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T ESTIMONIAL E VIDENCE. Qualification of Witnesses. Sec. 20: Witnesses; their qualifications. RULES:. * Witness. – one who, being present, personally sees or perceives a thing, a beholder, spectator or eyewitness; one who testifies to what he has seen or heard, or otherwise observed.

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qualification of witnesses

TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE

Qualification of Witnesses

sec 20 witnesses their qualifications
Sec. 20: Witnesses; their qualifications.

RULES:

* Witness

– one who, being present, personally sees or perceives a thing, a beholder, spectator or eyewitness; one who testifies to what he has seen or heard, or otherwise observed.

All persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known their perception to others may be witnesses. Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, or conviction of a crime shall be a ground for disqualification unless otherwise provided by law.

* Prosecution witness

- It is a person who is not an accused and who is called to testify relating to a criminal case.

2. Exception: When a person is disqualified:

a. By reason of his mental condition or mental maturity;

b. Be reason of public policy;

c. By reason of confidential communication; or

d. When disqualified by law or these Rules.

* State witness

– It is one of two or more persons jointly charged with the commission of a crime but who is discharged with his consent so he that he can be a witness for the state.

sec 20 witnesses their qualifications1
Sec. 20: Witnesses; their qualifications.

When deaf mutes are competent witnesses

a. where they can understand and appreciate the sanctity of an oath;

b. can comprehend facts they are going to testify on; and

c. can communicate their ideas through a qualified interpreter.

sec 20 witnesses their qualifications2
Sec. 20: Witnesses; their qualifications.
  • While an accused may voluntarily take the witness stand to testify on his behalf in a criminal case filed against him and be cross examined thereby, he cannot be compelled to be a witness for the prosecution.
types of immunity from suit granted to a witness
Types of immunity from suit granted to a witness:

a. Transactional immunity – A witness can no longer be prosecuted for any offense whatsoever arising out of the act or transaction.

b. Use-and-derivative-use immunity – A witness is only assured that his or her particular testimony and evidence derived from it will not be used against him or her in a subsequent prosecution.

qualities or abilities a witness must possess
Qualities or Abilities a Witness Must Possess
  • to observe

b. to remember

c. to relate

d. to recognize a duty to tell the truth

sec 21 disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity
Sec. 21: Disqualification by reason ofmental incapacity or immaturity.

Definition:

1. Voir Dire – literally means to speak the truth.

2. Voir Dire Examination – denotes the preliminary examination under oath which the court may make of one presented as a witness (or juror), where his competence, interest, etc. is objected to.

sec 21 disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity1
Sec. 21: Disqualification by reason ofmental incapacity or immaturity.

RULES:

1. Generally, the following persons cannot be

witnesses:

a. Insane, unless his testimony is offered during a lucid interval;

b. Minor, subject to exceptions.

When the court subjects the witness to voirdire, the court reminds him or her

about the consequences of the truth. When the court is satisfied that the

influence of fear or hope has been ruled out, then the confession of the witness

can be deemed voluntary.

3. The Rule on Examination of a Child Witness; Presumption of Competency: Under the new Child Witness Rule, every child is presumed qualified to be a witness. Only when substantial doubt exists regarding the ability of the child to perceive, remember, communicate, distinguish truth from falsehood or appreciate the duty to tell the truth in court will the court, motuproprio or on motion of a party, conduct a competency examination of a child. The court mayappoint a guardian ad litem to promote the child’s best interest.

2. Test of Competency:

a. Sufficiency of understanding to appreciate the nature and obligation of an oath,

b. Sufficiency of capacity to observe, and

c. Describes correctly the facts in regard to

which he is called to testify.

sec 22 disqualification by reason of marriage
Sec. 22: Disqualification by reason of marriage.

RULES:

1. Marital Disqualification Rule – neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the other spouse during the marriage.

3. Exceptions:

a. In a civil case by one against the other, or

b. In a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other.

The right to invoke this disqualification belongs to the spouse-party, therefore, he or she alone can claim or waive it.

2. Requisites:

a. Spouses are legally married, and

b. Either spouse must be a party to the case.

sec 23 disqualification by reason of death or insanity of adverse party
Sec. 23: Disqualification by reason ofdeath or insanity of adverse party.

1. Dead Man’s Statute or Survivor Disqualification Rule – provides that if one party to the alleged transaction is precluded from testifying by death, insanity or other mental disabilities, the surviving party is not entitled to undue advantage of giving his own uncontradicted and unexplained account of the transaction.

Purpose:

To guard against the temptation to give false testimony on the part of the surviving party, and put the parties to the suit upon the terms of equality in regard to opportunity to produce evidence.

privileged communication rule
PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION RULE

a rule of law that, to protect a particular relationship or interest, either permits a witness to refrain from giving testimony he otherwise could be compelled to give, or permits someone, usually one of the parties, to prevent the witness from revealing certain information.

privileged communication rule1
PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION RULE

A. Marital Privilege Rule/Spousal Immunity

1) Requisites:

(a) That the spouses must have been legally married;

(b) That the privilege is claimed, with regard to communication, oral or written, made during the marriage;

(c) That said communication was made confidentially; and

(d) That the action or proceedings where the privilege is claimed is not by one spouse against the other.

2) Exemptions:

(a) In a civil case instituted by one against the other, and

(b) In a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other.

privileged communication rule2
PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION RULE

B. Attorney-Client Privilege Rule

Requisites:

a) There must be a relation of attorney and client,

b) Communication by client to attorney, or advice given thereon by the latter to the former; and

c) Communication or advice must have been made to the attorney in the course of or with a view to professional employment.

privileged communication rule3
PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION RULE

C. Physician-Patient Privilege Rule

Requisites:

a) The action in which the advice or treatment given or any Information is to be used is a civil case;

b) The relation of physician and patient existed between the person claiming the privilege or his legal representative and the physician;

c) The advice or treatment given by him or any information was acquired by the physician while professionally attending the patient;

d) The information was necessary for the performance of his professional duty; and

• The disclosure of the information would tend to blacken the reputation of the patient.

Persons Disqualified in the Rule

a) Any person authorized to practice medicine, surgery, or obstetrics

b) Dentists

c) Pharmacists

d) Nurses

privileged communication rule4
PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION RULE

D. Priest-Penitent Privilege Rule

Requisites:

a) The minister or priest must be so according to the sect or denomination to which he belongs;

b) the communication is made to him in his professional capacity or character; and

c) it is made in the course of discipline enjoined by the rules or practices of his sect or denomination.

privileged communication rule5
PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION RULE

E. Privileged Communication to Public Officer

Requisites:

a) The communication must have been made to a public officer;

b) The communication was made in official confidence; and

c) Public interest would suffer by the disclosure of the communication.

privileged communication rule6
PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION RULE

F. Other Privilege Matters

  • Bank deposits, except: upon written permission of the depositor, in cases of impeachment, upon order of competent court in cases of bribery, dereliction of duty of public officials, in cases where the money deposited is the subject matter of litigation and, in cases of unexplained wealth.

2) Sources of information by newspaperman

3) Informers

4) Trade secrets

testimonial privilege
TESTIMONIAL PRIVILEGE

2. Evidentiary Admission – When the term admission is used without any qualifying adjective, the customary meaning is an evidentiary admission, that is, words in oral or written form or conduct of a party or a representative offered in evidence against a party.

3. Judicial Admission – refers to an admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, which does not require proof. The admissions may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made.

  • Admission – is a voluntary acknowledgement of some fact or circumstance which tends to establish the ultimate fact in issue in a civil case or of the guilt of an accused.

Form of Admission

1) Judicial, in which case it is conclusive.

2) Extrajudicial, in which case it is rebuttable.

sec 26 admission of a party
Sec. 26: Admission of a party.

1. The act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him.

2. Self-serving declarations, which are unsworn statements made by the declarant out of court and which are favorable to his interest are not admissible.

sec 27 offer of compromise not admissible
Sec. 27: Offer of compromise not admissible.

Definition:

1. Compromise – an agreement made between two or more parties as a settlement of matters in dispute.

2. Privies – denotes the idea of succession not only by right of heirship and testamentary legacy, but also that of succession by singular title, derived from acts inter vivos, as by assignment, subrogation or purchase – in fact any act whereby the successor is substituted in the place of the predecessor in interest.

sec 27 offer of compromise not admissible1
Sec. 27: Offer of compromise not admissible.

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

Compromise in Criminal Cases:

sec 27 offer of compromise not admissible2
Sec. 27: Offer of compromise not admissible.

Criminal Cases Where Compromise Allowed

Violation of the NIRC (Tax Code)

b. Quasi-offenses under Art. 365, RPC

The Good Samaritan Rule:

An offer to pay or the payment of medical, hospital or other expenses occasioned by an injury is not admissible in evidence as proof of civil or criminal liability for the injury.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of another.

It is based from the maxim “res inter aliosactaalterinocere non debet” (things done between strangers ought not to injure those who are not parties to it)

It is well-settled that a party is not bound by any agreement of which he has no knowledge and to which he has not given his consent and that his rights cannot be prejudiced by the declaration, act or omission of another, except by virtue of a particular relation between them.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule1
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Exceptions

Admissions made:

a. By a co-partner or agent (Sec. 29)

b. By a conspirator (Sec. 30)

c. By privies (Sec. 31)

d. By Silence (Sec. 32)

Sections 29, 30 and 31 are collectively classified as

vicarious admissions.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule2
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Requisites of Admission by Co-Partner:

a. The partnership be previously proven by evidence other than the admission itself.

b. The acts or declarations refer to a matter within the scope of his authority.

c. The acts or declarations were made during the existence of the partnership.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule3
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Principle of Conditional Admissibility:

Inasmuch as it must often happen that the admission of only one partner can be proved at a time, declarations may be received where the existence of a partnership is alleged without proof of the partnership at that time. Here, as in other cases, the order of the testimony is within the discretion of the judge.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule4
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Requisites of Admission by Agent:

a. The agency be previously proved by evidence other than the admission itself.

b. The admission refers to a matter within the scope of his authority.

c. The admission was made during the existence of the agency.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule5
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Requisites of Admission by Joint Owner, Joint Debtor, or other Person Jointly Interested with the Party:

a. There exists a joint interest between the joint owner, joint debtor or other person jointly interested with the party and such party, which joint interest must first be made to appear by evidence other than the act or declaration itself.

b. The act or declaration was made while the interest was subsisting.

c. The act relates to the subject matter of the joint interest for otherwise it would be immaterial and irrelevant.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule6
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Requisites of Admission by coconspirator:

a. The conspiracy be first proved be evidence other than the admission itself.

b. The admission relates to the common object.

c. It has been made while the declarant was engage

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule7
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Interlocking confessions:

The Principle of Implied Conspiracy:

Principle of Adoption:

Conspiracy may be justified by circumstantial evidence, that is, their community of purpose and their unity of design in the contemporaneous or simultaneous performance of the act of assaulting the deceased. Although the intent may be classified as instantaneous, it sprung from the turn of events, thereby uniting the criminal design of the slayer immediately before the commission of the offense.

Where several extrajudicial confessions had been made by several persons charged with the same offense and without the possibility of collusion among them, the fact that the statements are in all respects identical is confirmatory of the confessions of the codefendants and are admissible against other persons implicated therein. This is an exception to the hearsay and res inter aliosacta rule.

Where one joins a conspiracy after its formation and actively participates in it, he adopts the previous acts and declarations of his fellow conspirators, so that such acts and declarations, although done or made before he joined the conspiracy are admissible against him.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule8
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Extrajudicial confession is binding only against the confessant, except:

  • If the co-accused impliedly acquiesced in or adopted said confession by not questioning its truthfulness;
  • In cases of interlocking confession corroborated by other evidence;
  • Where the accused admitted the facts stated by the confessant after being apprised of such confession;

d. If they are charged as co-conspirators of the crime which was confessed by one of the accused and said confession is used only as a corroborating evidence;

e. Where the confession is used as circumstantial evidence to show the probability of participation by the coconspirators;

f. Where the confessant testified for his co-defendant;

g. Where the co-conspirator’s extrajudicial confession is corroborated by otherevidence.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule9
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Admission by Privies:

Admission by Silence.

Where one derives title to property from another, the act, declaration, or omission of the latter, while holding the title, in relation to the property, is evidence against the former.

Basis: The maxim Qui tacetconsentirevidetur (he who is silent appears to consent) is received on the theory that the failure to deny what is asserted in the presence of a party is an implied admission of the truth of the statement.

sec 28 the res inter alios acta rule10
(Sec. 28)The Res Inter AliosActaRule

Admission by Silence.

Requisites:

1) Hearing and understanding of the statement by the party,

2) Opportunity and necessity of denying the statements,

3) Statement must refer to a matter affecting his right or interest,

4) Facts were within his knowledge, and

5) Facts admitted or the inference to be drawn from his silence would be material to the issue.

previous conduct as evidence sec 34 similar acts as evidence
PREVIOUS CONDUCT AS EVIDENCESec. 34: Similar acts as evidence.

1. Evidence that one did or did not do a certain thing at one time is not admissible to prove that he did or did not do the same or similar thing at another time.

It is well-settled that evidence is not admissible which shows, or tends to show, that the accused in a criminal case has committed a crime wholly independent from the offense for which he is on trial. A man may be a notorious criminal, and may have committed many crimes and still be innocent of the crime charged on trial.