HOMEWORK FOR LEGAL TECHNIQUE AND LOGIC
By: NEIL BRYAN N. MONINIO
ATTY. JOE EMPACES Instructor
S.Y. 2015- 2016
TABLE OF CONTENTS CASE
1. Lagon vs. Hoovan Comalco Industries, Inc., 349 SCRA 363
2. Atienza vs. Board of Medicine 642 SCRA 523
3. SCC Chemicals Corporation vs. CA 353 SCRA 20
4. People vs. Calumpang 454 SCRA 719
5. Ubales vs. People 570 SCRA 251
6. Tating vs. Marcela 519 SCRA 79
7. PNOC Shipping and Transport Corp. vs. CA 297 SCRA 402 8. Calamba Steel Center, Inc. vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue 457 SCRA 482 9. People vs. Baraoil 676 SCRA 24 10. Heirs of Lourdes Saez Sabanpan vs. Cormoposa 408 SCRA 692
14-15 16 17-18 19-23
JOSE LAGON v. HOOVEN COMALCO INDUSTRIES, INC. G.R. No. 135657 January 17, 2001 FACTS: Petitioner Jose V. Lagon is a businessman and owner of a commercial building in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat. Respondent HOOVEN on the other is a domestic corporation known to be the biggest manufacturer and installer of aluminum materials in the country with branch office at E. Quirino Avenue, Davao City..Sometime in April 1981 Lagon and HOOVEN entered into two (2) contracts, both denominated Proposal, whereby for a total consideration of P104,870.00 HOOVEN agreed to sell and install various aluminum materials in Lagon’s commercial building in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat. Upon execution of the contracts, Lagon paid HOOVEN P48,000.00 in advance. Lagon, in his answer, denied liability and averred that HOOVEN was the party guilty of breach of contract by failing to deliver and install some of the materials specified in the proposals; that as a consequence he was compelled to procure the undelivered materials from other sources; that as regards the materials duly delivered and installed by HOOVEN, they were fully paid. He counterclaimed for actual, moral, exemplary, temperate and nominal damages, as well as for attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation. ISSUE: Whether or not all the materials specified in the contracts had been delivered and installed by respondent in petitioner’s commercial building in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat. RULING: Firstly, the quantity of materials and the amounts sated in the delivery receipts do not tally with those in the invoices covering them, notwithstanding that, according to HOOVEN OIC Alberto Villanueva, the invoices were based merely on the delivery receipts. Secondly, the total value of the materials as reflected in all the invoices is P117,329.0 while under the delivery receipts it is only P112, 870.50, or a difference of P4,458.00. Even more strange is the fact that HOOVEN instituted the present action for collection of sum of money against Lagon only on 24 February 1987, or more than five (5) years after the supposed completion of the project. Indeed, it is contrary to common experience that a creditor would take its own sweet time in collecting its credit, more so in this case when the amount involved is not miniscule but substantial. All the delivery receipts did not appear to have been signed by petitioner or his duly authorized representative acknowledging receipt of the materials listed therein. A closer examination of the receipts clearly showed that the deliveries were made to a certain Jose Rubin, claimed to be petitioner’s driver, Armando Lagon, and a certain bookkeeper. Unfortunately for HOOVEN, the identities of these persons were never been established, and there is no way of determining now whether they were indeed authorized representatives of petitioner. WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 28 April 1997 is
MODIFIED. Petitioner Jose V. Lagon is ordered to pay respondent Hooven Comalco Industries, Inc., P6,377.66 representing the value of the unpaid materials admittedly delivered to him. On the other hand, respondent is ordered to pay petitioner P50,000.00 as moral damages, P30,000.00 as attorney’s fees and P46,554.50 as actual damages and litigation expenses.
RICO ROMMEL ATIENZA v. BOARD OF MEDICINE and EDITHA SIOSON G.R. No. 177407 February 9. 2011 FACTS: Private respondent went to Rizal Medical Center to submit for a check up due to her lumbar pains. Her diagnostic laboratory test results revealed that her right kidney was normal while her left kidney was non-functioning and non-visualizing. Hence, she underwent kidney operation under the care of the four physicians namely: Dr. Judd dela Vega, Dr. Pedro Lantin III, Dr. Gerardo Antonio and petitioner Dr. Rico Rommel Atienza. The said physicians removed her fully functioning right kidney instead of the left nonfunctioning and non-visualizing kidney. Due to their gross negligence and incompetence, private respondent filed a complaint against the four doctors before the Board of Medicine. Private respondent therein offered four certified photocopies as her documentary evidence to prove that her kidneys were both in their proper anatomical locations at the time that she was operated. The Board of Medicine admitted the formal offer despite the objection of herein petitioner. Petitioner contends that the documentary evidence offered were inadmissible as it were incompetent. Further, he alleged that the same documents were not properly identified and authenticated, violate the best evidence rule and his substantive rights, and are completely hearsay. ISSUES: 1. Whether the exhibits are inadmissible evidence on the ground that it violates the best evidence rule. 2. Whether the exhibits are inadmissible evidence on the ground that they have not been properly identified and authenticated. 3. Whether the exhibits are inadmissible evidence on the ground that it is completely hearsay. 4. Whether the admission of the documents violated the substantive rights of the petitioner.
RULING: 1. No. The subject of the inquiry in this case is whether the doctors are liable for gross negligence in removing the right functioning kidney of Editha instead of the left non-functioning kidney, not the proper anatomical locations of Editha’s kidneys. The proper anatomical locations of Editha’s kidneys at the time of her operation at the RMC may be established not only through the exhibits offered in evidence.
In fact, the introduction of secondary evidence is allowed. Section 3, Rule 130 provides that when the subject of the inquiry is the contents of the document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except when the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court without bad faith on the offeror. Since the original documents cannot be produced based on the testimony of Dr. Aquino BOM properly admitted Editha’s formal offer of evidence, and thereafter, the BOM shall determine the probative value thereof when it decides the case. 2. No, the documentary evidence were properly identified and authenticated. The records show that the exhibits offered by private respondent were the same evidence attached in Doctor Lantin's counter-affidavit filed before the Office of the City Prosecutor in answer to the criminal complaint of the respondent. To lay the predicate for her case, private respondent offered the exhibits in evidence to prove that her kidneys were both in their proper anatomical locations at the time of her operation. 3. No, these exhibits do not constitute hearsay evidence. The anatomical positions whether left or right, of Editha’s kidneys, and the removal of one or both, may still be established through a belated ultrasound or x-ray of her abdominal area. 4. No, petitioner’s substantive rights were not violated when the documentary evidence were admitted. The fact sought to be proved by the exhibits that the two kidneys of Editha were in their proper anatomical locations at the time she was operated on is presumed under Section 3 of Rule 131 of the Rules of Court which provides that things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life. The fact sought to be established by the admission of the respondent’s exhibit need not be proved as it is covered by mandatory judicial notice. Laws of nature involving the physical science, specifically biology include the structural make-up and composition of living things such as human beings in which the court may take judicial notice.
G.R. No. 128538 February 28, 2001 SCC CHEMICALS CORPORATION v. CA FACTS: SCC Chemicals Corporation through its chairman, private respondent DaniloArrieta and vice president, Pablo (Pablito) Bermundo, obtained a loan from State Investment House Inc (hereinafter SIHI) in the amount of P129,824.48. The loan carried an annual interest rate of 30% plus penalty charges of 2% per month on the remaining balance of the principal upon nonpayment on the due date-January 12, 1984. To secure the payment of the loan, DaniloArrieta and private respondent LeopoldoHalili executed a Comprehensive Surety Agreement binding themselves jointly and severally to pay the obligation on the maturity date. SCC failed to pay the loan when it matured. SIHI then sent demand letters to SCC, Arrieta and Halili, but notwithstanding receipt thereof, no payment was made. SIHI filed Civil Case for a sum of money with a prayer for preliminary attachment against SCC, Arrieta, and Halili with the Regional Trial Court of Manila. In its answer, SCC asserted SIHI's lack of cause of action. Petitioner contended that the promissory note upon which SIHI anchored its cause of action was null, void, and of no binding effect for lack or failure of consideration. The case was then set for pre-trial. The parties were allowed to meet out-of-court in an effort to settle the dispute amicably. No settlement was reached, but the following stipulation of facts was agreed upon: 1. Parties agree that this Court has jurisdiction over the plaintiff and the defendant and that it has jurisdiction to try and decide this case on its merits and that plaintiff and the defendant have each the capacity to sue and to be sued in this present action; 2. Parties agree that plaintiff sent a demand letter to the defendant SCC Chemical Corporation dated April 4, 1984 together with a statement of account of even date which were both received by the herein defendant; and 3. Parties finally agree that the plaintiff and the defendant SCC Chemical Corporation the latter acting through defendants Danilo E. Arrieta and Pablito Bermundo executed a promissory note last December 13, 1983 for the amount of P129,824.48 with maturity date on January 12, 1984. The case then proceeded to trial on the sole issue of whether or not the defendants were liable to the plaintiff and to what extent was the liability. SIHI presented one witness to prove its claim. The cross-examination of said witness was postponed several times due to one reason or another at the instance of either party. The case was calendared several times for hearing but each time, SCC or its counsel failed to appear despite notice. SCC was finally declared by the trial court to have waived its right to cross-examine the witness of SIHI and the case was deemed submitted for decision. On March 22, 1993, the lower court promulgated its decision in favor of SIHI.
ISSUES: 1. Whether the testimony of private respondent’s witness is hearsay. 2. Whether the promissory note was genuine and genuinely executed as required by law. 3. Whether the “best evidence rule” should be applied. RULING: 1. The Court of Appeals correctly found that the witness of SIHI was a competent witness as he testified to facts, which he knew of his personal knowledge. Thus, the requirements of Section 36, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court as to the admissibility of his testimony were satisfied. Rule 130, Section 36 reads: SEC. 36. Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge; hearsay excluded. – A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception, except as otherwise provided in these rules. Petitioner's reliance on Section 36, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court is misplaced. As a rule, hearsay evidence is excluded and carries no probative value. However, the rule does admit of an exception. Where a party failed to object to hearsay evidence, then the same is admissible.The rationale for this exception is to be found in the right of a litigant to cross-examine. It is settled that it is the opportunity to cross-examine which negates the claim that the matters testified to by a witness are hearsay.However, the right to cross-examine may be waived. The repeated failure of a party to cross-examine the witness is an implied waiver of such right. Petitioner was afforded several opportunities by the trial court to cross-examine the other party's witness. Petitioner repeatedly failed to take advantage of these opportunities. No error was thus committed by the respondent court when it sustained the trial court's finding that petitioner had waived its right to cross-examine the opposing party's witness. It is now too late for petitioner to be raising this matter of hearsay evidence. 2. Petitioner's admission as to the execution of the promissory note by it through private respondent Arrieta and Bermundo at pre-trial sufficed to settle the question of the genuineness of signatures. The admission having been made in a stipulation of facts at pre-trial by the parties, it must be treated as a judicial admission. Under Section, 4 Rule 129 of the Rules of Court, a judicial admission requires no proof. 3. Respondent SIHI had no need to present the original of the documents as there was already a judicial admission by petitioner at pre-trial of the execution of the promissory note and receipt of the demand letter. It is now too late for petitioner to be questioning their authenticity. Its admission of the existence of these documents was sufficient to establish its obligation. Petitioner failed to submit any evidence to the contrary or proof of payment or other forms of extinguishment of said obligation. No reversible error was thus committed by the appellate court when it held petitioner liable on its obligation
ANGEL UBALES y VELEZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 175692 October 29, 2008 FACTS: APPELLEE VERSION
Laila Cherry Cruz, the sister of Mark Santos, testified that on 16 October 2001, at about 8 p.m., petitioner Ubales and the deceased Mark Santos (Mark) were drinking liquor in front of the victims house at 4334 Interior 5 Albina Street, Sta. Mesa, Manila. They were with a group which included a certain Jon-Jon, Solo Perez, and Jojo Santos. In the course of their carousal, Ubales and Mark engaged in an argument about the former calling the latters cousin a homosexual. Mark told Ubales not to meddle because he (Ubales) did not know what was happening within his (Marks) family. The argument was soon apparently resolved, with Ubales patting the shoulders of Mark. The carousal ended at 1 a.m. the following day. Mark and Ubales went inside the house. Ubales asked permission from Laila Cruz to use their comfort room. Before Ubales went inside the comfort room, Laila Cruz saw Ubales place his gun with black stripes on top of the dining table. Mark asked permission from his mother to bring Ubales to his house in J.P. Laurel Street and also asked for money so that they could eat lugaw on their way there. Mark and Ubales then left. Eduardo Galvan (Galvan), a 65-year old balut vendor and the best friend of the deceased Mark Santos, testified that at 3 a.m. in the morning of 17 October 2001, while he was selling balut near the Malacaang area, he saw Mark and Ubales quarreling around a meter away from him. The argument lasted for about three minutes, culminating with Ubales taking out his gun and shooting Mark on the head. Galvan is certain about this, as he was still only one meter away from Mark and Ubales when the former shot the latter, and the place was wellilluminated. When Mark fell, Ubales ran towards Atienza Street. Galvan also testified that he was an acquaintance of Ubales for about five months prior to the incident.
APPELLANT VERSION Ubales testified that on 16 October 2001, at around 6 or 7 p.m., he went to the home of his friend Guido Almosera on Uli-Uli Street, where he saw Joseph Karunungan, Rico Sison, Eric Marquez and Henry Ponce. The group was initially engaged in light conversation until Guido Almosera brought out some liquor while they were playing the guitar. Ubales stayed with the group until 10 p.m., when he left for Sta. Mesa to go to the house of a certain Alex to meet a man named Boy. He arrived at Alexs house at around 11 p.m., but left immediately when he learned that Boy was already asleep. Along the way, he saw Mark who had been having a drinking spree with other persons. He decided to join the group for a while before returning home. At around 12 midnight, Ubales bade leave to go home. Mark went along with him to the place where he could get a ride home. They parted ways and Ubales got on a jeep which he rode to J.P. Laurel Street. He stopped by a 7-Eleven convenience store and bought something to eat before proceeding home. On the way home, Ubales saw the group of Guido Almosera still having drinks. He decided to join them again until around 1 a.m. of 17 October 2001. Ubales testified that although he is a former policeman, he no longer had a gun and that his sidearm is in the custody of the WPD. He stated further that he was arrested without a warrant.
ISSUE: Whether or not the evidence for the prosecution proves that petitioner committed the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt.
RULING: No. the Decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed and set aside. Petitioner Angel Ubales y Velez is hereby acquitted of the crime of homicide on account of reasonable doubt. In both versions of the facts, Mark had been gracious enough to accompany Ubales after their carousal, clearly showing that whatever misunderstanding they had during their drinking spree was already resolved. If Galvans version of the facts is to be believed, Ubales and Mark had even been together for a several hours more before Mark was killed. We have ruled that though the general rule is that motive is not essential to a conviction especially where the identity of the assailant is duly established by other competent evidence or is not disputed, the absence of such motive is important in ascertaining the truth as between two antagonistic theories or versions of the killing. Proof as to motive is essential when the evidence on the commission of the crime is purely circumstantial or inconclusive. Verily, the dominating rule is that, with respect to the credibility of witnesses, this Court has always accorded the highest degree of respect to the findings of the trial court, unless there is proof of misappreciation of evidence which is precisely the situation in the case at bar. We also take note of petitioner Ubales stance when he was confronted by Laila Cruz and SPO2 Fernandez. Ubales told SPO2 Fernandez that he would voluntarily join him to prove to him that he was not in hiding. Ubales then cooperated fully with SPO2 Fernandez, allowing himself to undergo a medical examination, which apparently yielded nothing as the findings thereof was not presented as evidence, and going with the SPO2 Fernandez to the PNP Malacaang Field Force. Flight evidences guilt and guilty conscience: the wicked flee, even when no man pursues, but the righteous stand fast as bold as a lion. In all, we find it hard to lend credence to the testimony of the lone alleged eyewitness. We have said that it is better to acquit ten guilty individuals than to convict one innocent person. Every circumstance against guilt and in favor of innocence must be considered. Where the evidence admits of two interpretations, one of which is consistent with guilt, and the other with innocence, the accused must be given the benefit of doubt and should be acquitted. n the instant case, while it is possible that the accused has committed the crime, there is also the possibility, based on the evidence presented, that he has not. He should be deemed to have not for failure to meet the test of moral certainty. Finally, an accused should not be convicted by reason of the weakness of his alibi. It is fundamental that the prosecution must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and must not rely on the weakness of the evidence of the defense.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RICO CALUMPANG and JOVENAL OMATANG G.R. No. 158203. March 31, 2005 FACTS: APPELLEE VERSION Magno Gomez testified that around 6:30 p.m. of July 14, 1991, he was at Talay, Pamplona, Negros Oriental, walking home to Sitio Makapa, Mangoto, Pamplona. He was with his neighbors, the spouses Santiago and Alicia Catipay. On their way, they stopped at the store of Ana Andagan, located near the Pamplona Coconut Plantation, and decided to have some beer. Magno added that Santiago saw appellants drinking tuba inside Anas store, and offered them a glass of beer, but appellants refused. Santiago just drank the glass of beer he was offering. After that, Magno and the spouses left the store and took a shortcut through the coconut plantation. Magno saw appellants follow them. He suspected that appellants were planning something sinister because they followed too closely and were concealing something at their backs. Magno cautioned Santiago, but the latter just told him not to worry about appellants. Magno and the spouses simply continued walking for another half-kilometer until they reached the narrow waterway that let water from the river into the plantation. Magno removed his slippers and started to cross ahead of the spouses. Santiago and Alicia stayed slightly behind because Santiago had to remove his shoes. When Magno had crossed five feet of the waterway, Magno turned around to wait for his companions and saw appellants attacking the spouses. With a bolo, appellant Calumpang hacked Santiago on the head and stabbed his abdomen. At the same time, appellant Omatang attacked Alicia. Scared that appellants would also attack him, Magno ran away. After 50 meters, he reached Alexander Ebiass house. He asked Alexander for a torch then continued walking towards Sitio Makapa, Mangoto, Pamplona. After a kilometer, however, he saw the house of his cousin Rolando Retada. He decided to spend the night there. Rolando confirmed that Magno spent the night at his house on July 14, 1991, and left very early the next morning without drinking coffee. Visitacion Rabor, on the other hand, testified that she overheard Santiago berating Magno when they passed her store around 6:30 p.m. on July 14, 1991. Santiago was mad at Magno because Magno did not want to help Santiago clean the dam at Mangoto, Pamplona, as Magno was supposed to. She added that Santiago continued calling Magno useless at Anas store until Alicia prevailed upon Santiago to go home. When Santiago and Alicia left, Magno followed them.
Analyn Andagan testified that on July 14, 1991, she was tending the store of her mother, Ana Andagan, at Talay, Pamplona, Negros Oriental. Around 3:00 p.m. appellants Calumpang and Omatang arrived with one Conchito Nilas. The three ordered a gallon of tuba and started drinking. Around 6:30 p.m., Magno and the spouses arrived. They each had one bottle of beer and immediately left after finishing their beers. Analyn further testified that appellants did not follow Magno, Santiago and Alicia when the three left her mothers store. Appellant Omatang stayed until 7:00 p.m. and continued talking with his two companions, appellant Calumpang and Conchito Nilas. He left when his 12-year-old nephew, defense witness Joseph Rabor, came to fetch him for supper. Appellant Calumpang, for his part, stayed until 8:00 p.m. and helped her close the store. He walked home with her and Conchito Nilas. Joseph Rabor corroborated Analyns testimony that he fetched his uncle, appellant Omatang, from the store around 7:00 p.m. upon the order of his mother. He added that he and appellant Omatang slept in the same room that night. Appellant Omatang likewise corroborated Analyns testimony that he left around 7:00 p.m. with Joseph. He also claimed he had nothing to do with the killing of the spouses and averred that he was at home in the same room with Joseph, sleeping, when the spouses were murdered. He claimed that he learned of the murders only upon his arrest the next day. Appellant Calumpang vehemently denied killing the spouses. He declared that Santiago and Alicia had no known enemies and were good people. He corroborated all of Analyns testimony, and added that Magno and Santiago were arguing when the two came into the store. Appellant Calumpang likewise averred that after helping Analyn close the store, he went home, ate supper, and went to bed.
The trial court gave credence to the testimony of Magno Gomez and accepted his account of the murders.
ISSUE: Whether or not the evidence for the prosecution proves that petitioner committed the crime charged of double murder beyond reasonable doubt.
RULING: No. The decision in the Regional Trial Court is reversed. Appellants Rico Calumpang and Jovenal Omatang are acquitted on reasonable doubt. No convincing proof could show that appellants had any reason to kill Santiago and Alicia in cold blood. As the OSG points out, the supposed grudge, which Magno claimed could have motivated appellants to kill the spouses, is too flimsy to be believed. It is highly improbable that appellants would murder the spouses because Santiago had offered appellants a glass of beer and they refused him. If anybody should harbor a grudge from such an incident, it should have been Santiago whose offer appellants refused. But there is no evidence of any grudge between Santiago and the appellants, and as Magno testified, Santiago simply drank the glass of beer himself. Appellants defense of alibi was indeed weak, since their alibis were corroborated only by their relatives and friends, and it was not shown that it was impossible for them to be at the place of the incident. However, the rule that an accused must satisfactorily prove his alibi was never intended to change or shift the burden of proof in criminal cases. It is basic that the prosecution evidence must stand or fall on its own weight and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the defense. Unless the prosecution overturns the constitutional presumption of innocence of an accused by competent and credible evidence proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the presumption remains. There being no sufficient evidence beyond reasonable doubt pointing to appellants as the perpetrators of the crime, appellants presumed innocence stands.
TATING v. MARCELLA, TATING and COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 155208 | 2007-03-27 FACTS: On October 14, 1969, Daniela sold the subject property to her granddaughter, herein petitioner Nena Lazalita Tating. The contract of sale was embodied in a duly notarized Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Daniela in favor of Nena. Subsequently, title over the subject property was transferred in the name of Nena. She declared the property in her name for tax purposes and paid the real estate taxes due thereon for the years 1972, 1973, 1975 to 1986 and 1988.However, the land remained in possession Daniela. On December 28, 1977, Daniela executed a sworn statement claiming that she had actually no intention of selling the property; the true agreement between her and Nena was simply to transfer title over the subject property in favor of the latter to enable her to obtain a loan by mortgaging the subject property for the purpose of helping her defray her business expenses; she later discovered that Nena did not secure any loan nor mortgage the property; she wants the title in the name of Nena cancelled and the subject property reconveyed to her. Daniela died on July 29, 1988 leaving her children as her heirs. In a letter dated March 1, 1989, Carlos informed Nena that when Daniela died they discovered the sworn statement she executed on December 28, 1977 and, as a consequence, they are demanding from Nena the return of their rightful shares over the subject property as heirs of Daniela. Nena did not reply. Efforts to settle the case amicably proved futile. Hence, her son filed a complaint with the RTC praying for the nullification of the Deed of Absolute Sale. RTC decide in favour or the plaintiff and was affirmed by the CA. ISSUE: Whether the Sworn Statement should have been rejected outright by the lower courts. RULING:
The Court finds that both the trial court and the CA committed error in giving the sworn statement probative weight. Since Daniela is no longer available to take the witness stand as she is already dead, the RTC and the CA should not have given probative value on Daniela's sworn statement for purposes of proving that the contract of sale between her and petitioner was simulated and that, as a consequence, a trust relationship was created between them. Considering that the Court finds the subject contract of sale between petitioner and Daniela to be valid and not fictitious or simulated, there is no more necessity to discuss the issue as to whether or not a trust relationship was created between them. WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals, affirming the Decision of the Regional Trial Court, are REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. The complaint of the private respondents is DISMISSED.
PNOC SHIPPING AND TRANSPORT CORPORATION v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and MARIA EFIGENIA FISHING CORPORATION G.R. No. 107518. October 8, 1998 FACTS: On the morning of September 21, 1977, M/V Maria Efigenia XV (of the private respondent) was navigating the waters near Fortune Island in Nasugbu, Batangas on its way to Navotas, Metro Manila when it collided with the vessel “Petroparcel”, owned at that time by Luzon Stevedoring Corporation (LSC).The Board of Marine Inquiry found the Petroparcel at fault for the collision and based on this and after unsuccessful demands on petitioner, private respondent sued LSC and Petroparcel captain Edgardo Doruelo for actual and compensatory damages. During the pendency of the proceedings, PNOC Shipping Transport Corporation acquired ownership of Petroparcel and replaced LSC in the trial. CFI Caloocan ruled in favor of private respondent, awarding it: the sum of P6,438,048.00 representing the value of the fishing boat with interest of 6% per annum; P50,000 attorney’s fees and the cost of suit. The basis of said amount was the testimony of the general manager of Maria Efigenia Fishin Corporation, Edilberto del Rosario and several documentary evidence that included: ownership certificate, price quotations, and invoices issued at the request of Del Rosario. CFI ruled that PNOC-STC was unable to contest such evidence with only the testimony of its senior estimator Lorenzo Lazaro as sole witness and without any documentary evidence. On appeal, petitioner questioned the admissibility and competency of private respondent’s documents as basis for damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed the CFI decision ruling that where a lower court is confronted with evidence which appears to be of doubtful admissibility, the judge should declare in favorof admissibility rather than of non-admissibility.
On appeal to the SC, petitioner argued, among other things, that the documents were not sufficient evidence to support the extent and actual damages incurred by private respondent. The price quotationswere not duly authenticated and that the witness (Del Rosario) did not have personal knowledge on the contents of the writings and neither was he an expert on the subjects thereof. CA argued that the documents were sufficient and exempt from the hearsay rule as they are part of “commercial lists” defined in sec.45 Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence in so far as they fall under the “or other published compilation” phrase of the rule. Section 45. Commercial lists and the like. — Evidence of statements of matters of interest to persons engaged in an occupation contained in a list, register, periodical, or other published compilation is admissible as tending to prove the truth of any relevant matter so stated if that compilation is published for use by persons engaged in that occupation and is generally used and relied upon by them therein.
ISSUE: WON the documents fall under the exception to the hearsay evidence rule under sec. 45 rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence and would therefore be competent enough to establish the amount of actual and compensatory damages. RULING: With respect to the documentary evidence, the SC ruled in favor of the petitioner PNOCSTC. For actual and compensatory damages, the injured party is required to prove the actual amount of loss with reasonable degree of certainty premised upon competent proof and on the best evidence available. Damages may not be awarded on the basis of on the basis of hearsay evidence. The documents presented by private respondent were regarded as hearsay evidence. Del Rosario could not have testified on the veracity of the documents as he was not the author of them. He can only testify as to facts of his personal knowledge. As such, the price quotations were considered ordinary private writings which under the Revised Rules of Court should be preferred along with the testimony of the writers thereof. One of the exemptions to the hearsay evidence rule under Sec.37-47 of Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence is “commercial lists”. However, the quotations do not fall under “other published compilation” mentioned in the said exemptionas they are not published in any list, register, periodical, or other compilation. They are also not standard handbooks or periodicals containing data of everyday professionals need and relied upon in the work of occupation. They are merely letters responding to the queries of Del Rosario. Under the principle of ejusdem generis, “where general words follow an enumeration of persons or things, by words of a particular and specific meaning, such general words are not to be construed in their widest extent but are to be held as applying only to persons or things of the
same kind or class as those specifically mentioned. Because of the absence of competent proof of the actual damage suffered, SC modified the CA decision and awarded the private respondent nominal damages amounting to P2,000,000.00.
Calamba Steel Center Inc. v. CIR GR 151857, April 28, 2005 FACTS: Petitioner is a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture of steel blanks for use by manufacturers of automotive, electrical, electronics in industrial and household appliances. In it's amended Corporate Annual Income Tax Return on June 4, 1996 it declared a net taxable income of P9,461,597.00, tax credits of P6,471,246.00 and tax due in the amount of P3,311,559.00. It also reported uarterly payments for the second and third quarters of 1995 in the amounts of P2,328,747.26 and P1,082,108.00, respectively. It is the contention of the petitioner in this case filed in 1997, that it is entitled to a refund. The refund was purportedly due to income taxes witheld from it, and remitted in its behalf, by the witholding agents. Such witheld tax, as per petitioners 1997 return, were not utilised in 1996 since due to its income/loss positions for the three quarters of 1996. ISSUE: Whether or not a tax refund may be claimed even beyong the taxable year following that in which the tax credit arises. RULING: Yes, however; it is still incumbent upon the claimant to prove that it is entitled to such refund. Tax refunds being in the nature of tax exemptions such must be construed strictissimi juris against the taypayer-claimant. Under the NIRC, the only limitation as regards the claiming of tax refunds is that such must be made within two years. The claim for refund made by Calamba steel was well within the 2 year period.As regards the procedure taken by counsel of
Calamba Steel in submitting thefinal adjustment returns (1996) after trial has been conducted, the Court said that although the ordinary rules of procedure from upon this jurisprudence mandates that the proceedings before the tax court's shall not be governed bystrictly technical rules of evidence. Moreoover, as regards evidence, the court further said that Judicial notice could have been taken by the cA and theCTA of the 1996 final adjustment return made by petitioner in another case then pending with the CTA
PEOPLE OF THE PIIILIPPINES, v. ANTONIO BARAOIL G.R. No. 194608 July 9, 2012 FACTS: The accused-appellant is a neighbor of the victim's (AAA) family whom they consider and respect like an uncle. According to the evidence of the prosecution, on August 8, 2004, at about 2:00 p.m., five (5) year old AAA was walking near the house of the accused-appellant when the latter saw her. He asked where she was going then he invited her to take a ride with him on his bicycle. AAA acceded because accused-appellant is a friend of her parents. The accused-appellant and AAA biked together towards the town rice mill. BBB, the elder sister of AAA, saw them. Worried about AAA’s safety, BBB sought the help of CCC, her other sister, and their cousin DDD to look for AAA. Upon arriving at the rice mill, the accused-appellant parked his bicycle against the wall, and pulled AAA inside the mill's comfort room. He pulled AAA's shorts as she was not wearing underwear. The accused-appellant then sat on a toilet bowl and unzipped his pants. He lifted AAA, seated her on his lap, and inserted his penis into AAA's vagina. AAA did not shout despite feeling pain. The accused-appellant threatened AAA not to tell his mother or father about what happened or else he will repeat the act. He then inserted his right forefinger in AAA's vagina. AAA saw his finger that was thrust into her. AAA did not shout although she was about to cry. The accusedappellant removed his finger then pulled up his pants.
At that moment, BBB, CCC, and DDD arrived at the rice mill and saw the accused-appellant's bicycle. They entered and heard thumping sounds coming from the comfort room. The accusedappellant then suddenly opened its door and walked out. AAA followed him after a while towards his bicycle looking visibly sweating and walking with difficulty. CCC approached the accused-appellant and told him that they will take AAA home. The accused-appellant refused and told them that he will take AAA home after buying a new pair of slippers he needed for himself. He bought the pair of slippers and a chocolate-filled biscuit for AAA. After half an hour, the accused-appellant took AAA back to the comfort room of the same rice mill. There, he undressed her and sucked her vagina. While doing this, AAA begged the accusedappellant to take her home. The accused-appellant stopped and boarded her to his bicycle and brought her home. The next day, DDD asked AAA what happened when she was with the accused-appellant. AAA did not say anything but she started to cry until she told her mother EEE all that transpired. On August 10, 2004, EEE brought AAA to the police station where they reported the incident. For the defense, the accused-appellant denied the charges and proferred an alibi by stating that he was with his friend Renato at the fish pond at the time when the alleged rape took place. He claimed that they were fishing from 7:30 to 10:00 in the morning. They also drank gin at around 3:00 p.m. and went home at 4:00 p.m. He, moreover, claimed that AAA was nice to him before the alleged rape. However, AAA's family got mad at him after he disconnected their jumper connection from the power source. They even threatened that they will hack him to death. Thus, the accusation of AAA's family was a means of revenge. ISSUE: Whether or not the accused-appellant’s guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt vis-a-vis his main defense that the rape charges were merely concocted to get back at him as leverage against his act of disconnecting the jumper owned by AAA's family.
RULING: This Court sustains accused-appellant’s conviction. This Court finds no cogent reason to disturb the trial court's appreciation of the credibility of the prosecution witnesses' testimony.1âwphi1 Findings of trial court relative to the credibility of the rape victim are normally respected and not disturbed on appeal, more so, if affirmed by the appellate court. This rule may be brushed aside in exceptional circumstances, such as when the court’s evaluation was reached arbitrarily, or when the trial court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied certain facts or circumstances of weight and substance which could affect the result of the case. The assessment of the credibility of witnesses is a domain best left to the trial court judge because of his unique opportunity to observe their deportment and demeanor on the witness stand; a vantage
point denied appellate courts - and when his findings have been affirmed by the CA, these are generally binding and conclusive upon this Court. AAA testified in a spontaneous and straightforward manner and never wavered in positively identifying appellant as her rapist despite grueling cross-examination. The trial court thus found the testimony of AAA to have been amply corroborated... who bravely, unabashedly, straightforwardly and consistently narrated in court her harrowing ordeal, vexation and pain in the hands of the accused.
HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN v. COMORPOSA G.R. No. 152807. August 12, 2003
FACTS: The CA summarized the factual antecedents of the case as follows: A Complaint for unlawful detainer with damages was filed by [petitioners] against [respondents] before the Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur Municipal Trial Court. The Complaint alleged that Marcos Saez was the lawful and actual possessor of Lot No. 845, Land 275 located at Darong, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur with an area of 1.2 hectares. In 1960, he died leaving all his heirs, his children and grandchildren. In 1965, Francisco Comorposa who was working in the land of Oboza was terminated from his job. The termination of his employment caused a problem in relocating his house. Being a close family friend of [Marcos] Saez, Francisco Comorposa approached the late Marcos Saezs son, [Adolfo] Saez, the husband of Gloria Leano Saez, about his problem. Out of pity and for humanitarian consideration, Adolfo allowed Francisco Comorposa to occupy the land of Marcos Saez. Hence, his nipa hut was carried by his neighbors and transferred to a portion of the land subject matter of this case. Such transfer was witnessed by several people, among them, Gloria Leano and Noel Oboza. Francisco Comorposa occupied a portion of Marcos Saez property without paying any rental. Francisco Comorposa left for Hawaii, U.S.A. He was succeeded in his possession by the respondents who likewise did not pay any rental and are occupying the premises through petitioners tolerance. On 7 May 1998, a formal demand was made upon the respondents to vacate the premises but the latter refused to vacate the same and claimed that they [were] the legitimate claimants and the actual and lawful possessor[s] of the premises. A [C]omplaint was filed with the
barangay office of Sta. Cruz[,] Davao del Sur, but the parties failed to arrive at an amicable settlement. Thus, the corresponding Certificate to File Action was issued by the said barangay and an action for unlawful detainer was filed by petitioners against respondents. Respondents, in their Answer, denied the material allegations of the [C]omplaint and alleged that they entered and occupied the premises in their own right as true, valid and lawful claimants, possessors and owners of the said lot way back in 1960 and up to the present time; that they have acquired just and valid ownership and possession of the premises by ordinary or extraordinary prescription, and that the Regional Director of the DENR, Region XI has already upheld their possession over the land in question when it ruled that they [were] the rightful claimants and possessors and [were], therefore, entitled to the issuance of a title. The Municipal Trial Court of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur rendered judgment in favor of petitioners but the Regional Trial Court of Digos, Davao del Sur, on appeal, reversed and set aside the said decision. x x x
Ruling of the Court of Appeals Affirming the Regional Trial Court (RTC), the CA upheld the right of respondents as claimants and possessors. The appellate court held that -- although not yet final -- the Order issued by the regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) remained in full force and effect, unless declared null and void. The CA added that the Certification issued by the DENRs community environment and natural resources (CENR) officer was proof that when the cadastral survey was conducted, the land was still alienable and was not yet allocated to any person. According to the CA, respondents had the better right to possess alienable and disposable land of the public domain, because they have suffiently proven their actual, physical, open, notorious, exclusive, continuous and uninterrupted possession thereof since 1960. The appellate court deemed as self-serving, and therefore incredible, the Affidavits executed by Gloria Leano Saez, Noel Oboza and Paulina Paran. Hence, this Petition.
ISSUES: In their Memorandum, petitioners raise the following issues for the Courts consideration: I
Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and [err] in sustaining the ruling of the Regional Trial Court giving credence to the Order dated 2 April 1998 issued by the regional executive director? II Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and err in sustaining the Regional Trial Courts ruling giving weight to the CENR Officers Certification, which only bears the facsimile of the alleged signature of a certain Jose F. Tagorda and, [worse], it is a new matter raised for the first time on appeal? III Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and err in holding that the land subject matter of this case has been acquired by means of adverse possession and prescription? IV Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion, and err in declaring that, neither is there error on the part of the Regional Trial Court, when it did not give importance to the affidavits by Gloria Leano Saez, Noel [Oboza], and Paulina Paran for allegedly being self serving?[ To facilitate the discussion, the fourth and the third issues shall be discussed in reverse sequence. RULING: The Petition has no merit. First Issue: The DENR Order of April 2, 1998 Petitioners claim that the reliance of the CA upon the April 2, 1998 Order issued by the regional director of the DENR was erroneous. The reason was that the Order, which had upheld the claim of respondents, was supposedly not yet final and executory. Another Order dated August 23, 1999, issued later by the DENR regional director, allegedly held in abeyance the effectivity of the earlier one. Under the Public Land Act, the management and the disposition of public land is under the primary control of the director of lands (now the director of the Lands Management Bureau or LMB), subject to review by the DENR secretary. As a rule, then, courts have no jurisdiction to intrude upon matters properly falling within the powers of the LMB.
The powers given to the LMB and the DENR to alienate and dispose of public land does not, however, divest regular courts of jurisdiction over possessory actions instituted by occupants or applicants to protect their respective possessions and occupations. The power to determine who has actual physical possession or occupation of public land and who has the better right of possession over it remains with the courts. But once the DENR has decided, particularly through the grant of a homestead patent and the issuance of a certificate of title, its decision on these points will normally prevail. Therefore, while the issue as to who among the parties are entitled to a piece of public land remains pending with the DENR, the question of recovery of possession of the disputed property is a matter that may be addressed to the courts.
Second Issue: CENR Officers Certification Petitioners contend that the CENR Certification dated July 22, 1997 is a sham document, because the signature of the CENR officer is a mere facsimile. In support of their argument, they cite Garvida v. Sales Jr. and argue that the Certification is a new matter being raised by respondents for the first time on appeal. We are not persuaded. In Garvida, the Court held: A facsimile or fax transmission is a process involving the transmission and reproduction of printed and graphic matter by scanning an original copy, one elemental area at a time, and representing the shade or tone of each area by a specified amount of electric current. x x x Pleadings filed via fax machines are not considered originals and are at best exact copies. As such, they are not admissible in evidence, as there is no way of determining whether they are genuine or authentic. The Certification, on the other hand, is being contested for bearing a facsimile of the signature of CENR Officer Jose F. Tagorda. The facsimile referred to is not the same as that which is alluded to in Garvida. The one mentioned here refers to a facsimile signature, which is defined as a signature produced by mechanical means but recognized as valid in banking, financial, and business transactions. Note that the CENR officer has not disclaimed the Certification. In fact, the DENR regional director has acknowledged and used it as reference in his Order dated April 2, 1998:
x x x. CENR Officer Jose F. Tagorda, in a CERTIFICATION dated 22 July 1997, certified among others, that: x x x per records available in his Office, x x x the controverted lot x x x was not allocated to any person x x x. If the Certification were a sham as petitioner claims, then the regional director would not have used it as reference in his Order. Instead, he would have either verified it or directed the CENR officer to take the appropriate action, as the latter was under the formers direct control and supervision.
Petitioners claim that the Certification was raised for the first time on appeal is incorrect. As early as the pretrial conference at the Municipal Trial Court (MTC), the CENR Certification had already been marked as evidence for respondents as stated in the Pre-trial Order. The Certification was not formally offered, however, because respondents had not been able to file their position paper. Neither the rules of procedurenor jurisprudencewould sanction the admission of evidence that has not been formally offered during the trial. But this evidentiary rule is applicable only to ordinary trials, not to cases covered by the rule on summary procedure -- cases in which no fullblown trial is held. Third Issue: Affidavit of Petitioners Witnesses Petitioners assert that the CA erred in disregarding the Affidavits of their witnesses, insisting that the Rule on Summary Procedure authorizes the use of affidavits. They also claim that the failure of respondents to file their position paper and counter-affidavits before the MTC amounts to an admission by silence. The admissibility of evidence should not be confused with its probative value. Admissibility refers to the question of whether certain pieces of evidence are to be considered at all, while probative value refers to the question of whether the admitted evidence proves an issue. Thus, a particular item of evidence may be admissible, but its evidentiary weight depends on judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided by the rules of evidence. While in summary proceedings affidavits are admissible as the witnesses respective testimonies, the failure of the adverse party to reply does not ipso facto render the facts, set forth therein, duly proven. Petitioners still bear the burden of proving their cause of action, because they are the ones asserting an affirmative relief. Fourth Issue: Defense of Prescription
Petitioners claim that the court a quo erred in upholding the defense of prescription proffered by respondents. It is the formers contention that since the latters possession of the land was merely being tolerated, there was no basis for the claim of prescription. We disagree. For the Court to uphold the contention of petitioners, they have first to prove that the possession of respondents was by mere tolerance. The only pieces of evidence submitted by the former to support their claim were a technical description and a vicinity map drawn in accordance with the survey dated May 22, 1936. Both of these were discredited by the CENR Certification, which indicated that the contested lot had not yet been allocated to any person when the survey was conducted. The testimony of petitioners witnesses alone cannot prevail over respondents continued and uninterrupted possession of the subject lot for a considerable length of time. humanitarian Saez. Hence, his consideration, nipa hut was Adolfo carried allowed by his neighbors Francisco Comorposa and transferred to occupy to aato portion land of the of Marcos land subject Gloria Leano matter and of this case. Oboza. Such Francisco transfer was Comorposa witnessed occupied by several aof portion people, of among Marcos them, Saez' property "Francisco without Comorposa paying left any for rental. Hawaii, U.S.A. He was succeeded in his possession by the respondents petitioners' tolerance. who likewise did not pay any rental and are occupying the premises through "On latter 7and May refused 1998, to aNoel formal vacate the demand same was and made claimed upon that the they respondents [were] to legitimate vacate claimants premises but barangay the actual office and of lawful Sta. Cruz[,] possessor[s] Davao del of the Sur, premises. but the parties A [C]omplaint failed to was arrive filed atthe an with amicable the settlement. an action Thus, for unlawful the corresponding detainer Certificate filed by to petitioners File Action against was issued respondents. by the said barangay "Respondents, entered inuninterrupted and their occupied Answer, the denied premises the material in their allegations own right as of true, the [C]omplaint valid and lawful and alleged claimants, that they have possessors acquired and just owners and valid of the ownership said lot way back possession in 1960 and the up premises the present by ordinary time; or extraordinary upheld their possession prescription, over and the that land the in Regional question Director when it ruled of the that DENR, they [were] Region the XI rightful has already claimants Ruling of the and Court possessors of Appeals and [were], therefore, entitled to the issuance of title and regional in full force DENR's community effect, unless environment declared null and and natural void. resources The CA added (CENR) that officer the Certification was proof that issued when by the the person. the exclusive, continuous and possession thereof since 1960. The appellate court deemed as selfParan. 7Paulina Hence, this Petition. humanitarian Saez. his consideration, hut was Adolfo carried allowed by his neighbors Francisco Comorposa and transferred to occupy to a filed portion land of the of land subject Gloria Leano matter and ofofnipa this case. Oboza. Such Francisco transfer was Comorposa witnessed occupied by several a portion people, of among Marcos them, Saez' property "Francisco without Comorposa paying left any for rental. Hawaii, He was succeeded in his possession by theMarcos respondents petitioners' tolerance. who likewise did not pay any rental and are occupying the premises through "On the latter 7Hence, May refused 1998, to aNoel formal vacate the demand same was and made claimed upon that the they respondents [were] the to legitimate vacate claimants premises but barangay the actual office and lawful Sta. Cruz[,] possessor[s] Davao del ofU.S.A. the Sur, premises. but the parties A [C]omplaint failed to was arrive atthe an with amicable the settlement. and an action Thus, for unlawful the corresponding detainer Certificate filed by topetitioners File Action against was issued respondents. by the said barangay