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ROGELIO DANTIS vs. JULIO MAGHINANG, JR.

G.R. No. 191696 || April 10, 2013 || MENDOZA, J.:


FACTS:
P filed a complaint for quiteting of title and recovery of possession with damages against R.
Ps Complaint: Alleged that he was the registered owner of a parcel of land in Bulacan, such ownership was acquired
through a deed of extrajudicial partition of the estate of his deceased father, Emilio Dantis. He also alleged that he was the
one paying taxes on the said property. P said that R occupied and built a house on the subject land without any right at all,
and that despite demands, R did not vacate.
Rs Answer: He claimed that he owned the subject property due to his open and continuous possession for almost 30
years. He claimed ownership based on the sale allegedly made by Ps father, Emilio, to Rs father, Julio Sr. Because of
this sale, he succeeded to the ownership of said property.
Evidence of P:
1) Testimony of P himself as to the identity of the land and that he inherited the land. He also testified that R built a house
on the said lot. At first, it was just a small lot but when he was about 60 yrs old, he told R not to built a bigger house
because he might need said lot someday. P said that he was not in physical possession of the premises.
2) TCT No. T-125918 to prove that the land was titled under his name
3) Tax Declaration with ARP No. C20-22-043-07-046 - to show that he declared for tax purposes said land
4) Testimony of R as adverse witness that he had no title over the property, no rentals paid, no taxes paid
Evidence of R:
1) Testimony of R that he owns the house but not the lot because he said that there is still a question as to it. However,
he claims ownership based on the alleged sale.
2) Affidavit of Ignacio Dantis (grandfather of P) - alleged that Emilio Dantis agreed to sell 352 square meters of the lot to
Julio Sr. (father of R) on installment. R was just 11 yrs old then.
3) Exhibit "4" An undated handwritten receipt of the initial downpayment ( 100.00) supposedly issued by Emilio to Julio,
Sr. in connection with the sale of the subject lot
RTC ruled in favor of P, declaring him as the true owner of the land and R as mere possessor by tolerance. Even if the
documents presented by R were competent evidence, still, they would only serve as proofs that the purchase price for the
subject lot had not yet been completely paid and, hence, P was not duty-bound to deliver the property to R.
CA reversed RTC. Exhibit 4 was proof of the sale. Partial payment, coupled with delivery of the res, gave efficacy to the
oral sale and brought it outside the Statute of Frauds. R had an equitable claim over the lot considering that P had a
personal duty to convey what had been sold.
ISSUE:
W/N there was a perfected sale NO
RATIO:
P was able to establish a prima facie case in his favor tending to show his exclusive ownership of the parcel of land under
TCT No. T-125918. It appears that the land was part of a bigger area which was registered in Emilios name. It is also
apparent that when Emilio died, his heirs executed an EJ partition of the estate, such that, the property which was in issue
now, is the same property which was given to P. The subject lot was also declared by P for tax purposes. These pieces of
evidence make out a prima facie case in favor of P. With this, it now devolved upon R to contravene Ps claim
However, Rs pieces of evidence, Exhibit "3" and Exhibit "4," cannot prevail over the array of documentary and testimonial
evidence that were adduced by P.
[RELEVANT TO HEARSAY] Affidavit of Ignacio Dantis
This is hearsay evidence.
Evidence is hearsay when its probative force depends on the competency and credibility of some persons other than the
witness by whom it is sought to be produced. The exclusion of hearsay evidence is anchored on three reasons: 1)
absence of cross-examination; 2) absence of demeanor evidence; and 3) absence of oath.

Jurisprudence dictates that an affidavit is merely hearsay evidence where its affiant/maker did not take the witness stand.
The sworn statement of Ignacio is of this kind. The affidavit was not identified and its averments were not affirmed by
affiant Ignacio. Accordingly, Exhibit "3" must be excluded from the judicial proceedings being an inadmissible hearsay
evidence. It cannot be deemed a declaration against interest for the matter to be considered as an exception to the
hearsay rule because the declarant was not the seller (Emilio), but his father (Ignacio).
[BEST EVIDENCE RULE We took this up so di ko gagawing detailed] - Exhibit 4
Exhibit "4," on the other hand, is considered secondary evidence being a mere photocopy which, in this case, cannot be
admitted to prove the contents of the purported undated handwritten receipt. BER requires that the highest available
degree of proof must be produced. For documentary evidence, the contents of a document are best proved by the
production of the document itself to the exclusion of secondary or substitutionary evidence, pursuant to Rule 130, Section
22.
A secondary evidence is admissible only upon compliance with Rule 130, Section 5, which states that: when the original
has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, the offeror, upon proof of its execution or existence and the
cause of its unavailability without bad faith on his part, may prove its contents by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in
some authentic document, or by the testimony of witnesses in the order stated. Accordingly, the offeror of the secondary
evidence is burdened to satisfactorily prove the predicates thereof, namely: (1) the execution or existence of the original;
(2) the loss and destruction of the original or its non-production in court; and (3) the unavailability of the original is not due
to bad faith on the part of the proponent/offeror. Proof of the due execution of the document and its subsequent loss would
constitute the basis for the introduction of secondary evidence. In MCC Industrial Sales Corporation v. Ssangyong
Corporation, it was held that where the missing document is the foundation of the action, more strictness in proof is
required than where the document is only collaterally involved.
Guided by these norms, the Court holds that Julio, Jr. failed to prove the due execution of the original of Exhibit "4" as well
as its subsequent loss. A nexus of logically related circumstance rendered Julio, Jr.s evidence highly suspect. Also, his
testimony was riddled with improbabilities and contradictions which tend to erode his credibility and raise doubt on the
veracity of his evidence.