the samples were collected,
how they were handled, the possibility of contamination of the samples, the
procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper standards
and procedures were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of
the analyst who conducted the tests.
The bloodstains taken from the clothing of the victim and of accused, the
smears taken from the victim as well as the strands of hair and nails taken
from her tested negative for the presence of human DNA. It is the inadequacy
of the specimens submitted for examination, and not the possibility that the
samples had been contaminated, which accounted for the negative results of
their examination. But the vaginal swabs taken from the victim yielded
positive for the presence of human DNA. Upon analysis by the experts, they
showed the DNA profile of accused.
4. On the extra-judicial confessions
There are two kinds of involuntary or coerced confessions treated in Art III of
the Constitution: (1) coerced confessions, the product of third degree
methods such as torture, force, violence, threat, and intimidation, which are
dealt with in par 2 of Section 12, and (2) uncounselled statements, given
without the benefit of Miranda warnings, which are the subject of par 1 of the
same section.
Accused argues that the oral confessions given to Mayor Abutan of Rosario,
Cavite and to NBI Forensic Biologist should be deemed inadmissible for
being violative of his constitutional rights as these were made by one already
under custodial investigation to persons in authority without the presence of
counsel.
The testimony of Atty. Leyva is not only corroborated by the testimony of
Mayor Renato Abutan, it is also confirmed by accused where he was
apprised of the consequences of the statements he made as well as the
written confessions he was to execute. Neither can he question the
qualifications of Atty. Lupo Leyva who acted as his counsel during the
investigation. To be an effective counsel, a lawyer need not challenge all the
questions being propounded to his client. The presence of a lawyer is not
intended to stop an accused from saying anything which might incriminate
him but, rather, it was adopted in our Constitution to preclude the slightest
coercion as would lead the accused to admit something false. Indeed,
counsel should not prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the
truth.
Accused admitted that he was first asked whether he wanted the services of

Evidence-A2010
Atty. Leyva before the latter acted as his defense counsel. And counsel who
is provided by the investigators is deemed engaged by the accused where
the latter never raised any objection against the former's appointment during
the course of the investigation but, on the contrary, thereafter subscribed to
the veracity of his statement before the swearing officer. Contrary to the
assertions of accused, Atty. Leyva was not the municipal attorney of Rosario,
Cavite but only a legal adviser of Mayor Renato Abutan.
The mayor's questions to accused-appellant were not in the nature of an
interrogation, but rather an act of benevolence by a leader seeking to help
one of his constituents.
For the same reason, the oral confession made by accused-appellant to NBI
Forensic Biologist Pet Byron Buan is admissible. Accused-appellant would
have this Court exclude this confession on the ground that it was
uncounselled and that Mr. Buan, who initiated the conversation with accusedappellant, was part of the NBI. The questions put by Mr. Buan to accusedappellant were asked out of mere personal curiosity and clearly not as part of
his tasks.
The confession, thus, can be likened to one freely and voluntarily given to an
ordinary individual and is, therefore, admissible as evidence.
The bare assertions of maltreatment by the police authorities in extracting
confessions from the accused are not sufficient. The standing rule is that
"where the defendants did not present evidence of compulsion, or duress nor
violence on their person; where they failed to complain to the officer who
administered their oaths; where they did not institute any criminal or
administrative action against their alleged intimidators for maltreatment;
where there appeared to be no marks of violence on their bodies; and where
they did not have themselves examined by a reputable physician to buttress
their claim," all these will be considered as indicating voluntariness.
Even if accused was truthful and his assailed confessions are inadmissible,
the circumstantial evidence is sufficient to establish his guilt beyond all
reasonable doubt. The prosecution witnesses presented a mosaic of
circumstances showing accused-appellant's guilt. Their testimonies rule out
the possibility that the crime was the handiwork of some other evil mind.
These witnesses have not been shown to have been motivated by ill will
against accused.
If the account of accused that he was beaten up is true, Dr. Antonio Vertido
would have found more than mere abrasions and hematoma on his left finger.
Dr. Vertido's findings are more consistent with the theory that accusedappellant sustained physical injuries as a result of the struggle made by the
victim during the commission of the rape in the "compuerta."
No other witness not related to accused-appellant was ever called to
corroborate his claim. The defense presented only accused's sister, Aimee
Vallejo, to corroborate his story. We have held time and again that alibi
cannot prosper if it is established mainly by the accused and his relatives,
and not by credible persons. It is well settled that alibi is the weakest of all
defenses as it is easy to contrive and difficult to disprove. For this reason, this
Court looks with caution upon the defense of alibi, especially when, as in this
case, it is corroborated only by relatives or friends of the accused.
Disposition decision of the RTC of Cavite City, finding accused Gerrico
Vallejo y Samartino GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape
with Homicide is hereby AFFIRMED.

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