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Evidence Case Digests

III. Real and Demonstrative Evidence


Rule 130, Sections 1 and 2
Rules of Admissibility
A. OBJECT (REAL) EVIDENCE
Section 1. Object as evidence. Objects as evidence are those addressed to the
senses of the court. When an object is relevant to the fact in issue, it may be
exhibited to, examined or viewed by the court. (1a)
B. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
Section 2. Documentary evidence. Documents as evidence consist of writing or
any material containing letters, words, numbers, figures, symbols or other modes of
written expression offered as proof of their contents. (n)
People vs. Bardaje, 1999 SCRA 388 (1980)
G.R. No. L-29271 | August 29, 1980
[Sorry guys, this is a LONG casebecause it is a RAPE case. :D I just made the
summary complete. Yun na lang yung i-recite niyo.]
Doctrine: Physical evidence is of the highest order. Remember that in rape cases,
the testimony of the victim is given great weight. But in the case at bar, physical
evidence show or suggests that she was not forced, instead, there was elopement.
Petitioner: People of the Philippines
Respondent: Adelino Bardaje
Ponente: J. Melencio-Herrera
Nature of the case: Automatic review, the trial court convicting Bardaje of Forcible
Abduction with Rape, and sentenced to death.
Summary: Marcelina filed a complaint against Adelino for the crime of rape in the
CFI of Samar. According to Marcelina, at 7pm of Dec. 14, she was dragged from
her aunts home by Adelino and the other 5 accused who were his accomplices.
She was then taken to a hut on a mountain where she was ravished by Adelino
while the other stayed outside on guard. The next day, she was brought to another
mountain, arriving at the hut of one called Ceferino who lived with his family. That
night, Adelino had another sexual intercourse with her even though she resisted and
shouted for help which was of no use bcoz the people there were his relatives.
Finally, on Dec. 17, 2 soldiers with her father arrived, who rescued her from her
captors. They returned to Barrio Crossing, and then she and her mother went to
Catbalogan where she filed a complaint at the Fiscal's Office and submitted to a
medical examination at the Samar Provincial Hospital. Adelino, on the other hand,
admitted having had carnal knowledge with her but denied having raped her.
Instead, they eloped because they were already sweethearts since Nov. 12 of the
previous year. They used to date in Tacloban and "anything goes". At the police
station, he was maltreated and was forced to sign a statement implicating the FIVE

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

OTHERS as his companions even if untrue. He even did not know who attested to
his statement/confession. The fact of elopement was corroborated by Ceferino
adding that Marcelina and Adelino had told him that they had eloped. Marcelina
even offered to curl his daughter's hair and helped in house chores and in the
threshing of palay, while Adelino helped in carrying the palay. The trial court gave
credence to Marcelinas testimony, ruled in her favor with Adelino guilty of Forcible
Abduction with Rape with the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and aid of
armed men, and sentenced him to death. It reasoned that Marcelina had no
improper motive to implicate him in such a detestable crime as Rape. ISSUE is
WON the trial court erred in convicting Adelino of Forcible Abduction with Rape.
YES.
On the basis of the testimonial and documentary evidence, the guilt of Adelino has
not been established beyond reasonable doubt. Evidence to be believed must not
only come from the mouth of a credible witness but must be credible in itself. 1)
Medical certificate There was no evidence of external injuries on any part of the
body, a fact which is strange, considering that Marcelina was allegedly dragged,
slapped into unconsciousness, wrestled with, and criminally abused. There were
also old healed lacerations" in the hymen which, according to the testimony of the
examining physician would have occurred 2 weeks or even 1 month before, which
bolsters the defense that Marcelina and Adelino had previous amorous relations,
and that there is serious doubt on the charge of intercourse by force and
intimidation. 2) Marcelinas Admission the 2 huts where they stayed were small,
had only 1 room and was being inhabited by 2 families. That she was ravished in
the room is highly improbable and contrary to human experience. It challenges
human credulity that she could have been sexually abused with so many within
hearing and distance. 3) An extrajudicial confession made by an accused shall not
be sufficient ground for conviction unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti.
That proof has not been met in the case at bar. Moreover, Adelino who was only
18yrs old, was by himself when being investigated without benefit of counsel or
anyone to advise him of his rights. Aside from his declaration that his confession
was obtained through maltreatment and violence, it was also vitiated by a
procedural irregularity bcoz it was attested without his presence. Thus, the totality of
the circumstances count with such great weight and significance that they lend
reasonable doubt to the allegation that Marcelina had been "kidnapped" or "illegally
detained" and that when she and Adelino engaged in sexual intercourse, it was
because of force or intimidation exercised upon her. Instead, the evidence point out
that she and Adelino had eloped, and she conceded to the sexual intercourse.
FACTS:
Complaint filed with court:

On Dec. 20, 1965 (3 days after the alleged rape), MARCELINA Cuizon (14
yrs old) lodged a complaint with Samar CFI against ADELINO Bardaje (18
yrs old) and FIVE OTHERS (Lucio Malate, Pedro Odal, Adriano Odal,
Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas) of the crime of rape.
o from Dec 14-17, 1965, in Barrio Lopig, Sta. Rita, Samar,

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Evidence Case Digests

accused, conspiring, confederating together and helping one


another, with lewd design, by means of force and intimidation,
and at nighttime,
o did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously drag her
from the house of one Norma Fernandez
o and brought her to a far away place
o and once there, Adelino, by means of force and intimidation
forcibly had sexual intercourse with her several times while his coaccused were on guard.
Information filed by fiscal:

The day after, Fiscal's office filed an Information, which was lifted from
MARCELINAs complaint, although a little bit amended.

Difference of the Complaint with the Information:


1.
While MARCELINA charged ADELINO only with Rape, the Fiscal charged
him with "Rape with Illegal Detention".
2.
MARCELINA (in the Complaint) merely alleged that she was dragged from
the house of Norma Fernandez by means of force and intimidation and at
nighttime. On the other hand, the Information added that the accused were
"armed with bolos".
3.
The name of the barrio was also changed from Lopig to Crossing.
4.
The Information included the allegation that the crime of Rape with Illegal
Detention was committed with the "aggravating circumstances that it was
committed in an uninhabited place and with the aid of armed men".

An analysis of the Information will show the assumption that only ADELINO
was the principal culprit while the FIVE OTHERS were either principals by
cooperation or accomplices. It was ADELINO who had dragged
MARCELINA "with" the help of the FIVE OTHERS.
o Both the complaint and Information also indicated that ADELINO
was the only one who committed the rape, while the FIVE
OTHERS were merely accomplices.
Arrest & Alleged Confession:

ADELINO was arrested on Dec. 17.

Dec 20: he signed the alleged confession, Exhibit "C", admitting having
kidnapped and molested MARCELINA, which became the basis for
MARCELINA's complaint.
o ADELINO had mentioned that, besides the FIVE OTHERS, a
sixth, Domingo Odal, was with the group when MARCELINA was
"kidnapped". There is no indication in the record as to why
Domingo Odal was not included in MARCELINA's complaint as
one of the accused.

Of the six (6) persons accused, the FIVE OTHERS were never arrested,
and only ADELINO stood trial.
Trial & Decision:

After the trial was concluded, ADELINO's lawyer submitted a


Memorandum. He argued that the prosecution did not establish the
elements of Rape and Illegal Detention.

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

It should be noted that before the arraignment, the Information


was amended to include the allegation that MARCELINA was
detained and deprived of liberty for 3 days.
!
This allegation could be taken into account in connection
with Illegal Detention (but NOT in connection with
Forcible Abduction which was later on stated by the
Fiscal to be the correct crime)
!
Since according to Exhibit "C", MARCELINA was
"kidnapped" at midnight of Dec 14, and ADELINO was
arrested in the morning of Dec 17, or an interval of less
than 72 Hours, it could NOT be correctly pleaded that
MARCELINA was deprived of liberty for 3 days.
Thus, the Fiscal filed a Memorandum which stated that the crime which
should be imputed to ADELINO is Rape with Forcible Abduction.
o Then they just made an excuse (my own words) that although the
information is for Rape with Illegal Detention instead of Rape with
Forcible Abduction, yet from the body of the information it could
be clearly gleaned that the elements of abduction are sufficiently
alleged and hence the accused can be convicted thereunder.
RTC: found ADELINO guilty of Forcible Abduction with Rape with the
aggravating circumstances of dwelling and aid of armed men, and
sentenced him to death.
o It found the prosecutors version of the incident more worthy of
credence; that Marcelina had no improper motive to implicate
ADELINO in such a detestable crime as Rape.
o

Prosecutions Version
1.
Marcelinas Testimony

She and her mother were living in the house of her aunt, Sofia Fernandez,
at Barrio Crossing, Sta. Rita, Samar, where she worked as a beautician.
Dec 14

At 7pm of Dec 14, while she was eating supper, ADELINO, whom she
knew when they were "still small", and who was her classmate in Grade 2,
accompanied by the FIVE OTHERS, entered the house and began
drinking "sho hoc tong" which they brought along.

After the liquor had been fully consumed, Silvino broke the kerosene lamp
causing complete darkness. She then ran to the room where her mother
was.

ADELINO, Pedro, Fidel, and Adriano, followed her, tried to extricate her
from her mother's embrace and dragged the 2 of them to the sala. Pedro
choked her mother's neck thereby loosening her hold on Marcelina and the
4 males, 2 of whom were armed with bolos, forced her downstairs and by
holding and dragging her, brought her to the mountain about 2 kilometers
from Barrio Crossing. That was about 12 midnight.

On the way, ADELINO slapped her rendering her unconscious. She


regained consciousness in a hut, with ADELINO holding her hands, and
removing her panty. She bit and kicked him. Despite her struggle,

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ADELINO succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her, while his other
companions stayed outside on guard.
Dec 15 & 16

At 8am of Dec. 15, ADELINO and the FIVE OTHERS brought her to
another mountain, 6 kilometers farther, arriving there past 12noon at the
house of one called Ceferino who lived there with his family.

She was kept in one room. Outside the room were Pedro, Adriano and
Fidel, still armed with bolos, drinking and guarding her.

In the evening, ADELINO had another sexual intercourse with her even
though she bit and kicked him and shouted for help which was to no avail
as all present were relatives of ADELINO.

The next day, she curled the hair of Narita (daughter of Ceferino) because
ADELINO threatened to kill her if she did not. Her curling paraphernalia
was taken by Adriano, upon ADELINO's instructions, from Norma
Fernandez (her cousin) who gave the equipment as she (Norma) was also
threatened.

MARCELINA and her "captors" stayed in Ceferino's house for 2 days.


Dec 17

In the morning of Dec. 17, 2 soldiers with her father, Alejo Cuizon, arrived.
She embraced him and cried.

The soldiers apprehended ADELINO while the FIVE OTHERS jumped


down the window and fled.

They all returned to Barrio Crossing.

She and her mother then went to Catbalogan, where she filed a complaint
at the Fiscal's Office on Dec. 20 and submitted to a medical examination at
the Samar Provincial Hospital.
On cross-examination, Marcelina admitted the ff: [important!]

Regarding the 1st hut:


o She did not know who owned the hut.
o It was just a one-room hut where a woman and 2 small children
lived.
o She and Adelino slept in that same room as the woman, while the
FIVE OTHERS slept near the kitchen.
nd

As to the 2 hut:
o Ceferino, his wife and 7 children were living in the hut which was
about waist high from the ground, consisted of one room, 3 x 2
meters, a sala, 6 x 3 meters, and a kitchen.
o Between the room and the sala was a wall of split bamboos so
that noise inside the room could be heard clearly from the other
side.
2.
Testimony of Dr. Vitus Hobayan, Jr., [Resident Physician at the Samar
Provincial Hospital who examined MARCELINA on Dec. 20]

Findings as evidenced by a Medical Certificate:


1.
No evidence of external injuries around the vulva or any part of
the body.
2.
Hymen no intact, presence of old healed laceration at 4, 7, 12
o'clock.

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

3.
4.

Laceration may have been caused by possible sexual intercourse


or other factors, and if it were intercourse, he estimated that it
could have occured "say, two weeks or one month" or possibly
more.
Vagina easily admits two fingers.
Vaginal smear negative for spermatozoa.

Defenses Version

1.
Adelinos Testimony
He admitted having had carnal knowledge of MARCELINA but denied
having raped her.
o They eloped on Dec. 14-17, as previously planned, they having
been sweethearts since Nov.12 of the previous year.
o They used to date in Tacloban and "anything goes".
MARCELINA's family used to have a house in Barrio Crossing but
now MARCELINA just stays in the house of her aunt, Sofia, which
is about 5 houses away from theirs.

Dec 14

In the evening, while MARCELINA's mother and others were eating,


MARCELINA handed him a bag and beauty curling equipment through the
window, went downstairs, after which the 2 of them walked to the
mountains, to Ceferinos house.

Ceferino was a cousin of ADELINO's mother. He and MARCELINA slept in


the bedroom with 18-year old Narita, Ceferino's daughter. While in that hut,
food was brought to them by his sister, Nenita.
Dec 15

MARCELINA curled Narita's hair.


Dec 17

In the morning, Sgts. Terado and Gacelos, accompanied by MARCELINA's


father apprehended him for having kidnapped MARCELINA.

Marcelina ran to him and embraced him and said she was to blame.
Notwithstanding, he was boxed by the soldiers as instructed by
MARCELINA's father and taken to Maulong PC Headquarters for
questioning.

He was boxed and kicked and was forced to sign a statement implicating
the FIVE OTHERS as his companions even if untrue. He did not know who
attested to his statement as one Sgt. Gacelos took the document
elsewhere.
2.
Ceferinos Testimony (60 yrs old)

He corroborated ADELINO's testimony regarding their stay in his house


adding that MARCELINA and ADELINO had told him that they had eloped.
o MARCELINA even offered to curl his daughter's hair (Narita's and
Concepcion's), and helped in house chores and in the threshing
of palay, while ADELINO helped in carrying palay because it was
rainy.
ISSUE: WON the trial court erred in convicting Adelino of Forcible Abduction with
Rape. YES.

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RATIO:

SC: On the basis of the evidence, testimonial and documentary, we find


that the guilt of ADELINO has not been established beyond reasonable
doubt.
o MARCELINA's charge that she was forcibly abducted and
afterwards raped by ADELINO in conspiracy with FIVE OTHERS
is highly dubious and inherently improbable.
#1 Medical findings

"no evidence of external injuries was found around the vulva or any part of
the body" of Complainant, a fact which is strange, indeed, considering that
Complainant was allegedly dragged, slapped into unconsciousness,
wrestled with, and criminally abused.
o Physical evidence is of the highest order and speaks more
eloquently than witnesses put together.

"old healed lacerations" in the hymen which, according to the testimony of


the examining physician would have occurred two weeks or even one
month before if said lacerations had been caused by sexual intercourse.
o This expert opinion bolsters the defense that MARCELINA and
ADELINO had previous amorous relations at the same time that it
casts serious doubts on the charge of intercourse by force and
intimidation.
#2 Complainants admission

The first hut she was taken to was a small one-room affair occupied by a
woman and two small children.
o Her charge therefore, that she was ravished in that same room is
highly improbable and contrary to human experience.

The second hut where she was taken, that of Ceferino Armada, consisted
of a small room separated from the sala by a wall of split bamboos.
Further, that Ceferino with his wife and seven children all lived therein.
o It challenges human credulity that she could have been sexually
abused with so many within hearing and distance.
o It is unbelievable, too, that under those circumstances the FIVE
OTHERS could have stood guard outside, armed with bolos and
drinking, while ADELINO allegedly took advantage of her.
!
If rape were indeed their malevolent intent, they would,
in all probability, have taken turns in abusing her.
!
That they did not, indicates that there was some special
relationship between MARCELINA and ADELINO.
o Furthermore, with people around, and the hut constructed as it
was, it would have been an easy matter for MARCELINA to have
shouted and cried for help. Surely, the old man Ceferino, his wife
and/or his children could not have been insensible to her outcries
notwithstanding their relationship to ADELINO.
o Evidence to be believed must not only come from the mouth
of a credible witness but must be credible in itself.

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

She even curled the hair of Narita, one of Ceferino's daughters, a fact
inconsistent with her allegation of "captivity".
o That she was threatened with death if she did not accede to such
an inconsequential request defies credulity.
o The likelihood is that MARCELINA was not forcibly abducted but
that she and ADELINO had eloped and that she had brought her
beauty paraphernalia with her, or that she herself had sent for
them from her cousin Norma voluntarily and not under threat from
ADELINO.

Exception to the rule that findings of facts of trial court will not be disturbed
by appellate courts

The totality of the foregoing circumstances count with such great


weight and significance that they lend reasonable doubt to the
allegation that MARCELINA had been "kidnapped" or "illegally
detained" and that when she and ADELINO engaged in sexual
intercourse, it was because of force or intimidation exercised upon
her.

They are circumstances that were overlooked by the trial Court and justify
a reversal of its finding of guilt.
Exception to the general belief that a young girl would not expose herself to
the ordeal of public trial if she were not motivated solely by a desire to have
the culprit who had ravished and shamed her placed behind bars.

As the SC views it, MARCELINA was confronted with a paradoxical


situation as a daughter of relative tender age who could not shamefacedly
admit to her parents that she had eloped and voluntarily submitted to
sexual intercourse, since that elopement must have met with righteous
indignation on the part of her parents.

As a result, MARCELINA was faced with no other choice but to charge


ADELINO with rape or incur the ire of her parents and social disrepute
from a small community.
An extrajudicial confession made by an accused shall not be sufficient
ground for conviction unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti

Corpus delicti is proved when the evidence on record shows that the
crime prosecuted had been committed.
o That proof has not been met in the case at bar, the evidence
establishing more of an elopement rather than kidnapping or
illegal detention or forcible abduction, and much less rape.

Moreover, ADELINO, aged 18, was by himself when being investigated by


soldiers, without benefit of counsel nor of anyone to advise him of his
rights.
o Aside from his declaration that his confession was obtained
through maltreatment and violence, it was also vitiated by a
procedural irregularity testified to by no less than prosecution
witness Sgt. Pedro Gacelos that the so-called confession was

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Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

attested without ADELINO's presence so that the latter cannot be


said to have duly subscribed and sworn to it.
In prosecutions for capital offenses, it behooves the trial Courts to exercise
greater care in safeguarding the rights of an accused [not important]

It is true that an accused can be punished for a crime described by the


facts alleged in the Information despite a wrong designation of the crime in
the preamble of the Information. Yet, in capital cases, it should be
desirable that whenever a discrepancy is noted between the designation of
the crime made by the Fiscal and the crime described by the facts pleaded
in his Information, the lower Court should call attention of the accused to
the discrepancy so that the accused may be fully apprised of the nature
and cause of the accusation against him.
o This was not done in regards to ADELINO who all the time was
under the impression that he was being tried for Rape with Illegal
Detention, and not for Forcible Abduction with Rape.

One of the rights of an accused is "to have compulsory process issued to


secure the attendance of witnesses on his behalf.
o This was missing in the case at bar. ADELINO wanted to have
Narita testify on his behalf, and a subpoena had been issued to
her. But instead of taking effective steps to have Narita brought to
Court, the lower court gave responsibility for Narita's attendance
to the defense, expressly stating that, if the defense was not able
to bring her to the Court, her testimony will be dispensed with.

Judges should take a more active role by means of searching questions in


the examination of witnesses for the ascertainment of the truth and
credibility of their testimonies so that any judgment of conviction imposing
the supreme penalty may rest on firm and unequivocal grounds.
o When Sgt. Gacelos testified in court, it would have been
advisable if the lower Court had right then and there asked for the
production of the written statement of MARCELINA.
o The medical report implied that MARCELINA could have had
sexual intercourse previous to Dec. 14. Even Adelino testified to
such fact. Considering the possible infliction of the death penalty
on ADELINO, the lower Court could have asked MARCELINA if
she had had sexual intercourse prior to Dec. 14 and, if so, if it was
with ADELINO.
o Further, there was possibility that ADELINO and MARCELINA
had really been sweethearts. The lower Court could have asked
MARCELINA if she realized that, charging ADELINO with Rape
with Illegal Detention, the latter could be sentenced to death. If
that had been explained to her clearly by the lower Court, she
might then have admitted that she was neither raped nor
"kidnapped" nor illegally detained.
o Lastly, MARCELINA could had been examined with the Court
excluding the public from the hearing under Rule 119, Section 14.
MARCELINA might have testified without feeling the pressure of
her relatives or other persons, if such pressure had in fact existed.

DECISION: WHEREFORE, upon reasonable doubt, the judgment appealed from


imposing the death penalty, is reversed and the appellant, Adelino Bardaje,
acquitted of the crime with which he is charged. His immediate release is ordered
unless lie is held on other charges.
Sison vs. People, 250 SCRA 58 (1995)
(Nov. 16, 1995, Puno, J.)

Petitioners: Romeo Sison, Nilo Pacadar, Joel Tan, Richard Delos Santos, & Joselito
Tamayo
Respondents: People of the Philippines & CA
Plaintiff-appellee: People of the Philippines
Accused: Annie Ferrer; Accused-Appellants: the petitioners + Annie Ferrer
Summary: Sometime in 1986, Stephen Salcedo, a Coryista, was mauled in Luneta
by several Marcos loyalists (petitioners herein). This mauling resulted in Salcedos
death. During trial, the prosecution presented two witnesses (Ranulfo Sumilang and
Renato Banculo). However, petitioners claim that Sumilang and Banculo are
unreliable witnesses for the following reasons:

They surfaced only after a reward was announced by General Lim.


o SC: There is no proof that Banculo or Sumilang testified because of the
reward. Evidence shows that Sumilang reported the incident and submitted
his sworn statement immediately two hours after the mauling.

Banculo executed three sworn statements, improvising the incident.


o SC: This does not make them and his testimony incredible. The sworn
statements were made to identify more suspects who were apprehended
during the investigation of Salcedos death.

Banculo made a mistake in identifying another person as one of the accused


o SC: This does not make him an entirely untrustworthy witness. It does not
make his whole testimony a falsity. An honest mistake is not inconsistent
with a truthful testimony. The testimony of a witness can be believed as to
some facts but disbelieved with respect to the others.

Petitioners questions the evidentiary weight given to Exhibits O (affidavit of


police-investigators) V, V-1 to V-48, W, W-1 to W-13 (photographs of the
mauling) on the ground of lack of proper identification
o SC: 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 photographer, however, is not the
only witness who can identify the pictures he has taken. They can also be
identified by any other competent witness who can testify to its exactness
and accuracy. In this case, 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 (so in effect, naging
competent witnesses sila to the photographs)
Facts: (sorry for the length cos its narrating the mauling, but its an easy read so
dont worry!)

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This occurred after the 1986 EDSA Revolution. It was when the newly-installed
government of President Cory Aquino was being openly challenged in rallies by
Marcos loyalists. Tension and animosity between the 2 groups sometimes
broke into violence. On July 27, 1986, it resulted in the murder of Stephen
Salcedo, a known Coryista.
From August to October 1986, several informations were filed in court against
11 persons identified as Marcos loyalists charging them with the murder of
1
Salcedo. All of them pleaded not guilty.
Impt: The prosecution presented twelve witnesses, including two
eyewitnesses, Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo, and the police officers
who were at the Luneta at the time of the incident. In support of their
testimonies, the prosecution likewise presented documentary evidence
consisting of newspaper accounts of the incident and various photographs
taken during the mauling.
The prosecution established that on July 27, 1986, a rally was scheduled to be
held at the Luneta by the Marcos loyalists. Earlier, they applied for a permit to
hold the rally but their application was denied. Despite this setback, 3,000 of
them gathered at the Rizal Monument of Luneta at 2:30 pm on that day.
Led by Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega, both members of the IBP, the
loyalists started an impromptu singing contest, recited prayers, and delivered
speeches in between.
Colonel Edgar Dula Torres, then Deputy Superintendent of the Western Police
District, arrived and asked the leaders for their permit. No permit could be
produced. Colonel Dula Torres thereupon gave them 10 minutes to disperse.
The loyalist leaders asked for 30 minutes but this was refused.
Atty. Lozano turned towards his group and said, Gulpihin ninyo ang lahat ng
mga Cory infiltrators. Atty. Nuega added, Sige, sige gulpihin ninyo! The
police then pushed the crowd, and used tear gas and truncheons to disperse
them. The loyalists scampered away but some of them threw stones at the
police. Eventually, the crowd fled towards Maria Orosa Street and the situation
later stabilized.
At about 4pm, a small group of loyalists converged at the Chinese Garden,
Phase III of the Luneta. There, they saw Annie Ferrer, a popular movie starlet
and Marcos supporter, jogging around the fountain. They approached her and
informed her of their dispersal and Annie Ferrer angrily ordered them, Gulpihin
ninyo and mga Cory hecklers! Then she continued jogging around the fountain
chanting, Marcos pa rin, Marcos pa rin, Pabalikin si Marcos, Pabalikin si
Marcos, Bugbugin ang mga nakadilaw! The loyalists replied, Bugbugin! A few
minutes later, Annie Ferrer was arrested by the police. Somebody then
shouted, Kailangang gumanti, tayo ngayon!

Criminal Case No. 86-47322 was filed against Raul Billosos y de Leon and Gerry Nery y Babazon;
Criminal Case No. 86-47617 against Romeo Sison y Mejia, Nilo Pacadar y Abe and Joel Tan y Mostero;
Criminal Case No. 86-47790 against Richard de los Santos y Arambulo; Criminal Case No. 86-48538
against Joselito Tamayo y Ortia; and Criminal Case No. 86-48931 against Rolando Fernandez y Mandapat.
Also filed were Criminal Cases Nos. 86-49007 and 86-49008 against Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega as
well as Annie Ferrer charging them as accomplices to the murder of Salcedo.

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

A commotion ensued and Renato Banculo, a cigarette vendor, saw the loyalists
attacking persons in yellow, the color of the Coryistas. Renato took off his
yellow shirt. He then saw a man wearing a yellow t-shirt being chased by a
group of persons shouting, Iyan, habulin iyan. Cory iyan!

Salcedo was beaten black and blue leading to his death.

The man in the yellow t-shirt was Salcedo and his pursuers appeared to be
Marcos loyalists. They caught Salcedo and boxed and kicked and mauled him.
Salcedo tried to extricate himself from the group but they again pounced on
him.

Banculo saw Ranulfo Sumilang, an electrician at the Luneta, rush to Salcedos


aid. Sumilang tried to pacify the maulers so he could extricate Salcedo from
them. But the maulers pursued Salcedo unrelentingly, boxing him with stones in
their fists.

Somebody gave Sumilang a loyalist tag, which Sumilang showed to Salcedos


attackers. They backed off for a while and Sumilang was able to tow Salcedo
away from them. But accused Raul Billosos emerged from behind Sumilang as
another man boxed Salcedo on the head. Accused Richard de los Santos also
boxed Salcedo twice on the head and kicked him even as he was already
fallen. Salcedo tried to stand but accused Joel Tan boxed him on the left side of
his head and ear. Accused Nilo Pacadar punched Salcedo on his nape,
shouting: Iyan, Cory Iyan. Patayin!

Sumilang tried to pacify Pacadar but the latter lunged at the victim again.
Accused Joselito Tamayo boxed Salcedo on the left jaw and kicked him as he
once more fell. Banculo saw accused Romeo Sison trip Salcedo and kick him
on the head, and when he tried to stand, Sison repeatedly boxed him. Sumilang
saw accused Gerry Neri approach the victim but did not notice what he did.

Salcedo somehow managed to get away from his attackers and wipe off the
blood from his face. He sat on some cement steps and then tried to flee
towards Roxas Boulevard to the sanctuary of the Rizal Monument but accused
Joel Tan and Nilo Pacadar pursued him, mauling Sumilang in the process.
Salcedo pleaded for his life exclaiming, Maawa na kayo sa akin. Tulungan
ninyo ako. He cried: Pulis, pulis. Wala bang pulis?

The mauling resumed at the Rizal Monument and continued along Roxas
Boulevard until Salcedo collapsed and lost consciousness. Sumilang flagged
down a van and with the help of a traffic officer, brought Salcedo to the Medical
Center Manila but he was refused admission. So they took him to the Philippine
General Hospital where he died upon arrival. "

Salcedo died of hemorrhage, intracranial traumatic. He sustained various


contusions, abrasions, lacerated wounds, and skull fractures as revealed in his
post-mortem findings.

The mauling of Salcedo was witnessed by bystanders and several press


people, both local and foreign. The press took pictures and a video of the
event, which became front-page news the following day, capturing national and
international attention.

This prompted President Aquino to order the Capital Regional Command and
the Western Police District to investigate the incident. A reward of P10,000 was
put up by Brigadier General Alfredo Lim, then Police Chief, for persons who

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could give information leading to the arrest of the killers. Several persons,
including Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo, cooperated with the police,
and on the basis of their identification, several persons, including the accused,
were apprehended and investigated.
The defense

The principal accused denied their participation in the mauling of the victim and
offered their respective alibis.
o Joselito Tamayo testified he was not in any of the photographs presented
because on July 27, 1986, he was in his house in QC.
o Gerry Neri claimed that he was at the Luneta Theater at the time of the
incident.
o Romeo Sison, a commercial photographer, was allegedly at his office near
the Luneta waiting for some pictures to be developed at that time. He
claimed to be afflicted with hernia impairing his mobility; he cannot run
normally nor do things forcefully.
o Richard de los Santos admits he was at Luneta at the time of the mauling
but denies hitting Salcedo. He said that he merely watched the mauling,
which explains why his face appeared in some of the photographs.
o Unlike the other accused, Nilo Pacadar admits that he is a Marcos loyalist
and a member of the Akoy Pilipino Movement and that he attended the
rally on that day. According to him, he saw Salcedo being mauled and like
Richard de los Santos, merely viewed the incident. His face was in the
pictures because he shouted to the maulers to stop hitting Salcedo.
o Joel Tan also testified that he tried to pacify the maulers because he pitied
Salcedo. The maulers however ignored him.

The other accused, specifically Attys. Lozano and Nuega and Annie Ferrer
opted not to testify in their defense.
Trial court: Sison, Pacadar, Tan, de los Santos, and Tamayo are guilty as
principals in the crime of murder qualified by treachery and sentenced them to 14y,
10m, and 20d of reclusion temporal as min to 20y of reclusion temporal as max.
Annie Ferrer was likewise convicted as an accomplice. However, the prosecution
failed to prove the guilt of the other accused and thus acquitted Raul Billosos, Gerry
Nery, Rolando Fernandez, Oliver Lozano, and Benjamin Nuega.
CA modified the trial court decision and acquitted Annie Ferrer but increased the
penalty of the rest of the accused, except for Tamayo, to reclusion perpetua. CA
found them guilty of murder qualified by abuse of superior strength, but convicted
Tamayo of homicide because the information against him did not allege the said
qualifying circumstance.

Petitioners filed the first case under Rule 45 of the RoC inasmuch as Joselito
Tamayo was not sentenced to reclusion perpetua. The second case was
certified for automatic review of the CA decision against the four accusedappellants sentenced to reclusion perpetua.

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

Issue 1: WON CA erred in sustaining the testimonies of the two in prosecution


eyewitnesses, Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo, because they are unreliable,
doubtful, and do not deserve any credence # No, they are reliable.
Issue 2: WON the photographs were correctly appreciated # Yes, because in this
case, the use of these photographs by some of the accused themselves to show
their alleged non-participation in the crime is an admission of the exactness and
accuracy thereof.
ISSUE 1 on TESTIMONIES
Petitioners claim: The testimonies of these two witnesses are suspect because
they surfaced only after a reward was announced by General Lim.
SC: There is no proof that Banculo or Sumilang testified because of the
reward announced by General Lim, much less that both or either of them ever
received such reward from the government. On the contrary, the evidence shows
that Sumilang reported the incident to the police and submitted his sworn statement
immediately two hours after the mauling, even before announcement of any reward.
He informed the police that he would cooperate with them and identify Salcedos
assailants if he saw them again.
Petitioners claim: Renato Banculo even submitted three sworn statements to the
police geared at providing a new or improved version of the incident. On the witness
stand, he mistakenly identified a detention prisoner in another case as accused
Rolando Fernandez.
SC:

That Banculo executed three sworn statements does not make them and his
testimony incredible. The sworn statements were made to identify more
suspects who were apprehended during the investigation of Salcedos death.

Banculos mistake in identifying another person as one of the accused


does not make him an entirely untrustworthy witness. It does not make his
whole testimony a falsity.
o An honest mistake is not inconsistent with a truthful testimony. Perfect
testimonies cannot be expected from persons with imperfect senses. In the
courts discretion, therefore, the testimony of a witness can be believed as
to some facts but disbelieved with respect to the others.
Petitioners claim: Ranulfo Sumilang was evasive and unresponsive prompting the
trial court to reprimand him several times.
SC: The records show that Sumilang was admonished several times by the trial
court on the witness stand for being argumentative and evasive.

This is not enough reason to reject Sumilangs testimony for he did not
exhibit this undesirable conduct all throughout his testimony. On the whole, his
testimony was correctly given credence by the trial court despite his
evasiveness at some instances.

Except for compelling reasons, we cannot disturb the way trial courts calibrate
the credence of witnesses considering their visual view of the demeanor of
witnesses when on the witness stand. As trial courts, they can best appreciate
the verbal and non-verbal dimensions of a witness testimony.

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SC: We sustain the appellate and trial courts' findings that the witnesses'
testimonies corroborate each other on all important and relevant details of the
principal occurrence. Their positive identification of all petitioners jibe with each
other and their narration of the events are supported by the medical and
documentary evidence on record.

Dr. Roberto Garcia, the medico-legal officer of NBI, testified that the victim had
various wounds on his body, which could have been inflicted by pressure from
more than one hard object.

Appellants do not deny that Salcedo was mauled, kicked, and punched.
Sumilang in fact testified that Salcedo was pummeled by his assailants with
stones in their hands.
ISSUE 2 on PHOTOGRAPHS
Petitioners claim: Appellants also contend that although CA correctly disregarded
Exhibits D, G, and P, it erroneously gave evidentiary weight to Exhibits O, V, V-1 to
V-48, W, W-1 to W-13.

Exhibit O is the Joint Affidavit of Pat. Flores and Pat. Bautista, the police
intelligence-operatives who witnessed the rally and subsequent dispersal
operation.

Pat. Flores properly identified Exhibit O as his sworn statement and in fact
gave testimony corroborating the contents thereof.

Besides, the Joint Affidavit merely reiterates what the other prosecution
witnesses testified to. Identification by Pat. Bautista is a surplusage. If
petitioners wanted to impeach the said affidavit, they should have placed
Pat. Flores on the witness stand.

Exhibits V, V-1 to V-48 are photographs taken of the victim as he was being
mauled at the Luneta starting from a grassy portion to the pavement at the
Rizal Monument and along Roxas Boulevard, as he was being chased by his
assailants and as he sat pleading with his assailants.

Exhibits W, W-1 to W-13 are photographs of Salcedo and the mauling


published in local newspapers and magazines such as the Philippine Star, Mr.
and Ms. Magazine, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and the Malaya. (The admissibility
of these photographs is being questioned by appellants for lack of proper
identification by the person or persons who took the same.)
Re: admissibility of photographs

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 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

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

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.

Application to this case: 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. That the photographs are faithful representations of the
mauling incident was affirmed when 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,


petitioners objected to their admissibility for lack of proper identification.

However, when the petitioners presented their evidence, Atty. Winlove


Dumayas, counsel for accused Joselito Tamayo and Gerry Neri used Exhibits
V, V-1 to V-48 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 petitioners 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, including Atty. Lazaro, who were absent. 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 third hearing and
interposed a continuing objection to their admissibility. The objection of Atty.
Lazaro to the admissibility of the photographs is anchored on the fact that the
person who took the same was not presented to identify them.
Petitioners denials and alibis cannot overcome their eyeball identification.
While the pictures did not record Sison and Tamayo hitting Salcedo, they
were unequivocally identified by Sumilang and Banculo.

An analysis of the photographs vis-a-vis the accuseds testimonies reveal that


only three of the petitioners, namely, Richard de los Santos, Nilo Pacadar, and
Joel Tan could be readily seen in various belligerent poses lunging or hovering
behind or over the victim.

Romeo Sison appears only once and he, although afflicted with hernia is shown
merely running after the victim.

Joselito Tamayo was not identified in any of the pictures. The absence of the
two in the photographs does not exculpate them. The photographs did not
capture the entire sequence of the killing of Salcedo but only segments thereof.
Criminal law issue (not impt): WON the lower courts erred in finding the existence
of conspiracy among the principal accused and in convicting them of murder
qualified by abuse of superior strength, not death in tumultuous affray No error

For this article to apply, it must be established that: (1) there be several
persons; (2) that they did not compose groups organized for the common
purpose of assaulting and attacking each other reciprocally; (3) these several
persons quarreled and assaulted one another in a confused and tumultuous
manner; (4) someone was killed in the course of the affray; (5) it cannot be

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ascertained who actually killed the deceased; and (6) that the person or
persons who inflicted serious physical injuries or who used violence can be
identified.
The quarrel in the instant case, if it can be called a quarrel, was between
one distinct group and one individual. Confusion may have occurred
because of the police dispersal of the rallyists, but this confusion subsided
eventually after the loyalists fled to Maria Orosa Street.
It was only a while later after said dispersal that one distinct group identified as
loyalists picked on one defenseless individual and attacked him repeatedly.
There was no confusion and tumultuous quarrel or affray, nor was there a
reciprocal aggression at this stage of the incident.
The victims assailants were numerous by as much as 50 in number and were
armed with stones. They took advantage of their superior strength and
excessive force. The deliberate and prolonged use of superior strength on a
defenseless victim qualifies the killing to murder.
Treachery as a qualifying circumstance cannot be appreciated. There is no
proof that the attack on Salcedo was deliberately and consciously chosen to
ensure the assailants safety from any defense the victim could have made.
Evident premeditation cannot be appreciated because the attack against
Salcedo was sudden and spontaneous and not preceded by careful thought
and reflection.
There is conspiracy because at the time they were committing the crime, their
actions impliedly showed a unity of purpose among them, a concerted effort to
bring about the death of Salcedo.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed and modified
as follows:
1. Romeo Sison, Nilo Pacadar, Joel Tan, and Richard de los Santos are found
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Murder without any aggravating or mitigating
circumstance
2. Joselito Tamayo is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
Homicide with the generic aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength
3. All accused-appellants are hereby ordered to pay jointly and severally the heirs of
Stephen Salcedo the following amounts: (a) P74k as actual damages; (b) P100k as
moral damages; and (c) P50k as indemnity for the death of the victim.

Adamczuk v. Halloway, 13 A.2d 2 (1940)


Emergency: Adamczuk brought an action of trespass against Cohen (owner) and
Holloway (driver) for personal injuries and property damage due to a car collision.
During trial, Adamczuk kept trying to admit a picture of the location of the accident,
on Highway Route 6. On cross examination, he admitted to not knowing who took it
or when, and to the fact that pictures can be accentuated or taken from different
angles to highlight something. Dillard, a civil engineer, also on cross examination
admitted the same thing. Trial court ruled the pics inadmissibility and ruled in favor
of Cohen and Holloway. On appeal Court (doesnt say what court) said that (in

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

comparing it to a witness) It is true that a photograph can be deliberately so taken


as to convey the most false impression of the object. But so also can any witness lie
in his words. A photograph can falsify just as much and no more than the human
being who takes it or verifies it. The map or photograph must first to be admissible,
be made a part of some qualified person's testimony. Someone must stand forth as
its testimonial sponsor; in other words, it must be verified.
Facts:
1.

Jack J. Adamczuk (plaintiff) brought an action in trespass against owner


Morris Cohen, and driven Elmer Holloway (defendants) for personal
injuries and property damage arising out of a collision.
2. The jury returned a verdict for defendants. Adamczuk's motion for a new
trial was refused and these appeals followed.
3. The assignment of error which appellant Adamczuk stresses is based upon
the refusal of the court to admit in evidence a certain photograph of the
locus of the accident and the approach to it on Highway Route 6.
4. When plaintiff, Jack Adamczuk, was on the stand, he was shown "Exhibit
No. 3" and he identified the roads and buildings appearing in the picture
and stated, in answer to his counsel, that "the picture truly represents the
conditions of the crossing at the time of this accident except for the fact of
daylight or dark." Then the exhibit was offered.
5. On cross-examination it was disclosed that the witness did not know who
took the picture or when it was taken. He did not know at what distance
from the intersection. He had no experience in photography. He said he did
not know whether the photographer tilted the camera up or down when the
picture was taken, whether the photographer "endeavored to accentuate
certain parts of the picture."
6. The court then sustained the objection to the picture's introduction.
7. It was offered in evidence again when Herbert C. Dillard, Civil Engineer
and County Surveyor, was on the stand.
8. On cross-examination: "If you were taking a picture, and wanted to
accentuate the curve of route six to the west, you could accomplish that by
taking the picture farther away from the intersection, that is, farther to the
east of the intersection, could you not?" He answered: "I think you could,
yes." Dillard also took very little pictures.
9. At the close of plaintiff's case the picture was again offered in evidence and
the objection was sustained, and court saying: "There is some mystery
about exhibit number three, which is not clear to the court. There is no
proof of who took it, or any identity as to the picture, other than the physical
view thereon; it isn't shown where the camera was standing, under what
conditions it was taken, and whether it was taken with a view to distorting it
or not."
10. The court then commented that plaintiff had two days to procure the
original taker of this photograph and thus establish it in the legal way with
the right of cross-examination to defendants' counsel of the photographer.

Issue: is it admissible? NO

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1.
2.

3.

4.

The rule is well settled that a photograph may be put in evidence if relevant
to the issue and if verified. It does not have to be verified by the taker. Its
verification depends on the competency of the verifying witness.
Wigmore on Evidence:
a. The objection that a photograph may be so made as to
misrepresent the object is genuinely directed against its
testimonial soundness; but it is of no validity. It is true that a
photograph can be deliberately so taken as to convey the most
false impression of the object. But so also can any witness lie in
his words. A photograph can falsify just as much and no more
than the human being who takes it or verifies it.
b. The fallacy of the objection occurs in assuming that the
photograph can come in testimonially without a competent
person's oath to support it. If a qualified observer is found to say,
"This photograph represents the fact as I saw it," there is no more
reason to exclude it than if he had said, "The following words
represent the fact as I saw it."
c. If no witness has thus attached his credit to the photograph, then
it should not come in at all, any more than an anonymous letter
should be received as testimony.
Section 793:
a. The map or photograph must first, to be admissible, be made a
part of some qualified person's testimony. Someone must stand
forth as its testimonial sponsor; in other words, it must be verified.
There is nothing anomalous or exceptional in this requirement of
verification; it is simply the exaction of those testimonial qualities
which are required equally of all witnesses; the application merely
takes a different form.
In other words, if a witness is familiar with the scene photographed and is
competent to testify that the photograph correctly represents it, it should, if
relevant, be admitted.

State v. Tatum, 360 P.2d 754 (1961)


Respondent: State of Washington
Appellant: Ralph Tatum
Summary:
William Tousin received monthly welfare checks from the state of Washington. In
February 1960, Tousin did not receive his check which was normally mailed to him.
It was discovered that Tousins check had been taken by Ralph Tatum who
subsequently forged an endorsement on the check to his name and cashed the
same at a food store. A criminal case was subsequently brought against Tatum for
first degree forgery. During the trial, Caroline Pentecost, an employee of the store,
testified that, although she could not recall the specific transaction involving Tatum,
the initials appearing on the back of the check were hers. She explained that

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

whenever a check was presented to her for payment at the store, she had been
instructed by the manager to initial it and then to insert it into a regiscope machine.
The machine was designed to simultaneously photograph both the check and the
person facing the machine. The Regiscope film of the transaction was then sent to
the Regiscope distributor to be developed. The processed film showed both the
check and the person of Tatum with the food store in the background. The negative
and the print were admitted in evidence and Tatum was convicted and sentenced to
life imprisonment. On appeal, Tatum questions the films admission into evidence.
For a photograph to be admissible in evidence, the authentication required by courts
is that some witness (not necessarily the photographer) be able to give some
indication as to when, where, and under what circumstances the photograph was
taken, and that the photograph accurately portray the subject or subjects illustrated.
The authentication supplied by the testimony of Dale and Pentecost as to the
process of regiscoping did not preclude appellant from attempting to prove that the
individual portrayed was someone other than appellant, that the photograph was
inaccurate in one or more respects, that appellant was somewhere else at the
moment the photograph was taken, or any other such defense. In the Courts
opinion, the Regiscope exhibits, coupled with the other evidence produced by the
state, sufficed to establish a prima facie case of first degree forgery.
FACTS

William Tousin, of Pasco, received monthly welfare checks from the


state of Washington.

In February, 1960, Tousin did not receive his check (the checks were
generally mailed to a rooming house in Pasco where Tousin resided).
o The mail was normally left on a window ledge in the hallway of the
rooming house. Appellant resided at the same place. Tousin's
February check for $28.90 was endorsed and cashed at
Sherman's Food Store in Pasco by someone other than the
payee, Tousin.

An employee of the store, Caroline Pentecost, testified that, although she


could not specifically recall the above-mentioned transaction, the initials
appearing on the face of the check were hers.
o She also testified that whenever a check was presented to her for
payment at the store, the store manager had instructed her to
initial it and then insert it into a 'Regiscope' machine.
!
This machine is designed to simultaneously photograph,
through two separate lenses, both the check and the
person facing the machine.

When it was discovered that the endorsement of the payee was a forgery,
the Regiscope film of the transaction was sent to the Regiscope distributor
in Portland to be developed.

The processed film shows both the check and the person of appellant
(from his waist up) with the food store in the background.

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Evidence Case Digests

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

Upon the trial, both the negative and the print therefrom were admitted in
evidence, over appellant's objection.
Ralph Tatum was convicted of the crime of first degree forgery and was
sentenced to life imprisonment as an habitual criminal.

ISSUES:
1. Were the Regiscope films (the negative and the print) authenticated sufficiently to
warrant their admission into evidence? - YES
2. Did Phillip Dale, the Regiscope distributor, qualify as an expert witness with
respect to the filming process despite the fact that he was not a photographer by
profession?
RATIO
ADMISSIBILITY OF THE REGISCOPE FILMS

At the outset, with respect to the question of the admissibility of the Regiscope
films, it should be noted that this court has for many years encouraged the
admission
and
use
of
demonstrative
evidence
including
photographs.

There is equally well-established precedent for the proposition that the


admission or rejection of photographs as evidence lies within the sound
discretion of the trial court.

We have also held that the trial court's discretion extends to the sufficiency
of identification.
QUANTUM
OF
AUTHENTICATIONS
COURTS
REQUIRE
BEFORE
PHOTOGRPAH MAY BE ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE

It is simply this-that some witness (not necessarily the photographer) be


able to give some indication as to when, where, and under what
circumstances the photograph was taken, and that the photograph
accurately portray the subject or subjects illustrated

The photograph need only be sufficiently accurate to be helpful to the court


and the jury

APPLICATION TO THE CASE AT BAR:


Witness Pentecost testified that she recognized the background shown in
the picture as that of the food store and she also testified as to the store's
standard procedure of 'regiscoping' each individual who cashed a check at
the store.
Phillip Dale testified at length concerning the Regiscope process.
The testimony of these two witnesses taken together amounted to a
sufficient authentication to warrant the admission of the photograph (both
the print and the negative) into evidence.
The authentication supplied by the testimony summarized above, of
course, did not preclude appellant from attempting to prove that the

individual portrayed was someone other than appellant, that the


photograph was inaccurate in one or more respects, that appellant was
somewhere else at the moment the photograph was taken, or any other
such defense.
But these arguments go to the weight rather than to the admissibility of the
exhibits in question.
In the Courts opinion, the Regiscope exhibits, coupled with the other
evidence produced by the state, sufficed to establish a prima facie case of
first degree forgery.

Philip Dale QUALIFIES as an Expert Witness

The fact that Dale was not a professional photographer and may have
not understood all of the technical details of the process, did not, from
an evidentiary standpoint, disqualify him from expressing an opinion in
his testimony as to the possibility of altering a given Regiscope print.

This court has many times held that the question of whether or not a
witness is qualified to express an expert opinion lies within the sound
discretion of the trial court.

In view of witness Dale'stestimony that he personally had developed


'four to five hundred thousand 'individual Regiscope films, we hardly
think that the trial court abused its discretion in this regard.
The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
People vs. Climaco, G.R. No. 199403. June 13, 2012
G.R. No. 199403 | June 13, 2012 | Carpio
Appellee: People of the Philippines
Appellant: Gomer S. Climaco
Emergency Recit: Climaco was charged with illegal possession and illegal sale of
shabu. He was arrested during a buy-bust operation wherein two plastic sachets of
shabu were allegedly recovered from him. PO1 Ignacio, who was part of the buybust, claimed that the dangerous drugs seized from Climaco were marked by SPO4
Teofilo Royena as TR-B and TR-R. However, the Chemistry Report submitted to
the trial court, the Index of Exhibits and the Minutes of the Hearing all show that the
dangerous drugs examined and confirmed to be shabu by the forensic chemist were
marked as GSC1 and GSC2. Since what was seized (TR-B and TR-R) by
PO1 Ignacio from Climaco at the time of the buy-bust operation was different from
the dangerous drugs submitted (GSC1 and GSC2) to the forensic chemist for
review and evaluation, the chain of custody over the dangerous drugs was broken
and the integrity of the evidence submitted to the trial court was not preserved,
casting doubt on the guilt of Climaco. With this, an element in the criminal cases for
illegal sale and illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the corpus delicti, is not
proven, and the accused must then be acquitted based on reasonable doubt.

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Evidence Case Digests

Facts:

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

This is a consolidated criminal case filed against appellant Gomer S.


Climaco (Climaco) for violation of The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs
Act of 2002 for illegal possession and illegal sale of methamphetamine
hydrochloride, a dangerous drug. JESSE PINKMAN BITCH!

Prosecutions Version

The prosecution presented 2 witnesses: PO1 Alaindelon M. Ignacio, and


Forensic Chemist Donna Villa Huelgas.

PO1 Ignacio testified that he is a member of the PNP since 15 October


1999 and was assigned at Intelligence Division, San Pedro Municipal
Police Station.
o On 7 September 2004, he was on 24-hour duty at PAC base
located at United Bayanihan, San Pedro, Laguna. At around 6:00
in the evening of the same day, PO1 Ignacio, SPO3 Samson,
SPO4 Balverde, some members of the Laguna Special Operation
Team, Members of the Provincial Intelligence and Investigation
Division conducted a briefing regarding a drug operation against a
certain Gomer Climaco, No. 5 in the drug watch list in San Pedro,
Laguna.
!
During the briefing, PO1 Ignacio was tasked to act as the
poseur-buyer and SPO4 Almeda as the overall team
leader. The buy-bust money was prepared, which consist
of P500.00 bill and some boodle money. The team was
also armed with a Warrant of Arrest for illegal drugs
issued by Judge Pao.
o After the briefing, the team proceeded to the target area. When
they arrived, PO1 Ignacio saw the suspect standing in front of his
house. The other members of the team strategically positioned
themselves. Since PO1 Ignacio already knew the suspect, PO1
Ignacio just told Gomer that he would buy shabu. Gomer entered
his house and took something. When he came out, Gomer
showed to PO1 Ignacio the shabu.
!
PO1 Ignacio scratched his head to signal the team that
item was shown to him and he would execute the buying
of the shabu.
!
After Gomer asked for the money and PO1 Ignacio gave
it to him, SPO3 Samson and the rest of the team
immediately moved in to effect the arrest of the suspect.
Since he was caught in the act, Gomer did not resist
anymore.
!
The team likewise showed Gomer his warrant of arrest.
o PO1 Ignacio saw SPO3 Samson frisk and ask Gomer to empty
his pockets. SPO3 Samson was able to recover another plastic
sachet, which was inserted between Gomers fingers.
!
The plastic sachet, which was the product of the buybust, and the one recovered from Gomer were turned
over to SPO4 Teofilo Royena, who turned them over to

the Office of the Special Operation Group located at


Brgy. Tubigan, Bian, Laguna.
!
The plastic sachet product of the buy-bust was
marked TR-B, which means Teofilo Royena and the
letter B means Bust.
!
While the plastic sachet recovered from Gomer was
marked TR-R, which means Teofilo Royena and the
letter R means Recovered.
Youll find out later that the forensic chemists testimony is about the
markings of the shabu recovered from Climaco.

Defenses Version

The defense presented 3 witnesses in the persons of the accused himself,


Gomer S. Climaco, Michael M. Basihan and Cristina Gamboa Climaco.

Gomer S. Climaco testified that prior to 7 September 2004, he did not


know SPO2 Wilfredo Samson and PO1 Alaindelon Ignacio.
o On 7 September 2004, Gomer, together with his wife and five (5)
children, were inside their house. When Gomer was feeding the
chicken in front of his yard, four (4) unidentified armed men
suddenly arrived and frisked him.
o When nothing was found in his possession, the men handcuffed
and brought him to the police station.
!
At the police station, the men filed a case against him.
o Gomer denied having sold and delivered shabu to a police
poseur-buyer and that he was in possesion of shabu.
o During the cross-examination, Gomer said that while he was
being frisked by the men, Gomer asked the men what was his
violation.
!
The men replied that somebody bought shabu from
him. Gomer told the men that he did nothing wrong, but
the men continued to handcuff him.
o Gomer was not aware that he was included in the list of top 20
illegal drug pushers. Gomer did not know of any ill motive on the
part of the police officer why he would be charged with so grave
an offense. He did not file any case against the police officer who
arrested him.

Michael M. Basihan testified that Gomer Climaco was his neighbor in


Bagong Silang.
o On 7 September 2004, Michael went to Gomers manukan to
gather guava fruits.
o When he arrived there, Gomer was tending to his cocks. (dami
naman!)
o While he was gathering guava fruits, Michael saw four (4)
unidentified armed men suddenly barge into the premises and
arrest Gomer. (who was tending his cocks!)
o After he was handcuffed, Gomer was made to board a vehicle
where he was brought to Jaka Subdivision.
o Michael could not remember whether it was morning or evening

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Evidence Case Digests

when Gomer was arrested by unidentified armed men because


the incident happened a long time ago.
Cristina Gamboa Climaco testified that she is the wife of Gomer
Climaco. She did not know SPO2 Wilfredo Samson and PO1 Alaindelon
Ignacio.
o On 7 September 2004, she was inside their house taking care of
her child.
o At around 3:00 in the afternoon of the same day, Gomer arrived in
their house, who just came from Barangay Cuyab. After taking a
bath, Gomer went outside of their house.
o While in front of their house, Gomer called the person taking care
of his chickens. Gomer and that person went to the back of the
house. Meanwhile, Cristina went inside the house. Although she
was inside of the house, Cristina could see Gomer and the person
through the window.
o At around 4:00 in the afternoon, Cristina saw four (4) unidentified
armed men approach and ask something from Gomer. After a
few minutes, Gomer left the back of the house, while the men
were left standing there. Cristina went out the house and saw her
husband go toward the direction of St. Reymond. (I dont know
who St. Reymond is. Baka Reymond Street pala to)
o At around 6:00 in the evening, Cirstina went down from their
house to ask Michael if he saw Gomer. Michael told Cristina that
he saw Gomer loaded into a van by several men.

RTC: declared Climaco guilty of the crimes of illegal sale and illegal possession of
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a dangerous drug.
CA: The CA affirmed the conviction of Climaco. The CA found that based on the
testimony of PO1 Ignacio, it was established that the chain of custody over the
seized drugs was unbroken from the arresting officers to SPO4 Royena, and then to
the forensic chemist for examination.[14]
Issue: Whether the guilt of Climaco for the crimes of illegal sale and illegal
possession of shabu, a dangerous drug, was proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Held: No.
Ratio:

Guys these 2 bullets below are really the most important part of the case.
All the rest are for JJ and if mag-nitpick si sir!
PO1 Ignacio, in his testimony, claimed that the dangerous drugs seized
from Climaco were marked by SPO4 Teofilo Royena as TR-B and TRR.
However, the Chemistry Report submitted to the trial court shows
that the dangerous drugs examined and confirmed to be shabu by

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

the forensic chemist were marked as GSC1 and GSC2. Since


what was seized (TR-B and TR-R) by PO1 Ignacio from Climaco
at the time of the buy-bust operation was different from the
dangerous drugs submitted (GSC1 and GSC2) to the forensic
chemist for review and evaluation, the chain of custody over the
dangerous drugs was broken and the integrity of the evidence
submitted to the trial court was not preserved, casting doubt on the
guilt of Climaco.
Constitutional Presumption of Innocence

Section 14(2) of the Bill of Rights (Article III) provides that, in all criminal
prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is
proved.
Weight of Evidence

Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof,
excluding possibility of error, which produces absolute certainty. Only
moral certainly is required, or that degree of proof which produces
conviction in an unprejudiced mind.
Chain of Custody Over the Confiscated Items

The elements necessary in every prosecution for the illegal sale of shabu
are:
1. the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object and the
consideration; and
2. the delivery of the thing sold and the payment.
3. Similarly, it is essential that the transaction or sale be proved to
have actually taken place coupled with the presentation in court of
evidence of corpus delicti which means the actual commission by
someone of the particular crime charged. The corpus delicti in
cases involving dangerous drugs is the presentation of the
dangerous drug itself.

On the other hand, to successfully prosecute a case of illegal possession


of dangerous drugs, the following elements must be established:
1. the accused is in possession of an item or object which is
identified to be a prohibited drug;
2. such possession is not authorized by law; and
3. the accused freely and consciously possessed the drug.

In both cases of illegal sale and illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the
chain of custody over the dangerous drug must be shown to establish the
corpus delicti.
o In People v. Alcuizar, the Court held: to remove any doubt or
uncertainty on the identity and integrity of the seized drug,
evidence must definitely show that the illegal drug presented in
court is the same illegal drug actually recovered from the
accused-appellant; otherwise, the prosecution for possession
under Republic Act No. 9165 fails.

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Evidence Case Digests

Section 1(b) of Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 1, Series of 2002,


which implements the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,
defines chain of custody as follows:
the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized
drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous
drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage, from the time of
seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to
safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. Such record
of movements and custody of seized item shall include the
identity and signature of the person who held temporary custody
of the seized item, the date and time when such transfer of
custody were made in the course of safekeeping and use in court
as evidence, and the final disposition.
In Malillin v. People, the Court explained the importance of the chain of
custody:
A unique characteristic of narcotic substances is that they are not
readily identifiable as in fact they are subject to scientific analysis
to determine their composition and nature. The Court cannot
reluctantly close its eyes to the likelihood or at least the possibility,
that at any of the links in the chain of custody over the same there
could have been tampering, alteration or substitution of
substances from other cases by accident or otherwise in
which similar evidence was seized or in which similar evidence
was submitted for laboratory testing. Hence, in authenticating the
same, a standard more stringent than that applied to cases
involving objects which are readily identifiable must be applied if
only to render it improbable that the original item has either been
exchanged with another or been contaminated or tampered with.

Back to the case!

In this case, PO1 Ignacio, in his testimony, claimed that the substances
retrieved from Climaco and submitted to the court were contained in two
(2) plastic sachets with the markings TR-R and TR-B.
o However, according to the Chemistry Report executed by
Forensic Chemist Donna Villa P. Huelgas, the plastic sachets
submitted for examination carried the markings GSC-1 and
GSC-2, different from the plastic sachets marked TR-R and
TR-B containing the drugs retrieved from Climaco:
o In addition, in the Index of Exhibits submitted by the Officer-inCharge of the RTC, Exhibit C-1 was described as a plastic
sachet with white crystalline substance with markings GSC-1
while Exhibit C-2 was described as a plastic sachet with white
crystalline substance with markings GSC-2, contrary to the
testimony of PO1 Ignacio and the declaration of Prosecutor
Casano that the specimens submitted to the court carried the

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

markings TR-B and TR-R.


Likewise, in the handwritten Minutes dated 5 January 2005,
Exhibit C-1 was identified as a plastic sachet with white
crystalline substance with marking GSC-1, and Exhibit C-2
was identified as a plastic sachet with white crystalline substance
with marking GSC-2.[26]
Clearly, what was submitted to the trial court were plastic sachets bearing
the markings GSC-1 and GSC-2, instead of the plastic sachets bearing
the markings TR-R and TR-B that contained the substances recovered
from Climaco. The prosecution did not explain why the markings of the
plastic sachets containing the alleged drugs, which were submitted to be
TR-B and TR-R, became GSC-1 and GSC-2 in the Chemistry
Report, Index of Exhibits and Minutes of the Hearing.
In their decisions, the RTC and CA were silent on the change of the
markings. In fact, since the markings are different, the presumption is that
the substance in the plastic sachets marked as TR-B and TR-R is
different from the substance in the plastic sachets marked as GSC-1 and
GSC-2. There is no moral certainty that the substance taken from
appellant is the same dangerous drug submitted to the laboratory and the
trial court.
As held in Malillin v. People, to establish guilt of the accused beyond
reasonable doubt in cases involving dangerous drugs, it is important that
the substance illegally possessed in the first place be the same substance
offered in court as exhibit. This chain of custody requirement ensures that
unnecessary doubts are removed concerning the identity of the
evidence. When the identity of the dangerous drug recovered from
the accused is not the same dangerous drug presented to the
forensic chemist for review and examination, nor the same
dangerous drug presented to the court, the identity of the dangerous
drug is not preserved due to the broken chain of custody. With this,
an element in the criminal cases for illegal sale and illegal possession
of dangerous drugs, the corpus delicti, is not proven, and the
accused must then be acquitted based on reasonable doubt. For this
reason, Climaco must be acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt due
to the broken chain of custody over the dangerous drug allegedly
recovered from him.
o

WHEREFORE, we SET ASIDE the 29 March 2011 Decision of the Court of Appeals
x x x. We ACQUIT appellant Gomer S. Climaco based on reasonable doubt and we
ORDER his immediate release from detention, unless he is detained for any other
lawful cause.

People vs. Cardenas, G.R. No. 190342. March 21, 2012


Petitioner: People of the Philippines
Respondent: Cipriano Cardenas y Gofrerica
Date: March 21, 2012

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Evidence Case Digests

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

4.
Summary: A buy-bust operation was conducted against Cipriano Cardenas aka
Ope, where he was caught having 0.05 grams of shabu. PO3 Palacio was head of
the team while PO3 Enetria was the poseur-buyer. 3 sachets of shabu was taken
from the accused and were marked CC1, CC2, and CC3. They tested positive and
he was convicted by both TC and CA. I: WoN non-compliance with the
requirements for the proper custody of seized drugs is fatal to the action against
accused NO H: Substantial compliance with the procedural aspect of the chain of
custody rule does not necessarily render the seized drug items inadmissible. What
is essential is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the
seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or
innocence of the accused. From the testimonies of the police officers, the
prosecution established that they had custody of the drugs seized from the accused
from the moment he was arrested, during the time he was transported to the CIDG
office in Camp Crame, and up to the time the drugs were submitted to the crime
laboratory for examination. The said police officers also identified the seized drugs
with certainty when these were presented in court. Although we find that the police
officers did not strictly comply with the requirements of Section 21, Article II of the
IRR implementing R.A. 9165, the noncompliance did not affect the evidentiary
weight of the drugs seized from the accused, because the chain of custody of the
evidence was shown to be unbroken under the circumstances of the case. (NOTE:
yung di nasunod strictly is yung photograph and inventory signed by public official
and other personalities. Check footnote for the complete provision.)
Facts:
1.

2.

3.

An Information was filed against accused Cipriano Cardenas y Gofrerica,


alias Ope for violation of Sec. 5, Art. II of RA 9165 (Dangerous Drugs
Act), for allegedly: willfully, and unlawfully sell, dispense, deliver,
transport, distribute or act as broker in the said transaction, 0.05 gram of
shabu.
Prosecutions Version: One day, the Detection and Special Operations
Division of the Criminal Investigation Division Group (DSOD-CIDG) in
Camp Crame, received a report from its confidential informant regarding
the rampant selling of shabu by a certain Ope at Payatas, QC. A team was
organized to conduct a buy-bust operation. PO3 Palacio was head and
PO3 Enteria was the poseur-buyer. They marked a P100 bill with the
initials ERP the signal at which the pusher would be arrested would be
when PO3 Enteria would throw away his cigarette.
At the site, Enteria (guided by the informant) was asked how much he
wanted to buy, and he answered P100. The accused then took out a
clear plastic sachet containing a white crystalline substance and handed it
to Enteria. Palacio and the rest of the team immediately approached,
arrested the accused and frisked him. They recovered 2 other clear plastic
sachets marked CC-1, CC-2 and CC-3 representing the initials of the
accused. They tested postitive for shabu with a total weight of 0.05 gram.

5.
6.

Accuseds Version: he claimed that while he was walking home, 4


persons handcuffed him and forced him to board a vehicle. He was taken
to the CIDG office at Camp Crame, where he was informed that he was
being arrested for selling shabu. He claimed to have not seen the alleged
shabu at the time of his arrest or even during the CIDG investigation or
during the inquest at the public prosecutors office.
RTC convicted him and gave credence to the testimonies and pieces of
evidence presented by the prosecution. It ruled that the police operation
had followed the normal course of a drug entrapment operation.
The CA affirmed the trial courts conviction and ruled that the prosecution
was able to establish the necessary elements to prove the illegal sale of
drugs.

Issue: WoN the CA committed error in convicting the accused despite noncompliance with the requirements for the proper custody of seized dangerous drugs
under RA 9165 NO ERROR. AFFIRMED.
Held: WHEREFORE, the appeal is DENIED. The CA Decision is AFFIRMED in all
respects.
Elements under Sec. 5 of RA 9165
1. The identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale, and the
consideration; and
2. The delivery of the thing sold and its payment.

The State has the burden of proving these elements and is obliged to
present the corpus delicti in court to support a finding of guilt beyond
reasonable doubt. The defense does not raise any issue with regard the
sale and delivery of the illegal drugs.
Chain of Custody
1. The point of contention pertains to the noncompliance by the arresting
2
officers with Sec. 21, Art. II of the IRR implanting RA 9165 regarding the

SECTION 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs,
Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals,
Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment.
(a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall,
immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the
presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or
his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the DOJ, and any elected
public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof;
Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search
warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending
officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-
compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the

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Evidence Case Digests

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

custody of seized drugs. If proven, substantial gaps in the chain of custody


of the seized drugs would cast serious doubts on the authenticity of the
evidence presented in court and entitle the accused to an acquittal.
People v. Salonga: it is essential for the prosecution to prove that the
prohibited drug confiscated or recovered from the suspect is the very same
substance offered in court as exhibit. Thus, drug enforcement agents and
police officers involved in a buy-bust operation are required to mark all
seized evidence at the buy-bust scene.
The defense wants to impress upon this Court that the arresting officers
did not conduct a physical inventory of the items seized and failed to
photograph them in the presence of the accused and of other personalities
specified. We are not persuaded.
The chain of custody is defined in Sec. 1(b) of Dangerous Drugs Board
Regulation No. 1, Series of 2002: b. Chain of Custody means the duly
recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled
chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of
each stage, from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic
laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. Such
record of movements and custody of seized item shall include the identity
and signature of the person who held temporary custody of the seized
item, the date and time when such transfer of custody were made in the
course of safekeeping and used in court as evidence, and the final
disposition.
We have held however that substantial compliance with the procedural
aspect of the chain of custody rule does not necessarily render the seized
drug items inadmissible. People v. Ara: what is essential is the
preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items,
as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence
of the accused.
In the instant case, we find that the chain of custody of the seized
prohibited drugs was not broken. The testimony of PO3 Palacio shows that
he was the one who recovered from the accused the 3 plastic sachets of
shabu, together with the marked money. He also testified that he was the
one who personally brought the request for examination to the PNP Crime
Lab and had the plastic sachets examined there. During the trial of the
case, he positively identified the plastic sachets that he had recovered from
the accused and had marked CC-1, CC-2 and CC-3
PO3 Enteria, who had acted as the poseur-buyer in the buy-bust operation
corroborated the testimony of PO3 Palacio and indicated that the latter was
in custody of the seized drugs from the time the accused was arrested until
these were sent to the crime lab for chemical analysis.
From these testimonies of the police officers, the prosecution established
that they had custody of the drugs seized from the accused from the
moment he was arrested, during the time he was transported to the CIDG
office in Camp Crame, and up to the time the drugs were submitted to the

Atty. Lawrence Arroyo

crime laboratory for examination. The said police officers also identified the
seized drugs with certainty when these were presented in court.
9. Although we find that the police officers did not strictly comply with the
requirements of Section 21, Article II of the IRR implementing R.A. 9165,
the noncompliance did not affect the evidentiary weight of the drugs seized
from the accused, because the chain of custody of the evidence was
shown to be unbroken under the circumstances of the case.
a. Zalameda v. People of the Philippines: We do not find any
provision or statement in said law or in any rule that will bring
about the non-admissibility of the confiscated and/or seized drugs
due to non-compliance with Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165.
The issue therefore, if there is non-compliance with said section,
is not of admissibility, but of weight evidentiary merit or
probative value to be given the evidence.
10. The credibility of witnesses is a matter best examined by, and left to, the
trial courts. The time-tested doctrine is that the matter of assigning values
to declarations on the witness stand is best and most competently
performed by the trial judge. Unlike appellate magistrates, it is the judge
who can weigh such testimonies in light of the witnesses demeanor and
manner of testifying, and who is in a unique position to discern between
truth and falsehood. Thus, we affirm the assailed Decision of the appellate
court and uphold the conviction of the accused.


evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall
not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items;
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